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What Lessons Can We Learn From Shopify?

What Makes Shopify One on the Most Innovative eCommerce Solutions on the Planet?

We’re glad you asked.

Did you know that in just one year, Shopify increased their revenue by 90%? It’s probably why some short sellers are questioning the business model.

In the matrix of digital marketing, Shopify has found their niche: customized, SEO-rich lures that have made them one of the most innovative and effective ecommerce solutions in the world.

Find out how Shopify cracked that egg better than the other guys in the industry–but who are they again?

They Help Customers Before They’re Even Customers….

Shopify’s “try before you buy” free trial provides time and tips to get your business up and running before you’ve paid a cent. Once hooked, their pricing system has budget-friendly options.

Then, they break down new business start-up step by step, right from the home page, and provide real examples that everyone can relate to.

Shopify discovers what people want and own it. They create ToFu content and subdomains from highly searched keyword phrases. Their useful content draws in and assists all kinds of folks.

Daily blogs. In-depth guides. Instructive podcasts. Video courses taught by industry experts. All expertly optimized. Shopify create interesting, usable, and varied content, a little something for everyone, without email opt-in. One stop shopping for ecommerce education.

Shopify address new business owner concerns through a seven-day email series. Each one takes you one baby step further in set-up. But it’s not entirely altruistic. The introductory email congratulates the new business owner, while the CTA button reminds of the extra goodies available with a paid plan.

In addition to baiting new customers, Shopify go fishing… at the competitor. They identify and solve the primary pain problem competitors’ customers have with straightforward copy.

And of course, Shopify make good with their old friends too.

Their Twitter support channel broadcasts their awesome customer support, which makes them look really good too, like that 22nd selfie…nailed it!

They Take Smart Risks….

Shopify inspired the entrepreneurial spirit of thousands through Build a Business. Seemingly crazy, and $uper risky, it was the motivation behind the start of thousands of new, successful businesses, for a total revenue of $3,543,191 by shop owners. BOOM.

They make evergreen webinars available almost as soon as you sign up. Then they advertise them as a limited time offer (except they aren’t). This creates a speed-laced dangling carrot that turns traffic into regular users.

They Roll With the Big Guys….

How about a brilliant affiliate marketing scheme that benefits everyone? Shopify’s done it. With their affiliate referral system, Shopify have turned their customers into a mass-marketing, super-bomb Shopify team. And they use industry innovators to create awesome apps and designs just for Shopify–so they can hoard the good ideas for themselves.

And, for every app they partner with, they create keyword-rich, integrated landing pages that lead potentials to their free trial.

They Juice Up the Dry Stuff….

Shopify get how significant those little CTA buttons are. Theirs use a different kind of speak to respond to email subscribers. Totally refreshing. But who cares about the newsletters? It’s all about the free-trial, right?!

They have designed an attractive, interactive, and current product update page that gets thousands of social shares without any buttons.

They make meat of ToFu with perfectly-matched ad copy, super specific PPC landing pages, and MoFu keywords that lead the searcher to exactly what they want.

And all those little things, like logging and out stating the terms of service (yawn)… They take them to the next level, to be just that bit better than the other guys–remember them?

This all just smacks of clever business sense.

*All material researched and used can be found at: Shopify’s Website

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Logical Mix

Birthday cake with 6 candle

6 Years In The 6

Today is the 6 year anniversary of Logical Mix.

It has been an awesome ride. Helping small to mid sized businesses grow their online presence has been one of the most rewarding things our company has offered the world. We pride ourselves on customer service and reliability, and that is what has kept us alive and well. Spending our clients money like it’s our own is our secret to success.

The online marketing world is an ever-changing one. We are constantly reading, listening, educating and going to conferences to learn about the digital world. We pass this knowledge on to our existing and new customers. We don’t focus as much as we should on our brand, because we are so focused on your brand. If your brand grows… Logical Mix grows.

SEO marketing in Toronto has been our bread and butter, but we do whatever it takes to get companies the exposure they deserve online. Whether it is web design, getting on local listings or directories, pay-per-click or social media…search engine marketing is what we do! (We stated that six years ago).

6 years in the 6 just sounded like the right title for this article.

This adventure has been incredible. We owe everyone we have had the opportunity to work with everything.

Thank you Toronto and the GTA (and Vancouver, USA, England, Thailand and China), for allowing us to work and build your economies.

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Logical Mix

3 boats at a beach

FIND A GREAT LOCATION

You hear it again and again, the importance of finding a prime location when choosing where to open up a business, yet many still find themselves tucked away in a corner far from main intersections or anywhere where people can view their signage. Being a SEO company doesn’t need a prime location, but your retail shop or restaurant sure does.

So you may wonder why location is of such importance. Location is important for both large and small businesses, and it has a direct effect on the operations cost as well as reaching the target clientele and customers, resulting in creating necessary revenue. In addition, once you choose a location, it is often costly to undo – picking up your business and moving somewhere else has its downfalls, which is why the first spot you choose needs to be in a prime location. The costs of moving can cost you customers, and result in losing staff if you move to a farther destination than where they are willing to commute to. The risk of inconveniencing staff and customers is not a risk you may want to take, so being sure that the spot you choose is the right location the first time around will save you from a lot of stress and hassle.

While there is no such thing as the “perfect” location, there is something called a “prime location”, a location surrounded with the right clientele and good general traffic. Being near a main intersection, for example, generates a great deal of traffic (both pedestrian and car), traffic which can be converted into customers when they view your business when driving across town or walking around a neighbourhood. Ensuring that your business is in a good location does have its benefits, benefits such competitive unit costs.  This means that an acceptable location allows for access to inputs such as supplies and raw materials.  A prime location results in optimal revenue opportunities, as both clients and staff are not inconvenienced to travel to your location, but rather enjoy entering your business as its location is easy to access and in a convenient spot.  Finally, a good location allows access to a labour force and therefore enables your business to achieve its goals in workforce planning.

Furthermore, the government actually offers grants and assistance to businesses that locate to areas that suffer from low employment ratings. Incentives often include grants to help the start up of your business, loans which are repayable over many years with low interest rates, and various tax breaks.  There is a lot of thinking that should go into choosing the location of your business as receiving tax breaks and grants can help you a lot with your overall start up costs.

Finally, a very important part of choosing a prime location is the amount of parking space surrounding your business. Pay parking or meter parking is not ideal and could very well deter customers and staff from entering your location. Customers look for convenience and pay parking is not ideal as many will choose to visit a competing business if they offer free parking and an easy to access location.

Location is extremely important, and finding yourself in an undesirable location can be stressful and upsetting to a new business owner, especially when first starting your business. You want your name to get out there and you want to be seen – whether it’s your signage on the street corner or the signage plastered to your windows, you need customers to be able to see what you are offering in order to attract them. It’s a shame when you run into a great business or service doing poorly because they are not gaining the recognition they deserve simply because they are hidden away from traffic and potential business. If you find yourself in a situation such as this, be sure to find other ways to allow your business to be seen, whether it is going door to door or handing out coupons, you want your name to be out in the public generating discussion. By thinking hard about the location and taking the time needed to make the decision on where your business will be located, you can avoid issues later on and can ultimately generate a great deal of revenue with increased amounts of business.

Oh yeah…don’t forget to put that location on Google and every searchable platform possible.

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Logical Mix

Spices with seafood

THE PERFECT SEO BLOG RECIPE

Blogging is an art, just as writing can be a form of art. For the last decade plus, blogging has slowly taken an upward transition to paving the way as a medium that is both interactive, informative and SEO friendly. However, just like writing is an acquired skill, blogging is a form of writing that targets a specific audience to engage them in an online source which is well written and insightful. There are various ways to grow a following on the internet, blogging being one of those ways; however, many may wonder in which ways one makes a blog to be as successful and well read that it can be.
1.       Content vs. Frequency
When creating a blog, especially in the initial stages, frequency is extremely vital. Not only does it show your reader that you are committed to updating your site, but it acts as a way to develop a following on the internet. It allows Google to crawl your website regularly to improve your SEO properly. Whether you are annoying your readers by posting and updating on a daily basis or whether you are updating once a month, frequency plays a crucial role in the number of readers your blog will encounter. However, this being said, rich content is of even more importance. For instance, having a friend on Facebook who updates their status multiple times a day stating exactly what they are doing such as “making a sandwich” or “doing laundry” is annoying and can even cause you to unfriend that person. However, say you like a news page on Facebook and they post the exact same number of times as your Facebook friend, but their updates are informative and interesting. The chance that you will unlike the news page because of their frequency is not as likely as the option of unfriending the annoying Facebook user who posts multiple pointless statuses. This shows the importance of content – your frequency can be often if your blog is informative and educational; this is solely because readers want to read what they find is most interesting. Content is central to having a solid base of followers who view your blog on a continuous basis. The content created on your blog will have a direct and powerful impact to your ongoing SEO efforts. Update regularly, but have quality content, content that will drive your reader to want and to need more. Content that you can link within your website will add SEO value as well.
2.       Original vs. Generic
How often do you see news channels retelling the same news stories over and over again, and then see a different channel retelling what you just heard on the previous station? To be original is to be unique and different, and as it was once stated by Coco Channel, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” You want your blog to be irreplaceable, you want it to be so that when a reader chooses whose blog they should visit first to be most informed, it should be none other than the one you have created.  Nevertheless, to be irreplaceable is to be different, and to be different means that one must take the initiative to dig deep for things that others may not see as important. It is your job to make the interesting important, and the important interesting. Original pieces of art attract attention, just as original and unique writing attracts a reader to want to know and read more. A generic blog post about the new iPhone 7 is not as interesting as the latest malfunction that has been found within the Galaxy 7. Don’t be generic writer, but rather, be a unique writer and write to entertain, write to capture your audience.  Following headlines is boring, every other person has done that, instead, take a unique angle on an already popular story and give it a twist.
3.       Blog Struggle vs. Blog Triumph
Blogging is a form of writing, and as any writer will know, “writers block” is a troubling and sometimes stressful form of block that can detour a writer from their ultimate vision. As a blogger, you know where you want to see your blog and how you want it to develop over time, however, “bloggers block” can sometimes distract you from your goals. The easiest way to deal with this is to continuously be watchful of what around you can be used within your blog. Whether it is a quote you recently heard or even the phone conversation the man next to you is having, if it can correlate into your blog, write it down. Once something is written down, you then have the ability to expand on that and to take the small piece of information and transform it into any direction you want it to go. Use the note pad function in your phone or carry a pad and pen on you at all times, write your thoughts and your ideas when they come to you on paper.
Creating a blog takes time and diligence, but if done correctly, you will quickly reap the rewards. By targeting the needs of your specific audience, creating quality blogs, and updating them to suit your readers, you will have a blog that catches eyes and dominates the search engines.

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Logical Mix

Business road sign

WHY IS SIGNAGE SO IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESS

Let me share a personal story regarding business signage I encountered a few years back. When I was living in Vancouver, BC, there was a unique and delicious family owned pizza restaurant. It was a pizza place where they prepared the pizza for you, and you took it home and cooked it, making your entire kitchen smell like freshly baked pizza. The idea was brilliant, the pizza was amazing, and the customer service was out of this world. I visited the restaurant on a regular basis until a year after opening the owners moved north, and they ended up selling the business to a new set of owners. The new owners kept the same idea, used the same ingredients, and appeased the already existing customers, yet one simple poor marketing choice cost them their business as it ended any potential for attracting new customers – they changed the signage. The original owner had a simple but bright sign that could be seen from the nearest intersection, as well as handed out flyers and coupons door to door every Saturday morning. Their strategy was simple, but it worked. The new owners however did not upkeep these strategies and changed the sign to a black and white, non-visible, size 10, Arial font banner.  They then complained about not reaching people, but the reasons were evidently clear. Simply put, their signage cost them the entire success of their business.  Soon after their six month of opening, they shut the business down as it was costing them too much to operate and they were making little to zero revenue. The spot still remains empty and vacant to this day.
Now you may believe this case to be an extreme and rare, but the experience taught me at a young age the importance of signage, especially if you are taking over an already existing business. A sign can either attract someone in such a way they want to enter your business and learn more about what you offer, or in the case of the pizza store, your sign may cause them to laugh in embarrassment at the printed paper you have draping over your windows. The importance of advertising is vital to the overall success of a business, especially with small businesses. Signage is extremely important and can end up being the make or break in the overall success of your business. Here are some simple questions you should ask about your current signage on a monthly basis:
1.      Does this sign send the right message to my customer?
2.      Is the message relevant and eye-catching?
3.      Are the colors and design bright, vibrant, and noticeable?
4.      Is the sign visible in the early morning or late evening? Does it light up in the dark hours?
5.      Is the signage in tip top condition?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, then it is time to either invest in new signage or fix your current signage to accommodate the needs of your customers. If your signage does light up, but some of the bulbs are burnt out, the overall first impression from your customer is that your business does not have the time or care to replace the bulbs and update the sign.  More often than not, customers base a business purely off of their signage because it is the first thing they notice and it is their first impression. By ensuring that your signage is noticeable and in good condition, you will have a better chance at attracting the customers you desire to attract. Have good signage (logos/branding) online too. Get noticed.
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Logical Mix

water on rocks

Blog About Needed Content

When blogging, you want to be the expert in your field. Own it!

Create content people are looking for or have a need for. If you are missing quality content to write about…avoid writing altogether and repost other peoples interesting articles.

Try searching your topics before writing. If they are already saturated with blogs, maybe rethink another strategy.

People want to be entertained and/or educated. Sometimes both. Get outside of the box if you have to.

Even though we should be taking our own advice. Blog on a schedule. Once per week, bi-weekly, per month, etc.

Write about relevant content.

Blogging can be done anywhere you want. This blog was written in the woods after working remotely around Ontario.

Remember…

Be the expert in your field!

Mouse for computer

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

So you want the most for your business, you want it to be seen, heard, and advertised to its best capability. While competition stands at the edge with the latest and greatest technologies, you want your business to draw the public in, and for the words on your site to be read. How does one improve their internet publicity in the best possible way? While there are various ways of doing so, managing your keywords is among the most important. Keywords are the crucial words that describe what you are offering and help determine where your ad will appear.

Choosing the most accurate keyword can help draw customers to your site as it targets exactly what they want. If you use specific keywords, and they search for a specific text, your advertisement or website has a better chance of appearing; by making it more specific, you are making it more viewable to the public and potential customers.  It is vital to think like your customers when you’re creating an initial list of terms or phrases that customers will use to describe your product or service. It is critical that the list of keywords you choose are the words that your customers will be searching when they want to find what you are offering. While it is important to make your words specific, it is helpful to bear in mind that sometimes making words too specific can be negatively impacting rather than positive. By making your keywords too specific you may find it harder to reach a vast amount of people. However, by combining general words along with specific phrases, you will be able to target the largest amount of people in an online community. Picking the accurate number of keywords is also crucial to achieving the highest amount of publicity. Google Support states that, “Most advertisers find it useful to have somewhere between five and twenty keywords per ad group, although you can have more than twenty keywords in an ad group”. In addition, grouping your keywords into themes can positively affect a customer’s search as it opens variety, which can therefore open your service or product up to potential customers.
While improving keywords is a vital part to having a successful online identity, creating better landing pages can also aid to improving search optimization. Your Google Adwords Quality Score is an estimate of how relative your ads and keywords are in helping Google users find what they are looking for and seeing your ad. Achieving a high quality score is the overall intention of any company as they want keywords that are helpful and useful to someone viewing their ad. Your landing page is the page your website visitors first view after clicking on a link that directs them to your landing page. In order to improve the performance of your search results, there are a few techniques that can be used to improve your page rank and quality score. By adding your top performing keywords and merging them together onto your landing page you can increase your search optimization and thus improve your Google quality score. In addition, by changing you landing page’s meta tags and title tags you can create a keyword density that works well with your landing page, as well as it acting as an aid in producing better search engine results.

Finally, a vital step is taking full advantage of what Google calls their Site-Related Keywords Tool. This tool is used to view how exactly Google ranks your landing page in regards to the relevance it has to the keywords you are trying to target. By using this tool, you can better understand how Google distinguishes between a website whose keywords work well for their landing pages, and a website that has poor keywords that do not directly target their associated landing page. By accurately using keywords that help to best optimize search engine results, you can get the most out of using online resources as a way to advertise for your company. Online sources are one of the most effective ways to advertise, and by using them accurately you can create an online profile for your company that aids in the development of your overall client base.

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Logical Mix

Beer popping

NEW YEAR’S EVALUATION

Another new year is upon us. It’s the perfect time of year to reevaluate your company’s goals and marketing efforts. You should be looking introspectively at your company’s results through marketing and make changes accordingly.

Questions to ask yourself:
1) Are we meeting or have we met the sales goal we set at the beginning of the year?
2) Are we on the first page on major search engines (For keywords & key phrases relevant to our business)?
3) How can we improve our overall exposure to potential clients or prospects?

The Answers:
1) If you said “yes” to meeting your goals, keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t mess up a good thing. You may want to add to your current efforts, but certainly don’t let them interfere with what is working.
If your answer was “no”, you need to ramp up your activity to drive new business for your organization. Let’s assume you’re happy with your sales staff (if not, it’s time to increase training or let them go), here are some tips to help increase sales:
Do a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign: Drive traffic to your website. Create landing pages to aid in improving search optimization and watch the leads role in for your sales team.
Create a New Website or edit old Website: Make sure it looks professional and has the right “call to action”.
Search Engine Optimize: More on this in the 2) section. Create an Email Campaign or Direct Mail campaign: These are older methods to drive leads for your business, but can sometimes work wonders.

2) With regards to getting your company’s website on the first page of Google, Bing and/or Yahoo, write down a list of 10 key words or key phrases you want your company to show up for. Think like your prospects would think for this list. Write down a list of 10 (or the relevant number) geographic locations you want to be found in, if applicable. Take those lists to an internet marketing expert who can get you to the top of those pages desired (wink, wink, Logical Mix). Items to make sure are accurate on your website are: Title Tags, Alt Image Tags, Relevant Text and the Meta Description to name a few.

3) In the case of not seeming redundant, do all of the the above and you will be well on your way to improving your overall exposure to potential clients or prospects. Take it seriously, your business depends on it.

Enjoy the holiday season, recharge the batteries and always be thinking of strategies to grow your company (because, we are).

Wishing your organization a prosperous 2015!

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Logical Mix

Summer Trees

Warmer Weather For Marketing

While many Torontonians are basking in the heat, it can be the perfect time to exercise some outdoor marketing activities.

So what does all this temperature talk how to do with your business? Well, for one, there are a variety of new ways one can market their business in the warmer weather, which we will discuss in this month’s blog. Here are five perfect warm weather marketing tips that will boost people’s attention about your company:

1) Community Events
Children are running around playing in parks, the sun is up longer, and people are outside enjoying the weather. A prime way to take advantage of this is to get to know your community, the people who drive by your location every day and may not even know what you offer or why you exist. Hold a local community event in a nearby park on a warm weekend day, as it will attract new customers as well as bring your current customers together.

2) Group Promotions
“If you tell five friends, you have a chance to win…” This always manages to attract people, after all, how easy is it to forward something to a friend or family member and automatically have a chance to win a free product or service? An easy way to incorporate this is to run group specials offering promotions based on the amount of people one of your customers brings in, either by text message or email. If one of their five friends has been referred by a current customer, they can be entered to win a prize of your company’s choice. Not only does this encourage the spread of information about your company, but it also increases the size of your database, offering more potential customers knowledge about what you offer.
3) Door to Door
While the door to door method may seem rather old-school, its overall effectiveness may surprise some. When you go door to door offering your community a special deal that your company offers, you’re putting your foot out and getting to know your customers on a one-on-one basis. While going door to door may be a bit too personal for some, handing out fliers on the street, or any sort of outside promoting is key during the summer months. People are more likely to stop and talk when the weather is nice and their being introduced to a service they may know nothing about.

4) Cool Drinks Anyone?
Is your business on a prime intersection, perhaps where many people are walking their dog or going to the park with their children? Setting up a free lemonade or cool drink stand outside your business will be a friendly invite for people to stop by and for you to promote what you are selling. It gives people a great reason to cool off and come into your location, seeing everything else that you have to offer.
5) Text Messaging
The moment you have a customer’s phone number in your database, ask them if they don’t mind receiving promotions through text once in a while. It is in this way you can build a large client phone number base where you can use text messaging as a community builder. The options are endless and range from promoting a new service, to offering polls for customers to vote on what product they like best. Monthly prize winners or even larger one time prize winners are a prime way to communicate with customers through text messaging and get people through your doors.
While there are various ways a company can advertise during the summer months, it is important to remember that it is during the summer when people may not mind as much to be approached about your service if they receive a free drink on the house. So instead of being cooped up inside this summer, remember to get out and get to know your community. It is in this way that your company can grow into a community landmark, a place your customer will remember and tell their friends about.
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Logical Mix

Smart phone in hand

Smart Phone Compatible Website

With the amount of smartphones being used these days, your business website better be compatible with smartphones or else you’re losing out. Google claims there are over 500,000 Android phones being activated on a daily basis.

The problem with websites that are not formatted for mobile phones are the usability factor and graphics. They are not what will keep a potential customer on your website. The graphics may be too large to fit on a smaller screen and will cause a person visiting your website to quickly become frustrated, and quickly leave your website. A website not properly formatted for smartphone use will be hard to navigate as well. The amount of traffic being generated via smartphones makes it worth the premium to have your website mobile compatible. Too many companies don’t value mobile compatible websites and it’s the perfect time to propel yourself above the competition, while they’re sleeping on a vastly growing technology. Because they will eventually understand the power of the smartphone.

According to Forbes, global mobile traffic now represents around 13% of internet traffic and in 2009 global traffic was only 1%. Those figures are most likely higher in North America too. If this doesn’t wake you up and let you know where the internet traffic is trending towards…nothing will. Be smart about your marketing your business and create a website that is both beautiful and user friendly on a smartphone.

Another statistic according to Forbes is that there are 1 billion  smartphone users in the world today. If only 0.1% of these users go to your smartphone compatible website, you will most likely be a very happy company. Thinking about catering to the smartphone market helps increase your positive internet exposure as well and you always want positive internet exposure.

If you think you can escape going mobile with your company, to quote Donald Byrd “you better think twice”.

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Logical Mix