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Posted by on in Website Design

Hashtag, the pound hashtag sign - # - you've probably seen pop up all around the Internet, was first introduced by Twitter back in 2009. A hashtag acted like a hyperlink that would, when clicked, show the reader all the tweets containing the same hashtag. It was a feature that allowed people to find and be found, to join in on conversations, and to participate in upcoming trends. A couple of years later, other social media outlets started using hashtags as well - Instagram has it, as does Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. If you're a business owner, you're probably familiar with these social networks - chances are you're using some, if not all, of them to promote your business.

Why You Need to Know how to Use Hashtags

Businesses, at least those who want to play the social media game well, know how to use hashtags. Yes, they can be sometimes used as a funny, sarcastic, or poignant underlining for a social media post, but most of the time they have a practical use.

For example, if you want to know what's your competition up to, or if you're doing some research on social media, you can use hashtags to find relevant content. If there's a trending topic in your industry or just a trending topic in general, you can use the hashtag related to the topic to add your content to the conversation, making it easier for people to discover your content. Hashtags can also help you with branding and getting recognition, and they can also serve as the point around which you can build a community when you're holding events.

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Posted by on in Website Design

Adding video content to your marketing campaigns can be beneficial in more ways than one. You can do things with video that simply can't be done with still images or text, you can find whole new ways to get audiences engaged, and you can reach a whole new audience of people who prefer watching over reading content. Adding video to marketing emails is a known way to increase click-through rates, and there's an increasing market for video consumption on mobile devices - people seem to like video more and more on the go.

But even if you put all those benefits aside, you'll still be left with a very important way video content contributes to your marketing efforts - it helps with SEO. Search engines tend to prefer pages which contain both video and textual content, and they give these pages a boost when it comes to search engine result pages, helping them to a placement closer to the top. And that's not even the most important way video marketing helps with SEO.

Video and Backlinks

One of the major ways video content contributes to the overall SEO efforts of your marketing campaign is by providing backlinks. Even though video clips, on their own, will not create backlinks, people who link to your videos will. You can have hundreds or thousands of links, and you won't have to lift a finger to build them, apart from what you'd usually do to create and promote content. Of course, this backlinks bonanza doesn't happen for each and every video you create. Your content has to be interesting and valuable so that people will want to share it with other people, but if you manage to get that down, the rest will fall in its place.

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Posted by on in Website Design

Conversion rates, reach, search rankings, and consumer behavior are some of the things any marketer, and most business owners need to pay close attention to. Businesses need a way to reach new customers, they need to find the most efficient way to get those customers to use their service or buy their products, and they need consumer information to figure out how to best approach them. And yes, online marketing has its set of solutions which have become indispensable, but in one very important segment - mobile-friendliness of websites - there seems like plenty of room is left for adoption. And businesses should take it very seriously when we say that mobile-friendly websites are a must. We do it for good reasons.

Mobile and Reach

By the end of last year, the world was expected to have more than two billions of smartphone users. The number of people using mobile devices has surpassed the number of people using desktop computers a couple of years ago, and the number of mobile users is still climbing faster than the number of desktop users. In the same time, the time people spend watching TV is getting shorter, while the time they spend in front of their mobile screens is increasing.

What you should take out of this is that mobile devices aren't the platforms people will be using the most to access content in the future - they already are, and their reign will only get stronger. If you want to reach customers, using mobile-specific solutions will work better than other types of solutions, and the first thing you should do is have a mobile-friendly website your potential customers can access and interact with on their mobile devices. If you don't want to do it, your competitors will, and by the time you catch up you'd have lost too many opportunities.

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Posted by on in Website Design

Deciding where to place a landing page contact form, and how long does the form need to be to achieve maximum effect, is part science and part art. We know that contact forms, and forms in general, are an important part of lead generation. Getting people to sign to newsletters, to access content that will help them make decisions, or to ask them for information so they could try your product takes some mixing and matching in order to be done correctly. But if you look at it carefully, you will see that form length and placement in your sales funnel are the two things you need to get right in order to get your target audience to share the information you want them to.

Casting the Widest Net

If you place a contact form at the top of your marketing funnel, you're casting a wide net in order to get as many leads as possible. Top of the funnel contact forms are geared towards attracting anyone who visits the landing page, regardless of the purchasing phase they're in.

To be able to get people with low commitment levels to give you their information, it's important that you provide them a hassle-free experience and not ask for much. You want to use the really short contact forms, the "name + email" forms, and you want to offer them simple things like blog subscriptions or ebooks.

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Posted by on in Website Design

How much knowledge do you think is needed to set up a basic website? It's not a lot. You need an idea, a few bucks for buying the domain name, a little bit of know-how that will allow you to install WordPress, a basic understanding of how keywords work, and some content. All of the resources you need are readily available online, and if you plan to invest some time and a little money into it, you can have your own website up fairly easily.

But the ease with which you can make these first steps in website ownership can deceive you. After all, they don't include monetization, which is the sort of thing you should think about first. And they don't mention that, after you buy your first domain, you might be inclined to buy a few more, because you have ideas for other websites, and then a few more for each of new ones you bought because you want to cover spelling mistakes. And a few more, because you want to cover the .net's and .co's as well. Before you know it, you have to pay hundreds of dollars yearly for domain names you will never actually use. So you need to be cautious, and you need a couple of rules that will guide your domain-buying decisions.

1. It's always good to think twice.

Let's say you've made a successful website centered around a product or a service. At some point, you decide you want to expand the line of products or services you offer, and you're thinking about buying a new domain name and building an additional website.

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