Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Creating a site map

So I am really trying to drive traffic to my Amazon.com's associate website www.onestopgps.com. It really is a challenging thing to do and it seems like it will be an uphill battle. In an effort to maximize my chances of showing up in the search results I used Google's site map generator to create a site map for my website. Having a sitemap seems to be like a key ingredient for SEO. In the process however, I learned how to SSH into my webserver, how to execute a python script, and how to upload my site map to google. All good things to know. Periodically, I will regenerate my site map and submit it to google. Google seems to like that! Overall, I feel good, I feel like I accomplished something and learned something new. Now I just need people to visit my site and buy something!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

E-Business Wiki

I have been contributing to the BYU e-Business Wiki for the past couple of weeks. I have mainly been adding content to the e-Business Marketing section of the wiki.

Here are the pages I contributed to:

- The main E-Business Marketing page. I added the overiew section, and broke the page into internet marketing and e-Business marketing. Yes, I think there is a difference.

- Under internet marketing technologies I worked on:
- Web Transaction Logs
- Databases and DataMining

- Under marketing and branding strategies I added content to:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Viral Marketing

Writting in Wiki was more challenging than I thought it would be. I found it diffcult and time consuming to find the syntax to use in order to format my pages correctly. I wish wikis would allow HTML. Maybe they do, I don't know. It was also hard to come up with content without copying other sources. For the most part I put things in my own words and sited sources where I borrowed content. I plan on adding more as the semester goes and as I learn more. I was mainly broad in my analysis and topics. In the future I hope to be more specific in some areas.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Search Engine Optimization/Internet Marketing

A year and half ago I took an e-Business lecture series course at BYU. We had several e-Business professionals come and speak to us. One particular lecture that I remember was given by Jeff Barr from Amazon.com. He spoke about affiliate programs and highlighted Amazon.com's web services. He said that hundreds of thousands of people have websites that uses their affiliate programs, but that only a small margin actually make money doing so. The key, he said, is driving traffic to your site! That is the ultimate challenge. In an internet-world full of billions of websites, how do I get people to my site?

I have been thinking and reading a lot about this. I have been looking and reading online about how to do search engine optimization and how to do internet marketing. One great resource I found was Paul Allen's blog. He has started several successful online ventures and I have been anxiously reading his tips. He also spoke at one of these e-Business lectures. Suffice it say, I need some help getting people to my website.

Here are some of the questions I have:

- How do I do search engine optimization for a dynamic site such as a PHP site?
- What are the implications of changing content on my site? For example, does the optimization process start over and do I lose any ranking that I previously had?
- How do I know what keywords to use and do they really work?
- How do I create a site-map to submit to google if my site is dynamic?

I know that Search Engine Optimization is only one way to drive traffic to a site. There are many other ways to drive traffic but SEO is definitely a must. Any ideas?

I did find this that shows you what a spider sees when crawling a site... Give it a try!:






Search Engine Spider Simulator


Enter URL to Spider






Thursday, January 11, 2007

Web Analytics

So this semester (Winter 2007) I'm registered in a Web Analytics course. This is my most anticipated class this semester and I'm very excited about it. I think there may be a vast difference between what I expect from this class and what will actually be taught and covered. I don't think this is the professor's problem but my own. I have a weird desire to learn and become an expert in web design and performance. So the scope of my goals are far beyond this class. However, I hope to learn the following from this web analytics course:
  • How to increase conversion
  • How to analyze website performance
  • How to improve website design
  • How to do search engine optimization
  • Best practices in web marketing
I really want to apply what I learn to my online business, which is OneStopGPS.com. This is a new website where I'm trying to learn how to use Amazon.com's web services in order to create a store front for associate activities. I have not sold a thing yet, but that is fine. I'm using this as a learning vehicle. I also created a family website (SkousenConnection.com) in php that I did mainly to learn.

My experience with web analytics is not very expansive. I do use GoogleAnalytics to analyze traffic to the above mentioned sites and that is about it. In addition, I work at MyFamily.com, Inc. who owns the acclaimed Ancestry.com & Genealogy.com. Because of this experience, I'm familiar with some KPI's and metrics.

Web Analytics, however, is becoming a hot topic and a topic that is increasingly important to the web economy and e-commerce. Many companies are looking for web analytics and many companies are providing web analytic solutions. For example, it is rumored that Microsoft is in alpha stages for introducing a web analytics product.

Here are some links that talk about web analytics:

Ultimately, I'm very excited about this class and I look forward to a great semester!