Marketing

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SEO Is Dead; Web Marketing Alive and Well

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When someone asks me about focusing on search engine optimization, the first thing I think of is that the individual is not familiar with today’s realities, in 2014, of web marketing.

The search results on any search engine are dependent upon many factors. If you take four computers, connected to the same Internet connection, performing the exact same search simultaneously, they will all likely have different results. Factors that influence these results are:

  • If you are logged in to a search engine account;
  • Your search history;
  • The location of your Internet connection.

These factors affect the search results whether you are in New York City or Los Angeles. The results are different and this is where personalized search comes into consideration.

The Web Marketing Process

Recommended Steps:

  • Content marketing. For some reason this terminology is often confusing. I explained this was about writing editorials, news releases, PowerPoint documents, infographics, and even videos — all about his business. These types of marketing materials are “content” and necessary to get the word out about your business. Once you have created the content you can distribute them through social communities, industry websites, and content sites such as YouTube and SlideShare.
  • Social media marketing. I discussed with the business owner the difference between passive and active social media marketing. Sharing blog posts is an example of passive social media marketing. The next step, however, would be active social media marketing by engaging in social communities by increasing connections, commenting on what others are saying, and (depending upon the community) digging deeper into subgroups.
  • Local business listings. For a business dependent upon the local economy, use local business listings that are pin-code verified, followed by updating these listings with business marketing information, and finally using a syndication services to help spread the word out to more business directories.

Web marketing is not a technology task. It’s a marketing process. For this reason it was not a technology firm providing an SEO task that he needed. He needed a marketing company that understood how to execute the various processes, including measuring and interpreting the results. It is a process that has no end.

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Pick up on Current Events for Link Building

by Attracting a lot of attention with your website is one of the best ways to build links. Giving your website an active role in current events is a lot more efficient than creating the media attention from scratch. Here’s how you prepare your website for future events so you can attract links with your prompt response.

Pick up on Existing Attention

By focusing on events bound to happen but without a fixed date, you can outsmart the competition. Prepare an early response to one of the following examples.

  • Each year has its extreme weather and natural disasters somewhere on the globe. Charity initiatives with a lot of media attention are sure to follow.
  • Scandals in politics or involving celebrities happen each month. Funny responses get a lot of attention.
  • Elections come in many forms and at least once every four years they get an extreme amount on attention.
  • Famous people die. An ode to their work gets media attention. Eulogies are often pre-written, so why shouldn’t you prepare?
  • Movie premieres, electronics introductions, game launches, new albums, and concert tours all require a lot of attention and some of them are bound to get it. Help them with a message that boosts both your popularities and they might even cooperate.

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17 Ways to Jumpstart your Email Opt-in Box

WMT signup boxThere are dozens of things you can do to get more email subscribers. Hosting a webinar, pay-per-click advertising, guest blog posting, and Facebook contests are just a few of them. But the easiest way to grow your list is to improve your opt-in box. If your email list is barely growing, or even slowly shrinking due to list churn, consider these 17 items.

  • Have more than one opt-in form on each page of your site.
  • Give people a reason to sign up.
  • Don’t call your newsletter a newsletter. “Weekly updates” usually get far more subscribers than newsletters. Most of us are already subscribed to too many newsletters.
  • Test an e-course instead of a newsletter or a weekly update. Got a low opt-in rate? Try offering a free, emailed e-course and see if people aren’t more willing to sign up for that than for another newsletter. An e-course will also give you an opportunity to educate your prospective customers.
  • Use a pop-up.
  • Ask for as little information as possible in the opt-in box.

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8 Main reasons for having a website

  1. Your customers and potential customers are already searching the Web
    More and more people are using the Internet to research and purchase products and services. If you have no web site, you have no chance to compete.
  2. A website increases your credibility
    Your website has a powerful impact on a potential customer’s confidence in you. A professional design, well-written copy, helpful product information, and good contact info can tremendously increase trust in your company. It lets people know you’re knowledgeable and up-to-date.
  3. Your competitors are probably already on the Web
    Do you want to compete?
  4. Your web site will promote your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    Even when you’re sleeping your web site can be working for you. You might be surprised how many research for products and services at the weekend and in the evening..
  5. Inexpensive way to provide information about your business
    You can have pages and pages of information about your company and your products or services – in much more detail than you’d ever be able to pay for in more traditional media.
  6. You can change the information on your website whenever you want
    Have you ever been in the situation that your prices, your products or services or your address has changed, and your marketing material has become outdated over night?
    With a web site, these problems are minimal and inexpensive. Changes are usually easily implemented.
  7. A website makes it easy for people to refer new customers to you
    For many businesses, referrals are a crucial source of new customers. Having a website makes it easy to encourage referrals, because customers can simply send friends and business contacts to your site. Website addresses are easier to remember than phone numbers. Plus, giving people multiple ways of contacting you makes it more likely that they will do so.
  8. A website is a powerful sales tool
    Selling your products through an online store is often a great way to expand your business. Your website storefront costs a fraction of a brick and mortar store and can reach many more people local, national as well as international.

5 Last Minute Holiday Email Marketing Tips

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It’s nearly Halloween. It’s not too late to get started on holiday email campaigns, but there’s no time to waste. Thanksgiving comes late this year, pushing Cyber Monday all the way back to December 2. The usual holiday rush will feel even more rushed.

Follow these tips for your holiday email campaigns and you’ll be celebrating in no time.

1. Start as Early as Possible

2. Don’t Be Shy

Last year the average online retailer mailed 5.3 emails between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday

3. Don’t Miss Out on Free Shipping Day

4. ‘Tis the Season to Re-engage

5. Send a Holiday Gift Guide

Everybody’s busy, so make it easy for them. Holiday gift guides are an ideal way to do this, and often end up being an online retailer’s best-performing campaign of the season. Experian reports their clients received “48 percent higher transaction rates for gift guide emails when compared to other promotional mailings.”

Borrow a valuable tip from Experian’s study of holiday gift guides and include the word “Best” in the subject line promoting your holiday gift guide.

Experian studied subject lines of those gift guides and found adding the word “Best” to the subject line boosted opens and clicks by a factor of four or more.

Read on…

16 New Content Marketing Ideas

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Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract and engage clients and prospects. The problem is you need to keep creating content — lots of great content again and again.

Sooner or later, you’re going to run out of ideas. It can happen much sooner than later.

Keep this list handy for the next time you’re stuck. You’ll be back to creating terrific content again in a snap.

1. Curate

It’s okay to create a blog post of the best blogs in your industry. Or to create an infographic pulling data from reports put out by a group of different companies. Taking bits of related content and putting it together to show a body of work or to track a trend is a perfectly legitimate way to create content — and here’s a Social Media Today post to help with content curation. This is a good format for when you’re short on time because you probably already have a list of go-to blogs in your industry. You’ve already done the research.

2. Eavesdrop

The wild card of social media is you put content on the Internet, but what people do with it is beyond your control. Borrow a page from this concept for your content marketing. What are your customers doing with your products? How are your clients using your advice? Assemble a piece of content to show what the wider world has done with what you’ve given it.

3. Newsjack

Are there any related news items you could stretch to relate to your products or services? For instance, the World Meteorological Organization is considering a new type of cloud, undulatus asperatus, for inclusion in the International Cloud Atlas. Can you tie this “news” into anything your company does? Can you tie it to anything going on in your industry, or anything your clients or customers are dealing with? Can you even make a joke out of it, like “there is something new under the sun.”

4. Watch

YouTube is a treasure trove of ideas — wacky, wonderful, and otherwise. Spend 30 minutes wandering from video to video, related topic to related topic, until something triggers an idea. Don’t skip the comments either — they often spark as many ideas as the videos.

5. Question

Get out there and talk to your customers. Scary or not, there’s no better way to find out what your customers want to know than by asking them. This can take the form of surveys, but it can also be casual conversation. Conversation, in fact, often reveals topics a strict question and answer survey might not reveal.

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The Power of Customer Appreciation; 7 Tips

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Inexpensive, Quick Ideas

  • Send birthday cards. Birthday cards are often sent out by insurance agents and car companies to reconnect to their customers. Consider sending the cards out to arrive two or three days before the actual birthday.
  • Send tips, articles, or how-tos. Send tips, informative articles, or how-tos to your customers. While email newsletters often include tips or news, extend this practice. Surprise your customers with emails or snail mail containing information that would be of interest. For example, caterers, innkeepers, and restaurants can send their customers recipes to try at home. Contractors can send decorator tips. Plumbing and heating companies can send tips on how to keep a house cool or warm.
  • Celebrate the seasons. Don’t just celebrate holiday seasons. Customers are used to getting holiday greetings, especially at the end of the year. Don’t forget that there are many other opportunities to reach out. Send autumn leaves — either literally or virtually — to a client who lives in a region where trees don’t change color, garden seeds, a recipe for hot chocolate or stickers of snowflakes, beach balls or sunflowers. All are simple but memorable actions.
  • Call your customers. Surprise a client with a phone call. Did everything you provided — service or product — meet his or her needs? Are there any questions you can answer? Think of the client as events occur — such as a new baby or promotion. You can even reach out to show your concern if his area has been hit by a bad storm.

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PPC Basics: Part 1. How Paid Search Fits into Your Marketing Mix

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If you’re new to Internet marketing, it may seem like a little like alphabet soup: PPC, SEO, CPC, CPA…. What does it all mean? In this multi-part series, I’ll be talking about pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, covering the essential elements in running a successful campaign. For starters, let’s talk about what PPC is, and how it fits into the overall marketing mix.

Articles in This Series

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Setting up conversion tracking

If you’d like to know which of your keywords best leads to clicks and conversions, such as sales, AdWords Conversion Tracking can help you.

This free tool in AdWords can show you what happens after customers click on your ad (for example, whether they purchased your product, called from a mobile phone, or downloaded your app).

By knowing this, you’ll also know which keywords are good for your business, allowing you to  invest more wisely and boost your return on investment (ROI).  And there’s no limit to the number of conversions you can track.

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9 Ways To Decrease Shopping Cart Abandonment On Your eCommerce Website

by The daily egg

1 – Provide free or flat shipping – and make it visible

2 – Eliminate hidden charges

3 – Make cart items visible at all times

4 – Reduce the number of pages involved in the checkout process

 

5 – Have a wide variety of payment options

6 – Remind customers of their abandoned carts

7 – Ask the user to register an account after the sale, not before

8 – Have high-quality, interactive product images

9 – Highlight your sales, discounts, and other specially priced items

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