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WordPress Shopping Carts have become a very popular extension of WordPress for individuals and businesses who would like to start selling their products or services online. With a few mouse clicks and some products, a shopping cart can turn your WordPress website into an online store ready for business. There are many shopping cart plugins available and they all offer many strengths and weaknesses. Picking one really comes down to a few simple questions.
I have installed and configured a ton of shopping carts for WordPress and I've put together this list of shopping cart plugins that I've used at one time or another. Â Some are free and some cost a few bucks but they are all used for building an online store with WordPress. I have to admit however that the PHPPurchase is probably my favorite for a number of reasons, primarily for their support, however I'm glad to work with any of the plugins below.Â I've included a video from PHPPurchase's website that goes over the features, it also does a pretty good job of explaining how shopping cart's for WordPress work all around. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, the best thing to do is a little research and make sure what ever product or service you are offering matches up with the feature set of the shopping cart plugin you end up using.
Here's the PHPPurchase video I was talking about. As you look over shopping cart solutions for WordPress, make sure to consider some of the following things.
What payment processors can it use? Here's a small list of some of the more popular ones:
I hope this helps you make a good decision on which shopping cart solution to go with. Good luck.
Your Facebook Page is your brands official social network community. It should represent what your company is, who you are serving, why they should care, and where they can go to learn more or take further action.
When people become fans of your Facebook Page, their friends are notified via News Feeds. If they click on the story, they are taken to your Facebook Page. Pages are also often used as the landing page for social ads.
To create a Page or buy ads, you have to sign up for a Facebook business account.
Most products and services fall under the Brand or ProductÂ category. If you are a smaller business focused on a specific location, you can select the Å“LocalÂ option, which Facebook has defined mostly for service oriented businesses who cater to a particular city. The last option is for artists, bands, and other public figures, such as politicians and celebrities. Once you have come up with a strategy and your set of content, actually creating a new Facebook Page is fairly straightforward. Just specify the name and type, and Facebook will generate a page template with blank sections for a company picture, description, wall, photo, video, and notes.
Use a large, high-resolution logo for your picture. Grainy pictures look unprofessional. Next, provide basic information about your company, such as when it was founded, a link to your website, company overview, mission, and list of products. To make it more entertaining and stand out, its not a bad idea to also include interesting facts such as celebrity customers, funny quotes, and brand trivia. Last, but not least, you can use Facebook Markup Language (FBML) to customize the Pages look and feel using HTML and Flash. You might want to make this consistent with your brand look and feel elsewhere. Some companies choose to purposely create a completely different look and feel to bring fresh perspective to the brand.
One of the biggest challenges associated with email marketing campaigns is establishing meaningful contact with customer targets in order to increase sales, while protecting and enhancing your brand. Successful email marketing designed to drive sales and build brands requires adopting a methodology that includes more precise prospect targeting, better permission-based models, a better overall consumer experience and better quality lists.
Better targeting translates directly into better response rates. Accurate customer profiling, which looks at demographic information related to consumers, business industry type and company size, is needed to define the target market. Knowing more about the target company or individual leads to messages with a high degree of relevance and therefore, impact: the higher the relevance, the better chance that the intended message will break through the clutter.
Any customer or potential customer will be more apt to read an email from a trustedsource. In building a permission-based email list, it is now much better to go beyond a single opt-in where the customer gives the OK just once and use double opt-in instead. Companies like Aweber even offer a non-branded video or audio double opt-in as part of their service. While some marketers may see this as an unnecessarily high goal, double opt-in reinforces the relationship with the customer, serving as a reminder that they have granted their permission, and improves the likelihood that the emails will be opened.
Marketers need to also keep in mind that simply inundating their customers with too many irrelevant messages will deteriorate customer relationships and counter any long-term loyalty goals. The emphasis needs to be on the quality of the experience. Relevance, personalization and segmentation all add to the overall user experience.
And finally, list selection can make or break the success of any campaign. However, few list owners and managers understand how to best develop such lists. It isimportant to find a source that can provide accurate data. A highly targeted, accurate,permission-based list is a valuable asset-- the more accurate the information, thebetter delivery of your messages. Furthermore, a successful email marketing program should encompass a multi-phased approach that provides an unprecedented ability to reach a targeted group of prospects by combining data compilation, sourcing and analysis to produce real results.
Podcasts are usually recorded and edited using home equipment and done for the love of it. There is specialized podcasting software available like Apples Garage Band or QuickTime Pro. These packages make it quite simple to record, mix and format the audio files correctly. Just like bloggers, though, many podcasters are trying to figure out ways of making money from their podcasts and turning listeners into revenue. A lot of people are producing music podcasts. This has meant a huge move to circumvent traditional rights issues about downloading music from the Internet. There is now a large body of music that is classified podsafe. This has either been composed, especially for podcasts or the artist has specifically decided that they want their music to be available via the net for all who want to hear it.
Radio stations have realized that they have a whole new way of using their content. They began packaging their output so that fans could listen to their favorite shows whenever they wanted to (without the music). NPR was one of the innovators of supplying their shows via podcasts, now almost every radio station around the world does the same thing. Educators and teaching institutions have latched on to podcasting as a way of sharing content and providing tuition for learners who cannot be present at lectures or tutorials.
The corporate world is also realizing that podcasting can add huge value to their communications mix. The term podcast is increasingly being used to cover any audio or video that is embedded in an organizations web site.
Podcasts offer an incredible opportunity for marketers. The bottom line is that you now have a way of getting content to your target markets without having to persuade a media channel to carry it or to pay huge advertising rates.Podcasts are:
However, the content must be:
Online reputation management becomes vital when a potential customer searches for your company on a search engine only to find damaging information about your business on the top of the search results. Â Since almost 100% of internet searchers use the first three search engine results, a negative reflection of your company's image can take its toll on business. There are several scenarios which would cause this to happen but typically it is when someone posts a negative review on sites like RipOffReport, Yelp, Epinion or Angie's List. TheÂ predominantÂ issue regarding negative information is that instead of someone telling their friends or family, it is viewed by thousands and thousands of people. This can inflate small issues that may not have been handled properly make your organization look much worse than it actually is. With that being said, most businesses don't have any problem getting their corporate website to the number one position on Bing, Google, and Yahoo. The problem comes about when negative content dominates the rest of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) as well. In these types of situations businesses need to administer online reputation management to salvage their good name and increase traffic and visibility of their brand in a positive light. The administration of managing your company's online reputation is not easy, it takes time and patience, but it's much better than the alternative. Try to envision the search results page as a piece of virtual real estate your company needs to acquire. It's going to take a lot of planning and time to develop your real estate. But if you don't own your real estate, it will own you.
Add multiple search results for your business pushing the negative content below the fold, or the part of the page not seen when the results are returned in your browser. There are many ways to accomplish this but the most effective way is by using social media, mini-blog posting, and press releases.
Your strategy is to push negative search results below the fold with a combination of actions.
Create and promote your company's social media profiles. There are many authoritative social networks that you can setup profiles with that will quickly show up on top of the search results page.Â This is a short list of sites I recommend that are updated several times a day.
All profiles should at least include the following details:
One-, two-, and three-word domain names are at a premium. But with a little imagination, you can find short domain names that are easy for users to remember. You might consider adding "The" or "My" to a short domain name just might be available (thevideoplace.com or myvideoplace.com, for example). Adding a number at the end can also help you find short domain names that are available (rosegardening101 or photography101 for example).
If you have to take a longer domain name in order to include your keyword, take the longer domain name. This makes it easy for your customers, and the search engines, to find you.
This will ensure that competitors won't be able to use a business name or domain name similar to it to steal customers. Trademarks are invaluable, and companies go to great lengths to protect them. Trademarks are what make a business memorable, and your domain name needs to establish your trademark. You can do it with your own name ("videosbymark.com," "backyardgardeningbyleon.com"). Names can also be placed at the beginning of a domain name ("johnsphotos.com" or "johnsbackyardgardening.com")Â It must be free of legal conflicts with trademarks belonging to other businesses. There are laws that forbid using brand names that are owned by others. You might find out that tvsbybestbuy.com is available. It might even attract a few customers. But you can be sure that it will come to the attention of Sears, and it will be brought to the attention of their attorneys. You'll spend a lot of time and money in court defending yourself.
When you're choosing a domain name, be sure to print it out exactly like it will be used in the address bar and see whether any double meaning can be attached to it. For example, "therapist.com" can be interpreted as "The Rapist.com." Write "Speed of Art" all as one word and see what you get.
Here are a few resources to use when looking for a name.
After you sketch or wire frame a website you are about to build, always do some serious thinking about usability. It helps to imagine you are someone who has come to the site for the information it contains and then ask yourself the following questions:
Web standards and conventions are more than what's laid out in a lengthy W3C document. A lot of them are just adhering to what we, as web users expect. For example, if text has underlines in it and/or is a different color, we expect that text to be a link. If something looks like a button, we expect clicking on it to do something, like process the comment form we just filled out or adding an item to our cart. It's perfectly OK to get creative and break away from the norm and not use all the web conventions. But be sure to let your viewers know upfront what to expect, especially as most of us are simply expecting a web page to act like a web page!
As you look at the new sketch or wire frame you've created, do any of the just discussed scenarios make you realize any revisions need to be made? If so, start over, I do it all the time. It will make for a much easier and more receptive design.
WordPress is by far a superior platform for online marketing and it can help you overcome a variety of your Internet marketing challenges by automating your tasks, freeing up your time, and most importantly, helping you rank on the search engines.
WordPress is the best framework available for SEO for a number of reasons:
Here is our recommended list of SEO plugins for WordPress:
WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is by far the most important aspect of any long term WordPress website marketing strategy. From making sure your title tags are properly named to improving the load performance of your website (500ms improvement in load time yields up to 20% improvement in time on site and conversions), optimizing your website with WordPress and search engine optimization is at the core of appearing on Google and the other search engines when a potential client searches for something relevant to your business.
Blog directories are great for both the reader and the owner. Readers can seek out new blogs in an efficient manner. Owners can use the directories to promote their blog and build links back to their blog, or backlinks. There are a ton of different reasons why blog authors should use blog directories. The two most common are to create traffic and build on topic links back to their own blog. Blog directories can help a bunch with both reasons.
By understanding the differences and what kinds of blog directories area available, you can get a better understanding of how to promote your blog and contribute your hard earned content to the web.
One of the best things to gain by using blog directories is one way links back to your blog. It also aids in getting your site indexed by Google and other search engines faster, sometimes this is a difficult thing to have to deal with. However, even if you just submit to a few free directories, even of limited quality, it will help you get indexed faster and build a few starter backlinks. If you want to speed up the process and make it happen, just pay for a few of the better directories and it will basically ensure indexing and some good links to get your site off the ground.
In addition to helping with SEO and indexing, submission to the blog directories can help you with your overall site traffic. Some of the more popular niche directories have a much better chance of bringing in quality traffic than the free directories. Free directories list thousands of low-quality sites (most of the time), and the majority of surfers won't spend the time to go through all those links to get to yours while the quality directories usually have a clear and concise way of navigating and searching and will yield much better opportunities for traffic.
Here are a few ideas for submitting your blog the'right way' to the blog directories: