Extend Your Digital Marketing Outreach Through Simplified User Experience

Written by Amit pankaj
on May 10, 2013

In digital marketing, the importance of succinct and effective methods to enhance user experience cannot be stressed enough. To improve conversion rate, achieve higher number of links and get shared on social media, we could eliminate many procedural actions and steps.

Following are some marketing tactics that help stay short and simple:

Embed Codes

Embed codes are a powerful way to increase links, particularly to content you would want to host on your own website. Say, on Bitly, you find a small box wherein you paste a link. Bitly shortens the link for you. However, a lengthy process with numerous steps is apparently complicated and cumbersome. Selecting the entire embed code, copying and pasting is still a couple of steps too many. Instead, an automatic pop-up, or pointing to a sector to copy to will make it far easier. All one has to do is paste the link, and the job is done.

Shorter, action-oriented emails

It makes sense to send out emails without fluff, especially at a time when most communication is accessed on mobile devices. Lengthy emails with complex dialogue is helpful between known stakeholders and when there are a lot of things to say. For outreach, it helps to talk upfront about the features, benefits and call-to-action.

Simpler sign-up forms

These do not need to require a lot of details. To start with, the website will do well to require just the first name, last name and email address. Even with this minimum input, much information can be collected later through IP address, location sensitive IPs etc. Filling in a long sign-up form can be uncomfortable, especially for those using mobile devices. All that matters is getting the essential initial sign-up.

Get to the point

As marketers, we may have a lot of things to share, like infographics, videos, blog posts etc. However, the reader should not be made to scroll up and down to locate the key message we are trying to convey. A lot of times, the readers will be keen on seeing impressive results from different campaigns that websites claim, and very quickly. Filling in the page with a lot of auxiliary content will likely confuse the readers than helping them. Bring the key point you are trying to convey upfront. It will aid return visits to the website, while also ensuring a positive brand association.

Sharing links that matter

Most of the effective social shares are the ones that point to the link directly, and not to the broad page.  For instance, when tweeting a link to a competitive survey, a marketer picked the URL to the voting widget, instead of the entire page. This drove four or five times as many actions as would have by linking to the broad page.

Maintaining a logged-in experience

Logging the users out after they leave the page or after each session can be conversion killers. Also, there will be a strong likelihood of losing details of a visit by someone who might have left a comment, participated in your community or better still, been a lead for you.

While all of the above have been specific examples, the key takeaway is we can do without unnecessary steps. As web users and people who build for the web, we know that visitors are particular about accomplishing their tasks very quickly. It is in our best interest to get as specific as possible in our digital marketing efforts.

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Top 5 Small Business Forums

Written by Amit pankaj
on February 12, 2013

Designed to function as valuable online resource pools, small business forums are value packed and highly charged platforms for entrepreneurs and business owners looking for reliable information and networking opportunities ……and are completely free!

Activities on these forums provide access to productive resources, knowledge banks and business information, catering to a particular industry or subject — which can help go a long way in generating better bottom line figures. Apart from providing readymade solutions, online small business forums help participants use search engine marketing techniques and provide the most innovative ecommerce solutions.

Top 5 Small Business Forums

1.      On Startups (Ref: http://answers.onstartups.com )

Extremely easy and intuitive to use, On Startups is one of the strongest online communities with an active forum designed to answer most questions within two hours.

Business.com (Ref: http://answers.business.com)

One of the most sought after small business forums of contemporary times, Business.com is a favorite amongst young entrepreneurs, leaders, marketers and business owners alike.

3.      Young Entrepreneur Forums (Ref: http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/forum)

Reputed as one of the strongest forums with over 250,000 posts till date, Young Entrepreneur Forums has an overly active message board and global participants.

4.      Econnect by Entrepreneur.com (Ref: http://econnect.entrepreneur.com/ )

This popular business forum contains some of the most informative self promotional posts along with a mix of good solutions to queries posted by enthusiastic users.

5.      Startupnation.com (Ref: http://www.startupnation.com/business-forum/)

With over 120,000 entrepreneurs accessing its resources, StartupNation.com serves as one of the best hubs for networking, advice and building business contacts.

Small Business Forums in Vancouver, Seattle and Toronto

Vancouver business Network Forum is one of the largest multicultural business groups with smart global connections. With sophisticated tools and options to make business networking and marketing more effective, participants on this forum look forward to surging ahead in their entreprenual ventures in more ways than one.

(Ref: www.vbnf.com)

Puget Sound American Marketing Association is the most comprehensive professional marketing forums for small businesses in Seattle. Its active timetable includes monthly luncheons, workshops and networking events along with exclusive resources for members and student chapters.

(Ref: http://www.psama.org)

Created to provide innovative solutions and resourcing of programs and services tailored for small businesses and entrepreneurs of Toronto, “Enterprise Toronto” helps in developing management capabilities and helping decision making in the start up phase.

(Ref: http://www.enterprisetoronto.com)

Serving as collaborative resource hubs, online communities help in showcasing the skills and competencies of business owners along with their products and services. Small business forums offer vocal and vibrant communities with extensive scope for exchanging ideas, seeking advice, making friends or simply leaving behind digital footprints to augment the success of business ventures.

SEO Vancouver

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The No. 1 Marketing mistake which hits your Bottom Line

Written by Amit pankaj
on December 13, 2012

No. 1 Marketing
Marketing Strategy VancouverQuick, logical and action oriented decisions taken by CEOs in regards to finding solutions for failing marketing techniques, often fall flat on their faces. This is because they end up being directed towards areas which have a low probability of results rather than dealing with the real problem on hand.

The competitive decision mode of CEOs inspires them to increase the resources and frequency dedicated to marketing tasks rather than finding and correcting loopholes in the existing ones. This certainly puts the business and the heads behind it, in a disadvantageous position when dealing with customers.

The rudimentary requirements and needs of contemporary consumers, which include features and benefits connected with the marketed product or service, far surpasses their psychological needs which encompass identity, affiliation and aspiration. For best results, companies and small business houses should understand and include the competitive thinking patterns and point of view of consumers and integrate the same in their business modules and marketing strategies.

The behavioral patterns of the consumers, both on the conscious and sub conscious levels, are oft avoided by the marketing ideas and strategies undertaken by small and medium business owners and their think tanks. The incline towards finding quantitative rather than qualitative solutions for their marketing issues, lunges them in the depths of metric lust, spreadsheet based opinions and numerical conclusions. Its time they understood that mere dependence on likes, hits, followers, impressions and clicks should give way to connections, emotions, inspirations and affiliations connected with the human side of marketing strategies. This will encourage and attract higher traffic and fruitful conversions.

Marketing SuccessThe trick is simple. CEOs just need to initiate mending jobs on the existing marketing techniques and create more engaging and compelling experiences which manage to net consumers and touch their feelings in the right way.

Analysis and re-engineering of the frustrating and exciting pointers in marketing techniques, from the view point of consumers, is bound to go a long way in creating an emotional bondage. This in turn promises higher returns and profits in comparison to market techniques which rely on regularly quoted corporate values and generic mission statements.

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Great Ways of Optimizing your Facebook Fan Page

Written by Amit pankaj
on December 13, 2012

SEO For FacebookSEO Tips
“Likes” and increasing numbers of URL links, are not the only factors which promise higher optimization of your Facebook Fan Page. Contemporary social marketing looks much ahead, beyond signing and pasting your business page and keeping it updated and fresh in every possible manner.

Read on for some proven ways of adding business value and optimizing your brand on this most visited networking forum.

Creation of an effective Business Profile

Fb LikeAlong with your business logo, contact details, recent pictures, an effective mission statement and clear narration about what perspective clients can achieve by associating with you, a careful revelation of the inherent strengths and competitive key points, has to be made in the business profile to make it catchy and informative.

Posting Attractive Name and Content

A good and attractive name for your brand goes a long way in meaningful and result oriented optimization of your Face book page. Usage of non-generic keywords and content that is not spammy also increases the probability of visitors and fans engaging with your page, posting comments and updates, giving priority to your fan page on their news feeds and sharing the same with their friends.

Facebook Business Initiating and Involving Visitors in Discussions

Informative and helpful discussions on topics directly related with your business, products and services, makes visitors “Like” and keep coming back to your business page. Encouraging participation and asking visitors to leave behind their business signature is a great way of adding value to your fan page.

Linking with your Blog and Website URL

Contrary to popular belief, your Facebook Fan Page is not really benefitted by simple linking to your blog. To make sure that blog contents showcase themselves on Facebook in the correct way, it is important to use networked blogs which reflect in both the places and optimize the latter for better success and exposure. Matching of updates with words used in articles and connected blogs, helps in effective indexing and increasing accessibility options for visitors.

Using Facebook Notes

The appropriate usage of the often under-utilized Facebook Notes, poses as a great way of increasing the overall SEO Vancouver of your business page. It provides the ability to develop and post multiple pages which get embedded in the main fan page and increases the indexing options in search engines.

The tips above, aid in generating higher engagement levels rather than merely contributing to an increase in traffic statistics and certainly boost the overall SERP rankings for your business page.

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Four Marketing Tips for your Small Business

Written by Amit pankaj
on December 4, 2012

In her recently published book, “183 Essential Tips that will Transform your small Business”, author and 6 years host on MSNBC’s show, J.J. Ramberg, throws some unique insights on small companies and how entrepreneurs have to deal with a bunch of jobs which have nothing in common to why they started their business in the first place.

In the contemporary world dominated with social networks and emailers, entrepreneurs really find a lot on their plate and very little time to waste. Following are some simple and effective marketing tips which can be put to use by small business owners right away, for better bottom line figures and higher revenue generation:

Match Target Demographic while hiring Staff:
The advantages of matching the skill sets of hired hands with the demographic of business targets cannot be undermined in any manner. Apart from getting a completely focussed guerrilla marketing team which matches the requirements of budgeting and cost reduction; small businesses also get direct inroads into target groups, communities and households of perspective consumers. These temporary, unskilled and hardworking staff belonging to the target demographics, aid in achieving free word of mouth publicity and act as human brochures for the business.

Self Marketing leads to Marketing Your Company:
The correct self projection of the business owner through timely, appealing and relevant topics, provides consumers with an insight into the expertise and specialities of the business and goes a long way in providing the correct marketing platform. Videos, panel discussions, solo speeches, write-ups and self generated reviews presented in an objective but abstract manner, establish the authority of the proprietor and attract the attention of buyers and other stakeholders.

Establishing the Right Connection
Successful marketing is all about establishing the right connections and touching the right chords of the perspective cliental. One of the surest ways of catching the attention of the target in an overly saturated environment, is by building a slick, short and impressive personal narrative which outlines the solutions and benefits provided by the product. The right impact can be created by letting consumers know about what inspired the entrepreneur to start off the business and the difference they intend to make in others lives.

Splitting and Sharing the Marketing Costs:
The co-advertising funds of distributors and wholesalers can be coupled with your marketing budgetary allotments to purchase ad space. Be it outdoor advertising or marketing through media or publications, it makes good business sense to outsource some figures under the head “Advertising and Marketing Costs”.

As mentioned earlier, the needs and requirements of small business are a plenty and every little marketing tip helps owners of start-ups and small business establishments to move a step closer to their designated goals.

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Ways to Improve Your ‘About Us’ Page

Written by Amit pankaj
on November 26, 2012

SEO VancouverWith global e-commerce sales expected to cross over $1.25 trillion, with number of
internet users set to arrive at mindboggling figures of 3.5 billion in the first weeks of 2013, it is time to brush up your web site and bring about positive improvements to your “About Us” page.

Resting comfortably on the top or amidst the most visited places on the website, this very important page serves as a window to the ideology, philosophy and customer service of your business organization.

Irrespective of whether you run a multinational establishment or are about to create news through a newly launched startup or bootstrap company, your prospective clients, consumers, vendors, shareholders, creditors and all other stakeholders would want a genuine insight into your abilities and functional attributes, and most importantly as too why their search should stop with you.

In this respect, this page demands a lot of attention and connects with your prospective consumer needs and requirements. Give below are few simple ways to help visitors gain the maximum information and assistance from your “About Us” page.

Giving Customer Needs Maximum Priority

It’s all about providing solutions and benefits in the easiest and most compact form to your potential customers. Brief and direct information about your real capabilities and existence in the virtual world of e-commerce along with all specific details in regards to outsourcing product fulfillment, delivery and quality service, certainly  adds more value to the page, than frilly statements about ‘who you are’ or ‘what you do’.

The oft quoted approach of stepping into the customers shoes to understand their thoughts, requirements and expectations, works wonders in revamping this page in more ways than one.

Cutting out the Fluff and being Innovative and Original

There are no points for guessing that customers are finely attuned to eliminate the fluff and the bluff when they see it. Whether it is superlative content or rosy jargons, it is safe to stay away from templates and cookie cutter pages. Additionally,  try not to jazz words up with stock pictures or borrowed images. Similarity has long given way to innovativeness and techniques which help churn out creative and unique designs and layouts. Try to think out-of-the-box and provide viewers some original food for thought.
Vancouver SEO
Keyword Optimization

With keywords and search engine optimization skills playing a big role in directing traffic to the “About Us” page, it is also important to restore it with all the elements which helps attract more and more business and revenue.

Lastly, the work does not stop here. You have to keep on adding your awards and accolades, updating information regarding new locations, markets and products and providing all relevant facts, accomplishments and figures. Your “About Us” should emphasize the 5W’s –What, When, Who, Why and Where, for helping consumers dig deeper into your website and go ahead with their transactions then and there.

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YP: Grumble of Stomach Remains on Top of our Mind YP and Search :)

Written by Amit pankaj
on October 17, 2012

YP — launched in May 12 is North America’s largest local search, media and advertising company. Formerly AT&T Interactive and AT&T, the two companies were bought together with the singular mission of developing innovative solutions to connect consumers and businesses. Millions of searches occur daily using YP to find products or to  compare and select local merchants. The company’s flagship consumer brands include the YP.com site, a top 40 U.S. Web domain, the highly rated YPSM app and YP Real Yellow Pages directories, the largest Yellow Pages directory in the world by revenue.

So when such a large company presents its Q2 report, naturally the world takes notice.

The YP Local Insights report focused on uncovering trends across the rapidly evolving online and mobile data of the digital local advertising ecosystem is based on data from 563 million searched and nearly 11 billion impressions in Q1 2012 across the YP Local Ad Network’s 300+ online, mobile, IPTV and directory assistance publishers.

Firstly let’s come across at the magnitude of numbers we’re looking at —

The YP report reveals the top local search categories), as well as the top growth categories (Q1 2012 vs. Q4 2011). Again Food is on top of everyone’s mind 🙂

Ahaa … and following directly on the heels of the Holiday engagement season, couples got a head start on planning for their big day in Q1. Busy lives and no time, couples are caught up all day trying to find those perfect wedding supplies through their mobiles 🙂 . Also the Online growth category is dominated by presumably those frenzied and to-be 🙂 mommies, who want all answers catering to child-rearing, pregnancy and family services

Top Category Searches by OS across top YP app platforms were actually very similar. Food again, was the top search category on all these platforms.

In terms of Advertiser spending, the categories were slightly different. While there’s a general correspondence between consumer query volumes (above) and top advertiser categories, they don’t line up directly.

Finally, the most active mobile search cities in Q1 2012 (in terms of queries per capita) were the following:

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Google’s Next Spin: An Over-Optimization Penalty for too much SEO

Written by Amit pankaj
on October 11, 2012

This is another signal that is hard to ignore. And for Search technologists, it comes as a penalty for tricking people into something that is not. In its latest announcement by Google’s Matt Cutts, he informs that Google is working to introduce a search ranking penalty in the coming months for sites that are ‘overly-optimized’ or ‘overly SEO-ed’.

SEO VancouverMatt Cutts adds that the purpose of this is to “level the playing field” and to give genuine sites, having better content a greater chance to gain visibility, and ranking over sites that have ‘not so great content’, but do a better job with SEO.

So what does this mean for Website Owners??

  1. The Google Bot is getting a lot smarter and  is gonna soon weed out sites which throw too many keywords on the page, or for example exchange way too many links, or in short do not follow Google’s webmasters rules that have been laid out for them.
  1. Richer Content should definitely be on your Agenda: Time and again Google has stressed on the importance of having rich content for better ranking. Fresh, informative and original content is your ticket to better rankings, increased traffic and long-term online relevancy. By adding relevant content to your online presence, you’ll create a rich internet landing platform and also get noticed by search engines and visitors.
  1. Revamp your system: Ethical SEO practices don’t have to be a mystery. If you want to enhance positioning of your online business, your site would need good, clean and relevant content, quality links from popular websites, and targeted keywords which are judiciously used. If you are ‘over-SEOed’ in any way, get time is to get your site revamped.

For all we know, SEOs do face the same challenge as faced by brand managers. “Doing the right thing” does require the client and the webmaster to adopt a long-term perspective. And that’s what Google is set out to achieve.

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How to Effectively Convert those SEO leads into Sales

Written by Amit pankaj
on July 9, 2012

The key endeavour of any online business is to increase its revenue– by generating more sales leads through its internet marketing efforts. But what happens, when the smart entrepreneur isn’t managing its sales leads well – you’re probably letting good prospects slip through the net.

In our vast experience of managing SEO, we probably generate 1000s of qualified leads every month for our customers. But most recently, this significant question cropped up during a discussion with one of our clients.

How to effectively convert these SEO leads into sales?

Going by the culture of transparency, and our own experience, we subsequently deliberated on writing a blog on this topic 🙂

Firstly we need to understand that prospect leads can originate in a variety of ways, be it referrals, advertisements, paid or organic leads – and there is often only a loose structure in place to manage and react to those leads. Your sales pipeline and your ability to hit revenue targets all begin with good lead management.  Based on our observation, of what makes sales people successful, here are few techniques that can truly drive effectiveness into your sales campaign.

1.   Focus on Value, not Products

Depending on the products and services you offer, most people are probably not ready to buy based on their first interaction with you. Best practice calls on to focus on the value that your products and services add to the customer, not on product or service features. Of course, a thorough understanding of your company and products is necessary, but you can do well if you apply that knowledge to the customer’s specific issues and problems.

What’s Wrong?

  • When you tend to do more ‘product push’.
  • When you rely heavily on brochures and marketing materials.

What’s Better?

  • Focus on value, instead of the product
  • Use the knowledge of the customer to frame value propositions.

This technique can be taught through examples such as role play. It also requires intensive training to ‘unlearn’ bad habits.

2. Make Moderate Use of Examples examples


You need to use only relevant – and moderate number of anecdotes and examples drawn from other customers. This is also referred as an inverted ‘U’ shape to success.

What’s Wrong?

  • Low use of examples is linked to poorer sales meeting outcomes, presumably because customers like to hear some real-world application.
  • High usage of stories and examples — on the other hand, can bore the customer.

Unlearning this behaviour will require either some training for the sales person in alternative techniques and/ or intensive coaching from the sales manager.

3. Develop a Clear Meeting Agenda

You need to develop campaigns that allow you to touch your prospects multiple times so you can move them through the sales cycle until they’re ready to think about actually purchasing from you.  In fact, research clearly shows that more successful sales people plan ahead, develop a clear meeting agenda, and have defined objectives and strategies for the meeting — especially for any negotiation that may take place.

What’s Wrong ?

  • You are just happy to go into a sales meeting and just ‘wing it’.
  • Your idea of preparation for a sales meet consists of a 15 minute team briefing in the customer’s car park, before you head for the meeting.
  • Sometimes you pull a terrific sale, while in the next you miss a sure-fire certainty.

Top sales teams rehearse their sales meetings and role-play various scenarios. Where sales managers see these symptoms, they should ask to see the meeting agenda well beforehand and insist that important sales meetings are rehearsed repeatedly.

4. Respond flexibly and Manage objections

Capable sales people are indeed good at overcoming customer objectives, but sometimes the objections can creep due to their own making – when much of the ‘hard sell’ steals into their sales meetings. The message is that sales people always need to reflect on their practice in meetings, to make sure that they are dealing effectively with their customers. Sales managers need to check up on their good sales people from time to time, observing them in the sales meeting and, if necessary, coaching them afterwards.

Depending on what the issue are, after all those SEO efforts, sales coaching might be required before the meeting (if the desired change is to improve sales meeting planning) or after the meeting (if the desired aim is to improve flexibility and objection handling). So the timing of coaching, as well as its content, needs to be taken into consideration.

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