Your Guide to attract more customers online in 2018

If you have a business you most likely have a website. If you don’t, well you should definitely act now and put yourself online because you are missing big on opportunities.

If you have a website, then you have probably heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is about increasing your website’s visibility to your potential clients and customers when they search for products or services similar to what you offer.

To get that visibility

  • You have to know your customers, what they want, and how you can help them.
  • You have to know about search engines and how they go through your site to understand if it is related to what people are looking for or not.
  • And you need to know how to promote your business online so that people will trust and contact you.

There are many factors that impact your website SEO success, such as:

Technical: This is about your website and how well it is made to communicate with the search engines. It is about speed of your site, your website structure, URL structure, indexing, coding, and many more…

On-page: This is about your website content. Anything that you have on your site such as text and images, videos, and the code that holds your site.

Off-page: This is anything that bring your business attention but is not on your website. Off page SEO is used to bring your business and your website, trust, authority, and show search engines and visitors that you are related to what you claim you are. Off-page SEO includes link building, PPC (ads), reviews, and social media marketing.

Now this Search Engine Optimization have been in place for many years and many businesses and people are benefiting by getting it right and gaining trust and attention from their target market.

In 2018 you can bring things to another level by thinking about “New SEO” or “Search Experience Optimization”.

Search Experience Optimization is optimizing your website for your target market in all the places your brand could possibly appear.

93% of online experiences start from search engine. This means that search engine can be your biggest advertisement medium to show your brand and business.

Ads:

When searching for a product or service google uses different ways to show you results. It shows “Ad” above organic results. This means on desktop you might be able to see only one organic result above the fold and on mobile you will only see ads. This should give you a hint that if you want to be visible you might want to try ads to reach more people.

Google’s Knowledge Graph

It also shows results on Google’s Knowledge Graph which displays basic information about your business such as Location, phone number, Ratings, reviews, hours of operation, and link to your website. This is an amazing opportunity to give your users an instant and quick information about your business. Sometimes people don’t go beyond these info and once they see your ratings, reviews, and location they will just give you a call right away. So you have to make sure that you are using this important real estate on the search engine results page to maximize your business awareness, website traffic, and conversion.

Local businesses are benefiting from Google’s Knowledge Graph with minimum effort. Here is an example:

SEO in 2018As you can see in this photo, if you give information to Google it collects all it finds to put in front of people for you.

To get the most out of your Google Knowledge Graph just make sure your business is integrated with Google+.

Use Schema Markup to communicate better with search engines. Try to get listed at Wikipedia or Wikidata.

Optimize your Google My Business page and Google Maps and create Social Media profiles.

Make sure you are on youtube, or on third party websites like yelp and amazon. Try to be visible as much as possible.

Optimize it for People

When optimizing the content of your website, optimize it for people. Get to know what your target is looking for, how they search, what keywords they use, and with voice search what they may say and optimize the content according to these keywords. Google understands the context of your content so you don’t need to over use the keywords. Make sure the content is useful and as natural as possible. Keep in mind that you want to give a good experience to the viewers of your website. You want to give them what they are looking for and make their job easier when making the decision.

If you want to know what people are looking for, you can use Google Autocomplete, People also ask, Related searches to learn about what people are looking for. This gives you a great idea on your keywords as well as how you can help your consumers.

Website Speed & Mobile First

You want your content be accessible fast regardless of what device people are using. Slow loading pages impacts your SEO performance and user experience. Having a mobile responsive and mobile friendly website that shows your site in a readable and easy to navigate way is a must have. Google crawls and indexes mobile sites first. So if your website doesn’t have a mobile version you will miss on this one.

 

Here are things you can start taking care of right now and keep going with it to make sure you are using your opportunities in 2018 to become more visible and hopefully make more conversion by attracting right traffic to your website.

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Can I take care of my own Online Marketing?

Who doesn’t want to save some money by taking care of their own online marketing? The big question is that Is it possible?

Yes, of course. It is possible and if you can’t find a good marketer to take care of it for you it is always a great idea to do it yourself. Because without marketing there is no business.

How can you take care of your own online marketing?

You can start reading about it. First you should understand what is online marketing all about. In short it is how you brand and present yourself online. It is how visible you are to those who are searching for services such as yours. And it is about making the right first impression. And turn the visitors into customers.

Digital marketing works best when you know your business well. When your business model is strong and you already know your uniqueness, and what differentiates you from your competitors.

Sometimes it is hard to see all the great things you have which makes you different from others in your field. So from now on listen to your happy clients and ask them what they thought about you and your services. These will give you good reviews to share on your site and social media. And these reviews will make you understand what people and your clients see in you.

There are two parts for a successful Online Marketing. One is Creative and another is Technical. The technical part is about things that have to be done on your website. There are many things that should be done right when your website is built to make sure search engines can find your site when people look for your services.

Things like headers, content, tags, code, image names,… If you don’t have access to the back-end of your site and if you can’t make changes to it then you can’t do this on your own and you would definitely need help. You can of course ask someone to teach you on how you can take care of this part. It shouldn’t take long to learn about it. The tricky part is to be committed and actually put time to do these things.

The creative part is how you want to present yourself and your brand and how you want to be different with others. This is where images, videos, promotions, social media, and content come handy. Think blue sky and write all creative things you can imagine to make the connection with your target market and show your uniqueness. Once you have a list start doing them one by one.

For instance if you are a dentist, see what are some common questions of your patients. And star answering those questions. Make videos and introduce the staff and your office.

If you are amazing with kids, make sure to make videos and take photos that shows that. Start helping and writing useful content on social media and on your blog.

You can also start connecting with your potential clients through other activities. For instance if you are a dentist who is also a professional tennis player start connecting with people through talking about tennis on social media. Or if you like movies share what you like and make suggestions. Your patients and clients are using different channels and have different interests. They can find you even when they are not specifically looking for your services.

So, yes you can take care of your online marketing as long as you take care of it :)

Sometimes businesses don’t ask for online marketing help to save money but they end up losing money and clients that could be theirs. Monitor your progress. Monitoring and measuring is a very important part in online marketing. If you see you are not making progress definitely get help. And if you see yourself busy with work then ask an expert to help you on your online marketing. Someone who cares about your business and success as much as you do.

 

 

 

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How Social Media Benefits your Business

grow your business - earn more money online

Being active on social media would definitely bring lots of value to your business. People like to interact with humans. And social media sites give you the chance to come out of your business shell and connect with your audience. One big mistake is to create pages for your business and just post all about your services and be super formal with those posts. People want to know you when they come on social media. They want to socialize. This gives you a huge asset to use. Make one on one connection with your target market. Get to know them so you can serve them better.

Be authentic. Demonstrate your empathy. Keep it real. Post photos of activities at work and outside the work, like community activities. Show  your audience, you are beyond your business. Be yourself on social media.

People might contact you just because they see you are both having the same interests or you are both doing the same sports activities.

Researches have shown that more than 50% of consumers would like to hire an expert who is active on social media. Consumers use social media to evaluate you, your behavior, and your services. They need to see you outside your website. They want to make connection with you as a human and social media is a great platform to do that . Activity on social media also shows that you care more about your consumer. You think about them and how you can help them rather than how they can help you by spending money on your site. You take some time to interact with them and also provide them with free information and help.

Social media is interactive. Make people comfortable to work with you. Show your trust factors.

Social media also helps you show your immediate attention to your consumer by answering their questions, and responding their comments. 

Social media is permanent. It allows you to keep record of all the excellent public interactions you have.

If you think you don’t have enough time to take care of your profiles, or if you can’t respond and interact with others, it is much better no to have a social media profile. Having a dead profile will have negative effects.

How to deal with negative reviews and comments:

It happens a lot that people don’t open social media profiles because they are afraid of negative comments. Don’t fear negative comments: no real business has 100% happy clients.

Negative comment is an opportunity to show your reaction when you have an unhappy client. You can show your constructive, helpful manner. This way it becomes positive. No one expects a business to have 100% positive reviews. 

 

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Marketing 101 For Artists – 5 key points to help you make more money today!

 

You want as many people as possible to consume your art. And to do that, you have to be a business person.Halsey

The power of Online Marketing

You have probably heard this a lot that showing your work in today’s world is much easier with the existence of internet and social media. You make something, you put it on your website and social media sites and you will get instant feedback, love, and support from your followers. The big challenge in the days of technology is not, not having enough tools to show your artwork, it is how you want to show your work to the right audience at the right time and make money. We all get so much support from friends and family online but most of the time they are not the ones who would pay for our artwork.

We have to make sure we are getting the same attention from the ones who are actually interested in our product and services. But how do we find them? How can we stand out in the online world with so much noise and competition?

Here is an interesting truth. Although people use internet to show their works there are few people who do their online marketing right. There are few people who take care of their online presence and take right actions to be the winner. It is never too late to start taking care of your online presence. And once you start it you will see the results. You will position yourself high enough for your right target market to see you and actually pay you for your craft.

Online Marketing refers to actions you take to show your business online to the right customers and boosts your business to a higher and more professional level. Online Marketing helps you live everyday doing what you love.

Here are few recent statistics from Hubspot that shows why you should take action and start your Online Marketing Today!

61% of global Internet users research products online.

44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.

YouTube has become the 2nd Largest Search Engine – bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask & AOL combined.

50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.

60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results.

Daily Pinterest users have increased by more than 145% since the beginning of 2012.

A call-to-action pin description sees an 80% increase in engagement.

The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75%

Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.

So what do these mean?

When you see 61% of people search online to find what they need you instantly know that you should put your product online. If you are offering services you have to mention your services online to be found by them.

When you hear Youtube has become the 2nd largest Search Engine, you instantly should think of the ways you can make videos and be present on youtube as well. There are many ways you can make videos. It can be you talking about your products or services or it can be series of images showing something. Keep in mind that videos are great to make connection with your audience. They work best when you start educating people through your videos. You want them to trust you first. Stay away from selling. When you start talking about selling your products or services you will lose your viewers. You want to genuinely help and educate your audience to keep them and gain their trust. Once they decide to buy they will come to you. You just need to keep posting to make sure they think of you as an authority and expert in your field.

60% of all organic clicks go to the top 3 results. This should make you think how you can make yourself visible on the first page of search engines. You have to answer a simple question. Am I the most relevant result for that specific search query? Being on the first page takes time. It takes time because you have to prove search engines such as google that you are expert in what you are claiming and you have authority and you can help those that are searching for that specific product or service. Google wants to make sure that users (people that use google to search) would have the best experience. Therefore it generates algorithms every now and then to make sure the result it puts in front of the users are the most relevant and helpful ones. So to make yourself authority and expert it is important to find a unique point about your work and market around that. If you are a Wedding Photographer with a unique service or if you are a Fashion Designer with a unique vision for your designs make sure that your online presence shows and screams that uniqueness. By this you will take yourself out of competition with general terms and you will be found for specific and more targeted search queries.

As an artist and creative person you are capable of thinking creative ways to do your online marketing. We hear a lot from people that artists don’t know how to do business. Business in general, and thinking like a businessman or businesswoman takes hard work and education but being a creative person you can easily come up with solutions to help you with your online presence and you can always get help for the business parts by asking mentors to measure your progress and give you solutions accordingly.

Here I am listing 10 changes you can make today to your online presence with the goal to achieve more sales and money for your business.

Mobile Responsive Website

I am not saying have a website. Having a website is not enough anymore. Google looks at your website first to see if it is mobile responsive in order to show it. Having a Mobile Responsive website is a must have. What is Mobile Responsive? Your website needs to be shown different on desktop monitors and mobile phones because the screen size is different and the way people interact with websites on their phone is different than how they work on desktop. If your website is not mobile responsive and you check it on your phone you will see small text, small images, and you have to scroll right and left to be able to see the whole website. This brings a poor user experience, makes users tired of browsing your site, and they end up leaving your site. Search Engines don’t want to show websites to the users that would result in poor online experience. That’s why your website should change when you look at it on your phone. It re-arranges the content in a way that is easy to read and browse on mobile phones.

There are many solutions for that. You can build your websites using platforms that offer both desktop and mobile websites. In this way you don’t need to make two individual websites. You’ll make the content and it takes care of showing it. One of these platforms is WordPress. WordPress lets you find your desirable theme and look and you can make the changes to the content of the website without the knowledge of code. You can also have online store on your site.

Content

Now that you have your mobile responsive website it is important what you put on your site. Search Engines find you through your content. So if you are a Fashion Designer or a photographer do you think search engines will find you if you put only photos on your site? How can they read and see what your website is about in order to put you in front of their users? So what is the solution? Having the right content on the right places.

Home page is a great place to talk about what you offer and what your business is all about. Make sure your content doesn’t sound like robots. Write it in a way that you would talk to a friend describing your business. Add passion to it and make the connection with the people coming to your site.

Having a short video under 1 min that reviews your business or shows your products or even you talking about your products or services will be a great idea to engage people and make them stay a bit longer on the home page.

If the nature of your business is in photography and you have to put photos in order to show your work make sure that your website has a blog that will be updated on a consistent basis. Your blog communicates with search engines so that they would know what your website is about in order to show it to the users.

Find 10 or 20 keywords related to your work. And use those keywords in your content. Find the keywords that you want to be found for. Let’s say you have a Portrait Photography in Toronto. You take portraits, headshots, and kids photos. Some of your keywords will be portrait, portrait photographer in Toronto, toronto portrait photoshoots, professional headshot photographer, toronto professional headshot, portrait photography studio, photography studio in toronto… and so on.

You have to write blog posts and use these keywords in your content. When people search for toronto photographer search engines look at the content of the sites and they’ll see which is the most relevant to show.

The headlines of your blog posts is the most important factor in making people to click and read more. Definitely take your time to think about eye catching headlines. One useful trick is to look at the magazines. They have spent lots of money to ask experts to write those headlines and they monitor, measure and make improvements. Look what they are doing and how they are writing their headlines and then follow their work. Just change the words to make it relevant to your post.

Being Local

What does this mean? Well, you will benefit the most when people around your location look for products and services that you are offering. It is more likely that they approach you instead of someone else. How can you be local? How can you rate higher online based on your location?

It is important to create your free Google My Business Page. (www.google.com/business)

Fill the form by adding a unique description, and choosing the right category for your business. Add your phone number. Upload as many photos as you can. Add your business address. This is very important and wherever you enter your business address it has to be consistent. Write your business address somewhere to keep and wherever you want to enter it just copy and paste it. This way you’ll make sure your address is written in the same way everywhere it is being used. Nothing should be different even the minor things that you think doesn’t matter. It has to be exactly the same. Upload cover photo. Get reviews if you can. Having reviews help a lot in decision making. There is higher chance of being selected because of your good reviews rather than someone else even with more experience but lack of reviews.

Add the same address you entered on your Google My Business page to the footer of your website.

Enter your product/service and location in the title of your website.

Make sure to write the name of the city/region in your images title tag.

Use the name of your city/region in the content of your site.

Find authoritative directories and add your business name and website link with the same address you have on your Google My Business page.

Enter your address, or your city/region on your social media profiles.

Quality Links

It is very important to have quality links. Both being linked to or giving links to other websites. This gives you credits and authority. This gives the Search Engines a reason to show your website. Why? Because this proves, you know something and people are interested to read and learn more from you.

Link building is very important. As soon as Google announced that it rates based on links, black hat SEO marketers started posting links everywhere. On bad quality pages, on comments, on irrelevant pages. Soon Google had to think of monitoring the quality of the links. Now posting links just everywhere gives you negative points and bad reputation. You have to make sure that your links are among the good quality ones. You want relevant websites and blogs to link you because your content is relevant to them. You want people to share your links because you are offering something useful to them. There are many blogs and magazines that accept submissions and want guest writers. You can easily contact them with a piece of content and get links to your site. If you are linking to other sites make sure you are giving links to good quality and authoritative sites in your field. No money should be given or taken for links. Search Engines are way smarter than what many people think. There are so many bad habits and practices that can ruin your online marketing reputation. Stay relevant and show your expertise and become authority in your field and you will gain a lot from that.

Social Media Profiles

There is no secret that social media profiles help your business to be in front of more people. My suggestion is that make as many as possible and make regular updates to your social media profiles and measure your progress. Once you have some data to work with, then close the ones that are not working for you. Not all business types would benefit from all social media platforms. Put your energy in the ones that are working and make the best use of them by making relevant and appealing posts. Social media sites are the great opportunity to have your content shared. Make something shareable. Read about viral posts and see how you can take those steps to make something viral.

As I have mentioned earlier in the stats giving from Hubspot “Daily Pinterest users have increased more than 145% since the beginning of 2012” This gives you as an artist an amazing opportunity to master your pinterest marketing. By creating boards, posting your works and linking them to your site, writing relevant description. Posting inspirational images and thinking of the ways to increase the number of your followers. Keep in mind that in today’s world of internet and fake followers, numbers can lie. Don’t measure your success with number of followers. Your job and the thing that pays your bills and puts you in your dream house is not number of your followers. It is the number or your true followers who are interested in you and your products and services. They engage and learn from you. They keep you in mind and are loyal to you.

 

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5 ways to drive more Business through Digital Marketing

digital marketing for your business

Optimized Website: 

Website is what you need to have to introduce your business, services to your audience and make connection with them and deliver your message. Your website should be well optimized for search engines. Meaning that when people search for products or services that you are offering search engines bring them back the results. You want search engines understand your website and your business in order to put your site in front of the users.

Your website should have a professional look and be user friendly. Your website is your first impression. You want to make the right impression. If you are expert in your field and you believe in your services then your website should show that. If people come across a poorly designed website, they’ll leave, they can’t trust you. I know we should not judge the book by it’s cover but this is business and not lala land. People judge a book by it’s cover unless they have heard so many good things about a specific book that then they don’t care about the cover and just pick the book because they know the author and the title. Now if they know the author and the title and see a nice cover, that would be even better impression. 

As a start up business you have to take care of your first impression. It is the essential to get customers. Once you have them, then you and your services make them to come back. Your website should convey a tangible sense of trust and that can be done through a great looking design that is easy to browse and understand.

So make sure you have a professional looking website that is clean and delivers your message. It is easy to browse and people can easily find your services, can read about you, and find more information based on the service they are interested in.

 

Content:

Make the content of your website related to what you are offering. Use your keywords in the content of your site. So that search engines can find the keywords and bring your site up when someone is searching using similar or exact terms.

Have blog section and post regularly on your blog. Don’t start selling your services or products on your blog. No one is interested in these kind of posts. Make the need for them to have and to use what you are offering. For instance if you have women fashion line your posts can be around fashion and how women can look good. For instance you can write about “What different body types should wear to look good”. “Common problems when women go shopping”. And many more ideas…

You want to give your audience a reason to follow you and visit your site on a regular basis. When they need something that you are offering automatically they know where to go.

 

Mobile:

I am sure you already know the importance of mobile. People browse through their mobile and find businesses using their mobiles. Even you do the same too. So it is very important to have a mobile responsive website. Mobile responsive means to have a website that changes when people browse through mobile. Why does it have to change?  To make it more readable and easy to browse on mobile devices. If someone comes on your site using mobile and your site loads slow or doesn’t change according to the device, don’t doubt that the person leaves.

The WordPress platform or even Wix give you websites that are responsive and change according to the device is being used. You don’t even need to do anything extra they care of this through their designs. If you currently have a site that is not mobile responsive stop reading this and go change your site. God knows how many clients you have lost just because of that. Google first looks at your site and if it is not mobile responsive, it gives you a negative point and shows related websites that are mobile responsive first.

Optimize for users:

It is important to have a site that is easy to browse and understand by your audience. If people come to your site and close it right away, google keeps record of that and over time it makes your site less visible to users. This is called bounce back. If you have high rate of bounce back you should double check the content of your website with the keywords you are using, and services you are offering to make sure all are related. Don’t use keywords and tags that are not related to your post or services. If you are giving online ads make sure your ad is in line with your keywords and the service you are offering.  Search Engines wants to give users (people that search for something) the best possible experience. You should give your audience the best possible experience too in order to rank higher by search engines over your competitors.

 

Onsite SEO:

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. Onsite SEO means things you take care on your site to make it optimized for search engines. This includes the content you are writing on your site, the heading you are using, the name of the images you have on your site, anything that is written in text and can be read by search engines. Make sure to use your keywords and make your site the most relevant result to what you are offering. 

 

 

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Who Will Win? You or Them?

winner

Who Will Win? You or Them?

Digital world has made it possible to see results right away. You can see what your competitors are doing. Where they post links. What ads they use. How many visits they get. And just compare these data with yours.

You can see and compare what successful businesses are doing different. You can run websites on different SEO tools to get so many data on how they are performing. It is easier than ever to learn about successful corporations and apply what they do to your business. 

SEO and Digital Marketing gives you the chance to see results right away. Not only you get information about your competitors, [in which you can use them to your advantage], you can also get results on your performance and your audience’s reactions to your campaigns and ideas almost right away.

Here are free tools you can use today to learn about your online performance as well as your competitors’. Knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about your competitors, their performance, and their online actions so you can act more strategically with targeting your audience.

Similar Web: https://www.similarweb.com

You can see number of visits, ranks, bounce rate, visit’s duration, countries most visited, referral links, and many more helpful data.

Quick Sprout: https://www.quicksprout.com/

Moz Local – check if the business is Local: https://moz.com/local/search

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