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Volume 4 - Issue 1 4-1-09

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.  Discontinuation of Frontpage Support

4.  Know Your Market

5.  Best Free Research Tools

6.  View Your Website on All Browsers 

Author's Comments

 

Notice the volume and number.  This is the third anniversary of Boomer Ezine and we start its fourth year.  The first issue was published on April 4, 2006 after John attended a class given by Tim Knox and Jim Cochrum.

 

A lot has changed since then.  Boomer eZine started as a weekly ezine, but we found that we could not publish the ezine that often and continue to provide quality material.  On September 7, 2007 after 74 weekly issues, we switched to a monthly publication.

 

Linda and I thank all of you who are our faithful readers.  If you have a topic or suggestion for us, please let us know.

 

Q & A, Suggestions and Comments 

 

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please use this suggestion form to give us your suggestions or your input.  With your help, we can improve the Boomer eZine.  This link will open a new page.  Close the page to return to Boomer eZine. 

Discontinuation of Frontpage Support

On March 27, 2008, I received an email from Hostexcellence.com, the webhost for Boomer eZine and several other of our websites, that it was discontinuing support of Microsoft Frontpage effective July 1, 2009.

Since a security hole in Frontpage is what let the hackers hack into the Boomer eZine website, I wish they had discontinued it long ago and forced me to convert to a non-Frontpage based website. 

Frontpage was a great WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editor, and I created many web pages with it.  I still use it to develop some of my web pages, but I copy the body of the page and paste it into a non-Frontpage blank webpage before I upload it. 

What made Frontpage so great was what were called Frontpage extensions.  These resided on the web host so the creator of the website did not have include them with every page.  An example was the top and bottom borders of the page.  You created this once and the Frontpages extensions loaded it on every page of your website as the server served the page to the viewer. 

You can still use Frontpage as an editor as long as you do not use any of the extensions in your page.  You can read all of the extensions available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/281532/ 

As I wrote in Volume 3, Issue 10, I am using Komposer (free) to build my webpages.  I am getting used to it now and we are moving forward. 

Goodbye Frontpage – RIP (Rest in Peace)

Know Your Market 

In March, I was working on a pay per click (PPC) campaign advertising a diet and weight loss product and I was trying to think of keywords to use for advertising.  The thought occurred to me that girls and women would be thinking about getting their bodies ready for the summer bikini season so I checked on the traffic on Google that searched for bikini and bikinis. I used the free Google Keyword tool

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Here are the search volumes. 

This is very high traffic.  The monthly traffic was higher than the average traffic which indicates that the number of searches for this keyword is growing. 

I then went to the Google Traffic Estimator to see how much the keyword would cost on Google Adwords.  The Google Traffic Estimator is located at 

https://adwords.google.com/select/TrafficEstimatorSandbox

It told me that it would only cost between $.41 to $.63 to have an ad in positions 1 – 3 on the search pages for either “bikini” or “bikinis”.  I thought “WOW”, that is a low price of the keyword “bikini” or "bikinis" with a very high potential search volume.

 

I wanted to see the search history for “bikinis” so I went to Google Trends.  You can also use Google Insights for more detail.

http://www.google.com/trend

You can see that each year the number of searches for “bikinis” is low around the start of the year and rises to a peak about mid-summer.  This looked promising since the traffic was projected to rise over the next three months.

I set up a campaign and let it run for three days and here are the results. 

Thirty-five clicks on 7,860 impressions is a terrible click through rate.  To explain the terms, a click is when someone clicks the Adwords ad on the right side of the search results page for "bikinis".  An impression is counted each time the ad is shown. 

It began to occur to me that probably more males were searching for “bikinis” than females.  I used the Microsoft Adcenter Labs tool at 

http://adlab.microsoft.com/Demographics-Prediction/ 

to check out bikinis.  Here's what I found 

No wonder the click through rate was so low.  The males were searching to see the girls in their bikinis.  They had no interest in a diet and weight loss product. 

Lesson learned!  The clicks cost me $15.91 to learn that lesson. 

When you are building a business on the Internet, you will have to experiment with concepts and ideas.  Some will be good and some will be mistakes.  When you make a mistake, make it quickly and cheaply and get on down the road.

 

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Best Free Research Tools 

Over the years, I have tried many research tools.  Some are quite expensive and do have some advantages, but the “old standards” are free and unless you are making a full time living on the Net, the sites that follow will give you all the basic information the you probably need. 

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

This free tool will take a keyword that you enter and tell you the search traffic for the keyword, make suggestions of related keywords, and show you the traffic for the related keywords.  You can click on the column headings to sort the keywords in descending order so you see all the top keywords at the top of the list. 

Google Traffic Estimator

https://adwords.google.com/select/TrafficEstimatorSandbox

If you are running Adwords campaigns with a particular keyword, you can see what the traffic is and how much a keyword will cost to place in the top 1 – 3 Adword positions on the search results page. 

Google Insights

http://www.google.com/insights/search/#

This tool is an upgraded version of Google Trends.  It shows in depth information for a keyword and shows graphs to help you understand the search trends for the keyword and geographic regions where the keyword is most popular. 

eBay Pluse

http://pulse.ebay.com/

This website shows the most popular searches on eBay.  Since eBay is the “world’s marketplace”, you can use the search volumes on it to identify the hottest selling items on the Net. 

Lycos Top 50

http://www.lycos.com/

Lycos was one of the early search engines competing with Google.  No need to say who won the competition.  Lycos is still around and this list of the top 50 searches is another indication of what is hot with Internet users. 

Yahoo! Buzz

http://buzz.yahoo.com/

This site shows the current top ten searches on Yahoo and the top news stories for the day.  To see the top 20 searches without the new stories, go to

http://buzzlog.buzz.yahoo.com/overall/

Google Zeitgeist

http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist/index.html

Funny name for a website!  Here is what Google says about the site.

"Zeitgeist" means "the spirit of the times", and Google reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of search queries we receive every day. We have several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. These tools are available for you to play with, explore, and learn from. Use them for everything from business research to trivia answers."

The home page is not impressive, but if you check some of the links you will see search history and current hot searches.  There are also links to Google Trends and Google Insights.

Adcenter Labs -  

http://adlab.microsoft.com/

When you land on this page, look for the black navigation bar and float your cursor over "Tools".  A drop down menu will be provided which will give you all the tools that are available.  You already saw the use of the Demographic Tool in a prior article in this issue.  We wrote about the Commercial Intent Tool in a previous issue.

Take time to explore the tools on this site.  Some of them are better than the corresponding tools on Google or Yahoo.

View Your Website on All Browsers

A helpful website to check what your webpage looks like in a different browser is http://browsershots.org/

This will generate views of your website as displayed by the browsers that you choose.  I recommend that you carefully pick the browsers that you want since there are 92 combinations.  Many of the browsers are offered in various release levels.

Here is what the site says about how it accomplishes this

Browsershots makes screenshots of your web design in different browsers. It is a free open-source online service created by Johann C. Rocholl. When you submit your web address, it will be added to the job queue. A number of distributed computers will open your website in their browser. Then they will make screenshots and upload them to the central server here.

As you expect, this takes time so you can make your request and come back later to see the results.

This is helpful to see if your site looks good in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc. on both Mac and Windows.

 

That wraps up this issue.  Until next month, stay tuned. 

John and Linda Howe 

www.boomer-ezine.com

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www.boomer-marketplace.com

http://www.spend-til-the-end.com/

 

 

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