Vesta Digital Blog

Archive for June 2010

Google focuses on perfecting two key areas of their company, Searches and Ads. By mastering these two Internet necessities, Google has become the biggest name in search engines and online resources.

So how do these processes work? What exactly goes on behind the scenes at Google? Below is a quick synopsis of the YouTube videos released on How Search Works and How Search Ads Work, to give you a better understanding.

Search

Video by Matt Cutts

When you conduct a Google search, you aren’t actually searching the Web. You are searching Google’s index of the web, or inventory of sites. By using programs called spiders, Google “crawls” through a few web pages they find related to your search, then follow the links on those pages, then follow more links on the pages it already found. This gives Google access to billions of pages stored on thousands of machines.

When you type in a keyword or phrase, the software searches the index to find every page that includes that keyword or phrase. Google ranks the pages in terms of relevance. The more times the page contains your keyword, the higher the page rank. If the words appear in the title or URL, the page is ranked higher.

Search results appear about half a second after queries are submitted. Google prides themselves on being impartial. Payments are not accepted to add sites to the index, update it more often, or improve its ranking.

Advertising

Video by Nundu Janakiram

The text adds you see in your search results page on the right hand side appear from the reasons why people conduct web searches. There are three main motives for doing a web search, entertainment, enlightenment, and information.

Google only allows ads to show on search results only if they pertain to one of the three aforementioned motives. If there are no ads to be found that are relevant to any of these motives, Google will not show any ads, period. Google does not accept payments to improve the position of an ad on the search results page.

However, advertisers can bid to have their ads placed on top and to the right of the Search results. Based on “moments of relevance,” as in moments where people specifically search for the product you are offering, your ad will have priority over others on the list of ads. You are to pay Google for every click on your ad. The payment is based on how much you bid for that spot.

website builderBusiness is evolving. In the current business world, you may be able to survive with just a simple brick and mortar location, but you won’t be able to expand your reach. The most important “next step” to take for your business, is to jump into the online business world. Build an internet marketing strategy that works for you.

Follow these 8 steps to start your online business today.

Step 1. Pick your Product

The smartest idea is to sell a unique product you yourself own or have made. That way you have more control over the distribution, trademarks, patents, or copyrights. If not, be sure to research the most reliable wholesalers available.

Research your target market and have a clear understanding of what your consumers are looking for.

Step 2. Purchase your Domain

You want your URL to be simple, descriptive, and easy to find. If possible, make it the exact same name as your business. Search engines generally rank .com sites higher than .org or .net, if possible, purchase all three domain names and redirect the .org and .net pages to your .com site.

Pay for a 5 year reservation because search engines rank websites that have been or are going to be around for a long period of time. Fly-by-night sites are not ranked very positively.

Step 3. Build your Website

There are three very important rules to abide by when creating a website. In web development, your website must:

  • Be easy to navigate – keep your information simple, deliberate, and consistent
  • Have a call to action – use a Contact Us forum, a shopping cart, or membership subscriptions
  • Use Search Engine Optimization – the use of specific keywords to rank your site higher up on search engines

Step 4. Online Purchases

The fastest and easiest way to set up an online payment program is to use Pay Pal. Any individual with an email address can securely and easily send and receive payments online. Pay Pal has a well-known reputation of having a solid fraud prevention system.

Step 5. Use Search Engine Optimization

Use Google Adwords or other keyword testing programs to see what kind of results you might get on search engines. Google your own company or product and see what kind of words show up the most often. By using keywords throughout your website, you better your chance of increasing visibility and traffic.

Step 6. Start Blogging

Blogging is a great way to insert useful keywords and backlinks. It is also a fantastic way to disseminate information to your viewers and interact with people online. It is a social media marketing strategy that is sure to see results.

Step 7. Start you Affiliate Program
By enlisting other website owners to promote your products, you expand your market reach. You will pay your affiliates a commission for converted sales, but it’s just another great internet marketing strategy to utilize.

Step 8. Your Website Statistics
Pay attention to which keywords visitors are using in their search engines, which pages your visitors spend the most time on, and how often your visitors are converted into customers.

After completing these 8 steps you are well on your way to succeeding in your online business!

Google AdWordsAdWords is a comprehensive ad campaign management tool run by Google to help you manage your costs, write compelling ads, choose effective keywords, run successful campaigns, and provide you with other helpful resources for your internet marketing strategy.

Getting Started

Head to the AdWords homepage, and use your Google Account for your AdWords username and password. If you have not already set one up, click Start Now. When you choose a username and password, it will be your login criteria for all Google products.

You will be asked to choose your currency, which you cannot change after you’ve chosen. You will then be asked to verify your account by an email. Click the link provided then sign in to your AdWords account.

Managing Your Account

Within your AdWords account, there are 6 easy to navigate main tabs.

Home

You get a clear Account Snapshot, which gives you a summary of key account information. Such as:

  • Alerts
  • Account Status
  • Announcements
  • Best Performing Keywords
  • Active Campaigns
  • Campaign Performance
  • Helps and Tips.
Campaigns

Under your Campaigns tab, where you’ll spend most of your time, you can create and edit your:

  • Campaigns
  • Ads
  • Keywords
  • Campaign settings, and
  • View your performance summary graphs
Opportunities

Under the Opportunities tab, you can find ideas for ways to improve your performance. Some tools that can help include:

  • Keyword Tool
  • Placement Tool
  • Traffic Estimator
  • Conversions
  • Ads Diagnostic Tool
  • Ad Preview Tool, and more
Reporting

For more advanced reporting, use the Reporting tab to use:

  • Google Analytics to track the performance of your website
  • Report Center to track the success of your ads, keywords and campaigns
  • Change History to see changes made to your account
  • Conversions to view your conversion rate
  • Website Optimizer to test site content that delivers actionable results
Billing

Under the Billing tab, you can view your billing summary and edit your billing preferences

My Account

Under the Account tab, you can control your personal information and preferences. The options include:

  • Account Access – invite others to create their own login email and password for access to your account
  • Notification Settings – choose which topics you receive email notifications about
  • Preferences – choose your language, time zone, tracking, your Google Site, or cancel your account

Enhance your internet marketing strategy with AdWords. It’s cost-effective, simple, easy to use, and generates traffic.

email marketingDon’t stop emailing!
Email is starting to be considered as passé by some avid social media marketers. However, email can still be used as an important marketing tool for your online business. Email actually has the potential to increase traffic and generate leads, so use it wisely by following these 6 tips.

1. Don’t rely on Images

Considering almost everyone who uses email now has a setting specifically blocking ads and images, pay attention to your important info and repeat it in the text in the event your reader has blocked your images.

2. Be factual

In sending an email, be concise and stick to the facts. Your email should be educational and not promotional. You should give the consumer the power to make the choice to evaluate and then make the purchase.

3. Pay attention to the subject line

Most people screen their subject lines for important information and if they can simply disregard the email altogether. The most important part of your email, your value and proposition, needs to be in the subject line. It’s not a title, or a summary, it’s your best line and your only chance.

4. Keep things simple

I say this all the time. Your message should be concise, to the point, simple, factual, and effective. By focusing your content on one objective, you’re more likely to convert a reader into a customer. Don’t overwhelm the customer with too many options or too much information.

5. Customer feedback

It is important to send emails to customers you’ve already converted. This helps to ensure brand loyalty and may even spark a cycle of word-of-mouth or viral marketing. Customer service can’t be stressed enough in business, so pay attention to your customers and respond in a timely and friendly manner.

6. Don’t try too hard

Generally, people are on the internet for research and expanding their knowledge. It is a dependable resource for gathering information. If you try too hard to sell to a customer who is in the mood to read and research, you will immediately turn them off. Just provide the necessary information for them to make a decision.

update blog postIf you are like me, and you spend way too much time browsing theinternet searching for topics about blogs, technology, social media, search engine optimization, andonline marketing, then you will be just as excited as I was to discoverWikio – Blogs your way. Wikio is a comprehensive database of news,media, and blogs. Search by topic, comment on existing articles, orpublish your own.

Personally I think I’ve found the greatest thing since sliced bread.

What is it?

Wikio is a comprehensive database of news, media, and blogs. You can use Wikio to search for particular topics or specific blogs. You have the option of creating pages to follow the breaking news that is most interesting to you.

This week’s biggest news that is currently being followed is coverage on the BP Oil Spill. The information is always continuously updated and each release is ranked in the site. You can vote for an article or a group that you enjoyed to help its page ranking and visibility.

You also have the option of publishing an article right onto the site, or you can browse through the listings and comment on what interests you. If you truly enjoy what you’ve been reading, you can subscribe to the RSS feed. RSS is “Really Simple Syndication,” or a network of web feeds and summarized data all in one place.

Google Reader is the most common RSS program used. It is easy to navigate and customize.

How to Use Wikio

Type a keyword into the search box, you will be directed to all relevant articles that have that particular word tagged. Not only will you be directed to articles, but you will have access to videos and audio podcasts too.

Wikio Shopping filters different products, prices, press and user scores, reviews, photos, and videos to give you the most options.

Becoming a member of Wikio is free, you will regularly receive updates and news about your designated topics on your personal news page.

The Top 10 blogs for June of 2010 as ranked on Wikio:

  1. Politics – The Huffington Post
  2. Technology – TechCrunch 
  3. Business – The Business Insider
  4. Film – Deadline | Hollywood
  5. Video Games – Kotaku
  6. Celebrity – Jezebel
  7. Sports – Deadspin
  8. Music – PopEater Music Blog 
  9. Sciences – Watts Up With That?
  10. Law – SCOTUSblog

blogger blockWritings blogs takes technique if you want some traffic and a loyal set of followers. You may feel your web content is relevant and worth reading, so use these 9 tips to prove to your readers why your content deserves some readership.

1. Be authentic

In order to inspire a loyal readership and consistent following, you must be authentic. Use all of your own information, source your research, and don’t plagiarize. For your blog to be successful, you must be trustworthy. Write about things you actually have experience and expertise in.

2. Personalize it

Don’t be afraid to add some personal touch. If you have certain phrases, metaphors, analogies, or anything that makes your writing a little more “yours,” use it! Give people a reason to recognize your material as more than just a generic blog.

3. Research

You are writing for your readers, explore forums and see what people are talking about and what they’re interested in relative to your topic. Also, your blogs need value. Your readers should want to read your material to gain a little bit more knowledge about a topic that already has their interest. Understand what people want to learn about and use keywords that people will search for.

4. Read other blogs

By referencing other blogs you can create great backlinks and also draw a lot of attention if you’re providing a different point of view on a popular topic. By reading other blogs, you’ll get a little more insight on the difference between popular blogs and rarely-viewed blogs. Participate, and start networking.

5. Assess your audience

Who are you writing for? The type of audience you are writing for is highly influential in determining your content. You need to determine the maturity level should you write with, how appropriate it is, and how people of that demographic will actually benefit.

6. Don’t be too narrow

By narrowing your topic, you’ll simply run out of topics to write about. Blogger’s block is frustrating and often difficult to avoid. When you feel yourself struggling to find a topic, go back to the basics and write about something a little more broad.

7. Simplify

Simply, don’t overdo it. Try to avoid use fluffy language, blogs are designed to be a quick read, just a daily dose of information. By using headings, pictures, lists, and charts, you relay your information creatively and succinctly. It’s much more attractive to the average blog browser than a massive block of text.

8. Discuss, Don’t promote

You’re a writer. Try not to oversell or over-advertise a particular product you’re discussing. You will no doubt lose followers and credibility if you are judged as an advertiser or self-promoter posing as a blogger.

9. Write everyday

By writing everyday, you’re increasing the amount of content you disseminate into the ever-changing web. You will gain followers because of your consistency and the fact that you deliver. Also, it’s challenging to write everyday, push yourself to learn more and write better.

latest newsIf you have an online business and would like to increase your traffic and visibility, a press release may be a great tool for you. By writing a press release and submitting information throughout the web, you increase your chances of gaining customer interest.

A press release is a great thing to publish every once in a while. They should be factual, credible, and geared toward the consumer.

Here are 10 ways to effectively publish a press release.

1. Publicity.

The more exposure your try to achieve for your goods and services, the more your online business will get recognition and page rank throughout the web. Publicity will do nothing but help you expand and increase traffic. There’s really no reason not to submit a press release once a month or so.

2. Use the Web.

Publish your press release on the web. Use social media networks to get your press release flowing through networks you wouldn’t necessarily have access too. The Internet can be your best marketing strategy, be sure to take advantage of it. Online information is more available than print anyway.

3. Be Newsworthy.

You are writing a press release. You are releasing an interesting piece of information that should be viable and relevant to the general public. Information you publish should must be newsworthy, don’t make it sound like an advertisement, or people will quickly and surely lose interest.

4. Be About your Customer.

Always put yourself in your customer’s shoes and pay attention to how they’ll feel while reading your material. It should be directly relevant to your consumer and his or her problems.

5. Hook ‘Em Headlines.

Eye catching and interesting headlines are very important. They should be compact, discrete, and most importantly: make people want to click and review your press release.

6. It’s All in the Lead.

Your most critical paragraph is your first paragraph. Due to the fact that now that consumer’s are shopping power, it’s almost impossible these days to retain their attention. You need to engage your audience, answer the question your consumer will undoubtedly ask: “Why is this thing I’m reading relevant to ME?”

7. Facts. Not fluff.

It’s important to keep it factual. By using short succinct sentences that remain on point but are interesting to read, you will keep your consumer engaged without trying to oversell. Remember it should sound like news, not an advertisement.

8. Triple Check.

Take care to avoid any spelling or grammatical errors as that takes away from your credibility or authenticity. Proof read at least three times on your own, then have someone else read it out loud and see if you like the way it sounds.

9. Write Wisely.

Press releases are generally more credible than other forms of advertising, so it is important show that you actually know what you’re talking about. Write as a columnist, editor, or reviewer – not an advertiser. Well written works are easier to trust than sloppy ones.

10. Choose Your Channel.

Distribute your material effectively. Choose the channel for your press release online in a way that maximizes visibility without taking away from your credibility. Use press release directories such as PR Newswire.

*Note, you may be in need of a website that maximizes the use of social media by employing the use of a social media platform. Using social media is the fastest most effective form of Internet marketing that will spread your information into networks you never thought reachable.

7Here are 7 reasons why it is important for small online businesses to implement Search Engine Optimization into their website to gain visibility, generate traffic, and convert traffic into customers.

1. Familiarity

There is no way to be ranked at the top of any search engine without using SEO. By being discrete and deliberate with keywords and key phrases, your chances of becoming a higher ranked website increases. Surveys show that consumers are twice as likely to recognize business ranked in the top three in search engine results than those appearing in banner ads.

2. Web Design Blunders

Generally, graphic designers don’t know their SEO. You may have a fabulous web design that looks attractive and gains the approval of several visitors, but what does that do for your page ranking? Being ranked on search engines has nothing to do with how pretty your website its, it’s about the relevance of your web content.

3. Visibility

It is essential to be ranked higher up on search engines, so although you might be tempted to use fancy web designs like Flash, it may be counterproductive because spiders (web crawlers, or programs that browse the web for key words) can’t even read the content in a Flash player.

4. Social Media

Another great way to use SEO is by flooding the Social Media networks with your relevant content. By using social media marketing, your product is marketing itself. The viral marketing that usually explodes through social media is cost-effective and direct.

5. Solution-oriented

You exist to solve people’s problems. As a business, that should be your main focus. So by designing key words that cater specifically do answer a consumer’s question, or act as a solution to a consumer’s problem, you are already on your way to the most effective form of SEO, solution-based key words and phrases.

6. Affordability

SEO platforms and programs are usually paid by an affordable monthly rate and actually provides you with a higher ROI as opposed to other advertising mediums. Pay per click or banner ads can cost between $2500 to $3500 per month, which will drain your marketing budget and fail to produce the results that SEO is capable of.

7. Updating

The beauty of SEO is that the keywords consumers are searching for are constantly changing. By using a SEO platform that you as a small business owner retain control of, you can constantly update your key words and phrases to match the queries searched for by consumers. The constant activity even builds your ranking by enhancing the credibility associated with your website.

Be smart about your online business marketing strategy, employ the use of SEO and social media to gain traffic, visibility, ranking, credibility, and so much more.

psychOn a psychological level, social media provides any individual of a feeling of importance. You have the ability, the control, and the drive to publish whatever you want to the Internet, an interconnected network of millions of people, you’re bound to find a listener that finds your content important or valuable. That’s why online marketing is now such a significant portion of online business strategies, social media puts the power in the consumer’s mind.

Here are three psychological reasons why social media appeals to the average person.

A Feeling of Importance

According to Dale Carnegie, influential author of How To Win Friends and Influence People, the greatest human desire is the feeling of importance. Dale Carnegie writes”

“There is one longing – almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep – which is seldom gratified. It is what Freud calls ‘the desire to be great.’ It is what Dewey calls ‘the desire to be important.’”

Social Media allows an individual to feel important. By networking and connecting with an unlimited amount of people, a person will be given the gift of feeling connected and significant. The gratification of feeling wanted, acknowledged, and valued is irreplaceable in the human mind.

Also, social media marketing allows the consumer to choose what products their interested in. People aren’t finding products, products are finding people. This kind of power must make a person feel pretty important.

Customized Living

Instead of conforming to fit into a world around them, a person has the power to use social media to conform a world to fit around themselves. By discretely selecting Facebook groups and networks to join, various Twitter accounts to follow, or specific Blogs to read, a social media user has the power to create an online world that is totally customized towards their interest.

This is fuel for the fire for niche marketing online. By finding people who are specifically interested in your product, it becomes less difficult to generate leads and convert that traffic into customers because you are already a part of their customized and filtered world.

Being a Part of a Group

People feel assured and approved of when they are involved in a group of people with common interests. Your business will never succeed from a marketing perspective if you don’t include people into a community where they feel like a contribution.

By allowing a customer the ability to join a membership online, or some similar community that is easy for them to navigate, they will feel a more secure sense of brand loyalty.

Ask your customers for advice or opinions on relevant information. By asking questions, you make your customer feel important, in control, and involved.

Adobe FlashAdobe’s Flash has been taking some serious heat lately as Apple and Adobe continue their spat over the future of online video. Advertising agencies continue to suffer due to a lack of development with Flash. A successful online business’ website should be designed to engage their customers, not frustrate them.

Even the American Association of Advertising Agencies  relies heavily on flash players that are inconsistent in loading time.

Adobe Flash Player can take minutes to load, but your customer attention span is only seconds. If your web design is difficult to navigate, slow, glitchy, or is ridden with broken links, good luck retaining any customer loyalty.

Many advertising agencies are hung up on having a fun, flashy, aesthetically appealing website that may actually end up working against them. With Adobe Flash struggling to update and revamp their service, the Flash can be the very thing that buries your potential website’s audience reach, traffic and search engine optimization tactics.

Steve Jobs himself made several statements regarding the lack of quality that seems to continually plague Adobe Flash Player. According to an article on ComputerWorld Jobs said:

We told Adobe, if you ever have this thing running fast, let us know, which they never did.”

Before the iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple made an affirmative decision to ban Flash from the new smartphone. Jobs blamed the exclusion on issues from “poor performance to security issues.”

Apple fervently supports the idea of embedded videos as a permanent replacement for flash. The embedded videos will be a prominent feature in HTML5, the new generation of H that is the fundamental language of websites currently under development.

The embedded videos will give websites more power and control over their web design. It eliminates dependence on third party plug-ins like Adobe and Microsoft Silverlight.


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