Friday, January 28, 2011

How Do I Get My Website on Page 1 of Google?

There is no guarantee for getting in the top 10 of Google, but there are definitely some ways to help make that happen!

For the throngs of so-called experts advertising on the Web claiming they know the recipe to Google's secret sauce, I would have guessed by now they would have retired to their own private island to spend the millions made cracking Google's' search engine code.

Let's be clear. NO ONE can guarantee getting your website on page 1of Google. That would mean claiming control over a 3rd party as large and as fluid as Google.

Google tweaks and fine tunes their search engine applications on an hourly basis. Some tweaking routines are automatic; others are performed by a small army of master and doctoral mathematical candidates to improve Google search results, build new Google applications, run quality checks across Google data centers all over the world, and thwart the legions of spammers and hackers who seek to manipulate Google search results.

There are however, a variety of tactics and strategies you can use to achieve top 10 results in Google. I am proud to say my web development company has achieved hundred of Top 10 positions for clients and we are adding more to that list every day.

Following are some factors that will attract Google to your website and put you high in their search results.

Having a search engine friendly website

Is your website search engine friendly? Google publishes technical guidelines and suggestions for building a search engine friendly website.

Is your website easy to use?

Is your website constructed in such a way that makes it easy for human users to navigate and find information?

If your visitors can't find what they are looking for in 5 seconds or less they are going to leave your site and move onto the next website.

Google analyzes the amount of traffic a website receives, the amount of time spent on web site pages, and much more. This means Google can determine the popularity of a website by both the amount of visits and length of time spent browsing your web pages.

This would be a good time to ask yourself if your website is interesting and engaging.

Existing Competition

Is there a large amount of online competition for your business? If you have a website selling women's shoes, flowers or real estate, getting on page 1 of Google will be extremely difficult. If your website focuses on custom made duck-calls, the page 1 goal gets easier. You can get some idea for how competitive a search term is by looking at the amount of pages returned for a search query.

Go to Google and search for 'women's shoes'. The small black print just below the Google search box shows there are over 73 million references for this search term, not to mention the 1,000 lb. gorilla websites who are going after the same search phrase such as Macys, DSW, Overstock and Zappos.

Brand new website

Is your website brand new? If your website and domain name are new it may take longer for Google to come through and cache your website. Sometimes this will happen quickly and sometimes it takes weeks. Other experts agree it takes 6 to 8 months for a new website to gain any substantial ground on Google. Over the years I have seen it both ways where some new sites get fast recognition from Google and others don't.

Some businesses will buy an existing domain name to get some traffic and ranking early on in the process. But this will depend on how competitive a search criteria you are going after.

Itsy Bitsy Website

Do you have a small website, less than 10 pages? Did you know that each individual page in your website is an opportunity to explain to Google what you are all about?

You can find out approximately how many pages Google has found for your website by searching your domain name in Google. In the Google search box type the following: This is also a good way to analyze your online competition by finding out how many website pages they have and how they have formed their meta-tags.

Think of Google as a huge digital library. As you walk into the library there are so many books (websites) on Google's shelves. Each webpage in your site would be equal to the page count in a book. Is your website the thickness of a comic book, sandwiched in between War & Peace and the Webster's Dictionary?

Slow loading website

Does your website load slowly? A recent upgrade in Google has webmasters agreeing that it's advantageous to have a fast loading website. Rumor has it that Google will not downgrade or penalize a slow loading website, but others are not so sure. Factors that influence a website's loading speed that you may control include the design, development framework, and hosting platform.

Flash website

Is your website made completely in Flash? If you're using a Flash website you're not going to be found by search engines. Flash websites require expert modifications to be found by Google.

My website meets all the criteria mentioned above, how come I am not getting better search engine results?

For those of you who already have a website that employs 'best practices' for 'on-site optimization', but still not getting to the top of Google, there are steps you should take in building your websites 'off-site optimization'.

On-site optimization

On-site optimization is the work performed on your website pages and all digital assets associated with your website, domain name and website hosting server. Some best practices for on-site optimization are as follows:

1) Use unique and descriptive title meta-tags on every web page.

2) Use unique and descriptive description meta-tags on every web page.

Take a quick look in Google by searching The results will show that every page in this website has unique title and description tags. This is of paramount importance in getting a website found on Google as it relates to search queries.

3) Demonstrate proper use of HTML text and HTML links as it relates to the subject matter of your website. A good hyperlink is descriptive. In the illustration below 'Atlanta Homes for Sale' links to a page with lots of information about homes for sale in Atlanta. Avoid using words such as 'Click Here' in your hyperlinks.

4) Be sure that your website navigation is accessible for Google to crawl. You should also submit a owner verification file and a XML site map to Google, Yahoo and Bing. This is a free service and will help communicate how to find all your web pages and associated files.

5) Demonstrate correct use of ALT tags for images and other visual assets. ALT tags are widely used in ADA compliant websites. The ALT tag is good for humans and search engines in extending the description for any digital asset displayed in your website.

6) Use of Robots.txt file in the root directory of your website. (You can take a peak at any website's robots text file, providing they have one, by typing the following in your web browser:

7) Your site index page is live and linked at the top of your website home page.

Off- site optimization

Google and other major search engines assign a ranking score, popularity vote or other designation to a website and/or website page based on numerous factors:

a. The amount of links or quality of links linking to the website and/or webpage.

b. The power or authority of the websites in item "a". If you are linking to weak websites that have not been built correctly then you are not helping your cause. Linking to well-built websites that rank well in the search engines helps your cause.

c. The traffic to your website or the amount of visits. Think of ranking a website akin to getting found and listed in a huge digital library. Picture it this way: Google has numerous search bots or computer routines that crawl the World Wide Web at breakneck speed collecting data on websites. Google crawls, analyzes, indexes and caches data found in Websites, Blogs, Forums, Articles, Directories, other search engines and all manner of digital applications.

Google will crawl EVERYTHING that can be indexed. This includes; HTML, Txt. or text files, PDF files, Word docs, Video, Power Point, XLS spreadsheets and much more.

If you have a presentation about your company in Power Point or video then this is a digital asset that you could use to increase your exposure to search engines.

Here's how to get it done.

Step 1- Claim your local listings on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

NOTE: If you cannot find these resources, please email me and I will help you find the link resource.

Step 2 - Create a profile for yourself or business on some or all of these popular websites: Facebook, Twitter,, Super pages,,,, LinkedIn, You Tube, Classmates, MySpace, Flickr, Craigslist, Google Profiles, Google Products.

NOTE: Never pay for a link unless it is a well respected directory such as Find law or other similar website.

Step 3 - Find and join a Blog or Forum website related to your business or website. If your website is about "home remodeling" then join the conversation. If I were a home remodeler I would go to Google and search "How do I repair this or that" or I would search "Blogs + Forums for home remodeling". Remember, all this stuff equates to a link since your postings in Blogs or Forums are connected to your profile.

Step 4 - Research and analyze your competition. See where they have linked or listed themselves. To do this type the following in the Google search box:


Also do this by entering only their website name without (www) or (.com) and you will get some different results.

Take a look at some of the websites that get returned in the results. Not all of them will be a place where you can get or place a free link, but chances are you will find more than a few. For privacy reasons I cannot show the results of someone else's website link backs so I will discuss a few of my own.

In the Google search box type VISIONEFX. About 4th or 5th down the page you will see Crunch Base. This is technology based directory where I got a free link and listing and I learned about it by analyzing a local competitor.

The building of back links, linking, votes, listings and other tactics it is not rocket science. It is long, hard tedious work.

On the sunnier side of things, back links sometimes come naturally. If you have an interesting website then people are going to want to link to you and share your website with others.

Step 5 - Go back and do it all over again and again. Think of ways to grow your website pages (you can never have too many pages). Create any of the following pages or sections for your website: Case Studies, News, Articles, Announcements, Testimonials, Videos, Photo Gallery, Random Thoughts, Tips, Helpful Hints, etc.

Extend your presence on powerful third party websites.

My two favorites are You Tube and

You Tube is probably the most powerful 3rd party website in terms of expanding your presence in Google natural search results. You can even create your own You Tube page otherwise know as a You Tube Channel.

You want to be sure that you tag and title your You Tube videos so they have the best chance of getting found in a standard Google search query. Here is a live example. I hope you will see the same results as I, as that depends on which Google datacenter is near you (more about that in another article).

In the Google search box type aerial power ball. You should see two You Tube thumbnails for videos I posted for my client Chesapeake Bay Helicopters.

If you find these on the page, take notice how I titled the videos:

Aerial marker balls, Power line marker balls

Utility marker balls, Aerial Marker Ball

This goes a long way in helping you to leverage your marketing assets over Google.

Companies that have video or animation should leverage this kind of search engine marketing power for real estate, properties, leasing, hotel, auto sales and the like. Google Products offers some great venues for these businesses, but You Tube is also an excellent channel.

Balance your off-site and on-site work

Link backs or off- site optimization is a smart thing to do though it should not over shadow your on-site optimization tasks.

A smart webmaster strives to balance on-site and off-site tasks. Don't try to get it done all in one day, one week or one month. Growing a website into a powerful lead and sales generator as well as a brand awareness tool takes time. It is a methodical marketing process that never ends (until your business ends).

Ricardo Vidallon is company owner and creative director for Visionefx a Virginia based web design company.

Web Hosting and Domain Names - Helping You Take Control of Branding Your Business in Online Overload

Whether you are working to improve your business or have a fun and personal website about yourself, taking the initiative to host it so that you can control it is so much more critical than allowing some other person to run the format/layout of the site. Sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are great formats to put your content, but until you obtain your own domain, any plans to become financially successful are dramatically diminished due to the lack of specific features and benefits on these sites.

For starters, you do not get your own personalized email with these programs. Nothing works greater than to have your own "FirstLastName@YourDomain....." It is possible if you are one of the few with a random name to get your name with an AOL, Gmail, yahoo etc. account, but these do not show the world any relevant qualities or hints about the person or what they are involved in. Often you end up with something that is a combination of letters and numbers when you use these free email accounts, which might not help in branding your business one bit! If you want to keep that special one you had many years ago when email really bloomed and you signed up for many accounts with it, there may be a benefit to keeping it. Taking the initiative to get your own site will allow you to brand yourself and get more people to read your emails as it also becomes more personal. This should allow you to get more email conversions than using info[at]_____ or support[at]______, though these accounts can be established as well when you begin to define your business better and may need them.

Next, when you get your own domain and hosting you have an option of many features and benefits that may include, but are not limited to cPanel, Fantastico (WordPress and Forums), autoresponders, opt-in forms, email forwarders, site templates, video hosting, conference rooms and more depending on the program or web hosting company you choose. Here is a little breakdown of the benefits of each feature:

1.cPanel??? This allows you total control over your website from editing to loading files through an FTP platform quickly, setting up Wordpress, email accounts and more

2.Fantastico??? Allows you to set up your WordPress blog and set up forums related to a topic of interest of the site. These can be places to put advertisements, videos, reviews of products and more.

3.Autoresponders??? when someone comes to your site, you want to keep them coming or at least be able to keep them updated to what is happening with the business of program. These programs allow you to send messages or posts to anyone who opted or signed in to your list.

4.Opt-in forms??? a fill in the blank application that brings a customer or viewer to your autoresponder and then to a site, video, program of choice. Double opt-ins are beneficial in that they guarantee you are not being spammed. When you send out a message, you may get many returned if the person did not go to their "real" email address and confirm that they were a "real" person accepting messages from you.

5.Email Forwarders??? These help to streamline your websites. You might have many sites and not want to log into every cPanel and email account each day. If you have them all forwarded to the same generic email you can save time when you do get a message from that account.

6.Site templates??? Many people do not know how to or care to use html code. Having ready made templates can save time and easily get your web site up. You can edit as needed in the html editor of cPanel in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) method.

7.Video Hosting??? I know Youtube is popular, but a site like this forces people to see other videos that they may find offensive, which is one of the main reasons why as a Science teacher, I do not have access to this site in school. You could embed the code for the video into a premade template (see #6 above) but you still have the Youtube links there and logos. Certain plans allow for video uploading and producing.

8.Conference Rooms??? We do not have an endless flow of money to get us around the world at a moments notice to have a meeting with like minded individuals. Getting in front of a computer with a video capabilities allow you to easily meet someone from the other side of the world to host a meeting. These may range from a few seats to thousands of seats that are available for people to log into and be part of the experience. Think Webinars!

When it comes to branding, you want to get a domain name that is easy to remember or looks appealing if you send someone a link or it appears in an ad. As an example, MagneticSponsors and BasicLacrosse are easy to remember domain names compared to something with numbers and symbols like "FRD$&32PV.Program..." which might include affiliate links and are not very appealing. In addition to email forwarders, you can also forward a domain to your affiliate link. It looks more appealing to the viewer. It also prevents a viewer from modifying your link and typing in the main domain without your affiliate link which causes you to lose out on the referral like "Program..." in the above example.

There are many options out there for catchy domain names and you might want to grab it up before someone else does. Even if you do not put any effort into setting up the site, you can always do what is called Cash Parking, where the host may put ads onto your site (assuming people stumbled on it by accident and could see Pay Per Click, or PPC ads from a variety of sources.) For example, if you try to go to BadLacrosse, you might see everything from Lacrosse the sport, to Buick Lacrosse to LaCrosse Wisconsin! When people click the ad, instead of you getting charged, someone else does and you actually make a very small commission of their fee.

There are many programs and hosting companies out there and it can be very hard to choose which one is best for you and your business. I personally have gone with GoDaddy for most of my domain name purchases, though I have only set up 1 site with them. Most of my sites are hosted through GVO. I highly suggest checking out both of their offers.

To get in touch with me, send an email to "", I will be sure to write you back. This is what I was referring to when branding yourself above as it includes my name and an easy to remember domain name! For more information on features and benefits, you can find out more about GVO (Global Virtual Opportunities) hosting packages.

Small Business Owner on a Budget? Ready to Set Up a Website? Questions to Make the Process Easy

Ok, so you're thinking about your business growth and marketing it online with a profitable website. Now what? One question answered, seems to spit out dozens more. So what do you do? Give up due to lack of time? No - You start calling those web developers you know or have searched out online. When you do you find out that they cost more than you can afford and want lots of involvement from you. They want you to submit Content, Images, Pages, links, etc. etc. etc. And then even more questions arise from these conversations. You then think to yourself, "Oh my, what can of worms did I just open up? " There is a solution. I promise.

At this point, most people do one or two of several actions. 1) is to give up. You are busy and have too many other things on your plate. You'll get back to it in your slow time. Or 2) Throw some money at someone hoping they will take the project and just do it for you. Or 3) venture out into the world of thousands of free or low cost do it yourself website design, start the project, something comes up and suddenly you are month's down the line with a website that is STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION 3 years later.

Which one are you? Has it helped or worked to increase your sales any? Did it create a return on your investment of time and or money? I am going to bet that it is a resounding, NO! Or you wouldn't be sitting there in front of your computer reading this article. So with that in mind, I am assuming you are in the phase of looking for help with your online web development or looking to increase the sales you get from your current site. Right?

Let's get started on figuring out what it is you are stumbling over. Let's give you back the control of what is holding you up and get your site headed in the right direction, creating funds for your business. But to do that we have to back up and start over a bit. Don't worry, it won't hurt too much.

Over the past few years I have developed a few tools to help my clients to help me create a site that works to sell them online at a much higher rate than before or at all. Work books that you can do when your thinking about your marketing online. These work books have been a source of relief to many of my clients to help them when going through the arduous process that ensues when embarking upon a project such as this. They help them to stream line and accumulate the things you or your developer will need from you, when you start on the project.

Ready to get started on a few of the very first questions you need to answer before you embark on web development yourself or with a designer.

1) First and foremost you need to decide upon the "purpose" of your website. Now don't cop out and just say I want a site. Actually think about what the site's end result should be. What is the goal actions you want your clients to perform from this site. It is helpful if you are VERY descriptive here.

2) What do you expect this site to create for you in dollars and cents. And what kind of a budget have you allocated to complete those goals. Are they a reality or will you actually achieve those goals with that budget? If not, then start with one goal in mind and work progressively towards the rest of the picture. But set time lines to achieve each part of those, and the ultimate end goal. Some web developers will work with you on this, by setting in place a plan to get each goal achieved in your time frame that meets your budget. I know that is why I do what I do.

3) Are you planning to sell products online? If so

4) Are you planning to ship the products yourself or hire a company to do this for you? Do you have one in place?

5) Do you have a "shopping cart" in mind? This is your Point of Sale System (POS) for your website. If you hire a web developer they may already have one they use regularly and may require you to use it to use their development programs. Some may require extra money to use yours as it will take more time for them to gain the learning curve of your system. If you are going to develop your own site, and are planning to sell products online you may need to learn this as well. Fair warning: this may take time, and trial and error. You just need to decide if you are willing to pay someone to do it or if you would rather save money by doing it yourself. A couple of suggestions here: 1) PayPal has a great shopping cart that is pretty user friendly and 2) many of your local community colleges have a web development program where students can work on your site for you at a much reduced cost. Note: if you have LOTS and LOTS of time to wait this may work for you.

6) If you are an MLM your Company may allow you to link images of products to your Point of Sale site. (a page where your clients can buy and you get the commissions from) The down side of doing this is that you are more than likely only going to get to link to the full catalogue site and your customers will have to search once again for the products. Upside you will not have to worry about your POS system, including shipping costs, shipping and handling of the products to the customers, no shopping cart set up on your site, and you will get paid through your company. Easier yes, less effective yes. My opinion, yes.

7) Every website needs content! EVERY WEBSITE! Both, Seo and humans need to read your website. It can mean a Higher placement in the search engines as well as a much higher conversion to sales rates. So you have to think about and write a minimum of 250 words for each page. 3 Paragraphs or more. With a call to action. Meaning that every page needs to show the visitor why they should buy from you over the millions of others that do the same thing you do, how you solve their problem (what every that may be) and then how to buy it. Many people leave that up to the "contact us" page. Statistics have shown us that if you leave it up to the "contact us" page you are asking for the visitor to flip through several links to buy. Um,..... this does not work well and can break the deal. Make it EXTREMELY easy for them to buy from you by putting that call to action on every page and several places on the page. You'll be happy you did. Of this I promise you.

8) Do you want to write it yourself or hire a "content writer" Some people find it simpler, faster and cost effective to hire a content writer. Many of these are out there and some are relatively inexpensive. I have several that I use and offer out to my clients to choose from. If you would like one I would be happy to send you their contact info.

9) When thinking of Content for your site. Do not forget to add in what makes you stand out amongst the millions of others who do the very same things you do. Use this to your advantage. And use a 'testimonials' page. Many stats are showing us that a 'testimonials' page builds that trust factor as others have used your services and like what you did for them. My suggestion is always to use this page to link to their site if possible as this can help your Page Rank (PR) and your client will be appreciative to have a link from your site to theirs. Plus, it gives the testimonials credibility when your surfers can actually contact the happy client.

10) Target Audience: Who do you want to find your site? Consider this: if you are a Heating and Cooling Co. you may not want to get a contract that hundreds of miles out of your district. But if you are a Company that sells Widgets online and it does not matter if you ship hundreds of miles away then it won't matter to you that your site is being found 2 thousand miles away. But if your site is found in another country are you ready to deal with shipping across borders? All things to consider when developing the SEO (Search Engine Optimization or Placement of your site on the www.) of your site.

11) What Keywords do you believe that your Customers/Clients would search the www. For your products or services? (hint: Google AdWords is a great tool to compile this list) Don't assume you know either. Ask your network this question as well. They may have a different idea and are probably more accurate than you)

12) Where do most of your Customers/Clients come from? Think Locality.

13) Domain name: Many people believe that their business name is the best domain name for their site. Why not, many people know your business for that name right? Think about that last statement. Are you trying to get their business again or do you already have them in your client book of business? My suggestion is to yes, buy that domain name if you can and have several others that are SEO worthy. (want to know what that means? You can wait until this comes up in another article or you can contact me directly to ask about this as it would take a whole article to give you the why's of this one.) Suffice it to say it is VERY beneficial to your results to get this right.

14) Hosting: Who do you want to host the site? Your web developer probably will handle this for you if you use one. They have servers or they contract this out to a professional hosting co. and have various options according to your needs, and goals. Or are you planning to find a hosting service to utilize yourself? If you are there are things you need to consider.

a) Price for services

b) ftp access

c) down time (don't skimp here) GoDaddy has the best Customer Service available 24/7, very low prices, almost non-existent down time, and the technical help dept will talk to you on your level.

15) If you are considering hosting it yourself you should understand, a website file structure, the FTP process, and that this may take loads of time out of your day to maintain. If you are willing to put in the time to do-it-yourself, it could be a budget saver and it could also be a nightmare you may not wish to embark upon. To make this decision you may want to ask around of your network of business owners what has been their experience and weigh out your options vs time.

16) What would your site navigation look like? Make sure it is easy to use. Make everything you do on your site easy to find and utilize. (ask for a free website mapping work sheet by emailing your request to us) See Signature at bottom

It may help you to educate yourself in the definitions of at least the simplest of website terminology so that you understand what the Web Developer is saying to you. After all he is the techno geek you are hiring to create this online brochure of yours. But he is a techno geek and he knows that. But to give yourself a better understanding and a clear idea of the communications he is sending you, take a few minutes and educate yourself on what it is he is asking for so that you and he are on the same page. And Yes, I am one of those techno geeks myself. I am not just a member of the techno geeks anonymous, I could be the President.

When you get into actual development there are more things to consider for the optimum conversion rate of your project. These are just to get you started on the things you should think of when embarking upon a Profitable Website for your business.

Remember: Each step of this process is time consuming, but is a very integral step in a successful site that builds your business. These can take time to create the maximum return from your site. Don't get in a rush to just get something up as your website in today's world is your first impression. Do you want them to see "site under construction" and hope they come back sometime down the road? MOST WILL NOT> Plan carefully, integrate the best of you, and create a huge return on your investment, whether it be your time or your money. Stay involved in the project from start to end if you hire someone else to do it. And MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN WITH IT! Life can be too serious. Many people are repulsed by sites that are dry or too techie. They love fun, so give it to them even if you are a Financial Advisor or CPA. Give us all a bit of you and they will love you for it.

I always love hearing from everyone on how they found me. Drop a line letting me know how you found me.

Wishing you the highest successes possible,
Cheri J. Williams
Where your results are our business

Web Design and Internet Strategies
To request the work book - send to
Don't just trip over your success, grow it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Selecting a Good Shopping Cart Provider

If you are planning to sell products online, you'll need a shopping cart system.

What is a shopping cart system? A shopping cart typically consists of two parts - the catalog and the cart. The catalog allows the merchant to quickly and easily add new products to the Web site and displays those products to potential customers. The cart allows customers to indicate which items he or she would like to purchase and handle the checkout process.

How much does a shopping cart system cost? Pricing for shopping cart systems varies widely. The first thing to consider is whether you want to purchase software up front and just pay for hosting or pay a monthly fee for the shopping cart. In general if you are not very technically inclined the monthly fee approach is probably best. However, you should be aware that there are a number of open source (free) shopping cart systems available (see below for the list of the main one's). These systems will provider basic cart functionality, but will usually require a program for customization.

Fees for purchasing software range from free to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a completely customized cart. In general, if you decide to go this route plan to spend at least $2,000 - $8,000 for the software and customization.

Fees for the pay as you go approach also range widely. The cheapest are usually around $30 per month for a decent shopping cart system from a major provider. The fees can range up to $10,000 per month for very expensive systems. You can generally budget less than $100 per month for a very good shopping cart system that will meet the needs of most small to medium sized online stores.

Who are the major shopping cart providers? It seems that many of the brand name ecommerce companies have entered the shopping cart provider space. Two of the better entries for small to medium sized stores include Yahoo Merchant Solutions and eBay's Prostore. Fees for these start at about $30-40 per month (check their sites as they often run specials).

At the next level for monthly hosting are a number of companies that offer greater functionality and flexibility at a higher prices. Some of the better companies include Volusion, GoEcart, and MonsterCommerce. Their fees range about $50 - $500 per month.

In terms of purchasing a shopping cart system, you might want to consider one of the many open source (free) solutions. The most popular one in this space seems to be osCommerce.

If you want to pay for shopping cart software, you might consider X-cart, ShopSite, and StoreFront. These systems range in price from around $200 - $5,000. Remember, you will still need to pay a monthly fee for hosting.

What are the factors to consider when choosing a shopping cart? Obviously, price is a major factor when thinking about a shopping cart system, but it should not be the primary factor. Think about the choice as an investment. If you make the right choice, the returns will far outweigh the cost.

Some factors to consider:

1. Does the cart meet your needs? Think about how you want your site to work. Will you have many products in each category for example. If yes, then you will need to think about the cart's ability to handle multiple pages of products. Some simple carts do not do this.

2. Think about how you will communicate with suppliers and customers. If you are using a drop shipper, many carts cannot automatically send a purchase order e-mail to the supplier when an order is processed. If this functionality is important, your choices might be limited (unless you pay for some custom programming).

3. Ease of use. You need to consider ease of use, both from the merchant and the customer perspectives. As a merchant you want a system that will allow you to easily add new products and content (hint - look for carts that support importing from a spreadsheet). Look at sites that already use the cart you are considering and see how it handles things like putting items in the cart and checkout.

4. Customizability. You want your site to be unique. So choose a cart that allows for some customization. You should be able to customize the look, but you might also decide you need to customize the functionality.

Finally, take carts for a test drive. Most of the major cart providers will allow you to play with a demo. Put it through its paces and see how it performs.

Ross Malaga, Ph.D. aka Drop Ship Professor is the author of Insider Drop Ship Secrets. His blog at, provides drop ship tips and reviews.

Prepare for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

If you're planning to eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the big day, you have five choices. They are:

1) EAT OUT. It may not seem very festive or traditional to dine out on Thanksgiving but sometimes you don't want to cook or clean up afterward. Usually only a few restaurants are open on Thanksgiving (if any in your area). So you may want to make early inquiries to find that one open restaurant serving a Thanksgiving meal, especially if you'll be bringing guests.

2) COOK. If you plan to cook this Thanksgiving then you'll definitely want to plan ahead. Know how many guests will be enjoying your home-cooked meal. That way you can shop for the right size turkey (about 1.3 pounds per person) and provide an appropriate helping of side dishes, appetizers, desserts and beverages.

3) POTLUCK. If you're hosting a potluck, you'll need to know ahead of time what dishes guests plan to bring. You'll need to be the coordinator so you can avoid duplicate food items. Plus inquire about whether they'll need to use any of your cookware and stove or oven to reheat or put any final touches on dishes.

4) HIRE A COOK. You can hire a chef who will come to your home to cook a meal. Or they might prepare something for you the day before in their kitchen and bring it to you along with directions for proper reheating and serving. Search the Web using your city name plus the phrase personal chef. Or go to Another option is to check with your local supermarket deli. Some will prepare and sell you Thanksgiving dinner items like a smoked turkey and a platter of side dishes. Just be sure to place your order by the deadline and pick up your meal the day before Thanksgiving (if they'll be closed that day).

5) BE SOMEONE'S GUEST. If you want to get an invite, you may have to start dropping hints early that you'll be spending the day alone this Thanksgiving (LOL). A sure way to be a guest though is to set up a system where friends or family members take turns hosting Thanksgiving dinner at their house. If you have a large, extended family you might only be cooking Thanksgiving dinner once a decade at your home and spending the other nine years as a guest for Thanksgiving dinner at a family member's home. But don't forget to bring a bottle of wine or other appropriate gift to your host.

Looking for home organization products? Karen Porter offers organization store reviews and editor's picks at

The Ugly Truth About Your Beautiful Adsense Tactics

The internet is abuzz over Google's Adsense program. Fortunes are being made by those savvy enough to understand how to use it to their fullest advantage. Everyone is looking for the best ways to exploit this massive advertising program, and there are literally hundreds of Adsense "experts" willing to sell you tips and hints on how to earn a healthy income with the program.

For those unfamiliar with Adsense, a brief overview may be in order. Google allows advertisers to place bids on keywords of their choice as part of what is termed the Adwords program. The amount paid for advertising related to each keyword is determined by this bidding process and can get relatively high for fairly competitive keywords. Very competitive terms can cost a great deal of money. The advertisements appear on the top of Google search engine searches (you have probably noticed them in shaded areas and along the right side of your own search results). These advertisements are also inserted into the web pages of those who participate in Google Adsense. Every time someone clicks on the advertisement, the advertiser is charged for the click. The proceeds are then split between Google and the Adsense participant.

Basically, Google is willing to pay those with content-rich websites to host these advertisements. The site operator, known as the publisher, merely needs to insert some simple and customizable HTML code on their site and ads will "automatically appear." To make matters easier, the ads are contextual in nature. Google "reads" the publisher's page and serves up advertisements related to the subject matter of the page.

Adsense was immediately seen as a way webmasters could earn some extra money from their content-rich pages that were not otherwise producing tangible financial benefits. Any subject matter for which ads exist (and ads are available on almost every keyword) could conceivably generate some profit that otherwise would not exist.

It didn't take long for people to realize that this approach merely scratched the surface of Google Adsense's potential bounty. Soon, webmasters determined that sites rich in content directly related to the highest paying keywords could generate significant profits with each and every click. With the high cost of competitive keywords, it was possible to earn several hundred dollars from a single Adsense-carrying page from only a handful of clicks.

Other publishers determined that finding underserved keywords that still generated significant per click revenue could also produce amazing results. A quality high paying "niche" Adsense site could be a significant source of revenue.

Today, Google Adsense continues to grow in popularity. Advertisers love the arrangement, as they now have an army of webmasters designing sites that will eventually lead to pre-qualified prospects being led to their commercial endeavors. Adsense publishers love the idea of creating sites that can generate revenue without requiring a product to sell. Adsense continues to create awesome income opportunities for those who know how to best use it.

As noted, there are a variety of so-called "experts" offering tips and hints to help increase Adsense revenues. Some focus on on-page design and other similar means of increasing "click through rate (CTR)." Others focus entirely on how to produce hundreds of sites quickly and easily in hopes of creating income through volume. Sometimes there seem to be as many expert Adsense systems as there are actual sites featuring Google's ads.

Those who initially took this "spare change" opportunity and transformed it into a true moneymaker, however, uncovered the key to success with Adsense. The key to success is finding the right keywords and determining how to best exploit them.

It's not too hard to guess what kinds of keywords are generating decent payouts. Medical terms and keywords related to multi-million dollar lawsuits, for instance, are universally known to be bring high amounts per click. At one time, the internet was crackling with news of how the keyword "mesothelioma" and related terms were earning nearly a hundred dollars or more per click. That's right...Per click. Ten "mesothelioma" clicks in a day could conceivably put one thousand dollars in the pocket of a publisher.

Of course, once word leaked out, "mesothelioma" sites sprung up everywhere. Adsense experts and newbies alike engaged in heated competition for the elusive "mesothelioma" clicks and their attendant profits. Soon, it became increasingly difficult to get traffic to a "mesothelioma" site. There was simply so much competition.

The story of how a form of lung cancer took Adsense by storm is important to understand, because it teaches a fundamental lesson about the nature of succeeding with the program. You not only need to know what words are making money with each click. You need to know that information before everyone else does, too.

That is why keyword research is the most important aspect of successful Adsense use. By understanding which words are paying the most at any given time, you can position yourself in those key niches before the onslaught, allowing you to garner considerable profit in a relatively short period of time.

Adsense keyword research can be performed manually by anyone willing to invest the time. By creating a separate Adwords account, one can take on the role of an advertiser and see what it would cost to advertise for particular keywords. This will give one an idea of how much each click to an advertisement is likely worth. They can then analyze the competition for that keyword to see if the market is too saturated or not. They can also use any number of services to generate a list of related terms to check and see if there are any veins that are particularly underserved in terms of "perfect match" traffic. After they discover a high-paying word with an accessible market, they can use the information to make more money with Adsense.

There is, however, a problem or two with this technique. Initially, one may have to take hundreds of stabs at finding a keyword that matches all of the necessary prerequisites for success before they are even able to discover which keywords are really high paying. Then, they must hope that keyword is not already over-served on the net, so that they can hope to profit from their Adsense site. If it turns out that the high-paying word they discovered is already being served by hordes of other Adsense users, they must go back to square one and start the process over again.

The process is cumbersome, time-consuming and absent a stroke of luck may never produce real results. What a potentially profitable Adsense publisher really needs is a way to quickly and easily determine how much a click is worth for virtually any keyword at an instant. To make matters even more convenient, they must also be able to immediately ascertain the popularity of the term with respect to how many people are seeking information on the keyword.

Fortunately, this alternative is now available and it is really the best way to profit from Google Adsense. has automated the process of finding winning keywords and can provide users with all of the information they need to choose the best niches and keywords to attack. provides a comprehensive up-to-date look at which words are generating the most money per click. At the same time, it reveals just how many people are actually searching for the keywords in questions. Even more impressively, it takes an extra step and allows users to look for related keywords in order to find the best ways to custom tailor sites to produce maximum Adsense revenue.

This kind of information is in high demand for a reason--it is the one way to produce the best possible results. If one performs a search on a term like "high paying Adsense keywords," they will quickly understand how coveted information like this really is. You'll find forum posters begging for information on which words are hot. You will find old lists of various higher-paying words that are still relied upon by some desperate for direction even though the lists are now old and of little real utility. Everyone wants to know which words pay the most. answers the question with an intuitively structured system that provides both keyword values and essential search pattern information.

If you just want to put some Adsense ads up on an existing site and hope to earn a few cents per day, is not for you. However, if you are interested in discovering which keywords can really offer the most profit potential in order to help direct your site-building and site optimization plans, it is the perfect service. You know the big money clicks are out there somewhere. History shows us all that those who find them early and make their move can produce massive profits. You just need a tool to help you find the right terms. gives you the tools and makes them very easy to use.

Ben Shaffer is the owner and chief-developer of the popular site . He also spends a huge amount of time managing his Adsense sites portfolio. If there is something to know about Adsense, then Ben Shaffer probably knows about it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Network Marketing Strategies For 2008 - 5 Proven And Tested Steps Of "The Spider Web Effect"

Ask yourself, is signing someone up at the supreme super duper level building your network marketing business? Is making a list of every friend and family member you have building your network marketing business? How about, taking your new recruits to some out of the way meeting is this building your network marketing business?

We both know the answer is...NO!

Unfortunately, many of us are told by our "upline" support these are the ONLY ways to be successful in network marketing. Well, I'm here to tell you that's a load of bull!

The truth of the matter is; building your network marketing business should look like a spider web. You don't believe me? Want more proof? Keep on reading.

In my opinion, to build your network marketing business; your MLM company or upline group should provide a dupilcable system to help you gain success. If not, it is absolutely imperative that you create a duplicable system for yourself and for your future downline to pass on to their prospects and so on and so on.

(Hint: "the spider web effect starts with YOU!" )

Okay, let's take a look at the 5 proven and tested steps you need to help you start building your network marketing business...aka "the spider web".

1. Remember, real targeted lead generation is essential. People are always looking for people to partner with to build a business. Your website should have one main objective; capture contact information. This gives your visitors the option to sign up or leave. Your real targeted lead generating system will bring leaders who are readers. These are the people who are committed to building a business; no matter what. Therefore, the pdf or ebook you offer MUST have value. Value that is logical, realistic, educational and compelling for your online visitors.

Only talk to people who have dreams, goals and desires to be successful. You should never have to convince anyone to build a network marketing business. This is something they want to do even if your paths had never crossed. These are the people you want to build your network marketing business with into the future. These are the people you

want to target!

Working with "real targeted leads" is what makes building your network marketing business fun. And most importantly; together you are building a network marketing business that erupts with massive duplication creating results of success for all.

2. Follow up with people. Communication is key! Automated follow up is a wonderful invention; don't you agree? There is nothing like a professionally written automated follow up email system that enables you to build a relationship with a prospect. Great ad copy can answer questions or reveal a problem/solution a prospect could be having building a network marketing business. Your automated follow system creates a trust many people in the industry are seeking. Your follow up can also; get people to really start thinking about achieving their own success. They come to realize, they have found a leader that is truly here to help them succeed and if he or she can do it; so can I.

3. You may want to say this out loud; "if you build it once, if you build it right, it will be with you forever." What am I talking about,relationships. Your network marketing business is a relationship business. One-on-one sponsoring and training is extremely important for business success. People must know that you care. If possible, get your people on live daily training calls. Calls that have interaction for all who dial in on any given night. There is nothing worst than a call that has a host and/or a guest who do all the talking about how great the company product or service is and what it was like back in the day before they made their millions. That's NOT training! That's listening!

I'm talking about training that has a question and answer period. Giving you real practical, useful and cost effective information for your network marketing business. Training that doesn't care how long you have been in network marketing or doesn't make you feel like an idiot when you ask a question. Training that doesn't care what level you came in at as long as you get the support you need to succeed. That's what training is all about!.

4. Absolutely the lifeblood of your business is teaching, training, coaching & mentoring new people on how to do network marketing. Providing a step-by-step action plan helps people gain success.Don't waste your time studying about the super duper elixir drink, where the ingredients are scraped off the rock by blind leprechauns every other full moon. Don't study the ingredients. Study people. People will build your business. Learn to listen to people and you will own your business and you will own your life.

5. When I'm your sponsor, I'm your sponsor for life. Because I take YOUR success personally. My mentor told me, "Only sponsor people that you'd want to go on a 1-month cruise with."

If I'm your sponsor, that is the way it is. You & I will be in business together for the rest of our lives. Wow! How important is that? Don't just sponsor somebody who can fog a mirror. ONLY sponsor people who you really want to build a business with.

To be long-term successful, you MUST have a "Network Marketing Strategy" for your opportunity. I love ours because it offers total training in the skills of working with people, so that you get better and better... and your people can plug into exactly the same system, making it far easier for you to help them as you gain more and more experience.

Like I said before; the spider web effect starts with you!

Bea Ryals is a member of the Success Team Builders. A team dedicated to "Teaching People To Be A Mentor With A Servant's Heart."

We'll train you to build BIG in Network Marketing, with ANY MLM company. We'll train ALL your people. We'll do it all FREE!

To get more Network Marketing Strategies to:


Or to watch a short video clip on MLM Secrets Exposed go to You Tube: