Search Engine Optimization

BBC (2013) describe the internet as one large library, containing pretty much anything from data and information to software, they explain that search engines act as an index to allow the user to navigate the vast information and find what they are looking for. Search engines are vastly popular because users rarely know the exact URL of the page they are looking for, these websites allow them to search millions of websites by using keywords, and the search engine will even rank them in order of relevance and popularity. Another benefit is the speed that information can become readily available, any question can be answered in literally a matter of seconds. Other helpful features include the use of speech marks when searching for a particular phrase, because without the speech marks the results will contain pages with each word appearing anywhere on the page.

Search engine optimization is the process that these websites go through to ensure that their websites are set up to have the best change of receiving traffic generated through search engines (Search Engine Land 2015) . This is important because for many online businesses the traffic generated by these websites is huge and can therefore be the difference between the success and failure of the business. One of the most common and effective ways of doing this is through the use of keywords, because this is how the search engine decide on the relevance of the page against your search. So for example if you were an online site selling cakes and other baked goods, it would beneficial to use words such as bakery, cookies, cakes and sale in you website URL, image names, descriptions and all around your site to give you a fighting chance of being near the top of certain searches. This area of online business is becoming much more important as now larger organisations are hiring professionals that specialise in search engine optimization and getting businesses to the top of these searches.

When businesses are deciding on the sort of keywords to use for SEO they should look at their competitors, and check the sorts of keywords they are using and use them as a guide. They could also do different types of research on slang words and include some of them, another tool available is google trends, to find out which searches are popular and use any that are relevant to your organisation. Although it is critical that businesses take advantage of SEO, they need to be aware that they can overuse and misuse keywords and the search engines will pick up on this and act accordingly, for instance if general popular phrases are used when they bear no relevance to your business.

My SEO

With my WordPress website there are Plug-ins available like the one pictured below, which work with the user to use keywords in the right way. It does this by making you choose a focus keywords and ensuring that the chosen keywords appears on your website multiple times, to give you the best chance of success.

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Now that I have the plugin downloaded and activated when I begin to create a new post a box below appear titled “WordPress SEO by Yoast”, that contains details of how effective the post will be with regards to SEO. I can type in my focus keyword and an area will come up with live updates informing me how many times it appears in my post. It also give a meta description area which should also contain keywords because the search engines will also pick up on this as it is the area that shows under the title on the search engine results, so it important that it catches the audiences interest.

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References

BBC. (2013) What is a search engine? [Online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/0/22562913 [Accessed 5 May 2015].

Search Engine Land. (2015) What is SEO/Search Engine Optimization? [Online] Available from: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo [Accessed 5 May 2015].

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HTML Email Campaign

Nowadays email is used religiously, this is because information can be sent instantly at the click of a button, containing text, images and attached files. The Radicati Group (2013) reported that in 2013 there were over 3,899 million active email accounts, this is an opportunity that businesses should not be missing out on. Businesses can use email campaigns for promotion purposes, for example contacting potential customers informing them of new products or a discount sale. The purpose of a promotional email campaign is to entice the consumer into spending money on your product or service. As well as bringing in new customers, these campaign are great for customer retention as they remind your consumers that you are still trading, and interested in their business (Windsor Circle 2015).

Marketing in this way is known to give a great return on investment, 66% of companies rated their returns either excellent or good in 2013 (Email Monday 2014). This is due to how cheap this form of marketing is in comparison to many of the other alternatives such as, TV adverts and billboards which can be extremely expensive and are indirect, so reach is not guaranteed. The amount of people using email is also showing growth, which is great for businesses because it means a further increased number of potential customers. The design of the emails you send is also highly important because they need to appear trustworthy and professional otherwise, the public will need to differentiate between your email and the thousands of spam email sent each day. This means that the design of banner images and creating the text that will sit in the email can take time and can also become another expense if this work needs to be outsourced.

As well as the design, the time that these emails are sent are crucial to their success. Marovt (2014) explains that you need to understand your audience, then decide when they are likely to be monitoring their emails. Also if you want them to spend money on your product or service, it may be good practice to send promotional email towards the end of the month when most people are paid. It is also important to consider how often you are going to send emails as if they are sent too often, the recipients will unsubscribe and you will lose reach.

My Email Campaign
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I have created two different email campaigns for Keem’s iPhone Accessories, the above campaign is just an informative introduction about the organisation. It contains a banner with our logo and a small paragraph to explain who we are and the type of products that we are offering. The email also contains a link to our website so that the recipient can browse our products if they wish. Below that you will also notice that there is a link which reads “unsubscribe from this list”, this is because it is now a legal requirement to have this option on all promotional emails received.

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The next campaign had a completely different purpose, it was to promote a 50% weekend sale which would hopefully generate sale. It has a prominent banner at the top that reads “50% OFF SALE” this is to draw in the audience and make sure that they take notice when the preview pops up. The title states that the sale is for “This Weekend Only” add urgency to the situation, it means that if the customer wants the best deal they need to decide and act quickly. I also included some details on two of the best selling products to also tempt them to purchase fast.

References

Email Monday. (2013) Expert tips to increase Email marketing ROI. [Online] Available from: http://www.emailmonday.com/expert-tips-to-increase-email-marketing-roi [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Marovt, J. (2014) Best times to send out your e-commerce email campaigns. [Online] Available from: http://blog.mojn.com/best-times-send-e-commerce-email-campaigns/ [Accessed 1 May 2015].

The Radicati Group. (2013) Email Statistics Report, 2013-2017. [Online] Available from: http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Email-Statistics-Report-2013-2017-Executive-Summary.pdf [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Windsor Circle. (2015) Segmented Promotional Email Campaigns. [Online] Available from: http://www.windsorcircle.com/examples-of/segmented-promotional-email-campaigns [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Youtube

Youtube is a video sharing website that was launched in May 2005, since its creation  users can create, watch and share millions of videos each day (Youtube 2015). It is a great service as videos can reach huge numbers of views very quickly, this is because users can quickly share videos on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. The image below shows the share button found on the youtube page of my video, this means it is extremely easy for these videos to travel across the internet.

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MashableUK (2015b: online) define a viral video as “a video that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email”. If a business can create a viral video it would be excellent, as it is a free form of advertisement and it can reach a huge audience very quickly and gets a lot of people talking about it. Videos made by businesses can have many different purposes, for example they can be for general promotion of a product or the organisation, or they can be informative videos.

My Promotional Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIOuE6rpnIk

I created the video above mainly for promotional purposes, I wanted my audience to understand what Keem’s iPhone Accessories do and the type or products that we offer. I could have explained what my products were on my social media page, but I feel that a video is so much more interesting, meaning I have more chance of grabbing people’s attention. I tried to ensure my video looked professional throughout. As you can see in the screenshot below, I did this with clear visuals and sleek background and a common house style.

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I spent a lot of time deciding on the sounds throughout my video, as I believe the music track enhances the video by giving it an element of fun, because with the video being around one minute long I was conscious that it could get boring easily. But the sound involved in this video, does not only refer to the music featured. For example throughout the first twenty seconds the visuals are building up as you can see with the screen shots below, I wanted to match the audio to this and did so with some very subtle ambient sound effects to add suspense. Then once the suspense was over I contrasted that with brighter colours on-screen and much happier music while some of the products that we sell were showing.

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I included the links below to the store and social media platforms in the video, so that once the viewers had taken an interest in the video, they need to know where there can purchase my products. Also having a large social media audience is invaluable to businesses today, because it can be one of the most effective forms of marketing due to the fact there can be almost no cost (Mashable 2015a).

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References

MashableUK. (2015a) Social Media Marketing. [Online] Available from: http://mashable.com/category/social-media-marketing/ [Accessed 5 May 2015].

MashableUK. (2015b) Viral Video. [Online] Available from: http://mashable.com/category/viral-video/ [Accessed 22 April 2015].

Youtube. (2015) About Youtube. [Online] Available from: https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/ [Accessed 21 April 2015].