Social Media Advertising to a Baby Boomer Audience (Infographic)

Baby boomers make up much of the online population and successful businesses should cater marketing efforts towards them. The latest research shows that Baby Boomers are using social media now more than ever. Not only have they embraced social media for communication, but they’re also using it to their benefit in a variety of ways including product research. Baby boomers now spend a whopping 27 hours behind the computer screen each week, 2 more hours online per week than millennials aged 16-34. Opportunities to reach Baby Boomers exist in unexpected ways for companies willing to think outside the box.

We developed an infographic that shows just how much baby boomers are using social media today. Baby Boomers have found more ways to utilize technology and social media, check out the infographic for more stats to better understand and target them.

Click here for the full infographic

 

Learn How to Target Both Online and In Store Customer Moments with Google Partners Connect 8/16

If you are a current retailer or business and are wondering how you can drive up sales, then be sure to pay close attention to the steps from the recent Google Partners Connect event on 8/16. One of the biggest problems that retailers have been complaining about if the recent decline in foot traffic at stores. What is happening is that more customers are using online shopping than ever before. You have to be there for your customers wherever they are: both online and in store.

As a retailer, you need to make an online strategy that helps to drive your mobile website to better connect with customers. Even though foot traffic has declined with retailers, this does not necessarily make it a bad thing. In fact, when people actually do shop at a store, they are spending more money. People are now 25% more likely to make a purchase in store, since they are shopping less. In store, people are also spending 10% more on purchases than they were before.

The good side about customers being connected with mobile is that they are prepared before they even get into the store. The can learn all kinds of information about your business from it’s location to it’s current sale items. Stores are assuming people want to be educated in stores, but people are doing that themselves with online research and learning about the hottest trends. Mobile queries have increased by 25%, which makes it so important for retailers to be present on and offline.

Mobile has now become the center of shopping whether it is researching, browsing or in-store shopping for an item. Retailers need to be there for both online and offline moments to connect with their customer. Since trends are driving customer behavior, a retailer must build towards these trends to grow their business. They would rather want the retailer that is there for them in their moment of need rather than be loyal to a particular brand. They also would rather receive a personable and tailored message from a retailer than a one-size-fits-all message.  The shopping experience should also be seamless, since 53% of users leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Make sure the shopping journey is a great experience so you will have return customers.

The power of online shopping with Google is helping retailers to be discovered by new customers from all over. When you are present for your customers, you are 3 times more likely to engage in top positions. If you plan ahead for big events like holiday shopping, you will be better prepared to handle more customers. Plan ahead large promotions and sales, such as planning Christmas promotions right after Halloween ends. Make your whole inventory available on Google shopping during your campaign, to make sure you aren’t losing any business. Stand out by offering promotions like free shipping or coupons. For marketing, remarketing, customer match and marketing similar audience will increase conversion rates. By planning ahead for new customers and offering them a seamless experience online and in store, you will be sure to keep customers and target many more.

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.

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

Highlights from the Google Partners Livestream on 4/19

After watching the Google Partners Livestream, we were able to gather some of the important tips for companies to help their business this year. Technology is now at the heart of business, and everything around us is connected to the web. As trends are continually impacting industries, it is important to follow them in order to still be in business in the near future. Many companies are closing their retail stores, but many people do not realize that they are doing this to enter the digital world. Online shopping has become so prevalent that stores are closing down in order to put their focus on where  consumers spend their time.

Traditional Business Models are Being Challenged

With changing consumer behavior, our industries are being challenged. Traditional business models are changing, and we must be aware of technology shifts in our field. For example, Blockbuster used to be the place that everyone bought their movies. People took their car to a location to browse through VHS and DVDs. Nowadays, movies can be streamed through TVs, laptops and cell phones with just the click of a button. Now people are using companies like Netflix, which allows you to watch shows and movies without leaving your couch. Talk about a business model that changed pretty rapidly within the past 15 years!


Consumer Behavior is Changing

Consumers behavior is changing along with technology. They have 24/7 access to mobile devices, which means that they have access to an unlimited amount of information. So what does this mean for companies? It means that consumers are more informed and aware, creating higher expectations. This is creating more pressure for companies to meet the demands of consumers. All companies today are being challenged, and it is up to them to do something to stand above the competition.

Retail is Changing in the Digital Age

Retail visits are declining as more business moves to eCommerce. From 2013 to 2016, retail visits dropped in half, which is a significant loss. So what can your business do to survive in this new digital age? Instead of using the old mantra “Do whatever to get the customer to the dealership,” imply a new mantra, “Do whatever  to bring the dealership to the customer.”

 

How Can I Prepare for the Digital Future?
One way to keep up with the digital age is to keep ad spending in sync with consumer behavior. Are you using ads on platforms that have been surpassed by digital ads – such as TV ads? Another thing to consider is being open 24/7.  Making ads profitable is key by knowing when consumers visit your company.  For example, consumers may visit a lawn service company mostly in the Spring and Summer months, which means your companies ads should run according to the influx of customers. Being available for your customers when they are looking for you is a crucial way to get customers.  If you are not available at the time your customers need you, they will look for another company in the same industry that is available. Other things to incorporate to make your business tech-savvy in the future are: keyword research to target your customers, using ad extensions and forms, creating a great mobile experience and using a Google my Business page.

From the Google Livestream, we learned that technology is changing the way we do business. Businesses must keep up with the times in order to engage more customers and generate more sales. Since 1 in 3 adults watch at least one Youtube video per month, it’s safe to say that engaging online with customers – especially through social media outlets – can help to increase your website traffic. To make sure your company is up-to-date with the digital world in 2017, contact 3PRIME today!

If you wanted to see what Google had to say, watch the Livestream below. Be up-to-date with the latest in business and find out how to connect your business to the ever-changing world.
 

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.

Good User Experience Is Key: Here’s How You Can Improve Yours

Maintaining an existing site is as complicated as starting a new one. There are thousands of new companies being established every day, making staying ahead of the game and retaining visitors more difficult to do. In today’s internet landscape, user experience is just as important as having quality content and a visually appealing website.

We here at 3 Prime love tinkering with different parts of a website to enhance user experience. In this article, we’re going to share some of the best tips you can implement right away in order to improve your site’s user experience.

Differentiate Hyperlinks and Bullets

Not all visitors have the time to read through your content. Some of them – including you and I, when we’re browsing through other websites – simply scan through a page to find the information we are looking for. This is where bullets come in handy.

You can add a summary of the article at the beginning or at the end of the page. Simply display the summary as a list of bullet points and you can help users who scan the page to understand what the content is all about. Differentiate the bullets you add to the article to grab attention.

The same differentiation can be applied to hyperlinks. You can change the background to allow users to spot hyperlinks immediately. You can also change the colour and weight of URLs to separate them from the rest of the paragraph. These hyperlinks will function as stoppers, elements that will stop and direct users’ attention to key phrases in the article.

Be Mindful with Images and Visual Elements

Visual elements are great for making a website more appealing, but they don’t always play well when it comes to delivering a good user experience. Large images, animations and videos can slow a page down considerably.

There are two ways you can get around this. First, you can switch to a more capable hosting service in order to deliver visual elements without sacrificing page speed. Companies like certahosting.co.uk optimize their servers for better, faster content delivery; you can gain so much from these services.

The second approach is to limit the use of images and visual elements. In the old days, we used blank PNG files to add spaces or colours to a page. Today, HTML5 and CSS3 are more than capable of creating these elements – and even animating different parts of the site – for a better user experience.

Use Whitespace to Your Advantage

Add too many elements and your page will start to look crowded and cluttered. While a full layout may work for certain types of websites, such as news portals, it is often frustrating for users. There is something about a page full of text, squares, images and other elements that make browsing through the site a little bit less enjoyable.

Whitespace is your friend. Simply increasing the amount of space between lines of text can make the entire content more readable. The same approach can be applied to other parts of the site too. By utilizing whitespace wisely – and applying the previous tips we covered in this article – you can boost your site’s user experience level.

Is Your Website Safe?

Every website comes with some vulnerabilities, and with WordPress being such a prevalent platform for building sites it stands to reason that many attacks are aimed at WordPress sites. If you’re building a website using the WordPress platform it’s important to make your site as secure as possible and protected from attacks that come from a variety of entry points. As the graph from Wordfence shows, by far the most common way that WordPress sites were hacked were through plugins. Knowing that a WordPress site is vulnerable is the first step in making a site as safe and secure as possible. The question becomes how to minimize the risk for a WordPress site. We’ve identified three solid ways to lower risk while maintaining site functionality

  1. Use plugins from reputable sites that are updated regularly
  2. Enable security for your WordPress site, such as Wordfence that stays up to date on protecting WordPress sites from all types of attacks
  3. Keep everything up-to-date

Use Reputable Plugins and Keep Them Updated to Minimize the Risks from an Attack

As the graph above- an illustration of the results of a survey conducted by Wordfence– shows, the majority of all successful attacks on WordPress sites came from the plugins that those sites were using. An astounding 56% of all compromised site hacks were the result of plugin entry point vulnerability. The best developers are quick to fix any plugin vulnerabilities that arise. However, this does no good if the plugin isn’t updated on a regular basis. Keeping track of the latest version of a plugin and making updates whenever available is the best way to ensure that the vulnerability is limited for any WordPress site. If a plugin hasn’t been updated in the last six months it may have been abandoned by the developer, this is even more likely with free plugins as there is no monetary incentive for the developer to keep up with the plugin. In this case, it’s always best to find a replacement and uninstall the old and abandoned one. Staying up to date on your plugins, using only plugins that are from developers with reputations for producing quality work with regular updates to protect from vulnerabilities, and regularly applying updates is the best way to stay safe from attacks through the common entry point for hacks.

Enabling Security Features Such as Wordfence to Protect WordPress Websites

No matter how often a site updates its plugins there are always going to be areas of susceptibility to attack. It’s always better to have more secure measures in place when protecting a valuable asset such as a website that may contain sensitive information or be a strong source of business. Having an extra layer of dedicated security can do wonders for site protection. Wordfence can stop many attacks before even reaching a site through setting up stronger passwords, locking users out after a set number of failed login attempts, and a myriad of other ways. Trusting security to a dedicated service like Wordfence is always going to be the most effective way of shutting down attacks and identifying threats to a WordPress site.

Update all Software and Delete Old Files from the Website

Plugins are by far the most vulnerable of all the paths to a website, but there are other vulnerabilities that need to be kept up on. The first and foremost for all WordPress sites is to make sure that WordPress core is up-to-date. The WordPress team does a great job of responding when a vulnerability is discovered but that will only help the sites that update to the latest version of WordPress core. It’s not only WordPress that needs to be updated regularly, other software such as Adobe needs to be consistently updated in order to minimize the risks from attacks and reduce exposure to potential hacks that can lead to compromising WordPress sites.

Deleting old files and performing regular maintenance and clean-up should be a part of all good web management practices. Having old data floating around on a site is just one more way in which WordPress sites become exposed to attacks. By cleaning up and deleting old files that are unnecessary there becomes one less entry point at which an attack can make its way to a site.

Conclusion

Protecting WordPress sites is not something for which there is an easy, all-in-one solution. There are risks inherent in every situation and knowing how to identify these risks and dangers and where they come from goes a long way towards understanding how to make a WordPress site more secure. There are some basics to protecting any WordPress site: use reputable plugins and keep them updated, use security features and programs to protect the site, and ensure all software and data is up-to-date. These three recommendations will go a long way towards making your site as secure as possible but every situation is different and needs to be assessed on its own merits and needs.