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Posts Tagged ‘internet marketing’

The First Step to Building a Better Social Media Marketing Campaign

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It’s hard to gain any traction in your social media marketing campaign without any followers, so getting more potential customers to “like” you or become fans is a top priority for lots of businesses. But, we’ve noticed that most owners and managers start things out on the wrong foot…

Instead of asking, “How can I get more followers?” what about asking the next question: What can you do to be the kind of company people want to follow?

Those might sound like the same thing, but one implies taking a specific set of actions while the other involves changing around your social media marketing philosophy. To put it another way, it’s the difference between trying to “post more often” and thinking about what makes those posts and updates relevant in the first place.

To go a bit deeper into the issue, here are three things that make an organization stand out on social media:

1. An interesting or unique voice. The best companies don’t sound like all the other companies – they have a tone and style that is all their own. From the entertaining to the authoritative, social savvy companies get that it’s important to stand out in the crowd.

2. Timely content. There is nothing wrong with commenting on evergreen topics, but addressing current issues makes your social profile more relevant and gives it a “fresher” feel. So, be sure to leave some flexibility in your plan to address current or interesting ideas.

3. A bit of restraint. One of the first rules of social media marketing is that you need to post often. That’s true, but posting too often makes you seem like an overbearing advertiser, so make a point of not sharing or tweeting more than you should.

If you feel like your organization isn’t getting as much as it could be from social media marketing, why not talk to a member of our team and see how we can help you expand your reach and your profits at the same time?

Business Recognition Through Blogging

One of the first questions that potential clients often ask a business is where they can be found on the Internet. In the modern digital age, this is the preferred method by which most of the information about a business is gleaned. In turn, potential customers tend to shy away from businesses that do not have a strong web presence, as that can be seen as a sign they are not well established. Consequently, if the business does have a web presence, you can rest assured the potential customer will do their research and find out all they can.

Taking the Wrong Turn

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make when developing their web presence is to sound too disconnected from their customer base. Formulaic web content without a personal touch is easy to spot, and your customer will recognize it immediately. In turn, potential customers are sure to look elsewhere for a business that can take their needs into account throughout the transaction.

Many times potential customers report that they feel like they can’t trust a business that has general information that does not speak to them. They also tend to cite examples where they made purchases from these types of businesses and found there was no one that ever cared about helping them.

Engaging Content

One of the best ways to avoid this pitfall is to create custom content that is geared toward your target demographic and customer base. A well-written and engaging set of articles can be the difference from being seen as another run of the mill business or something special. Consequently, it is a great idea to have fresh and original content created in order to help brand yourself and engage your reader. This will definitely keep them coming back for more. Most businesses report that when they start offering something of value to their customer, beyond their product or service, they see a sharp rise in sales.

For instance, image you are selling a vacuum cleaner on the Internet and only have a website that lists all your vacuum cleaners and their prices. You might have even tossed in a section about how you are a family business or included a special five percent off coupon. This might generate some sales, but think how much better you could do with creative web content. Imagine creating an entire series of articles on quick cleaning tips, or ways to get your kids to clean up after themselves. Then at the bottom of this content you can create a link to your website where you can connect with a sale.

Starting a Blog

The best format that businesses have found to post this compelling and engaging content is on a blog. Your normal website will have all the foundational information about your business, including your products or services. However, your blog will be the place to let your potential customers hear the personal side of your business. You should be sure to speak directly to them and offer tips and information they will find useful, regardless of whether they buy your product or not.

This will create a relationship between you and the reader and will strengthen the bonds between you so that you will be the first one they come to when considering a purchase. Additionally, you will likely have your engaging blog posts shared on social media. People who get value out of quality content tend to share it, and you can use this to your advantage to get free marketing. 

Valerie Mellema is the owner of Words You Want and has over 7 years experience in the SEO writing industry. Read about what Words You Want has to offer and learn some great content marketing tips at http://blog.wordsyouwant.com

Social Media Street Smarts

Social networking sites made people’s lives more transparent and visible to the world. A lot of people use social media to show off and boast a little. It is like a vanity fair of the modern world.

If you think that burglars don’t use social media, you’re mistaken. Some of the burglars track down people’s profiles on Facebook and Twitter in order to see what pictures and statuses they post. Tweeting about your new BMW or a holiday on the Bahamas might be not a good idea. The burglar may get this information and break into your house when you’re gone. Better keep your travel plans private, don’t announce them to the world.

Social media poses a lot of privacy concerns by putting people’s lives on a display and modifying the privacy settings. A simple status update, a new Instagram picture or a check-in update on Foursquare can put your home security at risk. Posting your holiday pictures from Italy or any other country would only mean that your home is open for burglars. The worst part is that a lot of people use Foursquare and have no idea that their location is publicly available.

What can you do?

Burglars normally do their homework. First of all, they choose the house and monitor it for a while, they try getting as much information as they can about you and your habits. You should pay attention to your social media activity and follow some simple rules:

  • If you’re going on a trip for a couple of days or even weeks, don’t say that on Facebook and Twitter. Keep it a secret and let only your close friends know about your travel plans, otherwise burglars may know when you’re leaving and if anyone is staying at your apartment while you’re away;
  • Don’t indicate your exact address and phone number on your profiles;
  • Only your friends should see your profile updates. Check your Facebook settings and change you privacy from ‘public’ to ‘private.’ Your statuses should not be visible to general public;
  • Be wise about your online friends. Don’t add strangers to your friends list. You never know who they really are;
  • If you bought an expensive TV or an antique vase, uploading a picture of your newly purchased expensive things would only attract attention of criminals. If they know what to look for in your house, they would break in faster and leave the house as soon as they can. Burglar alarm would not help you in this case;
  • Some people cannot spend a day without posting a new status. That’s why you should stop indicating your every move online.

Think twice before you post your location on Twitter as criminals might use this information against you. Burglars look for easy targets and social media gives them carte blanche. Posts, pictures and daily updates may seem harmless to you and valuable for someone who’s planning on breaking into your apartment. Don’t forget to update your home security system before you travel next time.

Guest post by contributing author Richard O., working together with securitychoice.com.

Are You Following the Wrong Recipe for Pay-Per-Click Success?

ppc-pay-per-clickIf you’ve ever tried to teach yourself how to cook, you probably made one of those classic, head-slap mistakes that ruin an otherwise perfect dish. Common examples would be baking at the wrong temperature, using the wrong kinds of measuring cups, or substituting salt for sugar. In each case, they’re easy blunders to commit, but can kill the result you are looking for – even if you did everything else right.

The same principle applies to pay-per-click advertising, where too many business owners and executives are looking at the wrong goals. It’s understandable, but keeping an eye on the right set of figures makes all the difference, and it isn’t traffic, bid prices, or even click-through rates that matter most… it’s your cost per conversion for each important keyword or phrase.

That isn’t to say that those other numbers don’t work into the mix, but that they should be secondary to the cost-per-conversion calculation. Here are a few quick reasons why:

Cost-per-conversion keeps you better aligned to your business goals. If you spend less on advertising than you make in gross profits, your bottom line is going to generally move in the right direction. You can’t necessarily draw the same direct path from click-through rates or bid prices, though.

Watching your cost-per-conversion stops you from over (or under) paying for keywords. Sometimes, the best keywords seem too expensive, and the worst ones kill you slowly with low bid prices. Success with PPC is all about efficiency, and that’s where your cost-per-conversion figure comes in.

Cost-per-conversion puts PPC advertising into the right context with regard to the rest of your Internet marketing plan. The better understanding you have of this number, the easier it is to decide where to put your marketing dollars, especially when you weigh the cost-per-conversion of PPC versus direct mail, telemarketing, and other tools.

As we’ve already said, cost-per-conversion isn’t the only number that matters in online advertising, but keeping a close eye on it can help you make important decisions and stay on track. Have you been following the right recipe for Internet marketing success?

Can Press Releases Help Boost SEO And How? by savingprivateheron

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not just used in web content. This strategy can also be implemented in writing press releases. Contrary to popular beliefs, press releases are not something that only the big companies can benefit from. But with online directories becoming more and more popular, even the smaller brands stand to gain from this marketing utility. The success of press releases can be attributed to the fact that they seamlessly combine marketing and information. Written in the form of news, press releases mainly target the decision making persons of companies.


Combining Press Releases And SEO

It is a common knowledge that press releases written in optimized form result in a win-win situation for a certain business. There are some tips and tricks that, if employed, will further increase the effect of the press release.

Include statistics and research data. Just think of a piece of news from the front page of this morning’s paper. This is what the press release should look like in the end. The addition of facts and figures also makes the article more convincing and easier to believe.

Time your stories with other popular events. There is a greater chance of a high readership when the press release is related to something that is already in people’s minds. Picking arbitrary topics that are related to your business does not make quite an impact. Remember to make sure that your target audience should be able to relate to the story.

The length should be reasonable. People do not like to spend time reading long stories, especially if they are about something they have little interest in. An ideal length of a press release is 700-1000 words. Some marketers are of the opinion that it should be shorter, but realistically speaking, it is quite impossible to squeeze worthwhile content in just 400 words.

Add quotations. The weight of a press release is dramatically increased when quotations are included. The effect is even greater when they are by people in authority of the subject.

There should be a primary keyword phrase for all press releases. This phrase should be the same as that of a page on the website of the company that has been optimized for the primary keyword phrase of the press release.

Remember that a minimum of 200 backlinks is expected of a good online wire service. It is always a good idea to ask the service for an estimate of how many to expect.

These are some tips that would be very helpful in getting some valuable high profile inbound marketing campaigns. These backlinks in fact are the reason of writing press releases. The backlinks increase the popularity of the site by pulling it up in the search engine rankings.

Why SEO Press Releases Are Better Than The Traditional Ones

The traditional press releases have their own media benefits especially if the target audience tends not to be so active in the online world. However, in a time when the number of backlinks is a huge factor in determining the ranking of certain sites on search engines, there is simply no reason not to take advantage of it.

SEO press releases and copywriting are just few of the techniques for SEO. Scott Heron is a SEO consultant with 5 years of experience and extensive knowledge regarding the best suitable techniques for different websites. If you want to know more about SEO and online marketing, you can email Scott.

Promoting a New Site – Safely Author: Bellasmom

It happens all the time. People buy a domain, put up websites they think are better than their competitors’ and then just can’t understand why other sites outrank theirs.  They push too hard, copy what other sites are doing, and then are baffled when their rankings tank. I worked for this type of e-commerce company and learned from their mistakes. So, if this description fits your expectations, please read on.

Design and Rankings

Okay, it’s time to get over thinking that your amazing web design is reason enough for people to prefer your website. Sure, a great design will appeal to visitors and will make you look like a professional company. Easy navigation will keep visitors on your site longer and fast loading pages will help deter back clicks. But, as far as rankings are concerned, there is much more than looks involved. When you right click on your mouse and select “view source,” then you’re looking at what the search engines care about. It’s the skeleton of your website. The search engines know which content to attribute to your template and when there is actually original content from one page to another. They know when you copy the manufacturers’ description for every product.  As cool as your site may look, if you’re not presenting something better than your competitor’s sites’, the search engines don’t have a reason to rank your site higher.

Copying the Competition

Yes, you can learn from observing the things that make your competition successful. But, remember, when you copy what your competitor does right, you are also copying what your competitor does wrong. What your competitor does wrong may not be getting your competitor in trouble today, but if there are tricks involved, it’s a safe bet your competitor could get in trouble when a future algorithm update occurs.

Worrying About New Sites Ranking

This is the big one I heard about all the time. The company owner was furious when a brand new site came along and outranked his site. The best advice I can give you here is: relax. That site is enjoying a brief debut in the rankings while the search engines are exploring the site’s behavior. Chances are, that site won’t be showing up for that ranking for very long.

Safe Ways to Promote a New Site

New website owners are anxious to bring traffic in, but the wrong approach will land the site in Google’s sandbox where it will sit for months. Rather than focus on building links to a new site, you’re better off finding ways to encourage natural links. While many new business owners want to postpone social networking until a later date or cannot think how social networking will translate into sales, sharing your quality content will encourage others to link to it. Network with others in groups or complimentary fan pages. You might discover a cross-promotion opportunity.

When you do build your own links, start out with brand links, i.e. http://www.yourdomain.com, www.yourdomain.com, yourdomain.com, or your domain. If your business is a local one, get your business citations out there with business listing websites and network in community groups answering questions related to your business. Join associations related to your niche. These often provide high quality links.

Staying safe and experiencing steady growth may make you anxious, but you are far better off experiencing slow growth than risking harming your website. Familiarize yourself with the Google webmaster tools guidelines and focus the majority of your energy on making your website deserve to rank higher than your competitors. Improve the quality of your product pages, choosing your most popular products first. It’s a lot of work, but doing a good job of it will pay off.

Theresa Happe works with BuyDomains.com, a website where you’ll find available and premium domain names for sale, hosting services, registration, and excellent agent assistance.

The Ten Commandments of Internet Marketing Author: darenet

The original iPad, when it was introduced by Steve Jobs, was called by some the “Jesus tablet” because of its miraculous properties.  In the spirit of this idea, we can point out that some concepts of marketing must be followed religiously for an internet business to succeed.

Commandment Number One. Thou shalt tell the truth.  No business, on the internet or off of it will survive very long if they do not offer an honest product or service, and stand behind that product or service.

Commandment Number Two.  Thou shalt over deliver. The competition is brutal out there, and if you are not willing to go the extra step to give your customer what he wants, someone else will.

Commandment Number Three. Thou shalt listen to thy customers. Feed back and reviews are the best way to improve a business. Outside of yourself, no one knows your product like the people who have used it. Take their advice.

Commandment Number Four. Thou shalt adapt. The competition is not only brutal, but it is growing by the day.  You have to always be on the lookout for new ways to attract customers.

Commandment Number Five. Thou shalt diversify. A business cannot afford to be stagnant, especially in e-commerce. When trends shift, so must you, or be left behind.

Commandment Number Six. Thou shalt be flexible.Offer your customers as many ways to work with you as you possibly can. Credit cards, Paypal, debit cards. One entrepreneur made a sale because he was willing to accept, and wait, for a check, while others had no way of coping with the demand.

Commandment Number Seven. Thou shalt live by the golden rule. Which is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Treat not only your customers, but your suppliers, your competitors and your staff or service providers with respect.

Commandment Number Eight. Thou shalt be fair. Even when life isn’t fair, if you want to stand out above the crowd, make sure your policies are fair and treat customers right.

Commandment Number Nine. Thou shalt remain educated. The internet and e-commerce change at lightening speeds, and the only ones who can survive in this business are the ones who always know about the latest development, who can spot new trends and use the information to their advantage.

Commandment Number Ten. Thou shalt act sooner rather than later.With these lightening speeds come lightening fast decisions.  Once you have decided that an action has to be taken, take it. Innovation and adaptation are more critical in the internet world than anywhere.

If you need an internet marketing guru check this out before you hire. A quick background check will give you all of the information you need to protect your website and your investments.

What Your Customers Keep Telling Facebook, Google, and Amazon… and Need for You to Know

Within e-commerce and social media marketing circles, “privacy” seems to be the new watchword… and I doubt it’s going to go away any time soon.

Customers have long shown that sites like Amazon, which remember them and make appropriate suggestions based on their profiles and order histories, are appreciated and can be more profitable than simple straightforward storefronts. But on the other hand, consumers are pushing back hard against anything that they consider to be unauthorized, or unwarranted, sharing of their information.

This can be seen in the unveiling of Facebook’s new, detailed privacy settings, which have come after years of outcry in protest from consumer groups. Those follow similar concerns leveled at companies like Apple and Google, whom certain buyers feel are sharing too much of their personal information – or aren’t doing enough to protect it.

For the world’s biggest companies, these are headaches that have to be dealt with. For smaller businesses, however, they are even bigger warnings. That’s because, even though you might not have the ability to share information about your customers with billions of people at a time, you also probably can’t afford the lawsuits or negative public relations that would come with a backlash over customer privacy concerns.

And so, if you pay attention to the online business media, the message is clear: It’s OK to keep and use some info about your customers, but don’t share, sell, or post it in public without permission, because it could cost you heavily later. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and keep details to yourself. There’s very little to be gained from spreading information about your customers, or even other companies, over the Internet, and very much to be lost.

Over the next few years, it’s a virtual certainty that a handful of small businesses will disappear because they haven’t been discreet enough about buyer information. Respecting people’s privacy is the best way to make sure your company doesn’t become one of them.

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3 Terrible Ways to Save Money on a Business Web Design

If you’ve found yourself thinking that a new business website is just what you need to jumpstart your company, but that the price of having one professionally designed is tough to swallow, then you are not alone. In this economy, business owners are being faced with the twin challenges of getting more creative with their marketing – online and off – while still keeping costs down.

It’s no surprise that many are tempted to invest in a new business website, but cut corners in the process. Sometimes there’s just no way around it, but be careful where you try to save. Here are three terrible ways to try to lower the cost of a business web design:

By using a stock template. The problem with template sites isn’t that they can never look good, it’s that they rarely look good once you have installed and uploaded them. It’s easy for a site to look great with stock photos in dummy text, but only one that’s built for your company is going to help your business stand out from the millions of others on the web.

By going with the lowest bidder. While you don’t always get what you pay for, making business web design decisions based solely on price tends to get people in trouble. Why? Because there are only so many ways to reduce the cost of the business website, and cutting the amount of time and features that go in is the easiest one.  This work will most likely be done by an off-shore firm that will be hard to contact and communicate with when you need them most.  Working with a local firm you can meet with is always worth the extra you may pay.

By skipping a copywriter. No matter how great your site looks, the words on your pages have to be persuasive enough to get visitors to take action if you’re going to see any return on investment. Either invest the time you need to get the words right yourself, or the money to hire a professional writer – there’s no sense in saving a few dollars on writing if it’s going to cost you much more later.

Contact us for even more ideas.

Three Less Than Obvious Things To Look For In Business Web Design Samples

More and more, a trip to a business web designer’s office is like visiting an auto showroom. You can talk all you want about what’s important to you, or what you are hoping to find, but few business owners understand what it is they are looking for other than something pretty and shiny. They know what looks good, but that doesn’t give much insight into what a website looks like “under the hood.”

But as important as layouts and web designs are, performance is incredibly important when it comes to earning back the money you’ll spend on a quality business website. With that in mind, here are three things you should look for in any sample you like. They might not be obvious, and they may take a little work for you to check out, but we can promise it’s worth it:

Website loading times. There are a lot of truly beautiful business websites out there that turned out to be terrible business tools. Why? Because in this day and age, no one is going to sit around for 15 or 20 seconds while your site loads. You might think that doesn’t stop them, but if your design team is stuck on old software or ideas, they can really slow your site down.

Ease of navigation. In the same way, there are more choices than ever on the Internet. Hoping that customers will hang around long enough to find what they’re looking for isn’t good enough – they should be able to reach their ultimate destination in three clicks or less. A good business web design team will help you create a site that’s as easy on your customers’ patience as it is their eyes.

Capability across browsers, computers, and smart phones. A modern business website doesn’t just have to load in several different browsers and computer setups, but may have to be accessible via smart phones and other mobile devices, as well. Regardless of whether you are going to offer separate mobile sites, make sure that what you’re getting can be viewed by customers with any kind of Internet access.

Contact us to learn more.