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5 Internet Marketing Methods That People Often Neglect

5 Internet Marketing Methods That People Often Neglect

Internet marketing, according to WebOPedia, refers to advertising and marketing efforts that use the Web and email to drive direct sales via electronic commerce. With that being said, it is important for every entrepreneur and business owner to get on this marketing game, in order to increase website traffic and prospective clients or customers as well as stay ahead of the competition. If you are new on this department, then the list below will help you get started.

1. Track and analyze your website traffic.

Most web hosts offer traffic analysis data to their clients, and it is basically the most important tool at your disposal in measuring the effectiveness of your internet marketing techniques and overall website performance. By taking the time to understand this data, you can begin to understand the motivations and interests of your audience. Is your site getting traffic at all? Perhaps you need to boost your traffic and sales through social media. Are many of them leaving on one particular page? Perhaps you should make some changes to keep their interest. Are most of them looking at one particular part of your site? Perhaps you should make it a more featured area. Since this data updates on a regular basis, you are also able to gauge the effectiveness of any changes that you make. There are many more useful bits of information available, such as:

  • What search terms your visitors are using to find you?
  • What sites are bringing you the most traffic?
  • How long your visitors are staying?

Maintaining a successful website is an ongoing process, and traffic data is crucial to getting optimum results.

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2. Get links that are related to your niche industry.

This is a simple but effective piece of internet marketing. Sad to say, only a few know how to do this the right way. Link building entails you to get an exposure and traffic while increasing the prestige of your business. By getting backlinks from another website related to your niche, visitors who will enter your site from that link are predisposed to believe that they will find something of value there.

There are plenty of ways to get quality backlinks, but one must be equipped with the right knowledge before they even start doing it. Not all backlinks are good for your website. If you don’t have enough knowledge about this, then I advice you to carefully hire a good internet marketing company that does the job correctly. As Jeff Bridges from PlacementSEO.com says, “It’s one thing to find marketing companies who boast that they’re the best in the business, it’s another to find a company who can back their claims…”

However, if you are already on board on this topic, then by all means you can do-it-yourself. Here are a few suggestions on where to get quality backlinks:

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  • Guest posting outreach – it takes awful lot of time if done manually, but it’s worth it.
  • Publish in editorial sites – hard to get inside it but once you do, it increases your site’s credibility.
  • Business directories – this ranges from free to paying, but it is a good method to be seen locally on your area.
  • Private network – many companies and individuals have benefited on this approach, but you need to know how to do it properly or find an excellent provider.

The added benefit to a quality link building implementation is that they can give a tremendous boost to your link popularity, which is a major factor in determining how your site gets ranked in search engines.

3. Write informative articles about your business or products to make them available to online publications and web masters.

In continuation to above’s point, let me just add that there are numerous sites who allows you to offer original informational articles for others to publish. Such an exchange benefits you in several ways. First, all of these sites require anyone who is reprinting your article to provide a link back to your site, which can provide highly targeted visitors (visitors who most likely already have a good impression of you from your article). This is also another way to boost your link popularity, which is again, vitally important to your search engine rankings. Moreover, if you offer a service, a reputation is your most valuable asset.

Widely distributed articles can help to establish you as an expert in your field and help you to gain credibility with your future clients. Although internet marketing techniques such as these may require a considerable time investment, the payoff can be well worth the trouble.

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4. Give your website visitors a clear call to action.

If your site isn’t intended to sell a product or gain a customer, then what is it for? Your internet marketing techniques should have a clear purpose. Meaning, every page on your site should focus on getting the visitor to take an action. This could be:

  • purchasing something online
  • filling out a form
  • sending and email
  • making a phone call
  • even simply moving on to the next step in the process

Your website should be more than a static billboard proclaiming that you are open for business; it should compel your visitors to follow a specific path that leads to a sale. While there are many ways to increase a company’s conversion rates, the answer can be as simple as placing a prominent offer on your pages.

5. Don’t overlook the obvious

This might fall better into the category of internet marketing “advice” rather than “techniques”. However, it is important that you compare your website to an actual store. Is everything clean and organized, or is everything messy and cluttered? Many websites give bad first impressions with issues that could easily be avoided. Here are a few:

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Improper formatting

It’s not just about backlinks that makes your business website standout among the rest. Many people neglect the power of GUI (or graphical user interface). If your website is cluttered and messy with lots of fonts and bright colors all around, visitors would immediately bounce out and find another website. Your website should be structured accordingly as to what pleases the eye. Hence, it is equally important to procure proper On Page optimization. It doesn’t just give credibility to your site, it also adds trustworthiness on search engines.

Broken links

Broken links are a sign of sloppiness that are fairly common. To combat this, there are several websites that will automatically scan your site and identify any broken links. If you website is made from WordPress, there are tons of plugins that you can install to do the job.

Images aren’t loading properly

Seeing little red X’s where a graphic or photo should appear is another common problem that is easily addressed. Does your site maintain its look and functionality with most browsers? People are sometimes dismayed to learn that their site (which looks great in Firefox) doesn’t maintain its look or functionality with other popular browsers. The time and resources required to fix these problems are small when compared with the cost of tarnishing your professional image.

Featured photo credit: VP Photo Studio via shutterstock.com

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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