Adding A Regional Component To You Web Site

What is a regional web site?

A regional web page is one that focuses in on a specific area such as a city, county, state, country or area of the world. You do not have to have a regional web site to add a regional component to your site. There are two types of sites I am going to talk about. First is the regional site itself and then a web site with a regional section in it. If you already have a web site and want to expand the content and the audience then adding the regional section is a great option for you.

Building a regional web site.

Regional web sites are becoming more popular. Five years ago if you built a site about the community you live in there was a good chance you were one of only one or two sites to do so. Obviously if you were only one of two web sites for a community then you were at the top of any search for information about that community. It is not as easy now. This is still the case for many smaller towns and counties. But there is much more competition for larger more populated areas. Don't just rule out larger areas because if done right then you can still do great in these areas as well.

The first thing to do is decide on the area you want to build a page about. A good place to start is where you live or your favorite vacation spots. This is a good choice because you are already familiar with the area. I will share two things the site will need. The first is more important and the second will bring in more traffic.

Next you need to list the things that make the community you chose unique. It is especially good to find the lesser-known unique things about your community. This can include historical places, unique places and fun places. It can even include the best places to kiss. It can have reviews of local restaurants and business, a history of the community, little know facts about the community and any other things that make your community unique and special.

This is important because most community sites are just a group of links pages about the area. This is part of doing it right. When your page is unique and full of quality content it is easier to get good quality links to your site. Many people forget about this and concentrate on make pages about the key words that people search for. When this happens you end up with a site that nobody wants to link to and nobody wants to spend time looking at the different pages of your web site. Quality is always at the top of the agenda. The goal of any web site should be to be the best web site on the Internet about your particular topic. You decide which is better: To have 1000 visitors who visit your site a day, who average looking at 2 pages, or 300 visitors a day who average 10. In the long run when you have hundred of well-ranked sites linked to you then you will get the thousands of visitors who visit many pages on your site.

After you have the above and have a quality site for your community then it is time to start looking at keywords. This is what brings people to your site. A good tool for finding out what people are searching for is Overtures Keyword Selector Tool.

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

Type in the name of the community in the search box and click the arrow. It will give you a list of how many times that a term has been searched for in Overture the previous month. I will also list all the phrases that were searched for using that term. This way you know what people are looking for when they search for something in your community. Now you can take the information in this book and apply it to making pages based on these keywords. Remember that with every page you build quality is the key. You want your site to be better than any other site about your community. For an example of how to use this tool try this link.

http://arthritis-symptom.com/adsense/keyword-selector-tool.htm

As an example if people are searching for museums in your community do not just make a link page to the museums web sites. Rather list every museum in the area and add a paragraph or two for each. You can also make a page about every museum and have an index page called museums in your community that link to all the museum pages you have built. If you have 10 museums in your community people will visit most or all of the museum pages. Be sure to add a short description on the museums in your community page.

Adding a regional section to your web site.

This is an idea that has become very popular in the last few years. As the Internet continues to grow it is becoming harder to be at the top of the search engines for the most popular terms. So one of the things you can do is to make regional pages for your products or information. I stumbled on this by accident years ago. As I have mentioned I have a very large arthritis web site. As a service to my visitors I decided to add a section to the web site that listed had a page in for every state that listed arthritis resources in that state. It quickly became one of the most popular sections of my site especially in the search engines.

This can be done for any product or service that is not specific to a community. For example I knew a guy who was representative for a Satellite TV system company. He could sell a system anywhere in the country. Once he made the sale the company arranged for the system to be installed. So he built a page for Satellite TV for every city in America. He did this because he found out that many people were searching for Satellite TVs in their communities. He had about pages for over 500 different cities.

This worked well for a while, but he had a problem. Basically every page in his site was the same. The only difference was the name of the city and state. The search engines now frown on this. He tried to fix this by adding unique information about each city. He finally gave up on this and redid the site under a new domain name. Once a search engine punishes you it is hard to get back in their good graces.

So if you are going to do this for a product or service you need to make every page unique. As mentioned above, quality always is important and you can no longer cheat the search engines. So do not take the easy way. Take the time to make every page one that the search engines and your visitors will be proud of.

This can also be done as a service. One of the most popular sites on the Internet is Topix.net. They have the largest news network that includes news for almost every city and town in America. This can be done for almost any service from adoption to zoos. Some subjects have way too much competition and companies that are spending too much money for you to compete with. Regional travel and legal sites are examples of these. Even though there is a ton of competition for some types of regional sites there are still literally thousands of different topics and services that do not have too much competition.

Rusty Ford is editor at http://arthritis-symptom.com/

Locally, the difference between marketing to other businesses and marketing to consumers isn't that big.

ClickZ Experts
Commentary, opinion, advice, and thought leadership from interactive marketing's leading practitioners.
  1. B2B and B2C Marketers Can Learn From Each Other - 2007-08-15 22:55:15-04
    Locally, the difference between marketing to other businesses and marketing to consumers isn't that big.
  2. Online Shoppers Take Their Time - 2007-08-15 22:55:15-04
    Five things marketers can do to close the sale.
  3. Conversion Funnel Folly, Part 1 - 2007-08-16 22:55:38-04
    If all you're getting are reports, you aren't getting any intelligence. Part one of a series.
  4. Will an Economic Recession Hurt SEM? - 2007-08-16 22:55:38-04
    Or will it help SEM?
  5. Playing the Tracking Game - 2007-08-16 22:55:38-04
    Is measuring rich media or video just crazy talk?
  6. Good Content in Bad Places - 2007-08-17 08:46:07-04
    When your online content is scraped, stolen, or splogged: a what-to-do guide.
  7. Big-Time Black Hat - 2007-08-19 23:11:33-04
    What the spammers are up to (don't try this at home, folks).
  8. The Overflowing Inbox - 2007-08-19 23:11:33-04
    Managing your inbox while you're away.
  9. Do You Need an Actual Web Site? - 2007-08-19 23:11:33-04
    How people use the Web is shifting. Is a full-on Web site the way to reach them?
  10. Keeping Consumer Trust During a Crisis - 2007-08-20 22:39:52-04
    At what point does sight, sound, and motion make a difference when connecting with consumers in a crisis?
  11. Performance Media Planning and Buying, Part 1: Paying for Leads and Actions - 2007-08-20 22:39:52-04
    Get up to speed on performance based media buys. First of a two-part series.
  12. Defining Web Analytics - 2007-08-20 22:39:52-04
    Web analytics must be about more than site performance.
  13. Behavioral on a Shoestring? - 2007-08-21 23:56:32-04
    Behavioral targeting is all the rage. But can you do it on a shoestring?
  14. Selling SEM Upstream in the Enterprise - 2007-08-21 23:56:32-04
    The benefits and requirements of solid SEM work.
  15. Archive Your B2B E-Newsletters for SEO Success - 2007-08-21 23:56:32-04
    Make your past newsletters keep working for you.
  16. Facebook as a B2B Marketing Tool - 2007-08-22 23:29:33-04
    Facebook was originally a personal social network. But that hasn't stopped businesses from adapting its features to suit their networking and promotional needs.
  17. Are You Interested in E-Mail ROI? - 2007-08-22 23:29:33-04
    There's a genuine need for information and exchanges that focus on building positive ROI through e-mail. Let's get organized!
  18. Marketing in Uncertain Times - 2007-08-22 23:29:33-04
    Action steps to take now to prepare for any crisis that may lie ahead.
  19. Mobile: The New Human Connection - 2007-08-22 23:29:33-04
    Creating social networks is no longer just about interpersonal relationships. The most tangible connections are born from personal relationships enhanced by mobile technology.

7 Steps to Developing Effective Newsletters Online

If you have a loyal customer base, but haven't used a regularly scheduled newsletter to communicate with then, then its time to develop a monthly newsletter. Electronic newsletters are a great way to share information, promote your products, and solicit feedback from your most important customers. If you want to develop effective newsletters, you'll need to follow these seven proven tips for creating winning newsletters.

1. Choose a Theme.

The largest pitfall to developing an effective newsletter is the lack of a theme. When creating newsletters on a regular basis (ex: monthly), select a unique theme every month that appeals to your audience. Once you have identified a theme, be sure that your newsletter content focuses on that specific theme throughout its content. This creates a newsletter that is meaningful and positions your company as a meaningful source of information.

2. Allow for Easy Scanning.

If newsletter subscribers are unable to scan your newsletter, you stand a good chance of losing them. The first few seconds are your most important so make them count. Use big, bold headlines, and article descriptions, providing links to the full article or related content areas. By providing article introductions versus an entire article, you make it easier for readers to view your entire newsletter while allowing them to zero in on the content that has the greatest appeal.

3. Use Graphics.

Producing a newsletter that's wall-to-wall text will not be able to keep the interest of even your most savvy reader. Interject graphics, product photos, pictures, and so on throughout your newsletter. This will break up those large blocks of content increase your newsletter's appeal. Make sure your graphics include links to the articles or products they reference as Internet browsers tend to click on pictures or graphics presented online.

4. Include Product or Service Information.

Internet users are very comfortable with product promotion especially when receiving free information or content. They understand that advertising pays the bill and is common among electronic newsletters. So use this information to your advantage. In each newsletter, discuss a featured product or provide a special offer to your newsletter readers. Products or services that are closely aligned with the theme of your newsletter can be ideal. As a rule of thumb, keep the number of products you promote three or less.

5. Proof Your Work.

When creating an electronic newsletter, you should always check your work. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be perfect. When users find these types of errors, it signals a lack of care - causing doubt as to the amount of effort used when developing the content presented. The result could very well be an increase in those who unsubscribe or a reduction in overall click-through rates.

6. Be Viral.

Never assume that the person reading your newsletter signed up for it directly. In fact, you should encourage your readers to forward the newsletter to others who may be interested in the content you're providing. Make your newsletter, and each volume of your newsletter, accessible via your website. Additionally, make it easy for new users to sign up through a link in each edition of your newsletter. When users forward a copy to a friend, they can easily subscribe.

7. Don't Forget Can-SPAM.

In the footer of your newsletter, include your company name, address, and contact information. Inform users why they are receiving your newsletter and how than can unsubscribe. Honor all unsubscribe requests within the alloted 10 day requirement. By doing so you are meeting current standards and you'll keep your newsletter subscription list clean.

These newsletter development tips can help you deliver a valuable newsletter that gets read and acted upon. Don't be afraid to experiment and keep relevant content the main focal point of your newsletter. As your newsletters become more sophisticated don't lose site of the basic principles. The tried and true is often the best way to be successful!

Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert with more than 12 years of marketing experience. He has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media.

Sale + Email = More Sales

Many businesses focus their marketing efforts on acquiring
new customers.

They spend countless dollars and hours trying to keep a
steady stream of new visitors coming to their stores and
websites to purchase from them.

Getting new customers can be expensive - after all, to get
new ones, you have to determine where to advertise, how to
get people to your door/site, how to convert people from
prospects to customers... it can be a lot of work!


------------------------------------------------------------
An Easy Source Of Income - That's Easy To Overlook
------------------------------------------------------------

So why don't more businesses put the same effort into their
existing customers?

These are people who have already done business with you
and are much more likely to buy (again) than someone who
hasn't purchased from you before. Yet too many businesses
fail to market to their own customers after a sale.


------------------------------------------------------------
Customer Follow Up - Cheap AND Automated!
------------------------------------------------------------

You don't have to spend time and money getting your own
customers to find your store or site - they've already been
there and purchased! They're the most qualified prospects
you have - they're in search of what you're selling and
they trusted you enough to purchase from you.

The difference between businesses who turn one-time buyers
into loyal, lifelong, repeat customers, and those that
don't is...


  The ones who do it, do it, and those who don't, don't.


That's it. You have a choice: communicate with customers
and turn them on to other related products they might
benefit from. Keep at the front of their minds and inboxes,
show them you stand behind your products and value their
patronage. Boost your revenues.

Or don't.

The best part?  Even if you're busy, it's easy to follow up
with customers by email - it's automated! So get your buyers
onto a customer list after purchase and start communicating
with them!

You can:

  * thank your customers for purchasing.

  * offer helpful advice related to the product or service
    they purchased from you.

  * suggest other products, services or resources to get
    the most possible value out of their purchase, and to
    boost your revenue per customer.


------------------------------------------------------------
Integrate Your Shopping Cart With AWeber
------------------------------ ------------------------------

For businesses using an online shopping cart service, it
really is a simple automated process - when someone buys,
they can be added to a customer list using the payment
notification email and one of our email parsers.

We have parsers/integration set up for popular carts like:

  * PayPal
  * Clickbank
  * 1ShoppingCart
  * 2Checkout
  * PayDotCom
  * Volusion

Head over to our Knowledge Base for more details on how to
integrate your shopping cart with AWeber:

  http://cosmicbreath.aweber.com/faq/search/Shopping+Cart

(If you use an online cart that we don't have a parser for
yet, contact us about setting up integration for it!)

To Your Success!

A New Chrysler and a New Marketer

NYT > Media and Advertising
  1. Advertising: A New Chrysler and a New Marketer - 2007-08-15 23:19:11-04
    With a new chief marketing officer, Chrysler is wasting no time in trying to persuade customers that it has come out from under the wing of its former German owners.
  2. New Owner to Combine Men's Magazines - 2007-08-15 23:44:18-04
    Alpha Media Group will turn Stuff magazine into a section of Maxim, while keeping Stuff.com as a stand-alone Web site.
  3. China Cracks Down on News Media as Party Congress Nears - 2007-08-16 00:13:53-04
    Beijing officials are discouraging the country's news media from being too aggressive, two months before the Chinese Communist Party Congress.
  4. Nickelodeon to Limit Use of Characters on Junk Foods - 2007-08-16 09:28:31-04
    Nickelodeon, the children's television network, will prohibit use of its characters on junk food except on special occasions like Halloween.
  5. 3 Reporters Sue H.P. in Spying Case - 2007-08-16 09:33:05-04
    Three reporters for CNET Networks sued Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday, accusing the computer maker of violating thier privacy during its search for boardroom leaks.
  6. The Show: Back to You, You Lecherous, Micromanaging Desk Jockeys - 2007-08-16 21:05:51-04
    When it comes to the job of sideline reporter, it's not the women who are clueless.
  7. Advertising: Now, the Clicking Is to Watch the Ads, Not Skip Them - 2007-08-16 21:53:37-04
    Even while consumers seek to avoid advertising on TV and the Web, a growing number websites are presenting advertisements as entertainment.
  8. What's Offline: No Applause, Please - 2007-08-17 23:53:19-04
    The curse of the business press, cutting email overload, understanding the telecommuting promotion gap and what business leaders can learn from fairy tales.
  9. Is Publishing the Sweetest Revenge? - 2007-08-18 00:07:28-04
    Sharlene Martin, a Los Angeles literary agent, is spearheading the reincarnation of O. J. Simpson's book.
  10. Beliefs: In Praise of Scoops on Heaven, Hell and, Yes, God - 2007-08-18 01:06:28-04
    No one has sufficiently mourned the loss to religion reporting resulting from the closing of the Weekly World News.
  11. The Count: Google Wins the Most Hearts on the Web - 2007-08-18 13:52:36-04
    In the 21st century, you should be ready to answer this question: What's your favorite Internet brand?
  12. Digital Domain: Pass the Popcorn. But Where's the Movie? - 2007-08-18 16:31:52-04
    Consumers, manufacturers and cable operators are all ready for video-on-demand, but the studios have balked.
  13. Disney Stakes Claim to Ratings Record - 2007-08-18 20:22:46-04
    The premiere of the Disney Channel movie "High School Musical 2" delivered the largest single audience in basic-cable television history, according to Disney.
  14. Atlantic Tells Fans of the Puzzler Not to Fret - 2007-08-19 18:53:34-04
    Ever since the Atlantic Monthly's crossword puzzle disappeared from the print magazine over a year ago, its fans have been complaining loudly.
  15. For Media Columnist, Everywhere He Turns It's More Murdoch - 2007-08-19 20:33:32-04
    Doubleday will publish Michael Wolff's biography of Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation.
  16. Link By Link: Defending Wikipedia's Impolite Side - 2007-08-19 20:43:12-04
    Mike Godwin's job is to defend an online encyclopedia created by tens of thousands of (often anonymous) contributors who comment freely on living people and businesses.
  17. Drilling Down: Consuming Less While Getting More - 2007-08-19 21:33:04-04
    While Americans may feel bombarded by media information, we seem to be consuming less of it.
  18. Advertising: Forget the Calendar: The Beauty Is in 30 Days of Marketing - 2007-08-19 22:04:26-04
    The Hearst Magazines division of the Hearst Corporation is bringing back for a second year a multimedia campaign called 30 Days of Fashion.
  19. How Solid Is the Deal for Tribune? - 2007-08-19 22:49:59-04
    When shareholders gather to approve an $8.2 billion plan to take Tribune private, an uncomfortable question is sure to be on many of their minds: Will this deal fall apart?
  20. Ad Growth for AOL Called Vital to a Remake - 2007-08-19 22:51:52-04
    A precipitous slowdown in advertising growth has raised new questions about AOL's transformation plans.

Error in Skype’s Software Shuts Down Phone Service

NYT > Technology
  1. Error in Skype's Software Shuts Down Phone Service - 2007-08-16 21:53:37-04
    Skype's 220 million users, some of them small businesses that had given up their landlines, were left without a way to call colleagues, customers and friends.
  2. I.B.M. and Sun to Cooperate in Technologies for Servers - 2007-08-16 23:25:51-04
    The collaboration, which will enable Sun's Solaris operating system to run on I.B.M. servers, will likely put pressure on competitor Hewlett-Packard.
  3. Advertising: Now, the Clicking Is to Watch the Ads, Not Skip Them - 2007-08-16 23:37:44-04
    Even while consumers seek to avoid advertising on TV and the Web, a growing number websites are presenting advertisements as entertainment.
  4. Nokia Asks I.T.C. to Bar U.S. Import of Qualcomm Chips - 2007-08-17 08:29:37-04
    The cellphone maker said it has asked the International Trade Commission to bar the import of some Qualcomm chipsets, alleging they are infringing five Nokia patents.
  5. Liberties Advocates Fear Abuse of Satellite Images - 2007-08-17 12:29:27-04
    A new plan would allow emergency response, border control and, eventually, law enforcement agencies greater access to satellites and other sensors that monitor American territory.
  6. Nokia Asks for Ban on Qualcomm Chip Imports - 2007-08-17 19:59:13-04
    As part of an ongoing dispute over patent royalties and license fees, Nokia has asked the International Trade Commission to bar U.S. imports of phones with Qualcomm chips that Nokia says infringe on its patents.
  7. American Airlines Sues Google Over Ads - 2007-08-17 23:52:37-04
    The suit is the latest in a series of cases filed by businesses arguing that Google's advertising system violates trademark laws.
  8. Musical Mastery, Maybe - 2007-08-17 23:53:32-04
    Guitar Hero is turning on a new generation to the guitar,
  9. Latest Genealogy Tools Create a Need to Know - 2007-08-18 00:55:05-04
    As genealogical societies and Web sites proliferate and DNA testing becomes more widely available, researching family roots has become a passion for many Americans.
  10. Ex-Finance Chief Accused of Options Fraud - 2007-08-18 00:55:53-04
    Federal regulators accused the former C.F.O. of Brocade Communications of misconducted in accounting for backdated stock options.
  11. In the Clear in Russia (if Out of Business) - 2007-08-18 13:48:56-04
    The founder of allofmp3.com, the Russian digital music download site that was shut down in July, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in Moscow.
  12. The Count: Google Wins the Most Hearts on the Web - 2007-08-18 13:52:36-04
    In the 21st century, you should be ready to answer this question: What's your favorite Internet brand?
  13. Lifting Corporate Fingerprints From the Editing of Wikipedia - 2007-08-18 15:55:18-04
    A Web site that traces the source of changes to Wikipedia reveals that many of the most obviously self-interested edits come from corporate networks.
  14. European Legal Circles Await Ruling by Top Appeals Court on Microsoft - 2007-08-19 19:43:12-04
    Europe's top appeals court will announce its decision Sept. 17 on Microsoft's appeal of Europe's largest antitrust case ever.
  15. Hewlett Introduces a Web Feature to Make Document Printing Mobile - 2007-08-19 20:28:41-04
    Hoping to alleviate a frustration of mobile computing, Hewlett-Packard has introduced a free service designed to make it possible to print documents on any printer almost anywhere in the world.
  16. A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free - 2007-08-19 20:35:17-04
    The domination of two legal research services over the publication of federal and state court decisions is being challenged by an Internet gadfly.
  17. Joybubbles, 58, Peter Pan of Phone Hackers, Dies - 2007-08-19 21:25:31-04
    Joybubbles (the legal name of the former Joe Engressia since 1991), a blind genius with perfect pitch who accidentally found he could make free phone calls by whistling tones and went on to play a pivotal role in the 1970s subculture of "phone phreaks," died on Aug. 8 in Minneapolis.
  18. E-Commerce Report: Building a Brand Name, via Business Cards - 2007-08-19 22:00:32-04
    Among Internet businesses, perhaps only VistaPrint has managed to reach a market value of more than $1 billion by getting customers to hand out millions of promotional messages for it.
  19. Ad Growth for AOL Called Vital to a Remake - 2007-08-19 22:51:52-04
    A precipitous slowdown in advertising growth has raised new questions about AOL's transformation plans.
  20. To Compete With E-Mail Greetings, Funny Cards Try to Be Topical - 2007-08-19 22:53:26-04
    Greeting card companies hope to promote the idea that cards can be sent anytime, not just on holidays and special occasions.

Show Businesses How To Follow Up After The Sale

Many businesses focus their marketing efforts on acquiring
new customers.

They spend countless dollars and hours trying to keep a
steady stream of new visitors coming to their stores and
websites to purchase from them.

Getting new customers can be expensive - after all, to get
new ones, a business has to determine where to advertise,
how to get people to their door/site, how to convert people
from prospects to customers... it can be a lot of work!


  An Easy Source Of Income - That's Easy To Overlook
  --------------------------------------------------

So why don't more businesses put the same effort into their
existing customers?

These are people who have already done business with them
and are much more likely to buy (again) than someone who
hasn't purchased before. Yet too many businesses fail to
market to their own customers after an initial sale.


  Customer Follow Up - Cheap AND Automated!
  -----------------------------------------

A business doesn't have to spend time and money getting its
own customers to find their store or site - they've already
been there and purchased!

All they have to do is... not drop the ball.

That's it. Just communicate with customers and turn them on
to other related products they might benefit from. Keep at
the front of their minds and inboxes.

The best part?  Even if the business owner is busy, it's
easy to follow up with customers by email - it's automated!

Tell your visitors to get their buyers onto a customer list
after purchase and put a follow up sequence in place to
start communicating with them.

This enables them to:

  * thank people for purchasing

  * offer helpful advice related to the product or
    service purchased

  * suggest other products, services or resources to get
    the most possible value out of their purchase


  AWeber Integrates With Major Shopping Carts
  -------------------------------------------

For businesses using an online shopping cart service, it
really is a simple automated process - when someone buys,
they can be added to a customer list using the payment
notification email and one of our email parsers.

We have parsers/integration set up for popular carts like:

  * PayPal
  * Clickbank
  * 1ShoppingCart
  * 2Checkout
  * PayDotCom
  * Volusion

Send your visitors to our Knowledge Base for more details
on how to integrate their cart with AWeber:

  http://www.aweber.com/faq/search/Shopping+Cart?101972

(If your visitors use an online cart that we don't have a
parser for yet, just have them contact us about setting up
integration for it!)


  Some Sample Ad Copy For You
  ---------------------------

To help you promote our shopping cart integration, here are
some sample text ads you might sprinkle among your site,
newsletter or blog:

-----

  Turn One-Time Buyers Into Loyal Repeat Customers!
  AWeber's Shopping Cart Integration Makes It Easy!
   http://www.aweber.com/faq/search/Shopping+Cart?101972

-----

  One Purchase Is Good... But Two Is Better!
  Follow Up With Customers After The Sale Automatically
   http://www.aweber.com/faq/search/shopping+cart?101972

-----


  How's Your Affiliate Campaign Coming?
  -------------------------------------

Are you finding the resources you need to succeed as an
AWeber affiliate? What else can we offer to make it easier
for you to help businesses embrace email marketing and
email follow up?

Reply to this email and let us know what we can do to help
you raise your affiliate sales!

Not an affiliate yet? Sign up!

  http://www.aweber.com/affiliates.htm?id=101972

To Your Success!

Affiliate Manager News - August 15, 2007

Be sure to check in at the AffiliateManager.net Forum for the latest news in affiliate marketing.

Looking for a job? Check out the Affiliate Manager Job Center at http://www.affiliatemanager.net/forums/index.php?showforum=4

Topics in this issue:

  1. Watch Affiliate Summit 2007 East Videos
  2. The Clickable Video Affiliate Project
  3. Heather Paulson on the Affiliate Thing
  4. MC Kukral and Speaker Submissions for Affiliate Summit
  5. Affiliate Facebook Apps
  6. Florida Attorney General Investigates Affiliate Marketers


1. Watch Affiliate Summit 2007 East Videos

The videos from sessions at Affiliate Summit 2007 East, which took place July 8-10, 2007 in Miami, are now available to all.

Take a look at the Affiliate Summit agenda to see details on each of the educational sessions.

The videos cover a wide array of topics, including analytics, blogs, communities, contextual ads, Internet law, PPC, SEO, UK Affiliate Marketing, video, viral marketing, Web 2.0 , and much more.

Go to http://www.ase07.com for the Affiliate Summit 2007 East videos.


2. The Clickable Video Affiliate Project

Missy Ward and myself are about to launch a new affiliate site centered around video and affiliate programs.

The site will center on each of us creating videos reviews of products and services we use and like.

We'll be powered by the Qoof technology, and plan to review pretty much anything that touches our lives, such as Web hosting companies, coffee makers, mobile phones, and shoes.

If you're interested providing your product or service for review, contact us to let us know what you've got and which one of us you'd like to review it.

Stay tuned for more details.


3. Heather Paulson on the Affiliate Thing

Lisa Picarille and myself welcomed Heather Paulson, affiliate marketing veteran and Director of Online Marketing for KUE Digital Inc.

Topics discussed included affiliate approval guidelines, recruiting affiliates via blogs, and beating ad blockers.

We also discussed the explosion of Facebook applications in affiliate marketing, creeps squatting on domains, investigations by the Attorney General of Florida, toilet paper by subscription from Amazon, mobile marketing growth, and the new issue of Revenue magazine.

Listen to this episode now. The Affiliate Thing show airs weekly on Wednesdays at noon EST. Tune in at http://www.WebmasterRadio.FM.

Subscribe to the Affiliate Thing RSS feed or send a blank e-mail to affiliatething@aweber.com to get each podcast delivered by e-mail.


4. MC Kukral and Speaker Submissions for Affiliate Summit

Jim Kukral is going to be the MC for Affiliate Summit 2008 West, taking place February 24-26, 2008 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

We're excited to have Jim Kukral on board, and we look forward to an interesting kick-off to Affiliate Summit next January.

And we share the sentiments of Sam Harrelson

"I look forward to a Steve Ballmer like performance from Jim in Las Vegas."

Also, speaker proposals are now being accepted for Affiliate Summit 2008 West. The submission deadline is October 26, 2007.

More details at http://blog.affiliatesummit.com/2007/08/09/speaker-submissions-for-affiliate-summit-2008-east/ .


5. Affiliate Facebook Apps

Facebook applications, small programs within Facebook that interact with Facebook users, are catching on in affiliate marketing among merchants and affiliates.

Zappos has one that enables you to "share your favorite products and brands from Zappos.com with all of your friends."

I read in the Amazon Web Services Developer Connection Newsletter yesterday where Amazon is encouraging Amazon ECS developers to try their hand at creating Facebook applications.

If you are an Amazon ECS developer, the more Facebook users that choose your application and use it in a way that sends traffic to Amazon, the more money you can earn at rates up to 10% by participating in the Amazon Associates Program.

Some examples of applications built for Facebook by developers using Amazon Associates and ECS (note that you'll need to be logged into Facebook to view these):

  • iRead: Uses the ECS Search and List APIs to allow users to display their Amazon.com wishlist on their Facebook profile pages
  • Amazing Giftbox: Uses the ECS Search API to allow Facebook users to send any product on Amazon.com as a virtual gift to their friends
  • Amazing Wishlist: Uses the ECS Wishlist API to allow users to display Amazon.com wishlists on their Facebook profiles

Last week, on the Affiliate Thing show, super affiliate Connie Berg talked about plans to get a Facebook app going.

And I've come across some other affiliates that are already running affiliate Facebook apps, including CheapCheapCheap.org Deals and Shopaneer.

Last, but not least, there is a new Facebook app from Affiliate Summit. But it comes at things from a different, more benevolent angle.

The purpose is to bring awareness to the scourge of badware. Get your Affiliate Summit Badware Protection at http://www.badware.com.


6. Florida Attorney General Investigates Affiliate Marketers

I just came across some "Active Public Consumer-Related Investigations" by the Economic Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General in Florida.

The following affiliate marketing related companies are being investigated:

Intermark Media Inc.
Case Number: L07-3-1058
Allegation or issue being investigated: Affiliate network using deceptive ads to enroll consumers into monthly subscription plans.

Media Breakaway, LLC
Case Number: L07-3-1055
Allegation or issue being investigated: Affiliate network using deceptive ads to enroll consumers into monthly subscription plans.

Think Partnership Inc.
Case Number: L07-3-1059
Allegation or issue being investigated: Affiliate network using deceptive ads to enroll consumers into monthly subscription plans.

Traffix, Inc.
Case Number: L07-3-1057
Allegation or issue being investigated: Affiliate network using deceptive co-registration paths to enroll consumers into monthly subscription plans.

W3i, LLC
Case Number: L07-3-1056
Allegation or issue being investigated: Online marketer using deceptive co-registration paths to enroll consumers into monthly subscription plans.

Please note - the existence of an investigation does not constitute proof of any violation of law.


As always, I'd love to hear from you! Drop me a line and let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.

Take care,
Shawn Collins

scollins@affiliatemanager.net
http://www.affiliatemanager.net
(908) 364-2767




Shawn Collins Consulting, 221 Sherman Ave Ste #8 PMB 185, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922-1173 USA


Is the Party Over for Indian Outsourcing

August 7, 2007 by Chuck | 1 Comment

I mentioned this a few weeks ago. Here's more on the topic from Business Week.

Basically, the aren't as many people available to fill the outsourcing demand, the rupee is rising against the dollar, wages are rising, and there's more competition for existing talent. Visas to the US are running short too.

A confluence of adversities is at play. They include an appreciating rupee that is cutting into earnings, a severe shortage of qualified talent at home, and a cap on H-1B worker visas to the U.S., along with pre-2008 election protectionism threats.

At first, their multinational competitors such as IBM Global Services, Accenture, and Electronic Data Systems were taken by surprise [by outsourcing]. But then they joined in the new game, setting up shop in India and leapfrogging by making local acquisitions, hiring aggressively, and offering similar services to their clients. As of June, the three multinationals alone have 100,000 professionals on their rolls in India. That's about a third of the top three Indian players, and the multinationals only began hiring three years ago.

10 Businesses You Can Start On A Tight Budget

From Start Up Nation

10 Ripe Areas for Starting Your Business

If you're hot to get going with a startup, but your finances aren't, here are some independent businesses – requiring little more than a certificate or license – that you can start today:

1. Tutoring: The last U.S. Census reports more than 76 million school-age children. Federal laws like "No Child Left Behind" and state requirements that students pass tougher standardized tests before moving to the next grade have led to booming demand for tutors.
2. Hair Care/Makeup: Women – and men – spend big money on grooming services. Assisted-living homes, nursing homes and senior centers are great places to get started, and sharpen your skills.

3. Child Care Provider: U.S. Census figures also show that more than 20 million children live in single-parent homes. Many of those working parents need and are looking for childcare – especially outside of regular business hours.

4. Catering: This is a great first step to opening a restaurant. Home-based catering is an inexpensive way to build clientele, test recipes and find out if you're suited for the rigors of food service.

5. Cleaning/Lawn Service: With unemployment low, more people have less time – but more money – to spend on taking care of their homes and lawns.

6. Online Professor: Have an advanced degree or a lot of experience? Selling your services as a virtual instructor can be lucrative. Web-based and traditional colleges and universities offer online courses.

7. Financial Services/Business Consultant: If you know your stuff and have a proven track record, financial planning and/or business consulting can pay big.

8. Party Planning: Kids' birthday, sweet 16 and graduation parties, bat and bar mitzvahs and other celebrations today involve a lot more than just buying a cake and inviting people over. Besides event planning, other niche opportunities include making invitations, decorations and party favors.

9. Computer Services: Whether you fix the machines, develop software or are able to translate technical jargon into everyday language, this growing field needs experts who make house calls. Many new users, especially older people who once avoided computers, now are giving in to lower prices. This new wave needs help with everything from setting up their new box to using the Web.

10. Personal Organizer: If you have a knack for neatness, you can turn it into money by starting a service to organize anything from closets to computer desktops.

Top 3 Ways To Boost Your Affiliate Commissions Overnight

The ideal world of affiliate marketing does not require having your won website, dealing with customers, refunds, product development and maintenance. This is one of the easiest ways of launching into an online business and earning more profits.

Assuming you are already into an affiliate program, what would be the next thing you would want to do? Double, or even triple, your commissions, right? How do you do that?

Here are some powerful tips on how to boost your affiliate program commissions overnight.

1. Know the best program and products to promote. Obviously, you would want to promote a program that will enable you to achieve the greatest profits in the shortest possible time.

There are several factors to consider in selecting such a program. Choose the ones that have a generous commission structure. Have products that fit in with your target audience. And that has a solid track record of paying their affiliate easily and on time. If you cannot seem to increase your investments, dump that program and keep looking for better ones.

There are thousands of affiliate programs online which gives you the reason to be picky. You may want to select the best to avoid losing your advertising dollars.

Write free reports or short ebooks to distribute from your site. There is a great possibility that you are competing with other affiliates that are promoting the same program. If you start writing short report related to the product you are promoting, you will be able to distinguish yourself from the other affiliates.

In the reports, provide some valuable information for free. If possible, add some recommendations about the products. With ebooks, you get credibility. Customers will see that in you and they will be enticed to try out what you are offering.

2. Collect and save the email addresses of those who download your free ebooks. It is a known fact that people do not make a purchase on the first solicitation. You may want to send out your message more than six times to make a sale.

This is the simple reason why you should collect the contact information of those who downloaded your reports and ebooks. You can make follow-ups on these contacts to remind them to make a purchase from you.

Get the contact information of a prospect before sending them to the vendor's website. Keep in mind that you are providing free advertisement for the product owners. You get paid only when you make a sale. If you send prospects directly to the vendors, chances are they would be lost to you forever.

But when you get their names, you can always send other marketing messages to them to be able to earn an ongoing commission instead of a one-time sale only.

Publish an online newsletter or Ezine. It is always best to recommend a product to someone you know than to sell to a stranger. This is the purpose behind publishing your own newsletter. This also allows you to develop a relationship based on trust with your subscribers.

This strategy is a delicate balance between providing useful information with a sales pitch. If you continue to write informative editorials you will be able to build a sense of reciprocity in your readers that may lead them to support you by buying your products.

3. Ask for higher than normal commission from merchants. If you are already successful with a particular promotion, you should try and approach the merchant and negotiate a percentage commission for your sales.

If the merchant is smart, he or she will likely grant your request rather than lose a valuable asset in you. Keep in mind that you are a zero-risk investment to your merchant; so do not be shy about requesting for addition in your commissions. Just try to be reasonable about it.

Write strong pay Per Click ads. PPC search engine is the most effective means of advertising online. As an affiliate, you can make a small income just by managing PPC campaigns such as Google AdWords and Overture. Then you should try and monitor them to see which ads are more effective and which ones to dispose of.

Try out these strategies and see the difference it can make to your commission checks in the shortest of time.

www.Affiliate-Marketing-Millionaires.com

9 Ways to Generate More Interest In Your Business

This is from Dane's Blog

Whether you have an Internet business or a store-front, it is often challenging to breathe new life into your business, bring new customers through your door, and find excitement in your daily routine. It's easy to get into the habit of throwing money toward advertising and worrying about what your competition is doing. We lose our focus and our hands-on expertise. What can we do to get back on track, get excited and gain some new exposure?

Try some of these new ideas and make a 90-day plan. It always takes time for a new plan to work, have patience with yourself and track your progress. Most of all, have fun!

  1. Leave a paper trail. Print new business cards and leave them wherever you go. On your table at a restaurant, public restrooms, inserted into the bills you pay, leave them on cars in a parking lot, in your grocery cart, tanning salon, barber shop… be creative!
  2. Find more places to sell online. If you haven't already done so, sell your product on eBay. Or place an ad on craigslist (free) selling an item that customers come to your store to pick up.
  3. Build a larger Internet presence. Check out websites like Freewebs or Wordpress.com that will help you build a blog site for free. Write something about yourself and/or business and have fun with it! Add pictures and music… a personal touch. You can advertise your blog on free classified ad sites like Linkreferral and Internetmosaic.
  4. Stay in touch with your customers. Design an e-zine, and email it to your current customers. Or them out and mail it, but this is more expensive. Place advertisements for other local businesses, do it for free for awhile, until the e-zine starts gaining popularity and then you can charge for the advertising spaces! Your e-zine can have short articles about your business, cute stories, jokes and contests!
  5. Cross promotion. Make friends with business people who are in a similar, complimentary businesses to yours. (not competitors) Come up with bonus packages that you can co-op with these other businesses. For example if you run a tanning salon, you can offer a free haircut at Supercuts when a customer signs up for one year of tanning. Supercuts will offer something similar, after 4 haircuts the customer gets one free week of tanning. This even works on the Internet. Find another non competing website and see if you can develop a similar relationship. This will take some creativity on your part, and you have to develop relationships with other business people.
  6. Tell your story. Write an article about yourself and your business. Add a funny or intriguing story about how you got started in the business, or let the readers know why the business is so important to you. Be sure your article solves a problem. Write at least two paragraphs about a problem, and one or two paragraphs on how your business can solve the problem. If you are not a writer, you can have someone freelance the story for you. There are all kinds of freelancers looking for work on the Internet. Submit your story to article hubs on the Internet, this is completely free! Submit your article to your local newspaper and relevant websites. Sites are always looking for new content. (Even the Business Opportunities Weblog wants for content!)
  7. Wear it. Design some T-shirts with your company name and get them printed with CafePress. Wear them everywhere you go. Again, try something really eye-catching, or bright prints on black background. Make people look.
  8. Make a conversation piece... Make a button or a hat that says, "I work at home, ask me what I do", or, "Ask me how to lose 10 lbs"… you want people to approach you, so make it intriguing.
  9. Be Yourself. Make a short video, telling jokes or doing a bad impersonation, then upload it to YouTube! Make people laugh and they will show it to their friends and watch it over and over!!! Make sure to plug your business in the video, this is a great way to advertise! Send the video to your local television channel along with it's YouTube URL. The local news is always on the lookout for funny stuff, with a local angle — especially if it's a slow news day!
  10. Even if you just try three or four of these avenues of promotion, you should start seeing more hits to your website, or more customers coming through your door. The idea is always to be thought provoking, creative, and approachable. If you spend your day feeling upset and frustrated, people will NOT approach you. Open up and smile, think about money! Think about helping others! Use your body language to tell others that you are OPEN for business! Here's to your next 90 days!

    By Lisa Di Clemente for the Business Opportunities Weblog. Photo by CyberGus.

Catching a Thief Red Handed

SEOBook.com
http://www.seobook.com/

Search engine optimization and search engine marketing news. A new chapter every day.
  1. Catching a Thief Red Handed - 2007-08-02 04:18:07-04
    How are new entrepreneurs to compete on the web if many of the central networks place a $0 value on content? How is that good for the long-term health of the web? Unless you sell ads, are syndicating misinformation or public relations spin, or have a large back-end up-sell you are screwed.
  2. How to Estimate the Length & Value of the Long Tail for Your Target Market's Keywords - 2007-08-03 05:58:51-04
    Tips on how to quickly asses the value of targeting keywords in a vertical, with emphasis of understanding how well the value is distributed on head keywords and keyword phrases in the long tail of search.
  3. The SEO Learning Life-cycle - 2007-08-04 02:02:13-04
    Post about how we as SEOs evolve as we learn more about the market and marketing in general.
  4. Customizing Blog Page Titles & Fixing Common Blogger Template SEO Errors - 2007-08-04 13:02:07-04
    Tips for helping improve the search engine optimization status and Google love for your blog.
  5. Colleges Leveraging Student / Consumer Generated Content for Lead Generation - 2007-08-05 02:39:05-04
    To attract better students colleges are paying current students to blog about their experiences on campus.
  6. Is PornHater.com Better Than SeoBook.com? - 2007-08-05 20:45:47-04
    Quantcast offers a free downloadable text file of the top 1,000,000 websites based on their traffic data.
  7. Bad Marketing & Bad Domain Names Kill Businesses & Cause Lawsuits - 2007-08-06 03:04:21-04
    Having a misspelled domain name and using the competition's name to describe your field of business is a sure-fire way to bleed marketing money and lose market share.
  8. Straw Man Marketing & Information Pollution - 2007-08-06 03:54:39-04
    One of the easiest ways to get your message across is to be different and denounce a currently popular meme.
  9. How to Know if a 301 Redirect Counts - 2007-08-06 04:57:03-04
    Tips on how to determine if a 301 redirect is passing authority, and how to keep it passing authority.
  10. Conversational Marketing & The Online Branded Advertising Experience - 2007-08-06 12:51:23-04
    This is somewhat of a rambling post about the merging of content and advertising, across portals right on through to smaller websites.
  11. Wrong Page Ranking at the Top of Google's Search Results - 2007-08-07 01:38:33-04
    Tips on how to ensure Google ranks the page you want them to.
  12. Trend Gold for Google News Publishers - 2007-08-07 03:00:55-04
    Since Google automatically ranks news content it is easy for publishers to write about whatever is profitable. Many free sources share data about what is hot and in demand right now.
  13. The Importance of Hiding Success on a Competitive Network - 2007-08-07 04:08:21-04
    Business is dirty, so it is best to keep your sites out of the limelight unless they are nearly impossible to knock down. Competitive research tools are making it faster and easier for competitors to find you, but there is no reason to go out of your way to let Google AdSense pay people to steal your content.
  14. When Does a Google AdWords Advertiser Become a Can't Ban Whitelist Top Ranking Organic Search Result? - 2007-08-07 20:33:33-04
    Post explaining how large advertisers and trusted news sites can get away with spamming Google, while Google pretends it controls the search market by bullying webmasters owning newer and smaller websites.
  15. General News is a Worthless Commodity - 2007-08-08 20:41:53-04
    Yet another post about the decline of content as a business model.
  16. Google Caught Selling High PageRank Links, Again & Again - 2007-08-08 22:57:17-04
    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying I would do it differently than Google is doing it. I would just like to remind Google engineers that they would call me as a spammer if I did the same things they do to make their business model work.
  17. Web Design Scholarship - 2007-08-09 22:11:21-04
    CollegeScholarships.org recently launched a web design scholarship, offering students interested in web design a chance to win $5,000 for designing a Wordpress template for a scholarship site. The contest only has about a week left to go and so far there are only 2 entries.
  18. Don't Trust Google Webmaster Central (or, Is Buying a Website Considered Spam?) - 2007-08-10 00:14:22-04
    Should Google be allowed to profile webmasters and ban them specifically because they are SEOs, even if their content quality is higher than that of the top ranking site?
  19. Why Are CPC Prices so High? - 2007-08-10 10:12:51-04
    In the first half of the year CreditCards.com earned $4.64 per visitor.
  20. Google Gadget for Keyword Research & Competitive Analysis - 2007-08-10 13:09:21-04
    I recently created a free Google Gadget that allows you to search most useful keyword research tools from iGoogle.

Free Consultations

...courtesy of LED Digest: http://www.LED-Digest.com

From: Biana Babinsky
[email]: http://flow-to.com/email/LED.1186729891lre6uyz.mth
Subject: Free Consultations

> I get a lot of people who want a free consultation
> in different forms... Have any LEDers had this type
> of situation in your respective fields? How did you
> handle it more effectively?
       - LED Digest 2465
       - http://www.led-digest.com/content/view/1876/190/

Hi,

I offer a 30 minute free "Getting To Know You Consult" to service
professionals, who are interested in my online marketing coaching. I
do pre-qualify them before talking to them. My time is valuable, so
doing the pre-qualification work helps me see who is serious about
working with me and who is in it for the consult.

First, I make sure that they know that the goal of the consult is
for them to get to know me and for me to get to know them and see if
there is a fit for us to work together. It is not a free service
session. We spend the time talk about their business and how I can
help them.

Second, I ask them to fill out a pre-consult questionnaire for me to
get to know their business. Doing this also shows a commitment and
interest from their side.

But what helped me even more is creating products - E-books, Home
Study Guides, Members-Only Web Site and Seminars. When I get e-mails
from prospective clients asking about my services, many times I can
tell that the one-on-one service may not be appropriate for them.
However, an e-book or some other product might be very useful.

When I am able to offer my products to people who can't afford my
services, or are on the fence about them, I am able to generate
revenue from the situations that I would not be able to get anything
out of if I only had my services to offer.

If you are a service professional who offers ONLY services, I
strongly recommend to look into creating multiple streams of income
by creating and selling products in addition to services.

Biana Babinsky
Free Report, "How To Get Clients Online"
http://www.avocadoconsulting.com/free_report.html

Comment: mailto:post@led-digest.com?Subject=Free-consultations

Enhance Your Web Site for a More User Friendly Experience (this was written for Commission Junction publishers however anyone with a Web Site will appreciate the quick read)

When designing and maintaining a Web site, user experience is a simple, foundational concept that is often overlooked. The significance of the user experience is great, and can severely affect the success or failure of a publisher's affiliate marketing efforts.

User experience is the concept that an interactive product, in this case a Web site, is tailored to the real needs of its users. Keep in mind that users come to your Web site to fulfill a specific need. By ensuring that your Web site provides a user friendly experience, you ensure that your users achieve their needs easily and feel satisfied with their experience. As a result, they will be inclined to return to your Web site, and ultimately become a loyal, repeat user.

In this article we will look at ten elements that contribute to a user friendly experience including the navigational ease of a Web site as well as the content. As you review the following ten elements, consider how they relate to your Web site and what updates you could incorporate in order to provide a more user friendly experience. While some elements suggested below may require more effort on your part, and others may only require a small tweak, the steps you take to create a more user friendly experience will ultimately be reflected in increased revenue and return users.

  1. Navigation Bar – When a Web site contains multiple pages, a navigation bar helps users quickly locate the content that they desire. Typically, a left side navigation bar is more user friendly than a bar across the top of a page. Be sure that each item in your navigation bar is named appropriately and in a way that helps users easily find what they need.

  2. Search Box – Even if the elements in your navigation bar are properly named, and seemingly self explanatory, users often desire a search box to help them find exactly what they are looking for. If your users have a hard time finding what they are looking for on your Web site, there is a good chance they'll leave your Web site and try their search somewhere else.

  3. Organization and Detail – Keeping the content on your Web site well organized allows users to quickly find what they are looking for. For example, if your Web site offers a selection of electronic products, keep your category listings properly organized. Sometimes simply listing 'Electronics' is not enough. Be as detailed as possible by breaking out categories into sub categories, for example 'Electronics' could offer such sub categories as 'Computers, Photography, and Telecommunications.' In addition, a sub category such as Computers could be broken down even further to 'Desktop Systems, Notebooks, Monitors, and Printers.'

  4. Population – Keeping your content well organized is the first step, but ensuring your content is well populated is equally important. For example, are your advertisers listed in all of the appropriate categories? Users may look for Apple in computers, or they may look for Apple in music. Be sure to populate your category listings to ensure your advertisers are listed in all relevant categories.

  5. Links – Dead links are a top complaint for a poor user experience. Weed out your dead links, update links of advertisers who have changed landing pages, and remove links for advertisers who no longer have affiliate programs. To find out if you have any invalid links generating traffic, any deactivated advertisers in your program, or if there are any promotions ending within the next 30 days, log into your CJ Account Manager™, click on the Run Reports tab, select Performance Reports, and at the bottom of the page view the Frequently Run Reports.

  6. Forums – With user generated content being all the rage, forums are increasingly important to the user friendly experience. In addition to receiving information, users enjoy the interactivity that forums allow. Offering this outlet on your Web site provides users a place to share their own opinions and promotions of products, services, coupons or deals, increases the user's loyalty to your Web site, and ultimately drives sales. Forums create a community and enable the users to interact with each other. Blogs are also a good option, however they are more individualistic as the content is derived from one sources. Blogs only become community oriented when comments are enabled.

  7. Coupons – If you offer coupons, it is important to remove offers when they expire and to keep up with current deals. Consider implementing Commission Junction's RSS feed from the Commission Junction Offer Portal. The Offer Portal is a convenient gateway to access current advertiser offers. Visit http://www.cjbeta.com/offerportal/ for additional information on the Offer Portal and to access the RSS feed.

  8. Seasonality – There is always one house in your neighborhood whose owner leaves the Christmas lights up until July, or keeps their Halloween decorations up through the New Year. Just as you may view these neighbors as lazy or behind the times, if your Web site reflects seasonal offers past their prime, your users will view your site less favorably and be less inclined to come back. Keep up to date on seasonal trends and display advertisers and offers that are relevant to the current season on your home page. To help users navigate your site based on seasonality, consider including the option to sort or search for products and/or services based on season.

  9. Product Search – One of the most valuable resources in the CJ Marketplace is the product catalog. The network contains millions of product links spread across a wide variety of categories, and for a one time fee you can get access to the product catalogs for all advertisers who provide one. To access product catalogs, log into your CJ Account Manager, click on Contact Us in the upper right hand corner, and then Ask a Question. Then simply request access to product catalogs.

  10. Featured Products – Knowing what items are top sellers helps you determine which items or links to feature on the 'prime real estate' of your Web site. Advertisers often include 'top seller' lists in their newsletters to help you determine which items to feature. Additionally, you can utilize Product Performance reporting in the CJ Account Manager to determine top selling items. Under the Run Reports tab, Performance Reports, you can view the associated item details (Item ID link). Click the Items link to view performance statistics including the SKU or item ID, item name and product category.


    Dealcatcher is a great example of a Web site that is user friendly. They incorporate many of the elements mentioned above:

    • The navigation bars on the left side point out both categories as well as top stores

    • There is a search box for shoppers to find the exact product they are looking to purchase

    • The site offers a forum where shoppers can share hot deals they've discovered

    • Dealcatcher provides special pages for coupons and even breaks them out by "New" and "Expiring" to keep deals fresh

    • They've featured a product as their 'Catch of the Day' which points out a particularly popular item




Next time you are trolling around online, be sure to pay close attention to the elements you appreciate on your favorite sites, as well as elements that frustrate you, and apply your findings to your Web site. Providing a user friendly experience is important in creating a loyal user base and vital for driving sales. Offering users convenient and easy navigation of your site, as well as organized, relevant and up to date content will help users easily fulfill their needs and feel satisfied with their experience on your Web site.