“Meh” Visuals? 11 Tips to Make Your Company’s Visual Content More Appealing

Your company’s image library says a lot about its marketing plan. The images its marketing team chooses to share, even more so. — Yes, even if the “marketing team” is still you, the founder.

Follow these straightforward tips to render your company’s pics, charts, memes, videos, and anything else you can plausibly construe as “visual” more appealing to those you expect to consume it.

1. Trust Your (Untrained) Eye

Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if you truly, honestly think it looks good enough to publish, it probably is.

Yes, this is a potential minefield. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there’s simply no guarantee that your taste is representative of your audience’s. If your standards are unusually low, shouldn’t you get a second opinion?

Perhaps. But you don’t need a marketing professional to sign off on every single piece of visual content you produce. If you have a graphic designer on your team (or on call — see below), then you’re in better shape than 80 percent of early-stage businesses. If you don’t have a visual arts expert on staff, surely you have someone you trust to a) critically evaluate visual content, and b) provide unvarnished feedback on same.

2. Live-Link Your Pins

Not yet sold on Pinterest? Cast off those lingering doubts, set up a page, and begin adding high-quality photos for followers to peruse.

Pinterest is at its best when brands use it as a gateway for awareness- or consideration-stage prospects — consumers researching or weighing their options, but not quite ready to pull the trigger on a purchase. To attract these early-to-mid-stage prospects, you’ll want to live-link every single pin to a corresponding product page, with or without a checkout feature. The Pinterest page for Bixler University is a case in point: a no-frills funnel for students, alums, and parents searching for distinctive class jewelry.

3. Use Solid-Color, Decluttered Backgrounds for Product Thumbnails

From a distance, your product thumbnails should appear cut from the same cloth, even if they’re produced in different locations, at different types, with different equipment. Key to this effect is the background — namely, a decluttered, solid-color, low-contrast background that’s the farthest thing from the focus of the composition.

4. Invest in a Legit Camera (Not a Cameraphone) for High-Touch Photos

A low-key background only gets you so far. So does your off-the-shelf cameraphone, powerful though it may be. If you’re serious about producing and editing your own product photos, bite the bullet and invest in a legitimate digital camera. When those first stunning thumbnails hit your Shopify portal, you’ll thank yourself for loosening your normally tight fist.

5. Find a Freelance Graphic Designer You Trust

Don’t have a graphic designer on staff yet? Not sure you can afford a full-timer anyway?

No sweat. If you’re not running a full-service marketing shop out of your office, there’s no need to invest in an above-replacement designer. Look to reputable freelance platforms like UpWork to find reasonably priced designers capable of performing high-quality work on tight timeframes. Once you find someone you like working with, ask whether they’re amenable to an increased workload; if they are, you may have unwittingly found your first all-visual employee (and perhaps your future CMO).

6. Bone Up on Memetics

One type of visual content for which you probably don’t need a professional graphic designer is the trusty meme. Meme-making crash courses abound; this one is better than average, and beginner-friendly to boot. If you’re humor-challenged, or worried about toeing the appropriate/off-brand line too closely, make it a collaborative effort or farm out the work to a (paid) friend whose judgment you trust.

7. Develop a “House Style” for Promotional Photography

You can recognize your own handwriting at a glance, right? Your photography should be no different. For product photos and candid around-the-office or in-the-field images, work on developing a recognizable “house style” with similar palettes, saturations, and subject placements. This is an impossible-to-overestimate aspect of consistent, professional branding. You might not hit the mark every time, but you’d be remiss not to try.

8. Remember the “One-Thirds” Rule

File this under basic, oft-forgotten principles of photography. Also known as the “rule of thirds,” it asks photographers to divide their fields into horizontal and vertical thirds to create nine spatial blocks. The lines separating those blocks become photographic axes — the spines along which photographers should situate subjects or elements. For whatever reason(s), the human eye responds well to rule-of-thirds compositions, so keep it in mind as you create original works.

9. Vary Your Subjects

This could also read: “don’t be afraid of stock photography.” If you only have a handful of human subjects at your disposal, and you’re not ready to run a casting operation out of your cramped coworking space, turn to reputable platforms like Shutterstock and Pexels (which has an extensive free library) for reinforcements. Most savvy audience members can tell the difference between original and stock photography, but if that’s preferable to running through the same three personnel configurations in a dozens-deep photo library, so be it.

10. Use Popular SEO Tags for Images You Want to Make Discoverable

Don’t sleep on image SEO. Use tags that accurately describe the content of your photos — say, “lake cabin” or “sand dunes”. You won’t rank on the first page for all (or even most) photos you tag, but the extra effort could get you across the line in less competitive cases.

11. Move Beyond #NoFilter

The Instagram hashtag #NoFilter was popular for a minute back there. It retains adherents today, but the moment has definitely passed. And for good reason — tasteful filters absolutely have their place, particularly in marketing materials that call for arresting or surreal visual elements.

Set the Right Tone

Above all else, make sure your visual media portfolio sets the right tone for your organization and brand. It’s better never to post a questionable photo or dash off an original image without proper editing than to realize what you’ve done and rush to take it down before it attracts too much scorn. Your audience is paying attention. Don’t let them down.

Original post: “Meh” Visuals? 11 Tips to Make Your Company’s Visual Content More Appealing

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SEO Booster Plugin for WordPress

SEO is one of those things that most business owners loathe. Trying to rank on Google is stressful, ranking factors can be confusing, and without in-depth SEO knowledge, it can often seem impossible. And if you don’t have the advertising budget of a large company, you have to find creative ways to get more value out of your SEO.

The SEO Booster plugin is a reliable option if you need help with your SEO.

Finding Your Audience
Finding the right keywords to reach your target audience takes some effort. But SEO booster makes that process a little easier by helping you determine which keywords are worthwhile.
The plugin has all the tools you’ll need to start ranking on Google. The basic version is free, while a premium version is offered if you want more features.

If you are just starting out with your SEO, this plugin is one you’ll want to check out.

Easy to Use
The installation is extremely easy. All you have to do is install the plugin like any other WordPress plugin.

The plugin is compatible with multiple sites, so if you manage multiple websites, you can use it across all of them.

It integrates well with other similar plugins such as Yoast SEO and SEOPress.

The developer support is reliable. If you ever have any questions, the support team is readily available to help you.

Convenience
The interface is clean and well-organized. This makes it easy for you to track your SEO efforts, make changes, and improve them.

The plugin automatically turns keywords into links. While this isn’t a massive feature, it does save you time.

Tags and categories are added automatically. Categories and tags are an important way to improve your website’s navigation. Because SEO Booster does them automatically, it helps you stay on top of it.

Comprehensive
The plugin monitors all the incoming traffic to your site. Now you don’t have to rely on Google Analytics as much.

It tracks backlinks, so you can see if you are receiving useful backlinks that will boost your SEO efforts.

Receive weekly reports recommending changes and other information. While these reports can often seen generic, they do spot small errors that are easy to fix. Definitely a plus.

One Flaw
However, like most plugins, SEO Booster does lock some of its better features behind a paid Pro version. These features include:

-Additional details regarding backlinks.
-Tracking crawler visits (i.e. telling me which pages were being indexed by the search engines).
-Exporting the search optimization data to a file.

That being said, $47 a year is a fair price to pay for such a service.

Overall

The SEO Booster plugin does its job fairly well. It provides you with access to many features for free, and offers a few premium features that are locked behind a paywall.
If you are a small business owner struggling with SEO.

Original post: SEO Booster Plugin for WordPress

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Stock Images?

When it comes to stock imagery, designers will often see it as an essential practice. Getting the best from your images is often something which can go by the wayside, particularly in the fast moving world of business.

While these same designers may – in an idealistic sense – want to impose their own particular brand of style on a project, sometimes costs and time work against them. Quite often, having a library of unique and engaging images such as those from sites like focusedcollection.com can be nothing less than a life saver.

What can we do to make sure that we are getting the most out of the stock imagery we use to bring our websites and demos to life? Here are some essential tips:

Choose the Right Images
While this may seem pretty obvious, it is clearly not to everyone. If you have landed on a corporate webpage to find contextually incompatible stock photos with the design and content of a site, you will understand how puzzling this can be.

The right images should bring your mission, brand identity, environment and solution to life. Simply ignoring the compatibility between text and imagery is a mistake which is made far too often by lazy and uninspired designers, and this can hinder a company’s potential for a profound impact among its audience.

Utilize Search Options & Categories
Rather than trawling through image after image, waiting for something to click, ensure you completely understand the idea you are trying to promote. Work out the best way to convey the idea and then choose photos which you feel are pertinent in delivering this concept to your audience.

You can speed up the process of finding the best photos by utilizing the search functions and filtering photos by category. It is so simple but really does help in the long run, making for less puzzling accompanying images to incompatible content.

A/B Testing
An extremely useful tip to those in the know is to run an A/B test – also known as a split test – in order to determine which of two designs has the greater impact among your audience. In order to do this, you will have two unique versions of the same webpage, with different stock images.

By running an A/B test, you can figure out what images hit home with clients, customers, and subscribers. There is no perfect formula in web-design, and the parameters for success are often undefined, so this will require insights and reviews which will take things such as social media clicks and engagement into consideration.

Marry Photos & Text
Your text and images should always be in harmony, as anything considered visually incongruous by your audience may push them away. While even the most junior web designer worth their salt will understand that Hawaiian fonts and images of sandy beaches and palm trees should never accompany a funeral parlor in Detroit, many seasoned designers still manage to get things wrong (albeit more subtly).

Your stock image and typography should therefore be married in order to compliment both, and help contain consistency in design.

Dare to be Bold
We have all seen the generic stock images of three suited and booted office workers looking mildly lobotomized while a superior stands in front of a projector. Avoid these images at all costs as they can be a horrendous thing to be associated with.
Instead, capture the brilliant timbre of the idea with which you want to bring to your audience. Dare to be bold; try to be wonderful, but above all, don’t be generic.

Original post: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Stock Images?

4 Powerful Security Tips for Bloggers

It’s 2018, and it could be argued that few things matter more to bloggers than security. If you aren’t practicing sound security strategies, it may be only a matter of time before your blog could suffer an invasion.

Security Advice for the Proactive Blogger

According to one estimate, 30,000 websites and blogs are hacked every day … and that was back in 2013. Google claims there was a 32 percent increase in the number of hacked sites in 2016 compared to the year before, so who knows how high that number is this year?

Most bloggers presume they’re too small to be targeted. The truth is that your smaller size actually makes you a more likely target.

Attacks on major corporations get most of the attention from the media, but they are comparatively rare events. According to a report from security provider SiteLock, 99 percent of hacked websites are nonprofits, blogs, and small businesses.

In other words, there’s no such thing as being “too small.” For blogs, SiteLock claims the three most common attack methods are spam (21 percent), stolen traffic (21 percent), and resource theft (6 percent).

The sticky point is that you might not readily know when your blog gets hacked. It’s not as if alarm bells go off to notify you of the breach.

In order to stay on top of things, you need to be proactive. Here’s what you can do:

Install the Right Security Programs

There are lots of excellent security programs that bloggers can use to fend off attacks and protect their sensitive data and confidential information. But they only work if you use them!

Make sure you’ve installed the right security programs from the start. You don’t need four or five different ones; all you need is a dependable one that works.

You also need the right security programs on the devices you use to gain access to your blog, such as your phone, laptop, tablet, and computer. In order to maximize the effectiveness of these programs, keep them updated.

“It may be tempting to ignore update notifications,” tech blogger Cosette Jarrett writes, “but it will be well worth taking a few minutes to update your device’s security software when you consider the alternative which would be to lose all of the work you’ve done on your blog to a preventable online attack.”

Frequently Change Passwords

Most bloggers are aware that they need strong, complex passwords that are hard to crack. Fewer bloggers are cognizant of the need to change passwords fairly frequently.

As a rule, passwords should be switched every 90 days. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of a password being cracked, but it also encourages you to prioritize security in a conscious and ongoing manner.

Shred Important Paper Documents

If you’re truly serious about protecting your blog and keeping confidential information and data out of the wrong hands, you also need to think about your offline activities and behaviors as well.

You might store paper documents, financial statements, and records about your blog. This is fine, but you have to make sure you shred such documents properly when you dispose of them.

Believe it or not, not all shredders are created equal. Most will shred paper fairly well, you should buy a shredder that can also shred credit cards, CDs, DVDs, staples, paperclips, and other materials.

Be Wary of Giving People Access

Most attacks on blogs don’t originate from outside sources. They often come from someone who already has had access to your blog. So make sure you limit access and remain aware of your surroundings.

“[Be] careful who you give access to in your administrator panel and set clear limitations for other users than yourself,” security expert Andra Zaharia advises. “If a user becomes irrelevant on your blog, delete the account and make sure you provide all those who have access to your blog with strong passwords.”

Don’t Sit Back and Wait

You don’t have the luxury of sitting back, waiting and hoping nothing bad happens. Your blog isn’t too small or insignificant to avoid hacks and attacks. By taking a proactive stance, you can greatly reduce your chance of being compromised in the future.

Original post: 4 Powerful Security Tips for Bloggers

The Best SEO Tactics For Bloggers in 2018

So, you’ve created a perfect site for your blog and enabled the best and most efficient plug-ins they have to offer. Everything is perfect and you’re ready to make your mark in the great and exciting blog-o-sphere, but now, how will you get customers to your blog? How will you make sure that web-crawlers are not only picking up your blog, but giving it a high ranking in search engines?

The answer is to build your SEO skills, and you can start right here with these fundamental tactics that will help you rank higher in search engine results in 2018.

1. MAKE STRATEGIC USE OF TITLE TAGS
Post titles are prominently displayed on search engines. Among your sites name, your post title is one of the first things customers will see. You need to make sure to use relevant keywords in your title to make sure your site will be among the top displayed for a user search, not to mention the fact that will better enable search engines to properly index your site. Generally speaking, you want to make sure each title tag uses appropriate keywords, includes a call-to-action and is approximately 50-70 characters long.

2. OPTIMIZE META DESCRIPTIONS
While title tags tell search engines what your post is about, meta descriptions tell them what the page is about. These descriptions can be longer than title tags and don’t have to be in complete sentences. We recommend around 150 characters and that however you choose to write them, that they make sense to customers. You can include whatever elements you feel are important to the reader but it is recommended that you use verbiage that calls them to action. This will be more likely to encourage them to click through to the post.

3. TAG IMAGES FOR BEST SEO
Good content is only part of the equation. Almost equally as important are accompanying images that compliment your content, and they also play a significant role in your search engine rankings. The “alt text/tag” attribute tells search engines what your images are about. Start by savings the images to your computer, before uploading to your CMS, with keyword descriptions so that they will help improve your search ranking. It wouldn’t hurt to name them with a call-to-action just like your meta descriptions. Think along the lines of “learn more about (blank)”. This not only helps you rank higher as a base search but can also help you rank in a Google image search as well.

4. MAXIMIZE SITE SPEED
One of the most frequent topics discussed by users is site speed. The speed with which your site loads can make or break your user experience, and yes, it can impact your SEO as well. If it takes Google’s search engine web crawler too long to crawl your site, it will trigger their ranking algorithm and cost you greatly. Basically, Google has what you might call a “crawl budget” and if your site takes too long to load, and Google can’t crawl as many pages in enough time, it will negatively impact your ranking opportunity. So here are a few ways you can keep your site running at the best possible speed:
Compress images. Save as a JPEG or PNG and keep the dpi at 72.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). These systems store copies of your images and site files in various locations all over the world so that they can be downloaded to your visitors’ computer much quicker than traditional methods.

Simplify your coding, if possible. Sometimes, source code files can get a little out of hand and slow down your site. You can combat this by removing any unnecessary spaces or characters.

*If you’re not sure what your site’s load time is, Google’s PageSpeed tools can help you find out.

5. MAKE SIMPLIFIED PERMALINKS
Many site’s default page URLs read something like “http://abcsite.com/blog/?p=38”
Adjusting your site’s permalinks will not only allow readers to navigate your site more efficiently but will also appear in search engine rankings to tell others what the page is about. We recommend using a simple permalink such as “/%postname%/”. Keep in mind that if you’re changing the permalinks to existing pages, you’ll need to redirect any old URLs.

6. USE INTERNAL LINKS WHEN APPROPRIATE
Take the opportunities when they arise to include internal links to other blog posts or site pages when appropriate. This step is critical because not all pages will be indexed by Google. Pages that can’t be indexed by Google include ones made visible after completing a form, those build using Javascript, or links within I-frames. So, including links to these types of pages within content will help boost your site ranking and also keep visitors engaged by suggesting other pages to visit.

7. USE HEADER TAGS PROPERLY
Within your coding, there are six types of header tags: H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H5. H1 tags are meant for the title of the page whereas H2-6 tags are for sub-headings. If multiple tags are used, they should all be related to one another and should remain within the general theme of the page. It has long been thought that the H1 tag was recommended as a best practice for proper SEO and Google’s Hummingbird algorithm shows that they focus less on specific keywords users are searching and more on their intent. Therefore, we think it’s a best practice to consider what your customer would be looking for when choosing header tags.

8. USE A RELIABLE WEB HOST
If your site is getting a lot of traffic or experiences periods of high traffic, it may be time to entrust your site to a Managed Hosting service, like Pagely if you are on WordPress. Doing this will allow you to ultimately improve site speed IF you choose a host that uses a reliable data source. Many WordPress developers opt for a shared host to save money but you may find that the risks far outweigh the savings if your site crashes. Other offerings you need to be looking for are:

Security
Speed tuning
Caching
Scalability
Ongoing updates of plugins

We hope that you benefit from these fundamental WordPress SEO tactics and see success in 2018. Search engine algorithms, as well as tactics employed by the most well-trafficked sites, are constantly evolving, so we recommend staying current on trends and using WordPress Plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast as a tool to make sure you are always getting the most out of your SEO. Thanks for reading!

Original post: The Best SEO Tactics For Bloggers in 2018

6 Overhead Expenses Every Internet Marketer Needs to Consider

You’re an entrepreneurial Internet marketer. Much as you wish it to be so, you don’t have the virtually unlimited marketing budgets of multinational consumer goods companies or venture-funded startups with insanely generous credit lines.

You’ve got to watch every marketing dollar you spend. Which is why it’s so important to consider every significant overhead expense that you stand a decent chance of encountering.

Have you overlooked any of these six overhead expenses for Internet marketers?

1. Web Hosting

This is one of the more difficult marketing expenses to ignore. Even if you plan to eschew a flashy website and cultivate most of your business through old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing, you’ll need at least a token web presence to convince prospects that you’re not a fly-by-night huckster.

If you’re building a content-rich marketing hub with multiple satellite sites, or offering full-service web design and development services for your clients, your web-hosting expenses will be a lot higher. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of cost-effective hosting options.
2. Cloud-Based Storage and Backup

The Internet is a dangerous, uncertain place. In the unlikely but entirely realistic event that your website (or, worse, your clients’) goes down in a targeted DDOS or ransomware attack, you’ll need backup software to reduce or eliminate downtime and data loss. You can’t control what happens in the Internet’s Wild West environment, but you can mitigate the potential damage to your business.

3. Anti-Malware Suites

Anti-malware software is another essential (and often overlooked) expense for marketers. While it’s important to practice good data hygiene and take proactive measures to strengthen your security posture, you simply can’t protect against every threat out there right now. A robust anti-malware suite does a lot of the hard work for you.

4. Virtual Private Network Subscription

A VPN is another important element of your security posture. It can also be a vital research aid that quite literally reveals what the Internet looks like from anywhere in the world, helps circumvent firewalls and state censors, and encrypts sensitive traffic that you don’t want bad guys to see.

5. Customer Relationship Management Software

Without a customer relationship management (CRM) suite, it’s virtually impossible to stay on top of your growing customer base’s demands. If you’re providing CRM as a service to some or all of your clients, you’ll need to spend up for an enterprise-grade solution capable of keeping all those balls in the air.

6. Market Research

Whether you’re packaging and selling insights to customers or keeping them for internal use, you’ll need to conduct market research on an ongoing basis. Don’t worry: this doesn’t mean holding regular focus groups in your home office. But you’ll need a robust survey design tool, for sure.

Stay Lean, Stay Hungry

Successful Internet marketers run lean shops. They invest with an eye to growth and do without non-essential products and services for which they can’t make a convincing business case.

By all means, address the overhead expenses you know you’ll need to survive and thrive in a cutthroat marketing landscape. Just don’t get too big for your britches otherwise. The long-term viability of your marketing shop could well depend on your fiscal discipline.

Original post: 6 Overhead Expenses Every Internet Marketer Needs to Consider

SEO Quick Fixes for Your Blog

One of the most important things to understand about search engine optimization, SEO, is the fact that it is never a one-time thing. To really benefit from SEO, you need to optimize the site, evaluate its performance, and then do more optimization. Continuous optimization is also how you separate your site from the rest in today’s competitive search engine landscape.

Royalty Free Photos

Unfortunately, not all blog owners optimize their sites on a regular basis. After a while, old SEO tactics like adding a certain density of keywords to a page, will actually harm the site’s overall performance. It is time to implement some quick fixes and basic optimizations to get your blog optimized for the search engines again.

The Right Tags
HTML tags are there for specific purposes. The tag

is for paragraphs, while

and

are the tags you want to use when adding a title and subheadings to the page. Forget about trying to make the site look fancy by using other tags; these tags get read by crawlers and you need to start using them.

The tag at the beginning of the page is just as important. You want to add a concise but meaningful title to the page as well as a short description that crawlers can pick up. A summary of the article’s other content on the page is usually enough to get the page noticed.
SEO-Friendly URLs

Next, make sure you stick with an SEO-friendly URL structure for your blog. Forget about trying to use dynamic URLs to keep them short. You want the URL to fully represent what the page is all about.

In WordPress, for example, you can use %CATEGORY%/%POSTNAME% to display the category of the article as well as its slug as the URL. The URL itself is now readable and crawlers can fully understand the general topic of the page just by scanning that URL.

Local Wisdom
Optimizing a blog for a wide audience is great, but 2018 is the year of going specific with your targeting. While you may be aiming for general readers, it is still necessary to think about the specific target audience you want to grab.

Top SEO companies are utilizing industry-specific or region-specific knowledge for better SEO performance. For example, there’re companies that specialize in regions or cities like New York City SEO, while other agencies focus on specific niches like cryptocurrencies or fitness.

Even adding location info to your website is important. If you are based in New York City, you want crawlers to be able to pick that up. You’ll still be able to reach a global audience, but you are also catering to a more specific segment in the process.

SEO and Beyond

Optimizing your page for SEO also means making it more shareable and ensuring a good user experience. These metrics are now taken into account and they greatly determine your rankings. A site that loads quickly and has a good UX will always outperform a slow and dull blog.

SEO is never a one-time thing. You can’t expect to get good performance by optimizing your site once and forgetting about SEO completely. With the quick fixes we covered in this article, getting back on track with your SEO efforts is now easier to do.

Original post: SEO Quick Fixes for Your Blog

How to Increase Organic Traffic with the Help of Translation

Jack Ma, the charismatic CEO of Alibaba, said this year at Davos that “when trade stops, war begins,“ and selling globally is no longer a right solely of big companies. Technology makes the Earth smaller, and you can buy from Europe even if you are based in Australia.

Going global isn’t a strategy—it’s a necessity. More and more brands and companies compete to grow their market shares by reaching more people. You don’t have to be a stock exchange guru to see that China and India have become two attractive markets for investors.

Don’t limit yourself; even if you run a small blog or a medium-size online store, you have to consider expanding your reach. Going global isn’t simple at all, but it’s not rocket science either.

On the other hand, reaching a global audience shouldn’t be a goal just because your competitors have done it. For instance, increasing organic traffic is a measurable, achievable, and desirable purpose for going global. In the next lines, I will show you how to increase your organic traffic with the help of translation. It’s a previously tested method, so the chances are that it will work in your case too.

Advantages of Going Global

Reaching a global audience requires deep involvement and a lot of work, but in the long term, all of these endeavors will pay off. Here are three significant advantages.

1. Increase Organic Traffic

Rand Fishkin, ex-CEO of Moz, said that you have to create 10x content to get more eyeballs on your site. I wholeheartedly agree with him, but I guess that he missed the point: you can get more organic traffic by translating your content. The recipe is simple: start going global, create good content (even 8x or 9x content is acceptable) and translate it. Instead of fighting to get a better ranking for “translation services,” you can easily rank higher for “services de traduction”—the French equivalent.

2. Wider Audience

A wider audience is itself a huge advantage. Usually, the American and European markets are replete with products and services. Asia is the most crowded continent, so you will have to rebuild your growing and selling strategies for this market. The faster you re-orientate, the higher are the chances of growing your revenue and margins.

3. Branding
Reaching a global audience, selling worldwide, and translating your content shows that your brand is strong and the business is growing. All these indicators make buyers and investors to take you into account. Getting people’s attention is vital for any business nowadays.

A wide audience and a brand campaign are medium- to long-term objectives, and achieving these goals requires complex strategies and a substantial budget. However, increasing organic traffic by translating your content is relatively cheap and straightforward.

Just follow the steps below

Visitors’ Language

You need to know the native languages of your site’s visitors before starting to translate it. Google Analytics provides valuable data in this respect—just head to your Google Analytics account and check Audience > Overview > Demographics > Language. Here you will find listed the languages of your visitors, and most likely, American English will be on the first position. See what other languages your visitors speak, and consider translating your content into these languages.

Identify Your Best-Performing Content

Your best-performing content very much depends on your site. It will cost you a fortune to translate your entire site if you run a content-rich blog or news magazine. A small site is cheaper to translate into multiple languages. If you want to test the waters or are on tight budget, identify your best-performing content and translate it. Once again, Google Analytics is gold for revealing your top performing posts. Make sure that they are relevant to your new target audience. For example, if you run a blog for people learning new languages, and your best-performing post is a list of resources to learn French, does it make sense to translate it into French? I doubt it!

Effective Translation

Identifying your visitors’ languages and your best blog posts is a matter of five to ten minutes. Choosing the translation method, the agents to do it, the budget, and the number of languages is way more difficult. There are two options when it comes to content translation: plugins vs. a translation agency.

Translation via Plugins

WordPress users are the most blessed—there are many effective translation plugins. Weglot, WPML, and qTranslate are some of the best translation plugins. The prices are relatively reasonable, and your content will be translated in no time.

The negative aspect of using a plugin is the accuracy and quality of the translation. Year after year, these plugins have become better, but they’re still not satisfactory, and there is nothing more disrespectful to customers than poorly translated content. It shows how much you respect or disrespect their culture and language.

Translation via Agency

A translation agency will cost you much money than a plugin, but it comes with some serious advantages. First, the translation quality will be better. A good translator is incomparably better than the best plugin or translation app currently on the market.

Second, the customer experience will be better. A translator (especially a native speaker) knows the intricacies of a language and will tweak the content to fit users’ expectations better, showing that you genuinely care about your users and their culture.

Third, translation plugins may hurt your SEO strategy. Neil Patel learned that the hard way. A translator from a respected translation company knows a thing or two about SEO, and he will translate the content while keeping in mind your desired keywords. Of course, you and the translator should collaborate to get the most from your content translation.

Last but not least, you can rest assured that you handed this task over to the experts.

Evaluate and Decide

Translating your content doesn’t mean that you will get instant results. Organic traffic takes times, and it depends on the keywords used. A rule of thumb is to wait six months to evaluate the results. Check the performance of the translated posts and decide if you want to continue with translating the next set of content.

Translating your content is one of the first steps in selling globally, and we all know that the beginning is the most challenging part. The above steps will help you make the proper decisions—many talented marketers have tested them successfully. However, translated content is a double-edged sword. When its’ done poorly, it could anger your visitors. But when it’s done right, it could bring considerably more leads and customers.

What do you think? Will you consider selling globally or increasing your traffic by translating the content? Please leave a comment with your ideas.

Original post: How to Increase Organic Traffic with the Help of Translation

Strategies to Consider Ahead of Your Ecommerce Launch

Every entrepreneur’s dream is to launch their website and watch the orders pour in. But going live with your ecommerce store is not necessarily a guarantee business will be booming right off the bat. The only way you’ll see strong sales from the outset is to promote your store using the right channels ahead of time. You’ll also need to optimize your store so it’s ready to handle an influx of traffic and—hopefully—conversions.

Consider these strategies ahead of your ecommerce launch to maximize its impact.

Build Buzz with Pre-Orders
Buzz, though difficult to quantify, is an important tool in your pre-launch toolkit. What can you do to get consumers talking about your product lineup or brand in general, even before your grand opening? Where’s there’s excitement, there’s a line of customers eager to get their hands on the newest merchandise available.

Offering pre-orders appeals especially to shoppers who value being on the cutting-edge of product ownership. These customers find appeal in owning something before anyone else, so you’ll play to their interests by allowing them to “buy” before the general population does. Make sure you properly incentivize early bird shoppers with a good deal and speedy order fulfillment when the products do ship out.

Consider Paid and Organic Search
Half the battle leading up to launch day is drumming up traffic. Your store needs a plan for both paid and organic search. After all, some people will click an ad to check out your site, while others will stumble across your store when they plug a related query into a search engine. It’s important to direct both types of visitors to relevant landing pages in your cloud ecommerce store. The time to engage in search engine optimization and paid search strategies is in the months and weeks leading up to the big “reveal.”

Focus on What You Do Best
It’s tempting to try to do everything in ecommerce well. But this approach actually dilutes your strengths. It’s a better strategy to choose a unique selling proposition and design your store based on its principles. For example, it’s rare to see a store selling both bargain-priced goods and high-end luxury items. It’s smarter to truly understand your target audience and serve them well by playing to your strengths.

In other words, pick a realistic business model and stick to it. Instead of offering 1,000 products across various categories on launch day, handpick a few collections you believe consumers will want to buy. Instead of billing yourself as a “one-stop shop,” focus on the few advantages your store can provide to shoppers compared to your competition. Instead of trying to appeal to the general internet-using public, drill down to establish your target audience.

Utilize Influencer Marketing
Last but not least, it helps to have trusted influencers driving traffic to your website and promoting your products. Influencer marketing has taken ecommerce by storm, and for good reason: Online users tend to trust authority figures within their communities more than they do brands. If someone they admire recommends a product, it’s a powerful reason to visit the website and perhaps even buy it for themselves.

However, it’s paramount to partner with the right people. If you sell perfume, getting a video game expert to recommend your products will have little effect. Conduct careful research into your sector and niche to find influencers with real clout amongst your target audience. Then reach out to them and ask if they’d be amenable to partnering with your store.

Implementing these strategies to consider ahead of your ecommerce launch will set your store up for maximum success.

Original post: Strategies to Consider Ahead of Your Ecommerce Launch

4 Instagram Tips You Should Follow for driving Traffic to Your Blog

Are you successfully driving traffic to your blog? For marketers or business owners, it is very important to be on top of every digital marketing strategy. This is the only way you’ll generate leads.

Instagram can be a great social media marketing tool to drive people to your website. The platform has grown exponentially over the years.

As of April 2017, Instagram has 700 million active users. As one of the most popular social media tools all around the world, about 71% of businesses use it. This behavior reflects the increasing number of customers depending on the platform to find a product or service.

In this article, you’ll discover 4 tips that you should follow to attract people to your blog through Instagram.

1. Boost your brand identity

Strengthen your brand through Instagram. Create an advertising campaign that will stand out from hundreds of campaigns on IG. Give the users something unique and useful to them. Connect with their emotions, answer their needs, and you will surely be at the top of your followers’ minds.

An inspiring example is Playdoh’s colorful clay sets. The company is aligned with its goals and objectives. It focuses on a campaign that shows its followers the potential uses of their products. It incorporates the elements of fun and interest while educating audiences.

2. Use hashtags that are relevant to your business

Instagram is similar to Twitter in that people use hashtags. Hashtags are an important tool to increase your reach. They work by making your Instagram post more visible especially to people who haven’t followed you yet. So, if you’re not using hashtags now, you’re missing out on opportunities to be discovered.

While there are so many popular hashtags you can use to your advantage, it’s more important to prioritize relevance. Whether you’re using hashtags to increase your likes or driving website traffic, attracting the right audience gives you more targeted leads.

For example, if your blog caters to coffee enthusiasts, examples of relevant Instagram hashtags include #coffeelover and #coffeetime.

3. Promote the right way

Marketing is all about the right promotion, at the right time and to the right target audience. You can promote your Instagram account by collaborating with influencers. They are called influencers because of the impact they have on the society that they are in. Influencer marketing is effective in increasing brand awareness.

You can also promote your account by holding actual events or a contest. Make these activities simple, easy to follow, relatable and interesting to your target audience. To throw some ideas, you can launch a “Selfie or Groupie” contest,” “Like-to-Win” or a content that deals with posting a photo of you and your loved one.

You can also use Instagram to promote offers, discounts, special events and other promos. Promotion is the core of marketing. And of course, do not hesitate to try paid ads on Instagram. It may cost you a little, but the returns are great.

4. Optimize the clickable link in your bio

Your business may have wow-worthy, jaw-dropping images – but are you paying attention to that one link you have in your bio? The bio section on Instagram is the only place where you get to include a link to your blog.

The advantage of optimizing this link is that you can take an Instagram visitor to any page. It can be a landing page where you offer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. That page can also be one of your cornerstone pieces of content. Make sure that you track this link so you’ll know whether your traffic driving strategy has been effective.

Wrapping Up

Instagram has been loved by many – both enterprise and end customers alike. It is a great way to promote brands, build followers, enhance relationships with customers and, most of all, increase website traffic.

All of these will eventually lead to higher conversion rates and a boost in sales. You do not want to be left behind by the competition, right? Now is the right time to reinforce your marketing strategy through various Instagram campaigns and activities. Waste no time. Start it now!

Original post: 4 Instagram Tips You Should Follow for driving Traffic to Your Blog