Boost Social Media Optimization for Enhanced Traffic

This is the age of social media. Social media activity is the single most largest activity being performed on the internet presently with a huge number of tweets being tweeted, videos being uploaded on YouTube, status updates posted on Facebook and career related content uploaded on LinkedIn every second. In short, social media has become a new tool of expression for the new age society. Thus social media optimization (SMO) assumes greater significance if you want to drive more traffic to your website. SMO was originally designed to drive traffic from the bookmarking sites and social networks. However, due to the explosion in the social media activity on the internet, SMO also has a positive effect on the SEO parameters of any site. A good SMO strategy will attract traffic from both the direct social sites and even from the search engines.

SMO Activities
Due to the primacy of social networks today, SEO stands to get benefitted by SMO activities.

The concept of social media optimization was first floated by rohit bhargava in his article ‘the 5 rules of social media optimization’ in the year 2006. In this article, Rohit emulates the importance of social media optimization to attract traffic to any website and how important role SMO plays in driving traffic from the social media sites to your website. Even the definition of SMO in Wikipedia recognizes this fact and as per Wikipedia, SMO plays a key role that is akin to SEO and optimizes the content so that it could be shared easily across the social media channels.

While the initial focus of the SEO was on link ability and easy bookmarking, the priorities have changed since the social media scenario has undergone a lot of transformation with the passage of time. The user recommendations are playing a huge role to rank up the pages and websites in the search engine page results. Looking at the SEO efforts from a traditional point of view, it focused more on the technical aspects of the website. However, all this has changed due to the constant changes in the Google’s search algorithm where digital marketers are focusing more on the user experience (UX) and even the quality of the content itself that is being shared. More often, the content that has the most shares, most comments, most social proof that it is being liked by people is going to produce the best results in the SMO rather than just blind sharing of any social media post. Focusing on quality rather than the quantity is the key towards SMO.

Quality is the Key Towards SMO
Focusing on quality rather than the quantity is the key towards SMO.

However, social proof and social signals may not just be confined to the number of shares or the size of an individual’s network. The quality of interactions that the person does is by far more valued than the number of people that particular individual is having in his or her account. With the vast strides that have been made in machine learning and artificial intelligence and also big data, now increasingly the huge multitude of data that is been produced by the social networks is now being analyzed by the algorithms of say Facebook and they are taught to consider many more parameters rather than just the number of shares or the number of comments on the particular post before defining what in terms of machine language can be termed as a valuable piece of social media posting. In this context, you may be tempted to opt for quantity over quality and may think that one way to SMO of your content is to join every Facebook or LinkedIn group out there and post the link of your content, sharing endlessly just for the sake of sharing without looking at the relevancy of the content shared in that particular group. This is however is very wrong way of approaching SMO.

This kind of behavior is not only intimidating to other users but it is also counterproductive. This kind of behavior diminishes your authority and the poster of quality posts that have value and the moment your posts are seen by users, they are likely to unfollow you or hide your posts from their Facebook news stream or may even report your content as spam. Machine learning makes things even worse for you. If the algorithm discovers that there is no interaction with your posts and links, such as sharing, commenting or liking, the algorithm would conclude that your content is not valuable. Thus, the more quantitative approach you make towards your SMO efforts, the more your content may not be valued in the form of user generated activities and your authority diminishes.

Keeping this context in view, Joshua Berg, one of the leading authorities of SMO has advocated a seven step model for social media optimization named REALSMO, which is described as follows:

1. Reputation

You have to ensure that the type of content you post promotes you as an expert in your field. You don’t always have to promote original content that you have written, but, if you can be the source of credible information and info that is interesting and has a high social value, even though it is from some other source other than you, it goes a long way in establishing your credibility as the originator of good and interesting sharable content. All this will make you a respected and a qualified source. In addition to this, your reputation of how you engage and help people online would go in a long way in establishing as a credible source. It will be enhanced if you openly share your content and expertise including content that is not your own, engage with your viewers through discussions and commenting and generally being helpful and nice with people.

2. Engagement

No man is an island, and this tenet holds true especially in the era of social media. You need to actively engage with your viewers and be a participant in their every activity with your website. This can be in the form of comments, shares, likes and plus ones. You should besides sharing your content also share good quality content produced by others and give your expert comments and feedback. One way to enhance user experience (UX) on your website is to make it easy for people to interact with you and also with each other. You may find that communities on LinkedIn and Google plus are far more active and people are willing to engage themselves in lively discussions on these sites in the groups they are listed in. You should also encourage people to comment on the content that you have created. This serves for you as a valuable feedback and also helps in raising the social media quotient of the content that you have created, so user engagement is much more beneficial to you.

3. Authority

There are many dimensions to authority and it doesn’t come easily. Search engine algorithms are keen in determining what individuals and brands are seen as authoritative and trusted by real people on the internet. The most obvious way you can do is by gaining Google Authorship. Gaining Google Authorship not only helps you in establishing yourself as an expert in the eyes of your audience but also serves to highlight your profile prominently in search results. So, in order to gain the two pronged benefit of gaining the status of authority and being in the top rankings of the search results, you cement your presence on the social media scene. Being an authority also helps you gain the trust of your readers and audience, since they tend to trust you more if your audience views you as an authority on certain subjects.

Google Authorship
Being an authority helps you gain the trust of your audience

4. Leadership

Leadership consists of high quality research, thinking and original content production. A trait of a good leader will be that they research everything they can about their areas and then share thoughtful insights which is based on their own judgment, experience and analysis. This adds value to the kind of content they are creating and this will definitely attract more visitors and audience to the content they are creating. In contrast, if you consistently generate poor quality content, then you will lose the trust and respect of your audiences and your content will consequently not be shared on the social media. As a leader, you can also play the role of a content curator. This means you don’t have to share your original content every time in order to establish yourself as a leader in your area. If you just give your thoughtful insight or just add a good summary to the content that others have produced, your job is done.

5. Social

For the sake of social media optimization (SMO), you also need to build high quality networks, where in network quality potentially matters more than the number of members you have in your network. You can begin by connecting to experts and authority figures in your field, read what they say, engage them in a discussion through your comments and shared insights and also share your ideas. Thus, it is not just the number of people you have in your network, by the manner you are able to curate your relationship with your network members and trying to establish a one on one relation with the members in your groups, especially the experts, will go in a long way in your SMO efforts.

6. Media platforms

It is very important that you focus on the right kind of platforms and communities that are relevant and related to your audience. You need to do a little bit of research here and find out where does your audience hang out? Some platforms are more effective in improving the SEO benefits of SMO than other platforms. Google plus is a pertinent example of this. Google is trying hard to give you all the credit for your shared links to the degree they deserve.

7. Optimization

Optimization is a vast subject in itself and consist of a number of topics. Broadly speaking, if you make your share buttons prominent and make it easy for your audience so that they are able to share your content easily, then your job is then. This also adds to the social proof and by demonstrating a number of shares of your generated content, you are able to establish yourself as a thought leader and an authority. You should also try to group subscription options such as email, RSS and newsletters. In addition, making your audience to easily comment on say your blog post will also go in a long way in establishing your credibility and optimizing your content. Hence, you should use social login options to make it easy for users to comment. Also, besides all this, you should optimize your title tags for sharing, especially on Twitter, where there is a character limit and you should also include your name. Last but not the least, do try to include as many images as possible as pictures speak a thousand words. Include pictures that add value and can be used as a thumbnail for your content.

Leverage the Power of ASP.net for an Awesome Experience

The major point of contention and consideration while undertaking a fairly big web development projects are the ever accelerating cost of such projects. However, considering the long term impact, it is quite important that the development platform that is selected is flexible and as well as scalable. It is very important to possess such a kind of website architecture that allows you to accelerate the solutions that you have used in the website that has been developed. In the present day scenario, besides considering the UX (user experience), the website developers want customized results, excellent performance and an ease of deployment. In addition, further enhancement to the site that has been developed should be done at a minimal cost. To address all such concerns, ASP.net eCommerce is an excellent platform for website development that caters to all such aspects of functionality and solution concerns.

ASP.net is a handy tool for efficient development of websites

The ASP.net web platform was developed by Microsoft several years ago and now in its present form can be used to build complex solutions and applications such as eCommerce websites, inventory management solutions and a customized CRM solutions. If you are looking for a customized development of your website, faster web applications and higher dependability and performance, ASP.net programming is an ideal tool for the development of your website and should act as an ideal tool for the architecture of your website.

Whether you are looking for a complicated business to business (B2B) solutions or a simple system for the content management of your website in which you can easily update and maintain the web content of your site, the solutions and flexibility provided by ASP.net is cost effective and delivers a high standard of performance. In addition, an existing system can be easily upgraded and customized as per your current needs using the ASP.net services. What makes ASP.net eCommerce website development stand out from the rest is the fact that they can be highly customized and these tools can meet your high expectations that exceed industry standards.

By using the ASP.net eCommerce website development platform for your eCommerce website, you get a powerful web application that accelerates the productivity of the sales department of your company. In addition, you will be able to reduce the cost of your operations by reducing the requirements for resources and by automating a major part of your business process. ASP.net web platform also makes the ASP.net eCommerce developers happy from a security point of view by enhancing its security using a 120 bit encryption algorithm.

Build highly flexible and scalable websites using ASP.net

In the end, it is emphasized once again that by using the ASP.net eCommerce website development facility, your company can not only enjoy the various benefits of flexibility and scalability, but you will also get a high quality and a low cost website that runs keeping in mind your every requirement. This will bring more customers to your eCommerce website, boosting your sales and reducing your operations cost. Thus, for developing an eCommerce website, the ASP.net eCommerce website development tools are a must.

How To Select Products For Dropshipping eCommerce Business

Dropshipping eCommerce business is a fantastic business to be in as it’s lucrative and hassle free. The beauty of starting eCommerce business with drop shipping is that the eCommerce merchant can sell the products without owning them, i.e., when the customers buy the product online, the company that owns the merchandise will ship the product directly to the customer. Awesome, isn’t it? So if you are aspiring for a successful business, this is it. Start your own dropshipping eCommerce website and know how to make money by dropshipping. But to start the business, you need to decide on the product that you are going to sell.

Start eCommerce Dropship Website

Market demand:

For selecting the product, the first thing you need to do is measure the market demand and figure out the supply side. Unless there’s a demand for the product, you can’t supply it and become profitable. You will get a fair idea of market demand through the following sources:

  • eBay and Amazon categories: To know which products are the most popular ones in the market, check out eBay and Amazon categories. Although it has hundreds of categories, the most viewed categories are at the very top, indicating their popularity.
  • Compete.com: This source will offer you tons of information about any website that you want. The offered information includes traffic, most viewed items, location of advertisements and what not. However, this paid service is bit on the steep side.
  • Google trends: With this service you can find all the information about a particular part, i.e., demographics, search volume and seasonality of the product.
  • Watchcount.com: Designed for eBay, this free service will help you gather data about how many watchers are viewing a particular product and which products are selling like hot cakes.

Analyze your niche:

Once you have decided on the product, you need to analyze its current market and feasibility of initiating its business. For analyzing the niche, consider the following factors.

  • Selling price: The selling price is quite important. Cheaper the products, easier to sell. The perfect price range of selling the products is $100-$200. Also, when you are selling inexpensive products, you will get less emails and phone calls. So consider these while deciding on the price range.
  • Market size: It becomes easier to sell products when the market size is big. If the market size is small, you will have problems converting visitors into paying customers.
  • Market age: Make sure that your target audience is neither below 18 or seniors requiring care givers. They should be savvy enough to be independent online shoppers.
  • Product rarity: How widely available the product that you are trying to sell is? If it’s easily available, why would anyone approach you? Wouldn’t they just go to the local store and buy it from there?
  • Product obsolescence: Selling a product that won’t go out of fashion or become obsolete is a smart decision. When the product is there to stay, it becomes easy to build a website around it. However, this is not possible for the products that go out of fashion after few months.
  • Product seasonability: If your product is seasonal, understand it clearly that you will be able to sell it only during seasons and not throughout the year.
  • Product size and weight: Picking a product that costs a small fortune to ship is a bad decision. Pick a product which doesn’t weigh much and shipping will be a breeze.
  • Profit: Ideally, you want to shoot for the profit of 75% to 100%. This way, even after paying for all the overheads, you will end up with decent amount of profit.

Do you need help to start ecommerce dropship website? Ydeveloper is there for you. Our business consultants will help you analyze your business prospects and set up eCommerce website that’s painless yet beneficial.

Use Twitter As Marketing Tool For Your eCommerce Site

It’s an era of social media. Literally. Having a strong social media marketing idea is more important than sending out flyers to prospective customers. Twitter is one of the top social network that you can use to push up your sales. Are you wondering how? Read on to find out.

  • Create Twitter Content Calendar as a part of your Social Content Calendar
Use Twitter As Marketing Tool For Your eCommerce Site
Use Twitter As Marketing Tool For Your eCommerce Site

If you don’t know what to tweet daily, set up a Twitter content calendar to help you along. For example, on Mondays you can launch Twitter-only promotions and include offer codes exclusively for followers; on Tuesdays, you can share your product’s information through images or videos; and so on.

  • Embed Twitter widget on website

Make it easy for visitors to share your products on Twitter by embedding Twitter into your website. Use Twitter’s embed options such as Timeline, Tweet button and Follow button to make your content easy to share.

  • Link your email account with Twitter

When you have an email account linked with Twitter, you will be able to import customer list into your Twitter account. Once you do this, Twitter will help you identify new prospective followers.

  • Follow customers

Take interaction with your customers to the next level by interacting with them on Twitter. Follow them and engage with them on the platform.

  • Retweet relevant content

If you come across content that your users may find helpful, do not hesitate to retweet it. They will definitely appreciate it.

  • Use hashtags in Tweets

Hashtags are great to group content according to the topics. So find existing conversations relating to your products and brand through hashtags. Or you can start a new conversation using new hashtags.

  • Garner feedback

To improve your business, you have to know what you customers think of you. So ask the right questions to your customers to garner feedback, and use this information to improve overall user experience.

  • Use Twitter for customer service

It’s highly likely that majority of your customer base is on Twitter. So be available to your customers through Twitter. They should feel free to approach you anytime on Twitter.

Do you use Twitter innovatively to boost your eCommerce business? If so, tell us how.

Why Small Business Fail to Make a Cut in The eCommerce World

Customer is the king. Though it may seem the most clichéd line of the century, it still holds too much weight in the eCommerce space. However, most small businesses take client’s perspective with a grain of salt. Consequently, their eCommerce business suffers. If small business really want to make a cut in the eCommerce space then they should really consider other successful eTailers who are good at attracting customers in big numbers. Figure out whether your small business is making any of these big eCommerce mistakes.

Why Small Business Fail to Make a Cut in The eCommerce World

1. Not informing customers about your store’s uniqueness:

The most common mistake small eCommerce businesses make is that they fail to state a clear value proposition. Small wonder they get lost in a sea of eCommerce sites. There are more than 200,000 eCommerce sites in the United States alone. Powerful ecommerce store development and customization should give customers a reason to shop on your online store.

Find out what makes you stand apart from your competition:

  • Is it your superior product selection?
  • Is it your customer service?
  • Is it your economical prices?
  • Is it your loyalty or reward program?

Zero down on the one that makes your eCommerce store tick, and then play it up with eye-catching headlines and short copies throughout your site.

2. Displaying Low Quality Product Images:

In the online world, images do the selling. As the customers cannot touch and feel the product, the quality of the images should be powerful enough to impress the customers. Moreover, it should have the flexibility to enlarge the image as well, as you can view it from multiple angles.
Plus, your product description should contain all the information that a customer is looking forward to such as:

  • Dimensions
  • Materials
  • Available colors and sizes
  • Anything unique or beneficial

3. Not giving due weightage to Customer Trust:

Everyone knows and trusts eCommerce giant Amazon. Why? Because it offers a secure payment gateway. But small business owners have to do a lot more to attract customers. For instance, for their secure payment gateways they need to show authentication logos and other credentials, as shoppers keep looking for signs to ensure that they are entering a secure payment. So small businesses should include a padlock icon and https URL prefix, and recognizable authentication logos from a trusted SSL certificate authentication provider like VeriSign, Comodo, or Godaddy.

In case your site isn’t verified by a trusted authentication source, customers may not entrust their credit card or bank account details to you.
Other factors that help build consumer trust include modern, clean design and a customer review system that helps shoppers read and leave reviews of products and services.

4. Ignoring Checkout Process

You may have come up with a great site, but if your checkout process is confusing and complex, all the product listing, compelling descriptions and advanced security measures won’t be enough to attract customers.

So, ensure that your checkout solution is streamlined and simple for customers like Amazon did it for its customers. The retail giant’s one-click ordering system makes it easy to buy and encourages repeat business.

Plus, make shipping rates and policies easy and clear, and also have proper return policies and customer service contact information for all channels possible – phone, email, or even instant chat.

By executing these best practices your small business can achieve big gains in eCommerce.