Jan 29
Reading Time: 2 minutes

   Why It's Time To Clean Up Your SEO - BMT Micro Inc.

In our most recent blog, New Year Resolutions For Your Online Business, we touched on the importance of updating your SEO. A key takeaway was that businesses should update the keywords on their website each month to ensure they still match the terms consumers are using to search for their product or service. But, for businesses to grow and maintain search visibility in 2016, one must embrace new, sophisticated search patterns that are emerging. The future of SEO is being shaped by mobile, social, and voice search. And, businesses should draw attention to these new search patterns, especially as we get further into 2016.

Mobile Search
More and more searches are occurring on mobile devices and the influence mobile has on search is only intensifying. In fact, just this past year mobile surpassed desktop search for the first time. Mobile friendliness is predicted to increase this year. So, businesses that are not optimized for mobile may suffer. Having a strong mobile presence is key to maintaining and improving search rankings. Mobile pages need to load quicker and the content should be structured for audiences on the go. So don’t risk potentially alienating over 50% of your site visitors by ignoring mobile optimization this year.

Social Search
If your business is active on Facebook, you may have noticed more content, search, and trend features popping up this year. Social media networks have spent a lot of time developing their social feeds and also investing in social search. Google already has deals in place with Facebook and Twitter. Just do a Google search for a trending news topic and you will see a tweet or two will appear in your results. It is important to note that it has been predicted that social media platforms will become more heavily indexed in search engines this year. Social media posts are also predicted to carry a similar ranking value to any website or landing page.

Voice Search
Over the last few years, Siri, Google Now, Cortana and Alexa have been introduced to us. Today’s consumers are searching on their phones by asking questions to these voice activated personal assistants. Last year, Apple revealed that Siri was receiving 1 billion requests a week and this was growing by the day. But, voice search is much different than traditional search because it is actually changing consumer’s behaviors. To consumers, voice search is much faster than going through the hassle of opening up their mobile browser and typing into a search bar. This has lead to more than half of all search queries being four words or longer. Which means long tail keywords are just as likely to be searched as specific keywords. So, your business may want to consider implementing long tail keyword optimization into your SEO strategy this year if you do not already.

The fundamentals of SEO and performing keyword research are not changing. Businesses will still want to find words and phrases that consumers are using to seek out their products or services. Mobile, social and voice search are just changing the structure of search engine queries because the world of search is expanding. Take the time this year to clean up your SEO and prepare for this new era of search.

Jan 22
Reading Time: 3 minutes

New Year Resolutions For Your Online Business - BMT Micro

New Year always brings a fresh start. And for businesses, a New Year also brings the opportunity to reflect. Businesses should always take the time to look back at the past year and address current opportunities and problems, areas of improvement, and what did and did not work that year. Even though we are already a few weeks into the new year, it is not too late to establish some 2016 resolutions for your business. If you are struggling to come up with these on your own, here a few simple ones we think you should consider this year:

1. Expanding Globally
When you are selling online, don’t limit your reach. Take advantage of the global opportunity with E-commerce and consider transacting business with countries beyond your own. Localizing and expanding your international reach can increase your audience reach and profits. A business can accomplish this is by either displaying pricing in each respective country’s currency and converting the currency on your own or setting up an account to accept the country’s currency. Setting up your own account can get complicated, and finding the resources to support your localization efforts may be difficult. When you sell internationally you will need to be able to adjust quickly for varying exchange rates and adhere to international taxes, tariffs, and fees. For many businesses it is easiest to use a reliable E-commerce company like BMT Micro to handle international transactions.

2. Update Your SEO
Typically, you should update keywords on your website each month to make sure they still match the terms people are using to search for your product. More than half of all search queries are now four words or longer so don’t make the costly mistake of ignoring long tail keywords. You are more likely to convert shoppers using longer search terms because there are usually farther down the purchasing path.

3. Make A Change In Your Marketing
It is important to evaluate and continue to evaluate your marketing efforts each year. It is crucial for businesses to figure what is working and what is not and adjust accordingly. Analyze your current and past marketing efforts and try something new this year. Analyzing your efforts could be difficult to do internally due to either a lack in resources or not knowing where to start. A simple solution for this would be to outsource. Here at BMT Micro we have recently begun offering a Marketing Analysis and other marketing services to our vendors. If you are interested in learning more about these services please contact our Marketing Specialist via email at leah@bmtmicro.com.

4. Enhance Your Unique Selling Proposition
When you are in a highly competitive industry, a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is critical to a business. A USP is a key component to your marketing, advertising, and overall business. To ensure your USP is still relevant and unique for today’s competitive market, businesses need to keep re-visiting their USP. So, take some time this year to work on your USP and clean it up. If your USP sets you apart from your competition, you will be able to put together a better sales and promotional strategy for the year ahead.

What will your 2016 Resolutions be? Hopefully these gave you a few ideas on what your business can focus on this year. Don’t forget, a New Year also gives you an opportunity to review your current relationships with partners or anyone your business is working with. Having the right E-Commerce partner can be an enormous help when you are looking to create a solid strategy for your online sales.

There are a number of things an E-commerce company, like BMT Micro, can do to save your business time and money. With BMT Micro, you can focus on your business while we handle your customers from the point they land on the checkout page through the point of receiving their purchase, and sometimes beyond. There is no need for your business to purchase an expensive shopping cart system. We can create a custom shopping cart to match your website for a seamless transition. We can also handle localization for your customer’s convenience as well. We provide more than just the items discussed and to learn more about what we offer please visit our website at www.bmtmicro.com or contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Jan 15

Native Advertising

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 2 minutes

  Native Advertising - BMT Micro

One of the most pressing issues of 2016 is how to achieve marketing efficiency when consumers are going out of their way to avoid ads. The problem is growing worse as consumers find themselves overwhelmed with banner ads, emails, text messages, and an abundance of traditional marketing techniques. And with the rise of ad blocking software, marketers have to work harder to reach their target audiences. However, as technology continues to advance, digital adverting strategies are evolving to keep up and one strategy is becoming more relevant in 2016 than ever: Native Advertising.

What is Native Advertising?
Native Advertising refers to any ad that does not look like it is an ad. You might not even know you are reading native advertising until you reach the end of it. This is because native advertisements are crafted to mirror the content of the website you’re visiting, which creates a natural, less disruptive advertising experience. In other words, you think you’re reading a story or column, but it’s really an ad.

Does it really work?
A survey of 509 consumers conducted by Contently found that most people struggle to differentiate what is and is not branded content. They found that consumers tend to identify native advertising as an article, not an advertisement. In theory this means consumers are much less likely to ignore native ads vs. traditional banner ads since they feel like they are seeing the content they came there to see. What’s more, consumers who read high-quality native ads report a significantly higher level of trust for the sponsoring brand. But don’t just take our word for it, let’s look at a great example of how native advertising works.

Most major publishers are pushing a native advertising strategy and you can find it on almost every platform ranging from the trendy Buzzfeed to the elite Wall Street Journal. Even the venerable New York Times launched its sponsored content in January 2014 and recently revealed that 20% of digital advertising revenue is attributed to this strategy. In August 2014, The New York Times published an article titled “Women Inmates: Why The Male Model Doesn’t Work.” The in-depth article discussed the many problems women face in prison and has become a great example of how native advertising can work. At the end of the article it is clear this is an native ad when you see the small advertisement for of the second season of “Orange is the New Black.”

The New York Times is a great example of how to present native advertising but don’t let it intimidate you. The best way to get started with native advertising is to start small and pursue opportunities with a publication specific to your niche. You may not see great results right away, but do not ignore the potential of this strategy especially as ad blocking increases. When executed correctly, native advertising can deliver valuable content to help get your brand’s message in front of the audience you are after in the most efficient way possible.

Jan 8
Reading Time: 2 minutes

   New Year, New Audience - Generation Z - BMT Micro

 Today’s teens (known as Generation Z) have been raised in the era of smartphones, selfies, blogs and social media. They currently make up more than a quarter of the US population and this is still growing. Like Millennials, Generation Z is constantly connected. But, this generation of digital natives is also extremely selective when it comes to their digital decision-making. They have been raised in a high-tech, hyper-connected, on-demand, and impatient culture. They relate to social media, news and content differently and are throwing a major curveball to proven marketing strategies. Marketing efforts that have worked for Millennials and other generations are not working for Generation Z, which means a business will need to approach this generation of consumers very differently.

 Businesses that want to reach the Generation Z market will need to change the way they communicate. Now businesses will have to work harder to understand Generation Z’s interest, hobbies, and goals since this generation expects a custom experience when shopping online. Businesses will need to focus on crafting unique marketing strategies to target this generation and it would be wise to get a head start on understanding this group now.

Prefer to shop online
Since Generation Z has been brought up with the Internet, they prefer to do most of their shopping online as opposed to off. They spend nearly every waking hour online. 46% are connected 10+ hours per day and when this generation grows older they will drive major e-commerce growth.

Multi-screening
Generation Z is constantly stimulated with content from multiple sources, and can shift seamlessly between five screens on a daily basis.. They are scrolling through news feeds, photos, and videos at rapid speeds. To reach Generation Z, share your brand and your message across multiple screens (desktop, tablet, mobile TV) and offer a seamless multi-channel experience across all devices.

Keep content simple, short and interactive
Generation Z has the lowest attention span and according to a Nielsen study, 84% of them watch TV while using at least one internet-connected device simultaneously. Getting and keeping their attention is challenging as they like to communicate in bite sizes. Businesses will need to focus on short messages, front-loaded with enough attention-grabbers and “click bait” to entice even the most distracted minds of Generation Z.

Social Media
Today’s teens use social media for more than just connecting with friends – they turn to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat as information sources. 52% of teens use YouTube or social media sites for a typical research assignment in school. They are also connecting with brands through their social networks and communicating with others who like the same products. Online is their first stop for research and purchase behavior so making sure that your search engine results and social search results are optimized is a must. Businesses that are not taking full advantage of the real-time engagement that social media provides are missing out on reaching this entire generation.

Generation Z are kids and teens who have never experienced a world without internet, social media, and smartphones. Marketing to them requires a well thought out approach and changing the way your business communicates. They are still a bit of a mystery to many businesses, but if your business is up for the challenge, they are set to be one of the most lucrative generations for the online consumer market.

Jan 1
Reading Time: 3 minutes

   Online Trends To Prepare For In 2016 - BMT Micro

The first day of 2016 is here and each New Year brings fresh ideas to online businesses on how to better engage with their customers and improve sales. The good news is online sales are going to continue to grow in 2016. But is your business prepared to take on 2016 in full force? The following are a few online shopping trends to keep in mind when going into the New Year. These trends can improve your conversion rates and help your business stay competitive in 2016.

Real-time Analytics
Data is an invaluable resource that can help determine how your business is doing. However, with traditional analytics, it can take days or week to spot a trend of problem on your site. This is where real-time analytics can be a game-changer for your business in 2016. Real-time analytics gives you the ability to see in real-time what your customers are doing on your site. You can see where or when they are encountering problems or when they are leaving your site so you can offer assistance before losing a sale.

Video Marketing 
Videos are certainly nothing new but many businesses are now going the extra mile with branded, custom video content. Video marketing can boost your sites SEO, increase conversions, make your content more shareable and give your shoppers  a resource to utilize for additional information in less time. Even social channels like Facebook and Bing are already offering video advertising options. Plus, video is one of the best ways to engage with millennials and Facebook live streaming, Periscope, Snapchat, and YouTube are on the rise now more than ever.

Mobile
Mobile use has grown 76% year-over-year from 2013 to 2014. 2015 was a big year for mobile and when the final numbers are in that percentage will only increase. When it comes to marketing, businesses have to think mobile first. The number of people browsing on mobile passed desktop users a few years ago, and this is something an online business can no longer ignore.

Ad-Blockers
Ad blocking got a lot of attention in 2015. Many methods that digital marketers have traditionally utilized like pop-up as and banner ads were proven no longer effective in engaging consumers. People are no longer fans of “in your face marketing” and want more from businesses. 61% of consumers feel more strongly towards a business that delivers custom content. So, it is important to remember the relevancy of your ad and the audience it is being served to.

Content
Content Marketing seems to make the list of digital marketing trends every year and this year is no different. Relevant and engaging content creates a stronger organic reach for online businesses and is a perfect way to combat ad-blocking. 70% of marketers even plan to increase their content marking expenditure this year. Therefore, remember who your consumer is and target accordingly.

A New Year always brings changes especially in the digital world. Keep these trends in mind as we enter 2016 to give your business a better sense of how to plan for the New Year. If you are looking for ways to improve your business in 2016, BMT Micro is here to help too. We have a reliable, cost-effective solution that is flexible enough to meet your needs now and well into the future. We also have several plans for you to choose from, or we can customize our plans to suit your needs. Signing up with BMT Micro does not cost you a penny and with the numerous functions in our Vendors Area, managing your online sales has never been easier! If you have any questions or if you are interested in learning more about BMT Micro’s offerings please contact our vendor services at vendors@bmtmicro.com.