Importance of Mobile Devices into Digital Marketing Strategy of a Business

Mobile technology has been advancing at a very fast pace. Smartphones have become mainstream and many consumers use mobile phones to view product reviews, make price comparisons, and find information about products while they are shopping in-store. With consumers increasingly using technology on the go, a company’s Digital Marketing Strategy must be designed to take full advantage of this consumer trend.

With an increasing percentage of consumers using the Internet on-the-go, having a mobile version of a website helps a business reach out to consumers across all devices connected to the Internet. To ensure that customers and potential customers instantly land on the mobile version of the site when they are using their mobile devices, businesses must ensure their sites are mobile friendly. Having a mobile website also helps in the search engine optimization (SEO) of sites; as multiple pages index to the main website, the main website’s organic ranking increases. In order to obtain this level of optimization on mobile sites, the team must understand the features and constraints of smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices, and design and develop their sites accordingly.

Mobile, tablet, and other Internet-enabled devices (such as smartwatches) are personal devices that often form a large part of a company’s Digital Marketing Strategy. A company can use these platforms for one-to-one communication with its audience. For some businesses, it also makes sense to have a localized application for specific devices such as Internet-enabled health monitoring devices and smartwatches. This technology helps businesses communicate with their users based on individual preferences, which helps to build brand loyalty.

With an increase in the number of individuals using smartphones (also referred to as “mobiles”), tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices, organizations must spend significant time understanding the capability and usability of these devices. This is important since mobiles, tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices allow companies to stay connected to consumers through the relevant channels. The digital marketing team should identify appropriate marketing channels where the target customers are present and develop strategies to engage consumers.

Usability and Design – Organizations with established large scale websites have recognized the growing need for compatible tablet and mobile-accessible content and have implemented updates to their websites to reduce and streamline content and website size in order to be more suitable for mobile-accessible devices. Nevertheless, this approach is sufficient only for sites that provide static, one-way dissemination of information. As more customers demand interaction via mobile devices and tablets, the usability of these updated sites could diminish.

Performance – The advent of these devices has also provided companies with an opportunity to gather more personal data from their users and push relevant, context-driven content. Such mobile-optimized content must load quickly on mobile devices to ensure that performance expectations of consumers are met.

The rapid rise in smartphones, tablets, and Internet-enabled wearable and devices has led to a shift in web design approaches, with web development focused on these devices becoming a much higher priority than it has been in the past.

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
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Basic SEO Guidelines

Optimizing a website first involves editing the content, HTML, and associated coding. Constructing a website with appropriate keywords used in the content and the coding structure increases its relevance for those specific keywords. This enables the indexing activities of search engines. The website is then promoted in other websites by publishing or mentioning the website links in those sites. This increases the number of backlinks, or inbound links, which is another factor search engines use when indexing.

SEO activities can be grouped into two broad categories: On-page Optimization and Off-Page Optimization.

On-Page Optimization

This refers to the optimization activities performed on the website itself. Some of the common on-page optimization tasks include the following:

  • Creation of Unique, Accurate Page Titles
  • Creation of Proper Meta Tag Descriptions
  • Optimization of URLs
  • Ease of Navigation
  • Optimization of Content
  • Anchor text
  • Optimization of Images and Videos
  • Use of Heading Tags
  • Creation of Mobile Site

Off-Page Optimization

The goal of off-page optimization is to promote a website in the right ways to improve its reputation, so the ranking of the website rises. Off-page optimization refers to off-site factors that have an effect on a website that are not controlled by coding on the website. Some of the factors that deal with off-page SEO are:

  • Search Engine Submission
  • Directory Submission
  • Social Networking
  • Blog and Forum Posting
  • Link Building
  • Article Submission
  • Press Release Promotion
  • Document Sharing
  • Questions and Answers Sites
  • Business Reviews

In addition to the activities mentioned above, other off-page optimization activities such as Social Bookmarking, Photo and Video Sharing and Promotion, Search Engine Local Listings, Yellow Pages, Maps, Social Shopping Networks, and other activities help to increase the online reputation of a website leading to improved search engine listing.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
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Importance of On-Page Optimization in SEO

The Internet has become the primary source of information for the majority of consumers. Keywords and phrases are typed into a search engine on a computer or mobile device, and a vast volume of related content is presented to the consumer.

Once the results are displayed (in order), the user can click on any of the displayed links to visit any particular website or web page for the information needed.

Search Engine Optimization involves a number of activities and initiatives that businesses can implement to achieve high search engine rankings. Such activities address both on-page and off-page ranking factors that can affect a website’s or web page’s search engine rankings for specific search terms, resulting in a high placement in a search engine’s “organic,” or “natural,” or “unpaid” search results.

On-Page Optimization refers to the optimization activities performed on the website itself. Some of the common on-page optimization tasks include the following:

  • Creation of Unique, Accurate Page Titles—Having proper title tags for each web page in a website is very important. A title tag describes the topic of a particular page to web page visitors and search engine crawlers. For example, Google typically displays the first fifty to sixty characters of a title tag. At least 95 percent of titles less than fifty-five characters will be displayed properly to the users.
  • Creation of Proper Meta Tag Descriptions—Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. Meta tags give search engines a summary of what the page is about. Search engines usually use the meta description as the displayed description for the pages.
  • Optimization of URLs—A URL, or uniform resource locator, is a web address. Both search engines and users prefer websites with consistent, easy-to-read URLs. The URL of a webpage should be relevant, compelling, and accurate from an SEO perspective. It should be descriptive and brief. A visitor who only sees the URL should have a reasonable understanding of what he or she can expect to see on the page.
  • Ease of Navigation—A logically structured website is important for search engines. Easy navigation not only helps visitors find the relevant content, but also helps search engines understand what content is important.
  • Optimization of Content—Good quality content is the most important factor in website optimization. This influences the overall SEO of a website more than any other factor. The content should contain important keywords but avoid artificially stuffing the content with keywords. This practice negatively affects the reputation of the website. The content should be created primarily for the users—not the search engines.
  • Anchor text—The clickable text that appears when a hyperlink is displayed as a result of a search or is visible on a referring website is the anchor text. Anchor text containing relevant keywords improves the ranking of a web page and informs the user of the link’s relevance.
  • Optimization of Images and Videos—Search engines cannot read the content of an image or video. Therefore, the filename of this content is very important. Rather than having a generic filename—such as image001 or video_123—the filename should be a description of the image or video content. Keywords should be used; however, the filename should be relevant and as short as possible.
  • Use of Heading Tags—A site containing proper H1, H2, and H3 tags is likely to rank better than a similar site without heading tags. The H1 tag is the most important tag and should contain a relevant keyword. Excessive use of heading tags should be avoided. They need to be relevant to the content and make sense to the user.
  • Use of robots.txt—A robot file instructs a search engine spider whether or not it can access a page. Most websites contain pages that the owner does not want the search engine spider to index in its database; therefore, those pages are not displayed to users. Using robots.txt file can prevent a search engine spider from crawling through a website.
  • Creation of Mobile Site—Having a mobile site and informing search engines about the site are very important. The number of people visiting a website through mobile devices and other web-enabled devices is increasing. When a separate website for mobile devices is created, search engines should be notified. A mobile site should be submitted to search engines manually, so it can be indexed accurately. There should be correct redirection of users when a site is accessed using a mobile device.

Studies suggest that when using search engines, most people do not go beyond the listings mentioned on the first couple of pages of the search engine results list. It has been noted that 90 percent of all users do not look past the first thirty results. This means a high-ranking website has a much higher probability of getting traffic from search engines than a lower ranking website.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

Which key element of social media should you focus on?

Social media refers to all channels where people and customers are able to interact with each other via digital media, on forums which are public or accessible to multiple people. There are a number of social media companies each of which has created its own model on how to get people to communicate with each other. However, all these models can be broken up into certain key elements of social media which are described below:

  1. Blogs: These are websites created by individuals, groups, or companies to express their opinion, information, or creativity on any topic of their choice. The most popular blogs are on topics which are of interest to a large community, have something interesting, useful, or creative to share, and are written in an engaging style. Blogs may contain images or videos, in addition to text. In most cases, they are also open to comments from readers. These comments are generally directed to the author. However, sometimes readers start discussing a blog post amongst them which turns this feature into a discussion forum. From a company’s perspective, a blog is an excellent means of updating their customers and prospective customers of happenings related to the company or the company’s products. Frequent updates also keep a website’s content fresh which helps it rank higher in search engines.
  2. Discussion forums: These are websites used for discussing issues related to a specific topic. Participants in such forums may be asked to register themselves. They are free to ask each other questions, answer questions and share information. Many forums allow participants to rate each other’s contributions which enables contributors to build their reputation over time. Contributions from reputed contributors are generally considered more trustworthy as compared to new members. If reputed contributors mention a company’s product or provide a link to its website, then the product website may witness a significant improvement in search ranks on search engines and increased visitors to the website. Companies can also participate in such forums actively to engage with participants and build a positive identity for themselves and their products.
  3. Professional updates sharing: This relates to people, groups, or companies sharing professional updates generally related to an organization, a company, a product, or a profession. The objective is generally to promote the above entities or to start a discussion around these entities. Companies share such professional updates for various purposes, like sharing product launch information, communicating offers and discounts, announce changes in policies, and sharing media coverage, amongst others. Relevant and engaging updates can help companies build and retain a loyal base of customers and Updates by companies which are in the business of distributing news on various topics also come under the purview of this element.
  4. Personal updates sharing: This relates to people or groups sharing personal updates about themselves or about a topic. These updates are generally shared with their friends, relatives or acquaintances but the option to share with the general public is also there. A company needs to create content or share updates which are relevant or interesting enough for people to share it in their personal network, and which should also align with the marketing objectives for a product. People generally share content which they feel is useful or interesting for others in their social circles. Hence, the focus for a company should ideally not be on marketing or promotion but on being a source of useful and interesting information on subjects related to their product. Also, companies which have a high level of brand loyalty and where customers relate to the brand strongly may find customers voluntarily creating content or experiences related to the brand or sharing the brand’s professional updates. For example, there are a number of clubs of customers who are biking enthusiasts who ride a particular brand of motorcycles and who organize events and create content related to the motorcycle brand.
  5. Audio-visual sharing: This relates to sharing videos, audio, or images with other people. Such content can be shared with any person or groups. In most social media channels which are focused on sharing such content, people can vote on or rank such content or add their comments. Thus these channels integrate the discussion forum element into audio-visual sharing. For example, in Youtube, which is a social media channel used for sharing videos, users can like or dislike a video, comment on the video, and reply to each other’s’ comments.

    Companies can use such channels very effectively as videos, images, and sounds can have a much larger impact on the target market compared to text updates. Many companies invest in creating engaging and interesting videos about their products which sometimes become extremely popular and drastically increases brand visibility. Some also create melodious songs around their product which also might become popular as songs in their own right or as ringtones for mobiles.

  6. Others: There are other social media elements as well which are quite popular. However, their usage across different social media channels is limited and they are mostly used as stand-alone elements. We will cover two such elements here:  collaborative websites and content discovery sites.

Collaborative websites are created by a group of people working together to create a website on a particular topic. Some might provide the raw content, some might review it, and some might format the content. Examples of collaborative websites are wikis where people collaborate on specific topics of interest to them, and once a page on a particular topic is created, they keep reviewing it to make it better over time. The most popular example of a wiki is Wikipedia. As the most popular wikis are continuously peer reviewed and trusted by a large audience, a company’s mention on such pages can bring a large amount of online traffic to its website.

Content discovery sites are those where people share content which they found interesting or useful, so that others can also access the same content. As the focus is on content discovery, the homepages of such websites generally contain content shared by others. Users who subscribe to or register on such sites can customize the type of content which appears on their homepage. Companies which create interesting, engaging, and useful content, stand a good chance of their content being shared on such sites, which in turn drives additional traffic to their website.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

Various Types of Search Engines

The Internet has become the primary source of information for the majority of consumers. Keywords and phrases are typed into a search engine on a computer or mobile device, and a vast volume of related content is presented to the consumer.

Studies suggest that when using search engines, most people do not go beyond the listings mentioned on the first couple of pages of the search engine results list. It has been noted that 90 percent of all users do not look past the first thirty results. This means a high-ranking website has a much higher probability of getting traffic from search engines than a lower ranking website.

Search Engine Optimization involves a number of activities and initiatives that businesses can implement to achieve high search engine rankings. Such activities address both on-page and off-page ranking factors that can affect a website’s or web page’s search engine rankings for specific search terms, resulting in a high placement in a search engine’s “organic,” or “natural,” or “unpaid” search results.

Most search engines can be divided into two common groups:

1. Spider- or Crawler-Based Search Engines

This refers to an Internet-based tool that searches the index of documents or web pages for a particular term, phrase, or text specified by the user, and produces results that are collected, sorted, and automatically indexed based on a defined algorithm.

A software program known as a “robot,” “spider,” or “crawler” scans web pages, follows links between pages and sites, collects information about websites, and indexes this information. This index is a large database of all the websites the crawler has scanned. When a search is performed using a spider-based search engine, the results are provided based on the information in the search engine’s index.

To rank high in search engine results, businesses need to optimize their websites and web pages to ensure that they are being properly indexed by the search engines. Several activities can be initiated in order to influence the information gathered and indexed by robots, spiders, or crawlers. There are many crawler- or spider-based search engines available on the Internet. Some of the popular search engines are Google, Baidu, Bing, and Yahoo.

When a search is performed in a spider-based search engine, the results show both unpaid “organic” listings and paid listings, if any, for the keyword searched. Search engine optimization affects only organic search results. Paid or “sponsored” search results are not affected by SEO. Sponsored results are ads purchased through search engine services such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads. These figures show the anatomy of Google and Bing search engine results.

 

2.  Human-Edited Web Directories

These directories are Internet search tools that search for information by subject categories. Rather than “robots” or “spiders,” which create directories automatically, human editors create these web directories. A short description along with the URL of the website is submitted to the directory for approval. The search directory then assigns the website to a category enabling the URL to display in search results for that category.

With web directories, the HTML page coding and content of the website seldom directly affect the listing. Directories often provide more targeted results than spider-based search engines. Some examples of popular human-edited web directories for businesses include Dmoz, Business.com, Best of the Web Directory, and Starting Point Directory.

For SEO purposes, a website should be optimized to gain high ranking in spider-based search engines. However, listings of the website in human-edited web directories also help in the overall SEO ranking.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

All About Affiliate Marketing

Companies may wish to partner with entities—such as publishers that are individuals or other companies—that can be beneficial to the brand. This can be a productive way for a company to expand its reach and marketing efforts.

There are two ways affiliate marketing is approached: companies offer affiliate programs directly to other companies/individuals, or they can sign up to be an affiliate through another organization. The company that is offering or controlling the affiliate program will pay a commission for every lead or sale the affiliate delivers to the company’s website.

Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing where customers or partners are rewarded for designated actions that help market the brand. For example, a customer might mention in a Facebook post that he or she purchased a product and gain a certain number of reward points for their post.

The affiliate marketing program may be structured so that when more than ten friends like or comment on that post, the individual earns more points. The affiliate can then redeem these points against the company’s products or some partner brands.

Affiliate marketing helps widen a company’s reach exponentially using the most credible medium—existing customers. Websites offering price comparison services, coupons, shopping directories, and virtual currency platforms are the most popular affiliate marketing websites.

To look at affiliate marketing in a simple way, it is a cycle consisting of three key entities. These entities are the “merchant,” which is the brand whose product is being marketed, the “publisher” who is the affiliate, and finally the “customer.” In simple words, the advertiser pays a certain commission to the publisher for bringing new customers to the business.

Through affiliate marketing, merchants or companies gain a wider reach to sell their products or services, which is usually a key element to any marketing strategy. This approach can also allow the company to build a strong image or brand name.

One of the main advantages of affiliate marketing is that companies can gain more customers with limited dollars, since the approach is commission based or points based. However, there is the possibility that some merchants may incur high commission, maintenance, and initial setup costs, depending on the nature of the business.

Affiliate marketing is different from referral marketing in the way that it uses online marketing platforms—social media, search engine marketing, and more—to market the product while referral marketing is primarily based on word-of-mouth and relies heavily on trust and personal relationships between existing customers and prospects.

Affiliate marketing can be a powerful tool for a product brand because, in addition to helping grow the customer base, it can also aid brand presence in the market and create a buzz around the brand and its respective brand identities.

Attracting the right affiliates is very important for the affiliate program to be a success and in determining the volume that can be expected from the program. Updating content regularly and staying up-to-date with recent trends is equally important to help ensure that customers respond to the company’s offers.

A product or service does not have to cater to a niche market. Common-place brands, even fast moving consumer goods brands, can benefit greatly from affiliate marketing with the help of the right offers and efficient partners.

Getting products onto as many sites as possible is not necessarily the most important goal. Marketers must also consider the relevance, value, and traffic of the sites and platforms that one is able to reach.

There are some common mistakes affiliates tend to make, and businesses need to be aware of them. The job of the affiliate is to “market” the product, not “sell” the product. Selling is the job of the advertiser itself. Trying too hard to push customers to buy the product may only push prospective customers away.

Partnering with too many affiliates can be another mistake that brands need to carefully consider. Being everywhere can serve to dilute the customer perception about the brand and undermine its credibility. A crucial component to help ensure success with affiliate programs is to have robust analytics capabilities in place and to use them regularly. This will enable the company to understand which affiliates bring in more business, the value of that business, and where they should increase or decrease their efforts and investments in affiliate marketing.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course

How Off-Page Optimization Influences the Success of a SEO Campaign

Search Engine Optimization involves a number of activities and initiatives that businesses can implement to achieve high search engine rankings. Such activities address both on-page and off-page ranking factors that can affect a website’s or web page’s search engine rankings for specific search terms, resulting in a high placement in a search engine’s “organic,” or “natural,” or “unpaid” search results.

The goal of off-page optimization is to promote a website in the right ways to improve its reputation, so the ranking of the website rises. Off-page optimization refers to off-site factors that have an effect on a website that are not controlled by coding on the website.

Some of the factors that deal with off-page SEO are:

  • Search Engine Submission—The website needs to be submitted manually to the most popular search engines to get listed for free and quickly.
  • Directory Submission—The website needs to be submitted to high quality directories.
  • Social Networking—A presence in social networking sites, and creation or involvement in online communities, increases the reputation of a website considerably. Search engines place a higher ranking on sites that are active in social networking.
  • Blog and Forum Posting—This is one of the most powerful ways to promote your company’s website. Writing quality blogs and participating in public user forums is a great way to increase the online reputation of a website. It is also a good idea to create a blog and forum as part of the website itself.
  • Link Building—Link building is a standard off-page optimization technique. There are several ways to increase backlinks to a website. However, it is important to note that search engines are very strict with respect to unethical Link Farming. A site that has thousands of links, often to unrelated sites, will be considered spam by the search engines. Reciprocal linking is common and generally accepted if it is not excessive and provides value to the site visitor. Public blogs, forums, and directories are great sources for backlink building.
  • Article Submission—Writing industry-related articles and submitting them to popular article sites such as ehow, Ezine, Go Articles, Hubpages, and Buzzle help to establish an online reputation and can also be used to increase links to the website.
  • Press Release Promotion—PR submissions in popular online PR websites, such as PRLog, PRWeb, Market Wire, PR Newswire, 1888pressrelease, 24-7 Press Release, Open PR, and PR Leap, increase a company’s online reputation considerably.
  • Document Sharing—Sharing business documents, information brochures, and presentation slides in document sharing websites, such as Google Docs and Slide Share, helps to increase online brand visibility.
  • Questions and Answers Sites—Participating in popular question and answer sites, such as Quora, Google Questions and Answers, Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers, and Stack Exchange, is another great way to increase website link popularity.
  • Business Reviews—Participating in business review sites, such as Google Reviews, Yahoo Local Listings, Consumer Search, Trustpilot, and RateitAll, increases online reputation.

In addition to the activities mentioned above, other off-page optimization activities such as Social Bookmarking, Photo and Video Sharing and Promotion, Search Engine Local Listings, Yellow Pages, Maps, Social Shopping Networks, and other activities help to increase the online reputation of a website leading to improved search engine listing.

It is also important to note that different search engines assign different weights to the various SEO activities. These change over time as new standards and formats are developed.

 

The article has originally been posted at https://www.smstudy.com/freeresources/articles
SMstudy is the global accreditation body for Sales and Marketing certifications. For more details visit https://www.smstudy.com
Important links:
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/dmbokguide/download-dmbok-guide to download the Digital Marketing Body of Knowledge for free
Visit https://www.smstudy.com/certification/digital-marketing-associate for free Digital Marketing Associate certification and course