The Blog

Website Security 101

Published on January 22nd, 2014

There are a lot of risks when you share information about your business online. To minimize the risk of the wrong information getting out, here are a few tips to consider:

Passwords

Passwords should be carefully crafted to be something that is not common. We recommend using a password that can't be found in a dictionary. If you are having some creative block, consider modifying a word by placing a number or punctuation in it. Having numbers or symbols in your password also increases its security. Passwords should be changed from time to time as well. 

Don't share your password to the Dash System! Instead, create another username and password for people that may be helping you with your website. This way, if they make a mistake or if something funny happens on your website, we can see who was logged in to make a change. 

SSL

"SSL" stands for "Secure Socket Layer". This is a common protection that is enlisted on a website to protect your users information from being stolen. If your website has an online shopping cart system, having your own dedicated SSL certificate is recommended to protect your customers. 

Websites For Quilters automatically gives all e-commerce websites an SSL certificate. If you have chosen to not purchase your own dedicated SSL certificate, we allow you to use ours by utilizing our secured SSL domain. You may see .danemcoweb.com appear on your checkout pages if you are using our shared SSL. 

We recommend that our clients buy their own SSL certificates to increase SEO rankings and ensure security. If you see the .danemcoweb.com in your URL on your checkout pages and you'd like to buy your own SSL certificate, please contact us.

Content

The content on your website can also be something to consider when reviewing website security. Don't share personal information like home address or home phone numbers unless you are certain you want to share this with the world. Also, consider a public audience when posting other personal information and be aware that anyone could be reading the information you put on your website. 

We hope this information helps you as you consider your website and ensure you've taken the best approach to making your online experience as safe as possible. 

 

Happy Marketing!

Audri Wadsworth


Category: Business Tips | Leave A Comment |

Responsive Website Design

Published on December 26th, 2013

Responsive website design is a way to design websites so that they look good on any size of device. It used to be that only one website size was needed when everyone used a computer monitor to browse the web. Now there are mobile devices, tablets, laptops and everything in between. Because each of these devices have a different display size, your website may be a little hard to read on a small screen.

The Mobile Website

Despite what some companies try to sell you, a mobile website and a responsive website are not the same thing. A mobile website is actually a specially designed website that will display large buttons that are easy to click with a finger tap. Mobile websites can be quite expensive to develop and perfect. 

The advantage to having a mobile website is the exact control of different elements on the screen to look good on a mobile device. The downside is that for tablets and other larger hand held devices it may not look as great on the small mobile screens. Mobile websites will have an option at the bottom of the screen to "view full website" because a mobile website does not always look good on larger mobile devices or tablets. A mobile website utilizes a separate URL to access the mobile site.

The Responsive Website

A responsive website is a powerful tool. It takes the design of your website and adjusts it to fit the width of whatever screen your website viewer is using to access the site. For instance, it can have a view for full screen monitor, tablet and mobile devices. This makes viewing your website effortless for anyone that is wanting to see what you are up to from where ever they may be. 

Responsive website designs are mobile compatible, but not a mobile website. While others may count it as such, there is a remarkable difference between these two products. Responsive design is very efficient and can save you quite a bit of time and effort. Responsive designs are budget friendly and the best practice to ensuring your website is optimized for mobile and other devices. 

Responsive Design Demo

Websites For Quilter's has taken steps to ensure every template is optimized for mobile devices by making responsive website designs. Be sure to create marketing campaigns that keep mobile in mind. If you'd like to see an example of a responsive website design, visit our demo website and adjust the size of your browser. You'll see the elements on the screen shift and adjust to fit the view.

 

Happy Marketing!

Audri Wadsworth


Category: Web Design | Leave A Comment |

How to Boost Open Rates of Your Holiday Emails

Published on December 18th, 2013

During the winter holiday season, your customers’ inboxes are inundated with promotions and special deals on top of regular newsletters and holiday correspondence. That means you have to work extra hard for your emails to stand out from the competition this time of year. Here are some ways to keep your open rates high amid the flurry of holiday email marketing. 

Offer an incentive or benefit in the subject line. 
Depending on your organization and email marketing goals, the incentive to open the email could be just about anything from a free download to a coupon. Even exclusive or super useful information can be a great incentive if you craft your subject line just right. 

With so many other emails offering holiday deals and promotions, finding a good incentive besides coupons and sales can be tough--which is why the right benefit can boost open rates by a large percentage. To make this work, you have to really understand your subscribers and constantly test to find what works.

Use the right “from” name and address.
If subscribers don’t recognize the “from name” or don’t remember subscribing, they’re not going to open your emails. Make sure your “from name” is properly branded and easily recognizable. This means using your organization name as part of the “from name,” as in “Support at Email Contact” or “Jason Holladay @ Email Contact.” 

Also use the most appropriate “from email address” for the type of communication you’re sending, such as support@yourdomain or returns@yourdomain.

Research and avoid using spam words.
It can be helpful to know common spam filter phrases and avoid using them, especially in subject lines, so your emails aren’t blocked by spam filters. While there are some high-offense spam words that will trigger spam filters, many words or phrases can be once or twice without negative consequences. But they can add up fast if you’re not careful, so it pays to know what kinds of words and phrases will trigger spam filters.

The best way to do this is to simply focus on providing great value to your subscribers. Always test your emails before sending to your list to see if any words are flagged as spam, then adjust accordingly.

Occasionally use power words in your subject lines.
The opposite of spam words, power phrases get subscribers’ attention and make them want to open the email. According to a study conducted by the Psychology Department at Yale University, there are 10 power words that, when used strategically in subject lines, can boost email open rates by up to 5%. Those 10 words are:

10. New
9. Save
8. Safe/Safety
7. Proven
6. Love
5. Discover
4. Guarantee
3. Health
2. Results
1. You

Personalize with the recipient’s name and words like “you” and “your.”
This creates the illusion of a personal conversation instead of mass broadcast from a faceless company, and it helps you answer the subscriber’s question, “What’s in it for me?” Personalizing also helps make your emails more useful and valuable, building trust so recipients are more likely to open your future emails.



Email Marketing Tip


Another way to boost open rates is to send your emails to the right people by segmenting your list. A list segmented by location, buying habits, demographics, and other important qualifiers allows you to send targeted messages to the most qualified subscribers, who are ready for and actually want your messages. Targeted emails and segmented lists also help boost conversion rates, so you get more click-throughs and sales, too.

Guest Post by Email Contact


Category: Online Marketing | Leave A Comment |

Promoting Holiday Discounts and Deals

Published on December 17th, 2013

'Tis the season for deals, discounts and specials. There are several ways that you can promote your online store's discounts and deals. One of our favorite websites for promoting your discounts, Quilter's Daily Special, has just re-designed the way they display discounts. It now shows a list of great deals that you can find online, listed in order of popularity. Go "love" the discounts on their new home page

Quilter's Daily Special

If you are thinking about promoting the discounts and deals you are running on your website, here are 6 ways to make sure that your web-special doesn't go unnoticed.

1. Make sure they know what they get.

Be efficient when educating people on your discount or special. Tell them in as few words as possible what they will save and what they will gain. For example, "10% off All Batiks!" This short statement tells the customer they get 10% off and they gain an batik fabric at a great price. It's all about showing value without making it too complicated for the customer.

2. Communicate with your network.

Along with Quilter's Daily Special, make sure that you are telling your entire network about your online deals. Social media, newsletters, blog posts and word of mouth are all ways to get the word out. Be sure that you are regularly communicating with your network and providing them valuable information. That way when you want to tell them about a deal, they will take you seriously. 

3. Make it visual.

We all know a discount when we see one, but to really bring it home, it needs to have some visual appeal. Consider your brand and make your promotions for your online discounts more attractive. This can be a cleverly designed ad or a picture of some of the products. Don't forget to add your logo.

4. Be sure to link it up.

Along with your promotional information, be sure to include specific links to items you mention in your content. If you have a couple of different items, be sure to give a direct link to each. This makes finding the deal to buy it easier, bringing you closer to that sale. Always include a link in the body of your content to make the purchase easier for your customer.

5. Make it sensational.

Don't be boring! The more sensational you can make your sale the better. Think of clever ideas, valuable discounts and popular products. Don't just close out all the leftovers, make it exciting! This takes some marketing thinking-cap time, but it is worth it.

6. Why discount codes are smart.

As with any promotion or marketing effort, be sure you have the correct tools in place to track your success. Discount codes are great if you are marketing your discounts in specific markets. You can see which discount codes are used by which audience and track the effectiveness of your networking reach.

For example, if you wanted to test how effective your newsletters are, you could provide a unique discount code just to your newsletter list and then sit back and watch. How many people used that code? Now compare that to social media. Create a separate discount code for them and compare the two discount code redemption statistics. Which outlet is better for your network?

Some times testing your network like this can show you some valuable information. You may find that one kind of discount is really popular, or maybe one type of product is popular with a particular group. This information can help you create more successful deals on your website and move more inventory.

We wish you success this holiday season. Happy marketing!

Audri Wadsworth


Category: Online Marketing | Leave A Comment |

Search Engine Optimization for Today - Part 2 Social Media

Published on November 21st, 2013

Search Engine Optimization is a hot topic for many reasons. If you are in business online, odds are you want people to find you. The best way to do that is by networking your business and increasing your reach. 

With regard to social media, there is no study or source that is going to guarantee an increase in your rankings by using Facebook. HOWEVER, when you are looking at the big picture for marketing your business, there are several reasons to play the game. 

I'd like to start by giving you the top 3 social media post best practices:

  1. Keep it educational.

    The main feedback I get from this industry is, "Why would people want to know what I had for breakfast?" Point well taken. On a personal level, a lot of us over-share and perhaps we don't care too much about what our friends are eating. But from a business stand point, people do want to be educated on who you are and what you do so that they know how to interact with you.

    Remember the online world is a little different than being face to face with some one. Instead of asking for their business up front, you need to gain credibility and trust. To do this, educate people on how to interact with you. What do they do if they are not ready to buy? Do you have a secondary offer like newsletter sign up or blog subscription?
     
  2. Keep it friendly.

    We are in the business of being likable. Literally. It's not really about how many likes you get, but if people genuinely like and enjoy your product or service. A great best-practice and general rule of thumb for your business is to be as friendly as possible. You'll also want to consider topics to avoid. The top two that I can think of is religion and politics - those topics have the most risk of offending. In an effort to be friendly, and as a business, be cautious about those topics on social media.  

  3. Keep up to date.

    If someone is researching your business and they are almost ready to buy, odds are that they are going to look you up on social media. If the last post that they see is from 3 years ago, they may think that you are out of business. Keeping social media updated on at least a monthly, if not weekly, basis is important for keeping up a good impression for potential customers.

    Just like keeping your social media updated, you also must stay updated on the buzz in your industry. Be sure to follow people from your business page and keep an eye out on your competition. If there is a trend out there, don't get left behind. If you find a good trend opportunity, you could get ahead of the crowd and profit from it.

I was looking for relevant articles that would encompass some of the new technologies that have been released in the social engine word and tell me why social media was so important. I found the article below very helpful. It gives more of a technical over view as to why we should care about social media.  

6 Reasons Social Media is Critical to Your SEO by Stephanie Frasco

http://socialmediatoday.com/stephaniefrasco/1901891/6-reasons-social-media-critical-your-seo

Published November 9, 2013

 

Happy Marketing!


Categories: Online Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) | Leave A Comment |

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