August 15, 2013
Surveys have repeatedly shown that people’s number one fear is public speaking. It surpasses fear of death, which comes in at number two. Yet Internet marketers know that few things can do as much for your page rankings in the search engine results and your site’s overall traffic as a well-optimized YouTube video. Fortunately, there are ways to create videos even if you’re terrified of talking to the camera.
Have someone else speak
There’s no reason that your video has to feature you. Instead, you can interview one of your customers. Ask questions that draw your customer out regarding what was special about your product or service. Don’t worry about how your voice sounds or what people will think of you. You can edit out all of your questions in the final product, so it’s just a video of your customer. Another way of having someone else speak is to hire someone to be your company’s on-camera personality. Many major media advertisers have used this method over the years. Just be certain that whoever you hire is not also doing something that could detract from your brand.
Going one step beyond having another person’s face on camera, with voiceovers, there is no face. The video consists of slide shows or animations, and an unknown voice narrates it. You can script the narration for your video and hire someone on Fiverr, Odesk, or eLance to record the voiceover. If you are not comfortable editing the final footage of your video, you need to be sure their voiceover matches up exactly with what is being shown on the screen at any given moment. You can either provide the rough video for them to use as a basis of their narration, or you can give them a precise list of how many seconds they have to say each segment. If you are comfortable editing the final footage of your video, you can simply have them record their voiceover at their chosen pacing, then adjust the video so that the footage and voiceover match.
Have no voice whatsoever
If you have a compelling video, you do not need narration. This requires more up front work, because you need to make certain that the images and video clips you include will illustrate your points for you. You don’t want people to have to read two minutes of slides. Use animations and special effect image transitions to keep viewers’ attention. After all, the human eye is attracted by movement, so it’s important that your video keeps moving. Also, without a voice to focus on, the music that you select for the background accompaniment becomes much more important. Make sure that the music enhances rather than detracts from your video’s effect.
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image: Creative Commons by ServantOfChaos)
June 27, 2013
In order to get more traffic from Pinterest, you need to make it easy for Pinterest users to add links to your blog posts and other website content. Keep in mind that Pinterest is a visual platform, so you will need high quality graphics in order to attract the attention of Pinterest users.
An infographic can visually sum up many of the points in your article, blog post, or website content. That makes it perfect for sharing on Pinterest. See Six Tips To Create Infographics Worth Sharing for tips on creating excellent infographics. Rather than using a single large infographic for your entire post or website page, consider using multiple small infographics that have slightly different appeals. This increases the options available for someone to pin an infographic to their board with a link back to your content.
Use eye catching and appealing pictures
Even if your posts and other website content do not lend themselves to infographics, you can still attract the interest of Pinterest users by using eye catching and appealing pictures to illustrate the content. Your graphic images need to be at least 250 pixels by 250 pixels in order to be used on Pinterest. Do not use the same boring and overused stock photographs and graphic illustrations as every other Internet marketer in your industry. Create new artwork by combining elements, changing colours, adding text, or focusing on one small part of a larger picture.
Avoid formats that cannot be pinned
Make it easy to pin pictures
If you leave it up to your visitors to create pins to your pages, most of them will avoid having to do the extra work. On the other hand, if you have a simple button that will create the pin for them, many more will add a pin to your site to their board. Fortunately, there are tools that will automate the creation of pins for you, no matter what type of website you have. If you use a WordPress website, as many Internet marketers do, you can purchase a premium pin creation plugin called Pin It Button Pro. If you use an HTML website, or are comfortable making changes to your WordPress theme, you can use the Pinterest widget provided by Pinterest itself.
The Internet Marketing Academy
June 4, 2013
Determining your website’s unique selling proposition, sometimes called a USP, is one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure your Internet marketing success. If there is nothing to differential your business or your product from the sea of similar businesses and products out there, you will be reduced to competing on price and response time. The margins on that are extremely low, and you can be undercut. The unique selling proposition helps you to compete using a different criteria, one on which your competitors are unable or unwilling to compete.
Choose a game you can win
Take a look at ads for service businesses, and notice how many of them say the identical thing. They’re reliable. They respond quickly. They’ve been in business long enough to know what they’re doing. A service professional would need to be exemplary to surpass the other service professionals in just one of those categories. On the other hand, consider the service professionals whose van proclaims that they are friendlier than any others. As proof, if you wave at them on the road and they don’t wave back, the company promises to pay you for reporting this lack of friendliness. Their friendliness is their unique selling proposition, and will guide everything about how the company does business. It’s a game they can win, because no one else – or very few other companies – is competing for the title of friendliest service professional.
Seek out synergy
An excellent place to find a unique selling proposition for a website is by investigating synergy, or the property that two things combined can be far more powerful than those two things alone. Of course, they need to be the right two things. Rather than selling pet supplies to all pet owners, or even all dog owners, you can be the website that caters to dog owners who are frequent business travellers. Not only will you sell dog supplies, you will sell trip planning to locations that allow you to bring your dog, provide a rating service for dog sitters and dog boarding facilities, and blog about dog toys that you can buy while travelling and how to alleviate your dog’s distress while you are gone. By combining two different things that work together, you create a website that is more powerful than a website that did only one thing.
Narrow is better than broad
Finding the right USP may require moving from a broad market, such as all dog owners, to a more tightly focused market. However, if your market is narrow enough, you can provide products and services that will all appeal to that market, rather than needing a broad array of products and services, each of which will appeal to some portion of your market. You may discover a market that has never been served before, resulting in legions of fans eager to give you their business. Make sure that you do not narrow your focus so tightly that there is no one left in your market.
The Internet Marketing Academy
April 2, 2013
Obviously, the most important thing you need to increase traffic to your website is fresh, valuable content posted regularly. The following techniques will help you to maximise visitors to your new content, as well as attracting new visitors to your older content.
1. Choose the right keywords
It is easiest to rank your content for long-tail phrases that are not as competitive. These phrases tend to be between 5 and 7 words in length. You should also include some of the other more competitive keywords that you want your site in general to rank for.
2. Use videos
Put videos on your website, as an option on your homepage or as a video landing page. Funny or informative videos get the most views, so tutorials or reviews are natural choices for video content. Upload videos to YouTube, Vimeo, and other video collections, with links in the description that direct video traffic back to your website.
3. Use social media
When you add new content to your website, create links to it from all of your social media properties. Tweet about it, link to it from a Facebook post, and pin a link to it on your Pinterest board.
4. Answer questions
If your content answers a specific question, such as how to do something, search for places where that question has been asked in forums, hubpages, or other online gathering places. Give a high-level answer to the question in a comment, with a link to the page for more information.
5. Offer something for free
You can offer discounts on your products with sales or coupons, give away something in a contest, or offer free downloads of ebooks, white papers, special reports, apps, or software.
6. Use an RSS feed
Most blogs automatically create RSS feeds. However you can also create feeds for website updates and other posts. By including your feed in an aggregator, such as infogroup.com, databyacxiom.com, or localeze.com, you increase both the number of people who see your new content and the rapidity with which search engines find your new content.
7. Get customer reviews
Have your customers give you positive reviews on review sites for both your local area and your industry.
8. Track your analytics
Discover which sites are generating the most referrals, and approach them about creating guest blogs or shared content. Determine which content is getting the most views and create more along those lines.
9. Use a profile signature
Make sure that your profile signature links back to your website, and use that profile signature when posting comments to blogs, LinkedIn groups, forums, or book reviews.
10. Tell the search engines
Let the search engines know when your content is updated by refreshing and reposting your xml sitemap, and pinging the fresh content. Useful ping sites include mass-ping, pingler, and pingomatic.
The Internet Marketing Academy
November 8, 2012
In the pre-Penguin days of Internet marketing, one of the favourite means of generating backlinks to your website was through online article sharing. You could create a hotlink from the text of your article every time your keyword was mentioned, and, of course, it would be mentioned a lot. You could also create links from the resource box attached to the article which described who wrote it, and where the reader could find more of their work.
Internet marketers who were focused solely on the number of backlinks would spin an article so that it was nominally new, and submit it to hundreds of article repositories online. As a result, the search engines began looking more at what constituted “unique” information, as well as giving more credence to article repositories that had human editors vetting the quality of the article information.
Step 1: write a good article
The first step in generating backlinks from an article is to ensure that you write a high-quality, informative article that offers new and interesting information. Do not simply repeat or spin information you find elsewhere. If you are using information on your website as the basis for your article, ensure that you add additional new content to the article, and structure it in a different order from your website content.
Step 2: choose your anchor text
Do not make your primary keywords the only anchor text in your article. Choose words and phrases that are natural, rather than SEO optimised, since links that appear to be over-optimised will be penalised. Natural words and phrases include the name of a business, the URL of a website, and phrases such as “this site”, or “here”. You can also choose anchor text that is related to your keyword without being an exact match. For example, an article that directs people to a website that is optimised for the keyword “bridal gowns” might use anchor text such as “wedding gowns” or “bridal dresses”.
Step 3: submit to high quality article repositories
The whole purpose of getting backlinks requires that those links come from a site that the search engines value highly as a source of links. Otherwise, you’ll get penalised for associating with low-quality websites. The most highly valued article repository website is Squidoo, with an Alexa rank of 173 and a Google Page Rank of 7. Creating a Squidoo lens for your topic is easy to do. Following that, the next two article repositories with relatively similar authority are EzineArticles and HubPages. Both have Google Page Ranks of 6, and Alexa ranks of 357 and 406, respectively. The next tier of article repositories includes Go Articles and Suite 101, with Google Page Ranks of 6 and Alexa ranks between 3000 and 4000.
The Internet Marketing Academy
August 23, 2012
In the past, the general assumption was that the more backlinks you could buy, create, or generate to your website, the better. By using keywords as the anchor text for those backlinks, the website they linked to could rank higher for those keywords. Many Internet Marketers built the bulk of their marketing efforts on vast numbers of backlinks driving traffic to their website. After the Google Penguin update, that strategy not only ceased to be effective, it actively penalized the people who used it.
The idea behind the Penguin analysis of backlinks is that they fall into three general categories based on the type of anchor text. The first type of backlink is considered a brand link. These backlinks use the name of the company, the name of a product, or the URL of the company’s website as the anchor text of the link. The second type of backlink is considered a target link. These backlinks use targeted keywords as the anchor text of the link. The third type of backlink is considered a generic link. These links use generic words and phrases as the anchor text, such as “click here”, “here”, “this”, or “cool website”.
The Google Penguin algorithm looks at all of the backlinks to your website, and considers the ratio of types of anchor text used in all of them. Google decided that if a high percentage of backlinks were targeted backlinks, they were probably the result of marketing efforts by site owner, either organically as a result of press releases and articles, or through purchase of backlinks. On the other hand, if a high percentage of backlinks were brand or generic backlinks, then they were probably the result of other people finding the information on that site useful and linking to it.
With the Google Penguin update, those websites that were deemed to have too high a percentage of targeted backlinks were de-indexed, and removed from Google’s search results. This was a huge impact on online businesses, but it also impacted offline businesses with an online presence. To determine how close your website is to the danger point, for each page on your website obtain a list of backlinks using your favourite backlink tool, and sort the anchor text of those links into brand, target, and generic categories.
To keep your website from running afoul of the Penguin algorithm in the future, it is generally safe to have less than 1/3 of all links be targeted links, with about 40% of links generic links. The remainder should be brand links. For example, if you are sending out a press release with 5 links, make only 1 of the links a targeted link, 1 of the links can list your company name, 1 of the links can list your company URL, and 2 of the links should be generic. If you had only 3 links in your press release, you’d make 1 a targeted link, 1 a brand link, and 1 a generic link.
The Internet Marketing Academy
March 13, 2012
The key to the success of any business is customer traffic. On the internet, that means driving readers and users to your website, and then hopefully interesting them enough so that they stay and possibly even make a purchase.
However, the whole process begins with traffic, and where you are driving your traffic from. After all, if you aren’t sending quality visitors to your site, then you’re just wasting your time. Read on for three of my favourite places from which to draw immediate, high-quality traffic.
Forums and Message Boards
Forums are far from being the “cool new thing,” in a large part because they’ve basically been around since the beginning of the internet. Hence, they’re often forgotten or overlooked when considering ways to drive traffic to your site.
However, a lot of people still use forums and message boards every day. Perhaps even more significantly, when a user is on a message board, they are typically looking for an answer to some question or problem that they have. Which means that if you’re posting answers in the right places, you are going to be attracting users who are not just passively browsing your site out of boredom, but actively searching for a solution, which very well may be your product.
Engagement with blogs is an absolutely crucial way to drive inbound links to your site. Follow the blogs of thought leaders within your industry, and read them regularly. When you see a relevant article, make a comment, and include a link to your site if your think it warranted.
For instance, if you’re reading an article about how to drive more traffic to your site, and you just recently wrote an article about high quality places from which you can draw traffic, you might want to think about making an intelligent and thoughtful comment, and leaving a link to your article. There’s a fine line to walk here between adding value and spamming. How the link is construed depends upon your relationship with the original poster, your place in the industry, the relevance of your comment, and the aptness of the link. You’ll have to be the judge.
(Image by A454)
Internet Marketing Academy
August 17, 2010
Most internet marketing strategies focus on getting pay-per-click, SEO, or joint venture traffic to your website. The only problem is these strategies either take time to implement or they require a lot of knowledge to execute properly.
This post will talk about 4 ways you can get traffic to your site today. When you implement the rather simple strategies I’m going to reveal in this blog post, you could get a ton of traffic today…not 3-4 months from now.
1) Post to a forum in your niche
If you’re in a large market, you can join a forum in that niche and start participating in the conversation.
The best part about this strategy is most forums allow you to create a 5-6 line “Signature File” where you can advertise whatever you want, as long as you abide by the forum’s rules.
So all you have to do is create a signature with link to your site a start participating in the discussions. And people will start going to your site as soon as you make your first post.
2) Join a traffic exchange
Now traffic exchange traffic is considered to be lower-quality traffic; however, if your offer is positioned correctly this can work wonders for your business.
It’s also a good listbuilding tool since you usually do not want to ask this type of traffic to buy something from you, just collect their name and email address so you can market to them again and again.
A good traffic exchanges to check out includes Traffic Swarm.
3) Post a comment on a blog
This is a really easy way to get traffic. There might be a delay since most blogs are moderated and it could take a couple hours for your comment to be seen.
However if you posted on an extremely popular blog, you could start getting traffic right away.
The trick is creating a meaningful comment. Don’t say, “this is a great post!” as your comment will probably be seen as spam. Make sure you give a well thought out reply and your comment could bring in a lot of traffic through people who click on your profile link.
4) Post to a social network such as Digg or Propeller
If your niche has a related social network, you can bookmark your site on that network and people could start coming to your site. You just have to make sure you’re not “spamming” the networks and make sure you also participate in the networks as well.
For example, if you have an article about how to boost the processing power of your computer, you would submit to Digg since they’re a tech-oriented social site.
These are several quick ways to get traffic that you can start right now. Plus anyone can do them, you just have to find an extra hour in your day to implement these strategies so you can start building your business.
Have at it!
Internet Marketing Academy