Category Archives: Marketing [general]

10 Clear Ways to Help People Find Your Site

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is the process in which you rearrange your site to get a higher ranking in the search engines, thus making it possible for more people to find your site.  There are many things you can do to optimize your site for more exposure in the search engines.  There are also many things you should not do because you and your site could be penalized.

Accurate and efficient SEO is critical to your site as most sites are found via search engines.  Search engines have evolved and are now much more selective in what they look for in a site.  Your SEO must adapt to this evolution to keep up your rankings.

While SEO methods can get complex and confusing, there are basic and clear things you can do to increase your chances of showing up in the search engines.  By integrating the following optimizations into your site your rankings and your traffic should increase.  Take note of the things you should not do as well.

1.  Keywords – Many professionals will tell you that keywords are one of the most important factors in successful SEO.  When choosing keywords you need to zero in on your business as much as possible.  For example:  if you sell jewelry, using the word jewelry will more than likely not be enough.  You need to target your products in more detail.  What kind of jewelry do you sell?  What attracts people to your jewelry?  What would you search for when searching for jewelry?  You can find out what keywords people use the most when searching for products by using Google’s keyword suggestion tool. 

DO NOT be too repetitive in your use of keywords.  This is called keyword stuffing and is very much frowned upon by the search engines.  Use a Keyword Density Tool to make sure you have not overused your keywords.

2.  Page Titles – Page titles are important for your SEO because they let the search engine spiders know what the page is about and in doing so make your webpage easier to index.  When writing a spider-friendly title it all comes back to keywords.  Choose some of your most effective keywords but be sure to make the title appealing to human eyes as well.  Be sure your title makes sense and reads clearly.  For example: jewelry diamonds, rubies, emeralds, rings, bracelets and more, is not a title but a string of keywords.

DO NOT make your title more than 70 characters because the excess will not show up in the search engines.  You will then get one of these ………. which does nothing to get people to click on your page.

3. Quality Content – The search engine spiders are always looking for quality content on the websites they index.  Don’t make your site a giant advertisement.  Provide tips, information, resources and more pertaining to your business.   If you own a home décor site, provide decorating tips, ways to save money with home decorating, etc. 

DO NOT let your content go stale.  You must add new information on a regular basis.  This is critical to your SEO success.

4. Quality Links – Getting other quality, high-ranked sites to link to your site can be substantial for your rankings.  Always link to sites that will be helpful and beneficial to your visitors and to you.  Find high ranked authority sites and contact the webmaster.  Offer to place their link on your site if they do the same for you. 

DO NOT link to junk or spam sites just to get more backlinks.   A good thing to do is to ask yourself if you would find the site helpful.  Would you visit this site or spend any time on it?  Does it actually provide any useful information or content?  If not, don’t chance damaging your reputation by linking to it.

5.  Clean, Clear and Concise – Make sure your site is clean, easy to use and read.  Have you ever been to a site that just takes you round and round and you never seem to find what you’re looking for?  I call them merry-go-rounds and leave as quickly as possible.  To me, they are about the worst kind of site.  Be sure your site provides clear and concise navigation to all your products, content and other aspects of your site.  Provide links to all your pages organized in a user-friendly way.  Keep your site clean and clear of too many ads, clutter and junk.

DO NOT load your site with flash or frames.   Both of these can cause problems for the search engines.

6.  Image Alt Attribute – Search engine spiders cannot read images so be sure to use alt attribute to add keyword rich image descriptions. 

DO NOT make your image description too long.  A few words are usually sufficient but you could use a short sentence or two if appropriate.

7. Site Map – A site map will help make your site much easier to read for the search engine spiders and your human visitors.  A site map is simply a page that lists and links to some or all of the pages of your website.  Using an XML site map will make it much easier and effective for the search engines.

DO NOT put too many links on your site map.  This could confuse the spiders and they might mistake you for a link farm.  Stay within a 25 – 40 link range. 

8.  Social Networking – The astronomical rise of social media has had a huge impact on SEO.  Be sure to get involved in social media and link to all your social sites via your website.  Be sure they are all connected.  My favorites are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Get on over to those sites and get connected!

DO NOT join too many social sites.  Find a few that work well for you and focus on participation and building your brand. 

9. Page Speed – The speed at which a webpage loads is not the most important factor in your site ranking but making the speed the most efficient it can be will be well worth the time.  Many visitors will leave a webpage in about 10 seconds or less if it does not load.  Clean up your pages as much as possible.  Make excessively long pages into two or more shorter pages.  Reduce the size of your images.  Fortunately there are many things you can do to improve your page speed.

DO NOT load up your site with special effects, flashy lights and other unnecessary clutter.  You want your site to look sharp and professional, not like the Vegas strip.

10. Broken Links – If you have excessive dead or broken links on your site the search engines will consider your site to be a poor quality site and it will affect your ranking.  If you have a lot of external links on your site, be sure to check them regularly.  Sites do die out and the links are no longer valid so you want to make sure you check them often. 

DO NOT underestimate the impact of broken links.  If you let them go unchecked and amass too many of them your site will suffer.

Don’t be intimidated by search engine optimization.  There are many small things you can do that will make a big difference in your search engine ranking.   Take some time to learn how to do these not so complicated steps and watch your site start rising to the top!

About the Author:   
Don’t be one of the statistics who fail at their online business.  Terri Seymour
can help you make money online.  Find out how to increase your traffic and sales
with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at:  ==> http://www.SeymourProducts.com

Why is Visual Marketing So Important?

Visual marketing is the use of images, colors, video, signs and symbols to get potential customers to become attracted to your products and/or services.  Studies by the 3M Corporation have shown that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.  Thus, using visual marketing will communicate your message to your potential customers much faster and far more efficiently than using plain text.

You see visual marketing all around.  T-Shirts, billboards, delivery trucks, buildings, etc., are all examples of visual marketing.  But the internet has opened up a whole new world of visual marketing and we need to realize the importance of utilizing all it has to offer. 

Reading the facts below will help you conclude that visual marketing is a necessary part of your marketing campaign. 

1.  Emotions – We make purchases based on our emotions and visuals appeal to our emotions.  Think about a picture of the American flag.  What emotions does that bring out?  How about a picture of a soldier returning home from war holding his baby?  The actual image of this brings out much more emotion than if we read the text describing it.  Marketers know this and use it to their advantage.     

2. Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not. (Internet Retailer)

3. Blog posts with a visual can attract up to 3x more traffic than a plain text post.  (SEOmoz)

4. Having visuals on your website can increase your monthly unique visitors by 200% – 300%.  (Attivio)

5. Branding – Would you be more likely to notice the golden arches or a sign that said MacDonald’s?  I know for me and many others it would be the visual rather than the text.  Visual branding is one of the most important aspects of visual marketing.  What do you think of when you see an apple with a bite taken out of it?  How about a red and yellow seashell or a curved checkmark?  These images have programmed our brain to think of one thing and it works!

6. Pinterest is a social site which uses mainly images.  With that in mind, according to comScore, Pinterest buyers spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites.  Studies also show that when it comes to revenue on a per click basis, Pinterest beats both Facebook and Twitter.

7. Articles with images get viewed 94% more times than plain text. 

8. Social Media – Using photos and images on your social sites will dramatically increase interest in your posts and response to your posts.

9.  By using images on your website, it is possible to more than double your conversion rate. 

10.  In effect, visual marketing will get you more traffic, boost your conversion rates and make your business more successful.

*Note: Always make sure you are using images legally.  You cannot just copy and use any image you find on a website.  Always check for license terms and usage specifics.  Some terms only allow for non-commercial use and other such limitations.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”  I don’t know if the person who said this was referring to marketing but in the marketing world it is 100% accurate. 

So, if you are not yet using visual marketing, get started now and “see” for yourself the difference it can make for your business and your success!

About the Author:   
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business.  Terri Seymour can help you make money online.  Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at:  ==> http://www.SeymourProducts.com

3 High-Impact Fixes For Your Marketing Woes

How many times has your competitor gotten one over on you? The feeling of being left behind just eats away, until you do something about. The problem is that we often feel that we’ve got to come up with some grand plan in order to get our business skyrocketing again. Don’t be fooled! Getting back on top of the market isn’t as tough as it seems with these high-impact, easy-to-use fixes.

1. The Magic Number – 1
Implement a “advertise 1 item at a time” motto for your advertising strategy. Does that mean you can’t SELL more than one item at a time? No… but wait until AFTER the sale.

When a customer sees more than one of a product offered at unbelievably low prices, he’s confused. Which one is the better deal? Which one does he prefer? These questions encourage procrastination – one of marketing’s greatest thieves. Instead, offer the consumer a product that compliments his purchase in a nearby display… or even at the register. You’ll make extra profits instead of losing a sale.

2. Outsmart Your Competitors
Your competition is looking for you in all of the usual places. Don’t go there. Quietly look for new methods of advertising and new markets to target.

Niche markets provide the perfect sneak tactic for reaching new clients. Here’s they key… sub-divide your current market into smaller, more specific niche markets. Familiarize yourself with the needs and concerns of the niche, then present yourself as the pro in their corner. Leave your competition in the dust with the intensity of new prospects that will come your way.

Modernize an old marketing technique that still carries a wallop – postcards. Yeah, these small, inexpensive marketing tools still carry a personal message that is quick and easy to read, but with new high-impact colors and designs that capture the attention of readers. Your competition won’t even know that you’re using them!

3. Encourage Communication
Communication is crucial to understanding your consumers. Encourage questions before the sale, during the sale and after the sale. Make it easy and comfortable.

Provide convenient contact information on all of your sales materials, including Websites. If you find yourself overloaded with questions, create a frequently asked question page where clients can get the answers they need without claiming as much of your time.

Confused customers, tough competitors and communication mishaps won’t steal profits from your account when you fix things up with the 3 quick tips.

10 Proven Ways to Go Viral

Although there is a debate as to when the term viral marketing really originated, it did rise in popularity in the mid to late 90’s.   Viral marketing works just like a virus.  One person reads a marketing message, gets infected by it and passes it on to another person.  The better the message, the more it spreads.  And the term viral marketing is born! 

There are many methods and techniques for spreading your viral marketing message. The explosion of social media marketing has brought viral marketing to new heights.  But along with social media there are also more traditional ways to spread your marketing virus.  Below are ten totally doable ways to launch and propel your viral marketing campaign.

1.  Free eBook – eBooks have been a very popular and effective means of viral marketing for quite some time.  Compile a free PDF ebook using articles you have written, useful information, resources, etc., and start spreading that virus.  Offer the ebook to your visitors for free.  Write a message inside encouraging them to give the ebook to their visitors and so on and so on.  Submit the ebook to free ebook sites and directories.  Add a link to the ebook in your email sigtag.  The better the content of the ebook the more the “virus” will spread.

If you feel that you cannot write your own ebook, there are a lot of PLR and rebrandable ebooks you could use to achieve the same results.  

2.  Newsletters – If you publish a newsletter, you can use that to increase your viral marketing.  Make it easy for people to share it with others.  Encourage your subscribers to forward a copy to their friends so they can subscribe.  Offer a free gift to the subscribers who can get the most people to subscribe. 

3.  Articles – Writing and submitting articles can be one of the most powerful viral marketing techniques.  This will be most likely happen only if your article is well-written and contains helpful, useful information.  Do not try to pass off a long sales pitch as an article.  Submit your article to quality sites that allow visitors to reprint the article with your resource box.  Add a Send to a Friend link in your resource box.  When possible, thank the person for reprinting your article and let them know of any other articles you might have.  Compile a list of newsletter publishers who accept article submissions.  There are countless ways to spread your quality articles and infect many people. 

4.  Social Media – Social media has the capabilities of expanding your viral marketing to new heights.  Try to regularly participate in at least the top three social sites which are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  A newcomer that is rising in popularity very fast is Pinterest so I would recommend starting with that one as well.  When used effectively, these social media sites allow you to spread your virus in ways that were not before possible.

5.  Blogging – Blogging is a form of social media marketing and can do wonders for your viral marketing.  A quality blog will pull in many readers on a regular basis.  Make it easy for your readers to interact with comments and opinions.  Update your content consistently and always respond to reader comments for more success.

6.  Tell-A-Friend – A free tell-a-friend script is a handy thing to have on your site or blog.  It allows people to send your webpage to anyone they think would be interested thus launching your viral marketing.  The easier it is for people to share your message the more your virus will spread.

7.  Social Media Share Buttons – These highly effective buttons allow your visitors to easily share your blog, site or information with all their social media followers and friends.  You can find many options for free that have these buttons for many of the social media sites.   The first site to come up for some of these options is ShareThis. 

8.  Videos – Over two million people watch YouTube videos each day so getting your marketing video visible to this massive audience will pump up your viral marketing.  You can also post video clips on your site with a well-spoken marketing message or demonstration.  Make it easy for people to pass on your video to their friends and followers.

9.  Word-of-Mouth – Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of viral marketing.  It’s been around long before the internet was ever dreamed of.  It is also one of the most effective because people are passing on your message to people they know and their opinion is probably taken with more approval and consideration.  It can also be more difficult because it requires people to take a more involved action than clicking a button.  Make your customers feel happy and satisfied and they will spread the word (or virus). 

10.  Email – Email is one of the more traditional online viral marketing methods.  How many times have you received emails that have been forwarded to you by people you don’t even know?  That is the power of viral.  Don’t be afraid to ask people to forward your emails to everyone they know.  Sending out emails of value, quality and usefulness just might cause a widespread infection! 

The power of viral marketing is unlimited but your marketing “virus” needs to be unique, useful, entertaining and powerful.  People will not spread something that is not worth spreading.  Study marketing tactics of other companies but try to develop your own unique idea or twist of an old idea, that no one else has used before.  Develop a new virus for which there is no cure!

About the Author:   
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business.  Terri Seymour can help you make money online.  Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at:  ==> http://www.SeymourProducts.com

Impressing Your Customers Is Easy With 3 Guaranteed Tactics

Customer satisfaction isn’t one single act, but a group of actions that work together to make their experience a pleasant and satisfying experience. You’ve probably eaten at a restaurant where the food was wonderful, but the service slow and unprofessional. Somebody was doing a good job, but your overall experience wasn’t up to par. There are three areas of service that work together to impress your customers. Provide good service in these three areas, and they’ll be back… time and time again.

1. Instant Response
Let’s face the facts… people just don’t like to wait. When they walk out the door, they want to have the product at their fingertips. Hey, they may have taken weeks to decide on the purchase, but once the decision has been made, they want it NOW.

The best way to make customers happy is to make the product available at the point of sale, but not all businesses are able to do that. Internet marketers obviously cannot provide immediate service, but can be sure to keep delivery time to an absolute minimum.

2. Make Buying Simple
Keep the buying process as simple as possible. Customers are just like you, they hate paperwork. To an online customer, clicking on 20 different screens translates as paperwork. It’s annoying, time consuming, and a turn off.

Use the “easy as 1, 2, 3” idea as a selling point in your advertising campaign. Busy and tired customers take notice, and you’ll see results!

3. Give Customers Personal Attention
Good listeners are hard to come buy. The world is full of people trying to sell us something, or trying to persuade us to their viewpoint. You want to make an impact? Learn to listen to your customers.

Make it easy to ask questions. Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s time consuming and you don’t have time to spare. But listen, you’ll find that a lot of questions are repeated over and over again. Create a frequently asked question form, and you’ll be able to answer a lot of consumer questions without sacrificing as much of your time.

10 Low-Cost Sales Boosters You Don’t Want To Overlook

You don’t have to spend a fortune to boost your sales! Take a look at these 10 quick and easy ways to send your profits to the moon without digging into you advertising budget.

1. Test and Evaluate
Have you ever wondered just how much of your advertising budget should go toward experimenting with the latest marketing strategies? Marketing gurus say… spend 20 percent looking for new and improved marketing methods, while the remaining 80 percent uses the “tried and true” marketing strategies to keep the profits flowing.

2. Capture Attention on your Website
Use headlines that leap out and grab the reader’s attention to moment they open your Web page. Hey, they’re just like you… if their attention isn’t caught immediately, they ‘re ready to surf on the more exciting things!

3. Use the Best-Kept Marketing Secret – Postcards
Postcards are quick and easy to read, not to mention the fact that you can shave off a great deal of wasted advertising expenses by targeting your market. Hey, they’re cheap and convenient for you, and they get read more than other types of advertising materials… a winner all the way around!

4. Let Customers Sell You
Some things sound better coming from someone else. Yes, it’s hard to brag your business up as effectively as a satisfied customer. Testimonials are evidence that you deliver what you promise. Paste them across ads, your Website, and any other sales copy you happen to distribute.

5. Just Ask
Great salesmen take the time to listen to the questions the customer has, identify their wants and needs, then ask for the sale. That’s right, they’re not afraid to just ask them to buy! Sometimes customers just need that little bit of pressure to cement the deal.

6. Raise the Value
Sometime value is only in they eyes of the beholder. You can raise the perceived value of your products by pointing out benefits that consumers may have overlooked. While you’re at it, raise the price. Yeah, we all know that more valuable items have higher price tags! Don’t be surprised if your profits skyrocket.

7. Make it Easy to Decide
Have you ever had a hard time deciding what to buy? Uh-huh, you don’t always come to a conclusion immediately. Every time a customer walks out of the store without making a decision, you take a big chance on losing the sale. Keep the options to a minimum to maximize the sales numbers.

8. Break it Down
Got a big ticket item? Break the price into bite sizes for more appeal. Yeah, 90 cents a day sounds much cheaper than $325!

9. Create Bonuses
An unexpected bonus with a purchase makes it seem like you got a lot more for your money. Keep customers smiling when they walk away from the cash register, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

10. Handle Customer Complaints With a Little TLC
Don’t waste time getting to the bottom of the problem. Customers want to feel they are being heard, or they wouldn’t take the time to complain to you. Are you afraid that you’ll be losing profit, if you have to bend too far backwards to accommodate them? Think of it this way… an unhappy customer you turn into a happy customer will become a loyal customer. Yeah, it’ll pay in the long run.

4 Secret Selling Techniques You Must Implement Now

Wouldn’t it be great if you could foolproof your selling techniques?  Yeah, no more customers walking out with empty hands… no more profits disappearing into thin air!  Here are 4 secrets that will help you put money in your pocket, and lengthen your current customer list.

1. Make It Easy
There’s an old adage that says variety is the spice of life, but hey, too many choices can lead to indecision and procrastination.  We all know what happens when customers procrastinate… yeah, you lose a sale.

When a customer walks into your business ready to purchase, and suddenly sees several options he didn’t know were there, he’ll stop then decide… which one?   If he’s uncertain… well, you lose a sale that was already in your pocket.

Make it easy for your customers to decide… yes, I’ll buy it… no I won’t buy it.  Yes and no decisions are a lot easier to make, and are more likely to put cash in the drawer.

2. Offer Several Ways To Buy
Too many choices can overwhelm customers and cost you sales, but options of how to buy open up avenues for customers to purchase the product they’ve decided they need. They say there are different strokes for different folks… your customers don’t all use the same methods to buy.  It just makes sense that if the method they prefer is available, they’ll be more likely to take advantage of it.

Convenience it the key to attracting buyers in today’s fast paced society.  What will be the fastest and easiest for them… credit card, phone, fax, Internet, or cold hard cash?

3. Keep it Simple
You remember the frustration of spending 10 minutes pushing buttons on the phone just to get through a pain-in-the-neck automated ordering service.  Heck, you just wanted to buy one item!  Maybe it was the time you had to click your finger raw, just to jump through the hoops of an online shopping cart.  Yeah, the temptation to just forget it is right there!

Don’t frustrate your customers with intricate ordering processes.  Most likely, they just want to place the order in a few minutes and be done.  Let them get frustrated, and they’ll go elsewhere, or just abandon the idea altogether.

4. Follow Up
One of my favorite catalog companies always closes out the sale with a special buy that is available only at the time of purchase.  I’m not an impulsive shopper by any stretch of the imagination, but it stops me in my tracks every time.  I know it’s a one-time shot, and I really consider whether I want or need it before I hang up the phone.

How many items would your customers buy if you were to follow up every sale with a special offer?  Internet marketers have a world of options at their fingertips.  The products you offer don’t even have to be yours… and you can still make a profit!

Affiliate marketing is sweeping the Web.  Think about it… would your customers benefit from an ebook that deals with the product they are purchasing?  You can offer it to them, and let the owner handle ordering process while you collect the commission.  It’s as easy as 1, 2, and 3 and profitable too!

Boosting your sales numbers and profit dollars isn’t as tough as it sounds.  Implement these 4 simple selling techniques, and watch your sales steadily climb… and just think… they didn’t cost you a penny!

3 Must-Have Strategies to Stay on the Cutting Edge

1.  Explore New Advertising Methods
The first sign that you might need to explore new marketing strategies, is a sharp decline in the effectiveness of your advertisment campaign.  Yeah, you shell out a lot of hard earned cash to advertise, and the public turns its nose up!  Don’t wait until your profits are plunging to start hunting for new marketing strategies.

Keep searching for the pot of gold.  The whirlwind of change that continuously sweeps through the marketplace offers great opportunity for discovering new advertising mediums. Be on the lookout for one that will set you up for brand new heights of success.

Here’s the rule of thumb for advertising:  Keep 80 percent of your advertising budget invested in the “tried and true” methods that bring in a steady flow of profit, and invest 20 percent into the exploration of new ways to get  your message to potential customers.

2.  Be On The Lookout For New Markets
Be alert! Diversification is the key to staying on the cutting edge of an everchanging marketplace.  You’ll be insulating yourself against the effects of these changes by continuously changing as well.  And hey… you never know when a brand new market will translate into millions of dollars in sales!

You don’t have to go out on a limb to reach new markets.  There are marketing niches within the market you are currently dealing with.  Think of it like this…your market can be subdivided into several narrowly defined markets.  A Multi Level Marketing company may notice that many of its prospects are stay-at-home moms and retirees.  Hey a few advertisments directed at the right people…two additional Web pages targeting stay-at-home moms and retirees linked to their home page…and they’ve effectively customized their markets and are likely to see a 20 percent increase in sales.

3.  Invest In New Products or Services
Have you noticed a continuously progressing slump in the sales and profits of a product or service you currently offer?  It’s no sweat if you have other products and services to fill the gap.  Keep a sharp eye out for new products and services that complement what you already have to offer.

A bridal shop owner may have a humming business that sells gowns and veils, but what about tuxedos?  Wouldn’t it be easier for the wedding party to get everything in one place?  Tuxedos aren’t just for weddings…proms and parties call for bow ties and tails as well.  The potential is expansive.

Yeah, you don’t have to be intimidated by clever competition and new technology when you stay on the edge, and make changes with it.  Try these 3 strategies to keep you sales numbers vibrant and climbing!