A professional online presence has become the most important elements of any business. Smart devices and location-based applications have brought customers closer to their local businesses. Over 15 million Canadians use their smart device to access information on local businesses every day. So it is crucial that local businesses take advantage of this opportunity of instant and effective online visibility via local search engines and local citation sites.
Here are the top five online business directories where you could instantly list your business for quick visibility and a long term online presence.
Yellow Pages Canada:
YelloPages Canada is among the top 10 websites viewed in Canada. The websites has quiet a substantial amount of user traffic both online and on mobile devices. It also supplies its data to partner sites such as Canada411.ca thus enhancing an business or brand’s exposure in a local niche.
Though not a business directory, Kijiji is a free classified ads site for Canadian local businesses. Posting your ad on this site is free. Kijiji has a huge amount of user traffic and also has an awesome social media presence, thus proving its popularity among Canadians.
HotFrog Canada is an international brand operating in around 38 countries across the globe. The site has around 15 million page views every month and over 670,000 unique site visitors. You can add your business description and even create coupons that will be visible to the web traffic specific to this site.
Profile Canada is one of the most visited local search sites in Canada, connecting customers to local businesses every month. The user traffic on the site is considerably high compared to other online local search websites. It also offers a set of tools to promote your business online called the BOB (Better Online Business).
This directory has information of more than 20,000 business registered in Canada. CanadaOne was Launched in 1998, and has since become one of the most popular directories for local businesses. The website also publishes articles, which in-turn attracts more user traffic.
Small Business Pool also offers project management and business consulting services to Small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The objective is to partner with clients to deliver customized solutions that create a lasting competitive advantage.
The tag line “Business-Web-Media” signifies the core areas of the services i.e. in the field of Business, Web & Media.
Business: Management Consulting & Planning, Strategy & Change Management, Digital Transformation, Human Resource Management, Statistical Analysis, Market Research & Surveys, Sales & Lead Generation, Virtual Assistants, Customer Service & Support.
Web: Web Programming & Design, E-commerce, Online Game Development, Scripts & Utilities, Web Plug-ins, Mobile Apps Development, Application Interface Design, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Online Advertising & PR, Media Analysis, Web Analytics, Website Content Development, Blog & Article Writing.
Media: Graphic Design, Illustration, 3D Modelling, Animation, VFX, Presentations, Corporate Video Production, Bio Videos, Commercials and Viral Marketing Videos.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with internet marketing methods to some degree. In simple terms it is a way of making money online whereby you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or website.
In another different scenario, you earn an amount for referring a visitor who takes some kind of action – for instance when a viewer signs up for something and gives their email address, where they complete a survey, where they leave a name and address etc. So it is more of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
80% of affiliate programs today use revenue sharing or pay per sale (PPS) as a compensation method, 19% use cost per action (CPA), and the remaining programs use other methods such as cost per click (CPC) or cost per mille (CPM, cost per estimated 1000 views).
With the increase in online traffic, eCommerce and digital media, businesses of all sizes are opting for Affiliate marketing methods to make money as an advertiser or a publisher.
Also lately, affiliate marketing has been working well with bloggers, because it seems to work best when there’s a relationship with trust between the publisher and their readership, and as this trust deepens that readers are more likely to follow the recommendations that a blogger makes.
With the recent rumors about Google acquiring Viewdle, an augmented reality and facial recognition start-up, we are now gradually recognizing the importance of this new so called “technology”.
In fact an average smart phone user would know what is AR or Augmented reality, but might not know that it is actually called that, and perhaps while using it, might have never even noticed it.
In simple words: Augmented reality is the art of super-imposing of computer generated content over a live view of the world. It is rather literally the practice of enhancing what’s already around us. Well, in other words, it is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. The main hardware components for augmented reality are: processor, display, sensors and input devices.
More specifically in context to mobile technology, augmented reality systems use one or more of the following tracking technologies: digital cameras and/or other optical sensors, accelerometers, GPS, gyroscopes, solid state compasses, RFID and wireless sensors. These technologies offer varying levels of accuracy and precision. Most important is the position and orientation of the user’s head. Tracking the user’s hand(s) or a handheld input device can provide a 6DOF interaction technique.
The future of augmented reality is undoubtedly brilliant, even as it already has found its way into our cell phones and video game systems. Just imagine the possibilities: you may learn things about the city you’ve lived in for years just by pointing your AR-enabled phone at a nearby park or building.
With so many new business ideas, innovations and startup ventures emerging in the World Wide Web, it is now time that we start recognizing this constantly evolving and growing phenomenon i.e. content creation or rather content strategy.
Content in simple terms means gathering, researching, editing and creating information for publication, more specifically, online content. From a business stand point it means shifting your “me-centric” business approach to a more “sharing knowledge” kind of approach. So the key is to create industry specific content that does not have a direct sales or marketing theme, but has a more information driven approach.
The three most popular forms of digital content are: text, graphics and video.
Text: Website content, blog articles, white papers and ebooks are preferred textual mediums to connect with audience and provide relevant content for search engines to crawl. It is imperative that a website or business continually has new, relevant textual content in order to keep the search engine rankings as well as your target audience engaged.
Graphics or Inforgraphics: These are highly creative and attractive pieces of content that have become very popular in the recent years. Any complex data can be graphically represented through a well designed infographics. Their graphic format makes them perfect for sharing on social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest, attracting links and social signals that search engines instantly detect. In fact according to a recent Facebook survey, audiences are more likely to pay attention to attractive infographics, compared to articles or videos.
Video: Video marketing has emerged as a new and evolving marketing phenomenon. Popular video websites such as Youtube, Dailymotion and Viemo provide SEO optimized platforms for businesses to showcase their videos at zero cost. Many businesses are now recognizing the importance of video and are incorporating it into their day-to-day organizational setup, such as training video, viral videos and webcasts.
Last but not the least, never forget the importance of Repurposing i.e. to keep modifying your content that will create additional avenues and reach different niches within your audience. It also gives you a means to present content again for those who may not have seen it the first time around.
With the changing trends in digital marketing and content development, business of all sizes and shapes would need to keep pace with the new evolution in the field of marketing. The new marketing mantra is no more just about making sales; it is now all about building concepts and communities.
Here are a few upcoming trends to watch for:
Content is king: As industries and business move towards using “Organic” ways of monetizing, content becomes extremely important not just to consumers but to brands. The key is to create relevant content for your target audience. If done correctly and placed in the right situation, can have great long term benefits.
Creating cross device experience: Digital devices are becoming smarter every day. The changing trend will allow content experiences to become multi-dimensional and could dramatically lift engagement numbers for brands. Digital device application creators have the opportunity to drive a connected content experience across multiple devices.
Social communication will be seamless: With so many social platforms joining the game it would soon become difficult for businesses to stay on top of each platform. In the coming years, we will be seeing the emergence of technology providers that will make it easier to not just maintain and create workflow solutions across these social platforms, but also launch media-driven campaigns.
Location Targeting: The two main elements of any marketing campaign are reaching out to the target audience and using the right channel. With the coming of digital devices including phones and tablets, we are seeing an increasingly amount of digital media inventory tagged with location data (latitude and longitude). With this entire new data asset, marketers are giving location an increased role within the whole media planning and buying process.
According to a recent research published by eConsultancy, Organic search results on search engines such as Google and Bing pull far more traffic compared to paid search results such as PPC (Google Adwords & Microsoft adCenter). The percentage is 94% (organic) to 6% (paid). Organic search results are directly proportionate to CTR (Click – through Rates) i.e. the higher you rank on search engines, the more people click on your website and the lower you rank, the less clicks and traffic your site gets. Therefore ranking high on search engine page 1 is of ultimate value to every website.
The other interesting fact is that Women (53%) are more likely to click on paid search ads than men, who click on paid ads 47% of the time. Further, if the age group is also analyzed, younger searches are less likely to click on paid ads – 35 percent of ads are clicked on by searchers age 34 or younger. Thus, as age increases, so does the number of people clicking on those PPC ads, as 65 percent of paid ad clicks come from searchers age 35 and older. Also if we compare Google with Bing, Google is the clear leader on successful search rates, with a 91 percent successful search rate. Bing’s percentage of successful searches: 76 percent.
Online search technology is an ever changing phenomenon and is constantly going through improvements and upgrades. With search results being the starting point for many businesses and brands, there will be a time when organic search results would completely over shadow paid search, so creating quality content and ranking high on search engines should be the ultimate long term goal.