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How to use SEO to be on Top of Google

By | B2B Sales, Backend Support Services, Business Improvement, Social Media | No Comments

Whether you’re new to SEO or just looking to refresh your fundemantals, you’re in the right place.

Google’s search engine algorithm is one of the world’s best kept secrets. Years of updates have ensured that it’s secrecy remains intact while also forcing marketers to constantly change their approach.

Through many years of trial and experimentation, people have slowly figured out how the algorithm works (though not a 100%). One thing that is for sure though is that the best practices for SEO are constantly changing.

Being tasked with ranking up your website can be daunting, especially if you don’t know where to begin. The plethora of updates to the algorithm certainly doesn’t make learning SEO any easier.

In this blog, I will attempt to present a clear, no-frills guide on how you can get started with optimizing your website, content or any other digital channels to become popular on Google. So here we go.

Keywords

This one’s a no-brainer and something everyone is tired of hearing. So let’s just get it out of the way first; keywords!

Here’s a quick summary on keywords. Try to guess what people are typing into Google the most. Add those phrases to your website. The better you guess, the higher your website ranks on Google’s search index. All digital content should be focused around keywords. This is SEO-101.

Of course, no one will ever be able to accurately predict what 4 billion internet users are typing into Google. Later we will touch on some of the ways you can improve your guessing game. For now, remember that keywords are just tools. Using them is one thing, using them correctly is another. Keep your keywords clean, simple, relevant and pleasant. Here’s a quick test: 

WHAT’S A GREAT HOME PAGE TITLE FOR A “FLOWER SHOP”?

a. ‘Splendid Botany Emporium’

b. ‘Gift Beautiful Flowers’

c. ‘Affordable Flower Shop Selling the Best Flowers for Flower Lovers’

d. ‘The Flower Shop’

A common rookie mistake is overusing keywords or ‘keyword stuffing’. Some are tempted to go all-in by adding a ton of keywords on a single page and hope that one of them lands a click. If you’re one of these people, you’ve got a lot to learn.

Quality Over Quantity

As of 2011’s Panda algorithm update, Google has shifted its focus towards favoring high quality, low volume content. This essentially makes keyword stuffing obsolete.

Why am I mentioning an update from almost 10 years ago? Because it is shocking how many out there are still cramming keywords in their content!

So if you haven’t figured out by now, ‘c’ is absolutely the wrong answer in the above exercise. Why is that? Because Google’s search algorithm will think that it’s too aggressive and redundant. A better way to describe it would be ‘desperate for attention’. The 2011 update will make sure that such pages appear as low as possible in the search result.

Moral of the story; avoid keyword stuffing. It’s an archaic practice that needs to be forgotten as soon as possible.

Google Trends

While we’re on the subject of keywords, let’s talk about Google Trends. It is the bread and butter in the life of a digital marketer.

So far we’ve learned that keywords are good, but too many keywords are bad. So the question is how do you focus your keywords and pick the right one?

This is where online keyword research tools come in handy. Many of them require a premium but Google themselves have kindly provided Google Trends; a free keyword analysis website. Simply plug in the keyword and instantly see its popularity anywhere in the world.

I personally use Trends to polish my content to be as SEO friendly as possible. Here’s an example.

Let’s say you are writing content for an online shopping website. A common keyword you may want to focus on is ‘e-commerce’. However, many prefer typing ‘ecommerce’ (without the dash). So which one should you use? This is where Google Trends can help. A quick comparison reveals the following:

‘E-commerce’ performs much better than ‘ecommerce’, therefore this is the one to use. Small optimization tricks like this can make a big difference.

Backlinks

Stepping away from keywords, let’s talk about links. One way Google ranks a page higher or lower is by checking if other websites link to it. It makes sense if you think about it. If others are referring to a page, then surely it must be good.

Google sees backlinks as a seal of approval. Having others link to you is a powerful way to get into Google’s good graces.

Inversely, external links can also help (but not as much as backlinks). If you know a credible website that could help your visitors, add a link to it. Ideally, one external link should be enough on a single page but there are exceptions. Especially if you can create a link exchange. 

If someone else is willing to link to your website, you can link to theirs. This kind of link building activity can strongly improve your standing so add it to your daily to-do list.

Unlike keyword optimization, link building is a completely different type of work with it’s own set of challenges. You will need to rely purely on reaching out and connecting with others.

Link Building

Fortunately, marketers all over the world are actively looking for referrals and usually welcome a proposal for link exchange. So go out there and see which websites are most similar to yours. Invite them to connect with you while helping them out as well. You can email or send them a direct message on one of their socials. But keep your messages brief.

Normally, most marketers are quite welcoming to such offers since it’s an opportunity to boost their SEO ranking for free. But many are also careful. Especially if they are from a reputable website. They know the power of their backlinks and won’t be so receptive to a referral.

If there was a 100% successful playbook for link-building, trust me, I would share it with you. Truth is, link building takes time, patience and good old salesmanship. My suggestion would be to just start with a short list and see who responds and who doesn’t.

Keep Updating!

Google despises websites with low activity. Pages that don’t regularly update with new and exciting content will end up at the bottom of the search result ocean. Write blogs, announce news, update images. Whatever you do, just keep digital channels busy. 

According to our backend support research, it is best to add meaningful content at least 5 to 10 times a month with an extra emphasis on ‘meaningful’. Don’t just add content for the sake of it. Try to be engaging. Perhaps touch on a recent development in your industry. Or maybe guide folks that are new to your business. Show your audience that you care.

However, don’t get carried away with engagement. Remember, our goal is to beat the algorithm. Google is updating their search engine to recognize more meaningful content (as we discussed earlier with keyword stuffing). But it’s still not perfect.

When it comes to updates, it’s still a numbers game. Always keep the 5-10 quota rule in mind and just keep updating.

Watch for Bots!

While it would be nice to have only humans surfing the web, the reality is very different. Almost half the internet traffic is actually just bots (why else do you think all the websites keep asking you to prove that ‘I’m not a robot’?).

Bots are constantly crawling all over the internet, looking for any place they can plug in ads. If they are not dealt with swiftly, you will soon end up with a website cluttered with shady links. Bad external links are a serious red flag for Google.

Therefore, always stay vigilant for bots. They are more prevalent than you think and can substantially hurt your SEO ranking.

Plugins

If you are using a CMS to build your website, then be sure to take advantage of SEO plugins. There’s Yoast for WordPress and SEO Wiz for Wix. If you’re on a different platform, then be sure to see which plugins are compatible.

SEO plugins are incredibly handy but sorely underutilized. I’ve seen so many people blindly submitting content on WordPress pages without even paying attention to Yoast’s recommendations. Taking some time to improve your content based on SEO plugins certainly makes a difference.

In Conclusion

Hopefully there’s enough here to help you get started. But this shouldn’t be the end to your journey to understand SEO. As I said in the opening, Google constantly updates their search engine. So keep on learning!

We would also love to learn from you. Let us know in the comments below how you feel about SEO in today’s digital landscape. Also, be sure to check out our other blogs.

Losing sales because of your website

Your Website Is the Reason Why You’re Losing Sales

By | Administrative Support, Business Improvement, Business Sustainability, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support, Ecommerce Support Services, Entrepreneurship, Freelancing, Marketing Virtual Assistant, Social Media, The IU Way, Virtual Assistant, Virtual Assistant Support | One Comment

7 stages of the purchase process where you’re driving customers away

These days, if you don’t have a website for your business, product, or service, you are losing out on 81% of your potential customer base; who research their purchase online before buying it. Having a website, however, can prove to be a double-edged sword if you are unfamiliar with website development. A business unconversant in the common assumptions customers derive from website design may inadvertently cause itself to look untrustworthy or obsolete.

There are a host of reasons why investing in ecommerce website development is a good idea for every business. The development, design and code of your website affects every stage of the customer purchase process.

1. The numbers make sense

A quick Google search will lead you to thousands of ecommerce website development agencies; large and small. There will always be someone willing to work within your budget, who can make the website according to your business’ needs. One thing is certain; professional website development always provides return on investment far beyond what you expect. An attractive website lands more leads onto your website, introduces them to your products or services, and converts them into customers.

Trying to set up your own website is like stabbing in the dark for most businesses (unless you’re a web developer yourself). You’re bound to make mistakes, redo things, or give up on having what you think will work best for your business. Hiring a web developer within your budget from the beginning will avoid potentially expensive mistakes and re-dos later.

2. You don’t stand out if you use a template

While there are tons of website templates available on the internet, using one without making any changes to it is not a good idea. Your website needs to mesh seamlessly into your business identity, and a developer will help you make the changes necessary to optimize the website for your business.

Using a template as-is also makes your website incredibly forgettable. Each template you see on the internet (especially one which seems attractive) has been used by hundreds, if not thousands of other businesses. Making your website seem exactly like theirs does not help you stand out in the customer’s mind. Using industry-specific templates compounds this problem by making you forgettable within your niche. Therefore, creating a website that makes your business stand out due to its design will require investment in ecommerce website development.

3. Visitors don’t make it to your website

You’d have heard the buzzword “search engine optimization” everywhere these days. People think it means utilizing keywords and paying for advertisements, but rarely realize that your website visibility on major search engines is inextricably linked with the design you choose for it. Clunky and obsolete design and coding pushes your website lower on the search rankings.

Google, for example, assesses the quality of your landing pages when determining your website’s search engine ranking. It is important to partner with an ecommerce website development agency familiar with search engine optimization; or potential customers will not be able to find your website through search engines.

Why is ecommerce website development necessary?

4. Your website’s first impression may be unappealing

When 66% of all potential customers prefer a beautiful design over a plain one, it is worth looking at making your website appear modern and appealing. Your website is often the first impression potential customers, who have myriad distractions online, receive about your business.

Your website needs to appear attractive on all devices. 88% of customers in an Adobe poll said they used multiple screens to access websites. A further 73% of people require the content to display well on whichever device they are using to visit websites. Professional ecommerce website development will ensure that your content is optimized for display on all devices; so that customers do not turn to your competitor’s websites instead.

5. Customers don’t engage with an unprofessional website

If your content is unattractive or your website is difficult to navigate, 38% of people will stop engaging, and 35% will click off, according to the same Adobe State of Content Report. However, if you think you can make content attractive by merely utilizing videos or inserting high-quality graphics, you would be cannibalizing your website’s position on search engine rankings. Website design needs to straddle the fine line of attractiveness and ease of loading– if your website is bogged down by content, it will load slowly, and Google will kick it right off the front page of search results. Partnering with an ecommerce website development agency that is right for your business will help you avoid these pitfalls.

6. It hurts your brand image

As customers keep navigating your website and use it to consider products or make purchases, they form an opinion of your business, your customer service, your trustworthiness, and whether or not they want a long-term relationship with your company– all without meeting any person representing your company.

Brand Message

Your website is the best way of reaching out to all your current and potential customers with an organized brand message, especially new offers and products. A website can be designed in such a way as to not only sell the product or services but also to receive feedback about its utility. This would make your website and business appear cohesive and reliable.

Trustworthiness

Small mistakes like using a simple template, or forgetting to put a “Contact Us” section in places a customer would expect it, can make your website look unplanned and untrustworthy without you realizing it. An ecommerce website development agency will help you with its wealth of experience in this regard.

Customer Service

Your website also signals how you will treat your customers. Leads who have come across your page might leave it and go to a competitor instead if you haven’t communicated purchase and return policies clearly, for example. If you pride yourself on your customer service but have not managed to portray that on your website, you may be losing out on a lot of potential customers.

Niche Branding

A good ecommerce website makes clear from the homepage whether the customer will find what they are looking for. This helps you avoid unwanted traffic, so that your traffic-to-conversion rate is higher. Niche design for your industry is possible only through investing in ecommerce website development.

7. Visitors don’t convert into sales

All the considerations mentioned earlier combine to create a website experience that will either convert leads into customers, or drive them away to your competitors. When it comes to ecommerce website development, search engine optimization, and conversions, nothing beats experience. A good ecommerce website lands on the front page for search results, draws the customers onto the homepage, directs them easily and quickly to what they want, keeps them there through attractive design, allows them to get help whenever they need it, and familiarizes them with brand enough so that whenever they are ready to purchase, they choose that website. You have to bear all this in mind when creating an effective website for your company.

A buyer-oriented website is also instrumental in retaining customers. Every ecommerce business knows that retaining customers so that they make multiple purchases is much less costly than creating new buyers from scratch each time. A good website will do all the work of retaining customers for you.

That’s why you need to choose the right partner when creating your website. IdeasUnlimited provides unparalleled ecommerce website development services, with customized packages for your business; depending on the services you need. Our multilingual team can create your website in any major language and industry, no matter how small or large your business is. If, after creating your website, you need a team to manage ecommerce support or ecommerce customer support, our experienced global team can take care of all of your support needs.

SMM International- IU Client Blog Post

Christopher Wick, Social Media Guru and LIVE on WLOX – Leading in a Digital Era!

By | Business Improvement, Customer Service, Ecommerce Support Services, Entrepreneurship, Social Media | No Comments

Looking for a pre-eminent advertising medium for your company? In a sea of options, how do you come down in favor of the best, unrivaled one? In a day and age where our gossips are about the latest video trending on social media and not some inefficacious TV show, the answer certainly comes in approval of use of social media to grow digitally and make money. Social media comes with copious marketing benefits for companies inclined to walk towards the churning internet news cycle.

Social media helps a great deal to reach its target audience at the lowest cost. Consumers can communicate with the company and get their questions answered and also provide feedback. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram are few of the booming social media platforms. The age has come where it’s beyond the bounds of possibility to disjoin social media from the enterprise—thoroughly affecting research, distribution, and how products need to be fashioned in the future.

Low cost is an absolute advantage social media gives us as compared to traditional marketing, which is a bit too exorbitant. Social media helps your business proliferate and build trust with people. Lost cost advance features can be used for promotion of the content.

Online promotion prompts two-way communication. This helps a company to know if its message is being delivered efficaciously. It also lets the company know if the word is going across to the ‘target audience’ or not.

It’s an opportunity to discover what consumers think of the product and share their thoughts. One has to be consistent in excellence in order to gain recognition and make money online.

Consistency is the key!

What makes you stand out? What makes you differently amazing is what the entire digital game is all about. The posts and advertisements are the essence and key ways to bring traffic to your website. Social media propounds an easy and low-cost way to make your audience get intrigued about your content. Lead generation is another edge social media provides for business. Like Christopher Wick, author of best selling e-book Use of Social Media to Grow Business and Make Money says,

“I encourage my clients and people to go try it. You never see the results unless you do it, so do it.” He also says, “Social media marketing is the best way to grow your business since no risks are involved, also no fear of losing capital.”

The 69-page critically acclaimed book gives an insight of Christopher Wick’s understanding of social media and his brilliance in the marketing world to surpass your goals and grow your business. Christopher advises to always get help from an expert or someone who knows about social media more than you do.

Because as simple as marketing through social media seems like, there’s still a lot that can go wrong!

About Award-Winning Speaker & Best-Selling Author, Christopher Wick

Christopher is a seasoned award-winning speaker and informative author. He wrote Amazon’s #1 U.S. and internationally best-selling book, How to Use Social Media to Grow your Business and Make Money”. As founder of SMM International, an international social media marketing firm, Christopher is responsible for consulting with clients to manage their online reputation and internet presence to serve their business objectives for revenue growth, lead generation, and growing the bottom line.

SMM International focuses on managing clients’ social media accounts by posting original content, managing incoming messages, and growing followers.

Call 888-SMM-INTL today to schedule your free social media strategy session!

Christopher is one of IdeasUnlimited’s valued long-term clients. This post appeared originally on his blog.

5 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Make Sales

5 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Make Sales

By | Business Improvement, Customer Service, Marketing Virtual Assistant, Multilingual Support, Social Media, Virtual Assistant Support | 2 Comments

If you want to make sales, then you need a sales virtual assistant to bring these five key factors to your business.

Managing a business may prove to be a daunting task. There are many tasks to handle and countless problems to solve at the same time. You, as a business owner, may initially have the time to handle those issues yourself. But you will eventually have to delegate and divide the work to achieve better results. For this purpose, it is always best to hire a sales virtual assistant.

1. Make Sales from Anywhere

A sales virtual assistant usually works from home. Therefore, you can hire one at a lower cost than that incurred when hiring a full-time office-based employee. You will not have to spend extra money on unnecessary office space either and can pay the virtual assistant at an hourly rate. It also reduces HR-related issues. Most sales virtual assistants who offer their services via platforms such as Upwork (previously oDesk) are quite experienced at their job. They are fast learners who are able to adapt to virtual work environments very quickly. Hence, you will not have to spend extensive amounts of time on expensive training sessions. Besides these obvious advantages, there are also several ways in which a sales virtual assistant can help boost your sales figures.

2. Make Sales with Good Customer Service

Firstly, they can assist you in customer and sales support. You can assign them the task of providing outbound call center services. This way, you will save a lot of time which you can choose to spend on other more important things. Similarly, they can also provide administrative and operational support. If you let a virtual assistant manage company emails, for example, they can highlight the more important leads for you to handle personally. Inbound call center support is also assigned to virtual assistants nowadays since it can easily be conducted remotely.

3. Make Sales in Your Market

Since calls, chats, and emails do not require physical presence, they can be easily conducted from whichever location your virtual assistant is based in. It is better to hire VAs from the region where your sales operations are based. This is because they can understand the local buyers better, such as their language or culture. If a customer feels more comfortable and welcome, they will be more likely to return. A multilingual virtual assistant can help you deal with clients in their own languages, creating brand loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value.

4. Make Sales with Good Research

A sales virtual assistant can also be incredibly helpful in conducting research. Research is a time-consuming process, and a great amount of time is usually spent in vain when digging through hordes of data. Virtual assistants can come in handy here if you are looking to save time. They can further assist you in the process of lead research and generation and data mining. These are an important part of a sales campaign. If the data becomes too extensive at any point, you can hire more than one temporary virtual assistant as well.

5. Make Sales with Social Media

Since virtual assistants are well-versed in all things internet, they can also help you build an impressive online presence for your business. Social media marketing campaigns, for example, would be easy to run with an internet-savvy sales virtual assistant onboard.

Hire competent, trained, and efficient virtual assistants through IdeasUnlimited, a company with over 8 years of experience of providing support services. As soon as you have hired your sales virtual assistant, you will be ready to launch a sales-boosting campaign for your business.

What Facebook’s Changes Mean for Businesses

What Facebook’s Changes Mean for Businesses

By | Business Improvement, Social Media | No Comments

Ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has placed restrictions on partners. This has resulted in businesses not being able to access information such as where photos were tagged and the names of people who commented on Instagram posts. Noah Curran, the CEO of Monkedia, explained to CNBC, “It makes Facebook a better place and when Facebook is a better place it means people care more about the content brands place on the platform.” Because of this renewed focus on privacy, here’s what Facebook’s changes mean for businesses.

Less Access to User Data

CNBC reported that the Facebook said that the changes to Facebook, “disabled certain things users could do through third-party apps, such as RSVPs to events on Facebook and publishing posts to the site.” Businesses’ developers will need to use strong market research to determine what users are doing on Facebook and how to best reach their ideal customer base.

Publisher Changes

“What we’ve done is to down-rank clickbait and down-rank sensationalism, and we’ve given a boost to broadly trusted news sources, or what we define as informative news sources,” Campbell Brown explained to Columbia Journalism Review. This means less clickbait and more quality writing. Companies will have to adjust their content to meet these new analytics.

Users Can Clear History

Facebook is building a tool that allows users to erase their history. Account holders will be able to see what data Facebook has collected from apps and websites and erase that data. According to PCWorld, “Zuckerberg warned users that Facebook ‘won’t be as good’ without that additional data, but at least you’ll have better control over what’s being shared.” This new ‘clear history’ tool could affect what businesses can pull for advertising.

Social media is an ever-changing tool that businesses need to keep an eye on. What Facebook’s changes mean for businesses is that companies will need to learn new ways to harness the power of the social network. Get started by hiring a social media marketing virtual assistant from IdeasUnlimited, Global Support Services Provider, to stay on top of these changes and expand your business reach.