Monday, 26 October 2015

Online Training

A while ago I found a great online learning tool called Futurelearn. Futurelearn offers a wide range of courses or MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and I am currently taking part in one on Digital Marketing.

These courses offer courses that could be useful in the workplace, like the one I am taking at the moment, plus some that learners may take as a recreational course. They are run by various universities and looking a the learner map for my current course there are people from all over the world taking part.

I decided to take part in the Digital Marketing course as this is an area that I am particularly interested in and I run the social media accounts for my business Convallis Software and the local sports centre, Chulmleigh Sports Centre, where I am a trustee and volunteer.

I am currently part way through the first week and have already learnt about storytelling and how it can be used in your marketing plus the range of social media options that are available. You work your way through the course at your own pace offering comments on each module if you wish to. This course also has a Facebook group and a Google + group to enable me to link up with other members of the course if I wish to.

I really enjoy working at my own pace and increasing my knowledge and I've already discovered through the comments section that a friend of mine is doing the same course!

If you are looking at training that is free why not consider a MOOC, and some courses also offer the opportunity to purchase a statement of participation at the end.

Friday, 16 October 2015

5 Quick Tips to help get Website Traffic

Your website is one of the most important aspects of your business.  It is normally one of the first places a potential customer will go to find out about your business, you products and services and you! It is also where many potential customers will find out how to contact you, usually via a contact page but also your other means of communication, for example a phone number or social media links.

The more visitors you have to your website the better your sales and profits (one would hope!). These tips presume you know your niche and your keywords. I also presume that you conduct regular keyword research to stay on top of what's popular within your niche.

  1. Make sure you are actually tagging your keywords.

    Online, one of the most significant keys to success is getting website traffic.  The more visitors you have, the better your sales and profits.  Presumably you have a niche and you know your keywords, and regularly conduct keyword research to stay on top of what’s popular.  Based on those assumptions here are five quick and easy tips to get website traffic fast!

    Do you spend a lot of time optimizing your content and then neglect to tag them on your webpage?  Tags are where search engines look and if there are no tags they’ll pass right by your web pages.  Here’s a quick brief on tags.

    There are a number of tag types including,

    * Title tags.  Title tags are quite possibly the most important place to situate your keywords.  Here’s what they look like - <title>Primary keyword phrase here. </title>

    Your title tag is where you place your primary keyword or keyword phrase.  The sentence will describe your business in less than 90 characters. 

    * Header Tags.  Header tags are next in order of importance to search engines.  They’re ranked in order of importance and look like this - <h1>Primary and/or Secondary keywords here</h1>

          The “1” designates this header as the most important header on the page.

    * Meta Tags. Meta tags provide the small descriptive text found underneath the title tag on the search engine results page.  Like title tags these should be kept brief, informative and up to date.

    * Alt Tags.  Alt tags are used to provide a text description of a graphic.  Each graphic on your site should have a description and an alt tag. 
  2. Add content to your site regularly.

    Content is essential for traffic and a top search engine ranking.  Content is what search engine spiders look for and index - without it there’s nothing to index or rank.  Give visitors and search engines a reason to visit and index your site. Make a commitment to provide regular, optimized content and your traffic should increase.
  3.  Procure valuable and relevant incoming links

    The more websites which link to your webpages the more valuable search engines perceive you to be, though not all links are created equal.  Search engines give more leverage to links from sites which are popular and credible and from sites which are relevant to your website topic. 

    There are different types of links.

    - A direct link looks like a basic website address, for example,

    - A text link occurs when the webpage address is embedded in the text.  Readers simply click on the link and are redirected to a new website page. 

    - If the link is to an internal web page, for example an article published on a website, rather than the home page, it is called a “deep link.”

    You can encourage linking to your website by:

    * Adding content to your site. 
    * Submitting to article directories. 
    * Publishing press releases. 
    * Blogging and participating in social networking forums, chat rooms and social networking sites. 
  4. Be Social!

    Now more than ever before, internet marketing is about building a community.  Whether you offer a forum on your website or you participate in social networking sites, social networking is a valuable traffic generating tactic.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools for generating links and traffic to your site – create a profile and then post comments, links to your site and ideas which generate conversation. 

    Get involved - many chat rooms and forums are industry specific, find those which cater to your industry, and begin participating.  Speak to and connect with a highly targeted audience. 
  5.  Advertise for more exposure and traffic

    Advertising, when handled strategically, can be used to promote your content and products or services.  PPC advertising is often the tool of choice because you control the advertising budget on a daily basis and have the tools to test and track your advertising efforts.  Once you’ve honed your PPC ads the return on investment can be phenomenal in terms of traffic and purchases.   

    I hope that in this blog there are some tips that you can take back to your own business to help gain more traffic to your website. Although no expert, these are some of the things that I have learnt over the years and have helped me with my business.