It’s 2018: we get a lot of e-mails. Most of them are just sent to spam or deleted without opening. How can you make sure that your e-mails stand out against all the noise?
E-mail copywriting takes time, effort, and creativity— and can often be a daunting task. Let’s simplify the process of designing an awesome e-mail.
It’s vital to keep in mind is what your customers will be seeing.
If you’re like most small business owners, you understand the importance of SEO. But when it comes to implementing this important strategy, it can be hard to know where to turn.
After all, you’re an entrepreneur— not a technology wizard. The rules seem to change more often than you change your socks. And if you’re not quite ready to hire an expert to figure it out for you, you may be struggling to figure out on your own.
So, what are some easy strategies you can implement today to improve your search engine ranking and gain more business?
Optimize Keywords for RankBrain
When it comes to SEO, most are well aware that using the right keywords is essential. Every piece of content on your website should begin with keyword research to determine the common phrases your potential customers are searching for.
RankBrain has changed the game a bit. Google uses this artificial intelligence algorithm to deliver search results based on search intent and user feedback. And because RankBrain can understand what words mean, it’s more in tune with what users are looking for when completing an online search.
This algorithm strongly ranks content based on Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI, keywords. These include any words or phrases that are strongly associated with your chosen topic. This might sound complicated, but never fear. Finding such keywords to include in your content is as easy as a simple Google search.
For example, if your topic is home décor, simply type “home decor” into Google and scroll to the bottom of the page to the related searches. This section reveals common search phrases associated with home decor, giving you examples of LSI keywords:
Remember when writing was somewhat pedestrian and simple? When presenting compelling and provocative prose to draw audience attention was solely a factor of how you string sentences together? You can suspend that, at least partly. Key in a migration of communications from print to digital is the necessary intrusion of technology, which means wording sentences and ideas in a way that they are captured and rechurned through algorithms on search engines.
But it’s possible that the race to tap into somewhat robotic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may be a bit premature. There are still arguments to be made for focusing on the human target as opposed to a reliance on converting your input to a system that delivers ordered results.
By now you’re envisioning your 9th grade composition teacher’s pleas to embrace a conversational voice. Turns out there’s still a solid argument for that, because the predominant search entity, Google, still evaluates text for its readability and adherence to rules of approachable writing.
Here’s a rather protracted guide of how Google attempts to legitimize and rank search criteria.
High on Google’s list is a reputation-based evaluation. How trustworthy is the source? How much expertise does the writer have? Low-quality submissions that are not verifiable will be ranked lower.
And make no mistake about it: Google employs human beings to assess these things.
Quite possibly, the hashtag symbol serves as a cultural icon defining the digital generation. Virtually everyone has seen one or one thousand, but not everyone knows its origin, objective, and reach. And while the hashtag came to life at a time of a national disaster, to convey updates and messages, it’s now taken on a life of its own and has applications to the business world.
Spawned just over a decade ago on Twitter, the hashtag symbol organized content that gave readers easy access to information. Later, “#bostonstrong” became a viral inspiration to commemorate the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack, and the idea spiraled from there. Seeing the vast impact and ability to drive traffic with such a minimalist effort, digital divas have turned the hashtag into a multi-faceted approach to promoting ideas, products, and events.
How does this fit into your business model? Easy. #itworks. Italian automaker Audi waged a hashtag campaign in 2011 following a tweet directed at them from a fan. They created a social media marketing campaign, “#WantAnR8,” and offered a loaner Audi car to the original tweeter. Five more fans were also given keys, and by the end of the campaign, Audi had run a wildly successful promotional gig.
Strict business decisions often result from employing an either/or strategy. Either you will build a storefront location and sell online, or you won’t. Either you will accept returns or you won’t.
But when it comes to advertising online, consider an alternative here and ponder the wisdom of both. When ecommerce merchants decide where to direct their ad dollars, they tend to study their options and choose one of the top two sales platforms. Facebook and GoogleAds, behemoths in marketing, searching, and advertising combined, offer similar yet slightly different approaches. Regardless of your favored business model, there is no hard and fast rule requiring you to pick one over the other.
Search marketing firm WordStream has studied the relative efficacy of both platforms, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Recently it has reached the conclusion that using both in combination is your best bet.
Whether you’ve been doing business online for 5 years or 5 minutes, you’ve probably utilized some form of content marketing to reach potential customers. It’s all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why.
After all, a consistent output of quality content has immense potential. It has the power to grab prospects’ attention, gain their trust, and elevate you as an authority in your niche - which, if you’re doing it right, leads to increased sales, a loyal customer base, and more money in your pocket. (Cha-ching!)
Perhaps you’ve focused on social media; on likes and shares and building a community to promote your brand. Or perhaps you’ve found your efforts better spent on growing your list and creating killer email sequences to get people clicking and buying. Maybe you’ve found success in blogging, in reaching people through original, thought-provoking written content. Or, if you’re like most business owners, it’s likely a combination of all of the above.
Last year, many SEO experts looked at the upcoming changes to Google’s method of ranking websites.
The most notable trends were:
Let’s explore what each trend means as well as 10 ways to boost your SEO strategy.
Responsive Sites Aren’t Mobile-First
Mobile-First Indexing is Google’s answer to one of the biggest substantial swings in recent consumer behavior.
In 2018, 57% of all traffic is from mobile devices. Ranking will now focus on mobile sites not desktop sites. It’s not enough to have a smartphone and tablet friendly responsive site. It’s now essential to be mobile-first for better ranking.
Considering the grueling hours you poured into building a website that works for you and represents your business in its best possible light (or the dollars you spent paying someone else to do it), the last thing you want to envision is a lack of interest among actual visitors. But it’s a thing, and it happens more often than not. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you have done it many times in the past—followed a link to a site and then simply moved on.
In the vernacular of web commerce, that’s called a “bounce.” Cute word, but it’s something we hope to avoid. And stat collectors measure the frequency of these in the form of bounce rates. The higher your bounce rate, the more you may want to take note, and figure out what you can do to retain first-time or regular visitors.
It goes without saying that ecommerce merchants are far more affected by bounce rates than conventional businesses who happen to have a web presence. Your business lives or dies by engagement and ordering. Here are ways to measure your bounce rates, and tips on how to reduce them.
Life – and business – would be a lot simpler if a successful customer interaction ended in a sale. For too many, a lingering drama unfolds with customers who use the legendary payment service, PayPal, to facilitate their transaction.
PayPal, a behemoth originating from the early days of eBay, offers a relatively smooth transfer of funds from buyer to seller, and provides industry-standard security in the process. When a sale goes awry, however, it can be a nightmare to deal with – especially if you have a customer who may just be attempting to defraud you.
As an online seller, the benefits of accepting PayPal payments are impossible to overstate. First, PayPal processes about $100 million worth of payments each year. Second, the percentage of ecommerce shoppers, and others, who have PayPal accounts is very high. Most are comfortable with the technology and will readily turn to its convenient service. Merchants including a PayPal payment button on their checkout sites may realize a greatly increased chance of making the sale.
What Not to Do in Ecommerce
If you’re reading this, you are one of the 1.5 million ecommerce vendors trying to be relevant on the internet. Some are more successful than others, and often the most successful are those who have been around the longest. But that’s not always the case, and there are guidelines you can follow to make sure you’re giving your business the best shot it has to become a force in online commerce.
While forced and unforced errors can sabotage your best efforts, you’re fortunate to operate in an environment rich with constructive advice. Let’s sum up some of the pitfalls that pose problems for online sellers and tackle each one by one.
Visual impact is critical, and it includes the graphical interface of your site as well as what is (or is not) on it. Do you have a unique brand, complete with a logo, a theme, and some form of a mission statement? Does your site layout lend itself to navigation that makes the buying process as simple as possible? Are your products reflected in quality photos that supplement product descriptions, and aren’t replaced by them?
Does your website load efficiently on a tablet or smart phone? Remember that shoppers today are more likely to be reaching for their devices than sitting at a computer. Spend the time and money necessary to optimize your layout.