Tag Archives: Traffic

Breaking the Myth about Page Rank (PR)

The most difficult challenge most web designers face is getting traffic to your site. There are plenty of companies who promise to send traffic your way. Sadly, most of this traffic is not qualified. Yes, your hit counter will move higher, however, if its not qualified, you may find you have unhappy visitors to your site. Unhappy visitors will not click on your ads or purchase your products.

Once you have optimized your site, consider submitting it to every search engine. If you want to get spidered quicker in Google, have a web page with a PR of 4 or higher point to your site. Your site will be spidered within a couple of days!

One myth I would like to bust is that PR is a measure of a web site. Its not. I receive countless emails offering a reciprocal link with their PR5 or PR6 site. Unless my link is appearing on the main page, or a page that has PR6, I am not getting a share of PR6. Most likely, my link will appear on a page that has a PR2!

Page rank is Google’s ranking of that specific page’s relevance. Just because the main page has a PR of 4, does not make every page on the site a PR4. Beware of sites who claim that they will exchange links with you and its to your benefit since they have a PR5 or PR6. Where is your link appearing? If its on a page that has a PR of 4 or 5 or 6, great!

Reciprocal linking, if done properly, will ensure that your keywords are at the top of the search engine. If you have a popular keyword, you’ll need to have more back links. Pick your link partners properly, and ensure that they are linking to your keyword.

For example: if your site is www.frenzilla.com, consider sending out requests to relevant higher ranking pages to start with, followed by lower ranking pages and ask web designers to link back in a manner so that your url is a hyperlink for your keyword, not your site url or site name.

Presuming their keyword is “best dining in new york”, having links pointing to your site with an anchor tag incorporating your keywords will improve your search engine rankings dramatically.

Once you have established a collection of sites pointing to your site using your keywords, you will start receiving reciprocal link exchanges from other sites. This is where you can start to be particular.

If you want to maintain an effective PR and attract better sites for linking, follow these tips:

a) Is it indexed?

While their site may be indexed, the page where they are placing your link, is it at least indexed by google? If you type in allinurl:www.sitename.com/links/right_here.html and there are no results, consider declining their offer. If the page your link appears on has not been indexed, there is no benefit whatsoever to you. If your pages have PR, they may consider placing your link on another page. If the page your link appears on is indexed, but does not have PR, consider accepting their offer. While the page today may not have PR, it will in time.

b) How many neighbors?
The value of the page rank is shared with each of the links on that page. If you are splitting that PR with several other sites, your share of PR will be small, which doesn’t help you. Reconsider accepting any link exchanges if your site is 1 of more than 30 – 40 sites that will appear on that page, unless its a very high PR. Further, if there are too many links on that page, Google may consider the page to be part of a link farm, which may end up penalizing your site.

c) Is it relevant?
Google is big on relevancy. Ensure your links pages are relevant. If you operate a site about golf, having links from cooking sites will not help you establish your page rank. It may cost you more than you get in return.

How to Find Good PR sites:

a) Do a search for them by typing in your keyword and start asking for reciprocal link exchanges. Take a look at their PR and go from there. Remember, its the number of sites that backlink to you that matters, not strictly the PR of the page. I would rather have 50 pages that have a PR1 pointing to my site, than to have 5 sites that have a PR5. Of course, if you can get 50 pages that have a PR5 pointing to your site, you are laughing!

b) Take a look at your existing link partners and check out their links pages. Its clear the people appearing on those links pages are interested in reciprocating.

c) Purchase software that will help find quality link partners.

It is important to attract higher PR sites when you are on a reciprocal link campaign. However, its not the most important thing when it comes to search engine rankings. Its the backlinks that point back at you that are key. The more of those, the better off you will be for your keyword.

Remember: every page starts off as a PR0. Just because its new doesn’t mean it wont get a higher PR once google gets around to assessing a score. If the page your site appears on is indexed, and its a relevant site of quality, consider exchanging links. You’ll grow a large list of link partners in a short period of time, and increase your search engine rankings in the process.

10 Tips For Web Success

The webmaster’s biggest job is to get their traffic up and keep customers/visitors coming back. Building the site is one thing, but simply building and posting a website does not guarantee traffic. In fact, a website could be beautiful and an example of all the latest technology and still not attract a single visitor if not promoted correctly. Here are 10 tips to guide you to success with your website.

(1) The internet is a new medium.

At least compared to print, it is. A website is a waste if it simply re-hashes something which could easily be put into print. Don’t have the site be just an online brochure. Put up features which take advantage of the internet as a medium of communication. Filter information for them. Provide search capability. Provide interactivity with features like forums, quizzes and tools. Web visitors like to interact.

(2) Treat the Customer’s Time as Valuable.
When a person visits your website, you have their attention for that point in time. You either need to use it or you will lose it – fast. Most visitors have short attention spans, what you need to design your site homepage so that it grabs their attention and provides what they are looking for right away. Its like walking into a restaurant. If you walk in and just stand there and nobody comes to greet you, you might wonder what is happening. But, if the hostess comes and greets you right away and walks you to a table, then you will be there for awhile and eat. The same analogy goes for websites. Don’t over complicate your website homepage. Best results will be obtained if you make it very clear where to click to find what they need.

(3) Design the site for customers, not the company.
Your site needs to satisfy the needs of customers, not the company. So, don’t post content which is not really useful to the site’s customer. And avoid over-flattering marketing hype about the company. It inflates the ego of the company more than it helps your customer.

(4) Involve the Visitor.
Keep the visitor involved and make them feel like a valuable contributor. Actively ask for the feedback and suggestions. Ask for communication from your visitors and answer that communication swiftly. When getting that communication, capture their email address. This will allow you to communicate with them long after they have moved on and forgotten about you.

(5) Keep it Current.

You need to have content on your website which is timely and relevant to the customer’s life. Posting month-old news is not interesting. Posting dry product information which never changes is not interesting. Yes, you need to have product information and other information on your site that won’t change much, but you can also post more timely content. You can, for example, post content about how your products can be used in certain situations in life. Provide tips and techniques – things which are immediately applicable and solve a problem.

(6) Pay Attention to Form/Design.

Some sites simply over-do it on the eye-candy. Big graphics just for the sake of graphics often impress the site’s designer more than the visitor. Do not use graphics that are large and purposeless. Remember, some visitors may still be accessing your website via dial-up. Your site needs to load up quickly for all users. A slow website will cause your users to leave quickly. Also, pay attention to graphic and design size. Many web designers operate on fairly large screen resolutions and sometimes forget that even though a graphic looks great to you, it will appear enormous to somebody on a smaller resolution. On the flip side, don’t go too light on graphics. A site which is poorly designed and using the default font and no color is not very aesthetically pleasing. Any web visitor, whether they admit it or not, judges your company by your website unless they have something else to go on. A well-designed site communicates professionalism. A poor design makes the site seem like an afterthought.

(7) Promote.
When a visitor communicates to you via email, it is best to use a web form. not only will this keep your email address from being picked up by spammers, it will also allow you to ask your customers for their email address and then store that address for later use. Employ the “push/pull” marketing strategy. A visitor coming to your website is the pull, but later you want to push content back to them in the form of a newsletter or other promotional material. Start a mailing list and use it. Invite visitors to sign up. Promotion makes or breaks a business, and as long as you respect the ethical considerations of your mailing list, you should use it.

(8) Don’t Operate in a Cocoon.
The internet is a medium which is shared by millions. When you set up your website, don’t operate as if you are a self-contained island. Get out there and keep in tune with what is happening on other websites related to your own. Participate in forums. Post links to other websites and ask for a link in return. Form partnerships with other sites if it is appropriate. When it comes to communication, people like personal contacts. Hiding behind general email address like “sales” and “info” is OK as long as there is a way to also email you directly. A company site which allows email direct to the management is good. Just remember how much you hate calling a company and getting stuck in their phone system. Sometimes you just want to talk to somebody. Give your visitors that ability.

(9) Have a Plan to Attract Repeat Traffic.

Use newsletters, out-going email, contests, forums, clubs, auctions – anything that will cause people to return to your website. When posting links to other websites, don’t just send your visitors somewhere else. They may never return. Provide them an exit page. Give them a pop-up when they try to leave your site. Or at the very least make external links open in a new window.

(10) Track Your Visitors
Pay attention to your site’s statistics and react accordingly. What are people reading? How are they finding you? Do they just come and leave right from your homepage? How long as they are on your website? Do they return? This data is immensely valuable in fine-tuning your website based on customer needs and wants. Remember, the biggest mistake of any webmaster is designing the site for what THEY want. A successful website is designed for the target audience, not to impress the site’s owner.

Foreign Language SEO

Bob is from United States and speaks English, along with some Hebrew and Spanish. Alice is from Romania and speaks Romanian, English, and some French. Why does this matter? There are concerns— Both from a language angle, as well ad some interesting technical caveats— when one decides to target foreign users with search engine marketing. Here we will discuss about the most pertinent factors in foreign search engine optimization.

The internet is a globalized economy. Web sites can be hosted and contain anything that the author would like to publish. Users are free to peruse pages or order items from any country. There are some exceptions, but in general, to enhance user experience, a search engine may treat web sites from the same region in the same language as the user preferentially.

Foreign Language Optimization Tips

Needless to say, Internet marketing presents many opportunities; and nothing stops a search engine marketer from targeting customers from other countries and/or languages. However, he or she should be aware of a few things, and use all applicable cues to indicate properly tothe search engine which language and region a site is focused on. First of all, if you aim at a foreign market, it is essential to employ a competent copywriting service to author or translate your content to a particular foreign language. He or she should know how to translate for the specific market you are targeting. American Spanish, for example, is somewhat different than Argentine Spanish. Even proper translation may be riddled with problems. Foreign language search behavior often differs by dialect, and using the common terminology is key.

Indicating Language and Region

A webmaster should use the lang attribute in a meta tag, or inside an enclosing span or div tag in HTML. Search engines may be able to detect language reasonably accurately, but this tag also provides additional geographical information. The language codes es-mx, es-us, and es-es represent Spanish from Mexico, the United States, and Spain, respectively. This is helpful, because a language dialect and region cannot be detected easily, if at all, just by examining the actual copy. Here’s an example:

Use ‘<span lang=”es-us”>CONTENT</span>’ to indicate language in a particular text region.

Or:

Use ‘<meta lang=”es-us”> in the header (“<head>”) section of the page to indicate language of the entire page.

A few examples of languages and region modifiers.

English en-AU (Australia), en-CA (Canada), en-GB (UK), en-US (United States), en-HK (Hong Kong)
German de-AT (Austria), de-BE (Belgium), de-CH (Switzerland), de-DE (Germany)
French fr-CA (Canada), fr-CH (Switzerland), fr-FR (France), fr-MC (Monaco)
Spanish es-AR (Argentina), es-CU (Cuba), es-ES (Spain), es-MX (Mexico), es-US (United States)
Japanese ja (Japan)

What Should You Know About Search Engines and Pay-Per-Click?

Here’s a fact for you, 85 to 95% of websites are found through a search engine.  You may have the most incredible website on the Internet, but it will receive little or no traffic without search engine visibility and ranking.  Can you imagine a billboard in the Sahara desert?  Who sees it?

So, how will searchers find your website? What types of search engines could they use?

Search engines fall into two categories.  The first is referred to as natural, organic or standard.  The second is called pay-per-click, paid inclusion or paid placement.

Natural, organic and standard are interchangeable terms describing a search engine that bases its search rankings on a ranking algorithm.  The algorithms involve a number of criteria and parameters, all relating to the content of the website, the website’s size, the number of incoming links to the website, and the content’s relevancy.  You will hear terms such as keyword relevancy and keyword density to describe various components of the algorithms.

For the standard search engines, you, your webmaster or hired search engine optimization specialist could spend considerable time optimizing your website to achieve top rankings. The goal is for your website to appear on the first or second page of the search engines’ results when your target user searches keywords or keyword phrases.

The good news is rankings on standard search engines are free.  The downside is the tremendous amount of time and effort required to achieve exceptional search engine rankings.   Let’s confess to each other that top rankings on standard search engines can be tough and timely to achieve!

The interchangeable terms pay-per-click, paid inclusion or paid placement describe a search engine that bases its search rankings on a “bid for position” basis.  Simply stated, you “bid” a price to be in a specific position of the search rankings for a particular search keyword or keyword phrase.  For example, the #1 position on the search phrase “pay per click” recently required a bid of $3.55 per click, whereas the 15th position required only a bid of 55 cents.  As a result, your differential website advertising costs between position #1 and #15 can be considerable.

With pay-per-click search engines, your ability to bid high can dramatically impact your website’s search engine ranking when the search results display website domain names or URL’s for the search keyword or keyword phrase.  The benefit is your website gains visibility with the searcher, but you are not charged the pay-per-click “bid” until a searcher actually clicks on your website domain name or URL displayed in the search engine results. The selection of your website in the search engine results is called a click-through.

In general, click-through rates range from 1% to 5% of the number of impressions.  What is all of this?  A click is when a searcher selects or “clicks” your pay-per-click ad.  An impression is one display of your pay-per-click ad on the search engine results.  So, the click-through rate is a measure of the total number of ad clicks versus the total number of impressions in a period of time:

Click-Through Rate % = Total Number of Ad Clicks / Total Number of Ad Impressions * 100

Let’s do the math for our #1 position bid of $3.55 per click.  In September, 2004 there were 21,535 searches for “pay per click.”  First, let’s assume a 1% click-through rate. The top bidder spent $764.49 (21,535 * 1% * $3.55).  Now, at a 5% click-through rate the top bidder spent $3,822.45 (21,535 * 5% * $3.55).  Budgeting and controlling marketing expenses with such a broad range of potential costs could be tough.  Plus, such costs could be the tip of the iceberg. We still must consider derivatives of the keyword or keyword phrase. So, was being #1 worthwhile?  That depends on your website’s cost per visitor, conversion rate and profit margin of your product or service.

From what we’ve covered so far, you should realize you can achieve a top or high ranking through the pay-per-click search engine. But, a high ranking will cost money and these costs can be volatile. Meanwhile, the standard search engine remains free.

However, pay-per-click offers one significant advantage.  It enables you to achieve website visibility with a high ranking instantaneously or overnight.  If you want to draw traffic to your website fast for any reason, pay-per-click can make that happen. Remember, maximizing the standard search engine process takes time!

Let’s summarize the pros and cons of pay-per-click marketing:

Pros

* Improves your website’s ranking and traffic quickly.
* Tests the marketability of your product or service swiftly.
* Determines the ability of your web site to convert visitors to a call to action or make a purchase promptly.
* Identifies which keyword phrases will provide the best conversion rate rapidly.
* Provides complete control of the search engine campaign, both position and cost.

Cons

* Cost

Many individuals criticize pay-per-click because of the costs involved. But, have you really thought about the cost issue?  Unless you or someone in your organization has expertise in search engine optimization, you’ll probably pay several thousand dollars in fees to a search engine optimization specialist to improve and optimize your website to achieve higher rankings in the standard search engines.  So, my question to you is.  Are the standard search engine rankings really free?

At the end of the standard versus pay-per-click search engine debate, it’s like the old saying, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Or, it’s like the old commercial, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” The reality of the debate is you must evaluate your specific website situation and utilize the search engine approach that maximizes your website promotion goals and investment.

Finding the Right Web Host

Finding the Right Web Host

Choosing the right Web Hosting service for your website can be a little bit confusing. There’s so many choices out there and many people aren’t exactly sure what they should be looking for.

Here’s a few things you should take into consideration when looking for a Web Host:

File Storage Space/ Disk Space

How much disk space do you need? That depends on how many files (pages) you plan to upload to your hosting space. If it’s a personal or ecommerce site (a site that sells products) with just a few pages and graphics, than 25 MB of disk space a month should be more than enough. If it’s a multi-page site such as an online shopping mall, then 2000 MB would be safe.

Storage space is specified in kilobytes KB, megabytes MB, or gigabytes GB, a megabyte is 1000 kilobytes and a gigabyte is 1000 megabytes.

Bandwidth / Traffic / Transfer

All words above are used interchangeably. It’s the amount of data that flows through your site, the amount of hits or how many people visit your site. If you’re expecting a few hundred hits a day then 10, 15 of 25 GB of Transfer should be enough. If you’re expecting hundreds of thousands of hits every month then you should get a hosting account with as much Bandwidth as possible.
Bandwidth is usually expressed in Gigabytes.

CGI

Common Gateway Interface, is a protocol script used to make your site dynamic. Flash banners, moving objects. With the right web design program or scripting knowledge and a host that offers CGI you can easily bring your site to life.

Front-page Extensions

Now-a-days more sites are offering Frontpage extensions. Microsoft Frontpage is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) web design program that lets you easily create web pages while the software does all the coding behind the scenes. The great thing about using Frontpage and having a host with Frontpage extensions is once you design your web pages all you have to do is click one button that says “publish site” and all your pages go from your computer to your hosting space with one click.

Shared Hosting / Dedicated Servers

Shared hosting, or sometimes called basic hosting means that the web space that you rent will be shared on the same web server with other clients of the company you’ve purchased web space from. This is the most common.

If you purchase a Dedicated server it means your website will have it’s own unique server. This is the preferred choice for sites with a huge amount of traffic and many graphics that would take to long to load on a shared server.

Finding a Web Host can be confusing if you’re not sure what to look for. If you’re planning on having an average website with a few hundred hits or fewer a day, than shared hosting is the way to go.

How To Generate Web Site Traffic For Free?

Traffic is essential for every ecommerce entrepreneur and website owner. The best way of getting traffic is by achieving a top 10 or top 20 position in a famous search engine as Google. There are billions of websites indexed by Google. Only a small fraction of them get a high ranking.

It is not difficult to generate a lot of internet traffic with a high advertising budget. Big companies can afford millions of Dollars for advertising. Some brands only get traffic because of their famous name.

Most of the website owners have to calculate with a few Dollars. How can they succeed in generating traffic?

Some tips how to generate web site traffic for free:

1. Display your URL on everything

The public has to know about your website. The first step is to spread out your websites URL everywhere: on your business cards, on your online and offline letters, on your mailbox, in the telephone directory etc.

2. Submission to search engines and directories

You can submit your URL in most of the cases free of charge to search engines and directories. Important are directories that relate to the topic of your website. If your website deals with golf, submission to golf related directories or golf related pages in general directories might bring some traffic to your website.

3. Free classified ads

Classified ads are free of charge. You can place as many ads as you want. You can get a better exposure through featured ads to moderate costs. If you decide to pay for featured ads, it’s recommendable to give priority to classified ad websites with a high Alexa traffic rank. You find out the Alexa traffic rank of a website by typing in it’s URL at the alexa.com website.
4. Ads in ezines

It is also worthwhile to place ads in ezines that are related to the topic of a website. This can be done with moderate expenses.

5. Expose your website in newsgroups, forums

You may sign up in newsgroups and forums that relate to the topic of your website. You can give your advice to the audience and show solutions by your website. A lot of people surf on this kind of websites in order to find a solution for their problems.

6. Traffic Exchange

You may sign up at the different traffic exchange websites. You earn credits by surfing on these websites. The more you surf, the more credits you earn. Your website receives traffic according to the credits that you achieve. Of course, you cannot sit surfing all the time. This programs offer you the opportunity to refer other surfers to their website. Your website can gain credit from all the surfers in your down-line in this MLM-like system. Traffic to your website could explode, at least theoretically.

Expired domain registration still profitable?

After the dot com crash, expired domain names and expired domain name traffic have been a source of potential income. It is important to inexpensively obtain the automated tools required to track the thousands of domain name registration and abandoned websites that are removed from the domain registry and become available for purchase.

Expired domain registration and the expired domain name traffic associated with them have been only available to those who had an automated system and tools.

Now, automated tools and resources are available for identifying, appraising and even buying these domain names on autopilot.

Expired domain names are those that had previously been registered to another owner. These domain name registration are available to the open market because of non-payment of the domain name renewal fees. Such domain names are returned to the open market about forty-five days after the expiration date.

Many domain names even point to fully functioning websites while many are registered for speculation. These names are registered by speculators in the hope of obtaining a profit on the resale of the domain name.

Numerous other domain names are registered for website development, but do not appear online. In a number of these cases, the domain name owners do not follow through with respect to the website development and allow the domain registration to expire.

However, there are a number of expired domain names with fully functioning websites, receiving daily traffic from the search engines, links and banner ads. The expired domain names that get this daily traffic can earn revenues if these are redirected to another website or marketed with affiliate programs.

Earning Profit from Expired Domain Names & Expired Domain Name Traffic:

1. Buying for speculation – There is now a large and highly profitable market for reselling domain registration at present, and speculators are looking out for developing technologies and trends. Evolution is constantly taking place in technology and trends. There are markets, being watched closely right now, that are expected to grow exponentially within a short span of time. It should be a good idea to locate and register expiring domain registration that are related to new trends, technology and markets in order to earn substantial profits.

2. Buying expiring domain names and redirecting the targeted traffic – Targeted keyword domain names can help to get traffic from those simply typing in keyword rich domain names into the address bar and hitting the enter key.

3. Buying expired domain name registration and putting up generic websites – Using tools like easy website building software, third party payment processors, auto responders and other applications, even a novice could put generic websites online with keyword rich domain names that should appear in the search engine rankings. These websites can be built using expired domain names to drive traffic to them and the domain registration and the developed website could then be sold together with the domain name, as a value added commodity.

4. Buying expiring domain names of websites that are already online – A number of expiring domain names are, actually, already functioning websites. The owners of these websites either did not renew their domain registration for some reason or simply stopped operating the website. In fact, quite often, these websites already have traffic from links to other websites, search engine rankings and even directory listings.

5. Buying expired domain names and using them for marketing affiliate programs – Affiliate programs are a good way to acquire an online business without even having a product. Affiliate marketers redirect traffic from the affiliate website to the website of the actual product or service and charge a commission or a fee when any of the redirected traffic results in sales. Affiliate programs have become an automated turnkey solution for a number of entrepreneurs, especially novices.

One can locate and register expired domain names that closely target the market of the affiliate programs and then draw that targeted traffic into the website with expired keyword rich domain names with content that satisfies the informational needs. Then the users can be led onto the sales page of the product.

Integrating Advertising into Your Web Design

If you are going to be placing ads on your website, you’ll want to put some thought into how you’ll integrate them. Poor integration of ads into your website will cause visitors to click away fast. Successful integration of ads into your site can be highly profitable. Before I show you where to position ads, I want to mention a few important points about ads.

1. Ratio of ads to content

How many ads should you place on your website? There is an optimum ratio of ads to content. If your website has too high a proportion of advertising relative to content, the traffic on your website will suffer and you will lose money. If your website has too low a portion of advertising relative to content, the sales on your website will suffer and you will lose money.

What is the optimum ratio of ads to content? I can’t point to any studies, but I feel the optimum ratio is somewhere around 20 to 25 percent ads relative to content. Go much above that ratio and, despite more ads, the revenue from your site goes down. But, there are ways to exceed that ratio and still make more money.

Ads as a service

Advertisements can provide useful information, as well as content. In that case, the ads become content. Here’s an example. Rather than post ads that pay you the highest commission, post ads that provide the best value to the visitors to your website. These are ads where the value is so good you might respond to the ad yourself. This type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

Another example is ads for gifts around the holidays. People expect and are not turned off by an increase in ads around the holidays. Finding gifts for everyone on your list is difficult work, and people appreciate gift ideas. Again, this type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

You can safely exceed the normal ratio of ads to content if you hide the ads in the content. An example of this is product “reviews”. For example, computer magazines are almost 100 percent advertising posing as product reviews.

2. Repetition of ads and ad management

I have seen websites that display the exact same banner on every page. If I didn’t respond to the banner on the first page, what makes them think I will repond to it on the second, third … hundredth page?

Displaying the same banner on every page of your website is annoying to your website’s visitors, and a money losing propostion for you. Keep your ads fresh. Ads are boring enough without repeating the same ad over and over. Display a variety of ads, and use an ad management system. An example of an ad management system is a banner rotator.

3. Ad type relative to response rate

I have heard claims that text ads receive the highest reponse. I’m sure these results are not related to whether the ad is text or graphics, but more likely related to the fact that text ads are usually placed in the more responsive areas of a webpage. All thing being equal, a graphic ad will always get better response than a text ad.

A graphic ad will get higher response than a text ad, and an animated graphic ad will get higher response than a static graphic ad. But animation can be taken to an extreme. Some types of animation are annoying and not only does the ad get a low response, but it also causes visitors to click away from your website.

Examples of annoying animated ads are banners that flash or jiggle or do something else that distracts the visitor so they can’t read the webpage content. Those visitors that don’t click away will scroll the webpage so this type of ad goes off screen while they try to read the webpage.

A secret few advertising designers know is that the graphic that will get the most attention is a picture of a human face. People are genetically predisposed to look at a human face in their view area. Try it yourself while you’re browsing the web. If a webpage has a human face on it, that’s the first thing you will look at.

Where to position ads on your webpage

To discuss where to place ads on a webpage, we need to divide a page into five sections as listed below.

  1. Header
  2. Footer
  3. Left Margin
  4. Right Margin
  5. Center column

Note: There is a sixth area of the webpage which is the popup window. There are many forms of popup windows; pop-over, pop-under, delayed, and exit. The polite way to use popup windows is the self-closing popup window. Because of popup window blockers, popup windows are much less effective today, and, from my own experience, when I tried using popup windows, the page views on my website dropped by 50 percent.

The most common position to place advertising banners is in the header section of a webpage. Web users have programmed themselves to ignore banners in this position. The response rate of banners in the header section of webpages has dropped to something like .0001 percent. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has tried to overcome this problem by defining giant (what I call “battleship size”) banners. I don’t know of any studies that show this works.

Using banners in the head section of your webpage is a waste of processor time, but most webpages still use them. Making a sale this way is a long shot. Banners in the footer section of a webpage are even less responsive.

Actually Web users have programmed themselves to ignore all advertising on the web. However, from my own experience, you can get some response from ads in the left and right margins of a webpage. Most websites are designed with the menu in the left margin and possibly ads in the right margin. This means if the user has a low resolution display, depending upon the width of the webpage, the advertising may be off the screen.

Place your menu in the right margin and use the left margin for advertising. This places the user with a low resolution display in the positon of having to scroll to view the menu. Too bad. They should get a bigger display. Website revenue comes first.

The most responsive position to put your ads is in the center column of the webpage along with the content. As visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they come upon the ad. It’s unavoidable.

If you imagine the center column of your webpage divided into three parts; top, middle, and bottom, the most responsive position for your ad will be right in the middle. As the visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they are forced to look at the ad as they continue to the lower part of the article. This might be a little annoying to the reader, but let’s hope your content is worth that slight annoyance.

I would recommend placing your ad at the bottom of the center column. As visitors read the article on the webpage, they end up looking at your ad. This is almost as effective as placing the ad in the middle of the column, and a lot less annoying to the reader.

As you can see, how you integrate advertising into your webpages has a major impact on your ability to produce revenue from your website. Poor ad integration will cause visitors to click away. Proper integration can make your website highly profitable. But, ad positon is not the only determining factor, don’t forget the ratio of ads to content, ad management, and ad type relative to response rate.

Top 10 Tips for Blogging

Tips for creating a blog.
There are no hard and fast rules on how to blog. Having said that, bloggers will likely increase their exposure by following some simple blog guidelines.

1.) Stay on topic.
Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. Unless you have an uncanny knack for wit, humor or cynicism, the majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined area of interest. Most readers won’t care that you eat Cheerios for breakfast. They may, however, be interested in the fact that vinegar takes out stains and that toilet paper rolls make great wreaths. Define a topic and stick to it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.

2.) Stay informative.

If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry or sector, be sure that you stay current on news. If you are endorsing a product or voicing an opinion, be sure to check your facts; your reputation is at stake. If you are offering an opinion, be sure to qualify your post, making it clear that the content is intended as an editorial.

3.) Old news is not news.

While blogging every day can be a drain, it is important that the information presented is current and accurate, writing an article or blurb about something that happened 6 months ago, will not be of interest to many. Telling your audience that Martha Stewart was convicted and will be going to prison, after her sentence is completed will make people question the value of your columns.

4.) Adhere to a schedule.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don’t create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs and RSS feeds are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don’t want to lose them due to lack of communication.

5.) Clarity and simplicity.

Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Remember, the web is global and expressions, idioms and acronyms don’t always translate. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.

6.) Keyword-rich.

If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words.

7.) Quantity matters.
In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to develop content and substance. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.

8.) Frequency.
If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals.

9.) Spell checking and proof-reading.
It only takes a few extra moments and can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. Remember that whatever you publish on the Internet can be found and archived. Think carefully about what you post before doing so.

10.) RSS.
RSS will increase your blog’s reach. It is important that you include your blog’s content in an RSS feed to increase readership and distribution.

Most weblog audiences are small, but with time and regular updates audiences grow. Bloggers may never have more than a few hundred readers, but the people who return to regularly are generally interested in what you have to say.

Top 10 Ways To Get People Online To Read Your Business Blog

There are many advantages of running a blog, on top of your business website. A blog is an online diary, whereby you can easily posts clips about yourself, your thoughts and your personal life. If you publish a business blog, you posts good content, articles, breaking news or just about anything to build awareness of what you are selling.

Publishing a business blog gives your subscriber or prospect a chance to get to know you better. Through your blog, you can explain how your life has changed due to the product or service that you are selling. A blog can also be highly interactive if you also allow comments and for all to see. For sure, blogging provides a good avenue to establish some level of trust and security for an online prospect who has never met you.

Here are top 10 ways to get people to read your business blog:

1. Have a general theme and state this theme at the top or in a prominent location in your blog. Creating a general theme helps attract a group of targeted readers. However, do strike a balance. You don’t also want too narrow a theme. Otherwise, you may find yourself having difficulty finding new things to talk about in your blog every few days.

2. Be current in what you post. Don’t report about events that happen one year ago. You can refer to the particular event if relevant and/or via a link. For these past events, assume that people already know about them.

3. Keep a regular schedule. When readers return to your blog, they want to read about something new. Be sure to manage your readers’ expectations.

4. Post frequently. Search engine spiders love sites that are constantly updated with fresh content. At the very least, posting once every few days is a good idea.

5. Keep your posts short and clear. Don’t post long essays. Blog readers are known to like to zip in and out of online diaries. Keep your long essays to articles that you can publish on a separate webpage or in your newsletter.

6. Make your tittle keyword-rich. This helps in getting your posts better ranked by search engine spiders via the keywords that you use.

7. Post interesting content. No one is going to be interested in what you ate for breakfast. Not unless you are maintaining a food blog and you want to post your breakfast recipe!
Making your content interesting will ensure that your readers continue to read your blog loyally.

8. Have a unique perspective. Readers are interested to know what you think. If you are offering your opinion, be sure that you are able to qualify them.

9. Take note of your language and grammar. Even if you are posting an opinion. It is always safer to write in proper English if you are hoping to monetize from your blog.

10. Don’t forget to have a RSS feed. RSS means “Rich Site Syndication”. To increase readership and distribution, this is one thing that you must not omit in doing.