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3 Ways to Maintain Your Company’s Online Reputation

Most companies have a distinct online presence for a definite reason – to manage an online reputation.

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Considering the importance of a company’s reputation to its growth, there’s no doubt that being able to manage its reputation in times of crises is indeed an imperative activity. So here are three tips that can add perspective to maintaining your company’s online reputation:

#1: Establish a strong online presence

When someone googles your brand name, it is important to ensure that it’s not just your website that should pop up on the first page. Consider using the numerous social media sites that are available, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which will establish a solid online presence.

And remember that being in the first search engine results is vital to your brand’s success, especially if it’s a common name.

#2: Controlling responses during a crisis

Considering the highly publicized failures of the past, there’s no doubt that there are severe consequences in not being able to handle a crisis online effectively. Whether it is handling customer complaints or even dealing with a lawsuit, it is of utmost importance to monitor online conversations at all times with the intent of defusing the situation as soon as possible.

#3: Monitor Conversations

Most businesses understand how important it is to stay up to date with what’s being said about the company. In fact, the best way to do this is by using social media tools which make the overwhelming process of monitoring several social media accounts much easier.

Better still, these social media tools will help you respond in real-time and turn negative situations into positive opportunities.

Filed under Search Engines by on .

How to Pick the Right Social Media Network for your Small Business

With the number of social media networks that are popping up every other week, it becomes difficult for small business owners to know which social media site is the best for them as people keep moving from one site to the other.

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Rather than moving along with them, it’s best to begin with the notion that not every site will suit you. So, the best thing for you to do is to find out what these social media sites are used for and whether it will work for your business.

So here is a list of social media networks that you read up on to decide from:

#1: Facebook

The biggest advantage of using Facebook is that the conversation is all in one place, and customers get the chance to feel that way. This social media site is very visual, unlike Twitter, so making use of that would work well.

#2: Twitter

In short, Twitter is about projecting what you company is doing to a large audience, much like being given a megaphone. You can not only communicate with customers but also create a brand with consistent updates.

#3: Pinterest

This social network is not ideal for self-promotion but might be useful to small businesses for the ability to create pinboards that might win the plaudits of customers if you are able to able to build visuals for the purposes of branding.

#4: FourSquare

Location-based social media services might not work for every small business as it requires people to physically visit your store or an event. This social media network is actually good for restaurants, retail stores and venues. Of course, as for online businesses, this site will be useful only if you are hosting an event.

Filed under Social Media by on .

March 3, 2017

The top server side scripting languages

There are two types of websites: static and dynamic. Static websites do not change, and the best example is the typical corporate website. The website is mostly text and images with a contact form. Dynamic sites are like applications; examples would be sites like Facebook, Gmail. Anything that generates something different based on user input. These dynamic websites run on a scripting language which fetches data from a database and displays it to the user. Here are the most popular server-side languages used today:

PHP

PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language that at the time of writing is used by three-quarters of websites running today. PHP is open source which is the primary reason for its popularity. There is a huge online community that supports and helps continue development. PHP is mostly used by smaller websites, but the largest footprint is from WordPress sites.

Java

PHP runs mostly smaller lower-traffic websites. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Java, which runs most of the high-traffic, high-performance sites. The two most notable examples of Java use for large scale websites would be Apple and Amazon, which both use Java web frameworks.

Python

Python is not as popular as PHP and Java but also runs some popular websites like Yahoo Maps, Shopzilla, and even the National Weather Service. It is a high-level language, which is meant to produce code is that more readable. This is possible thanks to a larger library of pre-existing functions that programmers can use for development.

Filed under Content Writing by on .

February 14, 2017

The two most important technical skills for digital marketers

HTML and CSS code developing screenshot. Abstract web site source listing on black background with colored syntax

What exactly is a technical skill? Is SEO a technical skill? Not really. Personal Finance and Job site, The Balance defines a technical skill as Technical skills are abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical and often relate to mechanical, IT, mathematical, or scientific tasks. Some examples include knowledge of programming languages, mechanical equipment, or tools.”

The demand for technical skills in marketers is growing. A survey by Mondo found that nearly all of those surveyed think the role of the marketer will continue to move away from the traditional model. Going even further, they predict that by the end of 2017, more than half of digital marketers hired will have technical backgrounds.

Here are two of the most technical skills marketers will need going forward:

Front end:

Working knowledge HTML, CSS and Javascript is a must. Also, knowledge of how other web related technologies and development platforms will be useful. For example, marketers should learn to basics of JSON, Java, SQL, etc. The more technical knowledge, the better, even if it does not involve hands-on experience.

Visuals:

The gold standard of graphic design software is Adobe Photoshop which is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Knowing how to use this software has two benefits: Firstly, you will understand what is possible and what limitations exist. Secondly, you can use it to design wireframes and rough designs for the designers to use as a basis for the design.

There are more technical skills that marketers will find useful. However, these are the main two that will benefit a marketer in almost any industry.

Filed under Internet, Marketing by on .

January 3, 2017

Three signs you need a content marketing strategy

There is a lot of potential in content marketing. It is one of the best methods of marketing to come out of the internet age. However, done poorly or half-heartedly, it can result in a lot of frustration. Here are three signs that your content marketing strategy is in need of a rework.

Traffic issues

It is one thing to have the best content in the world; it is quite another getting people to find it. The first step is to follow basic SEO. The second is to gain an understanding of what channels work for promotion in that industry. Think like an end-user looking for this content, and then promote it on those channels.

User interface

A website that shows the exact same material and page layout to every visitor will not inspire brand loyalty. A survey found that sites that personalize web content saw an increase in conversion as high as 19%. Sites need to personalize content and recommendations to the individual user. Personalization can take many forms, but most often the changes are based on location, the device, time of day and previous visits.

Subscriber numbers dropping

One common mistake made by marketers is self-promotion. The content should be mostly educational and of practical use to the visitor. It should only be slightly promotional. It should address their concerns and provide solutions related to your products and services.

Filed under Marketing by on .

December 3, 2016

Rich animation usage in web design

wmseo DecAnother user interface paradigm that has grown thanks to smartphones and faster connections are rich animations. It makes the experience more interactive and entertaining while providing functional feedback to the user. The animations need to be placed carefully so that it enhances rather than takes away from the user experience. Animation on websites can be classified in two ways:

Large animation

Unlike small-scale animation described below, these are used for interaction purposes. A basic example would be a hidden menu which appears with a large page shift animation. Another would be where content changes when the mouse cursor hovers over a selection. While not exactly an animation, even the usage of slideshows and galleries to show multiple sets of photographs falls into the large animation category. The most striking example is the background animation. PayPal uses this to good effect.

Small scale animation

These are small animations in size and are used to convey an action of some sort. An example would the loading animation. Depending on how it is used, this can be a progress bar, a spinner. Another example would be motion animation where a product or service is shown in motion on the website. Look carefully the next time you browse and you will a lot of examples of small-scale animation usage.

Most other animation techniques actually use a combination of the two to both lead up to and enhance the larger animation.

Filed under Web Development & Hosting by on .

November 23, 2016

Running web apps on Microsoft Azure

wmseo NovThe most common use of the cloud is for running websites and applications. When it comes to Azure, this can be done with a virtual machine or as a web app. The virtual machine route will require administration and maintenance of the server. This is fine for a single server application, but this will become tedious at scale. This is where the web apps come in.

Web apps on Azure are a managed environment that does not provide access to the admin interfaces of the platform it is running on. Once a web app is up and running, it can be given more or less in terms of computing resources. Alternatively, to counter growth, additional instances can be started and stopped when required. Web Apps supports .NET, PHP, Node.js, Java and Python along with SQL Database and MySQL.

For applications that will need to support lots of users and automatically scale instances up and down, there is Azure Cloud Services. This is designed for scalable, reliable and low-admin applications and is perfect for Saas (Software as a Service) providers. Unlike web apps, these are VM’s which you can access but unlike the standard VM, the patching, updating, and restarts are handled by Azure.

It is clear which roles will be required for which type of application. However, for websites, unless there is a certainty, start with a web app and then proceed to migrate to cloud services should be requirement exist. Any server based role will likely need a virtual machine.

Filed under SEO by on .

October 21, 2016

Create new content for long-tail keywords

Hand writing Content with blue marker on transparent wipe board.

Hand writing Content with blue marker on transparent wipe board.

Targeting long-tail keywords is not new. However, it has seen a recent resurgence in the SEO marketing community. The long-tail keywords referred to here are keyword phrases that have three or more keywords. “black leather wallets” is a good example of a search phrase. Now established sites find that the conversion rates from content that is tailored for the long-tail are much higher than the average. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating content for the long-tail:

Step one – Identify the keywords that are relevant to your websites. Now enter those keywords into a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. These tools will give you a list of related keywords.

Step two – From this list, look for the long-tail keywords that directly apply to your site, your products or your content. Now rank them and look for low-volume, low-difficulty keyword phrases. On Moz, that would be keywords that have a difficulty rating of less than 30.

Step three – Write content for the long tail keyword that was identified in step two. Use the keyword in the headline and any subheadings. The content will need to be directly relevant to the long-tail keyword.

Step four – Hit the publish button and track the performance of that page over time. Do not be hasty to see results. Give the page at least a month for the page to appear and hold a stable position. The ease of ranking will vary based on your site domain. The older the domain and higher the domain authority the faster it will rank.

Filed under Content Writing by on .

September 23, 2016

Reasons why your e-commerce SEO is failing

wmseoOne of the sad realities of selling products online is that in order to succeed at e-commerce, you need to be good at or have good SEO. According to PracticalCommerce, approximately 80% of e-commerce stores fail. There are varied reasons for this, from poor marketing to poor image quality but one of the standout reasons is a lack of traffic. This is where a lack of SEO comes in. Here are a few of the SEO related reasons that your e-commerce store is lacking traffic:

Architecture

There is a general rule that every page on your store should be within three clicks of the homepage. In fact, the fewer the better. Some stores place product pages too deep within the structure to get any link value or clicks.

URL

Another issue is URL structure. Long and nonsensical URL’s should be avoided. They should be readable and not too long. An example of a bad URL would be http://www.site.com/en-gb/productid/a/144534 while a good page URL would look like http://www.site.com/phones/galaxys7. The same goes for category pages which should look like http://www.site.com/phones.

Duplicate Content

This is one of the easiest SEO concepts to understand but is something nobody seems to take seriously. Most e-commerce stores have plenty of duplicate pages. A prime example would be getting to the same product page with more than one link. These should be checked and cleaned up as soon as possible.

 

Filed under SEO by on .