Unleash The Power Within – Leveraging Links Part 3

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A website is not a once-and-done proposition. They’re more like laundry — one of those day-to-day tasks that never seem to get completed. As your business evolves, your online presence — with your website as its centerpiece — must evolve as well. When you first launch, or when you’ve just reworked one section or another, you may feel that your website is finished. But really, it’s just momentarily paused until the next activity kicks in.

Even if your business hasn’t changed much, the online landscape is surging ahead at warp speed. To stay relevant and continue to attract search engines and prospects, your site must move forward as well. Capitalizing on both on-page and off-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can help your site place on the search engine results pages.

There’s a reason it’s called the web

Search algorithms include hundreds of ranking factors. While the relative importance of individual factors shifts frequently, there are some primary ones that we’ve blogged about previously — such as fresh, substantive and credible content, strong credibility signals and a mobile-responsive template.

Another key ranking factor is the presence of authoritative links. (more…)

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Taking Entrepreneurship To New Heights

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How the work landscape has changed. Years ago, a great career started with landing a job in a big blue chip corporation, one with a management training program and a pension, with stock on the S&P 500 and lifetime loyalty. Today’s world is another paradigm entirely, with smaller business leading the way in job generation, free snacks trumping pensions and entrepreneurship a viable alternative for most anyone.

I’ve worked with a fair number of clients launching new businesses. Often it’s their second act, following a corporate career which provided financial rewards (possibly funding the new venture) but didn’t fuel their passion. Those with corporate experience generally come to the table with a foundation of strong business skills. Others, inspired to turn a longtime skill or interest into a business, may bring guerrilla marketing savvy and creative energy — along with an understanding that there may not be a big paycheck for a while. (more…)

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Get To The Point & Stay On Point: Creating Compelling Content

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Do you know someone who takes forever to tell a story? Despite their best intentions, they wander off on endless tangents and digress with irrelevant details. By the time the story is completed, the point is long lost.

While in a social setting a series of polite nods may be the norm, online disdain is expressed through a swift click away. With the enormous amount of our time spent online, each interaction must be efficient, productive and fruitful.

The power of less

For centuries, those who are able to convey volumes with few words have earned enduring respect and esteem. Consider these idioms, which have been in our culture for hundreds of years: (more…)

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Even A Small Flaw Is Memorable

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A small detail can taint even the most stellar first impression.

We may chuckle at a video of an impeccably coifed high-profile actress on the red carpet, trailing toilet paper from her designer stilettos. Or smirk quietly when a capable but overbearing colleague grandstands at a team meeting, arms waving and mouth open, the evidence of his spinach salad lunch dotting his teeth.

The seemingly flawless 12th floor ocean-view condo might be similarly humbled by the aromas and early morning noise from the fish processing plant directly below. And similarly, the perfect basket of fresh raspberries is marred by the green fuzz found beneath the top layer.

Small flaw, big impact

While our general impression of the exquisitely dressed actress or the beautiful condo may be positive, often it is the blemish that becomes memorable. (more…)

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20 eCommerce Pointers For Your Online Store

For sale

Retail in the Amazon era ain’t for sissies. Shifts in consumer buying habits challenge both brick and mortar stores and online stores alike. Even with support from national campaigns to buy local, preserve downtowns and support independent retailers, competing with the behemoth requires dedication, creativity and resilience. Not to mention patience.

If your online store is underperforming, review these 20 eCommerce pointers.

Silence isn’t golden … meager store traffic 

  1. Don’t ask, won’t know: Create a simple online survey to learn which products your customers are interested in, while also increasing awareness of your eCommerce store. Publicize the survey on your social media channels, website and through your email marketing lists. Create buzz with an online store credit prize for a random winner — and then promote the winner for additional visibility.
  2. Different strokes for different folks: Have a brick and mortar presence also? Cross-channel promotions can lift your sales in both channels. Activate online promotions when your retail store is closed and reward in-store purchases with a coupon towards an online purchase. Advertise your online store in your shop window and at point of sale.
  3. Beat the social drum (consistently): Apply a disciplined approach to drive store traffic using your social channels. Start with frequent and consistently scheduled product-focused posts to build awareness, then utilize social analytics to identify the best-performing posts to boost or promote. Determine the ideal demographic and adjust your ad targeting accordingly. Avoid general messaging like “shop our online store” — instead, create experiential posts that illustrate products in use, demonstrating how they fit into your customers’ lives.
  4. Play games: Try a playful approach like a scavenger hunt with answers on your eCommerce site. Share in-store and on social and email channels to generate participation. Reward the winner with a discount code for the online store. After the contest ends, capture the long tail with posts that highlight the winner and their product.
  5. Roll out the red carpet: Welcome all new email subscribers with a limited duration coupon for the online store. Set up an autoresponder to send a reminder email a few days prior to expiration of the coupon.

(more…)

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