Ever walk into a bar and know, very quickly, you shouldn’t order anything there?

I’m from a small town in Massachusetts. For a summer living outside of Atlanta, that simply made me a “northerner” or “yankee boy” to the locals so I had to pick my watering holes carefully in the evenings.

It was one of those nights the heat from the pavement was still radiating off the road well past sunset. Enough to make me sweat just walking from my car into a bar I’d just discovered. From the outside, I could see some TVs and a glowing sign for “Wings”. Sounds good, right?

Something was off as soon as I walked in the door. I was greeted by a large gruff looking dude wearing a confederate flag. The TVs were blaring NASCAR.  Above the bar were five $20 confederate bills with a sign that said “Keep your confederate money. South gon’ rise again!”  I’m fairly certain the bartender shot me a look and made proper use of the spittoon that was surrounded by peanut shells on the floor. This was probably not a good time to have been wearing my Boston Red Sox hat.

I took a deep breath and walked out. I’m sure the bar had a type… but it clearly wasn’t me. When I think back on it, there were all kinds of reasons I bounced… but what if I missed out on a great experience?  Did I judge too quickly? What if I’d missed this?

Every day people have this same experience on your web site.  The question is: If you wanted more of them to stay and spend money… what could you do?

Your “bounce rate” is when people do this to your website. It’s the percentage of visitors who come to your landing page and leave without engaging with any content, filing out your opt in form, or clicking through to another page. It’s people who just saw the page they landed on and said “nope… that’s not for me.” You want this to be as low as possible. You want to keep people around, get them to engage, and take the next step down your sales funnel.

Ok. Great. So you know what the bounce rate is… but do you know what causes it? Here are the 14 most common causes of a high bounce rate.

1. SLOW PAGE LOAD TIMES. PEOPLE GIVE UP AFTER 4 SECONDS.

“I love slow web pages.” – said no one ever

Want to slow down your landing pages?

  1. Use the cheapest hosting you can find. You pay for what you get.
  2. Add a few of oversized images that can’t be downloaded quickly.
  3. Use too many images that distract from the copy on your page and cause too many requests on each page load.
  4. Use custom fonts that must be downloaded before anyone can even read the page.
  5. Add a lot of fancy sliders and javascript effects that must also be downloaded to work.

All of these factors can lead to slow page loads. The golden rule is that people are going to leave if you make them wait more than 4 seconds for a page to download. Two seconds or less is really the ideal.

How do you know if you’ve gone above 2 seconds? Use one of these two tools to see how quickly the average visitor might see your landing page.

If you are over 2 seconds, you should consider looking for low hanging fruit of images, fonts, scripts, or content you could be cutting to lower the page load time. Sometimes less is more… unless you want people to bounce before you even had a chance.

2. BOMBARDING VISITORS WITH ALTERNATIVE OFFERS AND INTRUSIVE ADVERTISEMENTS

I love going to a page that might solve my problem only to be asked to watch a 30 second video that started auto-playing at the highest possible volume first. I stick around to the end of that experience just to see what happens. 🙂

Certain types of banner ads are also distracting, and they can reduce the amount of trust your visitors feel when on your site. Without trust, they are unlikely to provide you with email addresses, contact information, or payment info. Be careful of the kinds of ads you use: If your site is ad supported make sure that the ads are relevant to the visitor and related to the material on the page.

Intrusive advertisements will reduce the reputation of your landing pages and diminish the value of your content in the eyes of your visitor. If worthless pop-up ads appear within the first five seconds, the visitor is going to bounce higher than Chuck Norris on a trampoline.

Understand that the goal of each individual page is and make sure your ads and secondary calls to action aren’t getting in the way of that.

3. VISITORS SEEING SOMETHING UNEXPECTED AND UNRELATED TO WHAT THEY CAME FOR.

Not everyone likes surprises.

Let’s say you create an ad for “Amazing Dietary Supplements”, but your visitors land on a page that primarily promotes “Faster Weight Loss”.  Now… the faster weight loss may indeed be a benefit to the supplements… but it was the supplements that people came for.

If the ad headline is not front and center on the landing page you created, you will have lost the trust necessary to facilitate a conversion and the visitor is going to bounce higher than the empire state building.

4. MAKING VISITORS DIG FOR WHAT THEY CAME FOR WITH CONTENT THAT’S NOT SKIMMABLE.

Headlines and subheadings help visitors scan blocks of text quickly. The content they expect to find should be located in the appropriate section. If they cannot spot the content by scanning the headlines or subheadings, they will not take the time to search your site.

People do not read online text in the same way they read a book. Your landing page is not Game of Thrones. Most people aren’t going to read it cover to cover. Imagine you are writing for Cliff Notes instead.

Visitors quickly scan blocks of text looking for useful and engaging content, but they will not spend a lot of time trying to locate it. Before publishing your text to the site, have a friend scan the content to see if they catch the most important points. You can also use sites like http://fivesecondtest.com and http://usertesting.com to get 3rd party opinions on whether or not people can quickly understand your pitch.

5. SENDING THE WRONG PEOPLE TO YOUR LANDING PAGES

This is right up there with giving visitors something they did not expect. If your landing page sells a product that’s targeted at private music teachers, but you advertise all over communities of public school teachers… you are close… but you’ve missed the mark.

Anyone with a budget can drive a ton of traffic to a landing page… the question is whether or not you can drive the RIGHT traffic to your landing page. The RIGHT traffic means visitors that are primed to convert because they:

  1. Are clearly within your target audience.
  2. Have been primed by your pitch before they came to the landing page.
  3. Ideally have been referred by a friend… because your landing pages make it easy for someone to share after the conversion. Did I mention that’s a specialty of ours at KickoffLabs?

The right traffic will almost be able to predict what your landing page says because they’ll be expecting it. You’ll earn their trust and their conversions.

6. FILLING YOUR LANDING WITH POOR GRAMMAR AND TERRIBLE SPELLING MISTAKES.

I can’t spell. I’ve also got really bad grammar skills. We joke that we should just make that a thing with KickoffLabs. Every page should contain at least one spelling and one grammar mistake. Done properly it may eventually be endearing… Or it could just cause more people to bounce without even trying our service.

Visitors are looking for any reason not to buy what you are selling and give you their personal information or credit card. Don’t give them ones that are easy to avoid. If you are like me, you should probably employ someone that can actually speak proper English (or language of your choice) to review every written word you produce. There are also a lot of great proofreading services out there including:

7. PRODUCING A LOT OF LOW QUALITY CONTENT THAT’S HARD TO UNDERSTAND.

The quality of copy on your landing page goes well beyond the grammar and spelling. The copy needs to quickly communicate to the visitor that:

  1. You understand their problem.
  2. You have a solution that could be used to solve it.
  3. They need to just take the following next step.

If a visitor fails out at any of these checkpoints, they are going to bounce before they go any further.

8. MAKING YOUR LANDING PAGES HARD TO READ.

Any distracting elements can reduce the credibility of your site, which causes visitors to search for the nearest exit. Most common problems involve issues of legibility. For example, red cursive text on a black background will not read well, and certain kinds of fonts are also difficult to read. People scan content quickly online, so they will not want to work just to read lines of text.

9. MAKING YOUR LANDING PAGES UGLY.

A poor or unpolished visual design can distract visitors to your site, but it can also reduce the amount of time the person is willing to look at the page for purely aesthetic reasons.

We like to look at attractive things, and Web pages are no different from any other object. Attractive items will tend to keep viewers’ attention, and this is exactly what you want. Conversely, pages with bad design, few graphical elements and poor layout tend to provoke high bounce rates.

Now, this is not to say that good design will guarantee a great conversion rate. It doesn’t work that way. But I can say that poor designs will lower your conversion rate from your potential.

10. MAKING THE VISITOR FEEL LIKE THEY ARE BEING SCAMMED.

Ever traveled abroad and been approached by people on the street who introduce themselves with the phrase “My friend… my friend… ” followed by their pitch. Did it occur to you that they may have jumped the gun on the use of the word “Friend”? These are probably people you want to avoid when you are traveling in unfamiliar regions. The same is true for visitors to your landing page.

Within the first few seconds of arriving at a website, visitors will automatically scan for content and design elements that communicate:

• Credibility
• Safety

Many people focus on the overall content of the site to establish the reliability of the second item in the list above. The perceived safety of the site is related to the quality of the content and the appearance of the pages. If they communicate safety, the visitor will be encouraged to stay, explore and may even make a purchase.

If the visitor is not convinced that the site is credible, reliable and safe for any reason, they will bounce from the page within the first few seconds after arriving. The design of the landing page is critical to prevent this bounce rate from affecting your page rankings and future sales.

11. USING LOTS OF ATTENTION GRABBING IMAGES THAT STEAL THE SHOW FROM YOUR CALL TO ACTION.

This falls under the concept of a poorly designed page, but I see it often enough that I need to call it out. People spend so much time curating stock art, background images, rotating sliders, thumbnails, and other images that steal attention.

When a landing page is filled with distracting images, it lowers the readability and therefore increases the bounce rate. Images are great, but should be combined with equally great copy that they reenforce with a visual.

12. NOT HAVING A CLEAR NEXT STEP.

Let’s say you’ve avoided all of the advice so far… you still have a chance to increase your bounce rate by making your primary call to action hard to find. Having a clear call to action means the visitor knows quickly what their next step should be and where it is on the page.

You can’t miss the call to action in the landing page of the competition ran by this awesome UK Price Comparison site, and KickoffLabs customer 🙂

13. ASKING FOR WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

It’s just rude on a first date to ask for someone’s mother’s maiden name, social security number, bank account, whether they prefer ice cream or frozen yogurt, which side of the bed they want to sleep on, etc.

Your landing page is no different. As a general rule, you should not be asking for information that you are NOT going to actually use to help the potential customer on the next step of their journey.

You don’t need five different ways to contact everyone, but if you are selling desserts… you may want to know their ice cream preference… as long as you are going to start using it to provide them with more personalized offers.

Now – that may not seem like much information… but when you consider the payoff… would you answer all those questions for 50 cents?

14. PRETENDING MOBILE DEVICES DON’T EXIST AND EVERYONE IS ALWAYS AT THEIR DESKTOP.

You’ve heard the phrase “mobile first” right? If you want to scare people away, just ignore that. Make your landing pages unresponsive so that people have to scroll, pinch, and zoom around to fill out your opt in forms. I’m sure that strategy will keep working for another five years.

Did you know that 45% of our landing page traffic comes from mobile devices? Yeah… neither did I until I looked at our customer numbers. That means that to keep people engaged you have to prepare for that.

IN REVIEW – PROPER LANDING PAGE ETIQUETTE

That’s a lot to take in. Here is a checklist of things to review on your landing pages…

  1. Landing pages load under 2 seconds.
  2. You don’t bombard people with intrusive ads that distract from your primary call to action.
  3. Your headlines match the advertisement that promoted the landing page.
  4. Visitors can quickly find what they are looking for.
  5. You sent the right people to your landing pages.
  6. Spelling and grammar have been checked out.
  7. The content provided is high quality.
  8. The text is clearly readable across devices.
  9. The page isn’t so ugly it erodes trust. Ideally it’s well designed.
  10. The images don’t distract from the call to action.
  11. You avoid creating that icky “I’m being scammed” feeling.
  12. You have a clear next step for the visitor that doesn’t make them choose.
  13. You avoid asking for too much information that you aren’t going to use right away.
  14. Make sure you are ready for the “mobile first” world.

Think of each landing page as a social contact. You want to avoid certain behaviors all of the time, but this is especially important when constructing a landing page because this is where you create a first impression that will encourage the visitor to get to know you better.

One of the biggest problem I see on landing pages today is that the person publishing them looks for ways to cram more “stuff” on the page that isn’t helping with the conversion. Long form landing pages are great… but the focus of those pages is on the text copy and NOT:

  • Fancy sliders with lots of images
  • A huge navigation menu that links everything to your main site
  • Pop-up polls
  • SEO keyword stuffing
  • Advertisements and secondary promotions
  • Chat windows
  • Click to call buttons (that aren’t primary calls to action)
  • Fancy pants animations
  • Social buttons and demands to “like us” before they even know what you are all about.

Simple page layouts can communicate a lot of information in a short period of time. Part of the process of simplification should involve removing all of the crap I mentioned above. This reduces the clutter, and it will make your text blocks easy to read.

Focus on what you really want the visitor to do on your landing page. Make sure all the copy, images, and call to action buttons are gently nudging people in that direction. Visitors will scan your landing page quickly to see if you have what they came to your site to find.

You need to make sure that they can find whatever they need quickly. By doing this, you may also be able to convince them to opt-in, pay up, or click through to the next page in your sales funnel.

Chris Corey CMO MarketHive

 

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Market networks bring businesses into the “enabling economy”

At SXSW I became aware of a new marketing trend called “market networks.” This new business model of an “enabling economy” seems to coming of age and I thought I would explore the idea.

Market networks represent a different way to do business compared to sites like Air BNB or Uber that simply aggregate demand. In that model, neither the seller nor the customer matter. An Uber driver doesn’t know the customer and the customer doesn’t know the driver. They may never connect again.

But what if the service provider and client DO matter? What if you want to do business with a very specific person?

Jonothan Yoffe, the founder of AnyRoad described how he got the idea for his travel-related market network. He paid $2,000 for a guided trip to hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. The guide he used was experienced and hard-working but only received $5 out of the $2,000 he paid for the trip.

Where did all the rest of that money go?

Marketing, service, insurance … sure. But the fact is, somebody other than the guide was profiting from the trek. It occurred to him that if you could aggregate all the fragmented professional services needed to run a business like this you could simplify the transaction and put more power (and profit) in the hands of small service providers.

Opportunities for these market networks exist wherever there are groups of service professionals supporting an industry vertical. Organizing this way could have a significant impact on how millions of people work and live, and how hundreds of millions buy services.

The key attributes of these companies:

  • Combine the main elements of both networks and marketplaces
  • Use SaaS workflow software to focus action around longer-term projects and relationships, not just a quick transaction (like Uber)
  • Promote the service provider as a differentiated individual, helping to build long-term business benefits
  • A market network elevates the person, their reputation, their value.
  • Transaction fees are usually lowered and legal contracts are simplified
  • Market networks have stronger retention and engagement than marketplaces

The AngelList (start-ups), Houzz (decorating), LiquidSpace (office space), andStyleSeat (salon services) are pioneering examples of successful market networks. Here are a few stories I heard at SXSW about how these market networks are operating.

StyleSeat

StyleSeat is a beauty start-up in Silicon Valley. In the salon business, much of the profit will drain away from a hair stylist to pay fees, rent on a shared space, marketing, advertising, etc. By aggregating these services to help individual stylists, StyleSeat can direct more customers and profits their way.

Already 400,000 stylists have signed up and 10 million clients use the service every month. The start-up has succeeded entirely by word-of-mouth success.

AnyRoad

As I mentioned, AnyRoad aggregates services for small businesses in the tourism industry. So many small business owners lose out because they don’t know how to efficiently do marketing, SEO, customer service, etc. Creating a market network to aggregate these services greatly simplifies their workflow, and they can run their business from a smartphone app provided by AnyRoad.

AnyRoad is experiencing tremendous growth because they found that the “nodes” in their network started expanding the network as the tour guides connected to the concierges and agencies that generate their business.

On average, their customers are growing their business by 30 percent in the first month through access to new customers and markets.

Liquidspace

Liquidspace is a market network for working space. The founder, Mark Gilbreath, discovered that leasing office space was generally an inflexible and complicated business.

The traditional real estate model does not work for most new businesses – a start-up might need space for days, then a month, and eventually a year or more to adjust to the dynamics in their business.

LiquidSpace rapidly signed up 50,000 companies in 800 cities and 5,000 venues as a marketplace for office space. One particular creative solution is to connect to hotels to lease unused rooms and meeting areas for temporary business space.

The company also offers a service to alert businesses when property in a certain area becomes available to most effectively connect supply and demand. You can also rent space in a very efficient way by implementing pre-negotiated, standard legal contracts.

Who loses

With any disruptive idea, not every company will benefit from this trend. Here are the types of companies that could lose:

  • Those who collect fees as an intermediary
  • Capitalists investing in brick and mortar services
  • Marketplaces that are not providing value to the vendors, who are simply aggregating demand.

These market network business have the potential to disrupt traditional markets by doing something in an entirely new way.  They are unburdened by the traditional confines of an industry and provide a value that is different from, and maybe even better than, the standard way.  This new way might not be cheaper, but it is more flexible and immediate – for the user and the providers.

What are your thoughts?

This post was originally written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. For more on these topics, visit Dell’s thought leadership site dell.com/futurereadyDell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies

Chris Corey CMO MarketHive

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Simon Cockell

Written by: Mark W Schaefer

 

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Markethive the Social Network for Entrepreneurs Marketing AutomationUnderstanding the Markethive blog and cloud

Markethive Backlinking and Social Networking using Automated Marketing

Markethive did not invent the blog, but we certainly have made it exponentially more powerful.  We certainly have added fun, understanding, reach, groups, daily workshops, understanding and power to the process.

Markethive has successfully combined all the technical and tactical aspects and requirements into one system, but have also overcome the obstacles to make blogging a group process, combined with motivated mentors to help the newbie easily immerse and embrace the process.

We did not invent Word Press, but we have significantly taken Word Press serious and made it exponentially better. This blog’s focus is to help you understand the paradigm dynamic shift Markethive has brought to marketing, blogging and the individual within the hive.

The following video attempts to reveal and illustrate how the whole social blogging platform in Markethive changes the entire Internet field of engagement.

 

 

Understanding SEO

You can approach the challenge alone, hire a firm and/or a virtual assistance and take the Internet on. This ego centered approach works for many who have the grit and stamina and educated skills of journalism and polished writing (a note here: As the Internet has evolved, the polished blogger vs the blogger that lacks the polish but has the passion, wins in today’s culture).

Approaching the blogosphere as a crew, a group, a gang or a family wins today.  Because fresh, new, consistent and current content win and win you combine a social network into a blogging platform, the results are impressive.

Understanding  SEO isn’t easy, and Google doesn’t help things much by changing the algorithms and policies on a regular basis. Seems like every time we get a handle on things, the rules change, and we’re all left wondering what we’re doing wrong and what we might still possibly be doing right.

The whole SEO quotient changes when the social network variable is integrated. This is why SEO at Markethive changes the playing field.

So a social network integrated blogging solution is at hand, and, there’s one thing you may have been doing correctly already from the start: That being blogging. You probably have a million reasons to blog, not the least of which include building trust among your buyers, positioning yourself as an expert, and simply sharing news with your company’s followers. Then, of course, there are those activities that help to boost your SEO rankings. These can only help you if you know how to use them, so make note of these 9 reasons blogging can boost your SEO.

Enter the Markethive Social Network Engine combined with the Inbound Marketing Engine. Kind of reminds of the Hot Rods of the 60s like Eddie Hill’s double dragon (see image):

Except with Markethive, the combining the two huge engines of the Internet, Social Networking and Inbound Marketing has an exponential nature to it, not just a geometrical quotient.

This innovative integration of these two power houses has a powerful effect on all that ios Internet Marketing as I illustrate, please read on.

 

Backlinking

The following is the conventional wisdom perspective to today’s linking approach.

Some of the techniques used for SEO when blogging raise eyebrows, and back linking is no exception. Many will tell you link schemes will get you a slap on the wrist from Google, and they’d be right. Does that mean you can’t build relationships with other companies and blogs by including links and asking for some in return? Not at all.

You can still benefit greatly from being linked and linking to others, but there are some things to keep in mind. First, if you’ve paid for your link, be sure they use the nofollow designation. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized. Next, work with reputable, quality sites that fit your blog’s niche. When links to your blog appear on sites that have nothing to do with your company, you’ll get another ding from Google. Finally, use the same basic rules for any blogs you link to on your site.

Good quality links from popular, well-respected sites can definitely help your SEO rankings, but only if you do it right.

Now, with that said, the amazing change that occurs to your campaign to build organic, condust and create relationships in the blogging power of the Inbound Marketing Social Network of Markethive, delivers a plethora of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SNM (Social Network Marketing) and the advantages therein if developing unlimited streams of unique content, automated into literally millions of sites, social networks, social bookmarks, blogging platforms from the stream of content that flows out of the Markethive Social Network you are part of or built.

So what does all that mean? As the natural order of our recent tech releases of the Blog Casting (Social Broadcaster) and Blog Swiping (where your friends and other members can easily copy and edit your blog) then publish it and with the advent of this opening the possibility with these new tools produce a cacophony of your content, links, back links, side links, social reaches into the millions. All built upon chaos theory and technology.

The natural organic process to build a huge amazing white hat mass of blog and site links and social reach, thereby, the vision of the Blog Cloud has come to be reality, thank you Markethive, the social networked Inbound Marketing juggernaut.

Simply put, not just combining but fully integrating two platforms, the Entrepreneurial Social Network and a fully appointed Inbound Marketing platform, has opened up doorways not otherwise capable or even aware of or identified in the exponential character of the Markethive Hybrid. Sort of like Twin Towers built on the same foundation.

Actually more like a million communities of twin towers all inter connected and pulsing and thriving with the constant flow of content and videos and communications (comments and messaging) even further empowered with a constant thriving community of live conference room activity.

 

Guest Blogging

 

Again Markethive takes the awkward and difficult process of guest blogging and turns it into a graceful social dance. I will explain after I share again the Internet’s explanation of what has been defined as guest blogging.

The  latest hoopla suggests guest blogging is dead, but that’s not necessarily true. As with the backlinking, guest blogs can be tremendously beneficial to the SEO of your website. If you work with reputable writers who are indeed experts in their industry, their popularity can only help you.

For this tactic to work, you must be vigilant when screening potential bloggers. Interview them, research their backgrounds, and compare their submission to everything they’ve written before to make sure you get truly unique content. If you follow Google’s quality guidelines, your guest blog from a well-known source will bring you tremendous traffic and boost your search engine rankings.

Markethive has turned this difficult proposition into one of grace and ease. Because the core of your blogging can now be centered within Markethive, which supports and publishes to just about every blogging platform out there.  As a social network, you can build a sphere of influence easily with others who are open to and or capable of assisting in your blogging efforts.

Groups also serve as additional blogging platforms, for the individual who keeps track of different campaigns separated by the groups. Groups also parlay into teams of content creators, allow a team captain to manage and lead the agenda and monitor and choose the array of articles by the group to which blog(s) that article automatically gets sent.

The options that the Markethive tools has created for diverse and distributed content is unlimited and better managed than any other option available in the blogosphere.

Group Blogging not only replaces the old guard of guest blogging, it enhances it, makes it easier to, manage and distribute. It changes the entire playing field.

You can integrate single Markethive members, and/or integrate entire groups into as many blog systems you wish. By simply organizing, selecting and developing different cock tails groups for your blogs, you can literally create unlimited selections and unlimited content for unlimited blogs, your blogs, their blogs, unlimited groups of competent writers and marketers. Get into the mix, join some groups, and get into some Workshops and put the system to work for you.

We can even say that you can produce dynamic content on your blog without as much effort as the conventional way.

 

Fresh Content

Search engines love fresh, unique content. How often do the pages on your website change? Probably not very often at all. That’s why you must keep a steady blog filled with new information every week. Those search engines customers used to find companies just like yours will pull the freshest and most relevant content whenever a search is performed. If your site hasn’t been updated with new information in over a year, you can bet someone else’s will rank higher than yours in the results.

By blogging, you build relationships with your readers, position yourself as an expert in the field, and perhaps most importantly, provide new content for Google to index.

By joining Markethive you build relationships with thousands of others who are actively building business, blogging, researching, etc. basically being “entrepreneurs” and advancing their businesses and agendas. Often you can join with these people as friends, group members and subscribers of theirs via Blog Casting, Blog Sharing and Blog Swiping.

When you are an active member in a good group (active and current), using meetings and live webinars, discussions breed inspirations which support developing new content. Here is a tip I use to help with fresh content. I want to write about the “current trends for the entrepreneur market”. So I go to Google and I search the tail words SEO entrepreneur trends but I designate a small tool many are not aware of.

It is found in “Search tools” in the Google search as the illustration below demonstrates. Choose last week or within 24 hours to get very fresh current content to use in building your blog article. This way, you are assured to be utilizing current references building current articles, sharing with your groups and creating a dynamic culture. Checking new content with Google daily in relations to your agenda is something that should also be shared (the search link) within your groups for discussion.

Keywords

Keywords go hand in hand with fresh content. It also pays to see what current or newest results are shown for current sites utilizing the same technique for current content for your research and agenda.

Even though keywords really don’t hold the same weight they once did, it still needs your attention.  In fact, this is another aspect of SEO you can do really wrong and end up punished for. The age of cramming keywords into a blog over and over, regardless of what they add to the content, is over. Now those keywords have to serve a purpose. You really want to make sure you choose unique keywords that will lead searchers to your site but not so unique that no one thinks to use them. If you choose words that are used too often, you won’t get much benefit out of them.

Your best bet with keywords and search terms is to use long-tail keywords and phrases that people may use when searching. Instead of focusing too much on keyword placement and making sure you include the words a certain number of times, concentrate on simply answering questions. Provide knowledge for those who reach your site. They don’t need a million keywords; they need answers.

For instance, the long-tail keyword “Inbound Marketing” had barely begun trending in 2009 with a slow crawl upward until just recently, with the advent of Markethive’s soft launch and discussions of the definition of “Inbound Marketing” and the increase of Social Network chatter in that regards we are now seeing the current trend start to grow.

My first company invented what we called “Automated Marketing” but today fits the new definition “Inbound Marketing” As you can see the term “Automated Marketing” is trending down from a long crown of being a top searched keyword.

See the trend towards “Marketing Automation” beginning? Why is Marketing Automation trending up and Automated Marketing trending down? Does it deserve research?

In my opinion no, but, what does need to be looked at in my regards is our new pre launched/soft launched company (as of May7, 2016) is the Trademark “Markethive”.

Because if we read these trends right, we want to make sure we mention Markethive often in connection to “Inbound Marketing” and “Marketing Automation”. This will place squarely in front of the trend curve binding the “long tail” keywords together.

Markethive’s SEO keyword system leads us to these research outcomes, but until the Google API is fully integrated to Markethive’s Keyword platform I go to the Google Trend panel here as well.

https://www.google.com/trends/

Popularity

When your blogs are shared and consequently clicked on, they move up in the search rankings. If you’re providing quality content, your readers will want others to know. Of course, the only way to make sure your blogs contribute to your website’s popularity is to create unique content, provide answers for visitors, and then share your blogs wherever you can.

That key point “Share your blogs wherever you can” is another way of saying “Broadcast” them. And Markethive has taken Broadcasting to new heights with Blog Casting and SNAP.  Blog Casting is a Markethive subscribe feature that other Markethive members use to subscribe to your Markethive blog. When they subscribe (and the potential is 1000s of them), your blog posts are automatically posted to their Facebook Newsfeeds, LinkedIn activity feeds and your Twitter tweets feed.

When you understand that this down stream of subscribers, fellow entrepreneurs at MarketHive, are exposing their connections to your message, they are lifting you up, increasing your popularity and building greater branding for you.

Then there is the Blog Sharing feature that also allows your fellow Markethive entrepreneurs to import your blog posts to their WordPress blogs using the SNAP plugin increasing your message (your posts) to another 25 of their social networks, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn company pages, SumbleUpon, Tumbler, Livejournal, Blogspot, ets, exponentially increasing your exposure and adding to your back links.

When you discover the responsibility this represents that you show respect, produce quality content to your loyal downstream, you now have the opportunity to build a huge popular following. Markethive, The Rise of the Entrepreneur. We have put a great future in your hands. Now it is up to you.

 

Images

Image search Automated Marketing Inbound Marketing from Markethive

Including images in your blog gives you one more way search engines can find you. Make sure you name them according to the search terms or keywords, and then do the same for the alt-text. The alt-text is meant to describe what’s in the image for those who don’t or aren’t able to see images on their computer screens. For this reason, your alt-text must be carefully crafted to serve two purposes: SEO and information.

I search a lot in images and so do others. They may be looking for an image to fill a need, the reasons vary, but a lot of traffic does come from image searching, so do not ignore this small duty. Alt tags serve an important batch of duties.

When installing images in the Markethive HTML control panel, the following Image control panel, second tab, is where to enter your keywords and descriptions.

Alt tags Google search Markethive

When looking at the HTML code, this is exactly what ALT tags look like and search engines Index.

Alt tags html code

 

Video

Google indexing video

As with photos, video simply gives you more dynamic content that you can share with your readers. Remember they’re looking for excellent, unique content, so be sure you include only videos that serve a purpose. Proprietary videos are always the best bet, since syndicated content will show up on several different sites during a search result.

If you have never made a video, get some screen capturing software. I use Camtasia (cost about $300)

https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html

Camtasia the video capture software used by Markethive

A viable alternative (I cannot recommend as I have not used it) is called MOVAVI

http://www.movavi.com/

Markethive has not evaluated Movavi

I also down load others videos to use them in my final productions. I build titles and other content with Photoshop Software, but there are other cheaper alternatives. Many of my friends recommend GIMP for image editing. https://www.gimp.org/

A video download app for Chrome I use is free. http://keepvid.com/

I recommend you make as many of your videos you can, but do not produce bad or funky videos. Today, you need quality and you are welcome to download and use all Markethive videos I produce for yourself.

Be sure you tag your videos with appropriate search terms before you post. Let readers know exactly what’s going on in the video so they can find your content in a search.

Youtube and Markethive

I know video editing and production can be daunting to many at first. However, we have plenty od excellent talent that offer video workshops in Markethive. Just check the calendar or enquire within the membership (Social Network).

Remember we are all Entrepreneurs and most of us are also philanthropic and want to help you succeed. I know I do.

Check the calendar

 

Social Media

Markethive Marketing Automation and Social Network Integration

Believe it or not, Google also returns social media search results. If you connect your blog to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts, you give search engines one more thing to find when people look for your company. As long as you use search terms in your titles and meta descriptions, you’ll boost your SEO through social media listings, too.

A popular set of current wisdom pulled from the Internet void (5 Things to Think About When Considering The Impact of Social on SEO) :

1. Social Links May or May Not Boost Your Search Rank

Okay, social signals pertaining to a profile’s authority are out, but does Google consider links published on social accounts to be credible backlinks? When a blog post goes viral on Twitter, do those new links boost the post’s search ranking?

Many marketers believe that links to your website via social media accounts do have a major impact on your rankings. Says Marketing Consultant Brian Honigman:

 

Today, links are mainly achieved through developing original content that is in turn, shared across social media. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.

 

 

In Danny Sullivan’s 2010 interview with Google and Bing for Search Engine Watch, Google first says that it doesn’t incorporate the number of times a link has been tweeted into their search rank algorithm, and then it goes on to say that it does (doh). Bing says that it definitely looks at this data:

 

We take into consideration how often a link has been tweeted or retweeted, as well as the authority of the Twitter users that shared the link.

 

While Cutts’ 2014 video is crystal-clear about the absence of social signals from the search algorithm, he does say that Google crawls social websites for data in the same way that it would any other site:

Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index, and so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it then we can return that in our search results.

This leads me to think that while the authority of a social account doesn’t impact search rank, links published on social media could be marked as credible back-links and thus influence a page’s rank.

Takeaways: When Cutts made his statement about Google not factoring in social signals I understood him to mean clues about a particular company’s authority on social media, which, for me, is distinct from the number of times a page has been linked to on social media. Further research didn’t help me get much clarity on this point.

If there are any SEO experts reading this, I’d love for you to chime in below in the comments.

 

2. Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Engines

While social shares may or may not affect a webpage’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence the content of your search results. In fact, social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings for brand names. When I searched “General Electric” in Google, the company’s Instagram and Pinterest profiles appeared as the 5th and 6th listings, respectively, and Twitter was the 8th result.

Google Search Markethive

Moreover, Google displayed the company’s Google+ profile information in the right-hand sidebar at the very top of the search results page.

Google Markethive Profile

While social shares may or may not affect a webpage’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence the content of your search results. In fact, social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings for brand names. When I searched “General Electric” in Google, the company’s Instagram and Pinterest profiles appeared as the 5th and 6th listings, respectively, and Twitter was the 8th result.

Social channels can feel more personal than webpages, and they’re a great way to get a sense of a company’s personality off the bat. When I’m researching a company I don’t know much about I typically go straight to their Twitter or Facebook page. So if a social account shows up at the top of the search results, I’m just as likely to click on it as I would be to click on their website.

Takeaway: There’s no doubt that your social profiles matter to Google and especially to people who are looking for you online. A few active social channels can make the experience of getting to know your brand online more fun, engaging and personal. Also, while some may consider Google+ a non-essential social channel, marketers shouldn’t discount the fact that a company’s Google+ profile is one of the first things a searcher will see (and potentially click on). As such, it pays to have a profile with up-to-date info and engaging content.

 

3. Social Media Channels Are Search Engines, Too

Nowadays, people don’t just go to Google and Bing to look stuff up; they also use social media channels to find what they’re looking for. Patel makes this point in his article on why social is the new SEO: “We need to understand that search engine optimization includes the search that happens on social media search engines.”

This works in a couple of ways: First, if you’re active on Twitter, it’s entirely possible that people will discover your company’s new content distribution app after searching for content marketing-related tweets with Twitter’s search engine. Likewise, brands that lend themselves to beautiful visual content can benefit from making their content visible in Pinterest and Instagram by using hashtags and properly categorizing their pins.

Moreover, as mentioned in point #1, if someone wants to check out your company, they’re likely to open Twitter and Facebook and do a quick search to see what kind of presence you have on each channel. YouTube, and, of course, Google+ are also search engines.

Markethive Instagram

Here are some impressive stats that illuminate just how much people are using social media to search:

As of 2010, Twitter handled 19 billion search queries a month (that’s more than 5x the queries handled by Bing!).

In 2012 Facebook said it got around one billion search queries per day.

As of March 2010, YouTube got roughly 3.7 billion search queries a month. Also, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it one of the largest content repositories on the web.

 

Takeaways: Companies should expand their concept of SEO to include not just the traditional search engines––Google and Bing––but also social search engines.

When searching for a brand on Facebook or Twitter it’s not uncommon to see several different profiles pop up, and it’s not always clear which one is the real deal. Marketers need to ensure that it’s super easy for users to identify their official social profiles.

This may mean deleting duplicate accounts and/or clearly labeling each social account so that users understand what purpose they serve (for example, accounts for HR or press versus general brand pages).

 

4. Not Now Doesn’t Mean Not Ever

Just because Google says that social signals don’t currently impact search rank doesn’t mean they never will. Social media shows no sign of becoming a less important part of a brand or person’s online presence anytime soon; moreover, given that link-building strategies like guest blogging have become a less reliable way to indicate the quality of a webpage, it makes sense that search engines would begin to look for other signals of authority and value.

Takeaways: There’s no reason why social signals won’t begin to affect search rankings in the future, so smart brands will continue to build their authority in key social channels and think about social when designing their SEO strategy.

 

5. Don’t Forget Bing

Google may have back-tracked and changed their stance on social signals, but I haven’t found any evidence that what Bing told Sullivan for his Search Engine Watch interview doesn’t hold true today.

Remember, Bing said:

 

We do look at the social authority of a user. We look at how many people you follow, how many follow you, and this can add a little weight to a listing in regular search results.

 

Takeaways: Bing, which is the second most-used search engine, has been crystal clear about how their algorithm incorporates social signals into their search results, and, unlike Google, they haven’t flip-flopped on the issue. With its market share steadily growing, companies would be wise to include Bing in their SEO strategies.

 

Wrapping Up

Cutts’ claim that Google’s search algorithm ignores social signals should not be seen as an invitation for marketers to dismiss social’s impact on SEO. Instead, marketers should broaden their concept of search and SEO to take into account the myriad ways that people find content on the web. They also need to think about the positive effects that increased traffic from social can potentially have on their search rankings as well as the prominence of social profiles on first-page search results.

Ultimately, the web is all about building relationships, fostering audiences, expressing identity and sharing ideas––it’s inherently social, and there’s no reason that SEO best practices would go against the grain, especially since the rules that govern SEO are ultimately meant to make the web a more enjoyable and useful place.

 

Indexed Pages

Google Markethive Indexed pages

Perhaps the most important reason of all to blog is the fact that each post counts as a new page on your website. Google really does like fresh content and will reward those who share frequently. Those who do include a business blog on their site will see up to 55% more traffic than companies who don’t. The reason for this is the indexed pages. For Google to index those pages, you need to include at least 300 quality words. That means reblogging, short blogs, and duplicating content won’t help you. There is a time and place for the previously mentioned blog types, but not when you’re hoping to boost your SEO.

Now that you understand why blogging is essential to improving your SEO results, you probably want to get started right away. Don’t get bogged down or feel overwhelmed. A systematic approach is what you need, starting with a content calendar. Simply start by answering those burning questions your potential customers have. Plan blogs that will touch on their pain points. You’ll see results sooner than you ever thought possible.

Markethive
Join the Revolution

Thomas Prendergast
CMO Markethive, Inc.

Markethive Readies Exciting Press Release!

Who says we’ve got a slow economy? Maybe parts of the US economy are slow but things are rip-roaring at Markethive, the under-the-radar Inbound Marketing platform brainchild of its CEO Tom Prendergast.

Mr. Prendergast will soon issue a press release bringing the public and the press up to date on the culmination of a multitude of recent advances and accomplishments of Markethive in conjunction with one of the fastest growing companies in the Direct Selling space, Valentus.

Valentus is the US based company with a first-of-its-kind weightloss coffee which allows consumers to lose pounds and incles simply by drinking it. The company is currently growing at approximately 30% per month. Mr. Prendergast has used Markethive assets to shatter the company sales record for growth of a new distributor.

Indeed Markethive brings formidable assets to the task as the organization dates back to approximately 1998 under the previous brand name of Veretkk, In fact, Markethive arguably predates Facebook as one of the very first online social communities and was the originator of several fundamental online marketing tools and technologies such as the autoresponder, the self-replicating web page, the first online application connected to a server database, online broadcasting, blogcasting, blog-swiping, the rebrandable PDF, and others.

Mr. Prendergast believes very strongly that the world is moving into a new entrepreneurial age and has carefully constructed Markethive to be the new Platinum Standard for online entrepreneurs to attain brand reaches reaching into the millions.

Yet in spite of the technological innovation which Markethive gives away for free (the platform is ad-supported) and which more well-known companies such as HubSpot, Pardot, and other charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for, Markethive’s true marketing reach, social power, and technological leadership is derived from it’s geometrically expanding, integrated social community of entrepreneurs.

For more details, watch for our press release coming up very soon. Meanwhile, Markethive systems and memberships are available for free at markethive.com.

 

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The Top Five Reasons Why Articles Beat Advertising in Terms of Marketing Content

Encountering the most effective marketing techniques is now more difficult than ever before. The good news is that if you understand a few simple concepts, you will be able to gain a valuable edge over your competitors.

We often hear such terms as SEO, web design, social media and big data. Still, one concept which is overlooked is the difference between an article and other forms of advertising such as pay-per-click services. Why are articles still thought to be the best way of reaching your audience and what advantages are they able to provide? The answers may surprise you!

 

Evergreen Content

The first point to make is that many articles are considered to be evergreen in terms of their content. In other words, the information that they provide is much longer lasting than a specific advertising campaign (1). So, their benefits will last for longer. Some illustrations of evergreen articles can involve:

• How-to lists

• Reviews of a specific product

• Video tutorials

These can be much more effective to generate repeat revenue than a short-lived advertisement.

 

The Long-Tail Edge

Long-tail keywords are now very important within the world of digital marketing. First, they are able to cater to the discrete needs of the individual performing an online search (2).

Long-tail keywords are also those used during the end of the buying process. Finally, these phrases are also to rank higher within the SERP; providing better online exposure. It is much easier to fit these keywords within an article when compared to an advertisement that relies on brevity. Examples can be:

• Cheap hotels in New York City

• The best website design software for 2016

Long-tail keywords will also appear to be less “clumsy” within a content-laden article.

 

Addressing the Client

Articles have always had a rather personal edge when compared to an advertisement destined for hundreds or thousands of potential consumers.

These days, people are more fickle than ever before in terms of what they choose to read. If they feel that their needs are not being addressed, they are much more likely to move on and look for greener digital pastures.

Articles have the innate ability to target these desires and therefore, the product or service being offered tends to be more appealing.

 

The Presentation Itself

Most (not all) advertisements tend to work with a limited amount of space or text. Whether referring to a pop-up ad or a widget within a website, only a certain number of details will be observed. It can be hard to convey the main points of your product within these confines.

Thanks to modern coding techniques, articles are able to offer videos, infographics, flash presentations and numerous links to other sites (think of a good SlideShare presentation as an example here). This can be accomplished without appearing to overwhelm the reader.

 

Qualified Calls to Action

Many individuals who click on a link within a short advertisement are only mildly curious. So, conversion rates will be rather low. When this very same link is placed at the end of the article, the reader is much more likely to take action. He or she is likely to have read the entire piece; thus appreciating what you are offering in more detail. So, qualifying nurtured leads is much more of a reality.

Now, this is not to say that advertising is useless within the digital domain. We are rather pointing out that a well-presented article can have a massively positive impact without detracting from the appeal of what it is that you are offering.

Richard Tipsword
Markethive Developer

 

Sources:

1. http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/10/16/guide-to-evergreen-content-marketing

2. http://www.wordstream.com/long-tail-keywords

 

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Hooked: How To Make Habit-Forming Products, And When To Stop Flapping

We now know that Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen decided to take down his hugely popular—and habit-forming—game, Flappy Bird because he had a moral pang about the game’s addictive potential. There was speculation about legal problems, or coping with the stress of overnight success, but it seems that he has done what many large tech companies have avoided—taken responsibility for the misuse of his product.

Tweeting as @dongatory a a couple of weeks ago, Dong replied to an obsessed fan, “People are overusing my app 🙁 .”  The following day, in a series of four surprising tweets, he announced, “I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.” (Emphasis mine.)

All of this is familiar territory to behavior design consultant and author Nir Eyal (who also contributes in these pages.) His new book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, is a step-by-step guide to do intentionally what Dong seems to have done intuitively. In its simplest terms, Hooked describes how to convert the “external triggers” that make a person engage with a product into “internal triggers” that bring that person back to it again and again.

nir-eyal-the-hook-method

Games, like Flappy Bird are perfect examples of this mechanism, but an easy way for non-gamers to grasp this phenomena is to consider the catchiness of pop songs. When your first hear a song on the radio, you are responding to the “external trigger” of its transmission over the airwaves (or internet as the case may now be.) But when you find yourself involuntarily singing that song in the shower, it has become its own “internal trigger” in your brain. It’s like a client side app where all of the data required to recreate the experience is preloaded into your browser (i.e., your brain!)

Making products habit-forming, and the behavior design that makes it possible, has gone from being a nice-to-have to a need-to-have in the ultra-competitive world of apps and digital services. There are so many things screaming for users’ attention that only the things that they whisper to themselves about have a chance of sticking around for a while.

A research report back in 2011 by Localytics showed that 26% of typical users download an app and open it just once. The important corollary to this disheartening pattern is that another 26% will download an app and use it 10 or more times—often enough for it to become part of their routine. The difference between these two kinds of users—and how to convert the first kind into the second kind—is the focus of Eyal’s “Hook” method.

The Hook consists of four parts that must be combined in sequence to convert an externally motivated engagement with a product into one that is internally motivated and habitual. “Through consecutive hook cycles,” Eyal writes, “successful products reach their ultimate goal of unprompted user engagement, bringing users back repeatedly without costly advertising or aggressive messaging.”

Eyal stands on the shoulders of giants in putting together what is essentially an open source framework for user psychology. This framework draws upon the work of contemporaries like BJ Fogg, Dan Ariely, Charles Duhigg and Daniel Kahneman but also the inventor of behaviorism in psychology, B.F. Skinner. Eyal got an MBA at Stanford and now teaches there, and his debt to Stanford behavior design researcher and educator BJ Fogg in particular is evident.

But there are important differences in their approach. The Fogg behavior model applies equally well to one-time and repeat actions and for actions you want to motivate as well as actions you want to avoid motivating. Eyal focuses on just one of these quadrants—those actions that you want to turn into habits. But as we shall see, Eyal uses Skinner and others to expand upon what helps us to internalize actions and repeat them.

The essence of Fogg’s approach is to consider a person’s amount of motivation to do something compared with how easy it is to do. You don’t have to be tremendously motivated to do some thing easy, like click “like” on Facebook, but if a product requires an investment of time and/or money, like having your DNA tested by 23andMe, you need a compelling reason. The easier 23andMe can make that process, by requiring less information or lowering the price, the less pressing my reasons have to be to want to follow through. Importantly, no matter how easy an action is, or how motivated a person is, no action will happen without the presence of trigger adjacent in space and time to the means of completing the action.

The first step in Eyal’s hook model is this trigger. He sees the hook as an iterative process which begins with external triggers that after a series of cycles convert into internal triggers. How this conversion occurs is at the heart of what makes this method supremely useful to growth hackers and others involved in engineering the viral aspects of products. Getting back to the example of Flappy Bird above, Eyal points out that “Negative emotions frequently serve as internal triggers.” So the repeated epic failures that a new player experiences with that game make them angry at themselves. This anger is indeed the energy that propels the player to play again.

The second part of the hook is the action itself. The easier it is do something, the more users will do it. Eyal charts the growth of user-generated content from services like Blogger, which require you to actually create original content, to Pinterest, which reduces the participatory action down to the selection of what on the web to “pin.” Guess which one grew faster? There are many dimensions to ease, well-documented by Fogg in his six “elements of simplicity,” than range from amounts of time, money and effort required to levels of mental complexity, social acceptability and habitual familiarity. This is important because increasing your user’s ability to do something is far more within your control than boosting their internal motivation. Human psychology is not a uniform surface that can be wholly controlled by turning a couple of knobs, of course. Eyal emphasizes observed patterns of behavior that can be used as heuristics to increase the likelihood of a given action. We sometimes infer value from scarcity or assume form the presence of a sale tag that something is a bargain.

The third part of Eyal’s method takes advantage of these inconsistencies in how humans evaluate situations to excite our motivational instincts. It is important that product reward the actions that it triggers, but critically, if these rewards are variable we are far more likely to get sucked in. Decades of brain research has concluded that we are more motivated by the anticipation of reward than by the reward itself. In Flappy Bird, most of the time you fail, but the possibility that you could get a high score (or any score at all!) deepens the hook. The trigger is our self-inflicted anger, but playing holds out the reward of self-mastery. Eyal cites Pinterest as an example of the variable rewards of the “hunt.” Finally, when a friend “likes” your high score update on Facebook or follows your board on Pinterest you experience social satisfaction, rewards of the “tribe.” In Eyal’s model, the hook is a series of cycles and just as the triggers go from external to internal, so too can the rewards range from self to hunt or tribe. As described above, both Flappy Bird and Pinterest successfully utilize multiple types of rewards—but always with some degree of variability.

Finally, for the habit to really take hold, the user has to invest into it. The pictures you take with Instagram constitute your investment in the platform. Not only does the threat of losing this body of work keep you from switching to other photo apps, but your social engagement with others on the platform reinforce this continuity as well. By getting us to put ourselves into a product its designers are using our own narcissism to increase our perceived value of their product. Dan Ariely of Duke University, and author of Predictably Irrational and other books, calls this the “Ikea Effect,”  where our time spent with the ubiquitous Allen wrench makes our hearts fonder of the (possibly flawed!) end result. The other aspect of this is that since we are all creatures of habit, our investment in a habit becomes a form of inertia that makes it increasingly unlikely that we will engage in the cognitive dissonance of a new solution to our need.

Hooked is a very useful book for anyone involved in designing, managing and marketing products. It does suffer a bit from a duality of purpose that sometimes stretches the tone of the writing between earnest explication of the fascinations of human behavior to an practical boosterism for how to use of the techniques behind these phenomena. Behavior design is clearly a rising discipline with great effectiveness to help engineer beneficial habits, but it also can—and is—being abused for manipulative purposes.

In the sixth chapter of the book, Eyal discusses these manipulations, but I think he skirts around the morality issues as well as the economics that make companies overlook them. The Candy Crush Saga game is a good example of how his formulation fails to capture all the moral nuance of the problem. According to his Manipulation Matrix, King, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, is an Entertainer because although their product does not (materially) improve the user’s life, the makers of the game would happily use it themselves. So, really, how bad can it be?

Consider this: Candy Crush is a very habit-forming time-waster for the majority of its users, but a soul-destroying addiction for a distinct minority (perhaps larger, however, than the 1% Eyal refers to as a rule of thumb for user addiction.) The makers of the game may be immune to the game’s addictive potential, so their use of it doesn’t necessarily constitute a guarantee of innocuousness. But here’s the economic aspect: because consumers are unwilling to pay for casual games, the makers of these games must construct manipulative habits that make players seek rewards that are most easily attained through in-app purchases. For “normal” players, these payments may just be the way that they pay to play the game instead of a flat rate up-front or a subscription, and there is nothing morally wrong with getting paid for your product (obviously!) But for “addicted” players these payments may be completely out of scale with any estimate of the value of a casual game experience. King reportedly makes almost $1 million A DAY from Candy Crush, all from in app purchases. My guess is that there is a long tail going on with a relative few players being responsible for a disproportionate share of that revenue.

Understanding these potentially conflicting motivations is important for product designers of all kinds, and I believe it is a subject of intense interest to Eyal. Habit-formation is no longer a nice-to-have but a need-to-have aspect of making a successful product. This makes the temptations of manipulation all the more dangerous. We all now need to abide by the superhero credo, that with great power comes great responsibility. Habit-hacking is indeed a superpower, time to put on the capes!

 

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The last words of Steve Jobs –
I’ve come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is nothing more than a fact to which I am used to it.
At This moment, lying in the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was so proud, have become something insignificant in the face of imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at the green lights of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of the proximity of death that I’m in for.
Only now do I understand, once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, that we need to pursue other goals that are not related to wealth.
It must be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood…
Stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has formed us in a way that we can feel the love in the heart of each and every one of us, and not illusions built by fame or the money I made in my life, I can’t take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you, will accompany you, he will give you the strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move it wherever you want to go. Strive to reach the goals that you want to achieve. It’s all in your heart and in your hands.
What is the most expensive bed in the world? The hospital bed.
If you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness instead of loading it yourself.
Material things lost can be found. But there’s one thing that you can never find when you lose: Life!
Whatever the stage of life in which we are at the moment, in the end we are going to have to face the day when the curtain will fall.
Treasure the love for your family and  friends…

 

Steve Jobs

 

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blogging

blogging

Newcomer’s Guide to Blogging

A blog is basically an online journal wherein you can digitally pen down your thoughts, ideas, opinions and practically anything that you want people to read. Blogs come in different styles, formats, and settings, depending on the preference of the user. Many blogging sites, offer built in features such as hyperlink, straight texts, pictures etc. Some blogging sites, even allow you to put video and mp3’s on your blogs.

Instead of writing texts, some bloggers choose to make their blogs more audio friendly, by using spoken word entries. This is called audio blogging.

Basically a blog contains these features:

Title – which allows you to label your post

Body – this is the content of your post

Trackback – other sites can be linked back to your blog

Permanent link – every article that you write has a URL

Comments – this allow readers to post comments on your blog.

One of the advantages of blogging, is that it is made of only a few templates. Unlike, other websites that is made up of numerous individual pages. This make it easier for blog users to create new pages, because it already has a fix setting that include: slots for title, body of the post, category, etc.

This is especially useful for first time users, since they can start blogging right away. They can chose from a number of templates that blogging websites provide.

Anyone who wants to start a blog can do so by becoming a member of a blogging website of their choice. Once they’ve become members, they automatically become a part of that particular blogging community. They can browse through other bloggers pages, and link them back to their own blogs. They can also make comments on other members’ blogs.

Blogging is not just limited to personal usage. There are a lot of blogs that follow a theme such as: sports, politics, philosophy, social commentary, etc. These blogs espouse on their specific themes. This way blogging becomes a medium in which people can share their knowledge and opinions about a variety of themes and topics.

Some bloggers even use their blogs as a means to advertise. Some authors advertise their books on their blogs. While other bloggers, use their blogs to shed light to currents issues, events, news and catastrophes.

Nowadays in education, blogs also play an important part. Professors use blogging to document the lessons that they have discussed and taught. This way, students who have missed classes, can easily catch up with their assignments.

A lot of entrepreneurs benefit from blogging by promoting their businesses on their blogs, with millions and millions of people logging onto the net every day, blogging has become a lucrative move. Some bloggers who run online businesses promote their merchandise online. While others profit through advertisement.

But by far, the most popular blog type is the one that takes the form of a personal journal. This is the kind that is usually used by first time bloggers. Individuals who want to document the daily struggle of their everyday lives, poems, rants, opinions, find that blogging offers them a medium in which to express themselves.

Bloggers usually communicate within themselves. This is one of the appeals of blogging. It creates a community of people sharing their ideas, thoughts, and comments with each other.

Blogs varying in topics, themes, and set-ups, can be found in blog directories. First time users who want to get an idea of what the blogging world is all about can browse through a number of blogs using these directories. This way they’d get an idea of what these blogging communities are like.

Blogging is popular all over the world. Blog is short for the term weblog. There are no rules when it comes to blogging. Bloggers have the freedom to express themselves however way they want, and the best thing about blogging, is that most blogging sites are free.

There are numerous blogging websites to choose from in the net. This give first time users the option of joining a blogging community that appeals to their interests.

Just search any blogging directory and you’d get a listing of a lot of blogging sites that are available on the net. It’s easy to search a blogging directory, because it is organized according to category. This way you would get exactly what you are after. Blogging is really for everyone. It is fun, simple and easy.

MarketHive Inbound Marketing Tools for Entrepreneurs

MarketHive is a social networking site designed for entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, MarketHive isn’t only a social networking website, in addition, it includes a blogging platform, plus some very effective online marketing tools to allow entrepreneurs to be successful marketing their Internet business, services and products.

Below you will find some of the marketing tools you will receive once you sign up for Markethive:

•        Autoresponders

•        E-mail Broadcasting

•        Blogging Platform

•        Capture Pages

•        One Click Lead Generation System

•        Conference Room and a whole lot more

You might be curious about how much actually does MarketHive charge for these amazing online marketing tools, well the answer really is these Internet marketing tools are totally free of charge for life, no strings attached. Basically these online marketing tools would cost you hundreds of dollars per month, not at MarketHive. This is the good news for the beginner as well as the veteran Internet marketer.

To learn more click on the following link:

http://blogs.freeinboundmarketingtools.com/go/market-hive/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me. My telephone number is 609-641-6594 – Eastern Time Zone

 

Ida Mae Boyd
Markethive Inbound Marketing Specialist

 

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The Customer Centric Model

It has been my agenda for nearly 20 years to reform an industry that is for the most part built upon a shifting and unreliable foundation that has always been broken and is heading for total annihilation. If you have attempted to build a business in MLM Network Marketing) you will relate to what I am addressing.

For over a decade this vision has grown in urgency and definition to help direct a broken industry towards developing a customer based centered direct sales model. All of this was originally inspired by a maverick move towards customer acquisition by a company called Trivita. In 2001 I was introduced to this new direction in MLM by the simple statement, just buy your customers. I had already been engaged in the MLM industry for nearly 10 years at that time. My first exposure to MLM was in 1992 with the first to market a consumer (customer) based ISP, nationwide dialup Internet access for $20 per month.

I have been an entrepreneur my whole adult life and a good portion of my teen years as well, with my first business started at the age of 14. Prior to my exposure to MLM, I was and still am a traditional business entrepreneur. Therefore to say, I found the MLM model of exclusive distribution to and consumption by distributors and only motivated to this action by pursuing profit; “alien, illogical and disturbing”.

Let me explain:

My introduction and very successful sojourn with Trivita helped me discover the stark contrast between the artificial economies of a distributor based sales company in contrast to a customer based sales company. I studied this comparison for many years and it became painfully clear, the reason traditional MLM fails, regardless of the compensation plan, regardless of the motivational speakers, regardless of the training to sell the “Hope and Dreams” as that is the only way to promote when the products and or services are frankly, always overpriced and usually underwhelmingly ineffective. There are very few exceptions. So the glaring difference I found in Trivita was the fact that for every distributor I recruited, I averaged 100 customers. Then the fact, I did not have to sell Hope and Dreams and instead, the pitch was just buy customers. The reaction from the potential distributor was always extremely positive and the close rate of a distributor was very high. When you factor in that every distributor usually meant 100 customers, the potential success was superior to anything else like it.

This was just a company that offered co-op acquisition of the leads and customers Trivita acquired via their infomercials and not much else. Even Trivita’s products lacked true demonstrability and the pricing was not competitive. The only viable benefit regarding being customer centric was the fact you could just buy customers, that for the most part, only about 20% stayed a viable reorder over the years.

Because of this one aspect with Trivita, I have enjoyed a significant income for over 10 years with little attention, a true residual income. Over the years as a vendor to the MLM industry, occasionally getting involved with a few companies because I was promised they were going to offer customer centric solutions. None of them ever did and in my opinion, the super majority of MLMs are run by greedy sociopathic owners, that understand the game and that being the 3 month rule. They build their businesses to inspire, motivate and separate their new distributors from as much money and contacts they can. They know their business model only attracts distributors seeking some semblance of financial success therefore they lay their snares with grand claims of Hopes and Dreams. I consider it borderline criminal. Now we finally arrive to the meat of this article, that being what is a true Customer Centric direct sales company look like. Being that there really isn’t any yet, we have to go to the imagination and vision that to some part is guided by good business principles and look at some of the true customer centric businesses on the scene today.

Amazon could easily be the epitome of customer centric.

amazon.button

Wow. “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”

That is big, it’s bold, and it’s risky for a brand to make the promise to fulfill on that 24/7 every week of the year.

Service recovery design pays off

Of course the shopping and purchasing experience on Amazon has been exceptional for years. But what if a customer has a post-purchase problem? A big part of customer experience design is a focus on “service recovery,” or designing and refining the process when something goes wrong for the customer. Beloved brands like Zipcar know this is a critical opportunity for delivering moments of delight.

READ MORE:

http://delight.us/earths-most-customer-centric-company/

It is all about Customer Satisfaction.

Let me repeat that,

“IT IS ALL ABOUT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION”!

The latest results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals Amazon.com as the reigning and undisputed champ in both Internet retailing and across the entire department in overall customer satisfaction. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos perhaps more than any business leader has taken the philosophy of truly caring for the customer and ushered it into the digital era. Bezos has built a company from the ground up purely based off of the unbending, unyielding philosophy of serving the customer across all departments. With a 164 million Amazon customers, few would argue Bezos as the key architect of building an authentic, customer-centric company.

Pointers from the article 7 Customer Service Lessons from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/06/jeff-bezos-lessons.html

1. Don’t Just Listen to Your Customers, Understand Them

Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”

 

2. Serve the Needs of the Customer

“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”

 

3. The Empty Chair

The Most Important Person in the Room “Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.”

 

4. Never Settle for 99%

“We’re not satisfied until it’s 100%.”

 

5. Respect Today’s Customer

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet,
they can each tell 6,000.”

 

6. Strive to Create a Customer-Centric Company

“If we can arrange things in such a way that our interests are aligned “with our customers, then in the long term that will work out really
“well for customers and it will work out really well for Amazon.”

 

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Apologize

“We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”

 

Over the past two decades, Amazon has held a steady pace of positive press due to their industry-altering company and great customer service. However back in 2009, the foundations of the online book mogul were shook when they remotely deleted copies of the books “1984” and “Animal Farm” from users’ Kindles. The incident prompted an outcry of Internet users to see the dark, “Big Brother” side of Amazon – one that Bezos had worked hard to steer clear of. Amazon quickly made an apology with the usual dry and inhuman statement from the press team. But what really turned people back towards Amazon, was an informal and heartfelt apology from Jeff Bezos:

jeff.deep.apology


 

From “MLM” aka “Network Marketing”,

to a sustainable Coop Customer based Marketing Platform!

Now the vision for a better kinder direct sale company

I have run MLM companies, built them, serviced them as a vendor and engaged with them as a distributor for more than 20 years. I have touched and serviced and influenced over 100 million associates over this period of time. The following is my agenda to change this industry to service the little guy and gal, offering a real solution to build a middle class sustainable income for everyone, not just the elite few, we know as “leaders” in their respective company.

1. A Viable and Competitive Product

First and foremost, the “company” must offer a viable product and or service that does what it says and better than any of their competitors and better yet, have a product or service that has no legitimate competition. I could go into great detail here about the MLM industry and their underwhelming and over priced products with many making spurious claims to eventually be shut down by the FDA, etc.

2. The Virtual Warehouse

This may be putting cart before the horse. Inspired by Amazon’s virtual warehousing for their merchants selling in Amazon, it is time the MLM industry moves forward with a similar solution. Storing and paying additional shipping, your monthly product commitment in your spare bedroom, garages or den has been the standard fro decades. With today’s technology and database management abilities, there is no excuse to not move toward a virtual solution for distributors. This can be done in house by the company, or, use Amazon’s virtual warehousing that is available on a global scale.

This one upgrade to this industry will make reselling, shipping and distribution automated and easy for every distributor, regardless of location or available storage abilities. Bottom line is a doubling or greater movement of product.

3. Customer and Lead co-op acquisition

This is where the company marketing people run ads, driving vertically targeted prospects to an 800 number or website, acquiring quality pre enrolled prospects or customers who have purchased or best have enrolled into auto ship. The distributor’s contribution enhances the company’s budget and the “partnership” enhances the customer’s retention. The company also makes available to the distributor mailing lists to their “enrolled leads and customers” to assist in the continued purchases etc. It is a win win situation and is a proven technique as proven by Trivita.

4. Becoming an E Retailer (automated back office shipping)

Now that the distributors have their inventory, products and samples (if applicable), online, in an offsite virtual warehouse, the process to send product or samples becomes effective and easy. As simple as logging into the back office of their respective MLM company, entering the product (pulling from existing inventory and/or purchasing additional inventory), quantity, and drop ship address, with a simple click, the product or sample is easily on the way, while the distributor is still talking to their prospective client, prospect or distributor on the phone. This seamless process makes the potential growth of the company and distributor 100 times greater than the typical cumbersome processes today.

5. 800 telemarketing service platform

Today’s technologies not only make this proposed service affordable, but extremely effective. Typically, new distributors are assigned an ID# number. The number resides within the servers database to track sales, commissions, etc. of the distributor. Thus the hardest part is already done for an 800 sales number. [A little explanation of current tech] 800 number technology software interfaces display the originating number, or forwarded number. IE: If the distributor develops a radio commercial with a phone number (toll free or not) then forwards that number to the company 800 number, all he or she needs to do is register that number (via the back office) or calling it in. This way the telemarking operators receiving the incoming calls, or the technology, know who originated the call and the orders are taken and assigned appropriately to the distributor.

It can be as simple as the distributor takes a call from an ad, the prospects decides to buy the product. The distributor can easily 3 way into the 800 platform and assist the sale. It can be as easy as an ad running offering a product with the company main toll free number offering free shipping and handling with the special pin number. It can be very easy to build.

nopalea.800

Imagine the projected results with the distributors taking the initiative, no more need for mentors, no more lead for narcissistic leadership, no more need for motivational events, because the motivation is found in the system and the results. Imagine!

6. API (Application Programming Interface).

Distributor selling on Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba, etc.

Basically, the MLM company has an API developed that interfaces with Amazon, Ebay, etc for the distributor. This allows the distributor to develop an online store on Ebay, Amazon, Alibaba, etc, drive and support the prospects and customers, but the sale interfaces through the company. Thereby the company controls the pricing, collects the money (connected to the distributor) and ships the product. All the collecting, shipping, tracking and commissions paid out is done by the company.

API: In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API expresses a software component in terms of its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types.

Basically allows the company to remotely control pricing,

merchant collection, shipping and communication via the

distributors Ebay, Amazon, etc. account

More about Amazon API:
http://support.getdropstream.com/customer/portal/articles/1233046-configuring-amazon-marketplace-for-third-party-order-fulfillment-

More about Ebay API:
https://go.developer.ebay.com/what-ebay-api

7. Retail Sales Only Sites (Widgets and actuals)

Traditional MLM companies give a distributor a self-replicated web site that is upfront and focused on selling the Hopes and Dreams of the opportunity, the money, the comp plan, the hype and flash of it all, designed to recruit more distributors. This is death to a retail customer. Very few MLM companies even consider a dedicated self-replicated retail sales only site for their various products. I have yet to even hear of any companies making a simple widget that allows the distributor to have the retail site hosted via the widget on their own domains, much less the ability to add any customization to it. Below is one of the first and rare MLM retail sites I am aware of. It sells the coffee, the coffee benefits offers one off sale and free shipping with autoship.

More about widgets here:
http://alexmarandon.com/articles/web_widget_jquery/

8. Social Marketing Aps and systems

Marketers, merchants, etc. need a portfolio of tools, to get the message out, to build awareness, to build a sphere of influence and to build a customer and distributor centered loyalty program. Very few people, even entrepreneurs have all the skill sets to achieve this. However, automated marketing, email auto responders, social broadcasters, coop advertising, blogging platforms, materials and videos are necessary tools for the entrepreneur. When you do not supply these types of tools in a controlled environment, the message being broadcasted may not meet the criteria of the company nor abide by regulations.

There are solutions and Markethive is one of the best options. Markethive supplies all of these tools and more, integrated and easily configured and controlled within the communities vertical structures built for DSA companies like yours. It is called the company Directories and within a company portal in Markethive, your distributors will find all they need; Broadcasting platforms, self-replicating personalized PDF documents, Coop advertising systems, blogging platforms, email auto responders, everything needed for marketing, in one place.

9. Training and videos

I do not mean motivational speakers and cheer leading. I mean, real world training how to build the businesses. Daily classes offered by competent experienced teachers, so the distributors develop a strong understanding, expanding their customer territory and acquisition and operate like a real business.

Summary;

With the accelerated market place awash in innovation and technology, technology that puts the human element right into the center of the equation, you can understand why you see the MLM industry sluggish and many companies dying on the vine and others falling flat on their faces with their much heralded launches. Entrepreneurs (distributors) that once upon a time, a flashy video, a charming pitch man, and a compelling comp plan, worked to explode the next greatest MLM launch.

Not today.

It is only a matter of time a young bold, innovative entrepreneur launches the first true customer centric MLM similar to the framework I have discussed here. And when they do, the world will quake, the swamps will empty and the first multi trillion MLM enterprise will rise to standard head to toe with the great innovations today like Facebook Google, PayPal etc.

Written by: Chris Corey SEO Wildman

 

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CLEVELAND, Aug. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Peiffer Rosca Wolf law firm is investigating Traffic Monsoon, LLC and Charles Scoville’s alleged Ponzi scheme on behalf of investors – whom Traffic Monsoon called “members.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) alleges that Traffic Monsoon, LLC, a Utah-based entity, and Charles Scoville allegedly operated an Internet-based Ponzi scheme that was falsely represented to its investors – or “members” – as an advertising company.

Scoville, according to the complaint filed by the SEC on July 26, 2016, allegedly began operating Traffic Monsoon in October 2014 as a multi-faceted combination of Internet traffic exchange and pay-per-click program which led to the company bringing in over 162,000 investors around the world. Even though Traffic Monsoon markets itself as a highly successful company, almost all of its revenue is generated from other members, or investors, not its products or services, according to the SEC Complaint.

The SEC’s complaint also alleges that Traffic Monsoon and Scoville violated federal securities laws. In its complaint, the SEC seeks permanent injunctions, prohibiting further violations of the laws charged, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest and civil penalties from Traffic Monsoon and Scoville.

What You May Do

The Peiffer Rosca Wolf lawyers are preparing to take action and seek compensation on behalf of those who invested in the alleged Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Traffic Monsoon and Scoville.

If you invested in Traffic Monsoon and wish to obtain additional information about our investigation or would like to discuss this matter or your rights, please visitwww.trafficmonsoonlawsuit.com and complete the contact form, or contact Alan Rosca or James Booker toll free at 888-998-0520 or by email at arosca@prwlegal.com.

The Peiffer Rosca Wolf law firm represents individual and institutional investors who have suffered financial losses as a result of investment fraud or misconduct, Ponzi schemes, unsuitable investment recommendations, or abusive practices in the financial industry.

Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please visit our website, www.securitieslitigators.com, for important disclosures, office locations, and attorney admissions. The SEC’s allegations are not proof of liability and anyone should be presumed innocent until and unless otherwise found in a court of law. Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Carr & Kane, A Professional Law Corporation (“Peiffer Rosca Wolf”).

Contacts

Peiffer Rosca Wolf
Alan Rosca or James Booker, 888-998-0520

Chris Corey SEO Wildman

 

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