Tag Archives: website

What is a Security Certificate?

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Are you gathering credit card information via your website? You will definitely need a Security Certificate for that. Are you just asking for email addresses via a contact form? Then you may not need a Security Certificate for that. In this blog we explain what a Security Certificate is, the benefits of having one, and how to decide if it’s right for you.

DEFINING AN SSL CERTIFICATE

A security certificate, better known as an SSL Certificate, is a small data file that allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. An SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins and other sensitive data (GlobalSign). The signifier for a website with an SSL Certificate is an HTTPS application protocol in your web address (rather than the standard HTTP).

SSL CERTIFICATE BENEFITS

Obtaining an SSL Certificate for your website is not free; it is available to purchase for a small fee. However, despite the additional cost, there are profound benefits to having an SSL Certificate.

1. Protect Sensitive Data

A Security Certificate will allow you to transfer confidential information without putting you or your customers at risk. It is a necessity for any e-commerce website.

2. Improve Search Engine Rankings

In August of 2014, Google announced that adding an SSL Certificate to your website would earn it a slight ranking benefit. While it is a small factor, it can still benefit your SEO.

3. Communicate to Users Your Site is Secure

Having that HTTPS application protocol at the beginning of your web address communicates to users that your website is secure. With cybercrime so prevalent in today’s society, users like added reassurance that their activity on your website is protected.

DECIDING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

While switching your website to HTTPS can have its benefits, we do not recommend it for everyone. If you are not storing or transferring any sensitive information on your website, then a Security Certificate is probably not a necessity. Remember that there is a cost to purchasing the SSL Certificate. Additionally, having an SSL on your website may slow down overall load time because it adds an extra step of secure verification to the loading process. Still can’t decide what is best for you? Read our blog to learn more about the pros and cons of switching from HTTP to HTTPS.

SOURCE: Informatics (2017), VIEW LINK.

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DIGITAL MARKETING: 10 Reasons you need it.

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1. You’re directionless

I find that companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don’t have clear strategic goals for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don’t have goals you likely don’t put enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytics whether you’re achieving those goals.

2.  You won’t know your online market share

Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven”t researched this.  Perhaps, more importantly, you won’t understand your online marketplace: the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behavior, competitors, propositions and options for marketing communications. See online marketplace methodology post.

3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share

If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!

4. You don’t have a powerful online value proposition

A clearly defined online customer value proposition will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal.

5. You don’t know your online customers well enough

It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar will only tell you volumes of visits, not the sentiment of visitors, what they think. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.

6. You’re not integrated (“disintegrated”)

It’s all too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that’s a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT or a separate digital agency. It’s easier that way to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But of course, it’s less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels.

7. Digital doesn’t have enough people/budget given its importance

Insufficient resource will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing and there is likely to be a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.

8. You’re wasting money and time through duplication

Even if you do have sufficient resource it may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

9. You’re not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead

If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they’re all dynamic  – trialling new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.

10 You’re not optimizing

Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing. So that’s our top 10 problems that can be avoided with a well thought through strategy. What have you found can go right or wrong?

SOURCE: Dave C. (2017). View Link.

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QUESTIONS WE ASK, BEFORE CREATING YOUR WEBSITE.

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You’ve been thrown multiple pitches and finally, you decide on the ideal company to redesign your website. Now the tables turn. It is time for a company like us to interview you in order to get started on the process. You can now prep yourself in advance after getting the inside questions our web agency asks all new clients:

1. WHAT IS YOUR INDUSTRY?

Throw us all kinds of words to describe what your industry is like and what it includes. We’ve done research on our end but nothing beats getting the inside perspective of the people who are actually involved in the industry. This is also a chance for us to hone in on repetitive words that could later be used as buzzwords for content writing and potential Google AdWord options.

2. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?

We want to know who your current audience members are as well as other potential candidates you would like to reach out and market to. The purpose of a website is to engage the right people. When you can tell us clearly who that audience is then we can create the ideal website that demonstrates the right captivation for that audience.

3. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL.

Are you trying to market better by increasing traffic and engaging prospects? Is it all about customer satisfaction by providing better service? Do you need to boost HR by attracting and recruiting new employees? Tell us what you are trying to achieve with this new website that you couldn’t with the old.

4. WHO ARE YOUR COMPETITORS?

First tell us who your biggest competitors are and then describe to us why your clients choose you over them. Once we know those details we can create a clear advantage by setting you apart from the rest.

5. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?

Now it’s time to discuss the elephant in the room. The sooner we have an idea of what your budget is the sooner we can set a clear list of priorities to get the most out of your new website’s design and content.

6. YOUR TASTE IN DESIGN.

We have our ideas but we want to know what your aesthetic tastes are first. Keep in mind some key colors, themes, or even images you would like to incorporate in your website. If you have an idea in mind we are open to run with it!

7. WHAT CONTENT DO YOU ALREADY HAVE?

By providing us with the content on your current website we can spice it up and get an even better understanding for creating brand new content. Personal photographs of your office, portfolio content, any high-quality media are all features we would love to take advantage of and add to your new site.

If you have answers to these questions and would like to get started on a new website projectcontact us today!

SOURCE: Informaticsinc (2016), View Link.

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7 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING YOUR DOMAIN NAME

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Starting a new business? Your website doesn’t have to be a .com domain. Take a look at these 7 things to consider when selecting the right Top Level Domains for your online strategy.

Most people are familiar with the ubiquitous Top Level Domain (TLD) extensions like .com and .org, but when ICANN began opening up more generic TLDs in 2012 and 2013, the landscape changed. Don’t worry; choosing a less common TLD will not negatively affect search engine rankings.

In your search for all the right domains for your online strategy, consider these seven items when selecting your TLD:

  1. Provide Context: Recently the TLD .insurance was made available. When selecting TLDs, consider the customer. If they are navigating to your company at .insurance, they know what to expect when they click on the site.
  2. Establish Geographic Location: It goes beyond just country extensions like Canada (.ca) and the United Kingdom (.uk). Some cities have begun using site extensions as well. For example, the Eiffel tower moved its official page to www.toureiffel.paris.
  3. Selection is More Varied: The use of generic TLDs opens up the market for a wider variety of websites. If your company’s name is not available on .com, you have more options to choose from. Just make sure that it is logical and your customer will remember it!
  4. Improve Brand Recognition: Create shorter and more memorable domain names for your customers. In eConsultancy’s article reviewing branded TLDs, BMW was at the top of the list for next100.bmw as a great example of a simple domain name that conveys their message of showing their vision for the next 100 years.
  5. Enhance Brand Protection: Be strategic about the way you protect your brand. Consider if there are any TLDs that could negatively affect your brand or draw users away from your brand.
  6. Extend Creative Possibilities: Using generic TLDs gives more opportunity to be creative and memorable with the marketing of your website. Though they have recently announced an ownership transition, the social bookmarking web service Delicious was creative and effective with their domain name, del.icio.us.
  7. Incorporate Marketing Campaigns: In your next marketing campaign, instead of directing customers to a URL extension, you can send them to a dedicated domain. If you are promoting a Christmas holiday sale you could promote it on yoursite.blackfriday.

SOURCE: Informatics (2016), View Link.

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Why Your business needs a Website:

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why you need a website

1: Your Competition Has a Website. The sooner you gain a presence on the web, the better. Your competitors know this too. Increasingly, your clients (and potential clients) are making their decisions based on the standard of your website. A useable and engaging website can help to level the playing field between small and large companies

If you are in direct competition with another business that has a Website, they have a clear advantage – especially if they are adequately marketing their Website.

2: You’re Open 24/7Website will allow your business or organization to be open 24/7 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).. Many people surf the Web in the evening when most businesses are closed. But if you have a Websitethey can find, you are just as good as open. Is your competition open 24 hours a day, seven days a week? The world is your oyster – especially with a Website, which allows your communication with audiences worldwide (as long as you both understand the same language). Geographical locations or time zones are no longer a problem with the 24/7 availability of a Website.

3: Expands your reach. People from across the street and across the border have access to your products and services from the comfort of their own space. Worldwide Internet usage is one billion. On the Web, it doesn’t matter whether someone is next door to you or on the other side of the world, they can see your Website just the same as anyone else can, and it doesn’t cost you or them any extra. Phone and mailings both cost enormous amounts long-distance, but your Website lets you send information anywhere without any extra effort or expense. You can make friends and contacts in places you’ve never been and will never go – suddenly, working globally is no more effort than working locally.

4: Reaching today’s consumer.. Today’s emerging generation has never known life without a digital world of connection. According to stats (and who doesn’t like statistics!), over 88% of Canada’s population is online.1 Add the growth of social media to that and it becomes evident that without a credible web presence, you don’t exist for an expanding segment of your target market.

5: Deliver Significant Information and Improve Communication..More than ever before, people are turning away from traditional means of finding information and looking online. Yellow pages, directories, and printed materials are being used less. Brochures and flyers only allow for a few lines of communication. A carefully crafted Website can guide your clients, suppliers or employees through page after page of information. Another advantage is that you can add audio and video to these pages – something that paper communication tools cannot offer.

6: Sells directly. E–commerce can dramatically reduce expensive overhead while delivering a 24/7 ‘sales force’. Even if you don’t sell your product online, your website gives you the opportunity to distinguish your company or organization to your client. Sooner or later, someone’s going to type your name or business into a search engine. What do you want them to find? Nothing, or worse yet, your competition. These are people who want to find you. They are looking for what you are selling, and if you don’t have a Website then you’re letting them down – they expect to find you online. For many people, you might as well not exist if you can’t be found with a search engine. Not having a Website is like not bothering to get listed in the phone book. Can you run your business without a phone? In this “Information Age” we live in being online is vital.

7: Increases the effectiveness of your advertising. Whatever you’re advertising – services, products or just yourself – a Website is a great way to do it. Every other kind of advertising will cost you a premium, especially if you want to target a specific kind of person, and there’s no guarantee that they’re paying attention. Websites are like brochures that are free to reproduce, interactive, and quickly distributed to people who are already looking for them. No advertising medium even comes close to the ease-of-use and effectiveness of a Website.
Print advertising is static, while the web is dynamic. Once you have a website up and running, we recommend your print advertising include your website address where pictures, text, tables and forms can help you get your message across.

8: Affordable and Expandable Marketing. When you compare the price of a Website to the expense of creating and distributing more traditional forms of marketing materials, like newspapers, direct mail campaigns and magazine ads- the cost of setting up and maintaining a Website is nominal. One of the best features of a Website is that you can quickly and easily change information as it changes within your business. Unlike printed materials that need to be revised and then reprinted at cost; a Website allows you to change or add products and services as often as you wish in just a few steps. There is potential for free advertising when other Websites and blogs link to you. Also, when a Website is designed well, when people type in related search terms into a search engine, your Website will come up in the listings for free and allow a prospective customer to find your Website.

9: Share Basic Business Information: People use the Internet often trying to find quick answers to basic questions. What are your opening hours? Do you offer payment plans? What is your phone number or email address? These are the days of “Inquiry Marketing”; so get a Website if you do not already have one, and make sure that people can actually find it in the search engines and directories.

10: Gathers feedback. Use forms and email to allow your clients to communicate with you.

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