Tips for the Webmaster Preparing a Site for an Affiliate Program

An online business can be difficult to maintain without proper marketing. The World Wide Web is fast becoming crowded, and the online marketplace is more a haven for noise than a virtual mall for shoppers. There are large companies with aggressive marketing campaigns that can drown out the efforts of smaller companies at getting heard. There are scams and schemes aplenty, all of them disguised as get-rich-quick strategies that may seem like miracles to naïve business people, until the methods backfire.

The World Wide Web, however, is not so dangerous a jungle as it seems. With the right marketing schemes, the right technical know-how, and the right website, you can earn money online. One such technique involves joining an affiliate program.

An affiliate program is simply a collection of businesses with the same aims, products, and services. All these businesses are clustered underneath a main affiliate, which markets its goods and services through advertisements posted on affiliate sites. These advertisements may be in the form of text, such as those found in Google’s AdSense affiliate program; graphics, such as those found in various banners posted online; and streaming media, such as music or video, that can give life to an entertainment or adult site.

Whenever these advertisements are clicked on, seen, or followed, and whenever the main site earns money or gets responses due to the efforts of its affiliate, the affiliate is paid a certain amount of commission. This referral scheme may make affiliate programs nothing more than online multi-level marketing schemes, but affiliate programs are different. Unlike multi-level marketing schemes, affiliate programs operate on only two tiers, and involve less effort at making sales.

Affiliate programs are simply about effective marketing. In this case, effective marketing can be carried out by posting advertisements that are provided by the main affiliate site. All the effort at marketing, however, cannot come from the main site. Your website must complement the advertisements, and you as webmaster must make sure that the website is prepared for affiliate marketing.

If you are a webmaster of a business website that wants to engage in affiliate marketing, take note of the following tips before you redo the layout of the site.

o Some affiliate programs will give you advertisements to post based on the density of keywords on your site. This can be easy if your site’s contents are already dense in keywords related to the business to which it caters. However, if you find that certain keywords are being misinterpreted, then you may have to re-engineer your site’s text to fit both search engine and affiliate program requirements.

o Examine the nature and look of the affiliate program’s advertisements. If you are allowed to change the look of the advertisements, or if you are allowed to add graphics or color to an advertisement you would otherwise deem as boring, then do so. However, do not make your advertisement box appear gaudy or overdone, as it can also cheapen the look of your website. Make sure that color schemes match, so that your customers will keep coming back to your site, and will click on the advertisements that you post.

o If the affiliate program will not allow you to tamper with the advertisements, then place the advertisements in a place where they will blend with the color scheme of the site, and where they will still be conspicuous enough to be noticed, visited, and clicked on. Do not place your text-rich advertisement next to text, or your graphics-rich advertisement side by side with other graphics.

o Your site has to be attractive and useful before your company plunges into any affiliate program. You must gather visitors and loyal customers before you can expect anyone to click on your advertisements. In web design, content is always king, so fill your website with useful text, perhaps with facts or tips that can help your website visitors. Make your layout attractive and easy to view.

o Tables add weight to a website file, and this can make your website load much longer on browsers. If you add advertisements, your website may take even a longer time to load, and your customers can be turned off. Instead of using tables, find a way to employ style sheets. These can lighten your HTML files and allow your prospective customers easier access to your website.

As a webmaster, you are confronted by the daunting task of making your website appeal to even more customers. If you follow these tips before making the affiliate program plunge, however, you can be sure that your efforts at affiliate marketing will truly bring profits to the company you work for.

Enabling More Profits Through Strategic Use of Technology Solutions

There are two types of business owners who consider technology differently:

Type I – “The Gadget Person”

This type of owner embraces technology at most levels. They are considered “early adopters” from a technology point of view. The gadget guys were the first ones to get a Palm Pilot in 1995 and loaded all their contacts on the device. They were excited to set appointments and have electronic reminders beep all day long.

Type II – “Just make it work”

This type of owner proudly proclaims that they know very little to nothing about technology and are content to leave it that way. They were wary of email at first, but have come to rely on it quite a bit.

Both types are passionate about their business and could benefit from strategic application of the right technology solutions.

Understand Your Process

Coupled with technology is “process.” Process is defined as steps required to manufacture your products or the means to provide your services. A clean and efficient process is the key to applying any technology solution successfully. The wrong, or inefficient process, will lead you to spend $100k on an unnecessary system. The efficient process will save you money when implementing technology and should increase your profits. It is vitally important for your business that you examine all your processes BEFORE implementing any technology solution.

If your process is efficient, then applying a technology solution will automate the operation which will properly enable growth. On the flipside, if your process is inefficient, then applying technology will be costly and likely work against itself. Technology for the sake of technology is not going to solve anything. In fact, without the proper process and strategy, you will likely create problems and reduce your margins by applying the wrong technology solution. A technology “solution” should solve something.

A technology solution should meet at least one of the following four criteria:

1. reduce operating expenses

2. automate existing (efficient) processes to enable growth

3. provide an effective means to communicate

4. enable your business to improve its products and/or services

Before the first dime is spent, insure that your examine these criteria.

Important Ways to Select the Right Web Design Company

For having an impressive look of your own website you need to hire a good website designer. Various web design companies are there to serve the purpose within the budget and the stipulated time period. But the process of finding a good web design company is not that easy. You need to concentrate on some points before you decide to give the project to any website designer. Almost all the web design companies offer the same services so it is very difficult to choose only one out of thousands.

If you want to have a smart professional looking web presence then you need to hire good web designer or a profession web design company to do the assignment for you. An out-of-date website can give a sort of negative impression to the visitors as well the as the prospective and existing clients and this can help your competitors to take the advantage of grabbing your clients as well.

At the very first point you have to decide whether you want an independent website designer or a full fledged web design company. The first option can be flexible and also cost effective while the second option will give you comfort and also other substantial advantages. A team of profession designers will always be at your service to solve complicated designing issues for you. You can leave all your worries to the team and they will successfully take care of your problems.

Technical skills and experience really matters when you select a web-solutions company. You can check the information given in their website and also the client list. By seeing all these you can have a clear idea of their expertise. Case studies of the company should be analyzed properly. You should also see whether the company fits into your requirement. The company should be asked to submit an elaborate proposal with estimated cost, proposed solution and time of completion of the project.

It is very important to think forward. You could have required search engine marketing, web hosting and other services which can be done only by a web 2.0 design company. It would be really messy if you have to hire different companies for different services. Try to build a long lasting relationship with the company you choose. A serious web design company takes suggestions at almost every steps of the project. The team also put its own idea and listens to you as well. An expert team thinks about the essentials before approaching the client. With these entire actions one can understand the dedication of the web design professionals. You should always ask about the process of working of the company. It is important to know how much time the web design company devotes to a single project and also the cost per services. The frequency of communication with the client about the intimation of the project is also important. These are intricacies of choosing a right web design company which will definitely help you avoid many problems later on.

Advantages of a Web Development Company Over a Freelancer

The companies or individuals just entering online business have budget constrains for web development. These companies or individuals search for cheap web developers; in a bid to do so they come across freelancers ready to render services for very low price. If you are one of them, placing a project on freelance site will give rise to 50-100 bids. You will feel that you can’t have a better start than this. But the trouble begins from here.

Large number of bids will make the process of selection a bit more difficult. Every freelancer tells that he is the best and not all are telling the truth. You have to make out which of them is correct. It is very difficult to find a freelancer who is expert in executing the complete work as per your requirement, after all web development is a very vast field.

After you select a freelancer for your website development work, the troubles do not stop here. Most of the freelancers have regular jobs somewhere else and are not available all the time. This gives rise to slow communication; they are not able to reply you back promptly. Also web development involves various types of skills like HTML conversion, PHP programming, design of website, testing and delivery which an individual cannot do efficiently alone.

Your selected freelancer will search for others to do the part of project that he is not comfortable with. This exercise will consume time and in the process delay your project. As many of the freelancers have full time jobs which demand lots of energy and time, at times freelance web designers do not get sufficient time to work on your projects. The web development requires lots of involvement of developer to build a quality website.

When you select a freelancer for your web development work, you have to solely depend on an individual. Any health or social problems of an individual will hamper progress of your project since there is no other person to carry on the job. Sometimes in order to cover their shortage of time, freelancers give excuses of being not feeling well or someone in the family in the hospital.

Most of the freelancers are loaded with excess of work as they render services at cheaper rates. This causes delay in your project and hence frustration in you. In some cases freelance web developer stops responding to your calls once you pay him initial part of money for the project. This leads to money loss over and above loss in time.

Now here are the benefits of hiring a web development company instead of a freelance. A web development company works professionally. It has ample resources to design, develop, test and host your website. Company is bounded legally so you can sign a contract for your web development work with the company. The backup resources with the company are sufficient so if there is a problem with one of the developers company is prompt to assign the work to another so chances of you work getting suffered is the least.

Finally a web development company charges money as the project completes various stages so you can track the progress of your project and your money is safe.