Category Archives: Business

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

In today’s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines it has become even easier for the customers to search for the stuff online. For a website to be successful its link should land in the first three pages which the search engine brings and the rank of the page should be high which means many visitors come to the site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy which increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.

SEO not only affects the search engine results, but also image search, video search and industry specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with people. When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links which lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in future.

In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependant on the keywords, Meta tags, and index files provided by the Webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn’t prove to be successful as some Webmasters added irrelevant Meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.

Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithm, which were difficult for the webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person. Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated for this purpose.

Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to pay for it, which finally resulted in high quality web pages. Although investing in SEO is very fruitful, but at the same time is risky because with out any prior notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page. Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic. Search engines like Yahoo has algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is if a advertiser desires that the page containing his ad be displayed, he is expected to pay money for it. This is a point of controversy, as only the big businesses will be able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might be having a better quality page.

Google Ad Words explores ads which have words typed in the search box by the surfer. The Million Dollar Homepage started the concept of Pixel advertising, which is a graphical kind of advertising. Depending on the pixels, the space is sold to the advertiser. Keyword advertising involves advertisers who buy URLs of a site and place their ads at that location. Thus SEO is a market in its own which is yielding great results for businesses on Internet.

 

Writing a Good Headline for Your Advertisement

Writing a good headline for your advertisement

There is no denying the fact that the success of an advertisement lies mostly in the headline. The headline should attract the reader and make him read the rest of the advertisement. The headline should be simply catchy and various key points should be embedded when deciding on the headline for the ad.

The headline should catch attention of the eye at the first glance. Words in headlines should act as tags for the advertisement. It should say it all about the content that follows. If a company is selling reasonably priced furniture, the headline of their advertisement should be ‘Durable furniture for less price’. This headline will attract the right customers who are on a look out for durable furniture as well as low cost furniture. If the customers to be reached belong to a category that are interested in decorating their house with beautiful furniture and aren’t concerned about the price to get the right look, then the headline can be ‘Change how your house looks by our oriental furniture’. Anything other than the prospects should not be included in the headline. If both men and women can use a product, both of them should be referred to in the title, missing out even one of the category is like losing a huge number of potential customers.

The title should be instant product seller. According to a research, five times more readers read just the headline when compared to those who read the complete advertisement. So the investment is of no use, if the title isn’t good enough to sell the product. There can be a possibility that the content of the ad isn’t strong enough. All the harm can be undone by having a powerful headline.

The headline should be centered on the product and not the company that is selling the product. The customer’s interest should be reflected and he should feel that he is directly addressed. Start with ‘you’ and not ‘we’. So if the client specified on mentioning the company’s name, don’t start the sentence with it. For example, instead of writing ‘Tylenol – solution for sever cold ’, write ‘Got sever cold? Try Tylenol’. Never forget to mention the name of the product in the headline. The product name should be of top priority.

A snapshot of the benefits of the product should be given in the headline. This is an important quality of a well-phrased headline. The customers look out for advantages when he thinks of buying a product. Keywords like whiter teeth, nutritious cereals, or miraculous growth should be incorporated in the title.

If inculcating all these factors have made the headline long, it should be remembered to write the product advantages in bold. If a visual is placed in the advertisement, it will be a good complement. As a picture speak thousand words. But care should be taken that the headline should say some part of the story and the visual should say the rest. Don’t repeat the headline or the picture.

Too much of cleverness should not be applied to design a headline. There are nearly five hundred advertisements in a local newspaper on weekends. A regular reader reads the headings of all of them. He will be able to classify between a false heading and a genuine heading. No false promises or information should be included in the headline. Over smart headlines are good for award competitions, but don’t really work with the savvy customers.

The headline should give out a positive feeling to the reader. Negativity should be totally excluded as it not only creates a negative impression but the mind will also be not receptive friendly. It sometimes confuses the mind and it interprets a negative meaning of the message being delivered. Confidence should be reflected in the headline. Don’t include any doubtful words like if and but. Conditional phrases are a strict no. The sentence should be in present tense, instead of past or future.

Make Successful Advertising Plan

How to Create a Successful Advertising Plan

Many factors have to be considered when making an advertising plan. Like the type of message to be delivered, the audience to be targeted, how they should be targeted, budget, etc. all of which depends on the nature of the advertisement.

Regarding the type of message to be delivered, try thinking from the point of the customer. What will impress him and catch his fancy. Note down points what the customer expects from the company and what advantage will he have when dealing with the company. Effort should be made to retain viewer or listener’s or reader’s interest in the advertisement until the end. This procedure is known as message selection.

After creating the outline of the picture, pick lines that will actually attract the customer. The message shouldn’t be long enough to bore the customer. Some advertisers are under the illusion that more the matter written, the better the message delivered. Usually they fear that they don’t miss out any information. This does nothing but decreases the effectiveness of the ad and customer is left unsatisfied.

For example, the heading of the advertisement shouldn’t be just “We Sell Clothes”, which is too precise. The liking of the people should be studied and the headline should be designed such that the customer feels that his needs are met. It should also take into consideration seasonal changes like If the season at that time is summer and there are lots of beaches around that area, the heading of the ad should be something like “Summer Clothes for Sale” or “Get the heat off – Buy Swimwear”. The body of the advertisement should talk of the necessities to switch to summer clothes like cotton clothing. It should discuss the health point of view too, like cotton cannot be used as swimwear as it will cause contamination, therefore the swimwear is made of synthetic material. Also include lines about swimwear for overweight people.

Ads are either traffic builder or relationship builders or reputation builder. Suppose the budget involved is less, the target should be relationship builder. Because once the customers are established, they will start trusting the company and won’t switch to other companies. According to a research it takes ten percent less resources to retain existing customers than attracting new customer. If the focus is on brand recognition, the advertisement should be traffic building.

The next point is whether the advertiser wants quick results or long lasting results. If quick result is desired, then a time limit should be levied. Like in case of seasonal sales, the customer hurries to get advantage before the offer is over. So quick results are expected in this case. But the disadvantage with advertisement with time limit is that the customer are bound to forget about the product or the company within a short period and it doesn’t creates a deep impact on the minds of the customer.

Competing against rival company’s ad also contributes to a successful advertising plan. The power of the message should be compared to that of the competitors’. It doesn’t mean that the advertiser should use the same plan like his competitor, it would look like imitation and effectiveness will be decreased. But the advertisement should be planned smartly via a different and effective path, to out-do the competitor’s advertisement.

The description of the product is also very vital like suppose an advertisement is made for a restaurant, it will get customers immediately, if it is attractive. But if the advertisement is for a computer, it won’t yield immediate results, as it’s not every day that someone buys a computer. This is called analysis of the purchase cycle.

If targeting for a higher impact, newsletter is the best bet. But if the newsletters are sent to the real potential customers, then this approach should be adopted for message delivery. It should only be opted be after thorough analysis, no matter what the budget is. Another important point is to always hire a professional advertiser or an ad writer because not hiring one will sometimes be more expensive and results in more losses.

 

Write Good Advertising Content

How to write good advertising content?

To write successful advertisement content is to catch the attention of the customer at first sight as they flicker though the brochures and fliers like they flip through a magazine and not how they will read books with concentration. It need not be necessary that the customer reads each and every line of the advertisement; hence, each line should be effective and should pass out a message. So it’s not only necessary to write logical matter, but it should also be creative enough.

Firstly, only relevant and specific matter should be written in the ad. Some content writers fear missing out information and write as much as they can. This will only disinterest the customers more and space will be wasted. The writing style should be related to the type of flier or brochure that is to be written. Its usual for the reader to read skipping lines in between and there is a possibility that they will read it from bottom to top. It always helps to use words that sell. But still, the content should be properly organized with the heading at the top, body in the middle and conclusion at the end. The main points can be written as sub-headings, in bold font. The body following the sub-heading should discuss the sub-heading and if it is related to any other sub-heading, even those points should be discussed. If the product is to be discussed from the technical point, it should not be so technical that it sounds like a foreign language to a common man.

Chucking is another technique that can be used. Chucking is writing small stories with conclusion at the end. They can either have or not have connection between themselves. Its better if they aren’t connected, because it won’t require the reader to go back to a previous chunk in order to understand the present chunk he is reading. This works quite well when there are pictures in the advertisement and the chunk illustrates the picture. The two-dimensional picture is speechless unless some well-chosen words talks about it and motivates the customers. Obviously, while chucking, sub-headings can be used to let out critical information. Another point to be considered is the product or company about which the content is based on. Suppose if the brochure is related to a corporate, the style of writing should be formal.

Spelling mistakes should be avoided to the maximum extent. They reflect poor quality and bring bad reputation to the client. The design should speak clearly and loudly about the organization being discussed. Unclear, cluttered and illogical information creates an illusion that the company also has the same characteristics. Catalogues are the only source of advertisement for some businesses, because of low investments. Such kind of business catalogues won’t require much writing, just product description will do. Instead one can work on the font sizes, colors, etc.

The next step should be writing information about contacts so as to buy the product; detailed forms are big turn-off. Contact information, postal address and website URL should be clearly specified. Also include whether the business accepts cash, check or credit card. Another thing to be taken care of is the contact information, which is usually written on the forms, which have to be mailed. It is better to write them on the advertisement also so that the customers can save it for future reference.

After the final content is written, it’s the time for organizing it. Depending on the demand of the products, arrange them in hierarchy, especially when designing a catalogue because each of the products should get the consideration and attention they deserve.

It is a good habit to write down procedures, which have been applied to every kind of advertisements written. And also save the information like what customers were targeted with what kind of advertisements, to use to the same kind of logic the next time to similar customers. This helps to create a blueprint for a future job.

Low Cost Advertising

There is no better advertisement campaign that is low cost and also successful at the same time. Great business ideas when utilized effectively can save lots of money. This is not only easy for those who work full-time as an advertiser, but also for those who work from home.

Advertising from home is also a low cost option, which involves making and distributing fliers. Usually potential customers will visit home for business dealing. Print good amount of fliers and give it to anyone who is visiting home like family, friends, mailman, etc. Business cards can also be distributed. Few selected people can be given sample of the product. For those who work outside home, employ college students to distribute fliers at supermarkets, community centers, or malls, especially on weekends, when there is a rush.

Spread the word by the mouth. Talk to everyone about the product and ask them to talk about it to others. It’s a very powerful tool to increase the network and doesn’t even cost anything. When receiving a casual call from family members and friends, don’t forget to tell them about the latest events, discounts and promotions and ask them about what they are up to. If the parties are into the business, it won’t hurt to promote each other. Joint ventures can be started with trustable people of the same trade. The only cost that will be incurred during the whole process is of printing fliers. For a better quality, professional can be hired to design them, as they will be able to play with colors and write motivating material.

Most of the businesses have company bulletin board that they use to put up company’s latest news. Fliers and business cards can be tacked on such bulletin boards. But before doing so, check out with the human resource department before placing the information as most of the HR departments make it compulsory to consult them.

Parents are required to be in regular touch with the teachers to know about the progress of the child and they have meetings from time to time. Do not miss this opportunity and spread the word. Hand them the business card and fliers personally at the meeting, instead of just giving the contact number.

Get involved with fundraiser at schools, as it’s a nice approach to market business. Prior to handing out the order received, collect all necessary information like business card pack, fliers, with proper information. Information can be based on what is the company about, what are the products and services provided, or how to get in touch with the company. In each individual order, carefully place all of them and seal the package properly. Presentation, too, is of importance and should be paid attention.

Voice mails can be put to good use, other than recording messages. They can help to deliver the marketing message. Greet with a brief message, following with website and email address, so that who ever calls will be already having the telephone number and they will be able to learn more about the business by visiting the website. When the company is providing special promotional offers and discounts, include information about those in the voice mail. Discontinuation of any services of products can also be informed about. Repetitive voicemails sound boring, so keep changing the voice mail frequently and add some creativity to it.

Most of the big businesses attach business cards or fliers with out going mail. This works for companies who send bills to their customers. For those who have customers paying online, they can send the information through emails.

Advertisements can be done, in the locality, by placing fliers on the bulletin boards of the local grocery stores, businesses, barbers, or butchers. People frequent these places and there is a possibility of getting a good response. Some businesses place a jar at the reception counter where the business cards can be dropped for future reference, while visiting them.