Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, October 23, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
CASE STUDY: Personable 'About Us' Page Lifts Ecommerce Conversions 30%
But, what if you lavished the creative marketing attention on your About Us page that you do for your top offerings and landing pages? Can an outstanding About Us page help an ecommerce site stand out in an ocean of competitors?
Oh, yes, it can:
Monday, June 12, 2006
SEO Copywriting, or to give it its full name, search engine optimization copywriting or search engine copywriting, is the technique of writing the viewable text on a web page in such a way that it reads well for the surfer, and also targets specific search terms. Its purpose is to rank highly in the search engines for the targeted search terms.
As well as the viewable text, SEO Copywriting usually optimizes other on-page elements for the targeted search terms. These include the Title, Description and Keywords tags, headings and alt text.
The idea behind SEO Copywriting is that search engines want genuine content pages and not additional pages (often called "doorway pages") that are created for the sole purpose of achieving high rankings. Therefore, the engines cannot possibly view SEO copywritten pages as undesirable, and the rankings they achieve tend to be as stable as those that are achieved by other search engine optimization techniques.
SEO Copywriting, also known as Writing for Search Engines, is a new kind of writing! There is another very similar discipline which is popularly called Writing for the Web. But, SEO copywriting has search engines as the primary target, instead of the actual reader.
It is safe to say that any action you take to enhance your search engine ranking at the detriment of the user is unethical SEO. So, if you write in a way that enhances your appeal to search engines, but makes your content less valuable but this is possible to have both! Good SEo Copywriting and voluble marketing content.
So, what is SEO copywriting again? Well, to begin with, learn that writing for the web is different from writing in print. On the web, you must use short content, bullet points, getting to the main theme right away... Additionally, SEO copywriting brings in the need to target keywords. Depending upon the content generation plans, you could target one or more keywords per page. Things are getting so competitive, that I prefer to target one keyword per page. But, there are many SEOs who are unable to justify the high cost of content generation and will prefer to optimize a page for more than one keyword.
Writing copy optimized for search engines can be tricky so let us do it. You want a website with enough of the right keywords to attract the search engines. But you don't want copy with so many keywords that it then sounds silly to the people who read it. Effective search engine copywriting is a delicate balance between satisfying your website's human visitors and the search engine spiders.A
Sunday, April 02, 2006
The Factors that Play a Role in Your Web Site's Ranking
By Courtney Heard (c) 2005
Have you ever had a proposal, estimate or quote for search
engine optimization work and wondered what goes into the
pricing? What makes one site need more work than another? Why
do some sites increase rankings faster than others? Why do
some sites get more traffic from their top page ranking than
There are so many aspects of a web site that can decrease or
boost your search engine rankings. Each web site is as unique
as DNA and as such, will react differently to different
What are these different factors that go into your web site's
ranking? Here is a list of the most important aspects:
1. The State of Your Site Prior to the Optimization - Your web
site can have many different attributes that contribute to its
ability to rank well or not so well. Your site's PageRank for
example, if your PR is a 0/10 or 1/10, it's going to take a lot
longer and a lot more work to get your site ranking well. If
your site is poorly designed, contains frames or is written
entirely in Flash, a lot of work will be required to redesign
your site so that it is search engine friendly. If your site has
very few incoming links, a fair amount of link development will
have to be done in order for you to see the rankings and traffic
you're after. A web site that has been around for a while and
developed its PageRank, has a search engine friendly design and
obtains links on a frequent basis, will be able to reach top
positions much faster than other sites, once an optimization
campaign is under way.
2. The Keywords You Are Targeting - Some keywords are less
competitive than others. If you search Google for a keyword or
keyword phrase, you'll see at the top of the results how many
web pages are listed in those results. That is the amount of web
sites that are competing with yours to reach top page placement
for that keyword or keyword phrase. For example, the keyword
phrase "web design" has approximately 303 million web pages
listed in the results, whereas if you search for my name in
quotations, "courtney heard", you will see that there are only
508 web pages listed in the results. It is therefore, much
easier to rank well for the keywords "courtney heard" than it is
for web design. This is why you must choose keywords wisely.
With tools such as wordtracker.com, you can find out
approximately how many searches are performed for a given
keyword or keyword phrase. The more competitive those keywords
are, the higher the cost will be to optimize your web site and
the longer the optimization will take.
3. The Size of Your Target Market - If your site is targeting a
global market, it will take a lot more effort to reach the top
ten search results than if your site is targeting a regional
market. It also depends on what sort of market you're targeting.
If your site sells a product that only a small group of people
will be interested in purchasing, your site will be optimized
easier than if the product or service appealed to the global
population. For instance, the keyword phrase "real estate" will
require a lot more effort to reach top page placement for than
"real estate canada" and even "real estate vancouver".
4. Competitor Sites' SEO Campaigns - You might find that once
your optimization campaign is under way, your site jumps and
slips and jumps and slips several times. This can be due to many
things, but the one we'll look at is your competitors' sites SEO
campaigns. If your competitors are aggressively optimizing their
own sites for search engines, they can also be achieving new
rankings and displacing your site. This brings us to our 5th and
5. Your Own SEO and Link Development Campaign - Your own link
development and SEO campaign should be thorough, covering all
the aspects of a well optimized site and utilising all your
resources for obtaining incoming links. If your SEO campaign
isn't approached properly, your competitors can surpass you in
the rankings easily. You must be aware of your competition and
adjust your efforts accordingly.
As you can see, there are many, many things that make your site
unique in the services it requires. Some sites can reach top
page placement by just changing a title tag, while others wait 6
months to even be listed on Google. The bottom line is, educate
yourself, ask questions, choose the right SEO company and be
patient. In time, your top page placement will come.
Courtney Heard is the founder of Abalone Designs
(http://www.abalone.ca), an Internet Marketing and SEO company
in Vancouver, Canada. She has been involved in web development
and marketing since 1995 and has helped start several businesses
since then in the Vancouver area. More of Courtney's articles
are available at Abalone's Resource Library
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Great article to purchase from one of my favorite sites, Marketing Sherpas.
The Maddening Truth Behind Click Fraud Numbers -- How Big is Fraud Really?
SUMMARY: MarketingSherpa's research department hates click fraud even more than most people. Why? Because the numbers are shrouded in clouds of mystery and hype.
Now that Google's agreed to a $90 million settlement, what does that mean about the size of the fraud universe? Find out in this update from our Research Director Stefan Tornquist:
By MarketingSherpa Research Director Stefan Tornquist
For the last 18 months, click fraud has been in the spotlight, but not under the microscope. For all the hype, we’ve seen little in the way of hard numbers. And as you'll see below, MarketingSherpa's own surveys showed marketers themselves weren't terribly concerned about fraud. "It may happen to some people, but not to us," sums up most marketers’ attitudes.
Then last week Google announced they were paying advertisers $90 million to compensate for click fraud … and hype promptly hit a high water mark.
However, we wondered, what's the real data on fraud? ... click here to buy the ariticle.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Your domain name is the .com, .net, .org or some other dot
something that people use to get to your web site.
Affiliateblog.com is mine.
A group of investors headed by Jake Weinbaum (the guy behind
Disney's go.com) paid $7.5 million for the name Business.com
back in 1999, aiming to make it a showcase B2B site. According
to their own press they have succeeded. Yes, it's a terrific
name - short, sort of descriptive and easy to remember. There's
some cachet there, but is it $7.5 million worth? That cash could
have bought a lot of promotion or branding for whatever name
they could have had for ten bucks, or a hundred, or two hundred
Each year for 15 years The first $500K in profit goes toward
amortizing the cost of that domain name. That could also pay
for a terrific affiliate program, a truckload of banner and PPC
advertising, and a nice BMW lease for Mr. Weinbaum (who probably
doesn't need a BMW).
But the Business.com thing has set off a wave of domain name
speculation that staggers the mind. People are snapping up
domain names and ransoming them off to wide-eyed entrepreneurs
with business plans and dreams of riches. Being a hardcore
capitalist I am torn about domain name speculation - I am
tempted to applaud the person making a buck by getting there
first and grabbing up the good names, but I am annoyed at the
restraint of commerce that takes place while someone negotiates
with one of these guys to get the right name.
So if I look at the top 50 websites on Alexa, most of them
should be easy to remember names, right? Wrong. I would argue
that only one, match.com, is an easy-to-remember name that
describes what the site is about.
I keep hearing that the reason these so-called generic or
descriptive domain names are so valuable is that some people
just type domain names into the address bar of their browser
rather than using a search engine. This fact seems to be
intuitively false. I find it hard to believe that someone
looking for information on a particular business would type in
www.business.com. Furthermore, if I look at the top 50 websites
on Alexa only one, match.com, is an easy-to-remember name that
describes what the site is about.
I wondered how many people actually type in their address bar
(address bar?) instead of using a search engine anyway. I
didn't find the answer, but Jupiter Media tells me that 64% of
people looking for something use a search engine.
That means that 36% of people use something other than a search
engine. What makes me believe that people typing stuff into
their address bar doesn't happen much is this simple fact...of
the people using search engines last November, 43% searched for
common websites like Ebay. In other words, instead of typing in
http://www.ebay.com, people Googled Ebay and clicked on one of
the results. That is absolutely hysterical. And totally
What do all these facts mean? They mean that as far as getting
the person there the first time, everyone starts off on the
same square. If your domain name can get the minority of people
who just type into their address bar to your website without a
search engine, it's worth more than someone who can't.
Here are some of the legendary domain name sales in the past
several years, according to Zetetic:
$12,000,000 - 2006 - sex.com
$7,500,000 - 1999 - business.com
$5,500,000 - 2003 - casino.com
$5,000,000 - 2002 - asseenontv.com
$5,000,000 - 1999 - korea.com
$3,500,000 - 1996 - worldwideweb.com
$3,350,000 - 1999 - altavista.com
$3,300,000 - 1999 - wine.com
$3,000,000 - 1999 - eshow.com
$3,000,000 - 1999 - loans.com
$2,750,000 - 2004 - creditcards.com
All of these with the exception of eshow.com (computer
networking) should get address bar traffic, because people who
type will type in the descriptive names - if I'm looking for
sex-related stuff, I'll type in sex.com. Where my mind gets
boggled is in ROI. If you're selling something on
asseenontv.com that nets you $25, you'll need to sell 200,000
of those George Foreman grills just to pay for your domain
It also dawned on me that if you pay $12,000,000 for sex.com,
the free publicity generated is probably also worth millions.
So now everyone gets dollar signs in their eyes and thinks they
can make a million with their domain name. Here are some
examples of asking prices from Ebay:
6usiness.com (yes, that's a 6) - $7,000,000
ajobformom.com - $3,500,000
Exbay.com - $1,000,000
What does this mean for you? Well, there's some good news and
some bad news. Remember back a few paragraphs when I said that
everyone starts on the same square? That's really the good
news. You can choose a pretty good domain name, put together
some terrific content, employ some simple Search Engine
Optimization and buy some keywords or exchange some links and
you have a pretty good chance of getting people to your site
the first time. Since most of them are coming via a search
engine they're not going to notice your domain name until they
get there anyway, so your domain name means the same thing
(nothing) to the majority of people using the search engine.
One last thing: if you're hoping to be close to the top in the
search results (the so-called organic SEO), having your
keywords in the name of your website gives you a huge boost.
For example, if you're looking for affiliate blog, we will be
in the top five search results. In this case, Google ignores
TLD unless you tell it otherwise. Affiliateblog.info will come
up before us because their pagerank is higher (that's a
discussion for another day). So if you think getting near the
top of the organic search results is more important than having
someone type your name directly into the address bar (and you
very well could be right), then grab yourkeyword.cc or
yourkeyword.to. I've done it, and I've suggested it to others.
Once the user comes to your site the name just needs to be
memorable enough so they type it in to get there the next time.
Or they may forget and Google you again. I do it every day. No
matter how great your name is, if the content is lousy they
won't come back anyway.
So should you buy a domain name? I don't know - I bought this
one. And I made honorable mention in the Domain Name News for
the price I paid ($2500). I bought the name because I liked it,
I liked the number of incoming links to it, and I felt
comfortable paying for it. I've never paid more than a couple
hundred dollars for a domain otherwise, and I have more than
200 of them. My favorite by far is Blozzo.com, which I just
bought for $25. I have a pretty terrific idea in mind for
I would try to come up with my own name before I bought someone
else's. Here are some tips:
1. Try to go with a .com. It's the name everyone associates
with the Internet. Any other Top Level Domain (TLD) like .org
or .net is just going to confuse people, unless it sounds
better than the .com. For example, if you are about networking
or a network, a .net is more natural. If your site is
informational, you should use .info if it sounds okay. One of
my favorite $10 domains is seosecrets.info. I think it sounds
good. Hands down the most ingenious use of a TLD is
del.icio.us, the social bookmarking site. The use of the .us
TLD is absolutely brilliant.
2. Leave out the dashes and meaningless numbers. If it's a
choice between this-domain.com, thisdomain123.com and
thisdomain.net, take the .net. No one remembers to put the
dashes or the numbers in, unless they are an integral part of
the name like studio54.com or e-books.com.
3. Use the fewest letters possible to describe what you do. I
own Purple Monkey Media Group. Purplemonkey.com would have been
perfect. It's taken, of course. Purplemonkeymedia.com was not. I
grabbed it. I could have taken purplemonkeymediagroup.com, but
it would have been too long. Remember, every additional letter
is a potential typing error.
4. If you have a domain name that needs to be reinforced, get a
good logo and sprinkle it liberally on your web site, along with
some slogan that will reinforce the name in people's minds. You
would be surprised at how inexpensive this can be.
5. If you can save a few bucks with your own domain name or by
buying a cheaper domain name, do it, and use the money to get
yourself placed higher in the search results or Adsense
6. If you can't come up with a descriptive domain name, go the
other way. Depending on your site's focus, pick a memorable
short name that will stick in people's minds, get a great logo
and include the name prominently in your advertising and
marketing. It's called branding, and it's tried and true.
7. Ask your wife, friend, boyfriend, husband, dog, lawyer,
associate, Mom, Dad, cousin, uncle, Police Chief, blog writer.
They're smarter than you anyway, and they are going to be the
one looking for the site, not you. Some of my best ideas have
come going to or from somewhere with my wife and just
Here's the bad news: it may take you a while to come up with
the right name. There's more good news though - in the real
world most domain names sell for $1,000 or less.
Can't get started? - Go to a site that sells domain names, and
put in a word that describes your business. See if the name is
taken (it probably will be). Open your word processor or go to
thesaurus.com and put the word in. Get a few more words. Check
those. If there's a .com available and it looks good, grab it.
If not, add the word site or blog or online to your word, and
see if that works. Don't wait. If you think it might be
useable, spend the $9.00. I came up with blogduck.com. I liked
it. I decided to think about it some more. Someone grabbed it
that afternoon. Just chisel loose the nine bucks (or less) and
buy the domain.
If you want something a little more sophisticated there are
several sites that are good for helping you come up with a
name, like DomainsBot (http://www.domainsbot.com) and
If you draw a blank, go over to Sedo (http://www.sedo.com) or
Afternic (http://www.afternic.com) and see what's for sale.
Search for a word that describes what you think people will
associate the name of your site with, and see what pops up.
That may give you some ideas.
These sites and more can be found in Tools section of
Domain Name Journal (http://www.dnjournal.com/) tracks domain
name sales. Going there is always fun.
Matt DeAngelis runs http://affiliateblog.com. Matt is the former
Chief Technology Officer of Modem Media, a pioneer in the
Internet ad space. As a foot soldier in the Internet revolution,
Matt devised the technology behind ad campaigns and online
presence for a good portion of the Fortune 100.
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