Inbound-Marketing

Inbound Marketing: A Cost Effective Way for Small Businesses

Marketing strategies, techniques, trends and methods have changed rapidly and for the better over years. These changes have expanded the horizon of inventions in this space and has strengthened the customer-brand relationship.

While deriving the term ‘marketing’ from a Latin word ‘ mercatus’ nobody knew that this strategy would be so important for every brand as it is today. Dating back to the1900s, promotions happened mainly in form of pamphlets, display and announcements. These methods were used to create awareness about particular events happening in towns or for introduction of new commercial goods like fruits, vegetables, beauty products and so on. Marketing can be divided into several types but if broadly classified it is mainly of two types – Outbound and Inbound.

What is Outbound Marketing?

If observed closely it includes all forms of traditional tactics  namely; print ads, television, radio, newspaper, trade shows or exhibitions, direct mails amongst others. Analytics project the efficiency of outbound marketing to be limited to certain set of audiences and is not technologically savvy. Here a lot of assumptions are relied on.

  • Audience are based on a wide spectrum of profiling. Thus X amount of money spent here, doesn’t boost conversions as expected or to the mark.
  • As outbound is mainly traditional, it doesn’t include the new forms of technology platforms like social media, digital, mobile and so on into its radar. Hence, leaving behind a major chunk of audience who undoubtedly are the future.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing also largely known as content marketing involves everything that ‘outbound’ effortlessly looks over –

  • Blogs
  • Social media channels
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Email
  • Webinars
  • Infographics

It rightly focuses on the new age media and promotion mediums where the profiled audience spend most of their time today. Unlike outbound, it doesn’t ask for attention aggressively. It is carefully segmented and targeted. It awaits to be found by its audience to offer valuable inputs and insights in exchange. In simple words, it is a source of free traffic.

inbound-marketing-graphic

Benefits

By incorporating inbound marketing, small business can:

Reach Relevant Audiences

Displaying huge billboards and distributing ads in public dailies will not be as effective as online ads. This is because your audience viewing billboards would not be targeted intentionally whereas, your targets would be active on some social media sites. With micro targeting, you can reach out to specific audiences who can understand your brand and your valued offerings.

Save Huge chunk of Money

One half page print ad can cost you a fortune and now just imagine getting your product out in the market in every daily possible! You can turn the tables around and earn a fortune by just including this strategy in your promotional plan. Though it takes more effort than simply buying a newspaper ad, its per lead costs run way lower than traditional marketing.

Increase Search Organically

In order to get listed on Google’s first page, coming up with relevant and fresh content is a must. When you produce search optimized content on regular basis and receive social media attention, your ranking will shoot up. Choosing apt keywords is crucial.

Prompt Business Decisions & Actions

Using inbound you will get quick and on the spot insights of how your online or digital campaign is performing. Depending on these results as the owner of your business you can take prompt actions to change or enhance your campaign for better business.

Build Loyal Customers

People will like, share and purchase your products or services if you interact with them constantly by putting new products, offers, coupons, discounts and providing exceptional customer services. Time and again it has been proven that customers who are linked to your social media handles are more likely to be loyal. Denote the above as benefits or hacks to increase business, inbound marketing is the type to opt for. You might be the owner of a small, medium or large business, these benefits apply successfully to all.

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The Importance & Advantages of SSL Certificates.

SSL Certified?

As a man who works 24/7 within a web based industry I have come across many customers who ask “Why do I need SSL? What will it do for me?” This is an important question for anyone involved in the web to understand. SSL is the backbone of our secure Internet and it protects your sensitive information as it travels. It keeps the haters and criminals at bay and provides many direct benefits to you and especially your customers.

Firstly,

What is SSL?

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and is a form of security for sites that handle sensitive information such as customer names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers. It creates a secure connection between a customer’s web browser and the server of the company they’re interacting with. SSL is essential for any site that sells goods or services as it ensures that all information handled stays private and secure.

What Are the Benefits of SSL?

Encrypts Information

The major purpose of an SSL certificate is to encrypt information so that it can only be read and understood by the intended parties. Information submitted on Internet forms often passes through more than one computer before reaching its final destination, and the more “stops” it has to make, the higher the chance that a third party could obtain access. An SSL certificate inserts random characters into the original information, rendering it incomprehensible to anyone without the proper encryption key. If the information does somehow wind up in the wrong hands, it will be unreadable and therefore useless.

Customers visiting your site will know that you have encryption in place in several ways. The most recognizable is the replacement of the “http” protocol with “https“. This shows that a page is secure and is backed up by another visual cue: a lock image somewhere in the browser’s status or location bar. Today’s savvy online shoppers know to look for these things before making any online purchases, and trust me, the stats show you that not having it can be dire.

We’ll take Google.ca as an example of SSL certified site. Here are the extra information you can have on a site that owns an SSL certificate:

You can also see the details of the SSL certificate:

Provides Authentication

You want to be sure that the information on your website, including customer information, goes to the correct server without being intercepted. When obtaining an SSL certificate, another type of protection called a server certificate is also issued. This certificate acts as a mediator between browsers and SSL servers to show that the SSL certificate provider can be trusted. Customers can view these documents to validate that the SSL certificate of your site is up to date and that the page they’re about to enter information on is really yours and not an imitation.

Necessary for Accepting Payments

In order to meet Payment Card Industry compliance, an online business needs an SSL certificate with the proper encryption of at least 128-bit. PCI standards verify that the SSL certificate is from a trusted source, uses the right strength of encryption and provides a private connection on any page that requires customers to enter personal information. Without a certificate that meets these standards, a site won’t be able to take credit card payments.

Guards Against Phishing

Phishing emails often contain links that lead unsuspecting customers to a convincing replica of an otherwise reputable site. Often disguised as advertisements or shipping confirmations, these emails attempt to gather credit card information for malicious use. However, the people who build these fake sites will have a hard time obtaining an authentic SSL certificate. When customers don’t see the signs of security on a site, they’re more likely to navigate away without entering any information.

Offers Added Brand Power

Companies that provide SSL certificates often offer site seals and other images that indicate well-trusted encryption is in use. Displaying these branded icons gives customers an added level of assurance that their information is safe as it travels.

Business Future Proofing

With threats mounting, companies are being prompted to adopt more advanced security measures. In this way, EV SSL represents a step that will be widely deployed in order to meet the bigger risks that come with e-commerce today. For companies that implement EV SSL now, they’ll be taking an important step toward future-proofing.

Entrust Datacard is an industry leader in EV SSL certificates. Our offerings can help your organization pave the road to a better and more secure online presence. This kind of security is something online patrons absolutely deserve — and increasingly, they’re coming to expect it.

Improves Customer Trust

All of these elements work together to create trust between a customer and a business. Providing your customers with security for all of their information and giving them ways to verify that security improves confidence and helps to ensure a positive buying experience.

Given the benefits, going through the authorization process necessary to obtain a trusted SSL certificate is worth the effort. Attempting to operate without one deters customers and makes it difficult or impossible to take payments. Online shoppers want to know that their sensitive personal information is safe as it goes through cyberspace, and investing in SSL security is the best way to give them that peace of mind.

Disadvantages of SSL

With so many advantages, why would anyone not use SSL? Are there any disadvantages to using SSL certificates? Cost is an obvious disadvantage. SSL providers need to set up a trusted infrastructure and validate your identity so there is a cost involved.

Because some providers are so well known, their prices can be overwhelmingly high.

Performance

Performance is another disadvantage to SSL. Because the information that you send has to be encrypted by the server, it takes more server resources than if the information weren’t encrypted. The performance difference is only noticeable for web sites with very large numbers of visitors and can be minimized with special hardware.

Overall, the disadvantages of using SSL are few and the advantages far outweigh them. It is critical that you properly use SSL on all websites that require sending sensitive information. Proper use of SSL certificates will help protect your customers, help protect you, and help you to gain your customer’s trust and sell more. If you’re still not sure why SSL should be used on your website contact me today.

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How to Skyrocket Your Traffic by 500%

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Millions of people search for products and services every day. They use relevant keywords to find the business which best suits their interest. If you want to cater such search queries then you must ensure that your online business is ahead of your competition. Make sure people find your business. It means that you need to increase the visibility of your website.

All this makes Search Engine Optimization crucial than never before. If you are not paying attention, then it’s certain that you might not get the traffic your online business deserves. While Google Algorithms and SEO techniques are constantly evolving, it is quite crucial for you to rely completely on the basics.

Your SEO strategy should work in hand with the content strategy where you ought to:

  • Know your audience
  • Know your business
  • Know your goals

Today even the best content needs help getting found. That’s where our tips might help you to rank better across search engines.

 

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Quality Content: Content is king and hence you must focus on publishing quality content. Tell people what makes your product or service unique.

Keywords Relevant to SERPs: Use keywords which your users are searching across search engines.  Use synonyms and similar terms for a particular product or service in multiple content pieces, as it helps the crawlers to know what your business or site is all about.

Content Refreshment: Constantly refreshing your content at regular time-intervals matters a lot. It refreshes your domain and keep Google crawlers engaged with your website. It also helps search engines to know that your site is up-to-date.

Reviews & Offsite References: Reviews, links and offsite references play a vital role in how your content performs across search engines. Links and offsite references improves the authority of your domain in the eye of search engines.

On-Site Optimization

People often get confused about on-site optimization and relate it to keyword density. But it is simply publishing awesome and most relevant content at the first place. Gone are the days when maintaining keyword density and meta-tags through-out the article will land you on Google SERPs. Google Algorithms are constantly evolving and hence you need to maintain user experience, indexing and value proposition to maintain your authenticity.

External Optimization

It includes optimizing your content for tons of referral sites. Publishing and refreshing your content on external sites helps you build authority on Search Engines. Google algorithms evaluate the type of content you have published on external sites and it indexes every link that redirects to your home page or site-page.

Research Keyword

Combine your keyword research by using Google’s Keyword Planner. When you work for a keyword which is in the low 50s of keyword difficulty tool, chances are quite high to rank well. You can find such keywords using related terms feature in Google Planner. Include these keywords strategically on your content keeping the keyword density

< 2%.

Use SEMrush to identify keyword difficulty frequency. Choosing keywords with low competition (< 50%) increases your chance to rank high. However, if your website or blog is well established, then ignore keywords with less than 500 monthly searches.

Keep it Simple

Constantly update few important SEO metrics such as:

  • Page Title: The text which depicts the subject of your content in your code. Avoid bombarding it with targeted keywords.
  • Meta-Tags: These are the tags that exist in your website code. Enter all relevant tags.
  • Meta-Description: These are the snippets of texts which describes your content in your website code. Enter 50-100 words relevant description with maximum three targeted keywords.
  • URL: Include prime keyword in the URL.
  • Image Name: Depicts the image description in your code. Enter the most relevant name.

The SEO Checks

Choose the Right Keywords: Pick your keywords list as soon as possible and start your content marketing around it. Focus on the long-term keywords and the keywords with low competition.

Refresh Older Content: There are tons of content which you have already published internally and externally. Update the headlines, content and meta-tags in old blogs to better refresh your web-pages.

User-Friendly Landing Pages: Make landing pages which targets your keywords.  Awesome landing pages will convert a reader into a subscriber.

Interactive Content: Publish content which showcases your value preposition and compels users to interact. Allow users to share on social media, comment on blogs and subscribe to RSS feeds.

SEO Road

  • Create Goals
  • Know Your Audience
  • Research Keywords
  • Research Competition
  • Plan Distribution
  • On-Page Optimization
  • Off-Page Optimization

 

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How to Build Back-links Safely in 2017..?

 

If you are just starting out with SEO, backlinks are nothing new. You need it to rank well on search engines, you have to build connections with other site owners and focus on creating the right inbound links that will bring valuable traffic to your site.

When SEO became very popular, all you had to do it create a bunch of links pointing back to your domain and viola! you are ranking on the first page of search engines, but not anymore.

Today, you still need backlinks but you need to be strategic on how you create them.

What is link building and why does your website need it?

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There are many ranking factors that come to play when trying to rank your website higher on search engines like; Google. With that said, backlinks play a very significant role in helping Google figure out what your site is about and how others view your site.

More links from a certain domain linking back to your site, tells google that you are loved by others. So, Google ranks your site higher based on your keywords and inbound links.

Creating different strategies to increase sites in your niche linking back to you is what you call link building.

You will need to create only links that have high quality and authority. Backlinks today are valuable based on Age, domain authority, content and niche relation.

The link on another site, usually appears as a hyperlink with your domain in it.

<a href=”https://www.websquaresolutions.com/”>digital marketing</a>

The href tag signals your domain and the closing is your “Anchor Text”. This is what users see on the page. Its usually underlined and sometimes in blue, that signals you can click on it for more information.

How do links affect your site?

  • Build new traffic flow to your site constantly, which translates to conversions, sales and revenue.
  • Elevate your website in search engines with better search ranking, more organic traffic from Google and Bing.
  • Since your inbound links are related to your content, you will be getting the right type of traffic to scale your business in search engines.
  • Build a strong online reputation.
  • Rank on the first page of search for your selected keywords.

For example; If you sell T-shirts and have a backlink from a blog that writes about shoes only, then you might want to eliminate that link. Mind you, some links are valuable even if not inter-related but you just have to be careful when testing them out to see what search engines might use to up vote your site in search.

As you build inbound links to your website, make sure to focus on earning links that directly benefits your website within a niche market.

NEVER BUY LINKS or USE AUTOMATED SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS TO GAIN BACKLINKS.

You will gain your best inbound links through creating content that interacts with readers and builds trust. With trust, people are going to start linking back to your site in troughs.

Lets take a look at some high quality backlinks and the latest link building strategies for 2017.

Make sure to understand this ranking factors, as you will need the to successfully build the right type off links to your site. Your strategy has to be solid to achieve the best results.

Here are 20 ranking factors that directly relate to your backlinks. 

1. Domain Age

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If you know how websites work. Domain age has a lot to do with how people view your company. Older websites turn to have more authority and value. Backlinks from older domains carry more power when it comes to authority and will have more link juice to spread.

2. Links From C-class IPs

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Links being gained from different ips shows strength and a more natural link profile. Backlinks that happen to come from the same c-class IP can act as spamming.

3. Referring Domains

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Domains linking to your site remains one of the fastest ways to build traffic. In fact, the more authoritative sites linking to the more authority your domain will gain. Just make sure they are high quality and related to your niche.

4. Alt Text Your Images

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When uploading your images, use Alt text that directly relates to the topic of that page. This will act as an Anchor text for anyone linking to your site through that image.

5. Backlinks from .EDU, .ORG and .GOV Domains

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In most cases, domains with a .edu, .org or .gov will be private institutions of higher education or government organizations. This domain ext carry lots of authority and should of value to any website.

6. Linking Page Authority

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The authority of the page linking to your domain must have weight too, as to get your page ranking on search engines.

7. Links from Domain Homepages

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Links from a domains homepage will carry more value that a regular page within the website. Internal pages generally have less value that the root page.

8. Links Within Content

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Gaining links that are place within a content carry more value that links in signatures, black spaces and unnatural locations. These links are also called contextual links and you can see them when reading articles or webpages.

9. The Value of NO-Follow Links 

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The best part about no-follow things is balancing out your inbound link profile and making it look more natural and less spammy in the eyes of search engines.

Example of no-follow tag –

rel=”nofollow”

tp://</span><spa

10. Diversify links

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Your backlinks should come from a diverse range of sources like; organic mentions, resources, guest postings, e-books, editorial pieces. Too many links from a single source can be alarming and raises a red flag.

11. Anchor Text for Your inbound link

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Your anchor text provides a description of your inbound link. Use a relevant and keyword focused phrase or term to make the link more important and valuable.

12. Reciprocal links

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This is a link exchange between your site and another, where they link to you and verse versa. DO NOT use link exchanges, search engines understand them and will penalize your site.

13. Link Location

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Where your backlink comes from within a certain domain also matters when it comes to referring. To understand why – links at the top close to the header are more valuable than links closer to the end of a site.

14. Entire Page Relevance

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Inbound link page should be related to the page it’s linking to within your site for more value and authority.

15. Relationship between Links

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You link building strategy should focus on a relationship between your sites page and the backlink linking to that page. The relationship between this links, helps search engines and visitors who click through to your site. When they are not related, the value proposition drops.

16. Page Title Keywords

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You page tiltle keywords can be a determining factor in the eyes of search engines like; Google. These is simplified by Google as “Experts linking to Experts”.

17. “Hub” pages

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Aaron hall wrote about this in an article explaining that pages structured as a resource are more valuable than other. This is because, people searching online want a quick fix than reading paragraphs that sound like your telling a story rather that a directive or instructions.

18. Link Age

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As your links get older, the more valuable they become and contribute to your online ranking and growth.

19. Trustrank Of the Domain

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A referring sites TrustRank will directly affect the quality of your backlinks. This indicates the reliability of your website. A low rank will indicate spam.

20. Co-Occurrance

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This is fairly new on how Google analyses your backlinks. The words that surround your Anchor Text helps Google understand the link better.

Conclusion

As you can see from this resource, building links is not easy but possible with the right strategy. At the end of the day, the main value here is getting your website ranked higher on search engines, not your link count. Your strategy should focus on value not quantity or else, you will be wasting time.