Friday, April 28, 2006

Keyword Analysis - The Cumulative Effect Of Ignored Keywords

Getting traffïc from the search engines for competitive keywords is a tough battle. And it's getting tougher.

Find The Keywords Others Are Ignoring

Let's say you want to rank in the top three slots in Google for the keyword "chiropractor." (We're not even going to touch on how unlikely it is for a general keyword like that to convert!)

Do a Google search for "chiropractor."

At the time of this writing, there are 8,910,000 results. That number is NOT a real indicator of TRUE keyword competitiveness, but it's a start in the right direction. (We're gonna talk about how to do TRUE keyword competitiveness analysis in the next few lessons in this series.)
The first ten slots in the SERPs are very well-entrenched. They've been there awhile and they have high-quality link equity pointing at them.

Beating those folks in the top ten slots will be tough. A little too tough in my book. That is, it will require too much time, effort and monëy to knock them off their perch for the ROI I can expect from ranking for "chiropractor."

It's one of those high-voltage keywords that everyone in that market focuses on.
So, let's dig deeper for some less-competitive, undiscovered treasure.

Let's search Google for "california chiropractor" (use the quotes). Whoa, what a big difference. Now, we get 9,880 results. MUCH better! But, if I wanted to get into the top three, this keyword is still a little too competitive for my tastes.

With a bit of work, I can likely knock the 2nd and 3rd guys off their purchases. It'll take some effort, but I can do it. As for the guy ranked first... not a chance. He's entrenched.
So, let's dig deeper. Maybe there's some unexplored territory out there.

Search Google for "north orange county chiropractor" (again, use the quotes). Look at that! At the time of this writing, there are 0 (zip, nadda, zilcho) results.

Now, how easy would it be for you to rank well for THAT keyword?

Are people using this keyword in Google? Well, it may not jump out at you in Wordtracker, but think about this...

There are a LOT of people in Orange County, California. A lot of them look for chiropractors People are refining their search these days to get more relevant results from Google. Often, they're refining their searches by geography.

And not only will you easily scoop up folks looking for "north orange county chiropractor" but you should also rank well for "orange county chiropractor" (only 326 results at the time of this writing).

Cumulative Effect Of Ignored Keywords

Let's face it. Ranking well for "north orange county chiropractor" is not going to bring a flood of traffïc like ranking well for simply "chiropractor."

But, it doesn't need to.

First, "north orange county chiropractor" is much more targeted. If someone is searching for "north orange county chiropractor" it's a good bet that he's having problems with his back and wants to fix it fast.

If you're collecting and selling leads (we'll talk about how to do this in an upcoming series, so stay tuned) to a chiropractor in Orange County, you can unload 'em for a lot more cäsh than leads collected from people searching Google for "chiropractor."

Second, you're gonna have a bunch of these tiny keyword sweet spots sending search engine traffïc to you.

For example, you're not going to simply create one page for "north orange county chiropractor," call it a day and head for the beach. You want to create pages for...

"south orange county chiropractor" "laguna beach chiropractor" "anaheim hills chiropractor" "yorba linda chiropractor" ... and so on. You want to have lots of these pages scooping up people who are searching for these largely-ignored keywords. If you want to dig even deeper for keyword treasure, tack on the word "certified" or "board certified" to each keyword above.
The possibilities are endless. And cumulatively, these small traffic flows add up to a flood of highly-targeted traffïc to your site.

Last Thoughts

Avoid the high-voltage, ultra-competitive keywords in your space. The time, monëy and effort you need to spend to rank well for them will probably give you a rotten ROI (most folks don't have a business model that can yield a great ROI from these shark-infested waters).

Instead, go for the largely-ignored keywords!

They're much easier to rank for. And the traffïc they drive is more targeted and easier to convert.

The traffïc that only one of these sweet spots drives may not seem like a big deal. But, rank well for a LOT of them and the targeted traffïc can pile up quickly.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------©Copyright / About The Author: Article by Damon G. Zahariades; Abstract only {article shortened}.

Monday, April 24, 2006

How to get great sales letters written for you!

One of the questions that I get asked most often is "How do you get your sales letters written?" or "Who writes your letters?".

Well, I write the shorter stuff myself and get a copywriter to do the longer letters. If you are tempted to use a copywriter be careful here because good copywriters can charge anything from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars.

I have found it best to always write the basics of the letter myself and then give it to a copywriter to turn into something magical.

Some have tried just giving a copywriter some tapes or DVDs to watch and then to write a letter but it has never been a success. Copywriters don’t have the same depth of knowledge or enthusiasm as the person who is going to make their living from that product.

So, how do you get that letter written without hiring a copywriter?

The solution is to try some of the software that does it for you. There are several good ones, The Internet Marketing Centre, Armand Morin and Marlon Sanders do ones. And you can find them easily by searching in Google for their names and ‘copywriting software’.

Don’t slavishly take the results of the software’s efforts but instead use it as a means of creating the right sort of structure and a workable draft. You will need to tone down some wordings and remove some of the "hypey" style but it will certainly give you something that will almost certainly be better than you could do on your own.

Good luck with training your copywriting skills!

P.S. Let me see some of your 'sales copy' examples.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Most important Keyword Campain Terms

Keyword Terms to your success

I have put a brief description here of the most important terms used in keyword research that you must understand to set up a successful keyword campaign for your site (for a longer version of this article, please see the end of this abstract).

Vertical Keyword Research

The term Vertical Keyword Research is fairly straight forward and describes the variations that can occur on one speficif keyword or keyword phrase.

Lateral Keyword Research

Lateral Keyword Research is the process of finding the keywords or phrases that are similar to your original keyword, but do not necessarily contain that word or words exactly.

Often you'll need to do this kind of lateral thinking yourself or hire someone who can do it for you, but many tools are smart enough to offer really useful suggestions.

Lateral Keyword Research also relates to building your list with a variety of keyword combinations or misspellings.

The more creative both your mind and the Keyword Research tools are, the better your outcome. SEO people and Niche Miners may find words they hadn’t thought of that are popular but have little competition.

In a similar way, PPC advertisers may generate a huge list of keywords that are overlooked and consequently inexpensive to advertise on. Lateral Keyword Research really is powerful in the right hands.

Keyword Density

This is one of the most talked-about subjects, when it comes to copywriting for search engine optimization.

Since keywords (or keyphrases) play such an important role in copywriting for search engines, it would make sense to have certain rules and regulations or formulas that should be followed. However, the latest take on SEO experts is that there are no unquestioned keyword density formulas.

But there are very successful online marketing companies who follow some keyword density formulas and text structures like using your keywords and -phrases in an hour glass like shape on a page. This means you would start with more density in the beginning of the text, whereas the middle part would have less keywords and the end would have more keywords again.


Digging is often automated or partly automated. It involves processing large lists of keywords to reveal the keywords that have the characteristics of terms that are going to make money! Often digging is done by keyword research software and will often involve both Vertical and Lateral Keyword Research.

It is kind of like having a big bucket full of coins and having someone sort through all the nickels to find the quarters. When digging is done right it can save you lots of time and make you lots of money.

Keyword Popularity

Keyword Popularity one of the easiest to understand yet most misunderstood concept's in Keyword Research. Simply it's the number of searches performed during a certain period - per day, per week, or per month. That's the easy part to understand.

What many people don’t understand is that this is only a relative indicator. If one tool says that there are 1000 searches a month for a particular keyword, that doesn’t mean this is an exact figure. You cannot then say with any sort of accuracy that during the past month throughout the whole Internet there were 1000 searches for that keyword.

What this figure means is that in the chunk or sample of data that was taken from this particular search engine during this month that keyword was found 1000 times. Sometimes this really is all of the searches that were done on this search engine, other times this is just a portion of all the search queries. The only time we could ever be sure that there were 1000 searches done a month would be if the sample data were taken from every single search engine on the Internet. No tool does this - not even close.

Keyword Research tools use only samples of data. This means that you cannot assume that your list is 100% correct. It’s really just a best guess based on the amount of data your specific tools looks at.

Firstly, you can get a rough indication of the search volume and fairly safely conclude that the actual search volume is going to be greater when you consider traffic across all search engines.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you can get a relative indicator. By relative indicator I mean it allows you to be able to compare one keyword with other keywords in the same group of data (except if you were using the Overture suggestion tool due to the way it combines phrases).

Even though the actual volume isn't exactly correct, by being able to compare relatively you can still get some amazingly powerful information.

Keyword Competition

Another important concept in Keyword Research is keyword competition. This information can help you assess how well you will be able to do in a particular market, from both a search engine ranking perspective, as well as a business competition perspective.

There are a two common methods that Keyword Research tools use to give an indicator of competition. The first one is called the R/S ratio, which shows the ratio of searches (demand) to web pages containing that keyword or keyword phrase (supply).

Basically the tool compares how many times something is searched for against how many pages are found in the search engine with that keyword or phrase included in the page.

The second common indicator is KEI, which stands for Keyword Effectiveness Index. This is very similar to R/S.

However, it's weighted so the higher the keyword volume, the more tolerance it has to lots of competing pages. So keywords or phrases with lots of searches will have a higher KEI compared with ones that have fewer searches, even though their R/S ratio may be exactly the same.

In most experts opinion, both concepts are fundamentally flawed because they assume that the number of pages on the Internet for a given keyword is a reliable measure of competition.

This is not neccessarily true.

In reality, it doesn’t matter how many competing pages you are up against. All that matters is how good are the websites that appear on the first (and maybe second) page that a search engine returns for a query.

What really matters is how good the top 10 results on a search page are!

- Are they well optimized?

- Are they already popular, high traffic sites?

- Do these sites have lots of links pointing to them?

If you want to get a real competitive analysis, you should include factors such as Incoming Links, Keyword Density, PageRank, Alexa Rank and PPC competition data to name just a few. These provide a better way of assessing competition in real terms.

Also, consider other factors in the equation that a tool cannot tell you directly. For example, think about the conversion potential of the keyword area. If you’re niche mining, how easy is it to get your hands on a product to sell? Or is there a suitable affiliate product to promote? There's no point having lots of traffic going to a site that has no way to turn that traffic into dollars.

Keyword Case Studies

The best book on how to apply keyword research, with useful examples of ways to use your own mind as a keyword research tool was published recently by Wordtracker. It's called Keyword Research Guide and it's free.

Although the e-book appears to be aimed at beginners, it is full of insights, tips, and techniques on keyword research that you can apply to your own website, whether you're using Wordtracker or some other tool. For anyone serious about making the most out of keywords it is a must!

The book features contributions from some very knowledgable 'keyword gurus', like:

  • Bryan Eisenberg - Convert more traffic using Wordtracker.
  • B. L. Ochman - Understand your customers' real motivations.
  • Kevin Lee - Combine thousands of phrases for an effective PPC campaign.
  • Stephen Mahaney - Use Wordtracker to find the size of the market.
  • Ken McGaffin - Discover the most important sites in your marketplace.
  • John Alexander - Find inspiration in Wordtracker's Top 1,000 Words report.
  • Neil Davidson - Learn how an ad agency uses keyword research to position a client.
  • Robin Good - Use Wordtracker to identify niche opportunities.
  • Nick Usborne - Incorporate keywords into your content and copy.

Related links: You can download Keyword Research Guide here.

For more information: Get in touch.
by Jay Stockwell [article shortened and changed, please see full version at

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Link Building Strategies - an Overview

This is an article about Link Building Strategies that really sums it all up:

Search engine marketers are well aware that Link Popularity plays a significant role in determining a web site's search engine rankings. The number and quality of inbound links are measured by search engines and considered when determining a page's rank.

If you're already a link building guru, then this article is not for you. However, if you're fairly new to these ideas, then you should benefit from this introduction to the topic. I intend to summarize some information presented at the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York this year, as well as ideas presented years ago in these two excellent articles on link building:

Do's and Don'ts for Building Your Site's Link Popularity (by Robin Nobles & Brent Winters)
12 Essential Strategies for Building & Structuring Inbound Links (by Stephen Mahaney)

Offer Quality Content

The best (and most obvious) way to encourage other web sites to link to yours is to create high quality content! To present your content, create a web site that has a professional look and feel, and an easy-to-use navigation system.

Write articles of interest to others that host sites related to your own topic area. Provide additional information about the topic to make it easy for your visitors to learn or gather information. Create some kind of online tool that might be useful to others.

In short, give them a reason to link to your site because it's unlikely they will do so if they do not find your content worthwhile.

Submit to Directories

One of the first places to look for high quality inbound links is from search engine directories.

Of course, submitting your site to a directory does not guarantee inclusion. Submission to these directories are typically evaluated by human beings, and your web site will be judged based on their impressions. If your site meets their standards, it will be included in the directory. If the quality of your web site content is high, then the likelihood that it will be accepted is greatly increased.

Evaluate the Competition

After submitting to the search engine directories, the next step is to evaluate your competition.

Do a thorough analysis of your top competitors' web sites and make a list of web sites that are linking to them. Contact the webmasters of sites that link to your competitors, and try to get them to link to your site as well. If possible, convince them to remove your competitor's link in favor of your own.

Natural Links are Best

If anything has changed in the last few years since the above articles were written, it's the ability of search engines to detect artificial links.

It's therefore more important than ever to build your Link Popularity naturally and gradually to ensure that you are given the credit for those links. If search engines detect a sudden massive influx of inbound links to a web site, it will be assumed that these links were purchased or otherwise artificially generated.

Search engines prefer to see links gradually accumulate from various web sites that relate to the same theme or topic of the site being linked to.

This is reasonable, because that's the way inbound link growth would occur if a site is becoming known over time for the quality of its content.

Choose Quality over Quantity

It's much better to have a single link from a popular web site related to your own topic area than a great many links from unknown sites unrelated to your site's topic.

The quality of your inbound links is much more important than the quantity.

Your time is much better spent cultivating a relationship with quality web sites in your topic area that are themselves already well ranked.

Some things to consider when evaluating the quality of a link are:
  • The amount of traffic the linking page actually receives -- a page that receives a great deal of traffic will expose your link to a greater number of visitors.
  • The location of your link on the page -- if the link is prominently positioned, the likelihood that it will be noticed by visitors is increased.
  • How many other links are on the page -- the boost your Link Popularity will receive from a given link is diluted by the number of other links on the linking page; the fewer links on the page, the better.

For more information on link quality, read this informative article entitled

The Smart Marketer's Guide to...Evaluating the Quality of a Link.

Post on Blogs Related to your Site Content

Blogs [like this one] or forums related to your own content area are excellent places to post material and include a link to your web site.

You should do this whenever possible because readers of the blog will at the very least become aware of your web site if they are not already.

Fairly recently, however, the power that links from blogs or forums have to affect your Link Popularity has been diminished with the introduction of the nofollow tag. This tag was introduced to discourage what Google refers to as "comment spam", which is essentially the use of blog posts to inflate link popularity even though the post was not really appropriate on the blog. If a nofollow attribute is used in a link, then search engines will not give the link any credit for Link Popularity.

Try for Links that are not Obvious

There are several places on the web to try to get links that are not obvious to those new to link building.

For example, links from .edu, .gov, or .mil domains are excellent sources for quality inbound links. These sites usually have good Page Rank and search engines will give these links high value.

Other great links to strive for are those from "Best of the Web", or "Picks of the Week" pages where new web sites are highlighted each week for their quality. Good examples are Yahoo! Picks and Best of the Web. These links are difficult to get, but are well worth the effort and will result in a good deal of traffic for your web site.

Try to be creative in your efforts to build links. Any web site that is somehow related to your site's content can be a potential link.

Keep URLs Consistent

To the extent that you can, try to make sure that your inbound links have a consistent format.

For example, make sure they say "" consistently, and not "" or "". Despite the fact that all three of these URLs will lead a web browser to the same page, they are still 3 different URLs as far as the search engines are concerned.

If you focus on a consistent URL to link to, the benefit to your rankings will be maximized.

Don't Focus on Reciprocal Links

Although exchanging links with other web sites is a fairly common practice, it's not the best way to enhance your Link Popularity.

Search engines tend to regard reciprocal links as artificial. That's not to say that your site would be penalized for linking back to a site that links to you; it's just that the effect a link has on your Link Popularity is optimized if you do not link back to the site.

The reasoning behind this is that sites that link to yours in this way are doing so because they value your web site content, not because you have promised a link back to them in return.


Link building is a critical component in any search engine marketing strategy.

It's important to implement a link building plan and stick with it over time to build Link Popularity gradually. The ideas presented in this review are fundamental and should help any webmaster begin accumulating links for their web site.

contributed by: Richard Drawhorn [Article shortened]

Monday, April 03, 2006

The difference between a flop and a hit

The difference between a flop and a hit can all be in the product description.

In fact if you are selling from a website what else does the customer have to go on?
They cannot actually see your product so they rely totally on what you say about it and any pictures you choose to use.

Obviously one of the things that tells them a lot about the item is its name.

About 4 years ago I had the rights to a product called “Product Development” which is hardy exciting, so instead we called it “How to Make £30,000 a Month Working from Home”. It was the same thing but sounded a whole lot more enticing. The name came from the real results of what was revealed to buyers, which of course was all about developing your own products.

The thing is that very few people want to make products, what most people want to do is sell products to make a load of money, and if they can do that easily, that is without leaving their own home, then they like that even more, hence the name was much better anyway.

The name of something can often flow into the description as well. In the case above it was much better talking about the joys of working from home and those that had done so already rather than trying to explain what developing your own products was all about.

©Copyright Tim Lowe & Markiteer {article shortened}.