7
Apr

Learn to drive revenue from social media – SoCal Business Technology Summit July 23, 2010

Want to know how you can put social media to work to drive revenues, increase sales and establish a dialogue with prospective customers? The SEMA Business Technology Symposium, scheduled July 23 in Pasadena, California, will provide you with practical advice, case studies—good and bad—and real-world tips that can put all aspects of social media to work for your business.

Attend the SEMA 2010 Business Technology Symposium, sponsored by SEMA and the Street Performance Council (SPC), and learn:

How Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can multiply your company’s sales
Do’s and Don’ts from an all-star lineup of marketing professionals
Strategies for avoiding social media disasters that can jeopardize sales and your company’s reputation
Reasons why social media is so much different, and often less expensive, than traditional media
How to take advantage of the smart phones and iPads your prospective customers are using, including coupons, rebates and instant rewards
Specific tips for creating content and entire campaigns
Tools for measuring your social media return on investment
Marketing has changed dramatically in the past two years. If you’re not tuned in, you’re in danger of falling behind to your competitors. The early-bird registration allows you to save $30 and is available by midnight tonight:

Council Members: $99–includes Symposium and lunch.
SEMA Members: $149–includes Symposium, lunch and one-year SPC membership (up to $100 value). After the first registration, additional company employees may register for the discounted fee of $99.
Non-Members: $199–includes Symposium and lunch.
Attend the 2010 Business Technology Symposium and you’ll walk away with essential social media and mobile marketing secrets presented by speakers from eBay Motors and J.D. Power and Associates, and just maybe $1,000 of online forum advertising from Cie Studios; an Apple iPad courtesy of Parts Pro ($499 MSRP), $250 worth of Google mobile advertising from Schiefer Media; a Pure Digital Flip Ultra camcorder ($149 MSRP) courtesy of Advanced Clutch Technology; or one of five Apple iPods courtesy of eBay Motors ($59 MSRP) or any of several other giveaways. At the conclusion of the conference, we will randomly draw each lucky winner’s name for each one of the these giveaways*.

Don’t wait—register now at www.sema.org/bts.

The Business Technology Symposium is part of SEMA 2010 Leadership Days, a two-day event series that includes the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Pinewood Drag Races and Show ‘N Shine car show.

*Symposium participation is not required to win any of the giveaways and participation will not improve your chances of winning. To be entered in the drawing, simply e-mail your name, address and phone number to StaciB@sema.org.

7
Apr

Google likes speed

During PubCon Vegas 2009, Matt Cutts hinted that Google will start considering page load time in their organic search ranking algorithm in 2010.  Google already factors the time the pages on your site take to populate into its quality score, a metric used for Pay Per Click customers to reward higher quality sites with top placement and lower bid requirements.  Search engines care about the speed of your site because fast load times improve the user’s experience and increases their productivity, something you should be concerned with as well if you hope for loyal customers.

Google is obsessed with speed.  They have been not so secretly developing a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search, dubbed Google Caffeine, that aims to “push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.” Google does not, however, want to leave your site in the dust.  In fact, they recommend several tools to improve your page load speed and thus the quality of your site.

Since 2006, Google Webmaster Tools has been offering up diagnostic information on your site such as crawl errors, checking robot.txt, and content issues.  Now, under the Labs tab, Google has added a Site Performance page that delivers “information to improve the speed of your site and create a faster experience for your users.”  Here you’ll find your average page load time, how it changes over time, and how it compares to other sites.  You can also view suggestions on how to improve your site’s performance based on a tool called Page Speed.

Page Speed is a Firefox Add-on that requires a popular developer extension called Firebug.  It performs several tests on a site’s web server configuration and front-end code.  This tool will analyze the performance of each page of your site and advise best practices to implement organized by a priority score: High Priority, Medium Priority, Working Fine or Low Priority, and Informational Only.  Page Speed will also give you an overall quality score out of 100.  For the more advanced, run the Page Speed Activity option to view a timeline of all browser activities, including network events and JavaScript processing.

Even though page load time has not traditionally been part of the natural search ranking equation, Google intends to factor speed into its organic search algorithm, and so you should factor it in to your SEO strategy.  Google is doing its part to create a faster world wide web, but they need the help of webmasters, site owners, and webhosting services to usher in a higher standard of web surfing.  With these new tools, now you can keep pace with search engine ingenuity and the demands of your site’s visitors and, ultimately, win the favor of both.

Come to the SEMA Online Marketing Conference on November 1st and ask questions about Google from the SEO experts.

7
Apr

Leveraging Customer Reviews on your Website

Riding the momentum of social media’s virtually unbridled growth, consumer reviews have become a powerful, proven tool for spiking company sales and are showing signs of becoming even more potent. Indeed, 72% of online shoppers say that web reviews and ratings on company websites and elsewhere influence their purchase decisions more than any other factor, according to the 2010 Social Shopping Survey authored by the e-tailing Group. And 39% of those same shoppers say that they read eight or more online reviews before making a purchase. Google sees the trend as so pervasive that the search titan recently announced it would begin featuring product and service ratings in its natural search returns—a major nod to the impact of word-of-mouth endorsements. Google also said that it plans to beef up its offering of full-text product reviews in its Google Product Search service.

“To kick off this program, we’ll be working with Bazaarvoice, a leader in the user reviews space,” said Kinnari Jhaveri, a spokesman for Google’s strategic partnerships division. “If you’re not a Bazaarvoice client, hold tight—we hope to add additional partners as well as a self-submission model soon.”

Meanwhile, businesses already successful with customer reviews are far from sitting on their laurels. New tools enabling consumers to simultaneously multi-post their reviews to Facebook, Twitter and most blogs are cropping up on company websites. Other businesses are embedding consumer reviews in marketing e-mails. And still other early adopters now encourage customers to post reviews in video format.

Bottom line: It’s no longer enough to post a spate of customer reviews on your website and call it a day. Firms seeing the best returns are becoming more sophisticated in their techniques. Fortunately, you can, too. Here’s a gameplan:

Incorporate Your Customer Reviews in Google Search, ASAP: During the coming months, Google plans to expand the number of service providers feeding reviews to its search engine. Google also plans to offer a self-submission model for those who are using a homegrown or relatively unknown review module.

Include Negative Reviews to Foster Authenticity: While many businesses shudder at the thought of including negative product or service reviews on their websites, many web marketers insist that negative reviews in the mix are essential. New research indicates they may be right. The 2010 Social Shopping Survey, for example, found that 38% of online shoppers distrust review domains that feature only positive reviews.

Bazaarvoice is the first customer reviews software company to partner with Google in its increased focus on customer reviews.

Use Creative Tactics to Solicit Customer Reviews: Generally, businesses need to spike interest in a new reviews domain before it takes on a life of its own. One of the easiest ways is to sponsor a contest giveaway. Offering the chance to win $100 to $500 just for submitting a review usually does the trick. Reaching out with a blast e-mail requesting reviews from all of the customers you’ve ever done business with also works. Other proven tactics include sending a follow-up e-mail requesting a review shortly after a purchase and honoring prolific reviewers on your site with special badges and other distinctions, such as points that can be redeemed for products or services.

Enable Reviewers to Effortlessly Multi-Post to Facebook, Twitter and Most Blogs:PowerReviews, one of the more popular review packages available, offers a tool that enables consumers to simultaneously post a review of your product or service to your website, Facebook and Twitter as well as to blogs using WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal and Windows Live Spaces. That’s so smart that you have to expect at least some of PowerReviews’ competitors are scrambling to offer something similar soon.

Encourage Video Reviews: While text reviews are still king, video reviews are gaining in popularity. In fact, 24% of online shoppers surveyed said that a video review had influenced a purchase decision, according to the 2010 Social Shopping Survey. A caveat: Offering hundreds of video reviews on your website may prove too costly in terms of increased bandwidth demands. An easy alternative is to link to any reviews of your product or service you might find on YouTube
as well as linking to shopping sites entirely devoted to offering video reviews, such as ExpoTV (). It also doesn’t hurt to encourage your customers to add video reviews of your products or services to these free services.

Include Customer Reviews In Marketing E-mails: Bazaarvoice offers a number of case studies on its site describing businesses that have generated increased sales in marketing e-mails by including consumer reviews right in
those e-mails.

Be Sure Your Reviews Are Mobile-Ready: Sophisticated users of mobile phones these days think nothing of sourcing reviews for products while perusing the merchandise at a brick-and-mortar location. Check with your web designer/IT department to be sure that your company’s reviews are easily accessible by mobile phone. You also may want to look for review software packages that help automate the process. Bazaarvoice, for example, offers a tool called MobileVoice that allows consumers to instantly download product reviews on their phones by inputting a keyword or product SKU.

Use Reviews for Higher Search-Engine Rankings: One of the welcome side benefits of a reviews domain is higher rankings in search-engine returns. Essentially, search engines reward websites that continually provide fresh, useful content to the web with a higher ranking. Consequently, it’s a good idea to look for review packages that optimize that reward. PowerReviews, for example, offers a tool called In-Line SEO, which ensures that consumers clicking to your website will find consumer reviews embedded in your product purchase page.

Shop the Latest Turnkey Customer Review Packages: PowerReviews (www.powerreviews.com; starts at $29) and Bazaarvoice (www.bazaarvoice.com; call for price) represent the high end of customer review solutions. You’ll want to evaluate these offerings first to get a general idea of the state-of-the-art in customer-reviews software. Afterward, you’ll be well-served to check out other packages, such as Review-Script (www.review-script.com; starts at $125), RatingSystem (www.ratingsystem.com; free-$100 per month) and KudosWorks (www.kudosworks.com; starts at $60 per year). For instance, KudosWorks—a positive-only testimonials service—may appeal to more traditional businesses still uneasy about running negative product or service reviews on their websites.

7
Apr

Landing Page Optimization: Tips To Improve Actionability

The competition on Internet is getting tougher day by day. To make a place in today’s Internet market, professionals are opting for fastest way to increase their sales, by optimizing their landing pages and conversion rates. Landing page optimization it is guaranteed to deliver ROI and increased revenue.

It is not that easy and simple to optimize a landing page. However, by following the necessary optimization tips, a web page can provide more conversions at the same advertising cost, therefore a better ROI.

Some of the most important testing elements that one must consider when optimizing a landing page are headlines, call to actions, graphics and copy.

Headlines

Keeping the headings simple makes a lot of difference. A headline must be clear, concise, and easy to retain as it is a key to hold your visitors. This is because a landing page has approximately five (or less) seconds to grab the attention of your visitors before they close the page or click back to check your competitors. Therefore, a captivating headline acts as a major difference between a successful page and an average page.

Headlines should clearly state the purpose of a page and should incite the visitors to take action (read more, click on a button), but what’s also important is that headlines should match the offer on your site. Never state something in a headline and not keep the promise.

Copy (page content)

Page content is the second most important point to be considered. The visitors pay attention on it, especially when they have successfully read the headlines. Importantly, more effective content on page will keep the visitor to stay for longer time.

Sometimes a short page will do the work; sometimes a longer copy is necessary to persuade customers. The best you can do is to do an A/B or multivariate test on short versus long copy and check the conversion rate. Identify the winner and then start tweaking it with multivariate testing (various headlines and other elements).

A good page copy will persuade people to take action, which is clicking on Call To Action buttons

Graphics (look and feel)

As the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words“. Therefore, the overall image of your landing page plays a vital role in grabbing the people’s attention. A professional look and feel of the landing page design can significantly increase its effectiveness.

Nowadays, people tend to judge a company by their websites and partially they are right: quality design doesn’t come cheap and no one is looking to do business with a cheap company. According to the latest research, a professional design will increase the probability of a visitor interacting with the page.

Calls To Action

Apart from headings, images and page content, the quality of your call to action links (or buttons) is another important page element to take into consideration. Sometimes, a landing page loses potential customers because it fails to communicate the appropriate message with the call to action or because the call to action is missing completely.

As a rule of thumb a landing page can have more than one purpose and therefore there should be more than once CTA. However, only one is the primary CTA and it should be the most prominent on the page. It should be placed above the fold and repeated along if the copy is long.

Always Test

Experimentation-based landing page optimization can be achieved using various testing techniques like A/B testing and multivariate testing.

The tips above will help you get started with landing page optimization and will help you increase your conversion rate and maximize marketing campaign’s ROI. Keep in mind that landing page optimization is neither a one-time activity nor a one-off tactic. In fact, it is the superset of marketing activities that include testing, segmentation, targeting, and personalization that will make you successful. Continuous testing and optimization can bring great rewards and you should adopt this strategy.

7
Apr

SEO Tips For Your Small Business Website

If you run a small business and are in the process of establishing your online presence, you will want to keep several SEO related factors in mind. Search engine optimisation is an important part in the creation of any web content because it determines the ranking of the various pages on or related to your website. For you, the small business owner, this is especially important because you are not as large as the big corporations and probably don’t have the advertising budget that some of them do to throw in to promoting yourself both on and offline.

The best part of Internet advertising is the many free opportunities that are available to raise awareness and drive traffic to your site. Below are a few SEO tips that will help get you started.

Your website design is just as important as the business itself. If you have a physical location where products are sold or services are offered and are building a website to supplement your already existing business, your site should reflect the business you currently operate. If the business will be operated solely online, your site should represent who you are and what you offer in a way that keeps it all fresh and unique. Don’t be afraid to spend money on developing your site. If you aren’t able to build it yourself, consider finding someone who can. It will be an investment that was well worth the thought and time put into it, not to mention the money.

Site usability is another important consideration. While the site should look great, it is no good to you or anyone else if it is difficult to navigate. Placement is an important part of SEO and should not be ignored. The various elements of your site should be placed in such a way that makes them both aesthetically appealing and easy to use. If people have trouble completing a purchase they will not return to look at additional products. This is why site design and usability go hand in hand.

Site hosting is another important aspect of SEO. If you can’t afford to host your site it will not go up. The good news is the prices of hosting has come down quite a bit over the last few years so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a company to do this for you. When choosing a host, you want to select a company who will keep your site up and running as well as provide you with technical support when a problem occurs. The support you receive should be immediate. You don’t want to encounter a problem with the site on Monday and not have it resolved until Friday. This would mean active and potential customers could not access it for five days which could prove to be a monumental disaster where your business is concerned. Regarding SEO, you also would not want people to find your site through search engines only to find it unavailable when they click on the link to go there. If this happens, many users would deem it out of action and would not be likely to try again.

Creating a unique site that will sell your business is important, but SEO should not be ignored. The content is just as important as the appearance because it is the main aspect that the search engines pay attention to when ranking each page. The more smoothly the site is running, the more time you will have to pay attention to optimising the content and achieving higher rankings.

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7
Apr

Trending Online Marketing Strategies for a Growing Business

Online marketing is a dynamic world which is constantly evolving based on the likes and dislikes of the target demographic for your business. It is difficult to put your finger on one pain point or trick that will work in favour of your business. If you are a part of a marketing team from a thriving business model, you need to update your techniques with the following strategies to bring more potential business to the table.

Focus on Using Graphical and Media Content

Let’s face it. This is 2018. The days for plain old textual content are gone. With rising popularity of social media channels, people do not want to read lengthy and boring articles. Instead, they want crisp and short content that conveys the necessary news effectively and possibly in a humorous way. It is a good idea to invest in media content like short videos, gifs, or infographics to put your point forward. You can always put relevant tags on these pictures with the CMS (Content Management Systems) to use SEO in your favour.

Perform Comprehensive SEO Analysis

Writing content blankly won’t reap any kind of long-term results. If you want to make sure that your content is visible on the internet, you need to perform SEO analysis to see where you are going wrong, and what are you doing right. Many digital marketing companies provides SEO services in Chandigarh Internet marketing strategyyou  can hire or you can use online SEO tools like SEMrush and MOZ online for free to perform comprehensive SEO analysis. Use of Google Webmaster tools will give you unprecedented insights into the right marketing techniques for your business.

Automate Your Marketing Techniques

It is cumbersome as well as utterly pointless to waste time into sending one-to-one emails to thousands of people now. Instead, you can make use of powerful marketing automation tools like Lead Squared, Hubspot as well as Pardot to automate your day to day marketing activities. Most of the seo companies use these tools now these days. These tools can help you personalize your marketing campaigns at the flick of a button.

Track Your Progress to Evolve

It is important that you pour your time as well as financial resources into the right marketing techniques. By keeping track of your online marketing campaigns, you will not under/over-invest in a campaign anymore. Analytical tools and marketing automation platforms can help you generate powerful and accurate reports for your efforts.

Talk to the Customer

Any seasoned marketing individual will tell you that the number one source of good content is communication. You can do market research and scour the internet for weeks to draft relevant content for online marketing. Still, this content will not be nearly as good as the one case study that you do on the basis of the experience of your customer.

It is important for every marketer to keep their eyes and ears open. You need to stay on top of the latest trends in the industry and understand your client’s business use case to draft the content in the most relevant and appealing manner. Following these critical tips can help you stay one step ahead of the competitor.