Archive for August, 2012

Banner Ads: Go Big or Go Home

Getting Started With Banner Ads

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If you've been in the Internet marketing business over the past few years, you've probably heard more than once that "banner ads are dead." It's such a common (and blatant) misconception that it almost seems deliberate. You hear it every time you turn around, but if you actually talk to big players in the business about where they get their traffic, the most common answer you'll get is "media buys." Folks, "media buys" means banner ads.

Banner ads are probably the single most scalable sources of traffic available online. Banner advertising is what you do when you want to get your offer in front of tens or even hundreds of millions of eyeballs per month. Nothing else even comes close. The smaller players do SEO or PPC or PPV; the big players do media buys, and they can bring in more traffic than all those AdWords or SEO or Facebook campaigns combined.
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Doing Web Design for Mobile

There are now more web-enabled mobile devices on the planet than there are computers. The total number of such devices is expected to hit 1 billion by the year 2013. What does this mean to you? First and foremost, if your site isn't mobile-compatible, you're almost certainly leaving a lot of money on the table.

That said, enabling your site for mobile properly is not the simplest job you will ever have to do. There are a lot of issues to consider if you want to get it right.

Designing for Mobile: Problem #1

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The biggest single problem with designing a site for portable devices is that there are a huge number of them. What do you design for? How do you approach the problem efficiently?

You've got the iPhone, which is clearly the front-runner right now. But then there's the iPad, Android devices, BlackBerry, and even the Windows tablet. You simply can't code a separate version of your site for each one, there are far too many to do that.

On the other hand, you can't do a one-size-fits-all, as so many people used to do. There's just far too much difference in capabilities between devices. A site that works for the iPhone or Android devices, with their smaller screens, will be horribly frustrating for an iPad or other tablet user.
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The fallout from Google's latest update, code named "Penguin," continues. This has affected a lot of people in the Internet marketing industry, often more severely than even the previous "Panda" update. Penguin has targeted a lot of low quality link strategies specifically, earning it the nickname "The Webspam Update."

Both of these updates were intended to increase the quality of Google search results, but in very different ways. Panda applied advanced artificial intelligence techniques and focused more on the content of the pages being ranked; for example, if too large a percentage of the page was taken up by advertisement space, it caused a penalty.

Penguin focuses more on the types of links coming to the page. It targets "low quality" link strategies, discounting links from known link farms, and so on. Basically, if your SEO strategy is based mainly on having lots of low-PR backlinks to your site, you probably got nailed by Penguin.
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Security Issues With WordPress

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So, you're using WordPress for your blog or other marketing website. Great! WordPress is a fantastic piece of software, and in and of itself is extremely secure.

The problems start when you begin to extend the capabilities of WordPress with custom plugins and themes. Because of this extensible nature of WordPress, it is one of the most hacked platforms on the net.

The problem is that these add-ons often have not had nearly as much security vetting as they should, certainly not as much as the core code of WordPress itself. This leads to all sorts of potential security problems, and since the only security auditing done on most plugins is that done by the authors themselves, security holes can exist for months or even years.
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One of the most important skills you should be developing as a marketer is your copywriting. If, like a lot of people, you haven't done any writing more in-depth than a grocery list since high school (or college), this can seem like a daunting task. But you have some fantastic tools at your disposal to help you with this that you may not even recognize.

If you are doing affiliate marketing for major product launches, something you can be guaranteed will be provided is affiliates' resources. And something you'll find on any high-quality affiliates' resources page is swipe files. Don't just think of these as marketing tools -- think of them as learning opportunities!

Copying By Hand

Strange as it may seem, this is one of the best ways to learn copy. It's time consuming, even tedious sometimes, but very effective; so effective in fact that it is included in the standard training program of the American Writers and Artists, Inc. (AWAI) as a core practice.
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