So, you finally decided to take the blog leap. You've heard all about the marketing and search benefits so you stepped up to the plate and signed up for a TypePad, MovableType or WordPress blog software package and now you're a blogger.
Okay, now what? Add the ten essential blogging tools listed below and you will also be well on your way to creating and promoting a blog that is a powerful marketing tool. I'll explain the use of the tool and offer some suggestions, including the tools I use on my own blogs including the DuctTapeMarketing blog.
The best way to learn about blogs and blogging is to read, or at least scan, lots of blogs. One of the wonders of blogs is that you can have every new post from every blog you want to read delivered to your desktop or to online location via RSS, so you can easily read and scan the posts of many blogs in a very short time. Newsgator is a good online choice for feed reading and also has a version that integrates with Outlook. I use a frëe online service known as Bloglines.
You need to make it easy for your blog visitors to subscribe to your blog's RSS feed – so they can read your blog in their favorite feed reader. The best way to do this is to go to FeedBurner and burn your own RSS feed there and use the tools they provide to set up automatic subscriber links so people who want to use Bloglines, Google Reader, MyYahoo or Pluck, for instance, can clíck on one button to subscribe. Tech types can figure this out without the buttons but why not make it easy for anyone to figure out.
Side note: Subscribe to each of these yourself and you will force some blog spiders to visit your site.
Email Subscription Option
A lot of people will nevër get the whole feed thing, but everyone gets email. Create an option for people to subscribe by giving you their email address – they will simply receive your blog posts like an email message. FeedBurner offers this service for frëe. FeedBlitz is another option or, if you already have an autoresponder email list service they may offer this service. AWeber offers this and helps me integrate these blog email subscribers into my other mailing lists.
Blog & RSS directories
There are hundreds of blog and RSS directories and getting listed in many can be a good thing. I use a piece of software called RSS Submit , but you can also visit Robin Goode's frequently updated list and submit your blog and feed by hand.
Hint: Subscribe to the RSS feed he offers and you will be notified when new directories are added.
Pinging is a term used for letting the various blog and RSS directories know when you have posted new content. Again, FeedBurner offers this as an automatic option called PingShot and you should activate it. PingGoat and Ping O Matic are other options but they require that you visit and update your record each time you post new content. Bookmark Manager
As you surf around the web or hop from blog to blog you may find sites that you want to point out to your readers. Online bookmark managers allow you to bookmark and categorize web and blog pages as you collect them and are a great tool for managing all of the stuff you find on the web. I use del.icio.us but BlinkList does a fine job as well.
I like to track a few key stats in real time because it shows what other blogs might be linking to you or posting about your blog. A lot of people just like to track this kind of thing for fun and frequently visit sites like Technorati. I like to track it for networking opportunities. I use a tool called MyBlogLog because it allows me to see where traffïc is coming from but also tracks what links on my blog visitors are clicking on. It's amazing how this data can help you write more effectively. (MyBlogLog also ranks your links so visitors can see which links on your site are the most popular.)
With most blog software you must go online and post using a set of tools provided by the blog software. Many bloggers like to use a desktop application to create and submit their posts as it gives them some extra tools and allows them to more easily integrate content and files on their computer.
I use w.blogger but also like Performancing, Qumana and ecto (apple folks) (w.blogger also doubles as a really simple HTML editor.) Tell A Friend Script
The ability to republish your blog posts on other web pages, sites you own or sites of strategic partners is a great way to expose folks to your blog content. One more time we turn to FeedBurner for a painless way to republish your blog post to any web page you choose with something they call BuzzBoost. John Jantsch
On today's highly competitive Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) search engine, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your PPC campaigns are optimized to their utmost potential. You should be achieving maximum return on ínvestment (ROI) for the keywords or phrases that are most relevant to your business and are most likely to provide you with targeted traffïc to your website. With ever growing cost-per-click (CPC) prices throughout the various PPC search engines it is essential that you avoid certain mistakes that will undoubtedly result in poorly performing PPC campaigns.
The Mistakes to Avoid
Long list of less than targeted keywords Not identifying unique aspects of your product or service Lack of keywords in your ad text Directing users solely to your home page Creation of single Ad Groups Utilizing single campaigns Using broad match only Failure to optimize Ad Serving for your ads Not tracking results Entering the content network without modifying bids Long List of Less Than Targeted Keywords
When you first set out to create your AdWords campaign it is of utmost importance that you do not go "keyword crazy". What this means is that you must not create long lists of irrelevant and generic keywords. For example, if you were an automotive dealership then it would not be in your best interest to target the keyword "truck". The reason being is that the cost-per-click (CPC) for such a generic keyword would be incredibly high when compared to a more descriptive relevant keyword such as "T-Z783 Extended Cab". An example of an irrelevant keyword which would not produce conversions if you strictly conducted automotive salës would be "tail light covers". The phrase may bring visitors to your website but, if they do not find what they are looking for when they get there, they will be gone just as quickly as they arrived.
Not Identifying Unique Aspects of Your Product or Service
Before implementing your AdWords campaign you must first understand exactly what it is that makes you stand out from your competition. By identifying your unique products or services you will have a lot more clarity on how to rise above your competitors and zone in on the keywords or phrases that are unique to your business. I would recommend that you perform an analysis of your competition, have a look and see what they are doing and which phrases they are using. After conducting a competition analysis and after understanding what makes your products or services unique you will be able to come up with a strategy that will topple your competitors.
Lack of Keywords in Your Ad Text
When creating your descriptive ad copy it is imperative that you find a means to inject your keywords into your title and description while maintaining the delicate balance of clarity and relevance. Your ad copy should be tailored in such a way that when read by a visitor they know exactly what they are getting into when they clíck on your ad, which brings me to my next point.
Directing Users Solely to Your Home Page
Not taking the time to decide which destination URL should be designated to which ad is an oversight that I come across far too often. When you finish compiling your list of relevant keywords that describe unique products or services of your business, why on earth would you then send everyone to your homepage and let them navigate through your site in hopes of finding what it is that they are looking for. Instead why not send them straight to the page that contains exactly what was described to them within your ad copy. As an example, if you are an automotive dealership and your ad contains the keyword "T-Z783 Extended Cab", instead of sending them to www.auto-motive-dealership.com send them to www.auto-motive-dealership.com/T-Z783_Extended_Cab.html.
Creation of Single Ad Groups
Categorizing ads that are targeting related keywords into a common ad-group will allow you to have a much higher level of control over your entire campaign. Let's say that you run a sporting goods store, start by grouping all ads targeted towards hockey skates into a single Ad Group. You would then create another ad-group which would be targeting hockey sticks and another containing hockey gloves and so on. Organizing your ad-group structure in this manner gives you the ability to create in-depth reports on the perförmance of each ad-group.
Utilizing Single Campaigns
Once you have your Ad Groups sorted out into easy to identify categories you may then move on to the next step of creating relevant campaigns. From the example above you have created Ad Groups containing separate products of hockey skates, sticks, gloves etc. Now it is time to create a container for all of the Ad Groups into one campaign entitled "hockey equipment". You would then repeat the process creating Ad Groups for tennis, one group for shoes, one for racquets etc. and then once again you drop them all into a single campaign entitled "tennis equipment". Having highly organized campaigns is the key to determining which ads are creating optimal conversions.
Using Broad Match Only
When you do not take advantage of the phrase matching options that are available to you, chances are you are missing out on potential customers and creating a higher CPC. Broad matches are usually less targeted than exact and phrase matching. Broad matching is the default option your ads will appear for expanded matches such as plurals or relevant keyword variations. When utilizing phrase match your ad will appear for search terms in the order that you specify and sometimes for other terms. Exact matching is by far the most targeted option to use. You will appear for the exact keyword specified. Negative keyword is also a fantastic option to utilize in order to specify which keywords you do not want to appear for.
Broad match Default option: Blue widget
Phrase match Surround the keyword in quotes: "blue widget"
Exact match Surround the keyword in square brackets: [blue widget]
Negative match Place a negative character before the keyword: -blue widget
Failure To Optimize Ad Serving For Your Ads
When you take advantage of the AdWords Ad Serving service basically what you will be doing is showing your most popular ads more often. The AdWords platform will give weïght to ads with the highest click-through rates (CTRs) and display them more often then keywords with lower (CTRs) within the same ad-group.
Not Tracking Results
In order to have any idea on your AdWords campaign perförmance you must be able to see the keywords that work as well as those that do not. Google AdWords supplies a vast array of very useful tracking tools. Google has also built into the user interface Google Analytics which is a marvellous web analytics tool that provides you with in-depth reporting on all aspects of your campaign perförmance. I cannot stress enough the importance of creating goals for your AdWords campaign to measure your success by.
Entering The Content Network Without Modifying Bids
Within the AdWords platform you have recently been given the ability to set different bids for the content network compared to that of the search network. If you do not set different bids on the content network for certain keywords, you will be paying more per clíck than you should be. After lowering the prices on certain keywords you will notice that the amount of click-throughs that you will be attaining will remain the same as they were at the higher bid.
The purpose for this article was to create awareness for common mistakes and to eliminate frustrations that may emerge when managing Google AdWords campaigns. The points mentioned above are compiled from management mistakes that I have stumbled upon time and time again in hopes to assist you in creating a marketing campaign that will generate dramatic increases to the profïts of your business. Tyler Huston
A Hard Look at PPC, Clíck Fraud & the Alternatives
With the creation of the Overture and Google Adwords systems, many webmasters believed they had finally hit the mother load. It was no longer necessary for small online businesses to invest large amounts of monëy into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to gain high search rankings in the natural search results.
Even webmasters committed to SEO campaigns began to realize its fleeting nature. Given frequent search engine algorithm changes, optimizing a website was no guarantëe that in 6 months or less it wouldn't be back to square one and page twenty of the search results.
Hiring a SEO company was no longer necessary to crack the top search engine results. A Page One placement could be purchased and often for far less than the cost of a SEO company's services.
Webmasters discovered that they could get traffïc to their website for as little as one cent per clíck.
Pay-per-click, however, has evolved over the last 5 years and not to the benefit of most webmasters. Although five cents is currently the average starting bid price at most major search engines, many sought after keyword terms can cost as much as $30 - $50 per clíck. Given the increasingly competitive nature of PPC advertising and spiralling costs, many small- to medium- sized businesses today might be better served hiring a good SEO company to search optimize their websites.
Who Is Clicking Your Pay-Per-Click Links?
There are four types of people who clíck on pay-per-click ads. Knowing who these people are helps explain why experts keep telling us that 20% to 25% of all clicks on PPC listings are "fraudulent clicks".
Personality Type #1: True-Blue Prospects
These are the people for whom you have placed your pay-per-click ads. They see your advertisement; they like what they see; and they clíck your link to see if you can actually serve their needs.
Personality Type #2: Accidental Clickers
Every once in a while, even my finger misfires, and I clíck an advertisement that I did not intend on clicking. My first thought is usually, "Oh no...", and my first action is to find the back button.
I didn't mean to cost that person monëy by clicking his advertisement... but I did. It was an accident. Now, the advertiser has to pay for my mistake.
Personality Type #3: Jealous Competitors
I would like to think that all of my, and your, competitors are fine, upstanding people. And most of them are. But, there are some who are not, and they clíck on pay-per-click links just to be spiteful or just to cost their business rivals a few dollars.
Believe it or not, a good percentage of "fraudulent clicks" are believed to be clicks perpetrated by people against their competitors.
Personality Type #4: True-Blue Fraudsters
Not that long ago pay-per-click providers realized that there was tremendous opportuníty in offering small website owners a method for cashing in on their limited traffïc.
Today, a webmaster can go to any number of pay-per-click services, add a small piece of code to a webpage and start serving paid advertising the same day. Webmasters thus become revenue share partners with the PPC provider, splitting revenues with the PPC provider for each clíck.
Ethical webmasters, of course, put the needs of their advertisers first and focus on putting eyeballs on their website so that visitors can clíck on the advertising links.
But, the word "ethical" doesn't exist in the vocabulary of some webmasters. These are the "true-blue fraudsters" who believe in making "revenue at any cost... no matter who might be hurt by their actions." They devise schemes to have their own ads clicked in order to drive up their revenue share.
These webmasters, although a minority, are responsible for the vast majority of fraudulent clicks. And, they are the same people that should be taken out behind the barn, for a good old-fashioned flogging --- one lashing for each stolen dollar would be fine with me.
The Unseen Costs Of The Pay-Per-Click Search Game
If the experts are correct in estimating that 25% of all clicks are fraudulent, then you are paying out 33% more than you should have to pay to get your business.
If you are converting PPCSE clicks-to-sales at a rate of $20 per transaction, then you should be aware that your actual conversion rate for non-PPCSE advertising would cost you an average of $15 per transaction. By escaping the pay-per-click search engine model, you could in effect make an additional $5 per transaction by cutting the fraud out of your marketing budget.
Personally, I would rather not pay the pay-per-click mafia the $5 a transaction that they are exacting against pay-per-click advertisers.
Where My Advertising Money Works Best
I have always gained the best bang for my buck with pay-for-placement advertising. In a nutshell, I pay a monthly, quarterly or yearly fee to have my advertising seen on various websites. Banner advertising is always an option, but text links provide better click-through rates (CTR's).
At any one time, you can find links to my websites on dozens of other websites.
Here are a few examples of pay-for-placement, often referred to as "paid inclusion", advertising networks:
The Independent Search Engine and Directory Network (powered by ExactSeek.com) is comprised of more than 200 specialty search engines, search directories and article directories. Through their system, you can buy quarterly or yearly top ten exposure for specific keyword phrases which are then shown through the ISEDN's 200 plus member websites. Their network claims to show paid inclusion ads 150 million times per month.
Pricing starts at $4 per month per keyword term (word or phrase) and goes down according to the number of keyword phrases purchased. Quarterly and yearly rates for one keyword phrase are $12 and $36 respectively. BraveNet.com Home Page Featured Advertiser Listing:
BraveNet is the number one provider of frëe web tools in the world and through their AdBrite salës page you can purchase a 30 day text advertisement at the bottom of the Bravenet home page for $1500 or a 3 month advertisement for $3500. According to the Bravenet Media Kit, their network serves 500 million page views per month.
ColdFront serves the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) communities. With 150,000 unique visits and 12 million page views per month, they provide real advertising value, if your target market happens to be in this area. Paid inclusion can be purchased for $250 to $350 per month.
Who Left The Barn Door Open?
We put locks and deadbolts on our doors. In some localities, we put bars on our windows. We keep our valuables in safes. We keep our cars locked when we are not in them. We are a nation obsessed with protecting our valuables.
And yet, when we advertise our online businesses, we seem to be willing to let PPCSE providers steal 25% of our advertising budget? It boggles the mind.
Personally, I am done with PPCSE companies until they can assure me that my advertising dollars are protected from clíck fraud.
I have always relied on my own search engine optimization skills to strengthen my natural search results. And frankly, I am pretty good at it.
And, to supplement my own SEO efforts and organic search result placement sucesses, or lack thereof, paid inclusion currently offers me the best value for my monëy. Bill Platt
Blog is short for Web Log or Weblog and the Blogosphere is the online blog world, some parts of which are hyperlinked extensively to each other.
This is the Wikipedia definition: Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site.
I recommend that you read lots of people's blogs to learn what blogs are. Go to your favorite search engine and type in the word 'blog' and the subject you're interested in. For example, 'web design blog', or 'blog music', or 'sports blog'. You'll find lots of blogs that way.
Blogs have become a way in which regular, non-technical people can post information to the Web as easily as they can access it.
Why Are Blogs So Important?
Well, they're not that important, yet. But they could be soon, and most likely will be. In fact, some would argue that they are already vital in today's Web business world. I am not ready to agree to that yet, but it is becoming more obvious to me over time that blogs can no longer be ignored in business.
Online businesses can benefit from blogging by taking advantage of a vehicle for easily posting new, original, and business-related content on a regular basis.
Here Are Some More Business Benefits Of Blogging:
a.. Blogs help to position you and/or your company as experts and leaders in your industry.
b.. They're interactive in nature. At the end of each blog entry is usually a link that allows anyone to add their own comments to your blog entries. This allows your customers and potential customers to make comments about your products or services or ask you questíons to help them in their buying process.
c.. Blogs are marketed easily and quickly by their RSS feeds.
d.. Blogs allow you to stress your choice of products, services, relevant news stories, quotes, pictures and more with your audience, customers and potential customers.
e.. People are generous with adding links to your blog if the content is good, especially within their own blogs. More links means more traffïc and better search engine rankings. Here Are Some Ways In Which You Can Make Revenue From Your Blog:
1. Selling advertisements. Whether you use banners or text links, if your site draws a regular audience interested in your blog topics or theme, try to offer ad space to organizations that are looking to market to your audience. In fact, if your blogs becomes really popular then advertisers will call you.
2. Offering Google's AdSense. Google's website explains, "Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website's content pages and earn monëy." Learn more about AdSense.
3. Affíliate Programs. Affïliate programs allow Web sites that provide links to your site to receive payments or reciprocal advertising in exchange for promoting your Web site. In the case of blogging, this is reversed, where you post links within your blog, and collect monëy from the owners of those links when they result in a click-through and sale. Here Are Some Websites Where You Can Get Your Blog Listed:
a.. BlogWise b.. Blog Search Engine c.. Blog Hub d.. Blog Daisy e.. Get Blogs f.. LS Blogs
How To Blog For Business:
First you need to get blogging software. You can choose to create a blog that is housed on another site such as http://www.blogger.com (which is a blog service) or you can host it on your own Web server. I recommend the latter since the links that are developed by others pointing to your blog won't be counted in the search engines. This is because the links are attributed to domains, so a link to http://MyNewBlog.blogger.com gives a link credít to blogger.com and not your domain.
If your blog is a business blog, you really ought to host your own blog as opposed to using a blog service. You'll need the extra functionality and control.
If you plan on hostíng your own blog and if you plan to use a UNIX Web server platform, then you need to go with blogging software such as Movable Type, for example. If you have a Microsoft Web server platform for your site, then you'll need software such as BetaParticle blog. Find a great list of various blog software at: http://www.lights.com/weblogs/tools.html
Next you'll need a database to hook your blog up to. The database is what stores the blog entries, among other things. If you don't know if you have a database on or connected to your website server, or if you don't know how to hook up your blog to your database, contact your host company or Web server administrator for help.
Once you have the blog set up on your domain (for example http://www.MyWebsite.com/blog) and you've hooked it up to a live database, you can start blogging. Generally, each entry is also a day. So you can write a new entry every day, or whenever you want, and that entry will show up on the blog at the top, moving older entries below.
You ought to think of a theme for your blog. In other words, your blog could be about your personal experiences in the industry you're in. It could be about your company's product reviews, or new services. It could be about your thoughts and opinions about issues related to your industry. It could be a place where you regularly find and list new resources to help others in your industry. The list is endless. But be sure to stick to a theme and be original. You want to offer something of value to your website visitors.
Sticking to a theme helps you position yourself for future advertisers and also makes for better reading for your visitors. Furthermore, you want to give a good impression with your blog with each and every entry if you want it to augment your online business. Finally, sticking to a theme helps with the search engines since it's believed that engines determine website themes and use this information for ranking.
Of course your blog could be about personal things too. Many blogs are just that, an online journal. But since we're interested in Web business here, I am discussing business blogs only.
What's great is that blogs get indexed easily and quickly by search engines. Each entry is another "page" that can be potentially listed in Google for example, which will drive more traffïc to your site.
Another neat thing about running a blog once it's set up is that you do not need to be technical at all to make regular entries. This is helpful if you want to delegate the writing to someone else, since technical skills won't be a prerequisite. This allows you to have the most qualified person regarding the blog's theme and, hopefully the best writer, actually making the entries.
Be creative. Add images to your blog entries to spice things up a bit. Although blogging can be lonely, keep at it. Sometimes it seems like you're just writing new entries each day for yourself only. It may be a while before someone chooses to add a comment to one of your entries. You may not hear from anyone for a long time. But that doesn't mean people aren't reading it. In fact, chëck your website statistics to see just how many people are visiting your new blog. As you add more entries, get your blog listed on other sites and market your blog. It will build, and eventually you'll have a nice following of engaged readers.
Most importantly, be sure to pepper your entries with calls to action. For example, if your business blog is attached to your travel website and the blog's theme is traveling and finding great travel deals all over the world, make sure you add a link to an entry that points people to a travel special you're running on your website. What would be even better is a blog entry about the fantastic vacation you took to Hawaii and included at the end was a link to cheap Hawaii vacation deals on your website. Jason OConnor
As an online marketer, there are a number of tools that every webmaster should have in their toolbox. Here's a list of some of the top sites you'll want to put in your bookmarks.
WhoNu is the ultimate online search tool. This tool was created by an innovative thinker named Derek Franklin. His tool allows you to tap into multiple search engines.
You can search:
a.. directories b.. discussion groups c.. forums d.. images e.. audio clips f.. podcasts g.. sound effects h.. music clips i.. film trailers j.. flash movies and. k.. news Search for unique files such as:
a.. pdf's b.. word documents and... c.. powerpoint presentations Discover facts, secrets, tips, faq's, how to's, and a multitude of article sources.
You can also generate rss feeds based on any of your queries. WhoNu is truly search on steroids. Give it a try! I think you may quickly find yourself addicted. TotallyFreeConferenceCalls.com
Teleseminars are one of the most powerful marketing techniques on the internet. Unfortunately, many webmaster's do not take advantage of this tactic. Fortunately for us, there is a company that is offering frëe conferencing software for up to 99 people.
With TotallyFreeConferenceCalls.com, you can hold a conference call at any time, without having to reserve a time slot and without any time limits.
Using this service, you can hold teleseminars with your visitors or host interviews with industry experts.
No matter how you decide to use it, I would highly suggest that you give it a try. Google Suggestion
Google Suggestion is an innovative service from Google Labs. As you type your search term, Google offers keyword suggestions in real time. This tool can be very helpful when you are looking for related keyword phrases on the fly.
Once you have found a number of related keywords, you can go to NicheBot.com to analyze how competitive each term is.
MySyndicaat is a new tool that allows you to collect information in an extremely efficient manner. It allows you to combine, aggregate, and splice together any number of rss feeds.
For the webmaster, this is an extremely useful tool because it allows you to stay on top of important news in your field without going into information overload. You can simply get what you need and apply it how you see fit.
This is an essential for those with a news site. However, it is also beneficial for webmasters in general.
You can use this tool to keep abreast of the latest breaking news in your industry. I often use this service to find article ideas for my website. As you probably know, recent news is one of the hottest topics online. News events are great topics for articles, so stay on the lookout to see how recent events might affect your readers.
Every smart webmaster tracks their visitors. Luckily, Google offers a frëe solution that allows you to find out in-depth information on your visitors.
With Google Analytics, you can track your total number of visits, pageviews, search engine stats, conversion summary, entrance and exit pages, and much more. You are also provided with a number of graphs and charts to illustrate many of these statistics. If you're looking for a frëe piece of analytics software with some powerful features, Google analytics is a very good choice.
This site has one of the most complete lists of online marketing tools. They provide keyword suggestion tools, search engine ranking tools, rss feed generators, link popularity checkers, sitemap generators, and much more.
For a complete list of SEO tools, visit http://www.seocompany.ca/tool/seo-tools.html
This is a site that you'll definitely want to stick in your favorites.
Podcasts are increasing in popularity online. If you haven't joined the crowd, then it's time to do so.
Odeo allows you to record and share your podcast completely frëe of charge. The audio you record can be downloaded to desktops, iPods, mp3 players, and posted on your website.
If you have a recording device, you can use the Odeo studio to create your own audio. However, if you don't have a microphone, don't worry. You can also use your telephone to record. Simply dial a designated number and start talking.
Have you ever wanted to be an aspiring author? Well, Lulu allows you to do just that. They allow you to publish your very own book without a major book publishing deal. There are no set-up fees, no minimum order, and no delay. Lulu is an on-demand publishing service that prints and ships each book as it is ordered. In addition, they also offer online tools for authors to sell and market their books over the Web.
So, why would a webmaster want to become an author? It gives you instänt credibility. When you are an author you are the expert. At Lulu, you can become both without the upfront cost.
Are you looking for high-quality images to place on your website?
The Stöck Exchange offers an impressive collection of high-quality images that you can use frëe of charge on your website. You can search over one hundred thousand images by category or by typing in a query.
Using images on your web site helps you to stand out above the rest of the crowd. They are great for complementing your content. Kim Roach
Linking Strategies: "To Buy or not to Buy, That is the Question"
Buying text links for your website is a highly controversial subject online. Like it or not, approve of the practice or disapprove, it does exist and there are many website owners who are doing it. I'm not going to debate the issue one way or the other; just shed some light on what some consider a "gray subject."
So why would you want or need to buy a text link on another website? It all goes back to "link popularity." Search engines look at how many other sites are linking to yours when deciding on your ranking. Granted, this is just one criterion, but nevertheless an important one to pay attention to.
If you don't know how many other sites are linking to yours, go to any search engine and type this in: link:http://www.yourdomain.com ... you should get a pretty good idea of your "popularity." Keep in mind that Google nevër shows all sites linking to yours, so what you see in the results will not be an accurate presentation of those linking to you. Why they do this is not clear (it's one of those "Google Secrets"), but a possible explanation is that it's one of the methods they use to keep their ranking algorithms private.
When considering a link purchase, only buy from sites that are related to your theme and use the Google Toolbar to chëck their page rank. You can download it here:
A page rank of 4 or above is pretty good but a 7 or 8 is excellent. Nevër buy a link based on page rank alone. If the site doesn't relate to your site's content, don't do it.
Here are some things to keep in mind before making any purchases:
There are two types of links: one-way and reciprocal. A reciprocal link is when two sites agree to link to each other, a one-way link is just one site linking to another without linking back. Purchasing a text link is an example of a one-way link. One-way links are counted higher by most search engines and therefore are more valuable then reciprocal.
When supplying your text link to other sites, make sure to include your keywords in your anchor text. The anchor text is the part of the link that is clickable. Use a variety of key phrases so as not to raise any red flags with the search engines.
You also want to be consistent with your url. Use the "www." part in all incoming links, as links to "yourdomain.com" and "www.yourdomain.com" could be treated as two different websites by the search engines.
Another tip when buying links is to do it slowly. Don't buy too many at one time. You want it to look natural to the search engines. Hundreds of sites deciding to link to yours in a week is not "natural" and may catch unwanted attention from the powers that be.
Stay away from link farms when choosing link partners. Just associating with "bad sites" can be enough to get you banned by the search engines. You'll also want to make sure you're getting links from different IP addresses. Search engines will give the links more weíght if they don't all come from the same IP.
So now that you have the basics, where do you buy the text links? I thought you'd nevër ask.
Purchase static links to PR 4, 5,6, 7 or 8 websites. Pricing starts at 3.00 per month.
2) Text Link Brokers
Offering a variety of link building programs to increase your link popularity.
Buy or sell text links within an auction format or buy dírect thru a broker.
Offering $100.00 in frëe text link ads when you spend $125.00. So you only have to spend an initial ínvestment of $25.00
Frëe service that allows webmasters to trade, sell or buy text links.
When you buy a link, it's usually billed on a monthly basis and you'll always pay more for a site with a higher page rank, and also for having them put your link on their main page compared to a page deeper down within the site. Once you purchase a link let it run for a few months at a time. Search engines will need it in order to find and spider them.
Right or wrong, purchasing links is one way to improve your link popularity quickly and move your site up the ranks in the search engines. Remember, there are many ways to increase your website traffïc, and buying text links is just another means to an end. Merle MCPromotions.com
This change is permanent: Marketing your website without taking advantage of RSS feeds will be the biggest mistake you can make in 2006 and beyond.
Microsoft is unleashing a new OS (Vista) that will plug into the web via RSS in a very profound way. If you haven't been keeping up on Vista (formerly Longhorn) developments because you thought it was of no consequence to you as a marketer, think twice.
Vista will revolutionize the way everyone syndicates their content and markets their websites forever.
RSS is fast becoming the backbone of the web. Sites are organically syndicating content around the web through RSS search engines like this one: http://rssfeeds.contentdesk.com.
Feeds in RSS directories then get picked up by publishers looking for good headline content for their sites.
The major search engines also pick up those feed listings and often discover new sites and spider them faster than any other förm of content syndication including articles and press releases!
How To Create A Feed For Your Site
First off, if you are not blogging, you need to. Every type of site imaginable can produce a relevant blog with topics related to your main content.
It doesn't matter if you simply sell furniture on your site - you need a blog!
Imagination is all that is required to create a blog featuring the almighty promotion power of an RSS feed. In the furniture example you can blog about interior design and any number of topics.
Notice that the big sites (that were formerly simple shopping cart sites with little content) are now putting up articles and blogging about the topics surrounding their products.
They are not stupid. They know that creating content and feeding it around the web is a major traffïc source and they've been switching to richer content models for well over a year en masse.
Most any major shopping site you land on nowadays has rich content somewhere on the site. And they have a feed their visitors can subscribe to and that they can market with.
For the smaller mom and pop shop, a Wordpress blog is all you need to plug into the RSS world and fill your site with rich content (not just product descriptions and salës letters) that the engines are looking for, as well as the major part of your market who want more information before making purchases.
A review site is a very popular model. Lots of surfers want to read about 3rd party experiences with products before deciding on purchases.
Again, this model is not new and it is not an afterthought marketing ploy. It is major business to the sites who have mastered the art of filling direct salës sites and shopping cart-run sites with deep content.
With Microsoft Vista, all PC users are going to be able to detect feeds on every site they visit and subscribe to those feeds.
Very soon the days of "Give me your email address and other private information" will be a thing of the past.
Smart marketers are going to adopt the RSS information delivery model because surfers will quickly begin to ignore email subscription forms while looking for the simple and completely anonymous RSS subscription model.
So if you haven't started planning a marketing campaign utilizing RSS delivery of newsletters and updates over email, you had better get started understanding RSS and its eventual replacement of the traditional email list.
Critical mass tolerance of sp@m and giving out email addresses has been reached in all markets. Only in very tight niches in special circumstances where there is instant trust and credibility conveyed by a site will you find decent optín rates.
Everywhere else the optín rate for any kind of email notification list is at rock bottom. Add to that a dismal delivery ratio of emails due to overzealous, catch-all sp@m filters from the ISP to the user level, and the writing is on the wall: email is on its way out as a viable tool for a successful marketing campaign.
The change is happening now and it will be permanent. RSS will eclipse email lists and it will be the new defacto method of content syndication around the web by the end of 2006.
Tracking what your RSS subscribers clíck on and do through your RSS feeds is the problem many geeks are working on now. We will soon have more accurate and more in-depth tracking available through RSS sub - scription and syndication than we currently have with email marketing.
Once marketers feel comfortable that they haven't lost any tracking ability that we currently enjoy with email, the game will quickly accelerate into a whole new type of competition for eyeballs. Watch also for a whole slew of new marketing courses and materials that teach how to dominate a niche with RSS marketing rather than email marketing.
"Growing Your List" and "Syndicating Your Content" is going to be done by RSS more and more by regular website owners as this year progresses. That includes your competition! Vista will be a massive feed detector/reader available to all PC users very soon.
This means that you can have a feed on your site for visitors to subscribe to, or you can see for yoursëlf how many of your visitors choose to ignore your email subscription förm and your content because you are not Web 2.0 enough for them.
So, are you set to take advantage of RSS as the impending dominant tool in your marketing campaign? Jack Humphrey