Ecommerce: Have Cart – Will Shop

Ecommerce: Have Cart – Will Shop

In order for you to sell products or services online you will need a shopping cart application to facilitate ecommerce. While your customers simply want a way to make a purchase if they are interested in your product you will have already considered tough choices.

For Instance…

If you want a full solution for invoicing, statements, receipts and company financial history there are solutions that cover all of this with an application for a shopping cart that is tied to company financial data. One such company is COREsense based in New York. This service requires less redundant work because data entry on sales to a separate accounting software application is not required due to the full integration of financial data. For most companies this solution will fall outside normal budget constraints.

If you have no budget for a shopping cart, you have a couple of solutions that might work depending on your technical expertise. OSCommerce is available at no cost. This product is a fully customizable solution for a shopping cart, but it does require personal programming. In many cases netrepreneurs will hire a programmer to set this shopping cart up for them.

If you have no up front budget for a shopping cart PayPal makes one available at no cost, but they do retain a fee as well as a small commission on each sale. The power of PayPal may make this a trusted source for online transactions for your customers.

Yahoo and eBay provide shopping cart services at $30-40 per month and offers a few features unavailable with the low cost or no-cost checkout solutions.

There are other online solutions for cyber transactions with the tipping point based entirely on the size and needs of your online business. If you are a large company with thousands of online transactions, it may ultimately be less expensive to purchase a shopping cart system that requires a monthly fee. In the end, the fees and commissions associated with no cost carts could outpace a standard monthly fee from other ecommerce transaction solutions.

Your customers have a choice in where they shop online and you have a choice in how you manage online transactions. Spend some time checking out the services offered and how the fees will affect your bottom line both now and as your company grows.

As with all ecommerce sites, your business will not do well if it is difficult to checkout. Make sure the transaction solution you choose allow your clients to make a purchase easily. If the process if too difficult the prospect may bow out before the sale is complete.

Blogging For SEO: How To Get Maximum Search Benefit From Your Small Business Blog

Blogging For SEO: How To Get Maximum Search Benefit From Your Small Business Blog

If you have a small business blog, or are thinking of starting one, you should be aware of the ways you can use your blog to drive traffic to your Website. It’s simpler than you think.

The first thing to understand about your blog is that each entry is counted as one Web page. Even if you have your blog set to display 10 blog posts on the same page, each of them is counted as a separate Web page by the search engines. That’s why it is important to treat each blog entry as an SEO tool. The following tips should be kept in mind for each blog entry in order to optimize them for the search engines and drive more traffic to your Website from your blog:

1. Optimize each blog post around a single keyword
2. Make sure your keyword is in your blog post title, preferably at the beginning
3. Use subheads with or tags that also use your keyword
4. Include 1-3 keyword links (anchor text) in your blog posts
5. Sign every blog post with a signature link that uses your keyword
6. Use bold and italics effectively to emphasize certain keywords and phrases
7. Be sure to ping the directories
8. Include tags for all of your blog entries
9. Use categories effectively
10. Make links appear natural by linking to internal pages of your Website

Because each blog entry is a separate Web page, the search engines will crawl them and index them just as they do your Web pages. Optimize each one heavily around a specific keyword related to your Website and that’s an extra doorway into your Website for each page indexed at the search engines. Also, by adding anchor text to a couple of those keywords and pointing those links to relevant internal Web pages of your Website you are improving the SEO effect of your blog entry. A poll of top SEO experts by SEOmoz revealed that a majority of those SEO experts said these type of keyword links are among the top 10 most important SEO factors for ranking Web pages. Don’t give up on keywords and anchor text.

You’ll also want to include keyword tags with each blog entry. Those tags will be used by the search engines to index your pages appropriately for your keywords. Also, social bookmarkers will find it easier to tag your blog entry if they like it and this makes it easier to share among their social group.

Your blog category should indicate an important element of interest as well. Unlike tags, you should only choose one category for each blog post. Don’t use “main” or “uncategorized.” Those are too generic. Use a specific keyword-related category as that will make your blog posts more crawlable by the search engines.

There are more than 100 blog directories that you can ping to let them know you have updated your blog. I suggest you do this every time you update your blog. With WordPress, and several other blogging software platforms, you can input each directory into a field and the software will send out an automatic ping each time you update your blog. If you are not using WordPress you should go to Ping-o-Matic and use it to ping your blog for free.

Finally, if you sign your blog posts with a keyword-rich signature that points to a relevant internal page of your Website, this will make your Website more crawlable and give you another anchor text link. Use something like, “Find Out More About Keyword.” Then add another link that points to your home page.

The important thing to remember about keywords and links, whether on your blog or your Website, is to make them appear natural. The benefits are enormous.

Affiliate Marketing-Simple, Yet Effective

Affiliate Marketing has increasingly become an integrated and large part of a company’s marketing plans – most notably for companies that wish to use the internet to gain revenue or sell products. For this reason, e-commerce owes much of its rise to the idea of affiliated marketing, which includes websites such as CDNOW (BuyWeb) or Amazon.com.

The idea of affiliated marketing is profoundly simple yet incredibly effective. Basically, a webmaster will display a merchant’s adverts on a site, and be paid for those websites in one of three ways. Either, he will be paid per click (known as Cost-per-click, CPC for short) which means that every time the advert is clicked, the affiliate is paid. This is not the favored form of affiliate marketing due to many fraud click sites, the rise of adware, and other fraudulent schemes.

Another method of payment is Cost-per-Action (CPA) which is when the affiliate receives income based on either a sale, registration, or the ‘action’ of the person who has clicked the advert from the affiliate’s site.

The last form – and most favored form – is the Cost-per-sale method (CPS) which is based solely upon sales or purchases generated on the merchant’s site, that have come through the affiliated site. CPA and CPS are very similar in this respect, and represent a form of revenue sharing or commission plan.

Affiliate marketing has many benefits for both the affiliate and the merchant, one being that there are no real risks at all for both parties – and both parties find it very beneficial. Merchants enjoy affiliate marketing, and it has become a favored form of advertising for e-commerce business.

Search Engine Optimization And Why You Just Gotto Use It

Search Engine Optimization And Why You Just Gotto Use It

E-commerce is a cut throat business. You have to arm yourself with the proper know-how and the tools to make your site a cut above the rest. Each day, more and more sites are clambering to optimize their rankings in websites and if you lose your guard, you may just get trampled on and be left in the abyss filled with so many failed e-commerce sites.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a term widely used today by many e-commerce sites. For the past few years and the next ten years or so, search engines would be the most widely used internet tool to find the sites that they need to go to or the product or information they need.

Most people that use search engines use only the ten top search results in the first page. Making it to the first page, more so to the top three is a barometer of a sites success in search engine optimization. You will get a higher ratio of probability in being clicked on when you rank high. The more traffic for your site, the more business you rake in.

But, it is essential to grab a hold of that spot or make your ranking even better. As I aforementioned, each day is a new day for all e-commerce sites to make them selves rank higher using search engine optimization. It is imperative to make your site better and better everyday.

So just what is search engine optimization and do you have to use it? The answer to why you have to use it is an easy one. You need search engine optimization to be number one, or maybe at least make your site income generating.

With search engine optimization you can get the benefit of generating a high traffic volume. Let’s just say you get only a turn out of successful sales with 10 to 20 percent of your traffic. If you get a hundred hits or more a day, you get a good turn out of sales already. If you get only twenty to ten hits a day, you only get one or two if not any at all.

So once again, what is search engine optimization? Search engine optimization is utilizing tools and methods in making your site top ranking in the results of search engines. Getting yourself in the first page and better yet in the top half of the page will ensure that your site will generate public awareness of your site’s existence and subsequently generate more traffic, traffic that could lead to potential income and business.

Search engine optimization requires a lot of work to be fully realized. There are many aspects you have to change in your site or add as well to get search engine optimization. These will include getting lots of information about the keyword phrases that are popular in regards to your sites niche or theme.

You may also need to rewrite your sites contents so that you could get the right keyword phrases in your site without making it too commercial but light and informative. There are certain rules and guidelines to be followed with making your site’s content applicable and conducive to search engine optimization.

You will also need to collaborate with many other sites so that you could get link exchanges and page transfers. The more inbound and outbound traffics generated by sites among others are one of the components search engines uses to rank sites.

Try to search the internet for many useful help. Tips, guidelines and methods for search engine optimization are plenty to be found. Read many articles that can help you optimize your site in search engine results. The more knowledge and information you gather the better. This will all help you in getting those high rankings. This may require a little time and effort in your part but the benefits will be astounding.

If you can part with some money, there are many sites in the internet that can help you in search engine optimization. There are many sites that help in tracking keyword phrases that can help your site. There are also some content writers that have lots of experience in making good keyword laden content for your sites that have good quality.

Act now and see the benefits garner with search engine optimization. All of these will result to better traffic and more business for your site and company.

25 Free Tips for Marketing your Blog

25 Free Tips for Marketing your Blog

With so many blogs being created every day, it’s a mystery to many bloggers how to make their blog stand out. It’s simple. People want to read good content, and with good content comes ad revenue. Well, maybe it’s not that easy… We’ve finally unleashed the secrets of successful blog marketing. Do note that these are not guaranteed to increase your click-through ratios and they will not bring good karma to you or your ads.. If only.. Nonetheless, these tips should benefit your blog and make it more user-friendly, more easily accessible, and more content-enabled.

There are many types of blogs or purposes for blogs and a certain number of tactics are applicable to just about all of them, so here is a -short- list of tips for marketing and optimizing a blog:

1. Decide on a stand alone domain name www.myblog.com or directory of existing site www.mysite.com/blog. Sub domain is also an option blog.mysite.com. Avoid hosted services that do not allow you to use your own domain name!
2. Obtain and install customizable blog software – WordPress and Moveable Type are my favorites.
3. Customize blog look and feel templates – aka design.
4. Research keywords and develop a glossary – Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, SitePoint, SEOBook Keyword Research.
5. Optimize the blog:
* Template optimization – RSS subscription options, social bookmark links, HTML code, Unique title tags, URLs, Sitemap
* Add helper plugins specific to WordPress or MT
* Create keyword rich categories (reference your keyword glossary)
6. Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality.
7. Create Feedburner Pro account and enable feed tracking.
8. Setup Google acount for Sitemap, validate and prep for future submission.
9. Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll.
10. Format archived posts, related posts.
11. Enable statistics for tracking – Performancing, Google Analytics, ClickTracks.
12. Submit RSS feed and Blog URL to prominent RSS and Blog directories / search engines.
13. Engage in an ongoing link building campaign.
14. If podcast or video content are available, submit to Podcast and Vlog directories.
15. Submit blog url to paid directories with categories for blogs – Yahoo, BOTW, bCentral, WOW, JoeAnt.
16. Optimize and distribute a press release announcing blog.
17. Request feedback or reviews of your blog in relevant forums, discussion threads. If you have a resourceful post that will help others, point to it.
18. Research and comment on relevant industry related blogs and blogs with significant centers of influence.
19. Post regularly. If it’s a news oriented blog, 3-5 times per day. If it’s an authoritative blog, 3-5 times per week, but each post must be unique and high value.
20. Monitor inbound links, traffic, comments and mentions of your blog – Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogpulse, Yahoo News, Ask Blogs and Feeds.
21. Always respond to comments on your blog and when you detect a mention of your blog on another blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post.
22. Make contact with related bloggers on AND offline if possible.
23. When making blog posts always cite the source with a link and don’t be afraid to mention popular bloggers by name. Use keywords in the blog post title, in the body of the post and use anchor text when you link to previous posts you’ve made.
24. Use social networking services, forums and discussion threads to connect with other bloggers. If they like your stuff, they will link to you.
25. Remember when web sites were a new concept and the sage advice to print your web address everywhere you print your phone number? The same advice applies for your blog.

Ecommerce – Customer Satisfaction And The Bottom Line

Ecommerce – Customer Satisfaction And The Bottom Line

What every ecommerce business wants most is for an online user to type in their credit card number and make a purchase of a product.

You can have the best-developed site of its kind, yet if no one is buying you simply have a really nice website.

When it comes to ecommerce how do you encourage site visitors to move from passive interest to a consumer of your product, service or information?

The short answer is to simply prove yourself trustworthy enough to the customer to allow them confidence in a purchase.

That, of course, is easier said than done.

The answer that is hardest to implement is that if you want consumers more than site visitors you will likely employ virtually any tactic to get them to your site and you may employ methods that could result in banishment from certain email providers as well as a variety of search engines.

When you take your ecommerce website and make the consumer your number one priority you will develop list building techniques that have your customer in mind.

You will develop ezines that really do have substance for your online guests.

You will develop email-marketing campaigns based on organic lists derived from actual site visitors resulting in a campaign aimed at visitors who really do have an interest in your product, service or information.

You will develop a forum for guests to interact with each other about your offerings.

You will make Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds of your latest information available to your guests.

You will do whatever you can to find a way to prove to your potential customer that you are looking out for their interests and are genuinely interested in passing along helpful information.

There are far too many sites that exist that ooze with insincerity. It is a tough sell to believe that these site owners care about anything beyond the bottom line. You can’t fault them for having an interest in their financial future, but online users want you to prove to them you can be trusted and that you are worthy of their business.

I haven’t done exhaustive research on the following declaration, but I have performed enough research that the guess is well educated – the online businesses that will be most successful in the next decade will be ones who are honestly interested in the needs of the customers.

For those who are fixated on the bottom line you need to know that customer satisfaction is tied to your bottom line. Consider it the cost of doing business.

Ecommerce: Profit In Data Feeds?

Ecommerce: Profit In Data Feeds?

You’ve been to a shopping engine online. You know the kind, a place where you can do comparison-shopping online before you actually make a buying decision.

If you are a netrepreneur you may wonder if it is even possible to have your product considered for price comparison sites like, Yahoo Shopping, Shopzilla NexTag, Shopping.com, Froogle and PriceGrabber.

It is possible, but your inclusion into the world of online price comparisons relies on significant work from you in the area of data entry. Product information must be supplied to each of these sites in the form of a data feed. These feeds may vary from one location to the next, but primarily require model number, StockKeeping Unit (SKU) and price.

Tamara Mendelsohn, a principal analyst at a Forrest research analyst said the following in an interview with E-Commerce Times. “Almost three quarters of U.S. households are connected to the Internet, and the majority use it for researching products online. Retailers can’t afford to ignore their multichannel consumers anymore,”

Engines that thrive on comparison-shopping care less about your site and more about your product. If your product is sought and you have a credible data feed for the product your site will likely be included in the price comparison.

Some ecommerce professionals believe this is the next wave of site optimization. Instead of dealing in keywords or phrases the customer is directed to your site specifically because you have a product for sale that they are motivated to purchase.

Forecasts predict a significant amount of growth potential through the use of data feeds for product comparison search engines.

The primary caveat with the ‘possibilities’ of shopping engines is that the ongoing work in data feeds can be exhaustive while the benefits come with a price tag. The principle is very similar to Pay Per Click (PPC). When a customer clicks your link to check out your prices you will pay an advertising fee to the search engine.

If you provide a price that is competitive and have a reputation that is strong, the use of a shopping engine may make sense. If you are tentative about the use of a shopping engine you should investigate the finer details and see if this labor-intensive service can provide enough customers to offset the costs in labor and advertising.

Ecommerce is as ever-expanding and sometimes complex device that can be simplified in certain situations. It can also be highly complex, but useful if you have the time, resources, knowledge and drive to learn and apply ecommerce skills.

Why Do You Need To Join An Affiliate Marketing Network?

Affiliate marketing is the latest trend online. With so many products to sell and services to offer, sometimes displaying it on one site isn’t enough. Thus, advertisers or merchants need affiliates, some sites which are willing to display ads for a particular cost. On the other hand, this is an opportunity for potential affiliates to earn extra income online.

The easy way to earn from affiliate marketing is to join an affiliate marketing network. Joining poses several benefits to both the advertiser and the affiliate. For the advertisers, this opens a new door of opportunity to get more leads and sales, get higher return on investment and pay only for results. Affiliate marketing network lessens the risk of venturing into marketing without proper management and guidance.

For the affiliates, joining an affiliate network makes earning money online a whole lot easier. Instead of going after many merchants for payment, the affiliate has only one contact for all the advertisers. Aside from the convenience, the affiliate marketing network will also extend support to the affiliates.

Affiliate Marketing Sectors

Affiliate marketing will continually grow as the need for more sales and leads continue. People are beginning to look at this type of marketing as an important aspect of pushing websites forward. More and more websites and online businesses are looking into one day joining the ever growing affiliate marketing networks.

The common affiliate marketing sectors include financial services, travel, retail, telecoms, mobile, broadband, gaming and even online gambling. Because of the increasing number of affiliate interested websites, the number of affiliate marketing networks also drastically increased. This means there will be more networks competing against each other.

UK Affiliate Marketing Networks

Affiliate marketing has become the trend in UK, as well. There are already a number of UK based affiliate marketing networks. Who are the major UK affiliate marketing networks and which one should you join?

The major affiliate marketing networks in UK include advertising.com, affiliatefuture.com, affiliatemarketing.co.uk, affiliatewindow.com, affili.net, brandconversions.com, buy.at, clash-media.co.uk, cj.com, dgmaffiliates.com, onlinemediagroup.co.uk, paidonresults.com, primeq.co.uk, silvertap.com, smart-quotes.com, tradedoubler.com, webgains.com and zanox.com. This is according to e-consultancy report.

These affiliate marketing networks all vies for merchants and affiliates. They will get an override commission for the sales so it would be best to have more merchants and affiliates on the network. The standard override fee is 30% although that still depends on the network. But whatever network you choose, whether you are a merchant or an affiliate, as long as you set things up properly, you will still get your share of higher sales.

Joining The Money Circle

Joining The Money Circle

If you’re expecting any profit from the Internet, you’ve to join a circle of people supported by a money circle in which certified companies have a lot of cash rotation, affiliate programs, resellers, and their own products, services and customers.
There are many websites on the Internet claiming that they can make you rich overnight. Other so-called ‘experts’ charge skyrocket amounts for e-books, promising to reveal the secrets of Internet marketing which can make you millions.
My fellow, there is not any secret at all to earn money online. You just need to have a product to sell, know how to market it and have the right tools to advertise it with smart and consistency. That’s all.
With the revolution of affiliate programs you can have hundreds, even thousands of products for immediate sale online without spending a single minute to create them.
The only secret frequently mentioned by several Internet rippers is simply a matter of having something to sell, which can be through affiliate programs, knowing how to sell it and then having the right tools to sell it.
Get some affiliate programs handbook. It is a best value toolkit that will help you getting cash from the Internet business. Please, be patient; learn the key steps and tips on selling products online.
Most of successful e-commerce dealers weren’t born genius; they have been using step by step e-books along with some investment of their precious time and own funds to enter the money circle through affiliate program.
So, if you’re really interested in making profit online with affiliate programs or selling your own product, you must spend some time to learn some e-commerce tips and marketing tricks. Do some efforts to set up correctly your affiliate program leads, and never rely on so-called totally automated marketing system to make profit online.
The Internet is overloaded with the word FREE in every corner just to induce you in spirit of relax and distort your real needs. In true, you’ll never get a dime from these “free marketing” programs.
To succeed with online business you need to join a certified money circle and have a budget to start with your marketing campaigns, invest some of your time, learn with affiliate programs promoters, otherwise you will never sell and your genuine desire of making money on the Internet will be an eternal dream.

Pittsburgh Internet Marketing

Pittsburgh Internet Marketing

With marketing changing its dynamics from time to time, the significance attached to it has increased. As the world economy grew and technology like internet exploded to phenomenal levels, the word marketing was redefined. Marketing is no more just paying field visits or convincing the client about the product. Even telemarketing is now considered obsolete since phone users desist from taking such calls. The new tool in marketing is internet. It is said that the reach of internet marketing is high considering the penetration of computers and internet in the developed countries.

Internet marketing in Pittsburgh is no less compared to any other mature economy. The average rate of the e-transaction, including e-commerce, is equivalent to the national average.

The internet has spawned a plethora of firms that specialize in internet marketing. Just like advertising firms, now internet marketing is the buzzword. There are hundreds of internet marketing firms in Pittsburgh. Not only have they been successful in their operations and in achieving objectives, they have received multiple awards for excellent performance. These internet marketing firms have grown into full-fledged firms with specialization in various aspects of marketing. They also offer thousands of jobs in the Pittsburgh area, especially the locals.

The internet marketing firms specialize in many sectors. Initially, they hold meetings with the clients to decide whether the product should target individual mail users or general internet surfers. Companies generally prefer to advertise or market products on popular internet sites, search engines and portals. Marketing a product by mailing each person is not favored since such mails go down the filter as spam. Then the entire exercise will be lost. The end objective will not be achieved.

Internet marketing firms in Pittsburgh are known to reach the target audience since all of them are professionally managed. A majority of these firms are either launched by or maintained by professionals with prior experience in firms practicing traditional advertising and marketing.

It is easy to trace internet marketing firms in Pittsburgh. All of them are registered on the internet. They have their separate portals and websites detailing the services offered by them. The services can be checked out by visiting their respective websites. The internet marketing firms are also listed in the local yellow pages and telephone directories.

Usually, products from the fast moving consumer goods category, computer and peripherals, local services like flower delivery, banking information, credit information, subscription to various newspapers and publications, access to internet sites and public events are marketed online.