Basic Online Business

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Back when the internet was still in its infancy, having a simple website was enough to put a business ahead of its rivals. And a decade ago, a small business was said to be doing well if they had any form of online presence, plus perhaps some regular online followers. Fast forward to today, where there are now over 1 billion unique websites, and more being created every day. Business owners beware – having a basic site, or even one that was built in less than an hour, isn’t going to sustain your business online anymore if you want to see the continued growth and success of your business.

So here are four reasons why good web design is necessary:

The internet is the virtual facade to your business

A physical presence, or an actual store, was required to sell your goods and services before the internet came along. If you wouldn’t even consider selling out of a rundown, dirty, tatty shop front on Main Street, why is it any different online? You don’t get a second chance to make a first good impression, so make it count.

You will stand out from your competitors

Keeping costs down is important for a small business, and many other small businesses will try to cut their costs when it comes to developing their website. However, spending a little extra money up front to make sure your business website is faster, more user-friendly, and more attractive than the rest in your business niche will make a big difference when it comes to turning a dollar.

4 Reasons why Good Web Design is Essential to the Success of Your Business

It’s beneficial to your SEO strategy

Even with a good looking site, you will struggle if the site doesn’t show up when people search for it. With over 1 billion websites to choose from, you need to make sure that your website shows up on the first page of results when someone searches for a relevant term. Incorporating SEO into the design of your website will give your business a much higher chance of being found by customers.

You’ll see more visitors to your website

If you’ve hit points one through three perfectly – your website is well-designed, easy to use, and memorable – then users are more likely to come back and refer friends and family to it as well. This exposure is huge for your business. No matter who people heard about your website from or where they live, the fact that the Internet is global means that anybody can find your site and use or order your services.

A business doesn’t have an excuse for utilizing a poorly-designed website. A decade ago you would have had to rely on someone local for web design firm, with their only reviews being the ones you heard from neighbors and coworkers. With the worldwide expansion of the internet, your options are now endless in finding someone nearby who will design a flawless business website for you. And once you’ve developed a great website, you’ll start to see maximum return on your creative investment rather quickly.

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Breaking into the online market has become difficult and highly competitive, leaving many online businesses struggling to keep up with the evolving needs of their sites. E-commerce has to step up their game in order to give their website a fresh, new look, and stay updated with the mobile users as well. You cannot just throw up any website and expect to consistently grab new visitors or convert others into paying customers. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to work online without an expensive site. If you know what to look for, you can accomplish all of your needs with the help of a professional Las Vegas web design service.

Web design companies can specialize in multiple methods for creating extra commerce for your site, helping you create more sales and loyal customers. Do you know what other benefits a web design service in Las Vegas can give you? How can this service help you succeed?

You Will Appear Professional

It’s easy for an online browser to identify a website that has been professionally managed. People aren’t fooled by the cookie cutter websites that can be created in moments, and are usually looking for something more substantial, that signifies you are a professional business and not a hobbyist. In Las Vegas, you can hire Three Benefits of Hiring a Professional Las Vegas Web Design Servicea web design service to elevate your brands image and give your customers something that fulfills their expectations. In Las Vegas, web design services aren’t solely limited to the way a website looks; a professional is able to manage your entire responsive interaction with color schemes, logos, data and more. Not only will your site look professional and well managed, it will be easy to use by anyone who wants to access it.

Your Brand Will Gain Consistency

Professional web design services in Las Vegas can give you something that a freelance website designer can’t; consistency. If many people are working on different parts of your website, the idea can often appear jumbled, and leave your website looking mixed up. It’s hard for users to focus on a website like this, and they will often leave because they can be difficult to navigate. When you hire a Las Vegas web design service, your brand gains consistency, and it’s simpler for customers to remember you when they want to return your website.

You Can Integrate SEO

What makes SEO so important to your website? Search Engine Optimization allows search engines like Google to rank your website among its results when users search for something using keywords in the search box. The better organized and well managed your site is, the more SEO optimization your site will have. The less search optimization your site has, the harder it will be for customers to find your site online. Therefore, you can see, this is a vital part of your website design, something that any Las Vegas web design service surely understands.

As a result, using these tactics can help your site be found faster by users, become trusted by future clients and convert your visitors into paying customers. Professional website designers are trained and experienced; helping you compete in today’s online market has never been easier. Professional web designers can create the online presence you need in order to succeed where others are still trying to survive.

Do you need to overhaul your website to meet the demands of today’s online world? Contact Bjorn Wallman today for everything from design, SEO, mobile-friendly accessibility, and more.

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It’s Facebook, everybody does it. But not all do it for business. As a form of the latest social media marketing platform Facebook has been used by various businesses to create a name for themselves in the social media market. Here are top tips that will help with Facebook marketing.

WordPress is the top choice of a large number of media managers who desire to set up a website, due to the many advantages that can come from using the platform.

Due to the many advantages that can come from using WordPress ‘free blog hosting, many media managers are turning to the popular platform to create entire websites. However, the free blogging platform is now being used as something more; a content management software. However, what are the advantages? In this article, we will outline all of the positive features and negative points to building a website using WordPress.

After reading, you will be able to decide if using WordPress to build your site is feasible, or if it would be recommended to use another method.

Here are some of the great benefits of using WordPress to create your websites:

SimpleWordPress is easy to learn. Even if you’ve never used it before, as a Webmaster, you will spend very little time figuring out the dashboard, enabling you to get to work quickly. The system is easy to install and you can begin editing site content right away. With this platform, you don’t need to be a seasoned programmer to get a decent setup.

Open SourceWordPress is an open source program, meaning that other programmers willingly share their code with other programmers, saving time and costs. When this code is already available, it can also reduce the number of errors when writing and editing code.

QuickOne of the biggest benefits to WordPress is the ease of installation for a hosting server. This way, you can begin working quickly.

SEO FriendlyWhile WordPress is not inherently built for SEO, it can be used with plugins that are capable of making up the difference. It’s easy to find recommended plugins online for optimizing your SEO and results.

User FriendlyBecause WordPress was created for use by the public, the interface is created so that it’s usable by anyone. You don’t need to be a technology professional to understand how to use WordPress; you just need to install it.

ExtrasOne of the unique things about WordPress is the ability to change it as your project changes. You can begin with your basic needs and change it as your business or site profile changes. You can also add and remove plugins and additional features as needed.

PriceWhat makes WordPress so valuable is it’s incredibly low cost. With all of the benefits listed above, it’s easy to see why WordPress maintains its current standing as the most popular blog and website platform.

However, what are some situations in which you would not want to use WordPress? Before you decide to install and begin on your WordPress journey, consider these tips:

WordPress can be wrong. Very wrong

It’s easy to build a WordPress website, but it’s not simple to build a good WordPress site. In addition, it can be difficult to find WordPress professionals that are also programmers. This is important because if you need to make a change to a plugin that is already written, you won’t have anyone who knows how to do it.

Copyright – While using WordPress can be great for first time webmasters or the less tech-savvy, being able to create your own, site from scratch with custom elements may be able to afford you better copyright protection. It’s true, the law does protect internet content to some extent, but it is a very difficult issue to navigate.

Speed – WordPress revolves around a community of developers, webmasters and programmers who all come together to build site templates and plugins for you to use. The trouble is that the more of these you use, the more your site tends to slow down. In addition, lots of generic code that is not necessary on each page already slows down many WordPress sites. The trouble with speed is that if your loading time is slow, your SEO ranking can suffer greatly.

Uniqueness – One issue with WordPress sites that can begin to peeve you over time is that many of the WordPress site templates look very similar. Regardless of the amount of times you tweak the individual settings, they all begin to feel a bit like they all are the same. The choice you have to make is whether you want to appear the same as other companies in your industry or not. Many larger companies are able to afford customized professional websites with in depth branding profiles created specifically for them and their products. If you don’t want to be confused with another brand, WordPress may not be the best choice for your site.

Control – The WordPress platform does occasionally need updates. The trouble is that the updates generally do nothing to benefit the user and benefit WordPress. Now, if your end-goal is the same as WordPress’ then you’re in luck, however, if you’re like many users, you may end up with updates that can harm your site rather than improve its functionality.

Updates – While we’re on the topic already, let’s talk about updates. While they can be detrimental to the site, at the same time, they’re required to close any security holes that might be present in the current system. With all of the different plugins you can get for your WordPress site, you may or may not know when you’re doing damage to your site. Long story short, the site is generally at the mercy of the programmer, and until it is repaired; your site will run sub-optimally.

Not Optimal for SEO – While WordPress does provide plugins so that you can include SEO functionality on your site, the level of depth that can be shown with these plugins is not likely to be enough for the search engines to classify your site correctly, or with enough relevance for your ranking to improve. Because of this, you will not be able to reach the same level of SEO performance that you can achieve with a customized and SEO optimized website.

Flexibility Issues – WordPress design was initially adopted for small amounts of content and websites that were not multimedia heavy. If you’re looking for a site that is more sophisticated or has more options for your visitors, like commerce site, you may want to look into hiring a specific web programmer. While possible, the inability to be flexible means these are costs you really don’t need to incur.

Open Source Structure – While it’s beneficial for programmers to be able to find and use code that’s already been written for public use, it’s also just as simple for hackers and cyber criminals to find the security holes in these same codes. For example, you might have a plugin that lets you send out a daily alert to your followers, but what you may really be doing is sending your entire email list of followers to the person who ‘hacked’ the plugin code.

In all, there are many advantages and disadvantages to using WordPress for you site management. In some cases, it can be hard to tell which road to take. Here are a few scenarios. If you:

Own a Small Business – If you have a limited budget and you’re not sure you can commit to any type of consistent online marketing, you might be a great fit for WordPress.

Quick Market Placement – One of the best advantages of using the platform is that its installation is fast and learning how to use it is simple. This means you can get started and get your website on the radar as soon as possible. It doesn’t require much pre-planning and many elements are simply drag and drop. However, after you’ve been on the market for a while, you may want to spend some money and upgrade your site to something more customized where you have more brand control.

If you are a new site: If you are considering building a new site for a company site you already own, building a custom, online representation of your company will give you better control over branding, and will help create optimal website content for search engines.

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Effective Web Design

Every business needs professionals to create visually stimulating websites. New companies without an established brand name especially need these imperative services to adapt strategies that gain followers and turn them into long-term customers. Online markets are extremely competitive, so standing out is not easy, and is impossible to do without old and new strategies alike. If you own a new business, consider the best reasons to customize an individual online marketing plan and optimize visitors’ experience.

New Business Online Reputation

The age of technology is booming so naturally many people are learning, shopping, and finding quality services online. If your company’s web pages are not on top in search engines results because of bad content or design, you might as well not have the website at all. Most online consumers associate high ranked pages with reliability and good reputation so a less than perfect website gives customers a bad impression. People that are dissatisfied with a page the first time are not likely coming back to see future improvements. The best way to solidify a positive reputation online is to rank in the first page on search engines.

Promote New Businesses With An Effective Web Design

Importance of Content Management

The fundamental of web design is that content is king. If visitors are not enticed by a website’s landing page content then they will leave almost immediately. The main objective of an online business is to create an environment to build a relevant customer base, introduce products and services properly, and increase sales. If content is outdated, repetitive, useless fluff, or simply not interesting, visitors will only drop by once and never recommend your brand to anyone. Essentially, new businesses get few opportunities to produce good quality content that will place high in search engines and make the sale before customers get the wrong impression.

Customized Online Marketing

It is not easy for businesses to choose which marketing strategies are best for them. With all the old and new methods to build an online brand, it is confusing to figure out which work effectively. Experts make a unique plan for an inviting landing page with valuable content. New companies especially need dynamic presentation to make a positive and lasting impression on customers. Using innovative web solutions, businesses have capabilities to receive feedback and track progress.

Progress Report Card

A new online business can benefit most with options to track progress, sales, and number of visitors. There are web services available that tell business owners how many visitors were on the company website, how many left without making a sale, and how long they stayed. These types of results help decide what changes to make in the future and how to increase appeal. Attracting more visitors is one thing but adding utilities to make the sale is another challenge. This is why many websites allow credit card payments with convenient ways to ask questions online. These features or lack thereof, reflect the brand’s reputation. Many customers have come to depend on Vivo Group for effective web solutions.

The business world is in a constant state of evolution and change. While this may be good news for consumers, it may also make it difficult for some companies. However, there are some small changes that may make a big difference to any company regardless of size or manpower. There are two different types of changes you may want to consider. The first being investing in internal changes such as PBX phone systems that may help your operation become more efficient. The second being external changes that your customers will see such as adjusting your marketing plan.

Work from the Outside In

Customers create foot traffic. Foot traffic keeps the doors open and the lights on for your company. The question is how do you create that traffic? Marketing is an area where larger companies may have a slight edge on the smaller counterparts. However, there are still things that smaller companies can do to help turn consumer curiosity into customer traffic.

Creating and maintaining a strong, professional online appearance is especially important in today’s society. While many forms of traditional media, such as newspapers have seen their numbers drop, social media continues to expand on an almost daily basis. Even Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Businessif the company owner chooses not to engage in social media during their personal time, it can be a crucial tool for business marketing.

If you have a staff large enough, you may want to give one person the responsibility to create, maintain and update your company’s social media information. It is also important to remind your employees that they are an extension of your company so you want them to reflect a positive company image on social media platforms.

Consider becoming a sponsor or at least a participant in community events. Social media sites as well as your own company website are a great way to reach the masses. However, to show your potential customers closer to home that you care, you may want to consider sponsoring or participating in community events. If your area hosts fairs and festivals you can become a vendor for these locations as well.

Remember to keep in mind that everybody’s marketing budget and abilities is going to be different. Become as visible as you can, but make sure to stay within your means so that you do not ultimately cut into your profits.

Update behind the Scenes 

While your workforce is interacting with current and potential customers, it may also be a good time to make some small changes behind the scenes as well. Look at your current operations and ask yourself, is there any way that we can run more efficiently? These changes could be as simple as rearranging the office. The answer to your question may also lead you to investing in equipment such as PBX phone systems that may enhance your customer’s call experience as well as make interoffice communication easier.

Whether you are going to create an online presence or update your office equipment to make things run more efficiently, small changes can make a big difference.

See Also : Biggest Challenges Facing New Businesses

Advocacy is becoming a useful marketing tool and more organisations are starting to run an advocate program. New online tools are emerging to get the best out of this technique; they can really turn your advocacy marketing into a strategy that pays. But advocacy is not just a powerful marketing tool; it’s also a great platform to launch market research.

What is Advocate Marketing

In a nutshell, advocate marketing describes running an advocate program – something that encourages and/ or rewards people for participating in marketing your product. It’s similar to the web concept of affiliate marketing.

There are three types of advocate:

  • Paid advocates are groups you pay money to to spread information. This can take the form of blogs, podcast sponsorship and similar appropriate channels.
  • Owned advocates are groups of people with a stake in the success of your product. This could be employees, suppliers, business partners etc.
  • The final type of advocate is the earned advocate. These are essentially satisfied people and organisations that want to engage with your brand.

For advocate marketing to be truly effective, earned advocates need to be signed up as quickly as possible and encouraged to continually engage with your organisation.

How Can Advocate Marketing Help Market Research

How Advocate Marketing Can Benefit Your Market ResearchAs market researchers, the group we are most interested in is the earned advocates. These represent people with a unique perspective on our company and our product. Earned advocates have already had a good experience with our company and in all likelihood are existing customers.
More importantly, they are signed up to an advocate program – that means they are keen to engage with the business in a constructive manner and guide future decision making. This instantly makes them a group of people to perform market research on.

What’s more, engaging our advocates in market research will benefit the advocate program by making them feel less like customers and more like partners.

What Type of Insights Can Be Gleaned from Advocates

As our earned advocates probably have a positive view of our products and services, they represent a research group which have a greater depth of knowledge about our business than a lay person. This makes them perfect for asking questions about specific features, ideas and tools in our product.

Our advocates are also groups of people with different levels of experience with our products and services. Fresh advocates will be able to represent the people with good first impressions of the product and can tell us what we are doing right when it comes to attracting new customers.

Long term advocates will be able tell us what we need to improve our product and guide how we develop it further.

Completing the Cycle

Our advocates can be encouraged to pass back information regarding responses to our marketing strategies which they participate in. That helps us close the feedback loop.

Granted, advocate programs are not for all organisations, but if the marketing team in your business run one, you should try and see how your market research can fit in. If not, you should at least find out why; it could be a powerful marketing and market research tool your business is missing out on.

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Desk Plants For The Office

Like many things in life – such as a cute cuddly kitten perhaps or your lover’s laugh – there are numerous wonders to elevate the mood during those rubbish moments that sometimes strike a happy disposition. The simple things can be antidotes to dreary days or miserable Mondays: your child’s smile, a marvellous melody.

Greenery is one thing that has been proven to boost your mood reminding us of the more simple and serene things in life. Remember those Biology lessons? These photosynthetic plants also allow you to breathe easier producing oxygen and taking in carbon dioxide. So why not adorn your office with some vegetation to counter the stress of deadlines?

Here are some exquisite desk plants, guaranteed to boost efficiency and create an aura of calm. The easy part is deciding to get one. The hard part is picking from such a stunning selection.

The Peace Lily

Peace lilies are visually-splendid and with a name like that, it’s obvious that they will bring a state of calm to the office. As a natural air indoor purifier, the peace lily is the perfect plant to combat stuffy office interiors.

To look after this plant, make sure to cut off any stalks once the flowers start to fade and wipe dust off the leaves with a damp cloth. Note that leaves start to shrivel in low humidity and turn brown in too much water. To tackle this problem, make sure to water well, avoiding soggy soil. Always keep the plant away from pets and children as Peace Lilies are poisonous.

Bamboo

bambooAdd a touch of Feng shui to the office with a bamboo plant: simple and surprisingly easy to look after. Simply grow in a vase filled with water and stones to support. Note that bamboo requires bright sunlight but direct sunlight can burn the leaves causing them to wither.

African Violet

The African violet requires a little more TLC. Only use water that has been kept out overnight and do not water the plant or the soil itself. Instead, water the bottom drip tray. The African Violet will add a splash of colour to your desk, brightening your mood whilst it’s at it.

Pothos

Pothos is the best candidate to remove formaldehyde, the cancer-inducing substance, from carpets and other furnishings. Well-suited to the office, it can survive low light intensities, low humidity and dry soil. Make sure to clip this plant regularly to keep it neat and tidy.

Spider Plant

Spider plants are popular desktop decorations because they are easy to care for even tolerating long terms of neglect (not that you will be neglecting your plants!) Always make sure to pot a spider plant correctly, using houseplant potting mediums and avoiding garden soil. Water spider plants with room temperature water and regularly trim the plant to keep it tidy.

Living Green Walls

Image above is provided by Ambius. Your office could even install a living green wall, to refresh a mundane office space.  Here, plants are grown vertically on free-standing structures or walls. Living green walls create a gorgeous natural feature in the office, improve air quality and provide many benefits such as reducing energy and noise levels. Not your typical wallpaper, eh? It can be very economical to have a living green wall.

Those were just a few of the plants you can dot around in the office. Reap the benefits of a cute and easy-to-care-for plant today!

Do you have any plants in the office? Share in the comments.

Technology

Whether it’s Facebook, laptops, or iPads, the world today is one utterly reliant on technology.  That’s why we thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the key types of tech in the world, and to imagine exactly what would happen to the global industry if they were to suddenly disappear.

Social media

Out of all the technologies on the web, this one is perhaps the easiest to answer.  After all, companies existed long before Google, Facebook and Twitter became legitimate marketing tools.  (As recently as 2004, in fact, the latter two simply didn’t exist.) Companies could survive without social media.  Though there are a few firms that have absolutely nailed this medium (all hail Old Spice and the Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign), a great many of them still rely on simply forwarding memes and doing their own mediocre version of whatever viral hit is doing the rounds.

Computers

This one largely comes down to the business, and whether or not it’s a blue-collar or white-collar one.  Is Trev, an electrician from inner city Birmingham, going to lose much sleep if he can’t access his e-mails?  Probably not.  But he might lose a lot of business from those that rely on theirs!  Even the retail sector – which has in some senses been destroyed by computers and the internet – would have to go back to old fashioned, calculator style tills and keeping their accounts by the book.  Whether or not the world would be a worse place as a result, though, is another matter.

Mobile phones

This is a more interesting point.  There is very little disputing the fact that mobile phones allow businesses to thrive in a way that they couldn’t have done before.  Employees are able to pick up customers all day, every day, and can easily access e-mails on the move.  However, if all mobile phones literally stopped working full-stop, and everyone had to go back to traditional landlines, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the world would actually be fine.  Sure, customers would only be able to get hold of people when they were actually in the office, but is that really such a bad thing? It’s not like the work wouldn’t get done!

File-sharing and cloud technology

The ability to ping a presentation across the globe in seconds is, undoubtedly, useful.  However, once again it’s hard to deny that if companies were suddenly forced to rely on snail mail (and the very fact it’s called that is a reflection on technology itself), the task at hand would still be completed.  There would undoubtedly be far fewer meetings (shame). There would be fewer Powerpoint presentations.  Travel time would go up.  But would a lack of cloud technology actually stop an accountant from finishing his accounts, or a copywriter completing that case study?  No.

TV

You could make a legitimate argument that without television, the consumer society as it exists today would be non-existent.  There certainly wouldn’t be any people out there who were famous for being famous.  The Only Way is Essex would be an idea that some guy had someday, before chiding himself for coming up with such a concept.  In a business sense, TV would only be a loss to the large chains.  After all, small shops can’t afford to pay for a TV advert; they’d have to rely on word of mouth.  Hilariously, if television was to suddenly disappear, Jenny’s bakery in Stoke would be less affected than Tesco.

Fortunately, technology seems to be sticking around.  That doesn’t mean, though, that it wouldn’t be intriguing to see the remnants of the business world if it suddenly disappeared!

See Also : Why Would IT Training Benefit My Business

If you collaborate with a team within a large business organization, you likely need to maintain constant communication throughout the day. This can be one of the best ways to make sure that a project gets done on time. Think about whether you may be able to get linked in to a business mail server soon. This is one of the most effective ways to maintain constant communication with your own team. They can often be customized and changes to help make sure that you are getting the right support that you need. Take a look at some of the services that can be integrated in to one of these packages for your business.

Communicate With Different Mediums

First and foremost, you should make sure that your business mail service offers a full range of different messaging styles. This is What Exactly IS A Business Mail Server And What Does It Dobecause the purpose of a business mail service is to increase communications between colleagues and partners. You will want to have as many different messaging tools that you can get. See if you can get an electronic mail service set up within your office sometime soon. This is often the most efficient way for a team to collaborate on large scale projects. It can also just help keep team members on track with what they working to complete.

Professional Business Messaging System

You might be wondering what sets these business mail servers apart from other messaging systems out there. The difference is that business mail servers are often fully dedicated to providing a professional messaging system that will support your projects. You won’t need to worry about spam messages infiltrating the way that your team collaborates together. Think about how you can use these anti-spam and anti-virus tools to keep your inbox free from clutter. This is often very appealing to managers and team members, who simply want to use their message system without distractions.

Top Security To Keep Your Projects Secret

These business mail servers are also very secure, which is likely appealing to people running projects out there. They won’t want to let any information slip out to competing organizations or teams. You can set up a business mail server that will be fully What Exactly IS A Business Mail Server And What Does It Dodedicated to the task at hand for your team. Messages and announcements will only be viewed on people who have been hand selected to join in on this business mail server. These messages will also not be copied and mailed out by a third party spam service. This can help give your team the confidence that it needs to communicate effectively about a project at all times of the day.

Finally, don’t forget that you can often get enhanced tech support when you set up one of these business mail servers for your office. These companies often host dedicated customer support centers to help answer questions about anything that may come up for your team. If you feel confused about how to communicate a message, you can contact this team at any time of the day. Think about how this could help your entire team stay on track as it heads towards its objective. You will have total professional support when you sign up for a business mail service.

 See Also : Reasons Your Direct Mail Is Failing