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  2. Not all business & social networks are the same. UK Business Labs brings people together and makes blogging, networking, discussion and marketing easy and effective. The software is used by tens of millions of people worldwide so it's simple to use too. UK Business Labs integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tapatalk and countless other social media tools; which enables you to share your content quickly. You'll need to register before you can post but registration and basic membership is absolutely FREE. Click the image above or the 'Register' link to get networking with thousands of other business owners. We're looking forward to welcoming you!
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  1. Many businesses have found social media to be a rewarding form of marketing that provides an additional sales method to conventional marketing practices. Social media enables your business to communicate with an audience that spans the entire world. It can help to expand your customer base, increasing your sales and bring more exposure to your brand and products.

    Using social media can be excellent for your brand
    Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest allows you to connect with your target audience, some of which you may not be able to reach via other means of marketing. If you use these platforms correctly, you can interact with your audience in a friendly manner just like you would if they walked into your store, with the growth of all ages being social online it’s becoming a natural and easy process to communicate with highly targetted users without pressuring them to purchase anything. If people connect with you on a personal level and are made aware of your brand, they’re more likely to be interested in your business and what you have to offer.

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    Highlight your service or product
    When using social media to market your service or product, make sure that your title is attractive and draws attention. A boring title could result in people overlooking your advert making your marketing efforts costly and ineffective.

    If you are using social media as part of your marketing strategy, be sure to answer and interact with people when they make a comment or ask you a question, people are more likely to feel comfortable with your brand if they can see active and supportive customer relations.

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  2. According to Content Marketing Institute (2016), 38% of marketers claim that blogging is the most important type of content. Notably, almost 37% of them expressed that visual elements are the best content for marketing, while live video and podcasting were ranked last.

    Finding your audience and creating valuable content for them, are, undoubtedly, the most crucial steps towards successful content marketing.

    So, before creating valuable content, it is important to review all the facts, and figure out the answers to the following questions:

    • What type of content is the most beneficial for your audience?
    • What type of content do people want to share?
    • What are the latest statistics and trends that could benefit your content?
    Content & Promotion Still Matters
    It’s a well-known fact that blogging brings a definite increase in traffic generated to your website. Hence, it comes as no surprise that blogging is a vital element for 49% of B2B marketers compared to 33% of B2C marketers.

    The more frequently you blog, the more productive you become, some “SEO Consultants” would say. Therefore, the time you invest should pay off, right? As an example, data from Traffic Generation Cafe (2015) reveals that 21–54 new blog posts in a year can lead to a traffic increase of up to 30%.

    However, this was not the case for the well-known Backlinko founder, Brian Dean. Brian Attracts 119k unique visitors per month to his site and writes no more than 8-10 articles per year, proving there is no single recipe for success.

    In fact, Brian’s new lessons reveal is that promotion is the second most important element. Hence, publishing valuable content is not enough if people are not able to find it. So, you need to find people that will love to share your content with their readers and network with them to become influential.

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    Content Strategies That Actually Work
    What type of content the most popular for grabbing the attention of your readers these days?
    There are various content marketing strategies to choose from. Though, visual elements are scientifically proved to be more efficient to convey a message...

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  3. We've long been a fan of sending physical cards, merchandise like branded pens, business cards, coffee mats and various other customisable products to not only thank long term clients but also to let them know we appreciate the repeat custom over the years. But for a more cost effective and sometimes more efficient to get a promotional offer across to your current client base, e-cards could be a great way of conveying your Christmas greetings. If you’ve been too busy to organise printed cards this year, e-cards will allow you to stay in your clients’ good books this festive season. If you want to make the most of your festive mail out, you need to get your e-card design just right. To help you hit the digital nail on the head, here are our dos and don't;s of Christmas e-card design.

    Don’t be generic
    If you use a pre-made card from an online provider, the chances are the design is going to be pretty generic and boring. As soon as a client clicks on the link or sees the image, they’ll be able to tell you’ve skimped on design and gone for a cheaper, less professional option. Not only will this make it look like your business cuts corners, but it will also make your e-card look a bit spammy and could damage your business’ reputation.

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  4. Zero to Hero – The DIY guide for the SEO novice
    Written by Rivmedia, November 22nd, 2016
    • SEO starting points for Small businesses to understand the fundamentals
    • Touching base with Mobile friendliness , Page speed, content and keyword research.
    If you’re trying to drive traffic to your site, boost your online presence and increase the effectiveness of your web page, good SEO is essential. Without SEO, your site may well languish deep within the search engines listings, limiting the number of people who find your URL naturally and reducing your chances of online success.

    Though some SEO aspects that are tricky to understand, there are others that even internet novices can implement quickly and easily. To help give your site the best chance of search engine supremacy, we’ve put together a selection of the easiest and most effective DIY SEO techniques for you to try.

    1. Keyword and Competitor Research
      The keywords you use on your site tell the search engines what your pages are all about. They also help users to find your site when they’re searching the web. Keyword research is essential if you want to ensure your site comes up when users search for relevant terms. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console and Adwords Keyword Planner to help you judge what terms would be beneficial to you. If possible take advantage of keyword URL structures and be sure to write for your visitors and not to get to carried away with the keywords you are targeting. If you have a local target market Include geographic terms (e.g., property development East Anglia) and industry specific local phrases which you know people search.

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      An old school but still valuable offline tool, can be as simple as asking some not so tech savvy friends and family or a good old fashioned survey in your local village what they would type into Google if they were searching for something specific? Armed with that information and using the tools mentioned on this post to analyse those terms to the best of your ability and see if they are worth the small effort. Only too often this method will come up with little gems that our research and the more internet savvy among us simply overlook.

      Don’t forget to pay attention to your competitors, make notes of what they are ranking for and what quality backlinks they have. Take advantage of the best resources in the business such as SEM Rush, Moz, ahrefs, and Majestic.

    2. Create unique content
      The search engines love unique content; there have been some studies showing the length of the material matters, indicating that longer more informative posts go much further in establishing you as an industry expert.
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  5. One of the most important parts of any website, the Contact Us page is all too often overlooked. Though it may not be the most exciting part of your site, it’s the page that many of your most valuable leads and contacts will get in touch with you through. Getting your Contact Us page just right will not only help to make your site complete, but it could also contribute to encouraging, even more, users to get in touch with your business.

    Do: Make it quick
    Even if a visitor to your site is hugely interested in the products or services you offer, they’ll soon get bored if you ask them to fill out too many forms. Instead of stuffing your Contact Us page with row after row of mandatory fields, keep it short and snappy. As long as you get their name and email address, any other snippets of information you need to qualify them can be retained at a later date.

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    Don’t: Make it annoying
    If you use a contact page that’s come straight from a mass produced....

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  6. There are entrepreneurs around the world who have spent many years building up their businesses who refuse to give up any degree of control over their operations. When you bear in mind the competitive nature of the online business arena today perhaps there is a justifiable reason why many entrepreneurs have difficulty trusting or finding someone who has the same level of passion for what they do. However, have you ever thought what might happen if for some reason you were unable to work?

    Not being able to work maybe the doomsday scenario but if you have others such as a family depending on you, then you need to consider this issue at some point.

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    Business backup plan
    How many entrepreneurs know in the back of their minds that they should have a written backup plan if they are unable to work for a considerable time in the future? Now the big question, how many have put in place a detailed and easy to follow instruction guide if somebody else needs to take over at short notice? The likelihood is this is one of the tasks that entrepreneurs like to

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  7. It is only natural to want to set your marketing strategy for your business to as wide an audience as possible, especially in the early days. The idea that just a small percentage of enquiries from a large audience could change your business sounds good in principle but how does that work out in practice?

    The idea of marketing to niche markets or general markets will depend entirely upon your type of business but sometimes it is more worthwhile to dominate a niche market as opposed to being a small player in a large market.

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    1. Marketing strategy: Targeted marketing
    It has been proven time and time again that the scattergun approach to online/off-line marketing does not necessarily bring the rewards you might expect. In many cases you will end up marketing your products/services to individuals and companies who have limited if any interest in what you have to offer. They may visit your site out of curiosity but from the outset there is likely little chance they will actually buy anything from you. Your traffic figures look good, it looks as though your site has been “noticed” but what is the bottom line? You need to convert as much of your traffic as possible to actual sales to be successful.

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  8. It may sound bizarre to suggest that you need to make your online business feel “human” but there are a number of reasons for this. It is all good and well trawling the Internet late at night for the best deals and the best offers, but without help pages, contact details and reviews, how do you know who you are dealing with?

    Some people may be happy dealing with an automated online website but what happens if something goes wrong? What happens if you need assistance? Do you really know who you are dealing with?

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    Make your business stand out
    There are many potential customers who prefer an automated service with no human contact which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. These are generally customers who know what they want, have experience with purchasing online and know their way around the Internet. However, there is also an array of other potential customers who are not as confident online and may need you to “hold their hand”.

    There are many online businesses which boast significant automated purchase numbers but also offer that human touch for those perhaps less confident in the online arena. This approach is not applicable to all businesses due to cost constraints but if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, offer a more personal service and have the time, skills and motivation, this could prove to be extremely beneficial.

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  9. If you are afraid to fail the stark truth is maybe you should not be in business? There are many ways to “make a living” but if you are looking to make a business then you need to be creative, you need to think outside of the box but above all never be afraid to fail. Those who have never failed in their business world have never pushed the envelope, they have never gone the extra mile and while their track record may be impeccable, have they really been successful?

    Try, try and try again

    As you look to build your business, whether offering a product or service, you will get a feel for the marketplace, you will get a feel for your customers and at some point you will begin to think outside of the box. It is these thoughts which will determine how successful you are in the future because while you need to recognise your weaknesses you also need to have confidence in yourself. Let’s face it, if you do not have confidence in yourself then why should your customers have confidence in you?

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  10. It may sound bizarre but every now and again it is worthwhile taking a step back from your business and looking from a distance. Take off your business hat, wipe those eyes and take a look at your business, yourself and the potential for the future.

    Would you employ yourself?

    One vital element many people tend to ignore when building their own business is considering their own strengths and weaknesses. If all of us were experienced in every part of the online business arena from product/service production to marketing, where would you find the time? It is all good and well learning how to do new tasks but why spread yourself too thinly?

    So, when you next get an opportunity take a step back from your business, look at it with unbiased eyes and consider your role.

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  11. In the world of online services you very rarely get a second chance to make a first impression before potential customers move onto the next website. There is nothing worse than logging onto a website and then having to think about what it offers. Many websites are cluttered, difficult to navigate but the main problem seems to be a lack of focus on the key services/products which they offer.

    If you are looking for a particular service but a website is not pointing you in the right direction, would you move to the next one?

    Keep focused

    While the likes of Google and other search engines dominate the online arena you still need to spoon feed them subject matter for websites. Website owners need to make the main subjects as clear as possible on each page, which services/products are on offer and ensure that their website is ranked for the correct terms. There is nothing more frustrating than creating a website, doing all of the link work, adding content and then finding you are ranked for terms which have no relevance to your main business. This type of traffic can be completely worthless because the chances are visitors will be looking for something you don’t offer.

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  12. Those with an online business will be well aware that social media is one of the most fluid forms of advertising available today. How many times have you heard that Twitter is the future, the easiest way to contact customers and you are foolish if you ignore it?

    However, how do you actually contact like-minded people on Twitter and start online conversations with them?

    Focused Twitter followers
    We all know of accounts with tens if not hundreds of thousands of followers that seem to look extremely busy. Have you ever stepped back and wondered how many of those followers are actually active? How many make use of the services available or the products for sale? As your own Twitter following grows you will soon realise it is not the number of followers which matters but why they are following you.

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  13. In the modern world how many people measure their working life in terms of hours spent at work? On the flipside, how often do you hear the same people talking about their productivity, the deals they have signed and income they have created for the employer? The chances are never.

    The fact is that many countries around the world, including the UK, have a culture whereby your working life is measured by the amount of hours you do but not your productivity. If you have your own online business you will know the hours can be long, pressure can be telling but have you ever thought of cutting back your hours to increase your productivity?

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  14. It’s no secret that if you have a website, you should be building an email list. Why? Well, once you have started building a database of subscribers, you have a bank of people you can market to again and again. What’s more, these people have actively chosen to sign up to your list, meaning that they are highly likely to be interested in what you are offering.

    In this article we are going to take a look at how to turn your website visitors into email subscribers. You might think that it’s just a case of inserting an opt-in form somewhere onto your website, however the reality is that there’s quite a bit more to it than that. In addition, there are several things you can do to improve the conversion rates and thus accelerate your efforts.

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  15. There are numerous ways to monetise your website or blog, however it is often necessary to experiment with different ideas before finding the one that works best for your particular site. In addition, it can sometimes take a little while before you start seeing some tangible results from your efforts, so you definitely need to stay patient and understand that results don’t just happen overnight.

    So, how do you go about generating revenue from your website or blog? Here are six of the best methods to consider…

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