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The Evolution of Email Best Practices

Posted in Digital Marketing by on Apr 15th, 2015

With over 4 billion active accounts and more than a couple of billion users globally (both business and personal), email is a key structure of communication in the digital age. About 6 in 10 employees access their emails on-the-go. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that today employee emails are consistently monitored as a security measure. That’s the reason businesses need to keep adapting their email best practices with advancement in technology and shift in user behavior. The proper usage of emails in a workplace is something that many still struggle to understand. Whether you are a startup owner or an IT head at a large enterprise, imparting and implementing policy on acceptable use of email at the workplace is of utmost significance. It’s important to provide the employees with a user-friendly and transparent guide on why and how the emails will be monitored. In your email usage policy, consider incorporating: a risk management structure for email retention/deletion; a well-defined email system security architecture; and a robust insurance protection to mitigate risks associated with email misuse.

 

From employee’s point of view, they need to ensure that email is an effective business communication tool and not a time consuming chore. Here are a few things to give you a head start:

 

  • Keep your email content short and crisp.
  • Don’t use emails to store important and confidential company information.
  • De-clutter your inbox by unsubscribing from unnecessary newsletters and websites.
  • Get rid of unused folders and labels in your email program.
  • If you are uncertain about the authenticity of an email conversation, do not respond or act on it since it could contain a malicious or fraudulent content.
  • Last but not the least – allot time to your emails. You don’t have to respond immediately as it arrives always.
  • Be careful when dealing with attachments and always scan files before downloading locally.

 

Every minute saved from managing your emails is an added boost to your organization’s productivity. Your turn now! Share your comments below.

 


Simple SEO Tips For The US Startups

Posted in SEO by on Feb 25th, 2015

Whether you are a big shot in the business arena, a maestro in your niche or you just started on a lone journey to get a foothold among the top players in the industry, you need SEO by your side. Unlike popular belief, you do not need to be an SEO whizz to get your website out there. Start small but it’s important for your business to have a strong online presence and visibility. Just follow a few simple SEO tips to get the ball rolling.

 

Simple SEO Tips For Your Startup To Flourish

 

To start with, you need a website and it is necessary to optimize your website effectively to generate traffic and reach out to your potential customers. Research and understand your market and set a plan of action.

 

You want your customers to find you and how do you do that? Well, it’s all about effective keyword targeting and that can be achieved only through proper research. Get registered to Google Adwords to understand how keyword targeting for your particular niche works and choose relevant keywords to start with.

 

The next step is quality content. Good content should be formulated both, for the customer as well as the search engine. Write for your audience but optimize it effectively so that the bots can easily find and target your content.

 

Register with Google Analytics to understand user behavior and it will help you cater to your customers better, to enhance the user experience. Remember to keep your website interactive, dynamic and adaptive. Nothing over the top and flashy.

 

Keep a close eye on your competition and learn from their high points. Analyze their strategies and formulate your own, based on your services and the website. You can’t beat them if you cant’ figure out their SEO techniques. So get snooping and make a better campaign to attract your customers.

 

Write regular blog posts and articles to keep your website updated as well as to generate traffic. Don’t try to be too fancy, keep it simple yet informative. Content quality and freshness are something you cannot compromise on.

 

But the content is not enough to get quality traffic, exploit social media platforms to reach out to your niche customers and for online visibility. Another great way is collaborating with online influencers like bloggers and experts in your niche to endorse your business. Offer them something in return like regular guest blog posts, this also helps them in boosting their popularity and presence.

 

If you are a small local business then it’s vital to get your business registered with Google Places. This will help your customers to find you and contact you easily.

 

Improve your online image and promote your business by strategizing campaigns that will engage your customers and kindle curiosity about your business. Share pictures, infographics, tweets, posts and anything that would generate a buzz among potential customers.

 

Big or small business, it’s crucial to optimize your website for the mobile users. A mobile-friendly website is the need of the hour since most internet users search and surf through their mobile devices.

 

These are some of the basic SEO tips you need to follow to get your startup buzzing and whirring. But remember that SEO techniques and strategies keep changing and upgrading. So, it’s important to keep yourself updated with the latest strategies and tips to improve your business and online presence. Keep working on fresh and innovative campaigns and content to keep the reader’s and customer’s interest piqued. Remember to keep your website uncomplicated, interactive and user-friendly.

 


Social Media Best Practices for eCommerce in 2015

Posted in SMM by on Jan 13th, 2015

E-commerce and social media always go hand-in-hand. Various social media platforms have become an integral part of today’s online shopper’s habits. And this popularity as well as dependence is only gaining with time. Yet many online retail businesses still fail to fully understand the significance of social media marketing in their overall bottom-line and thus refrain from allocating dedicated budget and resources toward this crucial online marketing initiative. This is primarily because they think that their business goal of ‘selling’ doesn’t quite align with the expected outcome of social media efforts – ‘sharing’. If at all we learnt anything from 2014, there is nothing more damaging for an e-commerce business than ignoring social media in their overall marketing plan. Going social is their only hope of survival in this space of cut-throat e-commerce competition. Here are some social media best practices that we think will help e-commerce businesses in setting the right foot in 2015:

 

Don’t treat it as your e-commerce site

First things first! You need to understand that your Facebook page is not your website. So, if your strategy is to just keep posting your product images and special offers, then your page is nothing more than a billboard to your fans. You shouldn’t just stop at grabbing their attention. You must go a step ahead and encourage them to share your page content with their friends and family. Hence, the mantra here is to: Post only shareable content on your social media profiles to trigger word-of-mouth. And in doing this, if you manage to get your users to generate content for your page and brand, you’re on the right path!

 

Don’t follow the crowd

Just because your competitors and other major global e-commerce brands are using certain social media platforms, it doesn’t mean that they are the ideal choice for your business too. Another thing to understand here is that having presence on more social channels doesn’t make your brand omnipresent. So, you should conduct an insightful research on what social platforms are your potential consumers most active on. This way not only will you be able to put in your best foot forward through dedicated channel-focused efforts, but you will not run the risk of boring your consumers by tactfully skipping the other not-so-important platforms.

 

Make your site socially optimized

No matter how active or popular you are on different social media platforms, but it’s of no use if these channels are effectively integrated to your site. And if you already have your social buttons placed on your website then make sure that they appear above-the-fold for maximum impact.

 

Get ready for real-time interactions

The biggest mistake an e-commerce business can commit on social media platforms is not responding to consumer’s queries or reviews in time. Every minute’s delay in your response can cause you a humongous loss because your users can immediately post a negative review on your page or the marketplace, after which it’s really difficult to convince them to get it removed, even after offering BIG goodies. So, the best option is to have dedicated social media customer support team to look after all such queries and complaints.

 

Optimally utilize the social media advertising services

As hinted by Facebook and confirmed by many social media experts on quite a few occasions, the organic reach is deteriorating on the platform. So, the e-commerce businesses can no longer afford to just rely on organic page posts to reach the masses. It’s about time to fully leverage the various advertising products offered Facebook and other platforms to give an extended audience to your special offers, discounts, deals and sweepstakes. This will help you lure them towards your website.

 

Constantly track the performance

The best part about today’s social media marketing channels is that they provide you with ample of data to help measure your campaign’s performance. You can keep a watch on what type of users respond the most to your content, at what times are they most active, what type of content they prefer, etc. to shape your optimum engagement strategy. If you need more detailed analysis, then you can consider using third-party tools such as Google Analytics to understand the flow and typicality of the traffic to your site from multiple social channels.

 

These are some of our top social media marketing tips for e-commerce in 2015. So, stay focused, be smart and know your customers for achieving consistency in brand communications.

 


Is Your Website Ready For 2015 Yet?

Posted in Web Design and Development by on Dec 18th, 2014

Disclaimer: “Any resemblance to a real or fictitious (or any other farcical term you may have for…) digital guru, swami, samurai or prophesier is purely coincidental. The following suggestions are based on the countless hours we spent during the last one year in successfully delivering web design and development projects as well as the trends we identified during our ongoing research work. Some of these suggestions will be the predictions based on what the users would like to see, rather than what we’ll definitely see.” With that, let’s move forward:

 

‘Mobile-first’ and not ‘mobile-only’

Of course, we had to start with this! It’s true that ‘Mobile-first’ has been perhaps the most talked about terms in 2014. We saw a lot many brands and businesses adopting this concept. But, unfortunately, in an attempt to provide excellent experience to the mobile audience, we tend to ignore our traditional desktop users. We’re still very much dependent on carrying out our important tasks on desktops and tablets, so in 2015, give equal amount of respect to all your audiences across devices and platforms.

 

The loading speed

Speed is an element that’s always been talked about in web designing and development. But surprisingly, we often don’t do anything about it. So in 2015, we need to give speed a broader perspective. Until now, we were only worried about website quickly loading on desktops. But then mobile came along and got everyone thinking again. You need to ensure that your website’s loading speed is equally effective across mobile devices. Ignore this, and see your users abandon your site forever!

 

Responsive for bigger screens

Well it goes without saying that an increasing number of your audience will be using handheld devices to access your site in 2015, but you might be surprised by how many of them use bigger screens. So, if you have taken a step toward making your website responsive for the mobile-users in 2014, then in the New Year, you should focus on adapting the user experience for giant screens.

 

Universal parallax scrolling adoption

Parallax scrolling has been in the limelight since 2013 (or may be even before that). And in 2015, the concept will see an even wider popularity. With the parallax-ready templates readily and cheaply available on WordPress and other platforms, it’s time to cash-in on the trend and catch your audience’s undivided attention with a super-creative and narratively-driven website.

 

Material page design

A concept brought up by Google, it’s a unification of fully-flat design and skeuomorphism. This is definitely something you should be trying in 2015 to make your website technologically advanced and magically creative.

 

Humane experience

The evolution of website designing and development is purely centered on a single notion – to provide a superior experience to the users. Hence in 2015, you should be focusing on incorporating Micro UX design in your website to not only give it a touch of innovation but, more importantly, to better engage with your visitors by offering them an enhanced experience that’s a pleasure to repeat.

 

Short and accurate layout

One thing’s certain – with the passage of time and evolution of the web design and development technologies, the patience level of the users has been dwindling. It’s time you considered the shorter templates for your site or what are popularly called the card templates. This type of design is perfect for smartphones and responsive sites. Has this thought not crossed your mind when prepping up your 2015 web design agenda; then what are you waiting for?

 

Ghost buttons

You can’t deny the fact that your users are getting irritated looking at multiple and scatter action buttons on your site. They are easily distracted and it’s one of the reasons for the higher bounce-rate of your page. Say “hi!” to ghost buttons. These are the pellucid yet recognizable shapes with thinner borders and easy-on-the-eye fonts. The ghost buttons are your perfect companions in 2015, should you wish not to clutter your pages with forceful calls-to-action. 

 

Animated elements

Why bore your users with flat and static images when you can show elements on the fly? Thanks to improved browsers, smarter devices, and faster web connections, animation is no more a dirty word for your site. So in 2015, consider using motion elements in your site to suck in your users’ attention. Some examples include, innovative page loading, infinite scroll fade ins, animated charts and graphs, hovercrafting, slo-mo’s, modular scrolling, folding effect, creative menu transcripts, slidey and smart navigation, and much more.

 

Bigger and colorful is better

Yes, you read it right! The bigger fonts will make an effective come back in 2015. Wondering why? That’s because they work really well on handheld screens. Also, the colors in web designing are getting more and more vibrant. So, play around with various sizes and shades to give your site a present of a rather elegant interface in the New Year.

 

Did we miss out on anything? Yes? Then how about dropping us a comment below? Cheers!

 


The Basic SEO Terms Every Marketer MUST Know!

Posted in SEO by on Dec 10th, 2014

Simply put, we just cannot ignore the reality of the web in this modern marketing age. Whether you’re a local barber in Sheffield or a realtor in Phoenix, you come face to face with the omnipresent web every day. But don’t worry. This isn’t yet another article on “why you should take your business online!” That choice is completely yours. But even if you aren’t actively marketing your business on the web, you should at least be aware of the lingo used by those who do. This way, every time you’re a part of a social gathering of the local business community, you don’t have to feel baffled by the terms that come your way. That’s why we thought of coming up with a list of the most basic SEO terms that any marketer should know. Hopefully, when you are done reading this article, your marketing vocabulary will have improved a bit. Even better, if you are managing a DIY SEO for your website, then this might just prove to be handy:

 

Keyword (key·word – noun /ˈkēˌwərd/)

This, no doubt, is one of the most used terms in SEO. A keyword or a key-phrase is a word or a set of words of great significance for a website in an information retrieval system to exemplify its products or solutions. Keywords help brands in effectively connecting with their users. On the other hand, they will help in clearly indicating to the search engines the content of your website. The trick is to aptly incorporate these keywords and key-phrases in different parts of your website throughout your content to give Google and other search engines identify what your website is about. But as the saying goes, “Too many spices spoil the soup!” Hence, using too many keywords can have a negative impact on your website’s search rankings.   

 

Link (link – noun /liNGk/)

Yet another popular term in SEO, a link, shows relationship or connection between two things on the web. There are a couple of types of links that are included in a website: Internal and external. Internal links show how different pages on a website are interconnected. To quote a simple example, on any website that you visit, there is a navigation bar (famously called “a menu”) that shows different links on the site. Contrarily, external links refer to a website’s connection with other websites. External links can be further separated into incoming and outgoing links. From an SEO point of view, the incoming links to your website are more valuable. The reason for it is that they showcase an authority of the content on your site. There’s no universal rule on how many links should one web page have. The trick here is to have only relevant and natural links for your website to be appreciated by the search engines. 

 

SERP (ser·p – noun /ˈsərp/)

SERP, a quite commonly used SEO abbreviation, means Search Engine Results Page. To put it simply, when you enter a search query in Google, the page that is returned to you is a SERP. Each SERP on Google represents different sets of results based on your query. The trick is to use this term whenever you’re surrounded by a set of marketing experts at an event and you will no longer feel like an alien. 

 

Anchor Text (an·chor text – noun /ˈaNGkər tekst/)

Anchor text refers to a hyperlink associated to the text on a website. Usually, the anchor text is highlighted so that it stands out from the rest of the content on a web page. When clicked, it takes you to the target web page or content. Such anchor text links are designed to make a website more user-friendly. At the same time, it is seen to help enhance search rankings of a website. So the next time you’re optimizing your website or distributing a news story, the trick is to make your anchor text relevant and natural. 

 

Title Tag (ti·tle tag – noun /ˈtītl tag/)

A title tag, in simple words, represents the title of a web page. For example, when you open up a website, the headline that appears in the browser tab is a title tag. Also, the headline of your search result is a title tag. The idea behind having a title tag is to help the users as well as search engines identify what your website or web page is about. The trick, here, is to keep your title tags short, simple, relevant and unique for every page on the website.  

 

Meta Description (met·a de·scrip·tion – noun /ˈmetə diˈskripSHən/)

Meta description refers to a short description that appears in your search result under the headline. Just like the title tag, it helps in identifying what your website or page is about. They have a significant impact on the click-through rates of a search result. So, the trick is to keep your meta description unique and relevant with an appropriate call-to-action.

 

Indexing (in·dex·ing – verb /ˈinˌdeks-iNG/)

Indexing is the process by which the search engines browse, collect and store content from different websites across the web. To be able to show current data always, the search engines endlessly crawl the web for building and maintaining their massive databases. When the search ‘bots come across a new web page or an updated content on an existing page, they ‘index’ the information. This data is then displayed to the users when they search for it, using relevant queries.

 

Canonical URL (ca·non·i·cal U·R·L – noun /kəˈnänikəl-yo͞o-är-el/)

Canonical URL is used to showcase a primary web page when there are different sets of the same web content. This is to avoid any duplication of content. The canonical URLs help the search engines identify the main page out of the lot that contains pages with similar content. The trick is to have a canonical URL for the pages on your website that have identical information.  

 

301 Redirect (three ze·ro one re·di·rect – noun /THrē-ˈzi(ə)rō-wən-rēdəˈrekt/)

301 redirect – it may sound a bit robotic, but carries a very simple meaning. It helps to redirect the website visitors or search engines on the RIGHT page, when they land on an inactive web page. The trick, here, is to add a 301 redirect every time you delete a page or change the URL of your website, so that your users are still able to browse your site, even by using the previous (now non-existent) URLs.

 

Rel=“author” (rel au·thor – noun /rel-ˈôTHər/)

The meaning of Rel=“author” is quite straight-forward actually. It is a tag used to associate a website with its author’s Google+ profile. It is the search giant’s authorship markup. It’s Google’s gift to the website owners so that they can give a face to the site. It helps the users in identifying the ‘people’ behind a brand on the web. After all, they like to connect to a ‘human’ and not a ‘robot’. It’s actually a great tool to showcase your thought leadership. The trick is to keep your Google+ profile as updated and relevant as possible so that your users can easily relate it to your website. This will help ensure a pleasant behind-the-scene experience for your users.

 

While, this is just a sketchy picture, it will give you a general understanding of some of the basics of SEO. So the next time you hear these words, hopefully you won’t get intimidated by them. Eager to learn more? We’d be glad to be of assistance. Reach us at anytime for a FREE no-obligation consultation.

 


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