December 2015

The unique qualities to look for in an SEO company before hiring it

Amidst the abundance of disreputable and spam companies which are circulating online, it can be an intimidating and frustrating experience to search for the perfect SEO company. SEO is indeed a long term investment and it has the power to either make or break your online image. SEO is a long term investment and if you do it the wrong way it can create enough harm to your online company. Hence, with your due diligence, you have to select the right company which can handle your SEO. There are some vital things to check out before choosing an SEO company who can work for your online business. Let’s have a look at them.

  1. Company should give you realistic offers: Although this may sound too good to be true but it is probably true. You should always look for those companies that promise to offer you realistic results and those that don’t use guarantees. SEO is nothing but an ongoing process and not even some influential can offer you the guarantee of 100% result as the search algorithms are entirely under Google’s control. So, if you find the company representative offering you overnight rankings, it should raise an immediate red flag in your mind. Beware of such companies.
  2. Company should be experienced: It is indeed a very good idea to watch out for a company which has been in business for a long time now. The length of time throughout which the company has been running indicates their level of experience. Those companies who have serviced too many clients usually have experience among multiple industries and they know what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Go through the company’s case studies: If you’re opting for the good SEO companies, they should have case studies ready for the prospective clients to check out. It is through the case studies that you can get a highlight of their work as they offer you concrete instances of their performance. So, make sure you go through such case studies in order to get a clear idea.
  4. Check the certifications of the company: Although there might not be some particular SEO certification, there are some other standard certifications which most of the legitimate agencies hold for PPC and Analytics. Bing, Yahoo and Google all have their certifications for PPC and those companies which hold such certifications can be trusted and are reliable.
  5. Companies that practice white hat SEO: Ask the SEO agencies the kind of strategies that they use and ask them to explain it to you in terms which you will understand. The companies which are ethical won’t have any big problem in disclosing it but those that are not will have issues in revealing their tactics and strategies.

Therefore, when you’re in the market to hire an SEO company, look for one that offers good SEO packages. Keep in mind the above mentioned tips before choosing the company for your online business.

Old Practice, New Techniques: Modern Email Marketing Tips for Smart Business Owners

While it’s important for marketers to use a mix of methods both new and old, email is the foundation that holds up the edifice. It is as successful as it is for a number of reasons.

To begin, nearly every consumer worldwide has access to email, and reaching them doesn’t cost anything no matter what the distance or remoteness. Marketers only spend on mailing lists and creating attractive copy; the return on investment on each dollar spent is usually in the order of thousands of times.

As impressive as return on anything invested in email marketing tends to be, marketers need to keep reinventing their approach to sustain such levels. A number of trends have emerged.

It’s time to stop with the fake friendliness

“I’m a sucker for simulated hospitality,” George Clooney says in the movie Up in the Air, referring to the kind of fake, computer-prompted first-name familiarity that airlines and hotels like to give their guests. Email marketers overwhelmingly favor it, too. They tend to be acutely aware of the way they send out thousands of faceless emails, and do what they can to compensate with first name personalization. Studies now show, though, that such personalization only tends to put people on their guard about being sold to. It tends to make for a far better effect to not pretend.

Unmarket to people

Unmarketing is an approach to marketing that attempts to get people’s attention without letting them appear to be marketing. A number of methods exist. One involves giving emails the appearance of a forwarded message. When people see a Re or Fwd in the subject line, they often let their guard down. Another involves making recipients believe that an email is work-related, rather about buying something. People pay attention to things that are work-related. As long as such marketing is created carefully and in a non-abusive way, it can work.

Mobile-optimize everything

Two out of three times, people open emails on their mobile phones first. Since many email programs do not have priority inboxes, marketing messages usually do get opened. Fortunately, marketers often neglect to mobile-optimize their messages, meaning that they don’t get nearly as far as they could.

Mobile optimizing marketing emails involves a number of steps. To begin, emails need to be self-contained. Any attempt to take the user outside of the email app tends to be viewed as an annoyance.

Since mobile screens tend to be small, it’s also important to create marketing copy that utilizes quick, easy to sort points, rather than dense text.

Use direct mail to build a quality mailing list

Direct mail may seem anachronistic and expensive in today’s world of electronic-oriented marketing. Yet, electronic messages works only when one has a quality mailing list. Direct mail can be an excellent way to build one. One can go as small-scale as one wants, too. You only need to buy the best printer for envelopes and inserts that you can find, and fire off a few dozen to specific recipients in each neighborhood.

Never mind a call to action

Emails are one of the cheapest forms of marketing possible. This means that marketers do not need to work every email with a call to action. Most can simply be about giving recipients good, solid information that they appreciate. It’s a form of unmarketing that is intended to build trust. It is also a way to come to be seen as a provider of beneficial inputs. When it comes to such communication, email tends to be unequaled for cost-effectiveness and reach.

Kimberly Barnes is a busy marketing consultant. She enjoys sharing her experiences online. Her articles are available mostly on business websites.

Ecommerce Efficiency: Cloud Hosting Questions Every Business Needs to Ask

If you’ve been researching web hosting for your business, you’ve probably run into the term cloud web hosting at a few of the better hosting providers. Since the technology is relatively recent, not every web hosting service usually offers it. It can even be a challenge at times coming by much information on what exactly it is and how it presents an improvement over the technologies that came before it. Rather than give up trying to understand and going with one of the older technologies more widely available, it makes sense to investigate. Cloud web hosting is likely to become the standard in web hosting in the future. If you can, it’s this type of hosting technology that you should put your business on today.

What exactly is cloud hosting?

With a conventional web hosting service, whether shared or dedicated, you put your website on one server computer, or perhaps two or three, if you have an in-demand website. When your website subsists on such limited resources, though, you tend to be unprepared for episodes of high demand.

If you run a retail sales website, for example, you may have a particularly busy time during the holidays, and a relatively quiet time the rest of the year. To make sure that visitors receive good service during the busy times, though, you will need to buy a large server plan, and pay more year-round. It would be a waste of money.

Cloud hosting is the answer to this challenge — it involves putting hosting websites not on specific server machines, but on a virtual server that is able to spread its load across multiple physical servers when demand rises, and on just one part of one server when demand is low. It’s a dynamic process. Technically, while your website may occupy a cluster of servers, it can still  be considered to simply be one machine.

Is cloud web hosting really better?

One of the prime advantages of cloud web hosting technology is that it tends to be cheaper than large-scale dedicated hosting. Cost-effectiveness comes about because your website doesn’t permanently occupy a number of servers simply to be able to deal with occasional bursts of demand. With this technology, the hosting company is better able to spread demand by multiple customers across multiple machines, making for lower costs.

The fact that the solution is dynamically scalable means that you never need to plan for demand. No matter what kind of demand comes in, you only pay a set amount, and rest assured that your customers never see poor performance.

How do you choose cloud hosting?

If you’re new to cloud hosting technology, you can have a little trouble knowing what exactly to look for when you try different services. According to Source Data Products, a leading cloud web hosting provider offering iSeries technology, there three important questions that you should ask every service that you consider.

Do customers only pay for what they use: Dynamic scalability is the primary selling point of cloud web hosting. You want to make sure that the company offers you scalable billing for such scalable services, rather than a large, fixed sum each month.

What kind of security do you use: It can be very hard to keep your data protected in today’s risk-prone world of computing. Since the success of your business depends on access to quality hosting that doesn’t compromise customer information, you should make sure that the hosting service you choose uses data encryption, security audits and other security options.

Choosing cloud hosting is a sensible choice as far as small businesses are concerned. Not only does such technology help save money, it helps protect business reputation by ensuring consistent website performance, as well.

Ruby Spencer provides Ecommerce solutions in her work and enjoys sharing her insights on topics like cloud hosting with an online audience. She writes for several different websites on a regular basis.

Tips for Partnering with the Most Efficient Payroll Company

To get the results that you want for your payslips and accumulative reports for stakeholders it’s important that you find the right partner. The payroll outsourcing company that you hire should be familiar with your industry niche and the way that you run your business. If the professional payroll team understands your own commitment to excellence, they will strive to meet your expectations with the work that they do for your company. Use some of the trusted tips below to find the payroll company that will enhance your business operations.

Decide Your Outsourcing Needs

The first tip that the professionals at www.berkeleyhamilton.co.uk recommend is that you decide what your needs are for outsourcing payroll duties. Do some research to see what types of services are available so that you can take full advantage of the outsourcing programmes. Once you have some ideas in mind, you can then begin to shop around for a company that meets your criteria for excellence. Keep an open mind to all of their offerings so that you can receive the maximum benefits for the costs involved.

Stay Within Your Budget

You, better than anyone, know what you can afford, so when you are researching payroll services try to make every effort to work within your budget. As you save money by outsourcing payroll you can begin to invest in additional services that might appeal to you. You may want to ask about package deals that combine various services for a reduced fee.

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Establish Effective Communications

One of the most important steps that you can take is to establish effective communications with your payroll specialists. Be honest with them, ask their opinion on various issues pertaining to your payroll, and try to work with the same person each time. If you have the same point of contact for your outsourcing needs, the entire process will be simple and stress-free. Tell them exactly what you need, let them know your expectations, and ask what you can do to make their jobs easier.

Test Your System First

When you have everything in place, you should work with the payroll specialists to do a trial run of your payslips before they are actually produced to distribute to employees. This will help you to modify your procedures and work out any problems that occur. Check the details of all calculations; take a look at each employee’s individual information and make any necessary changes in advance of the real payroll run. It will be very beneficial to work out any problems before payslips are given to your staff for the first time.

Do Your Part

You must also do your part so that the process is successful. Send your information to the payroll team by the deadline that they give you, make sure that your information is correct, and ask questions if you aren’t sure of what you need to do. When each person in the process works to their fullest potential payroll outsourcing becomes a plus for your company.

Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cross Selling Strategies for Bigger and Better Sales Profits

Of any part of the sales process that you may be interested in, existing leads are usually considered far more promising than newly generated ones. Leads with previous sales on the record, and potential leads that come from existing customers, usually convert at a far greater rate than all-new leads.

Existing customers can be promising for a number of reasons, prominent among which is the possibility that, with an established relationship in place, businesses tend to have the inside track on an upsell or a cross-sell. According to NowBlitz.com, a major resource in the marketing industry, these methods can ensure effective ways of tapping an existing business relationship.

Not many businesses take advantage of the possibilities

Many companies try their best to avoid having to tap the upsell/cross-sell method for the simple reason that they see it as difficult. They are embarrassed about the awkwardness involved in having to bother a client without adequate cause.

While awkwardness is certainly a possibility, though, it’s important to understand where it comes from. Use of the wrong method, rather than the attempt to upsell or cross-sell is usually to blame. In most cases, resistance from sales teams tends to come about not for reasons of propriety, but for simple lack of training. Awkwardness is nonexistent in the b2b field, for repeated attempts to extend a business relationship are considered normal, so people representing businesses usually do not see repeated calls as intrusive.

For instance, if you’ve done business with a b2b customer once, it’s perfectly legitimate to believe you could extend the relationship to other departments, branches or subsidiaries.

Listening helps

Listening to the customer isn’t just something you do just to get a word in edgewise about a new product. Rather, it’s something you do to identify potential problems that the customer deals with, and to look for possible solutions that involve the company’s product.

Often, there’s nothing new that companies offer over the competition, other than the ability to truly connect and respond to needs. It’s important to never forget the significance of being able to make the connection.

Sign them up for newsletters

Cross-selling and upselling may seem like major efforts; in truth, the natural progression of an initial sale can be easily done when customers are simply made aware of other needs or products. A newsletter or a direct mail letter may be all it takes.

Study their business before attempting to make a pitch 

Sales pitches can be much more effective when you know what specific need you attempt to fill. Studying the customer’s business to see which of your products will meet whatever needs they have can be a far more effective way to sell than to simply call and hope for a sale.

If there are service visits, make full use of them

In many cases, having a service member visit the business for a servicing call can be a great opportunity to put in a good word. Since the service team member has a reason to be there and to talk about your company’s products, it’s possible to put in a sales angle. It’s important to train service team members.

Phillip Olden has enjoyed a successful career in marketing and enjoys sharing his insights on selling strategies and campaigns with an online audience. He is a frequent contributor for a number of relevant websites.

Tips on choosing the perfect Lawyer for yourself

All you need to do is open the phone book or watch TV late at night to see the enormous amount of lawyers there are out there. This can make finding a lawyer for your legal needs quite a daunting task. What should you do if you have a problem and you are in desperate need of legal counsel? There is not one right answer to this question. Lawyers have different specialties and levels of experience. Some lawyers are just plain better than others. Therefore, it is unfair to lump them all into one category. The process of hiring a lawyer can be a very difficult one. Here are some ways you can make it easier for yourself.


1. What type of lawyer do you need?

The first thing you will need to do is to concentrate your search on lawyers that have an expertise in handling the particular legal problem that you need assistance with. Lawyers tend to focus on certain areas of the law that they feel comfortable with and they have studied. You will occasionally find legal practices that cater to a wide range of legal issues. However, it should be your goal to seek out a lawyer who only handles cases that are in the same area of the law that you need help with. This will ensure that you have a lawyer handling your case who is an expert in that particular field. You do not want your lawyer to be a person who only dabbles in that area of the law periodically. This will not be good for your case.

2. How have they performed in court?

You can find out how long a lawyer has been practicing a particular area of the law by going to his or her website. However, other information about the lawyer is often omitted from their website profile. For example, how often do they win in court. This is a pretty important piece of information that you need to obtain before you make any decisions regarding who you will hire. Lawyers often think it is bad business to post information about their success rate in court because it could adversely impact their business. This is why it is up to you to find out if the lawyer regularly wins his or her cases. Do you require the services of long term disability lawyers in Toronto? If so, HSH lawyers will be able to help you. Visit http://www.hshlawyers.com/expertise/disability-claims/ to learn more about their practice and what they can do for you.

3. Disciplinary action

Lawyers will occasionally get into trouble. When this happens, there is a record of their conduct history that you can look up to research the background of any lawyer you are thinking about hiring. Obviously, a lawyer will not be too anxious to hand their conduct history over to you if they have done something bad in their past. Once again, it is your responsibility to do the necessary research to make sure the lawyer you are dealing with has an exemplary background. 

4. Call for a consultation

The final step of the lawyer hiring process involves actually meeting the lawyer in person. You will discuss your problem with the lawyer and listen to what he or she has to say. Meet with several lawyers to give yourself a few choices.

Why Product Samples are An Effective Marketing Strategy

Who doesn’t love free samples? As a business owner you might be reluctant to give out samples of your product, but it can actually be a very effective way to promote your product for a number of reasons. Here are some of the reasons why free samples make for a great way to spread the word about what you have to offer.

It Increases Awareness of Your Brand

When you are giving out free samples it will help to increase awareness of your brand, so that more people see what you have to offer. The more people become familiar with your brand name and your logo, the more potential customers you will gain.

Creates a Good Impression of Your Business

When customers see that you are giving out free samples, it makes them think that your firm is generous and giving. People are pleased when they receive free things and they like that you are giving them your product rather than trying to sell it to them. Most people respond positively to this and will be more open to purchasing from you in the future.

Shows Confidence in Your Product

If you are confident enough to give away samples of a product, it shows your customers that you believe in the product and that you think people will like it. This also puts your company in a good light and makes people interested in what you have to offer.

Gives the Opportunity for Feedback

Giving out samples of your products will encourage people to give you feedback as they try the product. If you are giving them the chance to try the product in person, you might even be able to receive some instant feedback about whether they like it or not. If you include a Twitter hashtag or handle on the packaging you will likely get some online feedback. Also if you have established the hashtag on Twitter you can retweet the positive endorsements which is a great way to improve brand awareness.

Cost Effective

A product sampling campaign is also a cost effective way to test out new products and see if they are effective or if there is any way that they can be improved. It saves a lot of money if the mistakes are corrected during the promotional phase rather than when the product has launched and is available on store shelves. You can simply create a small batch, then get feedback on the samples from that batch, and then use the info to fine tune your larger batch later.

It Can Inspire Customers to Switch

When it comes to things such as your toothpaste, shampoo, etc. most people buy the same brand every time and then just replenish it when they run out. However, if you can give these customers a free sample of a different product and they like it, they might consider switching over. If they do switch to using your product instead, you will have gained an ongoing customer who will keep buying again and again and again.

It Can Explain a Difficult to Understand Product

What if you have a product that is unique and difficult to describe. It’s not like most of the other products out there and it’s something that most customers will not have experienced before. These types of products are hard to market, because there’s not much to compare them to. Customers will be hesitant to buy something that is a little strange and different, but if they can try it out with a risk free sample it will be a lot more appealing to them. A taste or a demonstration is worth 1000 words and can give the customer an instant understanding of what they can expect from the product.

These are just a few of the reasons why product samples can be an effective marketing strategy when you are spreading the word about what your company has to offer. In order to make sure that your product sample campaign is managed effectively and that your products are marketed in the best way possible, you might want to consider hiring a Field Marketing Agency. These types of agencies are professionals and they are experts in the art of selling your product, so they will be able to put together a free sample booth that is enticing, exciting and very effective.

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