6 Rules You Must Know for Using SEO and SEM to Grow Your Business

If you’re managing a business, you know how important a web and mobile presence is. Whether you’re selling tacos, tiaras, or terabytes, customers need to be able to find you.

You’ve probably dipped your toe into the complex world of organic or “free” search, also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But what do you really need to know about SEO and SEM?

I spoke with SEO/SEM expert Andrew Shelton, founder of the digital marketing agency Martec360, who gave me six rules that you need to pay attention to right now if you want to increase your sales through search:

1. Mobile is king

Need evidence of the importance of mobile? Some 96% of smartphone owners use their device to get things done. About 70% of smartphone owners use their phone to research a product before purchasing it in a store. Half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Furthermore, Google has begun to make its search index “mobile-first.” That means that Google will primarily index mobile content and use that to decide how to rank its results.

2. Paid search pays off on mobile

On mobile, paid search (SEM) is increasingly paying off. Shelton says he used to tell his clients to focus on free search (SEO) but with users putting mobile first, the continuum has changed.

“The greatest return on investment is email,” Shelton says, “because you have those customers in house. But paid search is next.” He estimates that paid search spending went up by factors of 25% to 50% in 2016.

3. Have a solid content strategy

The old adage is the new adage: “Content is king.” You need high-quality content for your website if it’s going to compete in the free search business. You can’t go about that blindly.

Consider what customer problem you’re solving. What customer questions can you be answering?

Do you have a mechanism for customers to ask questions? There could be a wealth of ideas for blog posts, FAQs, and buyers’ guides right there.

4. Social media is worth your return on investment

Social media can be vexing for many businesses. You definitely have to perform a cost-benefit analysis on it. Spending six hours a day sending out tweets that don’t lead to conversions is going to be a losing proposition.

Treat social media as “an engagement with an ongoing conversation with your customers,” Shelton recommends. “It’s not just for selling.”

In fact, if your social media channels are too hard-sell, they’ll be counter productive. You have to create value. Tools like Hootsuite, Falcon.IO, and Curalate can help.

5. Manage your online reputation

According to Shopper Approved, an app that helps its clients collect online ratings and reviews, 88% of all consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business.

All of those reviews are part of the SEO equation. They can help you, or they can hurt you. But an app like Shopper Approved can help push more positive reviews where you need them.

6. Measure and monitor your progress

The only way you’re going see your business grow exponentially through SEO, SEM, and social media is to measure what you’re doing. You have to know where you’re starting, set some benchmarks, and monitor your progress.

Install Google Analytics. There is a plethora of other e-commerce tools you can use for analysis. Data is your friend. Get used to swimming in it.

And if you need help, find a consulting firm that understands your customer and your goals.

Just remember, effective search is process. You won’t get it right the first time. But you’ll get better at it with everything you learn.

About the author:

Kim Folsom is the Founder of LIFT Development Enterprises–a not-for-profit, community development organization with a mission to help underserved, underrepresented small-business owners – and Co-Founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator and revenue based venture fund. Learn more about Kim and her company’s mission to help grow and fund 1000 underserved and underrepresented small businesses by 2026 via their Founders Business Growth Bootcamp program at www.foundersfirstcapitalpartners.com.

 

Tech

Moo proving business etiquette still matters in digital age

LONDON (Reuters) – London-based Moo is doubling its sales every three years and proving that there is a place for a premium-priced business card printer in a digital age.

On Tuesday, the decade-old member of the city’s Silicon Roundabout tech scene posted 38 percent revenue growth for 2016 and a strengthened executive roster that includes a former chief financial officer for car-sharing pioneer ZipCar.

“In a society where our lives are becoming ever more connected online, the physical moments when we meet are becoming all the more precious,” Richard Moross, Moo’s founder and chief executive, said in an interview.

“Paper remains a very powerful marketing medium. It allows you to tell a story to people you meet.”

Fuelling its growth were sales to more than 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses employing at least 10 people. That category grew 55 percent for it during 2016.

Moo business cards allow customers to design highly personalized cards using their own photos on heavy paper stock printed with saturated inks. They are priced between $ 20 to $ 35 for a box of 50.

Moo Print Ltd reported revenue for 2016 of 75.1 million pounds ($ 99.5 million), according to a regulatory filing with UK Companies House.

Adjusted core profit last year rose to 4 million pounds from a loss of 1.0 million pounds in 2015. At a pre-tax level, losses were cut by more than half to 1.7 million pounds from 4.0 million pounds previously, the filing said.

Eighty-five percent of revenue for the company came from outside Britain, with two-thirds of sales in North America, Moross said. France, Germany and Australia are other sizeable markets. Moo has 500 employees at two UK locations and four in the United States.

During 2017, the company has bolstered its executive team by naming veteran City of London director Darren Shapland as chairman and Nick Ruotolo, the former European head of digital consumer printing leader VistaPrint, now a unit of Dutch company Cimpress, as chief operating officer.

This week, Moo named Ed Goldfinger, an experienced Boston tech executive as its new chief financial officer. He was previously CFO at security firm Veracode, Zipcar until it was acquired by Avis, and dot-com era web development firm Sapient.

Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Keith Weir

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Put Mobile Strategy at the Heart of Your Business

Put Mobile Strategy at the Heart of Your Business

All organizations, no matter their industry or size are discussing their mobile strategy. Mobility has moved to the forefront of every industry and all market segments. Mobile strategy is as commonplace and essential as IT strategy and business strategy. But as the world goes mobile, the speed at which

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3 major business lessons grown-ups can learn from these kid moguls

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Kids live in a world filled with possibility, where no dream is too big and no idea is too small. Because of this can-do attitude, kids starting their own businesses are having the kind of success some adults can only dream about

We could all learn a thing or two from these mini moguls. Here are the three biggest business lessons for grown-ups from the kidtrepreneurs who are beating them at their own game.

#1 – Start where you are

For many kids, their first foray into business is the simple lemonade stand, selling the sweet treat to neighbors passing by from the comfort of their own front yard Read more…

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3 major business lessons grown-ups can learn from these kid moguls

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Kids live in a world filled with possibility, where no dream is too big and no idea is too small. Because of this can-do attitude, kids starting their own businesses are having the kind of success some adults can only dream about

We could all learn a thing or two from these mini moguls. Here are the three biggest business lessons for grown-ups from the kidtrepreneurs who are beating them at their own game.

#1 – Start where you are

For many kids, their first foray into business is the simple lemonade stand, selling the sweet treat to neighbors passing by from the comfort of their own front yard Read more…

More about Brandspeak, Advice, Startup, Kids, and Business


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3 major business lessons grown-ups can learn from these kid moguls

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f105807%2flemonade-stand

Feed-twFeed-fb

Kids live in a world filled with possibility, where no dream is too big and no idea is too small. Because of this can-do attitude, kids starting their own businesses are having the kind of success some adults can only dream about

We could all learn a thing or two from these mini moguls. Here are the three biggest business lessons for grown-ups from the kidtrepreneurs who are beating them at their own game.

#1 – Start where you are

For many kids, their first foray into business is the simple lemonade stand, selling the sweet treat to neighbors passing by from the comfort of their own front yard Read more…

More about Brandspeak, Advice, Startup, Kids, and Business


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Top-level domain expansion is a security risk for business computers

The explosion of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in recent years can put enterprise computers at risk due to name conflicts between internal domain names used inside corporate networks and those that can now be registered on the public Internet.

Many companies have configured their networks to use domain names, in many cases with made-up TLDs that a few years ago didn’t use to exist on the Internet, such as .office, .global, .network, .group, .school and many others. Having an internal domain-based namespace makes it easier to locate, manage and access systems.

The problem is that over the past two years, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved over 900 gTLDs for public use as part of an expansion effort. This can have unexpected security implications for applications and protocols used on domain-based corporate networks.

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Wise Business Plans Now Helping Custom Children’s Clothing Makers…

Custom children’s clothing has always held a place of esteem in the garment industry and appears to be increasing market share faster than any other clothing sector, with most major department and…

(PRWeb March 14, 2016)

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Weekend Business Update: Mercari joins the unicorns, Snapchat data leaked, and more.

WUFI
It’s the first weekend of March, and spring is around the corner. But if the weather where you live is anything like here in Amsterdam, you’re likely stuck inside hiding from freezing rain, sleet, or some other bothersome, moist form of precipitation. A perfect time to play catch up with the state of the tech industry, in other words. At Index we spend every day gathering news on tech companies from around the world so that there’s a convenient platform for tech enthusiasts everywhere to access that data. In this series, we catch you up every week on what’s been…

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Business booms for African sites dedicated to used goods

The online market for used items in expanding rapidly in Africa, as new sites pop up in countries around the continent and sales for the online marketplaces take off.

Lithuania-based Mobofree, the social marketplace that offers people in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe an online venue to buy, sell and swap used products, just last week disclosed that the value of goods exchanged on its platform rose by 274 percent in the last year, to US$ 1.97 billion—30 percent above the 2015 forecast.

“Second-hand goods is a huge category everywhere around the world. In fact even if online marketplaces and e-commerce shops have grown dramatically in developed countries, second hands goods transactions are growing as marketplaces allow much easier way to find, value and perform transactions,” said Cristobal Alonso, Mobofree’s CEO and co-founder, via email. “I see the same happening in Nigeria and Africa; we will see huge growth in both new items and second hand goods through online platforms for years to come, and even with higher growth rates.”

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IBM SmartCloud Services Business Partners: CohesiveFT, Pitagora, Riverbed, SOASTA

IBM Business Partners discuss the value of partnering with IBM to win in the cloud. For more information about IBM cloud offerings for IBM Business Partners, visit www.ibm.com Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com and on our blog at www.thoughtsoncloud.com.
Video Rating: 0 / 5

Question by Kyle: Will the IT Department become obsolete by Cloud Computing and the theoretical “Autonomic Computing”?
After doing a bit of research from some google searches, it seems that Cloud Computing will be the next big thing in the world of technology. Where you no longer need a big hard drive to store your information, because it will be in servers, most probably half-way across the world from where you are. Cloud Computing seems very nice, and actually, I agree that it’d be a very good advance in technology, but only for the consumers. From also what I’ve learned from brief research on Cloud Computing, it will cut the needs for IT’s. Now, I plan on becoming an IT when I get older, but seeing employment of ITs being cut because of new technology which corrects itself if it finds errors, and less need for hardware and software installation since the server would do it for you… What would happen to all of the people taking training to become ITs like I plan to do? Also, the Autonomic Computing, which is a scary concept in itself for people seeking employment, it would manage itself! No need for ITs to manage and fix errors because it will do it itself. After seeing a few “Robot-dominates-mankind” based movies, I am also worried about an AI having complete control over majority of information in the world if Cloud Computing becomes very, very popular.

Best answer:

Answer by Screen Burn
Cloud Computing is just a buzz word. You think we haven’t been here before? Back in the day companies had a mainframe, and everyone connected to it from “dumb” terminals that were essentially just typewriters. All the computing was done on the mainframe, or “the cloud” as we would call it today.

Autonomic Computing is just a pipe dream. Computers are not autonomous and that is a very long way off.

Who do you think manages the servers that run the “cloud”? People do. All the computers are still there, just in data centres rather than in homes. Someone still has to manage them.

Personally I think Cloud Computing is a crock. You have no control over your data, you have to fully trust the company who is managing it on your behalf. And that’s fine, until they make a huge mistake and delete all your data or send it to criminals. Then what are you going to do?

What do you think? Answer below!

Question by : Cloud Computing Question?
I dont fully understand “Cloud Computing”… Using a Cloud, can I run a full program/software via the internet? So in-turn, I wouldnt be using any of my pc’s resources? For example, if i need to run a software that is blocked on my pc, will it run via a Cloud method?
If a program is blocked due to “admin restrictions” which i can not change, can that program run via Cloud Comp?

Best answer:

Answer by wesley g
cloud computing is basically when you run programs on someone esle computer from your computer via the internet and programs that are blocked due virus cant be run

Add your own answer in the comments!

IBM SmartCloud Services Business Partners: CohesiveFT, Pitagora, Riverbed, SOASTA

IBM Business Partners discuss the value of partnering with IBM to win in the cloud. For more information about IBM cloud offerings for IBM Business Partners, visit www.ibm.com Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com and on our blog at www.thoughtsoncloud.com.

Question by Kyle: Will the IT Department become obsolete by Cloud Computing and the theoretical “Autonomic Computing”?
After doing a bit of research from some google searches, it seems that Cloud Computing will be the next big thing in the world of technology. Where you no longer need a big hard drive to store your information, because it will be in servers, most probably half-way across the world from where you are. Cloud Computing seems very nice, and actually, I agree that it’d be a very good advance in technology, but only for the consumers. From also what I’ve learned from brief research on Cloud Computing, it will cut the needs for IT’s. Now, I plan on becoming an IT when I get older, but seeing employment of ITs being cut because of new technology which corrects itself if it finds errors, and less need for hardware and software installation since the server would do it for you… What would happen to all of the people taking training to become ITs like I plan to do? Also, the Autonomic Computing, which is a scary concept in itself for people seeking employment, it would manage itself! No need for ITs to manage and fix errors because it will do it itself. After seeing a few “Robot-dominates-mankind” based movies, I am also worried about an AI having complete control over majority of information in the world if Cloud Computing becomes very, very popular.

Best answer:

Answer by Screen Burn
Cloud Computing is just a buzz word. You think we haven’t been here before? Back in the day companies had a mainframe, and everyone connected to it from “dumb” terminals that were essentially just typewriters. All the computing was done on the mainframe, or “the cloud” as we would call it today.

Autonomic Computing is just a pipe dream. Computers are not autonomous and that is a very long way off.

Who do you think manages the servers that run the “cloud”? People do. All the computers are still there, just in data centres rather than in homes. Someone still has to manage them.

Personally I think Cloud Computing is a crock. You have no control over your data, you have to fully trust the company who is managing it on your behalf. And that’s fine, until they make a huge mistake and delete all your data or send it to criminals. Then what are you going to do?

Add your own answer in the comments!
Question by Newco: What’s cloud computing exactly?
I want to know what’s “cloud computing” exactly?
someone said it means you needn’t hard disk in the future,cause the “cloud” will provide the service of computing and storage,you just need a pipe link your machine to the “cloud”
but others say you computer not only enjoy the service,but also provide
computing and storage service to other computer?
what’s the “cloud computing”exactly?

Best answer:

Answer by billaryrclinton
SAN – storage area network

Add your own answer in the comments!

Cloud Computing Infrastructure

Brian Gracely looks at the infrastructure (servers, network, storage, L4-7 services) that are used to build Cloud Computing services.

Question by : Cloud Computing Question?
I dont fully understand “Cloud Computing”… Using a Cloud, can I run a full program/software via the internet? So in-turn, I wouldnt be using any of my pc’s resources? For example, if i need to run a software that is blocked on my pc, will it run via a Cloud method?
If a program is blocked due to “admin restrictions” which i can not change, can that program run via Cloud Comp?

Best answer:

Answer by wesley g
cloud computing is basically when you run programs on someone esle computer from your computer via the internet and programs that are blocked due virus cant be run

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!