Why Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Such A Popular Discussion Topic

Search engine optimization is one of the most discussed and controversial topics on the internet today. Also, it is one of the most misunderstood topics.                                                                                                                                                                        In its basic form, search engine optimization (SEO) is act of altering a web site so that it does well in the organic, crawler-based listings of search engines.

Now even this quick to the point definition of search engine optimization (SEO) can lead to spirited debates about the meaning and purpose of SEO.

So the question maybe asked, why is SEO such a popular and controversial topic that causes so much debate within the SEO community and the general internet population particularly website owners? In my humble opinion there are 6 reasons why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has the popularity that it currently enjoys.

1. Targeted Website Traffic – If you ask the vast majority of website owners and people within the SEO industry what is the most important factor to a successful website business and/or operation. A large percentage of the people will say website traffic and even more specifically targeted website traffic.

Currently on the internet, the largest resource for targeted website traffic on a continuous bases are search engines. On a yearly bases stats show that around 75% – 80% of all purchases made by individuals on the internet originally started as a result of a search at a search engine and the vast majority of people who visit websites usually come via way of a search engine. Numbers so dominate cannot be ignored even by the biggest opponents of search engine optimization. Moreover, because SEO is focused on optimizing websites for ranking success related to search engines, it is only natural that people would be interested in the field and practice of search engine optimization (SEO).

2. SEO Controversy – Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most controversial topics concerning internet website operations. The proponents of SEO can say that it provides a viable method for websites to be seen in search engines which is important for any website desiring traffic on the internet today.

However, opponents disgusted with SEO can also say that many websites achieve high search engine visibility without the use of SEO work and that SEO professionals only provide guess work high cost services that provide no assurances for search engine ranking success.

This situation, which has some merit concerning the arguments on both sides, generates heated debates between proponents of SEO and SEO opponents on a continuous bases which is fought out on a daily bases on forums, blogs, websites and newsletters across the internet along with exposure in magazines and on TV.

Simply put controversy produces attention and whether you like it or hate it, SEO really does provide a great deal of controversy. Moreover, as long as search engines play a dominant role in generating targeted website traffic, SEO will continue to be a popular topic.

3. Money – Search engine optimization is a multi million-dollar business. Search engines generate billions of dollars each year through advertising. Websites earn billions of dollars for their owners each year via using search engines either through paid advertisements or organic (free) listings in search results.

It is no wonder with billions of dollars on the table on a yearly bases that anything that can provide an individual or company a competitive edge in the ultra high pace internet world will be a hot topic for discussion and debate.

Moreover, through a combination of perception and reality that highlights search engine optimization as a key to increasing internet sales, search engine optimization is a very popular topic for decision makers within many companies which provides additional attention to SEO in the business world and beyond.

4. No Standard SEO Rules or Regulations – Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as a modern version of the wild wild west. Basically almost anything can be said or done because there are no formal set standards for the industry as a whole.

Therefore, in a true sense, no one is really right or wrong concerning any thoughts, comments or decisions concerning SEO techniques and/or methods. Right or wrong is replaced by what is considered ethical by individuals and everyone has a unique set of ethics. What one person might consider unethical someone else might consider completely honest, well intended assistance. This is why you have labels such as white hat and black hat SEO within the SEO industry.

5. Search Engines – Search engine optimization was created as a by-product resulting from the development, utilization and popularity of search engines. Without search engines, there is no SEO industry in its current form and format.

As statistics on a yearly bases confirm, the majority of the targeted website traffic on the internet is generated directly or indirectly via search engines and a very high percentage of internet sales are directly linked to visitors coming from search engines looking for products and/or services.

With the dominant role that search engines play on the internet and the fact that the success of search engines depend on the ability to provide accurate and reliable search results to its visitors, successful search engines tend to develop an informal relationship with the SEO industry.

Whereby a certain amount of SEO work on websites tends to help search engines provide what its visitors are looking for which is top-notch search results.

For this reason, sometimes search engines will provide SEO information and SEO recommendations to its visitors directly on the search engines. This helps the SEO industry tremendously by placing the industry in the forefront of the main people that are interested in organic (free) search results which are the search engine users looking for something specific and the website owners who want to be found in the search engine results.

6. SEO Mystery – Almost no SEO professionals will explain what they do regarding SEO work in detail. Some will provide a little SEO information, which is mainly done as marketing efforts for the SEO professionals in forums, blogs and newsletters. Even the e-books and books that are sold only explain SEO in a general nature. Search engine optimization (SEO) is truly a mystery to the average website owner and/or people interested in organic search engine rankings.

This mystery produces a high level of interest regarding the SEO industry and helps feed the popularity of search engine optimization (SEO).

How to Maximize LinkedIn to Grow Your Network

When LinkedIn was still in its early days, everybody just saw it as a place where you can post your resume, connect with other professionals and occasionally find a job. Nobody knows that these three qualities are the main reasons why Linkedln is one of the fastest growing platforms on the Internet. Its growth has more than attracted the likes of Internet marketers looking for the next best platform to use.

Question is, can we really use Linkedln the way we use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? Will the same tactics work on it and should we expect the same results if ever?

Thing is, LinkedIn can give you the traffic and following but not through the same methods such as Facebook and Twitter. You have to realize that LinkedIn is a group of professionals who wants to connect to people who are basically like them.

So how can you boost your marketing strategy on LinkedIn if ever you decide to give it a shot? Here is a list of the best practices you can put to action should you go for it.

1: Frequently review and reboot your profile

Like all dating sites (I just had to say that), your profile is one of the best and most powerful tool that the platform provides for you. Make sure that all information on your profile are recent, relevant and interesting. You have to understand that people will read your profile should they decide to connect with you. You can do this every after a few months.

LinkedIn also gives you a choice whether you want to share your profile update to all your connections. Also, don’t forget to use your most recent picture as your profile picture. This is actually where the dating site comparison ends. Don’t use a picture from 10 years ago. That will never work the way you want it to.

2: Build a quality network

Unlike most social media platforms, LinkedIn is not about quantity but about quality. LinkedIn actually enhances your visibility with every connection you make but only if it is a “good” connection. So how do you get a “good” connection? Well, it should at least be a complete profile and at least be an active account.

Aside from that, you can also make sure that there is a good reason why you two should connect. Are you from the same industry? Do you have similar interests? Do they read, comment or share your content? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before accepting an invite.

3 Be Active

As mentioned on , you should make sure that your connections are active so this means that you should also be active too. Join a group. Share your interests. Frequently post status updates. This will not only brand you as an active member but this is also a good way to establish your expertise in your field. Join in on different conversations and discussions on your group. Make sure you make your presence felt.

Hi, My name is Joseph Segatto Jr and I am a mentor and coach to online business entrepreneurs. I see myself as a solution solver. I am a husband and small business owner. I work on helping people of all walks of life to succeed in their own online business, achieving their goals and dreams in life. I have a special interest in social media marketing and personal branding. Should you need assistance or guidance in how to get your business off the ground please do not hesitate to contact me and let’s talk.

How To Use Pinterest Marketing For A Small Business

 With disposable income drastically reduced, many small businesses are struggling to sell their products and services for the value they deserve to cover the cost of their skill and effort.

Additionally we are witnessing a ‘visual revolution’. Time-starved customers are craving ever more information in bite-sized chunks via photos, videos and infographics, and they are looking for it online.

The exciting new social media platform Pinterest brings together these ‘visual’ and ‘online shopping’ trends, and has been proving very successful for creative businesses who know how to use it.

So how could a small business find targeted leads, customers and sales using Pinterest?

Using social media for business can be very time-consuming, but with a targeted marketing strategy and a few tips and tools it is possible to get a good ‘return on time invested’.

Pinterest enables you to set up an account with striking visual images collected on ‘pin boards’ – the online equivalent of a corkboard. These boards are perfect for showing your products in their best light, like an online catalogue.

It is best to give your pin boards titles which reflect what your ideal customers will be searching for. Fill your ‘profile’ section with the benefits your customers will gain by dealing with you, and add a good photograph or crisp logo, and of course a link to your website.

Service businesses can show ‘behind the scenes’ videos, and use Pinterest boards to collate relevant details from around the web which would interest their target audience. It is possible to quickly become the ‘go-to’ person for information about your industry.

As with other social media platforms pure self-promotion is frowned upon, but Pinterest is becoming very business-friendly and it is totally acceptable to pin your own offerings amongst general industry information and content from other relevant (but non-competing) businesses.

Food related pins, interior design and decor, arts and crafts, floristry, fashion, weddings, photography and jewellery are some of the hugely popular categories on Pinterest, and these businesses are finding increased, targeted traffic to their websites due to their photos being repinned and going ‘viral’.

Product- and service-based businesses, and even non-profits, are making good use of Pinterest to get results.

One of the main advantage of using Pinterest for business marketing is that Pinterest users are buyers. Unlike other social media sites where users log in to be ‘social’ and – on the whole – don’t like to be ‘sold to’, studies have shown that 1 in 5 Pinterest users pins something they later buy. This is a massive conversion rate for a social media platform, overtaking both Facebook and Twitter!

To recap, three very important trends are converging, right now: –

• Customers are increasingly searching online for products and services they actually want to buy

• High Street creative businesses are struggling to make sales in the current economy

• Pinterest offers a vehicle for putting your business smack bang in the middle of the online ‘visual revolution’

This means that if you decide to take the plunge and start to do your business marketing through social media, Pinterest could be a good choice to begin with.

So, it might be time for your creative business to jump onto Pinterest and find your customers online -where they are searching for you.

Ann Leslie is a Marketing Consultant and Pinterest expert, combining decades of experience in creative businesses with social media training and an MBA.

Ann helps creative individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses design a Pinterest marketing strategy to gain targeted leads, customers and sales for their business – and have fun doing so!

Social Media Marketing With Twitter Marketing That Works

 Twitter, Facebook, Squidoo, HubPages, and Friendster are all very popular tools to use for social media marketing. These social media sites can help you promote a new business that you have started or a product that you are trying to sell.

The best part about social media marketing sites like Twitter is that you are able to reach a diverse network of people and it is completely free.

Use Twitter marketing to sell your products
It is a proven fact that Twitter marketing is one of the most effective ways of finding success using social media. There are a ton of Internet marketers that have proven that Twitter marketing is a great way to promote the launch of a new software program, E-book, or website.

Internet marketers like Zac Johnson and John Chow have brought in six figure incomes by applying well thought out social media marketing strategies. You can do the exact same thing. Build a twitter list of targeted followers that are in the same niche as you. This will give you a targeted list of buyers to blast your message out to when your product is available for sale.

Use Twitter to promote messages for other users
One of the best things about Twitter marketing is that you don’t even need to have your own website or business to run a successful Twitter campaign. A smart Twitter user with a knack for social media marketing can make money by Tweeting messages for other people.

You can get paid for Twitter marketing. Websites like Sponsored Tweets will pay you money to promote the messages of other users to your Twitter followers. A software company might pay you to tweet about a new Word press plug-in or a website owner might want you to help promote a new article directory. Either way social media marketing is putting money in your pocket.

Twitter marketing as a means of affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing and Twitter marketing were made to go together. Affiliate marketing involves having someone promote a product or service for you. In turn for promoting your product, you will pay your affiliates a commission for each sale that is generated due to their promotional efforts.

Twitter marketing is a great way of connecting with these influencers. These are the people that can make your affiliate program a success. Any good affiliate manager knows that Twitter is one of the linchpins to a successful social media marketing campaign.

Use Twitter marketing to boost your blog ranking
Everybody knows that Twitter can bring more visitors to your blog. Sure you can promote specific blog posts and bring in some extra traffic but Twitter can be used for so much more than that. Here are a few ways that you can use Twitter to help your long term social media marketing goals.

– Have a conversation (learn the likes and dislikes of readers)
– Get post ideas (create content that will increase long term readership)
– Promote your content around the web (promote article submissions and links to your site)

There is a definite value in using Twitter marketing as part of your social media marketing campaign. It’s a valuable online resource that can help you increase your presence online if used properly.

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Power Of Facebook Marketing For Product Launches and Affiliates

 Facebook started out as a social networking site mainly intended for personal use. Its aim was simply to provide a platform for people to share their thoughts, photos, videos, and to interact with people. However, the administrators have eventually expanded to more features. Facebook fan pages are intended for personalities and companies to share their information to their consumers and fans. So when you create Facebook fan pages, you allow the user to share information to a different degree, given their different features. Facebook marketing is a proof that a business can succeed through online activity. Celebrities, organizations, and retailers depend on Facebook for marketing.

Facebook marketing is a very effective way to build your presence. It’s relatively easy, since all you need is a computer. You can create Facebook fan pages and a Social Ad. You are going to specify to Facebook the kind of audience that you want to reach and where the traffic should be directed. Using Facebook for marketing is helpful because Facebook helps you locate your audience through age, gender, location, and interests. Facebook’s widespread popularity is ideal for increasing your chances of capturing the awareness of your desired audience. Contact-to-contact association will help spread your products and services via referrals. Facebook also allots a section where certain ads show up on the side portion of their user’s window.

Another benefit of Facebook marketing is the significantly lowered costs of marketing and advertising by almost half. More people are now relying on the internet than the print, television, and radio (although these platforms still matter). However, you can make yourself more reachable to your audience if you use a Facebook marketing tool. This is a great way to boost your online presence and complement your official website. Overall, Facebook marketing is the good tool for expanding your lists because Facebook has over 500 million active users and spend at least 700 billion minutes browsing Facebook every month. Moreover, the typical Facebook user keeps in touch with at least 80 groups, events, and pages.

Building Your List with Facebook

The most basic element of Facebook marketing is the Facebook fan page. Once you’ve put up your own fan page, you can invite people to Like your fan page. Members of your fan page will get constant updates when they open their Facebook account.

When you open the Facebook website, create a fan page by going to Pages. Click Create a page. It’s very important to keep your fan page busy and updated with the latest details about your product or service. Post blogs or articles regularly on your wall, preferably things that are related to your product or service. You are going to fill your page with your brand so you have to decide what stays in the page and what doesn’t. Fill out the most important information about your product and include a relevant profile picture. Keep the About section brief but comprehensive. Facebook marketing should be accessible to the audience so you have to make your fan page readable so your logos and graphics should be kept to a minimum.

Building lists using the Facebook marketing method involves interaction with the people. If you want to widen your list base, you have to be the first one to reach out to your audience. You can start by liking related pages to your product or service. Interact with other people by initiating and participating in discussions. Answer questions, polls, and surveys. Ask questions too, if possible. Any kind of information in those pages should be valuable because you will rely on it for information on how to improve your own page and Facebook marketing.

Once you’ve gathered a considerable fan base, encourage the members to talk by initiating polls, surveys, and questions yourself. Keep the fan page active and updated. Be friendly with your replies too. Express gratitude for positive comments and handle negative comments well. You cannot expect to please everyone so use those comments as a way to improve yourself.

Facebook Ads

A huge part of Facebook marketing is the Facebook Ads that you find on the right side of your profile page or your friends page. The Ads that you see pretty much speaks of what the person is all about. Facebook Ads are aimed at the person’s age, education, location, and other interests based on the activity of the user. Advertisers usually promote their product based on a target group of people.

Payment of Facebook Social Ads varies, but the usual method is the pay-per-click method. You also have the option of activating a campaign, especially if there are certain times of the day or night when it is most profitable.

Facebook Ads are very easy to make. Go to facebook.com/advertising. Enter your website on the destination URL tab. Create a headline and an ad copy. Afterwards, post a relevant image for your ad. Once you’ve reviewed the visible details of your ad, it’s time to work on the targeting filters. Setting your target filters is very important because it will determine the type of people who will advocate and patronize your product. You will target the geography of the people who will see the ads, as well as the sex, age, education, relationships, language, group and page membership, application usage, and other activities. Facebook will show you an estimated number of people you will be targeting. If you are not satisfied, you can always tweak the filters.

Once you’re done, create a budget, bid, metrics and schedule of the page.

Conclusion

Facebook marketing is an exciting field of marketing and advertising products that can be pulled off by almost by anyone. However, the competition is going to be tough since it is accessible to everyone. But the thing is, you have to get the hang of using Facebook for marketing because people use this as a platform to connect with the world around them. The best way to start is to create a Facebook fan page. However, it doesn’t stop there. People spend a lot of time online doing many things so you have to give them a good reason why you’re worth their time. Constantly evolve and keep yourself updated. Remember, a well-maintained Facebook fan page attracts a large following.

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Why Social Media Marketing Is Important to Your Business

 SMM, the new tool in the business arena has shown a promising rise, the recent years. The web world is going gaga over it & Social media has shown a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. Today nearly 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form or the other. No matter what you sell and who your target audience is,, using social media as a marketing tool is a sure shot way to you grow your brand!

Not having an active social media presence is kind of like living in the ancient times. People may ask what is social media marketing going to do for me? Do I really need it? Yes. Yes you do just check out the reasons why:

Increased Web Traffic

Social media posts can drive targeted traffic. Creating a new page on your site, landing pages, well-placed social media posts can make all the difference. A single link on Reddit or links submitted to StumbleUpon can transform a page from a handful of visitors a day to hundreds. Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on that?

Boost SEO

Social media can boost your site’s SEO. Search engine crawlers know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored. Driving traffic to your optimized pages with social media posts will cause them to climb much faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Connect with Consumers & Industry Leaders

Social media leads to real relationship building. Twitter and Instagram marketing can get you free interaction with your customer base – you can read their tweets and status updates to get insights into their daily lives like what products they prefer and why etc. & maybe you can fine tune your strategy.

You can also use social media as a tool to connect with thought leaders and tastemakers in your space, as well as journalists who cover your industry.

Get your message across

As people view Twitter and Facebook as social networks, not marketing machines they’re less likely to see what you post as marketing and will be more likely to hear what you have to say. This translates to serious web traffic when you link to your site and posts that market themselves as your friends and followers share what you’ve posted.

Targeting and retargeting with Ads.

The highly customizable nature of social media ads. like Facebook ads, is one of the reasons social media is important. These ads even allow you to target users by things like location, education level, industry and even purchase history and the pages they’ve liked. You also have to the option to retarget the users who visit you & even convert them into solid leads and sales.

Get noticed at events

It’s easier to get noticed at events and even generate earned media coverage with social media posts. At any event there’s no better way to leverage your presence than with the help of social media.

Immediate response

The feedback you get in the process of SMM, you’ll be the first to know when there are issues – and you can take immediate steps to resolve them right away and consumers appreciate companies that respond to customer complaints.

Builds Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty can be built on a strong social media presence. It has been found that brands with active social media profiles have more loyal customers. Being active on social media helps you become less like a business and more like what you truly are – a unified group of people who share a vision.

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Finding a Job in Columbus in Web Design and Development

Columbus, Ohio is a great city in which to get a start as a freelance web designer or web developer. Columbus is one of the leading technology cities in the US, being the home of such widely renowned technology companies as Accenture, AOL, and the Battelle Memorial Institute. There are also hundreds of small to medium sized web design and web development companies peppered throughout the greater Columbus area.

Being a Columbus freelance web designer can be achieved by telecommuting, so you do not have to live in downtown Columbus, but being close to the city to do the occasional face-to-face meeting is highly recommended. Some web design companies will not give you a job without meeting you and some web development services require a face to face meeting, which is much easier when all web designers and project members are involved. Columbus, Ohio is a great place to live, and has enough web design job opportunities that you will not need to pitch outside of the city. It makes sense to live there. Although freelancing website design may seem like a terrifying prospect, it is not too hard as long as you have the bravery to go out on your own, and the work ethic to stick to it.

Calling web design companies in Columbus is one of the best ways to begin getting web design jobs. Calling companies takes away the potential clients ability to ignore your presence. Emails are easily erased or forgotten and direct mailing gets lost in the shuffle of bills. Write down a short speech introducing you as a freelance web designer, asking whether the company you are calling works with freelancers regularly. Although some web design companies use freelancers, while others prefer to use an in house web design team, you will find a few web design companies in Columbus that will be interested in your services. The secret to success when cold calling companies in Columbus is doing so in numbers. How many jobs you get depend greatly on your pitch and your experience, but expect to get one out of ten. With there being so many web design companies in Columbus, one out of ten is still a large amount of potential website projects.

Setting up a toll free phone number and getting a fax number will help you land more web design projects also. Toll free numbers allow clients who are outside of your area code to reach you free of charge. Prospective web design clients will need the ability to send agreements and documentation to you via fax. You’re right in thinking that most documents can be sent by email, but it is guaranteed that you will run into an old school client that still faxes documents the old fashioned way.

Setup an auto-responder on your email. This will help land more web design jobs in Columbus because people who email you will automatically receive a response. This could be beneficial because you could setup the auto-responder to include sales copy or your resume or both. If you send out mailers or business cards or advertisements with your designated auto-responder email address and get a reply from someone at that email address, that person will automatically receive your resume and sales text.

After getting a website design job, it is important that you stipulate what is required of you and your client. Make sure to draw up a contract or agreement of some sort just so that you have everything down on paper. Include your fee, the work to be done, the time period the work should be completed in and when you expect to be paid and in what forms (credit card, company checks).

Have a look around on the Internet for web design and website development companies in Columbus and write down the ones you are interested in. The best way to find web development companies in Columbus is to Google them. Search for terms such as “Columbus web design” or “web development companies in Columbus, Ohio”. Some day you may just get their attention and become a successful freelancer!

Copyright 2009 Matt McWilliam and MJM Design in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit Columbus web design for more information about website design services in Columbus, Ohio. MJM Design is a full service website design company located in Columbus, Ohio. Looking for a new website company in Columbus?

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Viral Video Marketing – How Does It Happen And Why Is Video So Powerful?

 How do you make a video go viral, and why does viral video marketing depend so much on your content, and do you really know the advantages of video marketing?

You may not realize it, but did you know these facts?

  • YouTube is a search engine.
  • Not only is it a search engine, but it’s also the second-largest search engine, ousted out of the number 1 spot only by its parent company, Google.
  • In a single month, more than 180 million people watch online videos and that’s just in the US alone. That’s a huge potential audience.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that video marketing is too difficult or too expensive.

There are many tools available now so that the average person can create, edit, and publish their videos online with very little cost and time.

There’s no excuse not to use video marketing to promote yourself, your website, and your product or service.

The thought of making videos might seem hard – but the reality is video is one of the simplest, easiest and quickest ways to make a massive impact on your business.

For the investment of a few hundred dollars spent one time, in combination with using all the free tools that are available online, you can get & use all the tools you need to create, publish & host videos online.

Viral videos, by their nature, cause you to rank high in the search engines. The question is what causes a video to go viral?

Here is a recipe for success:

  1. Create a short and to the point video of up to ideally 1 or 2 minutes in length
  2. Make your video entertaining to watch and keep it simple
  3. At the start of your video identify a significant problem in your market niche that you are going provide a solution for
  4. Pass your viewers useful, valuable & compelling information that can benefit them and solve their problem quickly and/or easily
  5. Choose a catchy title with targeted key words – the type of keywords that capture the attention of your niche market and that offer a solution to a problem
  6. Create a organized assault with link bait so that you rank on the first page of Google within 24 hours of posting your video
  7. Ensure that your YouTube channel is branded professionally & contains a link back to your primary website
  8. Upload & post your new video to YouTube and other social video sharing sites
  9. Post your video on blog sites & other social status sites like Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus
  10. Insert a clear call to action that asks people to like, plus 1, and share your video with others
  11. Email a link to your YouTube video to your email list asking them to like and share your video with others
  12. Create an online press release with a link to your YouTube video
  13. Make a list of as many people you know with large email lists & contact them to ask that they like and share your video with their lists. Also ask them to blog about your video on their blogs
  14. Offer link bait on your blog. For example: an ethical bribe that offers more knowledge, or a free gift, or an opportunity to win something of value in order to get them to link back to your site and share your video

If Google sees a big number of folks linking to a video over the course of a day or so, they will consider that a high form of engagement and the result will potentially be to elevate your video in the search engine rankings for the primary keywords you tagged your video with

Let’s take a look at some other major benefits of video marketing:

1. Video Gets Your Message Across Better Than Anything Else!

Attention spans have gotten considerably shorter in a world where people are used to getting what they want instantly.

If you’ve got a landing page, sales page, or blog post that has more than two paragraphs, people become less likely to read it because it involves a lot of work.

There are effective ways that you can make your body copy easier to read for these impatient viewers (and using things like bullets, numbered lists and graphics help), but the better solution is to create a video.

You can use your article or your page copy as your script so that it doesn’t even require any extra writing.

2. Video Helps To Establish You As An Expert!

That’s important because people will buy from you faster and more often when you come across as the authority in your niche.

You want to make your videos as valuable and as informative as possible.

Why?

That is because this will establish you and your company as experts in your field.

By becoming a leader in your industry, you become the person that people will go to for answers to their questions.

3. Video Educates People Better Than Any Other Medium!

Obviously when you can show and tell (using the senses of sight and sound), you are more able to educate prospective customer on the benefits of what you have to offer.

There are many good things that come along with educating your customers.

By giving them the resources and knowledge they need, they can come to a better, informed decision about whether or not your product or service is the right one for them.

And generally, if you’ve put together good videos, they will decide that your product or service is the one that they want without you even having to tell them to buy it.

People hate being sold on things.

They hate advertisements and commercials and they hate hype.

By making educational videos, you skip all of these pitfalls that could otherwise cause your viewers to ignore you altogether.

4. Video Creates Trust More Effectively Than Other Types Of Marketing!

Whether or not your potential customers trust you will make a huge difference to whether they’ll buy from you.

Videos go a long way towards establishing trust and the goal here is to have a real person appear in your videos, either you or someone who represents your business, such as an employee or teammate.

You want a face and a voice that your customers can associate with.

They don’t want to buy from a company, they want to buy from a person that they can build a relationship with.

Every time someone watches your video, it counts as building an emotional connection.

5. Video Gives You Enormous Reach Potential!

As mentioned earlier, there are 180 million people in the US watching online videos this month & every month – and that number is steadily growing.

By making use of sites like YouTube & a host of other video sites you can hugely extend the reach of your message.

Videos are also incredibly easy to share.

People share videos with one another all the time and video directories make it easy to do so.

Your viewers can post your video to their Facebook – Google Plus – or Twitter account.

They can put their videos out to Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon – and other social bookmarking sites.

They can put out videos to their blogs, to their friends (through an instant messenger like Skype), and to many other places.

This is why there are so many videos that go viral.

6. Video Gives You Flexibility!

Videos can be used for a number of purposes. Depending on your type of business, you can use different types of videos.

You can create educational videos that provide instruction or advice on any topic you wish. You create a “vlog” or video blog to engage your market. Videos are also effective branding tools for you and what you do in your niche. You can use videos for customer testimonials & building social proof. You can utilize video to introduce promotions for your business.

With all of these benefits of video marketing, and how easy it is to do it, every business and online marketer needs to take advantage of it.

There’s absolutely no reason not to, especially since by avoiding it, you will be missing out on huge benefits.

Start your video marketing today so that you can establish positive relationships with your viewers, boost your traffic, and get your message out there.

Gerald Van Yerxa is the founder & CEO of both IMMACC (the Internet Marketing Mentoring And Coaching Center) and Website Marketing Pros (an online marketing agency that specifically serves business owners). Go here to get more information on viral video marketing and other online marketing topics, tips, tactics and strategies.

Email Marketing: Do You Want To Triple Your Return On Investment?

 One of the biggest mistakes most marketers do nowadays, is think email marketing is dead. Many marketers today drop the email marketing scheme to go with social media. Come to think of it, social media look much more sexy than email. But, is a social media post really as effective as an email? Before we answer that question, lets state a well known fact. It is easier to send a friend request on Facebook than to collect an email online. But believe me, email marketing is thrice as worth it as social media marketing. So, what is email marketing?

Email marketing is the targeting of customers through emails. Every emails sent to a potential customers can be considered as email marketing. Email marketing involves sending a promotional email or an ad to a subscriber. Via his email address. A great deal of organisations today use email marketing. Even more bloggers do use email marketing today than ever before. For example, have you ever been browsing on a website, and you see some field where you are asked to submit your name and email to get a free eBook or update? That is the front part of email marketing.

Most bloggers use email marketing because it enhances the customer experience. With a well targeted email list, you can reach established customers and prospective ones too. Any given subscriber will be informed better and more easily via email. The email will have a greater visibility than a Facebook post. The Facebook post will be drowned in a stream of content in the minutes following its posting.

Do You Really Need Email Marketing?

If you want to improve your customers’ or readers’ experience, then you need email marketing. Forget about the glamour and the flashy of social media marketing. We are talking efficiency here. We are talking greater engagement. Greater reach. Greater click through rate and more. As many experienced marketers say, ” the money is in the list”. Some even say “your net worth depends on your network”. In the following lines, I will explain the advantages of email marketing. In these explanations, I will use statistics. The sites which produced those stats will be mentioned at the end of this article. So, let’s get into the advantages of using email marketing.:

Potential Reach:

Did you know that in 2013, there were about 3.2 billion email accounts created in the world? 95% of online consumers use an email address. The most interesting fact is; 91% of those consumers check their email accounts at least once a day. Today, we browse more with our phones than our computers. As a result, we are more easily notified when we receive emails. Our phones place the notifications right in front of our eyes.

Today, it is easier to check to an email than a Facebook or Twitter post. This is because when we post content, so does a million other people. As a result, finding one particular post you liked 3 weeks ago can be the most daunting task.

Actual Reach:

Before I explain this part in more detail, let’s get some interesting numbers. In the first half of 2013, a research conducted using emails as a marketing channel revealed some staggering facts. The one that stands out the most is this; 18% of the emails sent during a campaign never reach their destinations. 4% of the sent emails are sent into the spam folder. That makes 22% of the sent emails that do not actually reach the intended receiver.

On the other hand, 78% of the emails sent during an email campaign actually reach their destination. Think of it this way, If you send 1000 emails, 780 emails will reach their destination. In addition to that, 91% of the receivers check their emails daily. This means, about 709 receivers will actually see your email. This is great efficiency, as less than 30% of the emails sent are lost.

Now, let’s compare these numbers with those of a Facebook campaign carried out in the same way. This revealed that 74% of the Facebook posts are actually lost within the big stream of content. That is a problem. That means, per thousand Facebook posts, 740 are lost in the stream of content. That leaves us with 260 posts seen by our target readers. Another bad thing is, everyone who sees your content will not actually click through. Less than half will actually do. That leaves us with less than 130 people who are actually interested in our offers.

Click Through Rates:

In the previous point, we talked about what percentage of people who see and may like your posts and mails. Now let’s talk about people who actually complete the actions and do what you want them to do. Let’s say clicking on a link. This link may take them to a landing page or a website.

Click through rate is the percentage of people that receive your message and actually click on it. The click through rate of a tweet is 0.5 percent as opposed to 3% for an email. These numbers look small at first. But, this means that people click 6 times more on an email link than on a tweeted link.

Let’s keep on using our example of 1000 emails and 1000 social media posts. A 0.5% click through rate means per thousand, 5 people will actually click on your link. This is for social media. Sometimes the click through rates are higher, but those are particular cases. The numbers we use here are average ones.

A 3% click through rate with emails means 30 clicks per thousand. That is the best click through rate you will obtain on average. The numbers are not astounding, but efficient numbers are not always astounding. The difference is such because, when people give you their email addresses they actually want to hear more form you.

Your Readers Want It This Way:

Most people use social media to communicate with friends first. Seldom are they used to receive business news and reviews. There are specialized websites for that. 77% of the users during a survey online said they prefer to receive promotional messages in their emails. 4% said they prefer these messages on social media. This speaks to the fact that by submitting an email, people are literally giving you a business meeting location.

Emails Are Private:

It is easier for a reader to express his problems in private than in the open. Everybody is not comfortable when it comes to expressing their shortcomings in the open. When a user wishes to express his struggles and he can’t meet with you, what does he do? He writes you an email. This way, he can tell you everything. You can answer specifically to him.

I will soon create a page where I post user requested content. Every weekend.

Email Marketing and newsletters

Conclusion:

You want to use emails if you want to boast your online presence. Also, this is for you if you want to enhance reader experience. Setting up an email marketing campaign is not really expensive. We are talking about 6$ to 20$. Per month. Some services like MailChimp even offer free services for your first 2000 subscribers.

Email marketing is not dead. If anything, it kills that silence between your subscribers and you. In an upcoming post, I will talk about building an email list. Thanks for reading. Talk to you guys soon.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Campaign Failed

 I am, from time to time, asked to troubleshoot why someone’s content marketing campaign has not been the success they had hoped for. Almost always, the cause of the problem falls within the scope of one of the following reasons. Here, in reverse order, are my top five reasons why content marketing campaigns fail:

 You are not content marketing:

Content marketing is marketing a business to achieve one or more goals of that business. If the achievement of your business goal is not the reason for producing your content, you are blogging. That important distinction is not always understood.

Many content creators do not understand the part content marketing plays in moving your prospects along your sales funnel. Different types of content are needed for each stage, that is for suspects, prospects, and retaining and selling again to existing customers. If you are not producing content that supports each stage in the sales process, you are not content marketing.

 There is not a market for your product or service:

It never ceases to surprise me how many businesses fail because the founders did not do proper research to establish whether there was a market for their business and or whether their product or service met that need.

You can have a technically excellent product, but it will fail if no one wants to buy it. I once worked for a company that had such a product. Every prospect the sales force presented to said what a great idea it was, but they would not buy it. It was a solution looking for a problem. Then you have the other side of the coin: There is a market, but your product or service does not meet it. There is a problem, but you do not have the solution.

No matter how good your content marketing is, your campaign will fail in its objective of acquiring new customers if:

  • There is no market for your product or service, or
  • If your product does not solve the customer’s problem.                                                                                                                                                                                                 You are publishing in the wrong place:

You must ensure that your content gets to your target audience. You need to know:

  • Who your target audience is. That includes demographic information such as their age, gender, socio-economic group, whether they are likely to be married, and if they have a family;
  • Where they currently go to get information; and
  • How they prefer to consume data.

Let’s consider a couple of examples:

Example 1: You have a business that provides support for WordPress websites globally. Your target audience is likely to be business owners that already have, or intend to have a website on the WordPress platform. They are likely to be in the age group 24 to 54 years old, likely to be married and probably have a family. They are entrepreneurs, not software engineers.

You will find them on Linked In, and they probably also have a personal and business Face Book presence. They are also very likely to use mobile computing devices, which is their device of choice for consuming data.

You need to be publishing your content in the places these people go to for answers to their WordPress problems, such as You Tube, podcasts (think iTunes, Sticher, Podcast Republic, and Zune to name but a few) – you could either have your own show or make guest appearances on other shows, SlideShare, writing articles (think long SlideShare documents, not just article directories), blogs, and forums for WordPress users.

Example 2: You provide an on-line tuition course in mathematics. Your target audience is likely to be school age children and their parents. They will have a personal Face Book presence and will probably also use one or more of the other popular social networking sites such as WhatsApp and Line. They are likely to have a Gmail account and also use You Tube.

The nature of your service lends itself to visual media, which is how this group prefers to consume data. Your target audience will be using sites such as Udemy and You Tube to find content.

The preferences of your target audience will determine where you need to publish your content, and predicate the medium you use to deliver your content. If your target audience prefers to consume visual content, text based content will not appeal to them and they will be much less likely to visit text based content sites.

If your target audience prefers to consume data at a time and in a place that suits them, in other words, they want to consume content on demand, consider audio podcasting. However, you should only do so if your content lends itself to the spoken word.

Should you publish your content on your own website?

The answer depends on how long you have been in business, and what reputation you already enjoy. The Pareto principle or the 80:20 rule will apply in any event. If your business is a start-up or is a young business, 80% of your content should published off your website. As your business becomes established and your reputation has grown, that ratio can be reversed.

Not only do you need to publish your content in the places your audiences goes to for information, you must ensure that it comes to their attention. That means systematically promoting your content on social networking sites such as Face Book, Google+, Linked In and You Tube, as well as on Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon and other similar sites. Consider issuing a press release and linking to the piece of content in blog posts and comments, and on forums. If you have an email list, tell your list about the content you have created and ask them to share it with others.

You should expect to spend at least as much time promoting your content as you did in creating it. Not all marketers do this, which is why many content marketing campaigns fail.

 Your campaign is too short:

Although there are people who claim great success from a short campaign, these fortunate few are the exception. For most of us, content marketing is a medium to long-term exercise that performs different roles for the various stages in our sales funnel. Put another way, you need to create content that is suitable for and supports each stage in the buying process.

Let us say, for example, that you have a business selling video cameras and accessories. You will need to create content that explains the different types of camera that are available, their prices, the uses for which they are most suitable, and the amount of knowledge and or experience the user will need to operate the device. This type of content is aimed at the person browsing your online store looking to see what is available.

Next, you can segment your content to cover the different sections of your potential audience, such as those looking for a camera to take videos of the family and holidays, hobbyists, and the high end amateur and professional users. Content that compares the features, benefits, and disbenefits, the pros and cons if you like, of each product in the market segment will help the potential customer make a short list of suitable products. The person browsing your site is now a prospect.

The next set of content will focus on a specific product and the benefits of purchasing it from you. This type of content will help convert the prospect into a customer.

The final set of content will help your customer get the best out of their purchase and will upsell product add-ons and accessories.

If you are not creating content for each stage of the buying process and after sales support, your content marketing campaign is not likely to be as successful as you had hoped.

Poor quality content:

Poor quality content is the main reason why many content marketing campaigns fail. The term “poor quality” covers a multitude of sins.

Earlier in this article I said that your content must be created with the objective of achieving a business goal. That is true, but not only should your content marketing do that, it must solve a problem your target audience has. At the very least it should give them something of use and value. Unfortunately, a great deal of content that is created is little more than a thinly veiled sales pitch.

It should go without saying that your content should be grammatically correct and free from spelling errors. It should also be well written and follow a logical sequence. If you are writing an article, your objective is to retain the reader’s interest long enough for them to get to your resource box. It is there that you should give the reader a good reason to click on the link to your website from where you will do the selling.

Similarly with video. You want to keep the viewer’s attention until they see the call to action, which is usually to click on a link in the description.

Poor quality is a description that can also be applied to content that is too short or too general to be of any help to the person consuming it. Your content should be long enough to impart all the information you need to give in sufficient detail, but short enough to ensure you retain their interest.

There is another definition of poor quality content that is often overlooked by content marketers, that is, if they are even aware of it. If your content fails to engage with your audience, it has not achieved one of your business goals. Most marketers gauge the success of their content by how many views it has received, or how many likes it has, or a combination of both. A piece of content may have have been viewed a great many times, and it might have received a large number of likes, but nobody has engaged with it. They did not comment on it, or share it with their own audience, or tweet about it, or list it on Reddit or StumbleUpon.

For your content marketing to be successful, your audience has to engage with your content.

The Takeaway:

As marketers, I think we can takeaway the following points:

#1. There must be a viable market for your product or service;

#2. Your content must assist you in achieving a business goal;

#3. Your content must be published in the places where your audience is likely to find it, and you must promote your content;

#4. Your content marketing campaign must support all the stages in the sales process as well as providing after sales support, and

#5. You must create good quality content that encourages audience engagement.

Your content marketing campaign is likely to be successful if you apply these five lessons.