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Ecommerce / Web Marketing Ezine
August 31 2002

Greetings all and welcome to the latest edition of our ezine. Winter is just about over here in Australia - the birds and the bees are doing their thing, days are getting longer (so I'm told) and it's starting to get warmer in these parts (Adelaide, South Australia) - hooray!! I'm definitely not a winter person...

And just as the seasons are changing, once again the ecommerce playing field is about to go through another seasonal adjustment with the ending of the summer season in the Northern hemisphere. It should be an interesting month ahead while things are settling down. How does the change in seasons affect your online business? I'd be interested to hear your views, so please drop me a line..

Contents:

1. Article summary - Search engine marketing. Basic guide to hiring SEOP's and do-it-yourself book review
 
2. Free Trial Software review - Taking the ebook one step further with ebrochures.

3. Web marketing and eCommerce statistics, where to get 'em - free

4. TTB's latest project - WebWideSoftware.com

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1. Article summary - Tips and hints before hiring an SEOP or optimizing your site yourself.

10 years ago, the role of an SEOP (search engine optimization professional) didn't exist - now they are popping up everywhere. This article relays some points to consider before hiring someone who promises to get you a top 10 ranking. If you are considering optimizing your web site yourself, this article also contains a review on a great book that's just been released - and you can download the first 3 chapters for free! View the article here:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles2/search-engine-marketing.htm 

2. Free trial Software review - ebrochure software.

The humble ebook has changed the face of digital publishing. Learn more about how ebrochures will change the online publishing scene again and take advantage of the free software download offer! View the review here:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles2/ebrochure.htm  

3. Free Web marketing statistics and eCommerce research resources

"Lies, damned lies and statistics" - a very true statement, but nevertheless without externally sourced statistics, planning your next marketing move in online business is like navigating a room in the dark. This is especially the case if you don't experience substantial traffic flows to your web site that allow you to effectively study visitor behavior.  

Statistics and research papers gained from outside sources can definitely help to improve our understanding of the general market that we are involved with.  Even if you do have great web site traffic flow and good sales conversions statistics, narrowing your focus on only what is happening on your site can lead to disaster if there is a "sudden shift" in the market. "Sudden shifts" rarely occur, there are always warning signs, and these indicators can be detected by examining industry statistics over a long period of time.  

Statistics and research gained from the outside can also reveal positive indicators of new markets that may complement your current business model and product/service range. Even the way people are searching for items changes over time - cotton on to the changes early and profit!  

We recently researched how large companies were referring to a particular range of products and  we discovered the terminology used has changed a little over recent months amongst the major players.  When a multi-national company begins changing its marketing blurbs, it's time to take note. We adapted the terminology on some of our pages and voila - No.1 rankings on the criteria within a month, capturing the attention of hundreds of visitors each week we would have missed out on otherwise.

Finding and interpreting good resources can be a very time consuming and often expensive task.  It's not uncommon to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the latest ecommerce and web marketing research papers - and at the end of the day, it's just a companies opinion based on the small slice of the market that they scrutinized.  If you are on a very tight budget, why pay big bucks for marketing research when quality resources can be utilized for free?

Here's a couple of sources that we use in general market research and web usage trends.

The Counter.com : http://www.thecounter.com
This company offers a number of free and premium web site traffic reporting tools. From their huge membership they gather some very impressive web usage data; some of it available for free. During the month of September, The Counter gathered data from 346,493,974 visitors. Given the variation of member sites, you can get a very balanced look at the state of current web usage in relation to browsers, monitor resolutions and daily breakdowns of traffic.  Very useful information in planning a web site and marketing strategy.

Cyberatlas : http://www.cyberatlas.com 
An absolute treasure trove of information. Cyberatlas contains a number of summary reports from various marketing research heavyweights such as Netratings, Forrester, eMarketer and IDC.  The Statistics Toolbox section is very broad and contains a number of regular studies such as online populations, the Lycos top 50 search term report and others - well worth the trip out and if you are seriously into marketing research, you'll lose hours!

Marketing Sherpa : http://www.marketingsherpa.com 

There's not much to see on their web site, but subscription to one of their mailing lists is highly recommended. Separate lists are available for email marketing, content development strategies, b2b marketing and much more. Marketing Sherpa's newsletters consist of very interesting case studies and special offers. 

Further Learning Resources:

View our web marketing and ecommerce development article index here:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles/articlemain.htm 

4. TTB's new project - WebWideSoftware.com

Over the last couple of weeks, we've had the great pleasure of teaming up with a software company that produces first rate touch typing tutor software.  

This software was of particular interest to me as I have a history of training people in keyboarding related subjects and I also remember how painful learning to touch type was back in the dark ages of electric typewriters. It was such a traumatic ordeal for me that I believe that owning an electric typewriter should be an offence punishable by death :0).

The ability to touch type is no longer a desirable skill, it's absolutely essential in this brave new world in order to be effective in an online environment.

The developers of the Touch Typing Now training system were kind enough to ship me a copy of their software and I was totally blown away by it. After some further discussions with the company, Taming the Beast is proud to announce a more formal association with the makers of Touch Typing Now.  To learn more about this great touch type training system, please visit our new website at:

http://www.webwidesoftware.com 

If you have any questions about the software, please don't hesitate in contacting me.

That's about it for this edition of our ezine. We appreciate your feedback and ideas so be sure to drop us a line if there's a subject you would like to see us cover or another feature that you would like to see on our site!

Regards,

Michael Bloch & Katherine Tyndale
Taming the Beast - Established 1995
michael@tamingthebeast.net  
kathy@tamingthebeast.net 
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