Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Overlook the Obvious

I've been studying online marketing for half a year now, and it's surprising the obvious things that are not that obvious.

Today, I was a bit floored to find out how easy it is to learn what Google wants from your web page. In fact, they tell you.

The Google Webmaster Academy is something anyone interested in SEO should become familiar with.

Webmaster Academy - Webmaster Tools Help

More stuff to read, but this is coming from the horse's mouth, so it will be well worth your while.



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Using a Business Directory to Drive Traffic and Attract Clients

In one day I installed a new a business directory site that cost me nothing.

3D Animation Group | Cinema 4D Talent Directory

If nothing else, it's a great web 2.0 site to add backlinks. And if you can attract your target audience to join, you're killing two birds with one stone by building your client list at the same time.

I simply activated a dormant domain on GoDaddy and installed Wordpress with two clicks. When Wordpress was finished installing, I found this free business directory plugin called "Business Directory Plugin" of all things.  Adding PayPal functionality and other features costs money, but being able to get up and running while getting used to the plugin without spending money up front is great.

I highly recommend Business Directory Plugin.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

George Brown's Predator Software - A Preliminary Review

I just spent $800 for the new Predator software by George Brown, the author of the Google Sniper SEO strategy. For people who are into SEO, George Brown is a credible and well known name in the industry.

The webinar which launched this software pretty much blew my mind. Predator is presented like a digital matchmaker on steroids. It is essentially an e-mail extractor which can also send bulk e-mails. If I could get the software to work as pitched, it would be a digital marketer's dream come true. Such a tool would essentially eliminate the slow process of list building which is currently built upon creating sites and driving traffic through paid advertising, blogging, writing articles and other painful, costly and sometimes risky endeavors.

I was disappointed to quickly learn the webinar was not live as promoted and the release was actually just a rerun of a previously video taped launch back in 2012.  The webinar states that only fifty copies of the software would be sold, but that is clearly not the case, as it had already been released before. This was either a deliberate deception or an oversight. Either way, it caused an unnecessary ding in George Brown's integrity.

So far, with the exception of Craigslist and Yahoo Local, I've been unable to get the software to produce usable results for my keyword searches.  When searching major search engines, the search either never finishes, produces no results, or produces URLs with no e-mails.  This is disappointing considering that most ads in Craigslist request that you not contact the advertiser with solicitations and offers; which is exactly what Predator does.

After submitting a support ticket, I was told the search engines had changed causing the software to not work as it had done previously. Hmmm. So you didn't test the software before launching your webinar?

I saw no way of recouping my $1,200 investment (first and second licenses) any time soon with the software in its current shape, so I followed the refund instructions from my support ticket. Since I did not purchase Predator from Clickbank, I had to go to American Express to get my cash back.  The American Express agent was surprised to inform me there would be no investigation into the claim, suggesting I wasn't the only one who had called them.

My take away from this is to be very careful about what you tell your customers and to guard your online reputation as it is your most valuable asset. Also, be very careful about charging a premium price for your product as this will increase returns and cancelled sales.

I'll still be interested to learn about future improvements to Predator, but even if George Brown spent $100K to build Predator, $800 is a pretty steep price to pay for a utility that really only helps you become a professional spammer.



Building Quality Backlinks: Workflow Overview

Even before I got into internet marketing, I knew backlinks were important to achieve page rank. There are some dodgy ways to buy backlinks, but I've never tried this and from what I've heard about this strategy either backfiring or not working at all, I've been hesitant to try it.

I just finished reading a good article from Smart Passive Income  which outlines a strategy for building backlinks. I'm going to quickly go over it here. Essentially, the idea is to write articles that point to intermediary sites which then point to your flagship site.

Build Your Destination Site

It's assumed you already have a site you want to direct traffic to, so let's move on.

Build Your Web 2.0 Sites

You do not want to point your links to your final destination site. The reason being that building hundreds of backlinks overnight can flag the Google algorithm that something dodgy is going on. For this reason, you want to point them to your Wordpress blog, or your Blogger page, or some intermediary site that will take the heat instead of your flagship site.

A web 2.0 site is just a site that is interactive on some level.  All blogs can receive comments, and so that makes it a web 2.0 site as opposed to a static page that is read only. Facebook is also a web 2.0 site. This is just one form of site you can build. You can and should also build static sites as well.

In my situation, I want people to go to a specific page on my flagship site to buy a specific plugin for lighting scenes inside a 3D software package.  Yesterday, I built a Google page for this plugin. This is the perfect page to send my backlinks to.  Realistic Cinema 4D Lighting.  Here's another example: Cinema 4D Lighting

Write Your Links Correctly

Do NOT write your links like this:
DO write your links with proper focus keywords in your anchor text: Cinema 4D 3D Models and Resources

Below is a snapshot of backlinks:

Royalty Free Stock Photos : James Group Studios
Internet Marketing Tips Internet marketing blog; tips I've picked up
Reputation repair and promotion : Repution Promotion
Cinema 4D 3D models and resources : C4Depot
Cinema 4D Models : Cinema 4D model collections by theme
3D Ocean Generator for Cinema 4D : Infinite Ocean for Cinema 4D by C4Depot
Realistic Cinema 4D Lighting : Studio Kit Pro for Cinema 4D
Royalty Free Christian Stock Images : TrueVine Images

Write a Unique Article

Write something with real content your target audience would like to know about. Make it original and something you can be proud to attach your name to. Your article should be between 350 and 600 words.

Spin Your Article

Make similar versions of your article so Google doesn't flag you for spamming the net with duplicate content. Use software to do this. The Best Spinner  is a highly recommended tool but only works on a PC. If you're a Mac guy, you'll need to use Boot Camp or your spouse's computer.

Upload Your Articles

Upload your articles with links pointing to your secondary blogs and sites.  Those will then point to your primary site.

Create More Blogs that Point Directly to Your Site

Use the article you've made and post unique versions on free blogs which point directly to your site.

Thanks to Smart Passive Income for the strategy.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wordpress Plugins for Site Optimization

Caching and optimizing the site is important to keep the site running fast. WordPress is a dynamic database driven site using php and makes connections to the database to show web content.  The database on shared hosting is on a remote shared server which has built in latency.  This process can causes longer load times and uses more server resources such as RAM and processor time which is also shared by other websites and can be limited.  These plugin will optimize your WordPress sites performance and improve your users online experience.

Here are tools below to optimize you sites.

WordPress suggests using these WordPress plug-ins right away.

WP-DB-Backup : On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

BackWPup  gets a 4 star rating, good reviews and came pre-loaded on my Wordpress site. It is the one I am currently using

W3 Total Cache : A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files.

P3 Profiler: Our WordPress® Performance Profiler Plugin creates a profile of a plugins' performance by measuring their impact on your site's load time. 

WP-Optimizer: WP Database Optimizer. This plugin allows for automated scheduled database optimization 

Tech Tools

Free Website Performance Tool and Web Page Speed Analysis:

helps you develop a faster, more efficient, and all-around improved website experience for your users. 

WebSite Monitoring Tools shows response times around the world.

To browse your site outside of your network/ISP thought a proxy:

To verify the IP address you are using on your network:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Don't Make this Facebook Advertising Mistake

I've just launched my second Facebook ad campaign and have been stunned with how poorly it has been performing.  We've been getting tons of likes, but almost no conversions.  I called Facebook to see what the problem was and was told that targeting more than one country in the same ad campaign causes a "glitch" to occur in the Facebook system (whatever that means).  I was told that removing all of the countries but one should solve the problem.

We'll see.