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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Web monitoring analytics offer one of the most powerful tools for improving your online advertising ROI. In fact, web monitoring analytics are essential for guaranteeing the maximum performance of your Internet marketing campaigns. Web monitoring analytics can be used to monitor all of your website traffic, which means being able to test the advertising effectiveness of your different campaigns and how much traffic they are bringing you, the flow of your website, and it’s ability to convert leads into deals.

Web monitoring analytics allow you to track which of your online marketing campaigns are bringing you the most visitors, and more importantly, which one is actually producing the most sales through your individual domain names. You may even be surprised to find out where your visitors are coming from. It may not be the campaigns you think. In this case, you are wasting thousands of dollars in the wrong direction. See which advertising channels are the most productive and optimize those, while scrapping or revamping those that are not producing results.

Next, use your web monitoring analytics to track the flow of movement through your website and identify what is the biggest barrier to prospects taking the action you want. If they are spending too little time on the first page they arrive at, it suggests that either your design is unattractive or your ads are not really reaching the right prospects. Just getting traffic by itself is no good; you want to drive in traffic that you can monetize. Use your web monitoring analytics to watch the flow of your traffic around your site. If visitors spend too little time on a long page and quickly leave, perhaps you are giving too much information and boring them, or if they make it to your closing page but do not acquire your product or service, perhaps your pricing is too high. Or perhaps you need to add more credibility by including your toll free vanity number on your website. Continually strive regularly to use your web monitoring analytics and constantly improve all aspects of your online advertising and you will watch your ROI and profit margins rocket!

Testing before you launch any advertising campaign is essential, and it is especially essential for PPC advertising. In fact, PPC advertising is ideal for testing the viability of the launch of almost all new services and products even if you intend to branch out into other forms of marketing later.

So how should you be testing your PPC advertising? PPC advertising systems like Google Adwords let you find ideal keywords in seconds. However, the real testing is what you put together for your text and image ads. Start by using at least three to four variations of your ad. For text ads, you should be testing your headline, ad copy, and even your Internet domain name. Note that you can use several web domain names, and if you haven’t yet acquired a domain name that includes your toll free vanity number, you may find that having one offers much more volume. When it comes to PPC advertising with image ads, you can also try out different shapes and sizes from animated squares to static or flash banner ads. Try testing different colors in addition to the items above.

A good place to start before even trying to create your PPC ads is to look at other ads that come up for your search terms and see which ones you think are most attractive for customers and how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. You can easily create your own ads in a few minutes in almost any PPC advertising platform, whether it is Google, Yahoo, YouTube, or Facebook advertising, or you can use inexpensive programs like Banner Designer Pro for ads you can use anywhere on the web. Or if you are working with an established company that offers an affiliate program, you may find they have winning ads already created for you to use. You can even take a lesson from one New York Times best selling author and hold a competition that involves having others send your their ad ideas in exchange for providing some sort of free marketing back to the person or company that comes up with your best performing ad. Run your ads for a week, axe the ones that are not producing, and replace them with new ideas. Keep repeating until you have an arsenal of extremely powerful and productive ads that produce big results.

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Without a strong brand image and a unified brand, your business does not have a solid foundation to grow on. We all know the story of The Three Little Pigs and what happened to the homes made out of straw and sticks! Core to building a solid brand is making sure your Internet domain name, toll free vanity number, and business name all match and blend together. If they are different, you will find that you are losing a lot of business from customers who can’t find you and come across your competition instead.

Not having a domain name that matches your business name can be an easy mistake for new entrepreneurs and small business start ups. However, it can also be an extremely expensive one, not only from having to secure different Internet domain names, or toll free numbers, or changing your business name, but also in terms of new research that will need to be done and redrafting marketing campaigns.

So before you go too deep into the planning stage of a new venture or spinning off a new division, make sure you can reserve and secure the appropriate matching business name, vanity number, and Internet domain names. Just making sure that they are available isn’t enough. Hundreds of new businesses and websites are created each day. Lock in your Internet domain name early if you want to succeed.

Another factor that is often overlooked by those rushing to register new companies and web domain names is checking to see whether your proposed business name is in use in another state or has been used recently. If the name has been taken, you may want to spend time checking out the reputation of that company name. The last thing you want is to secure a new Internet domain name and launch a business only to find that one with a similar name was just shut down for fraud!

Do you need affiliate software to make money online? Technically, you could operate some type of an affiliate program without affiliate software, although it would be rudimentary at best. In short, trying to run an online affiliate marketing program without using some type of affiliate software just wouldn’t make sense. The purpose of affiliate software is to provide tracking and reporting of actions that trigger commissions at a minimum. So without a system, you will, at best, be burning through masses of man hours to make sense of things and will have a hard time keeping track of payouts and earnings.

If you are just starting out, there are discount types of affiliate software that can do the basics for you that you can find for just a few hundred dollars. However, if you really want to make serious money online and build a sizable group of affiliates who actually produce revenues for you, then it is best to tap into large and established affiliate marketing networks and platforms like Commission Junction that host affiliate software and do all of the hard work for you. Promoting your products or services through affiliate software giants like Commission Junction also offers instant credibility and separates your company as a trustworthy and established organization that can be relied on and is in the same league as companies like Dell, Ring Central, and Newsweek.

The idea of starting an affiliate network is to work smarter rather than harder. So why would you want to put in all of the effort to try and put together an affiliate marketing network without doing it right? Good affiliate marketing programs can definitely produce large revenues and take your enterprise to the next level. However, if done haphazardly without effective affiliate software, you can find that you are spending your time running in circles without a dime to show for it.

 



 

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Vanity phone numbers have proven to be one of the greatest marketing tools for improving branding and increasing advertising effectiveness, but it doesn’t end there. The recent changes in the economy are demanding that companies not only fight harder to expand their market share in their current niches but also become the company of choice in other niches within their industries in order to maintain revenue levels and grow. Vanity numbers can help accomplish this goal.

Vanity numbers that spell out words can be used to target specific groups and needs within your given industry, enabling your enterprise to carve out big slices of market share and dominate them. Obviously there are advantages to having generic vanity phone numbers for your industry if they occupy the number one spot like 800-FLOWERS, 800-CONTACTS, or 800-MORTGAGE. However, if you can’t get your hands on these for some reason, then look at targeted vanity phone numbers that can help you take over different market segments one at a time. These phone numbers make it easier to maximize marketing ROI with more targeted campaigns. Once you have locked in a top position in a certain niche, it is going to cost your competitors much more to try and compete with you in it, no matter how good their products or services. Then, while they are planning attacks on you in one area of your industry, you have the luxury of a head start to go after other niches with new vanity phone numbers while they are not paying attention.

How can you put this marketing strategy into play for yourself? Start by looking at customer needs and desires. Then take a look at how your company differentiates itself in your industry. Typically, you can harness factors like being easier and faster to deal with than your competitors in order to grab attention and drive prospects to action. Use words like FAST, EASY, EZ, and NOW in your vanity phone numbers for maximum effect. You may not even be the fastest or easiest in your industry, but it is all about perception. Harness the power of winning vanity phone numbers and grow your business.

How effective are you on the World Wide Web? Are you getting a maximum return on investment? If you think there is room for improvement, take action today. It is important to measure your advertising campaigns' effectiveness. That's the only way to find out if you’re really getting value for your money.

To measure effectiveness, the first question to ask is, "What is the goal of my website?" Most websites have one of the following goals: generate leads, improve sales, provide information, and improve brand recall. Once you have goals in place, it is easier to measure how effective you are in meeting those goals.

Some general ways exist to track the effectiveness of your Internet advertising campaigns. For example, by simply comparing the pre-advertising and post-advertising traffic, you will get an overview of the campaign's results. Aside from comparing the site traffic numbers, look into your sales figures as well.

If you're into pay-per-click advertising (PPC), some factors you need to measure include the click-through rate, relevance of your ads, and return on investment. These statistics are easy to see on the control panel of your PPC account. In Google Adwords, for example, detailed metrics can be viewed.

The importance of measuring Internet advertising effectiveness cannot be denied. The only question is: How in-depth do you want to go in your analysis? Whatever you decide, many tools are available to help.

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Are you analyzing marketing strategy metrics to improve the quality of your website? If not, then it's time to start now. There are key metrics you need to look into and study. It is important to have an in-depth understanding about your customers in order to gain time and a competitive edge in today's marketplace.

Some important marketing strategy metrics that deserve your attention include the following:

Website Visits:  Consider those statistics by day, week, month, and year. These will give you an idea about when your peak season is and what time of day visitors usually go to your site.   

  • Visitor Geography:  Where are your visitors coming from? Consider if you are getting hits from the target area.
  • Traffic Sources:  What sites refer visitors to yours (what search engine if any, blogs, websites, etc)?
  • Bounce Rate:  Percentage of visitors who abandoned your site within seconds.
  • Content:  Determine how your visitors are interacting with the text and other information on your website. It is possible to see their reactions if you have a blog or forum section on the site.
  • SEO Ranking:  Is your website located within the first few pages of the search engine results page (SERP)? Related to traffic sources, your search engine ranking will determine whether you’ll get relevant visitors. What are the figures showing?

Besides all the facts stated above, it is crucial to study marketing metrics to determine how effective your campaign is toward fulfilling your company's goal.

We all know that trading man hours for dollars is not really the way to make a living. It is not only an extremely risky way to live when you consider the limits on your time and the possibility of becoming physically unable to continue, but it does not enable you to enjoy significant wealth or the lifestyle you dream of having. Some choose to open their own businesses to take the next step, but unless you do it right, you can just as easily find that you are a slave to your own business and you will work more hours per week than ever before.

However, ways exist to make money online that enable you to put your income on auto pilot so you are able to spend your time focusing on the things you really love and enjoy doing while your income keeps rolling in. You can do this by setting up expansive and complicated business models to make money online using toll free numbers, remote workers, and various Internet advertising programs and channels. Nothing is wrong with this. Provided that you have great managers and bookkeeping, you can travel and explore the world with your income on auto pilot and just check in a couple of hours a week to deal with major issues or make adjustments to your system.

Unfortunately, this situation can be time consuming to set up and will take a little while to perfect as you test out employees and strive to maximize your marketing ROI. Other ways to make money online are not as complicated or complex to run. Joining a quality affiliate marketing program, which allows you to partner up with established and respected companies that have already perfected their systems, is a great way to make money online and set your income on auto pilot. Then you will be able to harness the power of great products and services that have already created a demand as well as being able to tap into proven marketing strategies that are already being used to make money online. This situation also means less expense and set-up time, thereby shortening your cash flow cycle and offering the best possible return on investment.

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A huge explosion of marketing online has occurred across almost every industry in the last few years. This growth in marketing online has not only been due to advances in technology but also out of a need to expand into new markets, lower costs, and for individuals to launch their own businesses since the downturn in the economy. Unfortunately, as with any industry that booms, it also means that marketing online has increasingly become the new favorite haunt of fraudsters – well, in addition to the banking and foreclosure industry of course.

This situation applies both to scam companies selling a variety of services and products as well as companies offering marketing online, including SEO marketing online, website design, toll free numbers, and social media marketing online. Why? Certainly the current economic situation has made many people more desperate than ever before, and they are doing things to others they would have never previously dreamed of doing. However, many of the other fraudsters now jumping into marketing online are those who have been chased out of the stock market, car sales, and the mortgage industry. They are just looking for the next hot thing that is selling quickly and will allow them to  take advantage of people – marketing online offers them that.

Another reason marketing online is so popular with fraudsters is that it is very hard to track them down. Anyone can now throw together a scam company in a couple of hours on the Internet, complete with a new Internet domain name and website. This process is even easier for those based outside of the U.S. Really, nothing can be done in most cases if you are scammed by fraudsters operating out of remote foreign countries. Even if they can be tracked down, the expense is just too much for law enforcement.

So what can you do to protect yourself from scams involving marketing online? Educate yourself a little. You don’t have to become an expert at marketing online, but you should look around and get an idea of what actually works and what doesn’t so you can recognize most scams when you see them. Next, take a couple of minutes to research companies before you send them your money. How long have they been in business? Of course, new businesses are necessary to grow in new directions, but it is certainly much wiser to go with a company marketing online that has been around for over ten years. At a minimum, make sure a company's website has real contact information posted, not just a web form. Look for an actual contact name, physical address, and business phone number.

Social media marketing is probably the biggest thing to hit the Internet since the search engines. But like any form of marketing, there are bound to be "No No’s" that can destroy your strategy and even your reputation in social media. It is important to be aware of these before you make the same mistakes! Some things readers and customers won't forgive you for include: 

Using Misleading Headlines and Images – A great headline can certainly attract traffic. But it is quality content that will make people stay. Make sure your headline or image is always related to your content and the business in general. If it isn't, then all your social media efforts are just wasted.

  • Ignore Valid Criticisms – It’s impossible to please everyone. As you become more popular, you’re bound to encounter more fans…as well as haters. While it’s certainly important to focus on the positive, look into the relevance of negative comments too. However, don’t let this discourage you or sap your energy. Certain users just can’t be satisfied no matter what you do.
  • Forget the Option to Share – Every website has countless widgets, extensions, and plug-ins that are easy to install. Be sure to include these, especially on blogs! People won’t make the effort to submit your site or share it with friends if you make it difficult for them to do so.

Another common SMM mistake that’s committed by even the most experienced marketers is targeting only one social network. Sure, it is definitely important to concentrate more on sites that actually deliver. But by doing so, you are ignoring other sites' potential. Keep a noticeable presence, at the very least, on other sites so you can take advantage of their social media marketing opportunities as they become available.

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