August 30, 2012
Understanding what motivates people and attracts their attention are important components in creating the best ad copy. The 5 different elements of a PPC Ad or any ad copy are: perceived value, risk reduction, credibility, call to action, and qualifiers. A simple way of catching attention is the use uppercase letters and exclamation marks! Building a list of the things you need helps to streamline the ad creation process. To begin, simply enter a relevant keyword into a search engine. This will allow you to identify your competition in a pinch. However, checking with Google Analytics is recommended, as it’s a more reliable method of identifying your competitors.
You can also use the Ad Words Auction Insights Tool to monitor them. It’s an easy process: click the “keyword” tab and then enter the keyword you’d like to search for, and then select the “Auction Insights” option. The results will display a list of your competitors. This information can be gathered and input into an excel spreadsheet. This spreadsheet should break down the elements in your competitors’ ads to help you visualize which methods work and which don’t. From here you have the option of imitating a competitor’s ad or implementing an original approach. Be sure to include the five different elements of a PPC ad to your work. It’s also important to evaluate your ad’s perceived value. For instance, your ad could give the impression that the product being sold is a smart buy! The better of a deal the product seems, the more people will want to purchase it. In marketing, this is essential due to the simple fact that consumers will directly consider their impression of your ad when purchasing a product; in a sense, your ad could be more convincing than the actual product being sold.
From a practical standpoint, consider the retail industry. Unless a retailer is offering the absolute best prices, they’ll be sure to emphasize other positive aspects of their service, like free shipping. Knowing your target demographic is important as well, especially when considering the wording in your ad. For instance, an ad targeted to seniors might be phrased differently than one targeted to teenagers.
August 19, 2012
The search engine optimization (SEO) landscape is radically different in the post-Panda algorithm world. Quality content is now believed to be the end-all-be-all to ranking highly in search results. However, quality has always been a priority, even before the Panda update. Our understanding of how this content is used may evolve, but the simple reality is that quality of content will always be a key factor for search algorithms. Although the way the content works may change, doing things right from the start will ensure that your efforts are not wasted in the future. For instance, the addition of good, relevant content that is useful to your site’s visitors will improve site performance. The addition of extra pages and links will rank for new phases and drive more traffic to your website. Retention of visitors is important due to the fact that search engines will monitor how long their users stay in your website. If a visitor leaves right away, it means your page was irrelevant to that person’s needs.
In order to avoid this, broaden your appeal by providing content even for visitors that don’t require your services. This way, the user will stay on your site longer, indicating to the search engine that your website was useful or relevant to that visitor. In essence, the goal is to provide content that is easily accessible to both the search engine and the user in a manner that is interesting and focuses priority to the correct sections of your site. Understanding users and their thought processes is crucial to content placement. Being able to pinpoint areas of interest to visitors allows you to place your content more effectively. Adding value to your website by linking to articles or blogs is a good way of broadening your site’s appeal and utility.
August 2, 2012
Web designers and their employers are displaying increasing interest in making their digital properties as accessible to the public as possible. This means that their innovations must be readily accessible on both mobile devices and desktops, simultaneously. This industry is adapting to make the most out of responsive designs, meaning those who model these innovative ways of interacting with the public have numerous techniques and technologies designed to achieve these goals.
to create a space saving responsive navigation for those using small screen devices or mobile phones. SelectNav.js does not require any external library, is very lightweight only weighing a 1.5KB minified, and is customizable to your needs and compatible with a variety of modern browsers.
July 24, 2012
In today’s day and age successful email marketing campaigns are defined due to their higher open, response rates, and revenue generation. Small businesses that are busy with everyday tasks sometimes need a few tips to guide them into email marketing success.
Here are some suggestions to help you generate a more effective email campaign:
1. Subject Line is Key.
First impressions are critical in all forms of interactions and an email’s subject line is the “First Impression”. When people look through their emails the first thing they always see is the subject line. A subject line has the
potential to either gain or lose your audience’s attention. Typically adding your company’s name as a reference and provide specifics supporting your email topic will gain higher open rates.
2. Quality over Quantity
Providing your contacts with quality content in your emails increases the rate that they will read your email. Remember it is more important to send out content rich emails rather than it is to send out multiple or long winded
emails. Sending out quality emails gains the trusts of your contacts because they are less incline to few your email as spam. A good way to gain their trust is by providing information in your email that they can use immediately.
3. Focus on Who it’s “From”.
The best way to understand this concept is put yourself in their shoes. Would you be more likely to open an email from firstname.lastname@example.org or Nicole.email@example.com? People seek personalization and human connection rather than feeling like another receiver of an email sent out from an automated system. Therefore if you do not spend time personalizing your email address than your contacts won’t bother with you.
Consistency is key with any form of marketing campaign yet at the same time variety is equally important. You do not want to over abuse the efficiency of emails by sending to many out and you do not want to send a newsletter
every 3 months because in either case your contacts won’t read your emails. Be aware of how many emails you send out and how individuals are interacting with your emails. Be conscious of your follow ups and how to engage your contacts. Also many email-marketing services include click through analytics that monitor which readers spend time on your emails or forward them.
5. Mail Merge
Personalizing your emails doesn’t just end at your email address. Keep in mind that people love to their own names because it makes them feel as if the email was written to them personally. There are online services that have
simple options to directly insert names from your contact database straight into the email using a template editor.
6. Test. Test. Test.
Test everything. You never want to send out an email to potential consumers that have wrong or misguided information. It will not make you look good and loses your contacts attention. Test the way your email appears not only through your service provider but other service providers as well. Send out dummy emails to fake e-mails addresses you make have created to test out your email. It is also very important to test out your graphics. Images are a great eye catcher in any correspondence but it must be done right. Finally check your e-mail with a spam check tool before sending it out to ensure that your email is perfect and to catch any spam filters in your email.
July 17, 2012
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets users connect to the things they love. Pinterest has the capability to be a promotional powerhouse for businesses and if you haven’t already joined the pinboarding bandwagon, it is time you do. A recent study revealed that Pinterest users are 79 percent more likely to purchase pinned products compared to the purchasing behavior of Facebook users. While another study revealed that merchants are obtaining an average order value of $80 from Pinterest shoppers compared the order value of Facebook shoppers with is less than half. Not only is this image based social network increasing shopper appeal, but it is also growing at a rapid pace. New statistics from comScore state that the company’s Latin American audience has increased at a rapid rate from 153,000 users in early 2012 to 1.3 million members in April 2012. Aside from just signing up your brand here are 4 ways to promote your brand on Pinterest.
Consumers are always attracted to sweepstakes for the possibility of winning a great deal and the fact it is easy to sign up. Sweepstakes are an easy way to gain the attention of Pinterest users. For example, Nine West a well known show retailer has over 20 boards that span from their best products to inspirations that are not only catching but interactive with consumers. For Mother’s Day they launched a promotion in which users could enter to win free products by simply repining and commenting on images.
Keeping up to date on the latest trends and updating users on your brands most recent product is key for success. Brands can go even a step further by offering tips and tutorials to users about their products to keep them
engaged. For instance another brand that is using Pinterest the right way is Gap. This mega retail store updates their boards in order to stay relevant and even offering style guides, but they go a step further creating engaging
pinboards dedicated to do it yourself arts and crafts ideas.
3. Product Tutorials
Pinterest is a perfect tool to educate your consumers and users on how to use your products. Sephora is a perfect example because they have developed the perfect way to attract users to their products. They have developed video
boards that include product demonstration and tutorials. One of their most popular boards is the “Trending Now” board, which exhibits models wearing their products and how consumers can reach that same look at home.
4. Stick to you Niche
This means to find your companies strong suit and stick to it. The main thing that attracts Pinterest users to the site is the ability to be able to share and gain ideas as well as plan big moments in life like holidays and weddings.
This has become a valuable tool for companies such as Home Depot and Nordstrom. Home Depot sells products to improve your home and is typically a masculine store. Therefore, Home Depot has created many boards for followers to explore and discover ideas for their homes for holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, how to revamp their homes for the spring and summer and perfect gift ideas for dad on Fathers Day. Nordstrom on the other hand has developed over 10 boards based on wedding concepts including hairstyle, fashion, and décor.
June 13, 2012
Colors have a powerful impact on people because they make us sense things, trigger emotions and influence how we feel and think. Colors can be a very powerful tool in web design if used correctly. Here are some of the best practices for colors and when you should use them.
Colors Influence People
Information on the web is mainly presented on a visual platform. Colors influence people because if the Internet were simply black and white then it would be boring. Colors on the web can make a design more interesting and appealing, help differentiate brands and products, and catch attention. Colors also alter our decision making process because our decision making process is based on factual information and our emotions. Colors have a strong influence on our emotions because human emotions are highly color sensitive. Companies need to be aware of their impact on visitors as well. Colors used in web design need to be used carefully in order to achieve the maximum success.
Six Semantic Levels of Color
Political Meaning. Political parties identify themselves with colors and these colors become associates not only with the organization but with the viewpoints of that party as well. Colors have symbolic meaning therefore can stand for concrete opinions.
Symbolic Meaning. Due to life experiences humans develop associations to colors. The symbolic function makes humans feel something because they are able to link that color to a significant experience.
Psychological Meaning. Colors are able to arouse different emotions and feeling depending on previous experiences and personal preferences. These emotional preferences do not have any link to anything rational.
Traditional Meaning. Colors are typically associated to their own history and tradition like how the color red is associated to blood.
Cultural Context. Depending on your culture, colors are attached to different meanings. In each society our peers and environment teach people what the colors stand for. Therefore these teachings shape the values, beliefs, and lifestyle of individuals. Regarding web design the context of colors is important regarding to international business.
Creative Context. The impact of colors depends in what creative context they are expressed. Depending the color combination, it can make the color more or less intense, dominant or meaningful and therefore affecting their impact on individuals.
How to use the power of color
Not only do colors influence but they also affect how users perceive your company. It is also a major determining factor on how users behave on your website and how they react to your company. One way to use the power of color is by targeting your audience. Once you’ve decided the audience you want to target, research various colors that contain symbolic, cultural or political meaning to them. Also, think about what you want your company to represent and research colors that define your image intended. Remember that a color has various shades; therefore it is imperative to find the perfect shade that fits your brand. Make sure that your colors are displayed correctly on any digital device because different screens can alter your color. Colors can be sometimes overwhelming and it is important to not use too many different colors on your websites in order to not over stimulate your users. Consistency is important in every aspect of your business and colors are no exemption. If used inconsistently then the colors may confuse your users.
May 14, 2012
The force of Facebook has undoubtfully driven the social web and social media world. Facebook has become a vital component for companies and brands worldwide. Thus, many companies has decided to integrate Facebook functionally into their websites. Currently nearly a quarter of the world’s top 10,000 website features some form of Facebook integration on their homepage. A Facebook integration could be anything from a widget to a social plugin.
Today, WordPress website owners can harness the power of Facebook with the Facebook for WordPress plugin to their site.
This plugin does not require any form of codes and no prior HTML knowledge is required. Also, the plugin offers support internationalization and mobile sites that are WordPress.com VIP approved. Now when you publish a new page or post on your WordPress site, the plugin will offer you numerous options such as mentioning specific Facebook users, pages, as well as the ability to add a message that will be posted with the content. Once the content is published it will appear on the companies WordPress and Facebook page simultaneously as well as the timeline’s of users that like the companies page. As you prepare you’re content the plugin enables you to set the settings that you desire. This means that you can set your post to appear any specific person’s timeline or you mention a specific person, page, or group on a post.
The plugin is also unique in the sense that is provides a variety of options that are easy on posts and page. Some of the options included are the like function, send and subscribe button, comments with SEO support and a recommendations bar that lets users start getting recommendations. The plugin also features a number of WordPress Widgets with drag and drop functionality that allows users to include social features such as recommendations, recent activity, and send and subscribe buttons inn their sites’ sidebars.
January 3, 2012
Hit Exposure, a premiere Internet marketing company with offices in New York, NY and Miami, FL, has added the NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce ( NYC LGBT CC )to the many non-profit organizations it assists in the promotion of their websites. SEO services are essential for organizations like the NYC LGBT Chamber, who rely on the support and communication within the community to succeed. The challenges of launching and maintaining a website or social networking resources can often tax non-profits. Support like that of Hit Exposure provides these organizations with an opportunity to succeed in the competitive world of search engines.
Hit Exposure traditionally offers SEO, or search engine management services, to companies and organizations throughout the United States. Its wide range of services has made it a top optimization company and an increasingly important figure in the community. Because of their success, Hit Exposure has taken steps to aid a number of non-profit organizations in increasing the quality and size of their online presence.
Their decision to help the NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce is certainly in line with this goal. This organization works to create opportunities for LGBT in the business community in and around the city of New York. They are an important figure in overcoming the adversity that many minorities face. Their organization has made great strides in open doors for commerce in their local community and looks forward to their future success as a partner with Hit Exposure.
The NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce organizes a number of educational and networking opportunities that are essential to new business owners. Their recent events include an in-depth discussion of the SharePoint Server system and the benefits of using Lync to increase organizational collaboration. These contributions help those in the local area improve their business practices. They also encourage participation of local LGBT members and create opportunities for businesses to work collectively to improve not only their own success, but also the success of the New York LGBT community.
As part of their SEO strategy, Hit Exposure will be working with the NYC LGBT Chamber to improve their website and social networking platforms. Local residents can look forward to more information about attending events, important updates about businesses in the area, and opportunities to connect with members in the area.
December 14, 2011
YouTube insights was once a service provided by YouTube that enabled individuals to view who their audience was and where there audience was coming from. Now YouTube has revolutionized their service and developed YouTube Analytics, which in essence makes it easier for individuals to learn about their audience. They have developed a simpler design that makes the information more comprehensible for users and highlights the information that is the most important for the user. The Analytics service has been released to all users who have a modern up to date browser.
YouTube Analytics provides new and exciting features such as the quick overview,more detailed reports, audience builders, and audience retention. The quick overview provides just that! It provides all the information that the user cares most about more quickly and at the same time enabling them to access more detailed information such as views on their recent posts. The more detailed reports provides more in depth statistics that inform the user of their content and audiences in a precise and clear manner. Analytics aide’s users to build bigger audiences with a simple philosophy: know your audience. Analytics accomplishes this by dividing the content in three ways, demographics, traffic sources, and audience-building videos. The demographics section gives the user a better understanding of where their audience is located. Users can use this information to their benefit by editing and targeting their content to their precise audience. For instance if you own a make up company and post videos about specific innovative products or application techniques and though the demographics section view that that a large sector of your audience comes from Los, Angeles you can edit your content to provide more relevant information to their location. Another way YouTube Analytics helps build bigger audiences is by using traffic sources, which shows users the websites, and searches that are driving their audiences to your videos. Users can use this information to promote your content more in these sources rather than other sources. No better way to learn what content is more relevant then to become a viewer yourself. Audience building videos exhibits the videos that are driving the most views and subscribers. This is beneficial because users can mold their content to attract a new audience or to refresh your current audience.
YouTube Analytics helps users to engage more with audiences by keeping their audience coming back for more content. Two useful features are audience retention and community comments. Audience retention essentially tells you if your audience is watching your entire video or part of it. It further goes on to tell you specifically where you audience stopped watching. This is useful because it tells users what part of their content is interesting and what is not. Therefore, they can better adjust their content to keep their audience interested. Also, community comments tells users what videos are receiving the most comments. You can engage in these conversations and become actively involved in your community.
These features help video marketing services in two very big ways, to earn more money and to generate better videos. Many don’t realize that growing their audience and engaging them more helps promote their videos, which in essentially attract future clients and maintain current customers. YouTube Analytics help businesses by estimating their earnings through a feature that projects the amount of revenues they will earn from posting videos. Also, making better videos simply maintains your current audience while attracting a new audience. It is recommended that businesses take full advantage of these new features because it makes marketing your products, services, or industry that much easier and the best part its free!
October 20, 2011
5 Tips to transform your Mobile device into a Marketing Tool
Today smart phones are our lifeline to receive the latest information and news. Business owners should take advantage to transforming their mobile devices into the ultimate marketing tool. In order to accomplish this you would need to alter your mobile Internet. It is rare to surf the web on your phone and find that a company not only has a website but also a mobile friendly web site for your phone.
1. Have the user in mind
I always recommend that the individuals who haven’t had much exposure to websites exclusive for mobile phones to do some research before beginning your own. Start looking at other websites from companies in your industry to get a better understanding of what you’d like your own page to look like, but also for you to understand what the user expects. Always consider the users experience and what better way then
becoming a user yourself.
2. App or Website
You may be conflicted as to whether develop a mobile application, website, or both. Evaluate your business needs and from there decide what option is best for you. Depending on your business an application or website may be more appropriate. If a mobile application is the way to go then you should start
considering spending the extra money necessary.
3. Options, Options, Options
Keep in mind to always have a link to your actual full site when dealing with mobile websites. Every user is different and you should always remember options, options, and options. Some users may find a mobile website to be easier but it limits there user experience. A mobile website may omit certain sections of
the website which may be essentially what the user was looking for.
4. Check Ins
Today’s users are fascinated with Facebook Places and Foursqaure where they can check in where ever they are even if it’s in a diner. Business owners should take full advantage of this for their business because it will draw your clients and future customers in when they have a place to check in. Also, some
businesses over discounts and specials for checking in to their location. Therefore this will draw in a greater clientele.
5. Extra Tip – Use HTML5 video or fallback for Mobile Video.
To enhance the users experiences you can make your mobile site as basic or html rich as you desire. Remember to keep your users needs in mind, but try to maintain their attention with an eye catching site. Put in, as many html’s as desired and attract your users with mobile video. With mobile video you can pload and publish podcasts, interviews, propaganda, anything is possible.
October 6, 2011
3 Myths about Video Marketing
Even though today’s business marketing has become viral many
businesses still fear to commit to online marketing tools such as
videos. Thus limiting a great marketing opportunity. Hear are 3
myths dispelled about online video use.
Myth #1: Majority of People doesn’t watch videos
In fact the opposite is true. A great majority of online users
prefer watching videos rather than reading content because it
is more visually appealing and summarizes a business quicker.
Business owners believe that not enough people watch videos
online hence they feel it is does not apply to them or it does not
benefit them. In reality they are passing up a great marketing
opportunity that other businesses are cashing into. Business
owners forget to take into account how easy it is to spread
a video online. With the reposting and blogging of videos on
popular social media sites and the more viewers a video obtains
the more visible it becomes in search engines.
Myth #2:Video quality is poor on search engines
Many people believe that Google is disorganized in their search
results meaning too many irrelevant results. Therefore they
assume that the wrong form of traffic or audience will be directed
to their business. The truth is that Google has become one of
the leading search engines in narrowing down and generating
specific search results. Once you post a video that is valuable to
your industry and catches people’s attention then Google search
engine makes that video visible and accessible to searchers.
Myth #3: Videos are too much work and too time consuming
In a sense these are two myths in one. Once upon a time, in
order to create a video it would take a lengthy process and one
in which those of us that are not too tech savvy or know about
video production would end up hiring a video company in order
to create their videos. But today this is completely different you
do not need to be a whiz with a video camera and effects or
screen write to post and create a video. You can use your own
smart phone cameras or a small video camera like a Flip Camera
and capture your video in an instant and immediately post onto
YouTube with your own phone and camera.
October 2, 2011
4 Reasons to Consider Video Chat for Businesses
Video chat enables businesses to better connect with
their audience, customers and employees. Businesses are
incorporating video chats more into their day-to-day se because
of the advantages it offers. The biggest advantage is the
development of relationships. Here are 4 reasons why businesses
should consider video chat
1 More personal.
Video chat creates a more personal environment with colleagues,
clients, and employees than a simple phone call or text chat.
Video chat is a real time conversation that helps develop
a stronger relationship because you have audio and visual
feedback. This method of communication makes you seem
authentic to your clients because video chat is unscripted and
unpredictable. The responses and actions are real and pure
because it is happening live. Also, video chat gives you a
platform to engage and have your audience participate.
Video chat allots you various options. You can have office
meetings, one-on-one client meetings, group chats, and you
can chat any where in the world. As we know not everything is
perfect and things arise. If a client is in another city or across
the country, you are able to get a hold of them. You can always
adjust the time of meetings for your convenience or the groups’
convenience. Video chat software such as Skype is constantly
evolving and now we can find video chat software on mobile
Studies have exhibited that engaging your audience via video
chat inspires them. It pushes your audience to not only be an
observer but also be an active participant in the conversation.
You can talk and see each other, but can send text messages,
share files, screen sharing, and send links with video chat
4. Video chat is recordable.
We understand that with group chats not everyone can make,
therefore it is extremely convenient that video chat is recordable.
Many of the video chat software that is out on the market allows
you to record your own live chat, split the screens, or record
the streams separately for each chat member. These videos
are completely editable and if the matter is related to your
industry you can even publish it on your web site or YouTube.
For instance you can a video chat with other knowledgeable
members of your industry and carry out a conversation regarding
a relevant topic.
September 21, 2011
5 Tips to Begin your Business Blog
It is never easy to begin a business blog. Many times business
owners feel intimidate as to how to begin, especially when it
is the owner’s themselves who have to write. Blogs in essence
are an easy way in order for companies and business to give
information for their customers and attract new clients. Blogs
enable a business to develop a greater visibility in their industry
1. Read other blogs
Many times first time bloggers need inspiration and see other
blogs as platform to get ideas for their own blogs. This should
not be confused with plagiarism, because that is stealing another
businesses information. Becoming a blog reader allows you to
essentially see blogs from a completely different perspective’s
the consumer. You begin to read things useful to yourself and
what you find important and necessary. In turn you convert what
you are looking for in your blog because you already understand
your audiences mind frame.
2. Create a Timeline
The number one thing to do when beginning your blog is to
create a timeline for your content. You should analyze what
you content you think is valuable to your audience and that will
attract new viewers. Creating a timeline helps you space out your
content in a more organized format. You never want to bombard
your audience with a lot of information at once and you always
want to have a few tricks up your sleeve so to speak. Spacing
out your content in a timeline format helps you control what
information you with release to your readers and have them
hooked on to come back for more.
3. Develop a Schedule
Along with a timeline, you want to create a schedule. This means
when you will be releasing a new blog. Keeping a consistent
release time creates a sense of predictability for your readers.
This is a security for them to know that there will be new
information for them. If you release information sporadically then
the reader will become confused which inevitably leads to lose
of interest. You can release a blog weekly, biweekly, monthly,
whatever fits into your schedule.
4. Be Efficient with Content
Understanding your audience is key to the blogging process. You
need to know what content they are interested in. Keep content
relevant to your targeted audience and your industry. As well
as mix up your blog format. Meaning one blog introduce a new
product or service of your business and then in the next post an
interview with someone relevant to your industry.
5. No I in Team
In company or business a blog should not be left on the
shoulders of only one person. If you have the staff for it then
take advantage. Making a blog a group effort generates a greater
pool of topics and ideas. Your readers will not get bored because
every group member has a different perspective and different
opinion. Although your blog release should be predictable your
content should not. Teamwork diminishes the possibility of your
content becoming blah in the readers eyes. It also diminishes the
chance of reaching a dry spell in a content writing.
August 30, 2011
For those you who may not know, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site that enables you to connect with your peers and connections in the industry as well as it aides in creating new connections. As of March 2011, LinkedIn launched a new service “LinkedIn Today” which in essence is a news source for your connections and peers online. LinkedIn Today displays stories and news in aesthetically pleasing format from industries, connections and sources that you follow on the site. This service is unique in the sense that it drives business content rather than entertainment and technology news.
How does it work?
Simple, LinkedIn Today functions through a voting algorithm which matches users to their interests. In other words, once you find an article on a topic that interests you, click the “share” or “like” button. Immediately the site associates you with the topic and will match content similar to the article that interests you. Articles rise in popularity on the site as more targeted votes from the industry increase. Currently you can vote for an article on three platforms: LinkedIn Bar, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
To vote through the LinkedIn Bar, a user must post activity with the article’s link. Once you click on the link, a LinkedIn branded browser bar will appear on the top of the page. Once you click on it, a description or tweet will appear on the bar like “Jamie Simms posted a link on LinkedIn”. This bar enables users to be able to like the article, comment or share with other your followers.
Voting through LinkedIn occurs through an accumulation of votes and shares. This can be accomplished when a user attached a link to their update using the “attached a link” button. Let’s say an article you shared has been already shared with another user. You can still post the article as a “reshared” which still counts as a vote for the article. Once you attached a link to your update, it will count as a vote towards the article. Also, if you see an article shared by a connection that catches your attention you can click the “like” button. This also acts as a vote for the article.
Now in order to vote for an article via Twitter he/she must have their Twitter account tied to their LinkedIn account. A tweet about an article will count as a vote or if the user posts the article on their LinkedIn profile and then selects the “tweet” button. Remember in order for this to be possible, both accounts must be linked.
How do I optimize?
In order for your content to be successful on LinkedIn Today, users must share and comment it on it. LinkedIn Today searches for recent articles that have a large following. Needless to say the secret to making your content popular is to share. Some additional ways to share include, posting your stories as an update, to groups, and to send to individuals.
Once you post your article as an update, it will immediately appear on your profile. This means that your connections will have immediate access to your post. Your post will become public once another user clicks on the share number of your article.
If you are a member of a specific group on LinkedIn and your article pertains to their interest then share directly to the group. What better way to have your article appreciated then with a relevant audience? You will have a high probability to catch the eye of a user if the article falls in their area of interest.
Now what if you don’t want to share your article with all your connections? Simply when sharing an article on LinkedIn just share with a specific connection or e-mail to that connection. LinkedIn does take this form of sharing into consideration when ranking articles.
You can also optimize your content by promoting on Twitter. Once again if your accounts are tied together this will be perfect. By tweeting about your article or sharing it on Twitter it will be shared not only with your LinkedIn connections but also your Twitter followers. This social media marketing increases your presence on LinkedIn Today.
Finally, add like-minded connections on LinkedIn. Sharing content with people who share your same interests is critical. This increases the number of individuals viewing your content as well as increasing the number of likes for your content.
August 13, 2011
Just like Google, Yahoo & Bing, Facebook offers a Pay-Per-Click Marketing program. Below are a few reasons that make Facebook a powerful advertising medium.
1. Destination Options
Just like with Goggle advertisement, once someone clicks your ad they will be sent to your homepage or website. What sets Facebook apart is that enables you to create groups, events, and pages revolving any topic you want (preferably your business) that increases your exposure to other users. Now instead of only directing individuals to your website, if you are having a onetime event or special, you can send them to your Facebook event or group page. Facebook enables you to be creative with your destination. All that you have to do is enter the URL for the destination you want your visitors to be sent to once seeing your ad.
2. Targeted Marketing
Ever wish you can target only a select number of people rather than the whole Facebook network? Well Facebook ads do just the thing. This approach is based on a simple idea: Do you want to aim for very specific individuals or nonspecific large group of individuals? Facebook ads allow you to make your targeted audience as broad and as narrow as you with a range of questions pertaining to your audience. To start off you choose the country you want. If your business is international or you would like for it to be international, then you can type in the country you want your audience to be from. A very nifty thing is that on the side you can see how many users fit your criteria. The more specific your criteria is the lower the number goes. It is also important to know that Facebook gathers all this data based on the information users post on their profiles. Next you can decide what state, providence, region, or city you want to target. Here it is best to enter the area where your business is located, in order to attract locals. If you are not completely sure you can click a check mark on a box that says 50 mile radius. For example you own a car maintenance company that is located in Miami, Florida and when you click the 50 mile radius box users living 50 miles from Miami will also be able to see your ad. Next, you can decide what age group you fits your product or service, ethnicity, gender, relationship status, and sexual orientation. This is helps create a distinct audience. For some people these questions do not affect them, however if you own a beauty or cosmetic company your intended audience is women therefore you want to target women. But what you will find absolutely useful is the interests’ question. Here you type in any word that relates to your business. For instance let’s say you own a bakery, you can type the words Bakery, Cookie, Cupcake, Sweets, Chocolate, and then you see how many people have that interest and you can target them. It is a good reminder to type in the words plural also because some users have their like set to Cupcakes rather than Cupcake. Once you are done, take a look at the side bar and notice how many people you are targeting. Then when you post your ad that will be the number of users who will immediately be able to see your ad on their pages.
3. Full Budget Control
Another reason why you’ll love Facebook ads is because you can set your own budget. It even goes as far as setting your daily budget, meaning how much you are willing to pay a day for people to your ad. If you are using the Pay Per Click method it will tell you at the bottom an average cost per click. To create a smart and safe budget, first think about how many clicks per day your ad will receive. Once you have a number multiply that by the average cost per click. That number should be how much you should pay a day for Facebook Ads. You can also pay the cost of the ad every month or week. After two weeks, when you go to look at your ad, you’ll find a pleasant surprise. Facebook calculates a data feedback for you with the whole nine yards including graphs and statistics. You can see how many people have seen your ad and how many people have clicked on your ad. This helps you establish future budgets.
4. Unlimited Ads
Why settle for one ad when you can make countless ads? Facebook enables you to be creative with your social media marketing and advertisement campaigns. You can use your creativity to develop different eye catching ads and target different people. You can do this when you go see your ads. There is a button that says create a new ad, you will click it and begin developing your ad. You will need to name your new campaign like going back to owning a bakery; I want to create an ad for a cupcake sale at my bakery. Therefore my new campaign will be called “Cupcakes” and revolve completely around my product. Facebook allows you the power to make as many ads as you may need. These ads can promote a business event or a special offer. Also, you can monitor your ads all in the same place. All you have to do it click on the ad campaigns name in order to follow its progress. You can always cancel an ad when the campaign is done or update your ad whenever you want as your business develops.
August 2, 2011
Small businesses have put forth their attention and money into making their websites video friendly and getting their videos out there for other users and potential customers to view. But is Video Marketing really worth it? The answer is yes! An online marketing software provider, WebVisible, released their fourth quarter report regarding small business online advertising. They stated that small businesses are having better success with online marketing than ever before by posting their videos online, which is great news for small businesses. Their money and time is paying off for them big time. According to the report 26% of small business advertisers used a video on their home page and more owners have turned to videos in order to engage their customers in a more accessible manner. Videos are also the second most popular behavior for users in a landing page. This means that users and customers alike are taking the time to watch videos on a business’s website. It enables owners to catch the attention of current and possible clients.
August 2, 2011
With the release of the new social media site Google +, many may feel sort of disoriented due to their familiarity with other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. For those who may not have heard of or seen Google +, it is a social media site similar to Facebook, but with new and simpler applications that enable users to share information to targeted contacts such as co-workers, business partners, and even followers that you place in certain groups. The site also gives users the tools to have video conference calls with your contacts, meet new users from different industries and kept up to date on the latest news based on personal topics of interest.
To keep our readers up to speed on social media marketing, here are the top 5 starter tips for Google +
1. Manage your contacts through your Circles
In order to get started on Google +, you definitely need to begin adding your contacts. This means finding your contacts that are already Google + users through your e-mail address or other social media sites or send out invites to those who are not yet users. You may be wondering what a circle is, and to answer your question, a circle is this new innovative format that Google has adopted in order for you to remain connected and organize your contacts. You create circles based on how you want to categorize your contacts. The circle allows you to stream information to the circle it applies too rather than all your contacts as well as lets you see the stream of information from that select circle eliminating the confusing mess of your entire contacts stream in one place at the same time. For instance you can create three circles, family, friends, and business associates and then add your contact to the appropriate circle. Managing your contacts is that easy! Now remember you can create as many circles as you want, there are no limits. Also you can add the same contact to more than one circle. It is key to have some creativity with your circles, because the possibilities are endless with your circles. For example you can create a circle to share your favorite hangouts, an empty circle to be a personal electronic dairy or journal, blogs, followers, or just for your favorite topic.
2.Don’t Forget to Smile
It is very important to remember that the first image people see of you is their first impression of you. Unfortunately as the ideology goes your first impression is your last-even in cyber space. Therefore keep in mind that your profile picture should represent who you are and should make people remember you in a positive way when marketing your product or business. Also, it helps when finding a specific person that they have a clear picture to identify them from all the users. Google + allows you to access any of your pictures from your computer, Picasa albums, other social media sites, and smart phones to upload to the site. You can crop, edit your photos on PicniK, or even if you are not done and don’t have time, Google + will save your unfinished photo in drafts.
3. Make your Profile Personal
Edit your profile as soon as possible with all the information necessary. This allows others to find you quicker and puts your information out there to other users quicker. Remember Google + makes your profile public automatic. Therefore to edit your information go to the Edit Profile button and click it to get started. There you can add links to your website, blogs, and current interests. There is no word limit. So you can say what you want no matter how long or to the point you wish to be. When you are done, click done editing, and Tada, it’s all done!
4. Gently down the STREAM
Yes, the next key to Google + is learning how to manage and work your stream. Just like your profile, your stream has no word limit. You can say everything that you want without a limit. When adding something new to your stream, you find various icons. To add a photo directly to your stream just click the camera icon with enables you to put any photo from your computer or straight from your phone to your stream. If you have an informative video about your business, industry, a new product, or a passion of yours then click on the play icon and you can upload that video in seconds straight from your computer, phone, or even your Youtube account. To add a link from your website, blog, or an important article regarding your industry simply click on the link icon and add your link. If you want to disclose your location then click on the marker icon and Google + will automatically locate you. When writing a post, Google + enables you to use asterisks to bold, underscores to italize, and dashes for strike through for your posts. Finally you pick your audience. This is when you select a certain circle or all circles to view your post or if that is not enough you can click on the add an audience icon and add more contacts to see your post. To avoid missing some comments from over eager bloggers or obsessive commenter’s then simply click on a circle to view what the stream of those contacts in your circle.
We all love shortcuts and Google + has a few that will make your social media experience a lot smoother.
- Click on the j key to move down
- Click on the k key to move up
- Click on the @ key or + key to tag someone in a post
- Click on the q key to add to Google Talk list
- Click on the tab key to scroll through all your comments
- Click on the enter key to open the comment box on a post
- Click on the keys tab and enter to post a comment
- Click on the space bar to scroll down
- Click on the keys shift and space to scroll up
July 28, 2011
A domain name containing keywords that are relevant to your business increases your ranking in search engine results. Although you must remember that you do not want a domain name filled with targeted words that confuse or are too complicated for possible clients. So what you have to do? Well for starters you need to know that a keyword-rich domain name encompasses the keywords you want your website to rank highly in during search engine results. Now a keyword rich website is when your targeted words are used in folders and pages on your website. Lets say you own a specialty company for antique jewelry. As your domain name you may want to include the words “antique” or “jewelry”. Also within your website you may have different categories or pages for the different kinds of pieces. There you will include the targeted key words you feel are necessary to have high ranking in a search engine.
July 28, 2011
With the new Internet marketing revolution it is very easy for small businesses to feel lost. Here are 4 ways in which small business can increase their online relevance through Internet marketing.
Now a day’s society runs on social media. This is the way that individual’s consume their information and a great expectation is placed on business to be involved in social media sites. Through social media sites, owners can build relationships with their customers in a more personal manner. Businesses can post recent information about their company or product, host contests to create more customer interactions, or promote discounts that only followers or friends can view. However not all social media sites are the best for every company. For instance, if you own a bakery you would probably create a Facebook fan page or twitter account. But if you own a law office you would probably be best to focus your social media marketing efforts on LinkedIn. You must always remember who you’re intended audience is and target them in appropriate social media sites.
What better way to promote your company or business then through blogging. You can have someone in your company write a short informative blog that catches the eye of your audience each month or biweekly or write one yourself. You can write whatever you want in a blog. Just remember that it should remain relevant to your business. Blogs are a platform that makes you and your business more accessible to current customers and future customers. The more followers you gain the higher the search ranking your blog with be on Google search results.
Become a Resource Center
Another great way is to become a resource center for your customers. You don’t always have to be selling your business. Sometimes the best exposure is helping others in their search for the best service or product. Guiding customers in a new venture is not only a good way to keep customers but attract new clients as well. Some formats include creating videos or podcasts, giving helpful tips and information about products, and forwarding articles and relating information to customers.
Newsletters and Email Marketing
It is always important to stay connect with customers and one of the best ways is by Email marketing. To attract new customers, you can always publish a benefit for joining your newsletters on a blog post or on social media sites. This form of marketing not only drives more traffic to your site, but also provides useful and targeted information to your customers.
July 7, 2011
Amidst the rise of social media it seems as though a lot of companies have forgotten their roots. We’re all so busy posting this and tweeting that, but often we forget about one of the most effective online marketing campaigns—the email blast. Not to discredit social media—when used correctly it can be an extremely effective and somewhat necessary way to stay connected to customers in the 21st century. But with so many updates, alerts and posts coming our way we sometimes skim over the content. In this case, email marketing can have an advantage.While our news feeds are littered with tons of brands and organizations telling us to “like this” or “go here,” our inboxes remain a virtual desert. What happened to the days when we skipped over junk mail? With the rise of social media, it becomes harder to weed out what we don’t want. That’s where you come in—your email, that is.
The term “blast” sounds like an ugly way to describe how your emails are distributed—a large, fast burst of information spread out as far as it can reach, the connotation of which is often impersonal. Consumers don’t like this idea because it makes them feel like one small part of a much, much larger group. They think, “Company X won’t care if I don’t read their email. I’m just one of a million anyways.” While they may be right, you can’t gain the interest of consumers by lumping them into one audience. A great way to turn your “email blast” into more of an “email chat” is to personalize it. Gear the information toward each individual by using each recipient’s name when beginning the newsletter. This brings a level of familiarity that gives a sense of personalization. Consider running contests that welcome new subscribers. This should increase interest, and personalize the reading experience simultaneously.
The most important thing to remember about personalizing a newsletter or email blast is your audience. What are they interested in? Where does your target demographic live and what are their needs? By considering these key components you will gain the attention of your audience in a whole new way. Readers will see your company as a friend, rather than a business who is trying to make money off of them. The goal is get your readers to feel connected to your brand. Research shows that more than 50% of Facebook fans said they were more likely to make a purchase because of their social connection to the brand, and of those, 60% were more likely recommend that brand to a friend. Earn their trust and you will turn first-time buyers into lifelong customers.
June 1, 2011
Corporations spend millions of dollars a year in advertising and marketing. They put in the money and manpower, and in return become household names and–if they’re really lucky-people will turn their business name into a verb (i.e. “Googling” rather than “searching”). Try as they might, small businesses cannot always compete when it comes to marketing. They don’t have the ad budgets, the personnel or the time that the bigger competition has. Because of this, small businesses require a different approach when it comes to marketing and advertising. TopRank Online Marketing Blog recently posted the 7 Essential SEO Tips for Small Businesses.
1. Turn Everything into Content: Content is still King. Search engines still love unique content, and the more useful content there is on your website, the more opportunities you give searchers to find your products and services.
2. Make it Personal: Small businesses have a major advantage that most bigger businesses don’t: A personal voice. By making your voice heard, you’re showcasing your authority in your market, and adding trust. Buyers love hearing recommendations or reviews, and are more influenced to buy from those vs. product feature and benefit pages. Consumers use search engines to research products, and other than the lowest price, they’re looking for recommendations. Give them some!
3. Optimize for Local Search: Odds are that your small business can take advantage of local search. 63% of consumers use search engines to research information about local companies. Websites like Yelp and CitySearch allow companies to claim their page. Make a profile for your business, upload photos and encourage reviews.
4. Improve Your Site’s Speed: Small business sites can be notoriously slow. Site speed is usually one of the last things that small business owners care about. But now that Google has introduced speed into the ranking algorithm, it’s time to seriously start checking out how fast your site loads. But more importantly, when you improve your site’s speed, you’re also improving your customer’s experience.
5. Refine Internal Linking: Internal links can add value to your site considerably, but many small businesses don’t understand that you have to develop a linking mindset in order to really capitalize on it. It takes extra time to research old post links and include them in your articles, but the benefits are great.
6. Create Content for People: If you’re generating content specifically for search engines, you’re missing a major chunk of your market. Humans don’t like to be bamboozled, and when they come to a page on your site that was obviously made for a search engine, they’ll leave in a hurry and never come back. Plus, only humans can link to your site. If you want to get more inbound links and retain customers, you need to write for customers. The goal to higher search results is still to get more people to your site. After all, search engines can’t buy anything from you.
7. Don’t Fret About Getting Nofollow Links: It’s easy to get carried away with only trying to get incoming links without the dreaded nofollow. But really, a link is still a link. If that link can bring in a potential customer, then you want it. If you’re only looking for specific types of incoming links, than odds are you’re missing lots of the low-hanging backlink fruit and worrying about the wrong things.
May 28, 2011
Small businesses and companies have begun adding monthly or weekly blogs as a key component in online marketing because it enables them to better connect with their customers. The issue with blogs is that many businesses are not adding that extra “spice” to their blogs leaving them insipid and boring. Therefore their blogs become increasingly difficult to locate in search engines and they lose online user’s attention. Here are 4 tips that will guarantee the extra kick your blog needs in order to be noticed.
Keyword Search Tool
In order for a successful blog, you must do a little homework and use a keyword search tool to build a keyword glossary. A keyword search tool essentially lets you see what keywords users are typing and searching for. It is essential to understand your targeted audience and what he/she may be searching for. Once you developed your glossary, put those words into use into your bog post or in any social media post.
Writing a blog seems very simple at first, but over time you may begin to feel the burden of lack of topics. Inevitably this strategy does not give you the results you desire. Therefore create a content plan for your blog. This means to switch it up every once in a while, sometimes you may have a serious and well-structured blog and other times create a free write about a relevant topic to your business. A blog doesn’t always have to be an article. It can an interview, tips, company or industry news, product discussions, questions and answers, it can be pretty much what you desire. Also it is important to use the feedback you receive from your readers. If they are interested in a certain topic then maybe you should pursue more similar topics in future blogs.
Put your keywords into use
We discussed previously about developing a key word glossary in tip #1, now it is time to use your glossary. Get into the habit of using these keywords in your blog as regular vocabulary. Don’t forget to include the keyword in your blog title because that’s one of the most important aspects for your blog to remain relevant in search engines. Remember to keep a balance between reaching optimization for your readers as well as search engines.
Keywords in Links
Keep readers and search engines alike engaged in previous posts. This is done through descriptive links in your current blog post that touches that topic. These links will usually appear as blue underlined text that has anchored text. The blue underlined text enables readers to have a heads up regarding what they will encounter when they click the link. At the time, these links improve how the page appears in search engine results.
May 22, 2011
In Part One of this series we talked about the basics of first impressions and getting readers to interact with your website. In Part Two we will discuss how to keep visitors interested and on your page.
6. Revisit Your Encore Page: The “Encore Page” is the page that visitors see after submitting their information, making a purchase or subscribing to your newsletter. Often times this page will say something like “Thank you for your submission” or “Click here to return to the homepage.” This is a bad idea. The smartest thing you can do in this scenario is to invite your visitors to take part in another way. Don’t simply leave them hanging in the balance or expect that they’re going to use their browser’s back button. You’d be surprised how many people find this to be “too much effort” and may leave your website all together. Offer them a subscription to your newsletter, or someone else’s newsletter (assuming that other newsletter does the same for you) or give them an incentive to take a survey. Or try to upsell them or cross sell them. Don’t just stand there, do something.
7. Take Nothing For Granted: What’s obvious to you is not so obvious to other people, especially when they are from another company or a different part of the world.
Repeating something for purposes of clarity is usually appreciated by those who are confused, and ignored by those who already know what you’re talking about. I’ve never seen anybody get insulted by an interface that repeated itself for purposes of clarity.
8. Test Multiple Landing Pages: I know, it sounds like a lot of work to actually set up more than one landing page and test it out. But the fact is, it helps out tremendously. Only when you know what works will you be able to properly set up your landing page. For example, try different subject headers, test the length of your copy, or even experiment with how many fields you ask for in your request form.
9. Leave It Up: Pay attention marketers: PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS READ YOUR STUFF RIGHT AWAY. Sometimes people will refer back to your newsletter or webpage months or even years down the road. Old information is not necessarily “old,” and it makes perfect sense to keep it accessible to readers. Consider yourself a library of knowledge. You want your visitors have access to your reference books no matter what time of the day or night.
10. Follow Eye-Tracking: Look at someone who’s looking at your landing page for the first time. Follow their eyes. Do they follow the usual “Z” path down a page? Are your visual cues helping them advance down the funnel to the call to action? Try not to interrupt your test subject’s first scan of your landing page. After they’ve finished, then go back and ask them to tell you where they’re getting hung up or what is being misunderstood.
May 8, 2011
One important concept that many companies overlook is the impact of a great landing page. You’re probably already thinking “this doesn’t apply to my company, my landing page is great.” And you might be right—sort of. While your website’s landing page may have all of the right components, and you may think that it’s great, you might be losing sight of the basics. Every person who visits your site will have their own unique personality, temperament, and cognitive style and you should incorporate all of these elements when considering landing page optimization. These fundamentals are referred to as personas, cognitive styles and roles. Often, these three things are used interchangeably, but you should know that there are major differences between the three. Tim Ash from SiteTuners.com uses some of the following descriptions to help businesses better grasp consumer needs:
Roles correspond to specific classes of visitors interacting with your site. They are defined by their relationship to your website and call-to-action. The role breakdown can be basic, or it might need to be slightly more nuanced depending on your circumstances. Examples include: a Dating service Prospective member (has not signed up yet), a new member (has paid but has not set up a complete personal profile), and an experienced member (has done multiple searches and contacted other members).
A persona is typically a made-up prototype of a person that is used to represent important classes of potential users of a product or service. They are imagined in great detail (behaviors, workplace, activities, belief systems, etc.) in order to form a more concrete image. The design or use of the product or service is then compared to the persona’s needs to determine if there is a good fit. Roles are different than personas — in one sense they are more changeable since they depend on the specific relationship with a website. A persona is usually treated as a monolithic person with a fully-formed personality that does not change. In fact, most people play many different roles in their daily life. In each role their competencies, mental frameworks and attitudes can shift dramatically. For example, a person might be an excellent ballet dancer. While on stage, they may thrive in the spotlight and feel confident in their movements and roles. However, later on at school when that same person has to make a speech in front of the class, they may find themselves unsure, self-conscious and introverted. So, even though they are the same person (and would presumably still be represented by the same persona), they behave completely differently in their roles as a dancer and a public speaker.
Personas are also often confused with cognitive styles. There are many psychological frameworks that divide people into different temperaments. This has been done at least since the Middle Ages — the four “humors” or “temperaments” were called Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic and Phlegmatic, and corresponded to emotional makeup as well as physical constitution of an individual. Other explanations include Intuitive, Sensorial, Rational and Emotional.
The main point of these systems is that your cognitive style is part of your basic makeup and is unlikely to change. It is basically how your brain operates and how you take in and deal with information about the world. In the context of landing pages, you should try to accommodate all major cognitive styles since they are all represented in the population. For example, your pages should be uncluttered for the short-attention-span crowd, but also include links to very detailed supporting information for the methodical types.
In the next series we will discuss landing page optimization tactics for consumers of all types.
April 28, 2011
There are new formats to optimize your presence online. Since 2001 Google has been indexing approximately over 500 million PDF files . You may be confused as to how Google is able to rank these files. Google has the ability to index textual information from the PDF. Remember even Google cannot surpass password protected files. Therefore if the file is password protected then Google won’t be able to index it. Also, Google uses optical character recognition which in essence extracts textual information from images online.
Google treats PDF links like an HTML link therefore it passes the PageRank and other indexing signals within the search engine. Similarly to passwords, the PDF files cannot have a “no follow” tag because if not Google will not be able to index it properly.
When trying to optimize your presence on Google through PDF files a title is highly important in search results. To influence your title online, you will need to look at the two influencing factors: the metadata within the PDF and text of the links that highlight the PDF in a search engine.
April 23, 2011
We talk a lot about social media marketing and the importance of good quality SEO, but now businesses may have to consider an avenue that ten years ago we never would have imagined—mobile marketing. If you’re an AT&T wireless customer and have SMS capabilities, you’re no stranger to mobile marketing. For years, AT&T has been using text messages to alert consumers of new games, applications, media downloads and even wireless tips. But the concept of mobile marketing goes way beyond just sending text messages. Today, more and more companies are using mobile advertising as part of their marketing campaigns. With an estimated 25 million people using a Blackberry, it was only a matter of time before advertisers found a new way to reach out to their audience. According to a recent study on eMarketer.com, only 10.7% of retailers use mobile advertising to promote their sales and special offers and only 6.1% have an iPhone application. Try to picture every retailer who you have ever noticed has an application for your smartphone. Off the top of your head you probably can only name a few. But those few stick out to you because they are readily accessible and easy to find. Chances are, they are major companies. But what about the little guys? Imagine if mobile marketing became the new norm. Our texts, multimedia messages, and mobile internet browsers would be flooded with advertisements similar to what has happened over the last ten years to our email boxes. The possibilities are endless. For example, A&B Restaurant can send out a text message blast about a new Happy Hour special and instantly reach thousands of viewers who have no choice but to read their message. Meanwhile, Marty’s First Class Plumbing Supply is running a last minute sale and needs to reach a large audience fast. Apple has even gotten on the bandwagon, with the launch of their new concept iAd, a breakthrough mobile advertising platform from Apple. With it, they claim that “apps can feature rich media ads that combine the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web. For developers, it means a new, easy-to-implement source of revenue. For advertisers, it creates a new media outlet that offers consumers highly targeted information.” This revolutionary tool will place advertisements within the ever-growing iPhone applications. The idea is that if you place your brand in front of your targeted consumers enough times, they will start to see your logo in their sleep. An ATG study found that 19% of US internet users use a mobile device for product research at least monthly. With almost a quarter of web users looking to their smartphones to help them make purchases, it’s only a matter of time before the playing field becomes more competitive. Businesses may want to strike while the “ROI” is hot. Less competition means smaller investments and a more attentive audience for your mobile marketing campaign.
March 19, 2011
There are many ways to generate traffic to your company website. But if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a marketing campaign, this can be an intimidating task. Here are some of the easiest—and cheapest—ways for your small business to get noticed on the web.
1. Link Exchange
In our two part series How to Promote Your Blog, we discussed creating a link exchange, whereby you link to a complimentary blog and in return, they link back to you. This also works for driving website traffic. When websites similar to yours link to you, their visitors are redirected to your company’s page. This means that your website’s usual traffic is supplemented by traffic from the site that linked to you. When you link back to them, the cycle continues. It’s a friendly and easy way to boost your visitor’s for free.
2. Get Listed
Getting your website listed in search engines and directories is a great way to get your name out. This will generate traffic directly from the directories themselves and will also help to improve your link popularity (which means your website will pop-up higher in Google search results).
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of guiding the development or redevelopment of a website so that it will naturally attract visitors by winning top ranking on the major search engines for selected keyword phrases. The best part about SEO is that it produces valuable results for your website, with little investment necessary (you will have to pay a knowledgeable marketing strategist). Optimizing your page to help you win on search engines will gain you exposure that would otherwise involve a lot of time and money. For more information read our post on keyword content.
4. PPC and Banner Ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns and banner ads fall under the category of paid advertising, but don’t discount them in your marketing strategy because they are important in driving website traffic. You may also consider a banner exchange program, where you post another site’s banner and in return, they post yours on their site. This drives traffic similar to the link exchange program, and also helps to create brand recognition.
5. Contests, Awards and Promotions
Running giveaways and contests are a great way to promote your site because it gives people an incentive to visit your site. If people think there is a chance that they will get something for free, they’re more likely to give you their information or even sign-up for your newsletter. Promote these contests off of the internet to help bring in customers who aren’t regular internet junkies, or maybe who don’t visit your site on a regular basis. Contests will help bring your visitors together and create a sense of community and brand loyalty.
February 10, 2011
In Part One, we discussed how to promote your blog by using influential bloggers to attract attention and utilizing social media to reach new and current fans. But promoting your business blog isn’t all about Tweeting and connecting—if you want to get your blog noticed you’ll need to remember the important basics of good ole’ fashion internet marketing.
3. Create “Link-Bait” Posts and “Sticky” Headlines
Creating a compelling headline for your posts will help attract your readers’ attention and hopefully get them to return to your blog. Try some of these tips for head-turning titles:
· Write counter-intuitive posts like “The 10 Worst Online Marketing Ideas” or “The 5 Quickest Ways to Get Caught in the Spam Filter.” The positive attention-grabber will get people interested, while the negative side will draw them into your blog.
· Incorporate celebrities into posts (if appropriate for your industry) – i.e., “Top 10 Celebrity Tweets of the Week.”
· Leverage the sticky headline formula, “number + adjective + sticky message” – i.e., “5 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Your Blog Noticed” or “7 Most Common Mistakes of a Rookie Blogger.” Odd numbers and prime numbers usually work best for this formula, although ten is a great round classic.
4. Promote the Blog on Your Corporate Website
It’s important to gain some valuable real estate on the homepage of your corporate site – particularly in the early stages of getting a new blog up and running. Create a button with a link to the blog to appear on the homepage, or at the least provide a link to the blog in the navigation. As a new blog, it’s the best way to get noticed by your target audience and your current customers will be sure to notice the addition to your website. The blog link is usually posted in the upper right of your navigation bar for greater accessibility, but some companies choose to place a link to their blog on their footer navigation. For example, Twitter’s homepage has footer navigation, and their blog link is third from the left, indicating its importance right after “About” & “Contact”—arguably the most commonly visited pages of that navigation.
5. Promote the Blog Offline
For all of the online channels available to promote your blog, there are just as many offline channels to leverage. Don’t limit yourself to the online world. Instead:
* Add your blog URL to business cards.
* Promote your blog at industry events.
* Get print publications to pick up blog posts.
* Use word of mouth to let customers and business partners know of the new blog.
* Include the blog URL in the boilerplate of press releases (and in online releases, too).
These guidelines are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing your business blog. The most important thing to remember is to attract attention through social media, use website traffic to drive readers to your blog and don’t limit yourself to the internet—traditional marketing and communication forms can also be effective tools to increasing your readership.
January 3, 2011
There’s a lot more to Facebook than just setting up a page for your business and hoping people show up. If you’re expecting a measurable ROI from social media, you’ll need to put in the extra effort to reach potential clients. The amount and quality of the content that you post, paired with the following tips, will get you the attention that your business needs.
1. Stay Relevant
In order to keep your page newsworthy to consumers, post timely information relating to your company. The more up-to-date and current your information is the more likely fans are to come to your Facebook page to receive this info. Hopefully this will drive them to visit your company website as well.
2. Quality Information
When posting to your business’ fan page, try to think like your potential clients, i.e., “What would draw me to this page if I were a consumer?” By putting yourself in the mind frame of the consumer you can better relate to their needs. To draw in fans, post information that is relevant to your company or industry, as well as news, tips, and details about upcoming and current promotions. After a while, your fans will look to your Facebook page as a source for information related to your company. The idea is to turn your Facebook fans from consumers of your information to paying clients.
3. Engage Fans
One of the greatest challenges in running a Facebook page is how to engage fans. Running promotions and contests is a great way to create a platform for your fans to speak out. Asking their opinion on specific topics will more than likely generate a buzz—after all, if there’s one thing people like to talk about it’s themselves. When fans comment on your status updates or photos, be sure to write back! Conversations are key to keeping people interested and developing brand loyalty.
4. Make It Personal
Fans are more likely to relate to your page if you let your company’s voice shine through. It’s important to keep your overall page professional but at the same time take on a personal tone when communicating with fans. For example, the Skittles Facebook page does a great job of engaging fans with humorous and quirky posts that sometimes don’t even make sense but they certainly get the job done—each of their posts receives hundreds of comments and thousands of “likes.” One fan even took the time to write on the Skittles wall to air his grievances over a recurring Skittles commercial during his television programming.
5. Be Patient
Converting fans into paying customers takes time! You won’t gain new followers overnight so don’t be discouraged if your page doesn’t grow by the thousands right away. Implement these five strategies along with a solid plan to post quality content consistently, and over time your company’s fan page will turn readers into loyal customers.
December 11, 2010
Nowadays when people hear the words “social media” they often think of Facebook automatically. But it’s important for businesses to remember that Facebook isn’t the only game in town when it comes to marketing your company online. Twitter is an equally important but very different form of communicating with your customers that has benefits that Facebook doesn’t. But believe or not, there are still a lot of companies that don’t utilize Twitter because they’re not exactly sure what it is or how it works. Here is a step-by-step guide to Twitter and how to use it for your business.
What are “tweets?”
Tweets are 140 character “blasts” of information that are instantly sent out to anyone who is “following” your company. Because many people receive their Twitter feeds on their smart phones, this is a quick and efficient way of reaching your target market. It also goes with the notion that people have short attention spans, so shoving the most amount of information into the littlest space possible will get you the biggest results.
What does following mean?
A person who is interested in your company will “follow” you on Twitter. This means that they will get instant updates from your company every time you post. By doing this, all of their followers will be able to see you in their list of who they are following. Similarly, you can also follow other people and companies who you like. Your followers will see these companies on your page and so on and so forth.
What are hash tags?
Whenever a “#” sign is placed in front of a word in a tweet, it tags that word as part of a topic. That way, anyone who searches for that topic on Twitter will be faced with a variety of Tweets using that word. (For example, if instead of the word “Cars” you type in “#Cars,” anyone who searches for cars will potentially see your Tweet.
What are lists?
Twitter users can create “lists,” or groups, of people and companies that they like. Much like you would bookmark favorite places, users can create and manage different lists to follow. The benefit of this is that the user receives a quick and efficient way to see all of the posts they are interested in for a particular topic. Also, if a user is listed on someone’s list, it will show on their Twitter profile page.
When is the best time to tweet?
Some people argue that that tweeting around the clock is the best way to reach potential customers. Others say that certain times of day are best for some and not others. Consider your target market. What time are they arriving at work? When are they at home? Are they receiving alerts on their cell phones or on the computer? Do they have access to a computer at work? All of these things will determine the best time for your company to tweet.
November 19, 2010
With Facebook recently bumping Yahoo! from its spot as second most popular website in the U.S. , it’s no surprise that many companies have expanded their social media budgets for 2010. According to a recent industry survey conducted by US Marketers, 79% of retail and e-commerce companies surveyed planned to increase their social media budgets for 2010, and only 1% planned to decrease their budgets. This was the biggest increase, with publishing and media companies close behind at an increase of 63% and business/consumer services at 54%. Facebook was predicted to be the main avenue for the social media spending, with Facebook itself projected to increase its advertising revenue by 39% in 2010. This is not a shock considering recent Neilson stats that claimed Facebook users spent a total of 7 hours each on the site during the month of January. With the obvious upward trend in social media budgets, it is up to the small businesses to follow suit. According to a survey from the Small Business Success Index at the University of Maryland , social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year, with nearly one out of five small business owners’ actively using social media for their business. The social media budget expansions can be attributed to a clear increasing trend of consumers using social media sites to help make purchasing decisions. Recent findings from Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate showed that social fans and followers were more inclined to purchase from and recommend the brands they are fans of on social media sites. Their survey found that more than 50% of Facebook fans said they were more likely to make a purchase because of their social connection to the brand, and nearly 67% of Twitter followers reported the same. Of these, 60% said they would recommend that brand to a friend. Therefore, increasing your online presence through social media can grow your customer base exponentially. Here is a list of ways that using social media can benefit your business:
• Increase Your Network: Reach current and potential customers through an informal platform.
• Low Cost/High Return: Costs are relatively low compared to the high return you will receive. Because social media sites are free, the only costs you will incur will be the fee of a freelance programmer if you don’t have time to manage the sites yourself.
• Create Brand Awareness: The use of social media sites allows your company to control its image online using a variety of free formats, as well as to let customers know about sales and promotions. It also gives you constant presence online, allowing customers to reach you on their own terms—wherever and whenever they feel like it.
• Emotional Connection: Your customers will be more likely to buy from you and recommend you to their friends if they feel connected to you. The best way to do this is to get them to trust you through goodwill generation—find a charitable way to make your company stand out.
• Feedback: Interacting with your customers through social media is the key to receiving the feedback that will help you decide which marketing tools are working and which ones aren’t.
Use these tools to create a social media presence for your company and watch your client base, revenue and customer loyalty rise significantly. You’ll find that an increase in budget, however small or large, will make all of the difference.
June 3, 2010
You’d have to be living under a rock to not have noticed Bing’s intensive marketing campaign in 2009. During nearly every commercial break was a cleverly placed advertisement from Microsoft’s newest search engine, featuring a person under the influence of “search overload” uncontrollably spitting out random factoids of information.
Bing was unveiled in May of 2009 as a Decision Engine—a consumer brand that Microsoft claimed would “provide customers with a first step in moving beyond search to help make faster, more informed decisions.” It does this by using intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business. In other words, it knows what you want before you do. But dominating the search engine market share is no easy feat. According to ComScore, a digital marketing company that specializes in audience measurement, Google is the reigning search engine with more than 65% of the online market share (from January 2010 release). No other site has come close to this number, with Yahoo trailing at 17% (down .3% from December 2009 and 3% from the year before), and Bing in a close third place at 11.3%.
Since Bing’s inception, Microsoft’s market share has jumped 3.3% in under a year—gaining a whopping .6% from December to January alone. At this rate, Bing will quickly usurp Yahoo for the title of number two search engine. In less than a year, Bing has managed to grab just as much of the market share as Yahoo has lost. Could this be coincidence or part of a bigger strategic marketing strategy waged by Microsoft? It appears to be the latter. There has been a deal long in the works between Yahoo and Microsoft, and the United States government and the EU have finally given the two companies the green light to take on the Google monster as a team. So what could this mean for advertisers? For one, it would open up the advertising and marketing world tremendously, putting the nearly 577 million worldwide search users right at your company’s fingertips.
This merger aims to produce positive results for Yahoo, who recently lost the position of second most popular website to Facebook (ironically just months after the two entered into a deal that allowed users to directly connect to the social media super site directly through the Yahoo homepage). With no sign of Bing slowing down in the growth sector, Google better hold on to its search results—it could be a bumpy ride.
May 16, 2010
We previously discussed the differences between roles, personas and cognitive styles—all essential components of understanding webpage optimization. Now that you know who your visitors are, what their needs are and how they think, consider how you’re going to get each of their individual attention. You may think that your ideas represent the average consumer, but the fact is that not everyone has been programmed to like what you like, understand what you understand and process the way that you process. In this two part series, we’ll discuss how optimize your landing page for the masses.
1. Know When to Keep it Simple: Some direct response practitioners like an exciting – if not circus-like – atmosphere in a landing page. Perhaps for some consumer categories it works well. But in today’s “give-it-to-me quick-or-I’m-out-of-here” world, you need to keep your landing page focused and pretty simple. Let’s face it, staring into a light source and reading long tracts of information is stressful and hard work. Help the visitor to your landing page digest what you are offering quickly and easily. Use short paragraphs and bullet points.
2. Tell Them Where They Are: Think about it. When a reader clicks on a link within an email, they’re being redirected to a new source—namely, the web. Putting language at the top of the landing page telling them they’ve landed in the right spot takes away the first question that any visitor understandably has.
3. Don’t Take Over My Computer: As my 7th grade English teacher used to say, “K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple, Stupid.” This couldn’t be more appropriate for the way that some web designer’s create their landing page. As consumers, we don’t need a gazillion bells and whistles going off in our faces to be interested in your product. In fact, we usually prefer it the other way. The average user is more likely to just close their web browser than wade through all of the fluff.
4. Offer Multiple Avenues for Interaction: Some people are prone to click on the first link they see on a webpage. Others will fish around a little bit more. Keep your links as user-friendly as possible, by placing them at the top, bottom and middle of your page. This way, visitors can get the information they seek as soon as they are ready. Track everything. Try to custom tag each link so you know which ones are the most used. This will come in handy for the next time. If you have a multi-stage process, like a survey, shopping cart, or registration form, see where you lose people and work on that.
5. Experiment with Your Registration Forms: Research typically shows that you lose 30% of respondents with each registration field. Only take the necessary information for your business. If you can manage, consider only taking their email addresses. That way you can start as many new relationships as possible and worry about the other stuff later.
May 1, 2010
Using competitive intelligence strategies and tools will be the key to launching successful email marketing campaigns in 2010, according to a new white paper from Compete. In the white paper “Five Simple Steps to Online Marketing Success,” Compete recommends that marketers take the five following steps to integrate competitive marketing into their online campaigns:
1. Know the Competition: First, Compete advises email marketers to create a list of competitors in their space and identify the specific reasons each poses a competitive threat. After identifying their competitive set, marketers are advised to dig into metrics (i.e. unique visitors, page views, time on site, average stay, and pages per visit) and figure out their standing in the ones that matter most. All of these will give marketers a sense of real norms for their competitive landscape, thus allowing them to make logical business decisions and maximize ROI.
2. Cover Search Marketing Bases: Increase search traffic and campaign performance through analysis of competitors’ search marketing trends and keywords. In addition, using local web analytics tools, marketers can see what keywords are sending traffic to their sites, how much of that traffic is paid as compared to natural, and what percentage of traffic the individual search engines contribute to a site overall. Through optimization and testing of paid search campaigns, SEO keyword research, and content creation, marketers can maximize conversions and increase search ROI. However, optimization and testing are not guaranteed to provide beneficial results. Competitive search analytics tools let marketers quickly gain insights into your competitors’ search strategy so you can capitalize on their success.
3. Copying is a Sign of Flattery: Identify what websites are sending competitors’ traffic and get in on the action. Competition for web traffic will continue to grow as more everyday activities move online. Just like there are a few keywords that drive most of the traffic to a site (the head) and thousands of other keywords that drive a little (the long tail), traffic to websites works much in the same way. There are millions of websites out there, however only a small percentage account for the bulk of traffic. By analyzing referral (upstream) and destination (downstream) traffic for their competitive sets, marketers can easily identify new affiliate websites, business relationships, and link-building opportunities.
4. Fix Your Leaky Bucket: Local web analytics tools will let marketers identify which websites are sending traffic to their sites. Based on page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates, they can easily identify which websites deliver the most benefit. Thinking of a website as a bucket, using various marketing tactics, marketers can scoop up site visitors that may be interested in their products or services. Then by creating conversion funnels, they can attempt to lead users to perform a specific action. Using destination or downstream traffic tools, marketers can easily see where their users go when they leave the site. Are they going directly to a competitor, a search engine, or back to their favorite social network? Maybe they are searching for coupons on their favorite deal sites or conducting research before they decide to purchase your products or services. By regularly performing a destination traffic report on their websites, marketers can easily find opportunities to quickly ‘patch the holes’ in their ‘leaky buckets.’
5. Stay on Top: Marketers should monitor, set benchmarks, and realize how their site enhancements and marketing strategies impact their competitors. In order to stay on track and continue to grow their business, marketers need an online marketing strategy that can adjust to ever-changing economic, technological, and social environments. Incorporating competitive intelligence into that marketing strategy can give them the critical information they need to minimize risk and ensure success. Marketers should monitor their competitive set and use competitive intelligence tools on a regular basis. They will find much of the information they collect to be critical in making decisions about their overall marketing strategies. Then, they should set benchmarks and monitor changes across their entire competitive sets.
April 26, 2010
Facebook continues its quest to make the world infinitely connected with the new “Like” button. A while back, Facebook introduced a platform called “Facebook Connect” where websites like Yahoo! and Covet allowed Facebook users to directly login to their accounts via these websites to access regular features and share content. But this became a hassle because who wants to always be logging in to Facebook wherever they go? Last week Facebook unveiled the new “Like” button—better, stronger and more efficient than the first. For example, the “Like” button can now be used to show your interest in business fan pages, without the hard commitment of “becoming a fan.” In doing this, Facebook hopes to expand people’s links and interests on a broader scale. But that’s not all—Facebook is taking its new “Like” button to the streets. Websites like Pandora, Yelp, and soon NYTimes.com, ABC.com, NHL.com and Fandango will all have a “Like” button, or in some cases “Recommend,” on their sites. All you have to do is be logged into your Facebook account and you can instantly “Like” something anywhere in the web that it is supported. This action will place a story in your news feed for your friends to see. Before, you were able to see if Sally Sanders likes a fan page, but you will now also see that Sally Sanders likes a movie on Fandango, or supports an article on NYTimes.com. The benefit for you as the consumer is that you will be able to see things your friend’s “like” on a much broader scale, including seeing reviews from people you know and trust. In other words, Facebook is somehow managing to personalize your experience everywhere. The benefit for the retailers and websites that participate in this massive connection is a surge in website traffic and obvious brand recognition. Also, when you “Like” something (i.e. the movie “The Godfather” on IMDb), it will be added to your profile as an interest on the “Info” tab. Once the connection is made, “The Godfather” page can send you updates through the News Feed, and it will appear in search results. This will increase the amount of connections made between both Facebook friends and people throughout Facebook. In order for this to work for your business or fan page, keep in mind that people tend to trust things more that are recommended by people they know. Because of this it’s important now more than ever that you make lasting valuable impressions on customers who can potentially open up your brand to a plethora of people that you weren’t aware existed, and who weren’t aware of you. You can do this by creating quality content on your website and fan page, and engaging followers in conversation. Get people to open up by asking their opinions. When they leave a comment, respond to it. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to communicate from behind the safety of their computer screen. They may even give you some valuable feedback that will help you get noticed more in the online community.
February 26, 2010
Yahoo! Inc has announced a global partnership with Twitter that will integrate a continuous stream of tweets, the 140-character messages created by Twitter users, into the Yahoo! Homepage. This will allow users to read their Twitter feed, as well as post tweets of their own, without leaving the Yahoo! site. The partnership will also give users access to Twitter’s real-time public data stream which will show up in a variety of pages, including Yahoo! Search results and Yahoo! News, Finance Entertainment and even E-mail. Yahoo! will use the information gathered from the data stream to improve the relevance of content across Yahoo!’s websites. This means that the information your company posts on Twitter will potentially be available to the 600 million people in Yahoo!’s global network. For example, if Small Sporting Goods in Tulsa , Oklahoma tweets about the Canadians winning the Gold medal in Hockey, and Mike Everyman from Buffalo , New York does a Yahoo! search for Men’s Hockey in the Olympics, he may see that same tweet from Small Sporting Goods. The possibilities are endless.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter—which generates more than 50 million tweets everyday—pose an increasing threat to established internet giants like Yahoo! and Google whose businesses depend on selling online ads to large audiences. As a result, the integration of social media and internet search providers has become a recurring trend. This partnership comes months after Yahoo! announced its alliance with Facebook Connect, which allows users to update their Facebook status while being directly connected through services like Yahoo! News, Mail, Sports, and Answers. Similarly, Google launched its own social media response, Google Buzz, last month, which allows users of Gmail to integrate applications like Twitter and Flickr right into their Gmail page. In doing this, Yahoo! and Google are hoping to gain back the market share of their users who have become accustomed to shopping, getting news, and connecting with friends through social media sites.
In a recent study of more than 2,000 adults, conducted by Pew Internet, it was found that 75% of the people involved got their news online through e-mail or posts from social networking sites. By bridging the gap between news and socializing, these internet giants are creating an ultimate dashboard for the modern consumer. One can do a Yahoo! search for anything and at the same time see an unfiltered tweet from a fellow consumer about this same topic. As a result, companies are becoming more transparent to the public, and thus, more trustworthy and accessible. It’s a win/win.
November 16, 2009
The Yahoo! Search Marketing marketplace, we will soon be launching a product enhancement that promises to give advertisers more transparency into the performance of the traffic they receive. The enhancement is a new network distribution feature that will enable advertisers to set up campaigns or ad groups to specifically receive traffic from Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Partners, or both. If you choose to set up a campaign or an ad group to receive traffic from the Entire Network (i.e., both Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! Partners), you will have the ability to fine–tune your bids by applying discounts or premiums on the Yahoo! Partner traffic. The release of these new features is tentatively scheduled for availability in the U.S. market in early 2010.
September 4, 2009
You hear me saying this again and again, “Useful information wins over search engines”. In the quest to achieve top SEO results the visitor is sometimes forgotten. Having high quality SEO content also means that it should be written so that your readers will enjoy it. As a rule, your content should first be aimed at your visitors and then to the search engine spiders. Search Engines are constantly on the quest to provide their visitors with the most relevant website’s, whose content is written to be beneficial to the visitors and communicates the message that it is specifically geared towards the related keywords searched. Their complex algorithms seek out web pages which they believe will benefit their users. New, original, quality content optimized for SEO purposes is a proven formula which will almost certainly lead the search engines to your pages.
June 27, 2009
Building quality incoming links is essential to any SEO strategy. Incoming links will solidify your relevance and further increase your popularity on search engines. Most link building strategies consist of link swapping, directory listings and other direct forms of posting your link on related sites. Yet one of the most over looked strategy to link building is pure content. Relevant quality content which is original, interesting and current to your targeted audience will capture the most attention and will over time begin to generate very powerful relevant links all on its own. Think of your favorite sites and what they do to earn your bookmark or link. Link building is only one of the many popular SEO strategies practiced today and should be used in combination with other search engine marketing efforts.
1&1 Internet, Inc.
June 26, 2009
Hello and Welcome to the official Hitexposure Blog.Our goal is to provide our visitors with current news, tips, and highlights from the Internet Marketing industry. With contributions from both friends and experts on related stories, thoughts, we hope to provide a refreshing and insightful SEO destination for you to visit and contribute regularly. We welcome and value your input. Enjoy!