Tips to Take Your Ecommerce Business to the Next Level

When you put a lot of time, effort and money into building an ecommerce level, it’s understandable that you want it to be as successful as it can possibly be. Taking your site to the next level is certainly possible, and there are some things you can do to get there. That’s what we’re going to discuss today, so read on more to find out what you can do to put your ecommerce business in a better position than ever before.

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Use a Good Web Host

One of the first things your business should try to do is find a better web host. It’s impossible to take your ecommerce site to the next level of your website is constantly down as a result of bad hosting. It might cost a little more for a premium hosting service, but it’s most definitely worth it if you want to grow your website into something more and something that can’t be ignored.

Make the Site Searchable

The website should be fully searchable because people sometimes want to find very specific things and they’ll be frustrated searching through pages and pages of content. Make life easier for them by letting them search for the things they’re looking for. A simple search bar is pretty easy to add to your site but it’ll make a huge difference to the user experience.

Create Simple Menus

The menus system your site uses should also be as straightforward and simple as possible. Your aim should always be to make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for, and a simple menu system will be a huge part of that. Don’t create too many different categories that overcomplicate things because that’s when it all gets too messy.

Start Taking Advantage of SEO Techniques

Making the most of the most up to date SEO techniques will help your business massively when it comes to boosting traffic. SEO companies such as SEO Shark can help with this if it all seems a little too complicated to take on alone. Make the most of these options and start making your website rank higher on search engine results pagse. Doing so will help your ecommerce business to start growing in a more organic way.

Don’t Clutter Your Website

Finally, you should remember the importance of not cluttering up your website with a lot of unnecessary data. People don’t like using online stores that seem to be bursting at the seams. Instead, these days people prefer websites that are very clean and elegant, so that’s probably the kind of aesthetic you should be aiming for. It’ll make the site look so much better.

If you make the most of the ideas we’ve talked about here today, you’ll find it much easier to start taking your ecommerce business to a whole new level. It doesn’t have to involve anything too complicated. Simply adopting these changes and putting them in place will make a huge difference.

Getting Started with SEO as a Start-Up

If you have a start-up, you probably have a website. If you have a website in 2020, it needs to be optimized for search engines to achieve success. Google and Bing’s algorithms now make it very hard for a completely new site to rank among competitors on the search engine results page (SERP) without first being perceived by them as trusted. This is even harder if your website impacts viewers’ money or life, such as if you’re selling a product or service. So, if you’re a start-up with a website, here is what you need to know about SEO.

Google’s Starter Guide

Google has an SEO guide for websites that need Google Search to survive (i.e., any website that doesn’t specifically reject Google). This guide clearly states that the best way for a website to be featured on their SERP is by clearly benefiting their users. They outline that any SEO you undertake should be with the philosophy of making the user experience better.

The first thing they ask you to check is whether your site is already showing on Google after its launch. At this point, you should double-check that you have a robots.txt page, as if you have just launched, it can help Google’s (and other search engines’) ‘robots’ crawl through the internet and add your page to their directory.

They specify that your website needs to be secure, serve high-quality content to users, and have content optimized to be fast and easy to access on all devices. The 4th paragraph of Google’s guide is effectively a heads-up. It asks you if you need an SEO expert and tells you that doing so can save time and implies that the complex nature of SEO means there is a lot for a newcomer to cover. They recommend that you start off by getting an expert to audit your site, something that leading SEO companies typically include in a package. For example, Click Intelligence offers site auditing available in a custom package alongside content generation, pay per click strategy, PR outreach, and a lot more.

Google’s guide then proceeds to cover a lot of technical information, which can be overwhelming for those new to SEO, but is recommended for anybody looking to get a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved. However, they jump straight into the technicalities of SEO without outlining the importance of something else first. That something else is demographics work.

Proper Demographics Work

If you are significantly down the road of your start-up launch, you have probably conducted demographics analysis of your target market. If not, please understand that this is a vital component in selling products and services to both businesses and direct to consumers. When you start your SEO strategy, you will need to refer to the analysis you have conducted, as everything about your brand should be tailored to those to whom you wish to sell.

When you’re planning your SEO, you need to remember that the whole point of the exercise is to think of who you want to be searching for you and attempt to enhance your visibility to them. It can be worth it, at this stage, to conduct analyses of your competitors’ audiences, too. Really flesh this out – who are the users and how do they think, what do they want from a service, how do they search, on which devices do they search, etc. This analysis will help you understand that your audience will not search for your start-up by name almost all the time when you’re starting out. Instead, they will find your start-up by searching for a need they have that needs to be fulfilled. How do you tailor your SEO for them?

Keywords

Keywords are a foundation of SEO strategy. To successfully implement SEO, you need to understand the key terms that searchers are looking for, and tailor your site to include them in such a way that a search engine determines your site as valuable for those searching with your chosen keywords.

There are several free tools that can help you research keywords that you think might be valuable to your SEO. It’s recommended that you explore keywords as much as you can – expand on possible phrases and analyze where these search terms are active (which sites and which locations). Keywords can be short-tail or long-tail. Short-tail keywords are more general and shorter, e.g., “chocolate,” and long-tail keywords are more specific and tend to be longer, e.g., “best chocolate recipes.” Short-tail keywords are much harder to rank highly on the SERP with, so its recommended when you’re brainstorming keywords to choose a few short-tails but at least five long-tails to expand on each short-tail keyword you choose.

If you’re stuck with building your list of keywords, try a simple process with a complicated name: pattern recognition through stems and qualifiers. Take a short-tail keyword and apply different qualifiers to turn it into a long-tail keyword. Examples of these qualifiers are:

  1. Relevant adjective – best start-up
  2. Location – start-up London
  3. Brand – Nike start-up
  4. Product spec/feature – Student’s start-up
  5. Product Type – SaaS start-up
  6. Intended use – Part-time start-up
  7. Comparison – Start-up vs corporation
  8. Action request – buy start-up

Once you have developed a list of keywords, you can start to think about where you include them on your site. Then, you need to think about your content.

Content Marketing – The King

The importance of content has become a cliché in online marketing and SEO, but it is so for a reason. You need high-quality content that can take the form of a blog page, videos, pictures – anything that your demographics will willingly consume with interest. Content needs to be factual and enticing, and is important in the eyes of Google, as it gives you some authority within your niche. Factual, well-researched posts that are 100% original and inform readers about a specific problem and potential solutions are highly recommended, as they not only position your site as an expert, but can attract backlinks.

When people share your content online in blog posts and other pieces of content, they may choose to link back to your site to demonstrate their point. This establishes your site as helpful for other people, and search engine algorithms observe these backlinks and are more likely to position you higher up on the SERP, as they can see that your site is trustworthy and provides value. Backlinks have to be genuine; they can’t just be hacked by creating a series of blogs and copying and pasting content with the addition of a link to your site. When they work best, backlinks are from high-quality articles themselves. Sites that master content marketing generate 500% more leads, have 434% more pages on the SERP, and 55% more traffic, according to Semrush.

Taking care of your SEO on a regular basis involves a lot of content generation, as your site will need to stay fresh and relevant in order to generate genuine backlinks. That shouldn’t be the only thing you maintain with your SEO efforts, though. The world of SEO is ever-changing and is rife with major revolutions that can see a high-ranking page wiped from the face of the SERP (as was observed in the infamous Google Medic update).

If you feel you have the basics of SEO down, you should regularly audit your site to make sure that everything is working as planned – and stay up to date with SEO news, as any bit of leaked information from Googles’ search engine algorithm department can help to boost your site’s rankings.

Is Your Online Presence Up To Scratch?

Starting your online venture will be the most exciting journey for you and if you already have a presence, then it’s time to start optimising that. You probably already have your ideas, your thoughts and it’s time to take a big leap towards a new business goal. Perhaps that is to have a certain amount of followers on your social pages, or perhaps it is to hit a certain amount of website hits. This is all achievable but it takes a little bit of effort and a little bit of luck to get started as well as great marketing! Where possible, look at getting a Marketing Agency involved as they will fully take the pressure off. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still also follow through on some steps yourself, it’s more than possible. So let’s look deeper.

Brand yourself as well as possible.

Your website design is a huge reflection on your business and your style, your likes, and your personality is going to have to show through this. Perhaps you have a specific colour scheme, business logos, video and content that really defines your brand. If you opt for a monochrome, then keep this consistent throughout and be sure to always use that so people can always relate it back to you. Branding is so important because consistency in branding creates professionalism and shows a dedication to your business. Pick a specific design that you like, for example, a specific theme, colour theme and be sure that you continue this too on things such as your business cards, flyers and leaflets.you can always look at some editing and creative apps such as  Canva which have many free options too which is great for beginners.

Network like a pro

This is perhaps the most vital thing you can do in business and that is make connections and be around people who are like minded. It can be a daunting thing to pitch to someone and to communicate about your brand, but your digital business is important and it’s important that you are passionate about it and share that with others. It must resonate in your communication so by chatting with people on social media, you can learn to make new contacts and find potential clients. Make relationships with like-minded people which gives you a good sense of community and builds a wider presence. Interacting and proving you possess good solid communication shows you are reliable too as well as dedicated to your work.

All in all, the key to success in your business is passion and having a good team behind you. Get together the best of the best and ensure that you are always working to potential. Don’t feel as if you have to rush things as organic growth does take time. Don’t feel defeated if this takes more time than you wanted because the perseverance will pay off. Implement the marketing often and daily, because it truly is a full time job so if you know you’re not as on the ball as you should, then you need to change.

Online Shopping: Why You Should Shop Directly from US Stores

Online shopping is on the rise in the Philippines. Out of the 76 million active Internet users in the country, 70 percent are online shoppers. There are plenty of reasons that many Filipinos are choosing to shop online nowadays. It’s convenient, they have more options, and it’s cheaper. With the quarantine restrictions in the country, it’s much safer to have products delivered to your doorstep compared to the traditional way of shopping.

Still, there are a lot of issues with online shopping that have not been addressed. One of which is the fact that not all internationally-based online stores directly ship to the country. However, that shouldn’t stop Filipinos who want to shop in the U.S. and ship to the Philippines. Here are two reasons that they should.

It’s Cheaper (and Safer) than Unauthorized Local Resellers

Local resellers are people who claim to have had international products shipped from abroad and are now selling them locally. You could choose to buy from them as they have the products on-hand and will take less than a few days to ship your product to you. But here’s where you may lose out in terms of money and safety.

If the product is genuine, then the price of the product should be higher than the price it’s listed online. Sellers sell to make a profit, so they’re not going to sell it at the same rate it’s listed. They’ll be raising the cost to cover the expenses of shipping, customers, and the others they’ve incurred to start their selling business. Then, they’ll add a mark-up for their profit.

If you find a seller willing to sell it below or at the online price, that is when you should be wary about the product’s authenticity. Fraudulent sellers can make you believe you’re buying an international product when you’re actually purchasing a dupe. In 2019, over 3.90 billion pesos worth of fake goods were seized by the Bureau of Customs. For example, if you know that Kylie Cosmetics’ Koko K Lipstick Kit is sold at $26, don’t believe local sellers offering the same kit for 100 pesos.

In short, if you don’t want the added costs and the lack of assurance of buying from unauthorized local resellers, you’re better off buying directly from the online store.

Not Everything Is Available Locally

The Philippine market is very limited to what’s popular or what entrepreneurs believe will sell to a huge niche. As a result, some of the things you like may not be available for sale locally, so you either have to settle for what’s available.

Of course, shipping internationally is not always easy. If you’ve ever tried buying a product from Amazon or any other U.S.-based store, you might see notices that say they don’t ship to the Philippines. That can easily be remedied with shipping services that serve as “your” U.S. address and ship your products directly to you without the added taxes and miscellaneous fees other shipping methods provide.

Shopping directly from international online stores gives you peace of mind knowing you’re buying the genuine product and having it shipped safely directly to your home. That may not be possible with all online stores, but luckily many shipping services can help you receive and deliver U.S.-based deliveries and ship it to your home in the Philippines.

Why ECommerce Is More Important Than Ever

Photo by Negative Space from Pexels

The current global pandemic has already caused massive changes across the world. This has had a significant impact on businesses, trading and how the consumer behaves. In America alone, nearly 95% of the population has been affected by a quarantine. Businesses have been forced to shut their doors, leaving their companies only way of dealing with the consumer, online.

In the US, year-on-year revenue growth has peaked to 68%. This is much higher than the previous peak seen in January of 49% if you combine the US and Canadian e-commerce orders, you can see a 146% growth across all online retail orders. This shows that the consumer is changing rapidly. The question is, will this fall once the pandemic is under control and companies can go back to operating as usual? Or, will the pandemic change the way businesses work and the consumer buys?

Now is an essential time to ensure that your business offers a good eCommerce experience to your consumer and your suppliers. It’s wise to speak to an expert and get advice on your current status. You may find you are doing everything right but discover ways of pushing it forward even more, which will help increase turnover. Having an outsourced expert to run through your site, as a consumer, can highlight any issues which could be causing your customers to leave items in their cart and shop with someone else.

If you run a small business, it is worth talking to Shopify experts who can help you make the most of your online store. Although many smaller companies choose to create their own websites and online shopping sites using templates created by coders, it’s possible you aren’t maximising your opportunities. A small investment now could lead to higher turnover. Especially if you don’t understand SEO, a specialist could help drive more traffic to your site.

Mobile optimization is vital, as 72% of consumers use a mobile device to shop. You might have a stunning website that offers a simple experience on a desktop, but if this becomes clunky and awkward on a mobile, then you will lose consumers and see a loss in revenue.

Although the pandemic has been responsible for this sharp rise in online shopping, the general feeling amongst experts is that it has changed our buying habits for good. While the current quarantine orders look set to be lifted in the coming weeks or months, it’s likely we won’t see a huge rush of consumers heading to stores. Many people feel a lack of confidence due to their health and will stay away until there is more evidence that it is safe to return to normal life.

We live in a digital era, and while the pandemic may have pushed us quickly into a new way of shopping, it was an inevitable change that would have grown over the years. Take this time to make the steps to ensure you’re ready for the future!

Getting Your Website Just Right For Your Branding

If you run a business and you want it to be successful, you have to make sure that you are going to have a website to back it up. A website is actually essential in ensuring that you are keeping the public face of the business how you want it to be, and yet it can be challenging to ensure that you are doing this right if you have never had to look into it before. In particular, your website provides a fantastic opportunity and challenge for branding your business, something which is always important but especially so at this current time. If you are wondering how to keep your business alive at the moment, you are going to find that getting the online branding right is hugely important.

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Let’s take a look at how you can get your website just right so that it is really serving your branding mission as best as possible, and so you can keep running your business as successfully as possible online.

Get The Branding Right First

Before you do anything to the website, you have to make sure that you are actually in a position where you are happy with your branding, and that is something that takes a great deal of time in itself. If you are not happy with the branding, it doesn’t matter what your website is like – it’s just not going to work when you apply it to the website. At the moment, we have a unique challenge to try and brand our businesses in the face of the current pandemic, and it is something that you will probably be spending a lot of your time on. What are the values that you want people to associate with your brand? How are you going to get that across in a simple piece of branding? These are the things you need to think about upfront.

Image Source – CCO Licence

Image-Led Website Branding

It’s important to remember what a visual medium a website is. Even though you can introduce other elements, it is always going to be primarily visual, and you need to therefore ensure that you are drawing people in visually first and foremost. If you fail to do that, then your brand is just not going to be recognised, and you are going to find that your website is failing to do one of its primary tasks. Being image-led is something that you are definitely going to want to focus on. That could mean hiring a professional corporate photography team to take photos of your building and your office and so on – once they are able to do so safely and with social distancing in place – so that you have a more professional image of your business on the website, or it could be a simple fact of improving the way the website looks generally. A messy website is going to reflect badly on the business in many ways, so this is hugely important to bear in mind.

Your URL

It might sound strange, but it is actually also hugely important that you manage to find a good URL for your business’ website. This should be as close to the public trading name of your business as possible, or at least something very closely related to it. If you are struggling to find something suitable, it is not unheard of to centre the name of a business around the chosen URL that you manage to find, even if that seems as though it should be a little strange. It is a common way through this issue, and it’s something that you should consider if you want to keep that unity of branding strong.

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Focus On The Voice

Your brand should have a voice, or else it isn’t going to seem like a strong brand. But that voice also needs to come through in the website as well as possible if you want to make sure that it is really doing its thing, and it’s something that you can easily do as long as you are careful about how you write the words on the page. These words need to fall in line with the overarching vision you have of your business. If the images are right, but the text feels off, then your business is going to struggle for it, and people will trust the authority of your website much less too.

As long as you make a point of focusing on these things, you should find that you can keep your branding going strong even during these strange times.

The Current Remote Working Situation Is Perfect For Setting Up An Online Presence

The current worldwide pandemic is doing a lot to our businesses, whether they be previously and well established, or just on the verge of becoming something tangible. If you’re someone in the position of needing to carry on working from home, hopping on Zoom meetings and writing more emails than you’ve ever needed to in your life, you might be feeling uncertain about your ability to make tracks in the career world.

Yet, this remote working situation could be great for your online presence. Whether you need to properly set one up, or you’re in the field to develop and grow your current slice of online life, working from home could have a lot of benefits for you. After all, you’re going to be at your desk for extended periods of time, and you’re going to be hyper aware of every incoming communication that’s to do with your company.

Let’s go through some of these said benefits below. Your online presence could soar right now, and you should know about it.

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Users are Looking for a Distraction

People are online a lot more currently, thanks to the technological innovation of the past 20 years, and the fact that we’re all working as remotely as possible. Because of this, they’re going to be looking to the online world for a distraction, and if you provide one, they’re going to come back to you again and again.

A social media campaign creates a sense of hype, and it’s something that people can access from the comfort of their own online pages; give them a competition to enter, an online treasure hunt to follow, or even a selection of videos or curated content to keep them occupied for an hour or two. All in all, take their mind off of what’s going on outside, and they’re going to look to your online presence once again when restrictions are lifted.

Online Agencies are More Help than Ever

Optimizing your working conditions with digital power like this, as well as setting up that online presence you definitely need right now, should be one of your top priorities. You want people to come to you, and that means taking your website or social media presence to the next level. And if you’ve ever needed to reach out for help with securing your online presence, now is a better time than ever to look for that helping hand.

After all, a Digital agency is one of the most lucrative business models in the current market, and it’s guaranteed they’ll be running some kind of discount for businesses just like yours. People who are working from home, entirely alone, and have a lot to get on with – if you’re not a webmaster yourself, or you’re not entirely sure what hosting even is, it’s going to be hard to set up with no outside input.

If you’re working remotely, and it’s new to you, make sure your reach out, and keep the user in mind.

Upscale in Your Downtime: The Lockdown is the Perfect Time to Grow Your Audience!

Businesses across the world are still reeling from the COVID-19 virus and the lockdown it has precipitated. They’ve had to completely reassess their operations, enabling their employees to work from home where they can, and placing them on furlough when they can’t. Because of the sweeping disruption to global logistics and supply chains, business has slowed down considerably, even for the lucky industries that have managed to remain active during the lockdown. However, whatever the size and nature of your business, this is no time to rest on your laurels. A proactive approach is more important than ever if you expect to remain operational long after the lockdown is lifted. It’s time to look at the opportunities afforded us by the new, more relaxed pace of business.

Image by DiggityMarketing via Pixabay

It’s time to invest in growing your brand and your audience. Here’s how…

Invest in new leads

Even if you’re only able to operate in a limited capacity at the moment, this is absolutely the right time to lay the foundations for a grand resurgence when the lockdown is lifted. One possible advantage to this lockdown is that it provides the opportunity to engage with new prospects in a way that you may not have had the time to do when you had your hands full with staying on top of your operations.

Perhaps this is a good time to invest in some new lead lists. Start working on some dynamic and engaging email marketing copy that will encourage them o check out your brand. Even if you aren’t able to get your product or service to market right now, you can still start building value in your brand. Which brings us to…

Generate valuable content for your existing followers

Many businesses are using this time to double down on their content marketing and generate more high quality, valuable and practically useful content for their followers. This is your opportunity to showcase your knowledge, expertise and experience for existing customers and new prospects alike. It’s an opportunity to help them address problems or pain points that they may experience while on lockdown. The more value they perceive in your brand, the more value they’ll perceive in your products or services. Even if they have to wait a little while before they can avail themselves of what you offer.

When it comes to building positive perception of your brand in a meaningful and engaging way, it’s pretty difficult to top content marketing through blog posts, videos, how-to guides and infographics. It was important before the pandemic, and it’s arguably even more important now.

Incentivize social proof

Finally, in times of crisis, consumers may be slow to trust. Many will have taken a financial hit by the time the lockdown is over. As such, we can expect consumer confidence to be pretty low. Nonetheless, if brands invest their efforts in building trust now, they can expect to reap the rewards later. As such, now’s a good time to start incentivizing customers to rate your business and leave reviews online. Gathering as much of this social proof as you can will help you to increase your value proposition and ensure that your brand is synonymous with quality and trust.

Setting Up A Warehouse For Your eCommerce Business

If you have been thinking of jumping into the world of eCommerce, then you are obviously a savvy business person with their wits about them. When it comes to a business that has the promise of being strong and stable, no matter what the situation, you will do no better than dipping your toes into the world of eCommerce.

Now, taking all of the aforementioned into account, should you be thinking of making the leap into the world of online sales, then there are a few things you need to know. The first of these things is that your journey is not going to be easy.

In fact, to survive in the eCommerce world, you are going to need to be able to not only provide the product exactly as you advertise it, but you are also going to need to complete your entire sales process better than any of your competition.

In today’s post, we are going to be concentrating on the one thing you will need to get right in order to do this, and that’s your storage warehouse. If you don’t think a warehouse is important, then you need to think again.

The number one reason Amazon is so successful is mainly down to how their stock is held and managed, so if you want to see real success, stick around and see what we have for you today.

Image Credit – Pexels CC0 Licence

You Need An Adequate Space

The first thing you need when it comes to your warehouse is somewhere that can meet all of the requirements for storing your items. For example, if you store food items, you need a refrigeration area, or if you ship chemicals, you need a safe non-accessible area.

Getting the right space can be tasking to start off with, but once you find it, you will be well on your way to holding all of your stock in a single place and making the entire dispatch process easier and more efficient than it ever has been.

You Need The Knowledge

Another thing you will need to consider is how everything is stored. Now, while you may think that everything can just be thrown in wherever it fits, it’s not quite as simple as this.

In your warehouse, you should have some form of pallet racking; on this racking, you need to store certain items in specific places. For example, if you are storing glass, generally speaking, this cannot be stored higher than the chest height of your smallest employee.

Not only is storage needed for health and safety, but it can also be far easier to keep track of things when they have designated areas. If you are unsure of where to start, there are companies out there that offer pallet racking inspections, and this can do a lot for your warehouse.

Digital Solutions

The final thing you should be doing when it comes to your warehouse is setting it up as part of a single layer digital system.

Having something like this in place will enable you to keep a live inventory at all times. Having this will enable your customers to see a stock level at all times via the website.

Another great thing about systems like this is, when a stock level is running low, you can set automated orders from suppliers to ensure you never run completely out of stock.

 

Genius Ways To Increase Website Traffic And Get More Business

In these trying times, one of the main ways businesses will stay afloat is to increase their website traffic. Of course, this is often easier said than done. In fact, sometimes driving more traffic to your website can be a challenge. Happily, there are some smart tactics you can use to make this happen. Read on to find out what they are.

Improve your SEO

SEO is one of the most important ways that you can increase traffic to your site. Unfortunately, there is some confusion over whether this is a task you can DIY or whether you need to get a professional in to help.

Of course, the thing to remember here is that SEO is part science and part art. The algorithms are also always changing and evolving. Therefore staying on top of this can become a full-time job in itself.

With that in mind, recruiting the help of SEO professionals like the ones you will find at hesk.com.au is a smart idea. It’s not that you can’t do things that will help to improve your SEO yourself like create category pages on your website, or include content with keywords. It’s just that when devising an overall approach, you will benefit from having a specialist in the driving seat. One that knows the topic inside out and will be useful in increasing traffic by the amount you need to stay competitive.

Image found at Pixabay – Licence CC0

Target Long-Tail Keywords

Next, if you want to drive more traffic to your business’s website, embrace the long tail keyword. This is because they are much more specific and often provide an answer to the type of question the demographic you are targeting will ask.

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Why is it so important? Well, it’s because it acts as a filtering system before customers even get to your website. The idea being that only those more specifically interested in what you have to offer will be searching such terms.

In fact, that often means not so much an increase in traffic quantitatively, but a rise in the quality of the leads you get. That is, those searching for long-tail keywords will be much better prospects and much easier to convert than leads coming from shorter and more general ones.

Make use of hashtags

Hashtags are an excellent way to get more traffic to your site. In fact, they are designed to highlight and categorize content and comments on a particular theme. Something that means those most likely to be interested in what you have to offer will be able to find you easily.

However, if you want them to work, you must use hashtags in an effective manner. In particular, understanding the procedure for using hashtags on different platforms as described at blog.pixelfish.com.au will matter. You also want them to be easy to read and use. Something that means you need to use a capital letter at the beginning of each word in the hashtag. The reason being that spaces aren’t used, and so some tags can become confusing.

With that same thing in mind, try and keep your hashtags as short and sweet as possible. In fact, if people can remember them without having to look them up, they are much more likely to use them and keep spreading your message.

Finally, the most important thing when it comes to hashtags is to make sure you pick one that gels well with your brand. For example, a clothing company with a teenage demographic may be able to use trending slang like #slay to promote their brand. However, if a high-end car company such as Roll Royce used that particular tag, it would seem forced, and ingenuine. Something that could work against engaging more users and gaining more traffic to their site.

Use Email Marketing

Another option is to integrate email into your marketing program. In fact, using email in the right way can be very helpful in generating more traffic. Although there are a few errors that you need to avoid. The first of these is spamming your potential customers. After all, no one wants an email about what you are selling every single day. No matter how good a product it is.

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Additionally, the significant battle here is getting potential clients to actually open their emails. That means you need to get creative in the subject heading. In fact, if you can use personalization, emojis, or create a sense of intrigue like the examples at pinterest.com.au, do. After all, your email may be the best and take your customers to a great landing page, but if they don’t read it, it won’t provide you with the increase in traffic you need.

Different Ways Your Can Use The Web To Make Your Business Successful

Technology has advanced very quickly and this means that there is now a lot of ways you can use the online world to further your business growth. It is important if you’re running a business to keep up to date with the latest technological advances and try to take advantage of them in your business. If you aren’t up to date with some of the latest tools that you can use, it’s definitely time to do some research.

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Let’s have a look at some of the useful tools that you use online to help grow your business:

A Responsive Website

Nowadays it’s important to have a responsive website online where your customers can find you. The majority of people looking for a product or service will now only commit to buying if they can first see a company has an online presence. Make sure you have a well-designed, responsive website that is easy to use and navigate. If you’re not able to do this yourself, have a look at using an outsourced service for your website design. It can be a little costly at the time but it’s definitely worth it.

Social Media

Social media is something that nearly every person uses on a daily basis so it makes sense that so many businesses are now making use of this. You can reach a huge audience by posting content to platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Make sure you have a dedicated team or outsourced service that manages it though as social media marketing and customer service can be extremely time-consuming. If you can’t dedicate the time to post regularly or reply to customers in good time then it can become more damaging then good.

Online Accounting

There are now many services that can be utilised online. These services include things like Cloud Accounting, social media management, scheduling tools and automated responses. But aren’t limited to these. Using services like online accounting can make your business run more smoothly more efficiently and ensure that you always know where you stand at a click of your fingers. If you’re still unsure about using online accounting services, make sure you do some in-depth research and find one that is going to work for your business.

Analytics

When running a business it’s important that you keep track of all the work and effort that you’re putting in online. Being able to analyse things like your website traffic, customer engagement and SEO strategies online have meant that businesses are now able to make necessary changes to their business more quickly and more accurately. It’s a good idea to have look at some of the analytic tools that are available online such as those that track your google stats and social media engagement.

These are just four of the tools that are now available and widely used in business thanks to technology developments. Is there anything that you regularly use in your business that you could share in the comments below.

Gaining Momentum: Why Is Your Website Not Getting Enough Traffic?

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If you want to improve your business, you’ve got to look at the most apparent aspects first. When you are reaching out to a customer, one of the most important ingredients is your website. The website will be the benchmark on how customers will judge your business or choose to purchase from you. But what happens when your website isn’t cutting it? And what happens when you’re not getting enough traffic? You may think that you’ve done everything right, but the numbers of your website traffic say something completely different. So with this in mind, this provides some troubleshooting options to springboard you into the right direction.

Your SEO Is Poor

It’s all about the Google rankings. Automatically, Google is the best source of free web traffic, but getting yourself into the top 10 or the first page is a tumultuous task. Many people choose to pay their way in, and there are numerous AdWords management services that can help you with this, but if you’re looking to do it in a more organic way, you need to make sure that your content is up to scratch. But if your content is as good as it can be, you’ve got to delve a bit further in to see if there are any other issues. Perhaps you have not optimized your content for keyword terms or not installed an SEO plugin. Because there are so many different factors at play, you need to make sure you are covering every base.

You Aren’t Promoting Enough

It may be as simple as this. You might have spent so long working on great content, but if you’re not getting the content out there, this can be a straightforward reason people aren’t coming to you. Promoting is a 24/7 game. This means that you’ve got to be on the right platforms for your target market, but you’ve got to be hammering the point home. It’s vital that if you are advertising on social media platforms that you are continually churning out content and promoting it so that it gets to the right people at the right time of day. This is where analytics tools are invaluable because if you are regularly pushing content out, but it’s not hitting people at the right time of day, this can be a problem. But now, social media is such a comprehensive tool for promotion that there are things that you can implement to promote your content regularly without even trying! Automating your social media posts has never been easier due to various tools, and this will help to maintain regularity. But you have to remember that promoting your content is about the good quality stuff. If you keep churning out content for the sake of numbers, but it’s all low quality, this will put people off coming to you. Think about the right type of content for your business. In terms of search engine rankings, video has seen a massive boost. But as a result, everybody is doing video. There is no point in doing a video for the sake of it if you are running a business that’s not dynamic or doesn’t necessarily need videos. For example, if your marketing to people in their 50s do they need video content?

Poor UX

User experience is vital. You may have fantastic content, but if you’re not getting the numbers in the traffic, it may very well be the fact that your website isn’t user-friendly. We have to remember that there is so much saturation in terms of content that many outlets are providing similar types of content. This means that if you publish something your audience may want to read, they could go to someone else for the same information. The goal is to improve your user experience so people will feel at home on your website. There are various factors at play with regards to UX, and one of the main ones is the loading time, and there are tools that you can use to check your website’s loading time. As a general rule, if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, you are in trouble. You should also make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. But also, you should think about the layout of your website. Much like the layout of supermarkets tease and tempt customers into a particular direction, you’ve got to think about the same thing with your site.

Keyword Problems

This is a persistent problem. The more times a keyword is entered into a Google search, the likelier it becomes targeted by the very best writers in a specific industry. This means that you are going to be competing with the big wigs, which is difficult for the best of us. Because the top rankings are usually authority websites that everybody has heard of, you’ve got to be smart with your keyword targets. The two options are either to gain authority or go for long-tail keywords. While becoming an authority can take a long time, if you use long-tail keywords that are around 4 or 5 words, this will give you a better chance of ranking in the search engine. Ideally, you should mix the two options. Working at being an authority can take some time to get right, but when you are up the top of the search engine, it can be to do with those subtle long-term efforts like implementing long-tail keywords.

One of the best lessons anybody can learn is to look at the type of business that’s making a success of their website and is ranking high. Analyze it, what is it about them that’s making them so successful? Our website is the window to the world, and if we don’t have these components in place, it’s unlikely people will stay with us for long. Many businesses tend to go for social media as their main outlet, but it’s not the best way to promote your brand in a comprehensive manner. This is where your website is invaluable. Make sure that it is gaining traffic and gaining momentum.

10 Tech Savvy Real Estate Marketing Tools For Agents

As with all other industries, the world of real estate is increasingly embracing technology.  In an incredibly competitive market, the savvy real estate agent needs to be able to harness the power of tech in order to gain an advantage as well as physical advertising in your local neighbourhood.  At Ultimate Banners we print 100s of wide pull up banners, we’re more than aware of the power of great marketing and, so, we’ve put together our top 10 tools for hard working real estate agents.

Buffer

Of all the weapons in a real estate’s arsenal, social media is one of the most essential.  Buffer allows you to compose and schedule tweets and Facebook posts to be sent out at optimum times during the week.  And the best bit?  Buffer has a budget friendly forever free plan.

SumAll

So, now that you’ve scheduled all of your fabulous social media posts, you need to see how successful they are.  There’s a tool for that!  SumAll tracks all of your social media activity and reports back to let you know how people feel about it.

Google Analytics

If you have your own website, it’s essential that you’re able to gain insights regarding your marketing activity.  Google Analytics is a great tool for keeping an eye on how your marketing campaigns are doing by measuring site traffic and activity.

BacklinkWatcher

Sticking with your website, BacklinkWatcher is a good way of staying on top of any and all links leading to your website.  It also gives you early notification of SPAM attacks to help you to deal with these proactively.

Mailchimp

As we approach 2020, data is undoubtedly the most valuable currency a real estate agent can collect.  Mailchimp allows real estate agents to produce vital email lists and to send out super-professional emails quickly and easily.  It also includes those all-important analytics to let you know how your email campaign is getting on.

Boomerang For Gmail

Gmail is one of the most popular email platforms used today – and Boomerang is Gmail’s very own scheduling tool.  It’s quick and easy to use and, best of all, it’s completely free of charge.

Goo.gl

Another way of tracking your email action is Goo.gl.  This tool lets you track your email views and clicks in real time by using a shortened url with a tracking tag.

Rafflecopter

Although you may not be using this one too often, Rafflecopter is a handy tool for those who wish to keep in touch with and, even reward their clients.  Real estate agents can even pop a banner onto their social media accounts for easy access.

Google Form

You know those important clients we’ve talked about?  Gaining clients is one thing, keeping them is another and, the only way to do this is to find out what they think.  Google Form lets you put together questionnaire sets for your clients in order to do just that.

Zapier

The final frontier for your marketing campaigns, Zapier brings together the marketing tools that you choose to use in order to save time and effort.  For example, Zapier can identify a new follower on Twitter and then instruct Hackpad to send an automated message.

Don’t worry, if all this seems a little overwhelming.  It may be that you only need to use one or two of these in order to help your marketing campaigns along.

This article was contributed by Ben. You can visit his website here ultimatebanners.co Ultimate Banners are the premier British printer and sign maker based in Birmingham UK.

Do You Have Too Much Tech For Small Business?

Many nowadays will frame technology as the solution to all woes in the modern workplace. It provides workers the tools to complete projects more efficiently, to communicate more effectively, and can automate whole processes so you need never think about it too much. However, more tech isn’t always the answer. Without careful planning, your greatest assets can also become your greatest liabilities.

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Know your security scope

With every new piece of hardware, every new program, and every new network you introduce into the business, you also introduce a new risk. Any software that connects online is, for instance, a potential gateway for someone to intrude your system and steal your data. Make sure that you’re investing in the very best digital security measures, be it anti-malware software, firewalls, or a policy that ensures everyone bringing a home device to the office, such as laptops or tablets, follows strict company protocol on how those devices are used and secured.

Have a team who can deal with the hiccups

Tech may eliminate human error, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. It can slow down, it can suffer from errors, it can even lead to downtime. Having an IT team that’s on hand to respond to such issues, and prevent them from happening in future, is key. Finding good IT staffing can be difficult, so take the time to identify reliable recruitment agencies and outsourced services you can reach out to when your need is immediate and dire. Otherwise, you’re going to have your team scratching their heads trying to figure out systems that they’re not trained to.

Make sure you have a backup

A good workflow running on tech means relying on several assets. This can include hardware, software, and net connection. Having a backup for all of these things is important. For instance, allowing your team to bring their own devices to the office can get around any problems caused by a piece of hardware not working. Using Cloud software and storage can help them do the same work they would do on office devices, and having a backup internet connection means that even losing your network doesn’t result in too much down time.

Find tools that can do more than one job at a time

One of the issues of having too much software is that your team’s jobs can become increasingly complex, especially if you have specific standards on how different jobs are supposed to be done. To that end, instead of installing a bunch of different programs, each suited to a different task, try to find suites or software that can multitask. For instance, the Office 365 package can help take care of word document, spreadsheet, and presentation needs all in one.

If you want to incorporate new hardware or software into the business to help you meet specific goals then by all means, go ahead. Just make sure that you’re building the infrastructure to support it, or you can find it slowing you down more than anything.

Why Blogging Is Good For Business

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Blogging can be a great form of marketing for your business. Here are some of the biggest benefits of starting a blog on your company website.

Showcase your expertise

One of the most obvious reasons for starting a blog is that it gives you a chance to demonstrate yourself as an expert in your field. You could use blogging as a chance to help solve problems that your customers often face. For instance, a plumbing company may use a blog to offer basic DIY advice (such as ‘how to unblock a toilet’) or help identify problems (such as ‘5 signs you have an internal leak’). This will build trust in your company by showing that you know your stuff.

Improve your search rankings

Blogging can also be good for your search engine rankings. It can encourage you to keep posting new content on your site, which in turn can boost your rankings. You can also use blog posts as a means of inserting keywords and internal links to improve your SEO. There are many other tactics beyond blogging that can improve your rankings – you may want to hire search engine optimization services for this. However, blogging could help to serve as a bit of DIY SEO on top.

Build new doors to your website

A blog could be a way of attracting new types of visitors to your website. For instance, a sports fashion company may decide to write a blog post on ‘10 reasons to take up running’. Somebody who is thinking about taking up running may stumble across this post. While visiting the post on your website, they may then get curious and check out some of your products – and potentially become a new customer. Obviously, you should try to keep posts relevant to your brand to improve the chance of conversion and to keep a brand identity – publishing a post on ‘10 reasons to renovate your kitchen’ on a sports leisure site is unlikely to generate many leads as the two have no connection.

Fuel your social media marketing

Blogging can also give you extra content to share on social media. This could help to make your social media content feel more dynamic. Such content may get shared by followers and could help to gain you further exposure. It could even be a way of encouraging previous customers to revisit your site.

Encourage cross-promotion

Blogging can also be a great opportunity for cross-promotion. This is when two companies help to promote one another, helping each one to generate new customers. When it comes to blogging, this could involve writing a post in which you promote another company – in return, they can write a post on their site which promotes your company. You could even post guest content on each other’s blogs. Cross-promotion is most effective when you partner up with a company within the same nice, but not a direct competitor. For instance, a car dealership and a local car insurance company may decide to cross-promote.

5 Ways To Improve Your Business Blog

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Most business owners are aware that a blog is a highly valuable tool to draw consumers to your website. Whether you already have a blog or not- there’s always room for improvement when it comes to online marketing. To help you to enhance your quality fast, try a few of these pointers.

1 . Revamp your content

The first step to improving your blog is to revamp your content. With so many competitors out there, it pays to seek to improve all of the time. Look at what your competitors write about and ensure that you are providing posts that are more creative, unique and informative than what they have to offer. Of course, your content might be similar to that of your competitors in theme, but this doesn’t mean that it can’t provide something new and fresh on the topic. It’s likely that you outsource your articles, but for some originality, why not write a post or two yourself or call upon a member of your team?

2. Work with an SEO professional

If you want to improve your blog, it’s a good idea to work with an SEO professional. You may know a fair bit about SEO already, but with so much competition out there these days- a professional touch really is a worthy investment. Stephen Gagnon is a great SEO professional who can help your business to build an excellent online presence. You’ll find yourself ranked higher on search engines in no time at all!

3. Try a blogger outreach program

Another way to improve your online presence is to use a blogger outreach service. These services can help you to identify the right blogs and have your links placed on relevant blogger sites. You’ll benefit from a mention of your business by another blog in a similar industry. There are plenty of bloggers out there with a trusted following (that includes your target audience). A blogger outreach service can help you find such bloggers and get a campaign going.

4. Promote more on socials

Don’t forget to promote your blog content across all of your socials. You may have some amazing content, but it’s only valuable to you if it gets seen! To help with your social media campaigns in general, try platforms like Hootsuite or Buffer. These can help you to manage your posts, analytics and more.

5. Add video content

To get more visual with your blog, video content can be a great idea. Often, consumers will retain a message more effectively when they receive it via video. You don’t have to blow the budget to do so, a simple DIY tutorial video can be all it takes. Post on sites like Youtube and promote your content as much as possible.

Lastly, a photoshoot with your team can be an excellent way to get some great pictures for your blog. Stock images can do the job just fine, but original photos will allow you to offer more authenticity. To improve your website, a unique blog is the ideal starting point.

How To Hone Your E-commerce Skills

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E-commerce is now a mature market. Since the dotcom boom and the bursting of the bubble, things have really moved on. The internet dominates when it comes to retail now. Many businesses have moved to purely focusing all of their attention online and have taken everything that they have learned through traditional retailing and applied the logic to the digital realm.

But if you are wanting to set up your own online retail business, where do you even start? Here are some pointers to you if you are looking to enter the world of e-commerce.

Soak Up The Knowledge Of Others

E-commerce is now a tried and tested market place. Fortunately, many others have gone before you paving the way for you. This has cemented customer expectations and put rest to any concerns about buying online. Now, consumers have confidence and are more than happy to buy from online retailers.

With a wealth of experience existing in the world already, it would be foolish to not try to learn from this. With plenty of books, blogs and youtube channels offering advice, you could quickly gain knowledge. You could also check out the top e-commerce speaker in USA and learn from him.

Visit websites of companies that you admire or are reported to be succeeding, and try and check out the more innovative areas of the market as they emerge. You should never stop learning about this ever-changing industry.

Apply The Principles Of The Traditional Retail Or Service Industry

While e-commerce differs from traditional retail and services in the fact that the transaction takes place online, all of the other aspects are exactly the same. You need to focus your attention on developing strong strategies in the following areas:

  • Developing your product or services catalog

  • Ensuring you are able to meet supply and demand

  • Merchandising  your products or conveying your message in a commercial manner

  • Keeping tight control of your stock

  • Tight control of your warehousing and logistics

Make sure you focus on these areas and don’t treat them as an afterthought. Having a great website and social media presence that draws the crowds and drums up trade will only get you so far. Your back of house functions needs to be perfect in order to meet the demands of your business.

Outsource

There are many areas in e-commerce where you can outsource to help you get off the ground. Security is crucial and the protection of your customer’s data is not only an ethical concern but a regulatory one too. Outsourcing your security needs will ensure you are safe from potential attacks.

Website design and SEO are major areas that you can farm out to expert companies. Building a website that looks great, functions well, and will fly in the search engine rankings is vital.

Getting help from external companies is no different from hiring a shopfitter to decorate your store when you open. These services are going to be required if you are to have a professional and well-run e-commerce platform.

Getting Inside The Head Of Consumers

There are two main channels of thought, regarding an approach to business. Firstly, you need to a free-thinker. Never be afraid to venture outside the box, challenge existing concepts and be all that is good about entrepreneurship. The second way is to simply stop thinking, start doing. You don’t have to come up with an idea from scratch, just engage with the consumer and they will tell you what you need to do. The latter seems to be really taking off for startups because it’s basically a shoehorn strategy. Why look for a gap in the market, when you can be shown by the very customers that will buy your products and services? With the added threat of user trust and confidence slumping over big tech giants abusing their privacy, it’s more important to listen to the customer than ever before.

A loyalty event

If you have been in business for a few years, you will already have at least a small group of loyal customers. A small business with tens of thousands of customers will probably have a few hundred customers that you can consider loyal. These customers will have bought multiple products as well as downloaded your app, signed up with an account on your website and subscribed to your email newsletter or promotional messages. Contact these customers directly and invite them to an exclusive event. This event will be purely to gauge their opinion on all your current and planned ideas. Speaking face to face and have a rigorous debate among your most loyal customers, is such an incredibly powerful and helpful move for your business. Your marketing team must play the leading role, so they can gather as much information as humanly possible at the event.

A feedback loop

Undertaking a round of studies into consumer needs is a great way to start things off this year. Rather than sitting around in a boardroom, and brainstorming for ideas, just listen to consumers. Start a research study in a bid to find what customers want in the group of products you operate in. But finding the right kind of people that know their way around the industry, is difficult. By utilizing user research software, you can hire knowledgeable consumers. Recruit them via email notification and survey links. The latter are free of charge making it easier to cast the net far and wide. Alternatively, you may order the software company to use their intelligent sourcing engine to find customers with great insights.

 

More choice the better

Are you one of the millions of businesses trying to find a niche? It’s more difficult to do so if you’re working in a vacuum. It’s better for you to give your customers more choice in your products and services and roll the dice. Eventually, you’ll begin to see a trend in purchases. Perhaps consumers really love your product in a certain design or look. Eventually, you’ll begin to see what customers really want when they are given the choice to customize your products.

It’s never easy trying to get into the consumer’s mind. But having a loyalty event is a fantastic way to absorb ideas from people who operate on the same wavelength.

Moving Towards Greater Data Efficiency In Your Organisation

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Your business needs to be efficient in every way possible. There is no value in wasting time and money where you don’t need to. This goes for every area of your business.

In an ideal world, everything would just manage itself in the most efficient manner. We are getting there. Our digital journey is seeing us develop keen algorithms that help us to make accurate and cost-effective decisions which allow us to deploy our best resources. But as business leaders, we are still human and need to be looking for opportunities for smart, efficient systems that deliver cost-saving in a time-effective manner.

As technology plays such a vast part in our business lives these days, this is no doubt an area which will cost your business a lot of time and money. There will no doubt be areas here where you can look at creating more efficient ways of working.

Cloud-Based IT Systems

One of the biggest advancements in IT systems in the last decade has been the push toward cloud-based systems such as Microsoft Cloud Services. This has been driven by the improvements in broadband speeds and the cost of mass data storage.

Cloud-based systems allow you to store all of your data on the cloud. This frees up hard drive space so you are not going to need to upgrade your internal systems to meet the ever-growing demands that additional data put on it.

The ability to work collaboratively on any document is a huge draw to any business as you can have many employees accessing the same document at any one time. This means that all of the changes to the files will appear in realtime on each other’s screens and they can speed up the process. There is no need to email files back and fore, and as everything is saved automatically, there is no need to wait for data to upload.

There is never a risk of your data being lost on the cloud. It will be stored on very secure servers, and in the event of a system failure at your end, you can still get access to your data as long as you have the right login credentials.

You can set and manage file permissions very easily too, meaning that you can determine the appropriate levels of access throughout your organization. This is a simple tool that will help you to manage your in-house data security in the most effective manner.

Greater In-depth Analysis Of Your Data

Your business needs to be using analytical tools in every aspect of its operations. You need software that can deliver your key business information to you in a malleable way that will allow you to see it in the way that you need to see it.

Having information delivered in a clear and accessible way that offers comparisons between locations, periods, products, and any other parameter that your business may need will allow you to make efficient and effective decisions.

What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work?

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Affiliate marketing has been around for years, since well before the rise of the internet and is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to make money online. But what is affiliate marketing? How does it work? And could you be making money from it? Let’s take a look at the answers to those questions.

What is affiliate marketing?

Making sense of affiliate marketing isn’t too difficult if you think of it as simply being paid for your recommendation and in essence, affiliate marketing is a commission-based referral scheme. For example, a company may use affiliate marketing as a way to gain new clients, paying the referee a small commission for each new client that they bring to the business. Originally, affiliate marketing was conducted through word of mouth, with sellers making a commission from door to door sales and telephone calls. Now, with the invention of the internet, the affiliate market industry has grown to a whole new level and it is easier than ever for companies and affiliates to make big money doing it.

How does affiliate marketing work?

The success of affiliate marketing lies in the human psyche and the truth is that people are more likely to purchase something recommended to them by a friend, colleague, or person that they trust (such as a digital influencer) than they are from seeing an advertisement from the company itself. Digital affiliate marketing plays to this strength enticing affiliates to recommend products or services with the promise of a commission and persuading consumers to purchase items because they feel a greater degree of trust with the affiliate than they do with the brand alone.

The internet truly has been the driver behind the recent success of affiliate marketing as it has made it easier than ever for influencers to reach large audiences and to share their recommendations via links that contain unique tracking codes ensuring that the affiliate earns a commission from any sale conducted through them.

Could you be making money from affiliate marketing?

Whether you are a business seeking new customers or an affiliate seeking new affiliate marketing opportunities then there’s money to be made.

For the business
Affiliate marketing gives businesses a driven sales force that they needn’t employ in house and is a very effective way to promote a business. Motivated by commission these people want to make a sale because they want to make money and as such, they will promote your company or product to thousands of people without it costing you a penny. As a business, all you need to do is look after your affiliates by paying them their owned commission.

For the affiliate
There are now numerous affiliate programs out there ranging from those run by huge corporations such as Amazon down to independent retail stores such as Coconut Lane. There are also now affiliate networks who compile these affiliate programs under one roof, taking a small cut of your commission on the side, but putting affiliates in contact with hundreds of affiliate programs and making it easier than ever for them to share their recommendations with their audiences.