Internet marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular advertising options available. The Internet reaches a worldwide audience and is available 24 hours a day. For this reason, more and more potential customers are turning to the Internet for a variety of reasons including researching products and services and making purchases. As more and more consumers turn to the Internet for these reasons, it is important for businesses to establish an online presence. This is so important because failure to do so may result in their competitors gaining an edge over them in competing for sales. While it is important for businesses to begin Internet marketing campaigns it is also important for these same businesses to realize basic advertising principles still exist and they cannot neglect these principles. Most importantly those who advertise online have to be aware of who their target audience is and how to reach this audience.

marketingAs with any marketing campaign, business owners should do some market research before they launch their Internet marketing campaign. Ideally, this will involve hiring a research consultant with a great deal of experience in conducting and evaluating this type of market research. The results of this research should determine the basic demographic information for the target audience. The results should also include information on how to reach this target audience. A business that cannot afford to hire a consultant to conduct this market research should still make an effort to obtain this information on their own. This can be done through informal polls of current clients. This information may not be as comprehensive as the information obtained in a more formal study but it can still provide a great deal of insight into the best way to reach the target audience.

Once this information is obtained, it is important to tailor the Internet marketing campaign to appeal to the target audience. There are a number of different variables which can be modified to ensure the right message is reaching the right people in a manner they can understand and in which they can relate. Some of the ways in which your Internet marketing campaign can be tailored in this way include the aesthetics of your website or advertisements, the wording of your copy and the use of more advanced design features such as audio and visual or interactive tools.

The aesthetic appeal of a website can greatly contribute to how the website is viewed by the members of the target audience. A website which is designed to attract the attention of an older generation with more conservative tastes should include muted colors, clean design and, conservative graphics. This will help to ensure the target audience enjoys the website. Conversely, if you are looking to appeal to a younger audience with more liberal viewpoints you might choose to design the website with bold colors, eye-catching graphics and, creative design features.

The copy you include on your website should also take your target audience into consideration. Consider the examples of a conservative and a liberal audience listed above to create a better understanding of how the copy on your website can appeal to the target audience. When marketing to a more conservative audience, the copy should be tailored to use formal language and use facts to back up viewpoints. However, when you are marketing to a more liberal audience or a younger audience you can consider using less formal language which is likely to appeal to the target audience. You can also focus more on emotion to express viewpoints.

Finally, when a website is created for the purposes of Internet marketing it is important for the design of the website to appeal to the target audience. You may wish to include audio and video clips on your website but these clips should appeal to the target audience. For example, if your website sells skateboards you might consider incorporating audio clips from punk rock bands as opposed to country music bands. There may be some skateboarders who enjoy country music but in general punk rock music more closely represents the skating culture. Keeping these details in mind is very important for Internet marketing.

returning visitorsA lot of successful websites depend on returning visitors to make up the major part of their traffic. Returning visitors are easier to convert into paying customers because the more often they return to a site, the more trust they have in that site. The credibility issue just melts away. Hence, keep your visitors coming back to your site with the following methods:

 

1) Start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox

When you start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox, you are providing your visitors a place to voice their opinions and interact with their peers – all of them are visitors to your site. As conversations build, a sense of community will also follow and your visitors will come back to your site almost religiously, perhaps daily.

2) Start a web-log (blog)

Keep an online journal, more commonly known as a blog, on your site and keep it updated with latest news about yourself. Human beings are curious creatures and they will keep their eyes glued to the monitor if you post fresh news frequently. You will also build up your credibility as you are proving to them that there is also a real life person behind the website.

3) Carry out polls or surveys

Polls and surveys are other forms of interaction that you should definitely consider adding to your site. They provide a quick way for visitors to voice their opinions and to get involved in your website. Be sure to publish polls or surveys that are strongly relevant to the target market of your website to keep them interested to find out about the results.

4) Hold puzzles, quizzes and, games

Just imagine how many office workers procrastinate at work every day, and you will be able to gauge how many people will visit your site if you provide a very interesting or addictive way of entertaining them. You could also hold competitions that reward the highest score winner to keep people continuously trying to win the prize.

5) Update frequently with fresh content

Update your site frequently with fresh content so that every time your visitors come back, they will have something new to read. This is the most widely known and most effective method of attracting returning visitors, but this is also the one least done because of webmasters’ laziness. No one wants to browse a site that looks the same over ten years, so keep your site updated with fresh bites!

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Growing an email list from scratch can be a difficult process for new businesses to grasp. Most of the headaches come from inexperience and a lack of information. Building a responsive list doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems, all you need are a few pointers to get started.

Here we will share with you some of the most powerful and simple tips that can help you to grow your email list, and in return strengthen and grow your entire business.Market yourself through your blog. Many business owners forget to take advantage of the exposure that they already have. Adding a simple sign up link to the bottom of all of your blogs can bring new addresses to your lists for customers who are already interested in your business.

growing an email listUse Social Networks to your advantage. Social sharing is a powerful way to raise exposure and bring new customers on board. Make sure that you promote sign up to your list from your social networking pages. If you already have page followers and likes etc. then there’s a high possibility these people will be interested in your newsletters. So make sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to bring them on board.

Make Sign-Up a painless process. You need a call to action, but don’t make it a hard sell. Just as importantly, make sure that the sign-up process is simple. You want to be asking for an email address and a name for sign-up. You can give options for other relevant information, but don’t make it mandatory.

As your list grows, make use of your subscribers. Your list can be thought of as a network for expansion. Offer referral programs with incentives if you have the resources. Your existing subscribers will likely have people in their own circles with similar interests. Make it easy for them to get their friends and family on board and you will see your list numbers rise.

Be proactive in gathering addresses. Even out there in the physical world, you should take every opportunity to grow your list. Advertise your mailing list in your place of business with sign up forms, or take details when you are at trade shows or promotional events. Proactively seeking out addresses works better than sharing your website and waiting for customers to come to you.

Promote the value for subscribers in signing up. Simply advertising your newsletter is not enough. Give a teaser of the content you will provide. Hint at competitions or deals if you will be offering any. Position the newsletter as a free value-added service, and you will find more success in gaining subscribers.
Be Ethical. Don’t make false claims, and don’t use misleading tactics to draw subscribers in. You want to be able to deliver on everything that you promise or imply. Honesty will help you to maintain a responsive list that turns to real business opportunities in the future.

Color is ubiquitous.

You can find it anywhere and everywhere and quite often we don’t consciously think about what it means, but we do “feel” color. Those feelings are an inherent part of us. They inspire feelings of relaxation, peace, or even, caution or anger.

Why do the stars relax in a “green” room? How does a red button or sign affect us?  Why do babies cry more in a yellow room? The answer is that color has meaning to people. The meanings may change slightly over the years, but typically the basics remain the same.

In the United States, web and business research has been extensively done on the meanings and feelings  associated with certain colors. This research can be a guiding principle to you for your own web marketing. It will help you to get more clients, more clicks, and possibly more sales.

Noticing what colors do to you in your own website explorations is a great way to start. How does a certain site affect you. Does the texture or color speak to you in a way that makes you want to move to another site, or dig deeper into the one that you’re currently surfing?

Black – is representative of power or wealth. In may cases, it is popular in style and fashion magazines because black is slimming and always looks elegant. Did you know that black can also denote submission, such as in the case of a nun or a priest, who wear it to signify their servility to God? Black can also denote a darker personality or a villainous one.

White – is representative of light and purity. It is recommended that we use a lot of white space on our websites to give the impression of extra space. Too much white space comes across as barren, but some is an absolute necessity.

Blue – is one of the most popular colors. Blue implies loyalty and faith, it is considered a trust color. Deep blue and white can also imply trust and loyalty, as well as elegance. It is considered to be a safe way to announce wealth and power because you are combining that with trust. Blue is often overused so changing the color slightly, say a teal blue, would be a good way to get noticed as well as to offer that trust factor to your customers. Blue is also relaxing and allows your customer to relax doing business with you. It’s  said that weight lifters can actually lift more pounds when exercising in a blue room!

Traditionally your website will do better in blue, people will visit more pages when it is blue and your employees will be much more productive when they are working in a room that is blue or has blue trim.

Red – is among the most intense of all colors. Red can actually increase the speed of your heartbeat and impose some very serious reactions. It is also considered the color of danger. Red buttons in business websites traditionally get pressed one third less times than buttons which are blue. Red should be used as an accent color or the color to add excitement, but rarely should an entire website be created in red.

The one exception may be for a food website, since red tends to stimulate the appetite. Many restaurants are trimmed in red for this reason.

Red clothing should not be worn when in business negotiations or in any type of confrontation, nor should it be worn to an interview. Red clothing does imply more power, so if you are trying to intimidate someone, it’s a good selection.

Yellow – is sunny and warm, but also provocative. It is considered by physicians to be one of the most difficult colors to look at. It is also difficult to keep an even keel in a yellow room. Children and babies cry more frequently when they are in a yellow room. Adults find that they have feelings of anger and temper bursts when consistently exposed to yellow.

When yellow is over used on a website, it will often do well at first and then begin to do less well.

Yellow should be used to accent or to highlight other colors because it causes the attention to be focused on one thing to the exclusion of all others.

Green – can symbolize nature and as such is relaxing, but can be more relaxing than you wish. Green is also considered by most men to be one of their favorite colors, indicative of the outdoors. Deep green also implies being wealthy or rich.

If you want your website or your room to be frequented primarily by men, chances are that you can accomplish that with deep green and solid, comfortable browns.

Brown – is also indicative of nature, brown tends to be well loved and trusted. It is solid and dependable, much like grays are.

Building your websites with a nod toward color psychology is just good common sense. It can help to make your business move forward, and make your customers more comfortable.

While it is not the be-all and end-all, it is a good principle to keep in mind and can give you an extra edge, particularly when used in combination with good keyword research, creative content, and solid SEO tactics.

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SEO has its share of myths. There are quite a few that can damage your website if you adhere to them. View a few of the SEO myths to avoid.

seo myths

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How Machine Learning is Changing the Face of Search

Generally Google doesn’t spring to mind when considering competition in the world of digital marketing because it seems to dominate whatever it touches.

Aside from that however, the realm of digital marketing has always been an extremely competitive landscape, with certain exceptions of course. Established brands with long standing trust frequently held the top SERP positions, while new domains had to take a place at the back of the line. Black hat SEO made it possible for webmasters to play the system and produce high ranking for substandard content. In the recent past, SEO providers and webmasters could apply trending keywords and simple heuristics to achieve rank regardless of content quality or relevance.

These concepts were entirely changed by the Hummingbird update and the unveiling of RankBrain.
These two things should be changing the SEO world’s ideas about how to achieve success as well. Although many SEO providers understand how important RankBrain is, or at least will be in the future, they still cling to the conventional strategies that worked a decade ago.

It’s time to rethink your views about search engine optimization and there are several SEO strategies and machine learning applications that can help you stay competitive in this constantly changing landscape.

How Machine Learning is Changing Search

RankBrain is, according to Google, the company’s 3rd most important factor in ranking. It is used to decipher the context of searches that it hasn’t received before. It distinguishes the context by comparing semantically similar keywords with similar searches from the past and delivering the results that are most relevant.

Through the use of machine learning, patterns can be found and user engagement data analyzed. Through this data, an algorithm can be used to evaluate user intent. This allows results to be filtered more effectively and gives users a better overall experience.

As of today, conventional signals still apply in ranking the best results. With each relevant search however, machine learning is able to analyze which of the pages involved are getting the most favorable user signals and deliver the best results for meeting user intent. It is important to remember however, that machine learning is a slow process. The result would be slow changes in ranking that are based on a growing amount of data from the SERPs.

In the more competitive niches, increased user engagement and content quality will steadily overshadow conventional signals and level the playing field. In lower volume searches, the conventional ranking signals will remain as the standard until sufficient data is gathered and user intent can be determined.

Humans aren’t being Replaced Yet

Not to worry, automation isn’t going to replace humans in the near future. Machine learning can be used to help boost marketing campaigns, but the actual creation and execution will ultimately rely of human intelligence. The same rules still apply to SEO.

Provide a good user experience
Provide solid content boosted by good keywords
Employ natural language
Personalize the journey

The big difference may be in how we provide these things to potential buyers. The technologies that are being developed every day can potentially allow for great improvement in the competition for SERPs and allow today’s digital marketer to deliver a much stronger product.

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What Do You Need to Know to Generate Links that Are Higher in Authority?

One of the oldest and the most efficient ways to get a better ranking is with link building. It’s also one of the best ways to get some great organic traffic moving in your direction

People want to link to you. You may not see it and you may not believe it but they do. That is particularly true of the real influencers in the world. They are creating so much content that they are always looking for a way to get some that they don’t have to work quite so hard for. That means if you do it right, you’ve got an edge toward getting their inbound links.

If you’re looking for a way to make better inbound links, here are a couple tips for you.

You Don’t Want Links, You Want Good Links– It’s a given that you want good links that show Authority, Relevance and Transfer. Unfortunately many website owners have forgotten what good links are, if they ever knew. Good links have authority and relevance, even if you have to spin things a bit to make it relevant. For example, if you sell insurance you could conceivably and readily create an article that would fit on a car accident site.

Make Your Content Unique. Get the best content that you can and make sure that it’s all as unique as possible. Find a topic that is close to people’s hearts and in their minds and then write about it. Try to find an angle that is unique to other people’s so that your content, is different and creates real value for the reader even when it’s the same subject that someone else has written about. All that’s necessary is for you to work hard, do a bit of extra research, and make your content worth linking to.

Quality link building is not easy. It’s hard and it should be hard. You’re going to work for the links that you get.  If you want real quality then you need to visit quality sites and explore their content. Find out where it melds well with your own and then send a contact to the site owner or webmaster. Make sure that you  visit as many sites that are relevant to you as possible and let them know about your site and your content. Follow up a week or two later. Tech people are busy and your link may not appear immediately but  if you follow up and if your content is worth linking to, the links will appear.

 

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Social Media – Marketing – Facebook – Demographics

Social Media has the potential for building brand awareness and engaging with customers in ways that are unsurpassed by any other media in use today.

It is no longer just for friends and family. Today businesses are finding that social media is a powerful tool for growth. Once not taken very seriously, social media should now be an integral part of every business’s online strategy.

You can’t ignore social media if you want your business to succeed in the competitive marketplace.

Increasing Market Penetration Through Social Media Marketing

As of March 2014, over 1.28 billion – yes, billion with a B! – people are registered on Facebook, with up to one billion being unique users.

That is a huge market!

Besides being the largest social network in the world, Facebook is also the largest advertising network. So, even if you’re targeting only a single country, the numbers could be in the hundreds of millions. No other platform gives you that kind of access and you can tap into that market for free.

Is it only about Facebook?

Just because it’s the biggest network doesn’t mean Facebook is the only, or the right place for your business. Facebook is not the be all and end all of the social media world.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and in the case of a niche business or product you get better results for your marketing efforts from Twitter, Imgur, Instagram, Google+ and any of the others that inhabit the whole of social media.

Every social network has its strengths and weaknesses, and varying levels of relevance to your company. Finding the best network for your needs will help make the most of any efforts you put in to a social media strategy. Even chat-based applications like WeChat and Line Messenger include aspects of social networking. Creative companies can use these popular platforms to advertise and engage customers as well as build exposure for their brand.

Social Media Covers Almost Every Demographic

To get the best market exposure, social media is the answer.

Everyone from age 14 to seniors can be found on one social media format or another. However social media isn’t limited to the actual ‘social networks’ anymore.

Youtube incorporates social media.

Gmail accounts have access to Google+.

Yahoo Answers is a form of social media.

People use all sorts of services on the Internet without thinking about the social aspects of them. However, almost everything on the Internet today involves some type of social networking.

Whatever your market is, if you know where to focus, you can find that demographic through social media.

Interact With Customers Like Never Before

Compared to any other platform, social media offers more engagement with your customers and future prospects through comments, likes, re-tweeting, +1’s and similar social sharing features. Having a direct dialogue with your customers makes for a stronger relationship with them. TV and Radio ads have phone-in competitions and offers, print media might provide the same, with perhaps mail or email correspondence, but nothing compares with the immediate communication that social media invites.

Using social media as a brand building platform not only lets you engage directly with your market, it also allows you to grow your brand virally. As your audience spreads posts and information about your products through likes, tweets and re-posts etc., your brand will stretch from person to person, giving you the benefits of modern day ‘word of mouth’ marketing.

Social Media is Easy to Include in Your Online Strategy

Adding social media to your current website is simple and this ease of implementation is another reason why social media is such an excellent tool for online marketing.

When you work with leading content delivery solutions like WordPress, you can take advantage of a number of plugins that incorporate social features in your site. Adding buttons for shares, like’s, +1’s, etc., is a great way to take viral what you are showcasing.

Social Media is Relatively Inexpensive When Compared to Other Forms of Online Marketing

The potential reach of social media makes it essential to use as part of your online marketing strategy. But that’s not the best part – it’s cost effective too. Social media offers virtually free advertising and brand building for anyone who wants to use it.

With time and perseverance you can build a strong social presence without spending any cash.

For a relatively small expense, a dedicated online marketer can handle the social media accounts for those business owners without the time or the expertise to market themselves online or for companies that want a greater social media presence. Social media account management can be as low as $50USD per month. Compare that to traditional marketing consultants.

When looking for a good return on investment, inexpensive and effective social media marketing becomes essential.

Embrace Social Media

There’s really no reason for not incorporating a social media strategy in to your business plan.

Social media provides your business with the benefits of effective marketing, brand building, increased exposure and effective customer interaction.

Arguably the best thing about this new means for marketing your business is that even a modestly funded operation could afford to implement it.

So What Are You Waiting For?

* Do you want a custom Youtube channel, Facebook or Twitter page that matches your website?

Customized graphics can be created to offer the right look and feel for your social media pages. Every business can use custom social media pages to promote themselves.

* Do you want to create a presence on social media that represents and expresses your business brand?

Customized social media pages are among the best ways to associate your name and your logo with your website.

Cost effective marketing magic – order custom social media pages or talk to us today about a social media marketing strategy for your business.

There’s been a lot of debate about whether or not exact match domains are viable for use.  Customers come to us all the time asking to change their domain or move their content to another domain. They believe that the issue is with the domain name and that it’s the reason for the penalty. In fact, that is probably not the case at all and moving your content as it stands to another domain is probably not the answer.

The key phrases you’ll hear from  some SEOs and SEMs is that “Google has stated that exact match domains are not working anymore.”

The question is, “did they really say that?”, or did we add our own spin to what the Spam team actually offered. Two years ago, Google Spam Guru Matt Cutts offered this comment that sent the SEO world into a spin.

Read carefully and this time, read all of the words.. He said, low quality exact match domains, he did not say that all exact match domains aren’t viable and that you’re no longer going to be able to use them. The key here is that little qualifier and it may behoove us all to pay attention. if your exact match domain isn’t doing well, the chances are good at this point that it’s being seen as a site that has thin or poor quality content or that it’s a low quality site.

There are a lot of things that you can do to change that if that is the only problem that your site has.

Google perceives that domains that are exact match names that house very little of value were set up specifically to make money and not offer a good service, a good value or reasonable information to the public at large. As much as we’d all like to say that it’s not true about our domain, taking a closer look, it may well be true.  If you’ve got a domain that is an exact match, high money keyword and you’re offering very little that is valuable for your customers to take away, the chances are good that you got hit with a penalty for that. Tha tpenalty has nothing at all to do with your choice of a domain name but rather, what you didn’t offer to the public so far as a good experience.

The fact is that the fault for that penalty is typically not with the domain name that you’re using, but rather, with the way in which you are using it.

If you have good quality content and it is well written, offering a valuable service to the people who read it, the chances are good that you’re going to rank for it if you do some measure of promotion for it. If the content and the site design and the link building and all of the other things were as they should have been, however, the site that you have would be ranking as it stands. Before you choose to move it all to a secondary site and try it again to erase a perceived penalty, take a closer look at what you have and why it’s not working for you.

In most cases, when customers or prospective customers ask us to move a set of content and existing settings to a new domain in order to achieve a better ranking, the problem hasn’t been the domain name. It may be thin content, it could be egregious link building or it could be any number of other factors that may not be workable in today’s online climate.

Even if you do choose a new domain and decide to rebuild, don’t take your problems with you by using the same thin content or beginning the same old-school gray hat link building campaign that netted you the penalty to begin with.

Technology is a wonderful thing.

The internet has placed a world of information at our fingertips and changed the face of advertising forever. In the case of advertising however, there are some downfalls to the ways that we can use this technology.

We have the means to fast forward past television ads, block internet ads, and skip over video ads, making the task of getting the word out about your product or service more difficult than ever.

Because of this, if you want to reach potential customers or clients it is imperative to provide well written, informative, and interesting content on your website.

Good seo website content draws the reader in and makes them want to look deeper into what you are offering as well as providing them with the information that they are looking for in an appealing manner. Writing web content is a lot different than just writing content. It has to catch the attention of the reader.

With all the information that is available on the internet it may seem that there is really no new content to be written, but that is not the case at all. Content writing is an acquired skill and while there may be some inherent talent involved it becomes more finely tuned with experience. When you hire a company or person to do website content writing, you are essentially paying for that person’s experience as well as for their writing skills. In addition to that, each person sees a topic from a different point of view.

It is that individual point of view, as well as different writing styles, that can take an old topic and make it seem new and interesting again.

Thinking outside of the box is what content writing and writing websites is all about and showcasing your website in a way that no one else has used before can be the key to making your business a success.

One way to draw your readers in is to provide some tidbit of information that they may not know and then gradually lead them in to the information that they are looking for.

Here is an example of how different content writing techniques can make a big difference in the overall appeal of an article. There are millions of how to articles about growing tomatoes and both of these paragraphs will contain the same basic information, but one of them will be much more interesting to read and draw your readers down the page to the conclusion or the conversion that you want.

Example one:

Growing tomatoes is something that almost everyone can do well. Tomatoes grow best in full sun and soil that is well-drained, but moist. Tomato bushes can get rather large so be sure to allow plenty of space between the plants. As the bush gets larger, pinch off any suckers that grow from the base of the branches. By doing this, the tomatoes that are produced will be larger than if you let the plant grow without pruning.

Example two:

Did you know that the tomato is a member of the nightshade family? Not all members of this family are toxic and some (including the tomato) are staple parts of the diet in many cultures. Tomatoes are quite easy to grow which makes them great for beginning gardeners. Imagine juicy, vine ripened tomatoes for those fresh, summer salads. With minimal effort you can grow tomatoes that will be the envy of all your friends.

Tomatoes are a sun loving plant that does best in well-drained soil that is kept moderately moist during hot weather. Depending on the variety they will become quite large and will need plenty of space between plants. As your tomato plant grows, prune back any small growth that occurs at the base of the branches. These are called “suckers” and will leach nutrients from the rest of the plant. Removing them will allow your plant to produce more, as well as larger tomatoes.

Which Piece Would Be More Appealing to Your Customers?

This is just a small example of what good content writing can do for a website. While both examples give the information needed, the second one is more likely to entice you to read further and explore other areas of the site. Advertising will always be important to some degree, but while the advertising may get visitors to the site, good content will keep them there.