Internet searches are now more likely to take place on a mobile device than on a desktop and this trend shows no signs of slowing. While experts have long predicted mobile would eclipse desktop usage, many small businesses are understandably unsure about their mobile SEO strategy.
The popularity of mobile is no reason for businesses to panic but they do need to face the fact that more than half of all internet searches are now taking place on mobile devices. They also need to make sure that their SEO efforts are optimized for mobile or they are going to lose out on a lot of traffic.
The fact is, most businesses understand the importance of SEO. Now they need to understand how to use that knowledge and apply it to mobile. What follows are a list of tips to get started on the path to successful SEO for mobile:
- Compose Compelling, Concise Headlines. Since mobile screens are smaller, it is important that headlines are short and to the point. Creativity is the key here. Headlines cannot be too wordy and they must quickly grab the attention of the reader.
- Clip Content. Posting an important article or blog in its entirety is fine but include some snippets of information at the top of the story so readers know if they want to commit to reading the whole article.
- Test on Different Devices. Many businesses only test their website on one type of device, but this is a mistake. Test to see that your website fits devices of all sizes so that your website is accessible to all. Likewise, website designs and features that work well on desktop screens don’t always translate to mobile. Test to find out if yours does. If it doesn’t, go for a simpler, cleaner look for mobile.
- Mind Your Load Times. Loading speeds are important to users who are in a hurry and also to search engines. If it takes too long for your website to load, both will bail out on you.
- Don’t Forget Social Media. Optimizing your website for mobile is critical but don’t forget to do the same for social media.
Finally, while mobile optimization is getting a lot of attention these days, remember that just less than half of visitors to your website will be doing so from their desktop. This means that while you should make sure your website is optimized for mobile, it should not be at the expensive of visitors using desktops.
Email marketing is a great way to reach new customers. And while landing new customers is an outstanding reason to use email marketing, it isn’t the only one.
Customer loyalty is another reason to employ email marketing. After all, customer loyalty is essential to the success of any business. Further, it is much more expensive to obtain a new customer than it is to retain a current one. And according to a recent study, email marketing did more to promote customer loyalty than social media.
Of course, using email to attract new customers and using it to retain current ones require slightly different tactics. Therefore, it’s important to know how to implement an email campaign that specifically targets your existing customers. What follows are some tips that will help make sure that you are engaging current customers with your email efforts.
- Get personal. A person’s name in the subject line is proven to increase open rates and increase spending! One study showed that transaction rates were more than 20 percent higher when an email was personalized in this manner.
- Remember that content is still king. Content that connects, educates and inspires is particularly important when targeting existing customers. If an individual is your customer, chances are that you have earned their trust. Continuing to provide them with quality content will take it a step further. They will come to see you as a thought leader in your industry and will be more likely to make purchases based on your recommendations.
- Segment your lists. Just as your target audience of prospects is segmented, your target audience of current customers should be, as well. A good way to make sure that your emails are being read is to tailor those emails to a particular demographic. Research shows that segmented email campaigns have an almost 15 percent greater open rate and get almost 60 percent more clicks than those that are not segmented. The best part is that since these are your customers, you have the data necessary to segment your list. Choose demographics such as age, gender, income, locale, purchase history and more.
- Don’t forget the call-to-action. Of course, there is one important thing that all emails-whether they target existing customers or prospects-must contain. A well-written, easy to see call-to-action is critical to getting customers and prospects to take the next step.
Email marketing is a tremendous way to attract and retain customers. The key is to tailor each campaign for the individuals you are targeting.
If your business uses Twitter to connect with customers and prospects, you probably know that you can now use 280 characters per tweet. What you may not know is what exactly that means for your Twitter marketing strategy.
Many businesses are under the mistaken impression that more characters simply allow them to say more of the same thing. The truth is, these extra characters, when used correctly, can boost engagement. The key is to know how to use them to your advantage. What follows are some simple ways to make every extra character count:
- Include additional information. The 140-character limit usually meant you had a choice to inform or to make an offer. Now you can do both. This makes your tweets twice as valuable to customers.
- Express yourself. Let’s face it, there is only so much you can say in 140 characters so your use of the language was pretty limited. The higher character count allows you to be more expressive and creative, making your tweets more compelling to readers because you are able to appeal to their emotions.
- Increase readability. Line and sentence breaks were once considered a waste of valuable Twitter characters, making tweets difficult to read. Now you can write in a manner that is easier to understand and one that would make your high school English teacher proud!
While you will be writing more content per tweet, you will likely find that these tweets will actually take less time to compose. That’s because trying to fit what you wanted to say in 140 characters took a lot of editing and re-editing. Longer tweets allow you to say what you want to say without forcing you to spend valuable time deciding what you needed to leave out in order to come in under the character count.
Finally, when you customers and prospects connect with you via Twitter, you can actually engage with them in a more impactful way. Since so many people use Twitter to comment on customer service these extra characters will go a long way toward allowing you to get your point across when you reply.
Longer tweets mean more visibility and visibility is what social media is all about. Twitter’s increased character limits, when used to their full advantage, will help your brand be better seen and heard by customers and prospects.
The holidays are right around the corner and everyone is full of good cheer. Well, maybe not everyone. If you are a small business owner it can be difficult to find a work – life balance between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Small business owners are well aware of the fact that if they aren’t working they aren’t making money – and may be losing customers. They also are (or should be) aware that if they don’t take a break from the stresses of work from time to time, they won’t be able to perform the way they need to. They also may regret not spending enough time with friends and family.
So what’s a business owner to do? Here are some tips for achieving balance during the holiday season:
- Get organized. Set up meetings and calls with clients but also make sure you schedule time for non-work related activities. This reduces stress because you can be fully present no matter if you are at work or at play because you aren’t neglecting either.
- Communicate with clients. Letting your clients know in advance what your availability will be over the holidays goes a long way toward making the holidays go more smoothly. The fact is, most of your clients don’t want to be in work mode throughout the holiday season so they would like to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible, as well. The simple act of telling clients when you will be open for business will allow them to plan ahead and reassure them that you are taking care of business.
- When you work, work hard. We’re all guilty of wasting time on social media or checking our emails more than necessary during the workday. To ensure you are as productive as possible, don’t try to sneak in online holiday shopping while at the office, for example. You also should work at times when you are the most productive. If you are a morning person, for example, go into the office as early as possible and get as much work done as you can before noon and then leave. Working at full speed all morning and then leaving early makes much more sense than staying all day but taking breaks or getting distracted and wasting time.
The holidays should be the most wonderful time of the year. By making sure that you achieve the right balance between what you need to do and what you want to do, it will stay that way. The key is to plan in advance so you don’t find yourself stressed on all fronts.