10 Valuable Pointers on How to Brand a Company

Branding-of-company

Although branding is important for long-term growth, expansion, and success of any company, very few people really understand what it means. Well, branding is basically making your business stand out in the crowd, where people will be able to relate certain products or services exclusively to your company, despite you having many competitors.

Unlike marketing, where your main focus will be to attract the customer for the first time, branding is more about making your company name memorable in their minds. You can consider your branding efforts to be successful, when people immediately picture your company logo and taglines, whenever your products or services are mentioned.

There are as many definitions of branding, yet only a handful of companies are able to create a brand that keeps attracting customers.

Why is branding important? 

If you want to create a successful brand for your company, there are many ways to look at it.

Here is a useful way to think about branding:

  • When people hear your company’s name, what will be their first thought?
  • When people see two similar products, why would they pick your brand over the other?

Instead of haggling over the exact meaning of how to brand a company, if you think about it in terms of answering the above questions, you will spend your time more wisely.

Whatever brand you create, it must evoke trust among customers. People will only buy a product that they trust. You will want people to actively gravitate towards your brand, so that you can sell more products and maximize your profits.

Take a look at some of the most successful companies in any field (preferably the ones in similar business domain to yours). You will find that their customers instantly recognize their name. You will often hear the phrase to the effect of, “you can’t go wrong with ‘xx’ company.”

Once you identify the reasons why their brand is so trusted by customers, you will find a lot of answers for branding your company successfully. Here are some key points that can help you create a lasting brand that people will trust.

  1. What do your customers want? 

Before you start your branding exercise, you will want to know about what your customers want from you. No matter how great your branding efforts are. If your products do not match their expectations, then you will have a hard time profiting in the long term.

Here are some key things you will want to learn about:

  • What kind of demographic does your product cater to (young, senior citizens, kids, middle class, etc.)?
  • What is your value proposition (better price, higher quality, reliability, etc.)?
  • How much are your potential customers willing to pay for the product?

A modest amount of market research will answer those questions for you, and give you the vital cues about where to start with branding your business. A brand for luxury products will definitely be different from that of budget ones.

  • What do you have? 

If you have the perfect product that has all the qualities without any compromises, then you can let it speak for your brand to quite and extent. However in reality, you will have to make the appeasements, because your customer needs also keep changing.

What you will want to know is:

  • What are the limitations of your products, when compared to those of your competitors
  • What are the strong points that make your product better than others
  • How does the disparity impact your product sales

The question is how to brand a company with the existing variations in what you and your competitors have to offer. To start with, you will obviously have to highlight your strong points. However, it will give you only a limited period to buffer your weaknesses. Even if your customers still choose your products, they will eventually see through your branding strategy. Therefore, companies always try to improve their products in order to plug the loopholes, and add more value to their customers.

Ideally, your brand should tell people about your priorities, and you will need to be transparent about it, so they can trust your company.

  1. Branding before marketing 

As you keep introducing new products and services, you will have to develop new marketing campaigns to give them the required exposure. Now, different products require different types of push.

Some of them will need greater presence on news media, while others will rely more on PPC campaigns, or email marketing. Even as you utilize different platforms to market your product, you want to make sure that your marketing is always in line with your branding.

For example, if you are selling a luxury product, you will not want to send emails to every address you have in your database, because that would corrupt your brand.

Know your customers well, before you sell your brand. Therefore, you must narrow down the focus of your marketing, exclusively to those who will actually buy your products.

  • Picking the right channels 

Most company branding tips today given by the so called mainstream experts involves bombarding all platforms with marketing, so that the customers will notice. However, as statistics prove, this is only a road to disaster. First of all, you should take stock of the platforms that are available to you for branding.

These include:

  • Television advertising
  • Billboards
  • Web ads
  • In app advertising on mobile devices
  • Social networks (Facebook, twitter, Google+)
  • Video platforms (YouTube, Vine, Vimeo)
  • Blogging
  • Podcasts
  • Your own website

Now, if you are a small company, taking on all the above platforms for your branding will spread you too thin. Therefore when you are starting out, pick two platforms that you believe will give your business the best exposure. This again depends on what demographic you are targeting for your brand.

  • Brand standards and guidelines 

Your brand will eventually be present on all the major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, emails and what not. If you want your customers to recognize the brand instantly, there needs to be a consistency among various platforms. You therefore have to form some strong standards and guidelines for your brand.

For example:

  • How the logo is placed in your ads, letter heads, emails etc.
  • What color themes are used across all your web properties, including social networking pages
  • The font face and size used, relative to the size of the logo
  • Where your tagline goes in every message

These standards will be uniform on all your communication, so your customers will always know that it is from your company, whether they receive a flyer, an email, or if they visit your website. Having consistent brand guidelines is one of the most important business branding tips that you will need to adopt.

  • Propagate your brand through social media 

You were told above that you have to pick one or two platforms first to start your branding efforts. One of those has to be online social networks. That is because more than half of your potential customers are probably on Facebook or Twitter. These are the best platforms currently to spread brand awareness quickly.

Of course, you are not the only company who is going to use social media to promote the brand. What will set you apart from the others are the contents, and the ways in which you communicate with your followers. You might want to hire a social media expert to help you leverage the platform for building maximum awareness.

  • Reinforcing your brand through website 

Even though your web presence will be spread across social networks and blogs, your website will still be the anchor. It will be the central place, from where the customers will be able to buy your products. Therefore, it is important that you use the website as your primary branding exercise:

  • See to it that the design of your website strongly adheres to your branding standards
  • Make sure that your site interaction is fluid, and it reflects your website’s values

Too many small businesses ignore the importance of a professional website that works smoothly and helps customers. A great website will help increase your brand visibility, and earn you higher positions on search engine rankings.

  • Keeping it consistent 

When branding your company, it is important to remember that your brand as a whole will have to rise above any individual product.

You might have a new product that is radically different from others, for better or worse. Still, you will need to make sure that your customers get the very same feel and experience that your most successful existing products give to them.

When customers find the same reliability, feeling and trust when using multiple products from your company, your brand only gets strengthened more.

As you progress along, you will notice that even small design choices for your product will be informed by your branding strategy.

  1. A standout logo 

The most obvious way that company brands are recognized by people, is by their logo. Two companies may have the same name, but never the same logo. Your logo does not just differentiate your brand from others, but it should evoke feelings among customers.

Your logo should:

  • Reflect your core value (simplicity, energy, reliability, variety, speed etc., pick one)
  • Be distinctive (You can refer to other logos as inspiration, but never copy them even remotely)
  • Translate well to different media (billboards, emails, web properties, etc.)

Creating a good logo should be the first tangible step towards building a good brand for your company.

  • A concise and clear slogan 

Coming up with a clear slogan that will advocate your core value is more difficult than it seems. There are entire departments in marketing companies that are tasked for simply coming up with effective tag lines. Here are some of the things that make a tagline stick to your brand, and helps in gaining recognition:

  • It addresses your customer needs
  • It matches in feel with your logo
  • It conveys precisely one vision (e.g. A computer in every home, Microsoft)

Even though it is single line content, coming up with a good tagline takes time and efforts. It requires that you have clear-cut goals and values. The part about how to brand a company by using consumer expectations and your own strengths rings very true here.

All of these steps might seem like too much for a small business that is just starting out and wanting to create a compelling brand. However, when you have enough information and have a clear vision, the rest of the steps are just details of implementation, and they will get easier.

 

 

10 Proven Ways to Leverage Social Media for Small Business or Industry

Network

Until a few years ago, the online presence of your business was mostly defined by the page rankings of your website on search engines. It was about building the backlinks and leveraging the keywords. While search engines are still the most prolific platforms to get more customers to your website, social media has also emerged as a key adjunct.

Most people, who really matter to your business, are probably on social networks. Even senior citizens, who are usually averse to technology, spend more time on social networks than on other websites.

If you want your brand name to reach a wide spectrum of audiences from across the net, then you will need to give it a very strong and carefully considered social media presence.

Now, because there are so many brands and companies competing for the buyer attention, you will need to develop a way to cut through the crowd. You will want to stand out, and make sure that people take notice of what you have to offer. Please be reminded that, this is not the same as buying more followers and likes on Twitter and FaceBook.

There are many ways to leverage social media for small business. If you implement the strategies properly, your efforts will surely yield more customers, and higher conversion rates.

Here are some of the most proven ways to build a steady audience on social networks for your business. They will not guarantee success, but will increase the odds in your favor.

1) Find Your Audience 

The first step towards making a mark in social media with your potential customers is to identify the sources where they are most active. If your customers are mostly teenagers, then you will find them mostly on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. If you are running a B2B company, then you are more likely to find your niche audience on networks like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and more.

There are plenty of social networks out there, but if you want to gain more followers, you will need to choose the best few suiting your business, and focus totally on them.

Here is what you can do:

  • Research your demographic and use analytics and monitoring tools to find which social networks your target audiences use the most
  • Pick the top 2 or 3 and go about focus your efforts on building your presence across these social media platforms

It will be tempting to hire a social media consultancy and go all out, building your pages on every social network out there. However, this will dilute your message. You want your presence to grow organically.

2) Choose the Correct Channels 

The best recommendation for using social media for small business owners is to choose the right medium. Most people use FaceBook to keep in touch with the world, but not everybody does. The same goes for Twitter. Although you keep hearing about them dozen times a day, there are legions who have never visited Twitter at all.

  • Experiment with multiple but carefully chosen social media platforms
  • Create useful content for your potential customers, and see which platforms generate more active responses from users

Most importantly, consider email as another channel to leverage social media. Email marketing is considered to be old school, but it still drives in a lot of responses. Add social media interactions to your emails, and links to discussion threads, so that receivers can start interactions right from the emails.

3) A consistent cross media brand 

Whether you are using billboards, PPC, video sites, or social networks, your brand should be clearly defined in all your marketing efforts. Social media is a great awareness platform, but it ultimately leads your customers to your website and other places, where they can guy products.

If you check out most of the social media for small business tips they tend to ignore some key aspects. These basics will help you channel your marketing efforts in the right track.

You will need to have brand standards and guidelines for all platforms. For example, you will need to be consistent with the usage of your logos and color themes across both, your social media pages, and your website. This will help customers identify your brand clearly, whenever they see it.

There are two ways to reinforce your brand and make it more memorable.

  1. One is bombarding them with spam, ads, and emails.
  1. The other is to keep a consistent brand, and make sure it shows up at the right places.

The latter strategy will always earn you more respect from your potential and existing customers.

4) Develop a genuine content strategy 

It is not like, you create a social media page, and people will come flocking to you. Even when you create viral campaigns, there is no guarantee that people will keep coming back, and follow your posts. A viral social media strategy will bring users to your page once, but good and interesting content will keep them coming back, and eventually generate brand loyalty.

You can also take assistance for content development from professional companies that specialize in social media for small business marketing. They can help you analyze what kind of content will interest customers, and what will make your pages truly helpful.

Your content can include:

  • Useful updates regarding your products or services
  • Regular announcements, so they can keep track of your releases and learn more about your company
  • Tidbits that will give them an inside peek into your company, so that you can build a rapport with them

These are not hard and fast rules, but strategies that have proved to be successful for many small businesses, over a period of time.

5) Make your presence useful 

This follows closely on the heels of a content strategy. When you want to leverage social media, you will want to give people some genuine reason to follow you on Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, or any other platform. The details of this strategy are very specific to the type of business you run, and according to what your customer-base it.

Here are the questions that you will want to answer for your users, so that in turn, they feel that following your posts will help them.

  • Will it save my time if I follow their posts instead of other brands
  • Are their posts of any tangible help to me, in choosing or using their products
  • Do I save money if I follow their posts?

Your customers will not ask these questions directly, but these factors influence their decision making. For instance, if you are actively responding to customer questions on your Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, they have plenty of reasons to follow you.

6) Don’t repeat content 

In the interest of keeping their social media presence active, many companies resort to poor tactics like presenting the same information in different ways, by using multiple posts. However, this is a bad strategy because:

  • It does not give customers any new information
  • Followers may ultimately lose interest in your pages and stop following them
  • It falsely inflates your social media analytics numbers, and will drive you towards adopting the wrong measures in future

The best way to update social media for small business is to create posts only when new information is available. If you find yourself short of announcements, then you can create interesting videos and infographics that will help reinforce your message, and keep users engaged.

7) Share links generously 

The whole internet is built on the foundation of links. It is important that you make the best of them, in order to keep users up-to-date with your activities.

You can share links to:

  • Your blog posts
  • Other social media posts
  • Videos on YouTube or Vine
  • Product pages where people can buy or subscribe

Also share links to help pages where they make sense. The more relevance your contents are, the greater are your chances of keeping the followers interested.

8) Monitor, Measure, and Analyze 

Once you have a social media strategy in place, you don’t blindly implement it. Keep monitoring your posts constantly and see:

  • What kind of posts generate the most views, likes, and responses
  • Which ones lead directly to more sales
  • What posts generate negative responses
  • Which platforms are giving you the best conversion rates

All these metrics will tell you where you need to tweak your strategies, and make small adjustments and improvements, in an ongoing manner.

9) Keep an eye on competition 

Your social media presence does not exist in a vacuum. It is competing with other businesses in the same domain. If you want to be ahead of the curve, you will need to understand the strategies of others as well. You will find what works for them and what doesn’t.

You don’t need to copy their successful strategies blindly, but you can use them on your social media interactions smartly. You will have a better idea of how this works, once you gain more experience of using social media for small business.

10) A sustained campaign  

Social media is not a ‘set it and forget it’ platform. You cannot create a campaign, sit back, and relax, once it ends. Remember that you are competing with multiple other businesses for buyer attention. You need a social media plan that you can keep implementing throughout the year.

Alternatively, you may want to hire a specialist social media firm to make sure that you have a sustainable strategy. Many companies also hire specialized staff to work full time on just social media. This is a good idea is you have the financial resources. Your campaign will then be headed by someone who knows how valuable social media is, and how to wring the most value out of the platforms. 

Let me know what do you think or if you feel that I have left some points out…please comment.

Branding Tips - Dwaipayan.com

10 Quick Tips about Branding In Marketing Management

Branding Tips - Dwaipayan.com

If you were to look up 10 different places for what branding means, you may see 10 wildly different definitions. That is because branding is not well-understood by most businesses, which is why they don’t succeed in creating memorable products. Branding in marketing management is considered to be the primary goal of advertisements and promotions.

Branding helps you establish:

  • What comes to mind first when people see your brand logo or brand name
  • How your products are perceived (cheap, expensive, low quality, luxury, reliable etc.)

Once you get a hold of these goals, you will understand the importance of branding in marketing management. All your decisions and strategies will be determined by the above mentioned bullet points.

Here are some tips for beginners who want to establish their business and create a brand that will last the distance.

  1. Consistency

The most important thing about branding is that you need to have a consistent message across all platforms that you use to market or promote your products or services. You have multiple avenues of marketing. Some of them are:

  • Television ads
  • Website ads
  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • Online videos
  • Twitter page, etc

Now, these are wildly different media and they play by different rules. However, even as you create a different strategy for each of them, you will need to use the same branding elements like your logo, color schemes, brand name, and tag lines.

It is only when you hit customers with the same message over a period of time across multiple channels, that you will be able to successfully establish awareness. This is how, when people see your logo on the web, they remember it from a social media post or from a billboard.

  1. Understand your competition

Everybody knows that if you want your brand to be more memorable, it needs to be different from the dozens of others out there. However, you can’t be different just for the sake of it. When you do that, it means you have very little idea about your target market. To understand how you can be different from the competition, you will first want to understand them deeply.

Here are some key pieces of insights to look into:

  • How do customers and other potential leads perceive a competing brand
  • Why do people like their brand
  • Why do people dislike their brand
  • Where do their strengths and weaknesses lie

If you are very similar to your competition, you are likely to have similar pros and cons as well. Understanding this, will help you craft a unique brand that addresses customer concerns in the long term.

  1. What are your strengths

Even if your product is the best among the competition, it doesn’t guarantee that customers will flock to buy your products and services. As always, it is the branding that draws people to certain products. This becomes even more important, when your products are similar to the competition in most ways.

Internal and market research should tell you:

  • What are the key ways in which your brand is different from others
  • What are the most important strengths that help you trump the competition
  • Which of those strengths are most relevant to your customers

If you want more insights, look at the major brand logos in other business areas, rather than just yours. You will see how the successful ones have logos and messages that make a positive impression. It would do you well to study brands, and see why they are successful.

  1. Know your customers

It is easy enough to identify who your customers are going to be, by using demographic information. However, even within the same demographic, your potential customers will each have different things they want from your product. For instance, some will want a cheap and reliable service, while others will want a premium service that gives them everything.

Your brand logo and design can convey these values to your customers, so you need to understand how. For instance, compare premium watch brand logos to more affordable ones. Do the same with airlines and hotels, or really any type of business. You will see what types of designs convey premium quality, reliability, costs. For instance, Apple never brands their products as cheap, but it is still sells more than its competition.

Once you know what your customers’ expectations are, you can hire a designer to craft a brand that reflects those, and makes people feel closer to your brand.

  1. Branding signature

Your signature brand represents the very best that you can give your customers. In a line of products or services, this is the flagship that tells your customers just how good a company you are.

If you want your brand to be memorable, you will want a brand signature that is:

  • Of the highest quality and suggests it will meet your customers’ expectations
  • Has a lively or calm feel around it, depending on what zone it is in
  • Is instantly recognizable by people when they see it

Admittedly, this is not an easy task. It does take a lot of effort. Many a times, it also requires expert counsel for brand management strategies. Even the best companies hire branding consultants to help create a signature that will outlast the latest product hype. You may want to do it too.

  1. Reputation management

In an ideal world, our brand will attract tons of customers, and they will always use our products, and will always be satisfied. In reality, there will always be corner cases, where your product will not meet the customer expectations. Given that the internet allows for expressing of views freely, it is very likely that you will receive strong negative responses.

Now, a few negative perceptions will always stick out, and become more visible among the sea of good ones. If you want to ensure that your brand name stays clean, you will want a strong reputation management strategy. Some might also call it brand management.

A good strategy in this regard will make sure that:

  • Customers concerns are addressed in the most appropriate manner
  • When somebody tries to tarnish your brand, you can make sure that your overall brand retains a positive connection with the customers
  • Your brand equity keeps growing in value over time

 7. Blogging for branding

Blogging started as a personal hobby for people who had something to say. However, it has now turned into an integral part of professional business marketing strategy. With that being the case, it is being used successfully by businesses to give their brand more visibility.

Blogging is important for branding in marketing management because:

  • It make your readers aware of the current status of your products and support
  • It keeps your brand fresh in readers’ minds
  • It gives you an opportunity for your customers to get closer to you

When your customers see that you are willing to engage with them in a two way conversation, they will naturally like you more. Regular blogs with genuinely interesting and informative content can help you build a strong brand in a thousand small ways.

  1. SEO branding

Not many companies pursuing SEO to attract traffic to their sites think of it from a branding perspective. They do not fully understand the importance of branding in marketing management. Well, it does matter to your customers. They will observe what kind of searches or search terms will pull out your website and brand name.

For instance, if a user is looking at complaints for a particular product category, and your brand name features multiple times on the search hits, her perception of your company will change for the worse.

When you are optimizing your site for search engines, you will need to target the right keywords and also check out what kind of other keywords, bring your brand to the fore in SERPs.

If you find the concept complicated, you might want to hire professional services for developing brand management strategies and integrate their advice with your SEO campaign.

  1. Measure your branding

Many businesses think that branding is an abstract concept and that it has no measurable value in currency. That is however not true. Your brand does have a monetary value, and is called as brand equity. If you do not know what that is, you will need to start learning about how to measure it.

Your branding strategy decides:

  • How many customers choose your products because of a strong brand
  • How many of them are loyal to your brand and keep coming back
  • How customers recommend your products, because they believe in your brand

It does matter to people what kind of brand they are buying into. Think about how many people will buy the same product if it had a different brand label on it. Now, you can see just how important it is to measure your brand, and keep growing its value over time.

  1. Website branding

Every company has its own website, and it should be the focal point or center of your branding. You cannot fully control how your brand is perceived on social networks because all kinds of people participate in it. The same is true of online videos. However, your website is the one online entity where you have the full control, and it should have your brand stamped all over it.

This can be achieved through clever design and color schemes. However, it is much more than just that. If you want your brand to evoke trust among people, their experiences and interactions with your website should reflect that. If you promote simplicity, your site design should reflect that.

The performance your website has a great impact on your brand name. Let me know if I have left some important points out or if you if you disagree with me on something in the comments section.

Myth about SEO - Dwaipayan

10 Myths about Search Engine Optimization for Website

Myth about SEO - Dwaipayan

Whether you are new to the concept of search engine optimization for website or experienced in this field, you would have definitely come across a lot of myths and misconceptions about SEO.

Amazingly, even in 2015, we hear bits of information that are completely misplaced, no longer relevant, or are simply erroneous. Myths can quickly become pervasive, and believing in them blindly can do severe damage to your online business or website.

In this post, we will try to debunk some of the myths floating around on the internet. Let us review ten of the most common myths.

1) SEO is Cheap –

When you hire professionals to do search engine optimization for website, you are not hiring someone just to make a few changes in the titles tags, tweet a bit, and throw up a few links. A few years back, you would have certainly got away with such kind of strategy. However, presently, it has become the shortest road leading to tears and sadness, and a drained bank account.

Can you buy good services cheaply? Certainly not!

In this ever-changing online marketing industry, the experts will have to keep themselves updated on the changes made in the SEO tools, and the search engine algorithms, on a day-to-day basis. It will help them in figuring out the next big thing that they will need to do in order to improve the website visibility of their clients. So, the practitioners will have to be constantly reading, asking, testing, and working.

This clearly indicates that, you are not just hiring a service, but a whole knowledge base. There is nobody, who can do such a mammoth task at a cheap rate. However, it could still be affordable, because the returns are great. Therefore, search engine optimization for website is a must for all businesses, and you should consider it as a marketing investment.

2) Just Build the Site and You will get the Traffic

If you are planning to launch a new website or if you already have one that has only content without any link plan, then you will need to stop immediately, and take a step back.

Links are very important for a site. Links help people find your website. Only then will they be able to like your site, and care about it. However, there is a myth that each and every back-link is useful, and will deliver traffic to the website.

This is not true. Link building requires proper acquisition of good quality links, which is important for drawing in high volumes of traffic, and to give a strong position to your site.

Isn’t content the king? Don’t be under the impression that by just building the site and having great content will generate traffic. You will be disappointed and you will soon run out of funds unless you have deep coffers.

However, this does not mean content marketing is waste of time. By no means, you should stop generating good content. As a rule, proper quality link building is essential, and it costs money.

3) Swap Links to as many websites as possible

This is perhaps the most frustrating and persistent myths about website SEO optimization. You might have been bombarded with mails from webmasters according to which, ‘it is extremely important to exchange links to increase your Google page rank’.

Also, you might also be asked to form a three-way reciprocal link partnership with some marketers. However, this is one of the most outrageous myths, as reciprocal links are rather worthless today.

One-way or the in-bound links from quality websites are more helpful, especially when we look at it from the perspective of search engine relevancy. If you seek reciprocal links, then make sure that the websites provide complementary or related content to yours. There is no point in offering the visitors of your site, to a site that is totally unrelated to your own website.

4) Buying an Existing Domain is Vital to be Successful

Soon after Google started ‘sandboxing’ the new sites, this myth was created. The phenomenon was referred to as the aging impediment. Webmasters were stunned, when their pages were not listed on Google results for any keywords, for months together.  When they learnt about Google’s sandbox effect, a few webmasters concluded that sandbox effect could be avoided altogether, if you purchase an existing domain.

According to another rumour, when you purchase a domain that has been ranked highly on Google, the traffic as well as page rank will automatically get transferred to new websites that are built on this existing domain. However, neither of the assumptions is true. Retrospection and studies have revealed that the concept of sandbox does not exist.

It is merely that the search engines have become meticulous about deciding, which sites are to be included in the main index, against those to be listed in the supplemental index. The older and better-linked websites have better possibility than the new ones, the ones without the link reputation.

5) Any Traffic is Great Traffic

There are companies, which try to generate traffic through points system and voting. Here, you will earn points whenever you visit sites. However, this concept is built on fake link popularity and false traffic, which is against the guidelines set by Google. Also, this is open manipulation, and hence operates on flawed logic. The concept will not work, as it attracts only the aggressive and unethical clickers.

The entire episode will turn into a war between just two or three dishonest webmasters. They believe that search engine optimization for website traffic at any cost, is the way to run the online business. However, unqualified traffic, which will not convert to sign-ups or sales, is a waste of hosting resources, and valuable bandwidth.

Visitors, who disappear from the website in a few seconds, will ruin the site metrics. This gives a message to Google that your website is not worthwhile to visit. Traffic from reliable repeat visitors and from qualified leads is what you need to look for.

6) Stuff Keywords in Your Site as much as Possible

A persistent myth revolves around keyword density. The search engines use the relevancy of keywords for ranking calculations. Time and again, this has been disproved. However, many website SEO optimization companies even today believe that keyword density is a vital metric.

Search engines will actively match the content on your site with that of the search queries. However, stuffing similar keywords on your site code through invisible and visible text does not make your site pertinent for search queries containing those keywords. This way, you are likely to earn penalty on the ranking of your site. Instead, use the keywords intelligently, keeping the reader usability in mind.

7) You have to submit your website to at least 1000 directories and search engines

You might have received mails from companies claiming to submit your site to various search engines. The companies register your site using computer programs. However, it does not achieve any results and will in fact affect the ranking of your site, as the search engine might reject the listings as spam.

Moreover, submitting your website to 1000 search engines is not required, as most of the traffic to your site comes from only a handful of them. According to the latest figures, five top search engines – Ask, AOL, MSN/Live Search, Yahoo and Google, dominate almost 95% of the share in search market. If your website is found on these search engines, you can be assured that you have covered the key bases.

8) You must Optimize META Tags

Earlier, not many knew how to optimize search results. Even with small changes to the site, you could easily outrank your competitors. The title tag optimization could position your site in the Top 5 spot in the SERPS. A top spot was guaranteed by just including META Keywords tags and META Description. However, now it is a different story. The search engines today do not support META Keywords Tag.

If you want the site to rank on top for search queries, then you cannot achieve this just by providing META tags and optimized title for the search engines.  You need to reduce code bloat, optimize the web pages, and provide a coherent navigation structure, update the site on a regular basis, have sticky content, have link popularity, and ensure that your website code validates.

9) If your website is not found on Google, you are Doomed

There is an array of techniques to market your site online. However, there is no need to be discouraged, if you don’t get good results on Google. Plenty of sites receive referrals from MSN and Yahoo alone. There are e-commerce sites, which thrive through social media buzz and word of mouth. This proves that the sites do not need Google or for that matter, any of the four major search engines in order to survive.

It is not wise to rely on a solo source to get traffic. Add good content and update your website regularly. Submit the sitemaps and seek good quality back links. If these things are in place, traffic will automatically increase to your site.

10) SEO is Dead

Organic search is even today the best way to drive traffic to your site, as revealed by a study held recently. So, SEO is still alive. In fact, search engine optimization for website traffic will never die.

If you listen to someone’s advice about not to bother with SEO, then you are bound to lose a considerable portion of your site’s traffic and visibility. Even today, it is significant, as it was few years ago.

Before you think about how to optimize search results, it is important to know that today you can reach millions by just focusing on your website visibility. Earlier, if you owned a brick and mortar store, you had to pay for newspaper, billboards, radio ads, and yellow pages. This way, you could reach thousands of people in the city.

What do you think?, these are my observation. Comment your point of view and I will keep on updating this post.

5 Tools Everyone in the Business-To-Business Marketing Industry Should Be Using

5 Tools Everyone in the Business-To-Business Marketing Industry Should Be Using

The business to business or B2B marketing strategies are targeted towards other businesses, rather than individual end customers. In this age of digital communication and super-fast networks, companies are trying to reach out to their client companies through various online media.

You could also contact professional SEO companies to help you develop and manage the business to business marketing strategy to promote your products or services. Although most of their processes like content development and publishing are done manually, internet marketing companies use certain tools for performing other tasks.

The bottom-line here is to drive more target audiences to their client websites. Let us look at some of the important tools that can be very helpful for improving the effectiveness of your business to business marketing strategy.

Before getting started, it is important for you to know that there are no special tools that are specifically designed for business to business marketing online. The targeting of niche audience basically depends upon the keywords that you choose, and the contents that you develop.

Some of the important tools for internet marketing are:

  1. Keyword research tool
  2. Website auditing tool
  3. Content readability checking tool
  4. Traffic analytics and reporting tool
  5. Competitor monitoring tool
  6. Plagiarism detecting tool
  7. Backlinks checking tools

While some of the tools are available for download as standalone apps, there are many others that are available for users through web based interfaces. Also, some of the tools are available for free, while you will have to pay for others.

Keyword research tool:

Ever since the world woke up to the importance of internet marketing, marketing professionals have been using keywords for creating contents. Keywords are basically nothing but the search terms that are being used by people on search engines, when looking for information.

After you index your web pages on various search engines, the search engine crawlers will be able to identify your contents according to the keywords that you use. In the past however, excess you usage of keywords on contents used to deliver good enough results.

Now, with the search engines becoming smarter, such practices are termed as violation of search engine terms and conditions. Overusing of keywords is now considered as spamming, and such websites, directories, and blogs get penalized by the search engines.

There are many such business to business marketing examples that have backfired. The ranking of those pages have gone down, and some of them even got banned.

As a part of your business to business marketing strategy, you will need to find the right keywords. After finding the right one that can effectively promote more sales for your business, you will need to use them in your contents, but in acceptable densities or volumes.

You will also need to use the right keywords if you are using pay-per-click marketing method to promote your business online.

By using the keywords research tools, you can gather information about:

  • All the related keywords
  • Number of competitors using the keywords
  • Estimated searches for monthly and daily basis
  • Traffic statistics, etc.

Since it is very important to find the right keywords to drive more sales, you could use a combination of multiple related keywords, and even the long tailed ones in your contents.

Website auditing tool:

Whichever business to business marketing strategy you choose to promote your services or products, you will need to be flexible for changes. Whenever the search engines come up with new algorithm updates, some of your pages might not fit into their new terms and conditions.

Also, if your website has broken links, such pages will not get indexed by the search engines. Even if they do get indexed, they will lose the rankings. Your pages could also lose their rankings, if the keywords are found to be overused.

Therefore it is very important for you to keep auditing the health of your web pages and other offsite content on regular basis. There are many website auditing tools available online, and you can choose the ones that best suit your marketing needs.

Content readability checking tool:

Gone are the days when the marketers use to create low quality contents, just to satisfy the search engines. Now with the search engines becoming more and more advanced, you will need to focus on creating the contents that are genuinely helpful for the readers.

According to this new business to business marketing definition, businesses should primarily focus on adding value to the readers through their write-ups. Some of the new search engine updates also check the readability and grammar of your website and other online contents. Websites and blogs with poor quality content and grammar will get picked up by the search engines, and their page rankings will go down.

In most cases, businesses outsource the content writing works to their web designers itself. They might not have a proper content writing team with them. Therefore it becomes imperative for the website owners to check if the contents are readable or not.

With the content readability checking tool, you will be able to identify the pages that are of poor quality. Make it a point to pull them out and have them edited or redone by professional content writers. It has now become a very important part of your business to business marketing strategy.

Analytical tools:

You can improve your business to business marketing strategies only if you are able to measure the results of your efforts, in an ongoing basis. Therefore, you will need to use the analytical tools to see the performance of your websites.

Such tools to give you information about:

  1. Traffic volume
  2. Performance of keywords
  3. Amount of time spent by visitors on the web pages
  4. Graphical representation of traffic moments
  5. Location of visitors
  6. And lots more.

If you look at any business to business marketing examples that have yielded great success, it is only because of accurate analysis and proper implementation of marketing strategies.

You can use the analytics tools to generate reports on how each aspect of your web elements are performing. It will give you scopes for making improvements in your marketing strategies to drive more sales.

Now we shall look at 5 best tools that you will need for success with your business to business marketing strategy. Online marketing can be very complex and time consuming. The apps mentioned below will help you in automating some of your marketing process to quite an extent.

  1. SemRush – SemRush is a robust backlinks checking tools, and it is being used by many internet marketing professionals from across the world. It comes with a lot of features to check the status of your backlinks accurately. It also gives you complete information about the countries from where your website is receiving the backlinks from.

Moreover, you can use the same tool to identify the backlinks that are going to your competitor websites too. Poor quality backlinks and broken links can seriously damage the page rankings, which is why we grade this tool as a must have for all B2B marketing professionals. It is available for purchase at $149, but you can check out its effectiveness with a 14 days trial.

  1. Google Keyword Planner – Google Keyword Planner is basically a tool to assist marketers with keyword analysis for Google Adwords. However, since it is targeted for the Google search engine, it is a very handy tool. By using it, you can search all the related keywords, and even download the list.

No other keywords research tools actually match up to this official tool by Google, which is why it is a very important for SEO. The best thing about it is that it is available for free. All you will need is a gmail account to log into this web tool and get started. By default it is set for global keyword search, but you also get the option to localize your search according to specific countries or geographical locations.

  1. Google Webmaster Tools – Web Master Tools is another essential arsenal for all internet marketing professionals. It provides you with all the information about your blogs or websites. Some of the important data that it provides are:
  • Crawl errors
  • Indexing issues
  • Broken links
  • Internal linking
  • And lots more

Since the website owners will need to validate their websites for using the tool, you will not be able to use it to analyze your competition websites with it. However, the good thing is that it is available for free. In spite of its limitation, it is still one of the top SEO tools.

  1. CopyScape.com – This is a very powerful web tool for checking plagiarism of the contents that are published on your website, and on other online resources. Search engines are always looking for original contents, and you are not allowed to copy and paste the contents of other websites.

CopyScape picks up plagiarized contents in just a few seconds, and also lists out the sites and blogs, where they are originally found. You can scan the contents with website URLs for free, but it will cost you $10 for 200 text scans, of less than 2000 words / scan.

  1. Web CEO – If you are worried about your site getting penalized due to Google updates, then WebCEO is a very handy tool that can help you in many different ways. It has an option of ‘toxic links analyzer’, using which you can find out the backlinks that are of poor quality. As a part of your website ranking recovery process, you will need to remove those harmful backlinks.

With WebCEO, you can also track the performance of your marketing efforts on social networks. You’ll be able to identify the performance of your contents, and make the necessary changes.

It’s a fact that there are no dedicated tool for the job, but it depends on the way you use it. I personally use these tools but the list is nowhere exhaustive. So, why don’t you guys comment on what have I left, or if there is some tool that you feel should be on this list, I will keep on updating the post.