Category: Development

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

SEO: How Reputation Has Become an Important Ranking Factor

The guidelines of Google Quality Rating seem to be increasingly relevant after the latest updates and if you want to be top in search engines you can no longer ignore the reputation acquired and that you will succeed in acquiring online.

Chris Smith, president of Argent Media, had predicted everything you will read in this article back in 2007 when he said that Google could use the quality scoring for organic rankings, proposing a whole series of changes to be made to the websites, mainly focused on quality factor.

According to Google, over the years Google would have applied a Quality Score, identifying factors such as a page “about us” that is precise and detailed, a contact page that introduces trust, good usability and user experience, clear use of copyright and a good spelling and grammar, just some of the fundamental factors that we then saw to have been the path taken by Google for the evolution of the algorithm.

The most recent edition of Google’s “Quality Evaluators Guideline”, also called “Quality Rating Guideline” (“QRG”) is almost a script of its previous recommendations regarding quality factors.

Google’s “Quality Rating Guidelines” are increasingly relevant after the latest updates

Discordant voices also from official Google sources seem to bounce on the importance or not of the reputation, going from the same  Danny Sullivan  who confirmed that the evaluations of the  human evaluators are not used in the automatic learning of the algorithms, while  Marie Haynes explained how it considers that the elements mentioned in the guidelines for quality assessment may be factors that influence the ranking, such as a company’s BBB ranking and the reputation of the authors.

At the same time, Googlers have increasingly advised webmasters to “focus only on quality”, and even recommend webmasters to read QRGs to offer the best possible content, just as Sullivan himself did when he officially commented on the updates of the basic algorithm of last October.

But then how does Google determine the quality in an algorithmic way starting from the concepts of competence, authority, reliability, and reputation that seem very subjective?

The Google algorithms have to translate these concepts into measurable criteria that can be measured and compared between sites/pages competing.

Chris Smith believes that some of Google’s previous algorithmic developments probably point towards this process, interpreting a certain degree of disconnection between what people asked and how the various Googlers responded and how people themselves interpreted these answers.

If Google instructs its human raters to evaluate the EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) of a site but does not incorporate the resulting evaluations, what is the algorithm that uses the algorithm?

Simply stating that the algorithm uses a collection of things like a BBB assessment, user reviews or link trust analysis, even if that answer seems too limited. Also, to say that Google provides a quality assessment based solely on link trust analysis and query analysis seems too limited.

That’s why by deduction we could say that Google is obviously taking into account some factors that go beyond a more advanced analysis of links/queries, even if this still remains a fundamental part of the mix.

The website quality patent from Google

One of the many Google patents we talked about months ago is based on machine learning. Noted by Bill Slawski it is the ” Website Quality Signal Generation “. In synopsis, it said how human beings could be used to assess the quality of websites, and therefore the analysis algorithm could associate those evaluations with website signals, probably automatically identifying the relationships between quantified signals and values of human evaluation, generating models with characteristic signals. These signal patterns could then be used to compare signals with other websites not evaluated to apply quality scores to them.

The wording is rather fascinating: “Raters connect to the Internet websites and rate of quality of the websites. The raters can submit quality ratings to server analysis through the rating input device. The quality analysis server receives website quality ratings the website quality ratings are associated with a uniform resource locator and other website signals corresponding to the rated website. The quality analysis server identifies relationships between website quality ratings and website signals and creates a model representing relationships, as described below.

As you will have noticed some of the same things mentioned above are mentioned in the QRG. But this is not the reason why the patent is so convincing, but because it provides a very logical framework in which to develop methods to evaluate the quality of websites and web pages, and to generate a Quality Score that can be used in the determinations of ranking. The methods in question indicate that relatively small sets of test pages could be used to create models that could work well on all other similar or similar pages.

Imagine that you have identified a type of page for which you want to create a quality score, such as an informative article on a health topic. Google could take the signals we mentioned earlier including the amount of content, page layout, number of ads and ad placement on the page, site reviews, reviews and links to content created on other sites, the links off the page (perhaps indicating the identity of the content creator and / or citing reference information sources), site and page links (PageRank), clickthrough rates the page from its first keyword searches, the correspondence of the title visible at the top of the page with the content of the page and the title of the research fragment and the meta description as well as the factors that indicate that the site is up-and-up.

By testing numbers of similar page types, Google may have developed a model of combining quality signals and developed a score value associated with it.

In essence, when a page of an article on a health topic has a certain range of criteria such as PageRank, plus a certain layout of the content, plus a certain PageRank, plus CTR, more user reviews, plus lots of other factors then Google could apply the calculated Quality Score on the page without any human being reviewing it manually.

Interpreting the diagram published above with a broader interpretation, we could hypothesize that thanks to automatic learning the system could identify more complex relationships (like assigning a certain quality score if the PageRank is N to NN, CTR is X to XX, coupled with a specific type of page layout) and not, for example, saying that an article on a health topic evaluated with a certain level of quality assessment should have a minimum PageRank of X, a minimum number of links, etc. .

In fact, it is the same patent that describes this possibility, right when he says that “in some implementations, the model can be derived from the web site signals and from the web site quality assessment using a submachine learning that implements a support vector regression “.

In essence, this produces an automatic learning classifier. The model can, therefore, be used to identify all the pages of a common class, calculate a quality score and then apply the same or similar evaluation to other pages of the same class and/or category.

Many other SEO analysts have long been saying that Google is incorporating machine learning into content rankings (see Eric Enge and Mark Traphagan), and not just in interpreting the queries that Google has publicly revealed.

This really explains some of the inconsistencies we have seen in Google’s search results for months. The neural networks seem to produce very holistic scores, so aim for any signal or even a handful of signals that most influence the outcome in a given case would probably not really possible.

The various possible signals that probably incorporate the Quality Score also have a certain complexity

  • PageRank – and/or some evolved signal that can also involve the quality/trust of links;
  • User Reviews Sentiment – Google’s QRG suggests that there would be a certain threshold of reviews, so if a business/website had relatively few total reviews, they could most likely be rated as unrepresentative. So, if Google is incorporating reputation, how else could they adjust the ranking if they don’t do some kind of sentiment analysis? Of all the rather nebulous quality assessments, the feeling is relatively simple to analyze and use.
  • Mention Sentiment – Do people mention a product in social media and e-mail? The “buzz” of social media is a measure of popularity and even feeling can be a measure of quality.
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – (and relative bounce rate) there was a lot of debate about this potential factor over time, but like the Quality Score itself, if used by the Quality Score of the ads, why not also for organic rankings?
  • On the other hand, if it is only a part of a website’s Quality Score, then CTR is not a direct ranking factor and this could explain the discrepancies in the search results.
  • Percentage of Ad Placements – How much of the total space on the page consists of ads? Google may have calculated a minimum / maximum threshold. Also, how many ads are on a page and how much do they split the main content of the page? Are there gaps or overlaps that cannot be closed? Do the ads follow while scrolling the page?
  • Missing sites Identification information- Sites should ideally have “About” and “Contact Us” pages. About the sections, they should explain who the company is and, even better, list the most important staff members along with the photos. The “contacts” page should ideally have as much contact information as possible, including addresses, phone numbers, and contact submission forms. It probably helps if the staff pages are linked to employee social media and LinkedIn profiles and vice versa. There is nothing worse than visiting a site and not being able to see who’s behind it!
  • Critical E-Commerce and Financial Site Factor- The HTTPS protocol is a fact – but it is also true that Google goes beyond the simple checking-off if you have HTTPS but since not all configurations and encryption are the same as E-Commerce and financial information sites must also have clear Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and customer service contact information. In addition, they must include the Help sections and the Goods Return Policies. Even if Google does not use the trust badge as a quality factor, it is still important to have it to reassure consumers online and can increase sales by increasing trust.
  • Site speed – this is almost taken for granted, but it has always been a factor in the PPC Quality Score, and it is still a type of quality measurement in organic research.

How the PageRank Score calculation method could be used

Another interesting aspect of how the Quality Score could work is that the Quality Score of a page could also incorporate the Quality Score of the other pages that link to it or to its domain.

The Quality Score could partly be calculated by iterating over the entire graph of the link a number of times in the calculation of the scores, using a method similar to the original algorithm of PageRank. This would produce a more weighted scale of the Quality Score values, helping to ensure that the highest quality content is truly at the top, completely burying the lowest quality content to the point where research is virtually never encountered in typical interactions of research.

Comments on some sites affected by Medic Update

Barry Schwartz published a handful of sites affected by the Medic Update, and observing them it was noted that most of the above criteria were missing as the potential quality factors and that the QRG specifically mentions:

  • com – He had no page. Infinite scroll. The “Contact Us” page was on a different domain. A reputation of article writers not necessarily experts in medical subjects. Very large ads and lateral grotesque and distracting badges.
  • org – Redirect, cartoon images on the staff page, no text, no phone/address. The contact form appears only after a human click of validation.
  • com – Customer service contact telephone number that is difficult to locate and that can be connected to a subdomain.
  • com – Information on the page redirects to the homepage! No phone/address /personal address. There was also a strange graphics code of the logo.

Mixed messages with respect to ranking signals

Some of the potential signals we have mentioned have been quite controversial but they could rightly explain why there is a major divergence on what some SEO professionals believe are classification factors and what the Googlers argue.

Chris Smith also believes that the Googlers sometimes played a semantic game. The presence of one or more controversial factors (CTR, sentiment analysis, etc.) is not direct ranking factors because these factors may or may not turn into a complex assessment that results in a Quality Score. And he continues his thoughts by saying that, for example, “if my conjectures on the Quality Score are close to how it works, then two different pages on the same topic could be very similar and both have a high CTR, but the Quality Score of one or two could be significantly higher due to a combination of other factors. In other cases, still, a higher CTR could move a page upwards to be classified at a higher quality level “.

A model of a good quality page sounds like a ” search recipe “, as Danny Sullivan himself defined it. There are therefore different combinations and weightings of the factors used to determine the quality scores of the different types of pages.

And that’s why, taking up the holistic concept mentioned in the article, Chris Smith defines Quality Score as a gesture. This is why Googlers have recommended unclear changes for sites affected by the latest updates, such as “working to improve overall quality” and “focusing on making the best possible content”. Apart from technical SEO problems, it is rarely possible to change one or two things throughout the site to improve low-quality scores. As Glenn Gabe observed on the sites affected by these changes, “site owners should not look for a single smoking gun, as there is almost never one.”

How to improve the quality score of your site

How can knowing that Quality Score is a complex Gestalt can help improve the ranking?

The good news is that most of the SEO guidelines are still very current. A good SEO approach must always reside in the technical SEO construction, keeping error pages and pages without content to a minimum. Eliminate pages of thin and superfluous content. Avoid prohibited link building practices.

SEO itself is a holistic practice, and as such it constantly needs to be done all the things that are appropriate and reasonably feasible to optimize any website.

Certainly, all the elements that reassure consumers are of vital importance: information on the pages, on the contact pages, on the pages of the Privacy Policy and on the Terms and Conditions, contact options of the customer service, as well as, if necessary, updating the contents.

Nothing should be left to chance, displaying the site as if you were a user, trying to completely satisfy the needs of real users, responding to negative reviews and trying to get online reviews from satisfied users/customers.

Finally, it is necessary to practice proactive reputation management working to positively involve the community, both online and offline, in a coherent way over time. Engage with social media and develop your presence through these channels. Provide free good advice as online experts to build your reputation. Become a member of professional groups in your sector and community groups. Respond in a professional way and don’t fall into online provocations.

So here we are at the end, remembering that all these practices will generate the signals for a good quality score over time and the benefits will soon arrive.

Author Bio

Wanda Mooree run’s professional SEO authority services firm in Texas. Also spends a lot of his free time educating the minds of thousands of young Texas SEO and top agencies. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently associated as a blogger with Justseotech.com

DevelopmentInsightsStartups

Have an Idea? Things You Can Do to Start an Online Business

 

Going global has taken a whole new meaning in the commercial world. It is no more a question of physical presence. All that matters is how active your business is in the digital world.

Online businesses do not have to face traditional hurdles. There are no expensive overheads, and you can protect yourself from slow scalability rates. This is why the virtual market continues to grow. An eMarketer forecast predicts that retail e-commerce sales will reach up to $4.058 trillion in 2020.

Source

Despite the increasing numbers, it is a fact that not every online business will morph into a huge success with instant exponential growth. According to many sources, over 90% of all Internet business startups fail in the first 120 days.

The question is, how does the rest 10% survive through this period? What leads them to success?

Every individual or a group entering into the realms of digital world proceed with an idea. It is the realization of an opportunity, exploration of resources and the marketing strategies that allow them to grow.

Amidst the dense crowd of digital entities, ending up as a failure is always an option. However, you can enhance the possibilities of success if you know how to commence and upgrade your venture.

Here are some things you can do to start an online business

Find the customer needs

It is possible that the product you want to launch already exists in the market. You do not have a chance to establish your name unless you offer a unique incentive to the public. The trick is to find the loopholes in existing products and then fulfill the customer needs accordingly.

You can visit online forums and analyze the problems that people face with current products of similar nature. Or, you can conduct keyword research to find the words that most people are searching for but do not get sufficient results. Next, you can visit the websites of potential customers. There you can take notes of what they are doing to fulfill the market needs and how you can do better than them.

Multiple marketing approaches

You must sort out your web assets with sophistication. Everything ranging from your website to your social media profiles and hosting accounts must be in order.

Remember, the key is to stand out among hundreds of other businesses. And for that, you do not have to publicize using all media channels. Use only those that hold the potential to maximize the benefits. For instance, you can link Facebook posts with the site blog where you educate, inform, and entertain people.

All relevant web assets should optimize the brand. The content shared on each forum must have relevant keywords. They should fall into an integrated market plan. Along with this, each media avenue should have updated and latest information about your company.

Keep customer records safe

Every business has a legal obligation to protect customer information. However, at times the owners fail to keep their customer records safe. This results in security breaches and data theft that brings bad reputation.

There are different data software and applications that you can use to keep the information safe. You should also store information on other devices and create secure backups. When you are working as an online entity, it is inevitable that customers will enter their details in your database. This asks for top-grade security.

You should update your system regularly and implement certain controls.  The access to all such info should be restricted to specific employees.

Establish a positive reputation

Running an online business is all about reputation. One mistake can tarnish your brand image causing an overall decline. The key is to monitor online reviews. You can launch a Google Alerts notification for your brand name. This will allow you to inspect every mention of your company on online portals.

You must design a set of social media guidelines. Every person who talks about your brand online should follow them. Also, start to give away free expert content. This can contain videos or articles that people will find useful. You can include a sharing option below the content so that the audience can help others with this valuable information.

Stay online 24/7

Without a stable internet connection, you can lose out the orders and miss customer queries. When the visitors face silence for a long duration, they eventually turn to other companies of similar nature.

Source

The auto industry is a great example of increasing global competition. There are portals like we buy cars that are operative day and night. They provide services like free car valuation to the visitors of every region. This helps to enhance the confidence levels of the customers.

Another element of staying online means that you should try to be active in relevant industry forums. Be present on the social networking websites where your target market usually discusses their queries and reviews.

Be persistent

The chance of any business to become successful overnight is very low. There will be moments when you lack motivation. And constant failure might kill your passion.

Even though it is not easy but if you change your game, you can get hold of a fair market share. So stay persistent and focus on your goals. Modifying strategies is a part of the game, and you should be ready to do that when circumstances ask for them.

Running an online business comes with its attached risks. It is not easy to establish your name in the market and secure a reputation. Growth in this realm asks for struggle, sacrifice, and constant upgrading. Basics like marketing, customer relations, and unique propositions are the tools that serve the purpose.

Play the right cards in each area and watch your business grow leaps and bounds!

DevelopmentMartechProductsSaaS

What Mobile App Security Will Look Like in 2019

With the recent security lapses at both Facebook and Google, it has never been more apparent that app security is crucial to the smartphone app user. The theft of pertinent information can lead to massive financial and identification loss as well as the cost of litigation and recovery.

Mobile apps have many of the same threats that you would find on a desktop app. They both use a network, go through a server and have an operating system with smartphones using either Android or iOS. 

Businesses nowadays need to partner with a solid app development company that is on top of security breach data, staying one step ahead of the digital thieves who never rest in their attacks. A company like Guarana Technologies has years of experience and will bring a number of added security features to any app they design. According to their security experts, mobile apps may be susceptible to:

Keylogging: A common attack method by hackers is keylogging, where keystrokes such as logins and passwords are stolen and recorded.

Screenshots: App screenshots can sometimes be used to access personal, sensitive information that is then extracted and used for possible ID theft.

Android only Overlay attacks: A digital attacker can use an overlay window to cover a legitimate app on the smartphone. When the app is used, the information is instead sent to the hacker rather than the intended destination and data is stolen. 

This, of course, begs the question: what tools are available to combat attacks on mobile apps?
A competent app development company will utilize tools to create a more secure product, partnering with the client to create a safe, secure app for their customers or employees. Here are some of the ways mobile app security has evolved to block the actions of nefarious data thieves. 

  • Version management: the continuous monitoring and updating of the app version that is installed
  • Authorized user controls: the ability to allow only authorized user access to the app
  • Time frame use: disabling the app after a certain time frame, such as a date or span of time (30 days for example)
  • Communication stop: Only allowing the app to run when it is able to connect to the server provided by the app developer
  • Data wipe: Certain criteria must be met in order for the app to work correctly. Data can be wiped if these are not met
  • Geolocation parameters: Location parameters can be set geographically so the app will not work outside those areas. The app will not work or will simply shut down or wipe the data outside of the parameters.
  • Unique PIN codes: Authorized users will have their own predesignated PIN codes to access the app which can be reset and authenticated through email.

Business apps in this day and age must have a solid partner when it comes to app development — a partner who recognizes the threats that are emerging on a daily basis. The recent security lapses at both Facebook and Google are a sign that now, more than ever, app security is an ongoing problem. Be sure your developer understands these threats and can provide security solutions you can trust.

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

How Can Small Businesses Improve Their Financial Performance

Nowadays, one of the biggest issues small businesses oftentimes struggle with is finances. Ensuring financial health for your small business while trying to compete on an overcrowded market may seem next to impossible.

Aside from that, financial pitfalls are quite common in the business world and numerous small business owners oftentimes make a financial mistake even though they were trying to avoid them, in the first place. However, ensuring good financial performance for your small business doesn’t have to be that much difficult.

If you’re well organized and if you monitor your finances regularly, you can eventually identify the mistakes you’re making and fix your financial problems. Even if you do, in fact, make a mistake, you can mitigate and minimize the damage with the right approach in place. With that in mind, here are a few ways small businesses can improve their financial performance.

Reduce operational costs

Operational costs are the most important business expenses that eventually yield a return on investment (ROI). In other words, operational costs are investment expenses required for your business to become profitable.

Reducing these costs, without sacrificing product or service quality, can be quite challenging. However, if you manage to do so, you will vastly improve your company’s business performance. Operational costs include manufacturing, labor, marketing, and other similar expenses. That being said, here are a few ways you can reduce operational costs for your business.

  • Outsource business operations.
  • Hire freelancers or part-time workers whenever you can.
  • Negotiate better deals with suppliers.
  • Opt for efficient technology.
  • Get rid of inefficient systems.

The more operational costs you manage to reduce the better your financial performance will be. Just don’t overdo it to the point where your products and services start to lack their original quality. The main reason is that your customers will undoubtedly notice and you’ll face a consumer outrage.

Keep your cash flow positive

Positive cash flow is one of the most important factors in your company’s financial performance. The main reason is that cash is your most liquid and thus your most important business asset. Without cash, your company can easily go bankrupt even though your company is generating profits and good revenue. Here’s an example.

Imagine you get paid via invoices and your invoices are due in 120 days. That means your company has generated both revenue and profits but you won’t have the cash for the next 120 days. During that time period, you still have expenses to cover, such as bills, utility taxes, employee salaries and so on. If you don’t have the cash to cover those expenses, you’ll have to look for external funding.

For instance, affordable payday loans could cover employee salaries and a bank loan could cover the rest. On the other hand, if you don’t secure external funds, the only thing left to do is declare bankruptcy. That’s why it’s very important to always have a positive cash flow, otherwise, your financial performance may not be so good.

Cut down your overhead spending

Overhead costs are similar to operational costs. They are also important for your small business operations yet they don’t yield any ROI. In other words, they are a necessary money drain that can be reduced in order to improve your company’s financial performance.

Overhead costs include bills, legal fees, taxes, utilities, maintenance, rent, travel expenses and so on. They are the expenses that are more or less necessary for smooth operation of your small business but that doesn’t mean you have to overspend on these costs. Fortunately, cutting down overhead expenses is much easier than reducing operational costs.

For instance, get rid of a land line if you’re not using it regularly. Also, you can move to a smaller office with cheaper rent or get rid of an office altogether if your employees can work from home. Another thing you should consider is going paperless. In a digital world, spending money on paper documents and paper waste is simply a waste of resources.

Improve your accounting

Most financial mistakes originate from the willingness of small business owners to manage their company’s accounting themselves, without having the proper knowledge or skills to do so.

Yes, you may save a few bucks by avoiding hiring or outsourcing an accountant or a bookkeeper, but the financial mistakes you might make in the process can cost you a lot more than what you would have spent on accounting services. There are firms with proper payment solutions for accountants that you can opt for, and that provide convenience to both parties.

Having an accountant to manage your finances is crucial for your company’s financial performance, so don’t think that by avoiding paying one’s services you’ll be able to save money in the long run. Furthermore, an accountant doesn’t just manage your books or your taxes. As a matter of fact, an accountant is also a financial advisor who can give you valuable advice on how to improve the financial performance of your company.

Managing the financial performance of a small business can be quite challenging. Your company’s profitability pretty much determines its overall success. With that in mind, having the right strategy in place and planning ahead can greatly help you out, not just managing your business finances, but also improving the financial performance of your company.

Development

How Chatbots Can Help your eCommerce Store?

The way e-commerce has developed over the years is truly amazing. From the earlier, simpler way of displaying products in the retail shop, the companies have progressed a lot by adopting artificial intelligence to provide a better user experience to their customers.

Nowadays, most e-commerce stores use chatbots to help the customer make up his or her mind while selecting different products. Chatbot acts like a virtual assistant that will answer different queries of the viewer and give them the right answer every time (it does not matter how many times you ask questions and if the answer is programmed into it).

If you already have an e-commerce store or planning to start e-commerce business (e-commerce website development or e-commerce app development or both) then you must consider chatbot in your specification now or for the future.

In this article, we will explain to you some of the advantages that you will get by using chatbot on your e-commerce website or e-commerce app and how this amazing technology is changing the way business is done online.

 1. A highly personalized shopping experience

One of the amazing functionality of a chatbot is that it provides a highly personalized shopping experience to the viewer. When a customer logs into your e-commerce store, then he/she can see a lot of products and to make up his/her mind, he/she needs to get information about each product that will allow him/her to compare them and then make a final choice of which one to choose. The chatbot uses machine learning to gather information regarding different products and then provide it to the viewer in an easy to read format.

2. A virtual assistant

Chatbot can act as a virtual assistant by giving you suggestions about different products that match your query. For example, if you ask for shoes and you are not quite sure what kind of shoe you want, the chatbot can suggest to you sneakers, sports shoes, leather shoes, shoes with laces and without laces and so on. The chatbot can also suggest different colors of shoes as well as different price ranges. This is a great help for those who do not have an idea about what they are looking for when they visit an e-retail store.

3. A more effective customer engagement

When you are selling thousands up products to a large number of people in your mortar and brick shop, then it becomes very difficult to give individual attention to each and every customer. However, in that digital medium, this is easily possible through chatbots. Chatbots use deep learning and machine language to make a profile of an individual who is a regular visitor to their site. Thus, whenever he or she visits the site again, the chatbot knows what their preferences are. Based on this information, they can make product suggestions which the customer has selected in the past. This not only improves the customer’s buying experience but also improves the conversion rate.

4. Great customer support

Many times a customer may face some problem while shopping on an online store and as these sites are open 24X7, it becomes difficult to make a human assistant available all the time to answer their queries. However, a chatbot can do this job without any problem for as long as required. Therefore, the customers get a place where they cannot only put forth their questions but also gets precise answers or suggestions regarding their issues.

5. Push notification

Chatbots can be used effectively in the marketing strategy of your e-commerce store. While earlier, it was normal to flood the inbox of all your listed customers with emails about different products and services that are offered through your e-commerce website or mobile app. However, this has changed greatly by using chatbots. Nowadays, a chatbot looks through the buying pattern of different customers and in case a new offer is made will start automatically sending emails to those customers only who are more likely to be interested in that product. This has a great impact on converting the lead. This is also very helpful to not irritate those customers by sending emails about those products and services in which they are not interested in.

6. Chatbots are excellent as your personal assistants

Arranging meetings of your office colleagues can be a very laborious process in which you have to ask for the time of different people and then select a place for the meeting. However, the chatbots can do this thing for you in a jiffy as it browse through the timings of different people when they are free (this is possible if all of them share the same calendar and upload their appointment details) and then select a date in which all the people are free so that they can attend the meeting without any problem.

7. Chatbots can reduce your operational costs

Chatbots are an excellent way to keep your operational cost down. You do not have to spend any money on your sales assistants or a big marketing team to send emails to the intended audience. This saves in salary will allow you to cut your operational costs drastically, leading to higher profit.

These are some of the advantages of the chatbots that will give you an idea of how effective they are and what kind of impact they are creating in the eCommerce business. That is why it is of great strategic importance that you invest in chatbot development to give better user experience to your customers and also capitalize on its efficiency to earn more profit. If you want to create a chatbot for your start-up or existing online store then contact Guru Technolabs, they are expert in giving a new profitable direction to your e-commerce store.

DevelopmentInsightsProducts

Focus on Credit Score Improvement for Better Finance and Debt Management

When you want to manage your debts well in order to keep your finance on the right track, you will not only need to take out the right type of debt but also make sure that you take it out at the lowest interest rate. This is especially required when you want to take on a debt consolidation loan which ideally is the best way to get rid of your multiple debts, especially credit card debts.

Typically, a debt consolidation loan simplifies your monthly billpaying but it has to be done correctly. You will have to consider several factors such as:

  • The debts you want to consolidate
  • The rates each debt carries
  • Your financial condition so that you do not default down the line and most importantly
  • Your credit score as that will determine the loan amount as well as the rate of interest it will come with.

In general, the problem is in the interest rates on debt consolidation loans because it may vary wildly. Depending on the type of loan you wish to take out this rate of interest can be anything from a low 5% to an incredibly high 36%. On average it is found that consumers using a debt consolidation loan to pay off their multiple credit card debts typically pay about 20% in interest on those specific cards.

Therefore, the bottom line is that no matter whichever method you choose to consolidate your debts you will need to find a loan with an interest rate that will eventually be half or less than the combined rate of interest of all your existing debts. A rate of interest in single digit will help you to pay off your debt faster.

So how do you get that? Simple, improve your credit score! This will give you a lot of confidence when you visit a bank or https://www.nationaldebtreliefprograms.com/ or its likes for that matter.

Need to improve your credit score

Before you move on to the ‘steps to improve your credit score’ you must first know what the need to improve your credit score is.

  • There are lots of benefits of improving your credit score but the most significant of all benefits is that it will make you eligible for any type of loans.
  • You will get easy approval and instant ones at it if you apply for a loan even online.
  • Whether it is a zero-percent interest balance transfer credit card or home equity, you will be better off in getting such a loan.
  • A good credit score will also enable you to get a loan at a much lower interest rate and more favorable terms.

Generally, you will need to maintain a credit score well and above 700 to qualify for a loan. Therefore, make sure that you keep a check on your credit score by taking out a copy of it from time to time from one of the three major credit reporting bureaus namely Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Steps to improve credit score

There are a few specific steps to follow to improve your credit score and make sure that it is 740 or higher and nothing below 660.

The first thing to know is that you will need to maintain a highly disciplined and strategic way to keep your credit score high and manageable. For that, you will need to make sure that you:

  • Pay all your monthly bills on time
  • Pay off the balance every month when possible and if not at least make the minimum payment
  • Set up automatic alerts and payments to know when your payments are due and you do not miss out on one
  • While using your credit card, make sure that the balances on the credit cards are less than 30% of the credit limit of each
  • Do not sign up for any new credit cards when you are in excessive debt and
  • Look out for mistakes you made in your spending and make rectifications as soon as possible

Also, make sure that you get the free copy of your credit report as that will help you to know whether or not there are any disputes in it and make formal complaints about it to the relevant authority for immediate rectification.

However, these things are easier said than done but if you can do it effectively and diligently, it will surely raise your credit score which in turn will lower the interest rate you have to pay on a consolidation loan you wish to take out.

Get more options

When you have a healthy credit score you will get more options to choose from to conquer your debts as well as manage your household finance in a better and more productive way. There are ideally four major methods to consolidate debt and each one has pros and cons associated with it. Therefore, examine each of them closely to know about it as well as the penalties or fees for things such as late payments, early payoffs, and balance transfers.

  • Bank Loan – This is comparatively the simplest way to consolidate your debts. The bank will lend you enough money at a lower interest rate to pay off all your debts. You will now have to deal with only one creditor, the bank.
  • 0% Interest Credit Card Balance Transfer – This is the best way to pay off credit card debts only. However, you will have to pay off the balance with the introductory period or face incredibly high interest henceforth.
  • Debt Management Program – This is a service provided by a nonprofit credit counseling agency working with your creditors to reduce the interest rate and the monthly payments. You pay the agency once in a month for 3 to 5 years and they distribute it among all your creditors. However, consistency is the key here.
  • Personal Loan– You can even borrow money from your friends and family with or without interest but make sure that you do not take advantage of the situation but treat it like a business transaction.

However, in all these cases your credit score and your spending habits will play an important role.

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

Guide For a Procrastinator to Manage Debt and Finances

The fact that most of the debtors find them in the vicious cycle of debt is primarily because they fall prey to their own devices. One such bad habit is procrastination from time to time. Most people think that they will repay a loan easily and on time and take on a loan but seldom find things happening in their favor or as they wanted to.

This is because most loans, especially the credit card debts carry on huge rate of interest that is accrued on the principal balance. The most worrying part and the most overlooked one as well is that this interest gets accrued at a compound rate that eventually results in a debt amount as high as the sky.

This is when people look for alternative options to repay their debt and get rid of those annoying and often embarrassing collection calls. In such situations they find that there are two most favorable options available:

  • One is to consolidate their debts with a bigger loan at a lower rate of interest and longer terms and
  • The other is to settle the debt for a reduced amount and pay it off one time or in installments is the creditors allow doing so.

Now, given the fact that the outstanding loan amount will be significantly reduced, most people opt for debt settlement without even knowing much about it or going through the debt settlement reviews to look at the bigger picture and its consequences. This is another mistake that is often committed by the debtors who love to delay debt payments.

Therefore, when it comes to managing your finances you must make sure that you avoid delaying so that things do not quickly become too expensive for you to handle.

Give up procrastination

This is basic. Since your life is busy you will find less time to deal with your debt given the fact that there are lots of things such as the due amount and due date to remember. However, there is no denial of the fact that you will have to pay the price for your delay or forgetting to pay your bills on time by having to pay enormously in the end.

Irrespective of whatever is the reason behind your procrastination, it will lead to a financial mess eventually. Make sure you move it to the forefront of the to-do list. Even if you are a habitual procrastinator, you must make sure that this is a doable thing by espousing a few small changes in your habits to achieve far bigger results down the line.

Better automate things

If you are predisposed to procrastination it is best to automate things as much as possible. This will keep your payments on top of all things and save you from feeling overwhelmed. This is the best approach to take especially if you have multiple creditors to pay every month.

Automating your payments will also help you to avoid late fees and charges. Therefore make sure that you:

  • Set up text or email alerts to know when the payments are due
  • To know when there are any changes in the minimum payment amount.

You can set up such automatic payments with the lender directly or through the bill pay tool of your bank. All you have to do for this is to make sure that you have enough money in your account so that there are no deficits of funds to cover the amount you owe.

Consolidate your debts

This is one best way for the habitual procrastinators to pay off their multiple bills. This approach will have several benefits to offer such as:

  • Your multiple bills will be reduced to only one
  • You will have lower payment to make to one single creditor only and
  • You will avoid miss outs and therefore accrued interests and fines.

This will make life as well as your finance management much easier offering you a lot of mental peace and lots of sleep at nights.

Credit card management

Most people have multiple credit cards and use all of them in a month and find them in huge debt in the end. As a prudent person, if you are using credit cards for your purchases, make sure that you keep only two credit cards active at any given time.

  • One of this should be of lower interest rate so that you can use it for bigger purchases and get a scope to revolve a balance and
  • The other credit card to use for anything else including earning rewards.

Make sure that you pay off the balance in full well within the interest-free period.

Assuming that you have multiple high-interest credit card balances, check out whether or not you qualify for a 0% balance transfer. Though most credit card balance transfer will charge you a 3% fee added to your transferred amount, such an approach often makes financial sense, especially if you are prone to procrastination.

Just make sure you create a proper and effective repayment plan to reduce the balance as much as you can within the no-interest period. This will direct all your payments towards the principal till the time the 0% offer is not expired.

Turn to technology

Technology does not only make your work easier and faster but it may also change your behavior as well. This is very helpful for a procrastinator as they find it very difficult relying on their willpower. If you turn to websites and apps it will help you to change your unhealthy behaviors and transform your bad habits into good ones.

There are even a few apps that will aggregate information regarding multiple accounts. These apps will help you to see the amount due and outstanding on a weekly or a monthly basis. Based on the information you can plan your moves accordingly. Just make sure that you set proper reminders so that you can log in regularly.

Remember, dealing with procrastination is difficult but not impossible. All you need to do is break things down into small, simpler and doable tasks to see big improvements in your finances.

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5 Debt Consolidation Myths You Must Know About

With so many debt consolidation lenders online, business owners look out for funding their companies to grow and expand. According to an article published on https://www.entrepreneur.com, for all the genuine and correct advice, you will find numerous misconceptions surrounding debt consolidation. In such a scenario, such myths and misinformation may let entrepreneurs believe that they will not qualify for loans. That does not mean you will not opt for consolidation to repay your small business loans and merge them into a single payment system. You should never let go of the opportunities to ensure financial assistance for your company because of the myths surrounding consolidated loans.

Paying heed to such misconceptions and fallacies will only affect your business prospects. You will not be able to clear your old loans and focus on the operations of your company. It may take you out of the competition if you cannot distinguish between the truth and lies. If you have any doubt about consolidated loans, take some time out of your busy schedule and read books, online resources to learn more about such loans and loan providers. Do your research instead of being carried away by lies. To make things easy for you, here are five debt consolidation myths that you must know about:

1. Consolidation is similar to bankruptcy

There are rumors around that consolidated loans are similar to bankruptcy. That is not true. It is nothing but a fallacy. As far as consolidation is concerned, it is not a borrower’s last resort such as bankruptcy. The truth is far from it and you should learn to separate fact from fiction. Consolidated loans help you to deal with your financial crisis and prevent the debts from accumulating over time. The matter of fact is you can combine all your small loans and merge them into a single payment system with a reasonable rate of interest. This way, you have no complications because you pay to a single lender instead of paying to multiple creditors throughout the month.  A consolidated loan will reduce your monthly interest, making things easier for you. You become financially stress-free.

2. A negative effect on your credit score

It is one of the scariest myths fretting borrowers. As an entrepreneur, if you start believing that taking a consolidated loan for your business will damage your credit rating, you lose half the battle when it comes to paying off your creditors. Whenever you hear such myths, you feel your score is reducing and a consolidated loan will affect your business credit rating very badly and your eligibility to apply for loans in the future. Wrong! The truth is different from the lies. As far as a consolidated loan is concerned, it has a similar impact on your credit score like any other standard loans. Therefore, there is nothing to panic.

The benefit is you will manage to pay your old loans at a reduced rate of interest than the credit card agencies charge usually. You will not miss payments and that will have a positive effect on your credit rating. Therefore, you should choose a lending company that has positive debt consolidation ratings.

3. Debt consolidation and settlement mean the same thing

The two aspects are completely different. When it comes to consolidation, you take out money from a traditional bank or other lenders to pay off your creditors. On the contrary, through debt settlement, you find a negotiator to reduce the amount of loan that you want to repay. The two are different methods to repay your loans. When it comes to settlement, you will need the interference of a professional such as a trustee or an insolvency attorney to persuade your creditors to waive a part of their monetary claim.

Debt consolidation will not help you reduce the amount of the loan. You can use the funds to pay off your creditors at a reduced rate of interest and fast. There is no place for negotiation to reduce the total loan amount. A debt settlement will leave behind signs that credit companies can see. It can affect your eligibility to take credit or influence the conditions accompanying your future loans.

4. Debt consolidation is not accessible if you do not own a home

If you own a property, it has multiple benefits. Then, it is not the deciding factor to opt for consolidated loans. The banks will not ask you to put your house at stake if want to take a consolidation loan. Reputed financial bodies will insist to improve your credit score, boost your payment history and annual earnings so that they can approve your application.

You can use your home or hold a mortgage to get consolidated loans at low rates of interest. It may have an effect on the sum the bank has provided you for your consolidated loan. However, getting the loan does not depend on the fact whether you own a house or not. Even if you stay in a rented place, you can opt for debt consolidation to pay off your creditors. There is no doubt about the same.

5. The reduced interest rate will not benefit you

It is one of the misleading myths to perplex a small business owner. The greatest benefit of consolidation loans is that it prevents you from paying skyrocketing interest that usually comes with your multiple credit cards. The interest on cards may go up to 20 percent that may rip you off financially. The rate of interest on a consolidated loan is not more than 12 percent subject to your current financial condition. Moreover, you can repay the loan each month for a period of five years, thus making the payments evenly spaced out. It gives you financial relief and liberty. You become stress-free after making payments at the end of each month. Therefore, avoid paying heed to the misconceptions that will only affect your peace of mind.

Conclusion

Now that these myths are debunked, apply for a consolidated loan if you need to clear your old dues and focus on your business without worrying about creditors.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaS

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft Online

Identity theft or impersonation is a crime but it is very common these days. And the alarming part is that not many people are aware of the concept of identity theft. Viruses attacking an individual’s laptop or desktop was a primary threat to people in the past. Many telecommunication companies introduced measures like antivirus services as part of their Internet packages to protect consumers from any threat. For example, AT&T offers this feature.

Identity theft is something that individuals themselves have to protect themselves against. Here’s your guide to identity theft.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is also referred to as identity fraud. It is a practice where a person uses another person’s identity or his personal information without permission. This information includes the following:

  • Name
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security number

The criminals would then make use of this information to commit fraud. The nature of the theft is not restricted to one type only. Many different types of identity theft can occur. Because criminals are always in search of new ways to exploit others.

How is Your Identity Stolen?

It is not something that you would know about unless it happens to you. This is a rather scary part. Because the victim does not realize unless it is too late. In fact, in most of cases, you won’t know until you review your credit card history or the like. Which is even more dangerous because the maximum damage occurs by the time you realize about the theft. One thing that you should know is that there are various forms by which the data is stolen. Some of the common types of breaches include:

  • Mail theft
  • Wi-Fi hacking
  • Phishing and spam attacks
  • Malware activity
  • Dark web marketplaces
  • Data Breaches
  • ATM skimmers

Protection against Identity Theft

Here are all the ways by which you can protect yourself against identity theft:

Use of Passwords

You should be very careful about your use of passwords. Make sure that you protect all your digital devices using a password. Many people do not feel that it is necessary to ‘password protect’ their devices. While there are some people who think that it is a hassle, others just believe that there is no need to have a password. Well, seems like they are wrong to think that way.

There are also people (the absolute geniuses) who will use one password across all platforms. I mean the hackers don’t have to do much to exploit their information. It is always a good (read: best) idea to have a combination of passwords. You should have a different password for Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, for example. Note it down somewhere if the information is a lot for you to remember.

Stay Away from Shady Websites

Many crimes take place when you visit a shady website. You should always be very careful about the type of website that you are visiting. In case you are not familiar with what a shady or a skeptical website looks like, let me guide you. Identity thieves usually try to fool you into thinking that a certain website or an email is from your bank, for example. That is a very common trick.

Apart from that, they can even use website links that look similar to your credit card company etc. You need to act alert. In case, you feel that a certain website is not what you think it is, you should report it. Also, do not type your password or your username on any unfamiliar login screen.

Do Not Give Out Your Personal Information

Fraudsters have this common routine of calling various customers and pretending to be a representative from their bank or credit card company. They ask for personal details when they make such calls. You just need to remember one thing. You should never give your personal information to anyone over the phone. Avoid doing so. You never know who is on the other side. And the truth is that no legitimate company will ever call you to ask for your personal information. So no matter how genuine it may sound, do not share your personal information with anyone over the phone.

Conclusion

You have to play safe at all times. Be very careful. In case, you are not sure if the Internet service you have subscribed to offers protection against malware or not, then call the helpline. AT&T Customer service number or whatever the company is in your case is always working for such queries. So do not hesitate when in doubt.

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

Web Development Best Practices to Set Yourself Up for Success

Website development is one of the most successful businesses in the digital era. The age of information in the new millennium has helped countless businesses take over a significant portion of the market. From brands like Nike to Apple, Amazon to Netflix all of them has utilized the power of creativity in design for their company. Look at these larger than life companies initiate a sense of optimism and awaken hope for a web development firm that everything will go as planned without any glitches.

While a positive mindset may help you achieve your goals, it is often not enough to help you succeed. In particular cases like the web developing industry, the market is too saturated for its own good. Competition is ideal for any industry, but a plethora of options even in the rarest of niches sets the present companies in the market for disaster.

Web development and design is the field of creativity, innovation, and for people who strive to achieve complex goals. Finding success in any field is possible by following the right steps and remaining motivated on the path. So if you are in the web industry and are aiming to succeed, here is a list of the top practices that will help you out.

Creating a plan of action

This may seem like common sense, but quite often, ambitious web designers fail to look at the bigger picture before starting the work of coding and creating. Constant rewriting of the website code is a waste of time and energy that can be easily avoided by having a prior plan in place. It is suggested that you must understand your priorities. A keen understanding of purpose is necessary to find success.

Prioritizing the user experience

As a professional creating custom web design, you must be aware of crucial user experience is to any site. Smooth navigation, throughout the design, and creative elements, make any website look genuine and often attract a higher rate of return on investments. Three-fourths of your project is the research and design while only a quarter equals programming.

The user experience needs to have a balance of blatant promotions and subtle clues. Since the customer today defines the market, it is compulsory of the web designer to understand the target audience to the nth degree. Any negligence in the research can lead to significant loss of time, energy and resources.

Be smart with the code. Instead of overwriting in an effort look clever, we suggest web developers to spend their time writing a simple, yet powerful code that works well for the audience and the company. In other words, your job as a web designer is to prioritize the customer through the lens of the client. Each line of your code must have a definite cause to be written. Unnecessary coding is an invitation to devastation. Hence we would reiterate the importance of brevity in the code for the umpteenth time.

Remember that progress is a process

The ideas always considered shippable are quite often the ones that lead to break downs. Letting a huge feature hold you back is like dreaming of an Apple watch before the development of the first computer. The use of Lean, Agile, Scrum and XP is a safe bet.

Since development is not an event but a process, there’s no harm in continuous trial and error. Incremental changes throughout the project would reduce the chances of major pitfalls. Hence we suggest our readers be practical and score singles, instead of wasting precious moments to hit the grand-slam of a home run!

Write to the present

It is only natural to try to predict the future trends of your market to succeed in the critical competition. However, that does not mean that the developer over engineers for an undetermined future trend. Disregarding the trends of today in favor of a futuristic possibility is like closing the bakery at lunchtime while hoping to make sales in the snow!

Depending too much on a hypothetical situation may leave a negative impact on your user interface which will inevitably worsen the user experience? Create backends that you can either fall back on or give yourself enough space to improve with the trends of the time. Leave sufficient flexibility in your web design so that you don’t necessarily have to do a complete overhaul; which is not only expensive but also tedious. We suggest our readers test the code that they create.

We believe that testing is a crucial element in the process of serious web development. Writing overcomplicated or illegible code is an error no professional should do. It is your responsibility as a creator to ensure that your code is updated and has undergone severe tests.

To conclude this article, remember to continue practicing and growing. The more you exercise your skills the likely you are to get better and improve your own mistakes. Your experience in the field of coding and creating will get you the insight no one shares. Keep reading, keep learning!

About the Author

Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health-related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.