When people hear or use the word trust, they tend to only use it or see it in the context of a relationship of some sort, whether it’s a family, platonic, or romantic relationship… but rarely do you hear the word trust used in the same way with businesses. Why do you think that is?
The thing that people fail to realize is that
trust plays a significant role in the overall success of a business. How? Well,
when your customers and potential customers trust your brand, it’s a given that
they’re more likely to buy from you and support your brand… by having their
trust, that gives you the ability to raise your prices and turn those customers
into loyal customers. Just know that none of that will happen until you’ve
established trust in your brand.Read more...
Promotional codes and discounts are a sure fire way for people to engage with an audience. As a tool, they have many benefits that you might not immediately consider. Improved purchases, traffic to your site and superior customer engagement are all benefits that you can reap.
However, it’s difficult for some people to figure out how best to use these offers to connect with an audience properly, and it impacts their overall growth as a business. We’re going to be reviewing how you can adequately boost the SEO of your site using codes and offers here. Read more...
Distributing press releases is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business. However, it’s a challenge to get noticed by publications and journalists, so you need to ensure that you are practicing the best newswire PR distribution tactics that will increase your chance for media coverage.
Check these tips that you can apply to boost your success in distributing releases using newswire services:
You can’t just choose affordable a press release distribution service, without considering the features it offers. You have to weigh the services they offer.
Can they help you achieve your goal? Examine your goal. Ask them what type of services they can provide.
Is it designed to help you attain it? For example, if you want to gain social boost, you need to consider a newswire that provides a social media sharing feature.
If you want to include multimedia, you need to pick a service that offers embedding images or videos in your release. If you use a service, without considering your needs, you’re most likely to spend more than gain profit.
You need to be wise in choosing a service. List down your needs in your current campaign. Check if a service can provide them. If not move on to the next.
Although you are using a PR service that has a network of journalists and media outlets, you need to ensure that you know which press you want to target. You can’t fully depend on them, and just rely that they are syndicating your releases.
Create a media list. You need to make your own research on who to target. Although they have a network of media, creating your own list ensures that you’re reaching relevant journalists who are more likely to take notice your releases.
PR services offer geographic targeting and are industry-specific. It means that they are going to send your release to relevant journalists who are covering the same topics. They are going to syndicate it to relevant publications (local, regional or national).
If you have written your own release, you need to ensure that the headline is attention-grabbing. Although you are using a distribution service, there’s no guarantee that journalists are going to cover you.
However, crafting a well-thought and newsworthy headline can get good impressions from journalists. Instead of tossing your release, they are more likely to check and consider writing it. Headlines should capture their attention right away.
It’s how important are headlines. You may think that it is just a small part of a release. But you don’t know that it plays a big role in the success of your campaign.
Great headlines can make or break your media opportunity. With a lot of noise in the media industry, your headline should stand out from the crowd.
Keep headlines brief, keyword-based, newsworthy and relevant. To make it easier for you, write the body of the release first, then the headline last.
Select a newswire that allows you to add visual elements like images and videos. Including it in your story makes it compelling and interesting to read.
Visuals are processed by the brain faster than text. It makes sense to add it in your content as it draws the attention of the readers. Visuals make a story easy to digest.
Add infographics, data, image of your products or video presentation. It makes your content alive and interactive. It enhances the value of your release and makes it easier to cover than the other content.
When using a service, ask if they charge additional fee for including visuals. Others provide it as part of the package.
Before choosing which press release distribution service to use, you need to be certain about the desired result of your campaign. If you distribute such release, what is your goal?
Determining what you want to achieve can help you in making the right decision:
Increase conversion rates. One of your goals can be to boost your conversion rates, where you can acquire new leads for your business. Using a newswire service can distribute your release across more channels and consumers.
Increase your visibility. Visibility is important in order for your target audience to find you. Choose a service that has high search engine authority to ensure that your story appears on the top searches.
Boost brand awareness. When your content is distributed across different platforms, more people will know your brand. The more often they read your content, the easier for them to trust and make buying decisions.
Digital marketing is now the go-to instrument when it comes to promoting websites, products, and services. Everyone uses digital marketing, including top brands and large corporations. The digital marketing instruments available today provide unique ways to connect with the audience – potential customers – directly.
While you can produce great results with an integrated digital marketing campaign, most digital marketing efforts are not meant to produce those results instantly. Digital marketing campaigns need time to gain traction and these three tips we are about to discuss in this article will help you gain traction sooner than you think.
Invest in SEM
Waiting for your site to start appearing on the first page of search results is often necessary. No matter how good your SEO campaigns are, you still need search engines to index the site properly before you can gain search engine traffic. This is often a discouraging thing, especially if you are trying to bring traffic to a new website.
A great way to get around this issue and gain traffic early is by investing in Search Engine Marketing or SEM. Rather than waiting for search engines to index and rank your site, you pay for the top advertising spot on a pay-per-click basis.
The right SEM strategies are capable of having a big impact on your site’s traffic and conversion. By digging deep into the targeting tools, for instance, you can reach potential customers who are already looking for the kind of products and services (or website features) you offer. This means you are getting a high-quality stream of users that you can convert easily.
Use Social Media Ads
Advertising networks, particularly the ones that run through social media platforms, are also great instruments to use if you want to gain traction early in the digital marketing game. Using Facebook Ads, you can reach a highly targeted group of audience to expand your social media exposure and reach.
The goal here isn’t just to promote your website directly, but also to get more people to follow your social media profiles. By expanding your generic reach, you can take advantage of social media ads without getting too dependent on them.
Even better, you can create impactful ads thanks to the features offered by individual social media advertising networks. When advertising on Instagram, for example, you can use striking visuals, animations, or compelling videos to really capture the attention of your viewers.
Work with Influencers
Speaking of social media, there is one more way you can gain traction early in your digital marketing campaign, and that is by working with influencers. Influencers already have a large number of followers. All you have to do is find influencers whose followers are within your target segments.
Similar to social media ads, your primary objective should be promoting your social media pages. You gain generic followers from the influencer marketing campaign and you get the opportunity to build a genuine audience base that you can benefit from in the future.
Gaining traction is all about getting a lot of relevant exposure in a short amount of time. These strategies and tips will help you get your digital marketing campaign rolling in no time at all.
It’s a truism that’s as old as business itself, if people don’t trust you, they’re not likely to do business with you. Unless you’re the only game in town or they’re being forced to somehow, like the townsfolk in an old Western. It that case maybe you don’t have to worry about your businesses’ reputation.
But for most businesses it’s a dog-eat-dog competitive world and gaining the trust of your customers, both existing and potential, is a huge part of your success.
Back in the day people formed their impression of a business mostly by word-of-mouth. While that’s still an important marketing tool, these days it will be largely determined by online customer reviews, and they certainly reach a larger audience. It’s important for you to understand how trust is gained, or lost, through online reviews so that you can take control of the process and protect your online reputation.
Online reviews have an incredible influence on consumer shopping and buying habits. Recent surveys have shown consistently that 97% search for a local business online before they buy and 12% do so daily. 85% trust anonymous reviews more than they do the opinions of people they know. In addition, consumers read seven reviews on average before giving a business their trust, 73% say positive reviews build trust, 49% require at least a 4-star rating to do business, and every additional star gained on Yelp boosts revenue by as much as 9%. Consumers don’t ignore online reviews, and you can’t afford to either.
Obviously, positive reviews build trust, which is logical. Though a certain percentage of consumers are suspicious of reviews, most believe they are reading the honest opinions of people just like themselves who have actually done business with you. It should be noted that too many positive reviews can sometimes backfire and make people suspicious that you’re somehow gaming the system. You might have noticed that some companies have started showcasing the top positive and negative reviews side-by-side on their sites in an effort to counter this. Also, people tend to give less weight to reviews posted on a businesses’ own website.
But online reviews allow you to build trust in other ways too. They give you an opportunity to build a personal relationship with your customers, and to tout the benefits your business can provide. You can do this when responding to both positive and negative reviews, which you should be doing as much as possible. Thanking customers who leave positive comments gives you a chance to mention the services your company provided them with.
You should always respond to negative comments to offer an explanation and to try to solve the problem that resulted in the complaint. Negative comments have an impact, which you can lessen or erase by trying to resolve the problem.
Anytime you interact with reviews you show your customers that you really do value their opinion and their business, that you care about customer service and how your company is perceived. And it also creates a personal connection that people appreciate, especially if you’re a local business. You’re showing your customers that they aren’t just another number in a huge corporations’ databank.
Some companies resort to posting fake reviews in an attempt to boost their online reputation. You should never do this. People can usually spot phoney reviews when they see them, and there are even online tools to help them. You’ll only lose trust in the long run.
To build trust with online reviews you need to be able to monitor, analyse, and interact with them. Consider a professional service or review software to help you do it effectively.
It’s time to stop thinking of drones as a cool toy, (which they still are, by the way), and time to start thinking about how they’re going to be absolutely everywhere in the future.
Top tech lists for consumer shopping websites now include a “Best Drone on the Market’ category as standard, and with the costs of quadcopters becoming ever more affordable, the drone is becoming a default tool for filmmakers, photographers and even adventure sports fans.
But it’s in business where we’re seeing drones start to become more widely used, with companies in sectors from insurance to disaster relief to entertainment making use of them for everything from surveying inaccessible landscapes to drone powered syncronised aerial light shows.
Many global companies are already using robots as passive security guards, and in parts of the US they are a common site at company headquarters, gas stations, car parks and shopping malls, scanning car registration plates as they ‘patrol’, and filming areas already liberally sprinkled with static CCTV from new angles.
While these robots aren’t anywhere near replacing human security personnel yet, they are proving to be efficient and cost effective for routine patrolling and reporting, and the trend is beginning to trickle down to consumers with the rise of app-powered home security cameras and devices which allow us to monitor our houses from any location.
In the earliest days of IoT, a large section of the public voiced concerns about the idea of having corporate controlled ‘intelligent’ tech in the ultimate private sanctuary, their home. Fast forward to the end of 2018 though, and the majority of people are happily enjoying the ease of the smart TV, voice activated personal assistants and smart home thermostats. It turns out we are prepared to trade some of our concerns about marketing for the convenience of automated entertainment.
However, the security of fully incorporated IoT homes remains a concern, with people starting to realise that a fully connected ‘smart home’ incorporating large numbers of wi-fi enabled gadgets can pose a big risk to security as every connected device can be vulnerable to cyber attack. 2019 is likely to become the year that the average consumer starts to take this risk more seriously.
This might sound like the most futuristic subject, and most of us will happily think that it has ‘nothing to do with us’. But machine learning and AI technology is already forming the power behind a lot of the everyday technical concepts and solutions we already take for granted, like the algorithms that suggest we play a music track or our next recommended TV show on Netflix.
Christmas 2018 is likely to see home assistant devices like Alexa and even Nest thermostats enter huge numbers of homes, and the data they quietly collect will be used to educate the algorithms for the next generation of AI powered home and portable devices.
Machine learning is also quietly supporting the millions of photos and videos that will be shared during the December festivities, with everyone from Google and Facebook to
niche software development agencies making use of machine learning powered technology Read more...
SEO ain’t easy, we all know that. It’s commonly known to be the Internet’s “dark science,” hence so many people quitting trying to promote their websites and making it to the first page.
You can often find articles like “SEO isn’t relevant anymore” springing here and there. However, this statement can’t be further from the truth. The truth is that SEO is doing very well and is a defining growth factor in many successful businesses over the world.
The most common reason people get irritated with SEO is that their backlinks aren’t as effective as they estimated, forgetting that there is a considerable number of things that can go wrong with your them, which will hinder your company’s growth. Here are the most important things you need to take care of.
Nofollow links are backlinks that carry no straightforward SEO value from the page they are posted on to the pages that they reference. So many things can go wrong with your links in terms of their nofollow status. You may have too many of them, and you may have none at all, both scenarios will mess up your ranking big time. Why?
The first case is rather simple. Imagine that half of your backlinks don’t actually do what they’re supposed to do — bring you SEO value.
However, not having any nofollow links at all is suggestive of the fact that you’re “meddling with the system.” To say the least, it’s an unnatural backlink profile. Evidence suggests that having at least 5-10% of nofollow links is going to benefit you greatly.
Many successful websites on the web have amassed up to 30% of nofollow links to their site, which doesn’t stop them from taking the first position in the search results for highly popular keywords, such as “backlinks” or “diet pills.”
Where you get them from?
Just amassing backlinks doesn’t ensure success in rankings. Another issue you might be facing with your links is the poor quality of the backlinks to your site. Let’s put it this way, there could be a site that features 1000 links to other websites, another one that has a total of 10 links to external sources, and the last one that has over 100.000, and doesn’t have any traffic at all.
It’s evident straight off the bat which site will provide you with better value for your SEO efforts. Generally speaking, there are different types of sites that don’t really provide with quality links. It’s preferable not to build the bulk of your link profile on sites like these:
Link of forums with little domain authority
Blog comments on little with small domain authority
Basically any directories out there
Links from irrelevant sites and content pages
Links with lousy, duplicated content
Links with overly optimized anchors
Links that come from so-called content farms
Links from social bookmarking websites
Links with very little to no content
That does not, by any means suggest that you should not place any links on sites like these. However, if you decide to focus your efforts on placing links on “unfavorable” websites like these, you may shoot yourself in the foot by doing so.
The reason why these sites aren’t excellent to build your link profile is that they’re pretty much low-hanging fruit. They’ve most certainly been ruthlessly bombarded with spammy links throughout the years so you won’t be able to extract any essential value from them. But again, you need to have a couple of backlinks on places like these to maintain a “healthy” link ratio.
How relevant are your links?
If you’re not familiar with the lingo, the anchor is the clickable text that a hyperlink. Their essential function in terms of SEO is to provide context to the nature of the link. It lets the search engine classify the reviewer’s opinion on the site that they are referencing.
A well-crafted anchor text is crucial to high rankings. Plus, the search engine’s algorithm uses the text in the link along with the text “around” it, to better understand the social barometer on how good the site actually is.
To get a better kick out of using the anchors, the anchor text needs to be relevant to the niche that your site is part of. Plus, the anchor text itself needs to be relevant to its context.
Poor on-site optimization
When speaking of on-site and off-site SEO efforts, you’ll often hear the “Car and Fuel” analogy often used. Your on-site optimization, in this case, is the vehicle, which is fueled by backlinks. There should be a concordance in the quality of the both since a bad car won’t perform well on good gas, it’s still a lousy car.
There are quite a few things that can happen to your links over time, so keeping an eye on them is essential. Losing too many backlinks can severely damage your growth pretty quickly. What could have gone wrong?
A referral’s site has changed ownership
There is a widespread practice of taking advantage of domains that have just expired and claiming ownership. This would naturally suppose that the said website can no longer provide ranking value to your site, since there is no content or link related to your site.
The content could have disappeared
Writing new articles and blogs for your site is an onerous task, so maybe the site’s owners decided to stop publishing new pieces to the website. In order not to make the site seem dumped and out-of-date they’ve decided to remove content altogether.
Too many pop-ups
The original backlink may as well be there, but if the site owners decided to start using too much advertisement or pop-ups, chances are the search engine algorithms just lumps it all as spam. Your link included.
These sites are objectively user unfriendly and typically don’t satisfy the modern quality standards. So it’s most probably the case that you shouldn’t even opt to place links on sites like these.
The link comes from content that isn’t relevant
The problem isn’t necessarily that your link has gone missing, but often if the content the link is in features outdated and old topics that aren’t too relevant today, there may be little to no value from a backlink like that.
Backlinks are a vital component of a healthy SEO strategy and not keeping them in check will be detrimental to your ranking efforts. There is a host of reasons why they can go wrong or not work at all, and this article pretty much sums it all up.
You may be dealing with:
Having too many nofollow links or don’t have any of them at all
Having links on dubious websites
Backlinks that aren’t really relevant to the current year
Focusing off-site while your on-site is poorly optimized
Localizing your website from English to other languages can bring a number of benefits to your business. If you’re looking to expand your sales and influence to other markets from all around the world, website localization is the best way to do so.Read more...
Even though many entrepreneurs focus on just not losing money, a business is only good as its growth rate. If you want your project to have a good chance of succeeding, you need to constantly work on improving it and getting it to the next level.
A major component of this mission is increasing your website’s conversion rate, which will, in turn, drive your sales. So, how does one accomplish this?
While marketers tend to ignore them, customer reviews play an important role in growing your business. By knowing what your customers think, you can decide what to keep and what to discard from your business strategy.
To show you the benefits of using customer reviews, we’ve assembled a list of seven key strategies that you can use. With them, you will get maximum results with minimal effort invested. Let’s explore the seven strategies.
1. Use customer reviews to forge a reputation
Word of mouth is still the most efficient and credible way of advertising your product. When a comment or an impression comes directly from another customer, people are more likely to believe it and give it a try. That’s where you can use the reviews you’ve received as leverage. Take the best unedited reviews and feature them at a prominent spot.
The home page would be ideal, most precisely in the lower half of the page. To make the reviews seem more credible, add names and pictures alongside the comments. Remember, never post anything without the permission of that customer.
2. Respond to reviews quickly
“People like the feeling of being cared about,” says Phil Peterson, senior editor at EssayOnTime. “And there is no better way of causing this feeling to appear if you respond to reviews instantly. Customers will feel that you care about what they think and will stay with you, even if the initial review was negative.”
Responding to negative reviews is also good for attracting non-customers. When they see that you aren’t hesitant to resolve a problem or to reward good promotion, your brand will be seen as a transparent and attractive one.
Many entrepreneurs can’t process the fact that they’ve gotten bad reviews. Something can always go wrong, and you should never dwell on that. Instead, think about how you can improve and use the comments as motivation.
3. Make it easy for people to review
A good way to market your brand is to make it easier for everyone to write reviews. The more reviews and ratings you get, the better it is for you and your brand. To ensure that, you should eliminate any burden that people might face during the reviewing process. Review forms should be short and never require more than three clicks to complete the process.
An automatic pop-up when someone makes a purchase is a good way to ensure customers will be writing reviews. Timely polls on social media and your website can ensure that people will share their experiences with your brand.
4. Make your customers act as brand ambassadors
Due to a plethora of existing content, it’s become difficult to discern a difference between legitimate content and hoaxes.
No amount of resources or money can help your brand become popular if there is no uniqueness about it. Instead, you have to provide something unique and authentic to break through the barrier. Customer ambassadorship is one method to achieve this.
For example, if you have a section with blog posts being published frequently, hand that section over to your customers. By doing so, you will send a message that helps other perceive your brand as a transparent one, where participation is entirely possible.
There are a lot of SEO strategies going about and many of them don’t actually work. Some are outdated. Others have simply been made up and are in common use because they sound good. Both of those categories can end up hurting your ranking. Be it because you can only use so many strategies or because Google and the other search engines now actually penalize you for using them.
For that reason, it always helps to take a look at the common strategies that are being used out there and which ones might actually end up being counterproductive. After all, we don’t want all that hard work we’ve put in to be rendered useless because of a few small mistakes!
To that end, here we’ll explore the things you shouldn’t do. In that way, the effective strategies you’ve already embraced will be rendered more effective and you can twist that tap of organic traffic open that little bit more.
Focusing exclusively on getting them to your page
Yes, of course, if people aren’t coming to your page then you’re not going to be able to keep them there. At the same time, once you’re drawing traffic to your website it becomes important to make sure that you actually keep them on your page as best you can. After all, though Google hasn’t admitted it as such there is some evidence that engagement rate matters.
Even if it didn’t, people bouncing from your site is ultimately no use to you as you can’t sell anything to people who don’t stick around.
For that reason, it’s important that we spend time making sure people stick around as long as possible. There are a lot of strategies that will help you with that, but some are more effective than others:
The inverted pyramid. This style was originally developed for newspaper articles. The idea is that you start with the information people actually want to know. Then you give them the important details and caveats and only at the end do you give the background information and the nitty-gritty details that those who are deeply interested care about.
Reader-friendly formatting. The layouts you see online have a very little resemblance to that of long-form published writing such as books and magazines. There’s a good reason for that. According to Amy Griggs, senior SEO specialist at Essay Supply, “Audiences scan much more than they read online. This tendency increases greatly on mobile. SEO-optimized pages use bullet points, have highly readable fonts, and make use of positive and negative space.” Give visitors the information they can use at a glance.
Clear call to actions. The great thing about well-designed calls to action isn’t just that they pull people deeper into the website, but also that they reduce the bounce rate by getting people to click on.
Really, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Any strategy that keeps people on your page for longer is going to help the bottom line as well as your SEO ranking.
Focusing exclusively on high-traffic keywords
It’s an easy rule of thumb. The more traffic a keyword gets, the more interesting it is for your company. Perhaps at some level that is indeed true. But the relationship between those two points is weak at best.
Jared Rolloff is an experienced SEO Analyst at Resumes Centre. He says, “High-traffic keywords are often too competitive to be worthwhile. Worse, they don’t draw quality traffic to your site. By focusing on long tail keywords you eliminate that problem. Better yet, you tend to draw traffic that progresses through the funnel at a faster rate.”
Even if we ignore that and you manage to get lucky and find keywords which have very little competition, that still doesn’t mean they’re going to be the best keywords for you.
There are a number of reasons why keywords might not be useful:
They’re not actually strongly related to what you’re trying to sell or promote. Some search terms might seem related to what you’re doing but aren’t for most people. As this means you’ll get lower engagement from those people who were looking for something else and engagement matters for ranking, that’s something you’ll want to avoid.
They catch people at the wrong part in their sales cycle. If people are still gathering information, for example, and your page goes straight to pushing one specific product at them, this will be ineffective. Sure, you might be able to convince some people to jump straight to a purchasing decision but most are just going to click away.
A much better strategy is to go for more specific keywords which match more closely with what you’re actually selling. Not only will there be less competition here, which means you’ll be able to get to that coveted first page more easily and you’ll also have a higher likelihood that customers actually convert as the page you’ve sent them to is more likely to match what they’re looking for.
Aligning existing pages with trending keywords
Another common strategy is to find a new keyword that is suddenly getting a big boost in traffic and then going all in for that keyword and leaving other phrases that you previously managed to rank for in the dust.
The most common way this is done is to reconfigure pages that already existed to more closely match the new keyword that you’ve discovered. The problem with this strategy is that in so doing, whatever keywords the page was already ranking for end up getting left behind.
Senior Content Specialist Michael Evans of Flash Essay says, “It simply doesn’t make sense to sacrifice keywords that are working for you with one that happens to be trending. It’s also a risky bet to hyperfocus on keywords at all. Focus on creating relevant content that your audience needs. Then think about keywords.”
Really, that whole keyword thing
The truth is that keywords are really a proxy. They’re not really what people are after when they search for information. What they’re after is an answer to the question that they’re posing. Google and websites just use keywords as they get pretty close to giving people what they’re after. But they’re far from perfect.
And so, Google is in the process of moving beyond individual words. Instead, they’re working on inferring meaning from the searches that people make and then offering them websites that satisfy that meaning.
And so, it is becoming more and more important that we don’t focus on including individual keywords but instead focus on actual topics. In effect, this is already what we’re doing when we talk about semantically related keywords. But it’s bigger than that. As Google’s AIs get better at understanding what we’re talking about, focusing on individual keywords will become less and less important. Instead, what will matter is that the topic is dealt with well, clearly and effectively.
Link outreach programs
Ever since 2012 and Google created the Penguin update, traditional link building has been rendered ineffective as a strategy for SEO. That’s because since then Google has been hard at work ferreting out which links ended up coming into existence organically and which ones are the result of link buying or link outreach programs. And with each new update, they’ve become more effective at figuring out what the tell-tale signs are.
Links from low-quality websites. Google cares far more about quality than quantity now. There are even some pretty good indicators that low-quality links hurt your rating if they occur often enough as you’ll get assigned to a ‘bad neighborhood’.
Paid links. Through statistical analysis, it is very easy to analyze who will put up links for pay. Even websites who will put up links in exchange for social media mention are going to be pretty easy to figure out. And as these are specific strategies that try to game the system, they will, therefore, be punished.
“Link building may seem like a slow process. It should be! The best way forward is to simply create the kind of content that deserves to be linked to. Then, build good relationships with influencers. You simply cannot rush this process. You most certainly can’t buy your way out of it.” – Christopher Mercer, digital marketer and founder of Citatior.
Focusing all your attention on the next page or postRead more...