Friday, April 6, 2007

The Secret Lives of Internet Marketers


At first glance an Internet Marketer looks like anyone else you might see sitting at a computer. But if you were to watch them in action you would soon learn that they analyze sites and utilize the net in a different way that most web users. Internet Marketers know what makes a web page successful, or unsuccessful. They even know more about your site than you do.

Pssst... Want To Know A Secret?

In this article we will discuss how Internet Marketers are different and some of the secret tools they use to become experts on web sites so they can achieve high rankings.

Internet Marketers Understand the Impact Of Syntax

Internet Marketers pay attention to their words and how the words are ordered. Small and subtle changes can create a dramatic impact. Look at the following three lines, each with the same three words:

Man Eating Shark
Shark Eating Man
Man-Eating Shark

While at first glance they appear the same, upon closer review, the first line might occur at your favorite restaurant while the last two lines would occur at the shark's favorite restaurant... the ocean.

Internet Marketers Use the RIGHT Words

Word subtleties exist on your web site and can dramatically impact your effectiveness. Internet Marketers understand that the choice of words can greatly influence how much business you will generate. Good web sites try to avoid comments that will alienate visitors and instead use words that will cause visitors to take positive actions. Wording that can result in lost visitors include:

  • Sexist orientation: Don't use the words he, his, him or other masculine pronouns unless the site applies only to men. Instead use phrasing like yours, your family and your home to be more friendly.

  • Over-bluntness: If you offer bad credit loans, be careful about using words such as crummy, poor, high-risk, etc. These potential applicants already know what they are and they don't need to be beaten down anymore. You can use phrases such as, "We can help you with a fresh-start loan."
Internet Marketers Use Words That Compel

Wording that can result in additional clients include:

  • Calls to action: Subtle word phrasing can compel visitors to venture deeper into your site. If you compare the two phrases; "Visit our online application form" and "Apply now using our easy 30-second application form" you find the second statement is not only more direct, but more "clickable." The use of the word "now" is essentially a polite command to take action. The removal of a fear factor is accomplished by saying "easy 30-second application form." (By the way if your form takes longer than 30 seconds to complete, you are asking too much information for an initial application.)

  • Use smart hyperlinks: The wording you use to hyperlink to other pages within your site is critical to causing your visitors to click. A link that simply says "next page" is not as effective as "mortgage rate information" or "home loan FAQ's." The command statement "click here" is often used, but Internet Marketers know that search engines provide extra points for hyperlinked phrases. A much more effective hyperlink might read "click here for low home loan interest rates."
Internet Marketers Use Stealth Techniques to Study Your Site

It is very difficult to tell how busy a site is when you visit it. Internet Marketers use several tools and tricks to analyze the performance of web sites so they can determine which aspects to incorporate in their marketing efforts. Armed with this information, they then start a comprehensive study on why a site, your site, and attempt to mimic any success factors.

Internet Marketers Use Your Information

Many sites incorporate numeric counters at the bottom of their main page. Some web owners will start their counter at 10,000 or 100,000 so that visitors will not know how many real people have arrived. Regardless of the amount, Internet Marketers record the value of the counter on a specific day, and then visit the site at regular intervals (every day, every week) to see how many visitors have been attracted. If the counter on the first day was 10,250 and then a week later was 12,251, then the Internet Marketer knows that site is receiving about 8,000 visitors a month.

Internet Marketers Use Google (Part 1)

Google offers toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com/googlebar.html) that has a feature which shows you the "Page Rank" of any web site. Google created Page Rank (PR) as a method to determine the value and relevancy of a site and, in turn, uses the PR value as a key factor in determine where your site appears in a search. The maximum PR you can achieve is 10 and any PR over three is actually pretty good. Rarely does a site have a PR of eight or higher.

NAMB vs. The Big Boys (oops, make that Big Companies)

A well-advertised company like Ditech has PR of six, eLoan.com has a PR of seven and little-known NAMB has a PR of six. When you consider how much Ditech and eLoan spend on marketing; you might find it confusing that NAMB is comparable with such a high PR. The reason why is that the PR formula actually sifts out advertising and brand recognition because PR is determines by a multitude of factors, one of which is the number of links to your site and another is the quality of the links. An example of "quality" would be that a link from Yahoo to your site has better "quality" than a link from Betty-Bob's home kitchen cooking web site.

Another example of a quality link would be a link from a mortgage web site to another mortgage related web site, but not to sports page or a bowling alley.

Not many mortgage sites link to Ditech or eLoan.com because they are competitors, but many mortgage sites (thus higher quality) link to NAMB because they offer "community value" and Google rewards NAMB with a respectable PR of six.

Internet Marketers Use Google (Part 2)

Internet Marketers also use Google to see who is linking to sites. By examining the number of links, and, again, more importantly, the quality of the link, an Internet Marketer can determine why a site is ranked high. In example, if you put link:http://www.ditech.com/ into the Google search box you find there are 322 sites linking to Ditech. Additionally you discover that a site such as eLoan has over 2,500 links to it and NAMB.org has 2,500 as well. Google adjusts for Spam pages and adds value for certain types of links (which we won't discuss here) and you then find out how NAMB receives a Google PR comparable to Ditech and eLoan.com

Internet Marketers Use Alexa

Alexa (Alexa.com) is a free service that involves the installation of a toolbar that, "Simply by using the toolbar each member contributes valuable information about the web, how it is used, what is important and what is not. This information is returned to the community as Related Links, Traffic Rankings and more."

In short, you can see statistics on how many visitors go to various sites, including your own, and how many people link to a site. Remember that each of these services uses their own data sources so factors such as number of links will vary. Let's compare the Alexa data for Ditech, eLoan.com and NAMB:

Stats for Ditech.com:
* Traffic Rank: 19,891
* Sites that link to this site: 108

Site Stats eLoan.com:
* Traffic Rank: 13,587
* Sites that link to this site: 747

Site Stats for NAMB.org:
* Traffic Rank: 133,064
* Sites that link to this site: 133

In traffic ranking, the lower the number the better and any traffic ranking less than 1M-3M is actually quite respectable.

By using these secret data sources, Internet Marketers can determine specific key information about your site, including how successful you are, and how much traffic you receiveā€¦in just minutes. Then they can begin to construct a marketing program to gain higher rankings based on this data.

How do they do achieve higher rankings? That is another secret...

For online mortgage leads please visit our mortgage leads page.

Originally published June 2005.

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