The killer shopping season starts soon, welcoming the beginning of Christmastime. Shoppers around the world are looking forward to browsing for those items they've waiting the whole year to be finally on sale.
Online retailers are expected to receive massive loads of traffic and simultaneous requests from splurging shoppers. These can potentially crash your site or make your pages load slowly.
Nothing displeases a customer more than a website crashing while they are browsing. They'd be happy to go to another website, and are unlikely to revisit you. Their experience with your website may have made an awful impression. They may even think that your website is unsafe.
Your customers have nothing to lose, but you do. All your preparations will be in vain if your website is down when it's needed the most.
At this time of year, you must be certain you can deliver your customers your best service. Make sure your website is up for the challenge of handing a great surge of traffic. Consulting with your web hosting provider is necessary.
Your web host should be able to keep your site up and running, with 99.9% uptime and 24/7 expert support guaranteed! Should your website suffer any downtime, then your web host should be able to fix it right away before any damage has been done.
Now, with the holiday season drawing near, you may consider upgrading your web plan so that your website can handle the customer traffic. Cloud hosting is your best choice for this.
With cloud hosting, you give your website a blazingly fast loading speed. With solid state drives across a multiple-server cloud network working together to host a group of websites, your website can handle higher levels of traffic and complex web processes. Also, this cloud hosting comes with a huge 500GB webspace that allows you to upload large files – videos, audio, etc. This also speeds up content delivery to your customer.
You must also ensure that your customers, their transactions, and their browsing is 100% secure. A site's verified SSL security certificate is indicated with a green padlock in the address bar beside HTTPS. SSL encrypts information that two computers exchange, especially protecting your costumers' sensitive data, such as their credit card numbers and passwords. Without SSL, any data transmitted over an unsecured network is viewable by a third party.
Almost as bad, Google's Chrome browser is marking websites without SSL as unsafe – which could make you lose your business as customers choose to shop elsewhere.
With the shopping season nearing its peak, your website should also be in its peak performance. With reliable web hosting and SSL you make your online transactions faster and safer; definitely a big win for you and your customers. Don't hesitate to make the best out of this holiday season.
With only days before it's Black Friday once again, we present a list of last-minute preparations to help you prepare your online store for the holiday sales.
Proofread your website content and promotional emails. Check not only their grammar but also their embedded links. You don't want to lose a buyer just because of a typo or a link that is not working.
Review your website's landing pages. Make sure that your displays are updated and all set for Black Friday. Also, run through your website's navigation and check your links direct to the right pages, especially your CTA banners.
Prepare your website for increased traffic and simultaneous requests. Test your website's load capacity through LoadImpact if it can handle spikes in traffic. A great surge of traffic could possibly crash your website.
Schedule your promos and sale announcements using social media. Interesting pictures and videos can help you get better engagement. You can even broadcast live – but make sure you're available and ready to respond to your customer's queries during that time. They'll be expecting your response.
Put your best foot forward. Present your best customer service, and offer what you can to assist your costumers. Black Friday is not only a great avenue for sales, but also a chance to get long-term customers and a great opportunity to market your brand. It's a good time to leave great impressions.
If you deal with physical inventory, take one last good look at your stock levels. Make sure your item count is accurate and all your items are organised and ready for both sales and shipping.
Don't be afraid of upselling. There's always the chance that some customers may opt for a more expensive alternative if they understand it's worth its price. Genuinely help them to find a better alternative.
Remember to meet with your team to finalise everything, especially contingency plans. It's a joint effort, and everyone in your team must be on the same page. All your colleagues, partners, or employees must know what to do should any error occur, so that any incident can be addressed quickly.
Above anything else, here's something you should not forget: always take note of what went right and what could you have done better. Know that all the things you've learned from this holiday sales experience can be applied in your future endeavors.
Now that it's November, everything seems to be rushing headlong into the holiday season. If you don't have a marketing plan in place yet for the holidays, then you better establish one fast.
For small businesses, no reminder is needed that the holiday season is full of shopping, especially online. Moreover, mobile shopping is expected to boom this season.
To give you more of an idea on how to approach the season of giving, we have some tips here for you. The idea is simple: take your marketing to the next level!
Appreciate your customers
Your customers need to be reminded, now more than ever, that their continued loyalty is much appreciated. Personalised cards or emails are the perfect way to show them this. You can also include cards on their orders or give them out with each purchase at your physical store.
To get more hype around your business, think about launching a contest or hosting an event to spread the holiday cheer. Giveaways are also good little reminders of your service. Company gifts such as calendars, mugs and more are a good option, as are useful items such as gift wrapping materials and other small items.
Don't forget to stay competitive this season! Offer more holiday perks such as free gift wrapping or shipping, or discounts, rewards and redeemable points.
Get into the holiday sale spirit
Customers expect many sale events across online retailers and brick and mortar shops. Take note of the big sale days and get into the spirit.
As one of the biggest sale days of the year, Black Friday is an unmissable opportunity for small businesses. Start the hype early on and get your customers excited about your exclusive deals. Make sure to limit the supply or availability to create an environment of urgency. Choose the products that are in high demand and give your customers a deal they can't refuse.
This particular Saturday is dedicated to small businesses, especially promoting local retailers. This takes place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and encourages people to support independent businesses by shopping small. Special deals and offers are a must for this day.
Cyber Monday is for online shoppers who can't get enough of holiday deals. Be sure to take advantage of the hype by offering more deals or tying up the shopping weekend with rewards or coupons from the Black Friday shopping spree.
Get more word out
Get more exposure for your brand by getting bloggers, online magazines or articles to feature you on their gift guides. Local publications or influencers would be a good place to start. Getting on all your local listings has never been more relevant!
Your website should be ready and amped up for the holiday season. Make sure that you will be offering the best experience across desktop and mobile and that your site can handle the traffic. Scatter holiday wishes all throughout.
If you have a physical store, it's time to bring out the decorations and help make your customers feel the season to the full.
Giving gifts during Christmas shouldn't be limited to loved ones and customers. A great way to show you care is by giving back to a good cause. Look for a community or charity in your local scene that you care about and donate some of your proceeds there. You could also encourage customers to support your chosen cause or hold drives to raise more funds.
Nothing compares to the holiday season when it comes to deals and stuff you can't get for the rest of the year. Make sure you make it count for your customers and offer them the real deals of the year.
Some businesses think that launching a website and creating social media profiles are enough for a good online presence. While these things are essential in getting online, it has to be more than that.
Here we'll explore more of the things you can do to improve your online presence and get stronger results.
Constantly work on your website
Your website is an important aspect of your online presence. It's your business card in the online world. Keep it simple and professional-looking, with all the information your customers need, such as your 'About' page, your contact information, reviews, and products or services offered.
Constant work means you need to keep your content fresh and updated. This is especially relevant as fresh, quality content gives your search ranking a boost. Make sure it's optimised for mobile use, has quick loading times, and has easy click-to-call buttons.
Get buzzing on the right social channels
While being on social media is essential for business, it doesn't mean you have to be on all the big platforms. The best way to build a social presence that matters is to focus on just one or two channels. This is how you can make sure you can effectively grow and manage your social profiles.
The top platforms are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook is best for sharing stories, while LinkedIn offers networking opportunities, and Twitter is excellent at starting conversations.
Spend time curating content that customers will be interested in, and reserve only 20% to push your own content. Use a social media management tool to schedule your posts ahead of time. Don't forget to get your business listed so that customers can find you when they search locally.
Go beyond blog posting
A blog helps you build the voice of your brand in one place, using useful content that people can share. But don't be limited to blog posts. Explore more forms of content to entertain and inform your customers. Good examples include infographics, case studies, eBooks, videos, and podcasts.
Think about guest posting
Just as you shouldn't limit yourself to blog posts, you can also go way beyond your blog and take your content elsewhere through guest posting. Big authority websites can offer a lot for you in the way of traffic. Make sure your guest blogging is done for your brand building and not for pure promotion and linking.
Elevate your email marketing
Email marketing isn't just about sending a message blast to promote sales and offers. To make sure that you're getting your customers' attention, keep your messages focused, and send your emails at the right time.
Test for the best time to send your emails to make sure you get the most click-through rates. Sending outside the usual morning hours has been found to produce more results.
To keep your emails interesting, craft 'thank you' messages and reward your customers with more perks to remind them of what you have to offer.
Offer premium products
When customers are given too many product options, they can get indecisive. To help them with their decision-making, offer them your selection of the best options. Include what they'll get with each offer, and how it will suit their needs. This way, they can reach a decision more easily.
Now that you know what more you can do to improve your online presence, it's time to get moving.
In the address bar of your Chrome browser is the URL of the site you have visited, beginning with https://. This handily designates that the website is secure, and is using SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer.
SSL is a standard protocol for security that ensures that links between web servers and browsers are encrypted.
Guaranteeing safe transactions involving credit card numbers, SSL also protects passwords and other personal information on e-commerce websites and beyond. The security offered by it has made it an indispensable tool for the online world in an age when more security breaches are happening.
For this reason, search giant Google has this month upped the stakes on websites when it comes to SSL.
Google updates SSL policy
On 1 October, Google released an SSL update that enforces stricter measures against websites that don't provide SSL security. Starting this month, websites without SSL certification are now conspicuously marked as unsafe when visitors click on them.
Since Google's Chrome browser claims 44.5% of web browser use this could spell disaster for websites without SSL.
Google has been marking websites without SSL for some time using a red X in the browser bar. But this time, the warning has been made more visible, and could lead to visitors feeling unsafe and choosing to visit somewhere else.
The update was made by Google to make sure customer data is protected. Users will also be made more aware of the risks related to sharing information over an unsecured website.
Even though the warning will only appear on Chrome, for now, the sizeable traffic chunk should be enough for websites to start securing their websites. It's unlikely to take long for other browsers to follow Google's lead.
Fortunately, it's not too late to acquire a strong SSL web security solution.
Don't lose customers over SSL
To make sure that your website is SSL-aligned, check how your web address looks in the Chrome browser bar. If it begins with HTTPS with a green “Secure” label, then you should be up to date. Websites without SSL will now be marked with a “Not Secure” designation in the browser bar.
The update will be implemented on all HTTP websites, regardless if they have passwords, credit card data, or form fields or not.
To avoid getting your users diverted to competitors due to an unsecure website, invest in an SSL certification. A variety of SSL solutions offered online meet the requirements needed for a “Secure” label. The prices and features vary from each provider, and there are different packages for everyone, from small businesses to e-commerce sites and bigger websites.
Once you've purchased the SSL solution that fits your needs, make sure that your website is updated and the feature is properly installed.
Find the best SSL solution for your website online. Start today and avoid getting pinged by Google. Remember that site visitors can be fickle and easily put off. Don't let them visit your site and see a visible security warning, or they might not stick around. Get protected.
Websites are basically virtual business cards, through which customers find information about your business and what it can do for them. Online is where many opportunities for businesses both big and small lie. This is why every business needs a website.
Are you looking to launch your website but lack the technical knowledge to do it yourself? Do the time and money needed make it hard for you to decide how you can afford a good website?
Then sit back and relax, because Do It For You is here!
Why you need a website
Most people these days go online to get local information, they use smartphones and computers to make decisions on what to buy and where. Businesses without a website can't take advantage of this opportunity.
Having a website also gives your business legitimacy. You have the opportunity to show your customers how reliable and credible you are and why your offers will be of value to them.
Websites have much potential when it comes to marketing, helping you build an online presence that will draw more people to your business. Through your website, you can gather information for lead generation and build your contact list of potential customers. More importantly, if your already have a physical store, people will likely wonder what your reason is for not being online.
The small businesses struggle
At Crazy Domains, getting you online is our thing.
In the online world, your website is your number one business card, the key to getting more customers and building a reputation that can be seen in just a few clicks.
A study by Clutch revealed that 25% of small businesses didn't have a website because of lack of technical skills, while 22% say they have a lack of resources to invest in a site.
The same survey outlined the key benefits of having a website, including upgrading marketing opportunities from a local audience to a global one. Furthermore, a website is more cost effective than brick and mortar as more customers turn to the convenience of online shopping.
If you are a small business struggling with the same issues, then the time has come for you to lay your concerns to rest.
The game changer: Do It For You
Do It For You makes things simple and takes the stress out of building your website. The solution helps you do your thing, while your website is created in quick time.
Book your appointment with our team, get on the phone, and have your business website created in 20 minutes. The affordable solution gives you a web address, email, hosting and design and build in one go.
Remember that your customers can't find you if you're not online. Learn more about Do It For You and how it can help you get started here.
Book your appointment now! Our friendly web specialists are waiting to Do It For You.
What does online success rely on? For one, an effectively managed social media such as Facebook can drive massive amounts of traffic to your business website. Social media helps your online presence a good deal.
Website traffic is essential to your business. However, that's not the end goal. What is? It's the sales conversion! Many business websites get lots of traffic, but fail to get conversions.
Your online presence hardly matters if you won't be able to convert the traffic you're getting into successful transactions. All your nerve-wracking effort at posting catchy updates and wonderful photos will be fruitless if these lead your customers to a website that turns them off.
This not only ruins the opportunity, but also your website's reputation. Why would a customer return to a website that gave them an unsavory experience?
How you run your website matters. This is where you crucially need to hold and impress your audience. It's where you're supposed to give it your best and to go for gold.
You don't want to waste a potential sale all because your website looks bad. Now that competition between businesses is tighter than ever, you must make your website stand out online.
Here are a few ways on how you can start building your business website for success.
Simplify your website.
If your website looks cramped, with too many links, customers won't stay for long and will instead immediately close the tab and move on.
Think of your website as a physical store. Fill it with whatever pleases your customer, but be careful enough not to overcrowd it. Even though you should focus on keeping customers clicking once they arrive at your website, be aware that your end goal is to get a transaction.
Keep your website's flow smooth and simple. It's essential that customers get used to your website quickly so they can enjoy browsing with ease. Easy browsing makes for successful transactions.
Humanise your website.
Your business – and with it your website – must have something like a personality, so that your customers can easily connect with you on a personal level. Be clear about the values and ideals your business stands for.
Show yourself or your team on your website. Use real photos. Don't make your customers feel you are strangers with each other. Rapport must be built as early as possible. A friendly brand is always a customer favourite.
Then, make it easy for them to reach you, through online chat support or a number they can call any time. Hook your customers by making a friendly atmosphere within your website.
Update your website content often.
Never give your customers the impression that yours is some abandoned website. Show that your website is active and look for ways to give them better services. Post new quality content at least once a week or make announcements. But don't post for the sake of posting. Make sure it's relevant to your website.
Value web hosting.
Get your website a faster loading speed. Most of your audience expects your website to load in less than 5 seconds. So seek a good web host. Remember that a slow website, no matter how good it looks, is a big turn off for customers. Let them feel that you always value their time and patience. You won't want to lost that interested costumer just because your website didn't load in time.
Keep your website trustworthy.
Don't ever forget proofreading. Typos and grammatical errors give a bad first impression and encourage doubts about your business.
Around 70% of online shoppers cancel their transactions because they do not trust the website. As far as possible, do everything to make your website credible, professional, and worth the time your customers spend browsing.
Lastly, do not hesitate to seek for professional help. Web experts help can you a great deal, and they have some tools to tweak your website in great ways. They can guide you through the process, and you can even learn a lot from them.
Search engine optimisation or SEO is a necessary element in any business, no matter how big or small. Basically, SEO directs traffic to a website, which means more opportunities for conversions.
Once you get SEO right, you see favourable results that will lead to the growth of your business. Below are the things your SEO plan should be doing.
Generate qualified leads
The marketing process is ruled more than ever by consumers through search engines. They have the freedom to search for the things they want, and it is through SEO that you can make sure your business is seen by the relevant audience.
You need a targeted SEO strategy that includes a lot of keyword research to figure out which phrases and words work best for your business. Long-tail keywords are an ideal focus point, as opposed to broad terms. This is how you'll get more chances of acquiring qualified leads.
Once you have qualified traffic on your site, the next thing you'll need to do is to make sure they convert. Are your visitors making purchases? Are they filling out contact forms or signing up for your newsletters? While an increase in traffic is great, what you'll ultimately want is to generate revenue by getting visitors to take the actions you want.
It's important to analyse your return on investment on all marketing tactics. No matter how much you get out of your SEO, you need to make sure that the revenue outweighs what you spend. If your strategy is ineffective in getting sales and leads, then it's time to look for another way.
SEO has the potential to give you qualified leads as well as traffic that will convert, all while being cost-effective. SEO helps you build and maintain a strong presence for your online business, but it could take a while to get the results you want. However, you have the potential to increase your sales and grow your business.
The key is to find the plan that fits what you need. Luckily, you can enjoy a solution that helps make SEO easier so you can focus on running your business.
It's all in the name: Simple SEO
Simple SEO is an easy-to-use, all-in-one tool that lets you increase traffic to your website and improve your online visibility. The tool helps you get better rankings in Google. What's more, you won't need to pay for the skills of expensive experts as the solution lets you start without needing any SEO knowledge.
A comprehensive plan is provided for you to easily understand the factors that affect your ranking. You can then optimise your site for search engines by targeting keywords with the best potential for engagement.
Easy setup, qualified leads, traffic conversion, and sales increase will be within your reach in one cost-effective solution. Different plans are available to suit any business.
Get started here.
Some things are a threat to your business. Some things are not. What's definitely not a threat is a planet four times the size of the Earth coming to destroy us all.
Another day, another crazy conspiracy theory that the world is going to end. This time, it's not Mayan. It's apparently an ancient Sumerian prophecy about the fictional planet Nibiru. However, your website – and your business – could be threatened by other forces.
Luckily, some things are still under your control, especially when you have the help of a Crazy online solutions provider.
Things that could threaten your business:
Rather than worry about losing your business to planetary destruction, worry about data loss. Losing any type of data can adversely affect your operations. Even when there is no financial risk attached to the data you lost, there can still be significant negative effects.
This is especially true if the data happens to be unrecoverable. Consider this: 60% of small and medium businesses that experience data loss are projected to shut down within the next 6 months.
As it happens, there is a way that you can protect all your files, photos and more. With Cloud Backup, you get unlimited backup for your PCs, Macs and other devices, all in one account.
Any breach in security can be distressing, especially when you have to constantly worry about it happening again. To prevent this, make sure that you have proper security measures in place.
With Website Protection and Scanner, you can rest easy knowing that your site is well protected against malicious hackers and other threats.
Web design is a crucial aspect for any business. Not just the look of the site, but all of the functionalities as well. This is why you need to make sure that your website has a simple, professional look. Look into the web design of your site, or you can opt to create your own look and feel by going for an easy Web Builder that lets you create exactly what you want to see.
Getting a website that's modern and professional is half the work. Other stuff you need to put focus on include being found online. This is why it's important for you to make sure that your website has the exposure that you need. Take the first step by making sure to incorporate SEO so that your website can be found by the right audience.
What is not a threat to your business:
The chances of your business getting annihilated by an alien planet along with humanity and everything else may be a long stretch yet.
And while NASA has confirmed the presence of a planet in deep space, named Planet X, it's best to worry about things you can control. Extinction-level events tend to be unstoppable anyway. If it helps, scientists have already debunked the idea that a planet or any object of similar size will collide with or pass by the Earth and destroy us all.
Time to go back to the real world, then.
Because of the grand leaps the Internet has done in recent years, running a homebased business has now become as viable as having an office-based job. Today is the best time to start a homebased business.
Working from home gives you many great advantages. First off, you can finally say goodbye to that dreadful rush-hour traffic you experience at a beginning and end of your workday. Also, there's nothing that can compare with the comfort you feel when you're home.
Many have chosen to start working homebased and running their own businesses because of its many advantages. But some have failed in their endeavours because they have not prepared themselves enough.
What follows here will be the Dos and Don'ts when running a business at home.
Install yourself where you can do solid hours of work. It can be in your bedroom or kitchen — anywhere as long you have everything you need in order to work.
That is one of the great things about having a homebased job: you have the freedom to design your own workplace. Make it as comfortable as much as you like. It helps to set a distinction between work and home.
Though you no longer work at an office, it does not mean you can work without a schedule. You must still have regular working days in order for your business to work. Being time flexible and able to choose your own peak hours is among the advantages of working at home. Doing this also balances your work and home errands.
You need to market yourself and your business so that your target audience reaches you. Boost your social media as well. This can be a challenge, but the payoff is huge. Also, research the ways on how to brand yourself effectively online.
A homebased business is still as serious as an office-based job. Having a plan keeps you focused and on track with your goals. You may also check on your taxes and insurance as you may need coincide them with your new business. You are still not exempt from legal obligations.
Even though you're now working for yourself at home, it won't be to your advantage running a business on your own. Don't hesitate to ask for help and make partnerships.
Keep track of what you're earning and spending, and don't mix your home expenses with your business expenses. Without financial stability, any business won't stand from the ground, let alone survive in the long run. Set your financial goals as early as possible.
Though it's good to have many bookings and work, it won't do any good if you won't be able to cater them effectively. It's tempting because more work means more profit; however, too much work can burn you out and affect your work negatively, causing bad reviews from your customers. So keep your bookings under a manageable level.