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Four Ways to Overhaul Your Company Website

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | Four Ways to Overhaul Your Company WebsiteIf your company’s been around for a while, it’s likely that your website has been, too. If that’s the case, you may well find that design trends, features and styles have moved on from the point at which you dusted off your finished site. The web design world moves fast – and consumer attention moves faster. If customers arrive on your website to the impression that you’ve not updated it for a number of years, they’ll instantly judge you for it. You’ll lose business as a result. As such, here are four ways to overhaul your website in favor of something a little more snazzy, modern and sleek.

Rebrand

While this is not necessarily a web-based overhaul, it is something you should consider if you’re in any case about to entirely change your website’s appearance. A rebrand will echo through-out your website, and as such it’s best to cover both a rebrand and a web redesign at the same time, in the same cohesive process. Get your design team on it immediately, or outsource to de-sign professionals who’ll help you achieve your vision.

Hosting Platforms

The very base – the foundation – of your website is its hosting platform. If you’re about to go through an overhaul, it’s certainly worth considering whether you ought to change hosting providers at the same time. In recent years, cloud hosting has become particularly favored in the web design world – something that you’ll not be using in your current legacy website.

Restructuring

Many companies are so used to their existing website that they fail to recognize some glaring failures in terms of its structural layout. Even if there are no failures per se, the gold standard for webpage and site map layout is always changing, which means your website is almost certainly behind the curve, confusing web users and alienating potential custom. When you overhaul your website, be sure to restructure it in such a way as to smooth all click-throughs and open up pathways for your traffic to pass easily through.

Redesigning

Now it comes to the more visual side of your site’s revamp. Here, you’ll want to go with some of the most exciting design trends to be taking place in 2019. Mini-animations, activated by the scroll function, have become something of a dominant trend for websites in the past year, and continue to dominate the ecosystem for businesses aiming to look ultra-modern and super-slick. Engage with these trends visually in order to bask in the admiration of your site’s visitors.

A Word of Warning

While website overhauls are incredibly important in order to keep your business modern and functional online, you shouldn’t erase your old web pages until you’re sure that your new and revamped website is entirely bug-free. A second word of warning: be sure to bear in mind that repeat customers may be shocked by a very different website appearing when they go to visit yours. Take steps to reassure these customers, and to keep some consistency with the old de-sign.

These four tips – and brief words of warning – should help you conduct a thorough overhaul of your company’s website, updating your appearance and functionality for the trends that are dominating 2019.

Solutions to Effectively Reach Your Target Audience

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | Target AudienceReaching your target audience can often be a struggle. For a business just starting up, understanding how to best achieve this goal is vital in the early days. Start on the right foot and spend time, money, and resources focusing on appropriate ways to reach and appeal to your target audience. Below are a few handy suggestions for implementing the best strategy going forward.

Defining your target audience

Before you do anything else, you need to take time to work out who your target audience actually is. By identifying your target audience, you can begin to understand the niche that your consumer would fall into. With this knowledge, you can ensure your marketing activities will reach these people. Factors to research include:

  • Demographics – gender, age, profession, income
  • Psychographics – values, attitudes, likes/dislikes, how they think/purchase
  • Behavioral – the way they consume media and data. Is it offline/online? Any key sites or publications?

Once you have a strong understanding of the above you can begin to tailor your marketing, so you can directly connect your audience.

Reaching your target market

Now that you are familiar with the behavior and demographics of your target market, you can look into the best ways to reach them. For some, this will involve offline marketing techniques such as direct mail marketing, word of mouth, newspaper campaigns, and billboards. However, an overwhelming majority of marketing these days takes place online. Your digital marketing campaign needs to be top notch for audiences to discover you among the competition you’ll likely be facing.

Digitally reaching out to your audience

Email Newsletters

This technique may seem old hat to some, but email newsletters are still a simple, cost-effective way that you can directly reach out to your audience. You can deliver targeted messages efficiently and it won’t need a big team to implement. You can keep content simple and create instant impact with broad reach. Be aware of the GDPR regulations; but apart from this, the world is your oyster.

According to Econsultancy, ¾ of companies agree that email offers ‘excellent’ to ‘good’ ROI. Active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion by 2019.

Hubspot

Facebook / Instagram ads

Social media marketing is the current trend that looks like it’s here to stay. With constant updates and content to capitalize on, such as Insta Stories and Facebook Live Video, it has never been easier to tap into audiences. Keep your social media pages current, looking out for opportunities to through hashtags, for example, and spend resources on fresh, visually appealing content that will get your target audience stop scrolling and pay attention to you.

Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing is paving the way for businesses to find their audiences. Having an intrinsic understanding of who your audience is can assist you in more ways than one. You will be able to identify not only what your target audience is searching for, but how they are searching. Through keyword research and analysis and Google Ads campaigns, for example, you can ensure your business is right where it needs to be for customers to find you. Get a team behind you and visit digitalmarkgroup.com. Outsourcing will provide you with the expert knowledge to take your campaign the extra mile.

Banner advertising

Banner advertising works by providing a visual ad that links to your website and is intended to generate traffic. This type of display advertising relies mainly on aesthetics. It promotes your services like a physical banner or poster, but is instead visible on another web page. You can use advertising guides and networks to assist you in creating the ads. Used effectively, this are a great way to share your services through sharp visuals that are designed to attract your target consumer.

Simple SEO Strategies for Growing Your Business

There is definitely no doubt about the fact that every business needs a thought-out SEO strategy, so the only question about it is whether you are willing to spend time or money on it? Speaking from personal experience, the latter option usually proves itself more beneficial than the first one, mostly due to the fact that not all of us are marketing gurus.

On the other hand, even if you are a marketing genius – and especially if you are, you already know that SEO can be quite time-consuming, which makes hiring someone to handle it for you all the more compelling!

However, whether you choose to take up SEO on yourself or you decide to a white label digital marketing agency to do it for you, you should still learn more about some of these simple SEO strategies that will help you grow your business!

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | SEO | Search Engine Optimization
 
That is why we prepared some tips regarding the whole process of search engine optimization, both what to and what not to do in order to grow your business!

Your vision of SEO

The first important thing regarding SEO is how you see it. What this means is that thinking of SEO as a tactic is a mistake most beginners tend to make, because the truth is quite different. SEO is actually more of a strategy that you have to plan out long before you take it up. So, it will take a lot more than just a few weeks to get your business to the top of Google.

Additionally, a lot of people tend to think that SEO is essentially a combination of titles and meta descriptions. Whatsmore, you have to understand that SEO “trends” tend to change from one year to another.

A few years back, search engine optimization was almost synonymous to keywords. Had you asked an SEO expert to give you some tips on the subject in 2014, they would have probably told you that your keyword density is something that will either make you or break you. However, as of 2018, this trend has changed.

Startups such as Yelp and Airbnb made sure to understand that these changes occur all the time, and to have a concrete strategy to drive their traffic through search and this is what brought their success about!

Now, lots of people tend to think that they can take up this task on their own. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be an expert on the subject in order to create a good SEO strategy, but merely doing some reading and trying to implement what you read into the strategy just isn’t going to cut it.

Knowing what your audience wants is of extreme importance!

At the end of the day, your audience is the most important variable in this equation. This is why you have to get to know your target audience and walk a mile in their shoes. What is it that they need? How will your product/service help them further on? Is there something that your competition can offer them that you can’t?

As you already know, 71 percent of consumers tend to discover new products/services through a search engine, and this search influences about 75 percent of total purchases.

Now, although keywords are not as important as they used to be, they still play a part in the whole process that is SEO. You will still have to do a proper keyword research that will help you in creating valuable content that your audience will appreciate, and that will encourage them to become one of your consumers!

Focus on your links’ quality, not quantity!

A few years back, Google’s algorithm was quite favorable of sites with lots of links, and it wasn’t all that important whether those links were valid and actually useful, content-wise. However, times have changed! Links are still as important as the used to be, but the focus has shifted from their quantity to their quality. The only thing you can do now regarding your links is to look for those that will be engaging and valuable to your audience!

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | SEO | Search Engine Optimization
 
Other things that you have to focus on as well are – your website’s structure (get it as organized and informative as you can!), your social media platforms, and mobile users! All three are of extreme importance for growing your business and are something you cannot succeed without.

Using these simple strategies, you can take your business from being one of the countless startups to becoming a household name, you just have to play your cards right! However, if you would rather play it safe and hire a great digital marketing agency to do this (and more!) for you, visit White Light Digital Marketing for more information!

How to Market Yourself as a Freelancer

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | FreelancerIf you have a talent in a particular industry and you have the determination required to work for yourself successfully, then there are plentiful opportunities in the freelance sector at the moment. Freelancing has several advantages over setting up a business, because it requires a far lower level of investment and you don’t have to employ anyone else. All you need are the skills, computer facilities, and the will to succeed.

There are many jobs that lend themselves to freelancing; in fact, there are very few specialties that don’t have some kind of online application. For example, even the most practical, hands-on jobs such as construction, teaching, and medicine, all need web-based services such as training and consulting. If you have the urge to go it alone, there’s very little holding you back – but the critical difference between success and failure will be your ability to market yourself effectively.

Why marketing matters for freelancers

You may consider marketing to be more appropriate for a small business than a freelance enterprise, especially if you have good contacts and can start off with some ready-made clients. While it’s always advantageous to have a couple of clients on your books before you take the plunge into full-time freelancing, there are a couple of points you should bear in mind.

Firstly, if you’re planning to take clients with you from your present job, you could be heading for trouble. Somewhere in your employment contract, it will probably say something along the lines of employees aren’t permitted to poach clients from the business if they leave for a period of six months or so. You may not have such a clause, but it’s still considered underhand to take contacts with you if you leave a business.

Whether you have such a clause or not, you may feel that there’s very little your previous employer could do anyway once you’ve left, but regardless of whether they seek to claim damages against you, which they could well do in some instances, they do have the power to sully your reputation. Businesses live or die on their reputation, and if you become known in the industry as someone who can’t be trusted, your future will be bleak.

Furthermore, you can’t rely on the handful of clients you start with to keep you going or generate new business for you. To build up a sound, stable business, you need to master the art of marketing yourself.

You are the product

In a business, you’re selling a service or a product, and while you would do well to include yourself as a valuable part of the package, you wouldn’t necessarily be the focus. However, if you’re a freelancer, you need to be selling yourself – in effect, you are the product. The only difference between you and all the thousands of other bookkeepers, writers, tutors, or whatever you specialize in, is yourself. All the other freelancers in your sector will be offering broadly similar services, so the only way you can stand out from the crowd is to promote the benefits you offer potential clients.

Some people have no problem with this at all, and happily talk themselves up; others find it hard to sell themselves and promote their abilities. Being over-confident can be off-putting, as you can come across as arrogant; but failing to market yourself as one of the best in your field isn’t likely to impress prospective customers. A middle ground is usually the best approach, showing confidence in your skills without being too full of yourself. If you do struggle with self-confidence, it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed as a freelancer, but you’ll need to put a concerted effort into learning how to present yourself in your marketing.

Marketing tools for freelancers

Many freelancers underestimate the importance of having a website. If you think it’s a bit over the top to create a website just to promote yourself, think again. A website impresses potential clients and reinforces the idea that you’re a serious, committed expert in your field. You can use the website to provide full details of the services you offer, host a portfolio of previous work, and display customer testimonials. It’s a good platform to introduce yourself and help clients get to know you as a person so they make a connection with you, and it’s invaluable for being found in web searches.

If you’re not sure how to create an effective website, find out more about using a design service to create the optimum site, and compare the pros and cons of using a website builder compared to a design service. Your site doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated, just well designed, easy to use, full of relevant information, and updated regularly. In addition to your website, listings in directories not only make your business easier to find, but improve your rankings in search engine results lists too.

Social media can also be a powerful tool if used regularly, but don’t overwhelm yourself by signing up to every possible platform. Have a look at the usage statistics for each one and select one or two to start with. You want to get the hang of posting regularly and managing your accounts effectively without having too many different ones to worry about. Once you get accustomed to writing a daily FaceBook post, or tweeting a few times a day, you can always expand onto other platforms. You should also look at specialist websites and publications that focus on your field of expertise, as a presence in these will be perfect for reaching your target customers.

Many people make a very decent living from going freelance, and have a better quality of life working for themselves. Some go on to establish a fully-fledged business based on their freelancing, but you can follow whichever path appeals most to you. The important thing to remember is that you need to sell yourself, and take the task of marketing yourself very seriously if you want to bring in the right clients.

Internet Marketing Failing? Let’s Take a Look at What You’re Doing Wrong

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
 
Even the strongest businesses in the world have had their weak moments. Maybe things aren’t going so well with your business at the moment. Perhaps it’s just one factor of your business that isn’t performing as well as it should be. If we look at the most common elements that come into play when things aren’t going amazingly for any given business, it quite often has to do with poor Internet marketing.

Many business owners are becoming cognizant of just how important Internet marketing is. But a lot of them are making a bunch of mistakes. One of those mistakes was assuming that Internet marketing would bring them immediate success and riches. This sort of attitude betrays a sort of ignorance about how Internet marketing really works and how it should be approached. This can cause a lot of errors when it comes to the marketing campaign as a whole.

So perhaps it’s time that you took a serious look at your Internet marketing campaign! If your marketing hasn’t brought you the return you were hoping for, then it’s crucial that you take a close look at things and perhaps rethink your approach. After all, most digital marketing methods out there aren’t exactly cheap. And that’s fine, as long as it can actually bring results, right?

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
 
Internet marketing isn’t the magic wand that a lot of businesses seem to think it is. It needs to be done properly. You can throw all the money you want at your campaign, but if it’s going in the wrong direction then you might as well be throwing your cash into a black hole. We’re going to take a look at some of the most common and severe fundamental problems that many modern businesses have with their digital marketing approach. If you start to get feelings of recognition as you read through this article, then it might be time for you to make some serious changes to your marketing techniques!

Overestimation

I made a brief mention of this above, but it’s worth going into a little more detail. Essentially, a lot of businesses out there massively overestimate the power of Internet marketing. Yes, if done right, it can be very powerful. But the fact of the matter is that Internet marketing is vulnerable to many of the same sort of flaws you see in any other medium.

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
Photo courtesy of Infusionsoft Sales & Marketing via flickr

Internet marketing isn’t going to guarantee you a truckload of new customers. A lot of people understand this when it comes to working with advertising in other media, because they’re more used to have ineffective, say, a television advert or a newspaper advert can be. Most people will probably overlook those sorts of ads, right? Well, the same goes for most kinds of Internet marketing. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in them! It just means that you have to be careful not to commit one of the most common mistakes in this field: that of overestimating the results you’re going to get.

Temper your expectations! You may even have started reading this article because you thought you would get hundreds of thousands of new customers from your campaign. This sort of thinking may have given you a false impression of the success of your campaign: it might be that it’s working as good as it can – it’s just that your expectations are unrealistic!

The DIY approach

A lot of business owners seem to be working under the assumption that Internet marketing is easy. They’re also looking for any way they can find to save some money. Well, it’s true that it’s possible to do your own Internet marketing. And, with that in mind, you can cut a lot of costs if you do take this approach. But the fact is that Internet marketing is much more complex than many of these business owners realize.

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
 
If you want to take on this task by yourself, then you should really be an expert at this sort of thing. If you’re not, you could be wasting a lot of time with ineffective marketing techniques. Remember that the right Internet marketing company has a lot of connections in the marketing industry, whereas you’re likely to have none at all. If you do want to take this approach, then you should make sure you really know what you’re doing. Look into taking an online course in digital marketing to boost your skills and knowledge.

The substandard marketing company

Having said all of this, working with a bad marketing company could be even worse than taking the reigns yourself! While there’s a lot to be said about the many problems that overconfidence in your own abilities can bring, there is also much to be said about putting too much confidence in the hands of those who claim to be experts. Just as in any other industry, there are companies in this field that simply don’t know what they’re doing. Not every Internet marketing business is some angel that will be able to save your business.

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
 
You need to make sure that you’re signing up to work with an incredibly good Internet marketing company. These guys don’t come cheap, after all! You need to keep an eye out when it comes to these companies, because there are a bunch of potential problems that could really put a spanner in the works. What if their customer service is terrible? What if the methods they use to get results work only in the short term? And what if they’re using ‘black’ techniques? (More on that in just a moment!) You should ensure that you’re checking the online reputation of these companies, as well as the feedback they’ve received from previous clients.

Villainous techniques

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “black hat” before when you’ve explored the realm of Internet marketing. You may even know that it’s bad, though you’re not entirely sure why exactly that is. As clichéd as it may be, “black” Internet marketing techniques are bad and “white” Internet marketing techniques are good – or, perhaps, to be more accurate, “black” is illegal and “white” is legal. (And we’re talking in terms of search engine rules, not the actual judiciary reality of the real world!)

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
Photo courtesy of freezelight via flickr

Essentially, “black hat” or “black label” Internet marketing methods (and they’re usually SEO-based) actively use the sort of techniques that spam search engine algorithms with the sort of content that used to provide shortcuts to the very top of search engine rankings. Keyword stuffing, false leads, and unethical link sharing and selling are all parts of this game. Of course, black hat and black label SEO don’t often produce results, because companies like Google are very wise to their games these days. So you need to ensure that you’re looking into white hat and white label SEO if you want your campaign to go anywhere in the long-term.

“SEO” and “social media” are just buzzwords, right?

An alarmingly common problem is that business owners often find themselves trying a little too hard to go against the grain. Yes, you should be unique in your approach. But it’s possible to take that too far. If you’re of the opinion that SEO and social media are mere buzzwords as opposed to things that can actually help your marketing in big ways, then you’ve definitely gone a little too far from the beaten track!

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
 
Without the use of SEO and social media, you’re throttling the efficacy of your digital marketing campaign. And I mean really throttling. Like, Homer-Simpson-choking-Bart-Simpson level throttling. SEO and social media are what help your digital marketing breathe and expand to new corners of the Internet. Don’t try to be so unconventional that you don’t use these at all.

Problems with your business

And so we come to the least fun possibility of the lot. The one that’s probably the hardest the solve of all of them. Let’s say your marketing isn’t actually flawed. Perhaps you’re working with the best Internet marketing company in the business. You’ve invested in all the correct tools and employees, and at a reasonable price, too. You have all the data you need to make the right decisions. But business still doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. An SEO audit didn’t reveal any problems with your marketing approach, so what could the problem be?

StrategyDriven Internet Marketing Article
 
Unfortunately, it could very well be the case that the problem is with your business. After all, all the great marketing in the world simply isn’t going to help you out that much if your website, product, or service really isn’t that up to scratch.

But how exactly can you tell if this is the problem? Well, this is why you need powerful analytics for your website and Internet marketing campaign. If people are being directed to your business in droves, then you should be able to tell. If they are, but not enough people are actually clicking through to complete a purchase, then this is a sign that something is wrong with what you’re offering, or how you’re offering it, as opposed to something being wrong with the marketing itself. In this case, you’re going to have to do some market and customer research in order to pinpoint the problems you’re having!