Vesta Digital Blog

Posts Tagged ‘online business

Does Social Bookmarking Really Work?Social bookmarking is the process of storing, organizing, searching, and managing bookmarks of web pages that you want to remember or share with your social network. Effective social bookmarking sites include StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious.

Why Social Bookmarking?

You absolutely need to use social bookmarking sites when you publish new content, whether that’s new web pages, blog posts, or news and press articles. Social bookmarking works because it will drive large amount of traffic to your website.

Social bookmarking communities view bookmarks either chronologically, by tags, or by search engines. When you bookmark a page on your website and share it with an online community, it classifies that page as useful within the particular category you specified. The bookmark is then disseminated and shared among a viral community.

Social bookmarking is the third most effective medium of searching and finding useful information, preceded only by Google searches and directly visiting websites. It is a powerful marketing tool you should use to promote the information on your website and drive an amount of traffic almost equitable to what you get from Google searches.

How to use social bookmarking effectively

Rich Brooks of Social Media Examiner wrote in a recent blog post:

“It’s always best when someone else bookmarks your content, so it might makes sense to have a small ‘bookmarking club’ with friends where you promote each other’s work. This ‘seeding’ will often encourage others to bookmark your content.”

His advice is very useful in that bookmarking your own content will work in terms of search rankings, but it may end up looking like just promotional efforts in the eyes of your consumers.

When you publish new content (i.e. new web pages or blog posts), make sure you bold your keywords, add related links back to your website, and use tags to categorize your information to make searches more effective. Then, bookmark your site on a few different social bookmarking channels like StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious.

In a day or two, review your web analytics and see exactly where your traffic came from. You’ll be surprised to see how quickly social bookmarking can work for you.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Why You Need to Connect Your Blog and Your WebsiteOne creative way to drive more traffic to your website and encourage interaction with your customers is by integrating your blog into your business website. Rather than solely using a blog or website respectively, using both together can improve the interactivity with your customers.

Interactivity is becoming increasingly important for consumers and their purchase decisions. A business website gives the consumer general information and a professional business presence. A blog allows consumers to see updated and fresh information, testimonials from recent purchasers, and even comments and conversations posted by existing customers.

Search Engine Optimization

Blogs are also great for increasing your search engine optimization, or your visibility online. By posting fresh content on a daily basis you increase your search engine ranking and the ability for people to see you online. Blogs can also drive traffic to your website by providing useful information while also using links and a call to action to direct your readers to your company site.

Personal Touch

Having a blog on a site like WordPress or Blogger will give your company a personality that many other companies don’t have. Publishing more personal content rather than pushing sales pitches gives you an advantage over your competitors. Because consumers are seeking more intimate relationships with the online companies they purchase from, a blog can be a great way to establish communication, relationships, and credibility with your consumers.

How To Integrate Your Blog and Website

There are several ways you can integrate your blogging platform and your business website. If you choose to use an existing platform like WordPress or Blogger, make sure to include links on every post you publish that directs your readers back to your website. Also, have links to your blog on the homepage of your business website. This encourages people to learn more about you, your company, your product, and your consumers.

If you wish to have a more seamless integration, consider investing in a content management system that includes a blogging platform. This means that your blog will be an actual page of your website and you wouldn’t need to send your customers away from your website in order to connect with them.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

How Important Are Your Business Website's Interior Pages?The other pages on your business website are just as important as your homepage. In fact, they may require even more attention than your homepage because they are more detailed and specific, rather than giving your customers a generalization of your product and company.

It is important to spend a lot of time and effort on your other pages because according to Entrepreneur.com, almost four out of every 10 visitors to a website enter the site from somewhere other than the homepage. This could be the blog, the about page, or even the sales page. That’s why it’s so important to make sure every page has an adequate amount of information – and it sells.

Review your web analytics and see what pages people are landing on when they first visit your business website. If it’s not your homepage, you have some work to do.

What to have on your interior web pages

According to Entrepreneur.com, there is a short list of absolute necessities to include on your interior pages. These are:

  • Company logo and tagline
  • Consistent navigation (including search)
  • Call to action both above and below the fold (on the page before you scroll down and after)
  • Clear, concise, compelling, and grammatically correct copy
  • Consistent design and color scheme to establish brand presence, and
  • Advertisements to promote featured products, services and special offers

Each page on your business website should clearly state what you offer and why it is beneficial to the consumer. It should guide the visitor to your product sales page with effective calls to action. Pay attention to small details, as they will help you in the long run.

Your business website and its accessibility is critical to your company’s online success. If each page doesn’t have the care and precision you’ve dedicated to your homepage, then you’ve wasted your time. Your business website is there to give a professional, valuable, and rewarding experience to your customers.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

How To Perfect Your Sales Pitch On Your Business WebsiteThere are several things you can do to improve your sales technique. While there are many resources online you can use to teach yourself how to perfect your sales pitch, I have compiled a few tips you can use on your business website to get more sales.

Be a good listener

While we all know that the most important part of a sales conversation is listening to your customers wants and needs, this can be difficult on a business website because it’s mostly one-way communication. However, if you have a forum, blog, or Facebook page, you need to act on it. Once you get your customers to tell you what they want, it can open doors to stronger relationships and a better sales pitch.

Find out why

Your landing page should give your overall information, but it should also guide your customers to the pages they really need. Figure out why your customers need your products. Send them to different pages on your website based on their particular needs.

Be a consultant, not a salesman

Only once you’ve found out enough about your customers wants and needs can you truly develop the perfect sales pitch. Because you are tailoring your sale to what your customer needs as exactly as you can, you become more of a consultant (a partner), rather than a salesman only interested in finalizing a transaction. This way, your customer feels more at ease and has a more pleasant experience when purchasing from your company.

Be proud of your product

Your sales pitch should demonstrate not only your knowledge of your product, but your love for your product. Customers are more likely to buy from someone who is personally testifying to the value of a product. If you have a high-involvement product, you should never feel the need to apologize for the price because you believe the price is worth the benefit your customer will receive from purchasing.

Having a business website can be a huge advantage. However, you can always increase the amount of sales you make if you improve the way you interact with your customers and explain your product.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

How to Execute a Successful Social Media Marketing CampaignHaving a small business can be very rewarding but it can also be stressful. If you are having trouble getting the amount of traffic your small business needs, it is time to invest in a small business website. Having a website is becoming a mandatory facet of success for any business. Once your business website is set up, you should begin a social media marketing campaign.

We’ve all heard the buzz about how important it is to invest time into social media. With these tips, you can learn exactly how to execute a campaign that will create enough word-of-mouth marketing that people will notice your business website and make the commitment to buy from you, not your competitors.

Learn to listen

Social media really is all about the social experience. If you want to gain more customers, you need to establish relationships online. It’s no different than establishing a relationship in person. You wouldn’t just walk up to someone and say “here’s my business card, buy my product.” You would take the time to get to know that person’s interests before offering to help with a particular problem. This is why it is important to listen to your target audience rather than bombard your audience with links and offers.

Provide value

If you spend all of your time on Facebook posting links and advertisements, people will ignore you. There is enough advertising clutter throughout every day of our lives, we don’t need it when we log into a social network as well. People will only be interested in what you have to offer if it is valuable to them. As a small business owner it’s a given that you know a lot about your product and your industry. Share some of that information. If you give people a reason to listen to what you have to say, you’ve made it half way. After you get an audience’s attention, the selling is easy.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

What Social Media is Really ForIf you own a small business and have a business website, you’re probably doing pretty well for yourself. After all the economy should be mending soon and you should have already done your homework and found a product that solves a specific problem within the market.

Now, the only difficult part after setting up your small business website is marketing it so that you gain some traffic flow and hopefully increase your revenue stream. This is where social media kicks in. Social media can help you cut marketing costs, build relationships, and network with other people both in your industry and in completely unrelated fields.

Social Media Marketing

Entrepreneur.com wrote a recent article about how to treat social media marketing like a cocktail party. I love this idea because it promotes the concept of social media as a fun, relaxing environment where people come to converse, network, get to know each other, etc. It’s no tradeshow where people are bombarded with free trinkets and obnoxious displays.

Entrepreneur.com goes on to say that in order for your social media presence to have any value, you need to focus on other people’s interests and needs. This should be a given because as an entrepreneur you should always be paying attention to people’s complaints searching for an opportunity to fix them and expand.

Your role in social media is not to advertise your existence; it’s supposed to be a tool to measure the preferences and behaviors of your target market. What better survey than the one your consumers completed on their own time and on their own volition?

According to Entrepreneur.com:

“Online marketing specialists say small businesses like yours are well-positioned to make their customers and fans feel they are the center of the conversation, via social media.”

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Tips To Appear Higher Up On GoogleOne of the biggest mistakes you can make with a small business website is just waiting for traffic to come to you. Why not, if you have a great product? Wrong. If you have a small business website you need to get your market’s attention. That’s not going to happen by simply offering a good product.

Your small business website has two different types of Google rankings. You have your search engine ranking and your page ranking. While they essentially work together to determine your website’s worth, they have a different set of criteria that defines the rank.

Search Engine Ranking

Your search engine ranking is where you end up on a results page after a person conducts a keyword search through Google. Naturally, people are going to click higher up on Google to get what they want. So, it’s important for you to put some effort into your website so you show up higher on Google.

Page Ranking

Every web page out there has a score between 0 and 10 (10 being the better score). This score represents how influential your web page is. According to Entrepreneur.com, Google updates page rankings four times every year. There are several things you can do to improve your individual page ranking as well.

If you don’t know your ranking, simply search for your product on Google and see where you end up. You also have the option of finding a web page that shows page ranks – for you and your competitors. If you install Google’s Toolbar, you will have the ability to see each site’s page rank as you visit them.

Here are a few ways to improve your page ranking and your overall search engine rankings:

Build links

The more pages out there that link back to your site, the higher you will appear on a search engine, it’s as simple as that. This means you should participate in conversation with others (or even your competitors), and provide a link back to your website. Social Media is another great place to leave links.

Keywords

Use keywords throughout every webpage, but don’t practice keyword stuffing. If you stuff your content with keywords, Google can actually punish your ranking. Try to use keywords as naturally as possible throughout your web content.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Top 3 Small Business Ideas for 2011If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, 2011 is the best time to start a business. If you’re tired of working in a managerial environment and you’re ready to take on a market, you should start exploring some ideas. Before taking off into a new venture, you need to be aware of what kind of opportunities are excelling in the market this year.

The Noobpreneur Business Blog posted 10 great ideas for budding entrepreneurs everywhere to consider. Read on to see the ones I thought were the most opportunistic for 2011.

1. Online business and make money online

Online businesses will always thrive so long as our society continues to depend on technology the way it does today. People search for products, brands, prices, reviews, and just about everything they need online. Your online business can be very lucrative because it is more cost-effective (if executed properly) than a brick-and-mortar location. If you set up your small business website, make sure you maintain control over the content so you can adapt to the changing environment and evolving consumer preferences.

2. Personalized products and/or services

There is a growing need for expressing individuality in today’s market. Customization is always a great way to please your consumer base. Offering a product your consumers can design themselves is almost a guarantee of customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth marketing. The opportunities are limitless here. You can offer t-shirts, greeting cards, school supplies, really anything that someone can personalize – you can take advantage of.

3. Small business with a cause

I recently learned of a non-profit organization that offers a free online game similar to Facebook’s Farmville. This game allows the user to build villages and actually purchase provisions for the village. By making donations and purchasing provisions through the game, the game hosts purchase real life provisions and provide them to a needy village in Uganda. Once the village is self-sustaining, they can move on to another village. They then take pictures of the provisions being provided to the village in Uganda, and post them so the gamers can see them and be involved in the whole process.

Offering an abstract incentive to buying your product can go a very long way towards your business success. If you embed a social cause into your products and services, you will have happy customers.

There are so many opportunities for you to take advantage of. Setting up your business is the easy part – it’s finding an idea that’s difficult. All you have to do is pay attention to a problem in the market and figure out a way to solve it.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

How To Turn Browsers into BuyersOnce you have set up your business website with e-commerce capability, you need to be able measure some returns. Why is it that browsers mill about your website and then bail as soon as they need to make a decision? What can you do to get them to subscribe to you, purchase from you, and give you their information?

There are several things you can do to convert more customers. WSI Marketing has some great tips on their website on how to increase your credibility and provide a positive online experience for your customers, which will undoubtedly increase your conversion rate and your online business’s ROI.

Improve your business credibility

Is your website professional? According to WSI Marketing, “consumers can be skittish, especially online. The slightest sign of impropriety can send them back to their search engine results to find another site, which may have a more professional and trustworthy appearance, even if it means paying a little more for the same product or service.”

You can make very simple improvements to your website to increase your credibility in the minds of your consumers. Some of these improvements include:

  • Consistently display contact information like telephone numbers for your business.
  • Post genuine testimonials and case studies of customers that are happy with your product.
  • Have an organized and easy to navigate website design, nothing too flashy or distracting from your main objective.
  • Have complete product information.
  • Double check all of your links and make sure they are working.

Have control of your website

If your web hosting service requires a fee every time you want to make a change, it can detract from the effectiveness of your website. It’s extremely important to have a content management system that allows you to have total control over your website content. You need to be continuously updating your content as you discover issues that your customers are having.

If you notice that you are getting a solid amount of website traffic but people simply aren’t buying, you need to have access to your content in order to make improvements to solve that problem. Also, if customers are asking the same questions (such as what is your warranty policy?), you should have the answer readily available on your website.

The key is to be adaptive. Be aware of what your customers want to know and need to know before making a purchase. Continuously updating the content on your site is the best way to convert browsers into buyers.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform

Why Your Small Business Needs A Website - NOWThere has been a tidal wave of blog posts throughout cyberspace discussing the idea that a business does not necessarily need to have its own website if it is able to effectively establish relationships via social media. While social media can be very effective in marketing your product, I am here to tell you why a business website is an absolute must.

E-Commerce

Your website is just about equivalent to your brick-and-mortar location in real life. It is a location where people end up (hopefully – if you’ve optimized your website correctly) after seeking out your product or service, receive viable information, and make the decision of whether or not to commit and purchase.

Your website should have your brand personality written all over it. It should be professional, and reflect what your business is all about. Facebook and Twitter can be very limiting in this aspect. Also, customers are used to shopping online from an actual website. Do you really expect people to find out all the information necessary to make a purchase from you on Facebook? You should use Facebook to guide people to where the magic happens – your business website.

You need to have a website that users can trust and give people incentive to give you their email accounts so you can follow up with promotions and personal offers. Social media is so open and public that people should very well be hesitating to make high-involvement purchase decisions after reading a few wall posts on Facebook.

You don’t own your social media site

It’s important to understand that while you have many options to customize your Facebook and Twitter profiles, they are still third-party sites. If people are discussing your brand or product, it seems a little silly to refer people to your Facebook profile rather than your business website, it’s less professional.

This isn’t to say you should disregard the potential social media has to generate your leads. You absolutely should establish relationships and participate in conversations through social media, but ultimately, you should be driving those leads and conversations toward your business website, that’s where the transactions should ultimately take place. Your business website is your property and it represents your brand, use it wisely.

Distributed by IntelBuilder Social Media Platform


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