Monthly Archives: November 2009

Google Caffeine & New Ranking Factors – Plus Some Black Friday Special Discounts

BWMagic’s Internet Marketing News!


…….
Contents:


o Google Caffeine & New Ranking Factors


o Some Black Friday & Cyber Monday Special Discounts/Sales

…….

Since most of the people who usual read this will either be still
celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday or out shopping, I will try
and keep this newsletter very short.

Since Google told everyone about Google Caffeine last summer and
gave us a Sandbox URL where we could check our sites and rankings
in Google’s new search engine, I have been very concerned about how
all these changes will affect my sites and rankings. You should also
be very concerned about it too!

Actually, I have become a bit obsessed with it mainly because I am a
full time search engine marketer and my livelihood depends on achieving
high rankings in Google.

Now, that Caffeine URL has been closed by Google, (www2.sandbox.google.com)
but one datacenter is now using the Caffeine search results. After
the holidays, Google will roll out the full version of Caffeine.

Needless to say, major updates in Google can be devastating for
online marketers and webmasters if your keywords disappear from
the first page listings. Many online marketers are holding their
breaths and wondering just what Caffeine will bring…

I have written a rather long article (sorry) on this whole
issue and given my views on Caffeine. Keep in mind, this is my
own observations of how my keywords reacted in the Sandbox URL,
no doubt, Google has made adjustments since then and what actually
happens with the full version of Google’s “Next Generation” search
engine goes live… is anyone’s guess. But you can find my views
on Caffeine and what it could mean for your site and keywords here:

Google Caffeine Ranking Factors

…………………………………..
Black Friday & Cyber Monday
…………………………………..

If you’re a regular reader of this ezine you will also know I am
a full-time affiliate marketer. I make my living from selling other
people’s stuff – mostly electronics and corporate business gifts.

All this week, I have been gathering all the major discounts
and deals my affiliate companies are offering… and placing
them on my sites. It’s been rather hectic but there are some
great deals from top-brand name companies… Apple, HP, Dell,
Lenovo, Alienware… as well as some big online retailers like
Amazon, Buy.com, MacMalls, Geeks.com… you can save a lot
of money by using these coupons and discount links. We will
be updating these coupons/discounts thru Black Friday/Cyber
Monday as new deals come online.

Anyway if you’re in the market for some gifts or you just like
getting some great bargains check out these pages:

Cheap Laptops

Dell Notebook Coupons

HP Laptop Coupons

If you’re in interested buying gifts try:

Corporate Business Gifts

And Blu-ray Players are a really hot items this year and
you can get special deals and discounts here:

Bluray dvd Players

Kind Regards,
Titus
www.bizwaremagic.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

Gearing Up For Black Friday & Cyber Monday – Some Marketing Strategies

Gearing Up For Black Friday & Cyber Monday – Some Marketing Strategies

BWMagic’s Internet Marketing News!

No doubt if you have a website where you’re selling products
or you’re into affiliate marketing like me, next week and the
days following it will be very important to your bottom line.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are very busy shopping days in
the real world and online.

Each year, for the last 4 or 5 years, I have seen my online sales
jump on those days… actually sales have already picked up for my
sites since I mainly sell high ticket custom electronic goods
which have to be configed to the buyer’s requirements so buyers
like to order early to make sure they get them by Christmas.

In this Newsletter, I thought I would give you a run-down of some
of the things (marketing tactics) I am using to bring in more
sales. Keep in mind, I am doing affiliate marketing (selling other
people’s stuff – I make no direct sales from my sites – all I do
is refer potential buyers to my affiliate partners via my
affiliate links) and it is the kind of marketing and lifestyle
that I prefer.

Now, you too, should be gearing up for the big selling days
next week and beyond.

Here are some things or marketing tactics I do every year.

1. I review all my affiliate links and web pages to make
sure my content and links are up to date. Mainly because I
don’t want to lose any commissions but also because Google
is taking a hard line with it comes to broken links which breaks
down the quality of your content and their index. Make sure
you check all your links to see if they are good. If you have
a small site – a free service like LinkTiger.com will help
you find the broken links.

Key up or ramp up your own marketing… put out extra articles,
do press releases, run sales if you’re selling your own product,
release videos to coincide with the big shopping weekend. I am
planning on doing all of those things.

3. Increase your advertising budget. Buy special advertising
such as links on popular sites, order special ezine mailings
to targeted groups. Also, I always increase my PPC (Pay Per Click)
advertising at this time of year. People are shopping and your
conversion rates will be much higher – at least that is what
I find.

4. Coupons, Coupons, Coupons – all the major companies have
special discounts, sales and coupons for the holidays… make
sure you’re featuring them on your site or sites. Buyers will
expect big discounts on those days and if your site doesn’t
carry or offer them your buyers will go elsewhere. Collect all
the best deals and discounts and make special mailings to all
your lists. Many marketers also make a special page on their
site featuring all the major Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals.
Everyone loves getting a bargain.

5. Use or sell major brand names with your online marketing,
I have constantly found promoting big brand name companies like
Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony… always do better because buyers
respect and trust those companies and their products. Also
I have found using big brand name retailers like Amazon.com
bring in many more sales – again, buyers respect and trust
Amazon and your sales will reflect this fact.


Those five marketing tactics have worked for me and here are some of
my most effective marketing strategies which are a little more
complex and detailed.


1. Leveraging your keyword rankings. Around this time each year
I do a close check of all my top rankings in Google. I choose
the ones that will return the most revenue. I place most of
my ramped up marketing efforts on these keywords – making
sure I have found and listed all the best deals and discounts.
Also the price of the affiliate products and my commission rates
play a big part in which keywords I increase my marketing on.
For example, high ticket items like gaming laptops give very
good returns, whereas small items such as laptop cleaning kits
do not. It’s only common sense as to which one I will be
promoting heavily at this time of year.

2. Sell what people are buying. You really have to do some
market research and find the hot items everyone is buying.
This doesn’t really have to be heavy duty research, just using
something like Google Trends will give you a pretty good
idea. So too is checking out lists of popular items such
as those presented on major sites like CNN, Time… I am
sure we all have read these kinds of lists – such as “Top 10
High-tech Holiday Gifts” just use them to find the
hot items this year.

3. Comparison Shopping The Internet was invented so that
people could do comparison shopping! Well, not really, but
using comparison shopping prices and charts will increase
your sales. Keeping track and getting all the best deals
and discounts can be tedious and time-consuming. Many online
marketers use services such as those presented by comparison
shopping services provided by sites like this one:

www.datafeedfile.com

It sends out data-feeds and the latest deals and offers
are presented on your site. This is great if you’re not
really into affiliate marketing but want to monetize
your site or content. Only catch this site takes every
fourth click in return for using it’s services. Still
a good arrangement especially if you don’t have the time
or resources to pull all this pricing data on your own.

4. Buyer’s Mindset You probably already know this one
but you should make it your objective to find the buyer
at the exact time someone has their mind made up and are
ready to buy. That one of the main reasons Black Friday
and Cyber Monday are such great shopping days. Everybody
and their grandmother has been convinced by all the
major retailers those days is the time to start buying
your holiday gifts and everyone does. Along those same
lines, PPC and keyword marketers take advantage of this
right buying mindset by tarketing certain keywords that
show buyers are ready to buy. For example, something
as obvious as someone searching for the price or lowest
price for a product means they are more ready to buy
then someone just searching for a general product.

5. The Gifts Angle This is a marketing strategy I have
been using for years, along with countless other marketers.
Targeting the gift buying market is a very effective
way of selling your products. Some one looking for
wedding gifts, christmas gifts, birthday gifts,
graduation gifts and the one I like targeting
corporate business gifts. All those customers are
ready to buy these gifts when they come into your
store or your online site. They are ready to buy…

Corporate Business Gifts


As an added strategy, I like to target buyers who are
buying gifts not just for one person but for a whole
lot of people. They won’t just buy one item, but
100 or even 1000. Don’t laugh, it happens, especially
if you’re targeting companies or the company boss
who are buying gifts for their employees or clients.
Also, promotional gifts falls into this same strategy,
some people do buy gifts in bulk! Target them.

But it doesn’t have to be anything complex, I have found
just promoting the Amazon Gift List Organizer brings
in a lot of sales because people do use that to buy
all their holiday gifts at once. Again, it’s finding
the buyer at the right time when they’re ready to buy.
Simple marketing strategy but it works.

I hope I haven’t wasted your time and that I have
given you at least some ideas to increase your sales
this coming Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Go get ’em!

Titus
www.bizwaremagic.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

FTC Toolkit – Can It Help Protect Your Online Business?


BWMagic’s Internet Marketing News!

Will New Federal Trade Commission Guidelines Affect Your Online Business?


I first heard of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) new
updated guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials
while logging into my Commission Junction account recently.

In a Bold Headline:

Commission Junction FTC


“New FTC Guideline Update May Affect Your Affiliate Program”

“The FTC has updated their guidelines regarding endorsements
and testimonials. While CJ cannot give legal advice regarding
these guidelines, how these guidelines may affect your business,
or how you should proceed; we’d like you to be aware of this
update that goes into effect on 12/1/09.”

Now if I had seen that news anywhere else, I might not have
taken it so seriously. But CJ is one of my most important affiliate
networks that regularly send me hefty commission checks each month.

Anything affecting that income stream has my immediate attention.

What really has me concerned is the fact that I am a full time
affiliate marketer. Endorsements and testimonials – especially
those coming from third party affiliate programs which I promote
has me wondering how all these new guidelines and laws will
apply to my affiliate marketing and to my sites.

How all this plays out in the coming months is anyone’s guess
but anyone marketing on the web should be paying attention
to these new guidelines.

I am not a lawyer so these rules can be rather confusing and
difficult for me to understand. Also, please note, I am
NOT telling you how to proceed in this matter – always seek
out expert legal counsel and advice on this matter from a
knowledgeable lawyer.

You can expect to see a lot more disclaimers on web sites, in blogs
and in newsletters… until it becomes evident how “vigorously”
the FTC will implement and enforce these new guidelines.

Maybe this is much ado about nothing; panic without a cause…
but what is rather really worrisome is that there are no
“safe harbors” anymore… you can’t just slap a Disclaimer
or Disclosure such as “Results not typical” or, “These testimonials
are based on the experiences of a few people and you are not likely
to have similar results” and it further states “is insufficient to prevent
this ad from being deceptive because consumers will still interpret
the ad as conveying that the specified savings are representative
of what consumers can generally expect.

All your marketing and especially your Endorsements and Testimonials
must be disclosed and transparent. Anyone viewing/reading your
site or ad must know you have a material interest with the product
or service you’re endorsing. For online affiliate marketers this
may mean all affiliate links must now be disclosed or marked as such,
so that there is no deception – the consumer knows exactly where
this endorsement is coming from and/or the full material relationship
between the endorser and the advertiser/owner of the product or service.

Again not a lawyer, so this is just a layman’s reading of these
new FTC guidelines. Like most marketers, I needed help in getting
my head around all this legal jargon and regulations.

Joel Comm has partnered up with several Lawyers – among them
are KEVIN E. HOUCHIN (a Creative Business Lawyer who also has
20 years of conventional and online marketing experience) and
JOEL B. ROTHMAN who is a partner at Arnstein & Lehr LLP and
board certified in Intellectual Property Law by The Florida Bar.
Plus, JULIE YATES who has practiced law for 12 years in the areas of
litigation, commercial transactions and contract law.

They have produced a product called:

FTC Toolkit – Protect Your Business With ProActive FTC Compliance

I bought this product a few days ago and I am using it to modify
all my sites. I am an affiliate of this program since anyone who
buys it can also purchase a Trust Seal that they can place on
their sites. See example below.

Now, to say this Toolkit and the Information provided within,
was an exciting read would be totally misleading – but it is
a necessary read. Naturally, a lot of the material is presented
in a “legalese” style but I did appreciate having all this
comprehensive material at my disposal. I especially liked
the “takeaway comments” after each new rule, explaining
in simple terms what this may mean to anyone marketing on
the web.

Also extremely helpful are all the forms and examples
of such things as Privacy Policy, Disclaimers, Affiliate
Agreements… actual material you can use in your business
or on your site.

I found it a bit ironic that the first thing your saw in
this Toolkit was a Disclaimer!

“This product provides information and general advice about the
law. But laws and procedures change frequently, and they can be
interpreted differently by different people. For specific advice
geared to your specific situation, consult an attorney. No book,
software, or other published material is a substitute for
personalized advice from a knowledgeable lawyer licensed to
practice law in your state.”


Which I guess is only human nature, it’s all about protecting
your own “derriere”. In this case, it’s about protecting
your online business or web sites from any actions against
you from the FTC – even if you’re making honest marketing
mistakes that you didn’t know you were making!

This Toolkit also has a Compliance Seal or a Trust Seal that
you can place on your sites. This is a service that you will
have to pay extra for with a recurring fee each month. You will
also be updated on any developments regarding these new
FTC guidelines.

Actually, the Compliance Seal was one of the main reasons
I bought this product and I now have the seal on several
of my sites. Keep in mind, there are no safe harbors or
quick fixes for these new guidelines and just having the
FTC Compliance Seal doesn’t guarantee you won’t be investigated
or that you’re even in compliance – just that you’re pro-active
and doing everything in your power to uphold these new rules.

Here’s a further explanation of this Site Compliant™ trust seal:


“The Site Compliant™ trust seal is the badge of marketers who
affirmatively endorse and embrace a rigorous set of standard of integrity in
marketing. These standards include a proactive intention to be fully
compliant with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards, especially
those relating to the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.
The seal is not a guarantee of compliance, but rather a promise to
customers and a statement to investigators of a positive intent to be and
remain compliant with FTC guidelines. Implementing the Site Compliant
standards and using the seal will not shield you from liability or the
accusation from the FTC of deceptive advertising, but it is our sincere hope
that ongoing implementation of the suggestions and policies provided as part
of the Site Compliant™ program, as well as display of the Site Compliant™
shield graphic will go a long way toward avoiding complaints, investigation,
and fines from the FTC due to confusion or inadvertent failure by a member
to achieve the required, and evolving, standards of practice required by the
FTC.”

Again, if you’re marketing on the net or you just have a website where you
place a few banners or a few affiliate links – you may be affected by
these new FTA guidelines. If you’re heavily into affiliate marketing
like me, then you will definitely want to do everything you can to protect
your sources of income. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Here’s that link again for the FTC Toolkit and yes I am an affiliate
and user of this Toolkit and Trust Seal:

FTC Toolkit

Titus Hoskins
www.bizwaremagic.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin