Thu 22
Jan
2015

Local SEO provides results to a user based on the current location of the searcher. Building links form an important part of an SEO strategy and is applicable to local businesses. A campaign aimed to build good local links will certainly deploy an entirely diversified strategy with focus on the building of quality backlinks.

With Google changing its algorithms end number of times, let’s take this opportunity to look back and analyze how Local SEO changed in 2014 and what to expect in 2015. The last year witnessed many changes and updates made by Google that had a huge impact on the local SEO. The year witnessed the removal of the Authorship, updates like Panda, etc. With respect to local Search Engine Optimization, 2014 experienced notable changes in Carousel, a significant Pigeon update as well as the launch of the tool suite named Google My Business.

Local SEO in 2015

The year that was –

Google My Business

The birth of this tool suite took place in June 2014 with the aim of helping business owners. The tool is actually a modified version of Google+ Local (2012) which in turn is the next version of Google Plus, introduced way back in 2011.

The tool intends to offer business owners an ultimate destination to go ahead with their business ventures through updating the business information, reading reviews, adding photos and using Google+ all in one single dashboard. It was in June 2014 that the free service of Google+ Local (2012) was renamed to Google My Business.

Pigeon

In July 2014, Google released the Pigeon update that hugely influenced the Local Search Engine Optimization community. It has been termed as the ‘biggest Google update’ so far with respect to the local search post the 2012 Venice update.

This update led to favoring of the directories in the respective search results above the local businesses. Several industries were hit hard by the major update. Google Places results saw a decline of about 68% in jobs, 36% in movies, 63% in real estate sector and 11% with respect to the Insurance industry.

However, it was not completely dark everywhere as there was 19% growth in the food sector, 13% growth in education and 28% growth in the hospitality sector with respect to the Google Places results. Other sectors that benefitted with this update were medical, spa, law, shops, fitness and transportation.

Besides these, Pigeon also changed the significance of the ranking factors. Taking into account all the changes made by the Pigeon update, one should never ignore the main areas of the local SEO namely; links, websites, reviews and citations.

Carousel

The Carousel feature was introduced by Google in 2013 exclusively for desktop searches. It included horizontal listings that are interactive and includes images one can scroll through while searching an item. However, Google, in summer 2014, decided to do away with Carousel and intended on having a format that has close resemblance to mobile search formats. With this decision of Google, volume of traffic and organic ranking of traffic is sure to be affected with special reference to the hospitality industry.

Predictions for 2015

With another brand new year, it’s time to empower your business making sound use of the advantages of local SEO services. It is time to invest in genuine efforts and energy to make the site better. It’s always advisable to have a home page to let the clients know what exactly the company deals in and have sound information to provide the customers with and assist them in their searches on every page.

Optimization of Google My Business

Optimization of Google My Business is a wise choice to increase online presence and improve business significantly. For sound optimization of the mobile app, one needs to ensure correct entry of the business location on the map. Double checking of the business name, phone numbers and the physical address of the business concern, adding information such as working hours, types of payment, etc, adding official website on local page of Google+ will help in optimization. Further encouraging reviews, using specific keywords, categories, and descriptions of the business are also positive steps in the same direction.

Getting the Business Listed

There are various listing directories available for the purpose of listing businesses. Apart from listing the business on Google My Business, it is advisable for owners to list their businesses on other directories as well. These include Whitepages, Foursquare, Supermedia, Yelp, MojoPages, YellowPages.com, Manta, CitySearch, etc.

Responsive Websites

With the revolution ushered in by the advent of Smartphones, tabs and other modern day gadgets, websites now need to be responsive. It has been found out that majority of the searches are done through Smartphones. Thus, with the growth and popularity of Smartphones, making the business website responsive to handle devices is a wise decision. When you have a responsive website, Local SEO strategies have a better impact on the businesses.

Responsive websites are capable of improving the rate of clicks per hour and thus, deliberately lead to an increase in the reviews and rankings.

Winning the Game

There are various easy steps that can help in spelling success with Local SEO in 2015. Having relevant and useful content on the home page is most important. Content posted on the various pages of the website must be informative and genuine. Avoiding spamming keywords is important. The title tag should be prepared in such a way so that it summarizes the page. Inclusion of the city as well as the state in the title tag, URL, H1 Heading, content and on each and every alternate text on the images also lead to building effective SEO. Earning quality links is another option.

Being aware of the latest trends and development in local SEO will help companies to project their growth faster. SEO has evolved considerably and that has, in turn, led to a renewed focus in the presentation of content in a number of ways palatable to search engines and humans alike. With the popularity of mobile internet, semantic search and social networks that influences indirectly, making people read content is getting tougher day by day. However, content still holds its reigning position and ultimately wears the crown. Thus, ensuring that the content is of high quality, presented well eventually helps in improving the local SEO optimization.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

While building your business or corporate website you had been told to include certain features that would provide the required boost you are looking for. However, if you have not changed or updated your website recently, then it is time to do so. Competing with the contemporaries has become tougher nowadays. If you want to reach out to your target audience successfully then the need of the hour is to update your corporate or business website keeping in sync with the latest trends. Since businesses went online, one thing has been in constant demand – the need to adapt to the behavior of the customers. For the e-commerce websites it is a must to evolve their customer interactions so that the amount of successful purchases increase.

Business Website 2015

With the website design trends in continuous flux, here are some of the points that both the business owners and designers need to keep in mind while building corporate websites –

Storytelling

This is one of those trends that will be pushed further in 2015. In fact there is a quite a buzz regarding how the online businesses should tell well woven stories to connect with their customers better. The idea is good, undoubtedly. But the problem is what to tell and how. If you think that there is lot of investment involved in this process, then think again. WordPress powered sites can provide affordable solutions. Aesop Story Engine allows you to amalgamate a number of media and narrate a wonderful story to the customers. This method of telling the brand story is a powerful tool to engage more and more customers and to set you apart from the competition.

Pay Attention to the Backgrounds

This is one of the most underused elements in your web design – the background of the webpages. There are several websites that use simple dark font against a white background. If you are not utilizing the background images, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to attract consumers. Although there has been a considerable rise in the use of background images but the ability to use more than the mere static images opens up a world of new possibilities as far as designing is concerned.

For instance, the HTML video allows embedding a complete responsive HD video in the background irrespective of what your call to action or sales page is. For a business, the design must be simple yet effective. It should be able to play on the buyers’ minds.

Opt for Animations

In the last few years, the web designers have been pushing off the animations. But the current website design trends. suggest that animations have arrived as the next big thing for the business websites. One of the primary reasons behind this is the evolution of animations as better and more sophisticated tools. The web designers have discovered that these components can be used in more subtle ways to get the desired effect. Transition, motion and gestures are some of the features that are utilized while incorporating animations.

How about Ghost Buttons?

On the face Call to Action buttons are simply out of vogue. The elegant, transparent surfaces blending seamlessly with the background are the latest trend as far as the buttons are concerned. They are separated from the background with the help of a border. Known as the ghost buttons, these are slightly larger than the usual buttons. They must be placed in the key locations on the webpage as well. However, if you think that their clean and simple look leads to less number of clicks, then that’s not how they work. On the contrary their smooth interaction with the background makes it easy to catch the attention of the browsers.

Cards in Web Design

This is one effective enhancement that can be used while designing a business website. The cards can be utilized as starting points so that the visitors can plan how they want to interact with the website content. This feature can be used to present an engaging preview. It is expected that in 2015, the Card Design will be more appealing and versatile to enhance the media and interactive preferences.

Bet on Microinteractions

When it comes to web design what matters is how much can you innovate. What is in today will go out of vogue tomorrow. The best way to engage the visitors is to look for original and new methods while designing for business websites. The best way to find out solutions is by interacting with the visitors. Every time you are requesting from an input from the user, you create a form of interaction. Thus, such a microinteraction creates more opportunities for interacting with the customer for inputs in the future as well. Email subscription boxes are classic examples in this regard. 2015 will probably witness more such changes.

With such potentials easily available and the cost becoming less prohibitive, business website design in 2015 surely looks promising.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

In today’s age of huge advancement in digital media and internet, almost every business organization is gearing up their respective mobile strategies. With the arrival of Smartphones, majority of the business organizations have made them accessible through mobile devices. Responsive website designs and mobile apps help in boosting sales, fosters retention of customers and expansion of their reach ability. With the market of mobile phones expected to grow considerably, business organizations are making endeavours to build apps and boost their revenues.

Mobile apps are basically an application developed for the Smartphones and tablets. The basic difference of apps with websites is that these apps require getting it downloaded and installed from an app market as compared to a mobile friendly website.

Opt For Mobile Apps

When to Opt for an App?

It may be little difficult and confusing for an organization to decide or understand when to opt for an app inspite of having a website. Confusions regarding the appropriateness and usefulness of the app in accordance to size and type of organization may arise while considering the option of developing a mobile application for an organization.

While it varies from one organization to the other, this should never be the focal point of consideration. However, the area of focus should instead be shifted to deciding primary features of an app that will function as an extension of the products, personality or services of a company. Designers should reflect on what information the app is going to divulge to the customers and what information in return is it gathering from them.

Benefits of Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are capable of providing a far better user experience than a website. Unlike websites, apps do not require continuous internet connection; they are capable of storing data and can work even in the offline mode. Mobile apps allow the organizations to exercise complete control on the customer’s device. Businesses gain increased control over their online presence on a mobile device rather than a mobile friendly website.

Another benefit is that deploying loyalty programs and using mobile payments is easier through mobile apps than websites. Apps are easier to access than websites just through a tap as compared to the lengthy process of opening the web browser and typing the URL.

Other benefits include increase in customer engagement, promotion of particular product and services, enhanced customer service and user experience, making provision of another outlet for accessing a retail sale online. Apart from these benefits that the app provides exclusively for the customers, it also helps in collecting data about the customers by carrying out an analysis of the interactions of the customers with the app and profiles of the users. Promotion of a company’s produce has become easier with mobile apps. Apps help in transforming engaged users into actual users.

Situations Demanding App Development

It depends on the ultimate goal of an organization that determines mobile app development or responsive web designs. For example, apps are absolutely vital if an organization intends to develop interactive games but if it wishes to provide mobile friendly high quality content and reach out to a wider audience, responsive web designing or responsive websites are the best.

1. Complex Calculations or Reporting: To carry out complex calculations, or prepare reports, charts, etc such as those carried out in banks or at the time of making investments that requires manipulation and data, apps are the best choice. Specific apps help in effective calculations.

2. Offline Mode Working: Unlike mobile websites that requires online connection, apps help the user to get access to even when there is no internet connection. Providing offline access to content or carry out functions in the absence of a wireless connection or a network is made possible by an app that needs to be just downloaded and installed on to the user’s mobile device.

3. Gaming or Interacting: With interactive games being highly popular nowadays, mobile app development has received a boost as apps are the best choice for developing interactive games like Angry Birds at least it seems so for the near future.

4. Processing or Native Functionality: Though gaining access to various mobile-specific programs like SMS, GPS and click-to-call are becoming easier with the web browser of mobile phones, accessing the camera of a user or the processing power, an app is sure to be more efficient.

5. Personalization or Regular Usage: Developing an mobile app makes sense if the users or customers intend to use the app regularly or in a personalized way just like that of EverNote, app is always the best option.

Development of a mobile app, thus, becomes an absolute necessity, if one intends to take the company to the next level. With the passage of time, newer technologies are evolving and one need to adopt these. Failing to adapt and incorporate these new trends often prove fatal in case of certain organizations.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The world of social media is under constant change and there is hardly any doubt about it. Till a few years back, spending time on social media was considered to be an absolute time waster but, today even businesses are utilizing social media to evolve and fulfill their business goals. 2014 witnessed the growth and evolution of some exciting new trends in social media which is expected to continue in the year 2015 along with the inception of interesting new trends. Here’s a look at some of the expected social media trends that will create a huge impact in the year 2015.

social media trends 2015

The Emergence of New Social Media Networks

Social media platforms that have already established a strong presence are expected to face some competition from new networks that are expected to arrive in 2015. Starting from ‘Ello’ that was launched in the month of March to ‘tsu’ and ‘Yik Yak’, all these new platforms may try to offer the users with the same type of experience they receive from popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Though, it is still early to predict whether these new platforms will be able to snatch the limelight from the already ruling ‘giants’ of social media world but they are rapidly gaining popularity among the social media users.

More Progress and Development for Image Based Social Websites

Image based social sharing websites like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, etc. has received huge popularity and acceptance among a wide base of users in 2014. Filtering of News Feed in Facebook has increased the likelihood of such platforms gaining more significance among businesses for promoting their products and/or services.

Instagram which is the by far the most popular visual network among marketers will be used more frequently in 2015 to increase engagement and conversion. Apart from that, when it comes to the micro-video space, both Vine and Instagram are expected to give each other a stiff competition by offering new features, editing capabilities and video lengths.

Private Messaging to Take New Shape

Businesses have slowly begun to explore the opportunities offered by private messaging for their growth and sustenance. In 2015, it is most likely that private messaging will be adopted by numerous companies all over the world as part of their marketing and customer support strategies. Durex has already started their private messaging service in China through WeChat that will allow users to ask intimate questions without the need to feel embarrassed.

G+ will Fade Out and LinkedIn to Gain More Prominence

Those who always keep themselves updated with the latest news in the social media sphere are well aware of the fact that Vic Gondotra has already left Google+. Apart from that Google Authorship also failed to make a huge impact. All these factors may contribute to the downfall and unacceptability of G+ among digital marketers. On the other hand, LinkedIn which has already proved to be extremely efficient for B2B campaigns may gain more significance than Twitter and Facebook in the year 2015. According to reports, LinkedIn has already been used by 88 percent of B2B marketers in the year 2014.

Evolution of Social Media Advertising

Starting from Twitter Cards to Instagram video ads and lots more, 2014 has been a year of significant developments for social media advertising. However, things are expected to get a lot more exciting and interesting in 2015 where brands are expected to enhance their social advertising strategies in numerous ways.

Social advertising in 2015 is anticipated to get more personal where businesses will utilize accurate behavioral data of the consumers and use that to create advertise their products and/or services in a more personalized manner. Companies will even focus on retention strategies based on earlier actions of the customers so as to offer them with exactly what they require.

Wrapping Up

Apart from the above mentioned predictions another interesting thing that will catch the attention in 2015 is social shopping. With Twitter and Facebook already planning to include a ‘buy’ button, this will be one new feature that everybody is looking forward to. If you feel that you would like to include something else or anything has been missed, do comment and we will highly appreciate that.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

If you are looking for effective ways to quickly expand your business, and sell more than what you are presently selling, adding a video promotion to your marketing mix is a must. Videos have become an important element for a successful marketing mix as social media has redefined marketing.

Conventional advertising is still very much a part of the marketing principles that businesses follow to promote their brand. But, the internet has revolutionized marketing and proved how online promotion through videos is helpful.

Video Marketing for Business

Video Marketing- A New-Age Marketing

No matter what you are promoting or what your position is, video marketing is going to have a bigger and more important impact on you, your credibility, your business and your brand. This is the right online marketing technique to adopt if you need to reach an audience, especially in a large number and via online mediums. More and more people are now becoming aware of several advantages of video marketing, and are using it widely for promoting their brand, products or services.

Impact of Virality on Social Media

Organizations or companies and even personalities rely on the influence of virality on social media. Virality is one of the key indicators whether a brand is efficient or not. To become viral by being shared, liked and commented on, the content published on a social platform has to be of good quality. Humorous, compelling or engaging content can make your audience buy your service or product. A video becomes viral because of its message or entertainment nature.

Effective Yet Inexpensive

Video marketing online has become one of the most economical and effective ways to promote a brand. Saying the business world is extremely competitive would be an understatement and getting an edge over your business competitors depends on the success of branding. Every company wants its brand to be the customers’ first choice in the respective market. Videos for marketing, promotion or advertising can give business owners the edge they need.

You can see how millions of videos are being added to the internet each day and how they are making a big impact on the way people market their businesses online. And it’s time for you to discover the undeniable power of video and why you should consider including it to your promotion strategy.

Here are 5 reasons why you should use video to promote your business:

1. Engaging, Fun and Informational

A video can help keep people engaging with your brand, especially if you put in a little humor. With it, you can share your brand personality through showing off the top features of your product. Nothing can be better than giving people the information they need as quickly as possible. Video, an effective internet marketing tool, is the best way to do that in an interesting manner.

2. Keeps Your Audience Interested

In place of writing pages of content, videos give you the power to promote your product or service visually while explaining subjects in half the time. Videos allow you to make something captivating for your audience to stick around and know about your company. The more appealing your video, the more opportunity you have to attract them to your marketing environment and expectantly encourage them to make a purchase at some point.

3. It’s Easy to Influence People with Video

It is a great medium to let your audience know why they should buy your product. Do your best to explain why they should care about what you are selling and how it is going to benefit them. Using audio visuals also helps you win the trust of people as it creates an impression that a company is really serious and cares about its image and wants to draw attention. As you know, success begins with the first impression that your target audience has about you and this is the perfect way to create a favorable image.

4. Gives the Power to Reach Anyone

Thanks to the power of Google, the invention of YouTube and lastly Smartphones and computers, people can have access to any content or video, anywhere, and on any mobile devices. You can easily create a business YouTube channel and post fast informational videos, add videos to your website and create video ads. Having videos on multiple platforms will help you ensure that you can reach your audience anywhere.

5. Decision Makers Have No Time to Read Long Content

It may sound a bit harsh, but it’s true. The decision makers in most organizations do not have time to flip through hundreds of pages on a website, or go through a lengthy white paper. They want the essential information presented in front of them within two minutes. Videos can get your message across swiftly and engage prospective customers who otherwise wouldn’t have taken the time to call or fix an appointment.

Wrapping Up

People are hungry for information today, though want that fast. Therefore, they would prefer to spend 2-3 minutes watching a video instead of spending 15-20 minutes reading a write up. Moreover, videos help businesses communicate their USPs to their target audience in a very short time.

Another advantage of videos is that you can share them anywhere on the Internet and not only on your website to get maximum online exposure. Many video sharing sites such as YouTube get millions of hits a day. Best of all, videos can also be optimized to rank on the top of search engine result pages, thereby giving your company an instant exposure to a number of potential buyers .

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)