3 years ago on
Top 8 Tools for Online Reputation Monitoring
irrespective of the niche you operate in, it is important for you to constantly keep a watch on what your customers are talking about.
These positive or negative reviews are paramount to the success of any e-commerce business. Since customer reviews primarily dictate the performance of your brand, entrepreneurs should immediately address the gap between the ‘expected and the available’.
For you to build a strong goodwill, you should periodically track your online reputation.
All in an attempt to improve your online reputation, here are top 8 (paid and free) Online Reputation Management (ORM) tools that work wonders.
You can effectively exercise control over your customer reviews using the Reputology platform.
This is a Review Management and Monitoring interface that can be used for healthcare, fitness, real estate, and hospitality businesses thriving in multiple locations.
Enabling your customers to voice their opinion, this tool comes with a unique feature which converts negative reviews into customer service tickets.
Google Alerts is a free tool that is very helpful to SEO professionals and digital marketers.
Through this tool, you can not only create engaging content but also monitor your brand very closely.
All you need to do is to key in the name of your company on the login page of Google Alerts so that you start getting alerts. Subsequently, you can lay hands on email notifications that Google sends out through the Google database.
Recognized as a comprehensive local brand management platform, Chatmeter steps in to assist local agencies and brand track their online reputation.
Through this tool, SEO analysts will be able to collate and analyze customer feedback to improve customer experiences.
Exclusively crafted for multi-location agencies and brands, you will start receiving emails linked to any reviews that showed up on over 20 search sites. Additionally, Chatmeter also notifies you the moment there is a fresh content about your online offerings or brand.
If you are looking for a perfect paid tool that can help you track your customers’ reviews featured on more than 80 sources, then ReviewTrackers is the top bet.
This tool segregates reviews into different patterns of customer feedback.
This feature enables you to effortlessly spot the most common issues/topics that your customers are talking about. This software provides a single dashboard that becomes the centralized source for all your reviews.
5. Review Push
Exclusively crafted to monitor the social media presence of your brand, Review Push is a brilliant online review management tool. This platform lends a helping hand to businesses operating in various locations by collating reviews featured on sites like Yellowpages, Facebook, Foursquare, Google and Yelp.
Through this software, you will be able to receive all the reviews from multiple sites in a centralized location.
Additionally, once you set up email alerts, Review Push allows you to respond to both the positive and negative reviews, straight from your inbox.
If you engage in providing health services or you specialize in online marketing services for medical teams, then you can rely on Reputation Health.
This is a wonderful online reputation monitoring tool that is perfect for physicians.
Medical professionals can effortlessly monitor their online reputation by collating online reviews that show up on over 23 medical sites like Vitals, HealthGrades, DrScore and UcompareHealthcare.
Physicians will be able to get first-hand reviews about their services from patients in the form of email alerts.
Yotpo is one unique platform that improves your online reputation. Through this tool, you can encourage your customers to come up with positive reviews for your online offerings.
Available in both paid and free versions, the paid version allows you to lay hands on customer reviews linked to social media campaigns.
The free version steps in to mail out review requests immediately after a successful checkout, encouraging your customers to speak positively about your offerings.
It is your business to always keep a close watch on your competitors. With Meltwater by your side, you can make this ordeal an effortless practice. Offering real-time analytics,
Meltwater is the largest databank of global media reviews which shows up your reviews as news snippets.
In addition to alerting you about your competitors’ reviews, this tool helps you track and share your customer reviews with your teammates.
Manually searching for your brand’s name on search engines is passé.
Now is the age of automated tools that will show up consolidated customer reviews from multiple sites
. These easy and smart tools equip you with the market intelligence to address the multiple concerns of your customers and improve your online reputation.
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3 years ago on
How To Create a Successful Website – 10 Factors That Matter
Creating a website has become very easy today. You can have a website up and running within a few hours. And no, you don’t need to be a computer engineer or a coder to create your website. Website creation platforms have made it easy for any layman to come up with a website all by herself.
However, the challenge is in creating a successful website that serves the purpose you built it for. This could be getting sales, selling events, creating a brand or a non-profitable cause. Nobody wants a website that has little traffic and makes no impact.
There are many factors that go into making a website successful. Here we list the 10 most important factors that matter. From ideation to monetization, these steps cover everything and even mention common mistakes new website creators make.
1. Goal Setting
Your website could be the start of a new business or an addition to your current business. In any case, defining the purpose of your website is a must before you start. Ask yourself why you are building this website? Is it to makes sales, get publicity or build a loyal audience for? After the purpose is defined you should set a concrete goal for your website.
It’s advisable to write down a goal statement for your website. The goal should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. An example of a SMART goal could be – build a mailing list of 1000 would-be-brides using lead-pages in next 3 months.
Very few people set concrete goals for their online presence and this is why most websites fail. When you have your goal in front of you, you can build plans to achieve it. Without a goal and plan you are just shooting in the dark and are likely to lose track of your purpose.
2. Market Analysis
Once you have the goal clear you will know the market you want to compete in. Picking the right niche is especially important for sites that want to attract traffic and make money out of it. Even if your site is only for brand building and web-presence it makes sense to see sites of related business and learn from it.
Its advisable to pick a niche (market segment) that is specific yet sizable. Some examples of niche are – gamers, would-be-moms, technology geeks etc. It’s very important to survey the web for sites that are already catering to the niche you have chosen. Some online business chase after niches that are already overflowing with great quality content and end up failing.
For example, it would be foolish to start a website about technology gadgets. Huge websites like Forbes and Wired are already publishing great content everyday! Unless you have 50 years or 10 million in your bank account, it would be a total loss to enter this niche. You site will never be found in Google against these giant sites.
What you can do is pick up a narrower market within that niche. So instead of going for gadgets in general, you could go for gadgets for teenage gamers.
3. Hosting and Domain Name
If you are just getting started website creation platforms like WordPress, Joomla and Wix are quick and easy way to build your site. They offer hosting, domain name and themes themselves or in partnerships with other hosting companies. You can also purchase domain name and hosting from a domain register and web hosting company (like Go Daddy or Bluehost). These can then be integrated into WordPress, Joomla or Wix.
Domain name should clearly reflect what your site is about and should be memorable. Although domain extensions (.com, .net, .co.in etc.) do not affect SEO directly, .com is always preferred because it is default in the minds of most users.
As far as hosting is concerned buy from a company that is reputed and has a great customer support. If you do not have technical knowledge it is important that your hosting company supports you with 24×7 live chat in. For some companies live chat is only available on premium plans. Its advisable to sigh up for that or upgrade to it as soon as possible. Issues like domain linking, data backup, website downtime or security concerns are common so chose your hosting wisely.
Shared hosting (like the one Bluehost offers) is perfect for new websites on a limited budgets. The basic plan costs you less than $3 a month. Once you scale up you can always switch to dedicated servers which cost more than$100 a month.
4. Theme and Design
Theme and design affect the user experience on your site. If you got the first steps of setting a goal and picking a niche market right, you will know exactly who your target audience is by now. Design is all about putting yourself in your visitor’s position and knowing what will appeal to them.
As far as themes are concerned you can get hundreds of free themes or buy one between $10 to $100.Free themes will limit site customization and give you less control compared to paid ones. However, based on your needs even a free one could be perfect for you. So spend time and select a theme that serves your purpose now. Remember, you can always change your theme in future.
5. User Experience
Design your site according to the purpose of your visitor. Too many people get caught up on making their site look pretty and forget about functionality. Remember that the visitor is not coming to your site to marvel at design but to complete a sale / read a blog. Amazon can make their site more minimalistic and beautiful, but that will not serve the purpose of visitors who come there for reviews and description of products they want to buy.
Make a flowchart of what the visitor’s journey should be on your website. Develop a sitemap and menu navigation that reflect this journey. This should also give a clear idea of where to place call to action buttons and layout of lead-pages.
6. Traffic Generation
You have made an amazing site that caters to a great niche. Now how do you make sure the right people come to it? Just publishing your site does not get traffic to your site and you will have to use one of the following ways to get visitors on your site:
- Social Media – You could build your social media following and direct them to your site. Platforms like Instagram and Pintrest are great for visual products like fashion and visual arts. LinkedIn is great for attracting B2B customers.
- Mailing List – You could send our weekly mailers linking to your site if you already have a mailing list. This could be the email addresses of your past customers or leads collected through marketing.
- SEO – You could simply rely on Google to get you traffic by aiming to rank high on Google search results. This requires some time and content stategy.
- Paid Ads- You could place ads in Google, Facebook, Instagram etc.to show your site to people who fit your target market profile? This is a very targeted and profitable way to get your site going however its not sustainable for long term.
In whatever method you choose above, you need to have quality content to share on social media, send in mailers and to rank on Google. This brings us to the next important factor that matters in creating a successful website.
Content is the backbone of any website today. As softwares are get smarter at blocking ads, sites have to rely on value-added content to pull people in. A good title in search result is what compels people to visit your site. If you answer their question or solve their need by the end of the blog/ video, you have earned their trust..
Unless you are purely into e-commerce it is a must to have blogs, videos or podcasts that will get people to your website.
You can only be found on web if you write about what people are searching for or help them out in some way. This can be done by writing helpful blogs, e-books or guides. But perhaps the most important form of content today is video. Video already accounts for 73% of all internet traffic and is estimated to go upto 83% by 2020 (Cisco). Youtube is one of the best ways to generate traffic and build a loyal audience today.
You can make how-to videos, screenshot videos or live-shoots based on your topic. If you are a small start- up even videos of helpful tips shot on your mobile phone will do. The important factor is that the content should be helpful, entertaining of educational. People prefer videos to reading a blog so you just cannot miss on video marketing today.
Imagine losing your site to hacking attacks once you have started getting traffic. This is not uncommon and hundreds of websites running on WordPress and Joomla are hacked every day. The most common motive to hack websites is to redirect your traffic to malicious sites, send phishing emails or serve illegal files. So your site doesn’t have to be big for it to be hacked. Its better to be secure from the day you set up your site.
Getting your site up and running and retrieving all your data can be a nightmare for a common man in case of hacking attack. Follow these best practices to avoide falling prey:
- Update to latest versions of CMS software and plugins
- Monitor your Comments and public forums for hacking scripts
- Use strong passwords for you and your user’s logins
- Do not allow file uploads without scrutiny
- Get your site checked with free security tools like Netsparker or OpenVAS
- If you collect visitor information or sell online you have the additional responsibility of ensuring that the visitor’s information is safe. Use HTTPS protocol for your site
Social media is all about collaboration and cross promotion. Influencer marketing has emerged as an effective marketing strategy and has replaced traditional marketing for many brands. The reason is simple. Influencers may have lesser eyeballs than television or hoardings but they are deeply connected to their followers online. Collaborating with real people in your niche is one of the best ways to get quality following to your website.
Influencer marketing is not the only way you can collaborate. Off-line events and promotions are also great to get noticed by your market. Do not discount the power of seminars, exhibitions and on ground communities when it comes to promoting your website.
You can also work with brands that are complementary to your niche. For example, a gaming website could partner in an Xbox event for gamers.
10. Continuous Improvement
Never make the mistake of thinking your website is ready and can be left to get traffic. Things are always changing in digital world. There will be new websites coming in, newer tools manage websites and new ways to market online. While you don’t have to work as hard as you did while creating the website, some amount of weekly time for maintenance is a good idea, only if you want to grow your business.
For continuous monitoring and improvement, use tools like Google console. It gives you traffic to your site, pageviews, bounce rates and average browsing time. Based on these statistics you can know what content is working for your audience and tweak your strategy accordingly.
Tools by Hubspot give you services to manage you email marketing and content marketing. Heatmap and visitor activity report by Crazy is great way to know what your visitors are doing on your site and where they are dropping out.
There are many more tools improve your site daily and collect more feedback. Perfecting your website and conversion funnel is a never ending process and it will depend on how far you want your website to go.
Also Read : Why Website Design Is Important For SEO
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3 years ago on
Machine Learning in Search: How Does It Work?
It is very important that you understand the manner in which search algorithms work, how search engines crawl and index various websites and the ways in which search engines treat the intentions of users.
Before you go into understanding the impact between these two concepts, you need to know what Machine Learning is all about.
Machine Learning is a technology that is employed in every segment of any system linked to major search engines like Bing or Google.
After having learnt about Machine Learning (ML), you will now be informed about the various applications of this technology especially with regard to search engines.
1. Helps To Understand Queries
It is an interesting piece of trivia to learn that ML can be applied to everything that demands the recognition of search queries. Through ML, it becomes a breeze to understand the search query that is keyed in by the user on the address bar. Here are a couple of instances that explain the significance of ML to search queries.
- Classification of Queries
You should know that search engines operate through a number of classifiers that work on a search query. ML can help differentiate between a navigational query as against an informational query or a transactional query, news query in contrast to a local intent query or a shopping query.
- Suggestions To Correct or Choose a Search Word Spelling
It is a common phenomenon for you to notice a list of suggestions that show up on your screen after you start keying in the first few alphabets of your search string. This is the gift from ML to search.
- Expansion of Queries or Synonyms
ML helps search engines to use synonyms that can expand the query keywords, ultimately increasing the set of search results.
- Query Intent Disambiguation
It is very important for search engines to furnish search results after understanding the primary intent of the user through Word-Sense Disambiguation techniques. For example: if ‘ice cream’ is the search word, should the search engine provide results relating to “ice cream parlours near me”, or “ice cream cake” or ice cream recipe”. Or should it furnish results for all the 3 options? That means, ML helps Google or Bing to satisfy a user’s intent by showing up options that are in sync with the most-frequently used search terms in the past.
2. ML Facilitates Search Ranking
You should know that search engines operate through multiple ranking phases that take place in a sequence. These are: initial retrieval, primary ranking, and contextual ranking along with personalized ranking. ML through the Learning to Rank application can be effectively used to provide ranks to all these different phases.
3. To Better Understand The Document or The URL
Anything that can be done to understand a search result can be possible through ML. That means, you can recognize the various types of pages whether it is a news site, a forum or a blog. You can detect spam and junk along with the identification of inferior-quality URLs. To explain this, as a user of any email system you are deriving the benefits of ML when it effectively blocks 99.99% of all the spam mails.
ML also steps in to perform Sentiment Analysis. This is an automatic process to identify whether a user-text is positively, negatively or neutrally inclined to a particular event, topic, person or product.
ML also helps you to detect various entities including places or people that show up on a web page and the relationships between them.
4. Allows to Come Up With Additional Content
ML helps to analyze the link structure of your site so that it can show up shortcuts which are called as Sitelinks. Through these links, users will be able to navigate your site without wasting time on unnecessary pages and immediately land on a page that they are looking for.
5. Crawlers Can Make the Most of ML
Through ML, crawlers can identify the importance of a particular URL depending on the number of updates it went through and then come up with an optimal rate to crawl that URL.
All the above features are available to search through the “intelligent” technology called Machine Learning which can be imagined as a Google Engineer. It is through this unseen Google Engineer that every web surfer can adjust what he/she sees before the search is made on a particular device.
Also Read : How To Be Successful On Instagram
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3 years ago on
8 Popular Digital Skills In Demand For 2018
The rapid pace with which internet penetrated into every sphere of human life has opened up umpteen avenues for professionals to earn income from multiple sources.
To rake in a fortune through the net, you should be in the know of some popular digital skills that will be in great demand until the end of 2018.
Once you are aware of these in-demand digital skills, you will be equipped with invaluable insights that will help you gain an edge over your competitors.
Here we shed light on the 8 must-have digital skills that are poised to make their strong presence felt in 2018.
1. Web Development – An Expansive Arena Promising Substantial Growth
This is the age of open source tools like Magneto, Drupal, WordPress and OpenCart.
All these tools help web developers make the most of online resources while tagging them with the technical knowledge they have in the spheres of CSS and HTML.
They are now in a comfortable position to build web applications or websites without sweating it out.
Some tools are so designer-friendly that they do not require you to write codes.
WordPress is one such tool that demands a special mention. You need to simply focus on the content of your website without bothering about the background code that is taken care of the WordPress tool.
2. The Opportunities with Blogging
When you hone your web development skills, you will be in a comfortable position to take home handsome paychecks that compensate you for your web solution deliverables.
Most of the companies will need your services to build e-commerce websites, corporate websites, while also earning through blogs and forums.
Amongst all these, blogging comes as a lucrative option when you can not only express your opinions about various topics but also earn monies.
Blogging in that sense is one such digital skill that will give a steady push to your career.
3. Digital Promotions – The New Age Marketing Strategies
If you are looking to attract the attention of prospective buyers for your products and services, you can start off with digital promotions. You can market your offerings on blogs and social media platforms. Email Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are other forms of digital promotions that will promise you good results.
Businesses are currently thrusting a lot of importance to digital promotion as one of the most-sought-after digital skills. You can alternatively sharpen other digital promotion skills like handling and managing social media pages and optimize websites so that your website ranks high on important search engines. You can additionally lend a helping hand to businesses to churn out rich viral content that can be posted on social media platforms as part of their “call-for-action”strategies.
4. Be A Winner In The Number Game With Data Mining / Data Analysis
You will agree with the fact that businesses rely a lot on statistics and business trends. Data Analysts are the promising professionals who will lead businesses to profits along with highlighting business trends. Data miners will also help you identify evident data patterns. Businesses employing the principles of data mining and data analysis will stand to gain when they will be in a better position to predict consumer behavior. These two strategies help you segment your customers into different compartments so that you can better target your products.
However, to thrive with this skill, you need technical expertise linked to Tableau, Python, and Power BI. After you master any of the above technologies, you will need to sharpen your skills associated with exploratory data analysis using data analysis tools like Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio and Python R. With all these in place, you will be in a sound position to make the most of Data Analysis and Data Mining skills that the arena of digital marketing demands.
5. IT Consulting – A Promising Digital Skill That Will Take You Places
IT consulting is another rewarding digital skill that will demand a lot of attention in 2018. As an IT consultant, you will be putting your domain knowledge and technical expertise to their ultimate use to benefit your clients.. Advising your clients as to the path they need to tread, you will be the point of contact for all such initiatives that will reduce business operational costs. You will also become an instrument for your client to increase their revenue.
You can step into the domain of IT consulting by conducting an extensive research on the lines of business of your potential clients. You also need to gather the pain points faced by every business. Enlisting all your observations in the form of a business proposal, you will be able to win over the confidence and goodwill of your target audience who will eventually become your clients. IT consulting is one such digital skill that calls for good presentation skills along with strong writing skills that help you come up with compelling proposals..
6. Chat Box Will be Talk of the Town
Chatbots are emerging to be the next new kid on the digital block. Digital marketing teams have already started incorporating chatbots into their brand positioning plans. Through chatbots, you will be able to not only provide efficient customer service, you will also be able to establish a strong proactive connect with your users. The year 2018 will hence see a number of websites relying on chatbots as the promising customer care executives draped in the garb of robots. All set to improve your brand equity in a number of time-saving and cost-effective means, chatbots are poised for the long haul.
7. User Experience – Another Significant Digital Skill That Builds Brand Image
For you to come up with a good user experience, it is time you understand the human sentiments that revolve around making an online choice. User Experience is a technique that is governed by the principles of human psychology; another priority digital skill in 2018. Digital marketers will go the extra mile in offering optimal user experience to their target audience by delving deep into how they engage with their websites. What is it that is needed by users should be answered by your User Experience strategy.
8. Digital Videos Will Be Narrating Compelling Stories
Last but not the least, it is for digital marketers to continue their efforts by blending videos with user-friendly content that comes in the form of compelling stories. The year 2018 will see the rising popularity of mobile videos which have already created ripples through social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It is through these interfaces that users will be able to enjoy videos which are teamed with mobile-friendly content.
Storytelling will continue to call the shots, with more and more viewers getting attracted to informative videos. And if you are a digital marketer aiming to win the race, it is time you start sharpening your storytelling skills meant for a digital video. While doing so, you will also be in a position to differentiate between what types of stories work in favor of your brand and what don’t. Given the fact that is not a piece of cake to churn out a compelling 10 second video ad, you will be in a better position to garner the attention of your users when you dig deep into the various video needs of your audiences. Hence this skill of blending stories through mobile videos will be another top-ranking digital skill that you need to hone in 2018.
Having enlisted all the popular skills that will make their strong presence felt in the arena of digital marketing, it is time to pull up your socks and sharpen these skills. And once you begin to look at these skills as the life-blood of your marketing strategies, you will be in a favorable position to popularize your brand through a series of well-informed moves. So what are you waiting for? You already have the list of digital skills that are needed by you. All it takes is to extend efforts in the direction of these must-have abilities so as to stand ahead of your competitors. You will then be declared the fittest braving the heat of tough digital competition.
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3 years ago on
Why Website Design Is Important For SEO
If you are under the impression that website design and search engine optimization (SEO) are two independent activities, then it is not correct.
As a business owner, you must understand that both are related and any failure in recognizing the fact could adversely affect your business.
Aesthetics should be considered when designing your website, but it important to keep in mind the fact that website design encompasses much more than that.
It has the potential to impact everything from SEO and number of visitors to conversion rates and branding.
Good Website Design Is Important
The result of a study to determine whether the content factors and different design elements had an influence on the trust of visitors coming to the websites showed that website design is more important than content.
When the people who participated in the survey were asked as to why they mistrusted websites, the comments of 94 percent of the participants towards the website design elements. Only 6 percent of them made any reference to specific content.
Content Is Important
Website design might be very important, but content relevance and quality continue to be vital. When the participants of the abovementioned survey were asked as to why they trusted a particular website, the answers given by 83 percent of them revealed that content did have a key role to play.
People like websites that are informative, relevant, clear, unbiased, and fresh. Further, they like websites much better when age-specific information is given and answers to questions that come up often are provided.
Fonts and other typographic elements are also important, but the focus should be on delivering more accurate messages to your audience.
Anyway, overdoing these elements may not do any kind of additional good to your website. Too much content can mess up your web pages and affect the conversion rates.
Website Design Has Far-Reaching Effects
Both website design and content are important and they go hand-in-hand. However, it is the quality of design that attracts visitors to your website and makes them spend time and read the content you have provides.
According to website design and internet marketing experts, it is important to design your website, keeping the needs of your entire business in view. Or else, you will find it difficult to compete in the market.
Therefore, when you design your site to make it attractive to the visitors, it should also be kept in mind that it has the potential impact the other areas of your business.
Relationship Between Website Design and SEO
When creating your website, keeping SEO in mind, it is important that you think long term. Design trends keep changing, but the presence of your brand has to last for a much longer time.
Therefore, it is not wise to focus too much on the trends. It can cause problems for you. However, you should not completely neglect the prevailing styles.
To give you an example, a trending design style may be very attractive. Users may like the design because of the convenience the style provides. As a website owner, you may like to use the style because it keeps the users engaged.
However, what is more important is to determine whether the search engines like the trending style or not. As you remove the website structure that the search engines are traditionally used to crawling, you might be inviting problems for yourself.
On the other hand, you may really want to embrace the trending responsive designs for websites. This is because, in the near future, Internet searches are likely to be done more on smartphones rather than desktops and laptops.
There is a tremendous increase in the number of smartphone users around the world. Further, the search engines have started rewarding websites that invest in creating responsive web pages.
In addition to eliminating the need to run two separate websites and the risk of paying penalties for providing duplicate content, it helps you to greatly bring down the bounce rates.
The examples given above give you a fair idea as to why it is important to connect website design and SEO. However, there are a few other factors that need to be kept in mind when designing your website.
Website Design and Branding
You need to make a distinction between website design and branding. The design of your website cannot be considered as your brand at all.
Of course, it is a brand element that can help you to build trust among your target audience. Branding is actually an investment. It grows over time and makes people say that they have trust in your products and services.
Brands are perceptions and the elements of branding such as logos, trademarks, names, taglines, and packaging, are the shortcuts to reach those perceptions.
Typically, consumers tend to lean towards trusted brands. They will buy products and services when they are able to correlate with a strong brand.
As such, from the website design perspective, it is very clear that the elements of design you choose will have a direct impact on your overall branding strategy as well as market position.
Website Design and Conversion Rates
Website design also affects the conversion rates, particularly with respect to the elements listed below:
It is very easy to understand as to how accessibility and navigation are related to the conversion rates. If your web site’s design is such that it presents challenges to the visitors, then they are likely to lose interest quickly.
On the other hand, an intuitive website structure will encourage users to remain on your site and continue browsing. Navigation assumes a lot of importance when there are several pages on your website.
Therefore, you need to include a menu that clearly shows the list of web pages or a well-labelled navigation bar. A well-developed navigation plan enables users to not only explore but also understand your website much better.
You are not required to use state-of-the-art typefaces at all. A simple and intuitive navigation arrangement makes visitors come back to your website again and again.
2. Words Used
According to experts, the words that you use in your calls-to-action statements have the potential to directly impact the conversion rates. For example, incorporating the word ‘Free’ when requesting visitors to either download something or sign up on your site often tends to increase conversions by about 4.2 perc3ent.
Colours do have a role to play in improving conversions. Research studies show that big, bold red colour is best suited for headlines. Navy blue colour helps to improve the feeling of trustworthiness when you use it in your call-to-action buttons.
In conclusion, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the impact of your website’s design on SEO. It is just not a simple matter of preference or making a minor choice. Your website’s design has the potential to make or break your online business.
It has to actually make a difference as to how your target audience perceives your business or brand and the visitors to your website need to be converted into your customers.
All said and done, using a design that provides an impressive and easy to navigate user interface will go a long way in enhancing your conversion rates, contributing to improving the bottom line of your business.
In today’s digital world, more and more businesses have started developing responsive websites to stay ahead of their competitors. So, the earlier you act the better for you.
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3 years ago on
12 Website Design Strategies To Improve Your Business
Technology is constantly changing and businesses have been constantly evolving to take in these changes. From traffic to content, conversion rates and branding, there are many aspects of a website’s design that affects the presence of the business on the Internet.
It is a true fact that very few business owners realize the importance of building a well-designed website. Many business owners, big and small see the entire effort as more of a chore.
What they fail to realize is that a website is a fully separate channel that will bring in the leads for your organization. What is better is that it takes less effort to set up a well-designed website than train an entire sales team.
On the other end of the spectrum are those entrepreneurs that invest thousands or even millions of dollars on website design/redesign. Web design, though important from the aesthetic point of view, is much more than just being attractive.
This article chooses to explore why web design matters at all and what impacts it has on different aspects of an online business.
1. Trustworthiness and basic design elements
In some of the studies that were conducted one startling fact that was revealed was that respondents labelled a website as being trustworthy or otherwise more on the basis of the design elements present than its content.
The ratio was 94:6.
Websites that have small prints, those that displayed pop-up ads, complex website layout, all contributed to mistrust from the respondents.
Another aspect that was revealed was that whereas some colours were good when used for specific businesses, it would not suit certain others.
In case the business already has a logo or a colour scheme, it pays to use the same on the website for easy recognition and relatability.
Use of similar colours and similar fonts as the logo is important. Use highlighted text sparingly. Go for a simpler logo than a complex one if you are designing a new one.
2. Navigation should be easy and consistent
Site-wide navigation that is the same on every page is appealing for a website. Your visitors should know at any point in time as to where to start.
Display of a search box in direct view of the user always is recommended. If your website ends up challenging the visitors, there is a high chance that they will lose interest and quit browsing further.
Avoid displays that clutter up and provide the visitor with information without any interruptions.
3. Faster websites sell more
The speed with which a website loads is an important factor in satisfying the customer. Almost half the respondents in a survey said that they expected that the website would load in about 2 seconds’ time.
Any additional delay of a second in the loading time of a website is costly for the business and there is also a substantial reduction in the customer satisfaction.
It is important to give that experience to the customer which they will be happy to remember. If your website’s loading speed is good, they are likely to talk about it to their peers.
4. Make the Call-to-Action visible
Place the call-to-action button on every page of the website. Ensure that it is visible and the visitor does not have to scroll down to see it. More importantly, add a benefit to the call-to-action.
That is more than likely to get you more conversions. One research showed that use of the word ‘free’ along with the call-to-action button increased conversions by about 4.2 percent.
Other phrases which were seen as appealing ones included, “Buy now”, “Start the two-week trial”, etc., among others.
5. Make video stories
Include storytelling videos on your website. Studies have indicated that videos dramatically increase conversions in websites.
Great video ideas include those that tell the visitor what is happening behind the scene video that shows how your product is created and what work has gone into it, product tours and case studies about a specific problem that a customer encountered, the solution and the end result accompanied by a simple attractive script.
Testimonial videos are known to do their bit for your website. Allow people to announce how happy they are after using your product or service.
6. Improve the trust by displaying badges
Incorporate badges as part of your website. It is indeed a design element that can bring in more trust from your website visitors. They can be categorized into:
- Trust badges: Procure and display trust badges from review sites. TripAdvisor and Trustpilot are popular badges.
- Security badges: Companies such a McAfee show to the visitors that the link to your website is encrypted and allows for safe transactions to be sent through the website’s landing page by the visitor.
- Award badges: Display industry’s best awards if you have any. Do not fail to announce the awards, if any have been won by the designers and developers of your website.
7. No distractions, please
To increase conversions, it should be easy for the customers to make decisions. Do not make the website journey a confusing one for our visitors. Offers, pop-ups and too much of movement are likely to confuse the visitor.
Too many offers will end up becoming counterproductive. When there are too many, the visitor will be confused as to which one to pick.
The website visitor has to be safely guided through the sales funnel and get them to make a purchase. The golden rule is to keep distractions to a minimum.
8. Website-SEO relationship is important
SEO is a good method to make your website more visible to the search engines and customers at large. Getting a top slot in the search engine listings gets you your prospective customers’ attention.
This translated to a higher amount of traffic and consequently more conversions. The first step of SEO is good website design. With a great website design, you have already announced your arrival.
The rule of the thumb is do not neglect traditional website design structures that search engines look for while crawling in favour of modern trends. Have a healthy mix of the two.
9. Become Mobile Friendly
Most buying decisions of today are made with the mobile. With most people using the web on mobile phones and tablets, you can lose out if your business website is not optimized for a mobile device.
If you want your website to be seen on a computer as well as a mobile device, then you should have only very little media that is attached to the website design.
This may not work out the way you want all the time. However, it is better to have a mobile-optimized version of your business website. The website should contain all the relevant information that the customer needs to see.
10. Keep your website design contemporary
The bounce rates are going t be higher if you have an outdated website design. Old-fashioned websites are likely to be a turn-off. If they feel that you are not up-to-date, in either your content or design, they are going to bounce off your pages.
It is a good idea to review your website once in a couple of years or every year and freshen it up to reflect the latest trends.
11. Content is still king
While website design is important, content is still the king. Websites that presented lucid, no-nonsense and unbiased information were liked by most users. Other popular designs included FAQ’s and sites giving information to specific age groups.
12. Website design is one of the most important of your brand elements
The design of a website does not equate to your brand. However, website design by itself is an important brand element that helps your customer to place trust in you.
Branding is that invisible factor, or a perception, that grows over time and gets your client to trust your product/service no matter what. Other brand elements can be logos, taglines, packaging, trademarks etc.
The dozen points discussed above are basic ideas that can get your web design on track and make a difference to your customers. How your website looks and functions are key factors that would influence the outcomes of your business decisions.
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3 years ago on
Guide to Artificial Intelligence in Search Engine Optimization
Most of the concepts surrounding AI are based on speculation collected from search engine behavior and patents. Unfortunately, misconception gives rise to fear and this has lead to the current situation where many are unable to utilize AI in favor of SEO. Before we delve deeper into the subject, we need to know what AI is all about.
What is Artificial Intelligence in SEO?
Artificial Intelligence, unlike popular belief, is not a static formula. It is a continually developing system that has been designed to identify, sort and present the required data to meet user demand at that particular point of time from available variables that go far beyond the keywords typed.
How is AI changing SEO?
The year 2015 saw the introduction of RankBrain by Google to its algorithm chart thereby cementing the significance of Artificial Intelligence in SEO.
3 years down the line and search marketers are using AI to uncover new insights, automate labor-intensive tasks to offer an entirely new level of personalization to end users. The AI revolution is real, and it is happening. The significant areas where AI is changing SEO include:
- Web Development
- On-Site Content Display
- Interactive Buttons
AI and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning are not the same. Machine learning is a subset of AI. It relies on algorithms to collect data from the existing surrounding to take actions without being explicitly programmed to do so. In other words, they rely on their experience to deliver the desired results. For example:
1. Google uses machine learning to analyze the context of the content to offer better search results.
2. Amazon’s Echo analyses the user’s behavior and of other similar customers to provide new product ranges to choose.
3. Apple uses machine learning to increase the security of the device whereby the user’s face and fingerprints are recognized to unlock the hardware.
4. Facebook uses machine learning to identify the user image and their context.
How Will AI and Machine Learning Impact Content?
Content that fails to engage is no longer of any importance. “Content is King” is an outdated adage. The main focus is on creating a content that “engages” the end users and leads them to go for the services offered and the products displayed.
For example: to improve user experience, RankBrain interprets the environment from which the content is derived and thereby aims at providing better search results.
The goal is to offer search results that are matching to the closest answer to the query enquired. If the content generated for SEO purpose fails to live up to the need of the time, it will get lost amidst thousands of contents created daily. To step up and become visible, the content has to be “concept-related content” rather than “keyword-related content.”
How to use AI for SEO?
In this tricky environment, it becomes equally important for the SEO professionals to survive the challenges thrown at them. The following 5 strategies can change your game plan completely:
1. Keyword Optimization through keyword gathering, grouping and generating exemplars.
2. Use of Cluster Analysis & Predictive Analytics. Regroup your content on a single chosen topic and use the trends to predict the user demand to arrive at the search results.
3. Leveraging Customer Reviews to the hilt. There is nothing better than authentic customer feedback to create better awareness and higher page ranking.
4. Utilizing the available Customer Data to predict shoppers buying habits.
5. AI powered Chatbots are a great way to attract customers towards a sale.
AI SEO software and tools
The popular AI SEO software and tools can be summarized as mentioned below:
- Acrolinx – For analyzing and optimizing quality content
- Automated Insights
- One Spot – For customizing marketing channels
- Narrative Science – For generating immersive narratives from the data available
- Market Brew – For figuring out SEO rankings
- CanIRank – For SEO strategy formulations
- Albert – Use AI for online marketing tricks
- Pave AI – For analyzing Google Analytics
Simple AI strategies in SEO for amazing results
AI strategies are not always complicated. Gooogle’s RankBrain aims to offer the best possible search as per the query generated. To make sure that your SEO tactics attract the attention of RankBrain, keep in mind the following attributes:
- Mobile Friendly Pages are the key.
- Page Speed determines the success rate of your website. A slow loading webpage irks the customer and affects their attention span.
- Controlled Bounce Rate.
- Improved Dwell Rate.
- Enhanced Click Through Rate (CTR).
- Use more of Latent Semantic Indexing keywords.
- Related Internal & External Links.
- Structured Data Usage rather than random information available
AI and Link Building
At present, AI has not reached that stage where they can build links for your content. However, it can assist you at each stage of content planning.
Use AI for data collection through natural language processing. This will help to determine whether the information collected is genuine and relevant or not.
AI can also be used for site analysis to determine whether the site in question will have an impact on the page ranking or not.
Smart Tips for Improving Your AI based SEO
An effective SEO strategy takes time to develop and even more significant time to show favorable results. Data and data analysis is an integral part of any SEO strategy.
However, the human brain can process so many data available at any given point in time. To maximize the data crunching, you need AI.
Artificial Intelligence based SEO offers refined and better search ranking results. It can gather data, identify cross-selling audience segments and follow it up by determining the relevance and effectiveness of the content.
How Can AI Improve Your PPC Campaigns?
Give your PPC campaigns a boost with AI. The trick lies in using the AI to carry out repetitive tasks, which is a full-time job in itself. Use AI to monitor and fine-tune paid ads. To improve your PPC campaigns through AI opt for the following measures:
1. Opt for dynamic ads that show different ads to different users based on their preference and purchase history.
2. For any PPC campaign to be successful, the ad delivery has to be at the right time to the right people. AI helps to optimize ad delivery.
3 .Instead of manual bidding, make use of automated bidding with AI.
4. It is not necessary to use AI for your PPC campaigns. You can use AI to find out about customer searches, buying the pattern and use the relevant information in creating your PPC campaign strategy.
5. AI can use data analysis to uncover relevant keywords for your industry, thanks to the real world conversational language.
Future of Artificial intelligence in SEO
To sum it up, we cannot undermine the role played by AI in SEO strategy nowadays. The question remains what lies in the future? If the recent trends are anything to go by, then the following can be predicted for the future:
1. AI will interfere with SEO practitioners using Black Hat SEO tactics like the use of excessive keywords in the content, backlinking.
2. Real-time data will require real-time adjustments with better-personalized care – all thanks to AI algorithm.
3. Conversational keywords will rule
4. The demand for visual content will be on the rise.
As technology progresses, we will see many more changes. Who knows, a time might come when you will type in your requirements and mention the budget while the rest will be taken care of by AI.
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3 years ago on
How To Be Successful On Instagram
If you are looking for ways to be successful on Instagram, you have come to the right place. There are more than 800 million active accounts, on a monthly basis, on Instagram. However, it is still possible for you to be successful on this social network.
All that you have to do is put in a little bit of effort to gain some targeted following. You have to take the trouble to implement a few strategies, but it is worth the effort. Read on to know more about how you can apply the strategies to personal or business accounts.
1. Provide A Proper Bio
It is very important that you include an attractive bio on your Instagram account. The bio should make it clear to your audience as to who you are and what is it that you do. It should definitely include a clear call-to-action to follow you on Facebook.
In fact, it is mandatory to include an impeccable bio if you want to be successful on Instagram. The audience that you are targeting will not follow you if they don’t see any value in what you are offering. Finally, your bio should be clear and concise.
2. Create Interesting Content
Now that you have sorted out your Instagram bio, you can start thinking about your content strategy. This social network is all about sharing interesting and high-quality content. If your content is not interesting and/or attractive, you cannot expect to have many followers.
The content should also not have too many words in them. In fact, you should include high-quality, eye-catching images and/or videos if your goal is to be successful on Instagram.
There are a number of tools such as Photoshop, Typorama, Canva, and Adobe Spark Post that are available on app stores and the World Wide Web to help you create superior content.
3. Add Content Regularly
Posting content on a regular basis is a prerequisite for succeeding on this social platform. This is to say that you need to be reasonably active on Instagram. Ideally, you should submit at least one post every day. If you are able to submit two or three posts in a day, you can expect to get a better reach and engagement.
It is not easy to post many times in a day, but you can use Schedugram to make it easy for you. It also helps you to automate your posting by setting up a content queue. In addition, it is important to identify the best times to post on this social network.
4. Identify The Best Hashtags
People make little mistakes ranging from not using hashtags to using non-related and random hashtags when posting content on Instagram.
When you share content, it is very important that you make use of the right and best hashtags. This is because it will help you to maximize your chances of reaching across to the target audience, keep them engaged, and ensure growth.
It is, therefore, a good idea to make use of all the 30 hashtags permitted to ensure maximum exposure. Further, it is also important to do in-depth keyword research regularly to identify the best hashtags so that your post shows up in the top nine contents.
5. Make Use of Stories Feature
You can use Instagram Stories feature in many ways. In fact, it is highly recommended that you use it on a regular basis, especially if more than 10,000 people are following your account.
It helps you to add hyperlinks within your posts. Actually, this is a great way to not only attract more traffic but also to generate more business through this social media platform.
In addition, you can create Instagram story polls to gather specific information as regards your followers. For example, you can create a poll to find out as to what type of content your followers prefer. You can also use this feature for announcing your new or next post. This will also help you to increase engagement quickly.
6. Make Use of Highlights Feature
If you have a fairly big account, then you should think of connecting with other large accounts as well as Instagram influencers. You can find out as to whether they are interested in collaborating with you.
However, if the size of your account is not as big as the other accounts or have the required engagement ratio, then you must consider providing value prior to asking them to collaborate with you.
This is really helpful in improving follower engagement and growth. It is also possible to effectively implement this strategy through Instagram Stories.
8. Instagram Live Streaming
Instagram Live has the ability to bring in a great deal of engagement as well as new followers. However, you need to provide value and share the same across your social networks.
If you promote live streaming well before the actual streaming with the help of hashtags through your stories and posts, then you are likely to add on a few new potential followers that are curious to know as to what you have to offer.
Instagram’s live streaming feature can also be used for driving traffic to your website if you have a large number of viewers. You can consider providing a few call-to-actions. For example, you can ask the viewers to click on the link included in your bio for receiving exclusive content.
Here are a few suggestions for making Instagram Live more interesting
- Share a few things that happen behind-the-scenes.
- Have a question and answer stream once in a week or month.
These will help your audience to get to know you better and you will also be in a better position to find out what they would like to know about you. This, in turn, would help you in generating more content ideas as well.
9. Engage with Your Targeted Audience and Followers
All said and done, if you want to achieve success on Instagram, you have to engage well with your followers. You need to show it to them that there is no bot and that you are the person operating your account by actively replying to your audience’s queries and comments through direct messages on a regular basis. This will encourage them to recommend your content and you to their family, friends, and followers.
The same applies to the content provided by you as well. You can leave a few likes, comments, and follow back your audience to build positive and healthy relationships. This will not only encourage engagement but also builds trust. This is an effective way to grow your account.
Summarizing, the nine tips discussed in the post will help you to become successful on Instagram. However, you need to put in some effort and experiment with many different kinds of content and hashtags. You should never be scared of experimenting when it comes to marketing.
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3 years ago on
20 Ideal Places To Share Your Content [Infographic]
Content methodology involves processes such as research, identification, content creation, proofread, approval & publishing, social media distribution, etc.
But, are we promoting the content on right social media channels?
The answer might be a big no.
Writing blogs and publishing on your website does not guarantee you best content marketing results.
You know what, more than 3 million blog posts are being published by different websites daily.
So, if want to achieve any real traction, you need to think outside the box.
You need to look beyond publishing content on your website.
Think about sharing your content on industry or niche platforms to get it discovered by more people.
Here is an infographic illustrating 20 ideal places to share your content for better conversions.
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3 years ago on
How Animated Videos Can Help To Promote Your Business
Why Animation Videos Are So Popular?
Animation is not all about just children’s pictures and something that you fool around with at some point in your lifetime. It has been found that animation, if used properly, can bring about great success for a business. The use of animation in digital marketing sphere has shown promising results in recent years.
Another reason why the current popular trend of animated videos is set to grow is only due to high-speed Internet and its market penetration.
An animated video presents information on the screen using colourful graphics and engaging motion. Industry gurus opine that with animated videos the marketing possibilities are endless.
Many companies of different sizes and types are all getting on the bandwagon of using animated videos as part of their online marketing strategies.
Animated videos are used extensively by the more established companies to explain how their products or services work. So much so, even start-ups with limited budgets are foraying into the world of animated graphics to promote their business and are viewing it as an integral part of their business strategy. Read on to find out why you can use animated videos to promote your business.
1. People are visual learners
It is a known fact that of 65% of people can learn more by viewing pictures, that is, they are visual learners. Over 90% of information that reaches the brain is visual in nature. Visual information that reaches the brain is processed faster than any other type and can understand easily.
For all of these reasons, there has come about a noticeable increase in the video content that is streamed through social media and the Internet.
The fact that Facebook streams an average of over 4 billion videos in a day bears evidence to this fact. In short, pictures and videos are more remembered in people’s minds than just text.
2. Animated videos can be produced quickly
Many companies, even today, think that only large corporations with big budgets sell their products through the online video channel. It is true that live action video, in addition to a substantial budget, has all the ingredients depending on outside influences: shooting the video, actors, wardrobes of the actors, and location to shoot the scene.
It needs more equipment to create. The end video can, therefore, make or break the message that you intend to spread to your prospective clients.
However, it should be understood that live action video is not the only way in which you can make your customers understand about your product or service. Animated videos can be created quickly in a definite and controlled environment.
The tools are available within your organization and there is a total control of the final product. It works out cheaper and it is possible to deliver the message that you want your audience to see and understand in a powerful manner using an animated video.
3. Animated videos can help to improve your Google ranking
One of the metrics that Google uses to rank websites is the amount of time that a user spends on the site. The average website user is known to spend only 10 or a maximum of 20 seconds if no other reason compels him/her to stay further. If the visitor leaves the website within a few seconds, your Google ranking can be affected.
An animated video can do help to improve the rankings. Animated videos are entertaining, educative and fun to watch. The chances are very high that a visitor to the website will watch an animated video that is playing on the landing page of your website before leaving the site.
It is estimated that for a site having animated videos, the website average time for a visitor is found to increase from 8 seconds to about 2 minutes.
4. Animated Videos can help to increase conversion rates
According to surveys that have been conducted, over 85% of respondents admitted that they have ended up buying a product after seeing an animated video that explained the use of the product.
More than keeping the visitors at the website for longer periods, they help to convert prospective clients into customers. In this light, it is important to note that the videos should be created in the most exciting and innovative manner for conversions to increase.
5. Animated videos can go viral
Most animated videos are made with characters that represent prospective clients. They are made in such a way that they are informative as well as entertaining.
If the video is something that they can relate to, the level of engagement is high. It is possible that they will share it with like-minded friends.
The video can then go viral and this directly translates to a huge exposure and an increase in the number of new prospective clients. The increase in the amount of interest brings along more business growth and sales.
The best stories are when the customers-to-be form the stars. Always project the company as a supporting character in the video.
6. Animated videos serve to draw the viewer’s attention
Animations with the right mix of movements and colours can draw the viewer’s attention and keep them hooked on to the movie. The story-telling techniques that are employed also play an important part.
Visual aids are proven to be more persuasive (43% more) than verbal attempts to persuade. Animated videos have both the audio and visual communication that significantly enhances perception.
7. Animated videos are easy to understand
The characters and elements in an animated video are combined in such a way that the most complex data and concepts in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. The best part is that the simple format is easy for the viewer to remember.
The characters in an animated movie can be made to act in any manner for you. They can fly, speak, sing or dance to convey your message to the audience.
Animated Videos can be used to highlight the key points of your product or service in an effective manner. They put across important matter across to the audience in a matter of few minutes which otherwise would have taken hours to read and understand. The recommended length for an animated movie to advertise your product is 90 to 120 seconds.
8. Animated videos are economical
Animated video is one of the cheapest ways that you can use to promote a product or a service that your business offers. All it needs is the creativeness of a team that will put together an idea using animation skills.
Animated videos are not very expensive to create and are seen to provide optimal ROI and lead conversion rates for just about any business (an increase of about 80%).
Animated videos need not be updated as frequently as live-action videos as they remain fresh for longer periods unlike the latter.
9. Animated videos help you to stay ahead of the pack
A good-quality animated video is what can make you beat the competition. A high-quality video places you in the market as an innovative and futuristic company and sets you apart from the rest of the pack.
10. Animated videos are a great way of engaging with customers
People all over the world watch videos every day. It is estimated that over one-third of the time that an individual spends online is for watching videos. Therefore, making use of animated videos is seen as one of the best ways to catch the attention of a prospective customer.
It can be considered as the very first step in making a sale. Therefore, making use of content that engages the audience is crucial to make your product or service a success.
11. Animated videos help to improve SEO
Google loves animated videos as much as your prospective clients. As Google rankings improve when you place videos on your website, it is also a good way to improve your SEO and your website to rank higher in Google’s search listings. This is one major reason why animated videos are being used more.
If you host your animated video on YouTube and embed these on your website, you can do a smart job of including keywords in the video andaccording to statistics, the chances of your video making it to the first page of Google search listings increases by over 50 times.
#12: Animated videos appeal to everyone
Animated videos appeal to a much larger group than just children. Many animated videos boast of millions of subscribers (e.g., Kurzgesagt in YouTube). Animated videos do not promote any specific race, age, religion or nationality.
This is important for your business because the whole world is the market for your online business. Therefore it needs to appeal to everyone and reach different demographic groups, cultures and races.
13. Animated videos are helpful tools that aid in building your brand
Animated videos give your business fantastic opportunity to build a brand. The creative team that builds the video can incorporate brand images, logos and colours of your business into the video every time. They can even build a series of videos that will help to place the brand successfully in the market.
In the light of the above discussions, the reasons why an online business owner would want to make animated videos on board the marketing campaign are as follows:
- They pave way for increased sales
- They serve to increase conversions
- They improve search engine rankings
- They put forth easy-to-remember marketing messages
- They keep up the customer engagement
- They reduce the consultations because of a better understanding of how the product/service works
The Bottom Line
If you are a business owner and you have not added animated videos as part of your marketing strategy, it is time to get started now. There are cloud-based programs that help to create animated videos quickly and easily with simple tools that can be used to drag and drop figures.
More than 64% of prospective clients are likely to buy a product online after watching videos and that over 50% of viewers are looking for more information about a product or a service after watching a video should be reasons enough to get started.