Affiliated Business Logo Affiliated Business News
9

by Jayson DeMers



One of the biggest challenges businesses face is winning new customers. When a new customer makes a purchase or signs up for an e-mail list, you're immediately presented with a one-time opportunity to impress that customer. What you do next could make the difference between losing that customer or creating a long-term relationship.
To kick off things in a positive way, many
Read More
businesses send a welcome e-mail to any new customers. A couple years ago, a generic e-mail that simply incorporated the customer's name in its greeting was enough. But today's customers are growing increasingly accustomed to personalized marketing. A letter following this example might be sufficient to convey your gratitude for the new business, while also expressing contact information, but it feels as though it could have been sent to any customer.
Sure, you could take the time to personally craft an e-mail to every single new customer, but chances are, you don't have time for that. Luckily, today's technology can provide that same personalized feel without taking hours away from your busy schedule. Here are a few tips to help make sure your customers know they're important to you.
Include Behaviors
Using autoresponder software, you can capture customer behaviors and create e-mails based on those behaviors. Notice a customer showed a particular interest in your line of golf shirts? Your welcome message can reflect that by mentioning how often your business adds new golf shirts to its inventory and promising to notify that customer when something arrives that might spark his or her interest. As an added boost, you could include an offer for a discount of that customer's next purchase on a particular item to show you're dedicated to winning that customer's loyalty.
Use Geography
By using information a customer enters or capturing IP address information, you can create a customized message that incorporates his or her location information. This allows you to mention items of interest to people in that customer's geographic location, special events at any of your bricks-and-mortar stores in that customer's area, and other items of interest. Even the weather can be tied into the welcome message, especially if it relates to a special line of seasonal products or services you're selling.
Include a Call to Action
Every good welcome e-mail ends with a call to action. Whether you use a special offer to encourage the customer to check out your site or watch a video to learn how to use a new service, ideally this call to action will match the customer's interests in your service. If your business is a cloud-based app and the customer has recently signed up, for instance,your e-mail should include links to tutorials specific to the parts of your app your customer will likely be using. 
Both businesses and consumers are learning the value of personalized marketing. By customizing your welcome messages, you'll be able to directly connect to each customer, making the important first step toward a lasting relationship that will hopefully continue for many years.


Be sure and visit our small business news site.



29

Submitting your website to Yahoo! Search allows others to find your homepage.Adding your website address to Yahoo! Search allows Internet users to find your site. Most search engines, including Yahoo! Search, allow website owners to submit their website's Uniform Resource Locator to their systems free of charge. When you subm...

57

by Mike Moran



I've been talking to some small business owners recently who are all complaining that they are getting squeezed out of social media, search marketing, and other forms of Internet marketing by the big guys-big companies with big budgets. At the same time, I've been hearing from frustrated large company marketers that they cannot break through the clutter and that their budgets don't se
Read More
em to help. This would seem, on the surface, to be a simple question. Either the small companies or the big companies have a point, and the other ones are smoking something. So. who's right?

It might seem impossible, I actually think they both have a point.

Small businesses naturally feel at a disadvantage to big brands, and they are right. Part of the advantage of big brands is money, but they have other advantages, too. When Google says it is changing the search ranking algorithm to reduce the prominence of "low-quality" sites, many small businesses heard this as "Google starting to favor big brands." When a link or a search result or a social media site contains content with a big brand name in it, it gets more clickthroughs. These advantages are all real.

But the big brands have reason for frustration. They are used to walking into any marketing situation, dropping their bankroll on the table, and getting the attention they want. While you can do that with display advertising, most areas of Internet marketing aren't as easily dominated with cash. Yes, money always helps, but mere funding does not get you to the top of search results (not even always to the top of paid search results), nor does it get your social media campaign to go viral.

Those big brands have a financial advantage, but digital marketing is a far more level playing field than advertising, for example. Money always brings an advantage, but it brings much less of an advantage in low-cost areas such as PR, SEO, and social media. The big brands are actually afraid that their money is not enough of an advantage.

So, small companies think the big companies have an edge, which they do. But big companies are worried because they don't have their customary edge--the edge that they are used to.

What does this tell us? To me, it is a sign that digital marketing is beginning to saturate. It's no longer good enough to see the new thing and jump on it first. It's not enough to know about paid search--now you need to know exactly how to extract every last penny out of your budget. And that's true across all of digital marketing. You need to be able to calculate the ROI of every dime you spend and you need to be ready to improve that ROI each day.

Originally posted on Biznology Blog


Be sure and visit our small business news site.



6

A website with a high PageRankIn the business of web development, PageRank is an important number to know. PageRank is a single-digit distillation of the millions of elements that Google considers when deciding how reputable a website is. The higher a website's PageRank, the more...

50

by Brian Dean



I know more than a few bloggers and small business owners that have this to say about SEO:

"Forget it!"

With
Google rolling out updates on a monthly basis and constantly adding new
wrinkles to their increasingly complex algorithm, it can seem
impossible for the average blogger to keep up.

And with hundreds
of horror stories about sites getti

Read More
ng slapped with Google penalties for
taking their SEO too far, playing it safe by "just publishing great
content" can seem like a smart move.

But it's not.

In fact, hitting "publish" and hoping for the best is the #1 content marketing myth out there.

Considering that Google accounts for almost 40% of the web's traffic, you're cutting off your own foot by completely ignoring SEO.

Fortunately, you don't need to invest in fancy SEO tools or keep up with the latest trends just to get some Google love.

You just need to follow these SEO tips specifically designed for people that hate SEO.

Tip #1: Include Keywords in Your Blog Post Titles

I know that you want to craft blog post headlines that grab attention, evoke curiosity and get clicks.

I get that.

But
if you don't strategically include high-volume keywords in your blog
post title (and specifically in your page's title tag), you're leaving A
LOT of search engine traffic on the table.

The best part?

With a little creativity, you can create titles that satisfy users and search engines.

Your first step is to find keywords that your target audience uses to search for your blog post's topic (in fact, keyword research is a great place to brainstorm blog post topics).

The best way to do that is to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool (you'll need a free Adwords account to use it). Just enter a few keywords that describe what you're writing about into the tool:

Keyword Planner

And see what keywords come up that have decent -- but not too much -- search volume (also known as long tail keywords).

Long Tail Keywords

Include that keyword in your eye-catching title (preferably at the beginning). Copyblogger.com has amazing resources on creating SEO-friendly headlines that also get clicks.

Tip #2: Get Mentioned on Link Roundups

Link
roundups -- weekly or monthly features on blogs -- are excellent
opportunities to get more referral traffic for your blog's social media
friendly content. And there are roundups in almost every niche, from internet marketing to health and fitness.

But
it's also an excellent link building strategy. Because when you get
mentioned on a link roundup (as the name suggests), you also get a
quality, contextual link back to your site (which are the types of links
that Google likes to see).

Here are some search strings you can use to find link roundups in your niche:

"keyword" + "weekly roundup"

"keyword" + "recap"

"keyword roundup"

"keyword" + "friday roundup"

When you find a site that might want to feature your content in their next roundup, hit them up with this script:

Hi NAME,

Just wanted to start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of SITE.

I especially love your Tuesday Link Roundups (I always seem to find something cool that I missed that week).

Anyway, I recently published something that I think you'd enjoy:
URL

Might make a nice addition to your roundup.

Either way, keep up the awesome work!

Cheers,

NAME

Tip #3: Make Infographics

Infographics are a bread and butter content marketing startegy that can do wonders for your blog's brand awareness.

While they do require a lot of work -- and a budget for a pro graphic designer -- the ROI is often spectacular.

And
when people share your infographic -- or embed it on their site --
they'll often link back to you (you can get even more backlinks and
exposure for your infographic by submitting your infographic to popular
infographic directories, like Visual.ly).

To ensure that people do link to you when sharing your infographic, you can create an embed code using this free Wordpress plugin.
When you do, you'll have an embed code box on your site that people can
use to easily use to publish your infographic on their site.

When
another blogger uses this code, it will automatically post a backlink
back to your site:

Embed Code

Like
with any form of content marketing, you need to hustle to get the word
out about your infographic using email outreach. With the hundreds of
infographics that come out everyday, publishing your infographic on your
site and tweeting about it isn't enough.

Tip #4: Guest Post More Often

You probably already know that guest posting is one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to your site.

But when you publish a guest post, you're also building one way links to your blog.

The key to getting the most SEO value from guest posting is to point your links at a post on your site...not just your homepage.

I've found that this also increases CTR as well because the reader already knows what they're going to get by clicking.

For example, instead of an author bio like this:

"Jane is the founder of MommyBloggingHQ.com, where she blogs about..."

You'd want to include something like:

"Looking for more ways to turn blog visitors into subscribers? Then check out my Ultimate Guide to Blog Conversions".

Tip #5: Get Featured on Resource Pages

Resource pages are simply lists of links to helpful content that the webmaster deems worthy.

And
because these lists curate the best stuff on the web, they usually get a
decent amount of traffic. If you have something excellent to add to
their page, most site owners are happy to fire up Wordpress and add your
link.

In fact, some resource page curators even include an email address or form to make it easy for you to suggest your site:

Resource Page

Simple, right?

Even
better, these resource pages are heavily linked to (both from internal
and external pages). This means that they have a little extra SEO "umph"
to send to your site.

You can find resource pages with ease using these handy search strings:

"keyword" + inurl:resource

"keyword" + "helpful resources"

"keyword" + "useful resources"

So if you want to get more search engine traffic without having to worry about Google's menacing updates, you now have your guide.



Be sure and visit our small business news site.



56

Thumbnails in Gallery Thematic use a combination of hard-coded values and CSS.Gallery is a Child Theme for the WordPress framework, Thematic. It features image-based post links that can be used for photo galleries, photo blogs or portfolios. Thumbnail sizes in WordPress can be defined using CSS (cascading style sheet), but wil...

60

Facebook has made it easier for people to connect to their friends than ever before. Yet such accessibility may not always be desirable. Like many Facebook users, you probably like to be left alone some of the time. Or perhaps there are friends on th...

16

Once you select a song on YouTube, a special player that uses the Adobe Flash Player plugin begins to load the song automatically. You can also use this player to adjust the volume and toggle between available video quality modes. Listening to a song...

19

by Stoney deGeyter



I started this series looking at the differences between print readers and web readers. This is critical to understand

Read More
before moving forward with your online public relations material. We cannot expect to reach online readers the same way we reach those that are offline. We can't just do the old-world methods in a new-world medium.



The differences between the two readers is vast, and, without that understanding, there will be no way to hit the goals you are trying to achieve. But once you have a firm grasp on who your online audience is, and how they react, you can begin to set attainable goals for your online PR.



Goals of Online PR



goals.jpg



Every piece of content you create should have a goal in mind. What is it trying to achieve? What do you want people to do? How is this going to benefit your company? These and many other questions need to be answered before you even begin writing.



Being online, we have to look at specific set of goals that are unique to the web. As we noted at the end of Part 1, there are three things we have to keep in mind: Search, Social, and Conversions. What goals do we need to have in place in order to be successful in each of those areas?



Let's look at four goals of your online PR. These should help you in crafting better pieces of content designed for the internet audience.



Goal 1: Get Noticed



get-noticed.jpg



The idea of generating any piece of content is to get noticed. What's the point of writing if no one is going to see it, right? I mean, this isn't just an exercise in futility... we want people to read what we write, dang it!



What you're looking for is the double take. Imagine driving down the highway and suddenly you spot a purple cow. What the?! You're going to do a double take. That's what you want your online content to do, to stand out in a way that people go, "Holy purple cow, Batman, did you read that!"



Now be careful. You don't want to lead people down a false path here. Don't pull a bait-and-switch. Once they do that double take, make sure the second take is every bit worth it.



So, what happens next? What should your piece of content do once you get some eyeballs on it? That's brings us to goal number 2.



Goal 2: Get Traffic



get-traffic.jpg



Traffic is essential to having a successful PR campaign. Your content may do a great job of getting noticed, but is that translating into traffic to your website? If not, then your "hot" piece has utterly failed.



You want to make sure that people don't just read your single piece of PR then move on to something else. Your content should only be the teaser. It should act as a doorway into the real content: your website. Speaking in terms of food, you want people to move from the appetizer to the main course.



Is your content interesting enough to keep people engaged with your brand? Is it creating traffic beyond the piece itself, or is it just a (dead) end unto itself? No content should be the end. Heck, even after an order for a product is placed, the goal then is to bring the visitor back to start the purchase process all over again.



While your PR piece may be designed to inform, it also needs to have a reason to be informative. Information for the sake of information is what we call "useless knowledge." I already have plenty of that!



Once you start moving people through the process from reading to engaging with your site, you have to then look at whether you are delivering the right traffic to your site. Which brings us to goal number 3.



Goal 3: Get Customers



get-customers.jpg



Getting customers is one of the key goals of any online business. Now I use the word "customer" loosely. That can be whatever is meaningful to you. A customer could be someone who buys your product, or someone who downloads your white paper, or engages with you in Facebook. A customer can be anything you determine it to be. It really depends on your industry and what you are trying to accomplish with your business.



If you're not getting customers, whatever those are to you, what are you getting? Traffic? Hits? Page views? A round of applause?



Is that enough for you, or do you want more than that? What is the content delivering for you, and how do you use your PR piece to bring new customers into the fold?



"You mean I actually have to produce something that produces something?" Well, yeah. Content just for the sake of being read is nothing more than a bunch of words on the page. Every piece of content should speak to your potential customers, encourage them to engage, and ultimately lead them to that conversion point.



Of course, not every visitor can turn into an instant customer. But there is a way to get them to become an evangelist for you, which leads us to goal number 4.



Goal 4: Get Links



get-links.jpg



The web is fueled by links. If no one linked to anyone, how would you find any content? Search engines? Well, they use links to find the new content. So, if they can't find it, then your audience can't find it either. That means your content not only has to produce customers, but it also has to get customers, and non-customers alike, to pass it on via links and social shares.



So, how do you make link-worthy content? Well, there are three steps. 1) Get noticed. 2) Get traffic. 3) Get customers!



Huh. Those look familiar.



If your content is doing those things, and the visitors that read each piece find the information in it valuable, then it is more likely to be passed, linked, or shared. And that's what you want. Why? Because the more your piece of content is linked or shared, the bigger potential it has of reaching more customers.



More links means better rankings and more traffic from your target audience. More traffic means more customers. More customers means more links. It's a magnificent cycle to be in!



Every piece of PR may have a different set of immediate goals, but the four goals mentioned above shouldn't ever change. These are your universal constants in the online marketing world. If your content isn't hitting these four goals, you need to rethink what you're doing. It's not that there is anything wrong with the writing itself, but perhaps you're not writing with the right goals in mind.



Refocusing your content onto these new goals will help ensure that your online PR strategy lines up with a search and social world, which really just means it's doing the job it was intended to do.



See all posts in this series:



Part 1: Intro / How Print Audience Differs from Web Audience

Part 2: Goals of Online PR

Part 3: Background Research

Part 4a: Crafting the Story p1

Part 4b: Crafting the Story p2

Part 5: Broadcasting the Message / Conclusion



Follow me at @StoneyD and @PolePositionMkg.



Be sure and visit our small business news site.






46

Gain followers by offering merchandise in exchange for exposure.Facebook may seem like not much more than a trendy way to keep in touch with friends and family, but the fact is, you can harness the power of this social networking website and put it to work as a powerful marketing tool. Using Facebook to promote y...

Join Our Newsletter:


What is Affiliated Business?

Affiliated Business is a social network of bloggers, webmasters, and Internet entrepreneurs. It allows you to publish and share your news and to discover the best resources, tips, and ideas concerning affiliate marketing, blogging, homebusiness and making money online. You can submit your stories, vote for interesting news, take part in discussions, and network with other site users.

Latest Comments
Affiliated Business RSS Subscribers