Using Twitter For Your Business

Following people and viewing their tweets is great, but in order to have valuable two-way conversations, you want people to follow you back and view your tweets too. Attracting followers is important because they will serve as your network who will view your tweets. Think of your total number of followers (AKA your following) as your Twitter reach.

You can use Twitter to

  • Generate sales leads for your business
  • Interact with your customer base

  • Drive web traffic by promoting other content you’ve created, including seminars, webinars, blog posts or podcasts
  • Develop and promote your brand
  • Help individual employees act as liaisons to the public
  • Track what people are saying about your company and brand
  • Develop direct relationships with bloggers and journalists for potential PR placement
  • Create buzz around upcoming events

Types of Tweets to Get You Started

  1. An Observation: Tweet about something happening around the office including photos to bring those scenes to life.
  2. Events You’re Attending: Share a link to the next conference or webinar you are hosting or plan to attend, and why you’re excited about it.
  3. Your Content: Post a link to your company’s most recent blog article or an offer you think is particularly helpful, with a headline or description to encourage readers to click through.
  4. Someone Else’s Content: Post a link to someone else’s blog article as a helpful resource, with a compliment for their good work.
  5. Chat With Someone: Direct tweets to other Twitter users using an @ sign.
  6. Retweet Great Content: Quickly share other people’s tweets with your followers, like forwarding an email, by clicking the re-tweet button.

How to Grow Your Following

Following people and viewing their tweets is great, but in order to have valuable two-way conversations, you want people to follow you back and view your tweets too.

Attracting followers is important because they will serve as your network who will view your tweets. Think of your total number of followers (AKA your following) as your Twitter reach.


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The SEO Marketing rules have changed

Internet Marketing is undoubtedly the most popular and most affordable way to present your products or services to your target market, and with print media marketing going extinct, it will soon be the only way to advertise your company.

Why not start perfecting your online presence now, before everyone else wakes up?

For us to say that Google SEO marketing has “changed” in the past few years would be a massive understatement to say the least. Things that used to be important for marketing your website and getting a high Google rank are now hardly relevant. Everything has changed.


Most of the changes are long overdue and having a strong Google ranking is now more about high quality content on your website, content that is relative for the keyword you are trying to market. See the following article for 5 of the most important changes to SEO marketing in 2013 so far:

  1. Successful SEO Marketing is no longer all about rank… Google’s search results are being appended with rich text snippets to show users some of the actual content they will find on the website preview. Analytics results show that listings below the top three results are starting to get much higher click-through rates because the content is more relevant to what people are searching for.
  2. SEO marking is no longer something you can simply hand off to the IT department. Yes, it does require many technical skills like configuring scripts, making sure robots can access the site and setting up analytical data, however it also requires creative writing and website design skills, experience with SEO marking along with a solid understanding of current online marketing trends.
  3. Keywords no longer need to be an exact match or repeated constantly throughout a website page, especially on a page title. The page title should be written in a way that makes the most sense and is grammatically correct. Try to write a headline somewhere between 4 and 8 words that clearly explains what the content on the page is about. Remember that this rule applies to headlines and website page content.
  4. One mistake business owners make trying to get good rankings on Google is to overpopulate the home page with text content and repeating keywords. Your home page is the first page people will see when they open your site, so make sure there is enough text to tell your audience what the site is about in small bid sizes. If there is too much text content on a page, most people will not even read the first line.
  5. Many people are under the impression that the more website pages you have, the better for your Google ranking. This is only partially true… content does help your ranking, only if it is high quality content and it is relative to the keywords you are trying to market. Your aim should be to publish content that is most relevant and it needs to be well written. Content pages with spelling and grammar mistakes will do more harm than good.

Now you know some of the common SEO mistakes and what you can do to fix it. What are you doing to get more traffic to your website and improving the amount of sales leads the website generates? Are you making your SEO efforts worse? Do you even have a proper SEO strategy to generate more organic traffic?

One thing is sure, your online traffic will depend on the experience a person will have when visiting the website. Make sure the site is user-friendly, informative, colorful, and that the design look & feel leaves a lasting positive impression.


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Six Ways to Promote Your Business

Getting your business or product noticed, is becoming more and more difficult these days, even when you think you know something about public relations and marketing. It just seems a bit advanced in today’s fast growing technological world to put yourself out there.

But one thing you should know: If you don’t market yourself, nobody else will.

When we started our Company in 2010, we created a list of methods on how we can promote our business using a minimum budget or even for free where possible, but first you need to make sure of the following to avoid wasting time and money.

First: Identify your audience…

It may seem like a no-brainer, but so many businesses fail to identify just who to talk to and how they need to approach their target market. Once you know “who” your clients are and the target category they fall in, then you can go about “how” to reach them by developing marketing and advertising material specifically for that audience.


It is pointless to spend money on a marketing campaign to draw people that do not even use your products or services.

Second: Get your website ready!

Make sure your website is updated and that it has an easy flow of information before you start generating online visitors through your marketing efforts. You also need a clean and easy to use landing page with all the necessary contact info.

In today’s digital world where Google is on the front page of your smartphone, you simply cannot afford to lose clients because your website is outdated or badly designed. People judge your business based on the look and feel of your website. If the website is not user friendly and looks like an amateur design, how can you expect people to think you are a professional company?

Having a professional website is very affordable and we even help startup companies that do not have much cash flow with monthly repayments. There really is no excuse for not having clean and mobile friendly design.

Shoestring Budget Marketing

Here are a few tips and methods we use that can help you advertise your business without breaking the bank.

Your website!

Most readers will already have a website because not having one is the same as not having a phone number or e-mail address. However simply having a website is pointless if you do not make full use of the endless potential. We see lots of websites that were built years ago and haven’t been touched since.

Your website can be a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. We have helped several companies to develop a strategy where they cancelled all their print media expenses like newspaper adverts and yellow pages to only use online marketing. This not only saves them thousands every month, but also helps them expand into new market areas.
The best part of online marketing is that everything is measurable so you can see exactly what you are spending and what the return on investment is with detailed sales and visitor reporting from Google Analytics.

Social Media

During marketing consultations we have often heard people ask us: “Who has time to spend on Twitter and Facebook?” This can no longer be an excuse for business owners to neglect a critical marketing channel. You do not need much time, 15 to 30 minutes a day will do to keep in touch with clients that use social media and to post something new about your business.

Another question people always ask us is: “What do I talk about?” You do not need to start a viral conversation, simply post about a new page on the website, a new project you are working or even something going on in your industry like new laws or regulations. All you need is a presence and from there it will grow into a powerful online marketing tool. Once you have started building a group of friends and followers you can even use it to gather information to help you build or improve your company like running polls on exiting services or ask for customer feedback to improve service levels.

Free Directory Listings

Google + is not only a great social media tool but also a link to your Google Local Business listing. These listings are powerful and in most cases they rank very high in the generic Google Search results. Best of all… it is free!

Try it for yourself for example by searching for Plumbers in Brackenfell and then click on Maps at the top to see the local plumbing businesses in your area and where they are located. This is a necessity for every business that wanted to attract local clients, no matter the size company. Be sure to claim your business listing as soon as possible.
There are also a ton of others, the more links you have pointing to your website the better. Several of our clients have also found Gumtree and OLX to work very well for their businesses.

Become an Expert in your Industry

Create a space where people can ask questions on your website and then answer them to the best of your abilities on the site. This will also create some extra content on the website to help with Google SEO marketing. Start a blog and talk about what you know, what you are learning along the way, challenges and successes. You can also repost articles from other people (make sure to give proper credit) or comment on them.

Get involved in your community

Look for groups and associations that align with your priorities and business interest. There are many business groups in South Africa that help you expand your local client base and also open new doors for your company.

Have a look at the following links if you wish to become more involved in your local business community:

Volunteering is also great way to network as well. You can give back to the community by offering your services for free to someone in need or by creating an outreach program in your company. Even the smallest offering can make a world of difference.

Consistently Brand Your Business

Branding is not only logos and business cards; it is what your company stands for and what you believe in. It is the way you interact with clients and resolve problems. Make sure your company leaves a good impression with your clients when they leave to ensure they keep coming back for more. At the end of the day, the very best form of marketing is word of mouth and that can only be achieved by delivering great service to your clients.


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Online Marketing in South Africa

Our most recent industry reports show an extraordinary increase in the amount of people that use online media and advertising platforms.

Online marketing is also far more popular in developed countries than alternative marketing methods like newspapers adverts, printed media and business directories, yet here is South Africa it is very hard to convince business owners to invest in online marketing methods because they are still spending a fortune on old marketing platforms.

What many business owners fail to realize is that print advertising is dying quickly and when it is completely gone, they will have to start building their online presence. By that time, most of their completion is already standing strong with online marketing platforms.

Are you stuck with traditional methods and cannot move forward?

The problem online marketing companies in South Africa face is that very few business owners are taking online marketing serious and they prefer to stick with the old traditional marketing methods that worked well in the past. I understand that it’s hard to move away from a marketing platform that was the industry standard for so many years, but honestly, who does not use Google or another search engine to find services in their local area?

Most of the middle and high income population is using smartphones, and Google Search is right there on the home screen. There are some statistics below that show us how popular the internet has become over the past few years.

The most important question is: “What will happen to businesses when printed media like the newspaper adverts and the Yellow Pages is finally completely phased out?” They would have to start marketing their services online and by then, all their competitors will have a strong head start.

Tried to do it yourself?

When I mention Google AdWords to my clients during a marketing meeting, I have noticed many of them have an immediate negative reaction. This is mostly because they tried once or twice doing it themselves and it did not work nearly as well as expected.

There is nothing wrong with trying to do something yourself first, but it might be a good idea to get some advice from a professional (with experience) before you pay your prepaid budget to Google. Inexperienced marketers do not understand the importance of “keyword” and “key phrase” selection and end up spending a fortune on keywords that have zero to very little conversions.

Success is possible with time and patience.

There are business owners that accept internet marketing as the way forward and many of them are reaping the rewards. We do SEO and Google AdWords marketing for several companies and it is rewarding to see the success rate and the amount of conversions our clients are getting.

We have been involved in online marketing for many years and in our own personal experience we have found that many of our clients expect immediate results where it comes to SEO marketing. Google SEO marketing is a 6 month process and you cannot jump to the top of the list overnight.

Conclusion…

Get started with building your online presence as soon as possible and get a foothold on the online marketing platforms. It is much more affordable than print media and it has the widest exposure than any other form of marketing.

Here are some statistics for 2013

According to Wits Journalism, more than 12 million people used the internet regularly in 2013 and figure will double by 2016.

The combined readership figures of top newspapers such as Daily Sun, The Star, City Press, Beeld, Cape Argus, Mail and Guardian, Daily Sun and The New Age in South Africa is far less than the combined unique users of top sites such as News24.

Help us to make 2014 a great year for starting, improving and expanding your online marketing presence.

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New Internet Marketing Trends

Internet Marketing is undoubtedly the most popular and most affordable way to present your products or services to your target market, and with print media marketing going extinct, it will soon be the only way to advertise your company. Why not start perfecting your online presence now before everyone else wakes up?

For us to say that Google SEO marketing has “changed” in the past few years would be a massive understatement to say the least. Things that used to be important for marketing your website and getting a high Google rank are now hardly relevant. Everything has changed.


Most of the changes are long overdue and having a strong Google ranking is now more about high quality content on your website, content that is relative for the keyword you are trying to market. See the following article for 5 of the most important changes to SEO marketing in 2013 so far:

  1. Successful SEO Marketing is no longer all about rank… Google’s search results are being appended with rich text snippets to show users some of the actual content they will find on the website preview. Analytics results show that listings below the top three results are starting to get much higher click-through rates because the content is more relevant to what people are searching for.
  2. SEO marking is no longer something you can simply hand off to the IT department. Yes, it does require many technical skills like configuring scripts, making sure robots can access the site and setting up analytical data, however it also requires creative writing and website design skills, experience with SEO marking along with a solid understanding of current online marketing trends.
  3. Keywords no longer need to be an exact match or repeated constantly throughout a website page, especially on a page title. The page title should be written in a way that makes the most sense and is grammatically correct. Try to write a headline somewhere between 4 and 8 words that clearly explains what the content on the page is about. Remember that this rule applies to headlines and website page content.
  4. One mistake business owners make trying to get good rankings on Google is to overpopulate the home page with text content and repeating keywords. Your home page is the first page people will see when they open your site, so make sure there is enough text to tell your audience what the site is about in small bid sizes. If there is too much text content on a page, most people will not even read the first line.
  5. Many people are under the assumption that the more website pages you have, the better for your Google ranking. This is only partially true… content does help your ranking, only if it is high quality content and it is relative to the keywords you are trying to market. Your aim should be to publish content that is most relevant and it needs to be well written. Content pages with spelling and grammar mistakes will do more harm than good.

Now you know some of the common SEO mistakes and what you can do to fix it. What are you doing to get more traffic to your website and improving the amount of sales leads the website generates? Are you making your SEO efforts worse? Do you even have a proper SEO strategy to generate more organic traffic?

One thing is sure, your online traffic will depend on the experience a person will have when visiting the website. Make sure the site is user-friendly, informative, colorful, and that the design’s look & feel leaves a lasting positive impression.2013-10-17

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Manage Your E-mails – The IMAP Advantage

When you have to send and receive e-mail on a desktop in the office, a laptop at home and a tablet or smartphone on the road, it is impossible to see an e-mail on your phone when you sent it from the PC in the office and vice verse unless you use IMAP.

Losing an e-mail can be a very frustrating experience, now imagine losing an entire mailbox; thousands of mails and years of work simply gone. Unfortunately losing your entire mailbox is still a common experience for many people, whether by computer hardware failure or theft.

The solution to both these problems is using the IMAP setting to send and receive e-mails. IMAP will save a copy of all your e-mails on the server and it will be available on any of your devices. What this means is that your inbox will look the same on every device you use to check mail. All your sent items, new e-mails and saved messages will be there.


If you receive and reply to an e-mail on your phone, that reply will be visible on your office desktop under your sent items. The same applies when you move an e-mail on your desktop from inbox to a new folder in order to organize your mailbox, that new folder and the e-mails inside it will be visible on your phone, so there is no reason to organize mail on every device. Everything is in sync.

Should the worst happen and your laptop gets stolen or the storage drive on your desktop crashes, all your e-mails will still be on the server as they were the last time you used your mail program.

When you setup your e-mail account on Outlook or on your phone, you need to select IMAP, not the old POP3 (default) option. That’s all you need to do! Now you can organize your folders under inbox and all those mails and folders will be visible on all devices using the IMAP protocol.

Remember not to mix the e-mail protocols. Do not use POP3 on your desktop and IMAP on the phone or laptop, the desktop’s POP3 protocol will remove the mail from your server and confuse the IMAP processes.

Switching over from POP3 to IMAP

All the Webnova Hosting Servers offer IMAP access and all the server settings are exactly the same, except the incoming mail port number. The default incoming port is 110 for POP3 and it will change to port 143 when you setup your account. Everything else will stay the same.

After you’ve set up your IMAP account, you can move messages from your POP account (stored locally on your computer) to the IMAP server by dragging the folders across to the new mail account.

When you’re done, use another device like the online webmail reader to check that everything copied over successfully.

Important IMAP Tips

Remember to keep your Inbox tidy.

Whether you organize mail manually in Outlook or use rules to redirect incoming messages into other folders, try to limit the number of messages you store in your inbox. A recommended amount is 50 or less emails. Then your inbox becomes too large, it will slow down the speed you can view mails. You should also go through old messages regularly and delete messages you no longer need.

Watch out for special folders!

IMAP enables you to store Junk, Drafts, Sent, and Trash mailboxes on the server if you wish. This online storage can be very handy, but it can also make syncing your e-mail client with the server much slower and quickly use up your mobile data. So think carefully about whether you need to store your deleted items and junk mail folder online.


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How Often Should I Update My Website?

This question can be interpreted two ways: How often should I put fresh content on my site? Or, how often should I carry out an upgrade of the design and the technology?

How often should you carry out an upgrade, and why?

The “how often” part really depends on your answers to “why”. For example, if you answer “no” to any of the following questions, it might be time for an upgrade.

Does your site display the way it should in all browsers?

Statistics tell us the web browser of choice has changed. Just 4 years ago Internet Explorer was by far the most used web browser, with over double the market share of its nearest rival, Firefox. Four years ago Chrome was barely on the radar. If your site is older, how is it showing up in these newer browsers? Is it functioning the way it should or are pages and links broken? This is not a good user experience for your web visitor.

Finally, as we all get bigger monitors to view the web it’s not uncommon for older designed sites to appear unnaturally small on the screen.

Are you using a technology that restricts you from updating your content on a regular basis?

A content management system (CMS) gives non-technical users the power to keep the content of their site up to date, without the need to hire a web firm every time they want to make a change. Keeping a stream of original content flowing into your site is critical if you want to improve your potential for being found through searches.
So here are the important things to know:
1.) Search engines place high value on websites that are consistently being updated with current, relevant content, and
2.) New content can be used to increase the volume of key words and phrases (that people are using to find you).

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