Keeping Your Business Data Secure

Keeping Your Business Data Secure

With more businesses than ever doing business online, the threats to their security have never been greater. Finding the right tools and techniques to defend against cybercriminals is critical to keeping and earning the trust of your customers. Here are six key strategies that business owners should use for keeping their company's data secure. 

1. Protect Your Automated Systems

Too many business owners think that automation means hands-off. That's not true when it comes to security. The machine learning algorithms that power artificial intelligence and its technological offshoots are uniquely vulnerable to attack. That's because the technology is so new that vulnerabilities are little understood compared to older programs. Even so, business process automation is integral to modern operations, so it's important to prioritize machine learning security when building your infrastructure.

2. Install Antivirus and Firewall Systems

It should go without saying that every device used for business purposes should have basic antivirus software installed. In an age of decentralization where many employees are based somewhere other than headquarters, this can actually be more difficult than it sounds. Defenses need to be standardized, and they also need to be scaled to meet the needs of each specific organization. This doctrine is called endpoint security and is becoming the norm, especially in companies with a widely distributed workforce.

Firewalls are a good example of this. These systems filter incoming and outgoing web traffic including emails, which are a major vector for so-called "phishing" attacks. Tailor your digital defenses to your specific needs, then get everyone with a device used for business purposes on the same page.

3. Train Employees Relentlessly

Speaking of email protocols, business owners are often surprised to learn just how many security breaches happen due to human error. According to a joint study by Stanford University and security firm Tessian, 88% of breaches can be traced back to mistakes by personnel. Many of the previously-mentioned phishing attacks can be prevented if employees know what exactly a fraudulent email looks like. Insisting upon professionalism in phone conversations and internet usage can lower overall risk as well. Training should take place at regular intervals and be kept simple rather than overly technical. A little awareness can truly go a long way. 

4. Backup Your Data

Data loss itself can be costly. It's estimated that every file compromised in a breach costs the business around $146 regardless of who's responsible. Having backups of all your important data can mitigate some of this loss by aiding the recovery process if a breach does occur, and storing your most vital files off-network can prevent such loss in the first place. Putting vital information on flash drives or just keeping good old-fashioned hard copies are both solutions worth considering.

5. Install Software Updates

It's all too common for users to ignore prompts to update their software. They can be time-consuming (and thus annoying), and people often think there's no need for them since system performance seems fine. That's a very poor mindset to have since those updates typically include patches to newly-discovered security vulnerabilities. Threats evolve quickly, and new upgrades, while not mandatory, should never be overlooked, especially if a new form of attack is making the news. 

6. Prioritize Physical Security

Something that often gets neglected in data loss prevention is office security. Physically tampering with or stealing devices is actually a common tactic of cybercriminals. Consider installing a CCTV system in your building to monitor comings and goings both during and after business hours. For a deeper investment, consider biometric security systems, which are becoming even more effective now that AI-driven threat analysis algorithms are getting more sophisticated. You don't have to create a security state, just know the vulnerable points of your building and cover them. 

The internet can be both lucrative and intimidating for new entrepreneurs. When planning your digital infrastructure, it's worth doing research on both the many threats out there and the many countermeasures to them that are now available. 


Is Hybrid Cloud a Happy Medium Solution for Your Company?

Is Hybrid Cloud a Happy Medium Solution for Your Company?

The modernization of business technologies continues to transform how companies choose how to operate. To stay competitive and to maintain customer loyalty, companies are investing in public cloud services. However, some businesses are hesitant to give a third party (the cloud platform) control of all of their data. In response to the “all or none” public cloud dilemma, global demand for a “hybrid cloud” solution was born.

Why Are Companies Switching to Hybrid Cloud Services?

What is hybrid cloud? Basically, hybrid cloud allows an organization to access a combination of public and private cloud (on-site) computing systems. This is a seemingly happy medium for businesses who want the numerous capabilities of public cloud services, but still want to retain some of their private servers. According to Statista, in 2020, the global hybrid cloud market was $52 billion and in 2026, it is estimated to reach $145 billion. In case you are wondering why phenomenal growth is projected for hybrid cloud, here is a list of reported benefits:

Control Over Sensitive Data

Hybrid cloud services give you control over your sensitive data because you keep it on your on-site servers. When you migrate all your computing to the public cloud, your data and processing are handled by a third party. 

Increased Security

Regarding security, a hybrid cloud might offer the best of both worlds. As mentioned above, you have control over the data in your company’s private cloud; however, a hybrid cloud’s public aspect will provide risk management and disaster recovery. Your company will also keep compliant with regulations.

Agility

To remain competitive, hybrid cloud use allows your company to implement quick changes in your computing system. With the click of a mouse, you can transfer data, expand your workload and upload a new product.

Efficiency

Another public cloud advantage that hybrid users have is automation. You can program your systems to automatically respond to changes and customer inquiries.

Cost Savings

Cloud services are similar to “ala carte” dining in that you have the option to only pay for tools you need. And, you pay for those items only when you need them. This feature allows you to plan for incremental expenses as your company grows, rather than making a sizable investment when you need to expand.

Improved Support for Remote Employees

Hybrid cloud allows access to company resources and data at any time and from any place. So your remote workforce can easily complete tasks online rather than relying on an on-site computer. In addition to online convenience, this cloud benefit can also have a positive impact on your hiring process. No longer limited by proximity and time zone, you can consider hiring candidates from all over the world if you want.

Improved Day-to-Day Stability

When you distribute your company’s computing services in a hybrid cloud model, you help stabilize your daily business transactions. Even if you have a major problem, the cloud will help you lower downtime and interruptions. The cloud can accommodate and scale according to the size of your new demands. You no longer need to rely on your private servers that can slow down in response to overload.

Some Caveats

Experts recommend that before you enter the hybrid cloud community, you make sure that you have a cloud-trained IT staff. The added layer of cloud services will make things more complex in your office so you want to ensure your IT staff can handle it. Due to the increased hardware needed, you might also lose some cost benefits. Also, ensure your company encrypts data and manages security according to your procedures on-site rather than rely solely on the security provided by third parties.

After you have considered the pros and cons of hybrid cloud, the next step is to decide what you need, if you haven’t already done so. Remember, when consulting with cloud providers, you will not need every offered service. Keep in mind the “ala carte” philosophy and customize your company’s hybrid cloud to suit your needs and your budget.


How to Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams For Better, Faster Results

How to Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams For Better, Faster Results

Sales and marketing alignment can help close 67% more leads, while a lack of it results in losing 10% of your annual revenue.

When having a choice of giving a boost to your business or letting it stagnate, you should be looking for ways to help sales and marketing work like one mechanism.

However, it is not that easy to convince the two departments to sit together and work out a plan to achieve great cross-team communication and collaboration. 

Marketing would blame sales for ignoring the leads generated with marketing activities, while sales would accuse marketing of not delivering better quality leads. However, lead quality is not the only apple of discord between the two. Lack of clarity in the activities of the sales and marketing teams undermines alignment.

Oftentimes,  sales doesn't know what marketing is working on and vice versa, or marketing doesn't understand how sales approaches leads. This can cause confusion and information overlap, but with the right data, processes, and tech, your teams can regain the clarity they need to achieve success together.

In this article, we will explore how you can put an end to silos in your organization and use the right tools to skyrocket your company’s revenue in the months and years to come. 

Before exploring the nitty-gritty of sales and marketing alignment, let’s start with defining what sales and marketing alignment is and why it matters more than ever in 2020 and beyond.

What is sales and marketing alignment?

Sales and marketing alignment helps your marketing and sales teams define communication tools, strategies, and goals to unify and optimize the conversion cycle.

Sounds pretty abstract, right? 

In practice, sales and marketing alignment means working as one team, calling each other “we” not “them”, and designing a strategy for converting more leads into customers. Sales and marketing should be on the same page when it comes to understanding organizational goals as it helps create better targeted content.

Why sales and marketing matter more than ever

A lead does thorough research about your product and compares it to your competitors’ solution before talking to a sales rep. The customer journey has changed, and if you want to stay competitive on the market, your sales and marketing need to collaborate closer together in 2020.

What’s more, keep in mind that not sharing your institutional knowledge is costing you money, and that goes for internal knowledge between your sales and marketing teams.

Here is how marketing and sales funnels looked before and after the change in the customer journey.

Source: Business2Community

It seems like marketing is responsible for more funnel stages than it was before, right? 

However, marketing should not be left alone for the majority of the lead generation and nurturing processes. Both sales and marketing can work together on each funnel stage to close more deals, including identifying friction points in the sales funnel.

It’s important to identify friction points in the sales funnel and you can do that by asking the marketing and sales teams to describe the sales funnel. If there are discrepancies between the two teams’ perception of the funnel, make sure to discuss why and how you can align their views.

Sales and marketing alignment in practice

I remember transitioning from an organization where sales and marketing played two separate games to a moment when we held a bi-weekly call to catch up on shared objectives for the quarter. We felt like one team.

By discussing real-life customer stories and creating a strategy together, our marketing team managed to better use the materials we created. We were able to achieve this with relative ease using project management software and other communication tools. The marketing content was used in sales calls and had a real impact on our customers’ buying decisions.

In one instance, by discussing real cases of customer stories, we could better understand how they buy our software, which helped us create a new page copy that could speak a customer’s voice.

Many such examples show how close cooperation between the two departments can contribute to making a real impact on conversion. 

Source: Top Dog Social Media

Let’s see the areas where aligning sales and marketing can have a tremendous impact on your company's growth. 

Working on a centralized platform

To facilitate collaboration and seamless communication between your marketing and sales teams, you need to use centralized tools that have the features they need to achieve certain goals. 

When it comes to promoting your content across the web, PitchBox is a good choice for a centralized work environment that your sales and marketing teams can use to manage campaigns and optimize each step for maximum impact. 

Source: https://pitchbox.com/

The tool allows your marketers to reach out to reputable websites and bloggers around the web for content marketing opportunities, all of which generate relevant contacts that your sales experts can use to continue the conversation and guide the leads towards conversion. 

Most importantly, though, a tool like PitchBox allows you to segment your team’s work so that everyone can focus on their tasks, but at the same time collaborate and communicate on projects with ease.

Lead generation as a joint effort

B2B lead generation usually entails a longer conversion window and buying cycle than in the B2C industries. A sad statistic says that a whopping 73% of MQLs are left untouched!

There are several reasons for the short life of marketing leads.

A marketing department often targets the wrong type of leads that don’t fit with the product their company sells.

Source: Demio

Selling ice to Eskimos doesn’t work, right?

Marketing specialists can also make these mistakes when creating lead generation content:

  • A wrong understanding of a customer profile
  • A poor understanding of customer’s jobs to be done
  • Not identifying correctly customer pains and challenges

So instead of reaching the wrong audience and wasting effort on nurturing leads that won’t convert, this is the time to have a more extended conversation with a sales department that knows customers the best.

Perhaps your target demographic would respond positively to SMS marketing and other more traditional forms of outreach, or maybe they only respond to digital marketing material. You will be able to generate qualified leads only by knowing what works for your audience.

To start generating better quality leads, your marketing department should sit together and work on the Strategyzer Canva to understand their target customer better.

Source: Strategyzer

A bit of brainstorming will help define the audience that has a good fit for your business and create better marketing communication.

A sales team should be able to communicate to a marketing team what their lead qualification criteria are, what it takes for a lead to become a sales opportunity, and define together when marketing should pass leads to sales.

Making these aspects clear will help streamline marketing and sales automation for a maximum impact.

Creating sales enablement content

The majority of content created by a marketing department goes unused – a whacking 80%. One can seriously think about marketing efficiency in an organization and whether it makes sense to keep marketers’ roles in place.

Instead of writing articles or recording videos no one wants to watch, you can leverage various tools like webinars for product marketing and sales enablement in order to gain a deeper insight into what drives the modern consumer.

Coming from a software development industry, our sales and marketing teams have identified case studies as highly converting content. For a B2B sector, where trust plays the most crucial role, case studies can easily convert visitors into sales calls without exposing them to 10 top of the funnel articles beforehand.

Take a look at how a software development company, Netguru, brought their case studies to the main page as this content tends to be highly converting for the tech industry.

Source: Netguru

Having worked with several content teams, I have seen some curating content based on topic ideas from Google search or just a gut feeling. They later realized their content topics were a wrong choice as they did not resonate with their customers. This fact usually resulted in a high bounce rate of blog content.

Instead of speculating on what customers would love to read, they should have a casual conversation with sales to find out about clients’ frequently asked questions and tailor content topics to answer these questions.

Alex Birkett, Growth Marketer at HubSpot and Co-Founder at Omniscient Digital, says this type of sales-inspired content can also be your secret weapon for driving growth via content. 

“We typically interview sales as well as customer support staff when we begin working with clients,” Birkett says. “These insights, combined with voice of customer research, help us produce content that hits on the biggest pain points of users. If we can align this to a keyword or a distribution channel, then it’s typically going to be very high converting content,” says Alex Birkett.

Analyzing customer insights

Sharing customer insights can help tailor better marketing communications. After all, where better to get information on your sales than from those who made the purchases. 

While there are many tools you can use to analyze customer insights and data, you can follow online portals for reviews and advice on the best tools in order to get the latest updates on the technology you need. This will allow you to invest in the best tools for your sales and marketing teams.

In this case, you can get the right tool to collect and analyze customer insights.

There are a number of great tools you can use to help you with this, including: 

  • Google Trends
  • YouTube Analytics
  • Social Mention
  • Klout
  • And more

In order to successfully analyze customer insights, you’ll need to come up with a customer insight strategy which will allow you to generate data-driven reports and actionable insights for your sales and marketing teams. To do this, you will need to analyze:

The why - What are your main business objectives and priorities over the short, mid, and long term?

The when - Working out your timeframe for gathering data, analyzing data, communicating findings to stakeholders and mapping out key actions. 

The limitations - What are the main limitations of the project.

Let’s explore how sales can share their customer insights with marketing.

1) Record and share sales calls

Sales can share recorded conversations with their customers or even invite marketing to attend those calls. 

2) Share access to CRM with notes

Marketing and sales teams usually use different tools to store leads. By getting access to the sales CRM, marketing can read call notes that sales reps make after each call. If they are using tools such as live chat or chatbots, it’s easy to access collected information by going through the conversation history.

3) Hold ad hoc meetings

Get the two teams to meet together to discuss the challenges and pains their customers face. While a marketing team can help organize a framework for such a workshop, sales can contribute to insights. Both can start a discussion and write down key findings.

Social listening for sales and marketing

Your marketing and sales teams can use social listening to reach leads that are currently considering buying products.

First things first – let’s define what social listening means in the context of cooperation between the two teams and how it can help you take marketing project management forward as a whole.

Social listening is the process of crawling the World Wide Web for mentions about your company or product. Social listening can also be used to reach users who ask questions related to the challenges your product helps solve. As a result, with the right nurturing, these leads can become clients.

As 80% of all B2B leads are using social media, social listening can become a powerful tool for both marketing and sales to generate and convert hot leads that are talking about your product.

Here are some steps to help your sales and marketing teams use social listening:

1) Identify keywords and sales-related conversations

Your marketing team can think of the keywords your customer persona can type about your product. Buyer intent is essential – clients that use the keywords closely related to sales convert better than those asking about more generic terms.

Both teams can also brainstorm some keywords related to the challenges or pains of your potential customers and make a plan of how to interact with users who use keywords in their social media posts. 

This will also help you create a better social media calendar that will allow your marketing and sales experts to address the pain-points and solve concrete issues for your customers . Your marketing team can work on nurturing these leads before passing them to sales.

A great example would be a tool like Text Optimizer in the image below, uses semantic analysis to help you optimize your content for search intent.

2) Keep an eye on the competition

People ask about alternatives to your competitors’ products. Social listening tools can help you identify who is in the process of considering a purchase. By getting your sales to respond to these inquiries quickly can help generate a sales qualified lead right away.

3) Generate more customer insights

By analyzing questions with social listening tools, both sales and marketing teams can learn more about what customers are searching for and what they don’t like about your competitors. These insights will also help you identify the key movers in your industry and allow you to become a better influencer to inspire and incentivize more sales.

Communication strategies and tools

Once sales and marketing teams have agreed to cooperate, they can prepare a plan for regular meetings and catch-ups to monitor progress, talk about challenges, and share ideas.

Your team can create their communication framework and even get advice from serial entrepreneurs on how to best market to your customers. However, you can always suggest using proven practices of bi-weekly and quarterly meetings or online calls. In both cases, you facilitate this process by offering your teams the right communication tools. Let’s explore those!

Bi-weekly calls

During these calls, the teams share their recent achievements and progress with their tasks. Sales can talk more about their A/B tests with outbound and new clients they acquired.

Marketing can share some information about the new testimonials they received from their current clients and pending content campaigns.

Both can talk about how they can help each other better and resolve sales and marketing challenges together.

What tools can you use for bi-weekly sales and marketing calls?

  • Online communication tools: Slack, Google Hangouts
  • Live streaming tools: Zoom, Google Meet, or Whereby
  • Online collaboration tools: Miro, LucidChart, Strategyzer

Quarterly meetings

These meetings are more strategic than catch-ups, where teams talk about more operational aspects.

During quarterly meetings, you wrap up your success for the last quarter and reap the fruit of sales and marketing alignment.

The teams can share information about lead generation activities and how they helped generate more sales qualified leads, opportunities, and closed deals.

Sales can deliver a bit more context about the quality of leads, and you can work out a plan on things to improve.

Both teams can also plan for new campaigns they can perform together, and talk about the tools they can use to elevate your customer service experience in the long run as well. For example, organizing a meetup for potential leads or webinar promotion.

What tools can you use for quarterly catch-ups? 

  • Tools for retrospectives: Funretro
  • Reporting tools: Databox, Searchmetrics.

Workshops

Apart from regular, pre-planned meetings, you can agree to meet for ad hoc workshops if you notice a need to discuss some topics in depth. 

When starting with the idea of alignment between the teams, you can consider organizing workshops to discuss the definition of a perfect lead, customer avatar, or the process of passing leads from marketing to sales.

What tools can you use for workshops?

  • Presentation tools: Prezi
    Collaboration tools: Trello, Asana
  • Survey tools: Typeform, SurveyAnyplace, Google Forms
  • Engagement tools: Slido
  • Webinar tools: WebinarJam, Demio

Action plan

1. Sign a service-level agreement (SLA) and follow it

Get marketing and sales to agree on the framework of cooperation and reporting on achieving the goals they set together, called SLA.

2. Arrange bi-weekly and quarterly calls

Keep both parties accountable for regular calls. Schedule bi-weekly calls in your sales and marketing calendars. Let sales and marketing define their challenges together and understand the way to overcome them.

3. Arrange ad hoc workshops

Go for an ad hoc workshop to let marketing and sales resolve challenges connected with B2B lead generation, product positioning, lead nurturing, etc. Leave space for education, debate, and discussion.

4.  Set up common goals together

Encourage your teams to avoid using phrases such as “we will ask sales/marketing” and “they, them, their”. Work as one team and make sure silos no longer define how marketing is related to sales.

5. Use the right tools

Support your team with the tools they both want to use. Facilitate their work with team collaboration, communication, or drafting tools.

Wrapping up

Close cooperation between sales and marketing can have a real impact on your business bottom line. By implementing the plan and letting sales and marketing agree on their common goals, you set up a solid base for their alignment. 

Sales and marketing can work together to generate better leads and convert more MQLs into SQLs, share customer insights, create and use better content together, and support each other on their way to achieving common goals.


A complete guideabout display ads for digital marketers

A complete guideabout display ads for digital marketers

Digital advertising is now becoming a critical component of current marketing tactics, and it should be a part of yours as well. Whether your company is B2B or B2C, properly integrating digital advertisements will help you build your digital presence and, as a result, nurture more conversions and sales. Digital advertisements provide your firm with greater visibility than ever before, allowing you to reach a considerably larger audience. Every visual ad that anyone views while surfing the web or scrolling through the smartphone app of a social networking site has passed through a lengthy design process, original refining, audience targeting, and/or automated ad exchange bidding just to get in front of their eyes. When text-based ads aren't enough to convey your marketing message, consider using display advertising. Whether you're marketing a seasonal sale or collecting signups, display advertising allows you to swiftly share data with your core demographic. Display advertising may also be a fantastic complement to your content if you're proactive and selective about your marketing campaigns and who you collaborate with for display advertising.

By 2022, digital ad spending is predicted to exceed $225 million as more enterprises turn to digital advertising as a cost-effective way to attract new customers, raise brand awareness, and increase profits. 

But what are display ads? Why is it so beneficial? 

If you are looking for the answers to the above questions, then this blog is for you.

In this blog, you will find an in-depth guide to display ads! So, let's get started! 

But, firstly,

Display advertising: what & why?

A means of enticing the audience of a website, social media site, or other digital medium to execute a certain action is display advertising. These are usually text-based, image-based, or video advertisements that encourage users to visit a landing page and take measures. The majority of display and online advertising campaigns are priced per click (PPC). That is, you will be charged an additional amount on your total bid price every time a user on a search engine clicks on your ad. Marketers employ display advertisements to promote brand recognition, specific items, promotional deals, applications, information, and services along the buyer's journey. Static, animated, or video-based graphics are all options. 

Moving on, let's check!

When Should You Use Display Ads?

A few of the reasons for using display ads are:

  • You can convince consumers to visit a landing page with PPC advertisements, effectively raising brand recognition and, perhaps, persuading them to take the next step. These ads assist target people who are most relevant to the organisation and boost your digital presence when they are put on the right platforms. Finally, these adverts provide valuable information and facilitate retargeting.
  • Developing a brand and ensuring top-of-mind recognition.
  • As it works for hand in hand to push people to become your client, display advertising is the acceptable alternative to any digital marketing approach. Take display advertising and PPC advertising together: people who conduct a search relevant to a display ad see a 59 percent increase in conversions.
  • Providing a lead magnet to generate leads.
  • We believe that consumers need to see information about an organization 10 times prior to taking any action to discover more. While they're online, display advertising allows you to get your company's name – and logo – next to them.
  • Using retargeting to re-engage abandoned users/customers.
  • You are no longer limited by a user's chosen form of social media or email provider while using display advertising. In essence, your brand may reach customers wherever they are seeking for goods, activities, news, or suggestions on the internet. Furthermore, the Google Display Network alone has the ability to reach up to 92 percent of all internet users worldwide. With display advertising, you're better likely to reach more customers than practically any other online or offline format, whether you're utilising Google or another demand-side platform.
  • The most effective marketing methods reach individuals regardless of where they spend their time online. Many marketing techniques are centered on a single channel — Facebook ads are on Facebook, paid search ads are on search engines, and so on. Display advertising, on the other hand, can reach individuals on their mobile devices, on nearly any website they visit, and on social media. 
  • Taking leads through the buyer journey and nurturing them.

Types of display ads!

There are numerous sorts of display advertising, which we'll go over in more detail below. The ideal type for you is determined by the channel or platform you use for your adverts.

  • Google display ads - Advertisements that are run through Google's AdWords network are referred to as Google display advertising. The Google AdWords package comprises over 650,000 apps and 2 million websites.
  • Mobile display ads - Ads that display on mobile devices are referred to as mobile display advertising. Although smartphones are the most well-known mobile device, advertisers also develop ads for tablets, iPods, eReaders, and many more. 
  • Banner ads - Banner ads are straightforward general awareness adverts that you may use to promote your brand and familiarise visitors with your company.

As you have seen, the types and benefits of display ads. Now, it's time to discuss,

Top tips for successful display ads!

There are several factors to consider in addition to making display advertising successful for your company. The following are the most crucial components of a successful display ad campaign. So, have a look!

  • Use rich visuals - Display advertising incorporating rich media elements, such as video, music, or other creative aspects, encourages visitors to engage with and communicate with your adverts. Rich media is an excellent approach to make your commercials stand out because it has been proved to capture viewer attention. Rich media advertising had a higher level of interaction (16.2%) than static banners, according to eMarketer research. 
  • Optimize campaign as per mobile devices - It has to be a focus to optimize and personalize display advertising for mobile. Successful display campaigns are designed to function across platforms and are timed to capitalize on shifting consumer behaviors. For example, increasing weekends mobile ad spend. In addition to developing for mobile, marketers should not be afraid to employ the same strategies, methods, and technologies that they would for desktop. Successful display campaigns are mobile-friendly and incorporate interesting aspects just like their desktop equivalents.
  • Create a landing page - Any digital marketing campaign's primary purpose is to produce leads and sales. Make sure that you hire best web development company so that landing pages you're referring to areas are well-thought-out and optimized, in addition to an attention-grabbing display that motivates viewers to take action. Give your display ad a visual and informational connection, so they feel like they've landed in a comfortable area and have a cause to stay on your website and check around. 
  • Test your ads campaign - The significance of ads measurement cannot be overstated. You can find, optimize, and serve the most successful ads to your target audience by A/B testing alternative ad styles. CTAs, pictures, and ad copy can all be A/B tested, but only one element should be tested for each A/B test. It's critical to set aside time during your campaign to assess whether your efforts are paying off. Make sure you have useful and appropriate in place from the start of your campaigns, as well as KPIs to measure against. Views, reach, click-through rate and conversion rate are among them. 

Conclusion

While many advertisers believe display advertising is no more successful, they can still help you achieve your objectives. Indeed, when used in conjunction with other marketing endeavors, it has the potential to improve the effectiveness of such activities. When it comes to accomplishing clients online and increasing brand awareness, using display ads for your business is a requirement. You can utilize display advertising to improve your business and turn more online surfers into consumers if you have the correct marketing strategy in place. 


Top Ways to Improve Your Website's User Experience

Top Ways to Improve Your Website's User Experience

When watching a movie, you expect to be taken on a journey—one that's filled with emotion and even inspiration. It's safe to assume one of the primary goals movie producers have is to get viewers to enjoy the movie and watch it in its entirety.

When you think about it, the above bears a striking resemblance to what you want to happen when you create your website—you want people to enjoy their stay, have an easy and seamless experience so they will stay on your site longer. 

Nowadays, your website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have access to. Just like a robust SEO keyword strategy, how your website is designed can make a world of difference in your digital marketing efforts. 

When you design your website, you need to consider user-friendliness and how all the essential elements come together in the visitors' eyes. Various elements play into your website's overall feel, and all of those parts impact user experience (UX).

A whopping 88% of consumers indicate they have had a negative mobile experience on websites. Another 30% revealed they wouldn't revisit a site after a bad user experience. Undeniably, user experience has a massive impact on the success of your website (or even your brick-and-mortar store). That said, you must get this one right the first time. 

User Experience in a Nutshell

According to usability.gov, user experience (also known as UX) "focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project."

In essence, user experience revolves around how you can make the experience of your visitors as valuable and as meaningful as possible. A good user experience means:

  • Visitors visited your site
  • They scrolled through the different pages
  • They had a clear understanding of what your website is all about
  • They got what they were looking for and wanted

Factors That Can Impact User Experience

Several factors can influence user experience. These key factors can also make or break your business. The key factors are:

  • Value. Does your product, service, or content make the time visitors spend on your website worthwhile?
  • Usability. Is your website straightforward to use?
  • Usefulness. Does your site satisfy the requirements of your visitors?
  • Desirability. Does your brand strike an emotional chord with your visitors and users?
  • Findability. Is your website easy to navigate?
  • Accessibility. Can people with disabilities easily access your website?
  • Credibility. Does your identity, content, service, or brand build trust and belief?

How to Improve Your Website's User Experience: Top Tips

To provide your visitors with a compelling user experience, keep the following top tips in mind:

Tip #01: Use white space accordingly.

White space is crucial to great design. When used correctly, white space can make your site's content more legible. At the same time, it also enables visitors to focus on the necessary elements that surround the text.

Some studies indicate that white space around titles and texts can increase user attention by 20%. It can also make your site feel fresh, open, and modern. If white space is consistent with your branding, it can help you convey your message more clearly.

Tip #02: Ensure your page speed is optimized.

If your site takes forever to load, your visitors can get frustrated and leave. It is also important to keep in mind that many people now visit your content through various platforms. Not only that, they also expect to access any results they want fast.

When visitors don't get what they want or don't find what they are looking for right away, they can leave your site for good. One study indicated that an extra five-second page load time could increase your site's bounce rate by as much as 20%!

Compressing your images before loading them on your site would be an excellent place to start if you want to boost your page speed. This might not be common knowledge, but the image file size is one of the factors that can slow down loading time significantly.  

Tip #03: Use compelling calls to action.

It's safe to assume most of your site visitors are already well-versed when it comes to following visual cues that point them to important content. Call to action (CTA) marked with an action word enables them to navigate your site more easily.

When creating buttons for your website, it is recommended that you factor in the psychology of color. It is also important to keep in mind that different colors can evoke different emotions.

That said, consider the emotion you want to evoke and choose your colors accordingly. Another critical factor you need to consider is the words you use for your call to action buttons.

As a general rule of thumb, pick words that include an action word that can entice your visitors to do what you want. Ensure the words are action-oriented, time-sensitive, and bold.

Tip #04: Include well-written and well-designed headings.

Your headings and content should focus on what your potential visitors are looking for. Integrating keywords in your titles is also crucial if you want to target and attract the right audience.

Typically, search engines give more weight to headings over other content, so create your headings accordingly to improve your searchability. In addition, the right content will also resonate with your audience and will speak to them effectively.

Tip #05: Keep everything consistent.

To keep things consistent, make sure your colors, font choices, spacing, illustration styles, heading sizes, button styles, space, photo choices, etc., should be themed to ensure your design is coherent among all the pages.

Also, refrain from making drastic design changes so visitors won't get confused and wonder if they are still on the same site. If your site is inconsistent, visitors can also lose trust in your site and leave.

Tips #06: Be mindful of your 404s.

While search engines won't punish your site for soft 404 errors (page not found), most visitors will. When visitors click on an image or link, they expect the link to take them to where they want to go.

It is important to remember that 404 errors will annoy your visitors and make them rethink the time they will spend on your website. Often, they would rather move someplace else to find what they are looking for.

Check if you have 404s by setting up Google Webmaster tools on your site and allowing it to check crawl errors. You can also use free online 404 checkers so you can spot 404 errors with ease.

Final Thought

Compelling UX design should be a cohesive effort that will simplify the experience of your web visitors and provide value to them. Your site's design should be contemporary, functional, and relevant to your audience, leaving nothing in the way.

About the Author

Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of SEOPhoenix.net. Shawn started his career in I.T. troubleshooting workstations, servers and networks, then went on to doing SEO as a side project and quickly found success in ranking websites. It was easy for him to grasp not only the algorithms but also the technical side which most SEO strategists miss and neglect because of its complexities. SEO Phoenix then grew based on its own rankings and referrals.


How Can a Digital Marketing Agency Help Small Businesses?

How Can a Digital Marketing Agency Help Small Businesses?

How visible is your brand online?  About 60% of all shopping experiences begin online. So, amplifying an online presence should be one of the top priorities for any business in today's eCommerce-driven world. Sustained digital marketing campaigns are the only way to keep your brand on the radar of your target audience. But as a small business owner, you may not have the time and skills to run effective digital marketing.  Engaging a digital marketing agency is the best way to achieve your goals. These are professionals conversant with different online tools, platforms, and tactics to reach your target audiences. How can a digital marketing agency help your small business?

Establish and Boost Your Brand's Online Presence 

The basics of an online presence include: a professional website with a business email, social media handles for major platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube), and be discoverable on Google My Business. 

The first step for a digital marketing agency like  Brew Interactive Digital Marketing Agency is to assess your online presence.  If you don't have an online presence or have a poor presence,  Brew Interactive will start building important accounts from scratch. If you have configured them poorly, the agency will optimize them to meet your audience's expectations. 

Brew digital marketing agency also does a client profile to establish your client profile. For example, who is your average client? What do they do, and where do they live?  Where do they spend the majority of their time online? What purchases do they make? What are their favorite social media channels? The agency can craft an optimized digital marketing agency to build up your online presence fast with answers to such questions. 

Create Engaging Content 

Establishing an online presence is not enough. You must engage your audience with fresh, informative, and relevant content in a format they prefer.  High-quality content helps establish your brand's authority in what you are doing. It also helps spark conversations with questions, answers, comments,  compliments, likes, and shares.  

Brew digital marketing agency can help create content that resonates with your audience after studying what they consume and how they consume it. For example, do short or long videos get more views? What kind of social media posts get the most engagement? What kind of content gets the most downloads? These insights help create highly targeted content.

Brew interactive will also create content in different formats for different platforms. For example, your content on Facebook is different from what you post on  Twitter, even while passing the same message.  It ensures the higher success of your audience staying engaged long enough to get the message. 

A digital marketing agency is very useful in promoting a positive brand image.  By crafting a good digital marketing strategy,  the agency can help create the image you want to portray to your audience. For example, if you sell teen sneakers, you want your brand to come out as youthful.  Brew interactive can help create content that appeals to different target segments. 

Boost Search Engine Rankings 

A large percentage of internet experiences start on search engines, with Google controlling more than 90% of the traffic.  Your website must be visible by search engine crawlers to appear on search engine results when people search for goods or products in your line of business.

Brew Interactive digital marketing can do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to raise your website's rankings on search results.  It is important to appear on the first page and preferably in the first five listings because search engine users are unlikely to go beyond page one.

Today Google's algorithms rank websites using different on-page metrics. But they place more weight on mobile responsiveness,  user experience,  navigation, loading speeds, and high-quality content.  Google also looks at the site's authority by the kind of backlinks it gets from other sites.

A digital marketing agency performs both on-page and off-page optimization to make your website highly attractive to Google's crawlers and raise your search engine rankings. They also track Google's changes in algorithms to adjust optimization accordingly.  It prevents losing your rankings as algorithms evolve.

Monitor and Track  Digital Marketing 

Many small businesses have a challenge assessing the extent of success of their digital marketing campaigns. For example, are infographics getting more clicks than videos? What paid social media posts got the highest clicks?  Are paid ads on Google seeing more clicks than paid ads on Facebook?  You need answers to such kinds of questions to see what is working and what is not.  

Brew digital marketing agency can help gain deep insights into your digital marketing campaigns. You can then optimize your campaigns for the highest return on investment. A digital marketing agency can use a wider range of analytics tools that provide better and actionable insights.

A digital marketing agency can be very useful to a small business in establishing and amplifying an online presence.  They have the time and skills to create workable digital marketing strategies and campaigns for sustained audience growth, engagement, and long-term business growth. 


Community-Based Marketing and How It Can Help Your Biz

Community-Based Marketing and How It Can Help Your Biz

Recent global events have created a quandary for many business owners who combine a sticks and bricks location with a website. Making sure that your clients are all satisfied requires a much longer reach than just confirming with the folks who come in the door. You also have to stay on top of your virtual community connections.

What is Community-Based Marketing?

Community-based marketing is a way to grow your client connections organically. It rides on good reviews from customers, on word-of-mouth testimonials, and on positive reviews over time.

Growing a community-based marketing system will take regular monitoring of

  • Google reviews
  • social media postings
  • comments left on your website

If you have a blog or post any YouTube videos about your products and services, you will need monitoring of these offerings to make sure that you have not attracted trolls who will damage your reputation as a means of entertaining themselves.

How Do I Get the Best Results?

If you are not in a position to hire a social media manager, you may want to sign on with a digital marketing agency that can monitor the comments and postings about your business. While these services can be purchased by hiring freelancers, you may well find that AdQuench Pricing options are a much better deal. In addition, you can enjoy the benefits of a deeper bench of staff members who can protect your reputation.

How Do I Connect With My Customers?

Positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals can go a long way toward building your business. Be sure to ask for a positive review every time you offer a service. Track these reviews and be ready to give a small discount or extra loyalty points when this person next makes a purchase. Be sure to offer it as a post-review gift, as opposed to a pre-review payout.

You can also offer coupons and discounts to returning customers for their loyalty. Another great way to organically grow your reach is to offer referral price breaks and free services. For example, you could send a customer a coupon for themselves and a friend. Track these discount offers, and when the friend makes a purchase, send a bigger coupon to the original customer.

Expand Your Marketing Footprint on the Ground

As we come out of the pandemic, it's also a good idea to expand your footprint in your geographic community. You can

  • sponsor a youth sports team and put your logo on a lot of little tee shirts
  • participate in a back-to-school drive or a holiday gift drive with a drop-off at your location
  • get tote bags and water bottles with your name and logo printed up and sponsor sip and shop events for adults
  • donate to "treat" or snack drives in support of hard-working medical professionals

By getting your name out there, you can let your former clients know that you're still in business. You can also support your fellow local business owners by joining them in community-building activities.

Ask For Expert Promotions

Make sure you connect with your clients to see what they're actually doing with your products. If you sell craft products, from yarn to fabric to paper, ask your clients for photos of their creations and get permission to post these images.

As this grows, look for bloggers who create with items that you have for sale and send them a sample of something you are featuring seasonally. Find out if they will promote your shop to their community. Ask for a fair review, and if they can't give you a positive review, find out why not so you can improve your product line or re-target your promotion.

This form of marketing will take a bit of time. However, the connections you make within your digital community can expand exponentially when something takes off. The right blogger can provide you with an army of marketers carrying their yarn in your tote bag.

Community-based marketing is not splashy. It doesn't take a big campaign or a new logo, so it can cost a lot less. It does take time and it will require you to build solid connections with those who can share the benefits of your products and services.


Designing A Perfectly Crafted Business Cards Online For Your Branding

Designing A Perfectly Crafted Business Cards Online For Your Branding

You will be amazed to know that business cards can fulfill multiple basic needs in your professional life. Right from advertising to the brand recognition, CTA and even contact information, a small printable card can cover it all. If designed in the right manner, these pocket-sized billboards will then leave behind lasting impression. They can further turn some strangers into your lifelong customers.

Holds the power well:

It is true to state that the business cards are small, printed and mostly available in the credit card sized paper. It will hold all your business details like name, logo of the brand, contact details and more. The card design is mainly a significant part of branding and will act out to be visual extension of the design of the brand.

There are some steps associated with the perfect business card designs. So, let’s get to learn a little about those points before you start!

Points to jot down before you start:

Whether you are a freelancer, part of bigger enterprise or the founder of a small startup, there are two major crucial designs associated with business cards. One is the finished logo and another one is using the brand color scheme. Make sure to mention these two points well before ordering for business cards online

  • The color scheme and logos will be two major choices for the branding.
  • These elements will not just play major part in the designing process of your business card, but will further help in influencing some of the other areas like the identity and layout.

Always know yourself first:

There is one initial step which will make the entire process of designing business cards super easy. You first have to jot down the points that you want to communicate. Understand the kind of brand you are, whether business or an individual. You must further know more about the information that you want to portray through your cards. Do you want the card to have some words or just run on designs?

This is one significant topic of discussion, before you proceed further with the business card design. Always remember that how you are going to design the card will actually help you to create a good or bad impression on your future clients. So, be very careful while designing a business card. Once it gets out to be printed, there is no turning back!

Make way for the shape too:

Finally decide on the shape of your business card before giving the green signal. Are you planning for the traditional rectangular card or just want to opt for some of the different shapes available. You can do anything with the shape and design of the card that you want, and let your creative show. With the printing techniques getting more affordable and advanced, experts have multiple rooms to explore some of the alternative shapes these days.

So, instead of asking experts to design the card for you, make sure to work on the creative side on your own. That will make your card even more personalized.


How To Improve Your Google Ads With Ad Extensions Matter

How To Improve Your Google Ads With Ad Extensions Matter

Ad extensions allow the advertisers to add more information to the Ads. Probably, every PPC advertiser knows this. But only a few use these extensions to get the most out of them. 

They are an essential snippet of extra information, which you can add to your campaigns to make them more effective. These extensions help you expand your advertisements to make them useful for the users. Mostly, they include a phone number, additional links from the website, seller address, and more. Also, some extensions are automated, which means the information gets automatically added to the ad.

If you want to improve your Google Ads performance in 2021 with Ad extensions, below is what you need to know-

Add Location Extensions To Your Ads

You can set up your business locations on your Google Ads in several ways. For example, you can add an address manually, connect your Google Ads account, or share a location Ad extension from other Google Ads campaigns.

When you are creating a new campaign, you can consider any of the first two options. However, if you are adding to an existing campaign, you will find two different sub-headings. The sub-heading option, ‘addresses from Google places’ is expanded by default. Thus, if you want to add an address manually, you need to collapse Google Places option and locate Manually Entered Addresses option.

The third way is to share the location Ad extensions between the campaigns. In order to choose an extension to share, click ‘New Extension’ and choose an existing extension. But make sure to do this only when it is relevant.

Product Extensions With Product Images

If you want to add a product extension, you should have a Google Merchant Center account. Once you link the two accounts, you will be able to manage the products via Google Merchant Center. While creating a new text Ad, you want to add product information. Here, the default option is to display all the products in the account.

It is a good choice as it allows Google to serve images and information about your products when a user searches. Another way is to create product listing Ads. It is a different Ad format that shows up with Google Ads in the search engine result.

Link Additional Pages within Your Website

According to PPCexpo, first you need to set up the site links. Though Google will show up six site links, it’s good to fill all the ten to present all the relevant options. Keep in mind that the most important functionality of the site links is that it provides the users with more options to click.

Enhanced Ad Site Links

These site links flesh out the existing Ad site links with descriptions under each link. These descriptions are taken from other Ads in the campaign. Google automatically enables the enhanced site links for advertisers if their website’s site links are already enabled.

Review extension:

Have you ever seen ads with stars or ratings? These are called review extensions? Review extensions increase the success of a campaign, making click-through-rate high. These are often used to get an exact review of the product or services offered by the companies or organizations.

Price extension:

Price is one of the major factors when looking for options to finalize the purchase. When someone sees your ad, there’s no assurance that they will click them and look for the pricing options. And, if your competitor's ad is just below your ad and they have mentioned the prices, the viewers will more likely click on it. So, make sure you are quoting the price.

Click Ad Extension

You can use call extensions in Google Ads in two ways, i.e., by putting the business phone number on the Ad and by enabling Google forwarding numbers. When you put your business number on the Ad, it allows you to display for the users on their mobile devices.

On the other hand, the enabling Google forwarding numbers don’t include your number. Instead, it shows a custom Google number setup that forwards you business number. One benefit of this option is, it provides the advertisers with more reporting data. Also, it allows the call extension to display for both mobile and desktop users.

Callout Extension:

These extensions let you include additional descriptive text in your general, standard text ads. You can include things related to your business, services, products, which will appear below your ad on the Google Search network. These extensions appear like site links; the only difference is that they are clickable. So, you can make them in the form of bullet points, snippets to encourage clicks. Furthermore, callout extensions are important because:

  • They are easy to implement and look like a simple text
  • These extensions need no links to secondary pages
  • They show details about your business, like unique offerings and other popular services
  • You don’t need to pay any additional money

Add Social Extensions 

If you have a verified Google Plus page, you can easily link it to the Google Ads campaign with the basic setup section. Google serves +1 button as a default option and enabling the social extension will link this button to your business page.

Social extensions don’t influence your Ads’ rankings though. However, if they result in a high click-through-rate for your Ads, it will increase the Ad’s quality score and ranking. Even if your brand is already active on Google Plus, you can connect it with Google Ads campaign.

Conclusion

This is where you can add Ad extensions to your Ads and improve their performance. Get creative with your Ads to stand out from the other advertisers on the market. Choose a relevant Ad extension to provide the audience with all the information. It is a proven tactic that can be used to get more clicks on your Ads and improve their quality score.  With this information, you can make your next Google Ads campaign a success in 2021 and can have more leads. 


Top trending coding language used this year for web development

Top trending coding language used this year for web development

If you're new to software development, the most difficult element of learning programming is figuring out where to start. Hundreds of programming languages are widely used, each with its own set of difficulties and quirks. The good news is that as you start your career as a software developer, you'll begin to figure out which programming language is best for you, your interests, and your professional objectives. 

Web development entails using a combination of frontend and backend languages by programmers and developers to create a fully functional website or web application. You'll learn about some of the most popular web programming languages here, as well as how to learn and practise them to become a professional Web Developer.

Programmers and developers may find it difficult to choose the right programming language or protocol for their professions or projects due to the ever-growing range of programming languages and protocols available and Visit Company Website for best html development services. Every programmer should ideally know a system-level language (C, Go, or C++), an object-oriented language (Java or Python), a functional programming language (Scala), and a sophisticated scripting language (Python and JavaScript).

Python

Nobody could have predicted that Python, which Guido van Rossum created as a side project in the 1990s, would one day become the most popular programming language. I rank Python as the top programming language overall, based on all well-recognized rankings and industry trends. Python, unlike Java or C/C++, has not experienced a dramatic growth in popularity. Python is also not a destabilising programming language. Python, on the other hand, has always prioritised developer experience and attempted to decrease the barrier to programming such that even elementary school students may create production-grade code. Python's unique selling point is its language design. It's incredibly productive, elegant, and simple, but it's also really powerful.

JavaScript

During the first browser war, Brendan Eich was tasked with creating a new programming language for Netscape's Browser. Brendan Eich built the first prototype in about ten days, and the rest is history. JavaScript was mocked by software engineers in its early days due to its poor language design and lack of functionality. JavaScript has evolved into a multi-paradigm, high-level, dynamic programming language throughout the years you can Visit company website best html web development. The first major breakthrough for JavaScript occurred in 2009, when Ryan Dahl published Node.js, a cross-platform JavaScript runtime that allowed JavaScript to run on the server side. Because of its widespread use across platforms and widespread adoption, JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages.

Java

Java is one of the most revolutionary programming languages ever created. Business applications were primarily built in C++ in the 1990s, which was a difficult and platform-dependent language. By providing a considerably easier, object-oriented, interpreted programming language that allows multi-threading programming, James Gosling and his Sun team lowered the barrier to producing business applications. Due to the emergence of alternative languages, particularly Python and JavaScript, Java has lost some of its market share to extremely developer-friendly newer languages. JVM is also not very Cloud friendly due to its large size. Oracle has increased JDK licencing rates, putting a dent in Java's popularity.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a type-inferred general-purpose programming language. It's built to be totally compatible with Java. Furthermore, Kotlin has offered capabilities that developers have requested since it was revealed as Android's first language. It blends object-oriented and functional programming concepts in a seamless manner. Android programming is made easier and more pleasurable by the seamless integration of Java with Kotlin and Visit company website best html web development. Several Java apps have been redone in Kotlin since it tackles the major concerns that have arisen in Java. Because of the robust tooling support, companies like Coursera and Pinterest have already switched to Kotlin.

TypeScript

TypeScript is an object-oriented language that was designed to improve the capabilities of JS. It is a superset of JavaScript. Developers will find it simple to construct and maintain code using this language. TypeScript provides a detailed description of each code component and can be used to create big programmes with a consistent syntax and fewer errors. It's also well-structured and simple to grasp. Its extensive toolkit speeds up application development. TypeScript is predicted to overtake JS in 2020 as a result of its advantages, making it one of the most sought-after programming languages in the future.

Go

Go is a relatively new system-level programming language with a small vocabulary and straightforward scoping restrictions. It combines the greatest features of functional and object-oriented programming. Go is the most popular language on Github, and it's designed to take the place of languages like Java and C++. 

According to a recent Stack Overflow poll, Go is the sixth most popular programming language among developers today. This is because Go addresses challenges in big distributed software systems such as sluggish compilation and execution. Go has become a crucial component of cloud infrastructure due to its speed advantage. If you want to work in a serverless environment.

Swift

Swift is an Apple-developed general-purpose compiled programming language with a simple and consistent syntax. Python and Ruby, which are quick, secure, and simple to learn, have had a big influence on it. Swift has superseded Objective-C as the primary language for Apple-related applications due to its versatility and practical uses. Furthermore, as Apple has promoted Swift, its popularity and community support have grown. In fact, according to an analysis of the top 110 apps in the app store, Swift is already used by 42 percent of them.

Swift Playgrounds allows coders with little or no expertise to learn the language, experiment with complex codes, and work on native iOS and macOS apps. Swift is the most popular coding language for creating iOS apps in a short amount of time. The programming language provides budding programmers with a number of options to break into the app development industry. There's a huge market for iOS apps out there, and you surely want to be a part of it. Swift is the language to master in 2020 if you want to break into this expanding business.

It's crucial not to get caught up in flashy trends or popularity competitions while picking which programming language to study. The top programming languages to learn in 2021 are expected to be the same as they were in 2017 and 2018, and this trend will likely continue for the next several years. Despite the fact that the area of computer programming is continuously changing, the languages we've explored so far have a lot of staying power and you can check out Best html web development. You'll be in great shape not only this year, but in the years to follow if you study one or more of these languages.

About The Author

Hermit Chawla is a Marketing Manager at AIS Technolabs which is Web design and Development Company, helping global businesses to grow by top responsive web design services. He loves to share his thoughts on Social Media Marketing Services and Game Design Development etc.

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