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Actionable Tasks for Improving Website Conversion Rates

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Actionable tasks for improving website conversion rates

Website Conversion RatesConversion optimization is a fundamental concept in modern Internet marketing. Commonly referred to as CRO, conversion optimization is finding ways to turn traffic into customers. In other words, the first step is to attract a lot of traffic to your website, then conversion optimization comes in by trying to turn a high percentage of those visitors into actual customers. There are several proven ways for improving conversion rates. Improving conversion rates is a priority for any Internet-driven business because even a small gain in CRO translates into a sizable difference in profit and market share.

One of the great things about Internet business is that statistics are readily available for a large part of your business operations. In the early 2000s, conversion optimization was born as a way of competing in a market that was becoming increasingly saturated. Conversion optimization seeks to monitor activity in consumption in real time, collecting data on the behaviors of consumers and then applying these concepts to increase the scope and reach of an online marketing campaign. Rather than spend money on attracting more visitors, conversion optimization is designed to reduce the &ldquobounce rate&rdquo, that is, the number of visitors that go away without buying anything.

There are two main philosophies when it comes to improving conversion rates. One school of thought believes that the best way for improving conversion rates involves massive empirical testing. In this approach, constant tweaks are made to a website&39s layout and to an online marketing campaign&39s tactics, constantly monitoring what gives the best results. Another approach towards improving conversion rates focuses on a thorough research of the target audience, designing a message that is specific to the target group. Once this preemptive research has been made, then real-time testing can begin. Most experts today agree that effective conversion optimization should not be limited to real-time testing, but to prior research as well.

Website Conversion Rates2Most conversion optimization methods will involve the analysis of hundreds of different variables of data, finding the best combinations for turning visitors into costumers. Some examples of variables that are analyzed for conversion optimization include geographic, demographic, and behavioral variables. Typically, an Internet business sets definite optimization goals, with the subsequent methods geared towards achieving these goals. Conversion optimization methods are derived from methods that have had success in other activities, like supply chain management, air traffic control, and military logistics.

Doubling, or even tripling a company&39s conversion rate is a goal that is achievable in many cases. Most younger companies focus excessively on gaining traffic on their website, but fail to make the changes that are necessary for improving conversion rates. Surprisingly, the changes that are required are often not that big. Simple things like changing the design of a button, making sure that a form stores specific information so a user does not have to enter it again, or managing the advertisements on a website can be the difference between a customer actually buying what you are selling, or browsing around your website and then leaving.

What Linkbuilding Looked Like in 2011

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What Linkbuilding Looked Like in 2011

Link Building

2011 marked a significant year for those who use link building techniques to garner traffic to their websites and to rank well in search engines. Although old school link building tactics still work in 2011, they are falling behind new techniques after Google&39s series of Panda/Farmer updates. Many in the search engine optimization community are switching up their link-building methods to prepare for whatever Google may throw them in the future.

Social media has been drawing attention for a few years now, but has not been a priority for link builders until this year. However, this year Google has released the plus one button and give many indications that social media plays a role in how well a page ranks in the search engines. There is also rumors that social media popularity will plan a big role in future algorithm updates.

Basically, it&39s only a matter of time before old link building strategies take a back seat in Google&39s algorithms. Link builders are taking advantage of this buy creating profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus and adding buttons to their content that make it easy for readers to share on their social networks. Working to engage readers and encourage them to share in other ways may help get social media links as well.

For the same reasons, using article directories is falling out of fashion. Although many SEO proponents still say it works well, there are many who fear that in time these links will be nearly useless and are adjusting with the future in mind. An alternative is getting guest post spots on authority blogs that are relevant to the website you are trying to rank for. This is not an easy task, however, requiring a link builder to build relationships with a number of bloggers over time, then create quality content for the actual guest posts. To get the most of this venture, it&39s important to select blogs that are relevant to the keywords you are working on.

Link Building LookedQuality is another aspect that link builders are beginning to reevaluate. In recent years, almost anything could rank well if the link building strategy was consistent and thorough. This is still true for the most part, but Google has made it clear that it&39s not something they like. They are working day in and day out to create a search engine algorithm that will rank quality websites well. To get ahead of this trend, those interested in using link building are also spending more time developing good content that answer questions posed by keywords.

The intention is to create content that will stand the test of time. Although link-building may get a page to number one in the search engines, it&39s of no use if a future algorithm that factors in quality knocks it out of the results. Link building techniques in 2011 have moved from just link building, to creating quality content and building relationships that will last despite what Google does.

Leveraging QR Codes for Business

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What are QR Codes?

Website QR Code

QR codes are simply means Quick Response Codes. We all know that bar codes are useful for product identification, product pricing. QR codes are two dimensional bar codes first created by a Japanese corporation named as Denso-Wave Corporation in the year 1994. Since then the popularity of QR codes is spreading across the globe like a wildfire. Its ability to deliver quick response to all types of scanners makes its name worthwhile to use.

Business benefits of QR codes

The actual use of QR codes is to store different types of data and information regarding business in the form of bar codes. The bar code type of graphic has the ability to store more than 7000 characters which looks much like traditional bar codes. The ability to store huge amount of data in tiny bar codes makes QR codes much more useful from business point of view.

QR codes are especially helpful for increasing the brand awareness in the minds of the consumers. These codes are easily readable with the help of smartphones such as Android and iPhone. There are enormous business benefits of using QR codes. Some of the most prominent benefits are as follows.

1) Improved brand awareness – Traditional bar codes are very limited in terms of brand promotion. QR codes can work much more effectively when it comes to business promotion. By using QR codes, any consumer can easily scan the products with the help of his/her smartphone and can visit the website or blog of the company. Once the customer reaches the website of the company, automatically there are more chances to promote other products to that particular consumer and hence to improve the brand awareness of the company.

2) They are very cost effective – If you start using QR codes for your every product then you can obviously boost your chances of new customer acquisition and brand improvement. QR codes are very important in reducing all the necessary paper work in the company and all the sales and marketing can be done on the company website. Therefore, sales and marketing expenses as well as paper work can be reduced to greater extent once we start using QR codes.

3) Quick response marketing method – Once any business starts using QR codes then the consumers can instantly get information about current and upcoming products via the company website through the consumer&rsquos smartphone. We can literally call this as a quick response marketing method as customers can get real time information about company products quickly and without any waiting time.

4) QR codes can be embedded easily with different marketing channels – To promote business effectively, we can embed QR codes with different offline marketing media such as flyers, billboards, brochures, signs and business cards. The website and any other product information can easily be added to QR codes that can be scanned using any smartphone. So consumers can easily get any company related information at any given time.

5) They are great for simple call to action activities – We can link QR codes literally to any type of digital content such as how to videos, website, Twitter profile, Facebook profile, audio files, etc. You can also provide promos and product discounts to your consumers through QR codes.

Social Media to Boost Business

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The world around us is changing. People don’t read the papers like they used to or watch TV in the same way anymore.Build Online Reputation

The evolution of technology has people reviewing media in the way that they want, with applicable filters and privacy settings abound. Getting information about your business out to the public doesn’t work the same way it used to. These days, business owners have come to recognize the need to utilize social media tools. The world has moved on and with it so has the means of communicating not just with your friends, but with people halfway around the world. It is important to be able to reach your intended audience on their level with the intention of generating a repeat and growing customer base. With that in mind, here are a few tips to take into account when it comes to boosting business through social media:

1)Your Customers

Be aware: your customer base has constant access to some form of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, all of these are relevant sites where potential customers frequent almost daily. With your own page or feed, you bring the relevant information to your customer so that they do not need to do the searching for you. You make finding your products easier for them and they are more inclined to look into what your business can offer.

2)Buzz for Your Product

With access to millions of people at once, social media forums will allow you to discover others who are just as passionate about your particular business industry, whether it is coffee, clothing, movies, or food, as you are. Engage them in conversation and urge them to share information about your business with their own followers, thus encouraging other potential customers to join in discussions or forums of topic.

3)Inventory

Customers will not get excited about current or new products unless you help them. If you are eager about a product, your customer will be just as eager. Engage the customers and get them actively involved. If the customer feels they have a voice in the production value of a company, the more involved and invested they feel. Conduct polls. Ask your followers to rate their favorite product. Let them tell you what they like…

4)Business Updates

…or don’t like. As a business owner, you are going to have to develop thick skin. Not everyone has something pleasant to say. Sometimes, that is a good thing. Weed out the constructive criticism from the rest, and see to it that your company grows in the right direction. Customers can see that you value their opinions when taken into consideration.

5)Customer Rewards

If a customer sees the value in returning to your business and consistent involvement via social media, this encourages loyalty to your product. Offer frequent buyer coupons or valued customer discounts to further repeat business.

For growing businesses, access to social media networks is crucial. Social networks open products and business information to millions of potential customers you would not have access to otherwise. Keep in mind the five important points listed above for boosting business across social media sites. These sites are a powerful tool for bringing customers and business together today and generating a healthy economy where everyone can have access to the products they desire.

Is Your Business Building A Great Online Reputation?

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The internet is an integral part of each person’s life whether they realize it or not.

Many people sign on to the internet from computers and mobile devices to seek information on products or services before spending any money. What kind of information will they find if your business or service is queried?

SEO Build Online ReputationOnline reputation is a very major part of a business’s existence. Any business that does not have a website might as well close the doors now before being buried by the competition embracing technology. That website is going to become a hub of information on the goods and services being offered. For consumers and search engines to treat that website as the authority it is striving to be, some effort must be put into SEO and social media management.

Do not wait until a bad review pops up before taking action. Inevitably, a sour experience with a customer is going to find its way online. What other information will be found when searching for the company? Will it be a bunch of non-information and the bad review? Will it be a single bad review surrounded by good reviews and positive interactions?

*Link-Building and Blogging for Authority
A plan of action to begin building one’s reputation on the internet should include several traditional SEO practices. A link-building campaign through article and blog submission is a great cornerstone. A blog is a major fundamental in helping establish an online presence. The company blog needs to be on its website’s domain as it is a source of regularly updating information. By providing regular updates of quality information, the website is demonstrating to users and search engines that the business is providing up-to-date information of quality. Simply posting a website full of information and leaving it there will not draw traffic.

What is so important about being linked to on the internet? Search engines love to see one-way links going to content. It is a major calculating point of determining PageRank. That link signifies the creator found that information useful and relevant enough to create a way for their audience to access it. Those steps are the kind made on a path to building a solid reputation and cementing one’s place in a positive light.

*Social Media for a Human Connection
Social media is another avenue that can be explored to build a positive reputation. Business pages can offer valuable information, tips, tidbits, interact with customers, and show a significant amount of activity. A website is a fairly impersonal place. Most browsers will not view it as anything other than a tool. It is for that reason that so many pictures of laughing, smiling people are found on websites; even if they are not relevant. They serve as a reminder of the human connection. Social media on the other hand, actually lets the business be in touch with their customers or other interested individuals.

*Reputation Building Will Not Wait
Link-building and SEO efforts are not overnight affairs. If you want to steer the kind of information people are finding when they search for your company; start now. Sure, they may find a bad review here and there. But then they will also find other websites citing your work, reviews from satisfied customers, and professional writings that demonstrate the skill and expertise the company brings to the table.

SEO efforts on the internet mirror a train in many ways. Park a truck in front of a stopped train and it will have a difficult time getting moving. Park a truck further down the tracks and the train is going to go straight through it. Momentum is the key for that train just the same as it is for SEO. Building your momentum, authority, and reputation will ensure that a negative review is not in a position to de-rail your business and effort.

Tips for Reusing Blog Content

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After posting numerous articles in your blog, you will notice some of the older articles have more visitors than others. Unfortunately, these articles are buried deep in the archive and new readers are less likely to find them. By recycling or reusing old content in different formats, you can bring these pieces back to life to reach a diverse audience.


Here are five tips for reusing your blog content:Reusing Blog Content

1. Turn it into an eBook

If you are an expert in a niche topic, your old blog content is perfect for an eBook. You can revive this content with fresh concepts, more depth, added detail and update it with the latest information, such as links and statistics. Offering old content as an eBook, in pdf format, is an excellent way to obtain more subscribers.

2. Use it in an email newsletter

Your blog content is an ideal tool for an email newsletter. Make sure you rewrite the title and content in a fresh and interesting way. Why? Your old subscribers may have read it before, and you do not want to bore them. Having a new title and engaging content will make your subscribers want to visit your blog.

3. Turn it into a slideshow video

You can convert your blog content into a slideshow and save it in PowerPoint presentation format. The content can be summarized using a bulleted list to avoid being monotonous. Do not forget to provide a link to the full article. You can post it on YouTube, Facebook, or in your blog. Additionally, you can add value to the slideshow by narrating it yourself for use in video training! This will increase traffic to your blog. In addition, when your audience sees you and hears your voice, they have the opportunity to connect with you on a more personal level.

4. Turn it into an audio format

Another way to revive your old blog content is to turn it into an audio format. Speaking your article will increase your reputation as not many blog owners have an audio format for their articles. Having audio also makes your blog more personable, and the audience will respond positively by becoming repeat visitors. If you have a series of audio articles for your blog, they can be turned into podcast.

5. Submit it to blog carnivals

As a blogger, you need other bloggers to help increase your blog traffic. Participating in blog carnivals is a technique used by many bloggers to drum up visitors. You can submit your niche topic before the carnival begins, and when the carnival starts, your content will appear on the front page of the blogger host, ready for the intended audience. Make sure you have revised the content and have a catchy title. Visitors who are enthralled by the content will click on the link to your blog. This is a smart way to reuse your old content to increase blog traffic.

Reusing your revised blog content by making them available in different formats, as well as participating in blog carnivals, will increase the number of visitors to your blog. Because of the revised and updated content, your blog will be more vibrant, and it will enhance your reputation and credibility.

Top 5 Uses for Google Analytics

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While Google changed the way users find content, Google Analytics revolutionized the way webmasters manage their websites.

Years ago, before website analytics had evolved to its current state, webmasters and site owners had to rely on the infamously un-helpful hit counter or complicated server-side statistics to tell them what pages were preforming well on their site and what content was bringing in visitors.

Google Analytics introduced a series of innovative new metrics, a vast improvement over other website analytics tools in existence, that allowed individuals unprecedented access to information essential for shaping their websites.


Here are the top five ways to use Google Analytics to maximum effect:

1) Measuring conversions and goals – What good is traffic if your visitors aren’t doing what you want them to do? Whether you’re trying to build a mailing list or close a sale, seeing how successful or unsuccessful you are at that goal can help you identify growth opportunities. Google Analytics allows you to see how often you are able to drive a new visitor to your sign-up or purchase page, how often you can convince the shopper to look at a related item and any other goal you may have. If these numbers are underwhelming, it may be a sign that you’ve got broken code preventing users from completing a sign-up or poor design not leading potential clients to the right area.

2) Tracking return visitors – For many sites, return visitors are crucial for growth. By tracking return visitors, you can identify how well your site resonates and how passionate your audience is. This also allows you to tailor ad campaigns on your site. Sites with few return visitors and high volumes of new visitors may benefit from a more general bombardment, while sites with highly loyal visitors will be more attracted to ads tailored to their interests.

3) Seeing how “sticky” your site is – Another important use is tracking your site’s “sticky” factor, or the average number of pages a visitor views. Identifying what landing pages are a theoretical dead end for visitors is one great way to identify areas requiring better links to related content. If your website analytics show that most visitors only visit one page, you can evaluate your page structure and break long articles into multiple pages to improve ad exposure.

4) Recognizing and monetizing your most popular content – Knowing what pages are the most popular also means knowing which pages are the most potentially profitable. Ads on popular pages can fetch a premium, and may also be a sign of what content visitors to your site are craving.

5) Identifying keywords that drive traffic – Keywords are essential for truly understanding your visitors. If you don’t see traffic from keywords you want, website owners are able to create content and drive SEO efforts to increasing traffic concerning those keywords. You can also see what phrases are successfully bringing in visitors that complete sales or perform other goals.

As you can see, website analytics offer webmasters unprecedented insight into their visitors patterns and behaviors, and Google Analytics expertly delivers this data and provides a number of metrics used by site owners to increase traffic, close sales, and keep visitors on their site.

Top Five Facebook Mistakes for Business

The five things that businesses tend to do wrong when using Facebook are:

Top Five Facebook Mistakes for Business

1. Broadcasting
2. Not investing adequate time
3.  Being boring or predictable
4.  Failing to learn about Facebook Mechanics and Tools
5.  Violating Facebook terms

The number one mistake and Facebook users make is broadcasting messages rather than providing useful and engaging content for their users.  The goal is not to just self promote.

The number two mistake is all about investing adequate time.  Users will easily see whether or not you’re actually putting in the planning or effort needed for a successful Facebook or Social Media Marketing campaign.

Being boring or predictable is the number three mistake that users commonly make.  To keep Facebook users coming back you must not create too much filler content and create more engaging content or posts.

Are you tired of all the work involved in Social Media and promoting your business online? Make sure you avoid these 5 common mistakes!

Facebook has a number of mechanics or tools available to Facebook business users.  Failing to learn more about that is the number four mistake Facebook business users make.  Learning analytics tools integrated into Facebook such as Facebook Insights are key to running a successful social media campaign.

The final common mistake among Facebook business users is violating Facebook terms.  Facebook has strict rules regarding contests and how groups are created.  Having a good knowledge of the Facebook terms and conditions will help keep you from jeopardizing all the time and effort that you’ve put into creating such items.

Source: Mashable | American Express OPEN Forum

Title Tags and SEO – Ranking Factors 101

When it comes to top factors that increase search engine rankings title tags are at the top of any competent SEOs list. Title tags are still highly valued by that all search engines when it comes to crawling the page to find the page theme.

What are Title Tags?

Title tags are essentially a page title for your web page. Each webpage should have unique page titles and should incorporate the target keywords for that individual page. Not every page of your website is going to have the same content therefore it is important that each page have an individual title.

Where can I see my page titles?

Page titles are most visible to users in the two following locations:

Title Tag Location#1

Title Tag Location #1 - Shown as the title of your webpage in the search engine results pages.

Title Tag Location #2

 

Page titles are best when they are short and sweet.  The general consensus among as SEO’s is that there is higher value to placing your main keyword at the beginning of the page title.  If you’re targeting two key words on a page the best practice is to do the following:

Primary Key word-Secondary Keyword | Brand name

If your business is a well-known business or brand, it may be beneficial to present your page titles in the following way:

Brand Name | Primary Key word and Secondary Keyword

When writing your title tag it is important to consider it must be relevant to the content of the page.  Having a page title with the key word strawberries on a page that has content about potatoes shows a disconnect to the search engines as they crawl your page.  Your title tag will therefore bring a no value to your content.

It is critical that your title tag never be longer than 65 characters.  The reason for this is that in the search results only 65 characters are shown before the title is truncated.  Some search engines will read up to 80 characters in a title tag, though 65 characters is considered the best practice.

As an interesting side note title tags are becoming increasingly more important as they are being used as anchor text in social media links.  So when someone posts a link to your website on their Facebook page, Facebook takes the title tag and uses that as the anchor text pointing back to your website.  We’ll talk more about anchor text in posts regarding link building.