Monday, 25 February 2013

Have you implemented these SEO tips?

Howdy! Guess, all of you out there are enjoying the winter and staying in warm! We are out of our hibernation mode and can't wait for the spring to come.

It's a no brainer that SEO is one of the vital elements that is driving Online Marketing today. Can't recall a single day where the day passes without the search.

Do any of these ring a bell?

a. When you are contemplating on the strategy of your website design, are you designing it based on the idea that site will offer an unique experience for several categories of your target audience?
b. Keywords. Keywords. Keywords: Before you get on to the copy stage, ensure to have all the keywords in place and write a copy with relevant text. Try not to flood your content with keywords, keep the flow natural so that users are engaged throughout the dialog
c. Every page should have an unique title, unique topic, unique meta description, anchor text for every link
d. Small business thrives on call to action elements. Ensure to include these in every page, so that there is a higher chance of conversion
e. More than your advertising dollars, your site is the prime point where all the conversion happens! Remember this before spending your next penny, so that your Google ranking can spike up.

Hear from the Google experts on SEO tips in less than 10 minutes


Tell us your experience on implementing a SEO strategy for your client or the SEO problem that you want to address!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

What's hot in the Android app market?



We decided to target the Android lovers, this week. AppBrain tells us that there are over 54,8644 total number of apps in the Android market. Top categories are Entertainment, Personalization, Books&Reference, Tools and Lifestyle.
After browsing the apps, listed in various categories, we decided to take a look at the apps that are hot in the market today. Thought, you might find it interesting too and have shared the top list of 5 apps that are hot in the market today. We've only included the apps that can be downloaded for free.

 
Contract Killer 2:

         
For the Game lovers, Glu Mobile has this 'Contract Killer 2'. This comes from the same company who had developed Eternity Warrior, Frontline Command. If you've played those, you certainly shouldn't wait to try 'Contract Killer 2'. One of our friends checked it out and really seemed to like it!

The rating for this app is 5.00.









Farm Story: Halloween
 



Right from theme of recent South Park episode that was aired this week to apps that are mostly downloaded, it's Halloween everywhere! To add to the festivity, #1 free farm game is back to the Google Play Store with it's Halloween edition. If you are a lover of farm games, you should certainly check this out.

The rating score for this app is 5.00. Total number of ratings is 4.










Zombiewood:



If you cherish playing games that involves saving the city of Los Angeles, pumped up with action, cartoon style that is inspired by a Hollywood setting, you certainly will want to play this game. Wear your suits, get ready to bust some real action teamed up with Hollywood Celebrities with a single click from Google Play store. 
61 People have rated this and the current rating is 4.54.









Free Movies:

What can be an enthralling experience, to download movies or educational videos for free on your Android phone or tablet?. You can download full movies, documentaries, concerts of genre ranging from Pop, Rock, Metal, Courses (Java, PHP, etc.,). As this does not support Flash, the app is very fast in terms of loading. We have already downloaded this app. Hands down, this is our pick of the day

194 people have rated this and App stands with a number of 50,000 downloads rating of 4.50










AIDE - Android Java IDE:


If you are an app developer and looking for an alternative to develop your app on real Android devices, without your laptop, this would be a great resource. AIDE transforms your Android tablet with keyboard into a real development box. It is completely compatible with Eclipse projects.
Total number of downloads for this app is more than 250,000. Total number of ratings are 4380 with a rating score of 4.62.

Based on the review comments, we certainly can see that developers seem to love this app .










Which app did you download, recently? Tell us more about the Android app that you like the most? 

Was this useful? Let us know more in the comments below!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

20 ideas for inbound content marketing


20 ideas for inbound content marketing:



If you had not been living in a cave for months, you certainly would have heard the significance of content in online marketing and impact in social media. Lately, with the Google’s effort to penalize the sites with duplicate content, content marketing has become one of the important factors to consider.

If you are a content manager, you are certainly in one of the hot seats. You will have to know the latest trends and keep the content fresh, lively and engaging. Well, it does not stop with just creating the content. You also will have to come up with creative ways to promote the content, to generate leads for your business.

Are you perplexed by the thought of generating fresh content, for all the days of a week. Have you spent hours, just thinking about the topics to blog about? Well, hang in there, it is just natural to feel that way. We have listed a set of content ideas to inspire you. These are mostly generic and does not apply to a particular industry or vertical.

Mondays:





1.    Out of 10, 9 of us are hit by Monday blues. It is better to start the week in an interesting way. Monday Memes are the best way to start a week. Create a cartoon or an infographic based on an industry statistic or your own research

2.    Also, some people like to start the week in a philosophical tone. You can also include funny or meaningful quotes, that are relevant to your industry

Tuesdays:

3.    If your company does not have a video about the services, think about creating one. You can also create video content, to be added to your YouTube channel

4.    Be informed about the latest trends in your industry. Write a blog post on the recent innovation or any tool, that can help your business

Wednesdays:

5.    Midday of the week can hit you. You might be lost in a trail of thought, where you are searching for a purpose. This can be the best time to write a ‘how-to’ guide or tips about accomplishing a particular task or achieving a milestone in your industry

6.    Go to sites like Quora, Keyword Questions, Yahoo answers and search about the commonly asked questions in your industry. Discuss with your team members and answer with the solutions. If you are blessed with extra time, you can also write a blog post, about your experience

7.    Offer a list of advantages or pros of doing a particular task for the business

8.    You can also discuss about the common mistakes in your industry and offer the ways of avoiding them.

Thursdays:

9.    You are almost at the end of the week, might want to give your gray cells, a little rest. This might be the best day to recycle the existing content and come up with fresh insights. You can take an article or a statement issued by an industry leader and discuss with your community. For example, the Matt Cutts statement on duplicate content can be taken and discussed with your community after adding your opinions about it.

10.    You can also look for white papers or eBook in your industry and share it with your community

11.    If you have attended an event, conference or webinar, you can share your excerpts

12.    Based on your industry research, you can create a survey and share it with your audience. Once the results are obtained, an infographic can be created.

13.    If you are constantly looking out for your industry updates, you will have a list of emerging trends and trends to watch. You can create a blog post on this and share with your community
14.    To keep you inspired, you can browse for the trending videos or posts in your industry. You can share this with your community, with your opinions

Fridays:

15.    Not to mention, this is one of the happiest days of the week. To keep the refreshed spirit, it is best to refrain from negativity and focus on things that can be done to improve the results for the next week. Add a post on recap or important events that happened in the week

16.     Create a list of FAQ’s that your community can refer to

17.    Ensure that all questions asked on social media platforms are answered

18.    It might be the best time to understand your competition. For twitter, you can use tool FollowerWonk and SocialBro

19.    Try to give more life to your content by adding more pictures and videos

20.    Engage with your community with #FollowFriday by asking them questions or opinions on a topic. Create a blog post based on the tweets aggregated from Storify

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

15 beautiful Facebook Cover Pages

15 beautiful Facebook Cover Pages:

Facebook can never go out of business, just because of the fact that all of us love to see, the happenings and events in our friends’ lives. As long as the curiosity in human minds exists, Facebook will too. More than the status updates, it is about the photos that are posted. No wonder, a photo shared on Facebook has three times more the number of visits than the content. Same logic applies to Facebook cover photos. Cover photo is where, our eyeballs hit first. Like a well-thought out logo, it’s imperative to have an impressive Facebook cover photo.

As I was browsing for ideas and inspirations from the leading brands for their Facebook cover photos, found great designs, that really stands out in terms of creativity, consumer engagement and design.

Top brands like UNO, McDonald's,Oreo are illustrating their customer engagement through the cover pages. Brands like Subway, MTV, Burberry, NIKE football are illustrating their new products or shows through the cover pages.

Below are the ones that enticed me and might interest you, if you are looking for an idea to create your Facebook cover page. Take a look at this and let us know your favorites, in the comments below.

1. Youtube:

2. UNO:

3. Subway:

4. Pringles:

5. Pixar:

6. Oreo:

7. Nike Football:

8. MTV:

9. Monster Energy:

10. Mcdonalds:

11. Dr. Pepper:

12. Dove:

13. Burberry:

14. BMW:

15. Angry Birds:


Friday, 5 October 2012

How to increase your readership by adding your site content to Google Currents?

Google Currents, Readership, Verbuzz
When we hear “readership,” print newspapers are the first things that come to our minds. That’s why print newspapers will be around for a few more years. However, surveys and physical evidence makes me believe that digital media are drastically? changing the way we consume content and the print newspaper will be a thing of the past sooner than we might expect” or something like that. Just take a moment and think about this, how many people did you see today using a tablet or smartphone to read magazines during the commute? After a decade, most of us will not even be looking at print newspapers or subscribing to paper bills. Future generations might add this stuff to one of their antique collections (ok, that might be a bit far fetched!) So, this calls for action. Let’s look for ways to increase readership for digital content.


 Google Currents is Google’s way of bringing digital content to the consumer in a magazine format. In brief, it’s an elegant digital version of a magazine that lets you subscribe to magazines in over 20 different categories, ranging from technology to lifestyle. You can subscribe to most of the popular magazines, from Techcrunch to Verge, or a dedicated set of Android magazines. You can’t miss the simplicity of this app. Flipping from one article to another is very smooth and easy process, using a left and right tab. I really like their sharing feature, which lets me post an interesting article on social sites or send it to my circle through emails. Also, if you are are frustrated by your phone’s lack of ability to pick up a signal while on the subway, you’ll love this app even more. It takes only a minute to synchronize all the content that you have subscribed to and the content can be read offline. The synchronization can be done at regular intervals. After an hour of commuting without a signal, you’ll feel like your time has been spent wisely.

 Forget the RSS feed subscriber. Now, you get to subscribe to any of your favorite publications -- and that best publications in any category, at that . All this comes to you at for nothing. Google Currents also let’s you see what’s trending on the web,. But, it’s just not about reading interesting content in featured magazines and staying educated. If you’re a publisher, it’s very important that you know how to add your publication to Google Currents and increase readership for your content. It’s the time for your magazine to get featured!

 Now, let’s take a look at the steps of using and adding your content to Google Currents: Go to Google Currents website or download Google Currents from the Google Play store:

Google Currents, Verbuzz, Readership
How to add your publication to Google Currents? If you produce amazing content and don’t like the idea of coding or getting hold of a technical expert to create an online publication for you. Google Currents is the solution to your problem.



 You just need a Google account and a Google Chrome browser.

 1. Navigate to Google Currents Producer. You will see the publisher agreement. Just do your basic checks and agree to the terms.
 2. Google Currents will ask you to enter the name of your edition and RSS feed on your site. If you have a channel on YouTube, you get to add those details, too.
 3. On clicking the create button, it will feed the articles from your site in Google Currents magazine style. Then, you are good to go and can publish the site anytime to make it live.

Google Currents, Readership, Verbuzz
How can you configure?

If you are not a fan of standard style and want to create a unique style for your publication, there are lots of features for you to try your hands on. Design and analytical features can be set from “Edition Settings”. Out of respect for your curiosity ;), we don’t give away the list of features so that you can explore it on your own. It’s no surprise that Google gives you tools and essential softwares to be creative and gets you to start rolling. Your content from other Google products such as Flickr, YouTube, Feeds, Picasa can be pulled and added to the publication. It also lets you to automatically update your G+ account. Let’s not forget that Google is on a mission to promote G+ and remove the rumour that it is a ghost town.
If your coding capabilities are strong, now is a good time to try some of those by editing the style sheet of the publication by using CSS.





After the configuration is done, you can click on the Android/ iPhone/ iPad link to check how the publication looks on a device.



When you think you are good to go, you can hit the publish button.

Google Currents, Readership














Now your Google Current publication is live! Be patient and keep creating interesting content. Once you have over 200 subscribers, your publication starts appearing in the search results.

Did you find this useful? As always, we love to hear from you. Have you tried using this? Let us know in the comments!

Post by Vidya Jagannathan (@Verbuzz_)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Email Marketing platforms for Small Business, that you shoud know!

Verbuzz_Email marketing platform
As a small business owner, there are few things that you need to focus on:

a.    How to spread the word about my business.
b.    How to make people subscribe to my list or blog.
c.    How to keep my subscriber list, stay interested.

Although there are million ways to achieve these goals, email is one of the classic and most effective. If you are still thinking about direct mailings, you should think again! Most people I know have stopped subscribing for paper bills and subscribe only to online bills and posts. Why waste time with the hassle of printing information and shelling out money for direct mail campaigns?
Statistics reveal that communicating through email is more personal and has a higher success rate of influencing a person compared with social media. This is one of the few (comment: do you mean to say many? If not, just say “one of the reasons.” The word few emphasizes the wrong thing) reasons that email marketing is still very sought after and will never die.

Based on my experience, I have classified a few email marketing platforms based on factors like price, free usage (comment: price and free usage are kind of the same category so maybe just use “price”, email campaign creation, campaign reporting, ease of use, support and feature set (comment: what is support and feature set?).

Free Usage:


If you are a small business with a limited number of subscribers, you might want to take a look at using Mail Chimp. I like Mail Chimp for their beautiful designs, creativity and ease of use. They have a huge collection of pre-designed beautiful templates, embedded with social and reporting features. For the first 12,000 mailings? and 2,000 subscribers, it is free. It is even better with a Wordpress site, as there are ready-to-install plug-ins (comment: you might want to flesh this out ... someone like me wouldn’t know what you mean that Mail Chimp is better with a Wordpress site ... i.e. do you mean “it is even better when used in conjunction with the Wordpress website ... and then elaborate a little more on that).

If you are looking for a service that allows your Facebook fans subscribe to your newsletter, you might want to take a look at Campaign Monitor.  A imitation with this service is that in free usage there are only a few design template options . If you’e a designer, you’re in luck -- customized designs can be uploaded and can also be created with their API (comment: your audience probably knows what API is?). Basic plan starts from $9 a month (2500 emails, limited account). It’s worth a shot to create a free account and try out their features.

Elite has a collection of well designed templates (300+ for a premium account?), social sharing, analysis features with Geo reports (comment: they know what a geo report is, and does it need to be capitalized?), personalized account manager and a live chat feature. With a premium account, you also get access to live reports (comment: what kind of live reports? .  A ree account lets you send an email to 500 contacts. In a free account, campaigns can be created from a set of 40 pre-designed  templates. Designs are not unique (comment: what does that mean?).
Snapshot of Features at a Premium Level (comment: what about “Snapshot of Features at a Premium Level”?:


Based on research done by TopTen REVIEWS, I have put together a list of features offered by leading email marketing service providers.



Newsletter
Service Provider
Pros Cons
IContact Rich library of tools for designers, marketers or beginners. No statistics on conversion rates.
Benchmark Video, image and customization that is unique for the company can be done Though conversion tracking is not available, it is integrated with Google Analytics to give an idea about how Email campaigns are influencing purchase decisions
Constant Contact Integrated with applications to create by using CSS, Designer mode or XHTML. The Google Analytics report is not integrated in Constant Contact emails.
PinPointe Manages your subscriber list and helps in sending out the most effective marketing pieces. Provided with telephone support. Emails are responded to very quickly by customer service.
Get Response Easy to understand reports with graphs and pie charts are available and help in optimizing marketing campaigns. Auto responder emails can be sent out to follow-up with subscribers. Automatic emails cannot be sent.
Mailigen Emails can be posted to social accounts automatically. Better target marketing campaigns can be sent using dynamic content feature, detailed reports, easy-to-use templates and lists. No automated split testing is available.
Vertical Response Marketing materials can be created using creation wizard, HTML code or plain text. Vital information does not show up until the end of the process.
Mad Mimi Good technical support and is integrated with an option to create emails using a template or HTML code. More basic design features.



Features:


Email Campaign Creation:


If email campaign creation is your priority, you might want to consider the providers that offer the services below:
Let us look at our next feature, Campaign reporting

 Features like:
  • Opened emails
  • Forwarded emails
  • Bounced emails
  • Unsubscribed contacts
  • Export reports
  • Social media integration
  • Click through tracking
  • Delivered/ undeliverable
  • Comparison of message reports

are available in all email marketing service providers such as iContact, Benchmark Email, Constant Contact, Get Response, Mailigen, Vertical Response and Mad Mimi.


Ease of Use:


In terms of Ease of Use, iContact and Benchmark Email appears? to be the best option.

Contact Management Options:

Managing a huge subscriber list is one of the biggest challenges in email marketing. One of the core functionality of these newsletter providers is to simplify this complexity. Let us take a look at a few of these features, available in these five newsletter service providers mentioned above.

  1. Import mailing list – from excel spreadsheet, text file or CSV
  2. Remove unsubscribed contacts
  3. Group email contacts – nothing works better than categorization
  4. Custom demographic fields – target to a particular group based on their demographic
  5. informationSaves the time
  6. Require opt-in – Lets people unsubscribe from the list. This feature is not available in PinPointe service

Email Sending Features:

  • Email sending features such as:
  • Email job scheduling
  • Email alias creation
  • Test Email
  • SPAM test
are provided by the above-mentioned newsletter service providers

Let’s not forget to take a look at the help and support features. If you have a subscriber list that exceeds a few thousand, it gets cumbersome to manage. It is best to go for a newsletter service provider who hasunique of customer service.

Some of the features offered by above mentioned newsletter service providers:
live chat
email/ online form
phone
articles / resources
online community


Monthly Pricing Options:

 

Up to 500 contacts:






IContact
- $14.00
Benchmark
- $9.95
Constant Contact
- $15.00
PinPointe
- Free
Get Response
- Free
Mailigen
- $10.00
Vertical Response
- $7.50
Mad Mimi
- $8.00




Up to 1000 contacts:






IContact
- $19.00
Benchmark 
- $12.95
Constant Contact
- $30.00
PinPointe
- Free
Get Response
- $15.00
Mailigen
- $25.00
Vertical Response
- $15.00
Mad Mimi
- $10.00




Up to 2500 contacts:






IContact
- $29.00
Benchmark 
- $19.95
Constant Contact
- $30.00
PinPointe
- Free
Get Response
- $25
Mailigen
- $25.00
Vertical Response
- $32.50
Mad Mimi
- $14.00




Up to 5000 contacts:






IContact
- $47.00
Benchmark Email
- $35.00
Constant Contact
- $50.00
PinPointe
- $49.00
Get Response
- $45.00
Mailigen
- $40.00
Vertical Response
- $90.00
Mad Mimi
- $24.00




Up to 10,000 contacts:






IContact
- $74.00
Benchmark email
- $60.00
Constant Contact
- $75.00
PinPointe
- $79.00
Get Response
- $65.00
Mailigen
- $60.00
Vertical Response
- $120.00
Mad Mimi
- $36.00




Up to 25,000 contacts:





IContact
- $149.00
Benchmark
- $112.00
Constant Contact
- $150.00
PinPointe
- $150.00
Get Response
- $145.00
Mailigen
- $120.00
Vertical Response
- $300.00
Mad Mimi
- $75.00

 


Eight ways to make your e-commerce website buzz!

Based on the Forrester research report, “Online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion in 2016, up 45% from $226 billion this year and 62% from $202 billion in 2011. E-retail spending is estimated to increase by 62% by 2016.”

Well, with the increased number of Smartphone users and tablet users, this fact is no shocker! We are all a bunch of digital natives who are addicted to our internet buddy and want to get things done with a click. As I am writing this, I’m reminded of the fact that I’m a member of many online deal sites. None of our days start without looking at the deals that are posted in Groupon, LivingSocial, Wagjag etc., Though I enjoy seeing and purchasing the deals from these sites, I will have to say that the flood of emails certainly irks me!

1.    Page not loading

2.    Too much content

3.    The content hasn't updated

4.    Not able to find the product

5.    Different cost than the one that is listed

6.    Server error in payment gateway page

7.    No information on security for the transactions

8.    Not able to reach you


Sound familiar? Don’t sweat out. Well, you are not the only e-commerce website owner who battles with these technical glitches.

Thought this little extinguisher kit below might come handy for you at some point of time!

Flash, animated graphics does make your site look attractive. But, if it is going to take ages to load, no one is going to bother to come back to your site. Keep the site simple and do not forget the friendly navigation.

“Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness have never been seen associated with long delays” ― Sun Tzu, the Art of War. Analyze your competition thoroughly. Understand their SEO strategy and implement your strategy sooner before someone else does it! When it comes to SEO, it is all about category and product-level keyword research and usage.

In marketing, all days are judgment days. Make your existing customers vouch for you. Get them to write product reviews. Alright, I hear you, you are a new business owner -- but you can write guides on how to use your products or industry trends or uniqueness.

Flirt with those web spiders to climb up the website ranking ladder. Create search-engine-friendly URLs that are easy. Go for ones like mod_rewrite to static URLs. Bid on popular, negative and relevant keywords. Use keyword options like phrase and exact match.

Contribute to satiate the restless generation by writing blog posts on usability of products or reviews. More than ever, being known to everyone virtually helps you to grow. Write, write, write until you drop your pen!

Don’t miss out on the game without being on social media channels. Also, don’t let the social media beast rule you. Set your strategy and milestones. Tune your strategy to develop and engage with the community. Keep a watch for our next blog post on Social media strategies to engage with your community.

Do not forget the good old times! Email marketing still works. Keep yourself a;ways top of mind for your customers by sending them periodical newsletters. Of course, you need to be remembered for good reasons. Have an opt-in feature; avoid spam words like free in the subject line. Always, support with data. Have links for feedback and referral in the emails. Be sure to insert a non-heavy image file, so that it is easier to load. Remember, there are lots of people out there checking their emails in mobiles when they are waiting in boring queues or waiting for a bus! So, simplicity is the key!

When it comes to advertising, be sure to remove the ones that are out of stock. Use SEO-based keywords in ad copy. It is a safe option to remove products that have a low score in customer reviews. Start with a low budget campaign, monitor your campaign, and understand the user behavior and move on to a bigger budget.

Did you find these tips useful? Let us know your experience in managing an e-commerce site!