Using Content Marketing As An Online Business Strategy

Content marketing is a buzzword that you’ll often hear about in marketing circles, but it’s much more than a passing phase when it comes to marketing your business on the Internet. It’s a powerful approach to marketing your business on the web without having to worry about the search engines penalizing you for unnatural links or artificially inflating your rankings. Basically, when you create good content and market it towards your consumers, search engines reward you with a prime spot in their rankings.

The great thing about content marketing is that you aren’t stuck doing one thing; you can create videos, articles, press releases, social media campaigns and infographics to draw customers to your website, so you can tailor your content to be relevant to what consumers in your industry are searching for. This relevancy means that your content will convert into sales, so oftentimes, your marketing efforts go further than traditional marketing methods.

Content marketing has a couple major advantages over traditional marketing:

Inbound Traffic

According to the experts at Stodzy Internet Marketing, content marketing is a great way to drive interested consumers to content that you control; this inbound traffic is a powerful way to promote your expertise, niche or selling proposition. If you create engaging content with the proper calls to action, potential customers will share it with their friends and family, and this drives potential consumers to your website without costing you an extra penny.

Brand Awareness Through Engagement

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to create content that engages your audience; when you do this, it fuels a personal relationship between you and your customers, and they start associating your brand with high-quality and relevant products. When you build trust like this, you attract people to your business, and they are much more likely to work with you instead of your competition.

When you establish yourself as knowledgeable, you build your brand, and people remember this when it comes time to buy something that you specialize in. So remember, quality and relevance are paramount; any content that you publish is a reflection of your business.

Create Natural Link Popularity

Search engines love useful information, and that’s why they often penalize businesses that manipulate links to increase their rankings. When you create useful content that people share naturally, it tends to attract a lot of attention, and people give your site the natural links that search engines love. These links mean that your rankings will skyrocket, and you will have a very low chance of being penalized by the search engines in the future.

Content marketing is a safe way to increase your rankings, and that’s why so many people use it on websites that they can’t afford to lose. When you create content for marketing purposes, think of it as a representation of your business. If you create creative and relevant content, people will link to it, and that drives traffic, builds brand awareness and increases your popularity online.

Consider this before choosing web hosting services

These days is a seemingly endless array of choices when it comes to choosing web hosting services.  Although that is a great in terms of there being a package available for just about anyone’s needs, it also means that finding the right one can be a pretty daunting proposition.  So, how do you go about finding the right option for you?  There are a few things you should consider that will help you narrow your search.

Storage requirements

The amount of storage you require for your website is a big determinant when selecting a web host.  If your site does not include the kind of features that require lots of storage space – lots of pictures, video, etc. – you won’t require much space and a basic web hosting service will do very nicely.  If your site is an eCommerce site, for example, with pictures of your products and other “extras” you are going to need more storage space.  Consider, too, your plan for your site in the future.  You don’t want to outgrow your storage space too quickly, so choose a web hosting service that provides adequate storage for your needs today and extra for tomorrow.

Bandwidth allowance

A site’s bandwidth is a measure of the amount of data that are allowed to pass from your site and the internet at large, and vice versa.  If your site is dedicated to commerce and you expect a lot of interaction between your site and your customers – downloading images if your products, streaming videos, etc. – you are going to need substantial bandwidth allowances.  This is important because once you start to exceed the allotted bandwidth you could be charged a pretty heavy fine.

Customer support

This is so important.  When you sign on with a web hosting service, it’s absolutely crucial that you find one that offers good customer support.  Always test out a service’s customer support system before you sign on to a long-term contract.  Things to look for are friendly service, quick response time, and effective problem resolution.  They should work hard to resolve issues you are having with your website as soon as possible, with an understanding that the longer your site is down the more money your company is losing.  Generally, look for a host that has an “uptime” of at least 97 percent.  This means that the sites they host are up and running as they should be at least 97 percent of the time.  Any less than this and it is very easy for potential customers to become frustrated and click away from your site.  If the host company appears to have a less-than-stellar sense of urgency during the trial run, that’s probably not going to change once you sign on for real.

Know your neighbours

You should also find out what kinds of sites also share the host.  If the service hosts adult websites, for example, this could be a red flag.  Why?  Because adult websites use up a lot of bandwidth and you could end up fighting with them to get the bandwidth your site needs.  That can result in a slow-loading site and, ultimately, the loss of business.

How to Start Out with E-mail Marketing

All of the passion in the world can’t make up for the help that social media provides to businesses. Professionals like Ehsan Bayat know that in order to have a thriving business, you need to take advantage of the tools that are out there. E-mail marketing is one huge way to make a big impact, digitally.

Why is e-mail marketing so big right now? It’s easy: pretty much everyone has e-mail. While not everyone has a Facebook account or Instagram profile, they are very likely to have an e-mail address. The best place to reach anybody online is right in their own inbox.

Here’s how to launch your newsletter, even if you’re new to the world of e-mail marketing.

Figure Out What You Have to Say

What’s the purpose of e-mailing your contact list? Do you have something they’re interested in, like a coupon code or breaking industry news? What you write about will directly relate to your business. If you offer marketing services, you may send an e-mail with tips for using Twitter, followed by a call-to-action to hire a pro by getting in touch. If you sell jewelry, you may want to let your loyal customers know about brand new products.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you have a unique perspective on. Give your customers and e-mail list subscribers something they can’t get anywhere else.

Use E-mail Software

There are a lot of e-mail tools out there, like Mailchimp and Tinyletter. What you choose will depend on a few things, including how you want to track your e-mail marketing and how much money you have to spend. Mailchimp, for example, lets you have a free account until you reach 2,000 subscribers, which is ideal for starting out. Then, you can scale as necessary by paying for a subscription.

Monitor Your Campaign

What good is a marketing campaign if you don’t know how well it’s performing? You’ll want to know a lot of things, analytics-wise, like how many of your subscribers are actually opening your e-mails and if the newsletter is actually converting subscribers to buyers. Make it a point to check your analytics every week or so, depending on how often you send out newsletters.

Tweak the Newsletter as Necessary

Not getting as many opens as you hoped for? Your subject line may leave something to be desired. The next time you send a mailing, split the list and use two different subject lines. Test them to figure out which one performs best, then apply those findings to your next newsletter. You may also be sending the newsletter out at the wrong time. Most people aren’t checking their e-mail once the work day’s over or on the weekend. Mondays, for example, are the best time to send retail newsletters. Play around with your sending schedule until you achieve a high open rate.

With e-mail marketing, you don’t just add to your following, but you also create a way to constantly stay in touch with both old and new fans, customers, and influencers.

The Importance of Using a Complete Web Hosting Service

Many website owners use multiple providers for their services such as the shopping cart, hosting and development. This makes fixing issues confusing and takes more time. Consumers must have access to your online shopping cart and general information at all times in order to maintain a positive online reputation. When features are not available due to maintenance or general system issues, those consumers seek other options. This causes your business to lose revenue.

All Services with One Company

Working with one single provider helps maintain a cohesive website with few technical problems. One phone call or email to tech support helps solve your issues. Most all-inclusive providers have 24-hour tech support and dedicated servers. Isolating issues and fixing them right away is one important benefit from bundling all of your website needs with a single company.

Complete Design that Matches

When visiting some websites, consumers often notice that the website shopping cart does not match the rest of the website’s design. This is because the products came from multiple sources. Using a single service that provides a website development or building tool along with matching cart templates maintains the theme and cohesive end product that website owners want and consumers prefer.

Easy Editing Tools

It is a necessity that online shopping carts and integrated websites are easy to update and edit as company needs change. The ability to use the tools to make the changes yourself saves time and money. As new or enhanced features become available for merchants, adding them or changing the layout of the existing shopping cart or entire website takes only a few steps.

Better Security

Online shopping security is still an issue and many consumers find themselves as victims of identity theft, fraudulent purchases and stolen account information. Impenetrable networks and programs are a must when you sell goods and services online. The safety of your customers’ information should be a priority. Always select a shopping cart solution that has intrusion detection software built into it.

Save some confusion and frustration by combining website development with a shopping cart from the same provider. When changes need to be made, contacting multiple sources is not an issue. You’ll be able to manage the appearance of the website and shopping cart from one back office and the changes implement immediately without the need to republish the website and shopping cart separately.

Keep Up With Your Mobile Employees

With today’s mobile workforce, there’s a great need for ways to easily communicate and monitor off-site employees. No matter what type of business you have, you can benefit from an online time clock and worker-tracking software for mobile employees.

What Is Worker-Tracking Software?

Worker-tracking software is a computer app that allows business owners to keep track of employees in a mobile workforce. It lets you monitor your employees’ time schedules, job progress and hourly or daily activities with accurate tools. You can communicate with your employees by email, text or phone from any smart phone or computer. You can easily update progress reports, change job details and locations, note important details and effectively communicate with your off-site workers throughout the day. New worker-tracking software, now available through several providers, provides an easy, effective tool that helps you manage your business and increase your productivity.

What Are The Benefits?

Before worker-tracking software became available, business owners had to rely on the honor system to track off-site employees. There was no efficient way to track hours or know exactly where employees were during the work day. Worker-tracking software brings business into the digital age and creates more time for other business opportunities. It eliminates employee trips to and from the office and filling out time consuming paper time sheets. Mobile workers can easily clock-in and clock-out from any location online. This creates accurate digital time sheets for each mobile worker and streamlines the payroll process for your accounting department. Hours are accurately recorded and easily accessed online with no lag in employee payments.

With advanced worker-tracking software, you can monitor your mobile employees’ locations with interactive map displays. You can track an employee’s location throughout the work day with a GPS tracking system that’s built into the software. Zoom in and out for an exact map location and clear details related to each stop. Mobile workers can easily and quickly note travel detours, job delays and schedule changes at locations, and send them to the office for confirmation through a smart phone or tablet with the downloaded software app.

If you’re a business owner with mobile employees, take a closer look at new, innovative worker-tracking software for your company. With most software, there’s no hardware or maintenance required, just an app that can be easily installed. It’s a great business investment and a great way to increase productivity and profits for the future.

The Advantages of Using Facebook

If you are thinking about adding Facebook to your social media marketing campaign but are still on the fence then you need to understand the benefits of using this site.  Facebook is one of the hottest social media sites on the internet and boasts millions of users.  Thousands of companies are using Facebook to market their products and services and are having a great deal of success doing so.  Now think about the fact that the odds are that there are at least a few companies in your industry that are using this social media site and they are getting all of your potential customers.  If that is not enough reason to get your business on Facebook, the continue reading for more.

Higher SEO Ranking

One of the top advantages of having a Facebook business account is the SEO rankings you can gain for your website.  There was a time when Google and other search engines did not bother using social media sites for their search engine rankings.  Today, with the popularity of all the top sites, they had to rethink this and now social media is vital to getting a page one rank.  Of course there are some things that you have to do like getting likes on your business page. The importance of social media signals is so highly valued that many businesses even buy Facebook likes for their business pages. Even if it doesn’t immediately boost your page ranking it can get other Facebook users liking you Facebook page and helping in the long run.

Free Marketing Potential

There are very few marketing strategies that do not require any type of monetary output on your part.  Facebook is totally free and the only way you pay is through your time and energy that you spend working on your page.  Of course if you have a large company then you may want to hire someone but the rewards are well worth the price of one employee’s time.  You can also spend a small amount of money on advertising on Facebook but you only have to do this if you choose to. Overall though, there is no money that has to spend in order to start a marketing campaign on Facebook.

A Wider Customer Base

With millions of potential customers on Facebook, there is no other place besides other social media sites where you have that many people.  You certainly can’t walk on to a street in New York City and promote your company in the same way that you can promote it on Facebook.  So it just makes sense that you should take advantage of this factor because you can be sure your competitors are taking advantage.  So if you want to compete, you have to be where the customers are and they are all on Facebook.

As has been illustrated, there are many advantages for being on Facebook to market your company.  Your website can get a higher search engine ranking and you can promote to a wider customer base due to the millions of people on the site.  Finally, Facebook is totally free so you don’t even have to put a penny out of your pocket for all the customers you come in contact with. Utilizing the power potential of social media can really help a business grow. If you are ready to take your social media marketing one step further you should really promote your business on all platforms including Twitter. This way you are taking advantage of all types of free marketing available. What is there to lose when all it takes is a little time investment? There are even programs that can help you market simultaneously to all platforms. The advantages of Facebook and other social media platforms are endless so there is no excuse for you to not be marketing through any of these platforms.

Do You Need More Followers on Instagram?

If you have been marketing your company on Instagram for some time now, and you have a base of loyal followers you may think that is enough work and now you can relax right?  Well, hold on just a minute, there may be some things that have limits but not followers on Instagram.  You can never have enough of them and you should never relax your marketing efforts.  The truth about social media is that when you start relaxing, you will lose followers and once they are gone, they do not come back.  So, do you need more followers on Instagram, yes and the following are some reasons why.

Boosting Your SEO Efforts

First and foremost, the main reason you are on any social media site is to boost your SEO efforts and to get you to a page on search engine result.  This enables you to drive more traffic to your website because it is a well known fact that people rarely go to a page two result when there are options on page one.  Page three and four are nearly unheard of so you want and need to have a page one ranking.  In order to do this, you need to keep building your list of Instagram followers even if you are comfortable where you are.  If you want, you can always buy Instagram followers through a third party website but the point is to keep increasing your list of followers organically for a real following. Social media signals are now such an important part of SEO that many businesses purchase them for all their social profiles. This means you can purchase Facebook likes as well as Twitter followers. This technique can make you seem more popular online but to build a lasting brand profile you really need to work on getting organic followers and likes who genuinely are interested in your business.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

You can never have too much traffic on your website as this is how you make your money.  The more followers you have on your Instagram page the more people will visit your website and the more money your company will make.  Nobody is comfortable with the income they have and you know you want to make more so why settle?  Keep working at getting more followers so you can increase your profits by having more traffic on your website.  You have to remember; only a percentage of the people who visit your website actually purchase anything.  The more people who visit it, the more chance at a sale you have.

The Domino Effect

One thing about humans is that they always want to be a part of something that is popular.  If they see that you have a lot of followers then they want to follow you too.  This is the domino effect and is has worked for as long as humans have walked the earth.  Basically, the more followers you have the more followers you’ll gain over time.  So keep following other people and keep trying to get as many followers on your page as possible.

So, if it has not been illustrated properly, the answer to the question, “Do I need more Instagram followers?” is a resounding yes!  You can never have enough followers and you can never have enough traffic on your website.  So keep posting those great photos that your followers like and keep pushing your SEO efforts to get your website to a page one ranking!

What Are Your Predictions for Internet Marketing in 2015?

With the holiday season approaching, now is a good time to look at how things have changed in internet marketing over the last twelve months. Has your strategy paid off? Are you seeing the results you expected? SEO and online marketing are fast moving industries, and to stay ahead of the game and beat your competitors you need to have your finger on the pulse when it comes to the marketing industry. By having an idea of how things are changing, you can grasp new techniques and implement them as part of your 2015 strategy. However, what are the experts saying these new trends are going to be in 2015?

Social Media Marketing in 2015

Social media is a big part of many business’ online marketing approaches, and this has been the case for several years now so it is nothing new to say it will continue to be big in 2015. However, there are two key areas in which change is anticipated.

For one thing, it is expected that businesses will rely less on the things they can do for free, like tweeting or updating their business Facebook page, and allocate more of their marketing spend to social media ads. Social media ads are becoming ever more effective at targeting the audience you want to reach as more and more personal data is held on these sites, so there is more of an incentive to use what is still a fairly cheap form of advertising. Additionally, as people tend to follow so many Twitter accounts and Facebook pages now, the chances of your message being seen by people are far higher with a well placed ad than endless tweets that cost you time.

The second point of change is in the diversity of the sites people will be using in their promotions. Where before, Twitter, Facebook, and possibly G+ and LinkedIn were all you needed for a strong social media campaign, now more niche platforms like Pintrest will start to really come into play.

Mobile Will Continue to Grow

A huge growth area in 2013 and 2014, mobile will keep getting bigger, with apps and interactive mobile services at the core of many people’s business offerings. We are also likely to see more and more responsive web design, as businesses strive to offer the best cross platform service.

Innovation in Commerce

Experts believe the lines between e-commerce and physical stores will blur in 2015, as businesses take advantage of mobile technology for promotional benefits. As an example, a physical shop could notify potential customers shopping near its vicinity of flash sales (for example huge discounts that only last for an hour or so), to get them to come inside. Online stores like Amazon have used this technique to bring in traffic and sales, but with mobile apps that show people’s locations, it is something physical businesses can adopt too.

2015 looks set to be another exciting year in online and digital marketing, and it will be interesting to see how these predictions play out!

4 Benefits of Search Engine Reputation Management

According to reports, more than 90 percent of people use a search engine to find information online. But what if your brand’s Google results aren’t what you’d like them to be? Here are just a few of the benefits of search engine reputation management.

Better Reviews

If people are saying nice things about your business, reputation managers will find those comments and push them to the forefront of your search engine results pages (SERPs). This will ensure nothing but strong, positive word-of-mouth about your brand.

Added Value

Instead of spending hundreds on a new advertising campaign, hire a reputation manager to re-target the ads that you already have. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also send a consistent message to your target audience.

More Credibility

Customers won’t take you seriously if your business only has two hits on Google. In addition to emphasizing the positive aspects of your company, reputation managers will also generate more buzz for the brand as a whole.

Buried Negativity

While it’s almost impossible to erase something from the Internet entirely, you can bury the bad press under the good, and that’s exactly what reputation managers do. With dozens of exemplary reviews, no one will even care about the lone dissent on page three of your SERPs.

These are just a few ways that search engine specialists from Your Brand Guard can help boost your brand in the digital world. Whether you’re a small start-up or an international company, everyone could use a better reputation.

Website builders make quality sites accessible to all

Taking this route to getting a site of your own isn’t just about making things quick and easy, it could also save you a sizable amount of money. Far from spending a large figure on hiring a designer, you’ll find that the best website builders offer a completely free service.

Free options often come with a select number of pre-designed templates for you base your new site design on, along with a good choice of tools that you can put to work in customising said templates to get a finished product you’re truly happy with.

Beyond that, you may find that you’ll need to lay down a small amount of money to access a greater number of tools, templates and additional extras.

In this day and age, most of us are pretty tech savvy to some degree. We log on, check our emails, post our Facebook updates and even use our high powered smartphones and tablets to interact with our favourite websites.

Yet when it comes to building a website of our own, many of us are still put of by the idea that doing so involves learning some over-complicated coding language and spending countless hours staring at a computer.

The only other option, or so it seems, is to spend a lot of money on paying a professional web developer to create a brand new site for us. Sure, we’d get an impressive looking site, but then even the best designer in the world couldn’t understand our business and our customers as well as we do. What we really need is a way that we can create a website ourselves whilst still retaining all the quality and flawless functionality of one designed by the pros.

For those of us with neither the time and enthusiasm for learning web design code, nor the cash to pay someone who does, there is a better way to build an attractive looking website that could easily stand tall against any created by the experts.

Making web design easy

Website builders have been around for just about as long as people have needed an affordable way to get their business online. Over the years, they’ve evolved from clunky, cumbersome programs that ate up space on our computer’s hard drives to powerful and dynamic online platforms that allow us to create rich, highly functional sites with just a few clicks of a mouse.

This means nothing to download, and the ability to manage and maintain our websites anywhere from any device with an Internet connection.

More than just web pages

We’re living in an interactive world, and as such, customers expect more from our business than just a few static web pages with words and pictures. Though this might be fine in some circumstances, for others, we need to add extra levels of functionality to our sites.

Visitors expect contact forms, online storefronts, blogs and more.

A good website builder makes including these in our new online presence as simple as clicking a few buttons, dragging and dropping things into place and customising them to suit our needs.

Again, some platforms may require you to pay more for things like eCommerce support, but even this costs far less time and money than either going it alone or outsourcing the job to a professional.

Combined with online tutorials helping us to make the most out of our site builder of choice, access to customer support and simple user interfaces. online website builders have come a long way in making quality website design accessible to all.