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The Ultimate Internet Safety Guide for Seniors

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Every year, seniors are scammed out of tens of billions of dollars, money they’ve spent their entire lives saving only to have it stolen. The elderly have always been a prime target for Internet scams because of a perceived vulnerability, and now because Internet use among seniors is on the rise. A Pew Research Center survey showed that 67% of seniors are now regular Internet users.

Internet security is something everyone should prioritize, regardless of age, so it’s important to be aware of current threats and how to deal with them. With so many people online, the magnitude of scams is increasing.

Protect Your Computer

Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerable systems that they can break into. Viruses and other malware often infect a computer through email attachments, compromised software, or vulnerable Bluetooth connections. With so many powerful, affordable security tools on the market, there’s no reason to risk an infection.

Install a Firewall

A firewall acts as the first layer of protection between your computer and any third-party by acting as a barrier. If you’re using a home computer, you need to ensure that your firewall is always turned on. Depending on your operating system, you can turn on Windows Firewall through the Control Panel. It will also notify you if any attempts have been made to compromise your security.

If you’re a Mac user, we recommend you check out our list of vetted antivirus programs.

Install an Antivirus Program

Antivirus software is one of the most important solutions you can use to avoid infections. Both free and paid versions exist, and the most popular free options include Avast Free AntivirusMicrosoft Windows Defender, and AVG Antivirus. Make sure that any software you use is regularly updated and running the latest version.

As for ease of use, we highly recommend the following:

  • Norton by Symantec is a great all-around option that is reliable and easy to use.
  • Comodo offers a seamless experience. Start and stop scans with only one click.
  • NANO PRO loads fast and is easy to navigate. The installation process is basic as well.

If you’re looking for more options, check out our reviews on some of the best antiviruses on the market.

Installing Ad Blockers

Advertising is important for helping websites stay in business and keeping the cost of internet use down for consumers. However, some sites take things too far with so many ads you can’t even see the screen. Other websites may even be using ads to hide malware, a trick known as malvertising.

Some of this malware can install on your computer by simply visiting the webpage, even if you don’t click on the ad. Luckily, an ad blocker is easy to install or can be added as a simple extension to your browser.

The best free ad blockers include Adguard for Chrome and Firefox, AdRemover for Chrome, and Ghostery for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Android, and iPhone iOS.

You also want to protect your system against other possible threats like spyware. Window’s users can download the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from the Windows Download Center. Both Windows and Mac users can use an anti-spyware solution like Malwarebytes.

Use Complex Passwords

Your computer needs to be protected with a password that is both complex and hard to guess. Ideally, it will be a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It also shouldn’t include any information that people can easily guess about you like your birthday or name.

Using these steps will ensure that any activity that you do on the internet does not negatively impact your computer. The software will protect your computer against any breaches and will notify you of the same. However, even with this software, you have to use your diligence in who you interact with and which websites you visit. The software can’t protect you against any scams and can only protect your computer system.

Avoiding Common Scams

Cybercrime is the fastest growing crime internationally, and it is estimated that it cost $600 billion last year alone. With so many threats, it can be difficult to protect yourself. Here are only a few of the rampant internet scams to watch out for:

Email Scams

Scams that are communicated through an email are the most common. Phishing, for example, tries to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious purposes.

Phishing typically involves a scammer pretending to be someone else. The email looks real and will have a company’s color scheme, logo, and design style. It may feature an offer that seems too good to be true. However, if you look closely at the domain, you’ll notice it isn’t real. It may originate from a domain like Ama.zon.com, for example.

When you click a link in that email, you will be taken to a website that may infect your computer with malicious threats. If you complete a purchase on this fake website, your credit card will likely be stolen.

Another form of email scams is whaling. It’s a lot like phishing, but the scammer targets businesses or C-level executives. Likewise, the email seems to come from a high-ranking executive, providing the scammer access to an account. The Snapchat CEO’s name, for example, was used in a mass email sent to his employees; it was successful in obtaining sensitive information about the company’s employees.

To avoid this scam, verify the identity of the person sending you the email. If the email address and credentials check out but you’re still suspicious, contact the person or company about the email before following through.

Tax Scams and Banking Scams

Scammers send out emails that appear to be from your bank or other financial institution. They generally claim that they need your account details to confirm a transaction or to investigate unusual activity. With access to your private data, they can now use your credit card to make purchases.

One of the most popular methods is the IRS phone scam. A fraudster will call victims, warn them that they owe money to the government and that they are facing jail time, and harass them into paying it. They will encourage you to make payments through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift cards.

Never verify your identifying information to someone who contacts you, regardless of how they reached out to you. The IRS will never contact you like that. A quick call to them will confirm if these debts exist.

Security Software Scams

Security software scams send a pop-up message to your device stating that your privacy or security has been compromised. They will often suggest you install a certain piece of software. They may also offer to do a cleanup for you. Downloads from this pop-up are actually going to install a virus onto your computer.

Visiting an infected website can trigger a popup box that says your computer is infected. You’re directed to call the tech support phone number where an agent takes over your computer, pretends to find and clean dozens of viruses, and sells you a security suite for hundreds of dollars. All of the software the agent installs on your computer was readily available online for free.

Fortunately, this one is very easy to avoid: never click a popup box that tells you your computer is infected. First, stay safe by downloading a strong antivirus security suite and keep it updated. Should you accidentally stumble upon a popup box by mistake, exit out and ignore it, then run a virus scan using your own installed software.

Lottery Scams

Fake lottery and competition scams are still a threat. You receive an email that tells you that you’ve won a significant but still believable amount of money. All you have to do is provide your bank account or credit card details so you can pay a small processing fee and so they can transfer the amount to you. Instead, the scammer accesses your accounts and withdraws funds.

The email message will also tell you to respond quickly or risk missing out, and urge you to keep your winnings private or confidential, to ‘maintain security.’ Both of these should be major red flags.

Remember that you can’t win a lottery that you never entered. Ignore these emails and never send sensitive information or bank account details to a stranger.

Romance/Catfishing Scams

Romance scams are another threat that you need to be aware of. This year alone, in 2,900 cases, they’ve cost over $20 million. They are an effective scam that people of all ages fall for. A romance scam involves an individual being conned by someone pretending to be their partner. The scammer will create a profile of a young person and reach out to other individuals. They will slowly talk to their victim, building trust, and a relationship. Eventually, they will ask for money for basic needs and other small things, slowly conning their victims out of their money.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, if you are worried, there are several warning signs to look out for:

  • If your partner refuses to talk on the phone, or won’t take pictures
  • The relationship gets too serious, too fast
  • They start asking for money
  • Their social media profiles are bare, or newly created
  • Everything starts with an excuse

It isn’t always easy to spot romance scams. They often play out like real relationships. The number one defense is common sense.

Grandparent Scams

Grandparent scams are growing at an alarming rate. They cost an estimated $328 million each year. This scam specifically targets the elderly. Grandparents will receive a call or text message that is supposedly from their grandchild. In it, they desperately ask for help, saying they are in jail, at the hospital, or trapped somewhere dangerous. A scam like this is typically successful because it creates a sense of urgency. According to the FTC, individuals over the age of 70 have suffered the highest average losses to it.

Here are a few things you need to know to help you spot this scam:

  • See what payment method the caller requests. Western Union, a gift card, or a wire transfer are red flags.
  • Ask an identifying question that your grandchild would know.

Sextortion Scams

Sextortion scams involve an individual getting blackmailed into paying a ransom. Say grandpa visited an adult-themed website that was filled with malware. A keylogger and remote desktop program are installed on his computer while he’s browsing the content. The keylogger will log his passwords, while the remote desktop program will record what he’s looking at, as well as him if he has a webcam. The scammer then uses the pictures, videos, and passwords they’ve collected to blackmail their victim into paying a ransom.

The best line of defense against this scam is to keep an up to date antivirus on your computer that will detect that initial malware and stop it from infecting your computer.

Be Aware Out There

These scams only scratch the surface, so the simplest way to keep yourself safe on the internet is to ignore any email you were not expecting and to only interact with people you know and trust, especially on social media. Remember, it’s very difficult for you to “accidentally” break the law online, so do not be fooled if someone says you’ve done something wrong, failed to pay a fine, or other similar story.

Recognizing Legitimate Websites

When you’re online, you need to ensure that every website you interact with is legitimate and there are a few simple steps to follow. When you go to a website, make sure it has an HTTPS tag in the name at the top of your screen. This is usually more secure than an HTTP tag, especially if you’re entering payment information since it means the site has SSL encryption which is generally missing on untrustworthy sites.

A safe website will also display a green padlock icon to the left of the website’s URL. You can click on it to verify its security details.

Finally, check the spelling of the web address. Fake websites often change a tiny detail to look like a different website. This could be as simple as replacing ‘o’ with ‘0,’ but you only see it if you’re paying attention.

Making Safe Purchases

Online shopping has made it convenient to get everything from clothes to basic grocery delivered right to your doorstep. However, it’s important that you only shop from sources that you trust and websites that you are familiar with.

  • Always check the reputation and reviews of any online store before you use their services. A simple Google search provides you with many reviews about users’ experiences.
  • Make sure you read their FAQs and Terms of Service to ensure they use sound policies.
  • A legitimate website will always have SSL encryption.

When you’re checking out, make sure the required information is reasonable and necessary. No online store will need your Social Security number or your birthday to make a sale. It’s also safest to use a credit card because you can file a claim if the website was fraudulent.

If you shop online regularly, check your online statements to ensure that no false charges appear. When possible, only shop using your home WiFi to avoid typing private information over a public network.

Secure Online Banking

Banks and financial institutions are held to high standards for keeping your data safe, but there are several things you can do to ensure the security of your funds:

Use a private home network when banking. Who can see your data over public wifi? It’s hard to know. If you can’t avoid online banking while away from your own network, sign up for a mobile data plan or set up a virtual private network (VPN).

Use two-factor authentication. This additional layer of security sends a code to your mobile phone that you need to enter with your username and password before you can log in. If any outsider gains access to your log in credentials, two-factor authentication will prevent them from gaining access to your accounts.

Change your passwords regularly. Some data breaches involve old login credentials. If you change your password regularly, a hacker won’t be able to access your account with outdated information. You can use a password manager like LastPass to store these details safely while still changing them frequently.

Avoid phishing emails that appear to come from your bank. Banks almost never call or email to confirm your details or passwords. If you receive a message, call the bank and confirm before you hand over sensitive information.

If you have any questions regarding what the bank is doing to keep your data safe online and if there are any extra steps you can take, it’s best to contact the bank and ask for their advice. They generally have customer service representatives trained to help you transact safely online.

Protecting Your Identity

Identity theft can happen in different ways. One way to protect your identity is to ensure that your system is safe from any external attacks like viruses. You also need to learn to spot the common scams and be skeptical of any message you receive online.

Finally, keep a close watch on all your online accounts. Monitor your credit report and see if any new credit cards, loans, or other transactions have been made in your name. If you notice any suspicious activity, you can freeze your credit report and dispute the false transactions.

Safe Social Networking

The internet can be an excellent way to find friends, keep in touch with family, and be an active part of the community. Keep a few things in mind to make the most of the experience:

  • Everything you post is permanent. You have the option to delete a post, but it stays on the servers and might have been seen and saved by someone else already.
  • Be careful of what information you share. The information you share publicly can be used by others.
  • Make sure you know everyone you accept into your social network. Avoid accepting requests from people you’ve never met. They may have malicious intentions.
  • Use caution when you click links. Any third-party links, even those shared by your friends and family, could lead you to a harmful website. Sometimes clicking a link forwards that link as a message to everyone in your social network. This can not only be annoying but can also compromise the security of everyone in your circle.
  • Don’t let the website scan your email address book. They might use this list to spam everyone in your network.
  • Never give money to someone you’ve met through a social network. Imposter scams cost victims millions of dollars per year, and the victims are routinely “groomed” by the scammer. The friendship or romance may go on for months before the subject of money comes up, but it will inevitably happen. Never send someone money, agree to accept money on someone’s behalf, or other similar situations.

These tips can help you make the most of your social networking experience. Simple caution can save you from compromising your privacy.

Breached? Here’s What You Need to Do

No matter how cautious you are, your data could still be breached. You might discover it yourself by monitoring your accounts, find out via a notification letter, or after giving out sensitive information.

Fortunately, there are people you can contact to help you:

Determine What Was Stolen

Check your bank account transaction history to find any discrepancies. Check your credit report to see if any credit cards or loans have been taken in your name and calculate how much you have lost financially. This information will be useful when you file a police report.

Change All Your Passwords

If you’re not in the habit of regularly changing passwords, now is the time to start. Change the passwords to all your online accounts as well as your computer system.

Run a Security Clean Up

If you suspect a malicious program has been installed on your system, use your existing antivirus software to run a security clean up and wipe out any unwanted or unrecognized programs. You can also look for some suspicious programs through the Control Panel and manually erase them.

Freeze Your Accounts

If you suspect your bank accounts have been compromised, contact your bank or financial institution to find out what systems they have in place to prevent any further loss. Find out if your bank will let you freeze your accounts so they can’t be used by anyone until the problem is solved (note, this will prevent you from using your accounts as well).

File a Police Report

Contact your local law enforcement agency to report the crime. Be aware that the work of tracking down the culprit can be very difficult, but at least you will have your police report as your claim of innocence. That can help you with lenders, creditors, and other financial entities since lying on a police report is a crime.

The Internet Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

The best way to protect yourself online is to know what to expect. Take the time to understand some popular threats and learn how to avoid them. Think of your antivirus program as a safety net that will catch you if your safe browsing habits aren’t enough.

Remember these tips:

  • Don’t visit unsafe websites.
  • Ignore any emails from unknown senders.
  • Protect your private information.
  • Keep your email out of the hands of predatory marketing companies.
  • Keep your antivirus up to date.
  • Don’t keep your passwords saved in a document on your computer, and change them regularly.
  • Perform routine virus scans.

It’s always easier to avoid danger when you know what to look for. With good habits and strong security software, you’ll be able to browse safely, check in on your loved ones, and enjoy all the benefits of being connected.


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Eric is a professional copywriter with over 7 years of experience writing on marketing and tech topics. In recent years, he has focused heavily on the rapidly developing security, fintech, and cryptocurrency industries.

The post The Ultimate Internet Safety Guide for Seniors appeared first on SiteProNews.

How You Can Start an Online Business

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Online businesses are more popular among investors and this is largely due to the easy setup process and the opportunities that can be found in various economic fields. Online or e-commerce stores have taken a considerable percentage of traditional retail businesses and many people enjoy shopping online for everything from groceries to electronics, clothes, accessories or vacations. Starting an online business can be easy and it can involve a relatively small initial investment, compared to starting a traditional business. Here are some of the tips on how you can start an online business.

Steps for opening an online business

Starting an online business will generally imply fewer costs than opening a traditional one and can yield profits in a short amount of time, particularly when the entrepreneur offers attractive and quality services or products. Finding the right niche or market is the first step when opening an online business. This can be the case for investors who open a luxury car rental business.

Focusing on the website itself is another important aspect of running an online business. The design and the navigation, as well as the overall purchase process, are all issues that need to be optimized. The online business needs to be as customer-friendly as possible.

Once the online store is running, entrepreneurs can invest in ads, content and marketing strategies in order to promote their products and establish themselves on the market.

An important aspect to take into consideration is the company formation process. The online store will need to function as a legal entity, for issuing invoices for customers. One option is to start a trading company in a low-tax jurisdiction such as Labuan, for the benefits of low corporate taxes and the easy company formation procedure.

Making your business known

Selling products via an online portal can also be applicable to businesses that have started in the traditional fashion and are making a transition to the online. Business owners can choose to move their business online completely or they can still maintain a physical presence and, at the same time, sell their products online. Investors who open a company in Malaysia, for example, can use this business scheme as they can both sell their products in Kuala Lumpur at a store and online to other Malaysian or foreign customers.

Online business owners should consider the dangers of cybercrime, from online e-mail frauds data leaks, phishing attacks, and others. If a case like online email frauds occurs, you should seek legal advice. 

Offering products and services via an online platform can be a suitable business idea for many individuals who are ready to start a business. The online business ideas presented in this article are just some of the many opportunities that can be explored by entrepreneurs. Once you find a business niche, you have an innovative and qualitative product or service and a customer-friendly website, you have almost everything you need to start and grow your online business.


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The post How You Can Start an Online Business appeared first on SiteProNews.

Facebook is a local search engine. Are you treating it like one?

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

As soon as Facebook launched its Graph Search in 2013, it was only a matter of time before it became a big player in the search engine game.

But Graph Search was limited as far as optimization was concerned. The results it returned focused on providing an answer on the relationships between people, places, and things on Facebook rather than a link that contained what was likely the answer to your query like Google.

It was an IFTTT statement on steroids that never missed a workout.

It wasn’t until 2015 that Facebook became a major player in keyword search.

A brief history on Facebook Search

2011, August: Facebook beta tests sponsored results in search feature

Since Facebook’s search was in its infancy at this time, testing sponsored results may have been too soon since search functionality was limited to page titles, profiles, games, etc…

So you couldn’t target based on keywords quite yet, nor could you take advantage of a searchers affinity. Which means the only way to target was by targeting another page or product.

facebook beta tests sponsored results in its search box, 2011

Sponsored results were short-lived as it turned into competitors targeting competitors relentlessly to steal traffic. In June of 2013, less than a year of Sponsored Results’ formal release, they were terminated.

2013, January: Facebook launches Graph Search

Prior to 2013, Facebook Search had only returned results based on existing pages. There wasn’t much logic in the algorithm other than the name of the person or page you’re looking for in your query. That changed with Graph Search.

Graph search took pages, categories, and people and put them into a revolving wheel of filters that was heavily personalized to each searcher and returned different results for everyone. It even allowed users to use natural language like, “friends near me that like DC Comics” and return results for just that.

At least that’s what you would have had to search to find friends you should stay away from…

The two major flaws in this were:

  1. You had to already know what and whom you were looking for.
  2. You also had to hope that what you were looking for had a page or tag associated with it.

 2014, December: Facebook adds keywords search functionality to Graph Search

This was the obvious next move by Facebook. They took what was already seemingly amazing at the time and added the ability to pull results based on keywords alone from your friends, people your friends have interacted with, or pages you like.

As far as a search engine was concerned, Facebook still had a long way to go to compete with Google.

2015, October: Facebook expands search to all 2 trillion public posts

Less than a year later, Facebook opens the floodgates in their search engine from inner-circle results to global, real-time, public news and posts. You could now search for any public post in their over 2 trillion indexed posts. Facebook now became a search engine that competed with the likes of Google for industry news and trending topics.

Viewing Facebook as a search engine

Prior to any real search functionality in Facebook, social media platforms were merely viewed as potential ranking signals and traffic boosters for your website.

Despite Matt Cuts denouncing the claim that Google uses social signals in their algorithm, Bing has gone the opposite direction about how they use engagement metrics from social media.

Facebook has been a solid directory site for local businesses to have their business page since 2007 when the number of businesses listed on the social media was only about 100,000. It allowed businesses to be in front of one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world, but the discoverability of your business was limited to mutual connections and brand awareness.

It wasn’t until 2014 when Facebook launched a new and improved version of the 2011 Places directory that Local Business Search became a focal point for Facebook to compete with Yelp and FourSquare.

Now, when searching for a company in Facebook’s Search that’s near you, you’ll get results that are eerily similar to the local 3-pack on Google. If we know anything about local 3-packs, it’s that there’s definitely an algorithm behind them that determines which businesses get to show up and in which order.

Facebook sees over 1.5 billion searches every day and over 600 million users visit business pages every day. They still have a ways to go to reach Google’s 3.5 billion searches per day. That said, claiming search queries just over 40% of what the search engine giant has — as a social media platform — isn’t anything to scoff at.

Why Facebook Search is important for local businesses

Facebook has provided a different means for customers to engage with brands than a typical search engine. But now the search engine has come to Facebook and the data shows people are using it. Not only to stalk their ex but also to find businesses.

  1. Facebook has a large user base using their search engine
  2. Local businesses can be discovered using search
  3. Local business are ranked using search

So I guess that means we should be optimizing our local business pages to rank higher in Facebook’s search for specific queries…

Sounds a lot like local SEO. But this time, it’s not about your website or Google.

The whole reason us SEOs are obsessed with SEO is that the value and opportunity it holds when 74% of buying journeys start with search engines during the consideration stage. If no one used search engines, SEO wouldn’t be much of a big deal. But they do and it is.

graph, "which of the following ways do you typically discover or find out about new products, brands, or services?"

According to a survey by Square, 52% of consumers discovered a brand through Facebook. That’s a pretty significant number to be passing off.

And with the launch of Facebook Local in late 2017, the network is getting more discover-friendly.

Optimizing for local Facebook SEO

Facebook has caught up with typical search engines and started implementing keywords in their algorithm and database. Bundle that knowledge with the fact that 600 million users visit business pages, and Facebook alone has a whopping 1.5 billion searches every day. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that Facebook SEO shows to be valuable in local business discoverability on the platform.

All we have to do is crack the code in optimizing Facebook business pages. Unfortunately, it seems Facebook is a bit more secretive than Google on what are and aren’t ranking signals in their local business Graph search.

It’s a matter of finding out why Facebook chose to rank Lightning Landscape & Irrigation over Dynamic Earth Lawn & Landscape, LLC when Dynamic Earth is both verified and closer.

 

In most of my research, Facebook tends to heavily weight posts and pages based on user engagement. But it doesn’t mean other ranking factors don’t exist in search. We’re looking at around 200 ranking signals similar to Google, but also vastly different.

Trying to crack this code has led the idea of “optimizing your Facebook business page”, including myself. But most seem to be focused on optimizing Facebook pages to rank in other search engines rather than Facebook itself.

While it is definitely a good idea to follow SEO best practices for the former reason, why not do both?

Facebook testing search ads

Coming into 2019, Facebook has started beta-testing search ads. They’re not keyword-based yet. Rather, they serve as extensions of news feed ads and only on supported ad formats. It’s quite an improvement from the original search ads that were abandoned in 2015.

It’s the type of subtle testing that could definitely produce some useful analytics in pursuing a full-blown search ad feature with keywords.

Related: “Facebook is expanding into Search Ads. What will this mean?”

Facebook knows two things:

1) Ad space on news feeds is decreasing.

2) More and more people are using their search feature.

The fact that Facebook is testing this doesn’t really tell me anything about local SEO signals on the platform. But it does tell me even Facebook sees a real opportunity in their own search engine. And their analytics are probably better than what we have right now.

Summary

Without any solid advice from Facebook, I think it’s time for the SEO community to start thinking about organic brand exposure through the social media platform itself. We should start viewing it as an enhanced search engine as it continues to grow and improve its search features.

More so, without search analytics from Facebook, there really isn’t a lot we can do in regards to optimizing for placement. At least right now there isn’t.

I’d love to see their new search ads beta really get traction and prompt Zuckerberg to consider a more SEO-friendly approach to search marketing on his own platform.

Of course, this is going to give “social media gurus” another reason to clog up my news feed with ads.

Jake Hundley is the founder of Evergrow Marketing.

The post Facebook is a local search engine. Are you treating it like one? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Marketing Strategies to help pull your Online Store out of a Sales Slump

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

If there’s one thing every salesperson agrees on, it’s that nothing is worse than a sales slump. This is especially true in the summer when most prospects are away on vacation and all the emails you send out remain unread. Selling is a psychological profession that requires a healthy dose of optimism, the mindset of possibility and an effective strategy to succeed. 

As a sales rep, you have had to deal with periods when prospects weren’t converting. In spite of all the best efforts, nothing seems to work. So you might be wondering, how to get out of a sales slump after you have tried everything, but failed? Are there some trusted marketing strategies proven to work during a slump that were overlooked? Here are the answers.

Getting Out of a Sales Slump

Review your account list: Is there anyone you haven’t spoken to in a while? This is something to be considered during the slow times. It could be someone who was interested, but failed to convert. Call them and ask how they’re doing. Did they try another solution – and if so, how is it working out for them? Are they facing any problems that your product or service can manage more effectively?

Change your attitude

A bad or negative attitude is a barrier to success. Therefore, identify all the barriers preventing you from reaching your sales goals. Be honest with yourself when conducting a self-examination; if you find a personal weakness, this can be improved upon. You are a small business, so it’s still a learning process.

Address those tasks you’ve been postponing: Is there any correspondence you’ve failed to address – for example, emails you haven’t read, messages to reply to or calls to return? This is a good time to get up to speed with office work. A sale might come along in the process, so don’t let it linger. You should take a fast sale, as this motivates you to ‘get pumped’ and could be the springboard for bigger sales.

Back to basics: I remember Tiger Woods, who at the prime of his career, was unbeatable. Once, a commentator asked him why he spent long hours sinking hundreds of putts, given that he was a skilled professional. He responded that he didn’t like how the ball rolled into the cup. This made me realize that sales slumps sometimes happen because you don’t have enough prospects to pursue. Therefore, look internally and find new ways to increase the number of qualified buyers in your pipeline.

The slump will end: Your sales slump won’t last forever.  Even though you are a small online store, your product must have dazzled thousands of customers at the beginning and therefore it will happen again. So, keep trying until you make the next sale.

How to Improve Sales when You’re Going through a Sales Slump

Tune into ‘trigger events’

If you’re experiencing a summer sales slump, a ‘trigger event’ is a good sales opening that performs well at any time of year. With Google Alerts, you can stay abreast of new developments at the companies of your prospects. When you hear an important news snippet that’s relevant to your business, utilise the opportunity to connect your product/ service to that event.

Referrals do work

Data from NoMoreColdCalling reveals that referrals are 50% more likely to close than other lead sources. If you’re one of those sales people who don’t seek referrals, now is the time to start. So, call your customers and ask them to refer you to anyone who could benefit from your product. Kickstarting a new relationship – based on the relationship with an existing customer – earns trust and ensures the deal closes much faster.

Renew your goals

Goals give you something to aim for and help you focus. A few mini goals during a slump will help sustain activity and keep you motivated; this could be to present one demo, or connect five calls, each day. Start small and push ahead, even when the quota is out of your reach. 

Refine your existing skills

Skill building is a continuous process that only stops when you retire. So, refine your skills and those of your team members. What’s new in the market? Are the competitors trying any new tricks that seem to be working? A mini summer retreat in an informal setting should help everyone relax. You could even ask people to read a recommended book and create an action plan, based on the techniques prescribed in that book. It’s important to continuously invest in yourself.

What’s the Cause of the Sales Slump?

Robert Rolls, the Head of Online Business at Open Host posits that during a sales slump, it’s important to analyse your metrics for weaknesses. “It could be that you’re not properly qualifying leads; your sales pitch is off; or you have a presentation problem, a prospecting problem or a closing problem. Whatever the explanation, it’s easier to solve the problem or adjust your strategy when you’ve identified it, even if it is an IT issue”, he buttressed. 

That being said, here are the fifteen causes of a sales slump according to Tim Connor. Look through the list; 

  • Poor training
  • Poor product knowledge
  • Poor attitude management
  • Poor sales records
  • Poor organization reputation
  • Poor product quality, distribution or organization support
  • An organization vs. customer focused sales strategy
  • Sales compensation that rewards results only and not focused activity
  • Excessive administrative responsibilities
  • Poor territory potential
  • Non-supportive management
  • Poor sales management coaching skills
  • Organizational culture that encourages the editing of honest communication
  • Lack of clear purpose, goals and focus
  • Poor organization and time and territory management

Do any apply to you?

Leverage the Power of the Internet

The internet has improved the way sales personnel conduct business. So much so, social media is recognized as being a great place to advertise and attract prospects. You could host giveaways or promos to boost your online presence and sales. This worked for me countless times.

Advertise More

Increasing your marketing efforts during slower sales periods is a wise choice, because there are fewer consumer dollars and less competition at such times. Options include specialty publications, newspaper ads, magazines and other marketing avenues.

Review Your Pricing 

A sales slump is a good time to review the prices of your product. This is especially relevant if it’s a seasonal slump such as February and the summer months. Your small store should still turn a profit, whilst remaining competitive. Subsequently, customers will be eager to pay for quality products at reduced prices.

Review Your Messaging

When you post a great message via an email, press release or website, do you just forget about it and assume this should be sufficient? Top marketers avoid the ‘one and done marketing syndrome’, but continue their promotional efforts. Therefore, repeat the value proposition to your prospects and employees. Where there is the need, overhaul your copywriting to ensure its effectiveness. A fresh pair of eyes might just do the trick.

Conclusion

When turning the tide around from a slump, don’t be eager for a big win. Go easy with small tasks and gradually work your back to a full workload. You won’t overcome your sales slump if you stop selling. So, stay in front of the prospect and a sale will come along soon enough. If I could do it, then you can as well.


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James Cummings is a top online marketing analyst, brand expert and business psychologist. James has wide experience at senior managerial level and has helped deliver staffing solutions to some global brands. He has interfaced at board level with FTSE 100 companies and successfully managed multiple web projects across different niches to their full cycle. Working with a team of top level digital media professionals from around the globe, James’ WordPress portfolio currently spans over 40 properties. To see more, visit https://uk.linkedin.com/in/james-cummings-ceo.

The post Marketing Strategies to help pull your Online Store out of a Sales Slump appeared first on SiteProNews.

The Breakthrough Technologies of 2018 That Shook the iGaming Industry

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Every year, iGaming attracts more and more people who prefer placing bets online via their desktops or mobile devices, rather than visiting land-based facilities in top-rated areas like Las Vegas, Monte Carlo or Macau. Despite unclear governmental regulations, online gambling has great potential for growth as the target audience is expanding.

Web-based casinos deliver personalized promo campaigns and reward gamblers with free top-notch games, while new technologies contribute to exceptional user experience. Let’s take a closer look at innovative iGaming tech.

The Overview of iGaming in 2018

According to Statista, the global online gambling market was worth approximately $51.96 billion in 2018. In contrast, this number was $20.51 billion in 2009 and is expected to be $59.79 billion in 2020. The growth is associated with the increasing attention to more flexible casinos types, because modern customers prefer betting from home or even on-the-go via their smartphones.

In addition, researchers claim that there’s a lot of room for improvement. Once China, South Korea, and, particularly, the USA legalize online gambling, the audience will increase significantly. New tech solutions should help the industry progress as well.

Here are some trends that have been affecting the industry for a while now:

  • Live Games – allow interacting with casino dealers in real time;
  • Mobile Casinos – allow playing casino games anywhere and anytime;
  • Advanced graphics and sounds – create immersive environment.

Groundbreaking iGaming Solutions

Although most of the below mentioned technologies had been invented before 2018, they became increasingly popular in iGaming last year. So, the gambling community should consider them when trying to predict future trends. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve divided the list into two broad categories: general technologies which aren’t focused on games exclusively, and industry-specific technologies launched to enhance the experience of players.

General Technologies

This section includes three primary achievements of 2018 in the field of global tech. Of course, they can be applied to iGaming as well. The list is sorted in accordance with overall popularity and usefulness.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Blockchain is a wonderful invention which powers encrypted decentralized (aka peer-to-peer) systems, where users can transact cryptocurrency without intermediaries. For iGaming, it means that gamblers are provided with simple and secure payment options that are beyond regulators’ control. Cryptocurrency betting became the hottest trend of 2018.  

The problem is that the emerging tech remains pretty complex for a wide audience. In 2018, numerous casinos added support for Bitcoin, and even encouraged their customers to use it by offering crypto bonuses at dedicated websites. So, 2019 might see more casinos add cryptocurrency to their platforms. Moreover, it is expected that new truly decentralized gaming websites will emerge. Most likely, the crypto world will expand significantly over the years.

AR and VR

Augmented reality and virtual reality solutions are promising but less useful for online gambling facilities, at least for now. Of course, they can boost gaming experience significantly because players interact within immersive environment using goggles or headsets. Let’s say, with AR, it’s possible to deploy a poker table inside your room or launch virtual betting interfaces, while VR allows you to dive in virtually simulated games.

However, these technologies require expensive devices and still are rarely used in modern casinos.

5G

This innovative wireless network technology is essential for all on-the-go gamblers. Wi-Fi hotspots are not so widespread yet, that’s why high-speed cellular connection is really useful to keep playing everywhere. In 2018, 5G became the global technology, so you can enjoy your favorite games all around the world. 

Industry-specific Innovations

On the other hand, we have three cutting-edge solutions which are perfectly applicable to gambling and gaming. Here they are.

1. Voice and Gestures

While video games have been supporting voice- and gesture-controlled gameplay for a long time, iGaming is just beginning to employ these wonderful solutions. Now, online gamblers can also control the process using voice commands or various motions. Likewise, you can ask the casino system to place a bet, open certain slots, enter a Live Game, or interact with real dealers through voice chat, and so on. Obviously, casinos have to install special software to enable such actions.

2. Gambling Bots

With the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence), various chatbots, assistants, and automated programs emerged. Check some of the brightest examples below:

  • Communication bots provide customer support services;
  • Betting helpers analyze bets and place them;
  • Sports traders maintain various wagers and work out strategies.

Similar to AR/VR, voice and gesture tech, AI is still rarely used in online casinos. But we hope that providers will add more options in the future.

3. Integrated Platforms

This technology is well-known and is wonderfully compatible with modern trends. Software solutions like Playtech ONE gather all essential aspects of your gameplay within a single system. For instance, you can create one account, deposit money, and use it to access all games from any device. Integrated platforms are breakthrough because modern customers tend to use desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones for gambling. Give them an option to play casino games from all devices, and you will steal the scene.

The Bright Future of iGaming

Over the next years, the industry of iGaming should be developing at a rapid pace. Blockchain, AR/VR, smart assistants, and all-round experience will make online casinos even more entertaining and fun. Of course, we shouldn’t forget about regulations, laws, and responsible gambling because the problem of addiction may become more dangerous with increased accessibility. Enjoy new technologies but remember security and play safe.


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Acquiring a wealth of experience in writing articles on trends and prospects for the development of the game industry in the world I’ve found myself as a Freelance Journalist. I am writing now about blockchain and cryptocurrencies trends, sometimes covering the importance of bitcoin for various other industries.

The post The Breakthrough Technologies of 2018 That Shook the iGaming Industry appeared first on SiteProNews.

Content Testing: 3 Excellent Ways to Know Which Content Works Best

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

You visit an excellent website. It has an appealing design and easy navigation scheme. You easily find what you are looking for and reach the page – and then, you do not find the info you are looking for. Bad content is the recipe of disastrous website experience.

All the other things – website design, navigation design, SEO, SMO – are all geared to lure the users to the content. If the content is bad, all your efforts in promoting it go to waste. Hence, testing your content is a crucial step to achieve your website goals.

What to look for when you test website content?

To provide your readers with the best website experience, you need to know how people read online. Once you understand how users interpret and access content, it becomes easier to structure and present information better.

Online behavior of website users is often paradoxical. They visit websites for information but they hardly read anything. Numerous research studies prove that most website users simply scan the content in an F-pattern. It means that they only see words on top and left side of the page.

Research conducted in 2008 found that in the average time users stay on a page, they can only read 28% of the words written on the page. Hence, the first two words of headlines and links need to contain the maximum information. Some of the other places where first two words of the content gain maximum weight are:

  • Lists of news stories, press releases, and articles
  • Product listings
  • Table of Contents
  • Question lists in the FAQ pages
  • Bulleted or numbered lists
  • Steps of a task
  • Checklists etc.

A research study by Nielsen Norman Group found that the first 11 characters of the link (or list) text are most important. If users find the cues to what they will find in the link straightaway, they are more likely to click on it and read it.

While there are many such things to keep in mind while writing your content, in the end, it is the user experience that matters. Hence, the main object of content testing is to see:

  • Whether the content is appropriate and suitable for your audience?
  • Whether your readers can understand what is written?
  • Do the readers find the content helpful and accurate?
  • Do they like the content?

How to test the content you are going to post on your website?

Usability research of website content means testing which content works best for its users. Content strategists come up with alternative ways to present a piece of information and test it on a sample of users. These users may be asked following questions:

  • Is the content contextual and useful for them?
  • Is it easily readable and easy to understand?
  • Is it easy to access the content they like?
  • Is the content easy to search?

Three things that are imperative to test content successfully are:

Recruit Genuine Users to Test the Content

Recruiting the right participants is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to content testing. The people evaluating your website content should truly represent your target users. They should have the same user goals, the same circumstances, and the same mindset.

The content-focused studies cannot ask the participants to pretend to be someone they are not. It is not enough to find people of the same age group, gender, geographical region, ethnicity or income level. The participants should be people who have the required knowledge to access the value of the content. They should be in the process of looking for related information.

Selection of users needs to be stringent if you want genuine responses.

Moderate the Content Studies

Content testing takes time. Without a facilitator to talk to, participants may feel bored or unhelpful and may not be able to focus on given tasks for a long period of time. In such cases, they may assess the quality of the content superficially.

Presence of a researcher in a room helps in keeping the participants fresh and alert. Moreover, these moderators may also keep asking questions to see what seems most important to them in the content and what they don’t like. They can note down how users reached a certain decision, or why they assessed an aspect of the content in a certain way.

The detailed questioning by the researchers helps in filling-up several gaps in the content-studies.

Rely Less on Script and More on Natural Responses

Traditionally, usability studies follow a script. But in content testing, you need to be more spontaneous and natural. You get best results when the user forgets about the testing environment and get lost in the content. 

While you may give pre-assigned tasks to users like ‘finding the customer care number’ or ‘find the service hours of a bank’, allow the user to interact with the content as he or she likes. Better still, allow the users to access other competitors’ websites and compare your content with them.

Open-ended tasks make it easier for the researchers to determine:

  • How users explore and research a piece of information?
  • What do they want to know through your kind of content?
  • Whether your site satisfies their needs? 

When users feel free to say what they want, their answers can be revelations that can help you with new breakthroughs in making your content popular. 

At times, users may take more time than expected in evaluating the content – and fall silent for a stretch of time as they surf through different content pieces. It is important to be patient at such times to get best results. Let the users explore the site at their own pace and ask them questions only when they are ready to talk.

In today’s world, where people want to know more in less time, we need to make each word count. Hence, testing content is a big part of optimizing a website visitor’s user experience. Pay attention to your content and your website will surely be a success.


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John is a content marketing analyst and a strategist who is associated with Dissertation Help company, based in the UK and guest author at @Valuewalk and Inman. He is an active blogger who also serves as an honorary lecturer in several B-schools. Besides being a bibliophile, he is a certified mountain climber too.

The post Content Testing: 3 Excellent Ways to Know Which Content Works Best appeared first on SiteProNews.

17 top plugins and extensions for SEO

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

There are so many great plugins available, and it’s difficult to choose which are the best for you.

To help you decide which tools will make your work easier and more productive, I’ve asked SEO experts to share what they use.

Per the experts, I compiled this list of 17 of the best plugins and extensions for SEO — and they’re all free.

Here are the top plugins and extensions recommended by experienced SEOs

1. SEO TextOptimizer

Free extension

This plugin is perfect for those who deal with content. SEO TextOptimizer lets you measure the quality of texts you create for your website based on how search engines would evaluate it.

The tool shows you topics you should develop as well as those you’d better eliminate for search robots to understand the text is relevant to the specific queries. The plugin also suggests you a list of words you could add to improve your content. The best thing is that you don’t need great SEO expertise to use it.

2. SEOquake

Free extension

With SEOquake plugin, you can easily analyze your key SEO metrics. Moreover, the tool provides SEO audit, backlinks analysis, and other useful functions.

One of the factors why SEO professionals choose this tool is that you can get a comprehensive analysis of a SERP and even export its results. There’s a bar appearing below each search result which provides you with key metrics such as traffic, Alexa rank, social media shares, etc.

3. BuiltWith

Free extension

This extension lets you find what a website you are visiting at the moment is built with. It’s created to help developers, designers, and researchers to discover the technologies other pages are implementing and choose those they want to use for their sites.

The plugin tracks:

  • Widgets
  • Frameworks
  • Advertising
  • Publishing
  • Hosting
  • Analytics
  • Content Delivery Network
  • Document Standards

Experts also say it’s great you can easily get global trends on using specific technologies.

4. Serpstat Plugin

Free extension

It’s an extension which helps you conduct SEO analysis of a page. Serpstat Plugin provides the most critical information on keywords, traffic, and page visibility. You can also get the report on the top 10 keywords for which your page ranks at the top of search results.

Serpstat SEO & Website Analysis Plugin has now three tabs: Page Analysis, On-page SEO parameters, and Domain Analysis. Here are the most crucial parameters you’ll get with the plugin:

  • Domain’s traffic.
  • Domain’s visibility trend for a year.
  • The number of results on Google, Bing, and Baidu.
  • The number of images on Google Image Search.
  • Alexa Rank.
  • Page speed.
  • Site start date.
  • Meta tags.
  • The number of shares on social media networks (Facebook and Pinterest).

The plugin is free, but to use it, you need to create your Serpstat account, if you don’t have one yet.

5. WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress plugin

This incredibly popular plugin by Yoast helps experts with on-site SEO needs. The tool will let you:

  • Add meta keywords, title, and description to your posts.
  • Provide clear site navigation for crawlers and users.
  • Analyze your on-page SEO. You can check your content, descriptions, and keywords.
  • See what your snippets will look like.
  • Create SEO-friendly Facebook Open Graph.

This WordPress plugin has a very quick and easy-to-use interface.

6. WAVE Evaluation Tool

Free extension

This tool evaluates web content accessibility within Chrome and Firefox browsers. WAVE provides 100% secure and private accessibility reporting. The plugin checks password-protected, intranet, sensitive or dynamically generated web pages.

7. Spark Content Optimizer

Free extension

Spark Content Optimizer is a tool designed to help you develop your site’s search experience. The plugin provides you with easy access to such a crucial data as:

  • Monthly traffic.
  • The performance of your site for all the keywords.
  • The technical audit which analyzes more than 40 hard-to-find issues.
  • Information on backlink authority.

8. Link Redirect Trace

Free extension

It’s a great tool for tracking redirect path. The tool analyzes HTTP Headers, rel-canonicals, robots.txt, link power, etc. You can use Link Redirect Trace extension to analyze your competitors, your on-page and off-page SEO, and other critical factors.

Here are the main tasks this plugin can help you cope with:

  • Identify and fix problems in your on-page/off-page SEO.
  • Analyze your competitors’ links.
  • See the redirect chain and fix problems to make your load time faster.
  • After your site was redesigned or migrated, you can check your links.
  • Check links from affiliate and advertising networks.

9. Ap – Data Layer Inspector+

Free extension

This plugin is a perfect toolkit for digital analysts. This add-on lets you monitor, debug, get detailed data not having to switch between the page, the code, and the developer console.

With this tool, you can inspect the dataLayer in real time, insert code into the page, analyze GA hits, ignore hits to individual properties, etc.

10. User-Agent Switcher

Free extension

The tool will help you switch quickly between user-agent strings. If you want to test how your page responds to different browsers, this plugin will let you do it. Due to User-Agent Switcher, you can browse with predefined user-agents or add your own ones.

11. Open SEO Stats

Free extension

This extension provides quick access to the most important SEO stats. The tool will show you:

  • Traffic stats. Graphs from Alexa Rank, Quantcast Rank, Compete Rank.
  • Information on your backlinks.
  • Cached pages.
  • Indexed pages. You’ll see the number of pages indexed in Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, etc.
  • Geolocation information, such as country, city, and IP address.
  • The shares on social websites.
  • Meta information, such as title, meta keywords, description, canonical tags, internal links, external links, and more.

12. Velvet Blues

Free WordPress plugin

This plugin will be handy for those who move their WordPress website to another domain and need to update internal links and references to pages. The plugin helps you fix the problem and change old links on your website. Experts say it’s great that you can find and replace any URL in your WordPress database without having to use phpMyAdmin directly.

With Velvet Blues Plugin, you can:

  • Update links which are embedded in excerpts, content, or custom fields.
  • Choose whether you want to update links for attachments or not.
  • View the number of items updated.

Install it only when you need to fix something and then uninstall it. The plugin treats everything it finds.

13. WP Rocket

Free WordPress plugin

Experts consider this plugin to be one of the best caching tools. Using WP Rocket to cache pages, your page load time decreases, and indexing improves. Moreover, the tool lets users reduce the weight of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

With WP Rocket, you can optimize your images, so that they’ll get loaded only when visitors scroll down the page. Such an action contributes to improving page speed.

14. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

Free WordPress plugin

This tool will be useful for those who want to get rich snippets for their web pages. The plugin is created to help you make your page stand out in Google, Bing, and Yahoo search results.

All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets supports most content types released by Schema.org. Here are eight different content types for which you can add schema:

  • Review
  • Event
  • People
  • Product
  • Recipe
  • Software Application
  • Video
  • Articles

15. Cloudflare’s plugin for WordPress

Free WordPress plugin

This free plugin helps to accelerate page loading time, improve your SEO, and protect against DDoS attacks.

Cloudflare plugin adds value for SMEs/Medium sized businesses, making it very easy to setup CDNs, DDoS Protection, and allow them to utilize edge SEO technologies like service workers.

16. WhatRuns

Free extension

This extension lets you find out what runs any website. You, ll get all the technologies used on websites you visit:

  • CMS
  • WordPress plugins
  • Themes
  • Analytics tools
  • Frameworks

Moreover, you can even get notified when websites start using new tools and services if you follow them.

17. Grammarly

Free extension

There are both free and paid access available for this plugin. The tool underlines your grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors for you to correct them. It also suggests you synonyms for overused words and gives you tips on how you can improve your texts. To get the most out of this plugin, you’d better use a paid version, as it’ll get you access to the most critical issues.

Choose the best for you

Remember that the more extensions you download, the slower your browser becomes. That’s why it’s essential to know which ones exactly are perfect for you.

Free WordPress plugins and Chrome extensions will help you make your work easier, but you may spend quite a significant time looking for those which are really useful for you. So, this list should have helped you circle out the tools you’ll try to implement into your working process.

Want more SEO tools?

Check out these articles as well:

The post 17 top plugins and extensions for SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

17 top plugins and extensions for SEO

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

There are so many great plugins available, and it’s difficult to choose which are the best for you.

To help you decide which tools will make your work easier and more productive, I’ve asked SEO experts to share what they use.

Per the experts, I compiled this list of 17 of the best plugins and extensions for SEO — and they’re all free.

Here are the top plugins and extensions recommended by experienced SEOs

1. SEO TextOptimizer

Free extension

This plugin is perfect for those who deal with content. SEO TextOptimizer lets you measure the quality of texts you create for your website based on how search engines would evaluate it.

The tool shows you topics you should develop as well as those you’d better eliminate for search robots to understand the text is relevant to the specific queries. The plugin also suggests you a list of words you could add to improve your content. The best thing is that you don’t need great SEO expertise to use it.

2. SEOquake

Free extension

With SEOquake plugin, you can easily analyze your key SEO metrics. Moreover, the tool provides SEO audit, backlinks analysis, and other useful functions.

One of the factors why SEO professionals choose this tool is that you can get a comprehensive analysis of a SERP and even export its results. There’s a bar appearing below each search result which provides you with key metrics such as traffic, Alexa rank, social media shares, etc.

3. BuiltWith

Free extension

This extension lets you find what a website you are visiting at the moment is built with. It’s created to help developers, designers, and researchers to discover the technologies other pages are implementing and choose those they want to use for their sites.

The plugin tracks:

  • Widgets
  • Frameworks
  • Advertising
  • Publishing
  • Hosting
  • Analytics
  • Content Delivery Network
  • Document Standards

Experts also say it’s great you can easily get global trends on using specific technologies.

4. Serpstat Plugin

Free extension

It’s an extension which helps you conduct SEO analysis of a page. Serpstat Plugin provides the most critical information on keywords, traffic, and page visibility. You can also get the report on the top 10 keywords for which your page ranks at the top of search results.

Serpstat SEO & Website Analysis Plugin has now three tabs: Page Analysis, On-page SEO parameters, and Domain Analysis. Here are the most crucial parameters you’ll get with the plugin:

  • Domain’s traffic.
  • Domain’s visibility trend for a year.
  • The number of results on Google, Bing, and Baidu.
  • The number of images on Google Image Search.
  • Alexa Rank.
  • Page speed.
  • Site start date.
  • Meta tags.
  • The number of shares on social media networks (Facebook and Pinterest).

The plugin is free, but to use it, you need to create your Serpstat account, if you don’t have one yet.

5. WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress plugin

This incredibly popular plugin by Yoast helps experts with on-site SEO needs. The tool will let you:

  • Add meta keywords, title, and description to your posts.
  • Provide clear site navigation for crawlers and users.
  • Analyze your on-page SEO. You can check your content, descriptions, and keywords.
  • See what your snippets will look like.
  • Create SEO-friendly Facebook Open Graph.

This WordPress plugin has a very quick and easy-to-use interface.

6. WAVE Evaluation Tool

Free extension

This tool evaluates web content accessibility within Chrome and Firefox browsers. WAVE provides 100% secure and private accessibility reporting. The plugin checks password-protected, intranet, sensitive or dynamically generated web pages.

7. Spark Content Optimizer

Free extension

Spark Content Optimizer is a tool designed to help you develop your site’s search experience. The plugin provides you with easy access to such a crucial data as:

  • Monthly traffic.
  • The performance of your site for all the keywords.
  • The technical audit which analyzes more than 40 hard-to-find issues.
  • Information on backlink authority.

8. Link Redirect Trace

Free extension

It’s a great tool for tracking redirect path. The tool analyzes HTTP Headers, rel-canonicals, robots.txt, link power, etc. You can use Link Redirect Trace extension to analyze your competitors, your on-page and off-page SEO, and other critical factors.

Here are the main tasks this plugin can help you cope with:

  • Identify and fix problems in your on-page/off-page SEO.
  • Analyze your competitors’ links.
  • See the redirect chain and fix problems to make your load time faster.
  • After your site was redesigned or migrated, you can check your links.
  • Check links from affiliate and advertising networks.

9. Ap – Data Layer Inspector+

Free extension

This plugin is a perfect toolkit for digital analysts. This add-on lets you monitor, debug, get detailed data not having to switch between the page, the code, and the developer console.

With this tool, you can inspect the dataLayer in real time, insert code into the page, analyze GA hits, ignore hits to individual properties, etc.

10. User-Agent Switcher

Free extension

The tool will help you switch quickly between user-agent strings. If you want to test how your page responds to different browsers, this plugin will let you do it. Due to User-Agent Switcher, you can browse with predefined user-agents or add your own ones.

11. Open SEO Stats

Free extension

This extension provides quick access to the most important SEO stats. The tool will show you:

  • Traffic stats. Graphs from Alexa Rank, Quantcast Rank, Compete Rank.
  • Information on your backlinks.
  • Cached pages.
  • Indexed pages. You’ll see the number of pages indexed in Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, etc.
  • Geolocation information, such as country, city, and IP address.
  • The shares on social websites.
  • Meta information, such as title, meta keywords, description, canonical tags, internal links, external links, and more.

12. Velvet Blues

Free WordPress plugin

This plugin will be handy for those who move their WordPress website to another domain and need to update internal links and references to pages. The plugin helps you fix the problem and change old links on your website. Experts say it’s great that you can find and replace any URL in your WordPress database without having to use phpMyAdmin directly.

With Velvet Blues Plugin, you can:

  • Update links which are embedded in excerpts, content, or custom fields.
  • Choose whether you want to update links for attachments or not.
  • View the number of items updated.

Install it only when you need to fix something and then uninstall it. The plugin treats everything it finds.

13. WP Rocket

Free WordPress plugin

Experts consider this plugin to be one of the best caching tools. Using WP Rocket to cache pages, your page load time decreases, and indexing improves. Moreover, the tool lets users reduce the weight of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

With WP Rocket, you can optimize your images, so that they’ll get loaded only when visitors scroll down the page. Such an action contributes to improving page speed.

14. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

Free WordPress plugin

This tool will be useful for those who want to get rich snippets for their web pages. The plugin is created to help you make your page stand out in Google, Bing, and Yahoo search results.

All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets supports most content types released by Schema.org. Here are eight different content types for which you can add schema:

  • Review
  • Event
  • People
  • Product
  • Recipe
  • Software Application
  • Video
  • Articles

15. Cloudflare’s plugin for WordPress

Free WordPress plugin

This free plugin helps to accelerate page loading time, improve your SEO, and protect against DDoS attacks.

Cloudflare plugin adds value for SMEs/Medium sized businesses, making it very easy to setup CDNs, DDoS Protection, and allow them to utilize edge SEO technologies like service workers.

16. WhatRuns

Free extension

This extension lets you find out what runs any website. You, ll get all the technologies used on websites you visit:

  • CMS
  • WordPress plugins
  • Themes
  • Analytics tools
  • Frameworks

Moreover, you can even get notified when websites start using new tools and services if you follow them.

17. Grammarly

Free extension

There are both free and paid access available for this plugin. The tool underlines your grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors for you to correct them. It also suggests you synonyms for overused words and gives you tips on how you can improve your texts. To get the most out of this plugin, you’d better use a paid version, as it’ll get you access to the most critical issues.

Choose the best for you

Remember that the more extensions you download, the slower your browser becomes. That’s why it’s essential to know which ones exactly are perfect for you.

Free WordPress plugins and Chrome extensions will help you make your work easier, but you may spend quite a significant time looking for those which are really useful for you. So, this list should have helped you circle out the tools you’ll try to implement into your working process.

Want more SEO tools?

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How Influencer Marketing can Boost Your Marketing Campaign

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Influencer marketing can bring a host of benefits to brands. If you’ve yet to include this strategy to your marketing plans, here are some of the ways it can impact your marketing campaigns.

Insta Platform

Tapping into an influencers’ reach and audience is the main reason influencer marketing continues to thrive. But as the industry has evolved, it’s no longer enough to just partner with random influencers with a certain number of followers. To make influencer marketing part of your smart branding, you need to choose an influencer that produces content relevant to your niche. 

If you’re a sporting goods company, for example, partnering with a fitness advocate is a great way to tap into their readymade audience. Keep in mind, though, that audiences have learned to place great importance in authenticity. So make sure that the influencer not only has the right audience, but appreciates the value of your work. This way, the feedback will be honest – which will bode well for the credibility of your brand. 

Winning ROI

Another reason influencer marketing continues to thrive is its proven ROI. One survey found that for every $1.29 brands spent on beauty influencers, they got an ROI of $11.38—11x higher than that of banner ads. Beyond monetary return, Iceland Foods saw an increase in approval ratings from 10% to 80% after their target audience was exposed to vlogger content. 

Of course, you need to practice due diligence when it comes to influencer marketing. One way is to analyze influencers’ niche before partnering with them to make sure that their audience is who you’re targeting. As with everything marketing-related, you still need a solid plan. Just because it’s been a winning formula for a number of brands, you can’t expect to just jump into it and get a favorable result.

Trust

Apart from an instant audience, influencers can also help you to quickly build trust. They’ve put in the work to build relationships with their audiences, making their recommendations credible and respected. Partnering with influencers that have this kind of relationships with their followers allows you to tap into that trust factor – something all brands are keen on building. 

Content Flow

It’s not easy to continually come up with fresh content ideas—but that’s exactly what influencers do. They’re always looking for ways to engage their followers, spending time and effort in creating quality content. Partnering with the right influencer not only means tapping into their audience, it also aids your content strategy. 

For example, the organizers of the “Dubai Fitness Challenge” partnered with fitness influencer Casey Ho to help promote their event. As you can see below, in a single post, she combined promoting her classes, as well as the event. It’s not a hard sell like a lot of sponsored posts, but it’s still relevant content to help spread your message around. 

Audience Opt-In

The great thing about influencer marketing is that audiences are the ones who choose their influencers. This means that when you partner with an influencer that reflects the values of your brand, they opt in to you. Having audiences opt-in to your brand plays back to having an easier path to building recognition and credibility, as an engaged audience will want to hear what influencers want to say about your brand. 

Target Access

Similar to having access to their audience, a relationship with an influencer in your niche gives you access to your target market. Going back to the example above, it makes perfect sense for a fitness event to partner with a fitness advocate with over a million followers. That’s access to over a million people who are into exactly what you’re selling. This makes it much easier to increase your conversion rates. 

Drives Purchasing Decisions

At the end of the day, it’s about revenues – and influencers have the ability to generate revenues. In one study, 40% of the respondents said they made a purchase after seeing an influencer use a particular product. Consumers tend to look to influencers for advice on what products and services to buy. Partner with the right influencers and let your brand be their audiences’ choice. 

Edges Advertising Blindness

While audiences have learned to tune out influencer-produced content that feels too branded, influencer marketing still beats most advertising options. The average click-through-rate for display ads is at a dismal .06%. Influencers can help you cut through the ad blindness, putting your message and your brand in natural, native content.

Hot Topic Springboard

They’re called influencers for a reason – and that’s because they’re able to drive trends and movements. So if you can find an influencer that not only reflects your brand values, but is a known trendsetter, you can springboard your brand into being a hot topic. And when you’re able to build a relationship with a trendy influencer, you also align your brand as an innovative leader.  

Tracking Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Establish KPIs

While tracking influencer marketing metrics is more nuanced than traditional marketing initiatives, there’s a simple way to go about it. First, is to establish which metrics you’ll be measuring to track the success of your campaign. This entails identifying campaign objectives and KPIs. 

To get a better idea, you can conduct industry research to find relatable benchmarks that you can use. Here are some of the more common KPIs:

  • Engagement
  • Reach/Impressions
  • Follower growth
  • Traffic

There are a number of tools you can use to track your metrics from Google Analytics and native analytics tools, to a host of other third-party influencer marketing platforms. Most of these third-party tools provide dashboards that make measuring engagement seamless.

Measure your performance with KPIs

Certain metrics can be easy to gauge—like traffic and sales from discount codes. But attributing cost and value to engagement isn’t as simple. A common approach is using a cost-per-action formula. These include:

  • Cost per 1000 impressions 
  • Cost per engagement
  • Conversion rate
  • Average cost of sale
  • Cost of net new traffic to website

Then, find benchmarks to measure against. This will allow you to come up with the total value of your engagement. Social channels have their respective average cost per action (cost per like, share, retweet, follower, etc.). Keep in mind that these benchmarks may also vary by industry. 

It would also be wise to look at the total value gained from the campaign. This means not being fixated on metrics like direct sales. Often, while desired sales may have underperformed, other aspects like engagement and great content are able to bring great value to a campaign. 

Takeaway

Influencer marketing will remain a key element of digital marketing for the foreseeable future. But this doesn’t mean strategies and trends remain the same. Make sure to keep your finger on the pulse of technology trends and audience behavior. This will allow you to adjust your campaign accordingly. 


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Vincent Sevilla is a professional graphic designer for Grit.ph. He also has an extensive background in online marketing. You can follow him on Twitter @easyvince

The post How Influencer Marketing can Boost Your Marketing Campaign appeared first on SiteProNews.