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Other Ways to Save Money on Your Online Marketing: Part 2

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Other Ways to Save Money on Your Online Marketing: Part 2

Previously, we’ve seen some ways that you can use to save on the amount of money you spend every month with regards to your online marketing expenses. The main goal here is not only to find the advertising methods that are the most cost effective, but to make better use of them, so that you won’t be wasting any money. If your objective is to make a better use of your internet marketing budget, then keep reading as we have many more tips for you that will help you get more value from your advertising dollars.

  • Set Up a Tracking Solution

If you’re going to advertise your business website by using more than one website, ad or service, then you need a tracking solution that will be able to give you accurate information as to where you traffic is coming from, as well as how it converts. In most cases, your web host will provide you with a statistics page that lets you see the referring URL, time & date, plus location of the visitor. However, you should get a better tracking script than that, as you would get the potential to get some more detailed information. For example, you can set up tracking URLs for different ad groups and measure how many people click on each ad, how long they stay on your site, which pages they’ve visited, etc. You can also track conversions, to see how many of the visitors have either bought something from you, or did another action that could lead to a sale, such as filling out a quote form on your website. Free and low cost solutions are available for this purpose, so you should research them and install them on your website.

  • Get Advice From the Pros

The online world is naturally, full of information about marketing and advertising your business online. You can find plenty of complete courses, some of which sell for thousands of dollars. However, to get started, you won’t need such expensive training materials. The best way to go about doing things is to learn from the pros of online marketing at forums such as Wicked Fire and the Warrior Forum. You will find plenty of free information available regarding different online advertising methods, as well as participate and ask questions if you’re unsure about how to do something.

If you have a specific kind of business that you want to promote, you can also do a Google search for advice on online advertising that would be more specific towards your industry, as well as your location if you’re selling goods and services at a local level.

These are some basic tips that anyone who wants to promote their small business on the internet can use to make better use of their advertising budget. Tomorrow we will be looking at home you can locate low cost opportunities for advertisement, as well as some free ones that you may not have thought of before.

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More Efficient Use of Online Marketing: Checking Your Progress

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More Efficient Use of Online Marketing: Checking Your Progress

If you own a local business and use the internet to promote it, then you’re probably concerned as to whether you’re getting the results that you’ve wanted from your marketing efforts. After all, nobody wants to spend time and money on online advertising only to make little progress with it. This is why it is very important for you to monitor your progress with internet marketing and see which of your strategies work and which ones don’t work as well. This will give you an idea as to whether you should keep doing what you’re already doing, or whether there are certain changes or improvements that would be in order for you.

While this sounds easy to say, keeping up with the performance of your online marketing efforts will require a bit of work, especially if you haven’t really been paying attention to the results that it’s been bringing you. This happens to many small business owners that get caught up with their main line of work, especially if their business has been doing quite well as of late.

The first thing that you would want to do is to make a list of all of your marketing and advertising channels that you’re using. Then, divide these into sub groups. So for example if you use social media and classified ads sites, you would have these 2 as main advertising types. Then you would list the specific social networking sites that you use for your business, as well as the classified ads websites that you post your ads to on a regular basis. The same can be applied to other methods of online marketing that your business uses, such as pay per click ads, where you can further drill down the traffic and results that you’re getting by each network, each specific ad campaign & ad copies, as well as individual text or banner ads that you’re running on the network. Remember to be as detailed as possible as this will help you optimize your efforts.

Now that you have this list done, you would need to track where you website traffic is coming from. If you haven’t already set up a tracking script (there are many free ones out there that you can use), look at your server logs to see where the traffic on your business website is coming from.

As for tracking conversions (visitors who became paying client or took other action that is profitable for you), there are many free scripts that you can use in order to see which clicks are converting, if your site is directly selling items to customers. Otherwise, if customers contact you by phone or walk into your place of business, then tracking conversions won’t be that easy since you will be limited to asking customers how they found out about your business.

If you’re satisfied with the results, then keep doing what you’re doing… but keep paying attention to where your traffic is coming from. If on the other hand, you want to improve some things, then we have some more tips for you tomorrow.

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Some Web Store Ideas: Part 3

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Some Web Store Ideas: Part 3

Yesterday, we’ve taken a look at some examples of products that you can profitably sell online in your very own web store. All of these are products that you can order ready made from the manufacturer or wholesaler. You can then either ship them directly to the consumer, or in some cases, you could add your own branding and packaging to them, but it’s not too much of a necessity for most categories of products. We’ve seen that you can sell computers & electronics, electronic parts and pet supplies online. Still not inspired? Here are a few more ideas that have shown to be profitable over the years and are expected to continue being so in the near future.

* Car parts

Perhaps someone’s car broke down and needs a certain part replaced. In this case, the person would usually be looking for the relevant car part online if they want to save as much money as possible on their upcoming purchase. Or, you could have people that want to improve the performance and the appearance of their cars. There is a very lucrative market for those who sell car parts online.

* Clothing and accessories

This is an industry that has gained a lot of traction in terms of online sales. Most people who buy clothes online already know the item and brand that they want to buy, however, they are looking for a price that is better than what they charge in stores. Again, this is where you can come in to fill that need. There are plenty of suppliers of brand name clothing, and it is possible to buy items either on a wholesale basis (i.e. shipped to you in quantity and you the ship it to the client), or drop shipped to the client directly.

* Nutritional supplements, vitamins, etc.

This is essentially a billion dollar industry and is rapidly expanding online. There are plenty of weight loss supplements, body building supplements, as well as a whole host of herbs, pills, lotions and whatnot which claim to do things such as give you more energy, reduce the signs of aging, increase sexual pleasure and performance, relieve stress, etc. Of course, there is a lot of debate as to whether many of these products actually do what they are supposed to, but the bottom line is people all over are buying them. While there is quite a lot of competition, with the right marketing strategy you can make some money from this niche. Basically, you would either find an existing branded product that sells well and is not too saturated, and then sell it on your site. Or, you would purchase “generic” ingredients and apply your own branding, meaning having your own product name on the label and box, etc. However, you need to be mindful of the various regulatory and legal requirements to take part in this industry if you would like to run a web store based on this niche.

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Ecommerce Security Risks And How To Deal With Them – Part 2

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Ecommerce Security Risks And How To Deal With Them – Part 2

Besides payment fraud, there are two other main security concerns that you would need to deal with when running an ecommerce site.

Hacking & information theft.

This is another story that is often heard about in the media. Hackers break in to an ecommerce website and steal private customer information. This information could contain names, addresses, purchase histories as well as payment information. Without a doubt, this could be the most damaging thing that could happen to your business, due to the bad PR that would soon follow after such a security breach.

But once again, there are ways to prevent this from happening. Make sure that whatever software that you are using to power your ecommerce site is fully secure and supports strong encryption for sensitive data. Furthermore, make sure that all the software on your server is up to date. Vendors frequently release updates for their software, not just for new features, but also to patch up potential security vulnerabilities.

Maintain strict access control for your back end system. Use a strong password that cannot be guessed. Also, be sure to actually set a password, rather than leaving it at the default one. Many systems create a default user name and password when you install the site. Hackers frequently try these before doing anything else.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDOS).

These are attacks whose goal is not to steal information or to defraud a business, but rather to render its website inoperable and thus unable to conduct transactions. These attacks work by having anywhere from several thousand to several million computers simultaneously send traffic to a site in the hope of overwhelming its servers and knocking it offline.

The good news is that if you run a small business, you are unlikely to become the victim of such an attack, unless you have done something that has ticked off a group of hackers. If you have followed the news in the past few months, these types of attacks have been directed at government websites as well as those of large companies in order to send a political message.

In any case, check with your hosting provider what kind of protection is offered against denial of service attacks. Having a basic firewall installed could provide with some help in blocking the attacks once they start.

In conclusion, don’t forget the human factor in anything security related. Many high profile security breaches have occurred not because of hackers who had excellent technical skills and defeated advanced security systems, but due to the victims failing to observe the most basic security procedures. This includes employees giving password over the phone to someone pretending to be from the company’s hosting provider, clicking on links in spoofed (phishing) emails, leaving laptops with sensitive data in public places where they could be easily stolen, etc. Remember, having the highest quality lock on your door will be quite useless if you don’t even bother closing it when you leave for the day.

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Adsense Alternatives – AdBrite

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Adsense Alternatives – AdBrite

If you are a webmaster interested in publishing pay per click ads on your site, its obvious that you have already heard of Adsense. Sure, they are the most popular name around and have the largest share of the market, but this doesn’t mean everyone wants to use them. Some people have been previously banned by Adsense. Some have had their site rejected by them. And certain webmasters simply don’t want to deal with them for whatever reasons.

But there are of course, certain alternatives that you can use. One of them is called AdBrite. Basically, it is a smaller advertising network that offers you some interesting features that you would not find in Adwords.

First, you are free to determine the type of ads that you want to publish on your site. You can choose from intersitials (full page ads), cost per mille impressions (CPM) banners, cost per click (CPC) banners, CPC text & banners (content ads), CPC text inline (ads are targeted towards the keywords on your page), as well as video ads.

You also get a lot more control as to which ads are displayed on your site. You can select them to be shown automatically, that way advertisers can choose to run their ad based on the topic of your site and it will automatically be accepted. You can also select to have more control and approve ads on your site manually.

Of course, if you are publishing ads, you will be interested in knowing how much you will get paid depending on which types of ads to show. While some other networks could have only pay per click (PPC) ads available, with AdBrite there are various pricing options. You can either sell ad space for a fixed period of time, such as a day, a week or a month. This is recommended if you have an established site that receives a lot of traffic. You can also sell ads on a CPM or CPC basis as well.

There are a few drawbacks to using AdBrite, however. Most of the room for improvement with their network lies in the way that payments to webmasters are handled. Payments to publishers are issued on a Net 60 basis, which means that they mature 60 days after the end of the payment period. Therefore, earnings for the month of December will be sent out at the beginning of the month of March. This could be an inconvenience to some, as you will have to wait a longer time before receiving your earnings than on other networks, which usually are on a Net 30 basis.

Also, payments are only issued by check in US Dollars. This is fine for those in the US and Canada, but those in foreign countries may find that cashing a US check could take a few weeks to clear and certain banks charge service fees in order to cash a check from the USA. However, AdBrite says that they will be introducing other payment methods in the future.

Card fraud has now affected a total of 13 million people in the UK according to new research.

The annual Card Fraud Index, which was released today from life assistance company CPP

(http://www.cpp.co.uk/), has given Brighton the dubious honor of being the card fraud capital of the

country. The south coast city has gone from tenth to first place in the number of people who fell

victim at least once to card fraud.

In the United Kingdom, the top five card fraud hotspots are Brighton (38 per cent), London (34 per

cent), Manchester (33 per cent), Bristol and Leeds at joint fourth place (32 per cent) and Edinburgh

(31 per cent).

However, not all news is bad. During the year 2010, there was a three percent drop in the number of

card fraud incidents, with seven percent of individuals saying that they were victims of card fraud

within the past 12 months, as opposed to 10 percent in 2009. However, card fraud is still an issue

and people must remain vigilant and be responsible when making use of their cards.

The Card Fraud Index also shows methods that fraudsters are making use of, with the majority of

victims (20 percent) having the magnetic stripe on their card cloned at an ATM or at a point of sale

terminal. This method has increase by three percent when compared to results in 2009. 20 percent of

victims have been defrauded online, with criminals using various ways in order to illegally obtain

card details on the internet.

What is alarming is that 33 percent of card fraud victims don’t even know they have become a victim

of fraud, with a third being contacted directly by their financial institution (34 percent) and six

percent being refused money at an ATM. An additional six percent have found out that their account

was compromised when their card has been refused during a point of sale transaction.

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