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Monthly Archives: October 2010

How to Choose a SEO Provider

It used to be easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. The good guys wore the white hats and the bad guys skulked around in black. Today, it’s a lot harder to tell who you can trust, particularly on the Internet. Most clients never meet their Internet service providers in person. There’s no opportunity to shake hands and size up a potential provider. You may talk over the phone, but the national, even international scope of Internet services means you’re forced to make business decisions based on information provided on a website and the gut feeling you get from a 10 or 15-minute phone conversation. It can be easy to be taken in by a jargon-spouting charlatan and wind up dropping your SEO budget on useless website “improvements” that don’t live up to their hype.

“A lot of firms are popping up because Google makes $43 million dollars a day on PPC (pay-per-click) and Google adwords,” said James Lisi of industry leader Increase Visibility. He noted that many of these johnny-come-latelys are selling themselves as search engine optimization (SEO) professionals but have no expertise or experience in SEO techniques. “They are promising top positions within one month and trying to slam deals down people’s throats,” warns Lisi.

Legitimate Internet marketing professionals know that top-level search engine placement is a matter of strategically planned and carefully executed targeted growth which can take several months. Many of the overnight SEO firms that promise instant results are merely manipulating keyword and linking functions to produce a single traffic increase that cannot be maintained. You pay your often exorbitant bill to see a quick, one-time increase in traffic. After the first month, search engines catch on, misuse parameters kick in and your traffic plummets. Adding to your woes, major search engines have now tagged your site as “problematic.” However, when properly constructed and applied by an expert professional Internet marketing firm, search engine optimization can increase your website traffic and help you grow and continue to grow your business month after month.

In looking for a reputable professional SEO Internet marketing provider, look for a firm with a proven track record of success. “The whole industry looks to us to identify reliable and accurate benchmarks and Increase Visibility has proven by its performance they deserve to be on this coveted list.”

Do-It-Yourself SEO Can Be Costly

Website owners typically are a do-it-yourselfers, but when it comes to SEO it’s usually wise to call in the pros.

We’ve all been there. When you have information readily available, it’s easy to think to yourself, “I can do this. How hard can it be?”

This is the kind of faulty thinking that leads to flaming toasters and flooded basements. There are times when trying to save a few dollars can end up costing you more money — a lot more.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like tricky electric and plumbing problems. If you want professional results, call in the pros.

Few non-professionals have the knowledge, experience, time and resources to handle their own search engine optimization program. Getting your website into those coveted top 10search rankings takes considerable time, knowledge and skill. It can take from 3 to 6 hours to optimize a website that is already SEO-friendly and more than 25 hours (sometimes, lots more) if it’s not — and that’s if you know what you’re doing. If you’re learning on the fly, you could spend days trying to do what a pro could accomplish in a matter of hours.

Crafting an effective SEO program takes specific skills. Expert knowledge of HTML is necessary. Specific keyword selection, site analysis, reporting and industry information tools are required. Professional-level copywriting skills are necessary to create compelling, keyword-dense website copy. If you’ve already paid for professional marketing copy on your website, you don’t want to jeopardize its effectiveness or replace it with inferior copy. Up-to-date knowledge of SEO techniques and resources is essential to achieving the desired end result. Every industry has its specialists. It’s that expertise that produces the results we desire.

It’s important to figure in the cost of your own (or your employee’s) valuable time when considering how to tackle optimizing your website. Could the hours you’ll spend fumbling around on the computer be better spent contacting customers and growing sales? What if you run into problems and the project drags on much longer than anticipated? Can you afford to take time and resources away from other important areas of your business? Many people fail to realize that “do-it-yourself” doesn’t mean “free.” There is always a cost, not only in man-hours needed to perform the SEO work, but also in the lost productivity caused by redirecting employee resources. It is generally more cost-effective to outsource work outside your area of expertise.

If you’d like a analysis of your website to see where it stands on SEO, all you need to do is fill out the free review form on this page. We’ll have one for you within 24 hours.

Why And How To Become An Entrepreneur?

If you’ve spent a little time on this site, you must be familiar with the type of ideas I am trying to make your embrace. It’s all about being bold and determined, powerful and courageous, ready to stand up for yourself and stop getting anything that’s coming your way without doing something about it. We’ve entered the new year and it is time to start taking your life into your own hands, If you are tired of being a nine-to-fiver and you feel you have got what it takes to become an entrepreneur, read on.

 

Make A Stand!

Start with the most important thing of them all: admit you are tired of your current situation, with everything this implies: job, boss, co-workers, income, work schedule, vacation time. Think of the things you would like to see happening differently. Unless there is a conscious decision of wanting something or everything to change – professional or personal plans included – you will not be able to start actively working on your plan. You are the only one responsible for the course of your actions and life in general, so unless you truly want the change in your life, you won’t be able to do much about it.    

 

Think What’s Good/Suitable For You!

You might be passionate about a field you have never worked in before. Keep your plans as realistic as possible – I want you to aim as high as possible, but if you have an idea that is going to require a huge load of money you will never be able to get, you might want to redirect your exploration just a little. Think about doing something that fits your age, personality, interest, social style etc. Look deep inside yourself and focus on choosing something that will give you the energy and motivation to get out of bed even in your moodiest, most tired, days. You might not feel like going to the regular office during times like those – but what is it that you would feel comfortable doing? What would please you most – and help you make a profit at the same

time?

 

Out With The Old, In With The New? Well…

It’s not that simple. It is recommended to so o the things you are familiar with. This is one of the rules of thumb of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Don’t hesitate to imitate what you see and like, unless there’s some copyright infringement issues, of course. But if you want to do something completely unique, no one is going to stop you. On the contrary. You can focus on discovering a field that the market is not very developed in. Try to develop a business by solving a problem no one else solved before – through a unique product or service.

Plan everything ahead down into the smallest detail, study, select, and target your audience smartly. For instance, if a locksmithing business poses interest to you, check out the locksmiths-search.com site and look at their approach. Their user-friendly search interface should help you immediately find the suitable locksmiths in your area, state, city, or town, and the expert tips and customer testimonials come to add a touch of professionalism and trustworthiness. You might want to bookmark the site for your future locksmithing emergencies also, it has a 10,000 professionals’ database.

Conversion Optimization

What is conversion optimization?

It’s the procedure of maximizing the percentage of website visitors that take the desired action, such as purchasing an item or signing up for a newsletter.

Conversion optimization blends art with science. The science aspect takes the form of performing experiments to determine if the strategies of the webpage designer are confirmed by actual conversion data. The art aspect demands the website be designed by a talented designer who has the knowledge and skills to significantly improve the conversion rate.  Increasing the conversion rate is vital. You don’t want to waste all the time and money that was spent bringing traffic to your website.

Often internet businesses concentrate on convincing Google and the other major search engines to reward them with a first page ranking. They may spend huge sums of money to increase their search engine ranking for specific keywords and to increase their traffic. However, in the end, if the traffic doesn’t convert into paying customers the money was not well spent. High praise and a firm handshake for getting a first page search engine ranking may be flattering but making sales is the ultimate goal. Instead of tossing more money at advertising, Internet businesses can significantly improve their return on investment by increasing their conversion rate.

Can Multivariate Testing Increase Sales?

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing has become an important part of the optimization process. Multivariate testing software allows for the concurrent testing of web pages for the maximum combinations and variations of webpage elements that have been chosen for testing. It offers granular results and indicates through statistics the best combination of design elements for webpage configurations. Typically, the tests include changing portions of the copy, using different color schemes, changing some of the elements of navigation and changing the “point of action” (POA). These tactics when properly performed have shown to increase the conversion rate of customers.

Multivariate Testing Increases Conversion Rate

Based on testing, some websites have just changed the wording on the order buttons and have significantly increased their sales. Sometimes just an adjustment to a headline, perhaps a couple of words, can produce a huge increase in customer responses. Headlines typically provide at least 50% of the opportunity to increase the conversion rate. In addition, “the offer” typically provides the second best chance to increase conversion rates.

Testing various versions of text is well worth the time spent. The lead paragraph is another strong opportunity to increase conversions. The first paragraph must grab the reader’s attention and increase their craving for the product. Sure price matters, but emotions are a significant factor in the buying process and websites need to focus on enticing and persuading customers they have the product the visitor should purchase.

Describing the product typically won’t make the sale. The list of benefits helps to entice the visitor into action and increases the conversion rate. Images also have a big impact on conversion rates and various images of the product should be tested. Placing effective slogans and descriptions underneath the images also typically leads to more sales. Background colors and the placement of images and copy should also be tested. In addition, discovering the best combination of elements for the order-check-out procedure has been known to decrease the shopping cart abandonment rate by 25% and higher.

Increase Visibility, a SEO/SEM firm, has shown that multivariate testing can also help you discover where the weak places are in the sales procedure. Now you have an opportunity to run a multivariate test and discover the best solutions. It can also determine which page elements are the most powerful regarding conversion rates. For example, it will indicate if the headline or the product image had more influence with the customer.

Check out the essential webpage elements of the successful competition in order to get some ideas, but please don’t plagiarize. It’s also a good idea to test each element to see if focusing on peoples’ logical thinking or their impulsive or sensitivity factors increases the conversion rate for a particular product or service. Multivariate testing of copy may show different results during economic good times when compared to results from an economic recession. For example, during a recession, the impulse element of shoppers may be less of a factor.

Google Website Optimizer

The Google Website Optimizer is a free tool that provides the opportunity to run multivariate experiments on websites and it can be useful. However, without the expertise the testing can offer poor results. The software is easy to use but creating insightful test scenarios, properly evaluating the results of the tests and designing follow-up tests is vital for success.

Multivariate Testing and Novices

Sometimes website owners create a multivariate test that is badly designed and takes a couple of years to complete. After the test is over, often the results are of little help in increasing the conversion rates. Sometimes the time span for the test was too short and an insufficient amount of data was accumulated. Also, if a webpage receives less than 40 visitors a day the test may not be worth doing. The website owner makes changes based on the data and may actually decrease the conversion rate or doesn’t capture all the increase that was available due to basing decisions on an inadequate amount of data. Carefully designing the multivariate test is essential in order to prevent a test from taking years to complete.

Some Internet business owners put a lot of time in using multivariate software. After they add their test elements to the software and choose the number of options for each element they could end up with several thousand scenarios that will be tested. Also each scenario will typically have to be run over 180 times to ensure the data that has been gathered is statistically accurate. They sometimes end up testing hundreds of thousands of combinations of elements and then have the difficult task of figuring out what to do with all the data. They might be inspired to shout the word “yikes!”

Internet businesses need accurate information in a short amount of time, thus being prudent with multivariate testing is recommended. Internet business owners need to realize that multivariate testing software is just a tool; it won’t design the website. Talented people are still required to help ensure success.

Some companies actually spend two years or more to complete the process and by then a superior product could have entered the marketplace or their product simply has lost its popularity. The expensive, time consuming testing procedure can produce results that are no longer relevant. However, some novices that have spent the necessary amount of time required to become very knowledgeable regarding multivariate testing have been rewarded.

Multivariate Testing Reduces Uncertainty

Multivariate testing can decrease uncertainty. Often website owners have doubts about their choices for their landing pages and wonder if they should have utilized some strategies or specific words in the copy that they earlier rejected. Now they have the opportunity to try a variety of elements and see which versions have the highest conversion rates. Depending on the current conversion rate and the average number of monthly customers just an increase of 8% in the conversion rate could mean thousands of extra dollars in sales each month. Some Internet businesses that use an effective conversion optimization plan have increased their conversion rate by 30% or more.

A website that has been designed with conversion optimization best practices is appealing, attractive, builds trust, easy to use, offers a strong sense of security and includes top-notch copywriting. Also, the headline needs to be an attention grabber. If it’s intriguing, the visitor will most likely continue to read and not click off the website. The text should be compelling, tempting and offer precise promises.

After visitors have taken the POA, effective strategies need to be utilized to improve the conversion rate. Request the minimal amount of information required. Make sure the encryption method and privacy policies are prominent on the webpage. If the check-out process takes too long and requests too much personal information you may end up with too many empty shopping carts.

The staff at Increase Visibility believes conversion optimization is a vital aspect for the short-term and long-term success of internet businesses. Basically, once the visitors arrive at the website, utilizing effective techniques for converting them into paying customers is crucial. Conversion optimization requires a wide variety of skills and a strong understanding of the Internet. Multivariate testing is a very important tool for conversion optimization but it’s a tool that needs to be used wisely. Sure, increase your search engine ranking and your traffic but increasing sales with an effective conversion optimization plan is essential for success.