Category Archives: Marketing

General marketing comments, ideas, etc.

What’s The Deal With Landing Pages Anyway?

Talk to any on-line marketer for any length of time and they are sure to ask about your landing pages. If your reaction is “My landing what?” then it is time to learn something about your marketing. Not having the proper landing page will hold you back and cost you money. Take note.

Here’s Why You Need To Use Landing Pages

All the products that you want to sell online are ready. You have already signed up with the Google Adsense program or with other affiliate marketing programs and you have already prepared the ad you want to post on your affiliate’s site. Your mind is now set to being the next most successful online businessman. But is there anything else that you might have forgotten to prepare? Maybe none. But how about your landing pages? Are they all set for your business?

Landing pages are simply web pages where visitors are directed to whenever they click a result in a web search or whenever they click a web ad. For affiliate marketing, landing pages would refer to the web page where you, as a merchant, would want your potential customer to be directed after clicking your ad on your affiliate’s website. Landing pages are, at most times, nothing really different from other web pages in a particular website, especially if the said website is an e-commerce site. Some online businessmen would even use the homepage of their websites as the landing page for their ads. Are these businessmen making a big mistake? Or should you follow their method in creating landing pages for their ads?

Well, you can always follow what most online retailers do, directing their potential customers to the homepages of their websites. But if you want to achieve something more from your online business, and if you want to earn a lot of profits, you better create a special landing page for your web ads. Why? Here are a few reasons why you need to use landing pages for your web ads. And take note, it would do you a lot better if you create a great landing page than a so-so one.

Reason no. 1: It is the only way you earn conversions in an affiliate marketing program.

There are a variety of affiliate marketing programs today, but most of these programs let the merchant pay the affiliate in a pay per click basis. Basically, all you have to do is sign up with the program and submit your ad. The program owner would then distribute your ad to various affiliates who would then place your ad on their websites. Whenever your ad is clicked, a visitor would be directed to your landing page and you would have to pay the affiliate for his service.

As a merchant, you earn in an affiliate program through conversions—that is whenever a visitor that is directed to your site actually buys a product on your site. Without these conversions, you actually earn nothing from the program. Also, the more visitors that your affiliates have directed to your site, the larger would your expense be. And the only way that you can recover from these expenses is through conversions.

Now, you sure won’t get any conversion if you have posted an ad on your affiliate’s site without an actual landing page for the potential customer to be redirected into. It’s just like advertising a product without actually having a store to sell your product. Your advertisement may be enticing enough to encourage people to purchase a product, but without the landing page, how will they know how to purchase the product

It is therefore important to have landing pages for your ads because it is the only way for you to earn something in an affiliate program. Without landing pages, all you do is spend money paying your affiliates without actually getting anything in return.

Reason no. 2: Other web pages may just not be enough.

Many people make the mistake of making their website’s homepage as the landing page for their ads. The same is true for those who make use of other pages like a “contact us” page or a product page. Homepages are often designed to serve multiple users and contains a lot of links to other pages or to other websites. The same is with the other two pages mentioned. If you want to be successful in an affiliate program, we’re sure that you don’t want your landing page to cater to the needs of various people, most of which may not be really interested with your product.

When choosing a landing page, you must always have the customer directed into that page in mind. Therefore, your landing page must be relevant to the keywords and the contents you placed on your ad. It is also important that the landing page can induce your visitor to take action—that is to purchase your product or at least provide leads for potential customers.

Final Word

You probably entered into an affiliate marketing program with these things in mind: to save on advertising expenses and to gain more profit. But if you get into an affiliate marketing program without actually having a landing page, you’ll end up paying too much without getting anything in return. So if you still don’t have a landing page for your ads, you better start creating one now. And don’t get us wrong; it isn’t enough for you to have just a landing page—it should be a great landing page!

Google Penalties?

How to do seo for a website
How to do seo for a website (Photo credit: SEOPlanter)

You work hard on your website. You hire good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts. You write good content and are careful to make it organic. You know content is king and you do your best to make it so. You are ranking high for your key terms and words. Things are great. Sales are coming in and good traffic finding your website. All is good with the world.

One day visits to your site drop a bit. The next day, the visits are done more. Sales start to drop. The content must be getting stale you surmise, so you make more. You go about making back links to your site from others that make sense. You do more SEO. Surely this will help, it doesn’t. Your page ranking goes from the top of the first to last on the twentieth. Soon you are on the hundredth page. What is going on?

Google’s Changing Algorithms

Google does its best to make searching work for the general user. There are many spam sites out there that generate machine readable content, but to the human they make no sense. This only serves the marketer, not the genuine business owner. Your site doesn’t have this content non-sense, but it still drops. Why is Google penalizing your site?

Let’s take a look at a few things.

That Darned 404 Page

Are there pages that have changed or gone out of use? Are there still some links out there that are no longer valid? Do some searching and update them. If they cannot be updated, provide a redirect. What about internal links? Are they all valid? No, get them updated and corrected. Google will mark your site when there are dead links.

How Good Is Your Content?

Do you copy and paste your content? Perhaps change a few words here and there? Not good. Make your pages unique. Repeated content will get a bad mark.

Where did you get your content? Is it yours? If it belongs to someone else, did you pay for it? Not only is copy and pasting within your site bad, copying it from somewhere else is bad as well. It is one thing to hire a copywriter. It is purely another to steal it.

Keywords are a great way to give more meaning and value to your pages, but be careful. Stuffing words into tags can get a mark against you. Keep the keywords relevant to your actual content. One guideline is to use 160 characters in your page description. Don’t get all blabbery and write a book there.

What Of Those External Links?

Back links are not necessarily bad, but follow two ideals. First, make sure the sites relate clearly to your site and the content. Don’t just start stuffing links everywhere, make them count. Second, are these other sites in the same language or in the same country as yours? Unless you are posting in German, don’t visit German sites and plant links. Stick to the related and familiar. Otherwise, Google may smack your efforts.

Don’t Get Cute

Some people will buy links and believe this will help their ranks. In the old days, yes. Perhaps even now it may work for a short time, but Google does not like the practice as it is seen as gaming the system. Don’t fall for the slick ads and keep away from buying links.

Page content is only a part of the solution. How your pages are constructed also matters. Just as keyword stuffing is not good, neither is using the H1 tag too liberally, lots of anchor text, or hiding content or links. With each new generation, Google’s algorithm is trying to read content more like a human that a machine. This means your structure is being reviewed and graded. Think hiding content full of great keywords will help? Wrong! Don’t get cute with the content nor the structure. Make the page good for humans and stay away from phoney keyword tricks.

 The More Comments The Better, Correct?

Those who do not follow these guidelines will find your site and leave comments. These are spammers looking to push all manner of crappy products and sometimes they are pure scammers. Moderate your comments for these very occurrences and deny them. Have some there already? Mark these as spam and delete them. Sure, you do not control the comments people leave, but you can control whether or not these are published and seen by the search engines.

But, wait. Don’t I want the comments? Isn’t it great that people have found my site? Yes, it is nice they found you, but Google may hold their comments against you. Be the site moderator and let the comments help you, not harm.

Go Do It

There are other items too, such as sitemaps and slow loading times, but this is a good list to get started. Websites cannot just be built once and let be. Each week, there should be some updates to your site and they should be meaningful. Moderator your traffic and understand from where it comes. Put attention into those paths ways and look to find more link them. A little bit each week goes a long way to keeping your site ranked high. When your site drops, don’t panic and understand what is happening. Then take action to properly fix the bad marks and improve your rank.

 

When Will Google See Me?

English: a chart to describe the search engine...
English: a chart to describe the search engine market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing a blog is a good way to attract potential customers to your business, but there is an art to the science. The web is crawling with all manner of experts who claim they know how to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and that will rank you high on results for terms your potential customers use. Great. But they all claim it and they all can’t be correct. After all, how many different websites will be using the terms you want?

Do a keyword search using Google’s tool and you will see how popular certain search criteria are. Really think these experts will get you ranked high on those? They will say choose different ones that are not so competitive. If your are selling jackets and sweaters on your site, why would you want to rank high for terms like wool thread or outer clothing? The terms need to be relevant or it will nor work properly.

Regular readers of this blog will start to wonder if I’m repeating myself as there are several posts here lamenting the plights of SEO and the rip-off artists that prey upon those who have new domain registrations. True and this is not a repeat as much as it is a flow of consciousness rant. Google keeps changing their search engine rules and staying up to date on the latest techniques is exhausting. My blog doesn’t even rank highest for my name, Bryon Lape. Why is that?

A few weeks ago, I moved all the content for my blog to a domain that is my name. I’ve had bryonlape.com for quite some time, but I was using a permanent forward to the old domain. The content was exported and then imported to a newer WordPress server. Several of the posts have been pushed to Twitter and the old site has been redirecting to a BlueHost capture day for weeks.

And so what?

Searches for phrases from the old site reveal that Google has not yet followed the content. The results that are shown are still the old domain and must be fetched from Google’s cache to be viewed. I even searched for my name this domain was nearly at the bottom of the list. How is that? My name is in the title of this blog and in the domain. Surely that should rank higher. My nickname of Brainmuffin ranks worse with Google still believing I’m really wanting bran muffins. Arg!

I’ve had several nicknames over the years, with Brainmuffin being the most recent and given to me nearly 20 years ago. Two others of mine, Ropeman and Schnurmann, go back to high school nearly 30 years ago. Perhaps I should blog on their meaning and origins too and see if Google ever ranks them high enough to recognize.

There are times I truly do not understand Google’s algorithms and why pages rank as they do. Microsoft uses this lack of understanding on the part of users in their Bing ad campaigns. It is not too infrequently that Google will return a mismatch of pages and one has to use the phrase remove feature to remove them. Search for a business opportunity review and it gets worse.

This latter inquiry is not all the fault of Google though. Remember those SEO experts? Some of them have a service behind them that puts your content all over the web, with changes made here and there to make the search engines believe the content is different. It is this manner of inorganic content that Google is trying to combat with all their algorithm changes. Sometimes it works, other times it really hurts the small business website.

So, now here I am. I make new content and post in different places. I wait a day or two and search for terms in my content. Often the pages returned are irrelevant and the old site continues to be returned. I have moved. When will Google see me?

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Time For Moving

Time
Time (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn (back soon, sorry for not commenting))

Since the creation of this blog, it has been hosted at BlueHost. Fairly inexpensive, it was a good place to start. As there was originally an idea of trying to make money with the blog, a more marketing directed feel was used and a commercial package purchased. The domain for my name, Bryon Lape, was purchased later and was always intended to replace “The Road To The Future”.

The admins at BlueHost never seemed able to change the answering domain for my blog, so originally bryonlape.com was given a permanent forward via Go Daddy. That worked for the most part, but wasn’t what was wanted. Also, the other two domains for the site became old and useless, but try as I might, I couldn’t get rid of them.

Despite the advertised price, the cost for hosting at BlueHost ran more than $400 a year. This was ridiculous for a WordPress site that generated no income. Time to move on.

A few searches revealed several competitors. Also, it was learned that WordPress would export the content for importing into a new site. Excellent.

The new hosting service chosen was HostGator. Like Blue, they also allow for reselling of their hosting services. I’ll look into that later, perhaps. Now it is setup, update DNS for the domain with Go Daddy, wait a day for it to propagate (where is TTL these days???), connect with the WordPress backend and install plugins, and then upload the old content.

During the import, there were a few errors, but the content looks to be there. There may be a couple of files that will require moving later, not sure. The first blog post “When Not To Be In Business” is there with the date of April 29, 2011. Wow, three years I’ve been at this and still no one reads it.

Time to move forward. The old site will get retired soon. The old account deactivated. They should have done what I asked.

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Claiming My Name

English: "Golden girl" – Horses (unk...
English: “Golden girl” – Horses (unknown breed, Isabelle or Palomino coloured): Mare with a foal, somewhere in Surrey, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Formerly, I have written about Search Engine Optimization and how I was able to get the results from Google for a former classmate of mine, Edwina Marquand, to have my blog at the top of the list. That’s great if anyone should come looking for Edwina or want to know more about her love of horses, but what about my name? What happens when one enters Bryon Lape into Google?

For years, doing a personal search brought back the oddest of results. Often, Google would search for each term separately and the list contained links to everything but me. As the algorithm developed, old USENET postings came up first. Even as I started blogging, it took quite some time before Bryon Lape was me. What does it take to claim yourself?

Knowing how the various search engines optimize indexing plays a key role in getting Search Engine Optimization to work. At one time, deep linking was the way to go. The images. Video. Crosslinks. Deep crosslinks. Links with better titles and meta-data. On and on it went. The more recent algorithms started to look at text as a human reader. The days of producing what looks to a human like random text so the keywords, in this case Bryon Lape, turned up a pertain percentage of the time are quickly coming to an end. Marketers still find ways around it, but content, real, human readable content, is truly King.

So, what about Edwina Marquand? Well, she’s still out there somewhere. I’ve not spoken to her since near the end of the 7th grade at Hayfield Intermediate School (June 1981). I imagine she’s been married for 20 years or more, has several children and probably doesn’t full remember Bryon Lape from 6th and 7th grade. No matter. I will hold a memory in my mind and heart till I cannot and remember her stories of horses.

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Hit Capturing SEO

Serinda Swan as Zatanna Zatara on Smallville.
Serinda Swan as Zatanna Zatara on Smallville. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting the right Search Engine Optimization is crucial to any website. Have the wrong key words and your site will generate the wrong traffic. Content is king and SEO is how the people find the king. It is not something to get wrong.

I have long wondered if it is possible to use SEO as a method of subterfuge. That is, choose words that are not actually correct for a website, but pull in interesting traffic anyway. What to do though is the question.

I wrote an article about a date with Nikki Dial. The story was based on a long reoccurring dream. Perhaps more correctly as a day dream. I’ve held Nikki in high esteem for years. Did having Nikki Dial in the site content bring in more visitors? Yes, it did. As my site is not geared to making conversions to sales, it didn’t mean more money. It did mean, however, more spammers found the site and have left crap comments that do to bogus selling sites. Not really what was meant.

What about using other names? Perhaps an article about Serinda Swan? Write about her loveliness being in TRON: Legacy. The wonderfully tight outfit that showed her curves to every 12 year old boy living in us all. The eyes. Oh my, there is much there.

Not into movies? Serinda Swan recently posed for Maxim. The pictures are hot, of course, and Serinda looks marvelous in everyone. Makes for wanting her to pose in other, more revealing magazines.

Serinda Swan isn’t the only lovely lady one could use for some SEO. The overly boobed German model Jordan Carver is another. She augmented her 5’6″ frame with implants that give her 32HH breasts. Even without her surgery, Jordan is still very lovely and could easily make a post about her. That is, if you want a great deal of traffic from people looking for pictures of Jordan Carver nude.

Don’t like any of these names? It is easy to choose more. Keegan Connor Tracy played in Jake 2.0, Battlestar Galactica and Once Upon A Time. The lovely and cruel character Regina Mills as played by Lana Parrilla would make a good article. Her ass is enough to write about for days. A Lost fan? Emilie de Ravin was a lovely blonde on Lost and is now a lovely brunette on Once Upon A Time. There’s an interesting twist.

Search Engine Optimization is a sticky wicket. Finding the right mix is key. Finding the right mix is the hardest portion. Play with them all.

 

 

 

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Content Is King

Lifesize Religious King Statue with Spear
Lifesize Religious King Statue with Spear (Photo credit: epSos.de)

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there are two main ways to go: do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. The techniques used by either path are the same, though the professional may have access to more tools and options. Create content all over the Internet that points back to your site. Use the proper keywords the right number of times and SEO will be yours. Spam them too much and Google will ignore you.

Many people go at the keywords with reckless abandon. They use Google’s Adword Keyword tool and make list and after list of good keywords. They do all the can to work these keys words into articles to make them look like Search Engine Optimization wizards. They create content that seems odd and fantastic. They forget a key element.

Content is King.

In the early days of Internet marketing, it was easy. Find several blog sites and copy the same article to them all. Perhaps change a few words here or there, but that was about it. Post the article and let the search engines find them. Leads poured into business opportunities and people made money. People also complained and Google struck back: the infamous Google slap! Leads dried up overnight. Adword accounts were closed. The money makers had to find a new way.

The content makers realized they needed to create a few different versions of the same article. Someone figured out to use a formula to the paragraphs of the article and them made a routine to randomly swap them out. Those posted all over the Internet lead to hit rates climbing again. Come across one of the pages though and they were not humanly readable.

Google got smarter. Along came Panda.

More and more, the search engines look at context, as well as, the content. Does the content flow? Is it human readable? Is it duplicated? Is it just greeking? With each update, both Google and Bing learn the context. Along cam mobile and raised the bar again. Google search on an iPhone is not only optimized for text, it is also optimized for time and place. Google knows where you are and what the time is. In the same spot it may return different first pages depending on if it is 10am or 6pm. Your content needs to reflect such changes.

Content, after all, is King.

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Conference In Phoenix

Customers are Ignoring You
Customers are Ignoring You (Photo credit: ronploof)

Last week I attended the AAA Marketing/IT conference. It is an annual conference to cover ideas and trends going on in the world of marketing and information technology. This year, the conference was held outside of Phoenix near Chandler. The Wild Horse Resort held host.

The last conference was held 18 months ago in Boca Raton, Florida. The main message then was social, social, social. Twitter and Facebook  were becoming good and powerful tools by which to push marketing messages. They are new ways to reach current customers and a new audience. For technologists, the social sites can be a headache with their increase in network traffic. Nearly every workshop was related to using social, leveraging social, accessing social and using social.

Time frames on the Internet move quickly. The short 18 months between conferences have lead to the latest trend: mobile. The discussion of mobile in all its facets was the main idea of the conference, repeated over and over. Experts from Google spoke on using mobile to reach the younger customers and the importance of knowing what kind of device is being used to access your website and what time of day it is. Adaptive design is a must on your website. If customers have a bad mobile experience on your site, it is very difficult to get them back.

The use of a mobile application is another way to access the customer. It must allow the user to be flexible and use it in ways intuitive to them. Make the customer work too much on using your mobile application and they will remove it. It too needs to take location and time of day into account. It must adapt. It must keep their attention.

The age of mobile is here. Smartphone sales have outpaced desktop computers for the last few years. This year, the number of smartphones on the Internet will be greater than number of desktop computers. More and more of your customers will access your web site from mobile devices of various types: phones, tablets and phonelets. They come in different sizes and every user on them expects to use your site within the proper context of their device.

Get mobilized or get left behind.

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It is time for 2013…More sharing…More Awakening…

Happy New Year 2013
Happy New Year 2013 (Photo credit: Mark Kens)

The year that was, 2012, has left me changed in more ways than I ever would have believed. I have shared of myself on this blog and on my YouTube channel in ways that I never imaged and the response has been incredible. From the questions and comments that people have been sending me, it looks like 2013 will deliver new avenues to explore and share.

I am looking forward to writing and creating videos sharing more of myself and my world. I do have requests to explore more of my INTJ-ness and what it was like growing up with that personality. Some of you want to know what it is like have Fi as a tertiary function and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Writing of the YouTube channel, I have found several videos that I shot near the end of 2011 that I neglected to publish. Many of them are about marketing: what it is, how to do it and why. These are quite informative and need to be shared. These videos were created in response to questions and answers are overdue.

Yes, 2013 does hold some scariness. The United States Congress seems hell bent on never producing no budget and Obama continues to show he has no leadership skills. Too many Americans are voting for free stuff, with no regard from where the money will come to give out so much crap. America is heading to the same place as Greece, if they do not wake up.

David Icke continues to make more sense with his presentations and connecting events. The overlords of the masses are very scared of him. More and more people are waking up, though far too many are asleep. The year 2013 is shaping to be a pivotal year. So much momentum was cared into 2012 it looked to be a breakout year. Alas, the Republican leadership scammed Romney upon the people and the overlords were able to get their fraud in-line for Obama’s re-election. None of the fraud will be investigated and no one will do jail time for breaking various election laws. Their fraud actions show how scared they are of the people. After all, the people cannot be trusted to elect the correct leaders.

So, here we come, 2013. Are you ready for us? This year, more people will wake up. More people will take control of their destiny and refuse to rely on the Government for their livelihood. More people will start a business and more people will find Freedom. And above all, more people learn the meaning of Liberty and how it was stolen from them. They will demand it back.

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The iPhone Sucks

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

The iPhone was a great revolution. It not only had a touch screen and allowed applications, but it also had a real Safari browser. The fanboys went nuts! Safari on a phone! A phone based on OS X! Awesome!

The applause started to die down once people tried to use websites with the browser on the iPhone. It was annoying. The users had to pinch and scroll to see the images and click the links. Website were getting wider as the screens people used were becoming higher resolution. The real estate was vast and designers used every inch. The user experience with the smart phones sucked. That meant stores were losing customers; losing money.

Along came the web based application. It held the data it required local and talked to the store’s server via web services. Now the application could be native and so could the user experience. A customer can download the application from the App Store for free, use it to determine their purchase and send the order to the server securely.

The restaurant chain Chipotle has a great website. Visitors can get food information and create an order. Trying to use it on an iPhone is terrible, but they have an app in the App Store. Once downloaded, customers see a similar experience as the website, but one tailored to the iPhone. Android users also have an application made for their phone. Once the order has been created, the customer can pay for it and send it to a local store based on their location. Makes it very easy for the customer and that means more sales.

Other companies also have their own applications. ProFlowers and 1800Flowers are among them. What about your site? Getting your site mobile ready is easier than you think. Visit and order today.

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