Author: <span class="vcard">Internet Strategy Blog</span>

5 Crucial Steps to Take to Drive Traffic to Your Content

Increasing traffic on your website can sometimes be difficult, especially if you are in a saturated niche with a lot of competition. Traffic is everything when it comes to running a blog – it means that you are attracting visitors and making ad revenue in doing so.

What happens when your traffic is low and readers are nowhere to be found is easy to guess, and it’s something that every administrator dreads. Let’s take a look at some crucial, must-know steps towards making sure that your content drives traffic.

Create relevant content

Copying content from other sites and paraphrasing existing truths won’t get you far. Creating original content relevant to your audience is an important part of making sure that your incoming traffic stays high.

For example, if you are in a medical niche, focus on latest findings, health trends and actionable to-do lists. These types of articles always attract an audience, so make sure that your information is fresh and your lingo is recognizable.

Pay attention to SEO

Nobody likes making concessions when creating content for their site. SEO represents one of the most important tools in your arsenal when it comes to becoming visible on the web.

Google’s search parameters are designed to detect articles and websites with relevant words and phrases compared to what the reader is looking for. Make sure to always include keywords that your audience might search for in their search engines in order to ensure good incoming traffic.

Invest into advertisement

Once you have some articles present on your site, you may want to invest into social media advertisement next. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are famous for making even the most obscure bloggers visible and sometimes even viral. Some people go as far as thinking “I should look for someone to write my essay online and turn to social media for help.

Use the opportunity to drive some traffic and create a new audience that would otherwise be oblivious to your content. It’s quite easy to share content with friends and family if all you have to do is click once or twice – something that many people do on social media. This is exactly the kind of convenience you should take advantage of and direct that traffic towards your content.

Engage the readers

Communicating with your audience is just as important as creating content for them. Getting more traffic is sometimes more about how you handle occasional comments and discussions as opposed to the content you initially created.

Use every opportunity to reply to feedback, comments and engage in active chat with the readers that decided to use your site as their source of information. It’s the least you can do to make them feel comfortable and it will raise positive flags with Google to bump your pages upwards as a result.

Introduce guest blogging

Guest blogging is a term used for articles and content created by third-parties – not your internal writers. What this means is that you can offer ambitious new writers, professionals and content creators an opportunity to present their writing on your site in exchange for certain benefits.

You can often offer small payments or exposure promises if they need to have articles published in their name for professional purposes. This will make sure that your content is varied and exciting, inviting more and more people to engage with it and create traffic.

Final summation

It’s important to implement a structured, step-by-step approach to content creation if you want to have steady traffic present on your site. Keep in mind that you should always have the latest content and SEO trends in mind when considering what topic to tackle next. Sometimes the latest news in your niche might just be the thing your audience is desperately craving for, so keep your eyes peeled for potential traffic-driving opportunities.

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10 Interesting Facts About “Make Money Online”

The phrase “make money online” is one of the most popular search term online. Here are some interesting facts:

  1. Google returned 123,000,000 results for the phrase make money online. The quoted phrase “make money online” returned 1,310,000 results.
  2. Yahoo returned more results than Google – 373,000,000 results for the unquoted phrase and 9,690000 for the quoted phrase
  3. The phrase “make money online” is searched 44,151 monthly. This means that there is an average of 1471.7 unique search on the phrase daily or 1 search every minute.
  4. More than 100 advertisers use this phrase for their Adwords campaign. The average cost per click is $0.76.
  5. A search on Digg show over 2300 result for the phase “make money online” (excluding those that have been buried). Only 1 post manage to receive more than 10 diggs. The average number of diggs per “make money online” post is 2. (It seems that the phrase is not very digg-worthy after all).
  6. The most popular bookmark found on the various social bookmark sites with the phrase “make money online” is Problogger.net
  7. All the “makemoneyonline” domain name (.com, .biz, .net, .us, .mobi, .info, .org, .co.uk etc) are taken up
  8. The domain http://www.makemoneyonline.com has a PR 6 and Alexa ranking of 308,164, but it is not in the top 20 of Google SERP for the phrase “make money online”
  9. The number 1 ranking for the phrase “make money online” in Google is a blog belonging to a 14 year old kid.
  10. There are 14,482 questions asked on Yahoo! Answer with the term “make money online”
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Why You Should Forget About Google And Start To Diversify Your Traffic Sources

Google is throwing tantrum again. Yes…this time, it affected some of the popular blogs. Engadgets, Andy Beard, Copyblogger are some of the few that suffered from a pagerank drop. It was rumored that this is the Google way to penalize blogs that sell links. No one has confirmed it.

While InternetStrategyBlog didn’t suffer from any pagerank loss, this issue does set me thinking: “how long do we have to suffer from the tyranny of Google?”


It seems that Google has a part in everything we do online. From Google Search, Gmail, Google Adwords, Adsense, Youtube, Blogger, the fate of our websites seem to lie in the hand of Google, and this is definitely not good.

The fact is, Google don’t care about the survival of Webmasters. They set the rule (and change it anytime they want, without informing you) and either you follow, or you’re out. Google lives in a completely different world from online marketers. They want to provide excellent content free of charge to the mass (Well, that’s how they make money) and expect you to do so, while the marketers want to make tons of money from excellent content. This is a total conflict of interest. Just when marketers found new way of making money while providing free excellent content, Google banned them.

Excerpts from TeachingSells:

“There’s many a “business model” that relies completely on Google—Google Search for traffic and Google AdSense for revenue. And there’s an even larger amount of so-called business models that rely almost completely on Google for traffic, even if the money comes in via other means.

I think you know what happens to the money when the traffic stops.

I use the term “business model” above loosely, because a model that is entirely dependent on an outside company, for either traffic or revenue or both, is not really sound. You’re not in charge and you have very little control, because if Google decides to change the rules, you’re out of luck. Based on that, I would argue that relying on Google is not a business at all.

I’d say you work for Google.

Even though that’s not literally true, you might as well see it that way. When one company can kill your income overnight—without notice or justification—that’s simply not a good business. They can effectively lay you off at any time, with no notice, no severance, and you never had benefits to begin with.”

It’s time we stop the Google tyranny, and the only way to do that is to stop depending on Google for survival.

How?

The answer is: diversify your traffic sources.

If Google accounts for 90% of your current traffic, then it is time you start to find other traffic sources.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Internet Strategy Blog RSS Feed!

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How To Make Your Visitors Trust You And Buy From You?

Perfect scenario: All your visitors go to your website, browse through the product catalogue and click the “buy” button within 10 minutes.

Real scenario: There are hardly any visitors to your website. Even if there are any, they click away even before your website is fully loaded (not to mention browsing the product catalog). Out of 100 visitors, only 1 buys your products. Out of 10 who bought your products, 2 requested for refund.

Sound familiar?

If it is not happening to you, then it is definitely happening to a lot of business owners out there. The only reason why most websites are not making a lot of sales is because the visitors are not comfortable buying from them. It all boils down to the word: ‘TRUST’. If there is no trust between the buyer and seller, there won’t be any transaction at all. Will you ever buy from someone who you think might con you?


One question you can ask yourself: “When you are building your websites, do you have your visitors in mind, or only thinking of how to make more money from your visitors?”

The fact is, Your website reflect what you are thinking. If you are only keen making money from your visitors, they will know it in first glance and next thing you know, they click out of your website.

If you are facing such scenario, then following 20 tips will be very useful to you:

1) Design a professional website. It does not have to be a full flash website with a lot of animation. A simple website with a nice header banner, an easy to use navigation structure, organized content layout will be sufficient. A thing to note: a professional website serves to make your visitor life easier, not to overwhelm them with tons of video and animation.

2) Give a clear focus on what your website is about. If you are dealing with dog, don’t talk about cat.

3) Use simple and proper language that is easy to understand and get the point across. Do not attempt to confuse your visitors with superfluous words and content.

4) Regularly add new content to your site. It shows that the business is alive and kicking.

5) Make sure all your links are working. Dead links and error pages will affect your visitor browsing experience and give your visitors a bad impression

6) Publish REAL testimonials and third-party endorsements. Try to always use real names and link to websites where possible.

7) Include an ‘About Us’ page and make it personal and comprehensive. People always want to know who they are dealing with. If possible, include a photo of yourself to add to the credibility.

8) Provide a contact us page and make sure you reply all email request promptly. Most people like to make enquiry before they buy your product. Replying promptly is the best way to show them you care.

9) Don’t make false claim on your product and lie to your visitors. Bad news spread very fast. If you are making claims that you can’t support, very soon, your visitors will start to condemn your site on forums and blogs.

10) Be careful who you are linking to. If your site is about dog training and you have links to Party Poker, people are going to question your integrity.

11) Be careful of what you advertise. Ensure all your ads are relevant to your theme and audience.

12) Include a privacy policy. This will give your visitor confidence to leave their personal information with you.

13) Include a security policy. This shows that you are out to do an honest business.

14) Publish the refund and returns policy clearly. If possible, include a 100% money back guarantee for all your products.

15) Make your visitors feel at home. A good way is to allow them to comment on articles, interact and exchange of views. People feel more comfortable when they play a part in your website.

16) Use a high level of security when processing credit cards. Make sure you make your clients aware of all the steps you are taking.

17) Make your pricing transparent. If there is any additional charge (such as shipping cost, tax etc), let your visitors know in advance.

28) Keep your SSL certificate up to date. Let people know you are using SSL encryption and who the provider is.

Building a trustworthy website require great effort on your part. You have to constantly find out what your visitors want and actively providing them what they want. Remember, if you give what they want, they will give you what you want.

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Clearing The Duplicate Content Myth…

I have been seeing a lot of articles commenting on the fear of being penalize by Google for publishing duplicated content on their site. After much study into this area, I found that many people have misunderstand the whole duplicate content issue. I am writing this now to clarify up the duplicate content myth.

Myth: You will be penalized for reprinting articles on your site

Clarification:

If this is the case, then article directories, press releases, syndicated sites and even the search engines will no longer be around. The reason being, they are reprinting articles every single second. Instead, not only does their content get heavily indexed by Google, they received enormous traffic as well.

So what’s wrong over here?


The actual meaning of duplicate content does not refer to the reprinting of individual pages or articles. It is referring to duplicating content in a mass, on multiple sites, internally and externally. It is only when you have a full replication of a site. Page for page, file name for file name, image for image, code for code, then it is considered duplicate content.

The fact is that every site has different code, images, file names etc. All these factors stop them from getting hit by duplicate content. There are over 100 factors that Google considers when spidering your site and your content is only a fraction of that. Unless you are completely mirroring other site, then there is no cause for worry.

Here are some steps for you if your sites are suspected of having duplicate content https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en

Having clear up the myth, here are some ways you can use reprint articles to boost your traffic.

  • Go to reputable ezine directory such as ezinearticles.com and pick a keyword optimize article that is closely related to your niche.
  • Reprint the article on a brand new page of your site. Do not use the article title as the page title. Change it to a related and keyword focus title. Reword your meta description tag.
  • Add a short introduction paragraph to the article.
  • Add a sentence or two to conclude the article. Don’t forget to include the author resource box and links back to the author’s site. (please adhere to the reprint policy and give credit to the author)

That’s it! You can now sit back and enjoy the traffic!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Internet Strategy Blog RSS Feed!

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How to Succeed in Affiliate Marketing And Set Yourself Apart From Other Affiliates

Affiliate marketing has been regarded as one of the best way to make money online. In fact, it has become so popular that many people has quitted their job and set their foot into the industry. This may be a good sign for the affiliate marketing industry, but for individual affiliate, this means the competition is getting tougher and tougher. For the reason that many of your competitors are promoting the exact same program, in the exact same zone or on the exact same websites as you means that there is a need for you to distinguish yourself from the rest of the affiliate marketers in order to be successful. Now here are some tips that you may consider to set yourself apart from other affiliates and outwit and beat them in their own games.


Build Your Own Website

Having your own website establishes your presence and credibility online. Thus, the first thing that you need to do is to build your own website. Potential customers usually check out websites for reviews and information before they make their purchases. By providing useful information to your potential customer, they have a higher tendency to buy product that you recommend.

Create Your Own Marketing Material

Another thing to remember is to create your own marketing material. Do not over rely on the merchant?s ad and marketing tool. The reason is that the same set of ad and marketing tools have been used by countless affiliates who are marketing the same product as you. The ad itself could have already lost its appeal to the crowd. Besides, creating your own ad and marketing tools give you more flexibility and controllability over the affiliate marketing campaign.

Start Your Own Product

Create some products of your own and make it available only through your website. It can be in the form of ebooks, tips, reviews etc. You want your customers to keep coming to your site and the best way to do that is to have something on your site that they can’t find on others.

Build Relationship With Your Customer

Follow up and build a strong relationship with people who already buy your product. A good way to follow up with your customer is through email autoresponder system. Concurrently, you can also provide customer support to answer any doubt on the product and provide tutorial on how to use the product. Treat your customer like your friends and share with them the benefit of the product. Remember also to tell them its limitation. When your customers know that you truly care for them, they will come to trust you and the thing that you are promoting.

Be Focused

Do not try to market everything you see. With services such as click bank, it is easy to become overwhelmed and try to market everything in the click bank marketplace. Find a niche that you are familiar with and market product of that niche. It’s earlier and better to market the product that you know.

As more and more affiliate programs launch in the market, it has become necessary for you to set yourselves apart from other affiliate in order to win the game. Follow the tips above and you will be on your way to success. As with any other businesses, success won’t happen overnight. You’re required to put in a lot of hard work into it. Good luck to you in your new venture.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Internet Strategy Blog RSS Feed!

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6 Ways to Build Your E-mail List

The money is in the list.

You have heard of it countless time, but I bet you have not heard of the next phrase: “provided you have a big qualified list

It is not enough to just have a list. To be successful, you need to have a targeted list of qualified subscribers who can’t wait to receive your newsletter. This is definitely not easy. Here are some methods to help you increase your opt-in rate.

  1. Prominent Placing

    Place your opt-in form where your reader can see it instantly when they arrive on your site. The best place is the top left or right column and the end of the page

  2. Pop-up Page

    It may seem irritating to most users, but the fact is, it works.

  3. Sell Benefit

    Explain the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter or ezine. Give a compelling reason for your reader to sign up to your list.

  4. Giveaway Freebies

    Offer free ebooks, white paper or something special to any subscribers who sign up for your newsletter.

  5. Checkout opt-in

    Add an opt-in form at the checkout page. People who have bought from you are more likely to sign up for your newsletter and product update.

  6. Leverage other people’s list

    Buy advertisement space in other people’s newsletter. Expose your newsletter to qualified list from related websites.

There are much more to add to the list above, but these are enough to get you going. Don’t wait further, start building your list now. Remember, “The money is in the list, provided you have a big, qualified list”.

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Effective Tips And Tricks To Improve Your Web Statistics

In my previous post “How to read your web statistics”, I have discussed the importance of web statistics and how to read them. Now I am going to discuss how you can take specific action to improve your statistics.

Generally, there are two main statistics that you will need to improve:

  1. The number of visitors to your site
  2. The amount of time spent on your site.

Increasing the number of visitors to your site

The number of visitor to your site is directly related to your traffic generation strategy. It is dependent on two factors: how active you are in promoting your site and how effective your marketing strategy is.

From your web stat, find out how many percent of your visitors are new / unique visitors and how many are returned visitors.


For your new visitors, investigate further to find out who is your prime referrer. If it is search engine, then check out which keyword and landing page that your visitors found you. Once you get these figures and facts sort out, you need to analyze the factors that ranked you well in the search engine and duplicate that to other page of your site.

If your prime referrer is from a one-way incoming link from other site, check out the site and analyze their targeted audience. (Most of the time, their targeted audience will be the same as yours). Thank the site master for recommending your site and bring it further by requesting them to promote your site in their ezine or regular newsletter. You can counter offer by providing an ad space for them in your ezine.

Next, source for similar sites and propose a link exchange and/or ezine ad exchange with the web masters. This will increase the number of targeted visitors to your site.

If you write a lot of articles and the articles directories are your main source of traffic, then what you need to do is to created more keyword optimized articles and submit to effective article directories. Effective article directories are those whose articles get picked quickly by the search engine and those that will bring you lot of traffic. Examples are Ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com, ideamarketers.com, about.com. A keyword optimized article on an effective article directory gets picked by the search engine very fast and will bring in more visitors for you.

Retaining your existing visitors

Your visitors list should have a good mix of new and returned visitors. A good way to get your visitors to return is to send them regular newsletter and keep them informed of the latest progress in your site. Occasionally organise a promotion to entice them to re-visit your site again.

Increase the amount of time stay on site

Here are some tips you can use to improve the amount of time your visitors stay on your site.

1) Create a beautiful site.

First impression counts. If your visitors love the design of your site, they will stay longer.

2) Provide useful and easy to read content.

Everyone wants to obtain useful information, but very few have the patience to read a 1000 words article. If you have a long article, split into two or more pages. Add essential formatting such as bold, italics and various font sizes to your content to make it easy to read. Make sure all important points are projected clearly.

3) Improve your navigation structure.

If your site is 3 to 4 tier deep, make sure you have a good linking structure within your site. Visitors shouldn’t have much difficulty finding the information they need. You can also provide a search feature to allow your visitor to search for the information they want.

4) All outgoing links should open up a new window.

If you do not want your visitors to leave your site, then set all outgoing links to open in a new window.

5) Find out the exit page and optimize it to retain your customer/audience.

If you are selling product, then the exit page is most likely the thank you page or confirmation page. Rather than wasting the resource, you can direct your visitor back to your home page or even upsell them by recommending them related products.

6) Make it easy to use.

Your site should not be in a mess. It should be well organized and all links must be working. No dead links should be found in your site.

Web statistics are useful only when you know how to analyze and use it. If you have not started tracking your web statistics, you are definitely missing out a lot of information.

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How To Read Your Web Statistic?

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

Measuring and analyzing a website traffic statistics is the best way for the webmaster to find out the ‘health’ of a website and take immediate action to remedy any potential problems. Yet, to my surprise, some of the website owners are not even aware that they can measure their own web traffic; not to say analyze them.

Why track your visitors?

Your web traffic statistics is a health report card of your website. Tracking your visitor movement allow you to find out how appealing your site is, from a third party point of view. You can discover ‘truth’ about your site such as which particular page is getting the most attention, which ad unit converts the best, who is your best traffic referring partner etc. With the data on hand, you can pinpoint the weaknesses of your site and make necessary changes.

In order to analyse your web statistics, there are certain terms that you need to understand:

  • Number of Visits: Refer to the number of visitors that visited your site over a time span. The time span can be hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. This data show you how successful your traffic driving strategy is. Obviously, the greater the number of visits, the better it is.
  • Absolutely unique visitors: This stat shows the number of absolutely unique visitors that come to your site.
  • Returned Visitor: This stat shows the number of visitors that return to your site after the first visit.

** A website should have a good mix of new visitors and returned visitors. If most of your visitors are newcomer, this means that your website does not have the ability to retain visitors.

  • Pageviews: This is the total number of page viewed over a time span. The time span can be hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
  • Pages/visit: This stat records the number of page viewed per visitor. This is an important stat as it tells you how appealing your site is to the visitors.
  • Bounce rate: If a visitor enters your site and leave within 30 seconds, without clicking any internal links on your site, this is considered a bounce. The lower the bounce rate, the better it is. A one-page sales website usually has a higher bounce rate than an information site.
  • Average time on site: This refers to the amount of time the visitor spends on your site. It reflects the quality of your content. The longer the time, the better it is.
  • Referring site: Find out who refer visitors to your site. A good website should have a diverse traffic referring source. If your traffic source is mainly from the search engine, chances are when the search engine changes their algorithm and result in a drop in your ranking, you, your traffic will also be affected.
  • Entry and exit page: This will tell you which page your visitor enters and exits your website.

Recommended web analytics software

Google Analytics

This is one of my favourite web analytics software and also the one that I highly recommended. It provides a comprehensive analysis of your web traffic and displays your data with beautiful graphical interface. Best of all, it integrates seamlessly with Google Adword so that you can track the performance of your Adword campaign.

Statcounter

Statcounter provides free analytical software for web owners with less than 250,000 page loads per month. It do cover a wide range of data ranging from basic visitor information to search engine comparison, keyword analysis and etc. I would say it is rather impressive for free analytical software.

These are the two softwares that I have used so far and I am very impressed by it. I have not tried any other analytical software yet. If you have encountered any which is highly recommended, feel free to add to the list above.

In my next post, I will discuss about how to analyse web statistic and use it to your advantage.

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Keyword Research – What, Why, Who, When, Where

Anyone who is involved in Internet marketing will have done, know or heard about keyword research. While this is not a new topic, there are still plenty of people who are unsure about keyword research and how to go about doing it.

What is keyword research?

Keywords are words or phrases that people used to find material in the Internet. Keyword research is a way to find out what words people are searching and how frequent each word is being searched.


Why the need for keyword research?

Keyword research is pertinent in Internet marketing. Through keyword research, we can

  1. Find out what people are searching, and then personalize our web pages, products and services to cater to these people.
  2. Find out the profitability of a market.
  3. Uncover untapped niche market.
  4. Optimize our web pages for profitable keywords and achieve high ranking in the Search Engine.
  5. Find effective keyword to bid in pay-per-click advertisement.

Who need to do keyword research?

If you are involved in any form of Internet marketing, you need to do keyword research. In general, people who do keyword research can be split into four categories:

  • search engine optimizer
  • niche marketer
  • Pay-per-click advertiser
  • Adsense (or another other form of text advertisement) publisher

Search engine optimization

Webmasters who are optimizing their site for the Search Engines need to carry out keyword research to find out the keyword they should use so as to achieve a high ranking. The objective is simple: Research a keyword for every single page of the site. The keyword should have a good level of interest from the public and able to give them a good chance to rank well in the search engine.

Niche marketers

Niche marketers are always on the lookout for untapped markets with huge profit potential. They are constantly going through the keyword search list to locate any available opportunities. Their keyword research strategy is to zero in on markets that have high volume of searches with low number of competition.

Pay per click advertiser

The objective of PPC advertisers is simple: to drive maximum traffic using the lowest cost possible. As such, PPC advertisers are constantly looking out for cheap keyword to bid on. Proficient PPC advertisers often have the ability to uncover huge list of overlooked, yet relevant keywords for their PPC campaign.

Adsense publishers
On the contrary, Adsense publishers are looking for expensive keywords which will pay them the highest possible amount.

When do you need to do keyword research?

Before you decide on your website theme and marketing plan.
During the process to check if your audience interest is still there.
After your website is up and running so that you can test and tweak the various keywords for better result.

Where can you do keyword research?

Wordtracker is one of the major players in providing keyword research service. It provides a subscription based keyword research tool and allows you to perform thousands of vertical and lateral search within seconds. It is the favorite keyword research tool for many Internet marketers due to its huge database and comprehensive result.

Another major player is Keyword Discovery. They have a huge keyword database gathered from over 200 search engines Worldwide and give a wide range of keyword analysis data for their subscribers.

Final words…

Keyword research is a big topic and this post itself is definitely not enough to cover the whole topic. Meanwhile, feel free to leave your comment and let me know what you think.

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