Thursday, January 03, 2008

Site structure is paramount to your SEO success

Why is site structure important to SEO?

As I have mentioned before, the most important base for SEOing any site or blog is site structure. It actually can also help you get the most contextual links, without even trying. Here is a real life example. We are just in the process of helping to SEO a very popular small business cashless marketplace. It’s a Barter network of 24,00 small businesses with many more thousands of barter items in it’s trading community. It’s a trading community where cash is not required, but it’s a secure private business network that is professionally managed. Why am I mentioning so much about the details, well they have at least 24,000 web pages, and they could all be very valuable link inventory. This asset needs to be indexed by search engine friendly URL’s, title tags, description tags, content keywords, and footer text, all of them can be done by a proper site structure.

Guess what folks, you already know that, as you are probably big fans of Wordpress, and it’s incredible SEO site structure capabilities. Do you have any idea what 24,000 contextual links will do for your SEO rankings? If you could get 24,000 pages worth of links, you would get top Google rankings for sure, pretty much for any category. But, guess what in this case, these pages are not being indexed properly by Google. Don’t worry we will soon fix, that through Mod Rewrite, SEF, and proper Title Tags and Descripton tags, etc. I wrote this blog earlier today, on my small business blogs, really folks Barter works, I think we might be getting a client, and we have only joined the ITEX bartering network for 2 days. Wow!

Barter Network, Trade Exchange helps small business
January 3rd, 2008 at 04:10 pm by Admin in Barter Items, Small Business Marketing

How can a Barter Network and a trade exchange help small business achieve success? Bartering has been around for a long time, and a Barter Network such as ITEX with thousands of Barter Items and a Trade Exchange community can help any small business by Increasing sales and increasing cash flow. Marketplace-photo-blog-from_sxc.hu How? Read on, as you already know we have been talking about Barter and online marketplaces such as ITEX barter network for a couple of weeks. We want to hear from you about your small business success stories, if you have tried Barter or not. Or if you ever belonged to a business networking group such as Business Networking Intl. or La tip.

What are you doing ot increase your small business sales and to reduce your small business marketing costs? We also want to hear about any other ideas for your online marketplace ideas any barter items that you would like to see more of or anything else you have in mind as a small business owner. Barter Network for business community photo blog from sxc.hu

Here is a press release from ITEX CEO Steve White about the value his trade exchange provides small businesses. I am going to add my comments in italics and reinforce some main points.

Press Release Source: ITEX Corporation

A Message From the Chairman of ITEX Corporation
Thursday December 6, 9:00 am ET

BELLEVUE, Wash., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — ITEX Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: ITEX - News), The Membership Trading Community(SM), a leading marketplace for cashless business transactions in North America, today released a letter from Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven White to shareholders reporting on 2007 achievements and looking ahead to the Company’s future.

                    THE YEAR IN REVIEW AND A LOOK FORWARD

December 6, 2007

DEAR VALUED SHAREHOLDERS:

I am pleased to report that ITEX has continued to maintain its solid record of performance. Today, I will summarize our fiscal 2007 achievements, our strengths and challenges, and the steps we are taking to move the company forward.

What we do

For 25 years we have helped our members attract new & small business through our trading business community. Our identity is encapsulated in our slogan: “ITEX, The Membership Trading business Community(SM) is a leading marketplace for cashless business transactions across North America.” We generate revenue by charging members percentage-based transaction fees and subscription fees. These two revenue streams generated 99% of our $14 million in revenue last year.

Initiatives

Every day, we work to grow our business and maintain a profitable marketplace that assists businesses in becoming more successful. As our members succeed, they are motivated to transact more business and refer new members to our trading community.

This past year we endeavored to more clearly refine what we do, improve our processing methods, and attract more business. Surveys and focus groups provided valuable insight into the needs, wants and expectations of the small business owner: our core customer. We sharpened our message to existing and potential members. We analyzed our value proposition and determined we could offer more. New revenue streams were explored and the groundwork laid to start testing our ideas.

As a result of our efforts this year, our messaging to existing and potential members is more concise, our marketing material and website has been redesigned, and we introduced the Executive Privileges Program. I wonder if there will be any initiatives to help grow small businesses, by building a more powerful online business community.

We seek to expand our presence in the small business services sector and accelerate the velocity of transactions in our trading online business community. In a challenging national economy, we are convinced small businesses can benefit even more from the valuable services we provide. We believe a credible and effective online marketplace for small business is still one of the most needed, it certainly an area deficient within the small business marketing segment.

Strengths

ITEX has three primary strengths — our 24,000 member business base, our proprietary payment processing and trading platform (”Trading Platform”) and our ability to manage our capital and the operations of our business efficiently and profitably.

Our Trading Community has grown more than 50% in the last 30 months. We believe the relationship with our member base is underused and undervalued, but is a significant asset with tremendous potential. To enhance this asset, additional partnerships and services are being explored. Hello, does an online marketplace, and an online business community, of benefit to any one in small business marketing?

Our Trading Platform provides excellent tools for our members, our best franchises network and our corporate staff, and benefits from a steady stream of enhancements and support. This platform can be expanded to attract many payment processing or private currency systems. In the future we may license our Trading Platform to other businesses to manage their private, closed-loop business models. We do not anticipate licensing the Platform to competitive barter exchanges, rather to the growing business opportunity of cashless, private enterprise transactions.

We manage our capital efficiently and continue to generate strong cash flow. Our cash flow in 2007 exceeded $2.5 million. We retired the acquisition debt that originated late in fiscal 2005, funded a new acquisition we completed August 1, 2007, and repurchased and retired shares of common stock. Both acquisitions increased our member base and our revenues, and are expected to contribute to net income. In the near term, we plan to use our capital to either pay off the recent acquisition, buy back more shares at an opportunistic price or fund new acquisitions.

In addition to our cash revenue streams, we generated more than $4 million ITEX dollars in fiscal 2007 and expect to generate more than $5 million in fiscal 2008. The ITEX dollars were primarily used as revenue share and sales incentives with franchisees, and for incentives for existing members. This year we will utilize some of ITEX dollars to offset cash expenses and provide opportunities to enhance our trading community.

Challenges

Our primary objective is to increase member count and generate broader acceptance by the small business sector. Although our revenue has grown 34% and member count by 50% since 2003, this growth has occurred primarily through acquisitions. We are focusing on organic growth, which will help continue our overall successful track record. I am pleased to report we are seeing signs of this growth in the first fiscal quarter of 2008.

    Achievements in the past fiscal year include:
-- Strong profits, allowing us to realize a sizeable tax benefit
-- Introduction of Executive Privilege Program
-- Launch of free online member registration
-- Placement of educational videos on website - useful for members and
prospects

A look towards our future

In the almost five years since I began serving as Chairman and CEO, we have overcome several hurdles and mended legacies inherited from the past. I am proud and grateful for the support that has been afforded me by shareholders, our staff and our broker offices. We continue to build a stronger company and find ways to grow and prosper. And, yes a big thanks to all of our small business members in our marketplace and business community!

Many have fore casted onerous economic conditions for the coming year. During times such as these, our Trading Community can flourish as businesses utilize services to not only survive, but prosper as we assist them in selling their goods and services. There is a dynamic energy in our Trading Community that keeps commerce rolling, their ITEX dollars working and their calendars full.

It is our mission to put ITEX on the financial map and to see its greatness achieved. Whether by organic growth or further acquisitions, or both, we will strive to become an expanding force that will benefit our trading community members, assist our franchisees and increase value for our shareholders. Being successful in business requires a lot of endurance, tenacity and resolve, not to mention constant care for your clients, in our case small business barter network. We are resolute in continuing our efforts to maintain your trust and confidence.

On behalf of ITEX Barter Trading Community, I would like to thank our diligent employees; the best franchise network (and their staff), whose dedication and drive is a vital component in our success; our small business members, to whom we strive to deliver value and service; and our valued stockholders for your continuing support and interest.

    Sincerely yours,

Steven White
Chairman of the Board
Chief Executive Officer

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning our expected performance (as described without limitation in the quotations from current management in this release) and comments within the safe harbor provisions established under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted and reported results should not be considered as an indication of our future performance. We believe that these potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation: the continuing development of successful marketing strategies for our concepts; our ability to increase revenues and sustain profitability; the availability of adequate working capital; our dependence both on key personnel and our franchise network; and the effect of changes in the overall economy and in technology. Statements in this release should be evaluated in light of these factors. These risk factors and other important factors that could affect our business and financial results are discussed in our periodic reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Forms 10-KSB and Forms 10-QSB, which are available at http://www.sec.gov., including under the caption, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” All information set forth in this release is as of December 6, 2007, and ITEX undertakes no duty to update this information.

For more information, please visit http://www.itex.com

**This News Release was modified with minor comments in “ITALICS” for the purposes of this small business blog!

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