Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ecommerce Today

Ecommerce today is a remarkable experience. It has transformed traditional shopping beyond recognition. It is so much better than any other way of shopping that it has already attracted a great many of ecommerce-lovers.

If some years ago ecommerce was a buzz word, now it has become the order of the day. People seem to shop literally everywhere – at their workplaces during lunch times, in rush hour when there is nothing else to do but switch on their laptops and start surfing.

Ecommerce today gained so much popularity because its underlying technologies are evolving at giant steps. We are even offered to “feel” the product with a 3D mouse to better understand its shape, size and texture. Why go somewhere out when all you have to do is make an order, choose the shipping method, put up your feet and wait till the order is delivered right to your door-step?

Ecommerce today offers so much luxury that even conventional stores have already signaled the alarm. Although, every one agrees that it is a long way for an ecommerce to replace “brick-and-mortar” stores, it has every chance to happen in the future. Ecommerce which we are witnessing today brings in so much adventure into our lives that it is enjoyed by the whole online community.

Ecommerce today does have some drawbacks but they say “he that fears every bush must never go a birding”. A lot of consumers do put up with minuses since they trust the online world and want it to be a better place.

Ecommerce today reflects what we created at the very dawn of online electronic commerce. It is made by us and meant for us.

From :

Monday, July 13, 2009

8 Essential SEO techniques

Matt Colyer
1) Title Tag - The title tag is the most powerful on-site SEO technique you have, so use it creatively! What you place in the title tag should only be one thing, the exact keyword you used for the web page that you are trying to optimize. Every single web page should have it's own title tag.

2) ALT Tags - ALT tags were meant to be for text browsers because the images didn't show in text browsers and the ATL tags would tell the visitor what it's about. You should put your main keyword(s) in the ALT tags, but don't over do it because you could get dropped in the results or even worse banned for life!

3) Link Popularity - Link popularity is the most powerful SEO tool out of all them. Most search engines don't even consider web sites if there is not at least one or two links pointing to the web site. Having another site(s) link to your web site is important when it comes to getting your site a good ranking. Your keywords should be in the links you get and keep the keywords short. When you receive requests for a link exchange, check the site out before linking with them, check for spam (Repeat keywords, hidden text, etc.).

4) Keyword Density - This is also vital and should be used with research. You should use the keyword(s) once in the title tag, once in the heading tag, once in bold text, and get the density between 5% to 20% (Don't over do it!). Also use your keyword(s) both low and high on the web page, keyword(s) should be in the first sentence and in the last one.

5) Page Size - Your web page's speed is important to your visitors and the search engines. Why? Because the robots will be able to spider your web page faster and easier. Try your best to keep your web page over 5k and under 15k in size.

6) Rich Theme - Search engines are looking at themes more and more. Build content (Articles, FAQ, tips, etc.) much as possible and keep the web pages around 200 to 500 words. Create content that's related to your market and link them out to other related content on your site. Try to get 200 web pages or more.

7) Web Site Design - This is also important, if you want to get indexed! Text content should out weigh the HTML content. The pages should validate and be usable in all of today's leading edge browsers. Stay away from flash and Java Script, search engines dislike them both a lot.

8) Insite Cross Linking - This will help you get all of your web pages indexed by the search engines. Your web pages should be no more than three clicks away from the home page. Link to topic related quality content across your site. This will also help build you a better theme through out your web site. On every page you should link back to your home page and your main service(s).

About the author:
Matt Colyer is the owner of the Network which includes and is a part-time SEO. He also is a php, CGI and ASP developer. You can read more articles like this at

General SEO guide

Below are some techniques/guidelines that help in your page to become Search engine optimized.

The ‘crawlers' or ‘spiders' that a search engine send to your site are not able to view all the eye-candy and other nitty-gritty graphics on your site but can only obtain the textual information. In fact there are certain things they can see like the Meta tagswhich we normal users are unable to see.

Meta tags

Generally there are two kinds of Meta tags I use.

•< meta name="keywords" content=" “ > •< meta NAME="Description" content="" >

In the first one I enter ‘keywords', which are describing words for my site. They are not exactly adjective's like in

•A orange car

In this instance orange is the adjective but not exactly a suitable keyword for the page. While car seems more appropriate as it gives a description to the contents of the page, i.e. a page which has information about an orange car

Now although the keyword ‘car' is used on the page, you must have gone into details about the bonnet, spoiler, leather seats, power steering, fuel efficiency, alloy wheels, horse power and other things of the car, yes?

The other information you had provided can also be used as keywords but its better if you only use a keyword that has been mentioned on your site.

Using meta tags creatively and efficiently can help a lot in your site occupying a ‘good' spot in SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages).

Unlike other people I don't believe in occupying a #1 spot on Google or any other search engine as I know that the change of its algorithm can get be down any time. Rather I would like to considered relevant for a variety of other keywords other than just my ‘core' keyword.

The Title Tag

•< title > < itle >

This part will take up your most creative time thinking of an appropriate one. It's just like a one-time limited opportunity.

Choosing a title is like choosing an attractive caption for something only that your Title should have the keyword you want to rank HIGHEST for.

I prefer to limit my index-page title to a maximum of 5 words any more than this makes the Browser title of a user pretty cluttered.

Remember while designing a site always put yourself in your members place and think how they would feel. Ask others around if they would consider a re-visit to your site or not?

Use of header tags

Although they don't look that neat it helps the ‘spider' to get a description of the content of the page. It's a win-win situation in this case. You can write a CSS code and reduce the size of the h1 size if you want.

Link Exchange

I'm sure you've read scores of articles stressing about swapping links with other sites as that is a key factor in SEO.

This is quite true but it is becoming quite importing to exchange links with sites having content related to yours and which is not in direct competition of your site.

Don't just approach the webmaster of the site you want to exchange links with by the aid of an automated message you ask everyone. Make it look a bit ‘personalized' and include a few details of the site you may have noticed to make the webmaster feel that you have actually gone through the site. ___

Although I'm new SEO specialist the above are the few hints I have experienced while my experience on the web.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to se results as of now that I had expected my site would show.


You can freely publish this article on your site but please give me credit for it by mentioning the following details
Neo Website:[]

About the author:
Neo is the founder of WebHosts Discussion forum a forum based at holding webhosting relaed discussion and to discuss common webmaster news.

Search Engine Optimisation

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?!
I'll let you in a little secret, time stands still for no man!! Especially when he's got an ezine to publish, websites to build, is moving to the US in 4 weeks time, and doesn't exercise enough!!

Enough already.

How about optimising your website for a search engine? Do you know enough about that?

The best advice I've ever read came from Sumantra Roy. He publishes a nice 5 part email course that is really worth reading. The first time I read it, I couldn't wait for the next part to arrive in my inbox.

The basic idea is to make sure you optimise each page for a specific keyword phrase that is likely to be typed into a search engine, but to make sure it's not a phrase that is too popular and not give your site a chance at getting listed.

Then you will put that phrase in you html title tags and in the h1 tag and then again mention the phrase as much as contextually possible throughout the page.

You can also think about naming the page as yourphrase.html and even create it in a directory of your website called yourphrase.

Here's an example: I recently joined a program called morehitsmoreincome, and decided to quickly put together a mini-sales page for it.

All I did to get the text was basically copy and paste a bit of it from the main site itself, the faqs etc. then I made sure I named it as moreitsmoreincome.html

The site is listed in Google if you type in 'morehitsmoreincome'

My first 4 keyword are: morehitsmoreincome,more hits more income, business o.pportunity leads,p.rofit leads.

I could probably have used a better keyword for this site actually, as you can imagine not a lot of people will be typing that keyword into a search engine, but you get the idea. I've used this same idea for several other a.ffiliate programs and have had some really good results so far!!

There are all sorts of interesting things about keywords that you find out about, for instance, in the metatag keywords you don't need a space after a comma, and you should only repeat your main keyword a maximum of 5 times.....isn't that interesting?

There are many more 'tweaks' to optimise your page for the engines like apparently Yahoo like you to have a contact address on the page. alt tag descriptions in images, and page layout....

If you want an in depth email course that will teach you the very best way to optimise your site and give you some tools to help with your keywords, I recommend Sumantra Roy:

You'll see a little subscribe box on the right of the page which will start the 5 part email course.

-------------------------------------------------------- Justin Horth is the publisher of "AcewebZine, Internet and Network Marketing Newlsetter" He has helped many individuals succeed online. Visit his site to find out how you can get a free consultation. or -----------------------------------------------------------

About the author:
Justin Horth is the publisher of "AcewebZine, Internet and Network Marketing Newlsetter" He has helped many individuals succeed online. Visit his site to find out how you can get a free consultation. or

Google's advice for your website: Content

The web pages actually at the top of Google have only one thing clearly in common: good writing. Don't get so caught up in the usual SEO sacred cows and bugbears, such as PageRank, frames, and JavaScript, that you forget your site's content.

I was recently struck by the fact that the top-ranking web pages on Google are consistently much better written than the vast majority of what is read on the web.

Of course, that shouldn't be a surprise, considering how often officials at Google proclaim the importance of good content. Yet traditional SEO wisdom has little to say about good writing.

Does Google, the world's wealthiest media company, really ignore traditional standards of quality in the publishing world? Does Google, like so many website owners, really get so caught up in the process of the algorithm that it misses the whole point? Apparently not.


How to Make People ASK For your Business Card

As a rule, I don't give out my business card unless someone asks
for it. Of course, there are rare exceptions, but normally, if
someone doesn't ask for my card - I don't give it out.

Let me explain why.

What happens when we give out our business card before someone
asks? We announce: This is what I am doing. And maybe even: I
want you to buy from me.

By giving out our business card when people don't ask for it, we
put ourselves and our businesses in the spotlight - this might be
gratifying for our ego, but it's not good for our positioning.
"Get in touch with me when you need me" is a weak attempt to get
someone interested in our product or service. Although most
people will politely accept the card, they will seldom - if ever
- call.

But that doesn't mean that you should leave everything to chance.
No, no! Think in terms of *earning* the right to be in people's
Rolodexo file - this way you will be asked for your business
card, which is an entirely different situation.

Now, it DOES takes a bit more effort than simply handing someone
your card and saying, "Call me when you need me." The good news
is that as a result of your extra efforts people will also *keep*
your card, and maybe even refer to it - instead of trashing it
with the others they receive unsolicited.

How to do it?

First of all, strive to become a person others feel attracted to.
That's very simple. It begins with developing a healthy ego,
which allows us to put other people in the spotlight instead of
ourselves. Another necessary skill is active listening (which has
very little to do with a superficial gazing into someone's eyes
and nodding in agreement - although it is a good beginning).

Like it or not, people are much more interested in their own
lives than in ours. And they love others who are genuinely
interested in their plans, desires, headaches, values, family,
hobbies, etc. If you encourage them to talk, you will be amazed
at how quickly they will reciprocate and ask: "And what do YOU

Isn't this a nice prompt for handing them your business card?

There are some ways that might *induce* someone to ASK for your
card. My favorite is asking for THEIR card first. You simply say
"Gee, this really sounds very interesting - let's make sure we
stay in touch. May I have your business card?"

Usually this prompts them to say "Sure, and may I have one of
yours?" It is that simple.

And what if they don't ask? I do not offer mine.

But guess what? Now, when I have their business card, I also have
permission to contact them. And that allows me to take the
initiative, so most of the time I immediately follow up with a
personal note stating something like:

Dear Jackie,
It was a true pleasure to chat with
you yesterday about.....
I am looking forward to getting to know
you better!

And this time my card will be enclosed in the same envelope. Of
course, that doesn't mean that Jackie is going to call me. It
doesn't mean that she will want to meet with me or do business
with me right away - quite the contrary, most of the time it will
take a lot more follow-up than that one note. But it IS a pretty
good way to begin a relationship, don't you agree?

Wanda Loskot is professional speaker and business coach for small
business owners and self-employed professionals who LOVE what they
do - but HATE selling. For a cornucopia of free business strategies,
marketing tips, teleclasses and other valuable resources visit
Wanda's Success Connection at

Five Steps To Lasting Business Success

Everyone asks these days what does it take to succeed in
business and many great articles have already been written
on this subject. I can't resist adding my own simple
formula for success. It works like a charm, guaranteed!

1. Love Your Customers
I don't mean *like* - I mean really *love*. There is
a big difference between liking and loving, don't you
agree? We like almost everyone - but we love only special
people. Loving someone means going out of our way
to help them. And it means finding a pleasure in seeing
them succeeding.

Of course it starts with developing the ability to love
ourselves. So, it is very important to have a healthy
self-esteem - work on it. Also, one of your main goals
should be becoming a generous person who finds pleasure
in being a contributor. Become a giver!

2. Find Customers You Want To Love
Let's face it - there are some people you don't want to
see near you or your business, let alone have a loving
relationship with them! Not everyone who wants to buy
something from you is able to recognize and appreciate
the high quality of service I am talking about.

Marketing skills are important not only to find a high
NUMBER but also to find high QUALITY of buyers. Searching
for people in specific demographics, who are most likely
in need of what you have and who are financially qualified
to buy it is very important - but not enough. Define also
a profile of your *ideal* customers and make sure that
your marketing message is appealing to them.

Look for people who share your own values. They will not
abuse your generosity and they will most likely become
your loyal referral sources. They are also a pleasure to
work with :-)

Effective marketing will allow you to "skim the cream" and
leave the whiners, complainers, psychos and other difficult
people to your competition!

3. Find Out What Your Customers Want
Sounds very basic - doesn't it? Yet so many business owners
miss this part entirely!

Once you have a relationship with people who are >a< pleasure
and fun to work with, engage in ongoing communication with
them to find out their needs. Very often their needs are not
very obvious - sometimes people are not even aware of what
they want or need. If you help them figure out what it is
- and especially if you help them to find it - you will
have many friends (and customers) for life!

4. Give Them What They Want
No, you don't need to actually *produce* everything they
want, but even if it is something you don't offer, you
can help your customers find it elsewhere. You can even
generate additional income by helping solve problems with
other people's products and services. Isn't this a great
win/win/win scenario?

BTW. If you know of someone who is starting a business on
the Internet, recommend my "Internet Success Boot
Camp". You can become my affiliate (it doesn't cost
anything) and earn substantial referral fees!
For details go to

5. Deliver Consistently Awesome Value
When people with high values get a superb quality service
or products from you, products that solve their problems
and make them happy, they LOVE to reward you handsomely
for your efforts. Honest people expect to pay their share
and they often ask for more!

Giving people consistently more than they expect compels
them also to tell others about you - and that helps you
grow your business even more!

Isn't this all simple? Simple is not the same as EASY.
You still need a full array of skills to accomplish all
this - but this is all it takes to succeed. Guaranteed!

Wanda Loskot is professional speaker and business coach for small
business owners and self-employed professionals who LOVE what they
do - but HATE selling. For a cornucopia of free business strategies,
marketing tips, teleclasses and other valuable resources visit
Wanda's Success Connection at

How to Get More Referrals?

If you've been in business for a while, you've learned to
appreciate the value of word-of-mouth advertising. It costs
nothing and brings in high quality prospects, already sold on
your product or service.

Aaah, if only it could happen more often...

It can. With a little planning and a slightly different focus
in your marketing efforts, you can develop a steady stream of
predictable referrals, week after week, month after month. But
first let's understand the difference between two different
types of referrals.

You see, one of them just happens. The other is orchestrated.
Although subtle, the difference is dramatic.

Let's start with the basics first. Where do referrals come from?
From satisfied customers, of course! Or, better said, from those
customers whose expectations we exceed. Yes, but what are they
satisfied with? Heck, that is precisely what you have to figure

You have to realize that every business transaction consists of
two parts. One is the product/service. Your customers evaluate
quality, features, benefits, price, and how this all compares
with your competition.

The second part is the experience. Customers will evaluate how
easy, how fast, convenient, satisfying and how *pleasurable* the
total experience of doing business with you is for them.

Do you know any businesses that deliver an inferior product,
yet are able to survive...maybe even do remarkably well? Chances
are that what's lost in the quality of product is somehow
compensated in the quality of experience. And I'm sure you
know some businesses -- maybe even yours-- which deliver superb
quality products or service, but somehow are not able to attract
as many customers as they could. Quite possibly, the process of
buying needs some work.

Imagine what would happen if everyone doing business with you
felt compelled to talk to others about your business! To make
that happen you'll need a system that delivers...and delivers
consistently. For starters, find out how you are doing in the
area of quality. Develop a simple survey to measure both, your
product and customer's
experience. Rate different aspects of them on a scale:

1 - for good,
2 - for excellent
3 - for exceeding expectation

And make sure that you provide space for comments and examples
so you know what specifically needs improving. Then ask your
customers for evaluation.

To get ongoing referrals you can bank on instead of the
occasional lead generated by worth-of-mouth advertising, you
need to score consistently "3" in both: product/service and

Don't fret if your first surveys come back with lackluster
results. They're sure to point to some areas that need
improvement. Make the improvements, then ask your customers
for their feedback again. You can try another survey, or better
yet a small focus group.

Most likely, your customers will jump at the opportunity to
provide you with feedback - they will easily recognize and
appreciate your efforts and that counts a lot.

From now on you will be on the roll and to get you started on
building your business through referrals.. Good luck!

Copyright c 1999 Wanda Loskot

Wanda Loskot is professional speaker and business coach for small
business owners and self-employed professionals who LOVE what they
do - but HATE selling. For a cornucopia of free business strategies,
marketing tips, teleclasses and other valuable resources visit
Wanda's Success Connection at

Passion or Market Need? There is no contest

Conventional wisdom says that success in business depends on
finding a need in the marketplace and filling that need with
your own product or service. That makes a lot of sense.

It is incredibly important to sell what people need. However,
you will sail much farther in the sea of business if you begin
your venture by discovering first what YOUR needs are - what
is that YOU love and feel passionate about? - THEN find out what
market needs you can satisfy by supplying the product or service
aligned with your life's love and passion.

The key to success in business is to find a perfect match - not
only unfulfilled need. The good news is that it's really not that
difficult to find that match when you know what you really want.

But do you really know?
Many people assume that it is money they really want.
Trust me - it is NOT money or anything like it!

When you know what you love, you can also decide whom you WANT
to serve. Probably those who share your values - it really is
a lot of fun to do business with people you truly love. Much
more fun than serving people only because they pay you.

Of course, this kind of business is not easy to launch. BUT, on
the other hand it is OH-SO-EASY to succeed in it in the long run,
once you get it off the ground!

Every single passion can be translated into a money-making
business. H.J. Heinz translated his passion for gardening and
making pickles into a huge enterprise called Heinz Ketchup.
Henry Ford started the entire industrial revolution as
a result of his passion. And Bill Gates put us all in front
of computers...

Then there is The Gap, and Federal Express, and Domino's Pizza,
and Netscape and Yahooo... and WalMart, and Apple computer,
and every successful software company, and the GREAT e-zines
of the internet.. and the list could go on, but you get my
picture - EVERY successful business was started the same way.
By a person who wanted to express his or her passion. And that
is why those businesses succeeded when so many others failed.

Of course it takes a bit more more than a passion to succeed -
organization, innovation, good marketing and other ingredients,
but it all begins with passion. None of these great businesses
started with "let's see the need is and let's fill that need so
we can make a lot of money." No, no, no! Every business created
*mainly* to generate income, is heading for troubles - BIG time
troubles sooner or later!

If you feel passionate about chocolate - I suggest you consider
a chocolate business. You can produce chocolate, of course but
you might also sell chocolates made by others, or you can create
packages for chocolates, or write cookbooks with chocolate
recipes. You can create a directory of chocolate sites on the
web, or build a better machine to wrap chocolates... and so on.

If you employ good business tactics, you will be very good at
what you do and make a lot of money in the process. Your love
for good chocolate will be your drive and your magnificent
obsession that will cause you to never stop learning and
innovating. If you make right choices, you will choose to
work with people who also love chocolate (it is fun to be
around those who share our passion). As a result you will
become not only good at what you do, but also passionate
about whom you serve - your business will thrive!

Now, try to put as much energy into something you do NOT
love! For example, can you see yourself building that kind
of business around... something that other people feel
passionate about, but not you.

For example, health supplements...

Will you put that much work and that much enthusiasm into
health related business? Will you be willing to learn about
those health supplements as much as you are willing to learn
about chocolate? Will you spend as much time in the library
looking for some little known facts about vitamins with the
same interest as you would search for information about
chocolate? Will you collect healthy recipes with the same
determination (and try them out as diligently) as you would
collect chocolate recipes?

Most likely the answer is NO - if your passion is chocolate,
not the health and fitness. In the long run it is not possible
to fake that level of interest. Without a passion your big
success will not happen!

Most people try to go after something popular - hoping that
this will give them a better chance for success. It rarely

There is a need for everything!!!!
For face creams and for hemorrhoids cures.
For web designers and for web hosts.
For drivers, and for carpet cleaners.
For publishers, and for shoemakers, for actors, for writers,
for singers, for doctors, for lawyers, and for builders....

There is a need for hand crocheted sweaters, hand painted tiles,
for home cooked meals, candies, software creators, web developers,
computer gurus, secretaries, CGI programmers, TV repairmen....
and of course for business coaches like me :-)

A man named Gary Dahl was so passionate about creativity that
he created pet rocks which stirred the imaginations of so many
people that the product was one of the biggest bestsellers in
the Seventies. You can make money by selling what YOU are
passionate about. It is a whole lot easier too, trust me!

* * *

Wanda Loskot is professional speaker and business coach for small
business owners and self-employed professionals who LOVE what they
do - but HATE selling. For a cornucopia of free business strategies,
marketing tips, teleclasses and other valuable resources visit
Wanda's Success Connection at

Friday, June 19, 2009

Global game strategies for the coming year

Some hedge fund, alternative managers say markets outlook still dim

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MONACO (MarketWatch) -- If hedge fund managers have any insight at all, the credit crunch and market turmoil may not be over yet.

About 800 gathered this past week for the GAIM International hedge fund and alternative investment event in Monaco. A year ago, with 1,000 in attendance, the conference was kicking off just as markets were starting to fall apart, with the biggest slump yet to come.

Of course, it should be noted that hedge funds have been blamed by many for contributing to last year's financial mess.

As for the look ahead, a survey of attendees by conference organizers revealed that 65% of those polled expect the crisis to "rumble on," with just 17% saying it was over and that same amount expecting the crisis to diminish significantly.

It was an almost even draw for the question about whether market volatility has permanently jumped higher or not. Of those polled, 54% said yes, while 46% said no. Their biggest concerns, in descending order, are market liquidity, lack of alpha, risk management and counterparty risk.

Russell Abrams, founder and senior portfolio manager of Titan Capital Group, which manages hedge funds using volatility arbitrage strategies, said 2009 could shape up as mirroring 2008 somewhat. Overly optimistic earnings expectations for the second half could be one big catalyst, he said.

"The second half of the year has built in very high expectations and if they're not met, we're going to see nervousness that is going to move very rapidly," said the New York-based Abrams.

The other catalyst that markets will be looking for, he said, is signs that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may not be nominated for a second term. President Barack Obama has praised Bernanke for his efforts in the financial crisis but has been mum on whether he'll reappoint the Fed chief.

Investors can protect themselves the next time around, he said, by understanding that they need a plan for when an event happens -- and need to stick to it. He said their four funds did well because "we know what we do if the stock market falls 5%. Our basic investment advice to anyone is if you don't know what you'll do if the stock market falls 10%, you shouldn't be in the stock market," he said.

"What they need to know is the higher people's expectations of volatility, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling reality -- once you have an expectation of wider moves, they will be occurring," said Abrams. "People are still very complacent in terms of not doing the research themselves to know what's really going on."
Talking strategies

The GAIM poll revealed that managers are focusing strategies over the next 12 to 18 months on distressed securities, global macroeconomics -- based on primarily on overall economic and political views of various countries -- and CTAs -- funds that trade futures on raw materials.

Abrams has two types of funds that trade volatility: One has an absolute return strategy, while the other is a defensive bias fund set up to do much better if there is a crisis. He said a lot of volatility is now priced into the stock market, meaning he's looking elsewhere for returns.

"We're seeing a lot of opportunity in the currency space, a lot of countries' currencies are perceived as very stable. We don't know what the catalyst will be. Historically, if the U.S. ever starts raising rates, it creates tremendous pressure on emerging market countries. They have to raise their rates and it hurts their economies," he said.

Most affected, he said, would be Eastern Europe and highly leveraged countries where there seems to be no way out of the mess without devaluing the currency. He notes that forward markets are pricing in a devaluation of 50% for the currency of Latvia, one country hard hit by the financial crisis.

Seppo Leskinen, the London-based chief investment officer of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, said emerging currencies are a big theme for him as well. He runs the SEB Multi-Manager Currency Fund and said they've had a bias towards emerging markets the past two years.

As for the major currencies in the short term, he said the dollar will benefit as stimulus efforts begin to kick in: "I feel once [stimulus efforts] they start to bite, the American economy is ready to go and could go really, really strongly."

But for the longer run, Leskinen said, the strength is not that convincing. "I think the shift of the world's economies has gone to China and India and these BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. They are the new economy superpowers in the economic world.

"I wouldn't be surprised if in five to ten years from now, China's currency is freely floating so these countries are still very tiny but the shift of the investments will continue to go that direction very strongly and then the same has to happen in the currency markets," said Leskinen.
Looking at credit

Neal Neilinger, the Stamford, Conn.-based vice chairman of Aladdin Capital, said that looking at the broader market, he doesn't expect the second half of the year to be as good as the first half. "But I also wouldn't say I'm negative. We will see probably a leveling off of the market and maybe from today, slightly up from where we are today."

He said big issues for the hedge fund conference have centered on transparency, liquidity procedures and due diligence -- logical given what happened at the end of last year.

"I think that the tone is cautiously optimistic. I think investors are looking for ideas, looking for ways to deploy capital, but they're looking to do it in a very directed and strategic approach. They're not coming here to find out what they want to do; in most cases they know what they want to do."

Neilinger, whose firm has traditionally operated as a fixed-income manager, said he still believes in credit as an investment idea.

"Yes, it's had a big run since the beginning of the year, but it's still far cheaper than it was toward this time last year, so I do think there's value in it and I do think you can deploy capital intelligently right now whether it be on some of the higher-yielding names, which offer still very wide spreads -- even in the high-grade investment range, which still is attractive," he said.

Neilinger sees big interest returning to the corporate credit markets and likes non-investment grade, leveraged loans and distressed debt. New issue markets are having record years in terms of volume in the U.S., and Europe investor demand is tremendous, he said.

"Every deal that gets priced is many times oversubscribed. In some cases when a deal gets launched, it's oversubscribed in less than in less than 20 minutes," Neilinger observed.

"We're now back to being able to do non-investment grade bond issues, which for all intents and purposes last year was closed, and leveraged loan markets are starting to wake up again. We're seeing the beginning of some of the sponsors being able to do bond deals again." He notes that those deals have to be well-priced transactions and well structured.

While cautious on auto-industry suppliers and some retailers and airlines, he says oil or gold-type companies seem to be holding up a lot better and probably have better prospects going forward.

"You still have to be very careful about how you select what you're going to invest in. ... We find there are opportunities still to pick up individual names and credits at spreads that are attractive and avoid pitfalls of buying companies that are in a more precarious position."

Again, caution is the byword for Neilinger, something that would probably ring resoundingly well with most of those present here this week. "You can explain to your boss once why you lost money in credit. I wouldn't want to be there the second time," he said.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Social media marketing - a guide

Social media has turned the web upside down in the last few years and has the power to literally make or break your online marketing campaign.
Done well a social media campaign can result in increased brand exposure, thousands of new website visitors and natural links to improve those all important search engine rankings.

Getting started

The easiest social sites to use for website promotion are social news websites. These are sites that allow users to upload, tag and vote for interesting content and have the power to send tens of thousands of visitors to the most popular sites.

Not all content is suitable for all the social news sites so it's important to get a feel for the type of content that each community is likely to be interested in. To start with you need to register with the social tagging and news websites you want to target.

Here are 5 to start you off that will likely send the most traffic to popular stories:

* del.icio.us6
* Digg7
* Mixx8
* Reddit9
* StumbleUpon10

Once you've registered for the sites it's important to become a popular, trusted and well known user by contributing quality content on a regular basis. Don't forget that the users of these sites are typically web savvy and can spot new users who are just joining to promote their own stories and pollute the system.

The key is to make friends, check out their content on a regular basis, vote for the things you like and submit things that you think will appeal to the different communities. Only once you become popular should you start to submit some of your own content and even then it's important to be careful about mixing too much of your own stories with your usual submissions.

Once you make good friends on the social media sites you can ask them to submit your content for you or they may just do it for you without you having to ask. Assuming your content has value and is coming from a site with a social media savvy readership you should find a proportion of the stories are being submitted by your users anyway.

Types of content to submit

The first rule about submitting content is to make sure it's interesting, unique and non-commercial. Content from a source that social media users know and trust (such as the mainstream media) is always going to have an advantage over content from a blog or ecommerce store.

Many beginners make the mistake of trying to submit their homepage or one of their product pages to social sites - this tactic almost never works. You need come up with content that's going to appeal to the community or communities you are targeting.

Some of the different types of content that may work include:

* Breaking news
* Guides / tutorials
* Interesting stories
* Pictures
* Videos
* Statistics

Try to use enticing titles for your content, never lie and always back up your facts by citing your sources.

When you're planning a submission it's important to examine your goals. If traffic is the primary goal then the content you produce might be quite different to the sort of content you would create while trying to attract links from authority websites.
Packaging your content

Succeeding on social media sites is maybe 30% about the title of the story, 30% about the presentation and 40% about the content. Quality content with plain boring presentation or lots of adverts stands a much higher chance of failure than average content with remarkable presentation.

Some tips to get you started include:

* Ensure the content is accessible and looks good in all major browsers and screen sizes
* Always include eye catching pictures and images wherever possible
* Break the content down into different sections and use headers
* Avoid serving intrusive ads that get in the way of the all important content

A final word

Social media marketing is a great way to build long term sustainable, natural social media traffic and search engine rankings. It certainly isn't something that can be mastered overnight. However if you apply yourself and invest time and effort into creating a long-term campaign, the returns can be phenomenal.

This article was written by David Eaves. David's been working in the search engine optimisation11 industry for the last 5 years. More of his articles can be found at his SEO blog12.

How to make the most of your website in a recession

Many countries are officially in recession and a number of brands have succumbed in the UK including Woolworths, Zavvi, The Pier and Land of Leather.

At the same time, big names across the pond like Foot Locker, The Home Depot and Disney stores are closing tens if not hundreds of their stores.

However, it's not all doom and gloom. The online fashion retailer ASOS is thriving4 with a 118% sales increase and profits exceeding all expectations. Sales at Sainsbury's have increased5; Debenhams' profits are up6 with 1200 new jobs promised through new stores. Amazon7, Domino's and Greggs8 are also among those bucking the trend.

Times are undeniably tough and businesses are looking for a much-needed edge to survive. Recent research9 shows that lower prices aren't necessarily the answer and may end up doing more harm than good. Customer service, on the other hand, is a great way to distinguish your business from your competitors'. Understandably service levels are improving10 in the UK and possibly worldwide during this period of hardship.

This together with the fact that the web's providing a platform for success - Woolies is coming back as an e-commerce only proposition - means the online user experience is now more important than ever to stand out in a harsh landscape. But can you create a good user experience (UX) without breaking the bank? Let's look at some user experience 'wise buys' to be had in today's cash-strapped economy.
Know your audience and their goals

Who's coming to your site? This may sound simple but it's surprising how many organisations aren't aware of this information. Run an online survey on your site to find out more about who your customers actually are. This can then be broken down into a clearer segmentation to give you a basic view of your audience. Tools like SurveyMonkey11 make this easy and are reasonably priced.

Also find out why people are visiting your site. What are they looking for or hoping to achieve? Only by discovering their needs can you check if the site meets them. And if it doesn't, you're armed with this valuable data to direct your efforts in ensuring customer needs are fulfilled.

Check your navigation and search

Browsing and searching are the 2 main ways of accessing information on a website. The online population is split 50:50 in terms of preference for one or the other so both need equal attention and care. How are your search and navigation faring? It might be time for some usability testing20 to check on the status quo.

When considering your navigation, think about how your content's structured and classified. Is it meaningful to your users or is it mired in internal intricacies? Card sorting21 is the technique to create a user-centred navigation. This doesn't have to be an expensive exercise requiring a huge investment. Automated tools that minimise the facilitation required and extend the reach can help keep the costs down.

Ensure your site search is clearly identifiable, consistently placed in the top right and forgiving of common typing errors. Are your search results presented in a logical manner? The value of a good back-end search can't be underestimated as web users now expect the efficacy of Google wherever they encounter search.

Considering a new feature or even a re-design?

Does the proposed change meet site visitor needs? Before embarking upon a change, find out from your customers whether it's what they want and need. Needless to say, if ever there was a time when ROI needed certainty this is it. User interviews22 are your best bet here. Make sure the resulting user needs are incorporated into the other requirements that may have been gathered.

Will design involve users to ensure it's in keeping with these requirements and that it flows right? The most cost-effective way of making sure the new design's along the right user experience lines is to create low-fidelity, throwaway wireframes and test these with your target audience. These blueprints can be as basic as paper sketches.

Resist the temptation to skip testing and go full steam ahead in creating something that's nearly finished because the earlier a design's validated, the cheaper it is to fix faults and the less effort you've wasted.
Free SEO keywords and analytics

Good usability and good search engine optimisation (SEO) go hand in hand. Tailor your site to what your audience is thinking and that's what they'll type into the search engines! Want to find out what your site visitors are searching for? Try the Google AdWords Keyword23 tool - it shows what's been searched for on a given URL in the previous month.

Another valuable addition to your toolkit is Google Analytics24, which lets you analyse website statistics. This allows a strong tie-in of the UX changes to demonstrable ROI, which in turn can only promote buy-in of the user-centred philosophy throughout your organisation.
In a nutshell

While budgets are restrained in a recession, contrary to what may seem logical, it's time to invest wisely to get your website in order. Not only does this provide your business with an edge and may well ensure survival but it also puts you ahead of the game when the economy turns round and things pick up.

This article was written by Mrudula Kodali a senior consultant at the user experience consultancy25, Webcredible. Mru's passionate about improving the user experience of websites and is responsible for leading a variety of user experience projects including eyetracking26 and information architecture27.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tips to Increase Success of Internet Business

The following 10 tips can substantially increase your chances of online business success:

1. Target the Un-Targeted:
Know your customers thoroughly and target those needs that are unseen by your competitors.

eBay is a bright example. eBay was quick to recognize peoples' desire to earn economic profits by trading second-hand products. eBay realized the need for a platform where such buyers and sellers could meet and trade. ECommerce technologies helped eBay to create the required platform required and the rest is history.

When you are new to online business- Start Small but Start Right.

2. Strong Business Planning:
Have complete knowledge of your revenue source, break-even duration and other important strategic details from the beginning, and decide on the milestones that are to be achieved. You should know the right moment to expand your business and plan for future sources of revenue.

The Internet business has a cruel history of bringing about disastrous changes at phenomenal speed. Be prepared to face such upheavals and have plans in place to manage such turbulent times.

3. Business Friendly ECommerce Software:
Always choose software that is easy to manage and allows you to focus on your core business activities.

Choose an ECommerce solution that fits your business requirements. Analyze ECommerce software in terms of its scalability, security and the amount of customization allowed.

Invest in a solution that not only meets your present requirements, but also is capable of accommodating your future business needs.

4. Create a Web Store with a Difference:
Visual memory is more enduring than textual memory. Correct branding is important for the success of your online business. Increase your brand recall by creating an estore that is in tune with the likes and dislikes of your targeted customers.

Learn more about your customers and create unique branding by using distinct color combinations, site layout and innovative logo. Attractive display of your domain name can also play an important role in branding your online store.

Be different (but not vague) in order to create a positive appeal in the minds of your customers for achieving esuccess.

5. Make your “Hot Sellers” most Visible:
Attract a customer and advertise your USP first.

Create your estore in such a manner that when a visitor leaves your online store, s/he is aware of your specialty even if they do not intend on purchasing those products.

To clarify: Let us assume you are an online flower vendor specializing in selling fresh red roses. Create your online storefront in a way that when a visitor leaves your storefront, s/he is aware about your specialty even though he may not have seen the Red Roses section. So the next time the visitor intends to buy red roses, they will be very likely to recall your storefront.

Highlight your best product/service first in your estore.

6. Do not let your Customers forget you:
Customer Relationship Management is of prime importance, especially when you are small and struggling to build a persistent customer base. Develop innovative ways to inform past customers about new products and the latest updates to the web store. Your chosen ECommerce solution should have provisions for incorporating various CRM campaigns. Adopt Innovative communication for communicating with your customers.

Pamper your customers to generate permanent sales in order ensure the success of your online business.

7. Increase your Web Presence:
Make your presence felt by carrying out intelligent marketing over the Internet. Perform search engine optimization (SEO) for your site, since the majority of buyers visit websites after spotting them come in the first three or four pages of search engine results. You can either hire professional services or carry out Internet marketing by yourself.

Associate yourself with web sites providing complimentary products or services on the Internet. This helps you in increasing your web presence both for search engines and for your customers.

Intelligent marketing alone will get you customers.

8. Build Robust Backend Operations:
Backend operations are the backbone of your online storefront. Spend time in analyzing the backend operations provided by the ECommerce software. Features such as Inventory management processing, credit card processing, reporting systems etc. will shape your first impression.

All your backend operations are expected to be accurate, scalable and provide real time data. Your choice of ECommerce solution would largely determine the strength of your backend operations.

A potential threat to your ECommerce operations is systems failure owning to faulty backend operations. Ensure the existence of a strong backend platform before opening for business.

9. Learn Faster and Better:
To err is human, but failing to cover yourself and allowing your competitors to exploit your loopholes, is suicidal and is a major threat to E-Success.

Always have an unbiased assessment of your online business and be prepared to spot your mistakes. Learn the art of covering your mistakes and rectify them before your competitors come to know about them.

Business is all about speed. Speed is essential in identifying and rectifying mistakes. You need to learn about your loopholes and mistakes faster than your competitors and rectify them effectively.

10. Surprise your Customers:
Surprise your customers with frequent changes in your business offerings. Add incentives by providing surprise offers, price discounts etc.

Your estore can also help to add life to your business enterprise. Perform regular enhancements to look and feel, the display of products etc of your online storefront. Make changes that do not detract from the brand image in the minds of your customers. Make sure, as well, that the changes are not unattractive or are too frequent.

Constantly innovating while remaining focused on your business goals will lead to success in your online business.

Make Money Online through Internet Business

The internet is not just good for reading The Onion and posting pictures of your pet hamster to your social networking sites.
If you spend any amount of time online, you know that there is money to be made out here in cyberspace; and many of the pioneers in this still vastly uncharted territory have struck it rich with little more than their personal computers and an eye for opportunity. So, how can you get in on the action? Here’s 16 ways that just about anyone (not just geeks) can use to make money online:
1. PPC and CPM Advertising

PPC (Pay Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per Mille) advertising are similar animals. Both require that you place a small bit of code on your site which automatically generates ads of various shapes and sizes (usually depending on your preferences). PPC ads pay you per number of time someone actually clicks on the ad; CPM pays you per number of impressions that their ads get on your site. The amount of the payout is very small—often a fraction of a cent per click or impression–but if you have a large volume of traffic to your site, it can add up quickly.

2. Affiliate Marketing (a/k/a CPA)

Affiliate Marketing requires that apply for membership in an ‘affiliate network.’ That is, an agency that maintains and monitors accounts for various companies who are willing to pay individuals for sales generated through their websites. Again, a small bit of code is placed on your site to generate ads; and when someone clicks on the ad, your unique affiliate number is automatically associated with that person’s IP address. If that individual buys a product from the advertiser, you receive a commission on the sale. Commissions can range between 5-20%, or they can be a flat fee per sale.

3. Banner Advertising

Banner advertising is used along with PPC, CPM, and Affiliate marketing. A banner is simply a graphic ad that you can sell in any size or shape you wish. Banner ads can be animated, they can rotate through a series of images, or they can be static. In addition to being used with other types of advertising, individual website owners can simply sell banner space at a flat fee or negotiate their own PPC/CPM with independent advertisers which don’t belong to an affiliate network.

4. Audio Ads

Audio ads begin playing as soon as you land on a website where they are installed. This is a relatively new development in the world of online advertising, and there is some debate about whether or not these are effective or annoying. Audio ad pioneers say they are incredibly effective in getting the user to respond to the ad. Like other ads, you get paid per play or per impression, depending on the advertiser.

5. In-Text Advertising

In-Text advertising is one of the least obtrusive internet advertising techniques. Basically, hyperlinks are placed within relevant text on your website and distinguished from regular links by a double underline. When you place your mouse cursor over the text, a small box appears with additional information on the product or service being advertised. There are advertising services which, when installed, will automatically place the links for you and will even allow you to set parameters for the products you allow to be sold through your site.

6. RSS Feed Ads

RSS Feeds are incredibly convenient for websites that update content frequently. The feeds deliver all the new content from websites that the reader subscribes to; making it possible to stay updated on news and information on multiple websites without having to visit each one. That’s great for the reader, but not so much for you if you rely on fresh eyes for your advertising revenues. Thankfully RSS Feed Ads are now available. These allow you to place both graphic and text ads within your RSS feeds so that they are visible to all your subscribers.

7. Popups

Popup ads were, at one time, all the rage with online advertisers. When you visited a site, a box would immediately pop up (hence the name), preventing you from seeing the information you needed until you either entered the information required by the advertiser or at the very least, read through the ad inside. Then, tragedy struck! Someone invented the popup blocker. To be fair, pop ups are pretty annoying; but they are still fairly popular with online advertisers. They are especially useful for capturing bits of information for PPA (pay per action) ad campaigns where you are paid for capturing email addresses or other pieces of information from the user.
8. Sponsored Reviews

A sponsored review is basically an advertiser paying a blogger to write about their product or service. This can either be done through a ‘review site’ which facilitates the meet ups between bloggers and advertisers; or it can be done by individual bloggers who offer the service to advertisers for a flat fee.

9. Ebook Sales

If you’ve got a blog or website about a particular niche, why not capitalize on it by writing an ebook? Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a brilliant writer to create a useful handbook on a subject that you are familiar with. If you write a blog, you can write a decent ebook. However, if you don’t have the time or the energy to write one you can hire a ghostwriter and then all you need to do is worry about marketing and selling it.

10. Sell Your Website

Some people live for the thrill of a new project. If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider earning money by starting up and establishing new websites and then selling them off for profit.

11. Sponsored columns, events, or posts

This is a simple idea that gets back to basics. Simply having a sponsor for regular columns or posts on your site is a great way to earn money. “The Weekly So-and-So brought to you by…” not only earns you money from your sponsor, but it builds a steady readership as people come back week after week for your special content.
12. Premium Content

If you’ve built up a solid website with some really excellent resources, you may consider charging people for access to your premium content. That means creating an area that non-members cannot access unless they pay a small fee. For people who are able to offer readers valuable information, this is a great way to generate some income and help your readers appreciate your content more.

Dot com company

A dot-com company, or simply a dot-com (alternatively rendered or dot com), is a company that does most of its business on the Internet, usually through a website that uses the popular top-level domain, ".com" (in turn derived from the word "commercial").Dotcom companies had access to extraordinarily large amounts of funding as the Internet attracted billions of dollars in investment, dragged countless corporations and consumers online and generated hype not seen since the biotech days. Successful dotcom companies of the future must do more than just emulate their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

Monday, June 8, 2009

E-Commerce solution must include features

The facts show that the future of your retail business may depend on how and when you capitalize on E-Commerce.
In order to compete effectively, your E-Commerce solution must include the following features:

* Verifiable compliance with FTC Internet Security and Anti-Fraud regulations
* Real time US shipping modules (instantly tracks exact shipping costs and adds to product sales price to control your costs)
* Multiple gateways and links to your store and your individual items and departments
* Automatic notification of sales transactions
* Hands on individual computer training to setup your on-line store front and excellent live and on-line technical support
* User-friendly interface allowing you to easily manage your E-Commerce store from anywhere in the world
* Unlimited number of products and departments with full, flexible control over product formatting.

Creating a successful online shopping store

To create a successful online shopping store is not a simple task.
First you need to set up a website, which involves hardware installation (computer, hard disk, networking, etc), software development and installation (shopping cart, etc), and web page design to make your website attractive to your customers. After that, you get into a cycle of the following tasks:

1. Data processing
2. Collecting product data from the suppliers.
3. Updating the product data in your database, including adding new products, removing obsolete products.
4. Computing a competitive price that maximizes your profit.

1. Uploading product data (i.e., web feeds) to leading Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs) such as Yahoo! Shopping, Google Product Search, and
2. Adding information to your web pages for search engine optimization (SEO). The easier your products are searched by search engines, the more visitors will visit your website.
3. Sending emails to your customers.

Checking the results of your promotion
You need to know which online marketing initiatives are cost effective and to see how visitors actually interact with your site. For example, the sequence of the visited web pages, how many of the visitors actually purchase products.

To do these tasks once in a while with a small quantity of products is probably not a big deal. However, it is a daunting task to handle hundreds or even thousands of products several times a week. A big company can probably hire a team of engineers to handle most of the tasks mentioned above, and contract certain tasks (e.g., SEO, email marketing) to outside companies. For a medium or small company, it will be very expensive to maintain a development team or contract different tasks to different companies.

This seminar discusses the techniques of providing a one-stop service for eCommerce companies. For example, one can automatically collect product data from the website of a retailer's suppliers, compute the price for each product based on a set of criteria, update the reatialer's website, embed SEO and web analysis information in each product data, and send the product data to leading Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) such as Yahoo! Shopping, Google Product Search, and

Specialties of E-commerce

Making the decision to take your business online can present you with many opportunities. E-commerce is unique in that it levels the playing field between small businesses and the largest of multinational corporations. A well-designed website makes it difficult to tell the difference between the two. In addition, not only can an E-commerce website serve as a powerful, profitable branding tool, the Internet enables customers around the world to shop your site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

E-commerce is growing at an exponential rate each year as more and more businesses start to sell their products online. E-commerce sales will double by 2012.

Making the decision to take your business online can present you with many opportunities. E-commerce is unique in that it levels the playing field between small businesses and the largest of multinational corporations. A well-designed website makes it difficult to tell the difference between the two. In addition, not only can an E-commerce website serve as a powerful, profitable branding tool, the Internet enables customers around the world to shop your site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ecommerce solutions are one of our specialties, for the following reasons:

1. Control every facet of your store, from merchandising to promotions and mores
2. Internet marketing that drives customers to our clients' sites
3. Enhanced website usability that makes customers confident in buying online

Our results-driven approach propels the success of your online business. From our secure and feature-rich shopping cart program, to our proven Internet marketing methodology, we offer custom Ecommerce solutions that maximize the return on your investment.

Ecommerce is the fastest growing market in history. With the help of the Internet, local companies can compete on the global marketplace.

eCommerce and marketing that create sales

An ecommerce website is not only a great tool for your company, but also your ecommerce website will function as a catalog of your products and services to the world. Make sure that the company that creates your ecommerce website has the knowledge and the capability to create a quality website for you.

There are many website design companies that can provide you with an ecommerce website; however, an ecommerce website from NetLogical is more than that. A team of experienced professional people will make sure that your website has been designed using proven technology and methods that will guarantee that your ecommerce website is reliable. Also our approach to design your website has been tested and verified to work. We are a company that is proud to develop and maintain one of the best customer experience ecommerce websites that you will see on the Internet. Selling on the Internet does not have to be hard!

On the Internet, one of the most important things for an ecommerce website is the marketing. There are many avenues that you can take to market your products and services; however, some work and others do not. We see your ecommerce website as a living thing. It needs to be nurtured with information. It needs to grow and expand with your needs. It needs to be able to reach and communicate with your customers, so they can understand your products or services. It needs to learn to be more efficient. All these and more are necessary for the marketing of your ecommerce website. We can help you with all of it with our ecommerce marketing plans.

Introduction to E-commerce(Internet Business)

Long time ago, people only can buy and sell things or do trading through the real world media but when people are facing transition to the digital media, we know and were introduced to e-commerce, the internet business. Electronic Commerce, commonly known as(electronic marketing) e-commerce or eCommerce, consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily with widespread Internet usage. The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction's lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail as well.