Archive | April, 2009

Online Marketing: A Car that Never Runs Out of Gas

While I was recently working on a project for one of my current clients, once again it became clear to me that good targeted web traffic is literally the fuel that can charge any business. 

This of your business as a car engine. Even if you’ve got the most advanced high tech piece of equipment that Ferrari has on the road, it’s not going anywhere if there’s no fuel to get all the pieces in motion. You’ll put in the key, turn the ignition, and if there’s nothing coming through the fuel line, you’re not going anywhere.

Now let’s contrast the empty Ferrari with my surf van. In addition to the family car, I have a 1979 Dodge van we use to haul surfboards to the beach. I picked it up for $200 and it’s complete with holes in the roof, holes in the floor, just one seat (for the driver), broken turn signals, and plenty of rust. However, there’s gas in the tank. 

Which vehicle is going to get you from point A to point B? The van or the Ferrari. The van, of course. Why? It has fuel. 

Now, would you rather have a super slick business, online or off, with all the bells and whistles that is going nowhere, or, would you rather have a business that’s a little rough on the edges but is steadily growing and moving forward? I know, you want the Ferrari with the full tank of gas. 

Alright, Nate, what’s the point? The point is, whether your business is new and modern or old and reliable, it’s not going anywhere without fuel. And, online traffic can be that fuel. Internet traffic is viral. When you market your business online the right way, your traffic will continue to increase whether you do anything or not.

Once the pieces are in place the traffic comes automatically, sort of like a car that never runs out of gas.

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Unique Visitors: What really counts.

There has been a lot of talk recently about visitor traffic and what constitutes real web traffic. For those who are selling products online, it’s an essential piece of information. For those who are selling advertising, it’s what the clients want to know about. In conversations about traffic we ofter hear about hits, visits, visitors, unique visitors, and pageviews. Which is the most important number? Well, if I had to pick one, it would definitely be unique visitors. This is the only statistic that truly tells you how many individuals are visiting your website. If you have a good piece of tracking software, 300 unique visitors means 300 separate individuals visiting your site. It’s the indispensable statistic.

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Affiliate and Subscription Websites That Work

Your website is your storefront in the online world which presents a huge opportunity for anybody to start a businesses with minimal upfront costs. I think everyone should have at least one online business generating income.

Just the other day I completed a project for a client mine whose business gave him a domain name such as www.yourbusiness.com/yourname. The way something like this works is the business owner drives traffic to his website and when www.yourbusiness.com/yourname makes a sale, you get the lead or the commission. This is a common business model for muti-level-marketing companies and like businesses which are really great programs that I too am involved in.

Where does the problem lie? 

The problem is, from what I’ve seen, Google won’t index www.yourbusiness.com/yourname in it’s search engine results unless there’s a link to it off the main page of the website.  Google recognizes it as an affiliate page and just indexes the root domain. As I was doing a little research on this I did find one www.yourbusiness.com/yourname website indexed by Google but when I clicked on it, it went to the root domain, and the next day I couldn’t even find the affiliate page in Google. The point is, if you have an affiliate site, don’t get your hopes up about getting high search engine ranking because it’s just not going to happen.

What’s the solution? 

Register a new domain name such as www.yourbusinesstoday.com and build an opening page that is search engine friendly and is likely to get indexed by Google. On that page you can put a button that says, “Enter Here” or “Click for more information”. Then when someone clicks that button, it sends them to your affiliate page www.yourdomain.com/yourname.  You are in control of your homepage, your domain, your online marketing, search engine ranking and all. You could even change businesses and all the traffic that you’ve generated over the years is still yours because you own the domain and the opening web page. 

I just completed a project exactly like this for one of my clients. Next step, drive traffic!

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