Why Less Is More Concept Gaining Grounds in the Web Design Landscape?

You are a core part of this evolving change. Aren’t you? Leading a simple life makes you more happy and joyous compared to the decorated life. The same is now implied in the web design landscape.

Simplicity is the key to the elegant website. The more you understand this, the less you focus on ornating it. “More the Better” concept is bygone. Today, “Less Is More” concept is gaining grounds. Users prefer clean designs which include less UI web components. Google homepage is the perfect example of this concept. The team focused more on what users are looking for and not on the design. So, they turned out with a plain design; company’s logo with a search bar. Hence, it is safe to say that minimalist web design offers higher user engagement rate, easy navigation, and makes it more appealing.

What all factors prove Less Is More concept is picking up the steam in the web design landscape”?

The Use of Whitespace

It is also known as the Negative space. Though being labeled as negative, it has a positive impact on the web visitors. For instance; Amazon, the #1 eCommerce site worldwide has millions of products of vivid brands to shelve in still, it provides a smooth experience to the users. The reason behind it is, Amazon focuses on minimalist design. Though the homepage displays featured products along with various offers and deals yet, the experience is good. Sufficient space to tour and let users know what is trending in the store.

Removing unnecessary elements from the website is not the designer’s goal. But doing so extends the click area for users. Also, the white space enables designers to highlight the key content to seize users’ attention. This automatically improves the user experience and upsurge the user-engagement rate. But remember; don’t eschew all the bells and whistles from the site. Doing so will thwart the purpose of using minimalist web design and it will lose its essence. As it is known as white space, it’s not white all the time, designers use various colors to add life to the vacant space.

Color Schemes

Each color defines its purpose of use and that’s why it has a great value while designing a website. Be wise in choosing the right color for your website. For instance; Facebook, the #1 social media networking site uses blue color to represent its domain because blue is the color for professionals and corporate. When you look at the Facebook homepage, it is simple. The use of the components is minimal. But the color blue used in the logo and other areas makes it look beautiful and elegant.

To focus on simplicity aspect, various web designers use contrasting colors. Therefore, when you have nothing to add, you have color palettes to play with. If a background color is darker in shade, the font color is dull or lighter in shade or it may be vice-a-versa. This is the best practice to enhance the look of the site and take the users’ focus to the significant information or required actions.

Font Styles

As said by Jeffrey Zeldman, “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration”. You know this very well. Don’t you? To complement the modular design, apart from bold font styles, ornate or thin font styles also zest up the look of the website. This truly depends on the design template.

Just as contrasting color schemes, large or bold font style increases website’s readability resulting in enhancing the web experience. The main purpose of experimenting with different font style is to incline users’ attention towards the content and help them understand the context. Using large or bold font styles offers a clean line on the web page, the letters are exactly the same in stroke size while the white space between each letter enhances users’ reading ability. Also, using such font styles won’t affect the performance of the website. Therefore, it can be a better option in replacement to images.

Final Thoughts

User experience being the main focus, “More the Better” concept did not live up to the expectations. The use of unnecessary images on the homepage, animated videos and flashy elements not only slow down the performance but also ruined the web experience. That’s why designers adopted “Less Is More” concept. With fewer UI web components in use, it naturally enhances the experience of web making the website look refreshing and improves user interaction. Hence proved that “Less Is More” concept is picking the grounds in the web design arena.

Author Bio

Kim Smith is a Content Consultant at Goodfirms.co, a full-fledged research firm for top web design companies. She’s been journeying through the world of content marketing for more than 4 years. Her experience spans in areas like mobile apps, start-ups and social media. Online you can find her on twitter: @contactkim11

Embrace 5 Stats to Make the Most of Your Content Marketing Strategy in 2018

Content marketing in the current era is evolving at lightning speed. The prime reason for this is the consumers who are now discontented with the direct advertising and sales tactics that don’t lure them and appears as cheap, gluey, or deceitful.

Alternately, now they’re engaging with legitimacy, clarity, and cordiality in a brand.

The emergence of the World Wide Web and Social Media Platforms plays a significant role in Content Marketing. These channels help the buyers select and choose precisely the brands that they want to associate with. If the web audience doesn’t entertain your ads, they’ll drop and move on next – very simple.

In such scenarios, marketers have realized that they need a different way to approach the buyers. The same old ads are ineffective to meet the present-day buyer needs. Alternatively, the marketing strategy must add value to buyers’ lives in order to get the most out of it.

Hence, the basics following content marketing – involvement-building, focusing on – buyer or the brand – were born as the conclusion.

The below five statistics explain how this approach acts as the foundation for a successful content marketing.

  • The content should now be longer and more visual

The fair-to-middling share of 19% of blog posts are the ones that are drafted with 1,050 words
For current norms, long-form content is compulsion instead of choice. Instead of outlining short pieces of content, invest more time in, highly informative content posts that deliver a greater audience value. Though it is little fussy to compile such lengthy yet they are useful for both the brand and audience.

  • 53% of emails are accessed on mobile devices
    In 2018, email marketing, when is the part of content marketing, must be mobile-friendly. If you’re targeting your users by forwarding the content through emails, ensure the email templates are mobile responsive so that they best accommodate the current marketing needs and goals. Further, it helps to boost ROI and increase the content readability.
  • By 2019, Mobiles will hold 72% share of digital ad spend in the US
    As mobile devices continue to progress as the preferred medium for users, accordingly marketers are increasing their advertising expenses. Back in 2014, the mobile searches dissociated with desktop, so it is entirely right a lot of marketing efforts should be towards the mobile ads.
  • On an average, only 37 seconds are spent by the user on reading a blog post
    It’s a very short span (extremely short) to impress a user, so content requires to be readable and influential. Content writers are embracing the average reading time, are now realizing the significance of apparently scannable article structure and use bold, headings, sub-headings, to make the essential things clearly visible.
  • Personalized email subject lines, 26% are more likely to get opened
    Personalization boosts the content marketing, as the content stuff feel more customized as per individual taste. Utilize the data you’ve received from your web audiences and put it to serve to push open rates and enhance the efficiency of your endeavors. Email is one such section where personalization is easy and smooth to deploy.

Conclusion:

Content marketing, especially the accelerating adoption of customization, visuals, and interactivity as ingredients of your strategy, will consistently improve how existing and prospective customers see your brand through content. A good content marketer is very well known to this, and for him, it’s a critical thing to stay on the top.

It’s not the question of finding leads and customers, but the question is the right content that will encourage your visitors to make a purchase on your website. Hope the above content marketing stats help you get the right efforts for your digital marketing and make most out of it.

Author Bio:
Janet Parker is a Digital Marketing Strategist. A tech Blogger with over 6+ yrs. of global experience in IT industry.  At present, she is associated with ViitorCloud Technologies, which offers Web Design and Development Services globally. You can follow Janet Parker on Twitter and Google+.

Everything You Need to Know about Online Reputation Management

Have you recently ‘Googled’ your name? Today, people regularly search other people online, before an interview, a meeting, or even a date. Consider the following statistics:

  • 44% of adults online have googled the person or company whose services or products they require in a professional capacity, like an electrician, lawyer, or dentist
  • 50% of all adult internet users gave an online review of a service they used
  • 78% of internet users usually perform product research online, and trust the reviews they read online
  • 80% of people claimed to have changed their purchase decision because of a negative review they read online

If a prospect Google’s your name or brand, you want to ensure that whatever comes up is positive as it will shape their impressions of your business.

What is a reputation?

As a business, you have probably experienced the joy of a radiant online review and the sting of a negative online comment. Your reputation is a product of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you and/or your business.

It has become increasingly easier for consumers to share their opinions about your products or services on social media networks, which often appear within the top results of name searches. It is important that the information posted online about your business be accurate and reflect you in a positive light.

A good reputation will lead to increased prospect confidence and more sales. Conversely, a bad reputation will result in diminished consumer confidence and subsequent reduction in sales and profits.

What is online reputation management?

Whether positive or negative, any social media feedback is a valuable source for guiding improvements and spreading the word about your business. If any negative information appears, you want to be able to address.

This is online reputation management, and it has a direct bearing on whether or not prospects will buy your product or service. ORM involves managing search engine results and protecting your brand’s reputation from negative exposure online.

If done well, ORM will prevent negative buzz from happening, protect and cultivate your brand, and have a positive impact on your sales. It will deliver high rankings and visibility for good publicity, which will help to dilute and push bad publicity down search engine listings, and out of public view. This is likely to work because online searchers rarely view more than 2 SERPs.

Impact of Reviews on your Online Reputation

Studies show that online reviews can significantly impact a brand’s reputation, and subsequently sales. These reviews are widely read, and tend to influence consumers’ purchase decisions. This implies that reinforcing or rebuilding your online reputation largely depends on promoting positive reviews, or highlighting what’s good.

Consider the following statistics:

  • 59% of users consider customer reviews to be more valuable than expert reviews
  • 60% of online shoppers offer feedback about their shopping experience, and usually feel more inclined to post a review based on a positive experience rather than a negative one
  • 70% of Americans claim that they check out product reviews before purchasing a product or service
  • 70% of consumers worldwide trust online consumer reviews. This makes them the second most trusted form of advertising after word of mouth
  • 71% of online consumers read reviews, which makes it the most widely read consumer-generated content
  • 71% of consumers use keyword searches to find products or services
  • 80% of the time spent by consumers shopping online is used to research items rather than making the actual purchase
  • 92% deem customer reviews as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ useful
  • 92.5% of adults often research products online before proceeding to make an in-store purchase.

How to Get Started with Online Reputation Management

It is important to listen to what is being said online about your business, brand, products, or services, even if it is negative. Listening gives you the opportunity to respond and address in-house issues or deal with adverse information online, both of which can negatively affect your image and reputation.

Here are the steps involved in a standard ORM strategy:

Step 1: Research and Analysis

Before you can initiate your ORM efforts, you should first examine how your online reputation currently stands. This involves your brand/business/product research on search engines to see the results concerning your business that visitors and prospects see when searching for your keywords.

You might need to use several social monitoring tools, including:

  • Google Alerts – Receive email alerts every time a user mentions specific keywords you are tracking
  • Social Mention – Tracks Twitter, blogs, images, audio, video, blog comments, and mainstream news so you can easily stay up-to-date
  • Technorati – Do your research on keywords or key phrases related to your brand or competitor brands here
  • ReputationDefender – Intended to help online business preserve and restore their reputation in social media. This tool offers robust monitoring services to help you track your brand and deal with the results that show up in SERPs

Step 2: Competitor Backlink Assessment

More research is necessary to analyse your industry rivals and their online standing. It helps if you know where your business matches up to industry rivals as this also impacts your brand’s reputation.

Step 3: Review Building and Influencing

At this point, you can post genuine customer reviews of your products/services/brand in leading web properties so they can surpass the negative reviews in SERPs. The objective of this process is to reduce the number of negative reviews while increasing the number of positive comments and favorable reviews of your business.

One of the best ways to counter attack negative comments is by responding with a positive one. You can influence the outcome by actively participating in the conversation to improve the perception of your brand. Even a simple comment like the one below can do wonders:

‘Thank you for your feedback. We are working on resolving this issue’

Step 4: Social Media Profile Creation and Optimisation

linkedinprofile-best.JPG

Here is an example of Linkedin power profile

If you don’t currently have a presence on different social media platforms, it is important to identify those that are most relevant to your business. Set up social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any other platform where you can easily reach your target audience.

Choosing the right social media network is key to building and promoting your online reputation. To deliver better customer service to your market, it is crucial that you engage in the right and appropriate social network for your industry.

Beyond creating these profiles, dedicate some time to optimise them with regular updates, comments, and participating in group discussions. If need be, seek professional help with customising your social network profiles as per your promotion efforts.

Step 5: Social Media Promotion

Consider hiring a professional SEO or SMO team to provide valuable and informative content on your social media profiles, and to maintain a high level of activity to enhance your reputation. This process involves regular updates and discussions to boost engagement and friend/follower acquisition.

Keep in mind that two-way conversations need not use official tone. Use language that shows you care. You need a particular way to confer to your audience and it should coincide with your company’s tone of voice.

Step 6: Content Generation

Consider outsourcing on/off-page content creation techniques such as article creation, blogging, and press release. Optimise the content with the right keyword usage, anchor texts, and links. Keep in mind that visitors and search engines like valuable content. The more valuable the information on your site, the more visitors you will be able to attract.

Conclusion

Online reputation management is fast becoming a critical strategy for organisations. This relatively new field in today’s online landscape is not just a personal issue for today’s internet shoppers, but a critical marketing tool for all business, whether online-based or otherwise.

Remember that customers and prospects go online to learn more about the companies they want to work with. A positive review will likely get you a new client, whereas a negative comment from one unsatisfied customer could easily destroy everything you’ve built.

With a concise online reputation management strategy though, you will be able to build back your clean reputation online.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hill is the Outreach Coordinator at TechWyse, an SEO agency in Toronto, Canada. While she isn’t building relationships with bloggers and influencers in the marketing world, she can be seen rooting for the Blue Jays.

7 ways to create a winning email strategy for your startup

Many business owners may find it hard to believe but email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for digital marketing. In fact, one report claims that email marketing returns $38 for every $1 spent. Additionally, 59 per cent of B2B marketers still find email as the most effective channel for revenue generation. In the year, 2014, email marketing was listed to be one of the best marketing tools for customer retention as well. However, many businesses fail to get the desired results with email marketing.

We are all aware of the fact that a good email marketing practice will pay out. But where to start? How to create a winning strategy for email marketing?

To help you out, here are some ways that will not only ensure that your email marketing campaign is a success but will also give you some link building ideas alongside as well:

Plan

Just like you plan your marketing efforts for newspaper ads, social media channels, and signboards – your email newsletter also needs a strategy.

Make sure that your email newsletter is planned for the core target market. These are mostly people who are or will be interested in the product/service you offer. Take the time out to research. Make sure that the email newsletter template you select is aesthetically appealing for the target audience and also reflects your brand image thoroughly.

Additionally, keep in mind that content is always king. Besides taking care of all the other aspects of your email newsletter, don’t forget to work on creating quality content to engage your readers.

Segment the list appropriately

One of the biggest mistakes novice entrepreneurs make during email marketing is address the entire email contact list as one entity – regardless of whether they are long-term customers, new clients, prospects, or even decision makers.

If you do your research, you will find out that there are a variety of personas that make up your email lists and if you send all the contacts on your list the same boring, run-down of your company, then you are likely to lose a lot of business.

This is why, it is important that you segment your list appropriately and send out content that is suitable for the specific group.

Set a specific time and day for emails

While most business owners presume that most emails are opened during the office hours, i.e. 9 – 5, the Experian Marketing Service reports that 8 p.m. to midnight receives the best open rates. This time block not only received better open rates but also better click through and sales.

Sending emails on a wrong day can also lower the response rate of your efforts. In fact, MailChimp previously did a survey on the same and found out that weekends had the lowest opening rate while Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays have the highest opening rates.

Give something away

Let’s admit it, we all like freebies. Of course, we are not encouraging you to give away free iPhones or plane tickets but a small token of appreciation can be a good gesture for your customers and of course, helpful for building your email list as well.

Not many are aware but when the renowned candy company, Tootsie Roll released a new lollipop flavor, it failed to attract much attention. However, the company organized a giveaway where they asked fans and followers to enter for a chance to be one of their taste testers. The interested participants were asked to share their name, email address, phone number, and other basic information to participate in the giveaway. In the end, the company not only succeeded in receiving feedback of their new candy flavor but also got access to email addresses of many fans and followers allowing them to engage with them frequently.

The same tactic was also used by Josh Earl, a freelance writer and programmer. He had a list of 5,500 email subscribers for his text editor called the Sublime Text. However, he wanted to acquire more subscribers and for that, he created a giveaway in which a free license for Sublime Text (priced at $70) was offered. After just 11 days of promoting the giveaway, Josh managed to acquire 187,991 email addresses along with 398,896 visitors on his website.

Optimize email for mobile phones

Did you know that 36% of emails are opened from smartphones? And if your email newsletter is not optimized to be open on mobile phones, chances are it might stay in the customer’s inbox for many days.

Think about it, if your email lists accounts for $100,000 in sales each month, can you afford to lose $44,000 just because your email does not look appropriate on a mobile phone.

Thus, make sure your email is designed in such a way that the text and images are easily scanned from mobile devices. The call-to-action buttons should also be visible and easy to tap. Additionally, ensure that you follow the guidelines of different mobile phones.

Re-engage with inactive visitors

Congratulations, you have succeeded in growing your email list. However, have you ever noticed how many inactive recipients are there on your list? Research shows that average inactivity for an email list is 63 percent. This means that most of the recipients of your email don’t follow up. Well, the best way to interact with them and keep them interested is to re-engage with them by sending them a follow-up email.

Additionally, don’t forget to welcome new visitors by sending out a welcome email. This not only shows a friendly gesture on your part but is also a powerful way to set expectations.

Re-check before you hit send

Once the ‘send’ button is tapped, nothing can be undone. This is why it is important that you re-check all aspects of your email before sending it out. Is the layout correct? Are the font and images set in proportion? Have you ran spelling and grammar check?

Make sure that you check everything and then send out your email to minimize the occurrence of any errors.

Develop a better email strategy

Discussed here were just some basic tips that you can apply to your email marketing strategy. With the right fundamentals in place, we are sure your emails will get better results and perform better. Good luck and do let us know how your email marketing strategy works.

AUTHOR BIO

ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting Today’s Marketing Landscape

Image Source

Artificial intelligence used to be something of the future — something that was only fathomable in The Jetsons when we were children.

Alas, 2020 is nearly here, and while we may not have flying cars, what we do have is artificial intelligence (AI). If you have ever used Siri, you’re familiar with how one form of AI works. You can also see it when Facebook automatically suggests whom to tag when you upload new photos.

Many industries have already seen the impact of AI in their industry, the best example could be Uber’s mission to automate driving using AI by developing self-driven cars and processes. Website building & development is another industry currently being disrupted by AI in the case of Bookmark’s Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant (AiDA) which builds a whole new website that fits a certain niche in a matter of minutes.

What is Artificial Intelligence

Image Source

Artificial intelligence is a complex combination of algorithms that imitate certain human actions: speaking, seeing, making decisions, and translating. In a limited way (for now), it’s a machine that can think for itself and make sophisticated decisions using networks of information and data

As AI’s uses and implications are catching on, more and more industries are finding ways to use this disruptive technology to transform the “normal flow” of work. The marketing industry, among other industries, is the latest to be impacted by AI.

The changes are not bad; in fact, we are seeing a lot more positive impacts with the right use of AI. With artificial intelligence, for example, “human error” might just become something of the past, increasing our efficiency and productivity.

 

The Disruption of the Marketing Landscape by AI

Prior to the use of artificial intelligence in marketing, we used to trust our gut when it came to improving our marketing process.

However, that left a lot of place for something we call human error. We might like to believe that we make objective decisions with regards to our marketing campaigns, but we can also be hindered by our being human — our biases rising from our backgrounds and experiences, our personality, our energy level at that time.

All these could mean mistakes in how we proceed with the campaign, mistakes that could prove expensive later on.

Image Source

An AI software, on the other hand, won’t have this human error problem and will be able to go through all data tirelessly and objectively. It will work round the clock at a speed unmatched by any human, and will never get tired.

This raises the question: what will happen to the human in this equation? Will there no longer be any need for us? Will we be staring at the world as our creation is literally taking over?

While that’s not going to be likely, and will remain in the domain of science fiction, there will, however, be some changes that will modify the way marketing works. Here are some of them:

 

1. Automated Decision Making

Making a decision can sometimes be the hardest thing to do. Whether we like it or not, humans will have a lot of “what ifs” in mind, and this will prevent us from making a timely decision.

AI, on the other hand, won’t face this limitation, simply because there is no “feeling” involved. It’s just hard data. The AI can go through hundreds of algorithms in just a few seconds and analyze all the information necessary to make an objective decision.

When AI software makes a decision, it will back it up with reports on customer behavior, strategies, and real-time trend analysis. It will tell you exactly where you are in the marketplace and where you will be if you make a certain decision.

With artificial intelligence, all actions are done logically and with profit in mind, with fewer chances of human error affecting the decision making process.

 

2. Advertising Goes from Art to Science

Image Source

When companies first started advertising their business in the marketplace, they had the tendency to focus on aesthetics, making campaigns into a work of art that they believed would suit the image of their business well.

Unfortunately, there is a big difference between what looks good and what will actually bring you profit.

AI has a predictive nature, and it will know beforehand whether a campaign will be successful or not, without having to subject it through numerous test runs. It will know, for example, if using the blue button will be more successful, or if you’ll have more success with the red one. This will be based primarily on understanding certain key metrics such as consumer behaviors, past purchasing history and marketing campaign performances.

With the use of AI, advertising will go from art to science, potentially contributing much to the company’s growth.

Plus, since all the reports on the campaign will be done automatically, there will no longer be a need to waste workforce on this kind of tedious work. You will reduce human error, improve productivity, and more importantly, you will have freed up time for yourself to focus on other things that are more important for growing your company.

 

3. Personalized Customer Experience

Image Source

Have you ever noticed how all the online ads seem to lead to things that actually interest you? You look up your favorite cell phone type, and soon enough you’ll be getting ads on the same kinds of phones. You probably didn’t realize this, but an AI is also responsible for all this.

The AI will “map” your online behavior, understanding how you think (by noting which websites you checked out, what links you clicked, etc.), and then use that data to make your experience even more pleasant by bringing you exactly what you want.

Some may describe this as creepy, but this is also an attempt to improve sales and the overall user experience. For instance, AI can predict where you are most likely to click on an ad and when, therefore improving your marketing experience.

The idea of an AI is to be a true detective that will always see what the customer is doing. That way, a company will be able to offer the right item to the right person, making it much easier for both parties.

 

4. Boosting Customer Service

In the past, customer service means a team of people somewhere in the world answering phones, emails, or chatting with clients regarding a product line.

These people get tired at the end of their shift, and sleepy, and more likely to commit mistakes. Sometimes, they are also short-handed, leading to long waiting times on the phone or chatbox, often leading to reduced customer satisfaction.

With the introduction of artificial intelligence in customer service, there’s no longer the need to wait. The system, unlike the human, has access to unlimited data — and they can scan through all of it very fast, giving answers just when the customer needs them the most. It doesn’t get tired and it doesn’t go to sleep.

With increased efficiency in the use of AI in customer service, the customer experience will definitely improve, leading to potentially higher sales for the company. Some experts however, believe that AI shouldn’t replace customer service as it will take human empathy out of the process. Nevertheless, AI will definitely become an integral component of the customer service process.

 

5. Optimized Schedules

Image Source

If there’s something we actually dislike in marketing, it’s coming up with the schedules. It’s cumbersome, it’s time-consuming, and the risk of “human error” is very high.

An AI, on the other hand, will be able to properly schedule everything for you, so that you will no longer have to work long hours on putting a program together — especially when you could use that time to do something more important for your company.

 

In Conclusion

Image Source

Surely, artificial intelligence is on pace to become one of the most disruptive technologies in recent years. It’s disruptive nature will have a major impact on various industries around the world. We are yet to see exactly how it’ll impact the world as we know it, but small business owners who want to get ahead of their competition will definitely need to take AI seriously and assess how they will integrate AI into their everyday business operation. Whether it’s by using an AI-powered marketing software, web design platform or even simply by using Siri, the potential of using AI to make your business operations highly effective & efficient is higher than ever!

Why Buy New When Slightly Used Will Do? The Pros & Cons of Buying an Existing Website

Image Credit: Pexels via Pixabay

Starting your own online business is an attractive idea for many aspiring entrepreneurs. After all, the ideal scenario is that you can run your business from anywhere in the world, with minimal running costs, and access to a global audience.

Of course, these things are rarely as straightforward as you might hope, and the time, energy, and resources required to establish a new brand can be substantial. You need to choose a suitable niche, understand your audience, scope out the competition, and then create an attractive, functional website. And all this comes before you’ve even begun to attract a following, let alone make any sales.

On the other hand, you could take on an existing website, and build your brand from there. Whether you choose to turn around a struggling business, or purchase a successful online store and help it to grow further, this strategy is a helpful alternative for anyone who feels underprepared to simply start from scratch.

Even so, there are two sides to every coin, and while there are many benefits to taking on an established website, there are also potential drawbacks. So to help you reach a decision, here are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages to skipping ahead and building your brand on a pre-existing business.

Startup Capital

Launching a startup requires capital. Yet, while this sum can be kept relatively low, depending on how you structure your initial marketing and content delivery, you will always be gambling that capital on the success of your business.

However, the same applies to some extent when purchasing a business. Depending on the prior success of your chosen website, the initial costs could be even higher than those of simply launching your own site. And of course, there is still the risk that your investment could be lost if things do not work out.

The difference with making a purchase of this nature is that you can make a more informed decision about the potential value of your investment. Looking at the website’s history, and conducting your own research into its potential for growth can give you a comprehensive insight into the worth of an online store at any point in time. Don’t be afraid to ask the owner these questions if you cannot access the information you require.

If you are purchasing an ecommerce store via a verified website marketplace, you can even investigate past transactions involving that website, as well as prices paid for stores with a similar profile. This can help you to avoid paying over the odds for a website, and get a sense of the earning potential of a struggling business should you choose to take it on.

Pre-Existing Content

One of the strongest arguments for purchasing a website is that it should come with a body of content already in place. This can save you a huge amount of time and effort in the early days, as your website will already have useful information for visitors to browse when they find your site.

This content can even help to boost your search engine rankings, not only through the age of the site itself, but by providing a selection of relevant, engaging content which will help guide people to your site, or even to a specific section of your online store.

However, it is vital to perform a content audit when taking on a website. Not only do you need to know the age, subject, and performance of existing content, but you will also need to verify that it will have a positive impact on your SEO.

This means checking it uses the correct keywords for your niche, and that it is accurate, timely, and original. Plagiarism can be extremely damaging not only to your rankings, but to your brand’s reputation, so be certain to vet all existing content thoroughly when taking over a website. Tools like Small SEO’s Plagiarism Checker can help you with this.

Naturally, the problem then becomes that additional time is expended checking through old content, instead of creating new. However, this can still be a worthy investment, providing the bulk of that content is usable. Furthermore, some items may be suitable for reworking into other forms, giving you the additional benefit of a range of free, easy-to-implement content ideas.

Once again, you should investigate the website before making an offer, so you have a firm sense of the work required to make it profitable.

An Established Reputation

When choosing whether to purchase a website, you will also want to investigate whether it has any additional accounts connected with it, such as social media pages, or storefronts on global marketplaces.

Not only does this help you to determine how much work will go into maintaining the business’ current level of activity, but it can also give you an insight into its reputation. This, in turn, will inform your marketing decisions during the transition into your ownership.

For example, a successful, popular business with good reviews and a loyal following may expect things to stay largely the same when you take control of the website. However, if you choose to take on a website with a bad reputation, more work may be required to win the trust of your followers, and reverse any negative social proof.

Fortunately, you can make a big impact in this area in a relatively short amount of time by being as vocal as possible about the change of ownership. Seek feedback, and interact honestly with your audience. This will reinforce that you have their interests at heart, and that you seek to change the business for the better. The news may even spark the return of former customers, keen to find out how things have changed.

Traffic & Revenue Streams

Building your audience and steady revenue streams can be tough when you are new to the world of ecommerce. However, with an established website you can grow your business from the traffic and sources of revenue already in place.

The important thing to remember is that you need to be sure that the sources of traffic and revenue are in line with your business aspirations. Look into the website’s history to ascertain whether the traffic is steady, or has been artificially inflated by a recent spike. You should also research the variety of demographics that comprise the existing audience.

Depending on your plans for the business and any changes to its practices, you may find that you are no longer catering to the same audience. This again will likely mean extra work reaching out to potential consumers in a manner that suits their needs, and your business model.

Experience & Originality

If you have never run an ecommerce store before, purchasing an existing business could be a good way to get a sense of how things work, and build upon a successful model, rather than having to start from scratch with no experience.

However, the flipside to this is that without experience, you could find that an established online store comes with greater demands from its customers. While much of the initial legwork has already been done for you, to ensure the continued success of the brand, you will need to be able to meet consumer expectations. Too many changes too soon could risk costing you a proportion of your audience.

Meanwhile, the more established and recognized the brand that you purchase, the harder it can be to leave your own stamp upon it. This can be fine if you are happy to build upon an idea that was not your own. However, if you seek to create something completely original, you may find that attempting to do so via an existing business holds you back.

Part of the problem may be that your ideas simply don’t gel with the existing business model, or established policies. This could then either mean extra work adjusting these to suit your aspirations, or having to compromise on your vision.

Alternatively, you might find that your fresh point of view, and commitment to your concepts for the business are just what’s needed to breathe new life into an existing brand. As ever, the key is to conduct careful research before making your purchase, so you know what to expect, and where improvements could be made.

Image Credit: StartupStockPhotos via Pixabay

Whether you set up your own business, or decide to invest in a website that is already in existence, you should work to ensure your own aspirations are not lost along the way. It is your business, after all, so don’t be afraid to shake things up, and make your mark on it.

There are pros and cons to both choices, but if you have any uncertainties, you may be safer investing in a business that has already make it through the early stages of its life. Keep the guidance above in mind, and remember that it is only through continuous testing and improvement that any online business can be sustained.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared to give a pre-owned business the time and attention it needs to thrive, you can not only make it your own, but leave a mark on the industry that will boost your reputation, and your confidence for future endeavors.

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is passionate about using her experience to help other businesses grow their online brands through great content.

5 Mistakes You Are Making Trying to Improve Your Email Response Rates

Businesses often make mistakes that cripple their email campaigns. As a result, they get low response rates and question whether they can justify the cost of email marketing.

If this sounds familiar, spend some time evaluating your tactics. By avoiding the following mistakes you can breathe new life into your email strategy and enjoy a healthy return on investment.

1. Your Subject Line Is Too Long

Most email inboxes display a fixed number of characters from your subject line. This especially holds true for mobile users. In other words, if your subject line is too long, it may seem unclear to a majority of users who open emails on mobile.

You have only one chance to captivate the attention of your recipients, and you must say it using only a few words. Your goal is to motivate someone to open your message and then read it.

Whenever you write a subject line, revise it to eliminate unnecessary words. To be sure, use words that accurately reflect the contents of your message and make your subject line stand out in crowded inboxes.

You can also personalize your subject line using your mailing list software. When people see their name in their inbox, it becomes even more intriguing. Also, avoid making the mistake of reusing your subject lines.

2. Your Message Is Lengthy With No Real Value

People have only a limited amount of time to spend reading emails. For this reason, you should ensure that your messages are concise and easily readable. When you do this, you encourage your recipients to read what you have to say and respond to it.

Writing long, rambling messages that have no clear purpose waste time and can get busy subscribers to blacklist your emails. Instead, build a reputation for your brand by delivering value inside every message.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep your content short and sweet. Doing so increases the impact of your message. As a rule, aim for creating emails that people can read in a half-minute period. Also, use plain language and focus on fostering engagement rather than pitching sales. Include practical tips that solve problems and explain how to use your products and services.

3. You Didn’t Find Your Email Frequency Sweet Spot

In many ways, the number of emails that you send affects your results. Companies that have achieved a measure of success from their email marketing campaigns face the temptation of sending too many messages, which can become self-defeating.

So, an important part of your job as a marketer is determining the right number of messages to send. By sending too many, you might get more exposure, but you can also weaken your brand and come across as a nuisance. If you send messages too often, even faithful readers will either unsubscribe or relegate you to their spam folder.

When you send too few messages, people forget about you and your brand. In other words, you need a minimum amount of exposure to maintain brand awareness and keep your competitors at bay.

Generally speaking, people prefer receiving either weekly or monthly emails. Moreover, daily messages are too many for most people. In the end, optimize your campaigns based on your recipients and their preferences.

4. Your Email Address Looks Spammy

Even when they have an effective subject line, many messages hit the trashcan because their sending address looks suspicious. After all, no one wants to risk opening a message from a spammer or scammer. Furthermore, many spam and malware filters will automatically delete such emails.

Although you can safely use addresses from Gmail and Yahoo for casual correspondence, a good idea is to use one from the same domain as your website. When choosing your email provider, keep in mind that Gmail and Outlook offer the advantage of allowing you to recall unopened messages after you send them. In other words, you have some leeway if you discover a mistake after clicking “send”.

5. No Call-to-Action

What happens when you send an email that has a fantastic subject line, a professional sender address, and concise content? The answer is “Nothing,” if you never ask your readers to respond. Why go through the trouble of sending marketing emails if you get nothing in return?

Instead, increase your response rates by adding a visible, easy-to-tap call to action button to every message. When properly composed, your call to action communicates a sense of urgency and can inspire recipients to act. Additionally, your call to action puts you in control of what you want your readers to see next.

Conclusion

Stop making the above mistakes so you can improve your email response rates. Appropriate timing, when combined with a properly composed subject line and professional email address, can persuade people to open your emails. Once your readers see actionable content and a clear CTA, you will get the results that you deserve from your email marketing strategy.

Author bio: Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. Connect with Ashley via Twitter.

How to Get Backlinks That Really Increase Traffic

Backlinks are active hyperlinks that, when they are on different websites, link to the original Internet resource. Often, the text of such links is a search query, which is used to optimize the site in search engines.

There are many advisers on the Internet, who truly believe, if you write a good content, the followers and customers will stand in a line to buy from you. In some cases, it’s really so, but if you expect that readers will “self-refer” to your site, then to get several thousand subscribers, you will have to wait months, if not years. How is it possible to get backlinks without spending a few hours in a day? Just follow these 5 points listed below and you will begin to notice the increase in the traffic.

Tip 1: Answer questions in blogs and services where people seek help.

All you need is to search the questions on your topic in the different searching engines using related keywords. Then after getting hundreds, if not thousands of questions, you can start answering them. If you have an article or blog that will help people to find the appropriate answer, you can provide a link.

Nevertheless, it should be understood that you shouldn’t paste a link to the site just for the sake of reference. Of course, you won’t be willing your answer to look like cheap spam. Remember, only if the answer is really useful and the main aim is to help this option will attract targeted traffic.

Tip 2: Share links to thematic forums and portals

Have you ever used forums to create the links? Mostly often marketers are afraid to use this method due to the risk being fined by Google. I would like to destroy the delusion. If you participate in forums on the topic and don’t paste spam in the answers, you have nothing to worry about.

Answering the topics of the forums, follow the same principles that are stated above. The answer should be useful and reference to your site should really make sense. When adding a link to your site, do not overuse the anchor text.

 Tip 3: Link to relevant sites

I know this may sound crazy, but links to other sites in your own materials are a great way to create backlinks. For example, you can create a post in which you need to insert the links to other sites (ideally at least 20). Moreover, you’ll need to do several things:

Visit each of these sites and find email addresses of employees. If you cannot find the address of a particular employee of the marketing department, you can always look at the email in the “contact us” section on the site. Then send a message in which you thank for a valuable resource and tell that you simply could not help sharing it in your blog. In the letter, specify a link to your blog too.

Do not expect that people will massively share links to your site. Of course, if the tip in your article is really strong, some will share the link in an organic way, but this will be less than 5% of the audience. Approximately 20-25% of those to whom you sent a letter will share your link on Twitter, Facebook or Facebook. When the post goes viral you’ll get the desired backlinks on your page.

 Tip 4: Write reviews on your topic

Do you know which posts on the Internet are the most popular and collect a huge number of links? Of course, the expert reviews on the topic. Think about writing one of these posts. All you need is to find several experts and their opinions (for example, video) on one particular topic. Uncover their point of view in the perspective of your own. It is not necessary to write devastating/negative articles. On the contrary, write it in a positive way. Then refer to these experts, as in the previous tip.

Tip 5: Stay active on social media

Use every chance to establish long-lasting contact with the audience. Whether you have written a blog or an article – post it on all social media, where you’ve marked your presence. Remember, you should use only the appropriate format for each of them. The more buzz you will create around your brand, the more will be your chances to get noticed.

Conclusion

Creating a quality product or service, writing quality content can’t guarantee that people will refer to you or your content. If you want to receive backlinks and, more importantly, generate traffic, you need to be active. You need to promote yourself and everything you are doing. If you try the methods described above, then in addition to the growth in the number of backlinks (and as a consequence, search traffic), there will also be an increase in referral traffic. If you have any question or queries don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Your comment matters to us.

About Author:

Ashish Sharma is the Chief Marketing Officer at WeDigTech, a Mobile App Development Company in LA California US. He is responsible for marketing activities that have to do with creating, communicating and delivering offerings that have value for clients or business partners.

7 Reasons to Hire a Professional Graphic Designer

Graphic designing has become a fundamental part of today’s world. It’s surrounding us in a myriad of forms, both in a virtual sense and in print. Graphic designing can make your brand become distinguishable in the jam-packet market, making it look more professional and introduce your services or products to broad audiences.

With that in mind, a lot of companies decide to take the responsibility of graphic designing on themselves, with little or no knowledge at all. The internet offers many solutions for those who want to cut down their costs, so business owners go for free logo online creators, stock images and other quick fixes.

However, that might not be such a clever idea if you’re thinking about standing out in the crowd. If you want to maintain professionalism and raise uniqueness, you’re in the need of a professional graphic designer. We’ll provide you with some additional reasons to help you consider this idea.

1. Save your time

When you’re already overwhelmed by your work, why take another responsibility? Time is a valuable thing in today’s world and should be used cautiously. If you’re running a business, the chances are you won’t have enough time to be really dedicated to graphic designing, since it would take you years to master the complex graphic design work.

Having a professional handle this for you will take loads of work off your back. A professional already possesses all the necessary skills, leaving you room to be focused on other important tasks. Graphic design professionals can put all of their focus on your projects and deliver the desired results in less time.

2. Save your money

A professional can also prevent you from making sky-high costs as they are familiar with the most effective ways to keep your costs at a minimum. An experienced graphic designer would know where to find the best resources needed and which programs to use for the assigned projects.

3. Stand out

It is difficult to get attention in a crowded market, but a professional can assure your recognition amongst competitors. Following the latest trends and thinking outside the box can provide the much-needed uniqueness for your business. They can offer you creativeness and a fresh perspective and put an emphasis on the things you didn’t have in mind, which will help you attract the target audience along the way.

4. Maintain a professional image

This may be the most important factor when hiring a professional designer. Presenting your business in a visually appealing way is crucial because it guarantees a trustworthy image. Designers know how to combine all the essential elements to create a great visual representation of your company.

5. Achieve desired results

A professional designer will make sure to understand your business goals, as well as your audience, so you don’t need to leave anything to chance. Their responsibility is to brainstorm how to convey your message in the most effective way and deliver a wholesome and appealing website that represents your business in a good light.

6. Attract new clients

A successful website incorporates perfect load time, engaging imagery and good navigation, and will work properly on all devices and in different web browsers. All of these segments help you attract new clients, so it’s important to have a highly functional site to speak for itself. Without an expert dealing with your website, you could pass up a great opportunity for future customers as a result of a bad introduction.

7. Ensure consistency

Inconsistency in business can make you look rather unprofessional. A bad design may influence your clients to think you provide inconsistent services. Your brand is a reflection of your business, so you have to be careful about what kind of a message it sends. A professional graphic designer will pay attention to the smallest details and will have the right tools to ensure you credibility. Creating a style guide is highly important if you’re planning on expanding your business and a good designer can help you achieve that.

To conclude, appearance is crucial in the business world and communication is becoming progressively more visual every day, so online success is critical. Ultimately, if you want to wow your clients and beat down the competition, you should absolutely go for a professional to make your business really stand out!

5 Ways to Convert More Visitors to Leads on Your Website

All business owners want their website to produce maximum leads whether it is a full-fledged business or a small setup. In this rapid age of digitalization, a business should have a strong online presence to be successful. And improving lead conversion is an important aspect of digital marketing that cannot be ignored.

Even after a lot of hard work, many websites tend to have low conversion rates. You don’t want potential customers to leave without a trace.

However, instead of starting from scratch and rebuilding your website, you can consider these 5 simple, yet effective ways to convert more leads on your website to help your business grow:

1- Incorporate maximum conversion opportunities

One of the main factors affecting your lead conversion rate is lack of opportunities for visitors to become a lead. If you think that a customer will spend some extra time on your site to find a contact form, you are mistaken.

Instead of waiting for the customer to magically find their way in, incorporate maximum micro-conversion opportunities. Micro conversions refer to interactions made by the user on the site, such as watching a video posted recently on your website, reading a blogpost or visiting the FAQ page that can be used to convert them into a new lead.

You can add a micro-conversion point on the most popular page of your website. Find out which is the most visited page on your website by using Google analytics and add some potential conversion opportunities to them.

Generally, one of the most visited pages of any website is their homepage. So, insert a pop up there which offers the visitors to join your email list or ask them to follow you on social media. Offer a discount in return, and you’ll definitely get additional leads through your website traffic.

2- Make your website mobile friendly

According to a recent research, smartphones and tablets are overtaking the use of desktop web browsing traffic by up to 48.7%. This is why you need to address your mobile phone visitors too. You might be losing a huge chunk of potential conversions if your website is not mobile friendly yet.

Therefore, make sure the mobile friendly version of your website has enough opportunities for customers to sign up with their information. Check the legibility of font and buttons on the forms. Unless the forms are clear and easy to fill, people will not sign up, consequently, leaving you with low conversion rates.

Lead generation can improve thoroughly if your website is user-friendly and mobile compatible.

3- Find a system to manage customer relationships

Customer Relationship Management tool(CRM) is one of the most essential tools that allows you to maintain a high website conversion rate. A CRM plugin WordPress integrates with your website and makes it easier to manage customer information effectively. You can also take a look into your business history through it with all your loyal customers. Salesmate is a widely used CRM tool that minimizes time spent on each lead by offering beneficial marketing insights and a visual sales pipeline.

4- Offer personalized calls-to-action

Try to incorporate a lot of dynamic content into your website so that it provides a customized experience to every user. People who access your website should see product options according to their interests. A personalized call-to-action can increase your website visitors by up to 42%. It is undoubtedly an excellent way to generate more leads.

5- Nurture each and every lead

Nurturing leads is as important as getting them, if not more. Your nurturing efforts are directly proportional to your overall sales. After the visitors have filled a form on your website, place the leads into a workflow and send them regular emails with content that matches their interest.

Remember, the follow-up emails should be consistent and relevant with quality content. Personalized emails that are tailored according to the user’s preferences will definitely result in a sale.

Conclusion

There are many other ways to increase lead conversion on your website like adding customer reviews, irresistible offers, live chat option, engaging videos, etc. But the key is to keep yourself up to date constantly. Never settle for a mediocre website that fails to perform. There are loads of online tools and tricks to get more leads for your website with just a few simple changes.

In addition to this, also make sure that your website has professional and polished design and content. A poorly constructed website and low-quality content will push the visitor away. So, start working on your website today and incorporate simple changes like inserting email forms on popular pages and installing an effective CRM system to get the maximum leads on your website.

Author Bio:

https://scontent-mxp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13445806_1325784977450072_8186797934010354330_n.jpg?oh=f55cfc48b0904cc5a81df905d0671d68&oe=58C3B7AD Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.

Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison