Archive for September, 2009

SEO – A New Age for Marketing

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

The competition to achieve recognition on the web becomes more difficult daily. Every website battles for their place on the Internet. The most effective weapon they have for utilization is SEOSearch Engine Optimization.

Today SEO is essential for each and every business website. For people who are following new techniques and ideas to increase their sales and online rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN, here are some of the latest trends:

* Professional SEO Copywriting
* Image Optimization
* Content Optimization
* Flash Optimization
* Geographic optimization
* Blogging & Posting Content
* Social book marking
* Article Marketing
* Inbound links with targeted Keywords
* Video Optimization and Marketing
* Micro blogging like on Twitter

Times have changed and the clues and tricks which worked (in the past) have been exposed. Google, the star search engine does not fall for tricks. Google sends spiders or crawlers out and obtains a keyword placement through the relevant websites and creates an index of the site by analyzing its contents. It then assigns the site a page ranking status depending on how well or poorly the site has done its due diligence.

The current SEO trends that are running the internet market are of inbound linkages and submission to relevant blogs and forums.  The hyperlinks attached to major related websites do wonders to the credential of a website.  Submission of RSS feeds and URLs are also beneficial.

User content on interfaces have to be seriously analyzed by the core team of a website before giving the final touch to the product the site is promoting.  The keywords and tags work differently in diverse sites, and the effort has to be executed meticulously to understand the algorithms of these search engines, through several trial and errors.

Google’s roll out of “Universal Search” has changed the playing field for the future.  The watchword is “different” and that is how search engine marketers will need to think.  Search engines have been guilty of doing exactly the opposite of what online marketers try to achieve. We try and keep visitors on our websites for as long as possible with engaging contentSearch engines rocket people somewhere else within seconds of the search results appearing.

Keyword research has long been the foundation of successful SEO campaigns. Target the wrong keywords and you are doomed from the start.  How much keyword research did you do before you launched your website?

Prestige Technologies can direct you down the proper path. Through a well perceived and efficiently developed SEO campaign, Prestige Technologies will lead your business to the epicenter of where it needs to evolve, regarding your Search Engine Optimization goals.

Where in the world are you? It is possible you know where you are, but search engines such as Google do not have a clue. Owning a Top Level Domain is a good start, but even if you have this domain and you are hosting in another country, you could be confusing the issue for search engines.

How many back links do you have?  What is your Page Rank?  What do people say about you in link anchor text?  How do you find more links?  What are the most popular keyword searches?  What is your ranking on search engines?  Do you have barriers preventing your site from being crawled?  What is your page strength?  Do you know these answers?

Do you get the feeling that searching is moving up a notch?

Are you among those internet marketers who are willing to see your site in the first page of search engines when you type in your business keyword? Apart from a normal web existence, when you try for search engine positioning and SEO traffic, you should respect internet marketing as a game, and you should become trained by a professional coach! By agreeing that SEO traffic can be a game, shows you are interested in playing it.  Don’t you think it is time to start learning?

Be very keen when selecting the keyword you want to be ranked for, and then build a relevant keyword list. Common sense is the only tool which should be utilized to select your main keywords!  The links to your selected keywords, from many sources will get your website ranked well with those keywords, by putting in your hard effort. A link from any site is considered as a back link and is shown in the search engines. There are many other factors which can be shown, but search engine strategies keep changing. Among those changing SEO traffic strategies are Web 2.0, video submissions, etc.

So what does all this mean – it means you must embrace technology for all it has to offer. SEO may seem costly, but it is the undisputed technological answer to your future success.

*Did You Know – While searching for my ‘Did You Know’ fact (for this newsletter) I performed a Google search querying SEO?

Web 2.0 – Web Design Has a New Name

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Web 2.0 design is a buzz word that has meaning behind it.  If you have a site with a Web 2.0 design, then you probably have round corners, gradients, reflections, clean layout, and white space.

Simplicity is the key goal for Web 2.0 design. You want to keep your navigation, layout, and content as simple possible.  Your features only should include what is required for the user.  Keep plenty of white space and a balance of images and text.  Keeping your site simple will help your usability.

Your navigation is one of the most important features on your site.  Keep this as straightforward as possible.  Try to make it large, bold, and clean.  In regard to text – make it easy to read, and allow the user to know exactly what they are going to find.  Also make some type of motion or mouse over with your hyperlinks.  This helps users differentiate what is text and what is a hyperlink.

Web 2.0 designs concentrate more on color.  For backgrounds soft, pastels and neutral colors are a great choice.  Your colors are what attract your users to your site.  Also you can use your colors to focus your users to a specific place on your site.  Gradients also fall into this category. Gradients are a good way to blend colors into the soft fade of your white space or your background.  Gradients also are used for navigation backgrounds, text boxes, and icons.

Icons are becoming more and more popular.  However, please note, this does not mean you have to use more.  Developers are using bigger and stronger icons.  These icons have been used with text to help make a clear and visual response.  Users are very visual people.  An icon with a picture of a shopping cart for example will quickly tell your visitor this icon is where you can access the shopping cart.  This idea is effective with navigation, as well.

White space is omnipresent!  Busy sites are slowly being redesigned.  Many of the big ecommerce stores are even sliming down their homepages and giving them more white space.  This is positive for the user and your usability.  Giving your page plenty of white space will give you a cleaner and more professional look.  It will make your site easier to use.

There are more techniques and elements that are included in the movement of Web 2.0 design. The biggest element to watch for is simplicity.  Nothing is written in stone and none of these suggestions have to be followed.  However, why don’t you try something new and see what happens, it might be your next big thing!

*Did You Know — The term “Web 2.0” was coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999.  Her use of the term deals mainly with web design and aesthetics; she argues that the web is “fragmenting” due to the widespread use of portable web-ready devices.  Her term is aimed at designers, reminding them to code for an ever-increasing variety of hardware.

Start Your Email Holiday Campaigns Now

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The summer is over!  The kids are back in school!  Football season is here!  What does this mean?  Now is the time to plan your email marketing campaigns for the upcoming holiday season.

Before businesses decorate their stores and websites they send out emails promoting their holiday deals to their subscribers.  They send lots out of emails.  Research shows last year more than 4,700 emails from more than 100 top online businesses were sent during the fourth quarter, and companies released daily reports on strategies, tactics and trends via email. Based on this information, wants to produce a roadmap to the email holiday season, so companies can better formulate their campaigns this year. can assist you with flyer, newsletter, and banner creation; when to begin your campaign; how much to increase your email volume; which days to send on; and how to stand out in the inbox during the holidays. Last year nearly 90% of major online businesses increased their email volume during the holiday season, with retailers boosting their send frequency by 43% on average compared to the pre-holiday period.

Standing out in the inbox during the holiday season is tough.  Formulating the right subject lines during the holidays is can offer you numerous examples of subject lines to employ during the various phases of the holiday season, and help you devise your subject lines for the crucial November and December months.

Remember, 2009 has flown by so far, and sooner than you know it, the holiday season will be here.  So gain an advantage on your competitors by starting your holiday email campaign planning now.  Here are some steps to help get you started:

  1. Ask your team to start brainstorming creative ideas for email campaigns now. Involving your whole team in the brainstorming process will help you to develop the best, most effective campaign.  You may choose to do just one holiday campaign, or a series of emails leading up to the holiday season.  This will depend on your call to action and audience.  And do not forget what expectations you have set with your subscribers.  If they are used to only receiving a monthly newsletter from your company, do not overwhelm them with daily/weekly holiday promotional emails.  It is important to stay consistent with what your subscribers already receive, but with a holiday flair.
  2. Develop your schedule. If you are doing a series of emails, when should they start?  How often should they be sent?  What is the last day you want to send an email before the holidays?  Once you have the launch date in mind, work backwards.  To meet that launch date, when does creative need to be finalized and approved?  When should email campaign testing begin to leave enough time for internal review and edits?  What date should your subscriber database be pulled and uploaded into your email platform?
  3. Plan the email creative and subject line. The subject line is often a last-minute decision, but it should not be!  Planning and strategy should go into the subject line, as this is the main influencer of whether your subscribers open your email or not.  Make sure your subject line is eye-catching enough to make your email stand out.  During the holiday season, people’s email inboxes are cluttered, so it is important that your email is noticed.  The subject line should be enticing and make your recipient want to read more.
  4. Work with your email service provider to ensure your sending reputation is in good standing. You can have the best subject line, creative, and timing, but if your IP reputation is poor, nobody will see your impressively crafted email.  Take time before the holidays to test your email deliverability and work on any issues that arise.  Your ESP should be more than happy to work on this in detail with you.  After all, your success during the holiday season (and throughout the year) is your ESP’s success!

*Did You Know — Last year Cyber Monday was the most popular day of the year to send retail emails, with 70% of retailers sending at least one email on that day.