The Search Light Newsletter
The Search Light Newsletter
  Guiding your site to the top of the search engines... | 30 June 2006 - Vol 6 Issue #6  

In this issue...

Feature Article: Get It In On Time - Proposal Production

FAQ1: Why can't I get traffic from search engines?

FAQ2: What does this Google guideline mean?

FAQ3: Why can't I get listed in DMOZ?

FAQ4: How can I increase my AdSense commissions from Google?

FAQ5: Why has the Google PageRank of our home page dropped?

Feature Article: Get It In On Time - Proposal Production

By James England
Writing a proposal involves a lot more than just simply putting the words have to make sure that your proposal document looks professional and that it gets to the client on time. You could have the best proposal in the world, but if it's submitted after the deadline it is extremely likely that it won't even be considered - especially in public sector procurement.
So what's involved in producing a proposal? It's just a question of printing it out and sending it off isn't it? Sometimes yes - but there may be other things to consider. Here's a quick list of all the things that you have to consider:
The Proposal
The finished document is obviously the first thing you need in place. Make sure that this is the finished document - any red team review should have already been completed on draft versions.
Proof Reading
Neglecting proof-reading is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It takes very little time to do properly, though is often the first thing to go when time is running short. Yet if it isn't done correctly, one simple mistake in the wrong place can destroy all possibility of actual being awarded a contract.
Printing can often take longer than you expect. Always make sure that you have plenty of toner or printer ink. Allow extra time if you are printing in colour and check beforehand to see how many copies you need - and allow extra time. It's also a good idea to have a backup in case things go wrong - find a local print shop where you can get documents printed. In fact, if they can produce higher quality documents on their equipment, think about outsourcing your document production to them.
Make sure you have the equipment and consumables in stock. Don't always use the cheapest binding option. A great looking document sends an immediate message to the buyer about your quality and values.
Make sure you have big enough envelopes. Did the client provide and envelope or label that you must include on the tender? Always check the tender documentation to verify the address where the document should be sent - it may be different than the address that you usually use for this client.
Getting It There
Always allow time for delivery and get proof of postage. If the proposal is completed a day early, send it a day early. Don't leave it until the last minute. If using a courier service then make sure that they are reputable.

Think about how long these are going to take in your organisation and plan for them. Ensure that your deadline for completing the proposal takes into consideration the time that these activities will take. Always allow time for contingencies - something will go wrong!!
Plan your document production as part of your bid management process. Use a ready-made Proposal Kit like the Bid Development Plan in the Learn to Write Proposals Bid Management Toolkit. This will help you plan the entire document creation and production process and avoid the last minute rush.

About the Author
James England is a proposal specialist with years of experience in the creation of proposals, proposal strategy as well as bid management and production tools and software. Find out more at Learn to Write Proposals


Professional Contract and Proposal Templates
As James explained in his article above, if you run a business selling services to other businesses, regardless of whether it's SEO, web design, copywriting or even a home business, you need to have a professional, impressive-looking proposal. But sometimes you get so caught up in the day-to-day process of actually running the business that you don't spend enough time fine-tuning your proposal template. Perhaps, heaven forbid, you don't even have one!
Do you think your existing proposal does a good job of selling your company? Do you find yourself losing business to your competitors? Do you wonder what was included in their proposal that made their offer more appealing to your potential client? Are you unsure whether your business is projecting a professional image? Do you want to win more bids, close more sales, save time and ultimately make more money from the jobs you take?
If so, Proposal Kit is fast going to become your favorite business tool.

Sample Proposal Pack Template Style
Proposal Kit is template software that automates the chore of putting together a complex business proposal and services contract. Templates are particularly suited to online businesses and include documents for the initial sales pitch, the planning stage, estimating, contracting, project timelines, non-disclosure, legal issues and invoicing.
For SEOs reading this, the latest version even includes a Search Engine Optimization Services Contract ready for fleshing out with your own pricing and contact details! The templates come in a range of styles and colors, ready-made to match your company colors and logos. Better still, the software is easy to use, allowing you to add, remove and tweak individual documents within your master proposal at the click of a mouse.
Check out Proposal Kit for yourself and if you like what you see, be sure to take advantage of our discount offer below, exclusive to Search Light subscribers.

Exclusive Discount Offer from Proposal Kit
As a valued subscriber of The Search Light, we are pleased to provide you with an exclusive discount coupon code for redemption towards the proposal templates of your choice from Proposal Kit.
The coupon code WEBRANK will give you a 10% discount on your next purchase at Proposal Kit. Make sure you enter coupon code WEBRANK in the refer/upgrade field to claim your discount. So what are you waiting for? Go choose your templates and start closing more sales today!

Enter our Funny Photo Caption Competition
Got a funny caption for the photo above? Submit the funniest and win a self study course of your choice from Search Engine College. Here are some examples:
"This is the last time I let you drag me to SeaWorld Nancy!"
"Barbara and Polly demonstrate the amazing Thigh-Master 1000."
"When you said we should surf the net, this was NOT what I had in mind!"
"Don't lose concentration girls, simply pretend you can't see that shark fin."

Winners announced next month. For your chance to win, submit your own caption entry by midnight on July 30.
Congratulations to Graham Robinson who submitted June's winning caption. Graham has won himself a free SEO Advanced self study course at Search Engine College.

Not Sure Why You Received This Newsletter?
You will ONLY receive this newsletter if:
1) You have subscribed directly via our email sign-up form.
2) You have downloaded our free SEO lesson.
3) You have submitted an online enquiry via Live Help or our online contact form.
4) You have submitted a free ranking report request.
5) A friend or colleague has forwarded it to you.
For 2), 3) and 4) we make it pretty clear on the page that you are automatically subscribed to The Search Light, but you may have either overlooked this or simply forgotten.
If you don't wish to receive any more of our newsletters, simply press the "SafeUnsubscribe" link at the bottom of this page and you will be permanently removed.
Have a great day!

   Dear Reader,

Welcome to another Search Light issue! I'll keep this month's intro short and sweet as it's the busiest time of the year for us and I should really be sending out end of month invoices and gathering all our accounting info for the impending business tax return. Don't you just hate tax time?
Such is the drama of running a business, I suppose. Speaking of business dramas, how many of you hate putting together client proposals and pitches? It's another of my pet-hates. But even if you hate doing it, you simply have to get it right to make a good impression.
This month's article by James England focuses on how to keep sane while putting together your business proposal and how to ensure nothing goes wrong at the last minute when it comes time for proposal submission.

Enjoy this issue and remember to visit the daily Search Engine Advice Column to check out my answers to frequently asked search engine questions or submit one of your own.
Till next time - wishing you clicks and conversions...

  • FAQ1: Why can't I get traffic from search engines?
  •    Dear Kalena...
    My site has been in operation for almost 4 months and it has a page rank of 4/10. However, my site mainly consists of articles I got from ezinearticles which allows us to republish their articles as long as the content and links aren't changed.
    Appreciate if you could help with several of my questions:
    1. Why can't I get any traffic from the search engines? I know this fact from the SiteMeter I've implemented. 2. Is it because the articles are duplicates from ezinearticles? 3. If I add news feeds on the pages, would this make the search engines think that the content is fresh and new? 4. What can I do to get more traffic from search engines?
    Thanks for your time Kalena.
    stress X

    Dear stress X
    Not sure about the other search engines, but according to Google, your domain doesn't exist. Google considers your site address to be because you've obviously built the site on a free server and then set up your domain to point to the free site. I suggest you ditch the free site and pay for proper domain hosting if you want the domain-based site taken seriously. Until you fix it, all your hard-earned link popularity will be attributed to rather than your own domain.

  • FAQ2: What does this Google guideline mean?
  •    Dear Kalena...
    I am new to your blog and I enjoyed visiting it again today. You have a new regular visitor.
    Thanks for the link to the Google guidelines. I understood most of it but I would appreciate clarification of what they mean by both parts of the first guideline:
    "Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link."
    (I do my own HTML. The site is very basic.)

    Dear Betsy
    Thanks for the blog feedback, it's great to be reassured sometimes that people are actually reading this thing! Now to your question.
    What Google means by that statement is that your site navigation structure (menu) should be straight-forward and each page should have at least one link pointing to it from within your site. The easiest way to achieve this is to create a site map with text links pointing to every page on your site. This is to enable Google to find and index all your pages and also to help visitors. Then you can put a link to your site map on your home page or within your navigation menu.
    Hope this helps!

  • FAQ3: Why can't I get listed in DMOZ?
  •    Dear Kalena...
    I have tried to get my firm listed in the DMOZ marketing and advertising firms with a cultural and ethnic focus for a few years to no avail. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

    Dear Lwald
    The Open Directory (DMOZ) is run entirely by volunteers. As you can imagine, this leads to very haphazard editing quality and submission delays. Remember also that if your site is already listed in DMOZ in another category, any subsequent submissions are likely to be ignored or earn you the wrath of editors.
    The exception to this is if your site truly suits both a regionally-specific category and a more generic category, you can submit to both. But that is no guarantee you will be accepted. For more tips on getting into DMOZ or following up a submission, read my article How to Submit Your Site to Directories.

  • FAQ4: How can I increase my AdSense commissions from Google?
  •    Dear Kalena...
    I have read your interesting article about Top 10 AdSense Tricks To Boost Your Commission in Site Pro News. And would like to ask you, what you think we need to ask the visitors of our sites to do; that there will be a high Pay Per Click-commission by Google?

    Hi Nestler
    I'm assuming you mean "What can I do to increase the AdSense commission I am currently receiving from Google?"
    If so, then I recommend the following:
    1) Increase the number of pages on your site and add AdSense code to them.
    2) Opt-in for Google's Referral Program where you can earn USD 100 per converting referral.
    3) Optimize your pages for keywords and phrases that are hot topics or write articles about those subjects and add AdSense code to the article pages.
    4) Add new content to your site each and every day and make sure you submit the new pages to Google Sitemaps using an XML Sitemap.

  • FAQ5: Why has the Google PageRank of our home page dropped?
  •    Dear Kalena...
    I was working on a ecommerce site for the last 2-3 months and was able to get a GPR (toolbar) of 3 on the home page and 3-4 on the internal pages. However recently we have seen that the home page PR has dropped to 1 but the internal page PR remains the same. We have not lost any IBL, to the best of our knowledge. I know the toolbar PR hardly means anything and thats not the actual one but I am sure you understand that it is really difficult to convince the client and also I find it quite strange to see that the home page PR has dropped while the internal page retains its position.
    As the site is just 2-3 months old we have not achieved any rankings in Google. I would like to know your opinion and thoughts on this.
    Saptarshi Roy

    Hi Saptarshi Roy
    It's not unusual to see fluctuations in the Google Toolbar PageRank. I know of cases where the PageRank has displayed differently for the same site when viewed at the same time by people in different locations. So don't rely on the Toolbar PageRank score as being anywhere near accurate.
    What is more concerning is the fact that your home page PageRank has dropped while the PageRank for your internal pages has not. This is a little strange. Without seeing the site in question, I'm only guessing, but in my opinion, this could be caused by:
    1) a glitch with the Google Toolbar (do you have the latest version installed?).
    2) your incoming back links are mainly pointing to internal pages.
    3) you have recently changed content on your home page and now Google sees it as "less relevant".
    4) you have recently obtained a lot of new links pointing to your home page from lower quality sites.
    5) Googlebot struck a problem while indexing your home page during his last visit.

    If you have submitted an XML sitemap for the site to Google Sitemaps, the data collected should give you some clues related to any indexing issues.

     ::  email us
     ::  visit our site

    phone: +612-6655-9216