Internet Marketing

February 10, 2010

Interview on SEO Outsourcing by Kelvin Newman @ SiteVisibility

I was recently interviewed by Kelvin Newman @ SiteVisibility.

Here is the link:
http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog/2010/02/09/a-crash-course-in-seo-outsourcing-offshoring-with-abhishek-rungta/

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January 30, 2010

Quick tips for SEO content writing

I recently delivered a training on SEO content writing to my content team. Here is the presentation for you!

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April 20, 2009

FREE Website Clinic @ Internet World 2009

Hello Friends,

I will be holding a FREE Website Clinic from 28-30th April at Internet World (Earl's Court, London) at our booth.

I will be helping website owners improve their website one-step-at-a-time by giving them up to five actionable tips specific to their website after analyzing the same and understanding their online business goals.

Website Clinic is absolutely FREE of cost and there are no strings attached to it.

There will be a lot of rush as we have started getting request for booking time slots. So I suggest that you send an email to talash@indusnet.co.in and book your time slot in advance to avoid disappointment.

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March 14, 2009

SEO Tips – Straight from the horse's mouth

I recently came across this wonderful compilation of what Matt Cutts has said about search engine optimization in his blog over years.

Jaimie Sirovich of SEO Egghead Inc. has done this compilation and is available on his blog at:

http://www.seoegghead.com/blog/seo/mattcuttsarama-a-summary-of-useful-stuff-matt-cutts-has-said-p112.html

I think this is one of the most trustworthy list of 'tips' that you can find in one place. Some of them may be too naive, but is worth a reminder.

Enjoy and add any recent buzz from the horse's blog 😉

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February 21, 2009

Joomla templates overtakes traditional web templates in competition!

I was checking template trends on Google Trends and my intuition was positively reinforced. Joomla templates have officially overtaken traditional web template in search volume. The graph below is self explanatory.

web template vs joomla template
(click above to see live results)

It is interesting to note that Joomla templates have gained a lot of popularity in eastern European countries compared to the south Asian countries. In Northern America a very interesting trend has been spotted. Regions like Nevada, Alabama and Nebraska are virtually untouched by the Joomla revolution!

I cannot help without this shameless plug 😉

TemplateKingdom.com, our template website, provides high quality joomla templates. In fact you can see those templates LIVE in action before making a purchase. My team can also put together custom joomla template design and integration for you! So get in touch with our guys at http://www.hire-a-designer.com/

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February 9, 2009

My interview at new-web-business.com

Hello Friends,

I have recently given an interview to Viraj Sawant of new-web-business.com on my views as "Blogging as a career". I found the interview interesting and have expressed my opinions strongly. Feel free to have a look:

http://www.new-web-business.com/internet-entrepreneur-in-india-abhishek-rungta-interview/

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December 3, 2008

Internet strategy for small business

Friends,

I have recently written an article for SME WORLD (November 2008 – January 2009) issue of Financial Express. It should be a good read for any small business if they want to put together an Internet strategy for their business.

Internet Strategy for Small Business

Internet is making the world flatter and giving small businesses a level playing field to compete with the big players. Many businesses have changed the rules of the game by using Internet to their advantage.

Do you have a compelling Internet strategy? In simpler words, do you have a clear plan, on how you will use Internet as an enabler to create an edge for your business? If not, put one together now.

Demystifying Internet Strategy?

Every successful business needs a strategy, i.e. meticulous planning and a long term vision across all functional practices like human resource, sales, marketing, supply-chain management, etc.

Internet is a media, a platform and a network. Therefore, it is not a business function. But, it cuts across all business functions and has a profound impact on the way we do things. It has changed the way we do business.

Therefore, it is important to plan to usage of Internet across different business functions in a way that it can make the business more competitive by optimizing it’s top-line and bottom-line growth.

Every organization is unique. The way their business works is different. And therefore, their Internet strategy is bound to be different. However, a generalist approach for small business highlights three core strategic dimensions –

  • Acquisition of new business
  • Developing a strong online business network
  • Improving efficiency in communication, and collaboration

Acquire new business

Internet is a mass media with millions of attentive people logged in. They are trying to solve a problem. And if you can solve that problem, you have a hot business lead!

Do not ignore the fact that this prospect is looking for what you offer. Therefore this is a potential pull-sale prospect. It is more valuable than hundreds of cold calls and thousands of mailers that you might invest in, expecting a single digit conversion rate.

This opportunity has its own challenges:-

  • What is your prospect searching for?
  • How will your prospect find you?
  • What offer should you make?
  • How will you convince him?
  • Why will he trust you?

The entire cycle is comprised of a) Getting targeted visitors to your website, b) Convert those visitors into clients and c) Analyze results and make changes in your online customer acquisition process! (Note: A targeted visitor is one, who is looking for a product /service you offer.)

You can get the targeted visitor by using techniques like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) backed by high quality content on your website.

SEO is a technique used to rank a website high on search engines on specific keywords. SEM is all about buying clicks on popular search engines. Both techniques have their pros and cons. The selection entirely depends upon the business need and the overall Internet strategy of the company.

Once you have the visitor on your website, you can further test various offers, content snippets and design elements by techniques known as A/B split testing and Multivariate testing to see which combination works best!

This is just the beginning. Some of the many things that you must consider:-

  • Which keyword shall I target?
  • Is it worth paying $1 per click when I am selling something worth $25 only?
  • How to handle a visitor who is not interested in my product today, but might need it tomorrow?

The list can go on and on. As you can see, it is a fairly technical process; it needs expert guidance, external consultancy and implementation help.

Make new connections

Business networking is a marketing method by which business opportunities are created through networks of like-minded business people. People like to work with people within their comfort zone. So before you can talk business, you need to create a trusted relationship.

A good network is like a catalyst, which can multiply the speed of your growth. If you know the right person at the right time for the right job, you will race ahead in the competition.

When this networking is done online, it can connect you with people all over the world in a very efficient way.  You can efficiently create private and open networks where you can share opinions, ideas, problems, information, knowledge and most importantly business references! There are several online business networking websites like LinkedIn, Ecademy and Ryze.

It is important that you approach the network in the right spirit, present yourself nicely, increase your connections, work on win-win partnerships, and adhere by the pay-it-forward principle of networking.

I highly recommend that you try to strengthen your network with face-to-face meetings with as many people as possible.

Some questions that you need to answer to do this bit effectively:

  • What is your elevator pitch?
  • What are your goals of networking? What are you trying to achieve? Most people who are actively networking invest a lot of time, without a clear view of the desired outcome.
  • What kind of people you want to connect with? Why will they like to connect with you? What is your win-win proposal for different categories of connections that you will make?
  • How can you proactively help? What knowledge can you share? Which are your areas of expertise? Do the areas of expertise help you create influencers in the marketplace?

You need to do the groundwork to get the best results. So do not underestimate this part. You may need someone to help you with this.

Streamline communication and collaboration

In an increasingly dynamic business environment, proper communication and collaboration system is the key to success. Internet is a software platform that enables such system to be deployed across the organization cutting across various roles, designations and departments.

Businesses do not operate within their closed shell anymore. They have major impact from its environment consisting of employees, clients, suppliers, etc.

You need to react to changes as they happen every moment across the organizational eco-system. Therefore, the data required is real time – i.e. updated every moment.

You need to have an intranet (internal collaboration portal) or extranet (external facing collaboration portal) to keep up with the pace.

Think of some of the advantages it can bring to your business:-

  • Employees can share ideas, notes and project details.
  • Efficient communication with all your employees and clients.
  • New employees applying online on your website to reduce time and cost in processing the job applications.
  • Real time order status and inventory flow can be seen by respective customers and internal stakeholders.
  • Clients have access to their ledgers in real time.
  • Clients can communicate with their sales managers, place new orders and file complains / queries instantly.
  • Suppliers can see tenders online and submit their quotes. The built in rule engine help you select the winning bid.
  • Documents can flow within departments with remarks added on within seconds at relative ease.

Such empowerment will increase the level of productivity and satisfaction at all levels. Innovative ideas will result in paradigm shift in the way a particular work is done.

Some examples:-

  • E-statements by bank save money, postage and trees.
  • You can buy and reserve your air ticket / railway ticket online without standing in the queue.
  • Major corporations need you to apply for a job online. Even, Barack Obama, President (elect) of the USA is recruiting his team online!
  • Large corporations like BPCL have online system to receive and resolve complains from consumers.
  • Online shopping is becoming the order of the day.

The way Internet can be used to increase efficiency is only restricted by your imagination.

It is a good idea to hire a consultant who can think aloud with you to find out ways, in which your business can become more productive, more efficient and stay ahead in the fiercely competitive world.

Conclusion

There is no silver bullet of Internet strategy. However, the following tips will help you define your Internet strategy and put the same into execution.

  • You need to put together your organizational goals. Break them down into functional goals and map them with the three dimensions of Internet strategy.
  • Rationalize and prioritize various elements of your strategy. Everything may not be feasible or even rational to execute. The cost / return analysis should be done.
  • Once you have created the right mix, define your approach for every element in detail. It is a low-effort high-impact world of Internet. If success gets magnified, then so are the mistakes!
  • Execute the strategy in a time bound manner. Everything changes fast and if you are caught on the slow trail, you might be doing something which does not hold value anymore.
  • There is no absolute truth. Make sure that you have a mechanism for measuring the results.

How Indus Net Technologies can help?

Indus Net Technologies has been rated as #1 IT SME in India – 2008 by Dun & Bradstreet.

We help enterprises all over the world through consulting and implementation of their online strategies. We bring together 11 years of experience and implementation expertise to ensure success in your online initiatives through out its lifecycle.

Our core teams provide creative services, web application development and Internet marketing (SEO, SEM & conversion optimization) solutions. They are guided and supported by our consulting initiative.

You can be in touch with us at abhi@indusnet.co.in

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November 6, 2008

CreateOnlineBuzz.com – A new approach to blog marketing

Dear Friends,

We have recently completed an innovative project for one of our prestigious client 9.9 Media. It is called CreateOnlineBuzz.com.

CreateOnlineBuzz.com is an initiative to create a high value eco system for the bloggers and advertisers. From this online platform, advertisers can purchase online campaigns for marketing their products or services. They need to mention the number of reviews they need from the bloggers. All reviews are independently written by different bloggers, who have signed up on the platform.

How will the advertisers benefit from createonlinebuzz.com? One immediate benefit is from the direct traffic from the blog post of the blogger. Usually the blog review will contain links of the client website and the visitors of the blogger will visit the client website via the links on the blog post. Another benefit will be the longer term benefit of Search Engine traffic for relevant keywords for the business drivers of the clients. Hence, having many reviews written and link backs to the website will be an effective way to increase web traffic.

Another benefit for the client is that they get valuable feedback on their product or service from the bloggers. Getting different perspectives will potentially help the client to improve their product or service.

The blog marketing platform, createonlinebuzz.com, provides an opportunity for bloggers to generate some revenue from their blog. We do believe that blogging is driven by individual passion and coupling it with monetization opportunities will only improve the eco-system of the blogosphere and make it more sustainable.

It is a great product and the team behind is very committed. I am sure they will redefine the way blog marketing is being handled currently. I wish them all the best in their venture.

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March 31, 2008

Use META DESCRIPTION as your advertisement copy!

<META DESCRIPTION> tag lost its shine after the emergence of off-page factors (like link popularity) for rankings in SERPS. In fact it lost its purpose to a great extent when Google started using contextual content from within the page as the description of the URL in its SERPS.

However in an interesting turn of events, <META DESCRIPTION> is back in business!

Most search engines, including Google are now using the <META DESCRIPTION> content as the description of the URL in their SERPS. The page <TITLE> is now being shown as the listing title with <META DESCRIPTION> as the description of the URL. If you compare it with Google AdWords, you can consider the <TITLE> as the Headline and <META DESCRIPTION> as the Description. Therefore, you must use it to outline your strength, your unique selling proposition and if possible your offer.

Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal mentioned cited this interesting Meta Description used by NextStudent.com in his article,

Looking for federal or private student loans for School? Get up to 40k Fast: Call 877-680-9879. Student loan consolidation? Call 800-299-4639. NextStudent- College Funding Made Simple.

You can also include your phone number (as cited in the above advertisement – description) for the prospect who is in a hurry! May be you will end up prospecting without having the visitor hit your website! In fact, with the latest version of IE and the FireFox plugins, the phone numbers listed in this description become hot-links, which a visitor can simply click and get connected on a voice call through Skype. And you can close a sale! 🙂

And yes, many SEO specialists believe that higher CTR on your SERPS listing (due to improved <TITLE> and <META DESCRIPTION>) can help you further improve your rankings.

BTW, I forgot to mention that some expert copywriters may like to even put in their headlines and teasers to pre-sell the product / services!

Lisa Ditlefsen says:

Basically if you think about it the meta description tag is your FREE ad! If you have experience in running a pay per click campaign I’m sure you have put a lot of thought into what the PPC ad says. The ad is what distinguish you from all the other PPC ads right? So why should it be any different in the organic SERPs? The title tag is your free headline and the meta description tag is your FREE ad, this is where you have a chance to ad hook someone in. How many times have you searched for something, got to the results and been put off by the description, it can’t possibly be what you were looking for!!?

May be people do not give so much importance to this FREE ad, because it is FREE! It is never late. Give proper attention to your website <META DESCRIPTION> tags and turn your organic traffic to a highly targeted FREE traffic.

 

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March 29, 2008

Top SEO Blogs!

In a fast changing world of SEO, the best way to keep your knowledge up-to date are the authoritative blogs on the subject.

I stumbled upon a nice post by Daniel from DailyBlogtips.com, who has done a thorough research and listed Top 25 SEO Blogs. He has considered various factors including Google Pagerank of the blog, Alexa Rank, Number of Bloglines subscribers and the Technorati Authority Rank to get a holistic comparison and derive his list.

The list was prepared and posted on 23rd July 2007.

Click here to check out The Top 25 SEO Blogs list.

 

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March 24, 2008

How to generate exhaustive keyword combinations?

When creating an exhaustive keyword list for your AdWords / PPC campaigns, you might face a tedious job of creating all possible combinations by joining two words / phrases to cover the keyword that your prospect might key in. This can be a very frustrating experience.

Recently, I sumbled upon this website: http://www.imscripts.com/keywords

It can generate these keyword combinations in less than a second.

So if the keywords are:

  • web design
  • web design company

And the cities are:

  • kolkata
  • chennai
  • delhi

This tool will create these keywords:
 
web design kolkata
kolkata web design
web design company kolkata
kolkata web design company
web design chennai
chennai web design
web design company chennai
chennai web design company
web design chennai
chennai web design
web design company chennai
chennai web design company
 
So you could get valid and useful combinations!

Now think how much time this tool can save when you have to make a combination of 100s of keywords with 10-20 different "add on words" or "cities". So use this tool whenever you need to create the combinations!
 
This tool can also help by adding the {} and " " operators of Google Adwords if you want.

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Sky-high bids on Adwords! Do they work?

The bids on AdWords are soaring to new heights everyday. Some advertisers are even shelling out up to $10 per click. So, naturally the question arises – Is this complete madness or is there any logic behind such aggressive advertising?

To me, it does make some sense to bid aggressively if you have the right strategy in place. These are two scenarios you can consider:

1) Every client you acquire, on an average spends $12000 with you in a year. In this case, you do not mind spending 10% of the revenue as customer acquisition cost. Therefore you can comfortably bid $10 per click (provided you have a site which can convert 1 out of 120 visitors). Thus, looking at a lifetime value of a customer makes it a good investment.

2) If you have mastered the art of persuasion (or have hired a master of persuasion), and have come up with a website with converts well (visitor > customer conversion), every visitor you are driving to your website is equivalent to revenue :). So go ahead, rock the boat and bid out all your competitors. You will get more customers and will also have lower customer acquisition cost. What more do you want?

So, expensive keywords bidding do work, if they are backed with high lifetime customer value and/or higher conversion on the website. And yes, those Internet marketing experts are not insane! In fact most of them are very smart.

So bid smartly!

 

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March 22, 2008

Gallery submission to improve web site traffic and/or rankings

Attractive designs do get attention. It can also get good visitor-customer conversion if some best-practices are followed. But the question is – how can attractive designs get traffic to your website?

They can! or,
They can at least help your site in getting good traffic.

Here is a simple technique posted by Daniel on his blog.

  • Design an attractive web site. Or get it designed through one of the many web design agencies around. Make sure that the site is coded in XHMTL/CSS2.
  • Now, submit these websites to several CSS galleries which has sprung all over the Internet. If your design is decent enough, you will surely get accepted. However, if your design is outstanding, you may get featured sending in hundreds of visitors!
  • Now, design enthusiasts may not be your target audience (BTW, if they are, then you have struck a goldmine). Still, you get multiple listings and they link to your website, which ultimately helps you in getting better link-popularity and therefore higher rankings in search engines. In my opinion, you should not miss any opportunity to improve your link-popularity.
  • Here are some links to the "List of CSS galleries"

Now, if it looks like a daunting task (frankly speaking, it is!), do not give up.

Indus Net Technologies has a special service to help you focus on your core business and take care of different kind of manual submission (including CSS gallery submission) for a small fees. It is called Submit2Please.

Contact one of our sales representative / your account manager at Indus Net Technologies to get started. Or drop us a line at info@submit2please.com

 

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March 21, 2008

New kind of website spam

I just made a blog post – Buying and selling websites.

Within minutes, I got a trackback. I was a bit puzzled at the lightening speed. I thought – how can someone read my entire article and blogged about it in less than a minute! I followed the link and found a new kind of spam, which is spreading rapidly on Internet, making life difficult for Internet users, Google and Adwords advertisers.

Here is the site which automatically picked up the post (courtsey – aggregators), modified the author to some 'Wesley Warren' and snapped up few lines from the post to link it to my blog for further reading. A smart blackhat SEO tactic for sure. This is a new technique to create keyword dense pages to attract better rankings and make "free money" by inserting Adwords everywhere as the only exit route from the page. These spam sites are bound to get high click-through rates because we all are lazy to type in a seperate web address in the browser address bar.

Google has to get rid of this new spam to throw up quality results, as these spam sites does not provide any valuable (or unique) content, but still escape the duplicate content filter of Google. I think it should not be very complicated for the Google experts since this time the duplicate content is in "organized data" i.e. blogs instead of "unorganized data".

I hope this nuisance is sorted out ASAP!

 

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March 3, 2008

Search engines opening up!

Yahoo announced that they are opening up their search results for third party data integration. This will allow third party to contribute to Yahoo search experience and make it more useful for their users. It will be interesting to see how other webmasters use this open search platform to gain popularity by sharing data with Yahoo, while still retaining their competitive edge, by virtue of their database, in their respective area. We can expect to experience a long-tail of innovation in days to come. This will help webmasters, visitors and Yahoo! A perfect win-win-win situation.

On the other hand, Google already have a open platform called Google Co-op, where anyone can create custom search engine. As per Google Co-op,

"Google Co-op is a platform that enables you to customize the web search experience for users of both Google and your own website."

Google also offer Google Subscribed Links which in their own language they define as:

"Subscribed Links let you create custom search results that users can add to their Google search pages. You can display links to your services for your customers, provide news and status information updated in near-real-time, answer questions, calculate useful quantities, and more"

The challenge

However, both the services that Google offers, has a great deal of focus on promoting Google, Google Search & Google Subscribed Links. Again, they are not directly making any change in the Google Search (at least it has not be publicly explained how it will effect user experience of a normal search).

Therefore, Google Search or Yahoo Search cannot be termed as true "user contributed" or "Web2.0" as described by Tom O'Reilly. People won't contribute unless they see that their contribution is making a positive impact in the search pattern and it is visible. In the current state both Subscribed Link and Yahoo Open Search will only help if a user wants to use the enhanced engine. Most Internet users will never switch these engines. Even if they are told the benefit of the plug-ins, how are they supposed to select the ones which will help them from a collection of thousands of user contributed plug-in channels? And what happens when new plug-ins come out?

Suggested solution

If search engines want to go the Web2.0 way with user contribution enhancing the overall experience and defining the way search engines display results, they need to bring user contributions to the mainstream. I feel that themed searches are the way to go. Google / Yahoo shall classify a particular user contributed plug-in into a theme. When a visitor wants to search for a business, he may choose a "Finding a business" theme. On a contrary when a visitor wants to learn about the subject he may chose the "Tutorial" theme.

Let us see an example.

We search for a very competitive keyword – "web design". This is the result we get.

If you see, there are three different intents that the search result satisfies. A person might be searching "web design" because he:

  • Want to find a web design company (blue marker)
  • Want to learn web design (red marker)
  • Get web design resources (green marker)

All three intents are very different. Most people do not type-in their intent in the search box to make it a specific search, because they are not specialists in using search engines. Therefore, a search engine should suggest a possible intent and display results only related to the given theme. The theme model can best work when they are formed based on a collection of user generated plug-ins. Thus user generated content can find its way to the end user in an organized way.

It goes without saying that pulling in the user generated content directly into the main search result has its challenge of weeding out spam. But this seems to be the most logical way as of now. 

 

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