More Free Tools for Online Marketing

Since my last post on reverse marketing, I promised a master list of tools, and this is the beginning. I call my list I keep on hand the "Internet Marketing Bible". The packet of tools I have is about 20 pages long, so I will just touch on the best of the tools I have.

By far, the best overall free tool is Web CEO. It is a complete software package that tracks your websites and keeps statistics that you want. It can track your organic rankings over time for your keywords, keeps track of your linking strategies, can submit to search engines, tracks competitors, and more. I just use the keyword ranking and link tracking, since all the other services (PPC management and analytics) I use through Google and other sources. Great free tool!

Free Directory Submissions: Lists the top 50 directories you can submit your website to.

Press Releases:, These two sites provide a decent free press release service. Great for getting articles and PR and links. I would recommend paying the $30 or so however. Usually this small amount will get you to the top of the first page of releases on your release date.

RSS Feed creators: I am sure everyone by now knows what RSS is. A way to feed you site's content into other places on the net. Whether you use Blogger, other blogging service, or have a website, these two tools are very helpful in getting an RSS feed set up and running:
Feedburner: Hosts and creates an RSS feed address for any type of feed. Just type in your url and get ready to go.
Cut'n'Paste RSS Feed: After creating a feed in feedburner, use your new feed url in here and it will create the HTML so you can have your feed put into another website. Very easy to customize.

XML Sitemaps: is a great and easy tool to create your sitemap to insert into your website for Google and other search engines to see.

Keyword Density Tool: This tool from SEO Chat quickly analysis your keyword density for any given page. Optimal keyword density? Well, people say anywhere from 2.5% - 5%. I usually hover around 3.5%

Split Testing: AdComparator allows you to a simple multi-variate test on your own ads or creative. It allows you to enter in the different thing you want to test, and after entering in the information from the test it gives you your analysis. Great tool.

Live PR Tracker: Track your Live Google PageRank and see which Data Centers are logging what PR for your site. Interesting to see the difference sometimes.

Public Relations Advice and Tools: has some good discussion on public relations and the sidebar has some useful tools to check out.

Firefox SEM Extension: By far the most amazing and useful extension. It automatically give you the vital rankings (PR, Alexa, Backlinks, Directories, Indexed Pages) for every website right on a Google search results page. You don't even have to go to the individual websites. Just download the extension and every time you search on Google, it runs the results in a box just below every website. Brilliant!

Well, that's a good start. Next time I will post a list of Blog/RSS directories you cant submit your blog to for inclusion. Good luck!

Reverse Marketing to Maximize Online Reach

Think like a customer, market accordingly. That applies as much online as it does offline. Reverse marketing online can be very challenging. How do you get your information and products out to as many people as possible? Well, consider yourself a consumer, and the outlets you have contact with everyday (on the internet). Websites you know of, news sites, sports sites, RSS feeds, blogs, articles and commerce.

Now, in marketing terms, we need to find avenies to get our information through each of these channels. I cam updating my Free Internet Marketing Tools list. I provide one earlier on in this blog, and it was a useful list. however, I have much more useful tools now, and combonation of about 25 different sources and proffesionals. It will outline everything from publishing press releases to submitting your RSS feed to news sites around the world. Its quite the list. Be on the lookout!

**The sitemap experiment has gone well. I just assume that most of the negative feedback that I read in the Google Groups were the few who for some reason run into problems. I submmitted sitemaps for all of the websites that I manage, and have not had a problem. I can't really say that I have seen an improvement though. My sites were already indexed by Google, had decent PR and ranked ok. So I cant really expect that sitemaps will give me that large of a boost.

But, I also submitted my blogs into sitemaps. I also added a sitemap for each blog (just submit you Atom feed url into the url space in the sitemap submit menu). Since my blogs do not have much in terms of rankings, I will swee what difference that makes.

Sitemap experiments

I am trying an experiment with Google Sitemaps. I submitted a sitemap to the new sitemaps program for one of the websites I manage. I have heard mixed reviews about sitemaps, and the sitemap blog on Google certainly has a large base of complaints.

So I will take two different sites, both with decent PR (5) and Alexa rankings (100,000) and see what effect sitemap submission will have on indexing. I keep track of the pages indexed and will be sure to monitor closely.

Obviously, the more pages indexed the better right? Reverse marketing concepts would point out that visibility is vital for consumers. So we will see what happens.

Reverse Marketing is Back!

Well, it has been a while since I have jumped online. Sorry! I have moved into new employement and I am getting a great chance to employ my own tacticts and try new things and make my own decisions. It is really fun.

I have been learning and experimenting with quite a lot of online marketing things. I will continue now to talk and add these things in future posts to let everyone know about my marketing experience.

For now though, my reverse marketing blog is back up and running. I am excited to get going and give everyone my free advice and experience as I try new things out.

Is Reverse Marketing in both marketing worlds?

As I get more and more involved with the true aspects of internet marketing, I see a clash between traditional marketing tactics and ideals vs. online marketing strategy. Should there be a clash between the two? I would like to think that maybe in an ideal marketing environment, you have a nice mixture of both.
For example: analyzing consumer behavior - any true marketing manager will attest that being in touch with the consumer is very important (although very rare in most companies) for strategic planning. So what is the best method of staying in touch?

One of my upper-level managers would argue that actually talking to the people, calling customers when they make orders, or getting real conversations with the people is the best way to analyze their behavior.
Naturally, since I work at a business that is strictly eCommerce, a large part of the commerce platform is web analytics. The business analyst would argue that the wonderful software (Omniture is pretty dang cool) we pay for can get us the same, if not better, information than actually talking to the consumer.
So naturally, the two confront on where to spend the most time and money, and which method will produce results....etc. We all know how that goes.
I seem to think of a happy medium between the two. Reverse marketing is marketing from ground level- the consumer. I think that any face-to-face time can lead to valuable feedback and create great customer loyalty. But, I also believe that analyzing the consumer's behavior while they shop is best done through tracking software and depp analysis.
Why do I think that? I think it is truly the only unbiased way to track true consumer behavior.

Here is my free plug for Omniture. Omniture clearly leads the web analytics software industry. Yes, Google providing free analytics is giving all web analytic establishments a run for their money, but even a great free product cannot compare to the depth and knowledgebase that Omniture can provide. It can work wonders for your company.

So I gues the point being that I think you need both- one for behavioral analysis, and hte other for true relationship building and customer rentetion.

Internet Marketing Tip of the Day

Online retail is continually facing challenges with internet growth and improvement. An interesting article I just read in Internet Retailer had a very smart quote as it relates to online shopping:

"In today's online shopping world, informational revealed later in the process. Your confidence that you saw all relevant products is low."

This hits the nail right on the head. For those online retailers out there, this it worth its weight in gold. I have been tinkering with various web layouts and processes in the online retail company I currently work for. The concept of how to lay out your products for the end consumer is a never ending testing process. But as changes have been made, I see the results confirm this very aspect.

Sometimes it makes sense from a marketing standpoint to allow the customer to narrow down results to only a select few products that meet their criteria. But the fact of the matter is that customers need to feel comfortable that they re seeing all of the possible options. Giving search results of only a few products conveys a possibility of the existence of more products that match their needs but are not being shown.

Give the consumer more information and more product option earlier on in the process and you may see conversion levels increase. Just keep in mind that what makes sense to you more often than not is not what makes sense to the customer.

Customer Service in Online Reverse Marketing

In regards to reverse marketing, I had an interesting conversation with some colleagues about cutting costs in a business that runs mostly online. One individual argued that an online company can effectively reduce many costs by eliminating the option for customers to order over the phone.
What do you think?

Let's play out the scenario: You have an online business that bring in millions a year in revenue. The company is growing, and therefore call center agent are growing as well. About 25% of your business is done over the phone, and the rest online. But to keep up with growth, you will have to train and continue to bring on new phone agents to take orders and answer questions. So do you resort to not taking orders on the phone anymore?

To me, it drives an interesting concept. From my reverse marketing side of the brain (which is quite large) I would say for sure no- if a customer feels better placing an order over the phone as opposed to online, then by all means, let them do so. Make every interaction with your company as pleasing as possible for them.

However, if you restrict customers to only being able to place orders online, you can reduce dramatically the number of agents needed. Still have a call center, but only to answer questions and provide the support. Therefore, they do not spend the extra time entering in orders for people and you can save thousands of dollars a month.

So which is best? I still don't know, but it is an interesting business model. I know of a few companies that follow this model (, and others) and it seems to work, kind of. The business makes quite a bit of money, but the customer service is horrible.

Maybe a nice hybrid between the two?