Saturday, January 07, 2006

Why a Blog Template is Important for Contextual Ad Success

Surfing at the Naples PierA few times during winter, the waves actually get big enough that people can surf them here in Naples, Florida. We are on the Gulf of Mexico, not known as a surf anything. The only time we have "really" big surf is when a hurricane passes by.

Recently we had one of those spells where the wind kicks up and surfboards show up out of thin air. Naples must have more displaced surfers than anywhere I've been. It was a sight to see.

When a surfer sits, he looks back over his or her shoulder to pick out a set of waves. Experience tell the surfer when it is good to go - to try to catch the wave. Most of the time the surfer has a good ride and they start over again.

As the web develops, those who make it their business to make a living from it, look for almost the same pattern as the surfer. They want a set, not a single event they can't evaluate. Just like the wave, they look for momentum. They make sure the new trend will carry them through.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Most surfers go in pairs, or groups, and they keep their eye peeled, not competitively, but to see if the other surfer will risk going on the incoming wave. Sometimes waves look good, but a second opinion always seals the deal.

Internet marketers like you and I do the same thing. We watch to see if others are getting on the band wagon. That's the way it was with blogs. First they started out as a means to blow off some steam - as you'd do with a diary - then they developed into a vital tool.

But why they have become so important, especially in our discussion, is because they lend themselves perfectly to search engines and the software that matches advertising to context. They were developed purposely this way.

First, the footprint a blog leaves is easily read by the top search engine spiders and bots. How many hours have you spent wondering if placing the headline in H2 sized font would be better for Google or Yahoo! than H3? And what about all those links? Did you make sure to name your pages something significant?

Blogs software does this for us automatically. It names pages in the best way possible - for the search engine. It does not make a mess of text when compiling it for the web. It gives nice links for past posts, or to friend's sites.

Secondly, blogs ping. They automatically notify a repository that they've been updated. For example; this blog "pings", among others. It lets the web know there's new news! Automatically. How cool is that?

Blogs are easy to add ads to. I almost said, "easy to monetize", but we both know monetizing isn't as easy a placing ads on a page. Blogs are easy to update, easy to read, easy to archive.

So, unless you are a web designer that just can't give up web site creation, blogs should be your first choice for starting a site to monetize. And, I can't say enough about They are easy to use and "free", which is almost always good in my book.

I encourage you to create a blog and get used to writing in it. It's true - not every wave a surfer picks is a winner. Likewise, you may not hit a home run on your first blog. But you'll never know unless you get the board out and wax it up while the waves are big!

Taking advantage of the blog momentum and technology is not only smart, it should be a critical part of your marketing plan.

Get out there with the best of them and enjoy the ride. - Surf's up!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Peek at My Methodology

My Google Desktop alerts keep advising there is some news of a Google bundle of software to be announced at CES in Las Vegas. It sounds exciting, really! There was a rumor of a Google "box", or PC, but nothing came of that. Just a rumor.

Wouldn't it be cool if we could get inside the workings of Google. But talk is that even those privy enough to tour the "GooglePlex" are not privy to "how" Google works.

Fair enough.

In a similar vein, I've blogged about how you can make a great return on your effort, yet purposely left out a few key parts so you can start your own creative juices flowing, and so that I can share some of those techniques with those who would like to purchase my ebook.

So, if you made me put my methodology in a few lines, it would have to be:
  1. Get a niche you can work with. Something you love or are somewhat an authority on. There are certain types of niches that work best. My book covers these.
  2. Create sites by using blog templates and blog software. You need the search engines in your favor, and they love the blog footprint.
  3. Promote your site.
  4. Tune your keywords.
  5. Track your results.
  6. Expand areas that perform better.
  7. Continue to work new or related niches.
There you have it. Just a peek.

Tomorrow, I'll discuss why the blog template is so important to contextual ad success. Until then, I'm keeping an eye on my Google Desktop alert to see the Google Pack becomes reality.

Kind regards,
Dave in Naples, FL

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Value of Organic Traffic and Clicks

My Mom believes that most "organic" foods are over-priced and not necessary.

She claims you're paying more for someone not doing the work of "chemically" caring for the plants. Of course, she doesn't really mean it, and eats it when she can get it, but is frustrated to have to pay more for something smaller than normal.

However you perceive it, we are learning there is great value in organic food.

Another "organic" of great value are organic clicks. Just what are "organic" clicks? These are the clicks that come to you direct from searches in the search engines. In other words, by and large, you've paid nothing for them. (Mom would love that!)

My long-term goal is to receive 80% of my traffic organically.

Here's how I plan to accomplish that. Since all of my income generating sites are created using blog software, I don't have to worry much that they get listed on search engines. They are currently all there, except for the newer ones.

My challenge is to get them ranked more relevant for the keywords I have built them around. As I've discussed, at least in Google, website ranking has everything to do with how relevant your site is for the keyword presented. So, for example, when someone types in "rental cars", they don't get a listing of sites on the Internet that use the phrase "rental cars" in their text, and list the site that uses it more as number one. Keyword stuffing and subsequent ranking is what put search engines like AltaVista and Netscape out to pasture.

I've also talked about high quality inbound links. These are worth a lot because this is a major part of the ranking formula at Google. However, in building sites for great reading and using contextual ads to monetize the pages, the last thing you want is a leak.

A leak, you say? Yes. A leak is anything on your page that would allow a visitor to leave without generating something positive for you. A leak could be an 800 number. It could be an off-site website. It could be an e-mail address. And a leaky site will cause you to lose traffic.

If you ask someone to link to your site, they expect a reciprocating link. A reciprocating link, especially to another quality site with a similar topic is a sure sign of a major leak.

Okay - so what do you suggest, Dave?

There are a few options. First, address your friends - anyone with any page rank. Ask them to help you out. If they have more page rank than you, your site will gain ranking in the search engines.

Next, post in forums that relate to your topic. I don't believe the search engines would be dumb enough to include inbound links from "groups" to count for anything - but private forums are another issue. Look into these and post on them actively.

And, lastly, take a look at eBay for listings on websites that have a page rank higher than yours. Try a few cheap ones first - but wait at least 90 days before you swear it doesn't work. That's how long Google's Page Rank takes to update. (Sometimes sooner.)

Do programs like Web Position or SubmitIt work? Yes! Invest some time in submitting your site to smaller search engines - ones not typically spidering your site. Make sure you use the schedule feature so you constantly submit (within the limits of the search engine).

I leave you with something that will help you more than anything, and that is praying. Simply pray and believe that God will increase your territory and your ranking. He knows all and when we converse and trust in Him, things happen.

Work it like a business - and go out and buy some organic. You'll live longer, and in better health.

Dave Jackson

Monday, January 02, 2006

Google Page Rank Shuffle

Just last week a friend asked me why it seemed his was off. I gotta tell ya, this past six weeks, has been strange on sites that I visit frequently. These are those sites where you have seen the Toolbar Page Rank so many times it's almost oblivious.

I've discussed here before how unimportant Google Page Rank is to making money with contextual advertising, but let me again put your fears at ease. You don't need any Page Ranking to make money. The key to getting ads seen is traffic. Page Ranking is gold only when you expect all of your traffic to be organic, i.e., from search engines and not advertising. Page Rank has to do with how important Google feels your site is in the big scheme of things.

You wonder what direction should you go? Links? Ads? Press releases? From my observation, and what I've noted across the Internet, Google's Page Rank is in a "shuffle". So, I told my friend - don't worry about it, I'm sure Google has enough on its plate right now that the Page Rank algorithm isn't important. In other words, keep doing what you're doing.

When will it settle down? There are no guarantees, but we're told to hold onto our hats for another few weeks. I am guessing January 20, 2006, will be the date everything should be back to normal. But why stress?

Traffic from the right places, the visitors who see your ads, don't stress about Page Rank - but strive to get quality links to your site.

Now where's that plate of black-eyed peas?

Kind regards,
Dave Jackson
Sunny Naples, FL

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year from Naples, FL

What a year, 2005! If you read along, we've learned a lot and worked through a lot with the changes of the contextual ad landscape. Thankfully we wound up on the positive side of the ledger. It's been good.

But as the champagne tops popped, I thought for a brief second how many of you have hopefully benefited from my work here. I hope you've taken time to read through the site and write down things that are new to you, that you can use.

I know you have many more sites to visit on this holiday - so let me make this brief.

Since the 27th of December, I've been enjoying a better than three to one return - almost a four to one return on my AdWords placing. I've never had that happen and am excited how the strategy I used to do it worked like a charm.

This month, I'll be releasing my new ebook on how you can make residual income with contextual advertising. Not just $10 - $20 a day, but over $200 on one site alone. And this is without affiliate programs or inventory you have to track.

I'm excited, and hope you will return or subscribe to my blog to be here when the ebook launches. It will be awesome to be able to share with you how the system works and how you can make it work for you.

Here's looking to a fantastic 2006!