Google+ Pages For Business: Taking Branding to New Heights

g+ Google+ Pages For Business: Taking Branding to New HeightsGoogle Plus (Google+ or G+) just launched its G+ Pages for businesses. We already know that a proper Google presence is absolutely crucial for business growth. And we know that G+ is the most explosive force on the social network scene in history. Now, the marketing propellant that is Google search combines with the G+ social aspect – and what you get is a powerful opportunity to increase your company’s presence on the Internet.

+1, +1, +1…

Here’s where G+ Pages surges ahead of Facebook: linking your Page to your AdWords campaigns. All the positive interactions and SEO-boosting fragments that your marketing efforts have been able to garner up until now get tallied together as a single total. Your customers will be able to see all your +1s seamlesslessly, no matter where the +1s came from (including from your website) and whether they are looking at:

  • one of your ads
  • a search result
  • your Page

It also means you will be able to put all your recommendations in more places. As Google points out:

“This means your +1’s will reach not only the 40+ million users of Google+, but all the people who come to Google every day.”

More importantly, this integration with regular Google search means your recommendations from your customers – all your +1s – send an even stronger signal to Google about the popularity and authority of your brand.

Making (Direct) Connections With All Things Google

Of course, the biggest power of Google is that it is everywhere. These G+ rollouts are just the beginning of Google connecting all of its offerings together. We couldn’t be more excited, as social media marketing people, of the potential uses of all these changes coming up (and of course we’ll blog about it as the changes are rolled out)!

Google is even changing the functionality of its basic search to give more importance to G+ with Direct Connect. Typing a + before a company name in the search bar will take you directly to their page. This is only in limited functionality as yet – you can only do it with big names like +Android and +Toyota for now – but the possible ramifications of this for businesses is immense.

Google Themselves Say It Best

From their blog:

 “Google+ has always been a place for real-life sharing, and Google+ Pages is no exception. After all: behind every page (or storefront, or four-door sedan) is a passionate group of individuals, and we think you should able to connect with them too. For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world.”

To Our Clients, Friends, and Fans

All of our current social media clients should know we’ve got them covered regarding G+ Pages, as well as all upcoming trends in social media and Internet marketing. You’re welcome to call us/message us/see us with questions, of course. While we’re at it, new friends and fans — whether you need Internet marketing, social media, audiovideo, or website help — are welcome to contact us as well.

8 Important Elements of a Great Web Presence

340px Japanese Urban Expwy Sign Number 8.svg  217x300 8 Important Elements of a Great Web PresenceA successful website is pretty to look at, to be sure. But when potential customers browse your site, there should be minimal effort and time on their part to get to the goods and services that you offer. And when it comes time for them to buy, there should be no obstacles in their way as they head to checkout. They need ease of use. Your website must be clear and concise without being overly simplistic, because that in itself sends the wrong message. There must be substance.

We can break this down into bite-size pieces like this.

  1. Balance. Of course your site needs to have a clean, attractive design. The Internet is a visual medium and an ugly website is often the kiss of death. But the look and feel needs to have balance.
  2. Graphics That Do Not Distract. Nothing should take attention away from your marketing message. If your site is an online video game or movie promotion, of course it’s OK to have a full-blown Flash intro and loads of cutting-edge animations, but if you are marketing a more traditional product or service, you should avoid going overboard on the visual presentation. Avoid making your page so wide that visitors have to side scroll to read it all. It makes it sluggish and annoying, or worse, it makes you look like you don’t know anything about browsers.
  3. The 60-Second Rule. It’s safe to assume the average user will give your site a maximum of 60 seconds of their time unless you actively compel them to stay longer. For this reason, the area above the fold is the most important part of any page your visitor might land on. That refers to anything that is visible before your prospect has to scroll down the page. You should use this area to relay your most important message. You might leverage a well-crafted header graphic, a killer headline, or an audio greeting that plays as soon as the page is loaded to pull your visitor into your marketing message.
  4. Easy Navigation.  Give your visitor clear navigational options so they don’t get lost. You can take this a step further by actually directing prospects where you want them to go.
  5. Quality Content!  A strong and informative message is not only what your target market is looking for as they scour the Web in search of your product or service, it’s what the major search engines will use when ranking your site in the search results. It’s a great idea to present yourself or your company in a personal and inviting manner. Most people want to do business with other people, and not some nameless entity.
  6. Pre-Qualification.  Your website should answer many of the common questions and overcome the most typical objections posed by your target market. When this is handled correctly, you are able to weed out potentially problematic customers and pull only the best-fit clients into your funnel of profit. This is obvious enough in the case of a direct response sales letter site. But even if your business is in the service arena (landscaping, home inspection, wedding planning, etc.), pre-qualification is a must. By providing detailed information on your scope of service, and even including a FAQ page on your site, you can begin the pre-sell product and “warm up” your prospects before a personal meeting or phone conversation ever takes place.
  7. A Lead Capture Device To Set The Stage For Follow-Up Marketing. Research shows the average prospect needs to see an offer up to seven times before deciding to take action. If you let a visitor leave your site without collecting their contact information for a follow-up campaign, it might be your competition that finally ends up closing the sale. –You might offer a monthly newsletter, an discount club subscription, a sample product, or a free course as the incentive for your prospects to opt-in to your mailing list. These are just a few examples. There are a slew of different ways to collect your visitors contact info in an ethical, mutually beneficial way. The key is to offer some real value in exchange for the subscription.
  8. Findability. It’s pretty hard to profit from a website that your target market can’t find. It takes a lot of active promotion to drive traffic to your site, and this should be viewed as an ongoing process.

While the above statement is abundantly obvious to website owners in the business opportunity niche, a lot of traditional business owners fall into the trap of thinking an active site will automatically be available to the citizens of cyberspace.

Article marketing, link building, blogging, e-zine ads, viral marketing strategies, displaying your domain in all of your offline advertising, and joint venture promotions are all examples of effective promotion strategies.

Make sure your site meets the entire above curriculum, and you will have yourself a great foundation for profitable web marketing.

Social Media : Ups, Downs, and All Arounds

iqm Social Media : Ups, Downs, and All AroundsSocial media channels and social networking websites continue being among the most popular commodities in the global online sector.

Ups, Downs, and All Arounds

As the number of users to these websites increases, the software applications and venues broaden at the same time. We’ve seen sites decline and some have gone up in a glittery, moving unicorn gif-filled ball of fire (like, you know, MySpace). But even sites like MySpace are not necessarily declining – they are evolving, partly to jostle for position in the social media space, which they don’t want to lose.

That being said, the level of popularity of Facebook and related gaming apps continues to increase and will likely see even more growth in the coming years. The explosive growth of Google+, only a few months old, is changing the game. So much so that Facebook continues to roll out massive changes to their interface to incorporate some of the functionality of G+ and to try to stay on top.

Twitter continues to offer immediate gratification for millions around the world, while specific niche market networking sites are gaining a share of the market as well. A look all around the world reveals an infinitely diverse social media market and a great deal of possibilities.

(We will be getting more in-depth about Google+ Pages for Businesses in a very near future post. We’re excited about it!)

Google Dictionary Is Now Undefined

dreamstimefree 900879 300x198 Google Dictionary Is Now UndefinedGoogle has closed yet another property. The Google Dictionary is yet another service to get the proverbial ax. It is just another in a long line of abandoned Google properties, which include their web directory,Google Labs, and Google Wave, just to name a few.

Before the “Google is burning to the ground” reactions start appearing, it should be noted that Google is doing just fine on the financial end. The shuttling of these properties are little more than housekeeping and the removal of extraneous materials that people may or may not miss. Nevertheless, when Google discontinues something, even something as innocuous as a dedicated dictionary, it’s newsworthy.

That being said, it’s not the end of the world, although some are disappointed. Furthermore, Google is very a “trial and error” company, and if something doesn’t work the way they envisioned, and/or it’s not being used by the masses, the company has no problem scuttling what it considers dead weight. As pointed out by Barry Schwartz, a Google employee ventured to the Google Web Search Help forum to explain Google’s decision.

Simply put, they didn’t need a standalone dictionary any longer, at least from their perspective:

As many of you know, we’ve recently introduced a dictionary tool into Google Web Search to help you quickly look up the definition of a word,. Because the dictionary tool offers the same functionality as Google Dictionary, we’ve decided to discontinue dictionary.google.com.

For your definition needs, you can type your query right into the search box and use the dictionary tool located in the left-hand panel on the results page, or you can type [define (your word)] right into the search box.

User Reactions

As for the reaction to the closing of the Google Dictionary, that’s precisely what led Kelly F to issue her response. There’s only so much of this you can take without setting the record straight:

OMG! How can google do this without any warning. I’m not a native user. So, I use Google dictionary all the time. It’s the best dictionary out there. I’ve starred a lot of words too. Now I don’t see a way to get them back. Please google make Google Dictionary available again!!! Definitely a bad move by Google.

The sources Google gets/got their definitions from are not gone. Is typing “Dictionary” into a Google search bar really that difficult?

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Who We Work With | iQuarius Media

Affiliate Marketing Tips1 Who We Work With  |  iQuarius Media

Whether you are an Ad AgencyMarketing CompanyDesign House, or Business Owner, we can compliment your efforts you already have in motion by extending your approach to the Internet.

  • Ad Agencies – If you are running a media blitz, let us execute the Internet campaign with PPC Advertising, Social Marketing, Email Campaigns, and online Press Releases. Inquire about our competitive agency rates.
  • Marketing Companies – So you’ve thought of the perfect brand and message for your client. Now let us help you get that message in front of your target market on the Internet with Website Development, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and more! Inquire about our competitive agency rates.
  • Design Shops –  You do great design and everyone knows it! Which is why they want you to design their next website, email campaign, or e-newsletters. Let us program it for you and help make your creative vision a reality.
  • Business Owners – You signed up to be the “expert in your field” and have the freedom to run your business. Now you are expected to know everything about internet marketing and information technology. Let us help you take the mystery out of “new media” by assisting you in forging a well-defined Internet Strategy so you can get back to doing what you do best.

What We Are NOT

We are not an Ad AgencyMarketing Company, or Design House. We complement these types of businesses by extending your reach to the internet world. You are the experts in coming up with the best “message” — and we are the vessel to deliver it.

The Effects of Media on Children, Parents, and Educators

Family tree Test2 297x300 The Effects of Media on Children, Parents, and EducatorsTechnological innovation has altered the childhood experiences many mothers and fathers and school teachers remember. Today’s youth are “digital natives.” Maturing in a world loaded with technologies, digital natives develop an instinct for tech culture and mastering new games and applications.

“Digital immigrants”—an expression that can be used to identify anyone that can recall growing up without computer systems or cell phones—often come to feel challenged by today’s current tech-savvy youngsters and struggle to stay abreast of a changing tech landscape.

But we’re still the adults here.

Parents and educators continue to be vital in directing the present generation in their technology use. Monitoring activities, coaching them in social etiquette, and having good old conversations with them about their actions online, are an important part of our job as adults, both at home and in the school room.

What today’s current parents and educators may be lacking in tech experience, they have in life experience. Applying conventional life skills, social manners, and basic safety practices to online activities is essential to assist today’s young adults in turning out to be sensible digital citizens.

[On that note, have a happy and safe Halloween!]

Sprint Unveils Their First $100 4G Android Phone: The Samsung Conquer 4G

Samsung Conquer 4G image4517 588x446 300x227 Sprint Unveils Their First $100 4G Android Phone: The Samsung Conquer 4GMobile media development — which includes apps, video, audio, and other interactive media for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, etc. — and SMS marketing are more than just taking off, they’re launching full-out assaults from all sides. The next big weapon to be unleashed is the availability of 4G-capable phones, able to handle more intensive media, at lower and lower prices.

At the end of August Sprint unveiled its 25th 4G-capable phone, but the Samsung Conquer 4G is the first of its kind with its starting price of just under $100 with a new 2-year contract. Sprint’s other 4G-capable phones start at the $200 mark.

The phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, and its low-res front-facing shooter clocks in at 1.3 megapixels. This is where the specs start reflecting the lower price: the processor is a single-core 1GHz and the 3.5-inch touchscreen resolution only stands at 320×480, though many recent reviews point out that it’s plenty bright enough to read clearly. Other specs include 3.2 rear-facing shooter (with flash and zoom in tow) and Sprint ID. So the Samsung Conquer is no beast by any means, but the draw of 4G for that kind of price will no doubt be huge for consumers. For media producers and marketers, this means a growing audience of users increasingly ready to consume bigger, better, brighter media from them.

 

Millionaires Prefer Facebook

Facebook icon 300x300  Millionaires Prefer Facebook

A new study shows that 46% of online users with investable assets of $1 million or more are members of Facebook, up from 26% a year ago. The survey, by Spectrem Group, showed that millionaire’s use of Twitter has declined, from 5% to 3%.

They also remained fairly cool to LinkedIn. Only 19% of millionaires used LinkedIn – unchanged from a year ago.

Plenty of earlier studies have shown that more than half of millionaires are on Facebook – even if they rarely have time to actually use it. But the Twitter and LinkedIn numbers are somewhat surprising, given that both would seem to appeal to a more business-minded, time-pressed elite.

Apparently not.  One reason may be that Twitter is a more open network, which makes it more difficult for control-freak millionaires to manage who follows them. On Facebook, you can more easily manage access to information.

Another is that Twitter is largely a broadcast tool, while Facebook is more of a network builder. The rich value personal networks more than online megaphones.

But age also plays a role. According to the study, among those with $5 million or more in investable assets, the boomers are slightly more likely to use Facebook than the youngest investors — 56% vs. 50%, respectively. (Warren Buffett is an exception, of course).  Twitter was generally more popular with the younger-millionaire crowd.

They also are split on where they get their financial news. Millionaires younger than 55 years old are at least twice as likely as those ages 55-64 to get their information from social media than from traditional media outlets.

Thankfully, blogs remain popular among all millionaires. Nearly one-third of investors worth $5 million or more say they either read or would read blogs by trusted financial advisers.

Bing: 4 Reasons You Want Links

dreamstimefree 1786980 225x300 Bing: 4 Reasons You Want LinksBing’s Duane Forrester has posted about how Bing evaluates content quality and how it looks at links. He says you want links for a few reasons:

  1. Because they alert us to your website when it’s new or has new content
  2. Because they are a vote of confidence in your site – quality websites tend to link to other quality websites
  3. Because those links can send you direct traffic
  4. Because, over time, they can help establish a footprint that points to your authority on a topic (think guest blogging)

The main point is pretty much: Links are not everything when it comes to ranking in search engines. Nothing new there. Still, it never hurts to listen to the policies as they’re explained by the search engines themselves.

Duane Forrester says: You love links. We love links. Build for the right reasons.

How Many Links Do You Need?

On how many links you need, Forrester says, “Not as many as you may think. Again, as with so many other areas of search optimization, there’s no exact number here.  On popular phrases with lots of query volume, to rank well will require more links from trusted, quality websites to boost your rankings.  Less popular phrases can often require many less links pointed at your site to see the same lift in rankings.  This is where a targeted link building approach can pay off for you.”

The take-aways of the post, Forrester says, are: Don’t buy links, great content builds links, prove to users you’re a trusted authority (and links will follow), and social media can help grow links.

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