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10 Rules To Drive Traffic On Website and Social Media

Designing a website or creating a social media network can be addressed as the easy part of the job. Understanding how to drive traffic, generate leads or get conversions along with engaging the audience and maintaining their interest is what takes a major toll on the peace of mind.

A brand is identified with its content and thus it is of utmost importance that blogs, posts, status or visuals get more visibility above competitors. This may sound tricky but given below guidelines can give a considerable boost to websites and social media:

1: SEO friendly content with catchy headlines and high conversion keywords:

Featured write-ups or simple articles, whatever you chose, make sure the content is optimised for search engines like Google and Bing. SEO helps in improving online visibility, generation of leads, increasing traffic, connecting with direct audiences and strengthening brand’s authority and domain. However, consider half battle won if while writing an SEO article you add a catchy and compelling headline complemented with right keywords in the body of the content.

2: Understand social media language:

Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we always notice an array of hashtags. Have you ever wondered why they are used? These hashtags help getting visibility beyond your followers or friends and expose you to new audiences. Same goes for tweeting, retweeting, liking and sharing posts. Initially, hashtags were not very popular and effective but off late they have become a trend for individuals and an effective source for driving traffic and providing more exposure for brands.

3: Engaging content with visuals:

maintain the attention span of your audience or to reduce the bounce rate on your website, it is advisable to have engaging visual like pictures, graphics, infographics, GIFs, vines, videos, whatever goes with your content. Digital marketers admit that visual content attracts more traffic and keep the audience engaged for a longer duration of time than content without visuals.

4: If it cannot be shared, it is not worth it:

Your content may have all the required factor to be a hit, but if it is something not worth sharing then all the hard work worth nothing. Traffic, audiences’ attention span and conversion rates all depend on how much the content can be shared. Suppose you read a blog or check a new video and your first instinct isn’t sharing with other then it’s not worth it. It is always advisable to use social media plugins with your content, however, while doing so make sure they don’t distract or disrupts your readers while scrolling.

5: Understand audience choice and learn to how to amplify it:

Driving traffic and conversion with same content won’t benefit you forever. You need to identify the channel through which you are getting maximum traffic and focus more on the same by taking its promotion on a priority basis. You also need to understand the kind of content that is keeping your audience engaged for the greatest period of time. You can also amplify popular content and you shouldn’t slow down your posting frequency. Don’t forget to maintain a social media calendar which can help you in maintaining consistency.

6: Make sure your website is social media and user-friendly:

Social media friendly website is a boon. It helps in increasing number of likes, shares, followers, retweets thus, extending reach to new audiences. It is advisable to have a direct link to your social media from the website and it’s vice-versa. Audience locate a brand either through search engines or social media thus, their inter-connectivity is foremost important. Most of the people access the internet using uses mobile devices and if they face hassle in accessing the website, their experience may end up on a bad note. Make sure you have a website that is user-friendly, easily accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices and that its pages are as technically optimised and it shouldn’t take ages to load.

7: Research Your Competitors:

Understanding competitors’ marketing strategies will give you an edge in the market. Keeping an eye on your competitor’s market strategy is a not only a good idea but will also help you understand their market is strategy and build your at par with them. It will also help you out in building your audience on social media. However, don’t copy them, be innovative, create your own strategy by figuring out most responsive and engaging social channels for you, the required frequency of posts and responds and type of content.

8. Advertisement always help:

This one most obvious rule always helps. Paid social media advertising is amongst the most effective ways of reviving traffic and building a brand along with showcasing it in front of the viewers. However, while going for paid advertisement, don’t follow a herd mentality. Identify your goal and based on that strategies your advertisements to get maximum traffic with least investment as each paid channel has its pros and cons.

 9. Keep regular and a keen eye on your analytics data:

Google Analytics along with other website data analytics software and apps can provide you with invaluable analytics data of your website performance. Every social media portal also facilitates analytics data. By keeping a close vigil on analytics data you can understand the nature of your visitors, their demographics, age groups, most popular posts, direct links etc. Inspect visitor data to see where your traffic is coming from and how is it directed. This information will prove important while planning content and marketing strategies.

10: Use Short and Concise Updates:

Most of the social media users these days have very short attention spans. They like to see through things rather than munching it over and over again. It’s is advisable to go for crisp and to-the-point content rather than detailed. This may help user go through a variety of content and retain their interest. Ideally, don’t go for anything more 100 characters for a social media post to attract greater engagement.

 

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YouTube: How to generate a million viewers using this platform

Marketing is surely the key to the success of any and every business, and quite interestingly, YouTube is one sure-fire way to strike the right chords when it comes to marketing.

However, the potential of this platform is not exploited properly and as a result, businesses are losing out on major probabilities.

Why people tend to avoid YouTube as a marketing channel is probably due to the misconception that one has to give in a lot of effort before expecting any kind of attention.

But, quite pleasingly, that is NOT the case!

How YouTube can be the game changer for driving traffic?

Sporting a 3 billion daily views, YouTube claims itself as the second largest search engine, (after Google). Hence if the right strategies can be deployed at the right time, YouTube holds an absolutely incredible potential for a marketer.

If you are intimidated at the thought of putting in a lot of effort for getting views, let me inform you that you don’t have to gather millions of subscribers for getting huge views. But once you start receiving the views, you shouldn’t stop.

Wondering why? Well, with a few more additional steps, you can simply convert those views into website visits, which opens up thousands of possibilities. In fact, using your YouTube page as a sales funnel is as easy as setting up a Facebook Ad campaign.

So, if you are wondering how you can drive traffic from YouTube, here are the steps to follow –

  • Gather the views

Before you think of ‘driving’ traffic from YouTube, you need to ‘gather’ it. Create some brilliant video content, optimize it thoroughly and share it as much as you can.

Do make sure the content that you share is valuable for your viewers. Study your target audience, figure out their expectations and create content that they will love to see!

Optimize the videos properly. Be sure to focus on the tags, video titles, thumbnails and descriptions so that your users are able to find it easily when they are looking for it. Also, be sure to address a problem in the title that your target users are facing.

 

  • Approach people the right way – You must have created a compelling call to action, and it’s now when you have to use it. Be sure to communicate with your visitors the right way and explain exactly how and why to get to your website. Just because this is a very simple strategy, don’t think that it doesn’t work. Also consider asking your customers for referrals as these can be highly effective for driving traffic.

Moral of the story: Communicate with your visitors clearly and make them feel how important they are to you!

 

  • Focus on the description box – Be very careful while crafting this description as this is what lets your users know about the video as well as your business in general. Make sure it’s short and crisp so that viewers can get a fair idea regarding what you want to let them know, without clicking on the ‘Show more’ button. A smarter way to handle this issue is to break the description up in two sections so that viewers have a sense of completeness with the first section itself. If required, they can then proceed to the next section.

 

  • Optimize the about page of your channel – If you think optimizing the individual videos would be enough, you are wrong! Remember your channel is a very important part of the entire process and in case, someone wishes to find out what you’re into, and check the about page, they shouldn’t be frustrated. Don’t forget that this page is the perfect opportunity to tell your users how you can be of great help to them.

 

  • Motivate users to subscribe – The key goal of following all these strategies is to redirect your viewers to your website. This one is a long term strategy and that’s why you can rest assured of a steady traffic flow out of it. What you need to do is to ask them to subscribe to your channel, for which all they need to do is to click on a single button. But the question is why they would do that! For that, you need to create amazing content that can hook them up. Once they subscribe, all your videos will pop up in their subscription feeds, resulting into greater views.

 

  • Team up with other YouTubers – When you are confident about your videos, consider partnering with other YouTubers in your niche. Most likely, they also need more traffic and exposure. By teaming up, you can share the audiences, and thus generate a new source of traffic. You can do a simple search for your target KWs and consider getting in touch with channels that have more subscribers than you.

 

  • Interact through comment section – If you are getting lots of comments on your videos, no matter whether those are positive or negative, it symbolizes that you are generating a lot of buzz. This is the high time to get active and step in personally to respond to the comments. This assures your viewers about your existence and the genuineness of your blog. If you are answering any question, there are high chances that you will be able to redirect the viewer to your website by providing the relevant URL, and this might help you motivate thousands of customers to visit your website.

 

The potential of YouTube is enormous and it’s high time to explore it. While Google Search Console and Facebook Ads are great tools for marketing, YouTube, too, is an extremely powerful platform.

If a picture speaks a thousand words, a video speaks a million and you probably can’t get a better platform than YouTube to share a video. If you are on the right track and provide your customers with the right information, they will surely like to know more. And if you can initiate it properly, they would be even glad to visit your website.

So, are you up for the game?

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Tips to Secure a WordPress Site against Hackers

Hackers have become smarter than ever. The threat to PC, laptops, mobiles and websites from hackers is commonly witnessed worldwide. Technically, there is no operating system or application that doesn’t come under the radar of hackers.

Hackers mostly target websites, database and file system to extract information. Most of the websites are now build on WordPress which is vulnerable to malware or virus.

In case of websites, there are certain things that make hacking process easy. Websites are mostly optimized for search engine. The SEO crawling tool for link search and “competitor analysis” make the hackers job simple and easy. However, you cannot avoid SEO for your websites. So, you now have to think of possible steps you can take to fight hackers. Mentioned below are some of the ways to secure your WordPress sites against hackers.

Keep Strong Password

A weak and simple password is the best gateway to your website for hackers. They can easily enter your website and hack it. So, the first thing you should do to secure your website is to keep a strong and difficult password that can never be cracked by anyone. You should add uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special character to your password. Also, ensure that you change your password regularly.

Keep Up the Updates

You should follow the updates that your get in your WordPress site. This updates are not just released for the Google News search result. They are actually meant for fixing the bugs, introduce new features, and to patch security holes. So, major security holes and patches are available, half of the work is done towards securing your website.

Protect the WordPress Admin Access

Hackers mostly track your blog post for the username. And if your admin and user name is same, then hackers can take control of your website in no time. Therefore, you should always change the default username of the WordPress account. You should disguise your admin username along with a strong password.

Use SSL to Encrypt Data

Using an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is the best step you can take to secure the admin panel. Implementing SSL secures the data transfer between browsers and the server, and makes it difficult for the hackers to play with your info. SSL certificate for WordPress site can be easily purchased from dedicated companies or from a hosting firm. And the good news is that SSL certified websites get better Google ranks too. High Google rank helps you to get more traffic and ultimately good business.

Set up Website Lockdown

Lockdown feature restrict the entry of hackers by locking the account in case of repetitive attempts. When a hacker tries to login into your WordPress account, the site will get lock if you set up website lockdown feature in your site. The iThemes Security plugin is considered as the best plugins in terms of security. It offers lots of features in respect to security. If hackers makes failed attempt to login to the WordPress account, the plugin will automatically block the hacker’s IP address.

Introduce 2-factor Authentication

The 2-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the effective security measures you can take. In this security feature, the users have to give login details for two different components. As a website owner, you have to decide these two factors. It is mostly regular password with a secret question, a secret code, or a set of characters.

Use Email as Login

Email ID is difficult to predict unlike username which can be easily guessed. So, using email IDs as login is a better idea than username for security purpose. Moreover, WordPress user account is mostly created with a unique email address, and therefore it is difficult to predict for the hackers. The WP Email Login plugin offers the best security for any account. It starts working soon after activation and does not require frequent configuration.

Change the Login URL

The WordPress login page can be easily accessed using wp-login.php or wp-admin from the main site URL. If the hacker knows the direct URL of the login page, they can easily enter the website and hack it. They make use of the GWDb (Guess Work Database). GWDb is a database of guessed username and passwords with millions of combinations.

So, it is a wise step to change your login URL to secure your site. The iThemes Security plugin also helps you to change your login URL.

 

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Best Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website Other Than SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to pull traffic to a website. However, don’t let it be your only approach as if it fails to click all your money, time, and efforts go down the drain.

SEO is a long-term strategy and this makes it more important for a business to make sure that people seeking a service that you offer, come to you and not go to a competitor. There is plenty you can do to intensify organic traffic to your site in other ways.

Identify your target traffic

Every business owner will want high-traffic to their website. However, it does not make sense only getting traffic. You should focus on getting genuine traffic that will influence the business ROI instead being satisfied by the sheer volume of visitors. It is vital that you identify your buyer and their needs while creating the content.

Create a blog

One popular and effective to generate healthy traffic to your site is through blogging. You can build up a good volume of useful information related to your site to reach your audience. Be wary of poor, plagiarized and cheap quality content that may compel the reader to go away.

Do guest blogging

Writing articles in the forte you are comfortable and posting them on popular high-traffic websites that accept guest posts is one effective method of pulling traffic to your site. The two important things that you must do is find trending topics that are shared on the various platforms and secondly, create a captivating content that will not be spurned by the website administrator.

Blog commenting

You must again Google for websites that post blogs/ articles in the niche you deal with. This will give you an opportunity to express your views and post comments. Be exhaustive yet precise so that it makes sense to the readers. Add a link. Try to encourage a conversation in your comments. Keep an eye on the post just in case you may have to reply to some response or question from a reader.

Do not use your brand name in the “name column”. It may create an impression that you are promoting your brand. It is more fruitful to use your full name.  with a picture as it gives a personalized touch.

Social media

Make use of the various social media platforms to pull viewers to your website. Several bloggers who have made it big, believe using social media effectively is one of the primary reasons for their success.  However, the approach here should be different. You cannot be promotional or convince people to buy your services in platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Provide quality and value and build a healthy relationship with the other people. Get them interested in following you.  If they like what you show, they are bound to come back for more.

Keep sharing old content that has been popular and get wider coverage. Just be careful so that you don’t get labelled as a spammer. Ensure you describe it differently each time so that the possibilities of attracting new readers increase.

Interviews

Interviews are like guest posts. Send an invite to successful persons in your niche and interview them. People will be curious to know the story as it gives them the opportunity to take the cue and rectify the approach they are adopting till now.

 

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Leverage Big Data To Enhance Your Online Marketing Strategy

The concept of Big Data is nothing new. Many companies are now starting to realize its importance and how it can generate revenue for them. In fact as early as 1950s, the term “big data” is already being used for uncovering insights and trends.

The Goal of Analytics

The goal of analytics in “Big Data” is to examine large amounts of data to reveal hidden patterns, correlations and insights. With modern technology, data analytics can be done almost in an instant. This was something that is not possible with the traditional business intelligence tools. With Big Data, your company can identify new opportunities.  As a result, you will be able to make smarter business decisions and operate more effectively. Big Data analytics can also result to increased revenues and happier customers.

The Challenge Ahead

Making Big Data effective especially in marketing poses a big challenge for most companies. This is because most systems are not aligned to the data, processes, and decisions of the organization. The three major marketing challenges in Big Data include:

What Data To Collect. Data can come from anywhere—social media, customer information, financial records, to name just a few. With tons of data to collect, it will be difficult to determine the right one.

What Tool To Use. As more data are collected, the time for decision making and action becomes smaller. Analytical tools are designed for data analysis and aggregation. It all boils down to choosing the appropriate tool?

Converting Data To Insight To Impact. The problem with Big Data is converting them to insight and eventually how they can have a positive impact on your marketing campaign.

Types of Big Data

As you brace for the challenge ahead, you will realize that there are three types of Big Data that you will encounter and they are the following:

Customer Data. This refers to the behavior, attitude, and transactional metrics of your customers from various sources such as marketing campaigns, online communities,point of sale, websites, customer surveys, social media, and loyalty programs.

Operational Data. These are metrics that are used for measuring the quality of marketing processes associated with marketing operations, resource allocation, asset management, budgetary controls, and others.

Financial Data. These are usually found in the financial system of a company. These metrics include sales, profits, revenue, and other data used for measuring the financial health of your company.

Time To Embrace The Future

When people read or hear about Big Data, they see it as something scary or daunting. The truth of the matter is that Big Data is something we should embrace rather than be scared of. It is the next big thing in the online world so you must be ready for it. If your company has not done it yet, here are some facts that will convince you to start embracing it.

  • By 2020, the amount of digital information would have grown from 3.2 zettabytes to 40 zettabytes (Barn Raiser LLC)
  • The total amount of data being captured and stored by companies doubles every 1.2 years(Water Ford Technologies)
  • 204 million emails, 1.8 million Facebook likes, 278 thousand tweets, and 200 thousand Facebook photos are generated by users every minute (QMEE)
  • Google by itself processes an average of 40 thousand search queries every second or more than 3.5 billion every day (Internet Live Stats)
  • AT & T owns the largest volume of data in a database. Its phone records database has a size of 312 terabytes and contains 2 trillion rows (Baseline Mag)

In today’s online world, Big Data can help online marketers make faster and more intelligent decisions. By analyzing the metrics, they can have the scalability and flexibility required to give themselves a competitive edge. Here are some ways you can use Big Data for your online marketing strategy.

Define Your Strategy

Big Data is most useful in defining your marketing strategy. Do you want to improve customer experience? Are you aiming to increase customer retention? Do you want to understand customer behavior better so you can look for a better marketing campaign? Whatever your marketing goal is, Big Data can be a convenient tool you can use.

Monitor Online Trends

Big Data can help you identify trending topics related to search terms that users enter. Using Google Trends, you can filter the results based on who you want to target globally or locally. You can set the filter criteria such as location, region, countries, interests, and others. By having an idea of what is trending in search, you can align your product with that to get traffic.

Identify The Right Target Market

Gone are the days when marketing companies speculate and guess who their target market will be. Thanks to Big Data, you can now find accurate information about ages, demographics, and work profile of your target market.

Engage Your Customers At The Right Time

For your marketing strategy to be effective, it needs to be timely and relevant. This is especially true with mobile advertisements. For your ads to be effective, it has to have a time to show up in the mobile device of the user. Big Data will help you determine the proper time advertisements will show up on the mobile advertisement platforms.

Get Content That Will Generate Sales

Big Data is effective in determining what content will be effective for a marketing campaign. You can use content scoring tools usually integrated with translation management tools. Let us say that an online marketer wants to get insights on successful assets and gauge their effectiveness. Using Big Data can help your company find content that will resonate well with your customers.

Predictive Analytics

In predictive analytics, the CRM data of a company will be evaluated by third party Big Data providers in order to generate a lead score. Using the data you have on hand, you can predict future lead behavior. This will give you an idea on which behaviors should be given more weight in lead scoring.

As more and more companies discover and embrace Big Data, you need to start embracing Big Data and use it for enhancing your online marketing strategy.

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How To Optimize Your Website For Mobile SEO

Ensuring that your website is optimized for mobile SEO is crucial nowadays. With Google adding mobile friendliness as a ranking signal last April 2015, going mobile is the way to go if you want your website to rank in search engine results. That year, Amazon generated more sales from mobile. Facebook is used most frequently on mobile devices than a desktop. So if your website is not on mobile yet, consider optimizing your site.

According to the Google Mobile Movement Study, 9 out of 10 searchers have responded to a call to action after searching on their smartphones. 95% of smartphone users search for local information and a huge number of them will readily purchase. The same study revealed that 77% of users have contacted the business and 44% have purchased a product.

Mobile SEO vs Traditional SEO

When ranking websites for mobile search, Google looks into common ranking factors, and other things such as:

Page Layout – Is the page rendering properly on a mobile device without left and right scroll bar?

Accessibility – Are the buttons, text, and images large enough and can be easily accessed without the user having to zoom in or out?

Speed – Is the page loading quickly on a mobile device?

Location – In mobile SEO, search results are customized according to your physical location. This is important if you want people to attract customers to your store.

Ads Placement – If potential customers do not like to see a full page advertisement, what more Google. If you are using Google Adsense on mobile devices, make sure to follow the guidelines for placing ads.

Common Mistakes With Mobile Friendly Websites

Here are some common mistakes that people commit when optimizing their websites for mobile SEO.

Blocking needed resources by Google bot. Websites are visible to Google just like a normal user so avoid blocking any resources from being accessible to Google. Websites need JavaScript and CSS to be responsive in mobile devices. Designers must make sure that all required resources are accessible to Google. Make adjustments to robot.txt file if necessary.

Applying A Responsive Design Without Testing .Just because you already applied a responsive theme does not mean that you are done. You still have to test your website thoroughly to boost user experience. Try hiding some parts of your website from mobile users.

Lack of conversion optimization. Your website has been tested and passed the mobile friendly test and loads fast enough. The next thing to do is ensure that it is optimized to convert from mobile. Check your mobile pages and analyze your “call to action” section. If the call to action button, product offering, and other important areas require the user to scroll down near the bottom of the page, then there is a need to change the design so that they are close to the top and seen by the customer.

Also performing an action should be made more convenient. If you are selling a product, there should be a checkout page. If you are getting customer information, then make it easy for them to input their details. The idea is to eliminate extra screens. The lesser the screen and the clicks, the better it will be for conversion.

Forgetting ‘Click to call’. Always remember that mobile users have a phone in their hands. So when you are adding a mobile number on your mobile website, make sure that it can be clicked by the user. Some designers tend to forget this when it is easy to correct this.

Using Popups. Popups are good for desktop when they are not distracting the browsing experience of the user. In fact, they are effective and only show up when the user is leaving a website. However, for mobile SEO, popups is a no-no and must be avoided.

Optimizing Your Website For Mobile Responsiveness

Now that we know the difference between mobile and traditional SEO as well as the common mistakes when designing a mobile friendly website, let us now proceed to the different ways you can make your website ready for mobile SEO.

Don’t block CSS, JavaScript, or images

Back in the days when responsive websites were still a concept, mobile devices had no support for CSS, JavaScript, or images. As a result, mobile sites block one or all three. However, times have changed and it is important for Smartphone GoogleBot to see and categorize them the way it does with content. This is a crucial aspect in mobile SEO so do not hide them as much as possible.

No to Flash

The Flash plugin may not be available on your user’s phone so they would not see what you have in store for them. For special effects, use HTML5 instead.

Avoid pop-ups

As mentioned earlier, popups are not advisable for mobile SEO. Closing them on a mobile device can be a difficult and frustrating experience which could lead to a high bounce rate.

Enhance your design for mobile devices

Mobile devices are simplifying and revolutionizing website design. “Above the fold” is no longer applicable in a world where users scroll endlessly

Design for the fat finger

Always think of the fat finger when designing your mobile website. If your buttons are too big or too small, it may cause accidental clicks if it is in the way of a finger that’s scrolling through the page.

Optimize your titles and meta descriptions

Unlike in a desktop, you have limited desk space when a user searches on a mobile device. Be as concise as possible when creating titles, URLs, and meta description. Make sure that the quality of information you are providing is not sacrificed.

Use Schema.org Structured Data

Adding the Schema markup to your HTML can improve the way your page displays in search engine results by enhancing the rich snippets found below the title. Schema.org Structured Data is the result of the collaboration between Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex to provide them the information their search engines need to provide the best search results for their users.

Optimize for local search

If your business has a local address, make sure to optimize your mobile content for local search as well. This means standardizing your name, address, phone number by adding your city and state in your metadata.

 

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Proven Strategies to Drive Traffic from Facebook to your Site

The most important thing that your website requires is traffic. However good your content may be, without visitors and viewers it will be difficult for you to sell.

SEO is a necessity however it is not the only platform to create an awareness about your website to internet users. Social media is an equally effective way to drive traffic to your online business.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are popular with a high community of users, which if properly utilized, can generate huge volumes of visitors which in turn leads to a better search engine ranking.

Facebook is the largest social media platform. You can distribute your content, reach your target audience, develop trust, and gain wider exposure among the public. How you do it is the critical question. You could improve traffic to your site with your Facebook page in many ways.

Consider the following tips:

Optimize your page:

  • Interested consumers and visitors will find it more convenient to browse your site if there is a link to click on. Post relevant photos and videos in the “About” tab.
  • Update your “Timeline milestones”. Give links to all important happenings for example- if you opened a new branch or have added some new services or similar.
  • Use custom tabs to link posts to your website. Add descriptions in brief to your photos so that when a visitor clicks on the picture it connects to the photo description.
  • Keep your personal profile up-to-date. Share your blog posts on your profile for people to know more about you.

Have a steady flow of fresh content:

People will not visit your website if you do not have anything new to offer. You will only be wasting your time and money posting links to the same content. Today’s consumers have plenty of options and will not wait for you. They get bored if they don’t find something unique. So, it is very important that you refresh the content on the page and keep your followers engaged so that they come back to you again for similar services.

Keep updates short:

You must be driving good traffic to your site with interesting content. Keep your Facebook updates short and amusing. Today’s viewers access their favorite sites over mobile devices too. Keep your updates “Twitter style” of about 140 characters. Share a quote or text from your blog. It is likely that a fan who has shared the update will have browsed your site content too.

Use full-size images:

Visual images speak about your product. The clearer it is, the better it will be for your viewers to understand what you are describing. Include likes, comments, click-throughs etc. that will allow the viewers to contribute. Link it to the blog.

Encourage conversation:

Ask questions. Your followers will certainly respond and participate in the conversation. Keep them guessing of what to expect next. Creating a question about the update like “What do you think is coming next?” will arouse more curiosity than the update itself.  Start a Facebook contest as promotions with some offers. Use marketing strategies and ask your fans to share the contest with their community.

Share others content:

Sharing- that is what social media is all about. Sharing other’s content that is relevant to your business is a good marketing strategy. Though you should not expect anything in return, it will draw a response and they, in turn, will share some of your content that is relevant to them.

Create Facebook ads:

Using Facebook ads will enhance your reach to your target audience. It may require you to invest some money, but in return, you will get plenty of options on how to increase the traffic to your site.  Create an ad with a link to your website with a post. Ensure you follow the guidelines and rules of Facebook or it will not be approved. Use the tools provided by Facebook to measure the text quantity.

Embed blog videos:

Go imaginative. Make some video to give the crux of your blog to your readers. Graft the video to your content. The video will lure your visitors and get them to read your post.

Summarize on a weekly basis:

Create a blog post every weekend about the best things that happened in the week. Which was the best article, which got the maximum comments, which generated the maximum traffic and so on. This will allow your followers to learn about the posts in case they had missed it during the week.

 

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GST and its Effect on Digital Marketing in India

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) aroused a lot of curiosity before its arrival and people across the country are now accepting it with mixed reactions.

The GST is the biggest tax reform that is being carried out in the country.

Like to all other businesses, the GST is likely to have a telling effect on the online services and digital industry.

The purpose of GST:

GST, as you all may be aware, is an effort to streamline the current tax structure by providing uniform structure. Earlier, the tax structure varied from one business to another which now is modified with only one common tax i.e. all the indirect taxes including Vat, Excise tax, Service tax and similar will form into GST. Although there is a disgruntlement in some sectors, the GST will provide a stable and productive economic scenario in the country making the “one nation one tax” a reality.

Impact on the digital market industry:

Input tax credit:

Earlier the advertising expenditure was considered as a manufacturing expense and the manufacturer was liable to pay sales tax, VAT etc on the purchases made on raw material. There was no input credit. Now, after the implementation of GST, the manufacturers, suppliers, e-commerce businesses, aggregators and more can claim an input credit while paying tax on the output (final product). The expenditure thus will drastically come down for the advertisers.

Advertising cost:

Pre-GST, taxes were being collected in multiple ways. Taxes were levied and collected by central government and state government. The complex nature of business models in which the online e-commerce transactions are done created a lot of ambiguity and disputation. Post-GST the flow of tax will cut down the chaos as well as the costs involved in creating ads.

Advertisement spends:

With the reduced costs, the retailers will save more on their advertising budget and put it back in advertising and gain more exposure in the process.

Service tax:

There is an increase of 3% in the service tax from the earlier 15% to 18% and as per predictions from the industry bigwigs it will not have a significant impact on the market.

Initial hiccups:

Several questions will keep arising in the initial few months. With the increase in content transactions, the implementation process may experience several glitches on the way.

Digital taxes:

There has been a tremendous growth in the digital space and several businesses are accumulating a decent earning through the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and similar. Many of them are physically located outside the country and are not subject to Indian taxation laws. This is creating a new challenge to the tax laws.

However, the government in the recent budget has decided to implement an “equalization levy” at 6% on digital advertisements. This feature is likely to be extended in a phased manner to cover all the services being availed by the Indian consumer from the online non-resident retailers and sellers.

The equalization levy will have an impact on all the services being offered digitally that may include the online collection of payments, website designing, web hosting, email services, media advertising, blogs, software downloads including songs and movies, online news portals etc.

Meanwhile, the top social media platform, Facebook, has made it necessary for the advertisers in India to update their Facebook account with details of their GST registration number before they continue their advertising on the platform. They will not charge any GST on the Facebook ads. The other social media platforms are also likely to come up with some policy in this regard.

Conclusion:

GST is still in its infancy. Brand owners and agencies will adopt a wait and watch policy to get the feel of the new tax reforms.

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How to Choose the Right SEO Firm for Your Business

In today’s digital age, it is important for every organization to promote their services to reach their target audience.

While the large established organizations sustain themselves with paid advertising and maintain a competitive edge, the small businesses should seek efficient and affordable ways to market their services.

You should remember building your business is not an overnight job. It will take several months or years to get genuine traffic to your site.

SEO is the perfect option:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a cost-efficient technique you can adopt to get the maximum exposure to your website over the internet. You must hire the services of a professional SEO firm to get the right kind of visibility for your business.

The challenge here lies in how to select the best SEO company that can provide the different online marketing services for your website.

If you browse the internet, you will come across numerous agencies offering SEO services. When you start contacting one by one, at the end of the day, you will realize most of them are telling you the same thing about getting your website on the first page.

What you must not do:

  • Use the search engines as your screen: Like mentioned above, when you type “best SEO company” you will find numerous agencies many of whom are reliable and affordable. However, the possibilities of you missing the top firms is also likely. This is mainly because these firms do not have the time to optimize their website as they have their repeat clients and get new customers through referrals from their satisfied clients. You are basically missing out on the cream agencies and left with the mid-level service providers.
  • Forget that old is not always gold: You have been hearing about the company since ages. They are large with hundreds of employees and have offices across the world in multiple locations. Yes, they may be big but does that guarantee that they are the best suited to be your SEO firm? The right SEO for you could be a startup or a small business having some of the best experts on their rolls.
  • Go for short-cut methods:  Avoid agencies that promise you traffic, page one rankings within a short span.

The following “what you must do” tips are crucial and can help you get the best SEO firm for your website.

  1. Be sure of your goals:

Sit with your team and analyze what you need. The most important thing is to locate your audience and make sure you reach out to them. Your aim must be to boost your productivity and earn revenue. Encourage your customers to express their views about your products and services. Set a target for yourself. How many sales should you reach in six months, one year and so on? Communicate the same with your SEO firm and they will chalk out the best strategies for you.

  1. Approach multiple agencies:

Visit or talk to different SEO firms. But never reveal it to them that you are consulting others too. If they are busy, they may not show interest. Never let price be the only consideration. The cheapest may fit into your budget but you may have to compromise with the quality of service. Experience and quality come at a cost.

  1. Check their portfolio:

See their past work. Have they worked on a similar business like yours? If they have, then it is more than likely they will do a good job for you. However, you must ensure it should be unique and not copied strategies. Learn about their background. Whether they deliver on time. Another crucial requirement is the customer care. You will need someone that is available 24/7 to answer your queries.

  1. Ask questions:
  • What are the methodologies they intend to apply? You can also go a step further and ask why they are using those tools.
  • How will they communicate the progress? What is the step-wise process they will adopt? What do they need from you?
  • What is the alternative steps they intend to take in case the primary strategy is not working?
  • What will be the time taken to reach the desired goals? Will they provide maintenance and scale their services as your business grows?
  1. Take referrals:

Ask your friends, associates and business colleagues if they have used an SEO firm for their business. You must not restrict your search to local firms only. Trust even companies that offer services across the globe.

Choosing the right SEO is critical for the success of your business. Maybe your business may require some more services which you may want to find out from the firm. Be clear in your approach then you are on the right path to make your website a profit earning business.

 

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8 Challenges that Marketers face today

While the Marketing industry is swamped with new developments and exciting new leaps in various directions, it’s not always sunshine and lollipops. While 70% of marketers prioritize on converting their leads to customers over a period of 12 months, we have to admit that most of the marketing strategies used by them are old school. There’s always one area of improvement where every marketer can work on.

According to a recent research, generating traffic and leads remain the biggest challenge that marketers face today – at almost 63%.

It is important to know the challenges that today’s marketers are facing that is holding their brand back.

  1. Generating Business

The Problem

Business generation is a cumulative effort of search optimization, web conversion, content, email and social media – all held together by a strongly orchestrated strategy. Often marketers are seen to indulge in every tactic, namely, blogging, emails, social, paid advertising, content etc. without any specific strategy or plan. They want to be great at everything, but don’t know how.

The Solution

To improve upon this shortcoming, it’s important that you understand what you are saying through your marketing messages, and to whom. Make sure that your story-telling is critical. Each and every element of your marketing plan needs to be aligned to each other. Create high quality content that conveys your brand value among your target customers. Once you are creating the kind of content your audience wants, the focus should then automatically shift to promoting it in a way that your audience sees it.

  1. Measuring Marketing ROI

The Problem

Often it becomes a challenge to track the ROI of every single marketing effort. ROI involves money. To measure ROI, you must have a certain amount of investment associated with your marketing. And the results will not be overnight.

The Solution

As Marketers, you need to show the full-funnel tracking of your website visits. Starting with when a prospective customer showed up on your website, to the point where he drops an email, which is then responded by your marketing/sales team – everything should be tracked. If most of your marketing and sales are online, you can use free tools like Google Analytics to measure the contribution of different types of digital content which are driving conversion.

  1. Marketing Budget

The Problem

Securing a satisfactory marketing budget is always a challenge for marketers globally. More so with small businesses, because they work on a shoestring budget and constantly find themselves at crossroads on whether to spend the money on marketing or for other operational commitments.

The Solution

It has been observed that companies who have been able to prove their ROI have received higher marketing budgets. And the only component in securing a fairly good ROI is to execute effective strategies. Marketers who are confident about their marketing strategies are twice more likely to get higher marketing budgets for themselves.

  1. Effective Website Management

The Problem

About 25% of marketers pointed out website management as a challenge in the said study. There can be a host of concerns relating to your website which might be preventing your digital footprint – like website design and loading speed, mobile friendliness and SEO.

The Solution

Analyze your website properly with respect to landing page content, design, back-end website management etc. Tap into your target audience through LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media channels. And last, but not the least, host your website on a platform which will enable you to integrate all your marketing channels into it.

  1. Finding the right Technology

The Problem

Identifying a specific marketing problem and subsequently finding the right tool/technology to address the same is a major problem for marketers today. Many times marketers have been seen to turn to multiple sources for their solutions; without knowing where to go for the right resources.

The Solution

Marketing Automation should be the priority for marketers today. There is a huge amount of technology tools available online for sales and marketing. Analyzing these tools for a better understanding of their client experiences and then gauging if they can be used for your business is the starting point to choose the right marketing technology.

  1. Identifying the Buyer Persona

The Problem

It is very critical to know who your target audience is. Formulating a marketing strategy without knowing who it is meant for could mean firing in the dark. Everything, starting from your marketing strategy to website design and development and social media marketing will depend who you are trying to sell to.

The Solution

Keep your audience at the top of your mind and then design your website. Make your content appealing to the prospective customer. Draw out a buyer persona and then work around it. Understand their needs and problems and then try to learn how you can solve them.

  1. Assessing your Marketing Team

The Problem

Training your Marketing Team on concepts and tools is very important in the volatile marketing landscape that we see today. A team with outdated knowledge of what’s happening around will only be detrimental to your overall marketing success.

The Solution

Assess the marketing strengths and areas of improvements for each of the members of your marketing team. Their levels of expertise, concepts and commitment to the overall goal of the team should be gauged from time to time. An online marketing certification may take care of few things for starters.

  1. Hiring Quality Leaders

The Problem

With inbound marketing being a top priority for most organizations today, hiring top quality leaders to lead this department has become a challenge. Finding the right candidate often takes months. There is a very quick change in demand of particular marketing skill sets, and the supply isn’t up to the mark. Hence, there is an increasing skills gap in the job market.

The Solution

Analyze what your marketing lead needs to achieve in terms of duties and tasks. Then try to identify the skillset required to perform those tasks effectively. Your Job Description should then include a detail of these skillsets. Also, use job listing services where you will particularly find people with these skillsets.

To Sum up….

Although the above-mentioned challenges have been pointed out by a group of marketers for the survey, you need to find out what are the road-blocks your marketing team is faced with.

Subsequently, focus on improving these areas, which you think need the most attention. Only then will you be able to make your marketing more effective.