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March 2013

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Improve brand recognition and boost ROI with SEO

The core value of any successful marketing plan centers around spending a reasonable amount of your budget on advertising in a manner that boosts traffic and revenue. 

 

With online marketing a necessity, you've probably had a few "must-have" terms thrown your way, and I'm sure search engine optimization (SEO) has been talked about ad nauseam. You might be thinking right now, "Is SEO really worth all the fuss?"

 

According to a recent study, it most certainly is. In fact, the report's findings make it a wonder that every company isn't making SEO a top priority, with the benefits including:

 

Slow and steady wins the race? Not for your website

When you were little, you probably heard the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.

 

You know, the one where the rabbit and turtle raced and, not taking him seriously, the hare decided to take a nap before crossing the finish line. By the time he awoke, the turtle had already won, and it was too late to do anything about it.

 

The moral of the story goes something like this: slow and steady wins the race. While there might be a lot of validity to that lesson, it isn't at all applicable when it comes to the speed of your website.

 

Companies struggling with website speed

In the race with your competitors' websites, you want to be the rabbit - only instead of taking intermittent naps, you sprint straight through to the finish line. 

 

Focus on your website rather than apps to avoid unhappy mobile customers

Tablets and smartphones have sparked the rapid ascension of the mobile ecommerce sector, and that growth isn't expected to slow down anytime soon. If you don't want to take my word for it, there are plenty of studies out there to back this statement up. 

 

If you're a small business owner, this is mostly good news. You might not feel like it is - after all, you may have just gotten a handle on the whole internet website thing. Adding mobile into the mix means you have yet another platform to manage. 

 

I understand your concern, but trust me when I say it's not as difficult as it seems. All you need to do is have the right focus in mind.

 

Mining for gold - Picking the right social networking site for you

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the

You may have caught on by now to my strong feelings about incorporating social media into your marketing strategies. 

 

I've called social networking sites an advertising gold mine in the past, and a recent survey revealed that small business owners are beginning to share those feelings. LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest all grew in popularity exponentially over the past year, and 82 percent of respondents now consider Facebook an effective marketing channel. At the same time, more than half of respondents said they need help with their social marketing strategies. 

 

Small business falling dangerously behind with digital marketing strategies

With so many new marketing tools available for cheap, and even for free, you should be near the front of the line when it comes to utilizing these new trends. But if a recent study is any indication, the opposite is the case right now for many smaller companies. 

 

Most small businesses operate the old-fashioned way, with little recognition of the internet as a channel or a source of leads. Many small business owners are not even aware that they have an online profile that they could be actively managing on many popular sites.

 

The results from the study are alarming, and if they're at all accurate, small businesses have fallen dangerously behind larger companies in adopting digital marketing strategies. Some of the findings include:

 

How to win your customers' loyalty back!

The other day, I was listening to a friend of mine vent about her "horrible" experience with the local oil company. She was running low on oil at home, and with a snowstorm coming, she wanted to fill her tank to make sure it didn't run out.

 

However, when she tried calling the company, she was placed on hold for what felt like an eternity. She then tried getting in touch with someone on Twitter and Facebook, and low and behold, the company had yet to set up an account.

 

"I'm never doing business with them again," she vowed. Just like that, a nearly two-decade relationship was terminated. 

 

Do social media well or don't do it at all

You've probably seen the flashing lights and heard the emergency warnings by now about the importance of social media: You absolutely need to have a Facebook and/or Twitter account going forward if you want to be able to compete.

 

Yes, it's true that you will need to implement some form of social marketing strategies, but keep in mind that's far from the entire truth. 

 

Social strategies can affect your sales - both ways

Whether you're a social media fanatic or not, chances are a large portion of your customer base is. 

 

Social networking sites, from the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest, have essentially become regular mediums of communication. People use them to stay in touch with relatives, friends who have moved away, former colleagues and, apparently, their favorite brands. 

Don't miss the boat: Market to your mobile audience

Many, many years ago, marketing experts and analysts were declaring that you needed to launch a website, as online shopping was going to be the next big thing. 

 

They were right. A recent eMarketer study revealed that the global ecommerce market surpassed $1 trillion in 2012 - and it isn't even close to peaking just yet. 

 

Nowadays, the focus has shifted to deploying a mobile site, as - you guessed it - mobile shopping is going to be the next big trend to take off. 

 

The notion of a full-functioning mobile ecommerce market might be a bit of a fantasy right now for some, but its potential isn't. If you want some proof, look no further than a recent study, which found:

 

Social media - Integrate, don't stand alone

Written by Kevin Plankey
On the

Social media advertising has been all the rage for some time now. You've probably heard from every self-proclaimed expert, myself included, that you need to market to your audience on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other sites they use regularly. 

 

You might be alarmed, then, if you saw the results of a recent study, which found that more social media followers hasn't necessarily equated to more sales. Coca-Cola, for instance, which has 61.5 million Facebook followers, the most of any brand, hasn't seen any statistically significant relationship between their buzz and their short-term sales. 

 

That means you should pull the plug on social media marketing, right?

 

Not by a long shot. 

 

Use new Twitter tool to improve targeted marketing strategies

If you're involved with your company's marketing campaign in any way, one topic that's bound to come up is how you can ensure your messages are reaching the right audience. 

 

Unlike giant corporations, small businesses don't have the luxury of developing large-scale ads that will reach the majority of the population. It would be nice to produce a minute-long commercial that appears at 7 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, but for most companies, that's slightly outside their budget constraints. 

 

If you fall into this category, you really have no reason to worry. Through the use of innovative technology, you have more effective channels than ever by which you can reach your customer base. Better yet, you have more effective tools at your disposal to determine what those channels are.

 

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