News dév web

Is Your Email List Checker the Best You Can Get? Here’s How to Find Out

Noupe.com - il y a 3 heures 49 min

Are you using an email list checker to maintain your email hygiene? Way to go! If you want your email marketing to succeed, pruning your database periodically is an essential practice. But is the service you chose doing a great job?

What if you could get even better results? Let’s see how you can tell whether your email list checker is the very best you could have picked.

What is an email list checker?

Just in case you’ve never used one and you’re not familiar with the term: an email list checker scans your list of contacts and removes invalid, outdated and other types of risky email addresses. We’re going to explain them in detail below and see why it’s important to get rid of them.

Now, let’s see what a great email checker should be able to do. There are many email validation services on the market, and this will help you choose the best.

1. An email list checker should remove invalid email addresses

First, how do invalid emails end up on your list? There are several ways that can happen:

  • You don’t use the double opt-in to ask new subscribers to confirm their subscription via email.
  • Also, there is probably no reCAPTCHA on your signup form to automatically establish the difference between humans and bots.
  • Most likely, you’re not using an email verification API to check emails in real time.
  • Lastly, some email addresses may have been valid and active when they were added to your list, but were deactivated in the meantime.

A reliable email list checker should be able to spot these addresses right away and weed them out. Otherwise, they bounce and affect your sender reputation and deliverability.

2. Can you get rid of spam traps?

In a nutshell: identifying them is difficult, but yes, some email verification services can detect them and isolate them from your list.

Spam traps prevent email fraud, so they’re a necessary tool against the huge amount of Spam that’s being sent. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and blacklist providers place spam traps in key places on the Internet to attract Spam senders and block them. Their impact on your email marketing can be devastating.

So, search for an email list checker that uses more complex algorithms to detect spam traps. Eliminating even half of them from your list will make a difference.

3. Say goodbye to those who mark you as Spam

You’re a legitimate sender who follows email marketing practices. However, some people mark you as Spam. Why does that happen? Here are a few reasons:

  • You haven’t emailed your list in a long time and certain people forgot they subscribed. They may have no idea who you are, so they hit the Spam button. Email addresses that belong to these frequent complainers are known as abuse emails.
  • Does your subject line include any spammy-looking words? Apart from this triggering Spam filters, it can also prompt your subscribers to use the dreaded button.
  • Some people are not on board with your emailing frequency. Maybe you email them too often, so they label you as Spam and unsubscribe.

The good news is that, if you choose the right email list checker, it can detect users who have a habit of marking emails as Spam and remove them from your list. 

Furthermore, an email validation API checks emails in real time and can identify these users and prevent them from getting on your list. 

4. Why keep temporary email addresses in your database?

Let’s say you wrote a great ebook and put it up on your website, gated behind a registration form. Content offers are an efficient list building tool, but they can also attract people who don’t want a long-term relationship with your business.

So, they use a temporary (or disposable) email address to register, get the freebie, and leave. While you may be glad you just added another contact to your list, that contact turns out to be a dead end. 

The email address self-destructs (sometimes, within minutes) and bounces. A high bounce rate will cause you trouble with your Email Service Provider (ESP) and trigger the MailChimp Omnivore warning, for instance.

That’s why it’s important to allow an email list checker to remove disposable emails and protect your sender reputation. 

5. Catch-all emails are risky. Can an email list checker detect them?

It absolutely should. Nonetheless, take a closer look at your email validation results: sometimes, email checkers will just mark catch-all emails as “risky” and advise you to remove them. 

But are all catch-all emails bad? Not exactly. 

Catch-all emails are set up to accept all email sent to a particular domain, even if the recipient doesn’t exist. Many organizations use them to ensure they’re not missing any email and stay on top of their communication. But because of their very nature, catch-all emails tend to be flooded with email and some of them will bounce. 

Which ones? That’s a great question that no email list checker can answer. As we explained above, some services can’t even detect them and only label them as “risky.” Other can spot them, but are not able to tell you whether they’re valid or not. 

The best solution to validate these emails is to score them. Look for a trustworthy email scoring system and run your catch-alls through it to get a better idea of their validity.

What else should my email checker do?

Now that we covered some of the crucial features an email list checker should offer, let’s move on to other aspects. They’re equally important to help you get the best possible results.

Does your service offer an API?

As we’ve mentioned before, an API checks email addresses in real time and ensures there will be no risky signups in your list. The API is a little piece of code that you install on your forms. Once it’s there, it runs quietly in the background and keeps your list clean. 

How does your email list checker protect your data?

Is your service GDPR compliant? What kinds of mechanisms does it use to keep your email lists safe during the validation process? Also, for how long does it store that data? These are all questions you have to ask when picking a list scrubbing service. The more layers of defense against breaches and cyberattacks, the safer your information is.

Can I get 24/7 customer support? Yes, you can

Not all email checkers offer 24/7 customer support, but some do, and you don’t have to pay anything extra for this perk. Being able to reach out to an expert when you stumble is a useful service to have. 

Let’s wrap up

Competition is strong in the email verification landscape. But that’s a good thing: it forces services to refine their algorithms, innovate, and become increasingly accurate. 

What’s hard, though, is picking the very best service at the most reasonable price. So, we hope this article has shed some light on the topic and will help you find the email list checker you were looking for. 

Getting access to the benefits we mentioned above is possible and doesn’t cost a fortune, so why settle for anything less?

Catégories: News dév web

7 Fantastic eCommerce Product Videos and The Lessons They Taught Us

Noupe.com - il y a 6 heures 11 min

Due to availability and ease of use, eCommerce companies have all but taken most markets by storm, becoming the preferred purchase alternative for customers.

And it comes as no surprise, really. In today’s online world, there are few boundaries for when and where people decide to shop online.

More importantly, this also means that the way people interact with digital content – especially how they make their purchase decisions – has also changed. 

Customers now rely on digital content to gauge the viability of a purchase, which has led companies to step up their digital marketing game. Customers can’t interact with the product up front, so they rely on engaging product videos – like product spotlights, whiteboard animations, and influencer unboxings – to decide.

Today, we’ll figure out what makes great product videos, well, great! And go over some examples to learn valuable insights you can apply to your own content.

Why Use Product Videos?

Put simply, videos let you bring your customers closer to what you are selling. To showcase its features and benefits, and give customers a clear sense of how it would improve their lives – even if their only experience with the product is through a screen.

Moreover, the right product video can help you explain what you are offering in quick, visually attractive, and engaging ways. Something particularly useful to industries selling complex or highly technical products, such as software solutions or healthcare products.

Elements of a Great Product Video

Every type of video marketing piece has its own set of characteristics that make it work. When it comes to product videos, these are the key elements to account for:

  • Simplicity: Keep it simple and clear, no matter how complex the product is. The secret of a successful product video is to develop a well-written script and combine it with meaningful visuals to convey its value and benefits clearly. 
  • Length: Timeframes vary slightly depending on what you are showcasing; however, viewers’ attention span drops dramatically after the two-minute mark. Compelling product videos tend to stay between the 1 and 3 minute’ mark. When covering absolutely everything requires more time, a video series is usually the best way to go.
  • Context: Without context, your video will lack punch, and customers will be less likely to purchase it. Create a narrative around your product or service; show exactly how it’d make their lives better. In short, deliver an experience with your piece.
Valuable Lessons from Fantastic Videos

With the why and how out of the way, it’s time to jump into those video examples and see what we can learn from those who’ve already done a great job.

Pencil

Without any spoken or written words, this video manages to convey the product’s usage and benefits in less than 2 minutes!  

Pencil is a stylus for touch-screen devices, developed for designers and illustrators. With a cheerful melody, the video focuses on showing hands using the tool in a variety of situations

The message is clear: It looks like a regular pencil, but it’s better – You can draw, write, erase, and blend with “your hands.” To give it a realistic and engaging effect, the camera moves along with the pencil’s movements, reinforcing the whole theme. Cool, right?

Pure Argan Milk

Well-executed, storytelling can help you form a connection between your customers and your product right away. And this video, introducing the Pure Argan Milk treatment, perfectly illustrates just that. 

Whether you are selling software or a moisturizer, it’s crucial to help users resonate with what you are offering in your video. Emotion is the best way to go about it, and that emotion is usually powered by storytelling.

To accomplish that in this piece, they deliver a personal and emotional story while explaining what the product is and how the treatment works. Altogether, it helps build trust in the product’s capabilities, and that reflects it in the perceived reliability of the brand!

Blume

Here’s another example of fantastic storytelling powering a product video, but using an explainer video animation this time around.

Animation can be a great alternative to create engaging and attractive pieces to deliver longer – or more abstract/complex – messages across, bringing them to life without risking losing your audience’s interest midway. Blume’s video revolves around one concept: showcase the value of uniqueness. 

To do so, this video weaves a lovely, heartfelt family story that doubles as the company’s background, and lists all the benefits of their product while at it. It reinforces a personal tone through beautiful animations and an empathetic narrator that helps viewers feel comfortable right from the start.

Figma

When you are planning a video, there are plenty of approaches you can take. Figma’s videos focus on addressing a problem right away and bringing up the solution

Figma is a collaborative design platform, and they used animation to reveal how messy the design process can be. 

With simple and dynamic visuals – combined with a cool narrator, and an upbeat tune – this video showcases every single benefit of using their platform, and how much more simple the process can get. It’s short, fun, clear, and straight to the point. 

Night Cable by Native Union

Here’s another straight-up approach – Showing a problem and how to solve it. The cool thing about Night Cable’s video is that they do it in less than 45 seconds!

Native Union addressed a very basic, but incredibly common and unsolved issue: we all need to charge our devices, but cables tend to be way too short, poor quality, and uncomfortable.

Through simplicity and familiar settings – at home, in bed, or having a relaxing day in sweatpants – the video displays how helpful their product actually is. In the end, the message is both subtle and persuasive: You don’t just need the product, you’ll also want it

Breville Precision Brewer

This is a classic “how-to” video that displays the product in action.

Thirty-three seconds, no voice-over, and yet it delivers a clear message by showing how to easily brew an “over the ice” coffee using their classy and elegant machine. 

Even though home appliances can be hard to explain because they usually involve too many features, in this case, they managed to keep it super simple, clear, and informative, in record time! 

Sonos 

Sonos’ video is a great way to show how live-action elements can be enhanced with the right type of animation by their side.

The product itself is a cool set of wireless speakers and home sound systems — nothing really innovative by today’s standards.

However, by using linear and elegant black and white visuals, this video combines animation and the actual products in different situations and rooms. It walks viewers through many of the product’s functions and addresses common questions while at it. The result is an elegant piece that conveys the brand’s tone.

What We Learned

High-quality product videos can help eCommerce businesses bring their potential customers and their products closer than any other medium could. By using beautiful and compelling pieces, they can convey all the relevant information their customers would need to take action.

Done right, they can lead to increased conversions and help build brand loyalty in one fell swoop. The operative piece there being “done right.

There are plenty of approaches you can take with your product videos, so they require a lot of know-how and planning to get them just the way you need them. That said, by following the design ideas and examples we went over today, you have a much better sense of the elements you’ll need to cover!

Time to take these ideas as inspiration, and start developing your own awesome piece for your eCommerce company. Good luck!

Catégories: News dév web

What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?

Noupe.com - 19 novembre, 2019 - 12:58

What is CRM? CRM software is a modular technology system that includes sales automation, analytics, and marketing automation tools to gather customer data and empower sales teams to work at peak efficiency.

Customer relationship management solutions have become a mainstream part of the business world. CRM systems let organizations track customer data across channels, keep team members informed of user activities, and eliminate excessive manual work gathering information from clients.

With the rise of cloud-based CRM solutions, the technology has become more accessible, even for small businesses, and advanced functionality is becoming the new normal across a wide range of industries.

Grand View Research found that businesses are moving toward increased use of cloud CRM solutions in order to improve customer retention. The technology accomplishes this by

  • Improving data management throughout the customer lifecycle
  • Providing greater visibility into customer behaviors
  • Allowing for better, more efficient service
  • Supporting geolocation functions that enable organizations to provide location-specific services
  • Incorporating marketing and sales force automation to streamline operations
  • Making data available across organizational channels to keep everybody on the same page

These capabilities make CRM systems invaluable in the increasingly digital business world. According to Grand View Market Research’s study, companies from a diverse array of industries are increasing their use of CRM platforms to keep pace with emerging customer and operational demands.

How CRMs are evolving for the digital age

Digital transformation is the big buzzword for businesses today. The term refers to the process of moving from the use of disparate digital technologies to embracing a digital identity that optimizes data, processes, and human interactions around digital capabilities.

To a great extent, this transition is taking place because consumers have embraced digital solutions as a major part of their day-to-day lives. As consumers interact with brands across digital channels, businesses need to respond quickly and efficiently. CRMs lay the groundwork for positive customer experiences in a digitally transformed world, giving businesses access to the data and backend capabilities they need.

A CXO Today report explained that CRM functionality continues to evolve in response to this digital revolution. The technology is shifting to support deeper use of data mining, built-in social functionality to drive collaboration, and dedicated customer-facing tool integration to allow for faster response. These types of solutions will continue to drive CRM adoption moving forward and further entrench CRMs as critical technologies in the modern enterprise world.

What to expect from a CRM implementation

In practice, a CRM system has the potential to transform your operations by giving your employees the tools they need to engage with customers and one another as efficiently as possible. However, getting there involves a potentially tricky implementation process. We’ll go into more detail about what actual CRM use looks like later on, but in the simplest terms, you’ll need to consider the following when implementing a CRM:

  • Expect a complex purchasing process during which you compare multiple solutions with similar features to identify the best option based on price and specific capabilities.
  • Be prepared to deal with service-level agreements and pricing structures built around resource consumption and the number of users accessing the system, not one-time purchasing costs.
  • Ensure you account for time to train employees and get them on board with the new solution.

Implementing a CRM is a big decision. You can expect the transition to be demanding. Keep reading to learn more about CRMs and what they can do for you so you can simplify the process and get your project off on the right foot.

Why CRMs are important for businesses

If you’re running a business or managing a team today, you’ve probably seen the effects of digital technologies. We’re all used to instant access to apps, data, and similar services on our phones at all times. We now expect businesses to be just as accessible. As a result, organizations are left scrambling trying to update their processes to keep up with today’s demands.

In a 2018 McKinsey & Company survey, approximately 80 percent of businesses said they’re working on digital transformation. However, less than a third of those businesses report that their efforts have improved operations and that they are sustainable over time.

CRM technologies are at the center of this movement. They’re among the first technologies to emerge as accessible options for digital transformation, and they’ve become essential as companies try to adapt to today’s digital demands.

So who uses CRMs? Just about any business can find value from the software.

Data: The bedrock of CRM value

Consumers are asking for custom, personalized interactions with businesses. A Forbes report highlighted how retail giants like Amazon are using data analytics to create strong, personalized experiences that give customers what they want in convenient, accessible ways.

The move to custom, individualized experiences isn’t exclusive to retailers, and it isn’t simply a matter of recommending products or services like Amazon does. If you want to offer personalization, you’ll need your business to get better at gathering, communicating, and analyzing data.

Improving support processes

Imagine one of your customers emails your business for help and then calls. Unfortunately the person they talk to is unable to access the email they sent. They talk with your support representative and provide a bunch of information, only to be passed on to a higher-level support engineer who proceeds to ask them to repeat all of the same information over again.

This kind of negative customer experience happens all the time in both B2B and B2C settings. Team members don’t always have access to the same data, and they often have trouble communicating with one another.

CRM systems overcome this challenge by creating a single source of data that can automatically send updates and notifications to stakeholders, saving employees from missed updates that lead to negative experiences.

Driving better sales recommendations by tracking pitches made over time

Have you ever been in an awkward meeting where a new member of your team spends five minutes going through a detailed product pitch to a client only to have the customer respond that they heard the pitch two weeks ago and, while they like the idea, they simply don’t have the budget for it?

These types of experiences can leave clients feeling that they weren’t important enough for you to properly prepare for the meeting. This makes your organization look disorganized and unprofessional.

A CRM deals with these issues by tracking all meetings, who was at the sessions, and what was discussed. A new stakeholder can hop into the CRM and get a quick update on what products have been pitched, how the client prefers to interact, and other key data points that allow for better experiences.

Creating end-to-end visibility into customer-related operations

How easily can you track how a lead was generated? What about the cost of acquiring customers? Can you quickly assess the average time from initial contact to sale?

Sales and marketing teams in today’s digital-focused businesses depend on complex, multilayered metrics more than ever before. That’s why it’s vital to gather information in near real time, communicate it to relevant sources, maintain data quality, and create custom reports.

CRM solutions can do this through a blend of database systems, automation tools, and reporting capabilities that provide more valuable data and help you better understand how your operations play out in the customer relationship.

In practice, digital transformation is all about creating better customer experiences. You need data to do that.

Without the right information in the right place at the right time, your workers can’t meet the needs of customers who may email you one hour, call you the next, and complete a transaction on a mobile app later in the day.

If all of this data is spread out in different databases and content management systems, your teams will be unable to respond to customer demands as they arise. If the information is funneled into the CRM software, your teams can manage customer interactions from a single place.

Key CRM software value propositions

Today, companies can’t get by without the ability to leverage data in everyday operations. But CRM software isn’t just a database. By delivering information in line with specific workflows, the technology is a natural fit for various tasks and teams. A few prime areas where CRM platforms are particularly valuable include

  • Lead generation. Data gathered within the CRM system can identify how customers heard about a brand in the first place, why they initiated a relationship, when they moved from exploring options to seriously considering a purchase, how they interacted with sales (the number of meetings, website sessions, etc.), and what they actually purchased.

CRM software is the bedrock for tracking lead generation, qualification, and conversion in a cohesive way.

  • Marketing automation. A CRM platform can integrate with popular marketing automation solutions to create a holistic option for deeper marketing penetration, process automation, and efficiency gains across your teams.
  • Reporting. CRM systems typically provide a number of preconfigured, easy-to-create  reports that you can quickly distribute to stakeholders. Most CRMs also feature custom report generation tools that let you easily gather custom data sets, often sorted by date or other parameters based on your needs.

The technology allows you to create visualizations that make the data more digestible and actionable. In most cases, this includes incorporating personalized data visualizations on user dashboards so that users can see key metrics at a glance based on their job role.

  • Clerical automation. How much time do your sales, marketing, and support teams spend notifying one another of account updates, reporting to each other during meetings, and dealing with data quality across departmental lines?

A CRM system eliminates these problems: Once data is entered, it is automatically communicated to relevant stakeholders or logged into the right systems, all without duplicate manual data entry. CRM software can also automatically pull data from emails, messaging apps, and similar systems to further reduce the amount of clerical work businesses must do.

While these are the essential benefits of CRMs, many businesses find that CRMs can solve specific problems that are unique to their sales and marketing processes.

3 key types of CRM technology

CRM software typically falls into one of three broad categories, which often overlap.

1. Operational CRM

An operational CRM system’s features and capabilities improve operations to drive better customer experiences. They emphasize automation and similar capabilities that help employees get the job done better and more efficiently.

2. Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM systems are primarily devoted to data analysis. They gather information from diverse sources, offering backend analytics functionality, and delivering information to relevant users. These systems are ideal for businesses looking to gain greater insight into their sales and marketing units.

3. Collaborative CRM

A collaborative CRM system, as you’d guess from the name, helps employees work together more effectively. The software’s applications and tools are designed to help siloed business units break down long-standing operational barriers and drive better communication.

Most CRM platforms in use today will incorporate a blend of all three capabilities. A solution may emphasize one or another, but few lack features from these categories.

Common CRM system features

Specific capabilities can vary substantially between CRM platforms. However, a few of the most common features in CRM platforms include

  • Contact management
  • Quote and order management
  • Social media integration
  • Reporting
  • Email integration
  • Sales analytics
  • Mobile accessibility
  • File and document management
  • Marketing and support automation
  • Interaction tracking

These core capabilities come together to provide a holistic view of sales and marketing operations, letting teams track customer interactions across the pipeline, both before and after the sale. While this is not an exhaustive list of what any CRM platform can do, it provides an idea of how deeply ingrained the technology can be in any business.

CRM systems aren’t just lofty analytics solutions. Instead, they offer real, tactical capabilities that align with key operational pain points teams face every day.

Now that you have a clearer idea of why CRM solutions matter and what they do, it’s important to find the right solution for your needs.

How to find the right CRM

There are a lot of CRM providers fighting for market share right now. Look at some of the best CRM software options on the market, and you’ll quickly find a blend of longtime players promising powerful tools and emerging players claiming to disrupt the status quo and give businesses what they really need.

In many cases, these solutions share many standard features. It’s important to explore the technology’s specific functions and the industry it was designed for. This can make it easier to narrow down options to a reasonable list. However, before you get there, you’ll need to be sure you understand cloud-based CRM systems.

The benefits and pitfalls of cloud CRMs

At this point, the cloud is mainstream, making traditional CRMs all but extinct. With that in mind, it’s vital to understand key benefits and pitfalls that come with using this technology. (We’ll do a deep dive into the cloud later on in this guide.)

Benefits of cloud CRMs
  • Flexibility to add new features or scale your use of the technology with ease
  • Lower capital costs with the initial purchase
  • No need to manage or maintain servers and other data center hardware to support the system
  • Easier integration with other cloud apps and services through modern APIs
  • Simpler transitions between solutions as you don’t have to deal with data center disruptions or installation on end-user machines
  • Accessible to users logging into the CRM from locations outside the office
Pitfalls of cloud CRMs
  • Potentially higher long-term costs as you pay for subscriptions and deal with possible fees if your usage needs exceeds the limits of your service level agreement
  • The need to trust a third-party service provider with vital data that must be available to employees at all times
  • Extra stress on your network as all data involved in the CRM moves through the internet instead of being stored on end-user devices
  • Reliance on the CRM provider’s development road map for new features and capabilities

These pros and cons are an unavoidable part of cloud CRMs. You’ll need to keep these issues in mind when choosing a platform and look into how the solution provider enhances the advantages of the cloud while addressing the potential problems.

Major players in the CRM sector

There are a variety of CRM options out there; here’s a look at five of the most prominent players in the sector:

  • Salesforce. Salesforce dubs itself the top CRM in the world, claiming to be used at more than 150,000 businesses of all sizes. The solution focuses on ease of use, giving organizations a streamlined road map to implement the technology, customizing with varied cloud apps and services, and empowering employees to collaborate effectively.
  • Oracle. As one of the world’s leaders in database development and analytics, Oracle delivers a CRM backed by deep data ecosystems and access to a variety of its cross-channel commerce solutions.
  • SAP. Like Oracle, SAP brings a long history of analytics excellence and streamlined integration with diverse cloud tools to the CRM space.
  • Microsoft. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform provides core CRM functionality in a package that integrates with Office 365 and the rest of the Microsoft cloud. This powerful integration allows for easy scalability within the platform and brings the familiarity of Microsoft interfaces to the CRM space.
  • HubSpot. While HubSpot is especially well known for its dedicated sales and marketing software, it also offers free CRM tools that make the technology particularly accessible to businesses of any size.

This is just a snapshot of some of the industry leaders in the CRM space, but exploring each can give you a general idea of what the technology does and how it does it.

Key tools and features in contemporary CRM systems

Each CRM is going to offer different features and methods to complete a task. But core CRM functionality ultimately boils down to three key ideas:

  • Automation. Modern CRMs automatically compile data and perform deduplication to ensure the information you have about customers is accurate and up to date at all times. The technology can also be configured to send users alerts or provide dashboards that automatically notify team members when there’s a task they need to complete.

CRMs don’t just manage key data in the backend; they capture it from various sources and deliver it to the other apps and services you use.

  • Integration. Today’s CRMs are built in the cloud and typically designed to work easily with other apps and services in a cloud provider’s ecosystem.

Whether it’s direct CRM integration within a cloud platform or one that uses APIs to grab data from a source like social media, integration tools let the CRM access customer data or process updates and log them in near real time to ease the operational burden on end users.

  • Reporting. Gathering information from diverse sources and integrating that data with end-user apps is great for day-to-day operations.

Built-in reporting tools make CRMs invaluable from a strategic standpoint. The technology uses the customer and operational data it manages to compile reports on key metrics and benchmarks you want to track.

You can typically use CRMs to create custom reports as well. The software can prove vital in helping you gain deeper transparency into your business without a great deal of manual data gathering and analysis.

These three pillars of modern CRM technologies lay the groundwork for smaller features that you’ll want to explore as you dive into the specific solutions on the market. Understanding the core functions available can make it easier to investigate how different vendors achieve these capabilities and assess their fit for your needs.

Accounting for scalability and flexibility

How much do you expect your business to change in the coming years? Cloud-based CRM software should be able to scale based on your resource needs.

Adding new users to the subscription or handling more data isn’t a huge hurdle. But if you have unpredictable needs, you should explore the billing models used by different vendors.

Some solutions may allow for more flexibility without high costs. On the other hand, some vendors may increase their prices when you unexpectedly need more resources. As you weigh your vendor options, think about where your business stands in terms of the predictability of data storage, analytics needs, and the number of users in the system.

In terms of flexibility, talk with solution providers about their development road maps and how they prioritize adding or tweaking features based on feedback. Chances are there won’t be a system that has every single feature you want out of the box. You’ll probably either need some customization or have to look out for capabilities that the provider doesn’t offer. It’s important to understand the vendor’s approach to ongoing development so you aren’t surprised after making a purchase.

Choosing the right CRM for your needs is ultimately going to come down to identifying must-have features, capabilities you’d like, and functionality you don’t care about. From there, you can blend those specifications with your budget requirements to create a short list. Once you have a base, you can start going through sales demos and getting to know vendors to further explore your options.

The importance of CRM integrations Integration is central to CRM value

Serving as a single source of data is the key purpose of a CRM system. If you’re considering the technology, you need to think about how it integrates with your existing systems to make sure it can function as your data hub.

You can’t have a dedicated marketing automation platform with its own set of customer data while your customer support team has separate account tracking software and your financial teams have yet another distinct record of customer information.

Think about trying to get by with customer data located in three distinct places. Your teams would all enter information manually in disparate systems, duplicating data on the same clients and storing that information separately. The result would not only be potential confusion, but also difficulty in tracking customer interactions across channels.

With a CRM platform that serves as a central warehouse for customer information, you can log relevant information once, and then it’s automatically visible to users on relevant teams. Generally speaking, you can add notes and use separate data fields for customers to clarify any key points of distinction, such as a client who wants to receive billing information at a different email address than marketing content.

The big-picture integration offered by CRM tools — gathering data from various apps, centralizing that information, and making it available to users in relevant ways — is central to getting value from the technology. However, more nuanced integration capabilities have emerged as CRM software has matured, adding a greater degree of convenience, data transparency, and operational efficiency.

Beyond basic integration: App integration and APIs

Before exploring the opportunities of CRM software created through app integrations and APIs, let’s focus on distinguishing what we’re talking about when we use these terms. Though they aren’t quite interchangeable, they have many similarities.

App integration. Application integration is when a CRM system and an application are able to work directly alongside one another, taking elements of the CRM solution or the discrete app and displaying them directly in the user interface.

APIs. An application programming interface is a prebuilt set of tools that allow a portion of an existing app to be used within another system.

App integration and APIs deliver value in the same way — by bringing functionality from various apps and services into the CRM system or bringing CRM capabilities into another application. This leads to huge efficiency gains, as it saves users from having to switch between multiple applications to complete a task.

Earlier in this guide we talked about how CRM software is a key component of digital transformation programs. These integrations are an essential part of this process. They ensure that users can get multiple tasks done through a single interface, making it much easier for them to meet customer demands.

The list of integration options could go on and on, but there are a few common ones that stand out.

Common CRM integrations and APIs

Let’s look at some of the options you should expect from a modern CRM system and a few specific examples to show the types of things a CRM integration can accomplish.

Email integration

Integrating your CRM with your email system is one of the most useful integrations. Imagine you’re a salesperson trying to set up a meeting in response to an email from a prospect. You open the email and get the request for the meeting, then have to jump into the CRM system to explore the prospective customer’s history and a record of how you’ve marketed to them.

From there, you go back to your email and write a message that is personalized based on that history, and you try to schedule a session. Then, you go into your calendar and block out time. Finally, you open your conference call application to schedule the call.

Now imagine going through that same process with email integration. You get the email, and a CRM interface built into the email either automatically links to the prospect’s record or displays key information on your screen. You can send the reply from there, and the CRM solution can grab the data for call scheduling and automatically create calendar holds and conference lines.

A task that would require a bunch of manual steps involving multiple apps is handled through a single interface, automating the bulk of the clerical work. This allows you to focus more of your time on personalizing your message to the client, not on worrying about the details.

Of course, this is just one example of how email integration can work. Building this kind of CRM functionality into your email results in several key capabilities:

  • Setting reminders to contact customers on certain days in the CRM, based on your sales process or client requests, and getting notifications in your inbox
  • Displaying key sales and marketing data within the email interface so you can avoid faux pas, such as trying to sell a customer something you recently pitched or assuming a client is using one of your products when they aren’t
  • Automating updates to team members to ensure relevant stakeholders are always informed
  • Logging email communications in the CRM system so all parties involved in managing the client relationship can see a history of interactions

Email is a hub for enterprise communication, and CRM software integration with email, calendar, and conferencing solutions will help you get even more value from messaging.

Analytics integration

CRM systems provide reporting and basic analytics, which helps you gain a stronger understanding of your day-to-day sales, marketing, and customer support efforts.

However, deeper analytics capabilities, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and similar capabilities that require larger amounts of information, are often separate from CRM solutions.

Some tools will provide a few features that qualify as advanced analytics, but the real value comes when the CRM software integrates with other databases to create large, valuable data caches that you can use to get to know your customers.

Integrating with various databases and dedicated analytics solutions lets you dive deep into using data as a competitive differentiator.

Support platform integration

Customer support teams spend most of their time interacting with your clients, often trying to make them happy when they start out frustrated by something that isn’t working the way they expect it to.

Your support team frequently gathers large amounts of customer information during these interactions. If a client speaks with multiple support representatives and has to repeat the same information at each checkpoint, they can grow understandably frustrated.

Integrating your CRM solution with your customer support platform eliminates this problem.

Contact center representatives can get key customer data, such as which products the customer is using, how long they’ve been a customer, and key notes on demeanor, right on their screen when a customer calls.

The data is automatically displayed because the CRM solution recognizes the customer’s phone number and grabs the right information. Your support rep can take notes on the call and pass those notes on to higher-level support workers as the call is escalated.

All told, the integration between the CRM solution and support platform transforms how you interact with customers, driving efficient, positive experiences that fuel engagement.

App integration

There are a plethora of apps that can potentially integrate with a CRM system, either through an API or a direct integration. They can be social media apps, dedicated productivity solutions, or entire cloud platforms. Here’s a look at how JotForm integrates with CRM systems so you can get a feel for how app integration can add value to CRM platforms.

JotForm is an online form creation tool. You can use it to create customer surveys, registration and contact forms, payment invoices, booking documents, and just about any type of form you can think of.

JotForm features a variety of templates and lets you customize your forms. On its own, the solution is powerful because it lets you gather information intuitively via web and mobile interfaces, allowing for smoother customer interactions.

Integrating JotForm with a CRM system (like ZohoInsightlyHubSpotSalesforceSolve360HighriseClinchpadInfusionsoft etc.) adds value by allowing the CRM solution to automatically pull data from forms.

If a customer fills out a registration form, the CRM software grabs the relevant data, notifies stakeholders, and updates backend systems with the customer data. Likewise, if you send out a customer survey, the CRM platform can pull customer responses into a central sheet and give you reporting tools so you can view that information in a cohesive way.

Though just one app that integrates with CRM software, JotForm is a prime example of the value that comes through automation and reporting with CRM databases.

How integration is handled

Traditional integration methods were limited. Before many CRM solutions were hosted in the cloud, you had to come up with your own solution, often writing custom code and going through complex development projects to get different systems to interact with one another.

In today’s cloud-driven world, app designers are increasingly using API tools or streamlined development capabilities to ensure their apps can integrate with major cloud platforms. A CRM solution that integrates with a cloud platform can also integrate with those apps, making it much easier to get data to relevant users in a streamlined way.

Why choose a cloud-based CRM? What is cloud computing, and how does it work?

The cloud isn’t new, so you’ve probably heard a lot about it. The problem is that there’s a lot of hype and misinformation surrounding the cloud. Let’s get real.

Many small business owners see the cloud mentioned in tech commercials and hear about it on blogs, but they don’t necessarily have a concrete idea of what the technology actually is.

For practical purposes, “the cloud” is a term that the tech industry started using to describe where data goes when it is sent through the internet. The internet itself is simply a network of servers, all hosted in various data centers, that users can access by sending a message to the device’s host address, or web address.

When you’re using the cloud, you send your data through the internet to a server in a data center somewhere, and an application on that server processes and stores that information. This is a bit of a simplification, as there are other variables involved, but it’s a basic rundown of how the cloud works.

The main difference between this method of managing technology and traditional business software is in how applications and data are hosted. Instead of setting up a server in your office and connecting it to your local network, the application is hosted on a third-party server.

The cloud completely transforms how software is delivered to businesses. The benefits are evident in three key areas:

Cost benefits of the cloud

Imagine someone comes to you and asks you to purchase a year’s supply of groceries all at once to be delivered to you at regular intervals. Sure, you’d get the work of planning and managing weekly trips to the store out of the way, but you’d probably find it difficult to make such a large purchase.

This is what used to happen to small businesses when it came to robust technologies, like CRM systems. Organizations saw the value of the technology but couldn’t afford to buy servers, hire IT staff, install network equipment, purchase software licenses, and get everything running. It simply wasn’t realistic from a financial perspective.

Now imagine someone comes to you with the same grocery plan, but instead of paying in a lump sum, you pay a monthly fee. That’s a much more accessible solution, and it’s what cloud computing offers.

You don’t have to buy the hardware. You don’t have to hire IT staff. You don’t have to make data center upgrades in your office. All you do is subscribe to the software, and it’s delivered to you through the internet.

Cloud computing is the reason technologies like CRM software are even possible for smaller businesses. But this doesn’t mean the cloud is cheap.

In fact, cloud CRM solutions may be more expensive in the long run because an ongoing subscription can add up to more than a one-time purchase for technology that lasts for several years. However, the subscription model makes the costs manageable and creates the added benefit of flexibility.

CRM system flexibility and scalability in the cloud

Imagine what your business’ IT setup looked like in the past. You probably had dedicated servers to host software and paid for licenses on an individual basis.

What would it have taken to expand your CRM system, add new functionality, or transition to a new solution in such a setting? The cost and time commitment for that kind of change would have been huge. That’s a major reason why businesses were somewhat slow to innovate in the past.

In the cloud, all of these barriers are gone. If you need to add users to your cloud-based CRM system, you simply change your subscription. If your current solution isn’t meeting your needs, you can migrate to a new one.

It isn’t always an easy transition, but it’s much more manageable than it used to be. The challenges come in training and user engagement, not making a huge, expensive technology overhaul.

Flexibility is where the cloud can be somewhat daunting. It’s possible to customize your experience with a CRM system in the cloud, but the extent to which you can do so relies on what the solution provider allows.

You could end up waiting for the cloud CRM vendor to make updates and changes; however, a provider should give you a road map of feature additions and development goals prior to selling you a subscription.

While you lose some control with a cloud system, you gain the ability to more easily switch between solutions, something that pressures vendors to make frequent upgrades and add modules.

When push comes to shove, the cloud is much more flexible and scalable than traditional CRM setups, but the loss of control is particularly notable when it comes to integration.

CRM integration in the cloud

Since we mentioned this earlier, we won’t go into it in depth here.

Integration can be easier to manage when dealing with cloud CRM solutions because apps and APIs need only integrate with the cloud setup, not with the CRM software and the hardware configuration where the system is physically hosted.

This allows for greater integration. Because businesses often have vastly different data center setups, integration used to require significant customization. In the cloud-computing world, those differences disappear, and integration is much more manageable.

The new cloud reality

It’s understandable if you’re worried about sacrificing control to take advantage of the cloud. But the technology has become pervasive in the CRM sector. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to find solutions that aren’t housed in the cloud. Even longstanding industry giants like SAP and Oracle offer cloud CRM options, and Salesforce gained prominence in large part due to its cloud offerings.

Concerns about hosting critical customer data in the cloud are common, but the technology has evolved to the point where most providers offer far greater security than small businesses can on their own. What’s more, service providers are often certified to comply with key regulatory standards.

Digital technologies are pushing organizations to change quickly and maintain a culture of constant improvement. A cloud CRM system makes that possible through continual updates and feature additions backed by an infrastructure that promotes scalability. These benefits create opportunities for business owners to innovate in ways that weren’t possible in the past.

How CRM automation transforms your business What is CRM automation?

How many of the tasks involved in your workplace operations are completed the same way every time as long as you meet certain conditions?

For example, if a prospect reaches out in response to an ad campaign, a member of your sales or marketing team probably uses a response template to follow up and determine if the lead is qualified. If a user fills out a form on your website, you probably add them to a newsletter list. If a salesperson holds a meeting with a prospect, chances are you want them to log that meeting.

These are all repeatable and predictable tasks. They are also processes that require clerical work. Whether a sales employee is manually logging details of a meeting and updating a database or a marketing team member is adding an email to a marketing automation list, the manual task, even if it only takes a moment, is another thing your team members have to worry about. CRM automation tools eliminate much of that clerical work.

A lot of this automation stems from the integration mentioned earlier. For instance, if a salesperson sends a prospect a post-meeting recap email, the employee can log that email as an event recap in the CRM platform with just the click of a mouse — assuming the CRM system in use offers email integration.

A CRM solution can also pull data from calendars, productivity apps, conferencing apps, and similar systems to automatically update key data that is valuable to users but too time-consuming to gather and track manually. When all of that clerical work is automated, your employees can spend less time on monotonous work and more time focused on increasing sales.

How do CRM systems typically handle automation?

Most CRM solutions

  • Analyze data from integrated sources in near real time
  • Identify any notifications, documentation, or similar clerical tasks triggered by that data
  • Automatically initiate the process or alert users of the need to take action

It’s a fairly simple workflow, but in terms of keeping up with the day-to-day demands sales teams face today, the benefits are significant.

Contextualizing automation for a digital world

You need to automate if you’re going to keep up with digital-focused consumers. There are now more points of contact with prospective and existing customers, creating new opportunities to strengthen relationships and create revenue.

The opportunities are great, but there’s also more pressure to stay in touch with more customers across more channels. That can leave employees struggling to keep up with the scale and complexity of everyday work. When that happens, documentation, data management, and other operational best practices vital to everyday operations can fall by the wayside.

When your CRM software automatically identifies duplicate data, your users spend less time logging customer details. When the CRM solution tracks calendar details to record when meetings took place and who attended them, sales team members can log recaps faster. These types of efficiency gains help employees spend less time focused on clerical work and more time working with customers and prospects.

CRM software and marketing automation

Is the automation offered by a CRM platform the same as what marketing automation software provides? Not necessarily. In most instances, CRM automation software offers some marketing automation tools, but these tools are not as robust as a full marketing automation platform.

Marketing automation solutions can manage entire campaigns automatically. Users set parameters and targets, and then let the system distribute content, track engagement, and report on progress.

A CRM marketing automation system can do some of these things through its marketing modules, but a CRM platform won’t replace marketing automation if you’re already using it. Instead, it lets you dip your toes into what the technology can offer.

You can get the best value when your CRM system integrates with your marketing automation platform. In this case, the automation platform does the heavy lifting of running the campaign, but the CRM solution serves as a central repository for that data and communicates it to relevant parties further down the sales and marketing funnel.

Automating security and compliance

Centralizing data can boost security and make it easier to comply with the regulatory standards for your industry.

On most sales teams, employees gather customer data, process payments, pass on details about clients to various team members, and take documents with them on the road as they go on sales visits.

The fast pace and frequent disruption in these tasks creates many opportunities for data theft and loss. All it takes is one employee to leave sensitive customer records at an airport, and you could have a major data breach.

CRM solutions store data in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about employees accidentally exposing data. The only risk comes if their account is breached, which can happen, but is less likely to result from a simple, everyday error.

Plus, IT teams can configure permissions and workflows within the CRM system to ensure users follow best practices in accessing and managing data. It’s even possible to build compliance into your process through a blend of alerts, reminders, and mandatory processes.

In essence, CRM systems can automate security and compliance by letting you set best practices and then operating with those rules in the background.

Automating the customer experience

We previously covered how CRM software can integrate with customer support platforms to streamline communication between contact center workers. But as customer experiences become more complex and dependent on interactions across channels, businesses need tools that automate a wider range of support tasks, such as

  • Allowing users to complete self-service tasks that solve their problems without input from support workers
  • Managing content that helps users troubleshoot problems
  • Creating virtual assistants that can search content and offer guidance on entry-level topics
  • Enabling customer support employees to interact with users across devices and channels
  • Giving customer support personnel constant access to the same customer data

The CRM platform is the central element of these capabilities. It provides the essential data infrastructure for automated services and enables users to share information.

Sales automation

Getting your sales team to work at its best is central to a CRM platform. These systems automate key sales processes by tracking deals in real time, automatically logging data at various points in a transaction, providing the background details needed to configure products and offer quotes, and tracking interactions at all stages of the pipeline.

CRM technology is built primarily for sales processes, and it frequently automates tasks performed on the backend. These gains may seem small on their own, but for sales teams at the office or in the field, automated data management is instrumental.

CRM basics and tutorial for beginners How to use a CRM system

When it comes to actually using the technology, CRM software isn’t all that different than other apps out there today. You can expect it to be pretty intuitive, with dashboards that give you the key info you need and clear links to specific modules.

Here are some basic entry-level tips for what to expect when using a CRM system and how to interact with it:

  • You’ll typically log into a CRM through a website or by opening a mobile app. It’s critical to set a strong password or alternative authentication mode. If an unauthorized user got into the system, they could steal data, mess with your information, and otherwise sabotage your sales team. Most attackers that target a business are looking for information they can sell, and the results of a breach can be expensive.
  • Once you log in, you’ll see a user dashboard. Most CRM solutions will let you customize these dashboards based on the user’s role, but they commonly include a few key data visualizations to showcase key performance indicators, a list of tasks that need to be completed, key notifications, and a toolbar that lets you step into specific modules to get various tasks done.
  • In the dashboard, you can click on data visualizations to get more information about the report. Clicking on reminders or notifications will take you to the relevant systems, and selecting modules will bring you to a dashboard for that module where you can take further action and see more nuanced data.
  • Each module includes links to other parts of the application where you can take direct action, whether that’s simply reading information or updating data.

In practice, a CRM solution is fairly easy to use on a day-to-day basis. Much of the challenge actually stems from configuring the solution.

For example, you can use a CRM system to build a new sales automation workflow. Doing so typically requires that you select tasks, users, and data sources to trigger specific reactions. You can set up a workflow where every time a salesperson on your East Coast team responds to an email from a certain client, the manager is notified. This lets you maintain visibility into key accounts with less clerical work.

While you can run into some complexity setting up custom workflows and capabilities, how you do it varies substantially from one solution to another. Most CRM providers will offer training to help you get comfortable with the technology.

Core CRM modules and what they do

CRM software is generally built to be modular in nature, featuring different elements that focus on a specific team or process. This makes it easier to organize your data and operations within the CRM system and can allow you to pick and choose modules based on your needs and budget.

Most CRMs feature three primary modules:

Sales automation

The sales automation module focuses on empowering the sales team to work as efficiently as possible, gathering relevant data and communicating that information at relevant points in a user’s day. This can include everything from managing KPIs for greater visibility to ensuring transparency into product portfolios and pricing. The goal is to give sales teams the information they need to close deals with relevant information all in one place.

Marketing

The marketing component of a CMS system is similar to the sales module, but it focuses on the capabilities marketers need to manage interactions throughout the funnel. Working alongside dedicated marketing automation solutions, the CRM can expand its core capabilities, helping employees assess campaigns on an ongoing basis and keep prospects engaged.

Support

Creating a cohesive customer experience hinges on getting support team members the right data at the right time. CRM solutions make that possible by integrating with various contact center systems to provide key data during interactions and make it easier for team members to log the results of conversations with clients.

These modules aren’t the only options CRM platforms offer. Some include e-commerce-specific solutions, industry-specific functionality, or similar nuanced tools, but these three core modules are the essential components of most modern CRM automation tools.

Tech considerations for a CRM deployment

There’s some good news when it comes to preparing for a CRM system rollout: The CRM service provider meets the bulk of the requirements, leaving you with little to worry about.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything, but if you have visions of configuring servers, managing data center infrastructure, and dealing with complex system integrations, that isn’t likely. Here’s a look at a few things you must consider before implementing a CRM system.

Network capacity

Sending and receiving information from a data-rich cloud application like a CRM system is going to put a significant strain on your network. Most office LANs will be fine in this situation; the problem might be your internet service.

Getting more bandwidth is essential to support a CRM software rollout. There isn’t a hard and fast rule about data throughput requirements, as they can vary based on user count and other considerations, but you should pay close attention to application performance once the CRM system is deployed and be ready to upgrade your internet service plan if your network isn’t up to par.

Security considerations

While your CRM service provider will handle many security issues, it’s still up to you to determine best practices for user authentication, set standards for internal data sharing, and create a baseline for secure operations within the system. It’s not as much of a burden as hosting your own solution, but neglecting the part you play in securing data can have disastrous consequences.

Training for the new CRM software

CRM training can be tricky. On one hand, CRM solutions are fairly intuitive, and many users won’t need too much help. On the other hand, CRM systems offer broad functionality and may require specific methods to complete certain tasks. This makes strategic training critical.

Failing to get your users on board with a new platform can lead to declines in usage after launch, backlash resulting from the change, and diminished value of the system as a whole.

Successful CRM system adoption actually begins before you make a purchase. Get the employees who will actually use the system each day involved in the process to get their feedback on priorities. This will get them on board with the transition, and they’ll be willing to take time for training.

You can probably handle most basic user education with your own team, but CRM providers may also offer to bring in their own training support for some of the more nuanced capabilities of the system.

The key for training is to never consider it complete. The learning mindset should start before the sale and continue as updates and changes are made.

Conclusion

CRM software has changed the business world. As one of the first cloud-based technologies to be widely implemented, CRM systems have helped usher in an era of constant innovation. What’s more, you can get the technology more easily now because of subscriptions to cloud solutions. CRM systems aren’t just for big businesses anymore. The flexibility and efficiency that you get from CRM software is available to companies of any size, in any industry.

CRM platforms are accessible, but they’re still a big commitment. The technology is becoming a necessary component of operations as organizations work to embrace digital transformation. What’s more, a CRM solution isn’t just valuable for its core functionality. Integrations with digital apps like JotForm expand the functionality across your apps and services.

The business world is going through a digital revolution. Organizations need a solid foundation to provide data stability and organization as they work to adjust their processes. CRM solutions offer this foundation for your sales and marketing efforts, letting you gather and use data as effectively as possible.

Implementing a CRM solution may be a big change for your business. It will require some training and help to get used to a new way of working, but the benefits are too great to ignore.

The CRM sector is continually growing and evolving as business demands change, making the technology uniquely suited to help organizations respond to customer demands. At JotForm, we bring that same culture of constant improvement to digital form creation and management.

These technologies make digital transformation a real option for small businesses. They give you the flexibility you need to customize based on your needs and the functionality necessary to bring your company into the future.

Catégories: News dév web

How A VPN Can Help Digital Marketers

Noupe.com - 19 novembre, 2019 - 01:00

As a digital marketer, you’ll be constantly faced with a plethora of challenges, from attaining accurate data on your competitors, keeping track of PPC adverts, and forming the most effective marketing strategy for your business.

So, if you’re getting ready to launch a new campaign or looking for better ways to research how well your business is ranking in search results, there’s one tool all digital marketers should disregard at their peril: a VPN. 

So, what is a VPN? 

A VPN (known as a Virtual Private Network) works to protect your online activities by encrypting internet traffic and tunneling it through to a remote server which then allocates a new IP address.

When connected, you’re effectively disguising your true location, thanks to your new IP address, and now appear to be surfing the web in an entirely different location, anywhere in the world.

Many VPN providers offer thousands of servers from different continents making it possible to unblock geo-restricted content found on sites like Netflix, YouTube or Spotify. VPN’s can even help to bypass government implemented firewalls designed to censor social media and news outlets, even in the toughest of regions such as China.

Better still, VPNs also encrypt your internet traffic so your ISP cannot see which sites you visit, and also further secures your data with strong encryption, keeping it safe from opportunistic hackers and snoopers.

How can this benefit an online marketer?

For digital marketers, a VPN can do a lot more than simply than allow you to kick back and enjoy that unblocked Netflix movie on your work break, it is, in fact, a powerful tool that can enhance every facet of your marketing strategy and edge yourself in front of competitors.

Here are the top benefits that a VPN can bring:

1. Improve Your SEO Marketing Strategy

The ability to change your location and trick Google into thinking you’re actually somewhere else in the globe couldn’t be more valuable.

Perhaps your game plan involves placing appropriate ads alongside organic search results using Google Ads. Normally, you would simply use the Google Ad Preview tool to observe your current PPC campaigns and also plan new campaigns accordingly by being able to view top keywords that are used in various locations.

However, if you’re targeting a market beyond your current location you may run into difficulties when attempting to find clearer search engine results pages (SERPs). 

For example, if you reside in the US and you want to find out more about how to optimize your SEO for the UK, a VPN can help you out here by allowing you to connect to a UK server and masking your current location. This essentially tricks Google into thinking you’re a web surfer from the UK, giving you more accurate and localized search results than what Google Ad Preview would have provided.

Now you can truly discover: who occupies the first position; which keywords rank higher in certain locations; what SEO tactics your competitors use to approach a market; or even monitor your current ad campaigns from your customer’s point of view in any location in the world.

2. Avoid Censorship and Unblock Restricted Content

Various countries around the world have varying degrees of censorship and how they enforce it.

China, for example, is notoriously strict when preventing access to sites and services such as Netflix, YouTube, Google Maps and What’s App. The Chinese government has by far the strongest firewall there is; access to content which is deemed to be a threat to their citizens is massively curtailed.

Digital marketers visiting or working remotely in the region could find their business activities severely disrupted; therefore, purchasing a quality VPN will be a top priority before jetting off.

However, The Great Firewall of China doesn’t make using VPNs a smooth ride; certain protocols used by VPNs to connect to the internet – like IKEv2 and OpenVPN – are strong and trustworthy, but can experience connectivity issues at times. There are few VPN providers who can successfully penetrate  China’s firewall, and that list can change anytime as the government frequently seeks to strengthen its restrictions.

Besides censorship, a less serious issue is often encountered when sites such as YouTube restricts their video content to certain regions. Thankfully, a simple switch to a new IP address will resolve that issue. Afterward, you’ll be able to view untainted search results; view localized adverts; and observe the trends in order to target that particular region. 

3. Improve Your Link Building

A widely used method in digital marketing is link building. Whilst Google’s search algorithm frequently changes, the tactic of creating strong backlinks has remained as important as ever.

However, you’ll encounter certain websites which restrict users when creating multiple links and even if a user tries to create multiple accounts to avoid this, the website also tracks the IP addresses of each computer which creates a roadblock.

To get around this, a VPN comes to the rescue as it provides many different IP addresses allowing you to create multiple accounts undetected.

4. Protect Sensitive Data And Encrypt Internet Traffic

Every internet user is aware of the existence of Cyberattacks, and the theft of identifiable personal information is big business. Whilst large corporations may often be the victims of massive data breaches, so too are small to medium-sized businesses.

For the internet marketer, securing your personal and client’s data should be as important as any other factor in your business model. There are numerous preventable mistakes that can occur all of the time and are often costly to the reputation and survival of a business. A VPN can offer protections that give you peace of mind.

When using a VPN, your internet connection is encrypted making it impossible for your ISP to collect and store information about which websites you visit. The same goes for hackers and opportunistic data thieves who are more likely to be satisfied with targeting unprotected web surfers. VPNs often use the standard AES-256 encryption method, as there is yet no evidence indicating that data encoded with this method can be decrypted.

However, changing your IP address is not the only benefit when it comes to security. To further enhance your protection it’s highly recommended to opt in to using a VPN’s very own DNS Leak Protection. This is because every time you type a URL in the address bar, your computer sends out a query to a DNS server in order to fetch and display the correct website content you’re asking for.

So, if you’re simply using your ISP’s default DNS servers, you are still exposing a fraction of valuable data unnecessarily, and it’s most likely being collected and analyzed by your ISP.

Finally, the best VPN providers also never collect logs of your internet activities or the pages you visit; therefore, you don’t have to worry about your information being stored and analyzed for any nefarious purpose.

5. Travel And Work Anywhere In The World

Working remotely and maintaining adequate access to the internet unhindered needn’t be a headache it once was. However, there are still some security hazards to confront.

Connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots – particularly those that don’t require a password – can be a risky practice. Whether it’s free or paid Wi-Fi services found on public transport, cafes, or even hotels, hackers can indiscriminately hoover up data from unsuspecting web surfers.

Such tactics are known as man-in-the-middle attacks where hackers can even spoof a real Wi-Fi network. Once a user connects to such a network they can then be monitored or even directed to fake websites. This means that you’re at risk of exposing your passwords to any accounts as well as the sensitive content contained within. Unless, of course, you’re using a VPN provider. Here you can shield your data with strong encryption making it impossible to decrypt and thwart the attempts of data thieves.

6. Bypass Google’s Search Query reCAPTCHAs

One of the main pitfalls every internet marketer intends to avoid is being flagged by Google. It doesn’t necessarily spell the end of your marketing plan, but things can quickly become cumbersome if you’re constantly being required to verify you’re not a robot to Google reCAPTCHAs. This can happen after conducting too many searches too quickly.

However, when utilizing a VPN, it’s business as usual; you’ll no longer find those nuisance verification processes cropping up every few minutes. A VPN will allow you to alter your IP address so Google won’t recognize that those multiple searches actually came from you.

7. Remain Anonymous To Your Competitors

Online competition is fierce, and you need to stay in front of your competitors.

A VPN can help disguise your presence as you dutifully pay a visit to your competitors website and observe their strategies. But if they catch on that a particular IP address belongs to you, it may lead them to discover who you are, and perhaps even copy you.

Even Google may latch on to your activities, and their algorithms may not be too impressed if they see certain tactics they frown upon, such as buying backlinks.

So covering your tracks is vital to move ahead in this market.

In Conclusion

Many online marketers have still yet to realize the potential a VPN has for their marketing business. A VPN is clearly a tactful tool that offers online marketers a competitive advantage whilst providing an extra layer of security at the same time.

Whatever your marketing goals, the benefits of maintaining privacy while browsing, avoiding falling foul to Google’s algorithm, and protecting your data from prying eyes are surely worth the extra slice of your marketing budget.

Catégories: News dév web

6 Best Apps of 2019 to Keep You Productive

Noupe.com - 18 novembre, 2019 - 16:32

Do you want to get more done within the day?

There are always so many tasks to do and things to learn. But since we have limited time, we must make the most out of the time we have.

In fact, if you’re experiencing decreased productivity then chances are you’re also experiencing workflow interruption, inefficient work time, and poor overall morale as a result. 

Believe me when I say I know that productivity can be a real challenge for entrepreneurs and employees alike. While emails came into existence to increase our productivity, they can actually prove to be harmful when used wrongly.

That’s why below I’ve listed six different apps you can use that can help you with your everyday business tasks and keep you laser-focused.

This way, you can spend your time more effectively.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

1. Monday

Working hard and slaving away, working 80-hour weeks is not a sustainable path.

If you’re not careful, you’ll burn out.

To boost efficiency, I highly recommend Monday, a task management platform to keep track of your different tasks.

With Monday, you can assign tasks to different team members, prioritize tasks with due dates so you know what to focus on first, and view overall progress all in one dashboard.

After all… If you want to get more done in the day, you need to work smarter, not harder!

Task management tools are critical if you want to leverage high-output activities and minimize time wastage.

2. Last Pass

Did you know that a smartphone user uses on average, 30 apps per month?

Remembering the login passwords to all your apps is pretty tricky (almost impossible if you ask us!) 

But repeat the same passwords, and you’re inviting the hackers in (It’s like leaving your home keys under the doormat!)

To combat this problem, look into password managers like Last Pass
They’re excellent as they save your sensitive data like passwords, credit cards, and even insurance cards. LastPass is widely ranked on reviews as the top password manager out there: 

With a password manager, you just need to remember one password (the one for the password manager). Easy enough, right?

Get organized and save time.

3. SocialPilot

With 69% of the US population consuming social media, you need to be online if you’re growing your business or building a personal brand.

But it’s not enough just having a social media profile. 

You’ll need to consistently plan, produce, and schedule content dates and times to publish them consistently.

It’s a lot of effort.

That’s why you should use a social media marketing tool like SocialPilot. With this tool, you can prepare and schedule your content on a range of social media platforms, like travel bloggers Adventure For Less recommend:

(Image Source)

This ensures you never miss a post!

When it comes to consumers and brands on social media, 86% want brands to be honest, 83% to be friendly, and 78% to be helpful.

It takes time to build an honest and understanding relationship with customers.

Social media planning tools are great and will help you nurture these relationships in the long run.

3. Canva

Every business requires content, but did you know 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing now?

Everyone is upping their content game so they can solve their audience’s problems and increase their bottom line in the process. 

So should you.

Creating visual assets can be difficult and time-consuming. But with Canva’s easy drag-and-drop feature, you can make a variety of online visuals like infographics and social media posts.

Wanna host your own podcast but don’t want to hire an expensive designer to design the cover?

Fear not, you can create beautiful podcast album covers in Canva, too.

It’s super simple to get started.

You can design a cover like these in only minutes — saving you loads of time!

5. Evernote

I know it’s essential to keep your notes organized.

But it’s so easy to misplace them.

With Evernote, you can take your notes anywhere, and search for information faster. Create to-do lists, reminders, meeting notes, and even plan and draft up your blog posts here.

For example, you can create a blog post like Lendio does on loans in Evernote, and directly export it to your content management system to save time!

(Image Source)

Have lots of images to upload to your blog post? Don’t worry, Evernote can handle that too!

With Evernote, you can even include all of your images for your post like VPN Reviews does in their NordVPN review post. 

Here’s an example of how you can begin your draft and editing process in Evernote:

And here’s the final product once published:

Evernote is great because it stores all your notes, photos, lists, and to-do reminders in one place and definitely comes in handy for bloggers.

Plus, you can also share these notes with others and collaborate on the same “note” together!

6. Unbounce

When it comes to websites, everyone talks about starting a blog and site on WordPress.

But even WordPress templates take time to build. 

You’d also have to download and install additional plugins if you want to measure specific stats.

A quicker way to build a simple landing page is through Unbounce.

Unbounce’s platform is specifically designed to help you create landing pages that convert more leads and sales. There’s also no coding required.
Have a look at Housecall Pro’s example below.

(Image Source)

Yeah, that’s something you can easily build in your landing page builder.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to be productive throughout the day.

With only so few hours, we should make the most of it.

That’s why you should spend your time more effectively by leveraging everyday tools such as Focus Me, Last Pass, Buffer, Canva, Evernote, and Unbounce.

They’ll help you get more done with less time.

Make working smarter a new motto for 2019. Who’s with me?

Catégories: News dév web

Unwritten Rules of Travel: Don’t Mix Business and Pleasure

Noupe.com - 15 novembre, 2019 - 08:37

Every travel fanatic fantasizes about having a job that they love that also allows them to travel.

The company pays for your flight and your hotel, leaving you to discover somewhere new. How could that possibly have any negative consequences? 

The thing is when traveling for business the necessity to be on your A-game is imperative. Often business travelers are on a mission to represent their company or pitch a new idea to a potential client. It’s not time to relax. It’s time to work. Airport, car-rentals, hotel check-ins, meetings, organized dinner meetings and more consume business traveler’s schedules. 

Maybe they can slip in a visit to a National Monument or grab a bite of a local dish. The reality, though, is that they return home more exhausted than before. This can take a toll on health and well-being including long term chronic problems

On the contrary, when you consider traveling for pleasure, the benefits abound. These moments are a time for enjoying some dedicated time for yourself. That can mean different things for each individual, but the results are the same. Hiking across a mountain, taking a week in the Caribbean, or finding a buzzing city to explore is a depart from the ordinary. Plus, it’s an opportunity to recharge. Leaving work behind is the key to the innumerable benefits reaped from vacation travel. 

To illustrate the impact of business and leisure travel on your health and well-being, the team at Reservations.com put together an infographic to encourage you to make sure to draw a line between the two.

The Surprising Effects of Business vs Leisure Travel on Your Health and Well-Being

Catégories: News dév web

How to Sell Art Online

Noupe.com - 14 novembre, 2019 - 09:47

The art world can be an overwhelming place. From tough critics to discerning buyers, there are many people to please as you try to make it as an artist or a gallerist. How do you break in? While the first step is creating work that stands out, the next step is actually promoting that work and getting it in front of buyers. 

For years, this was difficult.

But with more digital options than ever at an artist’s disposal, new ways are opening up for artists to get their work into the hands of buyers. In fact, you could say online art sales are democratizing the industry, giving more artists the chance to promote and curate their work on their own terms.

Here are some of the main steps involved in selling art online:
  1. Choose how you want to sell onlineCommon options are through your own personal website or an online gallery.
  2. Choose an online platform. Find what works best for you — whether that’s a site builder suited for artists, an online art-selling website or a gallery that’s just right for you.
  3. Classify your work correctly onlineMake sure you categorize your work so that it can be browsed easily and helps you put your best foot forward.
  4. Promote your workThis is a chance to get creative, something artists tend to excel at.
  5. Sell your workSet up a way to collect payments digitally.

We’ll walk you through these steps in detail. While each step might look simple, there are certain subtleties you’ll need to understand before diving in. We understand that different types of artists demand different tools and options — so we’ll be sure to outline which tools fit your needs best.

Now let’s get ready to sell!

Art selling: through galleries or online platforms?

So who should sell online anyway? Although this might surprise you, it turns out selling art digitally isn’t just for individual artists hoping to get their work out into the world. Galleries can also use online tools to reach a wider audience. After all, not every art connoisseur wants to travel to a gallery to check out pieces. And as digital tools grow more advanced, they’re better able to capture the true art viewing experience.

In short, everyone is getting in on the fun — and online selling isn’t just for the “little guy” anymore. But there are some differences when it comes to selling as a gallery versus selling as an individual, which we’ll outline below.

Selling as a gallery vs selling as an individual

Galleries and individuals artists have different demands. From disparities in resources to different workflows, each approaches showcasing and selling work in a different way. Here are a few of the differences to keep in mind when it comes to selling as a gallery versus selling as an individual artist:

Galleries have more resources. This difference is fairly clear to anyone following the art world. Art galleries have the space and staff needed to showcase work in person and in an attractive way. They also connect with special auctions and exhibitors to find artwork and sell it. Overall, galleries run like a business. Although money doesn’t usually change hands up front, galleries showcase artists whose work they’re confident will sell.

Individual artists can develop a personal touch. Many artists at the beginning of their career need to rely on online word of mouth. By setting up a website and engaging with social media, they can begin to develop a personal connection with their fans. While a gallery may be a bit more impersonal — selling a collection of work that doesn’t belong to one artist alone — an individual artist has the chance to forge a world around their art and their art alone.

For galleries, online is supplementary. Popular galleries tend to have a fairly steady level of foot traffic. Lots of people see a gallery’s art in person. So while online avenues can help boost gallery sales and get an even wider audience to engage with their collection of art, they don’t rely on online sales in the same way that individual artists do.

For individual artists, online means freedom. Let’s be real: The gallery circuit isn’t always fair and welcoming. It can be tough for artists who might be just starting out and don’t have many contacts in the art world to gain a foothold.

Catching the attention of gallery owners is an uphill battle that calls for tireless self-promotion and networking. But with selling art online, a lot of that difficult legwork falls away. Individual artists have the chance to put their work in front of the masses without having to seriously penetrate the gallery world. That’s why selling online is great for outsiders and those new to art.

Advantages of online art selling and payment collection

When we talk about selling art online, we typically mean taking advantage of online galleries and creating a personal website to promote your work. This also refers to the technical aspects of buying and selling — such as setting up a way to collect payments online.

Modern tools make it easier than ever to create a functional, browsable website that displays your work beautifully and reaches a wide audience. This is particularly useful for artists who may not have serious tech skills or the means to hire someone to build their site.

The world of buying and selling art online is changing every day. In this section, we’ll learn more about how art connoisseurs are moving online to view work — and explore how this development offers plenty of advantages for the modern artist. 

Artwork goes digital

Visiting an art gallery can be a unique, unforgettable experience. You might come face to face with a piece that will forever change the way you engage with and relate to art. Because of these transformative experiences, visiting an art gallery will never go out of style. It will always stand out as the chance to experience great art with your own two eyes.

That said, artwork has gone digital. While we sometimes like to believe that art is different from other sectors in some grand way, it really is an industry like any other. And more and more industries are being disrupted by e-commerce, which makes it easier than ever for sellers to sell and buyers to buy on the worldwide web.

Here’s how art is making a foothold online:

E-commerce is on the rise. Now that Amazon, Alibaba, and other major online retailers have risen to the top of shopping world, it’s undeniable that online is the first place people look when considering a purchase. And although it’s important to see a piece in person, art is well suited for online buying. 

Purchases that require research and extended consideration on the part of a buyer — a process that occurs if you’re debating buying a major work of art — are perfect for online shopping.

The online shopping experience continues to improve. With the rise of big data and machine learning, retailers find it easier than ever to give users just the thing they want at just the right time. Features like “Customers who bought X also bought Y” drive customers to make more purchases — and can work well in online galleries. 

Galleries are struggling. The global art world is currently in a boom cycle, with interest and sales high. But significant closures are putting galleries in a precarious position. 

Major galleries like Acme, Wilkinson, and Off Vendome have shut their doors in recent years, blaming sky-high rents. And the expenses don’t end there — paying professional gallerists can be expensive, and too many are underpaid.

While this is a tough blow for the art industry, it’s also a signal that online art selling is on its way to becoming the default mode of transaction.

Say goodbye to the middle man. Many artists say they appreciate getting to engage directly with their audience — without being forced to work with a middle man to reach their fans. The fact is, exhibitions will never go out of style. But with online selling as an option, artists have the chance to constantly exhibit their work to their audience. It puts more power in their hands and gives buyers a direct route to work that excites them.

What’s the future of online art selling? For a while, analysts didn’t believe clothes shopping could translate online. After all, how do you sell someone pants online if they don’t get to try them on beforehand? But advanced technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality have changed everything, giving users the ability to virtually “try on” clothes and ensure they have the right size before hitting “buy.”

Now that concept is coming to the art world, with apps like INHAABIT enabling buyers to preview how a piece looks in their home before purchasing.

It’s safe to say the art world is in a period of exciting transition. As online selling grows in popularity, more buyers and sellers realize they have new options. How will you respond to this new environment, and how are you going to get in on the fun? 

The advantages of online art selling

Although we’ve hinted at them already, it’s worth laying out the distinct advantages that come from selling art online. Ask most artists — especially ones just starting out — and they’ll tell you that online selling is a source of excitement and increased income. Galleries are also getting in on the fun, finding a new way to connect with art lovers around the world.

Here are a few of the benefits that come with selling art online:

  • Democratization. The art world isn’t always an even playing field. Artists who spend time at graduate schools or in major art programs tend to have a leg up in their field. They’re able to make contacts and form relationships with gallerists — something amateur artists have a much harder time doing. For artists who might not have the time or means to go to an elite art school, selling online is a great way for them to get their work in front of potential customers. The same applies for galleries. It can sometimes feel like David vs Goliath, with “mega-galleries” hogging all of the most lucrative pieces. Working online is a chance for smaller galleries to close that gap and find an audience.
  • Liberation. The art world can also have quite a bit of bureaucracy. The process of finding an exhibition, reaching out to the exhibition coordinators, and actually getting your work staged at the exhibition can take time — and lots of middle men. When working online, artists and galleries have the ability to work on their own terms. 
  • Global impact. Art is a universal language. While there are certain hubs of art — like Rome, Paris, Berlin, and New York City — there are artists everywhere and people who want to buy art all over the map. With an online gallery, smaller galleries that are in more remote locations can find a global audience. And artists who might live outside of these hubs of the art world have the chance to connect with art lovers when selling online. In short, selling art online enables us to break down barriers and bring all artists and galleries onto the global stage.
  • Inventory. When you do all of your selling in the physical world, it can be tough to keep track of your inventory. But galleries that sell online can always have an up-to-date rundown of what’s on hand. 
  • Ease. Avoiding bureaucratic red tape isn’t the only reason selling online is so easy. It’s also become a quick three-step process on many websites. Simply take a picture of your art, click upload, and then add a description — and you’re well on your way to an engaging online portfolio!
  • Community. Online art isn’t just about selling. It’s also about connecting — with other galleries, other artists, and other art lovers. Having your work alongside other artists in an online marketplace will motivate you to turn out new work and keep up with the latest trends. It will also inspire you to experiment with new forms. 

It’s a whole new world for artists and galleries. Working digitally means a bigger audience, a lower barrier for entry, and an even playing field. But enough talk: How do you get started selling online?

How to get started selling online

The advantages are obvious — so now it’s time to learn how to sell art online and make money. For independent artists who are just trying to make it in the art world, it’s important to first learn how to promote your work online, then figure out how to make it as easy as possible for people to buy your work online.

Keep in mind that you might not make a ton of money right away. There’s a bit of a learning curve in terms of figuring out how to promote your work and finding buyers for it. So it’s important to find supplementary ways of driving income as an artist. We’ll outline useful artist “side hustles” — like teaching an online course. You’d be surprised to learn how many creative ways there are to make money as an artist.

Finally, we’ll outline which sites you should use to sell your work. While making a personal website to show off your portfolio is crucial, it’s also good to research various online marketplaces where you can post your work and connect with art lovers. These websites don’t just serve a practical purpose — they also connect artists with a community of like-minded individuals who can motivate and inspire.

Learning how to sell art online and make money can open up so many exciting avenues for you. And as technology advances, you’ll be excited to learn that getting started with this process is easier than ever. 

Find the best way to promote your work

People need to know about your work before they can buy it. Art galleries connect your work with a legion of art lovers. The internet has turned this system upside down, giving independent artists plenty of new and effective avenues for promoting their work. But before you can dive in, it’s worth assessing what kind of art you’re making and who your audience is.

  • What are my options? When it comes to self-promotion, you have many options. Physical spaces, like galleries, work well. You can even reach out to your community and see if offices, hotels, or public buildings want to feature your work. It’s a great way to get more people aware of the work you’re creating. 

You also have online options. A personal website is a good start. That can be a central repository for your work, while providing important information about your background. You can also post your work in popular online art marketplaces, like Etsy.

  • What kind of art am I making? Different forms of art call for different forms of self-promotion. For most visual art, a combination of galleries and a regularly updated personal website are good routes. You’ll want to give people the ability to see your work in person but learn about it online. 

Custom-made items are perfect for online sellers, especially if you’re collecting orders electronically anyway. And if you’re creating digital artwork, you’ll probably want to rely on a personal website.

  • Where is my audience? You know the art you’re making and the audience it appeals to, but where is this audience? Luckily, there are many resources to help you answer this question. 

A variety of websites point toward specific audiences — such as those looking for more advanced visual art or those looking for fun customized art. Online marketplaces even give you the ability to specify your audience as a particular subculture — like fans of a certain TV show or sports team. Use these options to meet your audience where they are.

  • How can social media supplement my self-promotion needs? Of course, social media is a must if you’re trying to promote your art online. Not only can you connect with a large audience of art lovers, but you can also find communities of artists who support each other. You can find useful opportunities, collaborators, and more. And most important, you can build a community around your artwork, where people can give feedback, spread the word, and buy! 
  • How can I keep my audience engaged? It’s one thing to have an audience; it’s another thing entirely to make sure they’re satisfied by and engaged with your work. Posting frequently on social media and keeping your website up to date are great ways to make sure everyone is in the loop. 

Some artists have even experimented with writing a blog to keep fans abreast of their progress and aware of their upcoming projects. This is especially useful if your work is going to be in exhibitions and you want to spread the word and drum up excitement.

Self-promotion is key when it comes to a career in the arts. And don’t worry: There are plenty of ways to promote yourself without taking away from your work. Tasteful options like a well-designed personal website are a great way to get your work in front of people.

Overall, online options are becoming more than a supplementary tool for artists — in fact, in many cases they’re becoming the primary way artists connect with art lovers.

Find creative ways to make money as an artist

We’ll be real: Artists need to hustle! While you might be able to make a large portion of your income from art sales, you’ll probably want to work on additional sources of income. It’s important to remember that as an artist, you have a skill to offer. You can use this flare for the arts to generate additional income in creative ways. This blog post outlines some of the creative ways artists can supplement their income.

Best online art selling sites

Promoting your work is just one step in the online art selling process. The other crucial step involves actually selling your work. The good news is that there are lots of great art selling sites, which makes the process easy for artists and buyers alike. In this blog post, we highlight a few of the best sites that make selling art online easy.

How to curate your work on a website or online selling platform

Presentation is key when it comes to promoting your art online. You always want your website to do your fantastic artwork justice — so that all of your work looks attractive and ready to buy. Many artists spring for professional photographers to get the best possible pictures of their art. Others tap into their own artistic skills and photograph their artwork themselves using a powerful camera.

No matter how you capture your artwork, it’s only one part of the equation. You also need to classify your artwork correctly.

Whether you’re an independent artist or represent a gallery, building your website is a form of curation. What work do you want to highlight? How are you going to highlight this work? How are you going to organize your work so that individuals can digest your work in a clear, satisfying way?

Many website builders for artists make it easy to classify your work effectively. In other words, there’s no excuse to not have a beautiful, easy-to-navigate artistic website given all of the tools at your disposal. So let’s get ready to build!

Classify your work correctly

Your website should be organized with your audience in mind. What do they want to see? What don’t they want to see? Try to put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to scroll through a million pages?

Labeling your art and characterizing it by type and other characteristics is a great way to make the online browsing experience seamless. And many websites are designed to make the process of setting your website up easy. Here’s what you should know:

  • Classify by type. You might be selling lots of different kinds of art. You don’t want to make your customers fish through a big jumble of all your art. Clearly delineate the different types of pieces and set up filters. For instance, if you’re a visual artist you may want to separate black-and-white images from color images. Or if you used a certain medium to create the piece, you’ll want to classify so that users can find any watercolor they want with the click of a button.
  • Sort by relevance. Whether you’re a gallery or an independent artist, you should make sure your art is laid out in a relevant fashion. This means prioritizing newer pieces and featuring the work that you feel there’s a large audience for. If you’re making customized work or fan art, it might be good to have a “top sellers” section so that users can navigate to the most popular pieces on your site without having to click through multiple pages.
  • Put your work first. Make sure your art is in a position to be admired — without distractions of any type. This includes busy background color schemes or third-party advertisements. People are on your website to see your art — not an ad or a particularly creative website design. That’s why many artists favor using a minimal white background. 
  • Be descriptive but concise. Many websites give you the ability to add descriptions under your artwork. This enables you to give a bit of background about your piece. But again, remember your site is about letting your work do the talking. So don’t get overly detailed with your descriptions. If someone has questions about a certain piece, they can use the contact section of your website to get in touch.

Artists need to do everything they can to make their work sing. Classifying your work with accuracy and taste is an essential first step, enabling art lovers to easily find and buy your work. 

Best website builders for artists

There are a wealth of great website builders out there for artists. From the versatile heavyweights to the more specialized artist-focused options, there’s something for everyone. And it seems like every year a new website builder pops up — boasting new features and a new level of usability. In this blog post, we outline the best website builders on the market for artists of all types.

Embedding JotForm into your website

You’ve set up just the right website. It features your work in an attractive, easy-to-browse way. It lets you put your best foot forward, while also enabling you to give some background about yourself and your artistic experience. It even includes a contact page for inquiries.

But wait. You’re missing one thing: a way to collect payments!

Enter JotForm. No matter which website builder you end up using, JotForm is a great way to collect information from potential buyers or set up an in-person meeting. And the best part is, you can easily embed JotForm forms across platforms — whether you’re using one of the site builder heavyweights or even something more obscure.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. First create your form. With JotForm, you can customize your form to your heart’s content. Add the fields you need and integrate with any feature you might need — like a payment processor. Learn more about creating a form and integrating with payment processing apps
  2. Once you’re finished, go to the Publish tab in the Form Builder. Then select Embed from the left panel and click on the Copy Code button. Boom! You have the code you need to embed your form.
  3. Paste this code into your website. Choose where you want to paste this code. You might have a specific page in mind, like your purchase page. In this case, use your site builder to navigate to the correct page and edit the HTML. Most sites make it easy, even for technophobes, to edit the site’s HTML. For instance, on Wix you simply click Add on the main editor, click More, and click Embeds. Then you simply drag the embed code to the correct area of your page or click HTML iFrame. Enter the code, and you’re good to go!

JotForm isn’t just useful for payment processing forms. It’s also a great way to collect potential client contact information, especially if you’re making a custom piece with several specifications (like size, medium, extra instructions, etc.). And for a gallery, JotForm is a great way to help artists submit their work for consideration or organize your latest exhibition.

Your options are numerous. And the best part? Embedding is simple!

How an art gallery can use JotForm

Believe me: We understand that running an art gallery isn’t simple. There’s a lot of curation and organization that goes into such an enterprise — and oftentimes art galleries have limited staff.

Every minute — and every dollar — counts. There’s no time to waste, and efficiency is key. You need tools that you don’t have to worry about, that are easy to learn, easy to use, and provide results. That’s where JotForm comes in. Our simple, customizable Form Builder can come in handy in a variety of situations for art galleries.

Collecting submissions as a gallery

On our blog, we’ve highlighted some of the ways art galleries can use JotForm to collect submissions in a streamlined way. Running an exhibition isn’t easy, so having an organized approach to submissions is the best way to make sure you’re featuring the best work and making life easier for artists.

But while submitting work is a central use case for JotForm that we’ll highlight below, there are a few other powerful use cases that are also worth mentioning:

Collecting art submissions. Galleries are always on the lookout for great work. Making it as easy as possible for artists to submit their work enables you to collect a great deal of high-quality work. If you’re looking for submissions for an exhibition, you can quickly collect contact information and allow artists to attach their work to the form. They can also include background information about themselves or a description of the work they’re submitting. Here are two JotForm artwork submission forms that we like:

Collecting submissions is one thing. Keeping track of these submissions is another task altogether. Luckily, doing this is easy with JotForm. You can get email alerts for form submissions and automatically organize all of the submissions in a spreadsheet with the Google Sheets integration.

Signing up exhibition attendees. Are you organizing an exhibition or gallery opening? Using JotForm to keep track of attendance is a great way to make sure you collect contact information in a clear, streamlined way. And if attendance costs money, you can integrate with payment processors like Stripe or PayPal to ensure easy payment. Collecting all of these signups in a spreadsheet makes it easy to check off attendees at the door as they enter on the day of the exhibition. You can also make an attendance form that shows slot availability.

Collecting feedback. Art galleries are always looking to improve, to create an experience that celebrates artists and art lovers alike. One way to improve is by collecting feedback from visitors and exhibitors. You can easily customize your forms to adjust for gallery attendees versus artists. For instance, did artists have an easy time submitting work? Did they get something out of exhibiting? And did attendees have an enjoyable experience? Did they buy something from the gallery?

Running a class or lecture series. Art gallery programming can be diverse. It isn’t always an exhibition that needs to be organized. Maybe a guest speaker comes to the gallery for a lecture. Or you’re running a class for artists who want to practice a certain skill. In this case, JotForm can once again help. For a class, you might find you want to collect more than just contact information and student names. You might also want a better idea of a student’s experience level and specialized skills. In this case, you can include form fields that collect this information and arm you with the information you need to run a useful class.

Holding fundraising events. People love supporting the arts. It’s a chance for them to enrich and celebrate the artists who make our communities more vibrant and beautiful. Art galleries can be a hub for fundraisers. Some of these fundraisers might also use art sales to collect donations for a charity. Once again, JotForm is a helpful tool in this situation. Here’s a generalized fundraising form — and here are some more reasons why you should use JotForm for donations.

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to running a gallery. Why not outsource data collection to JotForm instead of manually collecting data? This way, you can spend more time improving your gallery events, showing off great artwork, and enriching the community. Meanwhile, we’ll make sure you have the information you need, when you need it.

Catégories: News dév web

10 Ways To Stay Ahead of Any Google Algorithm Update

Noupe.com - 13 novembre, 2019 - 07:49

Google Algorithm Updates – three big words that are good for Google, but sometimes bad for your website. Unless of course, you’re ahead of Google’s game.

When do Google Algorithm Updates affect your site?  Frequently. Over 500 updates have been released over the past year alone, some small and unobtrusive, and others considered major algorithm updates – with the potential to wreak havoc on your website ranking plans. So how do you stay ahead of Google’s Algorithm Updates?  

Below are 10 helpful insights for staying ahead of the game.

1. First, be a good player. Truthful, quality content that adds value to your audience is not overlooked by Google’s AI. Gone are the days when Google ranked sites on the basis of just keywords, related links or dumb sites (sites that have no value except to refer or link back to the target site). Google can tell the difference between a site that truly adds value, compared to a site that repeats information or spammy keywords. Google’s algorithms can detect weak site content and can penalize your site rankings, so keep it true.

The folks at emarketeers.com said it best regarding good site content: “Google qualifies premium content as informative, engaging, relevant, authoritative and trustworthy.”

2. Avoid Blackhat SEO. This goes without saying and a bit opposite to #1 above – don’t try to beat Google’s system by using backdoor tricks that manipulate your site to greater heights artificially. Using techniques such as Hidden Text or Links, Keyword Stuffing, Sneaky Redirects or Cloaking will eventually reduce your ranking or get you penalized by the very algorithm system you are trying to beat.  

3. Use site analysis tools to stay on top of your site’s performance. Tools like Google Trends and Moz can give valuable insight as to which direction your site is headed or where it’s been over time. 

Enter a search word or phrase into Google Trends (https://trends.google.com) to see where in your country or region, that term or phrase is being searched. Other options show current trends based on search keywords, or past trends over time. 

Moz tools provide insight for site SEO feedback, site performance, analysis for backlinks, keyword identification and site audits – all geared towards helping you stay ahead of Google’s Algorithm Updates.

4. Don’t bet the farm on just your website(s). When (not if) you get hit by Google Algorithm Updates and site performance dips, have other social media tools already in place. Use these tools to point those searching for your products or information back to your site. If your site performance dips because of any Google Algorithm Updates, traffic will still be directed to your site from other sources until you make the necessary adjustments to rank your site higher again.

5. Strengthen your site-to-conversion rate. You have a great site and you’re getting lots of organic traffic, but are you selling? And if your site is more informational, are those coming to your site staying on your site? Whether your site revenue is product or ad-driven, getting people to use your site for the intended purpose is key. Good SEO helps people find your site, but when Google Algorithm Updates cause new traffic to dip, repeat customers who know your site will continue to generate revenue.

6. Keep site information fresh. Regularly updating your site with new, relevant information or products will guarantee a better user experience. Neil Patel (neilpatel.com) who knows a thing or two about good site design and content says to “Focus on the fundamentals. A good user experience relies on good content. If you remember this, you’re less likely to be penalized in any future Google update.” 

7. External and internal links. Have you ever asked yourself, what is SEO? SEO is all about driving traffic to your site, and links from other sources can also move people your direction. Promote yourself and your site by linking internally within your site from blog pages, sidebars, landing pages, and product pages. Helping users navigate through your site is not only good user interface, it also helps to rank your site higher.

External links are just as important, especially when it comes to related traffic. These links are a bit like LinkedIn relationships, where those you know or those you do business with, link to your site because of related content, product reviews, outside blogs and industry-related sharing of information. See https://www.emarketeers.com for additional specks on how to capitalize on internal and external links.

8. Stay in tune with Google. Google rarely announces algorithm updates. If they did, they would be posting announcements all the time, which isn’t their model, but with some major core updates, such as the June 2019 core update, Google tweeted it was coming and how it would add additional restrictions of two-listing from the same domain for search results. Some algorithm updates will affect your site rankings, while others may not, but it’s good to keep an eye on Google announcements (see tweets from Google SearchLiaison).

9. Go Mobile. The keyboard has changed. There are far more mobile phones in our hands than there are workstations and searches done with mobile devices return more relevant regional, local and more precise information than general searches do. Past Google Algorithm Updates have improved mobile results and helped rank mobile results specifically over desktop searches. GPS tracking on mobile devices helps return more local and more accurate results, so don’t forget to also design your site for mobile. After all, more people are searching for your site with their thumbs, not with a full-sized keyboard.

10. Learn from the best of the best. You may be good at SEO, but there is always someone you can learn from.  Do a Google search for “top SEO influencers” or “best SEO experts” and the list is always similar. SEO Guru’s like Barry Schwartz, Neil Patel, Kristi Hines, and many others serve as mentors to the rest of us who can always learn from those who have paved the way to proven results. In fact, these guys probably use search phrases similar to the two phrases above on their own sites, boosting their own rankings when you search for “industry-leading SEO experts”. Why?

Because that’s just good SEO.

Catégories: News dév web

ENTREPRENEURS are the new ARTISTS

Noupe.com - 13 novembre, 2019 - 05:22

Collaboration of the century; ART x ENTREPRENEURSHIP

When we scan the web, we will come up with different definitions of entrepreneurship. However, the phenomena of entrepreneurship is not a new term or it is not necessarily should be linked with “mobile applications” or “technology.”

Entrepreneurship is an elastic term which adapts, transforms and changes with accordance with time and space

Just like Art.”

An entrepreneur is a sophisticated rebel. One ignores the limits of world. Rather expands the limits of world and there is no one definition how he/she can do it.

Just like an “Artist.”

But there is only 2 main key elements which differ old-time entrepreneurship from the new 21st-century entrepreneurship. 

Globalisation & Social Media

“Globalization is collaborating and integrating on an international scale while social media reinforces this process through global networking.”

Wikipedia defines entrepreneurship as “the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks to make a profit” yet our generation has manipulated this definition through a creative lens. In other words, modern entrepreneurial thinkers are rebels who aspire to rebuild their realities. I have learned this, especially from my own experiences.

As a newly emerging entrepreneur, I am trying to reflect every stage of my life in my product and my services. 

As if I’m an artist, splashing color onto this black and white world

Just like an artist, I have major turning points in my life which directly affects how I approach my products and services. Some are personal some are professional.

Let me tell you about my professional experiences first and personal later and you can decide which affected my life the most.

First of all, I and my team were selected as the first runner in Axe Unilever. I was awarded 6 months’ personal and professional consultancy from Unilever HQ. 

Another great turning point in my life is that I have co-founded a women empowerment platform and we have been selected as the 2nd most effective P2P project of 2018 in the world. 

Or I give digital marketing consultancy to leading companies and NGO’s in the world and in Turkey like Urtim Scaffolding.

The other bright side of entrepreneurship career is my personal life. I was blessed to meet with lots of amazing women in my life. My mother and grandma instilled the characteristics of resilience, determination, and conviction which greatly complement my business aspirations.

She was this super beautiful in our high school. I have always taught she was out of my league but then in college, we dated for more than 2 years. 

Or as a frat kid at State University of New York / Binghamton, I failed more than 2 courses.

When these experiences sum up, I can see my products as a reflection of my own self and experiences I had.

When you look at my 3 years entrepreneurship journey, there are points that are directly related to my own life. 

Just like an “Artist.”

Another direct line with 21st-century entrepreneurs and artists is that they attempt to explain their products, that are influenced by their lives, with feeling. For example, when you go to MoMa or any modern art museum, you can see artistic statements.

I see them as simple at the same time a more complex versions of a canvas business models.

Artist trying to explain to him or herself in just 1000 characters. 

Just like an entrepreneur trying to sell his/her product.

We entrepreneurs around the world working on the same goal. 

Being an entrepreneur today is just as complex as being an artist. 

Because we are trying to change the world for good but there is no science behind it.

Catégories: News dév web

Features of Promotion and Rollout of the Car Dealership Online

Noupe.com - 12 novembre, 2019 - 08:47

The promotion of a car dealership on the Internet is an extremely demanded task. High competition between car dealers, the need to convey information to the buyer encourages car dealers to pay attention to the Internet segment.

It is through the Internet that most people now receive the most information, learn about promotions, news, and updates. The percentage of online purchases in recent years has grown significantly. This also applies to large purchases, real estate or cars. The introduction of call tracking, maintaining a database of clients and CRM systems, smart advertising based on a correctly built semantic core of the site – all this completely changes the process of online shopping.

New online sales opportunities and process automation

According to mechanic faq, smart systems allow you to track the activity of visitors, from preliminary interest to purchase, send and correct requests, provide address information. Attitude towards purchases has changed, an increasing percentage of sales is shifting to the field of information technology and is being carried out without the participation of traditional trading platforms and sellers.

A significant part of working with a client lends itself to automation. Robots and self-learning intelligent systems are able to maintain a conversation on the website at the level of an average manager, save customer data, make an offer based on customer requests, record a test drive at a convenient time, transfer data to the call center for the manager’s call. Services are an integral part of promoting a car dealership site, making the interface comfortable for the user. We’ll warn you that setting up an interactive interface takes time, semantic analysis, and personal adaptation. It is impossible to connect smart systems in the same way as an intelligent manager. Self-learning systems need to be trained.

Database collection issues

The established rules for selling cars, the existing system of remuneration for managers are becoming an insurmountable obstacle to creating an effective online sales mechanism. To launch sales via the Internet, maintain customers and create a base, you will have to face the required changes in the current system.

Perhaps you should not reduce the seller’s remuneration if the buyer came from the site. Calling, entering data into the system, phased management of the client is also work, although more automated than spontaneous sales in a car dealership. If the seller will be able to hide that the client came from the site, the company will lose a full base and part of the profit.

Technologies significantly increase sales, but only if they are implemented and working. The presence of a database and accurate analytics are a significant part of website promotion and online sales development.

Online payment

Direct sales of cars via the Internet are complicated by the fact that people are not yet ready to part with big amounts of their money online. Most online purchases have a ceiling of around $ 1,000 to $ 5,000. That is, you can pay online CTP or buy a set of winter tires, a car seat, and accessories, but to buy a new car, even based on the information support of the site, you still need a personal presence and direct payments. When buying a car, it often requires a test drive and a personal inspection of equipment. Only the most gullible and inexperienced user will agree to buying transport over the Internet without looking at it in person. Take care of a secure connection and payment security safe conduct.

The specifics of online car sales is different from the sale of clothing or household appliances. Perhaps in the near future, people will be ready to pay for the car on trusted sites completely through the Internet. We recommend that you synchronize your payment through a secure connection with payment security services.

Use available resources to the maximum

So far, the role of automobile sites is to inform, convey advertising information, attract the clients to the dealership, prompting the client to make a call or request a consultation. Through the site, you can successfully promote additional services, such as insurance, warranty, sell components and related products.

The main success factor is the availability of friendly and understandable service. In addition to good service and a user-friendly interface, a stream of visitors is required. To organize it, you need to collect analytics and correctly set up an advertising strategy. The main mistake in setting up promotion is to ignore the information component and the inability to properly organize contextual advertising. Consider the Internet resource as a regular store. By ensuring the maximum flow of customers, even if they just drop in to look at expensive equipment, you will ensure your future sales growth. Convenient car loans made buying a car affordable for almost every family. Don’t stop there, offer a second car to potential clients – for trips out of town and traveling, or vice versa, a small car for the city. Let the site and smart advertising make your sales better.

Promotion of the car dealership includes the following main positions

  • Analytics of the actual content of the site and compliance with search queries.
  • Creating a semantic core based on market analytics. Use of search engines and task managers. The new semantic core should meet the urgent needs of visitors.
  • Based on the semantic core, the information component is added to the landing pages and corresponding requests for contextual advertising.
  • Internal search and analytic modules are being introduced.

The promotion of an auto site should be subject to a single strategy. This is the collection of information, the creation of a single database, attracting visitors and retention on landing pages, creating active forms, encouraging calls and participating in car dealership programs.

Contextual advertising tied to information pages gives the cheapest in terms of real money costs but at the same time the most targeted visitors. Information landing pages were created in order to detain the visitors on the site, interest them in your services, promotions, attract them to calculating the cost of their dream car, and so on.

An additional and important plus of informational articles and news feeds is that they participate in the issuance of search engines. Informational articles determine the site’s place in the regular ranking and attract interested free visitors. For a better understanding, this is like a cross-country location for a regular store. Target visitors will be delivered to the remote dealership by the seller’s transport with all associated costs. They will cost the salon expensive, but the buying activity of interested buyers is way bigger. Ordinary visitors are those who entered the dealership from a busy street and walked around cars, admiringly clicking their tongues. The probability of a quick purchase of such visitors is lower, but with the competent work of the dealership, everything is possible – car loans, installments, a test drive of a dream car and a final purchase. Perhaps not immediately, but after a month or six months. According to analysts, it is exactly six months that it is required for the buyer to fulfill his dream of a car before purchase. It is for this purpose that databases are created that carefully guide the buyer through the decision-making process.

How to get statistics for analytics and for building the right strategy

The problem of lack of statistics is a key one when it is necessary to build any advertising strategy. Promoting a car of a certain brand is much more difficult than, for example, mayonnaise, to which you can accustom the consumer by repeating the name until they’re sick of it. Reviews, technical reviews, reports from the car service and repair shops are needed. Each brand has its own fans, and so Chevrolet advertising will be indifferently ignored by a Nissan fan. The task of advertising is to find the target audience and hit exactly the bull’s eye.

To collect statistics, one trick is recommended. In addition to the usual site statistics and keywords with clicks from various sources, place free services useful for the client on the pages.

Car cost calculation

The more fields/boxes you create with relevant information for the user, the more complete query statistics you will receive. Based on the form, you will get the exact geography of requests, preferred car brands, price preferences of your audience. Do not forget to embed a calculator in the form, which will give the calculation to the user after filling in the fields.

Calculation of the cost of the car, taking existing equipment into account

In addition to statistics and real information about what assets the client has, you get the opportunity to make an attractive offer directly through the site. Taking into account the old technology is a common and useful trick.

Do not repeat the common mistake of most dealerships – after entering the data, a window appears with the text like “our manager will calculate the price and call you back soon, please leave your phone number.” The client immediately leaves the site, because he wants to get the price right away. Without talking to the seller. You can make a note that the calculation is indicative, but the user should receive the cost immediately.

Gift price calculation form

Let the client choose the gift that the company offers when buying a car as a discount or promotion. At the same time, you will find out which products should be offered first. And it is quite possible that it won’t be a new rug.

By using the information on requests, you can set up your ads most correctly.

Using advertising to attract customers to the site

The main source of the target audience is advertising. Image advertising arouses common interest; targeted advertising is designed to attract visitors to a particular car dealership. Contextual advertising attracts people who are already in search of targeted queries. Be sure to configure regional advertising settings to get interested buyers in your region. This is especially true of advertising on social networks.

Image advertising

The centralized promotion of a car brand includes an expensive package of image-targeted advertising. Such advertisements are broadcast on TV channels during sports matches and are on all billboards in busy streets. It attracts attention and is designed to arouse initial interest. Impressed by image advertising, a potential buyer will type the name of the car in the browser and view the information on the central site and then, perhaps, go to the dealer’s website in the hope of seeing technical details and reviews. And here a failure awaits the domestic user – car dealerships have no decent information and landing informative pages.

Targeted advertising

Car dealers are interested not only in promoting a particular brand, but also in attracting customers directly to a car dealership to purchase products. This explains the usual bias in drawing up advertising orders. Car dealerships neglect image requests and information pages, giving preference to specific car dealership offers. As a result, they have a weak site that has a flow of visitors almost exclusively from advertising and without landing pages on which users are delayed. Incorrect search queries increase the final cost of each visitor, access from the site and call.

Set up targeted advertising through specialized services, and you will receive a stream of the target audience.

Contextual advertising

Contextual advertising is tied to specific user requests in search engines and gives out advertising content that is as close as possible to the user’s interests. To attract and retain a client, you need to create special pages for the main search queries. Ignoring the arrangement of landing pages and an overly aggressive advertising policy of sites is a serious mistake that reduces the effectiveness of contextual advertising to minimum values.

Set up contextual advertising based on regions. You’ll get the general flow of interested visitors simply through the landing and information pages, and useful services. Such as calculating the cost of a car, calculating insurance, calculating the cost of servicing a car online and so on. Bring those buyers to the dealership for whom it is most convenient to reach you.

The most common mistakes of car dealers on the Internet:
  • Lack of accurate and detailed information about each car. It is believed (unfortunately) that there are a lot of cars in the dealership, so it’s not worth describing each of them in detail?
  • The general message of the site and employees focused solely on attracting a potential client to the dealership, where it can be competently “processed” according to established schemes. This discourages visitors who would like to receive detailed information and accurate prices without leaving their home seats.
  • Lack of general advertising strategy to promote brands and specific models.
  • Formal promotion of a car dealership in social networks, simple duplication of information from the main site, lack of live communication, timely updating of information.
  • Inability to really find out if a client came from a site or via an internet call. The dealer does not recognize that the client is received through the site, so as not to lose part of the reward for finding the client. As a result, the owner of the dealership does not have real data to analyze the effectiveness of the site.
  • The lack of “leading” the client all the way from selection and decision making to acquisition. It seems to the site owners that it’s more convenient to take a ready-made client at the decision-making stage and quickly foist expensive products on him, having received the maximum profit.

As a result of promotion mistakes, car dealerships lose customers who go to natural markets and turn to private sellers on classified sites. The advantage of private advertisements is that they indicate the real parameters of the cars, there is the possibility of direct contact and the receipt of complete information upon request, the possibility of bargaining, the interest of the seller towards clients.

Car dealers see the tendency of buyers moving to the private sector, and are trying to solve the problem by posting false ads, supposedly about the sale of a particular car. Usually, attempts are unsuccessful, since the information is not specific, given the repetition of all major mistakes.

Tips for updating the content of the site and its promotion
  • Post specific information on the website. Look at other websites. Each car should have a specific description. The visitor can look at all the information about the model, technical information, remove information on the VIN code of the car, if a used car is offered, and all this without getting up from a chair.
  • Track calls and appeals from the website. Call tracking allows you to create a database and view up-to-date information about client actions on the site right during a call.
  • Maintain a CRM system with complete customer data. The presence of a customer base with information on the list of new promotions and test drives will increase sales immediately and in the long run.
  • Create a newsletter by subscribing through the site and social networks. The promotion of a car dealership in social networks allows you to win a huge audience with minimal cost. Get people interested.
  • Make it possible to transfer clients to your landing page from contextual advertising.
  • Configure related queries and output models with similar parameters. Create an electronic dealer who will praise the customer’s choice, tell him some useful information and offer several other options, remember the customer’s choice and the positions viewed. Let the robots do their job. This will reach a wider audience.

Be attentive to all visitors of the website, including those who drop in “just to look.” Be convincing, show your best side, show benefits, amenities, loan programs. Treat curious visitors properly, so that they want to stay and be your client.

Catégories: News dév web

Sell Your Services Online With A WooCommerce Addon Woo Sell Services

Noupe.com - 11 novembre, 2019 - 07:17

Used by millions of WordPress users, WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce plugins that provide you features to create an online store with WordPress.

The core plugin is free of cost, simple to set up and allows you to sell different types of products via your WordPress website. From physical, digital to virtual products, you can sell almost any type of product with this plugin. However, being free this plugin is limited to certain useful features. If you want to extend the functionality of your online store, you will have to purchase its premium add ons. For example, if you want to add a subscription feature to your WooCommerce website, you can do so with the help of the WooCommerce subscription extension. 

Similarly, if you want to sell services via your eCommerce website, you can do so with the help of an amazing add on called Woo Sell Services. This WooCommerce add on allows you to sell your services just like a product is sold and offers many other useful features for vendors and customers alike. Let us know more about this plugin and how it can be the ultimate option to sell services online. 

About Woo Sell Services 

Selling services using WooCommerce is now possible with this addon plugin that allows a vendor to list services as a product in their online store. If you are in a profession where you require to provide services to your customers such as designing a website, performing SEO, logo design, writing blogs, etc. and want to sell these services online from your own site, you can easily do so with the help of this plugin. 

It allows vendors to sell a service just like a product is sold and also offers a dedicated conversation section where vendors and customers can communicate with each other regarding the service being sold. 

Moreover, it allows the vendor to mention this requirement and the customers to add reviews about the service they have received. 

Features Of Woo Sell Services:

Woo Sell Services works in full integration with WooCommerce and has been designed keeping in mind all the aspects of this plugin. Features of this add on include:

Ultimate Admin Options: 

An admin has a number of service-related options that he can enable or disable according to his needs. These settings include:

  • Sending Service Email Notifications
  • Conversation Email Notifications
  • Conversation Notifications
  • Review Sync With WooCommerce Reviews
  • Selecting Seller Roles
  • Redirect to conversation page
  • Conversation notification
Vendor And Customer Capabilities

This plugin offers a vendor as well as a customer a number of useful features in terms of selling, purchasing and managing services. 

1. Create a service just like a product:

Once this plugin has been activated on your WooCommerce website, it will create a new product type called “Service” on the products page. So a vendor can simply checkmark this tab and add his service just like a product is added. 

2. Adding multiple questions:

When selling services, it becomes important for vendors to know certain requirements about the service being sold. These requirements must be submitted by the customer in order to start the job. 

To make this task easier and to reduce the stack of emails, Woo Sell Services allows vendors to add his requirements or questions that he wants to be answered by the customer. So once the service has been purchased, a customer will be shown the questions which once answered will start the order. Therefore, all the answers can be answered at one place only. Furthermore, a vendor can also add estimated time and days in which the work will be completed. 

3. A Dedication Conversation Channel:

Communication between a buyer and a seller is the key to success especially when its related to performing work. Keeping this in mind, Woo Sell Services offers a dedicated conversation channel that allows the vendor and customer to easily communicate with each other once the order has started. A customer can clear his doubts related to the service with the vendor and vice versa with the help of this dedicated conversation section. 

4. Easy order management

A customer and vendor both can easily manage their services via a service management feature provided by the plugin itself. This plugin adds a Services tab for both customers and vendors. A customer can see all services purchased in one place and take appropriate action for each service. Similarly, a vendor can view all his services sold at one place and take action regarding each service then and there.

5. Adding Reviews and Ratings

Once the service has been performed by a vendor and the customer is satisfied with his services, he can also add review and rating for the service provided. As soon as the customer closes the conversation thread, his order will be marked as complete. The reviews provided can also be synced with WooCommerce reviews and ratings. 

6. Email Triggers For Orders

With this plugin, the vendor and customer will also receive emails for each conversation trigger. An admin can choose whether to enable receiving notifications and emails or not. If enabled a customer will receive notifications and emails for triggers such as order started, the order in process, order completed etc. Furthermore, a vendor will receive notifications and emails when any service has been purchased, any requirements have been filled or on any conversation trigger. 

7.  A Dedicated Service Status Widget

Woo Sell Services also offers a dedicated service status widget that will be displayed on your website for the vendors and customers respectively. This widget will show the status of the respective service that a customer has purchased and the respective service that a vendor has sold to both the parties. A dedicated service widget will make it easy for both parties to keep an eye on the status of their services. 

Ready To Sell Services Online?

Woo Sell Services is a great add on when it comes to giving your vendor and customer the flexibility to sell and purchase services that require proper communication. Furthermore, the review feature provided by the plugin will add value to the brand reputation of your online store. If you are selling digital products from your WordPress using Easy digital downloads plugin. Then we can use EDD sell Services addon to sell services as a product with other downloadable products.

Catégories: News dév web

How does AI help in software testing?

Noupe.com - 11 novembre, 2019 - 06:41

Testing refers to a process to find out the flaws, errors, and bugs within an application before its launch in the market. It ensures customer satisfaction and offers assistance in protecting the application against certain failures. 

Testing is done on a wide scale by the software development industry to save a wide array of costs at a later off stage. You can ensure high quality for the product by choosing software testing processes for the software. 

It contributes to being a planned process in which the software is analyzed and assessed under specific conditions for understanding the risks and threshold which is involved in a certain implementation.

While the life cycles of software development are getting more complicated daily and the delivery time for the software reducers, it is a prerequisite for the testers to provide evaluations and feedback to the development teams instantly. Considering the launch of new products and software, it is hard to find a better alternative other than testing harder and smarter.

Software released which used on occurring every month, now happens every week and the updates are factored on every alternate day. Hence, it is a prerequisite that the key to streamlining of software testing and making it more efficient and smarter is recognized to be Artificial Intelligence. With the assimilation of machines which have the ability to mimic the behavior of human being, the teams of testers are capable of moving the usual route of manual testing models and move forward progressively towards the precision-based and automated continuous testing procedure.

A continuous testing platform that is powered by Artificial intelligence has the ability to recognized different changed controls more effectively and efficiently, in comparison to a human. With the consistent updates of the algorithm, you can observe the slightest of the changes. When it comes to automation testing, it is possible to use artificial intelligence in a plethora of object application categorization for a wide array of user interfaces. You will be capable of categorizing different recognized controls while creating the tools. Testers are capable of pre-training the controls which are commonly found in different out of the box setups. As the hierarchy of different controls is observed, the testers are capable of creating a technical map so that artificial intelligence is used along with a Graphical user interface with an eye to procuring labels for various controls.

Testing involves the verification of different results. Hence, you require getting access to a wide array of test data. Google DeepMind comes up with the Artificial Intelligence program which makes use of deep reinforcement learning for playing video games, thereby producing a bunch of test data. Thus, artificial intelligence will gain success in observing different users performing exploratory testing, within the specific testing site with the aid of the human brain for assessing and identifying different applications that are being tested. Thus will be bringing the users of business into testing and customers will be capable of automating the test cases fully.

Here are some of the uses of artificial intelligence in software testing: Improvement of accuracy

A human being makes errors. Even the most intelligent software tester commits mistakes at the time of conducting monotonous manual testing. This is where automated testing is useful as the same steps are performed each time; they are executed, in an accurate manner. Thus, you are not going to miss the recording of results in a detailed way. Testers who do not perform manual tests have additional time for the creation of new automated software deals and tests within specific sophisticated features.

Go beyond the limits of manual testing

It is not possible for the Quality assurance and software departments for the execution of a controlled website application test with more than one thousand users. With the aid of automated testing, it is possible to simulate thousands, hundreds and tens of virtual users who are capable of interacting with a web-based, software and network application.

Useful for both testers and developers

Developers use the shared automated tests on a wide scale for understanding the issues prior to sending them to Quality assurance faster. It is possible to run tests in an automated manner as changes are introduced in source code and provide notification to the developer of the team as they fail. Such features are useful to the developers in saving time and boosting their confidence.

Enhancing the overall test coverage

With the aid of automation testing services, you will gain success in enhancing the overall scope and depth of the tests which results in the improvement of the quality of software. Automated software testing can look into the file contents, memory, data tables, and internal program states with an eye to determining whether the software is behaving as it was expected. The test automation is capable of executing more than one thousand test cases in each test run, thereby offering coverage which cannot be achieved with manual tests.

Saves money and time

As software tests are repeated each time, the source code of the software is modified. As the tests are repeated each and every time, it consumes a lot of time. In addition to this, it involves a huge cut off from the pocket. As software tests are created, you will be capable of executing automated tests time and again in no time at zero additional costs. It is possible to reduce the time span of software testing from days to just a few hours. This helps in saving an ample amount of time as well as your money. 

After the setup of the initial investment, you will be capable of carrying out the test automation. Business firms are known to confer greater and better testing rewards without burning a hole in your pocket. As you can save a lot of money in this process, you can make the best use of this money towards the quality assurance efforts for the testing of exploratory testing or uncovered areas or the creative or more exciting parts of software testing.

Catégories: News dév web

8+ Social Media Tools Every Community Manager Needs

Noupe.com - 6 novembre, 2019 - 14:30

As a community manager or social media manager, you know how important it is to make your social media content stand out.

As much as you want to make amazing content that wows your audience, you also can’t spend all day on a single post. Chances are you have a number of profiles to manage on a post on even multiple times a day. This is why social media tools are a must.

Keep all your posts organized, work more efficiently, and learn what works for your brand all while growing your social media marketing strategy. To make this even easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best social media tools for your arsenal.

Plan Your Posts 1. Feedly

As a social media manager, you need to be able to keep up with the latest news, social media trends, and viral hits. Luckily, a tool like Feedly make this easier than ever. In the past, you may have had to open tons of tabs to read the news, check out the latest viral tweets, watch the newest trending YouTube videos, etc. This can get quite overwhelming very quickly, which is where Feedly comes in.

Feedly makes it easy to keep up with the latest news so that you never fall behind. Their customization options allow you to create curated feeds that can inspire your social media content and even provide you with plenty of stories, posts, videos, etc. that you can share in between your original, branded content.

Create boards for different topics that make sense for the different channels you manage. Collaborate with your team using a team board or connect your boards to Slack, Trello, and other team management platforms. Fill your Feedly stream with posts from publications and blogs, videos from YouTube, podcasts, and other social media channels.

You can even connect your Feedly to your Hootsuite or Buffer account to make posting straight from Feedly a breeze. Another great feature is their keyword alerts which make monitoring your company, your competitors, and your industry as simple as can be.

You can use Feedly free of charge, making it a no brainer for your team.

2. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a great research tool that allows you to monitor all things relevant to your brand. Using this tool allows you to find all the inspiration you need to create the content your followers love.

You can easily get to know trends as they’re occurring and see viral hits coming so you can jump on them before they’re over. As you do your research, filter your searches by geographic location so you know what’s happening with your target audience. Stay on top of your brand mentions, monitor your competitors, get keyword alerts, and don’t miss any backlinks with the help of Buzzsumo’s features.

Another great feature of Buzzsumo is that you can get to know people are asking on popular web forums. This includes dives into forums without getting lost in the endless posts and a better understanding of the most popular questions being asked on platforms like Quora. This makes creating useful content that answers your users’ questions a breeze.

On top of this, you’ll also get custom content analysis reports that you can export and share with your team. The competitor analysis will give you insight into what’s working for your competition, who’s boosting their content, and can also help you find influencers for your brand.

Buzzsumo starts at $99 a month so it is quite pricey, but its tools can lead to serious social media growth.

Create Your Posts 3. Placeit

Whether you’re managing a high fashion account or a very serious lawyer’s brand, you can find everything you need in Placeit’s huge catalog of design templates. Since these are made by professionals, you know they’ll always give you the sharp and eye-catching results you want.

Once you have all of your inspiration rounded up and you’re ready to create social media graphics, Placeit is the perfect tool for the job! With the different features available, you can make it all, including images for all of your social networks, engaging video content, ads, and even logos.

The best part is that you can create it all in your browser, so there’s no need for tricky design software or a design degree. Save tons of time and money by tackling all of your graphic needs with this simple tool that makes customization a breeze.

All of the templates, whether images or videos, are completely customizable and you can add your logo, color palette, images, copy, and fonts to them. The library of templates includes images with the right presets for all of your social media needs including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and more.

The new online image cropper, you can crop and resize your images so that they’re the perfect size for anything you want to use them for! There’s no need to take up brain space trying to keep up with all the different social media image sizes any longer. With the image resizer, compress your files so they aren’t as heavy and crop them to your liking all in your browser without even having to leave Placeit.

4. Unsplash

Sometimes you have a great idea for a post but don’t have the images you need to make your vision come to life. If on top of this, you don’t have the budget for a photoshoot, stock images will be your best resource. Finding stock images may not be hard, but finding high-quality images that you can use for free can be a bit more difficult.

Luckily, Unsplash exists to make your life that much easier. They boast a huge library of over 1,000,000 images that you can use as you please. This means tons of photos you can use to make social media posts that will attract the attention you want. Since they have so many graphics to choose from, you’ll definitely find the images you need to fit your brand’s aesthetic.

They make it easy to find the aesthetic you want since you can browse through different collections, use the search bar for more specific searches, or even follow photographers who post images you like.

Since their entire collection is free, you’ll save tons of money you can use in other areas of your work.

Honorable Mention: Pexels

5. Upfluence

Influencer marketing is huge, so if you haven’t already looked into it for your brand, now is the time to do it. Luckily, with the help of social media tools, it’s easier to find influencers that make sense for your brand and that will actually lead to the results you want. If you’re ready to take the first step into influencer marketing, check out Upfluence.

This tool can help connect you to influencers that are perfect for your brand’s target market, making your investment completely worth it. Their data-driven search engine makes it easy to find influencers with a real following and who can bring in serious ROI. Their wide array of demographics means you’ll have a huge field to search from and always get great results.

Instead of doing an exhaustive search yourself and then sending individual emails to each of your candidates, Upfluence allows you to send automated bulk emails, which can be a real time saver.

Whether you want to try Instagram influencer marketing or find an influencer on Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Pinterest, or in the blogosphere, Uplfuence has what you need.

Knowing how much to offer an influencer can also get tricky, so Upfluence has a solution for that. Their AI suggests reasonable payment options, meaning you won’t be left overpaying for their services.

Honorable Mention: Influential

Schedule Your Posts 6. Hootsuite

If you’re looking for a social media scheduler, Hootsuite is just what you need. In fact, Hootsuite has so much more than scheduling tools, making it a must for anyone trying to manage multiple social media accounts. You can easily schedule posts for different platforms all in one space. This includes direct posting to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you’re working with a team, Hootsuite makes it easy for everyone to stay on the same page. You can even leave pre-approved content in your cloud that your members can then use to create and schedule future posts. You can also reply to comments and other social interactions as they come into your Hootsuite inbox so your team only has to look in one place for all of your social media interactions.

Tracking performance is easier than ever thanks to their user-friendly and customizable reports that can be exported for presentations and reports. If you’re looking for an easy way to track and monitor your mentions, retweets, shares, keywords, conversations, and more, Hootsuite has these features too.

For scheduling purposes, having a content calendar will be a must. Hootsuite’s calendar lets you see your posts so that you get a better visual understanding of what your feed will look like.

Hootsuite also has a mobile app that you can use on the go, making it a no brainer.

This is just a sample of all of the features Hootsuite has to offer. Their most basic plan is free, but they also have paid plans for companies and enterprises.

Honorable Mention: Buffer

7. Later

Instagram is probably the most important social media platform out there at the moment. Planning your posts may not be hard, but being able to visualize your content makes it even easier to create the feed you want. To plan an aesthetically pleasing feed, all you need is a tool like Later.

Not only is this an easy way to plan and schedule your Instagram posts, you can also use it for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Their features allow you to create a visual content calendar, drag and drop your posts to rearrange them until your feed looks just right, and you can even post directly to your profile. Since they’re an Instagram partner, you know you can trust their services. Do keep in mind that there are Instagram video length limits that you have to follow in order to post your videos properly.

What makes this tool even better is that you can switch between different accounts, import images from anywhere, save and repost user generated content, and use their analytics tools to get a better idea of what’s working. On top of this, Later also helps you create a shoppable feed, which can lead to even more sales, all thanks to Instagram. Since Instagram Stories are such a big part of the platform, Later lets you plan and schedule stories as well, making it the whole package.

Later offers a free plan as well as paid, affordable plans for businesses.

Honorable Mention: Planoly

Analyze Your Results 8. Google Analytics

Creating posts is only one part of social media marketing. After that, there is a whole other part that is imperative to your success: analytics. In order to understand how your posts are performing, you’ll have to look for a tool like `. This is a free analytics dashboard that can help you understand all of the actions your posts are generating.

If you’re using your social media profiles to drive traffic to your website, the success of your campaigns can be easier to measure with Analytics. You can also learn demographic information about your audience. This valuable information will be very useful when creating your next campaigns, no matter what your goals are.

When it comes to social media, Google Analytics will help you discover what social media platforms are driving your traffic, which posts are bringing in the most engagement and conversions, what demographics you should target, and how different campaigns are performing.

There is a huge wealth of information inside this analytics tool, so learning it all can take some time. You can use it to create reports and compare data from different time periods for a deeper understanding of it all. While most social media platforms have their own native analytics tools, Google Analytics gives you the perfect way to take an even deeper dive.

Honorable Mention: Analytics tools native to each social network.

More Helpful Tools

Since there are so many tools available to simplify social media, it’s hard to pick just a few. Because of that, we’ve gathered a few honorable mentions that can be a great help to all social media managers. From Instagram insights to reposting content, get it all done in no time with these tools:

  1. Repost:  Repost allows you to do exactly what its name says: post-user-generated content to your own feed. It’s great for encouraging interaction with your audience and can increase engagement. Repost makes it easy to share posts with attribution so your followers feel seen and appreciated.
  2. Campaign URL Builder: If you’re using Google Analytics to analyze your campaigns, this simple tool can make your work more effective. These parameters used by Google that you can add to your URLs make it easier to track your traffic and get to the bottom of where this traffic is coming from.
  3. Bitly: Bitly is another tool you can use for your URLs. This URL shortener converts long URLs into shorter, more friendly ones. You can also create branded URLs that are safe and more recognizable.
  4. Analisa.io: This tool is great for Instagram research. It offers easy to digest analytics on different Instagram profiles, followers, and hashtags, which can make Instagram easier to master. These analytics aren’t limited to your own profile either. You can definitely check out what’s going on with your competitors as well.
All the Tools You Need

Now that you have a few more tools to help you with your social media needs, there’s no doubt you’ll have an easier time conquering the social media world. If you think of any other tool that would simplify your work, chances are that a simple Google search will lead you to a few different options, so don’t be afraid to search for what you need.

Let us know if we’ve missed any tools you love or any that have made a significant difference in your social media marketing tasks!

Catégories: News dév web

The evolution of Android – [Infographic]

Noupe.com - 6 novembre, 2019 - 13:23

Take a look at this illustration that tells the story of how Android grew steadily, disrupting the entire expertise mobility landscape, driven by innovation, creativity and user experience.

Scalefusion created an infographic that explains how Android became the most popular operating system for mobile devices.


[Infographic] Android: A Dessert That Keeps Getting Better by Scalefusion Android Kiosk Mode
Catégories: News dév web

5 Tips on Making Your Website Content Reflect Your Brand Identity

Noupe.com - 6 novembre, 2019 - 09:11

Coca Cola, Apple, Tesla, IKEA. These four companies all operate in different industries. One is in the soft drinks industry, another in the tech, third makes electric cars and fourth sells read-to-assemble furniture. 

So why are we talking about these four companies in the same sentence if they are so different? Because, despite all their differences, they still have one thing in common that connects them.

They all have a clear and unmistakable brand identity. 

There’s almost no person in the world today who hasn’t at least heard of these four companies, or even bought something from them. When people think of refreshments, they grab Coca Cola; when they want a new computer, they buy Apple and when they need new furniture, they buy and assemble IKEA.

People don’t simply buy their products for taste, quality or design, although they certainly don’t lack these. They buy their brand.

Of course, these four were quite easy examples of brands. But what of the millions of other companies that are trying to develop a brand identity for themselves? For instance, how can you showcase your brand identity on your website?

Well, this article will give you some tips on how to create website content that reflects your brand identity.

What is Brand Identity and Why it’s Not the Same as Brand or Branding?

Before we get into how you can make website content that reflects your brand identity, it’s important to understand what brand identity is in the first place.

Fortunately, for something like this, we don’t have to look very far and a simple Google search reveals the answer we are looking for. 

For instance, Crowdspring defines brand identity as “everything visual about a brand, including color, design and a brand’s logo”. In other words, what the customer can see.

Although “brand identity” often gets mixed up with “brand” and sometimes “branding”, these three terms are different. 

The brand reflects the name, design, symbol, logo or some other feature that differentiates one company or seller from another in the minds of their customers and prospective customers.

Branding, on the other hand, is a process of creating a brand. This includes what the customer can see (logo, visual design, name…) and what they can’t see (loyalty, awareness…).

How to Create Content that Reflects Your Brand Identity

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at how you can create website content that will echo your brand identity.

1. Understand how your brand stands out from the rest

This is perhaps a no-brainer, but it’s still crucial to understand how exactly does your brand differs from its competitors. What is your unique selling point and why do customers trust your brand?
This is often difficult to do with content, as it’s very easy to fall into the trap of making generic content. However, while it may be easier to just churn out content like everyone else, keep in mind that for 80% of people, the “authenticity” of content is the main deciding factor in following a brand.

2. Can you identify the company from its content?

Every time you create content for your company, I want you to do a simple text. Remove any visual characteristics that can be used to identify the brand, like logo or name and leaving just the bare content, ask yourself: can you identify the company from its content?

Visuals are still important for separating brand A from brand B, but it’s easy to become too dependent on them and neglect the content you write itself.

If you or another person consuming that content can’t tell it from the competitor’s website, start again.

3. Connect with your audience

Brand identity doesn’t happen without an audience to follow that brand. That is why your focus should always be on connecting with your audience.

You need to deliver content that your target audience finds informative and useful and you need to be consistent with it. It doesn’t help your brand identity much if you do this from time to time.

If you deliver content periodically every month, it will be much harder for the audience to connect with you. However, that doesn’t mean becoming a content production factory either. You also need to put serious thought and plan your content that the audience will want to engage with.

4. Use different types of content

Website content isn’t just articles and blog posts. It’s not enough to just write a 1,000-word blog post every week and call it a day. 

Content comes in many forms, and text is just one of them. For instance, perhaps your message would be better served to your customers as a short 1-2 minute animation, or a 10-minute video, or perhaps an infographic?

While the text is often easiest to make, you shouldn’t ignore other content formats either.

5. Use social media wisely

While not directly on your website, content that you create or share on social media should work together with your website content to reflect your brand identity.

Of course, you need to be strategic with social networking as well. Although there are plenty of social media platforms out there, ask yourself this: “does this work for my brand?”. Is this somewhere where your audience hangs out?

Social platforms will often have quite different audiences and trying to cover them all is not only difficult but can also dilute your message.

The same goes for timing. Finding out where your audience hangs out is only the first step. To engage with them, you also need to be there when they are as well. If you’re not there when your customers and prospects need you, you are missing a big opportunity to engage with them.

Conclusion

Producing content that displays your brand identity clearly and concisely is very important. However, as you can see from thousands of online examples, it is also difficult to do. 

The most important thing from the consumer’s perspective, however, is whether that content is useful to them. According to TextMagic, 91% of users opt to brand’s text messages because they see it as “somewhat useful” or “very useful”.

Hopefully, these 5 tips will help you create content just like that.

Catégories: News dév web

How to Make a Website

Noupe.com - 5 novembre, 2019 - 13:40

Your website is your most powerful communication tool. It’s become the equivalent of a Yellow Pages listing in the internet age, and any business that doesn’t have a website runs the risk of being seen as illegitimate. 

Your website is your business card, your presence on the web, and where you have the best chance to sell your products and services. You have complete control over it, from the look and feel of the branding to the content and messaging that you communicate to visitors. Ultimately, having a website is critical to turn visitors into leads and sell your products and services.  

But if you’re just starting out, creating a website may seem difficult. Fortunately, it’s not! Most people think they need to hire web developers to get a website up and running, but there are plenty of website builders that make creating a website easy for anyone who knows how to use a web browser.

If you’re struggling with how to make a website, we’ve put together this simple step-by-step guide to help you build a website for your business. 

You’ll start at the very beginning, with choosing a website builder that works for your needs (such as how much customization you want and what your comfort level is with coding). Then you’ll learn about registering a domain name, how to choose a web hosting service, how to set up your website, design options for your website, and how to add content to your website. You’ll even learn a little bit about content strategy so that your website will help you generate leads and sales.

Step-by-step guide to making a website

Ready to get started on a website of your own? There are six steps you’ll take, from start to finish. By the time you complete them, you’ll have a fully functional web presence that will make you appear credible to your online visitors, educate potential customers on your products and services, and increase your sales. 

Here are the steps to making a website:
  1. Choose a website builder or platform
  2. Register a domain name
  3. Get web hosting
  4. Set up your website
  5. Design your website
  6. Add content to your website

While it may seem like a lot, you can make a website fairly quickly, in days rather than weeks or months, if you know what you want and understand the process.

Best website builders and platforms How to choose the best website builder or platform

Before you register a website and start building it, you need to decide what platform you’ll use. Gone are the days when you had to know the alphabet soup of internet acronyms: HTML, CSS, and FTP. 

Now you can easily build a website without knowing how to code or even upload files to a server. You can do almost all of the work through your internet browser without downloading any programs. It all depends on how much you want to customize your website.

There are a variety of website builders out there, including WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix. Some are easier to use than others, and some have features that the others might not. 

When you’re choosing the best website builder for your site, think about a few things, like how much experience you have with HTML coding, how much you want to customize the website, and whether or not you want to work with templates or a drag-and-drop interface to build web pages.

WordPress

One of the best website builders out there is WordPress. 

When most people think of WordPress, they think of the free blogging platform on WordPress.org. However, the WordPress.org open source software is available on WordPress.com, which actually deploys and hosts your website for you. You can either use WordPress.com’s web hosting or build a WordPress site on a website hosting service of your choice (more on that later). 

WordPress uses plug-ins and themes to build websites, including e-commerce websites. It’s not the easiest platform to use, and you might need some coding knowledge for some of the more custom features or advanced plug-ins. However, you can use drag-and-drop templates and plug-ins like Elementor to design your site and customize it as much as you want. 

Squarespace

Another popular website builder is Squarespace. You can create a mobile-responsive site with the drag-and-drop website builder. 

Squarespace provides good e-commerce capabilities, including the ability to sell digital downloads. It’s possible to build an entire e-commerce website on Squarespace. 

However, there are fewer templates and customizations available to you if you go with Squarespace, and unlike WordPress, you can’t use third-party widgets and plug-ins to customize your site. Squarespace also doesn’t have a free plan or offer a non-hosted option, so you’ll have to pay monthly hosting fees.

Weebly

If you’re looking for one of the best website builders for novices, Weebly might be it. Weebly provides an intuitive interface and lets you use a variety of responsive themes — although their mobile websites are not customizable. 

There’s a free option, and you can download the entirety of your site as standard HTML or CSS if you want to move your site to another platform.

Wix

A lot of people new to website builders choose Wix because it’s arguably the easiest one to use. Wix offers a free site option if you want to try it out. The interface is very intuitive, and you can use a lot of gadgets to add functions or customize your site. You can create a custom site that extends to mobile and works well for e-commerce. 

While Wix doesn’t come with website analytics or use responsive design in the strictest sense, it’s easy to create a fully functional and customized website using Wix.

GoDaddy GoCentral

If you register your domain name on GoDaddy (one of the largest domain registration companies), you’ll be encouraged to use GoDaddy GoCentral to build your website. 

GoDaddy GoCentral gives you a lot of storage space and bandwidth, and the interface is easy to use. You can create professional-looking websites for both desktop and mobile browsers. 

However, they offer fewer customization options and no photo editing capabilities. And if you want to build an e-commerce store, you’ll need to upgrade your plan. GoDaddy GoCentral doesn’t offer a free option.

Gator Website Builder

Website hosting platform, HostGator, offers one of the best website builders: Gator Website Builder. If you choose HostGator as your hosting platform, you can use this website platform to create your site. 

Gator Website Builder has a clear, easy-to-use interface and lets you use modern website templates. They also offer e-commerce capabilities, including the ability to sell digital downloads on your site. 

However, there are a limited number of third-party plug-ins and add-ons you can use, and you can’t edit photos on Gator Website Builder. Still, this is a good option if you’re looking for a platform that will let you create a website easily and quickly with limited know-how.

There are many other website builders out there. These are just a few of the best ones. As you’re evaluating which builder to use, keep in mind that some of these options will require a level of technical knowledge, particularly if you want to do a lot of customization for appearance or functionality. Others provide a simple drag-and-drop template that will allow you to create a website in a matter of minutes but offer less overall functionality.

How to get a domain name

What’s the first thing you should do when building a website? 

Get a domain name. 

Visitors get to your website through your domain name. It should be the same as — or similar to — your company name. Purchasing and securing a domain name for your website doesn’t take very long, and the process is fairly straightforward.

What is a domain name?

In the simplest terms, a domain name is your website name, like acme.com. It’s the address where your visitors will go to view your website. They’ll either type the domain name directly into their web browser bar, or they’ll search for your company or your products via a search engine and be directed there. 

Your domain name can be any combination of letters or numbers, and you can even include hyphens (although that’s not recommended).

Computers actually use IP addresses to go to websites, but IP addresses are strings of numbers that are difficult to remember. That’s why there are domain names, which should be easy to remember. 

A domain name is different from your web host. If you think of it in physical terms, a domain name is like your address, and your web host is your building. You’ll need a domain name so that your web host can publish your website and point traffic to it.

A domain name has two parts: top-level and second-level. 

Your top-level domain is to the right of the last dot, and it will usually end in “.com.” The top-level domain gives clues about the owner. That’s why government agencies typically use .gov, and schools and universities use .edu. Nonprofits often choose a .org address. There are also top-level domains that reflect location, like .ca, .uk, and .us. 

The second-level domain is your actual identity and the name you choose. For an address like samplebusiness.com, the “.com” is the top-level domain, and “samplebusiness” is the second-level domain.

How to acquire a domain name

It’s fairly easy to acquire a domain name (or register one). The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known as ICANN, registers domain names. There are a lot of domain registrars to choose from, and ICANN has a list of accredited and reputable domain registrars on its website. 

Some of the more popular domain registrars include GoDaddy.com, Domain.com, Bluehost.com, and Register.com. For some top-level domains, like country-specific ones, you may need to use a different domain registrar. 

You don’t have to register your domain with the same company you use for web hosting; for example, a lot of people will use a domain registrar just to acquire a domain name and then choose a different provider for web hosting.

How to choose a domain name

Before you register your domain, you need to choose a domain name. As you come up with a domain name, use your domain registrar’s availability checker to make sure you’ll be able to buy it.

This is something you need to carefully consider; your domain name is how your visitors will find you, and it should be easy for them to remember and type into a browser address bar. 

Here’s how to choose a domain name that will have staying power. 

Get a .com domain

People naturally type .com after most of the domain names they enter. Your first choice of a domain name should be a .com one. Using .net, .tv, or anything else could cause confusion, especially if no one has registered the .com that goes with your .tv. 

However, it may be worth it to register your domain name with several different top-level domains, as there are some great options available. For example, if your business is located in New York City and you can provide a New York City contact address, you can register your domain with the .nyc top-level domain extension. 

Tech companies can use .io, .ly, and .digital, among others. There are also .bar, .pub, .cafe, .pro, .info — the list goes on. These top-level domains are also great if your .com domain is taken.

Keep it simple

Your domain name should be as short as possible and easy to remember. While something like “luv4kitteez.com” is adorable, it requires your visitors to remember the unique spelling. It’s the same with a domain name that has hyphens or with a word that’s commonly misspelled. 

And if you’re trying to appeal to a broad audience, avoid specific industry terms that the average person wouldn’t know or search for. You want your web address to flow off their fingertips as they type it.

Use keywords

Your domain name is one of the best places to use keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. The keywords need to be compact and to the point; try to avoid extra words in your domain name. For example, “FifiCatSupply.com” will be much easier to remember — and work better for SEO purposes — than “CatSupplyFromFifi.com.”

Use your name

As great as it would be to register the domain name “BestCatSuppliesEver.com,” that could be anyone’s domain name. Use your brand name as part of your domain name. Again, this makes it easier for people to remember your domain name and type it into a browser bar.

Don’t limit yourself

You never know what will happen with your business. You may decide to expand from just cat treats to carrying a full line of cat supplies, including carriers and custom collars. While FifiCatTreats.com may be perfect for the next couple of years, don’t limit yourself by choosing a domain name that is too narrow for what your business may become.

Avoid random strings of words

It’s tempting to string a bunch of keywords together for SEO purposes, but too many keywords can confuse your visitors. For example, TunaSalmonCatTreatsCollars.com is descriptive, and it will help your SEO. But your visitors will have to remember the exact order of the words, which will make it that much harder for them to find you.

Make sure your domain name is available on social media

The last thing you want to do is register a great domain name, only to find out that the page name is taken on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. As you choose a domain name, check the social media sites you want to build a presence on to make sure you can reserve the corresponding username. This will help you be consistent across platforms and make it easier for visitors to find you on multiple channels.

How to register your domain name

You’ve chosen a domain registrar and a domain name; now what? It’s time to register your domain name so you can get started building your website. This is a fairly straightforward process.

Fill out the forms on your domain registrar’s website. You’ll have to provide personal information for the “WHOIS” database, but this can be masked. Most domain registrars will offer this option for an additional fee.

Next, you’ll pay the fee. The price for your domain name should come up during the availability check. If you go with the domain registrar’s web hosting service, your domain might be free with a hosting package. After you pay, you can either park your domain or start using it right away.

If you don’t have a website yet, park your domain until you build your website and point your domain to it. Basically, your domain registrar will set up a page for you saying that the domain name is reserved. 

Now you’re ready to start creating your website. In the next section, you’ll learn about web hosting and how to choose the right web hosting plan for your website.

How to get a web hosting provider

Your website is going to need a place to live, and that’s where web hosting comes in. You’ll have to choose a web hosting provider that will work for you, and there are several options you can choose from.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is the storage space for your website. Web hosts are companies that sell space on servers. Think of your website as a bunch of files. When you open files on your computer, they need to be somewhere, either on your hard drive or in a cloud storage space. Web hosting is the cloud storage space where your website’s files are. Or, to use another metaphor, your domain name is your address, and your web hosting service is your building.

When visitors type in your domain name, they’ll go to your website, which lives on this server. Their computer will connect to your web host’s servers, and they’ll be able to view and interact with your website.

Best web hosting services

Web hosting companies store websites and make them available to visitors. They all offer different plans at different price points. When you start looking for a web hosting provider, consider the different services out there, what you need to host your website, and what your budget is for hosting services. 

Here are a few of the best web hosting services to consider.

Bluehost

Bluehost’s shared hosting plans start at $3.95 per month. The company offers specific WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans, along with management support. 

Customers get free SSL certificates (electronic certificates that indicate your website is secure), free domain name registration, and 24-7 support. Bluehost performs daily backups on even the lowest priced options. The price of hosting goes up after the promotional period ends.

HostGator

With HostGator, shared hosting starts at $2.75 per month. The company offers plans for almost every need, from a basic shared WordPress site to a dedicated server that only your company uses.

HostGator lets their dedicated hosting users customize their server and gives them the option of Windows or Linux hosting. They provide uptime monitoring, regular backups, and free cPanel or Plesk for managing your installation. However, once the promotional period is over, it can be difficult to tell how much you’re actually paying for web hosting.

A2 Hosting

If you’re looking for a lot of different features, like the choice between Windows and Linux-based servers, caching, and SSL, A2 Hosting includes these with every plan. Some plans include uptime monitoring and regular backups, and all plans include scanning for malware and automatic updates. 

Shared hosting starts at $2.99 per month. However, like most hosting providers, the pricing isn’t very transparent. You do, however, get 24-7 support by chat, email, and phone.

Hostinger

Based out of Lithuania, Hostinger offers a variety of plans that can be optimized for WordPress. Some plans include SSD performance, dedicated IP addresses, and regular backups. Most offer some level of SSH access. 

For your first year, you can get shared hosting for $.99 per month, but the price does go up after the first year. The money back guarantee is simple and straightforward; if, within 30 days, you’re not happy, you get a full refund, no questions asked. Hostinger offers 24-7 chat support.

SiteGround

Ideal for small businesses that need something a little more complex than a simple WordPress hosting option, SiteGround offers shared hosting plans that start at $3.95 per month. Web hosting plans come with free automatic daily backups, high-performance SSDs, and free LetsEncrypt SSL certificates. 

SiteGround is security conscious. Along with firewalls and an AI system to monitor systems for suspicious activity, a dedicated security team on staff writes patches. With the $3.95 per month plan, however, you do have to pay to restore your site from a backup. Also, the cost of hosting doubles after the first year.

Dreamhost

Considered one of the best web hosting services, Dreamhost offers their own easy-to-understand control panel for customers. Storage is on SSDs, and all plans get SSLs. 

Pricing is more transparent than other services; shared hosting starts at $2.59 per month, and Dreamhost offers a 97-day money back guarantee, the most generous of all the hosting plans available.

How to choose a web hosting plan

A lot goes into choosing a web hosting plan beyond pricing. 

Before you sign on with a web hosting service, consider what the goals of your website are and how fast you expect to grow your business. Also consider your level of technical expertise, as some hosting services provide more support than others. 

Next, look at how much storage space, bandwidth, and control the different hosting plans offer. If your website is for a small local business that doesn’t need a lot of room to grow, you may be fine with a shared hosting plan that lets you build a site and update it as needed. If you plan to expand rapidly into other markets or anticipate a lot of web traffic, you’ll need to consider a more expensive option.

As you look at hosting providers, make sure you investigate the uptime they offer; it should be at least 99 percent. Note how long they’ve been in business, a big measure of credibility, as well as how many customers they have and where their customers are located. Read online reviews and testimonials to see how they do. 

In addition, check to see if the hosting provider offers 24-7 support in some form, as well as security features, backup services, and mobile access, if that’s something you think you’ll need.

Below are the types of hosting available to you.

Shared hosting is the least expensive option. It’s ideal for blogs and small businesses that are just starting out. The downside of shared hosting is that you share space with other websites on the same server, so if one of those sites overloads, your site may slow down.

WordPress hosting is specifically optimized for WordPress sites. If you build your site on WordPress, you can either purchase WordPress hosting through WordPress or through any number of web hosting providers.

E-commerce hosting is offered by a lot of web hosting providers. It’s great for online businesses, and many hosting providers offer a dedicated web server for your e-commerce site, along with email functionality.

Dedicated hosting gives you the most control over your server, and you can install any software you want. It’s like having a server in your office, except it’s managed and monitored by your web hosting provider.Reseller hosting is for users who want to resell their hard drive space on web hosting providers to host other people’s websites. You probably won’t need this unless you’re planning to start a website design business and are able to make a profit.

How to set up your website

Now that you’ve reviewed and chosen a website platform, registered your domain name, and picked a website hosting provider, it’s time to set up your website. You don’t need lots of technical skills to do this. Your website platform, whether it’s WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or something else, will have all the HTML, CSS, PHP, and other code alphabet soup behind the scenes.

If you’ve chosen to use Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly, you’ll likely be using their hosting platform. This makes it much easier to set up your website; just log into your account and start building your website, adding pages, images, and content.

Your website hosting provider should have a step-by-step tutorial that will walk you through how to set up your website. The process is usually fairly straightforward. Here are the steps you’ll likely take as you install your website builder or platform on your web hosting service:

  1. Log into your hosting account.
  2. Go to your control panel.
  3. Look for the icon that matches the web platform you’ve chosen to use.
  4. Choose the domain name where you want to install this website.
  5. Click the Install Now button.

This is the process you’ll use for any website builder that’s been created by a website hosting provider. For example, if you use GoDaddy’s GoCentral, you’ll be able to install your website with just one click using this process. This is also how you can set up Gator Website Builder in HostGator.

However, if you’ve chosen to use a web hosting provider and WordPress (or another platform that’s more of a content management system, or CMS), you’ll need to make sure you click on the WordPress icon in your control panel and follow the instructions onscreen. Your website hosting provider, whether it’s Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy, or something else, should have a step-by-step walk-through that installs the website platform for you.

How to install your website builder manually

In some cases, a web hosting provider won’t offer one-click installation for installing your website builder, or you may want to do it yourself. In this case, you’ll need to install your website builder manually. Depending on which hosting provider you’ve chosen, your website setup may differ slightly.

WordPress setup

It isn’t difficult to install WordPress on your web hosting provider and set up your website.

Before you install WordPress, make sure that your web hosting service is using PHP 7.3 or greater and MySQL 5.6 or Maria DB 10.1 or greater. You’ll also need a login account for your web hosting service, a text editor like Windows Notepad or OS X TextEdit, FTP access, and a web browser. You’ll use a text editor to edit the main configuration file, if needed, and an FTP program like FileZilla to upload your files and set permissions for those files. 

To install WordPress manually, follow these steps:

  1. Download and unzip the WordPress package from WordPress.org.
  2. Create a database for WordPress on your web server as well as a MySQL (or MariaDB) user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it. Your hosting provider may have already set up a WordPress database for you, or you may be able to do this by clicking on a setup link. If you can’t find the database, contact your website hosting provider for support. Make sure you actually need to set up a database before doing it. If you do have to set up a database, you’ll likely use phpMyAdmin to do so. Choose a name for your database and create it in the directory. Then create users and assign them privileges. You’ll need to create at least one user in your database who has full access to change the database, the Admin user. This is different from the WordPress users who will publish on your site. If you have only one database, and it’s already being used, you can still install WordPress on it. Just make sure you use a distinctive prefix for your tables so that you don’t overwrite any existing database tables. Don’t worry about installing a wp-config.php file yourself. If this isn’t something you’re comfortable doing, WordPress will create it for you when they set up your website.
  3. Use FTP access to upload the WordPress files where you want them to live on your web hosting provider. For example, if you want WordPress as the root of your domain (e.g., http://yoursite.com), upload all of the files from the unzipped WordPress directory, except the WordPress directory itself, into the root directory of your web server. If you want your WordPress installation in a subdirectory (e.g., http://yoursite.com/blog), create the directory on your server, then upload the WordPress files to the directory.
  4. Run the WordPress installation script by typing your domain name into your web browser. This should be the domain name where you updated your WordPress files. If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you’ll type in http://yoursite.com. If you installed the files in their own subdirectory, you’ll visit http://yoursite.com/blog (or whatever the subdirectory is). The WordPress installation script will run automatically, and WordPress will be installed and ready to use. If you didn’t create your own wp-config.php file, this is where WordPress will ask you if you want them to create and edit it. WordPress will ask you for your database details; just fill those out, and they’ll create your wp-config.php file and continue to install WordPress on your website hosting provider.

Once installed, WordPress will take you through the process of setting up your website and accessing it through the WordPress administrator panel. Enter your site title, a username to log into WordPress for administration and publishing purposes, a password, and your email; check the box if you don’t want search engines to find your WordPress site. Once you’ve successfully installed WordPress, you’ll be able to log into your WordPress administrator panel and start building your website pages.

At this point, you’ll also be able to create additional WordPress users to publish on your website. Those users are

  • Super admin: someone with access to the site network administration features and all other features. This isn’t something you need to worry about when you first set up your website, because ideally everything has already been set up for you.
  • Administrator: someone who has access to all the administration features in your website. This should be you.
  • Editor: someone who can publish and manage posts, including posts by other users. The Editor role can’t change the theme or how the website looks and feels.
  • Author: someone who can publish and manage their own posts. The Author role can’t publish anyone else’s posts or change the site’s appearance.
  • Contributor: someone who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
  • Subscriber: someone who can only manage their profile. Create this type of user if you have a site that requires logging in. However, when you’re first setting up your website, you don’t need to do this.
How to design a new website

After you secure your domain name, choose a hosting provider, and decide on the type of website builder you’ll be using, you can start designing your new website. This will require more than just adding text and pictures. Your website should look professional and polished and reflect your brand. In this section, you’ll learn how to

  • Choose a website template
  • Use key elements of website design
  • Design a homepage
  • Pick the right fonts for your website
  • Find and use the right images
  • Choose a color scheme
  • Optimize your website navigation
  • Design the website taxonomy
  • Capture leads from your website
How to choose a website template 

Much of the heavy lifting for website design can be done with a website template. A website template is a predesigned web page, or set of web pages, that lets you plug in your own images and text. You can also choose the color scheme and fonts, so the look and feel of your website match your branding. 

Most website builders have a selection of free, customizable templates you can use. Remember that it’s always better to take your time to choose the right template for your website than to rush into selecting one that won’t work for you later. Investing the time now means you’ll have a website that will grow with your business.

Know what type of website you’re building

E-commerce sites that sell products will have different requirements than business websites meant to capture leads and serve as a brochure. 

It’s easy, especially for beginners, to get pulled into a beautifully designed website template that doesn’t match their requirements. Before you choose a template, make sure you know what you need, whether it’s a way to add products for sale or a way for customers to contact you.

Consider the costs

You can choose from a lot of website templates; the cost ranges from free to very expensive. How much your website template costs is definitely a consideration, but also think about how much time and effort you’ll have to spend getting it to look the way you want. How much time do you want to spend on customization? Would that time be better spent working on your core business?

It’s tempting to use a free template, especially if you’re focused on budget. However, choosing a template just because it’s free can come with its own share of problems, including a lack of functionality, minimal customization options, and no tech support. 

There are a lot of great free website templates, but consider the quality of the template, the features and functions it supports, and how much customization it provides. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re getting your template from a reputable provider. Read reviews about the provider and the template itself to help you decide.

Look carefully at customization options

No matter how beautiful the template design is, you should be able to customize it to match the look and feel of your business. You may not need to do a lot of customizing now, but as your business grows, you may want to hire a developer to add custom options. At the very least, you should be able to change the colors and fonts of your website template to match your branding.

Other website template considerations

Finally, there are a few absolutely non-negotiable options your website template must offer:

  • Responsive design. A website with responsive design will adjust the layout when it’s viewed on a mobile device, making it mobile-friendly.
  • SEO-friendly. If your website isn’t optimized for search engines, it doesn’t matter how pretty the template is. Take a look at the hierarchy and navigation in your site’s template, and make sure it’s well coded to reduce page load times.
The website design process: Key design elements

Most of the website design will be done by your website template provider. However, it’s important to understand some key elements of website design, not only so you can choose the right template but so that you can customize it to your requirements without sacrificing the appearance of your site.

One website design principle is Mondrianism. Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter and one of the founders of abstract painting. He’s well known for his mosaic-like paintings that focus on primary colors and clear lines. These mosaics work well as a design grid for websites, particularly responsive websites. A lot of sites use a tile design similar to Mondrian’s mosaics. 

Here are some other things to consider as you design your website:

  • Your color palette. Use a strong but limited color palette, as too many colors will be visually distracting.
  • White space. This is a catch-all term for empty space in your web design. White space acts as a buffer between all the elements of your web page: header, sidebar, margins, etc. It helps the visitor navigate your site.
  • Fonts. Choose fonts that reflect your industry. For example, a lawyer or accountant may choose serif fonts, which have small extra strokes at the end of the main vertical and horizontal strokes of letters, e.g., Garamond. A designer may choose sans serif, which doesn’t have the extra strokes, e.g., Helvetica.
Designing your website homepage

Your homepage may be the most important part of your website. It’s the first thing visitors see when they visit your site, and it typically introduces them to what you’re all about. Every website has a homepage. If your homepage isn’t a welcome page, use your slogan to tell your visitors what you do.

Here are some common characteristics of a homepage:

  • Large, bold typography. It’s easier to read messages on a homepage and skim them when the type is large and clear. The color of the type should contrast against the background. Make sure you use a bold font choice.
  • Plenty of color — but not too much. The human eye notices color. Consider your color palette and use enough color to make the page visually interesting.
  • Creative graphics and photography. People are drawn to images, so your homepage should have interesting images and informative photos that help orient your visitors to what you do. 
  • Concise messaging. Now is not the time to extol the virtues of your business. Sum up what you do in a few short, skimmable sentences or bullet points.
Choosing fonts for your website

The best fonts for your website depend on your business or the purpose of your site. Some fonts work better for headlines, while others are good for paragraphs. Also consider whether the font comes in special styles, like italics and bold, and its overall readability.

Serif fonts, particularly in headings, are ideal if you’re setting up a website for a more traditional business, like a law firm or financial services firm. They’re considered elegant and sleek. However, sans serif fonts are playful and clean. Some sans serif fonts have a handwritten feel.

There are no hard and fast rules for fonts, however. Most websites use a small selection of common fonts, like Arial, Helvetica, and Georgia, which are safe choices and holdovers from the days when font choice was limited. 

You don’t have to use one of these fonts, and if you’re willing to download new fonts, you’ll have a wide array at your disposal. You can use one font throughout your entire website or choose two fonts that either complement each other or contrast, like a script font and a sans serif font.

How to find website images

A picture is worth a thousand words, so you should find images that speak to your visitors. When you choose website images, keep in mind your color palette and what you’re trying to communicate to your visitors. You can use three types of images.

Stock photos

There are a lot of stock photos on the web. These photos were taken by someone else and are sold for you to use. Some sites will require you to pay for the photos, like Adobe Stock. Other sites, like pixabay.com and pexels.com, offer free website images you can use as you wish. 

Pay attention to the fine print. Make sure that you abide by the terms of the stock photography site where you purchase the photos. If there are limits to where and how you can use the photos, don’t go beyond them. Otherwise, you’ll be responsible for paying extra fees.

When you use stock photos, be very conscious of the people in them. The images should reflect your brand and its aesthetic. Also, consider the diversity of the models as you choose your stock photos. 

Original photos

These are photos that you take for your website. They can be lifestyle images of your products in action, products themselves, or photos of your team. You can either hire a professional photographer to take the pictures, or if you’re good with a camera and have a high-quality one, take them yourself.

Illustrations

You can also use illustrations as website images. Choose clean illustrations, not superimposed imagery like data visualizations across city skylines, because these can come across as cheesy. You can find illustrations on some stock image websites. Alternatively, you can create your own or hire a designer to do so.

How to choose your website color scheme

A lot of choosing a website color scheme comes down to the psychology of color. First, choose the main color for your website, then choose one or two accent colors and a background color. Your main, or dominant, color will be your brand color.

Choosing your dominant color

Your dominant color is the color most closely associated with your brand. For example, most people think of brown when they think of UPS. 

Your dominant color will be a key component of your website color scheme and will inspire certain emotions in your visitors. For example, red evokes passion, urgency, and excitement, while blue represents stability and calm. 

Also, consider your audience: Is it male or female? Younger and energetic or sophisticated with more money to spend? Not all colors will be right for your website, so choose a bold color that will speak to your audience.

Choosing accent colors

Monochromatic websites can be boring, so you should add one or two accent colors to your website color scheme. The accent colors should complement your dominant color. A color matching tool like Adobe Color CC can help you do that. Use the accent colors to highlight secondary information on your website, like subtitles and information boxes.

Choosing your background color

The best background color comes down to readability. Most information and e-commerce websites use a white or neutral background color because it puts the focus on the products and ideas, not on the website design. 

How to optimize your website navigation

There are a lot of ways to make sure your website navigation is simple for your visitors. One way is through website menus. Your website template may include user-friendly horizontal or vertical navigation menus. These often are dropdown menus that show more navigation options when your visitor hovers over a tab.

To optimize your website navigation, make it as easy as possible for visitors to find what they’re looking for. First, figure out what top-level pages should be in your navigation bar. A lot of companies use company-focused navigation, e.g., “Company Profile, Products, What We Do.” Instead, use customer-focused navigation that puts your top products and services categories in the navigation bar.

For your secondary pages, those that show when visitors hover over the top-level pages, use terms that people search for, like “gluten-free cookie recipes.” This makes it easy for your visitors to find what they want.

Website taxonomy design tips

Website taxonomy is how you classify different things on your website. For example, a business website may classify pages as blog posts, information pages, or product pages. A dessert blogger might categorize her posts as cookie recipes, cupcake recipes, and muffin recipes. 

When you design your website taxonomy, keep these factors in mind:

  • Business goals. Think about the business purpose and the goal for the taxonomy. Are you classifying pages to broadly manage content or to create specific, niche categories for your pages?
  • The effect on SEO. When search engines crawl your site, they follow the taxonomy to index all the information about a specific topic. Without a consistent taxonomy, your site will be difficult to index.
  • Your users. Without a clear website structure, your users will leave your site. For example, if they’re looking for tuna-flavored cat treats, they’ll expect to find them by looking under the type of pet and treats. 

Once you’ve decided on your taxonomy, map it with metadata or defining keyword characteristics. This will help your system automatically categorize your pages as you create them.

Ways to capture user information

When designing your website, look for ways to capture leads or relevant user information, which will help you improve your site and provide users with what they need. There are several ways to do this:

  • Analytics. Depending on your website builder, you may have analytics built into your website. If not, you can use Google Analytics (which you should use anyway) to track how visitors behave on your site. For example, you can see how they came to your website — for instance, through a web search or social media link —as well as what pages they visited, how long they stayed on your site, etc. Knowing this will help you figure out what you need to do to optimize your content.
  • Logins. In WordPress, you can let users create usernames and passwords to view content. This is one way to capture information like email addresses so that you can later market to your users.
  • A newsletter signup link. If you plan to do email marketing, you can create a newsletter signup link that asks visitors for their email address and other information. Make sure that you’re not asking for too much information (for example, requiring them to provide their phone numbers), and if possible, offer them something in exchange, like a downloadable checklist or a discount.
  • Contact forms. With a tool like JotForm, you can create contact forms on your website and include fields for your visitors to indicate what they’re interested in.
  • Surveys. You can also design surveys to find out your visitors’ interests.
How to write content for a new website

Now that you’ve selected a theme for your site and designed it, you need to add content. This is the most important part of your website. It introduces you or your company to your customers, engages them, and humanizes your brand. 

While your design and imagery are important, the words you use are what will build trust and convince your visitors to buy from you. Design alone isn’t enough; you need on-page website content to engage with your potential users.

Why write website content?

There are several reasons to write website content. One of the biggest is search engine optimization (SEO). As Google and other search engines crawl the web, they index websites based on the text included. 

While images and videos are very engaging, search engines index them differently than text. For example, someone may search for “prom dresses,” but the image results could display below local shops and text-filled websites. For services-based businesses, like graphic designers, a search for “graphic designer” is unlikely to turn up any images on the first page of results. Images need to be published with image tags and not as background images for Google to index them.

Website content also provides a great opportunity to build internal links — links to other pages on your website that can direct visitors to additional information. An internal linking structure helps guide your visitors through your site and helps with SEO. When search engines crawl your website, they follow the links to determine the relationship between your content and group pages by similar subject matter. 

Aside from SEO, website content educates your customers and shares your messaging. There are different types of content you can use on your website: informational pages that talk about your company, blog posts that highlight your expertise, informative guides and whitepapers that can be downloaded, product copy that dives deep into each product, service pages that describe each service you provide, and more. 

Once you’ve mapped out what you want to include on your website, such as homepage content and services page content, you’re ready to start writing content that engages visitors and helps turn them into customers.

How to write content for a website

There’s a lot of noise on the internet. In March 2019, over 4.4 million blog posts were published each day. Your task as you write content is to cut through that noise and get through to your visitors. Good writing will engage your visitors and get them to take action. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you develop your website content.

Your website’s audience

Good content speaks directly to your visitors. Think about who will be reading your website. What problems do they have, and how do you solve those problems? What search terms would they type into Google if they were looking for you? 

Sometimes it helps to create a persona, or a fictional person who embodies the characteristics of your audience. This persona should reflect your main audience and include basic demographic information (such as age, gender, and geographic location), their likes and dislikes, hobbies and activities, and challenges they have that your website content can help them solve.

What’s unique about you

Since the goal of website content is to cut through the noise, you want to include what’s unique about your products and/or services. How do you stand out from the competition? You may have an interesting backstory, better pricing, faster shipping times, stellar customer service, high-quality products, superior processes, or sustainable sourcing of materials. These things can help you differentiate yourself, so you should highlight them in your website content.

Your tone and style

As you write your website content, think about how your tone and style come across to your audience. Are you more formal, or are you relaxed and casual? You should adapt your words, phrasing, and sentence structure to appeal to your target audience.

For example, if the purpose of your website is to sell IT services to businesses, you may want to adopt a more formal and informative tone. This could also include things like not using contractions in your writing and using common industry terminology. On the other hand, if you’re selling directly to your customers, you may want to write in a more casual and conversational style.

In addition, think about your tone. Is your brand humorous and tongue-in-cheek, or are you sentimental and straightforward? The words you choose and how you phrase your sentences will convey your brand.

Website content strategies to develop your content

You should adopt a strategy for your website content. There are different content strategies to engage users and convey your messaging. Blogging, using third-party data, and integrating visitor feedback are just three ways to do this.

Blogging

Adding a blog to your website can help with SEO and help establish your company as a trusted resource for your visitors. Stick to industry topics, common questions that people ask about your industry, and other related topics that are of interest to your readers. 

Provide useful information to your audience, and they’ll keep returning. You don’t have to post every day, but make sure you update your blog regularly to provide consistency for your readers and continually improve SEO.

Expanding on third-party data

When other companies conduct research, you can piggyback on that data and expand on it. For example, a research firm might release a study about IT services that you can reference in your website copy. 

You can also leverage third-party research to demonstrate your own expertise by providing insight on industry trends and statistics in blog posts, resource guides, and downloadables like white papers and e-books. Just make sure you credit the original source when you use the data.

Integrating visitor feedback

The information you collect from your visitors, including what they type into contact forms, can also help with your website content strategy. For example, you may realize that you need to better describe a product or service on your website because a lot of visitors ask the same questions about it. 

Understanding your website visitors can also help you come up with new blog topic ideas and help you create helpful resources like product guides, how-to-content, and FAQs.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve learned how to make a website, from start to finish, you should have the basic framework that will help you build your online presence and grow your business. If you’ve completed all of the steps in this guide, you should be ready to go live with your new website. 

As you continue to evolve, keep your online presence fresh by regularly updating your website with images and text that accurately reflect your products and services. 

You can re-use the tips in this guide if you want to set up a second website or update your existing one. Use your website to capture information from visitors and users, and see what a difference it can make in your business.

Catégories: News dév web

Want to Make Every New Project a Success In 2020? Try These 20 Tools

Noupe.com - 5 novembre, 2019 - 11:48

The success of every project is ensured by a collective effort of teams. But, it is not only the zeal that fixes everything. Right tools that bring teams together and make the working easier become all the more important.

We are heading into 2020, remote teams are a common phenomenon. Businesses need to stay equipped with the right tools to deliver the maximum output in less time. Here is a list of 20 tools that can ensure the success of all your projects.

I have categorized these tools as per the purpose they serve primarily. You can choose as per what suits best for your requirements.

Tools For Project Management And Collaboration

Teams need to interact and discuss ideas and issues many times during a project course. Calling meetings for every little update involves a lot of wastage of time. Here is a list of software solutions that facilitate seamless collaboration and management of projects.

ProofHub

ProofHub is a cloud-based project management and collaboration tool which seems to do it all for project teams. It becomes a central location to find all your project related information in one place. Teams can plan, schedule, discuss, view tasks and their progress status,  find files and documents all in one place. The inbuilt Proofing tool of ProofHub makes it all the more versatile for project management. ProofHub is great for keeping everyone on the same page regarding duties and responsibilities. It ensures seamless collaboration without the need to call meetings and use email threads now and then to share information.

Teamwork

Teamwork comes second on this list. It is yet another tool that manages almost all aspects related to your projects. It gives teams an easy glance over all the aspects of the projects. Teams can plan, schedule, share files, assign tasks using Teamwork. It provides a panoramic view of where all your projects stand, spot roadblocks and take essential steps to keep the work moving.

Scoro

Scoro is another efficient tool for project management and collaboration. It takes care of planning your projects, assigning tasks and subtasks, keeping track of billable and non-billable hours, status reports and helps you view workload of every resource. 

Clarizen

Clarizen is a cloud-based project management software that helps to simplify work management and achieve the goals of an organization. Clarizen provides a complete view of all the resources, schedules, and tasks with real-time insights. It has an intuitive interface and one-click access to your resources to manage all their tasks on their task lists.

Tools For Team Communication

Great team communication is very important to ensure project success. Here is a list of a few tools that can streamline your team communication.

Chanty

Chanty is an amazing tool for team communication which keeps project teams in sync via text, voice or video. Chanty comes with an import feature such that you can import all your message history or other team data from a third party messenger to Chanty. It also offers unlimited message history. Apart from this, you can use @mentions to reach your teammates on the go as this sends a push notification to their mobile.

Rocket.chat

Rocket.chat is an open-source, team chat software solution. This chat platform allows discussions, sharing files, and ideas with real-time or asynchronous team chat. This being an open-source tool, a team can customize, extend or add new functionality as per their requirements.

Twist

Twist is a team communication platform where team conversations stay organized and on topic. Teams can refer back to any conversation easily with Twist at any time. Twist offers one topic per thread so that your teams can keep an easy track of parallel conversations and stay up to date on what’s happening.

Convo

Convo is a team communication tool that lets team members share their ideas, thoughts, images, weblinks, documents, etc. by a post. It offers the feature of powerful comments and annotations. Some of the other features of convo include image-based polls, geotag posts, powerful search, activity log or news feed, etc. 

Tools For Time Tracking

Time tracking allows you to keep track of the time spent on individual tasks as well as on the project as a whole. This helps you in calculating the accuracy of your work estimates as well as the effectiveness of employees. Here are some useful time tracking tools for project management.

Timely

Timely is a time tracking tool that gives a detailed record of the time spent on different aspects of projects. It helps to balance the workload by giving a complete account of the work hours of every employee. Timely creates an automatic timesheet for you by tracking your work across different sources using artificial intelligence. Its reporting features help you in getting work done within the budget constraints.

Everhour

Everhour is a time tracking tool that is suitable for all kinds of teams. Teams can keep track of their project budgets, schedule threshold alerts and forward resource planning. Managers can view who is overworked and who can handle more work. Building reports and sending professional invoices is yet another feature of Everhour.

ClickTime

ClickTime is a time tracking software that answers many questions about your business. It helps teams estimate their project costs, review past performance or simply monitor who has not completed their timesheets.

Toggl

Toggl is a cloud-based software that specializes in time tracking. It not only tracks your working time rather it keeps a record of your idle time as well. It helps you see all your employee time reports at one location.

Tools For Customer Relation Management 

A customer relationship management system helps manage customer data. Here is a list of some good CRM tools.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a CRM system that easily integrates with your system. It helps you create attractive contact and company profiles. It is linked to multiple places where most sales processes occur such as phone calls, emails, websites, social media, etc. It organizes all the details from your customer’s communication with you. HubSpot is one of the best integrated CRM platforms in the market.

Zoho

Zoho CRM is a web-based CRM solution designed to help businesses to attract, retain and satisfy customers. This can be linked to your customer’s Twitter and Facebook pages. You can then categorize them as leads or contacts and send them invitations. Integrations with Google apps like tasks, calendars, contacts, docs, emails, etc is yet another feature of this system.

Nimble

Nimble is a CRM solution that helps in building customer engagement, data organization, and sales insights. This tool’s contact management system uses data record and imports contact information from almost all platforms like Google+, Skype, LinkedIn, Facebook, Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.

SalesforceIQ

SalesforceIQ helps businesses build stronger customer relationships. Its relationship Intelligence technology spots meaningful actions, unifies your customer’s story, and enables productive outcomes. You can set up SalesforceIQ quickly and easily by linking it to your Gmail or Exchange account.

Tools For Organizing Projects

Organizing tasks, resources, timelines, etc. is highly important to manage your projects in an optimum manner. Here is a list of some tools that can help you organize your projects. 

Evernote

Evernote is a cloud-based tool that allows you to take notes on your computer or smartphone. Apart from grouping notes into notebooks, other organizational features include tagging notes for sorting, cross-linking notes, saving attachments to notes and inserting checklists and tables are also available. It is a way to organize your project related information and ideas.

Dropbox

With Dropbox, you can store reports, sales decks or new collateral. You can switch between personal and professional files with only a few clicks in Dropbox. Users can review documents, add their comments and then comment back and forth if there are any questions.

Zapier

Zapier is an organizational tool that helps you automate your work without any need to learn to code. It does your nitty-gritty digital tasks like adding new clients in a spreadsheet automatically. You can send an automated personal message as soon as someone reaches out and thus grab opportunities with Zapier.

Invoicebus

Invoicebus is a free online invoice app to help in your financial document management. Invoicebus is an easy to use application for creating, sending and tracking invoices for your projects. It makes the invoicing process very simple.

Conclusion

With the rapid-paced business advancements, the needs of software solutions for businesses has become essential. It is important to understand your business demands and make the most of the available tools for easy work management. 

We hope that the above-mentioned tools make your life easier. We would like to know if you have any more suggestions to add to this list.

Catégories: News dév web

How Technology Can Enhance Customer Experiences: A Travel Chatbot Use Case

Noupe.com - 4 novembre, 2019 - 12:24

In the past few years, the focus of businesses has shifted from profit maximization to customer satisfaction, and rightly so.

With the ascent of social media platforms, modern buyers have gotten a voice, or rather, a solid platform to voice their feelings. What’s more, most likely, no business wants their clients to put out their negative experiences with brands via web-based networking media stages for everyone to see!  

According to the New Voice Media data, almost 59% of customers aged between 25-35 readily share their negative experiences online.

For any business – regardless of whether it be a for-profit or a non-profit undertaking, or whether it be a public or private venture – consumer satisfaction is one among the numerous significant key exhibition pointers that must be considered, checked, and estimated. 

In that capacity, consumer satisfaction quotient shows how well a business is serving its clients. Improving this sole factor can change the face of a business.

All things considered, a happy customer is a satisfied customer. Happy and satisfied customers not just become loyal and rehash customers of a brand, yet they additionally get new customers.

What’s more, as is valid for everything in the business world today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have discovered their way into the space of consumer satisfaction.

The most excellent example of this being chatbots. From enhancing the entire process of customer support to transforming the process of customer surveys, chatbots are finding applications in various fields of business.

However, in this post, we’re going to focus on travel chatbots and how they are transforming the travel industry for the better.

Travel Chatbot and its Benefits

Programming controlled by AI and NLP, a chatbot is intended to reproduce human speech and associate with people in their natural languages. Chatbots can be created and modified to suit the particular needs of a business. Since these bots are currently the hottest pattern in the business, travel organizations have additionally joined the game through Travel Bots.

Expedia maintains that while planning a trip, a traveler visits as many as 38 websites on an average. Not to forget the endless series of calls and interactions with travel agents and booking agencies.

All of this makes the process of planning a trip both time-consuming and overwhelming. This is where travel chatbot solutions come in.

Travel chatbot is personal assistant bearing both analytical and predictive capabilities. Furthermore, they are available 24×7, can interact in a plethora of human languages and can respond to traveller queries and requests in real-time.

So, if you have a travel-related query, you can just ask a travel bot and the bot will answer your questions accurately, scourge the Internet to get you the best deals – basically, it will help you with anything you need.

A travel chatbot can help spare a client’s time, help sort out the outing, propose spots to visit, list the best deals accessible (travel tickets, accommodation, and so forth.), and substantially more. 

Being excellent profiling tools, chatbots can help personalize the user experience by gathering relevant user data such as purchase history, travel preferences, etc.

Travel Chatbots – Success Stories

Travel chatbots are already being leveraged by big names in the travel and hospitality industry such as Expedia, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Ryanair, and Marriott, to name a few.

For instance, Expedia’s Facebook Messenger bot allows users to perform a streamlined search for hotels. All one needs to do is to open Facebook Messenger and provide the bot details about the travel plan.

After the bot has all the necessary information, it will list the five most popular and top-rated hotels in the users’ preferred choice of location.

And once the users click on any one of the five options, they will be redirected to Expedia’s site where they can directly book the hotel.

Then again, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ travel bot can support 13 languages. It uses Facebook Messenger’s checkbox plugin feature on the checkout page to provide travellers with the option of choosing to receive all travel updates including booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass, and flight status updates on Messenger itself.

Similarly, there’s another Facebook-based travel bot called Kayak that allows users to find the best hotel and flight deals via an instant messaging platform. Not just that, Kayak also offers beneficial travel advice to its users and updates them about their flight status.

Chatbot solutions help make a streamlined and shrewd communication channel among brands and clients. Aside from this, they can computerize the procedure of inquiry/demand dealing with, along these lines permitting travel service providers to devote their human funding to other and progressively significant assignments that need human connection and exertion.

Needless to mention, travel chatbots (just like any other chatbot) offer 24×7 customer support. So, customers no longer have to wait to get their travel issues and queries sorted.

This is just another example of how AI and chatbots are transforming the ways in which consumers are connecting and interacting with brands.

Because of AI, chatbot solutions are ending up progressively keen and savvy, to such an extent that they are turning into trusted advisors of clients. What’s more, this is only the start, who realizes what else chatbots will have the option to do in the years to come!

Catégories: News dév web

5 Mobile App Development Mistakes That Can Skyrocket Your Budget

Noupe.com - 4 novembre, 2019 - 08:05

Statistics reveal that every year the number of mobile app downloads continues to increase. In fact, stats show that users are starting to spend more time using mobile apps as compared to websites.

Consequently, businesses want to be where their audience is, so more and more companies are starting to develop and utilize mobile apps. 

A report by SensorTower reveals that by 2020, Apple’s app store will hit 5 million mobile apps.

However, businesses get so wound up in trying to build a quality mobile app that stands out from the competition; They completely forget to analyze their budget. The majority of the app development businesses end up spending double and triple times their original budget. 

If you’ve been thinking of developing a mobile app and are worried about your budget, you’ve come to the right place. I have worked closely with mobile app developers and designers, and I’ve seen many ups and down’s in the life cycle of mobile apps. From my experience, I have managed to round up the top five mobile app budgeting mistakes that companies fail to avoid.

So before you head on to turning your amazing mobile app idea to a reality, have a look through this article first.

The Top 5 Mobile App Budgeting Mistakes Overlooking Cross-Platform app development

After you have decided on the type of app that you’re going to be developing and its various features and functionality, your first step should be to run thorough market research. Understand your audience and then decide on the platform that you will be developing your mobile app on. If you’re targeting an audience that has majority android or iOS users, then everything seems good.

However, if you’re planning on hitting the worldwide market and launching your mobile app at an international level, then, in that case, it will be better to reevaluate the platform that you should be developing on. Think about it, if you are targeting users all across the globe and you end up creating an iOS mobile app, then you will never be able to reach the android, windows, or any other platform users.

In this situation, it would be better to focus on cross-platform mobile app development. Not only will this approach be less costly it will also help you reach a greater audience. Instead of spending your money on developing your mobile apps for individual android, iOS, and other platforms, it would be a better approach to hire a cross-platform mobile app development company.

Treating App Development, the Same as Website Development

Many companies, especially startups have the notion that mobile app development is the same as website development. Even though the app and website development are two entirely different development processes, companies end up allocating the app development budget according to web development. Later on, when the app development process begins to get more and more complex, it becomes difficult to manage the budget.

It’s essential that companies understand what differentiates apps from websites. The user interface, user experience, the technology used, and platform performance are much more complex as compared to websites.  This makes it imperative that you hire professional app developers that understand the complexity of the process. This will allow you to map out your development budget according to the app’s requirements. Because mobile apps require special attention to all its details, it is comparatively costlier. If you keep the same budget as web development, then you will end up spending much more than the necessary budget. 

Not Paying Attention to Mobile App Marketing

These days no matter how great of a product you have and no matter how exquisite it may seem, it’s impossible that it will explode in the market ‘without any marketing efforts’. No matter what type of services or products you are launching, ‘marketing’ is becoming more important every day. Just think about it, asides you, there are thousands of mobile app development companies out there and the competition seems to be growing at an exponential rate.

Instead of considering ‘marketing’ as an additional service, consider it as an essential component in the app development cycle. So do your market research and figure out who your potential audience is. After that, brainstorm all the marketing strategies that will give you a maximum outreach to your audience. You want to ensure that your target audience knows that you’re planning on launching a mobile app of their interest. These are just a few essentials for customer acquisition and customer retention. 

So if you want to make sure that you get the desired conversions, you will have to make ‘marketing and planning’ an integral part of your budgeting process. Plan out your budget for paid advertisements, layout the channels that you will be using to reach out to your customers. If you ignore this step during the budgeting process, you will end up spending much more than that is necessary. 

Not Taking into Account the Regular Updates

Majority of the mobile app developers have the notion that once they have developed and launched their mobile apps, their work is done. However, your work doesn’t end there just yet. This is a very common mistake made by app development companies, they forget to take into account the budget required for future updates. New technologies and app development trends are always popping up, and if you fail to keep your app updated to the market trends, then you’ll fail to meet the user requirements. Not meeting the user requirements means that you will lose user downloads and fail to drive conversions.

All your efforts could go down the drain by making this mistake. If you decide on spending money for the updates after you have launched your app, your budget could exceed your limits. Therefore, don’t forget to account for the updates of your mobile apps.

No Adequate Continuity Planning 

Whether you’re developing a mobile app or any other product, if you forget all about it after launching, your product will eventually stop driving audience. The reason is that users are always looking for new and interesting features to interact with, if you don’t have something new to offer your users, they will eventually forget all about your app.  If you want to prevent this from happening, you will need to have a continuity plan in place.

Make sure that you keep adding innovative and interesting features that will keep your customers engaged. And in order to fulfill this purpose, it’s necessary that you have already planned out a budget for your app continuity.

Wrapping Up:

The bottom line is that if you’re planning on creating an out-of-the-box mobile app that has never been created before, there are a number of mistakes that can result in cost overruns. I’ve mentioned some of the most common mistakes that app developers make, in order to prevent your development budget from skyrocketing, make sure to avoid the above-mentioned bloopers. I hope you found this article useful if you’d like to add something, feel free to leave a comment below.

Catégories: News dév web

How to Start Your Own Pet Blog

Noupe.com - 31 octobre, 2019 - 12:17

Virtual pet websites are popular on the Internet. Creating such a website is not an easy task. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a list of things to do if you want to create your own one!

Steps 1. Learn several web programming languages.

A good website cannot be made out of thin air. Although your website may only contain pictures that people can download and use in their profiles, you may want to create an interactive website. Creating such a website requires more than just HTML and CSS knowledge.

2. Find a team of people to help you if you are not very good at some aspects of development. 

Although some ambitious people can create a website on their own, most people will still need at least one more person to find and fix the ‘bugs’. You will need to study the following concepts: coding, concept, web design, graphics, and possibly community.

3. Determine which features you would definitely like to start with. 

Most websites have modest origins with some basic features, and they focus on their growth only after creating a place on the web. You will need to consider the following characteristics:

  • Pets – Obviously, when you open a virtual pet website, you will need to create a pet system.
  • Public and private messages – Allow users to gather in forums, with the option of sending personal messages.
  • Currency System – For one reason or another, most virtual pet websites have a currency system. It’s used either to buy pets or to buy things for animals.
  • Shops – Shops may sell pets, pet accessories, or even things that will allow users to use fun extras such as a secret forum.
  • Games – Not necessarily, but it’s always fun for users to have other options in addition to just collecting animals. Some websites don’t have games and still thrive like their neighbors.
4. Brainstorm what kind of pets your users can have. 

According to Pet Bibles, you can use real animals for inspiration or you can rely on your imagination and think of some interesting and unique creatures. You need to come up with several different types of pets to meet the needs of different types of users. Some love powerful and dangerous animals, while others simply can’t have enough of the cute pets.

5. Fill out the design of your creatures through sketches and back-story. 

There is no need for background information, but it can attract users who like such aspects, and your creature will seem more interesting. If you’re not very good at drawing, make a sketch and ask the artist of your team to create a good final version.

  • Spend some time creating the world. Making up an original world is one of the most difficult parts, but also the most fun one. Write down some ideas and make sure they fit into your world. If you think you’ve met this idea before, change it a little bit!
6. Give your creatures their final look by creating an actual image to be used. 

If you’re not very good at drawing, this is a stage where you need the help of your team’s artist. Or you can ask a friend who knows computer-graphics programs to help you create your own image.

7. Work on the details of the features that will be on your website. 

You need to find out how users will be able to do things on your website. Here are some things to remember:

  • How users will get pets. Will it be necessary to buy them, find them, or will the user just have to choose from a list and create them?
  • How many shops will be there, and what are their purposes. This is in case you have shops, but again, many websites have them.
  • What your users will be able to do with their pets. There are many features that can be encoded on a website: fighting, training, playing, and dressing up are just some of the things that can be done with pets.
  • How people can earn and spend their chosen currency. Make sure that this is balanced.
8. Think of a name for the website.

Now that you’ve worked through most of the details of your website, it’s time to create a name. You could use the name to describe the main purpose of the website (for example, “Combat Pet” or “Smart Pet”) or just think of a beautiful name.

9. Find a place to host your website. 

A good host with a good domain name (a good domain name is a name that sounds different than, for example, “yournamehere.hostingcompany.com”), usually costs money.

10. Sketch out website design. 

Good website design allows users to easily access important features without having to change their path or searching for them. A well-organized menu can help users access most sections of the website on all pages and reduce frustration.

11. Assemble your website with your team or by yourself. 

This part of website development is likely to require coding, concept, design, and graphics skills. If you need help, you can invite people to join you.

12. Set some rules. 

The rules are usually included in the Website Terms of Service, which is a virtual legal agreement on how the website will be used and what responsibilities the owner and users of the website have. Although you can write these Terms and Conditions, it’s better if a person who understands the law review the text of the rules to ensure that they are indeed legal.

13. Invite friends and family to join your website and give it a test run.

They can bring you something new, give you recommendations that you can use to find and correct deficiencies.

14. Open it to the public and attract new members. 

Once you’ve installed and settled everything, it’s time to launch your website. It’s better to have someone around in case something goes wrong.

15. Expand your user base. 

Once opened, all that is left to do is to support maintenance and expand. Think of new games, new pets, and maybe even new worlds. Keep your users interested over and over again. Try to get in touch with some animal shelters, which will help you expand your user base and help the animals in need in a very effective way. You can even start your own animal rescue and integrate your blog with your nonprofit organization. This way someone who has a virtual pet could actually adopt one of your furry friends one day. 

Useful Tips
  • Try to come up with a comprehensive website plot. It can be an interesting way to release new items, creatures, shops, worlds, and even characteristics. Plan your story well in advance, then gradually release updates. Planning gives you the advantage of surprising users, especially if you are doing a good job of linking new updates to existing content.
  • Involve only those people you trust in the project. Someone can steal your ideas or come back later and hack into your website.
  • Remember to stay creative. So many virtual pet websites fail because of copying material from other websites. You should never create pets based on ones from other websites. Unfortunately, this well-known principle is often overlooked, and people label a website as a “bad copy” even before they experience it. 
  • When you begin to expand, don’t remove features or games unless they actually harm the overall entertainment performance of the website. If you try to change the feature dramatically, keep in mind that people may be dissatisfied. If the function is outdated enough (mainly it happens if the website was launched in the era of Web 1.0), try to reanimate it with fresh graphics instead of getting rid of it.
  • People will not obey the rules. This is “your” website; you can control the “rebels” at will.
  • Let the training go slowly and easily. You won’t learn the coding in one night, so don’t expect a miracle. Start small and get to the real website.
  • If the target audience of your website is older people or teenagers, but not children, notify on the home page and make it clear that the website is for people aged 13+. Or better yet, make it suitable for children; this is a great opportunity to have a wider audience.
  • Let your website be different from others in its development and ability to get what other websites don’t offer. Avoid simply re-creating another website without offering any new ideas of your own other than a name and a scheme.
  • Try to come up with unique ideas about pets instead of taking and renaming real animals. A creature, for example, a bird called a “byord” or “feesh” instead of a “fish” is boring. If you’re using a real pet as the basis for a virtual pet, try to add at least some significant differences in body design.
Catégories: News dév web

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans le développement web (CMS, PHP, Laravel, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn