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#Hashtag Mindblown - The Latest Game Changer

Game changer. You hear it a lot in online marketing. Everything happens, changes and updates so fast that as soon as people have their head around the latest ‘game changer’ the game has just been changed. Again. As a result, I don’t want to use the term lightly. However, when I started to look and experiment with ideas surrounding the latest ‘game changer’ a whole new world opened up to me… hashtag: mind blown! The game changer I’m referring to is one of the new features within Universal Analytics that’s only beginning to be explored. The game changer I speak of is offline conversion tracking. “Offline conversion tracking?! No way?!#Hashtag Mindblown!” I hear you say? Yep. It’s big. Let me begin by throwing a fairly normal scenario at you. A customer comes to find ‘Website A’ through a referral from Facebook. They look through the catalogue and get their head around the products on the website before life gets in the way and their phone rings; they close the browser down and walk away.Two days later, they are browsing the internet when they notice a Remarketing advert following them around from Website A. So they click through and do some further online price comparison. They feel they are getting closer to a purchase decision, but need more time. A whole week goes by before they type the product name into Google and find the Website A again, this time organically. Now they are sure and they commit to purchasing. However, this particular user decides they want to travel into the bricks and mortar shop and put through the transaction in the traditional way. They hand their cash over the counter and walk out with their product feeling pretty good. In this scenario, Google Analytics would have marked down three separate website visits on three separate occasions. That is; one referral visit, one visit through from the AdWords Remarketing campaign and finally, to top it all off, one organic session. But no measurable goal has been resulted online. Now it’s fair to say that the complete digital strategy of this particular company has done its job. I think it’s fair to say that the online marketing guru should get some credit for the hard work put into the campaign strategy, even if the sale did get processed in the physical realm. On the other side of the coin, the business owner is looking at the sales from the shop front and thinking to themselves, “We’ve had a busy day today. Life is good.” With Universal Analytics, we can now do some really cool things. What if I told you that through the use of Universal Analytics new tracking mechanism, we were able to stamp that visitor with a (non-identifiable) unique customer ID? What would that mean for our data? Well for starters, the three individual sessions recorded by Analytics could all be attributed to the same user. This is important, because it now means we can easily measure the success of a full digital strategy. The Facebook campaign, AdWords campaign and SEO strategy can all be measured in their success to work together. No longer do you have to look at each strategy as a silo for funnelling users to your website. We can begin to look at the bigger picture, better target people and better understand how each piece of the puzzle fits into the grand scheme of the all important buying cycle. Now (drum roll please…) it’s time for the game changer. What if I were to tell you that we could take this one step further? What if I were to tell you that the unique customer ID given to the user who first engaged through Facebook could be tracked all the way to the checkout? What if I were to tell you we could not only track this ID at the point of sale, but also send that information back into Universal Analytics and look at how people engage with your business from start to finish? Well, now we can. #Hashtag MindBlown. In theory it’s quite simple. Through the means of a loyalty card, an App, a QR code or an RFID tag, we can now begin to allow people to carry this customer ID around with them in their pocket, scan it at point of sale and then look at the bigger picture from beginning to end. This idea itself could be the subject of books let alone an article. In future articles, I will elaborate on how this could, should and will look. But for now, imagine the bigger picture. This actually is a real game changer. This development gives us the ability to bridge the gap between online and bricks and mortar. It allows us to tap into the void that for so long has been filled with hunches and assumptions. We can follow a purchase through the buying cycle, from the recognition of the need all the way through to the point of purchase. It opens up doors to allow us as marketers to become more creative with our strategy. It allows us to work on, build, implement and measure full service digital strategy that can be measured at any point along the way. Not only that, it allows us to look at how this interacts with all other aspects of a marketing strategy and correlates this within the framework of Google Analytics. This game changer allows us to gather data on all aspects of the buying cycle. Further to this, it allows us to change our philosophy on conversion tracking. No longer do we have to attribute a conversion or sale to just one method of acquisition. Instead we can look at almost every conversion as an assisted conversion. Better yet, we can measure it. What that means is we can see exactly how each and every part of the online marketing strategy works together to bring home the bacon. #Hashtag Mindblown.

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10 Best SEO Tips For Writing Content That Google Loves In 2018

Learn the secrets of SEO content writing and create content that Google loves in 2018 How to generate more traffic and reach your target audience? Here are some useful SEO content writing tips to improve your content and the best out of what you do. At this moment in time, making sure Google falls in love with your content should be your main priority. But what can you do to make this possible? You can either hire website content writing services to help you or you can do it yourself. In the past, adding keywords into the body text and into page tags alone could make your content rank higher in Google; but it is much different in 2018. Based on the recent Searchmetrics General Ranking Factors report, relevance and quality of the content have more weight than adding some keywords in the title or heading tags. Every time a user searches through Google, its algorithm works to understand the purpose of the search query. The most relevant results based on relevance to the user will be displayed. Thus, it is crucial that your content stands out from the rest to make sure you will be on Google’s first page when someone searches for it.   How is SEO Defined Today? Search Engine Optimization’s main objective is to optimize your website so that it can rank higher in the SERP and drive more traffic and awareness to your brand, product or service. SEO is not just about stuffing keywords in the content. Not, anymore. In order for Google to find your content, you need to optimize it. There are things you need to cover to guarantee an SEO-friendly content. You need to apply the right SEO technique. Let this post guide you on how you will do it and outrank your competitors.   What is Historical Optimization? It is a way of updating old blog content to produce more search traffic and conversions than your present articles may bring in. Historical optimization is a method for blogs that have been around for many years and are performing well and have the possibility to bring in more new leads and readers with a few modifications. The word change can be a bit scary for some people, but you need to optimize your past blogs and write new posts out of them because of the following reasons: The need for content is growing. More and more businesses are starting to realize that content creation is a vital part of their marketing efforts and this number will continue to grow in the future. The need to produce more leads. HubSpot gives some insight on how optimizing their past blogs has helped their site rank higher. After they have determined what keywords were ranking high, they updated what their content offers and CTAs to show these searches. Through the keyword-based conversion process, HubSpot increased the conversion rate by 240%. It ensures content is relevant and up-to-date. Your content can keep up with the most recent trends like the design, colors, images, typefaces, and others. Although it may not bring in new conversions, optimizing your content is the best way to make some updates. Easy to do without additional cost. The best thing about this is that it does not require additional cost, but the return is impressive. To help you get started here are some effective SEO tips for writing content.   SEO Content Writing Tips Our tips are a combination of the traditional and the latest SEO techniques for writing effective content. These guidelines will help you characterize your content strategy and identify your audience effectively.   Keyword research This is still a vital step for any blogger in writing SEO-friendly content. Although some may think that it is no longer as useful as before, Moz’s article on keywords shows the other way around. According to the post, you should not ditch keyword targeting completely. Keywords can help you start with your content creation. Some SEO experts suggest that you focus on your topic rather than on the keywords. But, it is still best if you combine keywords with relevance to get to the top and be ahead of your competitors. Based on a blog article by Neil Patel, over 66% of the total clicks landed on the top 3 positions of the SERPs. If you are aiming to be in the top 3 spots, then you must learn how to research for the best keywords.   Focus on your target audience and writing useful content. When writing, focus on your target audience, make sure you know them very well. Provide them with relevant and useful high-quality posts. Position yourself in their situation and offer your audience what you want to have, in the way you would prefer to read it. But don’t forget Google and other search engines, they will serve as your second targets. Words are powerful. They drive engagement. If you can put the words together effectively to produce valuable content, your target audience will surely love it, and they will surely stick around. The number of blogs that generate great and fresh content is growing each day. (worldometers.info) Keep in mind that duplicate content, low-quality content and keyword-stuffed content will not help your target audience. It will drive them away. This is not a good SEO practice. However, there is a study that shows it is not enough to have useful content, it needs three elements - optimizing keywords, backlinks and evergreen ideas - to drive organic traffic.   Determine which keywords your competitors are ranking for. To help you find competitor keywords you can use multiple tools like the one being offered by Semrush. Keep in mind to target the keywords your competitors are using on their ranking articles but do not copy the way they write. If you do that, you will sound like them, and it will be hard for you to create anything unique. The SEMrush tool is easy to use, just insert your competitor’s URL and you will find out which keywords your competition is ranking for.   Be brave, go for longer content. Focus on writing great long-form content. But make sure your content is relevant and interesting. Keep in mind Google loves content that is both useful and relevant to their users. In the past, 500 was the magic number to rank higher in the search engines. But in 2018, a longer blog post could boost the performance of your SEO. In an article on word count statistics, it was mentioned that the top-ranked searches have an average 2,416 words. Google punishes websites with thin content or pages full of links. Keep in mind there is a big difference between thin content and short content. Thin content is full of keywords, taken from other websites and low in quality. Short content is concise and unique and offers great value to readers which Google loves. Research shows that search engines love the in-depth content of around 2,000 words. There are many blog posts that rank well and are at least 1,500 words long. The longer your content is, the more value you can provide your readers and the least chance of having a bounce rate.   Make it faster for Google to understand and find your content. In SEO, the only thing that remains unchanged is the title element and body content. Google algorithm changes almost every day. If you are not able to cope up with it, Google will not be able to find you. So how you will make it easier for search engines to find your content? Arrange your keywords by subjects and write the content based on the headings structure. Add your keywords on H1, H2, H3 and so on tags for the headlines. Make sure the keywords are added in the most noticeable parts - H1 title and URL. Add the secondary keywords on H2, H3 subheading. The keywords should be added to the body content as naturally as possible. In labelling your images use some keywords so they will rank. The image alt attribute is very helpful for Google Images to get a tremendous amount of search traffic.   Use your keywords naturally. Some of you may get excited and overuse keywords in your content. The secret to ranking higher is to write naturally. There is no recommended KW density, just make sure it will appear natural. Keep in mind, when optimizing keyword relevance is more essential than keyword density. If you think the keywords will not fit into your content naturally, you can split them, use synonyms or better yet leave them out.   Keep it organized and easy to read. Organizing your ideas and keeping it easy to read for your readers will make it rank better. Aside from keeping your ideas organized, make sure that it is attractive and useful to readers: Write for humans, but it is important that Google likes it as well. Do not forget to highlight the main sentences or words with colors, bold, etc. It is much easier to present ideas if you use bullet points. Keep clear paragraphs. Use transition words like besides, thus, in-addition and others. Use videos, charts, and infographics to enhance your content and make your points clearer. Keep your sentences short. Perform a readability check but make sure not to over-optimize it.   Call to action. Most writers are not aware of this, calls to action or CTAs can help you rank higher in Google. Convince your readers that they need to act after reading your content. You can ask your readers to buy or to make a comment. Make the action easy for your audience with a precise Call To Action and the needed form, button, etc. Some of the CTAs you can add are: book a call, download it, read more, get to know us and others.   Title and description. Create a catchy and attractive title using your primary keyword. It is important that your title is accurate and that it tells something about your content. It should be something that captures your audience’s attention. This will make the decision to click easy for the user because the title tag sends a powerful signal to Google. Also, the title is the most important factor in the search results to catch the audience’s attention. Use the keywords to promote and sell your content. Use them on the meta description. Although this is not a rating component, it greatly impacts the click-through rate which is a ranking factor. The description is where you offer a short and to the point summary of your call to action and your webpage.   Add links to broaden your content. Why are internal links important? It is much easier for Google and for the users to search your content and provide your readers with an enjoyable experience. Some of the links you can add to your content are: Blog Articles – It could be a link to an article on your own blog or to other high-quality authority websites. It can be relevant content for readers’ references and additional information. Product/Services Categories & Pages - You should interlink from your most linked-to pages into your product and category pages to distribute page authority and ranking power throughout the site. It will help Google and other search engines to crawl as well as index your product and service pages. User Generated Content - Build out and link to curated pages on your website by leveraging content created by your fans and followers. Not only will you get free content creation, but internal links will be created in the process. Place the links as natural as possible in the text, using synonyms or keywords if possible as the anchor. The power of “what if” questions and providing answers to these questions to backlink can be the secret that will make your content stand out and differentiates you from your competitors.   Final words The best way to craft content that results in conversions and that Google loves in 2018 involves deep research not just in the art of SEO, but in the art of content writing as well. If you combine these two, you will be able to produce content that gives you an advantage over your competitors. If you are serious about giving value to your readers, which you want to convert to customers, you need to apply the right SEO techniques or hire the best website content writing services to help you out. Hope you will find this SEO content writing tips useful for your business. If you think this post is helpful, feel free to share this post or comment below.

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10 Greatest Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business

When running a small business, it is crucial to come up with a marketing plan that will make you stand out in the competition. There are tons of methods and aspects of online presence to include in your marketing strategy. But how do you find the best strategy that works for you? We chose the 10 greatest ways to make it easier for you. Running a small business can be a real fight. With larger competitors on the line, you need to be able to get your name out on the street. Marketing strategies that you develop in order to be seen are the most important aspect of your work. What options you have in play, and how each of them benefits your business, is our topic for today. Facebook Ads With hundreds of millions of people using Facebook every day, all over the world, advertising your company on Facebook is a real hit. What's more important, you can set your target audience just as you want it. All that's left to do is to create interesting content and publish it regularly. But don't overdo it; spamming people's Facebook feed can annoy them. This is why you should make a publishing schedule, and organise some events or calls to action from time to time. Google My Business This Google service is a gift from above for small local business owners. It connects all your Google accounts, ranks your business, and connects your location with the search results. Let's say you run a pizza place in Sacramento. When someone Google’s for pizza in Sacramento, you will see your name on the list of pizza places. Instagram The social network, Instagram, has so many regular users that it's just preposterous to avoid it. Advertising your business on Instagram can generate a lot of audience and make your business grow. Just post pictures regularly, and tag your location with a few catchy hashtags and you're good. But be aware that Instagram users are mostly younger persons. Just focus your ad on the right target group and create content accordingly. Content Marketing It involves the process of creating reader-oriented, quality content on a regular basis in order to attract the target audience. The main goal is to transfer those visitors to customers in the long run. You can create any content, there are no limits as long as it's unique, creative and holds some informative value. But be careful not to create too much content, especially those with poor quality. It doesn’t only make you appear as a spammer, but causes you to lose credibility or value. Coupon Deals Consider this a larger investment for the future of your business. These coupon deal sites are very popular because they offer services to clients for discounted price. But in your direction, this is a local business-oriented type of marketing, which brings you clients faster than any other marketing strategy. The only problem is that you have to cut your price and share half of your revenue with the website. But that's how investments work. Local Business Groups Joining this community can help your business and you, personally, in many ways. First of all, you will meet new people with similar interests, share experiences, and create partnerships. You will also be able to hear news related to your business, all the while promoting your business with potential local partners and customers. Give Your Staff Rewards When They Refer a Client Your employees are the ones that know your product the best. They actively work on creating it and making it better, so, who better to attract new customers? Give your employees some stimulation in the form of some money or otherwise. This will motivate your employees to dig into generating new leads for your business. Email Marketing If you have a growing mailing list, you should use it to reach out to your audience. Don't allow content to end up in the Spam folder, use emails just for celebrations and special events. Also, try to create engaging content, something that will inspire your audience to take action. Sending emails three times a week is fine, but it still boils down to the type of business, product, services, and value of the content you are offering. Before sending an email, ask yourself these questions. What value will the content give to my subscribers? And what will the outcome be? An example of a case study is what happened to Aviva, a UK-based insurance company. They usually send mails once every year but increased the frequency after hiring a UK mailing company. However, they didn’t just start sending hundreds of contents all at once but did the following; Did some surveys to know the type of content subscribers would prefer, Increased frequency of mailing but slowly. Consumers will unsubscribe or mark your email as spam when you regularly send them contents without much value. In fact, you will not only lose client base but reputation in today’s competitive market. Use Feedback Organise surveys in order to get your target audience opinion on issues that matter for the success of your business. Analyse the feedback, as well as comments on your previously published content and you can see what your audience needs. It's a great way to see what you're doing wrong or what to keep on doing. This can help you plan your future marketing and maybe get some ideas for new products or improvement of the existing. Replying or implementing feedback from subscribers or customers can increase customer retention and loyalty. In the customer loyalty statistics presented by accessdevelopment.com in 2016; 55% of customers said they will discontinue being a customer to companies that ignore their feedback. 97% of customers said they are likely to become even more loyal to a company that implements their feedback. Distinguish Yourself The point of marketing is to reach the people and get them to buy your product or use your services. One of the ways to attract clients is to present your business in a fun, compelling and unique way. Give your brand a cool visual look, something that looks warm and friendly. It might take some money in case you decide to hire a good designer, but it pays off eventually. Creating a logo that can connect people to your brand is a great way to make yourself more visible and easy to remember. People only remember 10% of the information they hear after three days. But if the relevant image accompanies the same information, they are likely to remember 65% of the information after three days. Conclusion A good marketing can give your business wings to reach the highest heights. For this reason, try to plan your strategy in accordance with your budget and your target audience. Remember that originality is the key, as well as consistency and value. If you feel like you need help from a marketing expert, don't hesitate to hire one. A poorly executed marketing campaign can bring more harm than good. In the end, let us know what your favorite marketing strategy is. How do you promote your business and how does it work for you?

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10 of The Best Copywriting Tools  – For Free (or Very Cheap)

As a small business owner, you know how important first-rate copy is to your business. Your website may be worthy of a Webby Visual Design award, but it’s the copy that sets the tone and message of your brand. Bland or poorly written copy, replete with grammatical errors, tarnishes your brand story. And it’s unlikely to help convert visitors into customers. And that clever email campaign you’re about to launch?  A wasted effort if the copy isn’t persuasive, concise and easy to read. About now, some of you may be worried that your own copy isn’t cutting it. Maybe you’ve meant to do something about it for a while but just haven’t had the time. To help get you started, here are 10 of my favourite online writing tools. Over the past few years, I’ve trialed quite a few. These ten tools are among the best – and simplest – and have made my life a lot easier. And for the most part, they’re free. Starting at the Top Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer Headline Analyzer is a free tool that scores the quality of your headline and gives you ideas on how to improve it. Headlines are important. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only two will go on to read the rest. So the more catchy the headline, the better the chances your content will be read. Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer Another excellent free tool, AMI Headline Analyzer measures the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) of your headline based on the number of emotional words used. It tells you if your headline evokes spiritual, intellectual or empathetic emotions. You can test various headline versions to achieve a more favourable customer response. Ideas Generator/Research Buzzsumo A content analysis tool, Buzzsumo lets users input a topic or domain to search for trending material or analyse what content is performing best in a given industry. A great tool when you're struggling to find an interesting topic or how best to approach it. There’s a free basic search option as well as paid subscription. SEMrush SEMrush is a keyword research tool that provides you with search traffic, competitor and shared keywords. It’s perfect for keyword search volume. There’s a free version as well as paid subscription. Writing Grammarly I’ve been using Grammarly for a few years and love it. It’s an easy-to-use online proofreading tool for today’s copywriter. As well as grammatical and spelling errors, the tool will highlight over-used and repetitive words and will detect plagiarism. Grammarly is available in a basic free version as well as a paid subscription. Hemingway The Hemingway editor is another one of my must-have tools. You input your text into the application and the tool color-codes sentences that are too dense and complex. It also provides an overall readability grade. It’s terrific in helping tighten your writing. The tool is available as a free trial or available for Mac and PC for US$19.99. Word Hippo Word Hippo is more than a free online dictionary. It also finds synonyms, antonyms, and rhyming words and more. Find alternatives to over used words and punch up your copy. Writers Reverse Dictionary Writers Reverse Dictionary is a free definition-to-word tool. You know when you have one of those tip-of-the-tongue moments? Yes, we all have them. Input the definition to search for the word. Visuals Stock Photo Sites Images are essential to any content or copywriting strategy. According to HubSpot adding relevant images to content increases views by 94%. There are a number of free stock photo sites offering beautiful stock images but be sure to double check they’re under Creative Commons License CCO. Unsplash and Life of Pix are two of the best. And of course, paid service Shutterstock remains a favourite. Canva Canva is an easy-to-use image tool that produces great graphics. When you don’t have access to a graphic designer and you need a professional looking image quickly, Canva is the way to go. There's a wide range of formats, icons and images available. And, yes, it’s free.   These online tools are some of the best. And if you’re worried about the quality of your copy, now’s a good time to do something about it. 

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10 Things to Know When You Hire an SEO Expert in Australia

What is the SEO or the Search Engine Optimization? Why is it important for your business' online marketing? What are the SEO challenges and what are the 10 main factors every business owner should know? Is it essential to make changes in your webpage in order to be search engine optimized? Who can help you out? If you’re a small business owner looking to get results from your online marketing, you’re probably considering hiring a search engine optimisation specialist or marketing agency to help you out. Search engine optimisation or SEO is a way of improving your website so that is it easy to find online, easy for users to navigate and offers information and actions to help site visitors solve their questions or achieve an outcome (such as buy a product). SEO is important for your online marketing as, without it, your potential customers may have trouble finding your website and may be interacting with your competitors instead. Finding the right SEO provider can be a challenge and if you don’t know much about online marketing the chances are you won’t know a good SEO provider from a bad one, or what to expect from their services. If you’re planning to hire an SEO provider to benefit your small business marketing, here are 10 factors to understand to help make your search easier.   1.There are No Shortcuts When it comes to SEO, there are no tricks or secret tactics that your SEO provider can use that will make your site quickly rank at number one on search engine results pages. Long-term favourable results rely on the implementation of recommended best practices to make your website search friendly and easy for visitors to use. If you have a quality website which provides a good experience to site visitors and is technically sound you will see the benefits of higher ranking in search results and more visitors delivered to your site. This takes time to achieve and involves first analysing and making improvements to your website before you will see any potential benefit. It can take between six and 12 months before changes start to have a positive impact. However, once you have optimised your website and gained some traction in search, these organic (unpaid) results will continue to drive benefits for your site. Impatient business owners may be tempted to use short term tactics known as black hat SEO techniques to try to trick search engines to rank their site higher, faster. This is doomed to failure as search engines such as Google now have sophisticated technology to identify and deal with black hat tactics. Failing to follow Google’s quality guidelines will result in your website being penalised through demotion in rank, making it less visible to searchers. In extreme cases, your site may be taken out of Google’s index all together. Takeaway: Plan for an extended period of groundwork before expecting results. [Source: Purchased deposit photos https://depositphotos.com/search/seo.html?qview=132975938]   2.   Prices Vary, Avoid ‘Cheap’ Packages As a small business owner, tight control of the budget is essential to your success. But when it comes to the cost of SEO, ‘cheap’ can end up costing you dearly. If you don’t have time to research or understand what’s involved in SEO, your only focus may be the price. Unfortunately, that may not provide the right SEO strategy for your business or put you in the hands of the right people to maximise the chance of returns. A key principle to understand is there are no guarantees you will get results and the likelihood of your success is very much dependent on the strategy and level of SEO experience you employ. A professional SEO provider with significant experience and history of proven results will charge you a competitive rate for their time. When hiring, the bottom line is you are paying for time spent to manage your SEO campaigns. In general, the time you need and therefore the price you pay will depend on your business goals, the level of online competition for your industry and how fast you want to see results. Keep in mind: If you want relatively fast results will you need to pay for more time If you want to target competitive keywords and markets you will need a bigger budget If you want to beat your competitors, you will likely need to invest more than they are The long-term success of your campaigns will depend on the quality of your SEO   SEO takes time and professional time costs money. The average cost for reputable SEO in Australia (agency) is between $150 - $200 per hour (before GST). There are many compelling reasons to avoid low cost SEO packages but essentially cheap SEO means you are getting less time and shortcuts are often taken to keep you happy. At low price points you may find your work: Is being outsourced overseas at a cheaper rate to make a profit for the provider Comprises black hat strategies for quick results (often followed by a penalty which is at least twice as expensive to fix) Not suited to your business or goals, but follows set activities, and the provider expects that’s you won’t stay with them for a long period as they rely on volume of sales at a ‘cheap’ price point to remain in business Chose the wrong service provider and your cheap package could end up costing thousands of dollars with very little to show for it. Takeaway: Be realistic about your SEO budget. You will need to spend enough money relative to your revenue to reach your goals and be competitive in your industry. For most small businesses with medium competition focusing on a specifically defined market expect to pay at least $1500 to $2000 per month on SEO to achieve results. If this is too high, look for a reputable freelancer rather than an agency.           [Source: Created by Leah English]   3.   Open Communication is Essential Outsourcing SEO activities is ideal for small business owners who can’t afford to hire an inhouse marketing team. However, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon your SEO provider and leave them to their own devices. Your SEO provider should ideally become an extension of your business and regularly call on you for information and feedback. You should be asked for information related to a variety of aspects of your business, not just your products and services. You should also be asked for feedback on any work completed. This may involve approval of blog articles if content marketing is a part of your SEO strategy. Timely completion of collaborative tasks is one key to SEO success. It is also important to notify your SEO provider if planning any changes to your website. Your website is the heart of your SEO strategy and even the smallest change could potentially undo months of hard work. If you have an independent web developer, your SEO provider should be able to liaise with them directly and ensure any changes that are made are done in accordance with SEO best practices. Takeaway: You will need to be involved with your web marketing strategy through responding to questions, providing information and approving projects and campaigns in a timely fashion. Your SEO provider won’t appreciate attempts to micromanage, but they should regularly liaise with you and keep you up to date with their activities and results. [Source: Purchased deposit photos https://depositphotos.com/stock-photos/collaborate-computer-marketing.html?qview=195449496]   4.   SEO Works Best as Part of a Holistic Marketing Strategy When integrated with a holistic marketing strategy, SEO has significantly greater potential to generate the return on investment. Your SEO strategy will cover a wide variety of areas relating to your website, such as technical, onsite and offsite optimisation. However, integrating SEO into your social media, email marketing and paid search strategies can help to magnify results and further benefit your website. This is especially true for content marketing. A great way to boost your SEO strategy is to share the articles that your SEO provider creates for you. By sharing your content on social media and linking to it in email marketing campaigns you are growing your organic audience, directing them to your website, and amplifying the impact of your SEO strategy. While your website is your strongest marketing asset, your opportunity for success with it is only as high as the quality of your business products and services. SEO can’t make up for poor business or marketing practices. Before seeking out an SEO provider, evaluate the success of your current marketing strategy. If it needs improvement, look for a provider with relevant experience who will be able to help you integrate and improve both your SEO and general marketing strategies. Takeaway: Understand how your online marketing will work within your wider marketing strategy and ensure a consistent approach.   5.   Be Prepared to Make Changes to Your Website When your SEO provider begins optimising your website they may conduct a technical audit as well as assess the user experience of your site. The results of this evaluation could mean you need to make a major design, structural and technical changes to your site. It is important to implement as many of the recommended changes as possible to ensure your SEO strategy is built on a solid foundation. These changes may require the expertise of a web developer. If you don’t have a web developer your SEO specialist should be able to recommend one fit for your needs. This will be a separate cost and is important to factor in when evaluating how much you’re able to spend on SEO. Once initial changes are made to your website, be prepared for your SEO provider to request smaller, regular changes over time. SEO is not a set and forget tactic, it requires regular tweaking and adjustments to strategy to achieve success. Takeaway: SEO is dynamic and frequent changes to your website and tweaks to your campaigns will be needed to achieve and maintain strong results. [Source: Source: Purchased deposit photos https://depositphotos.com/stock-photos/website-ocnstruction.html?qview=12588017]   6.   There are Pros and Cons to Hiring an Agency Versus a Freelancer Choosing between a marketing agency, specialist SEO agency or freelancer will depend on your budget, business size and business goals. While all options have pros and cons, your final decision should ultimately rest on the ability of the chosen party to assist in meeting your business goals. An agency comes with benefits. If the agency is a specialist SEO agency, they will likely employ a team of established professionals who have an in-depth understanding of online marketing practices. This provides a resource for you to call if there is ever an issue with your website. Or, if your account manager is unexpectedly unavailable, you can be assured there will always be someone within the agency to help you.   Freelancers are often cheaper when compared to an agency. If you have a micro business or don’t have the budget to support a fully integrated SEO strategy, this might be the option for you. There are some talented SEO freelancers in Australia, however, it is important to keep in mind that they won’t have the same resources as an agency.  Additionally, if they suddenly become unavailable or slip behind with work it could put your SEO at risk. Takeaway: Your choice of SEO provider should reflect your budget, business size and marketing goals.   7.   Experience Matters When researching potential providers check their team pages and see what kind of experience their employees have. These employees will likely be working on your account so it’s important that you are confident in their ability to achieve results for your business. When meeting with potential providers ask for case studies on current and previous clients. Evidence that this provider can consistently achieve positive results for clients is a good indication that they will be able to do the same for your business. The SEO and online marketing landscape is constantly changing. It is important that your SEO provider shows an understanding of current trends as well as a commitment to ongoing learning and developing to sustain positive results. If you are looking for an SEO provider who also offers AdWords services, look for the Google Premier Partner badge. To become a Google Premier Partner an agency must demonstrate advanced AdWords knowledge, meet spend requirements, deliver agency and client revenue growth and preserve a satisfied client base. The badge is extra piece of mind that you have Google trained and qualified specialists working to grow your business. Takeaway: Do your research, check the qualifications of the people who will be working on your SEO. 8.   Position One Rankings are Not Guaranteed Reputable SEO providers don’t promise search engine rankings because it’s impossible to determine the potential of a site to rank within a set period. Even Google advises to steer clear of providers that make such claims. Although rankings are one metric that can help gauge the success of your SEO campaign, it is important not to place too much focus on them. Your overall goals should be to build targeted traffic to your site, increase brand awareness and see a return on investment. A position one ranking for a keyword that does not represent what your potential customers are searching for will have little impact on revenue for your business. Relevant keywords put your business in front of a targeted audience and build awareness of your brand, increasing the revenue potential of your site. Takeaway: Don’t focus on keyword rankings as a sole measure of your online marketing success.   9.  All Activity is Measurable A major benefit of SEO is the ability to measure and collect data about activity on your website and use that information to help shape your business tactics. Your SEO provider will use tools such as Google Analytics to gather information about people who visit your website, how long they stay, what pages they visit and what actions they perform. Completing set actions (such as a purchase or filling out a form) is called a conversion. These conversions can be assigned a value based on the likely revenue they will yield for your business. Regular reporting from your SEO provider should demonstrate how SEO activities are helping to drive conversions and what value they are having for your business You should work with your SEO provider to set goals that equate to real value for your business rather than vanity metrics. Rather than obsessing over keyword rankings, your SEO should focus on the conversion rate of users or the percentage increase of organic visitors to your website.    It is reasonable to expect regular reports. An SEO provider who withholds results or tries to confuse you with vanity metrics and industry jargon should be avoided. Takeaway: Ask about regular reporting schedules and what measurements your SEO provider will typically provide in their reporting data. [Source: Purchased deposit photos https://depositphotos.com/stock-photos/analytics-st60.html?qview=160060756]   10.  Content Marketing and SEO Go Hand in Hand SEO goes beyond optimising your website and building links. There are many techniques an SEO provider could employ to improve your online presence and meet your business goals. Content marketing is the process of creating engaging high-value content that will drive traffic to your website and encourage customer action. Content marketing involves creating onsite content (content found on your website and blog) as well as offsite content (placed on other people’s blogs or locations other than your website). Offsite content can include relevant and valuable blog articles written by your SEO and outreached to relevant sites. The article will ideally contain a link back to your site, increasing the authority of your site in the eyes of the search engines. The content your SEO creates for you can also serve as content to share on social media and in marketing emails. Linking these posts/emails encourages referral traffic to your website. Content marketing can also increase brand awareness and help develop a loyal customer base. If link building is a part of your SEO strategy, content marketing or ‘natural’ editorial links are the best way to go. Avoid non-editorial links and building link networks to spam and low value sites as this can result in your site being penalised by Google. Takeaway: Producing engaging, high quality content is a key component of most successful online marketing campaigns. You will likely need a content marketing strategy as part of your SEO efforts and to help achieve your online marketing goals. Bonus: Google’s Advice on How to Hire a Good SEO How Will You Choose Your SEO Provider? At the end of the day, the key to picking the right SEO provider lies in their ability to work collaboratively with your business to help achieve realistic business goals. By keeping these 10 things in mind, as well as researching some questions to ask potential providers, you’re giving your business the best chance of online success.

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10 tips to a killer profile image

Who likes to do business with a light blue speech bubble? Certainly not me! However I look around SavvySME and see so many faceless individuals popping up, whether it be pure lazyness or the inability to find an appropriate profile image, having a great profile image is one of the most important things to consider when looking at your personal brand. I am a total perfectionist when it comes to online photos, if you look around my profile online I make sure that all my photos project the right image. On SavvySME, the best way to gain trust from other community members is to have a professional photo with a hint of your personality shining through! Keep in mind we are small business community here so there is no need to be all "corporate", we want to look friendly and approchable but also be neat and professional.  To help you guys look fab everywhere you go I've put together 10 tips you can use to a kickass profile image: 1. Natural or bright lighting makes you shine If there is one thing you take from this article, is to be aware of the lighting when taking your photo. If you don't have access to a studio or lights, make sure you go where there is a lot of filtered natural light. Bright sunshine actually casts a lot of shadows on your face, so try taking the photo on a bright but cloudy day where the light is filtered naturally through a window. Most office lighting is horrible for a profile shot since a lot of the lights are fluorescent and case shadows down the face since the light travels from the ceiling down. Aim to have the light travel directly to your face or from the front 45 degree angle. A floor lamp sometimes will do if you shine it directly to your face. 2. Smile or do your favourite expression - no grumpy faces A warm smile can win hearts in just a second! Make sure you include your friendly smile in your photo and don't be afraid to be a bit goofy is that is your personality! Don't hide who you are with your expression, embrace your personality :)! 3. Use a good quality camera A quality camera can make all the difference in the photo! SLR camera's are very affordable these days and if you don't own one yourself, someone you know may be willing to lend it to you for a day. A good SLR camera is a great investment if you are also planning to create your own videos later on. One way you can tell when a photo has been taken with a good camera, is how clear the image. That being said, I have seen some great profile photos taken on an iPhone, if you get your lighting and surrounds right you may be able to skip having a good camera. 4. Wear light make up Clowns are downright scary, but a natural face of make up for women can mean that you look a little bit brighter. Men can also consider wearing a tinted foundation or some concealor. Stick to natural colours and avoid too much bright eyeshadow and lipsticks, especially you gentleman :). 5. Touch up your photos There are so many image editors out there today that will allow you to adjust the brightness, exposure and contrast of your photos as well as do a bit of airbrushing and red eye reduction. iPhoto have these editing features inbuilt but if you don't own a mac you can always use an online photo editor such as Pixlr to touch up your photos. 6. Think about your background A plain white background is the simplest and most effective backdrop. If your office is clean and bright, that may be an alternative as well. If you're an outdoors type person a nice natural backdrop will also be great. Just make sure the photo is still focussed on you and you take up a large portion of the image. Crop some background out to focus on your face if your image is not composed like that to begin with. 7. Wear your favourite colour You profile image should reflect you, so take this opportunity to wear your favourite color! It can brighten up people's screens :). 8. Take lots and lots of photos! I certainly don't have the natural born ability to look great in every single photo taken of me, and maybe you don't - but thats ok, take a few more and pick your favourite! Don't be afraid to ask your photographer to take multiples of yourself, because in the end taking a few extra minutes may mean a much more flattering photo. Change up your angles and poses too so you have more to choose from. Some suggestions are: Take one from front on from 45 degrees on the left from 45 degrees on the right with a smile without a smile with a laugh with a grin with a silly face with an open teeth smile smile with your mouth closed with your favourite hand gesture with a jacket without a jacket with glasses without glasses The options are endless, so get in there and try it all out! 9. Make sure it's the right size Once you have your photo taken, it may me a good idea to resize it for using it on the internet. Camera's these days take photos in 10 or 12 megapixel resolutions which means a file size that is way to large to view on the screen. I suggest resizing it so the longest length is around 800 pixels or keep it under 250kb's. For some free online resizing tools check out this question. That being said, make sure your profile image is not too small either, a tiny profile image can be quite frustrating for people trying to see your face. 10. Show it off! So after you've spent so long getting this photo right, it's time to show it off! Upload it to your SavvySME account and all your other profile accounts and allow other people to enjoy it too! I thought a pretty fun way to finish off this article is to post some great profile pictures of our SavvySME community, I'll be updating this continually so put your best face forward :)!!   Timothy Lakeman Founder of Startup Workshop  Timothy has a great image, natural light with a warm smile as well as a professional light background.    Matt Antonio  Owner and consultant at High on SEO  I love this photo Matt put up because it has so much personality! Just like his SEO brand. Also it's a great quality photo!    

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10 Ways to Engage More Customers Through Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the best opportunities to engage with your customers on a more personal level with more tailored messages. However, quite often businesses forget to pay the necessary attention to utilising certain workflows to create more targeted emails. There are a lot of ways to do it, and we’ve gathered the best 10 methods to help you out even more. Your email database can be one of the most valuable assets you've got, so you need to make the most of it through the use of targeted email workflows. Mass emails that are very general or try to cover every possible subject are ineffective for the most part. Customers will not feel connected and engaged with you if you're not speaking directly to their individual needs and interests. Here are 10 of the best ways to target your email workflows in order to engage your customers. 1. Topic Workflow  Depending on what types of products they're looking at, each customer's interests will vary. If someone has been looking through information about installing a pool, there isn't much reason to send them offers for a new refrigerator. Although, sending them offers for that pool installation, tips on what questions to ask your pool installer, or information about maintaining their pool would all be appropriate. Reach Mail makes it easy to segment and target the different groups your customers fall into. 2. Blog Subscriber Workflow Welcome all of your new blog subscribers with a warm, inviting email. You'll set a positive tone from the start by acknowledging their interest in your blog and you'll open the door to communicating directly with them. Reinforce the notion that they made a good decision by subscribing to your blog by detailing the things they can look forward to reading about and receiving. For some help with copywriting for your workflow messages, Essayroo is a helpful resource. 3. New Customer Welcome Workflow When that browsing individual crosses over into the category of paying customer, you'll want to send them a welcome message thanking them for their purchase. You'll be keeping the lines of communication open and can provide them with additional information about their purchase that they may find useful. Find an amazing cache of resources at Academadvisor or Resumention so you can easily put together properly written welcome messages that give a good first impression. 4. Lead Nurturing Workflow Someone who has been frequently visiting your blog, downloading ebooks and engaging a lot with your information has demonstrated a high level of interest in what you're offering. This makes them more likely candidates to become paying customers, so it's a great opportunity to nurture these leads through a targeted workflow. Free trial offers or other special promotions could be just what they're looking for to test things out before they actually buy. Keep your messages on point by removing any unnecessary writing. Easy Word Count and State of Writing are great tools for helping track your word count and limit what you're saying. 5. Re-Engagement Workflow Contacts who were once highly engaged or were previously paying customers may need to be re-engaged at some point. As the saying goes, out of sight is out of mind, so stay in your contact's minds by staying within their sight. Set your workflow to trigger a re-engagement message if they haven't visited your website in a certain length of time or haven't engaged with you in any other way in a while. When you're sending messages, you want to make sure that everyone can open them, no matter what platform or device they're using. Litmus will help you create emails that can be opened on many different devices. 6. Event Workflow Keep event registrants informed and up-to-date with relevant information directly related to the event they've signed up for. Before the event, you may want to send out resources they will want to read to prepare them for the event, and after the event is over you can send a message thanking them for their attendance and providing them with a summary of everything that took place, whether it was live in person or online. If you're giving them information about outside sources, ensure you keep your professional image by using tools like Cite It or Australian Help to put together proper references. 7. Abandoned Shopping Cart Workflow It's not uncommon for someone to add items to their online shopping cart, then abandon that cart before finalising the purchase. Sometimes they are distracted by something happening around them, other times they may get to the final step and find that shipping costs are too high for them. By triggering a workflow, you can remind them about their purchase and offer them a special promotion as an incentive to go back into their cart and make the purchase final. The free email marketing software like Target Hero helps to segment your email database and provides you with engaging templates to grab your potential customers attention. 8. Customer Happiness Workflow Surveys are a great source of information in finding out the level of satisfaction your customers have experienced with you. Separating these 'happy' customers from the 'unhappy' ones can allow you the opportunity to target each group in order to nurture the happy ones and improve the happiness of those who are currently unhappy. Always edit your messages before hitting send, because unhappy customers will be unimpressed to receive a poorly written, error-filled email from you. 9. Upsell Workflow The relationship between you and your customers should not end once they've made a purchase. In fact, since they've shown a high enough interest that they became paying customers, you can use this opportunity to upsell them with other products and services. A customer who bought a blender may be interested in a recipe book to use with it, or even another related appliance, such as a juicer. Make sure you're utilising resources like Eliteassignmenthelp or Big Assignments to proofread your upsell workflow messages, in order to maintain your credibility as a reliable resource. 10. Upcoming Purchase Reminder For products that require regular replenishing, sending out a purchase reminder message is perfect for helping your customers stay on top of their supply. Once they make a purchase, the workflow is triggered so that the reminder message is sent before the supply they've bought runs out. This is perfect for something like contact lenses, pool chemicals or other products that get used up and need constant replenishing. Set your purchase reminder workflows quickly and easily through a mail service like MailJet. Don't miss the opportunity to engage with your customers on a more direct and targeted level. Using these different workflows, you can speak much more directly to their needs and what they are interested in, which will keep them more engaged with what you've got to tell them.

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100 Days of Twitter Trial and Error

Everywhere you look there are courses and training on social media, including Twitter. Every presenter will tell you why their course is different. In this article I’m going to cut through the clutter and tell you clearly my 10 best tips, which I have learned through trial and error in my small business. 1.       Set up a compelling profile and ‘about me’ section. I can’t say what makes the perfect profile or ‘about me’ section but you need to pay attention to it. Some people make the assumption that they’re important enough not to write any profile description, however, I would not suggest this unless you’re actually very famous. Start by writing what it is you do that will interest your readers, such as your related work or hobbies. Tell people what they can expect if they follow you, for example, what you will be posting about regularly. You might like to include keywords here and any relevant hash tags. Finally, you should mention if your have specific expertise or qualifications in your chosen field. 2.       Tweet day and night. I know that sounds daunting but I don’t mean you have to be awake and posting 24/7. After a few weeks of tweeting during the day, on Sydney time, I noticed half of my followers are in the U.S. So, by posting tweets during the night, I have been able to increase the rate of followers, re-tweets and people who favourite my tweets. 3.       Follow people like you. People who share the same interests as you are likely to follow you back. You share the same interests, so it’s more likely they will tweet content that interests you and that you can both engage each other in a Twitter conversation. 4.       Unfollow people who don’t bring anything to the table! You may be surprised to learn that some people follow you to get your attention and unfollow you 48 hours later. You should regularly go through your list of followers and unfollow those who aren’t of any value or aren’t following you. If you follow too many profiles, and very few are following you, it is less likely that anyone new will want to follow you. 5.       Engage your followers in conversation. Posts containing original content are great; however, sometimes it’s more engaging to reply to someone else’s tweet instead of posting an original. To reply, you simply hit the reply button at the bottom of a tweet. The person who posted the original tweet will often be excited that you’ve read it and given them feedback. You will often get a good response if you have written a positive reply.   6.       Create a hash tag or hitch a ride on someone else’s. You can create your own hash tag by adding # at the start of a word or phrase. Creating a hash tag lets you start your own conversation and makes your post more searchable. Publish your hash tag on your website, in your store, in your podcast and wherever your followers are, so they know to add it to their posts to get in on the conversation. An easier way to get started is to jump in and add someone else’s hash tag to your post. For example; if you want to post about true crime novels you might find a television show or podcast about true crime novels online and find out they already have a hash tag. Add that tag to your relevant post and you’ll instantly be engaging people who are already passionate and talking about true crime novels. 7.       Write posts that interest your followers. I know this sounds so simple; however, human nature is to get up on our soap box sometimes and complain. Don’t do it. My core business is marketing and I have built a steady following based on all things entrepreneurial. I once made the mistake of writing a single post about politics and it lost me a few followers very quickly.  Also, don’t write too many sales pitches. Any more than 1 in 10 is probably too many and will lose you followers. 8.       Post original content. Start a bog or write articles that interest your followers and then tweet a link with a catchy headline each time you post an article. The headline is supposed to be a teaser to make people visit your blog or article. People are tired of seeing the same old articles reposted, so this is your chance to create unique content to keep your followers’ interest. 9.       Write your own engaging headlines. When you find an article or video online and you use the tweet button on the page it creates a default headline for you to post. Don’t use that headline unless you want to bore your followers. Your followers might skim over hundreds of tweets each day and their brain will block out those they’ve seen more than once. Share the content if it’s interesting but I would suggest writing your own engaging headline or post in the tweet. Don’t forget to add a hash tag. 10.   Quotes are better than re-tweets. Re-tweets are great to quickly share something that might interest your fans. Did you know that you can also quote a tweet? This includes the original tweet and allows you to add your own comment. This is a great way to inject some of your personality into a re-tweet. I have found and tested some great tips from regular social media users and I recommend you do the same. I have also found some techniques, which don’t work for me, that might work for other people. In this article I have provided 10 simple steps that I have found are easy to implement and you can start doing right away. Feel free to follow me. My user name on Twitter is @rise_sbm .   

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