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How long have arts and crafts been around?

 

Arts and Crafts

What are ‘arts & crafts’? Generally, the term ‘arts & crafts’ refers to handmade products that have been designed individually with the intent of creating a piece of artwork or a decoration. People engage in arts & crafts as artisans and crafters – that is, those who make their living by producing and selling handmade objects – as well as countless hobbyists who do it just for their own enjoyment. Of course, there can also be a hidden benefit if you can make your own gifts rather than having to purchase them. Arts & crafts are deeply rooted in regional and ethnic cultures, so the specifics of what kinds of objects constitute arts & crafts varies greatly across the world. Kids Art and Craft

How long have arts and crafts been around?

The origin of arts & crafts can be found in simple bartering transactions; expert artisans and crafters would trade their skill for sustenance. The artisans and crafters would then pass their knowledge on to the next generation through an apprentice – an assistance who grew up with the artisan for the sole purpose of learning their trade. Artisans who passed their knowledge on in this manner include ironworkers, glass blowers, weavers and blacksmiths.

Of course, this all changed with the industrial revolution. Many of the lovingly handcrafted items that were formerly made by crafters and artisans could now be cheaply produced in large quantities. As a result, arts & crafts as a widespread profession quickly died out; individual artisans and crafters could just not compete with industrial efficiency. Today, those individuals who specialize in the former staples such as glass blowing or weaving are rare, and usually create high-priced items, in contrast to their utilitarian forbearers. In the end arts & crafts is mostly made up by hobbyists and small retailers.

How do you find arts and crafts?

Arts & crafts are generally not difficult to locate. Artisans often participate at arts & crafts fairs in order to have the opportunity to sell their wares, and allow buyers the opportunity to browse and shop from a variety of different types of arts & crafts.

Festivals and fairs are good destinations to look for arts & crafts. Many vendors will rent booths at these events in order to reach a wide audience. In addition to shows and fairs, permanent arts & crafts malls are also easy to find in most metropolitan areas. Frequently, these malls include a collection of semi-permanent booths rented out by multiple artisans and crafters.

Of course, if the buyer knows exactly the kind of item he or she is looking for, the Internet can be a great resource for finding the perfect arts & crafts item. More and more artisans and crafters are now posting their wares online with the ability view photos and read descriptions of their unique products. Nonetheless, while online retail sales have taken off in other industries, arts & crafts buyers typically like the experience of finding and seeing the one-of-a-kind products in person, which has slowed down its adoption in this area.

‘Art’ and ‘Craft’

Art generally refers to fine arts, such as glass creations, paintings and sculptures. The people behind the creation of these objects have usually received formal training at art schools or have studied art through other programs. These art objects are usually expensive.

Crafts, on the other hand, are usually considered to be smaller in scale, or colloquially known as ‘grassroots’ in their creation. Those who create crafts are generally doing so based on passed down knowledge without any formal education. This of course does not mean that they are any less talented than artists. ‘Arts & crafts’ then is the merging of these two creative trends; grassroots objects made by highly skilled artisans and crafters.

The most common arts & crafts objects

As stated above, there are literally countless variations and iterations of arts & crafts objects in the world. Nonetheless, most arts & crafts can be fitted into a few basic categories: handmade jewelry, pottery, woodworking, metalworking, and sculpture are some basic categories into which most arts & crafts can be assembled. Other common types of arts & crafts include cross-stitch, weaving, crochet, knitting, embroidery, patchwork, quilting, macramé, and others. Still more common types include ceramics, wood, metal, needlepoint & textiles, and glass works. Still others are based on paper and paper products, including scrapbooking, calligraphy, collages, paper mache, and origami.

How do you find other arts and crafts collectors?

There are a number of national, regional, and local arts & crafts organizations that can provide both artisans and collectors a place where they can network and gain a sense of community. Some examples of popular organizations include the American Sewing Guild, the Arts & Crafts Society, the Black Crafters Guild, the Home Sewing Association, the National Art Materials Trade Association, the Canadian Craft & Hobby Association, the American Quilter’s Society, the Craft & Hobby Association (United States).

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The first thing that as parents you need to consider before picking up school bags for kids

 

1) Consider the Amount of Books and School Stationery that the Child needs to Carry:
The first thing that as parents you need to consider before picking up school bags for kids is the amount of books and school stationery your child needs to carry every day. For example a child in kindergarten doesn’t need a huge bag while a child in 7th or 8th grade definitely does. So, more the amount of school stationery and books that a child needs to carry, the more spacious it should be. However, picking a very large bag is also a not a good idea as it will be difficult to manage. So an ideal bag is one that has many extra pockets and shelves for carrying different school supplies like books, notebooks, school stationery, art and craft supplies separately. This will also help your child stay organized at school. School Bags Singapore

2) Check for Proper Support
School bags lacking optimum support can do a lot of damage to your child’s physical development. Look for broad shoulder straps with proper padding. The straps should lie flat on the shoulders and shouldn’t pull the child backwards when carrying weight. The straps should be well stitched and must be strong enough to carry the weight of the bag all by itself. Also, some padding on the inner most shelf, the one that will be right next to your child’s back will provide better comfort to your child. Try and pick a light-weight bag as it is only going to get heavier once you put the books and school stationery into it.

3) Durability Factor:
When choosing school bags for kids, the durability factor must always be considered. School bags undergo a lot of rough use and throwing around, and therefore they must be strong enough to withstand some bumpy use. The stitching is as important as the fabric in ensuring the durability of the bag. Never buy bags with threads running out as it is sure to give you trouble after a few days of use. When it comes to choosing the fabric, nylon and canvas are believed to be the toughest. You might also want to consider investing in a water-proof bag lest your child’s books, notebooks and school stationery get spoilt in the rain.

4) Colour and Design
Last but not the least, when buying bags for kids, the colour and design play an important role. Always take into consideration the likes and dislikes of your child. Even better take him along if possible when you go shopping for a new bag. School bags for kids generally look best in bright colours and patterns. You can even consider buying cartoon character school bags like Barbie, Ben 10, Batman and more. However, never pick a very light colour bag or you would have to send it for dry cleaning every now and then.

School bags are actually one the most important and concerning thing of our school life, School bag is not only a need, but a cute style and fashion mark among the kids. it expresses and explains the personality of a child especially in his/her peers group. So the school bags can be called as the most important need and accessory for the children in their school life. If you are planing to buy school bags for your kids then there are many online school supplies company offering discount and you must go with them.
In the present day, there are many different types of bags that serve different purposes. Some bags are designed to hold heavy luggage and are ideal for travelling with while others can only hold light items to carry around during the day. Most school students today carry bags while going to school, either to bring along their books with them or carry their personal effects. Whichever the case, the different types of bags carried to school speak volumes about the image of the individuals carrying them. Below, we shall discuss four types of cute school bags that can help improve your public image in school while at the same time helping serve its purpose.

Tote Bags:

These types of bags are very ideal for girls and can be used for different purposes. The good thing about these cute school bags is that they come in different sizes and designs; big and small. This means that one can decide to carry a tote bag which matches the color of their clothes to school, thus improving the public image of the individual. Additionally, it is possible to choose a design that suits one. Some tote bags have side pockets which can be used to store small personal effects such as mobile phones and make-up kits. They appear somewhat as normal lady handbags and can confidently be carried even outside the school premises without fear of looking different.

Aztec Bags:

Aztec bags have the same look as tote bags but are made of different materials and have an ancient touch to them. It is good to note that they also have a crescent shaped carry-on. These kinds of bags are quite ideal for girls to carry while going to school because they can serve multiple purposes. They can be purchased in various sizes, colors and designs. This therefore means that one can choose a smaller Aztec bag if it is only intended to carry personal effects while moving around the school. However, if one intends to carry school books in the Aztec bag, it would be best to choose an Aztec bag that is bigger. There are also varying designs and colors from which one can choose.

Backpacks:

Backpacks have been around for a very long time and are very much loved by students globally. Over the years, designs of backpacks have changed drastically and one can purchase a backpack to serve almost any purpose. Some of them are relatively larger and can be used even while carrying camping materials while others are standardized to carry school essentials such as books and other learning materials. The kind of backpack that one carries to school speaks a lot about the person and it is therefore important to choose a bag that suits your taste. This means that you should try to get a backpack with colors that suit you and also a design that would serve all your purposes.

Gym Bags:

Gym bags are basically used in carrying gym clothes and sports training materials. Since sports are one of the major extracurricular activities in all schools, it is common to find most students owning gym bags. Perhaps gym bags may not be put in the category of cute school bags but today, there are many different types of gym bags from which one can choose. One way of attracting the interest of others when carrying a gym bag is to choose one with varying colors which suit your taste.

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When you include your children in planning, you give them a sense of worth

 

It is your toy store nightmare. Your child is throwing a tantrum on the store’s floor, shrieking his head off, and obnoxiously demanding for that toy. You are helplessly looking on, while you are receiving judgmental glares and piteous looks from other shoppers, which make you want to curl up and hide in the wood toy boxes at home.

Then you start thinking about stuffing your child in his wood toy boxes! But you cannot, so you need to make plans to prevent another toy store nightmare. Wooden toys singapore

Talk It Out

If possible, you can schedule a family conference regarding the planned shopping excursion. You can discuss which toy store to go to, what time you will be going there, what types of toys they are allowed, your budget, and the behavior you expect from them.

When you include your children in planning, you give them a sense of worth. After all, these will be their toys that will be added to their wood toy boxes, not yours.

Set Financial Limits

Before going into the toy store, you need to set monetary limits. First, tell your children how much you are willing to spend on how many toys. When you tell them your budget and why you need to stick to it, they will choose toys more wisely.

When you set limits, you teach your children the value of money and the value of their chosen toys. Hopefully, your children will take better care of their toys, and you can stop wondering where all the contents of their wood toy boxes have gone to.

Set Safety Limits

You need to tell your children safety requirements that you want followed on their toys. Tell them that only age-appropriate toys are allowed, which means that you will check labels for age requirements and care instructions. You also have to consider medical complications like asthma and allergies to certain toy components.

You will also need to check on sharp points and edges, small parts, loud noises, projectiles, cords and strings, and electrical hazards that might pose a risk to your child and to others. Indeed, you might also have to check if the toys can be stuffed inside their wood toy boxes, or should have containers of their own.

Set a Schedule

For many children, you will need to schedule who buys first. With small children, you have to accompany them, lest they break anything. For bigger children, you can let them explore on their own, but they should come back to a designated area once they have chosen their toy. This way, you can reduce the risk of anybody being lost in a shopping mall.

Set Behavioral Rules

Talk to your children about the behavior expected of them. For older children, you can ask them to behave appropriately, to call your attention properly when they see a toy they like, and to discuss its merits with you. For smaller children, you can direct their attention to the toys you want them to see. You can also ask your older children to help you explain things to their younger siblings. Often, kids have a language of their own!

When you have properly planned your toy outing, you are better prepared to deal with toy emergencies. Indeed, you will be filling in their wood toy boxes with toys – and not with your body or your children’s!
Do you feel that your children do not really appreciate the toys that they are given? Many parents feel this way and they are on the lookout for toys that can hold their children’s attention for longer. Why don’t you consider buying wood toys for a change? The fact is that they are completely different from the ones that kids normally play with and therefore are far more interesting. A lot of parents prefer to buy games made of wood because of this and many other reasons.

You will find a wooden toy will keep a child of any age entertained because there are so many of them in the market today. Manufacturers go to great pains to come up with interesting options because there is increased demand for them in the market today. This is great news for parents who want to provide their kids with unusual and enhanced experiences that are completely unlike the ones that standard playthings can provide. Smaller kids can play with building blocks whereas older ones can be kept occupied with assembly kits of tiny wood toy cabins, for example.

Educational toys made of wood are perfect for enhancing and encouraging the all round development of the child. They improve the analytical ability of children who play with them in addition to helping improve hand and eye co-ordination. The other great advantage they offer is that they are perfect for encouraging group play. This helps to improve the child’s ability to get along with other people, thereby giving the child a skill that will be of lifelong use. In addition, they also provide kids with the perfect outlet for their creativity.

The experience of playing with wood toys is completely different from the one a person gets from standard playthings because they offer richer tactile experiences. In fact, they are very successful at engaging all senses. Not only do they have an unusual smell but the grain of the wood makes each piece look different. This is probably why children and adults alike respond very well to them and prefer them to ones made of plastic. They are usually handcrafted and people learn to appreciate the effort taken to craft each one of them.

Games and models made of wood are very strong and durable and are able to withstand rough handling. They are also safe to handle because they are usually made of non toxic paints and glues, if these substances are used at all. You will love to pass them on to others once your kids are done playing with them. Even if they do get damaged they are very easy to repair because all you usually need for a repair job is glue or some varnish or paint. They are very easy to clean as well and rarely need more than a light dusting.

People are becoming increasingly ecologically conscious these days, and prefer to keep the environment in mind when they make a variety of decisions. This extends to the kind of playthings they buy their children. Toys made of reclaimed waste wood are the perfect choice for these responsible parents because trees have not been cut just to make these things. Some manufacturers go one step further and use recycled paper to package them in.

Wood toys are the perfect things to buy your kids if you want educational products that you can enjoy together. The fine craftsmanship that these playthings have qualifies them to be heirlooms that future generations can also play with. Miniature models offer another advantage in that they make interesting keepsakes that can be enjoyed for years to come.

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Avoiding Tax Return Mistakes That Could Cost You

Avoiding Tax Return Mistakes That Could Cost You
Did you know the average person spends approximately 12 hours preparing their income tax return? Have you started gathering all your information to prepare your 2018 return? Remember, if you spend all that time preparing your return, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake because you are in a rush. Mistakes, no matter how simple, can delay your refund. Below are some common mistakes that are made on tax returns and what you can do to avoid them. https://taxaladin.com/

Get Organized: If you don’t already have your tax information together you better start now. Missing information can have the potential of costing you unnecessary funds.

Improper Social Security # or incorrect ID: The SS# must match with what’s on your Social Security card because the IRS compares all returns with the Social Security Administration’s database. Also, it is easy to get to focused on the numbers that you forget to sign your return or even enter other necessary information. Even having the incorrect name can be a problem. These problems often happen after marriage or divorce, especially if you haven’t informed Social Security.

Filing Status Mistakes: There are five filing status options (Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow w/ dependent) that are used to determine your filing requirements (standard deduction, eligibility for credits, deductions and your correct tax. Choosing the best filing status for you is one of the initial steps in filing your return.

Math Errors and Miscalculations: With all those numbers you can enter on your tax forms, it is easy to make simple math mistakes. If the IRS finds those errors they may recalculate them for you but not to your advantage. So, it would be to your benefit to check your math before you send in your forms. In addition to possible math errors, there can be miscalculations linked to taxable income, withholdings, estimated tax payments, and misc. tax credits.

Incorrect Bank Account Numbers for Direct Deposit: It’s important to double check your bank’s routing number and your account number to ensure you receive your refund in a timely manner. Just as important is paying your tax on time to avoid possible penalties and interest.

Underreported Income: Don’t forget to add income from anything other than your place of employment. This includes interest income, savings dividends, rental income or funds from a second job. Make sure you total all your income statements (W-2s, 1099s, K-1s and 1098s). Remember, the IRS gets copies of all those forms as well.

Filing Late or even not at all: Many of us can get overcome with details and put off filing our returns on time or not at all. Sooner or later the IRS will discover your tardiness and you will get a bill for the interest and penalties for not following the rules. If you are unable to make the April 15th deadline, you can request a six-month extension and avoid these penalties if you pay any taxes due by the filing deadline.

Start Saving: Whether you owe the IRS or are expecting a refund it’s always good to be saving. Sometimes refunds get delayed so you can’t delay your bills waiting for your refund. Make sure you set aside a portion of your income now so you will be prepared to pay any unexpected payments.

Use your return sensibly: If you are expecting a return this year, make sure you use it wisely. Before you spend it, make sure you prioritize your financial needs and put the refund toward that.

My Tip To You: Make sure you prepare your tax return when you have fewer diversions. If you are interrupted or have annoying distractions, stop what you are doing and finish your return at a later time. A little extra time spent on your tax return will go along way to sending in an accurate return. By following these simple tips, you can safeguard you won’t get a letter from Uncle Sam letting you know you owe extra money.

So what are you waiting for? You don’t need to worry about your taxes. If you have questions, allU.S. Credit Union ( https://alluscu.com ) might have some answers and with the tips above you can get a head start on your 2018 returns and won’t be among many panicked people trying to beat the midnight deadline. If you’re expecting a refund, be sure to check out the great savings options at allU.S. Whatever your savings goal, going direct deposit with allU.S., makes perfect sense.

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Important SEO Benefits for Small Businesses

Important SEO Benefits for Small Businesses
SEO is often considered important for larger businesses, but it is just as important for small businesses that want to increase their reach and grow into successful organisations. SEO is helpful for small businesses in several ways, including allowing them to create websites that perform well and are user-friendly, enhancing search engine rankings and attracting even more potential customers.

Let’s go over some of the top benefits of SEO for small businesses.

User-Friendly Sites

SEO makes it possible for small businesses to have websites that are clean, smooth and user friendly. Although many people do not consider website optimisation a part of SEO, which is outdated thinking, optimising the speed and reliability of your site is one of the great benefits of SEO services. User experience is about more than just in-person interacts – it is any direct interaction with the consumer, including online users browsing websites.

 

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Increase Traffic

As mentioned above, SEO makes it easier to attract more customers to your website. Why? Because your website will stand out from others and increase the number of individuals looking at your site and engaging with it. Businesses with SEO that has been optimised properly see many more customers than those who rely on older SEO techniques and strategies.

Enhanced Conversion Rates

Optimising your website makes it load much faster, makes it easier to read and all of your content will be properly displayed to customers on all of their devices, including tablets and smartphones. Websites that are highly accessible tend to be more successful, grabbing the attention of users and keeping it so that there is more time to convince them to invest in your products or services.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a highly crucial factor for businesses of all kinds, making SEO for small businesses one way to become more recognisable. Higher rankings are proven to build awareness of your brand, as more people will see the name of your company and its logo pop up in search results. Customers will automatically believe that your brand can be trusted, as there is no other way it would be on the first few pages of a search engine if it wasn’t – at least, according to consumers.

Bypass Your Competition

Your competition could be making a fatal mistake in their SEO for small business tactics, which can put you in the lead even if you’re in the same industry and selling products or services that are similar. An optimised website can make a ton of difference, pulling more customers to your brand than to the competitor’s brand. This results in faster growth, more success, enhanced recognisability, and even more benefits.

Your website is one of the most crucial parts of SEO optimisation, so don’t neglect making sure that it runs smoothly and gives users a good experience. Look over your SEO tactics for your small business and consider the benefits of investing more into SEO services and reaping the benefits for your small commercial business.

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Social Marketing Campaigns

Developing social network marketing campaigns is the trend for businesses these days. The goal is to help marketers successfully leverage 3rd party resources to run social marketing campaigns effectively and cheaply. This is the same case for many people, small businesses and large corporations who start out with social marketing campaigns. Social network marketing can drive sales for you regardless of your brand! The right online marketing campaigns can engage audiences to drive online interaction, sales, and predictable ROI. veemo The result is developing online campaigns leveraging the popularity of social networks to engage audiences based on existing value and social structures to create real, lasting impact that results in increased sales.

The internet is a tool that works well to promote actions and campaigns directed to the younger generations. Using it to organize social network marketing campaigns and everything else in your life should be a big productivity booster for your online business. Social media networks could be used for promoting campaigns. Social sites use mass media marketing because they can reach and influence a large group of targeted people at any given time. I have been at the forefront of social network promotions which are playing a part in influencing business and the world around us. We know that in order to deliver successful and effective social site campaigns they must stem from a systematic planning process that will allow you to make sale conversions. Evaluation isn’t the end of the road either. Effective campaigns should progress to the follow-up stage. This allows us to offer unique implementation and evaluation of marketing plans, not to mention providing innovative and comprehensive research solutions for a given niche or sector.

Social network sites can be implemented in a local, regional or international level or a combination of any of these levels. Your aim should be to influence ideals, attitudes and behaviors of target individuals in order to improve personal as well as social welfare through commercial marketing technologies especially using the internet as a means of delivering a message.

Through this aspect of social networks, consumers are assured of a good supply of the product and where the product is sold and will be readily available. Almost all marketing plans are a long term investment, as society needs time to accept the commercial message and changes cannot be made overnight. When such efforts are labeled as social marketing campaigns and expected to achieve unrealistic results and outcomes, we set ourselves up for failure.

All well planned marketing strategies have standard themes which keep the messages consistent, ensure recognition and provide with ready-to-use materials that are tailored to each campaign. Much of the research on results of marketing, especially mass media campaigns allow effectiveness of studies conducted in real time. In the social network markets you must communicate to communities in and have well thought out messages are delivered with a consistent message. Social marketing using traditional metrics of direct response with average numbers being at 54% in clicks; and sales conversions at 51%. Relatively small budgets for social marketing tactics aren’t out of line with the low cost of producing similar campaigns such as blogs and podcasts.

The difficulties will reside in technology and the ability to contextualize user activity and social interaction to the degree that it provides us reliable returns with which marketers can develop and conduct dynamic social marketing campaigns around. A formal background or relevant work experience in designing, developing and implementing social marketing campaigns is therefore required to achieve notable success. Many companies are now hiring people to run their social marketing campaigns and to curate their brand online. For more information regarding the social marketing campaigns please view the author resource box below.

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Mining For Gold In Your Web Traffic Logs

Understanding your Web site’s traffic patterns is a crucial component of your marketing mix. The information in these logs is collected as visitors find and move around your site at their own volition. So, it’s “market research that cannot lie” – and therefore provides unprecedented insights that can help you to strategize not only for the future development of the site itself, but also for your overall business and marketing plan. I’ll describe the most important sections of the log report when analyzing your site’s marketing effectiveness.

Often, deciding what’s right and what’s a problem is a gut feel that you’ll develop by looking at your log reports over a period of weeks or months, weblogright by trying some new tactics, and observing the trends and results.

General Statistics

This introductory section shows the overall traffic to the site, including the number of actual visitors, as opposed to “hits”. This is an important distinction – one hit is generated for every page and every individual image that a visitor requests (e.g. a page with some text and five pictures will take six hits to download). So, the ratio of hits to individual visitors can be quite high. By the way, it’s also important for you to appreciate this distinction if you are selling advertising space on your site. You may be asked by a potential advertiser to prove your traffic levels, and if you happily say “millions of hits”, they may look suspicious! This section also shows the average time spent on the site, which should give some indication as to how engaging it is.

If your site is rich in content, but the time spent on it is relatively low, it may not be meeting the needs of the visitors it is attracting, or it may be targeted at the wrong audience. I had a client who earlier this year placed #1 in some major search engines. He was ecstatic! But his site had not been worked on for some time, and was very dry and boring. We discovered from his logs that the average time spent on his site was less than two minutes – obviously indicating a problem. And to make my point again, without this evidence from the logs, he would have continued to believe that his site was successful.

Most and Least Requested Pages.

The most requested pages are a great barometer of the “hot” areas of your site, and thus the most popular aspects of your online products or services. These may be different from your original expectations, and so this information can be very valuable for overall business development decisions. If the least requested pages (i.e. the ones that attract the fewest visitors) contain important content, then something’s wrong. Usually, it’s either that their content is not interesting to your markets after all, or that the site is not driving your traffic to these pages in ways that are attractive.

Top Entry and Exit Pages

If the inside pages of your site are well promoted in the search engines, there should be a number of top entry pages (i.e. the first page that the visitor sees), in addition to the home page. This is a good reminder to include clear navigation back to other areas of the site from every page, to ensure that the first-time visitor gets a complete picture of your offerings. The top exit pages are also an indication of your site’s effectiveness – if these are not the right places for most visitors to leave from, some adjustments are needed. Make sure that every page of your site has an objective, and that you clearly direct the visitor to the next page or to the action that you wish them to take.

Single Access Pages

These are pages that a visitor views, and leaves without exploring any further. Typically, this will be the home page, and I am often asked whether this is an issue. I usually give the standard consultant’s answer: “It depends…” Your home page should quickly show the different audiences for your site that they’ve come to the right place for what they want, and where to go to find it. So you might have sections for members, prospective members, journalists, consumers, etc. The home page should do enough to engage them, and send them on to the appropriate inside pages. If the home page does a good job of this, there will probably be some remnant of visitors who came to your site by mistake, in which case they will leave immediately. But that’s OK – they aren’t the right traffic for you. It’s really your judgment call as to what constitutes a problem. But, that client I mentioned earlier whose visitors spent less than two minutes on his site also had about 85% single access figures on his home page – some things are obvious! A splash entry page to your site (i.e. one that says “Welcome, enter here”, but with little or no actual content) will often also show large single access figures. Although these pages can look very striking, they unfortunately tend to be unpopular with impatient surfers. I’ve seen splash pages that have lost one third of a site’s visitors. If you have a splash page, check the single access figures for it in your logs, and be prepared to remove it without hurting the feelings of your Webmaster!

Most Active Countries and Cities

If your site is aimed at an international audience, this section will show which country visitors originate from. This information can be useful in making decisions such as providing pages in languages other than English. The most active cities report is unfortunately very misleading, as it relies on the registered location of the Internet Service Provider. Most log reports therefore show very disproportionate visitor numbers from Virginia – the home of America Online!

Top Referring Sites / URL’s / Search Engines

These are the Web pages that send visitors to your site. The largest figure here will usually be the “No referrer”, showing people coming directly to the site. This means that they are typing in your URL, or have your site bookmarked, and implies that your other forms of marketing are working. The log reporting program should display other Web pages that send you traffic as html links, allowing you to click on the URL (when online!) to see the originating page. This will show the effectiveness of your reciprocal links or paid advertising. You will also be able to see other sites that are linking to you. It’s worth checking these out if you aren’t familiar with them – either to thank them, or to check that their link to you is appropriate. For search engine referrals, clicking on the link will resubmit the search, and allow you to evaluate competitors’ sites and positioning relative to yours. It’s also possible to review keywords that are bringing traffic from one particular source, and to try to improve the site’s performance for those words in other search engines.

Top Search Keywords and Phrases

This is crucial information, as it shows exactly what people were looking for when they came to your site. Often Web site marketers take their best guess at these keywords on their first design, but because the search engines index every word on all your pages, other terms can be found, especially in a content rich site. So the most popular search phrases can tell you what’s really “hot” in your products and services. Understanding these is another great key to understanding the current needs of your site’s market(s), and making business strategy and development decisions. One of my clients recently decided to write a book on a topic area that, until she saw her logs, she had no idea was so sought-after.

Conclusion

There are other sections in the log report, especially around the technical data for your site. The pieces that I have covered here are the significant ones for marketers. If you don’t have this information available, I really urge you to get it, and review it – I guarantee that you’ll find some gold nuggets!

 

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Management of Digital Marketing Campaigns

Why Digital Marketing Services?

If you own a business then it is likely that you have a website that goes along this. Whether you use this website to generate sales online or you use it to simply advertise your services/products it is important that you make the best of it and give it as much exposure as possible.

Digital marketing services are in place to help you get as much promotion as you can from your website – after all you have probably paid for it to be designed so you will want it to work for you as much as possible.

No one is expecting you to be a sudden expert in internet marketing, but don’t worry because there are companies out there that can help!

What Digital Marketing Services Are Available?

If you contact an expert digital marketing services company then they should be able to recommend a number of different services to you. moeblieren Often the services that you go for will depend on the niche you are targeting and the budget that you have available.

Social Networking is a relatively new phenomenon compared to the age of the internet. The likes of Facebook and Twitter have seen more users signing up over the years and Google+ has recently announced being the fastest ever growing social networking website. It is important that you tap into this and take advantage which the right digital marketing services can help you do.

Then you can look at search engine optimisation and helping to make sure your website gets as much search engine traffic as possible. This can help to improve sales and is helped by creating as many backlinks to your site as possible.

Both of these methods are just examples of what you can do when it comes to digital marketing services and your website.

Measuring Digital Marketing Campaigns

Recently I have had the chance to spend some time with clients discussing various issues, not the least of which was marketing. These are not web based companies they are traditional booking and rental companies that rent or hire equipment, book out talent or artists etc.

Raising the marketing topic just opened this wonderful pandora’s box of topics with each client.

Given that things are tight for most companies, the focus was really on how the basics. How can we generate more leads etc with less dollars.

I saw some great examples at different clients of marketing campaigns they were running. Whilst the campaigns were diverse the one thing in common was the use of digital marketing methods over more traditional means.

The lower cost of digital campaigns seemed to be the main reason, but also there was a strongly held perception that they were more effective. Few actually measured the performance. The argument was a lead could be generated by a you tube promo, which led to their web site which generated a telephone or email inquiry.

Fair point – it highlights the need to measure the success of a campaign, rather than the success of individual components of the mix.

Issues in Managing a Digital Campaign

The second area we explored was how digital campaigns were created and the issues. Now this was interesting.

Many used a variety of tools, eg Twitter, You Tube, 3rd party promotion web sites, even Facebook as well as a variety of other sites. These were in addition to the normal tools of email campaigns, SMS etc.

It was interesting to see how different companies used these tools and sites for their promotions. It was even more interesting in how they tried to maintain consistency of message across these multiple advertising avenues. Not easy was the one reply.

And it is not, for example in one company, an error had forced a change in the wording of the text. But they forgot to update one of the third party sites they had included in the mix. A simple oversight but one that had revenue ramifications.

It is an easy oversight when you have so many different means by which to promote these days. Especially when the management of such campaigns is conducted separately from the normal marketing and business system.

So yes whilst many companies were using digital marketing campaigns, the issues exist measurement and the consistent management of the various digital marketing means. I think we have a good solution for them now that solves the problem.

Digital marketing is I think one of the most dynamic and enjoyable areas of marketing.

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4 Email Marketing Practices Healthcare Marketers Can Deploy in 2018

Ripping the benefits of email is possible only when you know how to use it and when to use it. Generic emails sent to all customers on your list gets you nowhere. That’s a fact, and so even in 2018, the significance of personalised and targeted email campaigns will continue to remain for both B2B and B2C industry.

So far, every industry expert has spoken about the tips or guidelines on how to craft a compelling email marketing campaign in different ways and on various platforms. But, only a few have shared the strident reality which many email marketers are unaware of. Email marketing is not just about crafting an email with a catchy subject line, unique content, taxaladin and an attractive template design. Instead, it’s more about addressing their needs right at the comfort and privacy of their inbox.

Here are four practices that can set your healthcare email campaigns on the right path in 2018.

Think from the Reader’s Point of View

Before ushering your targeted audience’s inbox with high- frequency messages, consider the fact that their inboxes might already be filled with emails from other healthcare providers. It adds to their woe as they are already tired of going through numerous promotional emails during the last couple of months. Take some time and think what if the same happens to you how you would feel? You would get irritated, right?

The same emotions run through your reader’s mind too. Don’t forget that your readers are patients, healthcare professionals, and medical executives. Sending emails quite often may compel your subscribers like physicians, nurses, C-level executives and other medical specialists who are busy in delivering quality care to unsubscribe.

Firstly, give them time to clear their existing brimming inbox and create space for new emails to come in. Delivering messages to the crowded inbox will be of no help to you as your emails will get lost in such an environment. Think and act smart, and at the same time respect your reader’s privacy, time and availability to go through your campaigns. By doing so, you will only end up damaging your brand’s reputation and customer trust.

Offer Value Before You Ask for Business

Of course, you are here to get more visitors for your medical practice or buyers for your medical devices and equipment. But in the name of the business communication, you just can’t stoop low to end up spoiling your brand’s impression among health customers. The rule has been same over the years, and even in 2018, it will continue prevailing but unfortunately only in the mind as its application is hardly seen among healthcare email marketers. The logic is simple before you ask subscribers to buy from you or compel them to sign up for your service or newsletter, give them something valuable that will encourage them to opt for your product. This could be done either by offering a free download of a healthcare whitepaper or a market guide, a discount coupon, free trial or a freebie.

Don’t be too rigorous with your marketing gimmicks as sending too many emails or forcing prospects to subscribe to receive emails from your brand may result in getting your emails marked as spam. Make sure to deliver value to your customers and then expect the same in return.

Build Contextual Content around CTA

Asking too much up front to customers is not a good idea. Just be succinct in your call(s) to action (CTA) and ensure to craft actionable and inspiring email content so that it urges your readers to click on the website link or fill up the inquiry form as a sign of their interest to know more. Remember to build context-based content that resonates with your potential customer’s needs, encouraging them to take action in favor of your healthcare business.

Have your Plan Ready

It may sound too early but often having this thought delays your decision-making process at the time of need. There is nothing wrong to be prepared. As the New Year has already started, keeping email marketing plans ready for the year is indeed a smart move.

However, many medical marketers ignore the importance of having a to-do list in hand from the beginning of the year as they prefer addressing challenges as they come. But in this fast evolving healthcare industry where competition is soaring up every day, waiting for the opportunity to come is not at all a good idea. Marketers need to come out with a robust email strategy to make their presence felt amidst the chaos.

It’s true that one cannot predict things, but in the field of email marketing, your success depends on how well you anticipate the future market trends and be equipped to address them.

Have a check on your last year’s metrics to review the performance of your healthcare email marketing campaigns and based on that evaluate what worked great and what not for your medical practice or healthcare business. A look back into the past will surely help you succeed with your marketing campaign targeting healthcare professionals in the days to come.

The Last Word

Welcome the New Year with a bang and don’t forget to experiment with your marketing strategies. Be open to innovations and make way for embracing advanced technologies and tools that can trigger the chances of your success.

 

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Are Investment Costs of Business Internet Marketing Higher Than You Might Think?

Having just started to use internet marketing in our own business and trying to bring together all the different components to deliver a set of desired outcomes, we have discovered it is not a simple task. We have created a huge amount of online content from websites, blog sites, micro-blogging, and social media network participation. But and it is a big but, how do you convert all this activity (or lack of it) into a coherent message that brings visitors to your target online content and transcends to registrations and / or sales?

To be honest we have been merrily creating web content, accounts on twitter, Facebook pages, blogs and regularly posting but without paying specific attention to the direction or the message. This has been a conscious choice on our part as we were not ready to join everything up yet, ruay77s so we just started by increasing our online profile until we were set to go. I think this is one of the big hurdles for most people entering Internet Marketing at any level is… why am I doing this? Why am I posting content onto Blogs, twittering, when no one is visiting anyway? I’m not reading my other 1000 followers tweets, so I am sure they are not reading mine! If I’m the only one ready what I’m writing I’d sooner not bother! 2 Blog posts a day, why? for what? What am I going to say? What difference will it make?

We expect those new to Internet Marketing to blindly accept that ‘you should get a blog, you should use Twitter and join Facebook… trust me… you will see the benefit, later on everything will be much clearer…’

Here then is the issue… of course signing up to these services, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linked in or any other social media platform is not in itself going to make any difference to a business. Just the same as printing some leaflets for a mailshot and leaving them in the garage, or attending networking meetings and not talking to anyone, these won’t make much impact either.

The facts are that Internet Marketing is a complex business. It performs the functions of building individual’s profiles and credibility, Brand awareness and product / service sales via one medium. Each of these areas requires different techniques, services and strategies online, but you can’t go about this in a half baked, apathetic manner. Internet Marketing has the ability to transform businesses, enable small companies to compete with the ‘big boys’ and build new enterprises from nothing but not by making one blog post a week, the odd twitter tweet now and then and complaining that sales haven’t increased yet!

So what is the reality? The reality is this, that Internet marketing provides the ability to reach 100,000’s of people and quickly, but it won’t happen without effort… A LOT OF IT!

Most Small Business’s are owned privately, very often by the entrepreneur who found a niche, designed a new product or took advantage of an opportunity. These individuals are often technical people and suffer from the old ‘Feast and Famine’ syndrome that finds refuge in Micro and small businesses. When we’re in Sales mode we are extremely busy, when servicing customers, prospects dry up… then we’re found scratching around for business again which happens, eventually, months after we needed it.

Now typical business owners don’t think of themselves as sales people and will readily admit they don’t like this part of the business and yet without it the business can’t survive. I’ve heard many a business owner admit they are not sales people, ‘I’m basically too honest to be a sales person’ as if a sales person’s role was to somehow convince someone to buy a product they don’t need and don’t want. Well, let us now separate Marketing from Sales.

Marketing is encouraging people to consider your products and services… visitors if you like, whereas Sales is the matching of the customers requirements to your offerings. At no point in this is there any persuasion or manipulation… better still, much of this sales process can be automated with Internet Marketing. Marketing requires an audience to market too… sales requires us to provide information, substantiate our offering and provide a method to engage with us.

You will hear this time and time again with the Internet Marketing crowd… ‘the money is in the list!’ and if we are to market successfully then having a list to inform on a regular basis is absolutely essential. If we apply this to offline marketing, most of the hard work in sending out a mailshot was creating a quality list of people in the first place… our target audience! If we are to engage the services of a Direct Marketing company for a telephone campaign… at some point before this a list must be found, either from an existing database or bought from an organisation specialising in such Lists, the higher the quality the better.

So let us now see what relevance our Online – Internet Marketing activities have in identifying a target market. Consider Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter, Blog subscribers and Registrations for an ezine or other regular communication… what are these?

They are lists of course! lists of people who in some way have connected with you and are probably comfortable to receive correspondence from you or your business. Herein lies the secret then behind why we should bother at all to seek people out, follow and be followed. List building… and the good news is that it can be quite good fun too!

Now in our business we have 5 main products offerings… some of these products have an overlapping potential audience, others do not. It may be necessary therefore to have multiple accounts for Twitter and / or a separate Facebook page for the different audience. Already you can see that if we are to manage, maintain and post for each product on a regular basis (desirable) then this is a substantial amount of work.

One of the difficulties that some of my colleagues have with building a large list of friends or followers is, ‘How can you possibly keep in touch with all these people?, I struggle to stay in touch with my immediate relatives’ and for sure, personally corresponding with 60,000 people is not viable… but this is not the point.

These social sites represent a massive network of interconnected people, you are not necessarily communicating on a 1-2-1 basis (although you can do this) but rather are broadcasting what you want to say to everyone who is connected and often to their immediate connections as well!! Suddenly we have the ability to get a message to a very large audience with a single post.

Now… most people certainly with Twitter won’t see your post, and a good many won’t in Facebook or Linked-In either, however this is not an issue. It is not our problem to worry about who will see our posting or not, that is not our responsibility and we should avoid getting attached to the outcome. Our role is to provide the information (post), that is it… Now there is a magic number in marketing and sales this is 3%. This little number is very important. It is the recognised average response rate in a cold market… sometimes it can be more, often less. If we sent out 1000 mailshots then it would be acceptable to set a benchmark of 30 as the number of positive responses. This is about the same % that I have experienced in responses to click-through’s on Tweets and Facebook postings. Taking these numbers if we tweeted with a follower list of 30,000 then we could expect around 900 visits. We have absolutely no idea which ones will click the link… or tell a friend or retweet, however the figures can be quite staggering… Imagine if you worked with other ‘Big List’ owners and offered a percentage to tweet to their lists… and you did this 3 times per day… the number of visits could become very large indeed.