9 Creative Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business Today!

Creative Ideas for Profiting Iin 2012!

There is no doubt about it, marketing your business on the internet is evolving every day. But as a savvy business entrepreneur you need to put in place your own strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

Putting in place these strategies don’t have to be difficult because you don’t need some rocket science to do that. Whether you pick them up in the course of running your business online or you simply decide to put a “twist” on what you see others doing, as long as they serve your purpose they are justified.

In this post I want to present you with a few creative marketing ideas which could help boost your business profits any day! Read them and feel free to adapt them to your peculiar marketing needs. Pick two or three from the list and work on mastering them. I bet you will be the better for it!

So here we go:

1. Increase Your Visibility Through Co-Operating With Your Competitors

There’s one fact about running any form of business and that is, regardless of what business you are in, every penny you earn comes as a result of the cooperation of other people. These could be employees, suppliers, partners or customers. Another group of people who are very important but we want to stay away from are our competitors.  But instead of staying away from them or fighting them, you could team up with them and start an association geared towards your specific industry. By simply partnering with them you could increase your visibility and exposure which will ultimately increase your profits.

2. Leverage The Efforts Of Your Customers

Your customers could actually be your best sales people because satisfied customers will eagerly spread the word about your product or service. However, to better encourage them to do this, start an affiliate program. The benefit of receiving an income for telling their friends about your product will be an added incentive to spread the word. This is a good way of multiplying your marketing and advertising efforts and increasing your profits.

3. Improve Your Business by Being a Good Listener

Customer feedback has always been a powerful tool for businesses in knowing how to better serve their markets. Today listening to what your market is saying is much easier to do.

Do a search for your business name using either Google or the social media sites. Chances are you will find comments that could help you improve your business. A comment complaining about your customer service, your web site design, product, etc will help you know what to improve.

4. Covertly Encourage People to Link to Your Business Website

We all know the importance of backlinks in gaining visibility on the search engines. Online entrepreneurs have always created backlinks by encouraging reciprocal links. How about some creative ideas that will encourage one way backlinks to business website? For example, you could offer a discount on one of your products and encourage your customers to link to your site to qualify for the offer. They could create the back links on their social media profiles or if they have blogs, make a post mentioning your offer.

5. Add A “PR” Page to Your Business Website

One good way you can create more visibility for your online business is by getting into the news. You can do this by adding a “PR” page to your site. Allow your site visitors to submit newsworthy items to be published on this page. This could attract the media and soon your site could be the “go-to” site for the latest news.

6. Provide a Free Online Directory on Your Site

Like the “PR” page, you can add a free directory of interesting downloadable e-books on your site. If people find your directory to be a valuable resource, they will visit it over and over again. This will not only increase traffic to your site but also increase the reach as your visitors spread the word about your free directory.

7. Hold Free Online Classes Or Webinars

I’ve seen a similar idea being used by Adrienne Smith of AdrienneSmith.net. Offering a live informative training on your site will definitely entice people to visit your web site. If you do this very well, you may just become the go-to expert in your topic area. These classes or webinars could be held weekly or monthly to get people to revisit your web site again and again.

8. Offer Free Consulting For Your Site Visitors

Depending on your business, you could establish your expertise and thereby increase your clientele by simply offering free consulting on your web site. This could be offered via e-mail or by telephone. Skype is another good medium to use. Considering the cost of consultancy, people will place much value on your free consulting and as they talk about it on the social media sites they will simply be offering free promotion for your business.

You could simply add another stream of income to your business by recording or saving the information you give out and creating a product you could sell or give away for more exposure.

9. Create a Free Group on Facebook or Linkedin and Make Your Business Website the Official Site

A Facebook group can be a power traffic generating tool for your business site. Linking your business site as the official site for the group will greatly create visibility for your site. You can also design membership graphics for members to place on their sites. As more and more people come to know of the group and become members so also the popularity of your site will increase. This’ll increase your repeat visitors and sales.

These ideas may not really be new but you can use them as idea generators for enhancing your business operations this year 2012. Your success with these marketing strategies will greatly depend on how you are able to apply them to your peculiar circumstances.

Over to you: Are implementing any of these creative ideas in your marketing right now? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

How to Avoid Google’s Wrath When Building Back-links Using Blog Commenting!

blog commenting for backlinksJust this Monday in our community time out discussion, I related a story of how a site owner contacted me asking to remove all links pointing to his site from my blog!

At first I was surprised why he wanted those links removed since we all do love backlinks – at least they are good for our search rankings or are they no more important!

However, I knew somehow that something must be wrong on his end, possibly Google’s wrath must have fallen on the site. And true to my presumption, when he later replied it was just as I thought.

RECOMMENDED: 5 Blog Commenting Mistakes to Avoid!

But then, his reply raised some questions in my heart but since I was more concerned with helping this person, I went on to remove the links and left it at that.

The Question of Building Backlinks with Blog Comments Revisited

But then, I saw a Comment by Harleena, who said,

“When you say that Google doesn’t like more than 3-4 links being exchanged between sites, do they include the links earned through commenting? Personally, I doubt this could be the case, as then people will avoid commenting on each other’s blogs or sites, and the web would lose its meaning.

I’ve been commenting at my friend’s blogs who are not in my niche, so would that be detrimental to both of us?”

This is in response to what the site owner said in his email (Harleena that was not said by me!). Here again is the graphic:

blog commenting problems graphic

Harleena’s question moved me to again consider this issue of building back-links with blog commenting as a strategy. Please note the issues in that question,

>>> When you say that Google doesn’t like more than 3-4 links being exchanged between sites, do they include the links earned through commenting?

>>> I’ve been commenting at my friend’s blogs who are not in my niche, so would that be detrimental to both of us?

I’m sure this is also a concern to you, right?

To me it was, at first, but a second look at the site concerned and Google’s demands, I discovered that this is not a problem for blogs and sites with good and valuable content!

This is made clear from Google’s Panda and Penguin Updates, which this site had, ran afoul of. (I wrote a detailed article comparing Google’s Panda and Penguin Update sometime ago. You are advised to read for better understanding of this issue.)

In this post I will simply highlight the possible areas our dear friend has violated Google’s terms which warranted the sledge hammer from Google!

1.    Low-Value Add For Users:

When Google announced the Panda Update in early 2011, Google stated:

“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

This is one area which the site in question violated. The site in question is an e-commerce site, featuring only product information without enough user-centric content. From all indication there were no in-depth reports and content containing thoughtful analysis!

These were clear signals to Google that the site is of low-value to users and so, the hammer fell!

2.    Aggressive Use Of Exact-Match Anchor Text In Backlinks

This is the biggest culprit!

While removing those offensive backlinks I discovered that all the anchor text were the same! Not only that, all were the site’s primary keyword phrase which are also in the domain name!

Hey, big red flag 🙂

Yes, that was a big signal for Google.

Here again is what Google said about this in the Pengiun Update:

“Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.”

And this is what I said while writing on the Google Panda and Penguin Updates ,

“Backlinks is one big factor used by search engines to rank sites. It is quite clear that many SEO service providers now use automated link building software to generate backlinks using specific anchor texts. The simple way for the Google Penguin to pick these out is to look for a high volume of exact-match anchor text in your backlinks and your site will be flagged as engaging in webspam.”

Can you see why that site was blacklisted?

One, it lacked in-depth reports and thoughtful analysis and now it has hundreds of backlinks from my site (I’m sure the SEO provider who was using this tactic for the client must have also used hundreds of the same exact anchor text on other blogs) using the same exact anchor text in those links!

Phew, another red flag, and so…

Sorry, but here’s your RED CARD! 🙂

Now to Harleena’s questions, again:

1. When you say that Google doesn’t like more than 3-4 links being exchanged between sites, do they include the links earned through commenting?

Ans. As we have seen above, it depends on the site involved. If it’s a site with low value-add for users, simply building links with blog commenting can be dangerous.

2. I’ve been commenting at my friend’s blogs who are not in my niche, so would that be detrimental to both of us?

Ans. No! Your site is a blog with good valuable content. You have content that are insightful and in-depth in analyzing the subjects treated. Google actually love this and so rather than punish you for those backlinks, Google will love you for that!

Another Good Point For Blogs Using Blog Commenting For Backlinks

Apart from the points above, I have also discovered that this problem will not easily affect blogs for the fact that most blogs use the CommentLuv plugin which allows blogs to deep link to individual pages.  E-commerce sites using blog commenting on the other hand can only link to their home pages in the “Name” section of the comments.

With different anchor text linked using CommentLuv, blogs can actually benefit with blog commenting for building back-links. Good points to CommentLuv!

Marketing Takeaway:

E-commerce sites should find ways of adding more quality and high-value content for a better user experience. They can do this by adding a blog to the site. Besides, they should also use different anchor texts based on their target keyword phrases for backlinks. Where possible, using synonyms would be a wise step in the right direction.

Remember, Google’s Panda and Penguin are still watching!

[Before I draw the curtain let me say, thank you to Harleena for inspiring this post!]

Over to You:  What lessons did you pick up from this post? Do you have any other possible reasons why that site was penalized for building back links with blog commenting? Please share your views in your comments.

Put These three Backlink Constructing Tricks to Boost Your Traffic Now

Every good marketer or webmaster ought to know that one of the best kind of traffic if the traffic coming in from search engines. Getting ranked with the search engines can get you hundreds if not hundreds of visitors at no cost. But in an effort to obtain that it is advisable to concentrate on one of the crucial necessary on-page SEO factor and that’s link building. If you’ll be able to create prime quality links to your web site will probably be easier to rank higher. The following data will look into three suggestions for link constructing you could implement immediately. These strategies will work wonders for you whether you’re attempting to boost your ranking for a low-competition keyphrase such as “venapro reports” or something more competitive like “nutritional supplements” or “celebrity gossip.”