Thanks to Charles of Bizpitch who left a comment on my article How blogs can make money. Bizpitch has an interesting link to a thought-provoking article by Eric Wolfram, Score Higher in Google Search Engine. There are quite a few interesting points he raises, especially the use of hypertext links for navigation buttons and the use of keywords in your hypertext links, instead of words like "click here" (oops! - blatant self-promotion).
Many of the articles in this blog deal with optimizing websites for the search engines. One difficulty for those who don't have the html skills is that they have to rely on a third party - web developer, colleague, the kid next door - to carry out these changes. Macromedia's Contribute is an ideal tool to help you make these changes. It allows people to download their websites, with a user name and password, modify site content and update in an instant. The result is that you can change page titles, meta tags and body content as and when you require and you don't have to pay anyone for it. For more information, visit the Macromedia site.
Wow! Looking at Lori Richardson's weblog, Salesprocessdiva, I came across this link to the Marketing Sherpa website where you can download Marketing Wisdom 2004 - "99 best real-life stories and tips from marketing, advertising, and PR pros who reveal what they learned in 2003." Its a 49-page pdf document and is packed with great tips from real businesses with real marketing issues. A great read and what's more, it's free!
In a previous article I mentioned how important email signatures were as a means of driving traffic to your website. In this article I will explain how to go about setting one up. Let's take the following example:
Using Outlook Express this is the way that you go about it.
Email signatures are an incredibly powerful, yet under-utilised, tool for driving traffic to your website. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is what one looks like:
Email signatures are your way of signing off an email message and automatically appear when you hit the 'new' or 'create' message from programmes such as Outlook Express. Email signatures have the following benefits:
1. They are free
2. They are easy to set up
3. They can be modified to suit your audience
4. They can convey as much or as little information as you want
It is suprising how many companies fail to place even the most basic contact information at the end of their emails. Just think about these questions:
? Have you ever clicked on a web address in an email signature?
? Have you ever clicked on a promotional message from a client/potential client?
? Do you ever use emails to quickly identify someone's contact details - be it phone or email address?
Most people will answer 'YES' to the above and if you're not using email signatures, then you should look to start using them now.
I read an interesting news article today which said that Yahoo! may be about to drop Google as its supplier of search results and will look to Inktomi to fill the gap. One Internet pundit reckons that companies may see their search engine traffic drop by up to 50%. So now may be the time to look at investing in Inktomi's Search Submit inclusion programme.
The last article discussed ways of identifying websites that you could target for links. Here, we'll look at how to go about requesting links.
Step 1 – Try and identify either the ‘submit URL’ or ‘submit site’ button on these sites. If you have to submit to a category, take your time to find the most suitable category.
Step 2 – If there are no submission pages, locate the 'Contact Us' section or email button.
Step 3 – Craft an eMail to the site giving a brief overview of what your company does (to reinforce the fact that your site belongs in their directory); copy out the page description from your meta tags and make sure you include your URL (with http://).
Step 4 – Make a note of the URL on a spreadsheet and make sure that you go back to check if the link has been included.
Step 5 – Look at creating a links section on your site, possibly as a text link on the base of the web pages (hidden away), so that you can put all the reciprocal links directories may ask you to place on your site.
The first part of developing links identified a number of ways that you could generate links within your current circle, be they suppliers, business associations or chambers of commerce. The next phase is to look ‘outside the box’ and this will certainly include analysing links to competitor web sites.
Identifying your known/unknown competitors.
1. Make a list of the competitors you know of. To help jog your memory, you could look at Yellow pages, local business directories and other similar sites.