Tag Archive | "Service Providers"

Why SEO Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon

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Why SEO Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon


With changes to search engine algorithms, as well as a myriad of other changes in the way that search engines such as Google rank websites, some are arguing that SEO is “dead” for internet marketers. Is there any sort of truth behind these claims?

 

If you examine most of the articles, press releases and blog posts that claim that SEO is going away, you will quickly find what the author’s intentions are. Usually, they want to create an “alarmist” title to draw the user’s attention, then make some vague arguments as to why SEO won’t work for you and of course, you usually end up with an advertisement for some kind of product, system, guide, etc. which will supposedly magically bring you traffic to your site without doing any search engine optimization work on it.

 

One of the main reasons why SEO isn’t going anywhere is that it’s an industry that is too profitable. Search volumes are higher than ever. There are now hundreds of thousands of service providers which work in the search engine optimization industry. This includes “general” online marketing firms, to more specialize businesses that help certain types of websites rank well in search results. Not to mention the millions of freelancers that also help with SEO (often unknowingly), such as article writers, web page designers, etc. Companies are willing to spend money to rank well on search engines and there’s millions of dollars spent on that each and every year.

 

Those who complain about SEO are often those who did something wrong and got their websites penalized after yet another Google update. But you rarely hear webmasters with years of success and a constant stream of traffic complaining about it. Updates made by search engines to the way they rank their search results have nothing to do with them wanting to “penalize” some affiliate marketer who made $35 last month pushing some dubious weight loss product. Rather, it’s all about the user.

 

Nobody wants to search for specific information, only to be presented with search results that are little more than thinly veiled advertisements for commercial products. Nobody wants to look through blog comments to see what other users have had to say about an interesting article they’ve read only to see a hundred comments saying “Nice site!” and stuffed with a link to some scammy get rich quick scheme. The changes that search engines make encourage webmasters, marketers, product sellers, etc. to make the web a better place. They can still sell their products and promote their offers in places where it’s appropriate. They can still run any type of website that they want, but if they want visitors, they need to have a site that runs well and provides their users with something that will actually be useful for them.

 

SEO is here to stay. The methods used for it, however, will evolve and adapt themselves. Those who are truly skilled in internet marketing will see this as a normal part of the game, as a challenge to take, rather than a threat to their bottom line.

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Using PPC For Small Business

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Using PPC For Small Business


If you take a look at recent online marketing news, you will see that using pay per click advertising is growing online. In that past few years, this use has grown steadily. One of the reasons behind this growth is the fact that many small businesses are now using PPC advertising to get more visitors to their websites and customers to buy their products. If you want to get started as a small business user, then here are some tips that you can use to launch your first successful campaigns:

Take Advantage of Free Offers

Many PPC advertising service providers give free ad credit to members who join. You can find these free offers simply by looking online. Some web hosts also offer free advertising credit to clients that use their services. For example, you can get a $100 Google Adwords credit from many web hosting providers. Making use of these credits will allow you to start advertising at no cost on various platforms and see which ones will be the most suitable for your business and bring you the best quality traffic.

Don’t Forget to Target Your Ads

This is one of the most important aspects of PPC advertising: geo targeting, which means only serving your ads to web users that are in a certain defined geographic region. There are several uses of this: obviously, if you have a local business that only serves a certain area, you will want to limit your clicks to come from that area. Anything else will simply be a waste of money. Even if you do business globally, you may want to limit the countries that you target for your advertising, mainly due to the fact that there’s a much higher amount of fraud and poor quality traffic coming from certain countries.

Some PPC services also allow you to choose specific sites or groups of sites that your ad will appear on. They also have demographic targeting, meaning you can make your ads appear on sites that will be mostly visited by the demographics that are the most likely to purchase something from your business, thus making your traffic more useful for you.

Use Keywords Wisely

If you advertise on search services, like Google or Bing, then keywords for PPC are as important as for SEO. Even more so, as you will be paying for each click. Be sure to do your keyword research in thoroughly before and carefully select the keywords you will want to target. Avoid keywords that will be too broad, as they will result in getting traffic from people who may not necessarily be looking for what you’re offering. If your business sells clothes and accessories, instead of targeting general keywords like “fashion”, you may want to target more specific ones like “Diesel jeans” or “discount handbags”, etc. Basically, you need to think as one of your customers and target keywords that they would be most likely to search for.

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: More SEO Tips

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Attracting Local Visitors To Your Website: More SEO Tips


Yesterday, we saw that there are certain ways that a local business can employ to attract local traffic that will be useful to them. One of these ways is by doing SEO on your site. Now SEO may seem like it is something complicated, but in reality it is not. There are some very simple things that you can do to make your website look more attractive to search engines and thus rise through the rankings faster than you would have ever thought possible. Also, if you need to do some SEO on your site and don’t want to do all of the work yourself, then there are service providers which can do some of the SEO work for you cheaply.

When we talk about SEO, there are a few things that you need to consider if you want to do proper SEO for your small business website. There are two categories of factors which will affect your position in search engines. One is on site factors and the other one is off site factors.

On Site Factors

How your site will do in terms of SEO will depend on how your overall site is designed and the content on it. If you run a local small business, it is better to focus on targeting keywords that have your main product or service name, in addition to the name of the city that you service. That way, you will have less competition that you need to beat to get to the top of search engine results. This is especially true if you are in a relatively small city, then you might only have 2 or 3 competitors. Also, remember to add content to your website regularly. You may want to add a few articles related to your niche that are optimized to your main keyword and the name of your city too.

Off Site Factors

The main off site factor is the amount of backlinks that your site has. Backlinks are the amount of links coming from other websites and that point towards your site. However, quantity is not the main focus here. Quality is more important. The backlinks need to come from reputed sites which have some kind of relation to your niche.

Learning SEO

There are plenty of detailed, yet easy to understand guides on SEO available online. You can find these simply by doing a Google search. Or, you can look through internet marketing forums to find some useful guides, as well as additional advice on SEO techniques that you may want to use.

Outsourcing SEO Work

Doing SEO for your site will involve doing things such as writing articles, building backlinks and submitting your site to business directories. While these could easily be done by yourself, the main drawback is that they take time to do. If you want to outsource these relatively cheaply, then check out some internet marketing forums, as these have a section where people can buy and sell various kinds of services. You can also look at a site such as Fiverr, where you can outsource many tasks for just $5 each.

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A Virtual Staff Can Propel You To Success – Part 2

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A Virtual Staff Can Propel You To Success – Part 2


Whatever you are doing to make money online, chances are that you could benefit from having some people help you out with your projects. The thing is, while many of us would love to have our own office and have some staff members working for us, this is not always within the means of all of us. After all, if you hire workers, you will need to pay them an hourly wage, plus have to worry about things such as taxes, vacation pay, etc.

But, there is a way to make this possible. Instead of actually hiring people who will work in a physical office location, you would recruit a few virtual staff members who will be available to help you out with your projects. The main advantage of online outsourcing is that you won’t need to pay them a salary, you will just pay them to do specific projects when you need them. For example, you could pay an outsourcer $10 to design a logo or $50 to write the content for an entire website.

Of course, the question remains: where do you find people to be part of your virtual staff? There are 3 options.

Classified ads sites (Craigslist, Gumtree, Backpage, etc)

If you want to give local people the opportunity to earn money from home, then you can post an ad one one of these sites. Be sure to describe what the worker will need to do and what skills they will need to have (writing, web design, graphic design, etc.) Even though the economy is recovering, there are still many people who are unemployed and unable to find work in their field. This means you will probably get a few people who will respond to your ad.

The only downside is that you will have to pay them a bit more than if you found people on a forum or a freelancing site. But it will still be cost effective, as there are many people would be willing to work from home, even for $10 an hour.

Freelancing websites (GetAFreelancer, Freelancer.com, Fiverr, Microworkers, Odesk, etc)

These sites are basically marketplaces where service providers meet clients. You will post a description of the project and your requirements. Workers will then bid on the project and you can select one or more people to do the job (except on Fiverr, where all jobs are $5 and you contact people directly to see if they are interested in doing the work).

IM forums (Warrior Forum, Digital Point, etc)

IM forums have a section where service providers can make a thread detailing the services that they offer and clients can post threads detailing services that they need. IM forums are a great place to find people who will do some work for you on a regular basis.

Tomorrow, we will explore some ways to ensure that you are only recruiting the best people and how to manage the whole operation.

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What You Should Look For When Outsourcing Backlink Creation

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What You Should Look For When Outsourcing Backlink Creation


Building backlinks is important to the success of any website. These links help you go up in the rankings at search engines like Google and this will therefore give you more traffic. Building backlinks yourself can sometimes be a time consuming task. This is why plenty of webmasters prefer to outsource the creation of backlinks to an external service so they can focus on other things, such as improving the content of their website.

But in order for your backlinking campaign to be successful, you need to use a service provider that knows what they are doing. Otherwise, you may end up with poor results or they may actually hurt your search engine rankings. Here are some things to look for when selecting a backlinking service provider:

The speed at which the backlinks are done

Google will not like it if a site that only had a few backlinks suddenly starts receiving thousands of them overnight. It will be quite obvious to them that you are trying to “game the system” and go up in search results quickly. Make sure that your service provider understands this and that the posting of the backlinks will be done in a gradual, natural way.

The sites where they post

Backlinks shouldn’t be posted on sites which are plagued with comment spam or are nothing more than a page full of links to other sites. This will probably hurt your rankings more than it will improve them and is therefore best avoided.

The quality of the comments

Posting your website’s link on blogs is how many service providers build backlinks. However, for them to be effective, the backlinks would need to be posted on blogs which are in the same niche than you. Furthermore, they have to be actually relevant to the post at hand, rather than being generic comments like “Nice site” or “Thanks, very good!”. Comments like these look like obvious spam and will probably end up being removed quickly by the blog owner.

Check their reviews

Many providers of backlinking services advertise their services on sections of internet marketing forums designed for this purpose. This actually is a very big advantage for you. You will be able to see comments from other users who have purchased backlinks from them and see if other buyers were satisfied or not.

Avoid going with a provider that has few or no reviews, even if their prices seem to be the least expensive out there. Many scammers price their offerings very low in order to attract a lot of orders and then do either poor quality work or do nothing at all and disappear with the money they’ve collected. If you have to deal with a new member who doesn’t have any reviews and hasn’t built up a reputation, only make a very small order first to see if they are actually able to deliver on what they’ve promised.

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Getting Started In Online Writing – Part 3

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Getting Started In Online Writing – Part 3


If you want to be an online freelance writer, the main thing that you will need are clients that will pay you to write articles and other content for them. This is the 3rd part in the series which will present you some ways to find work:

Online freelancing sites.

Online freelancing sites are marketplaces where both clients and service providers meet. Think of it as a marketplace for online freelance work, kind of like eBay is for buying and selling merchandise. Examples of sites include RentACoder, GetAFreelancer, oDesk, Fiverr and Microworkers. In general, you would create a profile that includes information about you and samples of your work. With the exception of Fiverr, on most freelancing sites you would actually need to bid on projects to show your interest in doing them rather than the client seeing your profile and then contacting you.

Advantages:

  • Lots of work is available in the writing field. This includes not only articles, but also copywriting, ghostwriting ebooks, translating documents and web pages, etc.
  • Good security. Most sites have a system that prevents the client and service provider from scamming one another and have a dispute resolution process. This decreases the chances of not getting paid for your work.
  • Ability to build a positive reputation as you complete projects, similar to iTrader on forums or the eBay feedback system.
  • Multiple ways of cashing out your earnings. Freelancing sites offer you payment methods such as PayPal, check, bank wire, Western Union or can put your earnings on a Visa or MasterCard debit card. This can be very useful if you would like to be paid by something other than PayPal. Take note, however that certain withdrawal methods, such as Western Union or bank wire could carry a relatively large fee so it is best to check the withdrawal fees before you select a way to get paid.

Disadvantages:

  • Lots of competition. You won’t be the only one offering your services and far from it. If you live in the “West”, know that you will be competing against writers from countries such as India or the Philippines, who often take up projects for far less due to differences in the economy.
  • Can be quite difficult to get accepted for projects if you are new and have no feedback. Clients will be wary of assigning an important project to someone new who has not yet built a reputation on the site. Therefore your first projects will probably be small ones worth a few dollars, such as writing one article.
  • Possible delays in getting paid. While the money will be credited to your account at the freelancing site as soon as the client approves your work, the freelancing sites sometimes require a waiting period ranging from a week to a month before you can withdraw the amounts that you’ve earned to your payment method.

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Selling Websites To Small Businesses? Here Are Some Quick Tips

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Selling Websites To Small Businesses? Here Are Some Quick Tips


Do you market web site creation to small business owners? If you do you may have come across some business owners who are reluctant to get an online presence. Here are some of the most common objections and their responses.

I don’t want to sell anything online so I don’t need a website.

Even though you don’t plan on selling your products or services on the internet directly, customers who are interested in a type of product or service that you offer will search online for someone that can provide it to them. According to recent statistics, people of all ages are increasingly turning to the internet when shopping. You may have the best quality and the best prices, but if they can’t find you online, chances are they won’t even know your business exists and you may lose many customers that way. A website with just a list of your products and your prices can go a long way.

It is too complicated to maintain, I’m not good with computers.

Having a website doesn’t require much in terms of computer skills these days. There are simple tools that you can use to update your site with new information or products. It is very easy to figure out once you get the hang of it.

I don’t want to spend money on a website, it’s too expensive.

Web design, as well as web hosting services have gotten much more affordable in the past few years, mainly due to increased competition from various service providers and an increase in the number of customers that these providers get. As your website is a business tool, it will help you get more clients and thus get more sales.

If you run a small business that only provides one main service, such as a moving company, you don’t need a complicated website. A simple site with a description of your services, your rates, some background about your company and your contact information will be enough to inform your customers. You don’t have to get a site with fancy graphics, videos or multimedia content if it won’t be useful for you.

I’ve heard all of these stories about hackers attacking business websites. I’m scared this will happen to me.

Most of the news coverage surrounding these incidents is overblown by the media. The majority of recent attacks are not actually security breaches where private information was stolen, but rather denial of service attacks designed to flood a web server with data to bring it offline. These types of attacks are mostly targeted against large companies and governments by people who have a grudge against these entities for whatever reason. As a small business owner, your website is unlikely to become the target of such an attack.

I already advertise in the newspaper or distribute fliers with info about my products. These methods have been effective for me so far, what’s the use of changing?

Setting up your website and promoting your business in the online world doesn’t mean that you will have to stop other marketing methods that you use. Internet marketing is designed to complement, rather than replace other marketing activities. Don’t forget, some people don’t read newspapers (they get all their news online) and throw any advertising fliers that they get in their mailbox straight in the trash can. By having an online presence, you will be able to get in touch with a larger segment of the population.

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