4 Tips to Boost Your Small Business Website in The Holiday Season


The holiday season provides an excellent opportunity for people to make sales and increase revenue. Customers are in the shopping mood and the average spending during this season is around $794 on gifts alone. The US retail industry generates around $3 trillion around this time.

If you want a piece of this pie, you need to make sure your website is optimized for it. Most of the holiday shoppers shop online or at least research online before they make a purchase in-store.

It is important to provide a great website experience to customers if you want to make sales. This article provides some tips on how to boost your small business website during the holiday season:


1. Amp up Website Performance


It isn’t uncommon for websites to become overwhelmed by the holiday rush. Many small business websites crash or experience similar problems during the holiday sale season. That’s why it is important to optimize your website as much as you can.

Don’t hesitate to splurge a little on this optimization as it can benefit you over a long time. Here are some factors you should look into:

Website Speed – Most visitors to your website will expect it to load in 3 to 4 seconds. According to Google, around 53% of your visitors will leave your website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Make sure your website is fast and every page loads quickly.

Mobile-Friendliness – More than half of the traffic comes from a mobile platform so it is important to make sure your website delivers a good mobile performance. Invest in a responsive website because it looks great on all devices, especially mobile. Mobile-friendliness is also a ranking factor.

Hosting Service – Low speeds and frequent website crashes are often caused by poor hosting service. Consider switching to a better hosting service and use a VPS instead of shared hosting for your website. That will ensure its performance remains smooth.

Website Structure – Make sure your website has great structure and is easy to navigate. Poor website structure doesn’t just affect user experience, but also your ranking.

Product Pages – All product pages should be optimized before sales or holiday season. Make sure you provide the most up-to-date content to your audiences. Add good-quality product images and rewrite product descriptions if you need to.

Checkout Process – Optimize the checkout process as much as you can. Remove any distraction that might disrupt the process to improve the conversion rates. 

The idea is to provide the smoothest user experience to your audience. A good website will help boost your reputation and will also help you rank higher on the search engine results pages.





2. Add a Holiday Theme to the Décor


When you post-holiday content, declare holiday sales, and provide related discounts, you create expectations. When your prospective customers some to a plain, regular website after following a Christmas ad, you defy that expectation and disrupt the shopping experience.

It is important to incorporate a holiday theme to your website during this season. It has an impact on your customer’s behavior and helps create a unique atmosphere. This is similar to decorating your brick and mortar store during the holidays.

Fortunately, the process isn’t difficult or expensive. You can just add a few holiday banners and festive décor to bring the spirit to your site. You can also include some holiday-related pictures to add the festive cheer to your site. In addition to optimizing your website, you can also add a holiday theme to your logo or add a snow-effect animation to the page.

You can easily find free templates, banners, animated banners, graphics, and other such decorative additions online.


3. Plan Holiday Content Well in Advance

Image Source - phillipllewellyn.com

Holiday content will help you become more visible on search engines. You can incorporate holiday-specific keywords into the content and start crawling up the ranks. It is a good idea to plan holiday content in advance because it takes some time to become visible on the first page of SERPs.

Content planning and execution don't require too much time and effort. You can make the content in advance and schedule it to become available to everyone during the holiday season. Here are some tips that can help:

~ Create some articles and blog posts that will help your prospective customers with their holiday shopping.

~ Research holiday keywords carefully to make sure you include the most effective ones in your content.

~ Utilize the power of User Generated Content by creating contests or reposting content by users that feature your brand.

~ Invest in different types of formats like infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. A great content strategy should always include different formats. They offer much better returns than regular content. For example, the video provides 66% more leads to marketers who use it.

When you have a good content marketing strategy in place, you can focus on other aspects of your business and let the existing campaign work its magic.


4. Start a Retargeting Campaign

The best way to run a successful ad campaign is to target people who already know you. Retargeting provides much better results compared to regular paid ads. These ads are shown to people who have already visited your website or have bought things from you in the past.

A good retargeting campaign will remind prospective customers or your presence. It will encourage them to visit your website again. Such campaigns benefit from special discount offers and sale announcements.

Customers will be tempted if a familiar brand offers a great discount. It is easy to set up this advertising strategy as all you need to do is add a retargeting pixel to your website. That will track visitors and help with the targeting process.

These tips can help you improve customer experience and become more visible. It is a good idea to implement some of these changes a few months before the holiday season is set to begin.

For example, you can optimize your website during the summer and plan for content before winter sets in. Advance planning will give you an edge over your competitors.

Author Bio: Derek Luise is working as a Jr. content writer and blogger with Ethane Technologies. He can be seen blogging about digital marketing, web design, SEO, SMO, PPC, etc.

5 Different Ways How to Improve Employee Engagement?


Since having an effective business is each business' fantasy, organizations accentuate worker commitment. With a draw in staff of representatives, you bring down your danger of turnover, help consumer loyalty, and increment your organization's general possibility of accomplishment. Discover how you get highly employee engagement listed below.

Employee engagement is the dimension of duty, energy, and unwaveringness a specialist has toward their work and friends. The more connected with a worker is the more work they will advance.

Picture two representatives: One comes into work 10 minutes early every day, is eager to be there, and continually thinks of and shares thoughts for enhancing activities. The other employee engagement is the opportunity to chip away at a time each day.

1.      Try not to Skip preparing

In the event that a worker does not have an idea about their obligations, they will not lock in. Rather, they will be confounded, baffled, and raced to make up for lost time, which prompts withdrawal.

Specialists who are anxious to meet their objectives are connecting with the organization. Onboarding and preparing new contracts are probably the most vital advances you can take to guarantee representatives are drawn in at work. One SHRM study detailed that 33% of new contracts left their occupations after just a half year.


2.      Establish your goals

To maintain a fruitful business, you require a marketable strategy with a rundown of objectives you need to achieve. To connect with workers, you have to include them in achieving business objectives.

You should set yearly, semi-yearly, quarterly, and month-to-month objectives so representatives have something to move in the direction of, achieving objectives is something that supports worker commitment.

3.      Recognize Employees

Representatives do not naturally progress toward becoming connected with when you give them more acclaim, much appreciated, or some other sort of affirmation. Nevertheless, workers can rapidly progress toward becoming withdrawn whether they have an inclination that they are undetectable.

Drawn in representatives have a feeling of solace capacity and goodwill with your business. Once more, it is essential for representatives to know their collaborators and create kinships with them. In any case, it is additionally critical to building up a relationship of regard and fellowship between boss and worker.


4.      Concentrate on employee development

There are numerous reasons work searchers apply for and acknowledge a position, similar to pay and advantages. Nevertheless, numerous specialists additionally need the chance to develop their vocation. One Gallup survey found that 87% of millennial (and 69% of non-millennial) see improvement as essential in their occupations.

Representatives need to build up their aptitudes and keep testing themselves. They would prefer not to do dull errands that require negligible exertion. Drawn in representatives continually utilize their brain and improve their abilities.

5.      Micromanage


Workers cannot connect within the event that they do not have opportunity in how to carry out their employment.  Micromanaging can be harming to your business. One business found that micromanaging brought about 68% of workers saying their spirit was a hose and 55% saying it prompted a decline in profitability. Lost spirit and efficiency prompts effectively withdrawn laborers.


How to Easily Create Your Logo with DesignEvo?


It is sometimes necessary to obtain a logo, whether for a project, a company or an association. Hiring a professional can be very expensive, and it usually takes a long time to get the logo you want. With DesignEvo, an intuitive and easy-to-use site, you can create your own logos yourself, without the help of anyone.

1. What is DesignEvo?

DesignEvo is a free online tool that allows everyone to create their own logo in minutes. Thanks to a huge library of already existing logos, you can modify to infinity, by varying texts, fonts, icons, shapes, colors, etc.

The software can also be downloaded to your computer (only on Mac for now), and a mobile version is also available (on iOS and Android).




2. Why choose DesignEvo to create a free logo online?

After a quick overview of what the competition offers, here are some of my strong points:


- The number of templates (more than 7,000), icons (over a million) and fonts (more than 100) available.

- The flexibility of use: everything is easily editable. The tools are very intuitive, and the principle of the layers makes it possible to manage the superimpositions.

- The mobile application version: in practice, you can create a logo that holds well in a few minutes from your smartphone. 


3. How to create a logo in DesignEvo



- Access DesignEvo’s website at www.designevo.com and click on the button “Make a Free Logo” to start the logo editor.

- Choose from 7000+ well-designed templates or start from scratch.

- Customize your logo with your own taste. Edit color, font, layout, and more with a drag-and-drop interface.

- Preview and download your logo.

You can download your logo for free or at a low cost.

4. Three offers from DesignEvo


Free version

You will get a low-resolution file limited to 500px in JPG and PNG format. However, you will have only a limited number of modifications and downloads of this logo.

The Basic version

There is no need to quote DesignEvo for this version, which stands at $24.99. You'll have access to JPG and PNG files in high resolutions, up to 5000px, and access to the transparent version of the logo in PNG to place anywhere.

You'll also have access to unlimited changes and downloads as well as a print-ready version of your logo. This version also gives you access to lifetime support.

The Plus version

The most exciting offer is obviously the PLUS ($49.99), which allows you to obtain the copyright on your logo, as well as the ability to modify your logo and download it at will.

You'll have access to JPG and PNG files in high resolutions, up to 5000px, and access to the transparent version of the logo in PNG to place anywhere. Two new vector formats are added, the PDF and SVG formats, which are perfect for printing.

Besides, you will have access to the font and will be able to download it. This version also gives you access to DesignEvo’s lifetime support.


Conclusion

Whether you are going to start a new project or rebrand your business, you will find solutions on DesignEvo. The use is intuitive and straightforward, allowing you to do the work yourself, without much difficulty.

5 Significant Tips for Content Marketing to Follow


Content marketing is an integral part of digital marketing. While it may sound easy to come up with articles to entertain people, in reality, it is not. You have to constantly come up with unique topics to attract your target market. And the research involved in finding the keywords to incorporate within the text is a difficult job in itself. 

Not to forget, the struggle one has to go through to match the keyword with the context of the topic. Many times, you have to fix in the keyword whether it goes with the topic or not. Being a content writer myself, I have had topics like ‘How to decorate a workstation.’ And the keyword that I was expected to use was Cox Internet plans. Well, this was an easy task. But there have been instances when I was expected to adjust the keyword ‘Best holiday destinations.’ The topic you ask?

‘How to diagnose and treat cancer.’ Ouch!

You get the point, right?

Anyway, here are some of the tips that will help you up your content marketing game:

You are Not Hemingway

A general misconception that people have regarding content writing is that it asks to be artsy. Actually, it does not. Well, generally it does not. But the scenario differs from audience to audience. According to the rule, you should try to keep the language as simple and understandable as possible. Keep sixth or seven graders in mind. This mind come across as a shocking piece of information to you, but it holds true. 

Your viewers do not have dictionaries by their sides to refer to whenever they come across a difficult word. Such phrases or words only annoy the reader. And you do not want your target audience to stop scrolling and exit from the website altogether. Hence, put the poet or writer in you to sleep. And keep things simple.

Storytelling is Not the Key!

People who think and make others believe that a content should always narrate a story are wrong. Many times, it is impossible to revolve a story around a certain topic. In fact, in some cases, storytelling makes the content worse than it would have been without it. At times, being straightforward with your blog posts is what garners customers for you. 

So, if storytelling is not your strong forte, do not worry. It is not always needed, anyway. And the hype that revolves around storytelling is a bit too much, to be honest. But this does not imply that you stop incorporating stories in your blog posts. Well, if you know how to engage your readers with interesting stories, go ahead.

Again, this varies from writer to writer.


Repurpose Your Content

This might come across as a new concept to you, but it is not. Repurposing simply means that you upgrade or make a couple of changes to your existing content. You then publish that content on your company’s social media pages. The purpose of this exercise is to reach out to more people who already weren’t by using different platforms. 

It is not possible to come up with fresh content every time. Therefore, you can always pick up your most ‘liked’ blog posts and repurpose them by one of the following two methods:

        Creating a lead magnet
        Publishing online videos

Apart from adding variety to your content, these techniques will give the previously published articles a fresh look.

State Facts

Coming up with a unique blog post is very good. But what makes it even better is the incorporation of facts and figures. In fact, if you write something and back it up with figures, people will take more interest in that piece of information. It will seem like a more believable thing to them. Hence, make it a practice to add facts and give the reference to the website you took it from.

Invite Guests

Invite guest bloggers to write for your website. Or else, you contribute an article to another website as a guest. This will help you to reach out to more people. If you publish guest posts, it will save you the time and effort to come up with a blog post. Apart from that, it will build up your credibility, as people will notice that a famous person has contributed to your website.


And if you contribute an article to some other website, it will help you to add more followers to your network. Apart from this, you can always try other methods to up your content marketing game. And for that one major tip is to keep a fresh mindset. 

For instance, you have to write on ‘6 best books to read’ and incorporate ‘Cox near me’ as a keyword. At first, it will seem a bit odd to you. But when you will think out of the box- thinking out of the box is the key here, you will come up with numerous creative ideas. 

Social Media Marketing: How can it help Small Businesses to Succeed?


When it comes to connecting to the prospective customers, social media marketing is a great tool for the small business owners. However, it depends on the execution strategy used. Hiring the best SMM provider panel is a good place for getting started. However, Social media can turn out to be a nightmare if you don’t do it right. Here are some ways through which Social Media Marketing can help your business.

1.       SMM is key in Helping to Get the Word Out        

The social media helps businesses to get noticed out there. Apart from providing you with much-needed exposure, social media marketing offers you an opportunity to build an audience.  Your social media fans and followers who know about your organization will more likely turn out to be business partners. 

For instance, if you have an active Instagram presence, you can easily convert your followers into customers. This is by letting them know how your business can better their livelihood. By just using SMM to get the word out there, you land yourself new followers.

2.       Social Media is Cost Effective Compared to Other Marketing Means

With a limited budget, a small business can be able to reach a wide audience. The other marketing methods are often unaffordable for small businesses. However, with a limited marketing budget and provided you are doing everything else right, it is the most effective way of advertising goods and services.

3.       Social Media Makes it Easier to Target the Right Customers     

Analytics make it possible for businesses to target a certain customer base. For instance, let's say you just want to drive clicks among young persons aged 20 -25. You can target them effectively compared to the other marketing approaches will broadcast to just all the audiences. This is not a very reliable advertising approach.

4.       Social Media Encourages Two Way Communication      

With SMM, you can instantly get a response from the customers. This lets the small business owners understand their customers better. This means that you get a one on one interaction opportunity. This fast feedback gives you appropriate time to respond to clients worries. 

Thus, you can get to learn clients taste and preferences while at the same time you are able to respond just as fast. Other approaches like cold calling or advertising on the TV require patience to get feedback and, in some instances, there is no feedback.

5.       SMM Allows Businesses Access to Analytics Data Hence Allows to Target Better

With the SMM, you get analytical data showing customers responses and also gives you data relating on who saw the advert and the action is taken. However, with other marketing approaches it is not easy seeing such information and so you are forced to make baseless conclusions in some instances. 

Through conducting an appropriate social media audit, you can understand the current social media following and learn the platform that gets you more customers. This information is useful in the future since you can determine where you need to improve.


The above benefits of social media marketing to a small business compel business owners to get started with social media marketing. when you are ready for social media marketing consider hiring a reputable SMM agency to increase the chances of achieving success.

5 Possible Consequences of a Data Breach

Image Source: Pixabay

Whatever your chosen industry, a data breach could have serious consequences, and this is something that every business owner should understand. There is confidential customer data which must always be protected and should your marketing strategies get into the wrong hands, this could seriously impede your progress. If you are a business owner, here are just a few of the potential consequences of a data breach.

1. Hacked Customer Information – 

Imagine what would happen if all of your customer details were hacked by someone? If this includes their financial records, there is a risk of serious fraud and as your company is responsible, this might lead to you having to face a lawsuit. Cybercriminals employ state of the art software that can hack into an unprotected database, yet by using cyber and network security services based in Sydney or wherever your business is located, you can ensure that all your confidential client data is protected at all times.

2. Loss of Trade Secrets – 

If your company invests a lot of time and money in research and development, those results are very valuable and should they fall into the wrong hands, this could seriously damage your company’s future. Every company that is at the cutting edge of design and manufacture is at risk of having their trade secrets hacked and most would employ a security consultant to ensure that this valuable data is protected from cyber-attack. There is some more detailed information about the potential consequences of a data breach, which highlights the reasons for employing security.


Image Source: Unsplash


3. Malicious Virus Attack – 

Not all unauthorized data hacks have the desired outcome – some are designed to simply destroy both hardware and the data it contains. If you were to be the victim of such an attack and did not have a backup of your data, you could lose everything. New viruses are released almost on a daily basis and without adequate protection, you are wide open to this sort of attack.

4. Going Offline – 

If your company website was hacked, you would have to take it offline, at least until the problem is resolved. This could easily lead to a loss in brand confidence, not to mention the risk of losing your customers to a competitor who has better online security. No business wants to experience an offline website and by taking adequate security precautions, your website is protected against any malicious attempts to breach it.

5. Losing Customer Confidence – 

Any organization that is the victim of hacking runs the risk of losing many customers, as people will not feel secure when doing business with a firm that does not protect their online data. This could have potentially disastrous consequences and for that reason, you really must enlist the help of a data protection company.

Image Source: Storyblocks

The mysterious world of digital networks carries many risks of data breach, which is why you should ensure that your data is fully protected. If you would like to talk to a security expert, all it takes is an online search to take the first step towards total data protection, which is essential for any online business.

E-Commerce Landing Page Hacks that should be Implemented Now

landing page hacks

Online advertisers are about transformations. It is the thing that keeps them in their employment, in this manner, any approach to build transformations is imperative. There is no better route for an online business to build permeability and change than utilizing the highlights of a web-based business presentation page format.

What is a Landing Page?

It is a site page that remains solitary far from the primary site and whose reason for existing is to promote or advertise some item or administration. It is utilized to get subtle elements of guests, for example, their email address in return of something that they may need or like. The presentation page may likewise elevate prompt deals to the guests relying upon what you offer them.

At the point when a searcher taps on an online advert or query output, they are conveyed to the landing page where they can leave their subtle elements and access the offer made to them. The points of interest gathered are leads for potential customers. You can utilize the data to showcase items later on and perhaps get deals.

12 of the Best ITSM Tools for 2019

best itsm tools

Every organization has to manage its information and data in an appropriate manner in order to conduct their operations and also to serve their customers efficiently.

In the case of providers of information technology services, this is all the more important and hence, those companies that offer these services aim to use the right ITSM tools that are otherwise known as the Internet Technology Service Management tools. With the help of these tools, these providers can easily carry out their activities that include designing, planning, delivering, and controlling their services. 

In short, these tools are useful for them in all their operations. Most importantly, companies that offer IT services can satisfy their customers perfectly with the help of these tools. 

Though there are a number of ITSM tools available, you, as the owner of an IT service providing company, should opt only for an appropriate software that suits your business. Let us have a look at some of the best IT Service Management tools of 2018-19.

1. Samanage


Thanks to its full compliance with the most recent framework pertaining to IT service management, Samanage offers robust support even to large providers of IT management services. Further, the tool has all the required features that can fulfill every need of providers of IT services. That is the reason it stands out among a plethora of available software. 

Customers who wish to use their self-service will also find its e-mail-integrated portal very much useful because they can get their issues resolved without the help of the customer service representatives. Providers who have opted to use this tool can use its IT asset management platform for controlling and managing all their company assets. The most impressive feature of this customizable and scalable tool is its mobile access that helps users opt for doing work remotely.

5 Ways Your Small Business Can Impress First-Time Customers

customer satisfaction

Impressing the first-time customers is perhaps the most challenging task for a business. While satisfying the retainer customers is absolutely important, engaging with first-time customers is crucial for the success of any business. These customers can bring in new customers as they share the positive experience with you. 

In the competitive market today, nothing works well like a verified feedback. Customers are deeply influenced by what fellow customers have to say. Hence, every customer is important for your business and first-time customers should be treated the best. Helping customers to solve their issues is pivotal for your growth because these customers will either be satisfied with your customer support or will move on to your competitor.

Be Prepared to Answer the Queries: 

Research shows that 70% of customer tend to switch brands primarily because of their dissatisfaction with the helpdesk. The volume of your business doesn’t matter to those who are willing to do business with you. What matters to them is your preparedness to answer all the questions. 

Perhaps you are well aware of the fact that flawless communication is the key to the success of your business. But you need to make sure that there are enough channels to get in touch with you in case of urgency. Most of the unsolved queries make their way to the social media where customers tend to share the negative experience. 

Just like prevention is better than cure, your ability to answer questions on time is better than having queries unaddressed. In order to answer questions, you will require to have information on your product, the USP, the brand promise, return policy, refund policy and so on.

Understand your Customers: 

Most of the small businesses fail because they don’t have a clear image of who is their target audience. In order to understand your customer, you should create a profile of your ideal customer. With a comprehensive understanding of your customers, you can start developing fruitful marketing methods. 

While developing the marketing methods, you need to define what is the reason because of which your customers will believe in your product or service. Once you have all of these sorted, you will have more clarification on your strategy. 

Perhaps the first step of attracting new customer is to develop a website that actually informs and educates the buyer instead of trying hard to sell them. In this era of new media, a sophisticated website helps you to establish your credibility which in turn makes the customer more confident about doing business with you.

Take Care of the Expectations: 

You can only expect your customers to buy from you when you meet their expectations. Every customer has his or her own expectation when they purchase a product or service from a brand. That expectation may be in terms of the quality of the product, experience with the customer service, ease of user interface and so on. 

Once you personalize your communication to meet the needs of your customers, you will be on the path to develop a long-term relationship. While large corporations might not be able to show their care for the customers very effectively, you can and this will differentiate you from others once you do. 

While purchasing the product, every customer is keen to be treated as valued. Therefore, your approach can make a difference. A simple discount or a coupon to be used in future can do the trick. But you should be able to portray that this is not a no-strings-attached relationship.

Staying in Touch with Customers: 

Staying in touch with customers is another important thing that you need to excel at. Your relationship begins when a customer enters into your shop or online website. Irrespective of whether the customer makes a transaction or not, you should never leave them. Get in touch with them after they make a purchase and be keen to know their feedback. 

Multinational companies usually send a birthday notification or email a newsletter every month. But you can personalize it by offering a discount, especially on his or her birthday. You can also ask them politely to review the service they availed or the product they purchased. 

This unravels the rejuvenating path for you to know the level of satisfaction of the customer as well as to invite other customers. You can also invite your customers for a sale or a conference that you are speaking at.

Thank Them: 

Many businesses forget to express their gratitude to the customers once they are done doing business with them. This is not the way you should adopt. While you can be creative in your way of saying ‘thank you’, you can take a simple route as well. 

However, a customary thanks don’t do much good. So it is wise to mean what you say. By resolving an existing issue that your customer is suffering from, you become a valuable resource for them. 

Thus you stay in their top of mind. All of these can help you to grow your business as you ensure customer satisfaction and hence get referred to other potential customers in the neighborhood.