Affiliate Cloaking – What is it and why you should be using it if you are an affiliate marketer

Affiliate Cloaking – What is it and are you using it?

This question applies to everyone who actively promotes other company’s products and/or services as an affiliate or is considering it because you could be losing big bucks from your hard earned affiliate commissions because of those ugly long affiliate URLs that scream out “I am an affiliate” and scare your visitors and/or potential customers away.

People are very funny this way online when it comes to first impressions.

As an example, which would you rather do business with?

A business with a URL like…

http://www.corys-cbmall.com

or…

http://wetrack.it/eza/af.cgi?aid=3509&ent=25

Now that I have planted that seed in your head lets move on to what ‘Affiliate Cloaking‘ is and how it will help convert more of your visitors into sales!

Affiliate Cloaking‘ sounds pretty obvious and it really is because all your doing is replacing that ugly long affiliate URL with a nice cloaked (forwarded inside an invisible frame), professional domain name like the one I listed in the above example that remains ‘Sticky’.

What do I mean by ‘Sticky’?

I simply mean that the URL remains the domain name you choose once your visitor clicked on it and doesn’t redirect back to the ugly long affiliate URL you started with, giving you, the affiliate, a professional look in the eyes of your visitors and/or potential customers.

Simply put, they wouldn’t know if you were the affiliate or the actual owner of that website.

How is all this possible?

I’ll give you three words… “Advanced Domain Forwarding”.

There are many services online that offer this. Simply go to Google and do a Google search.

Now, if your a serious affiliate marketer and/or are just starting out online with affiliate programs then this is something you’ll definitely want to look into.

Not only will you look professional in the eyes of your visitors and/or potential customers you’ll also be safe-guarding your hard earned affiliate commissions.

Remember, first impressions matter, especially when your doing business online.

3 Essentials Before You Submit To Article Directories

One of the oldest yet still more effective techniques in driving targeted prospects to websites and converting them into buyers is information-based marketing. This is why article writing, submissions and publications are at an all-time high.

There are many tools that you can use to make the process of distributing your articles easier. However, although this is invaluable in getting your article exposed to more sites, there are common mistakes that some people make before submitting their articles to directories.

Let us take a look at the more common mistakes made in 3 key areas:

1) Confusing the reason to promote articles with the reason to write them.

In article writing, the main benefits of you promoting them is branding, lead generation and promotion, which are all part of your optimization efforts.

However, there is one reason why you write articles, and that is to inform your audience about a subject. It is greatly important that your article is based upon this fact, or else you stand to fail in the promotional benefits as outlined above.

Of course, it is also highly important that you figure out how to get people to read you article, and then to click on your site link in the resource box. I have produced a couple of articles that cover these areas so please check them out.

2) Failing to realize and maximize the promotional opportunities of article marketing.

You will more than likely already know that your article can generate links back to your site from the article directories themselves, and also from any sites who publish your article from these directories.  However, did you know that you can attract more visitors and better search engine results from the same article?

The first step to achieving this is to provide relevant keywords at strategic places in the article. However, do not overdo this.  A good benchmark is to aim for between a ten to fifteen percent keyword density. I won’t go further into this here as I’ve discussed this in other articles but if you would like to find out more, look out for more of my article marketing articles.

You shouldn’t just aim for your article to be accepted by article directories, but should ultimately aim for it to be used by publishers who scour the directories for website content. You should not underestimate the potential that this can have on your promotional efforts, as many of these publishers may have hundreds or thousands of regular visitors who could then view your article.

Start out by having a plan of what you want achieved and make sure that you reach your targets. It is important to do this so that you can reap the maximum benefits of every article that you write.

3) Creating articles with content that does not help your readers.

Maybe your only plan is to create an article and get links back from article directories, and that any visitor that you may get from this is fine.

Well you may need to think again. Many article directoriesclamp down on the amount of articles that they accept that are simply not up to standard. And even if a poorly written, uninformative article does make it into the article sites, then the potential of being picked up by webmasters seeking quality content is certainly lost.

The benefits of one publisher with a hundred thousand website visitors picking up your article should be enough incentive for you to write an informative article. This is by no means impossible, and you may find that this value is conservative in what you may achieve from a number of publishers running your article on their site.

Researching into a topic that is sought after is important. There may be many readers of this article who will feel that this information is all well and good but feel that they cannot write an article well, or may not know enough about a certain subject to write an article. This is by no means a dead-end. There are many places where you can research into a topic, or hiring a writer might be an option worth considering.

The choice really is yours on how dedicated you are in increasing the exposure of your article, and consequently your website. On a basic level you can choose to gain a few backlinks from article directories, or with a little more effort you can enjoy massive exposure from providing quality content.

10 ways to get more visitors to your website

If your website traffic has suddenly come to a stand-still, you may need to give your website a marketing jump start. Here are a few ways to get your traffic flowing again.

1.Buy hits for your website. Pay for targeted hits to your web site. You can do what is called “pay per click” advertising. This is where you pay search engines  every tine some one clicks on your link for your web site. A great advantage to this is it gets you visitors almost instantly.

2.You can also send out a promotional email to the opt-in email list you should be creating by offering free reports or bonuses to your visitors.

3.Pay your competition a flat fee to email your promotional offer to their lists. This is a great way to build relationships with your competitors.

4.You can do what is referred to as a Joint Venture. This is when you pay someone a commission on sales when they email your promotional offer to their email lists.

5.You can pay for advertising on someone else’s website by paying a flat fee up front to put an ad, banner or link on the site.

6.You can pay for advertising by offering a commission to your competition or anyone on sales when they put your ad, banner or link on their site.

7.You can submit your website to search engines with your keywords and website description.

8.You can submit your link to other websites, and in return, add them to yours.

9.You can write a free report or course to give away to other websites in your market and allow them to put an affiliate link inside (so they have an incentive to give it away), and give that away for free. If it is good information, it will spread like a virus. This marketing concept is known as “viral marketing”.

10.If you have good material you can have a nice marketing edge because people will share the website because the enjoyed it. You can also offer affiliate programs so your customers can earn commissions when they refer some one to buy your product .

10 Quick Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Do you know what you can do to work on Search Engine Optimization? Actually, I have put together a list of 10 quick things you can do that will help you move a little higher in your search engine results.

1. Get listed in more search engines. There are tons of them out there. There are also many free services that will help you get listed. Or just set aside some time to get it done yourself. Here is a free search engine submission site that will let you cycle through the top 100 search engines and get your site submitted.

2. Get listed in more directories. Again, there are a lot of them out there. Look for higher pagerank directories. Improvingrank.com has some listed by pagerank. Look on the left side of the homepage.

3. Clean up your HTML and check your links. You want the bots to have smooth sailing through your site. Use the tools on W3c.org and have a real person check them over too.

4. Get a few more links to your site. Make them relevant and at least the same pagerank as you.

5. Make your page filenames descriptive and keyword rich. Naming your page new_page_1.html is wasting an opportunity to do some SEO. Use names that describe the content and keep the keywords flowing.

6. Check your title tags. You can use 90 – 100 characters in the title, so add some keywords. We know Google looks at them, and so do many other search engines.

7. Check your ALT tags. Searchbots can’t see pictures. Make sure you have ALT tags on all of your pictures, and make sure they are descriptive and keyword rich.

8. Rewrite your URL (anchor) tags. Good anchor tags (the text between the http: and /a tags) reinforce the message and keywords of your site.

9. Go post in a few forums and put your website in your signature. Forums are a great place to put one way links. And you can help somebody out at the same time.

10. Put together a text based sitemap and put it on your site. There are a lot of navigation that spiders can’t understand, such as flash, forms, java and javascripts. Putting together a text-based sitemap gives the bots a way to navigate around the site.

Just 15 minutes every day will make a huge difference in getting your rank higher.

12 Free SEO Tools You Must Use

Effective SEO strategies require a lot of time and effort. Although in the search engines market, there are some very advanced tools that can cost a lot, there are also many free SEO tools which can help the novice and advanced SEO marketer equally well.

The following is a list of free SEO online instruments with proven effectiveness:

1) http://www.alexaranking.com . It displays multiple domains instead of one. Therefore, you can have instant traffic results from Alexa Rankings instead of typing and search separately each time .

2) http://www.xml-sitemaps.com . Sitemaps are extremely important for websites because they help search engines crawl and index them. This is a free XML sitemap generator.

3) http://www.123promotion.co.uk/directorymanager . You can track your submissions to various web directories and you can also visit regularly to check on new directories that are added to the list. You just need to tick the appropriate submission boxes when you submit your website. It is very easy to use it.

4) http://www.123promotion.co.uk/ppc/index.php. This is a very powerful tool. It displays, based on the Overture and Wordtracker keyword search tools, similar data, including search figures from previous months. It also provides statistics on average searches per hour, day, week, projected figures for the next 12 months and also a figure displaying how searches may look like in 3 years from now.

5) http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/keyword-density . This keyword density tool is useful for helping webmasters to achieve their optimum keyword density for a set of key terms/keywords. This tool will analyze your chosen URL and return a table of keyword density values for one, two, or three words key terms.

6) http://www.mcdar.net/KeywordTool/keyWait.asp . This is another excellent resource. When you enter the appropriate URL and keyword, it will display pagerank and backlink pages for the top 10 websites.

7) http://www.123promotion.co.uk/tools/robotstxtgenerator.php . You can create a free robots.txt file with this resource. So you will be able to direct the search engines to follow the pages structure of your website and also direct the search engines not to follow and crawl specific web pages of your website you don’t want to be crawled. All you have to do is filling the fields and when the robots.txt file is created you upload it to your root directory of your web server.

8) http://www.nichebot.com . This website displays keyword data using Wordtracker and Google search results. You just need to enter the keywords to obtain the data.

9) http://www.webconfs.com/domain-stats.php . You just need to enter the domain to get the domain age, number of pages indexed, and number of backlinks. The statistics include Alexa Taffic Rank, age of the domain, Yahoo WebRank, Dmoz listings, count of backlinks and number of pages indexed in Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN etc. It will help you figure out why some of your competitors are ranking better than you.

10) http://comparesearchengines.dogpile.com . Shows top results from 3 search engines. This tool helps you get all kind of statistics of your competitor’s domains.

11) http://www.marketleap.com/verify/default.htm . This verification tool helps to check if your website is in the top three pages of a search engine result for a specific keyword. Just enter your URL/Keyword and it will display the top 30 from 11 Search Engines.

12) http://www.related-pages.com/adWordsKeywords.aspx. This tool generates a list of possible keyword combinations based on lists of keywords that you provide. You just need to enter a list of terms, one per line or separated by commas. This is very effective for Google Adwords and Overture.