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Want to make an impact with your business? Get on TV

There are thousands of ways you can get publicity for your website online. There is search marketing, social media, blogging and a host of other publicity methods. Getting a site to “number one” on Google is a dream for many businesses who spend hour after hour and pound after pound trying to beat the competition – and the system.

Meanwhile, other businesses seem to succeed without ever being number one on Google. Even Google itself is not the “number one” for the phrase “search engine“. Google appears 20th in the list, at the bottom of page 2, well below “DuckDuckGo”, “Yahoo!” or even “Bing”. Yet in spite of this, Google doesn’t appear to be doing that badly. It is not number one for its central business, yet beats the others hands down. Perhaps being number one on Google is not all it is cracked up to be?

However, the word “Google” exists in the “real world”. How many times today will someone say to you “Google it”? How many times will you see the word Google in print, hear it on the radio or TV? How many times will you even think of Google? Yet, in contrast, how many times today will someone say to you “Bing it” or “DuckDuckGo it”? How many times will such phrases be seen in traditional media?

It isn’t ranking in the search engine that appears to count for much. Instead it is ranking in the real world.

This has been thrown into the spotlight now that new research has shown how much time we engage with the Internet compared with other electronic media. According to Nielsen, Americans spend 11 hours a day using electronic media. But almost two thirds of that time is spent with traditional electronic media – TV and Radio.

Chart showing media usage

Only just over an hour a day – on average – is spent on using the Internet on a PC, with a further hour and a half spent on mobiles.

What this really shows us is the fact that in spite of all the new media we are surrounded by, old-fashioned media still plays a central role in our lives.

It also means that if you want to get notice you need to be in those traditional media – getting your business on TV and on the Radio is important if you want to be noticed, because that is where most of your audience spends most of its time.

Hang on a minute…where does Google get mentioned a lot? Oh yes…on Radio on TV….and not in its own search engine. There is a lesson there for all of us in business.

Category: Online Business

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Very tight deadlines will improve content marketing

Diary with deadline markedThe vast majority of websites in the world never get updated. A tiny proportion get new material every now and then, a really tiny proportion get extra content each week. An even tinier proportion of websites get daily updates. Where is your website on this spectrum?

The chances are your website is “average” in terms of its updating – which currently hovers around the once every ten days mark for a typical business website.

Website owners complain it is lack of time that is the real issue. “How can we update our website when we have all this work to do?” they ask.

Frankly, though, if they wanted to, they could find both the time and the money to update their websites more frequently.

It’s not a work issue, it is psychological

The real issue is a psychological phenomenon of “anticipated regret”. This is an almost instinctive part of our behaviour that prevents us from doing lots of things. We remain with the status quo because if we take some action we believe there might be a problem or difficulty that arises from that action. So we don’t do it. Much potential content is denied from the web because website owners subconsciously perceive some kind of potential problem if they were to add a blog post. They are unconsciously worried that they will regret adding the content, perhaps due to negative comments, or even no comments. Businesses appear to have collected “anticipated regret”, with everyone subconsciously aware of the potential difficulties that regular blogging might cause. So, guess what, it doesn’t happen. We often do not act because we subconsciously fear at some stage in the future we will regret taking that action. It is all part of our in-built survival instincts.

Anticipated regret appears to have a greater impact when we have longer to ruminate on things. If we have time to ponder on our actions, we can find all sorts of consciously thought-out reasons not to act. “I can’t blog today because I have to prepare for an important meeting this afternoon. ” Or “We can’t possibly blog every week because we mustn’t put our staff under such pressure, it would be unfair on them and become a health issue due to stress.” You get the picture. It is all about putting things off because we might actually in the future regret doing them now.

Quick decisions are good decisions

New research, however, points to another psychological factor which could be used to counteract anticipated regret. In a study of a simulated air crash, researchers investigated the decision-making taken by emergency services. There were 194 people involved in the pretend incident and they worked under the same intense time-pressure which would occur in a real incident. Such training practices take place regularly, of course.

One of the issues in such situations is that the decisions taken by emergency services personnel are literally life and death. You would think that under the pressure of time, their decision making could be impaired and that mistakes could happen. However, what the research found was that when under extreme time pressure our decision-making improves. We get better at making decisions when we have a really tight deadline, it seems.

This is partly because we start to rely on intuition – essentially we hand over decision-making to our subconscious brain. When we have the time to make decisions consciously we tend not to be so good at it.

Talk to journalists and many of them will tell you that their best stories are usually those which are under pressure, battling away against a seemingly impossible deadline to get something onto the front page or into a specific broadcast bulletin.

Sure, journalists are unlikely to have to make life or death decisions like the emergency services, but the principle is the same. The deadline enables their brain to work better. Of course if you say deadlines do not work for you, that you don’t respond well to them, all that is really happening is that you are consciously adding to “anticipated regret”. Research shows deadlines do help.

So, how can you use these two competing psychological factors in your business? The answer is to impose deadlines for content production. No more “can you produce a blog post sometime this week”, but instead, “I need your blog post by 2.35pm today”.  Deadlines work – even artificial ones, even ones you set for yourself. They make people think more clearly and they help reduce anticipated regret. The result is you will get more content on your website – precisely what you need.

If you want to be sure your website is regularly updated with content, start setting deadlines. And if you want to make sure you do set deadlines – do it now. Hey, I give you exactly 14 minutes from NOW to set your deadlines for the month ahead. That’s it, you have a 14 minute deadline to meet. Get on with it! If you meet that deadline, you’ll have set your blogging deadlines for the next four weeks. Of course, if you allow the anticipated regret of starting work now to take over, you won’t set any deadlines. So, get on with it, you only have 13 minutes now….!

For a tool to help you with blogging – click here
Category: Blogging

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All People Roaming In London Face Online Operation Licence

Mobile PhoneMobile phone users thought the EU had come to their aid last year when international roaming charges were capped across Europe. Now, however, the politicians have found a way to ensure that roaming is not as easy as it ought to be. Now it seems you are going to have to get a licence to roam.

The scheme begins today in London. All People Roaming In London Face Online Operation Licence, meaning that if you use a mobile phone on a network which is not your normal one, you will need to buy a licence as an “online operator” before you can proceed.

The idea behind the scheme is to limit the number of people using mobile phones. The bandwidth across Europe is creaking under the strain of masses of data being sent from smartphones and unless the authorities acted swiftly there was a real danger that the entire mobile phone system would collapse. The scheme was planned only in the past few weeks and was rushed through because of the impending General Election in the UK.

London is the first City to get the new licence scheme, but the cities that are already lined up to follow suit are:

  • Amsterdam
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Innsbruck
  • Lisbon

The world-renowned Federation Of Online Liberty said “This is an outrageous idea. The authorities in Europe have known for a long time that there would be a squeeze on bandwidth. They have dithered and dithered over the past five years. Now, we are having to pay for their inability to organise things properly.”

They added: “The whole idea that you will have to get an operators licence to use your mobile phone abroad is just nonsense.”

You can, though, find out more about this scheme when you CLICK HERE.

Category: General

How to produce 486 blog ideas in 15 minutes

One of the biggest problems that anyone producing content has is coming up with ideas as to what to write about. However, it is much easier to produce ideas than you might think.

image

At the Search Bootcamp being held in London today, Pete Campbell from Kaizen showed exactly how you can produce a vast list of ideas very quickly. He asked the 54 people in the room to write down three ideas for a “boring” business – a sign manufacturer. Having written three ideas down,  the people then passed on their ideas to someone else who either built on those ideas, or used them to trigger other thoughts. A few minutes later, the growing list was shared again and each individual wrote down another three ideas.

As a result, each person had written down nine ideas in 15 minutes; with 54 people in the room that is 486 ideas.

Forget brainstorming
This was a graphic demonstration of the uselessness of brainstorming. Several psychological studies in the past have shown that brainstorming produces fewer ideas than thinking about things on your own. Businesses and content planners frequently fail to produce enough ideas because they rely on brainstorming sessions. These end up focusing on a small selection of ideas produced by a dominant personality in the room. Also, in brainstorming sessions, people tend to try to produce ideas that they think other people will like, or ideas that will please the “leader” in the room.

Producing ideas on your own is better – but you cannot produce many. If you were asked to come up with nine ideas for content for a boring client on your own you would be hard pressed to produce enough. Often in tests of doing such things, people produce a few ideas and then simply repeat earlier ideas with a different set of words.

With the technique shown by Pete Campbell today, delegates were shown how to produce several individual ideas. The passing around of ideas written down provides psychological triggers for individuals to generate new ideas.

How to generate content ideas
To generate ideas in your business you can use this technique. Get your staff together in a room and give them a sheet of paper each. Establish the topic you want ideas on and then ask each person, silently, to write down three ideas. Then they pass their paper to another person who has five minutes to write down three more ideas. You keep doing this until the sheets of paper have gone round the room.

If you only have five people in your team you will have produced 75 new ideas in 25 minutes.

So, don’t go telling me that you are short of content ideas..!

Category: Blogging

You are wasting your time with smartphone shoppers

Smartphones and tablets are the way ahead, we are constantly told. If you are not targeting the mobile shopper, you are missing out, the so-called experts tell us.

Poppycock.

True, mobile use is increasing significantly. True, people use their mobiles a lot when out shopping. True, people look at things to buy when they are using their smartphones are tablets.

Wrong, they buy stuff.

Almost everyone who uses mobile devices to look at things for sale fails to buy anything.

According to new research from Monetate, less than 1% of people shopping on their smartphone actually go ahead and buy anything. Indeed, the study showed that the number of people buying from a smartphone is almost four times less than the rate of purchase on a desktop computer.

Chart showing smartphone conversion rate

Far from us all rushing to our mobiles to buy things online, we are still wedded to our desktops to make a purchase. The results are all-the-more striking because they are based on the analysis of 7bn online shopping sessions. This is not some minor study.

So, if vast numbers of people are using smartphones to visit ecommerce websites, why are they not buying something?

The answer is probably trust.

People are used to smartphones losing connection, so they are scared their financial data will be interrupted mid-purchase and a second attempt could lead to a double charge on their credit card. They are also worried that confidential data could be stolen whilst using wi-fi in public places.

Back in the safety of their own home, people can shop online more securely.

So, what can you do about this? After all, as an online retailer you have no control over mobile phone connections or public wi-fi security.

The answer is to assume people will NOT buy when they are using a mobile device, but that they will buy later on when they get back to their desktop machine. This means instead of providing “buy now” buttons on mobile sites or pages delivered to mobile devices, you could instead have a “save for later” button which syncs the bookmark of the sales page back to their desktop machine. Or you could have an “email myself” button which creates an email so that people can pick it up later on when they are using a desktop machine.

You can come up with a host of ways in which you can make it easy for mobile shoppers to buy later when they are back at home. If you do this, you’ll increase your conversion rate, thereby making more profits. However, if you stick with trying to improve your mobile site to sell more, all you will do is make it even easier for people to decide not to buy.

Category: Online Business

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