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The Keys to Help Your Business in a Digital Age

With the emergence of new technologies, consuming and disseminating information has changed over the last couple of decades. Recently, I was speaking to one retailer who asked “What happened to the time when good products, customer service and a few flyers around town was enough to advertise my store?”

New technology, social media tools and social networking sites like Facebook.com, where users can join and create groups, has certainly changed the landscape. Now with a new generation of customers becoming parents who expect a successful business to have a solid Internet presence; it may seem more difficult to market your business. 

Although the means to communicate with consumers have evolved into more options, I must slightly disagree with my colleague’s statement above. The core competencies of your business should always be to provide customers with high quality products and outstanding customer service. No matter how many cool new web sites pop up or new tools created, customers will become loyal customers if and only if you have good values. Just as it has been in the past, if customers have a good experience they will share it with their network of family, friends and co-workers. But it is in this Digital Age where customers’ networks have now become exponentially larger.

The very existence of blogs and social networking sites promotes finding, sharing and connecting with those of the same interest. Networks are no longer formed by only those you interact with face to face; networks have now been formed and solidified online. For many industries especially retail, this provides an excellent medium to generate business. Excellent customer service is even more important than before as customers will share their experiences with networks online. Word of Mouth is growing and customers are taking notice. According to NOP World, 93 percent of people believe that Word of Mouth is the most reliable way to find out information on products and services. Conversely, customers will share bad experiences and in some cases even more so than positive experiences.

There are so many stories of businesses both big and small who have taken lightly the power of the Internet and how messages can be distributed virally. One example that specifically relates to the baby industry is Motrin. The Motrin online banner ad suggested that Moms who wear baby slings experience back pain all to look like an “official mom.” It also suggested that moms look tired and crazy. Moms were outraged, so outraged that they set up Twitter accounts and frequently tweeted. Mom bloggers also highlighted the ad negatively. Within 48 hours the ad was taken down and an apology was posted from the Vice President of Marketing at McNeil Consumer Healthcare on the Motrin site.

On a smaller scale, a friend of mine recently posted a bad experience she had at Starbucks as opposed to a good experience she had at a smaller coffee shop downtown. My friend is an avid reader of the New York Times. When she visited a local coffee shop in downtown Atlanta, she noticed a copy of the New York Times on the counter and asked if she could purchase it. The employee informed her that they did not sell the New York Times and it was her personal copy. However, after seeing how disappointed my friend was, the coffee shop employee offered my friend her personal copy of the publication.

A couple of days later, my friend visited Starbucks. It was about an hour before closing and she asked if she could purchase the New York Times at a discounted rate (she knew at the end of each day Starbucks trashed the days recent publication). The store manager adamantly refused and wanted her to pay full price. Put off by this experience, she blogged about it on Facebook and tagged her network. In the blog post she gives praise to the small local coffee shop and provides a link to the shop as well as directions via Google maps, while she negatively reviewed Starbucks. While she might have shared this experience with one or two friends a couple of years ago, more than a couple of hundred people now have heard about her negative experience at Starbucks.

Negative reviews and word of mouth won’t necessarily shut your business down, but in this digital age now more than ever it is important to invest in good people who will provide great customer service. It is also important to know what people are saying about you and your competition. This is a way to give your company a competitive edge. A great social media network is Twitter. Twitter is a social networking that allows for you to connect with others online by “following” or to be “followed.” Twitter only allows for 140 characters with each post, therefore messages must be short and concise. Through numerous Twitter applications, business can monitor their online reputation, answer questions related to their business or industry and answer customer care related questions. Another simpler approach to online reputation management is through Google Alerts.

Through a Gmail account, Google alerts provides you with updates on certain terms/keywords you would like to know more about. Several employees at Regal Lager have alerts for our company as well as the brands we distribute. This has been a phenomenal tool in answering questions about our products and gaining customer insights. Google allows you to select how frequently you would like to be updated (daily, as it happens, weekly) and will email you with a link to the specific mention of the keyword. This will help you know what products and brands customers are looking for, shape your marketing message to gain new customers and improve upon consumer experience.

There are many remarkable tools and technology that are very helpful in conveying your message as well as connecting with others. These tools are instruments that should build upon the solid foundation of your business – providing customers with an exceptional experience through products and services.

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Is it Wise to Incorporate to Make Money With the Internet?

In many situations, there exist quite a few tasks that you can use with your Internet company’s web page that will increase it’s chances of being very effective and also holding a very high level of popularity. Once you have several years of experience in regulating your own Internet business, you will probably have the desire of taking your business to a new level by officially incorporating it into the business world. If your site has reached a high enough level and if you are ready to expand your online company, then it is very wise to incorporate so that you can make money with the Internet.

There are probably a few entrepreneurs who might not have learned about how to incorporate a company and might not understand what exactly that means. Basically, in the business world, there are different types of companies that can be formed and various legal requirements that must be met. A company that is incorporated to make money with the Internet is called a limited liability company.

A limited liability company is precisely what the name appears to be; it includes limited liability for the company owners. This type of company protects business owners from being fully responsible for the acts or debts of the company, but also does not completely turn the ownership of the company over to the public. It is almost like a midway company for those owners wishing to control a company without being held fully responsible for any mishaps.

There are a few limited liability businesses that can be easily constructed with the help of just a single owner. Unlike a major company or corporation, it only takes one business owner or company member to create a limited liability company. This can make such a creation less hectic and much more plausible for potential entrepreneurs.

An additional positive point includes the security of the business’ leaders. With the startup of such a business comes the security of owners from potential harmful or illegal actions and debts that a company might encounter.

Other positive points involve the security of power to the initial company leaders and members. With a limited liability company the owners do not have to give up the power or ownership of the business to a general committee or board of executives. There is also an elimination of a great amount of paperwork that a company would normally require.

One specific explanation for why it is very wise to incorporate your Internet business is because it makes your business more professional and credible to people. Instead of just having a blog site company that anyone can start and regulate on the Internet, you will be able to officially legalize your blog site so that it becomes a real company. More customers will want to be involved with what you have to offer, which will increase your chances of making money with the Internet.

Through the process of incorporating your Internet company you will also be able to obtain more health insurance and also liability insurance. As you legalize your blog site, you will have more opportunities to make money with the Internet and build your online reputation.

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A-Z Of An Online Business – Professional Methods That Worked For Professionals

Ever wondered why some sites make it without using the caveman techniques that are taught so widely on the internet. Its because they know the tried and tested methods of advertising and marketing that can create a hype about your site in its own world — offline and online. I started using the internet before Google was even a recognized search engine. eBay was just a little site not much different then one I can put together in a couple of days, and I watched the internet go from what it was then to what it is today. There have been ups, and there have been downs, but there have been general trends and key things to remember that made the whole experience more profitable and enjoyable, and without further rambling, I’m going to get started.

PERCEPTION

When trying to do business on the internet, the ways people perceive your site and you as a business are key. It can mean the difference between a customer that thinks twice before ordering from you and a customer who impulsively buys, without thinking. Go ask any sales team in the world, and they’ll tell you that a sale today is better then the promise of 10 tomorrow.

Building an online business that people look at in a favorable way is infinitely easier than opening up say a store, or franchise. All you need to do is have a nice looking website, and one person can run the entire operation, as opposed to having to put a huge amount of money into the looks and employment before even making a single sale. The customers don’t need to know that, and if you do what you promise, they won’t care. So because of this you have to understand that if you put an amount of work into your website, which will be your main salesfield, expect that amount of work to be directly reflected in your sales. What I mean is if you put together a website in 2 hours and when its all together you go around telling people to visit yoursite.freesites.biz.com then not many people are going to take you seriously. But if you take some time, maybe map out your website first using the old pen and paper method, and take time in setting up your graphics and content, people will actually come to your website and be impressed, both consciously and non-consciously.

So how much of that didn’t you know already? You probably knew most of it, and if not, this is the first eBook you’ve read! But the fact still remains that even though you’ve heard it over and over, most websites out there are shabbily put together because people are looking to make money quickly, and that doesn’t work.

SET ASIDE TIME, AND DO YOUR WORK
SET ASIDE 30 MINUTE BLOCKS OF WORK THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY

Don’t stop during the 30 minutes, I mean, come on, 30 minutes isn’t a long time. But at the same time, even if you feel like you are up to it, don’t spend MORE than 30 minutes at a time on your site.

YOUR WEBSITE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENSE. IF YOU DON’T HAVE A WEBSITE (www.yourdomain.com) THAT YOU HAVE PUT AT LEAST 6 HOURS OF WORK INTO THEN YOU NEED TO DO THAT ASAP.

Go to godaddy.com and register a domain. Use the coupon code ‘saveten’ to get a 10% discount on your order. Now go to dreamhost.com and use the coupon code ‘moesdeals’ to get up to 65$ off your order. Order hosting and get your domain setup, if you don’t have the money to do this, then MAKE THE MONEY. Without your own domain you will have a definite disadvantage in making money.

SEARCH ENGINES
After you have your domain and your hosting, you can start thinking about content, and search engine optimization. Now, a lot of people rush into this stage of things thinking they’ll just fill up their site with so much stuff that people coming to the site won’t be able to leave because they’ll never be able to finish reading everything. This is the WRONG way to look at things, at least in 2006. In earlier years, this kind of info stuffing would have got you a high ranking on search engines, and you wouldn’t have had any problems with getting people to your site. But now with all the annoyances of pop-ups and banners and flashing ads, people like to go to a site and see what they want to see – the site. Your logo should stand out and be done in a light soft shade. Except for some exceptions, use soft colors like a dull yellow, a light grey and dull orange. Colors like these will make people associate your website with feelings of happiness, success and bliss in their head and they will find it easier on their eyes to spend more time browsing your site. Notice the popularity of Google as a search engine came just as all the search engines on the internet started filling their pages up with advertising? Google came out with a site that was and still is as simple as ever. A logo at the top with the search bar in the middle, and although it wasn’t a very pretty site, it gave people the most functionality from the site because they came to search and it was easy to do so. So they came back. If Google started off their site as a small search bar among a sea of ads like the other search engines were doing, then it would be in no better of a position then HotBot.com, askjeeves.com and Altavista.com are. Sure these are good websites, but they aren’t the ones who had a stock quadruple in its first year. So the point here is that use colors that do not jump from the page, and make sure that the intent of your site is clear and centered. Use pictures as much as you can, and use small slogans and small sentences more on your homepage then long paragraphs and the like. There are other pages on your site for that kind of mumbo jumbo, this isn’t it.

OPTIMIZATION

So now you have a website set up, its looking good with nothing sticking off the page and your main intent VERY clear. Now what? Now you want to go and find yourself a meta-tag generator, or use the one at Exactseek.com, and set up the part of your site that people don’t see. The meta-tags are one of the most important parts of your websites marketing because it’s these meta-tags that search engines read to get a description of your site and match it to keywords. Its easy to make these meta-tags and you’ll find tons of tools on the internet that will help you make them. But theres always two ways to do things, and almost always the harder way gets you better results. What you need to do is optimize your keyword on your site. In 2005 the key to making a good website was a website with lots of articles that are updated everyday with fresh content about your site. Now you can go to any site and see all the articles written by random people, and don’t think that Google hasn’t taken notice of this new effort to thwart their efforts and site crawling algorithms. So now we come to 2006, and a whole new approach must be taken to get the same results that just placing a bunch of random articles could have had in 2005 or earlier years. The name of the game for 2006 is short, precise, and no lies. If you want a site, then Google is making it more and more of a must that you put work into it for it to be rated as one of the top sites in their search engine listing. The old stuffing your sites with your keywords in your content approach doesn’t work anymore.

So how are you going to get listed near the top of search engines? Be realistic first off, don’t expect your site that you just made to be listed at the top of Google for your exact keyword. For example, if you start a site that sells wholesale information, then don’t expect when someone types in wholesale they are going to be able to find you at all, because they won’t there are bigger companies then yours! However, making several different pages and submitting them all separately will help you. How? Because what you’re going to do is use specific keywords for your search engine listing. Selling wholesale information about cameras? Then you need to have ‘wholesale Kodak cameras information’ as your keyword(s). If you’re too worried about someone never typing in that search, don’t be. They might not type it in as often, but at least if they do, they know your site is the first one there, and they know that its EXACTLY what they’re looking for. Would you rather have a keyword that is search 500,000 times a day and you not get a single hit or a keyword that is searched 50 times a day and you get them ALL. My point exactly.

If you hunt around enough you can even find search engine submission software that will submit your sites for free. I really recommend getting one of these, because the next tip I’m going to give you is to submit each page of your site independent of one another with different keywords and different meta-tags. You want your site to be out on these search engines as much as possible, and more sites for them to spider will mean a better chance of you being seen. Again, this part takes a bit of time, and its boring making 50 different meta-tags, but the fact of the matter is, it’s a crucial part of the business and doing it will reward you times ten in the future. Another thing that is important is to use a ‘revist after’ tag in your meta-tags and set it to 14 days so that every 14 days the spider will check for updates on your site. But this also means you should update your site at least once every 14 days so that the spider doesn’t somehow filter you out. I wish I could say more than that but only Google knows those kind of limits and I’d suppose with the numbers of sites on the internet they filter out quite a bit.

Another thing is don’t expect to see your listing in the search engine listing be at the top instantly, and for sure don’t expect to be at the very top ever, depending on what you’re selling, it may or may not be worth but you can buy ads at the side, but more about that later.

If you want the rest of this eBook, then visit ebooks.moesdeals.com!

Moe Loubani has been working on the internet in all fields of ecommerce since 1999, and has developed over 50 different websites. His most recent project, TrulyTurnkey.com, offers complete at home businesses for people, with hardware, custom made software, web design, graphic design and a complete advertising package that includes forum posters that will post on your new forum to make it used and official press releases to officially let the world know about your new service! Another project he currently is working on is the promotion of moesdeals.com, the best place to find USB Gadgets on the net!

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