This is my blog about the trials and tribulations of setting up our web site.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

MSN seems to have changed its links back

Yesterday I noticed that I only had 51 links back to my site on MSN, it was more than 1,000 before. Using now shows 51 links but link: still shows over 1,000. I don't know what the change means but the difference is interesting.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Heard any good jokes lately!

I have been thinking of another idea to get our name out there. A friend used to do this and ended up with over 1,000,000 hits on his site. The idea is quite simple, I think everyone out there gets jokes or cute pictures from friends and family and if they are good you forward them to your friends/family and the cycle grows and continues and eventually almost everyone has seen the same jokes and pics. Remembering the "six degrees of seperation" you can easily reach everyone on the internet via 1 email, though this is highly unlikely but good penetration is possible.

So you get a good joke and instead of just forwarding it you can use that to promote your business. For this we will call it "email_signature.gif". Just make it really simple such as your site name and the URL at the bottom. Then you create a signature in Outlook and use the code;

< href="" target="_blank">
< src="" alt="Visit My Site" border="0" height="100" width="200">< /a >

Then you forward the joke/pics on to your family and friends and ask them to forward it to the people they normally do. As things grow and it works its way around it will have your little banner at the bottom of the email. Since the image is pulled from your server it is easy to track how many times it is viewed and clicked on.

Since the joke/pics will be sent from person to person and I think in 99.9% of the time the people will know each other the person receiving the joke will not consider it spam and more like just another funny joke from their "friend".

I might give this a try one day and see how it goes and see how "far" an email can travel.

Got any plans for the summer?

This summer I plan to spend working on the web site (and hopefully get some biking in also). On top of the usual "tweeking" of the web site I plan on writing 100 articles about coffee. If submitted to 250 article sites that should give me at least 25,000 links back to the site.

The articles will mostly link to the main site Bean Coffee Shop but some of them will be specifically for products (such as Colombian Coffee) or for specific customers (such as North 44). Creating articles specifically for these sub pages should give their ranking a big boost. I think by creating an article about the History of Colombian Coffee and using that keyword rich text to link directly back to the "Colombian Coffee" page on my site it will be a big boost in the ranking for that keyword considering that product page will now have at least 250 direct incoming links to it.

With most linking stategies (mine included so far) almost all the anchor text and links go directly to the main page and with the same keywords (Bean Coffee Shop) and ALL the other pages feed off of the main pages links. By doing it this way I can have at least (22 products x 250) 5500 links to my product pages, (5 x 250) 1250 links to my categories, (12 x 250) 3000 links to the Our Customers section and countless more to the "Ask Mr Coffee" content section of our site. Heck, I could even redo our Privacy Pages and put those up as an article directly linking to them or write an article about "How to write FAQ pages" and link those to our FAQ section.

The list could go on but the point is that by the end of this summer to have all the articles done and submitted. It should keep me busy on my long weekends up at the cottage and hopefully I will still find time to get some biking in.

This is on top of the normal links I try to create by submitting to directories, posting in coffee forums and also on Google Groups.

The other ongoing goal is to work on the conversion rate for the site which is pathetic at the momment. I am trying some subtle changes to the main page and checking the results on a weekly basis, then trying something new. It is all a work in progress.