Category: Martech

DevelopmentMartechProducts

Four Ways Online Shopping Has Changed

The holiday shopping season is almost at an end. Every year, retailers look back to analyze how the season went for their profits and losses. While the numbers are still being crunched, retailers are noticing some changes to this season versus Christmases past. Let’s analyze how online shopping has changed how people buy for Christmas.

1. More Online Shoppers

Nearly 8% of American consumers are buying online. They are using the Web or their phones, up from just 22% in 2000. More than half purchased something by using a mobile device. Another 15% clicked a link from social media. Some read blogs or news feed before buying something. Therefore, Americans are turning to their computer or phone instead of going to a  brick and mortar store. To convince people to come inside the store, many retailers offer to pick up service. You can purchase online and pick up the item in the store, but one flaw in this plan is that the advertisements make it seem to be immediate. However, the item is not usually in the store right away.

2. Shoppers Want to Compare

Although people are using online shopping, they aren’t doing it because they can get a package delivered to their door. They are doing it because they want to compare products from different companies against each other. Therefore, people are going to review an item on one Website and see where is the best place to buy it. They are looking at reviews and prices. They also want the best service. In Christmases past, people would be loyal to one store and purchase everything there. Today, they have no qualms of going from one place to another, especially because these places are all online.

3. Cost Still Counts

Online shopping is popular because sometimes, retailers will price products less online than in the store. About two-thirds (65%) of study participants say they chose online products because of the cost – and often go for different discount apps to find the best prices. However, if the price is the same online as in the store, that same 65% will head to a store over online shopping. Most people still prefer to shop at a store. The desire to shop in a store depends on how often people go online to shop. And, older Americans are more likely to shop in a store while younger Americans are more likely to shop over the phone. Retailers that gave the same discounts online or in the store capitalized on both groups. About a quarter of Americans will buy without checking online prices for comparison’s sake, and only 14% would purchase online without checking retail prices.

4. Growth Happens, But Tiny

Although the number of shoppers turning to online to purchase has increased in the last five years, it still represents only 15% of global commerce. And, though it might be $526 billion, it remains a mere 10% of all retail sales. Therefore, the majority of retail sales still happen in brick and mortar places. Those going online via smartphone represent 25% of all online shoppers. Desktop purchases comprise most of online shopping. The difference is that people are using online shopping to decide what to buy when they go to the store.

About the author

Usman Raza is a marketing specialist at PSDtoWPService.com and co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts. He has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2001, and editing and managing websites since 2006. A generalist, his most covered topics are business and technology. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaS

A Detailed Analysis of Social Media Management Organization

Online life began as a fun method to interface with family and companions and has now become into a moderate, fundamental showcasing methodology for organizations and all things considered. Sadly, numerous organizations are overpowered by each of the assignments that go into dealing with various messages crosswise over numerous online networking accounts. And, they are contracting specialists to deal with it for them. On the off chance that you appreciate tweeting, sticking and sharing, at that point beginning social media handling organization may be for you. Here are some of the steps to begin.

The role of a social media consultant

After you have taken the responsibility of handling the social media channels, you have to get into the shoes of a social media consultant. To understand your roles and functions, you have to know the job of a social media manager. The SM manager has to execute numerous services catering to the needs of the clients. The services that come under their supervision are as follows:

  • To create showcasing systems dependent on customer objectives.
  • Web-based life account set up.
  • Post designs and content in the interest of the customer.
  • Remain current and offer on patterns and news applicable to the customer’s the same old thing.
  • Gaining more followers.
  • Network assistance to the customer’s objective market.
  • Client administration for the customers.
  • Creating a report to keep a track on the procedure.

You might think that it is too much work. Hence, before you end up changing your decision, take a look in the next section of this article.

A deeper analysis

Every coin has two faces. Similarly, every enterprise has both some cons as well as pros. Hence, it is essential to know all the pints. The following section will highlight the brighter and well as cloudy aspects.

Pros

Here are numerous valid justifications to consider beginning the management task.

  • Getting paid to utilize online networking, if that is something you as of now appreciate doing.
  • It doesn’t take many ventures or gear to begin particularly in the event that you as of now have a PC and Internet administration.
  • You get to observe your business proceeding from any place of your choice. The only criterion is to have access to an internet connection.
  • You can concentrate on the one or couple of online life locales you know best, rather than knowing each and every web-based life stage.
  • The requirement for online networking directors keeps on developing as increasingly solo-preneurs, consultants and independent companies redistribute this undertaking.

Points to Consider

Obviously, there are a couple of points that you need to consider before beginning a web-based life the executive’s business.

  • Internet-based life is a test for one individual dealing with their profile; it’s much increasingly hard to deal with a few organizations’ profiles.
  • Not all organizations comprehend the intensity of internet-based life, so you may need to offer them on the advantages you can give.
  • You speak to the organization, not yourself when you’re doing web-based life for other people. This implies you have to follow up for its benefit dependent on its tone and disposition.
  • You have to remain alert of the changes in approaches, calculations, and different parts of every internet-based life stage with the goal that your endeavors in the interest of the customer keep on conveying results.
  • Alongside a comprehension of how to draw in your customers’ intended interest group, you likewise should probably make designs to pull in them to the post in any case.
  • You will probably need to put resources into devices, for example, booking administrations and eminence free designs, and illustrations altering programming.

Qualities of a social media consultant

Even though courses in online life the executives are springing up, turning into an internet-based life director requires experience more than instruction. So, there are things online networking administrators need to know past how to take a decent selfie.

1. Comprehend web-based social networking as a showcasing instrument

It is one thing to get a group of supporters to a feline traps YouTube feed, and it’s another to manufacture a following for a business. Online life promoting is not quite the same as conventional showcasing, which is the reason numerous organizations battle with it. Online life is tied in with having a fascinating, enlightening, or potentially engaging discussion with the market.

2. Information about the subtleties of the different stages

There is nobody estimate fits-all with regards to posting via web-based networking media. Every stage has its principles and techniques for best-promoting practices. How a business advances on Instagram ought to be not the same as how it showcases on LinkedIn, because every stage is boundlessly extraordinary.

3. The capacity to create techniques that meet the customer’s objectives

Powerful online life showcasing requires defining objectives and afterward building up an arrangement. Online networking chiefs likewise need to enable customers to comprehend internet-based life and how it functions, and work with them to create objectives that best fit web-based life. For instance, look into recommends that a couple of offers are made through online life. In any case, online networking is compelling at structure dependability and trust, so commitment and the rundown building would be preferable objectives over deals.

4. Have the capacity to catch the customer’s voice

If the customer is fun and idiosyncratic, internet-based life posts ought to mirror that. It is important to understand not just the needs of the customers, but also the preferences. Remember your social media accounts reflect a part of your personality and taste. People or followers tend to associate you with a specific attribute. And, they start expecting posts and content of that same altitude.

5. Capacity to deal with a few web-based social networking stages for some customers

There are a large group of instruments, for example, Hootsuite to help oversee stages, yet association and an arrangement are pivotal to guaranteeing each customer gets their online life needs to be met.

Hopefully, this article gives you a brief idea of the responsibilities of a Social media consultant. All the best for this new venture!

InsightsMartech

Why Influencer Marketing Is an Important Factor in Marketing

Influencer marketing is a vital part of any good brand’s strategy. It is a type of marketing which majorly focuses on using the key leaders of the market to drive the message of a brand and to cater to a larger proportion of the demand. It goes hand-in-hand with two other influential forces of marketing – social media marketing and content marketing.

No matter what type of business you own logo design or digital marketing or a fashion clothing line, if people don’t know it, it doesn’t exist. That’s where influencer marketing helps you out.

Unlike traditional advertising, influencer marketing requires less investment and yields more return. Several organizations create campaigns explicitly catering to the influencer community that can help spread the word out. One thing to keep in mind is that social media and content marketing often fit influencer campaigns, but are not synonymous with influencer marketing.

So who is an influencer?

We have been talking about influencer but who exactly is an influencer? Unlike the common industry notion, an influencer isn’t just someone with a high number of followers, but someone with the power to influence his/her audience enough to make someone perform an activity like purchasing a product, using a service or registering for an event.

Top three factors to consider while identifying influencers for your brand are – Influencers:

  • Reach
  • Credibility, and
  • Salesmanship

Reach is an influencer’s capability to provide or deliver a particular message to a large audience base. However, reach should not be the only considering factor. This is because of his/her credibility and salesmanship to that large reach will only be able to offer you the required ROI (return on investment). What is the point of investing in a person with more than 20,000 followers if they cannot generate any engagement or conversion, isn’t it?

How does Influencer marketing work?

The influencer gets sponsored or paid by the brand to post various types of content on their social media forum. Paid sponsorship works to its own advantages and guidelines. More substantial influencers and companies work exclusively.

Understanding what is fit for the brand

Before concluding and changing your marketing strategy, it is beneficial to understand if the influencer marketing scheme is even suitable for the brand. It is essential to know if the influencer is going to help in serving and helping you reach the product to larger masses? Does your product or brand has or requires a social media presence? If yes, what kind of presence and under what category? Does the chosen influencer fit your product and your target market? Take a decision based on the answers to these questions. Go ahead with influencer market if and only if you have some feasible solutions.

Why is Influencer marketing important after all?

There are many reasons why one should get influencers on-board. To make your campaign’s functioning smoother, allocate a specific budget for it in your marketing strategy.

Given below are certain pointers as to why one needs to hire influencers, from an influencer’s point of view:

  • Consumers trust influencers: Social media activities are all around us, and hence the brand, if not marketed well online, will lose its value and charm eventually. Your brand is all about what its consumers think of it, and that’s what an influencer will do for you. They will use their audience’s trust in them for your brand.
  • The shift from celebrities to people with opinions: Obviously, celebrities are much loved and play a pivotal role as always, but this era is more about people who have an opinion, and are leaders and influencers. The consumers look up to these influencers for honest opinion and feedback.
  • The sudden and rapid growth of social media: social media is something everybody knows about and is on. It is not age bound either. Every age group is on social media, and it is the easiest way to reach out to the mass. The influencers write a blog or make a post on their Instagram and the number of people on Instagram today; it is relatively easy to market via social media platforms. for example, you own a logo design company and want to spread the word about it.

You will reach influencers and ask them to spread the word that would encourage clients to create a logo or use a tool to design a logo.

The bottom line

To sum up the entire scenario, Influencer marketing is one of the most essential and pivotal steps in making and sustaining a brand in today’s time. It is not for every brand though. Influencer marketing can be done only on a particular kind of products, and there have to be influencers who target the market with the product you wish to cater. If one does not evolve with the evolving world, then the brand will lose its power and charm. The consumers today trust all the recommendations from influencers.

They are the people who are selling the products today. It is no longer about what the biggest celebrity has to say about the product; it is about people like you and me, what do we think about the product which matters to the audience. So don’t ignore influencer marketing when you sit down to build your brand’s strategy.

About the author

Alice Jackson is a Blogger, Digital Marketing Consultant and a brain behind AI-powered logo maker tool at a  crowdsourcing company, Designhill. She is a social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer, and an avid author. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, content marketing, personal logo design trends, startup strategies, and e-commerce. When not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels.

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. That’s why it’s important to use great online SEO tools for your website optimization.

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

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.

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.

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.

MartechProducts

The Best Vlogging Cameras

Vlogging is getting bigger year after year. In fact, it has launched a lucrative career path for many people. If you plan to get into vlogging, whether as a profession or as a hobby, you need to invest in the right camera. We suggest that you try a video camera rental first to get a feel for the camera and test it out before buying. Plus, it is also an economically-sound alternative since renting is cheaper. If you are looking for an interchangeable lens camera like a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, then you should look for both the camera parts: the camera body and the lens.

Before we start, if you are looking for the best place to rent a camera that can be used for vlogging, one that you should check out is BorrowLenses.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

In a list that has been compiled by TechRadar, this model emerged on top. This is no longer surprising given its impressive technical specifications, like 20.1-megapixel resolution and 1080 60p video shooting capability. It also comes with a 3-inch tilt angle touchscreen, which will make it easy to see yourself when recording a vlog. This tilting screen is actually a must for vlogging cameras.

Fujifilm X-A5

One thing that we loved the most in this camera is the compact and lightweight body, making it ideal for vlogging. It also has a Smart Selfie Mode, allowing you to easily take better shots of yourself. Despite being small, it is packed with powerful features. The LCD screen can flip at up to 180 degrees. There are also top-notch video features, such as 4K resolution and slow-motion playback.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100-IV

According to The Wirecutter, one of the best things about this vlogging camera is its ability to shoot 4K videos. It also has image stabilization, which will prevent the shots from being shaky. Plus, there is face recognition, allowing it to automatically focus on your face when taking a vlog. The LCD screen can also be flipped at 180 degrees. Lastly, there is Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to easily transfer files on your smartphones.

GoPro 7 Hero Black

This does not have a tilting screen, but it is a favorite amongst vloggers because it is compact. It comes with a 2-inch touchscreen. This action camera will be the perfect option for those who vlog about their adventures, especially their vacations. The camera is also known for its silky-smooth stabilization, providing an assurance that the video will be seamless and clear. Its rugged construction and waterproof body also make it great for adventurous vloggers.

DJI Osmo Pocket

This has just been recently introduced, but it has quickly captivated the attention of the vlogging community because it is compact and lightweight. It has 12-megapixel resolution and a 1-inch touchscreen. At its size, it is impressive how it is capable of shooting 4k videos at up to 60 frames per second. It has an innovative feature that allows it to deliver excellent stabilization.

So, if you are into vlogging, we suggest that you take a look at the cameras that have been mentioned above. They will make it possible to take exceptional videos of yourself like a pro!

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.