How Blogging Can Help Your Search Engine Marketing

By now you’ve noticed that a lot of static websites are adding a blog. It may also seem that the mere addition of a blog is pushing the traffic of those sites ahead of yours. But before you add a blog, you should know why blogging can be good for search engine marketing.

Train in motionIt’s not the addition of a blog, but the constant activity that helps your website gain in the rankings. Most successful bloggers post at least 3 to 5 times a week and search engines love fresh, relevant content. Search engines especially put greater weight on blogs that are updated frequently, have good focus and stay on topic.

Exactly what is Blogging?

Before you commit to blogging – it takes a lot of time – you should understand what blogging is. Blogging is a little like keeping an online journal. It’s a page or pages where you put down your thoughts about a specific topic.

To add content often you will write a lot about that topic, so it’s important to consider your interest in the subject. Lack of true interest in a topic is why you see so much burnout among bloggers.

Optimize Your Blog for Search Engine Marketing

You need to optimize your blog for search engines, if you want it to play a key role in your search engine marketing. This means, making sure your keywords are in your title tags and sticking to posts about your keywords. People who read this blog regularly may  that know this is one of my struggles.

Think of your blog post titles as headlines so you can catch the reader’s attention. And make sure your title will show up in the search engines for the keywords you want. Your headlines will begin to show up in search engine queries as your blog posts are archived.

If you optimize your blog correctly and you also are creating fresh content regularly, then you will see good page rank over time. Once you achieve this you will be able to help your other websites or blogs to get quality links.

All you have to do is to have some permanent links in your sidebar to the particular website or blog that you need to have crawled and ranked. As long as it has relevant content you can use your blog this way.

So if you optimize your blog and keep it updated with fresh, relevant content, you will be able to use it as an search engine marketing tool for other relevant websites you own. It’s a great way to let something you enjoy — your blog – help you grow your virtual real estate.

How to USE SEM to Draw Traffic to Your Home Business Website

One of the unending challenges for any online business is getting traffic to your website. Most website owners use a type of internet marketing to promote their website called Search Engine Marketing or SEM. SEM works to increase the visibility of a website in the SERPS or Search Engine result pages. 
SEM - SERPS- Search Engine Result Pages

SERPS - Search Engine Result Pages

By now your head may be spinning, but hang on. You can master this stuff if you don’t try to rush the process. By learning proper SEM techniques, you can succeed in gaining more website traffic. 

The first key to SEM is to learn how to correctly reach your intended audience. When searching for products and services on the web, consumers input specific search terms into search engines to find what they are looking for. 

To ensure that they find your site, you will want to use keyword phrases on your web pages that match the search terms your target audience is using. 

SEM and Keyword Research 

You need to use keyword lists and keyword tracker tools to determine the best keyword phrases to use on your website.  Keep in mind that SEM involves balancing the needs of people who will visit your website with the demands of the search engines themselves. 

This is done through SEO or Search engine optimization. Search Engines use specific criteria to determine how relevant a web page is to a specific search term. To do this, search engines use software called spiders to search the pages of a website to categorize its information. SEO is so important to the success of your website that you should consider it while you are building your website. It takes a lot less time and effort than having to change your site later. 

Submitting your Site to Search engines 

Now it’s time to submit your optimized site to search engines. The whole idea behind SEM is to have a good presence on search engines, so they connect you with your target audience. 

There are three different ways for search engines to find your website. 

  1. You can directly submit the website to the search engine by filling out a submit form.
  2. You can choose to simply let the search engine gain access to your website by having links to your site on other website directories.
  3. You can pay for the search engine to categorize and index the site.

You can also draw traffic to your site by getting other similar websites to link to your site. The links can be from articles, other websites and blogs, or from online directories. This is another factor search engines consider when ranking your site: the quality and quantity of links that bring visitors back to your site. 

Your website needs to contain great content to entice other websites to link to your site. If the value of what you offer visitors is solid, owners of other websites will want to stay linked to your site. 

 Think of their link as a type of validation – word of mouth advertising — to their traffic that what you offer is useful to their site visitors. Keep these thoughts in mind as you plan the SEM for your website and you should drive quality traffic.

Can SEO Help Your Home Business Website?

SEOIt’s not unusual for home business owners to throw up a website or blog without paying any attention to all of that SEO stuff. “We’ll worry about that after we start making money,” you may think.

Take it from me, your website may die a slow death in cyberspace until you get up to speed on SEO or search engine optimization.

Here’s why SEO is important

Most people looking for information on a topic type keyword phrases into a search box.

Search engine robots crawl millions of pages with those keyword phrases looking for the best results to serve up to searchers. The robots use complicated algorithms to determine which pages to show.

The algorithms change constantly as the robots get smarter and many more pages are added daily. SEO experts attend pricey conferences and conduct plenty of studies to stay up on this topic. So it’s no wonder that SEO is a special challenge for the home internet business.

Crash Course on SEO

Here’s what you need to understand about SEO to succeed. The whole idea behind owning a website or blog is to get people to visit your website, engage with your content and buy your products or services.

A recent study showed that you have just 46 seconds to engage your visitor to prevent them from clicking away. Everything from the headline to the design and structure of the site and especially the content must be appealing and captivating to keep the visitor on your site.

The study also showed that if you can keep the visitor on the site longer than 46 seconds, there is a good chance that they will click around and visit at least 3 pages.

If those 3 pages happen to contain pay-per-click ads or affiliate programs, the chances of making a profit increase substantially.

SEO is not only a product of how balanced and keyword-rich your content is, but also a combination of how your site is built for the major search engine “spiders.” That’s why you should consider SEO when you build your website – not later.

SEO Tactics to avoid:

  1. Watch out for companies that guarantee links overnight.  Too many links too quickly will pull whatever site ranking you already have down. The search engine algorithms always manage to catch up with your site if something fishy is going on.
  2. Avoid SEO that:
  • Links to shadow domains
  • Places links to their other clients on “doorway” pages
  • Offers to sell keywords in the address bar
  • Gets traffic from fake search engines, spyware, or scumware,
  • Or, is not listed in Google’s index.

Choose the people that work on your site or the SEO strategies you use very carefully. Make sure you know exactly how they plan to promote it for SEO.  Ranking a site for content relevance takes time, and is a process that cannot be rushed, no matter what so-called expert tells you.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about SEM or Search Engine Marketing and how to draw traffic to your website.

Ideas to Help You Plan Your Home Internet Business

By now, I hope you have some idea of the direction your home business will take. Whether you plan to blog, freelance, promote other people’s products or create your own, you will need a PLAN.

If you are not sure where to start you might benefit from some of the step-by-step guides sold online. But you might enjoy creating your own process guides, charts and checklists.

Develop a short business plan

You should start by developing a short business plan that describes your basic ideas, the niche or target market you plan to pursue and the business model you will use. You also will want to outline your various projects and campaigns, along with your keyword lists, information about your niche and anything else that will help you achieve your goals.

You can outline your plans using such traditional tools as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. But there are other tools that might prove even more useful.

Plan your sales funnel and list-building strategies

As you plan, you are going to want to diagram your company’s sales funnel along with whatever steps you plan to take to acquire new customers. You could buy pricey software for this purpose, or you could use a simple graphics program to illustrate the processes you will use.

Here is a diagram I created in Microsoft Publisher for a friend who wanted to add internet marketing features to his network marketing business.

  

 

Map out your projects

Project managers often use Gantt charts to plan projects that involve a lot of different tasks, people and resources. You can do the same thing with mind mapping software that lets you fit your entire project on one page. Here is a mind maps I created for a special report using Mindjet Mindmanager, a neat package that is a little pricey. However there are several free mind mapping programs available online as downloads. If you draw a little, you might enjoy mapping your projects by hand using color pens and large sheets of paper.

 mind map of a special report

Improve your videos with simple storyboards

Many internet marketers are producing videos to promote products or as short lessons. Unfortunately, many of these videos look as though the marketer just grabbed a camera and started shooting. You can create a short storyboard for your video projects using a graphics program or maybe even Microsoft Word using tables. Here is an example of a short storyboard created for a short video showing how to weatherize homes.

Video storyboard

As you can see, planning can be fun with a little imagination, so give yourself an edge by capturing your ideas in a visual form to help you stay on track.

Books to Help You Market Your Business Online

Wealthy Freelancer book coverWe’ve talked about creating a business online. Some of the options we’ve discussed include affiliate marketing, blogging and a list of other ideas that range from writing, freelancing as a service provider, — even creating your own information products.

Whatever you’ve decided to do, there is a lot to learn. There are a million courses online, but I find it easier to read a book to gather basic information. Here are a few of my favorites with links to Amazon.com where you can order them.

In a previous post, I mentioned Yanik Silver’sMoonlighting on the Internet.” This book is helpful if you haven’t made a decision yet about which Internet business model you plan to pursue.

Moonlighting on the Internet: 5 World-Class Experts Reveal Proven Ways to Make Extra Cash

For Bloggers:

If you’re hoping to make a living on the Internet as a blogger, I suggest you read, “ProBlogger; Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income,” by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett, two highly successful and well-respected bloggers. It takes time to succeed as a blogger and if emphasize the wrong things, it can take even longer, so spend a little time learning these guys secrets.

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

Affiliate Marketing:

Yesterday, I suggested you read Rosalind Gardner’s “Super Affiliate Handbook.” I’ll repeat that link here in case you missed it. I suggest Rosalind because I know that she has succeeded big-time as an affiliate marketer. A lot of other people on the net have made more money telling others how to do it, then they have made in the business itself. Some of these marketers even make up phony screen shots or videos showing you their affiliate checks just to get you to buy their products. Start with someone who has actually done it.

Here’s the link to Ros Gardner’s site again: Super Affiliate Handbook.

For Freelancers:

If you are doing business on the Net as a freelancer, you definitely want to read “The Wealthy Freelancer,” by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia. These three guys are successful copywriters who have a lot to share about building a profitable freelance business.

The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle.

Help with Writing Web Copy

Finally, you should know that writing on the Internet is very different than it is offline. As you promote your business online, you will need to understand the differences and know how to write web copy that sells. There are two good books you should take a look at to prepare you to write content and copy for the web:

· “Web Copy That Sells; The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy,” by Maria Veloso. Veloso is a copywriter who learned much of what she writes about in the book while working with Mark Joyner, one of Internet Marketing legends, who taught many of the gurus.

Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy

· “Net Words; Creating High-Impact Online Copy, by Nick Usborne – another veteran copywriter who has earned his stripes over the years by writing landing pages and other web copy for a number of large companies.

Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy

Now I admit, NO ONE reads books anymore and I am asking you to pick up a book. But I can guarantee that it will be worth it. These books are much less expensive than many of the products people are promoting on the Internet and you’ll start with a better understanding of what you’re trying to do.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how to put it all together in a plan – along with a description of some of the tools that might help you do that. So stay tuned. And please leave a comment to let me know if you are finding these posts helpful.

Affiliate Marketing – What it is and Why it Works?

If you are a beginning marketer on the Internet you may want to start with affiliate marketing. And if you really are a newbie, you may be wondering just what is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is promoting or selling the products of others for a commission. Your business advertises and sells for other companies. It is one of the fastest growing businesses in the Net. It’s a low cost business to start and it’s the perfect business to run from your home.

To succeed in affiliate marketing, you need the following:

  • A professional looking website with great information to attract and benefit your target audience or niche. In addition to useful articles, your website might include a blog, product reviews and videos or podcasts designed to help your audience do things.
  • Products to promote to your niche that they are interested in buying. You can promote affiliate products exclusively or blend your own products. The products can range from digital ebooks and special reports to audios, videos, webcasts and full-blown courses. You can find good digital products to promote at Clickbank.
  • You also might choose to promote a physical product – which essentially means you can sell anything. You will need to establish an account at one of the affiliate networks that list physical products, such as Commission Junction.
  • A list of prospects within your niche. Building a list is a major topic all of its own and perhaps the most important part of succeeding as an affiliate marketer. You can learn more about list building at http://incomeonautopilotnow.com.
  • An autoresponder system such as Aweber.com. This is important because not everyone who visits your website where you market affiliate programs will purchase right away. An auto responder helps you follow up with these people, and will keep on reminding them about your website and invite them to visit your site. You can use an e-course or an e-zine with interesting tips that will make your prospects want to visit your website again. By doing this you are increasing the chances of generating a sale from most people who visit your site
  • An optin page, often called a “squeeze page” because it’s only purpose is to get people to join your list. Your squeeze page links to your list housed at your autoresponder, which lets you automate your follow-up process.
  • Web traffic which you acquire through dozens of free methods such as article marketing, posting videos on YouTube and social marketing, or paid traffic using pay per click ads or ezine advertising. Increasingly people are generating traffic to their blogs or websites using social media such as Twitter, Facebook Fan pages or other promotional tools. All of these strategies generate backlinks to your site from high-ranking, high-traffic websites. We’ll talk more about ways to generate web traffic in future blog posts.

To succeed as an affiliate marketer, you need to become adept at advertising and promotion. It helps to have strong skills as a copywriter. You will also need to be good with math to be able to track your campaigns, so you know which strategies are making you money.

Many information marketers say it is easy to make a lot of money in affiliate marketing. But take it from me, it is as not as easy as they say it is. The more prepared you are the better.

To learn more about affiliate marketing,  grab a copy of Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook. Rosalind has made a lot of money as a super affiliate so her secrets are priceless.

Here’s the link to Ros Gardner’s site again: Super Affiliate Handbook.