August 10, 2002
Table of Contents
Quote of the Week
Featured Resource - WEBMASTERFREE
Staff Article -
TRUST AND THE SUMMER DOLDRUMS - SUBSCRIBER Q&A
Marketing Tip of the Week
Guest Article -
THE QUICK AND EASY SEARCH ENGINE FORMULA
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Quote of the Week
It takes considerable
knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
- Thomas Sowell
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TRUST AND THE SUMMER DOLDRUMS
- SUBSCRIBER Q&A
We received a question this
week that we thought might be a timely topic for many of you, so we decided
to share it with you.
Question: A reader stated that his company has been in business in the brick
and mortar world for nearly a decade, but on the Internet for less than nine
months. Everything was going fine with the new Internet sales activities,
but in the past month or so sales dropped dramatically. The reader wonders
if it is possible that the public's mistrust of big business (because of
Enron, Worldcom, et. al.) is transferring to small businesses as well?
Answer: Yes . . . and no!
First of all, there are many, many people who could care less about the
Enron's and Worldcom's of the world. These huge business failures primarily
affected employees and investors, not consumers. As a result, the affect on
consumers has been limited more to the general dampening effect on the
economy than in the area of business trust.
However, many people mistrust businesses in general. For these people, the
mistrust has obviously deepened. If nothing else, these failures have served
to provide justification for beliefs already held.
But I seriously doubt that the reader's lagging sales have much to do with
these issues. Don't take this the wrong way; trust is extremely important.
Because of the heightened awareness of business ethics, you want to make
sure you do everything in your power to convey an atmosphere conducive to
For example, take a look at your advertising and marketing efforts. If there
is any hype there, it would probably be a good idea to get rid of it. Be
particularly careful to avoid making any product claims or promises that
appear to be unreasonable or too good to be true. This is always good
advice, but it's even more important now.
You'll also want to make sure you respond to customer and potential customer
questions and requests as quickly and as professionally as possible. Again,
this is always good advice, but the downside of not providing high service
levels is much greater now than ever before.
If you continue to run your business in a professional manner, you are not
likely to be adversely affected by all the daily bad press.
More likely than not, the reader's business is experiencing the summer
doldrums. It happens every year. People take vacations in the summer. They
spend more time participating in outdoor activities. An analysis of annual
trends will show you that sales will, indeed, slow down during the summer,
possibly dramatically. I believe this is what is happening to the reader's
business, as it is likely happening to all of our businesses.
In September the kids will be back in school, the weather in most places
will begin to cool down, and business will begin to get back to normal.
In the meantime, use this period productively. Do some strategic planning
for the coming fall and winter sales seasons. Do that work on your website
you've been thinking about but never got around to. In short, get ready to
take advantage of the coming periods of increasing sales activity.
If you must generate more sales immediately, get creative. Consider having a
big sale. Make it too good to ignore. Try some new and different marketing
and advertising sources to let as many people know about it as possible.
More importantly, learn from this experience. Understand that it will happen
again next year and the year after that. Plan for it. See if you can turn it
to your advantage. For example, if you go the "big sale" route discussed in
the last paragraph, go all out and make your "summer sale" something people
look forward to all year round! That way, even if they are online less often
during the summer, they'll make it a point to visit your site to take
advantage of the big sale.
The summer doldrums are a challenge we all have to deal with. But in every
challenge, there are opportunities. It will be well worth it for you to
spend the time required to find them. You might even make the summer months
your best sales period!
Copyright (c) 2002
Tip of the Week
Are you collecting the email addresses
of people who buy from you? There is no more targeted group of potential
buyers for your products than those who have bought from you before. If you
are going to achieve the results you should from your online activities, you
must build a relationship with these people.
Of course, you're not collecting their email addresses to inundate them with
ads. There are many other, better ways to stay in contact and build a
Make sure you associate the product they purchased with their email address
and provide them with support and upgrade information. If you come out with
complementary products, give them special deals. If you can give them an
upgrade for free, do so just to cement the relationship. Send out tips for
using the product they purchased from you to enhance their experience with
your products. If you're always giving, even if it costs you nothing, you'll
find they're just that much more willing to give back!
THE QUICK AND EASY SEARCH
By Terry Dean
You can create high ranking
pages for the search engines without having to keep up with the latest
developments in the search engine world or drive your web designer crazy
with changes to your web site.
The search engines are a highly competitive field and everyone wants to know
the latest trick or secret to getting a top ranking.
Well, I am going to let you in on the secret to success with the search
engines today. The secret is that there is no secret.
The search engines want content, not tricks. If you can provide them with
good quality content in a subject, then you will be able to get a good
listing. If you try to find a way around the rules or trick the search
engines, then you are much more likely to be banned than to get listed.
Are there companies out there which focus on tricking the search engines?
There sure are, but they have a hard road to follow. They have to constantly
stay on their toes, change their pages every month, and basically give 110%
of their promotional time to just trying to keep a top position.
There is a much easier way that still produces good results.
You can give yourself good search engine positions by focusing on writing
short articles which contain the content that the search engines want. In
other words, don't try to "beat" them. Help them.
If you make it a consistent process to come up with short articles to
provide for search engine listings, then you will slowly build up your
traffic machine for years to come. If you become a content provider instead
of a "traffic thief" from the search engines, then you will find it is much
easier to relax and keep the positions you have earned.
Plus, you won't have to constantly research what is working. This strategy
worked last year. It works this year. It will work next year. Learn it once
and then follow it forever.
Step One: Find Keywords
You first need to look and see which keywords are hot in your industry. What
are people searching for at the major search engines?
You can use the keyword suggestion tool from Goto to constantly research top
keywords in your market:
Step Two: Research and Write Down Focused Content.
Let's say you start with 5 different keyword phrases for the search engines.
Now, do searches for those keywords and take notes on the sites you visit.
Take notes and study the subject.
Step Three: Write 300 to 500 word articles.
Keep the articles short as most of the search engines don't scan a long page
anyway. Think in your mind about designing "Quick Bites" of information.
You may want to separate your article up into specific steps (just as this
article is done). If you separate a 500 word article up into 5 steps, then
you only have to think about writing 100 words at a time. That is a pretty
short piece of information.
Step Four: Use the keyword in the title of your article.
Make the title of your article larger and in bold print. Use your main
keyword phrase near the beginning of the title. Many of the search engines
give a higher rating to keywords which appear in a heading font such as this
title would be. In HTML a heading is shown by <H1>, <H3>, and other tags
with H and a number.
Step Five: Use the keyword phrase 3 to 7 times throughout the article.
Once you have finished writing your article and are getting ready to publish
it to the web, read through it and make sure your keyword phrase appears at
least three times and usually no more than seven times throughout the body
of the article text.
Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The
Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he
tests and Uses Every Single Month" Click here to Find Out More:
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