7 Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid And How To Fix Them

Do you know why SEO is a very common lead generation strategy but even the top companies with the best SEO strategies generate only about 11% quality leads compared to their monthly lead generated?.. this is because of the common SEO mistakes they have neglected over time.

This article will demystify all you need to know about these most common SEO mistakes, how to avoid them, and how to fix them (if you’re already neck-dive into the pitfall).

You get to see it this way.

What if I tell you that 85% of your leads can all come from organic search?

If you pay attention to and solve the common SEO mistakes that might be holding you back from achieving such awesome results.

Interesting right? read on to find out, the secrets of what you can do to avoid these mistakes are just below..

Search Engine Optimization is a topic that drives serious questions.

I am particularly interested in SEO because of the benefits it brings to your website and business generally.

We go as far as teaching SEO in-depth in our digital marketing course. You might want to check it out.

In the past,

I have faced different SEO mistakes from clients’ websites while doing SEO audit for them.

These mistakes will be covered in details as you read on.

You will also learn how to avoid or fix them permanently on your website if you want to stand a chance to rank high on SERPs.

Let’s get right straight into it.

What Are Some Common SEO Mistakes In Digital Content Production?

We recommend that you take action of all these steps that we’re about to label out if you really need to use SEO as one of your most effective lead generation strategies.

1. Not considering page speed

Take a look at this image. Imagine having a page speed of 0.07? this means that you do not ever lose any of your page visitors.

7 Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid And How To Fix Them

Page speed is one of the most common SEO mistakes you need to pay attention to.

There’s this saying in SEO, the faster your site, the more Google will favor it.

While this is a not-so-good result to get, in the next few sentences, I will tell you the very first thing to do if you must get a fast loading site.

But first, pay attention to this insight.

There’s a very useful tool from Google itself to check your site speed: Google PageSpeed Insights.

This tool gives you an overview of what aspects need repair to boost the speed of a particular web page.

As an SEO expert, one of the very first recommended fixes for slow websites is Image compression.

Compressing images before uploading on your website can increase your load time tremendously.

Do you know why this is so?

If not done or done right, images with large sizes will slow down your site, and I will tell you how to compress the file size without compromising on the image quality.

It’s quite difficult to get a hundred percent score if your website already has high-end images.

Here is a snipe from GTMetrix:

optimise images

To correct this, I use a plugin called Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

Smush Image Compression and Optimization or WP Smush meticulously scans every image you upload – or have already added to your site – cuts all the unnecessary data and scales it for you before adding it in your web content.

Another most common SEO mistakes that cause a very slow website load speed is not using a caching plugin.

Want to know what you’re missing out from for not using caching? Read on.

What is a caching plugin?

Caching plugins work is by saving the dynamically generated HTML files and serving them from the cache (i.e. reusing previously generated data) whenever a request is made, rather than loading all of the PHP scripts from WordPress every time you hit refresh.

Here are two recommended caching plugins – WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache.

With just simple settings, you can configure either of these plugins to start caching your website content right away.

Although, there are other things you can do to optimize and speed up your website. You just have to check out this post to find out more website speed optimization tips.

2. Wrong keywords are costing you your ranking power.

See this formula. Wrong Keyword = Low Impression = Low CTR = Low conversion.

Did you see how a wrong keyword can cost you a lot of your SEO strategy?

I will share with you one of the most disastrous keyword research mistakes you’re possibly still making today.

No doubt, keyword research is one of the most integral parts of digital marketing.

That’s why we have included it in our digital marketing module. Click here to check out our digital marketing course outline.

To get a chance to rank on Google or other search engines, you really have to understand how to choose the right keywords for your web contents.

I have previously covered how to do keyword research using Google keyword planner, but what I’m yet to comprehensively discuss is how choosing the wrong keyword affects your SEO strategy.

As an SEO expert, brands try to rank for generic keywords like the short-tail keywords!

See this common example below;

A startup company trying to optimize its new website for “website development company” is obviously not on the right track.

 Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid And How To Fix Them

Common SEO mistakes in keyword research

This is because that keyword is highly competitive.

Looking at the example above and to avoid this and other common SEO mistakes when it comes to keyword research…

We recommend optimizing for a long-tail keyword.

These keywords are not so competitive, low search volume, but are more targetted and have a high probability of conversion.

As a matter of fact:

They might want to start optimizing for “Website design company in Lagos”.

3. Ignoring Metadata Is One Of The Most Common SEO Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Have you ever ignored your website metadata or missed our one-single metadata secret?. then this is the most important part of the common SEO mistakes you might have been comfortable making.

SEO metadata is what appears on search engine result pages (SERP) when a website comes up for certain queries.

It includes the title of the page and its meta description (descriptive text below the title).

Here is a sample:

No doubt that title and meta description plays a huge role in Search Engine Optimization.

Title tags are the most important of all of the meta tags.

These tags have a real impact on search rankings and, perhaps just as importantly, are the only one of the tags we’ll discuss here that are visible to the average user.

For the Meta description, It is quite a useful meta tag as, very simple and I will show you how to PERFECTLY fix this part of your SEO..

It explains to search engines and (sometimes) searchers themselves what your page is about.

Let’s say you were googling the phrase Make money online in Nigeria for example.

You might encounter the following results:

How do you perfectly fix this?

Take note of the following pointers below:

  • The Title Tag alone can impact your search engine rankings.
  • Descriptive tags may encourage users to visit your site.
  • The meta description may serve as “organic ad text.”

So you have to make sure it’s optimized correctly for every page.

This means adding the relevant keyword to each particular page and making sure that your page title isn’t too long.

If your page title is too long (currently 400 to 600 pixels), it will get cut off in Google.

You don’t want potential visitors to be unable to read the full title in the SERPs.

The meta description is not a ranking factor, but it does play an important part in optimizing your Click Through Rate (CTR) for human.

CTR gives some insight into how likely potential visitors are to actually click on your site in the SERPs.

If you optimize your meta descriptions with clear and attractive extracts on what potential visitors can find on your site, it becomes easier for them to see if the information they’re looking for is on that page.

4. Your Content Quality Is Poor, And This Is Why It’s Costing You.

Do you know why your content isn’t making it to the first page of search engine result pages? Because Google doesn’t see it as holding much quality to be served to people.

The internet is flooded with a lot of mediocre content and those with very high-quality content take home the win, and this is why you’re not taking home any win.

It is very important to write long website content or rather, publish one with a decent amount of words.

As difficult as it is to right on your product page, Yoast recommends that you have a minimum of 300 words in them.

But do you know what top tanking blogs have in common?

Their blog posts have more than 2,000 words as their most minimum words of content.

If you truly want to rank your posts, then it’s recommended that you stick to writing long-form content.

Blog posts that are around 1,500 to 2,000 words are typically considered “long-form.”

However, those numbers are slowly increasing with 3,000 to 10,000 words becoming the new standard.

Image Credit: Backlinko.com

Today, when you ask Google a question, it will return what it believes is the highest quality post that answers your question, and in almost every case, it’s long-form content, over 2,000 words.

In conclusion, focus on writing quality long-form content and make sure they are original.

5. Website not mobile responsive

Quick question..

How was your experience when you tried using a site on your mobile device and found it challenging to navigate or click on a button with 100% accuracy?

My guess is as good as your answer. The experience is wacky and frustrating, and this leads to people bouncing our of your page without consuming your content or taking actions.

7 Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid And How To Fix Them

common SEO mistakes – Not having a mobile responsive site

Mobile Internet access has long surpassed that of desktop computing.

It is believed that by 2020, there will be more than 6.1 billion smartphone users.

As a result, it’s safe to assume that a large portion of your website traffic is going to be from many of those devices.

Since Google has announced that next year they will switch to mobile indexing first, you should be busy preparing your site for this change. ‘

Mobile indexing first’ means that Google will look at the mobile version of your site to decide how high you should rank.

So if the desktop version of your site is set up brilliantly, but your mobile site isn’t responsive at all, you have a lot of work to do if you don’t want to suffer a rank drop over next year.

Everything from image optimization to text fonts and layouts needs to be addressed.

A great way to test mobile-friendliness is to use Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.

Mobile Friendly Test

Testing on various screen resolutions may also be necessary to determine if the site looks good across the board. Otherwise, you may have a horrible mobile layout on certain screen sizes without knowing.

6. Having Terrible Backlinks Are Some Of The Most Common SEO Mistakes You’re Making

Your backlinks can be costing you a lot of your chances to rank on Google’s first page.

And this is why you need to review your backlinks.

While to many, this is the most common SEO mistakes to ever make on your site, the next mistake is a killer strategy that can kick you off Google SERPs.

A common SEO practice by many in the past was to create guest posts on blogs or other websites while linking back to their own.

Now..

This process is still necessary for creating recognition of your site.

However,

It needs to be done in a different way.

Since 2012, search engines have been putting more emphasis on relevant linking.

An example of a bad one would be to link a cat toy eCommerce site to a boating supply shop.

These two are not relevant and may score poorly in search results.

If you want to create a strong network of backlinks, you need to be careful where you post your content. Create guest posts on blogs, but make sure they are relevant to your site’s specific niche or industry.

Studies show that link authority plays a strong part in higher rankings within search results.

This means links from websites that have a high rank according to Ahrefs Domain Rating can greatly impact the appearance of your site in search results.

Before applying to write a guest post. Make sure you have done competition research of possible websites that have better domain authority than yours.

  • You can use MOZ.com to check to domain and page rank of websites in your niche
  • Use SEMRUSH.com to analyze competitors in your niche.

7. Stuffing keywords is the most common SEO mistakes you might be making

When you stuff keywords, you run the risk of getting kicked out from Google SERPs, this mean that Google bots will be forbidden to crawl your site.

Now, what is Keyword stuffing?

See this image below.

Keyword stuffing was quite a common practice at the turn of the century.

According to Google,

Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.

Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose).

Many people discovered that using the same word over and over again would help rank a site higher in search results.

Unfortunately, this also created terrible and difficult-to-read content.

Although,

This practice has been widely abolished, it’s still something that happens more often than it should.

There are still developers who stuff as many keywords as possible into a small amount of text. As a result, the pages do not perform well during a search.

There are still developers who stuff as many keywords as possible into a small amount of text.

As a result, the pages do not perform well during a search.

Experts believe that an ideal ratio for keyword-to-content should be approximately 2.5 percent.

This means you want to use the same keyword once for every 50 words at the most.

Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of a penalty from search engines such as Google.

This means you want to use the same keyword once for every 50 words at the most. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of a penalty from search engines such as Google.

As an SEO expert, let me give a quick tip I proffer to students who registered for our digital marketing training.

You can click here to see our digital marketing training course guide.

This is our suggestions:

Use LSI keywords instead of abusing keywords in your content.

So what are LSI keywords?

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It might sound complicated at first reading, but it’s not really.

LSI keywords are words or phrases that are semantically related to each other. They are not limited to synonyms or keywords with similar meanings.

To generate LSI keywords, you can use:

  • LSIGraph
  • Google Autosuggest feature
  • Google related search option

There are more tips about using LSI in content, and I think you should have look at it.

And there you go…

So, when faced with this question “what are some common SEO mistakes in digital content production?” these most common SEO mistakes content curators make when trying to rank their websites are all you need to rethink your ranking strategies.

If you don’t want to fall victim to search engine optimization mistakes, you should carefully follow each step mentioned right above.

Are there other mistakes you’ve noticed that weren’t mentioned in this article?

You can let us know right away. Thanks for reading.

Before you leave, why not check out:

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10 Networking Tips To Build And Grow Your Business Network

Acquiring and retaining customers are the most important tasks for every small business owner. Networking is the key to achieving that. Gabriel Weinberg, in his book, ‘Traction‘, states that there are 19 tractions (customer acquisition) channels and one of the major traction channels noted is “offline events”.

See Also: Payroll management tips for entrepreneurs and small business owners

Offline events are more popularly known as ‘networking events’. They offer you the opportunity to connect with potential customers face to face. Oxford Learners Dictionary defines networking to be a system of trying to meet and talk to other people who may be useful to you in your work.

Networking is one of the most potent traction channels that small business owners need to leverage to acquire their first and subsequent customers.

See Also: How to start bottled water or pure water business in Nigeria.

Also, we know that the internet is changing the way we live. People are increasingly leveraging the internet to communicate with each other. It is important for you, as a business owner to leverage various online tools to grow your business network.

In recent times, business owners are using effective offline and online channels to network efficiently to grow their business networks. 

In this article, I would be sharing 10 networking tips that small business owners should use to build and grow their customer base and their entire business network.

See Also: 100 Profitable business opportunities to start now for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors.

10 Networking Tips For Entrepreneurs

Find Your Audience

Going to events is great, but without properly targeting what event to attend, it can end up being a huge waste of time for you and your business.

The first and probably most important aspect of networking is identifying the right people with whom you want to build a relationship. The relationship could be as a customer or partner. But, how do you really identify what networking event to attend or not?

Industry-based events would probably be the best place to start. This type of event will give you the opportunity to engage with thought-leaders in your industry. These thought leaders can transform to mentors or advisors for your business.

Also, you can connect with businesses just like yours and share experiences with each other. At this type of event, you would identify competitors, complementary businesses, and market leaders who are championing innovation and growth in your industry.

See Also: Working with your spouse or romantic partner; tips to prevent heartbreak.

If you sell products online across different social media platforms, events around learning how to effectively market your product and convert more customers online will be a good fit.

An example of a really never-to-miss event for food entrepreneurs is the GT Food and Drink Festival that occurs around the Easter period. The event connects foodies with food and drinks entrepreneurs. It is one of the biggest opportunities for food-based entrepreneurs to grow their customer base. They get to showcase their food items to thousands of food lovers and enthusiasts that attend the festival.

Other business meetups or communities like BNI (Business Network International), Toastmasters, and even online communities on WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram also come in handy.

Tools like Eventbrite would help you identify the festivals, training programs, or conferences that are happening in your city.

When you have really identified the right event/audience you have taken the first step in leveraging networking to build and grow your small business network.

See Also: Top legal documents every entrepreneur and start-up should have.

Dress As You Want To Be Addressed

More important in the African content than anywhere else, people at events are generally expected to appear smartly dressed. They can dress in traditional attire that might not come off as extremely dressy. When in doubt, you are better off attending the event in English attire. A plain shirt and trousers for men, or a plain skirt and a blouse for women will do the magic.

Some business owners wear their company-branded attire. This strategy is great because it helps register your brand in the mind of people. Anytime customers see or meet you anywhere they can easily recall your brand.

Most networking events provide name tags which makes networking easier. It makes it easy for you as a business owner to start a conversation.

People make decisions on how you as a business owner appear. The way you dress determines if they would perceive you as important, intelligent, or successful.

The way you dress would determine the first impression people at the networking event would have of you. Try as much as possible to be memorable.

See Also: Work from home tips that helps productivity for teams and businesses.

Meet, Mingle, Build Relationships

The goal of attending any networking session is to meet and build relationships with people who would positively impact your business. The growth of your business network is dependent on efficiently making use of networking events to meet and mingle with business owners like yourself.

First impressions matter.  Your ability to build a relationship with anyone is in communicating effectively with anyone you meet within the first five minutes of entering a conversation. Prepare to passionately listen as well as speak about your passions and your business.

Usually, networking events, based on how they are structured, leave 30 minutes at the beginning or at the end of the event for participants to mingle. It’s better to spend quality time interacting with 6 people for at least 5 minutes than talking to everyone at the event for less than 30 seconds.

When you connect with someone, do not fail to share contacts with them and a selfie if permitted to share online. Ensure that you always have a business card handy. However, it’s not about handing out and receiving business cards, it’s ensuring that you take out time to nurture that relationship, just as you would do any other friendship.

This is critical in building business networks in Africa, where most relationships are built directly, not over the internet. Although we are quickly adopting the internet in the way we work in Africa, relationships still need to be built offline. So, it’s important that you follow up on the people you meet at events to grow your business network.

See Also: Qualities of an emotionally intelligent person.

Follow up/Connect On Social Media

Once the event is over, take out those business cards and begin to add them up to your contact list. Then, follow up with them with simple texts or emails. This shows you are interested in engaging them either on a personal and business level as the case may be.

Another effective way to follow up is to connect with the people you met at events on social media. You can connect with the business owner and their businesses on social media. That way, you can see the type of content they post on social media.

Even though social media may not be as direct as emails or phone calls, it will give you better insights about the person based on their content type.

Make Online Content

The world consumes billions of content online daily. So, it’s important to share content online, to promote your personal and business brand. Your content will help you interact with potential customers and other players in your industry.

Writing articles on Medium, creating posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or sharing your opinion either as a vlog on YouTube or as a podcast on Anchor are avenues through which you can build your presence online.

Tagging or mentioning the people you meet at events on your social media as they do the same for you is useful. You could leverage each other’s presence online to build more relevance to online consumers.

Most people do not respond effectively to posts online that are predominantly focused on selling products to them. People respond to content that they believe is relatable. Your content should entertain, inform, or inspire your audience.

Sharing testimonials or positive reviews also add credibility to your brand.

Build Online Relationships

The internet continues to change the way people communicate with each other and we are becoming more globalized. People across countries can communicate instantly with each other on different platforms. This has increased the opportunity to meet and build relationships online and offline.

Business owners use tools like WhatsApp and Facebook to build online communities where they share content, seek and offer products and services to each other. These are networking channels that business owners can exploit to grow their business network. A good example of a  Facebook group for technology business owners in Nigeria is Silicon Africa.

LinkedIn, particularly sets itself out as a platform that caters to business owners and professionals. It enables you to build professional connections with experts and peers in your industry. Your ability to communicate your value offering through these platforms will help you grow your business network. A typical example of a LinkedIn Business Group is Nigeria Business Communities.

You can create your own group and build an online community organically depending on the type of business you are running.

See Also: Factors to consider before choosing a business structure for your business.

Follow Influencers In Your Industry

In every industry, there are leaders, some of whom have a strong presence online. In the startup and technology scene, names like Iyin of Future Africa, and Jason Njoku of Iroko are influencers, who predominantly engage and inform the startup community through their posts on Twitter.

 As a startup entrepreneur, following their content online, makes you aware of the new technologies, job opportunities, and investment opportunities available. You also get to learn other subjects around running successful businesses in Africa.

Let’s say you just started a make-up business in Nigeria, it would be ideal to follow Tara Fela-Durotoye and her business, House of Tara. You may not get the opportunity to speak or email directly. But, by following her on social media, you might have an idea of her next speaking engagement. When you attend the event, you can get the opportunity to speak with her for at least 3 minutes.

Engaging and learning from influencers in your industry will open you open to potential opportunities. Also, this is the easiest way for young and aspiring entrepreneurs to get mentored.

Email Marketing

Electronic mail is a potent tool business owners can use to communicate with their existing and potential customers. People spend a decent proportion of their day, combing through their emails for important information from brands they trust or from people they know.

Emails prove to be a good tool in encouraging potential customers or customers who might have stopped using your service to come back.

Emails are a good way for businesses to inform their customers on operational changes, share receipts/invoices,  company news, and market new products and services.

Online tools like Mailchimp help you to properly leverage email marketing to grow your business network.

Speaking gigs

Speaking gigs is a good channel through which entrepreneurs can grow their business network. Imagine a digital marketer speaking at the social media week. It will be an opportunity not just to impart knowledge but also to subtly promote your brand.

Speaking gigs places you as an authority and thought leader in front of your audience.

Going back to the digital marketer example. If you are a digital marketer and the organiser of the social media week reaches out to you to speak to business owners, what would you speak about?

Ideally, you will share your knowledge and experience with the business owners. You will teach them how to leverage digital marketing to grow their business. Also, you will advise them to reach out to you if they have challenges with digital marketing.

Marketing is often granular, one customer at a time. But speaking gigs will give you access to tens or hundreds of potential customers all in one place.

Speaking gigs offer the opportunity to grow your customer base and entire business network. Also, it promotes your personal and business brand.

 Run Online Contests/Promos

Online contests and promos are channels through which you can grow your brand on social media. Besides, it often leads to an increase in sales for your business.

Recently, Falz, a musician, recently released a song, ‘Bop Daddy’. When the song was released, he used online contests on Instagram to popularized his song. Currently, the song is placed #26 on Top 100 most played songs in Nigeria on Apple Music.

These online contests could either be a retweet to win or a photo/video contest where the contestants have to follow and tag the brand to register for the contest.

Online contests when executed effectively, will boost your online presence. Also, potential customers may be convinced to buy your product or service.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to harness networking opportunities both offline and online to grow their brands. As a business owner, if you can hack networking channels, you will set yourself apart from your competitors. 

These networking tips when dutifully followed will set you apart from the competition. In addition, you will build an outstanding personal and business brand that will stand the test of time.

At Entrepreneurs.ng, we put your business on the world map by telling your brand story. This increases your visibility, sales, and revenue. Contact us today to get started.

Best of luck!

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Top 15 Quotes for Young CEOs

Matshona Dhliwayo’s Top 15 C.E.O Quotes

  1. “Reading books will get you to the door, reading people will get you inside the room.”
  2. “You are only as valuable as the value you add to others.”
  3. “Fear is an assassin; if you let it in your life, it will kill your dreams.”
  4. “If you are going to believe in anyone, believe in yourself.”
  5. “Don’t burn your bridges until you build better ones.”
  6. “An army of disciplined sheep is greater than an army of undisciplined wolves.”
  7. “Today’s losses are capital for tomorrow’s gains.”
  8. “An ounce of wisdom can earn you a ton of gold.”
  9. “What you seek for others you find for yourself.”
  10. “Work like you’ve never won. Win like you’ve never lost.”
  11. “The best learners are the best earners.”
  12. “Never judge an eagle by the opinion of turkeys.”
  13. “Don’t aim to break the glass ceiling, aim to shatter it.”
  14. “A lion conquers more in one day than a sheep in a lifetime.”
  15. “No one can stop you from shinning if you are standing in your own light.”

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How to Make Videos People Will Watch on Social Media

Want your videos to make a bigger impact on social platforms? Wondering how to create videos that grab and hold people’s attention? In this article, you’ll discover three techniques to produce video people will watch on social media. Note: This article assumes you have the basics in place for filming and producing social media video. […]

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How To Start A Fruit Juice Production Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide

Juice production is by far one of the most lucrative and encompassing global establishments in the world with billions of people consuming various juice products every single year. The global fruit juice market has been experiencing exponential growths; this is evident as it reached a volume of more than 45 Billion Liters in 2018, registering […]

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11 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Change Your Online Marketing

What if I tell you that you’ve really lost more customers to your competitors than you might think because you have ignored the most important digital marketing trends of this year?

As a matter of fact, one of the strategies I’m about to show you is what you might have missed in a pool of trends and this is what is costing you really double your competitor’s budget on digital marketing.

If you read through this blog post and implement any of this biggest trend in online marketing today, then your conversion rate is sure to pivot to X4 of your monthly conversion rate.

Think about it this way, right now your conversion rate might be an embarrassing figure compared to what your business would need to survive the next era of business, but if you put these strategies to good use, you’ll certainly secure a great position for your business.

Digital marketing trends such as voice search, artificial intelligence, personal assistants etc. are already altering the marketing landscape we’ve known, presenting a new challenge and opportunity for marketers, who will have to reassess their digital marketing strategy to accommodate such changes.

By 2020, after all, voice and image-based searches are expected to contribute at least half of all searches.

Click here to check our course outline including our next digital marketing training date.

Among the many biggest trend in online marketing today, we will be seeing a marketing mix of new trends storming the online marketing space.

If I were you, I’d get my pen and paper because what you are about to read are some of the biggest revelations you as an online marketer won’t find anywhere on the internet.

So let’s get started right away!

11 Digital Marketing Trends

These digital marketing trends have been picked at random and if you implement it rightly, then your conversion rate will skyrocket through the roof.

1. Brands will be optimizing their content for Voice Search as a way to tap into the digital marketing trends 

If there is one piece of technology that has captured marketers’ imagination this year it is voice recognition.

With voice search, you use your voice to perform actions on the web. And this is one significant trend that can govern the world of SEO.

In the next few sentences, I will tell you a popular brand who is using this voice search SEO trend already and is flooding in conversions massively

Amid the rising popularity of voice-controlled devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, brands have jumped on the voice bandwagon.

These are all valid ways of thinking about voice. Voice offers a new and innovative way to reach consumers that technologically advanced brands can take advantage of.

Domino’s Pizza, for example, sees voice as a way to sell more pizza and so has enabled customers to order directly through Alexa using voice.

Incredible right? In a short while, I’ll even tell you what Google has to say about voice search in seo in 2020.

The brand’s digital boss Nick Dutch admits it isn’t seeing huge sales from the channel now but it expects to in future and is “preparing for the fact this technology will be something people use”.

However, perhaps the bigger transformation for brands is in search.

In 2016, Google claims 20% of mobile search queries submitted via its app are already done using voice. Meanwhile, comScore estimates 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.

That will have a big impact on search results and therefore SEO strategy.

Instead of consumers seeing a long list of results and being able to pick the most suitable one, most voice results will probably serve up just one answer.

The types of search queries are different too. When typing, people generally input queries such as ‘weather’ but in voice, they might ask ‘do I need an umbrella today?’.

That offers more context and therefore more chance for brands to show up relevant content, but that requires a change of approach.

Because of this, smart marketers are developing ways to tailor their SEO strategies for voice search.

As typed-out search terms become less popular, it’s going to get more and more important to start making those adjustments.

Here are some ways that the rise of voice search will shape the future of SEO, and some tips on how to prepare for it.

We expect to see more brands optimizing their content for voice search (Voice SEO).

The popularity of voice search is certainly exciting — it’s often easier and more convenient than typed-out searches, and younger generations are attracted to its “cool factor.”

Because of this, it’s important that marketers pay attention to how this may affect their SEO.

The second trend on the list seems to be one that you already know…

..but believe you me, there’s a missing puzzle you might not have figured out when it comes to this one.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | A Complete Beginner Guide To Ranking Your Website

Source: Marketingweek.com

2. Artificial intelligence (AI) in Marketing will rise to a new height and possibly replace customer service.

AI is not new – in fact, you probably already interact with marketing AI on a regular basis when you see ads in search results and on social media. And, 57% of marketers already use AI.

But do you know this?..

The use of AI for marketing is only going to grow as the technology improves. It’s projected to grow by 53% in the next couple of years.

Projected this month, we are going to be seeing chatbots as an alternative to human-to-human interaction.

Interesting right?

Chatbots can answer customers’ related questions. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize the customer experience.

So, marketeer adds up to 90x efficiency using Artificial Intelligence.

It learns from human-to-human conversations and from customer behaviors.

One of the companies that I listed below are already using chatbots to assist shoppers with a personalized shopping experience.

It’s no coincidence that a company called ZhuiYi was founded just a year and a half ago by a group of former Tencent computer programmers and it’s already making waves in the field of chatbots.

Also, Singapore Airlines on Tuesday (Dec 12, 2017) announced that it has launched a chatbot designed to answer customer queries.

Another company that’s effectively using these digital marketing trends, chatbots, is Mall of America, their chatbot aims to give shoppers a personalized shopping experience.

So you see, companies are already using chatbots to enhance and automate customer experience.

In fact, Google has opened it’s Google’s chatbot analytics platform called Chatbase — that allows the usage of the chatbot can to be monitored in order to spot potential flaws or problems.

It can also provide useful insights that can improve the final user experience (watch the video embed below).

The truth is chatbots could even move into a conversational advertising role in the future, based on whom they are speaking with, and what is being discussed.

13 Ways To Reduce Bounce Rate If You Want High Website Conversion Rate

3. Video marketing as one of the digital marketing trends will be massive soon.

How much video marketing is your brand doing right now?

If the answer is NO, well it’s time to start. Because if you don’t, then you’re going to be missing out on one of the biggest marketing trends set to skyrocket greatly.

I’ll break down the HubSpot’s new stats on video marketing so that you’ll see how much of conversion you’re loosing out from if video marketing is far down in your marketing priority list.

In fact, according to Entrepreneur, soon, 80% of online content will be video. That’s a pretty incredible stat. So, it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

In Hubspot’s released State of Inbound 2016 report, video was set to play a large part of the strategic plan for brands and marketers in the nearest future.

When asked: What content distribution channels do you plan to add to your marketing efforts in the next 12 months?

This was the breakdown of the responses:

  • 48% YouTube
  • 39% Facebook video
  • 33% Instagram
  • 20% Messaging apps
  • 15% Podcasts
  • 13% Snapchat

Notice a trend there?

Beyond the heavy social media presence here, every single one of these distribution channels has a large (or solely) video component with the exception of podcasting.

The majority of marketers are looking to add channels that support video in their marketing efforts. Meanwhile, these figures are projected to increase as more brands would embrace video marketing.

Of course, there’s a reason why marketers are starting to love video because video provides results.

Check out this infographic from Hubspot:

infographic video stat

Video has the capacity to increase conversion rates and the infographic above says it all.

Here are some project video marketing trends you can’t ignore.

  1. Live video: Like AI, live video is nothing new, but it’s growing exponentially. Everyone wants a piece of Facebook Live. And, it isn’t just popular with marketers. People love watching a live video too. In fact, 80% of users said they’d rather watch a live video than read a blog post, while according to Facebook, live video gets 3x more views. It is not only interesting for marketers due to the uniqueness of the content but it also generates more exposure and higher engagement. If you can include live video in your marketing strategy, it should eventually lead to more conversions.
  2. Mobile views: Considering that most people will watch your video on their mobile devices, it is important that the video is optimized for screens of smaller sizes. Besides that, a lot of people will watch your video with the sound on mute. That is why it is important to include subtitles or captions to share your message with the viewers.
  3. Interactive content: It will be much easier to understand when you explain yourself, your point of view, or your business through video or audio. And by using more interactive content like videos, podcasts, or webinars, marketers can create content that will engage more with your audience.
  4. Personalization: Not just any video will be interesting enough for your audience to connect with. This trend can be combined with storytelling. There has to be a story behind your video. A story your audience can relate to, something personal. Not only a story to sell your product or services but a story that evokes emotions and creates a connection between you and your audience.

Here are some video platforms that marketers will leverage greatly.

  • Instalive (Instagram live videos)
  • Facebook live
  • Webinar
  • Youtube
  • Whatsapp Status (videos)
  • Linkedin videos
  • Video ads

How To Use WhatsApp For Business Promotion | WhatsApp Marketing Strategy

Source: Zembula.com

4. Growth hacking as on of the biggest trend in online marketing today will become a priority soon.

Do you now that there are marketing strategies that are specifically targeted as for growing a business revenue, and SEO is one of the leading strategies?

Your business is slowly dying because you’re possibly missing out on this and I will tell you why.

SEO is still one of the best growth hacking strategies simply because you are getting more traction from people who are already inquiring about your product or service.

As technology evolves to allow additional search options, you have to adjust your strategy to meet your audience where they are looking for you.

Attracting leads with awesome content and exciting twists (such as a giveaway or a challenge) can help move the dial in converting these leads to sales.

The idea of “growth hacking,” which means seeking growth from a company’s existing traffic, driving marketing through technology, and gaining results through greater efficiency is a new mentality and skill that today’s company managers and marketers will need to master in in-depth.

These Big Giant’s “Growth Hacking” Strategy Won Them Tremendous Business Growth

Here we are listing case studies of giant brands that have invested much in growth hacking and have scaled their business because of this strategy.

1. Shazam’s Growth Hacking Strategy: “Spreading The Word Offline”

Music tech company Shazam came up with a neat marketing device to spread interest in its song-recognition app, while at the same time turning a problem to its advantage.

Shazam’s app allows its users to identify songs they hear at clubs, on the radio, or at parties by recording a snatch of the music and matching it to an online database.

When there’s a lot of background noise it can be tough for the software to do its work, so Shazam encourages users to hold their smartphones up to the speakers.

It’s a neat trick.

Others see smartphones brandished and ask “what’s going on?” News of Shazam spreads quickly by word of mouth.

The result = Impressive 500 million downloads.

While this might seem like the best strategy of “growth hacking” as one of the digital marketing trends used by giant companies to grow their revenue, the next case study is a full blow strategy by Uber.

2. Uber’s Growth Hacking Strategy: “Encouraging Advocacy”

With operations in 35 countries (including Nigeria) and a valuation of more than $30bn, Uber is a poster child for rapid scale-up. But in 2009, it was just a local car-hire company with a platform matching supply and demand and handling payments.

The company knew it was solving a range of problems associated with conventional cab services but it needed traction.

Its base in San Francisco was the key.

Uber initially focused on the tech community, organizing events and – crucially – free rides for those attending. Those who used the service told their friends about the experience.

The result was rapid growth and a model that could be rolled out elsewhere.

3. Facebook’s Growth Hacking Strategy: “Taking a Hard Line on Messenger”

Messenger was an important launch for Facebook, allowing the company to create a stand-alone messaging service that can be used by third parties to offer a range of services through Chatbots. Ultimately playing into Facebook’s future advertising plays.

But Facebook faces a challenge – namely that there are a great many people who already have the Facebook App itself on their smartphones. People who might well ask – why should I download Messenger?

To counter such resistance, Facebook has progressively turned off the message facility on its own app and telling mobile users they must migrate to Messenger. The result is a rapid growth curve to underpin the Facebook messaging masterplan.

Click here to check out more Growth Hacking case studies to inspire you.

9 Customer Retention Strategies To Keep Customers Coming Back

5. Influencer marketing (Micro-influencers will be needed more)


Micro-influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers (who usually have ~10 million followers)
Click To Tweet


Do you know how important micro-influencers are in the marketing mix? For social media, one this is one of the most effective and most direct digital marketing trends that has come to stay.

Let me show you a few stats on how much importance they hold to your business.

Think of micro-influencers as digital influencers with a total audience size of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.

Surprised with the audience size?

There’s data to support it: Micro-influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers (who usually have ~10 million followers).

Micro-influencers are more likely to post about specific niche topics and they have the loyal followings that share their passion and a staggering 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads.

With more than 32% of internet users enabling ad blocker, it’s increasingly harder to reach users and micro-influencers can bridge that gap.

5 Straightforward Tips For Improving Website Content

6. Quality content marketing will be prioritized.


High-quality content is in short supply so people will have to be creative in their approach and with whom they are working.
Click To Tweet


As one of the top digital marketing trends, the aim of grabbing consumer attention through Content marketing will remain a key priority for marketers in the online marketing world.

Bill Gates was wrong when he said “content is king” in 1996. Content isn’t just king anymore, “Quality content is king!”

In this highly digitized world, high-quality content is in short supply so people will have to be creative in their approach and with whom they are working.

To develop super-relevant content requires speed, agility, and risk-taking. And this will favor local companies (over multi-nationals) as they move faster, take bigger bets, and are therefore more able to be timely and relevant with their content.

Content Marketing | A Complete Beginner Guide To Crafting Quality Content

7. Experience marketing is gaining popularity


Customer experience is hugely important. Customers see your business or brand as the sum of experiences they’ve had with you.
Click To Tweet


Do you have any brand that has lost you as a customer in the last 6 months? How do you feel about the business or brand?

Do you know that in your business, if you don’t have a strategy and isn’t steadily optimizing your customer experience, you’re losing X2 of every customer who walks out and never returns because you don’t only lose a customer, you lose their testimonials or word of mouth.

Customer experience marketing is exactly what it sounds like – making sure the customer has a good experience when you market to them.

And, it’s gaining popularity; 68% of marketers say their business is increasingly focusing on customer experience in marketing.

While you might want to focus on customer experience, the next digital marketing trend will specifically show you what you need to optimize.

Customers see your business or brand as the sum of experiences they’ve had with you.

This could be anything from in-store customer service to finding your local listing online or seeing one of your business’s ads on Facebook.

Creating a great experience for the customer is more likely to help you gain brand loyalists.

If they search for you online and find two different listings, or they receive bad customer service while making a purchase, they’re just not going to use your business again.

Let’s prepare to share a good customer experience when you market to them.

8. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) focused on proofs

This period may finally be the period that businesses start to become customer-centric and embrace intelligent, strategic conversion optimization (I’ve been preaching that every year for what seems like a while now).

Amongst the heady mix of AI, machine learning, chatbots, data clouds, influencer marketing, and fixed mindsets within businesses, these trends will be harnessed by the few brands who choose to step outside of their comfort zone.

In a short while, I see more brands leveraging proofs.

The proof is the art of showing potential customers and clients that what you sell is both real and worth having.

It’s one of the trickiest elements to get right in digital and inbound marketing and can be the difference between appearing authentic or fake.

We live in an age of skepticism. People are consuming more and more content, and they’re bombarded with advertising wherever they go online, be it Facebook, news sites or YouTube.

More and more people are using ad blockers or developing ‘banner blindness’ to overcome the fact that they are constantly being targeted by someone.

Perhaps, with real proofs, you can display real-time customer activity notifications on your website and let your existing customers sell for you.

Have you heard of Useproof?

Well, if you are concerned about showing your potential customers that what you have to offer is both real and valuable to them with a bit of, then you might have to check out Useproof.com.

Useproof can do the following:

  • Activity Notifications: Display recent sales and opt-ins on your pages and drive visitors to convert.
  • Live Visitor Count: Show how many visitors are browsing your site – eg. “28 people are viewing this page”
  • Visitor Identification: Shows detailed profiles of every visitor who enters their email.
  • Customer Journeys: Watch visitors travel across your site and see which steps they take to convert.
  • Custom Timing: Control when, how long, and how fast notifications display on your site.
  • Custom Rules: Granular control over how and when notifications display on your pages.
  • Mobile Optimized: With mobile traffic approaching 70%, Proof looks amazing on mobile.
  • Language Translation: Translate your notifications into any language you want.

9. Fluid marketing will become the trend

“Fluid online marketing” is a multi-channel approach to online marketing that addresses each customer’s unique challenges in a way that can help you keep your brand in front of them.

Instead of following a one-size-fits-all approach, fluid online marketing leverages the very best growth opportunities for each customer’s situation.

In fluid marketing, you see your customers as a moving target, you will understand where the word “fluid” originate from.

The way fluid marketing works is when you leverage on different channels to ensure that you deliver what your customers are looking for no matter where they are, what website they visit, the social media platform they use, etc.

Soon, fluid marketing will thrive! I see more marketers using features like re-targeting, customer audience, and lookalike audience to ensure customers are always reminded of what they left off.

6 Effective Online Marketing Strategy To Target Your Audience

10. Data Analysis

If you’re maxing out on data and analytics this year, just wait.

The mass amount of information being created by the IoT has the power to revolutionize everything from manufacturing and healthcare to the layout and functioning of entire cities — allowing them to work more efficiently and profitably than ever before.

One company, for instance, found that it was able to reduce the cost of managing its fleet of 180,000 trucks from 15 cents per mile to just 3 cents.

That same kind of efficiency can be exercised in almost every industry, from retail to city planning.

Tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM, SAS, and SAP are all heavily investing in Analytics, more specifically IoT Analytics as they are seeing the power of this combination in driving new business insights across a vast array of industries and applications.

11. Customer Journey Marketing

Given the way the complexity of marketing and digital marketing has increased, techniques like customer journey mapping for different personas are increasing in importance to help define the most relevant communications and experiences for different touchpoints in the customer journey.

To support this, the way I like to think about how to improve the effectiveness of digital marketing is to think from the customers’ viewpoint of the communications opportunity available through the customer lifecycle for different types of business.

We define lifecycle marketing as:

Creating a managed communications or contact strategy to prioritise and integrate the full range of marketing communications channels and experiences to support prospects and customers on their path-to-purchase using techniques such as persuasive personalised messaging and re-targeting.

We designed this mind-tool to help members think through all the potential touchpoints across paid, owned and earned media. Then you can perform a ‘gap analysis’ of the use and effectiveness of lifecycle comms you are using against those you could be used to increase the relevance and response of communications.

Source: Smartinsights.com

To sum it up:

Digital marketing trends all year-round are going to be massive.

The likelihoods is going to be another exciting period for new and innovative ways to reach consumers and increase brand awareness. Accelerated advancement in technology is making it more challenging and marketing teams will need to explore, invest, experiment, and adapt in order to keep up.

Do you agree with the digital marketing trends contained in this list? Or perhaps, do you have any of your own to add?

The post 11 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Change Your Online Marketing appeared first on Digital Marketing Skill Institute | Globally Recognised Digital Marketing Courses and Trainings.

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How to Produce High-Quality Videos for Social Media

Need to do more with social video? Wondering how to increase the quality of your videos? In this article, you’ll discover practical tips to produce polished videos that perform well on social media. #1: Look Better on Camera I’m sure you’ve seen many social media videos where the person is looking down at the camera, […]

The post How to Produce High-Quality Videos for Social Media appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Recycling Business – How To Start Recycling Business In Nigeria

The recycling business is beginning to gain ground in Nigeria unlike before. An aspiring entrepreneur can make millions of naira running a recycling business.

In Nigeria, most people still need to be educated about waste disposal because an average Nigerian take sachet water or plastic drinks and throws the nylon or plastic on the road. Hence, there are so much waste all over the country blocking drainage and making the country dirty.

See Also: How to start Printing Business in Nigeria

If you are considering venturing into the recycling business, you will not only be running a profitable business, you will be carrying out community service and contributing to the health improvement of Nigerian citizens. The recycling business is a win-win opportunity for you and the environment.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about starting a recycling business. If you dutifully follow the steps highlighted here, you will run the business like someone that has been specially trained for it.

The major requirement needed to start is to select the recycling business idea that interests you and start working on it immediately. However, you must know that there is stiff competition in recycling business, so you will need to be knowledgeable about the business to stand tall amidst competition.

See Also: How To Start Bottled Water Or Pure Water Business In Nigeria

What Is Recycling Business

Recycling business involves the refurbishment of waste products or materials to create new, useful products.

Pros of Starting A Recycling Business

1. It helps protect the environment

If there was no recycling, waste products would have been burned or ended up in the landfill. Thereby, causing harm to the environment.

See Also: How To Start An E-Commerce Business In Nigeria

2. It conserves natural resources

Recycling waste reduces dependence on raw (natural) resources, which are already massively depleted.

3. It creates job and business opportunities

In recycling, people are employed to collect, sort, and handle machines. Hence, you are creating job opportunities for the unemployed in Nigeria.

See Also: How To Start A Cleaning Service Company In Nigeria

4. It is profitable

The recycling business is lucrative in Nigeria because there is an existing market for it. As many people live below the pyramid in Nigeria, recycled, yet good products will appeal to them.

Steps To Start Recycling Business

Step One: Find A Niche

As mentioned earlier, the recycling business is a competitive business venture. Therefore, if you are starting small, it is advisable to find a niche that is not too saturated but in demand.

To achieve this, conduct thorough market research to investigate what recycling businesses already exist in your area. Also, find out how they are able to sell the materials and the pricing system they use.

There are hundreds of recycling businesses in Nigeria and you need to select the best to invest in. Here are some of the most common recycling businesses in Nigeria:

See Also: How To Start A Poultry Farming Business In Nigeria

1. Waste Or Garbage Recycling

Actually, this is one of the most popular recycling business ideas. Waste recycling is the processing of used materials into new, useful products.

It uses less energy and it’s a great way of controlling air, water, and land pollution. You can recycle the wastes from homes and businesses, picking up their bins on a regular basis.

Waste items that are usually recycled include:
a. Plastic Waste – This include water bottles, plastic bags, rubber bags, plastic wrappers, etc

See Also: How To Start Mini Importation Business In Nigeria

b. Paper Waste – This include books, magazines, newspapers, cardboxes, envelopes, etc

c. Glass Waste: This include broken bottles, beer and wine bottles

d. Aluminium Waste: This include cans from soda drink, tomato, fruit cans and other types of cans

See Also: How To Start An Export Business In Nigeria

2. Printer Catridge Recycling

New printer catridges can be quite expensive and many people cannot afford it. Hence, recycled catridges is the alternative they opt for. A simple cleaning and refilling process will provide you with a good profit.

See Also: Top Business Opportunities In Lagos And How To Clinch Them

3. Tire Recycling

In Nigeria, used tires are found on almost every street. You can find them in landfills and other areas. Recycling them holds great profit potential. However, it is sometimes difficult to find the right companies to work with but with good research, you can find the right companies to partner with and start recording your profit.

See Also: 12 Eco-Friendly Business Ideas That Can Make You Wealthy.

4. Wood Or Timber Recycling

This is the process of turning waste timber into usable products. Wood recycling dates back to the ’90s and it’s still as profitable as ever. You can get recyclable wood from construction waste, demolished buildings, old furniture and other similar sources.

See Also: Creative Business Ideas For Fresh Graduates In Nigeria

5. Scrap Gold Recycling

Without mincing words, gold recycling is one of the best business ideas to venture into. Interestingly, gold is easy to melt and does not lose its purity even when used repeatedly. More than that, gold recycling is cheaper and better for the environment than mining new gold.

See Also: 12 Online Business Ideas That You Can Start From Home And Become Rich

6. Electronics Recycling

Usually, it is not everybody that can afford new electronics. Some don’t even go close to new electronics, hence, you have a ready market for your new business. All you need to do is purchase scrap electronic devices and sell them to recyclers for profit. Some of the electronics you can recycle include mobile phones, laptops, computers, television, and other types of electronics.

After selecting a niche, you can either collect the recyclables and sell to recyclers or recycle them yourself and resell. The former is good if you don’t have the required capital needed to get recycling equipment and machines.

See Also: 10 Business Ideas To Start With 100K In Nigeria That Will Make You Millions

Step Two: Create A Budget

The amount needed to start your recycling business depends on the size of your business and the kind of operation you want to run. Most importantly, you will need to budget for licensing and permits because you can hardly run a recycling business without them.

Additionally, if you are quitting your job to start recycling business, endeavour to set aside some amount of money that will cater for your running expenses for at least a year or two. This is because the profit may not come immediately as expected.

Other expenses to bear in mind
include:

  • Business registration
  • Vehicles to haul recyclables
  • Storage space for your recyclables
  • Employee salaries
  • Machineries to process recyclables
  • Money to pay people for their recyclables

See Also: 10 Practical Ways To Reduce Business Expenses

Step Three: Create A Business Plan

Recycling business requires a thorough business plan to begin. All the research you conducted will help you write a detailed business plan. A business plan is a formal document containing the details of how you will run your business.

With your business plan, you can apply for funding and grants to start out your business. There are different sections that must be included in your business plan.

They include:

  • Your company’s goals and objectives
  • Market research and fesibility study
  • SWOT analysis
  • Competitive advantage
  • Financial projections
  • Marketing strategy
  • Appendix

See Also: How To Write A Business Plan Step By Step For Your Business

Step Four: Get Capital For Your Recycling Business

Once you’ve estimated the needed amount to start your recycling business with, the next thing to do is to source for a way to get it. You have different funding options. One of the funding options available to you is to obtain a bank loan. In reality, small business owners find it difficult to obtain loans from banks because of the inability to provide the required documents or collateral.

However, there are several funding options; friends and family, angel investors, venture capitalists, international grant opportunities, etc. In most cases, the requirements are to submit a detailed business plan and other documentation about your business.

Investors want to be sure you understand the business you are venturing into. Hence, your business plan should come in handy in this step. On the other hand, if you have enough savings to begin, then you can move to the next stage.

See Also: 11 Ways to get funding and grow your business in Nigeria

Step Five: Register Your Business With CAC

In Nigeria, the recognised body for registration of new businesses is Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). It is important to register your recycling business as soon as you start so that you don’t encounter challenges and harrassment from government officials when you begin operations.

See Also: Top Legal Documents Every Entrepreneur And Start-Up Should Have

First and foremost, choose your business structure. Do you want to register as a sole-proprietorship business (Business Name) or as an incorporated entity (Limited Liability Company)? You can also register the business as a social enterprise (NGO).

The cost and requirements for both are different. But, you can start out as a business name owner and later upgrade to a limited liability company as you grow.

The registration procedures are easy and can be done online via CAC’s portal. Alternatively, you can hire a lawyer to handle the registration process for you because most aspiring entrepreneurs encounter challenges completing the registration themselves.

One of the trusted firms known for offering business registration service at a low price is ReDahlia, located at 43B, Emina crescent off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos. The good news is that your distance is not a barrier. They can carry out the registration process for you and deliver the certificate to your preferred location.

See Also: Benefits of registering of business with CAC

Step Six: Obtain The Needed Permits And Licenses

The recycling business deals with the environment so, it attracts certain licensing and permits before establishment. Therefore, endeavour to get all necessary licenses and permits before you begin operations.

For instance, one of the bodies that issue recycling license in Lagos is the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). Once you get licensed with them, your name will be listed on their website stating the category you belong to and your certificate number.

Apart from LAWMA, ensure to research other regulatory bodies in the recycling business. This will help save you the embarrassment melted out by law enforcement agents.

See Also: Proven Way To Validate Your Business Idea With Customers

Step Seven: Acquire The Relevant Equipments/Machines

At this point, you are ready for business and you cannot run your recycling business without equipment or machines. Hence, you need to purchase them.

If you are on a lean budget, you could go for equipment leasing or partner with recycling companies that are willing to work with you. The niche you choose will determine the equipment or machine to purchase.

Generally, the equipment you need includes: scales to weigh your plastic waste, bins, sorting and grouping equipment, washing gears, etc.

If you are working with larger recyclables, you will need shredders, pulverizers, granulators, and other size reduction machines to break down materials
into smaller sizes.

See Also: How To Deal With Difficult Customers In Nigeria Using These Strategies

Other equipment include:

  • Truck
  • Vibrator feeders
  • Magnetic separators
  • Baling machine (Vertical balers, horizontal balers, two ram balers, etc)
  • Compactors
  • Grapplers
  • Metal Shears

Another way to make money from your equipment is to lease them out to recyclers and collect hire fee in return.

See Also: How To Develop Growth Strategies For Small Businesses

Step Eight: Acquire A Space Or Land In A Good Location

The recycling process begins with the collection of materials. For instance, you can collect recyclables from people’s homes, waste management companies, dumpsters at commercial facilities like office buildings and warehouses, industrial facilities, etc. Thereafter, these recyclables will be taken to recovery center (your acquired space) for further processing.

It is important to have your business location where people are most inclined to drop their recyclable wastes. That way, people can freely bring their recyclables to you.

Importantly, ensure your chosen location is approved for such a business. You can approach your local government to find out if your proposed location is approved for your kind of business to avoid future challenges.

Asides from having an open space for material processing, you can also get an office to secure your equipment against theft.

See Also: 10 Business Funding Opportunities For Aspiring Entrepreneurs In Nigeria To Grow Their Businesses

Step Nine: Hire Employees

The employees you need in the recycling business are broad. When you begin, you will need people that will help you with the collection of recyclables and there’s no limit to the number of persons you can employ.

The good part is that they don’t have to be permanent employees. They can work on a commission basis. Additionally, you will also need some full-time employees that will handle the machines and day to day affairs of the business.

See Also: Ways To Be A Great Boss And Apply Emotional Intelligence With People

Step Ten: Promote Your Business

There are many manufacturing companies in need of your recycled materials and now is the time to reach out to them. Advertisement is the oil of your business and you mustn’t joke with it.

Although waste management is very lucrative, you may not mine the money in it if you don’t have a good marketing strategy in place. The good news is that marketing has been made easy in this century with the advent of the internet.

See Also; Cheap Ways To Promote Your Business As An Entrepreneur

Apart from setting up a website for your company, ensure you open a page across social media platforms. Additionally, there are other ways to promote your product such as word of mouth, newspaper advert, collaborations and partnerships, etc.

In conclusion, before investing in any type of business, it is important to know everything about the business. Therefore, in addition to all you’ve learned in this article, it will be nice to intern at an existing company or get mentored by someone already in the business. That will give you practical knowledge and experience about the business.

See Also: 21 Ways To Acquire New Customers For Your Small Business

Are you running a recycling business or working on starting one, we will like to read your thoughts in the comments.

At entrepreneurs.ng, we put businesses on the world map and create visibility for their businesses. Reach out to us today to tell your story for the world to see.

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The post Recycling Business – How To Start Recycling Business In Nigeria appeared first on Entrepreneurs In Nigeria.

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How to Start A Rice Farming Business In Nigeria

Rice farming business is a profitable business to venture into. This is because it is the most consumed staple food in the world, especially in Asia and Africa. Also, rice is the third-highest produce worldwide after sugarcane and maize.

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In Nigeria, about 7 million tonnes of rice is consumed in a year. Rice is food to many people in Nigeria and it’s popular in homes, events, and public places. Despite our consumption rate, it’s sad that only a few percents of the rice we consume is produced in Nigeria.

However, there has been an upturn since the closure of land borders for food security purposes by the Nigerian government. Also, the World Bank, Central Bank, and other governmental bodies are beginning to boost the agricultural industry by providing support to smallholder rice farmers in varying degrees.

As a result, the agribusiness narrative is changing and rice farming is becoming more and more profitable for rice farmers.

Do you want to join the league of entrepreneurs who are creating a positive economic impact by embracing rice farming? If your answer is yes, then stay with us as we are about to show you how to start a profitable rice farming business.

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Rice Farming

Rice farming like other kinds of agricultural business is capital intensive but lucrative. It produces one of the highest yields when compared to other agricultural products. For example, a well-cultivated one hectare of land produces 2-3 tonnes of rice.

The farming process takes about four months between planting and harvesting. You need a large expanse of land, equipment, packaging materials, storage space, labour, transportation, etc. to start your rice farm.

Although rice farming has its challenges besides being capital intensive and demanding a large workforce, it’s still a very lucrative business to venture into by an aspiring entrepreneur.

To start your rice farming business, you need to follow the steps below:

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Create A Business Plan

Rice farming requires adequate planning and conducting feasibility study. One of the ways to ensure that you consider every aspect of the business is by drafting a business plan.

The business plan will serve as a guide on the steps to take to make the vision achievable. While preparing your business plan, you will take into account important elements of the business such as location, marketing, funding, etc. The business plan is a breathing document that can be updated at any time as the business grows.

In addition, with a well-written business plan, you can access loans from financial institutions or seek funding from investors.

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Register Your Business

After creating a business plan, the next step is to register your business. In rice farming, aside registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), you will need to register with agencies like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), e.t.c

The Corporate Affairs Commission is responsible for registering businesses in Nigeria. There are different business structures to choose from and there are different factors that will influence the type of business structure you choose.

You can go directly to the CAC website and register your business or let firms like ReDahlia handle your business registration seamlessly for you. ReDahlia is a solution center for the entrepreneur and is widely known for providing business solutions to business owners.

To get your NAFDAC registration, visit the official website of NAFDAC to start and complete the process.

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Secure Funding

Rice farming is capital intensive as we mentioned and requires huge investment in terms of human resources and finance. If you don’t have enough funds to start this business, you can approach investors or meet with partners who have the same vision as you do.

Also, as part of the Nigerian government’s effort to boost the food supply for her citizens, funding is readily available for agricultural businesses. Therefore, you can access government grants or loans at low-interest rates from commercial or microfinance banks.

Furthermore, there are other benefits and supports asides from money available for agric focused businesses like tech support. To access these opportunities, you need a well-written business plan

If your funding is secured or you have the requisite capital to start this business, you are on your way to becoming a bonafide rice farmer in Nigeria.

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Step By Steps Plan On Rice Farming Business

Step 1 – Choose A Quality Seed

The first essential step to rice production is seed selection. There are different varieties of rice seeds suited for various ecologies such as lowland, upland, deep water, mangrove swamp, etc.

A good rice seed is resistant to disease and yield much grain during harvest.

Therefore, you need to choose a quality seed suitable for the environment it will be grown.

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Step 2 – Choose The Right Land

After choosing the seed to plant, the next is to choose a suitable land area. Rice requires slightly more water to produce than other grains. Therefore, it is advisable to choose lands with water retention capacities, such as swampy (clay), or loamy soil that contains organic matter. 

Rice can be grown in different environments as long as there is water. But, it’s advisable to plant in ecological areas where rice is traditionally grown such as Kebbi, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Ogun, Kaduna, Kano, and other states known for rice production in Nigeria.  

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Step 3 – Land Preparation

For rice farming, land preparation needs to be done to put the soil in the best condition for the best yield. It involves plowing and harrowing to till and level the soil.

You can till with a hoe, tractor, or other machinery. This will allow the seeds to be planted at the right depth and help with weed control. Land leveling is also important and should be done as it will help the seedling become more established and reduce erosion.

The land for rice farming is better prepared from November to February when the rainy season is over. As the rainy season approaches, the land would have been ready for planting. However, if your land is in the savannah region, your land preparation can start in February.

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Step 4 – Choose A Planting Method

After the land has been prepared, the next step is to plant the seed. This planting can be done in two ways; direct seeding and use of nursery and subsequently transplanted.

Direct seeding involves dibbing or broadcasting dry seed or pre-germinated seeds by hand or by machine. In rainfed and deep-water ecosystems, dry seed is manually broadcast unto the soil surface and then incorporated either by ploughing or harrowing while the sun is still dry.

While, in irrigated areas, seeds are normally pre-germinated prior to broadcasting.

With direct seeding, weeds can begin to affect the plant at the early stage, but with the use of herbicides, they can be controlled.

When the seedlings are raised in the nursery, they are transferred from seedbed to the wet field. It requires less seed and is an effective method to control weeds. Seedlings can be transplanted by machine or hand and it’s the most popular technique across Asia.

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Step 5 – Water Management

Rice is highly sensitive to water shortages and the process of water maintenance differs from one ecological area to another. Therefore, you need to maintain the water level in the field up to 5cm one week after transplanting until grain matures.

Step 6 – Apply Fertilizer

There are different fertilizers that can be applied at different stages of the growth of the rice. This means you need to apply specific nutrients at different times.

You need to speak to a pedologist to advise you on the right organic fertilizer to use, the right quantity and the right time to use them to ensure you have the best yield.

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Step 7 – Control Weed And Pest

Weed, pests, viruses are enemies to rice plants and can reduce the yield or value of the crop. Climatic factors, improper irrigation, overuse of insecticides, weather condition and high rates of nitrogen fertilizer application exposes rice plant to diseases. So the sooner you begin to treat the plant and fight these elements, the best for you.

Weeds can be managed through hand weeding or herbicides application. Pests like termites, armyworms, insects, nematodes, rodents, birds, pathogens, e.t.c can be managed by using chemical controls.

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Step 8 – Harvest And Thresh

Depending on the seed variety, rice crops can be harvested after about 105 – 150 days of planting, about the time when the plants are already turning yellow/brown. It involves cutting, stacking, handling, threshing, cleaning, and hauling. harvesting can be done manually or mechanically.

Manual harvesting involves cutting the rice crop with sickles and knives, while mechanical harvesting involves using reapers to cut down the rice. Thereafter, you begin to thresh.

Threshing involves separating the paddy grain from the rest of the crop on a mat or tarpaulin. It should be done either immediately or within a day or two after harvesting.

Also, after harvesting, you can plant leguminous crops like beans, chickpeas, lentils, soya e.t.c in the farm, This will serve as organic matters and help to maintain the soil nutrients for another planting season.

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Post Production

After threshing, cleaning, and hauling, the next step is to field dry the paddy and then mill.

First, paddy is dried to bring down the moisture content to no more than 30% for milling. You can manually dry paddy by spreading them on a clean concrete floor, mat, or tarpaulin, while they sun dry for 1-3 days manually. After drying, you then mill.

Milling is a crucial step in the post-production of rice. It is done to remove the husk and the bran layers to produce an edible white rice kernel. A good mill can achieve a paddy-to-rice conversion rate of up to 72% but smaller, inefficient mills often struggle to achieve 60%. Also, there should be a minimum number of broken kernels in the conversion process.

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Marketing

If you successfully follow the above process, you will have rice grains ready to be sold. The next step is to package your rice for sale and consumption.

In packaging, ensure to have your logo, farm address, name, and other identification numbers branded on the packaging sacks. It’s expected that during the business plan stage, you already know who your target market is. It’s actually nice to have a ready market; people ready to purchase your rice before starting the planting process.

To market your rice, you can create a website and social media pages where your farming activities can be showcased and orders booked. Also, you can invest in radio, television, and billboard advert to create awareness.

Most importantly, if you produce quality rice, free of weevil and other kinds of ants, people will patronise you willingly and this will reduce your marketing cost and increase your profit.

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Conclusion

Just like every other agricultural business, rice farming is a profitable agribusiness to venture into. Although it can be time-consuming, capital intensive, and require expertise, it is a good business area to invest in especially with its local demand and very high export potential.

Are you currently dealing in rice farming business, and will like to share how you started? OR Are you an aspiring rice farmer in need of guidance? We will like to hear your thoughts in the comments.

We can give your business a global exposure by telling your story Entrepreneurs.ng. Contact us today, lets get started.

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