Tag Archive | "Smart Phones"

Online Advertising Shows Continued Growth in 2012

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Online Advertising Shows Continued Growth in 2012

According to data collected by the Nielsen Quarterly Global AdView Study, spending on online advertising was still going up in the first 6 months of 2012. This confirms that businesses around the world are putting in more money in digital advertising and that the fears that some had of a coming slow down weren’t warranted.


In general, internet advertising spend grew by 7.2 percent during this period. But what is interesting to know is that there are regions in the world where online ad spending is growing far more than the average. While many studies focus almost exclusively on North America, Europe and sometimes Japan, the Nielsen report monitors ad spending around the world.


In the Middle East and Africa, businesses spent 30 percent more on online advertising. Latin America also saw a significant increase, with a rise of 20.5 percent. Internet ad spending in Europe was above average too, with an 11.2 percent growth level. There are a few reasons behind this growth in those regions of the world. The increase in use of the internet by the general population means that companies in these regions are increasingly using it to target local buyers. The availability of cheaper electronics that can get online, such as PCs, smart phones and tablets has helped the internet advertising market in these regions. This explains why many online advertising agencies and other solutions providers are increasingly looking beyond the “traditional” markets of North America and Europe and expanding their customer base into other parts of the world.


The advertising report has also taken a look at how spending has evolved for other types of advertising during the first half of 2012. Here are some of the results:


Television spending is up by 3.1%

Radio went up by 6.6%

Outdoor advertising (such as signs and billboards) went up by 4.7%

Newspaper ads saw a more modest growth by 1.6%

Cinema ads grew by 6%

Magazine advertising spend was the only one to go down slightly by 1.3%


While some may see the slow down in magazine advertising as a sign that magazine ads are starting to lose their relevance, this is not entirely the case. Many businesses are opting out of advertising in “general” publications, but are instead focusing on some more industry specific magazines. In fact, magazines that are specifically targeted to a precise niche, such as industry related publications, often have healthy advertising revenues. Now that many magazines are also published online, with their PDF versions having links embedded in their advertisements, the line between traditional magazine based marketing and online advertising.


Furthermore, while television advertising saw a moderate increase, it should still be known that it is the world’s leader in terms of advertising spend. In fact, figures currently show that TV ads represent over 60% of all advertising dollars spent around the world. With internet enabled TV use growing, it is possible that television ads will also change slightly to be adapted to this new reality, but in any case TV ads are here to stay.

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How B2B Email Marketing Works: Part 2

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How B2B Email Marketing Works: Part 2

One thing that you need to do when you run email campaigns for B2B offers is to do your research properly before you execute them. And what better way is there to research than by taking a closer look at some of the successful marketers doings and examining how they run their campaigns. For those who want to get a bit of insight into the B2B email marketing world, the 2012 Pardot survey on B2B email marketing has recently released its figures. Plus, we have some information that was collected from experienced email marketers on how to better run the campaigns.


Here are a few other things you need to consider:


  • Your messages MUST properly display on mobiles


Mobile phones have always been a business tool, ever since they came out about 3 decades ago. So it’s not really any secret that a large number of business professionals are using smart phones right now to check their email messages. For this reason, you will need to run a few basic tests to ensure that any message you sent out will properly display on a mobile phone. Unfortunately, not all marketers seem to “get it”. In fact, survey results show that only 25% of marketers check their messages to see if they will properly show up on a smart phone. You should be part of that 25%. Because if someone can’t see your message on their smart phone, they probably will just skip or delete it. And now you have a lost opportunity.


  • Date and time where your messages are sent matter a lot as well


In the business world, there are times where people are more motivated to do work and other times where they’re “busy” daydreaming or just waiting to get out of work. So it’s quite obvious that your email messages will have a bigger impact if they come to the recipient at a time where they’re in “productivity” mode.


53% of marketers say that Friday, the last day of the work week, is the worst day to send out emails due to poor open rates. On Friday, people may simply ignore any emails that aren’t seen as important, believing that they’ll get to them on Monday.


Also, 53% of respondents say that sending a message between the hours of 8 and 12 in the morning will yield better results in terms of click through rates.


Of course, these are just survey results and show the opinion of 100 people. So if you want to find out for yourself when your emails will get the best opening and click through rates, there’s only one sure fire way to do it: run some tests yourself. This will let you see the dates and times where your messages get the most attention. Then, you can of course set up your campaigns so that most of your messages get sent out during these periods.

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Some Data on Email Open Rates

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Some Data on Email Open Rates

Are you wondering how many emails sent by marketers are actually opened and read, at least in part, by their intended recipients? Many online marketers and small business owners are actually asking themselves the same questions. We all know that email marketing is a powerful way to reach clients and potential clients in an effort to get them to generate more revenue for an online business. But emails are only useful if they are actually opened by the recipient. Otherwise, they simply rot in the recipient’s email box or end up getting deleted.


There are many reasons as to why an email doesn’t get opened. It could be because the recipient didn’t like the subject line and didn’t feel like reading the message. Or, they already get too many emails and don’t really have the time to pay individual attention to each of them. Then, there is another possibility, that the recipient created an email that’s just used when signing up for websites and is not their main email. They don’t really check it that often, sometimes emails go for months without even being looked at, as the user doesn’t receive any personal or important mails at that address.


But are more consumers opening their emails? A study recently done by Return Path gives a few details of this. During the period from March 2011 to March 2012, email opens have actually gone up. There is an increase of 82.40% of email opens during this period. Obviously, this is welcome news for marketers who want their message to be seen by their audience.


But one thing that should be noted is that mobile devices, such as smart phones, have accounted for 30% of all email opens during this period. A more detailed breakdown shows that all Apple devices, like the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad represented 85% of all email messages that were opened. Furthermore, email opens done on mobile devices were more likely to be done by users on weekends. For regular PC (laptop and desktop), the opens usually happened during the weekdays.


This is a useful piece of data for email marketers. An ever increasing number of internet users browse the web through a mobile device like a tablet or smart phone. Since Apple device users have a higher open rate than others, it would be beneficial for marketers to more aggressively promote their email lists to these users. On your mobile site, you can make sure that the email subscription option is featured more prominently. Perhaps there could be a certain incentive that you could give to mobile users so that they become more likely to open messages that come from your business. And since messages are more likely to be accessed during the weekend by these users, it would only be logical that you send out your more important emails to mobile users on Saturday or Sunday. This is where properly segmenting your email list by device type used could be very important as it will let you get more exposure for your messages.


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Taking Full Advantage of Mobile Traffic

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Taking Full Advantage of Mobile Traffic

It is a fact that the devices that we use to access the internet have changed. Of course, the regular PC, desktop or laptop, is still the main way for the world’s internet users to get online. But the PC is rapidly losing “market share” to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Now that the Microsoft Surface is making big news and that there is speculation that Apple is going to unveil yet another version of its iPad as an “iPad Mini” with similar features but a smaller form factor, many online marketers are starting to pay attention to the fact that not all their traffic will be coming from PC users. In fact, an ever growing number of website visits are made from other devices, most notably smart phones, followed by tablets. And it’s not just site visits that are made. Visitors are also profitable for site owners because they make purchases. Signing up for services, buying digital goods and even purchasing physical merchandise just like they would on a PC.

One question that comes to mind is what online entrepreneurs should do about it to take better advantage of this new trend and to be among the first to profit from it. There are a few easy tips which a webmaster or online marketer can follow:

The most important thing is ensuring that the websites you own either have a mobile version, or at least are compatible with the common mobile browsers. There are free online services that would allow you to test your site’s compatibility. Remember that if a user can’t get your site to display properly on their device, they will probably do what comes naturally: hit the back button and go somewhere else, which will potentially result in lost sales and revenue for your business.

A second thing would be to understand exactly what mobile platforms are principally used by your users and what these mobile users do on your website. By taking a look at server logs and statistics, you are able to see how many of your visitors come to your website by using a device other than a PC. You can also see which sections of your site they visit the most and what they do on it. Do they mainly browse for information, or are they looking to buy something that you offer? Remember that trends in mobile platforms may change and new types of devices can appear in the future, so it is best if your site is easily compatible with all mobile browsers and not just aimed at a specific one, unless your main niche is specifically aimed at users of a certain platform (i.e. selling accessories and providing information on Android based mobile phones).

There are a few other ways that you can take full advantage of your traffic which comes from mobile devices and to profit from it. We will take a look at some of the ideas you can implement on your site tomorrow.

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Most Consumers Want Marketing Messages by Email

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Most Consumers Want Marketing Messages by Email

There are many online marketers and entrepreneurs who are shunning email marketing, believing that it is ineffective or that consumers perceive any email they receive from a business as a “spam” message and don’t pay attention to it. However, the reality of consumer opinion is quite different from this.


According to a survey of 1 500 consumers in the United States related to how they prefer to receive marketing messages, a large percentage, 77%, have said that they prefer to get them by email. There is no close second place, according to the study. Email is still king with US consumers and this doesn’t look like it’s going to change much in the future even as other marketing channels are being developed in the world of online advertising.


Here are the numbers for the rest of the marketing methods:


  • Direct mail (physical letters, brochures, catalogs…) : 9 %
  • SMS messages : 5 %
  • Facebook : 4 %
  • Phone calls: 2 %
  • Twitter : 1 %
  • Mobile applications for smart phones : 1%
  • LinedIn : Less than 1%


In reactions to the survey, many marketers were surprised that social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have scored so low. The explanation is that while consumers will pay attention to the pages of their favorite brands and businesses on social networking sites, this is not the place where they want to receive commercial solicitations. Marketers need to remember that social networking sites were never designed as being a marketing platform in the first place. Rather, they are a place where individuals connect to other people that they care about. Users also like to use social networking sites for their integrated apps and games (horoscope, poker, Farmville, etc). They may check out some commercial pages, but they don’t like it when their news feed is filled with ads.


There are some who ask: even if email marketing is well received by consumers, do these people actually take any action in buying something they’ve gotten through email? The numbers say yes.


The survey done by Channel Preference has said that 66% of consumers purchased something as a result of a marketing message they’ve received by email. Results from other marketing methods are:


  • Direct mail (physical letters, brochures, catalogs…) : 65 %
  • SMS messages : 16 %
  • Facebook : 20 %
  • Phone calls: 24 %
  • Twitter : 6 %
  • Mobile applications for smart phones : 10 %
  • LinedIn : 4 %


While email may be the preferred way that consumers use to get communications from businesses, marketers should know that this applies to permission based mailings. Buying contact lists from brokers, even if that information was legally acquired in the first place, is unlikely to yield as good results as sending messages to consumers subscribed to your email list, or including a promotional signature in customer service or order confirmation correspondence.

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Will Mobile Marketing Change Online Marketing in a Significant Way?

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Will Mobile Marketing Change Online Marketing in a Significant Way?

The fact that mobile marketing is growing in the online marketing arena has been discussed numerous times, with facts and figures being posted. The main thing about it is that businesses are now investing a larger amount of money than ever to reach consumers who are using internet enabled mobile devices. One question that many have is how will mobile marketing change the game?

First, we need to understand why so many businesses are now focusing on consumers using mobile devices. This can be explained at the base by the advancements in mobile technology. A couple of years ago, mobile marketing was limited to sending text messages to subscribers who gave a business their mobile phone number. Few people owned web enabled phones as they were relatively expensive, both in terms of hardware and in terms of monthly data plans. This meant that very often, only business people were using them, giving marketers a limited demographic.

Now that smart phones are becoming more adopted by all segments of the population, marketers are noticing increased opportunities to reach more people and are therefore taking action to profit from it. There is nothing that is “revolutionary” about a smart phone for marketers, it is just another channel that has opened for them to reach their intended audience.

Even in mobile marketing, many advertising types have remained the same. We still have search marketing, content marketing, email marketing, etc. It is just that the format of the pages has been better adapted to the screen of a mobile device.

One thing that has changed the landscape of internet marketing is the attributes that are unique to smart phones. There is the development of apps that are made for the various mobile platforms. These apps include games, communication tools, productivity programs, etc. Marketers can profit from these apps in two ways, either by selling them, or by using in app advertising for those that are free.

Mobile payment solutions are also on the rise. Users can now pay for certain items directly with their mobile phone account. For now, the majority of items that are paid for by mobile payment are intangibles. This can include things like electronic books, videos, virtual items for online games, dating site subscriptions, etc. However, mobile payments have some potential to go beyond that. Already, some services exist which allow users to make small purchases at retail stores and pay with their mobile phone. Again, there is a lot of profit to be made with this. Payment processors, carriers, as well as affiliates who promote a product or service all get a share of the pie when a mobile transaction occurs.

When we look at how things are going now, it’s not really that mobile marketing is going to completely scrap everything we know about internet marketing and replace it with a different kind of marketing. It is just an additional channel to be used, just like social media when it made large gains in popularity in the past couple of years.

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All Types of Online Advertising Have Seen Growth in 2011

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All Types of Online Advertising Have Seen Growth in 2011

In the United States alone, revenues for internet marketing have totaled more than $31.7 billion in 2011. This is seen as an increase of around 23 percent from 2010 and there have been a few reasons cited for this jump in growth. One of them is the increase of mobile marketing and advertising.


According to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, online advertising revenues have gone up in a steady way all through the 2011 year, reaching a peek during the fourth quarter, at $8.97 billion in reported revenue. Many would be interested in seeing a breakdown of this revenue, to see where businesses have spent their online advertising dollars in 2011. Search related spend is still at the top, with 46.5 percent of all online ad revenue in 2011. Display advertising, such as on site ads, were in second place with 34.8 percent of advertising spend during the year. However, mobile advertising did play a sizable part, contributing just over 5 percent to total ad revenues. According to statistics collected during the year, mobile ad spending has reached $1.60 billion.


Even though mobile ad spending is still a relatively small part of the total ad spend that businesses put out, it is rapidly gaining ground and is expected to increase in the near future. The reasons behind this growth may seem pretty obvious. An increasing amount of consumers own internet enabled mobile devices, such as smart phones. Furthermore, a large amount of them are using the devices to either shop online, or to look for a brick and mortar business that they would want to visit.


For purchases made online, digitally delivered content of various sorts, such as games, music, wall paper graphics, adult entertainment content and ring tones are still very popular purchases made from mobile devices. However, the popular e-commerce sites are also reporting that there is a growing amount of consumers which are ordering goods directly from their smart phones.


There are many people who would be interested in knowing that mobile related ad spending is growing. First, there is the ad networks themselves, which are rapidly implementing mobile advertising solutions that are getting increasingly targeted. Advertisers are now able to select certain criteria to serve mobile ads, such as geographic area, type of mobile device used, demographics of the website being advertised on, etc. There are also ad networks and specialist marketing companies which are appearing on the market, who offer advertising and marketing solutions that are made to reach the mobile audience.


Businesses of all kinds, as well as affiliates that are promoting their products are also seeing an interest in mobile advertising solutions. By being among the first to develop a complete mobile marketing plan, they can stay ahead of the competition and attract those in their targeted market who are using mobile devices to browse the web. But in any case, businesses are still seeing the value offered by traditional online advertising channels, such as on page display and inclusion of their site in paid search results.

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Simple Business Types You Can Start: Part 2

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Simple Business Types You Can Start: Part 2

Yesterday, we’ve seen an example of a simple type of business that you can start online. The majority of easy to start online businesses involve either selling a product or providing some type of useful service to your target market. Here are some more examples of small online businesses that you can start:

  • Social Media Marketing Services

Social media has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years, so much that many businesses have seen it useful to build their presence on various social networking websites, such as Facebook, Google + and Twitter. Of course, there are still small businesses that, even though they may have an online presence through a website, don’t currently use social media even though it could be profitable for them. If you have knowledge on how to promote products, services and ideas through social media, you can offer your services to local businesses.

There are many types of services that you can provide. The most simple ones would be creating a social media page for your clients, filled with information about their business and products, and done in a style that matches their main website. You can also offer to manage the social media presence of a business entirely, by making the updates as well as creating events, groups, etc. when necessary.

  • Web Design and Web Building Services

Here again, you will offer your services to other small businesses in your area. You can offer to create web sites completely from scratch, or to update existing ones in order to improve their appearance. You can also offer to create mobile compatible versions of websites, which is something that is quite in demand lately due to the increasing use of smart phones by consumers to look for products and services that they want to buy.

In addition to designing and building websites, you can also offer additional services that will make you look more valuable for your clients. For example, you can offer to manage a website completely, by adding content and making updates when necessary. You can also provide your clients with web hosting services as part of your web design packages, which can simply be done by getting a reseller account with a good quality web host.

Naturally, you will need some good web design skills working with different software, plus graphic design skills would be useful as you can then create completely customized backgrounds, logos, etc. for your clients websites. Advertising can be easily done through free or low cost methods, such as on social media, through classified ad sites, forums, etc. If you do a good job and are priced competitively, you could also get some word of mouth referrals which will boost the amount of clients that you get.

These two are other examples of online businesses that you can easily start if you already have the right skills. There are plenty of other ways to make money online by starting a small, home based business. You just need to be creative in finding useful services that you can offer and that people would be willing to pay for.

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Which Changes Will be Brought to Online Marketing in 2012 – Part 2

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Which Changes Will be Brought to Online Marketing in 2012 – Part 2

As we look at the changes that are expected to take place in 2012, there are a couple more things that online entrepreneurs can expect during the 2012 year. It would be a good idea to review these changes and see if there is something that you can do for your online business which would make it more competitive, as well as take advantage of some of the marketing methods that are expected to get a high degree of popularity in 2012.

  • Mobile Based Marketing Solutions Will be More Popular

There is now an increase in the use of smart phones, as well as other mobile devices such as tablet computers. People who use these devices use them for a lot more than just communicating with their friends or playing Angry Birds… this is why online marketers have noticed them and are taking steps to profit from the rise in mobile device use around the world. Websites that are specifically targeted to mobile users are going to be built in much higher numbers. Applications of various kinds that run on these devices will also go up. Mobile based payment and transaction solutions, which are already seen in action, are expected to grow in 2012. We can now see some physical merchants experimenting with mobile payments, as well as mobile coupons. If you’re selling anything online, or even if you own a physical business, inform yourself more about the potential that mobile marketing can have for you. Many advertising networks such as Google AdWords are now letting their clients target mobile device users.

  • Online TV and Video Use Will Go Up

Online video isn’t exactly anything new and it has been a few years that video sharing websites such as YouTube have been in existence. What might change, however, is that an increased amount of commercial programming, such as live television as well as online video rentals, is going to occur in the next year. Many communications companies have implemented or are thinking of implementing IPTV, which is like regular television, but delivered over an broadband internet connection instead. It’s a bit too early to say whether IPTV is going to become a serious challenger to the currently used cable and satellite systems. It probably won’t take over completely in 2012, but this doesn’t mean that online video and television should be ignored by marketers and advertisers.

Websites that deliver video content, whether it is pre recorded videos, or live television streaming, offer some interesting advertising opportunities for marketers everywhere. This ranges from playing video ads before, during or after content has been played, to including text or graphic advertisements on the site itself. As more TV’s that are sold include internet functionality, combining traditional internet advertising with video advertisements will be something that is expected to be on the increase during the 2012 year. This means that online video will offer increased advertising opportunities, even for marketers that don’t have a huge online advertising budget.

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Some Design Tips For Your Website

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Some Design Tips For Your Website

If you are going to design your online shop website, or any other kind of business website yourself, then there are a few important tips that you need to keep in mind. These will help you give your users a better browsing experience when they look at your site and it will also be helpful for SEO in certain cases.

  • Use the right color scheme

There is a variety of backgrounds and templates that you can use for your website. Some are simple solid colors, while others feature intricate and creative design elements. The most important thing here is that the text of your website is clearly visible to your users. So if your website background is black, then you will need to make your text a bright color, such as white or gold, to stand out.

  • Avoid using pre-fabricated templates

There are hundreds of free website templates that you can find online and use for your website. This is great, however you should know that if you were able to download that template for free and use it on your site, then so did hundreds of others webmasters on the internet. Therefore, there will probably be many sites that look just like yours. Don’t be afraid to modify the design to make it look more unique. You can easily do this with a graphics manipulation program such as Photoshop or GIMP. This would allow you to customize things like backgrounds, headers, buttons, etc. You can also pay for a custom template to be designed for you, however this can cost between $25 and $1000 depending on what you want done and how complex it is.

  • Check to make sure your site works with all browsers

Test out your website in all browser, like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome to make sure that it works well and all elements appear correctly. This will provide a better user experience for your visitors. Also, it is a good idea to create a mobile version of your site as well. Since there is an increasing amount of visitors that use smart phones like the iPhone or Android phones to shop online, this can be very useful. There are many free tools and tutorials that are available online to webmasters which would allow you to accomplish this.

  • Test all elements of your site before deploying it

This is an important part. Once you are done designing your website, make sure that everything works well and is bug free. Check to make sure that all your links work, for example. There are automated tools that can let you easily do that and can save you a lot of problems, as it often happens that a typo could make a link not working or an image not displaying correctly. Also, check your payment gateway to be sure that it sends your customers to the checkout page correctly and that the prices, minus any discount offers or promotions, are reflected in the right way on your site. Many payment gateways have a “Sandbox” mode for testing purposes.

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Improving Conversion Rates on Your Website: Some Tips – Part 3

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Improving Conversion Rates on Your Website: Some Tips – Part 3

Previously, we’ve seen quite a few ways to improve the overall conversion rates on your website. If you have an e-commerce site which sells something online, then conversions are obviously something that you want to have. Here are some more ways to increase your website’s conversion rates in addition to what we’ve covered before:


  • Optimize your website for mobile visitors


Depending on the geographical location of the visitors that you are targeting, as well as your niche, anywhere from 10% to 25% of website visitors will be using mobile devices such as smart phones. What does this mean to you? Quite simply, you need to make sure that your website will work well to someone who is using a mobile device to access it. All parts of your site should be functional on mobile browsers, especially the checkout process. If a visitor that is using a smart phone notices that your website is not loading as it should, then they will obviously go somewhere else, which is definitely not what you want when it comes to your sales.


  • Find ways to capture visitors contact information


In most cases, this will be limited to just their e-mail address. It is also a good idea to give visitors a certain incentives in exchange for getting their e-mail. For example, you could have a contest where one of your subscribers will win a free product. Or if you offer intangible products, such as e-books or software, you could give a free trial of your software, or a free guide in exchange for the user signing up for your mailing list.


Some of you may think: how does this increase conversions? The user is not buying anything right now… Well, even though they are not making a purchase at the moment, they may very well return to buy something later on. By getting their e-mail address, you will obviously be able to send them a newsletter which contains information about your business, updates on your products and current promotions.


  • Include videos on your site


Including videos on your website can increase conversions by giving your website a look of authority on your niche. These can include instructional videos, a presentation of what your business is, as well as customer testimonials. Whether the video should play automatically when your page is opened is still the topic of debate. Some believe that it simply annoys users to have to hear your video if they didn’t want to, while others say that it will focus the customers attention to the video. In any case, you can put up a video on your site and simply put in a call to action for the visitors to watch it if they want to.


If you follow the tips that were presented in this series, you should definitely see at least some improvements in your conversion rates. But of course, there are many other things that you can do, which are left only to your own creativity.

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