Capturing Instagram Interest Featured Image

Capturing and Maintaining The Interest Of A Large Instagram Audience

Capturing Instagram Interest Featured Image
As far as marketing your brand online goes, Instagram is among the greatest tools you can have in your arsenal. With 700 million users, you can be certain that your current and prospective customers are on the platform and by setting up and running a successful account, you can reach them.

For you to tap into the immense marketing potential of Instagram, there are some things you need to do right. Here are a few.

Post your unique content

Make sure that the content you post on the social media platform belongs to you. Instagram users are interested in your unique message, so don’t post generic posts or posts created by someone else. Furthermore, by sticking to content that only you have created, you don’t have to worry about copyright issues.

Post only your best stuff

In addition to seeing content that’s uniquely yours, your followers want to see high-quality posts. People log into Instagram to see great photography, so keep them interested by posting highly creative, the well-thought-out content of a wide variety. Use all the options for posting: single photos, multiple photos in a single post, regular videos, live videos, and Instagram stories.

Experiment with a couple of filters and backgrounds for your posts before settling on one. Once you determine what works, stick with it to have a distinct style that your followers for Instagram can recognise. At this point, consider consulting professional photographers if you know little about photography.

Engage your audience

Once your high-quality posts are up, your Instagram audience may respond to it by liking your posts and commenting on them. Make your Instagram profile highly interactive by replying to comments on your post. Users appreciate it when your brand notices them and will often reward you by following you and remaining loyal.

Boost your visibility by encouraging your followers and customers to post about their experiences with your products or services. Instagram contests are useful in this regard. Ask your customers to post about your products/services and have them tag those posts with your brand name and hashtag, then offer a nice prize to the best. This generates a buzz around your brand.

Post often

Your Instagram followers and customers on the platform want to see fresh content. So for you to keep them interested, you need to have a deliberate strategy for the frequency of posting. Do some research and find out what time your target audience is most active and which hashtags they are most interested in, then tailor your posts accordingly.

Avoid hard-selling

As you market your brand on Instagram, never lose sight of why people are on the platform. They’re there to have fun and enjoy great photos and videos, not to be sold to stuff. Give them a great experience by posting top-quality content and exercise good judgment in the way you incorporate calls-to-action and sales pitches into the conversation.


Walter MooreWalter Moore has worked as a social media strategist in the SEO industry for seven years. He has written numerous articles and blog posts on topics related to social media marketing, including gaining visibility by leveraging followers for Instagram.

on-site-search

Help Me Help You: A Guide to Optimizing On-Site Search

on-site-search
Having a well-optimized site search tool does two important things for your site. For your customers, it allows them to quickly and easily find what they are after. For you, it gives valuable insight into what your customers are looking for when visiting. With this information, you as a business can make sure you are meeting their expected needs, and if you find that you are not, you can adjust your products and services to serve them better.

In fact, customers who do an on-site search generate more revenue than those who do not. For example, an average of 30% of visitors will perform an on-site search, and for e-commerce websites, customer conversion rates nearly doubled from people who used on-site search and found what they were after.

You probably think that you understand why a great on-site search tool is important, but figuring out how to make it great is easier said than done. Here are some simple ways to improve your on-site search tool to make sure that it is useful and intuitive for your site visitors.

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Design

Start by making sure that your search box is a static fixture on all your pages. It should appear in the same spot with the same design regardless of the page your customer is on. It is also recommended that you make it a visible search “box” and not just text or an icon. A Nielsen Norman Group study showed that there was a 91% increase in search usage when displaying a box versus text alone. This is a great reason to be sure to use a traditional search box format. Jet.com does an excellent job of keeping their search bar in the same front and centre location across their entire site. Regardless of where the customer is in their shopping journey, they can quickly and easily perform a search for additional products.

Design-Example-Jet

To further enhance your search box place some text inside of it so that it is evident to users what the purpose of the box is. Something as simple as the word “search” or “search for” works perfectly, or as Jet.com has, “Search and start saving…”

You also want to allow your user to start the search by simply hitting the return key. You don’t want to force your user to mouse and click the search button/icon.

Functionality

It’s important to make sure that your on-site search will auto-complete as your customers are typing in their requests. This enables them to find exactly what they are after on your site painlessly. Zappos’ search bar is an excellent example of this: entering only the first four letters of Adidas returns ten possible queries from the various collections they carry.

Functionality-Example-Zappos

Setting up autocomplete is a relatively simple process, and most site design templates like WordPress offer free plug-ins.

Results

Try helping your customers by tackling the most reasonable terms and providing customised results based on the query. So the goal would be to have a different results pages based on different search terms, even if the terms are very similar. FTD does a great job of this with their wedding flowers, providing custom graphics that correspond with that term, versus their standard layout for a more general query such as white flowers.

Results-Example-FTD

The reason is that if a client searches a second time with a similar search term, it is likely they did not find what they wanted the first time. You want to make sure you are returning different results pages and images each time to increase the chances of them landing on exactly what they are after.

To that end, you also want to be very sure that you do not return a zero results page. Have a plan in place to return a page of value even when no results are found. You could return a page with your most favourite items, sale items, or even better, when possible you can return items in a similar category as the item they entered in their search. Best Buy does a good job of this when searching for the fictional item milk steak, wherein they return items that pertain to a similar term they carry.

Results-Example-BestBuy

Visual

If you offer items in varied colours, sizes, etc… try returning images that best match the searched terms. For example, if you sell outdoor equipment and someone types in “black grill” you want your results page to show images of the black options of all the different grills you sell, just as Home Depot has done.

Visual-Example-HomeDepot

Likewise, if the user types in “patio chairs” you want the results to show images of your selection of patio chairs. You may not always have images to match every option you offer, but do your best to match the returned images as closely as possible to the original search terms.

Understanding the added value a robust on-site search tool will give to your clients makes the effort it takes to optimize your search tool well worth it. Taking the time to make sure your search engine is working hard to make your user experience smooth and productive will dramatically help convert visitors into customers.


nicole-stelmarNicole Stelmar is a digital marketing specialist for Inseev Interactive, a digital marketing agency based in San Diego. Nicole specializes in helping businesses of all sizes use digital marketing and SEO to grow their digital presence.

mobile-app-development

Mobile App Development: Is It a Profitable Affair?

mobile-app-development
Any industry’s success currently depends hugely on Mobile marketing and mobile app development. A whole lot of personal services including banking, advertising, payment, etc. have today become mobile. The introduction and growing popularity of several kinds of mobile devices and the advent of the all-new mobile operating systems have led automatically to the emergence of more and more app developers for mobile devices. In this context, you must know that the mobile apps are more advantageous as compared to the mobile websites since they are targeting the concerned consumer directly. Many of you are wondering what would be the cost of developing a good mobile app, and is it a profitable business?

It is not a secret that mobile app development right from scratch could be pretty challenging. The developer must take into account all the basics about specific smartphones or OS which he is coming up with for understanding the precise manner in which the OS or the smartphones works and go about developing apps for it. This issue could get quite complicated in the event of cross-platform formality that would be involving the creation of compatibility for several devices and also operating systems. App development companies in Mumbai could be of great help and offer professional assistance.

app-development

Mobile App Categories

Mobile apps belong to two broad categories: the mobile apps that are created solely for generating income and mobile apps which are developed precisely for app branding and marketing purposes. In the first type of mobile apps, the profit is acquired directly as well as indirectly from app sales and in-app ads and subscriptions. The top instances of this are nothing but the modern gaming apps, like the Android’s Angry Birds. Many companies would end up making quite a lot of profits from app development. Moreover, apps generated purely for branding or marketing are today available completely free of charge. The app would be merely acting as a marketing network.

Cost as Opposed to Profit

There exists no real standard cost associated with app development. The cost of developing a mobile app could be more than $25,000 for designing, developing and deploying a reliable iPhone app. The Android OS is supposed to be highly fragmented hence, increase in costs. All this expenditure and effort is worthwhile provided you are anticipating a good return on investment. Huge retail outlets that have a substantial capital and far too many consumers and banks achieve very high ROI. This, however, may not prove to be that profitable for an entrepreneur or freelancer whose budget is pretty
restricted.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you must realise that mobile app development is certainly much more than merely the cost involved in the development and the profits accrued. If your intention is only to mint money from your mobile app and then generating profits, you must consider all the above-discussed points. You must also determine the app development process.


sujainSujain Thomas is attached to several app development companies in Mumbai as a freelancer. She is a passionate blogger and enjoys sharing important tips and tricks with her readers and followers.

unique-designs

Unique Designs For A Website To Be Visually Appealing

unique-designs
Web designers use different designs to appeal to the audience, and this is the reason why they ensure that they keep specific factors in mind when they are creating designs for a website. These designs need to appeal to the targeted audience so that they stay on the website and fulfil the call to action.

Meeting the needs of the targeted audience

Every website has unique features, and it needs to meet and match the needs of the client. When it comes to designs, websites can deploy character design, animation, integrated location maps, photo and text placements in the layout of the website. For example, take animation for instance. Experienced web designers state that the use of animation is not fancy. However, it can make the website unique. The layout allows you to scroll down the page and have the background animate gradually. Animation can improve the user experience as the transition is noticed as you go from one section to another.

How is the website design determined?

The following are some of the factors that determine the design of the website:

  1. The designer must decide where the specific design elements should appear. This will determine the focal point where the design might not be very intricate and detailed. This is precisely true for designers that are using character design for their websites.
  2. Experts companies like Las Vegas Web Design Co in the USA say that when it comes to parallax scrolling, where the background moves at a slower pace compared to the foreground, there is a 3D effect when visitors scroll down the page. However, it should be done by a skilled web designer or else the effect will get overwhelming.
  3. Displaying multiple sides of a product in one glance is perfect for product pages. Visitors can understand products better when this design is used. It is ideal for e-commerce websites that sell products online. The images have the same background, and this makes for a smooth and seamless core.
  4. When it comes to some websites, designers use real human beings that are behind the apps, products and companies of the website. They place photos of these people in their descriptions and role in the website design.
  5. Black and white colour schemes are at times resorted to by some web designers. This is a reverse colour scheme and is often used by web designers. Some designers often couple these black and white designs with grids to create the desired effects.

Therefore, web designers across the world use the above design ideas when it comes to the creation of their websites. The site should be interactive and communicate to the visitor when it comes to selling products or services. The design of the website will also help visitors to navigate without difficulties. Every website must be unique so that they appeal to the targeted audience and create a positive impression to keep them coming back to the site again and again!


sujainSujain Thomas is a freelancer, blogger, and most importantly SEO specialist attached to a private SEO company of repute in Boston. She is an avid blogger and a source of inspiration and authority for budding SEO experts.

social-media-marketing-tools

5 Best Social Media Marketing Tools of 2017

social-media-marketing-tools
Social media has been having a great impact on the way of marketing of the brands especially online. In fact, it will not be wrong to say that social media has brought the drastic change in your life.

Various platforms are showing up to transform your way of communication. The emerging changes directly affect the way brands communicate their message and your response.
The new platforms have proved to be very helpful and handy regarding marketing, which enables the host marketers to interact with you in ways that are aimed at providing best services. This way the track of the efforts being made by the customers can easily be kept. In this modern and competing world, it is a challenge to keep pace with the trending social media. For this very purpose, you have to review your toolsets, look into the most necessary tools and discard the old ones who are no more effective. After updating your ways, you will be able to get maximum benefit from the social media.

Following is given a shortlist to assist you in choosing the best social media tools.

  1. Buffer

    This tool has very simple analytical features along with the beautiful interface. It is a scheduling tool that you can easily find on social media. You can find a central dashboard from where you can efficiently share your stuff to different accounts and networks as well. Chrome has introduced an extension making it much easier to share simultaneously on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You find interesting case studies and guides on Buffer blog, especially for the new marketers.

  2. SocialClout

    A very addicting and easy content sharing platform for you is SocialClout. But to see the most engaging posts and social media ROI, you have to look vanity metrics. The primary purpose of Social Clout is to provide an analytical tool for the above-said purpose. It brings the best platforms, regarding demographics, into the limelight.

  3. Vibbi

    Vibbi is a fantastic tool for carrying out the marketing on social media and is mainly designed for the Instagram accounts. Vibbi provides different services on these accounts which help in enhancing the fame and promotion of the company. This tool lets you buy Instagram likes and followers they are real. Competing for the race of fast growing marketing, you need to have large follower base and much likes.

  4. Feedly

    Feedly aims at creating “magazine” daily, based on the RSS feeds from various writers and blogs that you give it as input. It’s a good source for you to know the heated discussion of niche influencers. You can also join these discussions and update yourself with the trends in industries. This way you can define your content strategy and schedule your social media posting as well. The best part is the integration with HootSuite, Buffer, and other scheduling apps. This way you can quickly schedule and share your posts from within the dashboard.

  5. Canva

    Keeping in view the difficulties non-designers face, Canva has been designed to facilitate you in creating interesting images that can be posted on social media or shared with your friends and acquaintances. It provides you with very easy to use interface bearing many templates, colors, fonts and many more useful tools. You can just drag and drop different elements of your desired image and arrange them in an interesting manner.

  6. Socedo

    There are a lot of moving pieces of campaigns being run by social media. The success of all of them lies in working together. For you being the manager of social media it is tough to manage all in such a limited time of day and focusing on customers as well all simultaneously. Socedo is such a useful tool which generates the demand and performs such grunt work, which if done by you, eats up most of your precious time and doesn’t allow you to focus on the main tasks. The negligence towards such works may lead you to the devastation in your primary tasks. The working principle of Socedo is the acquisition of targeted leads making practical use of various channels of social media and the lead generation automation. Making use of this tools you can very well focus on your increasing sales and revenues i.e. ROI while saving yourself from repetitive, annoying tasks.


qurbanQurban is a freelance writer who offers to blog, ghostwriting and copywriting services. He works in close collaboration with businesses providing digital marketing solution that increases brand awareness and search engine visibility. He’s currently working for Vibbi.com, which provides quality Instagram followers, likes, and views.

pr-agencies-fashion

When To Hire A PR Agencies For Your Fashion Brand

 

pr-agencies-fashion

Every business owner is entirely responsible for what goes on in their business. This includes any designer either you are established or newcomers. For an emerging artist, your clientele is building up, you are getting known outside your locality, and you are taking more fashion weeks as well. At this moment you will always have the question of whether to find a PR for your company or just continue working on your own. To make a solid decision regarding hiring a PR representative, follow the below advice from the experts in the industry.

Robert Barrows who is the President of R.M Barrows, INC Advertising, and Public Relations.

According to Robert Barrows, it is not necessarily for an emerging designer to hire a PR agency as you may not be able to afford their services since your business is in the process of growth. Also, he stated that it may take a while before you utilize their services in your brand and therefore instead he advocated for an advertising agency as with such an agency you can have your name known yet within your stipulated budget. Therefore in other words according to Robert, it is not necessary for an emerging designer to hire a PR agency.

Tony Felice President of TFPR and Images Opinion.

According to Tony Felice, an emerging agency can hire for PR services, but they should consider hiring independent PR personnel instead of an agency as they can’t be able to afford it. With staff who have good industrial experience and great proven media contacts, you are safe and ready to go.

Emily Taffel Founder/CEO of Mugsy PR.

Emily stated that any brand requires a representative so as to ensure that they don’t miss on the editorial pieces, fashion events and also partnership opportunities. With a PR representative, you will also you have the chance to connect with industry influencers and other people who can lead you to the limelight. Therefore an emerging designer should consider hiring a PR agency so as to achieve these.

Alicia Sanchez, a Designer of Favela and Brander of the Fashion Designer Business Academy.

Alicia stated that if you are an already established designer brand, then you will not have problems getting a PR instead different PR agencies will be looking for you so as to work with you. Just make sure that you have a set budget for hiring a PR, so you don’t end up spending too much on this field. She put across that fashion is just like any other business and therefore should be handled as such.

Annette Szczepan a Publicist and Founder of Anetka StarrPR.

She said that many fashion companies are emerging all over the world and therefore the only way of getting your brand known is by finding a good publicist or agency to push your brand. These bodies will help you get noticed, established and also get connected to the right people. Therefore get a PR firm but do it wisely as well.

Conclusion.

Follow the above experts’ advice to guide you in making decision regarding if you need a PR agency or not.


magnolia-logo-vancouver-bc-PNGFounded in 2006, Magnolia is one of Vancouver’s top PR Agencies, B2B & marketing communications companies. Working with clients across North America, our full-service PR firms of social media marketing, vertical marketing & public relation experts strives to earn our clients’ trust through a relentless pursuit of excellence — in our work, thinking and approach.

reason-why-everyone-loves-ig

The Reason Why Everyone Loves Instagram

reason-why-everyone-loves-ig

In this generation, people are very fascinated with technology, more so with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and much more. Today, everyone seems to be so hooked on their smartphones or iPhones. You can see almost everyone always logging into their social media accounts just to post about anything they want to show their friends or even strangers. It is undeniable that Facebook has achieved success massively. And now, Instagram is continuing to innovate and reaching out to more people. An official Instagram page of an individual or business aims to get real Instagram followers. This means real people with Instagram accounts and not just trolls.

Instagram followers are there basically for these five reasons:

Instagram displays excellent photos.

Nowadays, people love capturing photographs of just about anything and anywhere. This is not just to show off to friends. Somehow, it also brings out the creativity of a person. Most people love seeing beautiful pictures of food or places and wish they could experience the same. Photography is also becoming a new hobby for many people. A good image of a product also speaks a thousand words and could signal boosting of sales in the market.

instagram-ig

Instagram tells a story.

Just by merely looking at the photos, you can sense that it is telling you an incredible story. Instagram is also a place for bloggers to showcase the stories they want to tell the world. Because of the story, Instagram followers are expected to grow. Instagram is not just a place for trolling around. You cannot just buy Instagram daily likes just to show that you have a significant number of real Instagram followers; you have to creatively share inspiring stories that will help you get more followers and likes.

Instagram is fun.

What is Instagram without having fun? Of course, followers won’t stay long if they do not experience the fun and excitement of what Instagram has to offer. Also, it’s not only about the photos; Instagram has also made video uploading easier. Plus, you get to use Instagram Live video! Who could ignore direct messaging? This allows a faster interactive way of making friends online. Now, the newest addition to Instagram’s features is the ability to save the photos that you’ve liked. It’s about time!

Instagram has a great potential as a business tool.

Aside from a website, businesses need social media pages to engage the audience. If your business is not on the internet, you are nothing. This sentence is now becoming a fact because of how social media influences the people, especially on Instagram. Lately, videos have been one of the best modes of marketing for businesses. It pays to increase views on Instagram videos found in your business’ Instagram account. Moreover, advertisements on televisions are also being shown on Instagram to promote products to more people. Today, people use social media more often than turning on the TV.

Instagram is free.

Who wouldn’t want anything for free? Instagram is readily available and can be installed immediately on your smartphones. There are no premium fees to be collected from a user. However, business owners need to pay for their advertisements in reaching more people who are not their followers yet. This is one way of getting more followers to follow your page. As a follower, you become a targeted audience of business owners, so don’t get annoyed with the ads that are appearing while you’re scrolling down Instagram.

The influence of social media especially Instagram has grown over the years. This is why people resort to buying Instagram daily likes. More people get acquainted with each other through their accounts. This is a good way to building relationships not only personal but business relationships, too. The power of Instagram is affecting businesses and is giving small business owners a chance to achieve tremendous success.

ig


sheena-mathiesonSheena Mathieson understands the essence of making excellent content that suits the needs of every business, especially when it comes to online marketing. She can spice up your marketing campaign with the content she makes and then incorporate Buy Real Marketing services.

ssl certificate boost seo and customer retention rate

How An SSL Certificate Can Boost Your SEO And Increase Your Customer Retention Rate

ssl certificate boost seo and customer retention rate

Do you know that an SSL certificate can improve your search visibility?

A recent study by Harvard Business School shows that increasing your customer retention rate by 5% increases profit by 25 – 95%.

ssl seo

 

Businesses are working hard to get to the first page of Google SERPs. Although, some of these businesses work in line with Google’s algorithm updates while others use black-hat SEO practices. On the long-run, this will not go well with their website.

However, there’s one technique most webmasters overlook which is not only important for driving organic traffic but to also retain customers.

It’s simply leveraging SSL to improve their business.

A recent Google transparency report shows that 79 of the top 100 websites still don’t deploy HTTPS. Even eBay, the popular shopping site doesn’t.

That’s so bad — this is one of the reasons why sensitive user information is disclosed daily and accounts been hacked.

So it doesn’t sound like a new thing anymore when we say users accounts are been stolen and sold every day on stores in the dark web.

ssl conversion

 

Well. in this article you’re going to find out why you need to install an SSL certificate on your website if you have not done so.

But first, let’s get the basics out of the way.

What is SSL Certificate?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate provides a security layer on your website to protect your website from sharing sensitive visitors/customers information.

According to the official SSL websiteSSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.

This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.”

So, an SSL encrypts plain text like credit card details, passwords, and data that only the website and the user are meant to decrypt. It also authenticates websites and let users know when a website is not secured to visit/use.

You can identify that a website is secured with SSL certificate if it’s deployed via HTTPS like this: https://www.example.com with a padlock as shown below.

ssl seo conversion

 

And in Google Chrome there’s an additional word added — “Secure.”

ssl retention rate

 

Here are the ways an SSL certificate can help improve your business, and gradually boost your organic search performance:

1).  SSL enhances customer and visitor trust

The internet is really porous. We see a lot of horrible things happening online daily.

And it seems every day there’s another security breach headline. Studies have revealed that over 30,000 websites are infected with malware each day.

malware infections

 

So how do you make your own website safe for users?

By using a layer of security that communicates the security of your website to your customers (i.e., SSL certificate) from a trusted company, you can make your customers feel safer.

When customers see the “secure” in their browser address box and the padlock icon on your website — psychologically it makes them feel safe and positive about your website.

And they’ll feel like, “yes, this website is secure we can buy from them safely.”

Personally, I made up my mind that I’ll not even register on any website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed let alone buying a product there.

But, how exactly do you make your customers trust your brand?

Start by installing an SSL certificate. It’s a cheap way to get your customers to trust your brand more. A study by SaaS Brand found that 39% of websites with a secure server acquires more customers in the long-run compared to websites without it.

If you don’t have an SSL certificate installed you’re leaving a lot on the table and you’re turning your customers away. When visitors get to your website and they see this:

non ssl URL bar in browser

 

“Not Secure” – it immediately turns them off. They won’t buy from you.

2).  Improve Google rankings

In 2014 Google mentioned that in a way to make the web a safe place and to secure privacy for online users, they have decided to crawl more websites with HTTPS by default.

“Today we’d like to announce that we’re adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page.”

Yes, this is something you should take advantage of.

But will it work independently of other ranking factors?

No.

You need to optimize your web pages in line with Google’s guidelines. Then, by the time you add an SSL certificate, it becomes an added advantage and interestingly that’s just where the web is moving to, we can’t possibly hide from it.

The process of setting up the SSL certificate can be a nightmare if you’re not experienced. However, most web hosting companies have made it easy by allowing you to install it in one click.

And have it updated automatically when it expires — having it installed isn’t enough,  updating is very important. It’s even scarier to visitors when your certificate expires and you don’t update it.

Look at this:

site's security certificate not trusted

 

Source: Netcraft

Your visitors will immediately hit the back button when they get here, especially those who understands what HTTPS means.

If you Install an SSL certificate properly you’re more likely to experience an increase in website traffic which your business needs to grow.

Malware attack can really affect user experience on your website and gradually pull your organic search rankings down. It’s possible.

If your website is been attacked by a malware Google may likely penalize your website.

And sooner or later, you’ll ultimately lose your ranking.

You know that time is required to recover from any form of Google penalty and might be difficult to return to your top ranking positions even after you’ve recovered from it.

In addition, don’t be the one distributing malware to your customers as a recent Kaspersky security bulletin reported that browsers are more vulnerable to malware attacks.

While there are other methods you can use to avoid this from happening it’s important that you use an SSL company that keeps you in check.

browser vulnerable to malware

3).  Improve Conversion Rate

It’s no news that if your customers trust your brand they’ll feel safer buying from you, and even become loyal brand advocates.

It’s very important that your prospective customers trust your business. This would make it easier for them to submit their credit card details and carry out safe transactions.

Remember that when there’s no trust, then there may not be a drive to buy.

The reverse is the case if your prospective customers notice that you are being careless about their security — they’ll take their money to your competitors. Worse case scenario: they might never return to your (unsafe) website.

However, not all customers will understand this technical stuffs, so it pays to add an SSL trust seal on your website to let your customers know how you value their safety.

See some examples of Trust seals:

trust seals

A case study by Symantec reveals that a client saw a 10% to 87% increase in conversion using Symantec EV SSL seal.

effect of trust seals on conversion and sales

 

This goes a long way to prove that an inclusion of SSL seals in any part of your website especially on your shopping cart can significantly improve your conversion rate.

On the flip side, your conversion will likely suffer without a seal. Or what do you think?

4).  Keeps data secure

While SSL certificate shows everyone that your website is legitimate it also allows you to secure your customer’s credit card details, bank details, and their passwords.

Hackers are constantly creating phishing websites but having an SSL certificate can significantly combat this practice and differentiate real websites from phishing websites.

More so, it’s important that you use a trusted SSL company that can really help you with adequate security; they would scan the web for a duplicate of your domain DNS and SSL private key constantly — you need this to be double sure about your user’s safety.

This is important — it ensures that your DNS and private key aren’t easily stolen with a malware just the way it happened to NiceBank, a large financial institution (NiceBank is a fictional bank that was used in a case study by Venafi).

NiceBank’s DNS and private key were stolen and used to create a phishing website that tricked a lot of the bank’s customers into submitting their credit card details to the site thinking that it’s the correct website. How sad!

And eventually, the credit card details were sold on the dark web at the AphaBay market — a fraud marketplace in the dark web.

alpha ba market

 

This is very important for all websites that accept credit cards, debit card and passwords.

Honestly, your customers will like to stay with your brand knowing that you care about their safety online.

Conclusion

I’m sure you’re now aware of the need to use an SSL certificate on your website.

Without one, users will hardly trust you and search engines will give other website preference over yours.

You can acquire an SSL certificate from any trusted company or get it for free from Let’s Encrypt, if you don’t yet have a budget for it.

However, the fact that it’s free doesn’t mean it’s trash. But here’s my candid advice: If you truly care about user’s safety on your website, invest in a premium SSL certificate.

Side note: If you don’t accept payments or collect emails and passwords on your website, you might not need an SSL certificate.

But you should install it because you’ll most likely be losing traffic to your competitors that have installed SSL certificate and also because that’s the norm online right now.

As usual, I’d love to hear from you. Do you use an SSL certificate on your website? What results have you seen so far?

 



michael chibuzorAbout the Author — Michael Chibuzor is a professional content writer and digital marketing expert. He helps software companies acquire more leads and 10x revenue. You can check out his
marketing cost breakdown before investing in search engine optimization or any channel. You can also reach him on Twitter @mikecoder

10 website design trends expected for 2017

10 Website Design Trends Expected for 2017

Happy New Year! Now that 2016 is in the books, everyone is looking ahead to the upcoming year. In web design, this means looking at trends from the past two or three years, which set the direction for some stunning design innovations in 2017. Here are some of the big ones.

1. Big Type, Bold Statements

Websites are starting to use fewer words to get their point across, preferring it short and sweet rather than long and explanatory. This is allowing room for bigger and more creative fonts, and many of them are custom fonts rather than the typical ones we’re used to.

2. Composition

Composition refers to how everything is laid out, and the direction web design is headed points to simple, minimalist designs and layouts for 2017. This is not to say that websites will no longer contain information, but accessing it will be streamlined, either through longer scrolling or innovative navigation menus. This is all in response to the growing number of people using the web on mobile phones.

3. More Scalable Vector Graphics

Scalable Vector Graphics, or SVGs, are a way of manipulating a graphic to resize it for different uses (say, cell phone screens versus tablets versus desktop computers). In the past, this was done by stretching and shrinking more traditional formats such as .JPEG and .GIF, but vector graphics have an advantage over these because they bypass pixels to present a crisp, clear graphic no matter what the device. Predictions for 2017 see the use of these growing in response to broader use.

4. Dynamic Color

Color schemes and palettes are moving in the direction of being less aggressive and bright. Some designers are using natural greens, browns, and pinks while other designers are going for pastels. Subtlety is the color of 2017.

5. Animations

Descriptive Zoopraxography Athletes Running Animated 12

Eadweard Muybridge [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Animations have always been part of web design, because they’re eye-catching and fun. This will continue in 2017, especially as .GIFs become more mainstream. More attention will be focused on them this year, especially as new tools are developed to work with them.

6. Personalization

Web design has always been about attracting potential clients, and what better way to do that than by making it as appealing to individuals as a site can? Designers are looking this year toward making content personalized users, allowing them to filter their experience in new ways. This has already been a challenge, but this year more and more designers are taking it on.

7. Virtual Reality

While gamers will be among the first to benefit from this, web designers are challenged with incorporating virtual reality into websites. The objective is to take the user’s experience to the next level by making the site highly interactive and the visuals sweeping and immersive.

8. New Navigation Menu Conventions

Navigation menus will undergo changes in the coming year. Traditional menus are on the top or down the side of a site, but more designers have been creating new menus that will eventually replace the old conventions. These include splash menus, constraint menus, and especially visual menus with pictures that link to the text information.

9. Smoother Transitions During Load Time

Web designers call the transition during a page’s load time “interstitial anxiety,” referring to the anticipation of the user while the page loads. Transitions during this phase are not just about fast load times this year. They’re also about presenting content to users while they wait, so the user has something pleasing or interesting to the eye as the page is loading.

10. Age-Oriented Design

An important aspect of a user’s experience with the web is whether or not the content is usable to them. Websites are usually made with an “average” audience in mind, but more websites now will be designing with age in mind. This means muted colors, larger letters, and simplicity for elderly users, and bright colors, cartoonish fonts, and lots of animations for younger users.

These are just a few of the exciting innovations in web design this year, changes which can bring a stylish look to any website. Designers are looking at making sites that are informative but also pleasing to the eye, leading it around the page to maximize the user’s experience. Ease of use is a target goal this year, and designers are working hard to come up with new ways to make that happen.


nick rojasNick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.

deconstructing googles algorithm in code

Deconstructing Google’s Algorithm to Understand Advanced SEO

Let me introduce you to a hard-hitting reference that is useful in making adjustments to your website to help improve your search ranking and, in turn, let you benefit from any increase in search traffic. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the act of maneuvering website pages to become accessible by search engine crawlers so they can be indexed and easily spidered.

Understanding the art and science of how search engines recognize pages pertinent to a query of viewers and designing market strategies based on this, is called search engine optimization. It is a cost effective tool to acquire “live” and “real” business leads. In most cases, SEO delivers a better return on investment (ROI) than any other online ads like affiliate and pay per click advertising, digital campaigns and promotions, email marketing, social media marketing, and newsletters.

An algorithm is the key to a search engine. Web pages are evaluated, and relevance is determined by using an algorithm. All the gathered data from web pages passes through a crawler, a robot that scans all these pages for inclusion in the search engine.

SEO experts across Canada and the United States are prey to Google’s algorithm standards. If found to be guilty of violating Google rules, their sites may end up being penalized. Others, who outsource social media services along with their SEO efforts are also bound by the same rules.

golden key on keyboard

Google’s Algo Is The Key

Google has a highly developed and comprehensive technology, an uncomplicated interface, and a wide array of mechanisms which enable the viewers to have easy access to some information.

Google can search the web and locate information in numerous languages, generate maps, provide a collection of quotes, read news articles, and find friends by utilizing the phonebook lists available or search 3 billion web pages online.

Google takes pride in having the largest archive of Usenet messages in the world since 1981. You can access Google’s technology from any conventional PCs or desktops or from many wireless platforms such as smartphones, WAP, handheld devices, and gadgets that are internet equipped.

Social media marketing services are also highly linked to Google’s standards and processes that almost everything online works the same way Google does. In fact, Google created its own social media and marketing channels such as Google+ and YouTube.

Popularity Based on Pagerank

Leading portals and websites’ choice of technology on web search has always been Google. It has also been beneficial to advertisers because of its unique programs in advertising which do not hamper the surfing experience online and at the same time, bring profit to those running the ads.

When a user looks for a particular keyword or phrase online, various search engines give back the phrase or keyword in a page order depending on the number of times it was initially searched. Google’s technology on web search utilizes hypertext-matching analysis and PageRank Technology that implement calculations without intervention from humans. As the internet grows, structural design of Google simultaneously expands.

PageRank Technology is an algorithm that utilizes a million terms and variables and calculates a factual computation of web pages to determine which are significant. It then measures the pages by computing 500 million variable equations and terms up to 3 billion. Compared to other search engines, Google does not calculate links but makes use of the sizeable link structure of the web as a tool for organization.

Back Links are Considered Popular Votes

chain links

Quintessentially, the importance of a page in Google is calculated by the number of “votes” received. Aside from this, Google makes an assessment of how important is the page involved in the voting process. As a result, significant pages with a high ranking can boost other pages that are just as relevant. One thing to consider is the technology of Google has no intervention of humans in any way and utilizes intelligence inherent of the internet and its data to make calculations on the importance and ranking of a page.

Aside from backlinks, marketing, and social media referrals can also be one good way for your site to get a “vote,” which greatly helps your chances of getting onto the first page of Google’s SERPs.

Hypertext-Matching Analysis

Google, unlike its conventional counterparts, is hypertext-based. Meaning, all of the content on the web is analyzed including font factors, subdivisions and correct positions of all terminologies on a page. Also, Google evaluates the closest web pages and contents. Any subject matter not disregarded by Google pays off in the end and enables Google to retrieve results closest to queries of viewers.

Google has three simple ways in managing a question submitted in a search box:

  1. Upon submission of the question and when the enter key is pressed, the web server communicates with the index servers. An index server is composed of the same index as the book that displays the particular page that contains a query.
  2. Afterward, the query is submitted to doc servers, and these servers reclaim the documents stored. Snippets or page descriptions are then produced to suitably recount results of the search.
  3. The results are retrieved then returned to a user in less than a second. Every month, Google updates their indexing by doing a recalculation of the Page Ranks of every crawled web page. This update is referred to as the “Google Dance.”

Do You Know The “Google Dance”?

couple dancing

The Algorithm Shuffle

The assessment of the algorithm takes days to finish. It is during these periods that results of searches fluctuates. These fluctuations are known as the “Google Dance.” It usually occurs in the third week of the month. Google search uses two servers, and during the monthly update, these also change. There are also fluctuations that occur sometimes, but they are not part of the “Google Dance” rather they are a fresh crawl of Google and are commonly termed “Everflux.”

Google’s other servers, www3.google.com and www2.google.com usually provide the same results, but they differ during the dance.

For the better part of the “Google Dance,” the rankings on www2 and www3 are new rankings that will be transferred to www when the dancing stops. Whether the calculations are done 40 times or not, the final rankings become visible only as early as can be. That is because, during the first recap, the assessed figures emerge too close to the final numbers.

By checking the data box and making some calculations, you can see visibility of this in the Page Rank Calculator. Sometimes, results from www2 & www3 are visible on the www server during the dance but only for a short time. Also, www2 & www3 results disappeared in shorter periods. After the Google dance, results on www2 & www3 matches that of www.

Author’s Bio:

Patrick PanuncillonPatrick Panuncillon is an SEO and Digital Marketing Expert and the CEO of Linkvista Digital Inc., a company based in the Philippines. Together with his team of highly skilled digital marketing professionals, they help their global clients increase their online visibility and enhance their worldwide reach by dominating the first pages of SERPs.