10 Tips to Ensure Your Small Business Website Delivers Results – Annie Pilon

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Creating a website is one of the most important things you’ll do when getting your business up and running. It can help you market your offerings, communicate with customers and complete sales. So you need to be very intentional about how you create it and then constantly work to improve it going forward. Here are some tips from members of the online small business community to help you create the best possible website for your business.

Every business’s website looks different, but there are some components that should be included in just about every one. To ensure that your website is well poised to help you appeal to customers and meet your goals, check out this Search Engine Journal post by Corey Morris.

When you create marketing content for your business, you can choose to keep it on your own website or send it to another location. There are pros and cons to both, so it’s important to carefully consider the options. Julie Joyce elaborates in this Marketing Land post.

Blogging or content creation is a great way to keep your website fresh. But you need to create a schedule that works for your business. In this Content Champion post, Loz James discusses how often you should blog as a business owner. And BizSugar members shared their thoughts here.

Typography is an important component of any website or branding design. So it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the latest trends in typography to improve the look of your website. Lana Miro shares some current design inspiration for your consideration in this DIY Marketers post.

Whether it’s through your website or any other process for your business, efficiency is paramount. If you can get more done with less, then your business can grow faster than ever before. See more in this GetResponse post by Ada Durzynska.

If you have a blog on your website, there are several tried and true tactics you can use to improve it. But if you’ve already got the basics down, you could possibly benefit from the more unique tips in this Basic Blog Tips post by Janice Wald.

Getting people to click over to your website isn’t enough to make it a success. The ultimate goal is to get visitors to actually stay and convert them into customers. So you need to work on improving your bounce and conversion rates. Susan Solovic includes more information in this post.

Your website can be a great way for you to build some buzz before a product launch. In fact, there are several ways you can start marketing your business before you even have a product to offer. Here are some suggestions from Martin Zwilling of Startup Professionals Musings. Then you can see commentary from members of the BizSugar community here.

Once you post content to your website, you need to find different ways to get the word out and encourage potential customers to interact with it. Social media should be at the top of your list for doing just that. In this Social Media HQ post, Chris Zilles offers some social media methods that you can use to effectively get the word out about your content.

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5 Digital Marketing Benefits That Every Business Should Know – Martin Sumichrast

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Marketing is concerned with connecting with your target market at the right place and at the right time. We are living in a digital world and the best strategy for a business is to make efforts to connect with their customers online as that’s where they are spending most of their time.

Digital platforms are no longer just limited to your regular life and are now being used for marketing purposes as well. Therefore, it is essential to understand the key benefits associated with digital marketing and realize how important it is for a business’s success. In very simple terms, this form of marketing is concerned with use of electronic media for promoting products and services.

As compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing refers to the use of methods and channels to get a proper understanding in real-time situations. This means that digital marketing gives businesses the opportunity to assess the performance and effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and make adjustments accordingly. No matter what you are selling, the techniques involved in digital marketing can be applied to any industry. It can provide you with quicker and effective results due to its interactive nature.

Some of the top benefits a business can reap through digital marketing are:

  • Measurable results

One of the top reasons why digital marketing has succeeded in surpassing traditional marketing is the fact that it offers measurable results. You cannot measure how many people looked at your billboard in a day or how many people read your flyer before it ended up in the recycler. On the other hand, when you opt for digital marketing strategies, you can get reliable and solid reports with numbers that tell you the how many people checked your email or even clicked on a specific link. This enables you to cut out the excess and focus on areas that give results.

  • Flexibility

By nature, traditional marketing has always been generic, but these days, customers are more interested in a personalized and customized journey for satisfying their needs. This is where digital marketing can be incredibly helpful because it enables you to use the preferences and interests of an individual client for sending them a unique marketing message.

You can tailor messages for different groups of customers and this kind of personalization is the biggest asset you can get because it makes clients feel special and draws them in. This flexibility has particularly helped financial companies, such as fnbnorcal.com and several others that mainly rely on internet marketing for business.

  • Reach a bigger audience

You can get access to a larger and global audience by using digital marketing methods as the internet has made every country accessible. In contrast, traditional marketing is limited to a specific geographical area.

  • Low barrier to entry

Perhaps, one of the biggest problems of offline marketing methods like TV ads, billboards, and radio commercials was the fact that they came with huge price tags. This meant that most small businesses couldn’t afford to use them and that gave bigger businesses an edge.

The same cannot be said for digital marketing products because you can find them in scalable size for every kind of business. This has definitely increased competition in the market because now every business can reach a larger number of people, regardless of its size.

  • Increased conversion rates

It takes only a couple of clicks to convert a customer online. People don’t have to come to your shop or pick up the phone to become customers. Now, they can find out everything about your business and its offerings right from the comfort of their home and can easily be converted into customers, as long as you use the right strategies. Hence, digital marketing can prove to be very valuable for a business if it is used in the right way.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

How A Culture Of “Doing The Right Thing” Can Be Good For Business – Megan Hansen

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MOD Pizza was founded with the goal of using business to make a positive social impact. Founders Ally and Scott Svenson realized that through the fast-casual pizza segment they pioneered, MOD could create a positive effect on the lives of their fiercely loyal employees. MOD’s hiring philosophy – that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not – continues to drive their success and gives their employees purpose.

The Challenge

When MOD learned that 5.5 million young people in the U.S., ages 18-24, are out of school and unemployed, they saw an opportunity to not only impact lives but solve a critical business need.  Like many other companies, MOD was having difficulty recruiting entry-level workers to keep up with the 2,000 MOD jobs created every year through their rapid expansion.  MOD was also challenged with high turnover; although their rate was typical of the restaurant industry, it was higher than they would like.

The Solution

Through FSG’s Innovation Lab program, MOD set out to discover whether a partnership with a community-based organization could help address their high turnover and recruitment challenges through providing them with both a pipeline of career-ready youth and the wrap-around supports these youth needed to be successful.

MOD decided to focus their pilot partnership in the Bay Area where MOD restaurants were facing upwards of 67% turnover at the 90-day mark.  Next, they identified potential partners in the region and ended up forming a partnership with JUMA, a national youth-centered social enterprise that was also interested in piloting a new employer partnership model.

The Result

Less than a year into the partnership, MOD is finding that their collaboration with JUMA is having an impact on their recruitment and turnover. Of young people hired by MOD during the pilot, only 50% turned over by the 90-day mark compared to 67% for the region.

When asked what they value most about the partnership, general managers shared that not only has the partnership eased their recruitment challenges, but it has also provided them with an amazing opportunity to invest in the youth.  MOD plans to scale impact hiring at a national level, building both partnerships and a database of community-based organizations that all MOD general managers can tap into as talent pipelines and for support.

Additionally, through the MOD-JUMA Pilot Study, MOD learned that 70% of their 6,000+ employee base are 18-24 years old and that the retention strategies implemented to support the youth hired through the pilot would also be beneficial for their entire employee base.  This has led to the launch of several new initiatives:

  • New KPIs: MOD has begun to hold General Managers accountable for turnover rates. They have set a company goal of reducing turnover by 20% and in 2018 are already seeing a measurable reduction in turnover and cost due to this change.
  • Education Benefits: Through their new Human Resource Information System, the team learned more about employees and their education levels.  With many of MOD’s youth lacking a college and sometimes high school degree, the company is hoping to add an education assistance program to their benefits package to help staff develop their skills for careers at MOD and beyond.
  • Transparent Career Pathways: MOD has developed resources that easily outline the steps and requirements to become a general manager. Their employees come from various backgrounds and bring their own MODness to the team. They recognize that they shouldn’t operate on the assumption that every employee intrinsically understands the pathway to promotion but should instead support employees in helping them get there. They also recognize that MOD might not be a long-term career for everyone, but they can equip employees with meaningful professional development for job opportunities outside of MOD and create pathways for wage progression.

What’s Next

MOD continues to build on their work with FSG and the Innovation Lab to lead in the Opportunity Employment space. Using their business as a platform, MOD is exploring new ways to impact lives at the store level and beyond. By sharing their story, MOD hopes to demonstrate the business value of collaborating for talent instead of fighting for it, and how investing in the lives of employees can produce a positive ROI. The company calls this “Spreading MODness” – the ripple effect of doing the right thing. That is MOD’s purpose and for them, it’s good business.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – Thank you.

Constructivism And Behaviorism In Designing Online Learning Programs – Theodosis Karageorgakis

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Behaviorism

The basic principle of Behaviorism is that learning is the result of a person’s response to a stimulus. The student does not work independently on the environment but on the contrary, the behavior is controlled by environmental factors, thus not having the control of the learning or the time it takes to achieve it (Technology in Education, n.d).

All the objectives are predetermined, while the student is tasked with absorbing the offered knowledge so that in the final stage it may present desired and predetermined behaviors. The student is individually assessed and controlled if his behaviors and performances can state that he has acquired the new knowledge according to the criteria the teacher has set the right response (Weegar & Pacis, 2012).

Thus, the teacher is at the center of learning, trying to find ways to elicit the desired behaviors by providing the appropriate stimuli without taking into account the social-cultural context of the learners as well as their needs, ultimately failing to contribute to the acquisition of a higher level of competence or those skills that require deeper processing (Technology in Education, nd; Kostaditidis, 2005).

Constructivism

On the other side, another predominant learning theory is constructivism, which asserts that learning is an active procedure as students enter the process of building knowledge by trying to clarify the events of the world environment (Technology in Education, n.d.).

Constructivists believe that learning only happens when there is active processing of information and so they ask students to create their own motifs by linking new knowledge to those motives. As a result, this enables them to constantly undergo the cultivation of their post-cognitive skills (Technology in Education, nd; Kostaditidis, 2005).

Constructivists do not share the stance of behaviorists who claim that knowledge is independent of the mind and believe that the mind is the internal representation of the outside world. This way they believe that students are forced to construct their own knowledge through personal experiences and real events (Weegar & Pacis, 2012).

Actions in the constructivist model enhance the ability to solve the problems of those involved and the ability to conduct research and work within a group. At the same time, the educator plays the role of the assistant-supporter of the learning process and his students, encouraging them to formulate their own ideas and conclusions (Weegar & Pacis, 2012).

Which One Is Better To Use When Designing eLearning Courses?

The creation and the need to adopt a technological approach to the internet learning stems from the theory of constructivism. In an article by Vrasidas, Zebbys, and Petros, Vygotsky’s theories of self-regulating and reflective knowledge express the inseparably linked nature of those theories with new approaches in the field of education (Vrasidas, Zebbys & Petros, 2005).

 As a result, teaching is driven to its peak, as the teacher is now invited to combine both pedagogical approaches and technological applications and new teaching approaches, effectively designing an authentic learning environment where the learners will benefit the most. (Erben, Ban & Casta ~ neda, 2009; Medina & Alvarez, 2014).

Unfortunately, most applications and tools that are available neglect the need for cooperation between the participants focusing solely on individuality. It is crucial for eLearning designers to add meaningful activities that promote communication and teamwork. This is a win-win solution since at the same time the intrinsic motivation of users is increased because of the interest in those activities.

Despite their differences, these 2 learning theories are well suited to the design of online learning today. Although the various technological tools are primarily designed in the context of behaviorist theories, most teachers choose to use a combination of behavioral and constructionist design patterns, perceiving the dynamics of both theories in order to satisfy the educational peculiarities of each student (Weegar & Pacis, 2012).

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – Thank you.

Why Affiliate Marketing Is Important For An Increased Conversion Rate

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Marketing is the basic necessity of business owners in the present age. They have to use different marketing tools and techniques to ensure that they rank higher in comparison to their competitors. However, when it comes to increasing conversion rates, most people fail. The reason is that they are not using the right marketing strategy. Affiliate marketing is very important to increase conversion rates and here are some of the reasons why.

More visitors

First, online business owners require visitors. Many find it hard to attract visitors to their website. Affiliate marketing provides a better way of attracting customers. When the readers of your affiliate marketer read an interesting review or article about your products, they will find it hard to resist clicking on the links provided. This way, your page views will increase, which will increase the chances of most of the visitors converting into customers. However, you have to make sure that your website is interactive.

Increased credibility

Gaining the trust of customers is the hardest thing that business owners have to deal with. When you use affiliate marketing, you will get the following benefits:

  • Customers trust the blogger, which means that they will automatically trust your services
  • When they will read a positive or unbiased review, your chances of generating more leads will increase
  • Customers will be encouraged to try products that have been mentioned several times
  • If your affiliate marketer adds a call to action at the end of his blog, it will create a sense of urgency and your visitors will surely trust your products.

More visibility

With the help of affiliate marketing, your online visibility will increase. Your products will not only be shared on the blog of the affiliate marketer, but there are chances that his readers will share the post on a different platform. It means that the number of individuals reading about your products will increase. You can also share the blog on your social media profile as a sales pitch to showcase how your products have been mentioned in a famous blog. In this way, when customers enter the keywords associated with your website, they will have you in the first few search results, which will increase your conversion rate.

Higher search engine ranking

One of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing is a higher search engine ranking. All the blogs that are written by the affiliate marketer will be optimized according to the latest SEO rules. Apart from that, most of the written content will be positive. We all know that search engines prefer websites with positive reviews. When your customer searches for your products or website, they will always find positive search results. Remember that many customers trust the results shown by Google and only affiliate marketing can help you achieve that positive ranking.

Customers will spend more time

We all know the rule of business, that when a customer spends more time on your website, there is a chance that he will not leave without buying a product. With the help of affiliate marketing, you can make your customers spend more time on your website. Due to the highly engaging and interactive content, there are chances that your customers would love to know about every product that is available at your store. In this way, most of your leads will be converted into potential customers.

Stay ahead of your competitors

With the help of affiliate marketing, you can stay ahead of your competitors. You can select different famous affiliate marketers to display your products. In this way, your overall visibility will increase. When your competitors do not have the same level of marketing, there is no chance that they will have more customers than you. it will help you to maintain your higher ranking and it will help you to gain more customers. Remember that you will have to pay attention to your ranking all the time because your competitors are working hard as well and you cannot let them take your place.

Improved social media rating

Generating a better rating on social media is not an easy task, but with the help of affiliate marketing, you can make it possible. When you share the famous blogs on your social media profiles along with the positive comments that you already have, your rating will be improved. You will notice that more customers will be drawn to your website because of the positive comments. Again, if they also share their positive reviews about your website or products on their social sites, your overall ranking will automatically increase. Most customers often check the rating on the social media sites before they buy a product and it will prove very beneficial for you.

Provides long-term results

There are many benefits of affiliate marketing, but none of them measure up to the benefit of long-term results. We all know that affiliate marketers hardly take down their blog posts and they stay online for as long as they like. This means that you will get positive feedbacks for a long time. New readers will keep reading about your products and in this way, your sales will increase. It is the most affordable marketing technique you can use.

Bottom line

When you are planning to select an affiliate marketer for your business, you have to be extra careful. You have to ensure that he has the same customers that you need because that is the only way you will be able to engage more clients. Do not forget to check the traffic of the person’s website you are planning to use. The more traffic he has, the better your conversion rate. Make the right choice and enjoy increased sales and better revenue.

By: Mariia Lvovych