Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How Marketing Helps You Renew Your Business

Today's Marketing Tip: Use Marketing to Renew Your Customers.

There have been times when my marketing colleagues sit in a room and discuss current customers who have subscribed to a service - wondering how to encourage them to renew their services with use. I believe this discussion to be completely useless.

The best time to renew a client is from the first day after a sale. You need to provide evidence of value to your existing customers from day one... not just day's before their service expires. Do you have products or services that must be renewed on a regular basis?

Think about engagement. Do you engage your customer in a dialog throughout the year? There are a number of tactics for doing so that will help you engage your customer, develop a relationships and prove value.

1. Newsletters or announcements. Each month, give yourself and your company a reason to reach out to
your customers with information that's valuable to them. Don't underestimate the power of frequent communication. Be flexible with your content and include opportunities to solicit feedback from your customers.

2. Customer surveys. Ask your customers through an online survey what matters most to them. Show them that their opinion matters. But don't stop there. Once you ask them to complete a survey, college the responses and analyze them. Once you have something meaningful to share, distribute your findings. Customers will see the value your provide and develop more trust in you and your services.

3. Share best practices. Whether it's a white paper, brief, or forum, share information you've learned from you customers and distribute to a larger group. Share these findings in various formats. This shows that you value your customers' time and want to make them successful.

These are just a few of the tactics for communicating the value of your products and services to your customers. When it comes time to renew, you won't have to sell. Your customers will inherently know and feel that value you've provided over the past year.

Remember, the time to renew is now. Don't wait until days before the subscription is about to end to make your first contact. As they say, get out in front of the curve. Over time, this strategy will help you exceed your sales goals and allow you to develop a large following.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Creating Website Is As Easy As 1-2-3

Before you start fiddling around with HTML editors, FTP clients, and Domain registrations, it's important to have at least a basic understanding of how all this works. This Website creation overview gives you an easy to understand look at what the process of building your own Website really involves.

A website is a collection of files that work together to form a unified whole. These various files, from images to HTML documents and PHP scripts, or instructional software, are organized by a Web browser and displayed appropriately on a computer monitor.

Website creation is essentially the process arranging information in a way that can be translated by Web browsing software, such as Internet Explorer, and presented to human viewers. To do this correctly you'll need to gain a basic understanding of coding languages like HTML, CSS, and possibly PHP.

The process of coding your site is literally the activity of entering numerous individual lines of alphanumeric code that tell the Web browser how to format and display your Web page. While seemingly complex at first, the truth is learning the most basic Web development code -- HTML -- is less complicated than learning to use the English alphabet.

Once you learn what the various command codes actually do, your next step is to practice organizing them in a structured manner within an HTML document. This is not unlike the process of creating a word processing document and saving it; the only difference is that instead of sentences and paragraphs you'll be entering HTML tags and attributes.

Once your files are complete
, they'll need to be added to your Web host so other Internet users can access them. The Web host, or server, is a powerful computer that operates around the clock.

It is here that all the files and data that make up your Website will be stored. And you'll need to register a domain name and synchronize this domain with your host machine so people can type an easily remembered Web address into their browser and literally navigate to your Website by establishing a connection with your host server.

In addition to learning how to create and save basic HTML documents, Website creation requires some level of proficiency in transferring files between your computer and a Web server. This is called File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short.

To do this, you'll need a software tool called an FTP client. This utility is installed on your desktop and can instantly form a connection with your Web host, allowing you to upload files to the Web or download them to your machine.

It is also recommended that you become familiar with the directory structure and hosting control panel your Web host provides. This will make it easier for you to manage your Website.

This sounds like a lot of work. But the truth is the average Internet user can become basically versed in all of this within 30 days or less if he or she puts forth an effort to learn.

It's beyond the scope of this article to delve into the specifics of any particular technique. But I hope at this point you at least have an understanding of what is involved in learning the Website Creation process.

About the Author: Timothy Aaron Whiston - Quickly and easily learn Web design with the author's amazing online course. You'll be a Webmaster in no time with this Web design course at your disposal.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

PPC Bully: Improve Your Pay Per Click Advertising Instantly!

Today's Good Marketing Tip: PPC Bully.

In the last couple of years, most marketers have increased their spend on Pay Per Click advertising at a faster rate than any other type of marketing. Why? Because Pay-per-click advertising, a.k.a PPC, is one of the most effective ways to target your prospects with the right message at the right time. And the greatest aspect of PPC? It's measurable.

As an online marketer, I have companies asking me to review their products on a daily basis. To be truthful, I only review those products that I think can provide benefit to whatever I happen to be working on at the moment. I know it might seem selfish, but I'm only interested in tools that are going to improve my marketing results.

Enter PPC Bully. For the last couple of months, I've been spending a lot of time improving my pay per click results. I think the major driver is that sales on some of my key products are slowing - due to the lagging economy and reluctance of consumers to spend. As a result, I've been looking toward PPC to help manage my marketing budget and improve results.
What I found unique about this product is that it helped me to create profitable, fully optimized PPC campaigns, the minute I launched them.

As you already know, pay-per-click campaigns take a lotof trial and error. You set up your keywords, write yourads and track conversions until you find just the rightcombination that works the best.

PPC Bully, a brand new research and analysis tool, allows you to know up front what works - and what doesn't. You get to see exactly what your competitors are doing, cash inon their "test" and launch with the most lucrative combinations possible. To better understand how PPC Bully works, check out the demo video on their homepage. It walks you through the basic process.

I guarantee that you will be amazed at how helpful and beneficial this tool can be for your marketing efforts. I was using two other tools to help with my PPC and I've stopped using them in exchange for this one. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Simple Search Strategies

There's no question that search engine optimization is a field straddling science and art. As competition to command search rankings has exploded, SEO strategies have become increasingly elegant and complicated. Most marketers and business owners these days end up toiling over complex SEO solutions in pursuit of the-next-best-thing. Progress has its drawbacks, though. Many seasoned business owners actually overlook simple, yet highly effective, SEO strategies that could skyrocket their business in the search rankings.

One such strategy is to use popular key words that are relevant to your business in your Web site's or landing page's URL. Given that SEO experts and business owners regularly research, then pepper their Web pages with top key words and tinker with their placement, simply using the words in the URL may sound too easy. Don't be fooled by its simplicity, though. This strategy works.

Simple strategies still require due diligence. For example, with MP Creative, we started by performing extensive key word research. “Portland,” “Oregon,” “marketing” and “advertising” were among the most active key terms relevant to the business. We then purchased the domains and, and placed landing pages on both sites that were also keyword-rich. The outcome was astonishing. Even though Portland is home to some of the top marketing and advertising firms in the nation, our start-up sky-rocketed to number one on Yahoo! in searches for such businesses within a week.

So why was such a simple strategy so effective? Again, one of the primary reasons is that advanced SEO marketers and business owners regularly overlook like the simplest approach. This is a great opportunity for a smaller business to elbow in on the big guys. Another reason is that this particular strategy's simplicity is actually its edge. By placing top key words in the URL, spiders from sites like Google and Yahoo don't have to crawl through an entire page of content before locating these words. That means that such a Web site will get noticed more quickly by these search engines, which could result in your page moving up in search rankings for those particular terms more quickly.

While there is tremendous allure in developing complex SEO tactics, case studies like these demonstrate that it's important not to forget simple strategies.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Every Marketer Knows the Importance of Link Building for Their Websites

Link building is one of the biggest SEO tasks. It can often be confusing and difficult to come up with ideas of how to get started. Let's explore a couple of different techniques for using Yahoo Search to help you find some juicy targets by looking at your competitor's links.

For example, let's say you're looking to build links to Nissan USA. First, look at the backlinks of your major competitor's sites using the link domain command. Here are the results you might get from this exercise: -- 236,000 backlinks (using: -- 144,000 backlinks (using: -- 214,000 backlinks (using:

Note that the "-site:" part of the command is there to screen out the internal links on the site. After all, your focus is on the external Web sites linking to them, not their internal links.

Nonetheless, this is still a bit overwhelming. You've checked out three competitive sites, and they all have more than 100,000 backlinks. This project might be a bit more than your summer intern can tackle.

To begin narrowing this down, see who links to all of the competitors you're targeting. You can do that by using a command such as:

This identifies the Web pages that link to all three domains, Ford, Chevrolet, and GM. This is interesting because if a Web page links to more than one car company (in this case Ford and GM, and GM's sub-brand Chevrolet), it's likely that it's an article meant to be a bit more of a roundup of sorts.

In any event, the results from this query look like this:

This gives you 3,360 links targets. But there's one remaining flaw in this output: if you start contacting all of these Web sites about these various pages, you may end up contacting sites that already link to yours. This can be embarrassing at best, and even worse, result in the removal of your link.

So it's best to refine the command to something like:

Here's what the results end up becoming once you use this form of the command:

Notice how the volume of links dropped from 3,630 to 3,100. You have successfully filtered out 530 links that already link to the Nissan USA site. Now it's much more plausible to hand off this campaign work to your intern.

However, some additional filtering may still be valuable. For example, you may want to isolate news-oriented sites, and handle them a bit differently than other types of sites. You may even hand these over to your PR firm.

You can target a command at such sites using a command such as: "news"

The command is admittedly a bit imperfect (because a site could mention the word news without being a news site or page), but should still act as a pretty good filter. There are many flavors of this. For example, you can also isolate ".edu" domains quite easily, using a command in this form:

Here are the results you get from that command:

There may be only 41 of these, but they're likely to be juicy targets, and worth approaching individually. Links such as these are likely some type of overview of the automobile industry, and if you were Nissan USA, you may feel like you belong on the list!


Link building is often a slow and arduous process that unfolds over a long period of time. But the rewards are large and it's a fundamental requirement for marketing any Web site, regardless of how established it may be.

Creative link research can provide you with some real advantages. It focuses your link building efforts on targets that are likely to provide a high response rate (or a high success rate) and also likely to be pretty meaningful links.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Internet Business

If you're looking to improve your Internet business, follow each of these marketing tips. As the Internet becomes more competitive, you need to think about what you consider your measure of success.

1. The first step is to understand what it means to be part of a successful online business.

Is success measured by money, the amount of customers the business receives or the output? Is it all three of these? or none?

While most people think that success is measured by money, it is actually measured by the amount of output a company generates. In today's society, many measure their success depending on the amount of income they receive. This is not right. A good company exports more than they import, which in turn generates a profit. But the exporting is what makes the company successful.

2. Target the demographics of the product you are selling.

Is your product geared towards youth, middle-aged or senior citizens? It is more towards males or females?

Once you target the demographics of consumers you are looking for, you will be able to begin to advertise for this specific group of people. In trying to pinpoint a younger age group, it would be more logical to advertise on a site like MTV rather than one for nursing homes.

3. Knowing how to decorate the webpage.

Presentation is extremely important. If you are watching your favorite show on tv and during the commercial break there shows a man in front of the camera speaking in a monotone voice about a certain medication, chances are you will not be drawn to this commercial and will instead change the channel.

Design your website so that it appeals to the eye. Use bright colors and flashy logos. This is proven to work.

4. Make the website easily accessible.

Have you ever gone online to look at a webpage and forgot the URL? Well, if this has happened to you, you know how stressful it is.

Allow the company to be easily pulled up on search engines such as google, yahoo, altavista or any other. This way, if a customer is looking to find the website but cannot remember the exact address, they could google the company name and find it easily.

Even better, design a URL which can be easily remembered. If your company's name is, say, Generation, try to grab the URL with generation in it. Easy and straight to the point, exactly what customers like.

5. Take every chance you get to advertise.

In today's day and age with the bad financial market, it seems likely that people are not trying to spend money. But, if they see an advertisement for a product that they just cannot live without, they might be more pressured to buy it.

Use television, newspapers, magazines and other online websites to advertise for your product. This will get your company's name out there.

These five hints will prove to be helpful in improving your online business. They are easy and extremely effective!

This post provided by

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Book Reviews: Online Marketing and SEO

If you're looking for some great resources on search engine optimization and online marketing, then The Good Marketing Tips Blog has already done some of the work for you. Our editors recently reviewed the following two titles, "The Webmaster's Book of Secrets" and "SEO Made Simple: Strategies for Dominating the World's Largest Search Engine."

The Webmaster's Book of Secrets

As one of the Internet's top-selling ebooks of all time, The Webmaster's Book of Secrets is a powerful guide for any small business owner, website owner, or Internet marketer. Just ask Jeff Sigler, owner of SpaCap, Inc. who now ranks on top for "Spa Covers" and much more...

"I have been going through The Webmaster's Book of Secrets and have treated your guide as my new religion. When I started this whole process, my website was buried on about page twenty eight of Google... I went to page one on Google for "replacement spa covers" and "spa cover replacement." Thanks again for your great book!

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for taking your website from worst to first. If you're not in the top position on Google, you're probably spending thousands on pay per click advertising and other forms of traffic generation. The Webmaster's Book of Secrets can help you improve your ranking and master the search engines.

Learn more at

SEO Made Simple: Strategies for Dominating the World's Largest Search Engine

There are a lot of SEO books on the market, but many are littered with complex search engine optimization speak about algorithms, changing formulas, and other complex aspects of SEO. SEO Made Simple, is a hands-on guide for any marketer who wants to reach top search engine placements and get more traffic for free.

If you're new to marketing online or want to improve your online marketing skills, SEO Made Simple can show you the fastest, most effective techniques for dominating your competition online. This title is currently listed in the top ten on Amazon and becomming the staple of every Internet marketer.

To purchase a copy of this one-of-a-kind resource and complete your marketing library, click here for SEO Made Simple.

Be sure to check out the titles recommended above. Your online marketing results will improve dramatically and your Internet marketing will reach a new standard that achieves top serach engine placement on a regular basis.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Is Your Search Engine Marketing Effective?

Search engine marketing involves keeping your content fresh, using keywords that put you at the top of the first page and obtaining as many links to your site from other websites as possible.

Pleasing the Search Engines

1. Search engines love updated content. Pay attention to which sites show on the first page and you will notice that among the sites in keyword competition, it is the sites with the most updated content that win out. Either write your own articles and upload your own graphics and photos or outsource the job to freelancers.

There are many freelancers who write for reasonable rates. With one good writer or writing team, you can improve your site's rankings dramatically. Make sure the writer you choose understands SEO.

2. Keyword strategies include going for those people who instead of searching for 'weight loss' search for 'how to lose 20 pounds fast' and other more specific terms. Do not stuff your pages with keywords. The recommended density of keywords is between 2 and 3 percent of the text on your page.

Excessive keyword phrases are not only recognizable to search engines as 'stuffing', they can ultimately affect the quality of the writing. This is where LSI comes in. LSI involves using phrases that are synonymous with your original keyword phrase. Learn about LSI!

3. The more relevant sites that link to your page, the better your rankings will be. For example, if you sell creative scrap booking products, try putting links about your self-designed scrap booking pages on sites that instruct people on how to scrap book. This is one way of 'piggy backing' on the keywords used by other sites.

Write your own articles or have a freelance writer write some for you. Submit them to article directories and allow other sites to use them providing they leave the resource box or by-line connected to the article. It is a 'scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' strategy and it works for both sides.

4. You can use your blog for more search engine marketing. If you update your blog daily and ping it with blog directories, you will see an increase in your blog's search engine rankings. Link to your site from your blog. This is another means of piggy backing.

5. Purchasing clicks on search engines is another strategy used in search engine marketing. This is how sites are placed in 'sponsored sites' at the very top of the page and along the right hand side on Google. Depending on the keywords you use for this strategy, you will have to pay a few pennies to several dollars in order to beat out your competition.

Yahoo allows you to set a daily maximum amount of money for clicks. If your site is brand new, try the lowest amount of money for a week or so to test how many clicks you get and how many sales you make from those clicks.

6. Monitor your site traffic on at least a weekly basis. Note how much of your traffic is coming from regular search engine marketing. After a couple of weeks of tracking, make small changes to optimize your site's search engine rankings. Continue looking for ways to improve on your site.

Gather all the information you can find on each of these strategies. Search engine marketing, as with all other forms of marketing, is constantly changing. Stay up to date on everything there is to know about search engine marketing and you will see your sales increase considerably!

Karla Whitmore is a creative freelance writer dedicated to supplying fresh, original and SEO rich content and plr to online businesses, webmasters and affiliate marketers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Five Key Marketing Strategies for Web Business Growth

If you expect to achieve sustained growth for your Web business and you don't have a plan in place to get you there, you might as well forget it. Growing a profitable Web Business is a strategic process that requires long range vision, careful planning, precise execution and patience. It's vital that you know exactly what you want to accomplish and that you have a detailed blueprint to follow.

Of course you need to have a website that is optimized and tested to convert traffic, and then you need to devote time to developing and executing short-term and long-term promotional strategies. These strategies must stand on their own as well as work together to get you the best results.

Here are five key strategies you can use to advance your business and improve your profit margin:

#1. Always Look For Opportunities to Increase Sales

Let's face it, sales drive business and sales come from customers; therefore, the hunt for new customers should be phase one of an ongoing three-phase marketing approach that every online business owner should embrace.

Phase two is to follow up with these new customers from time to time, and introduce them to additional offers. The objective of this second phase is to get them to buy from you more often.
The final phase of this three-pronged strategy is to offer expensive items, or bundle multiple items into higher-priced packages. This will give your customers more opportunities to make larger purchases.

#2. Find the Best Use for Your Marketing Budget

After you have identified your market demographic, fixed your goals and decided on a promotional strategy for reaching potential customers, the next step is to figure out how to maximize your budget and get the job done without over spending. Even though the exact process will vary from business to business, the principle remains the same.

You want to expose your product or service, as often as possible, to consumers who will derive the most benefit from it. Studies show that the average consumer will see a promotion about five to seven times before taking action on the offer.

So instead of blowing your budget on a single opportunity to reach your select group, it is much wiser to get everyone's attention with repeated promotions. Use as many different forms of advertising as you can afford and squeeze the most out of your marketing dollars.

#3. Invest in a Virtual Assistant

This is an opportunity to outsource various redundant tasks to someone who is capable, reliable and trustworthy. The big advantage to you is you'll have more time to devote to activities that generate income and help you grow your business.

A virtual assistant works from his or her office as an independent contractor and is responsible for whatever administrative or operational responsibilities you assign. Compensation can be agreed upon at an hourly rate, per assignment or by retainer.

If you are not yet at the stage where you can afford to pay a virtual assistant, you can consider a suitable barter arrangement with a subscriber or a customer. You can also ask a family member or a friend for help. You can't do it all yourself and you shouldn't even consider that option for the longterm.

#4. Use the Power of Email to Convert Visitors Into Customers

Email marketing is one of the most economical and reliable ways to build a relationship with visitors and eventually convert them into buyers. It is an effective tool for staying in touch and developing the level of comfort and trust that is necessary before they will agree to do business with you.

You can use email to convince your subscribers of your expertise in your niche. The more they come to accept you as an authority, the greater your credibility will become and the easier it will be for you to make sales.

Plus, email is a very handy tool for keeping customers abreast of new products, special promotions and the latest announcements about your business.

#5. Develop a System for Everything You Do

Make sure to design methods and procedures that simplify and expedite important aspects of your business operation. Very often these systems will evolve from trial and error, but when they have been perfected they should become standard procedure.
The most efficient systems are those that get you to your objective as quickly as possible, for as little money as possible and with the least possible effort.

The above strategies are vital to the success of any online business. Together they save you time, money, effort, and provide a pathway to sustained growth and expansion. Just be consistent in the marketing practices you implement and the results will come out in your favor.
About the Author: Hermas Haynes is the founder and webmaster of eBizInfoCenter - a popular resource where you can find many more marketing strategies, tools, articles and ideas for advancing your web business.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Add Newsletters To Your Marketing Mix

A newsletter is a periodically published document that informs, reminds, advices, advertises or communicates news and data on a specific topic. It can be either printed or have electronic format. Electronic newsletters are also known as Email Newsletters or eNewsletters and they are an excellent means for communicating with small to large audiences.

In short, a newsletter is an advertising instrument that provides companies with the possibility to improve their corporate identity and public perception, thus increasing sales.

How Does a Newsletter Work?

The promotional newsletters are free and should be used to motivate consumers to react to an offer made via direct mail or email.

A well-written newsletter builds trust and confidence on a company and a brand. Each article within it should answer the five basic questions – Who, What, When, Where, Why.

A promotional newsletter can increase your image with prospective and presented clients. By providing valuable info in a professional layout, the readers will recognize you as an expert in your field.

Why Should You Write A Newsletter?

If written well, newsletters can be more far-reaching than an article or radio program. You are your own editor, being able to determinate the number and length of your articles, the content, what pictures you use, how many graphics. This allows you to control content and target your information, delivering quality content to the readers.

Newsletters are great way to advertise and serve as reminders of products or services that would be beneficial for your audience. As magazines, they are periodical, so you can contact your clients at regular intervals – keeping your brand in front of them.

Give a newsletter a chance to improve your communications and value to customers. After a while, you'll build a strong base of customers (and prospects) who can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Marketing in Tough Times

Is the current tough market the right time to be slashing your advertising budget? Not if you want your business to survive the economic downturn and lay the groundwork to thrive when the economy improves! Tough times may actually provide us our best opportunity to reach out to our customers with little or no competition because so many of our competitors are doing just the opposite of that in an attempt to save money.

During good times everyone has the money (and bravery) to seek out clients, creating an atmosphere of extreme competition where reaching the consumer with your message proves to be exceedingly difficult. NOW is the time to have faith in your product or service, to reach out to your customers and to secure your success now and into the future. And there are easy and cost effective ways of doing so.

There are some simple things that you can do. Everyone knows about the internet, but not everyone knows the free ways to get exposure on the internet. You can write an article about your industry, or a product, and submit it to one of the many sites that accept them. At the end of your article, you mention your business and have a link to your website. Each site has it's guidelines on how the articles are to be written, so make sure to follow them. This will help establish you as a leader in your industry as long as the information you share is helpful and not self-promoting.

Guerilla marketing is great in slow time. Have some flyers or postcards made. One of your employees or friends can design it or you can find an affordable place to do it for you. During your slow time, have your employees go to a busy area and hand them out. Now you are putting your message directly into the hands of prospective customers. Make sure you have an attractive offer that will entice people to visit your business. Obviously, this is mainly for businesses with a store front, but you can do guerilla marketing online as well.

Guerilla marketing is done differently online. With blogs and social networking sites, there are opportunities to market your business in a different setting. You can create blogs and check the response you get from each entry which can help you check what the market is interested in at any given time. Or you can find blogs that have an issue that your company can help with. Respond to the blog with your company information. You can set up an account with a social networking site, giving more information about your business and connecting to other businesses to network and exchanges leads.

Cross promote with other businesses, in other ways. If you're feeling the pinch of the economy, most likely other businesses in your area/industry are feeling it as well. Find other businesses that don't compete with yours and see about exchanging some flyers or a banner promoting each other's business. Or if your business is online, do a link exchange with other businesses. Do not over due the link exchange or Google may lower your organic search results. Be selective in who you work with both online and in the brick and mortar world.

Press Releases can be a very effective way to bring attention to your business. If you have something that impacts the community, then you can have someone write a press release for you. If you hire someone to do it for you, make sure they know how to write and distribute it. Again, remember the topic must be something that impacts the community and not just a self-serving piece promoting your business.

These are just some of the ideas that will help your business grow in any economy. There are plenty of marketing options out there. You just need to find the ones that work for you.

About the Author: Rob Bedell is an expert in the media industry and has worked in the industry for over 15 years. He has worked with some of the largest media companies in the world, Tribune and Knight-Ridder, as well as helping restructure and rebuild other companies in the Los Angeles, CA Metropolitan area. He now owns a marketing company that helps small to medium sized business, making sure that their marketing pays them back.

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