Sweet Tips For Valentine’s Day Marketing

To be successful for Valentine’s Day you don’t have to be in the candy or flower business, you just need to know how to attract your customers. How are you supposed to romance a holiday when it’s geared towards very specific things? If you’re passionate about your holiday spirit, there are some simple things you can tweak your content to give everyone a treat.

  1. Who is it that you’re trying to romance? Think about your audience, not everyone is out to buy a present for a significant other. Like me, they could be out to score that rare box of candy that isn’t full of caramel for themselves. Make your customers your valentines by putting together a few promotions for them, not their other half. Keep in mind that people like to test time limits and do things at the last minute. Consider those procrastinators as well as your early bird shoppers when marketing your offers. Even dawdlers deserve love.
  2. Share the love. When you photograph your products for social media, try to add some roses in the background. You can use heart filters on add stickers on many social platforms these days, so play around with them. Don’t forget to add the x’s and o’s about all your specials for the holiday season too!
  3. Holiday gift guides are great, for those of us not selling chocolate cherubs and rainbow roses. Really sit down and go through your products and services with rose colored glasses to see what you could gear towards seasonal shoppers. Suggest things for the special someone, children, even teachers get hearts of appreciation. You never know when your clientele needs help finding a unique way to show their affections.
  4. Make your email subscribers your virtual valentines. This is an accumulation of everything you’ve done in steps 1-3. Reiterate the specials, duplicate your social graphics, send your gift guide straight to their inbox. Show them you take care of your loyal customers. These thanks and inclusive deals can even be sent in SMS messages if you have a text list.

Got any other tips or tricks to share? Valentine’s Day images to spread around social media? Comment below.

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Free Google Keywords Planner Walkthrough

Google Keywords Planner

  • Search for “Google AdWords”
  • Select Start Now when prompted
  • You’ll get to a screen that asks “What’s your main advertising goal?” – At this point, you can opt to create an account and pay for the actual ad, OR, you can scroll to the bottom and select “Switch to Expert Mode”
  • You’ll unlock the Google Ads campaign screen and you can do all kinds of things from there, but for today’s discussion you’ll want to select the small link beneath the main options once again, “Create an account without a campaign”
  • You’ll be asked to confirm your business information and should hit submit. Worry not, no credit cards will be asked for.
  • Click Explore Your Account
  • Select the Tools/Settings and Switch to Expert Mode. This allows you to continue without making a paid account.
  • The Keyword Planner is also located in the Tools menu.

How to Use Google Keywords Planner

  • You have two choices when beginning the Keywords Planner. Find keywords or Get search volume and forecasts. Both paths lead to the Keyword Plan, but they will be a teensy bit different.
    • Find Keywords: This is where you should look to get an idea of what keywords you should be picking for your website.
      • Enter the products or services related to your business or website when prompted, along with your URL.
      • Depending on the items you entered, you’ll get a general report showing you the average monthly searches, competition rate, prices to get to the top of the SERP’s (search engine results page) and some suggestions on other keywords.

Fiddle around with these suggestions as much as you like, and when you have the list of words you want to use, move to the search volume and forecasts.

  • Get search volume and forecasts: If you already have your list of keywords to research results on, you can come straight here. If you’ve used this after the “Find Keywords” tool, that’s fine too. This is where you get reports and stats.
    • Here you add all your desired keywords to get an idea of how well your ad would do with such keywords attached.
    • You’ll see how much it will cost per click, how many clicks you could get, projections for impressions (how many times your digital ad appears on a web user’s screen), and CTRs (click through rates: measures how many clicks your advertisements get based on the impressions).
    • If you’re just trying to find the best AdWords to use, you’ll also want to click on the Historical Metrics tab. This shows you the range of searches from the last year.

Now if you’re like me, you’ll see these ranges of 1K-10K or 10K-100K and be very very annoyed. That doesn’t tell you much does it? For example, one of my keywords was content. Why? I produce it! Well that range was 100K-1M. Well which is it? There’s a 900,000 difference! You can find other programs out there that will give you exact numbers (or at least closer), but they won’t be free.

Another way to get ideas for your keywords is to check out your competitors. Now, you don’t want to do this for your content, as that’s a cheap way to steal, but definitely look at their keywords. They may have a better insight to your niche than you do. Especially if you’re like me these days and trying to find those free tools that don’t really exist. Do some research into your area or your products. Maybe there’s something you’re missing altogether. Maybe you’re just advertising the wrong way. Are you aiming your keywords too broad or too narrow? It will all depend on your niche and your audience, so you’ll need to know those too.

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment. Want to have a more detailed discussion? Check out the contact form and drop me a line!

What Is Website Traffic?

What is website traffic?

By definition, website traffic refers to the people that go to a website. This traffic is measured in “visits” and tallies how many times a page on your website is loaded. Yes, this counts refreshed pages as well.

How is the traffic determined?

When you go to a website, your device connects to the website’s server. Each website has multiple pages, and those pages have different elements, which are made up by files. Each time you load a page online, all the files saved in that layout have to be sent from the server to your device and are counted as “hits”. So, while you’re getting one view for the page, you could be getting 10+ hits depending on how much your page displays. Text boxes, images, your fonts and color themes, all count towards the individual files saved on your server; which are all monitored constantly to give you the totals you can find on your website maintenance page.

The server also saves the numbers for web page requests known as “visits” or “sessions”, which lets you know how each of your pages or posts are performing. You as the website owner can then determine the key factors that are getting your site the most attention.

Is web traffic the only thing that is measured?

To put it simply, no. There are many things that measure the pieces of your site. It’s always great to see those high numbers next to visitors or views, but the things that happen after that are far more important to measure.

  • How long did the user stay? Can you really claim to be successful because you have high numbers next to your visitors and views if they didn’t stay long enough to read anything? One of the things measured on your website is called “bounce rate”. This is when a user clicks on your site or a page but leaves again after only a few seconds.
  • Do you have a store on your website? How many of your visitors actually made a purchase? Ecommerce sites need a large audience, as you can’t expect every single visitor to make a purchase, but the number of completed purchases is what you need to monitor. This metric is called “conversation rate”.
  • One of the other most important things to keep track of is your social media metrics. These vary in title and purpose depending on your website. Likes, shares, and comments are all counted in this section. The interaction is very flattering to anyone creating their own content, but it’s also very needed to anyone running a business online. This type of interaction affects the visibility of your website.

So, take a look at your stats. What is doing well? What is doing poorly? If there’s anything that needs to be cut or updated, make the necessary changes. Repurpose anything that you can, update anything that is older, and delete anything that is performing poorly to make room for new content.

If you have questions, leave a comment. I can help you out. More detailed questions? Check out the form on the Contact page.

A Door To The Weightless

He’d never noticed a door there before. He stood there staring at it, at first in confusion. But the longer he watched the frame, the more it became a beacon drawing him closer. He looked around the room but nothing else seemed different. How could he not have seen this before? A great rusted metal door would certainly stand out in an old home made mostly of stone and wood wouldn’t it?

Schwyn Jones walked towards the door like something might jump out and bite him, but nothing did. Either to his relief or his dismay, he couldn’t say. He reached an uneasy hand out and touched the door, quickly retracting his hand as he jumped away. “hah!” He said as if it would move on its own. Nothing happened.

There was a very dim glow seeping through the small crack between the door and the ground. He hung upside down trying to look inside, but he could see nothing. A gentle hum was singing through the strange metal that comprised the door, so he pressed his ear to it. The door must have been hollow, as the hum began ringing. It sounded almost like a generator, but for what he had no idea. This part of the house had barely any electricity to generate.

He gripped the door knob gently, then squeezed as he sucked in a deep breath. He pushed the door open and saw nothing in front of him. The light seemed to be directed from a funny angle and yet there was nothing in the room itself. He stepped inside.

Instantly he felt sick. A dropping sensation hit him in the gut split second before his head hit the floor. The room was full. And he was…on the ceiling?! What just happened? The open door shut on its own at what looked like the ceiling now. Did the room turn? He was on the floor in the room he was in, but this was the ceiling when he walked in.

Schwyn walked around the room, looking for something he might climb to get back out. He found another door and bit his lip considering going through it. He closed his eyes and charged through the frame, only to slam to the “floor” that should have been the right wall.

“So this is how it feels to be in an Escher painting..” he said as he stood up and walked around, looking for another way out. Gravity must be confused in this part of the house, he thought. The further into this new wing he got, the stranger things became. Metal grated flooring, and sheets of metal were curved to make up the rounded walls.

He went through another door, and another. Falling each time in a different direction. Right, left, straight down. He found a small door and crawled through it, finding that this time he fell straight ahead. When he stood up he found himself in a room full of people.

“Welcome to the experiment.”

The Passing

My name is Garret Narlin, and I should be dead.

In Mirrudge everyone is born with a birthmark on their forearm bearing the date they will die. Within the week of their death date, people are moved into the Expiry Thoroughfare as their final resting place; a final earthly Utopia. On their last night, the Eve of the Pass is held in the grand ballroom. During the celebration of passing from one life to the next, caregivers dress the beds. As the passing draws near, people retire to their beds with a final goodbye.

My death home is quiet, and I’m alone. The minutes are ticking by, and I can’t help but feel scared. I get to my room and look at my bed, the white floral draped gently around the edges and the satin sheets glimmering in the moonlight. Looking at it now, I feel stronger. I feel ready. With one last look out of the skylight, I let my eyes shut for the last time. Or so I thought…

I feel a hand grip onto my arm and jump. My eyes open and the morning light stings my eyes.

“Lornen! Lornen! He’s alive!”

My breathing hastens, and my heart feels constricted. I climb out of my bed and stare at it. It stands vacant, but in the wrong way.

“You must come with me now Garret.”

I fearfully shuffle one foot in front of the other across the floor after them. In all the history of Mirrudge, this has never happened. No one has ever survived their death day before. I stumble from my supposed resting place and through the city to the labs where the doctor rushes to me, slamming his hand on my chest and breaks into tensely triumphant laughter.

“Shena, come here.”

A young girl joins us in the room, and I know her immediately. My sister. I can see her quivering arm, and her date. Three weeks ago. Doctor Hesher places his hand gingerly upon her chest and feels both our hearts beating at once.

“In sync. It’s happening. A new age in Mirrudge. The pair of you will heal our world together.”

Hesher looks to us both, hopeful and proud. Shena reaches her hand out for mine, which I grasp, before locking her into a taut clinch. The hug releases a powerful burst of golden light around both of us. Flashes of a future appear to us both as we share a gaze, no death marks, no Eve of the Pass. Just life. We know what we must do, and we begin with Hersher. Together we place our hands over his heart, one atop the other, and watch as his death mark fades away. His laughter turns to pure delight and relief. Kissing us both on the cheek, he rushes us out of the lab and towards the city. With my sister’s hand in mine, our marks fade, and we march toward our destiny.

“Deliver us.”

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