Imagine opening your laptop one morning and discovering all your documents and photos are encrypted — but not by you. A message on the screen in broken English demands a ransom to unlock your files. It's a horrifying scenario that is far too real for many people.
In the past few years, ransomware attacks have increased with the growth in the use of digital storage over physical record keeping for critical documents and treasured photos. Take a look at the history of ransomware, how it impacted users in the past year, and what you can expect in the future.
Ransomware is a type of malware designed to hijack computers so hackers can force victims to pay a ransom to regain access. It can infect your computer when you download an innocent-looking email attachment or visit a website that surreptitiously executes malicious code that ultimately encrypts critical files or denies access to the computer. The two main forms of this malware are currently widespread:
Blocker ransomware locks users out of basic computer functions. For example, it might deny access to your desktop by partially disabling files the computer uses to boot. You could still use your computer to pay the ransom, but otherwise it would be useless. The good news? Locker malware typically avoids encrypting critical files in favor of simply locking you out, meaning there's less chance of total data destruction.
Crypto ransomware encrypts your critical data — documents, photos, and videos — while leaving more basic computer functions untouched. Crypto creators often include a countdown in their ransom demand. If you don't pay by the deadline, all your files are deleted. Many users ignore or don't understand the importance of backing up files to an external storage device, so they often choose to pay the ransom because they can’t see any other way of getting their files back.
The first modern ransomware emerged in 2005 in the form of Gpcode, but it’s only in the last few years that the problem has reached epidemic proportions. In 2016, 60 percent of the security professionals surveyed by Ponemon Institute said they saw an increase in ransomware infections, and the companies they work for averaged 26 ransomware attempts each week . A Google study found that over the last two years, ransom malware attackers received $25 million in ransoms .
In 2017, several new ransomware infections spread across the world.
WannaCry began infecting computers in May and quickly spread worldwide. It even appeared on government networks in the UK and Russia. The malware demanded $300 in bitcoins from its victims. To make matters worse, users reported they did not receive their data, even after paying the ransom .
Petya first attacked computers in 2016, and cybercriminals continue to use it in orchestrated attacks that deny victims access to their computers. The malware encrypts the part of the hard drive that manages file location and prevents the computer from booting up, making the computer and its files inaccessible .
Bad Rabbit gains access to computers when users download what they think is an installer for Adobe Flash. Once it activates, it tries to spread to other devices on the network, guessing passwords to gain access. Bad Rabbit encrypts both user files and the computer’s boot files. It demands about $280 in bitcoins to be paid on a website accessible through the Tor browser .
Victims often wonder if they're better off paying the ransom to ensure data is returned. In the past, law enforcement agencies have supported this: at the 2015 Cyber Security Summit, Assistant Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta of the FBI advised companies infected with malware to pay ransoms. According to Kaspersky Lab, however, that's a bad idea. First, there's no guarantee cybercriminals will keep their word and decrypt your data. Second, the more money they earn, the more likely they are to try again. Finally, both security firms and law enforcement organizations are working hard to find and post valid decryption keys. It's definitely important to check the web for possible solutions before shelling out cash.
The future of digital extortion
This year certainly won't be the last for ransomware, so what does the future hold for digital extortion? Smart home devices and internet-connected vehicles are tempting new targets. A ransomware attack could lock people out of homes with smart locks, turn the heat up with smart thermostats, and threaten to crash a connected car. Ransomware could also target network-connected pacemakers, implants, and health monitors. The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a host of possibilities and is short on security standards.
Ransom malware is here to stay. Its targets may change, but the method is tried and true. If you're infected, try not to panic. Look for help online, don't pay up, and consider the use of real-time security protection to help detect and quarantine ransom threats before they lock you out.
There are many people who are just starting to blog and many more that have run their own site for a while, that don’t know what SEO is and how to implement it!
SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is where you construct your web pages and implement certain techniques to help you rank as high as possible on search engine result pages (SERPs). The higher your pages can rank on Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc. results pages, the more traffic your site is likely to get.
On-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do ON your website to help you rank higher, such as page titles, internal linking, meta tags & descriptions, etc.
Off-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do directly OFF your website to help you rank higher, such as social networking, article submission, forum & blog marketing, etc.
In today’s post we will be looking specifically at Off-Page SEO and some of the most effective ways to increase your page rankings on search engines.
Off-Page Search Engine Optimisation
1. Social Networking Sites
Social Networking is bigger than ever these days! Sometimes known as “Online Reputation Management”, getting involved with social media sites is the fundamental step with which you begin to advertise, market and build your online reputation within your niche.
You need to sign up to the most popular social networking sites, such as; Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc., and create yourself a profile of your own. This allows you to extend your online network of contacts, to connect and interact with your friends, to share things with each other, and most importantly promote your website/blog and help build your online reputation.
Blogging is one of the best ways to promote your website online! By writing a blog for your website, you give a reason for visitors to keep returning to your site and keep up to date with your latest posts. It also helps search engines to crawl your site more frequently, as they have to update your latest blog post entries, which ultimately helps you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
You need to produce and include lots of unique content for your blog, such as; Infographics, Top Lists, How To…Tutorials, Viral Videos, etc. Try to remember to be clear and concise in what you are trying to convey to your readers within your blog posts, don’t waffle.To help you promote your blog, submit it to niche blog directories and blog search engines. (See below)
If you’re not very good at writing content for your blog, then you could always hire a guest blogger for your blog and ask him/her to write precise and unique content so that your blog can gain more credit from a search engine point of view.
3. Blog Marketing
Post comments on other blogs within the same niche as yours, which allow you to add a link in the comments section. These links can then be crawled by search engines, helping to point them towards your site. These blogs are commonly referred to as “Do-Follow” Blogs (Just like ours, where you can comment below!).
4. Forum Marketing
Find forums online that are related to your sites niche and get involved within that community. Reply to threads, answer peoples questions, offer advice, etc. This all helps to build up your reputation as someone who is an expert within that niche. Try to use “Do-Follow” Forums so that you can include a link to your site within your signature, which helps search engines crawl your site.
5. Search Engine Submission
Search engines will eventually find your site online, but that can take a while. To speed everything up, you should submit your website to the most popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
6. Directory Submission
Many people may say that directory submission is dead! I believe that it isn’t as you are increasing the likely hood of people seeing your website. It is purely based on how effectively we are selecting those directories and how efficiently we are choosing the category for submission. You could submit to general directories, but for maximum effect, you are better off submitting to niche directories. Of course, I agree that it gives quite delayed results, but it is worth doing it.
7. Social Bookmarking
Social Bookmarking is another great way of promoting your website. Submit your latest blog posts and pages to the most popular bookmarking sites, like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, etc. Search engines really like these types of sites because the content on these sites is updated very frequently.
You should be very careful while doing this and you must properly handle the tags which are very essential to broadcast your news on a wide area network. This may increase your website traffic based on how effectively you have participated.
8. Link Baiting
Link baiting is another popular way of promoting your site. If you produce a really popular unique post for your site, then other people may want to link to it. Perhaps you have copied/published another website’s content on your site, don’t forget to place their website link as a reference. Do it for others and, if your content is trustworthy, let others do it for you. This is another way to increase your link popularity.
9. Photo Sharing
If you have used any of your own photos or images on your site, then you can share then on many of the major photo sharing websites like Flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket, etc. Other people will be able to see them and comment on them, hopefully following a link to your site.
10. Video Marketing
Just like photo sharing, if you have any videos that you have used on your site, then you can submit them to sites like; YouTube, Vimeo, etc. allowing people to find your content in other ways.
11. Business Reviews
Write reviews about others businesses or ask your friends/clients to write a review of your business in major business review sites like RateitAll, Shvoong, Kaboodle, Stylefeeder, etc.
12. Local Listings
Depending on your site’s niche, you might find that listing in local directories may be useful. You may have a website promoting your local business, therefore instead of going global and facing huge competition, listing your website locally, so that search engines can easily view your website and fetch the content, will be much better. This will help you to reach a targeted audience. Submit your website to sites like; Google Local, Maps, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, etc.
13. Article Submission
If you write your articles yourself, then you can submit them to popular article directory sites like; Ezine, Go Articles, Now Public, etc. This can help drive traffic to your site, whilst you can also gain some links to your site from other people (though it’s usually a slower process).
14. Social Shopping Network
If you run an e-commerce website, then a good strategy for advertising and branding your products for free is to submit then to online shopping networks. By submitting your products to sites like; Google Product Search, Yahoo Online Shopping, MSN Online Shopping, and other major social shopping network sites like Kaboodle, Style Feeder, etc. then you increase the likelihood of people finding the products that you are selling.
15. Answer Questions
You can actively participate in answering questions on sites like Yahoo Answers. By answering and asking relevant questions on your site niche, you help to build up your reputation as someone that is an expert in your chosen field. You can place a link to your website in the source section if necessary so that people can easily find your site. If you don’t spam, this is another great way to increase your link popularity.
I hope you found this post useful. Please feel free to leave your questions and comments below!
If you are looking to boost your online presence, you’ve got to stay on trend! When it comes to the internet, you should know that videos are the it content for your marketing strategy.
Explain your product in seconds
Increase conversion rates
Help you rank better on Google
Save on ads
They are the perfect pitch
Videos are more engaging
They have better ROI
Work perfect for mobile
They have top recall rates
1. There’s a reason they are called explainer videos
And it is because they can explain your product in mere seconds. If you’ve been reading our posts, you already know that the average attention span of an internet user is of eight seconds. In other words, when someone visits your website, blog or social media profile, you have to quickly explain your business idea before they get distracted!
That’s where explainer videos come in handy: not only are they attractive enough to grab your viewers’ attention, but they also show information in a compelling and educational way that will keep them easily focused.
2. They increase conversion rates
Conversions are the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign. So why not take advantage of the fact that up to 73% of people are more likely to buy a product if they saw an explainer video first?
The right explainer video will combine dedicated target insights, a catchy narrative and cute characters such as these for optimum results:
3. They help you rank better on Google
It’s plain to understand: Google loves videos, thus video content ranks better in the search results. Actually, videos are 53 times more likely to rank on the giant search engine than plain text!
On top of that, having an explainer video can help with your ranking #0, which means you could have a double organic search result. Amazing.
4.They are great for saving on ads
If your website is having a high bounce rate, it probably means your SEM efforts are not paying-off that well: users are visiting your site because they clicked on your ad, but they are not staying.
As videos include motion, graphics and audio, they are an awesome engagement tool to provide entry points to other branded channels. Longer and more interactive site visits account for lower bounce rates, which means users will be actually absorbing your content.
Try it yourself: add your video to your landing page and enjoy great results with no additional ad costs.
5. They build powerful branding
Custom content is always the way to go: if you provide users with something as unique as only your brand can offer, you’re in for awesome feedback. Combine this with the power of explainer videos and be ready to stand out!
In a tailor-made explainer video, you can apply your color palette, create characters that your audience can feel identified with and tell your story with a personalized script. This not only informs your audience better about how you can help your viewers, but eventually turns your customers into faithful brand ambassadors.
For instance, this video says YIPs all over it: the colors, the aesthetics and even the approachable characters reinforce the brand’s spirit:
6. Explainer videos are always the perfect pitch
Besides being truly engaging, videos are versatile creatures: you can publish them on your website, post them on social networks, embed them in your next marketing email and even use them for a sales presentation.
See how easy it is to understand Activo2's proposition with their explainer video:
7. Sharing is caring. And people care for videos!
Easy to post, easy to share! Maybe that’s why 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others. Sharing not only means that your voice will be amplified, but the connections created will also improve your SEO results.
8. Better ROI
Have you ever thought that explainer videos can be produced at much better rates than ads? With a smaller cost, it is easy to have a good return on your investment with such a powerful tool. And it sure helps that you can track stats for online videos to better calculate their performance!
9. They work great on mobile gadgets
Videos adjust amazingly to small screens, a benefit that text and images don’t have. Taking into account that all digital growth is nowadays coming from mobile, you should definitely consider explainer videos.
10. Top recall rates
Did you know that 80% of viewers recall a video ad they have seen in the past 30 days and 12% finally make the purchase?
As videos work with animation, sound and compelling storytelling, your audience will easily feel identified and better engage with them. It is no secret that our memories work better when emotions are involved!
Whoa! Those are a lot of benefits for your brand, and all it takes is having one explainer video. If you need some help with this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and see how we can help you out. You can also learn more about explainer videos in our blog!
Marketing is the act of connecting with customers with a bid to convince them towards buying a product or subscribing to a service. Marketing, in whatever form, is one of the key activities that every business must partake in, as no business can survive without effective marketing and publicity.
Digital marketing is any action carried out using any electronic media towards the promotion of goods and services. This is a primarily internet-based activity aimed at selling goods or providing services.
The world is in a digital age, and millions of people spend so much of their time poking around digital platforms. Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of this fact and therefore leveraging on the popularity of these platforms to promote their goods and services. Marketing is all about connecting with customers in the right place at the right time, and if your customers are plentiful online, then that is where you should go.
Regardless of the type of your business, be it an app development company or a service provider, you can still benefit immensely from subscribing to digital marketing services. Their advantages over traditional marketing channels is enormous. Listed below are ten of them:
Marketing and advertising cost is one of the biggest financial burdens that businesses have to bear. While big businesses may not have so much trouble doling out millions for marketing and advertisement, for small businesses, this may be impossible or an unbearable nightmare. Marketing via digital platforms offers a more affordable alternative to the traditional method. They create as much impact yet costing way less.
With just a few bucks you can subscribe to an email marketing provider and send transactional or direct emails to thousands of customers on your mailing list.
Huge return on investment:
Nothing matters more to a business than the return on the investment it makes. Digital marketing offers a substantial return on small investments. Email marketing or running advertising campaigns on social media platforms cost little when compared to traditional marketing techniques.
Easy to measure:
The success or otherwise of a digital campaign can easily be ascertained. Compared to traditional method where you have to wait weeks or months to evaluate the veracity of a campaign, with a digital campaign you can know almost immediately how an ad is performing.
Email marketing software allows users to track the performance of their emails; they can know how many were delivered, how many were read and learn all about their conversion rates. Google Analytics is a very effective tool for measuring specific goals to be achieved on a website or blog. Google AdWords manager allows users to monitor the performance of their ads on Google search; they can know how many people viewed their ads and learn all about their conversion rates.
Easy to adjust:
The knowledge of the performance of an ad will inform a business on how to proceed. For an ad campaign that is performing well, it is easy to invest more in it with just a click. But for an ad that is not delivering as expected, it can be adjusted accordingly or stopped altogether with ease.
In traditional marketing, it is more rigid as a mountain of paperwork must be signed and in most cases, these agreements are on a long or medium-term basis. So even if a campaign is not performing as hoped, subscribers will still have to wait for the expiration of the agreed period.
Businesses can use their digital platforms to build their company’s brand and reputation. A well-developed website, a blog featuring quality and useful articles, a social media channel that is highly interactive are some of the ways by which a business can build its brand.
Easy to share:
Most digital marketing channels feature sharing capabilities which allow campaigns and articles to be shared with multiple followers. This helps to create a multiplier effect and has the capacity to tremendously improve sales results.
The traditional means of marketing uses the spray and pray method, where an ad runs over a platform with substantial reach with the hope that a few people who love what they see, hear, or read would make a positive approach. Marketing over digital platforms, on the other hand, allows for targeted campaigning where ads are presented to customers based on their preferences or initial action. Take, for instance, transactional emails (order confirmation emails, receipt, password reset) which will only be sent to customers following their action towards the business. In other words, customers get only what they ask for.
Social media platforms usually possess a very smart algorithm that studies and collates user preferences. Such that specific ad campaigns are shown only to users with a specific inkling. This helps to increase the likelihood of sales as well as further cut down on the cost of marketing.
The world, they say, has turned into a global village. This has been made possible via digitization. Digital marketing allows ad campaigns to be visible in any part of the world. This gives small start-ups the rare opportunity to go global via the immense exposure provided. The internet abounds with stories of start-ups that became hugely successful over a small period due to the opportunities created thanks to the global nature of marketing via digital platforms.
Not only does marketing over digital platforms allow campaigns to be targeted at specific customers, it also allows for customer segmentation. Segmentation is the process in which large customer groups are further broken down into smaller groups of customers according to a particular classification. Segmentation increases the chances of sales, as well as cut down on cost.
Take, for instance, an e-commerce store that has launched new offers for women’s clothing. Using digital platforms, offering, for instance, email marketing solutions, allows the business to send emails to women alone. And if an offer is available only in certain regions, residents of given areas can be the only ones who will get the email.
For segmentation to work effectively, adequate information must be collected from subscribers.
The cyber world is getting noisier by the day, and any product or service that your business offers is most likely also being offered by thousands of other businesses. The average bounce rate on websites increased and the attention span of visitors is dropping. When visitors to a website do not immediately find what they are looking for, they leave for an alternative.
The key to staying relevant and keeping customers in this highly competitive business world is to ensure continuous engagement with your audience. Effective marketing allows businesses to stay competitive and relevant by engaging with customers through different digital media channels. These platforms allow businesses to answer customer questions, alleviate misconceptions, and even generate sales. This can be achieved via regular useful blog posts, newsletters, shows, promotions, and special offers.
The idea is to hold the attention of your customers for as long as possible while building a credible reputation.
SEO has become widely adopted as an online marketing strategy because of its effectiveness. While the benefits of SEO are vast, here are the top 5.
The digital landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, but SEO still remains an effective and important marketing strategy. While there are many benefits to a good SEO strategy, we have outlined the top 5 to help you understand (or remind you!) why SEO is awesome.
Increased Traffic – Top positions on the search engine result pages receive a majority of the impressions and clicks, so ranking in these top positions can result in significant traffic increases for your website. SEO also focuses on creating informative and keyword relevant title tags and meta descriptions, which show up in the result pages. Having optimized tags and descriptions helps to increase the click-through rate, which also promotes increases in qualified web traffic.
ROI – SEO provides trackable and quantifiable results, regardless of whether you are an e-commerce or non-e-commerce site so there are no qualms when it comes to ROI. SEO agencies are able to track nearly every aspect of their strategy, like increases in rankings, traffic, and conversions. Comprehensive analytics also provide the ability to drill down at a granular level and see demographic information and other engagement metrics for individuals who have interacted with your website. E-commerce sites, SEO agencies can see which paths users take in order to complete a sale, all the way down to which keyword they used to search for you prior to purchasing. For non-E-commerce sites, you can attribute values to your lead conversions, like a ‘contact us’ form fill-out, and calculate the value of your SEO strategy that way.
Cost-effectiveness – SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online. SEO’s inbound nature helps businesses save money as opposed to outbound strategies like cold-calling. While cold-calling can still be an effective strategy, the leads generated cost 61% more than leads generated by an inbound strategy like SEO. And since SEO also targets users who are actively searching for products and services like yours, the traffic resulting from SEO is more qualified than many other marketing strategies, resulting in cost-savings for companies.
Increased site usability – In an effort to make your website easier to navigate for the search engines, SEO simultaneously helps to make your website more navigable for users as well. SEO consists of rearranging the site’s architecture and links to make pages within the website easier to find and navigate. This not only makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find pages but also makes it easier for users to find information on your website as well.
Brand Awareness – Since top position rankings result in significant impressions, having your website in these top positions on the result pages translates to more exposure for your website. Plus, being on the first page for your targeted keywords not only helps users to associate your brand with those keywords, but it instills trust since companies on the first page are generally perceived to be more trustworthy. The more your pages and content rank in high positions in the search engines, the more chances you have for users to see your content and associate with your brand.
Like what you read? For more information on how SEO could be beneficial to your website, or for a free SEO consultation, please contact us and we would be happy to help.
In this day and age where digital technology and the Internet has influenced how we live and work, it is shocking to know that very few small business owners have a website.
It is hard to believe that only 46% of small businesses have a website. This statistic is confounding when you realize people spend 6 hours a day on the Internet.
Based on 2014 survey results, 41% of small business owners reported they don’t think they need a website. What that means is they probably don’t know the benefits of having a website for their small business.
1. Improve Business Credibility.
A simple way to view a website is that it is your online business address. This is where your customers, clients and associates go to find you on the Internet.
The Home page identifies your branded value proposition, the About Us page tells visitors all about your business and the Contact Us page informs everyone how to get in touch with you.
It legitimizes your business and improves your credibility. It gives your business an identity and is virtual proof that it exists.
Don’t be mislead into thinking a company page in Facebook is enough to build your credibility. A 2015 survey showed that 84% of consumers believe that having a website makes your business more credible than just a social media page.
Having a website means you have your own domain. In the same survey, 65% of respondents regard a company-branded e-mail as more credible than a generic one.
2. Build Your Business.
Before broadband technology became widespread in 2004, websites were used primarily for marketing and informational purposes. A website functioned more like a brochure; you put one up to stay ahead of the competition. But there wasn’t much thought and purpose behind the content.
With the growth of the Internet, the influence of social media and the popularity of mobile devices, the website has become a crucial tool to build your business.
Share Your Story – According to Nobel Prize winning psychiatrist Daniel Kahneman, consumers patronize brands they can align their values with.
A website is a great way to share your story; tell your audience why you started this business, your goals and what you hope to accomplish with it.
Get Clients – It’s not enough to have a rock star online profile. 36% of clients prefer to deal with businesses that have websites. By contrast, only 21% will work with businesses without websites.
A website gives you the platform to highlight your experience and expertise.
Find Your Team – Are you looking for people to help you run your business?
Set up a Career page in your website where prospective candidates can fill out an application form and attach their resume.
Post your job requirement in social media and link it back to your website. You should have a good number of candidates in no time!
3. Enhance Your Online Presence.
Here’s a statistical fact that will blow your mind:
Of the 7.4 Billion people in this world, 3.5 Billion people or 47% are online every day. They are searching for information, sharing on social media or shopping on e-commerce websites.
This number is expected to grow as the world becomes increasingly dependent on mobile technology to search the Internet. Today there are an estimated 2.3 Billion smartphones worldwide. But in 2020, the total number of smartphones is expected to hit 6.1 Billion.
If your small business does not have a website, you will be undermining its ability to generate income. And not just any website; but a mobile responsive website, one that can be accessed by mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Statistically, 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.
A mobile responsive website will help you capitalize on the opportunities available on the Internet through the following ways:
Improve Search Rankings – By optimizing your web pages, it will be easier for people to find your content.
Distribute Content – Create relevant, unique and usable content and distribute them through different channels such as social media and blog sites. People who love your content would want to know more about you and visit your website.
Open 24/7 – Unlike a brick- and- mortar business that operates 9- to- 5, a website never closes shop. It is open 24/7, even on holidays.
Introduce Business Flexibility – If you don’t want to miss out on opportunities, outsource customer service and have your agents manage all concerns and inquiries via chat or e-mail support at your website.
4. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Market.
A business by definition is a living, breathing entity. Loyalty is achieved when customers know they are dealing with a company that understands their needs and not just a company that wants to profit.
Let the Market Know “Who You Are”. Outside the Home and About Us pages, you can set up a blog page where you can share your thoughts and ideas with your audience.
Address the Needs of Your Market. Invite your audience to engage you by encouraging them to post comments on your blogs. Embed survey forms and ask your audience to participate and convey their needs.
Educate the Market of Your Business. Utilize the 80-20 Rule; 80% of your content should be usable or relevant to the needs of your audience while 20% should educate them about your business.
Improve Customer Service. In addition to e-mail, social media, mobile and landline, install chat support as the 5th avenue for customer service. This will give your end-users more options to relay concerns and inquiries.
5. Efficient Way to Promote Your Business.
If you are still using traditional forms of marketing, you are wasting valuable resources, time and money. Traditional forms include press releases, print ads, flyers and distribution Point- of- Purchase materials.
While still popular, traditional methods cost more money and cover less ground. It is also unsustainable; flyers, posters, print ads and press releases usually end up in the trash can.
Online marketing is faster, more efficient and inexpensive. There are many tools and techniques that you can use for online marketing but without a website, these strategies will fall short.
Think of the website as the sun with these online marketing tools as the planets revolving around it. Your online marketing efforts will create inbound avenues to a specified destination place which is your website.
Among the most popular online marketing tools that you can use to create inbound traffic to your website:
Social Media – Of the 3.5 Billion people online every day, 2.34 Billion or 67% are on social media.
Blogging – Companies that blogged 16 times a month received 4.5 times more leads than those that blogged 0-4 posts per month.
E-mail Marketing – E-mail marketing is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook.
Use Videos – Embed a video on your Home page. A video can deliver your messaging content faster and more efficiently than text. Video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.
Finally, online marketing is a sustainable process. Your content will not go to waste. You can easily update it and reuse after a few months.
6. Boost Your Reputation as an Authority.
If your business is in a competitive industry, a website will give you the forum to boost your reputation as an authority figure.
Blogging – There’s one reason why blogging is the cornerstone of the content marketing process: It works! Here are 3 key statistics on the benefits of blogging:
Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages.
47% of buyers read 3 to 5 blogs before engaging a sales rep.
61% of consumers report a blog influenced their decision to buy.
Podcast – Set up a podcast in your website, distribute the schedule via Twitter, Facebook and invite experts to discuss topics that interest your audience. 21% more people listened to podcasts in 2016 compared to 2015.
Seminars – Conduct seminars on your website. This is a great way to share your knowledge with your market. Encourage your audience to actively engage during the seminar.
7. Create a Tool for Sales Generation.
A website can also be an active and passive tool for generating income because it is the termination or exit point in the sales funnel.
It is very difficult to convert sales in social media. There are no available mechanisms to complete the transaction on- the- spot. An e-commerce website for example, has a checkout counter where goods and services can be paid for right away.
It can also be a good source for passive income via PPC or Pay- Per- Click advertising. Advertisers will pay you every time a user clicks through their ad in your website.
8. Showcase Your Work.
Open a personal website and include a page that showcases your body of work.
That is one valuable tip that Hiring Managers all over the country wish job applicants knew. The same can be said for small business owners. A website will give you the venue to present samples of your work.
If you’re offering interior design services, content writing, professional web design services and other types of work that can be made visual, a portfolio page will encourage more clients to try you out.
If you want to increase the impact of your portfolio page, include 5 or more client testimonies. You can put the client testimonies in the Home page which is where users land after clicking unto your link or the Services page.
9. Keep Track of Your Business in Real Time.
One of the most significant benefits of having a website for a small business is that you can keep track of its performance in real time through the use of analytics.
Analytics will provide you valuable data on how your business has been moving within a period of time. Key indicators of business performance include the following metrics:
Number of visitors going to your website.
Number of “unique visitors” or those who visit your website only once.
Page views or impressions tell how many times a page has been read or visited. This will give you an idea on which type of content visitors find interesting.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without exploring past the page they landed on.
Average time on site will show how long visitors view your content. The longer the average time on site, the better for your website.
10. Professionalize Your Brand.
Many small business owners make the mistake of not working on their brand until they gain traction.
You have to start working on your brand before launching your business. The brand gives your business its identity and makes it easier for customers and clients to understand what it is all about.
The website is the most effective and efficient way to build and professionalize your brand:
It places your branded value proposition front and center in the Home page.
Website optimization techniques can help Internet users find your brand.
It can be distributed seamlessly through various online channels.
A professionally made website shows you are serious about your business.
If you want an effective website or one that can help you take your business to another level, you have to be prepared to invest in one. In a survey of small business owners, 19% identified cost as another reason for foregoing a website.
A website is not an expense. It is an investment because you should expect a return on your money within a period of time.
For your investment to pay out, you have to make sure your website is professionally designed, fully functioning with fast download speed and packed with great content.
Do not penny- pinch and try to do a website on your own despite the availability of free templates. Your best option would always be to hire a professional web designer who has the experience and training to build a functional yet aesthetically beautiful website.