10 Blogging Tips for Starters

Anthonia_Bloggers_TipsWhether you are just getting a blog started, or you have finally realized that content marketing is critical to your business’s success and you are recommitting to it, I’ve compiled 10 tips for new bloggers or those fairly new to social media marketing, that will help you get it on the right track.

1. Write about what you know and love.

When you write out of a place of passion, instead of a place of obligation, your readers will know it, connect with it and love you for it.

2. Write as if you are writing a letter to a friend.

As you sit to write your blog posts, imagine a friend or potential customer sitting across from you, asking for help with a specific business challenge. Now begin writing to them with the helpful answers they need.

3. Always end with a call to action.

You may feel that your goal is to simply educate or inform your readers, but you have to present a “Next Step” or offer a way for your readers to get more information from you. Asking your readers to contact you, like your page or to follow you on Twitter is a call to action. Don’t let the end of your blog post be the end of your relationship with your readers.

4. Write 500-1500 word posts or more.

If your posts are too short they may not be indexed by Google. Study or get more content that you can link to your post. You can find any supporting data or perhaps a post that shares an opposing view. This could help you elaborate more on your topic. Be sure you are providing enough value for people to want to come back and read more next time.

5. Be consistent.

If you want to grow your readership and community of followers, you need to blog on a consistent basis. Blogs that posted regularly get increase subscribers twice as fast as those that posted twice or once a month. You will need to change your daily routine and behaviors in order to make time for daily writing.

6. Be patient when starting your blog.

Blogging is a commitment and it takes time to build a readership and work out the tone and direction of a great blog. There is a lot that goes into the building and nurturing of a blog. Whether it is learning to tag your posts and photos, discovering all the places you can promote your posts, or inviting influencer friends to comment on a post that they may be passionate about, and you may not have it all ironed out when you first start blogging. Be patient and over time your blog will begin to shine!

7. Build your email list.

You may not have a newsletter or an email campaign YET, but as you build your blogging readership and your social media communities, you will want to have your list established to use at some point. One of the most common regrets I hear from business owners and marketers is that they didn’t start building their email list when they first began. If you don’t have an email service, go to MailChimp or Constant Contact and sign up right now or right after you finish reading this post.

8. Write Great Titles.

You want your blog post to be opened and a good title helps that happen, but you don’t want to be so clever that you get the wrong audience finding the post and leaving as soon as they realize it wasn’t what they thought. It’s not always possible without sounding like an obvious marketer, but where you can, use verbs–more action–less nouns.

9. Put your keywords in the first 100 words.

Google and other search engines scan your content to see if it is relevant to those searching for answers. After writing your post, go back in and see if there is a natural way to work in your keywords and still sound conversational.

10. Make your post Referrable.

Sometimes we are so eager to get a post out, that we jeopardize the quality. Think of the posts that you love to share with your friends and followers. What makes them shareable? Great quality, helpful tips, timeless information? Keep that in mind as you write your posts.

How to Increase Your Website Traffic To Make Profit

Web TrafficWe all need web traffic to make profit in our business.  The trouble is, we often get stuck running the paces on the same old traffic strategies again. It’s good to think creatively and get outside your own box time to time, so here’s a quick list of 9 ways to get more website traffic. You can use all the methods below to run your website successfully.

1. Add your website to your email signature.

This one is surprisingly missed by a lot of people. You might be sending out dozens, even hundreds of emails every day. Just imagine how many people read your emails and could potentially click through to view your website, some special offer, etc.

2. Promote your blog on social media.

Today, this is one of the fastest ways to get more website traffic. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus are all brimming with opportunities. This is where the vast majority of people spend their time online. Go scoop up some of that action!

3. Invest time in your SEO strategy.

SEO is still alive and well. The stakes are higher and the name of the game today is quality, not quantity. Spend time each month improving your SEO performance, tracking your rankings, and growing your natural search engine traffic.

4. Drive traffic to your site from YouTube.

Every YouTube video you create and upload represents a long-term video marketing presence that can last for years to come. Include a link to your website in the video description and/or in the video itself to drive more people away from YouTube and over to your site itself.

5. Do more email marketing.

Building a list of contacts? You should be. And you should be sending them email messages periodically driving them back to some page on your website — even if only to share your blog posts and other valuable content.

6. Blog frequently.

Speaking of blog posts, blogging is the most important long-term traffic builder. Blogging frequently (several times per week at least) is still hands-down the best way to create more traction in search engines and more buzz on social media websites. Just do it!

7. Send out direct mail postcards and sales letters.

Have you experimented with offline-to-online marketing strategies yet? This is an excellent way to boost up your online engagement. Today’s physical postal mailbox is a ghost-town compared to the email inbox. That means fewer competitors and more opportunities for you.

8. Build guest blogging relationships.

Guest Blogging is an excellent way to build your influence, authority, and credibility. It’s also a great way to drive consistent streams of traffic back to your own website.

9. Pay for clicks.

Last but certainly not least, you can always pay for clicks using tools like Google Adwords. There is a bit of a learning curve if you expect to get a reasonable return on your investment, but it’s time and money well spent if you do it right.

What other strategies do you have for getting more website traffic? Leave your comment below.

4 Ways to Optimize your YouTube Videos for more Views

youtube-optimization-onlineIn this post I want to focus on YouTube because I think it is a better choice for organic views than Vimeo. And while it is a social network in itself, it is also a search engine. A search engine owned by Google and that will always be important.

The type of content you create is obviously the most important part of getting found on YouTube by the right people. With over a billion people frequenting YouTube each month, it makes sense to make sure you have a strong strategy in place to take advantage of that activity.

1. You Need A Descriptive Title
YouTube is a search engine. You need to have the right title to get found for the right things. The title is the most important thing to consider. They should include keywords that you want to get found on their own and that relate to other titles that you want to be shown with.  The title should also be strong enough to encourage people to actually click play.

2. You Must Include Keyword Focused Description
This is your opportunity to include keywords and text to help you get found on Google and YouTube. Some people translate their whole video into text for extra emphasis and more keywords. You can do this too. But the most important thing is to add a keyword focused description that allows people to take a quick glance and want to watch more.

3. Don’t Forget Appropriate Tags
Tags like on blogs help you get your content in the right area of YouTube. You need to choose the right ones. I’d be creative here. Choose long tail and short tail keywords as tags so that you can hedge your bet that you will get found for something someone is searching for. Obviously it needs to be relevant to the searcher. If you get too many thumbs downs on videos your video will get buried. The same goes for the category. Make sure you choose the right category or you may be stuck in no man’s land.

4. Never Overlook Links
This is something that too many people forget. You need to have a link back to your site in the first sentence of the description. You want to make it as easy for someone to head on over to your full site to learn more

Nigeria Bank Verification Number, What you need to know!

The BVN gives each Bank customer a unique identity across the Nigerian Banking industry that can be used for easy identification and verification at Point of Banking operations.

Biometrics refers to identification of an individual based on physiological attributes- fingerprint, voice, facial features etc. To address existing challenges with identity management, the Central Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with all Nigerian banks launched a centralized biometric identification system tagged Bank Verification Number (BVN).

With the increasing incidents of compromise on conventional security systems (password and PIN), there is a high demand for greater security on access to sensitive or personal information in the Banking system.

BENEFITS OF BVN

    BVN gives a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian Banking Industry (not peculiar to one Bank) Customers Bank Accounts are protected from unauthorized access.
    It will address issues of identity theft, thus reduce exposure to fraud
    The BVN will enhance the Banking Industry chances of being able to fish out blacklisted customers Reduce queue in Banking Halls, Standardized efficiency of Banking operations.
    The Customers unique BVN is accepted as a means of identification across ALL Nigerian Banks

OBJECTIVES OF BVN

  • The purpose of the project is to use biometric information as a means of first identifying and verifying all individuals that have account(s) in any Nigerian bank and consequently, as a means of authenticating customer’s identity at point of transactions.
  • To provide a uniform industrially accepted unique identity for Bank Customers
  • To authenticate transactions without the use of cards using only biometric features and PIN
    Identification of blacklisted customers

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BVN

  • A unique ID number shall be issued to every Bank customer at enrolment and linked to every account that the customer has in ALL Nigerian Banks.
  • Individuals shall be required to submit an acceptable means of identification as prescribed for enrolment.
  • Customers of banks shall be required to enroll within a fixed period after which they shall no longer be able to operate their Bank accounts.
  • Capturing of all ten (10) fingers and facial image will be adopted for authentication purposes, individuals performing banking transactions (e.g applying for loans) shall be required to identify themselves using their biometric features which will be matched against information in the central database.
  • Update of customer information shall be done at their Bank Branches physically.
  • Banks shall be prompted during account opening and credit check if a customer has been blacklisted by ANY Nigerian Bank.
  • The BVN and unique features of an individual shall be used in conjunction with a PIN on a point of transaction.


HOW TO ENROLL

    Walk into any branch of your Bank.
    Fill and submit the BVN Enrolment form.
    Present yourself for data capturing (such as Fingerprint, facial Image etc)
    An acknowledgment slip with the transaction ID is issued to you.
    Within 24hours the system confirms your application, your BVN is generated, and you receive an SMS for pickup.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BVN

Q1: What is a BVN?
A: BVN means Bank Verification Number

Q2: What is the Goal of the Bank Verification Number?

A: The goal of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) is to uniquely verify the identity of each Bank’s customer for ‘know your customer’(KYC) purposes.

Q3: What is Enrolment?
A: Enrolment is the process of capturing a customer’s details which includes fingerprint and facial image after which a BVN is generated.

Q 4: How does a Customer get a BVN?
A: A customer enrols at any branch of a bank where he/she has an account or intends to open an account.

Q 5: Must every customer have a BVN, is it Compulsory?
A: Yes it is.

Q 6: How long does it take to get a BVN?
A: It takes up to 24hrs after Enrolment to get a BVN.

Q 7: What is the Benefit of enrolling for a BVN?
A: The BVN helps to reduce fraud, increase the efficiency of banking operations and also enable customer access to future credit facilities.

Q 8: How is the BVN communicated to the customer?
A: Once the BVN is generated, the bank would inform you of your BVN. All customers would receive SMS alerts.

Q 9: If a customer forgets his/her BVN what should the customer do?
A: The customer should contact his/her bank where the enrolment was carried out, to retrieve the number.

Q 10: How/Where can you update customer information? E.g. In case of change of address?
A: The customer goes to his/her bank and follows the bank’s processes for updating customer information. A customer can update his/her information only at the bank where he/she has an account.

Q 11: Does the BVN change when customers update their record?
A: No, the BVN doesn’t change.

Q 12: When does my BVN expire and how do I renew?
A: The BVN expires after 10 years. After 10 years of the issuance of the BVN, the customer goes back to his/her bank to re‐enroll.

Q 13: Does my BVN number remain the same for Life?
A: Yes it does

Q 14: Can a customer Enrol in one bank and get the BVN from another bank?
A: No. The customer can only pick up his/her BVN at any branch of the same Bank he/she enrolled.

Q 15: If a person steals another customers BVN and comes to the bank what happens?
A: The person’s live fingerprint will not match what is stored on the customer’s record.

Q 16: After the BVN has been generated, what next?
A: A customer’s identity can now be verified against their BVN.

Q 17: Does a customer have to be physically present to Enrol?
A: Yes, because the customer’s physical features e.g. fingerprints have to be captured.

Q 18: What is the Enrolment procedure for corporate accounts?
A: Individuals who are signatories to corporate accounts will enrol and their BVNs would be linked to the corporate account by the Banks.

Q 19: Can minors be Enroled?

A: No, only bank-­‐able adults can be enrolled.

Q 20: What is Verification?

A: Verification refers to the process of confirming a customer’s identity.

Q 21: What is Offline Verification?

A: Offline verification will authenticate the customer by comparing the fingerprint or the facial image with the data stored on the BVN card.

Q 22: What happens if a customer is an amputee?

A: The facial features of the customer will be captured as fingerprints will not be required for Amputees.

Q 23: Will biometric function be implemented on POS and ATM terminals, and if yes, how will it work?
A: It will be implemented at a later stage. More details to come.

Q 24: How would Bank customers Living outside Nigeria Enroll?

A: Bank customers living outside Nigeria would have to come back to the country to enroll.

Q 25: Who does a customer contact with regards to any biometrics complaint?
A: The customer should contact his/her bank.

Q 26: Would a customer have to go to all Banks where he/she has an account to Enrol?
A: No, once a customer is enrolled at one bank and a BVN is generated, the customer only has to take the BVN to other banks to link such accounts.

Q 27: Are customers’ information secure?
A: Yes they are, the details are encrypted and stored in a secure database.

Q 28: Is it possible to start an enrolment and finish later? Can it be saved like a draft?
Answer: No, because the enrolment is done real time, it is necessary that it is completed in one session.

Q 29: What happens if a customer comes to enrol with bandaged/injured fingers?
A: Customers with injuries or bandaged fingers are advised to return for enrolment once fingers are healed. However if you require special exemption please contact your Bank.

Q 30: Can a customer choose which of his/her accounts will be linked to the BVN?
A: No, a customer cannot, all accounts would be linked.

Q 31: During Facial capture can a customer leave his/her glasses on?

A: No a customer cannot leave his/her glasses on during facial capture.

Q 32: What is the basic identification needed for enrolment?

A: It depends on the level of account the customer wants to open. Please contact your bank.

Q 33: For joint accounts how does the linking work?
A: All signatories of the accounts shall be linked.

Q 34: If a customer doesn’t have a means of identification can the customer’s data still be captured?
Answer: Yes, please refer to question 33

Q 35: After a customer has enrolled and collected his/her BVN, Would the customer still be required to provide another means of identification at the point of transaction?
A: No. A formal identification is not needed because verification is done at the point of transaction.

Q 36: Since I am a Bank customer and the Bank already has my information, do I have to fill an enrolment form?
A: Yes, everybody fills a form irrespective of an existing account holder.

Q 37: Is there a deadline for every bank customer to be enrolled?
A: Yes, CBN has June 30th, 2015 as the deadline.

To learn more about BVN, please click here

How To Register Your Business or Company Name With The Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria

register_businessCorporate Affairs Commission was established by the Companies and Allied Matters Act , which was promulgated in 1990 to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria.

The establishment of the Corporate Affairs Commission as an autonomous body was as a result of the perceived inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the erstwhile Company Registry, a department within the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Tourism which was then responsible and administration of the repealed Companies Act of 1968.
Registration of businesses in Nigeria is the exclusive responsibility of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which has its head office in Abuja but has branches in most states of the Federation. Having your business registered definitely confers some credibility on it, given that it then acquires an identity. In many important business activities or relationships you may want to get involved in, details of your business registration will be required. You do not have to wait for such occasion before getting your business into the register of companies – you may miss an important opportunity just for that omission.

Accredited Agents For Registration
The CAC specifically requires that only accredited parties carry out the actual registration processing. It also limits such accreditation to lawyers, chartered accountants and chartered secretaries. What this means is that you will necessarily have to engage the services of one of these professionals to register you business. However, it will be important for you to understand the issues involved and the choices you need to make. For instance, you need to decide on a business name. You also need to choose a business format under which to operate. You need to know the requirements relating to membership of the company, ownership, etc to enable you make decisions you will remain happy with. The routine process of registration can then be carried out on your behalf by an accredited professional.

Legal Structure
Which legal structure is right for your business? Three major classes of registration are available under the relevant law (the Companies and Allied Matters Act):

Registration of Business Names
Incorporation of companies
Registration of Incorporated Trustees

1. Registration of Business Name
This applies to Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships.

The sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business structure. It is the one-man business, owned by a single person and called ‘enterprise’ in local parlance. The attractions of doing business under this structure include:

Lower cost of registration. It costs a little fraction of the cost of incorporation (see table of current costs below).
Ease of registration as requirements are less cumbersome. The Lagos office of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) will conclude the registration and issue a certificate, while for incorporation it must be forwarded to the Abuja Head Office.

It affords the owner full control and ownership. If the business proves successful, the returns are exclusively to you. In running the business, you have the final say, so decisions are faster.
The business is not subject to corporate tax. The owner is however required to pay his personal income tax at the appropriate personal income tax rate.
You enjoy privacy in the business: no publication of performance reports is required.
There is no requirement to engage an external auditor to audit your business accounts. Note however that it may be in your interest to do so for the success of your business.

On the flip side, consider the following cons of this structure:

There is no limited liability. You are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. Your personal assets, even if unconnected with the business, can be applied in meeting the obligations of the business.
The equity capital available to the business is limited to the personal resources of the owner. The scope and growth of the business could be severely hampered, even if the business idea is excellent and potentially capable of rapid expansion.
While it is possible to borrow, this business format may be less attractive to lenders, given the closed nature of its operation.
The business is virtually tied to the person of the owner, implying that the fortunes of the business could suffer if the owner is not available to oversee it. Succession is therefore more difficult than with other business structures involving more than one owner. The death of the owner of a sole proprietorship could threaten the continuity of the business.

Partnership applies to a business where two or more persons agree to jointly own and carry on the business. Ownership may not necessarily be equal but rather in accordance with their agreed individual capital contributions. They will share in the profits or losses of the business. The important thing to note is the need to clearly set out the terms and basis of this relationship to ensure its smooth operation. Given the fairly complex nature, it is best to seek the services of a lawyer or accountant to assist with the details. The benefits include:

The pooling of resources, i.e. capital, skills, contacts, etc and the consequent benefit of synergy.
The partners similarly share in the burden of a loss or liability. It therefore permits the spreading of risk.

More operational flexibility as partners can easily share responsibilities. For instance. a partner could be located in Kano to run the northern operations while another stays in Lagos to control the Southwest. Statutorily, the business is not required to publish its results.
The partnership is not liable to corporate tax. The income from the partnership is therefore not taxed twice as in the case of incorporated companies.

The disadvantages include:

If the terms of the relationship are not properly set out, internal frictions can arise which could cripple the partnership. Partnerships often seem a veritable ground for disagreements, largely because of the failure to recognize the need to structure them properly.
There is unlimited liability, except where there is limited partnership (limited partner engaged in management is still fully liable).
Related to this is the fact that a partner is bound by the actions of another partner which could, unfortunately, impose commitments.
Its more complicated in structure than a sole proprietorship
The death of a member effectively terminates the life of the partnership (though not necessarily the business)

2.Incoporation of company
There are four options to choose from under incorporation:

a. Private Limited Company (Ltd)
b. Public Limited Company (PLC)
c. Company Limited by Guarantee (Ltd/Gte)
d. Unlimited Company (Ultd)

Incorporation recognizes the business as a unique entity, separate from the owners, with statutory powers to own property and sue or be sued. There is thus the concept of limited liability, implying that the individual owner (shareholder)’s liability relating to the business is limited to the amount of his share subscription. This structure therefore shields the shareholder from personal liability for the company’s commitments.

Requirements:
Membership – minimum: 2 for each case; maximum: 50 for private limited company, no limit for public limited company.
Sharecapital – Minimum N10,000 for private N500,000 for public minimum subscription in each case is 25%

Benefits
Mainly the limited liability for the individual shareholders (except for unlimited company). The standing of the business is enhanced before financial institutions and other parties it does business with. It consequently could have better access to credit and on even better terms. The business is distinct from the individuals; the death of a member does not dissolve the company.

Major disadvantages
Registration requirements are more complex and the cost of registration much higher than for sole proprietorship or partnership. The tax burden on individual members is higher since the company is subjected to corporate tax while the individuals still suffer tax on their share of earnings by way of dividend. For public limited companies, requirements of public disclosure and external audit are additional challenges.

3. Registration of incorporated Trustees
This registration category applies to usually to public institutions and associations, operated by a Board of Trustees.

The Choice Of Business Format
The choice of which structure to adopt will depend on the nature of the business, the ownership and an evaluation of the benefits and pitfalls of each format, as outlined above. The accredited professional you choose for the registration process should also be able to provide further advice. As a trained practitioner, he is also familiar with the registration requirements for each business format and the processing procedure.

How Google Adwords works for Businesses

google-adwords-nigeriaDo you know that over a million businesses and brads rely on Google AdWords. Here’s why

1. Attract more customers

Whether you’re looking to bring in new website visitors, grow online sales, get the phones ringing or keep customers coming back for more, Google AdWords can help.

Reach the right people at the right time

Your business gets found by people on Google precisely when they’re searching for the things that you offer.


2. You only pay for results

No visit, no fee

Signing up for Google AdWords is free. You only pay when someone clicks your ad to visit your website, or calls you. In other words, when your advertising is working.
Start with any budget

How much you invest is up to you. Just begin with a daily budget that you’re comfortable with, then adjust as you go. Many businesses get off to a good start with a budget of at least $10 to $20 a day.

3. Get your business found

Whether you’re looking to attract new website visitors, grow online sales, get the phones ringing or keep customers coming back for more, Google AdWords can help.

Connect with customers across the web

You can reach relevant customers on relevant websites across the web. A range of options let you target by website type, audience type or remarketing, when and where it matters.

4. Take the guesswork out of your marketing Measurable, accountable, flexible

Google AdWords shows how many people notice your ads and what percentage click to visit your website, or call you. With the tracking tools, you can even see the actual sales your website is generating as a direct result of your ads.
Insights around the clock

You can see how your ads are doing at any time by logging in to your Google AdWords account. To save you time, we’ll also send you a monthly summary listing all the key stats and numbers that matter.
Stop, start, pause, test

You can tweak your ads, try new search terms, pause your campaign and re-start whenever you like, for free – and all within Google AdWords.

5. Advertise locally or globally

Target your ads to customers in certain countries, regions or cities – or within a set distance from your business or shop. Google AdWords lets you manage your campaign by yourself.


6. Reach your customers, whichever device they’re on

Reach the right people at the right time. Your business gets found by people on Google precisely when they’re searching for the things that you offer.

In today’s mobile world, you need to be advertising on every device that your customers are using – desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile. That way, when they’re searching, browsing or buying, you’re right there.

Signing up for Google AdWords is free. You only pay when someone clicks your ad to visit your website, or calls you. In other words, when your advertising is working.

Understanding Email Marketing

understnding-email-marketingThe primary purpose of email marketing is to send professional email newsletters to your clients or subscribers. You can also use it to sell your product or to promote a service/business. But that doesn’t mean your emails need to be spammy.

The essence of your email newsletters is to talk about your common interest or problem. Sometimes you won’t even mention your product in the email. You might just include a link to it.

Wherever it fits in naturally, within the context of the story you are telling in the email, find the right place to add information about what you can do to solve their problem. You are the invited guest in their inbox, and as their guest you are obligated to tell them how you can benefit them.

Always include a reference to how you can meet their need. Make this a clear call to action, and tell them what to click, where to go, or what to do next.

As your readers continue to receive your emails, the bonding process also continues. When they need what you are selling, you will be the one they turn to – the one they always hear from.

Understanding Pay Per Click Advertising

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-3d-man-ppc-cubes-image28523733Pay per click advertising is like sending out a sales letter on the internet. Your intention is to get your audience to open the letter and make a targeted response. Instead of opening your letter, the goal of pay per click is to click on your ad.

You pay only when someone clicks on your ad, which then takes them to your website. To get your audience to click on your ad and follow through with a desired action, your pay per click advertising requires focus.

When you’re using pay per click advertising, it’s important to focus on more than just the number of clicks. A conversion happens when someone takes a desired action after they click on the ad. It could be making a purchase or registering to receive something free.

By staying focused on conversions, you can boost your returns while also increasing your subscriber rates.


These 5 ways shows you how pay per click advertising works.

1. Building a Landing Page

When your audience clicks on your ad, don’t send them to your homepage. A targeted landing page with focused content and a specific call to action is the key to focusing on the keywords that brought your visitors to you and getting the conversions you want.

Depending on the type of keywords you are paying for, you might need to build more than one landing page. Just be sure to focus on the specific intent of your audience and what they are searching.

Don’t confuse your visitors by confusing them with irrelevant content. Stay focused on ad-related content that teaches your audience about what your product or service offers.

2. Making an Offer

Make the goal of your landing page more than selling your product or service. Your landing page is where your visitors go to receive your free offering, such as an ebook, audio recording, video presentation, or any type of informational resource.

This is the best way to differentiate yourself from your competition. With a compelling call to action such as “Free Download,” “Learn How,” or “Get Yours Free,” you will encourage your audience to act once they get to your landing page.

When you make an offer, you’re working to establish your relationship with the people who clicked. By building your subscriber list, you can continue to boost your conversion rates through your website and blog.

3. Using Negative Keywords

One of the underused yet effective pay per click strategies is to use negative keywords. By choosing keywords that won’t trigger your ad, you are essentially filtering out people who aren’t searching for your ad.

When you use negative keywords correctly, you will whittle down your clickers to only those who are interested in you and what you have to offer, saving you money in clicks. Negative keywords will control the relevancy of clicks without eliminating targeted traffic from broad keyword terms.

4.Targeting/Setting your location

Be sure to utilize the geo-location features of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo search engines. This will allow you to target your market based on the IP addresses, focusing your campaign on regions, countries, cities, even zip codes.

Your pay per click advertising campaign might be to test out different locations in order to learn how different areas respond to what you sell. Or you might not ship to certain areas. Or you want to promote a special offer to only a specific region.

As brick and mortar store, you can use geo-location to not only drive traffic to your store, but to promote online sales to geo-targeted locations. It’s a good way to improve your performance in certain places by breaking out of your standard target zones.

5. Testing for Results

Your pay per click advertising will give you better results when you test those results. Test multiple ads and gather the data to gauge their conversion rates.

Google AdWords will give you tools to analyze the metrics to determine where, when, and which ads show the highest conversion rates. Don’t just invest ad money and hope everything turns out for the best.

Your pay per click advertising can be a profitable tool to delivering your valuable content to an interested audience. An audience that clicks, signs up for your offer, and keeps on hearing from you through email newsletters, blog posts, and updates.

This is how pay per click advertising will work best – through your ongoing, focused efforts to stay connected.

How to use data to develop and improve your marketing strategy

marketing-strategiesMarketing strategy is the goal of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. When you have a real data, you have power. This is because you are creating a marketing strategy based on something tangible and not based on a passing idea or a sample, because data could be a core element of your success and growth.

Having access to accurate marketing data is powerful. It helps you make better business decisions because you have a clearer picture of your business, your target market, and your ability to attract new customers.

 

You can use these tools to develop a real life marketing strategy in different ways:

  • Validating product and service ideas.
  • Determining if we can win in organic search on specific keyword terms
  • Competitor research.
  • Fine tuning our target market.
  • Reviewing where our web traffic comes from and validating if our efforts for driving referral traffic are working.
  • Ascertaining what web traffic converts to leads and sales on the website.
  • Reviewing our onsite sales funnel to compare cart, checkout, and sale activity.

 

Google Analytics – This free tool allows you to see visitor activity within your website. You can see how many visitors arrive each day, as well as where visitors came from and what pages, posts, or products they visited. It has the ability to perform conversion tracking. This allows you to see how many contact submissions, newsletter sign ups, or products are purchased over time and details about these conversions such as source, page views, and time spent on site.

 

Google Webmaster Tools – This free tool allows you to see your website in the eyes of Google. You will see which web pages show up most in search, what search terms you rank for, and how Google views your site’s health in regards to meta titles, meta descriptions, and inbound links.

 

Google Trends – Google Trends allows you to see search traffic over time for a given search term or phrase. This allows you to know if your targeted phrase is up or down in real user searches. You can also use the tool to view related phrases or topics and geographical interest.

 

Google Adwords Keyword Planner – You can buy “pay per click advertising”, or use Google’s free tool to review search volumes and obtain ideas for additional phrases that you might want to target. While this tools is great for validating a term’s search volume, its limited and it might point towards words people bid on for PPC.

 

WordPress SEO by Yoast – This plugin gives you immediate feedback on the health of your website content on a page and post level. You will immediately know if you need to address on-page SEO issues.

 

Alexa – This free tool allows you to pop in a URL and see statistics about the visitors and traffic. While you know not all of the data is 100% accurate, it does give you a good overview of your site and that of your competitors. Site data includes overall site ranking in relationship to other websites, top keywords, bounce rates, visitor demographics, and upstream websites.

 

The tools listed above are available on the web for free. There are many more great tools you can subscribe to or purchase online.

The Requirements for Incorporating A Private Company in Nigeria

CACThe Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) recognises 6 corporate structures in Nigeria:
1. The Business Name
2. The Private Company Limited by Shares.
3. The Public Limited Company
4. Unlimited Company
5. Company Limited by Guarantee; and
6. Incorporated Trustees.

But for the purpose of this blog post, however, let me just proceed to the business of the day.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INCORPORATING A PRIVATE COMPANY IN NIGERIA.

Irrespective of whatever you must have read elsewhere, the steps for incorporating a new company at the nation’s registry, The Corporate Affairs Commission, can be summarised in the following 10 steps:

1. Submission of the proposed Company Names to the CAC. This is the first step in the entire process. The promoters of the company must decide on a company name and submit for approval. The government officials reserve the right to approve or deny company names submitted for a number of justifiable reasons – availability, suitability, legality, similarity, etc. It takes an average of 5 business days to get availability results.

2. Details of Directors. Long story short, you will be required to provide the biodata of the Directors of the proposed company. These information include: Full Names, Residential Address, Nationality, Age, Valid Identification Document and Signature of the Directors. The minimum number of directors for a private company is 2 and maximum is 50. There is no maximum for public companies. There are statutory requirements for being a director, one of which is that the directors must not be less than 18 years old.

3. Shareholders/Subscribers. The legal minimum number of shareholders in a private company in Nigeria is 2 and a maximum of 50. The shareholders subscribe to the memorandum and articles of association and are alloted shares in the company.
PS – the shareholders can also double as the directors of the company.

4. Appoint a Company Secretary. Every Nigerian company must appoint a Nigerian Company Secretary, as it has become a legal requirement. The company secretary of a private limited company needs no formal qualifications. It is the directors responsibility to ensure he/she has the appropriate knowledge and experience to act as a Secretary of the company. The company secretary could be an in-house person or an outside consultant. Some of the roles of a company secretary include:
a. Maintaining the Statutory Registers;
b. Liaison between the company and the CAC and other relevant government agencies;
c. Providing members and auditors with notice of meetings.

5. Registered Address of the Proposed Company. The company must have a Nigerian business address. This requirement needs no much explanation and not debatable either.

6. Core Areas of the company’s business activities (Nature/Objects of company). Nigerians and Non-Nigerians are allowed to carry on all forms of business provided it’s legal and not in the “negative list”. If the company will engage in specialist services (Hospital, Consultancy, Schools, Media & Advertising, etc), the directors may need to provide an evidence of professional proficiency. E.g. Certificate of a professional body/trade association, Academic Certificate, or both.

7. Valid Identification. Although I have stated this requirement earlier. It is worthy of mention here again. A photocopy of Identification of all the directors is required. (e.g. National ID card, Data Page of your National Passport, Voter’s Card or Driver’s License).

8. The Company’s Share Capital and Allotment. In simple terms, the share capital of a company (usually in monetary terms), is the amount of capital the subscribers have to carry on the business. The minimum share capital of a private company must not be less than N10,000. However, for economic reasons, it is advisable that an average Nigerian company incorporate a N1,000,000 share capital company. A company’s share capital is also industy-dependent. For example, advertising agencies must have at least N10 million as share capital. The law also stipulates a minimum of N10 million share capital for a Nigerian company with foreign ownership. Your regulator or adviser should advice you appropriately. A minimum of 25% of the authorized sharecapital must be subscribed and paid for.

Once the issue of share capital have been decided on, then the subscribers must also decide on alloting the shares. If there are 2 persons that formed the company, they could share it 50% each.

9. Draft the Memorandum of Understanding and Articles of Association (MEMART). This is a legal document that spells out the business objectives and the framework on which the company intends to run its business within the acceptance of the law. This legal document also shows the particulars of the shareholders and their shares allotment.

10. Payment of Stamp Duty and Statutory Filling Fees. The total fees payable to the Stamp Duty office and the Corporate Affairs Commission is dependent on the company’s share capital.

These are the basic requirements for incorporating a private limited liability company in Nigeria. However, EXPATRIATES are subjected to additional requirements and laws – Nigerian Investments Promotion Act, Immigration Act, Investment and Security Act, and Foreign Exchange and Monitoring Act.

Duration of Incorporation at the Corporate Affairs Commission

As at the time of writing this blog post, the average turnaround time to receive a Certificate of Incorporation and Certified True Copies of your documents at the CAC is 3 weeks.

Although, Nigeria deserves a better business environment, Africa’s most populous nations is a thriving business destination for many investors.