How to Create an Online Marketing Strategy | Online marketing

If you’ve ever wondered how to create an online marketing strategy this post will provide you with some clear guidance as to where to start, what to analyse and how customers may arrive at your site or those of your competitors.The first place you should start when developing an online marketing strategy is an analysis of the online marketplace. This process will also help you to identify any potential partners and affiliates that may be able to promote your product and to identify the potential range of search terms which may need to be purchase in a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign.Here are the main areas you should research thoroughly in your marketing place:Customer SegmentsYou may think this is obvious but it is imperative that you consider each of the segments that may consume your product or service and understand its buying behaviours, purchasing drivers, likely decision makers and what online media channels they engage with.An example of customer segmentation for a business services company could be:• Self-employed or freelance workers• Sole traders• Partnerships• Limited companies with less than 10 employees• Limited companies with over 10 employeesEach of these business will have different behaviours, drivers etc. as previously mentioned. You may also want to consider how internet savvy these segments are, their lifestyles, demographics etc.Make a list of each of your customer segments and try to categorise them as best you can.Search Engines used in your marketMake a list of each of the search engines that are relevant in your market. The main ones are typically Google, Bing and Yahoo. If you have a global business you will need to make a list of the key search engines by region such as Baidu which is major search engine in China and Yandex in Russia.Once you’ve made a list of the popular search engines it is advisable to consider the most popular and important keyword phrases in your market and the potential target audience for each keywords and key phrases.As you develop your online business it is also worthwhile to track the amount of traffic your website receives for specific keywords and phrases against the market potential.If like most businesses, Google is a major search engine used by your market then Google’s Keyword planner can help determine how popular specific keywords and phrases. The tool will also provide you with some ideas for any gaps in your keyword directory as the tool also generates keyword ideas for you based on some simple filters i.e. product or service type, the landing page URL, market segment, location etc.It is also worth tracking how many of your visitors are searching with your brand name and URL. This is a good testament to the strength of your brand and customer loyalty e.g. in the personal insurance sector many customers are simply searching for the name of their favouring comparison site rather than entering a specific term such as “cheap car insurance”.Potential Online Partnerships and sources of TrafficThere may be many websites in your marketplace capable of referring traffic to your site, either for free or from a paid advertisement, or acting as a paid affiliate where you reward them with a percentage of commission per sale.Make a list of the various businesses in your sector in the following categories:

Niche news and Media websites
Make a list of all the news and media sites that your target audience may have exposure to. For some businesses mainstream media may be appropriate of for others they may be very niche and followed only by your customer segments.Once you’ve done this reach out to the editors to set up a meeting. There may be several angles for your business to consider (depending on your budget) such as paid advertising, running a feature on your product or if you are an expert in your field there could be the opportunity for you to write articles and even become the expert when the publication needs some advice.

Trade bodies or industry associations
Depending on your sector there may be a number of trade bodies or industry associations serving your target market. When you have made your list, consider for each the potential for advertising, editorials etc. as already mentioned in news above. In addition the trade or industry association may become a valuable promotor of your business in return for an affiliate partnership and/or some form of value added service to its members such as a discount or tailored product or service.

Social Media Channels
I would recommend searching for your current and prospective customers on the most popular social media channels and record which channels your customers are active in e.g. do they target their own customers via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. If you can get a feel for the most popular channels used by your customers then mirroring this with your own online marketing campaigns in the same channels is likely to be successful.If you trade business to business it is definitely worth considering LinkedIn as a method of engagement and prospecting, you may be surprised just how many of your business customers use this channel. LinkedIn is a useful sales tool as you can develop a pipeline of decision makers and send them an Inmail to introduce yourself plus lot more. This is a vast subject in its own right and will be covered in future posts.

Comparison Sites
Price comparison sites are springing up in many different sectors e.g. moneysupermarket for financial services products, Gocompare for insurance, uSwitch for energy and telecoms. If there are any comparison services in your sector it is certainly worth considering listing your product on them as they are likely to control a significant amount of the search traffic in your sector. The comparison sites are generally paid per sale but there are also many that are paid per lead sent to your business.

Niche Affiliates
Affiliates gain revenue on a commission share basis or a fixed amount from the business whom they refer traffic to. This is an important source of customers and you should consider building relationships with as many as these as possible – these could be bloggers, other businesses operating in your sector but not competing, people who network in your sector and some of the other channels already mentioned.If your business has a digital product such as software, application or how to guide it may also be worth listing this as a product on the various affiliate networks out there such as ClickBank. as their members may actively promote your product in return for a commission if it fits their own niche.

Bloggers & Forums
These are generally individuals although some of the major authority blogs often run as a business with several contributors. Some niche blogs may received hundreds of thousands or even millions of visitors per month e.g. in the digital marketing and tech space Mashable.com has several million readers and is valued at several hundred million dollars.It can be relatively simple to find the bloggers in your space, simple open Google and type in “Sector Name” Blogs and you will see a list of them. Have a look at a few and you will soon get a feel for how prevalent they are in your market by the number of posts they have, how regular they post and how many comments they get.You can also use the same process to find online forums which may serve your sector where people gather to talk about the sector, review products, share ideas etc.I would definitely suggest finding the main bloggers and forums and engage with them. You can do this for free by commenting on their blogs and forum threads although add value to them by commenting with useful insight or adding additional questions. Often these blogs will allow you to add your own website link to your signature or avatar so when you comment or post your brand is getting coverage and may result in free traffic back to your blog.Just remember to always think about what value you are adding before interacting and your could get your comment seen by tens of thousands of people in your niche and this audience will only grow. For example a few years ago I wrote a blog post for business blogging site and it has received over 35,000 views and this number continues to steadily grow. All it cost me was a couple of hours of writing time.Once you’ve pulled together your lists you will start to get a clear picture of what your online market place looks like. I would then suggest for each of the various websites listed in each category using the following free tools (both will have advanced paid for features):

Sharedcount.com -If you go to the site and type in the URL it will tell you how many social shares and likes a website is getting across the mainstream social channels.

Compete.com – which will show you how many unique visitors and ranking for a specific website.
Both of these tools will give good indicator of the quality of a potential partner based on their levels of engagement and search traffic.I hope this post proves useful to you and welcome any feedback once you’ve commenced developing an online marketing strategy.If you haven’t already please subscribe to my blog to receive updates on future posts.Happy Digital Marketing!Rob

Real Estate Website Promotion is Easy | Real estate

If you are a Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, or provide a Real Estate service you know how important effective real estate web promotion is to your business. The large number of people searching the internet for local, national and international real estate information can simply not be ignored.At the same time you may think effective real estate website promotion is too difficult to master, too expensive to afford, or just too mysterious to understand – an area reserved for experts in the field of search engine marketing.Like most practitioners of highly specialized skills, search engine marketing specialists have a vested interest in making their field seem mysterious and difficult to master. But it is not really that mysterious. It is possible for anyone to dominate the search engines in virtually any local market. All it takes is a bit of common sense and some hard work.The principles involved in getting good positioning for your real estate website are quite simple and straightforward. They are the same principles that apply to search engine marketing for any website and it is actually quite easy to apply these principles to real estate websites. Many real estate agents have simply given up trying to score well in the search engines for local real estate searches because they don’t properly understand the process.But think about it for a minute. When you do a search in Google for “real estate Phoenix” or “Banff real estate” or “Halifax real estate” or “Fort Lauderdale real estate”, and you see the same real estate agents or agencies coming up on the first page week after week, how do you think they got there? What magical real estate website promotion formula are they using or who have they paid to get this high position?Now before you answer that question, ask yourself how you think Google assigns these positions to different websites. Does their giant computer just pull names from a great big cyber-hat? Do they use secret rules that only a few insiders know about?Of course not. All the major search engines make it perfectly clear what they are looking for – and especially Google. If you want to score well for a term like “real estate Phoenix” or “real estate Ottawa”, really all you have to do is pack your site with good information about Phoenix (or Ottawa) and focus your home page in a very deliberate way on those search terms.The search engines like focused content. They assume if your site contains lots of content relevant to “real estate Phoenix” then it should be shown high in searches for that keyword.Of course the problem is that there are already a number of other real estate websites offering good content focused on your favorite search term, so you are going head to head with sites that have previously established position, and it will take a bit of time and a fair amount of work to get past them.That is fair enough. After all, if the real estate agent down the streat offers more focused and relevant information than you do about the market you are both chasing, she deserves to come up above you in the search engine rankings. It makes sense, doesn’t it?That does not mean you should not keep on trying. It simply means you should be patient and work harder. Take a close look at her site and outdo her by refocusing your site and creating more interesting and valuable content. Focus is the name of the game. Make it crystal clear that you are the “expert” on “Calgary real estate” by offering the kinds of things that an expert would offer.And please, do not hesitate to mention the search phrase you are trying to get positioning on. If it is “Kingston real estate” or “Sacramento real estate”, then use that term all over your home page. Say to yourself, “OK Google, so you are looking for real estate websites that have something to say about ‘Sacramento real estate’, well here I am. I breathe Sacramento Real Estate. I ooze Sacramento Real Estate. I AM Sacramento Real Estate.” This is called Search Engine Optimization.In the meantime, while you’re waiting for Google to come around on your primary search term, find some less competitive ones to focus on as well. For instance, if you want to service the entire Ottawa area, but most of your clientele is in Kanata or Nepean, focus some of your internet marketing efforts on those smaller markets. You have a much better chance of getting results in these significantly smaller and less competitive markets.

Commentary: Current Education Tramples the Mind | Education

INTRODUCTION:Not a day goes by there is not an article in our local paper on our local Public School System. If it is not a cry for more money, it is complaints over poor attendance, or that many local teachers are not fully qualified. While some schools are being “demoted,” others are being “promoted.” First, one thing and then another. Obviously, there is something amiss in our current approach to educating our children.Other articles in the local newspaper carry reports of the increased interests and energies being expended by the “little” people to end the imminent threat of our own government by the increasing invasion of our private rights in the name of protecting the people from inside terrorism. People are grouping at the grass roots level to petition their respective government representative, the President and members of Congress, to end these daily threats to our lives. They are sick to the bone of living in daily fear of imminently undermining the guarantees of our Constitution. We need to adhere to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s, Four Freedoms: Speech, Worship, Want and Fear.With all of this bombarding our brains, consider “holistically” the relationship of education to the many efforts of a given society to prepare its young for adult responsibilities; responsibilities of learning to control our own individual natures as well as contributing to the future of human evolution. Apparently, nearly all the fuss over our imminent demise is being conducted by adults in whom we’ve given our trust to govern and lead us. Obviously, something is wrong with this world’s political and educational systems.DISCUSSION:Some minor research will tell us that the word, “education,” derives from the joining of the Latin, “e”, meaning “out,” with the Latin word, “‘duco,” meaning to “lead” or “take out from.” Simply, it means to draw out of the pupil the inherent wisdom that lies within him or her. This word, education, has many implications given a little thought. One such implication is that the newborn brings into this world from previous incarnations a past history of acquired experiences and knowledge of the true value of things. The trouble is most educators and parental caregivers are ignorant of this fact. The newborn is flooded by the events of its immediate environment from the very moment of birth and forwards; as it grows it forgets to remember what it already knows! More people the world over believe in reincarnation than those who do not; mostly those seeped in the Judeo-Christian ideals.When formal education begins, the pupil is bombarded with facts and figures that are supposed to be memorized. And all these things being taught to the pupil are things to be grasped by the senses and are restricted to an empirically material and concrete world of so-called knowledge, whereas it is the world of Meaning that needs stressing.The current methods of education markedly contrast with a true “educational process,” as these words were originally intended. The existent model is more of a “putting into” than one of self-discovery. The students are being inculcated (from inculcare= to stamp into, or tread upon) with a body of pre-determined and quite mundane information of questionable validity, especially for the bringing into existence of a new “world order,” which the new Aquarian Age promises us. Such a new world order needs to be one based upon the ideals of world peace and the consistent application of goodwill, altruism and true brotherhood by each individual to every other individual upon this earth.The educational process must begin with an honorable and purposeful goal. It must go beyond the mere imparting of facts to be remembered to one of searching inwardly for the true meaning and causes behind the facts, which eventually should lead one to look within the self for such meaning. One anonymous educator has expressed it thusly: “Education can be an adventurous quest for the meaning of life, involving an ability to think things through.” (Emphasis added).The goal of education should be to promote the full self-realization and potential of every student; to encourage the goal of the person’s ultimate relationship with the universe, as stressed by Abe Maslow; that noted psychologist who died before his time. Self-centeredness must be transcended so the person develops a realization of his position relative to the whole of existence. To properly teach is to draw out of every student the potential wisdom which he or she inherently possesses. Teachers, conditioned by their own inculcated experiences need to be helped (but by whom?) to realize and accept the fact that the child, every child, has a body of universal wisdom at the core of its being, as they themselves do, waiting to “inform” the student who can be helped to make contact with this accumulated body of eternal truths which will vary with each student.EAST AND WEST NEED UNITING:The need in today’s world is to combine the ancient wisdom and spiritual concepts of the East with the intellectual know-how of the West. These two in combination will eventually bring to humanity the needed spiritual love-wisdom for the solving of all human problems.THE NEED FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL REHABILILTATION:Psychological rehabilitation essentially means bringing the individual personality into line with the evolutionary pattern of the Soul; the “God Within.”Every nation as well as each individual has its own Soul or individual psyche which demonstrates as its character or culture. Historical facts and the past conditions of every individual and nation have determined its current relationships; there is a consistent nationalism or selfishness when what is needed is for education to teach the student the need to take self-responsibility, and to grasp the need for a selfless international participation. Every student needs to give serious consideration to his or her “place in the universe.” Every individual and every nation needs to solve its own personality problems, which are mostly self-generated. And behind all human endeavors are a psychological motive and goal. Anyone who can “think truth,” can help to shape public opinion. Educators should be in the vanguard of such “truth thinking.”In the historical East, education was limited to a few outstanding individuals who showed their potential for a deeper understanding of the purpose of all existence while the masses were ignored. This was also true in the West up until rather recently in our history when education was legally required for the masses. Since that time the goal has been to bring every student to a defined standard by which the educational process would supposedly be “fair to all.” Every individual is different, and wise teachers should be sensitive, understanding and attuned to the wide differences of each child under their tutelage. Remember, teachers and caregivers of every description cannot teach their “charges,” what they themselves do not know.In the future when the psychology of the western world catches up to the Esoteric Psychology of the historical East, the universal Law of Birth and Rebirth will be accepted. Such a needed psychology has been in the public domain for over seventy-five years. (See, Esoteric Psychology, Volumes I and II, Alice A. Bailey, Lucis Press, Publishing House of World Good Will Organization, N.Y., London and Geneva, 1937 and 1941.) In these volumes the human Soul and the chakras and the “etheric envelope” through which we distribute our individual energies are discussed in detail; none of which western psychology or education has yet discovered, although there is a dire an desperate need to do so. How can psychology or education teach a human entity when it does not understand the true nature of the “Constitution of Man.” (See, A Textbook of Theosophy, Ch. V, International Theosophical Publishing House, Madras,(now Chennai), Adyar, India, 1927.)In the East reincarnation, which along with karma, the Law of Retribution, or the Law of Cause and Effect, has been readily accepted and applied to each individual student. “What so ever ye sow, so shall you reap,” Saint Paul tells us. We are each on our own previously earned position on the evolutionary arc (back to the House of the Father), and we each have a Soul Age, which must be discovered and accepted by the wise educator. Our soul age determines our readiness for exposure to the world of meaning; the world of Causes behind the world of Effects. Not only should “advanced” students be given special consideration and culturing, the masses should also be exposed to the spiritual idea that our materialistic world is one of Effects; a mere reflection of a higher world of Truth, Beauty and Reality. Religion is not an issue to be considered here. (See, Education In Light of Theosophy, by Annie Besant, Ibid, 1912.)EVOLUTION IS A CONTINUOUS EXPANSION OF CONSCIOUSNESS:The only difference between an earlier world savage and a Savior, like our Christ, is one of an expansion of consciousness. Like the f-stop on a camera the more open the slit the more light comes in. From the Instinct of the savage, we are now at the more advanced human stage of the Intellect. The next expansion of consciousness leads us to Intuition, or Pure Reasoning and Direct Knowledge, which should be the goal of all modern education. All symbolic, indirect knowledge is merely the interpretations of so-called authority figures, and that based upon their own prior educations. (See, From Intellect To Intuition, Alice A. Bailey, Lucis Publishing Company, World Goodwill, N.Y. 1932.)Intuition develops when our consciousness is not hindered or limited by facts of questionable importance, or restricted by a world of sensory empiricism. Truth can never be discovered by a mind imprisoned in a world of Materialism. The pupil must be left free to expand his or her consciousness without interference from anything or anyone outside the inner self of the pupil. There is in truth a Real world behind this limited world we refer to as the materialistic and physical world. It is the goal of every human entity to discover that inner world for him or herself since Truth cannot be communicated; only Self-discovered. The true purpose of education should be to support that effort.CHILDREN GROW FROM WITHIN OUTWARD:Let us take an example from the vegetable kingdom. A plant grows from a seed; it grows from within outwardly when exposed to the proper environment. Every child grows and develops internally, from within outwardly just as a plant does. That is, if given the proper environmental “nutrients.” Education is one of the major “nutrients” for that growth, or at least should be. Correct understanding of the child, a loving attitude and an encouraging environment by the parents are yet other major “nutrients” for the proper blooming of the inner child seed. What incarnates from one life to another is an “Egoic Seed” which needs encouragement and a nutritional environment to flourish and bloom.It goes without saying that correct education proceeds by way of the human mind; an expansion of consciousness. But it is not the relative contents of the educational materials as absorbed by the mind, no matter how stimulating, which should concern educators. It is rather the very process of thinking itself that requires their rapt attention. (See, The Use and Power of Thought, by C.W. Leadbeater, TS, Ibid, 1911.)It needs to be remembered that to inculcate is to trample on the minds of the young with information of relative value, thus keeping buried the very essential truths of life so needed for the living of a peaceful and harmonious existence with one’s fellow beings. There is a real issue here which educators should consider: from whence comes the most reliable and trustworthy knowledge needed to guide humanity toward its ultimate realization? Remember, teachers cannot teach something they do not know themselves. It should also be remembered that it was the East and not the West which has given to humanity all of its outstanding Avatars for Humanity: the Buddha, Zoroaster, Sri Krishna, the Christ, and others. These earlier Eastern founders of our world religions, the Teachers of our human race and their spiritual concepts, reincarnation and karma among others, have remained with humanity for thousands of years whereas the teachings of the West are forever changing and are restricting, limiting, unstable and temporary. Real Truth is immutable, permanent and everlasting. Western concepts limited to a materialistic world are ephemeral, transitory, mutable and restricted to a world conceived of by our empirical senses. Modern western society generally speaking has no idea of the Truth of Life, or the spiritual meaning behind human existence. How many have honestly tried to turn inward and discover their true Being; their spiritual origins? The inner discovery of eternal Truths, Spiritual Truths, should be the ideal of all educators; not only for themselves but for every pupil. The first step to discovering Truth begins with these questions: Who am I, and what is the meaning of Life?The most appealing answer discovered comes from the injunction of theDelphi Oracle: Man, Know Thyself! (Greek=Gnothe Seauton). This implies, of course, an inwardly directed search for a guiding wisdom; one arising from a source deep within the creative wellspring of the individual seeker.CONCLUSION:In conclusion, altruism, universal Brotherhood, peace and goodwill toward others, are internal spiritual ideas stemming from the inherent wisdom amassed through the countless trials and tribulations undergone by the whole of humanity throughout the eons of time. Each individual, searching deep within the self, striving diligently and persistently to truly know thyself will come to discover the same unerring truth. We are all parts of a larger spiritual Whole. There is only one humanity, one Life, one Universal Mind consciousness. We are inseparable and the ideal of separateness held by the western world is perhaps the greatest illusion humanity has imposed upon itself. This one idea has led to more “Inhumanity to man,” continual warfare, and more human misery than any of the many other false ideals humanity as a whole entertains.To behave cruelly toward any portion of the whole is to injure oneself. Our choice regarding peace is quite simple. We survive as one humanity or we destroy the whole. Now, the question is, Why does it take most would-be authority figures so long to discover this fact? Could it perhaps have something to do with the way they were educated- by INCULCATION?The End