Tag Archives: Competitive Analysis

Top 7 SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Tricks for 2011

A new year comes with brand new goals, targets and challenges for everyone including bloggers and Web administrators. It is therefore no surprise that many people will be looking for some of the best and most appropriate search engine techniques that will get their respective Websites on the first page of one, most or all of the top search engines. Thus, finding the best online strategies that will assist in driving targeted results could become the determining factor for thousands of businesses and blog owners trying to stand out and take their Websites to the next level in 2011.

As a result, this article will take a look at some of the most important methods that will assist not only businesses but blogs, affiliate and individual Websites achieve their ultimate dream of getting to page one on search engine result pages (SERPs) as follows.

1. Article Marketing: Article marketing is one of the most successful search engine optimisation (SEO) action plan methods currently employed by a significant number of Internet marketers. Essentially, you will write articles with a single keyword focus and a link pointing back to your website. You then submit  those articles to article directories that post them for free. Once an article is published, it will provide a backlink to your Website that search engines can pick up. Overall, this process takes time, so patience is recommended.

anatomy-of-result-seo

2. On-Page Optimisation: This  is perhaps the oldest and most tested SEO method in the book. On-page optimisation is the first step  when it comes to optimising Web pages in order to gain necessary attention from search engines. The process consists of  using optimized keywords, title tags, alt tags on images and the use of good-natured Weblinks. Today, on-page optimization contributes a substantial amount to your page rank and if applied properly, it could significantly improve your chances of getting to the top of search engine result pages.

3. Social Media Marketing: Social-media marketing is a familiar tool today, although many Internet marketers seem to abuse it. The goal is to use social-networking Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to set yourself and your business up as an authority as well as a recognizable personality and brand that can be trusted for niche information. However, you will need to provide constant, daily value that your readers can take away from it.

4. Viral Marketing: Viral marketing, like social media marketing, is focused on attracting people to you. As a search engine method, viral marketing could be said to be the least measurable, although it can also be the most effective. Examples of viral marketing consist of: sending out free e-books, creating squeeze pages, video distribution through YouTube, and supplying free software.

5. Link Baiting: Link baiting is a search engine optimisation action plan method whereby you produce high quality content that will attract attention on its own. For example, if you had a weight loss site, you could produce an article on the Top 10 ways to lose weight naturally. The article could be massive and take hours to write, but it would also be a powerful authority resource in your chosen niche thereby drawing plenty of attention from many other websites.

6. Word of Mouth: The importance of word of mouth techniques in search engine optimisation often gets overlooked. While it may not have a very direct impact, its consequences could be massive. This approach could take the form of simply telling a friend about your site, providing avenues for others to suggest to their friends and simply distributing a business card with a simple URL pointing to your Website. By so doing, your sites gets noticed, receives more attention, attracts more visitors which equates to better reputation and ultimately better ranking ranking by search engines.

7. Trusted Site Backlinking: Although article marketing can potentially generate numerous backlinks, if you want truly valuable backlinks, you need to find trustworthy sites i.e. those that search engines like Google hold in high stature. For example, top level directories such as DMOZ or Yahoo! and major forums or information resources.

Source: techsling.com

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How to Define your Target Market

To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.

With the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.

Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some may say they target small business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.

Targeting a specific market does not mean that you have to exclude people that do not fit your criteria from buying from you. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.

For example, an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35-65 with incomes of $150,000+ in the Baton RougeLouisiana, market. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.

With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company. Here are some tips to help you define your target market.

How to Define Your Target Market: Look at Your Current Customer Base

Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.

Dig Deeper: Upselling: Dig Deeper Into Your Customer Base

How to Define Your Target Market: Check Out Your Competition

Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.

Dig Deeper: In Praise of Niche Marketing

How to Define Your Target Market: Analyze Your Product/Service

Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Next to each feature, list the benefits they provide (and the benefits of those benefits). For example, a graphic designer offers high quality design services. The resulting benefit is a professional company image. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high quality design is to gain more customers and make more money.

Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. For example, a graphic designer could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While this is still too general, you now have a base to start from.

Dig Deeper: How to Conduct Market Research

How to Define Your Target Market: Choose Specific Demographics to Target

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

    • Age
    • Location
    • Gender
    • Income level
    • Education level
    • Marital or family status
    • Occupation
    • Ethnic background

Dig Deeper: Why Demographics Are Crucial to Your Business

How to Define Your Target Market: Consider the Psychographics of Your Target

Psychographics are more personal characteristics of a person, including:

    • Personality
    • Attitudes
    • Values
    • Interests/hobbies
    • Lifestyles
    • Behavior

Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will they use the product? What features are most appealing to them? What media do they turn to for information? Do they read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?

Dig Deeper: Understanding How Your Customers Think

How to Define You Target Market: Evaluate Your Decision

Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:

    • Are there enough people that fit my criteria?
    • Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?
    • Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?
    • Can they afford my product/service?
    • Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?

Don’t break your target down too far! Remember, you can have more than one niche market. Consider if your marketing message should be different for each niche market. If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, then maybe you have broken down your market too far. Also, if you find that there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, maybe you should reevaluate your target. The trick is to find that perfect balance.

You may be asking, “How do I find all this information?” Try searching online for research others have done on your target. Search for magazine articles and blogs that talk about your target market or that talk to your target market. Search for blogs and forums where people in your target market communicate their opinions. Look for survey results, or consider conducting a survey of your own. Ask your current customers for feedback.

Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them. Instead of sending direct mail to everyone in your zipcode, you can send only to those who fit your criteria. Save money and get a better return on investment by defining your target audience.

Dig Deeper: How to Find New Customers and Increase Sales

Source: Inc.com By Mandy Porta

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Filed under Business, Competitive Analysis, Market Research, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Niche Market, Place, Price, Product, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Research, Target Market, Trends

Sources for Market Research and Competitive Analysis

Locating industry specific market data; e.g., consumer demographics, forecasted sales growth, market leaders, and product segment performance, can take a considerable amount of time and effort.  Richard K. Miller & Associates, a market research firm, makes this task much easier with its annual Market Research Handbooks.  2010 editions of the Handbooks include the Leisure Market Research Handbook, the Restaurant & Foodservice Market Research Handbook, and the Retail Business Market Research Handbook.  A complete listing of titles is accessible through the Articles & Databases link on the library website under RKMA Market Research Reports.  A new Consumer Marketing Handbook (2010) provides data on the scope and effectiveness of different kinds of advertising and customer outreach programs, including mobile apps, online marketing, multichannel marketing, and more.  When accessing the RKMA publications off-campus, you will be prompted to type in your name and 14-digit barcode number located on your Bryant student ID.

Another critical piece to analyzing a specific industry is locating data on competitors.  Though market share data is available in the Market Share Reporter (2011, print) and the Business Rankings AnnualMergent Online and the Mergent Industry Review (2011, quarterly, print) are the best sources for timely comparative financial data. Mergent Online database provides financial data on over 60,000 global publicly traded companies. Researchers can search for a company by name or by ticker, and the retrieved information will include a link to Competitors which includes Mergent’s universe of preselected competitors and data on their revenues, gross margin, net income, EBITDA, total assets and liabilities, P/E ratio, market cap, total employees, and share price.  The Mergent Industry Review, arranged by industry sector, provides data on EPS (12 months and last 3 years) and latest data on book value per share, stockholders equity, and long-term debt.  Additional company data rankings are given with categories selected depending on their relevance to the industry sector.  The publication also presents one, three and five year growth rate rankings for revenue, EPS, operating income, share price and number of employees.

For help using these resources or locating more information and data a particular market or industry, ask a librarian!

Original Source: Krupplibrary

 

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