E-Commerce Growth StrategiesIf you expect to achieve sustained growth with your eCommerce business you will need the website, marketing plan, advertising plan, and budget to get there. Growing a profitable Web Business is a strategic process that requires long range commitment, careful planning, and on-going execution and patience. It’s vital that you know exactly what you want to accomplish and that you have done your research to understand what it will take to get there. Of course you need to have a website that is optimized and tested to convert traffic (sales funnels for your website and landing pages for your advertisements), and then you need to devote time to developing and executing short-term and long-term promotional strategies. These strategies must stand on their own as well as work together to get you the best results. Here are five key strategies you can use to advance your business and improve your profit margin:
#1. Always Look For Opportunities to Increase SalesThe hunt for new customers should be phase one of an ongoing (as in monthly) three-phase marketing approach that every online business owner should embrace. Phase two is to follow up with these new customers from time to time, and introduce them to additional offers. The objective of this second phase is to get them to buy from you more often. The final phase is to offer expensive items, or bundle multiple items into higher-priced packages. This will give your customers more opportunities to make larger purchases.
#2. Find the Best Use for Your Marketing BudgetAfter you have identified your market demographic (USA, Canada, all countries, just your state, just your county, tri-county, etc), fixed your goals and decide on a promotional strategy (something catchy) for reaching potential customers, then the next step is to figure out how to maximize your budget and get the job done without blowing your budget. DID YOU KNOW: Studies show that the average consumer will see a promotion about five to seven times before taking action on the offer. You want to expose your product or service, as often as possible, to consumers who will derive the most benefit from it. So instead of blowing your budget on a single opportunity to reach your select group, it is much wiser to get everyone’s attention with repeated promotions (monthly on-going advertising). Use as many different forms of advertising as you can afford and squeeze the most out of your marketing dollars. * Earth Skater Online Store Solutions include real time analytics to track website visitors and search engine traffic and sales in real-time. The value of knowing where visitors arrive from and on what page and where they go on your site will help you to optimize and improve your website and landing pages over time. Using both your general website statistics and Earth Traffic will be the key to understanding how your online business works and ways you can increase traffic.
#3. Invest in a Virtual AssistantThis is an opportunity to outsource various redundant tasks to someone who is capable, reliable and trustworthy. The big advantage to you is you’ll have more time to devote to activities that generate income and help you grow your business. A virtual assistant works from his or her office as an independent contractor and is responsible for whatever administrative or operational responsibilities you assign. Compensation can be agreed upon at an hourly rate, per assignment or by retainer. If you are not yet at the stage where you can afford to pay a virtual assistant, you can consider a suitable barter arrangement with a subscriber or a customer. You can also ask a family member or a friend for help. You can’t do it all yourself and you shouldn’t even consider that option for the long-term. * Earth Skater provides expert service to off load your work burden. Whether it’s updating website products and content, managing and/or providing your marketing and advertising campaigns, or just providing consultation to your business; Earth Skater provides service second to none in both expertise and affordability.
#4. Use the Power of Email to Convert Visitors Into CustomersEmail marketing is one of the most economical and reliable ways to build a relationship with visitors and eventually convert them into buyers. It is an effective tool for staying in touch and developing the level of comfort and trust that is necessary before they will agree to do business with you. You can use email to convince your subscribers of your expertise in your niche. The more they come to accept you as an authority, the greater your credibility will become and the easier it will be for you to make sales. Plus, email is a very handy tool for keeping customers abreast of new products, special promotions and the latest announcements about your business. * Earth Skater recommends iContact, read more about Earth Skater Professional newsletter marketing here.
#5. Develop a System for Everything You DoMake sure to design methods and procedures that simplify and expedite important aspects of your business operation. Very often these systems will evolve from trial and error, but when they have been perfected they should become standard procedure. The most efficient systems are those that get you to your objective as quickly as possible, for as little money as possible and with the least possible effort. * Earth Skater eCommerce is #1 the system for small merchants to manage their online stores and affiliate programs.
Consult with an Earth Skater Marketing Expert Today 877-627-2492
There are a number of different Meta tags that you can use, but the most important ones are the Title and Description Meta tags.
TitleThe title of your web page, which you want to make as descriptive as possible for the search engines to index. The most important meta-tag. <title>Meta Tags Optimization Tutorial</title> Description This tag is used to give a short description of the contents of your web page, and is often used by search engines in the search results as a description of what your page contains. However, many search engines will only display the first characters, so be as short and descriptive as possible. <meta name= “description” content=”Tutorial on Meta Tags optimization.”> Keywords Mostly used for internal optimization purposes, it doesn’t hurt to include the 3-6 keywords the page should be found for. A list of keywords, separated by commas, that some one might type into a search engine when looking for a site like yours. Most search engines will index the first 64 characters in this Meta tag. <meta name=”keywords” content=”meta tags, tutorial, training, HTML”> The rest of the tags are not necessary but you can use them for documentation purposes. Rating This is used to give the web page a rating for the appropriateness for kids. The ratings are, general, mature, restricted, and 14 years. <meta name=”rating” content=”general”>
AuthorThis is used to identify the author of the web page. <meta name=”author” content=”Bill Gates”> Copyright This one identifies any copyright information there is for the web page. <meta name=”copyright” content=”2001, Acme Co.”> Robots This Meta tag is used is used to tell the search engine whether you want the web page indexed or not. You only really need to use this Meta tag if you DON’T wont your web page indexed. The values for this tag are: <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>
|index(default)||Index the page|
|noindex||Don’t index the page|
|nofollow||Don’t index any pages hyper-linked to this page|
|none||Same as “noindex, nofollow”|
1. Design Scannable NewslettersAccording to studies by usability expert, Jakob Nielsen, about 50 percent of readers skimmed or partly read the newsletters. Only 23 percent of readers read the newsletters all the way through. The remaining 27 percent were never opened. Make the text easy to scan by:
2. Insert Line BreaksImprove the readability of your newsletter by formatting it with hard line breaks at 60/65/70 characters per line.
3. Include Newsletter Title In The Subject FieldInclude your newsletter title at the beginning of the subject field. This will help the reader differentiate your newsletter from junk emails. It will also allow them to filter your newsletter into a separate folder with the use of filters.
4. Make Your Subject Field Sell!Advertise the most enticing story of each issue in the subject field. You literally have seconds to grab the readers attention, so make it count.
5. Include A Table Of ContentIf the newsletter is long, include a table of contents at the top. This will allow readers to scan the topics to see if anything in the newsletter catches their interest.
6. Fix Long LinksLong hyperlinks may be broken when you format text emails, you may want to ensure you use short links or use a redirect to avoid potential issues.
7. Avoid Spam Filters That Flag The Certain WordsDo not use words that you think may cause an issue with spam filters. Use alternative wording instead.
8. Avoid Spam Filters That Flag Chain LettersSome spam filters are flagging emails that asks readers to forward the newsletter on as chain letters. Avoid using the word “forward” and any of the following words in the same sentence, “all, anyone, every, friends, many, others, people.” Instead of “forward,” try using “pass,” “share,” or “send.”
9. Reduce Remove Request EmailsThere are two methods to reducing the number of remove email requests from your subscribers:
10. Design User-Friendly HTML NewslettersFormat your newsletter to mobile friendly or at least readable on small screens.
11. Create HTML Friendly NewslettersGmail, AOL, etc, protect users by eliminating potential security hazards. Avoid these tags in your newsletter HTML:
12. Include Text Version of HTML EmailInclude a link to a text version of your newsletter hosted on your website or newsletter systems site.
13. Spell Check Your ContentAll modern editors include spell check so this should not be an issue, however, grammer is a whole ‘nother topic.
Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your marketing plan today.
10 Controversial Search Engine Optimization TechniquesTen controversial search engine optimization techniques that should be used with caution, or even avoided altogether.
1. Duplicate PagesIn general, search engines ignore duplicate pages. In extreme cases, they may ban a site.
2. Invisible TextSearch engines consider the use of text that is the same color as the background color as spam. So stay clear of using invisible text.
3. Keywords In Comment TagsHardly any, if any, of the major search engines index comment tags, so don’t waste time adding them for optimization purposes.
4. Keywords In Hidden Value TagsKeywords in hidden value tags are considered spam by all of the major search engines, so don’t waste time with this practice.
5. Keywords In Style TagsVery few search engines index the content of <style%26gt; tags, so do not waste anytime on this technique.
6. Link Farms And Link Exchange ProgramsSearch engines consider link farms and link exchange programs as spam, as they have only one purpose – to artificially inflate a site’s link popularity, by exchanging links with other participants. Do not confuse link farms and link exchange programs with reciprocal linking. Reciprocal linking is the exchange of links with individual sites, and certainly an accepted technique for improving your site’s link popularity.
7. Links Only PagesI recommend adding text descriptions to link pages and site maps. Some search engines have been known to kick out links only pages.
8. Meta Refresh TagsIn general, meta refresh tags set for under 30 seconds are considered as spam by search engines. As such, most search engine optimizers 301 search engine friendly redirect methods to redirect a URL.
9. Small Font Size Keywords TextMany of the major search engines consider tiny text (i.e. font size 1) as spam. Some use of tiny text is fine. Search engines don’t like web pages that use a lot of tiny text. The reason is because some webmasters have used it to fool search engines by “hiding” dozens of keywords in a web page.
ConclusionThere are many controversial search engine optimization techniques. There are people who despise the use of certain techniques, such as cloaking. But the fact of the matter is that there are no right or wrong ways to optimize a web page. What might be considered as spam by one search engine may be accepted by another. What works today may be banned tomorrow. The art and science of marketing is about testing to see what works and what doesn’t. I recommend taking the same approach with search engine optimization. After all, it is just another form of marketing.
Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your marketing plan today.
1. Trademarked Keywords In Domain NamesIf you’re thinking of registering a domain name that includes a trademarked keyword, think again. Using someone else’s trademark to attract customers is illegal. It violates federal trademark law, which prohibits the use of someone else’s trademark, if it causes a “likelihood of confusion” among consumers. Take Yahoo for example. They objected to 37 registered domains, including AtlantaYahoo.com, DCYahoo.com, Jahu.com and Yhu.com.
2. Trademarked Keywords In META TagsIt’s not necessarily illegal to use trademarked keywords in your META tags. But you could get sued, and people have. It all depends on why and how you are using the trademarked keywords. If you used the keywords in what is deemed a deceptive manner, then you’re likely to lose your case. However, there has been one instance of a defendant who proved to the judge that she had a legitimate reason to use the trademarked keyword. Here’s a short story to illustrate the seriousness of using trademarked keywords in META tags. I had a client who included the trademarked brand name of a competing product in one of his web pages. One day, he received a letter from the lawyer acting on behalf of the trademark owner in question. The letter stated:
“Use of [trademarked term] constitutes federal false advertising, trademark infringements, state unfair competition and is deliberately designed to trade on [trademarked term] reputation and goodwill. Placing the term, [trademarked term], in the keywords and META tags of your site inappropriately and unlawfully draws Internet users to your site.”They threatened to sue, unless my client removed the trademarked terms from the META tags. Naturally, we obliged! ;o) What was surprising was that we could use the trademarked terms in the visible page body. So we kept the trademarked keywords in the page body.
3. PagejackingPagejacking is copying someone else’s web page and submitting it to the search engines as your own, in hopes of getting high rankings. Quite often pagejacking also involves page cloaking. Pagejacking is no more than stealing copyrighted content. It beats me why people would be so dumb as to try this technique. Don’t try it. You will be caught sooner or later.
4. Deep LinkingDeep linking is the practice of providing a link directly to specific content on a web site’s sub-page, instead of linking to its home page. On July 5, 2002, the Bailiff’s Court of Copenhagen ruled in favor of the Danish Newspaper Publishers Association, which claimed that Danish company Newsbooster violated copyright laws by “deep linking” to newspaper articles on some Danish newspapers’ web sites. The argument is that in bypassing the newspapers’ home pages, Newsbooster links deprive them of advertising revenue. Further, they asserted that Newsbooster is in direct competition with newspapers.
5. Deep Linking Without PermissionIf a site you are linking to has stated that linking is prohibited, or requires permission first, then don’t link to them. If you do, you’re asking for trouble.
6. Trademarked Keyword AdvertisingThinking of bidding for competing trademarked keywords in search engines? Think again! In January 1999, Estee Lauder sued iBeauty and Excite@Home, saying its trademarks were violated when iBeauty’s ads were presented during searches for Estee Lauder trademarked keywords. When a person searched Excite@Home’s search engine for “Clinique,” they were presented with a banner ad for iBeauty. In addition, the search returned a list of related web sites, including iBeauty.com.
7. Deep Linking Within A FrameIf you link to another site’s content by displaying it within a FRAME on your site, and your ad in another FRAME, you’re walking on thin ice. What you’re basically doing is “stealing” other people’s content to generate advertising revenue. I would recommend staying clear of this practice.
ConclusionTake care with the marketing techniques you use. If you think a technique can be construed as illegal, search the internet for possible legal cases on the technique. If you can’t find any, then it’s a good chance that the technique in question is worth pursuing.
Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your marketing plan today.
Keyword Density, Frequency, Prominence And Proximity Affect Search Engine RankThe difference between keyword density, frequency, prominence and proximity, and how they affect search engine rankings.
Keyword DensityKeyword density refers to the ratio (percentage) of keywords contained within the total number of indexable words within a web page. The preferred keyword density ratio varies from search engine to search engine. In general, I recommend using a keyword density ratio in the range of 2-8%.
Keyword FrequencyKeyword frequency refers to the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears within a web page. The theory is that the more times a keyword or keyword phrase appears within a web page, the more relevance a search engine is likely to give the page for a search with those keywords. In general, I recommend that you ensure that the most important keyword or keyword phrase is the most frequently use keywords in a web page. But be careful not to abuse the system by repeating the same keyword or keyword phrases over and over again.
Keyword ProminenceKeyword prominence refers to how prominent keywords are within a web page. The general recommendation is to place important keywords at, or near, the start of a web page, sentence, TITLE or META tag.
Keyword ProximityKeyword proximity refers to the closeness between two or more keywords. In general, the closer the keywords are, the better. For example:
How Keyword Density Affects Search Engine Rankings How Keyword Density Affects Rankings In Search EngineUsing the example above, if someone searched for “search engine rankings,” a web page containing the first sentence is more likely to rank higher than the second. The reason is because the keywords are placed closer together. This is assuming that everything else is equal, of course.
Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your marketing plan today.
The top two Google ranking factors are:
Incoming Text Link Keywords
PageRankPageRank is determined by the number and quality of links to a page. Both the quantity and quality of text links are important. Always try to get links from web pages with a PageRank rating of at least four. Concentrate on getting as many different quality sites as possible to link to one page on your site, usually your home page. Do not spread the links to different pages. This will maximize the PageRank of your main page, plus those of the subpages.
Incoming Text Link KeywordsALWAYS provide text links for linking to your site. Avoid image links. Google does index image links, but without any text for it to index, it won’t help your link popularity rating for your important keywords. In addition:
- Include the most important keyword phrase in the text link, using the EXACT spelling.
- Do not pluralize the keyword phrase, if people usually search the singular version of the phrase. And vice versa.
- Avoid excess words, where possible.
- The linked to page MUST have the text link keywords in the body of the page, otherwise Google will discount the page.
- Include the text link keywords within the title tag of the linked to page. It is possible for a page without the text link keywords in the title tag to get top rankings. But I have discovered that around 80% of top 10 rankings have the text link keywords in the title tag, so always include it.
Earth Skater delivers the most BANG for the buck!
Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your marketing plan today.
The following list contains directories which you may be able to submit your website to in order to build links. Link Building in general is a good initial strategy for building in-bound links to your website. However, after link building, you should move on to content creation and other forms of marketing and advertising.
1. What is a Web-Certificate? 2. How does a web-certificate work? 3. Can you explain “how a web certificate works” in “Plain English”? 4. How can someone tell whether a website is using a web certificate or not? 5. How are your web certificates trusted by the browsers? 6. What browsers will my web certificate work with? 7. How do your web certificates work for different versions of browsers? 8. How long does it take to get a web certificate? 9. How strong are your server certificates? 10. Is my web certificate tied to my IP address? 11. I am using several servers in load-balancing configuration. How many certificates do I need?
Customer Driven CRM
Customer driven CRM means that organizations first understand the customer, then move inward to operations.
- What will they buy, when, why and for how much?
- What creates value for them, and does this create a structural bond?
- What services can we perform that merit premium margins?
- Can we establish a new market segmentation strategy focused on potential profitability and willingness to purchase?
- Do we understand their business drivers, financial metrics, buying process and decision criteria?
Here’s a simple framework for CRM:
- Focus on financial results: Learn how to identify existing profitable customer segments and determine what will establish a profit-based profile for moving forward. Then develop the business requirements to support sustained, and structurally bonded, relationships.
- Find cost effective alternatives for non-buyers or low-margin customers: Not all customer relationships are profitable and very few companies can afford to pay to deliver an equal level of services. Control costs and save your best resources for premium accounts—while working to bring low performers into an acceptable profit portfolio.