How to Boost Your Ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages

SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many tactics that can boost your rankings with ease, and won’t require too much time or effort. Read how to easily boost your ranking in the search engine results pages.

Google My Business
Local SEO is important for almost every online business, as up to 60% of searches now come from mobile devices. Not only that, but half of these stores will visit a store within a day after performing a local search.

Don’t overlook the importance of local SEO, as you could miss a considerable amount of leads and, as a result, sales. One easy local SEO tactic is optimizing your Google My Business account.

All you need to do is claim your listing (if you haven’t done so already), add or update your business details, and add different yet specific categories for your business. Play to your niche and avoid adding broad categories. Don’t forget to add high-quality images of the inside and outside of your business. Another effective Google My Business tactic is to encourage customers to leave reviews on your website.

Identify and Fix Crawl Errors
You will want Google to be able to crawl your website with ease, as this can boost your ranking in the search engine. However, crawl errors could be affecting your place in the SERPs. It is, therefore, important to both identify and fix any crawl errors, which could prevent Google from effectively crawling through your website.

This will allow you to identify the following errors quickly:

  • Server errors
  • 404 errors
  • URLs that point to a non-existent page

All you need to do is click on “Crawl” on your dashboard, then “Crawl Errors”. If there are no issues, then it will tell you that no errors have been detected within the last 90 days. If there are errors, you must strive to fix them immediately.

Quality Outbound Links
Every marketer knows that inbound links are a superb ranking factor for a website. Yet, outbound links are also just as important for a ranking signal. Outgoing links to relevant, authoritative websites can positively improve your ranking in the SERPs, as you are aiming to provide your visitors with value.

Link Building Tactics
You must, however, look beyond the links you incorporate on your website. It’s essential to ensure many authoritative websites are linking back to your landing pages, too. An effective link building tactic can shoot your website up the search engines in your niche, so you can drive additional traffic, boost brand awareness and increase your conversion rate. Consider a full-service digital marketing agency to implement a link building or SEO campaign to improve your rank in Google.

Conclusion
The right SEO tactics can make or break your company’s success online. It can help you organically drive traffic to your website, which can boost your sales and ensure you develop a broad and loyal customer base to grow from strength to strength.

Why You Need to Start Paying Attention to Your Email Design

For the past few years, user experience has been the primary focus of web design. Design and visual elements are no longer used just to make a website appear better or more professional. They can also deliver a better user experience to viewers. The kind of font a site uses or the colors added to
each page can greatly influence UX.

The same design elements used in websites can also be used in emails. In fact, businesses and internet marketers are starting to implement UX approaches to boost the effectiveness of their email messages. There are several reasons why you need to start paying attention to the design of your emails.

Consistent Branding
Similar to the way branding needs to be consistent on your main website and social media pages, adding branding elements to email messages is good for consistency. There are limitations to how much branding you can do in emails, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reinforce your key branding messages every time you send an email to clients or potential clients.

The key to successful branding in email messages is moderation. Instead of an elaborate header or a comprehensive set of branding elements, you can opt for a simple, carefully branded signature instead. A design change as simple as making the signature on employees’ emails consistent can produce a bigger impact than you may anticipate.

Consistent Content Delivery
Email utilize the same HTML and CSS combination to deliver content. This means you can also implement the content delivery approach you use on your site to create a better user experience with every email. You can, for example, deliver the email message using a specific font. As long as you stick to a web-safe font, the recipient will be able to see the email the way you design it to be displayed.

Some companies even go as far as using email verification tools such as The Email Finder and building different delivery themes for different recipient groups. The emails sent to customers are different in design and delivery than the emails sent to corporate clients, vendors, and even stakeholders.

Credibility
A well-designed email also inspires credibility. Recipients who are familiar with your email branding and consistent design will find it easier to trust the emails you send. At the same time, professional-looking emails also develop credibility in the eyes of potential clients and existing customers.

The design of your email can even affect the customers’ decision-making process. A promotional email with a bad design is less likely to generate interest and arouse engagement. Good design and a strong call to action, on the other hand, will produce a higher conversion.

The Mobile World
One last reason why the design of your email is important is, of course, the fact that the majority of recipients now read their emails on smartphones and mobile devices. The right email design will ensure a smooth user experience is maintained, even when the email is viewed on a relatively small screen.

Should you start paying closer attention to the design of your email? Based on the reasons we discussed in this article, the answer is a big YES. By ignoring the design aspect of your emails, you are missing out on a lot of benefits already.

The best cost-effective business bundles available

Software bundles are the dream for businesses. They allow organizations to purchase multiple programs in one go, often saving a lot of cash in the long-run.

But with so many bundles out there, under so many names, how can you be sure which one is the best for your business? Here we’ll be taking a look at a couple of bundles that, on the surface, might not seem like the obvious choice, but will certainly pack a punch and prove useful for your business needs.

Pro Apps Bundle for Education (Apple)

The first thing that may put you off is the word education.

The great thing is this package isn’t limited to schools or colleges. It’s available to the general public, which also means business owners. At just $199, you get five leading pieces of software; Final Cut Pro X; Logic Pro X; Motion 5; Compression 4 and Mainstage 3. Now, while you might not necessarily use editing or music production software on a daily basis, a lot of the programs are useful for businesses.

You might be filming a small commercial of which you’ll probably need editing software to apply a few final touches – this is where Final Cut Pro X comes into play. With powerful media organization features, you can tag and filter your files for quick and simple browsing. Or, maybe you’ve created a new jingle for a radio campaign, and you’re now looking for a way to crisp up the sound. Logic Pro X will help in this instance.

Then you have Motion 5, which can create stunning 3D titles; Compressor 4 which allows professional encoding when partnered up with Logic Pro X; or Mainstage 3 – a live performance app, perfect if you’re hosting a conference. On the surface, it might not seem like a software bundle orientated around business, but it certainly has practical uses.

Office 365

Office 365 is the all-encompassing package that can serve your business needs completely. The individual components of Office are expensive, and while you might only have to purchase the license once, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be using the latest version in a few years’ time. That’s why if you’re looking to buy Microsoft Office anytime soon, we recommend you consider the pay-monthly Office 365 package from a software vendor such as Bytes. They offer customized packages, so your company only pays for the tools they need and use.

You’ll get Microsoft Word, which is the most popular Word processing tool on the market; with multiple templates spanning from business proposals to invoices, this tool will ensure any documentation you send over looks smart and professional.

Then you have Excel, which is one of the most powerful statistical and analytical tools around. You’ll be able to crunch the financials surrounding your business with ease, and is a tool that your accountant will definitely need. Finally, you have PowerPoint, which is one of the most efficient pieces of presentation software you’ll ever get your hands on – arguably much better than Apple Keynote.

Alongside all of the above, and more, you’ll get access to Microsoft Exchange, the most efficient email client for your business. All you need to do is set-up your business email – either in-house or through a third party – and you’ll have complete control over all of your emails.

Office 365 is one of the most important tools your organization will use, and is certainly a highly recommended, reputable package for business purposes.

The Importance of Having Great Design in Your Business

There are many aspects that will attract new customers to your business: from the services and products you offer to your customer service and location. However, there’s one part that people often miss out – and it’s something that can really make or break a business. It’s how your business looks. It might seem superficial, but people trust brands that are well established – or at least look it. If you don’t make the effort to style your business professionally, then people will have doubts about how good and reliable you are. It might seem like a lot of work, but ensuring that all your collateral is well designed, is worth it in the end.

First impressions count

If a potential customer visits your website and is greeted with a mess of awful design, or just blocks of content, they probably won’t stay long. You need to make sure that whatever your audience looks at, it gives them the right impression about your website. You might have plans to roll out better design later in the year, but that first impression will always stick with your customer.

Your brand needs an identity

How many times do you go to a shop and buy a product because you know the brand? It probably happens quite a lot. So, you need to recreate this. You need to start working on what your design will look like – from your color palette to the shapes and graphics you use. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. You can find software online that includes a free logo creator, so you can get the most important part under your belt. You should also create some kind of guidelines: do you want many images of people, or abstract ones? Do you want bright colors or muted shades? The more research you can put in, the better your brand will work with your targeted audience.

Talignite

Make your buyer’s experience easy

Great design will make your prospective clients’ lives so much easier. It’ll let them just visit your website and effortlessly find the service, product or information that they’re looking for: it’s all part of having efficient, effective user experience. The right kind of design will also make your most important information stand out: people won’t have to spend hours searching and scrolling, as they’ll easily be able to see what’s what. Likewise, a well-designed page with the right colors will aid your audience when they read your website. Having clashing colors or too light a font can make content incredibly hard to read.

Set yourself apart

If your band takes full advantage of design, and uses it in the right way, you’ll be able to set yourself apart from competitors. For one, you’ll be memorable with a unique brand and distinctive logo. You’ll also look better than everyone else: if you’re choosing to spend a lot of money with a company, you’re always going to use appearance as a differentiator. If your website and marketing collateral looks smart and professional, your audience will know that you’ve got the skills, money and time to dedicate to projects – and will trust you’ll do the same for them.

Changes to Tracking Contact Form 7 Submissions

With over 3 million downloads and counting, Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular tools for creating a variety of forms on the WordPress platform. When using Contact Form 7 it’s easy to see why this plug-in has become a favorite of developers and website owners. The ease of use, flexibility, breadth of options, customization yet simplicity all combine to make up one of the most comprehensive and widely used plug-ins to date.

One of the great things about Contact Form 7 has always been the easy and effective way of tracking form completions through either a redirection to a “thank you” page or once the form is submitted or just redirecting users to a new page to encourage further action. For anyone familiar with the way that Contact Form 7 works these two settings for assigning Javascript may look very familiar:

  • on_sent_ok
  • on_submit

However, these settings are in the process of being phased out completely by the end of 2017. One of the only ways to track form submissions going forward will be to use event tracking. Luckily this is relatively simple, especially for Google Analytics users, to implement. In fact, by putting an event tracker similar to the one we suggest below, you can track form completions in much the same way as always but with even more accuracy.

The 3PRIME Solution
When adding event tracking to contact forms, there are a few checks that need to be made beforehand. The very first thing is to check to see if Google Analytics code exists in the header of your page. Without this, nothing else will work as intended. Once that is confirmed, we can get into the scripting/functionality.

We will need either to add a script to the page/template or we can find a dedicated javascript file to handle the work, which I would recommend. A common file such as a main.js or default.js, something that already exists on the page as a source. If there is no js file on the page then we would need to create one and link it, or we can go with the alternate method of just adding script to the page/footer.

Wherever you put your script, make sure there is a way to detect on click events. One common way is with jquery which exists on many sites and in many forms. If jquery is not on the site then we can either have the site start referencing jquery or make a more basic reference for a click event. Then check to see if any “document ready” code is in the js file. If not, you will need to state that this will happen when the document is ready to ensure that the script is not loaded before the form is.

Now in the template/page that has the form, find the submit button and add a class to it in the class field. it can be any name you want that fits the guidelines of a class name but for this example we will call it “contactEmail”. Once a class is set we can start referencing it in our script on document ready. IDs also work but classes are more consistent and user-friendly when used on the same or even multiple pages.

In the script we just have to make sure that the class is targeted correctly now. We can do this through testing. A common method is by using console.log for javascript to print a message to the inspector console when an event occurs. Add an “onclick” event handling function behind the “contactEmail” button class being clicked and simply put console.log(“ok”) inside it. If you click your button now, then the console should print out “ok.” If this isn’t working as intended then you will need to reevaluate your javascript/class/function as any of those could be the issue.

Once an onclick function is set and confirmed as working, simply add the google analytics event handling code inside the onclick function. A basic analytics function works like so:

  • ga(‘send’, ‘event’, { eventCategory: “”, eventAction: ‘click’, eventLabel: ””});

We are now sending a new event to Analytics to record, giving it a category, action, and label. These are important as they help discern and differentiate every action you wish to record in analytics. More details on how the code works can be found here. Putting it all together, we will get a function like this inside of our “main.js” file that is included on our site and on our contact form page.

EXAMPLE USING JQUERY
$(‘#contactEmail’).click(function (){
ga(‘send’, ‘event’, { eventCategory: ’emailclick’, eventAction: ‘click’, eventLabel: ’emailContactPage’});
});

When you click on the submit button with the “contactEmail” class at any point in time when on the page, an event should be tracked and recorded on your analytics dashboard, under the category “emailclick” and labeled as “emailContactPage”. Remember to test extensively and clear caching if your code is not saving/updating properly!

For more information and other form tracking solutions straight from Contact Form 7’s developer click here.

Designing the perfect website for your business

Designing the perfect website can be a challenge, your business needs a good site that can draw in your customers and help them to spend money. However, along with all the good sites, there are also some bad ones. A bad site can be almost as bad as not having a site at all, so you want some tips to make your page stand out in a good way.

These ideas should help you to develop an engaging and inspiring website that will be attractive to your viewers.

What do you need?

As a start, you need to write down what you want from your website. Look at your business and think about how your site will fit into it. Different requirements will be needed for different business types, for example, a restaurant’s site will be very different to that for a landscape gardening business, so look at the different elements. You also want to think about what pages you need, and what would benefit the customer. Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they would want to see.

You also want to think about what pages you need, and what would benefit the customer. Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they would want to see.

Design your site

When you have created a plan for your website, it is a good idea to draw out the design on paper first. You can draw each page with the content you want and a rough idea about pictures and buttons. This will help you to visualize the site and may lead you to change your plan when you try to fit it all in.

The thing to remember is that there is no need to make your page overly cluttered. You want your customers to be able to find their way around without getting lost.

Laying out the contents

Now is the time that you should start piecing together the elements of your site to see how they look. If you are doing the site yourself, then you need to use a good web design software. Dreamweaver has been a favorite for many years, but if you are not confident at coding, there are many sites such as Wix and WordPress that can help you.

If you don’t have the time to devote to designing the site yourself, you can enlist the help of a web designer. They can use your plans and drawings to create the site you want.

Security

Security needs to play a big part of your web design, especially if you are dealing with customer data. It is a good idea to add security measures to your site so that people cannot hack into it and steal your information.

It is also a good idea to have a backup plan in case the site in compromised, using a firm like Secure Data Recovery can help. They have a Secure Data Recovery Center to assist in restoring your data, whilst you may feel that your skills are adequate to find your data, you can easily do more harm than good.

These are a few of the things you can do to design and build a website that your customers will love. Remember though, that you must make it easy to update for you as well or it will eat your time.

June 14th Google Partner’s Livestream

The Google Partners event on June 14th was about finding ways to get your business online and how to optimize your web presence to reach more customers. Some of the important things we learned today were how mobile influences purchases, how consumer behavior is changing, and how to grow your business from there.

With the increase of mobile usage in the past few years, it is more and more important for your business to make use of digital platforms. Searches from mobile are more common than searches from desktop computers.  People are doing more local searches for services or products around them. In the last four years, a 34% increase in Google searches included the phrase “near me”. Mobile makes up 84% of ‘near me’ searches, and there is a strong purchase intent after a ‘near me’ search as 3 in 4 people who searched on mobile visited a business within 24 hours. This is why it is so important for a business to be up-to-date in the digital world, and be very mobile-friendly.

Consumer behavior has changed drastically over the past few years. People are reacting on a more immediate basis, consumer expectations are higher, and there is less brand loyalty involved in immediate purchases. Businesses are now forced to adapt to the in-the-moment decisions of consumers in order to keep up with the times. Years ago, purchases used to revolve around physical location and consumer knowledge was limited. Today people can go shopping and compare prices and features of products that aren’t in front of them but they may be interested in.

In order to grow your business, Google shows us how to win by taking business digital. In the past year, revenue growth was 4 times higher for business who used digital marketing. Online shopping is increasing 120% every year, so make sure your website is easy to access.  A couple of tips from Google’s presentation on how to grow your company included creating a free business listing on Google, creating a website that clearly states what your business offers and advertise through display ads, re-marketing, and use demographics to find new customers.

 

Missed the Livestream? Watch it below!

 

Panera Bread - Order Catering Online

Finding The Best eCommerce Solution for Your Catering Business

WooCommerce POS - Point of Sale IntegrationIf you’re looking to bring your catering business online, and provide ordering through your website, there are many options to consider for the best solution. 3PRIME recently started working with two local caterers to help them offer their food and platters to customers. We researched the latest technologies and came across popular platforms such as WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Read more

Google Partners Livestream from 5/17/2017

For those of you who haven’t yet seen the Google Partners live stream event from May 17th, we’ve provided the video down below.

Today’s event focused on how to reach your customers at the right moment to maximize your marketing dollars. Reaching customers right when they are searching is crucial. Site speed is critical in reaching a potential customer. If your site will not load in 3 seconds, customers will go to one of your other competitors. Being there when your customers need you is the best way to ensure your place above your competition.

Home Services Business Model Being Challenged

Home improvement searches have been steadily increasing over the last few years. People are now adding to their searches “near me”, to find local home improvement services. This search has spiked in the past 5 years, showing costumer interest in local businesses. Reaching customers for services when they need you can be difficult.  Maybe a person is calling about a roof leak in the middle of the night, but your roofing business only works 9-5. The Google event today explained that when you are not there for your customer when they need you, they will find someone else. When reaching customers, you want to know what moments matter and what times of day they will call. Some moments matter more than others, so you will need to find out when these moments happen most in order to maximize your marketing dollars.

 

Anticipate Consumer Behavior Changes

Millennials are now the largest group of heads the household and make a lot of the buying decisions including household services. From 2013 to 2018, millennials becoming the head of the household is projected to increase by 8 million. In order for millennials to purchase your products, you need to get their attention. By creating stimulus for your products, customers will remember your product when they need you. Now, customers are using mobile devices for most of their searches and relying less on reviews to decide what company to hire. Around 61% of customers use search engines to find a business while only 15% rely on business reviews. As the consumer behavior changes, your business model should change as well.

 

Winning Over Customers

It is important for your business to have a presence on search engines. Being found on Google is a great start to capturing the demand people have for your services. Owning your Google My Business Listing will not only let customers know you’re reliable but also will give insights about what customers look for on Google My Business. Be there when the customer needs you: choose the right keywords, connect with the target audience, and find out what people in your area are searching. One of the last ways to win over customers is to have a great mobile experience and keep up with the latest ad formats. For example, 75% of millennials prefer texting over calling and adding a text feature to your ad is a great way to connect. YouTube videos are another great platform to find millennials and are great for companies to engage with potential customers. By keeping up with the ever-changing business models of today, your company is guaranteed to win over the new age of buyers.

 

  • Home Service business models are being challenged
  • Millennials are now considered the head of households
  • Only two percent of companies measure home service moments

Advice to 3PRIME Network related to WannaCrypt/WannaCry Windows vulnerability

Last Friday, many companies were affected by an online attack via the software called WannaCrypt, also known as WannaCry. The attack included ransoming of important information by encryption. This attack has reached over 150 countries and approximately 10,000 companies. While this attack has been halted, precautions must be taken to prevent future similar attacks.

The most important things to be aware of:

1) If you are not using Windows, you are safe.

2) If you are running Windows 7 or Windows 10, you should be safe, but you can check here.

3) The specific attack from last week has been nullified, but the vulnerability in older Windows remains.

 

If you use Windows 7, Click Start > All Programs > Windows Update to check if there are updates available.

For Windows 10  users, in the Search Box type “Windows Update” > Check For Updates and see if there are updates available.

We recommend you run these immediately!

Resources

  1. AskWoody.com – This contains of lists of windows versions and how to check machines if they’re vulnerable.
  2. Security patches are available for download and installation. This is a step by step instruction of patching https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4012598/title.
  3. Catalog of direct downloads from Microsoft: http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4012598.