Anyone managing an ecommerce site has to realize that the clock is ticking on the waiver for collecting sales tax from out of state customers for online and catalog purchases. However, ecommerce sites with less than $500,000 in annual sales could reap a big benefit from legislation that is currently working it way through Congress.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, introduced to Congress in November, would create a federal online sales tax However, as currently written, the bill provides special treatment for smaller businesses. The bill only authorizes a state to require a seller to collect sales taxes if the merchant's "total remote sales" are more than $500,000 on an annual basis. If less, the merchant earns an exemption.
The cost per click paid by Google's Adwords clients could not keep climping forwever. After years of increases, the average cost that advertisers pay Google has finally started to decline. The average cost per click paid by Google's U.S. advertisers decreased 8% during the 4th quarter of 2011 versus both the previous and year ago quarters . Not only is this the second consecutive quarter of decreases in cost per click, but also the first time that the cost per click has declined on a year over year basis. The average cost per click declined by 5% last quarter on a sequential basis.
With all the hoopla over Cyber Monday, it is understandable why BtoB merchants would want to join the party. It is the largest online shopping day of the year and is the focus of a huge amount of media attention. However, while Cyber Monday represents a huge opportunity for online retail stores targeting consumers, it is not nearly as big an opportunity for online BtoB merchants.
All blog guest posts are not treated equal by the search engines. The search engine optimization (SEO) value of a post is directly related to how much amplification it receives. The amplification for a guest post is provided by:
1) the link authority of the publishing site;
2) external links to the post, and
3) the social media activity it generates via Facebook shares, Twitter tweets and other types of social sharing.
In considering the usefulness of Google Analytics, I considered revising Socrates’ declaration that “an unexamined life is not worth living” to something along the lines of “an unanalyzed blog is not worth reading”. But putting lame attempts at philosophy aside, reviewing web analytics offers guidance that can help you in developing your blog.
The question of whether an underperforming blog should be abandoned is an issue that I am personally wrestling with at the moment. Most advice on how to become a successful blogger suggests that persistence is required in order to succeed. However, there comes a time when "persistence" becomes "wheel spinning".
When it comes to email spam, much like pornography, I know it when I see it. Most of these annoying spam emails are the result of my email address being sold for commercial purposes. However, all email marketing is tainted by the activities of the bottom feeders sending out spam emails. Thus, the effectiveness of emails to a house list of subscribers that have opted in to receive emails tends to be overlooked as a marketing tactic. Email marketing to house lists and rented lists are such different tactics that it is regrettable that they are lumped together under the same name.
In the past week, I have received a half dozen e-mails offering SEO services for a website I manage, CourseMarking.com. Given that the site already ranks first for the key terms it is optimized for "course marking", it makes me wonder what benefit they propose to provide. However, these spammy e-mails can set unrealistic expectations for what a small business can expect from out sourcing SEO services. They all seem to promise phenomenal results for minimal cost
An owner of a small business and I recently discussed whether she should start a blog for her business. Like virtually all small businesses owners, she is resource constrained and wondered if the time investment would really pay off based on the benefits that would be realized. While the answer to that question is not necessarily "yes" for all businesses, it is for most. Here are some of the benefits of a business blog:
If your business model is in part dependent upon obtaining traffic from Google's Adwords pay per click program, the escalation in cost of clicks has been painful. As an example, in the real estate field, the cost of a paid click has increased from about $0.35 in 2003 to over a $1.00 today. The escalation in bid prices has been relentless. However, in today's low inflation environment bid escalation can not continue indefinitely. The cost of buying traffic has become so expensive that in many cases it can only be justified via dubious lifetime customer value calculations. Well, buried within Google's blow out earnings report (net income of $2.73 billion in Q3), is a note that the average cost per click declined by 5%.