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July 2014 Digital Marketing and SEO News Round-Up

The previous months brought a lot of big changes to the world of digital marketing. But July didn’t “bring it” as much until the latter part of the month. 

Here’s a quick digital marketing recap for the month of July, 2014.

It won’t be a long post like what we usually do. We’re are pretty much (still) adapting to a fully remote setup so it’s been a challenge and the weather over here didn’t help but we’re chugging along. We believe August will definitely be another great month though.

 

SEO and Digital Marketing News – July 2014

Overall, it was sort of a confusing month due to a release of another update for Google’s local algorithm. Aside from that, there has been few social media related news and a couple of speculations about the next “major” update to the world of SEO but not much big news-worthy changes.

 

SEO News

It’s been a “quiet” month for digital marketing in general but it was a pretty important month for local SEO. 

 

- A Bit More of In-Depth Articles

We noticed a bit more of In-Depth articles showing up but we didn’t have enough data to further study it. Good thing Moz has the proper data and Dr. Pete pointed it out here

 

- Local Search Algorithm Update

This is probably the most significant news this month as it has fixed a lot of old problems in local results. Yelp’s listings is now at the top (I guess that will stop them from whining) and other directories are benefiting as well.

If you are familiar with local results, you might notice that the 7-packs are missing though. Some will show 3-packs but a lot of them are gone so that’s something they will be tweaking further. This has not yet been fully rolled out globally so it’s currently only for Google.com.

If you see weird results, then don’t worry, it’s normal for new algorithm updates. They usually screw up.

PS. SELand calls it the “Pigeon” update.

 

- Local Search Results for SEO and Web Design Companies

Remember back then when Google REMOVED all traces of your SEO and/or Web Design company from your local search results?

Well they’re back! I don’t see it here in the Philippines, yet but I have noticed this with our other partners in the US. 

I looked around and only found Brent’s post about it and it’s the only one you need.

Check his post and listen to his advice. You should see your listing soon… unless they decide to remove them altogether again.

 

- The Future of Foursquare

I’ll consider this news as part of local search.

If you have used FourSquare (You haven’t? Shame) – especially when promoting a local business, then you better look at what the future holds. We love FourSquare and it gets our clients a lot of local leads and understanding their plans and their changes is key to maximizing your reach.

I love the new logo, too.

 

Social Media News

It was a pretty quiet month for social media outside the not-so-new news about Twitter.

 

- Facebook Save (Not about local SEO)

We think this is a big step towards keeping Facebook users ON Facebook so we included this here.

Facebook just released their ala Pocket ripoff (no surprise there) called Facebook Save and it’s going to give you the ability to save the crappy BuzzFeed stuff you see on your feed!

 

Saving on Facebook Save

You can even save these.

You might laugh but it’s actually something a lot of people need and it will keep them on Facebook instead of going to other “Read Later” web apps. It will need some more work but they will definitely promote it in the coming months and you will probably use it yourself.

Jenn Herman just put out a complete step by step post on her blog about Facebook Save so learn how to do it, now.

Come on, admit it. That “The 21 Most EXTREME Selfies Ever Taken” post looks really interesting. Learn how you can save it for later.

 

Recommended Reads

6 Content Marketing Takeaways from 30 Days of LinkedIn Publishing by Greg Ciotti

Using Modern SEO to Build Brand Authority by Jason Acidre

Digital Dashboards: Strategic & Tactical: Best Practices, Tips, Examples by Avinash Kaushik

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Dennis Seymour

Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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The Basics of Content Marketing

As far as SEO is concerned, it’s important that you realize that high-quality content is probably one of the bigger factors when it comes to increasing your ranking on the search engine results pages. Remember that search engines use different algorithms and the biggest of them, Google, uses over 200 factors in it’s algorithm for classifying websites. Some of which may include using the right keywords or structuring a website with user interface and experience in mind.

However, at the end of the day, the usefulness of your content in the context of the search that was performed gives the biggest value to the user and ultimately, the search engines.

Before we continue to talk about what content marketing is and our tips for business owners to use, we’d like to make something clear.

We hear about how “content is king” day in and day out. But if we are to really call ourselves SEO’s, then we need to admit that other factors, most obvious of which are backlinks, are equally as important.

We believe that “content is key” as that is probably the more honest statement. Your content will never build links on it’s own, nor promote itself, after all.


We believe that “content is key”… not king.
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So, getting back to topic, if you have recently set up a small business online, or maybe you’ve created a blog or a social networking page for your company, and you want to gain more visibility online, you should give importance to the content you put on these pages. Content doesn’t have to come in the form of a formal article. Your content could be in the form of photos, videos, infographics, blogs, social media posts, etc.

The process of optimizing and promoting your content is called content marketing.

Content Marketing Baiting Customers

Your content is pretty much your bait in content marketing — and the better the bait, the bigger the fish.

 


Your content is pretty much your bait in content marketing…
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Why Is Content Marketing Important?

It was already discussed in our article on digital marketing that there are two forms of marketing: push (outbound) and pull (inbound). While both have great benefits and work well with one another, if you’re still starting an online business, your best option is to engage in inbound marketing first. Instead of pushing information to let people know about your business, you use information to pull in more visitors and have them stay on your page longer.

Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing in which you actively share or market high-quality content that people will love to read. In effect, because of your attractive content, people are more likely to search for you. If they like what they see on your page, they will also keep coming back to it, and possibly spend more time browsing through your website. This could eventually lead to a higher conversion rate by leading these readers into your sales funnel.

Inbound Pull content Marketing

Great content marketing can draw people to a site like a magnet does iron.

Think of your content as the magnet that draws people in, giving you a chance to show them what you can offer later on. Note the “later on”, which can be replaced by “at a tangent”.  It’s important to understand that while content marketing is still a form of advertising, you see, its main purpose is to share valuable information with the page visitors. Because your chief intent is not to sell your products and services, your visitors are more likely to trust you. It’s a good way to establish a friendly yet still professional relationship between you and your potential customers.

With content marketing, you potentially get your visitors to do the promotion for you. How? When they read useful and interesting content, they will be inclined to share that content with their friends, usually via their social networking pages and their blogs.

Content marketing will also have a positive effect on your ranking on the SERPs. Search engines will see that you have content that is relevant and useful when people keep visiting your page, sharing your content and linking to it from their blogs. Thus, you get a better chance of scoring a higher ranking down the road. Plus, you may also be seen as a topic’s content specialist or a thought leader, which could lead to more opportunities.

 

Before You Create Quality Content…

Before you start writing your content, you need to do some research. Come up with a target persona. Familiarize yourself with your products and services, and who you think they’re for. Where does you company stand currently? Where do you want to be ten years from now? How do you measure success (e.g. many followers, high sales, high SERP ranking, etc.)? Who are your competitors and what are they doing now? These are all very important to determine how you will go about your content marketing strategy.

As mentioned before, you need to know who your content is specifically targeting; otherwise, your marketing strategies won’t work right, in most cases. A basic knowledge of your customers and your industry go a long way. If you have an idea of who you want to attract as customers, then it will be easier for you to determine the platform where you can share the content. 

Marketing wrong Demographic

You know how people say they hate ads and marketers? They’re talking about ones with bad timing and targeting.

For example, your products and services are specifically designed for women and may be concentrated on the latest fashion. While you can still do your content marketing using your blog or maybe your official website, you can also attract more female visitors when you put relevant content on sites that are known to be dominated by females, like Pinterest.

Now, from the information you obtained, you will then start creating high-quality content that targets your preferred demographics, challenging to your competitors, and beneficial for your company in the sense that it helps achieve your goals.

 

How to Create Quality Content

Now it’s time to get creative. Writing content doesn’t necessarily mean writing a long scholarly article, though this may have merits when it comes to usefulness and completeness of information. Aside from making sure that your content provides your readers with a set of useful information that they’ve been searching for, you also have to ensure that the content captures their attention and calls them to a form of action.

 

Here are some tips for how you can do this:

i. Write your content with SEO in mind.

If your goal is to make it to the front pages of the SERPs, then you shouldn’t ignore SEO best practices. In this case, don’t overlook the power of well researched keywords, which you can include in your articles. There are those who also suggest that you first come up with fully optimized keywords, and then write an article based on those keywords.

You should also pay close attention to how your listing will look on the SERPs. Your title tags and meta description should tell the reader that your website has what he’s looking for. Here’s an example:

What Is content Marketing

Meta descriptions and title tags serve as previews for searchers. PS: These guys are awesome.

Similar to PPC ads, the content (title and description) that appears should get the attention of your readers. Using call-to-action phrases to encourage people to click on your result can also be a critical component to a successful content marketing campaign.

 

ii. Engage in Social Media Marketing.

Many business owners have decided to first open their businesses in social networking sites. Why not?

Facebook alone is enjoying over a billion monthly users, and that’s a number that businesspeople should take seriously, especially if they want to increase their brand’s visibility and sales.

Aside from putting all of your effort into enlarging your following, you are advised to prioritize the content that you post on your page. If you have captivating and interesting (and useful) content, then you will find that people will be the ones liking your page without much nudging from you.

It’s not enough that you post high-quality content on your page, and then just wait for followers to like, share, or comment on it, though. What you can do is actively engage your followers in discussions by acting as facilitator. Reply to comments and talk to your followers personally. It’s a step to building better relationships and creating a friendlier environment in which your followers will want to stay. The key is to practice active and genuine communication, which is two-sided.

Social Media and Content Marketing

The (social) medium is the message, to paraphrase McLuhan.

There are plenty of ways to start a discussion on social networks. You can start by asking questions or posting an inspiring or challenging status update. On other sites, like Twitter and Instagram, contests can also be conducted to encourage the participation of followers so it’s not just for Facebook.

 

iii. Use pictures and videos.

Most of the time, even if your page has the content that a person is looking for, if your content is presented in a way that doesn’t look interesting, there’s a good chance that the person will leave. That’s why it’s a good idea to break down your article into short paragraphs to make it easier to read. It’s also recommended that you accompany your text with pictures, GIFs, or videos.

These days, most articles that go viral are those that have interest-grabbing titles, like “10 Things You Should Do to…” or “How to Do…”. The title is interesting enough, but what really grabs the attention of the readers is the way that the article is structured. Take the example of articles from Buzzfeed, Cracked.com, and Huffington Post.

Most of the posts come with entertaining and interesting pictures and videos to support each paragraph.

Content Marketing Humor Funny Picture

He’s right, you know.

Your content can also come in the form of standalone pictures and videos. A single picture can get your point across, and this is when you need to unleash your imagination the most. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”, and business-wise, let’s hope that your picture will also get you a thousand or more supporters.

Before posting pictures and videos, make sure that they’re fully optimized. For instance, your pictures should be of high resolution, and your videos are clear, in terms of display and intent. Most important is that both can tell a story that inspires and motivates people to respond.

 

iv. Be familiar with all kinds of content that you can post on your website.

Aside from long, informative articles and a bunch of pictures and videos, you can try posting other types of content, like infographics, blog posts, quizzes, surveys, contests, etc. These are unique ways to catch the attention of people and urge them to stay on your page and participate.

Infographics, for instance, can make a tedious topic very interesting. Click here for examples.

 

v. Use tools to measure your content marketing success.

Google Analytics is a great tool that will help you gauge the success of your content, based on the traffic that it drives to your page. Kissmetrics provides a list of tools that will be useful for content marketing, from content creation to management.

 

As a bonus tip, when creating high-quality content, don’t be afraid to mix things up. It’s all right to keep doing what you do best, but remember that your readers are always on the lookout for something new, and it’s your duty to make sure that your content will always pique their interests. Regardless of where you post your content, the important thing is that what you post is important and entertaining that your readers will find it difficult to leave your website.

On the other hand, it’s also a plus if you have a clear idea of where you will post your content because you wouldn’t want to risk having duplicate content. Your readers want something fresh, so copy-pasting your content from your website to your blog or to your social pages are not recommended, unless really necessary.

What you can do is post your content in one place, like your main website or a blog, and then use your social networking pages to promote and share that content. That way, your readers will never get bored by seeing similar things every time they visit each of your sites.

At the end of the day, your content is all about your readers. That’s why it’s essential that you have a clear idea of who your content is targeting. Ultimately, what keeps people on your page is what will keep you in business.


Ultimately, what keeps people on your page is what will keep you in business.
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Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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Is Twitter better? Or just not as bad as Wall St. feared?

Featured Image -- 137

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

Twitter RT Cards

Twitter’s stock surged as much as 36 percent to $52.35 a share Tuesday after reporting sales that grew 124 percent, an unexpected net profit and – perhaps most importantly – a 25-percent increase in monthly active users.

It is all welcome news for a company that has so far delivered much more on social and cultural impact than on financial performance. But it is also a reminder not to get too carried away by the short-term response of the stock price to a single piece of news.

Twitter’s stock later settled down to the $50 level, still an impressive 30-percent jump over the closing price on market trading hours. But consider that it was only four months ago since Twitter’s stock last traded above $50 – a period during which many insiders frst became able to sell shares. And that the stock is still down 32 percent from the all-time high…

View original 638 more words

A Small Business’s Guide to Going Mobile

Why Mobile Marketing?

A report in 2012 was released saying that over 75% of all people own a mobile phone, and a newer study for 2104, shows that 55% of these people have smartphones.

For those uncertain about the meaning of the distinction between the regular mobile phone and a smartphone: smartphones are created to do more than the average mobile phone. They can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data, and each one is built with features that will make your online experience a lot better, from the wide screen for browsing to the interface that allows you to navigate from one site to another at a touch.

The convenience of portable computing can’t be understated: it’s no wonder that smartphone technology took off so quickly.  As a businessperson, it means that mobile marketing is something that you should take advantage of to reach more people and lead them to your company website. It means that there’s another outlet that you can use to increase your business’s influence.

And if you have been living under a rock the past half decade, you might have missed the emergence of tablets and how it has almost overtaken desktops and laptops in overall sales.

So, what is mobile marketing? It’s the process of marketing through mobile computing products, such as tablets & phones and their features, from SMS & MMS to applications. 

 

Pros & Cons of Mobile Marketing

Like many other marketing strategies, mobile marketing has its ups and downs. Let’s start by looking at the pros of going mobile:

  • SMS and MMS promotions are still quite common today, and what’s great about it is that when you send a message to someone, or even to multiple people, they will receive that message at the very moment you send it. The same is true for emailing or updating social media statuses via applications on mobile phones. Sending a message is instant, and you’re also more likely to get instant results.
  • Mobile marketing promotes a two-way relationship between the advertiser and the audience. People can always give you feedback and make inquiries directly by contacting your mobile.
  • Usage of different apps as platforms to further increase your visibility.
  • For many, the “built in” function to process mobile payments is also a big positive.
  • Mobile marketing helps you use applications (“apps”) to your advantage. Rather than opening multiple tabs on your browser to update your social media pages, with a mobile phone, you can simply install applications and access your social pages from there. Some applications keep you logged into your social media accounts for a long time and you can send marketing messages or post updates to a company page on the go.
  • GPS or Global Positioning System, which is common in smartphones, provides a user the ability to look for information and services that are near his location.  For businesses that have optimized themselves for location-based searches, this can work to their advantage.

Now let’s look at the cons of mobile marketing:

  • It’s difficult to create a single mobile version of your website that will satisfy all sizes of mobile screens. For those users who have smaller-screen mobiles, it’s hard for them to navigate the page, let alone navigate from one page to another. Most mobile computing gadgets also use different Internet browsers and operating systems, so if you’re planning to create a mobile version for your company, you have to ensure that your site is viewable on all of these.
  • It’s harder to pair specific ads to a specific user for certain platforms. Have you noticed an app showing ads for something you totally have no inclination to buy, let alone, check out?
  • Permission and Privacy will always be an issue with mobile marketing. If you’d like to call or send people SMS or MMS messages, they should willingly give you their phone numbers or user IDs. Take note that they should do it with the understanding that they are giving you a number that you may use for marketing your business, by the way. They should also be able to opt out anytime. Randomly sending marketing messages to people who never even knew about your business when they handed you their numbers isn’t going to win you fans.  
Mobile Marketing Faux Pas

You shouldn’t send marketing messages indiscriminately to your contacts.

 

Why Use Mobile Marketing for Business

Taking on mobile marketing isn’t an easy feat, but it does have its unique advantages:

Mobile marketing allows you access to your customers 24/7. Unlike when you do your business solely online, you don’t have to wait for people to connect to the Internet and go to your page for you to engage them. In this case, your customers are just a call and a text away.

Another good thing about it is the instantaneous nature of mobile communications. Since mobile users always leave their phones on for long periods of time, whenever you send a message, or an update about the latest deals and events of your company, these people will receive your messages and updates in real time.

Advertising via mobile is also more affordable. Sending multiple messages to people frequently is obviously cheaper than renting a billboard space or maintaining a television commercial.

Furthermore, mobile marketing allows you to potentially get to know people better on a more personal level. Tailoring your messages and advertisements to sound more intimate or informal is a good way of establishing a friendly relationship with your prospective customers, and mobile communications tend to promote that sort of casual intimacy.

Mobile Marketing advantages

It’s mobile BECAUSE it has fewer hang-ups.

 

Tips on How to Use Mobile Marketing for Your Business

Mobile marketing is a process that involves many strategies that you can use to promote your business. However, with so many options, it might be difficult for you to decide where and how to start. That’s why it’s important for you to do your research on mobile marketing, and find out the main strategies that will be most effective and will give your business the best returns.

Here are just some of the main mobile marketing strategies that you’re recommended to try:

SMS Marketing

What’s great about advertising via SMS messages is that all kinds of mobile phones can send and receive SMS. This means that you have a wider audience, and your advertisements are not only limited to those who have more modern gadgets and smartphones.

Nowadays, SMS marketing is not only limited to texts. Messaging apps can be installed on smartphones, and these allow you to send SMS messages for free, provided that both sender and recipient have the same application and a connection to the Internet.

Sending SMS marketing messages won’t put a dent on your budget, and this strategy has been present for a long time now. It’s still being used by many businesses today. Of course, you need permission from the people for you to be able to regularly send messages.

Getting permission is crucial because you don’t want to offend your potential clients by sending them marketing stuff that they don’t want. But once you’ve gotten the go-signal, all you need to worry about is the content of the messages.

When marketing via SMS, it’s important that you set the right tone in order for the recipient to read the entirety of the message. You can offer discounts and also provide the person links and contact details as a follow-up or a call to action for your SMS.

Take a look at what several brands and businesses are doing today. Most of them are still practicing SMS marketing by encouraging people to sign up to receive daily text messages from said businesses. Usually, people who are interested just need to send a keyword to a particular number to opt-in to the service, as you can see here.

Here in the Philippines, digital marketing is still a new idea for most businesses and SMS marketing is used in the most primitive way. Handled by the wrong “professionals” – they blast out messages multiple times a week or even within a day. This just turns off the receiver and there’s usually no opt-out option. 

Company Branded Mobile Apps

Some brands have also invested on mobile apps that will help people get to know them better. 

Starbucks App

The Starbucks app is a superb example of using mobile technology for marketing.

For instance, the Starbucks mobile application not only helps users to locate Starbucks branches that are near them (or in other places), but it also has features that allow users to get to know all the products, even down to the nutritional information. You can also come up with personalized drinks, and more importantly, pay for your drinks via the mobile app. Recently, Starbucks revamped the iPhone app to include digital tipping and shake-to-pay features.

Email Marketing

This works like SMS marketing, except that you send people emails about your business and products rather than sending them an SMS. Again, permission is required before you can send out these emails.

Email marketing starts with a landing page you need to create to build leads. In this landing page, people should see a button where they can subscribe to your newsletters or email messages. It’s ideal to use autoresponders so that people will be able to confirm their subscription as soon as possible.

A person who confirms his subscription gives you permission to send him email messages about your business. With the autoresponder, you will also receive the email of the person is sharing with you. If you used a form to get different details, then you will also receive those. Since you know from which page they opted in, you will have an idea of what they are interest in and from these details, you can personalize your email messages so that the content will be useful to the recipient.

An advantage of email marketing is that you can optimize the appearance of your messages so that they will catch the attention of your audience. You can attach images, files, and links to your website to the emails, and you have more space to include everything you need to in one message.

On the other hand, it’s important that you put a limit on how often you send your email, and that you take special care in supplying a good title. Otherwise, you might get labeled as a spammer or simply get ignored, removing your chance of engaging with a potential customer.

Also, remember that your email should be clearly read via a mobile phone, which means that you shouldn’t overdo the designs and use formats that some browsers and email apps cannot read.

One of the companies that have successfully integrated email marketing into its advertising campaigns is Amazon. People who have made a purchase on Amazon are given the opportunity to subscribe to the company’s newsletter. But what makes Amazon’s campaign different is that those who subscribe to these emails do not get the same email. 

Amazon Inbox Marketing Email

Amazon customizes marketing emails, which makes them more likely to grab attention.

Instead, the company makes sure to send emails whose content is based on the customer’s data on the site. Usually, the product or service highlighted on the email will be related to the product/service that the recipient has purchased before.  Look at the connections between the email subjects in the image above, for example.  This gives you an idea of what the customer has purchased before on the site.

Social Media on Mobile

Most mobile users access their social networking accounts via their gadgets. It’s obviously more convenient to do so than to start the computer. Plus, with a mobile phone, they can go online whenever they want and wherever they are. Thus, you should also optimize your messages and ads in such a way that they can be seen via mobile.

As always, it’s important that all the important details about your company are present. Your pictures and videos should also be accessible or, at least, clearly seen via mobile.

For marketing on Facebook, once someone “likes” your page, they will be able to see your post in their feed. Be sure to test the proper timing of when your users are online and try to use a plain text message (we tested this) or a photo to get the best results. Videos can also work depending on the niche you are in.

There are also other social networks that serve ads to target mobile users like Twitter and eventually, others will follow suit. You also shouldn’t forget to use mobile-based applications that you can use for business too, such as and Instagram.

Mobile Ads and PPC

Using ad serving platforms, the most common of which is Adwords, will get you targeted leads fast. It works similar to Facebook ads, but you will be able to show your ads and banners within apps and websites the user visits.  

Location Based and Niche App Marketing

It’s important to also know that for most popular niches, there are specific “local” apps that cater to that niche where you can put your business details in those apps for free and even advertise in them. Foursquare is obviously one of the more popular ones globally. 

Here in the Philippines, one of the more popular apps we use is Looloo. And just to get it in there, they have been doing a great job at content marketing recently.

Although not specifically a niche specific app, Yelp’s app is widely popular and putting your business in their database can potentially make you visible in front of an endless amount of targeted users. They also have an internal advertising platform.

 

Chat Marketing and Support

You can use chat apps like Viber or WhatsApp to promote your offers, content or business. WeChat can be useful for finding those nearby and giving them a nudge about your products, and you can make use of their in-app advertising platform as well.

There’s always a local preference when it comes to chat apps. WhatsApp is certainly the leader worldwide, but WeChat dominates China, Line in Japan and so on. There are more apps popping up but those are the clear leaders so be sure to focus on what’s being used in your area.

The best part is that these apps give you a direct connection to your customers. You get reviews, feedback, suggestions and you can do support and damage control if it’s needed. Your customers will appreciate it even more when they receive personal message from you, because at the end of the day, making your customers feel special will always bring in more business to you.

And by the way, Twitter is actually pushing to be part of this space now.

Mobile SEO

It’s important that your mobile design is built with SEO in mind. Search engines, like Google, have already given a guideline on how to improve mobile sites for SEO. You’re likely already familiar with some of the guidelines, especially if you know how SEO and local SEO works.

Aside from those, mobile SEO requires your site to be mobile-friendly. This means that your site should be responsive or have a mobile site or mobile ready landing page. Pictures and videos should also be optimized for mobile.

As mentioned above, much like local SEO, your success with mobile SEO will stem from proper technical & onpage SEO, obtaining reviews, building up your social media mentions, getting listed on local sites and posting high-quality content relevant to the users. Building a following with social media also helps in numerous ways, one of which is getting links from bloggers and those active in social media.

For example, Huffington Post is known for it’s blog posts and news pieces that tackle various topics, from pop culture to current events.

Usually, the content is styled into lists to make it easier and more interesting for people to read. These lists are often so long that it might be difficult for a person to read the article from his mobile phone in standard view. Fortunately, HuffPo has already made its site mobile-friendly, allowing users to catch up on their news with ease.

Combine the power of SEM with proper SEO, then you are basically visible to your potential customers everywhere. Read more about the difference of SEO and SEM here.

Here in the Philippines, business owners that have encountered SEO in the past still fear it or have a different view of what it actually does. Business owners from other countries have more experience with SEO but still fall prey to those that do cheap SEO. We highly encourage educating yourself first before thinking it’s a scam or a trick to get more money out of your pockets.

If you are a business owner new to digital marketing, be sure to sign up above (the bar at the top of the screen that follows you around) to get our free digital marketing eBook.

 

Mobile Marketing + Your Business = WIN

When marketing your startup business, you need to understand that a lot of successful businesses utilized digital marketing strategies to to their advantage. It’s just the way it is nowadays.

Mobile marketing is a tool most companies should be quick to look into. It has strong potential to be fairly high-yield despite the modesty of its expense and some forms of it are also a little friendlier to marketers not yet that entrenched in more technical and SEO-heavy aspects of modern promotions. 

It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of technical knowhow to compose a marketing SMS campaign, after all. That said, mobile marketing is best when integrated into a marketing plan that involves other strategies so do your business a favor and jump in.

 

So how about in your area? What’s the coolest strategy you’ve seen from a business that utilizes the power of mobile marketing?

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Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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Start Your Business with Digital Marketing in Mind

Before you can commit to opening and maintaining a small business, you first have to be fully prepared for the responsibilities that will be instantly entrusted to you. You have to invest a lot of your time, effort, and usually, money, in order for your company to succeed.

There’s a silver lining, though, because once you’ve gotten your company up and running, things “would” get progressively easier to handle, and as a businessman, you will grow and learn a lot from your experiences.

It’s so important for you to start everything right, or at least, be armed with the right information to aid you in your decisions.

Otherwise, all your hard work would go to waste, and you might be forced to start over. It’s not a bad thing to start over sometimes, but it would hurt to lose everything you have already invested into it.  That could be a lot of effort, a lot of money, and a lot of time—which, when you really think about it, are more or less the same.

Entrepreneur's Clock

Such is the life of a start-up. #Startup #Smallbiz

So how do you start it right the first time? Well, one way would be to come up with a plan or an overview of where you are right now, and where you want to be in, say, ten years. This means that you also need to have clear objectives in mind because as a business owner, you want your company to improve and succeed in its industry, even far into the future.

There are so many things that you can do to make your company flourish. Simply making the right investments and using the right marketing approach will do. In this day and age, the Internet provides you with plenty of tools and services that will help you develop your business in such a way as to increase its popularity, increase your sales, and increase its visibility online.

Aside from the usual advertising techniques that you use to reel in customers, you could also consider taking advantage of digital marketing.

 

What Is Digital Marketing?

If you want your small company to get more customers, become more popular, and increase its chances of securing your future, then digital marketing is one way to do it.

What is digital marketing? It is advertising using digital tools and technology, such as electronic gadgets and the Internet. Digital marketing involves you taking advantage of all the ways you can promote your brand online, from using social media to the creation of your company’s main website.

 

Why Is It so Important to Practice Digital Marketing?

Big Deal Digital Marketing

What the man said.

No, really, digital marketing IS a big deal!

One of the best advantages of digital marketing is that it works well with your offline and traditional marketing methods. You can simply practice both and reap their benefits.

Digital marketing will also teach you how to understand where your business currently is, and help you plan how you can reach your business goals. You will learn to observe how people behave online, how you competitors improve their businesses, and how you can use these kinds of information to enhance your company and marketing approach. More importantly, I think that digital marketing will help you see and appreciate your business.

 

- Cost-effectiveness

Digital marketing is generally more affordable than traditional marketing, if you think about it. Say you want to increase awareness for your brand, and you decide that the best way to do this is by creating a television commercial, you can expect this endeavor to be quite expensive. First, you need to buy a space from a television network where you can place your ad. Usually, you will only be given fifteen to sixty seconds per commercial.

That space will already cost you a lot of money, but then again, you will need to spend more on the production of that commercial. That will involve directors, creative writers, actors, equipment, etc. If your commercial is a success, that’s great, but if it’s not, that’s a lot of money down the drain.

But with digital marketing strategies, you have less risk to think about, meaning that you have more reasons to spend on advertisements. Creating social networking pages and blogs is usually free, though you have to pay for additional services. Creating an e-commerce website will require you to pay a monthly bill. However, these are still more affordable than what you can expect from traditional marketing, where a small space on the newspapers can cost a small fortune.

Another advantage of digital marketing is that you can instantly see how your marketing approach and your advertisements are doing. You have more room to test for success, which could eventually save you a lot of money by just using what works.

 

- Tracking ROI

Social Media and ROI

Despite the cartoon, a good social media plan can yield decent ROI.

Tracking ROI should become second nature to you as you grow as a businessman. There are plenty of available tools that you can use to measure the performance of your pages. You are now able to see how much traffic goes to your page, and what keywords you can use to increase your ranking for search engines.

So basically, when you have this power to effectively track your ROI, you immediately get an opportunity to measure your success, as well as see how much of this success is contributed by your digital marketing approaches.

 

- Find and Engage Your Customers

We’ve already touched on the subject that digital marketing can widen your reach, in terms of popularity and customers. However, you can do this by using traditional marketing strategies like television commercials and print advertisements. The difference is that digital marketing helps you target your specific demographics.

As a business owner, you should know better the kinds of people who will like or benefit from your products and services. Digital marketing then would provide you with the tools and the platform you need to reach out to these people. For instance, if you sell ladies’ clothes and fashion accessories, social networking sites like Pinterest, will give you the ability to show off your wares to its large number of female users.

Digital marketing also gives you many chances to regularly communicate with your customers. Social networking sites like Instagram and Facebook will make sure that these people become your followers, and so whatever you share on your profile, your followers will see. They can also share their thoughts about what you posted, as well as share your post with their friends.

Digital marketing promotes a two-way relationship between you and your customers. You can communicate with them about anything related to your company. And you can also ask for feedback, which will be used for the betterment of your marketing approach and product and service delivery.

 

- Increase Your Visibility

If your main goal is to get more customers, then digital marketing will help improve your company’s visibility online. You can write blog posts about your products and services, never forgetting that your posts should be of high quality to be useful to your audience. You can also create your own website where you can better show off your products and settle transactions.

You can create company pages on social networking sites, like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, which hold millions of users that could become your customers and investors someday. Of course, simply creating these accounts won’t immediately put you on the spotlight. 

There are a lot of techniques involved to raise your popularity, like SEO, in which you brand your content by using high-quality and relevant content to gain visibility. Local SEO can help your brand flourish within your locality. 

Evidence Social Media

This is pretty much why you need to be on social media to exist nowadays. (Excuse MySpace, please.)

Some companies have the fortune of being propelled to the limelight by creating content that has become viral. In traditional marketing, this can be likened to news that travels by word of mouth and spreads overtime. However, with digital marketing, viral content can spread all over the world overnight, usually via social networking sites.

Now, if you were to create content, maybe an article post, a picture, a Vine, or a video, which would suddenly go viral, you can expect more people to go to your website, which means more traffic to your page, resulting in a higher chance of conversion. This could then increase your sales. Conversion means that your visitors performed your desired action on your page. This could be buying a product or service, subscribing to your newsletter, following your social network pages or whatever you want them to do. They will also find out about your business and they can just drop by your store.

 

Think of It as an Investment


Every aspect of your business, including digital marketing, is an investment.
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Every aspect of your business, including digital marketing, is an investment. There is a risk involved because no matter how much you test or optimize your advertisements, your SEO strategies, and your websites, there is no guarantee that these will have the effect that you desire.

However, with digital marketing as an investment, you have the advantage of getting more time and more space for adjustments and further development. If your ad fails, you can always make a new one without fear of the costs. Having social network pages where you can communicate with people will help you establish relationships with them, as well as help you do some damage control if necessary.

Digital marketing could also be the step you need to take to go international with your business, with its advantage of allowing you to reach people all over the world.  Now if you really think about all the benefits it could give you, plus the fewer risks it involves, digital marketing becomes a cost-effective business tool you could leverage to your advantage.

Now, would you still not want to try out digital marketing for your startup business? I’m pretty sure you want to now.

Take The Conversation Further

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Dennis is a wannabe coffee connoisseur and loves sharing great content about digital marketing. If you want to tell him about that great cup of joe or simply talk about boring topics like SEO, just get in touch with him on Twitter, Google+ or his blog. BTW, if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed.

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Echobox Launches To Let Publishers Intelligently Share Content To Twitter And Facebook

Featured Image -- 130

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

It looks like SocialFlow and, to a lesser extent, social media scheduling apps like Buffer, just got some more competition. Pulling back the curtain today is Echobox, the UK data and analytics startup, with a service that lets publishers intelligently share content to Twitter and Facebook.

By pairing Echobox with a site’s Google Analytics, the service mines that data, coupled with its own algorithms, to make suggestions in real-time on the best time to post a specific article to capture as much audience attention as possible.

The product launching today is also a lot narrower in scope — and, perhaps, less disruptive — than the early-look Echobox we profiled back in February, which also included editorial suggestions. But the aim remains the same: To help news publishers make sense of their data and put it to better use, increasing traffic as a result.

“We realized that the…

View original 460 more words

Bitcoin Mining Company Buys Critical Site To Improve Google Results

Featured Image -- 127

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_dropcap]You’ll be excused for not being aware of Buttcoin.org, a bitcoin site that has been critical of both the endlessly optimistic spirit of the bitcoin community and, more important, of the broken hardware users have received from so-called bitcoin mining providers. One company, Butterfly Labs, decided to turn that double frown upside-down, so to speak, and purchased the site outright in an anonymous sale. The result? A search for “butterfly labs scam,” which once returned a link from Buttcoin excoriating the hardware based on user reports, now returns a story with the headline “The $22,484.00 Butterfly Labs Mini Rig bitcoin miner is a sexy bitcoin mining machine.”[/tc_dropcap]

“I don’t want to go to specific into the terms of the sale due to some language in the contract that’s tricky but it was a hair into the 5 figure range, yes. Nothing to change anything about my…

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