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 Artificial Intelligence Is Impacting Web Design

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Several major companies have unveiled plans to develop and implement AI into their existing and future processes to provide better products and better services to their customers. Currently, AI holds a crucial position in the web design world due to the heavy reliance of modern companies upon user data. Data-driven analytics are propelling the business world forward, and AI can help streamline some of the most time-consuming data analysis processes.

How The Tech Industry Is Leading The Charge Toward AI On The Web

Major tech companies like Apple and Google have already announced substantial investments into AI research and development, and web design as an industry has already responded to this innovation. AI can help produce more valuable, impactful, and memorable user experiences by more easily tailoring users’ preferences to each interaction. Predictive analytics, behavioral analysis, search engine optimization (SEO), and data mining are just a few of the tasks these tech companies hope to assign to AI programs soon.

Designing With AI

Web page design hinges on function, aesthetics, and usability. The average user won’t waste his or her time on a slow-loading, choppy page riddled with formatting irregularities and half-loaded images. Similarly, most users will quickly lose interest in a high-performing but boring interface. AI can make high-quality web design even better by tailoring specific interactions to users’ past interactions, preferences, and known data.

Modern professional website development requires a keen understanding of the latest visual design trends and the coding competency to make them work beautifully for the average user. Personalization is also important, and designers try to find as many ways as possible to provide custom-tailored experiences to every user. AI can help tremendously in this fashion by pulling together the most relevant data strands for each user in a fraction of the usual time, functionally creating the most valuable possible interactions for each user on every visit.

Designing For AI

Web designers are also learning how to design with AI programs in mind for SEO and ecommerce purposes. AIs can read and process information exponentially faster than humans, but typically only for one specific task. Companies such as Google may use these narrow-intelligence AIs to crawl the web for specific phrases, images, or data points. As we progress further in AI technology, general-intelligence AIs will be able to perform tasks at levels comparable to the average human being. Eventually, AI technology could lead to super-intelligent AIs capable of processing information and completing tasks at a rate far superior to the speed of a human being.

Chat Bots In Modern Web Design

Another aspect of AI technology most people have encountered by now is chat bots — AI programs built into many websites that function as digital hosts, answering users’ questions and directing them to the most appropriate pages. Although this function is very similar to a search engine, AI can analyze human writing more deeply, and it provides a more human connection with users. This type of implementation leads to more successful customer experiences and more overall customer engagement at a relatively low cost to the web design company.

A high-quality web design company should understand the impact AI has already had on the web design world and have a plan to capitalize on this technology for the future. User experience is the heart of driving businesses forward in a hypercompetitive digital market where fractions of a second count for every interaction.

AI And SEO

If you are wondering how to design a website today, the first step should be to familiarize yourself with the concept of SEO. Building your site from the ground-up with SEO in mind will improve your page loading speeds, boost user engagement, and ultimately increase your search engine success. AI programs crawl through websites searching for update histories, content quality, link histories, and various other data points to rank their relevancy in user searches.

The algorithms in use today provide data streams tailored to collectors’ preferences, but AI advancement will mean the ability to process these streams in the most efficient way possible. AI ultimately makes SEO smarter and more user-friendly, resulting in better experiences for users and the brands they visit online.

Staying Relevant Is More Important Than Ever

It’s vital for modern website marketing professionals and design gurus to stay updated on the latest trends in tech, SEO, and digital marketing, and AI is no exception. Many companies have already invested tremendous amounts of resources into pushing AI technology forward, so modern web designers should not only account for this new technology in their designs, they should also try to capitalize on it.

Soon, AI will enable more personalized experiences by quickly analyzing and processing user data to generate the most relevant interaction possible. The average ecommerce web designer will soon be able to tailor online shopping experiences to each customer’s preferences seamlessly for every transaction. This builds consumer trust and encourages brand loyalty over time.

Finding The Right Designer For Your Organization

Unless you employ a robust in-house design team with access to the latest design tools and working knowledge of the latest trends, AI technology will likely remain out of your company’s reach without hiring the right web design company.

About The Author:

Nicola Yap lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her two cats Marcie and Lambert. When she isn’t writing blog posts, she’s probably playing video games or doing something as equally unproductive. She works as an organic marketing strategy for Eminent SEO, a full-service digital marketing agency that offers high-quality web design, development, and SEO services to small businesses, health care providers, substance abuse treatment centers, ecommerce sites, and much more.

 

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.

 

User Centered Ecommerce Design – A Complete Guide To Get Your UI/UX For Ecommerce Right.

As I sat down sipping my coffee, my mind was still on the book I had read about, earlier in the day. The book was all over the internet. Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk. For a minute, I thought of ordering it online, only to stop myself and think, let me experiment today. Why shop with the same applications?

I quickly picked up my phone, skipped all my regular shopping apps, from Amazon to Flipkart (I knew I could get the book there) and visited to a new website, you know just to try out.

Have you ever felt like somebody picked you up and slammed you right to the ground, like how Hulk slams Loki in The Avengers movie? Well, that is exactly how I felt. It was as if the site was mocking me for skipping those e-commerce apps on my phone. This site was more like someone had thrown in a few items, a contact form and a credit card form and said “Voila! Here is your website!”

It is a known fact that nowadays to sell products, one doesn’t need a brick and mortar store, and instead needs a good online store. But for an e-commerce store to survive among the plethora of others, the store needs to impress its customers. But how do you do that?

Jeff Bezos says, “Build a great experience, customers will tell each other about it.”

As we delve deeper into the experience of shopping online, we realize that with the leap of innovation in technology and its role in the everyday life of shoppers, a solid user-centered design for an online store is one of the major factors for its success.

There are numerous factors on which the success of an e-commerce store depends on. As a part of the success story, UI/UX plays an important role by directly influencing customer decisions. On this ground, let us learn a little more about UI/UX for e-commerce and how people see it.

Why is it so Important?

“Is design so important for an online store’s success?” I’m pretty sure this is the first thought that comes into your mind when you think of UI/UX. However, you should know that several other factors like load time, ease of use on mobile, easy navigation and more, that vouch for a great UI/UX.

With so many elements making an impact on what a customer thinks of your store, it is quite evident

that a bad user experience will most likely result in you loosing out on a potential buyer. To make things hard, there are thousands of other options for shoppers and this will certainly be a driving force for a visitor to leave your website.

A recent report estimates that
– 35% of shoppers abandoned cart because they found a better store with better prices.
– Close to 25% of the shoppers decided against buying because the website navigation was too complicated.
– 20% of the shoppers decided to move on to another site because the process was taking too long.

So what are ecommerce stores doing wrong? Let us delve a little deeper into this.

Forcing to create an account

I don’t understand why e-commerce stores do this! Why do you need customer information even before they have ordered your products? Asking the customer to sign up mandatorily before moving further just adds unwanted hassle to the shopping experience. Why create such issues which can prompt your shoppers to drop off? Instead, you can ask for the required information after they place an order, and let them know that they can use it to track their orders.

No search box

It is not surprising to see that one in three people decide against a purchase because they did not find what they were looking for. Just think of it this way. Of all the people coming to your online store, who do you think will use a search bar? Those who are more likely to convert! An optimized search bar with the right filter options, ability to handle long tail keywords and auto complete feature can give you insights on what your customers are looking for on your e-commerce store.

Lack Of product details

How often have you visited an online store and felt like sitting in a car with no engine? In other words, too much emphasis on products and price and not much on the actual data required. Online shopping

has one huge disadvantage in the form of lack of interaction with the shoppers. To overcome this, e-commerce stores need to be spot on in providing the best in-store shopping experience.

Product information is an important factor that determines a shopping experience for people. As shoppers take extra measures to ensure that they make an informed purchase when buying online, rich product information (with some great images) can play a huge role in influencing their purchase decisions.

Clumsy Menu and Navigation

Imagine an online store with absolutely no categories for products, navigation elements and just

a common menu with your cart and customer service links. There is nothing worse for an ecommerce store than this. No matter where a customer lands on, it is the navigation bar and the menu that play a huge role in providing all the necessary information. With a cluttered navigation, you are not helping yourself as it results in more people just dropping out from your store.

Checkout

I’m sure you would have come across this point everywhere in the ecommerce space. DO NOT complicate your checkout. The entire process should be smooth and easy for the customers as they definitely don’t want to end up facing a tedious task. It is important that you keep your checkout page short and straightforward with minimal and necessary fields only.

A recent study examined that among the top 100 ecommerce sites in the world, a near perfect checkout process includes an average of 5.08 number of steps, and 19 number of fields in an order or payment form.

Mobile Optimization – Crucial, Yet Overlooked

When in 2016, mobile search surpassed the desktop numbers for the first time ever, mobile apps turned into a mainstream in the ecommerce industry. Though the term “Mobile Commerce” was first coined two decades ago, it is the technological advancements in the recent years that has enabled shoppers to search, explore, review and buy goods on a pocket-size hand held device. It is not surprising to see that in 2016, there was a 44% increase in spending on mobile devices when compared to the previous year. And by 2020, mobile commerce is expected to grow by 45%.

Despite the great numbers, users are still concerned over the entire shopping experience on a mobile device. But what exactly is a good experience on a mobile device?

Minimal Load Time

A recent report says that mobile users in general are five times more likely to abandon an ecommerce store if it takes quite a time load. Lesser the customers have to wait, better it is for your store.

Security

One of the major concerns for buyers is the lack of security for their financial information when using a mobile device. As an owner of the ecommerce store, you should clearly communicate on the page that it is secure by emphasizing on the same visually.

Forms

Mobile forms can be a disaster if they are not well placed on the site. Improved form labels, ease of use, good readability, and appropriate text inputs are some of the factors that needs to be taken care of while optimizing a mobile form.

There are numerous factors which you can take advantage of to improve the experience on your site.

After having discussed the big guns, here are a couple of other “overlooked” aspects of an e-commerce design that needs to be taken care of for a better engagement with the customers.

Images – Bigger the Better

Over the years, e-commerce stores have embraced large product images with more details visible.With a picture worth a thousand words, an e-commerce site with enticing product images can certainly have a positive impact on the buyers. Large images can show much detail, multiple views and other information that can answer some of the questions in a buyer’s mind.

One of the best e-commerce sites that make good use of gigantic product images is Mulberry. With its huge images and easy navigation, buyers find it very easy and pleasing to use.

mulberry

Product Videos – They Talk a Lot

It is high time you consider your “loyal” product pages again. How well are they doing in retaining the buyers? Are they good enough to bring them again? What makes them interesting? Videos I suppose?
Videos play an important role in prompting buyers to spend more time on the page. A critical feature of your content marketing strategy, videos help in drawing the attention to a particular product.

But that doesn’t mean that you just use some video with no details. What matters is the right approach and the e-commerce site of ‘Bellroy” is the best example. For each of their products, they have a set of images and a short video that explains all the features of that product.

bellroy

Let them Know

Your design might be inspiring for an e-commerce site, but the efficiency of your store depends on the number of purchases you complete by the end of the day. There are several factors that come into the picture to influence the buyers on a site.

One such crucial factor is the navigation on your site. With intuitive navigation, you can let your buyers know what brand they are dealing with, their products and a clear step by step interaction irrespective of their intent to buy or just to explore your site.

Graze does a great job with its menu with clear-cut navigation and information on what the company is and what it does.

graze

Conclusion

Best practices, important points, guides and errors to rectify are beautiful, informative, wonderful and all that. But they can take you only up to a certain point. Every ecommerce store with its own set of target audience is different which means that it has its own set of UI/UX problems. Do your research, observe your customers, learn their behavior, see what they want and put yourself in their shoes to check if your store is providing the same. It is all about making your customers’ decisions easier with your innovative ideas.

Author Bio:

Ganesh is a marketer and blogger at Specbee, a leading ecommerce and CMS solution provider. When he is not busy in exploring new technologies and writing about them, you can find him in a football ground going gaga over the game. You can follow Specbee’s blog for more of his articles.

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.

How Sharing Economy Can Be Used by Small Business Owners

The sharing economy is relatively recent, but it’s been rapidly well received. In a world where everyone is trying to save a little money, people found a way to help each other be successful. Small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs all regularly use the sharing economy to accomplish as much as they can for as little as possible. Whenever and however you need help, there’s always an expert waiting for you.

For Office Space

If you aren’t yet at the point where you’re looking to get your very own office (ahem, budget concerns), you probably feel trapped running your small business from your kitchen table. Coworking spaces may not provide you with the environment that you need, and traditional rent can be quite steep. When you find yourself in this situation, you can use sites like Spacer to rent office space from someone who has the extra room. You’ll feel a little more legitimate, and you won’t wind up running yourself into debt while you’re trying to get the ball rolling.

For Deliveries

If your small business makes occasional local deliveries, you’ve probably encountered a few snags. You can’t always leave to make the deliveries yourself, and it’s expensive to hire someone whose sole job is to make those deliveries. A lot of smartphone app driven ride sharing services offer their drivers as couriers. When something comes up, you can call to arrange a pickup and a delivery. It will all be done the same day, and no one has to interrupt anything they’re doing in order to perform a task that might be outside of their job description.

Temps and Freelance Work

If you only need 20 or so hours’ worth of work done a week and putting someone permanently on the payroll isn’t an option for you, you don’t necessarily need to learn to do that work by yourself. Outsourcing specific jobs to freelancers, such as blog writing or social media management, gives you some room to negotiate. You can pay them per task completed, and since they’re freelance, they can work from anywhere.

The same goes for temps. If you experience a busy season during your business (i.e. florists around Valentine’s day, toy stores in the winter), you can hire a seasonal temp to help you juggle everything you’re dealing with.

Finding Small Investors

If you’re trying to develop a new product and you’re low on cash, the idea of taking on more venture debt probably feels intimidating. Instead, you can always turn to crowdfunding platforms. These people don’t want to be paid back, and they don’t want any equity in your small business. They just believe in your concept, and they want to preorder for a lower cost. Crowdfunding campaigns are easy to launch and manage. At the end, everyone is happy because they’ve gotten what they wanted.

Networking and Trading

Small businesses and startups trading products and services isn’t new. As long as you aren’t competing with the business you’re networking or trading with, it’s mutually beneficial. It’s important to meet other small business owners or employees. Use your professional social networks to find people who would be willing to trade service for service. Even if a local restaurant needs some supplies that you could provide with your advertisement on them, it all works out at the end.

The sharing economy is changing the way a lot of people buy and sell. The modern consumer has adopted it with open arms, and your small business only stands to gain by following suit.

Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.

5 Amazing Tips to Get the Most out of Your Email Marketing

Email Marketing is much more than sending an email to a potential customer in order to engage audiences, generate sales and other marketing goals you can serve with email marketing. It needs a strategic approach and that’s what email marketing strategy is all about. The popularity and budgets for email marketing only seem to be increasing. The reason? The multiple benefits including highly measurable results, increased brand awareness, cost-effective marketing and easily shareable.

While email marketing can be done by anyone, not everyone knows how to do it well. Most email marketing strategies are ineffective because they are haphazardly planned, and companies and individuals ultimately give up on them. The truth is, you need a really good strategy to constantly produce, repurpose, and promote engaging email.

This article outlines the five tips leading to a successful email marketing strategy.

1. Target the Decision Maker

When you’re marketing to other businesses through email, you need to pinpoint and then target the right decision makers, i.e. there is no point reaching to someone who doesn’t have the interest or power to acquire your service.

My initial email marketing strategy targeted managers and then directors. The goal was to engage those who can execute my services. I gained a 23 percent response rate. While this is pretty high, these results are a bit misleading because 55 percent of those replies were being passed along to other managers or directors, and many of those were given up.

I then spent good hours segmenting the corporate hierarchies of 15,000-person organizations trying to figure out strategic entry points. This was time consuming and hard to measure. Instead, I decided to reach C-Level executives because to make it simple, people must consider emails that come from their coordinator.

If a company C-Level Executive passes down an email to a subordinate, that employee is going to follow-up. Once I started targeting C-Level Professionals, the pass-along rate of response increased to 80 percent.

2. Optimize Emails for Mobile

If emails pass on without optimizing for mobiles, you’ll are going to lose a huge portion of your target audience. Most of the people prefer to check at emails on their mobile devices: 67% of emails are opened on mobile and tablet, compared to only 33% opened on a desktop. The best strategy is to design emails that are mobile-friendly i.e. they should optimized to be viewed on a Smartphone, Desktop and Tablet!

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Each time you send an email, you should be aware that a maximum number of your audience is going to check your message on their phones or tablets — not on their desktop computers or laptops.

Your target is to not only get your emails checked and read, but also to make your audience experiences just as strong as if the messages were opened on desktops. A mobile responsive website design displays your content properly no matter how someone views your website, and you can ensure that the emails you send look great as well, whether or not you have mobile-responsive email template.

3. Make use of Plugins to Track Email Open Rates

Email prospecting is constantly developing. As soon as someone point out what works, everyone starts to make use of it. And then it no longer gets the results! The best way to keep up with effective marketing plan for your industry and audience is to use email tracking software for your own open rates.

Importance of Tracking Email Opens

All businesses can benefit from tracking email opens, especially businesses which is mainly based on email marketing campaigns. By tracking information like which emails are being checked and which are converting, you can see how effective your marketing materials actually are. You can use this information to find out what kind of offers and campaigns work best for you.

There are many helpful tools (paid and free) that will let you know exactly when your email is opened. Use the tracking tools to keep an eye on your emails, and try testing and comparing different approaches. You’ll get immediate idea on what works and what doesn’t work for you, your prospects and your target market. This puts you in control of your marketing plan and ensures you to stay on top of writing emails that your prospects actually read.

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4. Test your Emails

One of the most helpful aspects of email marketing is that it can be tested. Following common “best methods” or settled “rules” is not a way to reach your marketing goals because what works for one audience won’t necessarily work for yours. Testing is your biggest partner. You should always ‘test for the perfection’ in your email campaigns.

A great way to increase subscribers is by testing everything to see what has the most impact. By using testing on your emails the design, services, offer, GIF, subject line, and all the other elements of an email campaign – one at a time, you can decide what your subscribers want to see, which will help you lower the unsubscribe rate on your campaigns. Testing every element in email marketing campaigns is a continuous process, and you should use tests on a regular basis to determine what gets the most engagement.

Important Elements of Test

The subject line is the most important email factor to test, followed closely by the content of the email itself. But there are many other elements of your email campaign that are just as testable. Some things you can test in the message include:

  • Subject line
  • From name
  • Headline/sub-headline
  • Content
  • Promotion/offer
  • Post-click experience (landing page A versus B)

Here, are some of the benefits of Email testing I’ve brought to let you know how effective it can be for your next email marketing campaign.

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5. Personalize Your Emails

Personalization goes a long way. Some people choose to invest in systems that will allow you to add people’s names to the subject line and body of the messages, but this approach is not for everyone. You can segment your mailing list based on your requirement, for example, by geographic location, age or purchase history and then send messages written specifically for each group. Example: “This is a quick message to check in and make sure that you are happy with your purchase of our — Widget you bought from us last month. I also wanted to let you know about an upcoming sale we’re having on accessories for the —.”

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Make your emails relevant to the customer by sending emails based on their interests and purchase behavior. A trend that’s recently happening is automated email which basically uses advertising data collected based on customer’s behavior on other digital channels. It also helps with consistent messaging and branding so the user gets a complete experience that is not fragmented.

Take Action:

If you have an email list that doesn’t have an automated welcome email for subscribers, create one today. You may be amazed at the open and click-through rates you see!

It’s your chance to win it with email

2018 is going to bring great opportunities to engage your subscribers with interesting, beautiful and well-written emails, and these tips will help you get there.

About the Author:

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My name is Alexander Daniel and I’m a Content Marketing Strategist, with a focus on branding. That means I’m an analyst as well as marketer, motivated by great ideas. I’ve had plenty of experience working with brands of all sizes. At present I’m working for InfoGlobalData a leading provider of b2b email lists, specialized for its services and marketing solutions.

Lead Nurturing: 4 Steps to walking the buying path with your customers

Imagine you have a downloadable resource on your flashy and attractive website. Your online promotions bring visitors to your landing page. A user signs up and downloads the resource.

You sent him an engaging email offering your products/services. He again comes to your website and buys your offerings. Since you provide value along with your offerings, your customers act as your brand advocates. Promote your business on their portals and stay loyal to your brand. How easy and simple! Is it the usual case with almost all online businesses? The answer is a big NO!

Agreed, for any business, lead generation is the vital activity. However, that’s not the end; in fact, it is just the start.

According to Marketo, on average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy.

What all you need to do is lead nurturing so that your leads get converted into your customers and in future, they can act as your brand ambassadors.

Process of lead nurturing

Basically, lead nurturing is a four-step process.

  1. Attract – your targeted customers to your website
  2. Engage – with them and capture their attention towards your offerings
  3. Nurture – them and create their interest in your offerings, explain how your products and services address their pain points
  4. Convert – them into your customers by helping them in validating their buying decision

Let’s take you through the 4 steps to walking the buying path with your customers – a deeper insight into lead nurturing!

Build a relationship with the lead

Lead nurturing itself means building relationships. Once you get the information about your lead, start paying attention to their activity and interest on your website. The leads who are at the top of the funnel are called marketing leads and those who are near the bottom are sales leads. Once the marketing nurtures leads, they are passed on to the sales team in their CRM. To walk through their buying oath along with them, in the very first place you need to build a relationship with them. Well, it’s not that easy as it is said often. To win their trust and establish a rapport, ask questions, respond to their queries, follow them on social networks, share important information with them, and offer them FREEbies.

Educate lead based on his buyer journey stage

To close your sales cycle, first of all, you need to educate your leads. And this education should be done on the basis of his user journey stage. Education at awareness stage will not be the same as the way you educate him at other stages.

It is not easy to identify at what stage your lead is. However, it can be done by analysing their entry points to your CRM. Visit your analytics and understand which ages they have visited, to what extent they have scrolled, check their social profiles and know what they are talking about. No doubt, this exercise requires logic and analytical skills. After all, marketing is all about applying logic, isn’t it?

Nurture through emails, but not to the extent of torture

Remember two basic rules of lead nurturing – don’t email your leads on daily basis and don’t send each and every email to all your leads. Email marketing is the best lead nurturing technique, but you should not torture them by sending irrelevant emails at the irrelevant time. Rather send them personalized emails on the basis of their user journey stage. When your leads are towards the end of a sales cycle, personalized emails are extremely helpful in conversions.

Each of the email’s subject line and body content should be personalized in such a way that it provides solutions to their pain points. At the same time, it should have a human touch. One of the most common yet evergreen trends is to use their names in the subject line and body content.

In short, sending right email to the right lead at the right time results in faster conversion process than usual. And, this can be easily done with the help of CRM. We recommend InfusionSoft as one of the best automation tools to handle your lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion emails.

Repeat the process until you succeed

To convert your leads into your customers and later on brand ambassadors, this is the only tired and tested procedure. Repeat the process until you succeed and you will!

Whenever necessary, re-engage with your leads. At any stage, if you realise that they are losing interest in your emails or offerings, provide them value to create a sense of urgency. Add incentives, discounts, offers, coupons, vouchers and other Freebies to the extent you can.

Email marketing is the most effective but not the only technique of lead nurturing. At times, lead scoring also fails if it lacks enough data. If email lists and emails aren’t working well with you, reach out to them via social networks, where they roam online. Keep checking your email analytics to assess the effectiveness of your emails.

Time to start now..?

The quantity of leads does not matter in your conversion process if you don’t know their quality. Not all your leads will get converted. However, they are all equally important to you. How? Those who aren’t interested should never be ignored entirely. Those who do not buy anything from you can also refer the right person to you, provided they have a positive experience in your funnel. Lead nurturing can help you get not only customers but also brand ambassadors. So, it’s the right time to start now!

Title: Lead Nurturing: 4 Steps to walking the buying path with your customers

Meta description: The goal of lead nurturing is to help progress leads from initial interest toward buying intent. Read proven and proved steps to walking the buying path with your customers for conversions

Author’s Bio

Raj Gautam

This article is written by Raj Gautam. He is CEO & Founder of QL Tech, Located in Perth, Australia. QL Tech is one of the best agencies that offer unique Digital Marketing & Web Development Services by the virtue of its dedicated professionals. Our professionals are extremely proficient in offering Digital Marketing.

How to Skyrocket Your Online Reputation in 2018

As a business owner have you ever wondered about your current online reputation or how does your portfolio look like whenever someone searches you online. Maybe, most of you have never considered this as a major factor which can affect your business.

But, according to a research, it was found that your online reputation can affect your business by 64%. That is the reason why all big companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola, Adidas, etc are spending lots and lots of their money as well as time building their online reputation.

With the growing technology, almost every person is now on the internet. In fact, according to the latest stats, more than 78% of the internet users analyze or search a product or service online before actually buying it.

So, if you or your brand has a good online reputation then your business can improve by more than 78%. Also, building an online reputation also increases your influence on the audience and hence people will trust your product or service and even your words the most.

So, here were the reasons why top-notch companies spend their time as well as money building their influence and reputation online. Now, let’s look at some strategies which are involved in building a massive online reputation.

Research Your Competitors Reputation

If you own a business then it’s pretty obvious that you must be having some competitors which are ahead of you. Note down those competitors and try to keep a peep inside what are your competitors doing to improve their online reputation.

They must be doing various things to improve their reputation online but all the things may not be working well while some of the strategies may be working like a rocket. You should take a closer look at the strategies of your competitors which are working well. Also, you should try the same strategies with your brand as well.

Most of the time you might find a great strategy which you would have never thought about and this will help you expand your reputation building strategies even wider. Also, this will help you to see how your competitors work and you will get an idea of how your rivals market their brand online.

Creating Your Social Media Influence

Social media is becoming way more popular now as compared to what they were earlier. Social media can introduce you to millions and billions of people and also it is one of the greatest ways to build your online influence.

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands on Facebook and has a fan following of over 107 million users. They have a great social media influence and reputation which helps them reach a wider audience. That’s the reason why every new product by Coca-Cola skyrockets in the market just right after its launch.

Also, you need to build your own social media influence to leverage even a wider audience to know about your brand. Here, you can build social profiles with your brand names and then start sharing contents around your business regularly. Always remember that you should be regular in posting things around your profiles.

For, this you can take look at what things do your competitors post on their pages and also you can look at contents which work the best on their pages by looking at what’s being shared and commented the most.

Also, you can use similar content on the best working topics and start posting them on your pages. This will ensure more interaction of audience with your content. Also, you will start your profiles to lift off the ground and start gaining some followers.

Creating Reputation across Different Q&A, Forums & Content Sharing Sites

These days many people search for their answers online and that’s the exact reason why sites like Quora receive more than 200 million unique visitors per month. Also, these sites allow you to create your own profiles and start asking and answering questions there.

You too should start building your profiles on these sites today. Also, you should start answering as many questions as you can which you think are related to your industry. This way people will become familiar with you and will also start to know about your brand name.

Also, many big websites like Medium allow you to write articles for them. You can start writing nice in-depth informative articles on your topics. Also, since these sites are big and authoritative so you will be presented in front of a massive number of audiences which are interested in your article.

Creating Your Blog & Write Guest Posts

Creating your own blog is one of the most important tasks to do whenever you start building your online reputation. Almost every big business giant including some influencers like Neil Patel has their own blog. This is not just because it’s their hobby but it’s also because it’s so important.

Also, guest blogging is one of the fastest ways to present you in front of tons of audience as long as it is done in a right way. If you write guest posts for big and authoritative websites then you can become one of the top influencers in your industry very fast as well as you will also gain some legitimate social fan following.

Also, guest blogging is one of the greatest ways to get authority backlinks to your site. As you will have your blog you can link to it whenever you write a guest post and this way your own blog will also become authoritative. Hence, you will be rewarded by search engines and also people from different websites will start recognizing you.

Conclusion

It’s 2018 and the market is crowded with a number of companies and some of them ruling the top positions. So, nowadays simply creating your business around something doesn’t work at all. If you have a business then you need to spend time promoting it and spreading your words in front of millions of people.

So, if you just create a business or anything and sit back thinking it will skyrocket one day then you might be just wasting your time. In today’s market which is overcrowded if you need to stand out of the crowd then you need to build your online reputation and your online influential presence.

All the above strategies will ensure you a great online portfolio which is clean and profitable for your brand, business or whatever you are trying to skyrocket.

Author Bio: Shubham is the founder of Quick Understand which is a growing web directory. He currently writes about Blogging, SEO, Business related stuff there and is planning to expand this website even wider. You can follow him on Twitter @shubhamblogs.

5 Simple SEO Tips for Beginners

Search engine optimization, backlinking, title tags. If you research on how to improve your website ranking in Google, you might have come across these terms every so often. While these are proven ways to increase your audience reach online, these concepts can be mind-boggling for beginners. You may even come across SEO materials that are designed for big companies with different goals and needs than yours.

What you need are search engine optimization (SEO) techniques which are crafted for smaller establishments. This is how you work with the resources that you have and add to your knowledge as you learn the ropes of doing business online.

Start with these 5 simple SEO tips for beginners:

SEO Tip #1: Maximize Internal Linking

You will read and hear about backlinking as you work to promote your website. While it is ideal to have third-party websites linking to yours to build credibility, it’s just as important to build links internally.

When you create a post, direct the readers to other helpful materials within your site. You can even do a series of posts about a single topic or cross reference your previous blog posts. Help your readers expand their search by promoting other pages in your turf.

When Google detects that readers spend a long time in your website and browse one page after another, your website value adds up. The result? Google will rank your page higher in its results pages.

SEO Tip #2: Invest in Social Engagement

Social media platforms are a gift to small business owners. Now, you won’t need to pay thousands of bucks to advertising agencies to let people know about your company.

Just create a page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to reach people easily and directly. Because people now spend more time on their mobile phones than watching TV or listening to the radio, you have a better chance of reaching them with social media.

Get a social media VA (Virtual Assistant) to take care of your regular postings, answer messages, and regulate comments. Because Google now considers traffic and activities in social websites for ranking, a proactive and engaging profile will increase your chances in results pages.

SEO Tip #3: Refresh Content

What posts in your social media or blog have gained optimum results? What topics roused the most reactions?

Update your content or draw inspiration from it to create a spin-off. This is a fast and easy way to make sure your posts retain its spot on the top of social feeds. If it’s a blog, it will keep your content up-to-date and relevant.

SEO Tip#4: Mind Your Site Speed

If you’re still building your website, it’s easy to get caught up designing it. That is why you need to watch the widgets, images, and videos that you add. While these may spice up your website, it can also slow it down.

Websites that take a long time to load make visitors frustrated and will likely make them abandon your page. No wonder Google added website speed as a ranking factor for websites.

SEO Tip#5: Get a Responsive Website Theme

Have you seen how your website looks like on mobile phones or tablets? When choosing a website theme or drafting a post, make sure that you select elements that will fluidly fit on any type of screen. You wouldn’t want your killer blog post to go to waste because it doesn’t load properly on a mobile screen.

Remember that people no longer access websites exclusively on computers. In fact, people will most likely come across your website on their smartphones. Recent studies have shown that the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. That’s why Google updated its algorithm so that mobile-adaptable websites rank higher.

As a small business owner, you need to cover the basics and apply practical techniques to improve your website ranking in search engines. These 5 simple SEO tips for beginners are designed to help you do just that.

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Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at communications@20four7va.com.

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