If your company website is not mobile-ready, more than likely, you’ve been missing out on potential customers. When mobile users try to access websites that are not mobile responsive, it’s a truly frustrating experience.

Most of these searchers move on to your competitors’ websites and never return to yours. So as you can guess, these are lost leads.

But now, there’s another crucial reason to mobilize your website; Google is making some changes that will negatively impact any website that is not mobile-ready.

What is changing?

Mobile-friendliness has been a factor in Google search for a few years now, but no one knows exactly to what degree.  However, Google did announce that mobile-friendliness will now be heavily weighed as a ranking signal.

On February 26, 2015, Google wrote this statement on their Webmaster Tools blog:  “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on your search results.”

The Google mobile algorithm update in April, 2015 will significantly influence the organic results for web searches performed on mobile devices. 

Why the change?

More than 60% of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices. So Google’s overall goal with the algorithm update was to provide a faster, smoother experience for mobile searchers.

When mobile users try to access websites that are not mobile-ready, it’s pretty much a waste of time. In order to match mobile users with the most beneficial websites based on their searches, the algorithm update will ensure that mobile-friendly websites get the most search engine attention.

What does this mean for your business?

Basically, if your site is not mobile-ready, it will suffer lower rankings on Google when users search for your type of products and services on their mobile devices.

On the other hand, if your website is mobile-friendly, you may experience an increase in rankings; especially in cases where most of your competitors haven’t optimized their websites for mobile.

What should you do?

  1. Make sure your website is mobile-ready. This may sound like a no-brainer, but just because your website looks fine on a desktop or laptop does not mean that it is the same for mobile devices.

Google has provided a free “Mobile Friendliness” tool where you can test your website for mobile. Here’s the link: http://cliks.it/click/ZYGAm

You can tell within a few minutes whether or not your site meets the basic standards for mobile optimization.

  1. If your website is not mobile-ready, it’s time to change that. Whether you go with a complete mobile-responsive website re-design or a stand-alone mobile website, take measures as soon as possible to ensure your business is not negatively impacted by this major update.

Having a website that is optimized for mobile viewing is critical. Not only is it important for providing convenience to your mobile customers and prospects; it’s now a major factor in how well these mobile consumers can find your website when searching online for your type of products and services.

Mobile Marketing Strategy

Now that 80% of the world’s population own a mobile phone and four out of five consumers shop using their smartphone, jumping on the mobile marketing bandwagon sooner rather than later is a strategy webmasters cannot ignore. Mobile marketing is not just trundling along – it’s going at breakneck speeds and is only going to get faster!

Mobile Marketing is the Future

With the way mobile technology is advancing, consumers will become more reliant on their handheld devices to do their shopping. Indeed, mobile marketing is the fastest growing industry EVER! According to Monetate Ecommerce quarterly, the growth of consumers using their mobiles to shop is steadily growing each quarter and has almost doubled from Q1 in 2012 to Q1 in 2013. Analysts estimate that mobile marketing will outstrip fixed internet access next year.

The simple fact of the matter is that the world is going SoLoMo – consumers are shopping socially, searching locally and using mobile devices to do it. Larry Page, chief executive of Google, said: “With more devices, more information, and more activity online than ever, the potential to improve people’s lives even more is immense.”

Only 17% of Online Businesses can Effectively be Viewed on a Mobile Device

Given the statistics above, it may surprise you to find that only 17% of websites actually work properly on a handheld device. There is definitely room for improvement. At the moment consumers are being patient, but once more website owners get on-board with mobile marketing, consumers will not tolerate websites they have to scroll through to see. Make sure you are one of the first to get on-board. Mobile marketing is an emerging market and to take advantage you have to get in there early.

40% of Shoppers Consult Three or More Review Sites Before Making a Purchase

The internet has taken word-of-mouth marketing to another level. The ability to leave reviews enables consumers to go online and find out what other people are saying about a particular product. However, they do not settle for one site as one voice cannot be trusted so register your products and business with several consumer promotion sites. This type of behavior puts the emphasis for quality on manufacturers which in turn helps small businesses sell merchandise.

4 out of 5 Consumers use Smartphones to Shop

Access to the internet is very convenient for smartphone users and they are using their handhelds to check out prices and reviews of certain products while they are in your shop. You can use this to your advantage by offering discount coupons for customers to download straight to their mobile and use in your shop.

40% of Searches have Local Intent

A couple of years ago, Google identified that the larger percentage of searches were local. The same pattern is emerging using handheld technology and as mobile marketing continues to grow, this figure will grow with it. If you own a local business on high-street, it is imperative to make your website stand out on portable handsets.

Mobile Marketing is Predicted to Overtake Desktop Internet Usage

According to the digital analytics firm Comscore, there will be more people surfing the net on portable devices next year than there will be using desktop computers. The stats show that mobile use is growing 14 times faster than desktop devices. The increase is largely thanks to 3G and 4G technology becoming more widespread on smartphones and tablets – especially in emerging mobile phone markets such as China and India.

Young People use Their Phones More Than Their Mouths

Young people don’t talk anymore – they chat. Okay, that’s not strictly true, but they do use their mobile phones to communicate and share online content. A recent survey showed that 61% of young people refer to social media sites to decide where to go and what to buy. The same survey showed that 78% of small businesses attract around a quarter of their new customers through social media networking and nearly all teenagers that own a mobile phone use Facebook.

70% of Mobile Searches lead to Online Action within an Hour

Given that mobile users are on the go while they are browsing for bargains, it makes sense that conversion rates are a lot faster than someone searching on a laptop. That’s because people searching on desktop computers are usually at home and have time to ponder their purchase options and continue their searches. Mobile shoppers are ready to spend and will buy on impulse.

Call (204) 783-6342 for a Free Coaching Session on how to develop your Mobile Marketing Strategy.

 

Source

Although SMS (Text Message) have been around for a long time now, it’s still an effective form of communication all over the world. Marketing researchers forecast that SMS will continue to grow. The biggest advantage of SMS (Text Message) marketing is, all mobile phones have SMS capabilities.

But how does SMS marketing work? How is it done and how can your business benefit from using it in your business?

SMS marketing basically works by programming a software to send messages at scheduled times, for specific purposes. It may sound simple, but there are many marketing benefits you can get from implementing SMS marketing. 

  1. Appointment Reminders

Many small businesses rely on regular appointment visits by their patients or customers for income. A missed appointment will result in loss of income for the business.

Instead of manually listing the scheduled appointments, sending individual SMS or making hours of appointment reminder phone calls.

All you have to do is to schedule an appointment, input it to the system and a Text Message will be sent to the client reminding them of their appointment with you. 

  1. Gathering Leads

With SMS marketing, you can create an SMS/Text list that you can send periodic promotions or important information to.  For example coupons, announcements about specific events like anniversaries, sales or special promotions.

You can build your SMS/Text list by creating a short code that you include on posters, flyers or even your website. Start an SMS/Text VIP Club, run a contest. You have to give your audience reasons to opt-in  to your SMS marketing program. 

  1. Birthday Greetings!

Although your client knows this is automated, it still feels special if you “remember” their birthday and even more special if you offer  them a gift or reward for being a valued customer, client or patient.

These are just three of the things you can do with SMS/Text Message Marketing. Please contact me for a FREE Coaching Session if you would like to explore how you can use SMS/Text Message Marketing in your business.


Text Message Marketing Winnipeg- Kevin Toney the Marketing Coach from Kevin on Vimeo.

 

Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching session.

www.MarketingCoaching.ca Follow me on twitter @DMarketingCoach

content marketingIn order to make your business attractive to potential customers you need to demonstrate that you can answer their questions and solve their problems.

Slick advertising is no longer the answer to attracting new business. Putting together your logo, or photo with your contact info and placing it in a newspaper in my opinion is a waste of money. Readership of the YellowPages is way down. Handing out cards and brochures is not as effective as they once were. Today you need to prove to your potential clients, customers or patients that you have the information and resources to help them solve their problems and add value to their lives.

Before the internet revolution we were told to “sell the sizzle not the steak”. In my opinion this meant advertising hype was more important than offering value and quality. Most of today’s smart, informed consumers are no longer falling for the hype. They view advertising with a distrustful, skeptical eye.

Your marketing challenge is to discover what are the concerns and problems of your ideal customer and what they value most. Then use what you have learned to develop informative content that will attract them to your business, by helping them solve their problems and achieve most of what they want.

To attract potential customers you will need to become a PRODUCER and DISTRIBUTOR of informative, problem-solving content. Your content can be in the form of videos, audios, articles, books and images.

Develop a strategy to distribute your content. A simple email newsletter could be part of your strategy. The growing popularity of social medial offers many distribution opportunities. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube to mention a few. How about starting your own blog or doing an online or offline seminar?

Granted, producing and distributing your content can be time consuming, but if you have a small marketing budget it’s well worth your effort. You can also explore outsourcing your content development and distribution.

More and more people are ignoring the old traditional forms of advertising. Content marketing is one of the major trends in marketing and early indications show it can be very effective at attracting customers. People will always seek out information to help them make better buying decisions. Content marketing gives you the opportunity to educate your prospects and well informed prospects make the best clients or customers.

content marketing winnipeg services

Twitter's New AlgorithmIn the good old days every tweet you sent would be seen by the public. This gave you the opportunity to reach people far and wide. No more!

Last month Twitter rolled out a new algorithm-based timeline very similar to Facebook’s. Your tweets are now  curated  and sorted based on “relevant” tweets. Who decides if your tweets are “relevant” enough to be seen by the public and your followers, a computer program.

This means your tweets are now in competition with every dog GIF, Kim Kardashian tweet and piano playing cat video. Who do you think is gong to win this battle?

Companies with thousands of followers have seen significant reduction in clicks, resulting in a reduction in website traffic; some reports say as much 50%. “A business that requires free traffic to survive isn’t a business at all.”
(Perry Marshal)

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Do not rely on free traffic as your main source of website traffic. You don’t own your social media sites, which puts you at the mercy of  every change that they make. Do you really want to give social media sites all this power and influence on the success of your business?

I’ve been preaching for years that you should be using social media marketing to build your own marketing assets  – Your EMAIL LIST, or TEXT LIST. Yes, maybe even a DIRECT MAIL LIST. This twitter algorithm change is further evidence that this is a smart marketing strategy.

In my opinion too many business have relied too strongly on so-called free social media marketing. If you do a lot of social media marketing, you know it’s very time consuming and like the saying goes, “time is money”

Think of it this way, would you rather pay rent to a landlord forever or invest in buying a house that will most likely become a growing, valuable asset?
List-building is asset building.

If you need some help to develop and implement your list-building strategies, I’m here to help, call me (204-783-6342).


Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals.  Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. www.MarketingCoaching.ca Follow me on twitter @DMarketingCoach

VIDEO MARKETINGThere was a time when business owners had to be convinced they needed a website. Now most business owners accept it as a necessary marketing tool  for doing business in 2016. Now business owners also need to realize that video marketing is is becoming a must have marketing strategy.

If you’re still not convinced of the importance of using videos in your marketing strategy, here are some facts that should convince you to start doing your research on video marketing.

  1. YouTube has a billion unique users a month, and it gets 4 billion views per day. About 6 billion hours’ worth of videos are seen every month.
  2. The typical Internet user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos in a month. About 78% of the people online watch at least once a week and 55% watch at least one video every day. That’s about 100 million people who watch online videos every day.
  1. In June 2013, more than 85% of US internet users watched videos online. The total number of videos viewed reached 44 billion.
  1. Every day on Facebook, you cannot count the number of hours’ worth of videos being shared. That’s because in one single day, you’ll need 500 years to watch the shared videos. On Twitter, in one minute about 700 YouTube videos are being shared.
  1. If you get into video marketing, you may catch up with your competition, which are most likely engaged in video marketing already. In 2011, about 70% of senior marketing execs were already using videos on their marketing efforts. By 2012, this figure jumped to more than 81%.
  1. About 90% of all shoppers (as reported by a major retailer website) said they find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. Retailers are also reporting that the products online which included videos were selling much better.
  1. About half of all people who watch a video ad took some action afterward. They may have done more research on the subject of the video, visited the website featured in the ad, visited the actual shop in the real world, or just bought the product outright.
  1. In an online retail store, people who watch a video were 64% more likely to buy the item after watching the video.
  1. People love to comment on videos. That’s where you can gain a lot more knowledge about your viewership and your potential customers. Here is where you can also engage in interaction with the people who saw the video. In addition, you can also easily check how many people saw the videos, and where they logged off.
  1. Your videos are essentially permanent. That’s the trouble with TV ads— you have to pay each time or else it’s taken off the air. But that’s not the problem here with online videos.
  2. You can reach mobile viewers as well. Online videos account for about half of all Internet traffic on movie devices.
  1. You can also use videos for your email marketing. Twice as many people click through to your website when you include a video in your email message.

If you would like to discover how to incorporate video marketing into your business, use the form below to contact me.

Source: Video Warrior

 

Get Free Online Exposure with Citations and Directories

online citationsUsually when you hear that you have received a “citation” it is a bad thing, but in the online marketing world, the opposite is true. If you own a business and you have heard of or read about citations, you may have been confused about exactly what they are. 

In simple terms, a citation in the online world refers to any time your company information is listed on a website. These include listings such as local directories, such as Yelp.com, YellowPages.com, and SuperPages.com.

Also, citations can be found on other types of websites such as local blogs, news website, employment sites, social media sites, government sites, the Chamber of Commerce site, and anything else that may mention your company.

Even if the mention has no link to your company’s website and only your company’s name is mentioned, it is still considered a citation.

However, the more information included, the better.

Why Citations Are Good 

Any online exposure for your company will bring attention to your products and services, which you can obviously benefit from. Exposure opens you up to potential customers that may have previously passed you by; and citations play a vital role in helping you connect with these potential buyers.

In addition to that, citations are critical for search engine optimization today.  Google and other search engines use citations to rank your business. The more citations you have, the higher your website will list in the search results. A higher ranking means more web traffic, which in turn equals more business for you.

So what is the key to getting more citations for your business? While there are a variety of ways to accomplish this, it all boils down to building more of a presence online.

However, several factors should be considered when building these citations.

Tips for Citations 

At the very least, your citations should mention your company’s formal name, your physical address, and your local phone number (also called NAP for “Name, Address, Phone Number”) – and anything else that tells a search engine or a customer exactly who you are.

Even more important is that all of your citations are consistent and contain the exact same information.  Using different addresses and phone numbers (except in the case of multiple locations) could actually hurt your ability to gain any benefits from them.

Finally, a citation is most effective when it is accompanied by as much information about your business as possible. So be sure to include your hours of operations, pictures, videos, details about your products and services, and any other helpful information you think your potential customers would like to have.

 


Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. www.MarketingCoaching.ca

 

 

 

website-contentA website is made up of three essential components: URL/Hosting, graphics/design, and written content. Many website creators are preoccupied with aesthetics and have a keen eye for design, but not nearly as much concern and dedication is invested in the content.

Design is important, it sets the tone and highlights the professionalism of your brand. But in my opinion content should be your number one priority, or at least get an equal amount of attention.

Written content reigns, sometimes it can be overwhelming to develop effective content. Here are some ways in which content makes the biggest difference.

Attract the Search Engines

The most impressive design on your website will not convince Google that you are better than your competition if you don’t actually offer content that is informative. Above all else, search engines are driven by written content. When they crawl your page, they scan your text, searching it for quality, probing for links and relevant articles.

Search engines crave information that is pertinent to search terms, which is why keywords are the hallmark of your content. Having a lot of content with relevant information is critical in achieving the free ranking that is  necessary to drive most traffic to your website.

Tell Your Story

There is no need to become over-involved in SEO jargon and lingo. What matters more than anything is that your content is written in a way that your guests, clients, and prospects find useful and helpful.

When you’re writing the About Us page, do just do that. What is your business about? Offer your goals – past, present, and future. Insert images to divide large segments of text. Provide information in your content that will help answer questions your visitors might have.

Keep in mind, your real target is an actual human being and not a search engine. Providing information that is both relevant and helpful will prevent your visitors from leaving your website too soon. It can be challenging to write for the search engines and for human consumption.

Get to the Point

Writing great content requires that you have a good understanding of the needs and wants of your target audience. If you are a restaurant owner, then you probably want to provide your business hours, a downloadable menu, images of menu items and food, as well as photos of your restaurant’s interior.

A page about your catering service or accommodating large reservations is tremendously beneficial. On the other hand, it would not make sense to have staff directories with bios on every employee; that would make more sense for a financial institution or a university.

Mix It up a Little

Content does not always have to be words on a page. Depending on what service or product you offer, consider other formats, such as a videos, a podcast for download, or a fascinating infographic.


 

Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals.  Call 1-800-796-4960 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session. www.MarketingCoaching.ca

What Kind of Website Should You Get?

winnipeg web design companyIf you are responsible for developing a website for your business and you know very little about web design, then you may find that the various choices you have when it comes to building your website can be quite confusing.  After all, how do you choose between a WordPress site and HTML when you don’t even know what those terms mean?  If you are having a hard time sorting through the jargon and deciding which option is right for you, then you’ve come to the right place.  Here to help is this rundown of the differences between HTML and WordPress:

Coding versus using a template.  One of the most definitive differences between WordPress and HTML has to do with how you actually execute your site creation.  HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is actually a programming code (or, language) that you use to design static web pages from scratch.  For example, in an HTML document, you would see something like this, “<p><b>Hello.</b> I am a web designer.</p>,” representing a single line of text with a header.  If you don’t know what all of that means, then you would need to learn HTML in order to write the code.  Otherwise, you could create HTML pages in a platform like Dreamweaver (in which case you should still know a thing or two about coding).  WordPress, on the other hand, is a platform for building dynamic web pages (we’ll get to the difference between static and dynamic later), using a template-based format that allows you to easily create websites by adding content and dragging/dropping features you want on your pages.

Static versus dynamic.  HTML pages are static, meaning they stand alone and stay the same unless you go in and manually change them.  That means that if you want to change the look or feel of your entire website, you will have to open up the file for each page manually, and make the necessary changes separately.  WordPress pages are dynamic, meaning they are all stored in a single database and linked together in that way that allows you to make style changes with just a few simple clicks from a single user interface.  (It is worth mentioning that you can also create static pages using WordPress, if you so desire).

Closed source versus open source.  HTML is closed source, meaning only you (or the person who wrote the code) can make changes to, or embellish, the code.  This is fairly limiting, unless you have a very skilled coder on hand.  WordPress is an open source platform, which means that anyone can develop additions (like plugins) that you can apply to your own site to make it better-looking, more functional, and highly customized.

When it comes to growing your business in 2016 and beyond, having a website is one of the best things you can do for your business. Partnering with  a company that can work with you step by step  and one that understands how your website fits into your entire marketing picture is a must. That’s what you’ll get from us. We won’t abandon you after the site is completed, we’ll be here to help you make the best use for  your investment.  Give Kevin a  call (204) 783-6342 with all your questions and inquiries.