Posts Tagged ‘seo’

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?

4 Common Online Marketing Mistakes That Kill Conversion Rates

Online marketing is a little bit like dieting, in the sense that most of the main principles and ideas are fairly well-known and understood, but that doesn’t stop people from making common mistakes or trying to take shortcuts. And, more often than not, these mistakes and shortcuts don’t just make Internet marketing less efficient, but also end up costing businesses more in the long term.

To help you avoid the biggest blunders, here are four common online marketing mistakes that kill conversion rates and eat away at your bottom line:

1. Unfocused web design. There are a lot of different errors that fall under this category, but two of the most important are websites that make it hard for customers to find what they’re looking for, and those that are just “busy” or outdated to the point of being distracting. Obviously, both symptoms are going to be bad for sales.

2. Search-driven copy. If everything on your website seems like it’s written for Google, and not actual customers, we have some bad news for you: Google might have lots of money, but they rarely give search engine spiders the authorization to spend it. In other words, take advantage of keywords, but also make a point of putting real-life buyers first in your marketing messages.

3. Too many ads. It’s important to monetize traffic if you’re going to remain profitable, but there is a difference between having ads and bombarding users with ads, banners, and other “buy now” links. Each page in your site should have one clear conversion goal, so move towards that and keep things clean and simple.

4. Negative reviews. Now more than ever, customers are entering your company name, or your products, into Google before they decide to buy or register for more information. That means what they find – especially in the form of customer feedback and reviews – has a huge effect on your conversion rates.

 

Is your company missing the obvious and hurting conversion rates in the process? If so, now is the perfect time to talk to a member of our team and see how we can help put you back on the right track.

3 Ways to Improve Your Search Engine Optimization Campaign… Without Tweaking a Single Keyword

Search engine optimization campaigns are generally all about finding a higher rank on Google or Bing for an important keyword or key phrase. But, what if there was a way you could increase the profitability and return on investment from your SEO efforts without tweaking single keyword, or even thinking about them?

As luck would have it, there are actually three ways to do just that:

1. Inject more energy into your copywriting. It’s a well-known fact that people tend to buy for emotional reasons. Because of that, high-energy copywriting that encourages people to envision a better future and take action on it tends to outperform writing that “just states the facts.”

2. Give visitors a better user experience. Although lots of people might be finding your pages, how many of them are finding exactly what they’re looking for on the first click? Because that number is always likely to be less than 100%, it’s important to have a clear, simple navigation structure that they can follow to find other information resources on your site.

3. Offer more value than your competitors. Any time that you can give potential clients something your competitors can’t – in the form of lower prices, faster shipping, better customer service, or flat-out superior products – you’re going to have an easier time winning new business.

Of course, veteran online marketers will recognize that each of these three tips really comes down to conversion rate optimization – that is, getting more from every visit to your business website. While that might not fall strictly within the confines of search engine optimization, it is a necessary skill if you’re going to make the most of any search position.

Why not give them a try today and see how much more profitable you can be, even before you have moved farther up the search engine rankings?

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.