Reasons-Why Your Business Needs a Responsive Website?

1- Usage of Mobile is Increasing

This may not be surprising to most of you, yet many small and medium businesses don’t have a responsive (mobile friendly) website. Hopefully, going through the statistics below from Smart Insights will help understanding the need for a responsive (mobile friendly) website.

  • Over 30% of searches from Google are performed from mobile devices.
  • In United States, Seychelles, Germany, Italy and India, 35% of users access the internet on a mobile device.
  • 65% of customers provide a better opinion of brands, products and services when they offer a great mobile experience.
  • 95% of emails are accessed through mobile phones and 15.19% are accessed through tablets.
2- Great User Experience is a Must

According to Google’s Think Insights on Smartphones and Tablets, if a user lands on your website using their mobile and doesn’t see what they are looking for, they get frustrated and there is a 71% change they will close your website immediately and land on another website (mostly your competitor). It is also said that if your users have a positive experience on your mobile site, they are 59% more likely to buy a product or service.

3- Responsive Website Design is Ideal for SEO

At SMX Advanced, in June 2012, Pierre Farr from Google went on to mention that Google prefers responsive website design over non responsive templates. Creating a responsive website makes it easier for Google to crawl your website and reduce the chances of errors on On-Page-SEO. For these reasons, hire a professional responsive web design company to create an SEO friendly responsive website for your business.

4- Speed of Your Responsive Website is Key

As per the Google Page Speed Developers, standard recommended to the content above the fold on a smartphone loads under one second and the entire page loads in under two seconds. This is usually impossible when loading a desktop version of the website on smartphone or tablet. There is a very high chance of your users leaving your website if they have to wait too long for a page load.

5- Responsive Sites Adjusts to All Devices

One of the major advantage of responsive design is that the template size of the website is created based on different screen sizes, this means no matter what device or screen size your users are viewing your site, it will adjust according to the width and height of that device.

So even in future, when new devices (Watches, Glasses, TVs etc.) are expected to be used for web browsing, your website will still look perfect and beautiful since it is responsive.

What is your opinion about responsive design? Is it something you have already added in your marketing strategy or planning to add soon? Let me know your thoughts below.

Managing a Local Web Presence from an iPhone

I’m used to sending and receiving email directly on my iPhone. I don’t need my laptop to respond to someone. In fact, I sometimes go most of the day without using my laptop in any capacity.

But what about digital marketing activities? Is it possible to go without a laptop or desktop computer and properly manage a local online presence? The answer, I’ve discovered, is yes. With a few modifications to how you normally manage your businesses local online presence and its local SEO, its possible to do it all from your iPhone.

There are several main sites and tasks that help with this. It generally involves three parts: your website, your local business listings, and your social media presence.

Your Website

Assuming that you’re website is mobile friendly, making updates to it from an iPhone should be a snap. If you have a WordPress blog attached to your site, you can log into the admin panel and make changes using your iPhone since WordPress is mobile friendly. You would likely need a desktop or laptop to make design changes, but updating the content on pages or adding a blog post is typically easy.

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Local Business Listings

The next step would be to focus on the “off-page” factors: directory listings and local maps, mainly. I’ll focus on a few important ones here. There are hundreds of local listing directories and citations, but the main ones are:

  • Apple Maps Connect;
  • Google My Business;
  • Yahoo Local;
  • Bing Places for Business;
  • Yelp.

For these main listings, add an account, verify your listing, and then wait for it to show up. It can take from a few days to a few weeks. But, all of these listings, except for Apple Maps, can be acquired using your iPhone.

Apple Maps Connect. This one is frustrating. The iPhone is not yet supported — there is no iPhone app for Apple Maps Connect. So you’ll need to use a computer or iPad to set up your account. Log in with your Apple ID, then add your listing if it’s not there yet. It took me about three minutes to add the listing for my business.

Google My Business. Download the Google My Business app from the App Store. Setting up and managing your local listing on the app is fairly easy. You’ll need a Google account to log in.  Completing your Google My Business listing will enable your local business to appear on relevant Google search results.

Yahoo Local. Using the Safari web browser on your iPhone, go to the Aabaco Small Business site (formerly Yahoo Small Business). Click the “Local Marketing” link at top to find your business name and start your listing process. This will ensure, once completed, that your local business appears on relevant Yahoo search results. Beyond that, for a fee, Yahoo Localworks will add your listing to other directories.

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Social Media

Managing your social media activity is easy using the iPhone. This is mainly done via apps. Download and install these apps for keeping up with social media.

  • Facebook Pages Manager app (manage Facebook pages)
  • Facebook app (manage personal profiles)
  • Instagram app
  • Twitter app
  • Google Plus app

Typically those are the main social media profiles for a local business.

Regardless of the device you use to manage your local web presence, focus, first, on your website. Publish blog posts regularly, including photos when possible. Then share those posts on your social media accounts. Customize each post for each platform by, say, writing something unique for Facebook, something unique for Twitter, and so on.

The 4 Opt-in Forms All Ecommerce Websites Must Have

Running an ecommerce business isn’t easy: You’re physically disconnected from the customer, making it a monstrous struggle to establish trust for that first purchase. An even greater struggle is getting that first-time customer to come back and purchase again: According to research by RJMetrics, only 32 percent of customers studied placed a second order with an ecommerce business during the first year.

Still, if yours is that business, and you can actually win over that customer for a second purchase, your likelihood of achieving additional purchases grows progressively (50 percent for the third purchase, 65 percent for the fourth, 70 percent for the fifth and so on.)

Another finding from RJ Metrics — which reviewed data from 176 ecommerce retailers and 18 million customers — was that the major proportion of spending happens within the first 30 days.

These figures, combined with the challenge of getting people to make that first purchase, reinforce the need to consistently engage your audience beyond your website. To push that first sale, I myself find that when I use a collection of different opt-in forms, I create more opportunities. I also use email marketing to increase subscriber engagement.

Here are the four forms I recommend using for your ecommerce site:
1. End of funnel opt-in
This is an offer to subscribe to your newsletter or receive updates from you. Your visitor is already in the account creation/checkout process and has provided a host of personal contact information, including an email address. A single box, checked by default, turns the entire checkout process into an opt-in, so you can continue to market to this person in the future.

Better yet, if visitors provide the info and opt-in but don’t complete the checkout process (cart abandonment), you can reach out with cart abandonment emails to win them back.If you’re using an off-the-shelf ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, you already have this option in place by default. You just need to configure it. For other systems like Magento or WooCommerce/WordPress, you may have to pick up a plugin or application to create an opt-in at the end of your funnel.

2. Exit intent pop-up
People aren’t particularly fond of pop-ups on websites, but the fact remains that they work. “Test after test has proven that popups work extremely well,”
Pop-ups can be annoying, but any kind of targeted message can come off annoying when you push anything other than the right message for the right audience. The key is to get your opt-in offer just right and avoid trying to present it in a way that is distracting or intrusive.

3. High on the home page
Every page on your store website, from products to category pages, is a potential landing page for customers, so it’s a good idea to have a simple footer/header opt-in on those pages. The major portion of traffic, though, will come through your home page.

Position a strong call-to-action at the top of your home page that drives visitors to enter their information and subscribe. For your ecommerce store, you can entice them with exclusive discounts, pre-launch product notifications, news, and other subscriber-only content. First-time customer discounts typically work very well for this kind of opt-in.

As soon as your visitors opt-in, they’ll start receiving notifications that you send out. These appear in real time even if the browser isn’t open. Clicking on the notification takes them back to the URL you specify, so you can drive traffic to any landing page you like.

WordPress Update Resolves XSS, Path Traversal Vulnerabilities

WordPress is strongly encouraging users of the content management system to update to the most recent version, 4.6.1, released on Wednesday.
The update addresses two separate security issues, a cross-site scripting vulnerability and a path traversal vulnerability. The XSS vulnerability, discovered by Cengiz Han Sahin, co-founder of Dutch software security firm Securify, could be executed via image filename. According to Sahin, who supplied Threatpost with a copy of the soon to be published advisory on the issue, if an attacker used a specially crafted image file and uploaded it to WordPress, that file could inject malicious JavaScript code into the application. If exploited, an attacker could steal a victims’ session tokens or login credentials, and perform arbitrary actions as them. Until the fix this week WordPress unsafely processed file names; an attacker could have embedded a cross-site scripting payload in a name and because WordPress insufficiently validated them, an attacker could have tricked an admin into uploading it.
Sahin discovered the vulnerability back in July during Summer of Pwnage, a monthlong open security bug hunting program sponsored by Securify in which hackers targeted WordPress and its plugins. Dominik Schilling, a German web engineer and WordPress Core Committer, discovered the other bug, a path traversal vulnerability, in the CMS’ upgrade package uploader. The update also fixes 15 other bugs that existed in 4.6, including issues with the CMS’ external libraries, email, HTTP API, taxonomy and themes. All versions of WordPress prior to 4.6 are affected by the issues and considered vulnerable, according to a blog post on the update published Wednesday by WordPress developer Jeremy Felt. Users can either download 4.6.1 directly or via Dashboard -> Updates. By this point sites that support automatic background updates have likely already updated to the new version.