Monday, July 29, 2013

Benefits of Hiring a Content Writing Firm

When a business is in operation, one thing that immediately becomes evident is that there are so many things to do but not enough time to do them. Companies have to work like a machine to stay in business as long as possible with tasks like delivering and developing new services and products, managing the day to day operations, and looking for new clients while keeping the existing ones.

Because technologies and the Internet are evolving at a fast rate, computers are becoming more affordable. This means that more people have the privilege of surfing the Internet from any point that has a connection. The current business trend is for a firm to have an official site to interact with customers and sell their merchandise with the help of writing quality contents. These promotional tools include updating your corporate blog, using social media to interact with the consumers, and maintaining the official site that was built.

Most users who visit your site are looking for useful information, not necessarily to order anything. While you are busy taking care of the other aspects of your business, you can employ a content writing company to take care of the articles in your site since the goal of your corporate website is to promote your brand and its products to customers.

Here are some benefits of hiring a writing firm:

Updated knowledge of what is happening to search engine algorithms.
Google has been penalizing certain websites that make use of Black Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization using unethical means to make sites rank high). A company that creates good content does not have to worry about this since they are making articles that engage readers and are search engine friendly.

Good content is part of a marketing strategy that gives your company an online voice.
Writing quality contents is great for a promotional strategy where your company can interact with your customers in a professional tone. The veteran content writing firms are familiar with how certain industries function, simply because they have worked with other clients in the past. This will give your potential and existing clients the impression that your company is an expert in your particular field, and will be comfortable doing business with you.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Future Opportunities in Graphic Design

With the expanding role of the media – particularly the internet – in daily living, graphic designing is also becoming an increasingly sought-after career. The designer’s work is vastly incorporated in visuals in modern society, be it television, websites, brand logos, advertisements, magazines and other print materials.

He is to be found anywhere where communication and images blend together, and today, that means everywhere. An individual looking for employment opportunities in such field will never run out of options. So long as he can render seamless, unique and high-quality graphic design jobs, there will always be a company who can offer a rewarding career, both financially and otherwise.

Despite the ongoing global crisis, the entire industry is projected to grow steadily. By 2018, an estimated 325,000 graphic designers are expected to be employed. Reason for this is that aside from the fact that the whole Internet community and usage grows exponentially by the day, there are various outlets where the aid of graphic artists come handy. Computer innovations are on the rise now more than ever, and in recent years we’ve seen very important paradigm shifts: the creation of e-books from paper ones, and the shift from traditional media advertising to social media marketing and online ads. Either way, artists are required when accomplishing illustrations for relevant materials, whether downloadable or read-only.

It is only safe to say that while other fields are either declining or stagnant, career opportunities for graphic artists are infinitely booming. At the rate that the Internet per se is integrated into daily living, technology has no other way to go but up, and new innovations could be easily engineered any day. Those alone could very well attest the vast opportunities awaiting these artists in the future.

With so many job seekers trying to land a job though, a degree is usually required and is most helpful for a designer. While creativity and a keen eye for details are equally important, there is massive talent out there that even brilliant ones become inevitably put at the tail-end of the line and those with degrees are often considered first upon hiring.

Competition is never fiercer than now, with so many artists being schooled each year. Strong background in animation and web art can be significant when looking for employment, and those who have previously worked in companies catering to such are deemed as more impressive to prospective employers.

There is no better time to build such a career than now. With online opportunities on the rise, one never really knows the great impact his artistic skills can have on the future of the world. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Top Sought-After Skills in Graphic Designers

In recent months, we have seen a consistent upward trend in the number of graphic design jobs being posted on online employment boards. Over the course of one month, over 13,000 opportunities have been posted in the US alone, particularly in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles. This represents a 12% growth in demand compared to last year.

Today, over 3,500 American companies are actively hiring graphic artists. While a considerable number (29%, to be exact) are self-employed freelancers, many firms are eager to source and offer such positions on a permanent full-time internal basis.

With this recent turnover in demand, it wouldn’t come as a great surprise that positions in the area are suddenly becoming difficult to fill, particularly in those key areas mentioned above. A recent study conducted shows that it was hardest to source candidates in San Francisco but easier in Wichita. Reason for this is that only there are only four companies competing for talents, with sufficient candidates to fill the requirements. In this particular city in Kansas, job postings are filled within four weeks, give or take, thus making it an excellent location for hiring skilled artists.

As a job seeker, it is of course of great interest to you how your learned and practical skills stand in terms of market requirements. For employers, being aware of these skills also ensures that they are able to get the best possible candidates and able to keep up with current technologies.

We surveyed the most in-demand skills for both aspiring and experienced graphic designers. Here’s what came up:

1.    Adobe Photoshop
2.    Adobe InDesign
3.    Adobe Creative Suite
4.    Microsoft PowerPoint
5.    Microsoft Office
6.    Adobe Dreamweaver
7.    Adobe Illustrator
8.    Quark
9.    Motion graphics
10.    Microsoft Word
11.    WordPress
12.    Desktop publishing
13.    Apple Macintosh OS
14.    ActionScript
15.    QuarkXPress
16.    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
17.    Adobe Acrobat
18.    Adobe Flash
19.    Graphical User Interface design (UI)
20.    Hypertext markup language (HTML)
21.    Typography
22.    Website development
23.    Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

In addition, recruiters also look for these personal key qualities:

1.    Great attention to detail
2.    Strong motivation
3.    Organizational skills

Whether you are simply looking for relevant insights or on a job hunt, it would do you well as a employment seeker to know your options and what particular skills are sought by potential employers. The more technical skills you have, the better your chances are of getting hired. Widen your scope by educating yourself on these in-demand design skills, and you’ll see employers coming in.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Building Online Brand Awareness via Off-Page SEO Tools

By now, a lot of people who are involved in digital marketing are familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and its new innovations and inventions that make it a powerful and influential tool for creating online brand awareness. Because this lucrative business venture tends to change its rules in an instant, entrepreneurs have to keep reading news articles about the field to stay updated with the latest techniques.
Off page SEO strategies to build your online reputation refers to procedures that are applied to enhance the ranking of a target website in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Most individuals would think that off-page SEO only uses link building, but it is a lot more than that. Generally speaking, these SEO strategies are all about marketing and advertising techniques – apart from web design – that are designed to push up the ranking of a target site.
After the digital marketing department is done with the on-page SEO techniques, these off-page SEO tools can help the target site build its online reputation, rank high in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), and promote the target site altogether:
Creating a community in social media
This is another way to describe online reputation management. This involves joining popular social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook by generating a profile. Aside from promoting the business, this online account will also allow the company to instantly interact with other users who may be interested in the services and products that the firm offers.
Composing blog posts
This powerful tool has helped corporate websites attract the attention of potential customers for years. This blog must have unique quality content that is updated on a regular basis so that readers will look forward to visiting the target site again. Of course, the articles must have topics that are related to the niche that the firm is involved in.
Forum posts
One of the off page SEO strategies to build your online reputation has the digital marketing department making an internet conversation board (or forum) where the firm can discuss or share topics with users. The company should put a back link to the business site for further information.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Link Building Tactics That Are Still Effective

If you are making a living by writing articles so that they can be posted on web sites, you are doing this for web traffic. If you are making an effort to attract a lot of web traffic to your target site, you must be familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you know some things about SEO, it means that you are trying to create back links to your target site.

If you are doing these things but are not aware of how powerful these digital marketing tools are, you need to know these facts. Linkbuilding in 2013, combined with SEO, will give you the power to direct loads of web traffic to your website as long as you are implementing these tools properly. Keep in mind that the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) will rank a page according to the amount of quality links that point to your site.
During the years prior to 2012, business websites would rank high just because of random links that point to your site with almost any keyword. The people at Google started to notice this, and updated their search algorithms so that sites with tons of back links but no or little quality content were either given low ranks on the SERP or penalized by banning.

Here are some link building tactics that are still effective:

Guest posting
If you have a blog, but composed an article that would show up on another site as a guest (presumably with the same niche), you can get a lot back links, especially if the site you are posting to is reputable. Aside from a blog post, try to produce an excellent presentation or infographic to help generate more interest for your site, as well as the website you are posting at.

Composing quality content
Linkbuilding in 2013 or any other year will not be possible without content that will encourage readers to visit your site again and again. The logic is simple: Write an article that your readers will find helpful, and your site will attract back links naturally. There is no better strategy than this.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Maintain a Safe E-commerce Website

Online shops are created to serve as a more convenient alternative to physical stores, yet quite too often, website owners make the mistake of coming up with a site that a customer might find too sales-y, intimidating and unsafe, thus losing potential leads to competitors who seem more trustworthy.

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When customers go to your shop, they don’t look at your backends or check SSL certifications. The appeal of e-commerce web designs is usually the first determining factor in a client’s decision on whether to deem your site safe for purchase or not, and consequently, to push through with a sale.

How do you actually make your online store appear safe for customers so you can establish trust and win their business? Below are a few basic guidelines:

•    Simplicity is key.
Don’t clutter your pages with anything that’s beyond necessary. People would want to look at a clean, smooth-looking site; it makes navigation easier and more enjoyable. Avoid employing overly loud graphics or obvious sales pitching here and then. A few promotional click-through buttons are desirable, but nothing too big. If you have other similar offers planned ahead, place them in cycles of 2-3 high-resolution photos for each user, then simply provide a “view more” hyperlink to your promos page.

•    Make navigation easier for users.
Your site architecture must be relevant and easy to understand even for people who are not tech-savvy. Categorize your products and services into easily visible tabs or buttons. You might also want to create sub-categories under main entries, instead of clumping everything under a single option. It is also wise to display items under a particular filtering scheme, such as “Sort by Brand”, and add a search field as well. These will all make searches easier for your customers and prospects.

•    Let your users know your site is secure.

There are some buyers who would actually look for technical cues that your website is secure beyond its interface. These may include security certificate details upon checkout, or bearing the https:// rather than the usual http://. But usually consumers tend to look for simpler cues like a disclaimer that assures them that security measures are being employed by the company, privacy and refund policies, and updated contact details including a working contact number and office address, if applicable.

In addition, you should also make sure that your payment forms are secure. Give them reliable payment options to choose from. Aside from SSL certification, you should employ simple, clean looking payment pages with a security logo.

While low-cost pricing and popularity help in widening an online store’s customer base, it is also undeniable that a consumer’s online safety plays an important role too. Aim for that first, and you will surely go a long way with your leads.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Creating the Balance between Costs and Graphic Design Elements for Websites

Businesses who are looking into launching a website often demand for fast and high-quality graphic designing services at very low costs. Often clients come with strict timelines in hand, asking web development outfits to develop sites that combine all these three key elements the soonest time possible.

However, for most of us in the industry, finding the balance in all three is almost next to impossible; one aspect is bound to be compromised. Web professionals must always make objectives and outcomes clear to clients from Day 1, even it means that this will affect the kind of clients they obtain, or lose some in the way. Better have prospective clients turn to another company than have dissatisfied ones put your name in bane for the rest of your career.

For one thing, fast and premium means more innovative tools and more manpower, which equates to more expense. In order to deliver quick and high-quality web designs, clients would have to be prepared to shell out a little more than the average costs.

In addition, job orders are arranged in a priority queue. Other top-tier clients who paid more for premium sites expect theirs to be delivered as quickly, and those on the first queue would take precedence. Web development companies can create exceptional designs of course, but lower costs would also mean that that particular client would be placed in the lower priority list.

Usually when we want something done right away the budget-friendly way, we may have to manage our expectations. One suggestion is to keep expectations realistic. Getting expedient, superior service may usually mean that costs will be adjusted accordingly. Likewise, work can be delivered fast and cheap, but simple, minimalist designs would often suit such requirement.

Another worthwhile suggestion is to choose your priorities. It might be a little harsh a reality to face, but the truth is that as a client, if you have constraints whether in budget, time or quality, you can expect at most, two out of three to be fulfilled as desired.  Oftentimes this would mean that you select which two elements among these three are more important to you.

If budget really runs low, you could find web design company that provide eye-candy and functional designs but for longer stretches of time. Do you value quality better? Then be ready to stretch your budget or timelines a little bit more. If you need your site up and running ASAP, expect to sacrifice expense or high-grade quality.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Factors That Make a Website Rank high in SERPs

The search engine giant named Google is a multinational firm with a main office in the United States that delivers internet-related products and services. The solutions that they offer include technologies for online advertising, productivity software, cloud computing, and the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) which has processed more than a billion keyword requests a day. Businesses that are trying to make their mark online are using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) to make their corporate site rank high in the SERP to attract the consumers and possibly generate sales.

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There are a number of elements that help establish the ranking that a particular website gets in search results. Does it mean that metadata optimization as ranking factor? These key elements include the quality of the content in the site, keyword use, domain age and the popularity of the external links. The components can also be cut into subgroups, including negative SEO ranks, off page factors, and on page factors. Not everything is bad news here, since most of these elements make use of onsite parts that you have the ability to tweak.
To help your company maximize its efforts on the advertising and promotional campaigns, these are a few of the SEO factors that your firm has to think about:

Internal Linking Structure
Alter the internal linking of your business site to highlight the most useful pages. Be careful of the way your internal pages are connected. Web pages with homepage links are considered significant compared to pages that need more mouse clicks to find.

Bounce Rate
The search engines will compute the ranking of your site with this and other factors. If the search engine spiders notice that visitors only stay on your site for a few seconds, it will pull down your rank. Do your best to engage your users with streamlined infographics, images, video clips and quality content. It answers the question: Metadata optimization as ranking factor?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Google Author Rank: Changing the History of Content Marketing

Fact: Google is making huge changes around, utilizing the Google+ feature to affect search engine results. If you haven’t realized it yet, it’s time you wake up and smell the coffee. The idea is simple: to establish a clear division between verified, credible writers and poor, unreliable ones. Priority will be given to writers who have authority in particular topics.

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And how will this be possible? It can be dubious, what with spammers and SEO schemers being able to trick their way to PageRank. This is where Google+ - Google’s social networking baby - comes in handy. Through Google+, bloggers and webmasters can link their Google+ profiles with their content and become a verified author through Google authorship.

Once a writer has signed up for authorship, his website will be automatically linked to his Google+ profile so that every time a user searches for relevant keywords, the writer’s website, along with his photo and byline will appear on the search results. By lined content tend to rank higher because users find them more credible and thus get higher click-through rates – as much as 40% than usual.

Google has always been known for its credibility as a search engine – reason why it’s searching for result is more efficient on Google than elsewhere on the Web. Cynics may argue that Google is simply trying to ace the social media arena and rival Facebook, but many SEO experts agree that all Google is trying to do is wipe the slate clean. Rid the net of spam, link forgers and poor content, and enhance the search engine experience for users through quantifiable and reliable data. After all, spammers are too lazy to bother messing up with a Google+ personal identity.

This recent development has serious implications on content makers, that’s for sure. Way back, the intent was to simply create content that’s fresh, original and relevant in order to maintain ranking on search engine results and engage readers. Companies seek the aid of content writers for that, most of them ghost writers trying to find a decent pay. Nobody really paid much attention to the identity of those writers. So long as the content passed Copyscape and was viewed as original by Google, it was good enough. But now Google wants those writers named.

Before, byline and social influence were not considered by Google to be as good as algorithmic tools and processes, until shabby websites found a way around the system. Now even bigwig media companies can’t hold on to the guarantee that their stories end up on the top 10 search results. With Google Author Rank, success is up to the writer’s credibility, authority and influence. Pretty much like forcing the hand of spammers and content makers, but as we say, if you want quality and fame, you have to earn it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Digital Marketing: The Medium of Connectivity

As people are depending on the Internet for many things, and the consumers are more aware of what they are searching for, businesses work diligently to attract the attention of potential clients. They are doing what they can to bring traffic to their corporate site, and they are making certain that the prospective and current customers are able to navigate the site with little to no fuss. It is also crucial for an enterprise to ensure that the available deals are competitive and easy to locate. The business site must be accessible to the consumers as often as possible, just in case they want to find out tiny details about the firm.

This is why Digital Marketing works. Digital marketing efforts result in a corporate site that the target market can access whenever they need or want the services or products of the company. Some of the advantages of digital marketing include Pay per Click and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services. Both of these are normally provided by digital marketing groups that are growing in number because of the demand for these services.

Any organization that properly utilizes PPC and SEO will reap the benefits of a positive impact on their revenue and sales. These business strategies are proving to be very cost effective, which is the reason why a lot of major firms are incorporating them in their promotional campaigns.

Here are some terms that marketing agencies use in their daily transactions:

Digital Advertising
This term refers to services such as high levels of brand engagement, revolutionary targeting, versatility, insight, responsiveness and speed. A common reason for employing online advertising is that the company gets to quickly act on the purchase behavior of the consumer.

Comprehending the Digital Audience
The business owners have to keep in mind that their businesses are supposed to earn profit, and one of the reasons why digital marketing works is because they need to understand the needs of their potential and existing customers. Every bit of research, data and insight that the marketing department must study will come from the core consumer classes: the young, the wealthy, and the leaders.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Optimizing Your Guest Blogging Experience

As the name connotes, guest blogging is writing content for a blog other than your own. As time passes, the popularity of this practice increase, with the blogging community recognizing its tremendous benefits for everyone involved. Guest blogging presents a win-win situation: the blogger gets increased exposure for himself or his business by creating more backlinks and driving more site traffic; the other blogger is able to populate new, unique content for his readers to enjoy, without constantly having to research and write fresh material. It also renders a different perspective and personality to the blog itself.
However, it’s not as simple as constantly populating content from other bloggers, or passing on new material to prospective blogs. To maintain reader interest, there are etiquettes to follow and certain guidelines for guest blogging the right way.

Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.
1.    Create an eye-catching headline.
The headline is the first thing that captures a reader’s attention. Headlines that are too boring or cryptic tend to get bypassed. Your headline need not contain highfalutin terms or impressive jargon. Keep it simple but appealing. Make sure that it encapsulates what readers could expect from the post.
2.    Make your content easy to read.
Not everyone has the time or the patience to skim through lengthy posts. 9Dotstrategies’ content writers usually employ bullet points and lists to make verses easily scannable to the impatient eye. Proper cutting of paragraphs is also important; a chunkful of words tend to bore readers, so be sure to cut your paragraphs as appropriate.  Make use of sub headings to help readers decide if they want to browse an entire paragraph or not.
3.    Write succinctly.
Brief but informative - that’s the way to go these days. No matter how well-crafted it is, if a sentence doesn’t blend well with a paragraph, ditch it.
4.    Insert photos and videos every now and then.
Readers prefer to read posts with graphics. It helps them visualize the story better, indulging the senses deeper into the reading experience. Visuals prevent the post from getting too saturated with text and your reader’s ideas from wandering off.
5.    Don’t oversell.
Offer more information and opinion than promotional material, Readers hate it when they feel like they are being sold to, or being drawn near that line.
6.    Re-read and proofread.
Often there are misspellings and grammatical errors we tend to overlook during the first draft. Errors lessen your credibility and make the content look shabby. No matter how busy you are, always go back to proofread and cut some more as applicable.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Philosophies of Marketing Campaigns in the Digital Era

Before the evolution of computer technology and the Internet, a person who is involved in marketing used to have a simple life. There were only a few channels on TV, a handful of stations on the radio, some popular magazines and maybe a newspaper of two. Grabbing the attention of the consumers was easier, since the marketers only had to compose a convincing message to promote the services and products of their clients.

We now have TV units that can display hundreds of channels, a growing number of websites, and thousands of electronic devices that can operate applications and surf the Internet. Businesses had to adapt to the changes, and Digital Marketing was born. It is true that promoting a brand and its merchandise is challenging. Technology just made it more difficult.

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Marketing used to only be about communicating benefits and identifying needs. Now it focuses on creating immersive experiences that will keep the consumers engaged. This means that a new set of capabilities and skills have to seamlessly go together. Here are some philosophies that can guide digital marketers:

Explain the Business Goals clearly

Because this age of digital promotion is going by so fast, everyone in the industry is doing their best to keep up. While this is happening, all of the professionals are under pressure to proactively incorporate developing media in their promotional campaigns so that they will be “progressive”.
But then, a good promotional approach does not depend on the neologisms or gadgets it uses. It is still effective if it delivers positive results. How the marketer defines the intent will affect the entire project.

Employ an Innovation Group to Activate, Evaluate and Identify Growing Opportunities
Marketing managers are busy individuals. They have to proactively watch over the marketplace, communicate with the merchandisers, spot business opportunities, and operate the promotional campaigns. They cannot be expected to catch up with all the budding tactics and technology.
It is vital to have a department that will identify rising opportunities, collaborating with small businesses and running digital marketing programs to test their true capabilities.