Sunday, June 21, 2009

Advanced operators for keyword selection

Just a thought on keyword selection: An effective way of checking how much competition there is for a certain keyword is to use Google's advanced operators. There are quite a few of these, but three of the best are "inurl", "inanchor" and "intitle".

If you just use these on keywords you're interested in optimizing a page for, you'll get some very valuable information. Basically, if there are heaps of results coming back when each operator is applied, then it might be very hard (or impossible) to compete for that keyword. But if there aren't so many, you should start ranking highly for them quite easily.

Of course it's hard to tell exactly what the threshold number is, but I found from experience of using one keyword on a site that even though there were tens of thousands of results for each operator search for it, I still ended up on page one in the SERPs. I think that the reason was that the keyword was in my url, the title and in my link building campaign (that is, frequently in the anchor text of the links I'd placed on other sites). These had a cumulative effect, I believe.

So, my advice is to choose some keywords that you really want to use, check that they have reasonable search volume, then apply these operators. Then just optimize for the ones with the lowest competition, making sure to have it in the URL, the title and in the anchor text of your backlinks to your page.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Adwords, Clicksor, Bidvertiser, Adtoll

I have been using various contextual ad networks to promote one of my sites. It's difficult to judge results accurately, since if you're getting search engine traffic as well as paying for clicks you don't know exactly where most of your leads are coming from. That said, you can see some trends emerging, and make reasonable conclusions from them.

So, from what I can tell, Clicksor seems to be one of the better ones. Bidvertiser works okay. Adtoll is a smaller network, and delivers hits much more slowly. But it seems to deliver good traffic. I will use all of these sites again.

I have used "run of network" ads with Adengage, but the clicks were delivered super fast and I didn't get many signups from them at all. I won't use this site again.

I've just started with Adwords. That's more involved and I'm still getting my head around it but it appears to be working very well. However, to get clicks you have to pay quite a bit more than you do with the other networks I've mentioned. But those clicks do seem to be much more likely to convert than all the others. So, definitely worth it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sauropol and DevHub

Just found two more free web hosts that appear to have very effective website building tools that require no specific training or knowledge. They are Sauropol and DevHub.

The way things are going, there'll be a lot of highly paid web designers (and promoters) who'll be out of work by year's end!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inconsistent results

I've been promoting an Australian property investment affiliate program lately. It requires that the affiliate brings visitors to a page that offers a free DVD. Once the visitor orders a DVD, he or she is associated with that particular affiliate. The affiliate receives a cut of any services that lead might buy in the future.

Lately, I've been promoting it through flyers. I've found that to be a very effective method of lead generation, since it certainly brings in geo-targeted traffic.

A couple of weeks ago I distributed a few hundred of these flyers in what was a working class area in Sydney's inner west. Soon afterward I checked my stats and saw that I'd got four new leads.

I was enthused by this, so recently I have been distributing many more flyers. This time I chose areas that were a bit more upmarket, since I figured people living there would be more likely to get into property investment. I must have done at least 1500 over this period. While I have received some clicks to the site itself, none of them have yet converted into leads.

I haven't a clue why this has happened. I thought it might have been the stats program itself. Maybe there was a glitch? But I doubt it, because I checked by typing in the URL myself in an internet lounge. Sure enough, that click subsequently appeared in the stats.

I think it's got something to do with the weather. We have had many miserable, wet days lately. And even when it's been clear here in Sydney, it's been extremely cold. Perhaps this just makes people more withdrawn; less likely to investigate new things? Or perhaps it's just that I was exceedingly lucky before? I'm not sure.

Just goes to show that you can never be certain about these things. You can't second guess the public. They'll just do what they want to do!