Archive for June, 2015

Will New Top Level Domains Matter in 2015?

In 2014, the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) were introduced to much fanfare from the press and tech bloggers. New web address endings were touted as a land rush on the internet and a game changer for marketing strategies. Despite such pronouncements, new TLDs were largely ignored in 2014, leaving some to expect an explosion in activity in 2015. However, before business owners run off to build new sites with fancy new names, it’s important to separate fact from fiction regarding TLDs and to ask the question, “Will the new TLDs matter to marketers and consumers in 2015?”.

As a brief primer, Top Level Domains are the endings to websites such as .com, .edu, .gov, etc. In the past, these were all handled by the ICANN, but in 2014, the door was opened for entrepreneurs to create their own TLDs that they can control on their own. So now, there are essentially an endless amount of TLDs. Business owners could pay to can have their site end with things like .xyz, .toys, .soy, .wed, and more. Nearly 4 million web sites around the world use one of the newly created TLD.

There have been many different Top Level Domains for website owners to choose from before the introduction of the new TLDs and research has shown that they work in a general sense. People know that the various country TLDs can be used to find information from a certain region of the world. Consumers generally know that .fr is for pages in France and that .ca is for Canada. However, it’s not perfect, a study from Moz suggests that nearly 25 percent of Americans can be tricked into thinking that .ca is for California; so they knew that the TLD was for a region, but guessed the wrong region.

Read more: Will New Top Level Domains Matter in 2015? 

5 metrics that affect the success of your website redesign

When you’re undertaking a website redesign it can be tempting to rush in with the excitement of new possibilities, but it’s important to consider the key aspects of a redesign, both aesthetically and from a business perspective. In order for the process to be successful these two must be aligned if the new website is to provide a high return on investment.

Undertaking a thorough review of your existing website is essential, along with evaluating your content, analytics and calls to action to see how well each is currently performing. If you haven’t re-designed in some time, the online social landscape has changed dramatically, and if you want your business to thrive, you need to embrace both social media and technology to efficiently deliver your product or service to a wide audience. Once the re-design is finished don’t leave it to gather dust. Aim for constant measurement and enhancement. Analyzing your redesign efforts with these five key areas will help you develop a cohesive plan and ensure your re-design is a success.

Read more: 5 metrics that affect the success of your website redesign  

10 Ingredients for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign (Infographic)

If your email marketing efforts are falling flat, you could be doing it all wrong. While there is no one-size-fits-all magic bullet for gaining new customers or better engaging existing ones via email, there are several simple steps you can take to optimize your chances of success.

Lucky for you, the folks at Mailify have cooked up a simple, step-by-step recipe for killing it at email marketing, with key tips on personalization, mobile optimization, text-to-image ratio and, yes, even the option for recipients to opt-out (hopefully they won’t).

The New York-based email marketing software maker covered everything you need to know end to end, from the first burst of text your email recipients will see, to the all-important call to action and beyond. For a fun (and hunger-inspiring) touch, all of the steps are neatly sandwiched in a 10-step cheeseburger rendering in the clever infographic below:

Read more: 10 Ingredients for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign (Infographic) 

The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

To some entrepreneurs, social media marketing is the “next big thing,” a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.

Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. The statistics, however, illustrate a different picture.According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according toSocial Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.

Read more: The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing 

SEO Optimization: How to Avoid Nasty SEO Creep After 10 Years of Optimization

SEO is often like website development. In Development, as years pass, you keep adding pages, features, and content. It all works, but you find that it starts to get a bit bloated and disorganized. Every few years, it’s a good idea to take all the improvements you’ve tacked on and rebuild them into the core of a new site.

In SEO optimization, the same thing happens. We find pages to optimize for certain keywords, add other optimized content, and so on. Over time, we find we made the best keyword/page decisions at the time, but those decisions may no longer make sense today. New content was created that is a much better topical fit for certain keywords and pages that were optimized for relevant keywords are no longer relevant pages.

SEO creep happens. But, there are things you can do to minimize it so that the dreaded site rebuild doesn’t have to happen more than once every few years . . . which is just about time when a site re-design is due anyway.

Read more: SEO Optimization: How to Avoid Nasty SEO Creep After 10 Years of Optimization 

Web Design: A Growth-Changing Skillset for Fledgling Entrepreneurs

Web Design is a blanket term for many skills, including the ability to conceptualize ideas, create plans of actions, understand core technology concepts, and the ability to work with graphical/interactive features to produce a Web experience unique for visitors.

When one begins scratching the itch of entrepreneurship in our modern times, an overwhelming amount of individuals will set their focus on the Web, as it provides unlimited access to business opportunities, resources, connections, and avenues to build and grow a successful venture.

At the core of it all should be a thorough understanding of web design concepts and best practices (even if one doesn’t decide to pursue the area as their main form of work).

Compare what is needed to start a new venture and you will see positive similarities (and the needed skillsets) that can be found through learning Web Design:

  • The future of commerce has already moved onto the Web and without an appropriate presence it becomes increasingly difficult to build a business/personal brand, move products, and connect with leaders in your market.
  • Learning the core concepts and best practices allow you to design the Website (and many other associated items from business cards to brochures) which creates synergy in the branding and this lends toward building trust and recognition.
  • Even basic skills are welcomed by employers if you have yet to make the complete leap to being your own boss; these skills can be refined while working for others and then mastered when you set out on your own.
  • The skillset will eventually change the way you think; you become analytical and tactic in the developmental process because it’s built on a strict foundation (code, design elements, etc).

From an entrepreneurial standpoint the benefits are overwhelming for those considering the leap into learning Web Design. Not only are will you understand the core concepts behind how websites operate but you will have the creative ability to build sites around business ideas. In business, as they say, it’s all about getting to the market in a rapid manner so by having Web Design skills you already have a foot forward in the race.

Read more: Web Design: A Growth-Changing Skillset for Fledgling Entrepreneurs 

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