Simple Steps To Optimize Your Local SEO With Local Schema

When it comes to optimizing for local SEO, schema markup is one of the most effective, yet underused practices. Local businesses can add schema markup to their websites to make it easier for search engines like Google to understand your business and index your site better. This helps boost your SEO, and helps you rank better in relevant SERPs.

But before we get to the ‘how’, let’s first talk about the ‘what’.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is basically snippets of frontend code that you include in your website’s header or footer section, that contains microdata about your business. Developed by Schema.org, which is a collaborative effort from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex, schema markup can be used to help search engines crawl and understand your website better. They also enhance online user engagement with your business, by providing relevant data to users directly on SERPs. In this article, we will be focusing on local business schema, and how you can use it to optimize your local SEO.

LocalBusiness Schema

Schema has a number of categorizations, based on the type of information that it provides. Some of the commonly used categories include event, person, organization, product, etc. LocalBusiness schema is a part of the ‘Organization’ category and can be used by business owners to provide information such as their business’ NAP, open hours, and even rich data such as maps, images, and menus to users directly on the SERPs.

Schema.org has a number of types listed for local businesses. You can find all these types, along with the complete list of custom properties here.

Now let’s get down to how you can use local schema to optimize your local SEO.

#1 Make Use of the Available Business Types

Schema.org has a vast number of business types that you can use in your website’s markup. Many a time, businesses tend to stick to the generic ‘LocalBusiness’ type. While not wrong, this doesn’t give search engines a clear idea of the nature of your business.

So, instead of sticking to the ‘LocalBusiness’ type, you can use a more specific organizational markup, which looks something like this:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Electrician”></div>

#2 Markup Your Business’ NAP Details accurately

One of the most important aspects of local SEO is to get your business’ NAP listed consistently and accurately. This also applies to schema markup, and is vital for search engines to understand your business’ exact location. Do make note that including your business’ NAP in your markup requires you to declare a new type – PostalAddress.

Here’s an example of how your NAP details would look in your markup:

<div itemprop=”address” itemscope

itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>

<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>397 10th Street</span>

<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>San Francisco</span>,

<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>CA</span>

<span itemprop=”postalCode”>94103</span>

</div>

Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”>555-248-1675</span>

#3 Incorporate Maps & Geo Properties

When it comes to local searches, the proximity of your business to the user is a huge factor for ranking organically. In order to help search engines in getting this right, you should incorporate both ‘hasMap’ and ‘geo’ properties in your markup.

The ‘hasMap’ property displays a local map with your business’ location in the search results, while the ‘geo’ property is used to pinpoint your business’ geographical coordinates. While the ‘hasMap’ property can be directly included in your LocalBusiness markup, the ‘geo’ property requires you to declare a new type, which is ‘GeoCoordinates’.

Here’s how a hasMap markup typically looks:

<link itemprop=”hasMap” href=”https://www.google.com/maps/place/Costco+Wholesale/@37.7695435,-122.4132266,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x808f7e28c2ee680b:0xe77ab2a37fb8babc!8m2!3d37.7702716!4d-122.4108656”>

And this is an example of a geo property in your markup:

<span itemprop=”geo” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/GeoCoordinates”>

<meta itemprop=”latitude” content=”37.770392″ />

<meta itemprop=”longitude” content=”-122.412797″ />

</span>

#4 Markup Your Business’ Social Profiles

Including your business’ social profiles as part of your schema markup connects the dots between your website and your social profiles. This helps search engines discover your business’ citations faster, which we all know has a direct impact on local rankings.

You can do this using the ‘sameAs’ property to markup your business’ social profiles. This property lets search engines know that your business is the same one as cited in the given URL.

Here’s what the code looks like:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Plumber”>

<span itemprop=”name”>Seattle Plumbing</span>

<link itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.seattleplumbing.com/”>

<link itemprop=”sameAs” href=”https://facebook.com/seattleplumbing”>

</div>

#5 Leverage The Site Navigation Schema Markup

Site navigation schema markup is a very useful element when it comes to local schema. This helps search engines understand your site structure and navigation better. It displays your website’s sections in SERPs, increasing organic sitelinks.

The ‘SiteNavigationElement’ property is used for this markup, and here’s how it looks:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://www.schema.org/SiteNavigationElement”>

<span itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.alexautoparts.com/car-parts”>Car Parts</a></span>

<span itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.alexautoparts.com/custom-decals”>Custom Decals</a></span>

<span itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.alexautoparts.com/used-cars”>Used Cars</a></span>

<span itemprop=”name”><a itemprop=”url” href=”http://www.alexautoparts.com/motorbike-parts”>Motorbike Parts</a></span>

</div>

And there you go! These simple local schema markups can not only boost your local SEO, but also make your website more dynamic and engaging in the SERPs. In order to maximise your results, you can combine these efforts along with getting your business listed on all major online directories, review sites, and social media sites. The more directories/sites your business is listed on, the more citations you have. This also aids in local discovery, and generating more reviews for your business. We recommend using an online tool like Synup for this, since manually listing your business on all major directories can be a cumbersome task.

 

SEO Strategy 2018: 5 Easy Hacks to Boost your Organic Search Traffic

Do you know that more than 50% searches on Google happen from Mobile Devices? In a recent report, it was found that mobile searches exceed desktop searches by an extra 28 billion.

This shows that more mobile users are using Google than the desktop users. With the increasing number of Mobile phone users all over the world, it has become important to optimize your website to generate more search traffic from mobile devices.

Here are the 5 Easy Tips by which you can boost your organic search traffic in 2018.

Tip #1 – Create a Responsive Design

One of the primary things to optimize your website for organic search traffic is to create a responsive design.

When Google declared that it will focus more on mobile-friendly websites, people started to build a separate mobile version which used to be quite different from its desktop counterpart.

But let me ask you this! Would you like to go through the pain of managing two different designs for your website? I guess not.

Wouldn’t it be great if you have one design of your website that works for different screen sizes? It will keep things really simple, right?

Comes into the play the responsive designs, which automatically adjusts to the screen size be it mobile, tablet, desktop or laptop and still keep it easy to read and understand.

Tip #2 – Make sure Website loads Super Fast

No matter if your visitors are on an LTE supportable device or on 4G connection, there will always be a possibility that they could end up in a place where they won’t be having good reception of internet speed.

No one likes to wait for the web pages or web apps to take a longer time to load. It is necessary for you to not only have a mobile compatible site but a real fast website as well.

Imagine, someone searched you on Google, they clicked to visit your website, but it is taking too long to load your landing page. What will you do? You won’t wait and simply click the back button.

If too many people start to click the back button, Google will be notified that they don’t like your website for whatever reason. Trust me! You don’t want to look bad when it comes to your presence on Google.

A faster website will not only reduce the bounce rate but will create a better experience for the visitor which will help you boost your overall search traffic.

Tip #3 – Leverage Google AMP framework

Using Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework goes hand in hand with making your website fast for mobile devices.

As the name suggests, the AMP framework let your website become super fast and mobile-user friendly, so whenever someone will search on mobile devices the top results will always be AMP-enabled.

AMP frameworks ensure that the text on your website it readable to mobile users by making your website stripped of a lot of things like ads and excessive JavaScript.

This just doesn’t make your website light for mobile, but also drive more organic traffic from mobile searches as Google prioritize the AMP-friendly websites in the search results.

You may not see much impact of AMP from the developed countries where people are already using high-end fast devices, but from places where internet speed is not that fast or the people don’t use fast smartphones, you will see a significant increase in the mobile traffic.

Tip #4 – Keep Header image small

You definitely don’t want your visitors to continuously scroll and scroll to ultimately reach to the content they are looking for.

As mobile devices don’t have that much of a big screen, it’s better to keep your header image small. Also, make sure that your content is readable in terms of font size and font color.

What people can read easily, generates a better user experience.

Also, avoid putting pop-ups on mobile devices. If the whole mobile screen gets covered with crazy pop-ups, the visitors will more likely to exit from your website without even looking further.

Now you don’t want to irritate your visitors as too many pop-ups on mobile devices provide a poor user experience. A bad user experience increases the bounce rate, decrease the time on site, ultimately plummeting your ranking on Google.

Tip #5 – Keep Mobile-First Index in Mind

With Google’s mobile-first index in effect, you have to make sure that you are showing them everything.

This is a common malpractice among many mobile websites that they show some of the content, and then ask the visitor to click load more for more content, which increases the load time of the website.

This way, they are not showing Google all the content and hence, their rankings are not going to improve.

You need to make sure that everything on your website, not just the text, is visible to Google. You need to let the Google bots crawl HTML, CSS or any other style sheets that you have implemented on your website.

That way, Google will be aware of the complete architecture of your mobile site and can rank you based on that.

Conclusion

SEO is a vast process in its own. There are a lot of different strategies that you can follow to increase the rank of your website on Google. What may work for you, may not work for others.

It is always best to try different strategies and see which one gives the best results. The above-mentioned hacks are easy to follow as they do not require much of the back-end work.

Following them or incorporating them with any other SEO strategy will surely let you make your mark on the Google search engine.

About the Author:

Ashish Sharma is the Chief Marketing Officer at WeDigTech, a Mobile App Development Company. 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 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Website

The internet has invaded the modern day consumer’s mind space. A customer more often than not can be expected to use a virtual option to satisfy his/her shopping needs rather than visiting a physical store. An online business venture can generate very good business and earn high returns in today’s scenario. It is not as easy as it sounds though. There are hundreds of online ventures and a customer has a range of options. This makes it imperative to have an effective digital marketing strategy for e-commerce ventures. Let’s have a look at some strategies that such businesses can use:

1.Content Marketing

Good content can always be leveraged to target potential customers. Gone are the days of mindless blogging. Investing in good, readable articles and blogs related to the products makes sense. One should always look for trained professional writers who can create original and arresting content. Focus on creating stories around your product rather than blatantly promoting it. An amusing blog can angle in more prospective customers than a tacky advertisement. Lists , info-graphics and well written reviews can be also used to inform and pull in potential customers. Well written content will always attract readers and once hooked they will come for more. This reader base has the potential to be converted into a possible customer base. Invest in informative but easy to read newsletters which can be mailed to potential clients.

2.Social Media Marketing

Social media has grown hugely over the years. It presents e-commerce ventures with a considerable potential customer base. This makes it an integral part of digital marketing. One can choose from the various social media platforms as per the target customer base and use it. A good strategy needs to be in place to reap the rewards of social media marketing. It makes sense to research the target audience’s preferences and use the social media platforms mostly used by them rather than a mindless presence across all available platforms. Good images and visual content can be of great help . Interesting content with little bit of promotion makes good sense. The beauty of social media is interaction. Interact with your followers and if possible reward them. The reward can be in the form of a nice comment or a discount choice – whatever suits your marketing strategy.

3.Search Engine Optimization

A digital marketing campaign is incomplete without Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Designed to increase a website’s visibility it needs a comprehensive strategy and lot of hard work. It is a very demanding and time consuming job but it can guarantee good returns in the long run. You should take care to constantly update your website with rich and informative content. SEO involves using smart keywords to make your site easily identifiable to Google crawlers which helps in improving the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings. Good content will make customers visit your site more often. They may also recommend your site to others. All this helps in improving traffic to your site and getting you natural links which is beneficial in moving your site up the rankings. The more visible your site , the more chances of it engaging new customers.

4.Email Marketing

People may think that email marketing will not give as good results as some other digital marketing strategies. Imaginatively used, emails can be a very potent tool for drawing clients. They can be used for product promotion as well as informing the customer about discounts and other offers. The mailing list should be segmented. The receiver will not junk your mail as spam if it interests him/her. Personalized and short , to the point messages will always help. Transactional emails can also be used subtly. For example , a user can be sent similar buying suggestions in his delivery status update emails. Newsletters and other written content can also be sent through mail to potential buyers. Take care that such material do not have overt promotional content.

5.Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC Advertising can be a very productive and effective digital marketing strategy for ecommerce as it guarantees instant results. Anybody using a search engine must have seen that on the first SERP some ads are displayed before the first results. Those ads are there because of this strategy. As it assures visibility right on the first page not only new entrants but big , established players in the market also allocate a significant part of their budget for this advertising form. Greater visibility mixed with good content on the website will result in increased traffic which can always be converted into a customer base.

6.Mobile Marketing

More and more people are using smartphones for online shopping. This device can be used to promote your business venture. The first step towards it is having a mobile-friendly site. Most e-commerce sites are designed on frameworks like Magento website development platform which facilitate easy development of responsive sites. The sites adjusts to user’s screen size and with good speed the user experience is pleasant. This helps in converting potential buyers into actual consumers. Apart from this a simple layout and easy to fill forms will also help. The next step is mobile app development for both Android as well as ios platforms. Users can be sent notifications about new offers and products through the app. Mobile marketing can also be extended to feature phones through SMS and MMS.

7. Video Marketing

Have you ever thought of YouTube as a digital marketing agent? I believe your answer would be no. Video sharing sites generate a lot of traffic. Their user base is ripe for pitching your product. A nicely shot informative video or ad campaign can do wonders for your brand. People like to recommend the videos they like to others and who knows your promotional video may go viral. People can be expected to remember a viral video more than a bland advertisement. Investing in ads on such sites is also advised. Associating with someone else’s good quality video content is another option.

Endnote

Today’s world is being driven by the internet. People are looking for answers online. The Internet has become the biggest marketplace in the world and e-commerce sites are its shops. In order to stand out and succeed in this immensely competitive environment, an effective digital marketing strategy for e-commerce ventures becomes compulsory.

About Author:

Linda Wester has been serving as an experienced Magento developer at HireMagentoGeeks Ltd – Best Company for hire magento developer across the globe. She is a passionate writer and always look out for opportunities for sharing her knowledge with Magento community. Follow her company on various social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

 

How to Build an E-commerce SEO Strategy for Large Retailers

Gaining traffic is a crucial aspect of your website. After all, more traffic means more sales. As an e-commerce seller, rising above your competitors on Google is a must. However, most online retailers have unique SEO considerations than most websites out there. But how do you step up your SEO game? Whether you’re starting out, or looking to improve your site, you have to realize that landing on the first page isn’t enough.

So, how do you build a solid e-commerce SEO strategy? Here is an in-depth strategic guide to gaining more leads, driving more sales, and landing that coveted #1 spot.

Research Your Long-Tail Keywords

You need to come up with a solid keyword strategy. It’s critical to know the long-tail keywords related to the particular industry you’re in as well as the products you offer.

Short-tail keywords are usually related to product and landing pages, lead magnets, as well as blog posts that are designed to target certain related content and specific search queries.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/1U9DI2oCekXMulizNyl2SiichvTty4LzQFIohwYtxKAahkWKCYlB-EO5xZY4U_A2hVyzo7PpQGS8dhR5I5xmar_lktpnFPKa9I0Y6mdobE8oxr7y8J5zcgw6PLODi-j7WmC4NxlRr1plVPNgvg

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, focus is on solving whatever problems, queries, and questions your readers. Then, finding a viable solution to these long-tail concerns.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/QkRyIfLSIP4ymSa2c74cUoA5CizCO8775Tm4vx2x_IwBb10vQB7X0F2e3ta2xYRRM39H3xp3bJolJWt_GufaDAd0htg9mrLOdBcjZPlc40UTK_deJPkW49FAXonU5MXoeRXjgr7h-wFOpJ4Q1A

Although most keyword strategies will focus on both of these at some point, it’s vital that you have a good grasp of your customer’s lifecycle and level of brand loyalty. You first need to identify the specific keyword strategy that works well for your company.

Optimize Your Pages around Your Keywords

Once you’ve come up with those targeted long-tail keywords, you need to optimize your site around those keywords properly. There are specific steps that you can do this:

First, always use shorter URLs. Take note that Google prefers shorter URLs over longer ones. John Mueller said, via-Google hangouts, that they prefer shorter form URLs over longer ones.

Second, try to make your site’s product pages at least 1,000 words long. If you have some difficulty coming up with at least a 1,000-word article, you can try adding product descriptions and its possible uses. Additionally, you can feature positive reviews from satisfied customers. Doing so makes your page look more credible because you went out of your way to produce a well-researched page that’s useful to your target audience.

Give Google as much useful content as possible. A well-researched and in-depth 2,000-word article about the top marketing trends in 2018 is preferred over a 500-word article of the same material.

Third, your keywords need to be strategically placed. Ideally, it should appear at least three to five times throughout your site’s pages. Be wary of keyword stuffing though. Google will know if you’re just trying to jam irrelevant keywords in your entire article and penalizes websites who are doing this tactic. As a result, this can significantly affect your rankings. It doesn’t help if your goal is to land targeted search traffic on your site.

Finally, try adding internet links. If ever you have a high authority page that gains a lot of traffic and has been linked to many times over, use that to your advantage. From there, you can link from that page to the other product pages on your site.

Create Content around Your Products

The web is filled with mediocre content. So, how do you produce a type of material that stands out? Essentially, you can start a company blog and start creating quality articles that are useful to your audience. That way, this can help with generating search traffic as well.

Focus on high-quality product images and content that captures your reader’s attention. Google loves well thought out, well- researched material that proves to be useful to a specific audience. The goal here is to solve most people’s problems. For example, if you’re in the health and wellness niche, you can write an article that explains how regular exercise and a healthy diet can help reach one’s fitness goals. You can then link your products or service somewhere on the page.

It may be tempting to write shorter content for your site, but it’s better to go in depth as much as possible. Give your readers exactly what they need and Google will reward you with higher search rankings.

Use Analytics to drive your E-commerce Strategy

If you’re an entrepreneur, you should invest in data analytics. Do you know that only 20% of online retailers are making use of data to improve their website performance? Most e-commerce business owners hardly have time to check and measure critical metrics, but this is a crucial mistake that you shouldn’t make.

If you want to improve your marketing efforts, gaining access to data analytics is the best way to leverage your business from the rest of your competitors. It will give you valuable insights into the ever-changing trends in marketing. Moreover, you’ll be able to interpret vital customer behavior that can have a significant impact on your business, then prepare techniques for other marketing tactics designed to work based on your insights. As a result, it helps you better understand who your specific audience is, know what their needs are, and how to cater to them effectively.

Having an in-depth and integrated analytics approach will prove to be valuable if you want to step up your e-commerce strategy. If you want to know more on how to use analytics to build an effective e-commerce strategy, here’s a guide about e-commerce analytics for beginners from Shopify.

Conclusion

The concepts behind coming up with an effective e-commerce SEO strategy is simple. However, the results aren’t seen overnight. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It does take time to put these strategies in motion effectively. Once everything falls into place, the results will pay off. Before you know it, you’ll be landing more leads and driving up more sales for your business.

 

Must-have Local SEO Tips To Conquer Google Maps

Undoubtedly, Google has proved a game-changer for the online business owners so far. In August 2015, it came with a big update at the same time changing the history of local searches. This update proved highly beneficial both for the users and SEO experts. With the update in Google maps, SEO experts started experiencing a difference in the way the local search was being made. The difference appeared in the form of three prime business listings in place of seven that used to rule in previous searches.

We can understand it better with an example, suppose you find “the best salon” on Google, then Google maps list will appear after paid business advertisements. And, Google will show the local salons that fall near to the searched locations with contact and address details. In this way, local businesses will reap the benefits of locating this on Google maps.

Local SEO can be a game changer, small businesses can’t afford to ignore it –   Absolute Summit

Make proper use of GMB (Google My Business)

GMB has become a crucial feature of Google as the information related to your business you add, it will appear on Google Maps, Google Search, and Google+. Make sure you focus on below directions while applying GMB for the local SEO:

You add targeted town or city on the landing page title of Google My Business.

Ensure that your GMB contains consistent, relevant and accurate information.

Primary categories of Google My Business should remain consistent with the product so that it presents a wider search category.

The listed location must be verified by business owner.

Mapping the location of your business to the site

It is great to incorporate contact details on the site to assist the customers to reach you. Along with this, you should map the relevant information regarding the directions to the business address using the Google maps. Apart from the business location, linking important information such as hours of operation, links to a phone call, driving direction, etc. proves to be a beneficial approach. In case, you are running a business in varied locations, then you should design several pages and work on optimizing them for the particular locations.

Smart handling of NAP

NAP stands for the name, address and phone number of a particular business. Make sure that you include the working one on the website and manage the similar one everywhere. Remember, none takes interest in your business and places orders until he talks to you. Google secures you in top 3, if you integrate real NAP.

To rank locally in Google Maps, it is important to have consistent NAP (name, address, and phone number) on all of your citations. Inconsistencies in NAP will keep your site from ranking in the 3 pack.  – Rob Harden  PDX SEO

Local keywords targeting for local search

Conduct page optimization on the basis of local keywords that rule in the search paradigm. Sort out the most searched keywords by users around you and start content creation as per the specific business location.

Local domain name is a good gesture

If you own a domain name having the location, then this will prove helpful in enhancing the popularity of your business. For instance, noidacakes.com brings better result as compared to onlinecakes.com.

Content rules everywhere

Like other searches, localized searches also require effective content to earn rankings under local search results. Get unique content written and amalgamate it with both online and offline SEO tactics to attain 3 pack result in rankings.

Importance of website reviews

Search engine takes customers’ reviews seriously in terms of offering top ranking to your business. And, many customers read these reviews to reach your business. So, provide quality products and services to your customers and encourage them to give the best reviews.

Inbound links form beneficial deals

To enhance the status and influence of a local business, you require expanding its popularity in the local area. Getting links from other sites local area to your own site can prove to be helpful. Local businesses have varied ways to get such links. Making donations, hosting a community event, building contacts, sponsoring meetup or webinar or promoting something of your choice can help you. Adding to this, you must own the following ingredients:

Keywords based on the location in inbound links’ anchor text to the domain.

Inbound links diversity to the domain.

Conclusion

In short, you should implement the modest SEO tips along with well-known SEO strategies. In return, you will be able to rev up your website’s ranking using Google maps in local SEO.

Author Bio

David Meyer is an SEO and SMM expert at CSSChopper, PSD to HTML Company. Owning a great hold on web marketing tactics, he serves the audience with informative write-up frequently. When not writing, he is found experimenting with something new from on-page.

 

How to Come Up With the Perfect Logo for Your New Business

Many businesses have failed to recognize the many benefits that are related to having the perfect logo. However, as an entrepreneur, this is not a mistake you can afford to make.

A business logo is usually the first visual interaction that your potential customers will have with your business. As such, there are many benefits you can get from having an informative and attractive logo such as brand loyalty and repeat sales.

Benefits of having a strong logo

First of all, your startup business logo can leave your target audience with an excellent first impression. This is especially important for those firms new to the marketplace who stand to gain a lot from creating a lasting impression. Therefore, a logo gives you the perfect opportunity to draw the attention of your target customers. Once you interest customers you then can work your way on building brand loyalty with them.

In addition, a great logo is an essential tool that can help you to a build brand identity. Think of the logos of companies like Apple, Mercedes, Audi, KFC, and Nike you can picture them in your mind because they have built strong brand identities. A vast majority of the population can quickly identify these companies through their logos. This goes to prove just how important a logo is towards a business’s identity.

Years ago, when these companies were startup companies, barely recognizable by anyone they began their brand journey with a good logo. They were able to grow into major companies with the winning combination of a compelling recognizable logo and delivering exceptional goods and services. Consequently, you should consider learning how to make a logo for your new business now at your launch stage.

Here are some helpful tips to help you come up with a great logo that will build your business;

1. Learn about the different type of logos

There is a variety of logos types that companies utilize.

Some only use a symbol as their preferred logo, think Apple. If you would like to use a symbol, it is essential that the symbol stays relevant to the type of services and products that you sell. This type of iconic symbol is popular in technology businesses.

On the other hand, there are some businesses which opt to use a wordmark as their logo, which is their company name in a stylized design. Examples include Coca-Cola and Ray-Ban. It is imperative that you identify which logotype that best fits your needs.

2. Look at your competitors brands

If you find yourself struggling to come up with ideas for your logo, you should borrow some inspiration from the logos of other businesses. Notice I said “borrow” “inspiration” not steal ideas, which you would never consider.

Given that you are competing for the same clients, this is the best way to get a feeling of how your logo should communicate.

However, it is crucial that you remain creative and unique. Do not plagiarize their logo as it will have a counteractive effect of confusing customers and lowering your sales. Instead, look at it in the sense of how much better and more creative their logo could be and make it your own.

3. Let your logo have a message

As you come up with a design for your business’s logo, you should ensure that it is backed by a message. Let the logo embody what your target audience would appreciate knowing about your business. (Remember that this is one of the first interactions that they will have with your company).

The red circle of Target’s logo came from an archery target which told customer that their stores where the perfect location to find all their shopping needs at one location.

This means that the logo needs to be meaningful in that when a customer looks at it, the logo passes a message of what industry you are in and the kind of services that you offer. Therefore, it would be better to keep in mind what your brand is about as you design your logo.

4. Your logo should be simple

It is wrong to have the perception that the more flashy and elaborate your logo is the better it serves its purpose. Simplicity is important both for customer perception and ability to use for multiple purposes such as websites, t-shirts and business cards.

It is true that your logo needs to stand out and be creative. However, it is equally important for people to understand your logo. This can only be achieved if the logo is easy and flexible.

Also, having a clean and functional logo is beneficial in that it can be used across different media. Keep in mind that your logo will not only be on your website but also on newspapers, your social media accounts and on your products. Consequently, the visual graphics of your logo should be functional.

Most professional graphic designers suggest that you view all your logo designs in plain black ink on a white background to be sure that it communicates with its design and not its fancy colors alone. If you like it in black you will love it in color.

5. Choose the logo colors carefully

Other than the image or name for your logo, the color that you choose plays a vital role. Do not hurriedly select a bright color because it entices more eyes. It would be better off if you pick a color that that is symbolic of what your business is about. Learn about how you can use color power to boost your marketing.

Also, when choosing colors, you should try and limit your logo to three colors. Having more than three colors will turn out to be costly when it comes to printing. For this reason, you should consider how much you would like to spend when creating your logo.

6. Seek help from professionals graphic designers

As an entrepreneur, generating a logo by yourself can prove daunting. Therefore, if you find yourself experiencing any difficulty, consider hiring a professional logo designer. Recently I had a logo made for my business using a logo design contest at the crowdsource site 99designs – read about my experience in my review of 99designs.

Whereas this means facing additional costs, it is beneficial in that you will do everything in the right way.

If you are on a budget, you should hire the services of freelance logo designers as opposed to going to a design firm. They are a cheaper alternative.

In conclusion, creating an impressive logo for your startup business is essential. As much as it will not guarantee you instant success, it is the perfect way to build your brand by attracting more customers. Ultimately, a good logo will ensure that your business experiences significant growth.

Bio:

Marsha Kelly is a serial entrepreneur who has done time in corporate America, selling her first business for more than a million dollars. She has learned what products and services work in business today, and she shares her experiences on her best4Business blog at https://best4businesses.com/. You can learn from her experiences from shopping the internet for tools, supplies, and information to build your business and improve your finances.

 

Automation 360: How 4th Industrial Revolution changes marketing

In contrast to the three previous industrial revolutions when people interacted within quite narrow communities of their families and friends, the current 4th Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) exposes the huge global society to everyone connected to the internet. Now it is paradoxically possible to communicate in any mode be that one-to-one (or peer-to-peer), one-to-many, and even many-to-many via social media. What challenges do the contemporary marketers face in such a multi-channel communication?

On the one hand, the consumer audience is transcending borders and nations to become global. That’s why marketers should be able to cover thousands, oftentimes hundreds of thousands of the international customers almost simultaneously. On the other hand, the ample supply of goods in the market generates a fierce competition among brands when every single customer matters. That’s why marketers should establish personal relations with literally each client.

Is there a way out from a tense confrontation among such mutually exclusive factors? Who can help marketers respond to the challenge of IR4.0? And which technology can save marketers from a split personality caused by synchronically desirable globalization and customization? The answers follow.

Too big to be ignored

The very purpose of the 4th Industrial revolution comes to the total digitization of every process where it is ever possible. The most apparent implication of such a principle takes place in the information technologies. According to stats, more than 3.8 billion email boxes are available in 2018. More than a half of email users enter their inboxes via mobile gadgets. Email keeps primacy in terms of ROI brought to brands in consequence of their digital marketing campaigns. Thus, the contemporary marketers have to dive headfirst into the digitized customer relations. An average statistics dedicated to the email contact lists starts calculating subscribers in thousands. It is clear that manual processing of all emails in every marketing campaign is the Herculean task any marketer can hardly cope with. However, the bulk sending procedures have long been known to both legal marketers and spammers. That’s why the real challenge for the marketers implies making their bulk sendings meaningful and relevant to the huge subscriber audiences.

Personalization takes effort

How to take care of every subscriber? This question is not idle for the marketers whose contact lists contain thousands of emails. The common logic suggests dividing a subscriber audience into several groups basing on their interests, shopping histories, as well as on any other relevant indicator. In such a case, the simplest approach comes to making huge tables where all data retrieved from the communication with subscribers could be manually amended. Will the Microsoft Excel be of any help then? Probably it will, but the more reasonable method is to create a special software capable of providing an automatic segmentation of the subscribers. However, a proprietary software will require many thousand dollars of investment along with many months of programme development. Such a solution is unfortunately far from being feasible in every particular case. There has to be another way to provide marketers with an effective personalization of their campaigns.

SaaS to the rescue

Even though the notorious digital revolution made marketers face many challenges in terms of both the size of customer audiences and customization of marketing campaigns, some revolutionary new methods of doing business appeared thanks to IR4.0 in fact. One of the most viable and trendy approaches in the contemporary business environment is defined with such a specific word expression as (something)-as-a-Service. Many various terms can be put into the expression instead of “something”: Business Process-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and even Product-as-a-Service which determines the very essence of the approach. In brief, it implies a transformation of an object into a process. Taxi is the oldest example of such an approach when a car becomes a transportation service on the basis of rent. Now it is possible to use the capabilities of some specific software without having to either purchase or install it on your computer. Google Docs, for example, makes the MS Word software redundant, especially when your OS is not Windows.

Marketing Automation-as-a-Service

Here we are achieving the reasonable solution capable of meeting the contemporary marketing challenges. In addition to the SaaS approach, the solution follows another fundamental trend of the present moment in terms of the so-called sharing economy. The latter implies sharing some facilities or products among many users. The apartment owners share their housing with the other people via AirBnB application. And that is how the majority of services are to be arranged in the future. Nevertheless, even today every digital marketer can join the trend since the other professional marketers offer their web-based marketing platforms for sharing. Look at the universal bulk sending system from SendPulse, for example. As a team of professional digital marketers, SendPulse offers everyone to benefit from their rich practical experience reflected in their advanced marketing software. This is Marketing Automation-as-a-Service. And this is for sharing.

How Automation 360 meets IR4.0 challenges

Automation 360 is a synergetic web-based software system allowing marketers to re-arrange their routines in the efficient automatic manner. As a subsection of the holistic SendPulse bulk sending platform, Automation 360 is created by marketers for marketers. In response to the personalization challenge of large subscriber audiences, Automation 360 makes some predetermined software algorithms automatically perform many tasks that marketers had to do manually in the past. The core idea of Automation 360 implies using various behaviors of customers as the triggering events generating one or another marketing campaign. Hence, however massive is a subscriber database, a marketer can figure out and set up a personal approach to every particular recipient. What makes the system unprecedentedly effective is a combination of such basic communication channels as email, SMS, and web push notifications. In addition, Automation 360 helps marketers enforce their reputation via an SMTP service allowing messages to pass successfully through various spam filters. And the most important is that Automation 360 is accessible via any browser whatever devices and operating systems marketers use.

IFTTT in marketing

Specific programming principles and algorithms are occupying the discourse of modern marketing. And this is for a reason. The basic formula of any programming language IFTTT (If This, Then That) works well at the level of marketing software in terms of arranging automatic workflows. Automation 360 allows marketers to specify various variables reflecting the conditions at which the customer’s behavior triggers a particular reaction from the marketing system. This stage corresponds to the “If This” section of the IFTTT formula. The “Condition” logical block reflects such a stage in Automation 360. After that, a particular flow of the system in the form of a certain marketing campaign starts working automatically until a predefined marketing goal is achieved. This is equal to the “Then That” part of the formula as well as to the “Action + Goal” blocks in Automation 360. Thus, the marketers can act as just operators whose task is to figure out what they want to get from the subscribers. The rest will be done automatically by Automation 360.

Conclusion

Quite a specific modus operandi is expected from the marketers in the days of the 4th industrial revolution. Huge international customer audiences – in tens and hundreds of thousands – require meaningful and relevant marketing campaigns. Moreover, every particular customer matters when brands fiercely compete in the ample contemporary markets. Hence, both the global outreach and personalized communication make the marketers look for the automated but flexible approaches to their workflows. Only advanced marketing software platforms can act likewise. The Automation 360 system from the universal bulk sending platform of SendPulse meets the two progressive trends of nowadays: to be software-as-a-service (SaaS) and to belong to the sharing economy. Thus, a relevant response to the challenges of IR4.0 is possible only through the automated system created by marketers for marketers within the same digital paradigm.

AdWords Smart Display Campaigns: Get Smarter and Quicker Results

The AdWords platform is now more comprehensive than ever – there are more ways and places to display your ads than one could really try out, at least manually.

And while the classic Google Search Ads are still the most popular option, Google Display Ads are offering too many possibilities to ignore. You can get in front of 90 percent of the internet’s audience on more than 2 million websites, so you can reach your prospective customers when they are reading an article on one of the biggest news sites in the world, watching a video on YouTube, or even checking their email.

But with this wide range of options, Google Display Network can quickly become overwhelming – it’s difficult to even figure out where to start testing the performance of the ads on all the different platforms when you have so many considerations to make in terms of design, copy, targeting, and placement.

Luckily, Google has come to the rescue for marketers once again.

With the introduction of AdWords Smart Display Campaigns, you no longer have to manually track every ad to make sure it is performing well.

Google has made it possible to leave your entire ad campaign process to sophisticated algorithms, which will collect performance data and refine your ads in order to make them as effective as possible.

Smart Display Campaigns allow you to be involved as much as you like, letting you customize the campaigns so that you can pre-define certain aspects of your ad based on your knowledge of your audience, leaving everything else to be automated.

Here are just a few of the things that Google Display Campaigns can take care of:

Automated Ad Creation

After you input your headlines, descriptions, images, and logos, AdWords uses these to create numerous variations of your ads, quickly sorting the ones that work best.

The Smart Display Campaigns makes continuous improvements to the ads, so you can see tangible improvements to their performance month after month.

Automated Bidding

With your target CPA serving as a basis, Smart Display Campaigns optimize your bids in order to maximize the chances of conversions.

Over time, this will give you the best possible value for each ad that you run.

Automated Targeting

The Smart Campaigns can even offer comprehensive automated targeting solutions, optimizing your campaign runs so that your ads show up in places where they have the best chance of success.

Smart Display Campaigns Offer Numerous Benefits

Smart Display Campaigns may not be for everyone, but if you are already running manual campaigns and are looking for ways to attract more customers beyond what you’re currently doing, they can be a great solution.

Another scenario where it makes sense to try Smart Campaigns is if you’re just getting your feet wet with Display Network ads and want an easy to set up and reliable way of creating effective campaigns.

You just can’t beat a system that’s able to provide you with high-performing campaigns that only take a few minutes to set up. After uploading your content and images, you can leave it to the Smart Display system to take care of everything else.

Within the first few days, you can already see real, tangible results – the Smart Campaign quickly finds the best converting options from the selection of assets that you provide, which not only means good conversion numbers, but also usable data that you can apply to your manual campaigns.

You will see which headlines, images, and descriptions perform well in different circumstances, which is an invaluable aspect of the Smart Display Campaigns.

In a very short time, you can start seeing new opportunities for targeting that have proven to convert high for your offers – it is simply impossible to compete with the ultra-efficient testing capabilities that Smart Campaigns can offer.

Why It Makes Sense to Use Smart Display Campaigns

While it may be difficult to leave your ad budget completely in the hands of AdWords, Google’s data shows that businesses who use Smart Display Campaigns have managed to increase conversions by as much as 36 percent without increasing the CPA, which is a number that’s impossible to ignore.

With Display Network ads, you are reaching people who may not be actively looking for solutions but can be just as likely to act if the right offer is presented to them.

And with the advanced testing and tracking capabilities of AdWords, Smart Campaigns are able to quickly discover the where your best customers are hanging out, which is something that would be very difficult to do using manual ads.

So, it’s definitely a good idea to at least give Smart Display ads a chance – even if you prefer to keep the bulk of your campaigns manual, having an automated asset that can increase your reach online and provide you invaluable insights is something that’s hard to pass on.

Author Bio:

Josh Williams is an experienced SEM Manager at One Egg – a full service digital agency specialising in SEO, SEM, PPC Management Services, Content Marketing, and Analytics to name a few, pursuing a mission of helping businesses of all sizes.

7 Tested Ways to Strengthen your Facebook Ads in 2018

Facebook is arguably the most popular social media platform out there, and marketing on it is quite difficult as there are countless others who are also utilizing Facebook just like you. To stand out, you’ll need to come up with brilliant campaigns.

Facebook is a preferred digital marketing platform because it is targeted, it is not expensive, and it has an undeniable potential to connect to its vast network of users in every corner of the world.

A lot of people and businesses are very aggressive with advertising on Facebook. However, not all Facebook ad campaigns are effective.

Some fail because their ads are not targeted. They have overestimated Facebook’s ability to connect them with a lot of consumers. But reaching just anyone won’t cut it. You would have to target your ads to your ideal customers for them to work.

Some more others make ads that are not like-worthy. You have to understand that even for Facebook advertising, the preferences of your audience are always changing. You would have to be aware of what’s hot at the moment so that your Facebook ads would be effective. Be in-the-know all the time of what’s trending can help you craft your ads better, and like-worthy.

To aid you in your Facebook advertising endeavor, we have come up with a guide, featuring 7 tested ways on how you can strengthen your Facebook ads this year. We are dedicated to helping you become successful with your Facebook advertising efforts. Here are our 7 tested ways to strengthen your Facebook ads in 2018:

Using Video Marketing is Booming

Video ads are quite popular on social networking sites, including Facebook. There are many ads that are in video format, and these are appreciated by the audience, especially when they are just short ads. The shorter the video ad is, the better the chances for them to get watched until the end. There’s a lot that videos can convey, and it’s not enough that you just have any video, but your video should be well-crafted and again, it should be short.

Videos are greatly appreciated because they can tell a lot. A picture is said to be able to paint a thousand words but videos? They can tell a whole lot more. So commit yourself to coming up with video content and you shall see for yourself that Facebook users appreciate it a lot.

Create Ads and Promote Our Products using Storefronts

Facebook, though some apps, allows your business pages to have storefronts where you can feature your products for sale. While it may appear that you have a virtual store on Facebook, the actual transaction will still have to be done on your own site. Your customers will be directed to your page. Aside from being a nifty way to showcase your products for sale, you can use your storefronts as another channel where you can do Facebook advertising.

A lot of buyers admit that Facebook is a great influence on their buying decision. Being able to provide a way for customers to almost complete the purchase process through Facebook is a good thing. Sooner or later, Facebook would be able to be a complete sales platform but for the time being, utilize the storefront as a stage where you can do marketing of your products.

Build Responsive Mobile Ads

A huge lot of Facebook users are on handheld devices. That is why it is important for you to strategize your mobile ads well too. Studies also show that up to 70% of a smartphone owner’s time is done on using his or her smartphone. There truly is no reason why you shouldn’t level up your mobile ads.

In order to make your mobile ads more responsive, please use an eye-catching image. While you’re at it, keep texts short too.

Plain ads that are not engaging will definitely not be enough anymore. You will have to be more creative when it comes to ads, especially for mobile ones as mobile Facebook users simply are quite more active.

To ensure that in 2018, you will be serious when it comes to mobile ads and that you will make them more engaging.

Know your Competitors: Use them as an Inspiration for Creating Successful Campaign

A wise move is to know how the competition is going. Check your competitors. Confirm how they are doing their own Facebook advertisements. This way, you would be able to see what makes the difference. However, make sure that you only take inspiration in what they are doing and that you won’t copy other’s work. Learn from what you see and do your own unique Facebook Ad.

Assess whether your competitors are doing well. See what their Facebook advertising’s strengths are, and what their weaknesses are too. Simulate their strengths, and resolve their weaknesses so that you will have better ads than theirs. It’s always essential to know your competitors so you can always aim to do better than them.

A/B Testing: Quality Test Ads to Optimize

A smart business owner should already know who they’re targeting. Testing your target market is not a way to improve your Facebook Ads – it is a business prerogative that you should never take for granted. Selecting your target market is an item that we can put into an ultimate guide to business plans at another time.

What you should test, however, is as to which types of Facebook advertising techniques appeal to your target market. There are many different ways as to how to present your products to your potential customers. Not all of your efforts would bring about the best results. So do the test and identify which strategies work best for you.

Promote your Product with Influencer Marketing

You should participate in influence marketing in 2018. Influencer marketing is capitalizing on a Facebook personality’s huge following. Invest a little by tapping into active users with a big number of followers, and have them do some sort of marketing for you.

A lot of users find influencers as truly reliable sources of information and they would definitely be pulled into what the influencer is saying or doing.

Influencer marketing is very big in 2017 and is expected to become even bigger in 2018. As much as 90% of influencer marketing found that this is very effective, and very much worth it. So this year, make a promise to start with influencer marketing, or if you already do, that you would do better in it this time around.

Facebook + Instagram Ads Campaign

Facebook, in itself, is a really good platform for digital marketing. Instagram, is one too. Utilizing both platforms is definitely a good idea as they work so well together. Each of these two top social media sites is great not only for their respective users as you can now connect the users of these two sites hand-in-hand can make you shine in 2018!

STRENGTHEN YOUR FACEBOOK ADS WITH OUR 7 TIPS ABOVE

Facebook advertising is an effective way to promote your product. It would only be great though if you can use it strategically. Our 7 tips above are tested measures on how you can strengthen your Facebook Ads. Do it and 2018 would be a good year for you.

Author Bio:

Designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade, Philippine web design expert Kenneth Sytian is the owner of Sytian Productions. His no-nonsense approach to design coupled with his vast creativity is a winning combination for his clients.

Animated Videos for Boring Industries: Removing a Spell of Boredom

In a world of Internet marketing, many businesses find themselves asking the same question: “how can we make our marketing interesting?” This is even more important for businesses working in industries that aren’t inherently exciting (try to make recruitment consultancy interesting!). Marketers are constantly searching for ways to make their industry appealing to potential clients.

In recent years, more and more companies are producing explainer videos to advertise their services. Today 96% of B2B companies use videos in their marketing campaigns due to their effectiveness. Animated videos are much more attractive than any other form of content marketing and provide an excellent return on investment. there are many companies and services that can help you create videos for your company, Vidioh for example.

Animated explainer videos are brief videos designed to give viewers a snapshot of your company’s story, with hand drawn or electronically produced graphics. Throughout the course of a 60-120 second video, you can explain your core business values clearly and concisely. In short, explainer videos are an excellent way to convey your value proposition to potential customers.

Entertain Your Audience

One of the main reasons explainer videos are so effective is because they’re entertaining. From the outset, they take the audience on an audiovisual journey. A narrator or the characters will explain how your business can help solve the audience’s problems, whilst a visual animation will physically demonstrate your product’s value.

The entertainment value of a professional video outmatches that of a piece of sales copy any day of the week. This recruitment app video is an excellent example of a successful animation where the viewer’s problems are addressed vibrantly and creatively. Explainer videos are innately compelling, meaning that your audience are much more likely to take in your message and remember it.

pexels-photo (2).jpgEngage Your Viewers’ Senses

Explainer videos provide the viewer with a much more visceral experience than any other marketing material. At a primitive level, video content marketing is engaging audio and visual learners. By targeting both, you can explain your services in a way that can be easily understood by all types of customers.

A viewer is much more likely to invest their attention in a video that provides an captivating look at your business. A professional animation with a lively voiceover can really help to bring your content marketing to life which is a huge advantage of animation comparing to a live video.

Increase Your Conversion Rates 

As a byproduct of making more interesting content, you’ll also increase your conversion rates. The success of explainer videos is well documented, with technology innovators like Dropbox utilising a tutorial video on their homepage to increase their conversion rates by 10%. As a file sharing company Dropbox’ service isn’t particularly breathtaking, but their willingness to invest in an imaginative content resulted in a massive increase in their bottom line.

Boost Your Social Media

In recent years, social media has become the new frontier of content marketing, with massive potential for the future. Engaging video content is the bread and butter of social media users, and is an essential part of any efficacious content marketing strategy. Getting your video posted on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram (or even Snapchat) is a great way to reach out to new customers.

If you want to maximise your reach, creating dynamic video content and sharing it across your social media channels is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. By positioning yourself as a modern content producer you help to make your business stand out from the crowd. If you play your cards right, your customers may even start sharing your services as well!

media-literacy-2202670_1920.jpg

Create a Story

Finally, animated explainers allow you to tell your story. A video is the perfect chance to make a film about your brand’s story. Working with an animation studio will help you to produce story that resonates with the viewer, and packages your value proposition in an exciting manner. Even the most boring industry has a story, so there’s no excuse not to get yours out there!

Animated Videos Captivate Your Audience

Whilst many industries are not reinventing the wheel or setting the world on fire, viewers will always be drawn to content with slick production value. An animated production that’s easy on the eyes and ears will take your message far. Video content marketing will help to transmit your message without bombarding your viewer with too much information.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that animated videos can be rolled out without preparation. At the end of the day, you need to create a video that provides entertainment value in order to be successful. It’s important to bring solid concepts and ideas to the project if you are to produce a video that isn’t convoluted or stale. Fortunately, with a bit of preparation, this is more than achievable.

Next time you’re thinking of ways to reach out to new customers and elevate your conversions, consider investing in producing video content. You’ll boost your customer engagement, whilst improving your social media strategy and establishing your brand’s story. One well-designed video on your landing page can help you to turn clicks into customers.