…Then I Showed Them the Checks !!!

You may know that I’m a web guy who’s also licensed as an acupuncturist. So I work with a chiropractor – John, a ex-New-Yorker body-builder with an ascerbic wit – we had a running joke… on me. He liked to make fun of my abnormal clinical work habits.

Whenever I showed up at the office in slacker attire, to see the odd patient (yeah, they’re all odd), or to fix a computer or something, he’d say something like, “thanks for dressing up for the office,” or, “hey move over, some of us are workin’ here.”

So, when I started telling him and our office helper, Kirsten, that I was making a lot of money online with search and Google AdSense, it took them a while to get it.

They still thought I was some kind of slacker clinician. Never mind that I was up until 3-5am in the morning working on keyphrase research, writing articles, doing HTML, search engine optimizing, etc.

My online income went from about $600 to $4000 in a month.
That was something- a few less laughs about it in the office.
$5700 the next month.
$12,303.61 the next month.

google ppc profits

We got some bug eyes now. From then on, whenever I was on the computer, maybe in the way John trying to reschedule his patient, I’d say, “Hey, watch it! Some of us are workin’ here!”

By this time, I’d been running a ‘web class’ (about how to rank high on search engines, boost web site traffic, and properly use AdSense, AdWords, and Google) out of the office for a few weeks, and John was coming too.

The idea was to teach people affordable small business SEO (search engine optimization).

What I found out there was that no matter how easy it was to get traffic or make money online, it’s not something everyone’s willing to follow through on. It does take some skills, knowledge, passion… e.g.

  1. You do have to write something online… if you can’t or won’t write, someone else has to do it for you
  2. You have to be able to use a computer… duh
  3. You have to want to do all the tedious keyphrase research, etc.
  4. If you can’t do HTML, you still have to learn how to use blogger.com, paypal, etc.

After I started making all that money, I thought I could teach anyone who was interested to do it. Wrong.

Everybody likes the idea of that much money, but not everyone has what it takes.

Not everyone follows through.

You can learn it. But not everyone is willing.

This has me thinking about search engine optimization and PPC for clients, too. When a business wants to succeed in those arenas, either someone with them has to learn or know all that stuff, or they have to hire someone.

There are a lot of business owners who are throwing away money on PPC and not getting any ROI at all…

Don’t you be one of them!

5 Common Critical Website Errors and How to Fix Them

About 75% of the web sites I’ve seen make all of these mistakes. As a result, their rankings and traffic suffer, and they lose potential sales revenues.

No Sitemap. No matter how well your pages are designed and no matter how nice the graphics are, every site need a good ‘sitemap’ page for search engines to index it more easily. This is a simple page of links- no frills except perhaps a bulleted outline structure. Even better, you can use the new Google sitemap xml template, and upload it to Google to increase the chances they’ll index your whole site.

Insufficient Search Engine and Directory Submission. In the ideal cyberworld, you wouldn’t have to submit your site anywhere- it would just get indexed and put where your prospects could find you. The reality is we still have to meet these services halfway. There are only a half dozen super-big sources of search traffic (e.g. Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.), but you have a better chance of ranking high on search engines if you’ve submitted your site to the 100-200 minor directories and search engines. Also, there are niche directories that will help you rank on your best keywords and attract more prospects directly. Submit your site to these search places with a free tool like WebCEO.

Mysterious Website Owners. Your visitors want to know, “who are the people behind this website? Can I trust them?” Unless you have a particularly snobby target market, put your picture and brief bio on the very first page of your site (if not every page) so they don’t have to search for it. Let them know who you are. This might be taboo in offline marketing (not really- look at Ben & Jerry, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, etc.), but online, genuine personality is a competitive advantage. It fosters trust, creates credibility and emotional bonds, and bridges the cold gap of cyberspace. You can do it appropriately for most target markets. The real question is: are you ready for the prime time?

Confusing Site Structure. Does your site confuse people? Do you know where they want to go, what they’re really looking for? Where do you want them to go? Good site structure both guides your various prospect types to the places you want them to go and satisfies their needs. Get some of your target market to sit in front of you and use your website- watch what they do- it’ll surprise you. And put a search engine on your website that gives you reports on what people search for- you’ll get clues about what else to put online.

Ezine Neglect. The ezine signup form isn’t prominent on some sites – make it obvious and ‘sell’ your visitors on signing up. Tantalize them into ezine subscription with a free bonus. Why? Not everyone will become your customer the first time they reach your site from the search engines. They may like your offerings but not trust you enough yet or be ready to buy. They may have questions. Once you have them on your list, you can sell them on you and your stuff (by helping them with tips) every week or two until they buy.

Not only do they need a free bonus to stimulate them to sign up, they also need to know what kind of thing you’ll be sending them, that you’ll keep their email address private, and that they can unsubscribe anytime. And I’d suggest using double opt-in to avoid spam- that means they sign up (you don’t add them), and they confirm via email before they ever get an email from you.