Google Analytics improves small business marketing
Google Analytics is a highly effective website analysis platform that allows businesses to assess how well they’re doing with their online marketing efforts. But for small business owners who aren’t all that comfortable with technology, the thought of digging into the analytics can be intimidating.
You don’t have to be an expert to glean valuable insight from Google Analytics, according to Mark Boyd, Search Engine Optimization Director at MIND Development & Design, and a SCORE blogger. By familiarizing yourself with how to pull some basic information, you can gain an understanding of how well your business website is performing. “Not only can you track results, but you can also track how you’ve gotten those results,” said Boyd.
With Google Analytics, you can track:
n Traffic volume. View your daily and monthly traffic and monitor ebbs and flows, highs and lows.
n Average time visitors spend on your website. See the pages visitors viewed while on your site and how much time they spent on them.
n Bounce rate. This reflects the number of visitors who left your website after only visiting one page. Bounce rate and average time spent on a website are closely tied. When a visitor views multiple pages, the time onsite is typically longer than if they land on one page and leave.
n Number and percentage of new and repeat visits. Knowing this can help as you build engagement with your audience. You can see what percentage of your daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly visits are new visitors versus repeat visitors.
n Traffic sources. You can see geographically where your website traffic is coming from, and if the traffic sources are organic listings, pay-per-click ads, referrals (such as from social media), etc.
n Compare current traffic to that of previous months and years. This enables you to compare performance and detect trends.
All of these can help you understand how your website engages visitors and how effective your off-site digital marketing efforts are at driving traffic to your website.
These are only the tip of the analytics iceberg. There’s much more data available, but interpreting some of it requires a higher degree of knowledge about the platform.
“My favorite part of Google Analytics is comparing current numbers to the previous year,” said Boyd. “It’s amazing how you can see the same traffic trends from year to year. That’s very helpful in planning your SEO, paid advertising and social media efforts.”
To power up your social media techniques, plan to attend the free SCORE workshop on May 10 at 6:30 pm, at the Traverse Area District Library, Woodmere branch. Seating is limited, so please pre-register at www.upnorthscore.com.
Michael McCrary is a principal at Pine River Consulting, LLC and has been providing marketing and strategy consulting to clients globally since 1990. He has been a SCORE mentor since June 2015.
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There is a distinct dissonance regarding the behavior and social change espousements between people who believe that all marketing is evil and those who believe marketing has some redeeming qualities for the good. This diversity of opinion gets played out in program planning meetings, conferences, policy debates and resource allocations (such as found in RFPs and TORs). Not everyone who works to solve intractable problems needs to be a social marketer; yet, learning some basic marketing skills will be advantageous because the most important aspect of marketing today rides with the entrepreneurs who are shaping the social changes and solutions.
1. Entrepreneurs Learn to Listen
Entrepreneurs are constantly listening, looking for ways to maximize opportunities, leverage relationships, and connect to people. And while anyone can be a good listener, doing so as a marketer requires an analytical mind—the process is not at all passive. By being trained in the analysis of your prospective customer using focus groups, and other appropriate techniques, you’ll start to learn how to really listen to what your VIP members and investors want.
2. Entrepreneurs Learn To Make Better Decisions
Knowing how to find and interpret data about your VIP members and investors means that you’ll derive a better understanding of the problems you are facing and how to tackle them in new ways. Of course, you’ll also get in the habit of shortcutting through a lot of unnecessary paperwork and honing in on the relevant data and revelatory insights that are most important.
3. An Entrepreneur Matures In His Communication Skills
The best marketers learn how to gain perspectives into different personality types and how to apply different techniques for engaging with them, based on what their idiosyncrasies are. This could be described as learning tact.
4. An Entrepreneur Does Not Waste Time
Because everyone is on a shoe-string budget, you have to be particularly perceptive concerning the prioritization of resources which is fundamental for small and large organizations and independent operators. Being creative about who ultimately falls into your sales funnel and concentrate on, the ways you reach them, and how to economize while still being effective will help you turn into an efficiency machine.
5. An Entrepreneur Must Be Aware Of The World Situation
Marketers have to be aware of what’s going on in the world culture. This means they read, attend social gatherings, try to figure out what kind of trends are making waves, and generally pay attention to the zeitgeist. No matter what industry you operate in, one must learn to be particularly sensitive to their milieu, which is very advantageous in results shown. One must become accustomed to not focusing on the details of the situation one is found in but train oneself to focus on the bigger picture. This will ultimately payoff by enabling more productive work ethics and help one do better in their chosen workspace. As a byproduct of this kind of focusing one will probably end up having a keener interest in a lot that’s going on around you, which makes one a person who is more interesting for others to be around.
Leading In Social Change
If the foregoing matters are carefully worked through then the foundation is laid for the entrepreneur to be perceived as the leader who can be emulated. This is the most effective way to become an influence for the good in the role of societal movers and shakers. This kind of functioning must be consistent and without hypocrisy in order to acquire the standing to bring positive changes to the way business is carried out. This is the challenge for the entrepreneur, but the dividends are huge.
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You are probably writing a blog hoping your ideal customers/prospects will find it.
Some simple changes that you can make to help you with your campaigns will be found in this article. You can increase your search engine visibility, drive more traffic to your blog and generate more leads or sales for your business.
Focus on keyword-rich subjects.
Why are blog sites a tool that are is so powerful for SEO (search engine optimization) and online visibility?
Because every post you compose becomes another web page, and every web site is another chance to rank well for a search that is a specific client is performing at this time. Or in 30 days. Or in a year. Because good, evergreen content continues to attract visitors to your website or blog for decades, producing more leads/customers for your offer.
There are a number of techniques to create tips which can become content for your website:
Turn consumer concerns into “Dear Abby” style posts.
Scour websites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn or other forums where you can find questions to help solve.
Simply take some keywords through Google Keyword Planner that you’d like to rank well for and run them. This device is free for you to find how many individuals are looking for your phrases each month, recommends associated phrases that might be better opportunities, and lets you know just how competitive that search is. (The higher your competition, the tougher it will be to split the page that is to begin the search engines.)
Create a keyword-rich title.
By default, the title of your post becomes the title of your web page.
Search engines give more importance to your page title than just about any other variable.
Too often, businesses give blog posts vague titles like, “A Word to the Wise,” or “A Lesson from Man’s Best Friend.”
Unfortunately, your ideal customers aren’t searching for those phrases. And if they are, they’re probably not interested in your post specifically.
Here are some tips to title a blog post for maximum visibility:
Lead with your keywords. Search engines give more weight to the first few words in a title. Examples might include, “Pinterest Marketing: How to Generate Leads from the World’s Hottest Social Media Site,” or “Men’s Bowler Hats: What’s Hot This Season.”
Number your lists. I know many people hate numbered lists, but they speak to how busy we all are. “101 Ways to Save Money for College” or “3 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview” are generally more engaging, and will generate more click-throughs at the search engines, which may increase your overall rank.
The colon is your friend. If you have a couple of competing keyword phrases that both seem appropriate, use a colon (or some other spacer) to cast a wider net. Do you write an Asian cooking blog? Try “Chopstick Instructions: How to Use Chopsticks.”
Work your keyword phrase into your copy early and often.
Your title is critical, but it can’t stand on its own; it needs to be supported by the rest of your copy.
You should work your keyword phrase into the first sentence or two of your blog post, and then repeat it several times throughout your post.
If you feel it’s difficult to work your keywords into the first sentence, try this trick: open up with a one to two sentence overview of your topic. If you still can’t work your keyword into the overview, then your blog post probably isn’t about your keyword anyway.
Warning! If you overuse your keyword phrase it can backfire. This is called, Keyword stuffing.
Google and other search engines may punish you for “over-optimizing” your post.
How much is too much? There’s no magic formula, but if your post doesn’t read well and the keywords feel forced into the rest of the copy, you’re probably guilty of over-optimizing.
You can also break up your keywords. If you wanted to rank well for some certain phrase you could use that phrase exactly once or twice, but also use each word separately in other sections of the blog article.
Share your post through social networks.
Inbound links—links from other websites and blogs—increase your search engine visibility, all other things being equal. However, links from social media sites and the comments section of blogs often carry the “no follow” link, meaning no search engine benefits are being transferred.
The search engines are a little cagey about how much impact social buzz has on their search results, but there’s no question that Facebook powers Bing’s customized search, and Google+ affects your Google search results.
By sharing your post through these and other social media platforms, and getting others to do the same, you’ll drive more traffic and build awareness of your post. Even if a tweet or a LinkedIn update doesn’t boost your overall ranking, it might introduce you to a blogger who links to your post from within a post, which does carry search engine weight.
To encourage more sharing, be sure to add any appropriate “share” buttons to the top and bottom of your blog posts, encouraging visitors to share your content.
Transfer your blog’s search engine visibility to your website or e-commerce store.
Blogs are often more conversational, less sales-y than a traditional website. The non-sales-y approach often encourages other bloggers to link to you, where they wouldn’t normally link to a business website or e-commerce site.
However, your goal may not be to have the most popular blog, but rather to build your business. If you’d like to leverage your blog to grow your business, you’ll want to create keyword-rich links from blog posts to sales pages on your website.
A blog post about tips for growing tomatoes in a home garden might link to your page that sells tomato seeds. A post about finding the right nursing care for an aging parent might link to your page on transitional services for families.
Search engines focus on the words in links, so instead of creating a link that says, “click here” or “learn more,” you’ll want to create a link that says, “heirloom tomato seeds” or “transition plans for aging parents.”
By creating multiple blog posts—including leveraging guest blog opportunities—that point to a given page on your site, you can increase the search engine visibility of any web-page you wish.
Be the master of your own domain.
There is a huge following for WordPress blogs, however, never run a business blog with the WordPress.com domain. Or Typepad.com. Or Blogger.com.
When you blog on someone else’s domain, i.e., gardenshop.wordpress.com, you’re building their search engine visibility, not yours.
Many blogging platforms have gone under in the past few years. You might be able to save your blog posts from the wreckage, but you’ll never recover all your inbound links and the trust you built up at that domain.
It’s critical to your success that you blog at a domain name you fully control. This could be part of your current site, i.e, gardenshop.com/blog, or it could be a separate domain entirely, i.e., gardenshopblog.com.
Conclusion and Summary in a Nut-Shell:
To create a blog that generates search engine traffic and new leads for your business, follow this simple formula:
Build your blog on a domain you own and control.
Focus each blog post around a narrow, keyword-rich topic.
Create a title that starts with your best keywords.
Use your keywords early and often in your blog post.
Make your post easily shareable through the social networks.
Leverage your blog’s new-found search engine power by linking to critical pages on your website or e-commerce store.
Your Business is Marketing and Not Sales: What… Impossible?
Sales is the highest paid and World’s Oldest Profession, contrary to popular opinion. Any challenge is foolhardy because selling is the conclusion of any and all transactions between individuals involving product/services. However, the conduit is really Marketing. Now, what kind of IDIOCY is this being presented as Truth? After all, isn’t all the about the Benjamins Lebowski, Cash is King and it's all about the lettuce; otherwise, why are you in business? You don't want to be operating a Non-Profit Agency which 95% of marketers are actually operating which isn’t too encouraging. So, what kind of marketing are you conducting and how effective is it? It’s a critical question because different methods will yield different results at different times based on your audience’s interests. Marketers and the industry have become more competitive and sophisticated due to increased demands by consumers. In fact, to be effective they must function both like an economist and detective addressing what I call the W5s of a campaign (Who, What, When, Where & Why); otherwise, they will not see the pay-window.
Now, before the core question can be answered let’s briefly examine the issue of Sales and its role in business. Let’s look at a basic definition before we continue, “sales are sales, it’s converting any inquiry or lead into a contract or shipment”, while “marketing is not advertising. Marketing is finding out what people want, why they want it and how much they’ll spend. Don’t confuse marketing with advertising”. Now, we got all the formalities out of the way, time to get to the real meat of this article. Safe to say, sales are the final stage of the transaction but, why is the sale considered to be so important? What was the process that motivated the buyer to complete the transaction? There exist multiple stages involved between the start and finish and this is the sales process. Basically, the sales process can be reduced to the following: Prospect, Connect, Research, Present and Close; however, a more in depth definition is best described by Mark Roberge at Hubspot.
Well, it's hard to believe but, there exists an old term that holds TRUE and more importantly, an accurate measure of your ability to close a sale. Have you heard the expression, “It’s all in the Presentation” or “you get once chance to make a first impression”? Think about it, how do you make sales? The process is SIMPLE (kind of); however, the execution often requires more skill to attain success. Now, part of selling involves advertising, “promotion of a product, service or company. It features a strong call to action and promotes the benefits of that being advertised”.
The other component of the sales process involves connecting through various methods of communication featuring your product/service. Let’s examine some of the methods of connection: e-zine marketing, email marketing, cold-calling, videos, live webcasts, blogs, banners, online ads, search engine marketing, social networking, podcasting, twitter and mobile content, all are established methods of online marketing designed to connect with a desired target market. Again, how do you make SALES with these different methods of connecting with the masses? Putting your product/service in front of as many eyeballs as possible with the aforementioned methods. Seems simple but, never forget about quality content. Sales are made based on perceived value; therefore, the most effective way of converting a prospect into a long-term customer is by educating them, addressing their interests and demonstrating how a particular product/service can render a solution to a particular problem/challenge. Think about it, no hard-sell nor the usual rubbish by fast-talking snake-oil salesmen.
Now, back to the important question of what kind of marketing are you executing (Freebie Marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing, Close Range Marketing, etc.,) and why? The essence of the question boils down to what is called customer segmentation or segmenting customers into smaller groups to better understand their wants, needs, interests and other factors so as to provide relevant content. Makes sense and this is why Inbound Marketing increasingly has become the standard form of marketing.
Firstly, what is Inbound Marketing and how does it work? “Inbound marketing refers to activities (blogs, podcasts, eBooks, SEO, physical products, newsletters, whitepapers, social medial marketing and other forms of content marketing) that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention”. “Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers”.
One primary goals behind marketing is to develop a business relationship where TRUST is established and maintained for the long-term…. similar to Marriage (lol!!!!). Like Marriage it's not 50/50 but, 100/100 but, you are responsible for your own actions within that relationship.
When you think about that bloody insane Institution called Marriage, it's a business involving two Individuals who both marketed and sold themselves to each other and the confirmation of the Sale was “Marriage” or as I affectionately say, “Tying the Old Noose…I mean Knot”. Like any successful relationship TRUST is vital; otherwise, no consummation of the transaction. All transactions (monetary, personal, etc.,) involve commerce and marketing is the conduit that facilitates the process. Well, allow me now to demonstrate the benefits of Inbound marketing.
6 Inbound Marketing Techniques Every Business Should Use
Give Away A Free Guide That’s Directly related To Your Business, what better resource can you create than a Guide that provides relevant information about the value and benefits provided by the product/services you make available to the masses.
Pick One or Two Keywords, And Optimise The Heck Out of Them, want leads and traffic then, the solution is to focus on a few keywords that are valuable, and create specific pages on your website that are for those keywords specifically.
Build Your Personal Brand, your business is a reflection of yourself, Entrepreneurs like Jayson DeMers, Joel Gascoigne, and Hiten Shah are examples of people building businesses by means of building their personal brand. If you start a business, it’s virtually impossible to separate yourself from that business. It only makes sense to use your personal brand to build that business. Many brands such as Tim Ferriss’s and Ramit Sethi’s depend almost exclusively on the power of their personal brand.
Ask and Answer Questions On Social Media, engage subscribers in social media sites and provide solutions, tips, suggestions to those who would benefit from your knowledge and expertise. When you increase your presence and value online then, the benefits are soon to be received.
Create Am Email Pop, use the popups in your business to build the email list for obvious reasons.
Guest Blog, “Guest blogging is, indeed, one of the powerful ways of building strong, high-quality relationships that may help you in multiple ways, including developing business opportunities and professional connections, setting brand value and, of course, acquisition of link juice.” — Moosa Hemani, Moz
Inbound marketing refers to the strategy of using content (such as blog posts, videos, eBooks and other valuable reference materials) and search engine optimization (SEO) to draw customers to your business, as opposed to outbound methods like cold calling and email marketing.
While outbound marketing is an effective way to find new customers and maintain relationships with existing ones, inbound marketing is quickly becoming the best way to reach people you do not know and who do not know you, but who are looking for the products and services you are offering.
The following five inbound marketing tips will help you grow your business using the power of the Internet.
Employ A Strong Website Design
One of the basics of inbound marketing is having a helpful, useful Web site that makes it easy for customers to find the information they are looking for. A site that is easy to use will bring customers back, and a good design is critical for this. You can use Web-based tools like WordPress to help build your site and manage the content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Once your Web site is live, you need to make sure customers can find it. SEO will help with that. When you "optimize" your site for search engines, you are trying to control how well your site ranks when a potential customer searches for a product or service you sell, or asks a question related to your business or expertise.
There are many ways to optimize your Web site, including cross-linking and using keywords, but there are no shortcuts; never trust anyone who claims to be able to improve your site's ranking considerably without adding high-quality, relevant content to the site.
Start by maintaining a blog and posting to it often. If you don't know what to write about, look for other businesses that are creating content and see what they are doing. For instance, if you are a contractor, you can write about what customers should look for in high quality homes. Ask your vendors and suppliers to link to your site in exchange for you writing about their products and linking back to them. This combination of content and linking should improve your SEO quickly.
Promote Your Site and Content
You can create the nicest Web site and write the best blog post, but unless you promote them, they will stay hidden. Include a link to your Web site in the default signature field of your email and your social media profiles.
When you have created a new blog post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites you use, not to mention in your email marketing messages. Connect with others in your industry, and see if any of your peers will share your blog post with their networks.
Remember More Content Is King
Just as you want to expand your business, you want to expand your content offerings. Start looking through your blog for common themes you have written about. Can you put together a short eBook about what consumers need to know about home inspections using content you have already written? This has real value, and since you are using existing content, it will not take a lot of time. Better yet, it will give prospective customers more assurance that you are an expert in your field.
You can also create tools for customers, such as a mortgage calculator or a design template that they can use when decorating their home. Providing these items on a regular basis will give you a steady flow of Web site traffic.
Monitor and Measure
Do you know where your inbound traffic is coming from? Use a tool like Google Analytics to keep tabs on which sources are driving people to your Web site, and take advantage of that information.
With Google Analytics, you will get an in depth peek into just who is visiting your Web site, what kind of content they are looking for, how long they are staying on your site before going elsewhere, what they are clicking and, most important, whether they are converting into customers. This will help you refine your strategy, and will also help you experiment along the way.
For example, if you see that Facebook or Twitter are driving most of your traffic, you can devote more attention to engaging there. If Web searches are accounting for a good percentage, you can discover the specific words that people are using to find you, and then incorporate them into your content moving forward. You cannot act if you do not know, so take the steps necessary to learn more.
The End Results
Building your Web site and drawing traffic is the core of these inbound marketing tips. By creating interest in your Web content, you can bring in customers motivated to spend money on your product or service and then hook them with your expertise. Using these inbound marketing tips is a fantastic method to grow your business.
Developing a marketing strategy is vital for any business. Without one, your efforts to attract customers are likely to be haphazard and inefficient.
The focus of your strategy should be making sure that your products and services meet customer needs and developing long-term and profitable relationships with those customers. To achieve this, you will need to create a flexible strategy that can respond to changes in customer perceptions and demand. It may also help you identify whole new markets that you can successfully target.
The purpose of your marketing strategy should be to identify and then communicate the benefits of your business offering to your target market.
Once you have created and implemented your strategy, monitor its effectiveness and make any adjustments required to maintain its success.
This guide helps you identify which customers to focus on and your key objectives in reaching them. It explains what to include in your marketing strategy and how it can be used as the basis for effective action.
Key elements of a successful marketing strategy
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses
Developing your marketing strategy
Tips and pitfalls
Key elements of a successful marketing strategy
One of the key elements of a successful marketing strategy is the acknowledgement that your existing and potential customers will fall into particular groups or segments, characterised by their "needs". Identifying these groups and their needs through market research, and then addressing them more successfully than your competitors, should be the focus of your strategy.
You can then create a marketing strategy that makes the most of your strengths and matches them to the needs of the customers you want to target. For example, if a particular group of customers is looking for quality first and foremost, then any marketing activity aimed at them should draw attention to the high quality service you can provide.
Once this has been completed, decide on the best marketing activity that will ensure your target market know about the products or services you offer, and why they meet their needs.
This could be achieved through various forms of advertising, exhibitions, public relations initiatives, Internet activity and by creating an effective "point of sale" strategy if you rely on others to actually sell your products. Limit your activities to those methods you think will work best, avoiding spreading your budget too thinly.
A key element often overlooked is that of monitoring and evaluating how effective your strategy has been. This control element not only helps you see how the strategy is performing in practice, it can also help inform your future marketing strategy. A simple device is to ask each new customer how they heard about your business.
Once you have decided on your marketing strategy, draw up a marketing plan to set out how you plan to execute and evaluate the success of that strategy. The plan should be constantly reviewed so it can respond quickly to changes in customer needs and attitudes in your industry, and in the broader economic climate.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses
Your strategy must take account of how your business' strengths and weaknesses will affect your marketing.
Begin your marketing strategy document with an honest and rigorous SWOT analysis, looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a good idea to conduct some market research on your existing customers at this point, as it will help you to build a more honest picture of your reputation in the marketplace.
Strengths could include:
personal and flexible customer service
special features or benefits that your product offers
specialist knowledge or skills
Weaknesses could include:
limited financial resources
lack of an established reputation
inefficient accounting systems
Opportunities could include:
increased demand from a particular market sector
using the Internet to reach new markets
new technologies that allow you to improve product quality
Threats could include:
the emergence of a new competitor
more sophisticated, attractive or cheaper versions of your product or service
new legislation increasing your costs
a downturn in the economy, reducing overall demand
Having done your analysis, you can then measure the potential effects each element may have on your marketing strategy.
For example, if new regulations will increase the cost of competing in a market where you're already weak, you might want to look for other opportunities. On the other hand, if you have a good reputation and your key competitor is struggling, the regulations might present the opportunity to push aggressively for new customers.
Developing your marketing strategy
With an understanding of your business' internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats, you can develop a strategy that plays to your own strengths and matches them to the emerging opportunities. You can also identify your weaknesses and try to minimise them.
The next step is to draw up a detailed marketing plan that sets out the specific actions to put that strategy into practice.
Questions to ask when developing your strategy
What changes are taking place in our business environment? Are these opportunities or threats?
What are our strengths and weaknesses?
What do I want to achieve? Set clear, realistic objectives.
What are customers looking for? What are their needs?
Which customers are the most profitable?
How will I target the right potential customers? Are there groups that I can target effectively?
What's the best way of communicating with them?
Could I improve my customer service? This can be a low-cost way of gaining a competitive advantage over rivals, keeping customers, boosting sales and building a good reputation.
Could changing my products or services increase sales and profitability? Most products need to be continuously updated to maintain competitiveness.
Could extending my product list or service provision meet existing customers' needs more effectively? Remember that selling to existing customers is generally more cost effective than continually trying to find new ones.
How will I price my product or service? Although prices need to be competitive, most businesses find that trying to compete on price alone is a poor strategy. What else are my customers interested in? Quality? Reliability? Efficiency? Value for money?
What is the best way of distributing and selling my products?
How can I best promote my products? Options might include advertising, direct marketing, exhibiting at trade fairs, PR or marketing on the web.
How can I tell if my marketing is effective? Check how your customers find out about your business. A small-scale trial can be a good way of testing a marketing strategy without committing to excessive costs.
Tips and pitfalls
Before looking at new markets, think about how you can get the most out of your existing customer base – it's usually more economical and quicker than finding new customers. Consider whether you can sell more to your existing customers or look at ways of improving the retention of key customers. Focus on the market
Your marketing strategy document should:
analyse the different needs of different groups of customers
focus on a market niche where you can be the best
aim to put most of your efforts into the 20% of customers who provide 80% of profits
Don't forget the follow-up
Approach the third party for feedback about your strategy – they may be able to spot any gaps or weaknesses that you can't see.
Put your marketing strategy into effect with a marketing plan that sets out the aims, actions, dates, costs, resources, and effective selling programmes.
Measure the effectiveness of what you do. Be prepared to change things that aren't working.
Pitfalls to avoid
Making assumptions about what customers want.
Ignoring the competition.
Trying to compete on price alone.
Relying on too few customers.
Trying to grow too quickly.
Becoming complacent about what you offer and failing to innovate.
Original document, Create your marketing strategy.
Source: Business Link.
Adapted for Entrepreneurs
This information is provided free of charge and is intended to be helpful to a large range of businesses. Because of its general nature, the information cannot be taken as comprehensive and should never be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice. We cannot guarantee that the information applies to the individual circumstances of your business. Despite our best efforts, it is possible that some information may be out of date.
At one point the decision or revelation became the foundation of the Markethive blogging system. Markethive would make WordPress better.
Let me explain. At one time we considered creating a blog software solution, (Blog Press) with templates that would compete with WordPress. I know, stupid. But at the time, there were many who thought it was a good idea.
The argument went like this, “Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Typepad, etc.” offer others options so we should too. OK, I said, but then the list of competitors grew from WordPress to a much larger list, and not only did it make us another “ME TOO” company instead of an innovative cutting edge customer centric juggernaut.
I made the decision to “not” jump in as yet another standalone (CMS) blog platform like Word Press, but rather to create a powerful system to make Word Press and other CMS far more manageable, with the goal to make them better. Particularly functioning on making the world heavy weight Word Press even better by enhancing the WP platform with a supporting blog platform so multiple content could be constructed with partner contributors, so we could build a Broadcasting system utilizing literaly millions of members social networks, so we could build massive WordPress sites by many members in collaboration producing powerful SEO campaigns.
The whole idea has manifested as one of the most powerful blog collaboration Inbound Marketing systems ever devised, and that is Markethive.
Our roll being to fuse a powerful vertical targeted social network of Entrepreneurs, thereby making the Word Press and other CMS system powerful by the very spirit of the Rise of the Entrepreneur!
The following lists have become our goal to support the top contenders with plugins, widgets and collaborative power and function.
But the video tells it all.
Choosing blogging software can be a scary process, especially if you are new to blogging. There are many different types of engines and content management systems (CMS) that could be used. Picking the software that you’ll need is not an easy task, given the wide variety and types on the Web today.
There are many different aspects to consider when choosing which blogging software to pick. For instance:
Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.
What features you’ll need.
The type of software you might choose is very dependent on the type of blog you are going to run. Some blog software is geared more towards new users, while others are more developer and designer-friendly. It’s a matter of finding software based on the features you need.
The size of the software’s community.
If the software community is larger for one blogging system and much smaller and less active than another, the more active community is usually a better choice for software. More active users within the development community means more improvements on the code base, in a faster time frame.
The age of the software.
The age of the software shows the maturity of the blogging platform. Young projects are more unstable, and are more likely to have bugs.
If you are planning on extending the blog.
If you are thinking about adding things like forums, a store, or some other feature to your blog, some blogging software will be more suited to fill that need than others.
The blog software that you choose can have a big impact on your blogging. It’s important to choose the right software in the very beginning, so you can avoid the hassle of migrating to different engine later on. Here are the pros and cons of the 10 most popular blogging systems.
Here is the list of the top 10 blogging CMS solutions:
Alexa Rank (276)-45
WordPress is the most famous and widely-used blogging platform. It features a very intuitive web-based installer so anyone from skill level novice to expert can quickly install the software without any hiccups.
The WordPress community is a major asset to the blogging software. It has one of the largest and most passionate communities of developers and users, so one could find just about any theme or plugin imaginable. The possibilities for extending the software are endless, and many web sites and services have used the WordPress code base to build entirely different applications. WordPress also features integration with Akismet, one of the most effective spam protection systems for blogging software.
WordPress makes it easy for new bloggers to not only install the software, but also to download and install automatic upgrades to plugins with only one click. The learning curve for WordPress is fairly minimal, and if a new user runs in to problems, they can always check the extensive documentation. WordPress is perfect for the new blogger who wants to get his feet wet installing their first blog software, or the advanced developer who’s looking to extend the stable code into something entirely different.
If you are wanting to start a multiple-blog site, you can also check out WordPress MU. WordPress MU is the same code base as the mature WordPress single blog code base, with some added functionality.
Alexa Rank (2,497)-17
Drupal isn’t your typical blogging software. While it has an incredible community behind the code and many blogs use it for blogging software, it’s not just blogging software. Drupal is community software.
Drupal really shines as blog software for a blogging community. Performancing is a great example of using Drupal as a community of blogs. Whether you are wanting to power one blog to a 100, Drupal is an excellent choice.
Another strong point about Drupal is the versatility of the software. It comes packaged with a robust user system, but also a lot of community-friendly features like forums, books (for creating documents in a “book” structure) and a tracker which allows you to follow updates and content that other users have published recently.
Drupal also comes with a large community of developers and modules. With these modules, one could build any type of site or add nearly any sort of functionality to their Drupal installation. Many top-notch sites use Drupal to publish their multiple blogs and user communities. Performancing, Spread Firefox, The Onion, and Ubuntu and others.
Drupal is the perfect blogging software for anyone wanting to add a community to their blog with forums and extensions.
Alexa Rank (2,689)-570
Joomla is a CMS that is similar to the community-friendly Drupal, and gaining traction every day. While Drupal is geared more towards developing community-flavored sites and blogs, Joomla seems to be geared more towards ecommerce (you can read more about the comparison between Joomla and Drupal here).
Regardless of their differences, Joomla is very much like Drupal in the fact that it’s easy to get anything from a simple site to a community blog in minutes. Joomla has a vibrant development community which has created many extensions.
Joomla is perfect for anyone wanting to build a blogging community site, or add ecommerce functionality to a blog.
Alexa Rank (12,422)-2,466
ExpressionEngine is a very robust blogging platform, but isn’t free. The best feature about ExpressionEngine is the feature to publish multiple websites, either using different subdomains on a single domain, or across multiple domains.
You could use one code base to power multiple sites across multiple domains. The software features an extremely clean and simple backend that shouldn’t confuse the blogger. Designers and developers love ExpressionEngine for the fact that it’s quite easy to hand over a site and have the client update his own blog. It’s a solid all-in-one package.
ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site, but anyone can use the software quite easily thanks to its thoughtful and elegant design. A single license costs $99.95, but if you’re running a personal blog you can download the core version of EE.
Alexa Rank (26,959)+3,284
Liferay Portal is a free and open source enterprise portal written in Java and distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It allows users to set up features common to websites. It is fundamentally constructed of functional units called portlets. Liferay is sometimes described as a content management framework or a web application framework. It comes with certain portlets preinstalled. These comprise the core functionality of the portal system.
The reasons to use Liferay Portal for your website are simple: it provides a robust platform to serve your site to all clients, be they desktop, mobile, or anything in between; it provides all the standard applications you need to run on your site; and it provides an easy to use development framework for new applications or customization. In addition to this, Liferay Portal is developed using an open source methodology, by people from around the world. The code base is solid, and has been proved to be reliable and stable in mission critical deployments in diverse industries.
Alexa Rank (32,058)-238
DotNetNuke is an open source platform for building web sites based on Microsoft .NET technology. It is written in VB.NET and distributed under both a Community Edition BSD-style license and a commercial proprietary license. The Community Edition is a popular web content management (WCM) system and application development framework for ASP.NET, with over 6 million downloads and 600,000 production web sites as of October 2010. More than 8,000 DotNetNuke apps are available for purchase on Snowcovered.com. DotNetNuke.com has over 800,000 registered members as of October 2010.
Distinguishes between community (common features) and enterprise (full set of features) editions.
Various modules, and data providers.
Provides language packs for about 60 languages.
Customizable through skins and templates.
Alexa Rank (32,333)+1482
As with Joomla, modx officially supports only MySQL database.
Not just CMS but a PHP framework for Web.
Supports PHP 4.3.11 and above.
Complete control of all metadata and URL structure for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Unlimited hierarchical page depth.
Can create custom fields and widgets for templates.
Role-based permissions for the Manager.
Ability to customize the Manager on a per-deployment basis.
Ecommerce integration via Foxy Cart.
Extensions: 622, also known as add-ons.
Alexa Rank (33,631)-292
Concrete5 is an open source CMS started in 2003 as a rapid-design approach to building the now-defunct LewisAndClark200.org, the official site for the Ad Council's National Council for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. Concrete5 is developed in PHP and is distributed under MIT software license.
Concrete5 features in-context editing (the ability to edit website content directly on the page, rather than in an administrative interface or using web editor software). Editable areas are defined in concrete5 templates which allow editors to insert 'blocks' of content. These can contain simple content (text and images) or have more complex functionality, for example image slideshows, comments systems, lists of files, maps etc. Further addons can be installed from the concrete5 Marketplace to extend the range of blocks available for insertion. Websites running concrete5 can be connected to the concrete5 website, allowing automatic upgrading of the core software and of any addons downloaded or purchased from the Marketplace.
Alexa Rank (36,110)-8,334
TYPO3 is a free and open source CMS released under the GNU General Public License oriented to small to mid size enterprise-class users. TemplaVoila is an alternative template engine extension for TYPO3. A graphical mapping tool for creating templates is included, an alternative page module, the ability to create flexible content elements and an API for developers. New content element types can be created without programming. TemplaVoila facilitates more flexibility for maintaining web pages than TYPO3's standard templating, while making it possible to enforce a strict corporate design and allowing editors to work with content more intuitively.
Delivered with a base set of interfaces, functions and modules, TYPO3's functionality spectrum is implemented by extensions. More than 5000 extensions are currently available for TYPO3 for download under the GNU General Public License from a repository called the TYPO3 Extension Repository, or TER.
Alexa Rank (36,854)+2,483
Alfresco is an open source enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing web apps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and jBPM workflow. The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology. John Newton (co-founder of Documentum) and John Powell (a former COO of Business Objects) founded Alfresco Software, Inc. in 2005.
Alexa Rank (80,628)-14,427
b2evolution is another blogging platform that allows for a single installation of a blog, or a whole network of blogs, right out of the box. b2 probably has the weakest developer community behind it, with only a 200+ plugins (compared to Joomla’s 3,400+).
The software features a very easy-to-understand backend, ideal for beginners. b2 also has has a built in stats feature, which is something most blogging platforms don’t have out of the box. The software also features a post editor with a very minimal WYSIWYG editor, which is perfect for a beginning blogger.
While the b2 developer community may not be very large, it has a very promising code base and many people still use b2evolution to power their blogs and blogger communities.
The Irrelevant Others
Alexa Rank (102,395)+10,174
Alexa Rank (104,671)-32,048
Alexa Rank (116,439)-16,212
Alexa Rank (154,173)-43,687
Alexa Rank (174,802)-9,166
Alexa Rank (187,704)-45,048
Alexa Rank (8,419,219)-2,169,053
There is no other blogging platform, that integrates support for all Blog CMS systems, engages social networks so reaches heasd into the stratosphere, nor institute a learning environment so building competent content teams is easily achievedf.
All blog writers want their blog to be successful—this is the one thing they all have in common. For most blog writers, success is loyal followers.
Regardless of when or why you began your blog, a few modifications here and there to your blog and your mindset can transform things for the better. Here's a list of 7 tips to help you be successful as a blog writer.
1. Finding Your Niche
This little bit of advice has been jumping around the Internet since the beginning of the first effective blog. Still, a lot of beginning writers don’t take this advice, partly because a lot of new writers aren’t sure what to write about and partly because they don’t know what a niche is.
Niche is described as, “a specialized but profitable corner of the market.”
What we really mean when we say to “find your niche” is to slim down the focus of your blog. Referring to anything and everything that comes to mind is great if you’re composing for yourself, but visitors may discover it to be disorderly and challenging. What visitors really want is an assortment of relevant and beneficial content on the same subject to help fix an issue or query.
Examples of areas include:
Health & Wellness
While it’s correct that there are blogs on essentially every industry, the key to really succeeding and reaching your focus on industry is to filter your subject even further. Choose a gap in the marketplace and concentrate on that. This will decrease competitors while making you a go-to professional in your industry.
An example would be if you desired to start a blog about your travels. Instead of concentrating on travel in general, you might concentrate on an individual nation or town. That way, you are likely to become the number one go-to blog for people who will be visiting that area.
Promoting your own venture on public networking or within your team of buddies is overwhelming for a lot of people. You don’t want to appear to be boasting, and you definitely don’t want to come across looking like spam.
If you want to be successful, however, you have to tell others to get the word out, and who better to do that than you? It’s all part of the marketing procedure, and writers have to figure out how to use public networking and use feedback on blogs to promote themselves.
Many writers and public networking lovers recommend using 80% of your public feedback and shares to enhance other people’s works and 20% of it advertising your own services and products. Sometimes tooting your own horn isn’t all that bad. The key is to find balance between self-promotion and humbleness.
3. Build on What Works
Use your web page statistics and comments feature to see how visitors respond to these new concepts. If you’re not seeing any sign of a response in your statistics, study visitors to see what they think.
Experimenting is all an element of the procedure, so don’t be worried about trying something new. Start guest posting, a new weekly blogging series, and try placing ads.
Testing one thing here or there isn’t likely to harm your writing exercise. Some of these tests often lead to a surge in visitors. What's promising is that you can always dump the ones that don’t work.
4. Perform an “Above the Fold” Test
Above the fold includes the content you see when you first view your blog. It’s anything that you see without scrolling.
Since you only have a few moments to create an excellent first impression and help visitors determine what they’re looking for, you want the most essential info above the fold. For example, individuals should be able to tell who you are and what you do without scrolling. If it’s not obvious in your blog headline, there is value including a tag line. If you want to highlight your call-to-action, that should appear above the fold as well.
Test your own site by using the Clue App to set up a free 5-second test. Don’t like the results? It’s worth rethinking your website layout.
5. Make Your Blog Sticky
Sticky is a term that means you’re motivating individuals come back to or stay on your blog. For example, you might link to an appropriate article from your blog’s archives. You can do this within the material, or you can list additional sources at the end of each short article. The idea is that these hyperlinks point to your own material and offer visitors more in-depth information on the topic or a related topic.
As you do this, everyone is more likely to keep coming back and subscribe to your blog. You can also make your blog sticky by inviting visitors to subscribe to your blog or by making your RSS feed available with the click of a button.
6. Ways to Extend Your Blog
To get individuals to stay and keep returning, it’s worth increasing your reach outside of simple blog posts. This allows you reach more individuals who appreciate other types of content and contact, and it keeps your blog from getting boring.
Examples of ways to increase your reach include:
Starting a podcast series
Hanging around industry forums or social media
Sending out newsletters
7. Create Quality Content
People have been saying it for a long time, and the saying still applies. CONTENT IS KING!
Without well-written and interesting material, your blog isn’t going to go anywhere. Yes, your blog style and your promotion methods are essential, but they’re essentially ineffective if you don’t have quality material. Individuals may come because of the promotion, but they’ll remain when you provide material they need.
Pro tip: Developing material customers “need” can include anything from educating them on something to offering them entertainment. While writing a blog about yourself can have its advantages, you should always be concentrating on fixing the reader’s issues first (whether they are looking for advice or a good laugh.)
Fulfilling your visitors’ needs is what will generate visitors to sign up to your blog.
If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.
"I love huntin’ through data to find the weird little trends; it’s how you learn how things actually work. I also really, really dig the concept of crowdfunding. Put the two together, and you’ve got my attention.
During a chat with John Biggs today at Disrupt Europe, Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin dropped a rapid fire stream of knowledge. If you’re considering doing any sort of crowdsourcing campaign, this is probably stuff you should know.
The tips Slava gave were almost entirely pulled straight from the data that Indiegogo has gathered over the past few years, rather than random guess work. “I used to have a lot of opinions. Now, luckily, I don’t have to have opinions. We can talk on data.”
While these pointers are based on Indiegogo’s data, the overall concepts likely apply to pretty much any crowdfunding platform.
Slava broke his advice down into three categories: pitching, being proactive, and finding an audience.
If you have a video, you’ll raise 114% more money on average than if you don’t.
Wondering how many perks to offer? The magic number seems to be somewhere between 3-8.
On average, successful campaigns will cross their target fundraising goal on Day 36.
Average contribution size on successful campaigns comes in at around $70.
If you have 4 or more people on your team, you’ll raise 70% more money than if you only have one person.
On being proactive:
Update your backers (and potential backers) regularly. ”If you do an update every 5 days or less, you’ll raise 4x more than if you do an update every 20 days or more”.
Need to reach potential backers? Indiegogo sees most contributions coming from email campaigns. Facebook is second, then Twitter.
Momentum matters: you’re 5x more likely to hit your target if you can reach at least 25% of your overall goal within the first week
Finding an audience:
“We like to think about it as 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. Indiegogo multiplies whatever you can accomplish. If you’re only able to raise $0, Indiegogo can only multiply [by zero]. You need to start by finding the first 1/3 of the money for your campaign [through your network], often the next third comes from friends of your network, and Indiegogo will, on average, get you that last third.”
Have your family and friends help to get the ball rolling: “No one wants to fund your empty campaign”
On whether your project should be as polished as possible “I don’t think it’s about [that]. It’s about being authentic. […] Some campaigns should be more polished, because that’s what they’re trying to sell. Some campaigns can just use flipcams and iPhones. It varies, and the data really doesn’t prove yet that it’s important to be polished.”
On how important it is that your campaign is in english: “There’s a debate on that. To get as many international dollars as possible, you definitely will want english as part of your campaign. But, obviously, if you want to focus first on your local community, [use that local language].”
Dr. Raymond Jewell is a leading Economist and Home Based Business Consultant. Dr. Jewell is an Alpha Founder with Markethive and manages several blogs in the hive. Markethive is a revolutionary new marketing tool that is a game changer in marketing on the web. Sign up for a FREE Markethive systemand see for yourself.
Now that blogging has become so popular among everyone from the novice writer to the most experienced journalist, businesses are starting to take notice. A well-written and frequently updated blog can help market almost any type of business. Blogging can help target readers who are interested in a company’s product or service and businesses can keep track of what their readers are looking for through blogging.
In addition, blogging can help link together companies that complement each other very easily.
There is a lot of talk about blogging. Some feel that blogging is just a passing fad, but others feel it is just the beginning. Some business analysts feel that blogging does not significantly help a business market the company. Many businesses feel that this is not so. Blogging can be a beneficial way to market a business, build an audience and help link other companies together.
Blogging can help almost any business expose their readers to their services and products. Sometimes with new products, a blog can create interest in something new. Blogging is helpful because it can talk in depth about the product, and it can also give step-by-step instructions on how a certain product can be used.
A reader, who is interested in the product after reading about it on a blog, will be more inclined to research similar products on the Internet. This can lead to a more informed consumer and can save a consumer time when shopping or researching a new product. In turn, a company may save time because customers who have read the blog are already informed about the product. These customers can also read reviews on these products and services, which can be very helpful in the buying process.
Another great thing about companies using a blog for their products and services is that a blog enables the company and the customer to communicate effectively. A customer can read the blog and comment on it right away. This provides good feedback to the company and they can know what the customers want. Usually blogs will provide places for readers to leave their comments or send emails to the writer. This is a good marketing tool for businesses. People enjoy communicating about products and services that they have had good or bad experiences with and blogging provided the opportunity to do so.
Blogs can also help market a business because it will be included in search engines. When people enter certain keywords, blogs that contain those words will show up. When blogs are updated frequently, search engines can provide your company with a lot of hits. This can lead to many people looking at the company’s blog who might not otherwise have done so.
When companies use blogs, it also has the ability to create a sensation around a product and influence public opinion. This is an excellent tool for companies to use. Because of the huge popularity of blogging, this can be a more effective tool than some forms of advertising. Readers are more likely to share interesting blogs with their friends and this can help companies get the word out about their product.
Another way blogging can help market a business is that blogs often help a company position itself as a leader in a certain field. This means that those who blog can show their expertise about certain subjects and then update this information on a regular basis.
Blogging can help generate leads and send a positive message about your company without spending a lot of money for advertising. Readers can look at these blogs and know that they are dealing with a quality company.
Companies also use blogs to help network with other companies that complement their business. This is beneficial because they can easily share their links and readers will see all of the blogs that relate to what they are searching for on the Internet. Link swapping is often used in blogging, especially with businesses.
Blogging is proving to be a beneficial marketing tool for businesses all over the world. While it’s a fairly new way for companies and customers to communicate with each other, blogging provides an immediate and unique form of advertising for the company. Customers are able to read and research products and services through blogging and companies can better understand what their customers want.