Using WordPress? Here’s an SEO Checklist for You

All kinds of things go into how Google and other search engines rank your website compared to your competition. Though no one really knows exactly how the algorithm works, we know there are many factors they consider, ranging from the cleanliness of the code itself, to keywords, time spent on site, age of the domain, and more. Some factors have more bearing on the rank than others, of course – and that's why SEO is such a complicated science. WordPress is a wildly popular content management system that's user-friendly, too. If you're using it to manage your website, here are…

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Native Advertising: Why It Works And Why You Should Do it Now

Native advertising is paid content that's made to match the look and feel of the website it's presented on, so it looks more like organic content. It encompasses many content formats, ranging from articles to infographics and videos. This type of content appears to provide value to the audience, but the end goal to sell a product or service remains the same. Native ad spend is expected to reach $21 billion by 2018, up from $4.7 billion in 2013. Native advertising is part of content marketing, and the strategy helps increase your content distribution and reach.   How Native Advertising…

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Should You Incorporate a Chatbot in Your Social Media Strategy?

Facebook Messenger is a separate application that allows users, both personal and business, to send messages back and forth without using the original Facebook application. Many businesses are adding it to their marketing strategy simply because more than 1 billion people have adopted the platform as their primary communication channel. It's not just the people who have downloaded the app but the number of people who regularly use the platform to talk to their friends, family, and business connections. Mark Zuckerberg announced bots for the messenger platform back in April 2016 which allows businesses to build custom bots to form…

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The Complete Guide on How to Optimize Video for SEO

When you think of online videos, what's the first thing you think of? YouTube, right? While it may be the most popular video distribution platform, that's not to say it's the only option. And while YouTube could easily be considered the second most popular option behind Google, if it were a search engine anyway, there's more to video than throwing it up on YouTube and hoping for the best. With a bit of work, you can make a real impact on your ranking.   Define Your Goals Before You Start To provide a decent return on investment, your videos must…

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Tips for Creating Cohesive Branding for your business

Creating a cohesive brand identity is deceptively complex. On the surface, it may appear to be as simple as hiring someone to create an eye-catching logo and engaging content that can then be distributed to consumers. In reality, the process of creating effective branding begins with deep introspection about the core values the brand represents and an examination of the ideal client they are trying to reach. From there, it is possible to identify the colors, fonts, stylistic elements, and types of imagery that will best represent the brand and resonate with the customer.   Core Values One of the…

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Why Avoiding a CRM Will Be Harmful for Your Business

CRM refers to customer relationship management. It's a type of software that allows you to develop a database of all your customers or clients, and keep track of information about how and when they interact with your company. While many companies operate without a CRM in place, actively avoiding using one can be harmful in a number of ways.   You Can't Remember Everything Running a business means lots of details to keep up with. And even if you write everything down or otherwise document it somehow, there's a lot of potential for information to slip through the cracks –…

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Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a New Product or Service

This guide assumes you've done all your homework in terms of market research. You've developed and tested the idea, built the prototype, gone through beta testing, and now you're ready to launch your new baby into the world. Your strategy can make or break your success, so it's critical to go into everything with a plan. You'll need to first define your sales objectives – and the more research you do in this stage, the more successful you can be. You'll also want to schedule a launch date, so you can develop the appropriate timeline for everything in your product…

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6 Ways to Nail Social Customer Service

A 2013 survey showed 2/3 of customers have used a company's social media website for customer service purposes. And younger consumers, between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to use a brands' social media presence for service interactions than they are for marketing. Another study revealed 33% of customers would rather go to social media than reach out to a company on the telephone. That means businesses must provide customer service through their social media channels, and while some of them are doing a great job (read: Netflix, JetBlue, and Starbucks), others aren't doing much of anything…

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How to Create Solid Self-Help Options for Customers

By 2020, 85% of the customer relationship will be managed without ever speaking to a person. Why is that? Well, it's at least in part due to the fact that businesses are recognizing how much their customers hate dealing with customer service. In fact, 1/3 of people would rather scrub a toilet than talk on the phone to an agent. While that means agents need to be available on other channels, like live chat, email, and social media, it also suggests customers are interested in self-help options that allow them to solve their problems without dealing without customer service at…

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7 Types of Visual Content You Should Include in Your Strategy

Anyone with an internet connection can create and share content – visual or otherwise. This translates to a vast array of professional and amateur content, and a crowded environment. To stand out in any content marketing campaign, you must have quality, of course, but visual content can set you apart from the crowd. Why visual content? 90% of the information the brain processes is visual. 65% of people are visual learners. And, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. But, when that information is paired with a relevant visual, the three-day…

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8 Ways to Test the Validity of Your Product or Service

If you've got an idea you think would make you rich – you could be right. Or, you could be wrong. It's important to test the validity of your idea before pouring tons of time, energy, and money into something. Yeah, you can be excited about it, but just because you are doesn't mean the rest of the world will be. Why waste those resources if you're not going to be able to turn a profit? Check out these eight ways to find out if there's a market for what you're thinking about introducing.   Generating Workable Ideas If you…

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Complete Guide to Integrate PR with Content Marketing

For years, the PR industry has been changing. The increased use of the internet and social media lends itself to a decrease in traditional media readership. It also means more brands are taking control of their reputation online, which in some cases is great PR, and in others, creates a nightmare. PR, according to the Public Relations Society of America, or PRSA, is "a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics." Essentially, PR is the art and practice of building relationships. Relationships matter in personal and professional life – they can make or break…

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Eric Sachs on Challenge Assumptions Podcast

Eric Sachs joined Greg and Gene on the Challenge Assumptions Podcast to talk about the world of SEO. In the 50-minute episode, Eric, Greg and Gene discuss: How Eric got started in SEO and digital marketing. The future of SEO and mobile marketing. Keeping transparency in the forefront of your company. Why Sachs Marketing Group has never had a "charge back." [embed]http://traffic.libsyn.com/challengeassumptions/016_Eric_Sachs.mp3[/embed]   Transcript Gene:                        The Challenge Assumption's podcast is brought to you by Dolphin Consulting – your source for the latest sales and marketing techniques and training in any industry. Visit DolphinConsulting.org today. Eric Sachs:               I just happened to…

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7 Email Segmentation Ideas for Maximizing Email Profits

Across different industries, email marketing has proven to be an effective strategy in online marketing. Smart marketers have embraced it already: A survey report by an online technology reviews firm revealed that out of 200 marketers surveyed 97% of them are using email marketing software. If you’re already using email marketing, you need to take it a step further to begin to see dramatic results.   Email segmentation? Here’s how Email Monday defines it: Email marketing segmentation is the art of splitting your list into different groups. These groups – or segments – consist of people with similar characteristics. Segments can then be emailed…

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How to Get Your Fans Actively Involved in Your SMM Campaign

Creating and executing a social media marketing (SMM) campaign is complex business – with a number of variants along the way. You have to think about what networks you're wanting to include, what your end goals are, and how you think current and prospective fans will respond. Nothing really ever guarantees campaign success, but one of the best ways to swing the odds in your favor is to actively involve your fans, somehow. The options are practically limitless, but you'll of course need to factor in your niche, budget, and other considerations before you determine the best way to do…

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8 Business Blogging Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Blogging is hard work. It takes consistent effort, time, and dedication to get it done right. Your blog isn't going to take off overnight, and thus it can be discouraging. In fact, it may even be tempting to trash it in favor or something else – more pressing activities. But, I'm here to tell you, blogging is worth it – especially for your business. But, whether you've been blogging for a month, six months, or six years, there are many common mistakes you can make. And I'm here to show you what they are, and what you can do to…

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7 Time Sucks That Are Killing Your Work Productivity

If you're constantly feeling overwhelmed and like there aren't enough hours in the day to get through everything you possibly need to do, it's time to evaluate your time management skills. It's time to take a look at what's really taking up your time during the day, and become more aware of the things that are killing your work productivity. Whether you work in a standard office like me, or work from home like many of the people I know, I am willing to bet there's at least one, if not more of the things on the list below that are…

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The Fool-Proof Guide to YouTube Marketing

Did you know, YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than any cable network in the United States? That's pretty impressive, and incredibly telling about our media consumption habits. If you're marketing to anyone in that age group and you're not engaging in YouTube marketing, you're missing out. Just as with anything else in online marketing, you shouldn't start without a plan. Randomly grabbing your cell phone and recording a video from your living room could work, but it won't necessarily. Save that kind of thing for Facebook Live or Periscope. Ready to dig in your heels…

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Cold Pitching Isn’t Dead: How to Nail Your Next Pitch

If you're cold pitching – you're pitching your story (or your product) to someone you don't already have a connection with, with the hope that they'll run your story, or buy your product. Maybe you don't want them to buy your product right this second, but you want them to attend a webinar or schedule a demo, so you can try to sell them later. These days, it seems everywhere you look, there's someone bashing the cold call or pitch. But, I'm here to tell you – it's not dead. Just like with anything else in marketing, it won't work…

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26 Tools to Monitor Your Brand (And the Competition!)

Brand marketing is an absolutely essential part of your online marketing strategy. You need to monitor your brand – and your competition, too. You may have SEO locked down so people can easily find the relevant content your company produces, but if they are not satisfied with the product, service, or customer service experience, they may be making that displeasure widely known throughout social media channels. But it's not enough to pay attention to what they're saying about you. By keeping a close watch on what people are saying about the competition you can learn from both their mistakes and their…

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Building a Facebook Audience for Your Brand Page – Top Do’s and Don’ts

When first starting to build a social media presence for your brand, it’s important to avoid certain activities, while focusing your efforts on attracting followers. Not just any followers will do, however. Without targeted fans, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. But, building a Facebook audience isn’t just about what you post on the page, and how often you post. Yes, those things play a role, but there are certain things you can to turn an audience away, even as you try to attract them. Let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t do as you…

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10 Email Marketing Secrets to Gaining Tons of New Subscribers

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to communicate with prospects and customers. The average open rate varies from industry to industry, with those in the hobbies industry getting the highest open rate of 28.85%, and the highest click through rate of 5.41%. Perhaps not so shockingly, daily deals and e-coupon emails get the lowest open rate of 13.87%, and the lowest click through rate of 1.81%. The point is, some industries do better with email marketing than others, just due to the nature of the business. But no matter which niche you're serving and the size of…

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9 Foolproof Ways to Transform Into a Better Blogger Today

Whether you're blogging for personal reasons with the intention of monetizing and turning it into a business in the future, or you're blogging as a means of lead generation for your business, there is always room for improvement. With tens of thousands of blogs created on just WordPress.com alone, every single day, the competition is always fierce. Granted, many of these blogs are soon abandoned, but with persistent effort and dedication, you can become a better blogger. Check out these tips to help you get started.   Read Other Blogs One of the best ways to learn is through reading…

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Step-By-Step Guide to Building an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

An editorial calendar for your blog helps you keep up with what needs to be written and published and when. It's a good idea to put one together for the month, if not for the year, at the beginning of the year. It helps you plan your blog's content around marketing campaigns, holidays, and other events, too. Knowing what you've got coming up ensures your content and other assets are always ready to go ahead of time off and sick days. Plus, if you’ve got a team of people working on the blog, the editorial calendar keeps everyone working from…

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Your Complete Guide to Creating a Link Roundup

Whether you're a business owner or marketer, you know the value of traffic to your website. One of the best ways to build traffic and links is through a link roundup. And, if you choose to host your own, you'll get a piece of curated content to post on your blog. In this guide, I'll explain what a link round up is, and how to include them in your strategy to build relationships with other bloggers.   What is a Link Roundup? A link round up is basically a blog posts that features links to other people's blog posts. Usually,…

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