Archive for April, 2014

Keys to Effective Landing Pages

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

For online marketers, the landing page is usually one of, if not the most important factor in their success. The landing page to an offer will usually be the deciding point on whether a lead will convert or whether a prospect will turn into a lead. A poor landing page will be a dead end, as the funnel stops if you can’t even get the visitor to read through or click through the rest of the landing page’s contents. So how do you make an effective landing page?

The good news is that optimizing a landing page doesn’t require technical know-how or savant-like literary skills. All you need are a number of simple tweaks that only take a few minutes to implement, such as:

Make Your Headlines Stand Out

It’s already common knowledge that your headlines should be attention-grabbers and should build anticipation, but we’re not just talking about the actual written content. The way you format the headlines themselves, from the font, to the size, to the position they occupy on the landing page should be designed to grab readers’ attention immediately. Don’t let it get buried underneath all the text or don’t let it blend in too much with the page’s colors. Just make sure you find the sweet spot: headlines that stand out but don’t ruin the landing page’s look. You still want your landing page to be pleasing to the eyes, after all.

Practice Brevity

A landing page is not a blog post. If you have trouble differentiating between the two, it’s probably an indication that you don’t understand what a landing page is. Make sure your copy contains all the necessary information, but short enough that it won’t distract readers from the value of your offer. Remember that many readers are hardwired to convince themselves out of converting, so the more time they spend reading your copy, the greater chance that they will convince themselves that buying or clicking is not such a good idea. Make sure you are able to present your case from within 100 to 200 words and then hit them with the Call to Action.

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Emphasize Value

It’s pretty much a requirement that a landing page should tell visitors what they will get if they redeem the offer. However, many landing pages only tell people what they will get, not what they will get out of it. An effective landing page should make the value of the offer very clear to prospects, because people don’t really care about the things or services that they will get – what they care about is the benefits those things will give them. There is a clear distinction between the two, something that many novice marketers fail to understand. (more…)

All The Facts You Need to Know About Mobile Marketing

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

This year, mobile users have already surpassed the amount of PC users, not even counting the fact that PC users who have a mobile device will go mobile most of the time due to the convenience the device offers. It stands to reason that any marketer who wishes to keep up with the industry must devote some time to targeting mobile. In order to help you with that, here are the facts that you need to know about mobile marketing:

Mobile Users Exhibit Brand Loyalty

Consumers are starting to spend more and more time on their smartphones and tablets compared to their PCs, but for the most part they are still gravitating towards brands that they favored on the PC – this means they still search on Google even when mobile, they still access Facebook over more mobile-targeted social networks, and even the ailing Yahoo managed to capture a decent market share on mobile.

The Shift to Mobile Means Loss in Traditional Ad Revenue

Despite mobile users outnumbering desktop ones, online advertising companies are finding out that their revenue has gone down once people shifted to mobile use. The main reason for this is more technical than behavioural – mobile devices simply have less screen real estate devoted to advertising. When the actual content of a page barely fits on a smartphone’s screen, you can bet that people will prioritize that over the banners or sidebar ads.

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One thing that mobile marketers need to do is design their campaigns based on this limitation. Instead of launching ad campaigns that compete for screen real estate with the actual content, why not do what companies do in some movies and have product placements? An ad banner on a mobile device might get shunned (or blocked entirely) but your product being used by a game character or your logo being part of an app cannot be ignored without sacrificing the content they came for. The idea is no longer to force your brand on people, but to find ways how to squeeze it in their lives. (more…)

Free Web Application Security Testing Tools

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Websites and the backends that they run on these days are so complex that it is impossible to deem one safe without testing their security first. Even one page thin websites with a simple contact form may be hiding exploits or unplugged vulnerabilities. Thankfully, there are numerous free web application security testing tools that will let you at least check for some of the more commonplace vulnerabilities, without spending a single cent. Here are some of the best:

WebSecurify (

Websecurify uses advanced discovery and fuzzing technology in order to automatically identify vulnerabilities in any web application. The tool is simple, straightforward, and can create basic reports that are exportable to various formats. WebSecurify is open source so you can expect updates to happen frequently.

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Disaster Recovery: Prepare Your Website for the Worst

Monday, April 21st, 2014

According to AMR Research Inc, disaster recovery is a low priority in many companies, owing partly to the fact that it is a very unpleasant task, and partly to the companies’ overconfidence on their IT security. Of course, mistakes are bound to happen and no security measure is completely foolproof. This is exacerbated by the lack of resources devoted to disaster recovery, leaving many companies being more reactive than preventive and vulnerable to downtime  or unrecoverable losses as a result of being unprepared once disaster strikes.

According to AMR’s study, there are a number of things overlooked by many IT managers and experts when it comes to disaster recovery planning, such as:

Doing the Proverbial Homework

A large number of IT groups tend to disregard end users and frontline executives when it comes to deciding which enterprise applications should be restored first after a disaster, leading to faulty assumptions that the heavy-duty enterprise applications need to be brought back first.

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If these groups kept their ears close to the ground and asked for feedback from the users, they would know that the most needed applications are much more basic – from email to scheduling tools, the kind of small, minor things that the IT department tend to deprioritize but are actually very disruptive to operations if made unavailable. The main culprit here is the reliance on silos in an organization, where the term “mission critical” would have a different meaning depending on the department. (more…)

Common Web Dev Mistakes Even Experts Make

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

We all believe in the adage “nobody is perfect,” and it’s true even for web developers. Even the most experienced ones still commit mistakes that make you scratch your head. Here are some of the most common ones:

Lack of Search Box

Many websites, even ones designed by seasoned web developers still don’t have a search box. All websites need a search box. Even if you have the most user-friendly layout and navigational tools, it is still easier for visitors to just search for the content he wants using a search box. In fact, visitors tend to stay longer by randomly typing search strings at the search box than manually navigating the menus and site links.

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Additionally, adding a search box to your website isn’t even that difficult even if you have no coding skills. Google provides a search box that you can add to your own layout simply by copy and pasting a snippet of HTML code. (more…)

Dangers and Benefits of DIY Website Builders

Monday, April 14th, 2014

DIY (Do It Yourself) Website Builders have become popular as of late, mainly because it allows people to create their own websites even if they have no prior knowledge of programming. It opened up the industry to even people without any technical aptitude. However, DIY Website Builders are usually frowned upon by professional web developers. But how exactly do DIY website builders fit in? Are they inferior to expensive software packages or are they better?

As with everything, the answer might be subjective and will depend on the person. In order to find out, you need to take into account the following dangers and benefits of DIY Website Builders:

Dangers of Using DIY Website Builders

If you have a business that relies heavily on the website – whether if it’s for sales or branding and customer support, relying on a DIY website builder can be risky. There is no way for you to predict how powerful it will be in the future and whether it will require constant updates. Additionally, if the platform shuts down, you stand to lose everything – from content to audience in one fell swoop.

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Fortunately, the really decent companies offer advance notice if their service will be shutting down, and offer solutions on how to backup and sometimes even migrate your content to a different service. This means you have to be very careful when choosing which DIY website builder to get before you start your site. Make sure you go with the company that is reputable and has a track record for good customer service.

Benefits of a DIY Website Builder

As mentioned above, the main benefits provided by a DIY Website Builder is that it is easy to use, so there’s no need to hire a firm or a tech person to handle the creation and maintenance. Additionally, DIY services can sometimes be free, and even when they are not, they usually require very little overhead as providers either operate on a “freemium” model or offer extremely low cost services, which they are able to do because DIY software doesn’t offer as much capabilities as a full fledged hosting account. (more…)

Smartphone Spyware for Business

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The fact that mobile users now outnumber PC users coupled with many businesses adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies has given cyber criminals an extra incentive to go after smartphones. The rise of spyware on smartphones is faster has made it dangerous for people to do their work on their phones without using an anti-malware and following some safety precautions, such as:

Setting a Password

You would be surprised how many people choose not to set a password for their phone, on the reasoning that they’re always carrying the phone anyway, so there’s no risk of someone gaining access to their personal info. However, they fail to understand that the minor inconvenience of typing a password every time they want to wake their phones up is not worth the trouble of getting their identity stolen and their business’ security compromised when (not if) they lose their phone through some accident. A password will go a long way in protecting critical business information on your smartphone, especially with newer smartphones that will wipe out and reset the phone to factory settings in the event of brute force attacks.

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Install Security Software

As proof that smartphone security is a big issue, formerly PC-only security companies have started developing security apps for smartphones. These companies include popular names like Norton and AVG. Like their PC counterparts, there are free suites available and premium ones, so you don’t even need to spend money to get protection (although you need to spend a little bit in order to get the best protection possible.) (more…)

Your Business and Technology

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Many pundits and experts in the industry are proclaiming 2014 as the tipping point in technology, citing the shift in balance between users of mobile devices and tablets compared to desktop users as the catalyst. It is a great way of simplifying the changes that this year may bring, but the main driving force underneath it all is the rapid increase in computing power and bandwidth, which gives people smaller and more portable means of accessing data.

What does this mean for your business? It means that there may be some big changes coming your way and you need to be aware of them, just in case you’re one of the many businesses that need to change or adapt in order to avoid being left behind. These changes include:

Mobile Overtakes PC

By the time you are reading this, the number of mobile users have already overtaken the number of desktop PC users. And it’s not just in the number of ownership, mobile has also overtaken PC in frequency of usage. After all, mobile devices are designed to be used anywhere and anytime a person wants, so it’s only natural that there’s more opportunity for mobile owners to use their devices as opposed to PCs.

In your business, this means you have to start targeting mobile users based on the strengths and limitations of their devices – anywhere from the size of their screens, to their unique input methods and even the location where they are used.

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Mobility, Not Just Mobile

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

It’s common knowledge that you can’t predict the future, especially when it comes to business. An industry is always subject to the ever-changing (and usually random) whims of consumers and advancements in technology, which can occur in rapid succession or during long intervals. That doesn’t mean businesses have to go in blindly, because we can still make some educated – and calculated – guesses where things are headed based on a variety of factors and trends.

When it comes to mobile users, there are several trends going on that point to an even greater world of information mobility, such as the fact that data storage shows signs of doubling every 18 months, or that the number of smartphone users have already reached more than 1.5 billion worldwide. Additionally, statistics point to the average US adult spending nearly 2 and a half hours using a mobile device per day. The age of information mobility is already at hand, and it will affect your business in the coming years.

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In order to be successful in the future, businesses need to take full advantage of the burgeoning mobility trend, as it allows remote employees access to mission-critical files anytime and anywhere they want. The increased emphasis on mobility will provide improved communication and collaboration, and will allow businesses to cater to any customer regardless of their location. (more…)