Sometimes there are fantastic articles and news about technology.  This is a place to put links with commentary to other articles.  If you hear of good news – technology related stories…let me know.

You will find stories about cool companies, great new technology and computers.  These may be also about changes in the way people use tech items or how companies or schools are adapting to the ever changing world.

SEO Test Tool – How can you learn SEO?

We used to run a tool to check the SEO of your web pages.  That is not something we do anymore.  It just got to be too much work and people were SPAMMING the dickens out of us…not to mention the cease and desist orders.  Oh yea…all kinds of fun.  :)

This tool has reached end of life.  But, no matter what, we have done a lot of work around SEO – here are some of the articles we point people to for research and learning.

SEO Research and Learning

How do I learn more about SEO?

There are a number if tools like this on the market – but if you are really looking to fix and gain SEO on your website, please take time to research and learn what is involved.

I’m not the biggest Rand Fish fan, but the guide that Moz has for beginning SEO is solid.  You can check that out over at Moz learning.

What does it all mean?  SEO is a moving target.  And, we have really been talking about page level SEO.  There is social media marketing and so many other factors which play into search results.

How to Maximize Your Email Marketing Campaign Strategy

Have you tried email marketing and had bad luck?  Let’s see if we can fix it.  This post will help you maximize your email marketing strategy get you more conversions!

Send to Qualified Leads

Make sure you’re sending your emails to the most qualified leads you have. Cold emailing is a brutal way to get your email read.  You can purchase qualified leads list or collect them via your website & social media channels.  But once you make the decision to send an email – getting opens is much easier with qualified leads.

Split Test Your Emails

Split testing is a way to test your email before you send it to the whole list.  This becomes a HUGE strategy when your lists grows.  Subject lines are a common testing element.  One thing to do is test colors too – you can send 50% of your list one color – 50% the other and see where a better click through rate is at.  Leveraging the email layout, wording and fonts are great variations that make a big difference.

Create a Catchy Subject Line

A catchy subject line should draw people in and actually get them to click on your email. It is hard and takes time – but once you start to see what works, it gets easier.  Once they’ve clicked on the email, you want them to click through to your website. Make sure the subject line gives an idea of what to expect in the email, but still leaves an element of mystery.

Include a Clear Call to Action

A clear call to action is a must if you want anybody to click through to your site. Do you want them to take advantage of an offer you have? Tell them and make it clear.  Some people just need to be told.

Monitor Their Progress

Monitor the progress of your emails to see how well they are doing. Make note of click through rates and other elements so you can decide where you need to improve.

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Don’t Make it Too Complicated

Making the email too complicated isn’t a good idea. People will probably read it in their lunch hour or where they are supposed to be working, and it’s unlikely they have that much time. Keep things as simple as you can. You don’t want to confuse anybody or make things more difficult than they need to be – look for ways to keep it simple.

Be Professional

Above all else, it’s important that you’re professional. Emails can be kept and looked back on, so you don’t want to say anything that can be used against you or your business. Always bear professionalism in mind to get the best results.

These tips will always help you to get the most from your email marketing campaign, so use as many of them as possible and make a note of how much more successful they are. Leave a comment here with your thoughts too!

6 Tips To Write An Attractive Email for a Better Response

If I had $1 each time someone declared email to be dead, I would be rich.  The fact is – email is a great way to keep in touch with your fans, customers and users.  Why?  Because it works.  When you write an email for a better sesponse – most times you are looking for the receiver to reply.  There are a few tips and tricks you can use to get better response – here are some ideas to help stop the cold or no-response emails and get the reply you want.

6 Tips on Email for a Better Response

Tip #1: Use catchy subjects and sub-headings in your emails

The subject line is the thing people look at to see if they will open the email – so it must catch the viewer’s eye.  This means it must have an attractive and appealing title or subject.  Worse – if you put no subject on your email it will be pushed right into the [SPAM] folder. That is what we want to avoid.

Using a great email subject line and adding breaks in your message with sub-headings – people will engage with your email better.  Subheadings in the email make it easy for people to scan the email quickly.

Note: Writing deceptive subject lines is a bad idea and makes the reader distrust you.  Bad idea.  The reader cannot feel had or cheated in any way. Keep your email subject sensible, yet captivating.  It will make the titles and subheadings in the email stand out.

Tip #2: Keep Length of the email in Check

The length can be a factor in email read-ability.  With all things internet – you will find many opinions.  Some will say short emails are the key and some will tell you the longer the better.

The “Keep it short Crowd”:
There is no point of sending one-line emails which do not convey anything. The content of your email should deliver what you are trying to say and at the same time it should not jar or annoy the reader with excessive length.

One should not over pack emails with loads of unnecessary information which the readers may not like. In such cases, the recipients may end up deleting your email without even scrolling through it completely. So, what would a perfect email for a better response look like? A proper or effective email will have maximum two paragraphs which comprehensively describe the content of the mail succinctly.

The Camp of Long Sales Letter:

People will close or delete the email when they stop reading – or better yet…click through.  So why not have a nice, long message for anyone who wants to keep reading.

With a longer your email you need to have mid-sized paragraphs with space between sections.  Font color and bolding will help make special point stand out and get people to your calls to action.  Pictures are an option – but know many email accounts will block them, so don’t count on images for the big messaging.

Tip #3: Use names in Email for a Better Response

If you have the recipient’s name, use it.  Please like to read their own name.  Its a psychological catch – but they add relevance when they see their own name.

People are busy. They need to be motivated to read the message.  How many times have you deleted emails which addressed you as “Dear Client” or “Dear Webmaster”?  Think about it.  Look at recent emails you have clicked on – why did you click it?

Tip #4: An appealing first paragraph

The beginning is always most important.  Start your email off like a pro – its your best chance that the reader will stay engaged.  Reserve the first paragraph for user profiling. Details about users can easily be mined from social networking websites – take time to do this and you will use email for a better response.

This kind of work will build a better rapport with the reader.  They will be more impressed with your work and see time went into the crafting of the message.

Tip #5: The Second Paragraph – Just Say It

Get to it.  They know you want something.  The reader knows you want something. The second paragraph is a jump to the reason behind why you are emailing.

Keep tone profound and convey everything you planned. Do not beat around the bush – sharing the information.

Tip #6: Sleek Ending Note

The ending note is your last chance to “get the sale”.  So ask – directly.  Crisp and short – sum it up right there.  Use style to end your email for a better response.

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How to Revamp Your Social Media Strategy

No marketing professional in this day and age would ignore social media. To do would be to sound the death knell for the business. Social Media has come a long way and is now vital tool to drive web traffic, improve brand reputation and visibility, and connect with customers and prospects.

If your social media strategy hasn’t been paying dividends lately, there could be a number of reasons for this. For example, if you use social media to get leads, drive sales, gather data, target ads and for customer service, it can be said that your business has matured digitally and you no longer have any low-hanging fruit to pluck. To succeed in future, you need to overhaul your social marketing with the right social marketing tools at hand.

The Linkage between Social Media and SEO

Let’s begin by taking a look at how social media and SEO complement each other. There are many misconceptions and outright falsehoods regarding the impact of social media on organic search ranking. The big question has been whether social signals have any effect on search rankings. None other than Matt Cutts, the former Google staffer, has said that social signals do not feature in Google’s ranking algorithm. This was back in 2014 and Google confirmed this again in 2016 via Gary Illyes.

However, despite this statement from Google, there is no doubt that there are a number of other ways that social media marketing can impact SEO. For example;

  • Social media profiles and content often show up in Google search results. For example, Google+, Facebook and Twitter content and posts often get indexed.
  • Mentions and social media activity accelerate organic search queries. For example, when something starts trending on Twitter, people quickly perform search engine queries to find out more about the trending topic. This “buzz” can quickly deliver visitors to your website.

The moral is that while social media signals are not ranking factors in the Google algorithm, they do have an impact on SEO by directly influencing other factors which are used in the ranking algorithm.

Where Does Your Social Audience Hang Out?

To revamp your social media strategy, you need to ask yourself where your audience hangs out. A lot of times, you may find your marketing budget being stretched thin because your campaigns are all over the place yet your audience may only be active on one or two social networks. For example;

  • B2Bs are likely to have a captive audience on LinkedIn.
  • For businesses selling a product, Facebook is most likely the platform.
  • For the fashion industry, Instagram appears to be the social media network of choice.
  • If you are targeting teenagers and millennials under 25, then you definitely want to be on Snap.
  • If your main audience in women, you can ignore Pinterest.

If you aren’t sure where your audience hangs out, there is a lot of research and data on this from research organizations like Nielsen and Pew Research Center.

However, social media isn’t ideal for all types of businesses. You may be in some obscure industry where a trade show or other forum may be a more appropriate marketing and PR strategy.

After refining your social media targets, the next thing is to test and retest. Test both paid and organic content and based on the results, refine your targeting. Also, acquaint yourself with how the social media network indexes its content and how it shows up when searched by users.

Combine Social Media Data with Other Marketing Channels

Marketing elements are rarely stand-alone, they co-exist with several other elements within the same ecosystem. To create a more unifying experience for your audience, you need to use data across all marketing channels. There are five ways to do this:

  • Gain content ideas from social media activity, for example, from complaints and suggestions in posts.
  • Gain content ideas from social communities, comments, and most engaging posts.
  • Gain remarking audiences from the site cookies
  • Use ad results to target better
  • Get link magnet ideas from trending topics

Conclusion

Social media marketing is akin to fishing. You need the right bait and you must cast your net where there is fish. Social media is just one cog of the overall marketing strategy. You must combine with other marketing channels for the best results.

Revamping your social media strategy is actually about understanding your social media helps you reach and engage with your target market better. Once you figure this out, you are home and dry.

 

Tips to Help You Set up A Successful Web Store

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Setting up an ecommerce store might seem like a dream come true, allowing you to take control of your working life and build up a solid business that will provide for you and your family. But there are so many millions of online stores already in existence that it can be difficult to make a success of it.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and, if you put the following tips to set up a successful webs tore into practice, there is every chance that you’ll be one of the ones who does succeed…

Create a Compelling Website

The most important thing you can do if you want your online store to succeed is obviously to set up a really good website that is easy to use, easy to understand and which provides compelling content that encourages people to visit.

If you can’t afford to hire a professional web designer, when you’re starting out, it is fine to use an eCommerce platform like Shopify to get you started.

Source Unique Products

If you’re selling the same things as a million other online stores, you’re going to find it exceedingly difficult to break into the market and really make an impact. It’s not impossible to do, but it will be much harder than if you start out by selling unique products. Try to think of something that will stand out, make people instantly interested and get the ball rolling.

Invest in Storage

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Many startup web store owners store their stock in a garage or spare room, but this limits the amount of product they can sell and can lead to problems with them fulfilling orders, which doesn’t exactly endear customers to them. So, if your budget can stretch to it, look for steel buildings for sale or contact local storage solution companies and do your best to secure enough storage space for a successful business. After all, if you act like a successful business from the off, you’re more likely to become one.

Price Your Products Perfectly

It’s not always easy to know what the perfect price point for any given product is, but it’s worth doing some research to find out, because if a product is too expensive, few people will buy and if it’s too cheap, you’ll struggle to make a profit unless you can shift huge volumes.

Market research and checking out the competition are both good ways of working out what you should be selling your own stock for.

Come Up with a Great Marketing Plan

Even the biggest, most successful companies on the planet need to continuously market their products if they want to stay at the top, so when you’re at the bottom, it’s even more important that you get your message out there.

As a startup, your best bet is to start with social media. Post pictures, witty captions, blog posts and viral videos that are aimed at your target demographic and you will slowly but surely build up a following of people you can sell your good to.

Has your web store been a success? How did you do it?