Yocale For Business https://business.yocale.com Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:54:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 https://business.yocale.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cropped-yocale-y-logo301-150x150.png Yocale For Business https://business.yocale.com 32 32 Time Management Tips You Cant Live Without https://business.yocale.com/time-management-tips-you-cant-live-without/ https://business.yocale.com/time-management-tips-you-cant-live-without/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:05:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=34081 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

With planners (both electronic and paper), apps, extensions and so on, we are a culture consumed with how to fit more into our days – how to maximum our productivity in the time we have. We have 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to get things done, and yet most of us certainly […]

Time Management Tips You Cant Live Without
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

With planners (both electronic and paper), apps, extensions and so on, we are a culture consumed with how to fit more into our days – how to maximum our productivity in the time we have.

We have 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to get things done, and yet most of us certainly aren’t accomplishing everything we’d like to.

So, we take to Google to read up on the latest time management techniques (and there are many). But all that does is waste even more time – what is going wrong? What we really need is to find some techniques that work for us and then stick to them.

Time management is a concern for almost everybody. Even your dog is trying to devise a plan about how he can fit more walking time into his day.

Ultimately, the purpose of time management is to increase our efficiency. In doing so, a major outcome is a sense of balance in our lives – one of the leading benefits of time management.

Indeed, time management skills are among the most important things that we can cultivate. Time management allows us to experience less stress, accomplish more through the reduction of wasted time and it ultimately affords us more free time.

Entrepreneurs are often responsible for their own schedules and productivity, which requires a strong time management system compared to jobs where schedules are already clearly defined. This is exactly why we need to stress the importance of time management in the workplace.

Achieving balance in both work and life is not only necessary to appreciate life for what it is but, perhaps ironically, also to our success across all fronts – including work.

In short, achieving a good work life balance is an outcome of good time management skills but also a necessary means to an end.

So, how can we become masters of our time?

The first question is to ask yourself why you are struggling with efficiency and productivity (and ultimately time management) to begin with. Do you have these symptoms of poor time management skills?

Broadly speaking, there are likely three sources of our time management issues.

We are over-scheduling ourselves; we are simply not using our time wisely (you’d be surprised how much time an email can take up, even though we may technically count that as “working”); or we are simply procrastinating altogether.

The point is, however, once you identify the source of your time management issues, you can apply the time management tips below that specifically apply to you. Most of these tips fall into the “work smarter not harder” category, which can look different for everyone.

However, at its core, working smarter not harder means accomplishing tasks more efficiently.  With that in mind, how can we make ourselves more productive?

When it comes to time management, know that it begins and ends with having a specific plan: a list of tasks to complete and a time for when you will complete them. This is the basis of good time management practice.

Next, once you identify the source of your issues with time management, you can apply the tips below that specifically apply to you.

Time Management Tips & Tricks

Time Management Problem #1: You’re Not Being Realistic

One sign that the source of your time management problems stems from the fact that you’re just not being realistic is if your to-do list is notoriously long. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones – this is the easiest one to manage.

If you find that you have implemented every possible time management hack out there and are still leaving multiple things on your to-do list at the end of the day, here are some tips.

  • Assign a Time Limit To Each Task

Consider that you may have too many things on your list creating a set of tasks that are actually physically possible. Is your daily to-do list a mile long?

It is important for everyone to assign a time limit to each task. Surprisingly, few people actually do this. When allotting time, be realistic about it. Account for interruptions and taking breaks and assign a time limit for each task.

This will ensure that your list is full, but that you prioritize tasks and only include what can actually be accomplished.

This falls under the “work smarter, not harder” kind of mentality. Ending your day at a specific time each day will also prevent you from working late into the night, making you tired and ultimately less efficient – one of the hallmarks when it comes to work life balance tips.

Ultimately, logging more hours at work does not necessarily equal output – in fact, studies say that long hours lead to under productivity.

It has been scientifically proven that having to do something (i.e. accomplish everything on your to-do list) can quickly de-motivate you.

Therefore, it is always better to write a realistic to-do list rather than creating a list that, although satisfying to write the night before, will mentally drain you the next day. That brings us to our second point, which is to:

  • Prioritize Your Tasks

If you identify the most important tasks and accomplish them first (ideally, in the morning because that is when we tend to have enough mental energy), each day will be at least somewhat of a success.

Outsourcing is always an option for those whose workloads are simply unmanageable. For example, Yocale’s reporting feature via our Business Statistics Dashboard, which keeps track of the most important aspects of your business on your behalf.

  • Master Your Work Perfectionism

Another antithesis to efficiency is perfectionism. Perfectionism causes us to spend a significant portion of time on insignificant details that really don’t add any true value to a given task.

While some degree of attention-to-detail is a good thing, if it comes at the cost of getting more important things done, it is time to re-evaluate.

Here are some ways perfectionism may be interfering with your time management and what to do about it.

Losing Time

Time Management Problem #2: You’re Letting Seemingly Insignificant Time Eat Away At Your Day

Consider that all of those seemingly insignificant moments (a few minutes to answer a low-priority call, a minute or two to check Facebook) may actually be why you aren’t accomplishing everything you want to. Indeed, these minutes quickly add up.

To get an accurate idea of exactly how much time you are spending on Email and other kinds of web browsing, download the time free management tool, RescueTime.

It runs in the background of your computer or mobile device and will give you a breakdown of exactly where your time is being spent. It also gives you the option to block out sites that are eating up a lot of your time.

If you find that you may be allowing a lot of small things to take time out of your day, here are some tips.

  • Block All Incoming Emails/Phone Calls

Answering emails is one of the biggest time wasters. Unless it is imperative that emails be answered as they come in, it is best to approach them with caution – the same holds true for phone calls.

This means designating a specific period of time to deal with them (perhaps 30 minutes first thing in the morning and 30 minutes before the end of the work day, or even answering them on a specific day of the week if that works for you).

For the rest of the day, ideally you would block all incoming emails with an extension. Emails are distracting and they interrupt us from accomplishing important tasks.

For example, a co-worker emails us with a seemingly simple task that we don’t think will take very long, but it takes up much more time than we think, potentially disrupting our ability to complete a high priority task. It also makes it more difficult to resume the previous task we were working on.

For those with a Gmail account, INBOX PAUSE is a simple extension that allows you to temporarily pause all incoming emails with the click of a button.

All emails will be redirected to your inbox once you unclick the pause button. In the event that someone emails you, you also have the option to notify them that you won’t be checking your email until a specific time.

This same kind of thinking also applies to incoming phone calls.

Working smarter not harder means a lot of different things, but one common theme is minimizing multitasking.

  • Use Negative Space

You’d be surprised how much “negative space” we have in our day – time spent commuting, lunch breaks and even weekends.

While designating several hours on the weekend to work can help to alleviate your weekly workload, the takeaway here is to utilize all of that negative space during the working week that you have.

Do you have time to send a few emails while you’re on the train to work? If so, do it. Putting this into practice puts you into the camp of those who work smarter, not harder.

If you can this turn into a habit, you won’t even have to think about it – you will automatically put yourself into efficiency mode.

Stop Procrastinating

Time Management Problem #3: You Procrastinate

Sometimes you may find yourself avoiding tasks altogether. According to scientific research, there are three reasons why we may not be motivated to work on a task: we feel like we “have” to do something, we are overwhelmed by the task or it doesn’t fit into our core value system.

Here are some quick tips if you frequently feel like going back to bed for the day. Before you do that, you may want to also read these motivational tips that will inspire you to success.

  • Schedule Tasks Into Increments + Take Breaks Accordingly (Pomodoro Technique)

One of the most popular time management tips out there is the Pomodoro Technique, which has been around since the 90s. In short, this means breaking down tasks into 25-minute tasks called Pomodoros and then taking a short five-minute break.

After 25 minutes, you can take a short five-minute break to recharge. After four Pomodoros, you can take a longer break.

This technique puts you into efficiency mode. It is motivating you to filter out distractions and commit 100% to a given task since you only have a short window within which to complete it.

If you want a digital resource to help you implement this technique, download the app Simple Pomodoro (Android) or the FocusTime (iOS and Desktop). A web-based option for Windows, Apple and Linux users is PomoDome.

At this point, the advantages of having a clear time management system have been laid out for you. In wrapping this all up, time management is all about making yourself more efficient to achieve work life balance, which is also cyclical and necessary to your efficiency at work.

If you can identify the source of your time management issues, turn the above time management tips into habits and your output will probably be akin to a robot in no time.

Time Management Tips You Cant Live Without
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/time-management-tips-you-cant-live-without/feed/ 0
Best Free Online Excel Training For Beginners https://business.yocale.com/best-free-online-excel-training-for-beginners/ https://business.yocale.com/best-free-online-excel-training-for-beginners/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 20:25:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33994 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that has been around since 1985 and chances are high that even if you don’t know how to use it, you are familiar with what it does. It is currently among the most used software in the workplace today, particularly when it comes to the business side of things. […]

Best Free Online Excel Training For Beginners
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that has been around since 1985 and chances are high that even if you don’t know how to use it, you are familiar with what it does. It is currently among the most used software in the workplace today, particularly when it comes to the business side of things.

Excel allows you to add data to its spreadsheets, analyze the data in the form of charts and graphs, predict future trends and more. For businesses, this means that Excel can be used for basic accounting purposes, for calculating return on investments and more.

Who Uses Excel?

Excel is a program that mostly everyone can benefit from, but businesses and marketers are among the top users.

Uses of Excel:

Excel can be used for a number of different tasks, including:

  • Basic Accounting – For tracking deposits, expenses and budgets, Excel can be used as a basic accounting tool.

It is capable of making basic mathematical calculations like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, but it is also capable of more advanced calculations as well. It can even summarize trends (for example, trends for monthly and yearly expenses).

  • Product Management – Excel can keep track of product sales on a yearly, monthly or quarterly basis and be used to predict future values. Another practical use when it comes to Excel is being able to see returns on investment.
  • Customer Data – Excel is often used to store customer data that changes over time.
  • Scheduling – Not only is Excel used for basic accounting purposes and more, but it can also be used for timetable purposes and to schedule events.

Here are some tips on how to make your business more productive with Excel.

Businesses can also use Yocale’s Business Analytics Dashboard to keep track of sales, new client bookings, metrics from marketing promotions and more.

For even more scheduling tips for your business, it may be time to set up an editorial calendar. Here is your guide to setting up an editorial calendar.

The main disadvantage of Excel (there aren’t many!) is that,  because of its advanced capabilities, it can take quite a lot of time to actually learn how to use it. Another problem is that beginners often don’t utilize the program as practically as they could.

This guide, however, will offer you a step-by-guide to the basics of Excel, pointing out all of the important and necessary features that beginners should take time to learn.

When it comes to the best way to learn Excel online, here is a list of resources. Ensure that you are learning the most recent version of Excel and not an older program by searching for how to use Excel 2017.

Even though this guide merely covers the basics, many businesses and marketers accomplish everything they need to with Excel just with its basic features.

Without further ado, here is your guide to everything you need to know about Excel – how to learn Excel quickly and easily – taking you through the necessary formulas you need to know, keyboard shortcuts, as well as some useful tips and tricks.

How To Use Excel: The Basics

  • Rows, Columns and Cells Rows are on the left side of a given spreadsheet and are identified with numbers. Columns run at the top of the sheet and are identified with letters. When a row and column meet (for example, B5), B5 is called a cell.
  • Ranges – When you highlight multiple cells at once, this is called a cell range. You identify cell ranges with a colon in the middle. For example: D3:D6.

Keep in mind that the “data” you enter into these cells can be numbers, text, dates, etc.

Next, here are all of the basic tasks that Excel users should know how to do.

1. Sort and Filter Data

Now that you have familiarized yourself with how a spreadsheet works, one of the first things all beginners should learn how to do is to sort and filter data.

What It’s Useful For: Excel is useful for all list sorting purposes (for example, alphabetizing lists, putting numbers in order based on value). It’s also great for filtering data, on the other hand, as the program makes it possible to see a small amount of data at one time, depending upon what part of the data you want to look more closely at.

Keep in mind that when filtering data, the original data is still intact, but you just won’t be able to see it.

Here’s how to sort a list:

1. Place your cursor in the blank cell above the column you want to sort

2. From the toolbar (aka the ribbon), select ‘Data’, click ‘Quick Sort’.

Here’s how to filter a list:

1. Place your cursor in the data table

2. On the ribbon, select ‘Data’ and then ‘Filter’

3. Drop-down menus will appear so you can filter your data by item, month, etc. – whatever data you want to see.

4. Select ‘OK’

5. PivotTables

When it comes to Excel, you hear the term “PivotTables” thrown around a lot. In short, PivotTables are used to reorganize data.

Why It’s Useful: They can be used to summarize values and analyze data. This is a particularly excellent tool for businesses.

The benefit about using PivotTables is that they can be created in a matter of seconds.

2. Create a PivotTable

Simply go to ‘Data’ and then select Pivot Table. Once you do this, you have a few different options to choose from.

  • Report Filter – This allows you to look at the data from specific rows.
  • Column Labels (Headers)
  • Row Labels
  • Value – This allows you to manipulate your data by any number of means, including sum, count, average, etc.

3. Adding More Rows or Columns

Instead of manually adding more rows or columns, this will save you a lot of time:

1. Highlight the number you want to add

2. Right click and select ‘Insert’

4. Formulas + Functions (The Ones You Need to Know)

In addition to the tasks above, no guide to Excel is complete without a discussion of its formulas and functions. Excel has an extensive list of formulas/functions, but the ones included on this list are the ones every user should know how to use.

The best way to learn Excel formulas is with practice. Over time, you can search for a more advanced Excel tutorial.

What are formulas?

Excel formulas are essentially equations that you will enter into a cell on the spreadsheet, which will make calculations (such as adding, subtracting and more) based on the values you have entered.

In terms of how to use Excel formulas, simply start off each formula by typing in the equals sign (=), which tells Excel to make a calculation.

Why use formulas? The benefit of using formulas is that they are able to make calculations faster than an actual calculator, because you can alter numbers in any category and they result equations will be automatically calculated, saving you valuable time when you are working with data.

For example, if you were keeping track of the quantities of different products in your warehouse, you simply have to alter the new value and the calculations will immediately be made, which means you don’t have to add up each and every value again.

Now, there is one important thing to point out. We have been using formulas and functions interchangeable as general terms, but they are different when it comes to Excel. Excel’s formulas also contain functions. Functions describe the actual code.

For example, the SUM function will add up data for you, while the formula contains the actual values in it.

The output, for reference, is the answer to the equation.

Here is a list of Microsoft’s most popular functions.

Without further ado, here is a list of Excel’s most important formulas, listed briefly to serve as an overview. Feel free to read into any of them in more depth if you think they might be of use to you or your business!

  • SUM

Formula: =SUM(6, 8) or =SUM(A5, B5) or =SUM(A6:B7)

The sum formula will add numbers for you. You can add two numbers together separated by a comma, numbers that are in different cells (which are also separated by a comma. Example: A1, B1) or you can add the values in a number of different cells by separating them with colons.

Here is how you would use this function, which is a method you can apply to the rest of the formulas below as well.

Keep in mind that an easy way to learn Excel formulas is to find an online tutorial and follow along in Excel.

1. Select the cells you want to add

2. Go to the toolbar and select  the ‘Formulas’ tab

3. You will see ‘Function Library’ and from here, you can select ‘Sum’

  • IF Statement

IF(logical_test, value_if_true, value of false)

The IF function, one of Excel’s most popular functions, is used to apply a certain condition to your data.

  • COUNT

Formula: =COUNT(A7:A10)

The count formula counts a range of cells that have numbers. Keep in mind that this function will only count the cells that have numbers in them.

  • COUNTA

Formula: =COUNTA(A6:A10)

As you can see, Count and Counta are very similar.

Counta, however, will count a range of cells that have any kind of data in them, from numbers to dates to text.

  • LEN

Formula: =LEN(B1)

The LEN formula counts the total number of characters in a cell, including the number of spaces in the formula.

  • TRIM

Formula: =TRIM(B1)

Just as the name would imply, this formula trims any space in a cell, with the exception of single spaces between words. This formula is useful in the event that you copy data into Excel and find that there are spaces in front of (or behind) it, which is actually quite common.

  • RIGHT, LEFT, MID

Formulas: =RIGHT(text, number of characters), =LEFT(text, number of characters), =MID(text, start number, number of characters)

This formula allows you to pull out specific characters or numbers (substrings) from one string of data. For example, perhaps your string of data looks like this: 55456, but you only need the substring ‘4.’

  • VLOOKUP

Formula: =VLOOKUP(lookup value, table array, column number, [range lookup])

The VLOOKUP function allows you to combine two sets of data on two separate spreadsheets into one.

  • CONCATENATE

This function will combine data from multiple (or more) cells into one.

Formula =CONCATENATE(A1, B1)

  • AVERAGE

Formula: =AVERAGE(range_cells)

As the name would imply, this function allows you to calculate the average in a given set of data.

  • MAX & MIN

Similarly, this allows you to calculate the maximum and minimum values in a given set of data.

Formulas: =MAX(range_cells) =MIN(range_cells)

How to Create Charts

Excel makes it possible to create different charts and tables out of the data you provide it with. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create two types of charts: the pie chart and the line chart.

  • How to Create a Pie Chart

Create a pie chart when you want to show data as part of a whole and it is very easy to so.

  1. Highlight the Relevant data that you want to include in your pie chart.
  2. Select the Insert Tab from the toolbar at the top of Excel.
  3. In the Charts Group, click on the Pie Chart button (you will see an image of a pie graph).   This is also where you would go if you wanted to create a PivotChart.

You can choose what type of pie chart you want (whether you prefer a 2-D pie chart, 3-D, etc.), and you can see what the final result will look like by hovering your mouse over each option via the drop down menu.

  • How To Create a Line Chart

A line chart connects a series of data points with a line. In this way, a line chart is a great chart to illustrate changes in trends over time, such as business growth, product demand, etc. To create a line chart, follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the relevant data that you want to include in your line chart
  2. Select the Insert Tab from the toolbar at the top of Excel. In the Charts Group, click on the Line Chart button (you will see an image of a pie graph, though). As you will see, you can choose from a selection of different types of line charts.

Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

According to Microsoft, the following is a list of the some of the most common Excel keyboard shortcuts.

  • Home Tab  (Most Frequently Used)      (Alt + H)
  • Save a Spreadsheet                                    (Ctrl + S)
  • Copy                                                              (Ctrl + C)
  • Paste                                                             (Ctrl + V)
  • Fix a Mistake                                              (Ctrl + Z)
  • Clear Cell Contents                                   (Delete key)
  • Cut Cells                                                      (Ctrl + X)
  • Bold                                                              (Ctrl + B)

Here’s a few extra, very useful keyboard shortcuts in addition to the most common ones.

  • Open “Format Cells”                            (Ctrl + 1)
  • Autocomplete Function Name           (Tab —> Enter =, begin typing the function name (‘su’ for SUM, press Tab)
  • View/Hide the Ribbon                         (Ctrl + F1)
  • Select Entire Column                            (Ctrl + Space)
  • Select the Entire Row                           (Shift + Space)

Keep in mind that the list of keyboard shortcuts is endless, so these are just the main ones youa re likely to find useful early on. Here’s another list of more advanced Excel keyboard shortcuts that covers navigation shortcuts, formatting shortcuts and more.

Tips & Tricks

  • Select All with One Simple Click

While most people are familiar with using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + A to select all, there is actually a shortcut for a shortcut! In the corner of the spreadsheet, at the intersection of A1, simply click on the button with the white triangle in it.

  • Keep Your Features/Formatting Handy with Quick Analysis

Think of Quick Analysis as your Excel assistant. It is a small menu of all Excel’s most common tools, kept handy at the bottom of the screen for quick accessibility.

Every time you want to create a table or do some formatting, this little menu will prevent you from wasting time looking for it in the ribbon.

  • For Easy Access To Excel’s Formulas

Instead of writing your own formulas, follow this method to get easy access to Excel’s list of formulas.

Simply go to ‘Formulas’ tab >’Function Library’ and you will find all of Excel’s formulas.

  • Predict Trends

One of Excel’s newer features is the ability to analyze data and predict trends from that data via the program’s range of forecasting tools. To do so, go to Data > Forecast sheet.

Excel not only provides a lot of basic tools, but its methods of analyzing data and forecasting future trends make it a tool that all businesses can (and probably should!) benefit from.

With all of Excel’s capabilities, it is easy to see why businesses should begin implementing it and get started on their path to Excel training soon.

Best Free Online Excel Training For Beginners
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/best-free-online-excel-training-for-beginners/feed/ 0
How To Grow Your Websites Income With Affiliate Marketing https://business.yocale.com/how-to-grow-your-websites-income-with-affiliate-marketing/ https://business.yocale.com/how-to-grow-your-websites-income-with-affiliate-marketing/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 23:14:29 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33992 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Affiliate marketing is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing ways to earn an income online – a passive income. As you can see, this quickly speaks to why it is an attractive prospect for businesses looking to grow their website’s income. If you are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, this is how it works. Affiliate marketing […]

How To Grow Your Websites Income With Affiliate Marketing
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Affiliate marketing is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing ways to earn an income online – a passive income. As you can see, this quickly speaks to why it is an attractive prospect for businesses looking to grow their website’s income.

If you are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, this is how it works.

Affiliate marketing is a partnership between someone with a product to sell (the merchant) and an individual/company (the publisher/affiliate marketer) who promotes that product to their own audience.

In doing so, the affiliate earns a commission on products and services sold or clicked on (this varies). In other words, you get paid for recommending products and services!

You could promote any number of things, from online courses to software to coaching and more.

You can also promote a product or service in any number of ways, from content marketing such as writing a review of the product on your blog, doing a product demo on YouTube, to social media and more.

Typically, the exchange happens through what is called an “affiliate network.” An example of an affiliate network would be Amazon.com.

In this case, you simply sign up for the affiliate program and then choose the products you want to recommend to your audience. You are then given an “affiliate code” to give out, which directs traffic back to the affiliate network (for example, Amazon.com).

All of this is tracked through software.

There are three different types of affiliate programs in which you can earn a commission.

  • Pay Per Sale. Just as it sounds, you get paid when a transaction is made (when someone purchases your recommendation).
  • Pay Per Click (PPC). You receive a commission as soon as someone clicks on your link, regardless of whether or not a purchase was actually made.
  • Pay Per Lead. You get paid when a consumer fills out a form on the site, which provides the network with their contact details, such as their email address.

Keep in mind that the cost of a given product or service that you recommend typically stays the same.

Now that you have a sense of what all of this is all about, here is your affiliate marketing guide for beginners to get you started.

This is how to do affiliate marketing step by step, the right way.

Advantages of Being An Affiliate Marketer

Since affiliate marketing doesn’t require that you make a product or have a warehouse to store inventory, affiliate marketing affords you some of the benefits of selling a product or service but without the difficult side of running a typical business.

As long as you have a decent sized audience to promote your products to, affiliate marketing can be very effective. There are generally no fees involved, so everything generated from it is pure profit.

How To Increase Affiliate Sales

While affiliate marketing is often hailed as a way to generate “passive” income, this does not mean that you can simply post an ad on the side of your website and watch the sales come in. There is some promotion involved.

With that in mind, here are some ways to increase your affiliate sales.

Affiliate marketing income

1. Build an Email List

Email marketing is the most effective way of ensuring that people will see your blog posts recommending various products and services. Sure, you could merely tweet out a link to your review or post it on Facebook, but the shelf life of social media posts is much less than email.

While a Facebook post survives for four and a half hours, an email that includes links to all of your recent content can survive for 12 days and possibly even more. A tweet, by the way, survives for merely 60 minutes maximum.

Keep in mind that even if your email subscriber list is under 500 people, you can still generate a lot of passive income (not to mention all of the other benefits of having an email list, such as the opportunity to build a relationship with your clientele).

There are many ways that you can build and/or grow your email subscriber list, but some of the best ways are to place signup buttons prominently and strategically on your blog.

In addition, adding a popup button with a call to action that has an attractive value proposition (such as a free e-book, etc.) is another way to build and grow your email subscriber list. An exit gate, wherein a popup will appear just as the user is about to leave your blog is also effective.

This is because it has given him or her an opportunity to read your content and decide whether or not they think it provides enough value to warrant subscribing to your email list.

As a final point about building an email list, ensure that you are consistent with sending out your email newsletters. Ideally, Neil Patel of NeilPatel.com recommends that you send an email out weekly.

2. Research Your Product(s) Carefully

When it comes to choosing what products you are going to promote, there are several important things you want to keep in mind.

It is very important to research the demand for your product before attempting to promote it. Consider if the product or service will be useful for your audience and then test the waters.

Send out an online survey via email (just another reason why it is crucial to build your email subscriber list now) or with a social media survey. You must also carefully consider the partnering company – that is, the merchant – and their other products as well.

In the event that the product or service doesn’t fulfill its expectations, you are going to be “affiliated” with that company. That bad publicity can transfer to your own brand.

Here are some more common affiliate marketer mistakes when it comes to choosing products to promote.

It is also worth a mention that you should only promote a few good products or services. Some people try to promote as many products as possible in hopes that they will see a larger return in doing so. However, there are several reasons why you should avoid this.

First, you can quickly lose quickly credibility with your audience if you are constantly pushing products (especially ones you clearly don’t use). If you are constantly recommending products, it will make it seem as though you don’t actually care about those products at all.

Secondly, if you want to generate the most commissions, you need to market them properly. If you are working with too many products at once, things can begin to slip through the cracks and they may not receive as much exposure as they otherwise would.

3. Promote the Products You Actually Use

You will see results from affiliate marketing when you promote the products that have actually worked for you in some way. In fact, recommending products that are outside of your niche or recommending products that you aren’t that invested in will be obvious to your audience.

In doing so, you will damage your credibility, your brand and ultimately your profits, both short-term and long-term.

4. Master the Product Demo

Both Patel and Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com are proponents of doing product demos to in order to be as successful as possible with affiliate marketing. Unbox your product and give your audience the whole shebang.

A great method of doing a product demo is with a webinar, which is the equivalent of live tutorials. Right away, you get a sense of their appeal. Here are a few tips about how to set up a webinar.

1. Use the number one landing page builder, LeadPages, to create a landing page (this is where your audience will fill out a signup form with their email address).

2. Remind people in advance that the webinar is approaching so they don’t forget. You can do this via social media. However, this is where having an email list comes in handy because you can use it to send out automated messages reminding them that the webinar is about to begin.

3. Use Google Hangouts to host the actual webinar itself. At the end, mention the affiliate link. You can execute the webinar in any number of ways, from doing a demo to discussing the pros and cons of the product and even answering their questions.

The great thing about using the webinar to promote a particular product is it not only boosts engagement in many different ways (the live aspect, the Q&A format, etc.), but it is also a very natural way to bring up the affiliate link.

Ensure that you record the video (see the ‘Tools’ section below) to post on your website.

Pro Tip: If you can arrange for around 200 people to tune into your webinar, you will be more likely to secure a discount code for the people in your audience by reaching out to the merchant. In doing so, your affiliate marketing sales will increase.

Doing an unboxing in a regular video format is also effective, but a blog post that includes step-by-step images of you unboxing the product can also be effective. This also happens to be the easiest way to do an unboxing.

Aside from unboxings, comparison reviews between two related products are also effective. For example, reviewing the latest Apple flagship with the Samsung one typically generates a lot of interest as customers are often choosing between products.

5. Use of Combination of Promotional Methods

Talk about your products more than once. Feel free to mention them in a few different blog posts. An effective way to do this is to talk about two different aspects of the product in multiple posts. Keep in mind that simply sharing one link won’t deliver the results you want.

There is a lot of noise on the web and it can be difficult to be heard. That’s why it’s so important to talk about these products across different platforms, such as social media, your podcast, blog posts and videos if you have them! Here are some additional methods to increase your affiliate sales.

Not only that, but is is also imperative that your website’s pages rank high in search engines so that people actually have a chance to see your product review or video. One of the most important things you can do is to optimize your website with SEO. Check out this ultimate guide to SEO.

Affiliate digital marketing

6. Be Honest

Be honest that you’re sharing an affiliate link – specifically make it a point to tell your audience that you will earn a profit if they follow the link. In doing so, you portray yourself as trustworthy and honest.

Moreover, you would be surprised at how much your audience is willing to follow the link just because they find value in the content you provide and may even like the idea of helping you with a little profit. That is why delivering high-quality content is always so important.

Not only should you be upfront about the fact that you’re recommending an affiliate product, but you can also increase your sales if you are careful about the way in which you discuss the product.

For example, tell your audience that you are “recommending” this product as opposed to language that tells them to buy the product.

7. Add a Resource Page to Your Blog

Flynn recommends adding a ‘Resource page’ on your blog or website that lists all of your favourite products and services (which are, of course, your affiliate links that you have mentioned before).

Not only is your audience going to find this very helpful, but this is when the passive part of affiliate marketing really shines. With that in mind, it is a good idea to update the list every so often and to make a point of mentioning that somewhere on the page to draw renewed attention to the list.

Also keep track of the metrics and remove ones that aren’t generating any additional income to better emphasize the ones that you’re benefiting from.

8. Provide Incentives Alongside Your Product Recommendations

Not all companies will allow you to provide additional incentives if people click or purchase your product recommendation (you will need to contact the product owner first).

However, you can increase your affiliate sales by personally providing various bonuses, such as quick start guides, tutorials, etc.

9. Reach Out to The Product Owner

It is a good idea to reach out to the product owner. Building a relationship with the product owner could be a very valuable asset in promoting the product.

Cultivating a relationship with the product owner also makes it more likely that you could ask to increase your commissions if you sell enough of the product. Flynn, for example, increased his commissions by as much as 300% by forging a relationship with the product owner.

He also featured him on his podcast so that his audience could hear more about the product itself.

10. Measure Your Results

As with any marketing strategy, you will get the best results if you measure your success (or lack thereof) via conversions tracking software.

In the event that you are not seeing the results you had expected, consider that even making small changes can result in substantial changes to your income. For example, ensure that ads are placed on all of your site’s pages and that they are placed strategically.

Affiliate Marketing Tools

  •  PrettyLink – This is a WordPress plugin that turns affiliate links into smaller ones that are easy to remember. It will also keep track of your clicks.
  •  ScreenFlow (Mac) or Camtasia Studios (PC) – These tools allow you to record any part of your screen, making it possible to share your webinar with a wider audience, for example, at a later date.
  • ThirstyAffiliates – This WordPress plugin is an affiliate link manager that makes adding affiliate links to your WordPress blog easy, as well as allowing for easy management of all of your links.

How To Find The Best Affiliate Marketing Websites

There are a range of affiliate marketing websites out there, but not all of them are created equal. Some pay much more than others. In order for you to be well on your way to generating income, our affiliate marketing guide will provide some good options to make it easy for you. Take a look!

1. CJ Affiliate – This is perhaps the largest affiliate marketing website. Benefits include its massive network base (which includes mostly all major retailers), ease of comparing different merchants and reliable payments.

It also offers a great built-in metric system so that you can maximize your results. As far as cons, it is not necessarily the easiest affiliate marketing website to learn how to use.

2. Amazon Associates In terms of how to start affiliate marketing for beginners, Amazon’s Associate program, one of the first of its kind, is certainly one of the easiest to use, simply requiring just one approval in order to sign up. This is also a great source for how to start affiliate marketing for free.

3. ShareSale – This allows you to generate income via clicks, leads and sales. It is one of the larger affiliate networks with advantages such as a large number of partners to choose from, the ability to make comparisons and its quick payment schedule.

As you can see, affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a relatively passive income. Follow the affiliate marketing guide above and get started supplementing your income immediately!

How To Grow Your Websites Income With Affiliate Marketing
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/how-to-grow-your-websites-income-with-affiliate-marketing/feed/ 0
How Online Booking Gives Your Clients Instant Gratification https://business.yocale.com/how-online-booking-gives-your-clients-instant-gratification/ https://business.yocale.com/how-online-booking-gives-your-clients-instant-gratification/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:14:04 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=34175 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

It’s been noted that millennials are now one of the largest demographics for business. With that, comes the need to understand what makes this group tick. Once you know what it is that makes them take action, you hold the keys to a very important sphere of influence. And the answer to this question is gratification. […]

How Online Booking Gives Your Clients Instant Gratification
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

It’s been noted that millennials are now one of the largest demographics for business.

With that, comes the need to understand what makes this group tick. Once you know what it is that makes them take action, you hold the keys to a very important sphere of influence.

And the answer to this question is gratification. Millennials want to feel powerful. They want to feel that what they’re doing is the right thing and that they matter.

So what does this have to do with online booking? Everything!

You see, once you take these principles of what makes this demographic perform, you can attribute a lot of these desires to your very own clients wants and needs. And in today’s post, we are going to shed some more light on what it is exactly that will give your visitors the best chance of booking with you and bring even more revenue to your business.

1. It’s Their Choice

Consumers love choice.

With online appointment scheduling, you are doing just that. You are giving your clients who want to book you online the ability to pick the best day and time that works for them.

This comes with the fact that you are avoiding giving them the runaround and back and forth that comes from older paper appointment systems that forced people to call in and speak to the receptionist.

They can choose from any and all open dates in your calendar and pick the one that works for them on their time.

This gratification provides your clientele the satisfaction of booking an appointment that works for them.

2. Get Confirmation Right Away

Getting instant gratification for something means getting positive feedback for that action right away. This is why offering online booking is so effective at fulfilling the needs of your busy clients.

They do not have to wait around for a callback.

They get instant confirmation that they are booked for an appointment, and then they are done to move onto other portions of their day, not having to be tied up to the computer.

And that is where the power and beauty of online booking comes in. It’s in its power to make the entire booking process seamless and easy to use.

Online booking calendar

3. It’s Not A Premium; It’s A Must

Businesses can no longer afford to miss out on the demands of their clients. And these customers are demanding online accessibility more than ever before.

It’s not just a premium service offered by larger businesses anymore; it’s a must for even smaller companies as it boils down to the human emotion of instant gratification.

When you can give your clients what they want, then you satisfy them better than your competition.

Technology online has changed so much in the last number of years. People hate waiting, so even if your website takes more than a few seconds to load, then people will simply leave.

The same goes for online booking and scheduling software. Once you realize and see the impacts of what not having it is doing to your bottom line, then it becomes much more apparent to why it’s become a must.

Conclusion

As you can see, the biggest thing you can offer your clients is satisfaction and gratitude.

Just like with millennials, you have to be able to give value to your clients and make it as easy as possible for them to book you.

Online booking software has jumped by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and is now one of those pieces of your arsenal that you can no longer afford to do business without.

How Online Booking Gives Your Clients Instant Gratification
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/how-online-booking-gives-your-clients-instant-gratification/feed/ 0
The Guide To Massively Grow Your Email List https://business.yocale.com/the-guide-to-massively-grow-your-email-list/ https://business.yocale.com/the-guide-to-massively-grow-your-email-list/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 23:27:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33990 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

You’ve got mail! Sometimes old-school marketing methods just can’t be beat, even as newer, more technologically advanced methods sweep through. Mailing lists, which have since evolved into email marketing, continue to be among the leading marketing strategies that exist today, outperforming newer strategies such as social media more often than not. Now, what is an […]

The Guide To Massively Grow Your Email List
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

You’ve got mail!

Sometimes old-school marketing methods just can’t be beat, even as newer, more technologically advanced methods sweep through.

Mailing lists, which have since evolved into email marketing, continue to be among the leading marketing strategies that exist today, outperforming newer strategies such as social media more often than not.

Now, what is an e-mail list? It is relatively self-explanatory, but an e-mail list is a list of readers who have agreed to regularly receive a newsletter about a company, their new products, discounts, etc.

E-mail provides more traffic to your latest content (within minutes!) than social media and display advertising combined. It also offers the best response rates and high levels of engagement due to its prolonged visibility over social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

For example, with an audience of 5,000 people on Facebook, 75% of people will not see your post at all. Less than 10 percent of your Twitter followers will actually read your tweet.

While a Facebook post survives in public view for only four and a half hours on average, an e-mail survives for 12 days before its open rates begin to dwindle.

All of this means that e-mail marketing is the superhighway to conversions, loyal customers and business growth.

As if you needed more evidence of its superiority, email marketing also has one of the highest ROIs. Indeed, e-mail marketing is one of the least expensive forms of marketing out there while also being easy to implement.

In fact, many of the items on this list will show you how to build an email list for free.

If you have yet to grow your email list or you have neglected it (your e-mail database dwindles by 22.5% every year, which is why it is necessary to stay on top of it), your marketing efforts will receive a supercharge with these list building strategies on how to grow your email subscriber list.

How to Create an Engaging Newsletter

When it comes to e-mail marketing, it is important to do more than simply provide updates about your company or news of holiday sales in order to keep engagement levels high. Your newsletters should be diverse.

Here are some examples of that – e-mails that your audience will look forward to getting without having to invest too much time.

Exclusive Content

Sharing exclusive content with your e-mail list – content that you haven’t published in any other capacity – creates a sense of intimacy between you and the reader. You can also use this “exclusive offer” as a great value proposition in your call to action on your website or blog.

Here are some more ideas on how to engage your readers with some more exclusive content ideas.

Share Your Latest Content & Special Access

The reason why people have subscribed to your e-mail list is because they want to hear updates about you and your business. Therefore, use this as a means to ensure that they haven’t missed any of your content.

If you have a blog, videos or you have published content elsewhere, update them in your e-mail. You can either send out single updates or write one email that contains all recent content that they may have missed.

You can also use email as a means to offer special early access to your content, like your blog posts or videos by allowing them to view it an hour or two before it’s officially published.

Share Updates About Your Products and Services

It is important to keep your customers updated about any changes you have made to your products or services. For example, you could tell them about things you have improved, etc. This is a great way to keep them engaged with your business.

Keep in mind that if you are in the midst of developing a product or service, your email is a great channel to tell them about your potential idea and receive your readers’ feedback as a means to not only create interest but to test the waters.

This is truly a great way to get your audience invested in your product or service. Framing it as “we want to create a product/offer a service that you want” is effective in getting the kind of results you want.

You can also take this a step further by actually selling the product to them if you see the product through. Your audience has expressed an interest in it already, so it makes sense to use your subscriber list as a means to sell.

Get Their Input!

Not only can you use your e-mail as a means to get potential product or service ideas, you can also use it as a means to get future content ideas as well, whether that means content for your blog, YouTube channel or podcast. Your audience will appreciate the involvement. What do they want to see in your next newsletter? Start a conversion.

An obvious secondary benefit is that your audience will surely tune in if it’s content that they want.

Promotions, Special Offers, Giveaways & Events

Your readers will want to hear about any promotions you have or any other marketing campaigns. Drive even more sales by offering special offers and coupons around holidays, for example.

You can also partner with another company and do a joint-promotion to get access to a new clientele base.

You can send out personalized emails to people telling them about specific products related to the ones they purchased in the past. For example, if one product would compliment another product they bought previously, tell them so. Giveaways are particularly popular.

If you have any upcoming events, this is a great time to meet your customers in person and to gain valuable insight from them and build your connection.

How To Grow Your Email Subscriber List

If you are serious about growing your email subscriber list, use a variety of the methods listed below in order to make your results as effective as possible.

Marketing giveaway

1. Offer Them Something If They Sign Up

Give your audience a reason to give you their contact information by offering something valuable in return. In fact, for those who have yet to grow an email list, this tip is the number one thing to do when it comes to how to build an email list from scratch.

Many of these methods can also be used by those looking for how to grow an email list for free.

Some examples include:

  • An E-mail Course
  • Video Access
  • PDFs & Spreadsheets
  • Coupon Codes
  • Giveaways

Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com grew his e-mail list by 200,000 people with as little as a  $60 giveaway. Ensure that as many people see the giveaway as possible, either via your current email list or by your social media platforms.

Secondly, ensure that you’re offering something that your audience wants. Another tip is to use your most popular posts as sources of content inspiration.

Additionally, if you can combine a lead magnet with a pop-up sign up form and put it directly on your homepage, you will see results.

While it is smarter to include a pop-up after the user has had a chance to read your content, the exception to this is if you can provide a powerful lead magnet in your call to action right on the first page of your website.

For example, Noah Kagan of OKDork includes details about how he started 2 multi-million dollar businesses and grew a 700,000+ e-mail list. In doing so, his email list grew by 14%.

Kagan also doubled his conversions by using this WordPress plugin.

Remind your readers that they can unsubscribe any time they want.

2. Add More Signup Forms (Don’t Forget the Pop-Up Signup Form)

This one may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked, especially when it comes to social media icons. Add more sign-up forms in order to grow your email list.

Here are a few places you can add them: the end of each blog post, page footers, sidebars, your ‘about’ page, your ‘contact us’ page, and your feature box.

Take it one step further by installing a pop-up signup form, which has been proven to increase your subscriber list. SocialMedia.com, for example, grew their email list by 375% in a period of two years with the pop-up signup button.

You can do this with SumoMe, which gives you several different pop-up options, one of the many great list building services.

3. Place Signup Buttons Strategically

Not only is it important to add more signup buttons, but the placement of them is also very important.

It is a smarter idea to have the pop-up make an appearance just as the person is getting ready to leave your site as opposed to the beginning when they have yet to read your actual content to determine its value.

Exit Monitor will track your users’ movement with the mouse, adding a pop-up signup form just as they are about to leave.

Since pop-ups can be controversial (and yet effective), ensure that they only appear on your site once per visit.

4. Back It Up With Social Proof

Back up your call to action with social proof. For example, if 20,000 people have already signed up for your e-mail list, say so.

Alternatively, if your email list is still on the smaller side, you can do a long-form version of the form with a list of all of the reasons why they should subscribe to your email list. For example, what specific things will your newsletter list – tips, free templates, checklists?

Take this up a level by including small snippets of testimonials throughout. When KissMetric tested this, their signups increased by 321%.

5. Host A Contest

Hosting a contest is engaging and also a great way to see your email list grow in the process. Whether you do a trivia contest or a contest submission, the most important part is getting people to signup with their email address.

Just as your call to action needs to offer something of value alongside it, so too does your content. In other words, you need to provide some sort of incentive in order for your audience to want to sign up. Here, you have a couple of different options. Generally, this is best done with a prize.

You will be even more effective if you offer multiple prizes (for example, a prize for the first place winner, second place, etc.).

The key to choosing a prize that will motivate your audience to sign up is to consider what kind of prize would be relevant to your particular audience. Also, ensure that you promote the contest so that a lot of eyeballs are on it.

6. Use Social Media

There are also opportunities to grow your email list outside of your actual website. Twitter is one such place. For example, if someone has shared your content, follow up with them by suggesting that they sign up to your e-mail list.

The personal touch is what makes this method particularly effective.

You can also add a call to action button at the top of your Facebook Business Page. Then direct them to your landing page and require that they type in their e-mail address.

If you have a YouTube channel, you can also add call-to-actions there, too, ensuring that you include all applicable links in the description part of your video.

There are a number of other ways to grow your email list via social media as well.

Socialmedia Marketing

7. Provide Consistent, Quality Content

If you have shown your readers that you deliver quality content via blogs (or YouTube videos), you will create not only trust between yourself and your audience but also more incentive for them to subscribe to your e-mail list. Sending out newsletters once per week is an ideal rate to aim for.

8. Capitalize On Your Events

Not only are your company events a great way to build relationships, but they are also an effective way to add people to your e-mail list.

9. Include Sharing Buttons & E-mail To A Friend Buttons

Once someone signs up for your email list, increase your prospects by getting them to refer your email list to a friend. Include social sharing buttons and “email to a friend” buttons to make it easy for them. They are more likely to sign up when someone they trust has recommended it.

Ensure that you include a “Subscribe” CTA at the end of these e-mails so that new contacts who receive your forwarded email can sign up easily, too.

Another effective way to build your email subscriber list is by adding a call to action in your email signature. While this is a more subtle option on this list, it still deliver results.

5. Create Targeted Content

You can increase the chances that more readers will subscribe to your e-mail list by creating content that is tailored to your target audience. An added benefit is that this will also increase the click-through rates of your emails as well.

Tips & Tricks

Provide Valuable Information In Your Newsletter

The most important takeaway when it comes to how to increase your email list is that valuable, high-quality content is key, whether in the form of blog posts, videos or even podcasts.

In doing so, you will build a foundation of trust and build your brand in the process, making it more likely that your audience will actually seek out more of your content.

Here is how to start a podcast that rocks.

As always, keep your audience in mind when thinking about the specific content to include in your newsletter – what information would they find useful?

At the same time, include three or four stories across relevant topics, but also a wide variety of industry topics so that your newsletter appeals to as many people as possible.

For example, if you own a salon, you might write about topics like the best products for curly hair, how to find the right haircut for your face shape, hair care tips for men and women, etc.

Monitor Your Metrics And Test Things Out

As with any marketing strategy, it is very important to actually test how it’s working. Here are some things to keep your eyes on: open rates, click-to open rates, shares/forwards, complaints of spam, and unsubscribe rates.

Just as important as monitoring your metrics is trying different things out, whether that involves different subject lines, article ideas, etc.

Never Purchase An E-mail List

There are many reasons why this is a bad idea, but one is the fact that people you receive from this list don’t actually know who you are and more likely than not to mark you as spam. Eventually, you will almost certainly get blacklisted.

For more reasons on why you should avoid purchasing an e-mail list, check out KissMetrics post on the topic here.

As you can see, email list building is extremely important to the success of your business. If you want to be seen and heard, begin implementing some of these list building strategies today.

Subscribe to our newsletter at Yocale here.

 

The Guide To Massively Grow Your Email List
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/the-guide-to-massively-grow-your-email-list/feed/ 0
The Supreme Guide To Inbound Lead Generation https://business.yocale.com/the-supreme-guide-to-inbound-lead-generation/ https://business.yocale.com/the-supreme-guide-to-inbound-lead-generation/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 23:15:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33954 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

You don’t want to be that random, pushy telemarketer that always calls at the exact wrong moment. Just picked up your fork? Check. Running out the door? Check. Pass the phone – it’s the telemarketer. Again. Telemarketing, advertising and other types of marketing that use “push” tactics (these are all examples of outbound marketing) are the types of lead […]

The Supreme Guide To Inbound Lead Generation
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

You don’t want to be that random, pushy telemarketer that always calls at the exact wrong moment. Just picked up your fork? Check. Running out the door? Check. Pass the phone – it’s the telemarketer. Again.

Telemarketing, advertising and other types of marketing that use “push” tactics (these are all examples of outbound marketing) are the types of lead generation techniques that are no longer effective in the information-dense world in which we live in today. 

Companies are seeing much better results generating leads through offering something to attract those leads organically, instead of attempting to awkwardly force their services on members of their target audience.

Now, what is lead generation?

The meaning of lead generation is this. It is the process by which companies set out to capture the interest of potential customers with the intent of getting them to buy a product or service. 

The goal in lead generation is, obviously, just as you might have guessed, is generating a lead.

A lead is when a person has expressed interest in a business and, in doing so, provided that business with contact information so the business can contact them in sales attempts in the future. 

The potential customers in this case will have provided their contact information in exchange for something of value, such as a coupon. That is the lead generation process, in brief.

In other words, a lead is generated through the collection of information that is received, typically, in exchange for something the potential lead values in at least some small manner. 

Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind the fact that a lead can look different for each and every different kind of business. 

There are two types of lead generation methods: outbound marketing (ineffective, as emphasized above) and inbound marketing (much more effective). 

On the surface, you can see how outbound marketing is much less effective because it targets random people (often in an aggressive or annoying manner), hoping they will be interested in their products or services. 

Inbound lead generation strategies, on the other hand, bring about targeted consumers who arrive because they are interested in the products or services a company is offering. 

This happens when you type in “best shows to watch” in your search engine and are directed to Netflix.

Significantly, such customers obviously come on their own terms. For the customer, this is obviously much more preferable. 

This covers the basics, but inbound marketing is, as with many things, more complex that it sounds and leads to a very smart marketing strategy. 

This method is also able to to offer specific data, from how potential customers are reaching out, to how much each marketing strategy is earning, all of which is data that outbound marketing simply can’t offer.

If you want to generate leads, sales and ultimately grow your business, it is time to say goodbye to outbound lead generation and invest in inbound lead generation. Or at least do both.

Not only should you do this, but it is really a necessity if you wish to compete against others in your industry who are almost certainly employing inbound marketing. 

If businesses fail to adapt to the modern digital landscape, they not only risk losing out to their competitors who realize its necessity, but they also threaten their entire business by making it seem less credible. 

Outbound lead generation will likely create the impression that your company or product is not reputable and will hurt your overall image and brand, which is not something that many companies can come back from. 

Moving on to the data of it all, HubSpot reports that more than half of marketers say that inbound marketing is the leading way to get into contact with customers. 

It is also three times more likely to generate a higher return on investment over outbound lead generation techniques. So, what is the driving force behind online lead generation? What started this switch to digital lead generation strategies like this one?

First of all, consider that many companies are proficient at generating leads, but most new leads aren’t ready to buy yet. Inbound marketing is smart because it gets those leads a few steps closer to opening their wallets.

Inbound lead generation aims to create a relationship by allowing the consumer to interact with the company (via their content, via social media, etc.) before the word “sale” is ever even mentioned, creating trust and interest in advance of asking for anything in return. 

This “lead nurturing” is put in place so that when consumers are ready to make a purchase, they are already familiar with the business and likely to be reminded of it. 

Shifting Buyer Trends

It is the broader societal changes taking place that explain why outbound lead generation strategies are losing out to more strategic forms of lead generation. The audience is simply used to being more autonomous and often reacts negatively to situations that take its autonomy away.

Ultimately, it all has to do with the sheer volume of information we can access from our fingertips. This has paved the way for “self-directed buyers” who want to explore on their own, without pushy prompting.

Inbound marketing does a better job of taking advantage of potential customer’s interests. 

Previously, people did not have the amount of knowledge about the products or services they were buying and would rely on salespeople to inform them, which conditioned them to be more accepting of pushy outbound marketing. 

Today, we conduct our own research about products and services before buying them. 

In fact, it has been said that many consumers are at the very end of the product journey before they even make contact with a company – they know what they want and are basically arriving to finalize the purchase.

The second point is that in such an information-rich world, we have a lot of products and services competing for our attention. Herbert Simon’s attention economics would tell us that as information becomes richer, attention becomes scarce. This, too, influences the buying process. 

This means that buyers are increasingly tuning out traditional lead generation techniques like outbound marketing. In an age of information, most of it becomes white noise.

This, then, begs the question: what did marketers do about this? They adapted. Just as all savvy businesses should. They let consumers come to them (and, of course, help them do so).

This contact is facilitated by the web. From producing content to using social media platforms, there are a number of different ways in which consumers find businesses.

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound Lead Generation Process 

To pull this all together, this is what the inbound lead generation process looks like when it comes to inbound marketing. You can conceptualize it in this lead generation process flow chart

A visitor visits one of your marketing channels, such as your website or your social media platform. This website contains a “call to action” (such as a button or text) that offers some kind of value to the person. It may be an free e-book, a lesson, etc. 

If the person clicks on the call to action button, they are directed to a form to fill out information (such as their name and e-mail address) on what is called a landing page. As you can see, in exchange for this free piece of content, the consumer provides his or her contact information. 

With this, a lead is generated, and not only that, but the lead is already clearly interested in an area the business deals with.

Of course, not everyone will be willing to fill out a form. The offer has to contain enough value to tempt them to do so. Some forms will also collect more information than others, which will impact the likelihood of it being completed. As you will see, there is an art to this process.

Inbound Lead Generation Methods

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is the foundation of inbound marketing. It is the process of providing valuable content, making it more likely that people will opt in for free tutorials and eventually, conduct business down the line.

Content typically appears in the form of blog posts, but it could also be video content, podcasts, tutorials and more. The important factor here is not the type of content created, but that the content created is of a high-quality – in other words, content that is valuable. Here is a guide.

However, in order for people to even find your website to begin with, your page must be optimized so that when people type their search queries into search engines like Google, your pages are among the top in the search results. 

Here are just a few of the ways that content marketing generates leads:

  • It attracts the target audience to its website with high-quality content.
  • High-quality content keeps consumers engaged long enough that they will provide their contact information. They are also more likely to share the content to increase exposure even more.
  • It fosters the nurturing of those leads to facilitate eventual buying.
  • It creates trust, brand awareness and loyal customers. 

Content Marketing Tips For Lead Generation:

1. Identify your target audience to develop high-quality content for them. 

2. Be consistent with posting – this develops trust and repeat visits.

3. Create great content. What is great data? For starters, it provides value and is supported by data. This is a very information rich topic that deserves more exploring. 

Here is an additional source for how to create quality content that generates leads, which delves further into the topic that we will do here. 

2. Website [CTAs]

Your website is where the actual process of generating leads takes place (more on landing pages to come). According to BrightTalk, 83% of B2B marketers found their website effective in terms of lead generation.

SEO is an expansive topic, but the basics come down to on-site optimization with title tags, target speed site and keywords, but also off-page optimization via link building. Here are some additional tips.

Website Tips For Lead Generation

1. Ensure that your website is user-friendly. Pages should have a lot of headings, lists and they should be easy to read. Likewise, your website itself should be easy to navigate.

2. Including a phone number on your website can increase credibility – this is actually a technique that a lot of the best lead generation websites use. Similarly, photos, testimonials and videos all have the same effect. 

3. Calls to action (also called CTAs) are very important. In fact, every page of your website should ideally include a call to action. The thing about them, though, is that they have to be done in such a way that people will want to click on your offer for a free e-book, etc. 

There are articles dedicated to this topic alone. HubSpot.com has a list of blog posts dedicated to this topic and is therefore, a great source for those looking to optimize their CTAs. Here are some additional tips:

  • They should be visually compelling and in a colour that is opposite of the actual site while still staying true to your brand. They should be a couple of words (ideally, no more than five), action-oriented (an example is “Download”), be centrally located and be easy to understand.
  • Personalized call to actions, however, can detect where people are in the buying process, converting 42% more people than basic ones.
  • The content that you offer in exchange for your visitors’ contact information needs to have value. Keep in mind that every visitor is at a different stage of the buyer’s journey.

In other words, not all offers you make will appeal to each person. Be sure to offer different things to accommodate the varying stages of a potential buyer’s journey.

4. Another important aspects of your website in generating leads are landing pages and landing generation forms. They are so significant that they warrant their own designated section, even though they are technically part of your website.

Lead generation

3. Landing Pages & Lead Generation Forms

In order to generate leads, you need to obtain information from those consumers via lead generation forms. A basic generation form will ask for the person’s e-mail in exchange for an e-mail newsletter, etc.

Just like there is strategy involved in getting people to click on your call to action button, there is strategy involved in the lead generation forms (the part where people fill out their information in order to complete the transaction).

You will find a more detailed look at the anatomy of an ideal lead generation form here

Lead Generation Form Tips For Lead Generation

1. Marketo found that the forms that generated the highest conversions were shorter in length.

2. Some of the best lead generation websites include forms on all pages. (The same study found that the most successful forms had five fields or less).

Now, what is a landing page? A landing page is where people will fill out their contact information. It is used to capture the person’s data that they filled out in the lead generation form, such as their name, e-mail address, phone number, etc. A landing page is not your home page, which is a common mistake that people tend to make. 

HubSpot found that businesses that included more landing pages had greater conversion rates than those that didn’t.

As you can see, landing pages are one of the final pieces of the puzzle: they provide you with the information you need in order to convert your leads down the line.

Landing Page Tips For Lead Generation

Just like lead generation forms, landing pages should be optimized in such a way that they are crafted to be as effective as possible. Ideally, they should do the following:

1. Capture immediate attention but not in a way that distracts a potential consumer. Keep in mind that landing pages are designed to convert and you want to keep the design of your site simple in order to not distract them away from this purpose.

Resources

There are a lot of free lead generation tools and lots of lead generation software to help you with your efforts in generating leads, so there are plenty of options for you to explore. 

The important thing is to get there, one way or another, because the most successful marketing teams are putting these systems into place. 

This link provides free, customizable templates that you can use to create clickable call to action buttons for use on landing pages.

This is a free lead generation software tool to capture, track and convert leads. 

This is one of many form scraping tools, used to gather all of your contacts into one database.

4. Social Media

Social media is not only capable driving traffic and creating exposure to your content, it is also important in terms of relationship-building with consumers as well. 

How To Use Social Media To Generate Leads

1. Share links on social media pages as a means to drive people to landing pages, making sure to tell them you are doing so. 

Pro Tip: Perform a lead generation analysis of your blog to determine which posts are generating the most leads and and then link to those. Here is how to do that.

2. You can also create additional leads via social media by holding a contest. 

There are many inbound lead generation strategies, but these are some of the primary ones to give you a sense of what is possible. 

The important thing is that you are generating leads and utilizing a method to do so (inbound rather than outbound) that is sustainable in the long term for building your brand and increasing your profit.

 

The Supreme Guide To Inbound Lead Generation
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/the-supreme-guide-to-inbound-lead-generation/feed/ 0
Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You To Succeed https://business.yocale.com/motivational-quotes-that-will-inspire-you-to-succeed/ https://business.yocale.com/motivational-quotes-that-will-inspire-you-to-succeed/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 01:00:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33959 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

We live in a distinct point in history where efficiency and productivity are constantly at the forefronts of our minds – in a rapidly changing world, we need to use our time wisely if we hope to stay competitive.  These quotes on success and hard work will help motivate you to push forward productively to […]

Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You To Succeed
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

We live in a distinct point in history where efficiency and productivity are constantly at the forefronts of our minds – in a rapidly changing world, we need to use our time wisely if we hope to stay competitive. 

These quotes on success and hard work will help motivate you to push forward productively to success.

Indeed, we are met with “10 Things All Efficient People Do” or “10 Ways to Be the Most Productive Person You Know’ types of articles on a daily basis. And there’s a reason for this: most of us want to be more productive.

We are always pushing ourselves to do more in every facet of our lives: more at work and even more in our personal lives. To do better, to be faster, to accomplish more.

For proof of this, think for a moment. Just how many productivity apps do you have on your smartphone? 

At the end of a long day, it can be difficult to even muster up enough energy to actually make dinner at home instead of taking the easy route and reaching for the takeaway menu for the third or fourth time that week.

On top of all of this, we all have goals that we’d like to accomplish beyond the responsibilities we have to our careers and in our personal lives. Perhaps we want to write a novel or learn a new language.  

But it’s often difficult to get up the energy and enthusiasm to push ourselves further, which always results in the same conclusion. We will do it tomorrow.

We are not robots (not yet, anyway!), which means that operating at peak efficiency can be difficult to sustain each and every day. This is especially true in our sleep-deprived modern world. And yet, we all want to make the most of our time.  

Motivation, of course, is what pushes us to do more. Unfortunately, there isn’t an app for that.

We know all too well that motivation is fleeting. Just as we find ourselves motivated to do something, it slips just out of our grasp. Just like time in the day, we never quite have enough of it. 

And yet, it is exactly this motivation that is the most significant predictor of success. We all want to be successful, so how can we maintain a consistent level of output in order to accomplish our goals? These famous quotes about success and achievement will help to put it in perspective.

Here are also some of the secrets that self-motivated entrepreneurs know

The Science of Motivation

There is a lot of science on the topic of motivation. How do we sustain it? What factors predict demotivation? 

In general, psychologists have identified three factors that prevent us from being motivated. Interestingly, they are all related to our patterns of thinking. 

These patterns of thinking are significant because every time we are unmotivated to do something, if we know what we are doing, it becomes possible to identify our thinking patterns and alter them in such a way that we feel motivated again.

The first factor that quickly makes us lose all motivation is the feeling that we “have” to do something. While there are some things we have to do (go to work, for example), this thinking quickly becomes catastrophic in the pursuit of our personal goals. 

We already had to go to work. But now that we are free, the moment that we begin to think that we have to start writing our book is the moment we decide to watch television instead.

The solution? Change your thinking so that you want to do something because of the benefits it will bring you via your hard work. The hard work pays off quotes may be some of the best to read.

Another factor that makes us lose motivation is when the activity doesn’t align with our own values. For example, perhaps your boss has called you in to work on the weekend, but this directly conflicts with the value you place on quality time with your family on the weekends.

If you find yourself in this situation, find a way to make the task align with your values. For example, if you log extra hours on the weekend, make it a point to find some quality personal time during the week.

The third demotivating factor is a sense of incompetence. Perhaps we feel that we are unable to complete a given task at all and because of our feeling of failure, we either don’t attempt it at all or we procrastinate.

Interestingly enough, although we may have motivation to get something done, we have to have willpower in order to actually take action. Willpower, however, is very finite.

Even though motivation is necessary, it does not always translate directly to productivity. But, why?

It all comes down to decision fatigue. The more decisions we have to make every day, regardless of how small, from choosing what to wear to work to what we will have for dinner, the more quickly our willpower is depleted. 

That’s why Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wears the same two t-shirts to work. As you can see, if we want to sustain a high level of willpower, we need to eliminate as much extemporary decision-making as possible. Setting routines is key to this. 

The more we don’t have to think about what we are going to do next, and the more it becomes a habit, the easier it will be to get more things done. 

It is also important to accomplish high-priority tasks at the beginning of the day when we have an abundance of decision making willpower still in stock. 

Beyond eliminating decision fatigue, there are several lifestyle factors we can put into practice so that we have not only the mental stamina to allow us to complete our goals but also the physical stamina, as well. 

This means ensuring that we are eating healthy foods, avoiding junk and getting enough rest. But there is something to be said, too, about getting into the right mindset.

There are many articles discussing how to get motivated to accomplish everything you want in life, but many of them overlook the power of words, of reading motivational thoughts on success from the great leaders throughout history.

Sure, we can download another app to try to propel us to action, but sometimes reading the powerful words of the greats can be a very great source of motivation.

With that said, these motivational quotes for success will almost certainly help you feel inspired to accomplish your goals. 

Indeed, these are truly quotes to inspire.

“The ones who are crazy to think enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do” — Unknown

Most of us have heard this quote before, but it bears repeating. That we have the power to change our destiny – that the choice is ours – is a comforting thought. 

For many of us, some goals seem out of reach. We often question whether or not we are capable of actually seeing them through. Indeed, it is all too easy to get into our heads and to allow negative thinking patterns to change our desired course of action. Believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish your goals, and you probably will.

“Action is the foundational key to all success” — Pablo Picasso 

The problem is often not that we are lacking ambition or that we don’t have great ideas. It is often a matter of execution. Thinking about all of the work involved in accomplishing a given task can quickly demotivate us, and as we know, the science supports this.

When a task seems too overwhelming, this is a great reminder that taking action will put us on the right path. Just put yourself into action and things will eventually get done.

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop” — Confucius

Similar to Picasso’s quote, the first step is indeed always the most difficult. We anticipate all of the challenges involved and any motivation is gone before we even begin. This is a quote that can be applied to any aspect of life. It is a reminder that taking the first step, and continuing forward, is key.

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” — Thomas Jefferson

This is a very motivational quote because it is a reminder that if we work hard, we will be rewarded. Indeed, it is not luck that Jefferson was reaping but rather the culmination of all of his hard work. Keep working and you are much more likely to see good results.

Here is a great source on how to stay focused at work

“I do not have superior intelligence or faultless looks. I do not captivate a room or run a mile under six minutes. I only succeeded because I was working after everyone else went to sleep.” — Greg Evans

This quote from comic book writer Greg Evans is a reminder that whenever we are feeling like turning into bed, logging a few extra hours instead may actually mean the difference between accomplishing our goals and not.

It is easy to slip into a night in front of the television, which is why these motivational quotes about life are always some of the best.

Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. — Vince Lombardi

If we put hard work into everything we do, our efforts will be rewarded: we will achieve great things. 

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” — Robert Collier

This is a great source on how to motivate yourself to do hard work when you don’t feel like it.

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” — Muhammed Ali 

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.” – Mark Twain

It is easy to put things off. Perhaps we have a great business idea but don’t know if we have what it takes to put it into motion. This quote is a great reminder that our time here is short, that time is fleeting. 

That is precisely the source of motivation we need to tap into each and every day. In the words of Mark Twain, sail away from the safe harbour.

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” —Pablo Picasso

Motivational quotes

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” — Diane Ackerman

“Nothing in this world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.” — Unknown

This quote sets the fire underneath our sails to be more than mediocre, to not waste our talents but to make the most of them.

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee

This may be the greatest motivational quote on this list. And who would ever want to argue with Bruce Lee?

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

As the science shows, the anticipation of failure is something that quickly puts us off from doing a task. In some cases, however, we actually experience this failure very acutely. This is a reminder to continue on anyway.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney

This quote from the beloved Walt Disney still applies to us even though we are no longer children. Simple words, but still very wise.

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success” —Swami Vivekananda

Psychologists have identified several different factors that motivate humans. One of the best ways to get motivated to do something is to feel a sense of personal fulfillment in doing so. This quote serves as a reminder to always be living and breathing what it is we are passionate about. 

If we do, chances are we will be very successful. 

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” — Steve Jobs

All entrepreneurs can find a lot of inspiration in this quote to be as avant-garde and experimental in everything you do, to push the boundaries of what is simply average.

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I  took the one less traveled by, and that made all the difference.” — Robert Frost 

This is one of those famous motivational quotes that you will easily recognize. While it applies to all aspects of life, it is especially applicable to the life of the entrepreneur, where life is lived outside of typically defined boundaries. If you have a vision, it is valuable to be bold.

“The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears, and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.” — George Orwell 

A reminder for those in leadership roles to push others to their limits. 

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” — Rosalynn Carter 

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” — Nolan Bushnell

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” — Peter F. Drucker

While the motivation to accomplish our goals may be difficult to see through the completion of those goals, if we can, alter our thinking, do hard work and seek inspiration from the greats by reading motivational quotes for success, we will arm ourselves with the power to accomplish things.

Of course, you might want to download Any.do and get some free time back for your business with Yocale’s scheduler app while you’re at it. You can’t survive on quotes alone.

Nonetheless, quotes to inspire can help power you through your greatest goals in life, which is why we will leave you with this:

“Look well to this day. Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day.” — Francis Gray

Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You To Succeed
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/motivational-quotes-that-will-inspire-you-to-succeed/feed/ 0
The Ultimate SEO Guide To Ranking For Any Keyword https://business.yocale.com/the-ultimate-seo-guide-to-ranking-for-any-keyword/ https://business.yocale.com/the-ultimate-seo-guide-to-ranking-for-any-keyword/#respond Tue, 07 Mar 2017 00:12:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33903 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Although you may not know the ins and outs of SEO, you have likely at least heard the term before. Even your grandmother who stops by the Internet no more than once a year has heard of it.  Businesses understand the importance of SEO. In fact, it has been said (and said often!) that search […]

The Ultimate SEO Guide To Ranking For Any Keyword
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Although you may not know the ins and outs of SEO, you have likely at least heard the term before. Even your grandmother who stops by the Internet no more than once a year has heard of it. 

Businesses understand the importance of SEO. In fact, it has been said (and said often!) that search engine traffic can mean the difference between a business that grows and one that fails entirely.

Think of it this way. If you were given an opportunity to have your lemonade stand all over the front page of the newspaper, wouldn’t you take it? And not only that, but a front cover that is specifically designed for and distributed to those who love lemonade – not the kind of people who are ambivalent about it or find it too sour.

Savvy business people wouldn’t want their lemonade stand to remain at the back of the newspaper where no one would ever see it. They want it proudly on display. 

That’s exactly what SEO, short for search engine optimization, can do for you. It is the process of applying various techniques so that your web pages are at the top of search engine results when people search for things on the Internet; they will be directly on the top page and have the highest chance of generating traffic for you. 

Consider that search engines provide the most web traffic to your website when compared to all other means – more than even social media – and you begin to see why proper SEO is so important. To put it another way, without SEO, your website would simply be lost amongst the millions of other websites.

In our increasingly digital landscape, search engine optimization is only going to become more important. 

Why You Need SEO

Search engine traffic creates exposure, increases conversion rates and, ultimately, it grows your business. It also has the advantage of offering great ROI (return on investment) when compared to other online marketing strategies. 

Of course, SEO is not something you do once. Search engines continue to change their algorithms, which requires that you move alongside them. While you may be tempted to take the easy way out by buying links or trying to trick the algorithms, the effort is not worth it in the long run.

SEO is a big world and it can be overwhelming, but this guide will offer you a step-by-step guide on how to ensure that when someone types in any keyword, your website is at or near the top.

1. The Basics: On-Site SEO

When it comes to SEO, the first thing you need to do is make sure you optimize things on your own website, which is, of course, why it’s called on-site SEO. The majority of businesses won’t have the ability to optimize each factor, but the following list will offer a good starting point.

Keep in mind that your domain age is a significant ranking factor, but since you cannot change your domain age, it does not warrant a discussion. However, this is another reason why it is important to not take shortcuts, but instead to stick with your SEO over an extended period of time.

 

Title Tag

The title tag is the most important factor when it comes to on-page SEO. It is an HTML that provides information about the title of your post, so you can clearly see why this is plays a significant role in getting the right people to see your site.

Title tags should be 60 characters or less and be sure not to make them in all-caps because very few would search that way. Put your keywords close to the beginning of the title to indicate relevance, but ensure that you do not “keyword stuff.” Be unique as well. 

If your business is well-known, consider including your business name (although, this should always go at the end as it would probably not generate the traffic your keywords could) as this will make the results stand out.

The title tag goes between the <HEAD> </HEAD> portion, which you can find at the top of the HTML code.

For those using WordPress blogs, the process of adding title tags and meta descriptions (see below) is made a little easier. Download the free plugins in order to add title tags with ease offered on Yoast.

Site Speed

When it comes to optimizing your website, the speed of your website is also a very significant Google ranking factor. Ensure that your score is at least a 50. If you score less than this, that will actually become the first thing you are going to need to work on.

To test your site’s speed, Google PageSpeed Insights or WebPage Test will do the trick. Also check the page speed for key pages while you’re at it. You should aim for two seconds for a speedy computer and one second for a mobile device, as these are considered ideal results.

Meta Description

There is some conflicting information when it comes to meta descriptions, but regardless, they are there to provide a brief summation of what each page is about. 

In general, the meta description should include the page’s main keywords, as well as your business or brand name. It’s an easy step to take that has the potential to strengthen your SEO, so should not be overlooked.

Alt-Text For Images

Many people forget about optimizing their images. A good practice is to include your keyword on at least one image per page. 

Content 

The content of your page is also, not surprisingly, a very important ranking factor. There are entire articles dedicated to this topic since there are a lot of nuances to it, which can be delved into should you wish to read up on the subject further. 

In brief summation, though, search engines like content that meets some kind of specific need and content that is linkable (that’s key for high quality). 

Content is not only a way to establish a relationship with your customers, establish your credibility and establish your brand, but the more content you have, the more likely it becomes that search engines will include your pages.

Content doesn’t come in just one form, though; it could be in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc. The key across all mediums is quality. Why? People are much more likely to link to your content if they found it to be a valuable source of information. 

Here is a great source for quality generating content.

  • Outbound Links, Internal Links & Anchor Text

Outbound links, where you link to other relevant pages within your content, such as other blog posts, improve your rank. Keep in mind that they must be relevant to your actual topic. 

The inclusion of internal links, whereby you link to another page from your website, is also important, although it often doesn’t receive as much attention as it should. Internal links are akin to a navigational tool for search engines, providing them with a hierarchy. 

Be sure to include two or three internal links for every post.

Going back to outbound links: pay attention to anchor text.

  • Anchor Text

Yet another element that is important when it comes to ranking is anchor text. Anchor text is the part of the text that you can click on in a given link and it can have a positive or a negative effect in terms of ranking.

An example of anchor text would look like this: if I linked to the SEO trends in 2017, the anchor text would be “SEO trends in 2017.”

In the past, targeted keywords would actually be the links. Today, however, it is important to “diversify.” This means having a variety of anchor text in your content. 

Not only will you improve your ranking this way, but if you don’t do this, but some types of anchor text are penalized if over done – beware of exact match keywords.

There is a variety of different types of anchor text, but here is a list containing the majority of them ranked by level of  importance:

  • Brand Name (31%) – Brand name anchor text is when you create a link with the brand name becoming the anchor text.
  • Exact Match (18%) – You should still include exact match links, but it is imperative that you do so sparingly, otherwise Google could interpret is as you trying to outsmart its algorithms, which will earn you a penalty.
  • URL (18%) – This is a simple kind of link building, that links directly to the domain of a website. For example: Yocale.com
  • Other (17%) – This could include things like keyword branded anchor text, which involves combining anchor text with your target keywords. 
  • Phrase (16%) – Similar to above, the anchor text should have the keyword phrase in it. 

In summation, remember that if you over optimize your site with too many anchor texts (in combination with exact match anchor text), Google will penalize you for it. You certainly don’t want to waste time on attempts at SEO only to hurt your website in the process. 

Also, don’t use links that aren’t relevant to your content, as this will result in less specificity and a worse search engine ranking. For example, don’t link to a shoe company if you are talking about Internet marketing.

There are a variety of ways that you could receive penalties and you obviously want to avoid them all. 

If you typically experience a lot of organic traffic but have been noticing a sharp decline, this may be an indicator that you are being penalized. Use Google Sandbox and Penalty Checker Tool to check your website’s status.

Now, we are about to get serious, but before we get into the meat of optimizing your content (hint: keywords), here are some additional SEO factors that you can keep in mind. 

A minimal amount of bolded text, for example, can help search engines to identify important information pertaining to important search engine matters. 

Keywords

In addition to outbound links and internal links, you need to properly use keywords if you want to improve your ranking. There are articles upon articles dedicated to this topic alone. This is arguably one of the most important parts of the article (and certainly one of the meatiest).

There are primary keywords – you will target one (or two) for each page – and there are secondary keywords, also called LSI keywords, which can be used more liberally than the primaries. 

Keep in mind that the goal is not to add as many keywords as possible to your pages as it once was in the past, which is an indicator of the way SEO algorithms are constantly changing. 

You may recall the days when websites had long lists of even hundreds of keywords at the bottom of their pages, but, in fact, Google has now put an over-optimization penalty in place.  

For your ease of use, here are a couple important tips in regards to using keywords:

  • Diversify – Rather than searching for that one, be-all and end-all keyword, diversify your keyword usage. Find your central idea and create a list of keywords based upon that idea. You can and should be specific with your topic, but get creative and diversify the keywords themed upon that one topic.
  • But Still Be Specific – Your use of qualifying words should be specific, as this generates more traffic and better SEO. For example, if your content involves a deal, you could use the words: Discount, Cheap, Popular. 

This can be done in multiple areas, including specific locations, dates and so on.

Keyword research is absolutely necessary. Keyword research will lead you to exactly what people are searching for (search queries) that they enter into search engines.

Be sure to put in some research before choosing your keywords, as keyword research will lead you to find exactly what your target audience is most likely to be searching for so you can use the information as means to create additional content specifically targeted for what those people are looking for. 

There are easily weeks and weeks worth of reading available that is dedicated to the topic of keyword research alone and it is arguably the most important skill to master. 

If you are serious about competing strongly in your area of expertise, don’t just stick a couple in and hope for the best. Moz.com is a great resource for SEO and also has a lot of SEO tools, too.

Broadly speaking, there are a few mistakes that people make when using keywords, namely choosing keywords that aren’t specific enough, or using keywords that have too much competition (more on that to come).

Also using keywords that are too obscure and trying to rank on the basis of a single, targeted keyword are also not ideal.

With all of the things best avoided out of the way, here are the basics for targeting keywords. 

The first step is to use Google Keywords Planner. As we mentioned, a major problem is that there is a lot of competition for the most high-volume keywords, which is problematic for businesses just starting out. 

These high-volume keywords will be your primary keywords, which you will target a couple of times throughout, but this is not enough on its own to separate you from your competitors.

Here is a QuickSprout video tutorial that will walk you through how to use Google Keywords Planner.

Aside from the primary keywords, you will also target several secondary keywords, which is where you will begin to try to separate yourself from the herd. These will be lower volume keywords – that is, they aren’t targeted as much. 

Don’t ignore long-tail keywords as these can lead to an 80% increase in traffic, and improve your rankings.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are informational and commercial keywords. The number one mistake made when it comes to keywords is failing to use commercial keywords. 

Not only are commercial keywords the kind of keywords that generate sales, but they also improve your rank. Informational keywords generate traffic, but they are not as effective when it comes to sales.

It is also important to figure out what specific queries are driving people to your website. The benefit of this is that it allows you to write content specifically for them. You can use a tool called AHREFS for this.

Another aspect of keyword researching is figuring out what keywords your competitors are using, especially if they happen to be in a better position than you (quite literally). You can go ahead and use Google Keyword Planner again to suit your purposes in regards to this.

However, there is a secret about keyword research that can up your keyword game to the next level. Backlinko’s Brian Dean at Backlinko.com emphasizes the important in figuring out the niche topics in your industry. 

While you could start by using a keyword tool, this won’t tell you the keywords that are necessarily the closest to what you sell. 

The problem about keywords is that everyone is targeting the same ones, so it can be beneficial to find niche areas in your industry that can lead to more traffic on searches for those niche areas, eventually creating more traffic and leading people to your site for even the common topics. 

For a more detailed guide on keyword research, visit Dean’s keyword research guide, which will give you a guide on how to find “untapped” keywords that are just as good as high volume keywords.

2. Off-Page Optimization

The second part of increasing your ranking is off-page optimization, also called link building. Link building is all about getting others to link back to your site – that is, the goal is to generate “inbound links” or backlinks. 

This tells search engines that you are popular and that your content must be high quality, otherwise people wouldn’t be linking to you as much.

Like on-page optimization, there are many different elements to off-page optimization. In order to see the best results, it is always best to use a combination of the methods below. 

The thing about link building is that it takes a lot of work. That is why many people find themselves buying links and using other unsavory methods that exploit the algorithms in order to get them to rank higher. SEOs call these methods “black hat strategies.” 

Google eventually caught on to such practices and began penalizing people who used them. We will save you a lot of trouble (and money!) by telling you not to go down this route. 

Instead, you should focus on what SEOs call “white-hat strategies.” While these strategies take more effort and time, eventually you will see results. Like almost everything in life, the best results come from investing your time and energy into the right areas.

In addition to white-hat strategies, there are also organic links. Organic links occur when other sites link to your content naturally – without you having to ask. 

This is likely to occur because you have created great content that others want to be associated with. These links are called backlinks or inbound links.

Ultimately, the goal is to create content that people will want to post on their own website – infographics are particularly useful at this. In creating such valuable content, others will be more likely to link back to you in return. 

If you can get a site with a lot of authority to link to your site, it is particularly beneficial in terms of ranking. SEO involves ranking you based on the rankings of sites that link to you – in other words, you are often judged by the digital company you keep.

Guest Posting (Specifically, The Upside Down Guest Post)

Guest posting involves writing blog content for those in your industry. By doing so, you will typically earn a link back to your site, which is usually found in the author box at the bottom of the page. 

However, the location of the link is problematic now that Google has changed its algorithms, making guest posting less effective. While you’re at it, check out SearchEngine.com for a bunch of other helpful SEO tips, including about how to refresh your SEO. 

The Upside Down Guest Post, courtesy of Brian Dean of Backlinko, however, is a very effective spin on the original guest post and can take you from the bottom pages of a search to among the top. 

Instead of following the traditional method mentioned above, you should put your link in the middle of the page. The keyword here is just one

In order to avoid making this link appear like spam, Backlinko suggests simply putting a “Useful Resources” section in the middle of the blog post and then add your link there. 

Next, take this one step further by linking to the websites that have linked to you in the past (your backlinks). This is a simple modification, but it creates even more traction.

Of course, don’t waste your time posting about low-quality sites that won’t do you any good.

Now, we will be going a bit off the current topic to a discussion about backlinks, since it came up naturally. Here are a few important facts.

Backlinks/Inbound Links, Briefly

While generating inbound links, also called backlinks, to your site is hailed as as a significant Google ranking factor, if those links are coming from low quality websites, your ranking will suffer by extension (again, always keep good company). 

There are a number of things that can make a site less than ideal for this purpose, from websites that receive little traffic to websites that engage in black-hat strategies to websites that over-optimize their content, to name a few issues. 

To identify these bad links, use Monitor BacklinksWhat you do from there is the important part.

While you may be tempted to simply delete the page itself, if you discover you are linked somewhere that is resulting in penalization, Google will continue to penalize you anyway. In other words, you need to remove the actual link itself. 

In this case, you have two options: manual link removal, whereby you will need to go to the website and contact them to ask for them to remove the link (alternatively, you can also contact your webmaster if you hired someone to do link building for you).

Or, if the above methods fail, you also have the option of using Google’s disavow links tool. However, as Google itself points out, you will need to do more than this if low-quality links are actually affecting your site.

Outreach Link Building

This is the traditional method of link building, but it does require some effort. In short, you analyze your competitor’s backlinks to repeat exactly what they did to get those links. You can do this with a backlink analyzer such as Open Site Explorer

Technically, outreach should really begin even before you publish anything. You would do this by ensuring that your share buttons are easily visible in order to maximize content.

Returning to the traditional form of outreach, do not try to replicate the techniques of sites with a page authority below 20. 

Also keep in mind that even if a website is ranked higher than you, they could have used less than ideal methods, at least in some areas, so you should be careful about mimicking without thoroughly analyzing what you have mimicked. 

In this case, you certainly do not want to replicate their backlinks.

Now, if the link was “earned” (i.e. the website deemed that content relevant to share), you can contact the webmaster of the site and mention that you also have excellent content they can link to as well. 

If the link was “built” – that is, by doing a guest post, see if you can also write a guest post for them. As we mentioned, go for the upside down guest post.

An additional method is to search for broken links on competitor’s sites and offer a piece of content to replace it. It never hurts to create a market for yourself when you see one, however small it may appear!

Brian Dean’s 1-2 Punch by BackLinks is another powerful method of link building. As the name suggests, it is a two-step process:

  1. Expanded List Post

Instead of creating a regular list, such as “100 Ways To Improve SEO” with a brief point about each, an expanded post list goes into very specific details regarding each point. 

By including more information under each number, such as what sites to visit or more detail about how to perform the tasks, the value of the content increases to the average reader. 

The result is that more links are generated while still taking advantage of the high click through rates and social shares of a list-based post.

Of course, you have to promote your content so that people will see it (and ultimately recognize the value of it). One of the best ways to do this is with a “Content Roadshow,” the second part of this process.

  1.  Content Roadshow

This idea takes a cue from the ways that Hollywood would promote their films back in the day, where they would go on a road show. For our purposes, a content roadshow could come in several different forms:

  • Thank you Email – This means reaching out to the sites in your post to thank them. This makes them not only likely to check out your site (so make sure your content is strong!), but also to share your content and, in the best case scenario, to link to you in return.
  • Industry-Related Forums (this applies to all industries) – This gives you direct access to your target audience. In short, it involves editing your content to make it a bit shorter and then posting it in relevant forums.
  • Heads Up E-mail – This means providing a “heads up” that your content is out there to be consumed. 

On social media, content is always easily lost. Sending out your email to a list of 100 to 200 people who are working in the same market as you is very effective alternative. 

Interestingly, not a lot of people are on to it yet, so it could give you a leg up on the competition.

Social Link Building

This method is similar to the above. The only difference is that you use social media. The process goes something like this: you share relevant content and reproduce the content that was heavily shared. 

You then contact the people who originally shared the content to update them about the new piece.

Another approach is Brian Dean’s “Skyscraper Technique,” which resulted in him increasing his organic traffic by 457%. 

How it works is this: identify lower ranking keywords and then find a piece of content that garnered a lot of engagement. After those simple steps, you simply write it better for that particular keyword. 

The last step is to promote it on social media with the goal of authority sites eventually linking back to you.

Directory Submissions 

Another traditional link building method is to submit your website to relevant directories, avoiding ones that do not pertain to your particular industry or ones that post questionable links to organizations such as those for pharmaceutical companies and casinos.

While the old method involved submitting your content to a large number of directories, it is now clear that the best path is to choose quality directories that Google is still fond of. Here are some examples. 

The last stop is approaching. 

Remember that at the end of the day, an effective headline is what makes this come full circle (in addition to writing good content, of course). You can be at the top of the search results, but if no one wants to click on your link, then all of your hard work would lead to a futile end. 

Here is your go-to guide on how to write an effective headline.

The final step in your quest toward SEO is to analyze your efforts. Check your keyword rankings, which you can do either manually or with a ranking tool. 

If you’re not seeing the results you wanted, you may have chosen a keyword that is too competitive, but you will have to do more work. Then again, SEO never really ends. Like all aspects of our digital world, it is always changing.

With all of this together – on-page optimization with keywords and off-site optimization such as link building, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of SEO.

What are some of the best SEO tips that are working for you? Leave me a reply in the comment section below, I would love to hear about it.

The Ultimate SEO Guide To Ranking For Any Keyword
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/the-ultimate-seo-guide-to-ranking-for-any-keyword/feed/ 0
How To Create Effective Headlines That Excite https://business.yocale.com/create-effective-headlines/ https://business.yocale.com/create-effective-headlines/#respond Wed, 01 Mar 2017 23:37:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33952 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Are you making this disastrous mistake with your content? A mistake that drastically reduces engagement, click-through rates, social shares, conversions and ultimately the success of your content creation? It is a mistake that can prevent your target audience from even giving your blog post or video more than a passing glance. Surely you must be wondering […]

How To Create Effective Headlines That Excite
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

Are you making this disastrous mistake with your content? A mistake that drastically reduces engagement, click-through rates, social shares, conversions and ultimately the success of your content creation?

It is a mistake that can prevent your target audience from even giving your blog post or video more than a passing glance.

Surely you must be wondering by now what this critical mistake might be – well, in truth, it is quite simple: we draw your attention to the ever-important headline. It was Bill Gates who said content is king, but if content is king, the headline is queen – in other words, equally important.

Consider the following statistic. According to CopyBlogger, 80% of people will read your headline but only a meager 20% will actually continue to read your article.

That often happens when the headline was treated as a pawn – something thought of as easily discardable – instead of as a queen.

Put another way, studies suggest that your headline is responsible for whether or not viewers click your article, and 25% of those who read it don’t continue to the article, suggesting a severely wasted opportunity. Without drawing the reader into your article, the content counts for nothing.

Indeed, it is something easily overlooked even though a simple 8 to 12-word headline provides the opportunity to create the most impact and is often the difference between your piece being engaged with at all.

If you consider that the sole purpose of content is to have each line read one after the other, if your audience doesn’t get past your headline (and remember, statistically, 25% of those who read the headline won’t make it any further) – you may as well have not bothered creating that piece of content at all, no matter the great content itself might be.

There are many reasons for this, which we will go into below, but a lot of it has to do with the unique psychology of the human mind, such as our increasingly limited attention spans, our need to consume content that allows us to assert order over our lives and our fear of missing out.

People will not think twice about reading a blog post, watching a YouTube video or even opening an e-mail if their needs are not met via a headline. Can we blame ourselves?

Think about how many times you’ve sent Aunt Sally’s e-mail straight to the junk folder because she went with the dull, run-of-the-mill, mind-numbing “Hi” in her subject line. In short, it is a futile end for businesses to invest in content only to have it passed by entirely.

On the flip side, an effective headline can generate engagement, traffic, conversions and, ultimately, grow your business.

But how does one create a headline that gets noticed, you ask? First of all, there is a strategy involved in creating an effective headline and in some ways, it is a skill governed by particular headline writing rules.

However, you can easily master good headline writing with these hacks, some great headline examples and a few headline writing exercises.

For a little extra safety, you can even use a catchy headline generator.

By the time you reach the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and tools to be able to consistently write attention-grabbing headlines, especially with the help of all of our eye catching headline examples.

How To Create Effective Headlines

Attention Grabbing Headlines

The anatomy of an effective headline is relatively simple: it needs to capture attention, it needs to provide some sort of benefit to the audience and it needs to be simple. 

When creating an effective headline, there is certainly a necessary pickiness required. A single word change can drastically influence click-through rates. Small, simple changes can deliver much stronger conversion rates.

Broadly speaking, capturing attention is the essence of creating an effective headline.

There are many ways to capture attention, but people who know the headlines well typically use the “four U’s” – be useful, unique, ultra-specific and have urgency.  

While you won’t be able to implement all four of them in a single headline, aiming for a minimum of one or two will radically improve the effectiveness of your piece of content

1. Be Useful

We are drawn to articles that offer some kind of benefit to us because they tap into our desire to improve our lives and to assert order over our world.

If you take anything away from this article at all, it is this: make your headline useful. 

An effective headline is one that captures attention and the best way to do this is by offering something beneficial to your audience – make them feel like your article has information that they need

This could be in the form of tips, tricks, lessons, secrets, and so on. Not only will a useful headline get people to click, but it also leads to positive click-through rates, propelling your audience to continue consuming the rest of the content.

Great headline examples such as one to follow shortly, via SocialMediaExaminer.com, create effective headlines better than many others, simply because they know how to use the usefulness factor to their advantage. Their articles commonly generate at least 2000 shares. 

Their headlines are also simple, which is another important component that we will get to later on.

An example of a useful headline would be “6 Ways to Use Live Streaming Video for Business.”

This title is simple, specific, and implies a high level of usefulness to the target audience.

There are a couple of keys to creating a useful headline, however. The benefit you speak of in shouldn’t be vague – it should be as specific as possible. By this, we mean specific to your target audience. Ask yourself, what does your target audience need?

Many businesses make the mistake of trying to be witty with their headlines at the expense of being useful. Don’t make this mistake. Save the wit for your content.

2. Be Unique

Your headline will not command attention if it’s like all the others. However, aside from standing out, there is also another benefit to creating content with unique headlines. It shows readers that your business is not like the rest and in blazing your own trail, you establish credibility. 

Unique headlines also drum up a lot of shares on social media.

In creating a unique headline, be sure to show personality. Take some risks. This is where you can throw away any notion of headline writing rules – at least for a moment. 

Of course, you can always get the final approval (or disapproval) of a catchy headline generator, but we will discuss that later in this article. 

An example of a unique tagline is Copy Hacker’s “Where startups learn to convert life mofos.” It is bold, but it sets itself apart from the rest.

To determine how unique your headline is, simply type it into Google, ensuring that you enclose it with double quotation marks.

3. Ultra-Specific

Create specific headlines by writing specifically for your target audience. This specificity establishes you as an authority on any given subject matter, which builds credibility and trust by extension.

Trust and relationship building is one of the most important things a business can foster in order to achieve growth.

Providing valuable, specific content is certainly one way to build relationships. However, Yocale’s automated marketing features provide an additional level of contact with customers.

An example of an ultra-specific headline is Hubspot’s The Top B2B Content Marketing Trends To Watch This Year [Infographic].

It is a headline specifically tailored to B2B businesses. Going back to our point about usefulness, consider what benefit you can offer the B2B businesses (or whatever your target audience is) and put it specifically in your headline.

You want to provide enough information so that they are not left wondering what your actual blog post or video is about because they move onto another article with a headline that is more likely to lead them to what they are looking for.

Not only is it important to be specific regarding your target audience, but headlines that contain specific numeric claims in them also perform well. An example of this is Quick Sprout’s “Learn How TechCrunch Increased Their Traffic By 30% in 60 Days.”

Specific claims create credibility that many businesses miss out on with their vague promises.

4. Urgency

The last component of creating an attention-grabbing headline according to the four U’s principle is creating a sense of urgency. This means getting your audience to click, to read, to watch and to consume at this very moment.

You always want to avoid your audience bookmarking your content for later because it may soon be forgotten. If you take a look at your own bookmarks, you probably know this to be true. 

An example of a headline with urgency that converted well is KISSmetrics blog post, “Are You Losing Sales by Giving Customers Too Many Choices?”

The headline plays into the audience’s fear of losing sales and has a good chance of compelling the viewer to click through to avoid that possibility. Similarly, if you can offer something they won’t want to miss out on (words like “free”), you will be creating the same type of urgent effect.

It is important to note that the urgency factor cannot always be implemented in a headline, but it has proven itself to be a very effective tactic when used. 

5. Simple, Clear and Concise

If there is one element that always comes up in a discussion of effective headlines, it is that they are simple, clear (not vague) and they get to the point immediately. This applies to every single headline you write. 

It is imperative that your headline is as easy to understand as possible – don’t use difficult words. There’s a strong chance the viewer moved on before even finishing that title.

Make Emotional Appeals

Headline Writing Rules

Another recurring theme when it comes to creating an effective headline is making emotional appeals, similar to the way that classic advertising does. You could do this a few different ways.

An important way to get your audience to click on your articles is to use something called “power words” – words that elicit a strong emotional response. Examples  include “bravery,” and “happy,” but there are so many more examples.

Don’t be afraid of using more than one power word – some bloggers have successfully used as many as four in one single headline alone. 

When it comes to power words, be careful about not using these to manipulate or lead your audience on in any way. Don’t forget your 4 U’s – you still need to be ultra-specific and useful. 

That brings us to a discussion of YouTube’s infamous “clickbait” titles, which although they may generate clicks in the short-term, can create a negative relationship with the audience and ultimately make you lose credibility. You don’t want to sacrifice your future for a temporary boost.

Another way of making an emotional appeal is to appeal to the viewer’s vanity or other aspects of themselves.

You could also incorporate the word “you” into your headline to speak directly to them. This strategy is called the “flagging technique” and it was originally introduced by Dan Kennedy. It is a powerful way of creating high engagement and a lot of shares on social media.

Also, be sure to use interesting adjectives – these typically aren’t considered power words, but they are magnetic and can draw attention. The words fun, free, and strange are all considered interesting adjectives.

Always search for that emotional response from your audience, find it, and then reel them in.

More Tips For Effective Headlines

1. Use Numbers

The reason for incorporating numbers into your headline is that, according to Debra Jason, they are the equivalent of “brain candy.” Our brains are actually wired to prefer numbers over words. The scientific data proves it.

Headlines with numbers lead to 73% more shares on social media and more engagement.

Of course, not all numbers are created equal. Small numbers are more easily processed, while odd numbers are seen as more genuine.

A website like Buzzfeed, which generates billions of readers on its headlines alone and is one of the major websites behind much of the Internet’s viral content, puts this principle into practice all the time. For example, “13 Things You Didn’t Know About…”

As mentioned above, odd numbers also seem to hold a certain magic when it comes to performance, particularly the number seven.

Merely changing an even number to the number 7 will lead to a 20% increase in click-through rate. Remember, of course, to use the number 7 as opposed to the written out spelling of the word. 

Now, that isn’t to say that headlines with even numbers don’t do as well at times because that simply isn’t the case. In fact, there are many instances of articles that did better than headlines with odd numbers, especially if the article was promoted well on social media.

2. Use Colons and Hyphens

A study by Content Marketing Institute found that if you include a hyphen or colon in your headline, you will increase the click-through rate by 9%.

What does that look like? Here is an example: “The Art of Scannable Content: How to Write For Today’s Online Readers,” which happens to be an excellent accompaniment to this post.

Extra Resources 

Good headline writing is a skill that requires time in order to master. If you are feeling hesitant about putting all of the above tips into practice, here are a few additional resources that can help you become familiar with the nuances of an effective headline.

1. Use A Headline Formula

There are many headline formulas that you can use as a template, all of which have been proven to be effective, whether at conversions, social shares, etc. 

You are likely even familiar with many of them already. From the “How-To Formula” to the “Get Rid Of [Insert Problem] Once and For All” to the “Little Known Ways” formula, there are many headline formulas out there to choose from.

The “Get Rid of a Problem Once and For All” formula is also compelling and is effective at holding our attention from the beginning to the end due to its promise of a permanent solution. Such headlined articles also tend to go viral.

The “Little Known Ways” formula is emotionally-based and shines when it comes to social shares as well.

2. Use A Free, Online Headline Generator

ShareThrough is an easy tool to use to determine how engaging your article is by giving you a score and an accompanying meaning behind the score based on the site’s advertising research.

For example, is your headline above average? It will also tell you the positive aspects of your headline and offer suggestions to improve it.

Good content creators generate many possible headlines. Headline writing exercises, whereby you create your own list of possible headlines and then test their effectiveness with a catchy headline generator like the one mentioned here will allow you to build on this skill in order to master good headline writing.

This title generator won’t analyze your headline like ShareThrough.com, but it will generate a list of titles. Simply type in your keyword (for example, “content marketing”), select the appropriate term to describe your keyword and it will generate a list of titles for you to use.

For example, this tool generated “7 Facts That Nobody Told You About Content Marketing” as well as several others.

The list of generators is endless. Here is also a list of some great headline examples to look at for inspiration, which will give you some more insight into headline writing rules.

Avoid These Mistakes

  • Don’t make your headlines longer than 62 characters, otherwise, search engines will simply ignore the rest.
  • Headlines are not effective when they don’t align with the actual content itself. YouTube’s clickbait titles come to mind yet again. 

Now that you are intimately acquainted with the nuances of an effective headline, remember that quality content is still just as important.

After all, it is your content that is a touchpoint between your business and your customers. As such, it makes a powerful statement about your brand and what kind of value you can offer.

It’s important to draw your audience in with a catchy headline, but be sure to create content with plenty of substance to make them stick around.

Blogs are still one of the primary forms of content marketing, so here is your go-to guide on how to write a blog that gets noticed.

How To Create Effective Headlines That Excite
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/create-effective-headlines/feed/ 0
The Guide To Effective Video Marketing https://business.yocale.com/guide-effective-video-marketing/ https://business.yocale.com/guide-effective-video-marketing/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:13:00 +0000 https://business.yocale.com/?p=33897 Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

If you haven’t heard already, video is the way of the future. Video has been hailed as the “future of content marketing,” and 2017 may, in fact, be that year. It’s hard to disagree once you consider that current estimates say that by 2019 or 2020, 80% Internet traffic will be in video form. Even […]

The Guide To Effective Video Marketing
Arash Asli

]]>
Yocale For Business
Yocale For Business -

If you haven’t heard already, video is the way of the future. Video has been hailed as the “future of content marketing,” and 2017 may, in fact, be that year. It’s hard to disagree once you consider that current estimates say that by 2019 or 2020, 80% Internet traffic will be in video form.

Even in 2017, 74% of all video traffic is projected to be video content. Already, ⅓ of our time on the Internet is spent watching videos.

If you take a look at YouTube, one of the biggest video platforms today, the rate at which mobile videos are consumed increases by 100% each and every year.

The ability of video to generate engagement, leads and get businesses to the bottom line much more effectively than other forms of content is why it’s so powerful.

Content marketers are responding to this data quickly. There has already been a significant increase in video marketing. 69% of businesses – the smart ones – have already been incorporating video marketing into their strategy.

Not only are the leading advertisers currently producing video content on YouTube every single day, but this trend will continue to the point that businesses will have to produce video content if they want to remain at all relevant.

There are so many reasons to explain the explosive phenomena of video marketing.

At its core, its highly visual and interactive qualities make video very compelling. It is able to evoke something of the human connection and to establish a relationship with customers, therein building trust.

Bite-sized videos also appeal to our shrinking attention spans and allow businesses to readily transmit their brand message within minutes.  Videos appeal to the way in which consumers want to digest content, which is, of course, quickly but also while they are out and about.

As we know, content must cater to its audience in order to be successful, and video does precisely that.

What Video Marketing Can Do For Your Business

Increase All Aspects Of Your Brand (Recall, Identity and Message)

Studies have shown that people are more likely to remember videos than written material because it appeals to so many of our senses in such a strong way. For businesses, this means greater brand recall and ultimately more leads.

For example, 46% of people have taken some type of action after watching a video. This ranged from searching for more information to visiting the business’ website to even purchasing the specific product mentioned in the video.

Your brand’s identity is easily communicated through video, specifically through things like your logo.

Even more powerfully, video taps into something of the the human connection that allows for your brand message, and your value to the consumer to reach new heights.

Increase Your Website’s SEO

According to HubSpot, 65% of leading personnel in businesses will visit your website after watching a branded video.

Videos are also highly shareable, which expands your business’s reach by extension. Part of this is due to the fact that videos are easily viewed across all devices, unlike other mediums.

Roughly 92% of people who watch a mobile video will then share them. Simply Measured found that video is shared 1200% more than the whole of both links and text combined.

In short, the most important thing that you can take away from this article is that every business needs to include video as part of its marketing program. As with every marketing strategy, it is always best to be ahead of the curve. That means no short of producing video content now.

There is a certain finesse to video marketing (although you shouldn’t let that scare you away!), but this article will cover everything you need to know to maximize your video content to deliver results.

YouTube Video Content

What Kind of Videos To Make

One of the commonly asked questions regarding video marketing, and one you will certainly have to answer, is what kind of videos should my business make? Indeed, producing videos can be an intimidating prospect.

If you find yourself to be in this situation, consider simply duplicating your current content, such as your blog posts, but in video form. Once you feel comfortable, you can move on to producing other types of videos.

Another option is to take the ideas below but to make them shorter in length. Over time, you can make them a little longer as you get more comfortable.

Of course, remember that not all video content is created equal. Here are some of the most effective types of videos that businesses should produce if they want to make their video marketing efforts as effective as possible.

Educational (Classic Marketing) Videos

Videos increase understanding of a product or service by 74%. According to Neil Patel, a leader in the marketing industry, educational videos – i.e. videos that the customer will find valuable – are particularly well suited to the video form.

An example of an educational video might be an online interview with a leader in the industry such as a CEO.

Another educational type of video (and with great interactivity) is product demo. This is a classic option, but still very popular and effective, with excellent conversion rates. Just like video marketing itself, there is a finesse involved in order to maximize the results of your product demo.

An extension of the product demo is the how-to/tutorial type of video, a more in-depth version of the product demo. A benefit of tutorial videos is that they are useful at building your brand when you post them on platforms like YouTube.

They also establish you as an expert. People want to learn from experts. You can also turn tutorials into a “series” kind of format, which means people will be more likely to tune in weekly (or on whatever schedule you set forth with your audience).

Comparison videos, in which you compare two products next to each other, can make it easier to see the differences between two products, priming your audience for purchasing.

Testimonial and/or review videos are also very effective, providing the consumer with increased trust in the product.

Live Videos

When it comes to live videos, a great option is to do a live Q & A on Facebook. They are always a fan favourite. The interactive aspect, in particular, also creates strong social media engagement.

Creative, Story Type of Videos

Consider telling your brand’s story in the form of a video. This ultimately humanizes your company. A great example of this is GoPro’s “About Us” video. If you have a production team on your side, this will be greatly beneficial.

Company Culture Videos

Company culture videos have a variety of purposes. They can increase team spirit, recruit potential candidates and let you showcase what makes your company unique.

They are also great for businesses who are just starting out with video content creation. While there is a certain finesse to producing effective company culture videos, a lot of businesses have success when they incorporate humour into them. Twitter is a great example of this.

Customer-Generated Content

This kind of video can actually generate more results than content created by actual companies. By customer generated content, this means getting your customers to create content in the form of a review of a product of service.

Of course, the question becomes how do you get them interested in such a task. Offering prizes to the top people to create the best review has great potential.

Low-Budget Options

For those not willing to spend on video production just yet, Instagram video and Snapchat also allow you to create video with just a smartphone. Google+’s Hangouts on Air simply requires a webcam and a microphone.

Other Video Ideas

One way to drive engagement is to make videos based on keywords that your particular niche audience is searching for.

Editing Your Videos

Now that you know what type of video to make, what about the best software to edit your video? Obviously, this won’t apply if you are making live videos, but if you are producing pre-recorded videos, you will want to make your videos as professional looking as possible.

This will make them more appealing overall and make them more likely to be shared. Of course, don’t think that you have to invest in expensive software. Some of the most classic movies of all time, like Braveheart, were edited with some of the software on this list.

Here is your guide to the best free video software in order to edit your videos.

Additionally, it important to add subtitles so that those who are hearing impaired or those who speak a different language can also enjoy your video content. It is not difficult to do, but it does take some time at the beginning.

You can add subtitles by downloading TEncoder or by using something as simple as any basic text editor such as Windows’ NotePad.

Where To Post Your Videos

Businesses were once encouraged to post their videos on Vine. Now that Vine has perished, what platform has taken its place?

There is not a one size fits all approach when it comes to posting your videos. This is why Neil Patel advises experimenting with a range of options to see what delivers the best results for your particular business.

Whatever you do decide, one of the most important things to consider is that each platform has its own audience and your videos should be created with each particular platform in mind.

It is also important to always embed each video into the actual platform itself as opposed to providing a link to the video. With that in mind, however, there are a few platforms that stand out from the rest based on their user base.

These platforms tend to be social network platforms – particularly Facebook and YouTube. These two platforms generate the most amount of traffic and all businesses can benefit from them, large or small.

Facebook

Facebook has millions of users and therefore it is critical that all businesses, regardless of size, post videos on this platform. 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every single day. Facebook also ranks videos higher, which is just another reason why you should post videos here.

As we said, it is important to optimize your content when posting on Facebook. First of all, keep the Facebook audience in mind. In other words, videos should be entertaining and light on information.

In order to maximize engagement on Facebook with video, it is also important to do things like inspiring your audience or educating them. 

Another option when it comse to Facebook videos is to utilize the Facebook Live feature, allowing you to create engagement instantly.

Facebook Video Marketing

YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine, next to Google, making it a leading platform when it comes to posting video content. Arguably it is one of the most important places to post video content (in addition to Facebook and your own website).

How-to videos (tutorials) are particularly great to post on YouTube because these make up some of their most popular searched for items.

In order to succeed on this platform, ensure that you post videos on a consistent basis to ensure that you build up a subscriber base.

There is a caveat to this, however. While you want to establish a base of viewers on YouTube, you don’t want to do so at the expense of people avoiding your website or blog.

It is also important to interact with the people who watch your videos and take the time to comment and this is particularly true on YouTube. Pro Tip: use their comments as potential video ideas!

In terms of driving traffic to your YouTube video and YouTube channel, mention keywords that your audience might search for. Saying these words in your actual video will ensure that they are evident in your transcript.

Instagram

Instagram is another effective channel for posting video content given its massive user base, giving you the option to share both permanent and more fleeting content with the Instagram Stories feature, which showcases your video for a period of 24 hours.

Just like Facebook, Instagram is very effective at increasing brand awareness, but the artistic nature of the platform makes it a particularly great medium for sharing your brand story.

What About Everything Else?

You can’t go wrong with the above platforms. However, you may have noticed that we have left out a number of other potentially very viable options, from Snapchat to Twitter to Vimeo, all of which facilitate video sharing.

As we mentioned, social media platforms come and go. In determining if you should also incorporate these other platforms into your marketing strategy, first consider your audience.

For example, if your product caters to an older audience, Snapchat may not necessarily make sense. Considering your audience is particularly important for businesses without a lot of resources since it takes up a significant amount of time to produce videos.

There are a few other things to consider when deciding if these platforms are worth your investment. According to the CEO of Communicus,  companies should consider if the platform makes it possible for consumers to potentially purchase a product down the line.

A new platform should not also not conflict with any of your current platforms. And be sure to consider the amount of time needed to invest in the particular site when making your decision.

Mistakes to Avoid

You are bound to make mistakes along the way, but if you can do your best to avoid making at least some of them, you will be ahead of the game.

First of all, we acknowledge that video marketing can be intimidating for businesses. While the best approach to tackling this problem is to simply “do it,” there is also a line here that you don’t want to cross.

By this, we mean being tempted into not taking the time to required to produce thoughtful content.

Patel identifies “rushing into it” as the number one mistake when it comes to producing video. He suggests scripting your videos first.

Another common mistake that marketers make is not including a call to action somewhere in their video. Call to actions provide excellent opportunities for conversion that all too many businesses miss out on.

You have a range of options when it comes to calls to action, from offering coupon codes to use on your website to suggesting they follow your blog to directing them to follow you elsewhere on social media and so on.

Other Tips

  • Videos should be short and get to their purpose as quickly as possible. This will ensure that people stay to actually watch the video instead of clicking away.
  • Include a storytelling element in your videos (another tip courtesy of Patel!). The reason for this is that it makes videos much more shareable. The “hero” archetype does particularly well.
  • Positive emotions are key. The journal Psychological Science showed that people are more likely to share content that has an emotional element to it (and, more specifically, positive emotions).
  • Platforms such as Instagram stories are primed toward short, bite-sized content. For example, this platform only allows you to share a minute worth video (which still allows for a ton of information to be shared).

The positive thing about these short videos is that they are readily shareable on social media. The point is that short videos are more ideal.

Now that you know the why and how, get ahead of the curve and start posting videos now. You will end up doing so in a year or two anyway, so why not get ahead of everyone else and start today?

The Guide To Effective Video Marketing
Arash Asli

]]>
https://business.yocale.com/guide-effective-video-marketing/feed/ 0