Obaidul Haque

What’s a ‘CURATED’ Email Campaign?

If you really believe that content curation is not just a buzzword but a marketing staple, you can also implement this idea in email marketing. Undoubtedly, a well planned email campaign can result in better conversions and generate repeat sales. It’s also an excellent way of collecting useful feedback and suggestions from your visitors or customers. In addition to all of these, email marketing can also do a great job to boost your offline purchases. Email marketing works best only when it suits the needs of subscribers. But it’s sad to see emails that are nothing more than ‘pure promotion’. You might also have deleted a lot of emails delivered to your inbox simply because they sound like a self-interested bore. Do we (the email marketers), therefore, need to change? Of course! The word change points to a change in the mindset, the way we look at our email subscribers, the way we try to convince them to make a buying decision. The current situation of the internet marketing industry makes one thing very clear – ‘The more you sell, the less you sell’. That’s exactly where the role of a ‘curated email campaign’ steps in. It’s really a powerful way of providing your email subscribers with something they don’t usually expect. It’s an idea to keep them well-informed, educated and entertained so that they start looking at you...

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How to Improve Website Performance with ‘Content Experiments’

In one of my recent posts, I talked about conducting your first A/B test. Split or A/B testing is undoubtedly one of the most effective techniques to improve your website for better performance. Though there are several testing tools (free and paid) that you can use, Google Website Optimizer (GWO) has always done a great job to help you accomplish this task. Now, you can test the performance of your website right from within Google Analytics. Yes, Google recently announced this feature (called ‘Content Experiments’) on its official analytics blog. It’s one more effort by Google to make Google Analytics the best measurement tool for tracking a site’s performance. The ‘Content Experiments’ feature helps you create different versions of a web page, track the effectiveness of each version and determine the version that works best for your audience. The best part is that you can now fulfill your goals of tracking, testing and optimizing your website all in one place i.e. Google Analytics. The advanced statistical engine added to the analytics tool makes it more powerful and more useful than ever. In addition, the website experimentation process becomes easier with ‘Content Experiments’. Testing with ‘Content Experiments’ is easier because it – Teaches you how to set up experiments Helps you launch new tests instantly Allows you to choose from goals you would like to test Comes along with easier...

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Google Places is No More, Long Live Google+ Local!

Things are changing pretty fast now. Google continues to make one move after another – launch of Google Plus, quicker algorithmic updates, roll out of Panda and Penguin. You can stay tuned as more exciting pieces of news come your way. However, here’s one that should attract the eyeballs of all local business owners. Yes, Google’s newest move is the launch of Google+ Local. If you thought Google+ (the search giant’s social network) won’t stick, you need to think again. Though Google Places is not closed completely yet, millions of these pages have been converted into Google+ local pages. According to Google, this step is taken to improve how people discover and share local business information within Google+. Google, therefore, makes this effort to help local businesses leverage the potential of the Google Plus community. Now, isn’t that a sensational change? What one can really wonder is how this dramatic transition of Google Places pages to Google+ is going to impact business owners who have products or services to sell locally. As Google Places pages are replaced with Google+ Local pages, Google Plus now features a new local listing tab (towards the left of your Google+ page) for businesses. That means your local business pages will become more socialized with the launch of Google+ Local. The Newly Added ‘Local Listing Tab’ Here’s how it happens – Connect your local...

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‘Appreciation’ is Key to Building an Online Community!

Creating an online community of loyal followers is not important only because it helps you expand the presence of your business and fulfill your goals. An online community can also help you create a new product or develop an entirely fresh approach to your present activities. However, building a community around your brand is not child’s play. It involves understanding your organizational strong points, your business goals and the staffing qualifications. Definitely, gaining a deep insight into the demographics of your target audience is where you start. Apart from knowing what your audience’s requirements are, you also need to know the purpose and plans of your business. At the same time, it’s vital to be well aware of your limitations. But, there’s one more thing that you need to focus on – ‘appreciation’. If you’re really serious about building an online community around your business or brand, you need to learn how to appreciate. First you need to identify the genuine contributions of your community members and then find ways to appreciate or reward those activities (participation, loyalty and patronization) in one way or another. It’s not just the members of the community that need appreciation. In fact, you need to appreciate even the non-community members. So, you need to know how to appreciate. Appreciating community members or customers is an excellent way to make them feel passionate about...

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A 5-Step Formula to Conduct Your ‘First A/B or Split Test’

If you ask me what the most effective method of boosting the performance of a website is, I’ll give you an instant reply – ‘split testing’. And I really hope you wouldn’t like to differ with me on this point, would you? Since I stepped into the internet marketing industry, I have met very few (can count them on my fingers) webmasters or web property owners who bothered to utilize split testing to find out what worked best and improve the rate of conversion. Why do most of the internet marketers ignore split testing, while investing plenty of time on just guess-optimizing their websites over and over again? Optimizing your sites on the basis of gut instinct or guesswork may bring you better results. But it won’t ever tell you what really works and what doesn’t. Split testing is the single most effective technique to ensure the best ROI possible. Split or A/B testing is a proven technique to discover what makes the most impact on visitors, thus helping you to tweak your sites appropriately and improve the rate of conversion. Though conducting a split test consumes time, the result will be much more than the effort that you invest. So, are you ready to conduct your first split test ever? Don’t worry. Given below is a very simple 5-step plan that you can use to get started. #1....

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Do Your Images Attract Google’s Attention?

It’s not just the Googlebot that crawls images on your web properties. There’s also an image-specific robot for indexing images – Googlebot-image. And the best idea to attract maximum attention from Google is to get your images (and pages) crawled by both Googlebot and Googlebot-image. Properly optimized images can prove to be a source of additional traffic. As internet passes through a phase of ‘visual boom’, it’s vital to make sure all the images on your website and blog get quickly indexed by Google, so they can appear in Google image search. While publishing images, one thing that should always remain at the top of your mind is that it enhances the experience of users. Image search and web search are like the two sides of a coin. Even when it comes to searching images, Google strives to return most relevant results to users. Google-Supported Image Formats If you really want to help Google index your images quickly, you should always remember to use only those formats that it supports. On its official blog, Google mentions its supported formats including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP and SVG. Therefore, you should always avoid using those image formats that are not supported by Google. According to Google, it can index images of almost any size. Though size does not matter (it depends on your specific requirements), images formats must always be...

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The Case of 60% (or Above) ‘Money Keyword’ Anchor Text!

Anchor text has long been the SEO trump card. However, the last couple of algorithmic updates have turned things around quite a bit. On the one hand, Google’s Panda is targeting low quality sites (low value for the user, copied content). On the other, Google’s Penguin update is hitting those sites that engage in web spam (keyword stuffing, link spam). All these updates clearly signal that you can no more loophole your way to higher search rankings in Google. The golden era of ‘exact match anchor text’ is finally over. Thanks to manipulative link building techniques, exact match anchor text is fast losing its importance. In fact, Google is trying to close all the loopholes one after another. A lack of natural links is all you need to see your site fall apart. Though Google had already been targeting sites that over-optimized their anchor text (for higher rankings overnight), its attack is now more intense than ever. The recently rolled out Penguin update has taken all the webmasters by storm. You can no more blast a site to the top of Google search results by getting tons of links with an exact match anchor text like ‘best seo company’. According to recently conducted study by Microsite Masters, it’s come to light that sites that were negatively hit by Google’s Penguin update had used ‘money keyword’ in their anchor text...

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The Role of Metrics in Social Media Campaigns

Seeing the number of your social media fans (Facebook), followers (Twitter) or subscribers (YouTube) grow feels good. But is that an accurate measurement of the effectiveness of your social media campaigns? Definitely, not! That’s why the biggest challenge that most of the small businesses face today is how to accurately measure the ROI of a social media strategy. Unless and until you know the goals (in regard with your larger sales and marketing strategy) and select the right metrics to focus on, it’s impossible to gauge where your social media campaigns are actually headed. Before you take a plunge into measuring the ROI of your social media efforts, it’s vital to be clear about what you’re looking to achieve. Different social media campaigns have different purposes or goals. When you’re aware of your ultimate goals, you’ll also find it easy to choose the most appropriate social media channels to focus on. Do you want your social media fans to engage with your brand? Do you want them to share your content? Do you want them to purchase your products? Do you want them to spread the word about your brand? There are many other goals that you may want to fulfill by launching a social media marketing campaign. The more clarity of goals you have, the better metrics you can select to measure the ROI of your campaigns. As...

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Use Post Titles to Create Social Signals (for Better SEO)

Last few updates by Google have made it quite obvious that social signals will play a major role in ranking content. Five to ten years ago, ranking at the top of search results was all about algorithms. To rank at the top, all you needed to do was to optimize the content copy for a set of targeted keywords. Now, search is also about people while social is just about people. That means, social media and search are highly intertwined today. Major search engines like Google have begun to understand people (and relationships). That’s why you need to create as many social signals for your content as possible for higher search rankings. When it comes to creating social signals for your content, titles have got a major role to play. Apart from creating content that’s really useful to your audience, you also need to make sure that your content is shared by a large number of people. The more shares your articles get, the better social signals you send to search engines. And, titles have a huge impact on shareability. Usually, sharing is instantaneous. Great content with average titles may get a good number of shares. But it’s actually harder. Many people would share an article only because the title grabbed their attention immediately. That’s a clear signal that titles can make a great impact in terms of social...

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5 Good Reasons to Start Using Google+ ‘Circles’ Right Away

Google Plus has more than 90 million registered users now. The social network’s rapid growth clearly suggests it’s here to stay for a long time. According to Stacey Cavanagh (Digital Marketing Manager at Tecmark), Google might boast around 250 million registered users by the end of 2012. And we’ve every reason to believe that prediction, haven’t we? Google+ (or Google Plus) is growing at a tremendous rate. It’s launching new features every now and then. Recently, the social network rolled out its new design to further attract the attention of people. Among all the features of this social network, I think Google+ ‘Circles’ is the biggest scorer. For those who are not still aware of this feature, ‘Circles’ allows users to segregate people in different groups based on interests, industries, areas of expertise, relationships etc. Google+ circles have the potential to create a win-win situation for people (or professionals) of just any background. Here’re five good reasons to use ‘Circles’ for different benefits – #1. Organize People The most fundamental (as well as the biggest) benefit of using Google+ ‘Circles’ is that it allows you to categorize people into different groups. For example, you can create circles named ‘Tech’, ‘Blogger’, ‘Celebrity’, ‘Author’, ‘SEO’, ‘Google’, ‘Photographer’ etc. These are just a few examples. You can create multiple circles based on people’s interests, industries, businesses etc. #2. Read Circle-Specific Posts Once...

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