Qualifying Your Visitors

If you advertise in any way, you face the problem of qualifying your visitors.

Qualifying just means ensuring that someone who clicks on your advertisement is most likely to do what you want them to at your site. That might be subscribe to your RSS feed, buy a product, sign up for a service, etc.

So, how do you qualify visitors? There are two main components: the content of your advertisement, and the location of the advertisement.

Content

Content is one way you can qualify visitors. The basic way you qualify through content is to prevent people from clicking on your advertisement. That’s right, you want to prevent people from clicking on the advertisement.

Or rather, you want to prevent unqualified people from clicking on it. This is especially critical when you’re paying for clicks.

For example, let’s say that your product costs $20, and you also offer a free report.

You can advertise the free report, and will likely get a lot of clicks because people are always willing to get something for free. But a low percentage of those people who arrived at your site expecting something free will be willing to pay $20 for a product, too.

Or you can advertise the product, and the price. Plain as day, “Blah blah blah, only $20”. Now when someone clicks on that advertisement, they know it leads to a product and the product will cost $20. And they still clicked. They’re more likely to buy than someone who came through expecting something free.

That’s what qualifying means. It’s more like having an exclusive club, rather than inviting everyone into your store.

Location

Another key way to qualify is where you advertise. If you have an expensive luxury product, putting a billboard up on a logging road isn’t going to get you many sales. On the other hand, if you have a product that will improve the safety and efficiency of loggers, that’s the best place to put it.

Many people think that the best place to advertise is the place that will get the most viewers. In reality, the best place to advertise is the place that has the highest percentage of qualified viewers.

For example, let’s say that you want to advertise Yuwie, which is a way to make money without any investment by participating in a social networking site. You have a couple of qualifications that are important with Yuwie. One is that they are interested in making money without any investment, and the other is that they like to participate in a social networking site.

You could qualify visitors for the first by advertising on Clix Sense, a site that pays people to view ads. Clix Sense members are making money without any investment, so would be qualified for Yuwie.

You could qualify visitors for the second by advertising on other social networking sites, like MySpace.

The tone of the advertisement changes for each location. In the case of Clix Sense, you want to emphasize how the members can make more money through Yuwie, and doing things that are more fun than simply viewing advertisements. In the case of MySpace, you want to emphasize that they can get paid for doing what they’re already doing for free.

But the location automatically takes care of one qualification.

By combining ad content with location, you can help to ensure that everyone who visits your site is most likely to actually do what you want them to do. This works with paid advertisements, and with other means of promotion (such as leaving comments on other blogs to promote your own).

Reducing the number of people who click on your ads by qualifying them will improve your conversion rate and reduce your advertising costs.

How do you qualify your visitors now?

NicheBot Review

Regular readers of this blog know the importance of good keyword research for anyone who owns a website.

Getting the in the top 10 Google search results for a keyword that nobody ever uses is good for bragging rights, but doesn’t bring much traffic to your web site. Keyword research is also critical in identifying a possibly untapped niche, one that has people looking for information but for which there aren’t many (or any) good sites providing that information. Long tail keywords can generate a lot of traffic, but targeting them means you have to know what they are, and which ones get traffic.

Keyword research helps to identify keywords with both traffic and low competition. The main problem with free keyword research tools is that the quality of data you get often isn’t as good as the paid tools, and you get just raw data with no analysis.

The problem with paid keyword research tools is the cost. With the least expensive WordTracker subscription costing $24 a month, it’s hard to recommend it for anyone who isn’t already making a profit. Plus, that $24 is for unlimited keyword research…in the beginning of your online career, the chances are good you’re doing this part time, and won’t get your money’s worth.

NicheBot is a great keyword research tool that not only provides access to data from the best paid tools, such as WordTracker, but is priced for the part-time researcher. NicheBot also provides value added tools I’ll talk about below.

The pricing structure for NicheBot is very reasonable. You get a two-week trial period with full access for $1. This is plenty of time to try it out and see if you like the service. After that, continuing service is only $9.97 a month. This is much more in the reach of a part-time researcher than signing up for all the services individually.

The way they can afford to charge so little is that you do not get unlimited keyword searches. Instead they operate on a credit based system. Any time you draw keyword data from one of the paid services, it uses NicheBot credits. You can use NicheBot’s value added tools without using credits. This makes NicheBot ideal for part-time keyword researchers, whether you’re into Internet Marketing, or just want more traffic to your blog or website.

The site itself is very easy to navigate, with tool-tip help at every stage. There’s also a video training library to demonstrate how to use the site.

Here’s an overview of the tools provided.

Quick Keyword Research

Quick keyword research uses WordTracker and Overture data to find the top 50 to 100 related keywords to your site’s main topic. 

This is the first step in your keyword research, a broad pass across the keyword landscape to see what other keywords might be good to target. 

The goal in this step is to identify core keywords you want to target.  Among the data provided is the number of searches each keyword gets, and the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI).  The KEI is a quick read of how effective you could be at getting in the top 10 search results for this keyword (the higher the KEI, the better).

The Quick Analyze option lets you see your top competition for your main topic, including how many backlinks each site has and how many pages they have indexed in Google.  This is a good measure of what you have to do to compete for that main keyword. 

For example, here’s a portion of the Quick Analyze entry for “make money online”.

You can see from this that backlinks are important for this sort of competitive phrase.  DoshDosh, in particular, has done quite well at link building and so is in the top 10 for this keyword.  Note that the quality of links is also important, not just the quantity.

Deep Keyword Research

This step is where you dig deeper and find keywords related to the core ones you identified above, that have less competition and good traffic. 

The LSI analysis uses Google data to find keywords that are thematically related to your core keywords.  This is becoming more and more important for ranking highly in Google search results, as their analysis of your web pages becomes more and more sophisticated.  Simply repeating your chosen keywords in your web page isn’t enough any more, unless the page also contains thematically related keywords.

The results from the LSI search are grouped by themes.  So for “make money online”, for example, it listed the keywords related to “adwords” as a group, and the keywords related to “affiliate program” as a group, and so on.  Along with scads of Google data on how competitive those keywords are. 

The WordTracker 4-in-1 allows you to search for popular keywords and related keywords, returning more data from the paid WordTracker database than the Quick Research version.

Keyword Discovery maintains what is probably the largest database of keywords.  Their 9-in-1 tool gives you the popularity data for related keywords for the past year, and you can also get their WordTrend graph that shows the last year’s worth of searches on a month by month basis. 

Google’s Keyword Cruncher give you the results of their keyword tool, and the Count Collector gives you Word Tracker counts for thousands of keywords at once.

Each of these tools uses NicheBot credits, generally 1 per keyword, although some features (e.g. WordTrend graphs) use more, and some (e.g. Google Keyword Cruncher and the Count Collector) use less.

Analysis Tools

These tools are repeats of those already mentioned above. 

You can get WordTrend charts at 2 credits per keyword, and Keyword Analysis is the same as the Quick Analyze above.

Search Engine Tools

 The Keyword Density tool gives you an analysis of how many times your target keyword appears in a page on your website, in a way that search engines consider significant. 

This is important, because too high a keyword density will cause negative effects for seach engines these days, while too low means your page won’t be considered relevant. 

The 2-in-1 refers to a second mode of keyword density checking, and that’s analyzing the keywords that your page actually uses.  The comprehensive keyword density tool returns a complete list of all the keywords your page uses, with a summary of the keyword density for each.  This helps you to know what other keywords you may accidentally be targeting on the page.

Keyword Ranking tells you how well your site ranks for given keywords.  This is a quick check for how well you’re doing at optimizing for your keywords.

The ROI calculator allows you to play some what-if scenarios for PPC advertising.  It will quickly tell you if a PPC campaign is going to be profitable, for a given price per click, conversion rate, and profit per conversion. 

The Niche Product locator helps you find products to promote for given keywords.  This is helpful if you’re an Internet Marketer using NicheBot to identify profitable niches, and then want to find an affiliate product to promote for that niche.

Conclusions

If you’ve decided to move beyond the free keyword research tools, NicheBot is a great alternative to paying for a WordTracker or Keyword Discovery subscription.  You get to combine data from both services, plus Google and Yahoo results, to analyze them as a whole. 

Plus, you get unlimited use of the value added tools (anything that doesn’t talk about using credits above).

The two-week trial includes 5 credits, which is about enough to work through all the credit-using tools for your site’s core keyword. 

You can get your two-week trial for $1 here

A Guide to Yuwie

I’ve been using Yuwie for about a week and a half now, and have a good feel for how it all works. So this is my “Success with Yuwie” guide.

The basic way to make money on Yuwie is to generate page views. Lots and lots of page views. Here are the three basic ways you get page views:

1) You personally view a page
2) One of your referrals views enough pages (depends on what level they’re on)
3) Another Yuwie member views one of your pages

The most important thing to remember about page views on Yuwie is that the page must be viewed for 3 seconds to count. So moving through pages as fast as you can click isn’t doing anyone any good.

Here are some tips to maximize your page views.

Make Friends

Invite lots of members to be your friends, including everyone in the first three levels of your downline (those are the levels you can see individual members on…the rest of the levels just give you a count).

Give Page Views to Friends

Leave comments on your friends’ profiles, blog entries, and pictures. When you do this, they’ll return the favor and generate some page views for you. Just remember to allow 3 seconds to pass to make sure they’re getting a page view. Try to keep up with your best friends on Yuwie every other day or so. Make sure you hit the rest of them at least once a week.

Even if it’s nothing more than posting “Good morning!” on their profile, that shows you’re working to generate page views for them.

Keep Adding Content

It’s hard to give page views to someone who doesn’t have any blog entries or pictures. So add blog entries and pictures of your own for people to use for comments. Plus, you never know when someone will stumble across your blog entries and decide they like them well enough to invite you to be a friend.

Change Your Privacy Settings

By default, Yuwie makes it so people need to know your last name or email address before they can invite you to be their friend. Change it so that anyone can invite you. This will increase the number of friends, and thus page views, you get.

Participate in Clubs

You can make a lot of new friends in clubs.

Post Videos

You get page views when people view videos you have uploaded. Post a popular enough video, and you could get a lot of page views.

Get Referrals

Ultimately, this is the way to make thousands a month through Yuwie.

How Much Can I Make?

Since Yuwie depends on page views, how much you make depends on how much you put into it. Your own personal efforts can generate a lot of page views. Your referrals’ efforts can generate a lot more page views.

The help in Yuwie suggests a full referral tree can earn as much as $10,000 a month. Full meaning you referred 3 people, and they referred 3 people, all the way down 10 levels.

There are people on Yuwie who have referrals down to 10 levels, those who have been involved in it since the beginning. For everyone else, Yuwie is still new enough that most people haven’t heard about it. Social networking sites are immensely popular these days, so one that pays you for participating is attractive.

If you haven’t see Yuwie yet, click here to take a look.

Using Yahoo Or Hotmail? You May Be Losing Money.

Most people get along just fine with Yahoo or Hotmail email addresses. The aggressive spam filtering keeps them from being inundated with junk.

But there’s an audience for whom Yahoo or Hotmail email addresses may be a bad idea. These people regularly receive legitimate emails that look like spam to Yahoo and Hotmail.

Who are these people? Internet Marketers.

You’re trying to make money online, you’re networking and getting your name out, and a friend of a friend of a friend is given your email address because you’re involved in a program they want to get into. But they want to get in under someone they know and trust, and want to contact you first to talk about the program.

So they send you an email.

A couple weeks later they get tired of waiting for a reply and find someone else to join under. Meanwhile, the email was gobbled up by spam filters, so you never saw it. This has happened to me, when I’ve tried to contact people at both Yahoo and Hotmail addresses to have them join programs so I could join under them.

When you’re doing business online, especially in the Internet Marketing arena, making absolutely certain you can receive every email sent to you is critical.

I’d recommend using a Gmail address as your main contact address, if you don’t have a domain of your own. Gmail also has a spam filter, but it isn’t as aggressive as Yahoo or Hotmail, and generally passes most Internet marketing related emails.

Of course, the absolute best option is to have your own domain and hosting. My continual recommendation for hosting is Site5’s $5 a month plan. Two years of top-notch web hosting for about $120 is a good deal, and I personally run several sites on my Site5 account.

But if you can’t afford paid hosting, go for a free Gmail account to ensure you’re receiving every email, even if it has spammy looking Internet marketing links.

Posting Frequency to Change

Well, with the fall semester about to start, it was bound to happen.

I’m going to change the posting frequency of Online Opportunity. I’ve been a bit apprehensive about doing this, even though I’ve seen the need approaching, because of all the advice about maintaining a consistent posting schedule.

Well, I’ll still be consistent, just differently so.

My current plan is to keep daily postings throughout the week, but to take Saturday and Sunday evenings off. That will give me extra time to grade student assignments those weeks when I need to, and otherwise spend more time with my two-year old daughter when I don’t. I may pop on to moderate comments Saturday and Sunday while I’m checking email, but that’ll be about it.

In other site news, we’re approaching the four month milestone for the blog, on August 18th. I’m looking forward to another four months!

Recognizing When You’re Spread Too Thin

When you first want to make money online, you probably have a certain amount of income to invest. You might use it to join some programs that have good hype.

You probably discover that good hype doesn’t mean putting you in profit automatically, and so join another program that has better hype. But you keep the original program and promote it, too, because you’ve got an investment in it now. So you’re promoting two programs.

Then three, four, and so on.

The problem is, all the programs have good hype and make themselves out to be the next big thing. Generally, they’re they next big thing only for the owners, at least at first. Most any program can reward those members who stick it out and promote the program through however long it takes to get into profit. This might be months, or years.

I’ve written before about the importance of focusing on a single opportunity until you’re in profit. But for those who like to work multiple opportunities, it’s important to recognize when you’re spreading yourself too thin.

Here are a few key indicators.

o) You spend more time researching new programs to join than working your existing programs
o) You spend more than your disposable income on programs, without quite realizing it
o) You cannot spend at least some time working every program every day

If any of those are true, you probably should eliminate the programs that are the least active, and focus on the others.

Anyone else have any other signs that you’re spreading yourself too thin?

Revisitors.com Case Study, Part 3

The traffic from my Revisitors case study is coming to a close on the Marketing Pond splash pages, and is about half over for this blog.

The Marketing Pond results have remained about the same since the last update. There are only about 400 out of 2,500 visitors left to arrive, and the click through rate has stuck at about 1%. To make money from this, you need to carefully compare the cost of the campaign with the benefits received.

In my case, I opted for the $20 for 2,500 visitors package. At a 1% click through rate, that gives me 25 people clicking through, or about $1.25 per person. Can you make more than $1.25 off a single person who takes an action such as clicking?

The blog traffic results have also remained the same. My original metric for success, the number of feed subscribers, has stayed the same (after adjusting for a jump due to being on the start of a couple of link trains). My modified metric for success, the amount of time people spend on the site, has remained at about 5 minutes, with some day to day fluctuation.

The majority of people are only seeing a single page, but about 15% look at two pages. Half that many look at three pages, half that many look at four pages, and so on.

Bounce rate is also about the same, with day to day fluctuations.

The traffic from Revisitors has been the majority of the traffic coming to the blog on any given day, and has not skewed the blog’s statistics toward high bounce rate or low time on site.

So I’d say that the data continues to support the idea that these are real people who are actually reading some portion of the site.

What’s the best use of this traffic?

Sending traffic to an Adsense monetized site might work well. The conversion rate for clicking on ads would no doubt be better than that for signing up for a program or mailing list. A close reading of the Adsense terms of service would be in order here, since I know they dislike having Adsense ads on pages used by traffic exchanges and popunder windows.

Anyone else have any results to share with Revisitors traffic?

Know Your Audience

We had a yard sale this weekend.

Everyone who has had a yard sale knows what’s involved, but for those who haven’t had the pleasure of hosting such an event I’ll share a bit of the process. You start weeks before the designated date, going through all your junk valuable items, trying to decide what you can unload bear to part with. You have to put all of this stuff somewhere in your house where it won’t get in the way, but will be easy to get to on the day of the sale.

Then on the day, you carry everything out into the yard, set up folding tables, arrange everything artistically so that it will be attractive to buyers, and wait for the customers to arrive. Actually that’s not quite true.

While you’ve been carrying boxes out, someone arrives an hour early looking for antique pottery. The chances are good they want to pay $5 for something that’s worth $300. When you tell them you don’t have any, they leave without looking at anything else. The early visitors are all like this, they’re looking for specific items and don’t even bother with buying something to compensate you for taking time to talk to them.

Later visitors browse the tables, and some of them want to actually buy your junk valuable items. You’ve already priced things to sell, because you don’t want to carry it all back into the house. Maybe you’ve put $5 on a desk chair that cost you $90 new. Someone is going to come up to you and ask to get the desk chair and a pair of blankets for $5.

Yard salers are like that.

And that’s the moral of this slightly off-topic story. Know your audience before you try to sell something to them. You won’t get top dollar out of people who are obsessive about looking for bargains. If you market to bargain hunters, make them think they’re getting a bargain. If you market to collectors, make them think they’re getting something valuable.

Whoever your audience is, research them thoroughly and make sure you understand what they’re looking for and why they want it before you start.

Otherwise you’ll be disappointed in the results, and probably carry most of your junk back into the house afterward.

The Mini-Digg Effect

Most people are interested in the huge amounts of traffic you get by hitting the first page of Digg. JohnCow.com did a piece recently titled, Digg Made Easy. Sure, 75,000 visitors is pretty nice.

But what happens if nobody else diggs your site? You’re left out there with just a single digg, or maybe two, and what happens?

You’re in luck, because I have the traffic analytics to answer that question!

Recently, as part of my Win Me As A Slave Contest, two of the contestants dugg the contest page. And that was it…apparently nobody on Digg itself thought a blogger giving himself away in (figurative) bondage to promote his blog was digg worthy. Everyone’s so jaded these days!

Anyway, 18 people from Digg clicked through to the contest page when it was on the first page of upcoming news. 1 person clicked through when it was on page 3, 1 from page 8, one from page 11, and one from page 53. 2 clicked through on the Offbeat News page.

Those 2 diggs resulted in a total of 24 unique visitors to the blog. Only a couple of them didn’t bounce immediately (apparently they weren’t actually interested in reading anything…note to self, include a picture next time!) The two that didn’t bounce spent about 12 minutes total on the site and clicked on a couple of other posts.

There you have it. You may not get much traffic from one or two diggs, but you do get some traffic. And a couple of people might actually take the time to read your site!

AutoResponder Review — Get Response

Membership to Get Response is $17.95 a month, although you can prepay up to a year in advance to get a discount. One year is $145.40, which comes out to about $12 a month.

Get Response autoresponders do allow subscription via email, although they block many of the coregistration services. So the normal use of subscription via email is limited. Get Response does provide its own coregistration service, so you can still purchase subscribers; you simply must use their service instead of any other service.

The autoresponders allow you to set a custom thank you page after a user has confirmed their subscription.

Customization of emails is a strong point at Get Response. You can choose from a dozen templates for the body of the confirmation message, depending on the purpose of your list (a newsletter, product support, sales, etc). Then inside each template is a spot for you to put a personalized message. The entire confirmation message ends up looking very natural.

You also get to customize many aspects of the pages that Get Response shows, including putting your own logos, etc. If you use all the customization options that they allow, your subscriber will never leave your site, but you’ll still be able to personalize the text they see to their subscriber information (e.g. “Thanks, John, for subscribing!”)

Get Response also provides rich support for HTML messages.

Delivery rate is very good, comparable to that at Traffic Wave.

Get Response allows simple broadcasting of messages to all subscribers.

Link tracking is available, and you can even set things up so that the links use your domain instead of GetResponse.com. This helps your subscribers to have a more seamless experience with your website.

I’d give Get Response an A+ for features, being easily the most full-featured autoresponder service that I’ve reviewed. The value grade is B+, but only if you prepay for the year to get the discount. A list takes time to show results, so you’ll want to have your autoresponders active for at least a year anyway.