Social Tid Bits

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Shoppers are 29% more likely to make a purchase the same day when they use social media prior to, or during their trip. 

Nearly 1 in 3 shoppers say they spend more when they use digital as part of their shopping process.

Consumers who use social media while shopping are 4x more likely to spend more. 

67% of consumers read product reviews during their path to in-store purchase. 

Consumers that use digital in-store convert at a 20% higher rate than those who dont.

97 Percent of Consumers Look Online Before Buying Locally

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Author // Mike Kalil    

If you're not already devoting most of your marketing budget to the Internet, now is the time to change your game plan. A new study by BIA/Kelsey indicates that 97 percent of consumers go online to research products and services locally. If they're not finding you during their searches, there's no doubt about it: You're losing business, and probably lots of it.

Consumers are getting their information from a variety of sources, but most of them start with popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Of those who participated in the study, 90 percent reported using search engines to conduct research. Forty-eight percent use the online Yellow pages, 42 percent use shopping comparison sites and 24 percent use vertical sites.

Consumers are also becoming more Internet savvy, the study shows. The average consumer uses 7.9 different sources when looking to buy products and services locally; that's up from 2009's 6.5 and 2008's 5.8. Fifty-eight percent take advantage of online coupons and 19 percent have made appointments via the Internet in the past six months. With numbers like this, it's baffling that, as of a year ago, 44 percent of small businesses didn't even have websites.

Steve Marshall, BIA/Kelsey's director of research, said in a statement: The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers' local commercial activity. The data suggests we're at an inflection point where the balance of power in local shopping is shifting to online.

That shift is a good thing for consumers and quality businesses. More than ever, consumers are empowered to make wise buying decisions, and it's getting harder for subpar businesses to hide behind traditional marketing techniques like TV, radio and print ads.

Your online presence is as important as your physical location, if not more so. If your website is unsightly or confusing to navigate, consumers can and will take their business elsewhere, and your competition is usually only a backspace away. And if you're not being found in search engines for relevant keywords, you're not even getting a chance to compete for business. It's going to your competition by default. Your business might as well not exist.

It's been a long time since businesses could afford ignoring the Internet. It's no longer a novelty. Simply put: You can't expect to stay in business without truly committing to marketing yourself online.

eCommerce & SEO

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is work.  When you add eCommerce to your site there are unique challenges to overcome in your SEO planning.

Below are Nine (9) tips to help you tackle your SEO for your e-commerce site.  Rank higher in search engines and get more visitors, customers and sales for your online store.

1. FOR EACH PRODUCT - Create Unique Content and for the Product Categories

Unique and interesting content shows Google that a page is relevant, authoritative, valuable, and helps it rank higher. Be sure the content is well written and can persuade more of your visitors to make a purchase.

Do not copy the manufacturer's description. Write your own description.  The result is candy for Google. Google's Farmer/Panda Update of 2011 favors sites with original content.

2. Take time to find out what shoppers are actually looking for

Solid State Server Speed Test

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smart-ssd-graphSmart SSD raises the ceiling of what was previously considered fast in any line of servers. In a recent benchmarking test, Smart SSD 12GB performed 4K Sequential Write at 225,000 IOPS. By contrast, an 8GB Smart Server performed the test at 15,000 IOPS with Amazon EC2 m1.large cloud clocking in at 4,900. This is the level of performance our users will come to expect from a product designed to use the lowest possible server load and maximize your performance.