The Ultimate Gift for Mom: Financial Freedom via Inbound Marketing

The Ultimate Gift for Mom: Financial Freedom via Inbound Marketing

Well, it's Mother's Day (okay, May 8, 2016) and time to honour the Old Girl, who gave birth to you and plays or played a pivotal role in your success or failure throughout life, just ask her.  Oh yes, your FATHER; likewise, deserves the same honour and respect on June 16th 2016, despite less media and corporate advertising on TV and Online.  Anyway, time to get down to business and demonstrate the ultimate act of L-O-V-E for one's parent.  Learn how to achieve and then, teach mum the fundamentals of financial freedom through Inbound Marketing. 

In fact, duplicate the process with other family members so it becomes a generational practice.  More importantly, you create the Ultimate Gift for Mom, that keeps on giving and giving.  It’s only fitting because she was your first teacher of Inbound Marketing.  Mum was an expert in Inbound Marketing?  Yes, she was because her task was about developing and training the “inner you” to become the best man/woman you could become, believe it or not. Additionally, she was your first teacher of Inbound Marketing because she did the following things in preparation of your arrival: researched, developed data, consulted with experts (grand mum), created strategies specific to the individual (yourself) and executed strategies to achieve a resolution to daily problems.  Should sound very familiar from both a marketing and mother perspective. Both give birth to their babies and responsible for their developmental growth which later impacts society.   

By now the symbiotic relationship between mum and Inbound Marketing should be clear, I hope. Now, let’s jump ahead in time and show the interconnectivity between technology, inbound marketing, mothers and their kids (Millennials).  So, with the massive acceleration in technological devices (computers, smartphones, IPads, Kindle, Mac Books, etc.,) and impact on social media, significant changes in societal behavioral conduct have occurred and businesses are scrambling to make appropriate adjustments to meet the needs of their consumer base.  Unfortunately, many businesses still engage in an old strategy called Outbound Marketing where companies (buy leads, pay for TV commercials, flyers, door-to-door salesman, etc.,) initiate contact by sending their messages to their desired target market.  Nothing wrong with traditional marketing (outbound marketing) if, the strategy generates new and consistent customers; however, consumer behavior has changed and attracting them requires a more individualized approach that earns their attention. It’s the intimate touch that’s so critical in today’s market (yeah, just like mum). 

Generally, Millennials (Generation Y or Net generation) are the target population most desired by most major corporations because they are some-what “fresh meat” with great potential purchasing power; however, they are also, very entitled and opinionated in their beliefs which have impacted corporate culture, media and certain parts of society when dealing with various social issues (equal pay, abortion, war, etc.,).  Being in a westernized capitalist society when money is involved or potential to generate massive revenue then, positions quickly change at least publicly because business is business.  So, mum’s little millennials are impacting the society and possibly the World be it good or bad.  So, she should be rewarded for her dedication.

Now, the research suggests that rearing a child from birth into adulthood (18-years old) costs approximately $250,000 dollars and the cost continues to increase yearly.  Yes, you are worth it but, what about Dear Old Mom?  She and the Old Man could use that money for their retirement.

How about offering Mom the ultimate Mother's Day gift and I don't mean a card with chocolates and roses.  No, give her the means to retrieve the investment cost of rearing YOU and your siblings.  Give Mom and Father (don't forget him) access to the essential Tools, Training, Traffic and Resources needed to generate, Consistent, Predictable and Long-term Residual Income in the Information/Computer and Social Media global economy.  Start on May 12th 2016 or sooner.

Oh yes, since Father's Day is shortly after Mother's Day give the Old Man an early bird special.   Since he already “Tied The Noose” it's best he has a backup plan in the event of divorce, which is likely in today's reality.

Behind every great man is a man greater, his father.” 
― Habeeb Akande

Vaurn James

Contributor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success – What’s Keeping You Back?

What are some of the things that hold you back from succeeding?  Could it be the time factor? Or perhaps it’s that you don’t have the necessary financial resources.   Maybe it’s your personality . . . you set up barriers to success even before starting something by thinking it’s not in your nature or you don’t know what to say or do.   Perhaps you’re not technically savvy!

Think about it!    If you had the opportunity today,  to make a huge difference in your life tomorrow or even in the coming months, what would it be worth to you?  How much effort would you be willing to put into it?   How much time would you devote to this effort? 

In today’s hustle and bustle world, with economic uncertainty all around, wouldn’t  it be nice to have more time to devote to family and the things in life you truly enjoy? If you were financially secure, wouldn’t that make life so much more enjoyable?

What if there was something that you could do about it?   Would you follow through?  If push comes to shove, could you overcome your objections and leap over the barriers holding you back from success?   How motivated are you to change your situation? 

 

In order to have success, you must know, choose and be who you are.  In other words, success is finding who you really are, your core values, then consciously choosing which of these things you want to keep and which you will change or discard.   Then let that “you” be present all the time, every day, in all that you do. 

The habits you form go hand in hand with success.  It’s essential that you form habits that align with your values for you to be successful in whatever area of your life you wish.  

Have you assessed the areas that might be holding you back?

 

 

Here is a list of potential areas that might be holding you back:

  • Waiting for the right moment  — this could be disguised as procrastination or even fear.  There never really is the right moment so it’s pretty much a waste of time to wait for one.  If you are living true to your values, every moment should be acted on within the best of your interests.  Be aware and take the opportunity and run with it.
  • Needing approval from others – If you understand you are responsible for everything past and present in your life, you will understand that you will be responsible for your future.  Taking action and having faith in your own decisions will make you a leader, and you will not need the opinion or approval of others.
  • Perfectionism —  The need to always be perfect is almost a form of self-harm as it will never happen because perfection does not exist.  If you think about it, when is anything ever perfect?   It will be much better to be happy and proud of the achievements that are already made, rather than be unhappy when there is always “something else to do”.
  • Not apologizing for making mistakes – Admitting when things go wrong is something we are not too comfortable with.  The people that you have the best connection with and value the most are ones who are open and honest with you.  People respect honesty.  If you want to be respected, in business and in life, learn that apologizing for your mistakes is imperative.
  • Too stubborn to let go – Nothing lasts forever.  Ideas come and go, so will good people, employees, partners, business associates.  Learning to let go will allow you move on.  You need to find a way to allow things to leave your universe as easy as they came in.  It is helpful not to create an emotional attachment to things as they will become harder to let go.  You will make way for the new when you lose the emotion and lose the stubbornness. Know that whatever you are holding on to does not define you so no need to cling to it. 
  • Not willing to do something beyond your duties –  As the saying goes “you get out what you put in”, a little more effort goes a long way.  The super successful do not sit around reveling in their accomplishments.  They are thinking of how they can do more and continue to excel.  Step out of your comfort zone and try something you don’t usually do.  It may just become addictive!
  • Comparing yourself to others – Looking at others and measuring whether you have achieved what they have achieved, or comparing what you own to what they own is unnecessary.  Success is a personal matter so find what’s important to you, what success looks and feels like to you, and be in control of that feeling.  
  • Not assessing your mistakes – we all make mistakes.  However, if you repeatedly make the same ones over and over, then it’s time to assess.  Ask yourself honest questions.  Why the mistakes are happening and why you didn’t act differently from the last time.  This assessment will help you find better solutions in the future.
  • Spending too long worrying about the outcome – we all worry from time to time.  If you let worry take over, this will hinder your success.   Realize there is only so much that you can control and many things are out of your control.   Continue putting in hard work, relax, and what will be, will be. 
  • Not working on your  weaknesses – We all have weaknesses and it’s a good thing because, for every weakness, you have a strong area.  Identify your weak areas and then spend a bit of time daily to work on improvement in these areas. 
  • Taking life too seriously – We have a lot more on our agendas as adults compared to when we were kids.  Life can get you down, but when you feel that way, remember how wonderful life is and think about all the great people and great moments that have helped to bring you to where you are today.  Set a goal for yourself.     “At work, I’ll always stay focused and think of what to improve.” 

Your success is important, but you have full control of making it what you wish. 

Judy Curtis,

Contributor

 

 

 

8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO - Mistakes

All search engine marketers are trying desperately to promote trends

Especially the trends that are aligned with traditional digital marketing. SEO is immensely important to enhance key to improving your website’s visibility, driving more traffic and better conversion rates.

The first thing one can do as an internet marketer is to avoid making mistakes. Following “SEO Best Practices” can be difficult for online marketers. With search engines changing algorithms on a periodic basis, every SEO strategy needs to adapt and adjust with the latest techniques while giving up on age-old practices. Here are some of the prominent mistakes made by SEO experts:

Mistake #1: Not optimizing images with rest of the content

Optimizing images is sometimes not part of the SEO strategy and can be over looked. Adding target keywords to images relevant to the rest of the content helps search engines understand them. A link to the image with just numbers and alphabets in odd positions does not convey anything but some relevant words and numbers would matter. One should incorporate descriptive keywords for every image. Including relevant alt text helps search engines to find images in relevant searches and even the accessibility of the site.

Mistake #2: Keyword stuffing

Nowadays websites contain varied types of content in terms of text. One needs keywords for SEO and use of right keywords is important for getting the right audience. Optimize them carefully to gain popularity in search engines. But keyword stuffing will only ruin your website ranking since cramming a keyword multiple times makes content worthless. Only keywords do not get customers to a website. Also, Google algorithms will get the site blacklisted and also issue a bad ranking.

Relying on large amounts of mediocre content can affect sites. Using specific keywords with strategic placement and relevant content is effective. Creating insightful info about a topic can can attract attention through different channels.

Mistake #3: Not Setting Up Canonicalization

When implementing an SEO strategy, one should make sure that you do not have duplicate content on the site. If there is identical content for online access using different URLs, you need to identify the right page for visitors and implement a canonical to help search engines know that it is not a duplicate version.

Mistake #4: Disregarding Pages by Not Indexing Them

One should not forget indexing pages. Pages that are broken or missing are going to avoid search engine results altogether because pages indicating 404 error are excluded. A high number of 404s leads to an increase in bounce rate and visitors will feel cheated of any information. Search engines crawl websites and rank them and 404 pages interrupt their process. It is important not to have broken links on your site and keep the website active.

Mistake #5: No updates on site

After spending months to create an interactive and attractive website, one should try to keep it dynamic with consistent blog posts or some other content. Companies fail to optimize the site with keywords and just sit back to watch the traffic decrease. Let in some updates that will help your prospects with relevant information and they might convert to leads.

One needs to make a schedule for posting different posts related to your field on a regular basis, and consistency will get you the attention of search engines too.

Mistake #6: Neglecting social media

Neglecting social media is a crime in this day and age. Social media is no longer an optional marketing ploy but a necessity for businesses. By being conversant and relevant on popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter, one can enhance a company’s image and credibility. Sharing your content will lead the search engines and drive potential visitors to your site. Social media following can also boost brand awareness amongst loyalists.

Mistake #7: Lack of internal links

One might think that it is erroneous to link to one’s own content and even think that search engines might read into it and even blacklist the pages. Despite what you may think, internal links to website is great for SEO and helps search engines to crawl to your website. One should focus on the most important pages of any site and strategize posts to link back to those pages. One should find a real connection between pages to do the linking task.

Mistake #8: Failure to measure progress

Improving SEO is like losing weight. One needs to check and measure your progress on a consistent basis. One should know the current standing when you start, and then track the changes. With solid metrics in place, one will know that the SEO practices have been working or not. If you do not think that there has been any progress, then it is preferable to drop it.

Credit: Keval Padia

Dennis Roeder

Contributor

Online Marketing Strategies to Kick-Start Stagnant Sales

Online Marketing Strategies to Kick-Start Stagnant Sales

“Our sales are stagnant and we need SEO — please help!” 

This is something that we hear often. While search-engine optimization (SEO) can provide amazing results, they don’t happen overnight. And, oftentimes, a business can’t wait; it needs sales, and fast.

Here are three simple online marketing strategies you can start on today that can help you kick-start your stagnant online sales.

 

 

1. Hit social media hard with paid ads.

Your website is always going to be your most important online marketing asset, but there’s an entire audience that lives exclusively on social media that’s waiting to engage with your brand. 

It is highly suggested that every brand get acquainted with Instagram and Snapchat. Those two social networks are where the majority of the engagement can be found. Facebook remains solid, especially if you are targeting an older demographic, as more parents and grandparents are becoming comfortable with social media, and this is their network of choice. Twitter is currently hit or miss, but I still feel it’s an important social media presence to maintain. Twitter just passed the 10-year mark and needs to make some significant changes to spark growth very soon — it has no choice; it still isn't making money.

Organic social media engagement is great, but like SEO, it takes time. If your sales are slow, use paid social ads to create instant brand awareness and drive wallet-out buyers to your website. Facebook’s targeting options are excellent, and Instagram lets you to take advantage of those same options, allowing you to place your offer directly in front of consumers who are likely to be interested in whatever you are offering.

2. Implement an irresistible exit-offer on your website.

Not all pop-ups are created equal. Some are triggered after visitors have been on a website page for a specific period of time, and yes, this can be intrusive and really irritate them. But, an exit-offer pop-up can greatly improve your conversion rates and sales.

Set it to trigger only when your visitor is about to leave your website. That way, you won’t risk interrupting a potential conversion. Actually, just the opposite will occur, as you will have a 50 percent chance of turning that visitor into a lead or sale. Also, don’t be afraid of upsetting a visitor leaving your website — it’s estimated that 70 to 90 percent of website visitors never return.

Split-test multiple exit offers — exclusive discounts that require an email opt-in and instant coupon codes that offer a discount or additional value like free shipping — perform very well. Even the slightest increase in conversion rates can equal increased revenue for your business.

3. Aggressively grow your email list and reward your subscribers with special offers.

Growing your email list provides your business with several benefits. You are building a marketing asset that allows you to constantly engage with consumers whot have expressed an interest in whatever it is that your business offers. Once you capture an email, there is no additional cost to market to that prospect, aside from your email and CRM software.

If you’re running a pay-per-click campaign, for example, you are paying for every single visitor that clicks through and lands on your website. You could build a highly engaged email list of 10,000 subscribers, and even at a 3 percent click-through rate, a single email would send 300 visitors back to your website.

In order to maintain a responsive list, make sure you are sending out offers that can’t be refused. Exclusive offers, big discounts and giveaway promotions are all click magnets. Split-test multiple delivery times, different templates and layouts — and experiment a lot with your subject lines. I’ve seen open rates shoot through the roof for some campaigns simply when an emoji is included in the subject line. Don’t be afraid to test!

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

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Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline marketing is a term that many in the marketing industry, even those heavily engaged in digital marketing, are not entirely familiar with.

It may go by other names; math marketing or revenue marketing, for instance, but the idea is the same: using data strategically to critically evaluate the effectiveness of online marketing efforts.

ClosedOpp was a very early adopter of this concept. A small paid search agency founded in 2007 that is breaking new ground in PPC marketing, ClosedOpp has been able to improve lead attribution by integrating all of its clients’ AdWords and Bing data with their CRM records.

The process of pipeline marketing is unique and innovative. ClosedOpp ties paid search data into clients’ Salesforce opportunity and lead records. This provides the ability to track leads from the point they were created, to closure. It also allows marketers to analyze the paths that resulted in the new business wins, to compare paths and to identify best practices to leverage in the future.

Pipeline marketing is a powerful tool to help businesses better understand their customers, how to segment customers into more high-performing groups, and how to identify the sales approaches that achieve the best results. Customer better, how to segment, and how to attribute successful sales approaches.

Rich Norwood, co-founder of ClosedOpp, describes how they developed this approach: “We realized early in 2012 that many digital marketers didn’t trust AdWords conversion data and were looking for a new way to track SEM performance.

We ran countless regressions identifying whether or not there was a correlation between AdWords conversions and Salesforce leads, AdWords conversions and Salesforce opportunities, and AdWords conversions and Salesforce wins. Once we determined there was a low R-squared correlation, we began looking for a better solution for our clients…”

The Power of Pipeline Marketing

The result was the new approach of “pipeline marketing,” which lets businesses focus less on lead gen and more on what they really care about, results. From Bizible’s website: “If your intention is to grow your business, shouldn’t you want to focus on generating customers and revenue, not leads?”

Lead gen, developing new contacts in hopes of increasing sales, has been an important marketing metric for decades. However, as Bizible states, “even as marketing has shifted to digital and analytics systems have been able to capture more complex data and insights, far too many companies are using legacy ways to measure their performance.”

Norwood asks the $64,000 question: “Do the clients care about leads or do they care about opportunities?” It boils down to this: do they want contacts, or do they want customers? Norwood says, “This may throw some people off. However, we’ve… proven that all leads are not created equally, some keywords drive larger opportunities, some keywords convert to opportunity at a much higher conversion rate. This is what Pipeline Marketing and Account-Based Marketing is all about.”

How It Works

The beauty of it all is that pipeline marketing allows marketers to be able to evaluate, in real time, exactly what keywords are driving visitors to their site, where they’re entering and what actions they’re taking. It’s a powerful analysis tool that requires careful consideration up front to realize the full promise of the technique.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Define campaign goals. The first step to embracing this new approach is for businesses to define their campaign goals in detail. And one of the most important goals is, as Norwood explains, to “focus on their sweet spot first. Start with the keywords that are must-targets.”
  2. Determine, specifically, the type of leads you’re looking for and where in the sales funnel you hope to initially engage with these leads. For instance, Norwood asks, “Do [you] want to buy top of funnel leads, leads looking for resources, checklists, and guides? Those leads tend to convert a lot… but [few] convert into opportunity. This can be a great strategy if the company is at scale and already has a successful nurture program. On the other hand, clients may decide it’s best to start with bottom of funnel leads that want a quote and pricing information and to talk with someone from sales.” It’s clear to see that engaging at the bottom of the funnel can yield better, and less expensive to convert, opportunities.
  3. Focus on Cost Per Opportunity. Norwood explains: “Because the opportunity has a high correlation with wins, and pipeline is defined as the total amount for all open opportunities, it makes sense that Cost per Opportunity should be the focus.” Simply put, you’re looking for the best outcome. This should be the main metric you focus on, according to Norwood. What keywords drive the highest ROI? “We need to create pipeline and wins. Period,” he says.
  4. Monitor and measure. Because they are tied in so closely with their clients’ CRM records, ClosedOpp is able to be extremely responsive and nimble, receiving feedback daily about what is and isn’t successful. Shorter timeframes allow quicker course corrections, as well as more rapid expansion of a campaign to leverage big wins.
  5. Adjust, and reap the rewards. Based on the feedback received, marketers are able to adjust their budgets based on real data related to ads, channels, keywords and audiences.

Access to Salesforce records powers the potential of pipeline marketing and provides a unique approach to business development. Norwood says, “[W]e actually measure leads, opportunities, wins, and Average Revenue per Unit (ARPU) daily, in real time. Our access to Salesforce allows us to monitor paid search so that we can see problems before they affect revenue.

We literally have our fingers on the pulse of the company. We often share data with our clients that cause them to pivot their whole strategy or completely redesign their landing pages.”

Pipeline marketing provides the ability to take a very focused, outcome-based approach to campaign analysis Norwood explains: “Our system creates an instant feedback loop between sales and marketing with the simple action of converting a lead to an opportunity and adding the amount to the opportunity.

We see this instantly and take action [often] days before the director of marketing suggests that we do so, because we’re looking at the data in real time and the director of marketing is in meetings.”

The Takeaway

What pipeline marketing boils down to is using your Salesforce records to figure out where your opportunities are coming from. Norwood clarifies: “Traditional PPC companies care about AdWords conversions. We don’t. We care about getting to know what campaigns, ad groups, keywords, landing pages, ads, countries, cities and devices result in opportunities and revenue.” 

Businesses that are able to tie marketing attribution to their CRM can get to market more quickly, spend money more wisely, and out-market their competitors. Pipeline marketing offers a unique competitive advantage, and gives business owners and managers an enormous amount of insight.

When you know where your best customers come from, it makes sense to invest more paid search dollars toward finding them. Pipeline marketing leads the way.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr

3 ways to pump up your online marketing with video

3 ways to pump up your online marketing with video

by James F. McClister 

real-estate-agent-marketing-video-youtube-buyer-seller-home

In the 1990s, real estate agents posted ads in the newspaper and slapped their faces on the backs of benches. In the 2000s, agents still put ads in papers and spruced up bus stops with their smiles, but began shifting their operations to the Internet – promoting themselves on websites and, later, social media. In the 2010s, ads in papers and on benches still exist, websites are still a staple and social media has exploded, but in the Internet age agents must continue to diversify their marketing strategies. One crucial medium is video.

Every month, YouTube receives more than 1 billion unique visitors. The platform has offered major exposure for real estate businesses around the globe; in fact, the Australian Real Estate Group reported listings that include a video receive more than 400 percent more inquiries than those without.

But the medium is versatile, and as such, requires a strategic approach. Here are a few ideas for agents looking to harness the power of online video in their marketing:

  1. Serialize – A weekly “top listings” list or a monthly dive into market stats (or any other topic your clients will want to return to on a regular basis) is a great way to establish a branded video product that will continuously engage viewers (and potential clients) with compelling content. Keeping potential clients engaged with regular video content will help you stay top of mind for when viewers are ready to buy or sell.

  2. Establish authority – It isn’t fair, but it’s a reality in the lives of agents that their value is often questioned. People forget to ask the question of “what can you do for me” because, in many ways, they feel they already know the answer – which is to say: nothing the Internet can’t already do. Agents know this to not be the case, but someone whose real estate experience is limited to lackluster showings and HGTV series will have a skewed perception of the profession. Video allows agents to look buyers, sellers and hopefuls in the eye and give them a glimpse of the benefits a helpful, professional agent can provide.

  3. Promote your personality – Video is the perfect way for you to show potential clients your personality in action. It answers the question of “what’s this person like” before the initial meeting, giving them a sense of who you are and how you’ll handle their business.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr

Power – The Great Revealer and Burden

 

Power – The Great Revealer and Burden
Art Williams, Case Study Writer and Markethive Contributor

Aspiring leaders often are conscious of the presumed benefits of leadership but they sometimes don't anticipate the simultaneous burden of leadership. 

In fact, when people attain leadership through natural talents (AKA: 'the easy way') they can be surprised when the responsibilities of leadership reveal inner qualities they were not even aware of and which they cannot handle. 

This is why character development should proceed parallel with their rise to leadership.

The reality of leadership power and freedom is the reason that leadership causes the previously hidden qualities of the leader's heart to manifest in ways that are often surprising to everybody. 

The shock and disorientation that accompanies sudden leadership is important to be aware of because leaders usually determine the direction their organizations go and the focus of the organization's resources. This is sometimes called 'the ripple effect' of leadership character. 

Leaders usually don't have the luxury of 'time-outs' and must be constantly sensitive that they are always on 'center-stage'. They must remember that everything they say or do is seen, heard, and imitated by many if not all of the members of their organization.

For those in leadership, there never comes a time when it does not matter what they do. Their every action is reflected somewhere, sooner or later, within the group they lead.

There are many facets to the role of leadership, but these three are indisputable:

  1. With a clear goal in mind, leaders gain conviction, that conviction brings strength, and that strength permeates through their organization.
  2. Leaders should never be afraid of experience. In fact, the sooner they get it, the more credibility they have within their organization and the stronger that organization becomes.
  3. Leaders realize that 'leadership' is a relative term, i.e. it implies that somebody is following them. Without followers, there can be no leaders, little or no duplication, and certainly not much multiplication.

History is full of examples of leaders who went to the 'right' or the 'wrong'. Leaders who went to the right could be Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchhill, and many of America's founders.

Leaders who went to the 'wrong' could be Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, Barak Obama (AKA: The Great Deceiver), and others.

It could also be said that pop-social icons function as leaders to the society they come from too. For example, Charleton Heston, Bob Hope, or Ronald Reagan edified the societies they come from. In other instances, celebrities who couldn't handle success and power were an embarrassment to the societies they come from…e.g. Madonna, Miley Cyrus, or Lindsey Lohan.

The point is, one of the advantageous of 'the long road to success' is that it's a maturing and strengthing process. Be careful what you wish for least it comes before you're ready for it.

 

 

Is your website ready for Google’s mobile update in May?

It has been widely reported by Search Engine Land, Techcrunch, and others that Google is planning a new update to their algorithm regarding mobile-friendliness.  Mobile web traffic now exceeds traffic from desktop users, so Google is emphasizing how important it is that websites have the ability to display information correctly on mobile devices.

In the spring of 2015, last year Google first prioritized this and will update that original announcement again next month with a new change in their ranking criteria.

What does that mean to website owners and administrators?  Simply, you may lose mobile traffic if your site is not compatible with mobile devices.

Fortunately Google does provide a tool in which you simply type in your url to check your site.You can find it here

—-> Google Mobile Checker <—-

Something else that is less critical, but worth paying attention to is AMP – (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Google would also like sites to use their formula for making web pages load faster.  They are emphasizing news sites right now.  Eventually it will be important for all websites to follow these guidelines.

You can find all about it at the following link.  

—-> AMP <—-

Best of success in all your endeavors.

Jon Lombard – Contributor

Take Your Mobile Marketing To The Next Level With These Great Tips!

mobile marketing

mobile marketing

Take Your Mobile Marketing To The Next Level With These Great Tips!

Taking a step into the wondrous and complex land ofmobile marketing for the very first time might feel a little bit intimidating, but by keeping the helpful tips listed below in mind, you will soon find yourself marketing on par with some of the best marketers in the field.

When it comes to sending mobile marketing messages to your customers, be sure that you keep the size of any media files as small as possible. This is critical to ensuring that the download time for the message is low and that your customers are not charged extra data fees.

Integrate mobile marketing into other types of marketing. Mobile works best when tied together with other things such as print, television, radio, and live performances. Make sure to integrate 2-D bar codes or quick response codes into your print to help drive traffic to your mobile site. You will have endless opportunities.

No matter what type of features you are thinking of adding to your mobile marketing campaign, you need to remember that it is all about the execution here. Mobile users are growing at a faster rate than PC users ever have, so everyone is attempting to go mobile. Stand out by focusing on quality execution rather than just expansion.

If you are thinking about expanding to a different market with a different product, make sure that you start this effort first before you branch out to mobile marketing. It is going to be very difficult to pull people in from the mobile world to your new product, so go with what got you here and just repeat the process.

Take advantage of mobile applications that many mobile consumers already use and are very popular, like Google Maps. Google has a Local Business Center that will list your business on their Google Maps for that region. This way, your business will be targeted to the audience local to your area.

Provide instant rewards. With mobile marketing you can give your customers what they want, with no delays. Having a delay can make things lose their value or demand. People will participate in your marketing campaign hoping to get the promised reward. The quicker they get the reward, the happier they will be.

Remember when mobile marketing that not every mobile device is the same and thus the content you develop needs to cater to the general field and not anything overtly specific. For instance: Some people have slower connections than others, while others have smaller screen sizes. Be encompassing and not specific.

Take advantage of everything a mobile device has to offer. Innovation is happening very quickly in the mobile marketing arena, and much of it is driven by the quick innovation occurring in mobile hardware. Look at what the new devices have to offer and add their new abilities into your mobile marketing strategies. Just in the last two years, new hardware innovations that have affected mobile marketing have included front-facing cameras, location awareness and high definition video recording.

So, after reading and applying the helpful tips listed above, you should feel a bit more at ease in the land of mobile marketing. You have the tools; it's time to use them. You should feel empowered and ready to begin your mobile marketing journey to help better promote your business.

Ida Mae Boyd
Contributor

7 Tips For An Authentic And Productive Writing Process

7 Tips For An Authentic And Productive
Writing Process

 

Richard Tipsword, Contributor

 

Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen.

The deadline for the article you need to write is approaching, and you’re struggling to get started when you should be in the final editing stages.

As you sit there trying to put your expertise in writing, a strange insecurity creeps up your spine. You see yourself changing before your own eyes, transforming from a confident expert into a self-conscious amateur.

It’s your own Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation experience.

I’ve been there.

I used to hate writing

Well, actually, it was more like loathing than hating.

Anytime I needed to write anything I’d procrastinate, pretending that avoiding the project would make it go away. Needless to say, the procrastination led to a flurry of rushed writing at the last minute to meet my deadlines, resulting in less than my best work.

But my real problem wasn’t the act of writing. It was fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear that what I wrote would sound stupid, fear that my writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.

My insecurities were turning me into a monster

So there I was, a guy with more than 15 years of experience, who has won some awards and is even a judge for three international design competitions, worried about sounding stupid.

It sounds ridiculous, but my fear of screwing up made writing a miserable experience for me.

I even used to try to compensate for my fears. I’d use stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sound like a pretentious jerk.

It was like I was changing from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde anytime I had to write something.

Then one sentence from my college professor changed everything

I had a job that offered tuition reimbursement benefits, so I decided to take some college classes. One of my classes was a composition class, and the professor gave me the best writing advice I’d ever heard.

“Write the way you talk.”

Wait. What?

It can’t be that easy! Seriously? What a liberating idea! That one piece of advice helped me break free of my fears and relaxed my writing style. No more procrastination. No more using large, unnecessary words to try and impress the reader. I could just relax, be myself, and write.

Now before you get the wrong impression, let me explain something: writing the way you talk does not give you permission to write poorly, or to publish content that sucks.

What it does is help break down the mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you from being a more engaging, and more productive writer.

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding like a pompous idiot:

1. Imagine yourself having a chat with a trusted friend

Good writing is like a conversation between the writer and the reader. So when you’re writing, think about how you would explain your topic to a close friend who was sitting next to you.

If you were having a conversation with that person, what words would you use? What would you talk about first? What examples would you give to help them understand your topic? What questions might they ask?

Approaching your writing this way will help you write copy that’s more informal and conversational in tone, that better engages your audience. As it happens, it’s also the best way to write sales copy.

2. Record yourself talking about your topic.

Not sure what you sound like in a conversation? Try recording yourself talking about your topic.

This is especially helpful for people who have clients they talk to on the phone regularly. The next time you’re explaining something to a client on the phone, record the call and listen to it later (Be sure to check the laws in your state first. Some states require you get the other party’s permission before you record). The easiest way to do this is with one of the many available plugins for Skype that do call recording.

3. Take a deep breath, relax, and just be yourself

By writing the way you talk, you can’t help injecting a little of your personality into what you write. After all, you’ll be writing in your own voice, using plain English everyone can understand, and a tone that makes you seem more human than textbook.

Combine that with a few relevant, well-placed personal stories and you have the makings of some irresistible content.

4. Use the same words that you do in your everyday life.

If you write the way you talk, you’ll be more inclined to use common, everyday words that you would normally use in conversation.

This prevents you from sounding like Captain Jack Sparrow using (in my best Johnny Depp impersonation) obtuse and generally confounding speech that makes your readers wish they were drinking rum.

So keep your writing simple and clear without artificially inflated language. A good rule of thumb is: if the average person would need a dictionary to know what your word means, then you need a different word.

5. Toss out the rule book and just start writing

If all the rules about grammar, writing styles, active versus passive voice, and punctuation are adding to your insecurities about writing, toss out the “rule book” for awhile and just write.

Focus on getting the main points of your idea down in your first draft, and don’t worry about anything else.

Once you’ve done that, you can go back and edit the heck out of what you wrote.

Do you notice any obvious errors? Is there anything that could be rearranged to bring more clarity to what you wrote? If so, now’s the time to fix it along with any grammatical, spelling, or other writing problems.

After you’ve made those corrections, leave the article to sit overnight and look at it again in the morning with fresh eyes. Is there anything you can do to make it even better?

6. Enlist the help of a close friend to keep you honest

Want to make sure that what you write actually sounds like you and not someone else?

Enlist the help of a close friend. Have them read what you write, and tell you if it sounds like someone else wrote it. This will help keep you true to yourself, and will force you to be authentic with your writing.

7. Read what you write out loud

One of the first editing tests I put my writing through is reading it out loud. Doing that makes awkward sentences and bad punctuation become obvious, because as you read, you’ll naturally “stumble” over the parts that need to be fixed.

So as you read your writing aloud, pay attention to those places that tend to trip you up — they may need some additional work.

The moral of the story

Get over the fears of messing up or sounding stupid. Just write the way you talk and you’ll be able to knock out your first draft in no time.

If you’re willing to do that, you’ll find that you’ll dread writing a lot less and be able to get more writing done because you’re working on it instead of fearing it.

I’ve been using these tips to guide my writing for several years now, and today I got the best evidence yet that they work.

I was talking with one of my clients on the phone about blogging, and as we were discussing the content for her blog she told me, “Whenever I read something you wrote, you always sound like such an expert. Like you really know what you’re talking about. ”

Need I say more?

So go ahead. Dive in. Who knows? You may even start to like writing.

Written by: Logan Zanelli

 

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