Stepping Up Your Business in 2017

Step up your game in 2017 by following these simple practices:

 

Put Your Goals in Writing – Be sure to plan what your goals for the year are. Create a calendar to organize tasks along with the people assigned to them and the deadline for each assignment. Using Cloud storage is a great way to keep organized without compromising your personal storage space. Google Drive gives you 15GB of free space allowing you to free up storage on your computer!

 

Engage Your Team – Emphasize ideation and creativity! Empowering employees to think of new ideas promotes employee engagement and inspiration. It increases your team’s engagement with your brands and product lines and leads to employees coming up with new and inventive ways to promote through blog posts, videos, infographics, or other media. When a business brainstorms, it is able to inspire employee confidence and allows everyone to contribute. Getting different employee perspectives allows a challenge to be approached from many different angles.

 

SEO – SEO is multifaceted with different areas of emphasis applicable to any business or organization’s web presence. One of the most critical aspects for 2017 is optimizing your mobile experience. Over 80% of internet users own a smartphone, creating a positive experience on mobile devices is a key for increasing user engagement and driving conversations. Doing keyword research for your market, local search marketing, developing good content on your website, and link building will help to increase website traffic. The most popular tool for measuring results is Google Analytics, which uses data visualization to display website traffic changes overtime in easy-to-read charts and is provided free by Google to website owners.

 

Design – In a crowded market, one of the best ways to attract new customers is with great design, which is more than just photography and layout. Some aspects to think about include a good use of typography, scaling, color theory, and harmony. Not only should you focus on the visual graphics, but good design can also be found in the site layout. When customers come to your website, it should be organized so that they clearly understand the services your company provides. So making sure your website is clearly laid out and easy to navigate provides for a positive user experience. Beyond the visual aspects, you should also consider whether your website enables visitors to follow the optimal path to the actions YOU want them to take!

 

Branding – It is important for your company to get its name out there! Defining your brand will shape your company’s mission. The benefits or services your company provides will differentiate you from your competitors. Knowing who you are and delivering what you say you are going to deliver are all a part of your branding strategy. Create a unique logo, use your logo colors, create graphics that are modern and appealing to your audience, and be consistent with integrating your brand on print collateral, apparel and digital profiles. These practices will help your company to create its own “voice” which stands apart from its competitors.  

 

Social Media Marketing – Make sure all of your social media profiles are up-to-date with fresh content. Keeping content on a consistent basis, such as weekly posts, will help to gather more followers and engage with the segment of your audience who prefers this medium. Social Media marketing is all about engaging with customers and keeping up with current trends. Ask customers questions, post creative content, and follow people in your niche market to promote company growth.

 

Email marketing – Make sure that your contacts are up-to-date and be consistent with your messaging. They help to enhance the business to consumer relationship. You can also send out mass emails as a way to quickly connect with your target market. Email marketing is highly  effective tactic to keep in touch with current and past customers, and the potential for marketing automation and follow-up campaigns cannot be ignored. Companies can use this as a cost-effective way to stay in contact with existing customers.

If you’re looking to implement any of these goals to your business in 2017, know that 3PRIME will be there to help with the process! We can help evaluate what has worked in 2016 and what ways your company can improve. From SEO services to creating stand out content, we are here to represent all of your business needs. With simple yet effective marketing techniques, together we can help your business prosper. We hope you enjoyed the holidays and are ready for a productive 2017.

Avoiding feature creep in websites and web apps

Feature creep is common with a lot of businesses do to the endless possibilities of creativity within a design. However, adding more isn’t always the best for a product and can make things a lot more complicated. When a product becomes complicated, it loses its effectiveness, which in turn loses customers. Customers desire simple yet effective designs, not designs that have so many ad-ons that it takes hours to figure out. When you continuously add to a product past its original scope, this is feature creep. This is the most common way businesses fail with design – when the cost and schedule overruns its result.

Feature Creep Has Been Around For Generations

One example of a feature creep would be with the vintage Swedish war ship Vasa. In 1628, is was built originally to hold 34 canons. However, the builder of the ship decided to make it ornate and very detailed. They added more to create 64 cannons, with additional carvings and sculptures. This ended up costing Sweden 5% of its GNP. Vasa then sank, only on its voyage for less than a mile. The result – the ship sank because of feature creep – its continuous expansion beyond its original plan.

Does Feature Creep Happen Often Today?

Today, this often happens because features are so easy to add on to products. Marketers think they know what the customer wants, but they end up overestimating and don’t go for the customer’s needs.Believing more is better is a common misconception, and promotes feature creep. In business, products have more features added to them instead of taken away. When a product had features added, it becomes more complex, which costs more money. Many electronic products are returned not because they weren’t working, but because they couldn’t figure out how they worked. Adding ends up having little effect on customer experience, usage and customer service

How to Spot Feature Creep

When you are designing a product, look for signs of feature creep and inform your employees of their feature creep usage. Feature creep is hard to catch because changes often come a little at a time in design, which is why it’s known as feature creep, because it slowly creeps up on you.
Make sure the features are just for customer needs and not for an addition of convenience or to make it look more appealing Every good product that is released needs to not only be asked what should be added to it, but what should be taken away. Finally, make a milestone for the project so you do not add more features to the product. This way, the product targets your customer’s need for convenience and effectiveness.

Google’s ‘Possum’ Algorithm Update

Many people are having trouble finding their local rankings on Google, and cannot figure out the problem. With Google’s latest ‘Possum’ Algorithm update, your business rankings are not gone, they are just filtered under different words.

The Google Update

This recent update has just affected the ranking in the three pack and local finder (local or Google Maps results). The update was included with reasons being to help control spam, improve rank, and diversify the local results. The main thing that was addressed was Google’s filter for local search results. Based on reports for search rankings, this is the biggest update since Pigeon from the year 2014.

Changes Applied in Further Detail

1. Business that are outside the city boundary had a surge in rankings
Before the update, there were businesses that didn’t fall into any city’s boundary according to Google maps. They would have a hard time using keywords for ranking if they were included in a city. Now, the new update has these businesses ranking again, and even have a huge spike in their rank! After the update, many businesses went up about 21 positions.

2. Filters are Done by Address and Affiliation
Profiles were filtered out with a shared number or domain by a local filter based on local results. An example would be a doctor’s office having 4 listings: one listing would be for the doctor’s office alone, and the other 3 would be for 3 of the doctors working there. One of these listings would show up in results and the others would be filtered out. If you search lawyers and 10 lawyers have the same address, one lawyer would show under this address in local results and the rest of them would be filtered out. The update is now filtering out business by the same address or in the same category.

But, it was discovered that normal search results with a filter will filter out businesses, but when you zoom in on the local search forum, you will see all of the filtered listings. According to this article by Search Engine Land, results are filtered on the Local Search Forum, and when you zoom in you can see the Google Results that have been filtered out of the search. The image below will determine just where exactly your Google search results are going.

 

local-filter-possum

Photo Credit: Search Engine Land

 

Not only will Google filter out like addresses in one instance, they filtered out a business that had 2 listings with 2 different business names, different phone numbers different addresses and different websites. Each time, the local search results were different; one listing would show up and the other would disappear. The owner said that these businesses are all in the same building even though their address is different. The business address will change due to the side of the street you enter from. This confirmed that Google results were not just based on the address, but even get more complicated.

Another instance would be a dentist who has 2 different dental offices. They are in different buildings with different addresses, different name addresses and phone number, different sites, different dentists, and not under the same Google account. But,the connection was that the Dentist owned both dental offices, which was listed on his business license. Google asks for a business license when a business is suspended.

Google’s filter in turn is not a penalty, but it picks out the profile that works best with the business. It will not remove listings, but will filter them out much like an organic filter.

 

3. The Update Makes the Location of the Business Important

startup-photosOne example of a business down South was they lost their ranking in the 3-pack with the new Google update. They had their main business headquarters in Alabama, but had another one of their businesses in Texas. Since they conducted the search from Alabama, they were seeing different results than they would if they were in their business in Texas.

For their business in Texas, the further you are away from its location, the ranking list would drop and you would zoom out further and further from the map. Their listing, if searched from Texas, would be number one in rankings. But, since they searched from Alabama, it was number seven.

To make sure your business gets the correct results and rankings, set the searcher location to the city your business is located. Bright local makes a tool that lets you change your location.

4. Changes in Keywords are Weighed Heavier than they were Before the Update

The 3-pack results are changing due to slight keyword differences. If you are searching “New York Doctor” or “Doctor New York”, you will get mixed results between these like keywords. Before the update, similar variations of the keyword would deliver the same results.

5. The Local Filter Runs more Independent than the Organic Filter

In the past before the update, Google would filter your website organically, which affected businesses negatively. The new update, businesses are now ranking much higher.

It separates more of the organic rankings than the local. If it shows up in organic rankings, it won’t impact the local rankings as much. But, with the new update, Google may have a hard time identify sites with similarities apart, which is why both the local and organic rankings are less connected than they were previously.

Summary

Over the past week, we have seen major changes with the update in Google’s search and rankings. Since search results are often not consistent, and there are a lot of different changes, this may be Google’s A/B testing to try out the best ranking methods.

The filters overall are running well, but Google will continue to look for patterns and bugs within the system.

Create an Instagram in 7 Simple Steps

Instagram is not only attracting young users, but users of all ages. From businesses, kids, adults to even pages for dogs – everyone is getting on the instagram bandwagon. Instagram is now the second most popular social media platform next to Facebook. Businesses have made it an object to market their campaign to the new digital age, and it’s working.

 

  1. Finding Your Place – With Instagram it is all about sharing content including photos and videos. It is important to know your direction and target market when posting content. It is easy to post photos on different topics, but then you are branching away from your target market. Before you post any content on your account you need to find your niche, and your target demographic.
  2. Make an Account – You can make a business account or a personal account, but in many ways a personal account is better. Create a username that is easy to remember by you and your followers, so people can access it quickly. Describe your purpose in the biography along with a profile photo, and connect to other social media accounts that you have. I.E. youtube, facebook, Twitter, etc.
  3. You need to produce new material all of the time in order to grow your followers list. A goal can be to post one thing per day on Instagram. Missing a few days is fine, as long as you keep a consistent posting schedule. Avoid over posting on social media as that turns followers off, and bombards their news feed.
  4. Gathering Your Initial Followers – You have the option of adding people you know first, such as family or friends from Facebook. These people may or may not follow you back, but you can build a following based on your niche. Having a smaller target audience is better than having a large following of people not in your niche.
  5. Using Pictures and Hashtags – This is where your company can get creative and show off their talents. Perfecting photography skills and getting good lighting will help your company gain followers over dull, poorly taken photos. Using colors in images that stand out like reds attract far more followers than ones do not. Search for popular hashtags and trends in your niche market, which will help to get your business out there in front of new people.
  6. Following in Your Target Market – Following people in your niche is important because you will have many more followers, and can add their followers. It’s easier to engage with your audience, and you are able to compete by seeing the content they post. You can control the competition by trying to be more engaging than your followers.
  7. Communicate With Your Audience – Keep engaging with followers through comments and likes on images. If you provide engaging content that people want to comment on, then you will be able to keep a strong following. The reason anyone creates a social platform is to be social, so be sure to engage by asking questions and keeping followers updated and informed on what you do.

 

If your business is consistent with updating the page than you will have followers in no time. Provide nice photos, news on your industry, videos of your business at works, etc. Social media platforms like Instagram are the future of marketing. Since marketing is moving quickly to digital marketing, it is a great idea for any business to get started with a platform like Instagram!

 

insta

Review of SEO Service from CrowdReviews.com

SONY DSCHere at 3PRIME, collecting reviews is always a priority for us. Our first set of reviews came from crowdreviews.com, and we are happy to have feedback that will continue to promote our success.

 

 

 

 

CrowdReviews.com Logo
The crowd rates us 5.0 out of 5.0

Read all 1 Reviews / Write A Review

Businesses Are Thriving using the Pokemon Go App


poke

 

Pokemon Go – a game for mobile devices created by Japan’s Nintendo Company, has jumped to number one for app downloads in the Apple and Android stores. This app is helping to increase traffic and sales for small businesses all over. This is already seeming to become a marketing strategy for major marketing brands including McDonalds.

 

blue_pokemonThe game requires users to go search for virtual characters on their phones, and already has been downloaded more than 65 million times in the U.S. a week after launching.  You can roam through this virtual world while the Pokemon pop up on your screen in scattered locations. This app already had more users than the most popular social network apps – facebook and Twitter.

 

And it is not stopping there. Many stores and restaurants report getting an increase of sales by participating in this game. According to the site Reuters, Linizio Pizza Bar in New York claims to having it sales soar to over 75 percent over a couple of days by allowing the “lure module” feature from the Pokemon game that will attract nearby players to the store. The owner said he only spent 10 dollars to place 12 Pokemon characters at his store. Stores are also classifying themselves as “Poke Stops”, so users of the game can collect Poke balls which increases users power, and the store’s profits.

 
mcdonalds_pokeMajor brands like Home Depot and McDonald’s are already playing the game. Many of the past digital marketing methods are being ignored, as Pokemon Go makes room for new ways of marketing to the public. Competition with companies like Foursquare, LivingSocial and Groupon is arising due to Pokemon Go offering “Swarm” coupons and gifts to people who ‘check in’ at places – similar to the marketing of these sites.

 

Since the launch of this new app, Nintendo has added 10 billion dollars to its networth. Not only has Nintendo made profit, but other third parties can benefit too! As the usage base continues to increase for Pokemon Go, both small and large companies will see a steep increase in their customers. This is also a great idea for large marketing brands to get involved with as well.

How Social Media Leads to Better Business

social_media

 

Since social media is now the top use for internet users, it is smart for businesses to become aware of the diverse social media platforms. Genuine connections are created which deliver more information of use to customers. Businesses are not only more valued by customers but are more engaging and personalized to each individual.

 

1. More Business Interacting

Social Media has now become the New Way for Businesses to Interact. Coworkers are utilizing different platforms such as Google Hangout to interact with each other on different tasks. The days are diminishing where an employee is isolated working at a desk; but is instead working in collaboration with others. These different platforms help to make daily tasks more enjoyable with platforms that are not only engaging but also easy to use.

 

2. Better Behavior Analysis

Data is being provided more accurate through things like analytics and behavioral sciences. These sources 20150810165227-ipad-social-media-facebook-instagramof data are providing data more accurate at the touch of your fingertips. It’s easier to understand customers likes, trends, behaviors and sentiments. It’s all about businesses knowing who their customers are, and the best way is through finding out how they spend their extra time on social media.

Businesses are now using analytics from social media sites to connect with new job seekers. By analyzing behaviors, companies are able to work off from proven data rather than instincts. They are able to better judge characters, have success with job recruiting and keep the best talent through behavioral sciences.

Marketing is more directed at the clients by being able to better observe what the customer wants. It’s easier to spot your demographics along with their values and likes. Marketing is being turned into a service that the customers enjoy due to it being catered to from their everyday needs to their aspirations and likes. Product executives can observe how people use products through social analytics to better engineer a product that suits the individual person.

 

3. The future will be Reliant Upon Data From Social Media

Social media allows businesses to be more responsive and work more thoroughly with customers. It allows businesses to be more authentic to the customer – which they will value the most. Businesses will extend there reach to new customers, as well as keeping current customers, and having them be loyal.

Unfortunately, companies that do not keep up with the pace of social media will fall behind. They are even likely to lose their current customers due to customers being up-to-date with the latest technologies. They make ease-of-use better for the customer, as well as create dynamic connections through social networks.

 

Social Media creates a more relatable and “human” atmosphere for its customers. It changes the psychology of business, and customers will become less intimidated. This helps to deliver enjoyable information that is easy to share, and constantly improves the way businesses interact and value customers.

 

 

How to Utilize Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Mobile PPC

 

There were more searches from cell phones in 2015 than there were from desktop computers. PPC advertising is becoming huge for mobile devices, accounting for many purchases. Make sure your business website is mobile friendly and your advertisements are geared towards mobile users. There are two very simple steps to take that can make your PPC ad more accessible to mobile device users.

 

  • The first step is to set enable “click-to-call” on every ad. This will quickly connect the searcher to your number, giving you a point of immediate contact with a potential customer at the exact moment they are looking for what you’re offering.
  • The second step is to optimize  the PPC landing pages for tablets and mobile phones. Since attention spans get shorter every year, some estimates are as low as 2/10ths of a second to make an impression, your page must load quickly and display well otherwise you may be losing out on some conversions.

 

Target Audience and Remarketing

 

Customer Match gives PPC marketers the ability to better target their potential customers with AdWords using their email. You can put together Customer Match with remarketing to get your ads to reach specific customers when and where they appear online.

 

Both mobile marketing and Remarketing are powerful tools that are very beneficial to any business. If someone clicks an ad on their computer, remarketing will later show them a mobile ad on their phone, ideally one that will encourage them to take an action and become engaged with your brand. These kind of ads will retarget your customers to make them repeat customers.

 

 

pinterestPinterest Ads

 

Pinterest is now letting businesses push out promoted pins in bulk. This will give businesses a broader audience and reach people based on specific keywords, something that many social sites are not running at this point.

 

PPC advertisers can now precisely target customers, which is different from  most social media advertising with ads that are targeted to keywords. Less generic ads and more customer targeted ads will be used with Pinterest.

 

 

Ad Extensions

 

Everyone wants their ads to place higher and stay at the top. According to Google, the extra information provided by ad extensions will help do just that. If your ads are in a low position on Bing or AdWords then your ad extensions won’t be attached to your search results. But if your PPC ads are highly rated, ad extensions will help users interact much more easily with your brand.

 

Suggestions for Ad Extensions:

 

  • Phone number
  • Product Information – rating and price
  • Utilize sitelinks to send a visitor directly to specific pages
  • Show customer feedback

 

 

So, if you’ve read through these steps, you may want to change your approach to pay-per-click marketing. Mobile advertising and social media are big for 2016, so to be the top business for pay-per-click marketing, you must follow the social media trends. Apply these tips to your business, and you will be a PPC pro!

An Interview with Wordfence Senior Analyst Collette Chamberlain

Collette Chamberlain is one of two security analysts employed at Workfence. She is a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and a computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI). She carries out forensic investigation with the cleaning team to safely recover data in a timely manner. She doesn’t consider herself an “expert” because she feels there is always something to learn in WordPress Security.

 

Biggest Trends With Infecting Websites

One of the biggest trends in affecting websites is ransomware. There will be a code put into unsuspecting sites by the attackers, and this will redirect them to a non-secure site. These malicious sites have payloads that are downloaded on any sites on their computer that are outdated. People are then forced to pay money as a ransom to get their data back.  If they had backed up their information, this would likely not have happened.

 

Suggestions:

Have a good host, keep your site and programs up to date, install a security site like Wordfence and back up your hosting and FTP/SSH accounts. Another way to be aware of these attackers is to review your logs to look for threats.

 

Why Are These Attacks Happening?

Even though there are many advances with security software, hackers can still get through. There’s a common misconception that once you have the software you are secure – and that is the farthest from the truth. Colleen explains, “It’s not a matter of “if” I will be hacked, it’s a matter of “when”. “ When purchasing a Wordfence software, you must ask if the cost of a hacked site further exceeds the cost of Wordfence software. Attacks will still happen, after one is stopped and every day there are new ways hackers get to critical information. The only way to be completely safe from these hackers is to not go online at all.

 

 

Read the Full Interview Here