4 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Organic Search Traffic – Guest Post

The following is a guest post written by Raul Harman. Raul is editor in chief at Technivorz blog. I have a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. You can reach him on Twitter.

Nowadays, modern businesses compete for both market position and customers. With so many various companies competing for the same thing, it's very difficult to ensure your business can stand out from the others properly. The online world provides many opportunities for companies to make a name for themselves, but not every company is able to do so. The main reason is that businesses oftentimes choose the approach that's not best suited for them.

In that case, you're only wasting valuable time and resources on marketing and promotions without yielding any viable results. If you're uncertain on which approach to take, in order to outrun your competitors, remember that everyone uses a search engine, such as Google to find something online. Therefore, if you want your business to stand out, you need to focus on building your organic search traffic. In other words, you must become more visible and more accessible online. Here are a few easy tips to boost your organic search traffic.

Leverage SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a cost-effective marketing strategy that will boost your online visibility and organic web traffic. The purpose of SEO is to help your website appear on the first page of search results on search engines, such as Google. To achieve that you must rank for the right keywords that your audience most commonly uses in their online search. In addition, those keywords must be relevant to the products or services your business offers.

Appearing first on search results is perceived by consumers as a recommendation from search engines. If Google placed you on the first page it must mean your business is worthy enough to check out. SEO doesn't only make you more visible, but also improves the trustworthiness and credibility of your website. That means that you'll get much more organic traffic by having good ranking, than by investing in paid advertisement.

Optimize your website

SEO requires that you properly optimize your website, in order to rank well on search engines. However, that's not the only reason you should focus on website optimization. Consequently, you're optimizing your website for the customers and the organic search traffic as well. Customer experience on your website plays a major role in determining not only your ranking, but your reputation as well. If your website is fast, secure, easy to navigate, user friendly and responsive enough to meet customer expectations, you'll more likely to favor referrals and recommendations from your website visitors.

That means that if you give consumers what they need, they'll boost your organic traffic by recommending you to others. As an example, an easy way to achieve this is to make your website super fast. You can opt for a hosting solution, such as cPanel hosting. That way, you can make immediate improvements to your website speed on your own and without having to procure services from web developers or designers.

Guest post on reputable sources

Guest posting is an activity of sharing your content across various reputable sources, such as websites or blogs. The purpose of this activity is to build your authority and presence online, in order to position yourself as an industry expert. Not only that, but with guest posting you're also improving your exposure, allowing you to reach a broader audience. The more relevant and high-quality your content is, the more engagement you'll drive from different audiences.

What's more, you must target only the reputable sources to share your content with, because that way, you'll gain more relevant and more organic traffic for your website. Building your reputation and domain authority through guest posting allows you to stand out on the market. That way, more people will be willing to visit your website by reading the interesting content you've provided across various media channels.

Build your presence on social media

Social media platforms are the main hub for businesses these days. The main reason is that social media networks put you in direct contact with your target audience. That being said, there's no better way to gain organic search traffic than it is to generate leads on social media. This allows you to lead consumers to your website with little to no cost at all. The main reason is that you can build presence on social media organically, which means you don't really have to leverage paid ads if you don't wish to do so.

Engaging in conversations with your customers and sharing content with them allows you to build more personal relationships with your audience. Not only that, but you can launch social media marketing campaigns to build more awareness about your business. What's more, you can leverage social media influencers to ensure that your content and your promotions are more welcomed by the audience present on social media channels. The better your presence is, the more likelihood of people visiting your website or researching your business online.

When it comes to online exposure for businesses, organic traffic is the best way to get the recognition and attention you need. Organic traffic means that consumers are checking out your business because they want to and because you've managed to pique their interest. The more organic search traffic you have, the more chances your business has for outrunning competitors and ultimately more chances of reaching success.

The One Thing That Will Make or Break Your Next Meeting

cartoon_of_meeting.jpg

A lot of ink has been spilled about meetings – the bane of many office-dwellers’ existence. We have seen advice on how to run better meetings, how to hold fewer meetings, and how to make meetings as short as possible.

Meetings are often considered a necessary evil, one we all tolerate because somewhere deep down, we know that without meetings, our business could not function.

The truth is, there are good meetings and there are bad. And only a few things separate the good from the bad. So it is very easy to take good intentions and turn them into a bad meeting.

But there is one thing that is guaranteed to make or break any meeting.

Before we get to what that is, let me paint a picture for you…

Imagine your company is preparing to launch a new product this fall. Loads of time and money has been sunk into planning and developing this product, which everyone at the organization is fairly certain will be a big seller. And now the marketing team is planning the launch – how to get this product seen by the right audience.

Sounds like a good time for a meeting with the marketing decision makers, perhaps even someone from product and someone from sales to talk about the details of the product and how you plan to get as many out the door in the first month as possible.

So you organize a meeting. You invite all the right people. You send out a clear agenda. Everyone gets a chance to speak and the best ideas rise to the top.

The meeting ends, everyone feels good. This was no waste of time. It was a great conversation, enlightening even.

But a week goes by, and then another, and you find that you need to meet again. Or you need to chase down the team to figure out what happened to all that positive momentum.

The problem is, you didn’t clearly define the next steps and hold someone accountable.

Action Items

Every meeting needs to end with a review of the action items decided on during the meeting. Everyone at the meeting should know what those action items are, and who is responsible for completing them, and by when.

Ideally, someone’s job will be to write down these next steps and send them around to all the attendees. This will ensure there is no confusion, that everyone is on the same page. That way, you will know who is doing what, and when you can expect to see progress.

Without action items, the meeting is a waste of everyone’s time.

Why You Should Send Your Next Promotional Email at Midnight

stopwatch.jpg

When a politician changes their position on a policy question, we call them a flip flopper. And we don’t trust them.

But changing your position on an issue based on new evidence is a sign of progress and wisdom. And not just for politicians, for all the rest of us.

For a long time, when it came to email marketing, I was a firm believer in wanting to land in an empty inbox. I believed, and still do to a large extent, than one of the best ways to stand out and grab attention is to avoid the crowded inbox completely.

This led me to guide you all to send on days – and during times of day – that may not be as common for other companies to send their promotional emails. The idea was that if you avoided the “busy times”, you could show up at the top of your prospect’s inbox, the lone unread email waiting to be opened and read.

And when I got some advice that suggested I send emails in the middle of the night instead, I brushed it off for exactly the same reason…at first.

I thought, if I send an email in the middle of the night, it will show up in the flood of new unread emails all screaming for attention when people check their inbox in the morning. As one of many, my email is less likely to be read or carefully considered – more likely to be deleted in a sweeping purge of unwanted pre-caffeine stress.

But when I saw proof of another company who had made this strategy work, I decided the time had come to test it for myself. And lo and behold-

The Midnight Send

I took a popular promotional email and sent 50% of the list at the normal time, which was 11am on Tuesday. The other 50%, the test group, I sent at midnight the night before.

And when I checked the results a few days later, here is what they looked like.

  • Control Group: 23.4% opened, 4.2% clicked.
  • Test Group: 36.7% opened, 7.7% clicked.

That’s a whopping 57% improvement in opens and 83% more clicks. And it was no fluke. I tested it again the following week and got similar results.

The Theory

The hypothesis was this – for some subset of consumers, the morning is when we are most likely to check our emails. And so by ensuring that your email is waiting in the inbox first thing in the morning, you are ensuring it gets the attention that it would not get at any other time of day, when people are too busy to check email with any regularity.

By sending overnight, you are adapting to your customer’s behavior, rather than trying to get them to adjust to yours.

So my message to all the email marketers out there is simple. If you have not done so to this point, test your next promotional email at midnight and see whether or not you see a similar lift in performance.

What is the Best Way to Follow Up with a Sales Lead?

follow.jpg

Email.

The best way to follow up with a sales lead is with email. Follow up email campaigns can be automated, set to send out different messages over a period of time after someone enters the sales funnel. These emails can promote discounted offers, contain whitepapers or other marketing collateral, include links to schedule a meeting or take some preferred action.

Email is the best way to follow up with sales leads because it is inexpensive and easy to set up. And the ROI on email marketing is still higher than any other marketing channel available.

Direct Mail.

The best way to follow up with a sales lead is with direct mail. A physical mailing gets the point across way better than an email can, and that’s because it is more impactful to hold something in your hand.

Direct mail also benefits from its seeming decline. Email has become so easy, and so commonplace, and a direct mailing really helps you stand out from the crowd.

You can send a postcard or letter, a pamphlet or flyer. You can send a coupon, or a sign up form, or something that better highlights the benefits of your product vs. the competition.

SMS.

The best way to follow up with a sales lead is a text message. A text message cuts right through the clutter and gets seen – immediately in most cases. Unlike direct mail, it’s instant and cheap. And unlike email, its unique and unlikely to get missed or ignored.

With a text message, you can send a link to important pages on your website, limited time offers, or a reminder to call you back at a certain time.

Phone Call.

The best way to follow up with a sales lead is with a phone call. Outbound dialing campaigns can connect you directly with the prospective customer in a way that is more personal than any message. Through a simple conversation, you are able to showcase all of the benefits of your service and find out what the lead is looking for in a product.

Unlike other channels, the likelihood of closing a deal once you get someone on the phone is much higher. And there are thousands of skilled sales men and women out there who can sell to anyone over the phone.

The Truth Is…

There is no single best way to follow up with a sales lead.

Okay, you got me. But this isn’t just a post about all the different ways to follow up with someone in your funnel. Nor is this one of those, “it depends” answers.

The most successful sales and marketing teams use a combination of some or all of the above channels, and continue to fine tune their messaging on each one over time.

There are a wide variety of consumers out there, and each is likely to respond to different sales channels and techniques slightly differently. By incorporating a number of different outreach methods into your follow up strategy, you cast the widest possible net.

The Quick and Easy Way to Get More Social Media Followers

going up.jpg

Buy them.

If all you care about is followers, they are not hard to get. There are companies that exist to get your follower numbers up. You can contract with them for hundreds and thousands and millions of new followers.

In addition, if all you care about is followers, you can pay to find them. You can promote posts on Facebook and Instagram that say “follow us”. You can spend as much money as you can find to show your ads to more people and send those people to your Facebook page.

If all you care about is followers, you can promise people who follow you all kinds of things. You can give them free stuff, and send them on luxurious vacations.

If all you care about is followers, there are plenty of quick and easy ways to get them.

But if all you care about is followers, you are doing something wrong. Because successful marketers and business owners care about more than followers. They care about outcomes. And the only reason they care about followers is because there is a strategy to turn those followers into customers, and customers into advocates.

And if you care about outcomes, like you should, there is no quick and easy way to get more social media followers.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after them. If success on social media was easy, everyone would do it.

The companies that succeed in gaining traction and engaging with people on social media are the ones that take the time to think through their strategy. They know who they are looking for, and how to find them. And they have taken the time to develop resources, content, information, etc. that is valuable to those people.

When you give your prospective customers something that they want or something that they need, you are earning followers. And you are earning followers that will support you – by buying your stuff, or telling their friends.

Turning social media into an effective marketing channel isn’t easy. And so if part of your job is doing just that, be prepared to put in the time and the energy required to do it right. Or just buy a bunch of followers and wait to get fired.