Monday, January 10, 2005

A Steady Pace

I got up early this morning and went straight to work - eager to get started on the week. I have so many projects going at the moment. I've been enjoying them all, honestly - the work is easy and fun, and it's exciting to see results.

I could wish for things to move at a faster pace, though. I say that, knowing it's not possible - or not the way things are meant to go. Of course there are always plenty of things to work on while I am waiting for this or waiting for that... but I'm ready for things to really kick in full speed!

My Google Adwords Campaign, for example - it's doing really well, converting at around 2%. I'm keeping a close eye on it, and adding to it a little at a time. New keywords or new Ad Groups, etc. I would love to see this one move at a faster pace - more click through's, more sales, more frequently :) But common sense tells me to take it slow and tweak it carefully.

I'm anxious to see what kind of impact this week's 'policy changes' will have. I believe that will take effect on Wednesday (1/12) - just a couple of days away. Could definitely be a big help, in that it will likely cut out a large piece of the competition!

SEO - another good example. You put everything into place and then wait. With my new affiliate site, it feels like a long wait. I'm used to being able to get a page indexed and ranked fairly quick - but that's on sites that have been up for a couple of years already. Brand new domains are a different story, altogether.

In the meantime, we've continued working on the Link Strategy. This is actually a lot of "work" compared to everything else that I do - and requires patience and consistency. My goal is for every single page of the affiliate site to achieve a top ten ranking for it's keyword phrase.

I took Paul Short's advice and installed LMA (Link Management Assistant). It's free to download and super-easy to set up. It is also very search engine friendly, and easy to modify. Basically, it will allow you to add a niche-specific directory to your website. A directory that others will seek out and submit their links to, providing a reciprocal link to you in return.

This is a good idea for two reasons:

First, because you can obviously have potential link partners come to you versus seeking them out. The entire process is automated - so they find you, link to you, and submit their link. This not only helps you to gain inbound links, but it also increases the size of your website exponentially... so if you are using Adsense on content pages, this can be a very good thing ;)

It checks for the reciprocal link, and sends all of the emails. It doesnt get much easier than that!

But the second, really cool thing about LMA is this: You can import category-specific DMOZ listings into your directory - which even creates it's own directory structure, complete with sub-directories and all of their listings. This is nice because you dont have to start out with an 'empty' directory (which may be a turn-off to potential link partners).

But also - it's a huge list of potential link partners in itself! Since YOU are already linked to THEM, you can simply visit their site and fill in their link submission form (or email them) - and use the link from your directory as the required reciprocal link. This beats the pants off of going back and forth, and adding links as you go!

Last night while I was looking for potential link partners, and following links from site to site, I came across a huge Yahoo group focused on the same topic as one of the sub-categories on my affiliate site. A quick look showed that there are TONS of groups on my general topic, and plenty on most of the specific categories. I created a new Yahoo profile to represent my affiliate site, and plan to check a few of these groups out.

While participating regularly in the actual discussions can be very time consuming, and result in an overwhelming amount of email, most of them do offer a free directory and allow you to set up a member profile. In addition, those that display their archives online are a great source for Inbound Links ;)

This is just one more reason why a 'competitive market' can be a good thing!

Still, it is a process, and just has to be 'worked' one day at a time. While I am anxious to see (more) results, a steady pace is a good thing - and in the end is what will make this site a success. I've never had a site become an "overnight success" - - but those that I have worked on consistently have done very well.