Paying to Get Ranks

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Paying to Get Ranks

Subject Line: TWM Release – Paying to Get Ranks

The Write Market Release
Vol 2. Issue 6
Paying to get Ranks

1. Editor’s Remarks
2. Getting Ranks in the Search Engines – Part IV
a) Roadmap to Pay for Placement by Mike Banks Valentine
c) Getting a listing in Yahoo!
d) Inktomi based Search Engines
4. What’s New at The Write Market
5. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
6. Administrative Information


Welcome all new subscribers!

I want to thank everyone who wrote last month with their kind comments about our issue on Doorway Pages. If you’re a new subscriber and would like to read this issue, you will find it here:

It’s October – this is absolutely my favorite month. I love the smell of winter in the air, the changing leaves, and October means that the holidays are coming.

Is your website ready for the holiday shopping season? If you haven’t already started to get into the engines for your keywords, now is the time to either get to work on it – or start paying for it. In this issue we’ll talk about several ways you can pay for placement.

Last month, we talked about “themes.” If you are serious about building a theme based website, go here:
There is updated information there, also we provided a link at the bottom of the page to a website that fully explains the theory of theming and how to get high rankings by using it.

In November’s issue look for information about analyzing your ranks.

Write on,
Renee Kennedy

PS. Terry (my partner) and I are considering what our next tutorial will be on. (The next tutorial begins Jan 1, 2001.) We’re considering some topics – “How to Write a Business Plan,” “How to Develop a Marketing Plan,” “The Best Graphic Design Programs and How to Use Them.” Any other suggestions? Please let us know your preferences – send me an email to me. Thanks!

by Mike Banks Valentine

The “paid placement” search results model introduced by has become an accepted method of advertising online and should be considered a very viable and attractive option in your small business marketing budget. Get out your roadmap and let’s GoTo!

Tune Up Your Search Terms: offers a great tool to help determine valuable search terms to bid on by showing the number of searches in the previous month for any word or phrase you enter in the search box.

Try it yourself and see. Let’s assume you are in auto insurance.

I went there and found that “auto insurance quote” was searched 9853 times in August 2000.

Check Occupancy Rates and Book Your Trip:

Now visit the front page and type in the same search term “auto insurance quote” and the results page will show how much money each click-through costs the top bidding advertiser. In this case it was $1.78 by “” I went there to see and they seem to be a company that sells to agents and brokers, and thus are not even aimed at the consumer.

By the way, my just clicking on that link to visit NetQuote cost them $1.78 and I had no interest in them myself. The first page of results lists the top 40 advertisers and if you go to the last of them you see #40 advertiser bid is .05 cents. That is quite a range for the front page of results! You can appear on the front page of the “auto insurance quote” results for just .06 cents!

Fill Up Your Tank and Load Your Belongings:

The way to determine what type of campaign to run with goto is to determine how much you want to spend and find out who your competition is by doing this type of research. If I were to do this for the client, I’d charge by the hour, ($75 hourly) since it is not cut and dry stuff, but requires analysis and careful targeting of terms. Sometimes you can offer the client the tools and let them spend the time researching. Some of my smaller clients take me up on this.

GoTo also offers a service at $99 where they will find and set your bids on twenty search terms and credit you with $50 in click-throughs, so they are charging you $49 for a not-very precise “we’ll-do-it-for-you” kind of campaign.

Generally though you’ll get good reports from goto and can substantiate where the money goes to determine your return on investment.

Note that the second bid for “auto insurance quote” at $1.76 is from “” and they are one of the big dogs of online consumer insurance quotes.

Budget Your Trip:

GoTo claims that a number one listing gets three times the click-through rate of the number two listing and offers stats for ranking purposes to help you decide where to bid and what your budget can afford. You can beat them all for $1.79 per click-through so if your conversion rate were ten percent of click-throughs converting to paying customers, then customer acquisition on this campaign would cost you $17.90 per new paying customer. If your profit exceeds that amount and you can justify it, then you have a winning campaign!

Statistics show that the average cost to business for new customer acquisition is $30 per customer, so the example given above of less than $20 per new customer would be quite a bargain.

Hit the Road and Enjoy Your Trip!

What it comes down to is, how well do you want to rank? What can you afford? What is your conversion rate once a searcher clicks through? How much is that new customer worth to you for the life of the business she would bring your company? Finally, what is your return on investment? This can’t be determined until you set up a campaign and test it with them.

The value of this type of advertising is the ability to track exactly where the customer came from. If you set up a specific page on your site to receive traffic from your paid search listings, your traffic logs will verify that those new clients came from that paid listing. It is possible to create pages to accept traffic from each of the pay-for-performance resources out there. Consider a few of them and test, test, test!

GoTo is not the only vehicle on the road. Road-test these!

Check your mileage and keep your web vehicle in tune!

WebSite101 “Reading List” Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet Subscribe by e-

Receive a three part “e-com tutorial” by autoresponder Send your request e- By week’s end you’re ready expand your biz to the web!

by Renee Kennedy

Right along with the pay per click method of search engine ranks, there is also paying to get into directories. Two directories are charging for this service. and We’ve already talked about LookSmart and the importance of getting listed.

Now, we will talk about our experiences with Yahoo!

For the last two years, I have submitted our main site to Yahoo! about 10 or so times. However, never could we get our site listed for free.

So, we bit the bullet and submitted using the Express Business Listing ($199 smackaroos). Ouch, that’s the most we’ve spent all year on “advertising”.

Well, they said our site would be reviewed for inclusion within 7 days. There is no guarantee that they will list you, even if you pay up. So, it’s a risk. (We still don’t know if we’re listed, it’s only been a few days since we submitted.)

Here is how we submitted (Next month we’ll tell you if we got a listing and if our listing is bringing us more traffic.):

1. Before we even considered submitting to Yahoo!, we made sure that all our links work. I use Astra Site Manager to check for broken links: (I downloaded it when it was free, I think they are charging now.) You can also try these tools:

2. We tried to get into Yahoo! for free first. I would suggest that if after 3 months you have no luck getting in that way, then it’s time to consider the Express Business Listing. (You might try submitting to regional categories before you consider Express Business, I’ve heard that if your site is regionally applicable, you can get in without paying.)

3. I set aside at least an hour to go through the submission process.

4. I read everything here: Follow all the links and read everything. Become familiar with what they want.

5. I browsed the categories for at least half an hour: Get a real feeling for what is where and why.

6. I also did a number of searches using the search box. Search with keywords that you think people would type in to look for your website.

7. I narrowed down my choice of categories to the two that I thought best suited our site. When I submitted my site, I put one other category in the section that asked if I thought it should be in more than one category.

8. I read several descriptions that other sites were using in the categories that I chose. I wrote the description (25 words or less). I tried to use two main keyword phrases in the description. I did not cram the description full of keywords, but tried to write it naturally, yet still describing what our site offered.

9. Our title was just our domain name and business name “The Write Market”.

Stay tuned, next month, more info on Yahoo!….



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Many search engines get their data from the Inktomi search services. Excite @Home, NBC Snap, Iwon, Hotbot, are the major engines which use Inktomi. This does not mean that each of these engines or directories will rank your site in the same way. Inktomi provides “custom search results.” What this means is that Inktomi will rank data in the way that the search engine requests. So, Hotbot may prefer Direct Hit results over ODP results. In order to get the best listings with Inktomi powered results, you want to be listed in Direct Hit, ODP ( and Inktomi.

Inktomi may begin a Pay to get spidered model. Read:,1151,18023-0,00.html Basically, you will be able to pay them in order to have their spider come and index your site and revisit your website every 48 hours. They say they will charge less than $199 for this service. This could be a very simple solution to getting your site indexed. If all the engines would follow suit, it would take a lot of the mystery out of submission. (We’ll let you know when they begin this new pay to get spidered service.)

Inktomi was recently dumped by Yahoo in favor of Google. To learn how Google was started read:

To read more about Inktomi and the search engines that have partnered with it go to:

To submit your site to Inktomi, you may use the following search engine’s submit pages:


Got Ranks?

WebPosition Gold is the easiest and fastest way to get ranking. Free download:

(please cut and paste if URL breaks)

The Write Market recommends this program because we use it and it works. It does everything – tracks your keywords in all the important engines, tracks your ranks, and tracks your hits. There is no other program that does it so user friendly as WebPosition Gold.


Updated the Search Engine Promotion Tutorial – if you haven’t read through this yet, you might want to:

Another article on Paying for Clicks:

E-BOOKS – they’re all the RAGE! Check out our new section in articles on how to write and promote your own ebooks

Or visit our discussion board for heated debates about ebooks and their worth:


Get an ad into TWM Release:

We do ad swaps with other ezines or you may purchase an ad – $5 per issue – up to 10 lines –


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