Sunday, November 23, 2008

I like other people's business issues

For reasons that are entirely my fault, my back is hurting again. So, I went into a new local massage place and had a great massage.  The therapist helped me diagnose the problem and took good care of me. Plus, it was 50 minutes for $44 which is a better deal than what I've been paying. ($55 and a haggle each time for 50 minutes).  The massage was better too.

On the way out, I chatted with Sharon who owns the place and was working the front desk and is also a massage therapist (I like her already, she's my sort of hands-on entrepreneur).  There being a recession these days, we started talking business.  And me, being me, I started kibbitzing on her business and her website. Frankly, I really like thinking thru other people's business problems and opportunities.  They're much more fun than mine.

 Pretty soon, I'm suggesting and diagnosing and generally, not minding any of my own business at all.  She already has a great website which gives out the vitals, which we successfully found this morning online, and which allowed us to book a massage for 10am when they open this morning. It's great.  

Kudos. You have one great website.  

But it could be better.  Here's some thoughts.

1.  Get intense about what keywords you want to place well for on the search engines.  Terms that come to mind:

Fort Lauderdale affordable massage
Massage parlor in fort lauderdale
massages, swedish massages, deep tissue massage, etc etc
north fort lauderdale, east fort lauderdale, north east fort lauderdale, coral ridge, the landings
back massage,  massage therapy, back rub, back therapy, 
The point is not to think about these terms as marketing slogans but in terms of whether they would get used by people looking for masssages.  BTW, typos should ultimately be considered too. I get about 25% of my kindergarten traffic from people who spell it kindergarden. It's wrong but I have a page on my site in which I've spelt it wrong.

2. Prioritize the keywords.  Focus on the biggest and best ones first.  Then the others.  There are techniques for analyzing which terms people use when they search.  But, you might do just as well by thinking about it and asking a few people what terms they might search on.

3.  There are a few ways to use the keywords.  
Put them as your page title.
Use them on the page.
Get people, who might link to your site, to use these keyword as anchor text for the links.  Like this.  I just had  a some great  massage therapy from a fort lauderdale spa.  

4. Then go get more links from more people. Pay attention to any local directories that people might use to find massages.   If there are hotels and other services which link to local services as a service to their clients, find them and get linked. (This isn't that different from putting your business card in their lobby, its a low level of business cooperation).

In any case, there's a link and a few ideas.  Food for thought. I think I'll go ice my back some more.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

$299 for the Yahoo directory - worth it?

When I started my business four years ago, I paid Yahoo $299 to list my site in their directory. And since then, another $300 per year.

They're now asking me to renew. My reaction this time is:

Why? And how come they don't bother to provide any data to me on why this $299 is a worthwhile expenditure. It's a lot of money. It feels pretty arrogant to me that they don't rationalize it all.

How many views? How many click-thrus? What sort of visibility?

What do you think? Useful? Arrogant?

Dear Yahoo! Directory Submit Client:
We hope your business has enjoyed a fruitful year and that yourlisting in the Yahoo! Directory has contributed to your success.
This is a reminder that the annual renewal date for your site iscoming up on:Dec 6 2008
On the above date, your credit card will be charged the recurringannual fee of:299.00.
Your listing will then be reviewed again by the Yahoo! Directory Submiteditorial team to ensure that your site remains relevant and isproperly categorized.Currently, the URL of your site is:

Your site appears in the following category:
Business and Economy/Shopping and Services/Education/Homeschooling/Time4Learning
with this description:
Comprehensive suite of lessons and activities that provides a personalized educational program for preschool through eighth grade children.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Learning about Preschool Homeschool

We are trying to optimize our pages about preschooling. To do this, we have gone thru a learning process involving looking at keyword volumes via Adwords, our traffic and conversions from analytics, our rank in Google, and which landing page it hits. For instance, we have a page where parents can learn about preschool games.

Then, we make decisions and pick some keywords that we want to do better on. In this case, it's homeschool preschool, and preschool online. Then there's the cross of expressions as in preschool activities online.

Of course, our page has to be well-written. And I quote:

Time4Learning is a great answer to many parents search for a safe and easy-to-use program that will enhance learning with appropriate preschool learning games. Time4Learning provides preschool learning games in a system that guides the children from one activity to the next, keeping track of their progress.

Lastly, lets quote some other links to high quality preschool sites such as:

Preschool pyramid.
Preschool Kids Learning games
Preschool Activities

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Insider's Guide to Transferring Domains

I've been purchasing a few domains lately and the last few purchases were from private owners who ended up transferring the domain to my account. The first couple purchases this week were already registered at GoDaddy, which is where I was transferring the domains, so it was a snap. They had great easy to follow instructions on how to get the transfer completed.

Then, it came time to transfer a domain from another registrar. Wow! GoDaddy has a set of instructions for this as well and apparently someone who really likes blue arrows worked very hard to explain all the steps. Unfortunately I was dizzy by the time I got to step 10.

They tried. I think they should keep trying.

Check it out for yourself. Bring your barfbag.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Domain Parking

If you follow this blog, you'll know that I've intermittently gotten excited about making money from parking domains. Mostly it's been a failure. But I had one success that I was very excited about.

At trafficclub (now called domainsponsor), I parked six domains years ago and this year, they sent me a check. One domain made some money. It now appears that it's over. Here's the revenue by month for me from there:

Month - Visitors - Total Revenue
10/2008 - 51 - $21.68
9/2008 - 106 - $83.30
8/2008 - 82 - $101.68
7/2008 - 64 - $63.82
6/2008 - 24 - $20.59
5/2008 - 35 - $17.31
4/2008 - 55 - $25.30
3/2008 - 49 - $22.79
2/2008 - 47 - $25.63
1/2008 - 0 - $0.001
2/2007 - 0 - $0.00

It seems that my one success was also short-lived.
I also have 68 domains parked for money at Godaddy. In Oct, it produced $8.25, Sept was $15.26. I've tried to get help from them with configurations and so far, it doesn't seem to help. BTW, they weren't so helpful.
At NameDrive, I have 15 domains. In Sept, $2.01: in Oct $0.13. At name drive, I have ten domains related to education and 3D (also 3D University) , four related to credit problems and bankruptcy, and one related to online cyber schools (note - I do have a strong portfolio in this area)

I'm officially disinvesting in parking domains. I'll now start shifting my 300 or so domains into some sort of system where they are forwarded one to another with some that have a few pages of content and links and advertisements and then pointing my big domains which are my bread and butter. I'll also start putting more of blogs onto their own domain names.

Recent new blogs:

Previous posts on domain parking (non exhaustive):
There's no such thing as free lunch with domain parking - Sept 2006
Parking domains at GoDaddy
Parking domains for money
Monetizing Parked Domains
Making Money thru Parked Domains.