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  • May 08 / 2013
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Articles, Newsletters

The Bangin’ Benefits of Newsletters

Email Newsletters-Your Website’s BFFBasic RGB 

 

Hello business savvy readers! Today is all about the specific benefits of a newsletter. As it says above, newsletters can be your business website’s bff (best. friend. FOREVER). Newsletters can tremendously promote your website, and in turn promote more customers and more business! Completely the opposite of a vicious cycle…more like a viciously awesome cycle.

 

Check out Martin Jones article, The Benefits of Building Business Through Email Newsletters, below:

 

 

“Email newsletters are not often considered one of the strongest marketing strategies for small business. However, recent industry research has suggested that email newsletters are not only tremendously effective in terms of building business, but are also cost-effective and provide a high return on investment. According to Evok Advertising, email newsletters require approximately one-third the cost of producing a traditional printed newsletter, allowing your small business to leverage the savings for other marketing or operational expenses. Here are some of the best benefits of using email newsletters to build and grow your business.

 

Email newsletters complement your website
An unavoidable aspect of doing business in today’s digital and interconnected world is the having a well-maintained, user-friendly and optimized website. After all, the vast majority of shopping decisions are made after first consulting information online, on a company’s specific website or on a third-party educational site. Additionally, many purchasing transactions are themselves completed online. Featuring your website prominently on an email newsletter is likely to drive traffic significantly, according to the news source.

 

The key is to give readers an added value that they can’t gain on the website. For instance, include exclusive information behind the history of a new product and talk about its unique features and appeal to customers. Then, share a link to your website where the reader can purchase the product that he or she just read about. The idea is that your website and email newsletter can work together to complement and drive traffic to each other.

 

Email newsletters help maintain relationships
Oftentimes, a consumer might buy something from your company and then not visit your website or store again for months on end. The best relationships between customers and retailers are ones that are maintained over a sustained period of time, while featuring regular two-way engagement. Email newsletters provide a sterling opportunity for maintaining relationships, according to WiredImpact. With tremendously fierce competition in all industries today, it is essential to not lose customers to your competitors. Regular value-added email newsletters can help you stay on the customer’s radar for a prolonged period of time. However, be careful not to send email newsletters out too regularly to your customer base – nobody likes being spammed and if email newsletters arrive too often, most of them will likely end up in the trash folder.

 

Email newsletters contribute toward an exclusive community
Amid the increased competition among businesses, customers enjoy having their loyalty competed for. Many consumers choose to be loyal to companies and brands that treat them the best. Email newsletters can contribute significantly in this department. Use the email newsletters as a gateway to an exclusive community of the most valued subscribers. Make the readers feel like they’re staying well ahead of the curve or gaining some kind of competitive advantage over other consumers and companies.

 

The email newsletter should serve as the voice or spokesperson for your company. All exclusive information should be delivered through that medium, reinforced with notions of exclusivity. Additionally, don’t be afraid to share special offers with this specific group of customers. Let it be known to them that they, the readers of your email newsletters, are the only ones receiving these special deals or coupons. This will serve not only to increase readership of these newsletters, but also eventually the subscriber pool, once word of the exclusive offers gets out.”

 

 

As you can see, newsletters are a detrimental part of your inbound marketing. Contact us if you’d like to start keeping your clients in the loop!

  • May 06 / 2013
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Articles, Newsletters

Why Your Business Needs a Newsletter

Extra, Extra…Read All About It!Basic RGB

 

Howdy folks! We are now on our second week of “Inbound Marketing”. Last week we covered blogs, why you need one, how to start one, and how to reap the mega hardcore benefits.

 

This week is all about newsletters (hence our cute little NSquared man over there). And needless to say, he has some pretty cool news to share this week.

 

I could go on and on about why newsletters are the bomb, but TobyDuckett posted an article called 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Newsletter on businesszone that sums it up quite nicely.

 

 

“10 reasons why your business needs a newsletter

 

Building relationships with your customers, clients and prospects is crucial in this age of social media. Companies who embrace relationship building as part of their marketing activity are far more likely to generate customer loyalty and repeat business, plus it is far cheaper to target your existing customers than it is to generate new leads.
Email newsletters (or e-newsletters) are an incredibly efficient way for your company to keep in touch with customers and prospects, encouraging a steady stream of leads. People guard their email inboxes mercilessly these days which means that being granted permission to send them a newsletter gives you an opportunity to build and nurture a unique relationship. This is an arena where you can truly stand out from the competition.

 

Here are our top ten reasons why your business should have a newsletter:

  • 1. Newsletters create a more personal and intimate connection with your prospects and clients
  • 2. Newsletters keep you in front of your target market until they are ready to buy
  • 3. Newsletters ensure people don’t forget about you
  • 4. Newsletters give you a platform to display your expertise on a deeper level
  • 5. Newsletters help to generate customer loyalty
  • 6. Newsletters belong to you – there’s no dependency on social media trends or terms of use
  • 7. Newsletter lists are one of the biggest assets your company can have
  • 8. Newsletters give you the opportunity to really get to know your customers
  • 9. Newsletters save you money by nurturing existing leads and allowing you to market to existing followers
  • 10. Newsletters let you tailor-make your offerings to your ideal customer by tapping into what they really want from you.

 

Pretty great, huh? Welcome to the world of newsletters! Stay tuned this week. Trust me (and our cute NSquared news guy), you don’t want to miss out.

 

Contact us if you’re interested in boosting your business with weekly newsletters. It’s the right thing to do…

  • May 03 / 2013
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Articles, Blogging for Business

The Specifics on Leads

Graphs are Legitlegit

Yesterday we talked a bit on how a blog can generate leads and the simple how to’s to get started. Today, we are going to show you the specific perks that leads give your business. And when we say specific, we mean line graphs, bar graphs, and percentages…that’s right folks, the heavy stuff. How Blogging Can Increase Your Lead Generation by 67% by Ana Hoffman is our source for these fantastic specifics. Check it out below!

 

 

 

“How Blogging Can Increase Your Lead Generation by 67%

 

When I am asked a question “How do I generate more leads for my business?”, my answer is always the same.

 

Start with social media networks and a blog – these are the best ways to start generating quick traffic and cash.

 

I am not saying that a blog will make you rich.

 

However, it CAN and WILL play a huge role in promoting you and your business and generating traffic and leads for your primary business.

 

Here are some of the questions and concerns I get in response:

  • People wonder if all this effort I tell them to put into blogging will pay off.
  • They wonder what their return on investment (ROI) really is.
  • They want to know whether all this new content I tell them to post will really make a difference in the search engine ranking and blog traffic.
  • Will all this posting really generate leads for their business?
  • Will it REALLY ultimately translate into a bigger downline and money in their pocket?

 

All valid questions.

 

To answer them, I will need some help from The State of Inbound Lead Generation study by HubSpot.

 

How Do You Achieve Double Digit Lead Growth?

 

This study analyzes 1,400 companies – quite a significant research pool, I would say – and shows a direct correlation between how many blog pages are indexed by Google and the amount of blog traffic the site gets.

 

As a matter of fact, increasing your pages by 50-100 can bring as high as DOUBLE DIGIT blog traffic GROWTH!

 

The graph below shows that traffic generation jumps significantly once a site achieves 300+ indexed pages.

blog traffic generation chart

 

It’s quite evident that the more blog posts, which make up “pages” in your blog, you create and get indexed, the more blog traffic you’ll get, and the more business leads and money you will ultimately generate. As simple as that.

 

How do you generate a large number of indexed pages?

  • Start a blog and build page volume by posting regularly – every day or at least 3-4 times a week.
  • Work on your page optimization to maximize chances of having more of your pages including in Google’s index.

 

–On-Page Optimization: do your keywordresearch before you write a post; make sure you use proper title and description tags with your keywords included for each page. Use Scribe SEO to help you.

 

–Off-Page Optimization: one way link building is the key – this demonstrates your popularity to search engines. Use SEO SpyGlass to find the best links.

 

66% of the companies that HubSpot included in their research have a blog and they generated on average 67% more leads than companies without one.

 

67% more leads!

 

increase lead generation graph

Blog Traffic Generation Increases Once Blog Reaches 20+ Posts

The graph below shows that once you write 24-51 posts, your blog traffic generation starts to grow. That’s probably how long it takes to build a blog with enough pages to get indexed by Google and attract links from other sites as well as visitors.

 

blog traffic increase image

 

So, blogs can help marketers attract traffic and leads quickly, and marketers who are choosing not to start blogs are simply leaving the traffic for their competition.

 

Also, the higher post count showed 77% higher lead generation than the lower count.

 

There are 2 obvious conclusions here:

1. Blogging works to generate traffic and leads.
2. The more you blog, the more blog traffic you will generate.

So, Why Do You Need to Start a Blog?

  • It’s much easier to grow a number of Google indexed pages through a blog vs a static website – a very important factor in how much traffic you will eventually generate.
  • Blogs have a tremendous capacity to increase the number of keywordsyou have high search engine ranking for. The more keywords you rank for, the more traffic you get.
  • Link building opportunity: other sites are much more likely to link to you if you provide interesting and fresh content on a regular basis.
  • Recycle traffic: blogs give visitors a reason to come back again and again – it’s much less expensive to keep an existing customer than generate a new one!
  • Blogging is the best platform for you to generate traffic, then leads and build trust with them and later grow your business.

How Did This Blog Kick-Start My Business Success?

“It all sounds nice and good in theory, but did starting this blog changed YOUR business, Ana?”

 

Glad you asked!

 

I started this blog in September of 2009 and my original theme was Attraction Marketing.

 

This was my first ever attempt to write a blog, so needless to say, I know how scary it is to start one without having a slightest idea as to HOW to do anything.

 

My initial failures:

  • I had no clue what to write about or how to write.
  • I had no direction for my blog.
  • I had nothing to offer to my readers.
  • I had not clue what SEO was.
  • As I started learning more and more about blogging and generating blog traffic, I had to redo many things on my blog, which took a lot of time.

 

My initial successes:

  • I started this blog on the right platform – self-hosted WordPress.
  • I had enough sense to outsource some post writing until I figured out how to do it myself.
  • I used outsourcing resources like ODesk.com, GetAFreelancer.com to inexpensively do some tweaking with the plugins, themes, and such until I learned how to do it myself.
  • I read other blogs DAILY to see what they were doing, what ideas I could adapt on my blog, and what to avoid. Got some great inspiration this way!
  • I found the tools to help me make my blog better. The most important ones were Thesis theme and SEO Scribe plugin, which greatly increased my chances with high search engine ranking.

 

Here Is Where I Am Now:

  • About a month ago I made my blog much more topical: narrowed down my focus to Traffic Generation, as opposed to a little bit of everything.
  • I changed the look of my blog (added a new heading and an optin box); got a new domain name – once again, much more targeted one.
  • I wrote an ebook to offer to my readers (you are more than welcome to get your own copy by filling out my optin form). ***Side note: don’t be scared thinking that you need to write a book for your new blog. You don’t. As a matter of fact, just borrow mine – it comes with free giveaway rights, providing that you don’t change it in any way:).
  • I branded my new Twitter account and Facebook Fan Page to match my new blog look – all three are a continuation of each other. Go ahead, check them out!
  • Blog traffic? Since in the eyes of Google I started my blog twice (the second time was when I changed my domain name a month ago – actually even less than that), my Alexa traffic ranking (not that I pay too much attention to it) went from some 8 million to low 300,000 as of the writing of this post. In a matter of 3 weeks.
  • My lead generation? Started with a lead every other day or three days todozens on a daily basis. Plus my lead generation on my primary business website went up!

Marketing Takeaways:

START A BLOG TODAY!

Want to Get a Second Opinion?

I think it’s a great idea.

I am about to start a blog meme (What is a blog meme?) and tag the following bloggers, whose blogs you might not be reading but should, with the same question I just answered:

“How Did Your Blog Kick-Start Your Business Success?

 

Jason Better, Chris Owen, Ty Tribble, Todd Falcone, Katie Freiling, Charles Heflin, Karen NewmanPeter Fuller.

 

If you are a blogger and would like to take part in this meme, feel free to answer the question in a post on your blog, link it back to this post, and tag more bloggers to do the same.

 

I look forward to compiling a post with the best answers to help people who are still struggling with whether their business needs a blog.

***We need more people to learn about this post; so PLEASE retweet, share, and digg!***

ana hoffman yournetbiz

If you like this post and think it would be valuable to your followers, share the ish out of it for me, would you? 

 

 

We told you it was legit. Anyhow, as we can see, leads aren’t this vague possibility of a perk that comes along with blogging. They’re a real bonus!

Want your stats to look like the ones in the graphs (the better ones of course…)? Contact us and start getting more business!

  • May 02 / 2013
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Articles, Blogging for Business

How Your Blog Can Generate Leads

leadsDominate

 

We have talked about how blogging in general can have major benefits. But what are the specific perks? We will talk about one today… *Cue curious glance towards the image on the left*…leads!

 

According to Jeff Molander with Target Marketing, it is possible to increase leads from your blog in a few months. Making Social Sell is a nifty article explaining how. Check it out below.

 

5 Steps to Generating Leads From Your Blog in Just a Few Months

 

By Jeff Molander | Posted on April 26, 2013

“How long should it take to start generating leads on my blog?” The answer will surprise you. In many cases we’re talking about just a few months.

 

Really?

 

Yes, really.

 

Here’s proof and five steps you can take right now to make it happen for you.

 

A Few Months? Really?
Ed Worthington of Action Business Systems sells office copiers and service contracts—faster and more often with his blog. It took him just a few months to get his first copier sales leads from his blog, Ed Worthington’s Baltimore Copier Buying GuideOpens in a new window. Prospects found his blog on Google and contacted him.

 

What’s his secret? Ed blogs in question-and-answer format. This helps him get found by clients searching for helpful advice. He also writes blog articles that  give customers guidance-making sure they don’t get ripped off. He steers them clear of risks.

 

But being helpful, transparent, honest and all that jazz is not the key. Ed explains solutions to problems customers have in ways that create clarity AND active curiosity in him.

 

This creates response! (leads)

 

Todd Giannattasio , of Tresnic Media, challenged himself to write 50 articles in 25 days. His results? 1,000 percent increase in targeted traffic to his website and, within a few months, business leads.

 

In some cases, it can take as little as two days to get listed on page 1 of Google … if you play your cards right. And if you have a track record of posting relevant, actionable content in ways the Googlebot can understand.

Here’s an example of a video I uploaded, optimized for keywords and Google listed on page 1 in just two days.

How Can You Get Results Like This?
Let’s talk about what it means to “play your cards right” and start getting leads in a few months.

 

Here’s what to do:

 

First, I’ll be honest. I’m not getting leads from my Vimeo video listing that is 2 days old. But will I soon? Yes.

 

I know this based on my success with the below formula. Here’s what to do:

 

1. Do your homework: Understand how your prospects search on Google. I know many of my prospects are trying to start “using LinkedIn for sales leads.” Plus I see HubSpot has top placement here. This search term is important enough for them to be there, too.

 

2. Solve a problem. Ed Worthington knows people want to avoid getting ripped off when buying office copiers. And I know people need to find a way to start using LinkedIn for sales leads. Ed and I solve problems. This is essential for you to focus on when writing blog titles and articles. Right now, ask yourself: What pressing problem do I solve? What pain do I remove? What pleasure do I create? What freedom do I permit? What connection do I allow?

 

3. Create response. My videos and blog posts are structured to change the success rate of prospects. Materially changing prospects’ ability to move the needle was a game-changer for me. It will be for you too. Show prospects your “better way” and invite them to join you on a journey to teach them how to have that same success.

 

4. Keep it brief and ALWAYS make a call to action. My video (in the above example) is two minutes long for a reason. More importantly I go for it. I try to get a lead. Don’t be afraid to. You’re not selling-you’re helping prospects take a step toward solving their problem, learning a new skill or avoiding a risk. Make sure you don’t confuse your prospect’s strong desire to get some relief (for free) with their not wanting to be pitched what you sell. Short videos that scratch itches and contain calls-to-action (using URLs in the description and within the video) work. Period.  Make sure all of your videos have calls to action.

 

5. Dominate. I’m currently dominating page 1 search results for this term. I’m not bragging. I’m saying, “Look … you can too!” Now, with this video, I have increased my chances of being discovered as an expert and engaged with. This leads me to … leads!

 

How long should it take to start generating leads on your blog? Yes, “it depends” but in many cases we’re talking about a few months. Good luck!”

 

Pretty helpful, right? If you are interested in getting more leads out of your blog, contact us!

 

 

  • May 01 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Blogging for Business

Why Your Business Needs a Blog

Business BloggingPut a Face on Your Business!

For the next four weeks we are going to share some vital information on blogs, newsletters, social media, and marketing analysis. If you aren’t using your website for inbound marketing, you are really missing out! Stick with us this May to learn how to boost your business like no other…we think you’ll like the results.

 

Carolina from CC Marketing Online wrote an awesome article, Why Your Website Needs a Business Blog, explaining the importance of this key marketing tool.

 

“This is a really common question from small business owners. A blog may seem like an unnecessary tool but it’s actually an important marketing asset. The simplest way to look at your business blog is that it is an easy-to-maintain way to spread your brand message to current and prospective clients on a regular basis. Your blog has greater reach than your email list or your website. It’s a consistent marketing tool that can be easily updated.

 

Your blog helps position you as an expert in your field. You can post content about your industry, how-to’s and other helpful material to show prospective clients that you know your business – and their needs – inside and out. You’ll quickly credibility with visitors to your site.

 

Your Business Blog and Social Media

 

Your business blog can go hand in hand with social media to market your business. Many business owners have gotten excited about setting up their Facebook or Twitter pages only to be faced with the challenge of then figuring out what to share on social media. With a business blog, you will have a regular supply of relevant, original information to share with your readers.

 

While it’s important to market your business with social media, you still need a “home base” for all of your social media and marketing activities. Some businesses have moved away from blogging in favor of other platforms, like Facebook. The drawback with that is that they don’t own their content when it’s posted to Facebook. With a blog, you have control over your content and one space to direct your social media traffic. Whenever you publish a new blog post, you can let your social media followers know and encourage them to visit your site.

 

What About Blog Content?

 

To get the best results from your business blog, you’ll need to update it regularly with good content. But don’t worry if you’re not a writer! You don’t have to think about content just in terms of text. You can use different media for your content, such as video demonstrations, podcasts, photos, slideshows and screencasts. Keep it interesting, and you’ll keep visitors coming back.

 

Updating your content regularly is important for your visitors and the search engines as well. Google and other search engines look for fresh content when ranking your page. As long as you’re using the right search engine terms within your content and updates, you’ll be able to attract search engine traffic.

 

Your blog puts a face on your business. Use your business’s blog to define your brand and position yourself as an expert in your industry. And don’t worry if you’re new – it gets easier with time!”

 

So here at NSquared we say try blogging, put a face on your business, and start reaping the hard core benefits.

 

Want to learn more about blogging on your site?  Contact us today and we can get your inbound marketing campaign rolling!

  • Feb 06 / 2013
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Articles

Too Much Animation on a Website

*This page may take a bit to load,

because it is totally loaded*

Animation on a web page is great.  It can demonstrate creativity, sophistication and it builds value in the viewers eyes.  But when is too much, too much?

Cute cat fetching mail for owner animated gif

As an example, I had a client who needed a face lift on their dated site.  When I sent a layout concept, it was an image so I had to explain what will be animated and how the features will work. The site had a top navigation menu that displayed a drop down for sub-categories, a rotating banner in the middle and some fun icon buttons on the bottom for navigation that glowed on rollover.

Excavator car wash

Since much of the “animation” happened when the user interacted with the element, it was not overwhelming and did not detract from the content.

Once we started building the site and they were reviewing the progress, scope creep set in and they wanted more and more animations.

 

With every revision their sophisticated site began to look more and more amateur. This multi-million dollar company was cheapening their site with more programming.  Eventually we had to put our foot down and try to redirect the client back to the original concept.

Too much animation is like too much makeup, or perfume, at a certain point, you may start to look cheap.

 

 

When I convince a friend to watch a show I likeThanks for reading, and be sure to share!

 

  • Jan 17 / 2013
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Articles

What a Bad Website Says About Your Business

When it comes to a website for your business, “something is better than nothing” is not the case.  Often people will throw anything up to have an online presence without realizing that poor design or functionality is actually a reflection to the user of your business.

 

While you may strive to provide excellent service, top notch products and want to be a cut above the rest, when your website looks, well, like an amateur, so do you.  Here is an example two stores that sell fabric online.  Both are considered small businesses that strive to give their customers the best products and service possible:

 

Store 1

Store 2

beautiful

Both are ultimately trying to sell us fabric.  Store 1 is difficult to navigate, or even read for that matter.  Store 2 has a clean design, easy navigation and great calls to action throughout.  It is inviting and professional.  The fact of the matter is Store 2 gets wallets open while Store 1 can potentially turn away business.

 

That being said, it would be better to have a nice landing page with information on how customers can reach your business than an ugly website.  Of course a landing page will not get you high in search results or give customers an interactive experience with your business, but a bad website will not either.

 

If you are thinking of taking your business to that next level, give us a call or email us today!  We can start building your digital dreams.

 

 

  • Jan 16 / 2013
  • 0
Articles

Why Do I Get Viruses?

We are asked this question often.  Your machine starts running a little slow, then slower and then you get false messages that you have a hard disk failure, or you are infected and need to purchase this anti virus software and they won’t let you do anything until you do.  While it’s true you have a virus, their “anti-virus” is what actually infected you!

 

Or perhaps your machine will not even load the desktop anymore, and you have no idea how this happened.  Even if you have anti-virus, this can still happen to you.  The fact of the matter is, just as the anti-virus software business is huge, so is the virus industry.  There are actually black market software groups that are developing virus creating tools for hackers.  An entire “standard” virus library exists!  Why re-invent the wheel right?

 

Who are these attackers anyways?  Attackers are divided into several categories:

  • Hackers-Individuals who just want to attack a computer system, either to expose security flaws, bragging rights or vandalize the system.

 

  • Script Kiddies-Unskilled attackers who want to break computers but are not actually programmers, they use the above mentioned virus programs to create scripts to do the work for them.  Incidentally if you ever saw the movie Swordfish, while Hugh Jackman was
    suppose to be this advanced programmer, here is proof he was just a script kiddie:script

 

  • Spies-This person was specifically hired to break into a machine and steal information.  The less attention drawn to the break in the better.  These guys are pretty smart.

 

  • Insiders-48% percent of information leakage in organizations is caused by someone in that organization.  Disgruntled employees may load a virus on a machine or steal data.

 

  • Cybercriminals-These are the guys that are making a lot of money.  They steal identities, commit financial fraud, and are the people spamming you.  They may infect your machine with a Trojan (example: a virus hidden in a free application you installed from the internet) and are collecting your passwords and account information to exploit. They even have investors to help fund them.

 

  • Cyberterrorists-Ideologists that attack for the sake of their beliefs.  They have brought down some heavy networks like, oh the Pentagon!  They may infect your machine as well, just to turn it into a zombie.  They can infect millions of individual computers with what is called a root kit virus, and use these machines to do things like send a bunch of signals to a network to overload it and bring it down.  You may unknowingly be helping a cyberterrorist take down government sites.

 

 

 

 

These are the people that can ruin your day or cost you money.   Common reasons people pick up viruses are:

  1. You installed free software
  2. You are hanging around some seedy areas of the internet (this can range from celebrity gossips sites to adult content)
  3. You visited a site that got hacked and infected you through the browser

 

To protect yourself from them you need a good firewall, regular anti-virus scans and a little discernment when browsing the internet.  If you do get infected and your anti-virus cannot fix the issue. Then you need to give us call, as more advanced measures need to be taken.

 

 

There you have it, a little insight in the dark world of viruses.  Browse safe out there and share the       be sure to share this with your friends.

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