Using Emoticons In Business Emails

Here is some research that says using emoticons in business emails is not a good idea. Did we really need a research study to confirm that?!?! :roll:

The 6 Analytics Tools Every Business Should Be Using

Whatever the nature of your business, I’m guessing you have a website. Whether you’re using content marketing to define and promote your brand to give your business a unique voice, or whether you’re an online retailer for who lives and dies by their ecommerce. There’s no denying that every business should have a website. It’s an invaluable tool, but as with any tool… It’s only ever as effective as the way you use it.

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If you’re not using analytics to identify who’s visiting your website, what products they’re buying or what pages they’re viewing then you’re letting valuable information slip through your fingers. Analytics are invaluable, especially if combined with an automated marketing platform like Visual Visitor which can identify which companies visitors are coming from, what products they’re interested in and even their contact information making them an invaluable form of lead generation.

Here are some essential analytics tools to help you to measure the effectiveness of your online presence and get the most out of your website:

Social Metrics

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Image by Pixabay

 

Facebook Insights- It’s free and it’s built in, so you’re off to a great start. You can use it to measure your post reach and see who is responding to your posts with likes and shares. You can also see data on how your page is performing over a given time period and how many visitors are engaging with your links and content. You can use this information to increase your reach and learn more about the people engaging with you.

Twitter Analytics- Again, this is free to use, even if you’re not advertising through Twitter. It enables you to learn more about who your followers are, where they’re from and which topics they are interested in. It also measures engagement in terms of likes and retweets to help you identify which are your most popular tweets, polls and campaigns.

SEO

Moz- Knowing your search engine rankings can be laborious and confusing but Moz provides an easy to use system for tracking and improving your rankings as well as your competitors’. You can track keywords, find out who your competitors are… and they’ll even give you a free listing score.

SEMRush- Another useful tool for knowing your competition and comparing your SEO performance with theirs. Based on your listings and optimization it will provide you with analysis and suggestions for improving your ranking.

User behavior

Crazy egg- This is great if you’re having a UX audit or just want to know more about how users navigate your site. Its comprehensive and accessible visual interface allows you to identify what users are doing on the page, what they are and aren’t clicking and even their mouse movements. It’s a great way of optimizing your site’s layout, design and UX.

Google analytics- It’s the go-to analytics tool for many businesses, and with good reason. It tracks web traffic, keyword data and provides you with regular reports on visitor stats and conversion rates to help you identify where and how you may be losing visitors. And the best part? It’s completely free!

How to Get the Best Out of Your Home Business

Building a business from scratch at home can be an ideal way to make an income while working around the responsibilities of owning a home and having a family. Although it’s hard work, it can also be very rewarding. If you’ve got more time on your hands, perhaps because the kids are now all in full time school, you may be thinking about how you can drive your business forward. Here are some tips for getting the most out of a home business.

Create A Routine

Sometimes, there’s no option but to work late into the early hours of the morning or squeeze work into a two-hour slot while the kids have a nap. However, that isn’t going to do anything for the quality of your work. You need to have a clear start time and a clear end time. It may even benefit you to schedule your break and lunch times too. Running a business from home doesn’t mean you can allow yourself to get sloppy; it means you’re the only one responsible for motivating yourself and staying disciplined.

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 Digital Marketing

The internet is a wonderful tool when it comes to marketing your work. You have the advantage of using social media, websites, blogs and more. You have a real opportunity to connect with your customers and your potential reach is at least ten times more than it would be with traditional marketing. Digital marketing is why it’s possible for many people to work from home and earn a decent income. If you’re unsure of how to use digital marketing to your advantage, you may want to get advice from a professional.

Exercise

You may think that exercise has no link to how well you do in business, but you’d be wrong. A regular exercise routine will keep you fit and healthy so your immune system is ready to fight off any illnesses doing the rounds in your area. Therefore. It’s less likely you’ll have to take days off from work. Running a business from home means you don’t get the luxury of sick pay. Exercise will also keep your brain alert, so you’re ready to tackle problems if they should arise while you’re working. An early morning jog will set you up for a great day of business.

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Avoid Stress

Easier said than done, right? Whether you’re a new business or you’re already established, there will always be times when you feel stressed. The key to avoiding stress is preparation. If you know you have a particularly large job to complete, set enough time aside to make sure you can deliver it on time without having to push yourself to the limit. If you feel like things are getting on top of you, take a break.

If you try and push through when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s likely you’ll make mistakes and could cause yourself more work. Make sure you put money aside throughout the year, so you’re not worried about taking holidays. You deserve to have time to relax and recharge.

Sensis Social Media Report 2017

Sensis has just published its 2017 Social Media Report which makes for interesting reading if you are an Internet Marketer. If you want to make the most of your Internet/Web marketing investments, have a look at my Internet Marketing Toolkit. It’s for legitimate brick and mortar businesses who want to generate qualified leads.

 

 

Innovations To Help Your Productivity

Do you ever feel that you never have enough time at work? If you’re constantly attending meetings or writing emails and just doing basic administrative tasks, then you’re not getting to those high-impact tasks that are going to be the ones that will really make a difference to you. That needs to change in your business, or it simply won’t grow as you want it to. These low-impact tasks, such as admin and staying on top of emails and phone calls are important and do need to be done. However, they can waste a lot of time and stop you from doing some of the high-impact tasks that will really help your business to get off the ground.

So if this sounds like you, where you feel constantly busy but rarely feel like you’ve achieved anything, then it is time to make your work more productive and look for ways to help. Here are a few ideas that small business owners need to think about.

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Work in Airplane Mode

One of the biggest distractions we have in a modern world is our tablet or smartphone. If we hear a ping, we almost automatically reach out to check our phone to see what the notification is from. So one of the best ways to avoid this is to not check your phone at all. The best way to avoid temptation is to just switch it off or put in on airplane mode. Then you can dedicate time to getting certain tasks done without any distractions. It will make a big difference to you, especially if you are a serial cell phone checker

Use Existing Software Efficiently

All businesses will be using programs like Word and Excel in the everyday running of their business. However, not too many of us really know how to use the programs efficiently. Most users will use these programs and waste a lot of time doing the repetitive day to day tasks. So if you don’t have someone in the business at the moment that is proficient with this kind of thing, it could be worth looking at new ways to innovate. You could also consider outsourcing the work to someone else as it might work out as a good return on your investment.

Look For Apps To Help

There are many different apps for all sorts of things these days. So why not look to see if there are any that you can use to help yourself in business? If you can find some that will help you to be more innovative and save time, then it is going to help you focus on those high-impact tasks. Take making the staff rota, for example. That can be pretty time-consuming. It does need to be done, so why not look for an app that will allow you to do just that? There can be apps for admin, tax, and accounting, even things for checklists and to-do lists. Hopefully, they will help you to be more focused.

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Make Emailing Easier

If a lot of the time you are going through emails and wasting a lot of time, then you need to think about a new way of doing things. When you need to remember who to follow up with, as well as finding out if your email has ever been opened, it helps to have some help. But there are things like a plugin from Gmail, for example, that will help you to do just that. You can schedule emails, send yourself reminders to follow up with previous emails, and get notified when someone reads your email. So of you’re getting on with the high impact things in the day, you could deal with emails in the evening, but schedule them to be sent out in the morning, so it looks more professional. Such a help.

Change Your Habits

Getting tools and plans in place to help you be more productive is all very well. But if you don’t get in a change of habit, then they aren’t going to help with anything. You need to get in the habit of prioritizing your work and working in set hourly slots to get things done. Set yourself a schedule such as an hour for emails after lunch, rather than first thing in the morning as it can let you get sidetracked. All these tools and tech can help you to be more productive, but only if you let them help you be more productive, and set yourself some priorities first.

Escape The Rat Race: Three Legitimate Ways to Earn Cash From Home

Are you sick of the daily commute, fed up of difficult colleagues and your boss breathing down your neck? Do long hours feel like you’re working yourself to the bone? Why not escape the rat race- more people than ever have found it possible to make the leap from employee to boss, are able to work for themselves and enjoy all of the flexibility that brings. When you search ‘earn money from home’ online all kinds of dodgy looking results, come up, but rest assured it IS possible, and there are a number of legitimate ways to go about it. Here are just a few of them.

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Online Business

You don’t have to be a business tycoon running an enormous company to earn good money from business. It’s perfectly possible to run it right from your own home and still do well. Of course there are limitations, for example, you won’t be able to employ a ton of people or store lots of stock with a home business. So think about an idea that will work. Selling digital items or services work well since you don’t need to worry about storing or shipping physical things. If you’re a designer, you could design and sell logos, blog and website designs, banners, illustration, clip art and much more.

Online marketplaces like Etsy are great for selling these kinds of creations, and as a bonus, you don’t need to pay for, maintain and advertise your own website. Selling services is another idea, so have a think about your skills and experience. You can tutor or teach many things with just a laptop, Hafiz Muhammad Ali was able to set up a digital marketing career with just a $90 loan. You could be an online tutor for children helping them with exam preparation, you could be a life coach or a personal trainer/ nutritionist. Video calling programs like Skype make it easy for you to give people this one on one time without having to physically be there in person.

Blogging

Building up a blog from scratch can take time. You need to build a loyal readership, get your name out there and also build up some domain authority before companies will want to work with you. All of this is time-consuming, and do if you’re a newbie and want to set up a blog that will earn you money, be prepared to be in it for the long haul and don’t expect to start earning anything until you’ve been regularly posting for around a year. However, if you already blog for a hobby and your site is established, chances are all of the foundations are in place.

If you’ve not been contacted for paid work yet, a few simple changes could make all the difference. First, ensure your design and aesthetic is up to scratch. Companies choosing blogs to work with will expect professional looking designs that are nicely laid out and easy to navigate. If you’re not a whizz with these things no need to worry, there are plenty of inexpensive and even free premade layouts that you can install with just a few clicks. You should register a domain name for your blog, dropping the blogspot.com/ wordpress.com at the end of your link. This makes everything look more professional, and some sponsors will only work with bloggers with their own domain.

Ensuring your content is well written, relevant and contains good quality images is also important too. Sites like Pexels and Pixabay have lots of great free stock images to choose from. These things will all make your blog attractive to companies looking for paid links, increasing your chances of making regular money. Affiliate advertising and Google Adsense can also earn you money so look into other ways you can monetize too.

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Freelancing

There are so many freelancing websites you can sign up to these days, offering plenty of regular work. Freelance writing is one way you can earn cash in this way, once you’re signed up to the site (some will require you to do a short test to check your skills are up to scratch) you can ‘bid’ for jobs. The great thing about freelancing is you can control your workflow, while each piece will have a strict deadline you can choose how many projects you want to take on.

This makes freelancing the ideal way to earn extra money if you’re waiting for your blog or business to ‘take off.’ If you’re having a quiet week, go onto the freelancing site and do some work on there. If things are going well, you can do less. There’s no contract or commitment to do a certain number of pieces per week so how much you do is entirely down to you.

Source: Pexels

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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