Using social media as a way to market your brand, products or services is something you should know about already but have you ever thought about using it to gather information on your competitors?
Before we go any further we are not talking here about industrial espionage and stealing secrets from your competitors. Instead, we are looking at social media as a legitimate means to see what other businesses in your niche, sector or industry are doing publicly and using that information to improve what you do in your business.
The first thing to realise is that the social media pages and profiles of most businesses are in the public domain anyway. This means anyone, including you, is able to see what they post, and read any of the updates, quotes and comments that they make. Most people seeing them will just take the post at face value, but for you, they can contain golden nuggets of information.
If there is one element of starting an online business that we would always recommend you don’t do yourself, it is web design. Instead of employing a digital agency to do all the work, many business owners try to cut corners by doing it themselves, only to find that weeks or even months later, they’re stuck with a website that doesn’t work, and a whole heap of their time and energy has been wasted.
Using a digital agency to design and build your website has so many advantages, not least is the fact that you are freed from the stress, and time commitments needed to build it all yourself.
Once you have chosen a digital agency to work with, the first thing they will need to know is exactly what sort of business you are starting as this will influence greatly the type of website you need. Too often the ‘do-it-myself’ brigade will have visions of a multi-page website with all sorts of plug-ins and background apps when in fact all they needed was simple landing page and maybe a blog.
There’s a common misconception that just by having a website, you will get more customers. Although it might give you something to add to your business card, simply having a website is just the first step. Below are five ways online marketing content can help your bottom line.
It brings more traffic to your website
SEO content, also known as search engine optimised content, is all about increasing the traffic to your website. If you’re selling a product or service, this is very important. If your website is sitting stagnant without traffic or anything to offer customers, it can have an impact on your business.
In this digital age, having a business purely in a physical sense can be detrimental. You cannot rely on foot traffic alone. In just a six-month period in 2016, Australians made 15.9 percent more online purchases than the six-month period prior.
Online shopping is only set to increase. This is why SEO content is so important. If you can use it your advantage to increase traffic to your website, you can most certainly have a much healthier bottom line.
Unless you or someone within your business is a graphic designer or has in-depth knowledge of design software the wisest thing to do in relation to designing your logos is to outsource it.
If you have some experience of software like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Paint it might seem prudent to create the logo yourself and save yourself the cost of employing a one-off designer. However, bear in mind cost isn’t just measured in terms of dollars and cents and the amount of time it will take you to design and edit any new logo will soon add up to the point where it detracts from other, more important tasks.
There are several platforms where you can find excellent, value for money logo designers. The most obvious is Fiverr where some designers will create you logos for just $5 each.
If the time has come for your business to enter the digital age, a new website might be in order. But it can be difficult to know who the best web designer is for you. After all, web design is a complex task and one which varies from one web designer to the next.
Below are five questions you should ask the person completing your web design.
How much can I expect to pay for web design?
Web design varies in price depending on what you require and the web designer itself. The figure you might have in your head may greatly differ from what the actual cost is. You can expect to pay several thousand dollars for a good website and generally it’s money well spent.
While asking about the total cost, you should also ask how they expect to be paid. Most web designers will require a deposit, and then instalments based on each section of your website build. If they are doing the web design, development and copy writing, they may ask you to pay for each section separately. The other option is to pay by page. There is no set payment method so it’s important you ask your web designer what they expect from you.
Business owners across the globe are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of social media marketing to their sales and profits. If you are not one of them and until now you had believed social media was only for teens and geeks then this article will enlighten you on how you can use it to promote your business.
Looking at the vast number of social media sites on the internet you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. In truth, there is no need to use all of them, but there are a few that your business should certainly have a presence on. The main ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and if all you ever did was focus on these four, your business would have very positive results.
These four sites all work very differently in terms of what content is used, how it is posted, how users interact and how they increase the profile of your business. Regardless of their differences, one important thing you want to have in place is for your business’s profile on each of these sites to link out to the others.
Whilst email marketing has huge advantages for businesses if it is done incorrectly it can cause more harm than good if done incorrectly. In this article, we will highlight the basic and sometimes costly mistakes to avoid when marketing using email.
The first, and critical error is to think that your email marketing is there purely for you to bombard your subscribers with sales messages. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sending sales pitch after sales pitch will very quickly turn your subscribers interest in your business to resentment which is no way to turn them into customers.
The other thing that is likely to happen is people will start marking your emails as spam. A common misconception is spam only applies to an email if it has been sent without permission. Whilst your emails might be going out to people who have opted in, continuous sales pitches will soon annoy them enough to mark them as spam. If this happens, you’ll very quickly have your autoresponder service asking you some difficult questions and if they consider that you are abusing the service they will ban you from using it.
Basically, Google AdWords is Google’s pay per click (PPC) advertising tool. It gives you an easy opportunity to advertise your business or services, and is fully customisable to give you the ultimate user experience.
As an online business owner, AdWords marketing is one of the biggest tools in your belt. Google is the biggest search engine in the world, and receives up to 90% of all internet searches. This means that if you are serious about PPC advertising, AdWords internet marketing is an absolute must.
The benefits of AdWords are many. Just some of these benefits, along with why you should use AdWords, are outlined below:
AdWords is extremely easy to monitor:
Many PPC sites don’t make it easy for you to monitor the success of your campaign. Google AdWords, however, has an extremely user-friendly interface which makes your life a breeze. Your AdWords homepage will give you statistics on a whole range of things, allowing you to identify exactly what kind of things are working or not.
Okay, so you have built a website, included everything relevant to your business, and even gone into some of your more unique aspects. However, you might find that you don’t really get a lot of organic traffic to your new site, and that it doesn’t really generate any new business for you.
Why is this?
Basically, it is because your website is the same as all of the others out there. Let’s say, for example, that you own a small plumbing business. In a large city, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of other businesses like you. Unless you stand out, people will never find you.
You need to take some drastic web design actions to make your website stand out above and beyond those of your competitors. Below are our top tips for doing so:
Develop a USP
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are one of the main things which make certain websites stand out. If you just go along with the mainstream process of building a website, there won’t be anything special about your site. Developing a USP which separates you from your competition will make it much easier for customers to find you, and much more likely that they will want to do business with you.
Logos are an extremely important part of your company image, especially when it comes to having a strong online presence. Think about some of the biggest internet giants – Google, eBay, Amazon, etc.. – they all have extremely familiar logos which are synonymous with their brand.
Developing your own logos is therefore one of the most important parts of moving into the online marketplace. Sure, you might already have some sort of business graphic which defines your physical business, but the chances are that it is small and simple. Think about creating a logo which encompasses your company values, which stands out to potential clients and which is memorable. Doing this will go a long way towards setting you on the path to online success.
When Online Businesses start out, they start out in an extremely competitive global environment. It is imperative that online businesses take care of some of the basic functionalities of their operations when starting out so that they don’t face issues in the future. Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of those necessities for them. It is really important for an online business’ organizational health and efficiency that they have SEO experts on board who are able to give sound advice and develop a healthy and effective SEO strategy for the firm. The SEO mistakes that online businesses should avoid at all costs are:
Stuffing keyword unnecessarily onto your website. It is good for keywords to be present on the landing pages and help in attracting traffic. But the incessant use of keywords and keyword stuffing just to attract traffic just looks tacky. Therefore, be smart with your word choice; because customers will be too.
Using email marketing for your business is a fantastic way to build a loyal following and promote your products or services. However, how you do measure just how effective a campaign or even a single email has been?
The way to do this is by paying attention to your email metrics, which are the measurable data that your email autoresponder service will have available for you, in the back office of your account.
The first piece of data you want to be aware of is your bounce rate. This is basically any email which was ‘bounced’ back to your autoresponder service as not being delivered. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as the email address no longer being valid, a server filtering the email or simply that the subscriber’s mailbox quota had reached its limit and could not receive any more emails.
It is very important for an online business to have a well-designed and efficient website. This not only makes it easier for customers to navigate through but also ensures that their first-hand experience with the online business is pleasant. For the website to be advantageous for the customers, it is important that the web design is not only effective, but it also is a part of the overall web strategy of the company. Online businesses need to ensure that their web design is professional and at the same time attractive so that customers feel comfortable using it and the business can attract and foster a loyal client base. Some of the web design mistakes that online businesses should avoid when launching their business are:
Web Design is Random and Visionless: Make sure that the business has an overarching strategy for the website. Any web design would be ineffective if it is utilized randomly. The website should portray the organizational mission and purpose. It should be appealing to the target market, and should be handled and updated accordingly. Thus, web design should be aligned with the overall business strategy.
Many businesses in Australia depend on the Internet for updating their customers on their availability and what they do in general. That is why many investors go an extra mile to have a website that represents them in the online side of things. With the current fast changing technology, web design has become another victim where trends and fads come and go.
Keeping an excellent website can be simple and hard at the same time based on how you understand and interpret the basic rules of good design habits. The following guideline advises you on what you should consider.
There are many different types of web hosting out there. Some of these are more suited to larger websites with a lot of content and a high traffic volume. However, there are plenty of options out there for people with smaller budgets.
Every single type of hosting has its pros and cons. Some are very cheap (or even free), while others offer complete versatility and customisability. Some of the most popular types of web hosting include:
Free hosting generally comes in the form of websites with a company name attached to the domain. They don’t cost anything, so they are often useful for non-essential websites or blogs which are designed to share information with a certain group of people. Free web hosting is usually very limited. You won’t have a lot of storage space, load speeds will be slow if you have a lot of visitors, and customisability may be very limited.
Technology has completely revamped the way business is done nowadays. More and more online businesses are entering the global market place as we speak and traditional businesses also are working hard to establish their presence online. eCommerce and its boom have had an important part to play in this. eCommerce made it possible for firms to expand their horizons and expand their reach exponentially. It is now possible for a craftsman in India to have clientele in USA, UK, Australia and handle them online through the use of eCommerce. Implementation of eCommerce to traditional businesses has also enabled the firms to bolster their profits as well.
Online businesses have reaped a lot of benefits from eCommerce. The prime benefits have been reaching a wider customer base and making engagement and transactions with them possible, easy and secure. Due to these factors, the bottom line of online business’ is also positively impacted as it helps the business in reducing administrative costs as well. Thus, more and more online businesses have integrated eCommerce in their platforms and are reaping the benefits.
Branding is extremely important for any business, be it an SME, an entrepreneurial venture or a big corporation. Big corporations and multinationals are well aware of the importance of branding and have created and cultivated strong brands worth fortunes over the decades of their operations. It is high time that online and small business also learn the value of branding, start implementing it with meticulous care in their strategy to reap the benefits of the concept.
With the advent of online businesses and easy loans available for SMEs and entrepreneurial firms, there are a plethora of organizations out there, each trying their best to provide the best advantage to their customers. However, for customers, what matters the most is the kind of promise that the organization is making to them, and if the promise will be upheld time and again. Therefore, in totality, branding is the sum total of the perceptions that the customers have about the organizational offering. This organizational offering entails not just the product itself, but also the services, the logo and packaging, the reputational management and the kind of marketing efforts entailed to bring the product to the customers.