September 2016

12- Sep2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl

The Many Faces Of Marketing That You Must Know – GroundReport

Whether you have just started a business or have been running an established business for years, you spend a lot of time thinking about the different ways you can market your business. Today, you can do marketing without any boundaries. With internet at hand, you could have your products and services marketed in any corner of the world. It’s your constant marketing efforts that make you a successful business at the end of the day. Marketing can be done in many different shapes and forms. Here are the different faces of marketing that every business owner must know.

1.      Marketing Through Materials

This is the most common and also one of the most lucrative methods of marketing. You get different types of materials printed and prepared for marketing purposes. Flyer distribution is an effective method where you would hand over handbills to people walking on streets. Flyers are also distributed by air. Door hanger distribution is a method where you would print door hangers with your company’s name, logo and contact details. Other materials that are used for marketing include but are not limited to pylon signs, monument signs, neon signs, channel letters, reverse channel letters, awnings, marquees etc. It’s best that you research and know when a certain type of marketing material works best.

2.      Internet Marketing

You don’t have to be told about this type of marketing. Internet marketing is the backbone of marketing for every medium and big sized business today. Internet marketing is a big umbrella term with many different methods of marketing hiding underneath it. SEO is probably the most known and commonly used type of marketing where efforts are made to boost the ranking of your website on search engines. PPC stands for pay per click. In this type of marketing your website’s ad is hosted on an advertising network and you have to pay for every click. An effective method of marketing is email marketing where you send your product and service related messages to people’s emails. Content marketing, content recommendation, blogging, social media marketing etc. are all different forms of internet marketing.

3.      Marketing Through Events

This type of marketing is more common among big businesses. They would conduct events or become part of events for marketing purposes. For example, several exhibitions are conducted in large cities of the world where companies from various corners of the world come in on place to showcase their products and services. Such exhibitions can be for a variety of industries or limited to a particular industry such as IT, agriculture, etc. Companies spread the word about their presence at a certain event through material and internet marketing. Not only are these events great for marketing in common public but they also serve as a great way for companies to develop B2B relations. Marquees and tents are often used at these types of events for marketing purposes.

4.      Internal Marketing

According to the recent public surveys, there are nearly 80% customers who at one point abandoned a transaction only because of poor customer service. This clearly proves that a company’s employees act as its marketing agents. In order to provide top notch service that would attract customers and make them complete the buying process, these companies have to treat their employees as customers too. This calls for measures to be taken in the direction of internal marketing. Through internal marketing the employer makes sure to keep its employees happy and match their thoughts with the mission and vision of the company. This is done by appreciating them for their efforts, making them become part of team building exercises and conducting events to gather them all. Distributing printed t-shirts is also a great way for companies to market through their employees and make them feel proud for being a part of their company.

The 4 points mentioned above prove that marketing can be done in many different ways. The most important thing to understand is which type of marketing your business really needs. Maybe you need to incorporate all of these marketing methods or maybe you need to focus only just one. Do proper analyzation of where your business is lacking and where it needs improvement to strengthen your marketing as a whole.

Source: The Many Faces Of Marketing That You Must Know – GroundReport

12- Sep2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl

Want To Double Your Search Engine Traffic? Think Like A PPC Expert

Every click counts. That means it’s definitely worth 2-3 minutes of your time (or someone else’s time) to write accurate, concise, and enticing title tags and meta descriptions. That little bit of extra time could easily end up getting you two or three times the traffic you’re getting now.

How much is a click worth to you? If you do pay per click advertising, like so many small businesses do, you’ll know the answer to that immediately. Odds are good, too, that what you’re paying for a click is higher than you’d like. Many companies are paying $2, $5, even $10 or $20 just to get people to click on their ads once. And that’s without the guarantee of generating any business just for the privilege of making the pitch.

While we pay big bucks for clicks on ads, we tend to neglect the free clicks. The title tags and descriptions of our pages are showing up right next to those expensive ads, yet most of us are spending almost no time on the “ad copy” for our free, organic search listings. Often, those title tags we use aren’t even unique, or they’re written as an afterthought.

We know small businesses tend to underinvest in search engine optimization. When we surveyed over 1,100 small businesses earlier this year for the Wasp Barcode Technologies State of Small Business Report,we found that only 25% – about one in four – are doing any search engine optimization.

Wasp Barcode Technologies State of Small Business Report, found that only 25% – about one in four – are doing any search engine optimization.
Wasp Barcode Technologies State of Small Business Report, found that only 25% – about one in four – are doing any search engine optimization.

That was a disappointment, but neglecting these title tags and page descriptions is a huge missed opportunity. Once you view your web pages’ title tags and meta descriptions like they were ad copy, you’ll immediately want to improve them. As you pay per click advertisers know, it’s quite possible to double or triple the click-through rate on a pay per click ad. Sometimes all it takes is using the right word or phrase.

Two massive upsides of better title tags and meta descriptions

If you start applying ad copy thinking to the title and meta description tags of your pages, it means you can probably double or triple the click-through rates for your organic search listings. This has two massive consequences:

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You can double or triple your organic search traffic without any other changes. No link building, no content development – nada. Just rewrite those title tags and meta descriptions so they’re more enticing.
Increasing the click-through rate of your organic search listings is widely believed to affect the ranking of your pages. In other words, the higher the click-through rates are for your organic search listings, the more the search engines will interpret that as a signal your pages are more relevant to users. So your pages will rise in the search results.
These are the results of the Searchmetrics’ 2015 Google U.S. Ranking Factors study.

Now is a particularly good time to try this

Google GOOGL +0.74% (and Bing) appear to be testing longer title tags.

The implications of this are significant, but they vary a lot from page to page and search to search. For instance, some letters take up more space than others, so I can’t tell you “use up to 77 characters,” because some title tags will get cut before that.

There’s also evidence that Google is appending brand names to title tags, which could use up even more space. This appending move by Google is interesting, because some companies have been adding their brand or company name to their pages for years. Hopefully we won’t start seeing duplicate company or brand names in title tags.

Testing your title tags and meta descriptions

The best news about thinking of your title tags and meta descriptions as ad copy is that you’ve already got the information you need to make improvements. Your Google Search Console account (previously known as “Webmaster Tools”) has a report that shows the click-through rates for your pages.

Take a screenshot of this report and then make your title tag and page description copy changes. Circle back about two weeks later to see if your pages are performing better. That’s it. It’s not the slickest system, but it is enough to double your traffic.

Google Search Console account (previously known as “Webmaster Tools”) has a report that shows the click-through rates for your pages.
Google Search Console account (previously known as “Webmaster Tools”) has a report that shows the click-through rates for your pages.


If you’re paying for traffic, you already know how competitive, and expensive, it is to get clicks. So it’s time to stop taking the free traffic you are getting from the search engines for granted.

Every click counts. That means it’s definitely worth 2-3 minutes of your time (or someone else’s time) to write accurate, concise, and enticing title tags and meta descriptions. That little bit of extra time could easily end up getting you two or three times the traffic you’re getting now.

Actually, I recommend you calculate the value of that extra traffic, based on how much you’re spending on paid clicks now. You may have just found a way to nab $10,000 or more in free traffic.

Source: Want To Double Your Search Engine Traffic? Think Like A PPC Expert

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

Why Cyber Monday SEO Strategy Starts Weeks in Advance | PerformanceIN

Doesn’t it seem like shopping for the holidays arrives earlier and earlier every year? When purchasing a Halloween costume, Christmas decorations are already for sale. But this isn’t anything new.

During the last few decades, consumers have become accustomed to the mania that surrounds “Black Friday,” arguably the most popular shopping day of the year. More recently, online shopping has evolved and taken on a life of its own in the form of Cyber Monday, which falls on November 30 this year.

Since 2010, Cyber Monday has repeatedly been the biggest US online shopping day of the year. In fact, last year’s sales surpassed the $2 billion mark, with mobile traffic accounting for 45% of all online traffic. Online retailers – you better be prepared.

My tenure in the SEO space has given me a large amount of experience helping online shops prepare for the holiday onslaught. As we all know, SEO is key to any campaign, including holiday-centric ones, and is an ongoing and time-sensitive practice that cannot be ignored. Incorporating a SEO strategy into your Cyber Monday efforts this year is crucial and must be done well in advance.

How in advance? You should have already started.

1. Don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic

I would begin by putting a comprehensive plan in place prior to the season. Determine the products or services that are most important to your business and begin to research specific metrics such as keyword traffic, competitive analysis, and possible long-tail keyword options. The last thing you want to be doing before the big push is scrambling last minute to understand these key audience indicators.

Remember, if you are targeting keywords that have high traffic and lower competition, you have a better chance to move up the SERP in a timely manner.

2. Give yourself a boost

There are several tactics for an advertiser when it comes to boosting organic rankings as the holiday season arrives. Once you have crafted your plan, you can begin building rich and engaging content.

Rich content can come in the form of a comprehensive blog post about a specific product, or even additional text on your site’s product page that better informs a potential buyer and assists them in making a quicker purchasing decision. Adding to existing product pages tells search engines you are actively seeking traffic for specific products.

In terms of content that incorporates graphics, I suggest infographics as they enable you to display a substantial amount of pertinent information visually and can be shared on social media channels.

The richer and more comprehensive your content is, the better your ranking potential is.

3. Attract the right crowd

Another proven strategy I suggest is utilising your engaging content to attract influencers and other similar authoritative sites that may be interested in linking to your content. There has been a debate in the SEO space over the past few years on the importance of link building and the impact it has on organic rankings. Most seasoned experts in this field would still agree that building a high-quality and diverse backlink structure will have a significant impact on your organic rankings, especially if you are linking quality off-site content to quality on-site content.

Content marketing and rich content, such as the aforementioned infographics, are both popular and effective practices in building these links. The more engaging and creative your content is, the more sites will pick it up and help send link juice and authority signals to your site.

The end result

Once results are in, ongoing analysis and development is the best next step. Analyse what was successful and what didn’t work so well for next year’s Cyber Monday, you are armed with knowledge that will increase your chances of success.

To put it simply, in order to have a good SEO plan for Cyber Monday, and the holidays in general, you must plan ahead as best possible. SEO is a long-term commitment not just specific to any given holiday, and one that can provide and optimise ROI when practiced correctly. Be sure to close out Q4 on a high note, with SEO on your side.


Source: Why Cyber Monday SEO Strategy Starts Weeks in Advance | PerformanceIN

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

Millennial Marketing: Getting Their Attention Through Intent

How do you capture the attention of the oh-so-coveted Millennial generation? Columnist Alex LePage says it’s all about using intent data to deliver customization and personalization.

Traditional logic behind providing content free of monetary cost is that viewers pay by giving their attention to a brand’s advertisement. It’s a fair exchange: Instead of giving money for quality content, you give a bit of your attention to a brand message.

Millennials, however, are becoming both burned out and bored with digital ads altogether. It has gotten to the point where paying to get an ad in front of them isn’t effective.

A ComScore study found that, compared with Baby Boomers and Seniors, Millennials tend to be “less interested and more difficult to connect with, capture attention, impress, convince and entertain.”

So how do we break through? Establish a thorough pattern of intent.

What Millennials Don’t Want

Two main factors contribute to Millennials’ resistance to the traditional exchange of content for attention.

The first is one that everyone has been talking about: disruptive ads, or ads that are intrusive and distract the consumer from the content experience. The ads not only take them away from the content, but they provide a sloppy user experience, and this drives them to adopt and install ad blockers.

The second factor is one that much of the advertising press seems hesitant to vocalize: short attention spans. As much as ad-blocking developers want to convince the world otherwise, intrusive ads are only a piece of the problem.

The fact is, content saturation makes Millennials much less attentive. This is a cultural phenomenon as much as a user experience — a Microsoft study released this year found that our attention span is now worse than the average goldfish.

The result is that Millennials are less likely to put up with ads — even high-quality ones — in exchange for content.

Delivering Customization And Personalization

The solution for both of these problems lies in delivering a personalized, non-intrusive ad experience that speaks to customers rather than at them. Millennials prefer customization and personalization, so you’re not going to win their extremely valuable attention by just paying for “visible” ad space.

Millennials want a conversation, and you can achieve this by utilizing intent data in the right way.

Understanding a customer’s purchase and search history is table stakes today, but it’s much smarter to understand more actionable data, such as the common lengths of the videos they watch or the types of content they share more frequently. This information helps build a profile of who they are as a consumer of content and not just who they are as a customer when they transact.

Appealing to Millennials on a personal level is crucial — it helps to build a sense of brand trust in a demographic that is notoriously distrustful.

Of course, you can have the most personalized and relevant ads out there, but if you’re delivering them in ways that interrupt content, Millennials simply aren’t going to care. Trying to spring an ad on them is a great way to increase that notorious distrust of ads and instill a negative association with the brand being advertised.

Luring Millennials In

When it comes to Millennials, it’s crucial that advertisers take an approach akin to fishing. Just jumping in the water isn’t going to work — you need to lure them in with something they’re literally hungry for.

The attention of Millennials is an asset, and, like their business, it’s something that needs to be won. To think of digital advertising in other terms is to risk driving them away.

Digital advertising today is in a precarious position. Millennials are difficult to market to at scale, and intrusive ads and short attention spans are to blame. This has all fomented a culture of ad avoidance that isn’t good for anyone.

To get past it, marketers have to treat their audience with the respect they expect, and the best way to do that is by gathering intent data and using it to establish a conversation with customers.

Source: Millennial Marketing: Getting Their Attention Through Intent

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

Why Aren’t More Small Businesses Using SEO?

Thousands of small business owners are missing out on significant business opportunities from organic search engine traffic because they don’t believe it to be significant or important. Why is this the case?

For more than a decade, thousands of businesses have enjoyed the benefits of high rankings in Google searches (and searches on competing engines) thanks to their SEO efforts. Larger corporations pour hundreds of thousands of dollars and allocate entire departments to gaining more online visibility, but even small- to mid-sized businesses can use a fraction of that budget to get more traffic and sales.

However, according to a recent survey by the Small Business Authority(SBA), less than 50 percent of small business owners in the United States think of inbound traffic from search engines as an “important” source of future business. Another 14 percent declared themselves unsure.

It’s also worth noting that only 17 percent of surveyed small business owners are actively investing in SEO. However, a startling 39 percent of business owners aren’t investing in any marketing strategies whatsoever, indicating that SEO alone may not be the problem.

Studies, meanwhile, show that SEO yields significant ROI. According to, one study found that 72% of business owners with an SEO strategy felt it improved their bottom line. Another found that SEO leads have a 14.6% conversion rate, compared to 1.7% for outbound marketing, and are 61% less expensive to acquire, on average, than outbound leads.

Still, thousands of small business owners are missing out on significant business opportunities from organic search engine traffic because they don’t believe it to be significant or important. Why is this the case?

Misconceptions and Preconceived Notions

SEO doesn’t enjoy an unblemished reputation. The early days of SEO were full of spammers and scammers, willing to pull sneaky tricks to force their way to top rankings. Unfortunately, this reputation of SEO being a black hat game still persists in many circles. If a company believes their involvement with SEO will in any way harm their reputation, I can’t blame them for wanting to avoid it—even if that belief is totally unfounded.

There are also a number of misconceptions about what it takes to execute an SEO campaign. Some small business owners believe that it’s only worthwhile if you have tens of thousands of dollars to invest, or that it’s not possible to achieve visibility unless you’ve been at it for years. As a result, some small business owners choose to avoid it entirely.

Lack of Time or Willingness to Learn

One of the biggest problems preventing small business owners from taking advantage of SEO is a simple lack of desire or time to learn about how to properly conduct an SEO campaign. The average small business entrepreneur is dealing with too many day-to-day and broad strategic issues to warrant exploration into a new, yet-unknown strategic approach. The perceived technical complexity of SEO makes it seem like you need years of experience to be effective—even if that isn’t the case. Still, even if you’re outsourcing the work to an agency, you need to have a decent understanding of what the strategy is and how it works if you’re going to properly monitor their progress and assess how good of a job they’re doing.

The volatility of search engine marketing compounds the issue. Every few months, there’s a new search engine update that seems to send the SEO community into a frenzy. Even if those updates don’t actually change the game that much (and they haven’t for several years), they can be intimidating to a newcomer, just like the ups and downs of the stock market could scare away a potential investor.

Source: Why Aren’t More Small Businesses Using SEO?

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

Costs Per Click Around The World & Tips For Smart Global PPC Strategy

Columnist Larry Kim shares insights gleaned from WordStream’s research on global CPCs and explains how you can use this data to power your international search advertising.

In my last column, I looked  at research that showed what people Google most often around the world. Today, I’m happy to share new WordStream research illustrating the average costs per click across industries for countries around the globe. (Disclosure: I’m founder of WordStream.)

More than a curiosity, there are great insights to be gained here. Our data scientist, Mark Irvine, analyzed more than 15,000 high-volume English search keywords across more than 20 different industries to determine the average cost per click (CPC) for each country. He then ran his list through Google’s Keyword Planner to get the average CPC estimates for each keyword in each country.

To complete his analysis, he indexed his findings and compared each country’s estimated CPC against the estimated CPC in the US for that keyword term.

I have a few tips for you to help drive smarter international SEM, but first, let’s have a look at what Mark found.

Only One Country Had A Higher CPC Than The United States

Bad news for US search marketers: You’re paying very near the top price for clicks, on average, by advertising in the United States. Only the United Arab Emirates averages higher CPCs than in the US, by 8%.

Average Cost Per Click by Country

After those top two most expensive markets, the next ten highest CPCs (expressed as percentages less than the US average) are as follows:

  1. Austria: -2%
  2. Australia: -5%
  3. Brazil: -11%
  4. United Kingdom: -13%
  5. New Zealand: -14%
  6. Chile: -16%
  7. Switzerland: -21%
  8. Italy: -25%
  9. Canada: -29%
  10. Germany: -31%

Local Search Engines Can Affect Google CPCs

If you have a look at the bottom countries in the full rankings Mark shared, you’ll notice that there are many countries in Eastern Europe and Russia with super-low CPCs. This may be partly explained by the presence of search engines like Yandex, which dominates search market share in Russia.

As you’re reviewing this data and considering entering new markets, keep in mind that you should first understand which properties your users frequent online in that geographic region.

Three Tips for Smarter Targeting in International Markets

The good news, of course, is that doing business in one of the highest CPC markets in the world means you might be surprised by the opportunities you have elsewhere. Here are three tips to help you target smarter with PPC in various countries:

1. Remember To Use Geo-Bid Modifiers

I’m always surprised to audit PPC campaigns targeting different countries that don’t leverage geo-bid modifiers.

Geographical bid modifiers allow you to adjust your bids up or down by percentages of the base bid, based on the different cities, regions or countries you’re targeting. Now, it’s pretty confusing to know what your initial bids should be. That first bid is really just a shot in the dark, so you can use our average CPC data above as a jumping-off point.

For example, if you’re targeting searchers in the United Kingdom, and you can see that the average UK CPC is 13% lower than the US CPC, you can set your geo-bid modifier to -13%. This tells AdWords to lower your bids in the UK by 13%.

Geo Bid Modifiers in AdWordsOf course, you’ll want to monitor your performance closely and adjust over time, but this can help you get started.

2. Use The Dimensions Tab In AdWords To View Performance By Country

Once you’ve set up your initial geo-bid modifiers, you can examine the performance of your campaigns based on geographic segmentations in the Dimensions tab.

dimensions tab in adwordsGo to DimensionsView: Geographic to view all campaign metrics based on geography. Notice how the CPC and CPA vary greatly depending on the country being targeted. Leverage this information to further refine your geographic bidding strategy.

3. Reconsider Your Markets

Your analysis of which countries to focus on might warrant reconsideration with this new CPC data. You might have assumed that Eastern Europe, for example, just isn’t a good fit for your products, because your profit margins are, say, three times lower there. However, if you can manage a CPA five times lower than your US acquisition cost, it could be worth it for you to expand into that market.

Averages are just that — the average, not a definitive guide to what you should be paying in these different countries. However, I hope they serve as a logical starting point for your international bids and that perhaps you’ll be inspired to experiment in new countries, now that you know how much cheaper it may be to advertise there.

Source: Costs Per Click Around The World & Tips For Smart Global PPC Strategy

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

7 Components of a High Performance Website

These days, it’s hard to argue against the importance of having a website for your firm or organization. However, simply having a website may not be getting you the results you want. While your web…

These days, it’s hard to argue against the importance of having a website for your firm or organization. However, simply having a website may not be getting you the results you want. While your website can be a powerful lead generation tool, the impact isn’t automatic. Simply putting up a few pages with services and contact information just won’t cut it. To truly get the most out of your website, it needs to utilize certain key components.

Here are seven ways to transform your website into a high performance, lead generating machine:

7 components of a high-performance website

Educational Content

In order to position your firm as the solution to a prospective buyer’s problem, your website needs to provide the answers to their biggest questions. People spend a lot of time on Google searching for answers and your website is the perfect place to demonstrate your firm’s expertise at solving particular problems. When a prospective buyer finds an answer to their problem on your website, they become more likely to return to your firm as a trusted resource once they’re ready to hire someone.

Even though it can feel counterintuitive, focus your efforts on educating and not selling your services. Think of it this way: buyers are more likely to connect with a firm that has a website portraying, “here’s how we solved problems for other clients,” versus “look at all the services we provide.”

Your website’s educational content can be everything from your blog (more on that below), to videos, guides, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies and more. Having a wide range of information and material mediums can help you connect with a broader audience.


Even the most visually appealing website can’t manage to generate more leads if your prospects aren’t finding it.  Avoid the problem of having a website that doesn’t bring in traffic by using SEO tactics to help your page get found.

One of the most popular and effective SEO tactics is the use of keywords—both on the main page of your site and within your educational content. For more tips on optimizing your professional services firm’s website, check out this interview with digital marketing guru Rand Fishkin.


Simply put: a blog is a must-have for a lead generation website. Make the most of your content by regularly publishing informative blog posts that are at least 500 words and include a call-to-action at the bottom to encourage your readers to take the next step in their relationship with your firm. You should also include social sharing buttons to help your content reach more prospects, as well as a “subscribe” button in the sidebar to encourage email subscriptions.


Utilizing both internal and external links on your website not only helps visitors easily find what they’re looking for, it can also help your website perform better in search engine results. Link to outside content when relevant in your blog posts to build your credibility and knowledge base and include internal links to drive more page views and traffic to other pieces of content or your services pages. Just make sure your link building is natural and relevant—you don’t want it to seem overdone or forced.


Rather than waiting for your prospects to make the first move, give your website visitors the opportunity to engage with you more by including offers on your website and in your blog posts. People are often more than willing to exchange a small amount of personal information—like their name and email—for a piece of high-quality educational content, like an eBook or guide.

Your offers can range from soft offers that continue to build interest, like “download this piece of content,” or can begin a more substantial relationship, like “request a free assessment.” Regardless, make it a point to ask for the least amount of information possible. If your prospects see a form with 10 things to fill in, they’re more likely to leave your website than convert on your offer.

Clear Messaging

Your website visitors shouldn’t have to dig through page after page of your website trying to figure out exactly what your firm does. Instead, the messaging on each page should be clear, concise, and to the point. Avoid using a lot of jargon or buzzwords and do your best to be as straightforward as possible. Since you may be too close to your website to accurately critique your messaging, test the clarity of your messaging on an outside person and see if they can identify what your firm does in less than one minute.

Your website should quickly answer these three simple questions:

  • What do you do?
  • Who do you do it for?
  • Why should clients choose you?

Mobile Friendly

the importance of responsive design of your website for SEO

Thanks to Google’s recent algorithm update, a mobile optimized website is no longer an optional perk. With more users connecting online through mobile devices than ever before, failing to have a responsively designed website means you’re also failing to attract a large subset of potential leads.

While many of these components may take time to truly show results, each is essential to achieving the goal of having a high-performance website. With these seven essentials, your firm can begin generating more leads than ever before.

Source: 7 Components of a High Performance Website

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

4 Ways to Promote and Market Your Online Business Using Images | Huffington Post

It’s a known fact that the attention span of your targeted online audience is dismally short. We live in an age of visual culture. Like short videos, art and graphic images can still captivate, entertain and convey your message in just a few quick minutes. Images can also help your audience grow and doesn’t just extend your message in the most compelling format, but it also promotes your business in ways you didn’t realize. If you want to promote and market your online business through images take a look at the 4 ways you can do this for your business.

Use Vector graphics to promote products

Many businesses nowadays are printing their images and photos into tangiblevector images they can use as giveaways or bundle with a pre-existing package as part of their branding. The options for this are endless: T-shirts, mugs, tote bags, keyrings, bookmarks, postcards. Vector images are based on vector graphics, or using geometrical shapes that are then relayed as images in computer graphics. Vector images can handle a higher resolution scale as opposed to a bitmap image which has a lower resolution.

Use relevant images in your social media marketing

Reading through text can be tedious. Nobody has time to read through pages and pages of text. You’ll be lucky if they read your heading! A relevant pimage can market your brand and boost your business over time. According to this site, “inan ecommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product.” This means that engagement online starts at the visual level. All kinds of images can be incorporated including infographics, which can summarize your products in a “how-to” format which adds value to your business. These images can later be shared on social media.

Choose high quality images that people will want to share

According to a study results shared on this site, the engagement rate with Facebook posts by type was 37% with an image and 31% with a video. The key however is to choose high quality images that will compel others to share. Some graphic design images have a lower resolution than others so it’s best to choose one with a higher resolution that will show up well on a website. There are many high quality images that can be Googled – some for free and some are minimally priced. Don’t skimp this area!

Anchor Your Images with SEO

You’ll want to get the “biggest bang for your buck” by using search engine optimization and conducting keyword research for captions. This area tends to get overlooked quite quickly, but this bit of time and thought can eventually help move your static website into a highly ranked one by the search engines.

As you can see, images plays a tremendous role in marketing and promoting your business so it’s best to not overlook this piece and allocate appropriate marketing resources and time to incorporate the right images that speak to your target audience.

Source: 4 Ways to Promote and Market Your Online Business Using Images | Huffington Post

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

Forget Everything That You Think You Know About SEO

SEO is an important part of marketing your business. If you want people to find your website, you have to ensure that they can find your website when they’re using Google and their other favorite s…

SEO is an important part of marketing your business. If you want people to find your website, you have to ensure that they can find your website when they’re using Google and their other favorite search engines.

However, what you have to realize is that search engine optimization has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days when stuffing your content full of the same keywords over and over was actually a successful method of optimizing your site for search engines.

Honestly, SEO is now easier than it has ever been. However, before you can be truly successful at it, you’re going to need to forget everything that you think you know about SEO. Sticking to the same bogus forms of search engine optimization is only going to harm your site and isn’t going to allow you to get ahead.

Forget Keywords

The main and most important part of search engine optimization is using keywords, right? Wrong. All of those fancy keyword tools aren’t going to help you now like they once did.

The truth is, people are searching for things differently now than they used to. No longer are people typing in awkward keywords. Now, more and more people are typing in entire sentences, such as questions that they might be curious about the answer to. Some people are even speaking these questions into their mobile phones and other devices.

Now, Google is on to all of us. That’s right — Google knows about all of the silly keyword tools that you’ve been using. It knows about all of the clever ways that you weave keywords into your content. The gig is up.

This isn’t a bad thing, though. Now, as long as you focus on creating interesting and informative content about your industry, you’ll do well. You can use content targeting — such as by finding out what people are searching for on search engines — to help point you in the right direction, but there is no need to weave keywords into your sentences. Just write normally, and Google will figure it out.

Stop Worrying About Backlinks

Once upon a time, people paid to buy backlinks to their sites. Then, people started figuring out that Google didn’t like that, so they started creating their own, usually in a semi-clever way, such as through guest blogging or article directories.

Stop focusing on this.

In fact, guest blogging can even be harmful to your site’s SEO if it’s done the wrong way. For example, if you post a guest blog with a link to your site on a website that is totally unrelated, Google will know what you’re trying to do, and it won’t reward you for it.

However, you can build natural backlinks — just don’t think about doing it. Instead, focus on building a natural following through forums, social media and websites that are related to yours. Stop counting backlinks and thinking about Google; instead, only post links to your site from other sites that might bring in an audience the natural, old-fashioned way.

Stop Focusing on Computers

Obviously, people search for things and look at websites on their computers. You might be using a computer right now. However, you shouldn’t assume that all — or even most — of your viewers are using computers to access your site.

The truth is, more and more people are getting online, searching, browsing, reading and interacting on social media from their devices. People love their smartphones and their tablets and their other similar Internet-ready devices.

You have to be ready for this, or Google will penalize you. In fact, Google’s latest update was all about targeting websites that aren’t catering to a mobile audience. If your website isn’t mobile-ready, it might not show up in the search engine rankings at all. Obviously, this is the last thing that you want to happen when you’re focusing on search engine optimization.

Stop focusing so much on computers. Obviously, you’ll want to check your site on your computer and perhaps on a few different browsers, but most blogging and website platforms like WordPress will work just fine on computers.

Instead, put some focus into making your pages mobile-friendly. This isn’t just about ensuring that your page loads and can be navigated on mobile devices, either. It’s also about things like breaking up your content into smaller paragraphs that can be easily read on mobile screens without people feeling overwhelmed. Keep your images at a smaller size that will look nice on mobile devices. These types of things can make a big difference for your mobile users, and believe it or not, Google will appreciate it as well.

Get On Board With Other Marketing Strategies

In the past, search engine optimization was probably the single most important way of marketing a website. You might still believe this, but you shouldn’t. Search engines are obviously still important, but if you’re building and marketing your site properly, then the search engine rankings will come. That is the beauty of Google’s newest changes — natural sites that are doing it right are going to rank, and sites that are trying too hard to rank aren’t. It’s that simple.

This means that you have more time to put into things like social media marketing, blogging, building ad campaigns and more. In no time, you’re sure to dominate all of these marketing arenas.

As you can see, things are changing fast, and they’re changing drastically in the world of search engine optimization.


Source: Forget Everything That You Think You Know About SEO

08- Sep2016
Posted By: Mandy Jackson

6 SEO Tips for Content Marketing, for Ecommerce | Practical Ecommerce

Content is king. Search engine optimization professionals have been preaching this for years. However, content needs to be created and integrated carefully to actually drive organic search performance.

Stick to Your Sphere of Relevance

Every site has a sphere of relevance. A site sells specific products from specific brands, and those drive the words and concepts for which the site is relevant.

For example, a company that sells fine leather dress shoes for men might decide that it wants to target men who wear sneakers, to convince them to upgrade. That’s a reasonable concept for a content marketing campaign.

A site sells specific products from specific brands, and those drive the words and concepts for which the site is relevant.

But that site would find it extremely difficult to rank for sneaker-related phrases because sneakers are not what it sells. Many sites write articles and sell content very closely related to sneakers, whereas the fine shoe site would be writing an article only tangentially related to sneakers. Posting one article about sneakers on a site that sells fine leather dress shoes won’t drive SEO performance.

Organic search as a marketing channel cannot expand a site’s sphere of relevance. Other marketing channels must take the lead in generating awareness among your customer base, which will slowly change the way that customers search for your site and its products you sell and enlarge the site’s sphere of relevance.

When generating content outside a site’s sphere of relevance, make certain that it has value in another, awareness-building marketing channel. Post the content on the site as well so that it’s ready when the sphere of relevance has grown, but don’t expect it to drive SEO performance until then.

Lose the Marketing, but Don’t Forget to Merchandise

Nobody wants to read an ad in article format. That stopped working long ago. Get rid of the catch phrases, heavy branding, and self-promoting trends that the company wants to push and focus on providing really strong, useful content.

At the same time, the content is hosted on an ecommerce site and it’s reasonable to expect some merchandising. For SEO benefit, the content should contain a couple of subtle links to related products or categories. Create a couple of text links in the text that’s already been written and optimized for SEO.

Get rid of the catch phrases, heavy branding, and self-promoting trends that the company wants to push and focus on providing really strong, useful content.

Consider including a product-oriented call out box similar to the “related products” modules often seen on product pages. If the content is free of marketing push, a few nice visuals and links to related products will be much better received, and will give visitors a clear path to move deeper into the site rather than bouncing back out.

Write for Your Audience

Closely related to the above, writing for your audience means forgetting that marketing is the reason for the article and focusing on providing unique, valuable content. Yes, follow brand guidelines about things the company is and isn’t willing to discuss. Yes, stay within legal and regulatory requirements.

But try to pretend for an hour that how the customer thinks and speaks is the voice to aim for, and that what the customer wants is the only thing that matters. Guidelines and SEO can be applied after the fact, but the creative application of that customer voice is an art that can’t be layered on at the end.

… writing for your audience means forgetting that marketing is the reason for the article and focusing on providing unique, valuable content.

What does this have to do with SEO? Google in particular is hard at work developing algorithms that measure content quality. Part of that is relevance, part is mentions and links from on other sites, and part is the uniqueness of the content as compared with all the other similar content available online.

But another part is searchers’ reaction to the content when they click to it from search results. Do they immediately bounce out again and choose another page from the search results instead? If so, the quality is likely to be low and the content would likely be demoted over time in search results.

Writing for the audience, coupled with lack of marketing fluff, increases the chances that searchers will stay to read long enough to satisfy Google that the content is valuable. In addition, it may also result in a share, mention, link or other valuable indication of quality that boosts organic search.

Mine Keyword Research for Topics Customers Care About

The hardest part can be knowing what customers want to read or watch a video about. From an SEO point of view, the answers can be found in a specialized form of customer research: keyword research. Customers tell Google what they care about, and through the keyword research tool Google allows marketers to view that data.

I’ve addressed keyword research and data mining previously, at “SEO 101, Part 5: Google Keyword Planner” and “SEO 101, Part 6: Going Deep on Keyword Research.”

Use keyword data to find and help prioritize topics for content marketing. Pay special attention to keywords that contain the primary question words: who, what, where, when, why and how. These customers are so interested in learning something of value that they bother to type complete thoughts, a valuable rarity in keyword data.

Customers tell Google what they care about, and through the keyword research tool Google allows marketers to view that data.

For example, if a site sells winter sports equipment, the phrase “how to buy a snowboard” would probably a good topic for content that would improve SEO performance.

In aggregate, Google reports almost 1,900 searches a month on average in the U.S. for keyword phrases directly related to buying a snowboard. That number peaks in December at 4,500 searches. These people don’t want to know how to use an ecommerce site to physically buy a snowboard; they want a guide to the important aspects they need to consider when choosing which snowboard to buy.

Fill that need for a valuable piece of customer-centric content that also has SEO value.

What Do Real Customers Want to Know?

In addition to keyword research, ask customer service personnel to generate content that customers really value. They’re on the front lines communicating with people who want recommendations for what to buy, how to use something, or how products work best together.

Some customer service teams have an established process for categorizing communications with customers; that process can help prioritize content generation in the same way as keyword data can. Even if there’s no formal system of categorization, a chat over coffee with some of the longest-running team members can be invaluable. Their stories and anecdotal evidence are sometimes as useful to a content marketing campaign as formal data.

Integrate Your Content into the Site

Integration is a two-way street. I mentioned that content should be sparsely linked to relevant product or category pages. However, related product and category pages should also link to the content you create.

Consider the snowboard buyer’s guide example. From the guide, it would be reasonable to link to related categories like bindings and different lengths as they’re discussed. But it would also be valuable to customers shopping the site to see a link or promotion for the buyer’s guide on snowboard category and product pages.

This two-way linking integrates content into the site, instead of using it merely as a way to build links to your product catalog. Search engines immediately see one-way linking patterns and discount their value. If an article has one link into it, from a list of articles accessed by a link the footer, for example, it’s clear that the articles are a means of generating additional links rather than offering valuable content meant to be seen by customers.


Source: 6 SEO Tips for Content Marketing, for Ecommerce | Practical Ecommerce