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SEO Referrals – A New Way to Find SEO Jobs & Services

November 6th, 2009 · Press Release

I started a new website, SEO Referrals (http://www.seoreferrals.com). The thought behind it is to have a centralized and dedicated location for finding and posting search engine optimization jobs or projects.

The way it works is simple, if you have an SEO job to fill then you sign up for a employers account here then create a project for providers to bid upon. If you are looking for work then you browse SEO projects and sign up for an account here then place a bid on the SEO projects of interest.

It is the perfect solution to outsourcing your SEO services and finding the right freelance talent for the job. There is also a section of the website where you can place job ads when you are seeking in-house talent.

It is 100% free to post SEO projects, browse projects, and bid on projects. The only cost comes when accepting a provider or project. If you as the employer accept a provider then it will cost $1. As the provider it will cost $5 to accept a project. Just for signing up, I will add $5 to your account so sign up now!

Otherwise, you can always get a free quote for SEO services from me here!

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AntOnaf Offers Free SEO Keyword Research

November 4th, 2009 · AntOnaf, Press Release

SEO expert, Anthony Onaf (http://www.antonaf.com) is offering free keyword research to all website owners for a limited time. This is the perfect way for website owners to get a solid list of keywords which they should be targeting and using for website optimization. Included with every keyword report is a list of top ten keywords, estimated Google Adwords cost per click, estimated monthly Google search volume, estimated monthly traffic, and suggested daily budget for keyword targets.

In case you don’t know, keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO also known as search engine optimization. If someone does an online search for keywords related to your business then being listed on the first page for the search queried keywords is important. The only way to know if the keywords you are targeting is popular and a wise target is to perform keyword research.

When done right, targeting the correct keywords will drive mass amounts of traffic to your website pages. Each page of your website is an opportunity for keyword targeting. Targeting the wrong keywords will prove to be a waste of time, money, and effort.

Anthony Onaf analyzes website pages and provides a list of the top ten keywords which relate. Each keyword suggested by Anthony will be an opportunity for targeting and creating content pages. Do you know the top ten keywords to target in your industry? If not, then this is especially for you. To get your list of top ten keywords, simply contact Anthony Onaf via his contact form, mention you want keyword research performed for your website and he’ll respond with a list of keyword targets, http://www.antonaf.com/contact/

Ant Onaf Search Marketing & SEO is a Raleigh SEO company specializing in search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and pay per click management. Ant Onaf is dedicated to driving targeted traffic and increasing rank.

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How to Plan an SEO Budget for Your Company?

November 3rd, 2009 · Business, SEO

Some people who buy into an SEO solution for their website don’t have a minimum or maximum SEO budget. They just wing it! There is no SEO budget and no SEO plan. This is a common mistake.

Having an SEO budget (and plan) is essential. But the SEO plan can come from your outsourced SEO company. The problem with exploring SEO without a budget is most search companies have different ways of pricing and prices can differ greatly depending on the company. If you don’t have a SEO budget in mind then you can easily be thrown into a loop.

Knowing when to hire a full-time employee instead of a consultant can get tricky, but a good rule of thumb is to hire employees when the position directly relates to your core business and hire a consultant when you need assistance for something outside your direct business. An example would be a web design company would find great use in hiring a full time web designer, but a construction company may not have a need for a full-time web designer, therefore a consultant will be a better choice.

At current the normal going rates for SEO is (somewhat) as follows,

US/UK/CA SEO Consultant – $25-$200 per hour
Offshore SEO Consultant – $10-$50 per hour

Entry Level SEO Employee – $25K-$50K per year
Junior Level SEO Employee – $40K-$75K per year
Senior Level SEO Employee – $60K-$125K per year
Principal/Executive Level SEO Employee – $80K-$250K per year

Here’s some things to consider when creating a SEO budget for your company,

Hourly rate

It all starts with an hourly rate. Your company should decide on an hourly rate which is considered fair compensation. Choosing an independent consultant or outsourced company will usually cost more in terms of hourly rate compared to a full-time employee.

However, you should be aware that while hiring an employee is commonly cheaper in hourly cost, there are other miscellaneous costly expenses such as health insurance, 401K, personal days, vacation days, training, office space, work materials, and other expenses — therefore the cost between the two can even out when you factor in the whole picture. So when you budget an hourly rate for an employee versus a consultant make sure you include the miscellaneous items.

Goals & Objectives

Determine your goals and objectives. If you are looking for immediate results in terms of traffic and rankings then you more than likely need a paid search solution, such as Google Adwords management. Paid search can get your website to the top of the rankings literally overnight and drive mass amounts of traffic, however there is a cost association. If you are outsourcing then you’ll have to pay for the managed labor hours as well as pay the spend cost (ad budget) on the pay per click networks. So if your consultant tells you their hourly cost is $50 per hour, then you’ll have to pay for the hours spent managing the campaign at $50 per hour then you’ll have to pay for the amount of money being spent for advertising and promoting your website on Google Adwords and other paid search networks, such as $100 per day (or $3,000 per month).

If your goal is long term management then you should budget for the long term. If you only need a specific task completed, such as keyword research, competitor analysis, on page optimization, then this can be a short term project and your SEO budget should conform.

Amount of Hours

Determine the number of hours you’ll need to accomplish your goals so you can stay within your SEO budget range. In most cases a single SEO campaign will never need a full 40 hours of work each week, even though the more hours poured into the campaign then likely the more effort which leads to more rewards.

Whatever the case you will still have wait time which cannot be escaped, search engines must take notice to your website SEO efforts, evaluate your website, then rank your website — this process can take months of trust building. The point is no matter how fast you build your online presence you’ll still have to wait for search engines to play catch up, so there is no need to rush things.

Extract a number of hours you are willing to invest each week to employ an SEO employee or SEO consultant services. If you are unfamiliar with online marketing then you need to just jump in and go quote shopping. Find companies who are willing to give you a free detailed quote. Telling you at least what you need to get started with Phase I, how much it will cost, and how long it will take. Get quotes from several companies to compare and get an average starting point for your campaign.

Accountability

Determine what your SEO provider responsibilities. If you are paying your SEO to be accountable for your website leads and sales then make this known upfront and expect to budget for such responsibilities. If you are using the SEO to drive traffic then you should fairly compensate for traffic driven results. If your SEO provider is only responsible for consultation then likely you’ll pay an initial retainer fee then an hourly rate beyond anything consultation related.

When your company decides to outsource their SEO solution then you are expected to pay for time, effort, and strategy. A skilled consultant can cut the time it takes to rank and achieve online success in half the time if they have the right SEO budget.

AntOnaf.com is not responsible for changes made to the Web site by other parties that adversely affect the search engine rankings of the CLIENT’s Web site, i.e. web design changes which removes all search engine optimization tweaks and results in the loss of rankings.

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New: Create List with Twitter

October 30th, 2009 · Twitter

Twitter List - Create Your List NowTwitter has a new feature which allows you to create and organize lists. This is a neat feature because it allows you to easily manage your Twitter followers. Most people have several different interest and their followers are of particular interest, by creating lists you can now group your followers and map them to a particular interest.

This is a minor change, but very much welcomed. It is good to see Twitter is constantly improving day by day!

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Should Your Company Hire an SEO Consultant or Employee?

October 26th, 2009 · Business

There are some advantages to hiring an SEO consultant over an employee and vice versa. However, it can sometimes be a chore trying to decide whether you need a SEO consultant or employee to satisfy your search engine optimization needs.

If your company has never hired a SEO consultant then it’s possible you don’t know the benefits of hiring an SEO consultant. On the surface it may seem an SEO consultant cost more than an employee because an employee hourly rate is about $25 versus SEO consultants $75+ per hour rate, but in reality consultants are usually cheaper or the same in cost.

When you hire a SEO consultant you normally pay an hourly rate and that’s it (excluding taxes, retainer fees, etc.). Labor, materials, etc. are all wrapped in the rate or quote. However, when you hire an employee there are so many additional cost in addition to the salary/ hourly rate, for an employee you must pay for:

  • Health insurance
  • 401K
  • Personal days
  • Vacation days
  • Training
  • Stationary & Supplies
  • Office space
  • Materials (tools/applications)

So, if you think about hiring an employee you’ll have to pay a salary/hourly rate plus the above — in this frame of thinking a $75 per hour SEO consultant will cost much less than an SEO employee.

An employee is a part of your business and therefore you are fully responsible for the employee. A SEO consultant is not a representation or part of your business, it’s an outside vendor, providing services to your business. The employee relationship may be more difficult to terminate in terms of legalities, while the SEO consultant relationship can be terminated any time as long as it doesn’t violate contractual agreements, thus likely disarming any claims of disgruntled employees.

A SEO consultant is expected to complete the job without any guidance or training from you, they can complete the job in any fashion deemed responsible as long as it meets deadlines this includes the amount of hours spent on the project, the time which the project tasks are executed, and the location at which they complete the project. SEO Consultants can have multiple projects completely separate from your own, in most cases a SEO consultant will have multiple clients which deserve their attention. An employee is different in the fact they are given instructions to complete their work and are confined to company policies.

With that being the case it should help you decide when to hire an employee instead of a SEO consultant. If your company wants full control and plans to manage the project then hiring an employee is probably best, but if you are looking for someone to take the ball and run the project to full completion then hiring a consultant is your best bet!

Here are some other reasons why you might want to hire an SEO consultant,

  • if your business does not relate to SEO (most employees wear different hats in a company. The position you are hiring for should be scalable and inline with your business offerings so you can utilize the employee in other capacities instead of solely SEO duties. i.e. If you are a construction company then it’s likely you do not need a full-time SEO employee, in this case an SEO consultant would be best)
  • if the position does not require at least 120 hours per month then there is no need to hire a full-time SEO employee as they will likely not reach their hourly quota each week
  • if you are in need of seasoned professionals with experience and expert knowledge. Employees are likely not going to have the skills needed to improve your website rankings and traffic in a way that quantifies, if they are then they will likely cost more than the average. SEO Consultants are commonly masters of their domain and come to the table already skillful

There are reasons when you should hire an employee over SEO consultants, because employees of course bring their own value. Employees are much more manageable and can be an intricate part of your overall business. Employees can create documentation, procedures, instructions, and guidelines which can become company policy and passed along to new employees to continue being the lifeblood of your business.

Here are other reasons why you should consider hiring an employee,

  1. if the position is an essential part of your company or business offerings. If the SEO position plays an important role to gaining new business or sustaining existing business then it’s probably best to hire an employee for the SEO role
  2. if your company needs full control or project management capabilities. If you have construction company then it is pointless for you to understand every nook & cranny involved with SEO you just want to know that what you’ve paid for has been implemented, executed, and completed successfully — which you can get from detail reportings and analysis, but if you are an SEO or web company then it may be worth having full control.
  3. if your company has loads of internal work specific to SEO or web management. If your company has neglected their online presence for too long and now they are far behind, where they need new hosting, new web design, new applications designed, and new SEO marketing plan then hiring an employee may be worthwhile since it will be long term and an overload of work.

In some instances, even with construction companies there will be a strong need for an SEO employee. It might be the construction company is deciding to move forward with creating a social media network online in the construction niche or maybe they are implementing a forum board or blog on their own pages. In cases like these hiring a full time SEO will be a wise decision.

The information above will hopefully help you make the right decision when hiring an SEO consultant or employee. In many cases it’s just a reconditioning of the mind, because most traditional business thinkers are unable to conceptually understand the use for consultants — while they enjoy being in full control. But consultants can be used in a business wise way to save time and money for the company, in ways employees can’t.

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Why Do I Blog?

October 22nd, 2009 · Blogging

Why do I blog? Hmmm! Good question.

You would think its because it is something I love doing, but far from the truth. I don’t hate blogging, but I wouldn’t do it as much as I did if the reward from it wasn’t so huge. I blog because it is a means for me to make money — if not a immediate direct sale or lead, it pays off in the long run.

Blogging gives me my own voice in a little small corner of the web, so that is always a good reason to blog it out! But the rewards of networking, audience reach, search rankings, industry spotlight, and independent expression is far greater reasons to blog.

I run numerous other blogs for affiliate programs and I’ve seen great rewards time and time again through the efforts of blogging. Plus it is a cost-effective way to traffic, leads, and sales generation.

If you are not blogging then you are missing out on the world wide web experience. Blogs are free and easy so there is no reason not to have one. I’d recommend WordPress.com as the free blog host of choice (or WordPress.org if you want to download/install on your server).

Even if you don’t have much to say, just speak your mind. If you don’t speak English then write a blog in your native tongue, the worse thing is you will just get less traffic — but the reward is the traffic will be more targeted, because anyone reading your language is a potential sale! If you can’t write everyday then write every other day, every week, every other week, every month — just write when you can. The point is you should have a active blog no matter what! Even if it’s just a microblog, like Twitter.

Why do you blog?

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Yahoo and Microsoft – Deal of the Decade

October 21st, 2009 · Microsoft, Yahoo

Microhoo!  Microsoft Bing & Yahoo Search DealSo if you’ve been under a rock the last few months you might not of heard of the Yahoo and Microsoft deal — the one that went through. It goes like this, for the next 10 years Microsoft (Bing) will be the default search engine for Yahoo! — therefore Yahoo! will be dumping many of its search products. Microsoft will buy a 10 year license from Yahoo! to be Yahoo’s exclusive algorithmic search and paid search technology.

What Does This Mean for Your Bottomline

If you rely heavily on Yahoo search products for your business success then you will likely feel a heavy effect. Yahoo is said to be terminating their Paid Inclusion program, therefore you will have to shift gears at some point. If you do not use Yahoo search products then life will continue as normal for you.

Why Would Yahoo! Do Such a Deal

Here’s my thoughts and I am with Yahoo! on this one, I think the deal was very wise on their part. Yahoo and Microsoft both have been struggling with trying to topple Google search, neither have been able to accomplish this alone, so two heads is better than one.

However, with the deal Yahoo! has been able to cut costs by abandoning the burden of their ailing search product. The money they save from this deal can be poured into research and development for the next 10 years, making it a strong competitor within the next decade.

Microsoft nor Google has the luxuries Yahoo has right now. Both, Google and Microsoft must still pour billions of dollars into their search products every year, while Yahoo! gets to count that money while their engineers develop the most kick-ass search product for 2020!

Yahoo! is saving a lot of money with this deal — they may not have a search product on the backend but on the frontend Yahoo! users will not even notice — smart move! For the next 10 years they will still be highly visible competitor in the search industry.

What’s even more crazy, is Yahoo! still gets paid for search through revenue sharing — so in the process they save money and make more money — WOW! Not many companies can pull off such a smart deal.

Yahoo! has came out the clear winner in my opinion, but in reality if Yahoo! neglect to take advantage of this opportunity then in the next decade the can easily be the clear loser in this deal.

If Yahoo! get to work now, they will have no problem out doing their competition. Yahoo! is probably a great company to work with right now, since with all the money they are saving they’ll be able to afford the best!

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How Many Online Personalities Do You Own?

October 20th, 2009 · General

The fun part about being online is the various ways to make money and become someone else behind the screen. Most affiliate marketers who step outside of their niche markets are faced with an identity crisis when trying to break ground in a new market. For instance I have a presence in the Equestrian market, but I don’t (or didn’t) know anything about horses however its an untapped market with a fair amount of affiliate programs and now I have an active presence in the market. I had to create an online personality which fit that market.

When creating my online personalities I get a bit involved. Here is a common process I step through,

  1. Identify the target audience
  2. Identify and join popular niche communities
  3. Identify leaders in the field and username stalk
  4. Grab a photo from the public domain which compliments my target market (such as a guy standing next to a horse for the Equestrian market, because a photo of a hip hop black guy with cornrolls and a bandanna wouldn’t necessarily fit the Equestrian market — and vice versa a country-styled white guy doesn’t necessarily fit the hip hop space either. Not to say there could never be a Jay-Z of Equestruan games or Toby Keith of hip hop).
  5. Create full profiles with contact details (name, phone number, address, bio, and uploaded pic)
  6. Research the target market (commonly I do news searches and find the latest news in the niche market — this gives me something to share or talk about)
  7. Share useful content and media (non-affiliate materials), participate in discussions, join groups, and add friends

After doing the above for a couple of weeks I usually build a solid following. At this point I start to silently push my agenda. I would begin answering questions using affiliate links. I will convert or add affiliate links to my profile. However, the most important thing is that I never force my agenda. I always answer a question that is relevant to the link I’ll publish. If I have advice without a link to share then I still share advice and use a signature that includes a (masked, i.e. TinyURL) affiliate link. i.e.,

Comment….

Sincerely,
Anthony Onaf
http://tinyurl.com/yjlqqk7

The most important aspect of online personality building is you create a believable profile with a solid reputation. In the case you are outed as a phony in the industry then your own identity is protected and you can just repeat the steps above.

Sure people say this is an unethical way to make money online, but most people use multiple pseduyoms online for various reasons. No one is being hurt nor is anyone being taken advantage of, you simply building social links under a different profile. No foul, no harm!

My strategy is a little different than sock puppet marketing. Sock puppet marketing works in the same manner of creating profiles, but it is a little more underhanded and unethical. I wouldn’t practice it nor would I suggest it. Anyway, sock puppet marketing is the act of creating separate profiles which talk to each other. Such as, PROFILE1 creates a discussion post like “Hey where can I find the coolest new widget?” While PROFILE2 engages by replying to the question and pointing to your website or affiliate, such as “You can find the coolest new widget here, http://affiliateurl.com”. PROFILE1 and PROFILE2 are both the same person.

PROFILE2 makes the answer look more credible because it is intended to look as if it is coming from an independent party not the same person who posted the question. It’s very popular on sites like Yahoo! answers, the best answers is sometimes just self-promotion.

Some people will consider sock puppet marketing the same as creating identity profiles, but I disagree. Creating identity profiles is probably borderline, but sock puppet marketing is actually crossing the line and pure unethical. Most people have different pseudonyms online to serve their agenda.

Even Matt Cutts, the Google Web Spam engineer who advises against sock puppet marketing had created identity profiles to serve his own agenda. Though since that debacle it seems he may have had a change of heart.

Anyway, the takeaway from this is to not allow an identity crisis to keep you from tapping into a market. If building personalities is something you feel uncomfortable with or you think its unethical, then all I can say is don’t do it. But I will say this, I’ve seen a 200% increase in affiliate sales since I started creating niche profiles. No one has been harmed, hurt, or taken advantage of!

I have about 7 different personalities online. What about you?

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Google Says Spam Links are Okay

October 19th, 2009 · General

Finally, Google has put the myth to rest. So many people are concerned about their website links showing up on spam pages and thinking this can get their website banned or penalized.

I’ve explained in the past that links or content on external spammy websites will not get you banned. This is because Google understands you may not have control of external sources therefore penalizing a website due to external actions is unfair and a huge mistake.

I think Google experimented with penalizing websites due to external actions in 2004-2006, but realized it was an inappropriate tweak. What happens if your competitors wanted to take you down? All they would have to do is blast your link on thousands of spammy websites and your website is outta there! Nope, it doesn’t work like that (anymore)

Google is concerned about the things you have control of…YOUR WEBSITE. The domains which publish spammy links will be taken care of, but the links on that page itself will be free from harm, unless the link display an association with the spammy domain, such as a backlink on your website to the spam domain or your website is spammy itself.

It’s good to see Google finally has addressed this issue and debunked this myth,

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/10/dealing-with-low-quality-backlinks.html

I would never suggest that you allow your website to run wild with low-quality backlinks. If there is something you can do to avoid these links then you should do so, but if not then don’t worry about it. Google says the spammy domains will drop out of their link graph so they won’t even know your link is on the page because they will no longer crawl the domain or care about its presence.

Your website will not be penalized, but since the spammy domains are removed from Google’s link graph it is possible rankings for your website will be affected if a large percentage of your backlinks were obtained from spammy domains. With that said, I would caution that if most of your backlinks (let’s say 80%) are from spam domains then Google will surely take notice and flag your domain.

If you maintain a well balanced SEO marketing strategy then you should never need to worry about these type of issues. If you’ve been anal about your link building campaign, then maybe this post can now put you at ease.

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Is Google Penalizing for Non-Paid Links?

October 16th, 2009 · Google, Link Building

First time I’ve heard of a website being penalized for using non-paid links.

I think we all can agree that affiliate links are basically “PAID LINKS” and its understood that Google does not agree with paid links that pass link juice. Therefore, website who neglect to properly use the nofollow attribute may feel the wrath. However, JohnMu a Google employee chimed into this discussion where a guy lost rankings due to paid links and NON-PAID LINKS (I think), here is what JohnMu had to say, explaining to the guy why his website was dropped out of Google

I browsed your site’s reviews a bit and most of the links are either affiliate links or links to the companies without nofollow.

The latter is my concern “links to the companies without nofollow”. So basically, a non-paid link can get you penalized. Okay, let’s see . . .

This link http://www.companyname.com/

is the same as this link http://www.companyname.com/?=affiliate_code/

Any link to the domain has been poisoned because an affiliate link to that domain appears on the same page?

I am confused! Why would someone be in violation by linking to a company website even if they are not using the affiliate link or being paid for that link. Just because they have a private/public affiliation with the company they are in violation if they link directly to the company.

If this is how it is then I find that to be a bit much. If I publish a non-affiliate link to let’s say a company’s homepage and I am not being paid in any way for the published link then I should not be penalized or treated as a “paid link”.

Maybe its just best to nofollow all outgoing links — no matter fact, maybe its best just to give your website to Google and let them run it since they are the all mighty sayer in what everyone does on their own websites.

Anyway, this has yet to be claimed as factual, its just my interpretation of JohnMu’s comment, but I can be taking it way out of context — so I’d be inclined to say Google is not penalizing for non-paid links until I hear different or undergo my own lab testing!

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The Mind of an Online Purchase

October 16th, 2009 · General

Do you every ask yourself why are you here (online)? Why do you exist online? What is your purpose in online life?

Nah! Me neither, but…while we’re on the subject, let’s think about it!

There are those such as myself who can build websites (with readymade scripts), host websites, market websites, and manage websites. Some can do one or more of the four, that’s fine you can always hire help. I even need help from time to time. But, what about those who know nothing about any of the four and care less about it, i.e. “My wife” :-)

She’s not alone, there are millions more just like her. In fact there are more people who are not interested in the online marketing world than there are those who do care. With this notion, it becomes extremely easy to make money online.

Stop and pause! Wipe your mind clean and think like one of the web users who use the web daily, but don’t think anything about building websites, hosting websites, marketing websites, or managing websites. What is their purpose in online life?

These type of users make up the larger portion of the web. Thinking like them is essential. Many of these type of users surf the web daily. They make purchases online throughout the year, they buy online services, and they have a consistent online life. They care less about how SEO works or what it is, they are cold-hearted to others (people, websites, etc.) not in their online circle. When they find new websites it is usually a referral from a friend, email link, a web search, news/press release, or a link on a social community (forum, blog, article, network, etc.). They care less about websites beyond first page rankings. They even care less if your website is considered by search engines as a bad neighborhood. If your website can answer the question they are looking for then your website is golden.

When someone does a search online or steps outside of their comfort circle then they are usually seeking for something. This something can be anything — all you need to do is be one of the websites in the user forefront.

When someone makes a purchase online what is the common mental process after they know what they want to buy. Let’s take a walk into the mind of an online purchase. I have listed these in order of importance.

  1. Referrer (if someone came to your website via a random web link then no credibility is yet established, but if they arrive to your website from a friend recommendation then it’s credibility has been established)
  2. Usability (if the website is difficult to navigate then most visitors will back out, because most people are impatient since we live in the online world where everything happens faster. So, if they can’t get to your order page quickly and easily, then guess what?? Yup! You lost that sale. Even though GoDaddy is one of the most popular if not thee popular domain registars in the industry I know people who gave up because of their complex sign up process).
  3. Brand (if the website is well branded and/or known then it is a good sign and establishes trust right away)
  4. HTTPS shopping carts and order forms (if a website doesn’t use HTTPS in areas of the website where it request personal information then it’s hard to feel secure and trust information within the website)
  5. Design (it’s always good to have a nice design, but this rarely ever is a main factor for me unless the site is very poorly designed, has too many popups, flyin ads, or looks weary. I also never ever in my life purchased anything from sales pages — though I’ve heard good stories about them and ClickBank does pretty well — I haven’t mastered the affiliate sales pages thingy yet, ,maybe one day).
  6. I really should have “price” as number one, but in many cases you’ll find the same product at different websites for the same price or a few bucks difference which means I wouldn’t sacrifice saving a few extra dollars if all the above prerequisites weren’t met. I am usually cautious about websites that have deals where I can save a great deal of money compared to other websites. Unless the website is popular and branded I usually stay clear of the “too good to be true”.

The big takeaway should be to “build your reputation and brand” everything else will fall into place.

Determine your purpose in online life. Are you one of the money makers or are you just here letting online life pass you by? Leave your mark and build your reputation…

There’s nothing wrong with not being interested in making money online, but know your purpose online and be true to it! If you really want to dig deep into to the mind of an online purchase then step through your analytics logs and understand it.

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How to Become a Social Media Guru Overnight?

October 15th, 2009 · Social Media

This secret has never been revealed before. Everyone has tips about how to become popular on social media — they say write like this or do that! Follow this person or that person! Join this group or that group! Say this instead of that! Blah! blah! blah!

I have the ultimate secret to becoming popular and being a social media guru overnight!

Social Media Marketing Guru (twitter, facebook, myspace)

Just Be Yourself!

Stop trying to impress everyone, it’s not going to happen! Stop being scarred if you say the wrong thing then you are going to sully your brand — want to know something, no matter what you say, there is going to be someone who hates it and someone who loves it! And if no one likes what you are saying then you’re targeting the wrong market.

Social media is built off of being yourself. It’s is built from being social. Stop looking at it solely as a marketing tool and unloosen your tie. Meet folks, engage conversation, spark discussions, add meaningful content, etc.

How do you normally meet someone new offline?

  • Are you introduced? do you approach? are you approached? What are you engagement patterns?

When you meet someone new are you clammy or confident?

  • If you don’t know how to meet people then you need to practice — go to a local conference, make cold calls, go out to a bar/restaurant, etc. Just meet people.
  • If you are a confident individual then social media should come second nature to you. Just be yourself, you’ll do fine!

Can you make a friend out of anyone?

  • You know some people are just social beings! They simply can make a friend out of anyone, is that you? If yes, then what are you doing here, head on over to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, etc. Meet you some folk who think just like you.

    Some people are just friend makers, it happened to me last weekend. I was out in D.C. (at a bar) with my wife and brother-in-law, while we there enjoying ourselves this guy approached us in a friendly manner and just begun chatting with us! I was at first taken back, because I’m a cautious person and don’t normally do the stranger-friend thing! But this guy was really cool.

    It came down to he was musician trying to hustle his CD, but the weird thing — I liked him. You could tell he had a good heart with good intent. And when I declined buying the CD he wasn’t pushy or aggressive that was it! Never to be heard about the rest of the night — and we all just sat back, took some shots, and chatted it up for half the night.

    He told us some things about himself, we told him some things about us — nothing too personal, just conversational — like what city you from? How is it there? Talked about music, talked about D.C. back in 1997 (last time I was there). It was cool.

    It was one of those moments when we woke up the next morning we had wished we had got that guy phone number so we all can hang out again next time we in D.C.! Funny thing I found him and his music on MySpace — you know what, maybe I’ll buy his CD (online) — see how that works!

  • If you have a hard time making friends, then you’ll likely have a hard time being social online.

You naturally surf the web, so while surfing it may be important that you bookmark good content you come across. When you meet someone you don’t talk about yourself all the time (not all of us), you shouldn’t it’s not proper etiquette. So online you shouldn’t only publish your content, you share content from others as well.

Whatever, you do socially JUST BE YOURSELF!

or be the person you’re pretending to be if you are a affiliate marketer ;-)

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Yahoo! Ending its Paid Inclusion Program

October 15th, 2009 · Yahoo

Yahoo! announced they will shut down their paid inclusion program. With their recent deal with Microsoft this comes as no surprise and was anticipated, just a matter of when. Well, Yahoo! says December 31, 2009 will be the day they terminate the program.

What does this mean for your bottomline?

If you use Yahoo! search for your advertising needs, then this will likely affect you and could change your earnings if you rely on Yahoo search to earn money.

The decision to end the program so soon may have been made too quickly (but the whole Yahoo/MSN deal has been quick ticking, even though Microsoft has been courting Yahoo for years) and not well thought out, because certainly active members are not going to be happy. But, we live in an online world where most companies say screw the Internet marketers — but we keep the online world alive! It’s like the paparazzi — no one cares about the paparazzi when their career is doing well and will smack the camera out of paparazzi’s hands, but when their career takes a turn for the worse they love the paparazzi and want to be in every picture, they’ll even lend them a camera to snap pictures!

Anyway, most likely Yahoo! is set to discontinue Paid Inclusion and their Search Submit Pro services because of the Microsoft/Yahoo deal. If Microsoft is going to be the party delivering Yahoo’s search results then there is no need for Yahoo to maintain Paid Inclusion or Search Submit since they lose control. In retrospect, I’d expect that at some point Microsoft Ad Center would become the victor and you’ll be able to port your campaign from Yahoo to Microsoft — however, who knows if this will be an automated or manual process?

This is fairly breaking news, that has not been officially confirmed as yet. but as time nears I am sure we’ll be hearing more on this story!

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Are SEO Bullies Invading Your Space?

October 15th, 2009 · General

Do you have a website that just can’t rank? No matter what you do your website never makes it to the first page, lucky if you’re in the top 50 results. It’s not because you’re doing something wrong, but you are being forced out of top rankings because of SEO bullies.

SEO bullies are those who know search engine optimization much better than most others in their target market and therefore use this know-how to their advantage by keeping their competition at bay. The SEO bullies use microsites, doorway pages, press releases, member profiles, articles, etc. to secure the top results for their brand making it almost impossible for anyone else to grab top rankings.

Believe it or not, it’s extremely difficult to take control of the first 10 results, usually the niche has to have a small market and not highly competitive. It’s easy to move rankings out of the box if there are many veteran SEO targeting the same keyword, but for keywords only one or two SEO are targeting then it may be a case where someone is being bullied.

Just like in high school, the best way to deal with bullies is to fight back! Let them know you’re not scarred and you won’t be taken advantage of. The best way to fight back as an SEO is to learn what your competitor is doing and do it better! If their website is designed better, then make yours better. If their site is optimized better, then make yours better. If their link building strategy is better, then make yours better. Sometimes to make things better you have to hire some help, outsource some tasks, manage some projects, etc.

If you’re not prepared to fight back, then put your tail between your legs and run! The bully wins again!

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Confused About Google Search-Based Keyword Tool? Here’s Some Help!

October 14th, 2009 · Google

google-search-based-keyword-tool-001


Google’s search-based keyword tool
hasn’t lived up to its hype and seems others may be confused about it’s use. Google has added a HELP section on the sidebar of the tools homepage, including a help video.

This is an indication to me that most users are confused about its use and the concept of the tool. Google dives into an FAQ which answers questions about “how it works”.

Some of you are probably what the hec is Google search-based keyword tool. Well, its a tool that hit surface last year when Google announced the launch of its Search-Based Keyword Tool. Basically, it does a crawl of your web pages and give you keyword suggestions based off your website. I found that it works pretty well for niche based sites, but general communities are a bit difficult to give good keyword suggestions using those calculations.

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