Promoting your business online: Blogging

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BloggingA Blog is a fantastic way to update your audience and inform them about specials, about events, new products and services as well as general information about your organization. Starting a Blog is easy but can be challenging at the same time. Today we would like to talk a little bit about some of the challenges and give you some advise how to overcome them.

Why should I have a Blog?
This is often the first question clients ask us. With so many Blogs out there, why should you start one too? The reason is simple, because you can use this platform to update your customers about situations you may not want or need to put on your website. You can also use a Blog for online promotion support, meaning you can more frequently talk about a new or existing product and “remind” your clients of its existence. Or maybe you are working on a project and want to publish updates about stages you have reached. But a Blog is also a platform that allows you to show new clients that your organization is still active. A website often reaches a stages where not that many updates happen, depending on your business of course, but a Blog allows you to be more active.

Which Platform should I use?
There are several options available. The popular once are WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. It is advisable to check out each of them before starting your Blog, just to get an idea which one you feel more comfortable with.

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
You can create an account and Blog with wordpress.com in just a few minutes. You will be a bit limited when going with the free version and have to accept advertisement on your Blog. If you want to be in total control you can download the software used to run WordPress at wordpress.org and install it on your web server. The software is open source and the download will be free. However if you decide to ask a professional to setup you Blog with WordPress be aware that they will charge you for their time. You also will have to pay for a domain and for hosing your WordPress Blog.

Your first Blogpost(s)
You will start with a blank page and this is for many the first barrier. Many of our clients who started a Blog had that experience and needed support to get through the first couple posts. Here are some tricks that might help you:

  • Start writing about yourself, your organization, the products and/or services you offer
  • Ask friends for feedback
  • Try to work on a schedule for your updates
  • Be aware that the first few post might only be read by a few people

How often should I publish a new post?
This depends on factors such as industry, your time, your audience and of course also your products and services to name a few. You are welcome to contact us for a free consultation where we can advise you further.

Self posting vs professional writer?
A professional writer can be very beneficial in the long run and can save you a lot of time and even money. However, we like to encourage clients to start their Blog on their own. To make it easier for our writers to set the right tone for your Blog we like to ask you to provide us with a draft for the first couple posts. After that we will just ask you for the topics and the research will be done by our team. We have different packages available that are based on your needs. All our packages are flexible and you can upgrade, downgrade and even pause services as you go. You will always have a professional team on your site for as long as you want. Services include maintaining the Blog, posting updates on your Blog as well as providing reports. If you are interested in learning more about us feel free to check out the links below:

http://teccrab.comWeb
http://blog.teccrab.comBlog
http://twitter.com/teccrabTwitter
http://facebook.com/teccrabFacebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrabGoogle Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrabYouTube

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Promoting your business online: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

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SEM-SEOTodays topic in our series Promoting your business online is certainly a more complex one and we feel it might be a good idea to start with some basic information. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is what you need to do to get your website found on platforms such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, to name a few.

Depending on who you are talking to the opinion on what kind of work is involved varies. Some will see the implementation of keywords in your website, listing your business on search engines and some other more technical aspect as what SEO is about. Others might see everything to drive traffic to your site as SEO.

Beside the definition there are also many different ways to actually get your site up in ranking and there are even reasons why you may not want to do it. Yes this may sound strange, but you may not want to increase the traffic to your site and we will try our best to explain why.

Lets say you are selling products on your website you also manufacture. The traffic to your website is decent but not amazing. Now imagine the traffic to your site suddenly increases so much that the amount on orders you are receiving exceeds your production capacity. Soon you will find yourself in the unfortunate situation that you can not satisfy your customers anymore. They start to leave bad reviews all over the internet and the entire experience did hurt your business more than it helped.

A much better approach is to increase the traffic to your website slowly so that you have time to adjust and to decide if you need to hire more people and invest in new equipment. This is why you may want to consider getting help from an agency or hire someone to help you in this regard.

Now the problem is that anyone can call themselves SEO Expert and the unfortunate truth is that there are so many bad once out there. To find a good one is very important. We therefore encourage you to shop around before you decide who should support you and we hope some of the following tips will help you in your decision.

  • Be sceptical if someone promises you to get you on top of every search engine in just a few weeks.
  • A good agency will not only explain what they want to do, but also involve you in the decision process as much as you want
  • A good agency will explain everything in terms you understand and will try their best to secure you feel included and be able to ask any question you may have
  • A good agency will provide you with a long term plan and will inform you if adjustments are needed
  • We here at teccrab will secure you have access to your Google Analytics Reports so you can check your traffic anytime you want. Even if other agencies prefer to use a different software to track the traffic to your website, you should get frequent reports regardless.

We had the unfortunate experience to meet some business owners who got burned by some “experts” who promised them to be on the 1st page on Google. This may sound strange but we as well get frequently Emails from “experts” who tell us our site needs help and promise us to be on the 1st page of Google. They claim to have analyzed our site meticulously without realizing we offer SEO services as well.

The problem as we see it is that good agencies have not only to comped with those “experts” but also get harmed by their business methods. We had clients who raised their eyebrows the moment we mentioned SEO, just because they get flooded with junk Emails. An even bigger problem is when you trust your website to the wrong SEO expert. Because it can be much more dangerous than trusting a bad printer or designer for example. Even if you have to pay for an awful designed website, a brochure or business cards you probably won’t be out of business. Trusting the wrong SEO expert can put you on the so called Blacklist and getting your domain off this list is very time consuming and to repair the bad reputation you may have received online can cost you even more.

Good agencies and experts will support your business with so called white head SEO. They will inform you about changes and advise you what to do. The process to increase the traffic to your site will be managed in a way that is beneficial to your business. A good agency will become a valuable partner you can trust.

We offer free consultations and encourage you to take our offer and compare it before making a decision. To learn more about us please feel free to check out the following links:

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

Promoting your business online: Social Media

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SocialMediaManagementSocial Media became in the last couple years more and more important also in regards of promoting your business online. With so many platforms to choose from it is understandable that especially newcomers can feel a little overwhelmed. Today we would like to post a few general questions business owners often have and answer them.

Why should I use Social Media to promote my business?
There are many reasons to use social media to promote your organization. One very important is transparency. This may sound wired but this is actually one of the most important reasons especially for new businesses. Just imagine you find a product on a website you have never heard of, provided by a company you don’t know. Would you give them your address and credit card details without hesitation? Now imagine you find the same company on Facebook and see that they have a lot of fans plus a lot of great reviews. It is now so much easier to trust them. If the same company has not only Facebook, but also Twitter, YouTube and some other accounts were they are actively post and interact with their audience you will feel much more comfortable to use their website.

Another reason for using Social Media is feedback. As soon as you have build an audience you can ask them for feedback. For example: You have a bakery and your blueberry muffins are the best. Now you feel it is time to introduce muffins with a different flavour, but before you go and buy the ingredients you can ask your customers if they would like to buy them. And later you can even ask them how they liked them.

Last but not least you can use various social media platforms to advertise. Depending on the platform you may be able to place a banner, text or even video ad. We compared text, banner and video ads in our post Promoting your business online: Online Advertisement

Should I use every single platform?
Well, it doesn’t hurt if you secure an account with the mayor platforms, just in case you want to use them later. However, if you don’t use a platform frequently you shouldn’t mention it on your website nor encouraging people to follow you when you know you won’t use it.

Which platforms are best for my business?
General speaking you may want to have a Blog and a Facebook Page, even if you are a B2B business, a LinkedIn Page might also be a good idea. We know some business owners who really like using Twitter, while others don’t know how. Google Plus and YouTube are also great platforms and there are of course various location based services such as Foursquare and Yelp you want to check out, especially if you are a restaurant or pub owner. Depending on the nature of your business you may want to plan which platform to concentrate on and which you can keep for later. In our free consultations we help you to figure out which one might be best for you.

Social Media Expert vs Do It Yourself…
This is not easy to answer. Some business owners love to use social media and to update their audience while others prefer to leave it to an expert. In our consultation we often bring up the example of using an accountant or doing accounting on your own. Some may find it easy and do not want to use an accountant while others prefer to have one. It is up to you what you feel is best.

How much does it cost to have an agency managing my social media needs?
It largely depends on the kind of platforms you want to use, the amount of updates you would like to provide to your audience and also how many platforms the agency has to manage for you. Another factor is if you need someone for setting up the account as well as your goals. Many of our clients like to combine related services such as Social Media Management and Social Media Advertisement.

All our packages are tailor made, this is why we offer free consultations to get to know you, your goals, your needs as well as budget. We also offer flexible packages so you can increase, decrease or even pause our services depending on your current situation. To learn more about us feel free to follow the links below.

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

Mobile-Friendly Website

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Mobile-Friendly-300x300In our series Promoting your business online, we have talked about building a website and website structure. We as well posted a general article about online marketing and hope each of those articles were helpful. Today we want to inform you about a very important change from Google. We are sure you are well aware that Google is the most used search engine today. It is therefore important to get your website listed via Google and to make sure you are building your site based on the latest Google standards. To help users to get the best possible search experience Google had changed their search engine over the years many times. Certain standards are required to secure that your website is in good standing with Google and it is advisable to check them out if you are going to build a website.

One of the latest and very important changes is related to the increasing use of mobile devices. In the last couple years users have changed their behaviour when searching for information. Many are suing their mobile phones instead of their desktop computer to look up information. With this in mind Google has announced to change their algorithm in a way that would benefit those website that are mobile friendly compare to those that aren’t.

What does that mean for you?
Based on the information we have, mobile friendly websites will benefit from this change, if users are searching via mobile devices. Apparently the desktop search is not effected. However we have noticed a significant traffic increase to one of our websites in the last couple weeks. It is of course possible that this increase is due to the fact that Google is testing their system. We also would like to mention that we have not noticed the same change on other websites we maintain.

How to check if your site is mobile friendly?
It is very easy to check if your website is mobile friendly. Google is providing a tool to check your site for free. If you want to try it just follow this link:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

What to do to get a mobile friendly website?
If you are working with a professional website developer we are confident you will be in good hands. Especially if your website was build in the last couple months, we are sure your developer team has taken care of it. If your site is a little older you may want to talk to your developer. It is possible that simple changes can improve your site and if they are easy to implement it is very likely you will get them for an affordable price. In case you have build your website yourself and don’t know how to get it mobile friendly, we can offer you to take a look and to give you an estimate. If you are planing on building a new website we would be happy to take care of your project.

How much does a mobile friendly website cost?
The cost for a website depends on so many factors. We have build a tool to calculate the cost for a website which you can find here:

http://www.teccrab.com/index.php/website-development-cost-calculator

It is important to mention that the calculator was designed to help you to get an idea how much a website can cost. To get a real estimate you will have to talk to a developer about your project. A good developer will not only take the information and put them online, but will also advice you which elements are necessary and what you can add later.

We offer free consultations and work with many creative developer together. If you want to talk to us about your project we are happy to assist you. Hopefully this article was useful and if you like please feel free to share it. If you would like to learn more about us check out the links below.

http://teccrab.com – Web
http://blog.teccrab.com – Blog
http://twitter.com/teccrab – Twitter
http://facebook.com/teccrab – Facebook
http://plus.google.com/+teccrab – Google Plus
http://www.youtube.com/user/teccrab – YouTube

Promoting your business online: Online Advertisement

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WWW-Promo-IconIn our previous posts we provided some tips about building a website and talked about website structure. Today we want to give you some advise regarding online advertisement which helps to generate more traffic to your website. But before we get started we would like to mention our post about Online Marketing, which will give you some general information.

Having a well designed website is the first step to promote your business, products, services and even events online. The second is to generate traffic to your site and to hopefully get customers. One way to get more visitors to your website is to do online advertisement. Online ads can be in form of a simple text ad or a more engaging and colourful banner ad. Thanks to increasing internet speed and acceptance you also have the option to do online video advertisement.

We hope the following overview helps to demonstrates the differences between text ads, banner ads and video ads. We are sure you are well aware that Google isn’t the only one offering the possibility to advertise online. Beside Google you can also use Bing and several other platforms. To have a fair comparison, which we have included in our post today, we were running several ads via Google AdWords and hope the results will help you decide what is best for your company. Let’s get started:

Text Advertisement
teccrab_text_adThis is a simple ad which you can find when you use the Google search engine. The ad appears either on top or on the right hand site. It is important to mention that Google has many partners across the internet so that your ad might also appear on other websites. You will have a title, description and link. When you are setting up your ad you can select keywords related to what you want to promote as well as a target group.

Banner Advertisement
teccrab_inc-BlogPostA Banner is a fantastic way to give your ad a bit more colour. The Banners sizes vary from a small square size banner to a so called skyscraper or larger vertical banner. Similar to the Text ad you select your target group and pay only if someone clicks on it. If designing a banner is not your thing there are many possibilities to get a banner made. We would be happy to help you out.

Video Advertisement
Thanks to increasing internet speed we are able to watch videos and even entire movies online. This means we also have the opportunity to advertise products and services via online video ads. Producing a video is of course much more expensive compare to a Banner or Text ad, but when you look closely to the numbers in our example below, you will see that a video ad is actually giving you the best return. To demonstrate that even a small budget video can generate more traffic we produced the following video:

After introducing the different online advertisement options let us do a little comparison. The numbers presented in our post are based on campaigns we were running in 2014. In our example we wanted to have a total budget of $3,000 and to get everything done as affordable as possible with the best possible return. To make it easier we are not calculating with any additional monthly costs for an online advertisement agency, just the budget plus a small setup fee. The click rate is based on a calculation for a B2B business and can be different if you have a B2C business. Now lets get started…

Setup Fee / Initial Investment / Budget
Text Advertisement = ~$100.00 setup fee which gives you a Google AdWords budget of ~$2,900.00 for your 3 month campaign
Banner Advertisement = ~$250.00 setup fee which gives you a Google AdWords budget of ~$2,750.00 for your 3 month campaign
Video Advertisement = ~$850.00 setup fee which gives you a Google AdWords budget of ~$2,150.00 for your 3 month campaign

Obviously text advertisements are the cheapest way and producing a video more expensive. Please keep in mind that the video in our example is just a simple one with almost no production costs. We hope it demonstrates how powerful even a simple video ad can be compare to other alternatives. Now let us take a look at the return rate:

Clicks you can expect per month / for the entire campaign
Text Advertisement = ~180 clicks per month and ~540 clicks for the entire campaign
Banner Advertisement = ~300 clicks per month and ~900 clicks for the entire campaign
Video Advertisement = ~800 clicks per month and ~2,400 clicks for the entire campaign

We would like to remind you that the goal was to run each campaign for an overall cost of $3,000 for 3 month. If we compare now those 3 campaigns we can see that even if the initial costs for a video ad was much higher and because of it the budget for the campaign so much lower, we reached in the end more potential new clients compare to a regular text ad.

Of course the best way to advertise is not putting all eggs into one basket. Diversity is a much better approach, but we hope the little comparison did help you decide where your investment will give you the best return.

If you want to learn more about video advertisement solutions please feel free to
check out our website at http://teccrab.com 
or send us your question at info@teccrab.com
or just give us a call at +1 604 685 9439

Promoting your business online: Website Structure

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WWW-Promo-IconWe hope you enjoyed our first two articles Promoting your business online: Website and Promoting your business online: Online Marketing. In this article we would like to go a little deeper into the structure of a website. Certain pages are needed in order to have a successful site. Also pages need to be structured in a certain way to make it easier for search engines to scan the content of your page. We will try to be not to technical in our post and to give you an overview what to look out for.

About Us Page
An About Page will help visitors to learn more about your business. If you are a small business you may want to have the people listed who are working in your company. A mission statement and a little history about your company will give visitors an idea what your business is about.

Contact Page
Beside the About Page the Contact Page is in our opinion essential. You want that visitors become clients and therefore give them options to contact you. The address, phone number and a general Email address is enough, but if you have the opportunity to add an info form we encourage you to add this too. If you are running a home business and don’t want to have your address on your website we recommend getting a PO Box. Another option is to use a office sharing service where you can also get a separate phone number.

Product / Service Page(s)
Since you want visitors to know what you have to offer you of course also need pages to showcase your products and or services. Depending on the nature of your business this can be one page or multiple pages. If you want to build an online store you also need a checkout system.

Privacy Policy and Disclaimer
Some countries have strict rules when it comes to do business online. Some may even charge you a hefty fee if you don’t have such a page on your website. The content of the site has some main elements such as Copyright and Privacy Statement, how you handle Personal Information and Security.

Sitemap
This will help search engines to scan pages on your site. It might not be the first thing on the list of pages you consider adding to your site, but should be on your to do list regardless. It is also not necessary to have a link in your navigation to this page.

The pages mentioned above are in our opinion the essential pages you should have when developing a website. Keep in mind that you might be able to create a one page site that includes all the details mentioned above, but we encourage you to consider building a website with many pages at some point. Beside the content of a page we also would like to mention some more technical things to think about.

Content
You may think that this is obvious and not worse mentioning, but we saw websites were simply a flyer was scanned and uploaded. Some other mistakes are poor descriptions, not using keywords or having to many of them. We suggest writing articles for your audience and to keep in mind that even if Google and other search engines need to be able to find certain keywords in order to list your website you shouldn’t consider them your main audience.

Images
Even if writing is very important, pictures can help visitors to put an images to the text. Try to optimize your images to reduce loading time. Make sure that your images have an so called Alt Text so search engines know what this images is about.

General Structure
Some SEO experts will tell you that Meta Keywords aren’t important, some will say they are. We think as long as you have just a few and not an endless list of Keywords you will be fine. The so called Meta Description is in our opinion much more important. The Meta Description is a short description what your business is about. Try to keep it under 160 characters because some search engines will cut your description short if you have more. You also need to secure your site with so called <H1> to <H6> tags to define HTML headings. The <H1> tag is for the most important heading and <H2> to <H6> for the lesser important. Depending on what kind of website you are building you may have to consider familiarizing yourself with the so called “.htaccess” and how to configure your so called “robots.txt”. Some platforms such as Joomla will have standard files already included. Also some of the “ready to use” website builder are taking care of this for you, but you may want or need to make some modifications.

We hope this article was informative and that you enjoy our series. Some of our upcoming topics are Online Advertisement, Social Media, Blogging and Videos. As always if you like to talk to one of our experts, we offer free consultations to help you making the right decisions for your business. Visit http://teccrab.com to learn more about us.

Promoting your business online: Online Marketing

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WWW-Promo-IconIn our previous post in our series of “Promoting your business online” we talked about some steps you should consider when you are going to develop a website for your business. Today we would like to talk about Online Marketing and like to give you an overview what to do after your website is ready. Online Marketing starts more or less already when you are developing your website. You may have heard the term SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization and is important to make sure that a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo actually finds your site.

But Online Marketing is so much more and includes developing strategies for your Social Media Activities, Online Advertisement, Videos and your entire Public Relations you do online. So where to start you may ask and we would like to try to point you into the right direction with this post.

1st Question: Your Website
Remember that you won’t have any traffic to your brand new website, except from yourself and your developer in case you have one. A good idea is to make sure the content on your site describes what your company has to offer. Make sure your website is optimized and easy to navigate. If your site is ready start submitting your website to search engines to get listed. Make sure you have important information on your site such as a sitemap, disclaimer and contact details. Google as well as Bing have so called Webmaster Tools which are very useful. You also should think about using Google Analytics to keep track of your traffic.

2nd Question: Budget
Make sure you have a budget for Online Advertisement and other Online Marketing Activities. If you have a developer on your site you may already have a starter package included to help your site getting a boost. If you want to try it yourself we recommend starting with a small budget to collect some data and increase the budget a little bit after the first month. Be aware that you probably won’t get any new clients when you run an ad for just a few weeks. But you should see a return after running an ad for 3 month. Many small business owners are not aware that Video Advertisement isn’t as expensive as it seems. Our CEO has published an article about this topic on LinkedIn which you can find here: “Why you should consider Online Video Advertisement

3rd Question: Platform(s)
There are several platforms that might fit your business better than others. Make sure you are investing in the right once but be open to experiment with other options if you have the budget for it. Diversity is the key and better than putting all your money into one platform and hope for the best. If you are not sure which platforms are the best for your business we offer free consultations to help you finding the right once for you. Running a few ads on Bing or Google is for sure a good idea as well as starting building an audience via Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

We hope our tips helped you to get an idea what to do. If you have any questions or would like to see what we have to offer visit http://teccrab.com