Sure about this likings!

Making excellent Web Advertisements

How To Make Web-Advertising Worth Watching
By Jerry Bader (c) 2007

It has become an article of faith that the Web is all about content; content is King on the Web as opposed to television where commercials are king. It seems that television networks just can't wrap their heads around the Internet and fit it into their standard commercial box. The traditional media's tactic of last resort, buying-up the competition and imposing its commercial will, just won't work with the Internet.

Businesses that want to succeed on the Web must learn how to turn their commercial message into content as a seamless entertaining presentation.

After years of website visitors first ignoring, then getting increasingly irritated with banner ads that blink, burp, and blast across their screens, there finally is a better way; advertising in the form of Web-videos that not only deliver a marketing message but are worth the time invested in watching.

There is a lot of hype surrounding so-called viral videos. Many companies have tried to create this kind of marketing vehicle but the sheer lack of commercial purpose fails to attract viable prospects and instead generates a lot of attention from the maturity-challenged segments of society. As a business you want your video to be passed on to as many additional viewers as possible, but if it doesn't attract new leads or at least deliver your message, what good is it?

There is an absolute qualitative difference between a video that is engaging, entertaining, humorous and clever that delivers a strong marketing message and a video that is just plain stupid or at best pointless.

Bold is Beautiful and Effective

We know from experience that clients are attracted when we create entertaining offbeat video campaigns that send a clear message. But as soon as we start to create the equivalent type of campaign for them, they start to get nervous.

The Web demands a bold, frontal attack that delivers an uncompromising creative presentation of what you offer; not a defensive, compromised, don't-make-a-mistake approach that tries to cover everything and anything you might do.

The average business is incredibly timid when it comes to advertising. Boring, monotonous presentations that drone on are as helpful in attracting new business as viral video food-fights or female mud-wrestling clips. There is as much difference between bizarre and bold, as there is between salacious curiosity and entertainingly effective.

The challenge for business is to take this new form of advertising and use it so that it rises above the lowly realm of boring corporate PowerPoint presentations and silly homemade video antics to the lofty, and ultimately profitable dominion of content.

Why Web-Videos Aren't Like Television Commercials

Web-commercials are not television commercials. I know big advertisers are double-dipping their ad placements by flooding the Web with their TV spots, but who really cares? If you can see it on NBC or CBS twelve times every night why would you go out of your way to watch it on the Web?

The most significant difference between television and Web-commercials is cost. According to MediaPost's Gregory Wilson in his VideoInsider newsletter, the average 30-second TV commercial costs $12,000 per second to produce. That's per second, far beyond the budgets of most businesses. You can get an entire Web-video campaign for the cost of one second of TV-level production. Of course, you're not going to have a cast and crew of hundreds working on your spot, but then the quality of scrípt, simplicity of concept, and creativity of presentation count for more than wasted exotic sets and setups.

There are lots of things people just hate about television commercials and the best of the Web-commercials avoid these irritants.

Television commercials distract viewers from the content. Nobody likes interruptions. There is not much difference on the irritation scale between a telemarketing telephone call selling aluminum siding at dinner time and a commercial that interrupts the latest adventures of 24's Jack Bauer.

About the only good thing you can say about these program-interruptions is that they provide you a bathroom and beverage break, which of course doesn't help the advertiser who just spent $12,000 per second to get to you.

Web-commercials are different. They are sought-out by people as long as they provide something more than a mundane sales pitch. If you are clever, bold, and interesting, people will not only watch, they'll remember.

Think back to when you were in school and the teacher told you to look up the answer yourself and not just rely on her to give it to you? That's because the effort of searching out the answer created a more memorable experience. Commercials are no different. Sure fewer people are going to come in contact with your Web-commercial than they would a television commercial, but then the Web-commercial is more targeted, more memorable, and far more cost effective.

Even worse than the continuous interruptions is the repetitiveness of television commercials. Sometimes you have to sit through the same obnoxious commercial multiple times in the same commercial break. Give Apple computer and Geico Insurance credít for their commitment to developing creative, entertaining campaigns that are continually evolving with new segments that build a following for the characters, product and message. These commercials actually do rise above the level of sale's pitch and achieve the status of content. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for ninety-nine percent of all the other television ads.

Because people choose to watch a Web-commercial, they don't become upset with the advertiser for inflicting repetitive psychological torture. In fact Web-commercials that are entertaining and informative will be watched over and over, and passed on to friends and colleagues.

The Bottom Line

1 Web-users choose to watch Web-videos and therefore are more receptive to the message.

2 Web-videos need to be entertaining so they are more likely to be watched repeatedly and passed on to friends.

3 Web-videos are less costly to produce so advertisers can create campaigns consisting of multiple videos on the same theme so that viewers don't get bored or irritated.

How To Turn A Pitch Into Content

If you are going to bore people to death, then Web-advertising is not for you. If all you have to say is buy my stuff, nobody is going to listen. If you are afraid to be different, you are just going to blend into the woodwork. If you think search engine optimization is going to solve all your marketing problems, well think again.

If you want to turn your advertising into content then create your next campaign on the following principles:

  • Be Clear.
  • Be Bold.
  • Be Uncompromising.
  • Be Entertaining.
  • Be Engaging.
  • Be Clever.
  • Be Humorous.
  • Create Character(s).
  • And Tell a Story.

About The Author
Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit, and Contact at or telephone (905) 764-1246.

How to get high quality one way links to websites?

Backlinks - How To Get High
Quality One Way Links To Your Websites
By Matt Garrett (c) 2007

There are basically two aspects to SEO, "on page" & "off page" optimization.

"On Page" SEO is easy because it's totally under your control. It's simply a case of making sure you have optimized your web pages correctly.

OK, so there is a bit more to it than that, like keyword research, keyword density & frequency, which html tags to use, making sure your site/pages are W3 Compliant, using relative/absolute internal linking structures to feed the pagerank where it's most effective, using titles and descriptions that encourage people to clíck through from the SERP's etc.

But essentially, once you know how to do all that, it's not difficult to get it right for all your pages/sites.

It's also less important in the long run than getting sufficient links to your site/pages from other sites.

Getting links to your site is fundamental to getting visitors, and without visitors all the time, effort and money invested in getting your site up and running, and looking "nice", is irrelevant.

No Visitors = No Point!

So links are essential to the health of your site, and indeed your business, but all links are not equal in value to your site.

Reciprocal links will help, but they are far less effective than one way backlinks, i.e. links from another site where you don't have to link back to them. These "One Way" backlinks will give your site a far greater boost in the search engine results and bring you more traffíc, providing of course that you have chosen good (relevant) keywords for your links.

There are many ways of getting these powerful one way backlinks, but most you will have no control over the anchor text used (i.e. keywords) in the link, which means their "power" is unfocused and therefore of less use to you in achieving the targeted keyword results you are looking for.

For example, submitting your site to website directories can be a very effective way of picking up some high quality one way links from high PR sites, but you will seldom be able to choose the keywords/anchor text used for the link, often ending up with the site name as the link.

This is not a waste of time, as the Pagerank passed to your site will, with the correct internal linking structure, be passed on to your sites internal pages, helping them to rank better for their targeted keywords.

So how can you get highly targeted one way links?

It's fairly common for webmasters to now buy or "rent" links to their sites through services like, and these services will allow you to choose the anchor text, but they are far from cheap. A link from a PR 8 site can easily cost $150+ per month. In fact there is now a business model emerging based on building sites simply to sell these kind of links (see

Google has also publicly stated that they disapprove of this practice and are actively seeking to downgrade the value of such "paid links", although personally it seems like a valid form of advertising to me, but maybe I just don't have Google's wisdom in these matters. ;)

As always in business, there are entrepreneurs who have identified this need in the market and a whole new branch of linking services are popping up offering new solutions for one way backlinks.

I've been testing some of them out over the last few months and have found a couple that have had a significant positive effect on the sites I used them for.

The Backlink Solution

This first solution is a monthly subscription that provides a network of high quality blog sites for you to post comments on, including a link to your site(s) using your chosen anchor text.

Note: As you make the link yourself, you can also link to internal pages on your site to improve their rankings as well, which you can't do with directory submissions.

It is a manual process, but is easy enough that it can be outsourced fairly cheaply.

The Pagerank of these blogs varies, but the links provided are very "natural" in appearance to the search engines, and as you can post unique relevant content on market related blogs, the links are highly relevant. You are also limited as to how many blogs you can post to each month, to ensure that the links grow naturally over time, rather than all in one go.

Three Way Links

The internet marketing market is highly competitive, so it's hardly surprising that another service with a different twist has popped up from this market.

This is an automated "three way links" system, where you link to site A, which then links to site B, which then links back to you. Whilst this is arguably not as powerful as true "one way backlinks", it's still a significant step above one way "reciprocal" linking that is the more traditional method used by the majority of webmasters.

The process is also automated for you, making it very hands off. You can submit up to 20 sites with just one account and you can specify three different anchor texts to be used as the links for each site's, making sure you don't incur any penalties for over use of just one text link keyword or phrase.

It is also set up to gradually build up the links over time to make it all appear very natural to the search engines.

Your Own Authority Blog

There is one final service that I've found to be very useful, although it is more ideal for people with multiple sites to promote.

The service gives you your own blog on an existing high PR authority site. The site has 833,039 backlinks listed in Yahoo and gets spidered several times a day by all of the major search engines. For example in June 2007 Googlebot visited it 14,470 times and Yahoo Slurp 52,436 times, so you can see why it's regarded as an "authority" site.

I have used this to link to brand new sites and had them indexed by Google within 24 hours, so it's a great way of getting a new site in to the SE's quickly, and the link weíght will obviously also help any site linked to.

As a side note, I've also found that my blog on this site can get fairly significant traffíc itself when I take the time to keyword optimize the posts, which is always a nice added benefit. I haven't traded reciprocal links for any of my sites in almost two years, and you can probably see why I don't need to. Using powerful new linking tools and services like these means I am able to take total control over the "off page" SEO linking strategies for my sites in the same way as I do for the "on page" SEO factors.

Wouldn't you like to do have the same level of control over your sites search engine rankings?

About The Author
Article by Matt Garrett © 2007 | 4 Minute Internet Marketing Videos Grab Your Free Article Site Building tool, Blog Commenting Software & 90 Page SEO Book Now!

Google Reader-Improve Efficiency,Stop Overload

Using Google Reader to Stop Information Overload and Improve Your Efficiency
By Miles Galliford (c) 2007

The Internet is the single greatest research resource that has ever existed. However, whilst it has solved many of the issues of getting access to information, it has created new issues that have to be addressed. Probably the biggest of these is information overload.

In order to keep up to date with my many areas of interest so I can run my business efficiently, understand what is happening in the online content sector and still have time for leisure activities, I have to be extremely good at filtering information.

Over the years I have tried many tools to help me aggregate online information so that it is easy to scan, read, save and filter.

The tool that I have finally settled on is the free 'Google Reader'.

Google Reader enables me, on one page, to get updates from all the sites that I regularly visit. I can scan each headline and first paragraph very quickly. Any articles of interest can be displayed in full and then saved or discarded as required.

On an average morning I can get through 100-plus articles in about an hour.

Who Should Use Google Reader?

Everyone who regularly visits multiple websites to keep up to date with news, business and leisure, which I guess means just about every Internet user!

If you are a blogger or run a specialist information website, then Google Reader is an essential tool to help you source material for your articles and enable you to stay abreast of what is happening in your sector.

Setting Up a Google Reader Account

Setting up a Google Reader account so information is automatically added from many of the sites you regularly visit should take about 15 minutes if you follow these instructions.

Step 1

Open your browser, go to and click on the link on the right-hand side that says 'Open an Account Now'.

Step 2

The screen should display the following simple fields to fill in:

  • Enter Your Current Email Address – Google will send the verification email to this address, so make sure that you provide a real and active address.
  • Choose a Password.
  • Confirm the Password.
  • Location.
  • Word Verification – This makes sure that you are a real person and not a bit of Internet software!

The screen will then display the 'I accept. Create my account' button.

Step 3

You will be sent an email to verify that your email address is live and working, so go and find this in your inbox to enable your account. It will have been sent from and will have the subject line 'Google Email Verification' .

You verify the email by clicking on the link in the email. This will open your Google Reader page.

Step 4

When the Google Reader page opens for the first time, you will have the opportuníty to watch a 30-second video by clicking on the 'Play' button at the bottom of the video window. This is worth doing.

Once the video is finished, click the 'Get started by adding subscription' button. This takes you to a screen where you can start adding some websites chosen by Google.

Step 5

Google has bundled some sites into groups – News, Sports, Fun and many more. I wouldn't bother choosing a bundle. I prefer to choose individual feeds in which I'm really interested.

To do this, click on the 'Add Subscription' link in the left-hand column. This opens a search field with which you can find feeds to add to your Reader page.

You can make the search either very specific to find the feed on a particular website (for example, 'BBC UK sports news') or much broader to find feeds about a particular subject area (for example, 'gardening') .

Step 6

Once you have identified a feed you want to add, you simply click the `Subscribe' button. The button immediately changes to a yellow tick and the text 'Subscribed' .

At this point it is very useful to assign the feed to a folder. As you add lots of feeds it is much easier to manage your Reader site if they are bundled into folders. To do this click on 'Add to a folder', which appears under the feed once you have subscribed.

Click 'New folder...' and type in a relevant category name – news, sports, small business, etc.

Repeat this process to add more feeds.

Congratulatíons! You have now taken a big step towards making your information consumption much more effective.

Using Your Google Reader Page Day to Day

Once you have your Reader page set up with multiple feeds, spend some time familiarising yourself with how you can access the information you need.

Here is a quick overview.

Links in the Left-Hand Column

  • Click 'Home' to get a view of the three latest articles from each of your feeds.
  • Click 'All items' to see all new articles as they come in, in chronological order.
  • 'Starred items' is the way to save articles in which you are interested. When you read an individual item, a row of options appears at the foot of the summary. If you click 'Add star', the article is then saved to the `Starred items' folder.
  • 'Shared items' allows you to set up your own feed so that other people can read the articles you choose to share. When you select an article, you get the option to 'Share' it by clicking the link at the foot of the article summary.
  • 'Trends' summarises your reading habits from the feeds you have listed. I use this to remove feeds that I'm not regularly reading.
  • 'Add subscription' is covered above. It allows you to search for new feeds so they can be added to your Reader page.
  • Under the 'Add subscription' link is a líst of all your feeds. You can select a certain folder to read all the feeds in that category, or you can select an individual feed to read the latest articles from that website.

Other Useful Functions

  • 'Email' allows you to instantly send the article header and summary to a friend. This is a very useful and convenient option found at the foot of each article summary.
  • 'Edit tags' enables you to add words that will help you search and find a particular article. For example, if you were researching for a book you could tag all relevant articles 'book1' so that you could easily find them again.
  • 'Líst view' is a useful feature that allows you to líst articles like email in an inbox, so you can very quickly scan the headings to find items of interest. You'll find the 'líst view' tab in the top right corner of each page.

Enjoy using Google Reader. I hope that it not only makes you much more efficient, but also revolutionises the way that you consume information on the Web.

About The Author
SubHub provides an all-in-one solution to enable you to rapidly design, build and run your own content website. Publish for profít on the web. Website: SubHub Articles Feed

3 Act Web Presentation - 2 minutes Solution

The 120 Second Solution
By Jerry Bader (c) 2007

Like it or not, the Web is turning into an environment that will be dominated by audio and video presentations. And as we have already seen, the democratic nature of the Web has allowed the best and worst to stand side-by-side.

On one side, you have the whacky viral videos that serve little commercial purpose other than to enhance the reputations of their creators; and on the other side, you have deadly boring corporate videos that lack any of the qualities that make Web-video the best sales tool a business will ever have.

In the middle are a few innovative companies that know how to deliver a marketing message by telling a business story with style and panache so that an audience will remember the message and act upon it. And yes, even a few know how, and are willing, to do it with a reasonable budget.

Pay for Content-Production Not Airtime

The non-time sensitive nature of the Web differs from the corporate world of broadcast television where the cost of airtime has seen commercial formats gradually decrease from sixty, to thirty, to fifteen seconds.

I imagine the day is not too far off when we will have a new five-second commercial format all while the broadcast regulators are allowing more commercials per half hour of programming. According to, "a typical 30-minute block of time includes 22 minutes of programming with 6 minutes of national advertising and 2 minutes of local (although some half-hour blocks may have as much as 12 minutes of advertisements)."

We've all had the distinct displeasure of having to sit through the same mind-numbing commercial as many as three times in the same commercial break. At that rate even good commercials we want to watch become exercises in Guantonamo-style torture tactics.

It's unlikely that the independent mentality that governs the Web will ever accept a uniform presentation standard to take hold; the idea is just too conventional for an environment that thrives on breaking the rules.

That said an argument could be made for the discipline of a Web-based video presentation format that tells an effective marketing story in the most efficient and memorable manner.

Form, Function, and Discipline

Effective marketing communication is about telling your story, whether it's a fifteen-second television commercial or a thirty-minute infomercial. If you don't tell a story you aren't communicating your message effectively.

Because the Web doesn't require you to purchase airtime, your video presentation once uploaded, is available 24/7 for all to see, anytime they wish, as often as they want.

Since you have this freedom of expression, you need to ask yourself, what is the best way to implement this independence? Do you follow the standard television format based on a cost-per-second basis, when in fact the length of the presentation is mostly irrelevant, or do you drone on for half-an-hour boring your viewers to tears?

There must be a standard format for Web video that makes sense both technically from a time-to-download perspective, and from an effectiveness standpoint, delivering the message in an unforgettable way.

Like with most things in life, discipline is very important, video production requires the producer to be focused; it helps keep budgets in line; and it delivers results because there just isn't any room for extraneous self-indulgence. In addition, following a standard format provides viewers with an expectation, a promise that you will say what needs to be said, and what they want to hear, in a reasonable and efficient amount of time.

The 120 Second Solution: The 3 Act Web Presentation

Unlike cost-per-time formats, you have the freedom to fudge the timing to meet your needs. On the Web, there is no sense in cutting a presentation because it runs fifteen seconds long, or adding superfluous material because it runs fifteen seconds short. That said, it is a good idea to start with a structure that allows you to build a presentation that works; a presentation that has a beginning, middle, and end; a presentation that tells a story viewers will sit through and pay attention to. What we have come up with is "The 120 Second Solution: The 3 Act Web Presentation."

We arrived at this format by analyzing how the best storytellers spin their yarns, the Hollywood moviemakers. Your standard Hollywood movie contains forty scenes, three acts, and runs approximately 120 minutes; yes, some movies run only ninety minutes, and others run as much as three hours, but 120 minutes is the optimum.

If you accept the premise that commercial Web videos are all about telling your story, then perhaps the best solution is to take the standard, three act, one hundred and twenty minute movie, and scale it down to a three act, one hundred and twenty second movie.

A Web Marketing Campaign

Our recent thought-piece the "18 Web-Marketing Concepts That Make A Difference" was introduced by six entertaining videos comprising 'The Lost Brad Tapes,' that loosely follow the 120 Second, 3 Act Web-Presentation Solution.

Act One: The Setup

Your first act is the setup:
(1) A proper setup needs to introduce your hero (every story, even commercials, need a hero);
(2) It must contain an Inciting Incident that triggers action on the part of the hero, and;
(3) It must also create an object of desire and define the nature of success.

By incorporating these elements in your first act, you attract viewer interest, hold viewer attention, create viewer expectation, and provide vicarious, virtual-viewer participation through the actions of the surrogate hero.

In the case of The Lost Brad Tapes, the inciting incident is our hero, Brad's, failure to find the answer to the question, "How do you become a website success?" Our hero searches the world and endures countless hardships just to find 'The Man' with 'The Answer.' And who in business hasn't searched high and low for some expert who could provide a simple solution to a complex problem.

Act one also establishes the object of desire, the knowledge needed to become a website success, and it defines the nature of success, finding the answer.

Act Two: The Conflict

Act two is about establishing conflict and building tension by creating an obstacle that provides the motivational impetus to act to resolve the problem.

With each successive chapter (video) of The Lost Brad Tapes, our hero runs into a roadblock in the guise of a supposed authority who has other things on his mind, and who is ultimately of no help, but who builds the dramatic tension that holds the viewer's interest. Will our boy Brad, find the answer and will he share it with you, the viewer?

Act Three: The Payoff

Act three provides the resolution: the object of desire is secured and the need is gratified. The audience is satisfied with the knowledge gained and the ínvestment in time.

Act three of the Lost Brad videos presents an attractive host who interrupts the video and talks directly to the audience, providing a teaser of one of the '18 Web-Marketing Concepts That Make A Difference,' and points the viewer to the complete article with the entire líst of eighteen things to think about along with a complete explanation of each.


The Lost Brad Tapes initiative is an example of how to produce a marketing campaign that delivers a business message by telling a story by following an organizational and development structure, proven to be effective. It is not a sales pitch; it asks for nothing from the viewer other their time; and it delivers sound business advice that establishes expertise.

If Web video is on your 'to do' líst, but you're not sure how to go about telling your story, then the 120 Second, 3 Act Web-Video Solution is a good place to start.

About The Author
Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit, and Contact at or telephone (905) 764-1246.

Future Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Back to the Future SEO
By Kalena Jordan (c) 2007

Recently I took on a new SEO client who had a major problem. They had a very popular portal site in a competitive industry but for 3 months running, their Top 10 search engine rankings for major keywords had taken a consistent dive. The position drops ranged from 1 or 2 places up to 20 places. They hired me to try and address the issue quickly because their advertising revenue relied on the top 10 visibility of their brand in the SERPs.

I looked for the usual suspects, a Google penalty, dodgy code, hidden text, new competitors, 404 errors, keyword stuffing, fast acquisition of links, domain issues, major hostíng outages, over-optimization and code bloat. Nothing - the site checked out clean. There had been a major Google algorithm update in the past 6 months, but that had occurred weeks earlier to the downward trend. So then I asked about the design history and if any major changes had been made a week or so prior to the sudden ranking drop. The client couldn't recall any major changes so I went about the business of improving the site as best I could and integrating a link building campaign to obtain links from high quality sites in the same industry.

But I couldn't shake the idea that there must have been some major change to the site that impacted its previously ideal search engine compatibility. So I asked for the site's log files for the past 6 months and imported them into ClickTracks for a closer look. I discovered that the site showed a solid growth in traffíc starting in February and continuing until April. It was attracting the most traffíc on April 5 and then it suddenly plummeted. The logs didn't reveal much else, except record keyword referrals for the period, followed by record lows.

It was then that the little light bulb above my head switched on. I could use the Internet Archive to see what the site looked like on those dates! If you aren't already familiar with the Internet Archive (affectionately known as the Wayback Machine), it's an online repository of web sites in historical timeline format so you can see what web sites looked like on different dates in their history. Take a look at Wikipedia's front page design from 2001. It's fun, and a little embarrassing, to see what certain web sites looked like many years ago.

So I pulled copies of the client's home page from the archive for the date range that coincided with the major spike and fall and studied the HTML code of each carefully. When I compared them, I saw one glaring difference. The older version contained keyword-rich link titles for the main navigation area while the later version didn't. The links were still there, but the link title attributes were not and a quick check of the client's current home page HTML showed they were still missing. It turns out that the web designer had inadvertently removed them during an update without realizing and failed to replace them.

Because the navigation area consisted of a large number of untitled links, the result was a drop in the home page keyword density for the client's major target keywords, allowing their competitors with higher density to push them down the SERPs. I presented my discovery to the client and they were somewhat relieved to have an explanation at last. The link titles were reinstated and the client's rankings have been climbing back ever since.

The whole experience got me thinking: the Wayback Machine is really the SEOs secrët weapon. It's Back to the Future SEO! Here are just some ways SEOs could use it:

1) To spot major HTML coding changes on your own sites or client sites that may have impacted rankings (as per my case study).

2) To study the design and HTML history of your client's sites and their competitors.

3) To spot if a web site has been optimized in the past.

4) To study the design and HTML history of the web sites belonging to your major SEO competitors.

5) To spot if a web site has used dodgy optimization tactics in the past.

6) To see what keywords your competitors targeted in the past versus the ones they now target.

7) To compare design and usability changes made over the years by big brand sites (and imitate them).

8) To rescue HTML code and images for sites that have been hacked or wiped without back-ups in place.

9) To track content duplication or copyright violations where the site owner has already removed the offending material.

10) To check the true age of a web site and see if it has been used for a different purpose or company in the past.

These are just uses I came up with from the top of my head, but I'm sure there are plenty more. Some of these uses are not SEO specific, but useful to webmasters in general and particularly to persons looking to buy an existing domain.

Then there are the fun uses – embarrassing your mates by emailing them a copy of their old site complete with frames and blinking graphics. Having a laugh at the first designs rolled out by some of the major search engines. This is what Yahoo looked like in 1996. Here's Google in 1998. The possibilities are endless.

So what are you waitíng for? Use the Wayback Machine and Get Back to the Future!

About The Author
Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia, who is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running a daily Search Engine Advice Column, Kalena manages Search Engine College - an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and other Search Engine Marketing subjects.

Art of Website Maintenance

The Art of Website Maintenance
By Erin Ferree (c) 2007

Now that you've designed and launched your website, you have a powerful marketing tool for your business. But, your website is only as useful as the content is current. The process of keeping the content on your site current is called website maintenance, and it's important to keep both visitors and search engines supplied with new information. Just like regular maintenance on your car, you have to make changes on your website every few months to make sure that things run smoothly.

If you update the content on your website on a regular basis, potential clients will be drawn back to your site to find out "what's new". The search engines pay visits to websites in their queue regularly. The catch is that you'll stay in the queue only if you update your site regularly. If the search engines visit your site several times in a row, and don't find anything new, they may decide not to come back-which can be a blow to your search engine rankings.

So, when is it appropriate to update your website? You don't want to waste time and monëy nitpicking at your site if you don't have updates of real value to add. You should update your site if you've:

- Grown your skills. Have you gotten a new accreditation? New licensing? Improved your skills? Any change in your skill set is a great reason to update your website - and your potential clients - with your new capabilities.

- Expanded your products or services. Do you have a new offering? Add it to your website and start making new sales in that area.

- Completed a successful project. If you've just finished a project, include it on your website. Create an online portfolio, add a case study - build a section on your website to use as a place to show the world your success.

- Gotten more testimonials, or added to your client list. Including more feedback on your offering helps to build your credibility. Be sure to get a testimonial from each of your successful client projects. Updating your testimonials regularly will also show clients who have visited your site a few times that your offerings are "up to snuff".

- Written an article. Writing articles is a great way to keep your website up-to-date and to put more content on your site. Search engines love content-rich sites, and visitors will love to see the new information. So, if you write articles to educate your clients and promote your business, be sure to place them on your website as well. They're likely to be full of keywords related to your area of specialty, which will help your ranking in the search engines.

- Issued Press releases. You should post all press releases and other information you publish about your company to your website. You nevër know who may be visiting, and you may get written up for your accomplishments.

- Made changes in your business. Have you hired someone? Changed your business structure, and you're now required to notify the public of that? If so, you should probably review your website and evaluate how you can add that information.

- Made Yearly checkups. You should do a basic review of your site at least once a year, to make sure that the content is current. Some things to look for include:

  • Your copyright statements should be updated yearly
  • Test and validate your links, to ensure that they still work
  • Your time references should be changed. If your "About" page says how many years you've been in business, this is the time to change that!
  • Your pricing and offerings - do you have new products or services? Have your prices increased over the past year?

Spotlight any major updates on your home page as well, so that people will learn of those updates as soon as they enter your site. The search engines will also discover the new update as soon as they enter your home page if you leave a bit of information, with a link to the full story, on the home page. That will act as a breadcrumb for the engine to follow - the engines will follow your link to learn more about it.

Any of these reasons, and dozens of others, are great reasons to make changes to your site. If you make keeping your website current a priority, it will pay off with better search engine rankings and increased sales and leads through your website.

Once you've decided to make your changes, the next choice is how to go about doing that. There are two steps involved in maintaining your site:

1. First, decide whether you prefer to edit your content on paper or online. This can be done in a couple of ways. You can start by printing the pages that have outdated information and then updating that information on paper first. Or, you can copy and paste the outdated content from your website into a word processing program such as Microsoft Word and then edit that file on your computer.

2. After you have updated your text content you can choose either to make the changes yourself or to hire a web designer to make the changes. There are several tools that you can use to make changes to your site yourself. We recommend an easy-to-use tool called Macromedia Contribute. It's fairly inexpensive, its simple to set up and learn, and it allows you to back up to older versions of your site if you make mistakes.

We suggest that you use this tool to make only simple text changes. More complicated changes - for example, to the overall design or navigation - are more difficult to make, and having a professional make those changes will save you energy and frustration.

If you are comfortable with a more complicated software program, then we recommend a professional-grade tool such as Dreamweaver. With a better software package, you'll be able to make some of the more complicated changes yourself.

By building more and more current information into your website, you will also begin to build trust with your potential clients, since they will have a snapshot of what's currently happening in your business available to them. Your website can go a long way towards making sure that your online prospects know, like, and trust you - which can lead to more sales from your website.

About The Author
Erin Ferree is a brand identity designer who creates big visibility for small businesses. Her workbook, "Design a Website That Works", will walk you through all of the questíons that you need to answer in order to create the best possible website. Elf-Design Web Workbook

Video Marketing

Video Marketing - Its Different Manifestations
By Punam Parab (c) 2007

Just go through these facts and figures:

• "This [online video ads] could very well become the dominant form of online advertising... probably within the next 18 to 24 months" - Bob Hanna, senor vice president of sales with Burst Media-a group that offers publisher sites to advertisers.

• "Online video ad spend is to surge by 89% in 2007 and is poised to grow and in 2010 will be worth around $2.9 billion". - marketing vox.

• "At some time early in 2010, one in 10 dollars devoted to internet advertising will go for video placements " - David Hallerman, a senior analyst with eMarketer and author of the report 'Internet Video: Advertising Experiments & Exploding Content'

Well, if you have a sharp mind [and even if you don't], you cannot but notice the rising fortunes of video marketing. Video marketing is the next big thing in the world of Internet marketing.

Video marketing entails the use of video for conveying your message to the audience. Most experts believe that videos are more effective when it boils down to establishing an engaging and interactive platform to communicate with the target audience.

If you too are interested in entering into the world of 'online video marketing', then it will augur well if you are aware about the various forms of video marketing. Video advertising is one of the basic forms of video marketing. In case of video advertising, the advertiser makes use of the video that is already being run across television channels. Usually, the video is edited to shorten the duration. This also makes the video more appealing to the online audience. At times, the video might be stripped of its sound to fasten the downloading speed.

However, experts believe that running the same video for your Internet marketing campaign as well as on television channels is not a good idea. According to Amit I. Budhrani of Alza Management Institute, "Most advertisers feel that the content for a video advert can be borrowed from their own TV commercials. However, this is not the case. One needs to clearly differentiate between a video advert and an advertisement made for the TV. Video made for a TV can nevër replace video that is required for the Internet. And it will not make a good impression about the company in the eyes of the people since they can quickly make out that the ad has been copied directly from the TV. If this happens then one is likely to löse out on viewers since people will not care to view the ad of the company ever again. Hence the company will loose viewers instead of gaining them. And this will be a very big loss of opportunity ."

Budhrani also adds that, "People are not going to spend their bandwidth on ads that can be seen on TV. In other words, if you have to capture the attention of the online audience, then you have to present them with fresh content that is creative as well as engaging."

Ron Coomber of ITV agrees with the opinion put forward by Amit I. Budhrani of Alza Management Institute. According to Coomber, "The conventional 30 second TV commercial will not be as effective when presented on the Internet." According to Lanctot of Avenue A/Razorfish, "It's easy to repurpose TV Ads, but it's not a good idea. Everyone seems to agree, but they keep doing it."

However, winds of change are slowly sweeping in. According to Treffiletti of Carat, "We have some clients who have allowed us to actually shoot video for [the Internet]. In addition, when they're shooting a commercial and they have the A roll and the B roll, the B roll has a lot more life now. We can actually use that extra footage."

The other form of video marketing that has been attracting the attention of business houses and corporate sector happens to be in-text video advertising. In this particular form of video marketing, a video gets uploaded and subsequently played whenever a user scrolls over an underlined text.

Experts state that in-text video advertising is a highly efficient method that can be precisely targeted towards a particular segment of the online audience. This is because a person will be induced to take his mouse over an underlined word only if he can relate with that word. For instance, a young mother might roll her mouse over words like 'bottle feeder', 'baby diapers', 'infant care' etc. This is because as a mother of an infant, she can relate with these words.

In-text video advertising is a user-initiated form of advertising. This means that the video will be played only when the user opts to roll his mouse over a phrase or a word.

Advertisers also have the option of going in for 'product placement in video'. This form of video marketing is similar to 'in-film' advertising wherein the product is placed in the video. For instance, one can notice Omega watches in James Bond movies. 'Product placement in video' works on the same line except for the fact that the same is done in the virtual world and through an online medium.

The products are integrated in the online video. At times, the viewers are also allowed to interact with the product in question. This increased interactivity enhances the engagement quotient of the advertisement.

'Advertiser funded video' is one more manifestation of video marketing. In this form of video marketing, the advertiser creates the content of the video but the same is run on third-party websites. The video seeks to entertain, inform or educate the viewers as well as to convey the information of the advertiser to the target audience.

One can also directly deliver the video to consumers via email. This form of video marketing is known as 'direct video'. However, this is a relatively new form of marketing and is yet to be exploited in a big way. The rise of Web 2.0 has allowed advertisers to deliver videos in HTML [Hyper Text Mark-Up Language] and thus avoid languishing in the receiver's bulk or sp@m folder.

Most experts believe that this form of video marketing has good potential especially considering the fact that an increasing number of netizens are now opting for hi-speed broadband connections instead of the traditional dial-up connections. This is good news for those opting for 'direct video' as research has proven that those having broadband connections are more receptive towards video.

The growing popularity of such sites as YouTube has opened up one more avenue for advertisers, business houses and the corporate sector. One can place videos in social network sites. According to a report that appeared in Reuters, "YouTube, the leader in Internet video search, said on Sunday viewers are now watching more than 100 million videos per day on its site, marking the surge in demand for its "snack-sized" video fare."

Experts state that this particular form of advertising has great scope provided the videos feature original content [that is the ideas for the video are not directly uplifted from the ads that are run on television] and are high on creativity.

And, if you do not want your video to get featured in a social networking site, then you can always have them displayed on mobiles. Experts state that since the number of mobile users is showing a tremendous íncrease, one can go in for mobile video marketing. According to Jim Cook of, "there are currently around 2.5 billion mobile handsets in the world, roughly the same number as TVs and PC's combined."

Those conversant with Internet marketing dynamics state that mobile users are showing a tremendous appetite for videos. As puts it, "A number of recent studies have shown that consumers are actually very willing to receive ads on their phones as long as certain conditions are in place."

Most experts state that people are willing to see videos on their mobiles as long as these videos are relevant to their needs and desires. Similarly, viewers also expect something in return from the advertiser after watching his/her advert. Experts also believe that mobile video viewers want an assurance that they can opt-ín or opt-oüt of the video.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, UK, "there are already many types of mobile video ads available including banner ads, text ads, search ads, short code response numbers in print and TV and ads inserted between levels of a game. Essentially, the choice available to advertisers is as large as that of internet advertising and it is recommended that - in the same way as internet – marketers select only the forms beneficial to their brand and campaign ."

Thus, there are various forms of video marketing. Advertisers, wishing to use this form of Internet marketing, should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each form of video marketing. They should also weigh their intentions and objective campaigns of their online marketing campaign against each form of video marketing and select the one that will help them to gain maximum mileage.

As Interactive Advertising Bureau, UK puts it; "online video takes this to the next level by delivering the content we love to other portable video players. This leads to accessing video content in entirely new places; living rooms and cinemas are no longer the only place to view video."

About The Author
Punam Parab is a freelance writer who takes an active interest in the field of internet marketing and search engine optimization. She regularly writes articles that deal with the various facets of internet marketing and the developments taking place in the field of internet marketing.

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