Internet traffic from mobile web browsing is on the rise
As the use of smart-phones and tablets continues to increase in popularity, more people are accessing information online using their handheld devices.Mobile technology is developing a strong presence in people’s lives and transforming the way businesses communicate with their target audience. The concept of “mobile marketing” involves several techniques, such as mobile websites, social location marketing, SMS and MMS marketing, mobile advertising and mobile apps.
In 2012, worldwide mobile phone users will increase to 4.11 billion*; with an ever-rising number of Internet users accessing the web on their mobile phones and tablets. Is your business ready to make the most of this trend? *eMarketer, April 2011
Enhancing Your Presence on a Mobile Website
Websites in their traditional format,when accessed via a mobile phone or a smart phone appear to be all jumbled up or are difficult to navigate. Is your website compatible for mobile devices?
Remember, your mobile website must be:
Easy for your customers to reach you via a mobile phone or tablet
Should not require any inconvenient downloads by your customers
Route mobile users to a dedicated ‘mobile’ version of your website.
Using standard mobile mark-ups (like XHTML Basic and XHTML Mobile Profile) will ensure that a wide array of mobile devices can render your page as you intend it to be seen.
Each mobile browser shows markedly different characteristics. Test your mobile website on a range of browsers and devices.
Keep page sizes small; less than 10KB if possible. Mobile pages typically take longer to load due to slower network speeds, so minimize use of images where possible.
Make sure that all pages are linked to other pages. It's still a little complex to browse with a mobile phone, so don’t make it harder by forcing users to hit the back button to escape dead ends.
Use a single column layout to minimize left/right navigation, which is difficult on a phone.
It is important that users should be able to see maximum page content once the page has loaded, without scrolling.
Don’t cause pop-ups or other windows to appear, and don’t change the current window without informing the user.
With video and audio, beware of Flash and other closed formats that aren’t compatible on some devices.Don’t download video/audio files until requested and NEVER use auto-play.
Leveraging QR Codes to Drive Traffic to your Website
QR (Quick Response) codes are those barcode-like images that can be scanned by smart-phones, whichstore more information as compared to conventional barcodes.They can be linked to URLs directly. For example, if you scan the QR code given below, it’ll take you to google.com.
This bar-coding technology is able to easily incorporate social media capabilities, custom landing pages and store text based information such as mailing addresses.These codes can be easily scanned by almost all iPhones, Androids or other camera enabled smart-phones which integrate barcode scanning applications.This will allow you to entice audiences with dynamic engagement strategies.
How your business can incorporate QR codes to build website traffic
Print medium. QR Codes can be printed in newspapers/magazines, posters, CD labels etc, where the person scanning the code can reach the mobile website of the advertiser.
Websites. These codes can be scanned from the primary website and in turn lead to the mobile website.
Business Cards. Your potential clients and business associates can scan the QR code on your business card and easily add you to their phone contacts.
Product Packaging. Incorporating QR codes on the packaging of your products can help provide vital information such as customer care contact details, user manuals and other vital information.
Direct Marketing and In-Shop Print Advertising. When used in your print advertisements, mass mails or email signatures, QR Codescan help drive traffic and a consequent fan following to your social networking profiles on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Effective Event Management. You can print QR codes on tickets or invites of your event and link them to Google maps, RSVP pages and all other event related material.
Mobile marketing is inexpensive, immediate and personal. It’s a viable new way to create customer loyalty, increase awareness and boost sales.We can assist your business to optimise your marketing strategy leveraging this exciting new trend.
In today’s market trend wherein new technologies like the Internet are widely used, it is imperative that every business creates an online presence to survive, succeed in the competition.
There are a number of ways to create an online presence for your business but blogging is considered as one of the most powerful tools. This is because of the following major reasons:
It creates an organizational voice – blogging provides opportunities for members in your organization to create a collaborative idea or information useful for prospects and visitors;
It builds credibility – regular posting of useful information for readers helps build your business credibility through times.
It offers a two-way communication with prospects and visitors – blogging provides readers an opportunity to interact with you through comments (through comment form below your posts) so this makes your blog an interactive environment.
Before you commence blogging, it is important that you consider establishing a blogging plan in order to succeed. Below are some useful ideas which can help you build a more systematic way of blogging:
(1)Understand your market – it is imperative that you are able to establish a blueprint before you start blogging. To do that, you have to (1)identify your market as this gives you a sense of direction (2) understand your goal so that you will not lose track and (3) know your purpose so that you can deliver to your prospects and visitors the information that matters.
(2)Blog design and strategies – you have understood your market well and now it is time to streamline your strategies (do you want to be a prime source of information about a certain product?) and then pick a blog design or template that suits best your niche.
(3)Regular posting – it is not really that significant if you post topics per day or once a week or once every two weeks what matters most is that you are able to do it regularly ( according to the schedule you promised to your readers – stick to it). To fulfill that, establishing a schedule and delegating tasks to members according to the schedule and regular monitoring can be a great help.
(4)Promoting and syndicating blog – it is not good enough to just write substantial content; you have to see to it that your posts have readers. Social media campaign and content syndication are a great help for this. So see to it that you are able to build a network on social network sites like Facebook, Twitter, and social bookmarking sites like delicious. Also, when it comes to content syndication, you can use real simple syndication tools like feedburner to share your posts.
(5)Measure ROI - it is also important that you assess the ROI (return on investments) performance of your blog to analyze whether or not you are on the right track. There are a number of useful tools to accomplish this task. Google analytics is one important tool that helps assess the performance of your blog. This will give you important information like conversions, visits, page views, duration of visits, where the visits are coming, etc.
Above are some important considerations that you need to take into account when building a reputation online. Take time to go over each of the items above before you commence blogging. It helps a lot.
Facebook stat: 400 million active users and over 60 million status updates per day.
No company can afford to ignore Facebook’s 400 Million active users. The question is more like: how can you tab into this huge opportunity for your business?
Facebook is already the “world’s largest social network” in 2010 having fought closely with MySpace and Twitter. Let’s look at some stunning Facebook statistics:
More than 400 million active users
Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
More than 60 million status updates posted each day
More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
More than 3.5 million events created each month
More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
No matter what industry you are in or who your target audience might be; there is no denying that in one way or another, they are impacted by Facebook. If your business is not leveraging the power of this social network, you are missing huge opportunities. But it’s never too late to begin!
Ads, Polls, Groups, Sponsorships and More…
Facebook Advertising and Marketing
With 400 million users on Facebook, you know you are connecting with real people. More importantly, you are reaching out to the right people at the right time! Your business can use Facebook advertising to help increase demand for your product or service. Facebook Ads makes it easy and cost-effective to quickly set up and manage your campaign. You can use image and text-based ads, advertise your own web page or something on Facebook like a Page or an Event. Facebook Ads offers you the flexibility to choose -- to pay per click or pay per impression in your local currency.
Advertising online is all about measurable results. You can optimize Facebook ads to track your progress with real-time reporting. By gaining insights about what type of users are clicking on your ad, you can make modifications to maximize your results.
You also have the ability to combine other marketing solutions (like polls, sponsorships, groups, etc.) with your Facebook advertising to gain greater ROI. For example, when you have a well established Facebook presence with your ads, plus Facebook Pages or Facebook Events, you can take your advertising message a step further. Turn your ad into a trusted referral by including content from a user’s “friends” who are already affiliated with your products or services! For a low cost of participation, you get a truly engaged audience. Nothing can beat the positive and long-lasting results of that!
This is Real-time Socializing
Facebook Mistakes You Should Avoid
Having a large circle of “friends” on Facebook is great, but as a business owner, you need to be cautious about how you interact online. Expanding your network by sending out several friend requests to people you have never interacted with in some way can be a waste of your time and theirs. It’s the same thing with “accepting” friend requests. If you want to socialize in real time, it should be with people who have something to offer that interests you; something than can add value to your life in some way. At all times, whether it is just “writing on the wall”, a Facebook Ad campaign, a Page or an Event, your Facebook time must engage your target audiences in meaningful and positive experiences online.
Lead nurturing earns your prospects’ interest and trust over a period of time, especially for a more expensive or hard-to-define product or service. You’re not selling -- you’re giving out useful information that encourages your leads to rely on you as an expert in your field. Then when they’re ready to buy, they’ll buy from you. It's farming, not hunting. Just as a farmer plants seeds and nurtures them as the grow, you stay in touch with your prospects as they learn more and more about your services and gradually become ready to make a buying decision.
Let’s use a chiropractic office as an example. Many prospective patients don't even know what a chiropractor really does, and they have tons of questions and concerns: "How do I tell a good chiropractor from a so-so chiropractor? Is chiropractic right for my condition? Does it make sense financially?" They're much more likely to go with the chiropractor who addresses their questions with helpful bits of information spread out across a series of communications -- say, one day after the initial contact, then five days, then a week, then two weeks. Along the way, the chiropractor builds trust by sharing his expertise and positions himself as the logical choice when it's time to make that first appointment.
This kind of lead nurturing pays off in the business-to-business sector too. If, say, a bank distributes regular “state of the industry” blurbs to the businesses it serves or works alongside, it solidifies its position as the trusted advisor for financial information.
Whether you’re B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer), however, bear in mind that you don’t just take your leads and throw them into a generic series of emails(it's one of the most deadly mistakes for many email marketing campaigns). You want to craft a series of responses that address where they are in the decision-making process.
If they’ve just begun to shop, for instance, you may want to present general industry information about how to select the right company for their needs. Then as they stick with you as leads you can gradually offer more direct information about your own company -- again, not to sell but to add value and strengthen their feeling that they know and trust you.
Nurture your leads, and eventually they will nurture your profits!
A passive website is a useless website, as least for business purposes. You want your company’s website to generate leads and deliver those leads to you in a measurable, manageable way. So how do you find those prospects and turn them into customers? Here are five basic techniques that any business can (and should) use to make it happen.
1. Capture that 98 Percent.
A typical business website or online marketing campaign is doing well to hit a 2 percent sales conversion rate. What’s our instinctive response to this scenario? Many businesses will try to pad that 2 percent out to 3, 4, 5 percent by employing little tweaks like extra landing pages or a prettier website design -- effectively giving up on the outstanding majority who visited but didn’t buy. Not everyone buys right away, of course, and you can't win 'em all. But shouldn't you implement a plan to capture these leads and boost their interest in your products or services until they are ready to buy?
Once you have leads, you want to nurture them by addressing their needs and answering their questions, including the all-important questions, “Why buy?” and “Why buy from you (and not your competition)?” Everyone has objections to buying. Anticipate them. Once you know what your prospects fear about making that purchase, you can prepare the correct answers to allay those fears. Buyers love information, especially free information. Give them the value of your expertise by sharing tips, offering incentives, and generally being useful without asking anything in return. But most of all, keep them listening to what you have to say.
3. Track It (Web Analytic)
You wouldn’t do your books by “guesstimating.” Don’t do your marketing that way either. If you don’t have hard numbers on how your website is performing as a lead-generating tool, then you’ll have no idea how to optimize it to make it perform better. There are a ton of free web analytic tools out there, among which Google Analytics is probably the best known. Some of these systems provide tons of detailed information about your web traffic, including frequency and length of visits, where they went, how they got there, where they exited from, what web browser they were running...you get the idea.
And yes, sometimes it can seem like an overwhelming mass of data to sift through and interpret. (Our own eFusion system tries to make it simpler by pointing out the most important stuff to users.) But if you want to know how those prospects behave and what they care about, that data is gold.
4. Customer Retention System
Once you’ve turned those prospects into customers, hang onto them for dear life. It costs four times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an old one. And just about the worst way to keep your customers is by annoying them with the same old email pitches month after month. You don’t have to make these people buy -- they’re already your buyers! All you have to do is keep them informed. Send useful guides, tips or other genuinely appreciated data instead of strident ads and arm-twisting emails. Use blogs or other social media channelsto solicit feedback and interact with your clientele as valued friends, not sales targets.
5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Social Media: Final Step, Not First Step.
Every company wants to drive more traffic to its website, and that's why so many of them invest so much money into search engine optimization. But if your lead nurturing and customer retention systems aren't already in place to accommodate those new visitors, they won't stick around to become buyers -- and you're right back to your 2 percent conversion rate. Don't put the cart before the horse. Make sure your website is operating as a well-oiled lead capture/generation machine before implementing your SEO and social media campaigns to usher the online community toward.
Last post I mentioned some of the factors Google uses to determine how high in the listing a business will appear when someone searches for a local business. We mentioned some on-site things you can use to make sure you appear towards the top of the list.
Now I'll mention some off-site ways you can influence your company's Google rank - a local search marketing campaign using Google Map.
- Claim your listing on Google Map – use Google’s local business center to claim the listing.
- Complete the business listing information – make sure you are listed under the correct category and be consistent with the company name, address, etc.
- Claim your listing through similar services such as Yahoo and Bing.
- Upload (and constantly update) information about your business and set up coupons and other promotions.
- Include photos and videos in your descriptions - Google has begun testing some enhanced features that will display your photo/video thumbnail on the map as well as next to your listing. This will help your company stand out.
- Submit your company’s information to directories that are associated with local businesses (Info USA, Yahoo Business Directory, DMOZ, etc.) since they are aggregator.
On your site, you can make some additions to your HTML code and content that will also drive up your ranking in Google:
On your website make sure your domain/web page URL include locations that you target.
Make sure your web page title tag and description tag include the locations (i.e. cities, areas, etc.) that you target.
Make sure your website has dedicated pages that display the company name, address, and maps of the company’s location. Also the map should link to your Google local map (on the local business results) page.
Get links from authority sites; relevant vertical authority sites are the best.
Mine your competitors’ links and see if you can establish the same links.
It’s a time consuming, but surely rewarding, process. In addition to other search traffic, Google local maps will drive many qualified local leads to your website. With strong customer reviews and ratings, you should get a much higher conversion rate as well.