Category Archives: Online Tools

Is Your Website Secure-315

Is Your Website Secure?

Is Your Website Secure-315
The only constant about the Internet is that it’s always changing. Web standards evolve over time, which demand new best practices businesses need to address. Older sites that fail to adapt to these changes find themselves extremely vulnerable to malware and security exploits.

You can never reach a 100% secure site, as zero-day exploits and sophisticated attacks can be difficult to predict and protect against. However, regularly reviewing and updating the measures you have in place will mitigate the risk from the most common vulnerabilities.

The IRS, Yahoo! and the Department of Justice are a few of the many organizations which had security breaches in 2016. Take a proactive approach in handling your website security to have the best chances of avoiding a costly intrusion.

Here are a few of the most common factors that create a vulnerable website:

The website’s age: Typically, a company doesn’t go back and completely revamp the website’s coding as it gets older. As web standards change, old code gains security holes that hackers can use to gain access to sensitive resources.

  • Security updates: Your website needs proactive checks and updates to keep it strong against the latest security problems. If you only look into security after you have a breach or run into another issue, it’s too late.
  • A common trap that website owners fall into is relying entirely on SSL technology to keep data safe. While it’s effective at encrypting the information that’s transmitted to and from the website, it doesn’t cover every vulnerability point.

A good rule of thumb is upgrading to a new website every 4 years. This brings your site up to current web protocols for programming and security standards, and it allows you to modernize your code to better serve your website visitors.

These security strategies aren’t fool-proof, as any size business runs the risk of getting hacked, but they help.

Digital Hill offers a security review that checks web standards, provides monitoring for website vulnerabilities and fixes security loopholes that hackers love. These services cover an hour of work as well as basic updates. Any additional services are available at a 25% discount. The age of your site determines the overall cost. The goal is to guarantee your site is using the latest security protocols as they develop.

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Online Calendar Booking Tools

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Scheduling meetings or paid appointments can be one of the most tedious and frustrating tasks in your business life, particularly with a lot of emails back and forth sharing dates and times blindly. Thankfully, these days there are much better options available to simplify this task.

Let’s dive into a few key online calendar booking tools:

Calendly

Features include the ability to integrate your calendars with iCloud or Office 365. Calendly can be used anywhere – it’s cloud-based and can be used on any device including your phone, desktop PC, and tablet. It gives your whole team the ability to display their availability.  Specific features include:

  • 30 Day Calendar Integration
  • Simple, Modern Interface
  • Fully Optimized for all Devices
  • Notifications
  • Retain Privacy and Control
  • Team Scheduling
  • Group Events
  • Works the Way your Invitees Do
  • Speedy, Helpful Email Support

You can use Calendly free for 14 days, and it has a freemium option after the trial. Or upgrade to the premium option at $8 a month. For more options and features, you may need the Pro which is $12 a month. It includes everything but the kitchen sink, from calendar integration to personalized links as well as metrics based reporting.

YouCanBook.Me

YouCanBook.Me is one of the more popular websites to use for scheduling. Some of the most notable “brands” that use them include Uber, User testing, and Shopify. The two have very similar features and support. One features that differentiates YouCanBook.Me from Calendly is that it can be integrated with connecting tool Zapier to allow for more integrations with additional tools you might use. Specific features include:

  • Embed your booking page on your website
  • Share your booking page online
  • Confirmations
  • Take credit card payments for paid appointments
  • Upload logos and images
  • Control how your google calendar events look
  • Use iCloud with YouCanBook.me
  • Send your notification emails via your Gmail
  • Mail merge style text substitution
  • Fixed start and end dates
  • Integrate directly with Google or Apple calendars
  • Shorthand codes
  • Minimum / maximum advance notice to book
  • Get your own reminders for your bookings
  • Mobile friendly grids
  • Different length appointments
  • SMS / text messages
  • Set the schedule for the week
  • Configurable booking forms
  • Cancellations and rescheduling
  • Custom booking URL

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YouCanBook.Me also has 3 payment plans, monthly for $10, yearly for $108 and 2 years for $192 per calendar, which is a 20% discount.

Acuity Scheduling

This scheduling tool sends out notifications when a new appointment is booked, canceled or even if someone is going to be late, but this one also integrates with many more apps and sites than the first two. Integrations include; Stripe, Square, PayPal, Zappier, API, Quickbooks, Xero, Aweber and even WordPress.

  • Client self-scheduling
  • Advertise unlimited services and appointments
  • Handy text message notifications
  • Worldwide text message notifications
  • Use your logo
  • Customize with your company colors
  • Edit all app text so it sounds just like you
  • Automatic time zone conversion
  • Automatic reminder emails

Online Calendar Booking Tools

This is a really robust app, but the paid options are geared towards larger businesses and corporations, rather than home-based or small businesses. They do have a free option with limited features. A $10 a month option for just you in one location. The Growing Business Plan is $19 a month for 6 people in different locations and has an SMS feature. The largest plan is $34 a month, gives you the ability to include 36 people on the account.

Doodle

Doodle is a good option for any business, small or large. Like the other programs above, it has full integration, can send out automatic reminders and notifications when someone cancels or makes a new appointment.

  • Easy scheduling
  • Connect your calendar
  • Send automatic reminders
  • See who is missing
  • Request additional information
  • End-to-end SSL encryption
  • Ads-free
  • Custom design
  • Custom subdomain
  • User management

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Doodle is a little more expensive than the other options, but they have a free option. Free for one user; this will be enough for people that want to keep track of their own personal appointments, meetings, etc. The Private option is $39 a year, it does have more features, but you can still only use it for 1 person. The Business option is $69 a year, for business, and you can add more people to the account. However, the cost also goes up significantly.

Booking calendars can practically eliminate the tedious back and forth of booking meetings and appointments. Reduce frustration for you and your customers and try one out.

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's New Pixel Phone will do for Mobile SEO - 315

What Google’s New Pixel Phone will do for Mobile SEO

's New Pixel Phone will do for Mobile SEO - 315

Google’s new voice search platform, Google assistant, is an integral part of the new Google Pixel. Learn how voice search is leading the evolution in mobile SEO.

Google made a big splash recently with their new smartphone announcement, the Google Pixel. It’s Google’s first foray into the smartphone market since the introduction of their Nexus mobile line, and it looks like things are going well for the search giant.

Apple’s smartphone market share is stagnating, and initial reviews of the Pixel are positive.

Journalists seem especially impressed with the introduction of Google’s new voice-assisted search platform, Google assistant. Google assistant is set to take over for Google Now on Google’s newly released Android 7.0, Nougat. It grabbed our attention, mainly because Google Now was no slouch.

Voice-Assisted Search Platform

Google looks to be going all in on voice search, and rightly so. Google’s own data shows 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use voice search more than once a day.

With Apple pushing their Siri assistant, and Amazon always improving their Alexa, Google is capitalizing on a thriving market.

We for one, are looking forward to the move towards voice search, but we do have our reservations. Voice search is undoubtedly going to change the face of mobile SEO. How exactly, isn’t understood yet. Though, we can speculate. Let’s break down what we know so far about Google assistant’s effect on mobile SEO.

Voice Search ≠ Text Search

Voice assistants will change the way Internet searches are conducted. The nature of a voice search is often local and phrased differently than a text search. For example, the phrase, “I’m looking for some food” will return positive results in a voice search.

In a text search, however, location data isn’t included, and the same phrase returns general results that aren’t even related to restaurants.

Tailoring your keywords to speech phrasing and pinpointed location is likely to become an important part of mobile SEO in the near future.

Google has already revealed through their Possum update, that location data is going to become more and more important in search results. We expect Google used the update in part to give SEO marketers the nod towards location-based keywords to cater towards voice search.

Keeping it Simple

SEO comes down to identifying what users are searching for. If you can appear in those results, you can sell your product or service. Voice search users are searching local.

Bing data found that close to half of voice searches have local intent. While these results don’t include Google, it’s safe to assume consumer search intent doesn’t vary much across platforms.

The answer to targeting voice assistant users is obvious, stay local.

Google maintains a database called Google My Business that allows local businesses to provide Google with basic information. Google assistant pulls information from the database, combines it with GPS information, and uses the results to answer search queries.

Adding your information to Google My Business makes sure Google assistant has the information it needs to recommend your business.

What’s good for Google is good for your SEO.

's New Pixel Phone will do for Mobile SEO - 1

Are Paid Search Results Finally Dying?

Everyone knows about the paid results that appear at the top of every Google search. But will this concept translate to voice? We hope not.

Google assistant aims to act like a human being. It wants to answer our questions in a conversational tone, giving us an answer, rather than a list. This means one answer per search query.

If paid search results appear in Google voice searches, we wonder, what’s to stop companies from buying their way into search results? Paid voice search results are something to keep a keen eye on. They hold the power to completely shift mobile SEO away from organic traffic.

Voice search is here to stay. The next few years are going to have a significant impact on mobile SEO, as marketers gain more first-hand experience with Google assistant. Mobile SEO never sleeps, and it’s up marketers and their clients to stay one step ahead of the competition.

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PDF Creator: Advanced Website Software Tool

PDF Creator: Advanced Website Software Tool

PDF Creator: Advanced Website Software Tool

Many industries use PDF’s for marketing and sales. Companies like Ikea use PDF’s for instruction on furniture construction. Businesses that work with statistics and measurements like financial advisors and end of year reports are frequently created in PDF form for easy reading and delivery. While this file format has many advantages, they’re not easy to customize. How much more information and education could you give your customers if your PDF’s were easy to create and customize on a larger scale?

What is PDF Creator

The PDF Creator is an easy to use PDF customization tool created in this case specifically for a client in the financial advisory industry that wanted to make customized materials available to thousands of advisors nationwide. In just a few simple steps you can load any existing PDF, add new content like a logo, advisor profile photo, and company data, and create an entirely new, customized PDF. If multiple locations want their own customized and branded copy of the PDF, select their name from the list and add them. Here’s how it works.

Using PDF Creator

The first thing you see when you log into PDF Creator is an intuitive dashboard with three sections:

  • Recent PDFs / Upload PDF’s
  • Jobs Queued
  • PDFs Created

You get a good overview of your activities in this panel. Add a location or salesperson/advisor and company data by filling out form fields like their name, profile picture, website, and email. Anything you want on a customized PDF is available. Add disclosure statements for FINRA compliance. Each advisor/salesperson can be uploaded into the system with their customized data and profile photo.

Next, load the existing PDF into the system. You can even categorize them. When you want to customize a PDF, you open it in the dashboard tool. Drag and drop data fields anywhere on the document to add info. Font styles, size, and colors are all customizable as well.

Saving, Customizing, and Distributing

Once you have everything positioned perfectly, save the PDF. When you want to use it, click on the PDF Library and add it to the job queue. Jobs can contain multiple PDF’s if you want to customize several documents for the same set of advisors. Choose the people you’re customizing for and save that list. Preview the customization and make any changes, such as repositioning your fields or adding new ones.

Each PDF in the job queue gets customized for your advisor list, with an individual PDF file for each person. Hence, this mass production cuts out all the repetitive work associated with editing a PDF. You can download these documents in a zip file or email a unique link to each person/advisor through this tool.

PDF Creator is great for any industry with material that needs to be customized for lots of people. Have needs for an advanced web software tool like this that can build efficiencies and effectiveness for your business?  Contact us to discuss today!

14 Content Marketing Tools - 315

Content Marketing Made Easy: 14 Content Marketing Tools

14 Content Marketing Tools - 315

Content Marketing works. It drives traffic to your site and social media pages, creates a reputation for you and your company, engages potential clients, up-sells existing clients, and hence converts leads into sales.

According to BitQuirky, 72% of digital marketers feel that well written, branded content is more effective than print advertising. They also agree that it costs 62% less than outbound marketing, and generates 3 times as many quality leads.

Producing quality content, relevant to your target audience, is crucial. But it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Here’s a list of our favorite websites, apps, and tools to help you.

14 Content Marketing Tools

  1. Before you begin to write anything, you need to know to whom you’re aiming your content. Make My Persona can help with this.
  2. Once you know who your content is intended for you could use HubSpot’s Topic Generator to plan a list of content or blog posts.
  3. Content Row offers another good Topic Generator.
  4. Now you know who you’re talking to and what you’ll talk about, you need to research what questions are asked about these subjects. Faqfox has a research tool to help with this.
  5. The headline is the first thing your reader sees. It can be the difference between them reading further and clicking off. CoShedule’s Headline Analyzer can help you create headlines that get the attention of the reader.
  6. Before you publish your content, check it for spelling and grammar. Grammarly is an online proofreading tool.  If you use Chrome for your browser, add it to your browser to check grammar directly on your website.
  7. Once you have everything written and ready to post you can keep it organized and scheduled with Trello.
  8. CoShedule has a useful marketing, social media calendar, and workflow management tool that integrates with WordPress.
  9. To optimize your blog posts missinglett_r monitors your blog 24/7 and turns it into a drip marketing campaign.
  10. Track your projects, share ideas with your team, schedule meetings, etc. with Asana.
  11. Social Media requires a different approach.  Looking for inspiration? Here are some helpful tools. Feedly gives you one place to read the news you’re interested in that gives you inspiration for your social media posts.
  12. Found on Track helps you find user-generated content for Instagram.
  13. Paper.li is an easy way to find content ideas.
  14. Facebook has a little-known feature that allows you to ‘save’ content you find interesting so you can revisit it later.

Content writing is an art that can be learned and improved over time. Hopefully, these 14 content marketing tools will give you some ideas and help you produce quality copy to drive traffic to your site and convert leads into customers.

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Migrating your Website from One Hosting Service to Another

 

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New technologies make moving your site from one host to another much easier. However, regardless of how fast the transfer speed is, the typical customer may experience some degree of downtime during the transfer.

Depending on what is going on behind the scenes, the transfer process of DNS servers between the new and old web hosts can result in a domain “propagating” or going dark between 12 to 72 hours after the change request is submitted to the new host.

However, before you can plan your web hosting provider move, it’s essential to find the right service for the job. Look for a web host that gives you the service you want and need.

The Value of Quality Web Hosting

When you own a business, your number one priority is to make sure customers can find you when searching for what you have to offer. If your web hosting provider is sub-par, you won’t be found. This typically doesn’t have anything to do with your search engine rank, but because your site is down too often.  Dirt cheap hosting is exactly the quality of the price.  Be careful with the low price options!

When a site is down, it means it has fallen into the abyss of web server issues. Until your hosting service gets the server back online, no one can access the website – this is big trouble!  Many times cheap providers host hundreds of sites on one server.  If one of them is compromised it can take the whole server down and every site that is on that server!

The Cost of Excessive Downtime

When your site is down often, even if it’s only for short periods of time, you are losing money. You’re paying for web hosting services you aren’t receiving, and your customers are unable to find you and contact you online. If they’re looking for your services or products, they are instead going to find your competition. If they’re trying to make an online purchase now, they are going to visit a site that is up and functioning properly.  As well, it will increase your customer service calls with frustrated clients rather than one’s ready to buy!

When searching for a web hosting provider, it’s essential to ask about their uptime track record. If they have 98-99% uptime, then you’ve found a good provider. However, if the web hosting company makes excuses for downtime issues, you need to look elsewhere.

Excellent Customer Service

While having a maximum amount of uptime for your website is a top priority, it’s simply not possible all of the time – regardless of claims made by a provider. While any downtime is a problem, you need to be able to contact a person when an issue arises. Regardless if the problem happens at 3 in the afternoon or 6 in the morning, having a real, live person to email and talk with to discuss solutions for the hosting issue is important. How will your host offer support?

Web hosting is not a new concept. However, you can’t choose just any provider. You have to put in time and effort to find the right web hosting service!  Remember, not all hosting is created equal.

google search goes mobile-first-315

Google Search Goes Mobile First

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Accessing the internet on mobile devices has officially overtaken desktop access. Not quite sure if this matters? Take a look at the latest big search change from Google. The search engine giant announced it would release a mobile search separate from its desktop search. Indexing a site is the process of scanning a website to determine where it will come up in the rankings. This, alone, is a major change, but the mobile index will be the PRIMARY method of determining rank, making it the key, the clincher.

Considering how quickly people switched to mobile internet searching, it’s a smart move that shows the evolution of the web. Desktop searches, which were once the lifeline of Google, now account for less than 45 percent of all web searches. More people than ever are using mobile devices to look up information.

As the switch to indexing websites by mobile first is waiting to be initiated, there are more questions than answers. For instance, how will mobile indexing work? Will it affect sites with less content on their mobile versions than desktop versions? How often will Google maintain the desktop index with it being relegated to second tier status?

The answer to these questions will become clearer in the upcoming weeks, but these tips will help you to prepare:

Create a Mobile-Friendly, Responsive Website

You may think most websites are mobile-friendly, but a high number are not. If you’ve been putting off creating a responsive website for your business, the time is now. A responsive website works fully on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices.  If you don’t have a site that does this, the odds are high your site will receive poor rankings once the indexing begins. Google will rank your site whether it’s mobile-friendly or not, and the rankings could be quite low if you don’t have a mobile site. The key is that your mobile site MUST include all the site content.  It cannot be a “trimmed down” or simple version just for mobile users.  It’s what Google will index of your domain online!

Place Relevant Content on Your Mobile Site

Many times, due to size constraints, a company’s mobile site will feature less content than its desktop equivalent. Less information is easier to view on a smaller screen. With this new algorithm, a mobile site must be optimized, even more than desktop sites, and must carry the full site.

The time is over where you can get away with a simple mobile version of your website with less content. If you don’t place relevant content on your site, it will hurt your search results. The key, here, is to have a website that is responsive. That means it senses the size of the screen it’s being viewed on and displays the content accordingly.

Have a Strategy

Mobile design used to be an option to a desktop site. Things have changed, and it’s now the default design. More than ever before, you must have a mobile strategy. If you’re still focused on desktop design, you must change your mindset and focus on mobile if you want to succeed.  Page load speed, font size, responsiveness, lead capture, and scroll depth are just some elements to consider for a mobile site.  They’ve got to work seamlessly to provide a good experience for your visitors.  So much so that Google is implementing changes to basically force this.

The world is changing, and your website needs to change with it. Google is changing, too, so you need to act if you don’t want the world to pass you by. Is your site mobile responsive?  Don’t know?  Contact us and we’ll check it out for you!

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simple marketing tips for small and medium size businesses

Simple Marketing Tips For Small And Medium Scale Entrepreneurs

simple marketing tips for small and medium size businessesGone are the days when only big players ruled the industry; today small and medium scale enterprises have been giving some pretty serious competition to all the top brands. And all high tech marketing tools and promotional platforms have only made it easier for local businesses to venture out into the global market. Armed with extensive information and competent technology, local businesses are thriving wonderfully. Here are some simple yet effective marketing solutions for newbies who want to make it big.

Social media marketing platforms

Social media is no longer confined to making friends and chatting, it now offers a pretty lucrative marketing option for online business ventures and websites that want to market their product.

Some of these tools are:

Google+ goes local

It is likely that you already have an account on Google +, all your Google accounts, right from Gmail to Google Play and Google Drive guarantee a place on the Google Plus local platform. Ensure that profile information is accurate, and your page actually has some relevant and engaging content. You can even merge the Google + business page with your local business website thereby implementing more competent and diverse marketing.

Twitter for crisp and concise advertising

With its innovative interface and limited character usage, Twitter is the talk of the town! Post crisp, concise and relevant content. Also take a more indirect and informal approach rather than aggressively marketing your product. Don’t aim at selling your product, rather focus on building contacts. Comment and post on the trending topics as well to engage your followers.

Find friends and potential customers on Facebook

Facebook is a great place to connect with your audience and build a loyal customer base. Make use of the technology and market friendly tools available on Facebook. From offering tempting discounts to posting promotional events, you can do it all here! Although don’t suffocate your audience but engage them.

Instagram, a visual treat to customers

Instagram, a platform that focuses solely on visual content offers some innovative promotional ideas to marketers who want to break free from the conventions of the written word. Infographics are the new trend, the aesthetic appeal, and clear-cut representation of data impacts the audience harder than paragraphs of written content.

Pinterest and Tumblr- the rising stars!

For entrepreneurs who want to present their ideas in a more creative and unconventional way, there are always Pinterest and Tumblr to cater to almost all preferences. A great platform for local businesses Pinterest even offers a diverse range of customisable tools.

Marketing tactics for local entrepreneurs

Local enterprises and small-scale businesses are popping up everywhere! All you need is some capital and an idea, but it doesn’t end there. Most local enterprises do well in the initial stages but gradually dwindle into obscurity. Here are some practical marketing tactics that will boost your online credibility,

SEO improvement

SEO or search engine optimisation is one term every web entrepreneur must be familiar with. And as small-scale businesspeople, it is important to stay on top of things so as to not get lost in the sea of other similar offerings. Because no matter how good your content is,  weak SEO can ruin it all for you! Increase your website’s visibility on the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Google gives special preference to local enterprises, so ensure that you apply all SEO optimisation tactics such as keyword usage, location and infographics.

Reviews are important

Surveys and studies have repeatedly proven how most consumers go through reviews and reports on major review sites before they make a purchase. Listing your website on the major review sites improves your online credibility considerably. Platforms such as Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Consumer Reports are quite popular. Customer reviews are also a valuable source of feedback for local enterprises to identify their problem areas.

Build partnerships and collaborations

Local businesses have the advantage of limited competition. However building collaborations with your peers might help you get some valuable insights into the market. Also, partnerships help you share your field of expertise with your contemporaries. Everything is interdependent, for instance, a web development company could use the services of an auditing firm and vice versa. And the recommendations from the competitors can brighten your prospects in the market tenfold!

Actively participate in the local events

Getting involved in local events in and around your community is a smart way to improve your market standing. Sponsor local events, donate or fund charities and social causes to build a good reputation. Post pictures and information about these events on your website and other social media accounts to build a strong impression.

Local Content Marketing strategies that guarantee success

Content is the foundation of your website; you cannot compromise on quality. However there are some things you should consider before you implement these conquest strategies, Let us look at some of the most effective and reliable content marketing strategies designed for your local business,

Target specific market groups

There was a time when local and small scale firms were suffocated with limited market reach. Thanks to virtual platforms local entrepreneurs can now reach out to the global audience as well. Start slow, target a limited consumer group before you venture out to more markets. Identify your audience and take effective marketing steps to target them. Check out the tools used for this purpose

Facebook insights

Facebook is a good place to start; you can set the location and specify the preferences for finding the ideal customers who’d like and might buy your product. You can even share interests on Facebook and check out what your potential customers like. Such valuable insights and statistical information from Facebook come in very handy in identifying your audience.

Neilson Prizm

With this tool, you can conduct extensive local area searches and surveys to know exactly what appeals to your customers. Neilson Prizm is a free and practical platform where entrepreneurs can use the zip code lookup feature to identify the set consumer groups and customer types. You can access their income level, preferences, location, buying traits on Neilson Prizm.

Google Keyword Planner Tool

Searching customers through keyword usage is another smart way of identifying your desired market. The Google keyword tool helps you analyse the most used keywords in a specific area. Matching the insights from Facebook with the results accumulated from the keyword tools can give you some great market prospects.

Track and analyse the content you post

Content management and analysis are perhaps even more important than marketing. Establish certain ground rules and strategies on which your local business shall be built. Then analyse the content posted across the different social media platforms to see if it matches your set goals. Check out these tools that’ll help you track your page’s progress

BuzzSumo

With BuzzSumo you can identify the specific areas receive special marketing campaigns. This prevents a lopsided development and balances the reach of your business equally to all regions; you even get to know the loopholes in your marketing policies. Other than that BuzzSumo also offers access to your peers and what they’re doing.

urlProfiler

This tool is great for local businesses that want to associate with the big players in the market. urlProfiler helps you get the top URL links and domain names online. It collects and monitors all your pages, from the word count to page reach you can manage it all.

The bottom line:

With such lucrative market conditions and top notch tools, small-scale businesses now have profitable opportunities that weren’t available to them before.

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard - 315

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard - 315Customize your Google Analytics Dashboard for Social Media traffic, Mobile Stats, and Demographics

In Google Analytics, you receive a generic dashboard. It displays the metrics Google thinks are most important about your website in an easy to understand graphic format; the location of your website visitors, the number of users visiting your site and your bounce rate.

Because each of these displays has several factors, you can understand the statistics. The factors for bounce rate, as an example, could include lack of a mobile-friendly website, website speed, and other which show you why users leave your site without visiting a second page.

The same kind of breakdown for any metric can be invaluable. It shows the causes and statistics and then you can take action. The reason to create custom dashboards is to focus on the important metrics.

Here’s how to create custom Google Analytics dashboards to display your sales and marketing traffic, mobile statistics, and demographics.

Creating a custom dashboard

  • Select a canvas – On the Dashboards menu, click on the New Dashboard option. You’ll immediately be given a choice to use a starter dashboard with some sample widgets, or to start with a blank canvas.

Since you’re customizing for a specific metric, you’ll want to start with a blank canvas.
How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard 1

  • Add a widget type – The next step is to click on the Add Widget option displayed on the menu bar at the top. There are 6 different types of widgets which can be displayed. These simply refer to the graphic format you want data presented in. The possible types are geo map, timeline, table, pie chart, bar chart, and metric. You should give your widget a name, so it’s clear exactly what type of information is being displayed.

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard 2

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard 3

  • Choose Google Analytic dimensions and metrics – Keep in mind that dimensions are attributes which describe the data you want to display. Metrics are numbers which count that data. Using these 2 components, you can tailor your widget to display the data you want to analyze. For instance, demographics of website visitors, sources of your sales and marketing traffic, or the kinds of mobile devices used by your site visitors. Be aware that the types of dimensions and metrics you choose from Analytics drop-down lists will be tied to the kind of widget you are building. Widget type governs the choices you have for dimensions and metrics. In the same way, the kind of drop-down metrics available for selection is tied to the kind of dimension you’ve chosen to describe.

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard 4

Google Analytics Dashboard are an incredible business resource

Creating custom dashboards in Google Analytics is a valuable resource. They clearly display important stats about your website and point to areas for improvement.

Dashboards are very easy to build.  If you ever get stuck, make use of Google Help to get yourself back on track.

What your New Business Website Needs to be Successful -315

What your New Business Website Needs to be Successful

What your New Business Website Needs to be Successful -315

Are you starting a new business or division and need a website? Is your current website dated? Or does it need a facelift with new tools? There are some important factors to take into consideration as you look ahead to a new site. These factors will help distinguish you from your competition, make your site easy to find, convert visitors into leads, bring current customers back, and add credibility to your business.

12 Things Your New Business Website Needs

1. Simple Domain

The Domain is your web address. It should be short, easy to spell and remember, and contain your business name. Before buying a domain or even before naming your business, make sure it’s available and also available on social media platforms as well.

2. What You Do

Your home page should clearly show what you do and what differentiates you from your competition. The average web visitor takes 5-8 seconds to decide if they’re in the right place. Be clear, concise, honest, and keep it simple. You can’t say everything! Visuals communicate better and faster than large blobs of text.

3. Contact Information

Have your phone number in the top right-hand corner of every page along with a ‘Contact Us’ link. Throughout the site offer different ways people can contact you: buttons, linked text or forms. You want to make it simple and easy. Always have convenient ways for your customers to reach you.

4. Clear Navigation

Make it easy for visitors to find their way around your site with a simple to use and easy to find navigation which directs visitors to the keys areas of the site. Include a site map page as well, both for the user and also because it’s used by search bots and helps with SEO.  The navigation should make it easy to find and get to the core areas of importance in your site in just a few clicks. The fewer the clicks the better!

5. Call-to-Action

Tell your visitor what to do next. Once someone has found your website make sure they don’t leave without connecting further with you. Well placed, meaningful calls-to-action will help. It could be a way for them to contact you, ask a question, place an order, download your brochure or ebook, or sign-up for your blog posts via email. The key is moving them from visitor to lead you can nurture.

6. Well-Written Content

Easy to understand, well-written content will explain what you do and how you can help; it also helps your site get found by search engines. Keyword density is identifying the important word or phrase per page and ensuring the content the density of that word/phrase is around 3-5%.

7. SEO

SEO can feel overwhelming but it can’t be overlooked. Your website must have everything in place for it to work perfectly. Basic SEO consists of keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags on images, the correct use of headings, internal links, and external links.

8. FAQ Page

Having a Frequently Asked Questions page is a great way to include lots of keyword phrases that potential customers search for.  As well, it gives users a “one stop” place to get a lot of answers to those common questions you hear all the time.

9. Blog

A blog adds content to your site. It also shows that you’re an expert in your field and a trusted source for help, advice, and information.  Use the blog to provide value and resource-rich posts.  Aim for 600-800 words per post, focused on a topic and using a clear title and sub-titles throughout the post.  It’s important to make our content “scannable” for viewers with ordered lists and headings for each key area of the post.

10. Social Media Integration

Have prominent links to all your social media pages and include social share options throughout your site, especially on blog pages.  If your content is good, then people will want to share.  Make it easy for them!  It’s a simple help to them and therefore can only benefit you.

11. Mobile Friendly

With more and more people using smartphones to search the web it is vital that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. This means your site will look good to viewers no matter what size screen they are using…mobile, tablet, or computer.  This is key today with more web pages being consumed on mobile devices than desktop devices!

12. Stable Web Hosting

To avoid having your online identity hijacked it’s crucial to use a secure web hosting company. Keep your content management system up-to-date and change your passwords regularly.  Just because a big online company offers $5.99/month hosting doesn’t mean that’s a good idea!

Those web hosts tend to have massive amounts of sites on one server and thus are more susceptible to being blacklisted for spamming.  It only takes one bad site on a server to get all the sites blocked.

3 Things Your Website Should Not Have

1. Flash Media

Search engines cannot read flash and it distracts your visitor. It’s old technology that does not work on many browsers and mobile devices.  Therefore do not have flash animation on your site. Alternatively, make sure your developer uses HTML5 for animation as it is the latest leading technology.

2. Moving Text

This is nothing more than a gimmick and adds no value to your site. The days of scrolling text are gone. Instead, think of vivid, attention-capturing images. Images communicate better, faster, and capture the user attention the best.

3. Music

Never have automatic music on your site. If you blast them unexpectedly they’re more likely to leave your site immediately.

Have questions about how to get more website traffic. Contact us or give us a call.

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