4 Points to be Followed by Every SEO Company to Boost Traffic & Sales

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Do you ever analyze past SEO mistakes while hiring a new company to increase your organic traffic? Probably not, because that’s how most of the websites go about it. It’s time to investigate the reasons of loss whenever you see a drop in your sales & traffic even after spending enough on optimization experts fee.

Don’t sit back thinking that you have hired the best SEO firm

Usually companies take it quite easy if they have SEO professionals to take care of search engine rankings. But, that’s a big mistake as to get sales you must have both relevant traffic and a conversion focused website. Not all SEO companies take this into account and so achieve half of results. To attain potentially convertible traffic first ensure that your SEO strategy implies:

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Research Based Plans

It is a must to adopt research based planning amid the stiff competition for search engine rankings to ensure results. Using smart tools for keywords and competitor analysis is essential if you want to be safe from the consequences of guesswork & weak estimations. These tools give robust figures that eliminate the risk of misjudgments.

User Focused Practices

Add value to search engine results by meeting Google standards and offering best user experience to online users who seek solutions to their queries. Don’t depend on black hat SEO to get higher rankings. Indulge in ethical linking to get steady results.

Don’t waste your time & money in old SEO practices

Apply Modern Techniques

Unique Content

Google prefers content so avoiding it can cost you heavily. What kind of content shall be used for optimizing search engine is the most important question to unravel. If your past SEO efforts could not meet desired goals, then poor content could have been the reason. Analyze now & change your approach.

Follow on page & off page content guidelines to improve your domain authority and boost search engine rankings. This may also save you from Panda hit as that focuses on improving content quality on Google.

Social Sharing

Social media is a great source of attracting traffic and it helps you improve the online presence on web as social domains have high domain authority, attract great deal of users and always rank higher in SERPs. They also act as good source of quality backlinks but if you really want to own all of this, you have got to ensure that your social media content is user engaging & shared on regular intervals. Consistency is the key to success when we talk about social media benefits.

Not sure which package will be suitable for you? Our SEO experts can help you out.

Discuss Your Requirements

Ably Soft, as the global SEO partner for many websites applies all these techniques to work and ensures improved results. Our clients’ stable rankings give us opportunity to suggest similar techniques to other online businesses too. If you lack information on improving your web traffic, then consult us.

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The Art and Science of Getting Content Shared on Social Media

When excellent content fails to attract the readership it deserves, likely there were lapses in marketing efforts either before and after it was published. There is no guaranteed way to send your content viral but a few, reliable techniques boost the odds your posts receive well-deserved attention from social media users.

Related: How to Leverage Celebrities and Social Media to Build Buzz

Leverage influencers. You don’t need to be a social media star to see your blog posts widely shared. You can depend on others who’ve nurtured loyal followings to amplify your content across Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Before you hit ‘publish,’ make sure you’ve quoted a few experts who have shared their opinion on your topic. When the story goes live, notify those individuals about your mention of them. They will likely respond with a ‘like,’ tweet and share of the post that will reach many of their followers.

This is a classic win-win-win. You add credibility to your post by noting what an industry influential has said about the same topic, those experts lend their social media presence when they share your content and you develop great rapport with the individuals you quote.

For more tactical advice, here are four foolproof strategies for getting social media power users to share your content for you.

Related: How to Get Your Content Shared More on Pinterest

Turn off comments. Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Copy blogger, recently decided to do away with comments on the Copy blogger blog. As surprising as it was to many readers, others embraced the change, believing it would lead to better content and conversations. So far, the experiment has proved successful.

Upon reaching the end of a post, the Copy blogger audience is encouraged to “take the conversation further” on Google Plus and Twitter. This has proved brilliant at getting readers talking about and sharing Copy blogger content. Judging by activity on Google Plus, the conversations could not get any better.

Engaged fans enthusiastically contribute thoughtful insights to the conversation and, more often than not, will then interact with you one-on-one.

Use language that clicks. The social media management app Buffer published a study that analyzed the most popular words used in viral headlines and evaluated winning headline strategies. Experiment with your headlines to see which words and phrases resonate with your unique audience. Soon, you’ll have a list of what drives social shares.

Research conducted at the University of Texas, Austin, found Facebook users manifest their regular selves both online and offline. Content that speaks directly to who your readers are encourages them to share your post with people they care about as a way of publicly sharing a bit of themselves.

Source – Content Shared on Social Media

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Finding Your Audience In Social Media

Social media marketing platforms are constantly evolving, so newcomers are at a disadvantage compared to those who’ve been around the social media block over the last decade. There are more platforms to learn, more features to leverage, and larger audiences to engage.

For small or new businesses venturing into social media marketing for the first time, focusing on the fundamentals is key. In this two-part series, we’ll do just that.  Read on for a guide to getting started, including defining your target market and choosing the right channels to reach them.

Step 1: Defining Your Target Market

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Before diving into anything, start by defining your target consumer.

Demographics are important, but key insights into the what type of person they are, their likes and dislikes, etc., will give you stronger direction later for creating engaging content.

If you’re like most small businesses, you likely don’t have a professionally developed marketing strategy with person as defined for your target consumers. The great news is, these don’t take a rocket scientist (or professional marketer) to create!

Start With The Easy Stuff: Demographics

Putting pen to paper and defining the more obvious characteristics of your audience is the best place to start. If you’re not familiar with these key characteristics of your target market, you’ll be lost in the long term. For an HVAC repair business, your target customer might be a homeowner. Homeowner: it’s a start, but wouldn’t tell a writer much about how to craft content your audience will appreciate.

To further define the demographics, ask yourself the following questions, thinking of the customers that currently drive most of your business today.

  1. How expensive is your product or service? Do your customers need to fall into a certain income class to afford you?

  2. Is your product or service specifically for men or women? If either, think about your typical customer. What is their typical age? Are they married? Do they have a family? Who makes the purchasing decisions?

  3. Where is your target customer physically located? Are they local to you? In the neighborhood or neighboring town? Do you have an online store and want to appeal to customers across the country? Do you have a storefront or do you travel to your customers to provide service?

  4. Is your product or service ethnically neutral? Does it appeal to people of a certain ethnicity?

By the end of this Q&A exercise, aim to have the following key demographics outlined: age, gender, location, income level, occupation, marital/family status, ethnicity and education level.

Now, What Makes Them Tick? Defining Psychographics

Now that you’ve nailed down the basic information about your target market, it’s time to start thinking about who they are as people. This is the key step to crafting appropriate content for your social media marketing, blogging strategy, and even your traditional marketing efforts.

I’ve found that many small business owners can get lost in the idea of psychographically defining their typical consumer. To guide this thought process, collaborate with your front-line employees — those who work most directly with your customers — and ask the following questions:

  1. What are your customers’ likes and dislikes and what does that tell you about them?

  2. What types of television shows do they watch? What magazines or website might they read?

  3. What are their values?

  4. What kind of lifestyle do they lead? How does your product or service fit into their lifestyle?

In this exercise, you should also look at your product or service. These questions can help you better understand your target customer:

  1. What features appeal to your current customers the most?

  2. When do they use the product (or hire you for the service)?

  3. Do they use it in a certain way?

Aspirational Customers: Not Today, Maybe Someday

If you’re looking to expand business (perhaps you’re more of a novice than a beginner), think about your “aspirational customers.” An aspirational customer is someone who may not buy your product or service today, but perhaps this is the kind of business you’d like to do more of.

Our original example of an HVAC repair company may consider business owners as aspirational customers because they would like to do more commercial business, which is more lucrative than residential.

Perform the same two Q&A sessions above for your aspirational customer. Remember to keep this separate. You might not use this target market in your immediate marketing strategy, but defining it is the first step to achieving your goals!

2 Pro Tips For DIY Defining Your Target Market

  1. If you get stumped at any of the above steps, take a look at one of your competitors that performs well. If they are already doing any social media marketing, review their content and strategy to look for clues as to whom they believe their target customer really is.

  2. Write it all down. Once you’ve outlined your demo and psychographics, you might realize you have several target customers. Give each of them a name and persona. This will help you (or whomever helps with your creative) relate to them and craft effective content.

Step 2: Choose The Right Networks To Reach Them

One of my favorite infographics of all time, puts a purr-fectly matched personality to each social network (pun intended).

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There is a vast menu of social networks at a marketer’s disposal today. Truly knowing your target audience will help you select the proper networks to reach them.

BI Intelligence recently released a report on demographics of social network users. Business Insider reported on the results, including some of the key takeaways:

  • Fast-moving consumer goods will perform better on Facebook than luxury goods because the user base skews younger.

  • Twitter is primarily a news source for its users.

  • Pinterest is the place to be for food and drink related products or content, as well as family or parenting content.

  • Instagram’s audience is primarily female (with projections to even out by 2016) and between the ages of 18 and 44. Clothing, accessories and entertainment-related brands find Instagram attractive for this reason.

Coming up in my next column, we’ll review beginners’ steps to starting up your content strategy, best practices, and how to stay organized!

Source –Social Media Marketing Column

5 Google+ Marketing Tips From the Pros

Are you struggling to figure out how to use Google+ to market your business?

Looking for some tips and ideas? You’ve come to the right place.

We asked 5 experienced social media professionals to share their best tips on Google+ for business with you.

Here are 5 ways you can use Google+ to promote and market your business.

google plus marketing tips

Check out the latest tips to improve your Google+ marketing.

#1: Close Off Google+ Comments to Increase Engagement

Here is one of my favorite tips for people who are more intermediate to advanced users on Google+.

Knowing the system:

When someone has comments on a post, they will receive a notification each time someone comments on that post after them. As such, comments are a powerful way of punctuating people’s attention.

Application:

Knowing this, you can use this to have ‘the last word’ on your comment threads, and get engagement from the right people. That is one of the great things about Google+, you really have a lot of control as to who and how people engage with you.

How to close off comments on your threads:

Simply click on the upper right of one of your posts and choose ‘disable comments’.

how to close comments google plus

What to say once you close off comments:

Now you know how to close off comments, you need to decide how you would like to use them.

As you can see in the example below, I am letting people know the next steps for the campaign I am running at that point in time.

when you close off comments

Mention why you have closed off comments.

How to see who has plussed the comment, and why!

If you click on the plus ones for a comment you can see who has plussed.

But here is the great thing: you can then look to add them people into circles as you may well find they are some of your best engagers. From there you can build the relationship further.

who plussed the comment

Look to add people into your circles.

An extra tip…

If you re-enable the comments, you can add an additional message and notify the people on that thread another time. A great way to market a new idea to people who related to the old one.

Martin Shervington is a Google+ marketing expert, consultant and executive coach. He manages two communities on Google+, Plus Your Life! and Plus Your Business! and has authored numerous books including Developmental Coaching.

#2: Leverage Google+ Hovercards to Grow Your Audience

Every marketer wants to grow their audience on Google+. A larger Google+ audience leads to more reach inside the network and ultimately more traffic and potential customers to your business.

Unfortunately, many marketers are getting overwhelmed trying to keep their Google+ stream filled with fresh content in the hopes this will attract +1′s, reshares and new connections.

These marketers are making one critical mistake. The most effective way to grow your audience on Google+ doesn’t involve creating your own posts. Instead focus on commenting.

Google+ users can scroll over any other users name, anywhere inside of Google+ and a hover card will appear.

ryan hanley google plus hovercard

A hover card will appear once you scroll over a user’s name within Google+.

The existence of hovercards removes the necessity to create original content (at least as often as on other social networks). This is why I highly recommend a Google+ commenting strategy (similar to the old-school blog commenting strategy) for building new relationships and driving traffic to your site.

Enter terms relevant to your business in the search bar at the top of every Google+ page. The results will return Google+ users, public posts, communities and Hangouts on Air which match your interests.

Next start engaging. Add valuable comments to the public posts. Join and engage in the community discussions. Attend and participate in the Hangouts on Air. From your comments in these locations over Google+ users can simply hover over you name and add you to their circles (which they’ll happily do if you’re adding value to the conversation).

Ryan Hanley, founder of Hanley Media Lab.

#3: Schedule Your Google+ Posts for Maximum Impact

When you find great content you want to share on your Google+ personal profile it doesn’t make sense to share it all at the same time. Instead it’s better to add it to a queue and share at an appropriate time.

The Chrome DoShare plugin is a free plugin which allows you to share content at a time that suits your audience.

When you come across a piece of content on the web you can click on the DoShare button in your browser and add it to a queue.

You can also add content you find in Google+ to your queue by clicking on the DoShare button.

click on the do share button

Click on the DoShare button to add content to your queue.

Due to limitations on Google+ for posting on personal profiles, you need to have your Chrome browser open at the time you have scheduled the content to be delivered.

This is not a bad thing, as I’d advise you to only post content at a time you are available to respond to it. But you can queue up your scheduled content or just add content without a schedule and send it when it suits.

Ian Cleary, founder of Razorsocial.

#4: Use Your Google+ Profile to Claim Authorship of Your Content

If you write content for various online blogs and publications, be sure to use your Google+ profile to claim authorship of each piece of content you write. Also, regardless of whether you own a website or not, sign up for Google Webmaster Tools using the same Google account as your Google+ profile.

This will allow you to see analytics data for the posts linked to your Google+ profile, including impressions in search, click through rates, and more. Just look under the Labs menu for Author Stats!

author stats

You can see analytics data for the posts linked to your Google+ profile.

Since you generally can’t get analytics data for the content you write on sites other than your own, this can give you a little insight on the popularity of your content in search.

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer and author of Kikolani.

#5: Make Sure Your Images Take Up Significant Real Estate

One of the secrets for success on Google Plus is not just sharing images that capture attention, it’s also making images that are tall and skinny so they take up significant real estate.

Don’t make the mistake that many newbies make, and allow Google Plus to grab an image from the link you’re sharing. Go the extra step and take a couple of extra minutes to create gorgeous, visually appealing, tall and skinny images for your content shares.

Looking at the images below, which would capture your attention?

capture attention image

Which would capture your attention?

Yes, the tall and skinny one, with images of people and attractive colors, would definitely win.

Experiment with different image sizes and colors to see what performs best. If you find images that aren’t the right size, use a tool like Canva or PicMonkey to resize your images and to make them more visually appealing.

Source – 5 Google+ Marketing Tips

 

 

How Press Requests Can Be A Link Building Gold Mine

Building genuinely powerful and authoritative links isn’t easy. Sure, there are tons of ways to build links, but how many of these techniques actually enable you to gain real editorial mentions from top tier websites?

The answer: not many.

Press Request Link Building

Getting a link from a leading publication within your industry can’t even be compared to something like a link from a directory, even if that directory is DMOZ. That’s because editorial links from industry-relevant publications hold so much more value than just the link equity. Such benefits include social media exposure, brand awareness, targeted referral traffic and, ultimately, direct conversion potential (to name a few).

What I’m going to talk about within this article isn’t necessarily a new technique, but it will go into detail on the approach I take to get results from press request link building (in a way that can be scaled). I’ll show you the tools that I use, the techniques that I’ve refined over the years and how to make the best use of your time for maximum results.

What Are Press Requests?

If you haven’t used press request services before, then you’re really missing out. In a nutshell, they are platforms that allow journalists to connect with brands, bloggers and agencies in order to get input into their upcoming articles.

This could be in the shape of a simple comment on a topic, an extra reading resource, a review product or a full article. There are all sorts of ways that they’re used, but more importantly, they’re used by major publications all over the world.

I even use them when I’m searching for input into some of my articles if I’m looking for a giveaway prize on some of my other blogs (here’s an example).

There are tons of different services that you can use, but here are a few for you to check out. They’re a mixture of paid and free services:

Getting Organised

Once you’ve signed up to a few of these services, you’ll soon start to realise the sheer amount of emails you will receive from journalists each day. On average, I receive around 200, and I only use a couple of these services.

If you’re not organised, then you’ll end up missing opportunities.

Another thing worth mentioning at this stage is that time really is of the essence. Most journalists will want quick input on their requests — we’re talking hours, not days here — so you need a process in place for responding to requests.

If you’ve got a whole PR team at your disposal then this becomes a lot easier as you can have different people watching out for different topics at different times of the day. This is the ideal situation. I’m not going to presume that everyone has this though, so for the purposes of this article, I’ll assume that you’re just an individual with no other resources.

Here’s how I set my emails up:

  1. Create separate folders within your inbox for each of the different services you use (i.e., ResponseSource, HARO, Muck Rack, etc.).
  2. Create rules for any new emails from each of these services to go into their allocated folders.
  3. Create sub-folders underneath each main folder that are broken down into different topics. For example, I have folders marked as Small Business, SEO, Social Media, Blogging, etc.
  4. Once you’ve created these sub-folders, create rules on any of the emails that include keywords related to each topic to be filed under the relevant sub-folder. For example, any request mentioning SEO will go into my SEO sub-folder. I also exclude any emails from going into the folders that mention competitions or review products (this avoids me getting irrelevant requests). This may not be the case for you, though.
  5. The final thing that I do is create rules on any of the emails from these services that will flag an email that comes through from a publication that I’m targeting. In my case, I have alerts for any PR requests that come through from Forbes, The Guardian, The Financial Times and a few others.

This will only take around 15 minutes to configure, and it will seriously increase your effectiveness at both identifying potential PR opportunities and being able to respond to them.

Useful: Check out these guides on how to set up email rules within Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.

Taking it a Step Further

Building on mail alerts, I take this a little further for really important requests that I want to ensure I can respond to. This part I do through using IFTTT (If This Then That).

If you’re anything like me, you don’t end up spending a lot of time behind your desk. I’m usually on the move a lot throughout the week, so staying on top of PR requests can be tricky to say the least — even when I’ve got all my email folders sorted out.

Using IFTTT, I get an SMS sent to my cell phone whenever I receive an email from HARO requesting input on an article focused around SEO. You can use the recipe I created here to get this set up quickly.

My IFTTT recipe

I’ve also added a draft email response template into my iPhone/iPad notes so that when I receive the SMS, I can quickly check the email, replace a few fields in my response template and get it sent over to the journalist as quickly as possible. Perfect for when I’m on the move!

How To Respond To Requests

Once you’ve got everything set up so that you can respond as quickly as possible, you need to know how best to respond to requests. I’ve been responding to requests for several years now and have refined my process a lot over this time.

Each week, I’ll get between 3-4 editorial mentions from PR requests from about 2 hours of my time. Considering that these mentions have come from the likes of Forbes, TechRadar and Yahoo, that’s not a bad ROI.

My mention within TechRadar

Here are some pointers for responding to journalists:

  • Do not phone them unless they specifically stated they wanted to be called. This is a huge bugbear of many journalists (just check out Alice Troung’s response in this article from BuzzSumo).
  • Use the name of the service they contacted you through within the email subject, along with the topic of their request. For example, “HARO: Comments on article surrounding the fracking industry”.
  • Don’t mention links at all (you can do this at a later stage).
  • Open the email with a small intro as to who you are (about two sentences).
  • Give them what they want within the first email. If they want comments for their article, don’t just send them an email saying you can get them; actually send them over in the first email (I usually send over 4/5 bullet points).
  • Make sure that you send over content that can easily be plugged into their article with as little editing as possible (if it doesn’t quite fit then it could be a lost opportunity).
  • Add in clear contact details to get back in touch with you, along with your social profiles.
  • If you’re responding via Twitter, be sure to give them your email to get in touch directly or offer to DM them details.

In terms of timing, I always respond as quickly as possible. This should be balanced out with the time it will take to deliver a good, quality response — there’s no point responding really quickly with a crappy contribution.

Source – How Press Requests Can Be A Link Building Gold Mine

 

 

AblySoft – Designing With Tablet Users in Mind

mobile_Apps_graphic It goes without telling that sales of tablets and other smaller devices are on all-time high. While platforms for smartphones ask for extensive work and adjustments, a website can be made tablet-friendly with little changes. Touch interaction is the most distinguishing feature of tablets, and by keeping it in focus, one can get the tablet traffic. So, here are some ideas to make designs that would keep tablet users happy:

Think big for Call-To-Action

When it is the index finger that will do most of the talking, keeping call to action small could be an idea for disaster. Tablets users will not be able to interact with the install, signup or buy button if they will be minuscule. So, thinking big for call to action buttons could work wonders. Ecommerce platforms too experience a lot of traffic from tablets. So, choosing web portal development services with the same in mind can make a great difference.

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Think Beyond Hover

Making click able elements with ‘hover’ logic can work against tablet users. Styling text links in such a way that users are able to identify and interact could be a great idea. One should also not hesitate to use underline. The practice will not diminish the experience of a PC user but will certainly add usability factor for the tablet traffic.

Don’t lose Sales & Traffic due to Silly Web Design Mistakes

Make it fit for all Mobile Devices

 

Think About Readability

Tablets may be bigger than smartphone devices but they are still tiny as compared to PCs. So, it can help if you keep readability on top while deciding the font size. Too small a font will not serve tablet users properly, so choose it carefully. A celebrated online store builder also considers increasing margins between content blocks. This also adds to the readability factor.

In addition to above points, one can also go for bigger form field size. With a little work on these parts of website one can improve usability for tablet users.

Please share your ideas about tablet focused design in comments below.

If you need any assistance to improve your website’s tablet experience or have a question regarding tablet traffic & sales, talk to our design experts & get guaranteed solutions.

The Top 10 Brands With the Most Influential Content Marketing on LinkedIn

Forbes is the global brand with the most influential content on LinkedIn, according to a recent report from the social network.

The ranking was based on data from LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score tool, which measures member engagement with a company’s pages, groups, employee updates, influencer posts, and sponsored updates.

The second most influential brand on the network is The World Economic Forum, according to the analysis.

The rest of the top 10 are media outlets and tech companies: Inc. Magazine, Microsoft, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, HP, Salesforce, IBM, and Mashable.

An earlier study in February by LinkedIn found high-tech and media companies are generally the most effective content marketers on the platform, with the top 10 brands in each category earning the highest average scores.

Other industries with a number of highly effective brands on the platform include professional services, financial services, education, manufacturing, and consumer goods.

LinkedIn also shared the most influential brands in 16 individual countries as part of the recent report.

The geographic breakdown revealed a wider range of industries compared with the overall top 10 list. For example, one of Canada’s most influential brands on LinkedIn is an educational institution (Queen’s School of Business) and one of Indonesia’s is a hospitality business (Club Bali Resorts).

For more findings from the report, check out the infographic:


Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2014/25510/the-top-10-brands-with-the-most-influential-content-marketing-on-linkedin

Consumer Social Sharing Trends 2014

Users share and consume different content depending on the network they’re on. Facebook tends to be the place for politics and family, while Twitter is the natural forum for snappy, real-time topics like news, finance and sports, a new report reveals.
Sharethis.com‘s Q2 2014 consumer sharing trends study found that, overall mobile devices social sharing activity grew by 19 percent since 1st quarter of 2014. While much of this growth was driven by smartphones, which experienced a 28 percent lift in activity this quarter.
Here are some more highlights from the report:
  • Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest dominate the social web on mobile.
  • Mobile users pin and tweet 3x and 2x as often as desktop users.
  • 75 percent of all Twitter and Pinterest sharing is now on mobile (compared to 50 percent of Facebook sharing).
  • Together, Pinterest and Twitter stole juts over 2 percent of Facebook’s share of social activity last quarter.
  • Channels such as Blogger and Tumblr aslo won this quarter, while email and LinkedIn continure to stagnate.
  • This infographic offers several actionable statistics and facts to help social media marketers and publishers engage their audiences who are sharing on the go.

Visit here more details – http://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2014/07/Consumer-Social-Sharing-Trends-2014-infographic.html

 

Infographic: cameras and smartphones in a photography face-off

infographic_15th JulyIn the ongoing battle between cameras and smartphones, which takes better pictures? This infographic reveals all.

Over the past few years, smartphones have come into a realm of their own; offering up some of the best cameras, with the best photo apps out there allowing smartphone users to snap away to their hearts’ content. Here, this infographic pits the two devices against each other to see which way you prefer to capture your memories.

The ‘Camera vs Smartphone’ infographic was created by Treat, with illustrations showcasing a wide range of statistics such as how many photos each person takes on average; what percentage of people are on film or how different the usage behaviour of smartphone camera users compares to that of digital camera owners.

So, does the infographic turn out how you thought it would? As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts – which do you prefer? Digital cameras or smartphones?

Visit here full View on this post

How to Use Facebook to Increase Leads

Do you want to make Facebook a profitable marketing medium for your business?

Is Facebook bringing you the leads you’re looking for?

A few simple tweaks to your Facebook marketing can bring in more business.

In this article you’ll discover four ways companies are using Facebook to increase leads.

#1: Optimize the Cover Photo

There is an entire branch of analytics known as eye tracking and it’s dedicated to tracking and reporting what people look at on a web page. Most people spend the majority of their time on the top 1/3 of the page (many times without even realizing it).

The red indicates the section of the web page with the most views and reaffirms that content above the fold is the most viewed.

Not surprisingly, eye-tracking studies on Facebook pages have similar results.

eye tracking example on a facebook page

Your page’s cover photo gets the most attention.

When someone visits your page, the cover image is prime real estate and an opportunity to set up a lead generation campaign in Facebook.

For example, the Mauz Dare Group’s Facebook page could have copied other real estate companies on Facebook by displaying a collage of homes they’ve sold over the years. Instead they chose a more successful opportunity—collecting leads.

Their cover photo design isn’t just luck. It’s carefully designed to find clients. It includes a picture of a beautiful house (indicating that they deal in real estate), a CTA and a logo for branding purposes.

It’s clear that the primary purpose of their cover photo is to get prospects to download the mobile app by clicking the tab below the cover photo.

facebook page cover image with call to action placement

Make the most of your Facebook cover photo.

We read left to right so they place the CTA at the top left of the page to increase the chances that it’s the first thing prospects see when they visit the page. The magnifying glass icon inside the CTA box matches the icon on the custom tab. There’s no doubt where prospects should click if they want to download the custom app.

Including the logo on the right helps prospects recognize signs and other advertising around town.

Once again, the photography complements the business by reinforcing the professional nature and quality of the service provided.

The large image of a beautiful house puts the emphasis on the group’s business: real estate. That single picture says, “Wouldn’t you love to live in a house like this? We can help you!”

#2: Avoid the Hard Sell

Have you ever noticed that when something looks like a blatant advertisement you’re more likely to ignore it?

Think about it. When you scroll through your Facebook news feed, browsing your friends’ pictures and life updates, an ad sticks out like a sore thumb, right? If you’re like me, you’re far more likely to click on a subtler ad, perhaps one that provides a link to a useful article vs. a landing page.

appsumo facebook ad

Make ads relevant, subtle and useful to get more clicks.

When creating their ads, AppSumo had people like you and me in mind. They’re known for their humorous approach to sales and their ads reflect that. The picture in the ad above is light-hearted and friendly. They catch peoples’ eyes with something that looks less like an ad and more like a picture your friends would share.

When you click the AppSumo link, you don’t end up on a landing page. Instead you immediately see the information promised: an informative and entertaining article explaining how AppSumo founder Noah Kagan was able to launch a new business and make $1,000 in 24 hours.

appsumo facebook ad landing page

Deliver on your promise and provide information without using roadblocks.

At the bottom of the article is a call to action where you can buy an online course and learn how to launch a successful business based on Noah’s experience.

I have one other piece of advice regarding placement of your ads. Sidebar ads tend to have a lower click-through rate (CTR). In fact, news feed ads have a CTR 44 times higher than right-side ads. By putting their ad in the news feed with a seamless image, AppSumo has a much better chance of people clicking through.

#3: Use Clear Calls to Action

One of the quickest ways to grow your email list is to advertise—use a colorful image, a headline that promises value and a clear call to action (CTA).

In the example below, Brad’s Deals highlights a picture of a popular brand of earphones. Showing a popular product is a great way to get people to pay attention to your ad. Once you draw attention to your ad, people naturally want to know more.

The headline attached to the image keeps people interested. Who doesn’t love 50-90% off? The value added to the audience is worth checking out.

bradsdeals email signup ad

Offer value if you want to grow your email list.

In addition to offering value, Brad’s Deals includes a strong call to action (sign up for our newsletter). More importantly, they include a way to complete that action via the Sign Up button in the image.

Whether you read the CTA in the update or just looked at the picture, the value is clear and the ask easily completed. When you click the image, you go to a landing page where you can sign up for the daily newsletter.

bradsdeals email signup form

Make it easy for people to complete your CTA.

The truth is, your prospects don’t want to share their email address (or any other information, for that matter) unless they have a good reason to. Discounts, access to important information (e.g., an industry report), giveaways, etc., are all good ways to encourage new subscribers.

Branding, of course, is important in any marketing campaign. The value, text and overall feel of your ad and your landing page should be the same across the entire newsletter signup process.

#4: Host a Giveaway

If you’re looking to quickly build brand awareness, increase engagement and generate qualified leads, a giveaway may be your best bet.

The Mauz Dare Group promotes a monthly giveaway on their Facebook page. The status updates start with a direct benefit to their audience, provide clear instructions on how to enter the giveaway and include real estate photos.

mauz dare group sweepstakes promotion udpate

Giveaways bring attention to your company.

The giveaways are carefully designed to bring attention to the group’s purpose: selling real estate. Every step of the entry process includes pictures of beautiful living spaces.

When you click on the entry link, you’re taken to a landing page within Facebookwhere you can officially enter to win.

The landing page uses specific tactics and is designed to garner entries (as well as draw in customers).

mauz dare group sweepstakes landing page

Each element of the landing page is carefully planned.

The Entry button is clearly visible at the top of the page. It’s green (different from the blue of the rest of the page) and specifically says Enter to Win Now. As a prospective entrant, you can’t miss it.

The Mauz Dare Group also restates the benefit for entering the contest. That reminder is right next to a countdown feature to remind visitors that the contest won’t last forever—urgency can be a good motivator.

At the bottom of the page they include three attractive pictures related to their business. It’s not a hard sell, but it’s definitely noticeable.

These tactics extend to the confirmation page as well.

When visitors click on the Enter to Win Now button, they end up on a landing page with an attractive, specific CTA used to invite entrants to share the giveaway on their own timelines (to get more entries), thus getting the Mauz Dare Group in front of a larger audience.

mauz dare group sweepstakes entry confirmation page

Include pictures to reinforce your product or service.

The landing page also reiterates the purpose of the Mauz Dare Group without saying a word. The beautiful home in the background is a final reminder of the company you purpose.

As a real estate company, the Mauz Dare Group does a good job of employing captivating photography in their status updates and landing pages. By investing money in photography, they’ve built a brand that conveys the quality of their business.

You probably noticed that several images include pictures of the group’s partners. As a small business, you have the advantage of being the personal face of your business. Chances are, your customers want to do business with a person, not a brand or logo. This is especially true in a client-services business like real estate.

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