Thursday, February 26, 2009

Negative Keywords: Not a Bad Thing!

Ah, yes. One of my favorite, and most often misinterpreted, tools in Google AdWords. Now . . . this entry does assume you have at least a basic background in Google AdWords, so keep that in mind. If you do know Google AdWords, or have wrestled with them before, this will prove to be a valuable tool.

Negative keywords are words you can add to your campaigns to make Google show your ad less. And, believe it or not, this is a good thing.

Why? Well, you will choose words that will prevent your Ad from showing. For example, by putting in the word "free" as a negative keyword, people who searched for your website keywords, but used the word "free" (for example, "free camping gear"), wouldn't see your website Ad. It just wouldn't come up.

That's the first important step. You wouldn't pay for this person to come upon your site -- they're clearly not a "buyer." They're looking for a free gift, or perhaps free information or a something similar. It's not that it's horrible if they ran across your site. You just don't want them doing it on your dime.

Beyond that, these people are less likely to click on a "sales-pitch" type Ad anyway, so by not showing your Ad to them, you are increasing your CTR (or "Click Through Rate"). A better Click Through Rate will actually lower your cost per click with Google.

Here's how you add negative keywords to your campaign:
  • Go to the Keywords section of any given AdGroup.
  • Use the "quick add" option for your keywords.
  • Type in the minus sign (-), followed by any keywords you want as negative keywords.
  • Here are a few negative keywords that are a good idea to use: free, info, information, image, images, pic, picture, wiki.
So, there's a basic overview. If you want to learn more about how a quality coaching company can help your business soar, simply visit

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Making Friends" - How to Start on Social Networking Sites

One type of website marketing that is vastly underestimated is that of Social Networking. By this, I mean using sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and potentially about 50 other sites, to promote your website.

This applies whether your site is a retail site, a blog, or pretty much anything else. Though many of these social networking sites were intended for individuals, not companies, the resources they provide can be used to great benefit by your online business.

The why, what, and how are another story. Right now, I want to go over how to get started on Social Networking, and the most important first step. "Making Friends."

When people start out on these sites, they often don't know how to start. The only thing that these sites seem to promote in order to make friends is adding friends from your personal contact list. Well, why don't you? Many business owners I know are hesitant to add their own friends to the list, but this is one of the best places to start. It's highly unlikely, after all, that your friends will give you negative PR, reject your friendship requests, or anything similar. Plus, by establishing a group of friends, you will show other potential "friends" that you're already established (even if you're not).

A second thing you'll want to do as you set up on these sites is to be certain that your company's profile looks nice. You should fill out all the information that's asked for (by whatever site you're working on), and you should add a non-salesy, smooth description of your site. Here's one as an example:

Genie in a Bottle is glad to be here on MySpace to continue networking, finding new business connections, and provide an additional way that our customers can get updates about upcoming events, sales, or other promotions. We sell the best Genies in lamps around. If you're interested in checking out our website, it can be found at If you're interested in hearing about upcoming promotions, receiving special discounts through MySpace, or getting in touch with us, just add us to your friends list.

Then, be sure that your profile is set to "public view," so people who aren't your friends already can check it out. Also, put information on which social networking sites you're using on your website, and mention that you occasionally give out promotion codes, or give word of new products, through these sites. This will prompt some of your buyers, and even some of your non-buying site visitors, to add you on these sites.

Now, these things alone may bring in a new friend from time to time, but you'll need to be a bit more active than that to start making connections. There are five words that sum up what you need to do:

Be active on the site.

It's hard to give specific directions on what you need to do (since every site is different), but being active is really the key. If the site has forums, participate in the forums! If it has blog features, participate in the blog features! Commenting on other people's blogs, or responding to their posts in forums, is one of the best ways to start meeting people.

Another tactic to use is to join groups on these websites. Most of these websites have different "groups" based on an interest in a similar subject. If you're selling pocket knives, wouldn't a group interested in camping make a great set of leads for you?

Oh, but let's be careful. I just called them "leads," and it's important to remember, these aren't just "leads." They're potential friends to your business, and you should treat them as such. You should not try to push your business on these people, and you should always be respectful.

Here's another piece of simple advice. One of the best ways to find friends is to be a friend to others. This works somewhat differently on each site, and on sites like Facebook and MySpace, it's not wise to "add a friend" who has no idea who you are. But on sites like Twitter, "following" someone is one of the best ways to get "followed." By finding someone who has interests that seem to be in relation to your site, and following them, they are likely to notice you, check your profile, and may or may not follow you in return.

So, let's answer in brief, why should you bother spending all this time doing this? Well, it's very simple. This is a waiting customer list. Once you have established friends, you can make "posts," "updates," or "notes" (the name is different for each site). Everyone on your friends list will be able to see these updates, and if you phrase your "notes" in a way that invites people to your site, you'll see increased traffic through these mediums.

So, yes, once again, it's all about traffic, spreading the word, and getting people to your site. It may take a while to establish yourself on each of these Social Networking sites, but once you have, it provides a completely free resource to build significant traffic to your website.

For more information on how a quality coaching company can help increase the traffic to your site, or help you build a new online business from scratch, simply check us out at

Friday, February 13, 2009

Writing Articles: Why and how?

Website articles are a powerful tool to help promote your website. Whether it's an online store or an affiliate website, articles can help bring increased traffic.

Why is this? Well, to break it down into the simplest possible terms, when you post an article you will be talking about something related to the products on your site. When Google notices that a link to your website appears on a lot of sites that have relevant content, it decides that your website is more relevant to that subject.

As an example, if you were selling painting supplies, and your link appeared on an article where you talked about the different types of paints and how the different amounts of thickness effects the end result, Google would say "Oh! That website must really be about the subject of paint."

Most of us, however, do not have a college degree in the subject that our websites are talking about (and it is, in fact, hard to get a degree in things like paintball or medieval reenactment accessories). So how do you decide what to talk about in your web articles?

Here is a step-by-step of how I usually decide what to write articles for my website on:
  1. Do some research.

    I know, it's not the funnest thing in the world, but you have to have information before you write your article. More than that, it will help you decide what you will want to write about. Simply looking at a wikipedia article on your topic may give you an idea. Maybe researching golf will give information on upcoming tournaments, world records, or obscure facts. These things are great starting points for your article!

    Obviously, in most cases you won't stop at Wikipedia. By finding the names of players, tournaments, or whatever else you've found, you will be able to do simple Google searches to find out more.

    I really want to emphasize -- don't ever steal the work of others. Never copy their text, and never steal their pictures. This will not do well for you business -- the last thing you need is a lawsuit.

  2. Collect your information.

    Once you've visited several websites, write down the key points of what you learned. Let's continue with the hypothetical golf scenario. If we were looking at the world records for the number of yards before a hole in one, we would write down the information, who originally set the record, who beat that record, what the course was, what the weather conditions were, any quotes or statements from the players -- and anything else that applies! There is usually plenty of information.

  3. Write what's interesting to you.

    If you find yourself yawning as you read about the subject of your article, you may well find others do as well. This isn't good! Write about things that keep you interested in your own articles. If you can do that, you should be able to snag the attention of others.

  4. Use your keywords!

    It's possible to talk about golfing clubs in your article, but only mention the actual term "golfing clubs" once. By constantly referring to the term "golfing clubs" as "it," "they," or simply by not mentioning golf clubs, you're cheating yourself out of some good article keywords.

    A good guideline is to use at least one major keyword or keyword phrase per article, and to repeat that keyword or keyword phrase 12 to 18 times (assuming it's the standard 500 word article).
These are just basic guidelines, but it should give you a place to start when you write your online articles. For more information on how a quality coaching company can help your online business succeed, simply visit