We’re Updating Our Servers

We’re always looking for ways to improve our clients’ experience with us. We understand the digital landscape and our goal is to always be a step ahead of any potential issues. To that end, we’ve made improvements to our hosting services and now our hosting is better than ever as we continue to take care of the problems that we anticipate before they’re an issue. We continue to see a high demand for domain management and are preparing a service specifically to alleviate that. What’s a brand really worth if Google doesn’t know it’s there and customers can’t find it?

We upgraded our server and the switchover happened on April 24th at 7 pm. While there will be a lag as all the SSLs (Secure Sockets Layers) get regenerated the end result will be an improved web experience for you and your site visitors. You will receive warnings like this as a result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or perhaps this:

 

 

 

 

We expect no downtime or data loss in the process but if you still see this type of warning in the near future, please let us know. It’s almost certainly a local issue at that point but our goal was to reduce those as much as possible and have as seamless a migration as possible.

Everything will be synced up by the evening of April 25th but DNS can take a day or 2 to propagate. Please reboot your internet router if your local network has issues connecting.

While we are always on the lookout for ways to improve we also love to get feedback from you. Let us know what you’re business needs are and how we can better support all your web design and digital marketing efforts.

Areas Of Business That Can Benefit From New Technology

Technology, data, and business have always been closely intertwined, but never as much as in 2019. Technology and data insights have evolved at an alarming rate in recent times, and now they can be used to make significant improvements to a business in any industry. So, if you are looking to improve your business, find greater success and solve problems then this is certainly an area that you should be paying close attention. There are a wide number of ways in which technology and data can be utilized to improve business in 2019, but below you will find a few of the more effective strategies.

  • Marketing

One of the most obvious ways that you can use technology and data to improve your business is with marketing. This can be done in many different ways which are important for creating a strong online presence and targeting the right customers. Here are a few effective methods for doing this:

  • Web design and optimization
  • Search engine optimization
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Social media
  • Safety & Security

Businesses are always at risk from criminals, but the landscape has changed drastically with the rise of cybercrime which is an enormous global problem affecting businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Fortunately, advances are constantly being made in cybersecurity along with security technology so that a business can protect itself both digitally and physically.

  • Customer Service

Customer service remains one of the most important aspects in business because it can help you to retain customers, benefit from word-of-mouth marketing and increase brand reputation. Technology can be used to improve customer service through chatbots, interactive websites, online chat support, and 24/7 customer service through social media.

  • Problem Solving

Many businesses operate with problems that they are unaware of, which can stop them from reaching their potential. You can use data to identify the root of problems with helpful tools such as the Pareto chart. So, what is a Pareto Chart? This is part of the Six Sigma methodology and is used to analyze data about root cause problems in processes so that adjustments can be made. Learning how to make these charts could have a significant impact on the success of the operation.

  • Productivity

Technological advances in recent times have allowed for significant improvements in workplace productivity. There are various apps, tools and software that can be used by management and staff to automate tasks, streamline the operation, manage time more effectively and increase communication. Additionally, technology has also enabled employees to easily work remotely which can be beneficial for all parties and should be seriously considered by all businesses especially if you are looking to reduce costs.

Technology and data can be used to improve practically all areas of modern-day business. A smart and current entrepreneur will be aware of how to utilize the latest technology in order to make improvements to their business operation with the above being just a few of the key areas that can benefit from this. With so many advancements constantly being made, a business owner must also constantly be on the lookout for new ways in which they can use tech and data to succeed.

Five Ways to Improve Collaboration with Your Suppliers

Your supply chain is always going to be your biggest cost challenge. There are a lot of variables, after all, and you cannot simply reduce your budget with your supply chain or else risk not obtaining the materials and products you have ordered. It is up to you to make it more efficient, from processing times down to the exact number of items that you need. Order too many, you have a surplus that you had to pay extra for. Order too few, however, then you need to pay for processing times, production, and transportation all over again just to keep up with demand.

Making your supply chain more efficient is difficult, yes, but it is not impossible. A great way to start is to work out ways to improve the collaboration between your suppliers. To improve that collaboration, all you need to do is follow these steps:

Improve the Quality of Communication

When it comes to working with others in business, you need to focus on communication. When people respect and like you as a company, they will work well with you. This doesn’t mean you want to be a pushover, but being fair will go a long way towards creating lasting relationships that can even result in long-term discounts and prioritized service.

Don’t Be Quick to Lay Blame

When something goes wrong, it often costs money. This can be a very frustrating experience for everyone involved but before you start pointing fingers remember how other people tend to react to being laid with the blame. Instead, try to take a step back and use these strategies so that you can increase accountability without laying blame unfairly.

Use the Right Software to Improve Transparency

Suppliers need to know what is going on in your supply chain in order to provide the best service that they can. Transparency, then, is key to improving collaboration and communication. Thankfully you don’t need to give them a call and update them on your current business status in order to provide this transparency, just the right supplier portal.

Automate Processes for Faster Management

This software will also need to be able to automate processes using the data you have inputted. It should be able to do things like send out invoices, make notifications, and allow for updates to be made.

Keep The UX Interface Simple

User experience is critical when it comes to working with other people, even if it cannot necessarily always be measured. By choosing software that is simple to use, you will encourage all of your suppliers to use the system you have put in place.

You can generally improve all five of these steps in one fell swoop just by using the right SAP Supplier Portal. The right system can do so much for your company and for your suppliers. It is easy to use, versatile in its use and is smart. Automated reports and tasks can reduce the admin times and processing periods for everyone involved, allowing you, your suppliers, and your customers alike to enjoy a more convenient and cost-effective service.  

All businesses need to collaborate in order to succeed. You do not exist as an island, and by not addressing both the issues in data and in the human element of your supply chain you will never find a solution to the inefficiency you are facing. The right software, however, can solve all your woes, so choose carefully and ensure it suits your industry or can be customized accordingly.

What website owners need to know regarding Facebook’s Pixel Update

If you have received the Pixel update notification from Facebook and have questions, we’re here to help!

Our advice regarding Facebook’s Pixel Update Announcement

Definitions

The Facebook Pixel – a Code snippet you have or should have on your website to track customer interactions on your website related to boosted posts or Facebook ads. If we have managed FB ads for you, we certainly added this for you.
First-party Cookie – A cookie your website puts on a visitors browser to register their device. If you have a shopping cart, you definitely use them. These cookies are read by your own website to personalize the experience for your visitors based on the prior interactions.
Third-party cookie – A cookie on your website that comes from a 3rd party. These are now being effectively blocked by Apple’s Safari browser, Mozilla Firefox, and many ad-blocking tools. Right now, if you use the FB pixel, it is adding a 3rd party cookie to the users browsing activity.

Why is Facebook Making this change?

The purpose of this is to get advertisers to allow Facebook (Opt-In) to establish a first-party relationship with their website visitors. Once advertisers opt-in to first-party cookie data sharing, you are enabling Facebook to create cookies in your visitor’s browsers that pass data back to Facebook in compliance with how privacy-oriented browsers are requiring data to be shared.
You need to option to this if you have previously used the Pixel. After October 24th, new pixels will automatically opt-in unless advertisers opt out.

Should I Opt-In?

If you are using Facebook ads, you definitely want to opt-in to this. If you are not using Facebook ads, or if you are in a heavily regulated industry, then you are probably already aware that you can’t use some of the more interesting features of retargeting and digital ads and you probably want to opt-out. To do so, take the steps below to make sure you are opted out.

How to I Opt-in or Opt-out?

  • Login into your Facebook account [link, new window]
  • Go to Facebook’s “Events Manager”
  • Under “Pixel and Cookie Settings,” you can choose to turn off first-party cookies.

If you have questions, feel free to call or contact us!

Beginning a Tech Startup: 3 Things to Consider

You need commitment to launch your tech startup, and that means commitment at a financial, technical, and emotional level. Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy. You can have the best startup idea in the world, but if you’re lackadaisical about putting your idea into practical terms, then you might as well stop now. The difference between startup success and failure usually comes down to commitment. However, there are some additional factors that your tech startup is going to need to consider if it’s going to launch well. It’s only by giving some thought to every potential danger your startup faces that you will be able to face adversity and start growing your business in the right way.

Who are your customers?

If you don’t know who your customers are likely to be, then your business will suffer as a result. After all, if you don’t know who your customers are then how are you going to satisfy their needs? That’s why you should always start your business plan off with some valuable market research. Your startup needs to be solving an issue, and by being aware of who is most likely to suffer from that issue, the better chance you’ll have of creating the right targeted advertising campaigns and marketing strategies. There are some very productive methods for getting the best market research results possible, so use a variety of platforms and question types in order to build up as accurate an idea of your average customer as possible.

Security concerns and considerations

For tech startups, the question of security is often solely focused on making sure that firewalls and antivirus software is up to date. Of course this is important, and your online security will need to be addressed on a regular basis. What most startups neglect to consider is their real-world security. This can become a very swift and damaging issue, especially if your business premises are broken into and valuable equipment or data is stolen. Never forget your offline security needs, and make use of alarm systems from Eurolinksecurity.co.uk that will protect your equipment, your data, and your company. Working in a more secure environment can work wonders on your productivity and your creativity as well, because the less time you spend worrying about locked doors and access points, the more time you have to focus on attracting more clients.

The financial factor

Your tech startup is going to need some financial backing. It’s challenging enough starting a business, but without any money to fall back on it becomes nigh on impossible. For startups, there are a number of potential avenues for funding that are worth exploring. From loans to crowdfunding, the method for raising the capital that you need will be up to you and your credit score. However, one of the most popular methods for funding a startup in the digital age is the concept of bootstrapping. This is simply a business model where you use your own money to run and manage your business, and funnel any profits directly back into it. This creates a self-sufficient funding model that gives you far greater control of your budget, and forces you to become more creative with problems and solutions.

There are many challenges to starting your own business, and that is especially true if it’s a startup. Be aware of the challenges facing you, and you will be far better prepared to succeed.

Authorize.net terminating low-volume resellers

We got this email today from authorize.net reseller support:

Authorize.Net LLC (“Authorize.Net”) is engaged in a strategic initiative to allow us to more effectively work with our referral partners. Authorize.Net has reviewed its current agreements and has decided to focus on its most active partners. As part of this change in strategy, Authorize.Net will be terminating your existing partnership agreement within 90 days of the date of this email. You will no longer receive residual payouts once the partnership is terminated.

We thank you for your partnership.

We’ve been a reseller for a number of years and while we don’t make a lot on it, the customers we referred and helped setup are still active so we make a small residual each month, enough to offset our own authorize.net fees. It was enough that they were our first recommendation and as a result we have lots of experience working with them.

This email, out of the blue, is a surprise to say the least. I am sure they are going to save a significant amount on affiliate fees but I have to say, I expect to do a lot more recommendations of Stripe in the future.

Just sayin’.

 

How Potential Facebook News Feed Policies May Impact Your Business

A large-scale change may be coming to Facebook and judging by the overview in this Medium.com piece, these changes could completely upend how brands interact with users on Facebook. So if any part of your business strategy is budgeted toward Facebook, you should be preparing strategies to address these changes. But what’s the cause of this? It’s something Facebook calls the Explore Feed and it has the potential to drastically decrease the organic reach brands have on their site.

 

 

With the Explore Feed, Facebook is essentially splitting their platform in two. On one side you have the new feed, which will be made up of pages vying for likes, shares, and engagement from Facebook users–all in the same spot. And that’s only if the user clicks over to that feed. And on the other side, you’ve got the new, and “improved” newsfeed. Here users will only see content from friends and posts that are sponsored.   

The introduction of the Explore Feed will likely not hurt the big brands since they’ll be fine paying for what would now be a more exclusive space. But what if you’re a smaller business that relies on organic views and interactions to get people interested in your product? Probably nothing good. Here’s a graph displaying the difference in page interactions before and after the Explore Feed launch.

(Scary Graph Courtesy of Medium)

You don’t need to be a social media guru to see that is a steep, steep drop. So what should you do? First–

DON’T PANIC
The Facebook Explore Feed is something that’s only being tested in a select number of countries and regions. For instance, the graph displayed above is taken from the sixty biggest media pages in Slovakia. Also, Adam Mosseri, who’s the Head of News Feed at Facebook, has said the company has no plans to launch the new feed globally. He also stated that this is just a test and it’s something they’re still tinkering with.

But even if it’s launched, interactions on Facebook could go back to business as usual before you know it. Ziad Ramley, from Medium, discussed that possibility:

“Facebook changes their algorithm, publishers adapt, and 3 months later they’re back where they were before. If users flock to the Explore Feed and use it as much as the familiar News Feed, there’s a chance that this may actually happen.”

So take a deep breath. Rome isn’t on fire just yet. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t..

Get Ready
In truth, it doesn’t really matter whether or not Facebook launches the Explore Feed. Because sooner or later they will launch something. And if your business relies on Facebook you have to be cognizant of the fact that the platform could essentially change overnight. Sure, it could change in a way that vastly improves your prospects, but it could also change in a way that leaves your marketing plan in shambles. Hope for the former but you absolutely must plan for the latter.

Here at 3PRIME we ensure that your business stays at the forefront of your industry–right where potential clients can find it. We do this by taking a holistic and diversified approach to design and marketing that doesn’t rely too heavily on any one platform. The internet is always changing and you’ve got to work hard to change with it. That’s where we come in.

Give us a call

DevFest New Haven

DevFest New Haven is organized by GDG New Haven and supported by several local businesses and universities. DevFest New Haven will be held November 4th and 5th at Southern Connecticut State University. Google Developer Groups (GDGs) are open, volunteer communities of programmers and geeks who share a passion for learning about Google developer technologies.

 

There will be a number of awesome guest speakers including Mark Lassoff from Learn to Program, Tessa Park from 1010 Data, Allen Firstenberg, and Chris Welty both from Google. We are really looking forward to DevFest New Haven, the 3PRIME team will be headed to there on November 4th and 5th. Kudos to our friends at Checkmate and GDG New Haven for putting this together!

 

“Working with other agencies and developers has always been a part of our business. Our team fills talent gaps for a dozen agencies around the US, and we’re thrilled to be able to participate in this event.” –  Ryan Turner Co-Owner of 3PRIME

 

Want to join us at DevFest New Haven? Use 3PRIME20 Promo Code Here & Save 20% on this Amazing Event!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/devfest-new-haven-2017-tickets-34843167853

Google Adwords Logo

Auto Ad Generation from Google is Coming

As the old adage goes “variety is the spice of life.” Everyone likes to have options and choices, your customers are no different. They are going to be looking for different services and products at different times. It’s important that your digital marketing efforts both appeal to these potential customers at these different points and fully encompass the entire breadth of your business. By having more ads running in your Google Adwords account you open up more possibilities of offering exactly what your customers are looking for at a given moment. According to Google, having more ads in your account leads to more impressions and more clicks. Since they are always looking for ways to help their customers increase online interactions, Google is implementing a new beta feature for Adwords. Essentially, Google will examine your current headlines, descriptions, ad extensions and relevant information found on your ads’ landing page to auto generate new ads as a way of expanding impressions and clicks for advertisers. This new feature will begin testing on September 24, 2017, and Google will notify all advertisers 14 days in advance of any auto ad creations. This will give time to review ads and decide whether to implement them or not. If no action is taken the new ads will begin to run after 14 days.

Reaching more people and adding more variety to online advertising efforts without having to put in work seems like a winning proposition- and most of the time that would be true. But it is always a good idea to keep an eye on all the factors of your online advertising efforts- including budget, keyword review, and conversion rates. As a certified Google Partner and Adwords expert, 3PRIME monitors each advertising account closely for any changes or impacts that new ads or policies may have. And while reaching a wider audience and more potential customers is great, there is also the need to ensure that you are targeting the right audiences and that any new ads – especially auto generated – aren’t bringing empty clicks to your website with little chance of increasing your business or gaining a new customer. If you are planning on taking advantage of this just be sure that someone is monitoring your account so you don’t end up spending money on underperforming ads.

Latest News in Business SMS

Google My Business now has a new feature that allows businesses to get customers even quicker than before. Since it is so competitive out there for businesses, it is crucial to be there for your customers when they need you. If you are not there at that exact moment that they need you, then they will just go to one of your competitors. Google My Business is now making it easier to connect with potential customers by providing an area in the Google My Business Listing for the customer to send a text directly to you.

Since small business texting is the most underutilized tool in business, it is the time that you try beating your competition by using this method. Knowing that almost everyone is now texting, it is just another reason to get your business on the SMS bandwagon. GMB has an option to call, but many times this will lead potential customers with your voicemail. Do you really want to leave your customers waiting? Most of the time, customers will just hang up and call another business that is available when you aren’t to do the same work.

 

To get your business to step into the digital, mobile first age, you must get your customers texting. Text links to your customers to get more reviews for your business. This is not only a much easier way of getting reviews but the more good reviews you have – the more customers you will have. People do not want to go to a business without reviews, and 90 percent of new customers will look at reviews before visiting your business.

How Does Texting Increase User Effectiveness?

Texting increases user effectiveness because text messages will get read with a higher response rate than emails or phone calls. It is also an immediate form of communication. It does not require a lot of effort for the customer or for the business owner. It’s relatable and personal as a majority of customers in the U.S. have their mobile devices 24/7. Text messaging also does not need a connection to the internet, where email marketing would. Email marketing response rates are a lot lower than text messaging because of this reason. Customers can easily opt-in or opt-out of messages, which makes the benefits of texting hard for a business or customer to ignore.

 

You can follow-up with potential leads by texting people who have expressed an interest in what you do. Since many salespeople face the challenge of getting responses, contacting potential prospects is a smarter way to get an almost guaranteed sale. Since people are searching numerous businesses on Google who do the same thing you do, you have to stand out to them. You must react first to get the customer every time, and the quickest way to reach them is through text. Many social media platforms are already including a ‘click to text’ button like Instagram. This allows you to engage with more customers on a quicker basis. This effortless business strategy will help to build your customers and reputation while allowing you to be more familiar with the mobile age.