The holidays are a time when business tends to pick up, with some small businesses making large percentages of their yearly sales in the months leading up to the New Year. Because of the higher concentration of sales being made as well as the heightened traffic web pages experience, the holiday season represents a great time for business owners to gather and analyze data on the effectiveness of their landing pages. Whether it is figuring out which pages convert the most, or A/B testing to fine tune the appearance and functionality of their e-commerce pages, taking advantage of this busy time to improve processes is in the best interest of business owners who are serious about having the best sites possible. Get acquainted with Google Analytics. Setting up Google Analytics can help your business with a great amount of insight on traffic patterns and the rate of conversions that your business can expect. Conversion tracking can tell you not only how many sales you’ve made, but

Small business owners who are engaged in PPC campaigns to promote their e-commerce websites are taking advantage of a technology that, when carefully calibrated, can bring them a large amount of qualified leads at proportionately much lower costs than other forms of marketing, such as mailer campaigns. Be aware that certain keywords can become much more competitive during the Holiday season. Small business owners who have set their PPC campaigns to auto-bid on keywords should be aware that during periods of peak activity the prices of keywords can be artificially stimulated to become much more expensive than usual. If you are going to be running PPC during the holidays, make sure you set your bidding cap at a price that you are willing to pay for each click, bearing in mind that not every click through is going to result in a conversion. Do the math to calculate what your business can afford, and at what point you will make a profit. If you leave your

The month of November is when small business owners scramble to make sure that they are ready to meet the rush of the holiday shopping season. With a lot to prepare for, from Small Business Saturday to your clearance sales and New Year blowouts, business owners are in the midst of preparing for a marathon of sales that can take on the same intensity as a sprint. One thing that they must do in particular to get ready is make sure that their e-commerce sites are ready to handle the influx of holiday traffic they are expecting, and there is more than one aspect of whether or not a website is read to weather heavy traffic. Here are three areas that your business should ensure are strong regarding your e-commerce site before you roll out holiday marketing and start ramping up your efforts to drive traffic and conversions. Design. The design of your page refers not only to its aesthetic optimization, but to its form meeting

  Timing is something that is easy to understand, yet often very difficult to handle effectively on a repeatable basis. That being stated, the effectiveness of copy can vary greatly depending on the stage at which an prospective lead is introduced to it. Take for example an onboarding letter that would have been welcomed by a new customer. While potentially useful at the beginning of a lead pipeline, it is likely to be ignored after arriving a week after the fact, and while this may seem like an extreme example of how timing can go wrong, it’s not so far fetched to assume that  the margin of time outside of which copy loses its peak efficiency is more slim than that. Setting up the means to quickly deliver pertinent information and then grow a burgeoning relationship through interpersonal interaction allows business owners to move their businesses forwards with a focus on retaining as much business as possible. Automated emails are a good way to ensure

A social media following is a highly organic thing, and who you are following in return can make a lot of difference in regards to your experience interacting with it as well as in relation to the insights that you are able to gather from looking at your feeds. When it comes to optimizing your social experience as a business owner, a good rule of thumb is that you should be generous with who you follow, but quick to prune out poor quality or irrelevant accounts. The name of the game is definitely quality over quantity when it comes to social media, unless your goal is to simply aggregate tons of views for the content that you are putting out. Views alone that don’t correlate with other engagement activity have very limited value for business owners, so it’s better to create a smaller following of highly engaged followers and follow valuable influencers than it is to aggregate a huge cross section of social users with

Small business owners are continuously proving themselves to be strong adapters of social media technology, using the prevalence of social media across almost every market as a springboard to connect more closely with their customers and acquire new ones in the process. One of the most interesting variables of internet marketing is the fact that the internet has its own culture, being composed of a stew of ever growing information and human interaction. One of the phenomena to come out of this is the idea of memes, essentially template images such as the picture with this article, that have a connotated personality trait or pun that is then played on with an overlay of text. While that description makes them sound dry, the reality is anything but, with the customization of memes meaning that pretty much any demographic has the ability to produce their own jokes playing on the highly recognizable personas represented by each meme image. Memes are part of the culture of the

Chances are good that if you have an email address listed on your business’s website, on profiles like Yelp or Yellowpages.com, or in other directories, somebody is going to email you pitching you a business service. If you have signed up for CRM tools or other business services, then you may already be on a few of their mailing lists as well. It can be tough to see value in being bombarded by B2B pitches if you are not actually interested in any of them, but there can actually be some real lessons small business owners can take away from the marketing material they are getting that can be applied to their own marketing strategies. Spam dodging tactics. Spam filters are the constant yin to the yang of email marketing. Spending hours customizing an email template is lost time if it will simply get swatted out of your customer’s digital fly zone by their spam filter. Aside from running tests on your own templates by sending

  A recent article on Yahoo Small Business touted marketing on Tumblr for small business owners. Tumblr is a great platform that combines some of the best features of a blog with a newsfeed comparable to Facebook or G+. In terms of allowing a business to connect to its customer base and get a better sense of what their followers are interested in, it is a versatile tool. However, a word o to small business owners who are thinking that they don’t need to host their own content in addition to contributing to communities such as the one found on Tumblr; be careful to not assume too much about content that you don’t directly control. If you lose your content on Tumblr or other 3rd party platforms, it can be gone for good. Something that small business owners may or may not consider about Tumblr and other third party platforms where they post their content is the fact that they are not the ones with final

  The more traffic to your website, the better, right? Well, not always. Spam links, referrals from derogatory anchor texts and robot traffic are all types of hits that a website can get that tend to do more harm than good. In the long run, if a site is getting inundated with poor quality traffic it can take a real toll on its ability to appear in organic search results, as Google’s algorithms are designed to punish high bounce rates and attempts to boost site rankings using robots. Whether or not you are the one putting links to your website out there or it is a third party, you should at least know where the links are showing up so that you can take action to prevent them from harming your site. If you spend the time to put SEO practices into Monitor both referral traffic and backlinks. The first indicator that there are poor quality links pointing to your website will appear in the referral

  Before we go any deeper into the question of whether or not business owners should advertise on tier two networks, we should first clarify what exactly tier two networks are in the landscape of digital advertising. Tier one consists of only three search engines. The overwhelming bulk of internet search traffic comes from Google, Yahoo, and Bing. In fact, in a great article on the subject from Yahoo Small Business Advisor, it was stated that Google and Bing together take up 96% of all online search. This raises the question, why bother with networks that fall outside of the first tier of online search? There are a few reasons why small business owners might want to expand to using these networks, but like all PPC campaigns, they need to be effectively managed in order to create profitable return. Tier two sites come in many varieties, making them an interesting supplement to other digital marketing. There are some tier two search sites, such as AOL, that are

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