Standing out from the Competition: How Your Business Can Get the Attention of Potential Customers

Maintaining a solid customer base is vital to the survival of your business. In addition to conventional marketing strategies, there are some innovative ways to attract more potential customers and keep your profits growing. Here are a few ideas to help your business get the attention of potential customers.

Offer Freebies

Even though this may seem counterproductive, offering free products or services can actually help your business earn more money. By offering free product samples, people may be more inclined to try them since they won’t have to make a commitment to purchase. You can have your employees hand out samples to people passing by on the street or send them out in the mail to potential leads. You can also try offering free services for a limited time.

Display Unique Signage

Using standard signage for your business will likely attract less attention from the masses. If you want to stand out, you should have some innovative signs created. Certain companies can create business signs that feature eye-catching texts and graphics. You can order signage that includes attractive colors and even features the logo of your business. Displaying this signage on the outside of your building near the entrance will help your business get noticed as people walk or drive by your location.

Utilize SEO Marketing

SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” is an important tool for marketing businesses online. This type of marketing involves the use of written content that contains certain keywords and phrases that people commonly search for while online. The right SEO campaign can help your company’s website rank higher on the top search engines. Forbes.com notes that it’s also important to have content that’s original and enables your business to stay more relevant.

Do Some Charity Work

Giving back to your community will help your company earn a more positive reputation. Your business can sponsor a food, clothing or blood drive as a way to market your brand and help others who are in need. Local media outlets will likely cover your event, which can get you some free press. You can also try donating some of your proceeds to charitable organizations. If you support a good cause, you’re sure to see an influx of new customers.

By putting in the necessary efforts to expand your clientele, you’ll likely find yourself reaping the rewards in no time. Consistently growing your customer base will help you stay in business and stand out from your competitors.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Basic Tips For Blog SEO

By now, most businesses will know the advantages associated with running a blog. It helps to get new leads, get a positive ROI, gain more links, etc.

However, it is all well and good having a blog, but you need to encourage people through effective SEO techniques to visit it. Some of the techniques can be found below.

  • Use breadcrumbs – Using breadcrumbs has a couple of advantages. Firstly, it effectively allows search engines to understand the structure of your blog by using clickable paths. Secondly, it helps to improve the user experience of your blog, increasing the time spent on a site and reducing bounce rate.

    Visually appealing posts – Adding tagged images to your post can seem pretty time consuming but it will definitely be worth it in the long run. It is easily achievable and can make your content rank a lot better. Additionally, an article by SEO Tribunal suggests that you use subheadings to break up your content, and use graphics and screenshots to better explain complicated terms. Not only will this help in SEO terms but it will also make your blog more visually appealing and encourage people to stop and read it.

  • Internal linking – This is one of the most important search engine ranking factors. A lot of blogs seem to focus purely on external links and forget about the internal ones, which is completely mistaken. When linking internally, you should use descriptive anchor texts and moderate the number of links that you use on one page.

  • SEO Plugins – Installing some basic SEO plugins will help give you a boost when working on your site’s SEO. A couple of examples include the Yoast SEO plugin that allows you to review each post based on a number of factors, and the WP Smush.it plugin which will compress images to improve the site’s speed.

Learn about some other cool ways to increase your rankings and improve your SEO strategies by checking out the informative infographic below.

72 Stats To Understand SEO in 2018

 

Recognizing Growth Opportunities for Your Local Brand

Developing a brand is a difficult process. It requires time, effort and dedication to successfully develop a good brand. Many businesses chose to develop a brand in order to stand out on the market and win over the hearts and minds of their customers. Not only that, a brand can also help even small businesses become lucrative enterprises. However, simply developing a brand is not enough for your business to succeed.

You must continue to work on your brand and identify opportunities that will help it grow and develop further. That being said, many businesses start by developing a local brand as a first step in their branding strategy. Once you’ve managed to build your local presence and win over your community, you can easily move on to the other markets as well. Here are a few ways you can recognize growth opportunities for your local brand.

Conduct a competitive analysis

No matter where your brand starts off, you’ll always have other brands competing against you on the same market. A branding strategy helps you stand out from the others, but only if you perform better than your main competitors. That’s why it’s important to conduct a competitive analysis in order to determine how to gain a competitive advantage.

Analyzing your competition gives you insight into their operations, such as how they treat customers, their marketing strategies, product placement and so on. This allows you to identify market gaps you can exploit to perform better than your competition and to differentiate your brand from the others. That way, you’ll know how to tailor the right messages to your customers, develop engaging content, as well as how to develop compelling marketing promotions that will grab your audience’s attention.

Engage your local community

The best way to build visibility and awareness for your local brand is to actively engage with your local community. You can attend important events and gatherings in order to show your presence. Moreover, you can also host special events and charities for the benefit of the local community. What’s more, you can hand out branded gifts such as custom pens, T shirts, coffee mugs and other, in order to promote your brand and encourage local consumers to check out your business.

As a matter of fact, 79% of consumers are more willing to do business with a brand that gives them promotional gifts. In addition to that, 84% of consumers claim branded items help improve their brand awareness. Therefore, participating and hosting beneficial local events is an excellent way to build your local presence, as well as build awareness about your brand.

Identify your unique selling proposition (USP)

One of the best growth opportunities for brands is identifying their USP. A unique selling proposition is something your brand has that other brands don’t have in their offers. For instance, unique product quality, return policy, loyalty program and so on. These can all  be a USP, but only if they’re unique in a way that’s both interesting and valuable to customers.

Identifying your USP helps you stand out on the market, but it also helps you stand out from other brands as well. That way, more customers will turn to your brand, and you’ll be able to grow your consumer base. On top of that, satisfied customers will become brand advocates that will promote your brand further through word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals. Needless to say, a USP can help your brand grow for years to come.

Leverage search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is a cost effective marketing strategy and an excellent growth opportunity for local brands. Not only can you leverage local SEO listings to help your local customers familiarize themselves with your brand and help them find you more easily, but you can also leverage SEO to gain vast exposure on the market. SEO helps build a brands authority, credibility and reputation through activities such as link building, guest blogging and content marketing.

Moreover, the more optimized your website is, the more satisfied your customers will be. SEO will help you build visibility online, which can be a significant advantage on the market and a unique growth opportunity. After all, if your brand is more visible and available, as well as more credible and reputable than others, online consumers will flock to your brand and drive its growth towards success.

Developing a local brand isn’t easy, but growing that same brand is even more challenging. That’s why it’s important to plan well and identify opportunities that will help your brand not only grow and prosper, but that will also help it make a presence on the market that will sustain its success.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

Essential Skills for an Ecommerce Entrepreneur

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not an easy task. Many have tried and failed miserably. But, don’t let this fact discourage you. The reason they failed was the lack of skill and ideas. If you are not satisfied with the skills you possess, or are not sure what to improve in order to become a successful entrepreneur, despair no more. Listed below is the list of 5 “must have” skills you should acquire in order to become a successful entrepreneur and create a name of your own.

Web basics

No one expects you to know all about the Internet and its code, but learning the basics will greatly improve your chances for success. Get familiar with web technologies, and learn how they work. Try and learn all about HTML, CSS and FTP. Read guides and tutorials and find out as much useful information as you can. These are the basic skills you need to acquire in order to run a successful eCommerce, so learn as quickly as you can.

Marketing guru

One of the highest earning professions in the world is a marketing guru, and at the moment, there is a serious demand for such skilled people. Knowing a thing or two about marketing is not enough; you have to dig deep and know all the secrets and little things that can help you promote your product tomorrow. You have to start from scratch and work your way towards perfecting this skill. Without traffic, you have no leads and no sales. It doesn’t matter how amazing the design of your website is, if you cannot generate leads by implementing a proper marketing strategy, you’re doomed.

SEO Expertise

Another skill that was proven useful almost every time is search engine optimization. If you are able to utilize Google’s infinite potential and use it at your own advantage, there is no stopping you from selling or launching your product. This is especially important for eCommerce businesses, for most of their sales will go via Internet. Work on improving your customer base, and try finding new ways of advertising your products and services. Having good connections is very important in this business, so be creative and see how you can benefit from others by creating collaborations. Mutual benefit is the best way to fast development.

Self-teaching

One of the best traits of every successful businessman is the ability to adapt to and learn new techniques and abilities. One way of doing so is by attending online courses or watching tutorials on how something is done. Another way of doing it is by reading other people’s guides and lesson notes. There are plenty of awesome guides and information online, and all you have to do is look for uq past exams notes. There you can find notes on almost any subject, thorough analysis and legal studies of cases and projects, accounting notes, as well as essays and summaries on many different topics. Use it at your advantage, and educate yourself in any field you choose to master.

The ability to solve fresh problems

Each day, you will face many different problems. Some will appear out of the blue while others will stack up and wait for you to handle them. As a future successful businessman, you have to be able to take care of these problems on the go. Use your intelligence and creativity and work on solving all your problems as soon as they appear. If you disregard them, you will get overwhelmed before you even realize what is going on. If something can be done today, don’t leave it for tomorrow.

These 5 listed skills are your most powerful weapon. Use them wisely and improve them with each passing day. Remember to apply them to your business. It is only a matter of time before you score a significant deal, one that will put you on the track to success.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Improving Digital Performance With No SEO Strategy

One way SEO strategy has affected how people write for the web is by created the term ‘keywords’ with the launch of one of the first worldwide online indexing tools, Google in 1998. Keywords were first perceived as words you could use to attract visitors to your website, which during the first years of Google consisted too often in maximizing high search volume terms that may not be related to the page content. The first personal blogs used to attract visitors by adding popular terms at the bottom of the page or directly into the metadata. Needless to say, the volume of visitors increased significantly. Since then, Google has punished this black hat SEO strategy with the introduction of Google Panda in 2011.

However, low-quality sites continue to find loopholes to drive visitor traffic. When it became obvious that link building could improve the ranking ability of a site, unscrupulous digital entrepreneurs offered to sell backlinks, causing several websites to suffer a drop in ranking when Google introduced the quality link penalty. However, the new approach to create quality and natural-looking links is to build a link wheel. While it is not a Black Hat style, it’s fair to say that it can be difficult for businesses to maintain informative content generation across each site of the wheel.

For now, Google hasn’t yet picked on it. However, as the general quality of content is sinking across the web, it’s fair to say that the AI within the ranking algorithm might start to penalize link wheels in future.

So what is the best approach to improve your online performance durably and without risking future penalties and algorithm updates? The answer is surprisingly simple. Don’t do SEO.

Web-Strategy

The web strategy pyramid ignores people

 

There’s only so much SEO you can do

The dangers of homepage SEO

Although no marketer in their right mind would intentionally ditch their SEO strategy, there’s an important lesson to learn. Namely, SEO doesn’t always work for you. In fact, when it comes to your main web page, your homepage SEO, the answer to the question ‘should you even worry about it?’ is more likely to be NO. It’s not a matter of ignoring your homepage completely. But it’s important to understand that your homepage should not be the main linking page for your SEO strategy.

Make sure you limit your keyword choice

One of the most common mistakes made by small companies is to reproduce the same SEO strategy that works for big brands. Big brands naturally receive more links because they are more customers, more advocates, and more press. Consequently, a variety of anchor texts link to the homepage, and such a link constellation is sustainable because there is sufficient content out there to justify the diverse keywords. For small brands, the external content spreads too thin to make it work.

Manage your reputation

Additionally, it’s the constant generation of content from commentators, social media users, bloggers, and journalists that create a rich brand reputation for big brands. Because big brands are likely to have a lot of advocates, they can enjoy a positive reputation even if they sometimes get things wrong. What happens to small businesses who have a handful of dissatisfied customers? They immediately suffer from a negative reputation, which affects your ranking scores too. Ultimately, if Google notices that your brand is unpopular, it’ll push you deeper in the search results. As it is difficult for small brands to find advocates, fixing a damaged reputation is a slow and painful strategy.

You can’t win the keywords war

GDPR will affect data accuracy

If you hone your SEO skills developing keyword-ranking strategies, it is time to change your ways before the GDPR comes into force at the end of May. Indeed, the General Data Protection Regulation is an EU data privacy regulation that affects the way data collecting, monitoring and analyzing tools handle EU data. With penalties of €20 million, it’s not something you want to ignore. Unfortunately,  the GDPR will reduce the information you can get from your data processors, whether it’s Google Analytics or specialist keywords tools. Geographic reporting accuracy will be reduced in Analytics. It is currently unclear how further tools will deploy data privacy recommendations, but you can expect fewer data to improve your rankings.

The keyword search has changed

Additionally, since the apparition of voice-controlled assistants, such as Amazon Echo, the way people search online has changed. Amazon Echo, being shared by the family, can affect the way the search engine provides the most relevant results for a user. Additionally voice search transforms the way people think about keywords, as it tends to be performed in a conversational tone.

Alt text is overstated

There’s another essential voicing tool that is too often ignored, and it’s the screen reader. For the sake of accessibility, marketers insist that all alt text content should be completed, both for visually impaired users and for crawlers. The main issue with using screen readers as a cover for search engine writing is that it can generate confusing and unclear web pages. Imagine, for instance, a ‘send’ button at the end of a form. The alt text normally labels the button ‘send’ + [keywords]. The screen reader naturally reads the text ‘send’ that’s written on the button, causing duplicate and unnatural content for the user. A similar argument can be made for images used as placeholders. They disturb the screen reader experience and might ultimately be picked up by the AI learning function in Google’s algorithm.

eyes

Create useful alt text

How long do people spend on a page?

55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on any page and read only about 20% of the content. Users skip most of the content to find the answer they need, so that 70% of your SEO content is not seen. It’s a fast-paced environment, and people want immediate answers. In other words, the SEO rule of a minimum of 250 words per page is useless.

The key learning is that everything you know about SEO is changing. How long until the algorithm is updated, we don’t know. But one thing is for sure: Write for real people, not for search engines if you want to make the most of your online presence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Five Areas Of Marketing Experts Will Excel In

Starting out in business can be overwhelming. When you have an idea that you love and that you know can work, you’re often excited to get stuck in. But before long, you’ll realize that a lot goes into running a business. And you can’t always manage everything on your own. In fact, it’s impossible. As your business starts to grow, you can’t spend 25 hours every single day doing admin, making sales, taking care of customer service, watching the finances, running operations, and marketing the business too. You’ll never have the time! Instead, you need to delegate. And even more so, you need to make sure that you’re delegating to people that are going to be experts in each area, particularly when it comes to marketing. Because you’ll often get the best results when you work with people that really know what they’re doing.

  1. PR

When it comes to PR, you will always want to make sure that the time spent on this is going to get the best coverage possible. If you don’t have the contacts, then you won’t even be able to come close to what an experienced agency or PR consultant can do. When you’re thinking about running an event or working with influencers, PRs can pretty much nail this for you too. You just have to stand back, enjoy the results, and pay the bills.

  1. SEO

Right now, you may think you know keywords, but do you really? Are you putting as much time as possible into getting your site to rank well on Google? Are you even doing any off-page SEO at all? If not, then you need to leave it to the experts. When you have an SEO agency or consultant in place, they will be aware of the latest techniques and policies, so that your SEO can always stay fresh.

  1. Advertising

Next, you have advertising. And if you’ve never created an ad before or even tried to set up a campaign, you may find that you’re pouring money down the drain by trying to do it yourself. Of course, you could learn, but this is better outsourced to advertising agencies that get results. If you know you want sales or traffic or customer or anything else, then leave it to those in the know.

  1. Social Media

From here, you then have social media. With so many different platforms to consider and a whole host of noise being made on all of them, do you know how you’re going to stand out? Probably not. But a social agency will know exactly what strategy your business needs to make waves and engage with your audience. So hire one and let them do their stuff.

  1. Copywriting

If you know that you can’t create great copy, you could spend more time trying to get it right, or you could just cut your losses and get someone in to do it for you. Compelling copy matters on everything from your website to your newsletters. So make sure you have the right writer on the job.

4 Social Media Metrics Your Business Needs to Track

Simply having a social media account is not enough to grow your business. Just like everyone else, you probably want to get more followers, more likes, more retweets, more click-through, etc. But are all of these things going to help you boost your business?

In this jungle of social media metrics, it could be confusing for you to choose which metrics are actually important for your company. But don’t look at this in a bad way. You have a lot of data in your hands, so use this data in order to understand your audience.

Luckily there is a solution. Take a look at these four metrics that will help you achieve growth.

Engagement: Do people actually like your content?

How many times did someone take action on your posts? Sharing, clicks, comments, reactions – all of these things matter.

These actions validate your content and they will show you if your posts are important to your target audience. If you keep tracking these metrics, they will help you plan your content strategy and see what kind of post you should create, but also which post you should avoid.

The simple step is to use average engagement rate that will take your metrics a step further. It will show you a true value of your content and how it impacts your followers. You can also identify optimal time for engagement. Knowing when your audience is most active will raise your engagement, so keep tracking and post when they are online.

Never underestimate your competitors because you can learn from them. See what kind of content works for them by tracking their engagement rates.

Mentions: Does anybody talk about your brand?

some_metrics2

All mentions are important, whether they are written in a positive or negative manner. Your goal is to promote actual online conversations and discussions, but try to give your best to induce positive reactions.

For starter, you should become a part of that conversation and show people you care about their opinion. But when it comes to monitoring mentions, you should use these metrics in order to find out how many people are talking about your brand and more importantly – who is talking. A simple step that can inspire you to boost your mentions is to take a glance at your competitors’ mentions. Don’t steal their idea, just let yourself be creative. People will value your uniqueness.

Nevertheless, if you are having a trouble with social mention monitoring, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.

Conversion: Do you have enough traffic to your website?

some_metrics3

How many people took an extra step and visited your site via your social media page?

Tracking a total number of conversions will show you if your social media strategy achieves its purpose. To convert, you need to engage people by giving them a strong call-to-action. You can use analytic tools such as Google’s URL builder and collect all important data about the specific link. This will help you realize what kind of social media content is attracting the greatest amount of traffic to your page.

So, track the number of conversions that happened within a month or a week and match the data with particular content. These valuable metrics will tell you how fast your business is growing. So, if your conversion numbers aren’t where you want them to be, you can do something about that immediately. Start looking for new trends and change something in order to improve your strategy.

Sentiments: Do people like your products?

You can actually get into the mind of your customers while you are online. With a little help of sentiment and emotional analysis, you can track online conversation from all social networks and see how people feel about your products.

You would probably love to see just positive comments, but tracking negative ones will help you improve your business. A sudden spike in negative sentiment will show you what you should change. Moreover, you will be able to resolve this problem and calm people down. Maybe your brand is well-liked, but there is always a room for improvement.

These metrics bring as to a whole new level of marketing. Sentiments and emotional analysis will help you create a positive social media presence your business needs.

Track What Matters

Everyone obsesses over how many followers they have. Yes, it’s nice to have a large number of followers, but that doesn’t matter as much as you may think. What you want is for people to become familiar with your brand and your message. You want them to go to your website and buy your products. So, use these metrics in order to get to know your audience and grow your business.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.