Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seven Tips to Get Free Traffic

Who doesn't like free stuff right? People are so hooked on to the word "free" that most spam filters usually can't stand that word. When it comes to free advertisement, I don't think anything can beat the internet. There are so many ways of free advertising on the internet that people are awed by it. So here I am discussing different and free ways to advertise online and of course get traffic from there.

1. Submission to Search Engines
Free easy steps and Google, Yahoo or MSN Live will add you to their list of millions of web pages. However they get so many website requests that they might take way too much time in indexing your site. It is hence advisable not to completely rely on this method and utilize this time by trying other marketing methods to get more traffic and visibility online.

2. Directories
There are so many directories online where you can submit your website for free. You can search for your niche directory or submit under your related category. One of the most famous directories is dmoz, an open directory. Google gives much preference to the sites that get listed here. There are other search engines which allow reciprocal link (link exchanges). Directories not only help you get targeted traffic but also quality backlinks which play a vital role in SERP.

3. Press Releases/News Releases
If you have any announcement, news, or events happening, then press release or news release would be the best way to spread it around. You can publish press releases and submit it to various free press release sites. Similarly, you can post news releases on free news release sites.

4. Classifieds
Craigslist is one of the most popular free classifieds available online. Posting ads on classifieds help you get targeted traffic. There are many free classifieds online.

5. Forums
You can participate in forums and discuss on various interesting topics. This is one of the great way to get one way traffic. You can leave your newsletter link, web page link or blog link in there.

6. Testimonials/Comments
If you have read a writer's ebook, then make sure to leave your point of view there. You can leave your testimonial on that particular ebook which is of course a free and easy method to get one way traffic and quality backlink. Posting comments on various blogs is also a good way to bring traffic to your site.

7. Article Submission
Do you write articles related to your website? Well then you can utilize this by posting your articles on various article submission sites. People are always eager to learn new things and if you can write unique and new stuff, then surely people would love to read it. Article submission sites like ezinearticle is one of the easiest, free and quick way of getting traffic.

A proper SEO (search engine optimization) of your website and the above mentioned advertising methods will give you a good traffic. You need to keep posting and trying new things to get traffic on your site. Try as many advertising methods as possible. The more backlinks you get, search engines will give more preference to your site and will also get good exposure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free Email Marketing Tips : Optimizing Email Format

In the past two posts I've talked about email marketing and various factors to be considered in order to have successful electronic mail marketing. Besides knowing the smart ways of promotion with the help of people's inboxes it is equally important we know the standard format of email marketing. Some prefer to use plain text in their emails, while others like their emails to be attractive with pictures, banners with the help of HTML. Plain text emails are easy and cheaper than HTML format emails. It depends on the sender which one they prefer most. If you want to go fancy with fonts, backgrounds and pictures then HTML format is just the thing for you, where as if plain text makes you feel comfortable then well why not stick to it. If you want to be creative with your email, it is advisable not to use too many colors or go crazy with the graphics. Make sure you have a proper, professional and appealing email. We still don't want our emails to be thrown in the trash can cause the readers find it hard to read. Here are few ways to use HTML to make your email appealing.
Headline and Subheads:
The headline and the subheads should stand out among the other content of the email. Using a different color and bigger font size than the other content will help grab the attention of the reader.
You can add pictures of your product in your email. Placing image of the product in an interesting way helps the readers to have brief idea about how it looks and they might be interested in knowing more about it.
Graphics and Fancy Fonts:
Using lots of graphics and colorful fonts might not work so well. It is better to stick with minimum graphics (few important ones) and certain font style. Fancy text and graphics that make the email unreadable are better avoided.
Email format:
An email can be divided into different fields. From the "From" field to the salutation, it is necessary to follow a proper format.
The "From" field is where you write in the senders address or your email address. There are ways of filling this space: i) You can either just type in your email address. For example: FROM: or ii) Type the senders name or the company's name. For example: FROM: Sanjay Maharjan. The second one is a better option because the reader will get to see who wrote to them. People usually prefer to open emails that have the name of the sender. Some bogus email address might not sound so interesting and hence they might delete it without reading it. If typing in your name is not possible then use the company's name. If you have brand recognition, you can use it to your advantage. People will be interested in knowing what a popular company has to offer.
The "Subject" field is probably the most important of all. The recipients usually check on subject line before deciding on whether to open the mail or not. It is important to carefully pick the subject line considering the limited characters. You can have up to 60 characters in the subject line; hence you need to be really tricky with it. Besides the limited space you need to avoid words like FREE. For years people have used this word to grab attention that people don't trust it anymore. In fact spam filters usually don't allow emails to reach the inbox with subject line containing the word "Free". You can however provide deadlines on subject line if you have limited time to your offer. For example: "Subject: Renewal Deadline: 31st November '08". You can also highlight the benefit of your product on your subject considering you don't make it sound like an advertisement. Lastly avoid false promises.
People usually don't pay much attention to this field but it is always better to take precautions Here are the few points to remember while filling the "TO:" field:
- Avoid using only the email address. If you know the recipient's name or the company's name use it before the email address.
- Avoid using only the first name. Some people find it too personal and hence can offend them.
- Avoid using the word "list". This makes the email sound impersonal and unprofessional. Some even consider it to be spam.
We'll start with the salutation. In the body field, it is very important to include salutation. It is always better to greet the customer or prospect. Use "Dear" if you are emailing the person for the first time or you don't have a close bond with the recipient yet. "Hi" and "Hello" could be used at the latter phase. The second part of the body is the headline. If you have mentioned the purpose of your email in the subject line, then it is fine to not mention the headline. But if you want to include headline in the body then make the headline sound interesting. You also need to avoid ALL CAPS in headline. This gives the impression you are shouting the message. Now the body text, use a good opening line. The first sentence of the email should be interesting so that the recipient will feel like reading further. Don't make the body too long. Stick with 2-3 paragraphs with few lines. If you can include the purpose of the email in the first paragraph it is to the best. Here you can include your offer, the benefits and the instructions. You can highlight the offer and if needed you can elongate the email. You need to be true and tell the complete story. Make the email sound interesting and don't forget to include links. Do check the links if they work before you send out the email.
At the end do include your signature. If you cannot personalize the signature include company's logo and name. You can include your company's full address along with the web site link.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SEO Keyword Research Tips and Tricks

Keywords are the vital part of Search Engine Optimization. The relevant keywords and proper placement of them decides the visibility of your website on search engines. Relevant keywords help you get better traffic and reach potential buyers. Hence it is very important to expand your keyword list, to expand quality traffic on your site.

There are various free tools online to start with your keyword research. Google's Keyword Tool is one of the famous tools available online. The other free tools include: Related Pages, SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool, Good Keywords and Digital Point Keyword Research Tool. There are other fee based keyword research tools availble. Among them WordTracker is a popular one. They also provide 7 days trial version. Your keyword research should include:

1. Long tail keywords:
Long tail keywords are the words you use with your primary keyword which gives you the depth of the keyword. For Example: Sweaters could be your main keyword and you can bucket this term depending on its other features like Short-sleeved sweaters, hand knit sweaters, cashmere sweaters, sleeveless sweaters, round neck sweaters etc.

2. Synonyms and Acronyms:
You can categorize your keywords with their synonyms and acronyms. A synonym is a word having same or similar meaning. For Example: Along with sweaters you can use other terms like cardigan, turtle neck, pullovers, jumper or jersey. An acronym is a word formed from initial letters of a name. For example: SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization.

3. Word Stemming and Variations:
When we Google a term, it returns not only the sites containing those terms but also its derivations. For example the search for swim shows results for swimming, swimming pool etc. Hence it is important to include word variation in your keyword list.

4. Competitor Terms:
World Wide Web could get pretty competitive, specially when you are aiming for a certain keyword which is the bulls eye for other one million websites. It is very important you know who your competitors are. If you are wondering how to find your competitors, well here's what you can do: simply type your primary keyword on the search box and the results on the first page are your competitors (if you are aiming for the first page rank on search engines). You can use tools like IBP which provides you the list of competitors and their keywords. You can also check their title tag and meta keyword tag to check on their list of keywords along with how they have used it in their content.

5. Misspellings:
Humans make mistakes, which is an universal truth and they make mistakes while typing in the search box. Though misspellings are not very important but misspelled words could give you the chance to be on top pages. You'll be amazed by the results misspelled words give. If you think they are worth it, well you can add it on your keyword list.

6. Benefits and Features:
The benefits and features of your product could be a very important reason and path for your prospects to reach to you. People are interested in what they get from using a particular product. Sometimes they might not know the name of the product but the usage of it. For example: They might search : cure for headache instead of the medicine name, so it is important you list the benefits and features of your product or services in your keyword list.

After your keyword research you can start keyword bucketing. Keyword bucketing simply means to categorize the list of keywords based on the search results. The higher searched terms can go together, the less competitive ones could be teamed together and so on (Categorizing your keywords totally depends upon your preference). This will help you know the popularity of the keywords. If you are new to the World Wide Web, it is advisable not to aim for the most competitive keywords. As a start you can use less competitive keywords and try out various keyword combination.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Link Building Tips : Types of Links Explained

Methods of Hyperlinking:
Google has given importance to backlinks ever since it existed. However, getting links from just any other site is not the solution to be on the good list of Google. The trick here is to get as many “Authority Links” as possible. Authority links are those which have been considered as websites of highest value by top search engines. In other words these web pages have high page rank and appear on top when you search for related keywords. It is for the best to avoid getting backlinks from sites that have been banned by Google. Text links are better option than banner links or image links so use text link using keyword anchor text. It is important you know the various methods of website linking or hyperlinking in regard to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for building back links.

Reciprocal Links:
In this type of website linking two websites interchange links to ensure mutual traffic. For example: A and B have websites. If A’s website links to B’s Site and B’s website links to A’s, the websites are reciprocally linked. There are many reciprocal linking websites where one can get many reciprocal linking partners. Some of the popular ones are:,

* Three Way Linking:
Three way linking is a special type of a reciprocal linking where you don’t have to give a link back to link partner but place his/her link on any other third party site. Three way linking can be explained as: Site A àSite B àSite CàSite A. Site A gives link to Site B, B places A’s link on a third party Site C which in turn links to Site A. This method is adopted to get link partners and save own site’s page rank. There are many websites that provide this service for free.

* Automated Linking:
There are many automatic link exchange services launched in order to take advantage of the need for inbound links to rank well in the search engines. In this you agree to have several links added to all their web pages in return for getting similar links back from other sites.

* Link Exchange:
Link exchange is an alternative to automated linking where you will advertise on the sites you want to get links to and you in turn offer reciprocal or three way links back to the sites that link to you.

One Way Link:
One way links are hyper links which directly points to your site without reciprocal linking. One way links are given more priority by search engines since it looks more natural. One of the best way of building one way links is by distributing articles on various content sites and article directories. The other forms of one way link building includes: directory submission, blog, press release, blog comments, creating RSS feeds, newsletter distribution, forums etc.

Multi Way Linking:
Multi way Linking evolved from reciprocal linking where link exchange occurs between 2 websites. In this technique websites may create similar one way links that each involves 3 or more partner sites. This provides each website with a one way non-reciprocal link. According to Google and Yahoo’s latest search engine algorithm, more preference is given to websites that maintain a high level of incoming non-reciprocated links. The term ”multiway” simply refers to the fact that the link exchange is between 3 or more websites, however each link is singular by only pointing to one other website. Other means of linking that may increase your web presence may also include other indirect methods such as loading images, videos, content or RSS feeds from a third partners website.

Incestuous Linking:
When a number of sites all link to each other in order to increase their search engine ranking it is known as Incestuous Linking. Incestuous linking is an SEO strategy used by a webmaster to promote a collection of their own web sites, or those of close friends. Since search engines like Google give priority to those sites which have incoming links from highly ranked sites, lots of websites inter-link to artificially improve the ranking of a website without merit i.e. without valuable content.

Link Campaign:
Link campaign occurs when you want to increase traffic to your website and for that you ask your strategic partners, professional organizations, suppliers, customers etc. to place links from their websites. A link campaign may include mutual link back and may or may not include reciprocation of links. Building a link campaign is very time consuming. It involves searching for links on the internet, composing emails and sending them to prospective linking partners with all your linking information, and then you might need to add a reciprocal link to your link pages. The solution to this is the availability of link management software which automates the whole process.

Overlinking in a webpage or hyperlinked text is the characteristic of having too many hyperlinks. It is advisable to avoid overlinking.

Underlinking/ Null linking:
Null linking or underlinking is the opposite of overlinking which are phenomena in which hyperlinks are reduced to such a degree as to remove all pointers to a likely-needed context of an unusual term, in the text-area where the term occurs.

Link Bait:
Link Bait is the process of attracting visitors to your site through interest, anger or knowledge seeking. Matt Cutts defines link bait as anything “interesting enough to catch people’s attention.” Linkbait is content written to educate or entertain your prospective readers. These articles create buzz and this buzz virally spreads in form of comments that others make about. These inbound or backlinks are used by search engines to rank your website. Link bait could be

Informational: You provide information that educates the readers
News: You provide updates about the latest happening on different topics
Humor: You provide funny stories, humorous pictures, videos, cartoons etc.
Controversy: You can criticize or drop in your point of view about someone and
Tools: Youcanbuild a good tool that is useful enough for people to link to it.

The other methods include: Link Doping, Link Popularity, FFA (Free For All) e.t.c. These linking methods help you increase your page rank. Try the appropriate ones and get great links to increase visibility and traffic to your website.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Web Video Optimization

With the growing popularity of video on the web, people are finding new ways to promote their videos and be seen on search engine results as well. The video should portray and be able to send the message to the viewers. The other interesting fact is, creativity is really important when it comes to video marketing. If it is the same commercial you watch it on t.v, then well people would rather prefer that than go online and download something they are familiar with. It should be unique and the presentation should bring on the desire. Lets say you are selling a software, the best way to shoot online marketing video for it would be to show its best features highlighting on how easy it is to use. There are analytics tools like YouTube Insight which displays the statistics for the YouTube Videos like the number of views, the demographic and geographic views and the medium through which people have found a certain video.

I have collected few guidelines and tips on how you can promote and optimize your videos to get more traffic and views.

1. Keyword Research:
The first step includes keyword research. In order to optimize anything on web (a website, blog) you need to do proper keyword research. You need to list all the possible keywords relevant to your video. Next you need to check on the search results for these terms and see the performance of the top position results. You need to check their view counts, the feedback of the users, the posted date and the relevancy. These will help you find out how popular these key terms are along with how people react to it and it has already passed its due date. These will also help you come up with better video.

2. Video Editing:
You need to produce shorter and interesting clips to attract visitors. People are more thrilled by shorter videos than the longer ones and you can also submit short videos to the search engines. You can add your web address to the video as a graphic. You can also place a link to the original video on this shorter clip make this link your subdomain.

3. Video Format:
The format of the file plays an important part on optimizing it. It is necessary that it’s viewable by all kind of users. You need to offer various file formats compatible with Flash, Windows Media or Quicktime. You can use MPEG4 format for search engine submissions.

4. Data Rate:
There are many places in the world which are deprived of higher internet speed. The United States itself suffers from low speed compared to other developed countries. Hence it is better to provide two data rates, a smaller data rate about 200 – 300 kbps for people with slow internet speed and a larger data rate that is more than 600 kbps for faster connection.

5. File Names:
It is advisable to use keyword rich file names for your video. The most searched keyword term could be used separated with hyphens (-) or underscore ( _ ) works. If you can provide title of the video then you can place keywords there as well.

Promoting Videos:

YouTube is the best place to post your videos and get good amount of viewers. If you could make the YouTube homepage as the featured video, you get whole lot of attention from the viewers. For this to happen, your video needs to be really popular or liked by the YouTube moderators. So as for a start you can publish your video on social marketing sites. You can dig it, put a I like it tag on stumble upon or feature it on The more comments and better ratings you get there are better chances of being placed on the pages of Google. Promoting the videos is an important step that needs to be carried out careful without spamming.