Senin, 26 Oktober 2009

Building YOUR Business - Part 1

Building YOUR Business - Part 1
Traffic Exchange Basics
(Affiliate Funnel)

A traffic exchange is a website promotion system based on the concept of reciprocation. In simplest terms, you achieve exposure for your own web site, banner ads, and even text links by viewing the sites and ads of other people.

These programs provide you with a very powerful way of:

* Putting your product or service in front of a very diverse audience
* Seeing what other folks are promoting
* Getting an idea of how your competition is targeting their campaigns
* Branding your name, gather leads, and yes, even make sales

Traffic Exchanges are member based, so you must open an account with each exchange you intend to use. This is a simple task that can be completed in a couple of minutes, and it's usually free.

The initial sign-up process will require you to enter your name and a valid email address. Additionally, you may be asked for information about your web site.

In some cases, you are also asked to select a username and password with which to access your member's only area. Other exchanges will assign you with a user number and an auto-generated password.

Once you have completed the sign-up form, you will receive a validation email. You will need to click the link indicated in this message in order to validate (prove that you own) the email address you have used to register your membership.

All traffic exchanges operate on a credit system. Members earn credits by participating in a variety of ways, and then "spend" these credits on website visitors, banner ad impressions, text links, and in some cases, even email advert's.

By maintaining active memberships in a few good exchanges, you can generate a tremendous flow of traffic for any web site you wish to advertise. When used properly, these resources are an excellent way to promote just about anything.

After you complete the sign up form for a traffic exchange, you will need to validate, or prove that you own, the email account you registered with. This is required to insure that you receive important communications such as support responses, program updates, and so forth.

Look in your email folder for a subject line that reads "Validate Your Account", "Verify Your Account", or something similar. Open this message and you will find a clearly marked validation link. Simply click on the designated link within the validation email and you will be taken to a confirmation page.

Once your email is validated, you are ready to login to your account with your username and password.
Setting up your account

Setting up your account basically involves adding your web site, banner ad, and (if applicable) text link. Look to the member navigation menu for a link that reads ‘My Websites’, ‘Add Sites’, ‘URL Manager’, or something along these lines.

This link will take you to the page where you may enter your Target URL(s). A Target URL is the website address you wish to drive traffic to.

Just enter a title for your site, along with the URL, and submit this information. Some exchanges will also ask you for a brief description or give you the opportunity to select an appropriate category for your site to be rotated through.

Your site must not be a frame breaker, (a site with code that "breaks out" of the surf bar) as this type of site will disrupt the process of generating traffic for other members of the exchange. In some cases, you will be required to click a ‘test’ button that checks your site for frame-breaking code before it is accepted into the system. Alternatively, the site admin may check each URL manually before approving them.

Also, each exchange is likely to have its own set of rules regarding the types of sites that are allowed. For example, some exchanges do not allow the use of rotators. Other programs have banned paid-to-promote type sites and apparent ponzi schemes from rotation. Be sure to read the terms and regulations of each exchange before submitting your target URL(s).

The procedure for adding banner ads and text links is pretty much the same as that for adding your target URLs. Just find the appropriate menu link and insert the correct information into the submission form to enter your banner and text ads into the member rotation.

There is sometimes confusion in getting your banners set up properly. First you must have an image of the banner hosted somewhere on the internet. Usually, the program that you are promoting will give you an image url or tell you that you need to copy the image and upload it to your own hosting account.

Either way there will be two urls to be added when entering a banner. One will usually say" target url". The "target url" is the page you want a person to see when they click on the banner (the page you are promoting). The other will usually say "image url". That is the location on the internet where your image file is hosted. The final thing that some exchanges will have when entering a banner is an "alt text:" box. Alt text is what someone will see if for some reason the banner is not available because of some sort of server glitch. (Yes even the best hosts sometimes have glitches). This will also show whenever some one mouses over the image.

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Kamis, 22 Oktober 2009

How to Play the Game of Paid URL Inclusion

By Nelson Tan (c) 2009

There are many ways to promote your website and one of the most efficient ways is to use search engines. Search engines are the first stop for most people trying to find information, services, and products online. Because of this, it is essential that your website appears quickly in search results.

The Internet contains numerous search engines, some of which provide what is known as "paid inclusion." This means that you pay the specific search engine an annual fee for your web page to be included in their index.

Of course, every search engine already has an automated program commonly called a "spider" that indexes all the web pages it locates online, and it does this for free. So whether you pay or not, your web page will eventually be indexed by all Internet search engines, as long as the spider can follow a link to your page. The major issue is, then, how quickly your page is indexed.

A search engine that offers a paid URL inclusion uses an extra spider that is programmed to index the particular pages that have been paid for. The difference between the spider that indexes pages for free and the spider that indexes only pages for a fee is speed. If you have paid for inclusion, the additional search engine spider will index your page immediately.

The debate over paid URL inclusion centers around the annual fee. Since the regular spider of these search engines would eventually get around to indexing your web page anyway, why is a renewal fee necessary? The fee is necessary to keep your pages in the search engine's index. If you go the route of paid inclusion, you should be aware that at the end of the pay period, on some search engines, your page will be removed from their index for a certain amount of time.

It's easy to get confused about whether you would benefit from paid inclusion since the spider of any search engine will eventually index your page without the additional cost. There are both advantages and disadvantages to paid URL inclusion, and it is only by weighing your pros and cons that you will be able to decide whether to spring for the cost or not.

The advantages are obvious: rapid inclusion and rapid re-indexing. Paid inclusion means that your pages will be indexed quickly and added to search results in a very short time after you have paid the fee. The time difference between when the regular spider will index your pages and when the paid spider will is a matter of months. The spider for paid inclusion usually indexes your pages in a day or two. Be aware that if you have no incoming links to your pages, the regular spider won't locate them at all.

Additionally, paid inclusion spiders will go back to your pages often, sometimes even daily. The advantage of this is that you can update your pages constantly to improve the ranking in which they appear in search engines, and the paid URL inclusion spider will show that result in a matter of days.

First and foremost, the disadvantage is the cost. For a ten-page website, the costs of paid URL inclusion range from $170 for Fast/Lycos to $600 for AltaVista, and you have to pay each engine their annual fee. How relevant the cost factor is will depend on your company.

Another, and perhaps more important, disadvantage is the limited reach of paid URL inclusions. The largest search engines, Google, Yahoo, and AOL, do not provide paid URL inclusion. That means that the search engines you choose to pay an inclusion fee will amount to a small fraction of the traffic to your site on a daily basis.

Google usually updates its index every month, and there is no way you can speed up this process. You will have to wait for the Google spider to index your new pages no matter how many other search engines you have paid to update their index daily. Be aware that it is only after Google updates their index that your pages will show up in Google, Yahoo, or AOL results.

One way to figure out whether paid URL inclusion is a good deal for your company is to consider some common factors. First, find out if search engines have already indexed your pages. To do this, you may have to enter a number of different keywords, but the quickest way to find out is to enter your URL address in quotes. If your pages appear when you enter the URL address but do not appear when you enter keywords, using paid inclusion will not be beneficial. This is because your pages have already been indexed and ranked by the regular spider. If this is the case, your money would be better spent by updating your pages to improve your ranking in search results. Once you accomplish this, you can then consider using paid inclusion if you want to speed up the time it will take for the regular spider to revisit your pages.

The most important factor in deciding whether to use paid URL inclusion is to decide if it's a good investment. To figure this out, you have to look at the overall picture: what kind of product or service are you selling and how much traffic are you dependent on to see a profit?

If your company sells an inexpensive product that requires a large volume of traffic to your site, paid inclusion may not be the best investment for you; the biggest search engines do not provide it, and they are the engines that will bring you the majority of hits. On the other hand, if you have a business that offers an expensive service or product and requires a certain quality of traffic to your site, a paid URL inclusion is most likely an excellent investment.

Another factor is whether or not your pages are updated frequently. If the content changes on a daily or weekly basis, paid inclusion will insure that your new pages are indexed often and quickly. The new content is indexed by the paid spider and then appears when new relevant keywords are entered in the search engines. Using paid inclusion in this case will assure that your pages are being indexed in a timely manner.

You should also base your decision on whether or not your pages are dynamically generated. These types of pages are often difficult for regular spiders to locate and index. Paying to include the most important pages of a dynamically generated website will insure that the paid spider will index them.

Sometimes a regular spider will drop pages from its search engine, although these pages usually reappear in a few months. There are a number of reasons why this can happen, but by using paid URL inclusion, you will avoid the possibility. Paid URL inclusion guarantees that your pages are indexed, and if they are inadvertently dropped, the search engine will be on the lookout to locate them immediately.

As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when it comes to paid URL inclusion. It can be a valuable investment depending on your situation. Evaluate your business needs and your website to determine if paid URL inclusion is a wise investment for your business goals.

About The Author
Nelson Tan is the webmaster behind Internet Mastery Center. Download $347 worth of Free Internet Marketing gifts at