In Digital Marketing Strategy

Measure Your Brand’s Online Visibility with Vrank

Vrank is a free online social media analytics tool that summarizes all the metrics associated with online visibility like mentions of social media, social media activity, media coverage, search engine results, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) performance, etc. into one single and simple as well as dynamic score that clearly reflects a brands visibility online. Launched by PressKing, a PR management web service that primarily focuses on the importance of ROI estimation and measurement for PR campaigns and other activities associated with social media, Vrank is an all-new indicator of the online visibility of a brand.

The Vrank score lies in the range of 0 to 1000 and is applicable to brands of all sizes and types across the board. This score is dynamic because the results evolve over a period of time and the scores are refreshed on a periodic basic. All you need to do is enter the URL of your website or blog or your Twitter and Facebook accounts at Vrank.com to view your online visibility statistics and Vrank score. This kind of real-time data ensures that online entrepreneurs, marketers, social media managers, and advertisers always get an accurate picture of where their brand stands, in terms of online visibility at any given point in time. This unique and simple tool searches Google, Alexa as well as the primary social media and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to come up with a complete and detailed report on online visibility. The report also contains the total number of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, blog mentions and audience that is directly determined based on the number of subscribers to the blog’s RSS feeds. It includes detailed indicators and a range of metrics along with related advice and recommendations on score improvement. Though the advice is pretty basic, it is a good point to start improving brand visibility.

Additional details and information like the number of indexed pages a specific website has and the number of Google and Google News results returned with the brand name included in them, the number of times a specific domain was indexed by Google, the website’s Alexa rank and Google’s PageRank as well as online backlinks to the web site are also mentioned. The metrics and figures displayed are accurate and can be employed to create a comprehensive and detailed client and campaign management dashboard. Vrank is a great way to measure online visibility and is an effective motivating factor to enhance it too.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

The Culture of Working Long Hours Has To Change

Web professionals are well-known for their long working hours and in fact, this has become a culture nowadays. Most web professionals take great pride in their long working hours and talk about it as if it were a badge of honor. They either proudly claim to belong to the category of overworked people or they just love their work so much that they can never get enough of it and continue to work round-the-clock. These arguments and explanations are not plausible, the reason being that they just do not add up and make no sense whatsoever.

The most common reason that we hear from people is their claim of having too much work to do. The bottom line is that there will always be work as long as we have time for it. Working hard is not the best thing to do now; it is all about working smart. For example, a person who writes blogs, record podcasts, speaks at conferences, conducts online seminars, and heads the R&D department of a company sounds like someone who works 24 X 7. The truth is that the person strictly sticks with a regular 8-hour work day by keeping it exactly that way,

Being organized, getting enough rest, and staying motivated help you get a lot more work done in the shortest possible span of time when compared with burning the midnight oil. While there is a temporary thrill or high that you may experience with those occasional all nighters, a careful and closer review clearly proves that these were not your most productive days at work.

Confucius line of immortal wisdom ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’ definitely holds true today. The fact is that this quote is a wee bit short sighted. For example, web entrepreneurs who have their rags to riches stories to talk about describe the ridiculous number of hours that they put in at work because they simply loved what they did. But, things are slightly different today and staying away from the web maybe more important that spending time on it. Being obsessed about anything spells danger. Spending quality time with friends and family and having a life has made people better web designers and incredible web developers. Work is not the only realm that you need to be conscious about and give your 100% to. People around you can also be incredible sources of inspiration and give you a valuable perspective that you tend to miss out on if you spend your entire time and life working, especially when you are freelancing.

Socializing with people who do not belong to the same industry, having a hobby, etc. are not important only for looking at the concept of work in a different light but also for sound mental and emotional health.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

The Potential Impact of HTML5 on Search Engine Optimization

There has been a lot of discussion about the next major revision of the HTML standard that is still in the pipeline. HTML is also an integral part of all SEO efforts and with the widespread adoption of HTML5; search engines will be able to use a number of new elements to find those page elements that interest them.

Page Segmentation

HTML5 adds new elements to a webpage that results in better expression of the content. Various page elements and different parts of the page like header, footer, and the main content area will be easily distinguishable from each other. This is expected to improve web page segmentation. The elements that are used to organize and segment a page neither add any semantic value nor do they give the page any context. New , , and elements will add more meaning to the webpage, which will allow easy crawling and enhance the efficiency of the indexing processes. Web crawlers are expected to either skip sections like the footer> or or utilize them for varied indexing purposes like finding the name and logo of the website and identifying copyright information.

Search Engine Indexing

The new HTML5 elements will have a direct impact on SEO and make the indexing process advanced and more meaningful.
The element will enable people to indicate webpage content, so search engines can assign more weight to the content within this element.

The element gives sections an information hierarchy that can be analyzed by web crawlers to understand page segmentation and structure. Each section will now have its own HTML heading.
The element indicates the location of the site name and logo of a web page that helps crawlers determine where the primary navigation menus are located.
The element contains copyright information, the terms of use, privacy policies and social media profiles.
The element acts like a sitemap that tells search engine indexing algorithms about the information architecture of your website.

Link Types

HTML5 link types are expected to boost link meaning thorugh new attribute values like rel=”author” and rel=”license that provide better link description. For blog posts that are broken down into many web pages, the rel=”prev” and rel=”next” attributes can be used to link all the pages seamlessly. elements link types that will influence SEO include alternate, author, bookmark, external, help, icon, license, next, nofollow, norefferer, pingback, prefetch, prev, search, sidebar, stylesheet, tag, etc.

Multimedia Elements

New multimedia elements such as and are expected to have increased interoperability with search engines akin to the indexed images displayed through Google Images.Work on HTML5 is still in progress and it is important to understand the potential implications that this new release of the markup language (that enables us to structure content and gives search engines the required context to understand all the information on a webpage) may have on search engine algorithms.
In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

How to Survive Internet Marketing-II

Always think big. Most of us overestimate our short-term potential and underestimate our long-term capability.

Pitch you website to a friend and convince them in three selling points about why people must buy from you. Go back to your website and check if these hold true. What you are trying to accomplish may be quite different from what appear on your web pages.

Collaborate and partner with noncompeting sites that belong to your vertical. They have access to the market that you are trying to target and you can easily reach your customers, either upstream or downstream.

Technology should free you, not restrict you. Eliminate bottlenecks, automate processes, and delegate the work. Your business should be able to function without you.

Strive for elegant simplicity rather than perfection. You don’t have to be a subject matter expert or an authority on all that you know. Most of us tend to undervalue our skills and knowledge. You need to target people who know less than what you know.

Learn from people, place, and events and keep thinking about your business. Be ready to pitch your business to anyone within 30 seconds through practice and refinement.

Don’t look at every opportunity as a chance of a lifetime. Something or the other will always come up, at least on a monthly basis. Learn to say ‘no’ if the opportunity does not suit your business strategy or personality.

Add value to your thank you page by having an upsell there. This is often wasted online real estate and people miss out on an opportunity to get some real revenue.

Put yourself first whether it is writing a sales copy or contacting a partner. Understand how you and your business will benefit in terms of money, skills, and exposure.

Use the word ‘you’ a lot to address the person who is reading your email or newsletters. Do not use readers, subscribers, and other generic plurals. Always remember that you are addressing just one person in each communication that you send out.

Be aware of each and every business expense, so you can always cut costs and also increase your revenue exponentially.

Always make a note of the projects that you need to work on before you go for a holiday, so you can dive back into work immediately.

Outsource, but don’t micromanage your team. It causes distrust both ways and leads to unnecessary problems. Clearly explain your goals and the results you expect, celebrate success, reward behavior and attitude. Focus on the top performers and don’t waste time on the worst ones.

Opt for a joint venture only if you feel you can’t handle the business on your own. A 50% partnership is not the best bet. Agree to it only of your partner has the skills, the experience, and the prowess that are beyond what you can afford to pay for. Draw up a contract with clearly stated terms and conditions, which can cover even the worst case scenario.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

How to Survive Internet Marketing-I

Key tips to survive and make the most of internet marketing:

Focus on your work to stay productive. Concentrate on what matters and not what breaks your train of thought.

Always make notes when you watch a webinar or a video. Passive watching is not worth your time unless you learn something and can action it.

Take advice from people who have the experience and not the opinions of family and friends unless they have something insightful and invaluable to share with you.

Forget about the number 1 concept for a website, a website, or a traffic source. Think out of the box and consider hypothetical situations like what would be your plan of action if you stopped getting organic traffic.

Be open to the idea of spending money to save time. Whether it’s your team, software, or an ebook, respect your time and control impulsive spending. Understand what is vital to your business every week.

Build more websites, carry out more SEO, attend more networking events, and buy more traffic. Just do more of whatever works as long as you can.

Monitor conversions using Google Analytics instead of focusing on the amount of web traffic. Track your visitors and see exactly what they are looking for every step of the way.

Focus on customer retention strategies too. Getting new clients spells growth, but also make sure that you deliver value to your existing clients, cross selling and up selling.

Confront people when required if there is a problem, even it is someone that you share a good business relationship with.

Don’t fear failure because the best stuff always exists outside your comfort zone.

Get to know your niche because the winning combination of knowledge and passion will see you through the unavoidable tough times too.

Adopt and implement the best practices from other business and IM.

Don’t waste time on comprehensive and long-term financial forecasts because planning is always guesswork.

Use the telephone in a smart and intelligent way to drive sales and build relationships. Start-ups need all the new clients that they can get. Meet your clients instead of sitting behind the commuter the entire day.

Read up on stuff as much as you can. Your brain is your biggest asset that needs the highest investment.

Survey your customer and get to know the problems that need to be fixed. Sales copies draw testimonials and also present real opportunities for the business to get better.

Execution is all that matters when compared with ideas and taking the initiative. Stick with a deadline and ensure that you always meet targets.

Adopt the 80/20 principle on a weekly basis when it comes to refining your business and think strategy.

Spin selling makes it easy to move forward. Design your website, so you identify the problem and fix it. Remember that people love buying, not being sold to.

There is a thin line between perfectionists and procrastinators. Stick with getting things done well today that great tomorrow.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

Persuasion Devices to Include In Your Sales Copy

The realm of sales is all about enticing prospects, interested customers, and potential clients to try out your products and services. There are a number of tips and techniques to ensure that your sales page maximizes your ROI (Return on Investment).

Think About the Desired Outcome

If you take a look at the products and services that are doing really well today, you will notice that they offer amazing and numerous benefits that help them draw ample user attention. You need to think about the end goal of your offering and what it would mean to the customers and the market when you launch the service or the product. Think and speak about the desired outcome that you want it to have.

Making Mistakes

Mistakes are always the stepping stones to long-lasting success. It is okay of you make mistakes and let other people know that it is fine if they make mistakes as long as they learn something from it. To err is human and when you take the pressure off them, that is when you can establish that rapport and bond, and connect with them really well. A simple line ‘It is not your fault, do not worry’ goes a long way.

Keep Fear at Bay

There is absolutely no room for fear in a business venture that is targeted towards success. Give people a chance and also the space to forget all barriers for a bit and allow them to lower their guard. Addressing all their concerns, comforting them as and when required, and understanding their fears is the best way to ensure that you create a safe, innovative, and high-performance work environment.
Authority
Being authoritative is not about instilling fear. It is all about being smart, active, intelligent and knowledgeable. People love figures of authority. For example, people who write plenty of forum posts, have a busy blog, an itinerary of speaking engagements, or write a book will always be respected and this always helps.

Battle It Out

The best time to get people over to your side is when you face a common enemy. It is just like in the movies where all the good guys get together to bead the bad guys. It has always been the good versus Satan and this will never change. Work with your team to beat a client’s uncertainty and apprehension when it comes to signing up for your services or purchasing a product.

Social Testimonials

Just like customer testimonials are vital for a product or service, you can also sell yourself, your skills, and your knowledge to people through endorsements; they always sell. When a number of sources have good things to say about you, it increases your brand value and establishes that factor of trust and quality.

Staying committed, focused, keeping it real, reciprocating, and confirming suspicions go a long way in the realm of online marketing. You need to adopt a well-executed and professional approach to boost sales figures and conversion rates.

Encourage Dreams

Talk about the desired outcomes. What are the great goals people cherish and hold dear. What are the amazing benefits your product or service will eable?

Justify Failures

Let people know it ok to make mistakes. We all do it – it is human. By taking this pressure off them they will warm to you . A popular line is: ‘Have you made this mistake?” “It is NOT your fault….”

Allay Fears

Tell people they have nothing to worry about. Let them lower the guard and drop the barrriers. Comfort them and help them understand that the enviroment you are worksing within is a safe place.

Confirm Suspicions

Tell peopel it is natural to be sceptical. We all are. If they were not a little concerned then that would be unatural. Help them see that this normal reaction is ok and that you can help them where others can’t.

Fight the common enemy

People will side with you if you help them take on a common enemy. If you help them beat the ‘bad guy’ you can win together. Think about religion – it is the good guys versus the devil. Or health – the good guys versus ‘death’ etc… Help your client beat the enemy.

INFLUENCE Factors:

Authority

People look up to people who are authority figures. if you have abook you are an authority. Lots of forum posts, a busy blog etc… speaking engagements etc… These all help.

Social Proof

If a lot of other people say nice things about you then it is very powerful. You want to get testimonials. Endorsements sell.

Consistency and Commitment

If people can say they will do something they are more likeley to follow through. If you do what you say then you will build trust in others. be consistent in emails.

Liking

People follow people they like. if you are likeable you will sell more. fact!

Reciprocation

If you do something for someone (even give them something small for free) they will feel a need to repay the favor in kind. try it! Give something away on your site and watch the result.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

Beating the Competition as a Clickbank PPC Affiliate Marketer

With the number of new competitors entering the tough and constantly evolving game of Clickbank affiliate marketing each day, making good profits has become increasingly difficult.

There are innumerable courses that are currently available on PPC and affiliate marketing. They are primarily designed to educate and inform people about the underlying concepts using the Clickbank marketplace. With the entry of new people into the market, there is a proportionate increase in the costs of PPC and this reduces the profit margins. The recent round of affiliate training has enabled scores of new players to make their foray into the market.

The fact of the matter is that there are a few affiliate marketers who access all the important information to make the most of it. This adds to the already existing critical mass of the overall increase in the levels of competition akin to a ‘gold rush.’ The day is not too far away when even a local banker will be able to connect with ‘Clickbank’ stamped on your bank check.
With an increase in the costs of driving traffic, the only way to break even is by increasing the conversion rate to make profits. Statistics indicate that improving a pre-sell landing page by 2% can double your profits and this is the key going forward. Better conversion rates directly translate into staying ahead of the competition.

The best way is to learn from one’s own mistakes and the smarter way is to learn from the mistakes that others make. People who have tried their luck in this realm and lost everything are the best teachers and resources that you can learn from. Affiliate marketers whose advertising campaigns did not see the light of the day know the best ways to cut costs, decrease losses, and maximize profits from PPC affiliate marketing.

There are a few techniques that go a long way in choosing winning products. Learning techniques that result in high conversion by combining the best products with high-traffic and great keywords and winning landing pages is the way to go. This is how campaigns that get double digit CTR figures are created using high conversion rates tips and techniques.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

Draw Traffic and Establish an Online Authority through Podcasting

Technology constantly brings with it some pretty cool stuff and podcasting is definitely one of the most interesting concepts.

Equipment Involved

So, what is the best way to use a podcast for online marketing? Combining a WordPress site with a podcasting plugin is definitely the way to go. WordPress sites can be created in no time and there are popular podcasting plugins like TSG podcaster or Blubrry, the podcasting community that brings together the producers of podcasts, marketers and advertisers and virtually anyone who is on the lookout for great content that is produced independently. All the audio files can be recorded in the mp3 format using a free audio editor and recorder like Audacity that can then be transferred to a handy storage device like Amazon S3. To further improve the sound quality, using a high quality microphone is a good idea.

Podbean

While podcasts can also be easily integrated into blogs and websites where regular feeds can be set up through FriendFeed, for those of you who do not want to go through the hassle of creating multiple sites and blogs, a better alternative would be to use extremely simple podcast publishing solutions like Podbean where you can enter the keywords of your choice and create a channel. Using Podbean is the best way to pitch quality content and the best part is that it gives you that extra leverage by directing users and listeners back to your primary website. Ensure that there are multiple media points for your podcast.

iTunes

iTunes is huge and popular. There are millions of users across the globe who regularly subscribe for content using iTunes by transferring data to and from it and this is exactly how the content gets updated regularly. There is a podcast section in iTunes called ‘Making a podcast’ that gives you all the information that you need. The ‘How to Submit a Podcast’ feature contains a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) along with other information regarding technical specifications. Once you create the podcast, all you need to do is come up with a good graphic logo as well as a description that constitutes the feed. Just like any other form of advertising and internet marketing, the logo has to be visually appealing, so that people are immediately drawn to your podcast when they takea quick look at the iTunes podcast search results.

Syndication

Tweeting about the content and writing about it instead of simply leaving a podcast link in there is the way to go. Asking people to leave comments on your Facebook page and Youtube channel syndicates them further and popularizes the content. In addition, the comments are a keyword-rich source of SEO data and they also tell you which episodes are popular.

It is surprising how premium mp3 content that is recorded using one those handy and portable devices, when created and distributed across the internet, can open up many news channels for marketing and promotion that can be leveraged for maximum profits.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

Good Examples and Best Practices for Using ‘Call to Action’ Buttons

‘Call to Action’  as the term suggests, is one of the most popular elements of a webpage that entice, persuade, or engage a user to take an action. More often than not, these are incorporated into web pages as clickable buttons that either lead to another page with additional information (‘Learn More’) or take the user directly to a payment gateway (‘Buy Now’). There are a number of amazing design techniques that help draw user attention to these ‘Call to Action’  phrases and links.

Size

The size of this element in comparison with the other elements on the page clearly indicates its importance. The larger and the more prominent the button, the more important it is to the webpage. So, the size must be decided upon according to the importance of the button. For example, in the Lifetree Creative page below, the call to action button is 20% larger (in width) when compared with the  logo, which grabs user attention.

Placement

Placing these buttons in prominent sections, for example, right at the top of a webpage is known to result in higher landing page conversions.

At times, when there are multiple call to action buttons on the same page, the size of the target button versus the less important ones needs to be adjusted accordingly. For example, in the website below, asking users to sign up for the newsletter is more important that the ‘continue reading’  call to action button.

Positioning

Prominent positing of the call to action button in a distinguished area is one of the best ways to make it stand out on a webpage. On the  daily mile webpage below, the call to action is at a different level than the other page elements.

Center Placement

A call to action button right in the center of the webpage draws user attention by making all the other elements seem significantly smaller. In the PicsEngine webpage below, even though the call to action button has the same color as the page and the other page elements, it still stands out because of its placement right in the middle of the page.

Use of whitespace

The beauty of whitespace lies in its ability to make the call to action button stand out, especially on a cluttered webpage. This is clearly visible in IconDock’s webpage seen below.

Contrasting Colors

Using contrasting colors for the call to action button is important to distinguish it from the background and the other elements of the webpage that surround it.

In the example of Valley Creek Church above, the call to action button is in bright yellow and stands out against the grayscale image that even has an image on it.

The call to action buttons need to be designed, so they fit in seamlessly into the information architecture and web interfaces. Different prototypes using various designing techniques must be created to check which of buttons work the best.

In Conversion Rate Optimisation | Digital Marketing Strategy | How To

Tips and Techniques to Build User-Centric Websites

Focusing on the business objectives of your website at the cost of ignoring user experience and satisfaction is a big no-no. At the end of the day, a business can do well and a website can be successful only if the end users and customers are happy. Sometimes, website owners get obsessed with their ROI figures that they fail to align their goals with the needs and requirements of their users. While this strategy is best suited for a short period of time, it does not work in the long run.
Many businesses have paid a heavy price of ignoring user and client needs when they fail to see the bigger picture and develop a myopic view of their business and revenue goals. For example, ecommerce websites that promote purchasing only after the process of user registration drive prospects away. The goal of an online shopping portal is to allow customers to browse the inventory of products and provide them a reliable and trustworthy payment gateway, so they can buy whatever they like. User do not want to register for an account or sign up for a service and this leads to abandoned shopping carts and visiting another portal that has a much more hassle-free purchase process. The situation gets a lot worse due to the presence of social media where every user has the freedom to express their opinion about a product or service.
Unhappy Users

The computer systems manufacturer Dell tried to cut costs across the board and the first area to be hit badly was their customer support service. An unhappy user posted one article title ‘Dell lies. Dell sucks’ and that tarnished the image that the company took decades to build. Dell encountered major PR problems and their mistake cost them dearly.
Happy Users

On the other hand, happy users are people who are passionate about your company and your brand. They love your products and services because of the efforts that have gone into making your website user-friendly and user-centric and this engages the users. Users who have a positive experience will recommend your website to their friends; fill customer satisfaction surveys, and tweet and blog about your website. This is an indirect source of traffic that is immensely valuable because it is based on positive customer testimonials. These users even defend the brand when there are criticisms and negative opinions about it.

Usability testing ensures happy users and great returns. Earlier, people used to shy away from the idea thinking that it required specialized skills and a massive investment. However, the new-age concept of usability testing is a far cry from using expensive video surveillance, usability labs, and test subjects that meet a specific demographic profile to obtain data that is statistically relevant. Monthly user testing enhances user experience, boosts the percentage of returning visitors, reduces both development as well as running costs, and keeps the users happy and engaged.

The bottom line is to strike the right chord with the users using an appropriate tone of voice that is personal as well as professional and creating a website with a delightful design that helps you stand out from your competitors.

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