Search Engine Marketing-How it Differs from Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Marketing-How it Differs from Search Engine Optimization

Search engine marketing is a set of marketing methods used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages. Types of search engine marketing include; search engine optimization, pay per click, paid inclusion, and social media optimization. Search engine marketing differs from search engine optimization which is the art and science of making web pages attractive to internet search engines.

Non-profit organizations, universities, political parties, and the government can all benefit from search engine marketing. Businesses that sell products and/or services online can use search engine marketing to help improve their sales figures.

Some of the goals of search engine marketing are to develop a brand, generate media coverage, and enhancing a reputation, and to drive business to a physical location.

If you do not feel confident enough to try your own search engine marketing there are several companies that will be able to help you out for a price. If you decide to go with a search engine marketing company take your time and shop around, find a company that really suits your own businesses search engine marketing needs.

Stay away from companies that promise top rankings. Most companies that promise tope ranking are more interested in your money then they are in keeping your business. Quite often this type of company will charge you top doller, spend a few days making sure your website has a few basic requirements and that is the last you hear from them. This type of search engine marketing company is not really interested in repeat customers.

Tread carefully around companies that promise first page rankings on the major search engines like Google and Yahoo. Make sure these companies are talking about sponsored listings and not just natural listings. Companies that are only after natural listings traditionally charge a large monthly fee, using a small portion of the money on sponsored listings, and pocketing the remainder.

The false promise most commonly used by shady search engine marketing companies is the money back guarantee. Generally if you read the contract very carefully you will lean that these companies have a very strange idea of major search engine. Companies that have a money back guarantee typically don’t deal with the search engine movers and shakers like Google and Yahoo, instead they use small obscure search engines that are hardly ever used.

The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) was created in 2003 to offer the public educational resources about search engine marketing and to also promote search engine marketing. Currently SEMPO represents over 500 global search engine marketing companies. Sempo is happy to offer their resources to the public for free. SEMPO has offers search engine marketing training courses for any and all interested parties who would like to expand their knowledge of search engine marketing. SEMPO’s objectives are to teach search engine marketing strategies, techniques, and successful practices, to increase the availability and quality f its professionals, and to offer training courses that will help to establish a benchmark for search engine marketing. The cost of a SEMPO training course can range anywhere from five hundred dollars for a fundamentals of search marketing class, to over two thousand dollars for an advanced search advertising course.

Ecommerce – Flex Those Marketing Muscles

Ecommerce – Flex Those Marketing Muscles

John (or Joan) Q. Citizen probably don’t think of how certain decisions in the business world affected them. The primary thing most are concerned with is making sure they have enough money to pay the bills.

Gas prices rise, but they don’t automatically think of the higher grocery prices they would soon be paying. They just knew things were tighter now than they have ever been.

Unions demanded more money, but they didn’t automatically think of how that might affect the price of their next car or airline ticket they just hoped the car would last a little longer or a great deal would come along.

However, when you work on a new business startup in a world called ecommerce you begin to take notice of the pebbles tossed in the pond you swim in. Suddenly it is much easier to see the ripples those pebbles create and you brace for the aftermath of the wake because there will be a wake.

If you’re going to be in business ecommerce is a wonderful place to launch because overhead is often much less than a traditional brick and mortar store and you likely have fewer employees than a traditional store counterpart.

You may discover, however, that your marketing plan needs a ‘flex’ mode. This means the things you sell online may require certain shifts in marketing depending on regional or national economic indicators.

For instance, let’s say …

1. You sell decorative outdoor lighting fixtures.
2. Your marketing plan has you developing content based on developing pleasing lighting for the home.
3. New housing starts are down and new home purchases are light.

In this scenario there will likely be customers who would be looking for lighting for a home they own and want to improve it for reasons you may have stated in your online content. However, what if you ‘flexed’ your marketing ideals and re-pitched the product as a way of improving the value of a home an individual may want to sell? This could have a profound impact on your ability to boost sales.

You are selling the exact same product, but you recast the product to conform to a real need – selling houses. This need is expressed behind closed doors and at the local coffee shop. It ultimately is translated to the general business climate. There may come a time when you revise your approach once more, but that’s one of the best things about ecommerce, you can recast your sales approach when you need to.

Some of the very dismal things that may be happening in the business world around you may present marketing tools you just haven’t used yet.

When it appears the economy may have dealt a blow to your marketing objectives take some time to investigate if there may be new opportunities in a shifted marketing strategy. Sometimes adversity can allow ecommerce to flourish in new soil.

Look for any and every advantage to marketing your product in light of changing circumstances. Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

Accepting payment at your ecommerce website

Accepting payment at your ecommerce website

To have an online store, the easiest way is to find some open source ecommerce script. For example oscommerce or zen-cart shopping cart. Get these script setup on your web hosting.

To accept payment online, its either customer pay through your website, or route customer to payment gateway website and make payment. Selecting which one, will depend on your needs and budget.

Having third party merchant is easiest and lowest cost. You could sign up with 2checkout payment processing or paypal or verisign payment processing. And route customer to the link provided by them. Customer will make payment at those provider webpage, and once its done, customer will return back to your website.

Be sure to pick only those famous third party merchant provider, don’t trust those that you found online and offering incredible low cost and no fees solution. Who knows, you will never get your money at the ends.

Either you can find a web hosting provider that offers merchant account as well, and they will handle all the integration work for your ecommerce store. For example you can visit ixwebhosting and their merchant account section. More review found here www.ixwebhostingreview.org and its good to have expert taken care of the payment solution if you are unsure of what to do.

Ecommerce: How Payment Gets From Here To There

Ecommerce: How Payment Gets From Here To There

We’ve all heard the children’s song, ‘Dem Bones’.

The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone’s connected to the back bone,
The back bone’s connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone’s connected to the head bone,
Etc.

This same concept can be applied to ecommerce. For those who may not fully understand how ecommerce works let’s try this:

The Consumer’s connected to the Internet
The Internet’s connected to the Transaction Server
The Transaction Server’s connected to the Processing Network
The Processing Network’s connected to the Customer’s Bank

Now, let’s look the other side of the equation.

The Merchant’s Website’s connected to the Internet
The Internet’s connected to the Transaction Server
The Transaction Server’s connected to the Processing Network
The Processing Network’s connected to the Merchant’s Bank

Both the consumer and the merchant are connected to the ecommerce shopping cart through similar channels, but like blood pumping through a body the consumer follows the links from checkout to confirmation and the information flows through the Transaction Server, Processing Network and customer bank before it flows back through to the seller through the Transaction Server, Processing Network where the money is deposited in the merchant’s bank. This entire process only takes a few seconds.

The good news is all reputable shopping cart systems rely on encrypted technology to preserve the integrity of the online purchase. This means that a customer’s credit card information is not in danger of being confiscated and used by a third party.

This is important because the success of ecommerce relies heavily on privacy and security. A reputable shopping cart system is a must for any serious web store.

The truth is, all your client really wants to be sure of is the safety of their information, the reputation of your business and if the transaction was complete. They may never know or even care how exactly it is accomplished, but the use of a secure shopping cart, the attention to the reputation of your firm and the use of autoresponders to alert the customer to the completion of the sale will be necessary for positive ongoing client relations.

You’ve worked hard to provide a quality product at a competitive price. You’ve worked to optimize your site for search engine success and you’ve added knowledge-based articles to your site – so to use a football cliché, it would be a shame to drop the ball so close to the end zone. Make sure you have a secure shopping cart for present and future customers. They may just thank you by coming back.

Online Stores and e-commerce stores should not ignore the importance of SSL Certificates to gain maintain online security.

Online Stores and e-commerce stores should not ignore the importance of SSL Certificates to gain maintain online security.

It is possible for every piece of data to be seen by others unless it is secured by an SSL Certificate. Your customers won’t trust your web site without it.

Why does an Online Store would need SSL Certificate?

If you have an e-commerce website or an online store, you definitely need an SSL certificate!
• Ecommerce websites typically require a buyer to sign up on the website before he can buy online. The website gathers customers personal data and hence it should have an SSL
certificate to guarantee the safety of their details and information.

• SSL Certificates help you secure online payments. Most of the visitors now expect security as a part of any e-commerce website so that they can safely make a purchase and provide their personal details and credit card numbers, they anticipate all the details provided by them over the Internet should be confidential and secure. Thus, SSL Certificate is as essential for any website as taking a Domain before developing a website.

• Enable you to boost your visitor conversion rates – increasing your profitability from the same level of traffic.
SSL Certificates help you increasing the conversion rates by providing an extra/added security feature on your site. You can hold back all those customers who would have left your website for trust and security related reasons

• Capitalize on the branding of the certificate provider and instill confidence in the customer – Retailers have an opportunity to capitalize on the brand power of the certificate provider itself to inspire consumer confidence and trust. The leading SSL certificate providers offer additional value added services in the form of site seals and trust indicators to further enhance the credibility of the retail site. As more and more retailers provide positive trust indicators on their web sites, so consumers are becoming more accustomed to and therefore relying upon those indicators. The strongest branding opportunity comes from the leading providers such as SSLGenie, whose branding adorns many of the top retail sites.

Consequences of not deploying an SSL on your website –

To run a successful online business its very important to create trust in your customers and visitors, Your visitors will only make a purchase after they feel that their details (Credit card information and personal data) will be in the safe hands. Thus for e-businesses, the key is to maintain trust for visitors and customers. And if you are not installing SSL Certificate, you may have to face following consequences –

• Your prospective customers will go to your Competitors.
• If the visitors will not find the trust indicators (SSL Certificates), they may loose the whole confidence in your brand, products and services, and this may degrade your goodwill.
• Customers may reject or deny to buy from your website and may not pass their confidential information like credit card details to you.
• It may decrease your visitor conversion rates and may effect your over all profitability
• Non Availability of SSL may have negative image of your business.

SSL (secure sockets layer) is a communications protocol which is now the global standard for security. SSL creates an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser to ensure that all data transmitted remains private and secure.

Optimize Your Website For The Best Results

A business should not underestimate the power of its website to increase its reputation online, bring in new customers and make sales. Using search engine optimization is the best way for a business to maximize the potential of its website. This article has tips on some quick and easy ways to do that.

When you set up your WordPress blog you MUST use keyword URLs instead of numbers! p=243 doesn’t tell Google what your page is about, but having WordPress insert some or all of the title into the URL will show Google that those keywords are important. This will bring far more traffic, so implement it!

Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to get your content seen on the web. This can help you gain new traffic to your webpage, allow you top search engine rankings, and even boost sales if you are selling on your site. There are many benefits to SEO.

Select which inbound links you want. If a website is associated with a spam, you do not want to see your business listed there. Typically, getting an inbound link from a website that gets more traffic than yours should help you. Concentrate your efforts on getting links from websites that rank higher than yours.

Take care when using your social media presence to boost your main site’s PageRank. The data you provide on your social media pages (e.g. Facebook and Twitter bios) should dovetail with the main keywords of your website. This establishes a relationship between the two that can help improve the positioning of both your social media presence and your main site.

If you are having a hard time writing good content and optimizing your blog or website at the same time, you have to make a choice. You should probably focus on writing quality content and worry about optimization later. If your site looks like a long series of keywords, no visitor will ever come back to it.

If you want to include keywords in your URLs, you should use hyphens between them. This will make it easier for search engine spiders to recognize different keywords, allow your visitors to read the URL and understand what the page is about. Make sure you use hyphens instead of underscores.

To encourage searchers to click on your site, make sure that you choose a relevant meta tag for every page of your website. The meta tag is the brief description that appears under your title on the search engine results page, and without it, people may not know what your site is about.

Check your bounce rate and lower it as much as possible. Your bounce rate is how quickly someone clicks into your site and then leaves. Search engines interpret a high bounce rate as a signal that your website was not helpful when searching on that keyword. This damages your standing in the SERPS.

As stated at the beginning of this article, search engine optimization is very important for a business to be successful online. A business can meet its goals by using search engine optimization to enhance its website and its rank in the search engines. Applying the tips in this article will help to do that.

Building a web site for your home based business

Building a web site for your home based business

It is possible to make money online, running your business from home. But to be able to do this, you have to have a web site. Most people starting up a home based business will try and build their own, that’s fine if you know what you are doing but can reflect very badly if you don’t. Home based business web sites, need to be professional looking but not overly flashy!

Some work from home opportunities include a web site when you sign up but if starting a new business, consider either one of two options.
1) Pay someone to build your web site for you. Look around you, web sites can be purchased at low cost these days.
2) Use a Free template or paid for template. Web site designers work from home too and are happy to work for low fees to get their own home business of the ground.

Make sure your web site is consistent.

Your customers will want to see a consistent web site layout. They don’t need to know that you are working from home so a professional, well laid out easy to navigate web site is a must. Most users will make an impression of your site in seconds. The difference between a good looking site and a bad looking site is a potential lost sale.

If you run an e-commerce business from home, don’t try and build the shopping cart yourself. Use a third party product like PayPal, particularly good for selling a few products and well respected. Payment processors like PayPal take care of your Data Protection requirements and leave you to get on with promoting your internet business.
Third party software
With a small investment, you can purchase a complete shopping cart or if you are on a tight budget, you could use an open source e-commerce product. Either way if your home based business sells a lot of products, why try and re-invent the wheel!

Paid host or free host?

Don’t make me laugh! A years internet hosting with your own domain name costs less that taking someone out for dinner. If you don’t make this one investment, then why bother starting a business at home? Owning a domain adds professionalism to your business. How many www. mysite.myinternetserviceprovidername.com web sites have you seen, that are successful online businesses?

How much does it all cost?

Hosting your new web site and fitting it out with e-commerce might cost you less than a $100 per year. This depends how many products you sell and how much of the work you are prepared to do your self. But be realistic know your limitations and know when to ask for help! Reference point www.mingamong.com

Good luck working from home.

How To Increase Your Website’s Search Engine Rankings

You can think of a website like a young heavyweight boxer. The more experience this boxer gets and the more wins under his belt, the higher he climbs up in the ranks, until he’s the number-one contender or even the champion. As he continues to climb, his fan base picks up. This can be your site, if you use the proper SEO tips in this article.

When choosing good keywords for your website, you should look for keywords that a buyer would use. Use product or brand names, or keyword related to a problem or a solution, for instance sentences starting with ‘how to’. You can easily track which keywords leads people to your website and create similar keywords.

When you set up your WordPress blog you MUST use keyword URLs instead of numbers! p=243 doesn’t tell Google what your page is about, but having WordPress insert some or all of the title into the URL will show Google that those keywords are important. This will bring far more traffic, so implement it!

If you use URL shorteners when posting to social media or other sites, make sure you receive credit for the link traffic in the search engine. This means selecting a link shortening service that uses 301 redirects. Otherwise, the link shortening service itself will receive credit for traffic that’s actually going to your site.

Aside from quality content, the best way to optimize your website’s ranking in a search engine is with quality external links that point to your website. While search engines do take the number of links into account, the quality of the links is also important. For example, avoid inconsequential link farms and aim for links that are relevant to your business.

Write and submit articles to article directories. Not only will this increase your exposure and give you multiple platforms to express your expertise in your field, the link to your site in the author resource box will result in higher search engine rankings for your site. If someone uses your article from a directory, that’s even better.

When trying to search engine optimize your blog posts, make sure that you focus on the title tag independently from the overall blog title. This will cause both to be associated seperately but together in a way that will instantly cause it to be brought up in searches and increase your websites page rankings.

Focus on finding other popular sites with a similar idea and create an opportunity for inbound links. These inbound links will increase the incoming traffic from these sites and continue to boost your ranking on the larger search engines. You should never spam or harass other site owners, but most times they will not mind helping you set up as long as you are fair and link back.

The boxing analogy we used at the start of this article is very poignant. The internet is an extremely hard-hitting place and unless you’re employing the proper SEO tips and tactics, your site will inevitably be down for the count. So make sure you’re using this advice, in order to go forward, instead of backward.

Domain Name For Sale – 3 Tips And More

Domain Name For Sale – 3 Tips And More

Many savvy online business owners know that buying an existing domain name can give them an immediate boost in website traffic. Most of these domains have already had a website set up and are receiving traffic so if you buy it, you basically have a business in a box. The trick is knowing where to find a good domain name for sale as well as what makes a good domain name.

Despite what some people say there are still good domain names to be had. It’s simply a matter of finding the right keyword combination. There are two schools of thought as to whether or not you have to have a .com domain name. Some people say absolutely yes while others think a .net is just as good. You have to make that determination for yourself based on your business.

When you start your search for the perfect domain name for sale there are some things you should take into consideration:

1. Make sure the domain name doesn’t have any extra words. Domain names that have words like ‘best’ or ‘easy’ etc. These are filler words and they make the domain name less valuable (though, depending on how much traffic the domain is getting and the strengths of the other keywords in the domain name, it might still be a good name to buy it really just depends on the price).

2. How much traffic does the domain get on a monthly basis? If you are searching for a certain domain name that is rich in keywords, the website associated with that domain should be one in your niche so you should be able to benefit if that domain gets a lot of searches. Getting built in traffic can be a great benefit from buying an existing domain name.

3. Sometimes it just makes sense to buy a new domain name that has no traffic or website. This option is especially a good one for anyone who has a limited budget. You can buy a brand new domain name for around ten dollars and then you can brand it yourself. It will take more time but it will be less expensive.

The most important thing to remember is that you do not want to rely on a free blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger for your domain name. It’s imperative to the long term success of your online business that you have your own domain name for two reasons.

For one thing, with the free sites, you don’t actually own anything. Not much of a foundation for a long term business. And two, you are subject to the (ever changing) rules of the company that is hosting your website such as WordPress or Blogger.

The first step in your quest to find a domain name for sale is to figure out how much you can spend. Than find online domain auction sites and look at the offerings. Don’t overspend thinking that you can turn around and resell it. Buying a domain is a lot like buying a home, if you overpay for it in the first place, you won’t make much when you try to resell it.

Fulfillment And Shipping Concerns For Online Business

Fulfillment And Shipping Concerns For Online Business

Imagine your online business is getting one thousand orders in a month. I know, it’s a good problem to have. It means that you are doing a good job selling, and now it’s time to fulfill the orders. Doing a great job at selling is not enough to make a business a real success. If you are failing at fulfillment, all the sales in the world will not be able to save your business.

The key to fulfillment is communication. Your customers have to be informed about the time it takes to ship an order; about the time it takes to deliver their order. Your fulfillment details should be posted on your website close to your shipping policy.

Once your customer has placed her order, she wants to know how soon she can expect it. Clearly post your order processing time during the checkout process. The promise of quick fulfillment might help you close more sales.

If you are a sales oriented person, fulfillment might not be the highest priority process on your list. It is quite possible to destroy a business with lots of sales and poor fulfillment. During the early years of e-commerce, poor fulfillment has ruined many businesses.

Online order tracking should be part of your fulfillment strategy. Once customers place their orders, they are anxious to know how soon their products will arrive. As a result, you may receive a phone call or an e-mail inquiry for each order. To support so many requests, you might need to hire additional personnel. Instead, your fulfillment system should e-mail shipping tracking numbers. In addition to providing the service through e-mail, your website should have a “track your order” area where customers can track their orders once they have entered their order numbers. Making order tracking easy can save your company money and improve customer satisfaction.

Shipping is a hotly debated topic. Everybody has an opinion on the matter. Should you offer free shipping or not depends on several factors such as your competitive situation, your product, your profit margin, and you unique selling proposition. It is a business decision that you have to carefully consider. About 60 percent of e-commerce businesses regard “free shipping with conditions” as their most successful marketing tool. However, don’t jump on the bandwagon and start offering free shipping without understanding its impact your bottom line.