Blog about Internet marketing strategies - social media, & SEO

Category: Guest Blog

User Experience and Marketing: A Delicate Relationship

Traditionally marketing and user experience were two departments that weren’t concerned with one another. Today, however, as the Internet continues to evolve the way business is done marketing and user experience have become more entwined than ever before. Both sides are concerned with adaptability and usability as they will ultimately lead to a broader reach and customer acquisitions.

User Experience and Marketing

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

Customer experience is changing these specialties individually as well as how they combine to create more powerful messaging and campaigns. For companies to be successful today they need to help customers and adapt to customer needs as they evolve. Many of today’s evolution are related to the rise of mobile technology and devices, and some major players are already taking notice.

Google, for example, may soon be penalizing websites that don’t take the mobile user experience into account. According to the January 2014 Mobile Technology Fact Sheet 63% of adult cell phone owners using their mobile phones to get online and 34% of mobile phone Internet users only go online by using their phones versus any other type of device. With numbers like these it’s easy to see why Google may be altering their search ranking algorithm to take the mobile experience into account. The Googlebot is able to view websites on a code level as well as the way that a human user would see it, meaning that the bot is able to differentiate between a good mobile user experience and a poor one.

According to past studies from Google 61% of users will not return to a mobile site if they previously had trouble accessing it on their phone. Google is deeply concerned with the user experience and sites that don’t share their commitment could find themselves dropping in Google’s search results.

In addition to ensuring that a website is optimized and responsive, marketers should remember to make the user experience all-inclusive. Not only should content be robust and informative, it should also communicate with them – maybe even literally. Live customer chats allow marketing team members to instantly chat with customers and provide exceptional experiences.

Outside of the mobile realm, at a core level companies need to give their customers dynamic tools and resources that help them make smarter decisions. Solving customer problems engenders loyalty and builds more layers of customer engagement. Marketing and user experience can work together to improve customer interactions across the board and deliver more effective, user-focused experiences. This cohesive approach helps to create a stronger brand and focuses customer interactions on selling and more successfully leads customers through the sales funnel.

User experience combined with marketing strategies can help refine a company’s target market. User experience is a broad concept that works across multiple aspects of a business, not just usability. It has an especially significant impact on customer satisfaction as the principles of user experience can help to simplify and improve the processes in which customers are brought to the brand and how they interact with it over the long-term.

To achieve long-lasting customer satisfaction marketing teams and user experience teams need to understand the business and define their objectives. These objectives should align with both the company’s goals and the end user’s needs. User-centered marketing and experience programs help companies gain new insights into their business.

Marketing and user experience support each other as well as the overall goals of the company. When all departments and team members share the same focus there is a greater chance for success.

About the Author:

Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.

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Five Tips To Improve Exposure on Facebook’s News Feed

Do you have a Facebook page like many other businesses do? If so, then you should also be concerned about something many people involved in SEO have observed. That is, business pages seem to be generally ignored in Facebook’s news feed. Some leading SEO company professionals are even complaining that Facebook is deliberately ignoring business pages so you’ll be forced to pay for a “priority slot” in their news feed.

As things stand right now, it’s likely that only about seven percent of your target audience actually get to see your posts. But, before you rush to pay for an increase in viewership, you may want to try improving your exposure in Facebook’s news feed by making a few tweaks to your page first.

EdgeRank

What is EdgeRank and why does it matter? You may not realize it, but Facebook has an algorithm that largely dictates how much of the content you have on their site is shown to your target audience and what percentage of that audience will actually see each post.

This is EdgeRank and it is the biggest reason why only about seven percent of your target audience gets to see your posts. Once you reach a decent number of fans on Facebook, therefore, your focus needs to shift from trying to acquire more fans to trying to reach as many of those fans as you can. Here are some tips on how you can possibly double the current percentage of your audience who sees your posts:

Facebook EdgeRank
EdgeRank is the biggest reason why you may not have the kind of visibility you expect on Facebook. Image source

1. Measure Your Current Reach

Each business page is different and may have a different set of data. It would be wise for you to find out exactly how well you’re faring in terms of reaching your target audience on Facebook. You just might find that the biggest reason why you’re not getting the results you expect from this social networking site is the fact that you’re not reaching enough of your fan base.

To determine your reach, you simply need to check your statistics on Facebook Insights. Get the total of your reach within the last month and then divide the result by your total number of fans.

Facebook also reveals the number of people that saw each post. If most of your posts are seen by only a small percentage of your fans, the problem could lie either in your content, or the time at which you post.

To ensure your posts get maximum visibility, it’s important that you schedule your posts at a time when most of your fans are likely to be online. This would depend on your time-zone and the demographics of your fan base. A process of trial and error and monitoring how many people see your posts at different times will help you decide on the best posting schedule.

2. Go Viral

There are several ways for you to make your Facebook page go viral, but perhaps the most effective is by running a contest.

If you have a good fan base already, you could create a buzz around your page by choosing a theme and then asking your fans to upload photos in accordance with the theme. Announce that winners would be chosen based on the number of likes each photo gets.

This results in your page link getting shared several times by your fans in their efforts to win the contest. Perhaps the best thing about such contests is that it doesn’t require expensive prizes. Even something as simple as gift checks and getting the winning photo posted as your page’s cover photo is enough to get people excited.

If your social reach is dismal or less that what you’d like it to be, you have start putting a strategy in place to increase fan engagement. The following are among the three best practices that can help:

a) In all probability the demographic profile a large section of your fans’ friends will be similar to theirs. So, if your reach level has become dismal, using Facebook’s ‘Promote This Post’ feature may help. It will improve your post’s visibility, and it will appear in the feeds of your fans’ friends as well. However, you should only use this option for your best posts, or those associated with a promotion you are running.

b)  Create content that your target market would like and find a way to associate your brand with the same. Look at SproutFoods Facebook page, for example.  They do a great job of engaging young mothers with a good mix of fun graphics, baby food advice, and interactive promotional post.

c) Organize giveaways and contests for your Facebook fans. If you use the Fangate, you can encourage non-fans to like your page as well.  Make sure though that the giveaway or prize is related to your brand or branding message in someway. If you are B2C this may be easy, since you can give away one of your products. But, for B2Bs organizing successful contests maybe more challenging.

A good strategy for B2Bs, therefore, is to offer information products like whitepapers, free seats in a webinar, third party invites to coveted Industry events, etc. This way they can use the prizes to add to their brand value.

3. Use Photos to Your Advantage

When we talk about content, we’re not just talking about pure text articles. Particularly in a social platform like Facebook, pure text is significantly less effective than other types of content such as photos.

If you want to increase your visibility on this platform, therefore, you need to share more photos and focus less on status updates. You may even use photos on your Facebook page to drive more traffic to your company website by providing a link on the caption that accompanies each photo.

Perhaps the best thing about photos where Facebook is concerned is that it has been shown to be the most visible type of content on the site.

Pictures, in fact are a great way to generate likes for your promotional posts as well. As per a Hubspot study pictures on Facebook get 53% more likes than the average post! So, if promotional posts are accompanied by attention grabbing pictures they are likely to receive more traction.

Facebook viral marketing

You can increase your visibility on Facebook by running a contest and going viral. Image source

4. Post Relevant Content Only

A lot of businesses make the mistake of posting random content just to get likes. While it may get them some short-term attention, such posts do nothing for the business’ brand value, and even tend to put off genuine fans.

‘Relevant’ doesn’t mean promotional, but content that’s in someway related to your niche, and that your fans would find useful. For instance, while posting funny e-cards and captions may not drive much engagement to a social media company’s Facebook page, an infographic about ‘funny status updates’ that generated a lot of likes probably would.

5. Engage

Engagement is still the primary goal of social media marketing. Therefore, you should do whatever you can to engage your fans and keep them interested in your brand. One very effective way to engage people is by uploading a photo and then asking an open-ended question in the description. Not only will this invite discussion, but it will also encourage people to share your photo, so don’t forget to add a link to your page in the description.

The ‘Like If’ approach works really well too, especially, if you can create a post, graphic, or video that creates an instant emotional connection, or can make people laugh.

Interactive posts related to key events, dates and news developments also tend to drive engagement. However, as a business you have to pick and choose, which dates, events, and/or developments you want to be associated with.

For instance, if you run a fashion and accessories business, you may want to be associated with Valentine’s Day. You could upload a picture of a stunning new top with a question like, ‘What would you pair this top with on your Valentine’s Day Date?’

While these strategies may not be able to extend your reach to a hundred percent of your fans, but they can certainly improve your results.

In order to make sure that the added exposure gets you maximum leverage, it’s a good idea to add a call to action in your posts, wherever it seems appropriate. It could be on the lines of ‘Like Us For More Updates’ or ‘Visit Our Online Store’.  To track the leads and clicks that you get from these posts, you can tag the URLs , through Google Analytics, or use bit.ly’s URl shortner.

These tips should hopefully help you increase your social influence and build greater fan engagement. Good Luck!

About the Author:

Emma-Julie Fox

Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact www.pitstopmedia.com

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Google on Guest Blogging – Stop Waste Blogging!

There is a growing trend to do guest blogging. So much so that it is turning close to using such blogging as article spinning techniques. This hurts websites bad as we have noticed in past through Google Panda as well as Google Penguin. And now Google’s Matt Cutt has also made it clear that they want nothing from such guest blogging – or should we just say waste blogging.

Check the the Video here.

Having said that, as the search engine underlines, and as common sense, it is always good idea to guest post if it is original and adds value to the users. On other hand if you are using guest blogging to promote poor wasted or copied content, it is sooner than later that both the blogger and the blog host will be affected by one of the Google’s algorithm changes.

What are your thoughts on Guest Blogging or the alternatives?

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Top 5 Secrets for Online Business through SmartPhones

The following is a Guest Post.

Doing business these days requires more than just creativity and originality. Back in the 1990s, a unique idea and strong aggressive spirit are all you need for your business to thrive. Things are now different. You need to be technically updated.

The Smartphone is a very useful piece of technology. People use it heavily for media. But many do not realize these gadgets can be very useful for business purposes as well.  This article introduces some of the best business-friendly applications available for Smartphone.

Google Calendar

With Google Calendar, you will never be missing any of your appointments and meetings. These are not your ordinary phone calendars where you can place events and select alarms. This is an application that synchs with all the necessary things that you ought to know about your week ahead. This will note down everything from your grandmother’s birthday to your boss’ upcoming party. It synchs your social sphere with your business sphere so that you can plan on both areas without having to give up one for the other.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a large network that allows people to create their professional profile online. It is a way to share personal and business contact details among people in a network like those who went to the same university.

There is nothing illegal in picking that phone up and calling some old buddy from college who is now a top executive in a company that offers your dream job and dream position. With LinkedIn, you are just minutes away from accessing your friend’s personal and business contacts

Orchestra

Orchestra is an application that is used to manage your to-do list. With Orchestra, you will no longer need to carry that ironic mini-notebook at the back of your pants, which is rather bulky. Noting down your to-do list is now as easy as it can be. When one fascinating idea comes up, you just simply grab your Smartphone and note it down. When you meet someone important who happens to remind you of a job opening, you simply need to write it down on your Smartphone.

Dropbox

There are a handful of ways to share files with your colleagues. However, the easiest and probably the most hassle-free is the Drop box. This application is a gift from heaven. It lets you share any kind of file to your colleagues. Your partners can do the same on their own smartphones and on their own files. With this application, you can practically synch all your public files so that the cooperation can start even when you haven’t met each other yet. The next time you plan a monthly meeting with your partners, you might want to send the agenda and other stuff that needs to be acted upon through this application. This is one way to expedite your meetings.

CardCloud

The CardCloud is an application in your mobile phone which you can use to create digital business card. It is easy to share to others through the phone or email. The recipient of the card does not need to install the application in his mobile phone. With CardCloud, you will never run out of business card again. And you can save some money, too, as there would be no need to print your business cards. It is a high-tech way to advertise you.

These are just some of the applications that you can take advantage of to help your business step up and become competitive.  These are meant to make life easier and more convenient so that you can focus on the more essential aspects. If you have not tried these yet, go ahead and use them, you can get them for free.

About the Author:

mason brown

Mason Brown is marketing lead at Arcapps.com, which provides quality Mobile app development using advanced technologies. His passion to write on technology subjects.

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Online Business through Real Estate Sale

The following is a guest blog. Email me at roshanjoshi@gmail.com with the subject ‘Guest Blog’ if you are interested in guest blogging.

In today’s rocky real estate landscape, selling properties is a risky proposition. With the ups and downs in the real estate market over the past four years, it may seem unwise to start a new venture. However, by using tools available online, entrepreneurs can make money advertising real estate while assuming virtually no risk.

Capitalizing on Sellers

Create a website that allows homeowners to post homes for sale. Many homeowners want to market their homes themselves, rather than using the services of a real estate agent. That means more money in their pockets when the home sells.

To advertise their home, wise owners look to the Internet to find websites where they can list their property and its selling points. By creating a website where owners can do this, you can stand to profit from owner’s need for advertising. Charge a monthly fee that allow owners to post their home for sale on your site. Offer higher cost monthly service packages that provide targeted advertising options for owners’ properties.

How to Advertise Real Estate Online

Targeting potential buyers online is much more effective than relying on the glossy real-estate magazines and newspaper advertising of the past. Online media also helps you reach buyers who are relocating or investors seeking out income property.

Using the home’s unique selling points, target buyers on niche web sites such as school-related groups, parenting pages, or ethnic sites. If the home has plenty of pastureland for horses, try hitting up equestrian blogs and message boards. Lakefront homes might attract fishermen. Regardless of your target audience, there are simple ways to reach
them online.

1. Through Facebook ads.

A focused way to target potential buyers is through Facebook ads. You don’t want to advertise that a home is perfect for hipsters without kids, but you can silently target this demographic group using keywords in Facebook’s advertising. Be more selective by placing Facebook ads based on the user’s age, employer or even zip code.

2. By using real estate search engines.

Advertise homes for sale on gigantic real-estate search engines like Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia. Paying for an ad will help the home come up on the first search page rather than on the 20th page of listings. You must ensure you have a high-profile position on the sites buyers frequent during their home search.

3. Through keyword advertising.

Use keywords on Google to attract the right audience to your listing page. Make sure your site is search engine optimizedso your listings will return at the top of search results.

4. Via Twitter. 

Use Twitter creatively to get exposure for homes being sold online. You can tweet brief but descriptive facts about a home to entice buyers in a specific niche by using hashtags. For example, “#gardeners should check this one out” or “my #kids loved this playroom.” Send links to amazing pictures via Twitter when appropriate.

You can make money selling real estate online if you create ways for owners to advertise homes they want to sell. Make sure you can offer a variety of online advertising options, so that sellers will pay you the highest monthly premium for your services. Using this method, you can take advantage of people who want to sell their homes, but avoid
loosing money in a turbulent marketplace.

About the Author:

hadi-arti

Hadi Arti is a partner & CEO at RE/MAX Executive Realty, a Charlotte North Carolina Real Estate company providing the most-up-to-date listing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hadi has more than 30 years of residential real estate experience as a Realtor, broker, and home builder.

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Brands that Rule IT World Today

The following is a guest blog. Email me at roshanjoshi@gmail.com with the subject ‘Guest Blog’ if you are interested in guest blogging.

In today’s world, IT companies are taking over and establishing themselves as the top brands in the world. Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM are four of the top five brands in the world, with the other brand in the top 5 being McDonald’s. One thing that these companies all have in common is that they have catchy, relevant names. A naming agency can do wonders for any business, and that has obviously been the case for these top four IT companies.

Apple is king

There is no other company that is more important than Apple right now, and this is a company that definitely benefits from a simple, yet catchy namesake. Although a naming agency is not required for all amazing names, they are usually used when you need to some up with something as amazing as “Apple.” The company is valued at $183 billion right now, which means the entire population of the
world would not be able to buy the company if they all put in $20 each.

IBM is still in power

IBM is a company that has been around for a long time, and this is one company that probably did not need the help of a naming agency. When you make quality products that are needed in every part of the globe for such a long time, it makes sense when your company becomes the second biggest brand in the world.

Google gets its hands in everything

Google is the company that seems to try to get its hands into every business that is about to take off and explode. The company is valued at $108 billion, which puts it third on the list of the largest IT companies in the world. Nobody could have predicted that this small search engine from about 10 years ago would turn into this international giant.

Microsoft is still active as a global brand

Although Microsoft is not what is used to be, this company still has a huge role to play around the world. It’s been valued at $77 billion, and it comes in right after McDonald’s on the list of the top five brands in the world. Microsoft is a company that is in decline, but it shows you how powerful the world of technology can be when one of the top 5 brands in the world is actually one that is declining in value.

It has not been all fun and games for technology

One piece of bad news that comes from the list of the largest brands in the world for technology is that Wal-Mart is starting to outpace Amazon. The main reason that Wal-Mart can compete now is that they have actually moved much of their business into the online world. By cutting into Amazon’s main base of customers, it gives Wal-Mart the ability to be a big player online and offline.

Technology companies on the rise

One of the most obvious choices to look at when you are looking for a technology brand on the rise is Facebook. The social media network has over 1 billion users, but they are still looking for a way to monetize all of their unique views.

About the Author:

clayton tolley

Clayton Tolley is the owner and founder of Brandsymbol, a global naming company located in Charlotte, NC. Clayton has over 20 years experience working with the world’s top brands.

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SEO Tips to Remember When Building Your Site

The following is a guest blog. Email me at roshanjoshi@gmail.com with the subject ‘Guest Blog’ if you are interested in guest blogging.

Everybody knows that the first thing you want to do after launching your site is to start generating reasonable traffic. You won’t be earning sales or any reputation if nobody is visiting your site or if nobody is even aware that it exists. To gain better traffic, you need to rank on search engines like Google and Yahoo.

This can be achieved with both off-page and on-page optimization. On-page optimization is where you should start first since it is concerned with the content and design of your actual web pages. Consider these following SEO tips while building your site to help it rank higher on search engines:

1. Use proper meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions do not directly affect page rank since they are not directly measured by search engine crawlers but they are directly reflected by user preference. The Meta descriptions are the first two lines that users will read below a link so make sure you make it eye-catching and connect the content of the page to the keywords used. Remember that it is the first thing users will see and may be the factor that will push them to click on the link or to move on to the next.

2. Learn how to use Flash.
Flash is a really good tool if you want to convey audio and video or other interactive medium in your site but remember that search engine crawlers are more sensitive to text and HTML/CSS codes than they are to these mediums. Instead of designing a website that depends entirely on the Flash engine, use Flash content as a component of the site instead. There are a myriad of Flash game websites that you can check for good examples such as Kongregate and Armor Games.

3. Give distinctive and relevant names to images and audio and video files.
Instead of adding an image in a webpage and give it a random name like “image123.jpeg,” it is much smarter to give it a name relative to the keywords you are concentrating on for that page. This will boost the page and the image’s relevance during searches. Make good use of Google Images and you’ll easily build relevant inbound sources to your site.

4. Utilize keywords in headings and title—but don’t stuff.
The title of your page is going to be on the very top and is the first thing checked by web crawlers so it is pretty common sense that you’ll want your keyword in there. Properly inserting keywords in your headers and titles will make the site more relevant to the keywords and the content of the page, therefore increasing its page rank.

5. Focus on quality content.
There is no other way to stress this. Write web page content that is fluid and easy to read, relevant to the topics and keywords chosen, and make sure that it is not stuffed with so many links and keywords. Put yourself in the shoes of the user. If the web page is easy to read, easy to navigate, and relevant to your needs and wants then you know you’ve done a good job.

Experts like Search Engine Optimization Phoenix will tell you that SEO is an easy task that becomes an endless and redundant challenge with each passing day. So long as you focus on good quality content and you don’t get lazy in naming Meta tags, Meta descriptions, images and other content, your site will eventually rank higher and higher.

About the Author:

sunny popali

Sunny Popali is SEO Director at http://tempocreative.com.Tempo Creative is an Arizona Inbound Marketing firm that has served over 700 clients since 2001. Tempo’s team specializes in digital and internet marketing services including web design, SEO, social media and strategy.

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Patent Rights: Yahoo Warns Facebook

The following is a guest blog. Email me at roshanjoshi@gmail.com with the subject ‘Guest Blog’ if you are interested in guest blogging.

Yahoo has seen some young competitors in the business lately. The company has now got engaged in a patent right fight with Facebook and has also issued a warning to the company over the usage of its intellectual property.

Yahoo has warned Facebook that some of the technologies that it is using have already been filed by Yahoo in its 10 or 20 patents. According to Yahoo, some other companies have also used the Yahoo patent technologies but there is no issue relating to it as they have got the usage licensed by Yahoo.

Facebook can also resolve the issue by getting a license and by paying the license fees. In case Facebook does not opt for the license then Yahoo will be suing the company. Representatives of the two companies met with each other in this regard.

A spokesperson of Yahoo said that Yahoo has a right to protect its intellectual property and the company has also got a responsibility towards its stakeholders, shareholders and employees. Therefore they have to insist that either Facebook goes for the licensing arrangement or they will be protecting their patent rights in a unilateral manner. This message was conveyed by Yahoo to New York Times in an e-mail.

The spokesman for Facebook, Barry Schnitt says that they have not yet been able to completely evaluate the claims that have been made by Yahoo.

Silicon Valley has witnessed many cases relating to patent rights with smart-phones leading the sphere. A whopping sum of $ 12.5 billion was paid by Google to Motorola Mobility last year. This amount was paid by Google in order to access the intellectual properties of Motorola. The defunct communication equipment manufacturer Nortel received an amount of $4.5 billion that was paid by a consortium of companies led by Microsoft and Apple for the 6,000 patents which Nortel had. The different areas of world have witnessed many cases. These cases involved leading smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple.

Yahoo’s warning has come at a very delicate time for Facebook as the company is planning to go public this spring. The event is also one of the most anticipated debut events of times.

Yahoo has last year reviewed it patents to be sold to outside investors also. People who are close to the company have said that these patents included the ‘firsts ‘ also that were awarded to Yahoo. By buying Overture Services, Yahoo has been able to acquire many more intellectual property rights in the year 2003. Overture Services had sued Google over patent issues and was search advertising company.

It is still not clear how much amount will the licensing agreement will cost to Facebook and how much Yahoo will gain if the two companies reach an agreement. Yahoo received around 2.7 million shares in Google when it settled the acquired company battle with it in year 2004.

Yahoo’s patents were rated as being the most valuable in all of the internet and communication services by a technology publication called IEEE spectrum. According to investors the intellectual property rights of Yahoo will give the company more power against Facebook. According to Eric Jackson, a managing member of Ironfire Capital, Yahoo can use the patents for getting a good amount from Facebook.

About the Author:

margaret-jules

Margaret is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on hometone and styleguru.
She recently did an article on Facebook fever. These days she is busy in writing an article on angelina jolie wiki.

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