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How to Start a Franchise Business

Starting a business is a major endeavor. You need to perform market research, file for a license, create a marketing plan, and build your brand. One way to shorten the process is to become a franchise business owner.

As a franchise business owner, you can tap into the resources and branding of a large brand—while still maintaining the autonomy to run your own business.

If you’re considering starting a franchise business, there are a few things you should know. First, let’s talk about what a franchise business is.

How Does a Franchise Business Work?

In a franchise business, a franchise owner pays a fee to essentially “rent” a brand name. The franchisee runs the business themselves (or hires someone to run it) and must follow the rules and regulations related to how the brand is used.

For example, many McDonald’s restaurants are franchises, meaning an owner (or group of owners, in some cases) pays McDonald’s to use their brand name, menus, logos, and other business assets.

They run their location, pay McDonald’s to use the name, and keep the remaining profits.

mcdonald's franchise options

A franchise business is a popular business model because it offers owners the best of both worlds: the support of a large brand and the benefits of owning a business.

A few businesses that offer franchising options include:

  • 7-Eleven
  • Taco Bell
  • Great Clips
  • Ace Hardware

Starting a franchise business should not be taken lightly. There are pros and cons to consider before deciding whether to become a franchisee.

4 Benefits of Starting a Franchise Business

Starting a business gives you more control over your life and income. Unlike starting your own business, however, there are specific benefits to buying into a franchise.

More Support

Starting a franchise business is sort of like playing video games on easy mode. The franchisor offers support in the form of training, materials, process flows, and branding to make it easier to get your business off the ground.

For example, starting a taco shop could require months for menu development, taste testing, logo design, product sourcing, etc. As a Taco Bell franchise owner, however, much of that work is already completed.

Lower Failure Rate

Franchise businesses often have a lower failure rate. When you buy into a franchise, you join a proven business model that works. You also have additional support and business resources that can make a difference in your success.

Built-In Brand Awareness

Building a brand is one of the best things you can do for your business. However, it often takes time and resources. When you buy into a franchise, the branding is already complete. People already know who your brand is and what it represents. This saves you time and creates a built-in customer base you can tap into.

Better Buying Power

In some cases, you may purchase goods at a lower rate. Many franchisors negotiate contracts with vendors for the entire network, allowing you to spend less on goods and services by purchasing in bulk. However, the flip side of these benefits is you may not choose your vendors, and sometimes the costs are higher.

While there are many benefits to starting a franchise business, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. You’ll pay licensing fees to corporations, which can eat into profits. You’ll also have less control over some aspects of your business. For example, if you own a franchise restaurant, you may have little to say on the menu or which vendors you use.

How to Start a Franchise Business

Now that you understand the pros (and the cons) of starting a franchise business, let’s get down to the details. How do you get started? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Identify a Business Opportunity

The first step in starting a franchise business is deciding which business you want to join. Hundreds of companies offer franchise opportunities: which one is right for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • Do you want an online or in-person business?
  • What industry are you interested in? There are franchise businesses in travel, restaurant, convenience stores, websites, health and wellness, business, and much more.
  • How much money do you have to invest? Before selecting a business, consider the cost.

Once you answer those questions, start looking for franchise opportunities. For example, if I am interested in a restaurant franchise and like sports bars, I might Google “best sports bar franchises.” As you can see, there’s plenty of options.

How to Start a Franchise Business - Start looking for franchise opportunities

Here are a few other searches you can try. Feel free to swap out key terms to find an opportunity that works for you.

  • online franchise businesses
  • travel franchise businesses
  • senior care franchise
  • cheap franchise businesses

Make a list of your top five franchise businesses, then compare what they offer. How much are licensing fees? Is it a flat fee or a portion of your sales? What resources do they offer? Do they offer financing? What happens if you don’t end up keeping the franchise?

Compare all the features and consider all the drawbacks before making a decision.

2. Research Current Owners and Potential Competitors

By now, you should have one or two top franchise choices. It’s time to dig deeper. How many current franchise owners are there? What are their annual revenue and profits?

What competition will you face? Consider both online and in-person competition. For example, suppose you want to franchise a tax company. In that case, you need to consider how you’ll stand out from online companies like TurboTax and in-person accounting firms in your physical location.

3. Determine Market Interest

Sometimes buying into a franchise provides a false sense of security. You see how much other franchise owners make and think that is the norm. Keep in mind markets can vary by location and the franchisor has a vested interest in highlighting their most successful franchisees.

Whether you are looking to purchase an online or in-person franchise, make sure there is enough room in the market for additional businesses. If the market is saturated, you may struggle to make sales no matter how much people trust the brand.

4. Research Startup Costs

The cost to start a franchise business can range drastically from a few hundred bucks to set up a website to millions to pay franchise fees and build a store. Usually, franchisors will list the average cost on their website.

However, sometimes there are hidden fees you’ll need to keep in mind:

  • Travel costs: Most companies require you to come to their headquarters and learn more about their brand and company culture. Generally, you’ll foot this bill.
  • Training costs: You may be required to train on location in a store for several weeks. This can cost time and money, since you won’t have a paycheck.
  • Local fees and taxes: Your city or state might charge fees to start a business, get approvals, acquire building permits, etc.
  • The initial fee: Most franchisees pay a yearly fee (called the royalty fee) based on sales. However, there is likely a one-time initial fee that might range from $500 to $50,000.

5. Create a Business Plan

You’ve researched all your options and have decided on a business to join. Congrats! Now it’s time to create a business plan. This is one of the most crucial steps, so take the time to create a solid business plan that covers all the bases.

According to the Small Business Association, a business plan should include:

  • Executive summary: What your company is and what makes it different.
  • Company description: Provide detailed information about the problem your company solves and who you plan to serve.
  • Market analysis: Who your target audience is and how your business stands out from the competition.
  • Management plan: How your business will be structured and who will be in charge of what facets of the business.
  • What you offer: Are you offering products or services? What is your product life cycle and how will you handle things like intellectual property?
  • Funding: How will you pay for the franchise fees, labor costs, and the equipment or products you need to get started?
  • Financial projections: Estimate the revenue for your business. Include a prospective outlook for the next five years. If you plan to take out loans, how will you pay them off?
  • Marketing and sales plans: How will you market your business? Do you have a website? How will you increase sales over time? You can also get help from a digital marketing agency like NP Digital.

6. Form an LLC or Corporation

The next step is to create your business entity. The type of business you create might depend on the franchisor you work with. Some might require an LLC or corporation. An LLC protects your personal assets from liability, while a corporation is a tax structure.

You might also choose sole proprietorship; however, that can leave your home and other assets at risk. This guide will walk you through the different options, but I suggest meeting with a tax or legal professional to decide if the structure is right for you.

Keep in mind city and state laws may impact which structure is right for you.

7. Choose an Initial Location

The final step is to find a location for your franchise business. If you are online, the location will likely be a website, but you might elect to have office space as well. If your franchise business has a physical location, make sure to compare sites to find an affordable one that gets plenty of foot traffic.

Don’t just consider the location’s current pros and cons. Research future developments as well. An ideal location today might not be if a bypass is installed right next to you directing traffic away.

On the other hand, a location that is just OK today might gain attention if a large shopping center is built next door. (Just remember that sometimes development plans fall through, so don’t choose a terrible location based on possible plans.)

Frequently Asked Questions About Starting a Franchise

How much money do I need to start a franchise business?

The cost to start a franchise business varies by business. Some only cost a few hundred dollars, while starting a McDonald’s franchise costs between $1 and $2 million.

How much do franchise owners make per year?

It varies by business. The average is usually between $50,000 and $70,000 per year.

Can I start a franchise business for free?

Not entirely, no. The franchisor generally requires an initial payment before you can open your business. If you don’t have capital, consider bringing in an investment partner.

How do you start a franchise business?

1) Identify a business you want to work with. 2) Research current owners and the competition. 3) Determine market interest. 4) Research startup costs 5) Create a business plan. 6) Form an LLC or corporation. 7) Choose a location. 8) Create a marketing plan.

What is the most profitable franchise?

According to Entrepreneur, the most profitable franchises are Taco Bell, Dunkin’, and The UPS Store.

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Summary of Franchise Business Guide

Starting a franchise business is not without risks. However, the added support and access to a built-in customer base make it a tempting model for many business owners.

If you are comfortable working with a team and appreciate the support and other benefits of being a franchise owner, it can be an ideal way to build your own business.

Remember online marketing is crucial to the success of any business in 2021. Understand the benefits of SEO and social media. Study up on practices like paid advertising that can help you reach a wider customer base.

Finally, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to handle your marketing. They can put their expertise to work while you focus on building your franchise business.

Are you considering starting a franchise? What challenges are you facing?

Who else? <3making money at home

Many of you know that I’m based in Portland, and I will always have a soft spot for this city. That being said, I think Portland has some of the biggest varieties of niche businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs. The city, known for being “weird,” draws in many small business owners and entrepreneurs with dreams for… Read more »

The post Top 37 Entrepreneurs In Portland, Oregon appeared first on One-Click Lindsey.

Who else? <3making money at home

We’ve recently launched an upgraded photo carousel experience that takes photo viewing to the next level on mobile devices. Now your visitors can swipe, zoom, and double-tap with ease and get the best look at those beautiful snaps!

Video Overview

Here’s a short video overview of using the photo carousel on a mobile device and the upgrades we’ve introduced:

What’s New

Smooth, Hands-on, High Resolution Photo Viewing

  • Full-width photos expand to the display of your device
  • Swift, smooth pinch-to-zoom, and double-tap-to-zoom through your photos
  • New, higher resolution images that stay crisp and clear however far you zoom
  • A simpler, faster tap-to-close button to move back into the thumbnail gallery view

Faster, Clearer Navigation Between Photos

  • Responsive, fast swiping between your photos
  • Clear photo numbering navigation to show where you are in your gallery
  • With 5 or less photos, a dot navigation system you can tap to jump to any photo in the sequence

Easy Access Metadata and Comments for Every Photo

  • One-tap metadata for every photo
  • Per-photo comment notifications, with a single tap to view comments

Getting Started

If you’ve previously used our image carousel feature, your site has been upgraded automatically so your visitors will get the new experience starting right now.

If you haven’t added a carousel to your site so far, now’s a great time to give it a try. Simply insert a gallery block using our editor and your photos will show using the carousel whenever your visitors click or tap an image.

<3making money at home

Many of you know that I’m based in Portland, and I will always have a soft spot for this city. That being said, I think Portland has some of the biggest varieties of niche businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs. The city, known for being “weird,” draws in many small business owners and entrepreneurs with dreams for… Read more »

The post Top 37 Entrepreneurs In Portland, Oregon appeared first on One-Click Lindsey.

Who else? <3making money at home

10 Ways to Maximize the Potential of Your B2B Database

In the realm of business data management, ‘Garbage in, garbage out’, is a well-worn phrase. And yes, for good reason!

As B2B marketers, the most valuable marketing asset you have is your database. It’s difficult to grow, maintain, and replicate. A large high-quality database gives you a huge competitive edge. The more people you can reach and engage with, the better and bigger it is. You can create more leads if you can reach out to a wider audience. A large database is simply a license to print money.

Bad data is not only a headache for the person charged with cleaning it up, it also costs companies millions of dollars in wasted resources and lost productivity every year. It’s no surprise that 89% of B2B sellers feel having access to high-quality client data is crucial to their sales and marketing campaigns’ success.

The-High-Cost-Of-Inaccurate-Data

Image Source: Dataladder

Today’s technology is changing how we use databases. Databases are no longer confined to rows and columns of data; they are now versatile and all-encompassing, affecting every aspect of your organization. Project management, client invoicing, telephone traffic reports, and stock inventory may all be handled by the single database software.

Managing a high-quality database is a common issue

The ultimate success of any sales and marketing campaign is only as good as the data lists they’re built upon. Leveraging your existing database information can help you generate accurate and customized information which would maximize the effectiveness of your marketing and sales campaigns.

B2B marketers that rely on technology to access their customer data are familiar with the pain and effort that comes with managing data from several sources. We’re all awash with data, unsure of what’s relevant, what’s accurate, or where to turn to ensure our data is generating revenue. Bringing it all together is a problem for B2B marketers all around the world.

According to Forrester Consulting research done on behalf of Dun & Bradstreet, managing the volume, diversity, and velocity of data is moderate to extremely difficult for 80% of companies.

Most of the time, the massive amount of data we are collecting produces disruption rather than opportunity. Not only is marketing data in continual change but capturing it – accurately and consistently – across all departments is a huge task. Managing and maintaining customer databases across various applications has proven to be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task.

Building an effective database

Depending on the types of interactions you have with your audience and how you typically offer content and information, there are a plethora of methods to grow your brand’s database. Here are a few of the most efficient strategies to expand your client base:

  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Events
  • Webinars
  • Surveys
  • Discounts, coupons, special deals, and offers

Maximizing the potential of your database

1. Segment your target markets

This is the most important stage, particularly if you are a B2B marketer. It’s critical to categorize your customers based on similar attributes, such as location or buying behavior, so you can send targeted ads that can boost your conversion rates. The more segments you have, the more you can focus your messaging, and the higher your engagement will be.

Customer-Segmentation

      Image Source: notifyvisitors

2. Re-engage with your subscribers and customers

This is a typical strategy used by self-improvement and learning firms such as Duolingo and Headspace, but the fundamental technique may be used in a variety of sectors. You may use reminders to contact inactive consumers and try to persuade them to re-engage with your brand.

Animoto-It's-Been-A-While

Image Source: Sendpulse

If you’re an ad-based business, this means you’ll want more people to see your products. People are more inclined to renew a subscription if they connect with your brand on a frequent basis. The key to understanding when to target each part of your customer base is to look at your customer database.

3. Showcase your company’s new product releases and enhancements

If you launch a new product or service, you should always begin by contacting existing clients or customers who are familiar with your brand and are more likely to use it first. How do you win their approval and maintain that loyal relationship if you do not have access to that database?

Let’s assume you introduce a product that you believe is great and then bring it to market. Your existing customers are a great tool to assess the potential of a new or updated service/product. If your customers aren’t interested in what you have to offer, you may ask for their feedback and make the required improvements.

4. Target social media campaigns for your niche audience

In today’s world, social media insights are highly valuable. Users connect with many businesses on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on a regular basis. These platforms allow you to see what your audience responds to in a relevant and evolving way.

Choosing-The-Right-Social-Media-Platform

Image Source: Aofund

You can use data insights to target platforms like LinkedIn, which allows you to generate paid campaigns targeted at specific email addresses.

5. Conduct surveys and have focus groups

At some point in any marketing campaign, marketers require insights and feedback on their performance. What better place to look than your database for this information?

You can learn more about what your consumers want from your product or service through curated surveys and focus groups. This information may then be used to improve your offering(s) and marketing approach.

6. Don’t underestimate the quality of your database

The quality of a database is a critical element in determining its worth, especially for prospective buyers looking for new revenue streams. Databases that are cleaned and updated on a regular basis, for example, are far more valuable than those that include obsolete and irrelevant contact information.

Completeness

      Image Source: Smartbridge

It is important to remember that your database is alive. Make careful you feed it useful data and keep the weeds at bay. Cleaning up after each email broadcast is an effective way of managing data quality. Unsubscribes should be updated, and bounces should be removed.

7. Focus on the accuracy of your database

Try to maintain the database as error-free. Review each data ingredient used for the mailing lists. Often customers come across redundancy, which proves as a threat to your brand. Maintain the hygiene of your data by tracking down spam complaints and hard or soft email bounces. Try not to lose any valuable leads because of data

type errors.

Data-Accuracy

Image Source: Dataladder

8. Designate a task owner

Assign the database implementation to a two- or three-person team. Configuration, installation, and training will all be handled by these individuals. What happens if the database requires the addition of a new field? What are the steps in the approval procedure and who do you contact?

9. Document every new addition or changes to the database

Document the SOPs, custom properties, property definitions, who to contact for change requests, and the approval process for change requests are all covered in standard operating procedures. Make sure the frequency is documented as part of a daily, weekly, or monthly data-management procedure if there are data silos and a manual importing process, for example. Automate as many data cleansing scripts as feasible if possible.

Any updates/changes to processes or additions to the database should be documented so that both past and present employees are educated on the most current information.

10. Make frequent backups of your database

It takes a lot of time and work to build a database. Protect your investment by ensuring that there are no power outages or technical issues. You can use CRM software that can update customer profiles on fetching new information, and online tools can prevent data decay by integrating with your systems and updating each contact with activity data as they browse your site.

Wrapping up

Whether you are cold calling or executing strategic account-based marketing campaigns, you’ll need a good B2B database to get started. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer velocity, diversity, and amount of data in this age of information overload. B2B marketers and industry leaders who recognize the criticality of quality B2B contact data at this time will likely be ahead of the pack in the competitive race.

Guest author: Kristin Smith is a marketing consultant with 10 years of experience in the execution of marketing strategies. Currently, she heads the marketing department at Avention Media, a renowned B2B data solution company based out of New York.

The post 10 Ways to Maximize the Potential of Your B2B Database appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Who else? <3making money at home ?

10 Ways to Maximize the Potential of Your B2B Database

In the realm of business data management, ‘Garbage in, garbage out’, is a well-worn phrase. And yes, for good reason!

As B2B marketers, the most valuable marketing asset you have is your database. It’s difficult to grow, maintain, and replicate. A large high-quality database gives you a huge competitive edge. The more people you can reach and engage with, the better and bigger it is. You can create more leads if you can reach out to a wider audience. A large database is simply a license to print money.

Bad data is not only a headache for the person charged with cleaning it up, it also costs companies millions of dollars in wasted resources and lost productivity every year. It’s no surprise that 89% of B2B sellers feel having access to high-quality client data is crucial to their sales and marketing campaigns’ success.

The-High-Cost-Of-Inaccurate-Data

Image Source: Dataladder

Today’s technology is changing how we use databases. Databases are no longer confined to rows and columns of data; they are now versatile and all-encompassing, affecting every aspect of your organization. Project management, client invoicing, telephone traffic reports, and stock inventory may all be handled by the single database software.

Managing a high-quality database is a common issue

The ultimate success of any sales and marketing campaign is only as good as the data lists they’re built upon. Leveraging your existing database information can help you generate accurate and customized information which would maximize the effectiveness of your marketing and sales campaigns.

B2B marketers that rely on technology to access their customer data are familiar with the pain and effort that comes with managing data from several sources. We’re all awash with data, unsure of what’s relevant, what’s accurate, or where to turn to ensure our data is generating revenue. Bringing it all together is a problem for B2B marketers all around the world.

According to Forrester Consulting research done on behalf of Dun & Bradstreet, managing the volume, diversity, and velocity of data is moderate to extremely difficult for 80% of companies.

Most of the time, the massive amount of data we are collecting produces disruption rather than opportunity. Not only is marketing data in continual change but capturing it – accurately and consistently – across all departments is a huge task. Managing and maintaining customer databases across various applications has proven to be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task.

Building an effective database

Depending on the types of interactions you have with your audience and how you typically offer content and information, there are a plethora of methods to grow your brand’s database. Here are a few of the most efficient strategies to expand your client base:

  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Events
  • Webinars
  • Surveys
  • Discounts, coupons, special deals, and offers

Maximizing the potential of your database

1. Segment your target markets

This is the most important stage, particularly if you are a B2B marketer. It’s critical to categorize your customers based on similar attributes, such as location or buying behavior, so you can send targeted ads that can boost your conversion rates. The more segments you have, the more you can focus your messaging, and the higher your engagement will be.

Customer-Segmentation

      Image Source: notifyvisitors

2. Re-engage with your subscribers and customers

This is a typical strategy used by self-improvement and learning firms such as Duolingo and Headspace, but the fundamental technique may be used in a variety of sectors. You may use reminders to contact inactive consumers and try to persuade them to re-engage with your brand.

Animoto-It's-Been-A-While

Image Source: Sendpulse

If you’re an ad-based business, this means you’ll want more people to see your products. People are more inclined to renew a subscription if they connect with your brand on a frequent basis. The key to understanding when to target each part of your customer base is to look at your customer database.

3. Showcase your company’s new product releases and enhancements

If you launch a new product or service, you should always begin by contacting existing clients or customers who are familiar with your brand and are more likely to use it first. How do you win their approval and maintain that loyal relationship if you do not have access to that database?

Let’s assume you introduce a product that you believe is great and then bring it to market. Your existing customers are a great tool to assess the potential of a new or updated service/product. If your customers aren’t interested in what you have to offer, you may ask for their feedback and make the required improvements.

4. Target social media campaigns for your niche audience

In today’s world, social media insights are highly valuable. Users connect with many businesses on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on a regular basis. These platforms allow you to see what your audience responds to in a relevant and evolving way.

Choosing-The-Right-Social-Media-Platform

Image Source: Aofund

You can use data insights to target platforms like LinkedIn, which allows you to generate paid campaigns targeted at specific email addresses.

5. Conduct surveys and have focus groups

At some point in any marketing campaign, marketers require insights and feedback on their performance. What better place to look than your database for this information?

You can learn more about what your consumers want from your product or service through curated surveys and focus groups. This information may then be used to improve your offering(s) and marketing approach.

6. Don’t underestimate the quality of your database

The quality of a database is a critical element in determining its worth, especially for prospective buyers looking for new revenue streams. Databases that are cleaned and updated on a regular basis, for example, are far more valuable than those that include obsolete and irrelevant contact information.

Completeness

      Image Source: Smartbridge

It is important to remember that your database is alive. Make careful you feed it useful data and keep the weeds at bay. Cleaning up after each email broadcast is an effective way of managing data quality. Unsubscribes should be updated, and bounces should be removed.

7. Focus on the accuracy of your database

Try to maintain the database as error-free. Review each data ingredient used for the mailing lists. Often customers come across redundancy, which proves as a threat to your brand. Maintain the hygiene of your data by tracking down spam complaints and hard or soft email bounces. Try not to lose any valuable leads because of data

type errors.

Data-Accuracy

Image Source: Dataladder

8. Designate a task owner

Assign the database implementation to a two- or three-person team. Configuration, installation, and training will all be handled by these individuals. What happens if the database requires the addition of a new field? What are the steps in the approval procedure and who do you contact?

9. Document every new addition or changes to the database

Document the SOPs, custom properties, property definitions, who to contact for change requests, and the approval process for change requests are all covered in standard operating procedures. Make sure the frequency is documented as part of a daily, weekly, or monthly data-management procedure if there are data silos and a manual importing process, for example. Automate as many data cleansing scripts as feasible if possible.

Any updates/changes to processes or additions to the database should be documented so that both past and present employees are educated on the most current information.

10. Make frequent backups of your database

It takes a lot of time and work to build a database. Protect your investment by ensuring that there are no power outages or technical issues. You can use CRM software that can update customer profiles on fetching new information, and online tools can prevent data decay by integrating with your systems and updating each contact with activity data as they browse your site.

Wrapping up

Whether you are cold calling or executing strategic account-based marketing campaigns, you’ll need a good B2B database to get started. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer velocity, diversity, and amount of data in this age of information overload. B2B marketers and industry leaders who recognize the criticality of quality B2B contact data at this time will likely be ahead of the pack in the competitive race.

Guest author: Kristin Smith is a marketing consultant with 10 years of experience in the execution of marketing strategies. Currently, she heads the marketing department at Avention Media, a renowned B2B data solution company based out of New York.

The post 10 Ways to Maximize the Potential of Your B2B Database appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

I <3 internet marketing

How to create seo-friendly title tags

One of the most frustrating things about SEO is getting everything to work together as it should.

If you’ve done SEO, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many little elements in SEO that sometimes it seems impossible for everything to work out perfectly.

Even today! I know I talk a lot about how “smart” the search algorithms are and how it’s virtually impossible to game the system.

However, there are still a lot of elements you need to pay attention to for your SEO to succeed.

Case in point: Page title tags.

Before you yawn and find some more sexy SEO topic to jam on, hear me out.

Title tags are one of the cornerstones of SEO. They always have been, and as far as we can tell, they always will be.

Moz explains, “Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content.”

When it comes to low effort/big results, title tags take the cake. It’s such a small element, but has such a massive impact!

You know it’s important to create eye-catching headlines, but optimizing your titles also matters for SEO.

That’s where page title tags come in. They’re how your titles are relayed to search engines, and they’re an important part of any SEO strategy.

This is one of the few times when you need to write for both people and search engines, and that can be tricky. (Especially with headlines.)

In short, you have to create a clickable headline that also makes search engines happy.

Here’s the challenge: People have to like it. Search engines have to like it. Yikes!

Does that sound difficult?

Yes, it can be if you don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m going to break down my process step-by-step.

We’ll go through that process, but first, let’s look at why title tags are important for SEO.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClXTdjsXKFU?feature=oembed&w=700&h=394]

What are Page Title Tags?

If you’ve ever used a search engine before (and I’m guessing you have), you’ve seen a page title tag whether you’ve realized it or not.

It’s simply the headline on the SERP (search engine results page).

For example, if you Google “kitchen appliances,” you’ll see that one of the top results is from IKEA.

In this case, the page title tag is “Kitchen Appliances – IKEA.”

This is what both people and search engines will see as the title of your page. Often, this is the first thing they’ll see, and that’s a big reason why it’s so crucial to put time and effort into your title tags.

The point you need to remember is this: real people are reading your title tag.

They are going to respond to it. They will judge it. They will be compelled by it. They will be put off by it. They will learn from it.

Basically, the title tag is your page’s message to the world!

Title tags work with the meta description (the text below the title). In the case of the IKEA search result above, this is the meta description — a sentence or phrase that adds more information about the page.

I’ve written about meta descriptions before, but title tags are even more important.

Both the title and the meta description together give a brief idea of what your content is about, but the title tag stands out more.

There are two big reasons why page title tags are so important.

First, if you have a clear title that’s relevant to your page, both humans and search engines will see that as a sign of a good page.

If your title tag isn’t optimized, then people could skip right over your content, and search engines may determine that your page isn’t as good as it could be.

A second reason why title tags are important is they show up in browser tabs:

title tags guide show up in search bars

So when someone wants to find your page out of all their browser tabs, they’ll look for your title tag.

Title tags are often what people will see if your page is shared on social media. For example, here’s an example of a title tag on Facebook:

example of a title tag

Can you see why title tags are so important? A good title tag means maximum visibility, while a bad title tag can sink your page.

There are three important steps to take to optimize your title tags.

  1. make sure your headlines make for good title tags
  2. create the title tag
  3. make sure the title tag is optimized for SEO

Let’s dive into all three.

Step 1: Write Your Title Tag

You might be wondering how writing a title tag is any different from writing a headline.

In some cases, your headline and title tag will be the same exact title. But there are some cases where they won’t be.

Check out this SERP result from Copyblogger:

copyblogger example of a title tag

It seems like the title for the page would be “How Content Marketing Builds Your Business,” right?

But when you go to the page, you’ll see a different title:

copyblogger title tag example

The title shown on the page is longer and more descriptive.

So why would Copyblogger do this? It’s most likely because the shorter title tag looks better on the SERP, and it takes less time to read.

The actual title that you see on the page goes into more detail, and that’s probably why they used it. They get the benefits of having both a streamlined title tag and a descriptive page title.

It’s a sneaky and useful tactic that’s the sort of SEO stuff I love.

With that in mind, here’s how to write a great title tag.

There are a few elements of title tags:

Title Tags Should Be Short

Shorter titles are easier for people to read and for search engines to crawl.

But there’s a better reason for shorter title tags.

If your title tag is too long, search engines will cut off your title with an ellipsis (…):

title tag example

Ideally, your readers and search engines should be able to see the entire title tag so they get the best idea of what the content is about.

Google typically shows no more than 60 characters of the title tag. So if your title tag is 60 characters or less, you can generally expect that the entire title will show.

If you want to make sure, Moz has a handy preview tool:

title tag tool moz

This is a great feature that I recommend you use. Remember, keep it short if possible.

Title Tags Should Contain Your Main Keyword

You probably expected to see something about keywords in an article about SEO.

For best results, try to put your focus keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible. That’s so search engines (and people) will see the keyword early on.

Here’s a title tag with the keyword right up front:

title tag example

Contrast that with this result that has the keyword closer to the end of the title tag:

title tag example

One tip: Make sure the keyword placement is organic. It’s preferable that the keyword is close to the beginning, but it’s not necessary for great SEO.

Title Tags Should Describe a Benefit

Much like a headline, a title tag needs to communicate a benefit to stand out.

This is one of many reasons Google warns against keyword stuffing and boilerplate titles.

Your title tags are representatives of your pages, and you want people and search engines to know that your pages have unique, valuable content.

Make sure your title tag is related to your content. It should read naturally and grab the reader’s attention.

Keep in mind, you’re not trying to trick people. All you need to do is clearly explain the benefit of clicking on the page.

Often, the “benefit” is nothing more than telling them what the page is about! At this point, you’re not trying to sell anything. You’re simply giving them information.

Here’s an example that clearly expresses a benefit (ignore the jargon-filled, not-so-great meta description).

title tag example laptops

On the other hand, this title tag is plain and doesn’t explicitly state a benefit (they did a nice job with the meta description, though).

title tag for seo example amazon

(Sure, Amazon probably doesn’t need to state a benefit, but your site probably does.)

Stating a benefit probably won’t do anything for search engines, but it goes a long way for human users who come across your site with a search.

Step 2: Create Your Title Tag

Once you have your page title tag written, you need to set it as the title for your page.

The way you’ll do this will depend on what powers your website.

If you have a custom site, you’ll need to edit the HTML directly. (And it’s super easy to do.)

If you use WordPress, it’s also super easy.

If you use another CMS or host, it might look a little bit different for you.

Let’s take a look at each of these three different cases and how to create a title tag for each scenario.

Case 1: You Have a Custom Site Not Hosted on a CMS

If your site isn’t hosted on a CMS, you can edit your HTML to add titles.

First, you access the HTML for your specific page. I recommend checking with your hosting service on how to do this.

Once you’ve found the editable HTML, make sure you’re between the <head> tags.

how to add title tag to custom site example

(Note: This is an example code using Editpad.org. Your code will probably look different, and there might be extra code here. That’s okay––just make sure you’re only between the <head> tags and not any others.)

To create the title, use <title> tags. For example:

how to add title tag to custom site example  HTML

That’s it! Save your code, and your title will now show up correctly.

Case 2: You Use WordPress

If you use WordPress, you’ll be happy to know there’s a super simple solution — it’s actually way easier than editing the HTML.

In fact, this method uses something you’re probably already using: the well-loved Yoast SEO plugin.

This is a powerful plugin that you can get a lot out of. And it’s great for editing your title tags.

First, if you don’t have Yoast installed, go to Plugins > Add New.

add yoast plugin for title tags

Type “Yoast” into the plugin search bar.

type yoast title tag guide

Look for “Yoast SEO.”

add yoast SEO to WordPress - title tag guide

Click “Install Now.”

Next, click “Activate.”

Now the plugin is up and running.

To edit the title tag for a page or post, navigate to that content and open the editor.

Scroll down to the bottom of your post or page, and you’ll see the Yoast box, where you can edit the title tag and meta description.

It’ll also give you a nice preview of both your title and meta description:

where to add title tag in Yoast

If your title tag (or meta description) turns out to display differently on the actual SERPs, you can always go back and edit it in this section.

Case 3: You Don’t Have a Custom Site or a WordPress Site

I know not all of you fall under these categories.

You might use a completely different kind of CMS, or your web host might have a different setup.

In those cases, I recommend contacting your CMS company or web host to find out how to access your HTML to edit your page title tags.

This is really a case-by-case scenario, so it will probably look different for a lot of you. However, you should be able to get an answer with a quick email to your web host’s support email.

So far, you’re two-thirds of the way done! Now you just need to make sure your title tag is the most SEO-friendly it can be.

Step 3: How to Optimize Your Title Tag for SEO

We’ve talked a little bit about this already, but there are a few more steps you can take to make sure your title tag is optimized.

This is the step that most people miss entirely!

They think, “Yay. I’m done with my title tag!” But they forget that one of the primary methods of marketing and promotion is through social sharing!

Here are my best tips for optimizing your title tags for social.

Use Your Brand Wisely

The title tag can be a great place to include your brand, but if you overdo it, you could face some consequences.

Google suggests using your homepage title tag to include the most branding. Their example: “ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle.”

For most of your pages, adding your brand to the end of the title tag will suffice (if there’s room, that is).

Here’s how I do that:

title tag example neil patel

Prevent Search Engines from Rewriting Your Title Tags

You read that right: Sometimes Google will rewrite your title tags.

It’s crazy, I know! But why the heck would this happen?

According to Silkstream, “Google will automatically change how your title is displayed in the SERPs if their algorithm is under the impression that the page title doesn’t accurately represent the content on that page.”

So if your title tags don’t look good to Google, they’ll consider other factors, including:

Take a look at this title tag:

title tag example rewrite

If you go to the homepage and view the source code (right-click and select “View Source” or “View Page Source”), you’ll see the company set the title to be something else:

title tag example source code

Google rewrote it because they felt their revised title tag would help people more than the original.

The good news: If you follow the steps outlined in this article, Google should keep your title tags as they are.

If you do see your title tags showing up differently, revisit them and try to identify how you can further optimize them.

Consider Making Your H1 Page Heading Different From the Title Tag

This is exactly like the Copyblogger example from earlier.

You can use two different sets of keywords in your title tag and H1, which organically enhances your SEO. Search engines will count the title tag as the “heading.” (Just make sure it’s optimized.)

Avoid Duplicate Title Tags

Google explicitly says that “it’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site.” So don’t copy and paste your title tags.

If you’ve done everything so far, you should now have an optimized title tag! Finalize it and send it out into the world.

Title Tag Frequently Asked Questions

What are title tags and why do they matter for SEO?

Title tags are the title of a page users see in the search results. They serve as a first impression and can encourage — or deter– people from clicking on your pages.

What’s the difference between title tags and meta descriptions?

Title tags are shorter and appear first in the SERPs.

How do you write a good title tag?

Pay attention to the length, use the main keyword the page targets, and explain what benefit the user will get by clicking.

How long should title tags be?

Between 50 and 50 characters. Any longer than that and Google may truncate your title.

How many keywords should be in my title tags?

Generally just one. You can add a second if it is closely related and makes sense. Don’t keyword stuff; the goal of the title tag is to explain what users can expect if they click.

Title Tag Conclusion

I know first-hand that SEO can be a headache., but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m all about demystifying SEO because I know it’s something anyone can do. Even if you’re a technophobe, you can do this!

It doesn’t take years of experience in digital marketing to get SEO right. You just have to learn the ropes and get used to it.

For example, creating page title tags is pretty simple. It might seem complicated at first, but once you take a peek behind the scenes, you see how easy it is.

If you’re not currently leveraging the power of optimized title tags, use this article to start doing that. It can be a game-changer and help your visibility on the SERPs.

Best of all, it only takes a few minutes.

What tips do you have for using title tags for maximum SEO power?