Category Archives: portfolio

How To Show Consumers That Your Business is Credible

Showing consumers that your business is credible has never been easier. Today’s Internet savvy population will not hesitate to do research, and some might even say that they can be, well, snoopy!

Now that we know consumers are using social media and other online venues to play detective, entrepreneurs can take advantage of these tools to simply hand over the information that their potential customers are looking for. Take a look at these suggestions:

Create a personal, professional Google + or Linked–in profile

If you run a small business, consumers may run your name through a Google search. Be prepared by creating a professional Google + or Linked-in profile for yourself!

Register your business for Google Places

Similarly, registering your business for Google places will ensure that consumers can find your company. It will also give them the opportunity to share it with their friends, and take a look at how previous customers have rated your business. This being said, if you are not registered with Google Places, skeptical consumers might wonder why!

Create a page on your website for employee profiles

Your own business website is of course a great tool as well. Consider creating a page to share some information about your team. Not only will your customers like to see that you have qualified employees working for you, but it will also help to confirm that you are, indeed, a real, legitimate, and trustworthy business.

Creating social media business pages on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else your target market may be active is also a good idea, not only to confirm that your company is the real deal, but also to engage with potential customers, answer questions, and build trust.

Remember, many of today’s consumers feel the need to research and compare. Why not make it a little easier for them to find what it is they re looking for?

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Supercharge Your Social Media Tactics with Gamification

Looking for a way to supercharge your social media tactics and increase audience engagement and participation? In 2011 studies, small businesses reported social media as an effective tool to build new partnerships, garner leads, and improve sales.

While this is indeed still true today, social media has come a ways in the last two years. As more businesses enter the world of online interaction, a stale social media marketing strategy could render your businesses efforts nearly invisible.

So what’s an entrepreneur to do? Many have turned to gamification principles to supercharge their social media tactics. Simply explained, gamification refers to the use of game principles and mechanics in non-game contexts.

The concept is a hot topic right now, and is being implemented in everything from business management to health and personal finances. So how can it be used to engage your social media followers? Well, offering incentives to take part in challenges, competitions, and missions is a great start!

For more information on gamification and its applications, check out myengaming.com and for more information on social media tactics refer to the following articles:

How to use Pinterest for Marketing Your Business

How to Get the Right Twitter Followers For Your Business

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How to Build a Strong Brand Presence Online

How to Build a Strong Brand Presence Online

Establishing a strong brand presence should be one of your top online priorities for your business. Today, branding is more achievable than ever, with several avenues for social sharing and exposure.

But building up momentum and exposure can take time, especially if your business is brand new. To help build an enviable online presence for your brand, consider the following suggestions:

Create a Recognizable Logo

Consumers respond beautifully to recognizable visual cues. Have a clear, simple logo created, and make sure that it’s not too similar to that of your competitors!

Include Your Brand Name in Your Website’s Page Titles

When titling the pages on your company website, consider including your brand’s name. For new businesses, this can be a great way to introduce search engines to your brand, and help it show up in searches. Keep in mind however, that this is not to replace your keywords.

Create Brand Pages On Social Media Networks

Social networks have introduced some great opportunities to facilitate branding over the last couple of years. If you’re limited for time and you don’t plan on outsourcing your social media marketing efforts, then focus your energy on just one or two networks. Keeping up with social media takes time, and you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.

Be Consistent

When it comes to branding, consistency is key. This applies to your message, image, and online activity. Creating brand pages or a company blog is a great idea, but if you’re not consistently updating and interacting, your followers will get bored.

On a similar note, if you use certain colours on your website, and different ones elsewhere, your potential customers might get confused.

For more information on getting your brand established online, and online marketing techniques, download our free Ebook!

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How to Get More Word Of Mouth Marketing For Your Business

How to Get More Word Of Mouth Marketing For Your Business

Most business owners know the value of word of mouth marketing. We know that consumers trust their friends, and when it comes to choosing a business from which to purchase a product or service, they are far more likely to go with one that they have heard is credible.

So how do you get more word of mouth marketing for your business? Well, before we take a look at this question it should first be said that what we consider traditional word of mouth marketing has undergone a lot of changes, especially over the last decade.

Before the Internet, word of mouth meant that people were literally calling up their friends or telling them in passing about a great experience they had with a service or product. Today, word of mouth occurs online. Social media sharing has become the new word of mouth.

Social networks are a very useful and important tool for encouraging your past customers to share testimonials and recommendations. And, of course, social media is also a great place to collect leads and engage prospective customers.

So where to start? For ideas about how to get started with social media, and to encourage online sharing, refer to these additional articles:

How to Use Pinterest For Marketing Your Business

Will Social Media Sharing Help My Business Grow?

How to Get the Right Twitter Followers For Your Business

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How to Construct Your Own Infographic

How to Construct Your Own Infographic

Infographics are one of the biggest online trends right now, and they can be useful to help market your business!

An infographic, or information graphic, is a visual representation of data. The most popular kind right now appears as a strip with pictures and interesting stats or data build in. These visuals have become quite widespread, and are highly shared on social media networks and websites.

To take advantage of this trend, consider building an infographic of your own! Not only is it a quick and interesting way to share information on your website, but its appeal will make it more likely to be shared by your viewers!

How to construct your own infographic

Once you have decided that you want to construct your own infographic, there are a few steps that should be taken.

1) Check out what’s out there

Before you set out building your own infographic, take some time to look at what is out there. Do your competition use them? Which ones are you favourite and why? What kind of information are they sharing and what differentiates the good infographics from the not-so-great ones?

2) Do your research

By this point, you have probably realized that one of the characteristics of a good infographic is, well, good info! Do some research and compile a list of stats, data, and any other information you can find on your topic.

3) Construct!

Here’s the fun part- it’s time to construct your infographic! There are a number of online tools that can be used for this stage of your project, including visual.ly, Many Eyes, and Daytum.

Once you have completed your project, make sure to share your hard work! Post it on Facebook or work it into an email campaign!

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SEO vs. SEM: Which is Best For Getting Customers Online?

SEO vs. SEM: Which is Best For Getting Customers Online?

As entrepreneurs trade in Yellow Pages ads for digital marketing efforts, the question of exactly where to direct time and money arises. There are many different tactics and techniques used by online marketers, and most can be placed in one of two categories: SEO or SEM.

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to tactics used to increase the visibility of a website or web page in organic search engine results. SEM, or search engine marketing, on the other hand, refers to all paid efforts to promote a website or page in search engine results, but the term is also often used as an umbrella term to describe all online search engine marketing efforts, including SEO.

So the real question, then, is which is best for getting customers online: Paid search engine marketing, or unpaid? Well, they both have their pros and cons. Let’s take a look:

Paid SEM includes pay-per-click ads (PPC), YouTube ads, or other paid advertisements. Pay-per-click ads are effective because they are very targeted, and many business owners like the fact that they only pay when a user clicks on their ad.
Unfortunately, creating a PPC ad campaign without knowing how can mean a lot of wasted time and money, so if you’re considering this route, it may be wise to seek help from professionals.

SEO may include tactics like link building, optimizing your website for certain keywords, and ensuring that your website is updated regularly with quality content in order to achieve a higher authority and thus a higher search ranking.

This tactic is popular because it is free, and targets organic search results, which are more likely to be selected by your target audience. On the other hand, implementing successful SEO tactics for your website takes lots of time and effort, so you’ve got to be ready for a commitment!

It should also be noted that some business owners prefer to implement both paid advertisements and SEO for a very complete and well-rounded online marketing angle.

To learn more about both SEM and SEO, and how they can work to get more customers online, refer to our Ebook.

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Why You Need To Add Images to Your Website

Why You Need To Add Images to Your Website

Lately we have been discussing the idea that ‘content is king’. While generally this idea refers to written content, we mustn’t forget about visual content as well. Adding images to your website is not just about making it look pretty. There are many reasons why you need to add images to your website, and this article will discuss a few of them.

SEO

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is failing to realize that images also play a role in the search engine optimization of their website. For this reason, images must be named strategically. Pictures, like the pages they appear on, should be named with the intention to drive traffic for specific keywords. This way, your picture will appear in a search engine image query for related terms.

Click through rates

If you are posting links to your blog articles or pages of your website, including a picture will help to drastically increase click through rates. If there is a picture on the page you are posting, it will show up in the link’s thumbnail. This may not sound like a big deal, but users are far more likely to click on a link with an associated image.

Build Trust

Before purchasing a product or service, most consumers do some research online. When they come across your business website, they are looking for indicators that you are a legitimate, trustworthy business. Including before and after pictures, or photos of your uniformed men, marked trucks or products helps to build credibility in the eyes of your visitors.

Of course, there is something to be said about the aesthetic appeal of pictures as well. Studies have shown that visitors often base their opinion of whether or not a website is credible simply on the design of the site. Let’s face it, a website without visuals isn’t exactly appealing.

For more tips on how to have a great business website, download our Ebook!

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How To Use Pinterest For Marketing Your Business

How To Use Pinterest For Marketing Your Business

Pinterest may be the new kid on the block when it comes to social networks, but this virtual pin board has certainly picked up steam, and its sway had best not be ignored when it comes to marketing your business!

According to MarketingProfs, Pinterest boasts 20 million unique users, and has been announced by comScore as the fastest growing social network in history!
So what can Pinterest do for your business? Well consider this: Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined. It beats out Twitter on this front as well.

If you have an online store, or are involved in Ecommerce in any way, you may also be interested to know that Pinterest has great conversion rates. In fact, 21% of users have purchased an item that they came across on a pin board.

Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Business

Are you a beginner pinner? Take some time to explore Pinterest. Check out the categories, read captions, and take notes on what others are doing. Once you’ve got the gist of how the network operates, consider these marketing tips:

Create a board for your business and pin content from your website
Add sharing options on your website so visitors can pin directly to their boards (make sure to use visually appealing content on your site!)
Incorporate Pinterest into your email marketing campaigns by inviting readers to follow your boards
Follow users in your target market. Like and comment on their activity

Remember, as with all social media, you will have the most success with Pinterest if you are consistently active. Take the time to do make sure your account is getting regular activity. You’ll see your website traffic increase, and you will probably make a few online sales too!

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How to Write a Newsletter for Your Business

How to Write a Newsletter for Your Business

A good business newsletter can be a great marketing tool. Not only is it affordable, but creating a newsletter fosters relationships with potential and past customers, and creates heightened brand awareness.

Studies have shown that business newsletters receive 4x more readership than traditional ads! Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Well before you start typing away there are a few things you may want to consider first:

What are your goals and how are they going to be reflected in your newsletter? Below are three things your newsletter should aim to do, and ideas to get you started!

Engaging Your Readers

This may seem like a no-brainer, but your newsletter has got to be something that your audience will actually want to read. Ensure that your readers are engaged by linking them to your blog, requesting feedback, or introducing a contest or draw.

Building Trust

Building trust should certainly be a deciding factor when determining what kind of content to include in your newsletter. Customer testimonials and case studies are a great tool.

Offering Value

This is perhaps the most important aspect to consider when writing a newsletter for your business. Remember, your audience’s inbox is probably already being gunked up with spam and emails of all kinds. Receiving your newsletter shouldn’t make them want to roll their eyes and hit delete.

Consistently offering value in every newsletter will have your readers looking forward to opening mail from you! Announce a blowout sale, include a coupon, provide articles with valuable information, or introduce a new product to keep your readers coming back for more!

Remember, a newsletter has the potential to be a very effective marketing technique. Clear goals and consistent quality are key!

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Gold Medal Worthy Beginner’s Link Building Guide

Gold Medal Worthy Beginner’s Link Building Guide

Link building is one of those things that you know is a great idea to drive traffic to your website and encourage a higher page ranking, but understanding exactly how to go about the process isn’t exactly straight forward.

Why link building?

When a query is entered into a search engine, a number of factors determine what will show up in the results, and it what order. One of these factors is links. As search engine crawlers scour the web, they follow links to and from websites. Each time Google’s bots find a link leading to your website, it’s considered a vote. The more votes you have, the better your chances of showing up closer to the top of the results!

How to build the right links

When it comes to building authority, it is important to remember that not all links are created equal. Google looks for links that are relevant, trustworthy, and directed from an authoritative source. Search engines also frown upon paid links, and spammy, black hat link building techniques.

While linking form your social media accounts and local directories is not a waste of time, these connections alone are not going to get you the kind of ‘link juice’ you want. To build gold medal worthy links, you are going to have to put in some time and research.

Link building ideas

· As a beginner, one of your best options is to request link sharing with other websites related to your industry. For example, if you sell outdoor furniture or gardening supplies, you might contact a landscaping website to request a link share.
· If you have happy customers, you may also request that they link to you from their website, personal blog, or social media accounts.

· Build and promote a company blog and fill it with share-worthy material.

For more information on link building and other digital marketing techniques, download our Ebook!

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