Increase Your Conversion Rates With Product Photography

High-quality product photography is an essential tool for driving sales to your eCommerce store. It compensates for customers’ inability to touch and feel the items that you’re selling.

In bricks-and-mortar shops, people would usually try the products on display racks before deciding whether or not to buy them.

When it comes to online shopping, they weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a product based on what they see, not feel.

Unfortunately, sometimes the actual look of a product is different from its picture on a website. When a customer experiences this, they end up disappointed and returning the item.

To avoid returns and increase your conversion rate, create visually-appealing product images that are almost tangible.

5 ways to create quality product photos

Proper lighting can be the big difference between a spectacular product image and one that is, well, second-rate.

Anyone can take pictures using a mobile phone or an instant camera, unmindful of the unsightly elements like shadows, but product photography should always produce shadowless photos.

Ample lighting captures not only the shape of an object but also its actual colour and texture.

Now, remember we mentioned the “touch-and-feel” aspect of shopping and how it matters to a shopper? Taking close-ups breaks the invisible barrier between your product and customers. A close-up allows them to scrutinise your product down to its tiniest detail.

Still on the subject of touching and feeling a product, shoot from as many angles as you can to give customers a three-dimensional view of what you’re selling. That way, they can experience the item as if they’ve walked into your shop and touched it.

Also, you’ll want to add a responsive video, which shows how the product works, alongside your multi-angled photos. Not only will it give your customers a clearer picture of your product, but it will also boost traffic on your website. Besides, who doesn’t love videos?

Most important of all, you have to keep it real because a potential customer will want to see how your product can be used day-to-day. Instead of over-editing a picture in Photoshop until it looks extremely fake, apply it to a real-life situation.

If you’re selling a ball gown, for example, how would you present photos of it to a woman with a nine-to-five job? She’s unlikely to buy it if she only sees a tight shot of the dress, but if you show her when and where to wear it, then you have her attention.

More than increasing traffic on your eCommerce website, these tried-and-tested photography techniques will surely lead to a higher conversion rate.

How do you come up with beautiful product images for your site?

Local SEO Industry: Current Status and Future Projections

What Is SEO?
This is a common question that most people especially those who are either new or not familiar with online marketing might be asking. SEO stands for search engine optimization. In layman's language, it the process of capturing traffic from the search engines such as Google listings. Through this read, I am going to give you facts about the SEO business, current market status of SEO as well as the future projections in this field.

The Major SEO Players
Like any other industry in the world, the online SEO business has its players. This includes SEO local tools providers such as small digital agencies, SEO free lancers and web-designers among others.

Returns for SEO Players
The major reason as to why people get into business is to profit and expand their economic status. In the field of SEO business, the rates of returns are promising. This is because a recent research on SEO returns for a period of 12 months shows that at least all the players had something to take home. However, the returns are varying depending on a players' hardwork and skills in the field. For example, according to this research, 34% of the interviewed SEOs said they received an amount less than $ 30,000 while another group of respondents, 17% said they received returns that were above $ 500,000.

From the above statistics, it is evident that the size of an organization played a role in the determination of the amount of returns received. It beats logic for one to expect a large organization to receive low amounts of returns and vice versa. In addition, the presence of part time SEOs as well as the entry of newbies into the market could have let the low rates of turnover due to low operation capacity. However, it is hard to predict the course the SEO market is likely to take due to lack of clear shift in SEO earnings since the year 2011. However, the demand for local SEO services seems to be growing day in day out and this is appealing more players theseby tightening the competition among SEO service providers.

The Emerging Issues with the Current SEO Returns
With the above distribution of returns, several questions emerge. This includes the following:

• From the statistics, a large percentage of SEOs receive a low income something that suggests low pricing of SEO services.
• It is also possible that small and medium businesses do not understand the value of SEO services provided to them.
• The low SEO income earners, those who received less than $ 30,000 annual returns are also being doubted if they can provide quality services while earning that low.
• It is also unknown if most SEOs will still be in operation if their income remains static.

The Current SEOs Income Per Customer
Just like the annual SEO returns, SEO income per customer also varies. This is because there are those clients who would pay less than $ 100 a month while others will pay more than $ 5000 a month. This variation in income per client can be attributed to the type of services provided as well as the depth of services. The size of business a client is seeking SEO services for also play a role in determining the amount to be charged. For example, small businesses are charged less simply because their requirements are much smaller as compared to large multi-location franchise businesses.

Research also shows that some SEO service providers operate on high volume basis. Such SEOs provide simple SEO services at very low monthly rates. As a result, such SEO service providers end up having a high customer churn with a large dedicated network of sales team.

Similarly, some SEO service providers provide services that are more comprehensive in a much more professional manner customized according to the client theby leading to a low number of clients.

Due to the above statistics, it there becomes essential for any SEO service provider in the current market to operate in a manner that matches his / her setup.

Handling Capacity of the Modern SEOs
Currently, SEOs are handling more clients as compared to the previous years. Statistics show that about 40% of the SEOs in the market handle at least 11 clients while 23% SEOs handle at least 21 clients. Such large numbers of clients to handle lead to more audits to be done, lots of tasks, research, reports and even more calls from the clients to be attended to. The high numbers of clients also demand a high level of efficiency so that the clients can be assured of quality services.

Market Structure for Most SEOs
SEOs have been using several marketing techniques to promote their businesses. Offline marketing channels such as word of mouth has been cited by most SEOs as the most effective marketing technique. This can be attributed to the trust level, business reputation as well as relationships build during the offline campaigns.

Alongside offline marketing, SEOs also practice online marketing such as the use of LinkedIn and social media. However, most SEOs have cited LinkedIn as the best option as compared to the social networks because it is better placed for lead generation and networking.

Services Offered by SEOs
Majority of the SEO players offer onsite optimization with 91% of the SEOs practicing this. Google+ optimization has also a good number of SEOs practicing it as 86% claimed to be offering this service to their clients. For affiliate marketing, only a small percentage (11%) of SEOs are offering this service to their clients.

Other services offered by SEOs:

• Content creation / optimization
• Link building
• Citation building
• Social media marketing
• Website development
• PPC
• Mobile site development
• Video marketing and mobile marketing.

The most demanded service by SEO clients is onsite marketing, while the least demanded service is affiliate marketing. The other services are somehow averagely demanded. However, most small and medium businesses do not understand the opportunities that video and mobile marketing can unlock to them and therefore tend not to use these services. SEOs therefore need to educate their clients on these marketing channels so that they can go for them.

When asked about the online SEO services SEOs feel effective, 82% of them said that the General search is the most effective for generating leads. Local search appears to be the second best after 62% of the respondents in an SEO survey voted in its favor. PPC is the 3rd with 53% while social media is the 4th with 26%. Daily deals appear to be an appealing to most SEOs because only 1% voted in favor of it.

Tedious SEO Tasks
55% of the current SEOs in the market find link building to be the most tedious and time-consuming work. Others, although 15% only believe that content writing is the most tedious and time consuming task among all the tasks they do. It therefore emerges that to the 55% who find link building tedious, this task is also boring to them.

Future Projections
This is an outline of what we expect in the near future as far as SEO business is of concern.

Expansion of SEO Businesses
Compared to the previous years, SEO businesses has been growing and expanding steadily. Most SEOs (about 93%) are not only optimistic about expanding their businesses, but are also expecting to grow their business. In what seems to be a determined move to grow their businesses, most SEOs (82%) are willing to recruit more staff members so as to realize their desired levels of growth.

The social media is also expected to grow and be more effective even than the local directories. This is because most SEOs believe that social media can perform better because of recommendations from friends. Mobile usage is also expected to grow further and become relevant for local businesses.

Upsurge of Confidence in SEO Business
Unlike other businesses, the SEO business is showing a positive growth of confidence among the players. Despite this being a dynamic and innovative industry, most SEOs are still willing to recruit more staff to help drive their businesses ahead. 84% of the sampled SEOs in the SEO research are also optimistic that the SEO business is going to be more profitable starting this year 2013.

Confidence is also running high that if the SEO players increase the understanding of SEO / social among the business owners they serve in future, they will not only increase the business owners' rate of investment, but also make them transfer their marketing budgets from other channels to the digital channels.

How To Read Jewelry Marks

The number markings on precious gold jewelry are a bit of confusion to lots of people. We are generally used to seeing a karat or silver mark like this: 10K, 14K, 18K, Sterling, etc. The numbers mean the same thing.

For 14k the number is technically 583 but most manufacturers adopted the European way and make 14k gold a tiny bit over 14k, so the mark is 585 in most 14k jewelry. 18K is marked 750. If the mark is valid and there is a makers mark also in the jewelry, the number means these items are 18k gold.

Here is where the numbers come from. Pure gold is called 24 karat. For 18k gold, there are 18 parts of pure gold mixed with other metals to make the metal suitable for use in jewelry. 24k is too soft alone to stand up or to hold stones well. 18 parts pure gold divided by 24, or 18/24 equals 750. That is where the number comes from. The jewelry is 75% pure gold, 750 parts gold with 250 parts other metals out of “1000″ parts. It is easier to think of it as a percent which is pure gold in the recipe.

Sterling silver is marked 925. Sterling is 92.5% pure silver and the rest is other metal, generally copper.

What does it mean if the ring marked 14K PR? The 14K simply means it is 14K (Karat) gold and because of the K means it would have been made in either South East Asia or The United States. The PR marks are just the Maker or Store ID or even a design mark, and have no relevance to the Value.

The basic decimal formula to work out the quality of gold content is quite simple, as they are all measured in ‘Parts per Thousand.’ This means that 9ct gold is calculated like this: 9 (for 9ct) is divided by pure gold (24) and then multiplied by 1000 (for pure gold as a decimal). ie: 9/24*1000=375 That 375 is the decimal quality for 9ct gold and is sometimes shown with a decimal point in front – .375

The old Victorian standard of 15ct gold is calculated the same way – 15/24*1000 = 625 (Not quite the numbers you have on your jewelry. Dental gold is 16ct or 666 recurring. But you can also reverse this formula by starting with the decimal and working back. ie: 375/1000*24 = 9

In your case we can use 698/1000*24 = almost 17ct

I have a platinum engagement ring and found a wedding ring that I really like but the band is made of palladium. Is it safe to wear these two metals together without one damaging the other?

It will wear the softer metal OVER TIME but that could take many years. My Grandmothers wedding ring eventually wore away the band of her engagement ring but it took over 20 years to do.

Platinum and Palladium and quite good together but I would take the advice of your local friendly jeweler and have them check both rings. Sometimes the Platinum may be a lower grade in order to make it harder – so have that checked.

Marketing Video – The Mobile Technology Advertising Tool

The 4th Generation of mobile communication technology is around the corner. The 3rd generation has already taken the world by storm and we now carry desktop equivalents in our pockets. The mobile communication technology today has revolutionized our lives like never before. It enables us to access internet from anywhere, anytime.

This has changed the dynamics of work on the internet as well. The internet marketing has got a lot of scope of improvement. With the ability to view live videos with ease, the online marketing campaign is at par with television advertising and the ability to create market campaigns involving videos has become a possibility.

However there is one basic difference between advertising on television and advertising on the internet. The television offers you a possibility of browsing only a selected number of channels. On the other hand, the internet offers you almost unlimited possibilities of browsing.

Therefore the effect of a normal video campaign is not as much as it would be on television. However, internet offers you a great variety of video postings. These include product introduction, product launch, comparison, market analysis and many others depending on your marketing needs.

The marketing dynamics do not work the same way on the internet as they do in the other media. On the internet, it is a game of large numbers. A conversion of 1% of the total website views consistently is considered to be decent. On a regular basis, a prominent website can have hundreds of people visiting it. If you have a shop, do you have hundreds of people visiting it daily? Under normal circumstances, the answer is no. Therefore the kind of elaborate and expansive marketing campaigns that work conventionally are not relevant on the internet.

Let us consider a marketing video. A market video created after spending thousands may not be as effective as a simpler version of it. On the internet, the viewers need information which a marketing video should provide crisply and in an attractive manner. If the user is not satisfied, then he / she will move on to another option. Since it is important the marketing video should be convincing with all the visual effects that you would find in a conventionally good advertisement.

So how does one go about creating a marketing video that has got immune features and world class graphics? There are many software tools available that help in the creation. However, these tools are expensive and even the most easy-to-use among them is complicated enough for someone who wants a quick video created. Apart from the video creation, the editing process that follows is time consuming and intricate. This is what makes the creation of marketing video expensive since there being an incentive opportunity of using it for marketing.

All those who have so far missed the marketing video bandwagon can now board it easily. There is a software tool that allows you to create marketing video in about 3 minutes and this video is derived from the articles written for the campaign. Simple to use, this service helps creating a marketing video that exhibits the quality of world class video services. These videos have catchy titles and exquisite visuals that get a viewer hooked. The best part is the cost involved which is way more economic than the established costs for marketing video.