Networking and connecting in business are super important. Just as in life, you can’t go it alone. It’s said that none of us are islands, but if we were, each of us would form a vast and interconnected archipelago. Bridges and boats would stream traffic between all these islands and that traffic is largely information. If you cut yourself off from this flow of information, either purposely or by mistake, you do so at your own peril.
Why is it so important to make connections with other business owners? This topic of networking and connecting comes up often so why is it so important?
Here’s one reason why. If you don’t, the island next to you is going to make those connections you’re making and the information they provide and use it to his or her advantage. What are am I even talking about? Let me explain in further detail below.
Why You Should Network
Networking is an essential element of every successful business. It provides you with contacts, leads, clients, partners, suppliers, and much more. It will carry your name and your business reputation farther and more efficiently than most advertising will. Most importantly, it is an endless source of profit, ideas, collaboration, and support.
The IFS and the BUTS
If you are networking, you should do more. If you’re not networking, you need to start. If you don’t network, your business will stagnate and die. But why should I do this you might ask? Aren’t people just going to find me online searching for me? After all, I have a website! Ha…so does everyone else!
When you’re networking you need to keep a couple of important points in mind.
First, every social or professional engagement can provide you with an opportunity to network. There’s often nothing more formal about it than an exchange of information and follow-up connection. Remember, as a business owner you’re always “on the clock”, so to speak. Be ready to take advantage of a potentially lucrative networking situation should the opportunity arise.
Second, when you are networking, treat people naturally, the way you’d want to be treated. Offer no-strings advice. Often solving a problem for free generates more long-term profit than the cost of the advice or service. Also, listen more than you talk. Silence really can be golden when you take the time to hear what another person is saying.
Finally, always remember that honesty is the best policy. Don’t promise something that you cannot produce. Don’t be someone you’re not in order to close a deal. Be yourself and watch those connections grow!
Connections & Business Collaborations
Networking and connecting with other business owners gives you the opportunity to collaborate with others also. You never know what you might teach each other or you might just find someone you can partner up with. Some of the most interesting aspects of your business might be just around the corner. So, remember that when you’re connecting with others.
7 Tips for Organizing Your Marketing
Someone once said: “Your life will begin changing the moment you decide that you want it to.” And so it is with organizing too! Organizing your marketing efforts will help you succeed, just ask other business owners.
I’ve found that the same is true for growing your business. If you want to see different results than what you’ve seen in the past, you must make a heartfelt decision to do things differently. You need to start with making over your mindset and start organizing.
Mental blocks can hold you back and keep you from achieving your goals. When you sit down to work on your business are you clear and focused, or is your mind cluttered with ideas, client requests, overdue items and more?
The FIRST step to achieving your goals is de-cluttering and organizing your mind. When you do this, you’ll be able to clearly define what you want to accomplish and start taking the necessary action to achieve your goals.
It’s a long to-do list. Right? Too many ideas for marketing your business, missed opportunities, and a constant state of overwhelm that’s running your life. Don’t you think it’s time to clear out the old and get organized? When you do this, you’ll find that it’s easier to focus on marketing your business consistently and effectively.
Here are seven simple practices that you can use NOW to help you with your organization:
1- The first thing to do is to document EVERYTHING! Yes, you heard me right…
When your brain is busy trying to keep track of the many details that are floating around your head, you begin to feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Write down everything! Get a notebook if you prefer the pen and paper type of note-taking, or use Evernote. No matter how you do it – start documenting every aspect of how you run and market your business. Getting it all out of your head and onto paper is going to relieve a tremendous amount of stress.
2- Use a notebook to capture all of your ideas
Apart from your procedures and to-do list notebook, you should create a space where you can write down all of your new ideas. Entrepreneurs have no problem generating great new ideas. But it’s far too easy to forget about them or allow them to distract you from your profit plan. Keeping your ideas in one spot will make it easy for you to refer back to those ideas often so you can actually implement them. Imagine how you can increase your profits when you start taking action on your great ideas?
3- Use just ONE to-do list
If your daily task list is in 7 different spots, you’re going to feel distracted and scattered. Keep everything in one list – there are countless options, so just choose one and stick with it! Once you’ve picked the best option for you, commit to using this one system for your tasks and projects. Using a web-based system will make it easy to delegate tasks to other people and help you organize an effective system.
4- Plan ahead with your content
Many entrepreneurs feel stuck with marketing because they aren’t sure what to do. Just start with one month – plan out what you’ll be doing in the upcoming month. Pick a date to publish each piece, plan out the theme for your content and jot down some ideas for your newsletter, blog posts or social media updates. When you sit down to write your marketing materials you’ll crank out your content quickly and easily. This will also help you to stay organized.
5- Create a Master Schedule Template
If you find yourself looking back at the end of the week and wondering where the time went, you need to implement this right away! Using a weekly calendar, you can designate blocks of time where you’ll work on certain aspects of your business. For example, reserve Monday from 9 am to 12 pm for marketing, 1 pm to 3 pm for writing, 3 pm to 5 pm for email management, and so on. Start by inserting recurring tasks (like client meetings, marketing times, meeting with your coach, etc.) and then designate other blocks of time for your other activities. Don’t leave your essential tasks to chance! Make a plan for when you’ll do them and you’ll boost your productivity. Daily Plan Sample [Click to Download]
6- Set clear boundaries
Once you get this support system into place, you need to follow through and stick with it! Commit to yourself that you’ll honor what you’ve set out to do. Turn off email notifications and other distractions. Make sure that friends and family know when you’re available to chat. You can also create accountability for yourself by working with a coach or mentor to help you.
Marketing and growing your business isn’t impossible – but it does require planning and consistency to work. When you de-clutter your mind and organize your materials, you will be able to see the results you’ve been looking for and fully enjoy a successful business.
So, which organizing tip will you implement first? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!
YOUR “TAKE ACTION” PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:
1. Plan a “brain dump” – Take time this week to get everything out on paper – all of your “to-dos,” all of your big ideas for growing your business, all of your client projects – everything. When you write it all down you’ll be able to get it off your mind and develop a plan for getting things done.
2. Get organized – Create digital files on your computer for all your important documents. Also, anything you deem important, such as graphics, articles you need to write, backup files for your website, just to mention a few. I’m sure you can think of others as you go through your computer. You’ll save time each day and boost your productivity just by knowing where everything is located.
3. Master your schedule – Set time aside each week in hourly blocks for all of the things you need to do – including marketing your business. You’ll be more productive, waste less time, and get more done.
4. Plan ahead – Write down your content focus for the next month and brainstorm ideas for blog topics, social media conversations, and newsletter articles. Then sit down to write at your designated time and get your content into the hands of the people who need you!
5. Set boundaries – Let friends and family know when you’ll be available to chat and commit to sticking with your master schedule. You’ll eliminate distractions and increase your profitability.
GO…Do it NOW! You will be so thankful that you did this for your growing business.
Remember to contact me if I can help in any way. Your business really needs organization and I can provide that service to you.
Planning Your Content
Continuing on with our Content Marketing Plan, this time we are discussing how to PLAN your content. One thing that’s very important, if you plan to leverage the power of audio, video, and text, is to have a comprehensive content marketing plan.
Here’s a little checklist that might help you do that.
Setting Your Goals
All your content creation should have a purpose and that purpose should not only benefit your readers but benefit your business as well.
Some purposes might be:
- Search engine traffic
- Word of mouth and viral effect
- Pre-selling and warming up the audience to a product
- Establishing credibility and authority
- Reader satisfaction
- Boosting your opt-in list subscribers
- Boosting customer relationships
- Selling your products
Just remember, the goal or purpose of each content piece is aligned with your overall marketing strategy. This may also help you decide whether content should be in audio, video, or text format. For example, if your goal is to boost customer relationships, you might choose a video of yourself to do that.
When you do your content marketing plan, make sure your content includes a call to action that supports your goal. For example, “For more information about how to manage debt, grab our free report 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt in 12 Months.” – tell them what you want them to do next.
Carving out time for research is very important. From brainstorming topic ideas to finding supporting information for those topics, there is plenty to be done. You also want to research potential places to distribute your content as well.
Here are some things that will make your research easier:
- Keep a list of content ideas throughout the month.
- Use the following to generate content ideas/topics:
- Social networking
- Keyword research tools
- Blog comments
- Client interaction
Review the analytics and results of last month’s content and evaluate which pieces generated the most interest or results. Know which pieces your audience responded to and use that information to create content topic ideas for this month.
While you’re researching topics, take note of interesting articles, statistics, and other items you might reference later as you’re creating your content.
Keep your eye out for places where you might publish your content. Connect with other website owners who might publish for you. Connect with them by subscribing to their sites, on Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Creation and Distribution
Here are some things to plan and keep in mind, so your content gets out there to your audience.
- How much content will you need? Will you write it all yourself, hire a writer, or use PLR? If you’re using a writer, ensure they have all the information they need well ahead of time, so they can meet your deadline.
- Have you created your content publishing schedule? Plan ahead, so that you can match content topics with products you’ll be promoting. Decide where each piece will be published and which pieces will be published in multiple places.
- Guest blog
- Social networking page
- Article marketing site
- Video sharing website (ex. YouTube)
- Audio sharing website (ex. iTunes)
The best way to make the most of your monthly content is to find ways to reuse it and repurpose it. However, when creating your repurposing strategy make sure that you’re still focusing on your goals. Each repurposed or reused piece of content still needs to serve a purpose and support a goal.
- You’ve created a plan to reuse or repurpose some or all of your content. For example, an article published on your blog can be rewritten and published on an article marketing site. Or an article that resonated with your readers, could be made more visual and viral by turning it into a video.
- Each piece of content that is repurposed or reused content has a goal/purpose. You should always keep benefiting your business (and your audience, of course) in mind.
It may seem overwhelming to have to plan all this content in a variety of mediums, but over time you’ll learn what your audience responds to and where you should focus your efforts.
And remember, quality is more important than volume, so focus on delivering quality.
This ends this series on Content Planning. Hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.
The Dos and Don’ts of Audio and Video
Part 3 in the series of a content marketing plan. In case you missed Part 1 or Part 2 use the links provided to catch up in the series.
Using audio and video on your site can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience. It gives them alternative ways to receive information and makes your site more interesting. But it is important not to push these mediums on your visitors, because it may be a turnoff for some.
Here are some things to look out for:
- Try to avoid using audio or video that automatically starts when a visitor arrives at your site. Most people want the power to choose when they watch a video or listen to audio on the web, and if that is taken away, it could leave a bad taste in their mouths.
- If you’re embedding videos, don’t put too many on any one page. This can cause slow load times, and possibly even browser crashes for users who do not have the fastest connections or the newest computers.
- Don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. If you’re streaming audio or video, offer options for those with slower connections alongside the standard options. You can provide written summaries for recorded content, for example.
- Don’t forget to seek input from your website’s visitors. If you’re considering audio or video but have not implemented them yet, consider doing a user survey to find out how they would like to see it used. If you are already utilizing audio and video, ask them if they feel you are using it in the best way possible. You’re providing these things for the benefit of your users, so it’s crucial to make sure that they are benefiting from them.
It’s important not to alienate anyone through your use of audio and video. The idea is to give your users more options, not to make things more complex or decrease usability.
Why Bother With Text When You Can Use Audio and Video?
With all of the possibilities that audio and video have to offer, one might think that plain old text would be outdated. But even though these things add a great deal to the Internet, there still is, and probably always will be, an important place for the written word.
The Internet was founded on text. And while text is no longer the only thing you can find online, it is still what the Internet is based on. It’s largely what the search engines use to determine whether a page is relevant for a given keyword, and it’s often what people want when they are seeking information that they can share easily.
Text is currently the only medium that allows for easy searching. This is not only important to the search engines, but also for the average user. This is starting to change as technology advances, but currently, you can’t type in a search term and skip to each instance of it on an online video or audio recording. But if you’re on a web page and need to find a specific word or words, you can simply use your browser’s search function to go directly to it.
It’s also important to consider that there are people who use text-only browsers to access the Internet. Those who are blind often use browsers that read the text on a page aloud, and if there is not sufficient text to describe what the page is about, they may seek information elsewhere. In addition to this, some users do not have sound cards or speakers, rendering audio useless and video usable but silent.
There are many things online that need to be presented as text. Doing them any other way just doesn’t make sense. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to access your bank account information as an audio file. And you might not benefit very much from your digital camera user guide being presented in video form, although videos showing specific picture taking and maintenance techniques might be helpful.
Text is still an important part of any web page. Audio and video can great assets to your website, but in most cases, they shouldn’t completely replace your text. Text is still favored by many Internet users, and it gives the search engines more to go on when they index your site.
Text Can Be Portable in your Content Marketing Plan
Online audio and video are becoming easier and easier to take wherever you go. They can be downloaded to watch later on your computer, or you can put them on portable audio and video players. But text doesn’t have to be bound to the Internet or computer screen either.
When people find information that is valuable to them online, they often want to save a copy of it for later reference. They can bookmark the web page, but subsequent changes may move or eliminate the information they want. They can save the page in question to their hard drives, but few people do. Making it easy for your site visitors to take your words with them is good for business. Here are some ways to accomplish that:
- Offer printer-friendly versions of popular pages. Your site design may cause pages to print out poorly, especially if you use frames. Making it easy for users to print pages that look like they should allow them to easily archive information for future reference.
- Consider putting certain information in PDF format. This is the file format that is often used for ebooks and brochures, and it provides easy readability. It prints out nicely if your users want a hard copy. And there are now portable ebook readers on the market that allow one to save his ebooks and other PDF files and take them with him wherever he goes.
- Provide options for mobile web users. It is worthwhile to set up mobile web pages and for, some businesses, text alert systems. If your website offers up-to-date information such as news, weather, or account information, your users could benefit from mobile options.
The many recent innovations that utilize text indicate that it is still a medium that should not be ignored. While it may not have the potential for the personality of audio or be as visually stimulating as video, it is easy to transfer and doesn’t require any special software to use.
Audio and Video Should Complement Text, Not Replace It
One of the most important things to realize about audio and video is that at this point, they often don’t translate into money as quickly as text can. Utilizing audio and video is more about making a name for yourself and building your brand than immediate monetary gratification. It helps generate traffic to your website and boosts your business’s image.
Of course, there are exceptions. Popular videos participating in the ad revenue sharing program with YouTube can earn some decent money. YouTube is also always developing their technology for embedding links and other more interactive elements into videos.
Besides, you may find using video on a sales page increases your conversions and it can work as very well in this regard. So, you should think about this when you’re creating content for your market planning.
But overall, text is so vitally important on any website. Audio and video can enhance a website or sales letter, and they can go a long way toward convincing a visitor to become a customer or client. But ultimately, it is usually text that seals the deal. At the very least, text is the most effective way to instruct visitors on how to order or sign up.
Audio, video, and text can work together to make your website nice to look at and listen to, as well as highly functional. Each medium appeals to visitors in its unique way. Taking advantage of the multimedia opportunities available online can boost your site’s popularity while making it more useful.
Planning your content is up next in this series of Content Marketing Plan so stay tuned. You’re NOT going to want to miss it!
To continue with this series, we’re going to discuss using video in our content marketing plan. Do you use video in your content? Why or why not?
Why Use Video in Your Content Marketing Plan?
Online video’s popularity has grown exponentially in a short time, thanks to video sharing sites such as YouTube. The increasing availability of high-speed Internet has also had a hand in making video so popular, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. More than 1 billion unique users each month to the site shows us we need to pay attention. Add to that, including video on your website can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience.
A live streaming video is a great tool for online tutors and others who can benefit from a high level of interaction with their visitors or customers. It makes it possible for you to communicate in real-time, do live demonstrations, and answer questions with ease. For your audience, it’s the next best thing to being there with you.
Recorded video can also be a tremendous asset to your website. It’s much easier than you might think to make professional-looking videos to showcase your products and services. Your site visitors can watch these videos at their convenience, and if they like them they will often recommend them to friends and colleagues. For added exposure, you could make your videos available for embedding with YouTube or another video sharing service.
Ways to Use Video in Your Content Marketing
Video is a very versatile medium, and it can be used in several ways.
Here are some ideas:
* Make viral videos. These are usually entertaining clips that include a plug for your business and appeal to a broad audience. As a promotional method, a viral video is not usually very targeted, but it can result in a huge amount of exposure at a relatively low cost.
* Hold online video conferences. These provide an unparalleled way to reach out to your target audience. You can use tools like Google+ Hangouts to easily hold your online events.
* Make how-to videos. Create them on topics relevant to your website’s subject matter. Providing informative video content will generate buzz about your website, potentially increasing traffic. It will also help you establish yourself as an expert.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Sharing Sites
YouTube site makes it easy for anyone to upload videos to share with anyone with a computer who cares to watch them, and it provides viewers with a wealth of entertainment and education opportunities. It’s easy to do with a mobile phone, from your computer or just about any device. Sharing your videos on YouTube and other sites have some advantages.
YouTube’s immense popularity can potentially result in lots of people viewing your videos. If they find videos they like, they can embed them onto their sites or blogs. That will result in an even greater audience, and some of them may choose to embed your video on their sites as well. You can see why some marketers love the idea of video sharing.
There are, however, some disadvantages to putting your videos on sites such as YouTube as well. One of the biggest concerns of marketers is that video-sharing doesn’t require users to come to your site to view the videos. That means that while your videos may be wildly popular, they might result in very little traffic to your site. It’s important to give viewers an incentive to visit your site once they are finished watching the video. Alternatively, you can change your videos’ settings so that they can’t be viewed on the YouTube site or embedded elsewhere, but that will limit your viewership.
Make sure you use YouTube’s handy tools to include promotions in your videos, clickable links, and more. This will help bring more of your YouTube watchers back to your site.
The sheer power and excellent features of YouTube likely outweigh and concerns you might have.
Embedding Video from Your Own Server
Those who do not like the idea of uploading their videos to sites such as YouTube can upload them to their servers and embed them from there. This gives you more control over your videos and ensures there is no “YouTube” logo on your videos.
But before you jump into that, it’s important to remember that video files are usually very large. Making them available directly from your server can take up valuable file storage space, and it can also drain your bandwidth. When you upload videos to a video sharing site and embed them from there, you use that site’s storage space and bandwidth.
Whether you should upload a video to a video sharing site and embed from there or keep it on your own server depends on several factors. If you don’t mind having another website’s name pasted on your videos and don’t want to overtax your server, video sharing could be the best option. But if you want to ensure that users have to come to your site to see your videos and prefer not to provide free advertising for a video sharing site, hosting your own videos might be the best way to go.
Stay tuned for the next in the series of content market planning where we discussed the Dos and Don’ts of using Audio and Video in your marketing.
How to Create a Content Marketing Plan
It’s hard to believe that not too long ago, the information presented on the Internet consisted of nothing but plain text. Eventually, HTML came about as a way to format text, and then graphics were added, but even those innovations were nothing compared to what you can find on the web today. The following information can help you create a content marketing plan that will help you communicate with your audience.
The Internet as we know it is still evolving, but it is full of pictures, sounds, and motion. Even the most inexperienced novice can design a web page using current technology and make it full of animation, funny videos, and his favorite songs.
New technology is being developed continuously, and webmasters are often quick to adopt it.
But these fascinating new aspects of the Internet are not only for fun and games. They provide marketers with plenty of new ways to inform and engage their visitors. No longer do we have to rely on the written word to get our point across sufficiently. We can also communicate with our site visitors through audio and video.
Why Use Audio in Your Marketing Plan?
Did you know that a large portion of the population retains information better when they hear it than when they read it? This is one of the many reasons that it pays to offer audio as an option for your site visitors. Here are some more:
* Audio can inject personality into your website in a way that text and graphics can’t. There’s just something about hearing someone’s voice that makes site visitors feel welcome.
* Audio is convenient. Those who want or need to multitask can listen to audio while doing something else. They do not have to be right in front of the computer screen to use it. You can also make audio available for download to an iPhone, iPod or MP3 player (if people still use those things!), so your visitors can take it with them wherever they go.
* Using audio can separate you from the competition. Many sites do not utilize audio, and if yours does, those who enjoy it will be likely to come to you instead of your competition.
Ways to Use Audio
There are plenty of different ways that you can incorporate audio into your website.
Here are a few to consider:
- Record a podcast. This is similar to blogging, only it is done in audio form. Users can subscribe to your podcast so that it is automatically downloaded to their feed readers or iPods.
- Do a streaming talk radio show. This is a great way to get targeted visitors to your website, and it allows you to interact with your audience by accepting calls or answering emails while you’re on the air.
- Offer recordings of online conferences or presentations for download. This gives visitors an incentive to come to your site as well, and it may entice them to participate in future conferences.
- Record a message for site visitors. Tell them a little about yourself, suggest areas of the site to visit first, or just welcome them. This adds a unique personal touch.
Making Your Audio Accessible
There are a number of file formats that you can use when saving audio, but it is important to use popular ones so that your users will be able to listen to them. The most popular format for most types of recorded audio is MP3. It offers great file compression while preserving the quality of the audio. Virtually every computer has an application that can play MP3 files. The Windows operating system comes with Windows Media Player, which will play these and several other types of audio files.
Another benefit of the MP3 is its versatility. It can be easily converted for burning on a CD with most CD burning programs. Users can also put them on their iPhones or just about any other type of portable music player.
Delivering the best content you can to your audience is so important to get you recognized in whatever industry you’re in.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series.
How to Boost your Productivity
First, quiet your mind and focus on How to Boost your Productivity. We need to be more proficient in our work to accomplish more. In many cases, people fail to be productive because they lose focus and let their minds wander, leading to a loss in productivity.
The key is to focus your mind on the task at hand. Block out all other distractions and thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand.
• Failure to put aside thoughts unrelated to the task at hand will only slow you down and lead to a higher probability of mistakes.
• Get a good night’s sleep every night to boost focus and productivity, reduce mistakes.
• Don’t let other issues or problems bother you.
Basic Ingredients Of Productivity
There are three basic ingredients to productivity:
Without all three of these ingredients, your productivity will be lower than it can be. And then you won’t achieve the amount of success you are expecting.
How To Measure Your Productivity
Dictionary.com defines productivity as “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.”
Boost Your Productivity
• In other words, its the amount of effort and time that the worker puts in and how many units of production he/she produces in that time span.
If a worker produces one unit (say, one ebook) an hour and another worker produces two units (say, two ebooks) in one hour, then the second worker is two times more productive than the first worker.
Being more productive means being better able to manage one’s time. Focusing one’s attention on the tasks required. And/or utilize the energy necessary to complete the tasks required in the same time period as another worker.
In order to boost your productivity, you need to be able to produce more of the product. Or provide more of the service you deliver in the same amount of time or less than you have before.
When it comes to businesses, it’s not just your production. It’s the production of your subcontractors who work for you, that account for your total productivity.
Start Laying A Productive Foundation
First, you need to eliminate all distractions from your work area and clear your mind of any doubts and/or worries you may have.
You also need to be totally focused and invested in the working process. This allows you to produce the maximum number of products/content and/or render the most services within a specific time span.
Have A Plan
Have a clear plan of what needs to be done in terms of tasks and projects and how to go about best doing them.
• In regards to subcontractors, have an agenda of tasks and projects to complete. Also, a time table on which you can expect them to complete them.
• Then lay down the ground rules on what needs to be done and how quickly they should be done.
Boost Your Productivity
Implement simple time management techniques. You must manage your time as efficiently as possible in order to be as productive as possible. And, monitor your time very carefully. Ensure that you are working efficiently during the times you are working. This will enable you are utilizing your time to the best of your ability.
• Note how long you think it will take you to complete a project on a piece of paper, in a text file, or in a spreadsheet file.
• Time how long it takes you to complete specific tasks.
• Time how long your work periods are, your breaks are, and how long any distractions are.
Try using the clock on your computer and/or mobile device. Or use an online timer to record the respective time periods. Then compare the time it took you to complete the project versus the time you expected. If you met or beat that time, reward yourself.
If you took longer than expected, review what slowed you down. Was it distractions, lack of focus, the task was more difficult than expected- then make adjustments.
You can make this into a game or challenge to where you challenge yourself to get more done in less time to improve your productivity.
There are online timers that have bells or other sounds that can help you use the Pomodoro Technique. This will allow 15- to 30-minute work periods. It will be followed by 3- to 5 minute rest periods three times. Then after the fourth 15- to 30-minute work period, a 15- to 30-minute rest period.
Removing The Unimportant Tasks
It’s vital that you prepare for work ahead of time so minor/menial and repetitive tasks don’t slow you down.
Consider what tasks are actually important to your business and which aren’t.
• Tasks such as email and social media should be done during break periods, lunch periods, and/or outside-of-work periods, not while the main work is being done.
If you run a business, only do the tasks you are proficient at and enjoy; send all other tasks to subcontractors for maximum productivity and profitability. This will solve a lot of time for you in the long run.
Pursue An All-Around Productive Life
Having an all-around productive life means that you are productive in all facets of it, not just in business.
• Increased productivity can include assembling items, grocery shopping, etc.
• Productivity means doing any task in the most efficient manner possible. This will help you maximize the value of every minute and every second so that you get the most out of them as possible.
Free Marketing Tools
SEO for your Website – Part 2 and it’s all about how you can use the power of your relationships with other business owners. Yes, another reason why you need to build strong relationships with other people.
Here’s how to make this happen:
Get Affiliates to Promote YOU and Improve Your Search Visibility
Yup, this is another arrow in the quiver. Get others to advertise for you or make more revenue advertising for businesses with similar products.
Let’s talk about becoming an affiliate partner. There are several affiliate programs on the Internet, but all are not created equal. Before choosing an affiliate program to enhance your marketing be sure that it is worth your while.
Some criteria to consider are payment schedule, pay rate, the credibility of the product and business philosophy. If you can’t believe in the product, there is no reason to advertise for it.
Popular affiliate programs are the ones that offer incentives and training to their affiliate partners. Training can come in the way of newsletters and informative articles that address aspects of Search Engine Marketing to help you increase your business. Sharing wealth begins with sharing information. The company gets a loyal affiliate who knows their stuff and you get help streamlining your business marketing strategy.
You may want to try a full service like clickbank.com, cj.com or do it yourself with 1shoppingcart.com or amember.com.
So, SEO for your Website – Part 2 is all about Affiliate Marketing and it has been around forever – well almost!
Some affiliates set up websites just for affiliate marketing. The website employs unique SEO content that increases sales for both of you. Now, you might wonder what affiliate marketing is, but that’s a topic for another post.
But I’m not going to leave you hanging, so here’s the definition: it’s a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Simple right?
Search Engine Advertising:
Pay per Click (PPC)
Pay per click is an advertising formula that gives free upfront advertising (in most cases) and you only have to pay when your ads are clicked or some action is taken. The strategy here is to have your ads placed in key areas where they will get seen by a large number of people. Search engine advertising needs to include this little gem for an all-around approach to growing your business.
Pay per click has several different applications. It can be used in affiliate marketing campaigns for you and your partners, paid searches and bidding on search engine advertising. Pay per click is a broad term but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get paid on every click. We’ll explain.
Pay per Click (PPC) programs based on keywords
Search engines like Google and Yahoo have pay per click programs where you can gain exposure on search engine result pages (SERPs). With these programs, you use relevant keywords for your website products to create short concise ads that gain the attention of searchers.
Pay per click programs is a way to test out your keywords before mounting a major SEO campaign. Different types of keywords can be used in ads and the response gauged. Beginning with broad keywords allows you to get an idea of what types of keywords searchers are using. You will get clicks but because it is such a broad keyword, all of the clicking visitors may not be the right kind of traffic that goes from sales lead to a buying customer.
Pay per click ads are short and there is a word or character limit depending on the program.
Check out these programs:
- Google AdWords
- Yahoo Advertising
- Bing Ads
Each ad has a line for a title, a description, and a URL link. You don’t have much space to make a terrific first impression. One must is to use your targeted keywords in the title and the description. Be sure to add action verbs like “click, try, and open” to let searchers know an action on their part is required.
The URL link will direct searchers to your landing page. We alluded to landing pages earlier but here is where you get the explanation. As an Internet surfer, you know how frustrating it can be to go through several links just to find where you want to go. Links in ads that lead to a homepage lose potential sales leads and customers because the process becomes laborious.
A landing page is a website page where the product or service will appear and be explained to visitors. If you are selling flower bulbs, the landing page for those bulbs will contain pictures of the bulbs you have for sale. Your landing page can be from your virtual store providing per unit price and a “buy now” button for a hopefully easy sale. Direct links are best to interest the searcher.
Within these programs, you will choose your keywords, complete your ads, and then bid on those keywords. The price you quote represents the most you will pay for the ad using those keywords to be shown on the search results page. Still, you don’t pay for your advertising until the ads are clicked on the page.
Use a mixture of popular keywords and keyword phrases to gain targeted traffic. Longer phrases narrow the searchers to those who are definitely interested in the product or service you have to offer. The traffic rate may not increase significantly but your sales can. And that is what having a business is all about right? Making money, having great relationships with people and providing value to the people in your world.
I hope you found this an interesting concept and an additional way to increase your SEO.
Did you remember to pick up your SEO Check List from SEO for your Website – Part 1? If not here it is again, just click on the link, it will open to a new page – SEO List
Until next time – that’s a wrap!
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing – What is it? Well, it’s one of the many buzzwords that has been created to define what companies do on the Internet to get noticed. You hear about search engine optimization, pay per click, click through rate and other terms that seem to be related to the same thing, but what is really going on? Do I need it on my website?
Search Engine Marketing has been around for a few years but is always improving upon itself to bring in more profit for small and large companies. SEM, as it is abbreviated, is not a magic bullet or a genie in a bottle. It takes some knowledge and a good brain to decipher the ins and outs of the process.
In this post, you will learn how to optimize your website using Search Engine Marketing techniques. There are several tools that encompass the topic of Search Engine Marketing and their uses will be discussed here.
History of the Search Engines
For many years after the Internet became popular all anyone talked about was searching the Web. It was a place to play and see what was going on in other parts of the world. Mathematicians and techies devised a way for people to find information faster with search engines. Results could be grouped together according to search parameters.
Only the technical guys new the algorithms that produced the results but we only wanted to get at the information they promised to give us. A search box allowed us to enter words or phrases that became known as keywords to find a vast amount of information. The entire Internet was at our fingertips.
Algorithms have changed over time which makes them unpredictable. But, marketers discovered a way to use those search results to help searchers find their particular website or web page. This development was great for businesses and search engine engineers were glad to help but they needed a way to bring in revenue to pay for the free searches they offer to everyone.
The search engines came up with the idea to help businesses that wanted to appear on the search results page to do so regardless of how their search engine optimization was going. They could pay to advertise on the more popular search engines. That included Google and Yahoo. These are the sponsored links or sponsored ads that appear at the top and bottom of the search page.
Their experiment was a success. It was a cash cow. Now, these search engines offer marketing programs where businesses can bid on ad placement in the search engine results pages and create compelling ads from their list of keywords.
Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing your website for free rankings in the search is something you want to do right off the bat, but understand, the results may take time to come. After you’ve optimized your website and you’re waiting for the traffic to come, paid search can bring you immediate results in the meantime.
Why is optimization important?
Over the past decade or so, the way search engines rank websites has changed a great deal. The basics of optimization are the same, but there is more focus on “off page” factors rather than “on page” factors, which we’ll explain in a bit. Add to that, social media is playing a large role in establishing rankings and that is something that should not be ignored.
But let’s start with the very basics and it all starts with what people search for…
The key to unlocking business on the Internet begins with words. Words are all around us and how we use them makes a huge difference especially in business. The million dollar question is what words you use to get the results that you want.
Everyone knows about keywords or at least they have heard of them. Keywords are entered into the search box and results are spat out. If you know what words they may use that is a start. But, all words are not used as frequently as others. Choosing the wrong words means very little traffic to your site. Programs can analyze keywords for you but the only way to know for sure is to test market them.
As a business owner, you have an advantage. You know your product or service better than anyone. The keywords you want to begin with are the ones that pertain to your website. These will get the ball rolling.
Now, there are other words. Everyone won’t know what they are looking for. Let’s say that you sell flower bulbs. A searcher may want to establish a garden but they aren’t sure what flowers to plant or even which ones work best in their area. To attract them, you’ll have to think of general keywords they might use in a search.
You can also find useful keywords on competitor sites. If competitors are using some of the same keywords, what are they doing differently than you? Paying attention to your competition can yield valuable information in your keyword search.
You should also employ the use of powerful keyword research tools like this one to help you find the best keywords for your market and products.
Your list of keywords can stretch into the hundreds and probably thousands. This is good because you have many to choose from. Don’t just stick to a single keyword. Long tail marketing is a popular technique. Combine keywords to create unique phrases to gain higher search engine rankings.
Here’s an example of that. Let’s go back to the flower bulbs. “Flower bulbs” is a popular search entry but “flower bulbs sellers in DeKalb County” narrows your search to a select group of people who are serious about finding flower bulbs and buying them.
Content and Search Engines
Search engine optimization should permeate every character on your website. Search engines like Google, crawl unique web pages. Using those keywords in your titles, headlines, content, links and other elements can help you rank well, but long-term ranking requires more than that. By consistently producing plenty of fresh content, you’re showing yourself as relevant to search engines and you’re more likely to enjoy a sweet place in the rankings for your many keywords.
Content has many benefits in a Search Engine Marketing campaign that utilizes SEO as a tool.
Think about what you would like to offer to your search traffic.
Your content can fill a need by:
- Demonstrating your expertise in a particular area with informational articles for customers
- How-to articles that will address the needs of those uncertain visitors and convince them to use your product
- Provide product reviews and testimonials that solidify your product credibility
- Appearing in article directories for greater exposure across the Internet
Continually update your content to keep the website fresh. Content is crawled on your website and ranked in search engines. It takes a few months or longer to see if optimized content is working so it’s a good thing that that is not the only marketing tool you will employ in the name of Search Engine Marketing.
Search Engine Marketing Wrap Up
Search Engine Marketing is a catch-all term that comprises several Internet marketing tools for drawing traffic and making sales with your business. There is not one specific tool that will bring success. In fact, if you put all of your eggs in one basket, you can end up with a gooey mess, right?
It takes a combination of search engine optimization, link building, pay per click programs, affiliate marketing, and keyword research to bring about the overall results you are looking for with this type of marketing campaign. Search engines have upped the ante for advertising since just about everyone will use a search engine to find what they are looking for instead of just aimlessly surfing.
Use what you have learned here to devise a Search Engine Marketing plan to get you started. Nothing is set in stone, however. It is always best to review your plan on a regular basis and tweak as needed to keep your products or services in demand.
Come back to read the next post about “How to Optimize your Website”. It’s coming up next in this short series in Search Engine Marketing.
See you next time!
Increase Your Landing Page Conversions
Now that you have your website up and running with traffic, how do you increase the conversions on your landing page so that you end up making the sales that you want?
First of all, what is a landing page and why do I need one?
Well, according to the dictionary it’s used for a specific reason. Read the facts below:
land·ing page -noun: the section of a website accessed by clicking a hyperlink on another web page, typically the website’s home page.
Follow these ideas I’ve listed below:
1. Use segmented landing pages for your keywords
One thing you need to know is that if you use the same landing page for every keyword that you bid on, you will definitely miss out on getting more conversions. By segmenting your landing pages, you will be doing a better job at targeting your traffic and this will lead to more subscribers and more leads.
2. Focus on testing more than one version of your landing page.
Most people make the mistake of not testing various versions of their landing pages and so end up not getting a lot of conversions. Sometimes, to experience a massive increase in response, all that is needed are a few changes here and there. Do some split testing to figure out what those changes might be.
You might just realize that changing the background color of one of your landing pages actually doubles your conversion rate. Who would have thought it could be that simple. Goals!!
3. Look through your landing pages
Your landing pages should relate directly to the content the visitor wants to see. Moreover, they should not be so busy that the visitor is at a loss on what you want them to do.
4. Check your calls to action
They are crucial in leading visitors back to your site. Are they accompanied by big, bold buttons that look attractive enough to click on? Test with different fonts, colors, and sizes. In addition, ensure that your calls to action offer value that is worth clicking on.
5. Then, go through your site to check how credible you look
Do your claims seem believable and do you have a few testimonials on your page?
As an online marketer, what you want is your visitor to do just one goal of the page without getting distracted. The above tips are sure ways of increasing your conversions on your landing pages.
Now, how can I help you accomplish this? Contact me below so I can make additional suggestions to you.