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Basic Link Structure within a Site

This is probably the most obvious, but certainly one of the most overlooked aspects of search engine optimization.  This helps to make sure that search engine spiders can actually find (crawl) all of your site’s pages.  But if they can not find them, then they won’t get spidered, and this means that they won’t get indexed.  In fact, no amount of search engine optimization you try will help.

Below are some points that should be taken note of in respect of link structure for your site –

Spiders can not see links which are accomplished by JavaScript.  This is because, as far as search engines will be concerned, they do not exist.  So if you want spiders to follow the links on your site, do not use JavaScript.  In fact, you will find that Google will not spider any URL if it looks like it has a session ID in it.  So any URL’s that have a longish number or odd characters (such as a question mark) in them should be avoided (these are often dynamic URL’s).

It is important that you make sure that all pages link to at least one other page.  Pages which do not link out are known as “dangling links”.  It is important that you structure the internal links so that targeted search terms are reinforced.  So make sure that you organize your links so that your topic’s sub-topic pages are linked to it (ensuring that you use the right link text that is specific to the page being linked to) and vice versa.  See below for the different types of methods we mean.

Link Text (<a href=”URL”>Keyword</a>

This is one of the 2 most important elements to ensure good rankings for a site.  It can either be on pages within the site or on other sites’ pages.  But whichever way you do it, it is important that it is included.  It is vital that you include the target page’s main search term in the link text.  Also, whenever possible, do not use identical text for every link that links to a page.  But if you can include the target page’s main search term in the link text instead.

In fact, links will carry more weight with search engines if the text around them is concerned with the target page’s topic and search term(s).

Title Tag <title>some title words</title>

This is probably a second most important element in order to get good rankings for a site.  It is important that you make sure the page’s search term is contained within this tag.  So place it as near to the front as possible while ensuring that the title reads well.  In fact, there is nothing wrong with you placing the search term up front on its own and then follow it with a period such as “Domain Authority. What is Domain Authority and how do I make the most of it?”  As you can see, the target search term here is of course “Domain Authority”.  But what you should obviously do is make sure that each page’s title tag is different from the title tags on your site’s other pages.

Description Tag <meta name=”description” content=”a nice description”>

You will find that some search engines, such as Google no longer display the description like they use to.  But no matter what, you should include this on each page for those search engines that do.  There are even the odd times when Google will actually display them.  So it is vital that you write a description that is appealing and incorporates the page’s search term into it at least once but preferably twice is better.  So if you can, place one at the start or as near to the start of the description as possible.

Keywords Tag <meta=”keywords” content=”some keywords”>

It is important to remember that the keywords tag is never actually treated by search engines as keywords.  They will be treated as text on a page.  Although this tag is not effective as it used to be, there is no reason to leave it out.  Instead, make sure that you put in plenty of relevant keywords and include the search term once at the front of the tag. Also, you do not need to separate keywords or key phrases with commas (as is often done) as search engines ignore these.

H Tag <Hn>some heading words</Hn>

The “n” in this tag represents a number from 1 to 6.  The biggest heading is represented by 1.  You will find that H tags are given more weight than ordinary text in a page, and so the bigger the H size, the more weight it will have.  So it is important that you include your target search term in the H tags at least once on the page, but if possible two or three times is even better.  Also, place your first H Tag as near to the top of the site page as possible.

Bold Text

This gives more weight to a page than ordinary text, but not as much as an H Tag does.  So where ever possible, enclose the search term in bold tags occasionally where it appears on the page.

Normal Text

Whenever possible, use the search term as often as you can on the pages of your site.  But ensure that they do not detract from how the page actually reads.  Ensure that you use the term once or twice in the very early pages of the body text, and then as often as possible throughout.  If you need to, reword small parts and add sentences to ensure that the search term is well represented in the text for good search engine optimization.

But you will probably find that each word you have in your search term will be found separately on the page.  So, if you need to, add a few of them throughout the page.

Alt Text <img src=”url” alt=”some alt text which is displayed or mouseover”>

Include your search term in the alt text of all images on your pages.  It is important to remember that some systems, such as those used by Braille readers and speech synthesizers, use the alt text.  So it may be advisable to make them usable while including the search term.

So in summary what you need to do is as follows:-

  1. Select the main search terms you wish to use.
  2. Allocate these search terms to a suitable existing page, and if you need to, split pages.
  3. Organize your internal links, and then link text, to suit the target search terms and their pages.
  4. If you can, organize those links from other pages to suit the target search terms and their pages also.
  5. Now organize all the on page elements in order that they suit each page’s target search term.
  6. Finally, now sit back and watch your site’s page rankings begin to improve.

Writing Your Welcome Autoresponder

Your welcome autoresponder is your crucial chance to make a first impression on your reader. If you have a great welcome message, subscribers will read it, be impressed by the quality and continue to open your emails in the future. With a poor welcome message, they may very well never open your emails again.

Before we go over what makes a great welcome message, let’s go over some all-too-common mistakes that people make in their welcome messages.

=> What Not to Put in Your Welcome Message

First of all, never send a welcome message that basically just says “Thank you for joining.” When you do, you’re wasting valuable on-screen real estate by saying almost nothing. You’re also wasting your reader’s time.

You should also NOT sell in your first email. Selling in your first email immediately gives a poor impression and may very likely burn out your subscriber right then and there.

These two points really go without saying, but many email lists – as many as 50% in some markets – make one of these two mistakes. Do not send contentless first emails and do not send sales emails as a welcome message.

=> What Makes a Great Welcome Message

First of all, your welcome message needs to have stellar content in it. This content can be right in the email, or it can be a downloadable report, MP3 or hidden web page on your site.

The content should be some of your best. Remember, this is your chance to make a first impression. Whatever tips, advice or expertise you have to offer your readers, put as much of it up front as you can.

In addition to having great content, it’s important to let users know what to expect in the future. What kind of content can they expect in their mailbox? How often will you mail them? This first email is a great place to set expectations.

Finally, set them up for the next email. Finish off with a bang by telling them what your next autoresponder message will be about. Make sure to use benefit-driven language so they know exactly what’s in it for them by opening your next email.

If you can get a subscriber to open the first email, read a report and open the next email, you’ll most likely have a reader for life as long as you provide great content and don’t oversell.

The basic formula is this. The first email sets up expectations for future emails while providing valuable content right up front and demonstrating that you really know what you’re talking about. Set the impression that they’ll get something of value by opening your emails, by delivering high-value content the moment they get your first email.

Related Posts:

  1. Creating an attractive value hook for ezine
  2. How to write attention-grabbing titles

Comparison of AWeber, iContact, and GetResponse

Aweber, iContact, and GetResponse are three of the most popular autoresponder options for small to medium-sized marketers. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each? Who should you use? This article will shed some light on each service to help you make your choice.

=> Costs

In general, the costs of each service are all on par. AWeber tends to be slightly more expensive than iContact and GetResponse, though just by a few dollars a month.

Each service tiers up their costs based on how many subscribers you have. It’s important to note that AWeber counts unsubscribed leads as subscribers that you have to pay for. If you want to really get rid of a lead, you need to delete them from your database.

=> Deliverability

AWeber has the strongest reputation in the industry for deliverability. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this.

The clearest benefit is that your emails have the highest chance of getting delivered. That said, iContact and GetResponse both have top-notch teams of email managers who stay in constant contact with ISPs to ensure their mail gets delivered.

The downside of high deliverability is AWeber’s pickiness with how their email system is used. They have to be very stringent to ensure that no spam is being sent through their system, which unfortunately can sometimes bar you from genuine marketing activities.

=> Adding Outside Leads

AWeber and GetResponse both don’t allow you to add outside leads, even if they’ve double-opted into a list in the past.

If you’re moving from an existing database to a new email system, you basically cannot move to AWeber or GetResponse as a result. If you run in-person events and need to add leads from people who sign up on paper, you also can’t do this by AWeber or GetResponse.

IContact allows you to import outside leads.

=> Who Not to Use

Never use your shopping cart’s email system to manage your email lists. 1ShoppingCart, for example, has a pretty bad reputation for deliverability.

Even self-hosted shopping carts like Zen Cart have their limitations. For one, the emails are sent out from your server, whose IP address could have been used for spam in the past. You also don’t have the benefit of having a team helping you ensure that your IP isn’t getting blocked.

Always use an outside system for your email list management for best deliverability. The only exception is Infusionsoft, which will give you a dedicated IP and server.

Another service to avoid for internet marketing is MailChimp. Though many marketers are attracted to their “first 500 subscribers free” offer, their mandatory double-opt-in will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Though they have a solid reputation, unless you’re willing to lose as much as 60% of your list to double-opt-in, you shouldn’t use MailChimp.

These are some of the pros and cons of the various autoresponder services. As you can tell, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to which email service to use. Weigh the pros and cons and make your own decision.

Related Posts:

1. Creating an attractive hook for your ezine
2. How to write attention-catching titles
3. Writing your welcome Autoresponder

When and How Often to Send Emails

When’s the optimal time to email your list? What’s the optimal frequency? These are two key factors in running a well-read and responsive email list.

Email at the wrong times and your emails either won’t get opened or your sales letters won’t convert. Email at the wrong frequency and you risk either burning your list out by emailing too much or not building a solid relationship by not emailing enough.

=> When to Email: Days of the Week

For having your emails read, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to work well for a professional audience.

On the weekends, most professionals either don’t check their emails, or check their emails but only skim non-essential emails. It’s their days off, after all.

Fridays they’re looking forward to the weekend and Mondays they’re just getting back into the groove of work. Therefore, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to work well.

On the other hand, for a non-professional audience, the best open rates can often be the reverse. On weekends they’re less likely to check their emails because they’re out with friends, while on weekdays they have more time to read emails carefully.

As for sales emails, marketers often find that Sundays work well for conversions. People tend to do more active activities on Saturday and spend Sundays in a more leisurely way, often browsing the internet and may be more susceptible to a great sales effort.

Another tip is to time your sales emails to be a day or two after payday, on the 1st and 15th of each month. At these times people have a bit of spare cash that they may feel more willing to part with. The 15th, 16th and 17th are especially good dates because your readers are getting paychecks, without having to also pay end-of-the-month bills that the paycheck on the 1st usually comes with.

=> When to Email: Time of Day

In general, it is best to send your emails either early in the morning or after work.

If you send your emails early in the morning, the time it so your readers receive your emails before 7 am Eastern Standard Time. That way, when they check their emails as they get to work in the morning, your email will be in their inbox.

Alternatively, you can wait for people to get home before delivering your email. In that case, aim for your emails to be delivered around 5 pm.

Having your emails delivered in the middle of a workday is generally a bad idea. People are busy and will either not read the email, or just briefly skim it before deleting it. Aim for times when people have a bit more attention to devote to reading your emails.

=> How Often to Email

How often you send your emails depends on the length of your emails, the commitment of your list and your personal ability to consistently generate quality content.

If your emails are relatively short, your list wants to hear what you have to say and you have the time to produce a ton of content, then you can email as often as five times a week.

On the other hand, if you tend to produce long emails (or videos), or your list is subscribed to many other lists and just reads yours in a cursory way and you personally don’t love generating content, then you might just want to email once a week.

There are successful lists that don’t email very often at all, as well as successful lists that email very often. The best frequency depends more on you and your list than any specific rule of thumb.

When and how often to email are two things you’ll want to think about before you even start your list. Once you start emailing, people will generally expect the same frequency and perhaps even delivery times. So make your choices early on and stick to them, so people can get used to receiving content from you at specific intervals.

Related Posts:

1. The Art of Using Email to Sell
2. How to Write Attention-Catching Titles
3. Tips for Successful Email Campaigns
4. Creating an Attractive “Hook” for Your Ezine
5. Comparison of AWeber, iContact, and GetResponse
6. Writing Your Welcome Autoresponder

The Art of Using Email to Sell

Selling by email is different than selling on a sales page. Sales letters have to work under the impression that they have just one shot to make a sale and have to hammer in all the benefits and go for an instant close. Email, on the other hand, has the benefit of a relationship and ongoing contact.

Here are a few choice tips on how to use email to sell effectively.

=> Relationship First, Sales Second

Aim to first build trust and reader loyalty. This is what will get your emails opened time after time. Once your emails are getting opened and you have your reader’s trust, then you can safely make sale after sale without alienating your list.

If you sell too much without first building trust, readers are more likely to tune out than buy.

So how do you build this trust?

Provide first class, unique, original content that directly benefits the reader. Every time they read an email from you or buy a product from you, they should be better off. Do this consistently and readers will start to believe in you and your products.

=> Using Multiple-Email Sales Techniques

As mentioned earlier, email allows you to use tactics that just don’t work with sales letters.

One of these is the Problem > Problem > Problem > Solution formula. Simply put, you send a series of emails about just the problem without offering a solution (yet). You can provide a lot of value by just explaining the problem. Then you finally offer an innovative and powerful solution.

For example, say you run an investment newsletter. You might send this series of emails:

1) Why most people can’t beat the stock market index
2) Why most people choose poor money managers
3) Why most people can’t retire by 60 even if they manage their investments right

Then, in the fourth email, you finally reveal your product about smart investing.

If you have a strong readership, by the time readers get your “solution” email they’ll be dying to get their hands on the product. Build up the problem while providing value, then provide the solution when they’re already ready to buy.

=> Other Email Sales Tactics

Another effective way of generating sales is to use teleseminars. Use a teleseminar to demonstrate knowledge in a particular arena, and then use emails to follow up and close the sale.

Finally, every once in a while offer a sale. Perhaps it’s your birthday sale or a favorite day of the year sale; whatever the reason is, just a few times a year offer a sale of 15% to 30% off. You’ll make much more than the amount you lose on discounts.

These are just a few tactics that can help you increase your email sales. Start by building the relationship with your list; then use one of these methods to bring in a nice stream of sales.

Related Posts:

How to Write Attention-Catching Titles
Writing Your Welcome Autoresponder
Comparison of AWeber, iContact, and GetResponse

Tips for Successful Email Campaigns

If you’re launching a new product or going for a special sales push, there are a few things you can do that’ll virtually guarantee a higher response rate. These things include split testing email headlines, amping up excitement before the launch and taking advantage of the “crowd effect.”

Here’s more about each of these tips.

=> Email Split Testing

The most modern list management software will allow you to split test headlines. Furthermore, you can segment out your list and send emails to only a portion of your list.

If you’re doing a big, important product launch, it can often pay to do something like this:

Create two different headlines, or even completely different emails. Then segment out 25% of your list and split test those two different emails to just that 25% of your list.

Once you have the results from that initial test, send the winner out to the remaining 75% of your list.

Naturally, you should also be split testing landing pages and other factors throughout your campaign.

=> The Tease > Tease > Tease > One Time Offer Formula

One proven formula for successful product launches involves really getting the excitement level about the new product up, then creating a very limited supply.

For example, you might briefly mention on your blog that something big is coming up. You might then write an email detailing the problem, hinting that there’s a solution coming up without telling your readers what it is.

Then, you do an interview with another well-known person in your industry, again talking about the problem and how amazing it would be if it were solved. You excitedly tell the audience about your new product that’s soon coming out.

You just keep building up the excitement and mystery, releasing just a little bit of new information with every post.

Finally, when you release the product, there will already be a ton of excitement around it. If you combine this with a One Time Offer to create scarcity, your conversion rate will go through the roof.

=> Take Advantage of the Crowd Effect

The crowd effect simply states that people are more likely to do something when others are doing it. In other words, if a person knows that a lot of other people are rushing to buy a product, they’re more likely to want to buy as well.

How can you take advantage of this?

First of all, creating an active blog, chat room or message board where people can talk about your product or post that they just bought is a great first step.

Recruiting affiliates in your space is another great way. If someone gets one email about your product launch, they may ignore it. But if they get emails for five different people, especially people they trust, then they’ll definitely have to check it out.

Contests are another great way. For example, ask everyone to post a video about why they love the new product. The winner gets all your products, video and audio, loaded on a free iPad. You’ll get a great surge of responses, creating the impression that you have many buyers.

These are just guidelines and examples. Come up with your own specific ways of creating the sense that a lot of people are rushing to buy.

These three things: scientific split testing, the tease, and scarcity tactic and the crowd effect are all powerful methods to help increase your response in any email product launch or campaign.

Related Posts:

Comparison of AWeber, iContact, and GetResponse
Opt-In Page Tips for Maximum Sign-Ups
The Art of Using Email to Sell
Creating an Attractive “Hook” for Your Ezine