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5 Simple Ways to Promote Your Blog

Several months ago we posted an article about some simple ways to make your business blog stand out amongst the competition. But what about actually promoting that blog? Are you maximizing your available resources and really leveraging the many places online where you can effectively reach a bigger audience and get more exposure for your brand? If not, stay tuned because we’re about to unveil 5 super easy ways you can promote your business blog and get it the attention it needs to increase traffic and get results.

Get Social – Ok, ok, I know…we sound like a broken record, but the fact is if you’re not utilizing all of the social media channels that are available to you to promote your blog, you’re most certainly missing out. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn make it super easy to link back to blog posts and even offer helpful analytical tools so you can measure your reach and identify which content got the most attention. That way you can focus your future efforts on tailoring your content to better suit your audience and get better results.

Spread the News – Do you have an online company newsletter? If so, don’t forget to include links to your recent blog posts to encourage viewers to click, read and share your content with their own networks. Send out a monthly blast (or weekly if you have enough content) that includes a good balance of company news, helpful tips and tidbits, links to relevant articles on your blog and information about any coupons or special promotions you’re currently offering.

Make a Connection – When you’ve posted a particularly relevant article about something interesting or unique in your industry, consider reaching out to a few high profile bloggers in your niche to see if they’d consider sharing it with their own readers. This can give you instant brand exposure, a boost in ranking and can help you establish more authority in your field. Just don’t overdo it and hound the same bloggers too often or you may end up on their spam list.

Share Your Opinion – If there are other relevant blogs that you follow or industry forums that you are a member of, be sure to participate in the conversations going on there by commenting and providing thoughtful insight or other helpful advice. Include a link back to your website or, whenever possible, a specific blog post that is relevant to the topic being discussed. 

Give Yourself Some Recognition – Internal linking is an important part of successful SEO. Whenever possible, reference and link back to previous blog posts you’ve written (see the first paragraph of this blog post as an example). This drives traffic to your older content and increases your site’s authority with the search engines. It’s also a great way to establish a loyal readership and breathe new life into your old content.

It’s infinitely important to include an active blog as a part of your business website and overall online marketing strategy. But simply having a blog isn’t enough to truly get the results you want. You also have to take the initiative to promote those blog articles once they are live. By following these 5 simple tips you will be able to increase exposure for your brand, boost traffic to your blog and your website, and ultimately improve your online presence as a result.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 2:59 PM

How the Right Follow Up Can Turn a Lead into a Sale

We all know the importance of networking, right? You know - shaking hands, schmoozing and rubbing elbows at various events. But while doing that might get you a list of potential leads, it’s the follow up you do after the fact that will actually get you results, which is to reel them in and hook them as paying customers. So what are the best techniques for reaching out after that first contact and keeping communication going? Here are a few pointers and best practices to make your follow up activities more successful.

Strike while the iron is hot. Don’t wait too long after your initial meeting to reach out to your new leads. Whenever possible, tell them precisely when you plan to do so and stick to it. For instance, when telling them how great it was to meet them, let your new prospect know that you’ll be following up on Monday to discuss XYZ with them. By specifying a timeframe you are much more likely to stick to your guns. And, as an added bonus, when you follow through with your promises your prospects will be impressed with your professionalism.

Determine the best method of communication. Sometimes an email is enough to touch base and can count as enough follow up to keep someone interested. More times than not, however, if you really want to keep your leads hot and your prospects engaged, a phone call is much more effective. Take a look at my article from a few months ago which goes over why sometimes email just isn’t enough for the many reasons why. Of course, if your new lead specifically requested that follow up be done via email, respect that and do so accordingly. Or, consider sending an initial email requesting a date and time for a phone call, which will give you more leverage and better your chances of landing a new client.

Keep at it. Just following up once won’t necessarily win over those prospects and get them to take the next step. Sometimes it takes several attempts to finally close the deal. In fact, there’s a marketing theory called the “Rule of Seven”, which suggests that it can take up to seven interactions with a brand before a potential customer takes the leap and makes a purchase. Be consistent and stay in touch with your leads through a variety of different methods, including emails, phone calls, and newsletters and do your best to keep your brand at the top of their mind without overdoing it and being too pushy. Your hard work and persistence will pay off in the long run.

Gathering leads is the easy part. Successfully turning those leads into paying customers is the challenge, and good follow up is the key. By employing these three simple techniques, you can stay in contact with your prospects and improve your chances of converting them into loyal clients.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 3:13 PM

5 Simple Tips for Saving Money on Your Business Phone Bill

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time you inevitably understand the importance of cutting costs and saving money. With prices for just about everything on a steady rise, it can be challenging to find ways to stay on budget. We thought we’d give you a little help in this area by pointing out 5 simple ways that you can save some dough on your monthly phone bill (yes, it can be done). Drumroll please….

Swap out traditional numbers for virtual ones.
Big brother, aka the phone company, wants to charge you for every business telephone line you have. That’s the beauty of virtual phone systems – you can get unlimited phone numbers without having to incur any additional expenses. That means everyone on your team can have their own direct line and you can assign different numbers to different marketing campaigns to better track results, which will also save you money in the long run.

Ditch expensive voicemail plans.
Some traditional telephone service providers offer voicemail as a separate (and costly) service from your regular plan. That means that on top of paying too much for your regular phone service, you may also be paying an unnecessary added expense just to be able to take and retrieve messages. Many virtual phone system providers (like Synclio, ahem) include voicemail as a part of your overall package, and at no extra charge. You can even get your messages transcribed and read them on your mobile devices or through email!

Leverage the power of the internet.

In today’s day and age, telecommunications is no longer a physical thing. Now you can use internet technology, such as Skype, to conduct chats, calls and video conferences over the web for little to no cost. These options are especially attractive for international communications, which can incur a hefty fee if conducted via traditional methods. Virtual telecommunication is here, and it’s incredibly powerful, so why not take advantage of it?

Shop around. 

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it’s still the most important. Don’t just settle for whatever you think is available to you – do your research and conduct some comparison shopping. The days of being trapped in an expensive contract with your local phone company are gone. Now you can get virtual phone service from just about anywhere in the world. If you do a little digging, you’ll find a company that offers all of the features you need and fits into your budget (we happen to know of a great one, wink wink). And don’t forget to revisit your telecommunications service at least once a year to be sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Get rid of all that bulky equipment.
Not only does traditional phone equipment take up a tremendous amount of room, but it’s also incredibly expensive to maintain. With a virtual phone system, all you need is your existing phones and computers, and a connection to the internet! Updates and ongoing maintenance are handled by the provider behind the scenes as part of your plan, so you don’t have to worry about paying an over-priced technician to come in and keep your system running. 

As a business owner, you’re surely always looking for ways to save some cash and reduce your spending. Switching from a traditional phone system to a virtual one will let you keep up the same level of communication that you’re used to (or better), and also save you money at the same time. Need more info? Give us a call or drop us an email. We’d be happy to go over your options with you and show you exactly how we can help you cut costs and save.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 2:33 PM

4 Important Website Metrics You Should Be Measuring

In past blog posts we’ve pointed out why every business should have a quality website, as well as some helpful tips for getting more traffic. But once you’re up and running, how can you know if all your hard work is paying off? There are dozens of things you can check and plenty of ways to analyze results, but unless you’re an experienced web marketer, or have a lot of time on your hands (and, let’s face it, what business owner does?) you probably don’t have the capacity to keep track of all of these methods. The good news is you don’t have to be an expert. There are 4 highly effective things you can and should be measuring that won’t take a ton of time and will help you understand how your website and marketing strategy are performing. 

Before going into the list, be sure you’ve set up your Google Analytics account. It’s free and it’s extremely comprehensive, as well as user friendly. You’ll need this to measure the four metrics on this list.

  1. Referrers – What this basically tells you is how people are making their way to your website. Are they Googling one of your keywords? Are they clicking on an ad you’ve placed on another site? Did they find your website URL through your Facebook or Twitter profile? The more you understand what is driving the most traffic to your site, the better you can hone your marketing and focus your budget.
  2. Keywords – One of the greatest things about Google Analytics is that you can actually analyze which keywords are getting the most attention on your site. You can use this information to further capitalize on what’s working by using these words or phrases more in your content and future blog posts, or you can gain perspective on words that may not be generating as much traffic as you’d like and try to beef up that number. The goal is to optimize your keywords so that they accurately reflect what your business is and how it works. (If you need help defining your keywords, try using Google’s keyword tool.)
  3. Conversions – What is the ultimate goal of your website? Is it to get visitors to sign up for your newsletter, or make a purchase? Your conversion rate tells you how many people that are coming to your website are completing whatever this goal is. Analyzing your conversions can give you insight into the behavior of your web visitors prior to conversion, so that you can understand what is motivating them and better focus your marketing efforts.
  4. Bounce Rate – The bounce rate reveals the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing just one page. The lower this number, the better. If your bounce rate is high, this typically means that your website is not effectively engaging visitors and you may need to work on improving your content and/or design to reduce this rate.

Having a website for your business is only half the battle. In order for it to be truly effective in improving your sales, brand exposure or whatever else your business goals are, you’ll have to regularly analyze how your site is performing and make any necessary changes as they are identified. These four things will help you optimize your site to get the best possible results.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 8:33 PM