How to Choose Your Domain Name for Maximum SEO

Choosing the right domain name is the first and arguably crucial step when launching a website. Your domain name is the flagship of your business, and apart from it serving as a window into your venture, it also needs to be optimized for search engines. Keeping up with the times is important, and those who don’t evolve and adapt to these new trends suffer a huge loss in traffic. So, here are a few guidelines on how to pick the right domain name for your website in order to maximize its SEO.

Keyword Domains

In order to come up with the optimal domain name, you need to take a few things into consideration. First, if you don’t already have a recognizable brand name that can be used as your domain name, you have two options. Either you make a brand name from scratch and then use that as your domain name, or you use some keyword relevant to your business as the domain name. If you opt for the first suggestion, then you need to work on spreading brand awareness over the internet. If you chose the latter, it’s a bit more complex. In the past, keywords were the main thing when it came to domain name SEO, and it’s easy to understand why. Imagine someone looking to buy some healthy food. In the case that you named your domain healthyfoods.com, when this person types ‘healthy foods’ into their Google search bar, it will probably be the first thing to pop up. Nowadays, things are a bit different. In 2012, Google updated its search algorithm, and as a result, keyword domains were no longer the best option. Namely, Google is now more interested in the quality of the content on your website than the keyword in the domain’s name. You can still go for keyword domains if you feel like you don’t have a specific brand name you can use, just make sure that you utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner if you want to find the optimal keyword for your website.

Branded Domains

Today, these domains are greatly preferred by search engines. Not only that, but they have unique names that are a lot easier to remember than keywords. This is why Amazon uses Amazon.com for its domain name and not OnlineShopping.com. The brand is more important than the keyword. Moreover, it is extremely recognizable, which will in turn have much lower bounce rates as people will know exactly what to expect on that website. For example, people searching for Adidas shoes won’t go to Nike.com, right? Apart from being more memorable, branded domain names have clearer backlinks and longer retention times than keyword domains. The main downside of this method is that it takes a lot of time and effort to create a new brand from scratch. You’ll need to do some aggressive marketing on social media and the like to spread your brand awareness enough, so that people can actually recognize your brand. Just make sure that you buy domain name with your brand’s name in it before starting this marketing campaign, unless you want to risk someone else snatching it right under your nose.

Things to Avoid

Now, bear in mind that there are a few things you should avoid at all costs. Using hyphens, for one, is ill advised, as people often forget about them and then go to the wrong site when they don’t type them out. Another downside of hyphens is that they make your site look spammy, as fake sites are notorious for their use of hyphens. They use hyphens to mimic famous domain names like, for example, face-book.com to generate more traffic on their website. Obviously, you don’t want to be associated with them. Similarly, don’t use low-quality TLD’s, which are .biz, .info, .ws and .name. Such extensions are generally shunned by the online community as they too are used by scammers most of the time. Likewise, having a local extension, such as .uk, will rank your website highly in the UK, but not the rest of the world, so using .com is better in both cases. Finally, keeping your domain name under fifteen characters will make it easier for people to remember it and thus reduce the likelihood of typos, as well as making it more SEO friendly overall.

To sum up, if you are choosing between a keyword domain name and a branded domain name, the latter is probably the better option. Moreover, make sure to avoid using hyphens and low-quality extensions in your domain name to disassociate your website from scammers, and use a short memorable name instead.

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.

Smart #DigitalMarketing Ideas That Can Make Your Company A Success

Starting an online business can be a very smart venture. But if you really want to make a success of it, you have to work hard. Because setting up a business isn’t enough to make it great. You have to really work at it in order for that to happen. From creating a website with content that your customers are not only going, but also find easy to use, to coming up with effective and creative ways to make money, there’s a lot that you need to work on to ensure that your business is going to do well. And that’s often enough to put even the most determined people off.

So you know that you want your business to do well, and you know that you want to make a lot of money, but are you happy to put the work in? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Because in order to make some money and ensure that your business can go from strength to strength, you have to focus on your marketing tactics. Whether you’re new to the world of marketing or not, here are some of the most effective digital marketing methods that can take your business to where you need it to be.

Affiliate Marketing

The first thing you’re going to want to think about using is affiliate marketing. Whether you’re a content site or a business, you can use affiliate marketing to make you a great passive income, or generate you more sales. Affiliate marketing is something that a lot of businesses swear by, so if it’s not something that you’ve already looked into, it needs to go straight to the top of your marketing methods list. It may take some work to initially set up, but once you’ve done that and your traffic is flowing, money can make itself.

Display Marketing

From here, you may also want to think about using display marketing. As a brand, you can gain a lot of traffic and sales by using this tried and tested marketing technique. And when you’re a content site, you can earn some great amounts of commission by using it. Display marketing has a lot of depth to it. As long as you’re prepared to tailor your campaigns and work with the best companies, you have the potential to earn well!

PPC

Next, up, you have PPC. Of all the different kinds of digital marketing methods, PPC is a great choice if you want to generate yourself some warm traffic. Because sometimes, traffic isn’t all that you need, you need to ensure that you’re attracting consumers that will genuinely be interested in your product to your site. And with PPC marketing, you can definitely do that, whether you do it yourself or outsource to an agency.

PPV

Then, you’ve also got a similar idea to PPC, but instead of the payment being based on a click, the payment is based on a view. So, if you hadn’t guessed already, PPV marketing is based on things like YouTube adverts. And when you think about it, there are not only millions of YouTube videos out there, but there are also millions of people watching them too. So, capitalizing on the ad space available via PPV is a great way to make money.

SEO

And of course, you’re definitely going to want to include SEO in your marketing plans too. But don’t automatically think that you have to outsource it, because you may be able to take on some of it yourself. This beginners guide to SEO, for example, will be a really worthwhile read for you. You may be able to pick up some of the basic principles yourself to then apply them to your work and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Social Media Marketing

And, of course, what good list of digital marketing methods would be complete without including social media marketing too? Because social media is so popular with both consumers and business, you have to be able to harness some of that power in your promotional strategy. You should definitely think about trial paid social options too, to see if they work for your business.

Sponsorship

And finally, there’s also sponsorship or collaborations to consider too. Whether you’re a brand looking to advertise, or a content site looking for advertisers, sponsorship can work really well if you’re matched with the right company. You may find that you benefit from more traffic as well as sales and extra income too.

 

Decrease Your Bounce Rate, Increase Loyal Customers

A poor bounce rate is a conundrum that a lot of businesses face. They are attracting a good amount of traffic to their website, but they don’t have many conversions to back it up. Of course, traffic means nothing if the people that are visiting your website are not interested in what you have to offer. So, where are you going wrong? Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can decrease your bounce rate in order to increase your loyal consumer base.

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Is your web design confused?

This is one of the main reasons for a high bounce rate. Does your branding reflect your business and the industry you operate in? If your web design is confused, it is going to dilute your brand identity, and it will immediately turn potential customers away. This often occurs when people work with web design and marketing businesses that have no experience in their area. If you run a law firm, for instance, a company like Foster Web Marketing would be ideal, as they cater to the legal sector and have an abundance of experience in this industry. It is so important to find designers that have experience in your niche, and check out their portfolio to see the work they have done so far.

Do you understand what your visitors are looking for?

As mentioned in the introduction, one of the biggest problems business owners face is that they have a tremendous amount of website traffic, but they can’t turn these users into customers. The main reason for this is because not all every user is your ideal consumer.  So, what happens is that someone gets directed to your page, and then they realise that you don’t offer what they are looking for, and then they leave. This is why your bounce rate is high.

To rectify this issue, you need to understand your website visitors. There are a number of ways you can do this, including:

  • Analyse onsite search trends – This is a good way to understand what your customers are expecting from your website. You can see what search terms they use, and whether your website is catering to what they want. If not, you can identify the gaps in your content and make the necessary changes.
  • Discover the highest converting pages on your website at present – You can learn what type of content attracts customers to your business by understanding the highest converting pages. You will probably find that there is a big difference between your highest converting content and your most popular content, and this signals that you need to make a change.
  • Find your most popular content – This leads on from the former point perfectly. You need to find your most popular posts and make sure they are optimised for boosting conversions.

Do you encourage new website users to opt-in to your email list?

If you don’t, now is the time to start. This is important because research indicates that to create a viable sales lead it takes six to eight touches. This is why collecting email addresses is a must. This enables you to keep in contact with your potential customer, ensuring the relationship is kept alive until they convert. Otherwise, how would you be able to encourage the six to eight touches until a sale takes place?

You need to have a careful and considered approach when encouraging people to sign up to your email list. You need to give them an incentive to do so. For example, you could offer valuable digital downloads, such as a whitepaper, cheat sheet, template, or eBook.

Do you re-engage abandoned visitors?

This is the final point to consider when it comes to your bounce rate. A lot of business owners simply give up on the users that have abandoned them after their first visit to their website. This is a big mistake, which can result in many opportunities lost. You shouldn’t give up on these users. Perhaps they simply were not ready to make a purchase from your website or sign up to your email list first time around?

You need to look for the most effective methods of re-engaging with these visitors. One of the ways you can do this is with social media. You can target people that have recently engaged with your website, creating posts that have been perfectly put together to appeal to them. You can also use on-site remarketing to appeal to abandoning visitors through targeted exit-intent popups.

All in all, reducing your bounce rate is of huge importance if you are to have a successful online presence. Use the tips that have been mentioned above to get started.

Optimizing Your Online Presence For Global Expansion

Widening your net to land a much more international audience is a great way to grow your company and get your product, service or even just your brand into entirely new territories. However, it isn’t as simple as many would naively believe, especially when you consider you have to cater for all the nuances that come with an international audience: cultures, laws and online behaviors.

That is why we have come up with a few things you should consider when it comes to launching your global marketing strategy; the reason being these will help you successful cater to the new audiences you hope to reach.

Going Cross-Culture

If you want to be a success across multiple cultures then you need to understand the cultural barriers that you and your business will need to overcome. Of course, a great place to start is having a website that has been translated into multiple languages because this will give you a huge advantage. However, the deeper you are able to delve when it comes to understanding other cultures the more you will able to tweak your strategy to meet the different nuances. As such, we recommend you learn from people in the target audience you are hoping to reach.

Different Laws

Every country – and often every region – has different regulations when it comes to products, marketing, and sales. As such, it is worth making sure you know the local regulations on all three of these fronts before you commit to launching your online campaign. To give you some more context, doing business in Russia will mean different product laws to doing business in America with regards to chemicals used, safety standards, packaging designs, language used and quality assurances. The same goes for advertising laws. While America is very relaxed on competitive messaging, places like Germany and Belgium have much stricter regulations.

Search Engine Needs

Choosing the right search engine, localizing content and understanding how keywords are interpreted; these are areas you need to give careful consideration to. Every region uses different search engines, so you need to know which is used by your target audience in every location you are launching in. Yes, Google has the top spot in English-speaking countries, but local markets tend to be best served by local search engines. Another thing to bear in mind is translations. It isn’t enough to just directly translate your content; you need to localize the messaging and the product to each market you are looking at serving. And let’s not forget the importance of knowing what the native keywords to use are.

Website Design

You may think you have got the perfect website in terms of design and user functionality and, yes, that may well be the case for your American market. But it doesn’t mean it will be for the Russian market. Simple things like the colors you use can have a completely different meaning because they are so deeply ingrained in cultures. White in the western world means marriage and purity, but in the Eastern world and Africa, it symbolizes mourning. That’s just the start as well. You’re social media accounts will need to be setup to adapt to the different languages too, while most of the customer services do’s and don’t will need to be addressed as well. You’ll also need to make sure that your users see the cost of something in their local currency and you’ll want to save yourself the headache of having text that can’t be translated in your graphics.

Is Quality Web Hosting Important For SEO?

Businesses should never underestimate the importance of online presence for their success. But being merely present isn’t enough. Your website has to be noticed by potential customers, and in time, its popularity will surely grow, as well as the business itself. So, what else is important other than the presence? Well, quality, of course. This includes ease of navigation and an organized and visually pleasing site. Is this enough? No. Where you decide to accommodate your blog also plays a big role, especially in a world where search engine optimization is essential for every business, that is, if you want to generate traffic. Let’s see exactly how your web host impacts your SEO.

High uptime percentage

If your website is often inaccessible for a long time due to problems with the server, the search engine spiders can notice that during one of their checkup visits. They will then record it as unavailable and move on to the next site. What does that mean? Well, your web page will probably be recorded as unreliable and your rankings will go down. As a result, your website will not be ranked highly in search results, and you will lose a lot of potential visitors. A good website host should offer at least 99% uptime.

Loading speed

In 2010, Google explicitly specified speed as a ranking factor, and this is something that has been a long time coming. Users love fast websites, and low loading speed will only chase them away to another page. Too busy servers can be blamed for this situation. However, while the loading speed does, in part, depend on the web host, it is not necessarily the provider’s fault. The coding and configuration of your website can play a significant role in the total loading speed.

IP address

What’s so special about the IP address that could impact your search ranking? Well, believe it or not, it’s the physical location of your web host. In order to get higher rankings, you should choose a web host that is located in the same country as your company. IP location can impact another SEO factor – speed. Targeting the users in the same country where the host server is located will enable faster loading times.

SSL as an important SEO factor

More and more websites are using https to protect user data in web traffic. That is why Google has marked SSL as an SEO ranking factor. Although it is still a minor ranking factor and it doesn’t have too strong an influence, it looks like it will become very important in the near future. You can move your site from http to https but it will require some changes to make your website fully operational.

Security

Poor website security can really hurt your SEO. Google will not hesitate to penalize websites which are susceptible to hacker attacks, spam messages, and fake backlinks. If something like this happens, you will probably need a lot of time to identify the fraudulent page and have it removed. This gives Google time to impose the penalty. Websites that are prone to malware are also backlisted by search engines. If you choose a reliable SEO friendly host that has security technology options available, you should be able to avoid all of the mentioned problems.

Tech support

Although tech support isn’t an SEO factor per se it can play an important role in the way you manage your website and handle challenging situations. Let’s suppose your website goes down. You’re trying to get tech support on the phone and no one is answering. By the time someone finally picks up the phone, Google has already figured out your site is down which pushes it lower down the ranking list. That’s why it is imperative to find a web host that offers 24/7 support that actually works. If your website goes down, there will always be someone to react straight away.

Although a critical factor in determining your website’s SEO rankings, web hosting is often overlooked. By making an informed decision and constantly checking your hosting quality, you will help increase your search result rankings, and ensure that users enjoy the experience of your website and always come back for more.

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

5 Simple Ways #SMS Can Help Grow Your Business Today!

Finding ways to engage and communicate with your audience is an easy way to naturally grow your audience and your business. A technology method such as SMS text messaging can be especially effective. 98% of all text messages are opened, while just about 20% of emails are opened. Even better, 90% of all the text messages sent are actually opened within three minutes. If you want to send your audience a quick, simple message and make sure it gets read, you can’t beat SMS.

Here are five ways SMS can help you grow your business today:

  1. Run a Contest

Perhaps the best way to build up your customer list is by offering something free. You can kill two birds with one stone by running contests via text message. Have your customers sign-up for a sweepstakes or answer a trivia question by sending a keyword to your dedicated short code. They’ll have a chance to win something and you’ll be able to send messages and be confident they’ll get opened.

  1. Send Quick Reminders

With life being so busy today, it’s a huge deal to coordinate your schedule with clients and set up appointments. If they miss a meeting; however, it can be a huge hassle to get everything rescheduled. Thats time that could have been spent with other clients or important upcoming projects.

Sending SMS messages is a great way to remind your clients about appointments so they keep them. You can send a reminder a day, an hour, or even fifteen minutes before your meeting. Best of all, everything can be automated to save you even more time.

  1. Offer Great Customer Service

Providing exceptional customer service builds your relationship with existing customers and gives them a reason to keep coming back. SMS is perfect because more than half of all U.S. consumers say they prefer text message support over other platforms. Having a two-way communication with your customers will not only give them instant answers, but also allow them to have a real conversation until the issue is resolved. Text message support is convenient, quick, and simple for both you and your customer. It also gives your customer a permanent record they can access quickly no matter where they are.

  1. Create a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program is a great way to drive retention and reward your best customers. SMS allows you to easily facilitate your loyalty program. You can send your most loyal customers exclusive deals, such as discounts or early access to new products. If you don’t want to send too many coupons, you can simply use SMS to send your loyal customers information about future events or company announcements.

  1. Drive In-Person Engagement

If you have a physical storefront or are meeting with prospects at an industry event or fair, you can use SMS text messages to engage with people nearby. Allow customers to join a drawing or answer surveys by simply texting you. If you want to send notifications or deals to people at your event, you can set up location-based filters to automatically send a message to anybody in a specific radius.

Growing a business can be tricky, but good communication helps. With the right SMS partner, you can run contests, send reminders, and drive engagement.

For more information on how integrating an SMS software can help you grow your business, click here!

Author Biography:

Ken Rhie is the CEO of Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.

Keeping An Up-To-Date SEO Strategy

SEO is evolving all the time, and like every other facet of digital marketing, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down! While some of the changes that are always in the works may be intrinsically beneficial to your business, if you’re not up to date on the way SEO is developing, you’re certain to fall behind your close competitors. Unless you work in marketing, making sure your SEO strategy is current can feel like a mountain of a task. However, there are various habits you can adopt that will help you assure your SEO is always up to date. Here are a few of the best tips for ensuring effective and up-to-date SEO.

Keep It All Integrated

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SEO used to be completely divorced from content marketing, and blogs emphasising the importance of high-quality content weren’t nearly as ubiquitous as SEO services promising to optimise your content, usually through keyword stuffing. While people know better these days, there are still a lot of entrepreneurs who see content marketing and SEO as completely different things. In order to accomplish sustainable marketing, you need to have a fully integrated approach, and your SEO needs to cover every little facet of marketing. This means that you’re thinking about the way your target market is searching throughout your entire branding scope; social media, blogging, press releases, and even traditional marketing in some cases. The point here is that the topics covered in any given platform should be consistent. You can integrate your marketing more easily with certain tools that can be used to analyse data, and draw conclusions from it. Botify crawler has often been praised as a game changer in this niche. While it’s important to know the kinds of topics your target market are searching for, you must never overlook what your customers are actually interested in learning, and how your content can help them. By integrating social media as part of customer engagement with any of your content, both online and offline, you can become much more intimate with the likes and dislikes of your target market, and plan your future content accordingly.

Use Synonyms, Rather than Keywords Only

Google has evolved massively in recent years in terms of understanding some of the synonyms that commonly go along with keywords. For example, the phrase “inventory management” may be high-volume according to Google AdWords, but the world’s most popular search engine can now also grasp phrases like “inventory software” or “inventory control”. Previously, people creating content needed to find a perfect text URL, and then use it to link back to certain sites, or certain pages of their blog. Today, the situation is almost completely reversed. Google knows when you’re trying to pin down that exact match. If you wind up doing it too often, it will appear as if you’re trying too hard. You should start using keywords for only around 20 to 30 percent of all your link anchors, and using brand names, or even a phrase like “learn more” or “click here” for the remaining proportion. Google will now recognise the synonyms tied to each keyword phrase, and see it in context, getting some idea of what the content is talking about in a given page. The take-home point here is that you can’t afford to write content intended solely for the search engine’s algorithms anymore. When you’re writing content for humans, search engines are much more likely to understand, and Google is getting better at this all the time!

Achieve the Right Frequency

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Finding an achievable and consistent frequency with your posting is everything in terms of modern SEO. Every brand hoping to make it in the modern arena needs to be constantly creating, publishing, and promoting great content. Integrated social media strategies are obviously a big part of this, as this is among the most effective channels for spreading awareness of the content you’re putting out there. Going back to our first point, you don’t want to fall into the trap of seeing social media as wholly distinct from your SEO plans. By viewing your company’s social media presence as a platform for distribution, where sharable content and, to a certain degree, hashtags are the currency, you’ll add a lot of invaluable support to your overall content marketing efforts. The better the quality, and usefulness of your posts, the better they’ll perform when shared on Facebook, Twitter or any other channel your target market happens to use. Regardless of how good your content is, it’s absolutely crucial to come up with a dependable schedule. This will get more readers into the rhythm of your posts, and hopefully, create excitement in the right circles when something new is coming up. Just don’t make your schedule too demanding, and end up publishing poor-quality content just so you can hit deadlines.

Keep an Eye on the Technical Details 

As Google becomes more and more intuitive, it’s still worth noting that there are various technical factors you need to bear in mind. Google’s ultimate aim is to link people up with the things they’re searching for as efficiently as possible, and therefore make it easy for the business owners and content creators providing it. However, until they polish their plans off, a large part of SEO is going to be down to coding and other more “techie” details. You don’t have to enter a distance-learning course, but it can certainly pay to keep yourself familiar with some of the more accessible technical details, and learn how to manipulate them. Using keywords in your URL, coming up with web-friendly headlines, and most importantly of all, load times, are all going to have an impact on how SEO-friendly your site is.

As Google’s algorithm keeps speeding into the future, bear in mind that the purpose is to let consumers form connections, answer their questions, and find the kind of product or service that they’re looking for. Bearing this in mind, and maintaining a strong emphasis on constant improvement, will have your brand well on its way to success!