Archive for Online Marketing Strategy

5 Online Strategies for a Successful 2014

Online Stragegy for 2014

 

2013 was an interesting year for SEO to say the least. Google continued to make changes to the large Panda and Penguin updates. Then in September came Google’s announcement on the next big algorithm change, Hummingbird. This continued Googles trend of eliminating the SEO ‘cheats’, whereas those who produce quality content continued to be rewarded for their work.

  • Produce Content That Sticks

Content on the web now needs to be targeted directly to your market. The content must resonate with your market, evoking an emotion enticing them to comment on and/or share the piece with there social network.

  • Be Real On Social Media, A Lot

Posting a link on to your recent blog does not count as social networking. Engage, build trust and harness the best of each platform to build your presence, remember it is not a sales funnel. You want to build a sense of community so they want to buy from you when you ask, having built that trust level. Each social media platform has a prominent user base (Pinterest is predominantly female mothers), identify where your market hangs out and make sure you are there.

  • Ensure You Have A Google+ Account (and use it!)

Google+ pages now index in search results. This has huge implications for you brand. While Google+ has not taken off as many thought it would, the 500 million accounts could soon been interacting as often as they are on Facebook. Do not ignore this wide open opportunity.

  • Continue Blogging

Blogging was a huge buzz in 2013 with people seeing great success with the results in rankings and continuing to post in 2014 is a must.

  • Be Mobile Friendly

You need to ensure all the material you publish/sell on the internet is optimized for various mobile devices. Attention spans are rapidly shortening, if it is hard to see what your content is, consumers will move on in a second or two.

While it is hard to know exactly how Google will continue to tweak the search algorithms. The above list is very unlikely to hurt your rankings however, therefore you are insuring yourself against Google by using these five steps as part of your overall strategy in 2014.

You Received a Poor Online Review? What is Next?

online-reviewsTo reply or not to reply?  That is the question many business owners contemplate when faced with bad online customer reviews.  On the one hand, they feel that a response is needed to defend what they are so passionate about: their business.  On the other hand, by responding they run the risk of doing more harm than good. What is the right course of action to take if you find yourself in this position?  The answer is to reply, but to do so with caution.  Below are some useful tips that can help you craft the right type of response to the wrong type of review!

Give Yourself Some Wait Time

When others write nasty or hurtful words about your business, it is hard, in fact almost impossible, to not take it personally.  However, negative online reviews are about experiences customers have had, and are not about you as a person.  Once you come to terms with this, it is easier to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. You can then begin to analyze what went wrong and start thinking about how you can fix it.

Apologize

Many times, problems can be solved with a genuine apology.  The key word here is “genuine”.  If a customer is unhappy, whatever the reasons, say you are sorry and mean it.  Equally as important, keep the apology short and professional.  If you ramble on, you come across as desperate as well as insincere.  Online viewers may think you are willing to say anything to make your business look good, and as a result you lose credibility.

Correct the Problem

Do not give out freebies and discounts to those who give you bad reviews. This is like giving a child a band aid when they need stitches!  A band aid never fixes the problem, it only masks it.  A freebie may make the customer feel good in the short term, but if upon their return to your business, they receive the same bad service they originally complained about, your problem just got exponentially bigger! Instead, after reading the bad review, immediately set out to correct the problem. Then let the customer who gave the bad review know that action was taken to resolve the issue.  By doing this, you come across as proactive and professional.  That’s a lot better than coming across as someone who prefers to offer bribes rather than ensuring quality experiences for their customers.

Say Thank You

Thank every customer that leaves a review of your business.  If they left a review, be it positive or negative, it means that they spent their hard earned dollars in your store, restaurant, shop etc. So thank them for their business and more importantly, thank them for their feedback.  Let it be known that constructive criticism is what helps a business to grow.  This shows that you are a business owner who does not ignore problems, rather you are one who fixes them. Lastly, don’t look at bad reviews as obstacles, but as opportunities instead!  Every mistake is a lesson learned and every lesson learned leads to success!

So the next time you find yourself at the end of a stinging online review, take a deep breath, remember these tips, start typing and hit reply!

Reasons Why You Must Be Running a Google AdWords Campaign

Google AdwordsGoogle AdWords is a powerful way to increase the traffic on your website, to market your products and to generate  sales.  This type of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is based on a ‘Pay-Per-Click’  advertising system.  Hence, you only pay every time a person clicks on your ad to visit your website and you have complete control of the targeted market.  It becomes an extremely focused ad campaign that equates to high-performance marketing results.

Visibility Is The Key

A Google Adwords campaign offers immediate visibility to your targeted market.   Your marketing campaign is visible right away and you are right alongside your competitors, whether big or small, while giving comparable product exposure and establishing you as one of the prominent company for a specific service or product.

Compelling Impact on Your Business

Given that the large majority of consumers complete a search on products and services before spending on them, a Google AdWords campaign gives you conclusive results in terms of Return On Investment (ROI).  In a few hours, you can set up a campaign and see the affluence of traffic directed to your website as you ‘Pay-Per-Click’.  Furthermore, regular reports of analysis and results will enable you to have a vigorous campaign management plan by changing its variables.   This will allow you to promptly adjust your costs while optimizing your profits.   With Google AdWords, you will see immediate results!

Control and Flexibility Equal Efficiency

Flexibility and adaptability are major advantages of a Google AdWords campaign.  Indeed, you have total control on the variables of your campaign such as the regional market you wish to target, the keywords of your campaign, as well as the exact time you wish your ads to appear.  Not only are those set up at the beginning of your campaign, but you may change them at any point in time to match your desired outcomes.  Completed in a few easy steps, your changes redirect the traffic as you wish.  In fact, you also have the ability to pause or end your campaign at any given time giving you the possibility to manage your time skilfully during busy business periods and to control your costs.

You don’t have a Google Adwords yet? Contact us for a free evaluation of your needs.

SEO and Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference?

If you are confused about the differences between search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many site owners believe these two strategies are virtually the same thing and often choose one over the other to promote their website. SEO and social media marketing, however, are actually two very different – yet complementary – strategies that are most effective when used together.

Both SEO and social media marketing improve your chances of getting in front of your target audience and potential customers, but they come at it from slightly different angles.

SEO: A Direct Route to Your Site

The goal of an SEO campaign is to improve your website’s rankings within search engine results using keywords and phrases. In other words, when people take to Google or Bing/Yahoo to search for facts and information about widgets and where to buy them, you want your widget website to appear at the top of their search results – SEO helps you get there. Implanting those keywords and phrases that your target audience will be using in their search makes you more visible to them and gives them a direct path to your site.

Social Networking Sites: What’s All the Noise?

Social marketing campaigns via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn reach out on a more social level. They help define your brand’s personality, provide opportunities for dialogue, build relationships, and can even pave the way for those highly valued third-party endorsements. People visit social networking sites to help them make decisions, form opinions and find advice – they want to hear what others are saying about you and how you are responding to what is being said. While these sites appear, disappear and evolve, social media is definitely here to stay. Ensuring you have a properly managed social media presence, therefore, can be a vital and lucrative piece of your marketing and promotion puzzle. But, while your “popularity” within the social media world can help with your search engine rankings (a nice bonus), it shouldn’t replace an SEO campaign because its purpose is entirely different.

Ownership: A Big Difference

One more important point to keep in mind: remember that you are the owner of your website with complete control over all aspects. This is your official online place of business and, ultimately, where you want your target audience to land so that you can “seal the deal” and turn them into a paying customer. A social networking profile, however, is most effective when used to motivate and move potential customers to your real website – it’s like the coffee shop down the road from your place of business. Your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page may feel like it’s yours, but you are really just borrowing that space from the actual owner. As such, you don’t necessarily have control over what happens to your profile (ads, links, distractions). People get together there to exchange information and ideas and to see what you have to say, and the impression they leave with can greatly influence if and how they do business with you. And, just like coffee shops that come and go, what happens if the networking site shuts down? If you have not included SEO in your online marketing efforts, you’ll be back at square one.

SEO and social media marketing have different purposes – it should never be “either or” in your online marketing plan. Used together they generate a powerful online presence and will help to turn your online visitors into paying customers.

Three Online Marketing Details That Are Easy to Overlook… And Important to Your Success

Online Marketing StrategyThere are some parts of a successful business that are nearly priceless, making it possible for the owners and managers to grow their profits year after year. Registered patents, a highly talented sales force, or a prime piece of commercial real estate are all great examples of things that can literally make or break your company for a long time.

Believe it or not, there are some equivalents in the online marketing world. Here are three marketing assets that are worth their weight in gold: Read more