Using QR Codes To Boost Your Business

Firstly, a QR code stands for quick response code and they are expected achieve widespread use this year because consumers want instant access to relevant content and QR codes can be used to enable this.

Although QR codes are a relatively new phenomenon here in the UK they have been around and in use in Japan for over a decade already.

Using QR Codes To Boost Your Business

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Now there are many uses for these QR codes such as:

  • Sharing – You can create a QR code that can link to any piece of content like a URL, Video or special offer
  • Building Community – You can create a code that gets people to LIKE your Facebook page or connect on LinkedIn
  • Calls To Action – You can create multiple special offers and send consumers directly to each offer
  • Going Mobile – a QR code can also be used to build subscribers on a mobile marketing list

Now you may be asking where can you use QR codes in your business? So here is a couple of places where you could add a QR code to help boost your business today:

  • On your business cards
  • On all your marketing materials, flyers, posters, menus etc.
  • You can add to the sides of your van or trucks
  • Place them in the windows of your business premises

Another place QR codes are already in use is in Google Places, when you have claimed your local listing you can create a special offer coupon and within your places account that coupon will create a QR code which will send consumers directly to that special offer.

Now this represents a huge opportunity for business owners and the potential is HUGE because QR codes are bringing people together through technology with a good user experience.

So with this in mind what ideas do you have to drive your business forward with QR codes in 2011? Please post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Local Search Marketing – Amazing Statistics

According to the latest study by comScore it is reported that there are 14 billion searches on Google in March and of those searches at least 20% were local. That means that there were a total of  3 billion LOCAL searches like ‘fitted kitchens in Liverpool’ or ‘doctors L1 5TF’.

Also did you know that only 15% of small to medium size businesses have actually claimed the Google Places Page (Local Business Listing) which get millions of views each and every day.

Local Search Marketing    Amazing Statistics

So if you are not actively marketing your business through local search optimization you are missing out on HUGE amounts of traffic and business every day. Plus by claiming your local listings you are also enabling your business to go MOBILE which is huge. How big you may be wondering?

Well consider this the mobile internet market is 3 times bigger than the regular internet based market!!! Also when users are searching on mobile devices the search results are based on the users current GPS, so if your business is not listed in the local search results they wont even know you exist.

Here’s some interesting stats which show the importance of local search:

  • 97% of Internet users gather shopping information online
  • 51% explicitly characterize their behavior as “Shop Online, Purchase Offline”
  • 73% of activity online is “related to local content”
  • 70% of online searchers will use local search to find offline businesses.
  • 43% of search engine users are seeking a local merchant to buy something offline.
  • The Kelsey Group reports that 74 percent of Internet users perform local searches.
  • There were over 1 billion users in the UK on Mobile Devices in 2010

So if you are not incorporating LOCAL and MOBILE marketing strategies for your business you are leaving a lot of  traffic and money on the table for your competitors to cash in on.

For more information on local marketing feel free to fill out the form and we can help get your business listed ASAP…

Why Your Business Needs Internet and Mobile Marketing

If has been found in a recent study by BCG that businesses who have adopted and implemented online marketing strategies have been growing at four times the rate than similar businesses who have yet to embrace the power of internet marketing!!! Now there is a definite digital divide opening up between companies who are getting it and active online and those who are not. The UK is the top economy in the world for e-commerce and if your business does not embrace the future and start marketing online you could very well get left behind in 2011.

Why Your Business Needs Internet and Mobile Marketing

Another factor that you need to consider is creating a mobile marketing strategy that is aligned with your online marketing strategy which will then allow you to reach your target market anytime and anyplace. It has been said that 2011 is going to be the year of the mobile but there has already been huge growth in consumers performing commercially relevant actions on mobile phones lets have a look at some of the stats mentioned:

  • eBay performed 1 transaction per second in 2010 via it’s mobile app
  • eBay also sell 3-4 Ferrari’s per month on mobile phones
  • 1 billion people already access the mobile internet
  • Google is generating mobile revenues at a billion-dollar run rate

So with this in mind the sooner you get your business online and actively start promoting your products and services the better. If you do not jump on the bandwagon now your competitors will and your business will forever after be playing catch up plus you will have missed out on a HUGE number of new prospects and customers.

To read more make sure you go and watch the video here to hear what Matt Britton Google’s managing director of UK and Ireland has got say about the growth of both internet and mobile marketing in 2011.

Google SEO

Google SEO – There Are No No Short-Cuts

Businesses in Liverpool (and around the UK for that matter) often ask us about Google SEO (optimising your website to rank on the front page of Google). Many seem to think there is some magic formula or special code that clever it gurus can apply to their websites which would get them listed at the top of search engines like Google. Many believe promises from unethical operators that they can get their website listed on page one of Google within weeks or days.

 

Google SEO

Google SEO

 


Google SEO Is Doing Some Common Sense Things Correctly

The fact of the matter is that there is no magic formula or secret codes that get inserted into your web site to get in ranking. First and foremost your web site needs to be optimised for what is best for your visitors. They are your consumers and your content should reflect that.

If your web site is built according to the correct HTML specifications, has easy to follow navigation, and is unique and has content that your potential clients will be seeking, you are well on the way to having the type of website that Google loves. This is far more important for ranking factors than doing tweaks, “black hat  SEO” and other similar tricks to snare the search engine spiders.

When creating a page give some thought to the TITLE and DESCRIPTION of the content.

Again, this comes back to creating useful content for the user. Your title must be unique as well as accurate. For the description, try to sum up the page content concisely, using phrases that appear in the page content.

Make sure that your page title and description is clearly indicated within the proper HTML tags in the <head> tag of the HTML document. Ensure that you name each page distinctly and accurately, whilst at the same time using important keyword phrases that clearly identify the page content. These tags makes guide the the spiders and this is what will appear in the search engine results. Most often, the description will also be shown below the title. The description tells both google and your potential clients in summary, what your page is all about.

Site Structure

Another important point to consider is the STRUCTURE of your web site. Keep those urls simple. Ensure the filenames are as descriptive as possible, using no more than three to four words. The easier it is for a human being to navigate to all the important pages, the easier it will be for googlebot to crawl and index your pages.

Do not use “deep” directory structures such as: ../this/that/and/theother/page.html – rather keep to singular directory groupings, i.e. ../dir/page.html. Use text for navigation purposes in most cases. If the website design has an image based, flash based or JavaScript based menu structure, create an additional text based navigation structure where possible.

Web Site Content

The content of each page should provide unique and appropriate content to the page title and headings. Do not employ “keyword stuffing” techniques. By this I mean using a sought after keyword multiple times, in multiple paragraphs. By all means, make use of the keyword phrase you are targeting, but use it in a “natural” manner.

If you have named the file correctly, used a keyword rich phrase in the title and description, simply using the phrase in the first and last paragraphs will make that page relevant for the phrase in googlebot’s eyes.

The Importance Of Using  Sensible Anchor Text

What the h%!&^ is anchor text? Anchor text is a link that is clickable, which makes it easy for your visitors to find your other pages (obviously Google loves text links as well!). A text link to another page on your site is also a vote for that site using the text used in the anchor text. i.e. If you have a link on your page which is clickable, and it reads BLUE WIDGETS, your user (and Google) will rightly assume that the page is about blue widgets.

The steps outlined may seem like really simple navigation, but it is of paramount importance to Google! That is how it gathers it’s data about BLUE WIDGETS.

Make use of a regular HTML, text based sitemap. For maximum “spiderability” it is also a good idea to generate an XML sitemap, specifically for googlebot’s ease of use. This makes it far more simple for Google to discover and index all of your pages.

Resources

Information regarding XML sitemap creation

End of part one.

Use Mobile Barcodes To Get Food Delivered To Your Seat

Going to the match to watch your favourite football team? How nice would it be if you could remain in your seat at half time and have your food order delivered right to your seat? How cool would that be? It is happening already…

Use Mobile Barcodes To Get Food Delivered To Your Seat A Major League American football side, the Jacksonville Jaguars from  Jacksonville in Florida has a test currently running. Working in conjunction with Canadian company Mobio, they placing QR Codes on the backs of the seats in a test section of the stadium.

People sitting in this part of the stadium, can scan the barcode and a list of menu items will appear on their phone. The fan would then choose their food and drink they want in the app, and his order is delivered direct to their seat. They would need the Mobio app on their iPhone of course.

Plus Mobio will process a credit card transaction for the food purchased. This makes the entire transaction free of cash, and the fan gets his food and drinks without any hassle. Much more fun for the fan and no queuing! Brilliant.

In addition they are using another QR Code to run a promotion in their program that automatically enters the fan into “Signed Jersey” competition.They also have posters dotted around the stadium with the promotion. – (see below)

By scanning the qr code, the fan has the chance to win an autographed jersey from his favourite player. The club benefits by building a mobile database of loyal fans, perfect for future promotions etc.

This is what the posters and the program advertisement looks like. Notice to QR code?

Use Mobile Barcodes To Get Food Delivered To Your Seat

2011 Will go down in history as the year of the QR Code. They have actually been in use in Japan for quite some time already and they exploding onto the UK scene right now. So if you have an iPhone, download the Mobio app now, soon you will see this cute QR (quick response) codes everywhere. Once they launch the app for Android based smart phones, Mobio will be enabled at all sorts of shops, and stores in the UK.

This would mean you could eventually leave your wallet at home as long as you have your smart phone with you…

Source: gomonews

How to Find Reliable SEO Services

Search engine optimization is a vital aspect of online business success, and it can increase traffic to your website when carried out successfully. But many people cannot optimize their websites themselves for two reasons—it is a demanding job and it requires special skills. Some website owners want to focus on their business while hiring a staff to deal with optimizing their websites.

How to Find Reliable SEO Services

This is when SEO services come to the picture. You can always learn SEO yourself, but you need a lot of time to do it. If you cannot find time to learn it, then it is useless to even try. There are offshore freelance SEO specialists that can help you answer your needs. They can work for you and give results in a matter of time. There are freelancers and company based SEO specialists today, and they have varying skills and capabilities. Finding someone who can help you becomes the challenge.
Know what the SEO service provider can offer – When looking for an SEO company or freelance assistant, you have to see their offers.

The services they can give you determine the extent of their capabilities. SEO services include content production, article submission, link building, and social bookmarking. Other contractors offer more services like website development, graphics design, and customer support. The key is to stick to the only services you need—that is one way to save cost.

  • Plus think about it you would not hire a carpenter to six your plumbing would you, so be careful not to choose a company that specializes in web development to do your search engine marketing.
  • They are two separate areas of expertise!

Their strategies are important – Learn that some people do stuff that can ruin your positioning on the internet. For instance, black hat SEO can have instant results, but have awful repercussions like getting your websites banned from search engines. Only procure SEO services from reputable firms or service providers.

  • We would love the opportunity to earn the right to your business…

Social Media and SEO HUGELY Undervalued

In a recent study performed by TagMan it has been proven that the influence of search engine optimisation and social media campaigns have been HUGELY undervalued. This is parlty due to the fact that it can be hard to track all the various sources of traffic coming into your website or business.

Social Media and SEO HUGELY Undervalued

But if you set up tracking and track each individual channel you will then see the true benefits of not only SEO but also Social Media campaigns. It is very common for most people to over emphasize the effectiveness of PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing simply because it is much easier to track from click to sale.

So in effect most business owners focus primarily on PPC campaigns and dedicate a huge part of their marketing budget on these campaigns. Where if they applied the same budget and focus to search engine optimisation services and or social media campaigns their return on investment would be much higher.

So this study is a very interesting read make sure you check it out  here are some of the best points:

“we are discovering that natural search and social media are chronically under-rewarded. Or that paid search (both brand and generic) appear overly so.

  • Generic SEO gets credited for 14 times less sales than it deserves on [a flat attribution model].

By the way, brand term natural search, on the same methodology, is under-valued by a factor of nine.

  • Therefore, generic paid search gets 1.6 times more credit than it should.

Why is this? The simple answer is that, because paid search is so often the last click that it gets attributed with a greater proportion of sales than channels that appear higher upstream but which are still drivers of sales.

  • Social media gets eight times less credit for its direct contribution to sales than it should.

Click the link below to learn more about the study:

Social media and SEO massively undervalued: study | Econsultancy:

Understanding the “ME” in Social Media

Life as we know it is becoming more and more social but not face to face, most of our social activivties are happening online through various forms of social networking. Now the problem for most business owners is how to position themselves, products or services in front of potential consumers without going against SOCIAL etiquette. You see for your business to be social it needs some personality to allow people to connect and then once connected you can start working on building a relationship.

Remember when you are entering the social space your business needs to have a clear purpose, message, direction and you need to be consistent. Remember with social media there is no 9-5 you need to be active 24 hours a day ready to respond to any questions, queries or problems as they arise.

Understanding the ME in Social Media

Here is a quote from Brian Solis who is one of the thought leaders on social behavior…

“Social media is a deeply personal ecosystem that I lovingly refer to as the EGOsystem. As such, there is a “me” in social media for a reason. It is quite literally a world in which we are at the center of our online experiences, a place where everything and everyone revolves around us.” Make sure you read this post:

Behaviorgraphics: Discovering the “Me” in Social Media Brian Solis: