It’s that time of the year once again as Christmas looms and we are all left wondering where the last few months went. It seems that the summer is barely over and the colder months are already here with shorter days, longer nights and many more reasons for Internet Marketers to get their act together and promote their websites and blogs.

Of course, gearing up for the festive season when people are looking to buy their Christmas gifts online as well as at the brick and mortar stores should already be well under way. So why does everyone leave the important promotion strategy to the last minute, like many shoppers scrabbling to grab those eleventh hour gifts?

Commercial website owners that sell products online that can be bought as gifts for a number of occasions should be actively promoting their sites all year round. That means getting out there and writing guest posts on related blogs, keeping active in forums, even keeping up with the social side of things on Facebook and Twitter if that’s what you like to do. It all helps to raise the brand awareness of your website and get its name known to a greater number of potential future customers.

For the affiliate marketer, this is also something that should be done as an ongoing task, although there will always be those sites that target seasonal customers, their promotional strategy should really be trickled out all year round and perhaps stepped up a gear nearer to the time that sales are expected.

Has the Panda Update Affected Your Site?

Many affiliate marketers will have been affected by Google’s Panda updates, especially if their sites were a little thin on the ground in the content department. There are so many sites out there that are just made up of a bunch of pages promoting affiliate products with a short, often scraped “review” and little else. These are dubbed “gateway sites” and are not liked by Google at all. They represent little value to visitors and have quite rightly been downwardly adjusted in the search results to make way fro more relevant and useful sites.

If you want to rank for terms that will sell your wares these days, you need to have a site that visitors will find useful, informational and provide value in addition to providing that all-important affiliate link to the item you are steering their attention towards. Your site should have a mix of item review pages, information articles and maybe even a regularly updated blog to keep visitor interest and also to keep them on your site for longer before they click away on a profitable link.

The way the current search results look for product items, it may seem an almost impossible task as all the top results seem to be hogged by Amazon and other larger established “shopping” sites as well as those irritating Google ads that hog the top three spots and totally go against what the SERPs are supposed to be all about, which is relevance, usefulness to the surfer and a good surfing experience. When the top three places are occupied by ads for websites that are often NOT any of those three categories, one must wonder how this has been allowed to happen. I’m sure from Google’s viewpoint (and yahoo, Bing et al who are also using this ad model in their indexes) they will argue that these ads are distinguishable from regular organic listings thanks to the pale yellow or violet box they occupy, but that will fool no one with the eyes to see.

The mountain may seem a high one to climb, but it can be scaled by anyone who wants it badly enough to put in the work to create a website worthy of competing with the likes of Amazon for those lucrative high places. Then Christmas may come to more of those who are prepared to work for it.


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