Internet Marketing Tips
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20 Jan 2009   08:56:34 am
Enabling people to Leave Feedback
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

I recently wrote about having your own social network and the benefits it can bring.

Most people I speak to feel as though this is out of their depth. (It isn't but they simply feel it is.)
So let's just look at a very trimmed down version of what I mean.

Here's the situation with most websites.
The site sells something and the site owner tells everyone how good their products and services are.
(Nothing wrong with that)

A few canny marketers even include some choice, specific testimonials.
That's always a good idea too.

But that's where it stops, which is a shame.

Think about the last time you a purchase. Let's say you were looking to book a holiday.

Did you just buy it or did you look around and see what other people were saying about the hotel or the resort or the airline or whatever?

It's one of the reasons sites like tripadvisor.com are so valuable.
It's why Ebay's feedback system is so valuable.
It's why Google invented the Page Rank System.(Inbound links are treated like 'votes')

Can people leave feedback on YOUR website? Can people see that their questions that they've posted have been answered and that you care about customer comments?

In my humble opinion, it's not simply the amount of good feedback that's important, it's vital that
you show people how you handle criticisms as well.

As an aside, psychologically speaking, people are a LOT more likely to return to a site that they have interacted with in some way.

How can you set this up?
Well, there's loads of feedback ratings and blogs and forums systems around, whether they hosted by you or indeed anyone else. Anyone who is an MKLINK Private Training Member for example has access to all these :-)

Loads of these scripts are free. Recently I've changed over to using the wordpress blog software and
it's got vast optional features & plug ins. (I need to invest a lot of time on mine because it's only recently been changed over but I know it's time well spent.)

Whichever system you use, enable people to leave their comments and suggestions on your website.

The search engines will love it as well. When your site has loads of good information that people can comment on, you will also get more inbound links from other people and then it snowballs...

Why not try my Private Member's Training System Free for a Month?
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/

'till Next Time,
Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
09 Dec 2008   09:17:07 am
Getting Traffic from Ebay's Classified Ads
List Your Business on Ebay Classified
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

Companies that Sell Services Can Now benefit from Ebay

A while back I gave some tips about selling your stuff on Ebay and indeed using Ebay to source common business products such as stationery and office machinery thus saving money.

But did you know that you can use Ebay to List your business services as well?

What I mean by this is that if you sell a service, such as if you're an accountant in Romford or a Yoga teacher in Brighton, then you can list your business on Ebay Classified Ads.

And the good news - it's (currently) free of charge!
Here's a helpful link http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/buy/buyer-ads.html

It's easy to set up your listing and you simply renew it each month.
(In some circumstances e.g. if you're selling cars then there is a small fee)

There's No Auction

With these classified ads, you simply list your products or services at the full price that you want to be paid. There's no bidding as such.

And for services, you can list your prices in various ways, either by the cost of a job or your hourly rate.

A lot of people list their services with a low introductory price to get more leads and make their money at the 'back end'.

Given that Ebay gets so much traffic and classified ads can appear when people are searching then it makes sense to list your services because there's no overhead - apart from an initial few minutes of your time listing your services.

Some people I've spoke to are doing very well with their Ebay Classified Ads it so I just thought I'd share this with you.

Want more information? Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/

'till Next Time,
Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
25 Nov 2008   11:15:01 am
Segmenting your website content
A Couple of Tips for SEO

Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ for more internet marketing tips

Separate your content

Having spoken to a few people recently specifically about SEO, I noticed that quite a few of them were making the same mistake - so I thought I'd share the right way of doing it with you.

If your read my last email about segregating your emails, you know it's important to target your emails to whichever demograph your aiming for. "One size fits all" doesn't usually do as well as targetted emails. And it's easy to do it with a decent autoresponder and a little thought.

But loads of people chuck up all their website content up in the same way - i.e. non segregated.

If you run a sports shop, you shouldn't have all your stuff on one page or in ill-defined categories.

You should sort your website into clearly defined sections - each with a logical hierarchy.
Each section should have text anchor links to sub sections within it.

So, let's say you run a sporting goods website.

You'd have your main navigation typically down the left hand side with all the types of sporting equipment that you sell.

Let's look at the fishing equipment section. This can be divided into sea fishing, coarse fishing and game fishing. The coarse fishing section can have a carp fishing section.

The carp fishing section can include carp rods, carp bait, carp hooks etc.

Now, you might be thinking this is onerous. Perhaps it is but look at it this way.

Let's say that someone is looking for a carp rod to buy their son. And there's two websites of similar age, content and Google Ranking.

One one site, the owner 'A' has simply creating a section called "Fishing Rods" and within this section he has boat fishing rods, sea rods, pike rods, roach poles - you name it. The RELEVANCE for the key phrase carp rods is DILUTED.

Now, let's look at person 'B'. His carp rods are in the 'Carp Rods' section above as described, within the carp fishing section, within the coarse section. All the section contains is information about carp rods. Beautiful!

As far as Goggle is concerned, it has a higher relevancy and so will (hopefully!) get better rankings.

Not only that, someone interested in carp rods doesn't necessarily want to see a confusing page all about other types of fishing rods - so the conversion rate for website owner 'B' will be better as well.

Another thing to remember is that it's important to make the effort to optimise each page, section and each subsequent sub section individually, in terms of what that section is about.

That of course means page names, titles, meta tags - the whole lot. It's so lazy and a wasted opportunity to simply have the exact same meta-tags etc on each page within a section.

Some people have the same page titles and tags all throughout the site - criminal!

So remember - Divide(properly) and rule!

Reminder - your Last Chance Re Tomorrow(Wednesday 26t at 3pm)
"How to Double Your Business over Christmas"

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ today and register for a month's trial.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
11 Nov 2008   08:48:57 am
Segmenting Your Email Marketing
A Few Quick Tips about Improving Email Response Rates

Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ for more internet marketing tips

Email Segmentation

You'll already know by know how much value I put on regular email contact with all my members and potential members. I think it's really important to help people on a regular basis by providing great tips and advice, in the hope people will join my private members' club or even one of my web consultancy courses.

But sending out emails is just the half of it. To be most effective and get the highest response rate, you need to personalise your emails as much as possible and that involves segmentation.

This can be as involved as you like and I'm certainly learning and improving all the time but let me give you a few ideas as to where and how to personalise/segment your emails.

Firstly, call people by their name, especially in the subject of the email. That's a no-brainer! Then you need to split up who's already bought from you against those that are still "prospects" as it can be off-putting to existing customers to be treated as if they've never bought from you. And yes, I'm guilty of this as well and if you're an existing client - sorry ;-)

If you can, take this a degree further by splitting up your emails by department. So, if you run a sports shop and someone has bought weight lifting equipment from you, they'll likely be looking for different bargains and advice than someone who's bought a dartboard!

By the way, it is insane to ignore people that have already bought from you. You should always send a few, sequenced emails reassuring them of their decision and offer thanks and product-specific support.

Naturally, someone that has bought a car from you will want to be treated differently to someone that has bought some packaging materials and also the frequency of the emails should be considered as well. People are likely to buy more packaging materials on a regular basis for example.

In either case, your emails should always be informative, not just a sales message!

Now, I appreciate that what I'm about to say will largely depend on how good your CRM(customer relationship management) is, but if you want to be really cute, you should further divide your emails into :

How they came to signup.(Did they use the search engines to find you and download information about weightlifting equipment from you, or did they join our newsletter after a friend recommended them on their mailing list which caters for discount sporting goods?)

Location. A car buyer in Huddersfield will be a lot more interested in an offer about a new showroom opening locally than in say, Luton.

And Lastly - demographics. Yep, that means age, gender, marital status, race - you name it.

Basically, what I'm saying is that if you have a decent list(and if you don't - start making one!) then just like I keep preaching about having multiple streams of niche traffic with regards to search traffic, you should have multiple streams of niche email open rates.

Conversely, try and make your email signup forms specific, rather than 'general' as well, for better signup conversion.

Using the example from earlier, A weightlifter would far prefer to join a mailing list offering "101 Weightlifting Tips" than "101 Sporting Tips".

Why not get loads more Internet Marketing Tips?

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ today and register for a month's trial.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
31 Oct 2008   09:19:14 am
About Your Phone Number
About your phone number.
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

Don't put people off!
I was running a seminar recently and the subject came up about Skype, the company that Ebay bought for loads of money not so long back.

And then it hit me that not everyone realised the reason they did it or indeed the power of the whole concept.

As you know, Ebay gets paid every time a seller either lists an item and then it gets paid even more when a sale is made. So it's really in their interest that sales are made!

They knew that if people can communicate with one another, then this would help sales to be made and consequently increase their profits.

So they bought Skype - the company that facilitates free calls over the internet.

This means that buyers and sellers could now communicate all over the world, in real time and with video as well if they like, enabling them to sell and buy more. Brilliant move!

Skype also means that people can contact your business, free of charge, if you let them.

But get this : Even if you don't sell all over the world, lots more people can and would contact you if you have Skype, not only because it's free but because it can be convenient and anonymous as well. Not everyone wants people calling them!

But, surprisingly, even if you completely ignore Skype and have a freephone number on your website, you'll still be putting alot of people off.

Specifically, people that are abroad or people that use mobile phones. And that includes using local rate numbers as well.

Think about how many people use mobile phones these days and most of the time, they have to pay to call a freephone number or local rate - don't ask me why but it's maddening!

So, here's an idea.

Put your freephone number on your website - next to your normal number - next to your Skype ID as well. Zero overhead and more enquiries and sales. Great move!

And please, if you have an 0870 type number, just get rid of it. If you don't believe me, there's a site called "saynoto0870.com" which loads of people use, proving that these types of phone numbers are universally hated.

Of course, there's other ways people can hear you(if not speak to you) as well.

For example, you can listen to me at http://mklink.com/demo.mp3 if you have speakers...!


'till next time,

Mike Knight.
Want better results?
Get your free trial at http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
14 Oct 2008   08:29:43 am
Using Google's (Improved) PPC Tool
Using the Google Keyword Tool.
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

If you didn't already know, Google now gives you keyword search figures to help you with your PPC campaigns.

Prior to this, it only gave away little green 'bars' - i.e. images representing estimated usages for keywords.

(Hoo-Bloody-Ray!)

I'm not entirely sure why they decided to do this as Google like to keep things to themselves, although my guess is that people overspending on the daily budget that was estimated for them by Google could well be a deciding factor.

Anyway - it means of course you should use it - especially if you're using PPC.
And if you're not using PPC - then my suggestion is that you setup a Google account
anyway, just to get the benefit of this tool. (Personally I'd suggest that you try PPC anyway at this point)

Basically, Google shows you the popularity of keywords(& phrases) and their expected CPC. It lets you sort the columns by whichever field you like and export the data directly into your PPC campaigns.

But you can use this information in other ways. You can decide which key phrases are suitable to be targeted for natural SEO.

So, choosing keywords for your navigation, or page titles, alt tags, anchor links, product descriptions, meta tags, page content in fact all the usual stuff is now made easier and more 'scientific'.

As with before the update, you can still get a count for mis-spellings, synonyms and other suggested key phrases, together with predicted search volumes.

My suggestion is that the higher the volume of keywords being displayed, the more you'll need to use [Exact Match] or [Phrase Match] from the drop down list on the top right hand side. Otherwise, you can have a lot of irrelevant data.

You can 'seed' the keyword query either by directly typing in a keyphrase or entering a URL. If you enter a URL, Google scrapes the keywords out of it and lists these.

A good tip I read - don't use your own URL unless you are at the top of the natural rankings. Simply find your competitors' website address that always seems to be doing well and use theirs!

There's loads of interesting data that isn't displayed by default so have a play with the drop down list at the top where it says 'Choose columns to be displayed'

For example, if you're looking for fluctuations in search volume(for example you're selling stuff for Christmas) then have this field available and you can see the relative amounts over the last 12 months.

(It's my guess that this drop down list will have other stuff added to it over time)

Rather than giving you a blow by blow account of HOW to use it - I suggest that you simply have a play with it. If you DO want more help with using it, try joining the MKLINK Internet Marketing Masterclass - available below...

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/training/ today and register for a month's trial.

Did you know? You can get paid to refer MKLINK.
Why not become an MKLINK affiliate? Visit http://mklink.com/affiliate_signup1.php

'till next time,
Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
30 Sep 2008   07:24:04 am
A Handy Split Tester Tool
A Handy(Free) Split Tester Tool.
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

Here's a handy way to know you're on the right track.
Anyone who has listened to my seminars or followed my work will know about the importance of split testing.

To recap very briefly, it is a way to see which adverts are more attractive to your potential customers.

It's a practice of improving your sales results - a legacy from traditional direct marketing if you will.

An Example
You post a mailshot to ten thousands prospects with one headline and another ten thousand to another list of prospect - with a different headline.

You then pick the winner that produces the best results. This way, over time and with repeated testing, you are constantly improving your advertising.

But of course it can be applied to web pages, emails, PPC adverts, direct mail in fact almost all forms of advertising. It's a very simple tool. The good old fashioned A and B Split test.

However, one question I get asked all the time - especially when people are trying to optimise their Pay per Click advertising, is how many samples do I need to take to get a positive answer?

For example, if I have 10,000 impressions of advert A and 10,000 impressions of advert B and advert A converts at 2% whilst advert B converts at 5% then I am almost 100% sure that the statistics are meaningful and an extremely good indicator of future performance.

But of course if I'm running pay per click or mailshots or whatever - this could be expensive, so we need the minimum sample to be able to make valid predictions. The more often we get valid samples - the faster we optimise our advertising and the more money we make.

However, if our sample is too small - we can not be sure our data is valid and can make expensive, inaccurate predictions.

The solution? You need a tool that does the maths for you and gives you stats that you can be confident to work with.

Just go to http://www.splittestaccelerator.com/freetool.php and have a play - it makes interpreting your split test results a breeze.

Would you like to save money on your internet marketing and get more sales?

Checkout our services :
Internet marketing club http://www.mklink.com/freetrial
Google training http://www.mklink.com/google.php
Full website analysis service http://www.mklink.com/report.php


'till next time,

Mike Knight.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
17 Sep 2008   12:35:30 pm
Get Stuff Cheaper from Ebay
Everyone likes a bargain and Ebay is a great place to get one.
When times are hard, it can be a great place to buy stuff and save money.

But a lot of people spend more money than they need to.

There are various strategies to buying items on Ebay and getting it cheaper.
Conversely, there are loads of ways of getting people to bid MORE on items that you're selling.

However, let's just assume that someone is selling something that you're interested in buying - cheap. Here's a tip. DON'T BID ON IT!

Many people simply see something they like and then put a bid on it and keep bidding until the end of the auction. Stupid!

This pushes the price up because of course other bidders will want the item too. Additionally, listings with more bids get more searches and consequently attract more
visitors.

Plus, when you start in a bidding war, psychologically, you'll find it harder to let
go and very often bid more than you had intended - meaning you'll spend more.

What's the alternative?
Well, in my opinion, it is far better to evaluate the maximum price that you'd be prepared
to pay for the item at the outset and then simply bid once.

At the very end of the auction! Right at the very end - a few seconds before so that
other bidders will find it a lot harder to outbid you. It's called "sniping" and you can bet your competitors are doing it.

However, the disadvantage of this method is that it can be very time consuming to stay up all night looking at how the bids are progressing and then waiting till the last second to place the killing bid which can sometimes be late at night or early in the morning.

Additionally, other "Snipers" may have a better internet connection and pip you to the post.

So you can automate it with software. We use powersnipe - checkout my affiliates tools page at http://www.mklink.com/tools.php but of course there's loads of other software out there you could use - some are free and paid for by advertising. Anyway, It's saved me a fortune.

You don't even need to have your pc switched on as it all runs from a third party website.

Is it a Dirty trick? Maybe. Does it save money? Definitely! Your call...

Why not get loads more Internet Marketing Tips?

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/training/ today and register for a month's trial.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
12 Sep 2008   07:22:00 am
Stop Slouching!
Here's a tip...

I spend ages in front of My PC and I get a stiff back, legs etc.
Not only is it unhealthy, I need to lose weight as well.

If I know I'm going to be in front of the PC for half an hour or more reading something, I'll often stand up.

Trouble is of course, now I'm too far away from the screen.
No Problem - I've got used to changing the browser settings so I can stand up(and do a few simple excercices) and still be able to see the screen easily.

In Internet Explorer, Simply go into Tools>>Internet options>>Accessibility

Tick all the boxes market "Ignore font size" etc
Then close this box.
Afterwards, Select Page>>Text Size>>Largest

Voila - a page(looks horrible) that a bat could see at 20 feet!

mk
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
02 Sep 2008   08:15:35 am
Developing your Company Social Network
Create your Own Social Network
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

A few newsletters back, I briefly covered how social networking sites can be a powerful boost to you business.

But when I wrote the article, it was from the viewpoint of joining one or some of the array of social networks and leveraging their user base to get links to your website and more traffic, recognition and a 'buzz'. Networks like Facebook or MySpace.

But not all networks have to be huge and cross-board. Some can be specialised.

Develop your own, specialsed and niche Social Network...

And think about this - how 'cool' would it be if you had you OWN social network site either directly on your website somewhere or on another domain that you manage?

Of course, you'll have different challenges such as getting people to join your network, but think of the benefits!
Skyrocketed Company Perception.
Huge Collaboration & Joint Venturing opportunities
Repeat visitors.
Viral marketing opportunities.
Leveraged inbound links.
Boosted Search Engine Ranking.
Increased Cashflow(Using Google Adsense payments etc)
Raised corporate branding.

In short - there are loads of benefits of crating and maintaining your own social networking site.

The biggest one I can think of that I've not listed above is the fact that you can dynamically respond to market demand. i.e. by staying on top of what is the latest 'buzz' you can create products or services to meet a new niche or demand. (Or at least write benefits about how your existing products or services can be used)

Of course, there are issues that it raises as well...

Should you charge for membership?
Who can join your network?
Who is responsible for maintaining quality and content issues?
Who updates the social networking software?
Where is it hosted?
How much does it cost?
Etc etc.

My suggestion is that as always, you start small and grow it organically. It's unlikely that your website will develop into the next Facebook but there's no reason why you can dominate an industry niche.

As usual, most people won't bother - meaning you should!
Most people people that I mention this to won't bother to take action because they're too confused or worried about how to set it all up. Which means they won't get the benefits of it.

A couple of weeks ago, I setup mklink.org which is a complete shambles really but at least I've started it and have got a plan to work on it on a regular basis and add more content, members, features etc. It's simply a matter of time. I'm not expecting to take over the world with it, just have somewhere that I can add value and build a community.

So my suggestion is that you start small and think of a niche to dominate. You might not be aware but there are people that let you run your own social network site for free. Take http://www.webjam.com/ for example.

Now admittedly, it's a hosted service so the social network won't be on your own website but so what?

You'll have non of the headache of software developments etc. There are also scripts available for you to download onto your server as well if you want to manage it all yourself, which I do.

(But that's why I don't make as much money as I should - because I'm always playing with code and things like that and taking my eye of the 'marketing' ball!)

Checkout download.com or tucows.com or hotcripts.com for example.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion that you can add a lot of value to your website for little or no cost.

Want more information? Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/

'till Next Time,
Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
29 Aug 2008   01:20:16 pm
Ebay's "About me" Section
Here is an email from a client, in response to this artivle I wrote :
http://www.mklink.com/newsletters_16_10_07.html

Response :

------------------------------
Hi Mike

Your final statement is not quite true

"..don't allow you to link to your website -
or indeed other websites."

If you setup an "About Me" page then you can link to your own external website.. an excellent avenue for generating traffic to your site as you can prmote you "About Me" page in L-A-R-G-E letters within each item that you list

You'll see most people don't bother with an "about Me" page - those that do are easy to spot as they will have a "me" next to their ebay name (with a blue "m" and a red "e" )

Here is the help page from ebay about the "About me" page that states that you are allowed to link to your own website:

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/listing-aboutme.html

And here is the help page for setting up an "About me" page

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/account/about-me.html

Checkout the About Me page for our companion Ebay store for an example

http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=martialartone

I guess most people don't know about the "About Me" page ;-)

cheers,

Kerry

www.martialartsone.co.uk
----------------------------

Ok - thanks Kerry!
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
04 Aug 2008   11:11:13 pm
Google Penalize Landing Pages with Expensive Keywords
Google - Surely not?

I'll try not to turn this into a rant but Google really "annoyed" me the other day.
(I was going to say something a little stronger but I edited this at the last minute!)

I woke up to find that loads of ad campaigns had been switched off. These were campaigns that I've spent ages getting good click through rates and good signup rates with.

The problem? My landing page score dammit.

As you're probably aware, if you're in the business of getting business leads from your website and use Google to direct traffic to your website, then "name squeeze" pages are a great way to get contact details and build up your list.

It's simple enough - you put up an ad on Google, get some traffic and join them up to a newsletter or your special offer or whatever. Then you test 'n measure and optimise
your conversion rate.

Except that now, Google are penalizing landing pages like this because they think that these sites offer little value to the visitor and consequently they'll increase the minimum bid for a keyword to £5.00 or sometimes more.

Even if you offer a million pounds, it's still be perceived by their robot as low value.

Now Google already dominate the natural search market. Everyone dances to Google's tune. Fair enough I grudgingly accept as they run a good search engine.

However, I think it's high handed of them to dictate what is acceptable and what isn't to the advertisers paying their wages on the PAID searches though!

I'm not talking about porn or affiliate sites or Viagara after all.
There's loads of people that have great stuff to give away and they're being penalized.

If someone wants to offer downloads of a white paper all about health and safety for example, in return to build up their mailing list - that's up to them. They're paying for the traffic after all.

I know other people have other opinions about this. But they're not paying my bills, I am.

Anyway, no point in moaning. Just got to deal with it.
.
The quick way to get round it is this :

1) Add extra pages to the website - and put links down the bottom as well.
2) Add extra content to the web pages, with carefully chosen key phrases.
3) Add some SEO on the site to make it search engine 'friendly'.

Do this and your landing page score will increase and your keyword costs should come back down again.(You might have to use a different URL initially to force Google to re-evaluate your site)

The bad news is that your conversion rate may well suffer as a result of these changes
because simple name squeeze pages with no frills can have a very high conversion rate which is often hard to beat.

So, you'll have to get inventive...

If you'd like more information about boosting your landing page score or if you've been
railroaded by Google's policy and have very high minimum bids, try joining my club...

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ today and register for a month's trial!


'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
22 Jul 2008   09:00:22 am
Google Maps - Get on it!
Google Maps

Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet
marketing tips

What's Google Maps?

Basically, if your company offers products and services on a local
basis then you really need to pay attention to this.

From what I can work out, Google are basically taking Yellow
Pages(Yell.com on the web)
head on.

Did you know that if you have a mobile phone with google maps
installed, you can see where you are and what local amenities and
attractions are available to you?

And businesses too - like yours for example.

You don't even need GPS! It's like being able to look at the top of
your own head.
To download Google maps onto your web enabled phone, visit
http://mobile.google.co.uk

I'm not the world's best navigator and so this facility to see
where I am just by pressing a button on my phone is great. It helps
me find the right pub for example - what finer use of technology
could there be?

Now the serious bit - get your website registered with Google Maps
ASAP!

You don't want to appear number 20 down the listings, when you can
sign up now for free. You'll kick yourself if you leave it too late.

The sooner you get on, the sooner you'll be seen on Google Maps and
the higher up the listing you'll stay.

To get started go to http://www.google.com/mobile/ on your pc.

The business listings on Google Maps are only going to get more
prevalent and more important.

There is a customer review facility so you can have lots of
positive feedback to show the world what a wonderful company you
run. (Currently this is open to abuse so expect to see some
headlines here!)

But you can add your images, video, operating hours, payments
accepted, qualifications and all this will only get bigger because
after all, Google gets paid via advertising.

I strongly suggest that you don't just think it's a gimmick. Google
maps is being linked in with YouTube and loads of other
technologies.

So, if you're an accountant. Get on it. If you sell pizza, get on
it. If you run a web design company - get on it. In fact whatever
you do, just get on it before a hundred people get on it and listed
before you do, in your area.

Definitely, definitely get on it if you run a pub ;-)

Tip: Make sure that you add loads of keyphrase rich text in the
'description' field and add as much information & multimedia as you
can to try and stand out.

Would you like more Internet Marketing Tips?

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ today.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
08 Jul 2008   06:30:24 am
Dynamic Landing Page Titles - from Search Phrases
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

What do I mean?

As you hopefully know by now, it is almost always a very good idea to have your keyword in the title of your pay per click ad, assuming you're running pay per click.

This is because people are expecting to see what they've typed into google to appear in front of them and so they are actively looking for that key phrase to appear.

However, the same is true when they have clicked on your ad and arrive at your landing page. You'll appreciate that the conversion on your landing page is the bit that pays the bills - so it pays to optimise this.

Now of course you can have lots of landing pages, all with different page titles and track everything that way. Nothing wrong with that. It's simply a case of setting your PPC campaigns up and having related keywords in each ad group so that you can track the search phrases either individually or in related groups.

For example, if you're selling fishing tackle and have loads of different key phrases to cover all the different items, you group them into almost the same phrases and then add a tracking parameter on the destination URL.

So, for example, let say you have half a dozen words covering carp rods

"carp rods"
"carp fishing rods"
"rods for carp"
"rods for carp fishing"

So in the destination url, you'd have
http://fishingtacklesupplies.co.uk/index.php?campaign=gaw&keywords=carp+fishing

You can see from this that you can use the tracking information to populate the landing page title, and then start to track variations.

However, sometimes that can get a bit unwieldy and so a quick 'cheat' is to dynamically insert the title of your ad campaign straight into the title of the landing page.

It's certainly something I do and I believe it to be quite effective.
You can also do it with your NATURAL traffic as well!

In much the same way that your stats program can tell which key phrases people are using to find you within the search engines, your web page can be instructed to add the referring search engines' keywords directly into the headline of your landing page.

You might also want to pepper the keyword phrase(either natural search or PPC) throughout the main body of your website.

No doubt you'll have seen sites already that have highlighted text containing your search phrases. This illustrates what I mean.

And of your you can track all this as well. As with all these things, my suggestion os that you run a split test.

In my case, I simply serve 2 versions of the page randomly in equal measure and after 100 or so visits for a certain search phrase, I can see which of the headings has converted more visitors into signups. I write the code for this myself as it's easy but there are loads of bits of software that can do this for you - just ask your web designer.

(Or join my internet marketing club...)

As a footnote, my suggestion is that at the head of the landing page, you include a strong benefit that relates directly to whatever the search phrase is.
(in PHP for example, just use an INCLUDE function)

If this is of interest or even it it's complete Japanese to you, why not let us help you?

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/training/ today and register for a month's trial!


'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
17 Jun 2008   09:38:30 pm
How to Spy on your competitors PPC Campaigns
A Couple of Great Keyword Tools

Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

As you may already have heard me say, half the battle of being found in the search engines is targetting the right key words and key phrases.

The smart thing to do is to find lots of niche phrases. And I mean lots of them.

Rather than fighting everyone else 'head on' with expensive generic key phrases, you might consider getting as many different (cheap) key phrases as you can either as paid for key phrases or simply within your website content, thus attracting natural search engine traffic.

You can investigate common mis-spellings, local search, plurals, synonyms and many other ways of getting great key phrases.

And you can 'cheat'...I'm going to brazenly 'plug' a couple of affiliated software programs here. Looking at other people's source code is one way but a far more powerful method is to use the kind of software that we use at MKLINK.

Checkout http://our.affiliatetracking.net/wordtracker/a/15196 which is my affiliate link for Wordtracker. It's a great tool for looking at popularity of key phrases and has a great keyword suggestion tool as well. I've been using it for ages and it's well known and respected within my industry.

This means you can see how many people are searching for your key phrase and see of there is a 'market' for it.

However, another tool I've been using a lot more recently is a real corker and it enables you to instantly check your competitors' key phrases bother natural and PAID for as well!

Yes - it actually checks out their Google PPC ads and let you know which keywords are being used and how much people are paying for them...!

As I'm an affiliate for both these software products, here's the other link for Keyword Spy. http://www.keywordspy.com?aid=mklink

This second product is a great spy tool but is more expensive so if you're paying a lot for PPC then you might want to consider it as a way to get a competitive edge.

That said, both software providers have a f-r-e-e trial so my suggestion is that you have a play and see what you think.

Why not get loads more Internet Marketing Tips?

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/training/ today and register for a month's trial.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
10 Jun 2008   07:55:35 am
Your MKLINK Tips - for your Contact Form
Maximise your Contact Form Signups

Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet
marketing tips

What do I mean?

I mentioned this briefly last time but a few people asked me to
clarify this point so I'll give you more details about what I mean.

Having an email address on your website may seem like a good idea
but unfortunately nefarious software 'spiders' trawl your website
looking for just such email addresses, in order that they can then
sell these email addresses to spam lists suppliers.

Consequently, if you've had your email address in the public domain
for any period of time you'll know what I mean and possibly be
receiving lots of junk.

I know there are javascript 'tricks' around it but in my humble
opinion, it's far better to have a contact form instead, and there
are some good reasons for this:

1 - It is much easier to track inbound contacts(i.e. leads) from a
contact form because they all have the same subject line and/or
from address. This way you can be sure that legitimate enquiries
are don't get lost or eaten by a spam filter or into a black hole.

(Especially if it's linked Up to an online database like the ones
we provide for our customers) As you know, monitoring leads and
tracking your conversion rate is essential if you're taking your
online marketing seriously and so it's far easier to count(and
track) enquiry forms than just a load of emails with different
headings & content!

2 - You can ensure people answer the right questions and/or ensure
they provide the details that you need - .e.g. age, name, gender,
phone number etc. A contact form helps you format the responses you
get, saving you time in having to re-ask for vital pieces of
information. Of course, all this can be fed directly into your
database for better management and easier automation.

3 - You can direct people to a 'thank-you' page, which can offer
extra information to the client as a 'reward' for giving their
email address or simply to verify their details etc.

4 - It looks more professional.

5 - You'll get less spam as mentioned just now!

A couple more notes here.

I personally suggest you don't bother with the RESET field.

All they do is encourage people to click these buttons thinking
that they're sending you their information(i.e. thinking they're
the SUBMIT button) and then they lose the lot - how annoying!(and
potentially expensive in terms of lost customers)

Have a field that tracks where the visitor came from(via your web
analytics software) and store it as an 'invisible' field rather
than asking people directly with a text input field as people
invariably give the wrong information anyway and it just serves to
put them off.

Getting MORE people to complete the contact form is another
challenge, which I briefly alluded to here with your 'thank you'
page.

In a nutshell, offer people a taste of what you provide. Offer a
bigger 'freebie' the longer the contact form is, as they'll have
had to be more incentivised to complete it - depending on what
you're site's about.

Getting people to complete the contact form is what it's all about.
And I can help!

Why not get loads more Internet Marketing Tips?

Just go to http://www.mklink.com/training/ today and register for a
month's trial.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
27 May 2008   08:52:14 am
Google Business Directory
Google Business Directory

In their quest to take over the universe, it seems that Google are
increasingly encroaching on the territory that was reserved for
Yell.com and other business directories.

Given that such a huge percentage of people search for businesses on
a local basis, my suggestion is that you have 2 Google Pay Per
Click campaigns running simultaneously :

Firstly, just setup a campaign as normal but then make the advert
only appear in the area that you want to cover.

So, if you're a florist in Cheltenham for example, you'd simply use
the keyphrase "florist" (or something like that) and then limit the
radius of the advert to being displayed to within say 20 miles from
the postcode that you allocate.

From geographical IP-Mapping, Google will(theoretically) only
display your advert to people that are using the internet in that
area.

This way, you don't have to compete with the rest of the country
for that key phrase and so your campaign will cost less.

Secondly, you might want people outside your area to find you as
well.

There are loads of reasons why people outside your area want to
find businesses within your area. Anyone in the relocating business
will confirm this!

For a specific example, let's say you live in Scotland. You may
have a colleague in Cheltenham that you'd like to buy some flowers
for. You don't want to get ripped off so you've decided to use a
florist local to your friend to deliver the flowers.

In this case, you'd use the keyphrase "florist in cheltenham" or
"Cheltenham florist" or some such, even though you're outside the
area.

Thus it's still a local search, effectively.

So, run your second Google campaign nationally but ensure your
keyphrases actually contain the location that you want to be found
for, as in the last example.

This way, you've covered both bases.

Now, here's a real killer Tip - get your website listed on Google
Maps as well.

It's easy, quick and f-r-e-e and can give you the edge over your
competition because most people aren't doing it.

It seems (to me anyway) that the search results which are returned
that have a link on Goolge maps always seem to be displyed
preferentially as well.

To get your site listed - just visit http://maps.google.co.uk

You'll notice that the Google directory is offering reviews and all
sorts of things so my advice is to start getting listed with Google
Local straight away and watch this space!

I personally think Google are going to have a lot more instore when
it comes to offering information about businesses both locally and
nationally.

(After all, it's businesses like yours and mine that provide their revenue...)

If you'd like to know more about Google and how to get the most
from it, why not checkout my training system? (I'm offering a f-r-e-e month's trial)

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ to get More Tips &
Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
13 May 2008   06:59:55 am
Embed your Visitors Key Phrases
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

What do I mean?

When I visited the Internet Show at Earl's Court, I came across lots of neat business ideas that people were selling.

One company was selling a system where you could dynamically integrate your visitors Search Words directly into your pages for better SEO.

You'll appreciate that search engines get countless queries every day.

They keep all those queries on a database and then sell that information.
For example, this is how wordtracker get's it's data - checkout wordtracker.com

This is the kind of information that SEO companies use to research their clients potential traffic and consequently aim for better search engine placement.

However, companies that have a large site site, especially those with e-commerce shops can also have a search box within their site.

(If you have such a search box - put it at the top right hand corner so it's easy to find)

Consequently, clever business owners record what people are typing into their search boxes and discover what people are looking for.

Which offers two useful benefits :
Firstly, they can see directly what their visitors are looking for and consequently react. They can add the items to the site if they weren't there before or increase the prominence.

Secondly, they can add those search words to the main body of the website so that the search engines pick it up - and the process snowballs.

Now, this is nothing earth shattering and new but it is a useful way of keeping an eye on what your visitors are looking for.

Another way is to have a look at your web statistics.

As well as all the other really useful information it gives you, a list of search engine key phrases that were used to locate your website is usually given as well.

(If you haven't got a stats program then you can get a free one at www.statcounter.com - it's adequate for most SME's.

Et Voila - you an scurry off and make sure that these key phrases are properly embedded into your website so that you get more visitors looking for the same things.

This is of course a rather circular logic because of course the stats program will only record the key phrases of those visitors that actually reached your website.

There will be lots of other people using different key phrases that didn't reach your website!

Which is why you should use something like wordtracker as well and continually pump it for information, like we do.

There are other ways of looking at what people are searching for within your website, especially if it's e-commerce.

Look at abandoned purchases and see what they were going to buy.
People often just use the shopping basket to get a price with no intention of buying.

See which landing pages the visitors are arriving on via the search engines and then see what those landing pages are offering.

(Of course, if you're using Google pay per click then a lot of this detective work is redundant)

I'll leave you with the thought that one of the best sources of key phrases to embed your site is via your enquiry forms.

This is because when someone fills out an enquiry form, they are typically using the language that they'd use when searching the internet. Perfect!

A quick note of caution here. If you don't have an enquiry form but just an email link
then you'll want to remove it else you'll get 'harvested' and spammed.

Would you like more Internet Marketing Tips?

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ today.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
02 May 2008   07:10:26 am
Take Your Glasses off
Common Sense Notes to Make Your Site Easier to Read

What am I talking about? Well, you may have heard me or someone else use the word 'usability'.

Now, this covers a range of areas from helping people with visual impairment use your site to having panels of guests testing your website when purchasing items or finding products and services.

In fact it's a huge subject.

But let's just concentrate on some Quick 'n Easy stuff.

For example, if your HTML font is smaller than size '2' then some people will struggle with it. (In fact they won't struggle - they'll just bugger off and go somewhere else)

The problem is that lots of designers try and make sites look 'cool' but very often all it does is make your website harder to read.

Which means YOU WILL LOSE SALES. PERIOD.

A simple test I do when I'm asked to review a site is literally to take my glasses off.
If I can't easily see what I'm looking for - the site has failed.

A lot of sites have small fonts or grey fonts on a white background. Again to look cool. And again it's a pain in the backside if you can't see well.

It's not just blind people.
It's people that might be old, or tired, or haven't got their glasses on or their contacts in or they could just be plain hung over.

And believe me, when I'm hung over, looking at a poncy website that makes my head spin to get the material I need won't be on my list of sites to re-visit.

Ok - if you're Disney or if you're a graphic designer and your website has to be seen to be slick and cool and whatever then you might want to do show off.

But definitely not if you're anything like me and just want to get more business.

For example, I get loads of people telling me how 'basic' my website looks. For someone that's been making websites and working with the internet since 1997 I know it could 'look' a lot better.

But - I know my site statistics and I know it works. I'm on the homepage of Google world wide for my choice of key phrases and it converts at almost 20%.

So, my 'basic' and naff site is staying put.

I used to have all that fancy stuff and it didn't work and so I know better. Because I want a site that works more than a site that looks 'trendy'.

Motorway signs don't look 'trendy' but they bloody well work!

Pretty websites don't sell. Good content, easy navigation & strong calls to action do.
I *strongly* suggest you trust me on this.

In general, your potential customers couldn't give a monkey's about what your site looks like - they just want to know what you can do for them - and get the information that they're looking for as fast as possible.

You can address other usability issues if you want - such as offering the ability to change font size or colour for visually impaired people.(Contact me if you want more info)

But what I'm trying to say here is just keep your content simple and straightforward. I suggest you don't try and show off - it rarely works.

Concentrate your time instead on getting more decent content because your time will be well spent.

10 Quick Tips for making your website easier to read and use:

1 - Make the navigation simple - along the top or left hand side of your website.

2 - Use a sensible sized font throughout. Use black on white.

3 - Have a search box if your website is big - and put the search box at the TOP of the site where it can quickly be found.

4 - Use underlines for links. Or at least make them look like links.

5 - Put your important stuff at the top of the site(above the 'fold').

6 - Put your contact details at the top - on every page. Not really usability but a very good idea and it makes a bigger difference than you'd think.

7 - Don't disable the "Back" button. Sooooo annoying!

8 - Break Long text into short paragraphs and text - like this email!

9 - Use short column widths - again like in this email!

10 - Have a Site Map.(Great for SEO too)


Why not learn how to get the most out of your website and make more money?
(I'm offering a f-r-e-e month's trial to our training system)

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ to get More Tips & Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
14 Apr 2008   11:00:19 pm
A Tip to Beat a Recession:Outsource Cheap Traffic
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips.

How can You Beat a Recession?

Well, the MKLINK school of economics would suggest that the quickest way to maintain profits is to reduce overhead. Especially un-necessary overheads.

I've already shown you dozens of ways to increase your conversion rate and I'll continue to do so. But you need to keep costs down and maintain traffic if possible.

When times are easy, you can be more cavalier with your spending but when times are tough, you need to keep costs low.

Obviously, you'll want to be keeping a close eye on any pay per click campaigns you've got running and making sure your Click Through Rate and landing page is optimised. If that's all new to you - checkout my training course at http://www.mklink.com/training/

However, what I'm suggesting today is that you get more free natural search engines traffic from the likes of Google, for lower cost.

As you know, in order to get higher up the search engines, there are 3 basic things that you really need to have 3 things to really get ahead :

1) Unique, compelling and keyword rich content.

2) Have this self same content updated on a regular basis.

3) Have as many INBOUND LINKS to your website as possible.
(Preferably from relevant sites/blogs/directories/chatrooms etc)

The problem we keep coming up against is that our clients simply never have time to create and supply us with content!

Or they start off well, but soon taper off and it gets forgotten sooner rather than later(Know the pattern?)

Or they do actually get round to doing it it themselves but they could be working on other more important parts of their business.

Or they can't afford to to it because their web designer or copywriter etc. makes it inaffordable.

Or whatever.

So it doesn't get done.

Consequently, you can have have the best search engine optimised website in the universe but without those 3 ingredients, then at best any existing Google raking you may currently have may well be short lived.

So how do you get round this?

Easy - outsource it abroad. (That's what I do!)

Part of the 'fun' of going to Kenya during Christmas/New Year of 2007/2008(and trying to get back again with my head on my shoulders) was to hold interviews and get some really good candidates.

I'm talking about degree students and graduates, for a fraction of the price you'd pay in Europe. People that WANT to work and are eager to create a good impression.

Now, I'm not suggesting you risk life and limb going to 'exotic' countries(especially during a civil war) but you can obviously make use of companies available to you.

If you'd like some prices for this, just forward your name and number via my contact page
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=newsletter and I'll see what I can do.

Anyway moving on, it's easy enough - you simply research the keywords that you need to be found for and then create articles based on your business (and also by researching your competitors as well)

This way, not only can you add content and value to your website, but you can
ALSO add content to external sites, blogs, newgroups, industry & PR Sites,
article directories and social networking sites in order that you get external sites linking to your main website.

This way, you'll be seen as the industry leader and consequently be ahead of
the game PLUS get lots of inbound links that increase your Google Score.

(The good news is that it isn't expensive and as that virtually no-one else bothers to do it, you'll be light years ahead.

Once you've had the copy created for you you can of course add to it or edit it if you wish. It's a lot easier to edit a newspaper than to write it all.

So, you can either do it all yourself or have the lions share of the spade work done for you so that you can leverage your time better.

Don't worry about the graphic design - we're talking about brute-forcing traffic from the search engines, not creating a Disney Film.

Just create a standard template page with obvious contact details at the top and a strong call to action at the bottom and then make sure that anyone working on your behalf knows what you want them to do.

It's not rocket science and yet it has a huge impact on your free traffic for a fraction of the usual cost.

Like I said - if you need a quote for this - visit
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=newsletter
and we'll see what's what.

Would you like more Internet Marketing Tips?
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ or maybe you need the ULTIMATE Package of All Time http://www.mklink.com/report.php

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
01 Apr 2008   08:04:01 am
How to Promote Resellers of Your Services
I've already told you that you can multiply your online portfolio with micro-sites.
You also know that you need to build inbound links to get better Google Rankings.

Why not get the ultimate inbound links...get other people to promote your products and services on their websites?

Why would they do that?
Well, apart from the benefits offered by mutual cooperation, synergy and developing the business brand, it's because you can offer to pay them!

Now I'm (sort of) talking about affiliation but I'd like to go beyond it really, into the mind set behind it.

As you probably know, affiliation is where you track visitors that were sent to your website by someone else's website or blog or email etc with software.

Most people just assume that this only works with a product based website.

Cobblers!

I also mentioned that it's a great idea to develop a relationship with your website visitors and try and get their name and email address so that you can communicate with them over time and increase your chances of doing business.

Loads of people say to me "That wouldn't apply to me as I sell directly to the public and they want something there and then".

This may or may not be true. Let's say you sell car spares online.

You could argue that someone who needed a replacement ignition module for their Ford Escort just wants a part and a price and would never be interested in signing up for email newsletters.

You'd very possibly be right.

But what about other business people that are in a similar industry to you and would get benefit from not only teaming up with you but receiving valuable information?

The fact is that most people are so hell bent on getting customers to their websites that they completely neglect to look after other people that would resell their products and services, either directly or indirectly.

As a business person of whatever kind, which supplier's services would you rather promote : someone who contacts you regularly with useful info or someone who just doesn't bother.

Like I said, I'm not just talking about sites that sell products.

For example, say you ran an accountancy firm. How helpful would it be to receive regular tips from a website that specialises in business law?

You'd certainly be more receptive to putting a link on your website to drive traffic to them. Especially if the traffic was tracked by software so that you could see how many leads you'd sent them and see how much commission you were earning from any leads that materialised.

It's really quite simple to set this up but what almost everyone forgets is to regularly communicate with their partners.

Pity, because unless you communicate with your network of resellers, affiliates and link network, your network will never achieves it's full potential.

MKLINK offers commission and the ability to track :
How many people visit our website from an affiliate link.
How many people sign up sign-up to our Marketing Tips Newsletter.
How many people join our training programme at http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/

If you think other would like to receive my newsletter and would like to create an income stream from your website or emails, visit : http://mklink.com/affiliate_signup1.php

Something I once read: "The value of Your Net Worth is in Your NETWORK"

It works for me and my business, why not try it with yours?

Why not give it a try?

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/freetrial/ to get More Tips & Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
18 Mar 2008   10:00:57 am
Benefits of adding a Forum to Your Website.
Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more internet marketing tips

What is a Forum?

You'll have almost certainly seen them before and you might know them as
discussion boards, message boards, notice boards, bulletin boards or other names.

They enable people in your industry or niche to interact with your website and post questions and answers or just plain write articles.

Why bother with a forum?
I've jotted some reasons down below but primarily because you'll get more business!

Get more Traffic.
Search engines like forums because they contain relevant content are are updated
regularly and so are re-indexed often.
More traffic = More potential customers

Get more RETURNING traffic.
Half the battle on the web is getting people to return to your website as often as possible. This helps develop familiarity and trust.

A forum will help do this because people want to see what the response their questions and answers. Or even just because they want to stay updated in general.
This breeds loyalty and brand awareness.

Get more Inbound Links.
As your forum develops more content and become more valuable to your community, more and more inbound links will appear from other people's websites, blogs and indeed notice boards.
More Links = Better Search Engine Rankings.

Market Research.
Because people in your industry can interact with the site, you get to see directly what your people are interested in and what's hot and what's not.

In response, you can react accordingly and adjust your website or even business to start offering what they want. In markets where products and services evolve quickly this can be invaluable in staying ahead of the trends.

Ongoing Development.
the way to continually learn and develop your understanding of your marketplace is to continually immerse yourself in it and a forum is a great way to do this.

You'll learn things you didn't know and develop a greater understanding of things that you already do know. No-one knows everything and getting other people's advice and opinions (for free!) is invaluable.

Keyword Research.
As the forum is usually about your industry, the content of it can be a goldmine of key phrases that you might not have thought about to use to attract more niche search
traffic. It's the ultimate feedback - you're giving the search engines exactly what people are interested in!

If you do nothing else, just having the keywords on the forum itself will attract more traffic anyway for these key phrases.

Give People what They WANT.
The key to generating business online is to give people what they want not just try and sell to them. A forum does just that - it gives them the information they want or offers them the opportunity to ask for it directly!

Be seen as an industry Leader.
Rather than having 'just another website' the same as everyone else, you'll be seen
as the pro-active leader in your field that people will refer to.

The people who get ahead aren't necessarily the ones that know everything about their industry, they're the ones that share what they know about their industry.

Capture Contact Details
Typically, people have to register to join a forum, so you'll gain their email address and name. With this, you'll be able to email directly with forum members once they've joined the forum and consequently you'll be able to communicate with them more and sell more.

Additionally, as they'll have heard of you by now, they'll be MUCH more likely
to buy from you than if they were 'cold'.

Communicate More = Sell More.

Networking opportunities.
Message boards can be a fantastic way of developing networking opportunities with customers, suppliers and other people in your industry that you might want to joint venture with.

You can promote other people's products or better still, encourage other people to sell your products.

Add Interactivity to your Website.
People like interactivity. Interactivity brings people closer to your website and psychologically makes them more involved with it and ultimately you. Forums are a way of encouraging interactivity and lets visitors not feel as though they're being 'sold to'.

Many hands make Light Work
A lot of the Hard work is done for you! By having lots of other people add content to your website by using the forum, you website gets more content and develops and you don't have to create all the articles and content yourself!

Now I can See why a Forum is so Powerful - How do I get One?

I use a freely available bit of software call PHPBB.
A free forum program you can use(if you web server supports PHP)
is PHPBB.

It's free and the most widely used forum software on the web.
Visit http://www.phpbb.com/ to download it. You can also register for a hosted forum if you want where you won't have to bother installing the software yourself.

Would you like more Internet Marketing Tips?

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ today.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
03 Mar 2008   07:00:47 pm
A Subtle Benefit of Adding Audio to your Website
A Subtle Benefit of Adding Audio

Why Bother?
We live in a multimedia age and we are multimedia creatures.
Listening is part of life for everyone that is fortunate enough not
to be deaf.

One very good reason that you might at least want to test adding
audio out for yourself is that it may well increase your conversion
rate.

So you'll get more sales for the same cost.

I'm not saying it will, I'm saying it might.
You'll have to test for yourself to see whether or not it does.

I mentioned quite recently some tips and ideas about using YouTube
to video clips on your website. Well, if you're an ugly bugger like
me then maybe adding audio clips is the next best thing!

There are various bits of software and things you can use to add
audio clips to your website. Many of these use FLASH to create
buttons and then streams sound.

Perhaps it's just me but I don't really like them.

Personally, I find it just as easy to make a little animated GIF
image, record whatever it is that I want to record, save it as an
MP3 file and link it up directly.

Anyone who wants to listen to the clip will be able to play, pause
rewind or stop with whatever software their PC uses and is involed
when clicking on the image.

If I visit a site that starts playing someone's voice or audio
straight away without asking me first to click a button, I almost
always leave the page straight away as it can annoy not only me but
also the person sat next to me.

(Again - your customers may well be different to me so don't take
my word for it - you'll need to test this for yourself)

However, one bit of software that won't cost a bean and is
fantastic is audacity
it's available at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

This will enable you to edit your recording by getting rid of
background noises,
coughs or splutters or indeed increase quiet parts of the recording
and generally cleanup your audio. There's a few special effects as
well and it's fun to have a play with it.

As anyone on my internet marketing training course will appreciate,
I mumble and stumble a lot so this software comes in very handy
before my recordings are posted out on CD-ROM or published to the
web.

Selling AWAY from your Website.

However, the main reason that I like to add audio to my website and
make some sample seminars available to visitors is that life is
very hectic these days.

Consequently, I don't really expect everyone to be listen to me at
work or even read my website at work.

As lots of people on my training course have said how useful it is
to be able to listen to me whilst driving to work on their CD
Player or walking along using their IPOD, I make samples available
to potential members as well.

This is exactly why I offer a 45 minute AUDIO entitled "7 Internet
Marketing Secrets" which anyone can download and listen to once
they join my mailing list.

It's at http://www.mklink.com/free/Seven_Strategies_Seminar.mp3 if
you haven't heard it yet by the way.

Anyway, what this means for me is that people can learn the the
benefits of what I offer about increasing their internet marketing
knowledge, away from the office or indeed a PC if they wish.

How useful would it be able to sell to your clients when they are
AWAY from their computers as well as when they're on your website?

And when I say "Sell" I don't mean a 20 minute list of how
marvellous your product or service is. I mean simply letting
potential customers know all the things that your product or
service can do and listing the benefits.

It's simply another dimension to helping yourself by helping other
people.
If you help them they'll want to listen to you.
Conversly, If you're just selling without helping then they won't.
Not surprising really.

So, here's a thought.

Get a Microphone(they start at less than a fiver) - or just use an
existing webcam.
Download the Audacity Freeware.
Give your potewntial customers some useful tips and benefits of
using you.

Why not give it a try?

Until next time...

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ to get More Tips &
Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips


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Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
19 Feb 2008   11:27:50 am
The Basics of Banners
Banner Advertising-The Basics

What are Banners?
Banners are those advertising boxes that appear all over other people's websites.

Very often they're colourful and animated. They're designed to attract attention and induce the visitor to click on it, thereby taking them to the advertisers' website.

I've put some basic examples together at http://mklink.com/banners/

Their main benefits for the advertiser are brand awareness and measurable traffic, paid for typically on a cost per click (CPC) basis.

There's no doubt that the click through rates(a measure of effectiveness) are nothing like what they were in the nineties(averaging a couple of percent back then - typically a very small fraction of that now) as people have become more desensitized to them.

But, they're here to stay and they still represent a useful channel for traffic so here's some tips about how to get the most out of them.

(Obviously, you need to adjust these whether you aim to advertise via banners on someone elses' site or indeed of you aim to create revenue from adding banners to your website.)

Measure your own stats - Don't listen to anyone else.
The tips below are guidelines and as always you should test and measure for yourself.

Any decent website displaying your banner should have the software to allow you to test your banner's effectiveness by seeing your web stats.

Of course, you can double check their stats against your web stats as well to make sure that there are no 'ahem' discrepancies.

Put banners at the top if possible.
Typically they're more effective at the top of a web page than the sides or the bottom.

Start noticing other people's banners.
Take time to see what attracts your attention.
Copy them and test them.

The Word FREE is powerful - Use it.
Remember, people go online for information.
So - offer them free information.

Have a strong 'Call to Action Message'
As always, don't get too caught up in the graphics to forget to put a strong
call to action on the banner.

Offer something great and relevant in return for clicking
e.g. a free trial or software download or free report etc.

Use Animation.
The eye is naturally attracted to movement.
Unfortunately, this can lead to some very, very ugly banners and annoying web pages. However, I'd advocate always using animation as they still generally out
pull static ones.
Be careful of Filesizes creeping up with animation though ....

Small Fie Sizes.
Remember that people are scanning a page very quickly so if you're ad is taking several seconds to load then you're too late. Especially if there are other banners on the page. Having the banner at the top makes it vital that it loads quickly before people scroll down.

Banner file size depends several factors like the length of the animation, the amount of animation, and the physical size of the banner. Suggestion - keep it under 20K.

Speed of 'Story'
The whole of the banner is top provoke a click to your landing page. Therefore brevity and clarity are paramount. Remember: you are talking to people's subconscious.

Advertise in the Right Places
Just Google your choice of key phrases and see what sites comes up.
See what other people are doing and where.
Call up the site owners and ask what their rates are.
After a few calls, you'll be an expert!

They'll talk in terms on CPM - Cost per mille - ie thousand clicks.

My suggestion is that you don't pay a flat fee initially.
Just pay on a per click basis only.
If the site you advertise on has enough target traffic(e.g. yell.com) then you an look at other options.(Try negotiating everything)

Be Specific
Sure, you get more traffic on larger portal sites but the costs on niche sites are a lot less, more targetted and therefore higher converting.

Remember: It is usually better to have multiple streams of cheaper, niche traffic.

Have a Punchy Headline.
A headline says it all. Spend the most time on this testing it and getting it right.
Try changing colours and fonts. Checkout an article here
http://www.guidetoebookmarketing.com/articles.php?articleId=197

Saying 'Click Here' Works!
Just putting 'Click Here' on the banner can increase the click-though rate.
Make sure it stays on the banner(if it's animated) long enough to read it.
(Or make it on the last frame and make the last frame last a little longer...)
Don't believe me? Try it...

Keep the animation less than 8 seconds long
People will watch a film for several hours but you've typically got just a couple of seconds with your banner. As I said jut now, make the final frame last a bit longer for the call to action i.e. 'Click Here'

Using FLASH
You can make Animated GIF's in Adobe Photoshop.
(or indeed loads of freebie software just Google 'free banner creator')
However, FLASH banners have lots more opportunities.

They are smoother and can look better than animated GIF's. GIF's are older technology and don't require any plug ins but FLASH is a lot more accepted nowadays and offers a lot more opportunities.

Additionally, photos in FLASH can be compressed better without loss of quality(GIF compression for photos ain't great) and text effects are easier to create. In fact, I've used Macromedia FLASH to export the files as GIFs so you have both options if you want.
(Often website owners will ask you for both)

Additionally, FLASH banners can be interactive - e.g. getting he visitor to shoot a moving 'target' for example. Small flash banners can even be a mini 'game'.

This may account for their higher click through rates than animated GIF's.

Try Making the Banner look Like the Background
It's basically what Google does.

As people have become more desensitized to banners, you have to be more inventive in the way you get people to click on them.

Making a banner look like the content of a page, using blue underlined hyperlinks(if that's what the rest of the page uses) is on such way. This is similar to making advertising look like editorial in a newspaper.

Overhead:You'll have to create specific banners for the websites they appear on.

Rotate Banners.
Create several banners and rotate them(the web page provider may help here) and by tracking your stats you can see which are providing the best click throughs.

Exactly the same as in Google Pay per Click. Tryout a at least half a dozen.

Don't Join crowd.
If possible, don't advertise on a page with any other adverts.

Especially ones having several animated banners on a page as it looks terrible and instantly reduces your chances of being clicked.

Don't be Clever. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Make it obvious what the advert is about and anyone interested in your products or services should be attracted to it.

Start being 'enigmatic' with clever stuff and you'll probably spend more time and money getting it wrong.

Select Your Landing Page.
Again, just as in Google Pay per click. Making people go directly to your home page may not be the best place to send them.

If the banner is about widgets - send them directly to your widgets landing page so that your back end conversion will be higher.

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ to get More Tips & Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight. MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
07 Feb 2008   03:00:50 pm
How to Reduce Credit Card Fraud:For Sellers
How to Reduce Online Fraud for Sellers

Unfortunately, but understandably and probably quite rightly, the merchant
banks have stacked things in favour of the consumer.

i.e. that sale you were pleased with a month ago has turned out to be
fraudulent and have just had a chargeback. Doh!
This is not only an inconvenience but is potentially able to bankrupt you.

Furthermore, as a business that can't afford to have your credit card
facility taken away from you, you have to be especially vigilant.
I had one customer complaining that 50% of their online orders
were fraudulent !!!

So, here's a few things to look out for.

1. Check ALL Orders Visually.
Look out for things that don't match and ensure that all the information
has been filled in correctly. Very often fraudulent orders 'feel wrong'.
Trust your instincts and if it feels wrong - treat it accordingly.

2. Check the Delivery Address.
If the delivery address isn't the same as the cardholder's address
- be especially careful and find exactly what is happening BEFORE
you deliver the goods.

You can use Address Verification Service
(AVS Provided by most merchant processors) to ensure that any
info you've been given matches up properly. If it doesn't be wary.

3 - Save It!
Keep all relevent documantation and record all calls, save all emails
and keep all letters for at least 12 months - possibly longer - it may
be required as evidence.

4 - Check the Email Address
'Free' email addresses like Hotmail account for a huge percentage
of the fraudsters. You might even want to implement a policy of not
taking order from 'free' email accounts. One company I read about
had ZERO fraudulent after implementing such a policy, with little
or no affect on their conversion rate.

Most genuine shoppers will not mind supplying a 'proper' email address when
they know your reasons for asking them and indeed the ISP they use to access
the internet will have almost certainly supplied such an address anyway.

5 - Check their domain name
IF they have one(most business customers will), check the domain and see
who the domain is owned by
Tip, for .COM .NET. ORG etc visit :http://www.networksolutions.com/
and click the "WHOIS" link at the bottom.

For .CO.UK .ORG.UK etc go to :
http://www.nominet.org.uk/ and use the "whois" lookup search box.

Obviously, if the domain is registered to Captain Blackbeard rather than
Johnson's Meat Supplies or whatever was on the contact information
- you know to treat it as suspicious/fraudulent.

6 Check the IP Address.
If you shopping cart software has the ability to display the IP Address,
you can often see where the client is and match up the server they used
to place the order with the address they supplied on the shopping cart order.

Using the Geo-IP address like this this isn't foolproof but naturally, if you see
blatant orders where the IP address is Nigeria instead of Leeds for example,
you'll know what to do!

Checkout :
http://www.2privacy.com/www/privacy-protection/check-geo-ip-address-location.html

7 Check the Phone Number
Insist on having a contact telephone number and call it up for
"Customer Feedback" and ask questions about the order and see if it 'feels right'.
If necessary, email them 2 or 3 times to ask them for their phone number to check
up on a point of delivery for example. Additionally, you can buy a database
of phone numbers on a CD.

You can try : http://www.thephonebook.bt.com/ to try and see if they're
at least registered.
(Hey, I tried it on myself and it worked and I thought I was Ex-Directory!)

8. Lookout for Unusual or higher than usual Order Amounts
Fraudsters are basically stealing your stuff so they won't care about paying
high overnight/next day delivery charges. The order value may be very high
and may occur especially at holiday seasons for some reason.

9. Put Signs Up.
Just like having a dummy box burglar alarm to deter thieves, having FRAUD
notices, saying that you'll prosecute all fraudsters and that
you subscribe to "INTERPOL FRAUD GROUP" or some such will more often than
not scare them away - to simply go somewhere else but hey - at least they've
left you alone!

(I'd welcome any more advice or feedback on this issue that I can pass on as this really is the scourge of the web, along with spam, phishing, viruses etc...!)

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ to get More Tips & Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
22 Jan 2008   01:11:18 pm
Adwords Ideas to Save Money
One important part of your Internet marketing strategy may involve
building a list of prospects using a pay-per-click Google AdWords
campaign.

The advantage of using Google AdWords is that it can produce a
high qualitylist because it's highly targeted and relevant. This is
because it is based on the keywords that you have chosen, the
advert you've constructed, and the 'squeeze' page you've designed.

So what are the steps to building a list using Google AdWords?

Step 1 - Conduct Keyword Research and Design Your Google Account
Structure.

This stage is of major importance to your success because it helps
to keep things targeted from the beginning.

Draw a circle on a piece of paper with branches coming out
containing what you believe to be the most relevant main key
phrases.

Use the Google Keyword Selector Tool to select a number of relevant
and popular key phrases, and search for synonyms and related terms.
Use other keyword selection sites e.g. nichebot.com,
wordtracker.com and keyworddiscovery.com.

Use the Google Traffic Estimator.
Set up an ad group for each of these main key phrases and use all
the variations of it your have found within each group - single,
plural, hyphenated versions etc.
n.b.. With Yahoo marketing, one phrase covers the single and plural
variations but this is NOT the case with Google.

Step 2 - Create Your Adverts
There are only 95 characters for a Google AdWords advert, 25 for
the title and 35 each for the two description lines underneath.

DO NOT USE THE CHARACTERS TO SELL.
The goal is ONLY to get people to click on your advert.

In each ad, put the key phrase in the ad title so it's in bold as
research shows that click through rates are higher if the key
phrase is in the advert title.


Design a kind of template advert.
Produce 3 different adverts for each variation (using the template
advert), changing the order and arrangement of key phrases within
it. Track the effectiveness of each to see which one works best
- TEST, MEASURE AND COMPARE.

Step 3 - Create The 'Squeeze' Pages
The squeeze page is the page that people are directed to when they
click on your Google AdWords Advertisement. This page should be
built using the same key phrases for building blocks as the Google
AdWords advert that is pointing to it.

Each variation within each ad group should go to a squeeze page
that has been changed accordingly with regards to the key phrases -
maximum relevance and targeting should be what you are looking for.

Keep the squeeze page simple and make sure that every element in
the page has a reason for being there i.e. it's helping to convert.
Prepare some kind of value-adding download or service that is FREE.
Give the page a large, attention-grabbing headline and include the
word FREE.

Google could penalise you for saying something is free when it's
not, so make sure it is.

Use a sub-headline with the word FREE in it to encourage people to
read further.

Add a 'call to action' line below this e.g.
"Receive your FREE gifts now by entering your name and e-mail
address below"

Google may regard a simple 'sales letter' style page to be a scam,
so include navigational links on the page e.g. links to a page
which opens in a separate window, showing pictures
of and giving some information about the free gifts they will
receive if the follow the call to action.

Links help your 'quality score' with Google (which lowers your cost
per click), and they have been shown to increase the chances of
conversion.

Include an opt-in box (small form) asking for a name and e-mail
address. Include a 'call to action button' e.g. Receive my FREE
gifts now.

Research has shown that the conversion rate is increased if the
text on the button states
exactly the action you want users to take (and the benefit of doing
so) rather than just saying 'submit'.

Add a link to a detailed privacy policy page that opens in a
separate window. Include another couple of lines below this
designed to increase
curiosity e.g. stating possible benefits of following the calls to
action. End with a sense of urgency i.e. make the offer time
sensitive to encourage immediate conversion.

Use professional looking graphics and consider using a columnar
layout because this is what Google is used to i.e. try not to make
it look too much like a sales letter page.

Change and test different aspects of the page to keep increasing
the page's conversion rate.
n.b. The best possible squeeze page would be exactly customised to
your key phrases, which should ensure relevancy and a better chance
of conversion.

So, a high quality list can be built, and return on investment can
be maximised by building Google AdWords campaigns form the keywords
up.

Ensure relevance and targeting is high, and Google optimisation
rules are adhered to in your compelling squeeze page so that the
quality score will be high, and so the cost per click will be kept
as low as possible.

Want more details?
Checkout my training system "FREE" for a month...!
http://www.mklink.com/training/

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
08 Jan 2008   05:11:51 pm
How to use Youtube to promote your website
Why use Youtube?
Because it's huge(it's owned by Google) and loads of people use it.

Which means that your customers are using it.

Which means that you should be using it - to sell to them.

In addition to being seen as an industry expert, you can really add value to your website by literally showing people how to use your products and services.

Video offers a different dimension to your website. Admittedly, you can have multimedia on you website anyway - but I'm suggesting you use Youtube to GET PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE.

Lots of people use it.(Youtube is one of the most visited websites in the world).

Again, as with your website, my advice would be offer useful information that people will benefit from - don't just see it as an advert but in a different channel.

I keep harping on about making your website useful - not just a blatant advert.
Your Youtube marketing should be no different.

To create a competitive advantage, show what you have(assets) that other people may not have access to. this could be access to experts, images, settings, products, locations - you name it.

For example, if you're selling golf clubs, you might have a professional golfer show how to swing it properly. How much better to see a golf club in action - used by a professional - rather than just seeing it in a brochure.

If you're selling home improvement products, you might like to demonstrate how to get wallpaper off easily, or how to cut tiles properly - the list is endless. Simply make sure that it is informative and useful.

So - how do you set up your Youtube Account?
Firstly you'll need a webcam and some video editing software. (Just Google - "Free Youtube software" - there's plenty to choose from "Windows Movie Maker" works adequately for example).

Then you'll need to create or customise your Youtube account and 'channel'.

Don't worry - it's easy!

Your channel is automatically generated when you sign up for a new YouTube account.

Having a dedicated channel means you can arrange your own and others content in a single location. This means that you can have a load of multimedia from other sources - not just your own.

When you've built up your youtube channel, you can check out the customisation features to enable visitors to know more about you and your business.

When you sign up for a new account you are given the chance to choose which account type you would like.

The default option is 'standard', although it makes sense to choose another category:

Director - ideal great if you are produce web videos.
With this account type you can add custom items and a logo.

A Musician account
Good if you want to promote your art, tour dates, background info etc.

A comedian account...say no more!

A Guru account - this is possibly most likely to be of interest to your as a website owner.
Here you can be an expert in your particular field and be seen as such.

(You can change accounts anytime)

How to get found on Youtube...Have more than one Account!
In much the same way I advocate multiple website (refer http://mklink.com/marketing-microsites.php ) simply having more than one account - with different account types - enables your target market to find you under different searches.

Obviously, you'll be able to have different keyword descriptions as well.

Remember - it's all about getting multiple streams of niche traffic.

Make sure your video is tagged and categorised well by checking how the other videos in your niche/ target, and other similar niches have been tagged, and by adding lots of keywords.

To make it easier and quicker for people to find your content, you can compile targeted playlists by choosing from your ‘My Videos’ and ‘Favourites’ sections. Ideally, you should aim to select and choose less familiar videos, so you content will seem fresher.

By adopting a proactive approach i.e. using the YouTube Email and Bulletins, and researching other users’ tastes, you can informally promote your videos to a wide network.

Leaving timely and targeted responses to other peoples’ video clips that are relevant and high profile in your chosen niche, is another good way to raise your own video profiles.

Other effective ways of growing your won network in a targeted way are
Joining or creating your own YouTube groups, taking part in realtime YouTube Stream discussions, and by turning on the ‘Active Sharing’ feature when you view other videos.

By targeting relevant content to a well defined niche, and using YouTube’s features to promote proactively, you can market more effectively, and increase your conversion rate without incurring huge costs.

It's easier to dominate a single category than to try and be on the homepage of Youtube!

Being found via the Youtube Search Engine

The videos posted on youtube obviously cannot be 'spidered'(yet! watch this space...) by the search engines like HTML can, so you need to use the description to its best.

Viral Marketing ...
Make the advert unique, interesting, funny or 'wild' enough and
people will start to email it to their friends...

Putting your URL in the video...either use the video editing software to do this - or simply put a written sign with your website address on it and include it in the film.

Tip: Upload to ALL video sharing websites - not just YOUTUBE.
(Google "Video sharing websites" for the latest list)

Embed the Youtube Code at the relevant places (blogs, websites, forums, chatrooms, article directories comparison sites etc) where your target traffic flows to.

Tip: Be sure to use keywords near the place where you embed the youtube script.

Then blog about the video - and add as much content to the more traditional sites(as well as your own) to get people to see the video - or indeed embed it themselves.

I'd suggest you have a limit of about 5 minutes for the time being as I'm told that 5 mins
or less is the optimum time before people start baling out on Youtube.

Remember, you've got 100Mb to play with and people really only watch stuff for any longer if they can't get it anywhere else or it's part of a TV show - or a comedy sketch - that kind of thing.

If you must make it longer, then you can always use the playlists facility to enable people to watch one part after another. Remember - website visitors like control.

I can't tell you how to make good videos - you'll need to get out there and practice!

(As always don't take my word for this - test it for yourself)

Email some contacts to get some feedback from people to see if they like your video. Make any amendments based on that feedback and then re-upload it.

Happy YouTubing...!

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ to get More Tips & Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
11 Dec 2007   01:29:29 pm
The Benefits of Article Writing
We all use the web for research, and we all put a value on finding
a website that actually has some substance and provides us with
good quality, relevant information. Articles add considerable value
to your website and your website visitor's experience of your
website. The benefits of writing articles are many, such as:

- You / your company appear knowledgeable and credible.
This builds trust and can increase the likelihood of the article's
reader becoming a customer.

- You can satisfy the 'what's in it for me?' side of your website
visitor i.e. you're giving them something of value - you're 'adding
value'.
- Other sites will link to your because of the articles, and this
helps to increase your PageRank.

- Adding new articles on a regular basis means that website
visitors return. Your site becomes a resource, enabling you to
build a relationship with visitors. Search engines also like site
that are regularly updated.

- Articles, like FAQs but to a larger extent, can help to educate
and pre-qualify your customers, thus making conversion easier.

- If the article is used by another source, and it has a link to
your website within it, your website will receive more traffic and
gain an 'incoming link' which will contribute to a higher PageRank.

- Writing articles using your own knowledge costs nothing but your
time. It's a low cost way to get more traffic and potentially
increase your conversion rate.

- Articles provide vital content for the search engines, especially
if the articles are very specific, relevant, and include the main
key phrases of your choice.

So, articles can provide obvious benefits in terms of bringing you
more traffic, and increasing your conversion rate, but how do you
go about writing an article for the web? Here are 12 top tips:

1. Address the reader personally, and remember to speak to 'me'.

2. Make 'the point' clear, and give the information quickly.

3. Use your individual knowledge and structure your writing so it's
not just a stream of consciousness.

4. Make the articles concise. Use half as many words that if the
article were on paper, and remember that we are slower at reading
words on a screen /monitor.

5. People 'scan', 'skim' and 'browse' information on web pages, so
use bulleted lists, lots of short paragraphs, use sub-headings, and
highlight (embolden) phrases of key importance.

6. Keep language clear, plain and simple, and make it obvious what
the article is about (keep it jargon free), and make each page able
to explain itself regardless of where visitors have come from.

7. Put the most important points at the top of the article, and the
supporting information below.

8. Make the article informative and useful, not just a blatant
sales pitch.

9. Include the key phrases in the natural flow of the article, but
avoid keyword 'stuffing'.

10. Make sure that spelling and grammar is good, and that any
styles and formatting have been used consistently.

11. Include links (interactivity) to help make your points, and
provide a resources list at the end if necessary.

12. Try submitting your article to Websites that archive articles
that are available for reprinting on other websites, newsletters or
Ezines e.g. http://www.articlecity.com/
http://www.freearticlereprint.com/
http://www.articleinfoz.net/
http://www.freearticlesdirectory.co.uk/


For More Tips & Advice, visit...
http://www.mklink.com/training/

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
27 Nov 2007   04:05:20 pm
5 Ways to Increase Your Profits
5 Areas to Improve Your Sales 'Chassis'

"Your Sales Chassis - what is it?

Lets's say you've got a business and want to make more sales and more profit.
Fair enough, right?

OK. So how do we Improve Sales?

Well, let's look at your business as a sales machine to make money.
Like all machines, it has inputs and outputs.
Between the inputs and outputs, it has sales processes.

The inputs we're interested in are business leads and the outputs are sales and customers. If you sell to someone, they become a customer!

Representing this via a couple simple equations helps us identify those areas
that we can improve to give a direct increase to our profit.

So, Firstly, let's accept that
Total Customers = No. Leads x Conversion Rate(%)

Them, when you have a customer, the PROFIT that you make from each one, is represented by

£££ Profit = Average Order Value x Profit Margin(%) x Frequency.

Makes sense really, as the higher the average order value, profit margin or the
amount of times per year you sell to a customer per year all increase the yearly profit!

Let's Look at these 5 points in turn.
Once you know what to improve - you can start to see opportunities all over the place!
I'll be giving you loads of example.

Here's the 'Chassis' ...

Leads

Conversion Rate

Average Order Value

Profit Margin (%)

Frequency



As an example,say your business generates 5,000 leads per year and your sales conversion process is 5%. This means you generate 250 Customers per year.

Of those customers, the average order value is £500, the profit margin is 20% and you sell to them with a frequency of 4 times a year (Once a quarter)

So, your gross yearly profit per customer will be £500 x 20% x 4 = £400

Your TOTAL Profit is 250 Customers x £400 profit per customer = £100,000 Profit.

Now, let's say that because we know how the business is put together,
you can increase each component of the business by 10% - not unreasonable?

New Yearly Customers
= (Leads x 110%) x (Conversion Rate x 110%)
= 5500 leads x 5.5% Conversion Rate = 303 Customers

NEW Yearly Profit Per customer =

£550 (New Average Order )x 22%(New Profit Margin ) x 4.4(New frequency ) = £532.40

Thus your TOTAL new PROFIT is 303 customers x £532.40 = £161,000

Which means that increasing these components by 10% each
increases your PROFIT by over 60%

Let's say that you're a hairdresser and that, as in the example above,
you simply increase your frequency...before moving onto the other areas...

So, after each appointment, rather than booking your client in after 12 weeks,
you book them in after 10 weeks. Hardly earth shattering or even noticeable to the client...

...yet you have increased your frequency in a year from about 4 times a year to about 5 times a year.... a 25% increase in PROFIT!!!

This stuff ain't rocket science but it WORKS !!!

We'll look at other ways of boosting different parts of the chassis next time.

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ to get More Tips & Advice.

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
13 Nov 2007   10:18:28 am
Google PageRank Revealed
"Maximise Your Internet Marketing with MKLINK Internet Marketing Tips"

What is PageRank?
PageRank is actually a name used to describe the technology which was developed by Google’s founders to give some indication of a web site’s ‘importance’.

The scale on which this importance is measured is a number from 0 to 10
(unless a site is ‘not ranked’), with 10 being the highest figure.

In reality, you'll doing very well to have a Page Rank of 5 and above, and you're unlikely to achieve 8 or above. (But hey - go for gold!)

Complicated-looking equations and formulas actually work out the numerative rank. For example, the equation responsible for calculating an individual web page’s PageRank is most likely to be variable of the one shown below:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + ... + PR(tn)/C(tn))

Um, Yeah, right! Anyway, back to english...

As a guide, a website has a maximum number of PageRank.
This is distributed between the pages of the site by links.


As a guide the following factors should be considered:

The PageRank number can be increased by inbound links from other websites, and decreased by outbound links.

The PageRank of a page is also affected by the PageRank of the pages pointing to it. An inbound link is. like a ‘vote’ of confidence for the site.

Adding new pages to your website can increase the site’s PageRank.

THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT OF ALL:

“PageRank is only part of the story.
How well your website performs in Google depends on a number and combination of variables.”

As well as importance, Google is interested in relevance:

• Relevancy of page content and the content of the pages linking to that page.
n.b. the Page Rank of the pages linking into to your pages is also taken into account.

• The relevancy of keywords used within your website (particularly in titles and headlines), and the keywords used by other sites to link to your site.

You can see website PageRanks displayed if you download the Google Toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com/), although the PageRank displayed is not always ‘accurate’.

The maximum PageRank of pages is changed monthly with Google’s re-indexing of links.
Mine has come down recently :-(

A link to a site map from each page can increase the number of internal links in your site, which will be beneficial, and by simply making your page content as interesting and useful as possible, you will naturally attract links to your website

– PageRank is important but "content is king"


Want more information?

Try my new Internet Marketing Training System for a month for just a fiver...
: http://www.mklink.com/training/

For more details or advice about your website, simply call me on 01454 852414
or visit http://mklink.com/contact2.php?source=newsletter

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
30 Oct 2007   11:04:50 am
Reduce your Marketing Costs by 10%
A Few Notes about Reducing Overheads"

If you increase your sales then you should make more profit.

If you decrease your overheads, your profits should increase too.

But did you know how much your profit increases?

Let me give you an example.
(I sometimes cite this example when showing people that they need to increase their website conversion rate)

Let's assume that you buy 'widgets' at £20 and sell them for £30.
This means each one costs you £20.

Let's also say you run an online marketing campaign that costs you £300,
and that you sell 40 widgets as a result.

So, your Sales Turnover is (40 x £30) = £1200 Turnover.

Your costs are (40 x £20) for the widgets + £300 advertising = £1100 costs

Thus, Your NET Profit is (Revenue - Costs) = £100 Profit.

I know this is simplistic and doesn't take into consideration VAT, fixed costs such as wages etc but please bear with me for now - it helps to illustrate a point.

Now, let's see what happens when you REDUCE your Marketing costs by just 10% whilst maintaining the same amount of sales.

This means that instead of £300, your marketing has cost you £270

So, your Sales Turnover is STILL (40 x £30) = £1200 Turnover.

Your Costs are now (40 x £20) + £270 = £1070 Costs

Your NET Profit is (Revenue - Costs) = £1200 - £1070 = £130

This is GREAT because it means that it's 30% more than £100 which it was last time.

i.e. Shaving your Marketing Costs by 10% Boosts your PROFIT by 30%

I'm fairly confident that when you know how to apply some of the techniques that we teach here at MKLINK, you can reduce your marketing costs by more than
a measly 10% !

This isn't unrealistic however, as when you look at increasing your website's conversion rate (which very few people bother to do) then essentially, you get more customers for the same cost. Effectively, this has the effect of making your marketing cost less for the same result.

However, let's see what happens when you reduce your marketing costs by just 10%(Which you should be able to do if you've listened to my lectures on Web Analytics)
AND increase your conversion rate by 10%

NEW sales revenue is 44 Widgets @ £30 each = £1320

NEW costs are (44 x £20) Plus £270 marketing = £1150

Therefore New PROFIT = £170.

Remember the original profit was just £100...
so by reducing your marketing costs by 10% ...
and increasing your conversion rate by just 10% ...

... means you have increased your profit by 70%.

Let's be honest, 10% can't be THAT hard to achieve!

This stuff really isn't difficult yet so few people work on getting better results.
There are tons of ways of increasing your conversion rate or reducing your costs.

If you'd like to know how to do this or indeed any more information about your internet marketing, then checkout my training system at http://www.mklink.com/training/

Final thoughts.

Because most people focus on TURNOVER rather than PROFIT, you can outrun your competitors when it comes to internet marketing by simply learning how to improve your conversion rate, measure your profitability and lower your costs.

- Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/ for more details.

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
16 Oct 2007   11:03:09 am
A few Suggestions about Ebay
Some Ebay Tips for Online Retailers

"The Benefits of Trying, Testing & Touting on Ebay"

Why use Ebay?
Well, because whether you simply want to reduce wastage by selling your unwanted items of stock or use it as a regular sales channel in it's own right, there are loads of people using it so you will have the opportunity of fantastic EXPOSURE.

More people know about Ebay than your website right?

Additionally, you can use it to test your market before paying for an online, or as another channel to test price sensitivity, delivery terms etc.

What can you sell?
Anything within reason. However, items that are easily wrapped and without complicated or expensive shipping usually do best.

How to Start.
Firstly, you need to get some good feedback before people will want to start trusting you. Ignoring for a moment the possibilities of setting up multiple accounts or trading with co-operatives, simply build up your feedback by running at a break even point (or even a a slight loss if necessary). Sell your old stock to build up a reputation.

Deal with many different people to increase feedback units. Dealing with one person multiple times will only score as 1 feedback unit.

Buy loads of cheap stuff that you use anyway- office supplies, penny products etc. Screen savers, recipes, downloads, ebooks etc to build up your reputation.

Leave feedback quickly & first to ensure you get your feedback quickly too.

Ebay Trend Setting.
Ebay can be a great listening post for trends etc. If you're an online retailer and want to know what's hot to sell for Christmas - Ebay can be a valuable sounding board and provide an insight into what people are looking for & prepared to pay.
(Use the Ebay Pulse Feature for more details)

Quick Merchant Account Set Up.
You can use Paypal (owned by Ebay) to take money online if you haven't yet got a merchant account. A rival service to this that looks set to give Paypal a run for it's money is Google Checkout. Personally, I'd prefer to have my own merchant account as it's more 'grown-up' and professional(and incurs less charges) but Paypal is widely supported and so is an avenue you may with to offer in the absence of anything else - or even AS well as your regular merchant account.

Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/

Getting your stuff noticed on Ebay
This is similar to the challenge of getting your website found in the search engines. In fact, Ebay has its own search engine, so the parallel isn't entirely inaccurate.

Given that you only have 55 characters to play with or the headline, you'll need to use these characters well.

It is important that your listing stands out. You'll need to test & measure (according to how many views you get) with what works and what doesn't.

Try underscores, highlighting, capitals etc. I advise trying various things judiciously without making the listing look like you were typing with boxing gloves on.

Getting the items listed as the result of a search is more scientific, and I'd advise using a basic formula - what it is(product description) followed by a compelling USP.
i.e.
The USP needs to be punchy yet short as you want to leave as much of the 55 characters available for the description. This enables the search engine to pick up on as much as possible.

USP's can be "Boxed", or "RARE", or "Signed Copy", or "Half Price" or "MINT COND-N" etc

Add a clear, picture(reduce the file size to less than 60Kb(at 72dpi) with dimensions of around 500 by 500 pixels (ish) tops. To avoid user-download abandonment) and take the time to make sure it's in focus and on a neutral background, with a clear description underneath.

You can revise the item if it isn't attracting (any) bids. Just like fishing - change your bait until you get bites.

Choose the listing-time as a reflection of the amount of visitors and price of the item. A car may warrant 10 days exposure but a £5 box of string may well not.

Choose timings carefully and remember Weekends are a good time to advertise as there is more people looking at weekends and evenings.

Friday mornings are a bad time to list because your listing will stop on a Friday morning! Also, I've read somewhere that it's Ebay's maintenance time and so could affect your listing.

Practice Selling Small...

Like everything else, you should test your price points and start selling items with a minimum bid of (say) 1p or 99p and encourage more bids. It makes sense to practice selling stuff you don't care about making a (small) loss if necessary by getting lots of bids and seeing what times of day, response rates etc than dong this 'for real' with your high ticket items.

Always set the starting price ending in .99p - to increase visitor response AND because it can keep the Ebay listing charges under the THRESHOLD for the next price increase.

Use long copy to describe your products.

People cannot feel, touch, taste or smell your products online and so you need as much descriptive copy about the product, the BENEFITS it conveys and also the condition that it's in. The more information you give the better, as it allays mistrust.

Give HONEST, reliable information and answer questions as rapidly as you can. If you don't, you feedback will suffer.

Where appropriate, offer guarantees and refunds.

A Couple of Disadvantages of Ebay.
They charge relatively high transaction fees and don't allow you to link to your website -
or indeed other websites.


For more details or advice, Checkout my Proven Internet Marketing Training System http://www.mklink.com/training/ today!

'till next time,

Mike Knight. http://www.mklink.com/training/
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
04 Oct 2007   09:52:00 am
10 Ways to Spy on Your Competition (They're spying on you!)
So you want to stay ahead of your competition?

Of course you do! So keep an eye on them!
Half the battle of most businesses is constantly monitoring your competitors.

If you ran a supermarket - you'd send someone to pop round to the supermarket
down the road to have a butchers' at their products, prices and offers.
(Of course this happens in just a lot more depth than this but you get the point)

By being in the public domain - all your services are available for scrutiny by
your competition - and so it makes sense to get the best competitive advantage
you can by having a system of regularly monitoring THEIR websites.

How should you monitor Your Competitors?
Naturally, there are loads of things you can monitor and loads of ways to do it.
(There is plenty of software available to help)

However, assuming it is YOUR business that you're trying to improve,
I'd suggest making the effort to do monitor visually what your main
competition is doing in person - on a regular basis, rather than leaving
everything to software alone.

I suggest this because it keeps you personally involved and seeing your
competition doing well will motivate you to spend more time developing your
own internet marketing strategies.

To be a little more scientific about it than simply looking at their websites and
wondering what they're up to, it's a good idea to put the things that you monitor
on a spreadsheet or journal of some kind, so that you can track changes over time
- else otherwise you won't be able to measure properly.

Checkout my new training system today - http://www.mklink.com/training/

What should you monitor?
Well, it's specific for each business is different but here's a few ideas :

1) Who should you monitor?
In an ideal world, you'd have all the time you need to monitor everyone in
your market place. In the real world of course you'll want to select a few key
competitors and decide to monitor them at certain frequencies. Occasionally
cast the net a bit wider to see any newbies on the block.

2) Who's linking to them?
You can of course see who's linking to them by typing link:http://www.thirwebsiteaddress.co.uk-or.com into the search
bar of Google and listing the results.

Tip:You might want to contact the people they're linking to and see if they want
to link to you as well (or instead)

3) Where do they appear in the search engines?
(for YOUR chosen key phrases)
Discover valuable information about where they exist in the real-estate of rankings.
Either type in directly to a search engine or use Web Trends tools
(we use it - www.webtrends.com)

4) Where are they advertising?
Less easy to measure but it gives you an idea of their marketing strategy.

You can checkout the more obvious ones such as Google Pay per click, Yell,
Classified ads etc. by simply trolling them regularly.

5) Competitive Intelligence
This means actually spending a bit of time on their website and looking at how
they're positioning their products and pricing plus their new products/services they
may be launching (or indeed old ones they no longer support)

6) Meta Tags
Visit their website and right click on it. Click where it says 'view source'
or 'source code'. There's a load of HTML here but don't worry about that.

Just lookout (usually near the top) for the lines that say 'Meta Keywords ='
or 'Meta Description =' and notice what descriptive words they're using.

It gives you an insight into what they want to be found for in the search engines.
(You should also scan the text of the main website anyway for the same reason)

7) Monitor Domains & Trademarks
Cool site - www.domaintools.com - tells you all about a domain name and can
alert you when someone's using a key phrase(e.g. trademark) that you want to
keep an eye one. You can see who owns the domain, what servers they're using
- if they're blacklisted etc.

Google Page Rank.
This is Google's measure(0=useless, 10=perfect, 2 or 3=average) of your website's popularity. A high page rank means that your competitor's site is well ranked in their search engine as they value the website highly. This is in turn a function of inbound links(See 1) For a slightly different service - but offering good popularity info
checkout www.alexa.com

9) Newsletter/Brochures
An obvious one but as usual most people ignore it. Sign up for their newsletters
or free stuff and see what they're offering.

Like I said, there's software that enables you to automatically track a competitors'
website which can email or text you when they've changes their website, blog or
inbound links etc. We can give you a useful list...

10) Who made their website?
Very often there's a link to the web design company. If you're cheeky enough
you could simply ask them what the website cost to produce and other details.
(I'm not advocating anything else here...)

Want more information?

Checkout my new training system today(before your competitors do ;-)http://www.mklink.com/training/

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
11 Sep 2007   12:22:23 pm
Using Testimonials to Boost Website Conversion
What Your Customers Say About You!

"Adding Customer Testimonials Can Boost Profits Overnight"

Put everything to one side for a moment - like how great is your sales copy and irresistible your products, offers or opt-ins are. The BIG question is - what do your EXISTING customers think about your service to them?

The answer - naturally - should be that they're 'raving fans'.

If they're not then STOP and sort it out immediately!

You've possibly heard it said that it's 6 or more times easier to
sell to existing customers than new ones. Well, that may be true
- I've never personally measured it but let's assume it's true.

My guess is that it really only applies if the existing customers
are happy with you!

It may be that existing customers are still more likely to buy from
you than potential clients even if you have only given them mediocre
service due to their ignorance - but that's not really the way
forward is it?

Now, I know that in the real world, it's difficult to please all
your customers all the time.

But, let's assume that you're old fashioned like me and that whilst
you may occasionally screw up - you in fact genuinely care about
your customers, your reputation and are willing to bend over to
help people as best you can without losing your sanity.

The point being - people who don't yet know you are taking a risk
doing business with you. Your offer may even seem TOO GOOD to be
believable.(I've personally had this situation before when I've
offered services at stupidly low prices to get a few people to use
a new product)

People who don't know you think there must be a catch.

OF COURSE THERE'S A CATCH!

You want them to be really happy with my services so that they'll
come on board later on and become a long term customer.

Why not try out My Internet Marketing System for a Month for
just a fiver?
Yep £5!!! - Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/


But they don't know that yet - they don't know you're a decent
person to do business with because they've had no personal
experience of dealings with you in the past. Everyone's been
shafted at some time or other - that's why you need to reduce their
perceived risk.

Like most things in life - most people are decent and honest and
want to get on in life. Some people want to take advantage.(I personally believe karma will catch up with them but that's a personal conjecture for another day) Unfortunately, this makes everyone wary of new contacts.

Back to the point - the old adage that you should be telling your
customers is...

"If you're NOT happy with the service - tell me.
If you ARE happy with the service - tell everyone else"

It's so important that a potential customer can see that you've
satisfied existing customers with the same needs as they have.

You want your customers to rave about you in reviews, videos, blogs
- whichever way possible. This will make you CREDIBLE and reduce
your potential customer's perceived risk.

Why are website testimonials so good?

1) They're written by real people - not you.
Therefore they have a lot more value and credibility than anything
you say.

2) They're typically not written by copywriters - hence they have
an air of genuineness.

Things to note when adding testimonials to your website :

Try and ask for as many details as possible. Anyone reading the
testimonials is looking to see if their own questions are being answered. Sometimes it is the background details that make all the difference.

To understand what I mean, see the difference in the two following
testimonials for (say) dog vitamin-supplements:
Example...

1) "This stuff is great - I'll definitely buy some more"
Mrs B Essex

Nice - but almost useless

2) "After I used the 200 gramme course you recommended for 21
days my collie's weight increased by 2lb and her vitality was
visibly improved. The most amazing aspect was that her coat had a
brilliant sheen for the first time in years! Surprisingly her
breath improved too, although she still has trouble with plaque.
I've tried "Pet Power" and other products without success..."
Germaine Brown. Pooch's Walking Services. Clydesdale. 01344 ...

What to note from 2 :

It's much more specific about the details of the product being used.

It has benefits listed that may not have been advertised
i.e. breath freshness

It contains facts and figures to substantiate the details.

It's believable due to the fact she's including plus and minus
points.

Her personal details are available
- proving you didn't just make it up!
(A link to a website would be great here - or a phone number)

It can be compared to something else(here we're assuming Pet Power
is a leading brand that the target market is familiar with)

The testimonial should include a benefit that the other products
can't do - e.g. increase coat shine.


Try My Internet Marketing System for a Month for just a fiver!
Yep £5!!! - Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/


The next level :
If you can use sound or video - so much the better.
Using a relevant celebrity would be better still.
In this example of dog vitamins - Barbara Woodhouse would be an
amazing endorsement.
(Even more amazing as she's been dead for years...)

How to get Testimonials!

If you haven't got may testimonials - ask for them! Happy
customers should be willing to oblige. A few ideas include...

1) Supply a link to your feedback form. Include suggestions on the
kind of details you're asking for.
2) Send an auto responder after a certain time that explicitly asks
how they're getting on with the service and encourages a testimonial

In fairness - you should be doing this anyway to ensure your
customers are all happy!

3) Incentivise feedback with a prize, competition etc if relevant.

Where to put your Testimonials...
Include your BEST ones in pride of place - middle of your homepage
or main sales copy.
Create a whole section just of testimonials.
Pepper full or partial testimonials throughout relevant parts of
your site.
If possible - ensure a testimonial appears wherever your visitors
reach your website.

What to Avoid :


1) Never Make it up or edit the bits you don't want to hear!
2) never post them without asking permission - especially if you
include contact details

Final thoughts.

All this stuff may appear obvious but simply getting around to
doing it is when you'll succeed.

As usual, don't take my word for it - give it a go and see for
yourself...

Why not try out My Internet Marketing System for a fiver? Yep £5!!!
- checkout http://www/mklink.com/training/

For more details or advice about your website, simply call me on
01454 852414
or visit http://mklink.com/contact2.php?source=newsletter

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
http://www.mklink.com

p.s. Why not try out My Internet Marketing System for a Month for
just a fiver? Yep £5!!! - Checkout http://www.mklink.com/training/

Want to know More or need any advice?
Simply call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog

If you found this useful - please pass this on...
Receive Your Weekly Internet Marketing Tips...
AND get Your Free Seach Engine Ebook
- simply join our VIP newsletter now:
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog


'till next time,

Mike Knight. http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
14 Aug 2007   09:38:53 am
Google Are Paying for Ads
Let Google Pay YOU for a Change!
"Using Google Adsense to Earn Money from Your Website"

By now, you've probably heard that you can advertise on Google's Website(AdWords) and only pay per click. That is, you only pay each time someone clicks on your ad and thus visits your website.

However, has it occurred to you that this works in reverse and that you can advertise Google on Your Website? It's called Google AdSense.

How Does it work?

Well, let's just revise the Google PPC model a moment. Essentially, you pay Google to display your advert. Basically, the position of your advert is a function of 3 things :

1) How much you're prepared to pay in relation to you competitors.
Bidding Higher means that you'll 'brute-force' your ad to a higher ranking.

2) How popular your advert is. Good ads are 'rewarded' by being given higher rankings. This self-policing system is pretty cool in that better ads appear at the top - creating a climate of producing decent, relevant ads.

3) How relevant your website is. Google now index the web-page that you're advertising and if it ain't relevant - your ad's position will be penalized.

When you advertise on Google - you have the option to advertise just on Google, or also advertise on Google Partners(e.g. AOL) and/or advertise on affiliate websites.

The latter one is where your advert automatically appears on someone else's website.

For instance, you may have a Google Ad about fishing tackle and it appears on a website all about fishing in Devon - or an anglers' personal diary blog - or similar.
(Google have an uncanny knack of really matching the ad with the content of the site.)

You can - and should - set the price of advertising on affiliate sites to be less than that of Google Direct. I experimented and 10% worked for me - you'll need to test.

What Does this mean for me?

Well, it means that people may want to advertise - via Google - on your website.

Now here's the rub: If you have a business website, do you really want to offer ads that take people away from your website?

There are 2 schools of thought about this(yes and no obviously!)

Personally, I think that after you've got people to your website, the last thing you want to do is see them click on an advert and disappear somewhere else or even -God forbid - a competitors' site.

Unless the situation is unusual, it seems more likely that you'll have paid (either directly or indirectly) more to get that visitor to you than you'll receive by getting paid when they click away from your site.

Ironically however, you can actually use Google AdWords to get people to your website and then get paid for by advertising with AdSense. Assuming you know what you're doing, this can be profitable - it's called arbitrage. The idea being you choose and pay on cheap phrases to get people to your website for pennies then get visitors to click on ads that generate more revenue(i.e. expensive phrases) than you paid out - with the difference being your profit.

It may also make sense to monetize your traffic when you've finished with it.
This could be via websites that you're no longer running for example.
I call it 'exhaust' traffic. Another advertising possibility is when your visitors have signed up for your newsletters or bought something and then been directed to your "thank-you" page. Effectively, you're leveraging their value to you.

Some people make an absolute fortune via Google AdSense and all they do is get traffic to their websites or blogs just so that they can display Google Affiliate Ads on their website.

Typically, they spend a lot of time and effort writing articles and getting high up on the search engines - so that they can attract more 'eyeballs' visiting their site and ultimately clicking their sponsored ads.

As Google advertising is bid-based, you'll get paid different amounts(a very rough rule of thumb is that you get half of what Google gets) for different ads that appear.

Economics dictates that you'll get paid more for competitive subjects than for niche subjects - precisely because getting eyeballs from these areas are harder. So, areas like loans, cars, moorages, pensions can be extremely profitable - if you can get the traffic.

How would YOU like to get paid £5 every time someone just clicks an ad on your site?

Conclusion?

Google AdSense makes you money. Just be careful you're not compromising your sales or leads for it though.

Bear in mind that Google AdSense now delivers images and Video as well as jut text - so you can play about a bit with these and possibly add a bit more va-va-voom to your site.

Hope this has been some food for thought...

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'till next time,

Mike Knight. http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
31 Jul 2007   11:38:32 am
5p to get Top Ranking on Google
5 Pence Gets You On Top of Google

"Maximise Your Website Traffic & Conversion Rate with MKLINK"

"Paying to Get Top Google Ranking"

Google is a phenomenon. It's truly amazing. It's shot from zero to one of the most profitable businesses in the world in just 7 years.

That's because almost everyone online has heard of Google and most people using a search engine uses Google.

To 'Google' something has become a common expression and has entered the English language, synonymous with researching something.

So, it makes sense to get your website found on Google doesn't it?

Basically there's 2 ways to get found on Google. The long haul way is to get natural traffic - i.e. traffic coming from Google searches that don't require payment. This is a great way of getting business but it ain't instant!

The fastest way is to pay for an ad to appear on Google. It called Adwords and the reason Google is worth silly money is because people will collectively pay an awful lot of money for their website to be listed at the top.

The sexy thing about Google Adwords is that to get your site listed at the top of the ads(You can tell the ads because they're slightly differently coloured, usually appear at the side of the results page or at the very top) is a cross between an auction and a popularity contest.

This means that the more you pay the higher up you get listed and the more popular your ad is, the higher up you get listed as well.

This is a subtle but extremely powerful way of ensuring that decent, relevant adverts are
listed and crappy unrelieved ads are penalised by having to pay more. In fact, if you think about it, the main differentiating factor(well at least initially, before everyone copied them) that Google used to supply results was how many people link to a particular site, giving the Page-Rank. Thus, the more popular the site was - the more it was listed in relevant searches.

So, in a similar fashion - the more popular a Google advert is - the higher up the paid ranking it goes. Like I said, powerful stuff!

Another very neat thing about Google Adwords is that you only pay for adverts that are clicked on. The Ad may appear a million times but if no-one clicks on it to visit your website - you don't pay a penny. This is revolutionary stuff in advertising.

Now I don't want to get too bogged down in the details here as this is a subject I intend to come back to again and again, suffice to say that if you haven't tried it then you should.

Here's a few good reasons why:

Most people use Google - so you've got the widest audience.

You can get top ranking in Google - instantly!

Google only charge you for the traffic you get.

It's off and on-able! I.e. You can control your ad very easily.

You can restrict the ads to only appear in your town, area, country etc.

You can test and measure your website with laser precision

You can see which key phrases your target audience are typing in so you can search engine optimise your site for natural traffic accordingly

Your competition will probably be using ut - so it pays to get good at this.(It pays a lot more to get great at it)

A small budget can still produce great results

It's very quick and easy.
You don't have to be a propeller head to set it up in less than 15 mins.


In fact, there's loads of benefits of using Google Pay Per Click but my advice to anyone who is not using it is try it and furthermore anyone who has tried it and given up :
learn how to master it. It's possible to to turn an unprofitable ad into a very profitable one just by tweaking a few things and multiplying your income several fold.

I'm not exaggerating when I say several fold.

There are some serious players out there that know loads more about pay per click than I do(Chris Cardell and Perry Marshall to name a couple) yet even they will admit that they're always learning more - especially as Google is always adding more cool features.

I'll be offering more specific advice shortly. Hope this has prompted you to take action!

Want to know More or need any advice?
Simply call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog

If you found this useful - please pass this on...
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'till next time,

Mike Knight. http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
24 Jul 2007   12:13:54 pm
Damaging Your Rivals Google Ranking
Can You Damage Your Rivals Search Ranking?


Can You Really Do This? Is It legal?

Well, my answer is "yes" and "don't know".

I'm personally not prepared to deliberately sabotage people's search
engine rankings because I believe it to be immoral and because if
nothing else, I've got better things to do with my time.

However, in the increasingly iniquitous world of SEO, there are a
few tactics that have been reported to be used so I thought you'd
better at least know about them. A Forbes article mentioned the
seven types listed below and has caused a storm!

1-Google Bowling(Link Spamming)
Everyone knows that lots of inbound links are generally good for
Google Page rank.
However, Google 'frowns' on link farms and sites that have massive
amounts of links
to them - esp from unrelated sites. If a site increases its links
too quickly(e.g. from buying a load of links from a link supplier)
then their website can disappear from radar. Therefore link bowling
is deliberately sabotaging a rival's site by getting loads of links
to them from unsavoury sources and sites - e.g. link farms.

2-Tattling(Being a tell-tale)
This is the practice of reporting a site to Google about purchasing
links. Even buying links from established sites is apparently
frowned upon from Google. So, tattling is 'grassing' a
company to Google that they've bought links.

3-Google Insulation:
This is creating loads more content than your competitor, typically
from different sources, so that any references to your competitors are drowned out. In a few cases, this has been used as damage limitation where someone's blog may slag off a company or individual. In defence, they publish dozens more articles all round the webs to insulate the offending article.

4-Copyright Takedown Notices
It is legal for a search engine to link to a site that infringes
copyright - unless they've been notified whereupon they have to
remove the link(at least temporarily - which can still be
disastrous)

Therefore, by submitting a copyright complaint, you literally force
the search engine to remove it's link. You'll appreciate that this is pretty strong grounds for getting into trouble!

5-Copied Content(Content Spamming)
This is the proactive of deliberately adding duplicated content to
other websites(search engines don't like duplicate content) so that
they think the originator is content-spamming and therefore take a
dim view - with dim consequences.

6-Denial of Service(A DOS attack)
Personally, I don't think this really comes under negative SEO. It's
been around for ages and involves trying to shut a website down by
sending massive amounts of server requests(usually by hacked
machines or servers) to the host server, in order to overload it
and/or incur huge bandwidth charges. It's a real pain in the
proverbial.

7-Click Fraud.

Deliberately clicking on peoples pay-per-click ads.
For more details, I wrote about this a couple of weeks back
- checkout click fraud.

Additionally, I can personally think of at least 3 other types of
crappy negative SEO practices , namely ...


Search Engine Submission Spamming
This is where you deliberately register someone's website with the
search engines
hundreds or thousands of times so that the site gets blacklisted.
Funnily enough people used to do this for their own websites in the
hope it would help them.

Email Spamming
As it's name implies, it is simply sending mass unsolicited email
using someone's email address as the apparent originator - thus causing lots of mail clients to block their address and add the email address to a spam list.(More sophisticated clients and ISP's check the originating IP address)

Social Network Spamming
This is more recent and is where someone posts annoying, illegal,
inaccurate or defamatory articles on blogs, forums, MySpace,
YouTube etc. whilst pretending to be from another company or
individual. Therefore, unwitting visitors read the 'remarks' and
end up slagging the 'offending' company off in turn - causing a bad PR chain reaction.

Not surprisingly, this is essentially e-libel and causes people to
speak out against the unfortunate victim or company.


Conclusion?

Check your website search engine ranking regularly and if you
suspect any foul play just get in touch.

Want to know More or need any advice?
Simply call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog

If you found this useful - please pass this on...
Receive Your Weekly Internet Marketing Tips...
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'till next time,

Mike Knight. http://www.mklink.com
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
22 Jul 2007   05:30:29 pm
The benefits of having more than one Website
Well, for I've written a web page dedicated to it here:

http://mklink.com/marketing-microsites.php

Want to know More or need any advice?
Simply call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog

If you found this useful - please pass this on...
Receive Your Weekly Internet Marketing Tips...
AND get Your Free Seach Engine Ebook
- simply join our VIP newsletter now:
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Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
10 Jul 2007   08:03:20 am
Attention:Click Fraud
Attention: Click Fraud

"20% or more of your pay-per-click budget may be lost to click fraud. Our Click Fraud Reports reveals PPC ads that are victims of click fraud. Use Our Software to get refunds and to avoid click fraud."

Why bother?
If you're running a pay per click campaign, you'll know that your budget can quickly be exhausted if there is something wrong with your ads.

More precisely, you need to be aware of poorly running ads and Click Fraud.

What is a Problem Campaign?
Put simply, It's an ad that doesn't perform as well as others.

Symptoms can include lower than average conversion rates, lots of short visits(i.e. less than a second) or lots of visits from a certain region.

What is Click Fraud?
This is where a person or program clicks on your ad to either earn a commission or simply try to deplete your budget. 20% of your budget may well be going to click fraud.

With the inevitable increase in online advertising, it is essential that you have a simple to use Click Fraud Reporting System like ours.

If you'd like a White Paper on Click Fraud or a demo on how our software can stop you being a victim and get your money back from the likes of Google,


simply call me on 01454 852414 or
visit http://mklink.com/contact2.php?source=newsletter

'till next time,

Mike Knight.

"Maximise Your Website Conversion Rate with MKLINK"
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
03 Jul 2007   08:52:26 am
Social Network Marketing - The Basics
What is Social Networking?
According to Wikipedia(A social networking type of site in itself) :

"A social network service focuses on the building and verifying of
online social networks for communities of people who share interests
and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and
activities of others, and which necessitates the use of software.

Most social network services are primarily web based and provide a
collection of various ways for users to interact, such as chat,
messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging,
discussion groups, and so on."

What does that mean?
It means that in the 'old' days you pretty much just had noticeboards and chatrooms.
In these days of so-called Web 2.0(i.e. post 9/11) there are a multitude of ways people can interact with each other - outside their own email and websites. Some you'll have heard of - some you won't - I've listed some examples below.
Note - I've covered the basics of blogs in another article here : http://mklink.com/newsletters_14_12_06.html

How do they work?
For the most part - these(typically zero-cost) sites allow their users to create a profile for themselves. They can then upload details and pictures of themselves. Youtube.com for example is famous for uploading video files - often a source of both amusement and litigation!

A paid example of social networking would be friendsreunited.com - where you can join for nothing or pay to upgrade(it was a fiver a year last time I looked) and find and contact people you liked or hated at school! Other examples are dating, file sharing, community interests - there's almost certainly one available for a niche community and if not - start one!

Some famous website examples that allow you to upload your profile & pics etc:
(I'm excluding MSN Messenger & things like that for now)

www.MySpace.com The Big daddy. Adopted primarily by people 35+.
www.Youtube.com Huge .Allows you to upload & share videos. Owned by Google.
www.Facebook.com Worldwide, although well adopted in the UK.
www.bebo.com Aimed at younger people(70% are between 18-34)
www.orkut.com Google's offering - setup in 2004.
www.digg.com - good for feedback rating or digg points
www.flickr.com - Biased towards uploading & sharing photos
del.icio.us - Share your bookmarks with the world!

Can they help my business?

Well, just like blogging can bring in loads of traffic, so can social networking.
Just think of the opportunities :

Inbound links to your website, Visitor feedback, referrals, increased exposure. (Just think how many people YOU send a good email joke to!).

Essentially, if you want to viral market something - these channels are perfect.

Usually - as in blogging, word of mouth referral to your website - or article - or blog - or whatever linkbait you're using - add useful, relevent content that people actually want!

Hope this has given you something to think about...

'till next time,

Mike Knight. http://www.mklink.com


Want to know More? Need help with your website marketing?
Simply call me on 01454 852414
Join my Newsletter & Get my Killer Tips Ahead of Your Competition...
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
20 Jun 2007   10:55:45 pm
Visitor Traffic Quality
You may have heard me say that the output of yur website is
defined by £ Sales = Traffic x Conversion Rate(%)

So, double the traffic, double the conversion rate, right?

Well, not really. You see, the quality of the traffic has a
huge bearing on your conversion rate.

In fact, the equation above only holds true if the quality
of the traffic is consistent - which it doesn't have to be!

Makes sense really...

Say you run a website that sells chicken feed to farmers
and most of your traffic is coming from search engines
directing enquiries about bird flu for example, then your
conversion rate will be lousey. (In this example you could look at
your log files to see which search words people are using to find
your website and change the copy accordingly)

Or.... let's say your website sells office
chairs and you're using Pay per Click from Google to get traffic.

The word 'chair' might bring in loads of traffic and the
Clickthrough rate on Google may be great - but the actual
traffic that you get is people looking for all types of chairs
- consequently office chairs will only represent a fraction
of your target market - hence this traffic is fairly untargetted
and therefore of poor quality.

'Office chairs' would see less people coming to your website
- but would be laser accurate!

However, there are even worse sources of traffic - completely
untargetted traffic.

There are numerous places that sell thousands of 'visitors'
driven to your website.

BUT!!!

This could be from various dubious means - expired domains,
popunders or even worse - click bots.(i.e. programs that try
to simulate real visitors visiting your website)

I'm not saying all these vendors are bad - it's just that I've
tried some and unsurprisingly I've found them to be dud. If
you hear of a bone fide one - let me know!

My advice - don't bother with them. Your stats look good
- your sales look terrible i.e. a waste of money.

Sources of usually good traffic usually includes pay per click,
natural search, blogs, affiliates, micro-sites, inbound links
from relevant sites(esp directories etc)

In general - you're better off with multiple streams of highly
targetted traffic than a single main stream of untargetted traffic,
pound for pound.

How do you know which streams of traffic are working?
With web analytics software(like ours!)
Put simply, we can isolate all your various channels of traffic
that come to your site - so you can see which are converting
and which aren't.

The bottom line is that you can now increase which traffic sources
work and drop those non-converting traffic streams and thus see
your conversion rate soar!

Want to see your various traffic conversion rates?
I offer a complimentary 15 Minute Consultation...

For more details, simply call me on 01454 852414,
or visit http://mklink.com/consult/?source=newsletter

'till next time,

Mike Knight.
http://www.mklink.com
01454 852414
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
06 Jun 2007   10:54:24 am
Guide to Upselling Online
Boosting Order Values
MKLINK Maximises Your Website Conversion Rate

Your Turnover £ = Av.Transaction Value x No.of Transactions

Today, I'll be concentrating on increasing the Average
Transaction Value.

Of course, the quickest and easiest way to do this is to put
your prices up!

Let's say you buy a widget for £10 and sell it for £15,
then that's 50% profit.

i.e. (15 - 10) / 10 x 100% = 50%

Let's now say you put your prices up by 10%, so your new
sales price is £16.50 and your proft goes up by 10% right?

Wrong!

Your new profit is (16.5 - 10 ) x 100% = 65% Profit

So, in this example, putting your price up by 10% increases
the profit by 15%.

Of course, in the REAL world - putting prices up means less
people buy from you(assuming you're in a competitive
marketplace) so you have to balance increased profit against
less sales - taking into consideration price sensitivity etc.

So, here's ANOTHER way to increase your Order Value :
Upselling!

Actually, there's "Up-selling" and "Cross-selling"
- slightly different things so I'll explain what they are to
avoid confusion.

Upselling:
This is convincing the customer to buy something more
expensive than their original desired purchase.
An (extreme) example is going into a car showroom
to buy a Ford and then leaving with BMW
- and no doubt a loan agreement!

Cross-selling:
This encourages the customer to add auxiliary items to their
purchase. Examples would be insurance for electronics products
(Dixon's are great at this!) or offering fries with a burger.
The masters of Cross-selling online are Amazon - they've made
it into an art. Whatever book you buy - they'll find related
books that just seem to fit.

Of course when they offer free delivery if you order over £20
- then that's upselling again - rather than cross-selling...

Be aware that upselling is riskier than cross-selling. With cross
selling, you customer already wants your product or services
and so just needs to decide whether they want extra 'bits' or not.

With upselling - you run the risk of confusing the sale and having
the customer leave undecided - or worse still - feel that you've
tried the 'hard sell'. Cross selling - done correctly - adds value.

I'm not saying don't do upselling - just be a lot more careful with
it. Eitherway Test & measure.

Cross-Selling Ideas

I suggest a maximum of three cross-sell items.

Cross sell items must be relevant!

Each cross-sell item should be less expensive than the main item.
(although I heard a cool story of one that wasn't and made the
site owner a fortune!)

The items should be no-brainers and not require more descriptions,
options, delivery choices etc.



Up-Selling Ideas

Offer the alternative before the customer has decided to
commit to a purchase.

Bullet-point the (extra) features that the upsell item has.

The upsell item should always be more expensive than
the main item.

New or Limited edition stock is a widely accepted
way of upselling.

So are "3 for the Price of 2" types of offer.

Offer free shipping for threshold value orders.
( Amazon Excel at this!)



In general, try peppering your site with loss leaders to get visitors
- then upselling and cross-selling to get your profits back.

Avoid being PHILTHY.
You've heard of Phishing and Pharming; PHILTHY stands for
Purposely Hiding What I'm Looking For. (crap acronym eh?)
It means hiding extra changes until the very last moment
of purchase.

Examples would be 'handling charges', VAT, Services charges etc.
It stinks - so don't do it!

If you would like help on Upselling & Cross-selling,
I offer a complimentary 15 Minute Consultation...
Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
http://www.mklink.com/consult/?source=blog

If you found this useful - please pass this on...
Receive Your Weekly Internet Marketing Tips...
AND get Your Free Seach Engine Ebook
- simply join our VIP newsletter now:
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Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
22 May 2007   11:35:58 am
Website Analytics - The Basics
Website Analytics - The Basics

You can now save your money and increase your profits by
analysing your website with tools, software and know-how.

Don't worry - I'm not going to get too technical here - just cover
the very basics - which I'll be adding to over time.

If you really get into this, then there's techniques, software and
analytics skills which would make Einstein give up and go home.

What's Your Website Sales?

Well, as you're doubtless aware by now, your website output is :

Sales £££ = Visitors x Conversion Rate(%)

Let's say your turnover generated by the website(either sales or
leads) is an average of £9,000 per month.

If you could "wave a magic wand" and increase your traffic by 10%
and your conversion rate by 15% then...

...Your New Sales Figures are :

£9000 x 1.10 x 1.15 = £11,385

i.e. that's an additional £2385(i.e.26%) increase.
meaning an extra £28,620 per Year!*

*For perspective, our typical fees for managing your analytics
and achieving these results for you would be just £297 per month!

More examples at http://www.mklink.com/examples.html

What Are You Measuring?

The biggest Key Performace Indicators are of course
visitors, leads, sales and conversion rate.

However, these are just the end results.

To get these results, we need to know - and consequently imprpove :

Search Engine Ranking

Inbound Links

Google Page Rank

Time on site

Pay per click dynamics

Returning visitors

Usability

Clarity

Navigation

Abandonment rate(Expecially Checkout Abandonment or Contact forms)

Page views per visitor

Average order value

Keyword analysis

email signup rate

email penetration

competitor's sites


- the list is endless!

Naturally, if your website generates a £1000 a month you'll have
different priorities than if your site turns over millions a month.

In the forthcoming issues, I'll be concentrating on these areas and
showing you how to improve your website's performance specifically
by measuring and then improving these key areas.

'till next time,
Mike Knight. http://www.mklink.com

For more details or to speak about your website,
simply call me on 01454 852414, reply to this email
or visit http://mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
08 May 2007   02:41:50 pm
Website Navigation - The Basics
Back to Internet Marketing HomePage

Good Navigation is Key to Conversion...

Hello again - I just thought I'd pen a few notes about basic website navigation as so many people seem to miss the point or go off on a tangent somewhere.

Bad Navigation = Lost Sales.
(Or, put another way, Clarity=Conversion)

Don't tell me off!

Please bear in mind that once again there is no such thing as right or wrong - simply what works for you.(Graphic designers please note - I'm simply alluding to established practices - please don't give me an earache). Also - my own website needs some work too - I know!

The reason good navigation is important is because if your website
is difficult to travel around(for anyone unfamiliar with it - i.e. new visitors!) then potential customers will rapidly bale out - for the most trivial of reasons - left right and centre.

The Basics.

Make links blue and underlined like this

Put your company logo on the top left hand side

Include a telephone number at the top in an obvious place

Put the main navigation(links)along the top margin

Include sub-navigation(links) along the left hand margin

Avoid FLASH or Javascript navigation unless it's vital

Include a Site Map - usually at the bottom

Include breadcrumb navigation*

Links within the site are important and help SEO

Search boxes go on the top Right hand side

Don't bother with splash pages(Un-necessary into pages)

Don't use FRAMES if at all possible

When linking to external sites - open a separate window

Make any image links look like obvious buttons!

Check regularly for missing / broken links.

Include accessibility** for the Visually Impaired.



*Breadcrumb navigation: In large sites - or sites where you have to "drill down" - very useful to include this.

** Subject for another day.

e.g. Homepage >> Shop >> Fishing tacle >> Rods >> Shark Rods

It goes at the top of the main content and it's real world counterpart could be considered "You are Here" on a map.

There's plenty more - but that's enough to think about for now.

Clarity
(i.e making things easy to read and see) should play a part in your navigation too. That's obvious things like ensuring you have enough contrast between the subject and it's background - or ensuring font size is large enough to read - or that an image is clear - or that a button actually looks like a button(rather than background scenery)

Lastly,

I'm launching some Internet Marketing training products shortly - please let me know if you are interested?

Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, or call me on 01454 852414
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog[/list]
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
24 Apr 2007   10:41:00 am
Get More Inbound Links with RSS
Why Bother?

As you'll know by now, it's hugely beneficial to get a decent page
rank from Google if you want to get lots of natural(unpaid) traffic.
Probably the most important factor in getting a decent page rank -
especially as far as Google is concerned is the amount of decent
inbound links you have.

The upshot - If you provide an RSS feed you get get more
inbound links from decent, relevant sites.

Why would people want to link to you in the first place?

Well, the reasons are manifold and there are many strategies for
encouraging inbound links. I'll mention other ways in forthcoming
newsletters.

What I'm going to concentrate here is a way that other website
ownerscan put your content on their websites - saving them
hassle of having to do it themselves. It's a win win situation - they
get to add value to their websites by having fresh content(which
they didn't have to write and which is is automatically updated
when you update your website and you get a link to your website.

So, What is RSS?

It stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or less commonly
"Rich Site Summary". In a nutshell, it means that if
you make your website RSS enabled(or more likely part of your
website - esp. news pages, product updates etc) then other site
owners can dump that information right onto their websites.

Not all of the information necessarily gets displayed - more usually
it's just a headline followed by some text - a summary of a fuller
article that can be read in detail if required

When a visitor clicks on the RSS feed
- they get more information - a bit like the posts on a blog
or noticeboard

How do I use RSS?
RSS 'feeds' are read by an aggregator. Conversely, you may
wish to put an 'aggregator' on your website to incorporate the
latest news headlines in your subject matter. This is possibly why
the BBC website has a page rank of 9(Very, very rare!)

For example, you can subscribe to the BBC News RSS feed at :
http://newsrss.bbc.co.uk/rss/newsonline_uk_edition/front_page/rss.xml

A few notes about different types of RSS

Reading RSS Feeds
You can view RSS feeds either via PC based aggregators
or web based ones.
Popular (PC based) Readers:
A good resource is http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3223484.stm
Amphetadesk(Windows, Linux, Mac)
FeedReader (Windows)
NewsGator (Windows - integrates with Outlook)
Popular (Web based) Readers:
My Yahoo
Bloglines
Google Reader

Publishing RSS Feeds.
This is a bit more tricky due to advancements and standards etc.
There is 0.9 1.0, 2x Atom and others.

How to implement these is beyond the scope of this newsletter -
which is designed to create awareness - not provide detailed
technical specifications.

So, if you want to play around with RSS then here's a good place
to start...

http://www.techxtra.ac.uk/rss_primer/

Or you can contact me...

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, or call me on 01454 852414
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
12 Apr 2007   09:50:23 am
Google's New Optimizer Tool
At last!

Let Google take the guesswork out of optimizing your website.

Now, I don't mean Search engine optimizing it
- I mean optimizing it for conversion.

The object of paid for traffic is to drive quality traffic to your website.
A conversion can be a sales, a lead, an email signup a download etc.

I recently gave some advice about split testing.
This is where you run 2 versions of the same ad, website
or landing page.

Checkout http://www.mklink.com/newsletters_27_09_06.html

Well,Google now allows you to run Multivariate Analysis.

Don't panic! Basically, it's split testing on steroids! Don't worry
about the maths - Google does all the hard work for you.

This means you can optimize your website and get the highest
conversion rate in a fraction of the time - saving you
loads of hassle.

How does it work?
Well, I won't bore you with the theory - you can look that
up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multivariate_analysis

Suffice to say, a typical web page has several(important)
components - Headline, sales text, image(s), prices etc

Google now allows you to run various permutations of these
elements and graphically shows you which combination produces
the best results!

i.e. You can test & measure each element of the website rapidly.

It's easy...

In a Nutshell, this is what you do :

1) Choose which page & which Sections to test.
2) Add Google's code to the different elements on your site
3) Create section alternatives (i.e. different copy, prices, images, guarantees etc)
4) Analyse your results
5) Go down the pub.

Admittedly, the last one is optional.

If you aren't optimizing your website for conversion - or worse still -
not even monitoring your conversion, then you will almost certainly
be wasting most of your marketing budget.

If your car wasn't running properly - you wouldn't try and go
further or faster by simply using more fuel- surely you'd fix the engine?

It's no different with your website. You've already paid
(one way or another) to get people to your website-all you need to do is
get more of them to take action.

Now there's now excuse as Google's built in tool does all the
work for you!

You have to register to use this new tool.
( You should get your account set-up within 2 days)

The Good news - there's zero cost for using Google's New Tool!

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, or call me on 01454 852414
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
29 Mar 2007   09:58:18 am
Watchout! Robots are Coming...
What Are They?

Known as robots, trawlers, crawlers, spiders, wanderers, worms and such; their job is to traverse the internet, retrieving and/or reviewing documents.

The Good ones help make sense of the Internet. Search Engines like Google use them to go through your website and help them decide how to classify your website and how to rank you. Others check your site for mistakes, missing links, updated content to report - the list is endless.

The Bad ones look for weaknesses to exploit so that the owner can hack you or spam you or 'harvest' your email address to sell.(And lots of other annoying things like that)

Why should you care?

Because you want to get lots of natural search engine traffic.

Although there are a few directories that historically reviewed websites by human operators(and some continue to do so) such as DMOZ, Yahoo etc - the vast majority of indexing is automated. Not surprising when you consider the sheer volume of stuff they have to classify and review.

Which means robots are reviewing your website.

So be nice to them!

What should you do?

Assuming you want the robots to trawl your site, you should make it as easy as possible for them to do so. They basically follow links, so :

Make an HTML site map

Add it to your Home Page

Let the Robots do their Job



Remember, Search Engine Robots LIKE Links, Text, ALT Tags, Site Maps, Titles, Meta Tags and most other text based stuff.

They DON'T Like Javascript, FLASH, Animations, Images etc.

That's not to say you can't have multimedia - just be aware that Spiders need html and Links too.

Don't like Spiders?

You can also request robots stop spidering your website too, by making a file called robots.txt and adding various exclusions there - for more details visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robots.txt

It may be that you don't want them to index certain parts of your site or show up in your server logs for example.

How do You know if You've been visited by a robot?
Easy - look at your server logs.

Check them for sites that retrieve lots of documents, esp. quickly.
If you notice a site repeatedly checking for the file '/robots.txt' chances are that is a robot too.
Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, or call me on 01454 852414
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
10 Mar 2007   01:45:27 pm
2 Free Ways to Increase Profits
Divided we Fall...

1-Cross Sell(Joint Venture)
What's a Joint Venture & How Could it Help You?

Basically, a Joint venture is where you help to promote someone else's
products or services - in return for either favour or money.

Here's an example - you go into a Motorway Service Station and See a
chap Selling AA Breakdown Cover(I used to do that!). Or you buy
a magazine and inside is a CD-ROM offering demo software.

That's Joint Venture.

The Good news is that you don't have to be a multi-million
pound industry to run joint venture - anyone can do it.

The beauty is - when done properly, you're offering appropriate goods or services to your target customers who already have an established relationship with you.

It's a win-win situation.

A hair salon - Could offer a coupon for a nail salon across the town.

A garage - could cross sell car wash products on a commission basis.

A shop owner can have a cafe-concession within the shop.

Advertisers can co-brand their products.

You get the idea?

Now, with regards to the least example - we're getting close to why
it's a great move to do this with your website...

Some example ideas...

Link exchanging.
Linking to relevant, similar sites boosts your page-rank.

Google Adsense - Make money by simply displaying a relevant ad!

Affiliate Programs.
Pretty self explanatory - link to other people's sites and take a percentage of everything sold. Checkout my Resources Page'
http://mklink.com/internet_marketing-tools.php

Third Party Credibility.
Ask other people to endorse your products
or services - in return for extra exposure on your website.

Want More Online Sales? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

2-"Up-Sell"
It's a known fact that anywhere from 30% to 50% of your buyers will buy from you again if you offer them a something else!

Typical examples that everyone's heard of:

Go into a burger bar and get asked "Would you like fries with that?"

Buy some shoes and be offered "Need some Polish for those?"

Order a TV and instantly your quizzed "What happens if it breaks down in 2 years - why not have some insurance?"

(The latter is my pet hate but hey - that's life.)

Ways to do it online :

1) If you have an ecommerce checkout - make the software 'smart' and
offer other items for the products being bought - e.g. batteries, replacements, covers, insurance, spare parts - you name it.

2) If you are offering a service - bundle something else in for a reduced cost as a package - e.g. a Drycleaners can offer to clean 3 items of clothing for the price of 2.

3) Offer Free Shipping - if a certain target price has been met.

The important thing is not HOW you up-sell(because there's no right or wrongs - you'll need to test) but that you DO IT!

Email.
Remember, If you have your clients' email address - you can email them after a day, a week, a month and offer them something else. When done properly, it's part good customer service.

The Good News - neither of these strategies costs you a penny!

More strategies coming soon...

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, or call me on 01454 852414
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
25 Feb 2007   05:27:23 pm
15 More Tips to ramp up Your Conversion
"15 More Tips to Ramp up Your Website Conversion."


Get More Customers for the Less Cost.

1-Testing, testing.
In a forthcoming newsletter, I'll be talking about multivariate analysis(Taguchi method). It's all about what bits you should change, then measure the results via your analytics software. Until then - just measure your conversion rate by testing the following:
Headline(The biggest factor!), Your USP, Your Offer, Guarantee, Bonuses, Delivery, Returns policy, Testimonials, navigation,
Font colours, Products(See below) - in fact anything that can make a difference. You can't test too much! Don't worry, there is software available...I'll give you more details soon.


Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

2-"Use Quotation Marks"
Dunno why - but quotation marks around headlines make around 27% of people read them more. Funny hey?

3-Use Check Boxes
Interestingly, using check-boxes somehow get people to interact with your site and induces some sort of commitment. Something along the lines of "Yes - please send me my Free Download" etc. Make the checkbox un-checked initially - otherwise you've defeated the object of the exercise.

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

4-Keep it above the Line Sunshine.
Keep the important stuff "above the fold". (That's newspaper speak for not scrolling down) That means your contact details, top calls to action, offers, headline, top 5 benefits etc. Don't make people scroll down to get to your best bits...

5-Add your Badges of Honour
Increase your credibility with having a secure server certificate(for ecommerce sites), or trade associations you're a member of, or indeed anything of value and relevance.
Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

6-"And that's Guaranteed?"
Where appropriate - offer a guarantee. I do. If you really believe in your product or service then reassure your customers with a guarantee - and then go beyond the norm and offer a better than money back guarantee if possible.

7-How would you like to Pay?
Not everyone wants to give a credit card via a website. Tough - get over it. Include your phone number so people can call you and buy over the phone. Offer PayPal - offer ability to take cheques. Let people order by fax or mail order.
Offer to break the price of expensive items over easy payments, if applicable.
HELP PEOPLE TO PAY YOU.

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

8-Don't keep me hanging on the Phone
There's a migration of totally electronic companies that have realized that people want to talk to someone - so put your phone number on your website. Odds are if people realize they can call you - and get good telephone service - they'll buy from you. Give them multiple options & irritating electronic messages when phoning at your peril.

9-Checkout Your Checkout
Keep Your Checkout As Simple As possible.

I repeat - "Keep your Checkout as Simple as Possible".

I want to buy some electronic games and a map. I don't want to join some stupid club or tell you my old Geography teacher's middle name.

Don't make things pointlessly complicated or force people to re-type their delivery address in for example - because you can't be bothered to add a bit of decent code. If you could see the abandonment rate at your online checkout - you'd weep.
Read "Don't make me Think" - by Steve Krug

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

10-Repeat Your Offer & Main Benefits.
This is especially true of long copy - people may need reminding at the end - just before your call to action.

11-Calls to Action - When Once Just Isn't enough
If your sales copy is long and your visitor has to scroll down, then repeat your call to action several times. For example...
Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

....See what I mean?

12-Use Formatting
Keep text in fairly narrow columns - like this newsletter. Make your benefits stand out with bullet points. Highlight important words in bold, italics, different colours - or even all of then. Graphic designers moaning at this can take a hike - this stuff pays bills.
Break up text into short paragraphs.

13-Add a p.s. - or an Asterisk
For some reason everyone always reads a p.s. It's just something that itches us and we can't resist it.*

14-Put captions on Images
Again - people can't resist reading captions - just human nature really.

15-Sell what people actually want!Just in case you think I'm teaching granny to suck eggs - think again.
I've made this mistake. You've made this mistake - everyone has made this mistake. To find out what people actually want - ask them. Offer different stock, products, services. Look at chat rooms, newsgroups, forums. See what questions people are asking. Use Wordtracker for example to review search counts.

For example - I know for a fact that it's in everyone's interest to get their conversion rate as high as possible - before they spend a fortune getting to the top of the search engines. I tried selling and banging on about that for ages - until I realised that I should just give people what they want! Everyone wants to be at the Top of Google. So, now, after they've become a customer or subscriber, I *politely* suggest that they may want to sort their conversion out as well!

(More Tips coming soon ) Want More Conversion? -
Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, or call me on 01454 852414


* See what I mean? ;-)
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
18 Feb 2007   04:46:09 pm
12 Quick Tips to Ramp up Your Website Conversion.
Get More Customers for the Same Cost.

1-Sell on Emotion - NOT Logic.
There's an expression - "people don't buy the sausage -
they buy the sizzle!"
There's a lot of truth in that.

We are an emotional species and make 80% of our decision about something on a level based from love, hate, fear, greed etc. We then back up the decision with logic.
So, Appeal to people emotions via your website and emails.

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

2-Get Ahead - Get a HeadLine
Ask anyone who sells Newspapers on a street corner about the
impact of a punchy headline. They Sell. In fact 80%(again) of the
response can sometime be attributed to the headline. Make it punchy
and irresistible. Remember the job of the headline is to make people read the next bit of the ad - nothing else.

3-Breakaway with Your Break Even Point
Once you know what your break even point is - you can then know how much you can spend on a campaign before it is unprofitable.

Calculate the margin that your product or service contains. Divide the cost of the campaign by the number of visitors, factor in your conversion rate and hey presto - that's the cost of each new customer. If it's less than the break even point - you're in profit.

Remember to take into consideration the LIFETIME value of your customers. If Cashflow allows, it is sometimes worth losing money in the short term to acquire customers in the long term. Be careful however as it is usually the big boys that get away with this.

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

4-Words are worth a Thousand Pictures.

Having pictures on your website may look nice and can help portray a good product - yet it's the copy that sells. The better the copy - the more you'll sell. Make sure products(if you have an online shop) have lots of juicy descriptive.

If you sell a service - give as many benefits as you can about what you offer. Remember -it's the copy that is your salesman. Equip him with as
many tools as you can to help him do his job.

5-Not on a first Date!
Get into the habit of giving people a compelling reason to start a relationship with you before you start to ask them to buy. Offer news articles, tips, free downloads etc - to get their contact details and then market to them over a period of time if possible. People go online to research not buy - so give them the information they want before you try and sell to them.

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

6-Would YOU go back to Your Website?
As an extension to Tip # 4 - If your website just sells - then it is unlikely the visitor will find any real value from it and therefore unlikely to return. However, if they find it a compelling source of information and value - not only will they return(and much more likely to buy) but they will hopefully refer colleagues as well.

7-Blah Blah Blah.
As people become evermore desensitized to marketing messages, so you should keep changing your copy and buzz words to get through their 'filters'. Try and make your message punchy, with high impact and emotive content. Sex sells. I don't mean make everything into 'hype' - just raise the average and try new words etc.

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

8-Referrals are Your Pearls
Whatever you do or say - it is always more believable if someone is there to back you up. So - have testimonials on your website. Important - don't just say ""blah blah blah" Mrs. B - Manchester - because it's next to useless. Offer specific referrals, with contact details and a picture if possible. The higher the calibre of the referral - the better. Imagine the Queen endorsing your dog food for example by exclaiming how her Corgis like it!

9-The Price is Right
You might be pleased to know that (in some industries at least) people are not as price sensitive as you think. Consequently you can put your prices up and therefore make more profit. It is invaluable to test and measure your price points. Calculate how many fewer sales you'd need if you were to put your prices up by 5, 10 20, 30 percent etc. Then test various price points and see what happens!

Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

10-See, Hear, Touch Taste, Feel & Imagine
Without going into too much head shrinking here - people think in different ways. Some Visualise things, some people are touchy-feely - some people are very auditory biased. Make your copy appeal to everyone by using different adjectives to appeal to their imagination and way of processing.

"Imagine Yourself relaxing in a nice hot bath, listening to the bubbles popping and smelling the subtle summer lavender as you soak away your day's troubles..." is a little more engaging than
"These are great bath salts..."

Remember - Visual, Audio, Kinesthetic.
(I'll probably write mote about this in another email)

11-Customers Only Tune into "WII FM"
What's In It For Me? If your website starts by prattling on about how your grandfather setup the stationery business in a coal cellar and that now you have 5 branches and look how clever you are - you're usually wasting your time. If it offers useful advice - e.g. "How to save 50% on your printer ink supplies..." etc - then you'll score.

12-It's Terrific to be Specific.
The more relevant and specific your website is to your visitor, the more they'll buy from you. If someone wants to buy a toaster and they land one the homepage of your site which then forces them to navigate around before they get to the right section - your conversion rate will go through the floor. Either get people onto a relevant landing page from your Pay Per Click Campaign - or simply have more, smaller websites that are more specific and relevant. You're better off with lots of smaller websites - one of which would be about just toasters and sandwich makers for example - then trying to be Argos!

(More Conversion Tips coming up next time...)
Want More Conversion? - Visit http://www.mklink.com/consult/

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, or call me on 01454 852414
http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
07 Feb 2007   01:22:33 pm
What Downtime Costs You
What if Your Site Goes Down?

Assuming your website is important to your business, then it makes good
sense to regularly monitor it and make sure that it's on track. I shall
be returning to this topic again and again as I get further into website
analytics, but for now, let's just keep an eye on the very basics so that
you know what to look out for.

Firstly - is Your Website Online?
Sounds obvious - but the first thing to ensure is that your website
is actually 'online' 100% of the time!

Let's say your website generates business of £10,000 per month from selling
business to business. So, assuming that people are looking at it during a
normal working day, that's 9 am to 5 pm, 5 days a week, four and a half weeks in
a month.

That's 8 x 5 x 4.5 = 180 hours per month to generate £10,000 pounds

Therefore, your site generates roughly £56 per hour !!!

You'll appreciate then that your site needs to be up 100% of the time.
Even 1 tenth of that is like paying someone a basic wage
- for every hour your site's down

Other things to monitor are missing pages, dead links, incomplete images etc.
Anything missing ultimately costs you money in some way, down the road.

Needless to say - if your site is down - you need to know ASAP!

If you'd like details of web monitoring services - contact me
...01454 852414 or visit mklink.com/contact2.php?source=newsletter

Sales / Leads
Here you should keep a record of total transactions and transaction amounts so
that you can keep an eye on conversion rates. You can also try to increase
the average transactional value as well(via price increases, upselling, bundling etc)

Page Load times
You've heard me rattle on before that you've got 8 seconds to get your
visitor hooked. Keep images small where possible - remove un-necessary files,
movies and clutter that doesn't improve the visitor experience.

Bandwidth
Ultimately, you're paying for this. What is it? It's the amount of information
your server pumps out over any given unit of time. Your ISP gets charged for
bandwidth and so you will probably have limits on your account. If you haven't
- it's likely you've got a cheap(slow) hosting account. Keep bandwidth down
by offering to cache files, keep images optimized and smaller where possible.

Time on Site
If you have access to decent stats or log files - knowing the average time on site
is a great way of getting a rough idea of the quality of your traffic. If a visitor
is there less than a second - he's probably a robot! Higher visit times equate to
higher conversion rates. Keeping an eye on this index and looking to increase it is
another way of making your website more 'sticky'

Visits
I shall save a lengthier discussion here - suffice to say the more unique visitors
you have - the more chances you'll have of selling. Of course that's a function of
how good the quality of your traffic is - and whether they're repeat visitors or not.
I'll need to spend a whole email on this really - I'll leave this for now.

Search Engine Positioning
In order to find your site - 85% of people will probably have used a search engine.
I shalln't rattle on about how important this is. A quick way of keeping an eye
on your position is to choose (say) a dozen key phrases that you're interested in
being found for, then updating a spreadsheet monthly that tells you(numerically)
which positions you rank for these given key phrases, within the major search
engines. Over time, you can see if your positions are going up, down
... or remaining neutral.

Google Page Rank
This ranges from 0 to 10. Google's algorithm for calculating this is a function of
inbound links from other sites, including their page rank, website content and other
stuff. Suffice to say the higher the number the better. A Page rank of 4 or more is
considered quite good. You can get the Pagerank Toolbar direct from Google.
(If you have a page rank of 7 or above - you should be writing this!)

Alexa Page Rank
This is similar to Google Page rank - in reverse and multiplied by 1,000,0000 !
Essentially, the lower number the better. It is calculated by how many Alexa users
are visiting your website. If your Alexa number is less than 100,000 you're doing
quite well.

Inbound Links
You can measure these from Google, MSN, Ask Jeeves, Alta Vista etc.
Google is probably the most important - for reasons of page rank.
To find it out - go to www.google.co.uk and type :
link:http://www._your_website_address/

e.g. link:http://www.newcastle.co.uk/

Again - keep the result on a spreadsheet and monitor these over time.

Lastly...
The idea of this email is not really a primer on website analytics - as I said,
I shall be emailing a series on that - but at least if you spend just a few
minutes each month putting this information on a spreadsheet - you'll build up a
picture of how healthy your site is - so that any changes are noticeable and just
as importantly - if anything is wrong - you'll quickly know.

We're launching a new service in March 07 that covers this stuff
- and a lot more besides...

- checkout http://www.mklink.com/consult


'till next time,

Mike Knight.

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
25 Jan 2007   12:56:20 pm
Planning Your Website for 2007
Planning for Profit in 2007

Fail to Plan or Plan to Fail

Now seems like a very good time to plan your future online marketing enterprises!
So, Where do you start? At the beginning...!

What do you want to achieve(online)?

It sounds overly simple and possibly a bit silly - but write it down anyway.
Be as clear and concise as you can.

Who is your target market? What product, service or information do you want to
provide for them? It's difficult to help you here, except to say that time spent
researching how other people are attracting your prospective market will pay
dividends. Even if you think you have a unique service, time spent 'Googling' around
may well prove you wrong - or give you some more ideas!

What Kind of Site are you going to have?

To help you, here are the main things that people want their websites to achieve.
1) To create online sales. This could be books, holidays, electronics, membership
subscriptions for example.
E.g. www.amazon.co.uk www.ebay.co.uk
This type of business is instant
2) To Create Sales Leads. This could be complex quoting system on a car insurance
website, or a simple enquiry form on a dentist's website.
e.g. www.confused.com
Here, the business is usually further down the line, after a qualification process.
3) To capture information. This can be for various marketing purposes from the
government wishing to find out a certain poll, to (more usually) business websites
trying to capture email addresses so that they can market to their audience over
a period of time. An example is my site http://www.mklink.com ,
4) To Provide information(a Portal). There are various types of these but famous
examples include www.bbc.co.uk , www.google.com , www.direct.gov.uk/

There are other types of sites and blogs and thing like that but essentially you
either want to sell to someone there and then, or capture their details(or both)
or simply inform your audience.

There are plenty of companies who want websites simply to act as a brochure,
rather than as a business generating device.

Once you have decided what kind of site you have - or are going to have
- you can develop it with your audience in mind.

Work out & Fulfill Your visitors' immediate needs.
Bear in mind that your visitors needs aren't the same as yours!

It is also useful to know which Key Performance Indicators you'll want to build into
the site as well - I shall discuss this in another email as it needs plenty of
explanation.(Visitors, signups, dropouts, etc)

Think of Your End Objective- e.g. a Telephone Sales call with a lead generated from your website.

Think of the Flow of the Site(Sales Funnel)

The Sales Funnel might go like this-Suspiciously similar to mine in fact...

1) Offer some free information on your website(Relevant TO you website!) in return
for an email address
2) Send useful tips and articles on a regular basis(Remembering the CAN-SPAM
laws etc)
3) At the end of each email - provide a call to action - e.g. call for more info
- or a link to a contact form
4) Contact the leads that are measured
5) Make a sales Call.
6) Sale Made? If not - and appropriate - go back to Step 5


As a general rule of thumb - you can't have too much information - just make it
too boring. Make the relevant information available at a high level - with obvious
drill-down points for those visitors that want more detail.
Note : When this is working properly - you can afford to (buy) more traffic to your
website. Of course, you'll only know if it's working properly by testing and
measuring to get the best results.

It can be seen that even a simple website - like mine - needs a fair amount of
thought and planning. If your website isn't working for you - it may be that you've
simply got the planning wrong - an obvious and easy mistake.

Ecommerce sites have different objectives - and different Key Performance
Indicators. Again - this will be the subject of another email.

Once you have your sales funnel in mind - it can be very useful to simply sketch out
the layout of the new website - with a rough idea of the navigation. Doing this helps
you visualise the end result - and aids clarity.

Remember :

Design your web site from the perspective of your Audience-Not You.

Organization. Keep navigation as simple as possible - making all links obvious.

Avoid using jargon and trying to show off.


(My own website for example - used to have nice imagery, Flash animation
-all sorts of things. The result? A lot less leads than I get with simple sales copy)

Feedback.

This comes under the auspices of usability. Again - a subject for another email.
The bones of it though are in another newsletter I wrote back in July
: http://www.mklink.com/newsletters_04_07_06.html

Want to know More?

Simply call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog

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- simply join our VIP newsletter now:
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11 Jan 2007   12:22:28 pm
2007 - Time to Write a Book - an Ebook!
Write a Book! Ebook that is...

Firstly, I am going to state that you are going to GIVE AWAY your Ebook!

(Creating Ebooks and selling them online can be a very profitable enterprise yet it's outside the scope of this excercise.)

What you are trying to do here is give your visitors a compelling reason to visit your site, give you their email address and also recommend the site.

Time and time again I have explained the importance of a Call to Action.
A very Successful Call to Action is to offer something for Nothing!

In this case an Ebook.

So, what do you need to know about Ebooks?

Presentation is King!

1) The Title.
Put Simply, this needs be attention grabbing (To your Target Market). Like News Headlines - the title can be responsible for up to 80% of the Response Rate

2) The Cover.
Now, I know Ebooks don't have a physical cover, but nevertheless having an image of one(refer the one I offer for free on
http://www.mklink.com)
increases people's perception of tangibility and therefore Value.

This isn't as silly as it sounds!

(Use the following information to help with the rest of your website too ...but don't forget to test & Measure!)

The Magic of Colours :
Colour has a hidden psychological effect on your Visitors.

Don't underestimate this.

Generally, Bright and bold Colours tend to Fire us up, while softer Colours calm us down.
How colour affects your visitors is influenced by mood, age, sex & background.

So, try and make the Colour of your Ebook suitable for your Audience:

Children : Vivid, Bright Colours.
Women : Soft Pastels
Men : Strong Colours.

...AND make the colour suitable for the content of the Book.

Keep it simple - if possible use as few colours as possible and try and match it with the rest of your site.

Which Colours to use?
I found this article fascinating :
http://www.guidetoebookmarketing.com/articles.php?articleId=197

3) Content, content, content.
Of course, I'm not saying that the content of the Ebook is third down the list - but of course I can't help you much with the content - apart from a few tips...

Your book will usually be read more if the content is original(your
own)
but you can leverage other people's content - assuming you have their permission and that it is worth reading. Naturally, if you are using someone else's material then you should credit them and provide a link to their website.

As you're not selling the Ebook, it doesn't have to be protected with any particular software.
Make sure people can download either as html(preferable) - or as a PDF.

For extra Exposure - encourage people to offer your Ebook to their visitors.
(Naturally - make sure they credit YOU and have a link to your
website!)

4) Actually Writing the Ebook - the Hard Part!

Obviously, you want to pick a topic that You know a lot about or can research about.
Try to think about the things that you enjoy doing, skills that you may have that not everyone does. Think about things that some of your customers are always asking you.

You'll be surprised at what you know. Remember, something that is trivial to you probably isn't to someone outside your area of expertise.

Keep it relevant.
If your business is accountancy then writing an Book about fly-fishing (just because it may be your hobby) probably won't serve you.
Instead - a primer on how to Save Tax would be a better place to start.

Don't Waffle.
Keep the facts short and salient. Remember - you're not trying to win a Pulitzer prize - you are giving away Information and Facts in return for someone's private information.

Lastly, Keep it up to Date.
Eensure it is kept in date if the subject matter is prone to change or is likely to be out of date. Link it to a blog. Ask for feedback - revise it etc.

This also gives visitors reasons to come back to you...
Want to know More?

Simply call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :

http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog

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13 Dec 2006   12:37:37 pm
Blogs - the (very) Basics!
Blogs/Weblogs : What are these Online Journals?

A 'blog' (weblog) is basically a regularly updated webpage that
has links to other websites with relevance to a certain subject.

For a definition - look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weblog

They have all the attributes necessary to really boost Your Website Rankings...
1) They are updated regularly-meaning Search Engines index them regularly
2) They are keyword rich
3) They attract repeat visitors. These repeat visitors are very highly targetted!
4) They develop loyalty over time
5) Other websites can link to your blog's articles - win win win!
6) Providing fresh content elevates your status to 'expert'
7) Very easy to update

Starting Your Blog : Use Your Own Script or Someone Else's Blog?
There are literally hundreds of blog scripts available - just take a look at
www.hotscripts.com - a great resource for all kinds of stuff. As I have a working
knowledge of PHP/MYSQL (ie database stuff) I am happy to set-up my own blog
- ref. http://www.mklink.com/blog

I have used MyBloggie - simply because it's pretty easy to use and loads of people
have posted good feedback about it - I can certainly recommend it. You might want
to disable other people adding trackbacks or comments - simply because there are
2 forms of spam to be aware of :

1) Graffiti. I.e. bored people writing crap on your blog - or worse still
- saying bad things about you or other people.
2) Link spam. This is usually created by robots that write crap on your blog - but
put a link to someone's website - in the hope of building up their page-rank.

My advice - unless you've got moderators(people who look after the blog on your
behalf) or lots of spare time - just enable access for yourself.

The same is true of a remotely hosted blog - by far the most popular. You don't have
to worry about coding, they are usually very easy to update and everyone's heard
of them - so getting them found can be a lot easier. Also, they are usually upgraded
automatically as new hacks etc. become known.

A couple of the better known ones are www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com
but please look around - there are loads to choose from. As these blogs are used by
vast numbers of everyday people(which is the whole point), set up and instructions
are quite straightforward. What Should You Write About?
Well, the best thing to write about is something that you know about!
Be creative and try and look at the blog from the point of view of someone else.
Remember to add lots of links to your website(if relevant!) as this will help you
score pagerank.

If you have been reading any of our tips about Search Engine Marketing, try and
keep an eye on keyword density and relevance. Avoid duplication where possible
and never copy other people's work...
- it's immoral, can get you into trouble and won't benefit you anyway!

Try and keep things salient and short. There's so much dross on the internet
- there's no point adding more waffle to it!

You are far better off writing lots of regular, short articles than writing a long one,
very occasionally. Articles of around 100 words or so are fine - longer if you wish.

If you don't want to write the articles yourself - go to www.ezinearticles.com and use
their articles - although you must credit(i.e. link to) the author. Having said that
- this is essentially duplicated content - so whilst it saves time - doesn't really add
much value - as far as the search engines are concerned anyway.

Remember - the articles don't have to be long - so there's no excuse for not putting
up fresh content - as often as possible...

Getting Blog Traffic : How do I get Traffic to my Blog?
Assuming you are a business owner, one of the main reasons to have a blog is to
drive quality traffic to relevant parts of your website. There are tons of blogs out
there, but you needn't be daunted. As the blogging community has expanded, so have
the search engines ability to track them.
Blogs have been classified into categories and listed in blog directories - just like
websites are. The next step is for you to list your blog in the relevant directories.

As putting a list here of blog directories would almost certainly be out of date soon,
I just Googled and got :

http://www.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/Directories/

You can submit by hand - or use a tool. One tool I used - and thought it was OK
- if a bit basic - was www.rssfeedssubmit.com.

The main trick is that once the blog has been submitted to the relevant directories,
you need to make the search engines/directories/whoever's interested be aware
of whenever your blog is updated...

RSS Feeds
RSS? Really simply Syndication - although it has been called other things. This
means other blogs and websites etc. can grab content from your Blog and dump
it onto their website! Hooray for common sense! So, rather than loads of people
updating their website - one website is updated which automatically updates
everyone else's that wants to publish the same information. This could be football
scores, weather, news - or indeed your blog article about widgets...

Ping
Nope - I'm not talking about table tennis! This is a service that broadcasts the
existence of either your website - or indeed a new article in your blog.
Have a look at http://www.pingoat.com for example.

I'll be adding more details in the next newsletter - 'till then Happy Blogging!

Want to know More?

Simply call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog

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30 Nov 2006   01:08:23 pm
7 Signs of a bad Website
1) Selling To Everyone Means You Sell to No One
The best websites offer niche products or services. Unless you are a huge trading
site such as Amazon or Tesco's - then selling to everyone will diminish your
position, relevancy and you will have to compete on price. Know your market and
sell specifically to them.

2) Huge (Un-necessary)Graphics
Remember that you have 8 seconds to get the visitor to engage with the site.
Large graphic files will take up bandwidth, cause the site to be slow, generally
unimpress people and reduce your conversion rate in the process. Optimise the
images to be as small as possible. Only use large images if the site needs it
- e.g. if you are selling aerial photographs!

3) You are Visitor No. '###'
These page counters - visible to the whole world - look awful and instantly tell
visitors that the site is created by a beginner. At the very least they look as if you
are trying to show off and if your site doesn't get many visitors- then you're just
going to look even more silly. Would Google or Ebay show how many people have
visited their site today - with a little counter?

4) To see this Properly, Please Download the following...
Unless you absolutely have to(e.g. if you are an estate agent offering virtual tours
or an online music store) avoid these at all costs. People absolutely hate having to
download a bit of software just to see your site - don't do it.

5) No Obvious Contact Details - or Where to Sign Up
It has been shown time and time again that if people cannot easily find your
contact details, people will leave. These are people that you have ultimately paid
to visit your site, so you are throwing good cash away if you do not give them
what they want.

6) Music/Sound that can't be turned off.
This can be infuriating - especially if people are accessing your site from work!
At the very least, offer a button to click enabling/disabling the sound function.
(If it helps - I made this mistake for years!)

7) Lots of Distracting Adverts & Pop-Ups
Your visitors are at your site to research the information they need to make a
decision about your company. Lots of ads or pop-ups detract from this. Whilst
'Hover-Ads'(Different to pop-ups) can have a serious impact on your conversion
rate - only use them sparingly. Keep ads to a bare minimum.

http://www.mklink.com/newsletter_signup.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
17 Nov 2006   04:02:28 pm
How to Get Inbound Links
Objective: Get other sites with high traffic to link to you.
Why? Linking Strategies are one of the most powerful ways to market your website.

You'll probably know how important it is to get good inbound links to your website from my other articles at :
http://www.mklink.com/newsletters_08_02_06.html and
http://www.mklink.com/newsletters_24_02_06.html

To recap the main advantages:


Getting links from high traffic site will mean more traffic to your site. Simple.

Getting links from Sites with good page rank will improve your Google Page Rank*

Having links from other sites to yours will increase your credibility.

So, How do You Get Good Links?


Firstly, most people have already been approached by automated robots asking to simply trade links. At best this is just
rude - at worst, it encourages sloppy linking practices and can be a breach of the spam laws - don't do it.

1) Find out who your target market it and where they go.
2) Go to these places(Websites, newsgroups, forums etc) and get some personal information about the owner
3) Read their website and find some information that you find interesting and that will help your visitors.
4) Compose a (very) personalised email to the site owner.
5) Don't give up - if you don't hear a reply - try again, try harder or try something else.

It's the last few steps that people fall down on - and those same steps where, if you're prepared to go the
extra mile - you will make all the difference and be ahead of your competitors.

The key is not just to simply say "Hello, can we exchange links please" as this has no value whatsoever
and will almost certainly be ignored. You need to explain the benefits of how linking to your site will
be in their interest and of use to their customers.

Naturally, this will only be the case if you have useful, relevant copy on your site and is in no way
competing with them.

Make exchanging links very easy for them. Offer them the HTML code(ask your web designer for this)
So that they can link directly to the exact part of your website that is relevant. Don't be sloppy and just
get links to the home page. Include your telephone number and email address - in case they want to get
in touch.

Don't Give up. People receive hundreds of emails every day. If you have copy on your site that
really could be of use to someone else to link to - try again. Offer a reciprocal link next time.

Getting inbound links is a long process, but well worth the effort. For example, www.mklink.com
has a Page Rank of 5 - pretty good. We get a lot of traffic as a result. There are companies who
offer to do the work for you. Vet them carefully and they could well be a good investment.
Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
www.mklink.com

If you found this useful - please pass this on...
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23 Oct 2006   02:58:03 pm
8 Basic Tips about Viral Marketing
Viral Marketing - 8 Basic Tips
mkLINK Internet Marketing Tips(Tuesday 24 October 2006)


Viral Marketing is where you forward a marketing message and it(hopefully) grows exponentially
as your recipients pass the message to their network of peers and colleagues.

The great thing about Viral Marketing is that :

It can Generate Huge Traffic.

Your Recipients do all the Work

It's Free!


Here's a few ideas to try Viral Marketing...

1 - Offer an incentive
For most of the methods of viral marketing below, offering an incentive
e.g. "10% discount if you refer this email to 5 people" etc - greatly increases
the effectiveness. Quid Pro Quo. Look at http://mklink.com/internet_marketing-tools.php

2 - Email Signature
Simply putting your message at the footer of your emails can boost traffic .Remember
to add the signature to all your outgoing emails and replies. Make the signature
stand out in some way. Keep it Short & Sweet K.I.S.S.

3 - Customized Screensavers.
You can buy ScreenSavers and customise them. Imagine thousands of people seeing your
company message on their screens! They have to be appealing though - or people won't bother.
Also - the screensaver needs to relate to what your site sells.
(Call me for advice re screensavers.)

4 - Tell a Friend
These scripts - put in an appropriate place on your site, encourage your
visitors to email their colleagues. If your visitor happens to know someone
that needs your services...this is an excellent way to allow them to refer you.
Again, call me for advice about this.

5 - Don't Consider the Referral an opt-in.
Be careful - when someone refers a friend, this referral should not be considered an opt-in!
You should allow the referral to opt in - of their own accord-via the usual way.

6 - Personalize the Referral Email.
Opt-In rates improve dramatically when the person receiving the 'Tell-A-Friend' email
is aware that the email was generated by their friend - so include all contact details in the
body of the email and the friend's email in the subject line.

7 - Write Info Articles & Allow them to be Distributed.
In exactly the same way that I send a regular newsletter about Marketing Tips,
you could write an article that can either be emailed or downloaded from your website.
Giving free, useful information is a very powerful and hugely effective method for
getting more traffic.
Not only will this increase traffic, but it also helps establish your credibility.
Using a blog can be a good move - checkout
ours at http://www.mklink.com/blog/

- Newsgroups & Chatrooms
Being careful not to 'Spam' these, you can
raise issues, post informative articles and generally raise your profile.
Simply make sure your signature - i.e. website address - at the footer of
every posting.

** NewsFlash **

We now offer everyone who has an Internet Presence an Opportunity to make
money from MKLINK - both directly AND by referring others...

Checkout http://mklink.com/affiliate_signup1.php


Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :
www.mklink.com

If you found this useful - please pass this on...
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17 Oct 2006   12:41:31 pm
9 Tips for Good Sales Copy
Effective Copywriting - 9 Basic Tips
Make Your Site Work with Compelling Copy - Just Like we Do!

Whatever you sell, Your website needs to Sell Too!

The Good News : by Knowing these simple techniques, You can write web site copy that SELLS.

A good marketing person will go through a certain procedure before asking for your business.
Well-written copy does exactly the same. Remember AIDA?

Capture their Attention.

Create Interest.

Create Desire.

Ask them to Take Action.



That is very broadly what all marketing is about!

1) Long Copy Vs Short Copy
Surprisingly and against what most people would think - long copy works a treat on the web. It can't be
too long - just too boring!
Long copy is best if you have a single product or service to sell.
It follows that if you have dozens or hundreds of products online, then short copy is more appropriate.

2) Write a Powerful Headline.
We have said here before - the Headline can represent as much as 80%
of the success or failure of the copy. Offer a Solution to their Problem.
Often, it will help if you can include the 'Key Words' that they have at the front
of their mind(Refer last newsletter re Landing Pages). Keep it Relevant and Simple
for your Target Market. Don't try to be Clever - it probably won't work.
(You can always test and measure the headline as well - it can make a huge difference)

3) Know who You are Writing for.
Don't write for 'Anybody on the web'. Write exclusively for the people you are trying to attract.
Age, gender, education, interests, backgrounds - all these should be taken into
consideration. For example, writing in a style that would suit professionals in business may not
be suitable for teenagers interested in the latest ITunes Downloads.

4) Who are You?
Your visitors have arrived at your site and can easily go to dozens of others - immediately. In order
for them to trust you, let them know what credentials you have. Any testimonials, accreditation,
professional memberships, qualifications, experiences or true stories can all be used.
Otherwise you're a nobody. People only buy from people they Trust. Be specific when using
testimonials - "Mrs.B From Essex" is almost useless for example!

5) Offer a Firm G-u-a-r-a-n-t-e-e.
Your visitors will have fears about you, your company, your product, the effectiveness of
the product or service you offer, or indeed what their peers may think of them - the list goes on.
In order to quell their perception of risk - offer a guarantee.
This alone can make a huge impact on your conversion rate.

6) Talk Benefits - Not Features.
This old chestnut will always catch people out. A person wanting to put shelves up may
wish to put holes in his wall. A drill makes holes. A drill with twice the RPM - what does that mean?
It means you can make more holes, faster! Think about this - it is an important one.

7) Create Urgency.
Any veteran vendor will tell you that if people go away to make their mind up...
They will have lost all momentum and probably won't even find your site again.
Reward people for acting now....(I shall talk more about this in a future issue)

Break up the Copy.
According to a study by Jakob Nielsen 84% of your visitors don't read word by word - they skip read.
Your customers aren't being expected to read the Magna Carta - they want to buy a solution
to their problem! Although we advocate long copy where appropriate, use short sentences, short paragraphs
and Keep it Short and Simple where possible.
So, make it easy to scan and use bullet points and formatting where possible.

9) Ask for the Order!
Again - this is often another stumbling block. Don't fall into the trap of
doing all the hard work - only for your visitor to go elsewhere because they couldn't
easily take the action you wanted them to take in the first place! It may well be
appropriate for you to put this 'Call to Action' several times within your copy.
Make the Call to Action Easy to See and Compelling to do.

Final Point

As always - Test & Measure! Start with the headline. When your conversion is
cranked up as high as you can get it - try changing the g-u-a-r-a-n-t-e-e, calls to action etc.

You can try:

Modifying your headline

Swapping in new testimonials

Adding revamped features and benefits

Moving your price up or down

Changing your formatting


You'd be surprised how a small change to one element of your site can mean a BIG difference to your results!

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site :http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php

If you found this useful - please pass this on...

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28 Sep 2006   10:57:43 am
Get More Customers with Landing Pages
Get More Customers with Landing Pages
Right - so you've finally got someone to click on your ad, or they've
responded to an email you've sent. You've done all the hard work - and
spent your cash to get someone to your site.

If they don't see what they want within 8 seconds they're gone - bye!

This is why you need Targetted Landing pages, dedicated specifically to what
your visitors are expecting.

1-Don't Just use Your Homepage

Why force someone to go via your homepage and then expect them to flap about on
your site looking for what they want- when you can point them straight to the
relevant page about your product or service. Focus.

2-Use a Compelling Headline.

Time and Time we've said how important this is!.
Your headline can affect the attention
- and thus conversion - by as much as 80%. Ask a Newspaper Seller.

3-Repeat their Keywords in the Headline and/or Body Copy.

If your visitor sees the same or very similar key phrase immediately
your landing page - they'll read what you have to say. Relevance is everything.

4-Give Them what they Want.

Your visitors are always in a hurry.
No one likes reading or listening to loads of irrelevant stuff. Give them
as much information as they need to make a decision about your
product or service. Long copy is great - but only if it is interesting.

5-Define a Clear and Simple Action Path

To keep conversion high - keep your strategy aimed at leading the visitor to where
they can engage in your call to action. Links to other pages and and other
distractions should be kept to an absolute minimum. Think of steeping stones.

6-Remember a Compelling Call to Action.

Don't forget this one! The call to action is your salesman asking for the order.
Make it irresistible to your visitor and match it to what they are expecting. If it's a
product they've been reading about - offer a related bonus or deal.
If it's a service - offer useful information that will appeal to them.
Make any hyperlinks compelling. "Get your download now" for example is
100% better than "Click Here".
Include multiple calls to action if it helps or you have long copy.

7-Test and Measure.

As always - this is vital. Get some visits to the page then measure the
Conversion rate. Change just one thing(Play around with the headline first)
then test and measure.
Once you've got one area cranked up as high it will go - try something else
- e.g. the call to action. this way you will always be increasing your
personal best and drive up the conversion rate to much, much higher levels.

Want to know More about Google PPC?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site
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14 Sep 2006   09:39:13 am
More Google Tips
Even More Google PPC Tips

Your PPC Ad Position on Google is :apprx

PPC Ranking = Bid(£) x Click Through Rate %

(Click Through Rate = amount of people who see you(Impressions) divided by the
number of people who actually click on it(Clicks)

So, Your Ranking will be higher if You Bid Higher.

However, Your ranking will also be higher if your CTR is better.
So - what does this mean?

It means that you can either simply spend more revenue to get higher ranking
- or get the same results by writing better ads!!!

How much should you Pay?

It doesn't matter - as long as it is profitable. Start high to get a high position initially
- assuming this is practical and you can afford it.
This will increase your CTR(Click Through Rate) and then you can drop this to
get lower costs for the same spend.
(Not Surprisingly Your CTR is typically higher at the top positions)

If your campaign makes cash then you could spend a million a week
- if you get £2million a week back!

The main thing to remember with increasing your CTR is that you should always
run at least 2 ad variations.

This way, you can try changes in the ads and then test an measure the results.
You are always trying to improve your last score. Also - the effect is accumulative.
The better the clickthough rate
- the higher your ad will appear - resulting in a better clickthrough rate!
(Remember to go into the settings and put the ad servings as 'Rotate'.)

I mentioned this in the last newsletter but I'll mention it again. The more specific
the key phases you choose are - the more targetted(ie more focussed, qualified
traffic - hence higher conversion rate) and typically the less you'll pay.

Run Out of keywords?


Use Wordtracker.

Look at your website copy.

Read blogs.

Look at your competitors sites.

Google also have their own tool.





What Else Will Get me a Higher CTR or Save Cash?





Try Turning OFF - the content network - until you have calibrated your readings.
This will enable you to know what's really affecting your results.

Capitalising the words in your ad can make a surprising difference to your CTR.

Use The Negative Negative Keywords Tool So that you don't spend your budget
on unwanted words AND increase your CTR at the same time

Dynamic Keyword Insertion Tool.
This lets you have whatever keyword the user types in as the header of your ad.
100% relevancy!
How many times have you typed something really obscure into Google
- and there's an ad for it??? Very often - they're probably using this facility.

Use Proper Domain Names
Let's say you're selling general electrical appliances and you are setting up an ad for
toasters. Simply register a (cheap) domain e.g. www.toasters-and-sandwichmakers.co.uk
and make this your destination url. Watch the CTR SkyRocket!

Want to know More about Google PPC?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit my site
Receive Your Weekly Internet Marketing Tips...
AND get Your Free Seach Engine Ebook
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Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
24 Aug 2006   10:33:59 am
"6 Top Tips to Save You Cash on Google"
"6 Top Tips to Save You Cash on Google"
A 90 Second Email that could Save you a Fortune.


Paying for visitors from Google can be an excellent way to get instant, qualified
and above all measurable visitors to your site.
However, you can save a fortune on your bidding plus hugely increase your
conversion if you follow a few simple rules.

Tip # 1 - You Don't Have to get the Top Position!

Whilst having a top-ranked ad will get you a lot of exposure(assuming it's a
popular search phrase), you can spend a fortune on these positions,
because very often people bid too much for them.
Interestingly, positions 3,4,5,6 and even lower can sometimes attract more clicks.
Also - they tend to be more qualified as well.

The key to being successful is to be smart and bid on keywords that attract clicks
from "qualified" buyers, (Avoiding to "time-wasters" who will drive up your costs)
while keeping your bids as low as possible.

Tip # 2 - Think Outside the Box

You can pay pennies for mis-spellings. Try different variations of phrases.
Look at your stats to see what people are typing in.
(Wordtracker is a great tool here.)

Tip # 3- Select More phrases - and Ensure each Phrase being very Targeted.

This alone can save you a fortune - and increase your conversion as the phrases
are very specific. As the phrases have less competition - they'll have less cost.

Tip # 4 - Optimise your Site with Landing Pages.
Rather than directing visitors to your homepage - which most people do - make each
phrase link directly to the part of your website that is relevant to the search phrase.
So, If you sell electrical goods and the search phrase that your visitor has clicked
on was 'Toaster' - ensure that they don't waste time navigating around your
site(and thereby leaving). Simply direct them to either a micro-site or a webpage
about toasters. Your Conversion rate is proportional to your r e l e v a n c y.

Tip # 5 - Only pay for Ads in your Area

This Facility from Google is great. It means that if for example you are a plumber
in Norwich - You can select your ad to appear within a specified radius of your
address. Why advertise to the rest of the country?

Tip # 6 - Reduce your Bids - Not Your Budget


If you feel that you are not getting enough business from your daily
budget, try reducing the bid amount - before you reduce daily budget.
This way, you will either get more visitors for the same Cash - or reduce your daily
spend - or both. If you simply reduce your daily budget - you will just get less visitors.
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Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
01 Aug 2006   12:54:00 pm
Email Marketing - The Basics
Build up your Business with an Subscriber Email List - Just Like we Do!

If you are trading online, You must enable your visitors to sign up for newsletters.

Otherwise - you're losing a fortune.

It takes 4 to 7 contacts(on average)to make a sale.

In most cases, visitors come to your site, leave - and are lost forever.

Consequently - if you don't capture their email address - you'll no be able to contact
them even a second time.

Some Statistics from PostFuture:

82% of online buyers have made at least one purchase in response to an email
promotion.

67% of users open at least 60% of subscribed emails they receive

32% have made an immediate online purchase in response to an email!

59% have gone on to redeem an email coupon in an online OR offline store

People pay close attention to their email, and more and more people are
buying online every year!

Remember - People aren't stupid.
They simply won't give you their details unless you earn it first.
So - offer them something that they want. Simple.

Step 1 - Who?
Identify exactly Who it is that you are Targetting.

You can discover a lot about your visitors' habits by looking at
the server logs(We talked about this before).
What's the most popular page on your web site?
What pages do visitors stay on for the longest time?
Build your offer around what's on those pages.

Step 2- When?
When do most people visit your site?
You should Test and Measure the results you get when you email
on different days of the week - even different times of day!

Now's the time to think about WHAT your target market really wants...

Step 3- What?
There are lots of different incentives you can use to encourage
people to give you their email address — although they will be
different for different businesses. Due to the sheer amount of email - you need to really compel your
Visitors to leave their details.

We offer (this) newsletter. If a newsletter doesn't fit your model - try
these other ideas...

3.1 Offer a Complementary(Zero-Cost) Course
You will know better than anyone what your customers are always asking for.
Write down information in manageable chunks and email it to them on a regular
basis.

This can all be automated with auto-responders - that can send pre-compiled emails
at specified intervals - at almost zero overhead!

Be creative and include images, sounds, video-whatever your audience responds to best.

3.2 Offer a Complementary EBook
Again - this is what we offer and we find it very effective. The response from
our customers is very positive too.

The ebook doesn't have to be hundreds of pages long - just concise enough to give
your readers what they want. Even 1 page will be enough if that's all they require.

For extra leverage - it helps to make your rebook viral - i.e. encourage your readers
to email it to other people.

3.3 Offer Downloads
If you have lots of useful, relevant information - then offer the first few paragraphs
followed by...'Sign up here for the full article' or words to that effect.

You will get loads of people signing up to this - as long as the information is
compelling enough.

3.4 Other Ideas.
There are limitless ways to encourage people to give you their email address.
A few suggestions are...
Screen Savers, E-Cards, Templates, Ringtones, Wallpapers, Jokes, Puzzles,
Competitions, Coupons, Videos, Games, Software, Member only Bonuses, etc.
- just find something that's right for you. Lastly - Don't Forget :

Include a call to action. No matter how good your Offer is
- You must provide a clear link or place for your visitor to follow through.
Secondly - Include a clear privacy policy - to reassure people
that you care about their privacy and that they can un-subscribe.

Final Point

Getting less than 5% of your visitors opting in to your offer?
You need to improve your strategy - this is the Minimum.

Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit here:http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
19 Jul 2006   12:33:39 pm
Website Statistics - The Basics
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Question:
How do you know how successful your website is if you don't measure?
Why play cricket without bothering to keep the score?

Did you realize you can discover...(?)

Where your visitors are coming from - geographically.

What time of day or night they visited you

Who referred them to your site.

What search words they used to find you.

How many times those keywords were used to find you

Which pages they looked at.

Which Pages they left your site

Whether they come back later or not.

Which browser they are using.

Loads, Loads More...




You see, virtually all site-owners have just a vague idea of how many visitors they
have on (say) a daily basis.

That's a bit like just having one gauge on your car
- just to measure the temperature for example!

Once you know at least the basics of website analytics, you can really start to
increase the conversion of your site - often for zero or little cost
- just by adjusting a few words here or links there!


So, Lets Clear up Some Confusion.
Here's a few terms...


Visitors

A 'visit' is a single visit to your website by one person. Forget how many pages of
your site they view - its still just one visit.
If that person comes back a day later - that's another visit. If you have just one
person(the same person) looking at your website each day for a month
- that'd be 30 visits - but just ONE UNIQUE VISIT - get it?
Generally the more unique visitors the better and loads of plain visits mean people
keep coming back...

Hits
This is subject to a lot of confusion! Also, rules vary here
- but this will serve for this primer...
A hit occurs every time a file is downloaded from your website. So, If you have a
website with loads of images and stuff - that represents loads of hits - even if the
visitor just visits one page.

Say they just visit the home-page - (which itself is a file), which has say 3 different
graphics - that's a total of 4 hits. Make sense?
Other files could be backround sounds, FLASH movies, audio - etc etc.

Page Views
These simply how many pages were ‘viewed’ by UNIQUE visitors.
Scenario: your site has 5 pages and 2 different people look at the site.
Person 1 looks at 4 pages.
Person 2 gets bored and just looks at the homepage.

thus, Total Page views = 5.
This can be a measure of how interesting or 'Sticky' your site is.
One visitor may generate ten page views and another may generate five page views
– in which case your two unique visitors generated a total of fifteen page views.

Conclusion


Website Analytics can be a heavy subject and this is just the very tip of the iceberg.

However, you should get a primer on the basics or get someone to manage it for you
- otherwise you'll never, ever get the most 'Bang for your Buck'


Want to know More?
Simply reply to this email, call me on 01454 852414 or visit here:http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
03 Jul 2006   01:34:30 pm
Tips on Writing Good Web Copy
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Writing the copy for your website requires a different approach to writing printed documents. It is certainly worth devoting equal time and consideration to preparing the copy as it is to designing fancy graphics. The copy should be planned in a way that leads the site visitor through a sales ‘funnel’ or process, and gives them the opportunity to respond with frequent ‘calls to action’. In order to do this, you must first decide who your target market is and how best to appeal to them – write for your audience. Secondly you need to clearly lay out the benefits of your products and services, and try to counter any objections that the website visitor may have, build trust, and provide reassurance. Finally, the objective should be clear from the outset – what exactly do you want your target website visitor to do on reading the copy?

Consider how a web page is viewed

Tracking research has shown that the eye flicks over the whole page first, and focuses briefly on what attracts attention e.g. headlines, subheadings, captions or menu items. Some skim reading also takes place in order identify what the site visitor actually wants to read. For these reasons, these elements should be made as significant, emotive and appealing to your target audience as possible.

The top left of the page has been shown to get the most attention, so the main benefit/message could be clearly stated there.

In order to keep the readers attention, and help them to identify the part of the copy that most appeals to them, text should be arranged into short sentences and bite sized chunks.

To facilitate this process further, easily readable fonts could be used such as Verdana, Trebuchet MS and Georgia. These appear to the reader to be modern and professional. They are also available on most computers, and are easy to read on paper too.

Calls to action should be clearly identifiable, so conventions such as only underlining links should be adhered to.

Short or long copy?

Long copy often works better than short copy, but should only be as long as it needs to be to make a sale. Long copy often takes the form of online sales letters or sales presentations.

More Tips

Simple, objective language should be used, and redundant words removed. It is important to remember that people buy on emotion and then try to justify it with logic afterwards. For this reason, use words which elicit emotion in the target market. Your copy should grab attention, entertain the reader, educate, inform, offer solutions, gain trust, and most importantly, convince people to buy from you. Remember to always emphasise the benefits of the products/services, provide frequent calls to action, and make sure that the web pages are accessible to all website visitors. For more tips on increasing your website’s conversion rate, go to http://www.website-conversion-strategies.co.uk/[url][/url][url][/url]
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
30 Jun 2006   10:11:26 am
How to Find Out What Your Customers Really Want
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How do you know what your customers want?

Well, there's many ways of researching your marketplace. However, one
sure-fire method that comes straight from the horses mouth is...

...just ask them!

Customer feedback is woefully neglected in most businesses - which is a
pity because it can be so simple! Especially when it's automated.

All too often people assume that they know what their customers want or are
thinking, when in fact they may be well out of touch.

Setting up customer online feedback is easy - and is usually an extremely valuable
source of information and market research and best of all....Its Free!

For a simple approach to customer feedback or market research,
try the following process...

1)Who? Are you asking existing clients? Potential clients? Ex-Clients. You need to
establish exactly who are you going to target with your feedback - so your feedback
form will be in front of the appropriate people, section of your website etc.

2)What? Establish what you want to know.
Are people happy with your service/products? What could be improved? What they be
prepared to spend on a new item? Define your parameters, such as area, age group etc.
(Remember that the more questions you ask - the fewer people will complete the form.)

3)Why? It is always good policy to let people know why you want the information
and how you intend to use it.

4) When? If you are conducting a survey on customer satisfaction for example, it is a
good idea to collect the data over a period of time and then see how the changes that
you have implemented as a result of the feedback have increased the percentiles
of happy customers. Whether you ask the same questions later or different questions
later or indeed at all is influenced by what you are trying to achieve.

It is assumed of course, that having collected the data, you do actually do something
meaningful with it!

Some 'legal' things to consider...

Obtain permission to use the personal data.

Only use the data in the way that you said you would.

Don't give data to anyone else- unless you have prior permission and a good reason
for doing so.

You can't send faxes, emails or text messages unless the recipient has given their
permission beforehand.



Lastly - A couple of Tips :

1 - Keep it simple
Most online visitors have a lot to do - having to think too much will put them off.
Help them by offering multiple choice instead of encouraging long open-ended
answers.

Factors that retain attention here are multiple choice are easier to complete.

2 - Keep it short.
The shorter - the more people will complete the form. Factors that increase how many
questions you can ask before people switch off(of which you can of course test and measure)
are relationship with respondent, age, relevance of questions(to them), complexity of
questions & time taken to answer them.

Want to know More? Simply call us on 01454 852414 or contact us here :


Join our complementary 30 Minute Tele-Seminar...
"How to find out What your Customers Really Want"

Visit this link to register your place : http://www.mklink.com/free/?source=blog
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
28 Jun 2006   04:38:30 pm
Why have a Blog?
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A 'blog' (weblog) (such as this one) is basically a regularly updated webpage that has links to other websites with relavance to a certain subject. The popularity of blogs has really soared in recent times for a number of very good reasons, not least being that they seem to be able to boost your Google PageRank, your search engine results, raise your web profile, and increase visits to your website.

Blogs generally contain a lot of keyword laden content, and therefore score highly with search engines. The fact that they are updated regularly with fresh content, often daily, means that search engine spiders crawl and index the site more often. The immediacy, and the up to date nature of the new content is appealing to site visitors, and therefore encourages repeat visits to your blog. Over time, this frequent readership can help you to develop a kind of familiarity and rapport with your blog readership, and this can develop into loyalty. Ultimately, interest in your main website is stimulated and blog visitors can become customers.

Providing so much up to the minute information can help you gain 'expert' status with your readership. This will help build trust, and it is well known that people prefer to do business with companies or individuals that they trust.

Blogs are generally written in a conversational, and not blatantly commercial style. This helps lend them credibility and enables you to give your blog, website and company a 'human' element. In a sense, this human element can help you put accross a little of your company values and brand personality in an unbiased way. This gives blog visitors a taste of what to expect of your service, and further builds trust.

Using the blog is often easier than trying to update your website, because it requires no coding or technical expertise - it's as easy to use as an e-mail. Feedback from visitors can be almost instantaneous which is good from a 'test and measure' point of view. Other bloggers also promote your blog by linking to any posts that may interest them or their readers - this amounts to free publicity. In fact, a blog provides cheap marketing for your website and business, and is a very powerful promotional vehicle, both on and offline.

For more information about blogs and online marketing click here.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
23 Jun 2006   07:49:14 am
Is your website ‘accessible’ enough?
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The implementation of Section 21 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in October 1999, and further legislation within the DDA in October 2004, means that there is actually a legal obligation for you make your website ‘accessible’ to blind and partially sighted users.

Why bring in this legislation?

For example, there are approximately 2 million people in the UK with a sight problem. 1 million of the 2 million people in the UK with a sight problem could be registered as blind or partially sighted.

Many different technologies are now used to access the web, e.g. computers, mobile phones, palmtop devices and WebTV, different browsers.

Blind and visually impaired people have to read web pages in special ways including software programmes that read web page content through a speaker, or Braille software that translates web pages into Braille so they can be read by touch.

Different eye conditions require web pages to be altered in some way at the point of use, to cater for the individual user, e.g. larger or smaller text, more contrasting colour schemes, or even yellow text on a black background.

So, how can you meet your obligations and make your website accessible?

Unfortunately, the DDA don’t seem to describe in detail how accessibility can be achieved to meet the legal obligation. The American World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of May 1999 are to date the generally accepted standard. You can check for yourself how your website matches up to these standards by going to theW3C Markup validation Service website http://validator.w3.org

It is more than likely that your website is not accessible enough. So, what changes could be made to your website to make it more accessible?

1. Allow the user to choose how they want to receive the page content, e.g. a link to a text version, version with text graphics, or a version with Flash.

2. Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content e.g. provide a text version of content.

3. Provide a textual alternative to images and graphics e.g. describe the ‘function’ of the image/photo in text and/or write a description of an image/photo into the ‘alternative text’ (this text usually displays in a box when you pass your mouse over an image).

4. Do not rely on colour alone to convey information on your website.

5. Use clear, simple language with good grammar.

6. Provide context and orientation information

7. Provide clear navigation systems and, e.g. a site map.

8. Avoid blinking or scrolling text.

If you need mkLINK to help you make your website ‘accessible’ give us a call on 01454 852414 today.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
19 Jun 2006   01:52:40 pm
Two websites are better than one.
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You may already have a website, so why have another one? Are more visitors to your main website, more genuine leads, increased conversion and more sales good enough reasons? If so, we are talking about a 'microsite'. This is traditionally small website (anything from 4 to 40 pages) that works in tandem with, and is used to drive traffic to your existing website.

Some microsites can be temporary e.g for one-off product launches or business conferences, others are more long term and are generally focused on one specific area of the business. These microsites rely less on aesthetics, although they do have a similar look to your main website, with the main emphasis being on lead generation. Search engine friendliness is the key to the success of these websites, and they are generally extensively optimised and built with the search engines very much in mind. (alt+w)

Microsites not only need to be linked through to the main website, but can also be used to capture vital contact information on the microsite itself. This could be done using just a contact form to request more information, a link for an opt-in newsletter (alt+w), a competition, a promotion, or a free download. This contact information could be linked to a database.

A microsite is relatively fast to produce because of it's size and lesser emphasis on aesthetics, so it can be brought quickly into operation to help with your online marketing effort. It can be very effective in focusing on partuclar market niche or opportunity.

Testing and measuring of content on a microsite is vital and doesn't need to be difficult. Due to the small size of the site, content and copy can be changed frequently to generate the maximum number of leads. Using an analytical statistics package on the microsite (and on your main website) can help yopu to accurately measure and manage the whole thing effectively.

mkLINK have acome up with an idea which will even take aaway the initial risk and up-front spend of putting a microsite together. With the mkLINK results based pay-per-lead microsites, mkLINK put in the development work and take the risk on the microsite, all you do is wait and pay for the results as and when they are delivered. More information about results based marketing and microsites, plus examples of effective microsites can be found here. (alt+w)
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
17 Jun 2006   05:28:11 pm
Training
Wre're launching a free training call on Thursday 22nd June at 11am. Please feel free to call in. Details & REGISTRATION are here : http://www.mklink.com/free/
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
13 Jun 2006   01:35:22 pm
How important is it really to be listed in Google?
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Google is still the UK's most popular search engine, as well as being the most visited website in the UK. In May this year, monitoring firm Hitwise measured the company’s online share of the search market to be 77%. Google’s website here in the UK gets more than twice as many visits as Microsoft’s Hotmail website (ranked number 2). These figures clearly speak for themselves – in terms of having your website(s) listed in a search engine, getting your website to come up in Google searches should be your most pressing challenge.

The closest search engine competitor to Google is Yahoo.

Search engines in the UK seem to be used for different things, and UK users seem to have identified a ‘positioning’ for each. For instance, Google seems to be used mainly to navigate and search the web, Yahoo for its content, and MSN for communication purposes.

Although Google is the dominent search engine, it’s worth bearing in mind some of the benefits of others, especially The Open Directory Project or DMOZ (Directory Mozilla) http://www.dmoz.org . It is free to be listed DMOZ, although it may take several months for this to occur after submission. DMOZ is operated by volunteer web editors and reviewers, and its listings are used by many other search engines and directories, including Google. When submitting to DMOZ, it is worth making sure that your website is completed, and that it has interesting and relevant content, otherwise you may risk having your website rejected.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
05 Jun 2006   02:28:47 pm
Little things are important - ALT tags and their uses.
ALT tags or 'alternative tags' are basically labels that describe the images in your web pages, or give further details about them or the destination of a hyperlinked image. You can see them when you pass your mouse over an image, and sometimes they are visible before the image appears as the page downloads. ALT tags are very often missed out of pages altogether, but these tags are more important than you think. The two main areas where they come into their own are, (1) with the search engines, and (2) with the accessibility of your website.

1. ALT tags and search engines.
Search engines need to recognise the content of your web pages in order to be able to categorize them, and return information about them in searches. Search engines are unable to index the images on your web pages, because they are a solid files not made of text. To get around this, ALT tags should be added to the images. Better still, these ALT tags should be made up of 2 or 3 important keywords which reflect the subject matter of the text content on that particular page. In this way, search engines will more easily be able to index the page contents, and the contents will be less likely to fall fowl of the search engine algorithms (rules/decision tree).

2. Accessibility
Your web pages now have to be accessible to people with various disabilities. Visually
impaired people use text readers on the Internet. These text readers also cannot read
images, unless they have ALT tags attached to them.

It's also possible that some visitors to your website may have their browser's graphics
turned off, or they may be visiting the site with a text-only browser. The inclusion of ALT
tags will provide much needed information to them.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
31 May 2006   01:20:00 pm
New software deals – what do they mean to us?
The big players have been at it again this month – Google have struck an important deal with Dell, also Yahoo and eBay have joined forces.

Google’s deal with Dell seems to be push toward challenging Microsoft’s dominance. Roughly 90% of the world’s computers have Microsoft’s products on them, which the computers automatically default to. Google’s new deal with Dell means that a range of Google’s programs will come as standard on Dell’s computers, more importantly, Google’s search engine will be set as the default on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. For Google, this means that potentially millions of us will use their products whereas we may otherwise have used Microsoft’s products.

The other Google programs included with Google’s desktop will include Adobe’s PDF reader, the Firefox browser, Norton anti-virus software plus Google’s earth mapping and instant messaging programs.

Yahoo and eBay have also joined forces this month. Yahoo will now be the exclusive provider of the branded advertising on eBay’s website, and in return, Yahoo can let customers pay for its services using eBay’s ‘Paypal’ payment system. The real meaning of this deal is that 80% of the US Internet audience will be now reached by Yahoo and eBay. The business possibilities for both companies are huge, and the effects are bound to be felt here very soon.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
23 May 2006   03:38:55 pm
Google PageRank - is it important for your website?
PageRank is system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It is intended to be an indicator of a page's value on the web. What Google decides are high quality pages, receive a higher PageRank. This is shown as a mark out of 10. If you download Google's toolbar (which is free), the PageRank of each site that you visit is diplayed as a green band, then by passing your mouse over it, the ranking number is displayed.

PageRank is certainly not the only important factor where Google is concerned, because there are over 100 other factors involved in ranking your website / web pages.

However, the 2 main ways in which PageRank can affect your web pages' positions in Google are:
1) The number of incoming links to your page
2) The number of outgoing links from the page that points at yours. The less links it has, the better the PageRank for your page.

Whatever the situation, there are two important rules of thumb that you can apply to your web pages which will make it

difficult for them not to get high rankings:
1) Make sure you have plenty of good web page content which can easily be crawled by search engines.
2) Make sure you have plenty of inbound links that come from relevant and reputable websites.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
08 May 2006   02:54:01 pm
META TAGS and their uses in your web pages
Getting a high ranking for your website from search engines is not achieved by just adding 'Meta Tags' to the head of your web pages. Meta Tags are basically code inserted into a part of your web page which is not visible to visitors. They can influence how your web pages are described by some search engines, and can prevent pages from being indexed at all.

The most common types of meta tags you may have in your web pages include TITLE, META DESCRIPTION & META KEYWORDS.

Whatever text is in the title tag will appear in the reverse bar of someone's browser when they view the web page - the reverse bar in the Explorer Browser is the blue horizontal bar at the top. The contents of this tag also display in browser 'favourites' or 'bookmarks' when details of your site have been saved by somebody. The text you use in this TITLE tag is in fact, a critical factor in deciding how a search engine will rank your web page. Its contents will also display in the listings of 'crawler' search engines.

You can influence the description of your web pages by some crawler search engines, if you use the META DESCRIPTION tag.

Google however will actually ignore this tag, and will generate its own description for a page.

Most crawler search engines now ignore the META KEYWORDS tag. It's main use at the moment is allowing you to provide extra text to your pages for search engines to index. The text in the META KEYWORDS tag should also be mentioned in the text of the page below to make it useful for some crawler search engines. Using the same keywords too often in the META KEYWORD tag can damage your web pages chances of ranking well in the search engines.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
26 Apr 2006   09:52:02 am
Questions you can ask when choosing a Web Management Company
When choosing a web management company, there are a number of important questions you can ask to enable you to make a more informed decision. Here are some of the ones most likely to help you - basing your decision on price alone could be a mistake.

1. Do they have particular skills, qualifications or references?
Questions around this subject include, How long have they been around? (and, will they pass a credit check for example?). Also, can they provided examples of similar work they have undertaken or some good references/testimonials?

2. Will they build a template or bespoke website?
Will they also be able to host the site? (i.e. can it sit on their webservers?).

3. Will they keep a back-up of your files?
You never know - things can go wrong (especially where technology is concerned) and you may need a copy of your website. This can be helpful should you choose to move your site to another web management company.

4. Who will the Domain Name actually be registered to?
All to often, domain names are registered in the name of the web management company, and not you. This will lead to difficulties should you wish to move away from them.

5. Will they (in writing) waive intellectual property rights and copyright i.e. will you actually own the website?
If the website needs to be moved at any time, will that be possible? (e.g. if they go out of business, what will happen to the website?)

6. Will you be able to change elements of the website?
How much, how often, will they change it for you, or will you change it yourself?

7. How visible will your site be to search engines such as Google?
Search engines are the single greatest source of traffic for most web sites. Will your web management company register it the site for you with the search engines? Do they offer optimisation & others erach engine related services?

8. Can they provide an online shop, and how much will this cost?

9. What are the hosting and management fees and what do they cover?
It's best for both parties to be clear on this from the start.

10. What means are there for you to monitor and measure i.e. are stats or analytical packages available?
Web marketing needs to be managed, and in order to manage things properly, your online efforts need to be measurable.
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
18 Apr 2006   08:37:40 am
Avoiding Copyright Infringement on Your Website
Copyright laws apply to images used on web pages in the same way as printed and other media. Organisations who supply photographs for use in media including websites are now routinely scanning the Internet using increasingly sophisticated software and other methods to locate possible copyright infringement. This means that YOU as a website owner, need to be sure that you are permitted to use the photographs and other images that you have on your website, if not you could be liable for some hefty fines.

So, what is copyright infringement?

To infringe copyright law, a person / organisation must have copied, or authorised the copying of either the whole or a 'substantial part' of a work, without getting the required permission (often by payment) to do so.

So what is a 'substantial' part?

A substantial part is not a specific percentage, but an important, essential or distinct part. Often the quality of what has been used is more significant that how much of it has been used. The test for 'substantial' could involve imagining whether considearble annoyance would be caused if the original work was missing the proposed material to be copied - if so, then it is 'substantial' e.g. copying the Mona Lisa's smile.

The message here is thankfully a little clearer than copyright law - make sure you know you are permitted to use all the elements that make up your website, because the whole world can see it!
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
29 Mar 2006   06:17:13 pm
Call to Action
Just started reading a new book by Bryan Eisenberg & his brother Jeffrey entitled CALL TO ACTION, They have been involved in helping companies improve their conversion rates since 1998 and have had some impressive results.

The book is fasinating and full of very usefull tips and information on how to really improve your websites conversion rate, I will warn you now though they claim to have identified over 1100 diferent factors that can influence your sites conversion!

They have a whole sytem they reffer to as Pesuasion Architecture, which is designed to engage the user and move them through the site to the goal pages.

This is a fantastic book but not for the faint hearted as it's very hard core and should only be read by those of you looking to really make your websites fly.

The book is published by Wizard Academy Press ISBN 1-932226-39-7

Happy reading Bye for now

Paull
Category : General | Posted By : Paull | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
07 Mar 2006   03:36:32 pm
What Search Engines Plan for the future
At the recent Wharton Technology Conference in Philadelphia representatives from Google, Yahoo and MSN Search discussed the future of search technologies.

The big search engine companies have different ideas on how search engines will change over the next few years.

MSN Search wants to focus on the user interface

Saleel Sathe, the representative of MSN Search, claimed that the user interfaces of search engines required significant changes:

"Search engines have shot themselves in the foot by providing a search box, where users provide relatively little information [...]

The average search query is 2.3 words... but if you asked a librarian for information you would not just give them 2.3 words -- you would give them the opportunity to give you the rich detailed answer you want."

Google thinks that technology is more important

Google's representative Matthew Glotzbach argued that the computers should be able to find out what people want:

"In the distant future we will not be able to get you to take more action, because we will get close enough with what you give us. A lot of emphasis will continue on doing that in the background — getting the technology to figure out [what you want] [...]

Larry Page [the co-founder] of Google often says, 'the perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want'."

Yahoo bets on social search technologies

Yahoo's Bradley Horowitz proposed that existing web search should be replaced with social search:

"What we think is the next major breakthrough is social search. It basically democratizes the notion of relevance and lets ordinary users decide what's important for themselves and other users."

Each method has its own problems

MSN's approach might be difficult because people are probably not willing to work more to get information. Most searchers want quick results.

Yahoo's social search approach requires the participation of web surfers. The problem is that many people might not be interested to participate and other people might abuse the system to promote their own sites.

Google faces the problem that is is difficult to find out what a web surfer actually wants when he provides only limited information. This problem could be mastered by saving the search history of web surfers etc. but that leads to other (privacy) problems.

These are interesting times for search. Only time will tell what impact future changes will have on your business. Until then, you should try to get best results with the current search engine situation.
Category : General | Posted By : Paull | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
01 Mar 2006   07:27:59 pm
Web analytics vendor warns a fifth of pay-per-click activity
ClickTracks Analytics on Monday rolled out updated software for detecting click fraud, saying that an average of 20 percent of a company’s pay-per-click adverting budget can be traced to fraudulent activity.

The problem stems from individuals or companies trying to increase pay-per-click online ad traffic through illegitimate means. By driving up traffic on ads that show up next to search results, they would get more revenue from the advertiser.

In some cases, the fraud involves using software robots to do the extra clicking, or hiring people to click repeatedly on the ads.

The Santa Cruz, California-based company’s products, ClickTracks Professional and ClickTracks JDC, compare different statistics from the ads and highlight variances that show evidence of suspicious activity. The technology works with the Google, Yahoo, and MSN search engines.

The software highlights statistics such as the number of clicks that come from a certain country, the number of sessions with no referrer site for the click, and the number of different IP addresses.

This is part of recent article well worth reading
[url]
http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=15877&hed=ClickTracks+Warns+of+Fraud[/url]

If you want to find out how we are partnering with Click tracks go to

http://www.mklink.com/contact2.php?source=UltimateMarketingOffer
Category : General | Posted By : Paull | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
24 Feb 2006   10:16:52 am
Not checking where your images come from can be costly
Over the last month, we have had 2 customers that have received threats of either legal action, or simply invoices regarding supposed image and trade mark violations.

Be warned, there is software available that will simply trawl the net, looking for both copyright, image and trademark violations. It wouldn't surprise me if these companies were on some kind of commission!

So, the days of the Internet being the perfect place to "borrow" images and to use trade names without permission are over.

Has anyone else out there had a similar experience?
Category : General | Posted By : Paull | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
23 Feb 2006   04:59:17 pm
Sending an email may no longer be free!!
There was a very important news story a few weeks ago that was not covered on most news bulletins - but it certainly should have been.

In fact, this story could mark the beginning of the end of Email as we currently know it.

Here's what happened.....

AOL and Yahoo quietly announced that they want to charge businesses for delivering their emails.

That's right ..... if AOL and Yahoo get their way, when you send an email to your customers in the future, they'll be sending you a bill.

It amounts to the launch of 'Email Stamps.' In the same way that you buy stamps at the moment for normal mail, you and I could have to buy 'Email Stamps' to send emails to our customers.

It'll be a lot cheaper than normal stamps, probably less than one cent per person - but the implications are obviously significant.

The first thing that strikes me about this announcement is that it is so disarmingly obvious and simple - it's bound to take off.... just like the day some bright spark had the idea of putting ads on search engine results.

At the moment, when you or I send an email to our list, the companies that our customers have email accounts with deliver our messages - and it's all included in their hosting or email package.

The new concept is very simple. Those companies want to start charging you and I for the emails we send to their customers.

Their justification is that it will help combat spam. It probably will. Of course, it will also make AOL and Yahoo (and others who are bound to follow) an absolute fortune.

They're going to roll this out over the next few months. They won't force you to pay for email delivery but if you do, your messages will be guaranteed to go directly to the customer and by-pass spam filters. If you don't pay, your messages will join what will probably become a very long queue. (AOL recently took five days to deliver an announcement about one of my Telephone Seminars to AOL users.)

I don't view things like this as good or bad. As the Dalai Lama says: "What is, is." All that matters as business professionals is that we're up to date with what's going on - and most importantly - we're prepared. There could well be an upside to all of this. If people are receiving more targeted emails, yours may have more impact. Plus, if you're smart at Marketing, you and I may need to just adjust to allocating some funds to email, which your competitors may feel they can't afford.

Anyway, the purpose of this message is to just keep you updated. No one is sure yet how this is going to develop. I'll be monitoring it and I'll keep you posted.
Category : General | Posted By : Paull | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
14 Feb 2006   06:54:48 pm
Here's a link to me!
http://www.mklink.com/newsome.avi
Try playing this with Windows Media Player
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
10 Feb 2006   11:42:11 am
Welcome to the MKLINK blog
Hi - my name is Paull Newsome. I shall put a picture of myself here shortly!
In the meantime - the whole point of this blog is to show you just some of the truly amazing things that we come across every day.

Of course - you are welcome to post questions and share your experiences here too. Look forward to speaking to you soon!
Category : General | Posted By : mklink | Comments[0] | Trackbacks [0]
 
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