Alberta E-Future CBSC Alberta
E-Business Alberta | The Alberta E-Future Centre blog

Link Building Strategies

September 4th, 2007
by John Beauchamp

Getting people to link to your business’ web site is a very important component of online marketing but getting links can be a complicated process. Several good blog posts have appeared recently, addressing some of the issues you will encounter. Here are three blog posts that we feel will provide particular value to small business people in Alberta interested in building some backlinks.

The first blog post is 5 Deadly Sins Guaranteed To Kill Your Link Requests, this article looks at what not to do when soliciting links from other web sites. Many of the mistakes outlined in this article not only almost guarantee that your requests will be turned down, they will probably ensure that your e-mail is never even opened. Avoiding all the profiled mistakes should be easy, but it will mean putting a bit more effort into your e-mail requests than just sending out a few hundred identical e-mails. Head over to Search Engine Land to read 5 Deadly Sins Guaranteed To Kill Your Link Requests.

The second post is titled Aggressively Seeking Links: How Much Is Too Much? Lets say you read the article mentioned above and you have your e-mail requests perfected, now how many links is too many? This is a question that many people wrestle with because getting too many links too fast can seem artificial to the search engines and can get you pushed down in their rankings. While the answer to this question is almost always, “it depends” this article does a great job of applying some perspective. Visit Search Engine Land and check out Aggressively Seeking Links: How Much Is Too Much?

The last post is The Art of Buying Links Under the Radar, lets say you have read the two previous articles and you have started getting some links back, but you want to be more aggressive. This article looks at the ins and outs of buying links, a practice that can again get you in trouble with search engines. Breaking the process down into seven steps, this blog post walks you through the process of figuring out what the links should look like, making contact, estimating the value to tracking the ROI. A great resource for those looking at buying some links, check out The Art of Buying Links Under the Radar.

For more information on Internet marketing and other aspects of running an online business, check out our e-business info-guides.

The New Fall Season of Brown Bag Presentations and Small Business Seminars has Arrived!

August 30th, 2007
by Roch Labelle

Here is a round-up of the Fall 2007 e-business Brown Bag Presentations and Seminars that will be hosted by the Alberta E-Future Centre.

All sessions will be presented live from The Business Link in Edmonton but will be video-conferenced across Alberta and to selected sites across Western Canada.

SEMINAR (Time: 1pm - 4pm; Cost: $31.80)
Small Business Search Engine Marketing
Wednesday, September 12
How do your customers find your website? It might be through referrals, your brochure, or a web link, but chances are they found you through a search engine. In this seminar, you will learn how to optimize your website to increase your ranking in search engines and get a chance to have your site reviewed by industry experts. You will gain an understanding of:

  • How search engines work.
  • How you can increase your qualified visitors by increasing your rankings.
  • How to make your website search engine friendly by making simple but effective changes.
  • How to implement search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.

Presenter: Ian McAnerin – McAnerin Networks Inc.

BROWN BAG PRESENTATIONS (Time: 12noon - 1pm; Cost: FREE)
E-Business Basics
Tuesday, October 2
How do I use computers and the Internet to help my business? E-business is more than just selling online or having a website. This session answers how e-business can be used to increase sales, reduce costs, increase market exposure and improve customer service. This is a general overview of e-business and its benefits. Whether you are adding an “e” component to an existing business or are starting a new small business, this session is for you!
Presenter: Craig Bedard – iAppeal Web Design

Using Web 2.0 to Build Brand Online
Tuesday, October 23
For a small business, building its brand is always a challenge, especially on the international stage. Attend this fun and interesting session presented by fusedlogic’s Chief Evolution Officer and take away new strategies for cost effectively using the Internet to build your brand for your small business.
Presenter: Walter Schwabe – fusedlogic inc.

Internet Security
Thursday, November 1
Help! Spim & Spam? Viruses & Worms? Firewalls? What does it all mean and how can I protect myself? This presentation covers all this along with the anatomy of a “hack”, domain names, IP addresses, e-mail headers, who is lookups, and how to protect yourself and your computer—all presented in a way that is applicable to a wide range of technical abilities.
Presenter: David Papp – Microtek Corporation

E-mail Marketing for Small Business
Tuesday, December 4
E-mail marketing can be an effective and inexpensive way to promote your products, services or website. During this session, you will learn about electronic newsletters, the required tools and how to ensure that your message will not be blocked by spam filters. All this information will help your small business get the most out of e-mail marketing.
Presenter: Angus Ng – Digital Tea Group Inc.

For the details on all the events that will be offered this spring, head over to The Business Link’s events page.

Upcoming Business Camps from Student Connections

August 23rd, 2007
by admin

August 29–30

Student Connections is offering a series of courses to help your business establish itself in the world of e-commerce. Our classes will focus on topics as varied as internet security to marketing your business online. A full course listing follows.

  • The Internet and Business — August 29, 4:30pm
    Using the Internet to communicate and network across the world or down the street can improve productivity and the effectiveness of business.
  • Security and Business — August 29, 5:30pm
    Protecting your business online is paramount for you and your customers.
  • Selling Online — August 30, 4:30pm
    Whether using eBay or setting up your own store, selling your product online can be easy and profitable.
  • Search Engine Optimization — August 30, 5:30pm
    Using SEO techniques on your website can help increase page views and bring in more potential customers.
  • Marketing Strategies — August 31, 4:30pm
    Using multiple forms of media to expose your business, product, or service to potential customers is more important in succeeding in a crowded marketplace.
  • Marketing Manual — August 31, 5:30pm
    The Student Connections Marketing Manual gives a great outline of different marketing strategies to help you get your name out to potential customers.

Cost: $20 per person, per course or $30 per person, per day

To register or for more information, please contact Student Connections at 492-1397 or [email protected]
We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events!

SEO Tricks and Tips for your eBay Store

July 25th, 2007
by Roch Labelle

Are you, or thinking of, selling products on eBay? Keep on reading if you want to increase the visibility of your eBay store.

Firstly, you must know the eBay Search Engine inside-out and experiment. Conduct keyword research to determine what works best for maximum visibility.

A more advanced technique is writing eBay member “reviews and guides”. Besides sharing your expertise, this may drive additional traffic to your eBay store. Read the eBay Store SEO Guide for a fine example of such a guide – and good content as well!

You can now upload your product inventory database to Google Base so your items will be found on Google Product Search. You may also want to take a look at Google Checkout which is constantly offering a number of promos.

Finally, read further in these interesting threads.

There is Much More to Online Marketing than Google AdWords

July 19th, 2007
by Roch Labelle

The basics of online marketing share and distribution tell us that it is a wise strategy to put our advertising eggs in many baskets. In certain target markets and regions, Google AdWords is said to only have a 40% share. If such is your situation you will indeed have to diversify your paid search campaigns beyond Google AdWords if you hope to capture the remainder 60%.

If you want a jump on your competition that is only advertising on AdWords take a look at the following major search marketing companies: Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN adCentre and, Ask Sponsored Listings.

To expand your reach even further, you may want to consider using secondary level marketing companies. There are many of these companies and they may allow you to connect with the client that was just waiting for you.

For a list if these Google AdWords alternatives read this article.

To read further on Online Marketing you may review the following info-guide: Internet Marketing

How to Prep Your Website for Pay per click (PPC) Programs

July 16th, 2007
by Roch Labelle

Tony Hill has been following PPC programs closely and recently offered the following 5 recommendations on how to properly set-up and prepare a website for PPC programs like AdSense, AdBrite, YPN, ValueClick, Bidvitiser, Konteraetc, etc.:

    1. Search engine optimization
    2. Ensure your site consistently attracts unique visitors on a daily basis
    3. Compare PPC programs
    4. Direct you ads to higher trafficked pages
    5. Review your website’s layout

Read the original article.

To read further about website optimization and marketing you may want to read the following info-guides:

Over $1 Billion in Online Ad Revenue up for Grabs in Canada

July 4th, 2007
by Roch Labelle

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB) recently revealed that online advertising revenues in Canada have surged to $1.01 billion dollars in 2006. This represents an 80% increase over the $562 million earned by websites using online advertising in Canada in 2005.

The IAB report breaks down the revenues into the following categories: display advertising – 36%, search advertising – 35%, classifieds/directories – 27% and, e-mail – 2%.

Also tabulated are the advertiser categories (i.e. the industry sectors that will pay you to carry their advertisement on your website) which show the automotive, financial and retail sectors as the biggest spenders at 16% a piece.

What about the future? IAB Canada projects online advertising revenues in Canada to be around $1.337 Billion in 2007 and unrelenting growth for years to come. Remember, your business doesn’t just sell a product or a service – it also sells “Canadian eyeballs”!

Tips For Your Online Store

May 7th, 2007
by John Beauchamp

There is a great new article on the SEMOZ blog called 17 New Rules for Successful E-Commerce Websites. The article is a run down of features that you will probably want to have if you are going to get the most out of your online store. While many of the suggestions may seem like common sense, you would be surprised by how many of the features are lacking in many online stores.

Most of the “rules” would be easy to implement, such as rule #11, You Can Never Have Too Many Photos. A good selection of pictures from multiple angles can help give your clients a better feel for the product. Others are equally important, but may take more time and some level of backend integration to implement. Rule #12, Tell Me If You’ve Got it. Clearly indicating on the site if a product is sold out can save your clients the headache of navigating through, deciding to buy a product and then proceeding to checkout only to find that the item they are willing to pay for is not available.

While most of the “rules” would probably be easier to incorporate if you are planning your online store right now, adding a few to an existing site should also provide good value.

For the rest of the great tips, check out: 17 New Rules for Successful E-Commerce Websites.

Have You Considered Using Coupons to Boost Sales on Your E-Commerce Web Site?

March 23rd, 2007
by John Beauchamp

The E-Commerce Times has a great article titled Couponing 101 for Online Retailers. The article goes through nine online coupon best practices. If you are interested in implementing a coupon system for your site but are not sure what to do first this is a great article to get you started and pointed in the right direction. Head over there and have a look.

Market Your Site for Next to Nothing

March 20th, 2007
by John Beauchamp

The E-Commerce Times has a great article on some strategies for marketing your Internet Start-up, or any web site for that matter, for no or little cost. The tips range from the easy and quick, reminding visitors to bookmark your site, to the more involved like starting a blog.

For all the tips, head over to E-Commerce Times and check it out!