Thursday, July 16, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Why a Small Online Business Flops

By Gary Jamieson

Here are the 10 top reasons why small online businesses fail; it is best to be as educated as possible when trying to succeed in any business.

10. Websites that don't get into DMOZ, which is a large directory that helps your placement in search engines, will lose a step in ranks. Adding your site to DMOZ can be a painful and long process, be surprised if you get into this human powered directory at all.

9. Don't turn your web business into a banner site. When people go to a page they do not want to see flashing pictures and arrows pointing to buy something. Your visitors are smart to that kind of advertising and so is Google and other search engines.

8. Websites that don't include a blog. If used correctly, blogs get around the internet through feeds. This concept is very confusing to many people but has been proven to be beneficial.

7. Your web business should be built around a niche. Many people will go to broad. For example, "NFL Football" is too broad. Many people are fighting for these keywords, sure it's being searched a lot but nobody will find your website amongst everyone else. You would use something like "NFL Football Team Jerseys".

6. Tortoise wins the race. This is a business not a get-rich scheme. Your success will involve a lot of work and some time. Many people give up too soon, not understanding the nature of ANY business. Set goals for yourself and be realistic.

5. Link Exchanges are a necessity for getting good page rank from search engines. The mistake many people make is exchanging irrelevant links. If you have a real estate site don't link exchange with the lantern store site.

4. Websites neglect to Pre-sell. Whether you are promoting information, a service or product you need to have some pre-selling art form in your website. Give your visitors information and things that are worth their interest.

3. People don't utilize search engines. Google, Yahoo, Live and Ask make up 95% of all search engine activity. If you have not submitted your site to these search engines, you will have a lot less traffic than you should.

2. Keywords! If you make a website and don't include good keywords, search engines will never find it. For example, if you use "love" as a keyword, it is useless. 5 million other people use that same keyword.

1. It is all about Content! If you don't have good content in your website, visitors will turn away leaving the search engines to follow in their steps. The trick is to keep people at your site for as long as possible. Content is what brings people to your website as the keywords point them to your helpful information, products or services.

If you want to start your own small online business there are many things you can do to ensure success!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Online Advertising Techniques You Should Know

By James Copper

Online advertising is the latest and the newest form of advertising. Online advertising helps you reach a larger customer base as in today's world almost everybody uses internet and surfs different sites for gathering information, downloading, chatting, etc. Online advertising is costlier as compared to news paper advertising but is cheaper than the usual TV commercials or radio advertisements. Online advertising is moderately priced and is very beneficial as it is performance driven and one needs to pay only if the desired performance is achieved by the publisher.

Online advertising is also very flexible and latest updates and modifications can be updated with minimum fuss and minimum efforts. Also online advertisement has no time constrains as that of the TV commercials. There are many web sites that publish ads and hence this gives you a larger base for advertising as compared to other mediums like TV, magazines, news paper, hoardings, etc. Also one can choose the advertising web site and content that best suits the need of his company or that best relates with the companies product and services and then accordingly make his choice.

There are two main types of online advertising pay per click advertising technique and permanent or sponsored web site advertising method. Pay per click is the latest type of advertisings, here as permanent or sponsored advertising style is the contemporary and traditional style of on line advertising. Many people are shifting to pay per click method as it is more efficient and more beneficial, in terms of money as well as productivity.

Pay per click online advertising technique:

Pay per click is completely performance driven method of advertising. An advertiser displays or publishes his or her ads on a particular site or a particular web page free of any monthly rentals, etc. The web site or the web page or the publisher gets paid for publishing these ads when the internet users click on that particular ad. Depending on the particular number of clicks for that ad in a stipulated time period the publisher gets paid. The cost of the single click is decided depending on the popularity of the web site that has published the ad, the use of popular and most searched key words in the ad, the usage and popularity of the search engine on which the web site has been listed and last but not the least the ranking of the web site in the search list.

Permanent or sponsored online advertising technique:

Permanent advertising technique is not performance driven and the advertiser has to pay a specific amount of monthly rental as well as the publishing cost to the web site or the publisher. The per month rental of the ad is calculated using factors like the size of the ad, the position of the ad like top corner bottom corner, etc; then factors like the daily visits and usage of the website, the content and efficiency of the web site are also taken into consideration.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Top 7 Business Website Mistakes

By Chuck Linart

Is your website making money for your business? At the end of the day, that is all that matters. I have clients in all kinds of sectors ranging from manufacturing to entertainment, and there are several common mistakes that I see across the board. Here are the Top 7 Mistakes Companies make with their Websites:

  1. Thinking of it as merely an online brochure -- True, a good website is a marketing tool, but it is so much more.
  2. Not integrating the site into their other marketing efforts -- I hear this a lot, "Our site is not good enough. We're not comfortable referring people to it." (That's what keeps me in business.) Well, then make it good enough, and put it on every other communication you send out from you e-mail signature to your business card to television and radio advertisements.
  3. Cheaping out and not hiring a professional to build the site -- Sometimes people want to hire their brother-in-law to make their website. That's fine if the brother-in-law is truly a professional web developer. Otherwise, it's just a waste of money. Nowadays you can get a custom-designed and programmed professional site with lots of bells and whistles for under $2,000. Why would you waste $500 on a cheap site that, if anything, hurts your business? Think about your ROI: How many new clients does your site need to help you get in the next year to pay for itself?
  4. Not having a list builder built in to the site -- It amazes me that some companies do not use their contact form to build an opt-in list of people that they can market to in the future.
  5. Missing opportunities to profit directly through the site -- In almost any business, there is something you can offer to your clients and clients-to-be that you can ask for the sale and collect payment on through the web. This saves you time and money, and makes you money! Why wouldn't you do it? At the very least, you should have some advertising on your site. I even advertise my competitors. Why not? Let their advertising dollars go to me and still end up with the deal when all is said and done. Ruthless, I know.
  6. Not paying attention to SEO which is probably the greatest moneymaker in any webmaster's bag of tricks. A thousand dollars to get you on top of your niche for your keywords is usually money well spent. I have one client (a recording studio) who actually asked me to tone down the SEO on his site because he couldn't handle the phone calls.
  7. Not customizing the site's functionality in a strategic way - If you run a medical practice, doesn't it make sense to set appointments through your website? That can free up your staff to do other things. If you are a musician, why wouldn't you sell tickets directly through your gig calendar? You need to think about what your site can do for your business. That's another reason it's important to hire a professional -- they can suggest things that you might not think of yourself.

If you can avoid those pitfalls, your website will make money for your business, no matter what that might be.

Evolution Media works with small businesses, mostly in the NYC area, to implement the advice offered above -- and more! Optimize your business website!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Value Proposition - How to Get on Target

By David Capece

We live in a world of overcapacity, where consumers are empowered to choose. With a market-driven approach you can stay focused on delivering outstanding value to your consumers to weather the downturn and be in great position for the upturn. It all begins with an on-target value proposition.

While a value proposition may sound complex and intimidating, the framework is quite straightforward. We focus on 3 questions: Who? What? Why?

The framework is simple (explained in more detail below), but getting it right, and making it stand out from the competition, is the hard part. Market-driven organizations should be constantly garnering feedback from customers and prospects through interviews, focus groups, quantitative research, competitor visits, shop-alongs, and web analytics. The more feedback you have, the more you understand your customers, and the stronger your value proposition can be.

For illustrative purposes, our team has imputed the value proposition of Apple in the following series of statements:


Convince (Who?): For talented creatives who aspire to share their story

That (What?): Apples offers creative expression through human technology that is easy-to-use

Because (Why?): Apple consistently innovates with breakthrough, well-designed products...iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iMac.

Below, we have outlined the questions you should be thinking about to help you develop a value proposition. This exercise should facilitate good discussion among your team, and can be repeated and refined over time to incorporate more market feedback.

Who? Your statement should read something like this: "For (target customer), Who (statement of need or opportunity)." Use the below questions and tips to guide you and read through our advice on customer segmentation.

* Develop a comprehensive list of your audiences and prioritize the top 2 to 4 audiences that you need to deliver against in order to succeed.

* What is your customer's "statement of need" or opportunity (what do they want)?

What and Why? The structure of your "What" statement: "The (product / service name) is a (product / service category) that (statement of key benefit - that is, extremely compelling reason to buy or use)" The structure of your "Why" statement: "Unlike (primary competitive alternatives, including "doing nothing"), our product / service (statement of primary differentiation)." Use the below questions and tips to guide you.

* What are current and future market trends (innovation, keys to success)?

* Who are competitors and why would they be selected?

* What are the key benefits -- the extremely compelling reasons to buy or use your company's product / service?

Once you have an on-target value proposition, align your team and organization to deliver on your promise. Beyond revising your marketing messages, you should think about the implications for product strategy and customer experience. If you have done it well, your value proposition will help clarify your organization's objectives and enable your team to rally against a clear vision.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Knowing How to Spend Your Advertising Budget

By Beverly Maniago

Here's the truth: you can't run your marketing campaign without any money. You definitely need to have a budget, an amount that will give you an opportunity to promote your business to your target customers.

Because you're dealing with business money, you can't afford to use it to something that doesn't work or doesn't give you any return. So to ensure that every penny counts, take note of these tips:

1. Create a plan. While you're making a budget for your business every month, you may also want to create a budget for your advertising money. Where are you going to spend it? How much should go for a particular marketing channel? How long do you expect to use your funds? You definitely don't have to follow your budget to a T. For example, if you can find a better printing company for your business that can offer you with lesser costs for your materials, then better go for it. Nevertheless, make sure that you use your advertising budget as your guide in making your decisions for your marketing campaigns.

2. Develop your goals and objectives. Besides having a plan, you also need to identify the reasons why you're setting up a campaign. Are you trying to entice your customers to buy your newest product or service? Are you simply reiterating your brand into their consciousness? Would you like them to avail of a sale or a discount immediately? The objectives will tell you where the funds will go, what kinds of marketing campaigns you're going to come up with, and where you would likely place them (if you're putting up billboards and fence wraps, for instance, you have to pay for the rent of space).

3. Choose the advertising material that gives you the highest market growth and profit. You know that it's always better to combine your marketing strategies. If you're running an online marketing campaign, you may also want to have offline strategies. After all, not all of your customers are found in the World Wide Web. However, not all advertising materials can provide you with the results that you like. It's therefore mandatory that you evaluate your campaigns and channels at least every month. You can compare the results with the objectives that you have set. Depending on the outcome, you will then know which of your marketing strategies are working and which ones are not. By the following month, a good portion of your marketing budget may then go to those techniques that work.

4. Always set up a contingency fund. There are times when you need to spend more on a particular campaign or when you have to create an emergency commercial advertising for your business. To ensure that you don't end up messing your advertising budget, you will obtain the money that you need from your contingency fund.

By properly managing your advertising budget, you end up not only being careful with your marketing decisions, but also protecting the overall profit of your business.

Would you like to save on your Brisbane billboard advertising It's then time to work with adpHence, the best print advertising company in Australia. You can send them an e-mail or call them for more information on their products and services.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Build Your List, Grow Your Business

Every point of contact with potential customers is an opportunity to build your e-mail list.

Close the Deal With Urgency

Urgency is what gets top sellers up in the morning and keeps them fired up all day.

Executive Prospectus Growing Your Business > Marketing