These days, in order for your website to remain relevant and to rise in the ranks of organic search, you need to have a blog that is constantly updated. The new content will show both the search engine and your audience that you have something to share and you are indeed a site that people can rely on when it comes to information. While creating content is not that easy to do, it is not as difficult as getting your blog noticed by the people you are targeting. So, how do you get your site’s blog noticed by your target audience? How do you make sure that you are not only seen but are bookmarked for future use by those who visit your site? How can you be considered an authority in what you are writing about? Here are some things that may just help: Use social media – of course, this is usually the first thing people do because who isn’t on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram these days? Using social media to get your content to be noticed by your target market takes a bit of planning though, and one thing you need to plan is when to post these statuses, tweets, and images on your social media accounts. Timing is crucial so you need to know when your target demographic usually checks their social media pages. Make sure your content is optimized – yes, SEO is still very relevant when it comes to your content. Since you do have loads of competition online, you need to make sure that your content gets more attention than theirs. In order to do that, your content has to appear on the first lines of search engine results pages. For this to happen, you have to know how to create content that these search engines will deem as relevant to the search terms being used, and all the while keeping in mind that you are writing for people and not these browsers. Not that easy a task to pull-off, but it can be done. Always have interesting images that are relevant to your topic – having images on your post is always better in many ways. For one, it gives people a visual representation of what you are talking about. It makes your topic a bit easier to grasp and understand. Second, it gives you an image you can use on Pinterest and Instagram, which has millions of users. Third, it makes your article easier on the eye and more interesting since it has something visual to it. Interact with your audience – for you to get feedback from your audience, and to have an idea as to what kinds of topics and posts might interest them in the future, enable your comments on your blog. If you are afraid of negative feedback that may come from competitors trying to bring you down, you can always turn on the approval filter so that you can approve or disapprove comments. You can also interact with your audience via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Being interactive and accommodating will make you more approachable and can make your audience more receptive to your posts as well as to sharing these to others.
One of the things most companies online do is to use social media to reel in people and to influence them to visit their site. This is only the tip of the iceberg however, since getting people to click through is only the first goal. The ultimate goal of social media marketing, and a campaign strategy by extension, is to get people to buy and to encourage others to do the same. Before you get all excited about what a social media campaign can do, you need to first know what to do. In order for such a campaign to succeed, you need to be aware of the dos and don’ts of this marketing platform. You also need to have a plan that you can follow, and can also allow you to track your performance to determine whether or not what you are doing is succeeding. A social media campaign is, after all, just a single part of a social media marketing plan. In other words, if your SMM plan is a book, this is just a chapter or a page in it. All of the chapters and pages of your SMM plan should work towards a great ending, which are revenues for your company, brand recognition, and brand loyalty. So what do you do first? You need to decide what the end-goal of a particular campaign is. Not all campaigns have the same goals, with some aiming to disseminate information, others aiming to get people to like and promote a brand, and a few more to get people to purchase. So, in order for a specific campaign to be successful, you first need to set what will qualify as a success for such a campaign. If you are aiming to set a specific amount in sales with one campaign, then you should think about what will get people to click through and buy. If your target is to increase likes and followers, then you also need to figure out what can make this happen. Different kinds of social media campaigns need different kinds of baits and hooks to get your audience to bite, so you have to figure these out first before you start the ball rolling. Once you have determined your aim, you will then need to set a timeline. You cannot really tell if your campaign is successful unless if you have a timeframe for it to be checked for success. Set a start date and an end date so that you can see whether or not it is worth continuing or if you should plan another one in its place. Of course, when planning these strategies, apart from setting goals, you also need to know who your target market is. If you do not know who to target with your campaigns, missing your aim is very likely since you are not really setting your sights at a specific demographic. Knowing who your target market is will help you custom fit your campaigns to make these appealing to who you are aiming for. Once you have all of these figured out, you can then proceed with choosing what kind of campaign to launch, what mediums to use, and how to go about bringing in those clicks. Understanding what you need and what you are aiming for will help you utilize your resources properly, in order to get that successful campaign up and running.
Different companies aim for different things when it comes to their website’s design. Some go for aesthetics over functionality, and others go the other way, with functionality being more important than the overall look of the site. While both are important, focusing only on one will leave you with a site that is wanting. When you are aiming to please your target market, what you should always keep in mind is that user experience is what you should be aiming for. No, we are not saying that you should forgo aesthetics or that you should let functionality suffer when having a website created. These are important to your visitors, and are in fact, part of the entire user experience package. What you need to do however is to integrate both of these into your entire website design ideas in order to come up with a site that has the look that pleases, is easy to use, and can satisfy the needs of your clientele. As a whole, your website has to be three things – easy to use, pleasing to look at, and can help visitors accomplish what they came to your site for. This is what UX, or user experience, is all about. Being able to provide your site visitors with what they need, and giving it to them in such a way that is not mind-boggling and is pleasurable at the same time. Why is UX Important to You and Your Company? While UX seems to be made for your website’s users, what may not be obvious is that, it is actually made to benefit both sides. When your site visitors enjoy their time on your site, and they get to do what they need to do without too much difficulty, you end up with satisfied clients. Satisfied clients can bring about a number of things, and these include the following:
- Loyalty – you will find that when people find your site very helpful and efficient due to your UX centered design, they wouldn’t want to deal with your competitors anymore. They will not need to find others that offer what you have because they are satisfied with what they were able to do on your website.
- Increased revenue – some people visit websites to check out what these have and to see if they can find what they need there. If your site is difficult to navigate, too complex to buy from, or too cluttered to be easy to use, visitors will simply look for another company that offers what you are offering, but with a site that is not confusing or difficult to maneuver around in. If your site is geared towards the needs of your visitors with the use of UX centered design, you will find that revenues will increase because people will not need to go elsewhere for what they are looking for.
- More Visitors – what do you do when you enjoyed restaurant you went to, and you hear someone asking about where to dine that is great? You recommend that restaurant to them. The same goes for a website that leaves a visitor satisfied that they were able to do what they needed to do when they were there. Visitors will recommend your site to friends who may also need what you are offering, and you can credit this to not only having what they need, but also to having a site that is easy to navigate, and is great to look at. All thanks to the integration of UX centered design.
If you are to look at mobile websites these days, a few of them encourage you to download their mobile app. Those who are not that familiar with the difference between these two may wonder why they would need to have an app on their phone when they can easily visit the mobile friendly site instead. To help you understand why some companies say that using their app is better than visiting their mobile site, let us first define these two. A mobile friendly website is a site that is easy to use on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It is similar to whatever website you view on your computer but with the pages adjusting to the small size and configuration of your smartphone or tablet. These sites are also called responsive websites. A mobile app, on the other hand, is an application that you need to download from an app store for your phone. This can be utilized by companies who want people’s phones to have content about them that need not be accessed with the use of an internet connection. This data can be downloaded one time and accessed anytime even without any connectivity. When Should You Choose an App or a Mobile Friendly Site? A lot of companies actually have both – an app and a responsive website. There are times however when you need to figure out when it is appropriate for your company to have only one or both. If you are torn between which one to choose when faced with going only for one, your best option would be a mobile friendly site. This is because of a number of reasons such as compatibility, upgradability, and immediate usage. These sites are also easy to find, can be easily shared with others, and cannot be deleted since these are not downloaded to your device. There are times however when an app is more appropriate for your company, although it is strongly advised that you have both an app and a mobile website if you do decide to have an app. When you want people to easily purchase things from you, an app is a good addition to your accessibility options. If your clients need to personalize stuff constantly and are using what you have to offer regularly, an app is also a good idea. An app is also a great idea if you want your customers to easily access your site, services, and products without having to go through a browser. In the end, it is all about what is best for your company and for your customers. If an app is not required, then there is no need for it. If it is however deemed a necessity for your business, then investing in the development of one should be greatly considered. You will find that the benefits of having one for your company will help you increase revenues, and create loyal customers who want convenience for their every need to be met. If an app that makes accessing what you offer easier and quicker is what it takes to make them feel that they are getting what they want from you with convenience, then having both a mobile app and a responsive site is a good idea.
Good public relations are as important to brick and mortar companies as these are to those found online. The reason why companies need to ensure that their public relations arm handles their end the right way is because one mistake can snowball into an irreparable avalanche. This is why care should be practiced when PR work is being done for your company. In terms of SEO, public relations can help your site by way of creating high quality backlinks from third-party sites. Third party validation can help your company earn its credibility online by showing people who visit these other sites that you know what you are talking about. Aside from this, you also earn credibility in terms of Google’s ranking standards since quality backlinks from these sites show that you are indeed a legitimate and trustworthy company online. Aside from the backlinks and validation, you also create some buzz about your company by way of the content that you send to these third party sites that you consider your public relations partners. PR efforts, like reaching out to online writers and journalists to cover your company’s breakthroughs and products also help to get your story and your name out to others. PR work may take a bit of doing, and even more so if you are aiming to do it right. The results however outweighs the efforts since you not only get to increase the number of people who find out about your company and your website, but you also get the kind of quality backlinks that are not really that easy to get. Search engines value these quality backlinks more than they do numerous low quality ones, so your SEO will benefit greatly from excellent PR work when you bag such links from reputable third parties. Public relations for online companies has indeed evolved to be something more than just trying to get the word out to people about updates, products, and news regarding your company. It has now become a helping hand in terms of getting your site to rank better in organic searches. It is not secret that the better your ranks online, the easier your target market can see you, and the more people will see you as an authority in your field. Never mind the fact that being on the first page of search engine results pages will bring in more traffic than being on the fifth or tenth pages of SERPs. Also worth noting is that bad PR can also affect your site as much as good PR does. Any bad reviews, bad write-ups, and not-so-flattering information about your company can also affect your SEO. Since these will carry your company name, and even your website link, you may find yourself faced with bad publicity about your site mixed in with some of the good things that have been written about you when search engine results pop up. This can be easily avoided if you handle your PR with finesse and aplomb, and create relationships with your third-party partners instead of just using them for your PR needs
So you finally decided to go ahead and use pay-per-click advertising for your company. Now, your next dilemma would be to find the right person to handle such a task. While some people believe that anyone can easily handle your PPC account for you, in reality, it is not as easy as it seems. If you want your PPC efforts to pay off, you need to find someone who is not only well-versed in terms of pay-per-click must dos, but also someone who has traits that will help them succeed in what they are doing. What are the traits that you need to look for in a PPC manager? What does it take to become a great PPC account manager? Here are some of the traits that you should be looking for: They have to be tech and internet savvy – they are creating ads for your business on the web, so they should not only know their way around, but also know how to use the many different tools needed to create these ads quickly and effectively. They need to have above average Excel skills, can understand the most basic of tech jargon, and can also communicate these to clients who are not tech and internet savvy in layman’s terms. No, they do not need to be programmers (although this is an added bonus), but they do need to easily find their way around the internet. They have to be proactive – for a PPC account manager to be considered proactive, they need to be on top of every update that Adwords rolls out, and finds out how these new features can be utilized to benefit your campaigns. A proactive PPC manager also knows when ads should be tweaked, when comparison tests should be run, and when to check competitors for updates. They keep themselves updated – the internet is such an active place that changes occur every minute, every day. A great PPC manager knows how to keep themselves in the know by subscribing to the authorities in the industry, like Search Engine Land, MOZ, and Inside Adwords, to name a few. They check Google Adwords for updates frequently and read up on trends, in order to better handle the tasks on hand. They are data driven – in order for a PPC manager to know just how well their ads are doing, and when changes need to be made to increase clickthrough rates as well as conversions, they need to be able to read the data that they can get from your accounts. They need to project and predict outcomes with the help of the charts and numbers they get from their tracking tools. They also need to make educated decisions with the help of the data they get, and for that to happen, they have to know how to enable data tracking tools from the onset. They are innovative and intuitive – while this may seem like the opposite of data driven, it is not. It is actually complementary to being able to understand trends and movements with the use of PPC data. An intuitive PPC manager will know in their gut when certain tweaks will be more effective, when comparison tests will show the best data for their use, and when new ad trends should be utilized. They also need to know how to improvise and innovate to capture the attention of their target market, and to lure these away from your competitors.
How difficult is it anyway to take care of social media accounts that your business has? You’ve handled your own personal Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram accounts easily enough, right? Contrary to popular belief, doing social media marketing for your business and taking care of your personal social media accounts are actually two very different things. When you have social media accounts for your business, you need to keep in mind that these are not in any way like your personal ones. You cannot simply post any picture you take on the fly, post statements and comments on a whim, and tweet about anything that pops into your head. When you have social media accounts for your company, these have to be handled with a lot of thought for the company’s image. Any carelessly posted ideas, images, and thoughts can be translated by everyone as the those of the company, and not just the person posting, so care has to be taken with social media management. Why a Full-Time Social Media Manager is Required Yes, social media is not that difficult to post on or to use, if you are just an individual using their personal account. If you are talking about a business account however, it is a different story. These portals need to not only project professionalism and what the company is all about, but also has to be approachable, up-to-date, and informative. In order for your social media accounts to be properly handled, someone who knows how to take care of these has to be at its helm. You have to remember that these accounts are there not just to show and tell people about your company, and what you offer them. These are also there for people to use to easily get in touch with the company, and are essentially portals that allow for interaction. This is why a full-time social media manager is needed. The person you put in charge of your social media management will not only be tasked with posting updates, images, and news about your business, but is also essentially your company’s spokesperson online. In other words, the person handling your social media accounts is also your social media PR person. They have to interact with your audience, answer questions, clear misconceptions, and provide feedback whenever necessary. Why Choosing the Right SMM Candidate is Important Since the person handling your social media accounts has to interact with your audience on behalf of your business, they are considered the voice of your business by those who follow your social media accounts. This is why choosing the right candidate is important for this post since they do have to not only uphold your company’s name on these platforms, but also to give people the right responses they require. For this, you need not only someone who in internet savvy and well-versed in terms of social media norms, but also someone who is intelligent and knowledgeable enough to properly reply to any question or query being asked of your company through these mediums. You need to find someone who can devote their time to taking care of your social media presence and to be able to answer the queries and take care of comments being posted on your pages. They should also be able to monitor the accounts periodically during the day to put any negative chatter to rights, and to ease the minds of those who might have any doubts about what your business can do.
If you are doing online work and content marketing, you should be aware that having a site structured to meet the needs and demands of users is crucial. You need to ensure that your content should meet what your visitors require of these, and your site should present your content in a way that makes your users feel they have achieved what they needed to when they first clicked on your site. In short, you cannot only focus on the content itself but also in how your site presents it, and in how easily your users find it. How do you achieve such a goal, and what can you do in order to have a well-structured site? The term that people use to cover such a task is called information architecture. This is when your content meets the needs of your users through understanding how they use your site. In order for you to do this, you have to first understand what your users want and how they want it. To be able to do this, you need to answer four questions that are usually in the minds of your site visitors. Four User Questions to Answer to Ensure Great UX
- Did I visit the correct website?
- Do they have what I need?
- Do they have other options besides what I am seeing right now?
- What should I do next?
If you are thinking of doing email marketing, or have been doing so for the past few years now, you should know that a lot of the tactics being used then can actually still be used now. Yes, email marketing in 2016 will still follow trends that have been effective for the past few years. What are these tactics, you ask? Here are some of the ones that you will still benefit from in the coming year: Incentivized emails – giving someone a little token or reward for doing something is still a great way to get them to do something for you. For example, if you offer them a free trial membership or a discount for specific items if they allow you to continue mailing them, or if they refer a few more friends to add to your mailing list, they might be inclined to do so. A free gift is something that not only makes the person receiving the email feel good about the surprise, but is also something that creates loyal and converting customers too. The basics still work – when it comes to email marketing, the phrase “tried and tested” is still pretty much something you can rely on. These include strong headlines and email headers, knowing what time it is best to send emails to your mailing list, being concise, and taking care to not be vague about your message. All of these have worked in the past, and are still going to work in the present and the future. All you need to do is to tweak here and there to make these more in-tune with what people want and need these days. Exclusivity is still a draw – ever wonder why limited edition items and one-of-a-kind offers are still being sought after by many? This is because of the draw that exclusivity has. When you say that you have one of an item that is in limited production, or are a member of a club that only a few get a chance to join, you make it seem very special. People love special, and love the feeling that they are part of a chosen and limited circle that can avail of such an offer. Making your email offerings seem more exclusive will make these more valuable to whoever is getting this and will entice them to opt-in. Personalization still encourages people to click through – generalization has always been a big no-no when it comes to email marketing, and this is still true to this day. If you want people to respond positively to your emails, making these more personal and less general is the way to go. Since email marketing involves sending out hundreds of emails to numerous individuals and personalization at its basest level can take a lot of time, you need to be smart about this. In order for your messages to be truly personalized even though you don’t actually write individual emails for each person, you need to go beyond the first name basis header and opener, and to address the person according to their demographic. This can be done by categorizing your email recipients from the get-go, and sending out your emails according to demographics.
Getting your company noticed online is no longer just an option but already a necessity in this day and age. This is why more and more companies are investing their time and money on building optimized websites, and on making themselves visible via social media. There are some businesses though who don’t know whether to go with social media or with an optimized website for their online presence. Majority of those who understand why being online is very important to the future of their company choose to have both an optimized site and a social media marketing strategy working for them. This is because one can support the other, and vice versa, when it comes to making people find your company and see what you have to offer. There are some companies however who don’t think both are necessary to make people find them, and these are those businesses who choose to focus their energies only one of these two mediums. Which one should you go with if you were only to utilize one for your online presence? If you want your site to get maximum exposure, using both avenues is recommended. If you were to choose only one to focus on, you need to first determine what your goals are. You also need to figure out what your budget is for your online requirements. These can help set you down the right path for your online needs, and will help you determine what you should focus on. If you are aiming for brand awareness, then social media marketing may be your best bet. This allows you to showcase your brand, promote new products, and interact with your audience. Interaction is the key to developing a relationship with your target market, and the use of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter helps you do that. This will help project a positive image for your brand and will make people trust you because of your interaction with them and what you present to them on your social media pages. If you are targeting people who are actually looking for what you can offer and who are ready to purchase your products or avail of your services, then SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) is what you should focus on. Since people who need what you have usually go to search engines to initiate a search for something they need, having an optimized site that shows up for keywords that are associated with your company and/or products is more beneficial to you. Having ads that are on search engines as well (like Adwords for Google) will also work well for such goals. If you are working with a minimal budget, you may want to focus your efforts on social media since these usually don’t require too much money to begin with – unless of course if you are planning on going for sponsored posts and ads on these platforms. If you have a rather sizeable budget however, going for both is ideal. In the end, deciding on one for your online needs is a matter of purpose and budget. Using both is still recommended for optimal results and for maximum exposure.