Online shopping has quickly outstretched high street shopping for popularity and overall spend

6 Steps To Improve Customer Loyalty From Site Visitors:
Online shopping has quickly outstretched high street shopping for popularity and overall spend. One of the big advantages that consumers gain is the ability to comparison shop for a better deal. However, for the e-store owner or service provider, this can make it difficult to survive without offering the lowest prices and the greatest deals. Decreasing prices has an obvious effect on your revenue and profit so it is vital that you aim for the right target market and attempt to build customer loyalty.

Customer loyalty means repeat business and repeat customers offer the lowest marketing spend requirements. As such, improving customer loyalty can vastly reduce your spend and increase your ROI. Many of the methods of retaining customers for your website are developed from tried and trusted methods used by large organizations and businesses offline.

Know Your Target Markets

By really getting to know and understand your target markets you will have a much greater understanding what it is that they’re after. By learning this kind of information you will be better placed to send out relevant after-sales communication and entice your buyers to buy more.

Know Your Competitors

Knowing what your competitors are selling and for how much will help you determine the best prices for your own products. If you have a good customer retention rate it is often possible to increase the amount you pay for a new customer or reduce your prices without affecting your overall profit too much.

Customer Service

Perhaps the first aspect that many of us consider when looking at customer retention rates is customer service. You must supply a high level of customer service. If you go the extra mile for your customer, they will go the extra mile to come back to your site. Being polite in all communications is only a very small part of good customer service. Everything from your website content to complaint responses need to be well thought out and geared towards retaining customers.

Branding

The more synonymous your website becomes with the products or services you sell, the more likely that people will return to your site. Make sure that all of your web pages, emails, newsletters, invoices, and other forms of communication include your web address at the very least. Make it memorable and don’t chop and change designs and logos unless a re-branding is deemed absolutely necessary.

After-Sales Communication

There is an art to after sales communication, and it is an art that you need to learn to master. So, your website operates online, but that doesn’t mean that the whole of your business has to. If you sell digital products that are downloaded then ensure that emails and all online communication includes your branding. If you sell physical products, then your paper invoices, and everything down to your packing labels should also be branded.

Get Your Visitors Involved

Involving your site visitors will help to bring them back to your site time and time again. Web 2.0 applications provide a plethora of ways to involve site visitors. Blogs, forums, and any interactive tool will help to make your site bookmarkable. Even for visitors that don’t take action while on your site, you will attract them back more frequently, and the more exposure a visitor has to your website, the more likely they become to make a purchase.

Why Customer Loyalty Is Important To Your Business Website

Return visitors or return customers are one of your greatest assets. You’ve already done a lot of the hard work with your preliminary marketing campaigns. Ensure that everything from your website to your email newsletter to your packing slips are effectively branded with your website details and always uphold the highest level of customer service and communication. If you can get your site visitors more involved in your site then you stand to profit even more from customer loyalty.

About the Author: Omaro Ailoch is a senior software engineer, an entrepreneur and the founder of OC IT Services a highly skilled California based web development, design, and search engine optimization firm.

Do you have a new product or an existing product that you’d like to promote on search engines

Promoting Your Products with Search Engine Marketing: Do you have a new product or an existing product that you’d like to promote? Search engine marketing can be an effective technique if you know how to optimize your online campaigns and manage your marketing spends effectively.

Most major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN offer pay-per-click advertising. Additionally, you can find search engine marketing opportunities that are associated with an annual fee such as ExactSeek.

You can expect less traffic from second tier search engines like ExactSeek simply because these engines reach a much smaller audience. None-the-less, using second tier search engines can be a great value depending on how competitive the keywords are that can be associated with your product.

Search engine marketing is largely focused on using pay-per-click advertising to promote and sell your product. There are generally two approaches that you can take to best utilize this marketing method. The first approach is to use common keywords associated with your product or service. The second method is to use long-tail keywords or keyword phrases.

Search engines like Google make it very easy to find appropriate keywords to promote your website. Once you set up a Google Adwords account, you can have Google spider your site and propose relevant search terms. When evaluating the list, look for those search terms that are frequently searched for but face little competition. This results in a list of targeted keywords that you can promote.

You can also use the Overture keyword search tool which is available online. Simply enter the common search term or phrases associated with your website and evaluate search traffic results. The only downside to using this method is that you will only know how popular the search terms are but not the competitiveness of the terms.

Long tail keywords involve searching for common search phrases that have little traffic but also very little competition. Again, you can use Google or other tools to find these long-tail keywords. Taken in isolation, a few long-tail keywords won’t generate significant clicks or revenue for you. However, when bidding on dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of these long-tail keywords, you may find that you can generate significant traffic and conversions.

One of the key aspects of search engine marketing, regardless of which search engine you choose, is measuring the effectiveness of your keyword campaigns. With the help of Google tracking, this is easier than ever. By placing a small block of code on your payment confirmation (thank you) page, Google conversion tracking can tie the sale back to the specific text link or display ad that generated the sale.

Evaluate this information on a regular basis and fine tune your online search marketing campaigns. You should also set daily spending caps for your keyword related efforts.

Depending on the keywords you choose, the quantity of those keywords, and so on, your costs can be significant. Daily caps protect you by setting a maximum spend for your campaign.

Search engine marketing is a great way to promote a new or existing product or service if you carefully select your keyword phrases, place caps on your daily spend, and track conversions. When using this form of online marketing, pay attention to your successes and failures and reinvest

About the Author: Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert with more than 12 years of marketing experience.

What was there before Google, the history of Search engines

History of the Search Engine – What Came Before Google?
Although we credit Google, Yahoo, and other major search engines for giving us the system we use to find the information we seek, the concept of hypertext came to life in 1945 when Vannaver Bush urged scientist to work together to help build a body of knowledge for all man kind. He then proposed the idea of a virtually limitless, fast, reliable, extensible, associative memory storage and retrieval system. He named this device a memex.

But there is a long list of great minds that have given us the information system we now use today. This article illustrates some of them. Here is the History of the Search Engine:

Ted Nelson
Ted Nelson created Project Xanadu in 1960 and coined the term hypertext in 1963. His goal with Project Xanadu was to create a computer network with a simple user interface that solved many social problems like attribution. While Ted’s project Xanadu, for reasons unknown, never really took off, much of the inspiration to create the WWW came from Ted’s work.

George Salton
George Salton was the father of modern search technology. He died in August of 1995. His teams at Harvard and Cornell developed the Saltons Magic Automatic Retriever of Text, otherwise known as the SMART informational retrieval system. It included important concepts like the vector space model, Inverse Document Frequency (IDF), Term Frequency (TF), term discrimination values, and relevancy feedback mechanisms. His book A theory of indexing explains many of his tests. Search today is still based on much of his theories. History of the search engine uses some of the same techniques even today.

Alan Emtage
In 1990 a student at McGill University in Montreal, by the name of Alan Emtage created Archie; the first search engine. It was invented to index FTP archives, allowing people to quickly access specific files. Archie users could utilize Archie’s services through a variety of methods including e-mail queries, telneting directly to a server, and eventually through the World Wide Web interfaces. Archie only indexed computer files. With Archie, Alan Emtage helped to solve the data scatter problem. Originally, it was to be named archives but was changed to Archie for short.

Paul Lindner and Mark P. McCahill
Archie gained such popularity that in 1991 Paul Linder and Mark P. McCahill created a text based information browsing system that uses a menu-driven interface to pull information from across the globe to the user’s computer. Named for the Golden Gophers mascot at the University of Minnesota, the name is fitting, because Gopher tunnels through other Gophers located in computers around the world, arranging data in a hierarchical series of menus, which users can search for specific topics.

Tim Berners-Lee
Up until 1991 until there was no World Wide Web. The main method of sharing information was via FTP. Tim Berners-Lee wanted to join hypertext with the internet. He used similar ideas to those underlying the Enquire (a prototype created with help from Robert Cailliau) to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first web browser and editor, called WorldWideWeb, and developed on NeXTSTEP. He then created the first Web server called httpd, short for HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon.

The first Web site built was at: http://info.cern.ch / and was first put online on August 6, 1991. Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web Consortium in 1994. Tim also created the Virtual Web library which is the oldest catalogue of the web. The history of the search engine is a fascinating story

About the Author: Jeff Casmer is an internet marketing consultant and work at home business owner. For more information on search engines optimization please visit his “Top Ranked” Improve Search Engine Rankings Directory gives you all the information you need to Work at Home in the 21st century

How to improve email marketing campaigns

2 Dozen Ways to Improve Your E-Mail Marketing Results
I suppose I can title this article “25 Email Marketing Mistakes I’ve Made.” But rather than focus on the negative, below I’ve outlined the best practices I’ve come to adopt over the years. Hope you find something here useful.

1. Diversify your Content: If your entire email focuses on one product, service, or topic, you risk alienating all but the few people who will be interested. Unless you have segmented your database based on previous behavior, do not send an email on only 1 topic. I consistently find that the click through rate increases in proportion with varied content.

2. Don’t Stress about Spam Words: Many experts will tell you to avoid words like “free” or “sale”. In my opinion, ISPs tend to be moving away from content based spam filtering in favor of reputation based filtering. In other words, your sending IP address and from email are more important than whether or not your email contains certain words. Personally, I’ve used words like “free” in the subject line without any affect on delivery rates.

3. Make it Readable with Images Disabled: Always take into account the appearance of your email with images disabled. For email clients such as Outlook, this is now the default feature. Even popular web mails like Hotmail now disable images unless the sender is in the address book of the recipient. The best tactic to create readable emails with images block is use an alt description.

4. Create an Online Version: Always provide an online version of your email for users having trouble viewing images. I’ve calculated from emails I’ve sent in the past that around 5% of users will use this feature.

5. Remove Inactive Subscribers: Inactive subscribers are the most likely to get you in trouble by clicking the spam button. Consider automatically removing a subscriber that hasn’t opened an email in several months.

6. Proofreading: Always have every email proofread by at least 2 detail oriented people. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a typo in an email blast.

7. Monitor Replies: When you send out thousands of emails, you’re bound to get a few replies. Occasionally, you’ll get some good feedback from your subscribers. In addition, some people reply with unsubscribe requests.

8. Unsubscribe at Top: I know what you’re thinking, “At the TOP!?” Yes, at the top. Lazy unsubscribers have a tendency to click the spam button instead scrolling down to find the unsubscribe link. By placing the link at the top, you might increase your unsubscribe rate, but that’s better than an inflated spam complaint count.

9. Don’t Over or Under Mail: If you send too much, you’ll get deleted or marked as spam. Oddly enough, if you send once every 3 months you may have the same problem. Keep your brand top of mind for your customers by finding the perfect balance between over and under mailing.

10. Forward to Friend Feature: Many users automatically do this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. First time potential customers can be very open to a company when it is introduced by a friend or colleague.

11. Subscribe Feature for Forwards: Make it easy for potential new subscribers to subscribe if they receive your email as a forward. Include somewhere in the body a subscribe link.

12. White List Reminder: If you want your subscribers to add you to their white list or address book, you need to ask. Sure, not everyone will add you. However, those who do are likely the people who care most about receiving your emails and, therefore, you have the most to lose if your emails get flagged as spam.

13. Single Click Unsubscribe: I generally recommend keeping the unsubscribe as simple as possible. However, you may want to confirm the action if you place your unsubscribe at the top of every email in case users click the link on accident.

14. Privacy Policy: Always place your privacy policy at the bottom of every email. Assure customers that you obtained their email address in a legitimate fashion, and you will not sell their personal info.

15. Don’t Rent Lists: Some may disagree on this, but I’ve never seen anything good come from a rented list. Don’t risk your sender reputation with emails from questionable sources. If you want to reach a new audience, consider a joint venture with another firm in a similar but non-competing industry.

16. Develop your Brand: Remember that your emails will slowly build your brand in the minds of your subscribers. Even if they never click-through and make a purchase, be sure to keep a consistent and accurate corporate image with your email content.

17. Call to Action: Each section must contain a specific call to action that avoids vague phrases like “click here.” You’ll be surprised how an effective call to action button or link can improve your click through rate.

18. Mix Freebies with Products: Too much selling can burn people out. Engage your subscribers with useful, free content. For example, if you sell home theater equipment, send out an article on the explaining the benefits of newer technologies. When you provide additional value to your customers with learning resources, they are sometimes even willing to pay more for your merchandise. In addition, strategies like this keep your brand top of mind.

19. Find Your “Tuesday”: For the eCommerce sites I’ve worked with, Tuesday morning has always resulted in the best open, click-through, and conversion rates. However, every company is different.

20. Same Day, Same Time: Be consistent in the time you send your emails for two reasons. First, the ISPs see inconsistency as a possible spam flag. Spammers can care less when they send out mass emails. Second, your customers will begin to anticipate your emails at a certain time each week, possibly increasing the likely hood of them opening and clicking through.

21. Keep the Good Stuff above the Fold: Remember that many email clients will obscure a large portion of your email unless the user scrolls down. Make sure the top 400 pixels are as engaging as possible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to send artwork back to the design department because the top of the email failed to grab your attention.

22. A/B Test 1 Variable at a Time: It took me far too long to learn this. For years, I would change several factors in each successive email blast, but never could find that perfect mix. If you really want to find out what works, you can only change 1 variable. For example, should the subject line be short or long? Keep the same content and split your list in 2, sending half a longer subject and the other half a shorter one. Do not change any other variables!

23. 600 Pixel Width: Due to the limitations of many email clients, stick with a width somewhere between 500 to 600 pixels wide.

24. Experiment with Subject Lines: I wish there was a magic principle I can share with you about subject lines. Unfortunately, there isn’t. The best we can do is test, test, and test again. Sometimes short subjects are better, sometimes long, sometimes intriguing, sometimes urgent, whatever works best for you. Here’s a great article on email subject lines.

25. Begin Segmentation & Personalization Now: In a few years, email marketers that don’t practice segmentation and personalization will be left in the dust. There are an endless number of ways to segment your email list. Some popular ways are by purchase behavior, geography, or ordering frequency.

As a long term strategy, I would also greatly encourage researching transactional and trigger based email marketing, as they tend to product much better open, click-through, and conversion rates. To learn more about eCommerce Email marketing, please visit the Palmer Ecommerce Marketing Blog

About the Author: Justin Palmer offers expert eCommerce consulting services and Do It Yourself search engine optimization lessons. In addition, Justin is the eCommerce director for C28.com, which sells Spiritual t-shirts and Witness wear

SEO is a basic marketing tool that everyone should use regardless of size

Search Engine Optimization for Small Business Owners
Small business owners are often limited by small marketing budgets and manpower. But that doesn’t mean they can’t compete against larger businesses or websites when focused on search engine optimization. SEO is a basic marketing tool that everyone should use regardless of size.

Can the small websites compete with the big guys?

I’m often asked by small business owners if they stand a chance against larger websites when it comes to organic search results. My response is that size doesn’t matter. When it comes to improving natural search results, it’s all about the keywords you choose and how competitive those keywords are.

What makes a keyword competitive?

One way to determine the competitiveness of a search term is to simply type that search term into Google and notice the number of web pages that contain that search term. This number appears in the upper right-hand corner of the search results page and appears as, “Results 1 – 10 of about 228,000,000 for [your search term here].”

The large number you see gives you an indication of how many websites contain the keyword term or phrase you’re searching for. Not all of these sites would necessarily be competitors, but have been indexed by Google none-the-less. From my perspective, when this number is less than 3 or 4 million, the particular search term would not be all that competitive in and of itself.

Determining just how competitive the search term is.

There are a variety of methods to determine true keyword effectiveness (KEI, etc.). However, if you’re just a regular person trying to figure out how difficult it will be to rank well for a particular keyword, consider the following. In addition to the number of sites that contain your keyword, how well optimized are the top 3 sites that appear on the search result. You can determine this by:

1. Visiting the site and determining the Google PR of the page. This information is available by downloading the Google toolbar and looking in your browser. You will see a green bar and ranking (ex: PR5), which tells you how Google ranks this page/website with regard to popularity. Any site with a Google PR6 or better is well established and will be difficult to outrank in the near term.

2. Visit Google and type, “link:www.competitorwebsite.com”. Be sure to replace ‘competitorwebsite’ with the website name you are researching. Remember, this should be a website that appears on the Google search result for the keyword term or phrase you’re researching. This will tell you how many sites are linking to this particular website. The larger the number the more difficult it will be to outrank.

3. Look at the website code. Simply visit the competitor’s website and go to “View”, “View Source”. Look for the meta tags of “Title”, “Description”, and “Keywords”. Are the meta tags at the very top of the page? Does the website also use h1, h2, and h3 tags? If so, they probably know something about SEO and have applied some on-page optimization techniques.

Using the above will give you a good sense of whether of not you can compete for given keywords. As you’ve figured out by now, a company’s size is no indication of their level of experience in optimizing their own website. You’d be surprise of the type (and size) of companies that call me for SEO advice.

Keep this in mind the next time you think that size matters!

About the Author: Michael Fleischner 

Is it Real that you can buy Traffic to your website?

Can you really buy web traffic?

Many people wonder about generating traffic to their websites through paid traffic offerings. This topic is highly debated among the industries top SEO managers because some believe in the practice and others do not.

Paid traffic services can be useful as part of an overall traffic generation strategy. I have used paid traffic services in the past and believe they do present some value when used in conjunction with Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and Email Marketing.

So What’s the Rub With Paid Traffic?

Have you ever wondered where paid traffic comes from? The services that generate paid traffic do it through a few key methods.

1. Traffic Exchange.

Using this method, these sites sell access to their traffic exchange networks where individuals surf for credits. As they earn credits viewing websites like yours, their ads/websites are displayed across the network for others to click on. If this method is being used, you may certainly experience a decrease in performance only because the same individuals are seeing your ad over and over, reducing their likelihood to click.

2. Search Engine Marketing.

A great way to generate traffic for others is through search engine marketing like Google, ExactSeek or Yahoo! Traffic generation sites buy keywords in bulk or many long-tail keywords and resell the traffic generated from them. If they can do this at a profit, its a win-win. This is a difficult strategy only because the cost of keywords change frequently based on industry demand.

3. List Marketing.

Traffic generation websites also generate traffic through email marketing and house lists. These techniques are usually leveraged through daily, weekly, and monthly electronic newsletters. Driving less traffic than the first two methods, the list marketing option usually rounds out a comprehensive traffic generation strategy.

So to answer the question about paying for traffic, is it worth? My answer is that as part of an overall traffic generation strategy, paying for traffic can be beneficial. It all comes down to how you use paid traffic acquisition as part of your overall marketing strategy, the quality of the traffic generated and the costs associated with the traffic.

The other factor to consider is the quality of the traffic you receive. The purpose of most traffic acquisition strategies is to improve sales, generate leads, and/or conversions. To that end, I would only recommend paying for traffic if you have a way to measure the traffic to your site, the path the traffic takes through your website and whether or not that traffic actually converts. Whether you consider a conversion to be the completion of a web form or the actual purchase of a product, your buying this traffic for one reason and one reason only – conversion. Keep this in mind before you spend any money on traffic.

Although you can find plenty of sites willing to give you traffic in exchange for a fixed fee, I personally prefer to sign up for my own traffic exchange, purchase my own keywords, and manage my newsletters and email lists. By doing so, I have a better handle on where the traffic is coming from and ultimately the value of this traffic. Keep that in mind before you run out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on acquiring traffic that may or may not convert for your web site.

About the Author: Michael Fleischner 

Tips to Create Marketing Strategy

Web Site Marketing Strategy Hints And Tips
Your web site marketing strategy is the essential factor that determines the success or failure of a business web site. This is true whether your web site is an extension of an offline business, or you run an completely online business. Web site marketing is unlike any marketing you may have done using other media.

However, marketing your web site on the internet shares many common core marketing foundations that underlie your marketing efforts regardless of the media you use. I am a strong believer that for a small business, all marketing should be based on the old direct marketing mantra of attention, interest, desire, and action. In this article I am going to discuss those aspects in terms of how they are crucial in marketing your web site on the internet.

Regardless of the media you choose, nothing will ever happen if you don’t attract the attention of prospective buyers. This is one of the very basic tenets of successful marketing. On the internet, this concept is evaluated by the traffic that you receive on your web site. But there are a lot of factors that affect how much traffic you get, and only part of it is the actual content of your web site. There are two ways you can get attention in any media: you can earn it or you can buy it.

All the major search engines (Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc.) show up two different types of results when a customer uses them.

The most relevant results based on the search algorithms used by the engine are called ‘free’ or ‘organic’ since they are the natural result of running a search.

The second type of result are actually paid advertisements, and they can be very difficult to distinguish from the results that are actually relevant to you query.

It is important to keep in mind that no matter how good the engine, the results are still hit or miss. It is a computer program sorting web pages based on mathematical formulae, not live people helping you select the best results, so as a person hoping to be indexed, you must be willing to put the time and effort into checking how you rank on the major engines and tuning your word choice to optimize that. If you can’t make it onto the first (or second at the very least) page of results, your traffic will drop dramatically! Most people don’t bother to wade through the hits on the pages after that. Even second-page ranking will hurt your ability to attract new users.

One of the most effective ways to increase internet traffic is buying some form of advertising. One of the most pervasive forms is banner advertising. Originally, these were very popular forms of advertising, but as they became more prevalent, their effectiveness waned. They can still be effective as long as you have a clear marketing strategy and are able to track your advertising statistics.

Text advertisements are probably the most common form of internet advertising today. Google has paved the way, and if done correctly, your internet traffic can multiply quickly by using Google ads. MSN and Yahoo also offer text advertisements on their sites. One downside to text advertising is that the cost can add up fairly quickly, depending on how many hits you receive for your ad. Each time a searcher clicks on your text ad, the provider charges you a set amount. Another way to increase traffic to your site is to buy traffic from someone who has an e-mail contact list or has a lot of traffic on their site already.

Any approach to publicizing your website or portal must begin with the aim of grabbing attention of the web surfers and internet addicts. To grab attention, you must deliver your message to surfers on websites they frequently visit. You can publicize your website by doing the hard work yourself or by availing expert help, or a mix of both.

Doing it yourself means you will have to commit your time, energy and money. It might sound daunting but ultimately proves to be cheaper as well. Availing expert help can get your results without eating your time. To set the cash registers ringing, it is suggested that you develop your own mix of both ways suited to your own needs and resources.

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About the Author: You can get more information about Business Marketing at http://www.BizRave.com . Eric Menzies writes about Search Engine Marketing Firms and other topics.

How to Combat Website Content Thieves

How to Combat Website Content Thieves

4 Steps to Combat Website Plagiarism

Publishing your website can be one of the most exciting times for a business owner. After all of your hard work and persistence, the whole world now has access to your products or services. You have either paid hundreds of dollars to have someone write your site content for you, or you have put your heart and soul (not to mention hour upon hour of hard work) into creating content of which you can be proud. In either case, you’ve invested time and/or money into your website copy. Now that it is out there for the whole world to see, it may be a target for all kinds of unscrupulous individuals.

Copyright infringement is a very common occurrence on the World Wide Web. How do you protect yourself? And, what can you do if someone steals your content?

It’s important for you to know that anything you have written is copyrighted. You can register a copyright, but you don’t need to in order for it to be illegal for someone to copy or reproduce your work without your permission. Any written text, painting, drawing, musical composition, photograph or computer program, be they published or not is protected by copyright law. Unfortunately, just because your work is copyrighted doesn’t mean it is safe. Some individuals don’t know that copyright laws apply to the internet, and others simply don’t care.

With millions of websites out there, it’s difficult to know if your website has been targeted by thieves. A great tool to use in the protection of your website content is www.copyscape.com. Simply enter your website URL and it will scan the web for you. This is a free service, but if you have been a frequent victim of copyright infringement, you might want to consider their paid service, which automatically scans the web regularly for any duplicates of your content.

What do you do if you are one of the unfortunate victims of copyright infringement? How can you deal with the offender and avoid the high cost of litigation? The following are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that the infringer removes your material from their website.

1. Contact the offender. You can usually visit the “contact” page of the offender’s website to obtain their contact information. If for some reason you can’t find their coordinates that way, you can perform a search for “who is” to find many sites that can provide information about the website owner by simply entering their URL. The website owner’s contact information should be posted here, but if not, their website host will be and you should contact them. Keep your first contact civil. Calling or emailing the responsible individual with a stern, yet professional demeanor will be much more effective than yelling or name calling. Remember that the owner of the site isn’t necessarily the writer, and if they are, then being nasty may not have the desired effect and in fact may create more problems for you in the long run.

2. Send a cease and desist order. If your initial contact didn’t get the desired results, your next step should be to send a cease and desist order. You do not need to hire a lawyer to create one for you. A simple search for “cease and desist order templates” should give you an order that can be altered to meet your needs. Send one copy by email and one copy by registered mail and make it look as official as possible. Include a date by which the material should be removed. You want the offender to know that you mean business.

3. If action is still not taken, send a cease and desist order to the offending party’s web host. Again, the host information is available by performing a search for “who is”. The majority of hosts will take action by temporarily removing the offender’s site until the copied material is removed.

4. The situation should be resolved at step 3, but one more step that can be taken is to notify search engines of the infringement. Performing a search for the “DMCA” or “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” policies for each search engine will provide the information you need to contact each of them in order to request that the offender’s website be removed.

Finally, it’s always advisable to protect yourself by keeping records of the dates your content was placed on your site. This ensures that the other party can be proven wrong it they claim to have posted their content first.

Placing your website and it’s content on the internet for the world to see is a proud moment. It’s nearly impossible for you to be able to prevent the theft of its content, but the next best thing is knowing what to do if it does happen.

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About the Author: Kelly Sims is a Virtual Assistant and Owner of Virtually There VA Services. To find out more about virtual assistance and how using a Virtual Assistant can simplify your life and increase your profitability, visit her website at => http://www.virtuallythereva.com  While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for her free monthly newsletter providing useful information that enhances and simplifies the lives of busy entrepreneurs.

Effectiveness of Multi-platform websites

XQuery: The Search Language For A Multi-Platform Future
The advent of wireless internet access has made web design a very complicated matter. Previously, all web browsers were created equal. HTML was the only language used to create web sites, and it was only possible to go online with a desktop PC.

Since the turn of the century, cyberspace has changed. It is now possible to surf the world wide web using a wide variety of wireless gadgets, such as cell phones, palm tops, laptops, computer screens in automobiles, etc. As a result, new programming languages and specifications that are more versatile than HTML have evolved to create websites that can be displayed on the new web browsers utilized by these various devices.

Languages such as XML, XHTML, XSL, and a host of other programming innovations were developed because web sites coded in basic HTML were not being displayed properly on the browsers installed on all these neat gadgets. XML is a language that enables data to be displayed across all platforms because XML is a simple text file that merely defines data, it does not tell the web browser how to display the data. XSL and XHTML were created so that XML could be transformed into a web page.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how and why programming has changed, you are ready for a brief introduction to the main topic of this article, XQuery. XQuery was invented so that there was a way to query data stored in an XML document, much the same way SQL is used to query a database.

XQuery uses simple functions to query a document. An XQuery function looks a little like a javascript function in that it uses parentheses containing an element that is to be the object of the function. With XQuery, the element in parentheses is typically the name of the document or file to be queried.

To find what it is looking for within that file, XQuery narrows its search by using path expressions that look a lot like the path for an ordinary file stored on your computer, with the various subsets of data within the XML file separated by backslashes. The predicate is the final component of an XQuery function. The predicate tells the function exactly what information, data, or range of data within a particular subset is to be extracted and returned to the user.

For example, an XML file for a dating website would contain a list of men and women who have posted their profiles on the website. Some of the people in the XML file might be classified as single, while others might classified as divorced. The XML file would also contain the age of each man and woman.

If a woman were to visit that dating website and perform a search for profiles of only single men who are over the age of 30, that search request would be converted into an XQuery function that would contain a path that would tell the function to search through the list of men who are classified as single, and the predicate would instruct the function to return only the profiles of the single men who are older than 30.

Learning how to use XML, XHTML, and XQuery is of critical importance to every web designer or programmer. There are now so many ways to connect to the internet using computers that run on different platforms that are no longer compatible with many elements of the HTML programming language. Web designers need to be conscious of this and start designing web sites that utilize XML and XQuery.

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About the Author: Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com  a service that helps programmers make an HTML form.

Realty of Marketing in Modern World

The Modern Marketing Reality
Remember back in the good old days when TV commercials showed blind-folded people tasting different colas or washing dirty laundry, only to discover that one product was better than the other?

Remember when such blatant product claims met with acceptance from the viewing audience? Remember when we actually believed the claims made through advertisements? Well, those days are long gone.

Over the past few decades, advertising had increased steadily to the point where the average person sees literally thousands of marketing messages each day. And that’s had an effect. Today, the average consumer no longer believes the claims communicated through marketing and have grown suspicious and skeptical of marketing in general. The average consumer has been fooled too many times to let another scam pull the wool over their eyes.

There are actually a few specific reasons why this evolution has taken place and we’ve already mentioned the first one. The fact is that there’s simply too much marketing out there. Between TV ads, radio ads, magazine ads, billboards, product placements, celebrity endorsements and the internet, our world has simply become over-saturated with marketing messages.

The second thing is that modern advertising has become deceptive. It’s long since been known that the easiest way to lie is to use statistics. There are so many different ways to interpret data that someone could probably convince you of just about anything and have detailed statistics backing up their argument. Marketers have taken advantage of this reality and made incredible claims that appear to be verified by legitimate research. Once the consumer discovers the figures were correct but misleading, the trust level disintegrates. That’s what’s happened these past few years. Consumers no longer believe the research marketers present.

The third thing that’s happened is simply that the marketing messages no longer get noticed. Consumers have become desensitized to marketing messages so most go unnoticed by consumers. Now, the reality remains that the subconscious mind continues to be affected by these messages even if the conscious mind isn’t engaged but the impact of a marketing message on the conscious mind of a consumer has diminished significantly.

The marketers who will succeed in the new era are those who give consumers a sample of the product before a purchase decision is required. This phenomenon started with the increasingly unconditional return policies of retailers. Before long, it crossed the purchase threshold such that potential customers could actually sample the product before they made a purchase decision.

This is no different than the sampling stands you find in Costco. People are hired to prepare products and give shoppers free samples so they can make an informed decision. In fact, in more and more product categories, consumers are demanding samples first; value first; benefits first. And if the product meets their expectations, they can consider a purchase thereafter.

The downside is that marketing has become more expensive. Companies have to provide more value before revenue can be expected. But the upside is that customer loyalty is alive and well. You just have to earn that trust directly. If you can do that, the rest of the selling proposition becomes much easier.

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About the Author: Tactical Execution with Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a strategic company focused on growth marketing and program implementation across business markets. Visit the website for more specific tips to start generating revenue today