Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Building an Opt-in List

The money is in the list! If you are new to e-commerce this statement may not make any sense to you just yet... but it will. What we mean by it is that many people with ecommerce websites make more money by mailing the contacts on their opt-in list, than they do from their normal, day-in-day-out web site traffic.

This topic is much too big to cover in this blog posting but suffice it to say that if you are in the ecommerce field you should be building an opt-in list. Let's say you have 500 visitors a day that visit your site. Once they leave they may never come back again. That means that you have lost 500 potential customers. However, if you develop an opt-in list strategy for your site, and begin to capture email address of visitors that visit, they you have a way, virtually free, to recontact these potential customers forever. Over time, as you build your list, you may have thousands, tens of thousands or even millions of emails address on your opt-in list, which you can mail at will - so long as you don't abuse the list by sending spam.

Let me give you a concrete example. I mailed two of my lists an offer to buy a competitors product this month. We were selling the product and being paid a commission by this company as an affiliate. The two lists combined totaled about 50K names. I generated just over $4000 in commissions from this effort. This should begin to give you an idea of why the money is in the list.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Google Support - It does exist....!

Google is such a force in on WWW that web marketers must deal with them. If you don't you're giving up on more than 50% of your market. That being said Google can be arrogant, or at least certainly appear to be. Today I had a positive experience with their support for Adwords that I want to pass on.

Over the years when I wanted support, I have used their email support system. At best this has been frustrating... at worst, I would call it a disaster. The problem is simple ... when you send a support request and ask a question, Google doesn't answer it.. they send you a bunch of FAQ's. Okay, you may being thinking, that's not all bad for a first response... and I would agree... that probably is acceptable for a first response. BUT not for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th response!! That's right. I recently tested their system.. and after their first response, I wrote back and told them that the answer wasn't in the FAQ's and I need someone to give me a specific answer to my question. No such luck, just more FAQ's. After five times I finally gave up.

The answer to the Google run around is pretty simple. Google has a chat based support. Use it, because when you ask these people a direct question, you get a direct answer... not a fistful of FAQ's thrown in your face.

Friday, March 20, 2009

All Too Common SEO Misconception

I was on the phone a couple of days ago with the web designer of one of my consulting clients. We were talking about search engine optimization (SEO). He made the comment that although not a lot of the pages on the site were well ranked, these pages were search engine friendly and rankings could be achieved with the tweaking of the meta tags. Wrong!

Metatags are not utilized by Google, Yahoo or MSN for purposes of ranking in any signficant way. It would be nice if it were that easy -- and ten years ago when I first started it was ALMOST that easy, but no more.

Hey, I am never going to be a web designer, but web designers should either learn the fundamentals of online marketing and SEO or they should leave it to those of us that do it for a living.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Step 1 after creating a new site

After creating your new web site, a very important first step is to have Google verify your site. To do this you need to create a google account if you don't already have one, and then log into it and select the Web Master's Tools link.

Within Webmaster Tools, Google provides a number of features, some of which we may discuss later. However, the one I want to focus on today is the verification of your website. Before you can do this you will need to add your website to your account. For example, my website, is www.netbizassist.com. From the Dashboard, within Webmaster Tools, you will see a prompt to add a new website. This is where I type in my domain name: www.netbizassist.com .

After adding your website, you will see the URL appear in the account, and you will also see a link to verify this URL. To do this, you will need to select one of the two options provided by Google. These are: 1. Add a unique page to your site using a page name google supplies, or 2. Add a unique metatag to your existing home (AKA index) page. Once you have done this, you click the verify link for this site within your Webmaster Tools account and Google will verify the existence of your site, and it will tell you if it has sucessfully done this.

The reason it is important to add your website and verify it within Google Webmaster Tools is to ensure that Google knows your website exists and adds it to the list of sites to be crawled. Though this is not absolutely necessary, as Google will likely find your site and crawl it anyway, this ensures that they will, and when you are dealing with the most popular and important search engine on the NET you want to be absolutely certain that it has indexed your site.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This blog was built for customer and visitors of NetBizAssist.com, but anyone interested in learning about building an online web presence is invited to join us.

I will try to post once a week- and each week touch on a topic related the internet - sales, marketing, outsourcing, e-commerce, blacklisting, code signing, hosting, etc. the list is almost endless. If you have a suggestion for a specific topic, please let me know - and will consider discussing it.