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----------------------------------------------------------------- T h e e M a r k e t i n g D i g e s t W e e k l y Discussing & Defining Internet Marketing. Since May, 1997 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Edited by Gary K. Foote & C.J. Foote ISSN 1522-6913 Volume #2,Issue #327 Monday, January 24, 2000 ---------------------- Sponsor Message -------------------------- Get paid for surfing the net. Get paid when others surf the net. http://www.alladvantage.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- eMD Weekly Advertiser Info: mailto:email@example.com *** Editor's Ramble by Gary K. Foote, Editor Hi Everyone, The eMD Member's Links Directory, a Member's Resource page to which you can add your own listings. Use it to find other eMD members wth whom you can do business. Let's pull together as a community and generate some business for each other every day. List your business right now... http://www.homepagetools.com/links/users/emdmemberlinkspage.html As always, please take the time to visit this issue's sponsor, "AllAdvantage.com", as it is our advertisers who keep the eMD a free resource. You may follow links to our sponsors from their links in each issue of the eMD, or from our Sponsor Resources web page located at; http://www.webbers.com/emark/sponsors.html Finally, please forward this issue of the eMD on to two friends or business associates and help us build our circulation. Now let's get marketing... GKF, Ed. ----------------------- In This Issue ------------------------- - Re: Web Design & Marketing Part I by Joseph Jobst - Web Design & Marketing Part II, e-Commerce Review, iCAT Part III, Search Engine Issues - eMD Marketing HelpDesk: Seeking Online eMarketing Courses Diana Landry - Online Consumables Market Takes Off Activmedia - Cyber Dialogue: Security Fears Stop Women Buying Online NUA Surveys - How do you market your site? eMD Marketing Poll ----------------------------------------------------------------- *** Re: Web Design & Marketing Part I by Joseph Jobst Hello Gary, Your article "Web Design & Marketing" is as always straightforward and well-founded. There is just one point I can't agree with -- >600 pixels wide is the smallest common denominator AOL's browsers (except the newest version) are set to a FIXED width of 600, that means a scroll free resolution of 585. And WebTV is fixed at a resolution of 576. Since more than 20 million netizens are surfing on AOL and WebTV I think 576 pixel should be the smallest common denominator. Anyway, keep on your great work! Your eFriend, Joseph Jobst josconNetworks Inc http://linz1.net *Serving Clients Online Since 1994* Editor's Response Hi Joseph, Thanks for setting the record straight on this. The combined figures for AOL and WebTV usage are plenty large enough to make this a significant point. And thanks for the kudos, too. I really enjoy publishing the eMD. I find it relaxing rather than stressful. GKF - Ed. *** Web Design & Marketing Part II, e-Commerce Review, iCAT Last week I left off after reaching the point of deciding to use, and choosing from the myriad of solutions for, e-commerce management. To begin with, keeping your inventory online can be a daunting task, unless your product line and prices are relatively stable. So, an antique store, whose inventory is constantly in flux, might find maintaining their online inventory database time intensive, while a hardware store will have stable inventory, simplifying the process. Assuming the decision to use a complete shopping cart/e-commerce system has been made, here are some initial considerations. First, do you [or your site designer] install and maintain your own software solution or do you use a third-party interface to generate and maintain your shop's contents, prices, SKU, etc. Each has its benefits and its drawbacks. iCat, for as little as $99.95 a month, offers a fast, easy to use e-commerce system. You can access your secure, password protected administration area from any web browser. Their own claim is, "You don't need to be a programmer or a designer or have any special computer skills", and I believe they are right. You can specify sales tax and shipping or set up onsite calculators for customer use. You can generate reports: Sales Reports - Sales reports provide information about orders and customers over a specified period of time. Customer Reports - Customer reports allow merchants to generate customer lists and detailed order summaries. Traffic Reports - Traffic reports give merchants statistics on which items and sections are being viewed. URL: http://www.icat.com/affiliates/jump.asp?affiliate=emd I'll review another off-site system next week, continuing this focus on e-commerce in weekly sections. Otherwise the topic would soon become boring to those not dealing with e-commerce issues. *** Web Design & Marketing Part III, Search Engine Issues As every poll and survey shows, search engine optimization is considered the most important issue when marketing a website. The question I hear most when consulting as search engine specialist is, "What makes a site place well in search engine returns?" The answer lies an the early stages of site planning, when considering the following issues: Keywords: Begin your site design by looking at your competition online. Consider which keywords and keyphrases you believe your target market will use when searching for your product or service in the various search engines. Look at the top ten returns for each keyword/keyphrase. View their source and list their keywords/keyphrases as listed in their META tags. I'm not suggesting you steal their keywords, but that you learn what works for your competition. You'll likely come up with additions to your own list of keywords that you hadn't thought of before. Once you've built your list of keywords and keyphrases you should build the list of links for your opening screen. Use these words and phrases in your page titles, as link text, and as text copy within the page's content. Also use them in your METAtags for both keywords and for your description. Please note that some search engines will penalize a site by lowering its relevance to searches for 'spamming' the index. To avoid this you should limit repeats of keywords in your METAtags to no more than three  per keyword, per tag. The earlier on your page you can introduce your keywords as links and text content the better. I often use the device of including a navigation bar consisting of text links [carefully chosen to reflect keywords] centered at top of a page, making it the first thing a search engine 'sees' when it arrives. In any case avoid a lot of content, whether HTML content or text content, before you include significant links. This is a very significant point, especially in light of the amount of extraneous HTML generated by today's HTML editors. Why? Because, during the creation of a page using an editor, when you make a change to your previous layouts the program does not remove the HTML already written. Instead it writes even more HTML to effect the changes to your layout. This can quickly lead to a huge amount of HTML before any meaningful content is presented. This has serious negative imapct on a page's search engine friendliness, and is the reason I still write HTML by hand. It allows me the flexibility to make changes by removing HTML that is no longer required and adding only that HTML which is necessary to layout the page. Text content must also support your keyword/keyphrase list. Write copy that begins with your keys. In other words choose to start your first paragraph with your prime key and continue to build your other keys into the following text. Don't be afraid of repeating, as long as you consider the 'no more than three  repeats' rule. Some search engines look for this type of activity, labeling it 'spamming the index'. The number of links to your site is considered by some search engines. The belief is that if a site is linked to from many sites it must be a better example of its niche than those with fewer links in. One strategy for dealing with this is to create your own network of target market related sites at different domains, all interlinked to increase each's link-in score. This strategy also allows you to reach out directly to specific markets for your products or services. One example of this is Swiss Chalets Village Inn, a lodging property located in the four-season, resort playground of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Their general market is transient visitors to the area. Their sub-set markets cover many different interests that vary some with the seasons. So, we developed their main site to reach the general travelers in the northeast US market, aiming at the 'lodging industry by region' market when developing their keys. We then developed other sites, all visibly sponsored by the Swiss Chalets Village Inn, aimed at specific vertical markets within their general market. Two examples are: http://www.newenglandskiing.com This site is a directory of links to ski areas and skier's resources, covering the New England region. http://www.newenglandromance.com This site is an 'ideabook' of romantic things to do with or for the one you love. Both of these sites, as well as others developed to reach vertical markets [subsets of their general market] for the same client, drive a lot of traffic to their main site, where their main objective is realized... increased reservations at the Swiss Chalets Village Inn. Finally, if you plan to do your best with search engine positioning for your site you need to keep current on what algorithms are being used for each search engine, and when changes occur. The best way you can assure yourself of the latest information is to subscribe to Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch. Mr. Sullivan spends countless hours keeping current and reporting back to his subscribers. An annual subscription costs $69.00 and is well worth it, not only subscribing you to the complete version of the newsletter [there is a free, less-informative newsletter available from this page also], but also giving you complete access to the Member's Only area of the supporting website. The Member's Only area carries lots of valuable, constantly updated information on all of the major search engines. The following URL will take you directly to a page describing the complete benefits of being a paid subscriber and a link to an online subscription form. The URL below contains the eMD affiliate's code and, if you do visit their site, please do so from this link. It will help set off the time and costs of publishing the eMD. http://searchenginewatch.com/about_emark/subscribe.html *** eMD Marketing HelpDesk Seeking Online eMarketing Courses by Diana Landry Do you know where I would be able to take some on-line courses on e-marketing? Diana Landry HRT 115 & HEMS Coordinator Deloitte & Touche firstname.lastname@example.org 416-601-6150 x 7448 Editor's Response Well, Diana, I'd like to thing of the eMD as presenting a course on e-marketing, though we don't publish a structured learning experience, rather a 'stream-of-conciousness' discourse. But, recognizing your request for formal online education on e- marketing I present this list of possible sources for, and resources about, both free and for-pay courses. It is by no means comprehensive, just the results of some time searching online. CyberEd: CyberEd is a means of delivering on the Web university courses for college credit and/or personal or professional development. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth http://www.umassd.edu/cybered/distlearninghome.html Online Courses Newsletter: http://stayonline.8m.com/ Freeskills Home Page http://www.freeskills.com/index2.html LearningWeb http://www.learning-web.com The World Lecture Hall Contains links to pages created by faculty worldwide who are using the Web to deliver university-level academic courses in any language. http://www.utexas.edu/world/lecture/ Enhancement Courses http://www.courses.edu/ eCollege.com Search over 500 accredited courses offered online from over 100 Universities. http://www.ecollege.com/ California Virtual University Accredited public and private California universities offer more than 2,000 online courses to students anywhere on the World Wide Web. http://www.california.edu Hope this gets you started on the road to a solid education on eMarketing. GKF - Ed. Need help with your online marketing efforts? Looking for a particular resource that seems to be eluding you? Need an answer to an online marketing question? Let the eMD Marketing HelpDesk help you find the answers you need. Here's the request address... ask away. mailto:email@example.com ---------------------- Sponsor Message -------------------------- Get paid for surfing the net. Get paid when others surf the net. http://www.alladvantage.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- *** Activmedia:Online Consumables Market Takes Off Excerpt from Nua Internet Surveys: January 17th, 2000 Internet users spent an estimated total of USD66 billion online during 1999, according to a new report from ActivMedia Research. The projected figure for this year is USD160 million. The report "Consumable Products: Building Customer Loyalty Online" focused on Internet retailing of consumables and found that 40 percent of online shoppers purchased from this product group during 1999. See the complete article at: http://www.activmediaresearch.com/free_newsroom.html *** Cyber Dialogue: Security Fears Stop Women Buying Online NUA Surveys Jan 11 2000: Concerns about online security and privacy make female Internet users think twice about buying products on the Internet, according to a new survey from Cyber Dialogue. Women are also considerably less likely than men to buy products online. See the complete article at: http://www.nua.ie/surveys/index.cgi?f=VS&art_id=905355518&rel= true *** How do you market your site? eMD Marketing Poll Current Total Votes: 108 Banners (22) 20% Opt in E-mail (11) 10% Reciprocal links (15) 14% One-way links (11) 10% Newsletter/e-zine ads (10) 09% Search engine positioning (25) 23% Offline ads (10) 09% Other User-Suggestions 04% Classified Ads (2) Direct Mail (2) To participate in the eMD Member's Poll and to keep current on results go to; http://www.webbers.com/emark/ *** Send us Feedback Let us know how we're doing with the eMD. Like our style? Don't like our style? Take issue with something we've published? Have an issue you want to sound off on? Well, here's your chance. Talk to us! mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org *** Classifieds YOUR LOCAL WEATHER on your own webpage! Its FREE and EZ! Get the applets by autoresponder: mailto:email@example.com See your many choices on our demo page: http://www.weatherbyemail.com/addtoyoursite.html YOUR CLASSIFIED AD could appear here for less than 4 pennies per impression! 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