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Simple Tips to Optimize Your Website

[This blog post is updated from March 8, 2016]

Optimizing your website properly is crucial to improving your site’s rank in search engines, as well as driving more potential customers to it.

Are you satisfied with your website’s performance? If not, then we urge to you to try these tips for optimizing your website.

Title tags matter

Title tags play an important role in optimizing your site. A title tag tells both the visitors and search engines what the page is all about.

A title that is highly relevant to the page it refers to will provide better usability and optimization for your search engine ranking. People won’t stay on your site if there’s no relevance and you’ll lose ranking in the end. The title tag should also be unique.

Select common-sense keywords

A search engine’s job is to refer users to websites and contents that are relevant to what they are looking for. If you run a chocolate chip cookie business and you want your website on the first page of Google, then you need to write blogs that are related to this topic. Use keywords like chocolate chips, chocolate, sweets, baked goods and desserts. When incorporating keywords into your content, make sure they sound natural to the reader.

Write great content

Dedicate some time to write content that are useful and engaging for humans. As Google’s algorithm become increasingly complex and intelligent, it is no longer sufficient to create content, stuff it with keywords and publish them to your site. If you want to your content to rank in search engines, you need to provide visitors with relevant and well-written content. Remember, content still reigns as the king in the world of search engine optimization.

Continuous testing and measuring

The process of optimization is not a one-time process. It requires tuning, maintenance, as well as constant testing and measuring. Something as simple as testing the layout of your landing page, the wording of your call-to-action or the images you’re using can do wonders for your click-through rates.

 

Never Join a Leads Group

Are you a part of a networking group? How did you decide on which one to join? 

I personally hate the concept of networking groups because of the notion that you attend these meetings to sell yourself and your services. Too frequently I’ve arrived at a leads group with one too many sales guy personas – you know the type, leans back in their chair, disregards your needs, and goes on about how they are the best of the best? Yea, I see one of those and run for the hills. 

How do you find a group that focuses on relationships? 

If you have the time and personality, absolutely start one yourself. Build your tribe from the ground up while focusing on the success of others. Or, if you are more of an introvert, set out to attend different groups in your area until you find one that feels right. 

A client first introduced me to the BNI group I’ve taken leadership roles in and immediately I got the sense that this group was different.  From the conscious disregard of some BNI policies to the personal friendships that have blossomed, this networking group has turned into one of the lifelines of my business! 

Other groups I’ve been a part of didn’t quite feel authentic or never lead to true business being passed.

What does it take to get business from a RELATIONSHIP networking group?

Commitment. Hands down being committed to your networking group is the way to get business. For members within the group I share as much information as each individual needs (within reason) to excel at their marketing. Through doing this, some folks have jumped right into their social media profiles while other take one look at me and ask how much it will be for BIMS to manage their accounts.

The main goal of networking should be gaining access to members’ networks.

Within our group, typically 75% of the business passed is to outside referrals, which means we are introducing each other to people not in the group. Though many of the members have hired our team, we currently have a handful of 4th tier referrals (e.g. a referral from a member, passed a referral, who then introduced us to another business). Rather than the small project from the first referral being the end all be all, our team strives to exceed expectations so that our clients want to introduce us to the other business owners they know!

Have you started your own networking or MeetUp group or have you been constantly let down by groups filled with the typical salesman? I’d love to hear your experiences below!

Never join a networking group Are you a part of a networking group? How did you decide on which one to join?

P.S. If you are in Boulder, CO, come join us, Boulder BNI R.A.I.S.E., at 8:30 am on Thursdays!

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Tips to Improve Your Facebook Ad Campaign

Facebook Ads is a very powerful tool. It is an excellent way to promote your business, increase brand awareness and can lead to increased conversion rate. Unless you have a big budget, achieving these goals can be difficult if you’re not an expert.

In this blog post, we’ll give you 4 tips on how to create an effective Facebook ad campaign. Use these tips and you’ll be on your way to a great Facebook campaign.

Identify your target audience

To make the most out of your Facebook ad campaign, you first need to identify your target audience and then create an ad that is targeted to them. Take a moment to decide who you want to see you are ads. Are you looking to reach new audience? Do you want to connect with your existing fans? Or do you want to focus on the people in your area?

Facebook allows you to target your audience by gender, age, location, education, relationship status, workplace etc. The more relevant the ad is to the people you’re targeting; the more likely are they to notice and act on your ad. If done correctly, this will lead to a higher success rate and will reduce your spending in the future.

Establish goals

Before launching your ad, you need to consider what you want to get out of it. Ask yourself, why are you creating an ad in the first place? Do you want to increase your followers? Do you want to increase your web traffic? Or do you want people to download your app? This is important as it will help you plan your strategies for the said campaign and help you assess whether or not it is a success later on.

Choose your bidding option

If this is your first time to create a Facebook ad, you may think that your only option is to optimize your ad on a CPM basis. But the truth is that you have the option to choose from a number of bid setups. You can opt for CPC pricing or opt for bidding based on your objective. Don’t let Facebook do your bidding.

Use eye-catching images

Posts with eye-catching photos get more likes, comments and shares than those without. The same principle also applies with Facebook ads. If you want your ads to perform better, then you need to invest in good quality photos. If you are a restaurant owner, make sure your photos look appetizing. If you own a salon, then feature women with gorgeous, shiny locks. Remember, your goal is to create an ad that gets noticed and create more clicks. Good quality photos will help you achieve that goal.

 

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Boost Your Holiday Sales with These Quick Tips

boost-your-holiday-sales-with-these-quick-tipsHoliday season is the busiest time of the year for online retailers. According to studies, there is a 20% increase in online sales between Black Friday and Christmas. This is a wonderful time to attract more customers to buy your products and grow your business. But with so many businesses vying for the attention of consumers online, it’s time to think about how to capitalize on this potential influx of buy-happy customers.

Here are our top tips for holiday sales conversions.

Post regularly

During the holidays, social media usage is at an all-time high. Most people are at family events and are scrolling through their news feeds to pass time and keep themselves entertained. Some are looking for special offers and gift ideas. More users on social media mean more potential clients for you.

With more people turning into their smart phones during this time of the year, you want to make sure that you’re posting more often. Remember, more engagement means more exposure, which may lead to an increase in sales.

Get your visitors into the spirit of Christmas

Just like you decorate your home to get in a festive mood, you should also consider sprucing up your social media page or e-commerce site. Spread holiday cheer with seasonally themed cover images. Or better yet, give your online store a quick holiday make-over. Use the holiday season to change things up.

One study revealed that theming a shop for the holiday season excites visitors and gets them into holiday shopping spirit. This is a clever way to turn visitors into buying customers.

Don’t be a stranger

A lot of people fail to realize this, but it is far easier to sell to existing customers than it is to approach new prospects. Don’t be afraid to market to those you know. The best way to do this is by sending them an email. Let customers know that you have this certain product on hand. If they’re interested, they can drop by your store or visit your online store to buy the product. It’s as simple as that.

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4 Ways to Get Readers to Spend More Time on Your Blog

4-ways-to-get-readers-to-spend-more-time-on-your-blogA blog’s success greatly depends on its readers. Without readers, all those content you’ve created will go down the drain. The problem is that, modern internet user have short attention span.

More often than not, people will browse through your post for a few seconds. If you fail to give them what they want, their cursor will be heading to the back button and on to another site. You’ve worked hard creating those contents, but why isn’t anybody sticking around to read your posts?

Here are 4 ways to get your visitors to stay on your site longer.

Provide them with valuable content

Content remains the number one reason people visit your site. You need to provide readers with valuable content. This includes detailed information about your products, educational tools, industry news or updates.  This will give you an opportunity to share your knowledge with your prospects and will eventually help you build a loyal fan base.

Use subheadings

Most people will scan through a post and just pick out pieces of information they need. Make it easier for them by using subheadings with descriptive wordings. This way, it will be easier for them to find what they need and allow them to jump to the appropriate section if they wish.

Ensure fast loading time

Your site speed is also critical to its success. No matter how interesting and informative your contents are, people may not be interested to read them if your site takes too long to load. Remember, you only have a few seconds to convince people to hang around. A sluggish site will cause you to lose readers and subscribers. Don’t make people wait.

Make it visually appealing

People make snap judgements. In fact, it only takes less than a second for people to decide whether they like your site. You want to make sure you make a good first impression.

Aesthetics play an important role in first impressions. People like to look at pretty things. A visually appealing blog can attract attention, and may even convince them to stay for a little longer.

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Tips to Create an Effective Facebook Ad Campaign

tips-to-create-an-effective-facebook-ad-campaignFacebook is one of the best places to find qualified leads. With over 1.5 billion monthly active users, there is no doubt that Facebook ads can help you achieve your goals.

How do you ensure that your Facebook Ads make the biggest impact? Here are some tips.

Set goals

Take a moment to determine what your goal is before creating a Facebook Ad campaign. What do you want to get out of it? Are you looking to reach people near your business? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Or do you wish to increase conversion rate? Once you have set your goal, it will be easier for you to determine your budget.

Take advantage of advanced targeting options

For your ads to be effective, you need to make sure that it targets a specific group of people. Facebook’s demographic and segmentation tools allow you to reach the people who matter most to your business. By selecting well targeted audience, you’ll have a good chance of reaching your goals without having to spend a lot of money.

Add images to your ad

Pictures are vital for capturing the attention of your target audience. If you want to get your ads clicked, choose an image that stands out.

Businesses, big and small, spend their time, money and effort just to reach their target audience. With so many people posting on Facebook every minute, there’s a good chance that your ads won’t get noticed. You need to grab user’s attention so that they read your ad. An eye-catching image can help you do that. The more interesting and eye-catching the image is, the more likely will people notice it.

Use call to actions

A call to action may not help in making your ad more engaging or increasing your click-through rate. So, why is it important?

When you add a call to action to your ad, people will know immediately what you want them to do. As such, they are likely to proceed with the desired action after clicking on your ad. This improves your conversion rate and decreases your cost per conversion.

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Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Converting

reasons-why-your-facebook-ads-arent-convertingFacebook ads are one of the most popular options among small business owners who are new to online marketing. After all, Facebook is one of the biggest social networking channels available, with about 1.6 billion active users.

Believing that Facebook would help them reach their target audience, business owners would spend hours optimizing their Facebook ads and spend a sizeable budget for their ads. However, many of them end up getting frustrated because they’re not getting the results they hoped for.

Are your Facebook ads producing mediocre results? Take a closer look at your Facebook ad campaign to make sure you’re not falling prey to these mistakes.

Poor ad copy

When creating an ad, your goal is to convince people to perform the action you want them to do or to buy your product. Don’t expect your ad to perform if it is confusing, badly written or if it includes wrong spelling and bad grammar. Make it a habit to review you content before publishing it.

Your target audience is not properly defined

In order to get results, you need to target a specific group of people who’ll be interested to see your ad. Next time you run a Facebook ad, make sure you set the location and demographic like age and gender. This way, you can be sure that you’re putting ads in front of prospective customers who will be clicking your ads, and not wasting your money on people who might care.

No call-to-action

There are a few reasons why people may not be converting. One of them is due to the lack of call-to-action in your ad copy. Make sure you include a clear call-to-action so that people are directed to click on your link.

Your offer lacks value

With countless companies pushing ads across multiple channels, the digital marketing landscape has been saturated. As a result, users learn to scroll through ads that do not offer enough value to them. Most users will only click through the ad is worth their time to do so.

To get more clicks on your ad, you need to get to know your target audience and determine what they value. You have to offer something that would make them think it’s worth their time. A free e-book, a superior product, knowledge, a great sale or entertainment will make them want to click your ad.

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Tips to Boost Your Online Sales

salesIncreasing sales is undeniably the primary goal of many businesses, small and large. But the biggest challenge business owners face is how to increase traffic to their e-commerce store. Once you’ve accomplished that, your goal is to turn those visitors into paying customers.

Here are 4 simple things you can do to boost your online sales.

Post fresh content

Just because you have a website, doesn’t mean that you can relax and just wait for potential clients to visit your site. You also need to post fresh content to encourage visitors to return to your site. Having well-written content and product descriptions are important. The more they return, the more likely are they to buy your products and services.

Be honest in your sales copy

Honesty is crucial, not only in building trust in your brand; but also in improving your business’ reputation. Your goal is to convince people that you are the best person to provide them products that will help solve their problems. But in order to do that, you need to add credibility to your copy. Be honest in your sales copy and include customer testimonials in your sales letter. It is through this process that people will come to trust you and feel comfortable enough to buy from you.

Go social

Social media is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, sales and customer satisfaction. Actively engage with prospective customers via social media. Talk to them. Answer their questions as quickly and as honestly as you can. Studies show that customers are more likely to purchase products if they receive fast and honest answers from the company.

Don’t forget about your customers once you get them to purchase your products. Send them an email, offer discounts or free shipping on their next purchase. The more attention you pay to them after they have bought something, the more likely are they to turn into repeat customers. Think relationships, not sales.

Offer fewer products

Most businesses create an extensive list of products and services, thinking they’ll get more sales if they have a little something for everyone. But the problem is that prospects will have a hard time deciding whether to buy or not when you have an exhaustive product list. Instead of trying to please everyone, you might want to streamline your products and offer one set of related products. Then, describe those products as best you can.

Also, buyers need to see the benefits of purchasing your products. Try to answer all doubts and questions your visitors may have about your products and really focus on one key set of benefits.

 

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Tips for Creating an SEO-Friendly Article

BIMS_2.1

One of the best ways to make sure that your blog posts keep getting traffic is to make them search engine friendly. Writing for SEO is no longer as easy as it used to be. Before, people could just throw a bunch of words together, incorporate the keywords into the article and expect an increase in web traffic. It doesn’t matter if the article makes sense or not. But that’s not how it works anymore.

How do you create content that ranks well in search engines? Here are a few tips for writing effective SEO-friendly content.

Write for your audience

Since your goal is to boost traffic, you first have to please your audience. There is no point in writing a keyword-rich article if it doesn’t make sense to your readers. The article should offer value to the readers. Make it interesting for them to want to read the entire article. Remember, you are creating content for people, not the search engine algorithm that finds them.

Use keywords

One of the best ways to improve your ranking is to include popular keywords into your content. You need to use them in the title, first and last sentence, and within the body of the article.

It’s not enough to just use the keywords. It is important that you incorporate them as seamlessly as possible into the article, making sure that the sentences still make sense. Also, be sure not to overuse the keywords. If you do, Google may think that you’re overstuffing, which can result in search engine penalties. On average, the article should have a keyword density of 1-4%.

Optimize your image

People are attracted to visuals. That said, we recommend adding pictures, infographics and slide shows to spice up your content.

A lot of people make the mistake of uploading images with file names such as image01.jpg. You have to remember that Google can’t read images. It is through text that Google recognizes them. To get your page to show up in search images, be sure to name the image properly.

 

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Facebook Cover Photo Ideas for Your Business Page

FB photo

Your cover photo is one of the most noticeable parts of your page. In fact, it is the first thing most people would look at when they visit your Facebook page.  Don’t you want to make it impressive?

We understand that finding the perfect Facebook cover photo can be a challenge. You only get once chance to make an impression so you need to get it right. Here at BIMS, we’re all about sharing information that can help your business grow. Here are 4 Facebook cover photo ideas that will make an epic impression on your fans. Pay attention.

Show them what you do

With millions of users from all over the world, Facebook is one of the best places to establish your brand. Your cover photo is a great way to promote your business, your services and yourself. Use this space to show people what your business is all about.

Take advantage of this space to show people the products and services you offer. If you are an artist, feel free to display some of your work. If you have a new product line or an upcoming event, this is the perfect place to put it.

Put your customers and fans center stage

Instead of using this space to promote your business, use it to highlight photos of your fans. You can also use testimonials from customers to your advantage. This adds a human touch to your company and shows the credibility of your business. Plus, it’s a great way to show your fans that you value and appreciate them.

Introduce yourself

While most companies would showcase their products and events, why not shed a little light on the amazing people who works behind the scenes? It makes your business much more personable and gives viewers a more intimate look into your business.

Call to action

Including a call-to-action to your cover photo urges people to instantly respond to your request. Social media is an effective tool when it comes to lead generation. Use your cover photo to encourage people to visit your site, leave their email address or buy your products.