Friday, June 1, 2001
PORTAL PARTNER PRESS JUNE 2001
=======June 6, 2001==========
Subject: Portal Partner Press 6-06-01
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2001 11:34:12 -0500
From: Robert Massa email@example.com
Portal Partner Press June 5th, 2001
HOW TO GET MORE HITS WITHOUT HAVING TO PAY GOTO.COM
There has been a thread going on in the forums for a few weeks now, http://forums.searchking.com/NonCGI/Forum35/HTML/000022.html, where the question was raised by one of our senior partners if he was targeting the correct keywords. It evolved into more of a how to get more of the right traffic kind of topic. This has turned into a little side project of mine and the partner to help show all the partners how to get paying customers out of our visitors.
As is the case with life, we ran into some scheduling conflicts and are in a holding period for a few days while this partner takes a vacation, but it has just gotten to the point where we are ready to discuss something that I feel should be of great impotance to all the portal partners, and that is how to quickly and easily get more targeted hits.
With Goto.com's pay-per-click search engine virtually dominating todays' search scene, just about anybody would tell you to just go there and bid on more keywords. There are a couple of small drawbacks to this strategy however. #1 managing your bidding account can be time consuming and a real hassle, #2. you better make darn sure that those paid for placements convert to sales because it can get expensive quick.
Well, I have a little secret that has made a lot of Magic-city.net clients a lot of money. Once I tell you the secret you'll realize that it really isn't much of a big secret at all. It's just common sense and we're all just lucky that too many people don't take the time to think about what they are doing and simply follow the next piece of advice from the guru du jour, which leaves a huge door of opportunity open for poor struggling portal owners like us.
In today's search engine and directory environment, top placement is determined by themed content, link popularity and paid placements. Every search service on the planet, including yours, is trying to do 2 things at least. That is to return relevant results and keep spam out. Actually these two things are the same thing. What this means is that when presented with a keyword/phrase search, the engine is going to look for what it thinks is the most relevant and present that on top. I can hear everybody thinking "DUH Bob, so what's your point". Well the point is that the more competitive a search term, the more those things like themed content and link pop come into play. The more people have sites that have those things and the less likely it is you will be able to create a site that will place on top.
The opportunity that we have in generating free targeted traffic, lies in the fact that the net conventional wisdom is that traffic is what it's all about. For some strange reason that I have never fully understood, the vast majority of net marketers are much more concerned with hits than they are sales. So, everybody seems to be going after the keywords/phrases that they believe will generate the most hits. What this means to us is that for a search on google for travel for example, the engine returns 34,000,000 results. You read that right, 34 MILLION results, BUT, if you do a search for travel agencies in Washington DC. it returns 349,000 results. That's less than 1%.
Granted, the keyword travel probably gets searched for a million times a day while travel agencies in Washington DC only gets searched for 100 times a month, but where do you think you're traffic will come from? Being number 997 out of 34,000,000 results or being number 3 out of 100 hits a month. Not only that but who do you think is a better potential customer? I guarantee you the woman who typed in travel agencies in Washington DC is ready to buy. She ain't just surfin the net looking for who's got the best deal. She is ready to travel NOW! She is not a surfer, she's a buyer!
Now if you still insist on following the conventional wisdom and just insist on trying to get on top for travel, you are going to be investing a lot of time, a lot of money and lot of frustration. IF you are sucessful and actually get a top 10 position on some major service somewhere, you will very likely get thousands of hits a month. Hits do not make you money. In fact, they cost you money. Sales is what makes you money.
There is some value in the philosophy that seems to have driven the net over the last 5 or 6 years, and that is that if I can get even one-tenth of one percent of a million hits, I'm making money. But, there is much more value in getting 40 sales out of a hundred hits a month and if anyone reading this does not get that concept, then this whole article will have very little value to you.
I'm in the search engine placement business and I'm telling you now that getting those little sought after keywords is so easy and so profitable it is absolutely amazing at the amount of traffic it generates and the percentage of sales it can produce. Once you get this concept and apply it to several pages targeting several keyword/phrases, those little 100 hits a months start adding up.
Let's say that you got the travel agencies in Washinton DC page built using that keyword phrase in the title tag, description tag, meta keyword tag, H1 tags and 4% of your 150 words of text and you have that page linked to and from your index page. Out of 349,000 total results Google has, you are very likely one of the very few people that have built a page about that phrase and remember, any search service always wants to bring back what it feels is the most relevant page or site for any searched for term. So for the term travel, that page doesn't have a chance because there are very likely a million other people that have all the basics, plus, the domain name travel.com, plus the link pop, plus the themed content, BUT, for the Washington DC phrase, you are very likely it.
Now, all we do is follow that exact same strategy for things like cheap airline tickets to Maylasia, (2,820 results), Amtrac Train Ticket Prices, (15 results), train ticket prices, (101.000 results, which by the way, the same Amtrac train ticket prices would very likely come up in the top under train ticket prices as well), etc., etc. Not only will this strategy start quickly getting you quality, targeted traffic for free, it is also EXACTLY the thing that starts getting other travel sites to link to you = link popularity, and also established a theme for your travel sites which means that over time, your site DOES start placing in the top for those high hit count keywords like travel and now you have the best of both worlds. High traffic AND high sales.
If you like to to ask some questions about this strategy, or if you would appreciate my personal input on the pages you may be planning on using for this strategy, just get into the forums and let's discuss it where everybody can benefit.
All right, lets all get back to work and start making a good living at this stuff. See Ya next week.
Bob Publisher -- Bob Massa firstname.lastname@example.org
=======June 13, 2001==========
Subject: Portal Partner Press 6-13-01
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 10:42:09 -0500
From: Robert Massa email@example.com
Portal Partner Press June 12th, 2001
Well, the script is finished. It's tested and it works beautifully. The site, --- weeellllll ----- that has a little ways to go yet.
This has been the toughest site I've ever had built in the 6 years I've been marketing on the net. It is just about the simplest program I've ever seen, and yet I've been having the most terrible time in explaining what it is or what it does and what good that is to the person using it.
In spite of all that, the site is up and operational, but what I need is:
• some feedback. Does it make sense? Is it as easy for you to set up and run as it was for me?
• to see my portal partners using it to increase their sales.
This progam is absolutely fantastic and I'm going to once again, attempt to explain how.
Go to your site logs or whatever tracker your using. Look closely at the referrers and notice what sites your hits were coming from. If it was a forum or a link from another site, then you have a pretty good idea of what that hit was expecting to find at your site. Now look closely at your search engine referrers and notice what keywords the hit found you under. Now look at your total uniques for the day and compare that to the amount of sales you made
Now, make a list of the last few keywords you were found under and go to your site. The specific page that got the hits, and compare the list of keywords to the information on your site. Where is the information that relates to that specific keyword? Could you find it in about 2 seconds?
Studies show that the vast majority of web surfers spend less than 5 seconds on a site looking for information. If they don't find what they are expecting to find in 5 seconds or less, it's simply too easy to hit the back button and continue surfing. So let's say that you run a fishing site and you come up in the top of some search engine somewhere for fishing rods. You very likely have a link on your main page to a lot of fishing rods and you actually have everything that visitor was looking for, but since your site is about fishing and not neccessarily about fishing rods specifically, the link to that page is further down on your site than you could find in 5 seconds. Odds are incredibly high that you just lost that potential customer.
Ok, do you see the major problem with the tracker you just looked at for your site? It told you who came to your site and what they were looking for, BUT, it told you that only AFTER that visitor had left. This is the thing I've been complaining about in regards to all trackers for years now. While there is some value in knowing where you're placed at under what keyword, it sucks that the technology can only tell you that after you lost that customer.
That's what this program does. It knows what keyword they were looking for BEFORE they get to your site and allows you to put whatever specific content you want right in front of their eyes. It allows you to know the visitor is looking for fishing rods and the first thing he sees is something like: YOU FOUND THE SITE FOR FISHING RODS. RODS OF ALL BRANDS ON SALE NOW! CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS WEEK'S HOT SALE
The guy that types in fishing trips, the script allows that visitor to see the exact same site, (this script changes nothing on your site that is already there), but at the top of the page it now says: FISHING TRIPS Don't pay more than you have to for that fisihing adventure. Clcik here to save on your next fishing trip.
Ok, I realize this is probably hard to visualize. I also realize that no matter what I say or how I describe this program, most of you will simply not "get it". I hate that, but I can't help it. For those of you that ARE starting to "get it", I'll show you an example.
Ok, go to http://www.magic-city.net and look at what you see without scrolling down. I want you to simply notice what you see in the first 5 seconds.
All right, now open another browser and go to http://www.yahoo.com and do a search for free website promotion, (three words).
At the number 2 position, you will see magic-city. Click on the link and NOW notice what you see. Now open the other browser and you'll see the difference.
We've all heard from all the net "gurus" many times that the key to internet sales is targeting. Fine, we all understand that, but how do we know what to target if we don't know what the visitor was looking for until AFTER they have left? This simple little script changes that and allows you to know what your visitor wants and then to very easily show them that specific content. I realize that this doesn't sound like too big of a deal, but I honestly believe this is the single most important tool for e-commerce since the secure order form.
I never targeted the keywords free website promotion, yet Yahoo in its infinite wisdom, decides to place my site at the #2 spot for this phrase in spite of the fact that I don't offer free website promotion, I charge for that stuff. So, I'm now getting 35 to 50 hits a day looking for that information and hitting their back buttons in less than 5 seconds. I've got this traffic and it's doing nothing but wasting the time of everyone involved, BUT, I've also got SearchKing and by submitting your site, SearchKing DOES offer free website promotion. I finally, after three years of dealing with this problem, have a way to capitalize on that traffic.
Over the last 10 days or so, I've been watching the trackers on both magic-city.net and SearchKing, and out of those people who are searching for free website promotion I'm hitting over 95% sales to click thrus. (Of course it's a free submission so that's not actually considered a sale. What I'm referring to is the fact that 95% of all those visitors took the exact action I wanted them to take.) Yesterday I had 37 hits for that specific keyword phrase and I sent SearchKing 36 !
The way search engines work today with using themed content and link popularity as a major way of determining relevancy, we all face the same problem. We all have sites that are coming up under all kind of combinations of keywords and phrases yet we all have to decide where to put the links for each one of them. Which link comes up on top? With this script, the first thing they always see could be exactly what they were looking for.
Before anyone gets too excited thinking Bob always gives everything away for free, not this time! This is NOT a free program. Since it is difficult to explain, we will market this program on a 30 day try it before you buy it. Giving everyone a chance to use it for free for a month and see for themselves what it can do. To be honest about it, I'm not even sure what all the possibilities are. So far I've showed this program to about 5 people and everyone of them, (once they "got it"), suggested uses for it that I hadn't thought of yet. I was just focused on the fact that in any sales process, one of the first steps is finding out exactly what it is your customer is interested in.
We have set this up with the idea being it is supposed to make you money. If it does we expect to gert paid and recoup our programming and marketing investments. If it doesn't make you money, simply cancel and it hasn't cost you anything. A large part of our marketing strategy involved our affiliates and you can't pay affiliates on a free program. So, the pricing structure is as follows.
When you place the order, we will require credit card or check information. We will then hold the account for 30 days and if you cancel we will jsut delete the script at our server and destroy the order. If you don't cancel or upgrade within the 30 days, we will process the payment.
There will be a one time $79 installation and set up fee, plus the monthly charge. For the keyword delivery plus you get, one domain and up to 10 keywords and the fee is $29 per month. For the keyword delivery premium, you get up to 10 domains and up to 100 keywords for $99 per month. For the keyword delivery pro, you get unlimited domains and unlimiited keywords for $199 per month. But you only have to pay for it AFTER you have used it and know how to capitalize on it.
Since you are my portal partners and I need you guys as beta testers, I will make you this deal. There will be no set up fee for portal partners if you decide not to cancel after the 30 days. Also, for those of you that are already affiliates, or for those of you who want to become an affiliate, we'll allow you to sign up under your own number and that will save you the 12% of the price. I want to do all I can to encourage everyone to become an affiliate. I have a strategy for promotion with this program that I'm hoping will have thousands of internet marketers using this script over the next 12 months or so and I would like to see all our portal partners have a chance to share in that revenue, but that is strictly up to you.
Whether you try it or not, or whether you use it or not is up to you as well. All I can tell you is that many of you have come to trust me and I don't take that trust lightly. I wouldn't tell you this is good if I didn't honestly believe it was good.
There is already a topic set up in the forums, (http://forums.searchking.com), specifically for the keyword delivery program. I hope to see some discussion in there abut what this thing will do and how we can best capitalize on it.
All right, there's a lot more I could tell you about this, but I would much rather discuss it further after you have seen what it does. for those of you who understand as well as those of you who are just curious and are willing to give me a little feedback, go to http://www.keyworddelivery.com just follow the site instructions and sign up. Be sure to put your portal url in the description field so we know not to charge you the set up if you decide to use it after the free 30 days.
See You in the Forums!
Publisher -- Bob Massa firstname.lastname@example.org
=======June 20, 2001==========
Subject: Portal Partner Press 6-20-01
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 14:39:42 -0500
From: Robert Massa email@example.com
Portal Partner Press
June 20th, 2001
KEYWORD DELIVERY UPDATE ***************************
We've sold our first SK chat program AND our first SK affiliate program. We've signed up nine people for the keyword delivery program and two have already upgraded. When you throw in the stuff like the portal program and the pay-per-day advertising scripts, we are actually becoming a software application company. Anyone remember my Portal Partner Press about a year ago explaining the vision I had of SearchKing's goal of being able to create function to any concept? It's actually happening.
The news for the affiliates is that all of these programs are being designed to not only integrate into upgrade features for the portals, but also to be able to become revenue streams for you. Dave is putting the finishing touches on the order form script that will enable us to make any site a destination quickly and easily. That means that getting a script written, developed, tested, the site built and then making the product available to affiliates becomes much easier and much faster.
I noticed this morning that the order forms has already been added to your portal admins. For those of you who have been living in order form hell, like myself, this should make life much easier for you.
Within the next few days, affiliates will be able to offer portals, keyword delivery, chat rooms, affiliate software, pay-per-day advertising as well as the submit your site banners. We are on our way to becoming a regular shopping mall for e-commerce solutions.
If you haven't joined as an affiliate yet, I urge to do so now. http://www.searchking.com/affiliate/affiliate2.htm Start building your downline at least. We're not finished developing programs. In fact, we're just getting started. ***********************
KEYWORD DELIVERY UPDATE
As I'm sure most of you know, I think this keyword delivery program is the best thing to happen to online sales since the order form. It's versatility and power are just awesome and it should be used by anyone and everyone that has a product or service to sell on the net.
The problem SK is facing, (much like the one we faced when we first started promoting portals), is that it's new, it's different and it's very hard to explain just what it is and what it does on a website. If I am ever going to see this thing on thousands of sites and actually get some credit for all the work the SK team has done, I've GOT to figure out the best way to overcome this problem.
I've got something available to me that few other software development companies have. Portal Partners. I have a way to make offers, get beta testers, get feedback and watch the numbers, much easier and faster than most of our competitors. Last week I once again used the partners and got exactly what I was asking for. Feedback. (Thank you all, by the way!). Here's what the portal partners have showed me.
Offering a try it before you buy it and asking for payment information slows down sales.
Explaining what this program is and what it does is even more difficult than we expected.
Getting people to use it is about the best way of showing the value of it.
The people who do set it up and start using it, start seeing possibilities very quickly.
Based on this information we have decided to make some changes to the program in the hopes of getting more users and more sales faster. The only real change to the program is that we are going to be dropping the try it before you buy it and simply make it A FREE PROGRAM FOR AS LONG AS YOU WANT TO USE IT!
We had too many people who would like to try it out but don't really sell anything on their sites. Having to provide a credit card just to get the program virtually eliminated this market. This thing will do a lot for sites that are community driven as well as sites that are sales driven and I don't want those people excluded.
We had too many people that could not justify providing payment information BEFORE they could see the program without knowing what it was they were trusting us not to charge them for. This is our market and I don't want people NOT trying it over the trust objection.
So, our best answer was to offer it free.
The first challenge to offering it for free is, how do we make money from it and how do the affiliates get paid on sales if the program is free? Well, as I've said many times before, nothing in life is really free. There is a catch and the catch is this.
With every program, a SearchKing ad is displayed at the top of the script. The only way to remove this ad is to upgrade. So here's the deal.
The script is totally free for up to 10 keywords on one domain. The pricing will remain the same, but you only have to pay IF you decide to upgrade. You have the choice to use this program for life at no cost other than having to live with our ads on it. For the serious marketer who understands how to use the program, that will be unacceptable and the price will not be a problem once they see the value. Also, for the serious marketer, 10 keywords and one domain is not enough. They will need more. That is where our sales will come in and where our affiliate pay-outs will come in. As with most everything else our affiliates offer, we will track every customer for one full year and if they upgrade at anytime within that year, the affiliate will get paid.
We have some pretty big changes coming up very soon that involves SearchKing as a search engine and as a hub for hundreds of local and topic specific portals. I need the branding. If I could get 50,000 sites using keyword delivery and displaying our link, that is worth a lot. It is not such a bad thing to offer this program for free.
Dan spent some time last night and this morning making the changes needed on the order forms. Mike spent some time this morning making changes to the text to reflect the new procedures. It should be done by the time you read this, so if any of you were considering using this program since last week but just wasn't comfortable with having to provide payment information, go get it now! It's FREE. http://www.keyworddelivery.com
Now, you have no excuse not to go get it. If you care about your site. If you care about providing your visitors with a positive experience. If you care about things like increasing your traffic and increasing your sales, then go get it now. Maybe you think it sounds too good to be true. Maybe you think it's going to be too hard to set up to be worth the time. Well, I'm telling you it is easy and effective.
Let me ask you one question, "what if I'm right?" What if for once, someone on the net is telling the truth? What if this thing really is worth it for free? Ok, that was three questions, but my point is simply that you now have no reason not to try it, to use it and to take advantage of it. You have nothing to risk but the possibility that I'm right All I ask is that you visit the forums and get involved in the discussion about the program and let me and your other partners know what you think. http://forums.searchking.com/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum&f=40
Well that's it for this week. I've got some big news coming up very soon and I hope I can start spilling the beans as early as the next Portal Partner Press. See Ya then!
Publisher -- Bob Massa firstname.lastname@example.org
=======June 27, 2001==========
Subject: Portal Partner Press 6-27-01
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 21:11:09 -0500
From: Robert Massa email@example.com
The Portal Partner Press is sent each week for the education, and entertainment of the people who own and operate a SearchKing hosted portal. It is indended to help you learn to better operate, maintain and market your own portal. Anytime you have a question about any item in an issue of the PPP, please visit our forums at http://forums.searchking.com and feel free to ask any questions or post any comments about your portal, about SearchKing or about your own portal. **************************************************************************** *****
Portal Partner Press June 27th, 2001
AFFILIATE NEWS SPECIFYING DESTINATIONS
I apologize for this taking so long and causing all the confusion, but I think we're rolling now. As I said from the beginning we are new to this affiliate game and even though I've spent a year visiting affiliate forums and affiliate sites trying to learn all that I could, I figured there would be some issues that we just weren't going to learn in a forum. I pretty much knew it was going to take getting our hands dirty and it did.
The areas we were having our toughest problems with were in the tech issues. Getting SSL, (secure socket layer), working with the apache server in conjunction with Tomcat, ( a secure software for java). It took a lot of teeth gnashing and hair pulling to get it to work, but we've got it licked!
(Look at me !! talking about secure socket layers and stuff. Huh, what do you know?)
Anyway, all that stuff doesn't really matter to you guys as far as just making the sale. What does matter is being able to target your ads to your traffic and send them where they need to go to make the sale. While the "submit your site to thousands of search engines" banner is doing well in terms of getting people to the add_main page, it's not doing so well in terms of making a sale. The advantage of the submit your site banner is it's a hot offer and it will generate clicks , probably becuase it's got the word free in it. The drawback is that in terms of making advertising sales and portal sales by sending people to that page, we are getting the same.05% sales to click thru ratios as everybody else running untargeted banners.
We know this and we knew it from the beginning. Now we are finally able to offer you the solutions.
We will be installing the feature in your affiliate reporting center, (you know, your stats page), to allow you to select whatever product or service you want to sell by clicking a button. Each product or service will have it's own destination, with it's own link and it's own banners that you can use to send them to the exact information you want to sell.
We will still leave the add_main page like it is because it does generate significant click thrus, but to really sell this stuff and make your money, you need to target the offers and by this time next week, you'll be able to do that all thru affiliate reporting center just by clicking on a link. The keyword delivery destination is set up and ready to go. If any of you don't know where to go to get to your reporting center, send an email to Yvonne@searchking.com and to firstname.lastname@example.org. If any of you have any problems with setting it up, please post it in the forums under the SearchKing Affiliate topic, http://forums.searchking.com, so we can address them publicly and help as many people as possible at one time.
Finally, over the next few days, (Dave says hours), we will have all the separate products set up so that you can select as many or as few destinations as you like. So, if you don't see what you want the first time you go there, just check back because it's coming.
I hope this clears up some of the confusion over the last few weeks about the program. Also, I hope we all start making a little money. ******************************
Next week I'll have some news about SearchKing the engine. We are going to be implementing some changes that we feel should benefit us all.
See you next week kids! Be good.
Publisher -- Bob Massa email@example.com