We have discussed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a few times before but at Outdoor Business network we cannot express enough as to how important this is for any company that is online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is extremely important, especially as customer habits and search-engine algorithms change. Customers are becoming less likely to directly engage with a business when searching for information. Most of the customers are starting their discovery process with a search which makes search the largest digital marketing channel today.
The main goal of SEO is to ensure that the content on your web pages are easily understood by the people and the search engine algorithms; so in turn can be discovered by potential customers when they search for products or services that your company offers. The search engine algorithms are extremely complex and are hard to understand, they don’t take information in the same way a person that is searching. By consistently enhancing your companies SEO, you’re ensuring that the algorithms in place
No matter how advanced your SEO program is, if customers aren’t able to find the value in the content on your web pages, then your marketing efforts are a waste. It is crucial that marketers dedicate time and effort to creating content that is useful and engaging towards their demographic. If it is possible, a company should dedicate time weekly to create content. Keywords are able to easily determine what each page is about and how the content is useful for potential customers that are looking for answers. SEO is not a one-time action; it requires constant maintenance because search algorithms constantly change and update.
The early branding of a small or developing company is vital to its business success. Doing this expresses what exactly your company has to offer. The inaccurate branding of a new business can increase the difficulty for the people to understand why the business exists in the first place. Companies that are just starting out along with small businesses tend to put branding in the backseat to the other aspects of a company such as funding and product development. Doing this is a mistake because a company’s brand is one of the key factors to its success. Dollar for dollar, it is just as crucial compared to any other beginning steps of a new or small business.
The brand your company creates in its face to the world. branding starts with the company name and how that name is expressed visually through a logo that portrays what the company is/does. A brand is also how your demographic customers look at your company then they associate an amount of inherent value on your business. A company’s brand is sort of like a secret promise. It is part of the fundamental principles that can be understood by any individual or company that comes into contact with your business.
Some people may ask “where” I put my brand out there or “how”. The secret is wherever you believe your company can portray themselves accurately. Small or startup businesses that have Social Medias need to also keep in mind that the brand of your business is everywhere. The importance of branding cannot be overlooked and has been proven time again that the success of a small or startup business can rely on its branding to help mature them. A business must stand behind while protecting your brand from outside sources or other companies.
Would you like to indirectly increase the traffic of your website with minimal effort involved? There’s an easy solution that will help; it’s called social media. People use social media on a daily basis, online and on their mobile smart phones while becoming an important aspect in the marketing industry. Social Medias began as a way for people to virtually connect with one another over the web.
Big companies have been using social media as a way to increase current customer relations along with appealing to a new fan base generated by your current customers through the promotion of your products. It is crucial to incorporate these non-traditional marketing tools to continuously present your brand to potential customers. Companies tend to use more popular social media tools such as Facebook or Twitter, but those may not appeal to your customer’s demographics. I encourage you think outside of the box and incorporate less common social medias like Instagram and Pinterest as a way to stretch your online audience.
Facebook has the largest outreach to potential online customer with over 1.2 billion users worldwide. Facebook was design to make personal connections through an online profile; companies use Facebook to show what products or services they offer by a bigger preview. Another big Social Media is Twitter; unlike Facebook, Twitter is used primarily for connecting accounts with common interests through hash-tags (#). Hash-tags can be used to as a general search subject and with some optimization can increase your traffic. If your company relies on product images or like to interact with consumers through pictures; your company benefit from using Social Media’s such as Instagram or Pinterest.
Companies that incorporate Social Medias to their e-Commerce website have been able to increase the traffic of their website substantially. On average 46% of web users will look towards social media before making a purchase rather than looking at reviews. It is important for your company to integrate prompt and consistent response times if you choose to adapt to the Social Media trend.
Check out the brand new Facebook Module that highlights featured products directly onto your Facebook account!
Our President and CEO Curtis Jazwiecki will be hosting Shot Show University seminars addressing retailers and industry leader’s about the importance of online marketing within a company. His talk will focus on why you need to engage your customers and how to do so effectively. The marketing with social media speech is part 1 of a 5 session series focusing on marketing in today’s fast paced business environment. Sessions begin on Monday January 13, in Break Room 2, at 10:40 AM. For more information go to http://www.shotshow.org/education/ and or http://www.shotshow.org/shot-university-speakers#jazwiecki
Session 1: Marketing with Social Media (10:40 – 11:50 AM) Learn the latest tips and tactics to increase the success of your marketing with social media.
Session 2: New Technologies to Drive Foot Traffic to Your Store (1:10 – 2:00 PM)
Seminar will focus on the latest technologies retailers can use to leverage technology to engage customers and bring them into their retail space.
Session 3: Building a Marketing Plan (2:10 – 3:00 PM)
Class will help retailers to understand the key components that go into making a world-class marketing plan.
Session 4: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (3:10 – 4:00 PM)
Seminar will highlight eight simple steps that can dramatically impact your search engine rankings and insure you are getting the most from your SEO efforts.
Session 5: Determine your Marketing Return on Investment (ROI) (4:10 – 5:00 PM)
Learn how to determine the financial return on your marketing plan with this introductory class.
I talk a lot about things to do to improve your e-commerce business. Here are some things that some “e-tailers” do wrong.
1.) Relying on limited sources of Traffic.
I have said in the past that traffic is the key to Ecommerce success. Often time’s business owners get into a comfort zone once the get a little success and are reluctant to move out from that. With the way that Google constantly revises their algorithms that comfort zone will move right out from under you. Owners need to constantly seek out new sources to drive traffic to their sites. Traffic needs to come from and be balanced from several sources. Pay-per-click, social media, partner sites, blog, forums, email campaigns, actual foot traffic are all things that you should participate in. Rely too heavily on any one source and you may find yourself hurting down the road.
2.) Focusing on limited or current products.
We have seen this specifically in the firearm industry. So many companies only knew how to sell guns and ammo. Often it wasn’t a matter or “knowing” how to sell them at all it was simply that there were that many people buying them that even a poorly run ecommerce site could move these products. Well when the supplies of guns and ammo dried up many merchants were standing there with no new sales because they couldn’t get their hands on the 2 products that did so well for them. Their numbers dropped and many had to call it quits. The savvy owners were more prepared and quickly started promoting different items & categories in new and exciting ways. They constantly promoted a new batch of products to consumers.
3.) Letting your website sit unchanged.
I see this over and over again. Merchants set up an on-line store and then forget about it. Take a look at the larger companies out there…….take Wal-Mart or Cabalas’ for example. Every single day companies like these have something new on their site. This is simple to draw people in on a daily basis to promote new products. Consumers have become accustomed to going to websites to find new products, information etc on a regular basis. If you let your site sit unchanged it is obviously boring but more importantly you aren’t giving potential customers a reason to return. It doesn’t take much to keep it interesting it just has to be done.
4.) Not paying attention to site performance.
This is simple. If you aren’t looking at your sites analytics and understanding them there is a good chance you are wasting a bunch of time and money. It would be like slapping a scope on a rifle and never taking it to the range to ensure it is performing properly but expecting it to hit the bull’s-eye. E-commerce sites are no different. You need to know what is going on or you can never improve on your current course of action.
5.) Ignoring customer input.
We all have ideas about the types of things we think sell best or how we want to make our sites look. I propose you survey your customer base and ask them what they want to see. Reward their feed back with a small discount code. Don’t just listen to a handful of clients but rather get the biggest sampling you can. The more people you have data from the better.
6.) Live by promotions and you will die by promotions.
Short term at calculated times super discount promotions are fine. Over the long haul though the most important things are going to be good content, new and amazing products and above all else the best customer service in your industry.
7.) Not getting on board with Mobile Commerce.
Consumers in record numbers are shopping online with smart phones and tablets. This is simply put the future of e-commerce and anyone who doesn’t embrace this technology will be left in the dust. Another point is that mobile technology is how an overwhelming number of consumers are finding your brick and mortar location. So be sure your site is mobile friendly.
8.) Not paying attention to your competition.
You must watch your competition. You can learn a great deal from them to see how they are optimizing there sites, what they are selling, what they have on clearance (because it didn’t sell) and how they are ranking. If you come up in Google on a search page and there are other businesses above you they are doing a better job promoting their website. Take some cues from them and see what you can do to improve on your sites performance.
Obviously there are other pit-falls in the world of business and e-commerce but these are few things for sure to pay attention to. Again if you wish to learn more about these topics I encourage you to call us and talk to our team. 1-800-699-0820 ext 1
Generally speaking Outdoor Business Network focuses primarily on businesses associated with the outdoor sporting industry. Did you know though that OBN can and has worked in many other industries? All of our capabilities and skills can be easily adapted to fit the needs and wants of just about any web, programming or marketing environment. OBN is always interested in seeking out new challenges in the world of e-commerce and digital marketing/media. We welcome any and all business that wish to expand and grow their businesses to new heights. For a free consultation on what OBN can do for you please call our sales department at 1-800-699-0820 ext 1
It seems that I cannot write enough about marketing for your e-commerce store or even your simple store info page. This past month I have been asked again by several clients….”How do I market my site so I can increase traffic and ultimately get more sales?” For me it is a tried and true formula based on years of experience. I know what works and I know what doesn’t. With that said I outline the things the customer can do on their own and I also outline the paid options available to them. I usually spend more time than I should on this as most people simply have not planned for this part of their business and my comments fall on deaf ears. More often than not the client says “I don’t have time to do it myself and I don’t, won’t or can’t spend money on marketing….there must be another way………” I tell them there isn’t. Even smaller companies (1 to 3 mil/year) spend easily in the 6 figure range every year on their marketing efforts and put in a ton of time doing so too. I tell the clients who don’t believe this very simple that they will fail. I ask them why did you ask me for my help? Why did you not like my response especially given the fact that I am the expert in this industry? I always say if there is another way that was more cost effective then I would advise you of that. The bottom line is this. If you come to OBN looking for answers we absolutely have them but please don’t argue with me that there must be something else that can be done because there isn’t. Time and/or money is the only way to get it done. Look at a company like Ford Motor Company. They spend millions if not billions marketing their product/company which has HUGE brand recognition. Now don’t you think if there was a way to do this “marketing” for free that they would have figured it out by now? Even if you don’t sell online digital marketing and media is absolutely here to stay and the business who truly embrace this concept will thrive and survive. The companies who don’t will slip into the darkness. The way we did business 20 years ago is completely different than what we see successful businesses do today. So if you take a lesson from all of this please do something to market and promote your business and talking with the experts like OBN is an excellent place to start.
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The following states honor a valid Iowa Permit To Carry firearms license:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.