Tag Archives: business

Google Commerce Search 2.0

School is out for the summer, and that means it’s time for some swimsuit shopping, travel purchases and—before we know it—buying back-to-school supplies.

To help retail sites get ready for the summer shopping season, Today Google launched Google Commerce Search 2.0 for retailers in the United States and United Kingdom. The new version of Google Commerce Search provides a better experience online for shoppers and greater control—with immediate ROI—for retailers.

Google Commerce Search, first launched a little over six months ago, is an enterprise-grade website search solution hosted in Google’s cloud and designed specifically for online retailers. This second release includes a number of improvements:

  • More merchant customization: Today Google introducing a full merchandising dashboard, which gives merchants more control over promotions, ranking rules and filtering. Marketers and product merchandisers can now do all of this themselves—no custom code necessary. New intuitive retailer controls like time-based promotions, navigation bar with filters, and simple product ranking rules mean seasonal optimizations can be done on the fly.
  • Better shopper experience: With query auto completion, retailers can offer common queries to shoppers in real time, as they type, without any custom coding. GCS is also faster and more relevant than before thanks to search quality improvements. Because it’s hosted in the Google cloud, search results are returned to shoppers in less than a second. Google also added spelling and stemming dictionaries and new custom synonym options to make shopping on a retail site as easy and accurate as searching on Google.com.
  • Improved browsing and navigation: Many shoppers depend on the search bar on retail sites when they’re looking to make a purchase, but some people will always prefer to navigate through different categories and discover new products. Now, Google Commerce Search allows visitors to shop by browsing around your site as well as searching directly for products.

Finally, Google making the benefits of Google Commerce Search 2.0 available to a wider range of retailers by introducing a pricing model that starts at $25,000/year.
As more consumers turn to online channels to purchase and research products, it’s important for your site to keep up with them using the best technology out there. So with summer just around the corner, make sure your sunscreen’s on, your beach blanket is ready and your e-commerce site is optimized with Google Commerce Search.

Is Your Marketing Plan Ready for an Update?

This is a time when you reflect on the effectiveness of your business marketing programs. You will be planning to improve performance of some marketing programs, discontinue some, and try others for the first time.

Each Marketing Plan is Unique

For those writing a marketing plan for the first time, it is important to know that there is no “magic formula” to an effective marketing plan. Formats and procedures vary widely, and your marketing plan will be one-of-a-kind.

Your company, customers, competitors, and suppliers interact to create a unique and ever-changing business environment. Because of this, your marketing plan should also be unique and frequently changing. What worked wonderfully for one company may be a dismal failure for you. What worked yesterday for you may not be the thing for you to do today. By thinking of your plan as a unique and perpetual work in progress, you can be better prepared to change direction when the business environment changes.

A Plan Makes a Profitable Difference

Ultimately, your marketing plan is a compass by which you navigate your day-to-day business. As opportunities arise or your business environment changes, the objective and strategies in your marketing plan will point you toward the best action. Without a marketing plan, you are guessing what might be best for your business. And don’t forget to address your Web site in the marketing plan. Without a marketing plan your Web site may be a drain on your finances rather than a business builder.

Also, understand you do not need a marketing degree and a lot of experience to update or create a marketing plan for your business. Once you have a structure to follow, the rest is a matter of rolling up your sleeves and getting it done. There is no single approach to developing a marketing plan. There is a wide selection of books, toolkits, and software to help you through the planning process. Some approaches require a great deal of time and others are “quick and dirty.” All can be applied to your business as a whole, an individual product, or your Web site.

So, in all the hustle and bustle of everyday business activities, don’t forget to take the time to update an existing marketing plan or write a new one. Your future profits depend on it!

Website visitors for your business – Building strong website traffic.

It is worth looking at some values and strengths of a few technical and promotional elements of your website that will help you to lay a foundation in building profitable online success. Once you have decided on your market and have chosen a relevant domain name for your online business, you need simple and effective tools and methods to put and keep your business on a profitable track. Ideally you will want to make use of easy-to-use methods that keeps visitors coming to your website. Lets look at a few practical ideas.

When a visitor comes to your website you have to get their follow-up information by collecting their email address. It is important to ‘enable’ your web site to automatically deliver quality content such as a newsletter to visitors and allow you to follow up with extra information when necessary. Top marketers agree that this forms a large percentage of their online success. How do you do this? You create forms on your web pages, giving visitors the chance to subscribe to your opt-in list, newsletter or report. This allows you to introduce your service and offer something valuable in order to build relationship. Email follow-up through auto responders is totally free and an absolute necessity for implementing. All you need to do is integrate the auto responder into your web site via a form so that you can pre-load it with your newsletters. You may say that you’re not a writer, but what do you know about your industry? Write it down and put it into an informative newsletter. Subscribers can now begin to see you as an expert on the subject and look to you for the solutions that your business is already offering.

Once your newsletter is up and running, you can use these very same tips and ideas you share with your subscribers and also write a weekly article about your product or service, and then submit it to ezines online. This is very easy to do and will have great response for your business. There are tens of thousands of ezine publishers online that needs good content, and will give you valuable exposure for your business. You will have many sites linking to your site and people will be able to read what your business is about and visit your website. Then they will also be able to subscribe to your newsletter which provides even more information about your product or service. Each article has got a resource box at the bottom which allows visitors to visit your web site. Write your 4 to 6 line resource box by viewing some samples online and making up your own. Finding details of ezine publishers can quite easily be done through looking up in search engines.

Let’s go a step further and look at newspaper classifieds. By using little snippets of ideas from your newsletters and articles, you can come up with short eye catching promotional messages to use in newspaper classifieds. There are newspaper companies that offer state wide and nation wide advertising in their papers, often covering readership in excess of 2 to 3 million. By placing 10-15 word tiny classified ads all over the globe can dramatically increase your website traffic. A big mistake people make when doing this is to try and make sales directly from their ads instead of just generating leads for later follow-up. You would want to get your leads to your web site first from where they can subscribe to your automated content.

Lastly lets consider the eye opener an affiliate program can have for your business. With the right product or service it is by far the hottest way of building your business and customer base. Submit your program to affiliate directories across the web. You’ll have affiliates making sales for you and not paying a cent in advertising until you’ve made the sale! Your advertising will be covered by your affiliates, and you can concentrate on providing customer service and continue follow-up with your increasing customer base through newsletter delivery and other product offers. By becoming familiar with how important it is to stay relevant in implementing these factors will benefit your business and you will find that you’ll be achieving better results.

Web Ecommerce: Where To Begin?

In web ecommerce, you are going to find a wealth of information about what it is and what it can do for you within minutes of looking on the web. The problem with this is, it is hard to sort out the good from the bad and the worthless from the maybe-worth-something options. Relying on the bad stuff will leave you broke and everyone is in search of the best options to make them a ton. So, where do you begin when it comes to web ecommerce?

In order to help you get started with web ecommerce, here are some of the things that anyone on the web selling can do to make their business more profitable and more potentially interesting to their buyers.

• Provide quality and something that is user friendly to the client. If you want to sell, you need to convince them that you have something that is better than what is out there or something that isn’t out there at all. You need to provide for them a good experience as well.

• Sales and promotions work as they would in the retail setting of a store. To get people in and buying, offering incentives can definitely help.

• Provide a great looking website for them to visit. Make sure that it is user friendly and that it is easy to navigate as well. Things like photos and graphics that are exciting and appealing are great tools to use as well.

• You can also do well by offering things like chat rooms and blogs that keep up the readership to your website. Allow them to play a role like this and they will likely book mark you and come back for more web ecommerce action!

Web Ecommerce can be a remarkable tool when you use it well. So, as your first step, take the time to explore what ways you can create a great place for your customers and how you can make sure that they come and come back.

Do It Yourself Website

If you are just starting out in your new business and you decide that a website could be a valuable addition to this business how do you go about getting one up and running? You have two basic options really. Do it yourself or employ an individual or company to do it for you. Which option you take depends upon your own confidence in acquiring the skills necessary and the amount of funds you can divert to hiring in a company. If you have sufficient funds then hire in a company as this will enable you to devout all your time to developing your core business. If you don’t then you will have to do it yourself. So how do you go about it?

You will require no or little knowledge of HTML as you can purchase a whole package from a web hosting company which should include some form of website developing software and your domain name plus the hosting of your website. Give some thought to your domain name. It should be easy for people to type in and remember. Not too long, succinct and preferably no hyphens. So you have chosen your domain name and your hosting service now you must develop your site. Again give some thought to this. How many pages you are likely to produce, how many links you will need. What sort of information is going on each page. If you are completely new to this then I would suggest that using your site editor software you produce a first draft and publish it. You can always modify everything later as you go along. This will give you your first website which you can then submit to the search engines albeit not exactly what you want or one that is going to attract visitors.

Now you need to do quite a lot of research on the internet as to how to make your site visitor friendly and search engine friendly. Here you will discover the importance of good content, changing content, appropriate keywords, backward links, article writing and good copy on the website. Taking this information on board will enable you to restructure and rewrite your site over a period of time, probably many times. However all the time this learning process is going on your site is actually published on the Web so is likely to start being trawled by search engines and getting indexed even if it doesn’t sky rocket through the rankings. The most important thing to do from the outset is to write good content that will be of interest to your visitors. If it holds the attention of your visitors and gets them to contact you then it will likely be of equal interest to the search engines. Do not produce a site that is written with the search engines in mind. It is your visitors who are important and by following a few simple rules that are published all over the Web your site can become very attractive to visitors and to search engines also. Keep the site textually based, there is no point in having very flashy graphics as these are not noticed by the search engines and often annoy visitors who want to get at the information they are after as quickly as possible and not have to wait for some animated introduction to finish before they can enter the actual site.

Having put into practice all the advice that is out there you should have put together a pleasing and appealing website that visitors and search engines like. Each day or week you add more content and develop more links and you will gradually climb up the rankings. The last piece of advice I would give is start writing and submitting articles. One or two a week would be excellent over a year or two. Once your articles start being published you will see an immediate leap in the number of links back to your site and a subsequent rise in the rankings if your content is also good. Aim to produce over time several hundred articles if possible. The more you write the more links back to your site you will develop and the more visitors you will get as well as boost your rankings in the search engines.

Register now to avoid disappointment

Any successfully business person will tell you that one of the keys to a successful business is to plan ahead. With all the work and planing that has to be done, it can be easy to overlook some of the smaller points. Registering domain names is not something that traditionally has a high priority when you’re planning the future of your business. It has however become more important to reserve your on-line real estate as soon as you possibly can.

There are two good reasons to register domain names now even if you have no immediate plans to develop a website.

Every single day thousands of domain names are registered by people all around the world. The effect this has on you is an ever shrinking pool of suitable domain names to choose from. It is likely that several other companies around the world share your business name so even that is not safe.

The second less obvious reason relates to a recent change in the way search engines decide what order web pages should appear in their results. Search engines have started to look at the age of the domain name and if it was only registered recently (within a year) the site will be penalized. The result of this is your new website will fail to appear for any of the competitive search results for a considerable amount of time.

A simple solution to both these problems is to sit down and spend some time brain storming what your domain name requirements for the next year or two are likely to be then register the domains now. With the low cost of domain name registrations you only have to make a very small investment to secure the on-line future of your business. Most domain registrars also provide a free holding page service so there is no need to have a website.

Remember to register domains relating your business name and area of business. You should also look at registering domain names for your products. If you’re going to be launching a new product or service then register a domain for it now.

Domain registration and copyright violation

One of the most important aspects of choosing a domain name registration is that it should be non-infringing. This is not an easy task since most unique names have already been registered. The number of useful domain names from the marketing point of view have become extremely limited. Several companies now register variations of their trademark names as a preventive measure against infringement. For example, check www.coke.com, www.coca-cola.com, and www.coca-cola.com, or try www.3m.com and www.mmm.com.

All these factors have led to a crisis of domain names and given rise to increasing cases of infringement of domain registration. A number of companies have taken legal action against other companies or individuals over alleged copyright violation on the domain names.

There are some fundamental guidelines and cross-checks for selection of a domain name registration.

You must carefully select some names that are relevant to your business model. You must be able to justify your reason for using the name. Your domain name registration should principally consist of a name you are using as a trade name, trademark or corporate name.

It is better to select more than one name since you are not sure about the availability of the required domain name.

Now, search the website of one of the prominent domain name registrars to check if the required name is available. If the name has already been registered by someone else, the search result will provide you with optional names that are similar to your requirements. For example, for the name “ford”, the search result may give you similar names like “aboutford.com” and “fordbusiness.com”.

If the domain name that you are looking has already been registered but there is no content being displayed at the domain, try to find out the details of the owner of the domain. It is possible that he/she may be genuine and have yet not published any content.

It is also possible that the owner does not plan to create a web site and is willing to give you the domain at the original price. You must confirm that the seller has ownership rights for that particular domain name.

Choosing a domain name registration that is same as or quite similar to another well-known trademark, may lead to legal action. The regulations governing these issues are dealt by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

It is very likely that you would lose right of your domain name registration if you have intentionally chosen a name similar to another domain name so as to confuse potential visitors to the site. For example, if your site deals in consumer electronics goods made by a Samsung competitor, do not choose the name “samsungbusiness.com” since a court is most likely to pass a verdict that you selected this name to divert attention of Samsung customers.

There could be others reasons of losing a domain registration. It may be found that you have never carried out any business under that name or there is no person in your company similar to that name. Another reason could be that you intend to sell that domain name to your competitor for financial gain.

If your domain name is same as your name then you may be allowed to continue to use it, in spite of the fact that it is similar to someone else’s domain name. But the usage of such a name is governed by certain conditions set by court. For example, Mr. Suki Nokia, who runs a cosmetics business, may be allowed to use the domain name “nokia.kr” but he would be barred from using his site to demonstrate any electronics-related information or advertising.

It is also possible for you to use a domain name that is similar to another trademark if your objective is not to criticize the other person’s business.

In the non-cyberworld, two companies may have the same name if they do not conduct a similar business or do not have similar product lines. Roxy Electrical and Roxy Laundry can coexist comfortably. However, in the web world, both Roxies cannot own the “roxy.com” domain name. The laundry Roxy could register under “roxy.laundry” and the electrician under “roxy.electrical.”

A very useful tip is to buy all three of the top level domains – .com, .net and .org. You should also buy all possible misspellings of your domain name before anybody else takes advantage of this fact.

You have put a lot of money and energy into building your business and if you are forced to give up the domain name, your business is likely to suffer due to it. So, you need to put your best efforts in choosing a domain registration that is both distinctive and non-infringing.

Tips and Tricks To Getting Top Money for your Domain Names

Would you like to be that lucky person who sells their domain for thousands or even a million dollars? It IS possible to find quality domains and resell them for huge amounts of money. The time is ripe for acquiring top domains and selling them. Now that the Internet Boom is behind us, valuable names expire everyday. The best way to find these domains is to use services on the Internet such as DomainsBot to weed out the bad names. Or just check out Hot Lists on sites like Namewinner or Pool.

So what makes a “good” domain name? Usually short, single word domains and 2-3 letter .coms, .nets, and .orgs are the best. The more specific the better. These can be hard to come by but when you find them, you can almost guarantee that you can make good money from them.  Here are your basic options for selling your domain name in a nutshell:

1. Sell it on Ebay

This is the easiest and quickest way to sell your domain name. There are several tricks to landing a good sale at Ebay. One is, start your price low. People want a bargain. Once you have received an initial bid, it will draw peoples attention to your name and create more bids. You may want to set a reserve price if you want to make sure you get X amount of dollars. When selling your domain on Ebay, make sure your domain name is in the title of the description. Also, include an appraisal to show to possible buyers the value of the domain. Keep your description short, clean, and really emphasize how important and rare your domain is. For example, if your domain is 3 letters and ends in “I”, stress how most 3 letter domains that are highly valuable end in “I” because it usually stands for “Incorporated”. If it ends in “E” it could stand for “Enterprise”. A little bit of marketing savvy can go a long way. I once sold the domain 0pp.com for over $200. It even has a number in it making it worth very little. But I emphasize its possible uses and potential. Also, spend the extra $1 for the Bold Listing and make sure your auction ends on a Sunday afternoon or evening. This is when most people are browsing Ebay. It will make a big difference.

2. Sell it on Domain Sites

The only sites you should even consider putting your name up for sale is on ebay.com, Afternic, or Sedo. These are the most popular and where some huge sales have taken place. The only downside is that there are high numbers of domains already for sale and usually the site will get a commission of something around 10%. There also may be a small fee to join. Appraisal Blast charges a minimal fee but no commission. Your domain will get more exposure there just because there aren’t hundreds of domains for sale. You may also have luck selling it on forums such as DomainState. The prices of sales there seem to be lower.

3. Contact Large Businesses with Deep Pockets

This approach takes some time and patience. Let’s say you have acquired a great domain name that would work great for any business in the field of the stock market. You may want to locate some of the bigger sites or businesses and make an offer to sell your domain name. Make sure the name you own doens’t have any elements that are already trademarked because you may be forced to give up the name. You may want to go on the Internet and look up current websites that deal with stocks and find ones that don’t have the greatest domain names. Make offers to these sites stating how your domain is much better and will HELP them. If you get a company to bite, the rewards are usually very generous!

In summary, selling domains for high amounts of cash depends on two key elements. First you must have a quality domain, one that doesn’t have numbers or isn’t too long. It must be clear and easily recognizable. “.com” is the best, but even domains such as the “.us” are gaining popularity. The second key is Marketing, Marketing, Marketing! I can’t stress that enough. You have to create a good reason for someone to buy your domain. How can THEY benefit from it. When these two steps are fulfilled, a sale is almost guaranteed!

Having a domain name and web site gives your business the key to the door

Just like all things in life, the ways to run a business are rapidly changing and evolving. The potential involved with having a domain name/web site is staggering to say the least. A web site gives the consumer a ‘shop front’ that is not only open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but is also situated right on their desktop. Instead of being locked into only the immediate area, the whole world’s marketplace becomes your sphere of interaction.

Customers can access information on all your products, no more salesperson with limited knowledge trying to explain something they know little about. No more waiting in lines for help, all people have access immediately.

The domain name of the website gives great freedom to the business process. Having your own name is like having an address, then infinite emails can be added to the name so different departments within the company can be reached without having to wait at reception. For example, sales@ Mary’s Plants.com will put the shopper in direct contact with Mary’s sales section.

As a business, the domain name adds professional authenticity, as your address is not affiliated with other companies. In the area of communication, the email system opens up many avenues. Instead of having to put clients on hold because of limited personnel, innumerable emails can arrive at once, even when there’s no one in the office. Then you can pick and choose which one’s to reply to first (the most urgent), while people browsing can wait till later. First come, first serve becomes obsolete as necessary customers automatically reach the front of the line.

Getting a website and domain name is an easy, simple, cost-effective process. You can register your name through web domain registrars like theserving.com for as low as $9.99 U.S. per year. That is definitely a very limited risk compared to opening a store, renting a location, and the thousands of dollars involved in overhead costs. How can this be true? A key to the door for anyone who wants to enter a mega-mall that is as big as the Earth. Let’s hope you’ve got something special to share and trade with the global community!

The jewel of the advertising world

What is the most-read advertising medium when traveling? It is not the map. And definitely not the newspaper. It is the one they called the Brochure.

Brochures have become considered the “gem” of the advertising world. What added to the interest of brochure is that not only did they serve as guide for those who have no idea whatsoever, they are also used as marketing tools for businesses and companies alike. It can be noted that not all brochures are effective in these purposes, which leads to the questions: What should be in a brochure to make it effective, all the while interesting?

The main thing to be considered is the cover of your brochure because it is the first thing that people sees upon holding them. The message that should be written there should entice the reader to look inside and read more. Graphic designs can also be an added factor. Captivating pictures and life-like images are sure captures but they do not really explain what the brochure is about. Designs are just first hand insights. The main key is the words you use. Using words to attract and provoke curiosity are like hypnotizing them to do whatever you want them to do next. And that next thing would be to read further into the brochure.

Another approach that people use in a brochure is the “pity” approach. This type of approach entices the emotions of the readers. The guilt feeling coupled with a hint of curiosity make them go through the brochure. Graphic images can only heighten their already intense emotions. Take, for example, brochures that present malnourished children or poverty stricken places and even beggars sleeping on streets. The initial reaction to this is pity. And with conflicting emotion of compassion and apathy, the readers tend to look for and see what all was that about. See how a simple picture can be effective marketers?

And lastly, the most important contents that should not be left out in brochures are the details about your company or business. Besides the name of course, contact details should be prominently put in all the right places. Sometimes the owners forget to put in information like contact numbers and operation times. These details pertaining to the owners are the next important things in a brochure. After reading the brochures, the readers have the tendency to look for information about the owners. This is their way of checking for credibility and background on the owners and the people advertising these brochures.