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Blitz Ezine #253 October 4th, 2005

Creating a Google Sitemap - How to Create a Google SiteMap


The Blitz-Promotions News Letter
Issue no. 254, October 4th, 2005

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Blitz Comments
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Google introduced Google Sitemaps a while back - actually what it does is show the spiders where your sites pages are / what you want indexed. If you don't have a sitemap yet we include an article below that may be of some help.

We offer daily promotion items in our blog, which you can find at the following link -

http://smallbizpromo.blogspot.com

Our next issue will be on Nov 1st.

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In this Issue
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- Creating a Google Sitemap
- 23 Ways to use an Ad Tracker

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Food for thought
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Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not." -- Walter Bagehot

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Create a Google Sitemap for your Web Site
Copyright Herman Drost
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Google Sitemaps is a simple and fast way for your site to
be constantly indexed and updated by Google.

This article will discuss the benefits of implementing this
new technology, who should use it, how it works and how to
create a Google Sitemap for your web site.

Benefits of having a Google Site Map

1. Speeds up the discovery and addition of your web pages
in the Google index.

2. Enables Google to quickly find web pages that have been
recently changed.

3. A method for your site to be listed and appear quickly
in Google.

4. Helps Google to keep search content fresh, so people
have the most up to date information available.

Who should use Google Sitemaps?

All site owners can use Google sitemaps whether you have
one page or millions of pages, however it's mostly geared
towards people that make frequent changes to their web
pages.

Normally web pages on a large site will not all get indexed
because the links are too deep within the site. By
including all your pages in the Google Sitemap you have a
better chance of them all being indexed as Google thrives
on fresh content. According to Google, it won't increase
your site's rankings.

How does it work?

Google sitemaps are created using XML (Extensible Markup
Language). This is a coding language similar to HTML(though
a little more complex). It is often used these days in
syndicated feeds or blogs.

Here is the sample XML code you would include for each page
of your site:

<url>
<loc>http://www.yoursite.com/</loc>
<lastmod>2005-07-15</lastmod>
<changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
<priority>0.5</priority>
</url>

Here is a breakdown of what each line represents:

location - name of your webpage ie http://www.yoursite.com

last modified - when you last modified the page.

change frequency - tells Google how often you modify that
particular page, whether it's never, weekly, daily, hourly,
monthly or yearly.

priority - sets the priority you want Google to place for
that page on your site. You can prioritize your pages: 0.0
being the least, 1.0 being the highest, 0.5 is in the
middle.

This is only relative to your site. It will not affect your
rankings. Certain pages on your site may have more
significance than others because they are updated more
often ie home page, articles page.

How to Create a Dynamic Google SiteMap XML File

It would take a long time to create your Google Sitemap by
hand especially if you have a site that contains 1000s of
pages.

Fortunately Google provides the Sitemap Generator that
allows you to generate a sitemap very quickly. It's a
Python script that creates a Sitemap for your site using
the Sitemap Protocol. This script can create Sitemaps
from URL lists, web server directories, or from access
logs.

You can read more about it here:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/login

Other Sitemap Generators.

Google has also compiled a list of third party generators.

Personally I use the free sitemap generator
It's simple to use and quickly produces the necessary
XML code for your site.

Here are the steps on how to create your Sitemap using this
free Sitemap Generator:

1. Go to http://www.sitemapspal.com and enter your site's
address.
2. Copy the code that it generates for your site and paste
it into notepad.
3. Save the text file as sitemap.xml
4. Upload this file to the root directory (same place as
your home page) of your web server.
5. Open up a Google Site Map account and submit
your site's address.
6. Every time you modify a page or pages, login to your
Google account and click on the resubmit button.
7. Repeat this procedure for all of your web sites.

Conclusion

Google is still the largest and most accessed search engine
on Net. Each year millions of web sites get added to Google
making your site harder to find. Creating a Google Sitemap
will help your web pages stay fresh in Google's index.


******************************
Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com. Affordable
Web Site Design and Web Hosting. Subscribe to his
"Marketing Tips" newsletter for more original articles.
mailto:subscribe@isitebuild.com. Read more of his
in-depth articles at: http://www.isitebuild.com/articles
********************************

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23 Ways To Use An Ad Tracker
by Harvey Segal

The ad tracker was originally developed to provide a record of all hits to a site resulting from ad placements. This article shows a host of different ways to utilise an ad tracker.

FOR AFFILIATES

#1. The Long Url Problem

Have you ever seen an ad where you are asked to click on an affiliate URL so long that it stretches over 2 lines, like this

http://www/anysite.com/cgi-bin/dir1/dir2/.cgi?code=
123RT&type=102
35&subid=89715

Do you think your reader will bother to do the necessary cut and paste to put it in a browser?

Probably not.

And that's probably one lost sale.

And even a one line affiliate link may exceed the permissible length for some ad posting requirements.

The solution: use a short tracking URL.

#2. Losing Your Affiliate Code

As an affiliate you may have your affiliate code embedded in a link something like this:

http://www.abc.com/123

Some customers will bypass the affiliate code and just type in the home URL http://www.abc.com (possibly because they think that they will be paying extra for an agent's
commission)

The solution: use a tracking URL - so that your affiliate code number is never seen.


#3. Make Your Ad Stand Out

You may have seen search engine results showing near identical listings for the same product, differing only in an affiliate code appended to the URL.

Your listing here will be just one of many unless you make it stand out. So bypass the standard affiliate URL and use a tracking URL.


#4. How Effective Are The Links

You can measure and compare the effectiveness of the different banners or text links the affiliate programs provide you by using a tracking URL.

#5. Changing Links

If an affiliate company change their links then your existing ads, wherever they are posted, become worthless. But if you use a tracking URL you simply revise the
affiliate URL at the tracking control centre.

#6. Affiliate Program Discontinued

Similarly if an affiliate program is discontinued you just change your tracking URL to a new page where you explain the circumstances and point your visitor to your other promotions.

#7. Better Affiliate Stats

Not all affiliate programs provide you with stats about visitors. And if they do are they adequate ?Compare a basic monthly figure say
- Jan: 39 hits with a detailed analysis such as

- Jan 12: 10 hits
- Jan 13: 2 hits
- Jan 20: 21 hits
- Jan 21: 6 hits

where you can relate those dates to particular ad campaigns.

Tracking URLs will give you these improved figures.
#8. Checking Affiliate Stats

Even if you do receive good stats from your affiliate program it still makes sense to use tracking URLs so that you can compare your figures with theirs.

A large discrepancy could mean errors in their software or (hopefully not) fraudulent activity on their part.

An alternative reason is that their measurement takes place when their page is fully loaded rather than at the start, indicating that visitors are clicking away because it is taking too long to load.


FOR EZINE PUBLISHERS

#9. Win Advertisers With Tracking Reports

If you sell advertising space in your ezine you can offer to your advertisers to replace their URLs with your tracking URLs and Email them the results.

Tell your advertisers about these benefits in your advertising guidelines

- They will know the number of clickthroughs their ad has generated. They can then decide how to improve the ads for better performance

- If they use a tracker program with your own domain name in the tracking URL your ezine subscribers will be more inclined to click

- They can use your ezine as a test centre, modifying their ads until they are happy, before launching with other publishers

#10. Use Tracking Report Results

The tracking reports above will provide you with information on your subscribers' interests, influencing your editorial content and helping you select which potential advertisers
to approach

Also, once your advertisers have seen for themselves the benefits of an ad tracking program they will be inclined to purchase one. So set yourself up as an affiliate for a program and promote it to them.

#11. Measure Your Readership

You may know how many subscribers you have but how many actually open and read your ezine and which parts of it attract most attention ?

Here's how to find out if you distribute your ezine in HTML Format: include an image on your page, e.g a banner or logo or a single pixel GIF. Then reference this image with a
tracking URL. For an ezine distributed as plain text it is not possible to see if it is actually opened or read. But what you can do is insert tracking URLs at the appropriate points, such as product offers or special articles, and get comparative figures for which items are being read.

AT YOUR WEB SITE

#12. The Problem Of Permanent URLs

Web sites are continually evolving and changing You may want to rename a page to make it more consistent and logical but there's a huge problem. You have given out the URL in an ebook, or a directory submission, or an article or wherever. There's no way you can undo this.

The solution ?

Never provide the actual URL, just a tracking URL. You can then just edit the link at the tracking centre whenever a page is moved or renamed.

The external links, in your ebook for example, stay the same but they will redirect to your new page.

#13. What Are Your Visitors Doing ?

You have text links all over your site, links to your other
pages and links to recommended sites.

Where are your visitors clicking ?

Where are they leaving your site, why, how can you stop
them ?

Which graphic do they click on the most ?

Do they click on the text link more than the graphic link?

Your log files may tell you at best which are the most
popular pages at your site but it is vital to know how your
visitors move through your site and what is tempting them.

Use tracking URLs to replace actual links wherever you need
to monitor click activity.


#14. Sell Website Advertising Space

You can offer tracking reports to your advertisers in the
same way as for ezine publishers (above).


#15. Stop Piracy

If you have invested man-months of time setting up a vital
resource site involving a directory of links it's very easy
for a pirate to simply copy your page and provide useful
content for his own site.

If you use tracking URLs for those directory links you can
detect this copy - because the ad tracking program will
record the referring URL.

At the same time of course you can measure the popularity of
the directory links.


USING PAY PER CLICK SEARCH ENGINES

#16. Better Click Activity Reporting

Pay per click search engines will report to you click
activity on your URL. Engines vary in the frequency and
format of the reporting so you can use tracking URLs instead
to obtain better information.


#17. Prevent Fraudulent Activity

You can compare your figures with the engine's and should
query any large discrepancy.

If click activity is unusually high you may have a
competitor clicking on just to incur costs against you. You
may be able to detect this by comparing the figures for
unique hits and actual hits (several hits per visitor).


OFFLINE MARKETING

#18. Check How Successful

If you have ever wondered whether it was worth advertising
off line because of the supposed impossibility of measuring
the response then ad tracking URLs will answer that problem.
Just include them in your ads in

- newspapers
- magazines
- flyers
- billboards
- press releases
- shop notice boards
- and so on


#19. Use The Time Reports

The date and time when clicks are made will allow you to
check the progress of your ads, for example

- has your newspaper ad been submitted yet ?
- has your billboard notice been removed ?
- how long does a magazine ad stay around ?

For a long running ad you can study the response and switch
the link midstream if necessary to an improved web page.


EBOOKS

#20. Do Free Books Work ?

The main purpose of a free ebook is to get the reader back
to your site. But how successful is it proving ?

Put tracking URLs in the book and you will find out.


#21. Maintain Control After Download

Once your ebook is downloaded it would appear that you no
longer have any control over it. Not so. You can redirect
the reader to other pages of your site by changing the
tracking Url links.


OTHER WAYS

#22. Become An Ad Tracking Affiliate

Since ad tracking programs are high demand marketing tools
you can profit by joining their affiliate program (if they
have one).

Owning the product that you promote always gives that extra
advantage e.g you can give an example of how you use it or a
personal testimonial as to how it has benefited you.


#23. Privacy

You may want to post an URL somewhere and - for reasons of
your own - not let it reveal your website. You can do this
with an ad tracking program where the supplier domain name
is used in the tracking URL.


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For more details about the above tips and yet more ways to use
an ad tracker see Harvey's free ebook Ad Tracking SuperTips

http://www.ad-tracking.com/adbook.html

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Links you can use -
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I have a dog we've had 14 years - he is the boss and he knows it. You can find pet friendly places by browsing the following link.

http://www.petswelcome.com/

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Fun and Games
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It's fall - of course you couldn't tell it here in Ky.... we've had a few 91 degree days. You can get in the mood though by checking out some fall colors.

http://www.surfnetkids.com/fallcolors.htm

If you're tired of having too much information - relax at this site where you'll only fine useless information.

http://home.nycap.rr.com/useless/index.html

Science stuff you can make with things around the house.

http://www.sciencetoymaker.org/

A site dedicated to..... ironing... not just any ironing but extreme ironing. Go figure.

http://www.extremeironing.com/

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Useful links to our site
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Ezine Archives links to all our past issues (well most of them) in one place.



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Final Thoughts
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Enjoy your October!!

Tim and Lisa Hamblin
Tisa Enterprises
PO Box 221
Hazard KY 41702
http://www.blitzpromotions.com
http://www.crochetnmore.com
http://www.webpageplanner.com
http://www.ineedlinks.com

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