BestWebber’s Client’s Enjoy Front Page Rankings

When your customers are trying to find your business or service online, are they finding your competitors instead? Finding your way to the front page of Google takes a lot of skill and strategy to get the kind of results we have achieved for our clients. So, if you are looking for the same type of result, then we are the people you should be talking to!

Want more proof? Why not head over to the Case Study page – which details the success our client SunMore Holidays has enjoyed since they started using our services

Tips: E-Commerce Sites That Convert

If you are considering starting and running an eCommerce site, then it is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the game – and one of the most important factors is being able to get into the mindset of your customer.

What you need to understand is that when people shop for something online, and they have a specific product or type of product in mind that they want to buy, there are two key factors that influence their decision to do business with you:

Can they trust you?

And do you have the best price?

So how does one go about creating an eCommerce site so that it is more likely to convert sales? I have put together a few tips to help you along the way…

TRUST

1. First of all, don’t make your own website. It can take a long time to learn how to design a website properly, so unless you are already a designer, don’t do it. The learning curve is pretty big. The other thing is that trying to sell from a “homemade” looking site can hurt your trust factor.

Whilst it may be true that with some markets, the homemade site can convert well because people feel that someone like them built the site – in MOST cases it’s better to appear professional. And the best way to do that is to have a professional designer build your site.

So, my recommendation is that although it takes an investment to set up a site properly, it is one that will yield more sales and a stronger business.

2. There are some very simple elements you can easily add to your site that will instantly make you appear more trustworthy.

  • A 1 800 number in the header. This simple method gives the feel that you are a bigger company, even if you’re running it from your living room. once people assume that you are a “bigger” company is a “safer” company, they’ll be more inclined to buy from you.
  • A trust seal and credit card logos. The credit card logos instil trust for a couple of reasons. To begin with, you’re essentially borrowing trust from the credit card companies, as they are known and trusted companies. Secondly, a credit card logo once again gives the look and feel of being a bigger professional company online. People often assume that if you have these elements then other people are buying from you too.
  • Live chat. This simple method continues to add to the feeling that you are a larger company with a substantial support team. This brings a lot of comfort to your prospects, even if they never use it. Just the fact that you are more approachable if they have questions helps the trust factor immensely. There are many sites online that offer live chat services. For example, one in particular is liveperson.com.

Many successful eCommerce site owners have extensively used and tested each of these elements You will be amazed at the difference it will make to your conversions if you add them to your site.

BEST PRICE

Obviously, your eCommerce site will be more successful if you’re selling something that people are already buying. However, the other side to this is that it means you’ll also be selling what other people are selling. So the problem is how to compete when your customers begin price-shopping, without having to cut your prices? Here are two tips:

1. Position your products as unique. Now 99% of marketers don’t make any effort to promote their products uniquely. Most f the time they simply take the photo and description provided by the supplier and use them as is. However, if you’ll take a little extra time, it’ll pay off in huge dividends. Start by changing the stock photo. Test different photos. Avoid using the same photo everyone else is using. Also re-write the description so it’s unique. The other thing you can do is give your products a unique name so that when people price shop products from your site, they won’t find any other products with the same name (clever, huh?).

2. Don’t cut your prices. Trying to be the cheapest source rarely works for long. One, you’re cutting your profits. And two, there will always be someone else to come along who’s willing to sell the same items cheaper than you. One great approach is to try bundling related items into greater bargains for your prospects – this is also known as ‘widgetising’. Using this approach this allows you to set the price you want and it also makes your offer unique.

These are just a few tips for making your eCommerce site more profitable. But there are literally dozens of different ways, just like this, that you can use to have a higher converting site. Stay tuned for further blogs on the topic by subscribing to my RSS feed.

Google’s Matt Cutts – Get Better Visibility on Google

There are many misconceptions about getting your site indexed in Google. There is a lot of information available on the internet, but still it seems that many webmasters do not really understand how Google works when it indexes new websites.

In the interview, Cutts advises the public on how to get better website visibility in Google. It is a lot easier than you might think and contrary to popular belief, it’s not rocket science. A few ideas from from the interview include:

  • Think about what people are going to type to want to come to your site .. and make sure those keywords are on your page
  • Title tags matter because that is the first thing readers will see when they search on Google.
  • Why the Description tag is also important for visibility on Google‘s Search Results Page.
  • Why blogs are important for building community and backlinks.
  • How to add your blog to be indexed by Google.
  • Adding a Sitemap to Webmaster Central for fine tuning your searchability.

Small Steps to Better Blogging Productivity

Blog Commenting can be a very valuable addition to your arsenal of tools in trying to rank higher in the search engines and drive traffic to your site.

Blogs have been used on the internet as sources of information and human expression. They come in different forms ranging from business blogs to personal blogs, and from specific areas like travel and sports. Here is a technique that introduces a way to use blogs as leverage for traffic generation into your own website. This technique is a great way to get those desired links for your site. And more than that, this is a more of a relevant and meaningful way to attach your link. As much as possible, we want to avoid being branded as cheap or worse, spam.

Thus let us learn about the use of valuable blog commenting.

Blog Commenting

This works by searching blogs in websites, preferably top blog sites like www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com. These awesome sites have thousands of bloggers in them. You may want to fish into these rich, deep waters. So assuming you are planning to promote your website about network marketing, you may want to search blogs about network marketing or mlm, also maybe about internet marketing. Then you’ll do the 5 step process we will introduce here in order to create valuable blog commenting. This will work magic since unlike most blog commentaries; valuable blog commenting possesses sincerity of intention, relativity to the subject, and connection of common interest. There will be a 7/10 ratio or a 70% chance that your endorsed links will get through by the use of this process, contrary to the usual slim 20% probability that most cheap blog commentaries get.

There is sure way to get your blog commenting running straight up to the trash can. That is through the use of cheap blog comments. Familiar lines like “Awesome Page, please check mine at www.blahblahblah.com.” are a big no no in the marketing arena. Simply put – there are no shortcuts to success. You have to earn it yourself. There is a valuable way to post blog comments. And this is done through the use of our 5 step process. Here it is:

The first process is to read the blog. That might sound simple. But our brains can trick us to assume that we already know what the blog is usually. So we are not reading at all, but assuming. Take the wisdom of the fully-filled glass of fowl water. Because it is full, it cannot take in new and fresh spring waters. So when we read the blog, make sure you really read it with an open mind.

The second process is to understand. This will only happen if we already did the first process. Have we figured out what the blog is really about? Or you rush in to post your cheap comment without really understanding the whole point of the blog. Understanding is the key to developing valuable responses and comments.

Third process is to relate. This is where connection happens and your comment becomes valuable because is it relevant to the point. We may consider relating our own personal experiences to the blog. How can I relate to the blog? Do I have something valuable to say?

Blog Commenting

If you do, then it is time to go to the fourth process. After reading, understanding and relating to the main point of the blog, then it is time to post your valuable blog comment.

Watch and see this process work wonders for you and your business.

And of course, the last and final step of the process is to attach the link of your website to your blog commentary.

Everything will go easily now as long as you have already followed the initial 4 Steps to creating valuable blog commenting.

The last step may not be necessary on some commenting forms as the form itself has a spot for you to enter your website. If that is the case you don’t need to enter your website in the body of your comment.

This process really works. Try it and see for yourself. If you do intend to use blog commenting you should also allow commenting on your own blog to give other people the same benefits you are going after.

[Be Different]: Create a Visual Resume

So you’ve delved into the world of social media and want to start using the tools to build your online presence. You started with cleaning up your Facebook profile of incriminating alcohol-filled photos, you set up a professional profile on LinkedIn and maybe even signed up for Twitter. Yet job application after job application you are filling in the same information about your experience here and there, your education and qualifications and why you would like to work for this specific company. How is social media going to help when everybody just wants to see your CV or resume?

Why Have a Visual Resume

Be different.

Whilst there is a lot of value in having a tailored, up-to-date and effective paper resume on hand to send to potential employers (and here is a great presentation on how such a document should look like), you can also differentiate yourself through creating a document that is more visual, more interactive, more representative of who you actually are as a person and what you could bring to the company.

Visual resume allows you to make a different impression. You can be much more succint in your writing and also more persuasive. A picture is worth a thousand words and visual resume gives you the opportunity to show off some of your best projects or ideas in a way that is simply impossible to convey in text form. It also serves as a great way to finally prove those excellent presentation skills you claim to have!

Example of My Visual Resume

So how does a visual resume actually look like?

Want to create one for yourself?

Top Tips for Creating Your Visual Resume

  • Don’t write an essay –> Remember that you’re going for visual rather than text focus. You can put all the details on your text resume. In the visual version, focus on being concise and conveying ideas in clear terms.
  • Use quality images –> A visual presentation of yourself requires professional-looking images. To look for these try Flickr Creative Commons licensed photos.
  • Keep it short –> Do you really think a prospective employer will have time to click through your 100 slides?
  • Don’t just copy off your text resume –> You want to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicants…so do it! Use different phrases, present interesting case studies, point to your side projects. Don’t lose your chance to make an impression simply by reiterating what the company has already seen.
  • Be innovative –> Following on from previous point: Think about what sort of content you could put in. Is there a way you can prove your expertise? Engaging and persuasive way to show off your references?
  • Find your voice –> A visual form of your resume will require employment of a slightly different tone than a factual text-based CV. Keep it professional but also show that you’re a person, ready to engage with your viewers.
  • Point the reader to your other social media outlets
  • Use Slideshare.net and make this an integral part of your online presence

What is a Network Marketing Business Opportunity?

When your friend calls you up and says that he has a great network marketing business opportunity, what do you do? What is he talking about? Network marketing is a business model for companies to sell their products. It is also known as multi-level marketing or MLM. In this model, companies use individuals as their sales force (often called distributors). If a distributor sells the products of company X, he receives a sales commission.

What makes this sales model different than other marketing is that if you find someone who also wants to be a distributor, you will make a commission on their sales as well. In this way you can build “levels” (also called your “downline” or your “team”). As more and more people sell underneath you, your commissions grow without additional work on your part.

Network marketing is popular because you have two ways to earn money: from product sales and the commissions from the distributors below you. For this reason, network marketing is often called a business opportunity.

Network Marketing Vs Pyramid Schemes

Multi-level marketing is often mistaken for a pyramid scheme because as you get sales people below you, you can map their relationship to you in a pyramid-like chart.

A pyramid scheme is very different from MLM, however. In a pyramid scheme, you earn money as people below you join the pyramid. There are no products to sell and if you don’t build beneath you, you lose your initial investment.

MLM’s are a legitimate business model which have been around since the 1940′s. They have real products to sell and recruiting sales people below you provides additional income to product sales. You can still make money from an MLM even if you don’t recruit distributors.

Pyramids are illegal. Run from them if you are presented with one.

Advantages of a Network Marketing Business Opportunity

Network marketing business opportunities are attractive to business people for many reasons.

  • They are easy to start with relatively low start-up costs.
  • They are relatively easy to learn. Many people are successful without having to get expensive business degrees.
  • There are multiple ways to earn money: product sales, and commissions.
  • They offer a means to passive income if you grow your sales team.
  • They offer a way to leverage other’s work by building your sales team.
  • Business systems and marketing materials are provided for you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Disadvantages of a Network Marketing Business Opportunity

  • Many company train their distributors to use old style sales methods–pressure selling to family and friends, bothering people in grocery store lines, cold calling, etc. Without proper training in attraction marketing, this can lead to frustration, burn out and the industry’s 95% failure rate.
  • Without attraction marketing, the efforts required to build your business can feel more like a job than an independent business. You need proper training to avoid being enslaved to your network marketing business opportunity.
  • Because of the poor marketing training for its distributors, the network marketing industry has gained a bad reputation. To build a strong MLM business, you need win your customer’s respect.
  • Often people join their MLM company rather than start their own business. This is a subtle difference in mindset that has huge ramifications. If you align yourself with your company, you can fall victim to changes in your company’s policies and compensation plan. If you start your own business (using your MLM as an income stream), you are master of your own destiny and can respond to company changes in a positive way.

A network marketing business opportunity offers a great way for individuals with little capital to start a business. But to avoid frustration and burnout, you need proper marketing training.

I teach attraction marketing, where you attract customers who want what you have. I help you build a business where people come to you for your products and request to be in your downline.

Technology: I Heart Mixero

I have a confession to make. I’m one of them. One of the elusive Gen Y, part of the tribe that’s pretty much been on the Internet since I turned ten. I love technology and everything it brings. I not only spend most of my day on social media but I’ve also made it my job. Yes, I’m one of those.

I’m also a nerd/geek or whatever word you’d like to use. Always have been. I’m fascinated by learning new things and you can often find me devouring yet another book or article, whatever I can get my hands on. I have no particular interest in biochemistry and often find it even boring yet I’ll spend an hour listening to one of my friends talking about his cool project. Cambridge tends to foster that sort of environment. And so does the Internet and social media channels.

But it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available out there.

I’ve got my RSS feeds from tens of blogs that let me keep up with the latest industry news as well as anything else I might be interested in. I get recommendations from friends on Facebook, sometimes I stumble upon something interesting just by pure chance.

And then there’s the big one: Twitter

I’m currently still following less than 400 people in my Twitter account. That may not seem that much yet it means almost constant bombardment by interesting and often useful insights, jokes and links. And those links are ones that I want to be able to get through. I want to follow the conversations that are taking place on Twitter and I want to be able to make sense of the hundreds of recommended resources and blog posts that appear in my Twitter feed every day.

This is not unfiltered information. Despite the feeling of overwhelm, these are exactly the sources of information that are most helpful. They have been filtered by someone I trust or consider an authority. It feels like I have hundreds of personal mentors, ready to share all the best information they’ve come across with me.

Yet as with everything in this world, not all links to outside information have been created equal. I need a way to distil the most important pieces and have them presented in a format that makes the most sense.

That’s where Mixero comes in.

Mixero is a desktop (and iPhone) Twitter application that organises my Twitter feed in a way that truly makes the most sense.

Here are some of the reasons why I heart Mixero:

  • Mixero lets me organise my Twitter contacts into groups (that are local to my computer/username) – I have a group which congregates feeds from designers, another one with social media industry news, a local one for my Cambridge-based contacts etc.
  • I can add all or only certain groups to my “Active List” – a left part of the screen where the Twitter feed appears
  • I can specify different contexts – maybe I want to read about social media at work and about cooking at home
  • It lets me easily save searches for terms, groups of terms, or hashtags.
  • I can get instant information about any user right within the interface.

How do you deal with the overload of information and what tools have been most helpful to you?

A Year On: LifeWithSocialMedia.com Re-Imagined

I started this blog a year ago, in June 2010. A lot can change in a year and today I bring LifeWithSocialMedia.com back into the light of the blogosphere, with a new resolve, with new ideas and with new direction.

The last 12 months

The last year was a year of trying to find my feet, trying to figure out how I’ll fit into this post-university ‘real’ life. It’s been 11 months since my graduation from the lovely Churchill College of Cambridge University, since I was handed my diploma and sent to find my place outside of the bubble of Cambridge education.

I started the year working for a lovely small agency here in Cambridge, UK, absorbing like a sponge and trying to learn as much as I can about social media, marketing and running a small business. During the year my role kept shifting and accommodating, one of the joys of working in a startup, and I found myself growing into a Community/Content/Marketing gal for Alfred.  I’m happy to say I’ve enjoyed my work very much and am keen to find out how it will continue evolving.

Looking ahead

Yet the next 12 months promise to be so much more eventful. There will be a change in my role, the outlook of long-term travel and many more changes, all of which you’ll hear more about in the next few days, weeks and months.

With this new impulse, the direction of Life With Social Media will shift as well. I’ll continue writing about the uses of social media and the tools that make our lives easier yet I want to also take a higher level look –

  • How can we really make the most of social media to live the lives that we’ve always wanted to?
  • Is it possible to use the tools of web 2.0 to really live the life that we imagine, from anywhere in the world?

I hope you tag along for the ride!

Lessons Learnt at AdTech

My HipstaPrint 01 300x300 Lessons Learnt at AdTech 2010

I’ve just returned from my first big industry event. It was exciting and new and a great experience of actually going out there as someone who works in the field, representing a company. I was able to have a conversation about the products and strategies that were being presented with the background of having worked on real-world projects, helping several clients.

But I was also coming in with fresh eyes and that allowed me to evaluate the event from a bit of a blank slate.

Here are some of my take-aways from the day:

  • Business cards are a must – AdTech was a two-day event. Two days full of seminars, exhibitor stalls, keynotes, meetings…resulting in crowds and crowds of people coming in through the door. Whoever you talk to, I guarantee they won’t remember your name the next day as there’s simply too many new faces. Having a quick way to hand over your contact information was essential.
  • Interesting business cards are better – I can’t even count anymore how many times I’ve had a conversation that was simply sparked by my colourful Moo Mini cards. They look different. They feel different. They’re definitely not boring and people will remember you better simply because you gave them something memorable. Go get yours now.
  • Not all seminars were made equal – I was really excited about the seminar part of the day and had decided beforehand which sessions seemed really interesting and which I would go to. That plan didn’t work quite so well simply because the quality of the seminars was varied and I often found myself feeling bored after five minutes of listening to an uninteresting pitch on an idea that seemed brilliant. I learned to walk away.
  • But for the good ones, come early – If there’s something you really want to see, be prepared to show up 10 or 15 minutes early as places will go fast. Listening from behind the seminar area is not pleasant and often virtually impossible with all the noise around.
  • Travel light – I spent the whole day walking around with my own bag, a coat and a promotional bag full of paper and hidden gems. The exhibition hall was packed and it certainly would have been easier walking around had I planned to take as little as possible in advance. You can get pen and paper at certain seminars (e.g. Google’s AdWords Factory Tour provided a goodie bag and I ended up just using this convenient stationary rather than fishing out my own shiny Moleskine).
  • It will all be one long pitch – Exhibitors are in sales – they will be trying to pitch you the product or service, get your business card (or scan your barcode – more on that in another post) and sign you up for life. Well, maybe not the last bit. But it will pretty much be a pitch and sales event so brace yourself in advance.
  • So come prepared with a plan – Why are you there? Is there anyone specific you want to talk to? Are there seminars that look interesting? Is there a product you want to check out? Make a plan so you don’t end up aimlessly wandering around. The hall is big and you will get distracted.
  • Network in advance – Industry events are a great way to network with people in your field. But these big events are too busy and overcrowded and I found myself not actually having that many nice relaxed conversations getting to know industry colleagues. It would have made a huge difference to seek out others that are going well in advance, connect with them on Twitter and maybe have a few online chats. That way, we could have arranged to meet up on the day. Well, I’ll learn my lesson for next time.

Do you have any tips for the next event? What do you usually do to get the most of industry conferences and networking opportunities like this?

Defining Social Media

As I explained in my previous post on an introduction to Social Media, I think of social media primarily as a tool for communication – communication between a customer and a company, between individuals located across the world, between experts and beginners, between people like you and me. It allows for engagement, collaboration, sharing, community-building and much more and can also lead to surprisingly fast results.

Yet as a start to our conversation about how we can use social media to improve our lives, productivity, business, ideas, I think it is appropriate to spend a bit of time thinking about what social media actually is and what it means.

There is no widely accepted definition of social media. And that may be both a blessing and a curse. To overcome this definitional abyss, Adam Vincenzini over at the comms corner asked 140 communicators to define Social Media in 140 characters, and the results were great!

I have taken the most interesting of the project’s contributions and edited them into thematic chunks.

The results:

  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS COMMUNICATION/CONVERSATION
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS REVOLUTION/CHANGE
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS RELATIONSHIPS
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS DEMOCRATISATION
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS LEARNING
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS CONNECTIONS
  • SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT SHARING
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS COMMUNITY
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AS MARKETING DEVICE