Internet Marketing Solutions for Small Companies

When it comes to your internet marketing, you don’t want to fall behind all your other competitors. At the same time, as a small company, your marketing budget will be limited when compared to a large corporation in the same industry, which is why you will want to work with a professional internet marketing company that can help you identify areas to focus on in order to help you grow and achieve success in the long run.

One of the first important internet marketing solutions for any small company is to do three important analysis, gathering the vital information you are going to need to direct your online marketing campaign. You need to ensure you complete a thorough website analysis, identifying areas that need to be changed. The website analysis will help you see which pages are generating business and which ones are lagging behind.

From here, you will want to complete a customer analysis. You should already have some idea of your clientèle. You may cater to all customers, you may cater to companies in a certain industry or you may cater to customers of a certain sex or age bracket. Getting a good understanding of your clients and their buying habits is imperative to your marketing campaign.

Focus on your website design. You need to ensure that your website design is professional and portrays your company in the best possible light. Remember for many customers, your website is the first impression they have of your company, so you want to that it makes the right impression.

SEO or search engine optimization is essential to your online success. SEO is very detailed and comprises of numerous services. The easiest way to understand it, is that it is a number of different services from using specially chosen keywords to website navigation, which helps your company improve their ranking in search results. You and all your competitors are competing for more than the customers, you are also competing to get a first page ranking in search results, helping you improve your website traffic and achieve success.

Make sure you take advantage of pay per click (PPC) advertising. This is an affordable internet marketing solution which enables you to pay only for results. Only when a potential customer physically clicks on the link provided do you pay for the marketing, this way you only pay for an improved result. You set your daily marketing allowance, so you can easily fit it into your budget.

Find an internet marketing solutions provider who can help you with your reputation management. Your online reputation is imperative to your success, the last thing you want is your reputation being tarnished. Something as simple as a poor quality link can result in you being penalized by the top search engines, so you want to ensure you do everything you can to provide a positive image at all times.

You will want to focus heavily on your social media marketing and management. Social media enables you to engage with your customers on a daily basis, be seen and heard and boost visibility considerably. You have a choice of social media accounts and having an account set up with all of them, gives you the chance to reach a wider audience.

It is important that the internet marketing solutions provider you use can provide you with mobile solutions. Mobile SEO is very big right now and every company is working on creating a mobile friendly website and an application to ensure that they meet Google’s algorithm and give them a chance to reach even a wider audience moving forward.

These Mistakes Are Badly Hurting Your Online Business Directory

A business directory thrives on web traffic. You understand that. You cannot expect people to come and enlist their businesses with you if they aren’t aware of who you are. You know that too. Quite sadly enough though – you’re just not able to able to derive the desired traffic to your directory. Maybe, it’s time to revise the best practices of Business Directory Development. Once you do that you will come to unearth a sling of mistakes that you have been unwittingly committing all these times.

Kindly ensure that you’re acquainting yourself with the mistakes associated with a business directory. Here is a look at some of these mistakes.

You Are Not Indexing Your Directory for The Search Engine

You are submitting your online directory only in the most prominent search engine like Google. What about the lesser known or less popular search engines like Yahoo and Bing? You should not really commit this mistake. Submitting your directory to all the search engines (irrespective of their scale) is imperative. Make sure you are submitting and you are doing that. Do not forget to get your business directory validated by these search engines as well.

You Are Not Writing Articles Promoting the Business

Do write articles about your business and online business directories and submit them to article directories as well. Focus on online business marketing and do include the URL to your directory.

You Are Not Bookmarking Your Online Directory

You might as well think that all the aforementioned promotional efforts are unimaginably time-consuming. However, excluding any of these measures can actually impact the future of your online business directory adversely. You can enhance site traffic for your business directory by utilizing the social marking websites. You can add a small widget to your site so that your visitors are able to share your content with others. Your directory can be promoted on various social channels including, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace and others.

You Are Not Interested Is Spreading the Word

There are not one but several ways with the help of which you can bolster the presence of your online business directory. Work on forging solid business relations with owners of other directories so that you can always exchange promotional ideas with each other. Exchange links with pertinent directories and posts comments on discussion boards and business blogs. Do not forget to use a forum signature which consists of your directory URL on blogs and forums where you participate with your comments. Once again, one of the biggest reasons why businesses do not engage in substantial networking is because of the fact that they are just not ready to shell out the kind of time required for these activities. You’re committing a huge mistake if you’re thinking on similar lines. In your effort to save time, you will find your competitor racing ahead in the curve because they chose to network (something which you didn’t do!

Ethical Online Philanthropic Fundraising Practices – 10 Tips

Online Giving Tip 1: Know Your Charity:

Make sure you have the exact name of the organisation. Some charities or charity websites have names that sound similar and you need to make sure it is a legitimate non-profit.

Before you give online you should be familiar with the name and reputation of the charity you intend to support.

If in doubt check with your country’s or province statutory body for charities.

2: Give to Legitimate:

Only give to charities recognised by the appropriate governmental body in their respective country.

Look for the charity to explain their tax-exempt non-profit (NGO) status in a FAQ or similar area of their website.

You should also be aware that some advocacy organisations are not allowed by law to issue tax-deductible receipts but you may still wish to support their work. However, the recommendation is to understand before you make the gift in terms of what type of tax receipt you can expect.

However, tax relief/recovery can be applied to donations from people who pay tax.

3: Feel Free To Ask Questions:

Any legitimate charity seeking your support via the Internet or offline will give you ample opportunities to ask questions and to learn about their mission.

You can learn a lot about a non-religious charity by asking for the Annual Return the charity files with the statutory authority each year or ask for a copy of their Annual Report & Accounts.

Nonprofit organisations registered as a charity are required by law to provide this information when asked. Non-registered charities should even at least produce, (and be able to supply), an Annual Report & Accounts.

It is recommended that any proposed giving to a charity should be examined through material available from the appropriate statutory authority who can also provide a service enabling the proposed donor to check well in advance that any charity collection they authorise is genuine.

How? By checking, for example, that:

– The charity or cause to benefit is reputable, not merely registered.

– The collector or organiser genuinely acts for that charity or cause.

Statutory authority(ies) website(s) also provides a service to charities to make it more likely that they will actually receive the proceeds of collections made in their name.

Encryption:

4: Give Safely:

Make sure the charity site uses encryption technology that ensures appropriate security for online donations and data transmission.

Before entering any information you consider sensitive (i.e. credit card number, personal identification data, etc), verify that the page requesting your credit card information is secure (encrypted). The letters https:// rather than http:// should precede the page’s URL and/or there should be an unbroken key or padlock symbol located in the corner of the web browser.

If in doubt contact the charity by telephone or by e-mail before you provide the information online.

Sponsorship Subscription Contribution(s) can also be made via online banking to make fast, easy and secure payments to a charity or alternatively a direct credit transfer payment from your business/organisation to a charity.

5: Consider Giving Directly:

The Internet provides tremendous opportunities to support the charity of your choice directly.

Do not get taken by charity or someone who is in need through chain letters be they by mail or online. Letters/e-mails that claim money will go to a specified charity each time the message is forwarded are not true.

If your charity does not provide online giving opportunities at their website, consider giving through recognised umbrella sources which provides all registered charities with the ability to receive online donations.

6: Demand Privacy:

Check for a Privacy Policy concerning the use of your name, e-mail address or other personal information.

Do not disclose personal information, such as your address, telephone number, social security number, or e-mail address unless you know who is collecting the information and how they plan to use it.

7: Keep Records:

Print a copy of the final confirmation screen that appears when you have made your gift.

In addition, keep a copy of your charitable gift confirmation e-mail for your records.

If you do not receive a confirmation of the gift by e-mail, (and in most cases by mail as well), do not give to that charity online again, until you are certain they have brought their online solicitation policies in line with these tips.

In such cases, contact the charity to make sure they received your gift and request confirmation of the gift.

8: Look For Contact:

A reputable charity will make certain contact information is readily available in case you need assistance with questions, problems, or service.

The charity should provide one or more ways to reach them offline as well as communicate with them directly online.

Look for the charity’s contact address, telephone, e-mail address, etc.

9: Know How Your Money Will Be Used:

The Internet provides charities with an opportunity to share more information about their work with you the donor.

You should be able to learn how the charity you contribute to plans to use the money donated to help others and fulfil their mission.

If you are not certain how the charity will use your charitable gift, ask!

10: Request Regular Information:

Your favourite charity should provide an opportunity to hear about their work regularly.

On their website or through e-mail updates the charity should provide information about how they fulfil their stated mission.

These updates should be received on a regular basis and should not be tied only to requests for contributions.

Consider before you Donate!

Do not rush:

Before you send a cheque to the first person that solicits your money by phone, stop and think about it. There are nearly over million organisations, or non-profit groups that take tax-exempt contributions. Many of them have similar sounding names but varying degrees of efficiency when it comes to spending your money.

In other words, you will need to do a little work to ensure your hard-earned pounds help the people/cause who need it most.

Tap the web

One of the easiest ways to analyse any charity is to turn to one of the Web sites that provide detailed and comparable information on charitable organisations.

There are a number of sources which maintains ratings on individual charities as well as information on how efficiently it spends donations. These can also include downloadable copies of revenue services filings for many non-profit groups. With organisations generally, you will find charities that have met select criteria to become a member.

Watch for con artists

Unfortunately, it happens that just about every time a major disaster occurs, a scam artist somewhere decides to set up a fake charity to milk pounds out of well-meaning contributors.

For that reason, do not send money to telephone solicitors you do not know. Watch out for mail solicitations as well. A common scam is to send a request for money disguised as a bill. Appeals that include sweepstakes promotions should disclose that you do not have to contribute to be eligible for any prizes.

If you are contacted by an organisation by phone or mail and you want to give to their cause, call the charity directly instead of donating through a third-party. Many provinces/countries that solicitors identify themselves as such and legitimate fundraisers will be happy to send you written information by mail if you request it. You should also ask for written proof that your donation is deductible.

Do not pay cash

Some charities send letters to all donors regardless of the size of their cheque, but many charities only provide receipts to those who give a certain ceiling limit or more. So you are better off making your donation by cheque. That way, you will have proof of your donation when tax time rolls around.

Also, know the difference between tax exempt and tax deductible. Tax-exempt means the organisation does not have to pay taxes, whereas tax deductible means you can deduct your contribution.

The more you give, the more control you may have over the pounds you donate. Some charities allow donors of – ¬£5,000 or more to earmark the money for a specific use, in charity law parlance this is known as ‘restricted funds”.

Think of alternatives

It is likely that the massive amounts of pounds going to south Asia could strap smaller, domestic charities. You may want to consider writing a cheque to a local organisation at the same time you send money to help tsunami victims.

Code of Ethical Online Philanthropic Practices

Contributors are encouraged to be aware of non-Internet related fundraising practices that fall outside the scope of this article.

Philanthropic Fundraising Experience

Clearly and specifically display and describe the organisation’s identity on the organisation’s website.
Employ practices on the website that exhibit integrity, honesty, and truthfulness and seek to safeguard the public trust.

Privacy and Security

Seek to inspire trust in every online transaction;
Prominently display the opportunity for supporters to have their names removed from lists that are sold to, rented to, or exchanged with other organisations;
Conduct online transactions through a system that employs high-level security technology to protect the donor’s personal information for both internal and external authorised use;
Provide either an opt in and opt out mechanism to prevent unsolicited communications or solicitations by organisations that obtain e-mail addresses directly from the donor. Should lists be rented or exchanged, only those verified as having been obtained through donors or prospects ‘opting in-out’ will be used by a charity;
Protect the interests and privacy of individuals interacting with their website;

Provide a clear, prominent, and easily accessible privacy policy on its website telling visitors, at a minimum, what information is being collected, how this information will be used and who has access to the data.

Reference and guidance in the UK should be made to fundraising regulation and fundraising preference or existing governing bodies for fundraising and voluntary sector.

Disclosures

Disclose the identity of the organisation or provider processing an online transaction;
Guarantee that the name, logo and likeness of all parties to an online transaction belong to the party and will not be used without express permission;
Maintain all appropriate governmental and regulatory designations or certifications;
Provide both online and offline contact information.

Complaints

Provide protection to hold the donor harmless of any problem arising from a transaction conducted through the organisation’s website; promptly respond to all customer complaints and to employ best efforts to fairly resolve all legitimate complaints in a timely fashion.

Transactions

Ensure contributions are used to support the activities of the organisation to which they were donated;
Ensure that legal control of contributions or proceeds from online transactions is transferred directly to the charity or expedited in the fastest possible way;
Companies providing online services to charities will provide clear and full communication with the charity on all aspects of donor transactions, including the accurate and timely transmission of data related to online transactions; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies will invariably be published on companies websites’.
Stay informed regarding the best methods to ensure the ethical, secure and private nature of online fundraising/donation transactions;
Adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, charity solicitation and tax laws;
Ensure that all services, recognition and other transactions promised on a website, in consideration of gift or transaction, will be fulfilled on a timely basis;