The Internet In Real Time – Second-By-Second stats…!

Not too long ago I shared with you an infographic – 104 facts about mobile marketing. Since I have an interest in infographics that relate to social media and all things Internet, I found a new infographic that closely correlates with this one…
The new infographic is entitled, “Internet In Real Time.” It contains various statistics of what companies are doing second-by-second. For example, the number of Facebook likes per second or the number of Google searches per second. It covers a wide variety of popular companies including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube, Airbnb and even Uber. 
 
Incredible isn’t it?!?!

Placing Your Business In The Digital World

For anyone who wants their business to be as successful in the long term as possible, focusing on the digital side of things is always going to be quite important. No matter what it is that you want your business to achieve, you will find that knowing how to place it in the digital world is going to make a huge difference. As it happens, there are a number of things that you can and should do in order to place your business online in the best way possible. Following the following tips, you will be able to ensure that your branding, marketing and placement is as ideal as possible.

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Social Media

These days, it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve much for your business without a strong focus on social media. This is no longer something that businesses can probably benefit from. If you are serious, then you should now consider social media to be absolutely essential in your business’ rise to further and further success. You can think of social media as the marketer’s dream tool. It is entirely free of charge (unless you choose to pay for even better services…) and you can get your message out into the world immediately, to be received by millions of people. Social media marketing works best when it focuses on interaction, as this is what people expect on those sites. So try to make your social media feeds as light-hearted and above all interactive as possible.

Website

All businesses need a website. This is no longer up for debate. If you want your business to have a decent online positioning, then a website is absolutely essential for that to happen. Of course, websites vary hugely, and you want to do everything you can to make sure that yours is as pristine and polished as possible. For that, you will need to go through step by step and ensure you get everything right, including the technical aspects of having a website. Get yourself a decent hosting service first, one you feel you can trust, and be sure to spend time designing your website as perfectly as possible. Keep on brand message as you do this, otherwise the effectiveness of having a website is basically destroyed. Above all, be sure to keep it secure, especially if it is an ecommerce site, as your customers need to know that they can trust it.

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Mobile

Increasingly, mobile is becoming a big part of the way that people access the Internet. Wherever you appear online as a business, you need to be sure that it is mobile-friendly. It goes without saying that you need to be sure of this for your own website but you should also encourage third party websites where you are mentioned to do the same. It really is better for everyone, from the business down to the consumer. Moreover, you might want to consider building a smartphone app, so that your customers can keep in touch with you in an even easier fashion.

Help Your Business Website Come Alive

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It’s so important now as a company to work on your online presence. After all, if you want to keep up with your competitors, you need to be on the net. And a lot of clients are now found through the internet. After all, they might come across your site and get in touch about potential work. Therefore, it’s so important to make sure your professional website is top notch. That way, they will be left impressed when they see your site. Therefore, here are some tips you need to help your business website come alive.

Make sure the content is perfect

The first thing you need to work on is the wording for your site. After all, you want the words to encourage and inspire people to get in touch. And it should target your market so that it gets the right people interested in your business. It’s easy to end up writing too much on the site. But you don’t want to leave people bored, so make sure it’s well laid out. To help your website come alive, it might be wise to get in touch with a content writer. You don’t have to hire them on a permanent basis; just take on a freelancer to ensure the writing is top notch. They should make the writing more inspiring and more compelling to the outside world. And by hiring a professional, you can ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors on your website!

Work on finding great photos

You also need to make sure you have attractive pictures if you want your site to look fantastic. After all, photos can bring the page to life and can give people a break from the content. It can be challenging to find photos which are copyright free for your page. But you do need to make sure you have the authority to use them, so you don’t end up getting in legal trouble later down the line. You can look online for good stock photography which you can use for your page. It will often come up with a small fee, but you are bound to get original photos to bring your page to life.  And it’s always a good idea to put a picture of the business owner on the site. After all, it can make you more relatable to the outside world!

Add a killer blog on the site

It’s also important to add a blog to the website if you want to make it come alive. After all, a blog often hooks the reader and gets them to stay on your site longer. And then you have more of a chance of them potentially making a purchase or getting in touch. Therefore, look into writing a good blog which will entice the potential customer to stay on the site. The best thing you can do with a blog is speak about a range of subjects. After all, if it’s all just about your company, it can become competitive, and people will easily get bored. Therefore, make it relatable, so they stick around. You might want to hire a content writer for the blog. That way, you can ensure it’s interesting and written well.

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And make sure it’s laid out well. You want people to easily access the website on all devices without any trouble!

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Not Getting Enough Web Traffic? Here’s Why

Web traffic is one of the most discussed topics with regards to business and marketing. The world is currently obsessed with getting more and more traffic every day. In some ways, a good measure of how successful a site is begins with its web traffic levels. A website that’s getting millions of visitors every day will probably have more success than one that’s only getting a couple of hundred.

The big question on everyone’s lips seems to be; why isn’t our site getting enough web traffic? How come our rival’s are getting way more traffic than we are? Some think the reasons behind this are complex, but they’re actually far simpler than you think.

In this article, you will see some of the common reasons your site is underperforming in the web traffic department:

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Your Target Keywords Are Terrible

Keywords play a huge role in how much traffic you gain. The whole Google rankings system pretty much depends on keywords. By all means, there are loads of other ranking factors, but keywords will always be (arguably) the most important. If you’re using the wrong keywords, then you’ll find it hard to rank highly and gain traffic. The mistake many people make is they use too many keywords. It’s common to assume that the more keywords you use, the more chance you have of ranking highly. This isn’t the case, you need to be very clever with your keywords and choose things that are highly relevant to your business and your web pages. Don’t waste time on keywords that have no relevance, they won’t help you get traffic!

You’re Not Offering Anything Different

There are so many websites out there that don’t offer anything different from any of their rivals. As a result, you’re going to struggle to gain as much web traffic as you want. It’s a competitive world out there, and you need to try and stand out from the crowd online if you want to succeed. Start a blog on your site, and you have a much better chance of gaining traffic. You can create original content and articles that other sites don’t have. You offer something different, and this will be reflected in how well you rank. It gives your site more chance of being found by people not specifically searching for your business services too. They could be looking for general advice, and your blog post provides it!

You Don’t Change Anything

The number one reason you don’t get enough web traffic is that you don’t change anything. You can see your traffic is low and yet you make no attempts to change anything. Constantly check your analytics to see where the majority of your traffic is coming from. This allows you to see where you should switch up your efforts and what you should focus on more than others.

The good thing is, you may have poor web traffic now, but you won’t have to live with it forever. You can turn things around in an instant and start seeing floods of web users visiting your site.

Web traffic is one of the most discussed topics with regards to business and marketing. The world is currently obsessed with getting more and more traffic every day. In some ways, a good measure of how successful a site is begins with its web traffic levels. A website that’s getting millions of visitors every day will probably have more success than one that’s only getting a couple of hundred.

The big question on everyone’s lips seems to be; why isn’t our site getting enough web traffic? How come our rival’s are getting way more traffic than we are? Some think the reasons behind this are complex, but they’re actually far simpler than you think.

 

In this article, you will see some of the common reasons your site is underperforming in the web traffic department:

 

(Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/ATf3fS)


Your Target Keywords Are Terrible

Keywords play a huge role in how much traffic you gain. The whole Google rankings system pretty much depends on keywords. By all means, there are loads of other ranking factors, but keywords will always be (arguably) the most important. If you’re using the wrong keywords, then you’ll find it hard to rank highly and gain traffic. The mistake many people make is they use too many keywords. It’s common to assume that the more keywords you use, the more chance you have of ranking highly. This isn’t the case, you need to be very clever with your keywords and choose things that are highly relevant to your business and your web pages. Don’t waste time on keywords that have no relevance, they won’t help you get traffic!

You’re Not Offering Anything Different

There are so many websites out there that don’t offer anything different from any of their rivals. As a result, you’re going to struggle to gain as much web traffic as you want. It’s a competitive world out there, and you need to try and stand out from the crowd online if you want to succeed. Start a blog on your site, and you have a much better chance of gaining traffic. You can create original content and articles that other sites don’t have. You offer something different, and this will be reflected in how well you rank. It gives your site more chance of being found by people not specifically searching for your business services too. They could be looking for general advice, and your blog post provides it!

You Don’t Change Anything

The number one reason you don’t get enough web traffic is that you don’t change anything. You can see your traffic is low and yet you make no attempts to change anything. Constantly check your analytics to see where the majority of your traffic is coming from. This allows you to see where you should switch up your efforts and what you should focus on more than others.

 

The good thing is, you may have poor web traffic now, but you won’t have to live with it forever. You can turn things around in an instant and start seeing floods of web users visiting your site.

 

 

104 Facts About Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing has come a long way – depending on what you do and who your clients are, it may be the next big thing for you/your business, or might already be!

You be the judge with this informative infographic on 104 facts about mobile marketing.

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A Snazzy Design Isn’t All You Need For Small Biz Website Success

If you are in the process of launching your own business, you have most probably been advised time and time again that a website is a must. In the 21st century, running a business without a website is practically impossible, and very few entrepreneurs actually do so. The fact is that a business website makes launching a successful venture that is highly profitable easier. This is because it helps to advertise your brand, draws in new customers, increases your reach, makes it easier to provide top notch customer service, allows you to showcase your products or services, and improves your brand’s credibility.

When it comes to business websites, for both big and small brands, a lot of people make the mistake of focusing purely on design. Of course, aesthetics are important, as to be appealing a website needs to look smart, stylish and professional. However, an attractive design isn’t all that a business website needs to be successful, and it’s important to understand that.

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Easy navigation

Statistics suggest that when people use a website that is not easy to navigate – aka get from page to page and find what they need, it puts them off of returning to that website. Think of it this way, when there are hundreds of companies selling similar products and services, why would a consumer buy via a site that is hard to use and navigate? The answer is that they wouldn’t. Instead, they’d buy from somewhere else, that has a website that’s easy to use and navigate. So it’s crucial that you ensure your website is easy to use – the best way to do this is to ask someone who is objective to test it out for you, as that way you can get an honest report about how easy to use your site really is.

Fast site

Again, a lot of consumers are put off of using websites that run slowly, as there are always alternatives that run more quickly. In today’s increasingly hectic world, people don’t have time to waste waiting for a website to load. Of course, it’s not just consumers that a slow website impacts but also your site’s Google rank – Google (and other search engines) penalise slow websites. For a website that runs fast, you need to select a company that offers website hosting that doesn’t require shared servers, as this means many websites are running from one server, impacting the speed at which the sites load. To learn more about companies offering hosting that will allow your site to run quickly, it could be worth shopping around. Talk to other local businesses, visit forums, and do your own research, so that you can find the hosting that’s the best fit for your business and budget.

Clear, concise information

Don’t underestimate the importance of clear, concise information posted on your website. When it comes to the content that you post on your website, from your ‘About Us’ section to your ‘Services’ page, the information on your website needs to be informative, concise, and most importantly, well written. That’s why, unless you’re a skilled content creator, you don’t want to make the mistake of attempting to write your website content yourself. It’s best to spend a little extra money and outsource the task, to ensure that your website content is up to scratch and reads well.

For a website that you can be proud of, take note of the tips and advice above.

Essential Visibility Advice for Online Stores

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Some would say that brick-and-mortar stores have it easy. If someone happens to walk past, then a simple window display change or witty sign can attract people to your business. Online, people don’t just happen to come across your store – not unless you put a bit more work into online visibility. Here’s what you need to think about.

Optimization

There are two things that ‘optimization’ can be taken to mean in this context; for now, we’ll stick to the type you’ve probably already heard of: search engine optimization. Don’t assume that your website is automatically going to appear on Google just because it’s on the Internet. The fact is that people searching for products online are probably going to get flooded with results from Amazon and eBay. If you want to make sure your online store gets to the first page of search results alongside those giants, then you need to engage with SEO.

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Speed and reliability

The other way ‘optimization’ can be taken to mean is in reference to the speed and reliability of your website. If your online store is a little sluggish or is down for long periods of time, then you need to optimize it. A speedy and reliable e-commerce platform is a must not just because it stops your customers from becoming frustrated. It’s important for your visibility because search engine bots/crawlers can measure how speedy and reliable your website is. The likes of Google don’t want to refer people to slow websites, so your visibility will be throttled if your website isn’t of great technical quality.

Original content

You may have heard before that blogs are great when it comes to marketing. After all, most of the things that people click on in the search engine results are blog posts! A lot of business owners in e-commerce underestimate the power of blogs; that, or they simply don’t see how an online store could fit a blog into its business model. It’s actually easier to think of content for such a website; film and game reviews, news articles about your business, interviews, etc. Get some brainstorming done and you’ll come up with some original content in no time.

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Social proof

People are much more likely to do business with you if you have social proof. This phrase refers to the existence of proof that other people have heard about your business and used it! Customer reviews on independent websites come to mind. Social media is good for building social proof because that proof increases as you get more followers on the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Getting mentioned in magazines and trusted websites is also extremely useful

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The importance of reputation

The reputation your online store has from independent customer review sources (Yelp comes to mind) will also affect your visibility. Search engines favor websites that are highly recommended by customers, and may throttle the results of an online store that doesn’t have a good reputation. Make sure you work on this part of your business; even if you make mistakes, you can still take action to keep a strong reputation.

Eight Ways To Make Your Business Blog Successful

If your business doesn’t have a blog yet, it should be the next thing on your to-do list. Starting a professional blog is a cheap way to promote your business, and if you do it right it can lead more clients, more work, and more profits.

So how do you ensure that your business blog is as successful as it can be? Here are a few tips to lead you in the right direction.

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Set a clear purpose

A blog is a long-term commitment if you want it to be successful, so before you start you need to know what you hope to get out of it. If your sole reason is just to get more clients, then it’s a bit vague. A blog’s purpose is different from a business goal; business goals are focused on helping you drive up sales and client traffic, whereas blogs are more reader-centred, thus they have to engage your online readers. You need to know how you want to engage with readers, even if they don’t end up buying anything from you? Do you want to educate people on a topic you know a lot about? Do you want to demonstrate the benefits of a service you offer? Or do you want to sell them something they don’t know they need?

Have your purpose clear in your mind every time you update your blog.

Make your blog Google-friendly

As your blog is part of a larger marketing strategy to drive up business, you want to make sure it can be easily found online. Google suggests using keywords in the URL, making site navigation easy, and avoiding long URLs as much as possible. Google also uses links and backlinks to determine successful websites, so if many reputable websites link back to your blog it is an indication of good quality.

Update consistently

Whether you post a new article weekly or every day, you stand a better chance of winning over your readers if you update your blog consistently. In fact, once your regular readers catch on to when your usual post date is, you’ll find that this is the day your get the most web traffic. If you have trouble coming up with topics to write about when you’re due to update your blog, you might benefit from coming up with a list of topics a few weeks in advance to help you plan ahead. Alternatively, you can stay updated with news within your industry and make some personal comments in response.

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Find your niche

You might know a lot about several different topics, but that doesn’t mean you should write about all of them. In order to achieve your goals and nurture a readership, you need to focus on a single topic and establish yourself as an expert.

One obstacle you may find here is setting yourself apart from other online blogs that cover the same topic. The best thing you can do is choose your expert topic, research what the competition is doing, and try to do it ten times better.

An exception to this rule is to go with a subject that’s relevant to only a few people. It will be tough at first, but once those people find you, you’re going to have a secure and loyal readership.

Connect with your readers

The beauty of the internet is that we don’t have to know people personally to strike up a conversation. Once your readers know about you, make yourself approachable by responding to their comments on your posts, or setting up a social media account specifically for your business. By doing this, you are opening up a dialogue between yourself and your readers, and you can then start to address their problems in your posts.

If you notice that a number of them want to know more about a specific subject within your specialty topic, you can plan a post around that interest. You can also answer a question that keeps popping up in the comments.

The more you make yourself useful to your readers, the more they will come to value your opinion and consider you an expert in your field. Once that happens, your readers could even become customers.

Be willing to go off topic

Once you have an established readership, you can have a bit more freedom to experiment and go off topic; this might not always be popular, but it doesn’t hurt to try. A willingness to introduce new topics shows that you can think creatively, that you’re knowledgeable about other topics, or that you’re eager to learn more about something new. You could even take suggestions from your readers and give them a short acknowledgement somewhere in the article.

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Have guest posts

Guest blogging can become a useful marketing tool for your business. Not only will your guest blogger likely be a contact from your industry, but they will have their own following, and will promote your business and your blog to their own readers. Your readers, in turn, may search for your guest’s website and start regularly following their updates.

Another benefit of a guest blogger is that they will know different things about the same topic, so you’re learning something new alongside your readers. Additionally, you may know things about your topic that your guest doesn’t know, so you could extend an offer to write a guest post for their blog.

Finally, guest posts can give you a short break from updating, and inspire you with fresh ideas.

Don’t be afraid to get a little personal

There’s a reason you started your business in the first place. You had a passion for something, or there were extenuating circumstances that pushed you in a certain direction.

As your blog becomes more successful, your readers will come to know you on certain level, so why not share little parts of your history with them (if you feel comfortable). An anecdotal post can show a different side of you and even attract a new type of reader.

5 Ways To Blog Your Business To Success

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Blogging isn’t just a hobby for budding writers. Many have realised it’s business potential and are using it as a modern marketing tactic, even using it as a way of generating a little more income. Here are a few ways that you blog your business to success.

To boost credibility

Blogging allows you to show off your know-how and hence convince people that you’re a business that knows its stuff. Many business owners will use blogging to give advice within their field. This could be advice to your clients (a real estate agency might give advice on finding a mortgage or packing for the move) or advice to other budding people within your trade (a ‘how to get a job in real estate’ kind of post for example). You can also blog about your own personal achievements within your business.

To improve SEO

You can improve your search engine rankings by doing your own SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This works by carefully selecting keywords that link back to your site. Guest blogging is the best way of doing this – GuestPostTracker.com shares guest blogging tips on the subject. There are many business blogs that accept guest SEO posts. Just make sure that your post isn’t too promotional or spammy – search engines like keyword links that look natural.

To keep your website busy

An active website encourages visitors that your business is also active. If you haven’t updated your website in years and this shows, visitors may think that your company hasn’t been operational for years and move on to the next company. Writing regular blog posts is the easiest way to keep your site looking active and busy.

To network

Blogging is a great way of networking and meeting new people within your trade. By encourage comments on your blog posts, you can create conversation and interact directly with people online. You can also use blogging as a cross-promotion strategy and a way of building strong relationships with other businesses. You can offer to write a blog post promoting another company, in exchange for them writing a promotional blog post about you. This can allow both of you to share each others’ audiences. Cross-promotion works most effectively when the two of you are in the same trade but not in direct competition. An electrician company might choose to cross-promote with a plumbing company, whilst a car dealer might choose to work with a car loan company.

You can even make money from blogging

It’s possible to even make money from blogging alone. If you get enough of a readership you may be able to place ads on your blog posts that generate revenue every time someone clicks on them. You can also write sponsored blog posts for other people, advertising such services on sites such as Craigslist and Fiverr. This blog post offers some great advice on how to make money through blogging. Even if you’re only making a couple quid here and there off of blogging, that’s extra money you wouldn’t have had before.

What Makes Your Web-Based Enterprise Different?

Web-based companies might be booming right now. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them are. The competition is fierce in this sector, and you’ll only get ahead if your business is different to all of the others out there that are vying for the public’s attention. Making that happen is easier said than done, however. Here are some of the best ways to make your web-based company stand out right now.

A Smooth User Experience Without Any of the Common Problems

There are some common problems that users experience all the time. The exact problems I’m talking about vary depending on what kind of technology is being used. If you are not able to make the user experience smooth, you will be dismissed by customers who are sick of this kind of amateurishness from companies. If you want to stand out, surprise the people using your services by making them smooth and easy. You can go to Stackify.com if you want help with testing web apps. Always test and test again to iron out faults before giving software to the public.

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A Service That Makes the User’s Daily Life or Job Simpler

Everyone wants their daily life or the job to be easier than it is. So, if you want to get ahead and do what’s right for your customers, you should address a need that they have. Maybe they have to do a particular job online by themselves. If that’s the case, you could come up with a service that automates those things for the user. This makes life easier for them, and it has a real function that will have a direct impact on them. That’s what’s most important, so emphasise this when offering something new to customers.

Speed of Delivery

It doesn’t matter what your web-based business does. It will definitely need to deliver something to customers. For ecommerce companies, this could mean delivering actual products. But for companies selling web-based services, it can be just as important to offer that service fast and efficiently. If you leave people waiting around, your business won’t stand out. And if it does, it will be for all the wrong reasons. For example, one of the things that Amazon is known for is very fast deliveries. This is what people like. They want to receive whatever it is they paid for in a rapid manner.

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Endorsements from Important People

Finally, you should look to secure some big endorsements from people that your target customers listen to. These could be as big or small as you like. But what matters is that these endorsements come from trusted voices in your industry. It might be a famous blogger or vlogger who has a large audience and following online. If you can link up with people like that, you can raise awareness of your business and products among people who you want to turn into customers. That’s a pretty big deal, and it can really make your business stand out from the crowd.

Dam-Busting: Open Up Those Revenue Streams

Perhaps the methods of doing business you’ve set up aren’t doing the trick as much as you would like. Maybe you simply want to ensure that you’re squeezing every penny you can out of your market. Some businesses might see that as a sign to go through the long process of creating whole new products and services. However, you can get smarter and open new revenue streams based on what you already have, instead.

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Expand your lead building

There are a lot of different ways to build leads on the internet and outside of it and there’s a good chance that you haven’t fully explored all your options yet. Online, have you made use of SEO, PPC, content marketing, and the plethora of available methods? If you’re mostly doing your business online, have you considered how making a real appearance through trade shows and other events could help you reach audiences you haven’t thoroughly explored yet? Keep looking for new ways to build those leads.

Sell to your friends

One way to expand those leads is through the people that are already your customers. Word-of-mouth is always powerful, but waiting for them to spread the word isn’t always the most efficient. For instance, using a gift card template is a simple method to create a new revenue stream based on the social aspect of spending with very little investment required. Setting up a referral system might require a little more investment, but besides incentivizing word-of-mouth, rewarding discounts on future purchases for the referrer gives them more reason to keep coming back. You can build a new lead as you retain an old one.

Give more bang for their buck

Based on that logic of widening existing revenue streams instead of opening entirely new ones, retaining customers is important. Getting them to spend more often isn’t necessarily difficult, either. Just as referrals can offer them more value for being a customer, setting up a loyalty system can work just as well. Whether that’s offering them points or giving them more exclusive rewards, you have to decide how much you’re willing to invest in retaining your customers. The more value for them, the more likely they are to make use of such reward schemes.

Take it on the road

If you’re in the business of services as opposed to products, then sometimes a demonstration is just what you need to close more sales. To that end, you shouldn’t always expect people to take the first step and come to you. Especially in IT, you sometimes need to help them thoroughly understand the value on offer before you really have their interest. Turning your business into a traveling workshop can help you more thoroughly explore the market and make it a lot more convenient for businesses that might show an interest.

On some occasions it may, in fact, be time to look at new products and services. But don’t jump the gun before considering if the above methods could help you optimize your current revenue streams. It’s not an efficient way to do business.

Why Ads Aren’t Giving You What You Want

Advertisements play a huge role in any online marketing strategy. They take up a huge amount of your budget, too, if you’re like most other businesses. You don’t want your money going to waste, so to find that your ads aren’t landing as well as they should can be a heavy blow. But it’s one that can be very informative. It gives you a good incentive as to where you’re going wrong.

 

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You don’t have an objective

If you don’t have objectives behind your marketing plan and your adverts in particular, then what are you complaining about? You’re not seeing what you want because you don’t know what you want. Figure out what your objectives are and use that to inform your advertisement. If you want to sell a product, hone it down to that product. If you want more clicks on your site, then make sure the advertisements are aimed at why your site is of interest. For instance, think about content on the site that is particularly persuasive to the audience.

You didn’t put the customer first

The keyword in the last point is ‘persuasive’. You are trying to persuade the potential visitor or customer before anything else. The advert, whether it’s text, video, or message, has to convey one thing only. What is the value of following it? What does it do for the person who clicks it? Adverts that only serve as a signpost for a business or a branding exercise aren’t going to have much relevance to the people who see them. So, they’re not going to get very many clicks.

You never learn

You have an objective and you have a focus on the person you want to click the ad. It’s still not a sure thing, of course. Marketing is always going to be trial and error to some degree. So long as you’re correcting those errors, that’s what matters. For instance, using PPC tools like those on Clicteq can help you automatically remove ads that aren’t working to focus on those that do. Analytics tools also make it a lot easier to see which combinations of keyword, content, and landing page work best. Keep evolving the approach.

You use bad quality links

The right tools mentioned above should help you avoid this, too. We’re talking about the kind of issues in the examples named at Search Engine Land. Generic pages on the other end of a click, landing pages that don’t work, broken URLs. You can automate all of these out of your PPC advertisements. But if you’re using video or image advertisements, then you’re wasting money. A bad quality link might have people landing on a page that doesn’t exist or a page that isn’t specific to the ad they clicked, so they just close the page again. Always test the veracity and the relevance of a link before you launch ads using them.

Mastering the art of advertising online, regardless of what platform you use, can be a long process if you ignore the tips above. While you do that, you’re spending more and more on ineffective messages. Make the changes you need to make and make them now.

The Key To Online Business Success

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In this ever-improving world in terms of technology and digital solutions, the expectation of businesses to move with the times becomes evermore pressing with each passing day. Every time you’re on top of the game, the game changes. Whether you’re running a business entirely based on the internet or one with an online store as well as a physical one, the demand for you to adapt to the latest trends in the market is stronger than ever.

Whilst the advancements of technology have made things easier than ever and they shouldn’t be understated, this doesn’t relieve any of the stress or tension placed on you as a business owner. It might become a little overwhelming trying to not only stay ahead of your competitors but keep up with them at all. If your business is starting to run out of ideas, then here are some pieces of advice which might help paint a clearer picture of the key to online business success.

You need an IT support team

If your business is entirely based online, you might be scoffing and telling yourself that you and your team already have a good handle on the technology required to keep your business running. However, IT support isn’t just useful with regards to creating a website and online store in the first place; a support team can help your business stay protected against external threats, such as hackers, by constantly keeping your data safe with the latest methods in digital security.

Whatever kind of business you’re running, and no matter how important the online aspect of your operations may be to its success, there’s no denying that every business in the twenty-first century stores data online to some extent and, as such, requires some form of data protection in the event of an attack or technical failure. Of course, even if your business is already well protected in that regard, given that it may be entirely based online and maintained by tech professionals, outsourcing IT support might still be a viable option for your business as it could relieve some of the stress put on you and your team. There’s so much work to be done in any business operation, whether it’s based online or not, and freeing up some time in your employees’ schedules, which could be better put to use elsewhere in the company, might just help you achieve greater success.

The customer expects a personal experience

One problem with the online world is that it connects us all more than ever before, and yet many people feel a disconnect between themselves and the person to whom they may be talking. In business, this puts more work on your shoulders; you need to constantly be fighting to create a personal connection between your brand and your customers, in order to ensure that mutual trust and loyalty is built from there.

This is the key to regular customers and a successful business in the long term. You could check here for helpful advice with regards to improving your eCommerce store experience for customers. You need to be constantly reminding your target audience that real life people are behind every computer screen in your company. Using clever marketing tactics such as live videos on Facebook might help to solidify that idea in consumers’ minds.

Maintain your reputation

Your brand shouldn’t just look good on paper; it needs to deliver on its promises. No matter how sleek and shiny your marketing campaign, if your business receives bad reviews from its customers, then you’re going to lose interest from potential new consumers, and it’ll be hard to claw back that sterling image with which you started.

Come To Terms With Your Tech Dependency

We don’t think that there’s any business left on the market today that isn’t reliant on technology. If you think about it, even offline businesses now use tech and online software to promote their company. Most larger corporations are also setup with the possibility of selling online or even through apps. We haven’t even mentioned the fact that most businesses now operate on computer networks too. What happens if that network crashes or fails? Essentially the business will no longer be able to operate effectively on the market, and that’s just one of the issues with the increased reliance on tech. Business owners must understand what it means to be reliant on technology, taking advantage of the benefits and understanding the pitfalls.

Preparing For Disaster

 

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 One of the main issues to consider when your business is dependent on tech is knowing what happens and what to do when it fails. Business tech can fail for a wide variety of reasons from an attack on your company, a computer virus or a random system error. In any of these cases, you could end up losing a lot of important data, and you might even find that your company is pushed out of the market. Don’t forget, when systems crash your business will suffer a period of downtime. During this period, you won’t be able to sell, and that means that customers can easily forget about you and what you’re offering on the market. Luckily, there disaster recovery solutions by Infrascale and other similar companies that can help here. With a solution such as this, you can ensure that though your business will be down it can be back up and running in mere minutes. There’s no chance of any customers forgetting your company in such a short amount of time.

Options For Sales

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 You would be crazy not to offer your customers as many sources for sales as possible. You need to think about everything from a website online to an app to mobile possibilities. Don’t forget, forty percent of online customers are now using mobile devices. As such, it does make sense to ensure that they can buy from your business on their mobile or their tablet. You can do this by investing in a mobile responsive website design. There are plenty of web designers that can guarantee this possibility for your company. With a fully optimized website, you can even increase your site ranking, so it’s a win-win situation.

Cutting Staff And Costs

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You might find that by using new tech it is possible to cut the number of staff you need for your business. Rather than hiring employees to complete certain jobs, they can be managed by automated software. For instance, did you know it’s possible to manage invoices these days without the help of an accountant? By inputting how much staff get paid, you can get invoices sent out and managed using automated software. It also reduces the chances of a mistake being made.

We hope you see now how while you do need to prepare for the challenges of tech dependency, it can also be incredibly useful in modern business.

 

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Your Customers Need To Be Front And Center

It’s important  you keep your customers and clients in the loop when you are running your company. You need to make sure that they are made aware of any changes and are never left in the dark about updates to your business model. You may also want to think about how customer demand can be altered by the way your company is run. But how do you make sure that you are keeping your customers in the center of all your business news?

Use Social Media

You need to make sure that you are using social media to keep up with your customers so they understand everything that’s happening with your company. Don’t forget, social media is also a great temperature check. You can use social media to check how customers feel about your company and what changes they might like to see.

Run Surveys

As well as this, you might want to think about running surveys for your company. These days it’s easy to arrange surveys, ask whatever questions you want and release them online. You should be doing this before you make any changes to your business model. Although, you do want to control how you release it. You don’t want a survey to be viewed as spam.

Prepare Them

Finally, you need to think about preparing customers, and you can do this by educating them. If you are making any changes to your business, you need to show them what it means for them. They need to be made aware, and you can look at the following infographic on telemedicine to find out how to do this.


Created By ROI of Telemedicine

How To Google Yourself

Today’s post is a submission from ReputationManagement.com on How To Google Yourself, which is great advice when considering your online persona and profile.

How To Google Yourself

 

 

Things To Consider When Outsourcing

Like a lot of small business owners, you might have mixed feeling about outsourcing. Despite how easy it is to start a profitable business in this digital world of ours, “outsource” is still a dirty word in some circles. However, if you want to get through that initial period of uncertain trade in the most cost-effective way possible, outsourcing may be the way to go. Here are a few areas where you should consider reaching out for help.

Marketing and Growth Hacking

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You probably knew a thing or two about marketing long before you decided that you were going to start a business. Still, despite all your efforts, you may simply be failing to make sales. To give your business a healthy kick-start on the marketing front, it may be worth hiring the services of a growth hacker. If you’re not already aware, a “growth hacker” is a professional with a keen understanding of modern marketing tech – SEO, website analytics, A/B testing, content marketing, and so on, to get a given target market to flock to a business’s products or services. Marketing has always been in a feverish state of fluctuation and evolution, so if you’re finding it a little hard to understand, this could be a very smart area to outsource.

Reception and Customer Service

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Obviously, someone needs to answer the phone when it rings at your business. However, if it’s you, or the dreary-voiced guy who’s in charge of your IT, then it can give off the wrong impression. Obviously, your customer facing skills aren’t going to be a direct reflection on how good your products are, or the professional standards of your services. Having said that, the first impressions people get of your company can make all the difference. Outsourcing your reception and help desk needs is a little clichéd, I know. However, it may be a very smart move if you’re currently taking customer calls on your own steam. Just make sure you shop around, and find a help desk service that has worked with businesses that are similar to yours in the past. This will make it much easier to assure they fit in with your company culture.

Payroll and Taxes

You may have started your venture because you wanted to make money, but I’m sure you didn’t want to spend a lot of time crunching through mind-numbing spreadsheets. If it’s tough to find time for your bookkeeping needs, or considering them simply makes you want to bang your head against a wall, then you may want to get help with your taxes and payroll. Financial services like this are one of the most widely outsourced aspects of business in the world, and something you should seriously consider passing onto another firm. While it may not save you a huge amount of money, it will definitely save you a lot of time, headaches, and possibly legal trouble. Commercial accountancy is big business, so it won’t take long to find a firm that’s a great fit for yours either!

Why Your Online Shop Isn’t Working And How To Fix It

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Initially, it started as a hobby. You sold a few items online and had some success. Your friends and family liked your products and placed a few orders. Word got around. Encouraged by this you took it to the next level and set up an online shop, and orders began trickling in.

However, it never really took off as you expected. You don’t receive as many orders as projected and you’ve had some problems with delivery. A couple of negative reviews have made things worse. What’s gone wrong and how do you fix it?

1. Review

Take a step back to review and reassess. Go through the sales process at each point and try to understand where things are going wrong. A good place to start is with your current customers. Ask them for some honest feedback about your product, the online shop, delivery, etc. There are lots of online survey tools you can use for this. Offer an incentive, such as entry into a prize draw to encourage customers to take part. When compiling questions, use some of the suggestions below to receive meaningful feedback.

2. Your Product

Regarding your product, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this a quality product?
  • Is there sufficient demand for your product?
  • Are other people selling it?
  • Is the pricing right?
  • Are you targeting the right customer base?
  • How are customers using your product and does this affect how it is marketed?
  • Is the packaging consistent with the product and relevant?

Presumably, you went through a process of market research before you began. If not, you should go through this process now.

3. Delivery

One common reason customers give for abandoning their shopping carts, is delivery. Either postage and packaging costs are too high, or the order cannot be fulfilled on time. We live in an environment where orders can be delivered quickly and efficiently. If you’re not able to fulfill these requirements, it might be time to consider an outsourced fulfillment center. Your products will be packaged and delivered professionally and in a timely manner. This will free you up to work on other areas of your business, such as marketing, etc.

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4. Your Website Isn’t Responsive

Gone are the days where customers placed orders solely from their desktop. They now expect to be able to place orders at any time on a range of devices. If your website doesn’t perform well when viewed on a tablet or mobile device, you could be losing a large percentage of your customers. You don’t have to invest in fancy apps. You just need to ensure your website is responsive. This means that it is optimized for different viewing sizes and will perform well regardless of the device.

When writing your website brief, you should specify that the site meets Google’s Mobile Friendly requirements. You may also have heard about AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. This is likely to become increasingly important, in terms of how your website ranks in the search engines. Essentially AMP is a streamlined version of the code used to create your website. It focuses on readability and speed. Expect to hear more about this over the coming months.

5. Your Design Isn’t User-Friendly

When you launched, a friend developed your website for you. And that was great because it saved you a lot of money. However, unless they are a digital expert, they are unlikely to be familiar with everything that goes into web design and development. For example, user journey, intuitive processes, SEO, user-friendly controls, page load times, etc. If your website is confusing or difficult to use, customers are likely to click away in frustration and shop with a competitor. A good way to check this is to set up a funnel in Google Analytics and work out where users are leaving the process.

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6. Your Photos Are Not Up To Scratch

Presentation is everything. If your product photographs are not up to scratch, they are less likely to sell. When a customer can’t see or pick up a product in real life, they rely solely on the product images. So, a few quick pics on your mobile phone won’t cut it. If the photographs are not professional, customers may deduce that the products and service are not professional. Either set up a small studio and learn how to take the images yourself, or outsource to a professional.

When arranging photo shoots, consider the following:

  • As well as cut-out images, would it be beneficial to show the products being used? This is important for items such as clothing, etc. as it provides context.
  • Can the customer see all angles of the product?
  • If the product is available in different colors, each color should be shown.
  • Video is also useful to demonstrate products further, in terms of how they work or behave, etc.

7. Your Marketing Isn’t Up To Scratch

If your problem is getting customers to your website, you need to review your marketing. Do you have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place, that includes everything from mailouts to mobile marketing? If you haven’t, it’s likely that potential customers are not even aware of your existence. You need to put together a comprehensive marketing plan that will address your core customer base and establish meaningful targets.

A good marketing plan should look at all aspects of marketing, including traditional offline channels and a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Each of your objectives should be specific, measurable and timebound. A marketing plan isn’t something that you go to great pains to write and then leave in a drawer. It is an ongoing entity and should be the focus of your marketing activities. ‘Doing a bit of Twitter and Facebook’ just won’t cut it, and your business is unlikely to achieve growth. If you feel that this is not something you can comfortably achieve yourself, you should look for an expert to help you. They will work with you to establish and execute a comprehensive plan of action. Each step should be monitored and measured carefully. This will provide you with useful data for future campaigns and will identify areas for improvement.

There are many reasons why your online shop may be failing. The above are just a few. That’s why it is important to begin this process by performing a review and working out exactly what is going wrong. You can then take the necessary steps to turn it around.

Think Again: 4 So-Called Essentials Your Business Doesn’t Actually Need

There is plenty of information which claims you need certain ingredients for a successful business. More often than not, these things are not actually essential, but only seem to be. In business, there is always a way around any given ‘essential’, and in this article we will be looking at some of the ways to do this. The fact is, you actually only need a very small amount of things to begin and run a business. As long as you are happy to be fairly minimalist in your approach, you will find that running a business can be much easier than you may have thought. Let’s take a look at four things your business doesn’t actually need.

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Capital

It is a fair assumption to say that your business needs funds in order to get up and running. It is true that you will probably need some kind of money in the beginning. However, you might be pleasantly surprised at how little you really need. The truth is, taking out a bank loan for your business might not actually be the way to go. You can easily set up a business with whatever personal income you already have. There are examples of businesses which started for less than you might spend on coffee in the average month. You will need some kind of money, yes, but don’t go thinking that you need to start your business career in debt.

Office

Most people assume that an office is necessary for any business which wants to be taken seriously. But plenty of successful businesses have been run out of someone’s bedroom or attic. What’s more, it is possible to have all the benefits of an office without the stresses of running one. This is where services such as mail forwarding addresses can come in handy. With these forwarding addresses, you can have somewhere to give your clients – and still run the business from home.

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Website

If you ask the majority of marketers whether a website is essential, they will probably tell you yes. However, there are many ways to market your business without having to have your own web space to look after. Social media alone will enable you to market your business as much as you could possibly need to. As long as you are making the most of these websites, it is unlikely that you will really need one of your own. You might benefit from a website in the long run, but it is not something that you should consider to be essential.

Mobile App

Something which is becoming increasingly common these days is businesses having a mobile app. If you are offering a service, it can be tempting to try and make it work through a mobile app. However, this is unlikely to be absolutely essential. The truth is, an app is only going to be vital if your business is solely in the business of selling that app. For any other company, an ap might be handy – but never essential.

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Blogs: The Personality Your Business Needs

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What is the most important method of communicating in business in the digital age? There is a lot of work that has to be put into making a brand out of your business. And you need to ensure that it goes across the right platforms and to the right markets. Can a business be communicated effectively in one single tool? Is there a magic formula? I will argue the case for blogging and why it can work for all sizes of business. From the small startup all the way through to your massive conglomerate.

Why Blog?

To blog is to get the word out there. There are many companies that use blogs on such a small scale that they are deemed insignificant to the overall ethos of the company. It is merely thought of as a little addendum or a corner to cover. While many small businesses may use this as a marketing tick-box exercise, if you want to get a blog to sing, you can get it via the correct social media channels. There are so many people that have started a blog to get their ideas onto paper, and it spiraled into a massive money spinner, inspiring and creating a high amount of custom towards one product. You can do this with your business too.

What Can It Do For Me?

From the perspective of business, you can utilize a blog in one of two ways. Very simply, you can make an external blog and/or an internal one. Internally, it can work to communicate the company much like a newsletter, but it can be so much more. If you use the internal method to create a tone and style that is pleasing, it has been a good testing pad to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Externally, you are using a blog to give your company a face to the name. You can speak about whatever is useful to your customers. You are communicating what your business is, and how it operates. While there are small companies that can type out their basic processes and put in a quaint little blog that maybe a few thousand people will see, it isn’t going to project that business into the big leagues. You can always outsource to a professional blogging company like the hoth blogger to choose the content that is right for you.

The Image Of Your Company Can Be Defined By Your Blog

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If you decide to go down the blogging route, be sure that whatever the content is, that it reflects who your company is. If your business is of a rustic, family-run style, then having complex language and terminology is not going to be the right fit. The language and the images are signs and signifiers that will loom large in customers minds. So if you choose images or decide to create your own, then they need to be a perfect fit. Finally, it is so tempting to think of the blog as a random bit of text on the website that no one will read. A blog is a marketing tool that you need in your arsenal. So use it!