Thursday, July 3, 2008

Developing Landing Pages - the Basics

First ask yourself these questions:

What am I offering?Who do I want to appeal to?What do they need to do to particiapate?Write down all the ideas you have...make the list as long as necessary. Then take it to it's core.
Think of your landing page a summary of all the aspects of the service you are offering. The goal of the landing page is to usually interest potential clients "quickly", or to have them take 'quick' can follow up with them later.

Call to action

Ensure you have included a call to action towards the top of the page. This will work on more impulsive people or those who are already familiar with what you are offering. There should be calls to action sprinkled throughout the remainder of the content as different people have different tipping points in the process. The call to action should be linked to the your presentation page. A call to action is simply telling the potential client what they need to do in order to receive whatever you are offering e.g. "for more information" or "subscribe now!"

Short statements

There's no need to get long-winded on a focused landing page. Your sentences should be brief or dot-points, but provide valuable bite sized chunks of information. Always offer an avenue of communication for further information for the more inquiring and discerning potential clients.

Length of pages

This will vary greatly and there doesn't appear to be a a hard and fast rule as to how long a page should be. I feel that the more unique an item is, the more content will be needed to convince a client to explore the possibility of purchasing; but remember that calls to action should be within easy reach throughout the page and not have to be hunted for.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A website is not enough

Having an appealing website is just not enough. If you have no one visiting your site and it doesn’t generate any interest, what is the point of it? Not an effective website, to say the least. It is important to improve your online marketing efforts to be profitable. Decide what the primary goal of your website is. Are you capturing leads to do follow up with customers by phone or e-mail? If you would like to capture leads, provide content that is informative and interesting to your potential customers. Have a contact form for the interested persons to fill out on your site. They should be able to submit this form and get the information your website has hinted at.

For small businesses it is really not needed to spend tons of cash for an elaborate and professionally done web site. If you are not able to design your own and need some one else to do it for you, there are some very reasonable options available now. The key to a professional site is to work with a designer who will listen to you and translate your words to an awesome web page. They need to be as good at listening as they are at designing. Once the web page is done, you or someone else must be able to easily update it. You should be provided with an easy use content management system. This will let you edit your web page with out the need of the designer. You want to save as much money as you can. Once you have your awesome page, you want to venture into search engine territory. There are two main categories of search engine marketing that can be used separately or together. These are SEO and Pay Per Click.

With SEO, your goal is to up your page ranking so you hit the top list in major search engines like Google. Find some niche keywords and work to use these to your advantage. You want to be more specific with your keywords. The broader with the key words you use, the worse you will do. The best way to get up in the ranks is to have your site linked to high rated sites. The sites should be relevant to yours and use similar keywords. Submit your site to as many directories as possible. These directories should be organized by topic making it easy to figure out what is relevant to you. Now you will talk with others on the team and see about link exchange. See if you can link with them and you will post their link as well. This is a great way to share clients and get more hits. You next step will be to write articles. You will want to add articles that are interesting, informative, and generate business. These will include keywords that will find you on the net and gain you notice. Publish your articles in your field and that will increase interest too. Remember with SEO it can take up to a year to see any real progress so don’t think this is instant success.

There are a number of Pay Per Click providers. Google ad words are currently the dominant PPC system out there right now. Google keep track of all your conversions and the cost of each one. Set up a daily budget and a maximum bid on specific keywords. This could be $25 total for the day or $1.90 per click, what ever your preference is. You may end up spending less or sometimes more. You only have to pay if someone clicks on your add. How much you pay will depend on the keywords you use and how much you bid. You can use tools to help you pick out the best keywords for your business. Google will require a special code in your web site to be able to track your conversions. This is not that expensive and should be considered as a great and inexpensive marketing tool.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Affiliate Marketing: The Future is Bright, but is it right for you?

Affiliate marketing is a great place to go when you don’t have products to sell of your own. It can also be handy if you do but just want to make some extra cash. The issue is it isn’t as easy as just slapping a banner up on your site. You need to be very selective to which programs you allow on your site. This will be a direct reflection of you so you want to make sure the merchant has a good business name. Check their feedback and see if their customers are happy with the products and services they have received. You don’t want to have any negative publicity attached to your business. You also want to make sure you are dealing with something relevant to what your site is all about. If you have a page with content articles about pottery you don’t want to affiliate with a rental car company. You would stick with companies that sell clay, pottery tools, craft paint, or types of already made pottery.

Just because a merchant has a large name for his or her self and the affiliate program could be profitable, doesn’t mean you should do it. You could not put this link on your site with out confusing your visitors if it holds no relevance. If you would like to take that affiliate program you should build a new site and start from scratch. This would take some of your time to build but it is much more appropriate. You also wouldn’t generate much money off of a site that sells rebuilt computers if you are promoting herbal remedies. Stay with merchants that are content specific. Even if the overall commission is lower, it will generate you much more money and repeat business in the long run. Be rational, what are the chances one of your herbal customers needs a rebuilt computer at the same time they are purchasing herbs?

Once you have figured out if a program offer is relevant to what your site contains, choose a web site with high ranks on keyword searches. The higher the ranking on a specific search engine, the higher the traffic that will be generated. This will also mean that this is a popular program, which is what you are looking for. You have found that site that will help you build a good affiliate relationship. Now it is time to contact your affiliate manager. This person will work with you to establish an account with said company. It is there job to be helpful and affective as well as respond back to you quickly. The affiliate manager should also be willing to go that extra step to make sure you have long-term success.

Make sure that you have all the ideas you have been working on all set up. Have your URL and make sure your site is up and running. By the time you get the site in order and it is generating a decent amount of hits you will be ready to talk with the affiliate manager. You will be able to show them what a benefit you are to their company and how you can help them gain more consumers. The more consumers you can attract for the merchant, the more money you will make as well. It is not a good idea to set up a page and then just act. You need to make sure that you are getting the volume of traffic you need to get someone to join an affiliate relationship with you. This can be a very lucrative investment. But it will require time and patience to get off the ground. Don’t expect instant success over night the minute after your site goes worldwide.

There is a good chance no one will see you right away. Not to mention it will take you a few months to add all your contact articles in the appropriate places. Use this time to build up your content and keywords to see what generate the most hits. Once you have finished the site and it now only requires maintenance then it is time to collect your data. This data will be able to inform the affiliate manager about how many visitors per minute or day you have. What your current search engine ranking is for the keywords. It will also let them visit your site to see if what you have done is relevant and will pull in business. The closer you are to what they want the better off you will be.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

This is the cyberspace era of all times, so far. Many people have so much dependence on the web and artificial intelligence, which needs any more know-it-alls or geniuses. Almost everyone today has access to a computer or owns one. Everyone is surfing the web all the time all over the world. You don’t need to even leave your home to go shopping anymore. It is all right there for you on cyberspace. These crafty machines are just about capable of anything. Most homes and/or businesses run the Internet these days. For most people there would be no point to even owning a computer with out it. The World Wide Web enables us to be connected to others all over the world at any given time. You have products and services at your immediate disposal 24/7. It doesn’t get more convenient than that. There are so many people out there with creative new businesses that have the stuff you all need that it is crazy. There really isn’t much the web can’t do for a person these days.

You can go to an online chat server and speak with anyone you want at any time. You can send a person mail that takes seconds to get to them, no matter where they are. Then you have the vast sea of documents and websites. This allows people to have access to a multitude of information that one just can’t find at a library. The Internet is its own personal hall of fame. It offers so much to everyone all the time. It makes life so much easier for so many people. Now it has even become a work and income source for so many people as well. So now with all the Internet’s glory, affiliate marketing was born. This is an online strategy that promotes websites on the net. This scheme allows a person, called an affiliate, to make money by simply linking other people’s website to his or her own. It is truly a way to really make some good income from home. By creating a web page and linking others who are willing to pay you for helping them drum up business could and has proven to be lucrative.

The affiliate promotes a merchants site with a link on his or her own web page. The merchant’s products and services are promoted through the link. When a customer clicks on a link and makes a purchase the merchant gives the affiliate a commission. This is because that visitor found the link from the affiliate. The merchant and the affiliate will agree prior to the link being posted what the actual commission will be for a particular sale. The affiliate needs to make sure that the product and services he or she is promoting have to do with each other. You want to have a targeted audience and be able to promote these products and services on the affiliate site. If an affiliate has several types of businesses to promote, they need to have their own sites independent on each other. This will keep things organized and only get the visitors who will generate sales. Make sure that all the pages you have are themed and easy to find on the popular search engines. You want to make sure that you are attracting potential buyers who are specifically looking for what your merchant or merchants’ offer.

To get this type of business going strong, one need the right tools to be successful. This will require the normal tracking software, follow-up manager, the websites, and so much more. It isn’t a quick buck like many people think it is. There is also a lot of free training for affiliates out there and can truly help with financial growth. The same online businesses that offer free training will be linked to your site so the money will come in faster. There is a lot of room for growth with this type of business set up. Affiliate marketing can make anyone plenty of money if they do it right. This will be due to continual marketing efforts. The money will be assured to come in at the right time. Just hook up with the best feedback companies and you will be happy all the way to the bank.