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How To Successfully Launch Your Website

Website Design & Development

The following steps should be considered when launching your website: STEP 1: Test Your Website It is crucial that you go through each and every page, link, interaction and form on your website to assure that everything is working as it should. Test the   following: 1) Cross Browser Testing – check various web browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera. 2) Link Testing – check all of the hyperlinks and navigational links are directing to the appropriate pages. 3) Form Testing – check all the contact forms can be submitted properly. 4) Interaction and Media Testing – check for any interactive elements such as dropdown menus, flash presentations, videos etc. Step 2: Proofread Your Content Content is one of the most important elements of any website. It helps a website rank in the search engines and it proves to visitors that your business is the best resource for what they are shopping for or researching. The fastest way to discredit your business is to have poorly written content on your website. Even the smallest grammar error could turn a visitor off so take the extra time and go through every single word, sentence and paragraph on your website before launching it. Step 3: User Testing The end user or your visitors are the people you need to ultimately cater your website to, not yourself. By collecting any feedback before you launch and implementing some of the common things people are asking for you will save yourself time and money. Step 4: Website Analytics And Tracking Ensure you add an Analytics and Stats Tracking program that will allow you to properly track the visitor trends on your website such as daily new visitors, average time spent on your website, the most visited pages on your site and much more. This information is extremely valuable in the long term success and optimization of your website. Step 5: Announce Your Website Launch When you have your launch date, stick to it. Tie all of your marketing together by announcing your website launch. 1) Write a Press Release and submit it to online PR websites 2) Submit your website to the search engines Google Site Submit Yahoo Site Submit MSN Site Submit 3) Submit your website to social networking sites Digg StumbleUpon Facebook Twitter LinkedIn 4) Submit your website to business directories Yahoo Directory DMOZ Business.com JoeAnt Best of the Web 5) Put your new website URL and launch announcement in your email signature These website launch tips are just what you need to make sure that the first impression your new website makes is the right one. If you are seeking IT project management or similar marketing strategy, contact us for a FREE no obligation...

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Social Media Mistakes

Social Media

Businesses are integrating social media marketing campaigns into their marketing plans. The ones who truly understand the purpose of social media are reaping the rewards while those who are just following the herd are having trouble justifying their time and money spent on social media marketing. There are many common mistakes in social media, and the below are common mistakes: 1. Being a poor listener 2. Expecting results for doing nothing 3. Being self centred 4. Caring more about making a sale than making a connection 5. Not being transparent   Being A Poor Listener Whether you are brand new to social media or have been using it for a couple years now, the biggest mistake you can make is not listening to your prospects, your clients, your friends. Social media is all about online conversation. Use Twitter Search to find people in your industry that are using social media effectively and listen to them. You will learn more than you need to about how to interact and use social media by doing this one thing. Expecting Results For Doing Nothing If you’re posting something on Twitter or Facebook only once a month, or even once a week, and are expecting people to engage you, then don’t be surprised if your social media world remains lonely and desolate. People flock to social media sites to have interesting conversations, learn from authoritative people and get inside access that they would not otherwise have offline. By limiting your involvement in social media to a pathetic once a month / week schedule, you are drastically reducing the possibilities of prospects being able to find and engage you.   Being Self-Centered If your social media content revolves solely around you, how great you are, or what someone else can do for you, then you are completely missing the purpose of social media. People are looking for interesting content. Caring More About Making a Sale than Making a Connection If you want to lose all of your followers and prevent new people from listening to you in the future in the quickest way possible, then all you have to do is try to sell your product / service through every tweet, status update or blog post you publish. Social media marketing is about making connections first and foremost. Sales come as a bi-product of these connections and should always be attained passively. People do not want to get bombarded with sales pitches and updates about how great your product is over someone else’s. They want and need to connect with you first, trust you second and listen to you consistently after that. Once you have established these things, then sales will come naturally. Not Being Transparent One of the greatest things about social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is that a normal, everyday person can get access to people and companies that they would otherwise have a very difficult time attaining. Be proactive about being open. Don’t wait for people to call you or your company out on something. Post updates on mistakes you may have made, and also the solutions or plans of action that you are taking to resolve these issues. Request feedback from people and be ready for the negative stuff as much as the positive stuff. Consumers have more power now than ever so enlighten them, interest them...

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What Are Group Buying Websites?

Brand Identity

Group buying websites leverage the power of collective bargaining to provide attractive local deals that offer significant savings for consumers while also promising lucrative sales numbers to participating merchants. Group buying websites have gained a lot of traction as they offer short term, daily deals that discount luxury items and everyday products all the way up to 50% off. Products and services offered tend to sell out within hours, thus making this a very attractive and affordable marketing solution for local businesses. Should you choose to participate in any of the group buying sites, take the following steps into consideration: STEP 1: Define Your Offer Before you spend any time contacting group buying sites it is imperative that you pinpoint what you’re offering down to its most important details. Many times businesses will put out offers that may seem like a fantastic deal since the cost is being deeply discounted, but once consumers are lured in it is not uncommon for these consumers to find that their offer was just the “cheese in the mousetrap” to spend up to two or three times as much as the offer advertised. STEP 2: Find the Best Group Buying Website for Your Area Now that you have chosen your promotion, the next step is to find your promotion portal. There are group buying sites to choose from, it is important to make sure that you select the best website for your local area and promotion. STEP 3: Contact The Group Buying Website  Narrowed down your choice, simply go to the website, and get in contact to sign up for advertising. Once you’re signed up and your promotion is running then sit back and watch. Consider hiring a Melbourne marketing expert for all your marketing needs, contact Milkshake-factory.com for a FREE no obligation...

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Press Release Benefits

Content Marketing

One of the best ways you can market your business online is with a Press Release, and they can be extremely effective when optimized correctly for news wires, readers and search engines. It is estimated that more than 2,000 press releases are distributed each day across the main online wire services. To optimise your press release so that it quickly gets noticed and so that it provides your website with the most value for search engine exposure and branding, follow the below steps: Step 1: Make It Newsworthy If your press release is not newsworthy, then please do not send it out. We get enough noise and interruption in our daily lives so if you are going to submit a press release, then make it something interesting, unique and newsworthy. Step 2: Use Keywords If your press release is just a couple of run on sentences with one specific key phrase repeated many times over, then we promise you that it will be a waste of your time and money. Step 3: Use Anchor Text Links One of the basic techniques with on page optimization for any type of web content is to use relevant anchor text links. Anchor text links offer value to your press release and the website you are linking to by (1) increasing the probability that someone will click on your link and by (2) helping the search engines realize what the link that is pointing to your website is about. Do not make every anchor text link you create hyperlink to only your homepage. Try to find specific pages of content on your website to link to instead. If you find yourself with nothing but your homepage to link to then you need to get going on adding some quality content to your website. Step 4: Include Media Great images can speak a thousand words. Videos actually do speak for you, but in a more interesting and interactive way. Try including things like your logo, or pictures of your business. Step 5: Write Professionally Write in the third person. Most press release services will not even allow your press release to be submitted unless it is in the third person. Third person writing makes your press release sound unbiased and as if a professional was hired to do a write up on your newsworthy topic. Stay away from using industry jargon that interested readers may not be savvy to know. Reference reputable sources if you are going to include statistics or data in your press release.   As you can hopefully see from above, Press Releases can have a great impact on your marketing by driving relevant traffic to your website. Consider hiring a Melbourne marketing expert for all your marketing needs, contact Milkshake-factory.com for a FREE no obligation...

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Understanding Inbound Links

Search Engine Optimisation

If you want your website to rank high in the search engines for its relevant key phrases, you need: 1) Quality Content 2) Quality Inbound Links Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site, which can bring new users to your site. The criteria required for a high quality inbound link: 1) Relevancy The website / web page with the link is “relevant”, in topic / theme, to that of your website 2) Website Age The age of the website linking to you is as old as possible (2-3 years) 3) Web Page – PageRank Web Page PageRank is preferably above a PageRank of 2/3 4) Website – PageRank Overall Site PageRank is preferably above a PageRank of 2/3 5) Dilution There are less than 20-30 outbound links on the web page where your link is located 6) Anchor Text The proper anchor text is being used for the link (eg. “popular dog toys” instead of “click here”) 7) Dofollow The links are “dofollow” meaning the webmaster allows links on the website to pass “link juice” to other websites 8) Credibility Any external links are of high quality (ie. no links from pages with links to unrelated sites like Gambling, pharma, adult) 9) Link Location The link is placed as high on the page as possible, preferably surrounded by contextually relevant content 10) Individuality Each link is coming from a website with a unique IP address (ie. don’t want all links to all come from the same website / IP) Quality inbound links can come from many different places on the web. Realistically, you are not going to get links that meet 100% of the criteria listed above every single time. In many cases this is fine though as some lower quality links can still be helpful in proving that your website is a relevant, authoritative resource and also in delivering traffic to your website / blog. Consider hiring a Melbourne marketing expert for all your marketing needs, contact Milkshake-factory.com complete marketing solutions for a FREE no obligation...

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Email Marketing Tactics

Customer Experience

A well thought out online marketing plan, no matter what you sell, is an absolute necessity these days. One of the most overlooked or ineffectively used marketing tactics continues to be email marketing. As more people understand the importance of search engine optimisation or social media marketing, more people start to forget one of the most cost effective forms of marketing – email marketing. People are spending more and more time on their computers these days. Whether it is for work, pleasure, or both, the fact is that people spend significant amounts of time in front of their computer screens. One of the top activities that make up this time is email related. Email is the most common activity of Internet users, with over 90% of all Internet users claiming to be e-mailers. If you are not integrating an effective email marketing campaign into your marketing plan, then you can almost be sure that you are missing out on opportunities for new and repeat business. As with any marketing strategy, you must have a plan of attack for your email marketing campaigns before you just start blasting people with emails. Every impression you make to prospects, new clients or long time clients is extremely valuable so be sure to plan things appropriately. STEP 1: Manage Your Email Contacts Database Before you can send out any emails your database needs to be clean and up to date. You can also purchase lists from list providers to refine your contacts, and add more value to your campaign such understanding demographics or other qualifiers relevant to your target audience. Once you have a solid email database, spend time going through your contacts and scrubbing out any recipients that you have qualified as being useless to your marketing campaign. Do not delete these contacts, just put them in a separate database. STEP 2: Plan Your Email Marketing Campaign Once your email lists are ready to go you can start to think about how to communicate to these recipients in the most effective ways possible. Letter announcing a new service or significant changes to an existing service Newsletter highlighting useful tips and company news, events, promotions Republication of an industry related magazine, trade journal or newspaper article Case study of a successful client solution you provided Reprint of an article you contributed to an industry magazine or publication Checklist of helpful tips for your industry / service Announcement of newly acquired clients Sign up for a couple email subscriptions to receive email marketing from successful companies. This is a great way to find new ideas and to see what effective email marketers are doing. STEP 3: Use Professional, Relevant Messages In Your Emails One of the most surprising things is that many marketers still use poorly designed and poorly written email messages in their email marketing campaigns. Your email marketing messages should meet all of the following criteria to be effective: Professionally designed (clean, easy to read, non-obtrusive or obnoxious colors) Limited imagery (too many images may cause your message to appear empty or worse, get blocked by spam filters) Well written, relevant content (text should be grammatically correct and written in a conversational tone) Provides links for accessibility (in cases where people cannot see or read your message, provide links to somewhere that they can) Includes calls to action (know what you...

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Email Fundamentals

Customer Experience

Several companies are likely to increase their email budget by more than 30% in 2012. However, most companies are still struggling with the same fundamental tactics of email, such as list building, content, integration, and design. Don’t increase your email budgets without a clear focus on what needs to improve and what doesn’t. Take the time to focus on the fundamentals:     Create content based on data. Creating relevant content can be a challenge for email marketers. Constantly collect data about your audience in order to make content as relevant as can be. Find out what your audience wants to hear by asking in a survey or preference center. Segmentation Gives You an Edge on the Competition. Start focusing on perfecting your segmentation now! Design for mobile, period. Approximately 58% of email marketers are not designing emails to render properly on smartphones. Smartphones are becoming more popular, so why wouldn’t you be designing emails with this in mind? It’s these basic concepts that make your email marketing program...

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Social Media Examples

Social Media

After an early morning brainstorming session, my team has come up with the following Social Media Examples: (Donuts were on our mind): Twitter: I’m eating a #Donuts Facebook: I LIKE Donuts Foursquare: This is where I eat Donuts Instagram: Here’s a vintage photo of my Donut You Tube: I’m eating a Donut LinkedIn: My skills include Donut eating Pinterest: My Donut recipe Last FM: Now listening to “Donuts” Google+: I’m a google employee who eats Donuts Consider hiring a Melbourne marketing expert for all your marketing needs, contact Milkshake-factory.com complete marketing solutions for a FREE no obligation...

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How Can RSS Help My Business?

Brand Identity

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. When you submit an rss feed files to the appropriate directories, you are advertising your site online, allowing anyone to pick up your feed and post it on their site. There are many RSS directories that exist solely for you to submit your feeds to and these include: zeedagg.com, Feedburner.com, Feedage.com, Feedraider.com, Feedest.com, Goldenfeed.com, Icerocket.com, AZFeeds.com, Feedbase.net, Feedboy.com, Feedplex.com, Feeds4all.com.   RSS feeds should not only come from your blogs or your website but other web properties you may have established. For example, your ezine articles author account has a feed, your wordpress hosted feeder blog, blogger hosted feeder blog, squidoo lens, hubpage, digg account etc.   The great thing about RSS feeds is that they are automatically updated without you having to do a thing. So, if you have a blog then every time you post a new article to it, the RSS feed for that blog is automatically updated with the new article. You also get an instant backlink to that article from every place that has your rss feed. All you need to do is keep adding fresh content to your web properties.   You can extend your RSS marketing efforts immensely by using creating rss feeds and variations of feed with Yahoo Pipes. Yahoo Pipes allows you to combine as many RSS feeds as you want, and it has a filtering capability, so you can use your existing feeds to create an unlimited amount of RSS feeds on whatever topics you choose which you can then submit to the rss feed directories! Let us know whether you found this blog informative. Consider hiring a Melbourne marketing expert for all your marketing needs, contact Milkshake-factory.com complete marketing solutions for a FREE no obligation...

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How To Tweet Effectively

Social Media

If you’re new to Twitter, you probably thinking what is with the hash sign. A hashtag is simply a relevant word or series of characters preceded by the # symbol. Hashtags help categorize messages and can make it easier for other Twitter users to search for tweets. We have outlined effective means in tweeting below.   Why Use Hashtags Hashtags can make it easier to discover other Twitter users who are interested in the same conversations you like. If you said something insightful or answered a question, others may respond and engage you in conversation by using the hashtag you used. Conversely, if you’re following a certain hashtag, you can tweet a question to others who are observing that conversation stream, engage other interested users in real time or find people to follow. If you search for #Apple, you’re less likely to see tweets that include references to the fruit and more likely to see information about the technology company.   Twitter is a real-time platform and its search function only goes back one week. If you want to pull older conversations, try using third-party services, such as Topsy, that archive messages sent over public social networks.   Using Hashtags For Your Business By creating your own hashtag, you can use it to drive conversations about your business. Are you launching a new service? You can tack #NewServiceAtYourBusinessName on to your tweets. Encourage your Twitter followers and others to use the hashtag. At the end of each day or the end of your sale, you can do a scan for the hashtag and measure how many tweets were posted using it and how many Twitter users you reached.   If you’re hosting a business event, you can create a hashtag for it. Encourage attendees to use the hashtag when tweeting about the event. This will help organize the Twitter conversation while also promoting your brand. Try to include your business name in the tag.   By using third-party applications such as TweetDeck or HootSuite, you can set up permanent search columns to monitor certain hashtags all the time. If you want to keep tabs on tweets about your industry and competitors, for instance, there’s a good chance you can find hashtags to follow....

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