All posts by Anju Kaushal

Why Your Business Needs a Digital Marketing agency?

 

Without an effective online presence, it is tough for businesses to stay relevant and do well these days.

The internet has changed the way how people these days go about doing their businesses. You can now market your products and services worldwide without any hindrance. It has created a level-playing field for businesses, both big and small. The internet opens up a plethora of opportunities for businesses in all verticals. You can reach your audience if you know how and where to find them.

But the billion-dollar question is – how do you reach your target audience.

You need to get on top of the digital marketing game to reach your target audience and succeed in the digital world.

So, what is digital marketing?

According to Wikipedia, “digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies on the internet, through mobile phone Apps, display advertising, and any other digital mediums.”

Some of the examples of digital marketing include – search engine optimisation or SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click or PPC, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc.

With so much of data, statistics, figures, and trends on the internet, you need experts to handle your digital marketing campaign so that you get the desired results. There are two ways of getting on top of the digital marketing game. You either hire an in-house team of digital marketing experts who can handle your media campaign or outsource your digital marketing campaign to a reputed digital marketing agency to make your online journey successful.

Maintaining an onboard staff of expert professionals to meet all your digital marketing needs can prove to be a costly affair. That is why many organisations these days hire digital marketing agencies to manage their online presence effectively.

When you hire a reputed digital marketing agency, you can rest assured that all your digital or internet marketing needs will be met effectively. From making your website more visible by working on SEO to finding and reaching your target audience, it is the responsibility of the digital marketing services company to make sure that you have an effective online presence.

At Virtual Stacks, we understand the importance of having an effective online presence. Let us, therefore, take you through what you stand to gain if you hire a reputed digital marketing agency – how it allows you to learn more about your potential audience, and how it allows you to focus more on your business.

Learn more about your potential audience

For a digital marketing campaign to succeed, the first thing you need to do is have a well-defined digital marketing strategy in place. If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy, you remain clueless and directionless on how to move forward. Also, without a smart digital marketing strategy, it is difficult to beat the competition and stay relevant in today’s times.

And, only when you have a well-defined digital marketing strategy for the efforts that you are going to put in can you learn more about your potential audience.

If you don’t do proper research, it is difficult for you to understand the customer demand for online services. Since the dynamics are different in digital marketing from traditional channels, it is difficult to understand your online marketplace without proper research. To know where your audience is on the internet, you need to understand the different types of customer profiles and behaviour, you need to know your competitors, and you should know your options and solutions.

With no dearth of tools on the internet, it is not difficult to find out the level of customer demand. You can use Google Keyword Planner to know what your searchers or potential customers want (or to know their intent) and then devise ways to attract them to your site. Also, you can get to know the number of people whom you can reach through Facebook IQ.

The digital world is the most measurable medium. You cannot just get to know the volumes, but you can also find out the sentiments of your visitors. You can identify where you are going off the track and plug them accordingly to reach your customers.

It is important to do comprehensive research if you want to learn everything about your potential customers. You should either have a team of experts in your office to do this or hire a digital marketing agency.

When you hire a digital marketing agency, you don’t have to worry about a well-defined strategy. Any digital marketing agency worth its name in the market will come up with a smart digital marketing strategy for its client.

Focus more on your business

If you want to take your business to the next level, you need to give adequate time to your business. If you have specialists looking after various functions in your organisation, you can save sufficient time to focus on the development of your business. For example, if you have an accountant, you don’t need to worry about your books and taxes. The time you save can be utilised in expanding your business.

Similarly, digital marketing is a time-consuming job. After all, digital marketing is a vast vertical, and it is difficult for a business owner to do everything himself or herself. If you immerse yourself in managing your digital marketing campaign, how will you focus on your business? You have two options – you can hire experts as employees to do the job for you, or you can outsource the work to a digital marketing agency.

Managing a team of experts is not just costly, but it also requires your constant attention.

Hence, if you want to focus more on your business, you should hire a digital marketing agency so that you can look after other important aspects of your company. From giving strategic direction to your company and making your operations more efficient to portfolio management, research, and business tie-ups, you can save all the time you want to consolidate your business.

Apart from saving time, you can also expect to get measurable results for your marketing investments when you hire a digital marketing agency. The agency can provide you with analytics and reports so that you know how you are faring in the digital world.

Also, an experienced digital marketing agency will have all the tools that are necessary for making your digital marketing campaign a success.

Moreover, one of the biggest advantages of hiring a digital marketing agency is that they bring new ideas to the table. Since they know the market well, they can give you fresh ideas that may work wonders for your marketing campaign.

If you are looking for a reliable digital marketing agency in the UAE, you can get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. We are a professionally managed digital marketing agency, and we have the expertise and experience to make your digital marketing campaign a success.

Black Hat SEO Signs and How to Avoid Them

 

If you have a website and you want to do well on the internet, you need to understand the importance of SEO. SEO is an acronym for search engine optimisation. So, what is SEO? It is the method of increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to your website through organic search results. Typically, SEO is divided into two main categories – white hat SEO and black hat SEO.

While white hat SEO is the right way of doing things from the SEO perspective, black hat SEO is just the opposite. White hat SEO uses legitimate ways to rank for keywords that are relevant to its content. But black hat SEO practices are designed only to entice the search engines, without any meaningful consideration for humans.

Using black hat SEO to help a website rank higher on Google might help you in the short term, but in the long run, you stand to lose a lot. If you follow black hat SEO, your website can be penalised.

Some people might want to follow black hat SEO, but many times, websites don’t even know that they are suffering from black hat SEO optimisation.

So, how can you avoid black hat SEO?

Here are five signs of black hat SEO that you need to avoid so that you can consistently do well on search engines like Google.

Paid links

Google takes into account link popularity to rank websites. The more websites with better domain authority link to your site, the more weight Google attaches to your website.

According to Google, a paid link is one that is bought either with money or goods. Google these days is doing a lot to close down the link farms and paid links. You don’t need SEO tools to find if a website is buying links.

Take a closer look at the page. Look at the hyperlinked text or the anchor text on the page. If you find the text to be random and there is no connection with the link, it is a bought link. You also need to find out the number of links on a page. If there are too many randomly linked texts, it means the links have been bought.

For a detailed search, you can use SEO tools to spot the paid links. You can create a full link profile for your website or others. You can get to know how many backlinks are there on the website and from where they originate.

Usually, links are bought in bulk. In case a website has too many backlinks from blogs or sites with little or no authority, it means some of those links are bought.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is when keywords are used repeatedly, at times without rhyme or reason, only to make a website rank higher in Google search.

One of the most common black hat SEO techniques, it is not easy to identify because Google keeps changing its definition of how many times a keyword should be used in the text.

If you want to identify keyword stuffing, you should look for keyword stuffing in places like title, introduction, and meta description. Also, if keywords appear at irrelevant places or they are used many times, it means there is keyword stuffing on the page.

To avoid keyword stuffing, you need to be careful while using your keywords. Use your keywords judiciously, in places where it is necessary to use, and don’t use keywords only to increase its number. You should also discuss the optimum keyword strategy with your SEO analyst or your SEO services company.

Invisible texts and links

To manipulate Google’s search rankings, if you purposely try to hide texts and links, then it is a wrong SEO practice. Invisible texts and links for link building purposes can happen in different ways. There are several ways of hiding a text (for example, excessive keywords), and some of these are:

Placing text behind an image

Keeping the text font the same as that of the background

Keeping the font size 0

Using CSS to place text off-screen

Making an invisible link by only linking one small character in a sentence (for example, use of hyphen in the middle of a sentence)

Using invisible texts and links is an old practice, but novices still seem to use it.

But you need to know that all invisible texts and links are not bad for your website. It is perfectly fine to use a script for Java or code for Flash files, or descriptive image alt description. Using a script for Java or code for Flash files can not harm your website in any way; it can only improve the overall experience of your website.

Copied content

A content that appears on multiple sites is called copied content. Someone may also steal the content from other places (read URL’s). Search engines find it difficult to look for original content from all the copied ones to show the most relevant information. And Google, which shows all original content in SERPs, can’t show duplicate content because it cannot offer its users irrelevant information.

Earlier, copied content would not damage your site too much, but that is not the case anymore. These days, copied content can significantly hinder your rankings. Also, Google can penalise your site for copied content.

The best way to avoid duplicate content is to use the citation for the information you collect from other places. You can also check your content for plagiarism before submitting it online.

Clickbait

Clickbait is a misleading and attention-grabbing headline that is written only to make people click on it. In such cases, the headline does not match the content on the site – the headline says something else, and the content has things that are different.

For example, “Urgent! You need to check this out….”, “Vital news about….”, Shocking! You won’t believe it…., etc. These are generally expressions to lure people so that they click the headline. If you follow this misleading technique, it can reduce your CTR, and harm your website in the long run.

People using clickbait are the ones who want to make money through the number of clicks (for example, tabloids widely use this technique).

Why is black hat controversial?

The simple reason why the black hat is controversial is that it goes against the guidelines of Google Webmaster. If you follow the black hat SEO practices, Google can penalise your site, and your website can go off its algorithm radar overnight.

While white hat SEO techniques are legitimate, using black hat SEO is unethical and wrong.

Hence, if you have a website on the internet, you need to know things about black hat SEO. And, if you are an SEO services company, then you must inform your client/s about the risks that are associated with black hat SEO techniques.

Black hat SEO is also considered controversial because some confuse black hats with hackers. While black hats do break the rule laid down by Google, but they certainly don’t break the law, as most of the hackers do.

All black hats do is use a different set of SEO techniques to rank their site, which is against the rules of Google. But this does not amount to any breach of the law of the land.

Some people do use SEO and hacking to attack their competitors and promote sites, but that is a different story altogether. It surely does not amount to a black hat SEO technique.

Due to the risks involved, using black hat SEO is wrong, and people do get criticised for it, but there are occasions when you might have to use these techniques over white hat SEO.

For example, if a client comes to you, just a few weeks before, for promoting their website for the Christmas holidays. What is it that you can do for this client?

As a white hat SEO, there is nothing much that you can do for this client except to say sorry. It is difficult to make the site rank high in just a few weeks with white hat SEO. But the black hat SEO can help you rank well before the Christmas holidays. A black hat can build a microsite and help you rank well before the Christmas holidays so that you get some share of the holiday pie.

But as mentioned earlier, using black hat SEO can harm your site in the long run. Hence, it is always advisable to follow the correct practices and use white hat SEO.

In case you want to make your website more visible, you should get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. We are a digital marketing company specialising in SEO, and we know how to do it the right way.

Social Media Marketing Strategies – What You Need to Know

 

To do well in the business landscape, youneed to build your brand and create a loyal customer base.You can do many things to build your brand and grow a loyal customer base. However, one of the best ways of doing both things is to leverage social media to your advantage.

Yes, social media helps businesses, both big and small, in brand building and nurturing a loyal customer base.

But unless you know how to leverage social media to your advantage, it is tough to get the desired results.

Undoubtedly, social media is growing at a phenomenal pace. Social media has not only connected family and friends, but it has also become the go-to place for people to know what others have to say about brands and services.

So, if you don’t use social media marketing to your advantage, you are missing big time on opportunities.

But using social media to connect with family and friends is different from using it to promote your business. If you (read businesses) want to reap the full benefits of the social media revolution, you need to make sure that you have a sound social media marketing strategy in place.

And, to formulate a sound social media marketing strategy, you can either do it yourself or hire an experienced social media marketing services company. But before getting started on social media, let us first try to understand what is a social media marketing strategy, how to grab your customer’s attention, and the platforms that are best for your brand.

What is a social media marketing strategy?

In social media marketing, you use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to communicate with your customers, prospects, and communities. You can do it through text, images, videos, or use any or all of them to communicate with your audience organically or through a paid campaign.

But as mentioned earlier, you need to have a sound social media marketing strategy in place to get the desired results.

So, what is a social media marketing strategy?

A social media marketing strategy is a gist of things that you intend to do and hope to accomplish on social media. The strategy helps you guide your actions and lets you know whether you are on track or not. From posting, and liking to commenting and replying, everything you do on social media should serve a purpose.

Your social media marketing or SMM strategy should factor in the differences between the social media platforms that are on offer. You need to know what works best for each social media platform. For instance, Twitter is mainly text-based, Instagram is more about pictures and visuals, and Facebook offers multiple content sharing options.

Irrespective of whether you are new to social media or not, you need to have a robust strategy in place to get the maximum out of this revolution for your business. The strategy should include what you intend to achieve and how you plan to go about doing it. You need to know your goals and what you expect to get from each platform. You need to set SMART goals for your business. SMART here stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Some of the important social media marketing goals for businesses include raising brand awareness, connecting with their target audience, selling directly to prospects, increasing traffic, creating leads, and providing customer support.

But how should you go about creating your social media marketing strategy?

Here are some tips that can help you create an effective social media marketing strategy:

Define your target audience – It is important to know your target audience. If you don’t know your target audience, all your marketing activities can go down the drain. You need to do a bit of research on your audience so that you can understand them well. You can create buyer personas – customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, interests, and goals to specifically target your audience.

Have a content strategy – Just being active on social media cannot fetch you great results. You need to have relevant, meaningful, and valuable content for your audience so that they can engage with it. Again, do a bit of research, find out what your audience wants and come up with content that resonates with your audience.

Invest time in competitor research – It is important to know what works on social media. The best way to find out is to invest some time in your competitor’s activities. You might pick up a trick or two for your social media strategy. There is no need to copy your competitors, but you can certainly take the cue from your competitors.

Allocate your budget and resources – Resource allocation and budget are important to the success of your strategy. Your goals should fit your budget and resource allocation. You cannot put your entire team on achieving your social media goals. Also, it is not desirable to ask your sales reps to double-up as social media experts on a part-time basis.

Measure your progress – For any strategy to be successful, it is important to measure your progress. You need to know what you have achieved against the goals you have set for yourself. You have to find out the metrics (number of followers, inbound messages, etc.), and you need to measure your social media marketing efforts. Unless you measure your performance, you cannot fine-tune your efforts.

Align your social activity with your overall goals – Make sure that your social media efforts are aligned to complement your overall marketing goals.

Use social media management tools – You also need to use social media management tools so that it can automate your social posting process and allows you to track your social media efforts. Social media management tools provide reporting and analytics, which helps you to gauge the efficacy of your campaign. With these tools, you can also get useful insights about your audience. You can get to know who all are engaging with your content.

Choose the right channels for your campaign – It is important to choose the right social platform for your social media campaign. It is difficult to get the desired results if your platform selection is not right. You can test various social platforms to see which works best for your business.

Review your performance – It is vital to analyse and review your performance regularly. It is difficult to improve without reviewing your performance.

How to get the attention of your customers?

When it comes to defining your social media marketing strategy, you need to make sure that you select the right channels for your campaign. If your audience doesn’t frequent Instagram, what is the point in choosing it for your social media campaign?

Your social media campaign can only be successful if you get the attention of your customers. That is why it is important to know which social platforms your audience frequents. To drive more engagement, traffic, and sales, you need to target your audience properly.

You can use Google Analytics to find out more about your target audience. You can get to know about demographics, purchase history, and attitudinal behaviours, which can help you customise your social media campaign to get the desired results.

Also, every social media platform has its internal analytics platform that offers further insight into client behaviour. You can find out whether the viewers are interested in reading long text messages, they want to watch videos, or they are interested in statistics. When you know what the viewers want, it helps you to formulate an effective strategy.

You should also not underestimate the power of any social platform if it is giving you the desired results. For instance, it is not always necessary that you will get the best results only on Facebook because it has over two billion users. If your audience is not active on Facebook, it is difficult to get good results.

Which platforms are best for your brand?

Some of the major social media platforms that you should consider for your campaign include:

Facebook – One of the most popular platforms, Facebook was founded in 2004. It allows you to create your Facebook for Business profile, and you can use it effectively to interact with your customers. You can post and share text, images, and videos on Facebook. You can also utilise easy-to-use and helpful Facebook features like instant messaging function and ad creation facility for customer support and product promotion, respectively.

Facebook is an ideal platform for small businesses that get a lot of incoming queries that need to be responded quickly. It is also a good platform for businesses that need to target specific user groups.

According to Statista, 44% of the UK’s online population uses Facebook more than once every day.

Twitter – If you want to increase your user base, Twitter is the ideal platform for your business. Twitter also offers you the opportunity to reach new audiences. Twitter is mainly text-based. You can promote your tweets and run ads. It allows you to write 280 characters in one tweet. Twitter helps you build a direct conversation with your customers.

Twitter is best suited for small businesses because it allows you to share lots of articles and written content. Since twitter is word-based, you can use it to manage customer service inquiries.

According to Statista again, with 14.1 million users, Twitter is one of the most popular platforms that can help you reach your audience effectively.

Instagram – If you want to talk to your customers visually, Instagram is the ideal platform for your business. People on Instagram follow businesses very closely; hence, it is possible to inspire your customers to buy.

Apart from still images, you can also promote videos on Instagram. You can promote your products on Instagram and interact with their communities.

You can also have a dedicated Instagram business account and avail the extra features like contact details and call to action buttons.

If you want to target the younger lot, you should consider using Instagram because most of the population in the age bracket of 18 – 24 and 25 – 34 are on this social platform.

Pinterest – It is another visual platform that allows you to create boards of inspirational images. Whether you sell luxury holidays or offer budget interiors, you have an audience on Pinterest that are ready to grab the offers. You can also share your inspirational content on Pinterest. You can promote your products on Pinterest and buy items from it directly.Since Pinterest allows you to buy and sell, you can promote your e-commerce business more effectively.

LinkedIn – It is the social media platform for professionals. But you can also promote your business through its Company pages. Its dedicated service for small businesses allows people to locate your business services. You can share content, search for talent, and build communities on Pinterest easily. It allows you to post articles, make a contribution to groups, advertise job opportunities, and connect with your team.

Globally LinkedIn has more than 645 million users in over 200 locations.

YouTube – Video marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing. If you use video marketing, then you cannot avoid YouTube. You can create your content or run an advertisement campaign on YouTube. Your video content can be accessed by audiences anywhere in the world. Whether you want people to access your informative video content or increase your brand awareness through your video, you can use YouTube to your advantage. You can also make videos to give your users a peep into your production process.

YouTube is one of the most popular social media channels, and businesses find it difficult to avoid this platform. It has a worldwide audience of both males and females across all age brackets.

If you are looking for a social media marketing services company, you should get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. We will make sure that you get a robust social media marketing strategy so that it can drive engagement, traffic, and sales for your business.

LMS Services in The MENA Region

 

Every business worth its name and educational institute of repute needs an LMS or a learning management system to impart quality training and education to their learners. No matter where you do your business from or which industry you belong to, using an LMS can make a huge difference in how you impart training and education to your audience. And that is what is true for businesses and educational institutes based out of the MENA region. But it is crucial to understand that all LMSs are not made equal. To get the most out of your LMS, you need to make sure that you get the best LMS services in the MENA region for your business. However, with so many LMS services out there in the market, how do you select the best LMS services in the MENA region for your business.

That is what we intend to explain to our readers in this blog – how to select the best LMS services in the MENA region. But before we get there, let us take you through what is an LMS, and why you need it.

What is an LMS?

An LMS allows you to create, manage, and deliver training programs and/ or educational courses to your learners. It is a tool that businesses use for the administration, documentation, reporting, tracking, automation, and delivery of training programs, educational courses to a captive audience.

A learning management system primarily consists of two parts:

Admin interface and user interface.

Admin interface allows trainers or training managers to manage back-end tasks. They organize their company’s or institute’s learning programs so that learners can access the program. Here they create, manage, deliver courses, add learners, track and monitor reports, and perform other administrative tasks.

The user interface is what learners see when they enrol for a course or take up a training program.

Why do businesses need an LMS?

Businesses of all sizes and types need an LMS. There are many uses of an LMS, and here are some of them:

  • An LMS helps you train your employees effortlessly.
  • You can use an LMS to onboard new employees.
  • You can also use an LMS to retain employee knowledge.
  • An LMS also helps you train partners and customers.
  • It helps your sales team stay current.
  • You can use an LMS to train your remote employees.
  • You can use an LMS to impart quality education to your learners in the school, university, and coaching institutes.

What are the benefits of using an LMS?

Using an LMS can be extremely beneficial for businesses of all sizes and genres. Here are some of the benefits of using an LMS:

  • It helps you save a lot of money.
  • It helps you update your content quickly.
  • It helps you impart training and education to your remote employees and learners, respectively.
  • It keeps your learners engaged and motivated.
  • You can even train your employees on the go.
  • It helps improve employee retention.
  • It helps you track your learner’s results.
  • It promotes a continuous learning culture.
  • It promotes self-paced learning and training.
  • It allows your learners to learn from anywhere and at any time.
  • Your learners get unlimited access to your learning and training content.

How to choose the best LMS services company in the MENA region?

LMS is not something that you are going to change every two years. That is the reason why you need to do everything you can to select the best LMS service provider for your organisation. Here are some of the things that you need to be careful about when you set out to buy an LMS for your organisation:

Assess your needs–It is extremely crucial to assess your needs. An honest assessment will help you choose the best LMS for your organisation. Also, make sure you consult all the stakeholders before you start the process of buying an LMS.

Select the features you want–The second most important thing is to select the features you want your LMS to have. Here are some of the key features that your LMS should have:

It should have a user-friendly interface.

It should offer flexible testing and assessment options.

It should offer wide-ranging administrative capabilities.

It should offer all the reporting and tracking features.

Think about integration capabilities as well. Your LMS should integrate well with your existing applications.

Do check out if you need mobile learning.

Check out the reliability of the LMS service provider – The LMS service provider you select for your business should have credible standing in the market. You need to find out how long they have been in the business, how many businesses use their LMS, what people say about the services they provide, etc.

Think about scalability – As mentioned earlier, you are not going to change your LMS every two years. Hence, the service provider you select should offer scalable services. Adding or reducing users should not be a big issue with them. The service provider should also be open about adding new features and functionalities to their solution.

Don’t forget about customisation–This is another thing that you should never ignore. The LMS service provider you select should customise the offering to suit your requirements.

Do consider support – The LMS service provider you select should offer you all the support. Without proper support, it is difficult to conduct smooth operations. Make sure the LMS service provider you select offers round the clock customer support.

Ask for a demo – Don’t forget to take a demo. Every organisation worth its name in the market will come forward to give you a demo. Make sure you take the demo and clear all your doubts. Some organisations also offer a free trial. If possible, go for it.

Think about your budget – It is crucial to think about your budget. Every organisation has a fixed budget. Do factor in the money you have allocated for your LMS.

If you are looking for a reliable LMS service provider in the MENA region, you should get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. We are a software development company based out of the UAE, and we serve the MENA region. Headquartered in the US, we have offices in the USA, the UK, India, and the UAE. We have the requisite experience, technical expertise, and exposure to deliver workable LMS solutions to businesses in diverse verticals. Our LMS, eZnetLMS, has created a niche for itself in the entire region. eZnetLMS is a user-friendly and intuitive LMS, and we can customise it to suit your requirements. Also, it can integrate well with most of your existing applications. Our services are scalable, and we offer competitive pricing.

You can contact us for a free demo today!