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The Online Marketing Road Map: 12 Steps to Online Marketing Success

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There various web marketing tools that are used to enhance your online brand through retooling and improving your digital marketing skills. Here’s a brief overview of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Establishing a Web Presence and Staking Your Claim:
  • Providing a central landing space (i.e. your website or blog), as well as claiming your company name on various social media platforms should be paramount to your online marketing effort, hence it’s the first step. In this step, we’ll outline what you should do to ensure your digital marketing efforts achieve their goals. You can add social sharing buttons to promote your brand. These buttons allow your  users and customers to share your brand with their social media networks.

  • Developing Lead Generation Methods:
  • It’s never too early to start thinking about lead generation.Though most of the activities listed in the other steps will fall under the umbrella of “lead generation”, in this step, we’ll define the strategy that will help guide the efforts of the steps.

  • Perfecting Content Marketing:
  • In this step, we work on crafting your brand’s story and coming up with creative ways to market it in the online space. It’s an important step, as it will generate the content you’ll be pushing through to your other online marketing spaces.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
  • This step will focus on organic ways to draw traffic to your web spaces. By utilizing the power of search engines to deliver visitors, this topic will show what you need to do to help search engines find you and not hinder them.

  • Social Media Marketing:
  • Step six consists of tips on using the social web to market your wares, with emphasis on how to convert traffic on social networks into leads.

  • Email Marketing:
  • Email Marketing can be one of the most powerful tools in your online marketing arsenal, especially since it places a direct link to your customers by giving you their email address and the ability to specifically craft messages for their eyes. It’s also extremely trackable, and can, over time, become your primary means of converting web visitors to customers.

  • Blogging:
  • Focusing on generating leads through the written word with blogging, and sometimes through video with video blogging (blogging) is what step 8 is all about. We discuss how to build a blog, create content, and actively engage your audience in the medium they’re most comfortable with.

  • Podcasting:
  • Podcasting provides another way of engaging your audience in their space, as it lets them choose when and where they consume your message via digital audio files (aka MP3s). It’s also a great way to tap into iTunes users and millions of others who spend tons of hours commuting, thus making for the ideal “captive audience”.

  • Mobile Marketing:
  • Many people are getting to the web first these days through their smartphones or other mobile device. Mobile users are a different animal, in that they’re goals are different and how they search and use the web is different too. In this step, we’ll explore how to make your online marketing efforts accessible to this audience, and provide some strategies that help you tailor your message for them.

  • Conversion Rate Optimization:
  • Establishing a Web Presence is Step 1, but once we get on the web and get more comfortable utilizing the other steps of this process, we’ll get to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), which will focus on enhancing your website and creating landing pages that convert your site’s traffic into active customers in your database.

  • Understanding Analytics:
  • The 12th and final step is where we’ll discuss Analytics and make all of the efforts of the other steps make sense. It’s not the most exciting topic, but it is necessary as we evaluate the success of your online marketing efforts. We’ll show you what tools you need to monitor your progress, and what factors and stats to look at in order to measure your success.

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Transcription tech tools to help you become a prolific writer

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Just yesterday, this technology writer found it easier to get an article written using an iPhone. Yes, all writers have their various processes that help them pump out genuine and interesting articles that are chock full of words – including a wide array of methods for finding their individual muse. Let me explain a few of them to you.

Ironically, there are times when producing essays and news articles seems to flow better when I’m allowed to steal a moment or a half an hour alone and speak the words into my mobile devices, such as I did after garnering time to formulate the piece in my mind two hours prior to speaking it into my cell phone. I’d been able to use the peace and quiet of my health club’s steam room and dry sauna to come up with a large part of the framework of the article, so immediately upon leaving, I fired up my Microsoft Office Mobile app, which allows me to create and access my Word and Excel files on the go, and spoke a good portion of the article into my iPhone.

Transcription tech tools to help you become a prolific writer

Yes, the Microsoft app still needs improvement. It crashes and sometimes delivers extra text in what looks like Japanese characters that I must delete, but I still find it worth the $10.66 I’ve been paying to the Microsoft Corporation monthly for its extended use. That’s because even after my husband has gone to bed, I can still grab my iPad (which uses less light and space than my MacBook Air) and type away into Word documents, creating more and more writing that assists me in truly becoming a prolific author.

I like using the Microsoft Office app even better than my old method of creating text, which entailed using the microphone on my iPhone to send myself emails to my Gmail address, ones that I would then have to open and copy and paste into Word documents once more. At least the process is more streamlined for me to simply create and maintain the documents within Word all along by using the app. The iPad version even gives you added features, like figuring out the word count, and allowing you to access styles such as “Header 1” and “Title” and so on.
If you’re not technically minded, however, all this stuff might seem like too much to handle, so there are other means of getting your words transcribed if you also seem to create more words by speaking them aloud instead of typing them yourself at times. Services like Wizscribe allow users to outsource their transcription needs, whether the words they need transcribed have been recorded on audio or video files. This can be a great timesaver, especially when considering hour-long meetings or 45-minute interviews that you’ve recorded but need them transformed into words as quickly as possible.

So these methods can work not just for writers, but also to help anyone get a plethora of words recorded and transcribed ASAP – whether you’re a lawyer, a cop or the next Shonda Rhimes.

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Tagging the Importance of Hashtags

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There are a number of things that work wonders for your business- hashtags are one of them. It is one of the best ways of promoting a product via social media websites such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google+. For hashtag novices who can’t seem to figure out what function the “#” sign has when it's added to a tweet or a video post-read on.

What is #?

On Twitter, the # sign (hashtag) turns a word/group of words that are suffixed to it, into a searchable-link. This helps you track discussion topics and organize content, based on those specific words. For Instance, if you wanted to post something about a current Wimbledon match, you would then include #Wimbledon in your tweet & join that particular conversation. Hashtags should be short and contain natural keywords/phrases to improve their visibility in online rankings.

Why Hashtags Matter

When you click on a hashtag, you are able to view all posts which mention that particular subject- all in real-time!! Take a look at why they are important:
Hashtags are a very powerful research tool & website developers who are interested in SEO can easily view trending news on social networking websites.

They are also very important when any breaking news has to be spread and are commonly used to get people talking and discussing about major global events
A hashtag can also be used to promote an event for your business via social sharing and helps attract more potential customers to your website. It’s a great way of promoting a new product launch or when you want to announce a sale, offer or discount.

Many websites also give you the functionality to track the performance of the hashtags you have added. It helps you analyze which keywords/phrases attracted traffic to your site and upped your sales.

Aspects to Focus On
As you can see, for any online marketer or small business owner, hashtags can be the magic wand you wave over the Internet to magnetize customers to your business. But there are some things you must remember while using them- when you add a hashtag to a post on any social networking site, try to incorporate an external web-link into the content, to your site/blog. This helps people link to more information about your brand or company. Incorporate short, simple, impactful and trending phrases and use hashtags to create a strong customer base.

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Key tips for improving your chances of getting hired

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Why is it that there are some people who are able to climb the career ladder almost effortlessly? Each of us knows these people; they do great in interviews and have jobs handed to them on a silver platter. Why cannot you be like that? Getting a job in today’s economy seems like an impossible challenge and even weeks and months may not give you the outcome you desire. You definitely don’t want to be left behind so you want to find the secret of those people who are able to land good and well-paying jobs without much effort. According to Wasp BarCode's small business report, out of all the changes faced by employers, 50% are related to hiring new employees, so it’s a tough game at employers’ end too. Therefore, employers take all the necessary measures only so they can hire the best candidate.

Listed below are some key tips these people follow and they will improve your chances of getting hired.

Understand there is no perfect job:
Career experts will tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect job and it is true. You cannot possibly hope to find everything you want in a single package and this something you need to accept before you begin job hunting. A lot of people turn down perfectly nice jobs just because they are not happy with one or two aspects. Bear in mind that there is room for negotiation in almost every job and you should learn to compromise. Otherwise, you will end up losing the good jobs to others.

Always be prepared:
Preparation is essential, whether it is about applying for a job, submitting your resume or simply attending an interview with an employer. You have to be ready for everything and make sure everything is ready at a moment’s notice. Make sure you have drafted an impressive resume and always tailor your cover letter according to the requirements of the specific employer.
Make networking your mantra: You can get amazing results through professional and social networking. If you want to increase your chances of getting hired, you need to connect with important and influential people, both online and offline. Be active on social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and also attend social community or business events where you get a chance to know people in your industry. Remember that you need to network with people who can help you out. Networking blindly is just a waste of time.

Don’t get discouraged by rejections:
Getting rejected is completely normal and just part of the game. When you don’t get results from a job search, it is immensely easy for you to get frustrated, but you need to accept that not every employer will want to hire you. You will only be hired by managers when they are fully convinced they can benefit from your skills. Continue your job search even if you are rejected a couple of times.

Check out regional job sites:
Sure, you should submit your resume to important job boards, but it would be a mistake to ignore regional ones. Visit websites that focus on jobs in your location or nearby areas and you just might find a good one waiting for you.

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How to tell if your marketing investments are paying off

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As John Wanamaker famously said, "Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half."
Have you ever wondered this same thing? Chances are, the answer is yes. But marketing doesn't have to be guess work. After all, with so many different technology and Internet analytic tools available to us now, why should it be?
The problem that I see with most of my clients is not that they don't know about these tools, or even that they don't have them in place--it's that they don't know what to measure or how to assess the data being delivered to them.

For instance, Google Analytics is a great tool, and it's free. With a basic snippet of code placed on the footer of your website, you can see all kinds of data about your site's activity--how many people are visiting it, where your site traffic is coming from, what actions they took on the site, etc. Or to measure response to your social media campaigns, Facebook Insights and link tracking tools, such as are beneficial, but again, only if you know what you are trying to measure in the first place.
So what are some best practices for measuring the effectiveness and value of a marketing program?
  • Define your benchmarks and criteria for success, then align those benchmarks to a specific action or measurement. Example: if the goal is to drive traffic to a specific page on your site (such as an online purchase form or contact form), then make sure to setup your online tracking tools to measure those specific actions. One way to do this is to setup Goals and Funnels within Google Analytics. A GOAL is a website that serves as conversions for your site; a FUNNEL is the path that you expect visitors to take on their way to converting to the goal.
  • Collect as much data as possible that can help you evaluate response to your marketing meassages and campaigns. Don't just rely on one method to understand customer response, interaction and behaviors.
  • Create realistic and tangible goals. Defining a specific goal, such as--through ad campaign A, our goal is to increase online conversions to our e-newsletter signup page on our website by 5 percent in three months--is much better than a general goal, such as we want to increase awareness of our new line of running shoes.
  • Remember that customer/audience interactions can happen in a lot of ways, not just online. That means you need to find ways to capture customer interactions, behavior and interest using other means, not only through actions taking place on a website. Some ideas: setup unique toll-free numbers, aligned with different marketing or ad campaigns, if most of your business occurs from phone orders OR create a QR code on your in-store signage or print catalog. Whenever someone scans the QR code into their smart phone, it takes them to a specific place on your website, where you want to drive traffic.
Now, more than ever, marketers and business decision-makers have their eyes on the bottom-line, and with the right tools and processes in place, it is possible to see where those valuable investments are going.
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How Your Data Is Being Stored Online?

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Internet has become the key source of information for a majority of users as most of the population is on-line today. Information about each and every company, organization or individual is present on the Internet through a number of sources. People post and share information about any event they encounter, on Internet. So how all this information is stored and where is it stored is an interesting thing to know for the users.

Facebook itself has more than 500 terabytes of user data, applications and campaigns it hosts which is stored efficiently. It's not only about Facebook but the data of many other websites is also stored and processed at some location so where is all this data located? However, the simplest answer to the question is 'Everywhere'.

How Your Data Is Being Stored Online?

As everybody knows, Internet is not a single entity or a central repository instead it's a network of different types of computer systems. These computer systems range from a simple desktop PC to a complex web server, in terms of its functionality and architecture. Only difference between the data storage capabilities of a Giant company like Facebook, Google and Twitter and an average website or web-application is that the giants like Facebook have their own data storage facilities, dedicated in serving the user generated requests while other smaller entities rely on hosting services for their data requirements. The data on the internet is de-localized and is provided to user with series of branches or hops, with defined destination to the web server of that particular web application or website. Advanced technological concepts have assisted in faster information processing from this enormous data repository to provide faster results.

The size of internet data is exploding in recent years as the trend of information sharing and exchange has been introduced. The size of this data is so large that if it's realized practically then it can cover the whole geographical area of USA and China with 13 layers of books.
A major group of web apps or sites belong to average category in terms of budget, so this group of users depends on the sharing of resources which requires sharing of resources of other systems in order to maintain the large volume of data and this is where the actual information lies for users. The hardware level resources i.e. web servers, data centers etc. assist in faster processing and fetching of this data to make it available for the users.

With technology becoming easily accessible and economic with evolution of existing concepts, the large volume data storage became easy for website administrators. Technology solutions like Cloud computing and shared servers bring the advantage of maintaining a high quality web application with efficient customer profile data processing capability while keeping the cost of maintenance at the lowest level. These solutions provide access to their data centers over the internet. However, with some more investment, companies can localize their data centers inside their campus. Intra-networks are used for the purpose of maintenance and installation of additional modules in a website or web app.

In a conclusion, we can actually say that the data present over the internet is not localized in one location and it’s the capability inter-networking that allows users to access large amounts of data. Inter-network connects different computer systems all over the globe so as to make the information available on them for the users.

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Two essential parts of effective online content strategy

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Here is some tips for effective online content strategy.

The relevancy of online content is becoming more important than ever. It can be easy to get caught up in the swarm of SEO and online optimization. However, effective online content providers need to remember the intended purpose of the search engine, and that is to get what content users are really searching for to come up in the SERPs.
Keywords and phrases use to be enough to convince the search engines that the content on the page matched up with the searches they were ranking for. That is not the case any longer. Hummingbird is bringing the intent of users to the forefront of search engine rankings. This means that the best approach to get content to rank is to make it genuinely match what users purpose for that information will be.

Google determines the relevancy of the content by the quality of what the page contains, and the relevant links that point to the site. Link building, and especially link farming have come under heavy fire, so getting relevant links is more important than ever. A link from a relevant website with authority is going to be much more important than even highly authoritative links that may come from unrelated websites.

Google is rapidly becoming a fan of social signals. Facebook likes and tweets used to be seen as a lower tier of SEO than links, but this is changing with the online content landscape. A website with relevant and highly shareable content will be the key for content providers moving forward.
Creating content that is seen by Google as worth ranking will be determined by how much users like the content, and how much they want to share the content with other users as well. What number is there on the Social Share buttons is what that matters the most today. This means that instead of looking to sell your product or company through content, it is much more important to make users want to talk about your company and share their experience with others.
The best web content moving forward will be the kind that plays well with others. The days of generating great content that did not extend beyond your website in the hope of driving on site traffic are gone. To get more  Social links are going to play a major role for online content promotion going forward, both for getting content in front of new customers, and gaining favor with the search engines.
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