Category: Digital strategy
Did you know that a whopping 90% of the population never scrolls past the first page of Google? When was the last time you’ve taken a moment to check where your website shows up when you type in your business name or important keywords related to your company? If you just so happen to be like countless other businesses out there, then chances are your website might not pop up within the first 10 spots. Heck, it might not even pop up on the first page at all. The good news is – you have the power to change this. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can effectively monitor and improve your search engine ranking, then this article is just for you.
What are SERPs?
“SERPs” is simply an acronym which is widely used to abbreviate the term search engine results pages. SERPs are the pages which pop up when you type an inquiry into a search engine such as Google. There are countless pages which are often returned upon the input of an inquiry — far too many to go through. This is because Google alone indexes trillions of website pages. So, what Google does, is it prioritizes these results for you based on their likelihood of providing you an accurate and robust answer and then displays them to you in hierarchical order.
Why search engine rankings are crucial to success
Google’s search engine algorithm essentially attributes a SERP score to every page on your website. Your SERP score, or search engine ranking, is directly related to the effectiveness of your search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, your marketing campaigns, as well as the length of time that your website/brand has had to establish trust with Google’s algorithm. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that it’s extremely difficult to outrank major brands and companies for the simple fact that they have significantly deeper pockets than you. But, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. You still have a chance at ranking high for keywords, especially niche keywords and getting on the first page of Google. All it takes is some hard work and commitment.
How to improve your SERP ranking
Fortunately, there are numerous steps you can take to help improve your SERP rankings. However, in order to be effective, you’ll need to stay dedicated and focused. By crafting effective marketing and SEO campaigns and staying patient, you can work to begin to improving your SERP ranking one day at a time.
Crafting effective and compelling marketing campaigns is a crucial step when it comes to improving your SERP score. The more mentions, hashtags, articles your brand has, the stronger it becomes in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. To be honest with you — it’s pretty much a popularity contest. And to be blunt — the major corporations are always going to win. This is because they have countless resources they can pool into their marketing strategies, whereas the average business is often limited by their budget. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t create viral content, work on increasing your popularity on social media or work hard to get influencers to tout your brand/services!
Fortunately for you, there are numerous tools available which can aid in your efforts to craft more effective digital marketing campaigns. Much of it begins with performing diligent research and finding the right keywords, topics and trends to touch upon. Most recently, influencer marketing has become an extremely popular way to get your brand out there and repped by popular figures within the social media space. So, take the time to tap into some influencer marketing agencies to see how they can help you increase brand awareness and establish an authority presence in the digital space!
SEO is another critical component to improving your search engine ranking. Is your website optimized to the fullest? Are you leveraging niche and long-tail keywords as a way to combat against the monopoly that many large corporations have over SEO? We’re not just talking on-page SEO — technical SEO is just as important.
Lucky for you, there are also numerous tools available on the market to aid you in these efforts as well. Whether you use a plug-in such as YoastSEO or tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Backlinko or Ahrefs, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. If you find that you just don’t happen to be the savviest when it comes to this, don’t be afraid to reach out to an expert and ask for help. Companies such as ours specialize in aiding businesses such as yours in increasing their search engine rankings effectively and efficiently.
3. Being Patient
The truth of the matter is that increasing your search engine rankings doesn’t happen overnight. So, naturally you’re going to want to be wary of any services which promote instant or unreasonably fast results. You simply can’t rush the algorithm. You can help it along by doing your best to implement strong and effective tactics, but overnight success is few and far between. Be patient. It takes a while to establish your brand/website as trustworthy in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. But the good news is that the longer you stay dedicated, the more you’ll continue to build up your trust.
Monitoring your search engine ranking
When it comes to establishing your presence on search engine results pages, you’ll need to do more than just implement tactics in order to improve your ranking. This is because rankings are far from static and constantly changing as information continues to be indexed by Google’s algorithm every second of every day. This is why consistently monitoring your ranking is so essential. When you monitor your rank, you gain access to valuable information which can help to fuel your strategies and tactics for improvement.
For instance, let’s say that you decide to implement a keyword strategy. You pretty much will be left mostly in the dark with regards to how effective it is or isn’t without monitoring. However, when you do implement a process for monitoring, you are able to see how effective your strategies are and how your website is performing in response to their implementation. Fortunately, there are numerous tools on the market such as SEMRush, MozPro and Ahrefs which can help provide you with in-depth analytics and tools which can be leveraged in order to help you monitor and track your rank.
Monitoring your competitor’s SERPs
Monitoring your search engine rankings is crucial in determining your status and driving your strategies. However, it’s not just your own website that you should be concerned about. Who are your biggest competitors? We’re not talking big name companies and corporations. We mean the companies within your niche which are performing slightly better than you. If you don’t know the answer to this, then you’ll have to dig in your heals and do a little research first. Once you know the names of a handful of companies as such, you’ll need to start monitoring their status, performance and progress as well. When you begin monitoring your competitors’ rankings, you gain access to valuable information which can help fuel your strategies for improvement.
For instance, let’s say you find that your competitors are ranking high for a certain number of keywords. This is great information to know, because it helps inform you on which keywords you should use in your strategy. Or perhaps, you’ve noticed that their ranking is fluctuating a bit or has taken a nosedive after the implementation of a strategy. This can help you be aware of things not to do so that your website doesn’t have the same fate. On the other hand, if they’re performing well, then gaining access to analytics on their performance can help you effectively mirror some of the positive tactics they’ve implemented. Remember: consistently monitoring your competition is every bit just as important as monitoring your own performance because it can help provide further insight into the steps you need to take in order to stay one step ahead.
Your SERP score is arguably one of the single most important things to focus on if you’re looking to improve your online presence and grow your business. If you’re looking to increase your search engine ranking, then you’ll need to focus on a combination of effective marketing, SEO and monitoring/tracking strategies in order to do so. Fortunately, there are numerous tools available on the market in order to help you achieve your goals. Use this article as a guide to keep yourself on track and to get off in the right direction when it comes to improving your website’s SERP score. And remember – nothing is going to happen overnight. Beware of any products or services which promote unrealistic results. This takes a tortoise versus a hare mentality. Improving your search engine rankings takes time, dedication and consistent effort. However, the benefits are extremely worthwhile.
Which tools do you use to monitor and/or improve your SERP score? Let us know your experience with them in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you!
Over the past few years there has been a marked rise in the growth of voice recognition software and it’s easy to understand why. Many of us lead demanding, busy, on-the-go lifestyles and as a result, convenience has quickly become of paramount importance to the average consumer. According to a recent PWC report an astounding 71% of individuals surveyed said they would rather use their voice assistant in order to conduct a query as opposed to physically having to type it into their device. Voice search isn’t something of the future – it’s here – loud and clear. ComScore infamously predicted that 50% of all searches will be voice by 2020. We may not be there just yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re not close. If you’re interested in learning more about voice search and the various simple steps you can take in order to prepare your website for 2020, then this article is just for you.
A brief history of voice search
Voice recognition software has been around since the 1960’s so it isn’t exactly new, but mass mainstream adoption and commercialization voice assistants is. Google first rolled out Google Voice Search in 2010. The system required users to call into a telephone number at which point they were prompted to speak their search query and wait for results to populate on their mobile device. Needless to say, it didn’t catch on all too quickly.
In October of 2011 Apple introduced Siri as the first digital virtual assistant with their iPhone 4s and Google rapidly followed suit by introducing Google Now in May 2012. Microsoft and Amazon quickly threw their hats in the ring with Cortana and Alexa in 2014 and Google released Google Assistant in 2016. Now we’ve got Samsung’s Bixby and IBM’s Watson as well. Today, voice recognition software is encoded in everything from mobile phones to laptops to watches and personal home devices. Practically everyone wants a virtual assistant. Which leads us to our next section.
The growing demand for voice search optimization
Today, voice recognition software is encoded in everything from mobile phones to laptops to watches and personal home devices. Practically everyone uses voice search and as a result, the industry is a-booming. According to eMarketer, voice commerce sales peaked to an astounding $2.1 billion last year alone. Juniper Research further estimates that there will be a whopping 8 billion digital voice assistants on the market in use by 2023.
When it comes to voice search, Amazon leads in the voice-enabled speaker device market but Google still dominates the search engine market with a share of 92.71%. So, needless to say, when they start to make updates in order to further accommodate voice search, everyone takes notice. Their 2013 Hummingbird update changed search in profound ways by emphasizing natural language processing and taking into consideration things such as context and user intent. As a result, the focus became less on keywords and more on conversation and meaning.
This algorithm update coupled with the widespread popularity of smart devices using voice recognition software means that companies now more than ever need to be prepared to optimize their websites and content accordingly.
5 Ways You Can Start Optimizing for Voice Search Today
According to recent data from Location World, approximately 2 in 5 adults use voice search at least once daily — and it they use it for more than just finding out information. According to recent data from Amazon, the use of Alexa for shopping more than tripled in 2018 from the previous year (NOTE: at VisioneerIT, we offer voice search technology which can help you sell your products using Alexa voice). It’s important to note that there’s a significant difference between typed and spoken queries and as a result, voice search optimized websites will have a much greater advantage in 2020. If you’re looking to nab position zero, then we have 5 steps which you can use to get you started off on the right foot.
1. Use natural language
Let’s say you’re looking for some great grub in your area for the evening. If you head to your go-to search engine, your query ‘might look something like “best restaurants near me”. However, if you’re like the many individuals who use a voice assistant on your mobile device, your query is most likely to sound more along the lines of “what are the best restaurants near me?”. Our point here is that voice search queries tend to be longer than your average typed query. Not only that, they also tend to be conducted in a conversational tone. This is the exact opposite of what is expected when it comes to typed queries. Instead of ruthelessly optimizing for keywords, focus instead on what you need to do in order to optimize for semantic search. Use conversational keywords and phrases that are common when speaking and phrase these long-tail keywords in the same manner in which they are usually spoken. It’s not only ideal for voice search, long-tail keywords are furthermore a great strategy to use for traditional SEO.
2. Question phrases
When someone is conducting a typed query on a search engine, the goal is generally to get the main idea across as succinctly as possible. You’re not exactly trying to write a novel. If you’re looking for a black 1981 Pontiac Firebird you might type something like “1981 black Pontiac firebird for sale”. It’s not exactly a beaming example of English grammar. However, when using voice search, users tend to frame queries in the form of questions such as “Where can I find a 1981 black Pontiac firebird for sale?”. Keep this in mind when it comes to optimizing for voice search. It’s important to consider user intent as well as to think of ways to include potential questions your audience may have in your content, headers or subtitles. Not exactly sure where to start? There are numerous resources online which can help you identify the various questions your target audience may have surrounding your topic. Answer the Public is an immensely popular tool as such.
3. Aim for featured snippet quality
You may not exactly know what a featured snippet is by just hearing the name but you’ve definitely seen one. These little guys are the pieces of content that have been awarded the ever so coveted spot of position zero. They are above-the-fold snippets of useful information pulled from only the most worth of articles and featured in the spot before the rest of your search engine results. According to SearchEngineWatch, you can pretty much be certain that if the search results which get pulled up for your query include a featured snippet, your voice assistant is going to pull its answer from it. So, if you’re looking to rank highly in voice search results, you’re going to want to focus on making sure that you are delivering high quality content that Google would display in a featured snippet.
4. Structured data/schema markup
Structured data is a system where names are paired with a value in order to help search engines when it comes to indexing and categorizing website content. A while back Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex got together and came up with Schema.org (aka Schema) as a way to help people provide the information that their search engines need in order to provide the best search results possible. Schema is “a semantic vocabulary of tags” (aka microdata) that you can manually add to your HTML code in order to make it easier for search engines to read, interpret and represent your webpage. It often results in rich snippets of information being displayed (i.e. star ratings) underneath the title of your webpage. This tactic has been proven to not only increase click-through rate but to also drive traffic and provide a competitive advantage to websites which use them. While you will need to know a thing or two about code, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in order to implement it. You can easily generate your own code for your webpages by using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
5. Improve your local SEO
Voice search tends to be more mobile and locally focused. In fact, one 2018 study conducted by BrightLocal found that a whopping 58% of individuals use their voice search in order to find local businesses. It also found that consumers are most likely to use voice searches in order to find additional information about businesses that they are already familiar with. This really comes as no surprise as people tend to use their voice search when they’re already on-the-go or planning on going somewhere. In fact, the phrase “near me” is extremely popular when it comes to voice searches. Most of these search bots use business listings in order to find the requested information. The quickest and most simple way to do this is to head on over to Google My Business and register your company. Fill out as much information as possible and make sure to keep it accurate and up to date.
Gartner predicted that by the year 2020, approximately 30% of all searches will be screenless. We still have 11 months to find out if that prediction pans out, but the truth of the matter is that you can’t afford to not be prepared. Optimizing your website for voice search is no longer an option – it’s a necessity. Use this article as a useful guide to help you get caught up on all things voice search related and to help strengthen your website so that you have an added edge over the competition in 2020.
Are you interested in leveraging voice search to help increase sales? At VisioneerIT, we offer voice search technology which can help you sell your products using Alexa voice. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can increase customer loyalty and improve your sales, contact us today at www.visioneerit.com.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is largely considered a landmark legislative piece set in place in order to afford greater protections to consumers and their privacy rights in the United States. Enacted in 2018, the CCPA officially took effect as of January 1st of this year. If you’re a business owner who is interested in learning more about the CCPA, as well as the responsibilities required of you and the rights afforded to your consumers, then this article will serve as a great guide to get you in-the-know and compliant for 2020.
Right to request disclosure
The CCPA affords consumers the right to request that a business disclose both the “categories and specific pieces” of personal information that the business has collected as well as the categories of sources from which the information is collected. It also affords consumers the right to request the business/commercial purpose for collecting or selling personal information as well as the right to request that the business also disclose the categories of third parties with whom which the business shares this personal information.
Right to delete
A consumer has the right to request that a business delete personal information which they have collected from the consumer.
Right to opt-out
A consumer furthermore has the right to instruct a business which sells personal information about them to stop selling said information. This is referred to as the right to opt-out.
Right to non-discrimination
The CCPA additionally affords consumers the right to non-discrimination. This means that a business may in no way discriminate against a consumer due to the fact that they have exercised any of the rights afforded to them by the act. Examples of discrimination include denying goods/services, charging different rates for goods/services, providing a different level or quality of goods/services to the consumer or even simply suggesting that the consumer will receive a different price, level or quality of goods/services.
The CCPA furthermore provides consumer with a number of remedies in the event their personal information become subject to “unauthorized access, exfiltration, theft or disclosure” as the result of a business’ negligence. In the case of such event, the consumer has the right to:
1) Damages no less than $100.00 and no greater than $750.00 per consumer per incident OR actual damages (whichever amount is deemed greater)
2) Injunctive or declaratory relief
3) any other form of relief deemed appropriate by the court
These remedies are only available if the consumer provides the business with 30 days’ written notice in which they identify the specific provisions which they feel have been violated before pursuing any action against the company.
In the event the business has the option to and is able to cure the violation within 30 days’ time and provide the consumer with written notice of such, no legal action against the company may be taken.
CCPA Business Responsibilities and Compliance
Definition of a business
The definition of a business as defined by the CCPA includes businesses which:
1) Have an annual gross revenue of more than $25 million
2) Receive, purchase, sell or share for commercial purposes the information of 50,000 or more consumers, households or devices.
3) Receive at least 50% of their annual revenue from selling the personal information of consumers
4) Control or are controlled by a business as such and share common branding with said business
Providing notice to consumers
Collection or sale of personal information
The CCPA mandates that businesses must provide notice to consumers at or before the time of the collection of personal information that they intend to collect said personal information and how they intend to use it. Furthermore, if a business sells personal information to third parties, they must additionally provide “explicit” notice to consumers that their information may be sold and that the consumer has the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. Children under the age of 16 years must provide opt-in consent and a parent or guardian must provide consent for any children under the age of 13 years.
Businesses must also disclose any financial incentives which may be applicable for the collection, sale or deletion of a consumer’s personal information. They must furthermore provide the consumer with the manner in which they calculate the value of their personal information and how the financial incentive is permitted under the CCPA. Financial incentives may take the form of monetary compensation or discounted goods or services in terms of quality or price. However, these financial incentives must be directly related to the value of the personal information which is provided to the business.
In the event a consumer gives opt-in consent to enter into a financial incentive program with the business, the business must clearly describe the terms of the program and the fact that it may be revoked by the consumer at will. The CCPA furthermore specifies that businesses may not use financial incentive programs which are deemed “unjust, unreasonable, coercive or usurious” in nature.
Providing reasonable access to consumers for submitting requests
The CCPA further mandates that businesses must provide “reasonable access’ to consumers for the purpose of submitting any requests to the business with regards to the collection and use of their personal information. A business must make available to consumers at least two or more designated methods for submitting requests which include at minimum, a toll-free number. In the event a business operates solely online and has a “direct relationship” with the consumer, it may instead only be required to provide an email address for submitting such requests.
In the event the business has a website, the website must be made available to consumers for the submission of requests regarding their personal information. There are also specific guidelines associated with this task. For instance, the business must provide a “clear and conspicuous link” on their homepage titled “Do Not Sell My Personal information” which directs the consumer to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. A business may also not require a consumer to create an account with them in order to direct the business not to sell their information.
The business must also ensure that any and all individuals who are held responsible for handling consumer inquiries are informed of all of the requirements associated with doing so and how to direct consumers to exercise their rights according to the act.
Responding to consumer requests
The CCPA mandates that businesses must verify the identity of consumers making requests to them regarding the collection and use of their personal information. However, a business may not require that a consumer create an account with them in order to make a verifiable consumer request. If a business is unable to verify the request, they are able to deny the request, but are required to comply to “the greatest extent” that they can.
Requests to delete information
In the event that a business receives a verifiable request from a consumer to delete their personal information, the business must comply and also notify any potential service providers to delete the consumer’s personal information from their records as well.
Businesses receiving opt-out requests from consumers must comply by refraining from selling their personal information. Businesses must also respect the consumer’s decision for a period of no less than 12 months before making another request that the consumer authorizes the sale of their personal information. Consumers may authorize other individuals to opt-out on their behalf and businesses must respect the requests made from said authorized individuals. Businesses must also treat any user-enabled privacy settings which signal a consumer’s decision to opt-out as a valid opt-out request.
Delivery of requested information
The CCPA also has various guidelines associated with the delivery of and response to requests from consumers. For instance, business disclosures must cover the 12-month period preceding their receipt of the verified consumer request and must be made in writing.
Disclosure and delivery of the requested information to the consumer must also be made available free of charge via the consumer’s account with the business, by mail, or electronically within 45 days from the date of the consumer’s request. In the event the disclosure of said information is sent electronically, it must be sent in a “readily useable format” which allows the consumer to easily transmit the information to another entity “without hindrance” (i.e. PDF file).
The CCPA also dictates that businesses are not required to provide personal information to a consumer more than twice in a 12-month period. Furthermore, a business may request an extension for the delivery of the information in the event one is necessary as long as the consumer is notified of the extension within the initial 45-day period.
Businesses are also entitled to charge an administrative fee for requests deemed “manifestly unfounded or excessive” or refuse to act on such requests altogether as long as the consumer is notified for the reason of refusal. However, businesses which take such action should keep in mind that they will have to bear the burden of having to demonstrate (potentially to the courts) that a consumer request was in fact “manifestly unfounded or excessive”.
The CCPA further mandates that businesses must maintain records of consumer requests and the business’ response to these request for a period of 24 months in order to remain compliant. If a business collects, purchases or sells information on more than 4 million consumers, they are subject to additional record-keeping and training obligations.
Businesses are deemed to be in violation of the CCPA if they fail to cure any violations within 30 days after they are notified of non-compliance. In the event the case of such event, businesses will be subject to an injunction and liable for civil penalties of a maximum of $2,500.00 for each violation. If found violations were intentional, businesses can be subject to as much as $7,500.00 in penalties for each intentional violation.
As of January 2020, the CCPA has officially gone into effect. As a result, businesses of all backgrounds and sizes are now liable for remaining compliant under this groundbreaking piece of legislation. If you’re interested in learning more about the specifics of the CCPA, a copy of the code can be found on the California Legislative Information website. Getting compliant and staying compliant takes due diligence, time and commitment. Use this article as a guideline to stay ahead of the game and set your business up for success in 2020.
At VisioneerIT we provide automated access to compliance free of charge to all businesses hosting their websites on our platform. Our convenient plug-in has the ability to automatically update customer policies whenever there are changes in the laws. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website at www.visioneerit.com.
In a recent Fast Company article, research showed 42% of individuals stating that they personally believed the growth plans of their organizations were negatively impacted due to a lack of access to quality leadership.
So, we all know that strong leadership is the driving force behind a company’s success, but what exactly is strong leadership? Well, the truth of the matter is that there are innumerable traits that make quality leaders
And they don’t all have to be present within someone for them to rise to the top. It just has to be the right mixture of the right ingredients.
The roles of leaders encompass so much more than just ensuring compliance and managing expectations and growth. In the case of leadership, the ability to leave a positive imprint on society and make a change is of utmost importance and as a result, these leaders need a specific set of skills and traits in order to get things done.
Leaders are inherently role models. They’re goal-oriented, they’re decisive, they build others around them up and they embrace change and contrast. Leaders must be multi-dimensional and their effectiveness depends on certain traits that are proven to engender success. In this article, we’re going to bring you our list of 7 leadership qualities that do just that.
1. Passionate and Ambition
Passion is an absolutely indispensable trait when it comes to leadership. Leaders should be passion about their causes, the organization and it’s espoused and enacted beliefs. In fact, it is passion that drives ambition. When you’re passionate about a project, about a cause, about an organization, it motivates you to be a part of it and to make a difference.
Many of us have seen the flip-side of this scenario and the results a decrease in self-efficacy of teams, employee motivation and organizational cohesion. Employees can’t effectively carry out and achieve goals that they don’t care about.
Many times passionate leadership is needed to drive determination, motivation and achievement. When employees feel emotionally connected to their organization, they are more committed, engaged and effective and this is a recipe for success and long-term sustainability.
2. An insatiable drive for personal growth
One of my favorite businessmen is a guy by the name of Robert Kiyosaki. He’s a New York Time’s Best Seller and the founder of the Rich Dad Company, a private financial education company. In his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” he discusses the importance of investing in yourself and self-development.
The idea is that every step of the process counts and leaders who take the time each day to invest in themselves in some way, shape or form — whether it be related to health and wellness, their industry or educationally — have the highest propensity towards success.
An insatiable drive for personal growth also facilitates accomplishment every step of the way and it’s these tiny victories which build self-efficacy — the building block for achievement.
3. Exceptional, open and honest communication
Did you know that according to Business 2 Community, a whopping 60% of employees don’t understand their organization’s goals? Employees who haven’t been properly communicated to about holistic goals and achievements risk becoming directionless, stagnant and complacent. Needless to say, this isn’t a recipe for success.
Furthermore, the same study found that 77% of employees feel that their workplace performances would be positively impacted with more feedback from leadership. In fact, according to the same data giving feedback was shown to increase engagement by 60%.
A leader must be an exceptional communicator — and the first quality that exceptional communicators possess is the knowledge that communication is a two way street. It’s not enough to be authoritative, dictatorial or task-oriented. These are one-way forms of communication processes and leave employees questioning their value and place in an organization.
Your teams can’t achieve goals they don’t understand and they can’t improve upon their processes and performances without your feedback and input.
Effective communicators build up their teams, they are open, they are honest and this transparency and regard for others fosters achievement by fostering self-efficacy and thus driving workplace cohesion and success.
Lastly, a recent study by the Pew Resaerch Center, 84% of individuals claimed that they felt honesty was an absolutely essential quality for a leader to possess.
Charisma is defined as a “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”. Charisma is just one of those traits that can make all of the difference in the business industry. Think of the greats like Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, J.D. Rockefeller, JFK, Sir Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi.
All of these individuals had a natural ability to inspire others; their magnetic pulls were undeniable.
Charisma ignites passion. It facilitates action. Did you know that 87% of employees aren’t passionately engaged in their work? That’s almost 9 out of 10 individuals. That’s insane! As a leader, your job is to motivate the masses, to be a rabble rouser, to summon the ranks and take action.
A recent Broderick & Company survey said that 42% of successful leaders in professional firms are described as “influencers” and 34% were noted as being both “inspirational and passionate”.
Charisma is a power to behold — it’s gravitational pull is undeniable. Perhaps that’s why they call it “force” of personality
A recent Inc.com article defined grit as “the perseverance and passion for long-term goals”. In fact, according to research by Angela Duckworth with the University of Pennsylvania, grit is a “greater predictor of success than IQ or leadership potential”.
That’s a pretty big deal.
A resilient mindset that is able to embrace contrast is unbeatable. The ability to truck through obstacles, to get hit and keep on going just innately breeds success. It’s the individuals that view the small victories as important steps along the way and embrace drawbacks who are proven to have the highest levels of which self-efficacy — the building block to personal achievement. It’s a never-ending cycle, really.
A famous quote by Robert Kiyosaki is “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desires, the size of your dreams and how you handle disappointment along the way.”
Organizations need leaders who can be decisive and strong-minded in high-pressure situations. When the stakes are high and the chips are down, leadership is the beacon of guiding light. They inspire, they motivate, they get the job done and they help others do the same because they have grit and it’s just ingrained in their DNA.
The saying goes that “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”. This couldn’t be more truthful. Leaders who want to make a lasting impact on their organization should strive for proactive, rather than reactive leadership.
Being proactive means thinking on your feet, being decisive, calculated and taking life into your own hands. Individuals who are proactive score high in levels of self-efficacy, as well as strategic and long-term thinking. They have sound judgment, initiative and they take responsibility for their lives and circumstances by being active creators of such circumstances.
They are risk managers. They plan, prepare and deliver. It’s not hard to understand why proactive leadership is fundamentally important to the success of any organization.
This is an important one. Being a good leader, especially when it comes to leadership means being people-centered. People-centered individuals tend to be compassionate and have higher levels of empathy and understanding and perception.
This is because people-centered individuals genuinely care about and want to help and understand others — qualities which have immeasurable impacts on employee performance and workplace cohesion.
In fact, the Pew Research Center cited compassion as a trait that is absolutely essential for leadership and Aussie based McCrindle Research found that the majority of individuals surveyed agree that people-centered leaders have “the most influence and impact”.
To put it point blankly — your team won’t be motivated if they don’t feel appreciated.
Supportive and generous leadership mindsets are key to achieving success at all levels of all kinds. By bringing people together, by building individuals up and listening to and addressing their concerns, we positively impact our relationships with them. Employees who see that you’ve put in the time and energy to emotionally invest in them reciprocate and leaders as such breed loyalty.
There are innumerable traits that can work together to create a successful leader and the seven qualities touched upon in this article are proven to have a direct and positive impact upon the success of an individual in a leadership position. It’s not just enough to manage expectations, teams and grow your business. Leaders must make an impact. Their purpose isn’t just profits and returns, it’s much larger than that; they’re in place to catalyze change, to foster advancement through social praxis and it takes very multidimensional and highly capable individuals to achieve this.
But when they do — the results are progression and a better society for us all. They are true agents of change — what better job could be had?
Did you know that 51% of the world population will attain smartphones by 2018? We are advancing at a rapid phase. The same is why not staying on top of trending strategies for business growth can easily set your business back and drastically affect your bottom line.
According to statistics, online advertising will become the largest medium for marketers by 2018 as it will escalate global spending to 13%!
So if you’re looking to stay on top of the trends, take a look at this seven top business trends for 2018 to stay one step ahead of your competitors in the coming new year.
1. Influencer marketing with social media
Did you know that 92% people believe an advertisement or information when endorsed by influencers? With more people now than ever tweeting, chatting and sharing their lives online, influencer marketing has become one of the most affordable marketing strategy to grow your business in 2018.
What is influencer marketing (IM)
Today, bloggers and active social media members with a high following are believed as genuine and accurate by online communities.IM is a clever way of convincing your customers to buy your products using industry experts to vouch for your company and brand.
By striking a mutually beneficial deal, you can reach and convert the target audience by using an influencer in your marketing strategy. Scientists believe brands will to create AI Influencers akin to mascots to digitally represent their mission and emerge as key influencer by 2018.
Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Influencer Marketing
GM used influencers such as Guy Kawasaki, Jason Falls, Joseph Jaffe, Robert Scoble and Dom Sagolla to boost the impressions of Chevy Volt. General Motors also created an exclusive website for the creamy-layer of their customer base to target car troubleshooting.
Redwood Creek Wine
Blaze the Trail was a mission created by Redwood Creek Wine to voice sustainable lifestyle intertwined with nature. They offer simplified ways of DIY winemaking to FAQ from prominent winemakers to emerge as a unanimous and authoritative voice as a winemaker.
How to Use Influencer Marketing for Your Business
To tap into the social media and create a hype, your influencer campaign must focus on information more than conversions.
- Create an estimate of the budget.
- Write an action plan for your goals.
- Identify Relevant Influencers
- Conduct an in-depth research on key influencers in your niche.
- Go to Google, Facebook or other social media platforms.
- Type your niche in quotes along with the keyword “blogger” or “influencer” such as, “SEO Blogger” or “Hair Styling Influencer”.
Assess the Influencer Hotspots
In order to reach the target audience as well as the influencer, you must determine where the majority of the audience hangs out such as popular blogs, forums or websites in both your industry and the influencer industry.
- Define the total number of influencers you want to use.
- Connect informally via social media with the influencer.
Test the Success or Failure
It is important to review the success or failure of your goals every few months to assess the impact of your campaign.
- Eliminate the influencers who do not add value to your brand.
- Revamp the contract of influencers who helped to make online impressions.
2. Beacon technology in marketing
An advanced technology that lets the customer and vendor know each other’s location, beacon technology when used tactically can make huge impacts for locking your target audience.
What is Beacon Technology?
Akin to a lighthouse, beacon is a tiny radio transmitter often with Bluetooth. It sends out a signal which can be seen or picked up by others in the same vicinity. Beacon does not track the customer but helps to connect with the broadcasted signal.
Referred to as proximity technology, small businesses can use the broadcast signal to target the specific needs of customers or their shopping experience or to find items offline.
Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Beacons
The retail store installed the biggest beacon of the era at its stores in San Francisco and New York with up to 4000 devices throughout the department. With the assistance of Shopkick, Macy’s tracks the movements of customers within the store to recommend personalized products.
The music festival app introduced beacon help as early as 2014. Today, if you own an American Express Card and are at Coachella, you can win prizes depending on your location at the festival. Moreover, you can also navigate around the festival with accuracy and planning, using a beacon app.
How to Use Beacon Technology for Boosting Your Marketing Impact
Enhanced Mobile Shopping Experience
- Send out deals and promotional offers depending on where the customer is.
- Alert the customer with offers based on their past shopping history.
Beacon helps you connect with the customer directly as statistics show 84% people use smartphones during shopping. From personalized welcome messages to punctual discounts, a beacon can target your customers with promotional ads too.
- Ask to link the social media accounts of your customers while they are in the store.
- Actively seek feedback from customers.
As blockchain nullifies the middlemen often seen in centralized transactions such as notaries and brokers, 2018 will see many companies decentralizing their transactional modules.
What is Blockchain
Expected to revamp the business architecture with dimension data in 2018, Blockchain works by decentralizing transactions. It does so by recording the cryptocurrency transactions in a chronological order. Perhaps the most prominent digital currency using blockchain is known as Bitcoin.
Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Blockchain
A smart renting company lets users into blockchain technology using escrow and smart funding. Paid via blockchain contracts, Slock lets the customer and seller approve transactions via their smartphones using a Smart Lock.
Employed to reduce overhead costs in international transactions, MasterCard provided transparent ledgers of the transaction to the parties involved in the transactions. Having over 35 patents for the new technology, MasterCard uses cryptocurrency Ethereum for global contracts.
How to Use Blockchain to Grow Your Business
As a blockchain is infamous for storing accurate information for every transaction, citing a problem is effortless and quick. Tracking supply has helped vendors such as Walmart to track food movements within 2.2 seconds while it took 7 days sans the blockchain technology.
Also referred to as Escrow protection, smart contract lets both parties in a contract carry out transactions automatically minus downtime that disrupts the ongoing contract. The unbendable rules of blockchain override financial regulations.
From reducing the total time to cite an error to completing cross-border transactions without a hassle, blockchain can also open you to the advanced cryptocurrency. Bitwage is such a company that uses Bitcoin to roll salaries to employees.
The most awaited business evolution in 2018 will be automation of business processes.
What is Automation
Also referred to as business Automation, BPA or business process automation is a technique of creating an automatic series of actions to run a business. For marketing, automation eases customer data integration to advertising and lead generation while business automation speeds up tasks by bringing down capital costs.
Success Stories of Businesses that Have Used Automation
The first retail robot of the nation now works as a shopping assistant at Orchard Supply Hardware in San Jose. Lowes’ robots are called oshbots that help customers and managers locate items in the store.
One of the most popular websites right now, Buzzfeed has a diverse variety of automated emails according to the user’s choice such as Health, Beauty, Animals, and Entertainment and so on.
How to Use Automation for Your Business
Combine and Track Data
As automation processes can be used to track leads in addition to generating them, it will help your business grow. When specific software for BPA are used, it helps to filter the research and grow the business quicker than while using manual processes.
You can use MailChimp, Aweber or Mad Mimi to send thousands of emails at once to your subscribers. As the same can be scheduled to fit with a routine sans micromanagement, automated email services are a must-have for any e-commerce today.
With up to 96% B2B marketers using videos to promote and boost reach and engagement, 2018 is expected to bring video ads to search engines too.
What is Video Marketing?
Using video or motion picture content to create promotional ads about your product is called video marketing. From answering questions to creating trailers for events and even 3600-view of the products, there are many ways to use video marketing to grow your customers exponentially.
Success Stories of Businesses That Have Effectively Used Video Marketing
All you need to begin live video to engage quick viewers is the social media platform Facebook and a good webcam. With live streaming via Facebook Benefit Cosmetics added over 25000 views to their shows!
By providing onboarding videos to proactively use the services, a prominent graphic design service named Canva used tutorial videos. Until then, users shied away from using the design platform, which changed drastically after introducing the video content.
How to Use Video Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business
Most people find it easy watch a video for speedy comprehension than reading or listening to audio. You can create videos after asking questions on your official business forum with customers or conducting polls to find trending questions.
Demonstration of Products
Short videos can be created to provide a demo of your product and how it works in reality. It can show the functionality of the product, benefits and how it should be used for optimum performance.
The current trend in video marketing involves featuring your best fans to give a video testimonial as 51% marketers vouch for video as the best tool for ROI. With 65% visual learners, video testimonials boost the emotional engagement with the content.
6. Mobile Optimization
What is Mobile Optimization?
Modifying the design, content, font and resolution of your webpage to adapt to mobile screens is known as mobile optimization. You can also use mobile optimization with high-end tools such as WordPress to automatically alter the website content to match with the user’s device.
Success Stories of Businesses that Have Used Mobile Optimization
A travel website, Skyscanner optimized their website to mobile and furthermore to the world of apps to receive a huge response from the customers. It grew 12 times more users than the usual rate with 10 times better loyalty and engagement.
A Latin American home delivery services for commodities to cash, Rappi engaged 50% more users 2.8 times better results after optimizing the service for mobile users.
How to Optimize your Business for Mobile Technology 2018
Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Using an appealing font style and size that is easily readable on multiple smartphones is the best cue for an RWD. Your loading speed to landing page strategies, many factors come together to create an RWD.
Using Mobile SEO Strategies
With half the traffic online accounting to mobile users it is easier to convert your traffic with mobile optimization. Moreover, Google favors websites with mobile optimization if your page is SEO rich and uniquely valuable.
Tools to Automatically Adapt Webpage for Mobiles
You can also use CRM tools that can automatically modify your page to fit the width and specs of the mobile viewed from. You can also use sales funnel techniques to other professional services to improve the engagement and conversion rate of your content.
7. Augmented Reality
With Apple and Google set to bring ARKit and ARCore, Augmented Reality will be the biggest trend of 2018, thanks to the mushroom growth of mobile users in the past decade.
What is Augmented Reality (AR)
Distinct from Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality refers to the enhancement of one’s physical world while AR displaces the reality with a simulation.
Success Stories of Business that used AR
The official IKEA AR app offers the experience of digitally trying-out furniture for your home using the internet and a smartphone.
As Pokemon Go received $600 million in mobile AR technology, there are no limits to how you can implement the same for a business today.
How to use Augmented Reality in Your Business
For employees and customers, AR can bring varied goodies. While employees from remote destinations can be trained using AR, customer feedback and engagement spikes with AR apps. It is expected that in the future, users can repair things via a smartphone by pointing the camera at it.
You can use the technology to offer your customers to do a trial run of your product with AR. For example, if you own a jewelry shop, create an AR app for customers to try the jewelry before purchase.
In a Nutshell
With critics discussing digital revolution to augmented reality and robot assistants, 2018 is expected to change the face of advertising as we know it. Statistics predict 47% businesses will develop official apps for their business by the end of 2018!
Are you ready for the challenging trends of business growth for 2018?