remarketing

This is a guest post by Megan on remarketing. You can check out the guidelines for guest posting on our write for us page.

There are a lot of things an entrepreneur has to learn to do. Every small business owner wears many hats, but as an entrepreneur you wear them all, at least during the early stages of your business.

You’re your own administrative assistant, boss, marketing department, salesman, accountant and HR manager. Effective marketing is a full-time job in itself, but when you’re running your own business you don’t have time to micromanage advertising campaigns and it becomes necessary to find tools that can help you simplify the process while still giving you as much control as possible so you can tailor your efforts to match your needs.

One tool that can help increase profitable conversions on your website is remarketing. Knowing the basics of remarketing, what it can do for you and how you can implement it, can save you time and money while driving sales on your website.

The Basics of Remarketing

Remarketing, a service offered through Google AdWords, allows you to display ads specifically to people who have previously visited your website. If you set up remarketing, your ads can be displayed on the pages of any website that displays ads from Google’s network. You’ll have to choose categories and pages you want to promote; then add remarketing tags to your pages defining their categories.

When users visit your pages without making a purchase, Google will keep track of the types of pages they visit, according to your tags, and will later show them ads based on their browsing data.

The Effects of Remarketing

There are many reasons you’ll want to utilize remarketing on your website. Many users will visit sites looking for pricing information; then visit another website to compare. When they leave your site, they’re less likely to come back unless you can present them with a deal to make it worth their time.

This is a great time to show them ads detailing special deals or, promotions you’ll offer them if they return and complete their purchase.

Offer them coupons, free shipping or a special deal if they purchase their item with another complementary item. Identifying visitors who have abandoned their shopping carts helps you narrow down your focus. You already know that visitor is aware of your products and intends to make a purchase; you just have to close the deal.

The Process of Remarketing

Managing every aspect of an Internet marketing campaign can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are many tools that make it easy to manage multiple aspects of your advertising system at once while providing you with valuable feedback.

Whether you use Google’s built-in tools, or a third party demand side platform, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a system that will help you gloss over aspects you don’t want to worry about while still giving you the option of adjusting any aspect of your campaigns you desire.

You’ll have to tweak your site a bit, tagging each page you want to use for tracking and setting up different campaigns for each type. You’ll also have to define who you want to track and how you want to display ads to them. You can choose to show ads to everyone who visits your site or, be more specific by targeting only those who visited certain pages or, abandoned shopping carts.

You can further customize your ads by showing everyone the same set of advertisements or, defining different ads that should be shown depending on the page category they viewed. For instance, if a visitor looked at pages of televisions, you might not want to show them advertisements for washing machines.

Don’t rule it out, though, because remarketing advertisements can be invaluable opportunities for up-selling or, cross-selling. As far as remarketing goes, your imagination will be your greatest asset and your main limiting factor.

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Blogging Efficiency

This is a guest post by Adam on improving blogging efficiency. You can check out the guidelines for guest posting on our write for us page.

You can’t escape it.

No matter how passionate you are about your blog, if you’re looking to drive traffic and actually make money from the process, there will be things that feel like “work”.

Probably because it is.

But fear not, because you’re about to discover seven tools which free up your time to do what you love: create more quality content and thus improve overall blogging efficiency.

Ready? Then let’s roll…

Link Assistant

Link Assistant is a God-send. It lets you quickly compile a list of authoritative sites in your market. Then, you can send an email to each website (Link Assistant automatically stores contact info). It even tracks responses, and lets you track your status with each.

Which sites responded? Who is interested in your offer? Who requires followup? Link Assistant lets you know all these detail in its simple interface.

I routinely use Link Assistant for blogger outreach, hiring contractors (developers, designers, writers, etc.) and offering strategic alliances. In other words, I use Link Assistant for everything but link prospecting (which it’s designed for).

Here’s an example: let’s say you’ve created a DYNAMITE eBook for your subscribers. Using Link Assistant, you can contact authoritative websites in your market and let them give it away to their subscribers, too. This helps build your brand, and will drive tons of free traffic to your site.

And speaking of traffic…

Rank Tracker

Sure, Google Analytics will show you what keywords are sending you traffic. But what about keywords which could send you traffic – and lots of it – if your site moved from page 3 to page 1 in Google?

Enter Rank Tracker. Simply enter keywords into the program, and it routinely checks the search engines to see where your site appears. It even graphs your progress over time.

And if you’re not certain about which keywords to enter, go to the Google Keyword Tool and enter your website URL. It then spits out 300 (or more) keywords related to your site. Then download them into Excel and paste them into Rank Tracker. Boom. Instant overview of your site’s performance in the search engines.

The next step is to build links to those pages that already appear high in the search engines, but not quite high enough.

SENuke

SENuke is an incredibly powerful, misunderstood and abused piece of software. Powerful, because it automates many link building tasks; misunderstood and abused because people use it to spam the Internet.

Here’s how it works: you write a piece of content. Then, using SENuke, you can quickly distribute it to dozens of article directories and social network sites like Blogger and Hubpages. It even submits videos to 30+ video sharing sites like YouTube.

But that’s just the beginning. Because once that content is distributed, SENuke lets you bookmark each of those pages, then take the RSS feeds from each bookmark and submit those to over 30 RSS feed directories.

Whew. That’s a lot of links!

Now you can see why people use it to create spam. But here’s the thing: used properly , it’s a very powerful tool. The key is to create valuable content, and use SENuke as a launchpad for getting it noticed.
Used this way, you can quickly build your site’s authority.

My Blog Guest – Unique Blogging Efficiency tool

MyBlogGuest is a brilliant idea for bloggers. Basically, you upload a post, and website owners request exclusive rights to publish it on their site. It’s a win-win: they get free, unique content, and you get links and traffic to your site.

But how do you decide which website to give your content to? For that, you need the…

SEOMoz Toolbar

The SEOMoz Toolbar lets you tell at a glance how authoritative a website is based on a scale of 1 – 100. It’s logarithmic, which means going from 20 to 30 is much easier than going from 70 to 80.

Authority counts for a lot in SEO. Higher authority links will increase your own authority, which in turn increases your rankings for keywords.

Aweber

Aweber is an autoresponder. It lets you capture visitors email address, and send them unlimited follow up messages at pre-determined intervals. For example, you could create a 7 day training course, where subscribers receive one lesson each day for seven days.

There’s another feature called “broadcasting”, which allows you to send an email to everyone on your list, no matter when they signed up. This is usually reserved for product launches or special time-sensitive announcements (e.g. 48 hour discounts, live events, webinars, etc.)

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is my favorite analytics tool. It records people visiting your site, then displays their interaction via heatmaps.

This is essential for optimizing your website’s use experience, sales funnel and other conversion factors.

For example, how many people even see your opt-in form? Crazy Egg shows you where people are focused on your site, which lets you put premium content, ads or buy now buttons right in front of them.

If you use WordPress, this heat map plugin is a cheaper, limited alternative (but still worth it; I own this plugin myself).

So there you have it: seven simple tools to improve blogging efficiency and make your blogging life easier. Now get to work!

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Marketing strategy

This is a guest post by Matt. You can check out the guidelines for guest posting on our write for us page.

I’ve asked a few entrepreneurs in the past, what is more important, “a great idea or great execution?” and I’ve gotten many different answers. The people who seem to think a great idea trumps execution are wildly enthralled with perception based success. Those that believe in execution, aren’t necessarily visionaries, but are people who can simply, grind out work.

I believe strongly that both a great idea and great execution is necessary when starting a business, but in the early stages of product development, marketing doesn’t need to distract the focus of your entrepreneurial endeavor.

As an entrepreneur and marketing graduate myself, I’m a victim to falling in love with marketing ideas and having them consume my mind. The only thing I’ve learned from this is that in order for my business to progress I’ve got to forget about marketing ideas almost until the final stages of a business launch.

Marketing Distracts the Mind

I will be the first person to stick up for a marketing idea as long as it’s actionable and makes fiscal sense. But the truth is, there are very few ideas like this. When it comes to an entrepreneurial startup business, I think that marketing takes a backseat to strong sales initiatives, resource planning, and customer service.

When sitting down to write a business plan with your partner(s) every time someone mentions an idea about promoting a product or something relating to marketing, have them do 10 pushups. This simple rule helped break my business out of our rut, when half of us fail to even realize the way we process and come up with thoughts.

You will be excited once your business develops, and once you have achieved sustainable growth, then is the best time to ramp up your marketing processes (when the ball is already rolling).

Grind It Out

Integrating a marketing plan, both online and offline is important once you have figured out exactly who your business is. Most entrepreneurs don’t even know what their business’s core value add is until they go to market and people start to purchase. If you can grind out the first phase of your business without online/offline marketing initiatives you will grow much faster once you begin implementing marketing programs.

I would compare this thought process to exercise, if you can exercise and achieve results without supplements, you are setting yourself up for even more success once you add supplements to your fitness regimen.

Of course, every business is different and if your business is primarily online you will need to establish a sound SEO and social media plan to attract customers in the first place. However, for a more traditional business entrepreneur, stick to the basics and you will find that your success is largely a direct result of your actions rather than marketing methods.

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