Adwords tips

I am trying Adwords for my web hosting service and some lessons learnt:

* Try long tail keywords for competitive niche. The per click cost is less and the sale conversion can be higher.

* Observe other top performing ads and refine your ad copy. The copy needs to be relevant for the keyword. Same  copy doesn’t trigger your ad for all keywords.

* Even if it is a global niche, try targeting audience in your locality. People may be comfortable buying from a local guy. You can also switch off the ads during night time in your region.

Website password recovery best practices

Some best practices to offer password recovery in websites:

1. Offer a password recovery option :)

With many sites being run on standard CMS, this is a  given thing. But make sure the ‘Forgot password” option is clearly visible and near to the login form.

2. Do not send passwords in mail

Do not send the existing password in use by mail.  Instead, give a new automatically generated password or offer the chance to set a new password by the user himself. If it is an automatically generated password, offer the user to change it when he signs in. WordPress does this so users won’t need to remember the automatic passwords.

3.  Allow password recovery by sms

The users may have forgotten the password for his email account too. So, it is good to offer more recovery options like through sms.

4. Alert secondary emails

Allow users to register secondary emails and alert them if someone is trying to recover their password. Helps in case of hackers having access to primary mail.

5. Remind users about the password recovery options

Oftentimes, we don’t remember the password recovery info until we lose the password :) So, it is better to remind us when we still have access and let us verify these info. Gmail does this.

6. Custom secret questions

Giving secret questions as a way to verify is good. But, give an option to write a custom question which the user will remember. Most of the websites give a very western  / upper class centric secret questions which the other half of the world cannot relate.

7. Tell if the username doesn’t exist

Many sites just say password is incorrect even if the user doesn’t exist. With users registering at many sites, they are bound to forget the correct user name too. Tell them if the user name doesn’t exist so they can try their regular user name and password combos.

8. Allow Recovery by both user name and email

Outdated website design

Does your website fit any of the following? Then your web site’s design is outdated for sure. Either you or your web designer is living in a cave ;)

* Never disappearing Under construction clip art sign. Mostly with a nice hammer and nail.

* Home page says Click here to enter for no reason (Except for adult sites)

* Ever loading home page flash screen with a skip flash button.

* Site full of frames.

* Site optimized for Internet Explorer 6.

* The whole site is an image map.

* Non Unicode sites with “find-me-where” download font links.

Related post: Things I hate in web design

Can you think of more clues? Let me know in comments.

Email Horoscope

One’s Email ID and usage behavior could reveal some info about his online history:

* Email IDs like sumathy1999@yahoo.com or john2009@hotmail.com with recent years indicates the year the Email ID was created.

* An Email ID with a very common name like ram@gmail.com or james@gmail.com indicates he was one of the earlier and long time users of the service. No way such a common name is freely available.

* Email IDs like mary1952@yahoo.com or mohammed1969@hotmail.com with very old years indicates the year the person was born.

*  An Email ID like biovishnu@xyz.com or mechsundar@123.com indicates the profession / interest of the person involved.

* An Email ID like writerkumar@gmail.com indicates that the writer is definitely Tamil and no global guy will recognize unless he himself declares as a writer ;)

* An Email ID like priya4raj@gmail.com or aruna4rishi@yahoo.com indicates that the girl is in love with that guy. Most probably the boyfriend will be checking her emails. Beware.

* Any email ID with hotmail.com indicates that the owner is an early user of internet who doesn’t know to move to better email services or he should be real dumb.

* A person with more than 3 email IDs (most likely from small sites) and checks it regularly is a newbie internet user.

* A person who keeps forwarding emails probably doesn’t use internet for anything else worth spending time.

* One who calls you to verify that you received an email is probably a grand father / grand mother who is excited to learn this internet stuff.

* One who uses Twitter instead of Email is a fairly advanced internet user.

Can you think of anything else? :)