Attorney Internet Marketing | Internet Marketing for Lawyers | PPC | SEO | Web Design | Video

Attorney Internet Marketing | Internet Marketing for Lawyers | PPC | SEO | Web Design | Video

Lawyer Internet Marketing http://www.attorney-marketing-seo.com We put your law firm on page one of Google – guaranteed. PageOneNow provides search engine optimization, pay per click management, and web design services for …

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8 Marketing Success Strategies For Startups

Marketing is usually at the forefront of any entrepreneur’s mind when they are first starting out. They have worked hard to get their amazing new product or service to market, and now it’s time to tell the world about it.

With many entrepreneurs handling marketing themselves at first (often with reasonably limited experience), it can be confusing deciding what strategies you should implement.

With that in mind, here are eight marketing strategies that any startup can use to succeed and survive.

Let’s get started.

Outsource content creation.

While anyone can pound away at a keyboard, it’s not always a good idea that they do. Writing quality, engaging content that entices people to your brand and converts leads into clients is not as easy as it seems.

In fact, it’s hard. Very hard.

Sometimes executives will have a go at content creation, other times they’ll pass it off to their staff. But unless you happen to be a talented writer, your time could be better spent on other tasks. You’ll get much better content by outsourcing to dedicated freelancers or content panels – and it’s reasonably inexpensive.

Produce massive amounts of content.

It’s no secret that Google loves content; they’re almost addicted to the stuff. By churning out regular blog posts, you’re vastly increasing your chances of getting some of that all-important Google love.

However, remember that quality is always better than quantity when it comes to content. As we mentioned in the point above, if you can’t create massive amounts of engaging content that converts either by yourself or in-house, then outsource it.

Prioritize the power of video.

Video marketing used to be a little addition to a sales page that could separate you from your competitors. These days it’s an essential marketing tool that will send your conversion rates through the roof. Research suggests that consumers are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase if they’ve seen a video demonstration.

Micro job sites like Fiverr and People Per Hour are exceptional resources for getting quality content without breaking the bank. You’ll have to spend an hour or so weeding out the low-quality gigs, but there’s gold to be found there.

Delay SEO.

Many entrepreneurs know of SEO and its importance, but very few understand the length of time it can take to see results. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, and unless you get lucky (or garner a huge amount of media attention), you’re not going to see returns on your investment for a while.

When you’re in a bootstrapped startup, you need to make every cent count. You need leads and clients today, not next year.

While there’s no doubt about the long-term effectiveness of a well-run SEO campaign, it’s going to be of no use if your startup fails before the returns start to materialize. Spend your money on more direct marketing channels until you’re confident you’ve got enough runway to see the returns of an SEO campaign.

This being said, you shouldn’t ignore SEO completely. Do whatever you can in-house at first and pay for professionals when you’re more stable.

Invest in PPC marketing.

So what should you do to get traffic from search engines if you’re delaying hard-core SEO until you’re more established? The answer is simple – you pay for it.

PPC campaigns provide you with instant access to highly targeted traffic. It can seem expensive at first (especially in financial industries), but it’s proven its worth time and time again. Google states that, on average, for every $1 you spend on an AdWords campaign, you’ll get $2 in return.

With a well-run campaign, you’re only getting clicks from people who are actively searching for your product or service. Fresh leads don’t get much warmer than this.

Give away stuff to influencers.

If possible, consider reaching out to social media influencers in your niche and send them a free sample of whatever your product or service is.

In return, they’ll hopefully share their experience on social media and give your brand potentially huge amounts of highly targeted exposure. Don’t skimp on the product you send them, give them the “premium package” of whatever it is you’re selling. The cost value of your product or service will often be minuscule compared to the value of the exposure you’ll receive.

Host a competition.

It’s not just influencers that love free stuff, everyone loves free stuff. By running a competition, you’re going to be able to engage with your customer base, and ideally, have them share your content, too. Providing the strategy is executed properly, it’s rocket fuel for exposure and brand awareness.

This has been done by many brands with great success, and you don’t need to spend huge amounts on the prize either. Dove ran a campaign based on pure emotion that resonated with their audience and the prize was to be featured on their website.

Build a list.

Email marketing was one of the first ways brands connected with new and existing clients on the internet, and it’s still going strong. It’s astonishing how many startups overlook email marketing as part of their overall strategy and stick with Twitter and Facebook. Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers compared to social media. You’re six times more likely to get a click to your site from an email compared to a tweet.

By building a list, you’re getting express permission to market to people who are interested in your brand (or who have already made a purchase). Sign up for a service like MailChimp or Aweber and the entire list process is taken care of for you.

Conclusion

By using one or more of the eight tips above, you’re giving your startup the best possible chance to not only survive the early years but to thrive.

Good luck. You’ll need it.

Top 3 Ways Machine Learning Will Create Jobs

This new technology will only expand the possibilities of what entrepreneurs can do.

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So Far, So Great! 16.9% Increase in Spending as Holiday Shopping Season Begins

Black Friday Marks Good Start to the 2017 Holiday Shopping SeasonBlack Friday has traditionally been considered the start of the holiday shopping season. So the amount that consumers spend over Thanksgiving weekend can be a major indicator of how the rest of the season will go.

Good Start to the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

And that’s good news for retailers this year. According to data from Adobe Digital Insights, U.S. consumers spent a record $5 billion on Black Friday this year, up 16.9 percent from last year. Of course, much of that shopping was done online. But in a time when experts have been predicting the death of traditional retail, record sales come as great news to retail businesses.

And Black Friday isn’t the only day that consumers tend to shop early in the holiday season. But sales are up even when you factor in a larger time period.

A study from Rakuten Marketing found that there was a 21 percent year-over-year revenue growth in online retail sales this year in the three-day period from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Black Friday. The study also found increases in purchase growth and average order value, signaling that shoppers are buying more items and spending more on the items they do buy.

While it’s impossible to predict exactly what the final sales numbers will be at the end of the holiday season, experts seem to agree that shoppers will spend at least as much as they have in the past. And some shoppers, particularly young people, could spend even more than expected. In fact, a survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics found that 46 percent of shoppers ages 18 to 24 plan on spending more on holiday gifts this year than they did last year.

So while the holiday shopping season is just getting started, it looks like retailers can expect sales to continue rolling in, potentially in record numbers.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “So Far, So Great! 16.9% Increase in Spending as Holiday Shopping Season Begins” was first published on Small Business Trends

Four Ways to Grow Your Business in 2018 with Online Video

2018 is around the corner. As an entrepreneur, have you examined your business strategies? In order to really succeed with an online business, there are a few areas to solidify and master. Your business needs a form of monetization, a strategy for delivering valuable content to an audience and adaptability. What worked for online businesses back in 2014 is different from what will work in 2018. Sure, there are certain principles that matter (work ethic, dedication, etc.), but embrace change. A prime example involves video. Video content is in demand, and people will want more of it in 2018. 

To many, this fact is common knowledge. However, many entrepreneurs struggle to figure out content creation strategies within their existing business model. Smartphones, tablets and social media are dominating the market. As a result, more people are accessing the internet and will want online video in abundance. Because of this demand, your business must focus on creating video content that’s captivating. 

If you’re already feeling like you’re behind everyone else, don’t worry. You can start implementing strategies now. In fact, we’re going to help you get the ball rolling by looking at four ways you can utilize the power of online video in 2018. We’ll also review some of the best tools and resources to get it all done. 

1. Create an online video course.

If you think this option doesn’t apply to your business, think again. It truly doesn’t matter what type of business you have. It’s so important to use video as a means of communicating with your customers and audience. Using an online video course is beneficial in many ways. It gives your audience content they can consume. It also tracks their progress through the use of PDF files. 

Yes, there are many different solutions and applications you can use to create a high-quality online video course. There is one particular platform, Kajabi, with an incredible drag-and-drop interface. You can easily record videos from any mobile device or your computer. To take it a step further, you can create video screen recordings from your computer. Once you complete the process of recording a few videos, you can easily bundle them together and post them to your website as an online course.

You could also consider creating a membership site just for the material. 

2. Utilize online video creation tools. 

There are two factors that are revolutionizing how content creation and sharing happen: software and automation. Take a look at WordPress. It combined the process of creating a website and/or a blog and made it a lot easier for brands to innovate. Many brands are implementing similar concepts to their video platforms. When you’re creating a video that’ll help you connect with your audience in a deeper way, video creation tools and simplification are extremely helpful. Unfortunately, there are too many business owners and internet marketers who just don’t have these skills. 

Take the example of mysimpleshow. The creators of this online video creation tool have put this application on the map because of its drag-and-drop interface. It’s easy to create whiteboard and explanation videos. This process can happen within minutes. Entrepreneurs who are technologically challenged can breathe easier knowing that they don’t need video design or technical skills to make things happen. Furthermore, there’s no need for a graphic designer or vocal talent to record narration. All the services are offered within the in-browser solutions. You can also customize any features to your own personal preference. 

If you’re wondering about whiteboard and explainer videos, know that they are quickly becoming the standout options for increasing conversions on landing pages. They’re also excellent for bringing personal and commercial stories to life. This one facet will really help with the brand-to-user experience. 

3. Host your very own live webinar. 

There are tons of ways to consume online video content. Rather than sticking to one method, it’s best to explore and try other options. One such option – and an excellent way of increasing engagement from viewers – is conducting a live webinar.

Clickmeeting is a dynamic platform for entrepreneurs who desire to run a webinar and still engage with a live audience. Forget about asking your audience to download and install webinar software. Throw the idea out the window of being able to engage with an audience who has to sit and stare at slides for 30 minutes. People want to watch you as the host. They want to ask you questions and get information. They want to put in their two cents (i.e., chats, polls and surveys) and see the results in real time. Webinars can work for any brand or business. At the core, a live webinar is about developing trust and gaining a better relationship with your audience. When this happens, your audience becomes your loyal tribe. 

4. Start a YouTube channel. 

It’s no secret that YouTube is owned by Google. According to Alexa.com, Google is the most visited website in the world. With Google owning YouTube, the video platform easily stands in second place. As the largest video search engine in the world, many people might be hesitant to create a channel because of the sheer number of other people and businesses with channels. What many fail to realize, however, is that there are millions of people who don’t have a channel. Whether you’re a business, individual or brand, you absolutely should start using this platform, because it really is one of the best social and community platforms on the market. 

There are a few reasons why you should leap into the world of YouTube. First, it will help you build a large brand. Second, targeting a YouTube audience is easier and faster than garnering attention from other social platforms, email lists and search results. When a person comes to YouTube, they come with the sole intent to watch video content. Plus, the fact that Google owns YouTube provides an additional bonus since there’s naturally a ton of traffic the website receives. This bonus will allow you to attract lots of free traffic and exposure to your videos as well as other content on other platforms. 

How to make the most of online video in 2018 

It’s clear that some of the most dynamic methods in building a strong business or brand online involve the use of online video content. To prepare for 2018, you’ll want to get started right now. Too many people are apprehensive because they’re camera shy. However, getting in front of the camera isn’t necessarily essential. Thanks to animated videos, screencast videos and videos where you record your voice, you don’t have to put your face out there. As long as you are consistent with your content and provide value to your audience, your brand will grow. 

Video isn’t going anywhere. It’s only going to continue growing as the main portal for content. On the other hand, desktop usage is declining. Don’t forgo the benefits of online video content and what it can do for your business. Further, remember that your competitors know how dynamic video content is and will use it to zoom past you. Jump on the bandwagon now, dominate the competition, and grow your business in 2018.

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Will E-Commerce Benefit from Machine Learning or Face a New Threat?

The e-commerce revolution was built on the back of digital advances and automation, but is the next generation of machine learning and AI friend or foe?

Machine learning is the method today’s systems use to learn about you and the fundamental things that make you who you are. It looks beyond generalizations and characterizations on your age or gender and realizes that you’re a huge fan of cartoon dogs and emojis, but only the ones that have the same hair as you.

In the e-commerce space, machine learning is being used to slowly learn what customers prefer and how they want to see information to get them to make a purchase. It tests and adapts, using new options and information to slowly refine the best way to reach your customers.

It’s an amazing tool with plenty of opportunities, but hiding within that potential are some risks if you’re not paying attention. Let’s look at what can help or hurt.

Intuitive Search and Display

One of the more exciting applications of machine learning is going to be the ability for you to search for the things you want and need. Right now, to find a product on an e-commerce store, you have to search for it using the words you prefer and the e-commerce store owner must hope they used the same words for the search results to match what you want and what they offer.

Machine learning cranks that up by providing support for a broader set of synonyms at the most basic level. Smart machine learning looks for synonyms in the nouns you provide as well as similar phrases people use for the same type of problem. A leaking faucet and a dripping sink should pull the same results, but they don’t always in today’s search.

The extra layer that machine learning adds on top of all this comes from its capability to learn your site and metrics. So, smarter search engines can prioritize click rates and existing conversions, put products with higher customer ratings at the top, or even restrict results based on what’s currently in stock.

It’s possible to deliver dynamically different page content using search results and even display items and containers, from ads to sections on what customers also liked, based on each individual customer. The downside, or potential threat to your business, is that systems that are not closely monitored could limit the display of some products and search results.

If you let your system fine-tune continually without checking, it could stop promoting a product that isn’t selling, and the continued lack of sales would push any promotions or links down even further. Don’t let a runaway search hide any products.

The Potential of Chatbots

Recall any of the times you’ve recently had to call your bank, credit agency, or someone’s whose robot voice told you to pay attention because the menu options may have changed. On the Internet, whether it’s your e-commerce product pages, FAQs, carts, or any other location customer’s visit, you can ensure your customers never have to go through that frustration thanks to smart chatbots.

By understanding unstructured data — answers to questions like “how was your day?” instead of “what’s ten minus two?” — chatbots are now able to provide a realistic conversation that doesn’t feel fake or frustrate people with non-answers. Your customer service representative can now answer questions 24/7 with a wide range of data thanks to smart chatbots.

Chatbots mean small and mid-sized companies can provide round-the-clock support without needing to pay someone those hours. Machine learning comes into play because it allows a chatbot to be programmed with general information and respond to customer queries. As it interacts with more people, machine learning will enable your chatbot to learn the specifics of your online store and service.

Initially, chatbots can empower you to direct customers to basic information like shipping options, colors, size charts, and other formulaic options. Eventually, as you employ more sophisticated machine learning, you can have chatbots that identify potential upsells, ask customers questions to deliver coupons, or address long-term needs of your customers.

Unless you work in customer service, it’s hard to imagine chatbots being a threat. The tricky issue here is the system that learns your customers and their preferences. A significant amount of chatbots come from third-party services and they may be collecting or using some of your customer data for the purpose of answering questions or generating social media posts automatically.

Make agreements airtight when it comes to how data can be used and ensure that it is anonymized, or you may have upset customers who realize that they got an email for a service or one that includes their address after they’ve been on your site.

Pricing and AB Testing

Beyond chatbots, machine learning creates opportunities for a variety of virtual buying assistances that can do anything from email you when airfare drops below a certain price or reminds you to re-order your water filter every 30 days. E-commerce brands can take this data review a step further to look for opportunities such as coupons to drive down prices to a certain point or for savings ahead of a specific holiday or holiday season where your goods are purchased in order to encourage increased spending this year.

If I know that you buy t-shirts online when you can get two for under $25, I can send you a deal that gets shirts to that threshold right now. And next month, I can try with an offer that gets the price down to $27 and see if you’ll bite.

Machine learning removes a lot of the guesswork and manual labor required to identify those thresholds and send offers accordingly. Using profiles and purchasing habit data, systems can teach themselves to create a potential sale that meets a variety of threshold criteria around margins, existing inventory, and repeat business.

Higher levels of personalization require more customer avatars or marketing personas and ultimately this could be a large set that because it is hard to generalize new customers. So, there’s a need to balance cost ranges on products as well as how long an offer lasts. Customers may be upset if they see one price, don’t immediately click and then cannot find the reduced price again.

Value-Adds: Fulfillment Improvements

Machine learning has a significant potential to provide customers with something a little extra. We believe that shipping often makes the biggest difference and machine learning can not only determine preferred shipping options but test when a free bump to something faster will increase your sales.

Plus, smart systems can use your existing data to ensure that those promises match inventory levels and shipping time based on what your suppliers or distributors can match. You also have the opportunity to build in scarcity and promote sales — you might’ve seen something like this when an e-commerce giant says that if you order in the next 20 minutes you can get it tomorrow.

Bots also can provide consistent updates on package status and do trend analysis to help show the commerce brand when those messages are received, desired, and effective.

The true value-add of machine learning is that it can prevent over-promising and ensure you’re working on what best delivers an improvement for your website and the shopping experience you offer. Smart use of data and machine learning can improve your operations at every point of delivery, from when customers arrive and search your site to prompting them for purchase decisions and following up with reliable service and information.

Implementing Machine Learning in Your e-commerce Offerings

Now that you’ve seen the possibilities of machine learning, you’re ready to sign up and get it rolling for your company. Great! That’s the easy part. Adding it to your site is the hard part. There’s a lot to learn and review so that you can make your products, services, and site smarter.

Your IT team or partner will need a few things to get started on a machine learning implementation for you:

  1. A database or access to your existing database where the end-application can access the information it needs to know about your brand.
  2. The programming language, which can impact which services and partners are available based on their API.
  3. A description of the algorithm you want that is as complete as possible, including the problems or needs you want addressed.
  4. Examples of services or elements that you liked or operated similarly to what you want so your developer has a yardstick for comparison.
  5. The size of your audience. For example, if you need to work with a large set of customers or are planning a distributed application, you’ll most likely end up with a Hadoop ecosystem, while smaller sets of data and uses can rely on Java and C++ for the machine learning engine.

Creating a list of definitions, goals, needs, and uses will help you build a plan to bring to a developer or to give to your internal team to figure out next steps.

The good news in all that is more and more companies are lowering the bar to entry thanks to APIs you can start using immediately. So, there’s a chance someone has put together a package that you can use to achieve the results you want.

For example, Google offers a Mobile Vision API that allows an Android app to use the device’s camera to scan barcodes, recognize text, and detect faces as well as basic emotions or attributes.

There are also a variety of machine learning programs that have broader uses and you can define them as you go. Choosing an engine that operates like a decision tree will support A/B testing because you can feed it the ads or emails you’re using, information about the interactions or audience, and what you consider successful or unsuccessful results.

In this use case, an engine that works like a decision tree will eventually be able to learn what ads get people to click. By varying the coupon in your ad, for example, it can learn what dollar amounts or percentage off deals are more likely to lead to a complete sale. Eventually, you can use it to learn which deals are most likely to generate the highest relative sales value, and the engine can be used to set parameters for your marketing campaigns while adjusting coupons based on real-time results.

That’s a long road, but it is doable with technology available to you today.

Start with Chatbots and a Smart Partner

If you want to wade into machine learning slowly, we’d recommend you begin with chat options on your website because there are a variety of existing projects you can build on for a more immediate turnaround.

Head over to GitHub and you can find a host of chat bot engines that you can quickly power up and train. Training data is also available for free and purchase in order to assist you. Use a training walkthrough to see how you can generate responses based on what are essentially collections of known word strings and conversations.

By using or purchasing training and a language basis, you can have someone program the chatbot to answer common questions and then slowly begin to learn more about your customers. Your team or your development partner can also provide the chatbot with information on what to share and promote.

Chatbots with a machine learning basis are written in languages like Python so you’ll be hiring someone to help you unless you’re familiar with the language and code. Your professional partner will also be able to make recommendations on technologies like Google’s TensorFlow, which is useful if you’re building from scratch.

Today’s data world involves a variety of complex systems, and machine learning is one possible catalyst that will propel some e-commerce brands farther into the technology realm than they initially expected, while boosting their profitability too.
Realizing your potential will boil down to choosing the right technology and the right partner or team.

 

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

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About the Author: Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

8 Marketing Success Strategies For Startups

Marketing is usually at the forefront of any entrepreneur’s mind when they are first starting out. They have worked hard to get their amazing new product or service to market, and now it’s time to tell the world about it.

With many entrepreneurs handling marketing themselves at first (often with reasonably limited experience), it can be confusing deciding what strategies you should implement.

With that in mind, here are eight marketing strategies that any startup can use to succeed and survive.

Let’s get started.

Outsource content creation.

While anyone can pound away at a keyboard, it’s not always a good idea that they do. Writing quality, engaging content that entices people to your brand and converts leads into clients is not as easy as it seems.

In fact, it’s hard. Very hard.

Sometimes executives will have a go at content creation, other times they’ll pass it off to their staff. But unless you happen to be a talented writer, your time could be better spent on other tasks. You’ll get much better content by outsourcing to dedicated freelancers or content panels – and it’s reasonably inexpensive.

Produce massive amounts of content.

It’s no secret that Google loves content; they’re almost addicted to the stuff. By churning out regular blog posts, you’re vastly increasing your chances of getting some of that all-important Google love.

However, remember that quality is always better than quantity when it comes to content. As we mentioned in the point above, if you can’t create massive amounts of engaging content that converts either by yourself or in-house, then outsource it.

Prioritize the power of video.

Video marketing used to be a little addition to a sales page that could separate you from your competitors. These days it’s an essential marketing tool that will send your conversion rates through the roof. Research suggests that consumers are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase if they’ve seen a video demonstration.

Micro job sites like Fiverr and People Per Hour are exceptional resources for getting quality content without breaking the bank. You’ll have to spend an hour or so weeding out the low-quality gigs, but there’s gold to be found there.

Delay SEO.

Many entrepreneurs know of SEO and its importance, but very few understand the length of time it can take to see results. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, and unless you get lucky (or garner a huge amount of media attention), you’re not going to see returns on your investment for a while.

When you’re in a bootstrapped startup, you need to make every cent count. You need leads and clients today, not next year.

While there’s no doubt about the long-term effectiveness of a well-run SEO campaign, it’s going to be of no use if your startup fails before the returns start to materialize. Spend your money on more direct marketing channels until you’re confident you’ve got enough runway to see the returns of an SEO campaign.

This being said, you shouldn’t ignore SEO completely. Do whatever you can in-house at first and pay for professionals when you’re more stable.

Invest in PPC marketing.

So what should you do to get traffic from search engines if you’re delaying hard-core SEO until you’re more established? The answer is simple – you pay for it.

PPC campaigns provide you with instant access to highly targeted traffic. It can seem expensive at first (especially in financial industries), but it’s proven its worth time and time again. Google states that, on average, for every $1 you spend on an AdWords campaign, you’ll get $2 in return.

With a well-run campaign, you’re only getting clicks from people who are actively searching for your product or service. Fresh leads don’t get much warmer than this.

Give away stuff to influencers.

If possible, consider reaching out to social media influencers in your niche and send them a free sample of whatever your product or service is.

In return, they’ll hopefully share their experience on social media and give your brand potentially huge amounts of highly targeted exposure. Don’t skimp on the product you send them, give them the “premium package” of whatever it is you’re selling. The cost value of your product or service will often be minuscule compared to the value of the exposure you’ll receive.

Host a competition.

It’s not just influencers that love free stuff, everyone loves free stuff. By running a competition, you’re going to be able to engage with your customer base, and ideally, have them share your content, too. Providing the strategy is executed properly, it’s rocket fuel for exposure and brand awareness.

This has been done by many brands with great success, and you don’t need to spend huge amounts on the prize either. Dove ran a campaign based on pure emotion that resonated with their audience and the prize was to be featured on their website.

Build a list.

Email marketing was one of the first ways brands connected with new and existing clients on the internet, and it’s still going strong. It’s astonishing how many startups overlook email marketing as part of their overall strategy and stick with Twitter and Facebook. Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers compared to social media. You’re six times more likely to get a click to your site from an email compared to a tweet.

By building a list, you’re getting express permission to market to people who are interested in your brand (or who have already made a purchase). Sign up for a service like MailChimp or Aweber and the entire list process is taken care of for you.

Conclusion

By using one or more of the eight tips above, you’re giving your startup the best possible chance to not only survive the early years but to thrive.

Good luck. You’ll need it.

Demolition Robots Are Transforming Construction

Demolition robots, like those made by Husqvarna, are one of the surest signs that technology is making its way into construction, an industry long recognized for being slow to adopt new ways of working. There is no doubt that robots are being welcomed with open arms. After all, demolition is tough work – it’s time-consuming and can be quite dangerous – and jam-packed build schedules and tight locations can make it even tougher to get the job done.  

Power: Controlled from a distance 

“The most exciting way that demolition robots can assist human workers on the job site is through safety,” said Graham Leslie, director at JBKLabs, which specializes in technology solutions for the construction industry. Leslie pointed out that demolition work is often required in extremely compact areas, hindered by tight stairwells, low ceilings and floor debris. These areas are especially challenging for humans to work in.  

“Demolition robots typically have a relatively small core structure because they don’t require the cabin or protection for a human operator,” Leslie said. “That small core allows them to navigate into spaces previously inaccessible to mechanized equipment and allow humans to operate the robots through tight spaces and over uneven debris from a safe distance.”

Must-have demolition robot features 

The key features of a robot determine what the machine can do and what size of spaces it can fit into. You’ll want to make sure your robot is compact and robust and comes with a variety of attachments for maximum breakage capability.  

  • Power: As with any machine, efficiency and power count. Demolition robots are often categorized by their hitting or breaking power; small size is only attractive if it can do the job. 
  • Size: Consider the height and width of the robots you’re evaluating, and compare them to the size of the spaces you typically work within. How compact of a machine do you require? Consider your needs not only for maneuverability, but also for operator visibility.  
  • Attachments: How far can the robot’s arms reach, and what is its turning capability? What attachment options and accessories does it have that allow you to work within different environments and tackle a variety of needs? 

Before you buy: Things to consider 

Demolition robots can typically be leased or purchased. Leasing may be attractive for a variety of reasons, such as the ability to choose the appropriate robot for your specific projects and to share a lease with multiple business partners. If you’re looking to buy, be prepared to invest upward of $100,000 per robot. 
 
Before you make that level of investment, ask the right questions, especially if this is your first robot. Here are a few things to consider. 

  • Reputation and knowledge: You’ll want to make sure you’re investing in the right machine size for the majority of your jobs. Look for a vendor who can guide you and who has a solid reputation in the industry for their technical expertise.  
  • Assistance: What happens if something goes wrong? How many parts does the vendor typically keep in stock, and is there a help line to call if you’re in a pinch?  
  • Maintenance: What are the maintenance requirements, and what does that look like from a logistics perspective?  
  • Ease of use: Don’t invest in a machine without a demo, and be observant – are the tools and controls intuitive? Talk to other owners about what they think too. 
  • Attachments: What attachments for additional functions are available, and how can you customize the machine for your needs? 

Don’t forget the basics 

Some planning needs come down to what’s basic but necessary. Lars Lindgren, president of Brokk Inc., reminds clients to remember their power source as they plan for their demolition robot. 
 
“Electric machines need a power supply, and in most commercial applications, 480-volt is not available, so the customer must have either a diesel generator or a transformer that can step up 208 to 240 volts of ample amperage,” Lindgren said.  
 
He also stressed having “good power cords. The most important thing is the power cord management. Keep good power to the machine and there are very few problems.”  
 
Finally – and this is a big one – you must invest in training. 

Lindgren can’t stress this enough: “The most successful companies have highly trained and dedicated operators that have stayed with them for years. A good operator is the best investment a company can do after the machine. A good operator will both ensure that the job is done right and profitably, and keep maintenance and repair costs to a minimum.” 

 

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Why Websites with Simple Designs Have Higher Conversion Rates

Typically, when companies look to improve their conversion rates, they focus on their CTA buttons or value propositions.

Businesses also like to A/B test certain elements of their pages to see which versions convert the best.

Don’t get me wrong: these are all valid ways to improve conversions.

But something that’s sometimes overlooked is the simplicity of the website.

Far too often I see websites try to jam too much information into a very small space.

The navigation is confusing, and it’s overwhelming for anyone viewing the site.

If this is starting to sound like the layout of your website, it could be the reason why your conversion rates are unsatisfactory.

Even if you don’t think your design is too cluttered, there’s always room for improvement.

A slight rise in conversions could mean a significant increase in your annual revenue.

Below, I outline some reasons why simplicity can optimize your conversion rates.

You’ll learn some proven strategies that focus website visitors on your CTA and any other element of your site you want to emphasize.

It’s time to clean up the clutter and simplify the layout of your pages.

Here’s why modest designs have the highest performing conversions.

They have faster loading times

If you have too much going on all over your website, it will take longer to load.

Don’t think it’s a big deal?

Think again.

When a web page takes longer than 4 seconds to load, the bounce rate increases by 100%.

Once your site hits the 8 second mark for loading time, the bounce rate jumps to 150%.

If you can speed up the load time, your bounce rate will improve as well.

image1 2

Think about how much potential you’re missing out on over a couple of seconds.

Getting your page to load in less than 4 seconds should be your goal.

To accomplish this, you have to get rid of unnecessary elements on each page.

This is especially true for ecommerce websites.

Why?

Take a look at how speed effects shopping cart abandonment:

image5 2

According to survey respondents, four of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment were related to the speed of the website.

What elements can you remove to get your page to load faster?

  • Complex images
  • Extra features
  • Added options
  • Unnecessary text

Those are just a few places to start.

Visuals are definitely an important feature to have on your website. Just don’t go overboard with them.

Simplify the photos so the images are smaller and can load faster.

The CTA is clear and obvious 

When your pages have simple layouts, you have more control over what visitors see.

If the site is too cluttered, your CTA button may be obscured.

You don’t want people to be confused about whatever action you want them to take.

Some examples of CTAs:

  • join an email subscription list
  • download an ebook
  • sign up for a service
  • make a purchase
  • enter personal information

Basically, whatever your CTA is, it needs to be the clearest item on the page.

Here’s a great example from Unbounce:

image12

Notice how open and free of clutter the page is.

There are no complicated images or visuals to distract the user.

The text is minimal, and it explains exactly what their company does.

Now the user can focus on the CTA because the options are so limited.

The site visitor can:

  • start a free trial
  • explore the platform

Sure, there is a menu that visitors can navigate through as well. But based on the design, it’s clearly not made to be the primary focus.

Their menu at the top of the screen has the smallest text on the page.

If Unbounce tried to jam a detailed description of each section of their menu, the page would be too overwhelming.

So they did the right thing here by keeping it simple.

I use this same strategy on my own website as well.

image4 2

When someone visits my page, their eyes are immediately drawn to my different CTA buttons.

There’s nothing else to distract them.

If you’re looking for help to find out what users see when they’re looking at your page, try using a service such as Crazy Egg.

You can analyze a heat map that shows what visitors’ eyes get drawn to when they’re viewing your website.

This is really helpful in terms of CTA placement when you’re simplifying your design.

It’s easier for visitors to skim through your page

People aren’t going to read all the content on your page.

It can be disappointing because I know what it’s like to put much hard work, time, and effort into every word on a website.

But that’s the reality.

Break up the content on your page to make it easier for visitors to scan it.

If you’re writing in long paragraphs without any breaks, it’s going to be difficult to get your message across to the audience.

Here are some tips to break up content and make it easier for visitors to scan through your page:

  • use short sentences
  • keep paragraphs between 1-3 lines
  • insert visuals
  • include numbered lists
  • use bullet points

Take a look at how visuals are used to accomplish this goal:

image11

The most common types of visuals to break up content are:

  1. infographics
  2. stock photos
  3. videos
  4. charts and data visualizations
  5. GIFs and memes

Take this into consideration when you’re deciding what to include on your page.

Stick to the suggestions at the top of this list.

When you get down to GIFs, complex images like that can slow down your loading time.

Keep it simple with some relevant infographics and photos.

Navigation is simple

Simple navigation piggybacks on my last point.

Let’s go through an example to illustrate what I mean.

Here’s the homepage for Square:

image9 1

It’s super clean and easy to read.

If a visitor wants to get started, they can simply select the size and type of their business.

There’s nothing confusing about this navigation because the options are narrow.

The CTA is clear: “Sign Up With Square.”

When someone visiting the website wants to learn more, their options are limited, so they are forced to scroll.

image3 2

As you continue to navigate down the homepage, you learn more information about the product.

Look at how the screenshot above reflects the points I talked about earlier.

  • No complex images
  • Minimal text
  • Short paragraphs
  • Bullet points

From here, the user has no other option but to continue scrolling.

image7 2

Now they have even more information about the product, and there’s a CTA button in this section as well.

There’s no messy sidebar or confusing menu.

It’s so easy for the visitor to navigate that it’s impossible for them to get lost.

This also impacts the page loading time.

Each time a user has to click on a new page to find more information, you risk having an issue with loading, which, as we saw earlier, will negatively impact your bounce rate.

But Square eliminates that problem but putting all the information on the homepage.

image6 2

Once you get to the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a much larger menu on the footer.

Can you imagine if this was the first thing you saw at the very top of the page?

You’d be so overwhelmed that you’d have no idea where to get started.

There are nearly 40 options to choose from.

It’s fine at the footer because at this point the user already has an idea of what they’re looking for.

But I know you’ve been to websites that have menus like this at the top of their pages.

Bad idea.

If your website looks like this right now, you need to simplify it right away if you want to improve your conversion rates.

You’ll have fewer problems designing the website and fixing bugs

If you’ve been running a website for any length of time now, you know that bugs and minor issues are bound to happen.

It’s inevitable.

The key is being able to identify those problems and get them fixed right away.

Here are some of the most common types of problems with a website:

image2 2

All of these can negatively impact your conversion rates.

If your site is too cluttered, it’s hard to keep the page code organized.

Anytime you need to make an update, it becomes a complicated process.

There’s just too much room for error.

Having a simple design will make it easier for you to code, build, update, and edit the site.

It’s less expensive for your web hosting services

How much does it cost you to host your website?

If your site is complex, you’ll need extra storage space.

Prices vary from platform to platform, but here’s an example from SiteGround’s web hosting plans:

image10 1

There’s a 300% price increase between 10 GB of web space and 30 GB of storage space.

I realize the price points also come with other upgrade features, but from a storage standpoint, it’s going to be cheaper for you if the page design is simple.

You can put the money you’re saving towards another aspect of your business.

That money can help you from a marketing perspective to generate new leads and eventually increase conversions.

Visitors will think your site is more trustworthy

Have you ever been on a website and thought it didn’t seem legitimate?

I have.

It’s a weird feeling getting instantly worried about cyber security.

You don’t want your website visitors to get this feeling when they’re navigating your site.

Having too much clutter can make it seem like you’re trying to hide something, even if that’s not the case.

Having images and advertisements everywhere feels too salesy.

Even if you’re selling something, you don’t want to come off like you’re trying to force it down the user’s throat.

Earlier we discussed some reasons for shopping cart abandonment as it relates to the speed of your site.

This graph explains that trust also impacts conversions on your page:

image8 2

For an ecommerce store, this could be a deadly mistake.

The customer wants your product or services, but they are hesitant to complete the purchase because they don’t think their credit card information is secure.

They’ll just go to another website where they feel safe and make the purchase from your competition instead.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to improve the conversion rates on your website, take a look at the design of your pages.

Those of you who have too much clutter overwhelm your visitors.

Go back to the drawing board.

Simplicity needs to be your goal.

Simple designs help your pages load faster, reducing your bounce rates.

Without distractions on the page, your CTA button will be clear and obvious.

Users won’t have to search for it to take the action you want them to take.

Modest designs also make it easier for people to skim through your content.

This is beneficial for you because you’ll have complete control over what their eyes see on the screen.

Limit their options, and make your points stand out.

A simple website design is also less expensive for you to host.

You can put that extra money towards another marketing campaign that improves conversions.

Simple websites also help you establish more trust with the visitors.

If your design is too complex or sketchy, you’ll have trouble getting conversions.

What elements of your website do you plan on eliminating to cut down the clutter?

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