Optimize your Marketing Strategy with this Free Web Tool

marketing strategyAlthough the entry barrier to online businesses such as e-commerce is lower than for their offline equivalents, making a success of your enterprise is far from guaranteed.

Fortunately, there are countless web tools that you can use to help you get your business where you want it to be. Not all of these tools come cheap though, which can be off-putting for a fledgling project unsure of how much they can afford to spend on something that might prove unnecessary.

Thanks to the people behind our favourite search engine however, one of the most powerful tools available to help you optimize your marketing strategy is completely free.

Google Analytics is available to everyone, easy to set up, and gives you insights into where your traffic is coming from and what they are doing once they arrive, helping you to study the following data and make the tweaks that will improve your conversion rates.

Preferable referrals

Google Analytics allows you to see where your traffic is coming from, including those being sent there by way of referrals. This category tells you which websites are directing traffic back to your website, how much they are sending, and what it’s doing when it’s there.

If you’re paying for any online advertising as part of your marketing strategy, perhaps from the big yellow book company or other directory sites, this data can help you decide if this is money well spent or not.

If after analyzing your referral traffic you feel the amount is too low, or that the bounce rate is too high, you may want to consider dropping some of the referral services you are currently not getting value for money from and concentrating on the ones that you are.

Social engagements

Getting the most out of social media is a key part of any good marketing strategy, and Google Analytics can help you see how well your own efforts are faring.

By looking at the statistics in the Social tab, you will find exactly which of the various platforms you’re posting on are performing well, and which aren’t.

Are you getting more traffic from Twitter than from Facebook? Does your traffic from Instagram stick around longer than those who came from Pinterest? Do those coming from Google+ or LinkedIn look at more pages? Who makes the most comments? Who bounces?

And now that you know, what are you going to do with the information? Will you concentrate more on those who already perform well, or try to bring the others up to speed too?

The choice is yours, but at least now you have the data to help you decide.

Content with your content?

If you’re regularly paying for or writing your own blog posts, producing videos, creating infographics, or any other type of content as part of your marketing strategy, it needs to be hitting its intended mark if you’re to be successful.

Another way of using Google Analytics to help optimize your marketing strategy is to learn what type of content really resonates with your visitors and what leaves them unimpressed.

By measuring what content people like, by noting how long they’re spending on the different types and how often people bounce from them, you can get an idea of what topics people are interested in, whether videos are adding value to your marketing strategy, or if the time spent creating infographics is worth it.

As a free tool, Google Analytics provides priceless insights into the behaviour of your web traffic, helping you to optimize your marketing strategy by understanding where your audience is coming from, how effective your social media is, and what type of content you should concentrate on going forward.

To learn more about Google Analytics, watch our Youtube channel here:

Why Your Facebook Reach has Bombed and How to Fix It

digital media marketingSince its inception around a decade ago, Facebook has grown and evolved into something far bigger and far different to anything the creators could ever have imagined.

Beginning life as a social network exclusively for Harvard students, the site has since expanded globally to become what is essentially the world’s largest database of potential customers for those wishing to advertise to them as part of their digital media marketing. In a manner of speaking, Facebook has left school and gone to work.

For enterprises of all sizes, from the multinational to the sole trader, having a Facebook business page has become almost a prerequisite. As one of the most successful companies of all time though, Facebook has of course recognized the power it possesses in controlling both the advertising platform and the audience.

Unfortunately for those with fan or business pages, Facebook has recently made changes to take advantage of this power, which has meant these pages’ organic reach have plummeted. If you’ve found this happening to your own page and affecting your digital media marketing, read on to find out why and how you can fix it.

Pay to play

Companies as successful as Facebook don’t often leave money on the table. If you’ve seen your Facebook digital media marketing efforts bringing increasingly worse returns, it will be due to the site changing their regulations and, more importantly, their algorithm.

From now on, business page posts will no longer show up in people’s news feeds in the way that personal updates do. The reason your engagement has bombed is because nobody is seeing your posts; and if nobody is seeing them, what is the point in even posting them?

There is however something you can do, and it goes back to Facebook not leaving money on the table.

Every time you post, you have the option of boosting it. Boosting a post is essentially paying to advertise it, either to people who already like your page or to the wider Facebook community as a whole. The typical cost works out to be around six dollars a day, but there really isn’t any way around it. Now, if you want to play, you have to pay.

What to boost

It’s no secret that visual posts tend to get more engagement than those featuring text and links only, so it follows that these are the best type of posts to spend your money on boosting.

Facebook however does set guidelines that all advertisers using the platform for their digital media marketing must follow, with the 20% rule in particular concerning the amount of space in an image that is taken up by text. By overlaying a 25-box grid over your image, Facebook can see how many of these boxes feature your text. Any more than 5 means you will have violated Facebook’s 20% policy, which will prevent your post from being boosted.

Ensuring your posts are more visual than promotional is vital if you want to remain in Facebook’s good books.

Who to boost to

Although Facebook has begun to charge money to allow you to reach its massive database of users, the good news is that the database itself is still there, and Facebook’s boost options allow you great flexibility in who you want to see your boosted posts. The ability to target posts and adverts with such precision is a dream come true for those involved with digital media marketing, which is why Facebook is so confident in its recent algorithm changes.

Depending on the nature of your posts, you can boost those about new products to people who already like your page, boost posts introducing your company to friends of those who like your page, and even tailor your boosts to certain geographical locations, age ranges, gender, and general interests.

The ease with which Facebook provided a world of potential customers for free to those in digital media marketing was never going to last forever, but by knowing why your engagement has been worsening and knowing how to set it right, you can steal a march on those who may still be unaware of the recent changes.


Control Your Email Habits Before They Control You

blogsAs a small business owner, few things are more important than good productivity and effective time management. Unfortunately, these aren’t always easy to achieve; especially when there’s Facebook to check, blogs to read, and a steady stream of emails to reply to.

Unlike Facebook and blogs though, email is something that no small business owner can or should avoid in the working day. The problems come when too much time is spent reading and rereading them while taking no action.

As we use MailChimp for our email marketing campaigns, we’re able to monitor our subscribers’ email habits. A few of the trends we’ve noticed from looking at this information is rather shocking; some people are actually opening our emails on up to 21 separate occasions.

Clearly this is a huge waste of time, and has prompted us to share a few tips on how to control your email habits before they control you.

Self-control with a self-timer

Assigning yourself a set amount of time for each task every day is a great way to ensure you don’t spend too long on just one and neglect the others. You can even set aside times for getting your fix of the non-work websites that are usually a constant temptation and distraction.

One of the most popular time management systems is the Pomodoro Technique, a method of assigning yourself medium length blocks of dedicated work time, usually around twenty five minutes long, interspersed with short breaks of five or ten minutes.

Giving yourself twenty five minutes of concentrated email time, perhaps two or three times a day if need be, will help to focus your mind on the task at hand, while giving yourself a guilt-free five or ten minute window to check Facebook or browse some blogs to refresh your mind in between.

Accountability looks good on paper

If you find yourself quickly checking your email and taking no action constantly throughout the day, it might shock you to learn just how many times you do this, even if the accumulative time spent doing so isn’t that much.

Every time you turn your mind to your email, no matter how briefly, you’re taking it away from all the other important tasks that need your attention too.

It’s natural to tell yourself you don’t do this too often while underestimating the real figure, but having a pen and paper with you and keeping a record of how many times you idly check your email throughout the day will help you see just how often you do so, which will in turn give you the visual evidence you might need to control this habit.

This technique isn’t restricted to just your email habits, either. Keeping track of how many times you unconsciously open a social media page or look at blogs you don’t actually read can help you cut down on that habit too.

Another type of game theory

One irrefutable fact of life is that people are more likely to work on tasks if they enjoy them. Another fact of life is that nobody enjoys wading through a backlog of emails. The obvious solution here then is to somehow make email a fun endeavor, and eliminate the boredom that constantly drives people back to browsing social media and non-work related blogs. If only there were a way.

Welcome to the Email Game.

Easily found on Google, the Email Game is a web application that turns the task of clearing your inbox into something enjoyable, which of course helps motivate you to get through them quickly, eliminating the bottleneck that is your inbox and freeing you up to get on with the next thing on your to-do list.

Take control of your email habits today

Spending time on email every day is unavoidable for small business owners, but nurturing good habits can ensure that time is spent well rather than wasted. Every minute saved on not idly checking your inbox can be spent on something more productive.

It can even be reassigned and become time reserved for browsing social media, reading blogs, or any other leisure activity that can help relax your mind and maintain your concentration on the important tasks of the day.

Get On Google- How to Add Your Business To Google Maps

Here is a quick tutorial video that can help you add your business to Google Maps & get on Google for Free!

So first, type in your address into Google and it will show you the position marker on a map.

It should give you the option to add a place that is missing if you are not yet visible on Google, here you will want to fill in the relevant information like your website and name.

Once you have done that, there is a link asking “are you the business owner?” Click there.

Then you claim this Google Place.

Fill out the proper information and verifications. In the “Category” option – which is for search engine purposes – you want to think about what are people typing into Google that are going to be looking for what you offer.

You have to pick form the pre-populated category then hit continue. Follow the prompts.

Choose a verification mode and it will prompt you that it will not appear as verified until it is verified but it will be added.

Next you want to edit any information that may be missing and search engine optimize the area.

Click to enter your website and edit everything like hours of operation, photos etc. It is very, very important to fill in these fields as complete as possible.

Now, let’s focus on Introduction.

Here is where you want to add in links to your website in order to drive traffic back to your site and have it working as efficiently as possible for you. Here you can also add in as much information as you like.

Once you have completed that, go back and look over the page and double check in the future to make sure it has been verified.

After about two weeks, if this hasn’t been done, call Google directly and get your page verified!



The Effectiveness of Mobile Marketing

mobile marketingResearch shows the effectiveness of mobile marketing

Set aside your traditional marketing channels, mobile marketing is exploding like dynamite. Reaching customers on a smartphone or other hand-held device is one of the best strategies for today’s marketers.  And mobile marketing isn’t just growing; it’s booming.  So, as a marketer you know mobile marketing is highly effective in enticing consumers to buy what you have to sell.

Marketers use mobile to reach customers quickly (in real time).  And customers use their smartphones and tablets to communicate, shop, search, travel, play, read, and discover, from dusk to dawn.

The proof that mobile usage—and mobile marketing—are surging in popularity isn’t just in knowing there are 1.4 billion smartphones in use around the world; the evidence lies in the latest research on how and why customers and marketers are crazy about their mobile devices.

Let’s look at the following statistics:

Consumers check their mobile devices 150 times a day.
Ninety percent of the time mobile users respond to text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them.
Seventy-nine percent of smartphone owners use their devices to buy products and services

How Marketers Use Mobile

Consider that customers use their smartphones and tablets to email, text, post, tweet, buy, and connect. This means that mobile is a multi-channel “product,” and that marketers can use mobile marketing in a number of ways. For example, marketers can measure what customers want in a brand.  They can advertise, post messages, and move customers to commerce sites to view their products.  Finally, they can answer customers’ questions and measure their satisfaction with a purchase.

According to a provider of multi-channel communications to some of the world’s best retail brands, 20 percent of all current mobile traffic goes to e-commerce sites.

If you’re still not convinced of the value of mobile marketing, consider that customers spent $182 billion on mobile commerce last year alone.  And that number is estimated to grow to $707 billion by 2018.

What’s more, mobile empowers marketers to create, deliver, and measure personalized marketing campaigns. “Nothing gets marketers closer to consumers than mobile,” says Greg Stuart, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association.  “There is no other platform that is as personal and pervasive.”

The personal value of mobile-marketing campaign

Because mobile is personal, research shows that one campaign message doesn’t appeal to all consumers.  In a one-message-fits-all campaign, the marketer sends a single message to teens, seniors, business professionals, and other target groups.

For years marketers bought 30-second radio commercials and mailed brochures to millions of homes.  Research shows, however, that these campaigns may entice some but not all of the consumers reached.  Mobile marketing calls for a focus on each customer group by deploying a campaign that is deeply personal and practical.

Summary of Mobile Marketing

This article has looked at impressive research findings surrounding mobile.  The key to making mobile marketing effective is knowing that:

  • Mobile marketing must be a key strategy in your marketing plan, especially since smartphones and tablets are used to communicate, shop, search, travel, play, read, and discover;
  • Mobile is surging in popularity.  Remember, consumers spend a hundred billion dollars on mobile purchases each year;
  • Your mobile-marketing messages must be on all channels—mobile email, mobile social media, and so forth;
  • Your mobile-marketing message must be personal.  You need to craft a single message for each type of consumer group.

Make mobile marketing a part of your marketing strategy today.

Web Assessments

Today’s websites are the greatest marketing tool there is.  They are the best tools for communicating with customers and showcasing your products and services.  They are the lifeblood of your brand and convey your status, reputation, and position in the market.  That’s why web assessments are so critical to learning whether you are making the most of your website.

These are a few questions that our web assessments answer:  (1) Can consumers find your website easily when they search the internet for companies that sell the products and services you do?  (2) Does your company’s name surface often on the internet?  (3) Is your website designed to invite customers to your site’s inside pages to check out your products and make a purchase?  (4) Can people locate your website through social media? Do your social media sites direct traffic to your website?

Web assessment points 1 and 2 (above): Can consumers find your website easily?

Web assessments tells you whether search engines like Google and Yahoo can “read” your website, so that your company name and products come up often when people search for them on the internet.  Through search-engine optimization (SEO), your website and products are located more often, and your name can even seem to pop up everywhere when someone searches for your brand.

SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are used by your targeted consumers.  The more often a website appears in search-engine results, the more often people will visit it.

By the way, can consumers access your website using their mobile phone?  That’s another matter to consider when you ask for web assessments.

Website assessment point 3: Is your website designed to invite customers?

Every site is designed, but few are designed well.  When it comes to website design, you don’t want it to look a mess.  You want your brand, logo, colours, and company’s personality to explode from the home page and pull consumers inside.  On the inner pages of the site, they read fascinating, well-written snippets on what’s great about you and your products and services.  They see exciting themes– photographs, drawings, or picture-caption copy that communicates as well as the writing.

Bear in mind that a website built from a cookie-cutter template lacks original design and can seem amateurish for companies in the business of attracting customers or even employees.  If you want to look professional—hire a professional designer to make you look good.  Your reputation is at stake.

Consider the amazing sites that will impress visitors

All websites can be scaled to include digital catalogs, e-commerce, forums, message boards, blogs, auctions, contests, sales coupons that flash like light bulbs, newsletters, chat, classifieds, photo galleries, games, reviews, donation buttons, event enrollment forms, comments sections, and response forms. The only limitations are your imagination.  By the way, we design catchy and meaningful logos.

Website assessment point 4:  Do your social media sites direct traffic to your website?

Are you on social media?  Your competitors are.  Do you “share” your web content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and so on.  Since you want to be on every corner of the web, it’s essential to incorporate social media into your website.  This means having great social media links.  You want all your sites—social media and web—to communicate with one another.

Web assessments are a must.  If you do any digital work at all, ensure it’s focused on improving your website’s design, SEO, and connection to social media.

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Today let’s talk about Search Engine Optimization and how to do it!

If you’ve ever wondered how some businesses are on page one of google search, and you’d like to be there yourself…keep reading!

Search Engine Optimization is the process by which you optimize your website to rank highly on the search engines, like Google.

To get high rankings on search engines, I’ve outlined a three step process below!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Step One- Keyword Analysis:

The first thing that you want to do is go to the Google Keyword Planning tool (sign up if you don’t have an account already) and type in what you think that your future clients might be typing into Google.

They will generate a whole bunch of keywords for you and tell you how many people are actually searching for what you think they are searching for.

Search Engine Optimization Step Two: Optimize Your Website Text

Next make sure you have the right keywords and you start using them on your website- this is called On-Site Search Engine Optimization.

Once you identify what keywords your target market is actually searching for, then you can go ahead and start using those words in your website text.

Make sure you have a frequently asked questions page that addresses questions that people may be typing into Google and make sure your services pages have those words in the actual text there.

Search Engine Optimization Step Three: Update Your Website Frequently

The second thing you want to do is absolutely make sure you are updating your website on a frequent basis, the more frequent the better.

For best SEO results, I recommend updating your website once a week if you can.

Post a blog post, talking about those keywords; addressing the questions your future clients may have and  are actually typing into Google.

Search Engine Optimization Step Three: Integrate with Social Media

Thirdly, make sure your website is engaging and actually addressing things people care about and is integrated into social media.

Statistics are showing the more engagement you are getting on social actually on your website, contributes to where you rank on Google, more specifically use of Google+.

OK, I’ve followed these 3 steps, Now What?

If you’re serious about getting on google or optimizing your website so it shows up higher on the search rankings, you need to get a Google Analytics account.

Your web developer can set one up for you as well- but once you’re logged in, on the left hand site you will see a section for Social which shows how socially integrated your site is, where your social traffic is coming from.

Google Analytics will also show you where your site is ranking, what terms people use to get to your website and lots of other great information about how your website is performing.

That is your one minute tip! If you liked it, please share and don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCurxTLa0XxIvJowi6HuhpUw