Teleseminar on Facebook Marketing 11-19-09

Posted November 17, 2009 by atlantaseos
Categories: Social Media

Want to know how to grow a Facebook following of over 46,000 people in a short period of time? What mistakes to avoid when marketing on Facebook?

This is just a quick note about a teleseminar taking place on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 9:00 Eastern Time.

David B. Wright will be interviewing Brandon Alexander, “The Social NetworKING” to reveal secrets on how he amassed a network of nearly 50,000 people (friends, fans, group members) in a short period of time, how to avoid making mistakes that can get you banned from Facebook, and other secrets.

To register go to the Social Media Cash Secrets Facebook Marketing registration page at www.SocialMediaCashSecrets.com.

There are some free “seats” still available as of right now. I hope this is useful!

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Website 101: The Basics of Getting a Website Up and Running

Posted November 14, 2009 by atlantaseos
Categories: Search Engine Optimization, SEO

Tags: , , , , ,

So you want a website but don’t know how to get started? Here are a couple of the very basics you’ll need to know and what you’ll need.

1) Domain name(s): After years of using (and increasingly becoming dissatisfied with) GoDaddy, I’m now a huge fan of NameCheap. Go there and search for your chosen domain name. The domain name should contain your company name and/or keywords related to your products or services. It’s best to get the .com name if at all possible, but it’s also a good idea to get other domain extensions as well, for 2 purposes:
a. To have them redirect to your primary site, this increasing the number of inbound links to your site, and
b. So no one else gets the domain name and takes traffic from you that would otherwise go to your site.
It’s also a good idea to have multiple domain names – as they are typically cheap, around $10 / year or less for many. It’s an inexpensive way to get additional visitors to your site and also to have your site rank higher in the search engines for the various keywords in your domain name.

2) Hosting: Now that you have your domain name, you’ll need a place to host your website. Many companies provide this service, and some are better than others. I’m currently in the process of migrating all my websites’ hosting to HostGator. As of this writing, they provide hosting for an unlimited number of domains for as little as $7.95 / month. If you’ve got more than one website, that pricing makes it a no-brainer!

3) An autoresponder: If you’re going to be managing an email list of any kind (which you’ll want to do if you’re marketing online), you’ll need this type of service as it will make your life a lot easier. What does an autoresponder do? It allows you to automatically send emails on a predetermined schedule of your choosing, automate the email list registration and confirmation process, let you segment your lists in different ways, and more. There are many “flavors” of autoresponders on the market, with varying capabilities and pricing structure. One of the best, in my opinion and from what I’ve heard from a large number of highly successful online marketers, is Aweber.

4) A website: you can build your own, either from scratch or from a template or website building software, or you can hire someone to do this for you. There are many considerations that impact how your website is viewed by the search engines, and we’ll cover a lot of this in later articles.

5) Analytics: You’ll want to know how much traffic you’re getting, where it’s coming from, what terms are searched on that bring visitors to your site, and more. A free tool that Google provides is Google Analytics. It’s a small snippet of code that you install on each page of your site that you want measured, and you can set it up to email you every so often (e.g. weekly) with reports that tell you about your site’s visitors. You can get it at www.google.com/analytics.

I hope this helps, and stay tuned for more!

FTC Disclaimer: Some links are “affiliate” links that pay me a commission if you purchase.

Also note: I rarely recommend anything that I am not using or have not used myself. I do not recommend anything that I would not use myself. I am serious about integrity and character.

Spammers are Getting Creative Again

Posted November 5, 2009 by atlantaseos
Categories: Uncategorized

Looks like those dastardly and annoying spammers are getting creative again. There’s an ongoing battle between spam filters and spammers, and the spammers are continually trying new methods to get around spam filters so they can send their unsolicited email junk mail.

One tactic I’ve seen lately that can definitely have an impact on you as a website owner is that spammers are taking advantage of “share this site” and “tell a friend” forms to spread their unwanted email crap.

What does this mean to you? Well, since the spammers are sending the emails through your domain, using your “tell a friend” forms, etc., anytime a recipient clicks on the “this is spam” or similar button on their email reader, it reports YOUR domain as the origin of the spam, and enough of these can get your domain blacklisted, resulting in your emails being undeliverable or potentially even having your hosted server account being shut down. So you can easily end up getting caught in the crossfire through no fault of your own. This can cost you time, money, lost sales, effort, and no small amount of frustration, so it’s best to be proactive to combat this before it becomes a real problem for your business.

How do you prevent this as a webmaster or web site owner? Well I don’t have ALL the answers, but one suggestion is to make sure that any form submissions, particularly those that are designed to enable the submitter to email others, have some sort of challenge-response test to ensure that the submitter is a real person, not just some automated bot programmed to crawl the web to find and exploit spam opportunities such as these. Captcha is one form of this, though it’s not perfect.
Captcha example (from Wikipedia)

From Wikipedia:

A CAPTCHA or Captcha (pronounced /ˈkæptʃə/) is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. Thus, it is sometimes described as a reverse Turing test, because it is administered by a machine and targeted to a human, in contrast to the standard Turing test that is typically administered by a human and targeted to a machine. A common type of CAPTCHA requires that the user type letters or digits from a distorted image that appears on the screen.

The term “CAPTCHA” (based upon the word capture) was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas J. Hopper (all of Carnegie Mellon University), and John Langford (then of IBM). It is a contrived acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”

So take the time to set up that extra step – it might be a little frustrating to some of your website visitors (though it’s so commonplace now that most people don’t mind that extra step), and may somewhat reduce the number of referrals you get through your website, but it can certainly help prevent some of the more major headaches that would happen if spammers do choose to exploit your site’s forms.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Basics

Posted October 23, 2009 by atlantaseos
Categories: Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, SEO

Many clients want their web pages to rank higher on the search engines (such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing) but don’t know where to start.  Ranking higher is crucial to driving more qualified traffic to your website so you can get more visitors to your website, more clients, and earn more profits.  So here’s a brief primer to help you understand the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Like success in other areas, it’s not just one thing: it’s a lot of  “little” things that, added together, build up more and more so that you end up reaching your goals.

2 major factors in  driving more visitors to your website are SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and SEM, or Search Engine Marketing.

SEO focuses on growing your “organic” rankings in the “Natural” search – the main results on the SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages.  This is done using a variety of techniques, including link building, keyword optimization, web page titles and meta data, domain names, keyword-rich content, overall site structure, internal links to other areas of your site, listings in directories and more.

SEM focuses more on the “sponsored results” which are the small ads that typically appear on the top and right sections of search engine results pages, and in the content of other website pages.  These are usually Pay-Per-Click, or PPC for short.  (Yes, there are a lot of acronyms and jargon that can be rather cryptic to the Internet Marketing novice.)  They can also be PPM, or pay per thousand views.  Targeted ads that appear in the text of other web pages are served via (for example) Google’s content network.  Site owners earn money by having those ads on their sites, through Google AdSense or other advertising platforms.

Many website owners take a dual approach to getting more traffic to their sites, to drive more sales, grow their customer base and more.   One major advantage of SEM is that paid ads can appear on the Web in as little as 15 minutes, so it’s often an effective way to get additional traffic quickly.  The disadvantage is that once you stop your ad campaign, the ads disappear  just as quickly, so you don’t have lasting results. Also, if you aren’t using the right keywords for your particular goals, it is very easy to spend a LOT of money without getting a return on  your advertising investment.  Depending on the key word or key phrase, your CPC, or Cost Per Click, can be quite high – often $20 or more PER CLICK.  So if you are spending more in clicks than you’re earning in profits from those clicks, you can lose money fast.  You can set limits on your budget to control how much you’re spending per day, but once you reach that limit your ads are simply not shown.

Several advantages to SEO is that the results do last, and you can’t really turn them off.  Also, you can do it yourself for free or you can choose to hire an expert to get better results, faster.  Additionally, the natural results are considered to be more credible so they tend to have a higher click-through rate than the sponsored links.   On the con side, SEO can take time to get results, and particularly for competitive terms, it’s often difficult to get to the first page of Google and other search engines.  If you’re not on the first page, the chances drop dramatically that a potential buyer will even see your site.  If you’re not on the first three pages, that approaches zero.

That being said, there are a number of ways to get on the first page, even for competitive terms,  and to do so quickly.   A few often-overlooked ways are video, press releases, local search tactics, social networks, social bookmarking sites, images and articles.   We’ll delve more into each of these later, but for now this should help you understand some of the very basics of SEO.

If you’d like to schedule a free one-on-one consultation on how I can help you get more website traffic, more clients, and higher profits, call 1-208-545-1241 now.  Leave a message and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.