Here are our predictions for the coming year:
The holidays are filled with marketers making predictions for the new year. We can’t help ourselves, we’re like months to a flame. Maybe it’s the thrill of realizing you were right or the unquenchable urge to help businesses improve their strategic marketing planning, but marketers love their trend predictions. Seeing these posts crop up during December and January are as predictable as Santa riding in on his sleigh.
Here are our predictions for the coming year:
Every business should do competitive research regularly.
Peeking into your competitors’ tactics and operations provides the direction that businesses need to ensure that they’re not only keeping up with the industry, but also setting themselves apart. Analyzing what your competitors are doing provides ideas for how to improve your own offerings and processes. It also helps identify market positioning and uncover industry trends as they’re emerging.
That doesn’t mean being nefarious or inappropriate. It just means paying attention to the public information available about how your competitors are attracting traffic, nurturing leads, and maintaining customers.
Companies of all sizes invest time and money into competitive research, but big businesses typically have the capacity to do it more frequently and more thoroughly than small businesses. Take a lesson from their playbooks and use these 8 tips to research your competitors:
The new year is almost here, which means it’s time to start thinking about planning. After the big holiday push, it’s tempting to just sit back and take a few weeks (months?) to relax and recharge. However, the most successful businesses are the ones that get right back at it after the busy season is over.
Business professionals and companies alike need to regularly set goals to ensure that they’re continuing to improve. Alignment between individual goals and company-wide goals provides the synergy to fuel long-term happiness and growth.
But goal setting is often easier said than done!
Start 2018 off right by using this guide to generate goals that are meaningful, attainable, and actionable.
Thanksgiving is almost here, which means it’s crunch time!
If you don’t have a strategic plan for your holiday marketing yet, now is the time to get started. It’s important to focus on the types of online marketing that can be launched quickly and will provide an immediate return. Search engine optimization (SEO) will take too long to build momentum, which means that you’ll probably have to de-prioritize it until after the holidays. However, there are plenty of marketing channels to utilize that will help your business catch up to the competition faster than Santa’s sleigh.
Who are your competitors?
Chances are, you probably have a list of other companies that have similar offerings and operate in the same geographical space as your business. If you hired a digital marketing agency and they asked for your biggest competitors, you’d rattle off a few names from the top of your list and ask for help outdoing them online.
However, when it comes to paid search advertising (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO), your usual competitors aren’t your only competitors. And in some cases, they aren’t even your biggest competitors!
While consumers determine who your direct competitors are by comparing products and services across similar companies, search engines determine who your competitors are organically by comparing content across pages. As a result, your online competition can vary widely based on your industry.
These are the top competitors you should be aware of, as well as tips for outranking them online:
Most big companies have social media policies laid out for their employees, but businesses of any size can benefit from having structured programs to guide employees’ social media usage. In fact, it might be even more important for small businesses to have these sorts of policies in place to protect themselves. Telling employees what you do and don’t want them posting ahead of time helps to avoid social media disasters down the road. And, despite what you may think, most employees are happy to have some boundaries in place upfront so that they don’t have to worry that what they’re posting or doing online is acceptable to their employers.
A thorough social media policy for employees needs these four components to succeed:
Want to know what your colleagues and competitors are reading? Great! We combed through our analytics and found the can’t miss posts from the last three years. Here’s a list of our most read blog posts across our most popular categories. Enjoy!
Yes, I realize it’s only June. But that means we’re about halfway through the year, and the holiday shopping season is going to be here before you know it! Instead of leaving everything for the last minute, plan strategically now to ensure that you’ll be ready to focus on your business during the most important time of the year.
Year after year, we see business owners struggling with the same elements during the eleventh hour because they failed to work on them ahead of time. So, if you want to get a jump on the competition, here are the things you need to be doing now to get your business to be ready for the holiday shopping season:
Service providers are no strangers to providing estimates/quotes, but not all of them do so effectively. I’ve gotten some pretty crummy looking quotes from businesses in the past for local services – everything from handwritten nightmares to poorly constructed word doc templates (and don’t even get me started about these guys). So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, these are the five things that every great quote has in common:
As a website owner, a high bounce rate can be a serious cause for concern. Whether you’re running an ecommerce store or a blog, poor bounce rate stats typically signal that there’s something wrong (especially if they spike suddenly). However, in some cases a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a major problem. In the case of an informational search query, visitors can get their question answered quickly and leave a site having satisfied their reason for searching.
For instance, if you run a mommy blog and someone searches for “what are good first foods for babies” and arrives at your site where you have a list of foods, they may see the information that they were looking for, and then leave satisfied. Similarly, if you have a cooking blog and someone searches for “how long does it take to bake a sweet potato,” finding this information on your blog fulfills the immediate need behind the search. In these types of situations though, the goal is to get these searchers to stick around longer to view your other resources, share your articles, and become a loyal follower. So, while a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a problem in these cases, it’s still not ideal.
But whether you’re trying to reduce your ecommerce bounce rate or blog bounce rate, the methods are the same. Here are our top tips for bringing bounce rate stats down:
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