Recently, our proud new parent company conducted a study showing that 77% of consumers shop for holiday gifts online. The other 23% probably just didn’t understand the question. You can read the full study over at Deluxe. As a result of all this great new research, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by 16 radio stations this morning from across the country (yes, 16!). So look forward to some of my tips for small businesses. Stay tuned.
Category Archives: internet marketing
Maybe you have thousands of readers of your blog. Maybe you have a couple dozen. In either case, doing a bit of personal branding for your blog can help drive more traffic and bring in more readers. Here are a few tips on how to do some personal branding for yourself and your blog:
As a general rule, if you, as a small business owner, are using GIFs on your website, you’re probably using them wrong. If you don’t know what a GIF is, here’s an example of one from the 80s when they were invented.
The truth is, GIFs are neat. They’re an animated image without the hassle of a video. However, your site will be judged as unprofessional if you use GIFs inappropriately. Noise on your site (which includes self-starting videos and music) can distract your site’s visitors, which will keep them from becoming customers. Distracting elements lessen your site’s conversion abilities. A website, especially one for a small or medium-sized business, should be simple, informative, and should motivate visitors to connect with you.
Here are some basic ways to build your website’s credibility and relevancy, so that search engines such as Google will see your business as trustworthy. While online marketing can be complex and seem intimidating, there are some easy steps you can follow to better promote your website.
The Internet Advertising Bureau reports that internet advertising revenue reached $8.4 Billion dollars in Q1 of 2012 (that’s a crazy amount of zeroes). This Q1 record marks a 15% increase over the Q1 2011 numbers at $7.3 Billion. Although not as dramatic as the growth from 2010–2011 (24%), that’s great growth to see. The chart below (c/o the Internet Advertising Bureau) illustrates the growth more dramatically than my weak little words. Read On
Pinterest (pronounced “PIN-terest”) is a sensation that every small business should know about. The hot new social network is not based on who you know like most. Instead, you connect based on shared interests.
Think of a cork board that has notes, products you want to buy, or inspiration. This is the online version. People post pictures or video of things they love (called pins). Other people can follow them and add them to virtual pinboards (pinning).
The genius of Pinterest is that you can click on a pin and follow it to the source – including your web site or blog post.
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing web sites in the world with over 7 million visits a month. According to research Pinterest is sending more traffic than Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.
The majority of people on Pinterest are women between the ages of 25 and 44. These are the perfect demographic to reach. Women tend to be “social extroverts” who like to talk about brands online. Together they represent incredible buying power (many are moms who make buying decision for their families). They have special enthusiasm for arts, recipes and crafts.
Pinterest is simple to figure out and can get you from the home page. It’s addicting. Because of this Pinterest is reaching a new demographic of people who may not spend much time on social networking web sites. Even your mom who can’t figure out how to use Facebook is on Pinterest.
Unlike a lot of social networks, Pinterest doesn’t require a lot of extra time or the upkeep of say, your Facebook page. Read On
Social media matters. Sure, some may see it as a fad, but it has been proven time and time again to bring real results to businesses that use it correctly. Not only does social media influence SEO, but it also has a significant impact on your branding, marketing, and PR efforts as well. For those of you who haven’t pushed your business into the social media yet, or for those of you who have, but still can’t quite grasp it, consider these tips. Read On
To keep up with marketing in today’s society, it’s hard to ignore the fact that social media matters. While we all may value it differently and use it for different reasons, social media marketing is almost everywhere you look—even on potato chip bags. As I looked at the back of my chip bag today with the intention of finding out exactly how many calories I shouldn’t be consuming, I instead noticed a little blue logo with “Like us on Facebook” next to it. I’ll admit that I laughed out loud, wondering why I would ever want to admit my guilty snack pleasure to my entire social circle. However, that little experience reminded me of something I had read earlier that day that made me rethink if I should be laughing at my potato chip bag Facebook logo.
Let’s face it: technology has evolved and with that, so has hosting. It’s all gotten better, faster and yes, cheaper. And it’s now even easier to predict and control. Gone are the days of racking and stacking servers, figuring out how much hardware you need, whether your power supplies are redundant and working, and if your “trained staff” is paying attention to their job and not off playing Call of Duty.
After many years working in the IT industry involved in many hardware, software, and IT deployments, I know from personal experience that it’s not something to be taken lightly nor alone. You definitely need a plan of action and an adept partner. It’s a lengthy process of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears—especially if your rollout is late or over-budget or both. It’s not a pretty picture when you say that your capacity is there and a sudden burst of demand brings the infrastructure that you just toiled over down to its knees—unhappy bosses and even unhappier customers. My words: just don’t do hardware installations anymore! Read On
Throughout my time in the SEO industry, I’ve had the chance to evaluate thousands of websites and have taken many mental notes about factors that make a great site and those that don’t. Why does content matter? It’s simple: credibility. Without credibility, your chance of converting viewers into customers goes downhill fast. It’s vital that visitors to your site see your online business as a trusted resource for the product or service they’re searching for.
If you’ve taken on the task of personally creating and designing your site’s content, here are a few tips to make sure it’s not negatively affecting your image. Read On