Your website's ranking on search engines is a vital element of your overall marketing campaign, and there are ways to improve your link popularity through legitimate methods.
Unfortunately, the Internet is populated by bands of dishonest webmasters seeking to improve their link popularity by faking out search engines.
The good news is that search engines have figured this out, and are now on guard for "spam" pages and sites that have increased their rankings by artificial methods. When a search engines tracks down such a site, that site is demoted in ranking or completely removed from the search engine's index.
The bad news is that some high quality, completely above-board sites are being mistaken for these web page criminals. Your page may be in danger of being caught up in the "spam" net and tossed from a search engine's index, even though you have done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment. But there are things you can do - and things you should be sure NOT to do - which will prevent this kind of misperception.
Link popularity is mostly based on the quality of sites you are linked to. Google pioneered this criteria for assigning website ranking, and virtually all search engines on the Internet now use it. There are legitimate ways to go about increasing your link popularity, but at the same time, you must be scrupulously careful about which sites you choose to link to. Google frequently imposes penalties on sites that have linked to other sites solely for the purpose of artificially boosting their link popularity. They have actually labeled these links "bad neighborhoods."
You can raise a toast to the fact that you cannot be penalized when a bad neighborhood links to your site; penalty happens only when you are the one sending out the link to a bad neighborhood. But you must check, and double-check, all the links that are active on your links page to make sure you haven't linked to a bad neighborhood.
The first thing to check out is whether or not the pages you have linked to have been penalized. The most direct way to do this is to download the Google toolbar at http://toolbar.google.com. You will then see that most pages are given a "Pagerank" which is represented by a sliding green scale on the Google toolbar.
Do not link to any site that shows no green at all on the scale. This is especially important when the scale is completely gray. It is more than likely that these pages have been penalized. If you are linked to these pages, you may catch their penalty, and like the flu, it may be difficult to recover from the infection.
There is no need to be afraid of linking to sites whose scale shows only a tiny sliver of green on their scale.
These sites have not been penalized, and their links may grow in value and popularity. However, do make sure that you closely monitor these kind of links to ascertain that at some point they do not sustain a penalty once you have linked up to them from your links page.
Another evil trick that illicit webmasters use to artificially boost their link popularity is the use of hidden text. Search engines usually use the words on web pages as a factor in forming their rankings, which means that if the text on your page contains your keywords, you have more of an opportunity to increase your search engine ranking than a page that does not contain text inclusive of keywords.
Some webmasters have gotten around this formula by hiding their keywords in such a way so that they are invisible to any visitors to their site. For example, they have used the keywords but made them the same colour as the background colour of the page, such as a plethora of white keywords on a white background. You cannot see these words with the human eye - but the eye of search engine spider can spot them easily! A spider is the program search engines use to index web pages, and when it sees these invisible words, it goes back and boosts that page's link ranking.
Webmasters may be brilliant and sometimes devious, but search engines have figured these tricks out. As soon as a search engine perceive the use of hidden text - splat! The page is penalized.
The downside of this is that sometimes the spider is a bit overzealous and will penalize a page by mistake. For example, if the background colour of your page is gray, and you have placed gray text inside a black box, the spider will only take note of the gray text and assume you are employing hidden text. To avoid any risk of false penalty, simply direct your webmaster not to assign the same colour to text as the background colour of the page - ever!
Another potential problem that can result in a penalty is called "keyword stuffing." It is important to have your keywords appear in the text on your page, but sometimes you can go a little overboard in your enthusiasm to please those spiders. A search engine uses what is called "Keyphrase Density" to determine if a site is trying to artificially boost their ranking. This is the ratio of keywords to the rest of the words on the page. Search engines assign a limit to the number of times you can use a keyword before it decides you have overdone it and penalizes your site.
This ratio is quite high, so it is difficult to surpass without sounding as if you are stuttering - unless your keyword is part of your company name. If this is the case, it is easy for keyword density to soar. So, if your keyword is "renters insurance," be sure you don't use this phrase in every sentence. Carefully edit the text on your site so that the copy flows naturally and the keyword is not repeated incessantly. A good rule of thumb is your keyword should never appear in more than half the sentences on the page.
The final potential risk factor is known as "cloaking." To those of you who are diligent Trekkies, this concept should be easy to understand. For the rest of you?
Cloaking is when the server directs a visitor to one page and a search engine spider to a different page. The page the spider sees is "cloaked" because it is invisible to regular traffic, and deliberately set-up to raise the site's search engine ranking. A cloaked page tries to feed the spider everything it needs to rocket that page's ranking to the top of the list.
It is natural that search engines have responded to this act of deception with extreme enmity, imposing steep penalties on these sites. The problem on your end is that sometimes pages are cloaked for legitimate reasons, such as prevention against the theft of code, often referred to as "pagejacking." This kind of shielding is unnecessary these days due to the use of "off page" elements, such as link popularity, that cannot be stolen.
To be on the safe side, be sure that your webmaster is aware that absolutely no cloaking is acceptable. Make sure the webmaster understands that cloaking of any kind will put your website at great risk.
Just as you must be diligent in increasing your link popularity and your ranking, you must be equally diligent to avoid being unfairly penalized. So be sure to monitor your site closely and avoid any appearance of artificially boosting your rankings.
Analysing your web traffic statistics can be an invaluable tool for a number of different reasons. But before you can make full use of this tool, you need to understand how to interpret the data.
Most web hosting companies will provide you with basic web traffic information that you then have to interpret and make pertinent use of. However, the data you receive from your host company can be overwhelming if you don't understand how to apply it to your particular business and website. Let's start by examining the most basic data – the average visitors to your site on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
These figures are the most accurate measure of your website's activity. It would appear on the surface that the more traffic you see recorded, the better you can assume your website is doing, but this is an inaccurate perception. You must also look at the behaviour of your visitors once they come to your website to accurately gauge the effectiveness of your site.
There is often a great misconception about what is commonly known as "hits" and what is really effective, quality traffic to your site. Hits simply means the number of information requests received by the server. If you think about the fact that a hit can simply equate to the number of graphics per page, you will get an idea of how overblown the concept of hits can be. For example, if your homepage has 15 graphics on it, the server records this as 15 hits, when in reality we are talking about a single visitor checking out a single page on your site. As you can see, hits are not useful in analysing your website traffic.
The more visitors that come to your website, the more accurate your interpretation will become. The greater the traffic is to your website, the more precise your analysis will be of overall trends in visitor behaviour. The smaller the number of visitors, the more a few anomalous visitors can distort the analysis.
The aim is to use the web traffic statistics to figure out how well or how poorly your site is working for your visitors. One way to determine this is to find out how long on average your visitors spend on your site. If the time spent is relatively brief, it usually indicates an underlying problem. Then the challenge is to figure out what that problem is.
It could be that your keywords are directing the wrong type of visitors to your website, or that your graphics are confusing or intimidating, causing the visitor to exit rapidly. Use the knowledge of how much time visitors are spending on your site to pinpoint specific problems, and after you fix those problems, continue to use time spent as a gauge of how effective your fix has been.
Additionally, web traffic stats can help you determine effective and ineffective areas of your website. If you have a page that you believe is important, but visitors are exiting it rapidly, that page needs attention. You could, for example, consider improving the link to this page by making the link more noticeable and enticing, or you could improve the look of the page or the ease that your visitors can access the necessary information on that page.
If, on the other hand, you notice that visitors are spending a lot of time on pages that you think are less important, you might consider moving some of your sales copy and marketing focus to that particular page.
As you can see, these statistics will reveal vital information about the effectiveness of individual pages, and visitor habits and motivation. This is essential information to any successful Internet marketing campaign.
Your website undoubtedly has exit pages, such as a final order or contact form. This is a page you can expect your visitor to exit rapidly. However, not every visitor to your site is going to find exactly what he or she is looking for, so statistics may show you a number of different exit pages. This is normal unless you notice a exit trend on a particular page that is not intended as an exit page. In the case that a significant percentage of visitors are exiting your website on a page not designed for that purpose, you must closely examine that particular page to discern what the problem is. Once you pinpoint potential weaknesses on that page, minor modifications in content or graphic may have a significant impact on the keeping visitors moving through your site instead of exiting at the wrong page.
After you have analysed your visitor statistics, it's time to turn to your keywords and phrases. Notice if particular keywords are directing a specific type of visitor to your site. The more targeted the visitor - meaning that they find what they are looking for on your site, and even better, fill out your contact form or make a purchase – the more valuable that keyword is.
However, if you find a large number of visitors are being directed - or should I say misdirected - to your site by a particular keyword or phrase, that keyword demands adjustment. Keywords are vital to bringing quality visitors to your site who are ready to do business with you. Close analysis of the keywords your visitors are using to find your site will give you a vital understanding of your visitor's needs and motivations.
Finally, if you notice that users are finding your website by typing in your company name, break open the champagne! It means you have achieved a significant level of brand recognition, and this is a sure sign of burgeoning success.
The methods employed to increase your search engine rankings may seem like rocket science to you, so you have probably avoided dealing with this issue. I am here to tell you - the time has come to face your website! A high search engine ranking for your website is so essential that if you have the slightest desire to actually succeed in your business, there is no way you can continue to avoid this issue.
At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through search engines. The idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. That's what search engine optimization is about.
There are many other techniques such as using squeeze pages, and landing pages, and so forth, and they are very important, but we have to get people to our site, first.
Yes, paid advertising is important, and Facebook ads, and Twitter ads, and Sponsored pins on Pinterest , but they are all about getting people to your site. SEO is particularly important when you are on a tight budget and can’t afford expensive advertising campaigns.
Your Title Bar
You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings. Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on your homepage.
The title bar is the coloured bar at the top of the page. Look at the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase search engine rankings, the words on your homepage's title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.
Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself. However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.
Great Content – No Substitute
The next item to put under your microscope is your website content. Search engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords - the words that potential customers will be typing into search engines to find your site.
Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is essential. However, the search engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.
To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case, ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in order to increase your search engine rankings, or learn how to use ALT-TEXT.
Next we come to what is called meta tags. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. Many people believe that meta tags are the key to high search engine rankings, but in reality, they only have a limited effect. Still, it's worth adding them in the event that a search engine will use meta tags in their ranking formula.
To find out if your page is set up with meta tags, you must access the code. To do this, click the "view" button on the browser menu bar, and select "source." This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page.
If there are meta tags, they usually appear near the top of the window. For example, a meta tag would read: meta name="keywords" content=. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your search engine rankings, but any little boost helps.
Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of search engine rankings. Almost all search engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page.
If you type in "free link popularity check" in a popular search engine, the search engine will then show you what sites are linked to your site. In the case that there aren't many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites that are linked up have low search engine rankings, consider launching a link popularity campaign.
Essentially, this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that they exchange links with your site. Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boosts your search engine ranking, but it also directs more quality traffic to your website.
Search engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a search engine optimisation company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can't boost your rankings yourself. Don't ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your search engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.
If you are using one of the commercial platforms for an e-commerce site, such as Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento or Weebly they will have put a lot of emphasis on SEO. They do it for a very good reason, and we should never ignore it.
Please let me have your thoughts .. we need great feedback and participation.
A Search Engine Optimization Company can be an invaluable asset in your Internet marketing campaign. They specialize in knowing how to raise your search engine positions, monitoring those positions on the regular basis, and adjusting their strategies to account for undesirable results in any given month. Since this takes a lot of time, effort, and specialized knowledge, it can be in your best interest to go to an outside source rather than try to maintain high search engine positions on your own.
However, like every business, there are good companies and there are lemons. Knowing the right questions to ask and the criteria to look for will help you in choosing an affordable, effective search engine optimization company.
When looking at different companies, begin by considering the approach they employ to raise your search engine positions. Steer clear of companies that use cloaked, doorway, or bridge pages to raise your positions. These techniques violate most search engine policy, and in the worst-case scenario, will only get your website severely penalized, if not removed entirely from a search engine's index.
A cloaked page is a page that is created which is invisible to the regular visitor to your website. The cloaked page is coded to detect a search engine spider and divert them to this special page, which is set-up to artificially boost your search engine position. Doorway or bridge pages utilize the same concept, but often reside on an entirely different server. Google, one of the largest and most important search engine on the Internet, will remove your website from their index if they detect you have cloaked pages. Never, never employ any company that uses this technique!
Another important element is to get a guarantee that the company you hire will not work with your competitors while they are working for you. Obviously, this would seriously compromise the effectiveness of the search engine optimization campaign. Be aware that some companies will use the success they achieve for your website to sell their services to your competitors. So get your guarantee in writing, and make sure it is legally binding.
Of course, one of the most important factors you want to check out is the company's track record of results.
However, don't take the company's word for it. They will undoubtedly be slanting their results in order to sell their services to you. To go beyond their simple statement of success, ask them a few pertinent questions, and verify their answers.
Ask them which engines they have achieved the best results on. The ones that are important are the most popular engines, and these are the ones you want to see good results on. Since the popularity of search engines can change with the landscape of the overall Internet, check out the Nielsen Netratings page at Search Engine Watch at ttp://www.searchenginewatch.com/article.php/2156451.
Next, find out what keywords and phrases they are claiming great results with. It's easy to get high rankings with unpopular words. For instance, the keyword "cat leashes" will get high popularity ranking because no one else would think of using it. What you are looking for is good results using popular keywords. Check out the software Wordtracker, available at www.wordtracker.com. You can order a free trial, or a subscription ranging from 1 day to 1 year. This software rates the popularity of keywords and phrases based on actual search engine use.
Next, look for good results over an entire site that the company claims to have successfully worked for. You want to see a wide range of positions over a number of different search engines using different keywords or phrases for the entire site. Request a report for any client the company claims to have done well for. This report should show good positions on a number of the most popular search engines for a variety of different, popular keywords and phrases.
When you are checking out search engine optimization companies, make sure they have actually done the work they are claiming to have done. Some companies will use other company's results in order to get you to sign on with them.
If you are in doubt, call the company they are showing you results for, and ask for the name of their search engine optimization company.
It's important to keep in mind that a successful search engine optimization campaign will result in maximum exposure across a wide range of popular search engines using a variety of keywords and phrases. This is the formula for a successful campaign, and you should keep it always in the forefront of your marketing strategy.
Ask the search engine optimization company you are considering for a report that shows you rankings across a number of popular search engines for a period of at least six months. Remember: search engine marketing is a process that is continual, and you need a company that not only understands this, but keeps constant tabs on your search engine positions. That company must also be able to adjust its strategy in the event that search engine rankings drop.
Since search engine marketing is an on-going process, your positions must be constantly monitored. If you want your search engine optimization company to do this for you, request a sample of a monthly report. It is essential that this report should show rankings for the most popular search engines. Don't be impressed by a report that only shows great results for a limited number of small search engines. These are fairly easy results to acquire. Also confirm that the popular search engine results they are showing you are indeed the popular search engines currently.
Be sure the sample report the company shows you is in a format that you can easily understand. For example, it could be in the form of a chart that covers a period of at least six months and presents data such as the top 50 positions broken down on a monthly basis or the top 5 pages each month. Then, ascertain that the company you are considering actually monitors these positions or pages every month, and that the sample report they show you includes findings and recommendations for the specific site. This insures that the company will actively monitor and make adjustments to their strategy on a continual basis rather than simply gather statistics on your positions. You need a company that is actively participant in your search engine marketing campaign, not just an information gatherer.
Obviously, your finances have to figure into your choice of company, but bear in mind that a search engine optimization company is crucial the success of your marketing campaign.
It is not just a casual accessory. If you cannot afford a company that will do a thorough and reliable job for your website, you might consider waiting until you do have the finances in place.
If you have to find a company and can't wait for your finances to catch up, you may be able to find an affordable company that will also be able to supply quality, reliable work, such as a fairly new company. Just remember that there are risks involved with using a company without a proven track record - and that risk is your money! Don't take that leap unless the company can supply you with a least a few references.
References are the most reliable indicator of a good company. Don't use a company that won't show your references because of any reason, confidentiality included.
Remember - even doctors will provide references! The firm you choose should provide you with a minimum of two references, one that is from the past, and one that is current.
When you contact these references, be prepared to ask precise, specific questions so that neither of your time is wasted. Ask them what their experience was like with the company, such as their availability to answer questions and deal with problems and their ability to meet deadlines. Ask the reference to rate the overall performance of the company.
Find out if the company requested that the reference make significant changes to their web pages that affected the visitors coming to their site. You are looking for a search engine optimization company that can balance the needs of both search engines and site visitors without compromising either.
The most essential question to ask is whether the work of the search engine optimization company resulted in higher profits for the reference. Without profits, it doesn't matter whether your positions are at the top of the list or not.
The first in out new series on Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines are the vehicles that drive potential customers to your websites. But in order for visitors to reach their destination - your website - you need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to your site. You do this by creating carefully chosen keywords.
Think of the right keywords as the Open Sesame! of the Internet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto! hoards of traffic will be pulling up to your front door. But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors actually making it all the way to your site - or of seeing any real profits from the visitors that do arrive - decreases dramatically.
Your keywords serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy. If they are not chosen with great precision, no matter how aggressive your marketing campaign may be, the
right people may never get the chance to find out about it. So your first step in plotting your strategy is to gather and evaluate keywords and phrases.
You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right words for your search phrases. Unfortunately, if you haven't followed certain specific steps, you are probably WRONG.
It's hard to be objective when you are right in the center of your business network, which is the reason that you may not be able to choose the most efficient keywords from the
inside. You need to be able to think like your customers. And since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet is to go directly to the source.
Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential search words and phrases yourself, ask for words from as many potential customers as you can. You will most likely find out that your understanding of your business and your customers' understanding is significantly different.
The consumer is an invaluable resource. You will find the words you accumulate from them are words and phrases you probably never would have considered from deep inside the trenches of your business.
Only after you have gathered as many words and phrases from outside resources should you add your own keyword to the list. Once you have this list in hand, you are ready for the next step: evaluation.
The aim of evaluation is to narrow down your list to a small number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of quality visitors to your website. By "quality visitors" I mean those consumers who are most likely to make a purchase rather than just cruise around your site and take off for greener pastures. In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation.
Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective quality. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a search engine which will then bring up your URL.
You can now purchase software that will rate the popularity of keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real search engine activity. Software such as WordTracker will even suggest variations of your words and phrases. The higher the number this software assigns to a given keyword, the more traffic you can logically expect to
be directed to your site. The only fallacy with this concept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the search engine position you will need to obtain. If you are down at the bottom of the search results, the consumer will probably never scroll down to find you.
Popularity isn't enough to declare a keyword a good choice. You must move on to the next criteria, which is specificity. The more specific your keyword is, the greater the likelihood that the consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you.
Let's look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you have obtained popularity rankings for the keyword "automobile companies." However, you company specializes in bodywork
only. The keyword "automobile body shops" would rank lower on the popularity scale than "automobile companies," but it would nevertheless serve you much better. Instead of
getting a slew of people interested in everything from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get fenders being directed to your site. In other words, consumers ready to buy your services are the ones who will immediately find you. Not only that, but the greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less competition you will face.
The third factor is consumer motivation. Once again, this requires putting yourself inside the mind of the customerrather than the seller to figure out what motivation prompts a person looking for a service or product to type in a particular word or phrase. Let's look at another example, such as a consumer who is searching for a job as an IT manager in a new city. If you have to choose between "Seattle job listings" and "Seattle IT recruiters" which do you think will benefit the consumer more? If you were looking for this type of specific job, which keyword would you type in? The second one, of course! Using the second keyword targets people who have decided on their career, have the necessary experience, and are ready to enlist you as their recruiter, rather than someone just out of school who is casually trying to figure out what to do with his or her life in between beer parties. You want to find people who are ready to act or make a purchase, and this requires subtle tinkering of your keywords until your find the most specific and directly targeted phrases to bring the most motivated traffic to you site.
Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done.
You must continually evaluate performance across a variety of search engines, bearing in mind that times and trends change, as does popular lingo. You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase.
Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help you judge the effectiveness of your keywords in individual search engines. There is now software available that analyzes consumer behavior in relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to discern which keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers.
This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make a good keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to find keywords that direct consumers to your site who actually buy your product, fill out your forms, or download your product. This is the most important factor in evaluating the efficacy of a keyword or phrase, and should be the sword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffective or inefficient keywords with keywords that bring in better profits.
Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula for search engine success. This may sound like a lot of work - and it is! But the amount of informed effort you put into your keyword campaign is what will ultimately generate your business' rewards.
Ozzyoutdoors.com.au - Our newest Online Store
If you are an outdoors enthusiast, please visit our newest e-store - OZZYOUTDOORS where a great range of gear is online for you at fantastic prices.
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Have you heard about the Empowr Network?
It is this amazing marketplace, that gives everyone and I mean EVERYONE! the chance to start off building income, FROM A STANDING START WITH NO INVESTMENT.
You will earn credits from posting, commenting, liking and, ultimately placing ads.
You don't have to place your own, but can"sponsor" other peoples (which means re-sell) at either fixed prices or auctions.
Empower Network is BRILLIANT because it enables you to start with nothing, use their credits and repay them when you cash out - generally, in 90 days after you earn, so that the money gets a chance to circulate in the marketplace and you get an opportunity to leave your profits in and earn even more before you cash out - which they expect you to do! They want to see 97% of the earned profits cashed out!
If you click my link, not only will you join for free but you will get an instant $20 credit to get you started and then by posting, linking, commenting, liking, selling, re-selling and running campaigs, you can build that up quite quickly - in under 30 days I have built up a credit of over $750.00 and I am going to leave that in until I multiply it at least 10 times. You can also use it to move up the levels, so that you earn more, earn more credits, and get greater value for your efforts.
I have achieved that, working a very busy day job and have only been able to use the Christmas break to put some time in. When my wife gets going with this, it will have no limits.
They have a series of about 30 one minute videos that explain every facet of the network, and you get assigned a FREE success mentor that you can refer to at any time.
Is it a scam? - definitely not, though there have been a few scammers spotted on there - however, they are easy to spot and you can report them as scammers and spammers straight away.
If you are a person who believes in what IBO Toolbox has to offer, you definitely need to check out Empowr
I am happy to disclose that if you click this link, I will get $20 in credits BUT SO WILL YOU!!
They have metrics software that allows you to see your goals and attainments at every step, you can optimise your site for maximum success and you can upgrade to new levels at any time, if you want to pay, but otherwise you can do it in a gradual progression if you want to use your onsite earnings and not cash out.
If you run a physical or online store Empowr Network is the perfect opportunity to increase your marketing reach - or if you run a blog.
You do not even have to have your own products to sell! and they will manage your campaigns and give you brilliant feedback and support every step of the way.
TRY IT OUT NOW! DON'T HESITATE! THIS COULD BE THE NEW YEARS RESOLUTION YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!
THE BUSINESS OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS
In its simplest form, e-commerce is the business of conducting business online – whatever that might be.
It could be consulting, advising, lending money, Forex trading, MLM’s, downline building, scams, schemes and broken dreams, and all the million and one different things that pop up on our screens every day of the week, but in the main, for those looking to start up online businesses, it usually involves
For the vast majority of those who don’t have a skill-set or a knowledge-set to sell, that usually only leaves PHYSICAL or DIGITAL goods.
…So let’s leave all those knowledge and service based ideas to one side and concentrate on RETAILING of goods.
JUST GET STARTED
I am about to give you information that a lot of you might find a bit daunting.
Before we get started, let me say that a common theme that runs through all of my advice, on my blog, my email list, here or anywhere else, is – just get in and have a red-hot go .. if you wait until you are an expert, it will never happen. There really is no time like the present, because that is the only time that we can be sure of.
The longer you wait, the more other people can control your destiny, and in the words of the great Jim Rohn….
“If you don’t plan your life, someone else will, and guess what they have planned for you? …. Not much!”
You can start a great business based just on what I am going to share with you here, for virtually NO MONEY – but having said that, you must then be prepared to commit yourself to researching, learning, testing, tweaking and working out what is working and what is not. Once you put your time or money on the line, there is no treading water – just swimming or sinking!
If you don’t have money to get started, then make sure that you have plenty of time because your time is an investment that replaces dollars, and you need to spend it wisely.
If this is scaring you, then either decide to jump into the unknown or run for the hills!
WHAT IS RETAILING?
In its simplest form, retailing is taking a product that you:
So, back to the subject……
What we are going to talk about here are the three MAIN types of (conventional) retailing that you can do online:
I am not going to spend too much time on this because this article is primarily intended for those who want to get a business going without too much financial outlay.
A “Fulfilling” Business
First, a definition or two.
One of the terms that you will hear is “fulfillment”. That means nothing more than the process of filling a customer’s order and shipping it out to them.
So, if you are warehousing stock for sale to the public, you will need to be doing “fulfillment” as a necessary part of that business. Initially, you might be doing it by yourself out of your spare bedroom, garage, or a shipping container, or warehouse, but if you want that business to grow you will soon need to be employing staff, and expand, or you will suffer the risk that you become chained to your business, while getting nowhere.
Every warehoused sale comes at a cost – inventory, rent, staff, accounting and all the usual costs of running a business. As your business grows, so does your “cost of sales”. So, to grow, you will need to feed the beast and always have funds in reserve, or great, flexible banking arrangements to keep the curve on an upward climb.
Nothing wrong with any of this, but if you are building a business to give you freedom to travel, not to worry about staff, figures, taxes, inventory, duties, government departments etc, then building a bricks and mortar business may not be for you.
Most of these online fulfillment businesses typically start out with people using Amazon or eBay to sell, where they buy quantities of goods from reliable wholesalers, stock them and ship them out when they get orders. This means you have to have good inventory control, packing facilities, fulfillment systems, staff (or do it yourself), financial accounting and all the other hallmarks of keeping score, as well as reliable freight companies to get the products out on time.
You have to deal with customer complaints, returns, refunds and the like. You have to know your competition, get your pricing spot on, then grin and bear it when that huge shipment of widgets that you paid for doesn’t sell like you thought it would.
You need to pick the right niches, order just the right quantities, in the right lead times, work out your margins, work out which wholesalers you can trust. Sometimes there are Minimum Order Quantities, so in order to stock that fantastic “whatchamacallit” you may have to buy a few hundred or a few thousand, store them, pack them and send them.
Now, I don’t know about you, but as someone who likes to sleep at night, that is not for me.
A great way to make money.
In its simplest form, you sell someone else’s product (most often online, digital products such as e-books or courses) but also physical products. You never see the customer or the product and you hope for the best, because the only thing that you can control is your own effort, your marketing, your lead generation and A/B testing, but you can join as many programs as you want.
You sign on with the Wholesaler, or supplier, and set up a FREE account.
Be very wary of any Affiliate program where you have to pay a fee.
The whole concept of Affiliate Marketing is that YOU, the affiliate, or author, are the eyes and ears on the ground for the seller, or merchant. If someone is trying to expand a network, why would they charge you for helping them out? If someone is charging a fee I, for one, would not be interested.
There are the very well-known affiliate marketplaces for selling digital products, such as Clickbank, or JV Zoo, and these days they provide a lot of help and support, but basically you are on your own.
Clickbank, for example, provides training but you mainly have to pay for it, and they don’t provide that much automation, but there are a couple of companies such as CB Pro Ads that aggregate for them – I am an affiliate of both Clickbank and CB ProAds. Not only do I use their sites but I also use my blog site and my e-commerce sites (how to manuals are a great upsell with physical products).
Also, a tip – many of the world’s biggest retail businesses have Affiliate Programs – they don’t always advertise it, but usually all you need to do is scroll to the bottom of their webpage, and look for an “Affiliate” link and sign on. You would be amazed how many of the smart ones have figured out how to expand their reach with affiliate programs.
The Merchant may give you your own sales page, or a range of affiliate resources such as banners, email swipes etc, or just an Affiliate Link, which leads the buyers to their page, but with your tracking link embedded.
Each time there is a sale, the Affiliate pays you a commission, usually to a PayPal or Payza account that you have nominated. The concept is pretty straightforward, but it takes a lot of promotion – whether it be from your own blog or website, or from social media pages, or banner exchanges, free classifieds and many more sources – if you master the art of lead generation and have a great following on social media, you can do very well, but you have limited control over the products that you promote and no knowledge of how the transaction goes after the client buys – you don’t know whether they returned the goods or got a refund etc – in many programs, you don’t get to harvest the customer lead, either, so you may never get return buyers, and unless you are selling in a repeatable niche, the customers will just move on.
You can do Affiliate Marketing in any number of ways, but be prepared to put a lot of work in, before you get a lot of traction, and remember that if merchants are offering high commissions, it may be because they have overpriced their products, and you have no control over that.
Last but not least, (not that I have tried it yet), but an Affiliate Marketing business may not be that easy to sell, if you decide that you want to move on, as you may not have established a lasting presence on the web.
Maybe one of you attentive readers has some experience of that? Please let us know, if you do.
THE BEST FORM OF E-COMMERCE (IN MY VIEW) – DROPSHIPPING – THE CRUISY OPTION
So, if you are buying from wholesalers, you have two options – the first is the self-fulfilment method that we discussed above, where you carry a lot of risk.
Or the second is DROPSHIPPING where you:
The advantages are:
WHAT IS THE DOWNSIDE OF DROPSHIPPING?
OK, so, in life, everything with upside usually has corresponding downside, but where dropshipping is concerned there is not much.
The one or two include:
The beauty of Dropshipping is that any mistakes you make will not usually cost you too much money, because you can change direction pretty quickly, with little or no financial consequences, if you:
Don’t get “down in the weeds” – in other words, work out the best pricing niche – usually around the $100 – $200 mark – or sell really high quality products at the top end, … but remember this – if you sell too cheap you will spend your life placing orders and dealing with complaints, and if you sell too high, you will spend your life holding people’s hands, so get the pricing segment right, sell high quality products with a low return rate, preferably with lots of accessories, where you can get really high margins with little effort (“upsells”) and you can run your business from that “bar in Bali” .. and I can show you examples of people who do.
WHAT SORT OF PRODUCTS DO I SELL?
Short answer – anything where there is demand, a bit of uniqueness, where your product has accessories that you can use as upsells, where you can deal with reputable and multiple suppliers, and where they are generally easy to ship – just a bit of research and don’t forget that “Google is your friend”.
It could be office furniture, carpets, clothing, musical instruments, cameras, outdoor furniture, kitchen appliances, anything, where there is demand.
They don’t have to be “sexy” or “Innovative” or “New Age” – just products that people want, need and research and are ready to buy because you offer them a point of difference.
HOW DO I SET UP?
This is almost a full time 10-part course, in itself, but in short:
HOW DO I FIND GOOD SUPPLIERS?
Research, comparison using Google, word of mouth, sleuthing (ringing around) and by purchasing a reputable Dropship Supplier Directory from either SaleHoo or Worldwide Brands. Many other ways that we don’t have time to cover, here – using common sense and thinking things through, logically is also a good one.
WHERE WILL MY TRAFFIC COME FROM?
If you sell on Amazon and Ebay, that is not an issue, but, otherwise, if there is one rule of e-commerce, then it is that there is no substitute for having a list, and this site and all the other good ones on the internet will tell you no different.
For a quick start use paid ads, and Google is probably one of the best, since it is a search engine and it is logical, if your product is unique that it should rise to Page 1 pretty quickly. Otherwise, Bing Ads also do the same job.
THE MONEY IS ALWAYS IN THE LIST
If you are selling on your own website, then you need to tap into all of the traditional traffic sources.
OPTIMIZE YOUR SITE FOR SEARCH ENGINES
But if you are on a limited budget you should also pay huge attention to SEO – and all of the e-commerce platforms that I mentioned above have great features for optimizing SEO.
If you can’t afford to spend money on SEO, you may not see immediate results, but if you take the time and trouble to have great products, great keywords in your item descriptions, original content in your item descriptions (copying and pasting the wholesaler’s is no-no) great pricing and great service, the Search Engines WILL find you..
THANKS FOR JOINING US
That is it for now and what I have written here is easily a ten part course and video series, that we will be putting together in the next little while.
I hope that this inspires you to get out and “have a red hot go” – you have very little to lose and plenty of fun and freedom to gain. Please don’t wait for us to train you, just get the hell out there, use Google, find some gurus that you can trust and just get started – have a go, or as we say in Australia – AVAGOMATE!!
I would really love to hear your thoughts, your concerns, your experiences or just any feedback, below – maybe we will run into each other in that “Bar in Bali”, but let me assure you that I am here to help and I would be thrilled to answer any queries or comments.
There are many ways to make money online. Over this series of articles, we will give you a lead into the most common and the easiest to establish, and hopefully, the ones that take the least time and investment to get you started. Once you build your empire, we will stay with you, and we hope that you will stay with us, but, by then, you probably won’t need our help.
Types of Online Businesses
The main ones that we intend to cover are:
(sources: Shopify, DS Empire)
Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where a merchant (you) doesn't keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product.
This is a form of Affiliate Marketing. However, affiliate marketing can involve many types of goods and services, many of them digital (non-physical) products. Dropshipping, on the other hand, is restricted to physical, manufactured goods.
The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn't stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders.
This unique model has a number of benefits and drawbacks, but Here's Why This Model Works so Well...
And by the way... if you feel that time is restricting you from scaling this up as high as want to go, then you can easily outsource everything... Because virtual assistants are clamouring to do this sort of work for clients!
Less Capital Is Required – Probably the biggest advantage to dropshipping is that it's possible to launch an ecommerce store without having to invest thousands of dollars in inventory up front. Traditionally, retailers have had to tie up huge amounts of capital purchasing inventory.
With the dropshipping model, you don't have to purchase a product unless you already made the sale and have been paid by the customer. Without major up-front inventory investments, it's possible to start a successful dropshipping business with very little money.
Easy to Get Started – Running an ecommerce business is much easier when you don't have to deal with physical products. With dropshipping, you don't have to worry about:
As we initially warned, dropshipping isn't a perfect, stress-free way to build a successful business. The model has some definite advantages but comes with a number of built-in complexities and problems you'll need to be able to address.
The good news is that with some careful planning and consideration, most of these problems can be resolved and need not prevent you from building a thriving, profitable dropshipping business.
This is one of the many offers out there on the web. Please note that we are not dropshippers, ourselves, but are just starting out on this income stream, so we do disclose that we are affiliates of this business, for the purpose of promoting it online, and will receive a commission if you sign on, paid to us by the promoter (not you)..
The Business that we suggest you look at (for a one-time setup payment of $USD 37) is DS Empire
The text that follows is largely based on the website material at the promoters website which we suggest that you read in full.
This is a Low Cost way to Get Started and Build a Drop Ship Empire from Scratch
The drop ship model is a simple and highly profitable way of selling physical products online. Follow along with me as you are guided step-by-step to creating your own drop ship empire. Copy the laid down method and you will not only be able to create your own successful drop ship websites, but you will even be able to do the same for high paying clients as well if you wish to!
This is a complete blueprint covering every single part of the equation...
The blueprint does not simply cover some of the things you need to do in order to succeed with drop shipping. It covers everything from start to finish and assumes that you know nothing at all.
Billions of dollars are being earned drop shipping, and you can be taking a share of that.
After completing this course you will be better informed than almost all new drop shippers. You will know the true 'secrets' to choosing what to sell, how to sell it and how to scale up quickly.
Created for you if you are brand new to drop shipping, or if you have tried it already and struggled. The course contains 26 lessons, which are mainly over-the-shoulder demonstrations and videos. Along with downloadable PDF's, checklists and resources.
It begins with following a set of special rules for choosing the right type of products to sell. These rules are specific to drop shipping. Then it looks at how you can easily find the right suppliers to drop ship for you.
Once we've completed that part of the process, it moves on to getting your website set up using simple, but powerful strategies that can generate tons of new customers and sales.
The next part of the process is all about launching your website with a bang. They do this entirely from scratch and with a budget of around $20. You will also learn some highly effective launch techniques that are entirely free.
Finally you move onto scaling up. You will learn how to build your drop ship income quickly and if you wish to, grow an entire drop shipping empire!
The promoters offer a Full 60-day money back guarantee... No questions asked.
For now, access to Build a Drop Shipping Empire from Scratch is just $37 with no other fees, ever.
However, this course is regularly updated with new additional video lessons being added frequently. In fact they just added 4 more brand new lessons... So, they are telling us that the price of this course WILL go up very soon to reflect the amount of time and effort that's gone in to ensuring that you get the BEST possible training, resources and support.
Here are some common FAQ's
Q. How much money do I need to invest?
A. Around $50 in total (not including the price of this course)
Q. How quickly can I be up and running?
A. Obviously it will depend on how much time you can put in. Additionally, everyone works at different speeds. A ball park time frame would be 14 days but it's definitely possible to be up and running in half that time
Q. What if I have a question after I buy the course?
A. There is a 'Support' tab in the members area. They answer most support messages within 24 hours
Q. Will I need additional resources?
A. Nearly all the resources used in the course are totally free to use. The one paid resource used is included in the costs above (Q #1)
Q. I've never sold anything online before. Can I still do this?
A. Absolutely! This course is designed for beginners and assumes you have no prior knowledge or experience
Q. How much time will I need to put into this?
A. It's totally up to you. If you only have 3-4 hours a week, that's okay. If you have more, that's also okay!
Q. Is there a limit to how much I can earn drop shipping?
A. No limits at all. Once you have learned to create and launch one profitable drop ship website, you will then learn how to scale up. How much scaling you do, will be down to YOU. This model is very easy to outsource :)
Q. Do you have a money-back guarantee?
A. Absolutely! They stand behind 'Build a Drop Ship Empire from Scratch' 100% and you have a full 60-day money back guarantee so that you feel completely confident with your purchase
Click Here to Buy Now and Get Instant LIFETIME Access to Build a Drop Ship Empire from Scratch for Only $37 One-Time Payment
Drop shipping is not only perfect for a limited budget, but it's also ideal if you only have very limited free time. Maybe you're in a full-time job, a full-time parent or busy with other commitments. That's okay because with drop shipping, you don't need to do the time consuming job of packaging and shipping orders. All you do is pass the order details to the drop ship supplier at the end of each day. And even THAT can be completely automated!
Get started today and make 2016 your best year ever by taking your share of the billions being earned in the drop shipping industry.
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