How To Choose The Best Digital Marketing Agency For Your Business?

Often do we read news of fraud, scam and reports of some digital marketing agencies that add no value to their clients’ businesses. In a world where companies spend millions of dollars every year on digital marketing campaigns, the need to distinct good agencies from bad cannot be stressed enough.

Combining various internet marketing tactics with other forms of media and strategies, digital marketing has become one of the most effective methods of lead-generation, branding and procuring bigger customer-base. Broadly speaking, it can be subdivided into internet marketing, mobile marketing and offline marketing.

The importance of having a digital marketing agency for any type of business is obvious. It is the nature of any firm to focus its whole attention to the industry that it is in and subsequently to the primary objectives that form the company. This necessitates delegating other works like digital marketing to external agencies.

For example, a company that manufactures clothes will devote most of its workforce to manufacturing and selling clothes alone. The business of that company is clothes, not marketing or advertising; and even if it does its own marketing campaigns, there’s a better chance that a marketing agency, whose sole business is creating marketing campaigns, is going to do the job far better than the company’s marketing department.

And in a world where most consumers are now equipped with mobile phones, TV, internet and other electronic media, the need to digitize one’s marketing campaigns need not be mentioned. Because there’s a simple truth above all else: digital marketing works. It is cheaper than traditional strategies and visibly more effective.

So how does one find the right digital marketing agency to work with?

Choosing the right agency can be a daunting task especially because there are new companies springing up almost everyday. And because the variety of services offered by these companies is not the same. Let’s take a look at the various elements that will help you choose the best digital agency for your business:

Services Offered

The first thing you should always consider when looking for digital marketing agencies to work with is the nature and variety of services they offer. A good agency should offer as many services as possible under one roof. This will save you the trouble of finding another company for a specific service as you can easily delegate all your digital marketing needs to that company.

A full serviced agency typically offers:

– Web design and development

– Search engine optimization and marketing

– Mobile marketing

– Email marketing

– Social media marketing

– Online advertisement

– Online reputation management

Portfolio And Testimonials

A good digital marketing agency will always have a portfolio that consists of clients with visible levels of success. You can easily access this portfolio from their website. A portfolio page that lists a good number of clientele is more trustworthy than one that displays only a few.

Testimonials are another criterion to help in choosing a digital agency for your business. Good agencies will have feedback and testimonials from previous customers. The more testimonials, the better.

Online Presence And Reputation

It’s only natural for a company that deals in digital marketing to have a visible online presence. Does it have a Facebook page and if so, how many Likes does it have on the page? What is its Twitter following like? Social media presence and activity is a good measure of a company’s repute.

A quick Google search using the company’s name as the search term will reveal a great deal of information about the company, including reviews and feedback on review sites, if any. A search query that returns very little result may not be the best company to have your marketing work delegated to.


Any good company should have excellent support. Try contacting the digital marketing agency that you’re currently researching on from their website or via their Live chat application, if they have one. How long does it take for them to respond? Call them up and talk to them. Find out how knowledgeable their support team is. This is a company that you’re going to give a lot of money to, it’s important to know before-hand if they are worth investing in and that if you ever run into problems, they are there for you.

Source by [lakajira]

Google+ Local Business Listing (Local Page)

It is without doubt Google is the most popular search engine on the planet, and for your company it is important you feature highly in the search rankings. When people search online for a business, it is estimated that around 20 percent of those searches include a local area and a service in the search term. Examples are, "Chicago hairdressers" or "lawn mowing services Miami" etc.

Google business listing services is a service which has replaces the old Google Places and Google Places for Business. In Google+ local business listing you can contain videos and photos of your business and you will also see reviews from users. There are a number of key essential information listings, such as your phone number, website address, address, hours of operation and sometimes the CEO name is listed, displayed on your Google Plus local business listing.

If there are any real time updates then these are displayed also. It may be that your business is closing over the Christmas and New Year period or for Thanksgiving. These amended opening times can be displayed as real time information for your customers.

Google+ Local Business Listing will connect you online with Google Maps, Google web search and the link will also direct your customers to the social media platform that is Google+. The platform is ideal for those customers who are on their smartphones or tablets and want to search for your business. You need to update the regularly and register your business with Google Places if you want to have a Google business listing.

If you manage your business listing in the right way, you can influence what web searchers find when they check the results. Including key information such as company name, services offered, and types of payment accepted. It will have an effect on the way your Google business listing is optimized.

It will also get you listed on Google Maps; people use Google Maps to discover a new area or a list of businesses in their own area. Imagine a web searcher looking at Google Maps and landing on your business which will display to them the hours you operate, phone numbers, website addresses and other key information you would like to share with potential customers.

It is always a good idea to enhance your Google Plus local business listing by adding images and videos of your services you think would encourage people to look deeper into what you are offering.

Source by [lakajira]

How To Search Google For Country Specific Results

Running an international online business with the capability to service people from any country means that you want your site to perform well not only in local country specific results but also global results. You may not realise this but doing a standard Google search and leaving the “full web” option selected doesn’t necessarily give you your website’s true location in the Google global results. It gives you the global results given your location.

For example, the results of doing a full web search in my home city of Brisbane Australia will be different to a full web search from Toronto Canada.

Google gives results based on your location even when you are not stipulating a local result. You can click your local country only result button and get sites that are from your home country, usually determined by the domain name extension, for example for Australia, .ca for Canada, etc. or the IP address of your web hosting server, or you can click the web option and get global Internet results that vary depending on your computer’s location in the world (based on the IP address of the computer you are using to access the Internet).

Think Global

If your business can service the world then you really can’t ignore the American marketplace, or if you are in the USA don’t forget about Europe, Asia and the rest. Hence you need to know how well your site is performing in Google global search results and unfortunately simply ticking the “the web” option in Google when searching can be misleading because your ranking will be different if it was someone in a different country doing the exact same search.

What you want to know is when someone in the the UK does a Google search for one of your terms, how high is your website up in the search results? With this little trick you can figure it out.

The Code

All you need to do is add &gl=uk to the URL at the end of the Google search query.

For example:

This tells Google to spit out the results for the query based on UK servers.

I can’t guarantee 100% conclusively that this works as I expect it does, but it definitely does something and you should try it yourself and see if your site shows up in a different place in the results. The “gl” stands for Geographic Location and of course you can interchange the last letters to test different country results around the world.

Source by [lakajira]

IBM Services and Solutions to Small and Mid-Size Businesses

Access to relevant information at the right time helps businesses make the right decisions. In the aggressive business environments, companies need to adopt competitive solutions for improving their business productivity. IBM has been offering cutting edge business solutions for small and midsized business ventures. Over the years, they have been helping businesses grow across the globe.

IBM provides realistic, integrated Business Intelligence solutions that help businesses maximize their profitability. They offer a variety of solutions and services like, Cloud computing, Information management, Business analytics, Security & privacy, Application services, Network and systems management, Smarter Commerce, and much more.

Cloud computing

IBM provides efficient cloud computing solutions that enable you to makeover your IT infrastructure, and address essential business needs anytime and anywhere. The solutions that they offer help you identify the areas where you can decrease your ongoing operational costs. Businesses have been able to handle complex projects effectively with the help of cloud computing technology. The solutions that they provide are expertly integrated with your process planning and implementation.

Information management

The Information Management tool provided by IBM facilitates your small or medium size firm manage all your important data. It helps connect systems and people for the best overall performance. These types of proven solutions allow you to incorporate different data from several systems to develop agility, efficiency, and expertise in your business. It also improves your company's bottom-line, which is generating more revenue by enhancing the customer experiences.

Network and systems management

Networking is a great tool to expand and develop your business. IBM offers network and system management solution that addresses IT requirements such as integrated data, voice, and video capabilities, hosting services, wireless functionality etc. The solution works within your funds, and offers optimum quality service to grow and thrive.

Smarter Commerce

IBM Smarter Commerce for mid-size business improves the value addition towards the partners, shareholders and customers, which are the three most important pillars of any organization. It helps to transform all phases of the commerce cycle in today's fast changing digital world:

  • Purchase: Drives smart, optimized and adaptive wholesale supply chains depending on the customer demands.
  • Market: Makes relevant and personalized offers with integrated cross-channel marketing.
  • Trade: Enables partners and customers obtain what they wish for, anytime they need.
  • Service: Anticipates the performance and distributes flawless consumer service.

The solution provided by them helps in managing all departments of businesses in a synchronized manner.

Application services

The company leaders need their employees to spend maximum time on work, which is on the core business operations that are assigned to them. At the same time, there is a need to focus on the application management in order to maintain your company's long-term productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

If you are looking for a cost effective and robust application support for long-term development plans of your business, IBM is always ready to help you meet up your company's embryonic hi-tech and dogmatic requirements.

Source by [lakajira]

Best Car Key Replacement Services

Anyone will like his or her favorite car to be safe and secure in a busy city like Chicago. Unfortunately, the growing rates of crimes including theft and burglary have made this one of the most difficult tasks to be accomplished. It is never prudent to leave the repair of locks or replacement of key in unsafe hands. Professional Chicago Locksmith who is well reputed could be the answer to all such problems.

Preventing Unscrupulous People

Instead of picking the roadside Locksmith in Chicago it would be good to go for the established and registered ones in the city to ensure that such person does not make an additional duplicate key of your car using it for ulterior motives. That is why it is necessary that you make a little background research on the reputation and reliability of the Car Locksmith before you leave the task in his hands.

Car Lock Replacement

One of the best ways of protecting your car from possible future burglaries is to change the manual lock into something that is automatic. After all ensuring the safety of the car is in the hands of the owner more than anyone else. Hence also ensure that while the manual lock is replaced with automatic locks of modern times, the person whom the task is entrusted is a Chicago Area Locksmith and well known in the circle. One can also ensure that if there is some number or a remote to operate the automatic lock, the secrets of them are not retained by the locksmith after he accomplishes the task of lock replacement.

What Should Be Your Choice

In selection of the Car Key Locksmith Chicago the car owner will have certain issues to address. Three main factors for determination of the choice of the Locksmith to replace the car key or repair the lock would be the speed of work, quality, and affordability. It is also preferable to have the services of such Locksmith that would be available 24/7 at call so that you are not stranded in odd hours with the recurrence of the problems once settled. Maintenance is vital for smooth functioning of any device and it applies to the lock and key of the car as well.

It is Good Going for the Professional

Very often amateur or stop-gap services are available that are inexpensive and the car owner or user could be tempted to obtain the services of such Locksmiths for repair or replacement of car locks and keys. However, there are certain inherent pitfalls in the process. For one, the quality is not assured, and secondly and more important; safety and security of the car may be compromised substantially with such Car Locksmith. Their services may not be available round the clock either.

No such problem will be faced by the owner or use of the car when they opt for the Car Key Locksmith in Chicago.

Source by [lakajira]

Importance of Online Business Data Listing Management for Small Business

The entrepreneur who really wants to be successful with his or her small business should be ingenious to look for new and innovative ways to advertise products and services to reach a wider market share. It has been found credible by many research studies that it is worth the time of any creative entrepreneur to build his or her business online. Particularly, the Internet has today offered remarkable ways an entrepreneur can build any business online and generate revenue.

Recent available statistics speak positive about the fact that, over 81 percent of small business owners are reported to have their presence known online and over 30 percent are reported to generate over 25 percent of their revenue online. The ingenious entrepreneur cannot therefore ignore the fact that the Internet has been found in many important ways to help improve the image of small enterprises in a greater scale. Company websites, for instance, have been found relevant by most businesses and does underscore the importance of online business data listing management.

Essentially in this respect, the Internet has become a way of proven enterprise management for small business development and growth through which an entrepreneur can also provide information about products and services online. Online business data management listing has become a very efficient way entrepreneurs provide good customer service and support that help businesses retain customers and build the enterprise with increased customer satisfaction and profitability.

Benefits of a Wider Market Share

Further importance of online business data listing management is the possibilities it offers by growth in terms of a wider range of market share and the ability to promote products and services at any given time. Other benefits associated with online business data listing management are reflected in the effective use of low startup costs to build an enterprise online and the ability an entrepreneur has with no-cost social marketing advertising. With online business data listing management an entrepreneur can literally benefit from small business branding on a limited budget. An entrepreneur's business name and logo are tools he or she can effectively use to project the visible face of the products and services the entrepreneur is going to provide to potential clients.

Benefits of Small Business Apps

Also, there are small business apps an entrepreneur can integrate into his or her online business data listing management framework to enhance enterprise development and success. Some of these capable business applications focus on financials and accounting fundamentals an entrepreneur can use to manage business general ledger data, accounts payable and receivables.

There are also business apps with the principal focus on tracking billable work processes and productivity. With productivity apps an entrepreneur can generate and organically manage documents with business data in a very efficient way and can secure sensitive and high profiled data sufficiently protected within the company's virtual domain.

Also, the utility and support in communication and collaboration among employees, customers and external contacts can be a resource within any online business data listing management framework.

There is also availability of the more traditional business apps such as office suites online, payroll and small business accounting software or invoicing and expense software-all are varied enterprise applications a capable online data listing management framework can be built upon as business solutions tailored for successful business management and growth. In this case, there are leading business accounting software packages such as QuickBooks and Peachtree which can make business accounting and tax filing purposes simple for any entrepreneur. These software applications can also allow import of data into one or more tax preparation programs.

There are as well free accounting applications such as GNUCash software-a free open source accounting program with a simple interface but with load-full of in-depth accounting functions and features; and BizFusion which is another accessible online small business accounting system with nine modules all on a single interface that works just like Microsoft Outlook 2007 and focuses on inventory, project and asset management with a full built-in small business accounting solution that can provide the entrepreneur with a more complete business picture (including an analysis of competitors) in a single system.

Any entrepreneur can therefore be resourceful and ingenious to implement an online business data listing management for his or her business to improve business efficiency and effectiveness. Even with smaller steps an entrepreneur can take over time to build a full online business data listing management program for his or her small business will see growth benefits accrue. Auspiciously, hardware and software costs are today quite affordable and the processing capacity and performance for both servers and networks have literally opened up a variety of opportunities for small business automation entrepreneurs looking to start their own business and small business owners that have limited budget can work with to build and grow their businesses.

Source by [lakajira]

Planning the Exit From Your Business

Sooner or later, willingly or unwillingly, deliberately or unconsciously, a small business owner decides how they'll leave their business. Whether they're carried feet first out the door at death; they sell; they transfer the business to the next generation; or they take some other path out the door: the day will come when each owner makes their final exit from their business.

Even where an owner has partners, other shareholders or equity owners in the business who have agreed on a plan allowing one owner to leave the business while the remaining owners carry on its operations; there may be a problem where the partners or equity owners are all of approximately the same age and are likely to exit the business at about the same time. Unless the existing plan for the departure of owners insures a transition from an older to a younger generation, the presence of partners or other equity owners may simply mean that the problem of how to leave the business is an issue for the owners as a group rather than for just an individual.

Anticipating their inevitable final exit should prompt any small business owner to realistically consider their options and plan for their departure well in advance. An owner should begin thinking early, often and realistically about how they can best realize the value of their business when they leave. An owner's thoughts should adapt to the changing possibilities and opportunities for leaving their business as both owner and business age. An owner's ultimate exit from their business is inevitable. Only how an owner leaves their business and whether that departure is deliberately made before they die or become incapacitated is within their control.

The point of this short note is simple. If you don't have a plan for leaving your business, make one. If you have a plan, review it regularly to make certain it will work. If necessary, change your plan as conditions and opportunities change. When opportunities appear, consider them carefully in the context of both your present and your long term goals. Like most things, the more an owner thinks and plans on leaving their business, generally the better and more satisfying their exit will be.

© 08/30/2011 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, PC All rights reserved.

Source by [lakajira]

Ecommerce – Boost Your Business ROI

Did you know that over 90% of all online orders are processed by credit cards and that web sites that offer customers the ability to pay with credit cards can achieve up to 300% more sales than those that do not?

It's a fact. Not only do more customers buy, statistics prove that customers actually buy more when given the option to pay with their credit card. Here are some recent trends that will reinforce the need to sell your product or service on the internet- if your business is not yet doing so:

oAt the end of 2000, over 400 million people- world-wide- had Internet access. That number passed 1 billion in 2005!

oAlmost 100 million people in the US are now making a purchase after using the internet to conduct their research.

oA study conducted jointly by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen / Net Ratings pegged holiday season sales up 25% from the previous year. This comes at a time when traditional retail sales are growing in the low single digits.

oForrester projects that total e-commerce sales in the US will increase by approximately 20% per year, growing to $ 229 billion in 2008, making online retail transactions 10% of total US retail sales by 2008.

In addition, in a survey conducted among more than 500 businesses with e-commerce enabled sites, the overwhelming majority indicated that they were either very satisfied or at least somewhat satisfied with their company's e-commerce return on investment (ROI).

It's no wonder- when compared to traditional forms of direct marketing such as mail order catalogs, the cost of establishing and maintaining an e-commerce website is more cost-effective. Additionally, user-friendly storefront applications simplify the task of establishing and maintaining a professional e-commerce enabled site.

What's more, if your company sells products to consumers or businesses and you don't have a fully automated e-commerce website, your business is simply not operating at its full potential and you're sending customers to your competition!

It is no longer a luxury for businesses to have an e-commerce enabled site-but a necessity to stay competitive in the marketplace.

Source by [lakajira]

Business Advertising

Advertising is an investment in your business and is similar to other investments that are designed to improve and expand your business. The return you receive depends on the planning and thought that precede the actual commitment and expenditure of advertising dollars. By first developing an effective advertising plan, you increase the likelihood of a positive return on your advertising investment, regardless of the amount of money you spend.

Four Basic Questions

The basic premise of an advertising plan requires you to thoroughly analyze the answers to key questions before you can make effective advertising decisions. There are four key questions to ask yourself:

1. What do I want my advertising to accomplish?

2. Who should my advertising speak to?

3. What should my advertising say?

4. What advertising medium should I use?

In a specific business situation, each question has any number of potential answers. As you think about each question, do not accept any answer until you have considered and explored the full range of possibilities.

What Do I Want My Advertising To Accomplish?

The first step in developing your advertising plan is to specify your advertising goals. Be as precise as you can as to why you are advertising and what you want to achieve. Everyone wants advertising to increase business, but for your advertising plan to work, it requires you to be more precise. Some possible goals for your advertising are:

  • To increase awareness of your business.
  • To attract competitors' customers.
  • To increase the likelihood of keeping current customers and developing their loyalty.
  • To generate immediate sales or sales leads.

    It is possible that you may want your advertising to achieve all of these goals plus some others. What is important is that you prioritize your goals. Advertising works best when it is developed to meet one specific goal at a time.

    Who Should My Advertising Speak To?

    Once you determine your advertising goals, you can then select the target audience for your message. Keep in mind that advertising that tries to reach "everyone" rarely succeeds. Successful advertising is written with a specific customer in mind. Try to picture the person you must reach in order to achieve your advertising goals. Try to describe your target consumers in each of the following:

  • Demographics: such as gender, age, income, location of residence or business, etc.
  • Behaviors: such as current awareness of your business; the products, services or vendors they currently use; loyalty to either you or your competitor's business, etc.
  • Needs or desires: such as what benefits consumers look for, the basis on which they will decide whether to use your product or service, how your business can fulfill those needs, etc.

    What Should My Advertising Say?

    Once you know who your target audience is and what they are looking for in terms of the product or service you offer, you can decide what your advertising will say. Advertising should always be written to communicate a message that will be seen as important by your target customer. Your advertising should clearly and convincingly "speak" to your target audience, explaining the important benefits your product or service offers. In deciding how to discuss the major benefits of your product or service in your advertising, keep "AIDA" in mind: attract Attention, hold Interest, arouse Desire and motivate Action.

    Where Should I Place My Advertising?

    Every month, new advertising options become available. Beyond "traditional" media you can place ads in airports, on ski lifts and on television monitors in the front of grocery carts. Where you place your advertising should be guided by a simple principle: Go where your target audience will have the highest likelihood of seeing or hearing it. Many advertising media work well to reach a diverse range of target consumers. There is no single medium that is inherently good or bad. In fact, a good medium for one product or service may be a poor medium for another. As you consider media choices, look for one that fits your advertising goals, reaches your target efficiently and cost effectively and is within your advertising budget.

    Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the common mistakes presenters and persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal.


    Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you've seen some success, but think of the times you couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.

  • Source by [lakajira]

    Global Resorts Network Home Based Business

    Many people are looking for ways to make extra money or replace their income by starting a home based business. People may also be looking for more flexibility, time and freedom one can provide. Often times what comes to the mind of many people are traditional business systems such as selling products or services through home parties or knocking on doors. However, since the internet has become common place the world of online home based businesses have exploded.

    Global Resorts Network is an online home based business that promotes a luxury resort travel membership for vacations up to 90% off industry rates and has been doing so since 1986. You will take vacations throughout your life and will most likely be paying far more than what the one time membership fee is. And no, this is not a time share. You will not be paying annual fees and there are no blackout weeks. The membership gives you access to resorts around the world. This truly is a stand-alone product that sells itself.

    Home based business affiliates of Global Resorts Network (GRN) sell memberships not by traditional ways such open houses or irksome face-to-face methods, but rather through learned attraction, referral and internet marketing skills. Anyone who has or is willing to learn these techniques and apply them can successfully grow their GRN business from the comfort of their home or literally anywhere in the world.

    A unique feature of GRN is its perpetual leverage compensation plan. $ 500 to $ 1000 commissions are paid for each sale you make as well as sales made by people you bring onto your team – to unlimited depth. This is very much a "giver's gain" focus toward growing your business because the more training, support and education you gain and provide your team the more success you'll achieve together.

    There are many home based business opportunities available online. It is very important that you do your due diligence and research each opportunity that interests you fully so you don't fall prey to scammers.

    GRN is a great home based business opportunity. And as the name says it is a business and should be treated as such. The rewards are great to those who are willing to put in the effort.

    Source by [lakajira]

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