Thursday, July 29, 2010

Web Analytics Tools for Tracking Visitors to Your Blog

If you are new to blogging and have a great blog or website, then I'm sure you want to keep track of your blog visitors. As you might have worked hard on promoting your blog, you now might be wondering if all that hard work is really paying off. That's where these tracking tools come into picture.
Tracking your visitors helps converting one time visitors to regular loyal visitors.

There are so many tracking websites that give you the statistics of the visitors to your website or blog. Google Analytics, Stat Counter, Site Meter, Hit Stats are a few and the most important ones.

Google Analytics:
Google Analytics is on of the most popular analytic among webmasters. It is a free service that provides you with a graph showing how many people visited your site. The tool also lets you see which pages visitors clicked, how many unique visitors went to your site, and information on where the most people entered and exited. It's not nearly as advanced as other apps in this roundup, but it's certainly the easiest to use. If you want something simple and accurate, Google Analytics is for you. Google has recently introduced "Real time analytics" feature for the blogspot blogs.

Stat Counter:
StatCounter is free, so you won't find much advanced help like you will in paid apps. But what it lacks in advanced features, it makes up for in customization. For any metric, the site lets you choose the time span of data you want to view. You can also decide which information should be included in the graph, how it's displayed (area or bar graph), and much more. You can create a fully customized chart to get minute detail on any traffic figure impacting your site. And since it's free, StatCounter is definitely worth trying out.

Site Meter:
Site Meter’s comprehensive real time website tracking and counter tools give you instant access to vital information and data about your sites audience. With the detailed reporting you’ll have a clear picture of who is visiting your site, how they found you, where they came from, what interests them and much more.

Hit Stats: sports the slickest design of any tool in this roundup. You'll find common tracking elements like page views, visitors, and referral information, but that's all displayed in the most user-friendly design I've seen in this space. The graphs are gorgeous. The app's ease of use is unparalleled, thanks to slick menus. And changing the data you want to look at is simple. I was really impressed by Histats (and its free price tag).

Which analytics tools are you using?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Paypal Suspended Electronic Fund Withdrawal or Direct Deposits in India

The series of Paypal issues in India continues. Paypal has always been the first choice for online transaction for all online earners and vendors in India. It is easy to use and provides the maximum facilities for Indian users.  This is the second time Paypal has disappointed its users in India in the last 6 months. Few months back Paypal stopped personal payments in Indians and this time Paypal has stopped Electronic Withdrawal or Direct Deposits in India.

However, the will refund $5 against cheque withdrawal until further notice. But, I think, it won't take long before they start charging that $5 for cheques.

The official mail from Paypal says:

"In accordance with regulatory instructions, we would like to notify you about a change in our withdrawal functionality in India starting on August 1, 2010. At present you can request for either an electronic or cheque withdrawal of funds from your PayPal account if you are an India user.

From July 29, 2010 onwards, you will only be able to request for a cheque withdrawal of funds from your PayPal account.

While we are working hard to restore the electronic withdrawal service, in the meantime, we are bringing this matter to your attention so that you can plan your future withdrawal activities accordingly.

To request for a cheque withdrawal:

Log into your PayPal account, click on 'Withdraw'.
Click on the 'Request a cheque from PayPal' link.
Enter the withdrawal amount and select your mailing address, then click 'Continue'.
Click 'Submit' to confirm your request.

In order to help you with this change and until further notice, we will refund the $5 USD cheque withdrawal fee to you for cheque withdrawals made on July 29, 2010 onwards.

For any questions, please log into your PayPal account and click 'Contact Us' at the bottom of the page.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused from this change in our withdrawal functionality. We will provide ongoing updates to you here. We thank you for your attention and patience as we work tirelessly to resolve this situation as quickly as possible."

I feel that India's electronic fund tranfer is in a mess as indians are reached first for outsourcing, and most of the freelancers work from India. Now the only option for Indian is to either withdraw funds from paypal through Cheque or select some Paypal Alternative. Withdrawing through cheque is time taking and a bit expensive.

Any ideas how this issue can be solved?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Should the nofollow attribute be used on internal links?

There has been a lot of discussion on the usage of 'nofollow' within your website/blog.

Google's Matt Cutts recently posted a video on the topic of PageRank sculpting using the nofollow attribute and/or using the nofollow attribute on internal links. Matt says it doen't hurt to have your site's login page in search results. What's the point in having your login page in the search results? Does it provide any information to the users? I don't agree with him on this one.

In short, Matt says do not use it for internal links - never, as your pagerank will be effected.

Matt's stand is completely different from Google’s webmaster site that recommends the use of nofollow in some scenarios:

Search engine robots can’t sign in or register as a member on your forum, so there’s no reason to invite Googlebot to follow “register here” or “sign in” links. Using nofollow on these links enables Googlebot to crawl other pages you’d prefer to see in Google’s index.

What's your stand on this topic? Do you use nofollow on your site's internal links?

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

What If you accidentally click your Adsense ads?

I must have read a lot of stories about accidental clicking and banishment from AdSense, and what I remember the most was this: "Every time you accidentally click on your AdSense ads, report it to AdSense or you'll get banned!"

According to AdSense official blog, reporting accidental clicks is totally unnecessary:

"Because we closely monitor all account activity using engineering systems and thorough human analysis, chances are we've already detected your clicks on your ads and discounted them. While these clicks still show in your reports, we filter out their associated earnings so that advertisers aren't charged."

A lot of people got banned from AdSense, but I'm sure non of them were banned for a few accidental clicks. One of my friends clicked on his ads a few months ago and haven't notified AdSense about it. But his account is still opened.

Anyway, I don't encourage you click on your google ads :)

Has your account been banned for accidental clicks?

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paid Surveys - Can you really make money with them?

With all the attention – both negative and positive – that online paid surveys are getting these days, I am sure some of you have preconceived ideas about paid surveys already. However, as with most other things, it is better if you do some background research (as you are probably doing now because you are reading this post) before you pass any judgment.

Online paid surveys have got a lot of flak and some of them are not unjustified. There are several reasons for this, the main one would be the scammers out there who just want your personal details so that they can spam you. Yet there are legitimate online paid survey sites and market research companies out there who are definitely not scammers but nevertheless do not provide the expectations of their panelists.

If you are like me, your main goal in taking online paid surveys is to earn cash. This is the main issue even with legit online paid survey sites actually. Though many of them are not out to scam you, they do not actually pay cash for their surveys. Instead, you get trinkets and other token rewards. Otherwise, you are just entered for a cash drawing. Those drawings involve considerable amounts of money but of course, what are the chances of you actually winning them on a regular basis?

Our best bet then is to pinpoint the sites that actually do pay cash for each survey taken. These sites will not probably pay much – several dollars at best. It may not seem much but many little things add up to bigger things. So you can sign up with as many sites as possible and make sure that these sites do pay cash (no matter how small) for each and every survey completed. As you will probably get a limited amount of surveys per company(which is legit) anyway, you just make sure that you can make up for it with quantity. Several dollars per week per site actually adds up to a fair amount in a month’s time.

You might be wondering where these survey companies get the money from, in order to pay their users.

They actually do get a lot in return for paying you to answer their surveys. Big brand names pays this survey companies to help them in researching, assessing, and testing the applicability of new products or experimenting with new advertising methods for their existing products. These collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn from the consumer responses is having incalculable monetary, intellectual, or financial worth to them.

The data can be used to find the right market for their product and estimate interest in their products. They can also test advertising before they spend a huge amount of money on a national advertising campaign.

Not only do the companies get a huge amount of sum from the information gathered from consumer responses, but they can even use the amount in the aggregate to form very detailed ideas of what a certain market segment wants or needs. Consumer testing done through paid surveys are one of the most important methods of research and testing that big companies use to research, develop and market their products. It's a win-win for them, for the consumer and for the people taking and answering the surveys.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Does Submitting Articles to Article Directories Help?

As a blogger you love to write articles. But have you ever thought of submitting your articles to leading article directories? If you haven't, do it immediately.

Article directories have become very popular and so is article marketing. It is a great way of establishing your brand on the internet. And yes, submitting to article directories helps in many ways.

Following are the benefits of submitting your articles to article directories.

  • It helps you market yourself and your products. It is a great way to brand yourself, your webiste and your business by including a brief biography of yourself in the resource box provided by these directories.
  • It is a kind of free advertising. You write an article related to your blog content and submit it to the right category. If people who are looking for articles in that category, they are more likely to visit your article. So, submitting articles to article directories is a source of free advertising.
  • If your Articles are placed on the publishers home page this will give you and your website/blog some of the extra exposure that is hard to get online today.
  • You can build credibility and can eventually become an expert in your niche by submitting articles.
  • It helps you to get links to your website/blog. Getting quality backlinks is one of the key elements for every blog to get ranked higher. In each article you write, you provide a few links(not too many) to your blog or blog posts. Some of the directories don't allow you to put links to your webiste in the content page. In that case you can use your resource box. It is a cost effective way to get quality backlinks.
  • It helps you get traffic to your website/blog. If someone reads your articles and likes them, they will be much more interested in your blog too. If you submit good and quality articles, you will surely get a lot of good traffic to your website/blog.
  • It helps you increase your pagerank. As mentioned earlier, submitting articles helps you get backlinks to your website/blog from article directories with high pagerank. If you get more backlinks from those directories, your page rank will eventually increase.
  • If your articles have a great value and many readers like them, they are more likely to use your articles on their websites/blogs. As these article directories require those people to give credit to the original author, you will get more and more readers, and reputation.
  • You can even be hired by some people to write for their webistes, if they like your articles and your style of writing.
  • And finally it is free to submit articles to these directories.

As you can see there are so many benefits of submitting your articles to different article directories.

Have Fun!

Are you already an expert in writing and submitting articles to article directories? Share your experience in the comments.

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

How much can I earn with Google Adsense?

Well, before you question yourself how much you can earn with Google Adsense, ask yourself the following questions first:

How much do you want to make?
How hard do you want to work?
How much time to you spend working?

The answer to the above questions will form the answer to your question "How much can I earn from Adsense?"

There are so many factors which effect your earnings with google adsense.

  • The number of visits to your blog every day. It is a significant factor in determining your blog's earnings. The more the number of visits, more are the chances of you making making good money.
  • Your blog content is another factor in determining your blog's earnings. If your site is about anything popular (music, sex, whatever) you're bound to get a lot of banner clicks. These have a coefficient associated with them, called the CTR (click through ratio).
  • Basically, what it translates to is that if a large proportion of your site's visitors click the ads you'll be making more money. And the best way to do this is to have some popular content in your site, ensuring the links direct users towards popular items as well.
  • Placements of ads is another factor. Placing ads at the top portion of your website/blog makes them visible for your visitors without them having to scroll down. So, they would be interested in clicking on the ads.
  • Start building keyword-rich pages containing well researched, profitable keywords, and get lots of high quality links to your site.

As with any other business, sky is the limit. Work hard. Work smart. Have fun.

Be sure to check out my previous post on how to get success with Google Adsense.

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