Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tips Simple But Effective Techniques to Find Readers for a Blog

If you are planning to launch a blog, it is important to know that you have your work cut out for you.  There is no denying that a blog is an effective marketing tool which your business must leverage. It is easier to use a blog to position your brand as an authority in your industry.

A blog also increases conversion and boosts traffic to your site. With a blog, it is easier to have quality content shared on social media which again enhances your brand’s online presence.

While all these factors point to the importance of blogging, it is important to appreciate the tough task ahead for you. Blogging is more than just posting articles. In fact, most bloggers fail because they approach blogging trivially.

As a blogger, you have to find readers who will gradually share your content and build an online community. This is the toughest part of blogging but you can use these following tips to easily find readers for your blog:

1. Start With Quality Content

It might be cliché but content is key in blogging. Most bloggers want to take shortcuts in order to avoid the arduous task of creating fresh content. Your content has to be useful and unique. It has to add some value to the reader. This is a foolproof strategy to find new readers. Posting quality content increases the chances of the content and your brand being shared on social media, which is the dream of every marketer.

2.  Start Linking to Others

The maxim that no man is an island applies aptly in blogging. You cannot expect to get noticed without linking to others. A good start is by linking and contributing to authority blogs. With time, readers will identify your quality content and visit your blog to learn more about your services.

It is however important to avoid randomly linking to others. Make sure you selectively look at the blogs you are linking to. Within a matter of time, you will start noticing an increase in traffic towards your blog.

3. Participate in Other people’s Comments

If there is one solid strategy to find readers for your blog, it is participating in ongoing conversations. There are many niche blogs where readers are meeting and looking for solutions. As an authority in the industry, you can leverage your expertise to provide invaluable information and also establish yourself as a blogger worth following. Make genuine comments on other people’s blogs and this will in turn earn you followers.

4.  Update Frequently

This is a cardinal rule in blogging but one that is easier said than done. Consider that you already have a lot of other tasks to carry out and you start appreciating the reason why you don’t find fresh content on most blogs.

If you plan in advance by creating a posting schedule, you will find it easier to update your content regularly. It doesn’t have to be daily but remember, if you have quality content, don’t keep your readers waiting. Search engines love such content too.

Still wondering how top bloggers get thousands of readers? It starts with these simple blogging tips. Go ahead and try them out.

Are You Looking For A Marketing Automation Tool

Businesses are increasingly shifting towards automating their marketing efforts. A 2014 survey report published by SiriusDecisions found that the number of B2B organizations using marketing automation tools was nearly 11 times higher than what it was in 2011. This is a massive 1000% increase in adoption over a three year period. Today, automation is a vital component of marketing in not just B2B organizations, but also businesses that cater to the end customer.

Picking the right marketing tool for your business is a matter of priorities. There are a number of free marketing automation services in the market today. But these solutions can be unreliable and not suitable for a corporate business. Besides price, you should also look at the various other features that make marketing automation important for your business.

Look at the core features first

Marketing automation tools inevitably come with a lot of frills. As a marketer, the first thing you should look for however is the core product. The automation component of the product needs to be sufficiently flexible to work for your specific business requirements. The tool must let the user set rules and conditions at every stage of the marketing process. This way, the marketer may set hundreds of scenarios and set rules for how to react to these specific scenarios.

Email integration

Email marketing forms the core component of any automation strategy. No matter how you acquire your leads, you will still need to nourish these leads and generate interest through email communication. Companies like SquareSpace spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each month to capture leads who are then nourished over email marketing strategies. No matter how large your business is, pick a marketing automation provider who has strong foundations in email marketing. Failing this, you could be bleeding a lot of money in nourishing leads over email marketing platforms that don’t enjoy good reputation and thus have poor deliverability.

Ease of use

While marketers would require a software with advanced filter and rules based automation features, it is also important to pick a tool that is easy to set and deploy. GetResponse, a company that started off as an email marketing platform and which now has advanced marketing automation features is a good example of intuitive design. The service comes with a drag and drop workflow builder that lets marketers design powerful workflows with just click and drag functionalities. If you are an eCommerce business, a tool that easily integrates with third party platforms would come in handy. This way, you could set rules for specific use-cases like when a visitor abandons their cart or when they just made a purchase.

Scalable

Marketing automation is an extremely powerful strategy and could drive up the number of prospects in your sales funnel quite rapidly. It is hence important to pick a marketing automation tool that is scalable. This is not only important from an infrastructure perspective, but also from the pricing point of view. If you are a bootstrapped business that is starting out on marketing automation, you may want to know your outgoing expenses from automation when you have several thousand prospects in your sales funnel. The automation tool you pick should hence have a transparent billing process and needs to be affordable.

How to Getting Your Business Listed On Local Directories and Review Sites

Being listed on the local directories and review sites gives the advantage to connect with the community, create relationships and interact directly with clients which can help you compete with other big brands on the high street.

Local business listings online help the small businesses connect with new customers as they cover every industry you can imagine and get your business noticed by the search engines as well as future customers who search for your products and services. For example, when someone wants to find a garage or auto mechanic in the neighbourhood and they do not have a specific address in mind, they’d search on their favourite search engine. In a few seconds, they browse entries from a business directory and make a choice.

Factors To Consider While Choosing The Right Review Sites and Local Directories

When you are submitting and claiming your business listings on review websites and local directories, there are various options. Blurbpoint lists some important factors to consider while determining which review sites and local directories would be the best for your business.

Search Your Business On Google

The first thing you’d do is search your business on Google and see whether your business is already listed on some review site or local directory. If not, you need to claim your business on various local listings. Simply go to your profile and look for the Claim your business link. This will help you claim your business listing on a particular directory.

Why should you claim your business?

If the user wants to submit or find your business reviews, they might get into any of these online channels. Make sure you put the best foot forward by claiming your business listing. When it comes to leaving reviews about your local business, there are some popular review websites to choose from like Yelp, BBB, CitySearch, Glassdoor, etc.

Find More Citation Sources By City or Category

Using the citation sources by Category, they will help you find the best local directories and review sites for your business type. For example, for Restaurants, you can take advantage of sites like Zomato.com and TripAdvisor.com. The best citation sources by City can help you to find the best local directories and review sites based on your location. Some cities will list very localized directories such as the Washington post for USA.

Sign up for primary search engines local directories

The three well-known and most used search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. All these search engines have their own review system and local directory. Google is more likely going to be your main traffic source, but it is good to get covered on Yahoo and Bing as well. Take a look at Blurbpoint Media listed on 10seos.com, a leading local directory for top SEO companies.

Google uses Google + for the local business listings, and it is absolutely free.

Yahoo has a Yahoo Local section which lists the basic business listings for free and enhanced business listings which offer enhanced contents, and more photos cost $9.99 per month.

Bing has a Bing Local section, and the listings are free.

Create a great Listing

Once you have claimed your business listing on review websites and local directories, the next step is fleshing out your business’ profile as much as possible. How? Here are a few tips to do that:

  • Add your social profile links if possible. Even if the visitor is not your potential customer, they might be interested in checking out your Facebook page or follow on Twitter. You can also guide the user why this is important and have some articles link for their reference.
  • Take the benefit of your options to enhance your listing content. This could include a PDF upload of your menu, slides from a sales presentation, a YouTube video, or any other visual information.

The one thing you must remember when completing your business listings is that your business value may get affected depending on how complete is your profile.

Dealing with Reviews

How to respond to your online business reviews may vary for different review websites. You can reply the reviews publicly to demonstrate your prompt and outstanding customer service by both helping the customers who have any problems and appreciating the happy customers.

Info Your Site Search May be Hurting Your Conversion And Bottom Line

On average, nearly 40% of e-commerce shoppers use the website’s internal search engine to find the product they are looking for. Since they are likely to be in the final stages of the buying process and have a specificintent, using site search indicates higher chances of conversion among those who use search, compared to casual browsers.

Every online retailer wants to increase sales, that’s a given. And yet, it’s amazing how many e-commerce sites fail to perform some of the basic optimization processes that help boost profitability and conversions. Site search usability is one of the core areas which, if not fully optimized,can cause visitors to quickly head over to a competitor’s site, where it may be easier to find what they’re looking for.

Only 15% of companies have dedicated resources to optimizing the e-commerce site search experience, while 40% of retailers are ignoring it altogether. While most retailers still seem to underestimate the importance of a finely tuned site search, this trend is gaining momentum.

If you own an online shop, look at it from the customer’s perspective, which should be easy since we all shop online. By now, we are accustomed to the “search-as-you-type” functionality, and we don’t just expect it from Google – we expect it while shopping on any e-commerce website. And, as you may also notice at one point or another, there’s a considerable difference between generic implementation and what happens when you start typing a keyword into an advanced, clever search bar.

According to various digital trends & reports, an optimized site search functionality improves conversion and sales for several reasons. Here’s why site search is one of the best areas to invest in on your own site:

  • Leads to increased site usage
  • Results in more return visits
  • Delivers better overall user experience
  • Contributes tobranding
  • Improves customer retention and loyalty rates

You might be thinking, ‘my site is already awesome. My graphics are easy on the eyes. My content is on point. I offer some of the best products or services in my industry. I’ve conducted comprehensive research on my target audience. What’s causing my conversion to lag behind?’

Well, there are several ways your sitesearch may be hurting your conversion and bottom line. Have a look at them, and see if they apply:

1.  Search trends

In an e-commerce business, if the search trends aren’t apt, chances are that buyers may not return, resulting in a missed opportunity for conversion. Some search trends are seasonal and easily predictable, while others may appear suddenly and for particular reasons that are virtually impossible to pinpoint or predict. Keeping track of all the upwards and downwards trends will help you manage your inventory more efficiently and present more relevant results.

2.  Marketing-related insights

Some customers search in unexpected ways, using various synonyms and phrases when they are looking for a particular product you may have named and described differently that what they imagine. If this is the case, a low AdWords quality score and CTR, and SEO efforts may be the biggest constraint in your conversion. Therefore, it’s best to align your marketing copy with your customers’ language – despite your best efforts to be cool, innovative or original.

3.  Product-query relevance rank

An importantbut rarely provided insight, is how specific products rank in terms of relevance for a given search term, and how that rank changes over time. Search engines strive to interpret the intended meaning behind a search query, and provide the most relevant results in the most pertinent order for each individual user. If the product query or a search term is not relevant, then there will be a decline in conversion rate.

For example, perhaps you’ve always assumed mid-November was the best time to promote the winter collection of a particular clothing brand, but when looking at trends in product rank for searches of that brand you might find that customers are engaging with the winter collection much earlier than expected. Understanding when and which products are more relevant to the search query can help guide other decisions related to in-store navigation, merchandising, and promotion – particularly if there are seasonal changes. Search is often your best real-time pulse to learn the shifting demands and needs of customers.

4.  Low conversion rate and average order value

If your conversion rate and/or average order value (AOV) are low compared to search visits, it is likely negatively affectingyour bottom line. Both of these are vital KPIs and are more indicative or success thantraffic or organic search visits. So, if you want to promote your on site search box, get a redesign that encourages your visitors to use your search functionality.

5. Navigation issues

On which pages are most site-searches initiated? When a customer enters a search term, if that certain page shows an uncharacteristically large amount of initiated searches, it could point to problems with your product categorization as well as in your site’s navigation. Site search tools provide a powerful and familiar means to help with navigation elements.

6.  Less filtering options

If a user is not able to narrow down their searches using a variety of sorting tools to filter the product selection, then the conversion rate may drop. That’s why filtering options are essential to a sound user experience,including product category, price range, size, brand, color, and user ratings. The more filtering options you can offer, the better it is for the buyers looking to narrow down the search to their preferences.

7.  Zero results pages

Site-search result pages that turn up blank – particularly due to synonyms or typos that aren’t recognized – can result in failure to convert. Avoid displaying empty results pages at any cost. Delivering null or irrelevant results can cause visitors to assume you don’t carry the product they’re looking for – or anything similar to it – andhead over to your competitor’s site instead. This problem is minimized by using an advanced site search engine. If you’re using an e-commerce platform with a built-in search feature, there are ways to reduce null-results by improving your products’ meta data.

In a nutshell, make sure your site search engine is fast, relevant, can handle misspellings and is capable of evolving through learning user behaviour. Even small, simple improvements can lead to improving your conversion rate by as much as 50%, and we trust you won’t stop there.