Thursday, November 27, 2008

Advanced SEO

  1. Redirection: Are you moving pages from one part of your site to another... or even to a different domain? Discover the cautious–yet–effective method of making the move, and the ways to ensure your users and search engines don't get lost in the shuffle.
  2. Sitemaps: Learn about opportunities and limitations of sitemaps, an easy tool you can create to help search engines crawl your site more effectively. Find out what's truth vs. myth in how search engines find and index Web pages.
  3. Search Engine Accessibility: Discover how to better help search engine bots and your users find, see, and understand what's on your site, and fine–tune how you facilitate your users' interactions and communications online.
  4. Multimedia: Learn how to use Flash, video, and images on your site without totally baffling search engine bots and many of your users.
  5. Descriptions and Annotations: Learn how title tags, meta descriptions, and image annotations can make a substantive difference in the quantity and quality of your site's traffic.
  6. Site Security and Protection: There are some pages you do NOT want search engines indexing. Find out about different levels of protection, and also learn how to remove information that search engines have already indexed. Also, find out how to guard your site against unscrupulous Web e-mail spammers.
  7. Site Clinics: We'll examine two or three government sites, highlighting best practices and also pitfalls to help you improve your own sites.

Monday, November 24, 2008


The Federal Trade Commission Act allows the FTC to act in the interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive and unfair acts or practices. In interpreting Section 5 of the Act, the Commission has determined that a representation, omission or practice is deceptive if it is likely to:
  • mislead consumers and
  • affect consumers' behavior or decisions about the product or service.
In addition, an act or practice is unfair if the injury it causes, or is likely to cause, is:
  • substantial
  • not outweighed by other benefits and
  • not reasonably avoidable.
The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium. That is, advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers. A claim can be misleading if relevant information is left out or if the claim implies something that's not true. For example, a lease advertisement for an automobile that promotes "$0 Down" may be misleading if significant and undisclosed charges are due at lease signing.

In addition, claims must be substantiated, especially when they concern health, safety, or performance. The type of evidence may depend on the product, the claims, and what experts believe necessary. If your ad specifies a certain level of support for a claim - "tests show X" - you must have at least that level of support.

Sellers are responsible for claims they make about their products and services. Third parties - such as advertising agencies or website designers and catalog marketers - also may be liable for making or disseminating deceptive representations if they participate in the preparation or distribution of the advertising, or know about the deceptive claims.

Advertising agencies or website designers are responsible for reviewing the information used to substantiate ad claims. They may not simply rely on an advertiser's assurance that the claims are substantiated. In determining whether an ad agency should be held liable, the FTC looks at the extent of the agency's participation in the preparation of the challenged ad, and whether the agency knew or should have known that the ad included false or deceptive claims.

To protect themselves, catalog marketers should ask for material to back up claims rather than repeat what the manufacturer says about the product. If the manufacturer doesn't come forward with proof or turns over proof that looks questionable, the catalog marketer should see a yellow "caution light" and proceed appropriately, especially when it comes to extravagant performance claims, health or weight loss promises, or earnings guarantees. In writing ad copy, catalogers should stick to claims that can be supported. Most important, catalog marketers should trust their instincts when a product sounds too good to be true.

Other points to consider:

Disclaimers and disclosures must be clear and conspicuous. That is, consumers must be able to notice, read or hear, and understand the information. Still, a disclaimer or disclosure alone usually is not enough to remedy a false or deceptive claim.

Demonstrations must show how the product will perform under normal use.

Refunds must be made to dissatisfied consumers - if you promised to make them.

Advertising directed to children raises special issues. That's because children may have greater difficulty evaluating advertising claims and understanding the nature of the information you provide. Sellers should take special care not to misrepresent a product or its performance when advertising to children. The Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has published specific guidelines for children's advertising that you may find helpful.

Dot Com Disclosures: Information About Online Advertising, an FTC staff paper, provides additional information for online advertisers. The paper discusses the factors used to evaluate the clarity and conspicuousness of required disclosures in online ads. It also discusses how certain FTC rules and guides that use terms like "writing" or "printed" apply to Internet activities and how technologies such as email may be used to comply with certain rules and guides.

Advertising and Marketing on the Internet

The Internet is connecting advertisers and marketers to customers from Boston to Bali with text, interactive graphics, video and audio. If you're thinking about advertising on the Internet, remember that many of the same rules that apply to other forms of advertising apply to electronic marketing. These rules and guidelines protect businesses and consumers - and help maintain the credibility of the Internet as an advertising medium. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared this guide to give you an overview of some of the laws it enforces.

Advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers.

In addition, claims must be substantiated.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Do I Achieve Good SEO?

The building blocks of organic (free) search engine optimization include:

1. Make good use of keywords. For users to find your web pages on your own site's search engine and in commercial search engines like Google, pages must contain keyword phrases that match the phrases your users type into search boxes.
2. Have effective site architecture. You can develop a good site architecture that will help users easily understand the structure of your site, navigate the content, and succeed using your search engine. A few, simple navigation and coding tips can help you do that.
3. Have a process for indexing your site (using robots. text files).
4. Ensure quality links and link popularity. The last basic of successful search engine optimization is link popularity. That's the number and quality of links that point to your website. Link quality (links from popular, highly trafficked, or respected sites) carries far more weight than link quantity.

Email marketing


Promoting your products or services by email can be a powerful and flexible form of direct marketing. You can communicate your messages quickly and cheaply. You can also tailor your message to specific types of customer more cost-effectively than with paper-based marketing.

However, you should plan your email marketing with care to make it relevant and interesting to recipients. You also need to be aware that you must always obtain their consent before sending them marketing emails.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What is Internet marketing ?

Internet marketing, also referred to as web marketing, online marketing, or eMarketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.

Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including design, development, advertising, and sales. Internet marketing does not simply entail building or promoting a website, nor does it mean placing a banner ad on another website. Effective Internet marketing requires a comprehensive strategy that synergizes a given company's business model and sales goals with its website function and appearance, focusing on its target market through proper choice of advertising type, media, and design.

Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lead Conversion, Sales, and Other Metrics

How will you measure your site's success? No Internet marketing strategy is complete without some well-defined success metrics and a sales/lead conversion plan. Lesson Six begins with a discussion of how to obtain and interpret site visitor metrics. You'll look at creative ideas and technological solutions for increasing lead conversion and sales, including contests, exit pops, calls to action, and other lead generators. Shopping cart dos and don'ts are addressed, with a focus on turning online shoppers into buyers. In the final project, you'll round out your studies by developing a complete Internet marketing campaign, from start to finish. Look out Bezos, your competition is here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


What are the potential problems posed by style sheets?

Style sheets can enable users to define specific viewing preferences to accommodate their disability. For instance, users with low vision may create their own style sheet so that, regardless of what web pages they visit, all text is displayed in an extra large font with white characters on ablack background. If designers set up their pages to override user-defined style sheets, people with disabilities may not be able to use those pages. For good access, therefore, it is critical that designers ensure that their web pages do not interfere with user-defined style sheets.

In general, the "safest" and most useful form of style sheets are "external" style sheets, in which the style rules are set up in a separate file. An example of an external style sheet is:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Community and Co-Branding

Internet marketing is driven by two kinds of community: communities of users that visit your site, and networks of business partners who can drive more visitors your way. Lesson Four examines both marketing approaches. You'll read case studies about successful Web sites that have developed a strong sense of community, and explore the risks and benefits of social networks and message boards. Ways to achieve co-branding are discussed, with a focus on how co-branding can strengthen or hurt your company's image. Creative ideas for working with business partners are explored with an emphasis on how to create efficient, synergistic relationships with online partners. In the exercise, you'll develop a community strategy for your course project, identifying 5 co-branding partners for a win-win relationship, and deciding the pros and cons of building a user community for your course project.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Search Engine Optimization

A billion users on the Web, but does anyone know you're there? Lesson Three focuses on search engine optimization (SEO), the art of making sure your site's pages are well ranked by search engines such as Google. You'll learn the major dos and don'ts of site optimization and explore current trends for getting noticed on searches. An overview of search engine technologies, HTML meta tags, tips for structuring your page design, and how the submission process works will prepare you for quality SEO. By reading case studies on SEO, you'll learn how link popularity and optimized content like press releases can affect your positioning. In the exercise, you'll develop and carry out an SEO plan for your course project.