Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Part XIII - Social Networking

A more recent internet phenomenon is social networking. Social Networking sites allow users to create personal webpages, include pictures, videos, blogs and other sharable media. Friends and family can view this media, give feedback, and post it to their own page. There are also a number of means to communicate with people by posting bulletins, posting comments to another user’s page and sending email.

The success of social networking can be seen in the success of MySpace.com and FaceBook.com. These billion dollar companies have tapped into the desire of many internet users to connect with old and new friends via the web or through similar interests.

Businesses have taken advantage of these platforms to increase communication with customers, and potential customers. This platform allows you to connect with more web users, and communicate directly with them. These platforms also can generate more links to your website, increasing your traffic and our PageRank.

It is important to remember that these platforms and forums are not there for you to get up on your soap box and tell the world how great you are. That is what press releases are for. It is best if you use them as a way to answer questions people have about about your industry. For example, if someone posts a question about the difference between Sleeping Beauty and Kingman turquoise, an informative forum response can expose you to new customers and let them know that you know what you're talking about.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Part XII - Social Book Marking

Social book marking is a relatively new phenomenon on the internet. Basically, an individual saves web pages or web sites that they like to a second website where they can share this information with others. Social bookmarks are considered highly reliable since they are not based on paid advertisements, but true opinions of other web users. Examples of social book marking sites include del.icio.us, Blue Dot, Diigo, Furl, My Web (Yahoo!), Netvouz, Simpy, StumbleUpon, Kaboodle and BibSonomy. All of these sites provide different features, but the applications are basically the same.

When users book mark your site, they are creating a new link to your site, creating more links. Second, these links expose your site to new users with similar interests, increasing your traffic and customer base.

You can increase the number of users that book mark your site by giving them the tools to bookmark your web site. A simple link, or even a web page that allows users to easily add your site to their book mark list is often all that is needed. Visit the websites listed above, and make yourself familiar with how they work. Many of these sites will offer tools to you to help increase your visibility on their site.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Part XI - Shopping Indexes

The web is filled with information for users to find anything, including the best prices on products they want to buy. Users go to shopping indexes, and search for products they want. Users can then compare prices side-by-side and go to the vendor’s site for more information or purchase.

Some shopping indexes provide this service free to both vendors and customers. Google’s shopping index called froogle.com offers this service for free. Yahoo!’s shopping site requires you to create a store on Yahoo!, which costs money. Amazon allows you to set up a store through them, which also costs money, but could generate more exposure. Integrating with these shopping indexes will increase the number of links to your website, and could generate more leads for customers to your website.

Do a search for shopping websites and see what different sites require. If their needs are more technical than you can handle, find out how much it would cost to have someone take care of the technical side, or teach you how.

Shopping indexes can be a great way to increase the exposure of your site and your products. Be sure to carefully weight the costs and payoffs associated with including your products in shopping indexes.