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Archive for Making Marketing Work

Terri Seymour - Making Marketing Work bloggerSince 2004 social media has been booming and there is no indication of any lapse in its strength. If for some reason you are not yet taking advantage of the intense growth and popularity of social media for your business, now is the time to get started.

10 Faux Pas to Avoid When Using Pinterest by Terri SeymourOver 72 million people use Pinterest and many of them can become your customers. Businesses make money from Pinterest users and you can too. But learning and building an effective social media network takes time and a lot of work. As much as you should learn what to do, you need to learn what NOT to do. Below are 10 mistakes you might be making on Pinterest.

1. Dead or Broken Links – Be sure to check all of your posts to make sure the links are working and actually lead to the intended information. Sending your followers to dead or non-existent pages is a good way to lose them.

2. Ineffective Images – Images are everything on Pinterest. Images without human faces get liked and repined much more than images with faces. You also want to have multiple colors in your images. Images with red, orange and brown get repined many more times than blue. You do not want a lot of background or whitespace in your image. The less background, the more repins. Less than 30% will get the most repins. Smooth texture gets repinned much more often than a rough texture. Medium lightness does the best as opposed to very light or very dark images. Details matter and paying attention to your image details could make all the difference.

3. Unorganized Boards – Pinterest has a very good format for organizing your pins and information. Take advantage of that. Separate your pins into categories and create more boards for easier navigation. But do try to keep the number of boards you have under control. If your boards are too specific and only have a few posts, consider merging them with similar categories to make fewer user-friendly boards. Place your most interesting sand intriguing boards on top to get more followers. You need to get their attention immediately especially if you have a lot of boards to scroll through.

4. Not Commenting on Other People’s Posts – Look for popular posts and share your thoughts, opinions or ideas. Get involved. Don’t just say “Nice pin” or “Love it”. Also, mention others in your comments, when it is appropriate. Be on guard on how much you comment, however, as Pinterest strict spam rules. Keep your commenting down to a few times a day.

 

5. Not Using Buttons – Pinterest has all kinds of buttons and widgets you can use to help get people to your boards. Use a Pin It button on your website to make it easy for people to share your pages. Use widgets that show your pins to get people to follow you. Sprinkle these tools all over your website and if you use WordPress, look over all the best widgets available to you. Show off your pins and get more followers.

6. Incomplete Profile – Make sure you have a completed profile with all needed information available. Be sure to add your business info as well. An incomplete profile might give people the impression you are trying to hide something, making you untrustworthy.

7. Not Customizing the Description –Although the image does most of the talking, you need a good description included with your post as well. Add searchable terms and keywords. Add your call to action. Like, share, comment, repin – what do you want them to do. Be clear, straightforward and appealing to the senses. You could also use quotes from testimonials or reviews you have. Adding prices when appropriate could increase the response to the pin. Link back to your website when possible. Be sure to use Rich Pins which will include extra information on the pin itself. Find out more about Rich Pins at Pinterest for Business. Read More→

Oct
05

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Using #Hashtags

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lightbulbHashtags are simply words or phrases with a hash tag or pound sign (#) in front of them to highlight or emphasize the specifics of the message. For example: If you are posting a message about a product you offer, you might do something like #newproduct #diamondbracelet or #affordable.

The hashtag promptly increases the chances of your post being found when someone uses those terms in a search. They can be a bit annoying but are important if you want your posts to be found.

As with any tool or technique, it must be used properly to work effectively. Below are some ways to effectively and not so effectively use hashtags.

1. Do Not Use Spaces – The words or phrase you want included in the hashtag cannot have any spaces. You do not want your hashtag to look like this: #vegetable gardening.  You need to keep the space out. #vegetablegardening As with a url if you want to separate the words, use upper case letters. #VegetableGardening

2. Do not Use Punctuation Marks of Any Kind – Adding punctuation marks or special characters will render your hashtag ineffective. You also do not want to use all capital letters. You can use numbers as they will be effective within your hashtag.

3. Do Not Overstuff – I have seen messages or posts that were nothing but a jumble of hashtags. This is a definite no-no. Try not to use more than two or three hashtags per message. Using too many might give people the impression that you are a spammer. Use them as a tool, not as your entire message.

4. Do Not Make Them Too Long – For example: #bigsaleonallfurnituresavemoneywitheverypurchase. As you can see this is just a big confusing mess. Try not to use more than two or three words for your hashtag.  #FurnitureSale You want your hashtag to be easy to understand. Read More→

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Jan
25

12 Clever Ways to Boost Traffic

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Terri Seymour - Marketing & PR BloggerBoost your trafficTraffic is essential to anyone who owns a website and/or blog.  Without traffic we have no customers or sales.  Unfortunately traffic does not just come to us, we have to work at it and we have to be consistent and persistent.

Sales conversion rates normally average less than 5%.  What this means is that only 5% of the people who visit your site will become a paid customer.  So, to increase your sales, you need to increase your traffic and/or your conversion rates.  Below are twelve things you can do right now to start increasing your traffic to get those sales.

  1. Launch an Article Marketing Campaign – Writing articles is not as hard as you might think and it can do wonders for your traffic!  Write about something you know and just pretend you are telling a friend all about it.  There is no need to use big, fancy words because people just want basic, straightforward information.  Submit your articles to some of the more prominent article directories such as Ezine Articles.
  2. Guest Posting and/or Commenting on Blogs – Do a search to find quality blogs in your niche and ask if they accept guest posts.  Write helpful comments on existing posts and leave your link.  Get involved and start building your reputation!  A good place to find blogs that need guest posts is BloggerLinkUp.
  3. Write Website Reviews – Review websites on Alexa and get more traffic and improve your Alexa rating.  Go to Alexa, register an account and start reviewing and getting that traffic.
  4. Relevant Keywords – There are a lot of free keyword suggestion tools you can use to find the top keyword searches for your niche.  For example; if you own a pet care site, you would enter the words pet care and the tool would find the most relevant keywords for you to use on your site.
  5. Yahoo Answers – Visit Yahoo Answers regularly and post as many answers as you can but be sure to follow their policies. You cannot try to directly lead people to your purchasing pages or leave low quality answers with your website link.
  6. Interactive Site – Make your site interactive with forums, polls, surveys, etc.  If your visitors feel more involved with your site you will get repeat visits and longer stays.  Add a little fun as well with contests, games, etc.  Have a weekly or monthly scavenger hunt, trivia game, etc.  Running a contest for a month can increase your traffic by thousands. Read More→
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Jan
08

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Online Business

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calendar-agendaAt the beginning of a new year we tend to contemplate our lives and try to find a way to improve our situation. We set goals and make a promise to ourselves to achieve these goals.

The same should be done with our business. We need to take some time to look over the last year to see how we can improve our business performance. What goals can we set for our business that will result in growth and improved results?

Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas for your online business growth and success.

1. Refine Your Social Media – Social media is a very important marketing tactic for today’s online business but it can be very time consuming. You need to set a schedule for your social media participation. Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and TweetDeck.

They can help you free up time that is needed for other tasks. Allow so much time per day for your social media activity. These sites can become addictive and can cause us to neglect other areas of our marketing and business management.

2. Learn New Skills – The many areas and facets of owning and running an online business can be very overwhelming. The techniques, tools and formats are constantly evolving. We need to always be learning and never settle into a routine with our online business. There are tons of resources online that can help you keep up with the ever-changing internet business world. HubSpot Academy is a great place to start. You can also try Moz for search engine optimization, LearnVest to help you manage your business finds and countless quality blogs to help teach you the newest and most productive marketing trends.

3. Get a Grip on Your Finances – If you do your own money management and record keeping for your business, be sure to analyze and plan accordingly. There are some great software programs to help you keep meticulous records of your business funds. A good example would be Quickbooks or Quicken. You need to know where your funds  are going and if you should keep them going in that direction. Go over your advertising budget. Are you getting the results needed? Should you go down other avenues with your advertising budget? What are your regular expenses and are all of these expenses necessary or productive to your business? You need to go over all these questions and more to see if you are delegating your funds for maximum results.

4. Analyze Your Marketing Tactics – As above with your finances, you need to analyze all aspects of your marketing plan. Are your methods yielding the results you expected or needed? What tactics are working and which ones are not? Some techniques might need to be upgraded or even terminated. Read More→

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Jul
11

10 Blogging Myths and the Truth Behind Them

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social-monstersWhat is a myth? A myth is actually a false belief or opinion.
However, not all of the myths below are completely false. They do hold some grain of truth to them. But it is not always easy to sort the fact from fiction.

Although I have been in the internet marketing business for about 20 years, I am actually a blogging newbie. I have been blogging for just under two years.

I have learned some things in that time by reading and by experience. Unfortunately, many of the information you read online can be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Some information is taken at face value but it must be delved into with more detail to get the full truth. Below is some basic blogging information that needs to be explored more to fully understand the truth of the matter.

Myth #1 Just Set Up a Blog and Start Making Money

This is similar to when the internet first came out.  Many people were led to believe all you had to do was throw up a website and you could start making money.  The same thing is happening with blogs.  Building a successful, income-earning blog takes time, work, commitment and passion.

There are many ways to monetize a blog but some of them might not work for your blog.  Don’t make the mistake of just throwing up a bunch of ads and think the money will start rolling in.

a) Use your blog as an extension of your ecommerce site.
b) Sell advertising space.
c) Join some good affiliate programs.
d) Develop and launch your own product.
e) Sell information or digital products.
f) Host webinars.
g) Offer live workshops and tutorials.
h) Sell services.
i) Start a membership site.

These are just a few ways you can use your blog to start earning a living online.

 

Myth #2 You Have to Be a Writer

A good writer does not necessarily a good blogger make!  Writing and blogging are two separate things.  To be a good blogger you just need to know what you are talking about and have the passion to share it with your audience.

You do not need to use fancy words. Write like you are talking to a friend and telling them about your recipe, pet tips, DIY ideas, etc. Connect with your readers by being one of them and sharing your knowledge so they can connect and relate to you.

 

Myth #3 More Posts Mean More Traffic

While this could certainly be the case, it is not carved in stone.  You will read many times that you should be posting at least once or more per day.  This supposedly brings you more traffic.

However, as we dig a little deeper into this tidbit we know that quality is better than and more productive than quantity.  Take the time to write posts that are full of helpful information, resources, images, stats, etc.  Don’t just throw up a post because someone said more posts equals more traffic.

Many bloggers have become successful with one or two well thought out posts per week. As long as you are consistent and post regularly, the content of these posts is much more important than the number of posts. Read More→

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Jun
22

10 Simple Strategies for Decreasing Your Bounce Rate

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jump for joyThe bounce rate for your website is the percentage of people who visit your site and then leave without clicking to any other location.   They are single-page visitors and then they “bounce” right off your site.  

There are many reasons a person might leave your site before exploring further, all of them not necessarily bad but this article will help you determine and remedy some of those reasons.  

1. Easy to Read – You want to make things as easy for your visitors as possible and reading time is no exception.  

Some things you can do to ensure this are:

a) Make your paragraphs small.  Big blocks of text will deter people from continuing on with your site.  Use white space to your advantage.  

b) Use bulleted or numbered lists when possible. The eye will be attracted to easy to read lists.

c) Use bold headlines and subheadings.

d) Use straightforward text.  While the fancy fonts may look nice, they do nothing towards getting your content read.

e) Make sure you use a color of font that works well with your background color.  Most people would say black text on white background is best.

f) Use images in all your posts.  Scatter them throughout for more effectiveness.

g) Always use simple and concise language.  You don’t need to use fancy words.  Make your content easy to understand as if talking to a friend.  

2. Site Search – Be sure to have an easy to find search box on all pages of your site.  You don’t want your visitors to play hide and seek the search box.  If they cannot find what they need, they will leave.  

3. 404 Error Page – The dreaded 404 error page can be annoying but if done properly, can be helpful as well.  Don’t just have the standard, “This Page Does Not Exist” message.  Add useful information so your visitor can easily continue through your site.  

For example: Have an entertaining graphic with your homepage link and/or other pertinent links with a message like, The page you were looking for is gone but we have lots of other good pages.  

Be creative and use some humor for your 404 page.  Make people want to stay on your site.

4. External Links – If you have external links on your blog be sure to have them all open in a new window.  If people go to those links they can then easily get back to your site.

If you have a WordPress site, there is, of course, a plugin to do this for you.  

5. Ad Invasion – Most of us have some ads on our site for affiliate programs, ad programs, etc.  

But some words of caution:

a) Ads can be distracting and turn your potential customer’s attention elsewhere.  You could lose sales from people clicking on the ads and going to another site.

b) Ads clutter up your site and cause slower load time.

c) Ads could cause you and your site to lose credibility.

d) Ads can make your site more confusing and harder to navigate.

So, limit the number of ads on your site and make sure they will not cause you to lose visitors or sales.

6. Update Regularly – Add new content to your site often and keep things fresh and new for your visitors. If they come back and see all the same information and content, it will more than likely be their last visit.

7. Mobile Friendly – More people are going mobile all the time so you must make sure your website is optimized for mobile users.  If you have a WordPress site there is a plugin called WPtouch Mobile Plugin that will make your site mobile friendly.

a) Don’t use flash.

b) Don’t use pop-ups.

c) Keep things simple.

d) If you are comfortable with it, you can also make changes to your CSS coding.  

8. Internal Links – If you want people to stay on your site, give them lots of links to other information or content they will want to check out.  

When you post an article include internal links to other related content within that article.  Add internal links wherever appropriate to keep that person clicking from one page to the next.

9. Focus on Your Target Market – High traffic is good but what you really want is targeted traffic.  People that are coming to your site because they are interested in what you offer is your goal.

Optimize your keywords and site description to bring in the right audience.  Zero in on that target market.

10. No More Auto-Play – If you have videos and/or music on your site, by all means, do not have start playing when a person lands on your site.  Turn off the auto-play and give the person the option of watching/listening or not.

In general, make a visit to your site, easy, pleasant and non-intrusive.  Provide the content to make people want to come again. Read More→

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May
03

10 Ways to Get Your Subscribers to Open and Read Your Email

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terriBuilding an email list is very important to your online business. According to statistics, email is 40 times more successful at getting your business new clients than either Facebook or Twitter.

Email is a powerful marketing method but getting subscribers is the easier part. Once you have your list of subscribers, you want to ensure that they open and read your emails regularly.

Another unfortunate statistic is that only about half of your subscribers will open and/or read your emails. There ae many easy things you can do to help raise this number.

Below are ten quick and easy ideas to help you get more people to open and read your emails.

1. Subject Line – Approximately one third of your subscribers will open your email based on subject line alone. You want your subject line to be short – about 3 words. You do not want to use spammy words such as free, help and reminder. Do not use exclamation points in your subject line. Negative words draw more attention. Using words like wrong, lose, stupid, etc. can actually get your email opened more often.

2. Personalization – If you can add the person’s name in the subject line, there is a greater chance it will be opened. But be careful you do not end of with something like: Hello [name]. This will make your email seem spammy and unprofessional. You also want to write your emails in a way that is a friend to a friend type conversation. Don’t make your emails sterile and hard to understand.

3. Go Mobile – Over half of all emails read are now on mobile phones. Make sure your emails, including the subject lines, are mobile-friendly.

4. When to Send – Tuesday is the day that more emails will get opened and read according to Experian. According to MailChimp, after noon becomes more active with the most active email reading time being between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

5. Personality – Be sure to give your emails a little of your personality. Your readers want to get to know you so put yourself in your emails. Add some fun, humor (do not be offensive or inappropriate) and games or contests. Read More→

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Apr
14

30 Quick Tips for More Traffic

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FThree To-Do Listsor whatever reason a person lands on your site, they are part of your website traffic. Even if a person just chance lands on your site, you have a short window of opportunity to convert them.

Sometimes this will happen and sometimes it won’t but the more traffic you have, whether targeted or otherwise, the more chances you have of increasing your conversion rate.

Getting this traffic is not always easy. Below are some quick tips on how you can increase your traffic for more conversions.

1. If you have not yet added a blog to your site, do so. Blogs are a very efficient way to get more traffic to your site and keep them coming back.

2. Start an email list and send out regular emails to your subscribers. Focus on building a relationship with your readers.

3. Cross promote on your social media accounts. Connect all your accounts with your website and blog.

4. Contact other blog owners and swap content. Choose blogs that are complementary to yours not competitive.

5. Join Viral Content Buzz. It is a great site for getting others to share your content on their social media accounts.

6. Post your blog posts to social media. This can help get people who read your posts to your blog or website.

7. Submit guest posts to other blogs that complement your blog.

8. Optimize your site for SEO using well-placed relevant keywords.

9. Submit your blog to popular blog directories such as EatonWeb, Jayde and OnTopList.

10. Share your knowledge with others at Yahoo Answers. Answering questions and offering advice can get you substantial traffic.

11. Get involved in forums and participate regularly. Facebook groups are solid forums to increase your traffic.

12. If you publish a newsletter, swap ads with other publishers. This is a great way to get more exposure and more traffic.

13. Learn how to write compelling headlines for your content. There are lots of helpful tips on how to write headlines that get attention and clicks.

14. Post your content on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is becoming a powerful social media platform and could get you a lot of traffic.

15. Interview others to post on your blog. The person you interviewed will undoubtedly share the interview on his/her site and social media accounts which will draw more people to your site. Read More→

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Mar
28

10 Ways to Generate Leads from Facebook

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Facebook logoExactly what is a lead and what does it mean for your business?  A lead is a person or organization that has, in some way, expressed an interest in your product or service.  Leads, if handled properly, can be turned into customers which means more sales and success for your business.

There are many ways to find leads including social media.  Social media lead generation is cost-effective and can considerably elevate your sales success.

Facebook has over one billion users and is the continued powerhouse of social media.  Below are ten ideas you can utilize to help increase your lead generation using Facebook.

1. Use Calls-to-Action in Your Cover Photo – With Facebook changing their policies and allowing calls-to-action in your cover photo, all kinds of possibilities open up for lead generation.  You can link to special offers, contests, events, giveaways, etc.  By displaying a lead capturing call to action your conversion numbers could grow substantially.

2. Use Links in Your Posts – Posting with photos will get you more than 50% more likes than text posts.  Be sure to add a link back to your website to capture that lead.

3. Host Events and Contests – The possibilities are endless for holding all types of events to get those leads.  Some ideas are webinars, contests, competitions, giveaways, Facebook chat, etc.  You can easily create an event page.  Use Facebook’s event app to create your page and then send out your invites.

4. Design an Effective Cover Photo – Be sure to follow Facebook’s cover photo guidelines.  Draw attention to your call-to-action buttons with some text directly above them or an arrow or other similar tactic.  Keep it fresh by changing your photo periodically.  There are many sites that offer free cover images for you to use.  ProfileRehab.com, TrendyCovers.com, and FreeFacebookCovers.net just to name a few.

5. Avoid Direct Selling – Avoid using obvious advertising in your posts.  If people see nothing but an ad, they will more than likely avoid it.  Provide quality, informative content to get a higher number of leads and conversions. Read More→

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Mar
14

10 SEO Mistakes You Should Not Be Making

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Top view of young lady sitting on floor with a laptop and lookinSEO or search engine optimization is the process in which you make your site more easily read by the search engine spiders. Thus giving it more visibility and higher search engine rankings.

The higher your rankings, the more searches your site will be included in and this in turn will get you more traffic.

There are a lot of factors involved when optimizing your site for the search engines. They range from keywords to image tags to social media.

Many of us make the following common SEO mistakes that can easily be rectified.

1. Not Enough Content – Content is very important for your site. The search engines want to display the best sites for people who are searching for specific information. If your site contains quality information and content, they will consider your site to be one of these sites. Make sure your content is relevant to your site, has proper spelling and grammar, includes not only text but videos, links, images and other content.

2. No ALT Tags – Alt tags, also referred to as alt text, describe images on your site. The search engines cannot read images so adding an alternative text tag gives the search engine a readable description of the image to help the search engine spiders place your site within the search results of that text. For example: If you have a picture of a sunset with vibrant colors you may give it the alt tag description orange red summer sunset. Don’t use words that do not describe the image in hopes of getting better SEO results. This can do more harm than good by lowering your rankings.

3. Keyword Stuffing – Back in the day when search engines relied mostly on keywords it was a popular practice to stuff them in as much as possible. Now, keyword stuffing can get you penalized or even banned. Focus on one or two keywords or keyword phrases and sprinkle them lightly throughout your text. Keep your keyword density in the 1% – 3% range. So that would mean for every 100 words, use your keyword 1-3 times. This will give you a high optimization value.

4. Too Much Flash – Flash is a software used to build colorful, animated, flashy websites with a lot of graphics and light. They may look beautiful but unfortunately they are not user-friendly or SEO friendly. Flash has been widely phased out for the above reasons and more. Search engines find it difficult to read Flash. Flash can also cause your site’s performance to become substantially lower resulting in an increased bounce rate and lower rankings. Flash is not totally worthless but can cause you many difficulties. Read More→

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