Using Mobile Marketing to Boost your E-commerce Website

Considering the sheer number of people that use their smartphones in order to surf the Internet, it is no surprise to discover that mobile marketing should really form an integral part of your approach to building your e-commerce brand. Remember, failure to market yourself to this considerable proportion of Internet users can only hamper your attempts to really establish yourself online.

However, in order to do this you do need to spend some time thinking about how to market to them because clearly you want to get the best ROI possible. So, here are five methods that can make life that little bit easier.

1. Make sure your design is responsive.

This is the absolute key, your e-commerce website needs to have a responsive design or else you are going to ruin the experience that the individual is going to have when they check out your website on their smartphone. A responsive design means that the website is going to work beautifully for them and if they are able to navigate, then they are going to be able to buy from you and that is what you want is it not?

2. Use mobile advertising.

There are various avenues to explore when it comes to using mobile advertising and that is obviously going to then have an impact on how smartphone users come across your website. It is always best to consider trying to set aside a reasonable sum of money for this part of your marketing simply because of the returns that you are able to generate in response to this specific form of advertising. Spend time getting to know companies that specialize in this type of marketing as they can help you to build an effective campaign from the ground up that will generate results.

3. Use social media.

Social media is perhaps the main reason why people go onto the Internet via their smartphones, so you want to take advantage of this and make sure that you have built your social media presence right from the very beginning. You should already have all of this set up since it needs to be a central part of your entire marketing, but keeping that point to one side just now, there is a very real need for you to be able to link your social media profiles to your website so that smartphone users can move between the two without any problems. The social media websites are already optimized for mobile users so it is just a case of making sure that they can go from point A to point B.

4. Email marketing.

When we talk about email marketing we are actually being rather specific as we mean marketing that deals purely with it being mobile friendly. Now, you need to capture their addresses by getting them to sign up to your newsletter as you cannot just go ahead and spam people since that is only going to annoy them and really get their back up and that is hardly going to lead to you generating a number of conversions.

However, making sure that the marketing emails that you send out are able to be seen on smartphones and that they can then take the appropriate action is going to make a huge difference to your conversion rates. The people that have signed up for your emails are already showing an interest in what you are doing so they are going to be primed to buy.

5. Remember your content.

Finally, you have to remember your content and there is a very real need for it to convert and this applies even if you are not focusing on mobile marketing. However, people on smartphones are not willing to spend hours trawling through your content so you have to get it right to the point and make sure that they understand what you are saying instantly. It looks horrible when they have to go through line after line of content as they are going to lose interest so even if you do love to write makes sure that you do not go on and on as that is going to be counter-productive for you.

So, there you have it, five ways in which you can help with your mobile marketing and making sure that you boost your e-commerce website. Now, we are not saying that this is going to be a fool proof way of increasing your sales as you still need to make sure that the items you are selling is up to scratch. However, that is all on your own back but do not be afraid to use the services of a company that specializes in Internet marketing and especially mobile marketing because this part of the market is just getting bigger and bigger and there is every chance that you could be losing out on a considerable amount of money if you do not take the correct course of action.

Can Old Content Help With SEO?

In previous blog posts we have kind of alluded to the simple fact that SEO is a rather complex business due to what appears to be its ever changing nature. It seems that new theories and ideas as to what works and what fails are popping up all the time and that just makes things even more difficult to understand as a result.

One such example is the theory that your old content could actually improve your SEO and this seems to go against a number of theories simply because it was previously believed that old content would be too laden with keywords for it to now be effective. Well, to some that is no longer the case.

How To Take Advantage.

You see, in the past it was all about sheer quantity, or that is what people thought, but that particular game has certainly changed now as quality of content reigns supreme. However, this is where you need to be slightly ruthless with your old content in order to then benefit from it.

What people are now saying is that you have to go through the content and unpublish those articles that just do not come up to the standards that you would expect. This is going to clear out a lot of deadwood in an instant and then you are left with the content that you are then able to work with.

At this point you then need to see if the good content requires any additional editing just to further improve the quality at all. This may sound like a lot of work initially, but all that you are doing is refreshing old content, making it relevant again, and then the likes of Google will pick up on it being new and reindex it.

You see. The old content that is no longer relevant is also going to have an impact on the speed at which your website loads. The faster the loading speed then the better it is for your visitors and then Google is going to love you even more and it certainly helps where your website then ranks.

Also, here is another tip that is also going to help things along even more. Whenever you delete old content you should make sure that there is a 301 redirect put into place on that page for the sake of sending people to a new page that has updated content. This is going to help with keeping them on your website for longer and clearly that is also going to also help your SEO as Google love happy people that spend longer on a website.

Furthermore, when you are examining the old content, it is certainly better if you check the way in which your keywords are being used. Look at the long tail keywords that are bring used and then make sure that they are making sense and appear naturally in the content. This is important as it was not always the case with old content where the key was to really stuff in as many keywords and combinations as possible. The problem is that this did not always make sense and yet that was not as important in the old days.

Well, that is no longer the case because of the issue of quality over quantity that is now the important part in all of this.

Look at the facts that are included and perhaps just update the points that are being made to make sure that they are still relevant or even making sense. Google may love fresh new content on a regular basis but the cool thing is that by updating old content it comes across as being refreshed and is now relevant again and yet you still get the benefit of its history as well. In other words, you are really getting the best of both worlds and that is only going to be beneficial to you.

So, what we are saying is the following.

When you have quite a lot of content on your website and that content has been built up over a period of time then it is now the time for you to look at having a clear out and just freshen it up so that you can still get the benefit of it and indeed improve your ranking at the same time. This is something that Google now expects and the best part is that it is also not going to cost you a fortune to do.

Remember that SEO is something that does change and you need to stay on top of it all and to stay abreast of what the new updates are meaning for your website. However, what this post shows is that there is no need for you to make major wholesale changes at all and instead you can just make some minor adjustments that can then have a profound impact on your ranking.

Your Design Influences Your Conversions with E-Commerce Websites

When it comes to you having an e-commerce website there is more to it than simply designing the site via a tried and tested formula and throwing products on there. Instead, it has been proven time and time again that the design is going to have a direct influence on your potential conversions and surely any business is going to want to be aware of how to increase their sales without doing too much in the process?

The problem is further exacerbated when you realize that the average conversion rate for the majority of e-commerce websites sits at a rather paltry 2% and that shows how many visitors and hits you are going to have to get just to then make any decent sized income. Now, surely when you discover that it is such a small percentage that you will want to do anything you can to improve the chances of those visitors then going through the checking out process?

Well, according to different studies of e-commerce websites there are several things that may improve those chances and they are not even that difficult to implement.

Dealing with the Images.

Wherever possible make sure that you never just use stock images of products as that has a tendency to make your website appear as if it is effectively just a cut and paste job and that is hardly going to be inspiring for them. Instead, try to have different images rather than just the norm although clearly they do have to show off the product in order to make it more attractive.

With the images, you should also make sure that you include various thumbnails that show the products from different angles. This is going to provide the customer with even more information and will make it easier for them to decide if they should go ahead and make that purchase.

Dealing with the Layout.

If we then think about the layout because you cannot just throw stuff onto a web page and hope that it is going to start to work for you. Instead, there are several key areas to focus on that will make life so much easier and hopefully increase the number of people that are going to go ahead and make those purchases.

First, you should always have a strong header on your home page as this is really going to help frame the entire page and make your website look far more professional. It should also be capable of telling people what you are all about and what they can expect if they venture further into your website. At the same time, you should always have things such as contact information and links to social media profiles on the footer part of the website and never leave it blank. Also, you might want to use this space in order to really push on with your call to action as this is your last chance on your home page.

Furthermore, do not be afraid of white space on your pages as that is going to give a better balance rather than just cramming in as much as you can to fill it up. This will only lead to some confusion and people will then be put off your website pretty much from the moment that they land there. In addition, do not have extensive parts of text all together because that is also going to hurt the eyes and people are just not willing to sit there and read it all.

Dealing with the Design.

Finally, we have to think about the design because this is also going to play an important role in increasing your conversion rate. First of all, you need to make sure that it is a responsive design so that it works for anybody that ventures on there no matter the device that they are using. This is huge because mobile and tablet usage is continuing to increase so if you do not provide them with an adequate experience then they are simply going to go elsewhere.

Also, do not include too many potential options on any page at any given time. Make sure that the design has a focus and that the focus is clear and draws people in. This has to also include the menu bar on a page because even though you may have a number of different categories it does not mean that you should go ahead and include too many categories. Keep it neat and you will benefit from it.

Basically, what we are saying here is that if you want to at least try to increase those checking out rates then you need to pay attention to your website and in particular your home page. Avoid putting too much on there and make sure that your design draws in the person rather than spinning them out of control. Remember, you want it to be a pleasant experience for them so make sure that is what you provide to them.

Understanding the Importance of Speed for Websites

Webfoot Website SpeedWhen it comes to you having your website it is one thing wanting something that is amazing to look at and capable of providing all of the information that you have deemed to be relevant, but there is something else that is perhaps even more important than the way it looks. That thing is the speed of the website and we are going to look at the reasons as to why this is so important.

The one thing that you can generally say about us humans is that we are often not the most patient species on the planet. We want things to happen now and to not sit around and wait for it as we get bored, irritated, and simply storm off and go elsewhere or do something different. Now, this also applies to websites and, to be honest, the problem is actually worse with websites than it is generally going to be elsewhere.

But why is it like this?

The problem is that we always feel that we are so busy that we hate to waste time. Also, we are aware that there are a number of websites out there for whatever it is that we are searching for that there is no reason for us to just be stuck on the one site as there are other options available. In other words, we hate the very idea of effectively being held captive by a website while we wait for it to load.

So, what is the outcome? Well, it has been shown in studies that if we do not see real progress being made with a website loading in a matter of seconds then we are very likely to just click off and go elsewhere. As a website owner that is going to result in you effectively having people just bouncing off your domain name and of course in this kind of situation you are not exactly going to be able to get the results that you expected from your site.

Overall this is going to have a profound impact on your bottom line and your business is going to suffer from a marketing and monetary perspective and that is hardly something that you want to have happening on a regular basis.

Often, the problem with load times is that people want to have this huge and elaborate website with all of the fancy bells and whistles as they mistakenly think that this is what people are looking for. They want the wow factor when somebody lands on their site, but what is the point in having the wow factor if it takes forever to load and nobody then sees it?

That in itself just does not make sense and it is clear that there has to be a balance between effective design and a short loading period.

This speed issue is a massive problem. In actual fact, the way in which we are now using our smartphones or tablets to access the Internet has only made matters worse. A study showed that as many as 73% of smartphone users have complained about the slow loading speed of websites and, as a result, they simply navigate away.

Now, imagine almost 3 out of every 4 people that load your URL not even bothering to wait for the page to load as it is just taking too long. How is that going to affect your business?

So, what do you do?

Well, the answer is actually easier than you think and it is all back to that key part, the website. You have to get honest and real with yourself and accept that having all of those fancy things is not all that it is cracked up to be. People are more interested in what you are trying to tell them and the information that they are looking for rather than whether or not some cool little gadget flies in on a spaceship and lands on a sunflower before the page opens up or some other crazy stuff like that.

Do yourself a favor and focus on the content. Focus on the navigation and making sure that all of the information that is relevant about your website is on there and is accessible. It is that information that is going to make your business and website a success and nothing else. It is not the cool design that takes an eternity to load.

All that we are saying here is that you need to put some more time and effort into thinking about the actual design and how it is going to work from a practical point of view. Also, you want to listen to your designer and if they say that something is going to be too heavy and take forever to load, then accept that this is going to be the case and take a different route instead.

Websites should be useful, informative, and still look good. They should not load slowly or else there is no point in having them.

The Dirty World of SEO

Search Engine Optimization has been around for what feels like forever. However, it is also fair to say that it has had its fair share of ups and downs and we are not just talking about the methods and techniques that have to be used in order to make any difference to your ranking on the search results pages.

Instead, we are talking about the dirty side of SEO which is actually partly to blame for the way in which Google has to constantly change how they rank websites to make sure that those that are doing things in the correct manner are not being pushed aside by those that are rather unscrupulous in their approach.

Yes, we are talking about the dirty world of SEO.

People may not be aware but there are two approaches known as white hat and black hat and there is a big, big difference between them. White hat involves using methods that fit in with the rules and regulations whereas black hat breaks those very same rules by using methods that are initially highly effective and yet they actually result in websites being punished eventually and them falling down the search results pages.

The problem here is that even though people are aware that Google clamps down on these approaches there are still a number of companies and individuals that are only too willing to risk it all for short term gain with their SEO. They are willing to stuff keywords all over the place, build huge numbers of links, and do a whole host of other illegal and frowned upon things just to get up those rankings and gain huge traffic. It really is a never ending battle and you can even see how tough it is with the number of times that Google changes its approach and the algorithm in order to counteract what these black hat people are doing.

Here is another thing.

As these methods can actually make a difference, (remember we are talking about short term gains and then you get whacked by Google) the people that supply the ‘technology or technological know-how) will often charge big bucks to take control of your SEO approach. They are also very good at selling it to you by stating how they can get you on the first page of Google in next to no time and that this will then bring all of these riches to you that are far and above your wildest dreams.

To be honest, it all sounds impressive but you should just completely ignore all of their sales pitch.

Sure, they might actually get you on the first page of Google but more often than not it is a mixture of these illegal techniques mixed in with lucky timing or they aim for keywords that you could actually rank for quite easily doing things in the correct way. However, you end up being impressed when you do indeed appear on that page and you see an increase in the traffic to your website, but it does not end there.

Eventually, and you have no idea how long this is going to take, Google is going to realize what is going on, change things around, and literally overnight you can go from the first page of Google into absolute oblivion as Google strips out all of the SEO work that has been done on your website by changing that algorithm.

In other words, the money you have spent has been wasted and yet the person offering the service to you will not care. For them, they will argue that it was not their methods that caused this but rather it was Google changing the way they do things and that it was all out of their hands.

However, this is not true.

White hat SEO uses methods that fit comfortably in the rules and by staying on the correct side of the law it does mean that you have nothing to fear. It might take slightly longer to get up those results pages, but you are going to stay there for longer and that is where you really do benefit from it.

Also, using white hat techniques means that Google will actually push you up those rankings when it attacks those websites that use black hat methods. As those website owners wake up and see that they have vanished, you will wake up and see that you have climbed the rankings without anything extra being done. How cool is that?

Basically, the point we are making in this blog post is to always make sure that the company you hire to do your SEO uses only white hat methods and do your research into their methods before you go ahead and spend any money. You may be drawn to them by the short term gains, but think of the bigger picture and the damage it would do to your website if your link vanished into oblivion.

Remember, the long term picture is always going to win.

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