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Making Pay-Per-Click Payoff – Part 2

By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

Last week I showed you how to make search engine pay-per-click payoff.  This week let’s look at social net PPC campaigns.  Unlike search engine PPC which is keyword-based, social PPC is a little more complicated but way less costly than typical search engine advertising.  Below are some tips to give you the edge on Facebook PPC ads.

Making Pay-Per-Click Payoff – Part I

By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

When it comes to generating leads for a business, pay-per-click internet advertising is an effective means of finding prospects for many companies. However, many marketing managers have found is that they lack the skills needed to make pay-per-click profitable. Pay-per-click platforms abound, yet every search engine and social nets that offer this advertising vehicle require marketers to learn their proprietary system.  In this article we’ll teach you how to hedge your bets so pay-per-click pays off big for your business.

Mining Mobile Marketing

By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

Did you know there are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide?  This is surprising, considering that the current world population is just a little under 8 billion men, women and children.  More surprising is the fact that is the number of mobile users has jumped more than 1 billion during the past three years alone. This means that there are far more people surfing the web via smartphone then there are using computers. 

How to Use the Internet to Boost Your Business

By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

Business has always been a tough proposition.  Statistically 2/3 of businesses fail before their third anniversary.  That’s because there are numerous factors that can torpedo a venture before it gets started.  Everything from a lack of funding and marketing knowhow to finding capable staff and dealing with wily competitors are some of the reason that fledgling businesses have been known to crash and burn.  Add to it the fallout from the Coronavirus and it’s a wonder that anyone chooses to start their own business nowadays, right?  Before you throw in the towel on a potential business venture or one that’s gotten off to a rough start, allow me to show you five ways the internet can help you right your sinking ship of commerce or kick one off that will stand the test of time.

Is Software-Based Cybersecurity Enough These Days?

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay
Not according to Microsoft, it isn’t.  On June 24, Microsoft announced that a Windows 11 requirement is that all new devices running the operating system be equipped with a Trusted Platform Module chip.  The TPM chip is either part of the motherboard or added to the CPU separately.  It functions as a kind of impenetrable wall designed to protect sensitive data like encryption keys, user credentials and other key identifiers at the hardware level.  After warning users for months of the high incidence of firmware attacks that hackers have been using to gain access to business users devices, it was apparent to Microsoft that software solutions alone were no longer an effective protection.

The ABCs of Online Marketing

By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

Online marketing has come a long way since the turn of the century.  Yet the underlying principles remain the same.  That being said, if it seems as though your marketing people are speaking in tongues every time they open their mouths, it’s high time you got up to speed on what the acronyms that marketers use actually mean.  Below is an alphabetized list that will allow you to translate most of what any marketer says into plain English.

Top-10 Search Engine Ranking Factors

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

If you’ve been working the web for anytime at all, you’ve undoubtedly seen some major changes in the landscape of search engine marketing.  Heck, you may have been one of those website owners who found their listing on top of Google one day only to wind up being lost in Cyberspace the next.  The problem with search engine ranking is it changes so fast it’s hard to keep up with every warp and weave to stay current for any length of time.  Of course, that’s just what search engine operators want, to make it as tough for you to generate organic ranking as possible.  This way you’ll be forced to pay to play if you want to keep generating significant amounts of traffic.  If that’s what’s bothering you, I thought I’d take the time today to teach you ten things you need to know to give your website a fighting chance to generate a page-1 organic listing.

Top-10 Craigslist Scams

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay
I’m old enough that I can still remember when classified ads were printed in newspapers. Then in 1995 a website called Craigslist was launched in San Francisco that provided free classified advertising.  Since that time, Craigslist has grown to cover the entire US plus seventy foreign countries.  It’s also begun charging for some of the classified ads that were once free.  During the past 26 years, Craigslist has had to deal with publicity over several highly publicized crimes that made the front pages of the same newspapers the portal was trying to supplant. To date Craigslist has been linked to everything from solicitation and rape to robbery and murder.  While the website is still the tenth most trafficked site in the US, before you post or respond to your next classified ad there, you need to understand how criminals can use the site to do you harm.  Below is my list of top-10 Craigslist scams and how to avoid being victimized.      

Online Flimflam Factories – Part 2

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

In last week’s post, I pointed out how online slander mills churn and burn people’s reputation for profit.  In this week’s installment, I’ll show you how attorneys and fake attorneys launch spurious lawsuits, or the threat of a lawsuit, to line their pockets.  

The first brush I had with this kind of scam was when a client of mine called to tell me she was being sued because her website had been deemed non-ADA friendly.  When I heard this, I was surprised since I had not only optimized her website for seeing and hearing-impaired web surfers, I had even added a widget that lets anyone who enters the site change the size, contrast and format of her site to their heart’s content.  So, the first thing I told her was to send me the threatening email she received that threatened to take her to court.

Online Flimflam Factories

By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

Having worked the web since 1993, I’ve seen a lot of scary trends come and go.  Early on there were SEO tactics like “keyword stuffing” and “link farms” that were used to generate page one results on search engines. This allowed unscrupulous online marketing firms to reap more than their fair share of Internet traffic.  Then there were the bait and switch artists who’d routinely get web surfers to click onto a seemingly innocuous site, only to be redirected to one that was blatantly pornographic.  After the turn of the century web trolling and cyberbullying became a way for disgruntled people to harass others in their sphere of influence.  These tactics caused some people who were targeted by this tactic to have nervous breakdowns or in some cases they were bullied to the point where they took their own lives.  While these nefarious online attacks were onerous examples of the web gone wild, the tactics weren’t done to turn a profit.

How the I-Spies Gave Big Brother a Bad Name

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

In George Orwell’s Sci-Fi novel 1984, there was no place the masses could go where they weren’t being observed and coerced by Big Brother.  While 1984 was a work of fiction and the year 1984 came and went without a hitch, fast forward 37 years and suddenly the kind of dystopian surveillance society George Orwell portrayed isn’t such a stretch of the imagination.  Everyone from governments to business owners and numerous consumers routinely use video surveillance to keep an eye on the public.  Data mining is a way of life online and off.  The NSA acknowledges that it routinely monitors phone, text, and emails being sent and received by us all.  On top of that, big businesses are now employing artificial intelligence to sift through the mountains of data they routinely collect on every man woman, and child online.  In today’s blog, I will give you the latest updates on what's what when it comes to Internet spying.

How Secure is Your Personal & Financial Data?

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

If you read the recent headlines about the data leak involving more than a half-billion Facebook users, you’re probably shaking your head wondering what happened to personal privacy.  If you’ve been keeping up with the news, last year there were massive data breaches where hackers penetrated Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, General Electric, MGM Resorts, Marriott, Walgreens, Carnival Cruise Lines, AmTrak, and T-Mobile just to name a few.  Recently,  Facebook exposed the name, location, birthdate, email address, phone number, ID, account creation date, relationship status, and Bio due to a known vulnerability that it allegedly fixed in 2019, according to a blog on the Verge.  

Is Bitcoin Going to be a Boom or a Bust?

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

If you’re unfamiliar with Bitcoin, there are a few things you need to know.  While you may know that Bitcoin is a digital monetary exchange medium, it doesn’t work like paper money or credit card transactions.  While you can buy and sell things with Bitcoin, due to the volatility of cryptocurrency, the exchange rate of Bitcoin can vary wildly from day to day.  If you’ve been thinking of transacting business or investing with Bitcoin, you need to exercise caution.  Here’s why:

The Language of Optimization

 By Hector Cisneros

Image courtesy Pixabay

If you’ve ever had a conversation with an SEO expert you might come away thinking that you just heard a foreign language.  That’s because search engine optimization comes with a lexicon all its own.  While this may help an optimization pro do his or her job, what it neglects to do is give you a sense of what is being done to your online assets.  To help you make sense of the process, I’ve come up with a basic dictionary of SEO terms that I’ll translate for you below.

Zen & the Art of Online Sales

 By Hector Cisneros

Zen Master
Image courtesy Pixabay
If you’re looking to find the net profit on the Internet, you need to adopt the principles of a Zen Master.  These gurus don’t expect instant Nirvana.  They spend years studying, chanting, and meditating to eventually achieve oneness with everything.  The reason I bring this up is that all too many business owners who’ve tried to sell their goods and services online expected instant results.  When they didn’t achieve this goal they either threw in the towel or blamed the medium.  What they should have done instead was get their inner guru on by admitting to themselves that they hadn’t yet achieved the goal, but they had learned a valuable lesson.  Today I am going to endeavor to teach you the art of online sales.  If you are patient and practice these principles you will inevitably be rewarded, Grasshopper.

Make Them Laugh 'Til They Buy

 By Hector Cisneros

Courtesy of Workingthewebtowin.com

When it comes to marketing online, everyone is always looking for a way to get a promotion to “Go Viral.” Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.  Out of the four billion videos shown on YouTube on any given day, maybe a handful will catch the imagination of viewers enough to pass onto their friends and family.  Of those, one or two may take viewership to the next level. (I suspect that most of these are cat videos.)  However, the media likes to tout those videos that manage to achieve millions of views.  If you’re looking to catch lightning in a bottle with a new product, let me give you a little history of a couple of entrepreneurs who have come before you.

Do the Letters WWW Mean Why Won't it Work?

By Hector Cisneros

If you’re in business, you want to get the word out to the public about what you do and what your business has to offer.  That’s a given.  And since the late ’90s, that has meant building and promoting a website.  The web is a wonderful way to let prospects and customers know that your business is alive and well.  It provides them with everything they need to understand and find your firm.  For some businesses, it even provides a way for customers to point, click and buy.  At least that’s the way it used to work at the turn of the century.  The problem nowadays is that it isn’t quite so simple to keep your business top of mind online.  That’s because where there used to be dozens of search engines for you to use to generate a buzz, now there’s the 800 lb. gorilla in the room called Google.  Where online marketing used to be website-centric, today you also need to post to social nets, write blogs and shoot videos if your business is going to stand out from the crowd.  If you either don’t have time to do this or have done this and your web assets still fail to generate an audience, today’s blog is for you.

YouTube vs the Boob Tube

 By Hector Cisneros

If you own a business, you’re always looking for ways to promote yourself, your products, and your services.  One of the most dynamic ways of showcasing all three is via video.  Video allows you to show as well as tell what makes your business special.  It can take viewers inside your operation to get a peek at the people and processes that make your business tick.  In short, video can help you part the curtain that separates prospects from clients by letting them know, trust and like you.  And you can do this in a way that informs and entertains.  Then all you have to do is deliver your message to the masses.

Nailing the New Normal

 By Hector Cisneros

It’s been about a year since COVID-19 first reared its ugly head and made life miserable for all of us.  During the past twelve months, we’ve seen a government-sanctioned shutdown that caused some businesses to close their doors for good.  For all of us who somehow managed to survive, the ongoing pandemic has done more than put a crimp in our style.  It has changed the way in which we now do business.  If you’ve been having difficulty dealing with the new normal, I’ve got some tips that can help you thrive instead of merely hoping to survive.

Why Blogging is a Business’ Best Bet

 By Hector Cisneros

I’ve been writing weekly online marketing blogs for nearly nine years now and I thought I’d take the time today to explain why that is.  With 396 posts and more than 2.5 million pageviews, I can tell you that blogging is a great way to educate the public about your products and services.  How many websites can boast more than 10,000 views a month without spending one red cent on advertising?  Now many, that’s for sure.  Even the Blogger template that I use to produce the blog is free to use.  Still, that isn’t the only reason to start a blog for your business.  Below are ten reasons to consider.

10 Reasons to Get Serious about Social Networking

 By Hector Cisneros

I’ve been preaching the merits of social networking for more years than I’d care to enumerate.  So much so that I went back to reread some of the blogs I wrote on that very subject to see what has changed.  The reason I did this was to make sure that I hadn’t left any salient detail out.  I have pointed out in black and white many reasons why social media was such a boon to business owners.  Because even after eight years, I’m still amazed and shocked that so many business people don’t understand why growing their following and posting information that is of interest to their target audience is worth it.  So, I thought I’d rewind the tape to provide you with the top-10 reasons why you need to get serious about social networking.

What’s What with SEO?

By Hector Cisneros

Having been an online marketer since the early 1990’s I know a thing or two about Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO.  I know that it’s important to being found on the search engines.  I know that it’s a time-consuming task to keep all your online asset’s SEO up to date.  I also know that companies spend a lot of money needlessly with so called “SEO Experts” who pocket client’s money while doing little or nothing to improve the optimization of client sites.  The problem is that SEO has changed so radically during the past decade that it’s hardly recognizable anymore.  The real question that all business owners should ask any SEO guru before they shell out one red cent is, “What do I get for my money.”