The Mender

Metamend's Website Optimization and Marketing Newsletter
Issue 27
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Advice and techniques for the promotion of your web site plus Search Engine Optimization News and valuable resources for the serious on-line marketer.

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Welcome to "The Mender" Issue 27

SEARCH ENGINE AND RELATED INDUSTRY NEWS



COMING EVENTS OF INTEREST

  • Design, Build, Communicate 2002
    Seybold, SF
    Conference: September 9-12
    Exhibition: September 10-12
    Moscone Center, SF

  • Advanced Search Engine Marketing 2002
    September 17th, 2002, Vancouver Canada
    Hosted by the International Internet Marketing Association (IIMA)
    Metamend CEO Richard Zwicky will be a guest Speaker.

  • XML World 2002
    September 23-25, New Orleans Marriott
    The Fusion of Business and Technology

  • Web Search University
    September 23-24, Washington, DC
    October 22-23, Chicago, IL
    November 19-20, Dallas, TX
    WebSearch University is a concentrated learning experience where searchers can hone their web search tools, tactics, strategies, and skills-a unique continuing education opportunity for Web searchers to master this core competency.

  • PubConference '02
    London, Oct. 12, 2002
    A gathering of internet marketers wishing to discuss search engine optimization in an informal setting. Backed by members of WebmasterWorld.com, there's a minor US $69 registration fee.

  • Internet Librarian 2002
    Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA
    November 4-6, 2002


WHAT'S NEW AT METAMEND

NEW HOSTING PARTNER - CanTech Software
CanTech specializes in combining strong, professional website presentations with database driven content. CanTech Software also provides e-commerce solutions that seamlessly integrate with back end database development, producing quantifiable results in your bottom line.

NEW HOSTING PARTNER - Nielsen Technologies
Nielsen Technical Services specializes in cost-effective search engine optimization for small and medium-sized business that are looking beyond simple site submissions, and the personal attention afforded by a dedicated Internet marketing consultant.

NEW CHANNEL PARTNER - Cyanii IMS Inc.
Cyanii is a premium IT technology Service Company that offers a range of services from data management and search engine optimization to AutoCAD, pcb designs, conceptualization, modulation, designs, electronic components designs, development, implementation and more.



THE NEXT BIG THING CONTEST

So what's it going to be? The one that will make millions of dollars overnight. You know, the next big thing. The novelty item. The Hula-Hoop, The Cabbage Patch Doll. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Pokemon, Tickle me Elmo, Poochy Dogs, the list is goes on. Come on now admit it. You've often had this dream too! How many times have you said to yourself, "Gee, wish I'd invented that!" Tupperware? My personal favorite, Velcro or a game like "Monopoly" which still sells more than 50 years later. Yup we've all had that dream. Some of us still do.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this concept. It's been tried by the best, from the multimillion dollar advertising agencies on Madison Avenue right down to the mom and pop corner store. But behind everyone of these successful marketing campaigns lies a gravel pit full of unsuccessful attempts. So sad.

Think-tanks spend countless hours analyzing North American consumer purchasing patterns, trends, demographic data and countless other facts and figures trying to discern what type of product will be the next big seller. The good news is, your guess is as good as theirs. The reality is, no one knows for certain exactly what the next hot item will end up being. Human nature doesn't work that way. This can be proven by a manufacturer's 'surprise' at suddenly having a hot item then scurrying like mad to keep up with the demand. They obviously could not have know in advance. Besides... No manufacturer I know can keep an additional twelve million or so products in stock... Just in case.

So let's have a contest! What do you think will be the next BIG thing this upcoming Christmas Season. Which bobble or bangle, toy or game? Which item will have normally gentle folks pushing and shoving and paying ten times too much to get the last one?
Which product will have mild mannered grandparents screaming obscenities at each other? Inquiring marketing minds want to know.

Email us your guesses. No more guessing after Nov. 28th 2002. The beginning of the traditional Xmas shopping season. We'll announce the winner in the new year right here in the Mender and award that person, one year worth of Metamend service for their website (over $200 USD value) absolutely free -Plus, -One copy of whatever the hot ticket item turns out to be. Geez, I hope it's not a Mercedes! Nah! Let the games begin!

ADMINISTRATOR'S CORNER - Selling SEO Part Two
Dispelling the Myths
by Richard Zwicky

In part one of this article, (see Issue 26) we discussed creating awareness for the importance of Search Engine Optimization. (SEO) Let's continue this awareness by dispelling several myths and common preconceived notions and misconceptions the average website owner is subjected to via Internet marketing hype.

It's A One-Shot Deal With Submission Software
Submission software packages will often promise the moon, but how can a one-off deal get similar results from non-consistent and comprehensive services? All search engines have their own unique submission guidelines and these guidelines change irregularly.
Alternatively, some programs promise; "Top Rankings Guaranteed or Your Money Back" or; "Get yourself listed in 2000 search engines overnight. Guaranteed!" Money-back guarantees are usually worth less than the paper they are printed on. In search engine marketing they are worthless, because outcomes are always unpredictable, and once you are indexed, it's possible to force your site to show up at the top. Just do a search using your top 20 keywords. Your site should be number 1. Hey! It worked! Too bad no one commonly searches with more than 3 words in a query string.

The claim that your website will get listed in 2000+ Search Engines is my favorite.
If you believe it, well I'm really sorry. Anyone claiming to submit to anything more than 250 directories and search engines will be deceiving you. There are only about 100 odd true search engines of varying value that people use, plus about 20 valuable international directories. There are also some important "industry specific" directories.

Then there are the filler Free For All links pages.
(FFA's) There are countless thousands of them. Some software will indeed get you listed in many FFA engines. FFAs don't really come close to comparing to directories like Yahoo! or DMOZ, but you will know your website, and email address was submitted - your name will get on more email spam lists than you can count. Soon, "You've got mail!" will be like that song you can't get out of your head, but hardly anything else of benefit will be derived from these lists.

SEO Doesn't Have A Good, Clear ROI
Let's see; You can use our service for $0.55 a day, (one sip of a Starbuck's Latte a day), and for that we'll save you the 20 odd hours of work you should do in this area to maintain your website for the search engines, every month. As for SEO in general, the ROI is excellent compared to other marketing methods. Compare it to banner ads, pay-per-click, or pay for placement, usually these alone cost you more in a day than a month of SEO from us. Plus, because SEO results in focused, relevant traffic to your website, you will get better overall conversion rates, and lower customer acquisition costs.

Once You Achieve Good Results, SEO Is Finished
Yes, almost true! Until the search engines do one of the following: Change their algorithms or Update their index. When they update their index everyone else who tweaked their site will have changed positions. Your website will probably have also changed positions as a result, most likely downward. Search Engine Optimization requires ongoing maintenance to keep up with the changes. Today's top listings under any single key term will change on an hourly basis. What you need are consistent, broad, across the board results. Maintaining your position requires constant tweaking.

Do it Yourself SEO Is Cheaper
Sure it's cheaper to do it yourself. Unless you value your time or have a room full of marketing staff.(even then payroll is not cheap) It's cheaper to do everything yourself, but while I cook dinner most nights, I don't make my own clothes. Mind you I like my cooking. How much is 20 hours a month worth to you in a dollar amount? SEO professionals make you money by saving you that time and effort, at a cost you can afford.

Outsourcing anything other than your core tasks is usually the most cost-effective way to build your business, because economies-of-scale kick in fast. Doing it yourself, or hiring someone to do your SEO work in-house is not economically viable for everyone, let alone for a Small or Medium Size Business.

Search Engine Leads Are Worth Less Than Other Leads
Search Engine leads are the probably the most qualified leads you can get, simply because they come from people searching for the exact products and services which the search engines have you indexed. They are looking for you, not the other way around.

All SEO Services And Plans Are The Same
As far as true SEO services, yes, they should all offer the same basic solution. They should all review your website, check for errors, extract what is relevant about your site, and optimize your webpage(s) to ensure that the search engines can find your website by what service or product your website is providing. Unfortunately, there are a few questionable providers giving the industry a bad name, mostly by making false promises, or by calling their service SEO, when they are really just a submission only service. Services and pricing varies widely across the industry, and is not a way of measuring quality. Two providers will offer exactly the same service, but charge widely varying prices.

Buying Traffic With Pay-Per-Click Engines Costs Less
How? Because you only pay for the people who are searching for your product or service? Sure, if your potential market is so small that next to no one competes in that category, and the listing costs you $0.05 per click, and you get only a handful of visitors a month. But if that were the case you probably would not have a business. If your category is even somewhat competitive, clicks will cost you dollars each, not pennies, and you may be paying hundreds or thousands in monthly fees. Nice to think that your competition has hired someone to keep re-clicking on your ad a few thousand times a day. It happens, and costs you a ton of money with no results whatsoever.

MARKETING - It's Not About Building A Better Mousetrap; It's The Way You Position The Cheese!
by Guest Columnist Ron Trainor

If you think that your marketing success depends solely on having a better idea, you are missing the boat. If that were the case the most financially successful people on this planet would be inventors. Some of them have created products that are incredible to say the least, but guess what? Most of these inventors are broke. Some of the most ridiculous products in the world have made millions for their creators. If it was all about making products people wanted, needed or were most practical, we would never have seen the likes of pet rocks, hi-heeled shoes. Nor would we indulge ourselves in a great Chocolate Fudge Sunday. The fact is, many of the things we enjoy, desire or are obsessed by, have very little to do with necessity, practicality or our well being.

What then is the secret? Simple, it's Marketing!
Marketing is everything, everything is marketing. When it comes to moving products or services there must be differentiation. Most of you will not be introducing an original product or service to the marketplace, (having to create a demand where no demand existed before), so you must think in terms of Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Competitive Advantage or an Edge. Yes you've probably heard all of this before, but that's the Cheese! The problem a lot of struggling companies have is how to position the Cheese.

We all know the world is a pretty big mousetrap with lots and lots of offerings, right? If you don't target effectively no matter how creative your idea or how superior your product, you are going to struggle. If this is the case it becomes increasingly more difficult (without a huge budget) to enter the fray. On the other hand if your marketing is precise, targeted and potent, you can expect to trigger a positive response and methodically increase marketshare as you generate positive momentum. The name of the game is not how much you spend on marketing, but what your marketing dollars earn for you. These dollars should be reinvested back into an expanded program to win marketshare one bite at a time.

It's better to hold a magnifying glass in the sunlight, steady over the pile of newspaper clippings, rather than continually rotate your hand over the whole pile. It's about focus and getting faster results.

A wise way to begin your targeting, is with a web site optimization program like Metamend. We find that for minimal dollars required, directed by statistical data that doesn't lie, this exceptional automated Search Engine Optimization Solution is the biggest bang for the buck available and will be the catalyst for a truly successful marketing program.

Ron Trainor is the CEO of The WorldBuyDirect Network.

TECH TIP - Spam Levels At An All-Time High
by Jonathan Schlackl

Ever wonder why some people get so much spam? Better yet, ever wonder why your Internet Service Provider can't stop more of it? Well, despite valiant and ongoing efforts by various software companies spammers are getting more and more difficult to predict. Furthermore, their methods are getting more and more sophisticated. So much that sometimes you even get spam from yourself! What?

In the early days of the internet, the amount of spam your received was directly proportional to the number of internet sites you entered your email address into. In other words, if you didn't enter your email address for some contest or club you likely received very little spam. You could say your "spam level" was fairly low. Then the internet became slightly more sophisticated and sites began obtaining your email address directly from your web browsing software like Netscape or Internet Explorer. Of course, if you chose not to enter that information into your browser configuration it would not be available.

However, most people do enter that information, consequently making their email address available to millions of people, including
spammers. Nowadays, spam levels are directly proportional to nothing. It seems no matter how much or little information you provide about yourself online, spam levels are ever-increasing. I receive over 200 spam per day which is up from about 5 per day 5 years ago. That's almost a 1000% increase each year! What will spam levels be like 5 years from now? At that growth rate I'm looking at approximately 8000 spam per day!

So, what do you do about spam levels? Who knows? Buy some anti-spam software. Set up hundreds of filters in your email program. Hire a monkey to keep deleting your mail as it arrives. The best advise is to clear your personal information out of your browser configuration, arm yourself with your virtual Excalibur (mouse) and hack through it like the rest of us. I'm certain a solution to spam will come about, however I suspect it won't be for sometime yet. Spammers are getting way too smart.



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Metamend: Innovative website optimization and marketing service which automatically corrects keywords and meta tags increasing website relevance and popularity within search engines.



Want some free advertising for your website? This space [              ] free to all Metamend clients. Just ask. We'll be happy to include you in a future issue. Let the promotion begin.

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Todd Hooge
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Toll Free: 1-877-307-2701