Always check if the robots.txt has got any errors once you upload it to the server. Below is a link where you can check for the robot.txt . Use the below free Robots.txt validator for analyzing the errors in the robots of the website.
The robots should be taken care – so that search engines would be able to see the website robots, knows what to do with the page.
Sending emails just to a group of people is not an email campaign. Certain ethics should be followed while setting up an email campaign, to make it effective, so that it reaches brings in branding and conversions to you. If you are first-timer making an email campaign or already if you have run an email campaign and failed, no matter, make it right next time, so that you get purpose and intention of the email campaign fulfilled. Below are the few things you need to look at, whilst shooting an email campaign.
1. Understand the Objective & Plan the Email Campaign
It is more important to understand for what and whom you are sending the email, and what is the purpose (objective) and result should be. The email campaign can be to generate business leads, to promote and raise awareness about your product brand, or sending it to existing customers to increase the retention rates or to do up-selling / cross-selling. Once you understand the business requirement, make a plan to get ready with the campaign. Below are few important things to be considered while shooting the email campaign.
a. The Database
Database plays a crucial role in email marketing. If you have got a database of your own or you are hiring a email marketing agency to do an email campaign, make sure that the database is authentic and not Bot-Generated. Authentic is permission based-email marketing, whereas bot-generated is the database which is acquired from the web using some scripts.
If you are shooting an email campaign for a Car Rental Company or Hotel, the email content should focus more on the brand and enquiries.
b. Target Audience
Identify your target audience, based on criteria which match your business. Few things to be considered would be the people age group, industry, income level, gender etc. If your target audience is not well planned – this might lead to a failure. Example, if you are sending an email campaign to sell cars, and the age group is less than 18 that doesn’t solve the purpose, as age is not suited and income level would be less.
c. Email Response Tracking
When the email is shot, you need to know what the open rates are and click rates. This report will ensure how much your brand has reached the people and how many are interested etc. Don’t forget to use the Google UTM – to track your hit rates in the analytics. If an agency is doing it or you have got the bulk email software make sure you have the option to view the reports.
Know your budgets and act accordingly. Plan your email campaign, in a way that you can take the return on investment, based on the conversion rates.
Creative is one of the important factors which are an integral part of success to an email campaign. The creative, should be designed in a way that it gives trust to viewer. Things to keep in mind while designing.
- Logo – Make it look prominent
- Prime Message – provide short ,simple and upto the point
- Call to action – What users wants to do.
- Font & Color Usage – Make sure you use the right color which matches your logo and more importantly based on the region of target audience.
- Images – Use appropriate images.
3. Subject Line
50% success of your email campaigns Open-Rates / Click-Through depends on an effective subject line. Make sure you use a subject line that gains the interest and attention of person who opens the email. Do not use the words, free, offer, and discount, also unethical words in the subject line, as most of the web / email engines, consider them as spam.
4. Emailer Template
The email template should be HTMLized and also alt text should given, so if images doesn’t open from HTML the text version will ease the user to read. Now that the technology is developed, most of the people they check email using their iPad, iPhone, blackberry or any other mobile applications. So the email template should be designed and developed in a way that it is compatible with the latest technology.
5. Landing Page
Whilst the call-to-action is there in your email template, make sure it is linked to the right place in the website. The Landing page should be designed extra-ordinary to ensure, it is more informative and will interest the customer to make an enquiry or opt for the service.
6. Email Testing
Don’t forget to check the emails with different email ids and email service provider before shooting it to customers. (Check in Gmail, yahoo, hotmail, your official email id, outlook, apple etc). This test is important as this will show you how the readers will see your email. Make sure that the images are not broken, unnecessary spaces, mails are not ending up in spam folder, html and text version works fine etc.
7. Use Unsubscribe Link
Always use a unsubscribe link at the footer of the email. So that readers can unsubscribe for your email anytime and also web servers makes sure it is not spam and is permission based.
8. Email Servers
Make sure your email server or the client’s email server can handle bulk number of emails. If there is lot of emails being sent from specific IP, which doesn’t have the capacity to handle, high risks are there to get you website/server blacklisted. This is either for bulk emails being sent is specific pulse time or even because of high bounce rates.
9. Communicate across Various channels
If emails are sent make sure you are communicating it across various channels like website home page banner, advertisements etc. wherever possible to make it effective and aware.
Communication Gap definitely leads to wrong deliverables. So if proper, clear and effective communication is given, then 100% business can see success.
I happen to meet 2 Senior Management People, who wants to create an online revolution in a product and render services in a different ecommerce strategy. (I am not revealing the name of the person, product or the company at this time.) Whereas will share an important question they asked me during the discussion. I.e. what would be the challenge in ecommerce? I thought for a while and said the below.
1. Once the customer reaches your website, what would he see in the website and would he stay in the website
2. Generally, just by visiting your website or seeing the product ad, the product and services will not sell themselves. What is the solution for the customer, for the questions “Why should he buy your product” and “how that is your product or service is different from others”.
3. If the visitor is interested in your products, what would be the trust factor? Though if the visitor of the website is potential customer, what if he does not trust your website
4. The decision to buy a product or service doesn’t last long, so what is that going to be in lined, to make the customer make and quickly buy your product or service
5. Generally customers do not like websites which are standard, so when planning to make business online, it’s also good to show the uniqueness of the website aligned that with the brand logo and color usage
6. Importantly, when you are having a ecommerce website, which involves database, financial transactions, you need be aware about the hackers. So it’s important to have website security vulnerability scanning and a proper IT Infrastructure.
There is lot more things other than the above, but still, if the above is taken care, then the other minor challenges will get solved. It also matters, how the website is hosted, and how secure is your web server. I had a refreshing discussion after such a long time.
Greater the brand visibility, greater would be the chances for your product to be retained in the customers mind, resulting in increased volume of sales. So to increase the brand visibility, it’s a must to create an excitement among your customers. Here are a few proven tips that would popularise your brand in the Market.
1. Have an attractive-speaking Website – “Attractive-Speaking Website” doesn’t mean that someone should voice in the website, it’s about the content and design of the website. The design should be attractive, with consistency in colour, and product. The content should talk about what the product is? And what does the product do? And why one should buy your product? If these 3 questions are answered, then the needful customers will get trust. Next step would be SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – which brings in your site in top of search engines when right keywords are chosen for identifying your website content.
2. Special Promotions – you can make a noise in the market, by providing variety of offers, gifts, discounts, etc during the festival season. Here you need to be careful about what to bundle with your product, to attract potential customers. This can be done by running a email campaign, online poster ads, website banners, and many more.
3. Media – Its one of the effective means of increasing brand visibility. If your budget fits in you can provide television ads or else you can go with social media, where you can create your own videos and upload, promote them. When you do these kinds of ads, you can sponsor / embed some social awareness and welfare messages.
4. Newspapers & Magazines – The most widely used means to promote your product and its brand. When it comes to newspapers and magazines, you can promote your brand by 2 ways. The no.1 would be to provide frequent news, press releases and articles to the editors and the no.2 would be to provide ads in the newspaper and magazines, both online as well as offline i.e. print media.
5. Sponsors – It’s all based on your Product. If you product is kind of enterprise then sponsor a corporate event, seminar etc. If your product is for consumers, then sponsor it for some major events like film fare, fashion show, sports, colleges, cultural programmes, social awareness programs and many more. These kinds of major events brings in lot of people in one place, which with combination of the media, newspaper, internet etc will provide you good weightage for your brand among the customers.
6. Viral Marketing – Viral Marketing is spreading the brand via buzzwords. Effective participation in social media optimization and social networking sites, will popularize your brand as well and bring in quality visitors to your website, and potential customers to your business. Promote your brand via popular websites like facebook, YouTube, google, yahoo buzz, etc which is a place where people will gather online. So effective promotion in social book marking sites will bring in success.
7. Online Forums and Communities – discuss and help your customers online by joining in forums and online communities. Create a group and share interesting topics and new product releases, upgrade etc.
8. Banners & Hoardings – these 2 again are great medium of advertising. Choose the right location if it’s going to be a physical banner/hoarding or choose the right website, to give banner ad online. An important tip here is to associate your logo, product and brand with some kind of social awareness messages to get additional exposure of your Brand.
9. Email Signatures – Whenever you or your associates send an email, use your company logo in the signature along with the website. A well organized, effective and unique color scheme will attract your customers and clients.
10. Other means of Promotions – Give your employees and customers T-Shirts, Jerkins with your logo printed, Give stickers for your employees to stick in their vehicles for parking inside the premises, make canopy of umbrella , standees, when you put some stalls on the road-side, put your logo in your office bus, give a pen with your logo embossed in it to customers / clients who trial your products, give an award, a shield which has got the logo embossed to your resellers and dealers to place it in their shops etc. There are still lot of small things which can really bring in great brand visibility, potential customer and good reputation to your business.
There are different types of HATS, the Search Engine Optimizers wear. Below are list of seo hats. In fact, the true fact is that Black Hat, Grey Hat and White Hat SEO alone exists. Whereas people as they tried different terminologies in SEO to bring their site to top in SERP’s i.e. Search Engine Results Page, they gave different names such as yellow hat, green hat, brown hat, purple hat, pink hat and so on as they wish, but those did not really get life and did not exist.
Black Hat SEO:
The word itself says the unethical SEO. In this method of SEO, the keywords are stuffed irrelevant to the content, and is not visible to humans i.e. the text colour would be matched with the background colour of the webpage. Also this type of SEO is often adopted to bring the website to top ranking faster. Search Engines identify and block sites which rank top using Black Hat SEO Method.
Grey Hat SEO:
This is a combination of both black hat seo as well as white hat seo. Here they dont stuff the keyword but this includes buying links, semantic links, keyword file naming and density manipulation. Most of the Grey Hat SEO methods are proclaimed as white hat SEO, whereas search engines are against websites which buy links from third party websites.
Green Hat SEO:
This is a method and action which involves lot of tactics and actions to draw more website visitors. This is all about having fun and doing unnecessary things over a website to gain visitors.
Red Hat SEO:
This is just an observable phenomenon i.e. evaluation hypotheses of what is happening over the web. This is also like White Hat SEO.
White Hat SEO:
This is an ethical SEO method. Here Search Engine Optimizers follow the SEO Guidelines and work on acquiring natural links. This is a slow and a steady process which brings good SERP’s in the long run.
Blue Hat SEO:
This is an advanced SEO technique. Blue Hat Search Engine Optimizers have good knowledge about both Black as well as White hat seo, which makes the search engine optimizer to think in the creative aspect of seo, without voiding the seo guidelines.
So now you know which hat to choose right?
Many of you if not having a website, would surely use a blog either Blogger or WordPress. You may be posting lot of good articles, but still you may not see your blog listed in any of the first 10 pages of your favourite search engine. Are you really interested in bringing your blog within those first 10 or 5 pages or even to the first page, then follow the below simple web blog optimization tips.
1. Choose a domain / blog name (With a keyword, else if you want you to have general name then go ahead and follow the below optimization points – a domain name with a keyword is an add-on to seo technique.)
2. Have a theme / template that is really pleasing to the eyes. There are lot of free templates available, use them
3. Checkout for a good and reliable webhosting provider. Also if you use a wordpress or blogger for blogging, they can you their self-hosting.
4. Avoid overloading the widgets in your blog, it will slow down the web page ie. It will take long time to open the blog itself.
5. Provide a Descriptive Title with right keywords in it. Title should not be more longer.
6. Use original content, do not copy somebody’s content and post it in your blog, it will be duplication and your site won’t rank at the top.
7. Permalinks – while give the links for the post, use the month / date and title of the blog. And again in wordpress you have an option to edit the link itself. Say if you have a got link as “blog.com/november/26/Web-Blog-Optimization-Tips-and-Techniques-for-all-blog-beginners.php “ you can make that as “blog.com/November/26/blog-optimization-tips.php”
8. Make use of the RSS feeds. Submit the feed links to RSS feed reader sites, this will help your content travel. Customize your feed content like only first 2 paragraphs appears and there is a option to read more which brings the feed readers to your blog.
9. Submit your blog to web directories and search engines.
10. Keep posting and updating your blog regularly
11. Use descriptive and relevant keywords in the tags. The tag clouds will help in bringing visitors when indexed by search engines.
13. If available install some seo supported plugins in your blog. Also when there is newer version of blog available upgrade it.
14. Add social media websites icon in the footer of the blog to share your posting in social networking sites. You can do this by visiting www.addthis.com register and add the code provided in the template footer.
15. Keep you blog interesting and precise. (This is a pretty long post for me….but thought this would be a great interest to my readers )
16. Keep reading the latest Search Engine optimization (SEO) techniques and follow them
Christmas Season has started, and there is a long Q in the ATM’s to withdraw money and spend it for shopping. As this is a season of Christmas shopping, most of sellers provide attractive offers both offline and online. When it comes to offline shopping, you go pick up the product pay for it and come back happily. But wonder some people in order to avoid over crowded places, start shopping online, and also gift their beloved ones with gifts that would be delivered at their door steps. But the question is how do you trust an online shopping site?
Many of the business sites who sell products using a ecommerce shopping cart with lot of attractive colours , festive offers and special discounts, but still do you thing the conversion rates are high. Do you think that they are really turning visitors into buyers? The answer would be “NO” until and unless the visitors trust that the site is a genuine one and really have got its market presence.
What should online shopping cart provider do to gain user’s trust?
Whenever, a shopping cart or any confidential details such credit card information, passwords etc are going to be taken from the website visitor, in order to gain the trust of the customer, the online shopping service provider should have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certification from any of the Certification Authorities. Eg. VeriSign, Comodo, Geotrust are leading certification authorities. Once the business is validated, the SSL certificate would be issued for the specified domain name, where the shopping cart is placed. This certification is mostly used by online banking sites, registration sites, shopping sites and other ecommerce related websites.
How will a user identify, if a site is secure and safe for shopping?
Generally websites start with the pre-text as http:// whereas when an SSL certificate is there it would begin with https://. Also a golden pad lock (lock image) would be found in the browser. When a website visitor clicks the padlock, he can see the certification details and know whether the certificate is issued to domain where the visitor is going to shop, the validity of certificate etc.
Having this point in my mind, I thought this blog post would be useful for new shopping cart builders and in the meantime would create awareness to a customer of about how to identify a secure online shopping website.
Buy a Website Security Trust Seal