Improve Alexa Ranking - Who Cares?

As someone who loves to look at web stats, I can't help by act surprised every time I see people interested in a topic that to me is somewhat meaningless.  Now, I'm not saying that I'm the end all be all with regard to what topics should be part of any mainstream conversation but this one really surprised me - Alexa Rankings!

Alexa's been around for a very long time.  If you're not familiar with Alexa, let me give you a quick background. Alexa is owned by and known for its toolbar and Web site information. In 1996, Amazon paid 250 million bucks for this site (stock deal) which was quickly becoming one of the standard measures of a website's traffic.  

Users can install an Alexa toolbar which collects data on browsing behavior which is transmitted to the site where it's stored and analyzed.  This data is used for the company's web traffic reporting which is very robust and informative. 

What's great about Alexa is that you really don't need to install anything on your site to get data and it's free.  You can view info about your site, competitor's sites, and really anyone's site for that matter.  The only thing that I've ever included on my site is a little Alexa widget that gives me quick stats each time I visit my site.  Unlike other analytic programs you don't need to place code on every page of your website.  Don't ask me how it works, it just does.  

So why are people so concerned about Alexa ranking?
People are obsessed about rankings.  And why wouldn't they be?  Everyone wants to see where they rank among their peers and strive to be number one.  But Alexa's been around forever and it seems that all of a sudden there is a renewed interest in Alexa rankings.  Personally, I would think that people are more interested in Klout, Facebook Likes, or some other "measure" of online popularity.  

Giving it some additional thought, maybe the draw is simply that website owners who don't subscribe to other analytic rating services, like Compete, want to see how they rank among their peers.  And the reality is you wont find a more popular resource for website rankings as  The other benefit is that Alexa provides some amazing insight into your traffic that you just can't get anywhere else.  

The screen shot I provided on this post shows real Alexa information on one of my websites,  You can see from the traffic breakdown that the majority of organic traffic is coming from Alexa related terms.  About four years ago I wrote an article on "Improving your Alexa Ranking" and now it seems to be one of the largest drivers of traffic on my site.  I suppose this is the unintended consequence of writing about an emerging topic which has now become mainstream.

Improving your Alexa Ranking
Although a number of the recommendations I made in my original article are no longer valid, the overall concept of Alexa ranking remains the same.  The secret to top Alexa rankings is traffic and inbound links.  Of course, there are other factors you can manipulate to improve your rankings as well.

1.  Make sure to register on Alexa and complete your profile.
2.  Get others to review your site on Alexa.
3.  Place an Alexa widget on your own website.

Once you've applied the three recommendations above, the next step is to start generating traffic to your website.  There are plenty of books on generating traffic so I'll just give you two recommendations that have served me well.

The first is to focus on search engine optimization.  SEO is one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal for generating traffic and seeing results.  This has been my number one asset for generating sustainable traffic to my website day over day and month over month.  (Check out SEO Made Simple)

The second traffic strategy is creating something that's unique or worth returning to your site for.  In my case, I didn't see my Alexa ranking break 100,000 until I added a forum to my website.  Once I did, the traffic and repeat visitors significantly improved my Alexa ranking.  Think about sticky content that can draw your visitors in and back to your site over a sustained period of time.

Apply the techniques and Alexa ranking improves
Put these tips and strategies to work for you.  If you don't see your Alexa ranking moving too much, be patient.  The goal is to continually be strive towards a lower ranking.  Remember, progress is your objective.  The more traffic and links you build, the better your Alexa ranking.

Marketing Lessons From

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Louis Rix, Marketing Director from - one of the world's fastest growing online automotive sites. In this interview, Louis not only provides some insight into how he's winning big with online marketing, but also provides helpful online marketing tips any business can use to increase leads and online sales.

1. Hi Louis, tell us about your current role at
Currently in my role as marketing director of I manage the relationships with our PR Company, SEO Agency and Design Agency (everything passes through me). I work closely with our internal PPC Manager and link building team. I am also responsible for reporting to the board on a monthly basis with all new and ongoing developments.

2. How has changed it's online marketing strategy over the past few years?
We’ve only been established for 12 months. However, in that time we’ve covered a massive amount of ground. We have a very complex PPC campaign that can itemized down to a “T”.  We have also launched Facebook advertising; competitions to grow our fan base and increase website traffic. Twitter has been a great tool for us to use from both a BtoB and BtoC point of view and we’re constantly engaging with our audience. Linkedin Advertising is also used to create brand awareness and drive sign ups. As a business we also invest heavily in natural search. We work alongside a very accomplished SEO Agency but we also have internal link builders.

3. What are the 3 most effective online strategies you've used to fuel's amazing growth?
The 3 biggies are: PPC, SEO, Revenue Share Partnerships.

4. What's the biggest challenge you face when it comes to online marketing?
Staying ahead of the game/competition in natural search. Constantly re-engineering our site from a user engagement point of view.

5. Do you anticipate any significant changes coming to online marketing in the near future?
The huge growth of Social Media advertising and the huge rise in the number of people accessing the internet through their mobile/smart phones is leading to large increases in mobile advertising. Gamification is also a hot topic at the moment.

6. What did you do previously in your professional life that prepared you to be the Marketing Director for
From 2001 to mid 2010 I ran with my brother Reg. Car Finance 247 is a successful car finance broker/dealer that operates nationwide in the UK. I still own this business with my brother but due to our commitments with our new venture we have a management team in place that control the business and report into us both. While running Car Finance 24/7 I was in control of all online marketing (Affiliate, SEO, and PPC). This is where I learned and honed all of my skills that have enabled me to successfully adapt to my new role.

7. How will Netcars be on the cusp of change for online marketing? Do you plan to join the gamification trend?
At Netcars we’re constantly on the lookout for new, exciting marketing ideas. Gamification is definitely something we’ll be launching in early 2012. We’ll be rewarding “net points” to users (to buy car parts for their digital car) for commenting on blog posts, writing car reviews, participating in the forum and helping our community. The end user is always in the forefront of our minds whenever we make any developments to the Netcars website. We’re going to be working hard on improving the data displayed on our “Used Brand/Model” category pages by adding videos, make/model comparison statistics and an “ask the expert” section.

8. What makes Netcars different than other online automotive sites?
Our motto is “We do things differently” – this is clearly displayed in our unique PPC billing model. We can also move quicker than our larger counterparts. We want to share our data whereas everyone else keeps their stats locked away. We also aim to make the car locating process an exciting one rather than a mundane task.

9. What tips on SEO can you give our readers?
Follow 4 steps:

a. Keyword Research – How do your users search for your product? Do not overlook this important stage. You will uncover “low hanging fruit” (high volume search terms with low competition). There are plenty of keyword research tools out there including Google’s free tool

b. Site Architecture – this will be determined by your keyword research. Most importantly you have to make sure your site is accessible to search engine spiders. Once that box has been ticked you need to chart the funnel/architecture from your homepage to every page on your website. Do all relevant sections interlink (allowing link juice to follow)? Make sure you have your most important pages at a maximum of 2 clicks away from your homepage.

c. Link Building – Quality over Quantity! Obtain links from relevant, authoritative partners, sites talking about your products. Obtain guest posts/articles from highly respected websites. Make the most out of your PR efforts – syndicate press releases online (with back links embedded).

d. Constantly engage via Social – Facebook shares and tweets are being indexed by Google and are a ranking factor. Make sure you’re engaging with your audience and offer a wide variety of help and information. If someone has a bad experience on your site or with your product talk to them. Don’t just “sell” yourself on Social Media – people will become bored.

10. What tips on PPC can you give our readers?
First, it’s massively important to be able to quantify your PPC spend. If you can’t track goals you’re screwed as you won’t know what adgroups/campaigns are converting or not. Here are a few more:

a. Test ad copy.
b. Day parting – some days convert better than others.
c. Time parting – some hours of an individual day also convert better.
d. Add sitelinks to your PPC adverts. They increase CTR (click through rate). 
e. Positive reviews. If you have over 30 positive reviews on your product make sure they are coming through in your ads. Again the star seller ratings increase CTR.
f. Use your keyword research to plan out you Campaigns and Adgroups.
g. Constantly manage your bids. Position 3-4 may convert better than position 1.
h. Never give up – you don’t have a business if you can’t make Google PPC pay for you.

Special thanks for the guest post and marketing tips from Louis Rix...

Louis Rix is the Marketing Director for one of the fastest growing online automotive sites in the UK.

Go To Market Strategy

I'm often asked about the art and science of a go-to-market strategy.  Although there's really not perfect plan when it comes to developing effective marketing programs for your products or services, I do believe that there are a number of key components to the best go-to-marketing programs.

If you're not familiar with a go-to-market strategy, it's really a road map for introducing your offering to the marketplace.  It's based on creating a unique position in the market which includes pricing, messaging, and promotional campaigns.  Essentials of a strong go-to-market plan include:

1.  Product positing.  Determine what your unique selling proposition is.  What is your differentiation and who are you trying to sell to?  Once you know just how different your products is and who your target is you can make decisions on price, packaging, and so on.

2.  Know your customer.  Do you have a clear picture of who will pay for your product or service?  Understanding the purchase decision process of your buyer - how they use the product, the need your product solves, what they are willing to pay for - makes all the difference.

3.  Segment by event.
 Are there specific buying occasions that are important to your buyer?  In the past, most go to market plans were based on product launches or arbitrary media dates.  Today, in order to be effective, you need to consider significant buying times for your customers.  What events are times of year drive behavior?  Knowing and capitalizing on these events is essential fr your go-to-market plan.

4.  Determine your sales strategy.
 Before rolling our your marketing plans you need to consider the sales strategy.  Are you going to drive prospects to a face-to-face meeting, leverage your inside sales team, or move them into an online purchase funnel?  Consider all of the buying steps before going to market.

5.  Pilot your program.
 The most effective programs are those which are tested on a small scale.  Before you put all of your marketing eggs into a single basket, consider rolling out your plans on a small test group.  This allows you to better control and test all aspects of your marketing plan while minimizing risk.

6.  Refine your go-to-market strategy.
 Once you begin to roll out your plan, be mindful of what's working and what needs improvement.  The goal of marketing isn't perfect but continuous improvement.  Through measurement and refinement, you can get the most from your go-to-market plan.

7.  Test. Test. Test.
 Don't settle for good.  Focus on great.  After you do the initial launch of your plan, document what works, what doesn't, and what you'll do differently next time.  Documentation is the key to avoiding mistakes in the future and building on your successes.

Go-to-market strategies always vary in size, scope, and timing.  But effective strategies have all considered the key elements of: positioning, knowing your customers, segmenting by event, sales strategy, pilot programs, refining and testing your plan.  If you want to success with your next marketing roll out, make sure you've considered all of these elements as part of your go-to-market plan.

7 Benefits Your Business Can Gain From Blogging

Guest post from Jeremy Tan, Survivor Marketing 

The reality of starting a blog is both straightforward and low cost. Setting up a blog is virtually effortless and rather easy to manage. As a result, blogs are now part of our everyday lives. Thanks to the publicity that the Internet provides to bloggers and social media experts has led to the circulation of more than 100 million blogs online.

Many of these blogs or websites have received hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and also earned massive amounts of revenue from advertising. This has helped them to become establish significant status online.Yet, there are still a number of people who are not convinced that blogging can provide immense benefits for your business!

As such, we at SurvivorMarketing have come up with 7 Benefits Your Business Can Gain From Blogging. We hope that you will be enlightened as to how your business may be losing out to your online competitors and better understand why you should start managing a blog to boost the growth of your business.  Here Are The 7 Benefits Your Business Can Gain From Blogging: 

1. Expose Your Business to A Wider Audience
The power of the Internet is massive and rapidly evolving with an escalating number of users who surf the web on a daily basis. Search Engines such as Google and Yahoo are immensely popular for users with queries of all kinds. Approximately 60% of all blog traffic comes from search engine results. By blogging high quality content regularly and targeting the right keywords, your blog can climb above your competitors organically, increasing online visibility, and thus exposing your business to a wider audience!

You might want to read my articles on the 3Key SEO Strategies  or even download my free "Ultimate SEO Guide" Ebook  for more insights on how to rank even higher in search engines! 

2. Provides an Avenue To Showcase Your Knowledge
Utilizing blogs to showcase your knowledge or areas of expertise is an effective method for anyone to build their online reputation and credibility on the Internet. Blogs can be perceived as a powerful forum for all marketers to share their passions and clarify doubts. It may come in various forms -- be it a coffee enthusiast reviewing his cup of joe, or a touring agent sharing tips on what to do in various destinations! In any case, by blogging, you can position your business as the online authority for specific niche your business is in. When you are popular enough, you will generate an influx of traffic looking for your opinion! 

3. Provides an Avenue For People To Respond
Remember, blogs should never be used as a one-way communication tool. You must allow, or ENCOURAGE your customers to respond to you! Blog readers might find a particular article of yours helpful, leave a comment of appreciation, or reach out to you with questions about your content. You must be prepared to respond as well as be open to criticisms and negative feedback.

The key for your blog and your business to succeed is to always think like the customer. When you do, you’ll understand what the demands of your customers are and how you can meet them. By looking at how your customers respond, you will be able to know them better, establish a meaningful relationship and even sell them your products! If you can cater to their needs and demands, your sales will surely be soaring! 

4. Allows You to Project The Brand Of Your Business
Nobody relishes faceless corporate marketing messages or boring product catalogs -- People prefer to buy from people. This is possibly why advertisements do not focus on product attributes but rather attempt to project a brand and personality that customers can relate to and buy into. The overall tone of your blog should be an informal one. This is because you are actually expected to offer a human perspective, assume controversial positions, and showcase the uniqueness of your business to the public. 

5. Allows You To Remain Updated
In order for you to produce quality content, you have to do research and read extensively on specific areas or topics. Though it might be a tedious job, it allows you to be constantly up to date on new developments in your industry. Since the Internet is rapidly evolving, even on a daily basis, it’s vital for your business to keep in touch with shifting opinions and influential people! 

6. Provides a Platform To Convey News Regarding your Business
This is a very important point to take note of if you are managing a small or large business. Consider this: Are you aware of how many people actually read your press releases? I'm telling you now -- the numbers are truly few. This means that even your key customers might be oblivious to any new products or services that your business might be creating. This is truly a lost opportunity unless you broadcast your message through multiple channels.

Also, if your business were to face a problem, assuming you needed to issue a product batch recall for example, your blog could serve as an established platform to notify and communicate your position with your customers. While many people are blind to news conveyed through traditional media, an increasing number of people are actually seeking authoritative blogs for knowledge and advice. 

7. Allows Your Business to Stand Out From Your Rivals
Indeed, there might be more than 100 million blogs existing on the Internet. Yet, how many of them are actually company blogs, or to be more precise, how many of them are GOOD company blogs? Optimize your blog well, write good quality content, provide good customer service, and your business can achieve a valuable point of competitive advantage.

This article is written by Jeremy Tan, a Young Budding Internet Marketer and Webmaster of SurvivorMarketing. He specializes in ares of SEO as well as web marketing fundamentals. He enjoys receiving reader feedback and comments, which can be directed to

New Study: How Online Marketing Drives Growth and Profitability in Professional Services Firms

Online marketing has its roots in consumer and product marketing, so it is not surprising that the professional services have been slower to embrace it. Today, many firms continue to believe that finding new clients is all about relationships and referrals. Well, a new study of online marketing for professional services firms is blowing that theory right out of the water.

This study of 500 firms, supplemented by an expert panel of 20 top digital marketing authorities, uncovers dramatic evidence that could accelerate firms’ adoption of online marketing techniques. Below are seven key findings from the study, which our research team released last week:

1. Firms that generate at least 40% of their leads online grow 4X faster than firms that do not generate any online leads.This fact alone gives firms that embrace online lead generation a tremendous competitive advantage. But the old ways of generating business aren’t obsolete yet. The highest growth rates occur when there is a balance between online and offline leads (40-60% of leads from online sources).

2. Increasing online lead generation boosts profitability for the entire firm.Profitability doubles in firms that generate 60% or more of their leads online. So online lead generation accelerates both growth and profitability. As far as we have been able to determine, this is the first time that correlation has been documented in the professional services. 

3. The effectiveness of online marketing is directly related to the level of usage.We asked the firms to rate 15 popular online marketing tools on two criteria: how much they used them and how effective they were. We found that firms that used the tools more frequently enjoyed better results. Obviously, you can’t dabble in online marketing techniques and expect solid results. 

4. Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are driving the success of professional services firms.In terms of overall effectiveness, SEO was rated the top technique by study participants and our panel of experts, followed closely by web analytics, blogging, usability testing and whitepapers. 

This is a powerful combination, and it is well suited to the habits of professional services buyers. Professional services markets are typically very competitive, and the sales process is complex. As a result, buyers are actively seeking education and information. So sellers need a way to be found and distinguish themselves.

5. Social media for the professional services is dominated by LinkedIn and Twitter.These two tools are well established in many firms. YouTube and Facebook have potential, but today they lag well behind in rated effectiveness.

6. Online marketing is also useful in recruiting new employees.Recruiting top talent is an ongoing challenge for many professional services firms. After all, their people are their product. About 55% of firms report recruiting new hires online, while one in four firms hire 40% or more of their people that way. Digital recruiting is particularly strong in the government contracting and technology sectors.

7. Online marketing in the professional services is poised to take off.Consider this. Almost half (46%) of professional services firms have redesigned their website in the last year. For firms that fit our “high growth” profile, the figure is over 85%. In addition, two thirds of firms plan to increase their online marketing budget next year, while less than 1% plan to decrease it. And the average increase in online spending is a hefty 56%. Clearly, momentum is building.

So what does this all mean for professional services firms? I see three big implications.
First, if your firm is not generating new business or new hires from online sources, you are missing out on huge opportunities for growth and profit. Sticking with traditional marketing tactics is not going to be a sustainable strategy. While relationships and referrals remain important, they are — literally — only half of the picture.

Second, even if you are actively involved in online marketing, you have more to do. While there are no silver bullets, the study’s high growth firms and panel of experts revealed many opportunities for average firms to enhance their marketing effectiveness, including SEO, usability testing and webinars.

Third, if you are not aggressively investing in online marketing, you are falling behind. This situation will put you at a growing disadvantage as other firms increase their budgets and, in due course, enjoy greater profits and faster growth. As time passes, it will get more costly and difficult to catch up.

The good news is that it is not too late to get in the game. But the results of this study underscore the need to act quickly. The ROI is there. The model is proven. And the momentum is shifting.

Lee Frederiksen is Managing Partner of Hinge, a firm specializing in branding and marketing for professional services. Lee, who was the Research Director for the online marketing study described in this post, welcomes your comments and feedback.

Optimize Your Videos For YouTube

One of the most popular search engines online today wasactually started created by three former PayPal employees back in February2005.  It’s not Google, Yahoo, or Bing –it’s YouTube.  The site attractscountless viewers every day and is considered to be the largest video based websiteon the Internet.

Developing and promoting videos is a great way to generatetraffic and promote your products, services, and special offers.  Thequestion everyone wants answered is how to get your videos ranked high onYouTube and even appear in organic search results too.  The good news is that by following a few basic optimization principles, you can quickly and easily optimize your videos for YouTube.

Let’s start with some basic YouTube ranking factors. This search engine works differently thanother search algorithms.  From myexperience, where you appear on the platform and in relation to specific searchqueries depends on a few factors. 

1. Relevancy.Metadata is exceptionally important on YouTube because of the search algorithmitself as well as the role that related videos play as part of the overallvideo viewing experience. Your video title, description, keywords, etc. areheavily weighed as part of search queries. 

2. Ratings. YouTube,just like Amazon, puts a lot of weight on user ratings.  The rating and quantity of reviews indicatesthe viewer’s approval of your video and tells the search algorithm that yourvideo is ideal to promote to the rest of the YouTube universe. 

3. Responses.  YouTube is also very interested in thecomments and responses that others are making. When individuals take the time tosubmit video responses in addition to comments, YouTube gauges the additionalinterest as a key indicator of popularity, thus moving your video higher and higher in search results.

    Optimizing your video is based on four simple, yet powerfulsteps.  True video optimization beginswith the video itself.  It’s thenfollowed by properly formatted titles, tags, and descriptions. 


    When you produce your video, keep your video length longerthan one and a half minutes but shorter than eight minutes.  Videos that seem to rank well both on YouTubeand organically follow this general rule of thumb with regard tolength.  Also, be sure to speak clearly when producing your video,using keywords in the first 10 seconds of the video and last 10 seconds ofthe video.  It’s believed that Google isactually indexing some of your audio. 


    Title your video like you would a pay-per-click ad.  You want users to click through on your titleto improve interactivity and views.  It's certainly believed that having a strong title and good click-through-ratecan boost the rankings of your video.

    When creating your title, include your most importantkeywords at the beginning of the title and keep the title brief.  The shorter the title the more weight you're giving to your keyword phrases.  However,you want the title to be powerful enough to encourage clicks.  Remember to use your keywords first, brandinglast, and encourage click-throughs. 


    When creating your description, again, be sure to use yourkeywords in the beginning.  Youdefinitely have more room than you did in your title or even on conventionalsearch engines to describe your video.  Keep in mind that youcan use the description to include information about your video in general andprovide specific info on products or services.

    I always like to place a URL to a site I’d like to promoteat the very beginning of my YouTube video description. This ensures that theURL is visible and clickable next to your video.  It’s a great way to promote third-partysites, passing authority and link juice of significant proportion. 


    One of the best ways to optimize your tags is to again beginwith your chosen keyword phrase.  Thesecond step is to do some research in the channel that your video will likelyfit into.  What types of tags are beingused by the top ranking videos?  Youshould integrate some of the same tags into the tags associate with your videoto ensure a good ranking among similar videos that have already been posted. 

    Just the Beginning

    Optimizing just a few features on YouTube such as the videoitself, title, description, and video tags is a good starting point for improving theranking of your videos.  There are avariety of additional techniques to further optimize videos for YouTube that deal more closely with the social aspect of the video site itself.  Views,reviews, etc. are all significant factors designed to manipulate video rankingson YouTube.  I’ll be sure to cover theseadditional factors in future posts.

    Three Marketing Tips for Understanding Your Online Audience

    Marketing is an ever changing enterprise. As technology continues to influence our business efforts more and more, our marketing efforts to will need to change and adapt. While marketing was at one time all about print images and static advertisements, it has now become fully intertwined with the internet. Online marketing has in many ways become the name of the game for businesses and products everywhere. 

    Allowing you to easily reach a vast audience and pinpoint your exact target, the internet is a marketer's dream. While online marketing is a major component of any successful marketing plan, there are many ways to make your online marketing efforts more successful. Follow these three marketing tips to better understand and target your specific audience online. 

    How Is Your Audience Using the Internet?One of the most important things to know about your target audience as an online marketer is how they use the internet when they are online. If you can begin to understand how your consumers are using the web then you can come up with a better way to get to them. Does your target audience use the web for work or for entertainment? What are their favorite types of sites to use? All of these questions can help define who your audience is and how to more easily locate them online. 

    If your audience uses search engines as their primary transportation around the web, then SEO efforts may significantly benefit your marketing campaign. If you find that your main audience uses social networks as their primary online endeavor, you can find ways to incorporate social media and social networking into your marketing efforts. Knowing how your audience uses the internet will take some time to pinpoint, but will greatly improve your marketing campaign. 

    Where Does Your Audience Spend Their Time Online?While this sounds very similar to the last tip, there is distinct difference. Once you know what your audience goes to the internet for, you can work to discover where specifically they spend their time online. Knowing exactly where your target audience hangs out is essential to reaching them. If you have determined that your audience uses the internet for their business and professional lives then you can get a better idea of what sites they use specifically. 

    Conversely, if your target audience uses the internet for their social interests, you can focus your marketing around rocial networks and social hubs. Search Engine Optimization for your marketing sites and marketing pages is always a great bet for any target audience. If you can be visible on the major search engines, you will find a significant amount of your audience there. However, knowing what specific sites your target demographic uses is no doubt a huge marketing advantage. 

    What Is Your Competition Up To?Though it may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, knowing and understanding your competition can give you a better perspective on who your target audience really is. Not only is it good advice to know what your competition is up to in general, you can also use this information to evaluate your audience. By researching your competitions' marketing efforts, you can see what their interpretations of your mutual audience is. This can help you figure out who your audience is or help you decide if you are marketing to the right group of people. 

    Find your competitors online and see how they are marketing their product or services. You can learn a few things from their techniques and also learn how to be different from the rest. The internet is all about finding a new way to do or show things. If you are just doing the same things as your competitors, it is likely you won't get much further than them. Keep a close eye on your competition and work to find ways to market your services or product in a new way.

    Guest post by Mariana Ashley.  Mariana is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to