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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Google AdSense Tips

AdSense allows website publishers to display contextually relevant advertisements on their website. If a web visitor "clicks" on an advertisement, the web publisher will earn a percentage of the advertising revenue generated as a result of the clïck. Many webmasters have built content websites around the Google AdSense model. In many cases the specific intent of the webmaster is to profït from Google AdSense. Other webmasters use Google AdSense to supplement their revenue. Regardless of the webmaster's intent, the following tips will help webmasters looking to profït from AdSense.
Top AdSense Tips:
1. Niche SitesTargeted niche sites that have a clear theme, tend to generate more advertising revenue simply because it is easier for these sites to achieve decent search engine placement. Be warned though, you want to choose a niche where there is a sufficient number of advertisements available.
2. Target KeywordsWhen determining the site's focus, consider how much advertisers pay for the advertisements. If the site is focused on ringtones, like Ringtone Central the payout per-click is going to be very small because ringtones are not high ticket items and advertisers will not spend a lot on pay-per-click advertisements. With less obvious markets use Overture to determine how much advertisers pay-per-keyword. It is usually similar on Google. Search Overture for a keyword then clïck "View Advertisers' Max Bids" in the top right corner. This will show the Overture inventory and how much is paid per keyword. Because the market has become very competitive, it is difficult to rank well in search engines with a new website that is optimized for the terms that have the highest payout. Consider targeting terms that are moderately priced.
3. Aged Sites / TimeOver time as a website is spidered by Google, advertisements will generally increase in relevance. In general, older websites will rank better in search engines. The closer the advertisements relate to the webpage's content; the higher the "click-through" the publishers will see.
4. CodingIn order to minimize a website's maintenance place the Google generated AdSense code in the website template or an include file. This will allow you to easily experiment with different advertisement sizes and ad placement, and keep web maintenance to a minimum.
5. Tracking ChannelsIn order to know how effective a specific website or ad placement is, use distinct channels and subchannels within Google. This will allow you to discern what performs best on a specific website. Using channels will tell you what sites are making monëy, what advertisements are making monëy and what ad position is the most profitable on a specific website. Keep in mind that you should run an advertisement for a full week, in order to properly test its effectiveness. Different days of the week will have varying web traffïc, so comparing one week to another will give the most accurate reflection of how effective a campaign performs.
The same is true when testing different advertisement sizes, placement or color schemes. Be sure to leave campaigns in place for one week. Again, different days will often result in web traffïc fluctuations. Comparing web traffïc, week to week will give a clear indication of what ad formats perform the best.
6. Integrated Ad PlacementMany webmasters have been successful at integrating
advertisements into a website. The easiest way to integrate an advertisement into a website is to remove the advertisement border. This will allow the ads to better blend with the webpage. Google recommends contrasting the link colors with the website colors to increase click-throughs. It is also suggested that webmasters randomize the color of the advertisements, so that frequent users will not naturally "filter" the ads.
Examples of integrated ad placement: or
7. Number vs Value of
AdvertisementsPlace up to three advertisements on each page. Additional advertisements drop in value and dilute ad inventory so publishers should be cautious in adding more advertisement units. In other words you want to serve the most expensive ads at all times.
8. Hot SpotsLike web copy, above the fold holds true with AdSense as well. This means that advertisements that appear without having to scroll will be read more frequently. Hot Spots are areas on a web page that result in a higher percentage of click-throughs. According to Google the highest paying advertisements are located on the hot spots.
Hot Spots Map:
Google does not indicate if image advertisements or text ads perform better, so webmasters are encouraged to experiment with both.
9. Highest Performing Ad SizesAccording to Google the 336 x 280 rectangle, the 300 x250 rectangle and the 160 x 600 sky scraper result in the highest number of click-throughs. Depending on the website's design and layout, publishers may experience different results with different ad sizes, placements and color schemes. Expirement and track the results for each website to maximize the AdSense payout.

About The Author
Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with doing business with Google. Everyone is profiting from Google, find out how you can too! Click-here:Promote Your Websites © 2006 Promoting Webs

How Many Links Do I Have?

Having links coming to your website from other websites (backlinks) are extremely important in getting top rankings today. Search engines such as Google are now placing high importance on links and other “off page factors” in assigning top rankings. Think of this as a popularity contest. If your web site is important enough for other web sites to link to, then you must have an important web site and therefore the search engines elevate your website ranking.
Search engines want to see a steady sustained growth in the number of links that website is receiving. Too fast of link growth looks artificial and can hurt a website’s rankings.
Measuring the Number of Links
But how do you measure how many links you have? There are two common ways.
  1. You can go each individual search engine and query it as to how many links exist
  2. You can use software that will measure and report how many links exist.
Query the Search Engines
To query each search engine, go to the individual search engine and type in, in the search bar, the following:

Search Engine At Search Engine, Enter in Search Bar

Alltheweb link:www.YOURDOMAIN.COM
AltaVista linkdomain:www.YOURDOMAIN.COM
Hotbot link:www.YOURDOMAIN.COM
Google link:www.YOURDOMAIN.COM
domain:www.YOURDOMAIN.COM link:http://www.YOURDOMAIN.COM
Using a Software Program
There are a number of software solutions available. Our favorite is LinkPopularityCheck 3.0.1. This is a freeware program that will measure the number of links for your website(s) across all of the major engines. It is simple and easy to use. It is available at:
Deciphering the Results
Many times the number of links reported will be a very large number and will include internal links within your website and some duplicate links. We decided to measure and see how many of these links we could validate. We took one of our websites where Yahoo reported 12,000 links. We built a program to take the first 1000 of these links and go out and check for a presence of a link back to the website. What we found, once we removed the internal link, is that we could confirm only about 20% of these links. This means that the links reported by the search engines include many more reported links than you may have set up with link exchanges or actual references to your web site. Many of these may be obsolete or deleted links that may disappear with the search engine’s next refresh.
What does all of this data mean?
In summary, the spiders used in the link reporting software under reports the number of links to your website (fewer than really exist). The search engines over report the number of links to your website (more than really exist). The reality lies somewhere in between.
Key to Link Popularity
The key to any link popularity campaign is a continual slow and sustained growth of links. It needs to be a natural growth and can be monitored with either link popularity software or by directly querying the search engines.

About The Author

Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with doing business with Google. Everyone is profiting from Google, find out how you can too! Click-here:Promote Your Websites © 2006 Promoting Webs

Affiliate Marketing as an SEO Linking Strategy

Affiliate Marketing as an SEO Linking Strategy
Promoting Webs

Affiliate Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are both important strategies in Internet Marketing. Affiliate Marketing involves placing ads on other websites and then paying a commission any time a visitor comes from that site and either requests information (lead generation) or buys a product. Affiliate Marketing involves tracking software which tracks which site visitors came to your website from. SEO is the process of getting good rankings with the search engines to bring a steady flow of interested visitors to your website.

SEO has two major facets. The first is on-page factors and includes optimization and changes to the website itself. This involves choosing the right keywords and using them in a way that it accurately tells the search engines what the website is about. The second is off-page factors. These include the quantity and quality of links from other websites, the age of your website, how long the domain name is registered for, etc. Off-page factors tell the search engine how important the website is and where to place it in the rankings. Today, off-page factors are more important in getting top rankings than on-page factors. It is with these off-page factors that affiliate marketing can have a big impact. Affiliate marketing can be a powerful one way linking source. When you have your own affiliate program, you give other web site owners the incentive to link to you. Affiliates can provide you with one-way inbound links and can greatly improve the link popularity of your site. If you have an affiliate program, make sure you get credit for your link popularity.

If you use an affiliate marketing service, most often the affiliate tracking software is maintained on the server of the affiliate marketing company. This means that the link comes to your site through a redirect from the affiliate marketing service. With a redirect, your website will not receive credit for this inbound link and therefore no link popularity benefit. So if you use a service such as Nettraction or Commission Junction, be sure you are able to gain the advantage of your inbound links. Look for sites that sell products or services that complement your offerings. If you sell "business services," a site that sells different "business services" would be a perfect affiliate. The goal is to find sites that already attract your target market, and can benefit from recommending your product or service to their visitors is the goal.
Affiliate Tracking Software

If you are willing to host your own affiliate tracking software on your website, your site can gain from the resulting one way links. By hosting the affiliate tracking software directly on your website, there is no redirect and the links will point directly to your site. Before you purchase tracking software you need to decide whether you want to run the program yourself, or whether you want to outsource it to a third party. Some of the affiliate marketing companies will manage a program on your website, but you need to check to see their software requirements. Many Affiliate Marketing companies will require that the software will support two-tier commissions. In a two-tier format, the primary commission is paid to the referring affiliate website. The second tier is a residual paid to the person or company who recruited the affiliate. This is an important aspect in affiliate marketing since building up your own affiliate network is critical to the success of your marketing effort. It is this same network that will give your website link popularity. In choosing a SEO compatible tracking software, stay away from those that use affiliate links that contain a "?". Many search engines will ignore URLs that contain a "?" since they consider these to be dynamic pages, you need to ensure that the affiliate script that you purchase generates static HTML pages for your affiliates to link to.
Linking and Content

As with any SEO linking strategy, the type of link that you get is very important. Graphical or banner links are less important toward link popularity than text links. Text links that use keywords in their anchor text (hyper linked text) give the highest value toward link popularity. To search engines, anchor text is very important. Ideally, the text links should be varied to give a more natural appearance. This is because a large number of identical text links will tend to be discounted by the search engines. Another great idea is to put together a series of articles about your product or service that can be used as content by your affiliate network. Supplying content in a building block fashion with a number of small articles will create content about your product or service that will differ from affiliate to affiliate and appear more natural to the search engines.

Affiliate Marketing can bring in direct business for a website and be part of your SEO linking strategy to get top rankings. The key is to host the affiliate tracking software on your own site. It is better to use text links and develop a process to build keywords into the anchor text and to vary the anchor text amongst your affiliate network. Choosing complementary websites is important for both SEO and Affiliate Marketing reasons.

About The Author

Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with doing business with Google. Everyone is profiting from Google, find out how you can too! Click-here:
Promote Your Websites © 2006 Promoting Webs

Small Business Podcasting Demystified

Much has been written lately about the subject of podcasting. Podcasting is a very powerful small business tool but, some are kept away because it all sounds so technical.
In this article I will attempt to simplify the subject.
Let's start with the Podcast definition from the growing resource Wikipedia: What is a podcast -
The definition provided by Wikipedia is a good place for you to start, but let me just add my take. A podcast is little more than an audio file (usually an mp3) placed on a website and combined with an RSS file that allows people to subscribe and automatically download any new content recordings.
From a technical standpoint, there's nothing really too complicated about podcasting so don't think this is some geeky tech stuff. From a marketing standpoint, I didn't get too excited about the concept until Apple decided to make a podcast directory a primary component of iTunes. When that happened the market for podcasting on any subject imaginable was born.
Podcast Basics
Podcasts are typically published with a blogging tool like Blogger, TypePad, or MovableType. If you already use one of these blog services, creating your podcast is as simple as linking to your audio files and using a service like FeedBurner to automatically convert it into a podcast friendly feed. (More on that in a minute)
Create Content
Most podcasts are formatted much like radio shows. Hosts will interview guests or simply decide to talk about a subject that they feel is of interest to someone. From a business standpoint it can be a very powerful way to produce content that will make your website more interactive.
The plumber that records simple how to fix it podcasts will own the world! (Videocasts are just around the corner too.) There are a couple other very good reasons to host a podcast that may not directly have to do with content per se. Think about interviewing your clients on the benefits of using your service and posting those interviews as a podcast. Think that might make your best client even more loyal?
What about referral partners? What if you identified business owners that also serve your target market and invited them to be guests on your podcast. My guess is that you could instantly build a network of leading businesses with you as the hub. When you publish a podcast, whether you have a local or national audience, you become a member of the media. The tables are suddenly turned when you approach prospects and influential individuals. When you are the publisher of a podcast you have the opportunïty to gain access to the decision makers inside your biggest prospects – by simply requesting an interview. Do you see the potential in that?
As I wrote earlier, a podcast is a digital recording so one of the steps you must complete for each session is to record your podcast. There are many ways to accomplish this task. You can use a portable mp3 recorder, use a service to record a telephone interview, record an interview using any number of VoIP services or create a recording set-up for your computer. (Obviously, you can go into a professional recording studio too.)
This article is not meant to explain in great detail every element of working with digital audio files but there are many ways to accomplish this step when you determine what your podcast needs are.
A great set-up for recording you own voice is to use a professional mic and a frëe software program called Audacity (Audacity has some very useful editing functions as well)
For telephone interviews you can use a service such as Conference Calls Unlimïted. CCU offers a telephone bridge line, recording, editing and hostíng of your mp3 file.
VoIP is a PC to PC or PC to telephone service led by a service called Skype. This is a particularly good option for International calls. A host of add-ons are cropping up to build even greater functionality into Skype.
EvocaGabcastSkype VoIP callingConference Calls UnlimïtedAudacity free audio recorder and editorSkype recording that interfaces with Outlook
You may find that after you conduct an interview you want to add some music or cut out segments. Again, look no further than Audacity (It's frëe and works very well).
File Host
Once you record your podcast you must upload the file to a server. There are services that offer recording and hosting options but, all you really need is enough space with your current web host to upload your mp3 files. Either way, you will simply link to the mp3 file from a blog post or web page. Below are some other options.
PodblazeOurMediaAudioblogLiberated Syndication
RSS Feed
One of things that makes a podcast something more than an mp3 file is the addition of a podcast format RSS feed. This is simply a file that is updated every time you add an mp3 file so that subscribers through iTunes or some other Podcast service can automatically download your new content.
Podcasts do require a specific kind of RSS feed but, the only thing you need to do is go to a frëe service called FeedBurner and allow them to convert your blog feed or other RSS feed to work for podcasting. They can also set your feed up the way that iTunes and Yahoo Podcast want it set-up.
FeedBurner - Enhance a blog feedFeed for all - Create a feed
Just like websites and blogs, podcasting has its own set of directories. You need to make a point of submitting your podcast or podcast feed (the one you formatted with FeedBurner) to the major podcast directories and engines.
ODEOiTunesPodcast.netSinging FishPodcast AlleyPodcast NewsYahoo PodcastDigital Podcast
Apple's Podcasting FAQsApple's Podcast technical specifications
Music and Intros
Maybe you want a cool music beat to kick off your show or a big radio voice type intro.
Royalty free musicProfessional intros and outros
Listening and Searching
You should subscribe to and listen to podcasts to get a good idea of some of the ways people are using this tool for business. You will need what is sometimes referred to as a podcatcher to subscribe. If you have iTunes you already have one. (Most of the time you can visit a podcast site and simply listen to the mp3 file if you have an mp3 player like Windows Media Player or RealPlayer installed on your computer.)
Misc. Podcast GearSearch audio files
Podcast Tutorials and Forums
PodstrigsAbout.comPodcast AlleyPodcasting NewsFeedBurner's Podcast Guide
My Set-Up
Just in case you are curious, here's how I podcast. I use Conference Calls Unlimïted to provide my recording and editing. I hook up with a guest by telephone, conduct the interview and about 24 hours later receive a link to the edited mp3 file to link to from my podcast blog.
My intro was produced my
My RSS feed was created and enhanced by FeedBurner.
There are lots of things that you can do to make your podcast even more professional. In this article I've attempted to demystify the major points and get you interested in producing your own podcast.

About The Author

Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with doing business with Google. Everyone is profiting from Google, find out how you can too! Click-here:
Promote Your Websites © 2006 Promoting Webs

Is Google No. 1 Forever

Google is without a doubt the world's number one search engine. According to the research firm Neilsen/NetRatings, Google's share of the global search market in February 2006 was 48.5%, more than double the 22.5% share its nearest rival Yahoo saw. Having been the engine of choice for nearly five years, Google is synonymous with search. Because Google is the first thing most folks think of when they think about search, it is the most important search marketing venue, at least for the vast majority of SEOs.
That might be changing in the coming years. There's a sense in the SEO sector that the horizons have expanded significantly and the search marketing map has gotten far largër. What the new landscape will look like exactly, and how large Google's footprint will be, is still unknown. The emerging online environment is still being explored, so to speak. As it is explored, it is evolving very quickly. In many ways, it feels like the early days of the commercial web where everyone knew that everything was about to change, but no one really knew exactly how.
While Google's influence is incredïble and its dominance appears unassailable, a number of newer products and changes in public perceptions have prompted subtle shifts in the habits of Internet users. Search marketers and online advertisers have started taking notice, putting more energy into helping clients understand and use tools such as blogs, images, press releases and video content as marketing devices.
The evolution of the Internet, in regards to search depends a lot on four unique groups; users, online marketers, search engine developers, and creative web developers. How each group reacts to these new user/marketing channels in the coming months and years will determine if Google's dominance is threatened. As it stands today, Google remains synonymous with search, however, users are starting to venture away from the Google brand, even if it is the most recognizable one in their minds.
A recent survey conducted by UK-based online marketing firm,
Harvest Digital (reg. req.), shows that Google is almost universally recognized as the UK's leading search engine. (When thinking about North American search engine usage, similar results are assumed to be a somewhat safe assumption.)
When asked, "What search engine do you use?" 94% of respondents said Google. 40% said they used Yahoo, 39% said Ask Jeeves and 37% said MSN.
The answer clearly shows that Google is the first thing consumers think of when asked about search but it also shows that most search engine users are looking at more sources when looking for information. It also confirms that Ask continues to enjoy high popularity in the UK, even after dropping ex-pat butler Jeeves. Of the 205-person test group, only 24% said they only used one search engine with 56% using two or three search engines.
A large group of search engine users express less than stellar expectations from their experience with search engines. There appears to be a growing dissatisfaction among UK search engine users with only 22% of the survey group stating they felt "... confident that search engines would always give them the information that they needed." More often than not, users blamed themselves when searches produced less than useful results. 36% assumed they were using the wrong keywords. 32% figured the information they were looking for was too specialized. These statements should be noted by SEOs when thinking of creative keyword targets along with alternative search venues such as vertical and local search.
Interestingly, nearly a quarter of respondents said that advertisers paying for higher position are responsible. 24% agreed with the statement, "Advertisers are paying to come top of the results", is the reason "... some searches are less successful". While the survey draws the conclusion that this is a paid-search issue, it is unclear if respondents are noting PPC ads or well-optimized sites dominating organic results.
When choosing results to click on, 60% said it is because that result appeared on the first page with 17% tending towards the top results. 32% stated the description as an important factor when choosing which search results might best match their needs. Again, 78% of them will express some sense of dissatisfaction with the results.
Ultimately, the survey tells search marketers and their advertisers to spread their focuses to see the much wider horizon. Almost one third of respondents stated their search queries are too specialized to produce successful results. This suggests there is a lot of room for adoption of more targeted search tools such as the vertical search sector and local search engines.
Google is working to cover the vertical bases with its all-in-one solution, Google Base. Several search marketing forums have noted the appearance of Google Base results in searches conducted around the travel, home salës, and automotive industries. It is assumed by many SEOs that Google is trying to see if it can take a share of the market from popular advertising boards like Craigslist and e-commerce facilitators such as eBay.
Yahoo and Google continue to compete against each other and smaller firms such as A9, Ask, and even AOL, in the race to perfect a local search model. As Internet access is integrated in smaller portable devices, local search is seen as one of the greatest growth areas for search marketing.
Other search firms are moving to explore the expansive web as well. Last month, Lycos announced it was introducing a number of self-publishing and distribution options for content creators. It recently entered the VOIP market with Lycos Phöne and today announced the release of a desktop Blog editing tool, Lycos-Qumana.
Google has another problem on its plate in regards to user loyalty. Its footprint has grown large enough that at times, it sort of steps on people's expectations in the course of its operations, as is the case with Google's relationship with the Chinese Government. While the other major search engines are active players in the Chinese market, and actively make values-based compromises their Western users might find unacceptable, Google tends to attract the majority of user outrage. That's likely because users have come to expect Google to hold itself to a higher standard, one that goes beyond compromising fair search results. A minor migration from Google happens every time the tech-press cracks a shot across Google's bow.
As Internet usage increases, and the online environment evolves through growth, search engine users are being offered more options while becoming more educated about the medium. Social networks (which enjoy enormous traffïc) such as MySpace have search features that users turn to when logged in to the network.
The goal of online marketers is to drive traffïc to client websites or documents. For search marketers, the expanding horizons can bring a bounty of business. Today, the reality is that Google is the most difficult engine to achieve a high ranking on, but it is also the most effective search marketing venue. Google is the most popular search engine and continues to drive the most traffïc.
We expect that fact to remain the same but, at the same time, we are strongly advising our clients to think about other search marketing channels. The habits of Internet users are changing as the incredïble growth of MySpace demonstrates. There is a lot of new search marketing turf out there and it is time to work towards establishing a presence there.
About The Author
Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with doing business with Google. Everyone is profiting from Google, find out how you can too! Click-here: Promote Your Websites © 2006 Promoting Webs