Search Engine Optimization Basics: How Search Engines Work

To succeed in search engine optimization, you have to understand how search engines work.

A search engine is an information retrieval system which is designed to find information stored on any kind of computer system, whether it be an office network or the World Wide Web.

A search engine allows the user to ask for desired information by specifying a word or phrase and retrieves a list of all items in its database that contain the specific word or phrase. Usually, the results list is arranged with respect to relevancy to the original search. Search engines regularly update their databases and retrieve desired information quickly and efficiently. Read more

Introduction To Affiliate Marketing

How would you like complimentary businesses to recommend and promote your products and you only pay them if a sale or lead is generated?

That’s what affiliate marketing is all about.

It is a marketing method whereby you reward third parties (known as affiliates) for every visitor, subscriber, customer and/or sale that they send to your website.

The types of compensation available:

  1. Pay per sale: The affiliate gets a percentage of the sale.
  2. Pay per click: The affiliate gets paid for every click on your ad.
  3. Pay per lead: The affiliate gets paid a specific amount per lead generated. Read more

Introduction To Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click advertising (also know as PPC advertising) is a form of advertisement where you only pay if your prospects click on it.

That’s right. If your prospects see your ad but do NOT click on it, you don’t pay.

These ads can usually be seen on search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo. The ads are called “Sponsored links” or “Sponsored ads” depending on which search engine you are using. They will appear next to or above the results of the original search.

Obviously, the higher the ad’s placement on the results page, the higher the chances of it being seen and clicked on.

So, to determine the ranking of the ads, advertisers have to bid on the “keywords” that they think their prospects would type in search engines when they are looking for a specific product or service.

There are currently more than 500 pay per click search engines. However, the top ten search engines produce over 85% of pay per click searches. Bidding for ad space on these search engines is extremely competitive resulting in higher advertising costs. The top three pay per click search engines that you should focus on are:

  1. Google AdWords
  2. Yahoo! Search Marketing
  3. Microsoft adCenter

Types Of Pay Per Click Advertising

There are several types of pay per click advertising.

1. The most popular form of PPC advertising is keyword advertising. The keywords that are bid on can be words, phrases, or even model numbers. The advertisements will appear in the order of the bid amount, from highest to lowest.

2. Product pay per click advertising lets advertisers provide “feeds” of their product databases to search engines. When users search for a product, advertisers’ links will appear with the highest bidder appearing most prominently. The user is able to sort by price and then click on a feed to make a purchase.,, Nextag, and are popular product comparison engines, also known as price comparison engines.

3. Service pay per click advertising is very similar to product PPC ads. “Service engines”, such as Nextag, SideStep and TripAdvisor, offer advertisers the opportunity to provide feeds of their service databases which will appear when users search for that particular service. As usual, advertisers who pay more are given better ad placement. However, users can sort their results by price or other methods.

4. Pay per call advertising is similar to pay per click advertising. Ads are listed in search engines and directories. Publishers charge local advertisers for each call they receive as a result of their listing. This form of advertising is not just limited to local advertisers as many of the pay per call search engines allow nationwide companies to create advertisements with local telephone numbers.

Advantages Of PPC Advertising

  1. Pay per click can generate traffic immediately.
  2. Pay per click ads can be adjusted within hours or days in response to market behavior.
  3. Pay per click advertising can be a bargain if you choose your keywords wisely.
  4. Pay per click can guarantee ad placement for a relatively small portion of your marketing budget.

Disadvantages Of PPC Advertising

  1. It is very easy to get caught up in a bidding war over keywords and spend way more than you could ever recoup.
  2. The return on your investment can be very hard to measure. Some PPC search engines provide customers with measurement tools but they aren’t always accurate. Most of the smaller PPC companies don’t even provide tracking methods.
  3. You can spend advertising dollars just to generate junk traffic. PPC services distribute some of their results to other search engines allowing your listing to show up in the nether regions of the Internet.
  4. PPC advertising requires you to pay more money when more traffic is generated. On the other hand, natural search engine optimization allows you to invest a set amount of time and money to achieve a better rank and your cost will go down as you attract more traffic.

How To Format Your Press Releases

While hiring a publicist is preferable, you need to know the basic format and important characteristics of a press release. In order to be considered for inclusion in the news, the following characteristics must be present.

  • Newsworthy: Evaluate the news medium where the release will be sent. Make sure that the subject matches the typical content of this particular news outlet.
  • Journalistic writing style: Your press release needs to be written in the style of a journalist so that it is ready to be published.
  • Meet the deadline: If a news outlet has a deadline for receiving content, meet it. Late press releases will not be considered.
  • Concise: Use short sentences. Paragraphs should contain only three to four sentences. Use subheads, bulleted lists, make keywords bold to create an easy-to-read document.

A good press release will use keywords in the title and then repeat them in the opener, the body and the bio. The body of the text is often written in an inverted pyramid style, so the most important information is at the top. The goal is to answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

Your press release should include:

  • Contact Information: Usually found on the top left-hand corner of the page. Include your complete contact information (name, address, phone, e-mail and fax) to enable the reporter to contact you at any time. The reporter may have questions. So, make it easy for her to reach you.
  • Date: Typically on the right-hand side of the page, one line lower than the end of the contact information.
  • Release Date: Directly underneath the date, explain when the information should be released. (Example: “For Immediate Release”)
  • Headline: Just like a newspaper article, include a headline. This is typically in all capital letters and underlined.
  • Dateline: Include the location of the story. Some publicists choose to include the date here rather than at the top of the page.
  • Body: The main paragraphs of the text.
  • Call To Action: Include briefly at the end of the text an action that you want the readers to take. It can be as simple as directions to visit a website for further information.
  • Bio: A short paragraph describing your company. Prepare a short paragraph that generically explains who you are. A bio is NOT about boasting. You could also direct the reader to resources with a link to your company’s website. Write a custom bio for each press release, tailored to that particular subject.
  • Slug: This item is located at the bottom of the page to indicate the end of the story. If the story continues to a new page, use “-more-” to convey this message. When the story reaches an end, denote it with “-###-” or “-30-“.

Always, double check for spelling errors, grammar mistakes and factual errors. Finally, make sure you send the press release to the appropriate person.

How To Get Popular YouTube Videos To Promote Your Website

Here’s an idea that just came to my head.

1. Find YouTube videos relevant to your market that has a high number of views, subscribers and external links.

For example, if you have a website about dancing, look for the twenty most popular dance videos on YouTube.

2. Contact the account holders and offer to buy their account.

Most YouTube users are just posting videos for fun. So if you offer money for something that they consider worthless, they may just accept your offer.

3. Add your link to the video’s description.

Once you’ve taken over an account, add your site’s URL to the description and watch your traffic grow. Of course, you should also insert a tracking link so that you can monitor the effectiveness of your strategy.

And make sure you insert a live link.

For more unusual traffic strategies, do check out the Startup Rebel Competitive Magic course. It’ll teach you how to compete for traffic against competitors with bigger budgets.

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