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The Impact and Importance of New Technologies in the Oil & Gas Industry

According to Pew research Center, the majority of Americans seem to favor renewable energy sources. Over 80% of them support the expansion of solar panel and wind turbine farms, with support for offshore drilling, fracking, and coal mining declining more and more with each passing year. 

It’s no longer the question of whether the oil and gas industry needs to change – the question is how to do it. The slow downturn that started back in 2014 is still influencing many companies, and even though signs of possible recovery are becoming apparent, only the smartest, most adaptable of businesses are likely to succeed. 

So, what’s the key to triumph? It’s simple – new technology. Technological advancements can quickly lead to growth if you utilize them right. We’re here to show you how to do that. 

Consider AI technology 

Using AI isn’t just about doing things faster. The potential to improve processes is practically endless if you invest enough. You can make the entire supply chain exceptionally efficient with the help of AI programming that will quickly solve various development, production, and transportation issues that you’ve been struggling with. 

This doesn’t mean that AI will replace your people, either. Your most competent workers will now be free to use their creativity to think of new business solutions. The oil and gas industry is generally struggling with lack of new talents right now. Too many experienced workers (especially engineers) are retiring with not enough fresh young blood to replace them – the youth are simply shifting their focus to IT skills. Using AI in your company could actually attract these young talents and help you fill up your workforce with competent and eager workers. 

AI can also be used to measure seismic activity and analyze subsurface levels, minimize downtime for predictive maintenance, and predict risks of oil corrosion. Basically, if you’re not investing in AI right now, you’re bound to fail. All your competitors are doing it, and you need to beat them to the punch. 

Invest in the latest equipment

Outdated equipment is not only slow, but dangerous. Keeping old pieces around is a big hazard, so you need to assess every piece you own and figure out when was the last time you did maintenance or changed necessary parts.  

Something as simple as investing in new gate valves can make a huge impact on your business, especially if you get equipment made out of quality materials that are resistant to corrosion. If you haven’t taken stock of your inventory now would certainly be a good time – see which pieces need to be repaired, which needs some basic maintenance, and which need to be completely replaced with newer, faster, and sturdier models. 

Rely on robotics

Investing in robotics can turn jobs that were previously extremely difficult and dangerous into a breeze. For example, connecting and disconnecting drill pipes is something a robot can do with ease. This dangerous operation is crucial to the whole process, and with proper robotic advancements you can make sure no person ever has to risk their life to do it. 

Try out drone technology

A droid is small and it can fly – two characteristics that make it the perfect little soldier that you can send to all those places a human would have a hard time reaching or even find them inaccessible. This can make it a lot easier to monitor every single part of your operation and make sure everything is in order. 

You can carry out every inspection remotely and then have your drone take a high-resolution picture of anything you need. The drone will give you feedback in real time, and you can quickly react if you notice that anything is amiss. 

A drone can also help you map out rock outcrops and then have them be used to create 3D models that can act as a learning aid for new workers. 

Minimize the impact on the environment

The oil and gas industry, same as any big industry, needs to find ways to become more environmentally aware if it wants to meet the ever-increasing demands for a greener Earth. More efficient equipment, automation, and progressive air pollution control technologies can go a long way to helping you minimize the impact of your business on the suffering environment. 

The only way to improve public opinion of your operations is to keep these things in mind. 

Investing in the technologies we mentioned can help your business thrive. Not only will you make the whole process faster, smoother, and more effective, you can also minimize your impact on the environment. With AI, robotics, drones, and good equipment you will lessen the chances of oil spills, which are generally still one of the biggest and most dangerous ways the oil and gas industry causes harm. Find a way to make your business cleaner, safer, and smarter, and you’ll stay on top.

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5 Ways a Digital Skills Training Can Prepare Your Employees for Driving Your Marketing Online

Digital transformation is the integration of digital tools and tech into all areas (people and processes) of your business, essentially revamping how your employees work and delivering value to your customers.

But merely bringing in a digital toolkit without empowering your employees to take full advantage of its features and capabilities is equivalent to leaving money on the table.

It is one thing to purchase software that will help your team with digital marketing, and it’s totally another to have each employee fully leverage all the features offered by that software so they can supercharge your marketing efforts.

In fact, 30% of marketers claim that a lack of training in digital skills is the biggest barrier to success. And with customers fast shifting to online shopping and research, your teams must continuously upskill if you wish to ensure lasting customer relationships and business growth.

If you’re still on the fence about investing in a digital skills training program for your employees, here are six key advantages to consider.

It is a cost-effective way to tackle your digital skills shortage

Believe it or not, even with most people using digital tools and apps on a daily basis, there’s a digital skills shortage globally.

For instance, in a recent digital skills report, marketers across Ireland, the UK, and the USA, when tested for their digital competence, scored a mere 38% on average.

While an increasing number of companies are striving to hire top talent from a global pool (thanks to the remote work era), a more cost-effective alternative that also translates to better employee engagement is to cultivate those skills within the organization.

Training and opportunities for professional development are often the main priority for employees. So if you empower your employees with skills training using digital adoption solutions, not only will they be more productive but will also tend to stick around longer.

It equips your teams to drive more conversions and customer satisfaction

While not completely out of the picture, traditional advertising and cold calling are fast fading in terms of effectiveness. Today, most prospects tend to disregard cold calls, let alone convert. And traditional advertising methods such as billboard ads are way too expensive for most businesses.

As consumers become increasingly accustomed to digital, they rely less on the expertise of sales reps and prefer doing their own research.

So, you need to constantly upskill your sales, marketing, and customer service teams so they can competently leverage the same digital channels and platforms your customers use so as to reach, convert, and delight them effectively.

It enables you to stay ahead of the competition

Going all-in on digital is a data-driven approach to success, as all your marketing efforts become more targeted, efficient, and measurable. Each digital marketing technique, when executed competently, helps you gain a competitive advantage.

For example, correct use of social media platforms can improve your customer satisfaction and retention rates. A well-executed email marketing sequence can nurture lasting relationships through useful content at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Each campaign you run can be measured and optimized with analytics tools.

The common theme? Skillful use of digital platforms — which is only possible with digital skills training for your employees.

Digital skills training helps enhance customer experience

Digital skills training is crucial not just for improving your employees’ day-to-day productivity but also for your customer experience. With the ultra-competitive landscape today, your business’s top priority should be to delight customers by ensuring an outstanding experience.

The customer experience (CX) comprises every positive or negative experience that a customer has with your company and directly influences their likelihood of doing business with you. In fact, a recent report shows that businesses that enhanced their CX doubled their conversion rates.

As you know, an increasingly big chunk of your audience is turning to online purchases using their smart devices, so to enhance your CX, you must focus on upgrading the digital user experience (UX). This means your employees must know how to use modern tools to build an intuitive, functioning, responsive business website and deliver omnichannel customer service across social media, email, etc.

Moreover, using customer feedback with the help of online survey and analytics tools, your employees can collect and use customer data to provide a more personalized experience to your customers which, in turn, results in more sales and customer satisfaction.

Exceptional customer experience can only be attained with successful digital skills training for all your employees.

It improves team collaboration

Your employees likely wear several hats and juggle numerous tasks all at once. So, it’s easy for them to lose track of priorities.

Digital skills training for project management tools like Asana and Trello ensures your employees are on the same page and collaborate efficiently. With such digital tools, they can readily assign tasks, set priorities, and maintain accountability for each campaign.

Not to mention the fast booming trend of remote working is now the new norm owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tools like Slack or Skype facilitate smooth and instant communication and teamwork on marketing campaigns even when they’re sitting thousands of miles apart. 

Digital skills training is how you prepare your employees for working together effectively on marketing campaigns and in turn, drive better results.

Closing thoughts

From motivating employees and enhancing the customer experience to improving team collaboration and optimizing marketing campaigns, effective digital skills training is pivotal to your company’s immediate and future success.

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What Is a Normal Markup Percentage in a Small Business

Markup is said to be the selling price of a product or service to figure out how much it will cost to make them.  As the owner of business, you need to know that the success of business is dependent on profit. Pricing is one of the most important factors for company profit. There are so many things related to pricing from material & labor to the office rent & bills. 

Setting up the prices too low or too high might be the reason to miss out the customers.  That’s where the concept of markup and profit comes in. calculating company profit is important make business strategies. For ease, you can use the markup formula or an online markup calculator that measure the markup and profit by the given value of cost and revenue.

What is markup?

Markup is the amount of money you charged for product or service. You can say that markup is the difference between the selling price and cost of the product or service. It is expressed in the form of percentage over the cost. Markup is added in the total cost by the manufacturer of the product to cover the cost of production, and it helps to make profit.

Calculating the markup with large values is difficult and confusing task. Business owners use different business tools for calculating company cost and revenue. Percent markup calculator is one of them that help to calculate the cost & revenue, which depends on markup and profit.

Typical Markup percentage:

The usual markup is approximately 50 percent. Through which you can set the price of the product according to the market requirements. There are few other things that are important to consider as a small business owner, especially you are reselling the products in retail, which is manufactured by someone else.

At the time of calculating the markup, it is always important to keep in mind the suggested retail price of the product by the manufacturer.  There are so many complexities during the manual markup calculation. So, try the percent markup calculator that tells the ideal markup price of the product or service.

Pricing the products or services:

If the cost of the product is high, might be possible that your price attracts the people in the retail market but the number of customer might not be sustainable. Markup calculations are very important of the small business financial tool kit. A simple formula is used to determine the markup, profit, and revenue of the product.

The markup formula helps you to set the retail price of the product. You can also use the markup percentage calculatorallows you to determine the markup percentage, cost, profit, revenue, margin of the product.

Importance of Markup:

Markup is very important for the small businesses and it helps you to know that you’re earning enough money. So, you can grow and expand your business by developing the best strategy. It also helps to make the business strategies more effective. For example: if you know how much your company is generating, then you can invest your money in better ways.

Markup and profit for your small business:

It is important for business-men to know how much markup should be to make a profit. Well! There is no specific standard for the markup percentage. The markup is based on the industry and its percentage can range within the industries. You can use the keystone pricing when you’re deciding your markup. Keystone pricing is the place where you can see the initial markup of fifty percent for all the products.

You can make more profit for in business by setting up the prices with the appropriate markup percentages. You could price the product too low or high due to the lack of knowledge about how to price the products effectively. By knowing how to determine the percentage of markup can help you to set the profitability goals. Using the markup formula can help you to get an idea about how much profit you can make. You can also give try to markup calculator that helps to figure out the markup & profit according to the cost and revenue.

What Is a Good Profit Margin?

Good profit margin depends on some of the factors such as industry, goals for the expansion, and economy. Sometimes it seems like comparing apples with oranges. Consider the two important factors to understand what a good profit margin is. One of the factors is entitled with industry and the other is known as age of business.

Industry:

Different industries have different profit margins so; we can say that not all of the industry has same profit margins. For instance: Let’s suppose that a firm related to accounting can have the profit margin twenty percent, where a technology consulting firm have the margin of 10 percent. Both the business is successful in their niche.

Business Age:

In some of the cases, the new businesses may have an inflated profit margin due to the lower operating costs such as fewer employees, smaller facilities. On the other side, the older businesses can have more stable and realistic margin.

In other words, you can’t consider the single profit margin as good. Compare your business with the other industries to figure out how much good your profit margins are from others. Before making any conclusion must consider how much your business is established.

Final words:

Hypothesis is said to be the critical part in any kind of exploration. In statistics, hypothesis is a statement and on the base of this statement hypothesis testing is conducted. To test the relationship of two or more things, you need to conduct the hypothesis. Most of the people set too low and too high prices for their product and this is the main reason for their business loss. If you want to make profit in huge amount, then it is very important to set a balanced price that meets cost of producing the product and also meets your profit goals.

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Top 6 Tips to Improve Your Core Web Vitals Scores & Page Experience Signals

The deadline for improving Core Web Vitals Scores & Page Experience Signals is nearing for eCommerce Website Design Service providers all over the world. From the 1st of May 2021, Google is going to introduce core web vitals scores metrics on its algorithm as the vital contributors to predict the page experience of the eCommerce sites.

It is too early to predict how it is going to create an impact on the website performing organically or its search engine results. However, it is assured that the upcoming Google algorithm update with Core Web Vitals & Page Experience Signals will create a significant impact on boosting the ranks of eCommerce or retail sites.

Here this article is dealing with the top 6 effective ways to boost core web vitals scores & page experience signals. Before going to the core topic, let us brush up with the basics.

What are Core Web Vitals Scores?

It is a set of metrics specially created by the search engine giant Google to measure the page load performances of a website. When these metrics combined with the existing Google Page Experience Signals, it will provide an important contributing factor to predict the User Experience of a particular website.

Here are the 3 key core web vitals metrics that predict the user experience of a site.• Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Metrics that measure the loading performances of the large image/videos/animations of a website.• Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Metrics measuring the visual stability of a website that can disturb users to access the page/site content.• First Input Delay (FID): Metrics that measure how a website responds to the first user interaction.

Elements That Determines Page Experience of a Website 

Web Development Company offering custom PHP development services for eCommerce sites must take care of these elements for boosting its overall page experience.• Core Web Vitals• Mobile Friendliness• Safe Browsing• HTTPS• Non-Intrusive Interstitials

To improve the core web vitals scores and page experience signals of the site and to lineup according to the upcoming Google Algorithm update from 1st of May, implement these 6 tips.

Tips to Boost Core Web Vitals Scores & Page Experience Signals 

1. Reduce & Optimize JavaScript (JS)

Optimizing JavaScript (JS) or removing unused JavaScript (JS) will reduce the time taken by the browser to execute the website’s JS code; as a result, the loading time of a website improves a lot. As per the Google Algorithm report, a site has more than 300 milliseconds for interacting with users marked with poor FID score.

2. Implement Lazy Loading 

The lazy loading technique avoids images of the site loading when the site opened and loads them during the exact moment when a user views it. Implementing lazy loading won’t harm the site’s UX or web vitals scores, instead, it will boost the site’s loading time. In addition, lazy loading restricts bandwidth usage and restricts the site’s bounce rate.  

3. Image Optimization

Optimizing & compressing images of a website can significantly boost the loading speed of a website. Many may convey as compressing an image will affect the image quality, but the quality of the may differ only if it zoomed or saved in the wrong format. Always use .jpg format for images in landscape and .png format for graphical images.

4. Improve Server Response Time

Server Response Time plays a crucial role in displaying content/images on the browser when a user opens a website. The server response time will directly affect the site’s loading metrics. So, it’s better to choose a web hosting service that offers faster server response time. Google suggests using hosting servers that offer server response time below 600 milliseconds.  

5. Avoid Intrusive Interstitials

Having intrusive interstitials will create a negative impact on users while accessing the important on-page content. Intrusive interstitials will consume a significant amount of screen space causing frustration among users on accessing the site content. To avoid such negative UX, redesign site pop-ups and other interstitials in such a way that they do not obstruct users to access site content.

6. Incorporate HTTPS Connection

Implementing HTTPS secure connections to a website will be a promising way to boost the page experience signal. The internet giant Google always tries to ensure its users accessing safe and secure websites through its search engine results. So, having a site with an HTTPS secure connection will improve the site’s SEO score and creates more trust among the users.

Apart from that make sure to use Mobile-Friendly Page Templates, as mobile traffic is going to be the key aspect for driving more visitors to the website when compared with desktop traffic.

Conclusion

Incorporate all the above-listed page experience optimizing techniques to improve the web vital scores of a website and experience the positive effect on the upcoming Google Algorithm update.  

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5 Best Content Writing Tips

We know what it’s like to read a really good piece of article, a book, a pamphlet, or an introduction. We’ve had them before. It’s engrossing, evocative, and addicting.

So why not some content live up to such experience. Why do we jump from websites to websites, blogs to blogs, and often leave unsatisfied.

The truth of the matter is bad writing exists. Even with the writers’ best intentions, some results don’t serve the readers well. They can be too complicated, or laden with typo and grammar errors, incomplete – the list goes on.

Good news, though: There’s a recipe for good quality writing that some authors seem to forget. We will discuss some of those vital components.

Hopefully, as you walk away, you’ll look out for those in the articles you read. And make your own content a better one too.

1. Good Content Knows Its Audience

For writers out there, know your audience.

I know you might have read this type of advice on almost any articles about better writing. But this is where most writers fail to acknowledge. When I say write for your audience, you have to be sure of your readers’ goals, personality, and professional backgrounds.

I’m sure some of you have heard the advice on using brief sentences, simpler words, and compact paragraphs. But that advice is crap. Not all readers are fond of that style, and indeed, it doesn’t work on some niche websites and topics.

Take, for instance, legal websites. Most writers in this field use highfalutin words as well as complex-compound sentences to expound their thoughts. And that’s ok. Sure, it won’t work in marketing and their target audience will find it complicated. What works for one website may not work for another.

So in considering the target audience — their vocabulary, education, experience — you’ll tailor better content that will satisfy their search queries. The kind of style, paragraph, and sentence length will vary. But once the audience persona is built beforehand, everything will follow through.

Take a look at this introduction from a logo design article:

Source: DesignCrowd

It’s simple. The writer avoids highfalutin words and long paragraphs. Given that the audience is mainly business startups planning to rebrand their logo designs, it’s perfectly fine to have it written this way.

Read on to see how different is this type of content from the Harvard Legal Review, one of the world’s most influential law journals:

Source: Harvard Legal Review

Compared with the DesignCrowd article, this uses long paragraphs and sentences. This makes sense due to its reputation as a resource of legal professionals, business executives, and political figures.

By now, we see that imposing a specific style on writers is crappy advice. What you need to focus on is the reader. And anything that provides value to the audience will level up the quality of any content.

2. Personal Stories Sell Better

Two million articles are published every day. That’s a massive amount of content. The online world is already saturated with answers from all different types of content creators. So how do you stand out?

My writing professor once told me that if you’re not an expert in a field, where certainly someone will always be more knowledgeable than you, the best way to craft your writing is to sprinkle some of your personal experiences.

It’s personal for a reason. It’s unique and no one has the same experience other than you, so other people can’t tell your stories.

Most importantly, though, stories sell. People are more likely to purchase a product and service when they are presented with customer stories and experiences. It’s science. We’re just more biologically wired to believe stories than facts.

Plus, it’s delightful to read a personal take on something. It makes the writing fun and you know for sure you won’t find that exact experience elsewhere.

Source: The New York Times

While some articles will introduce the readers to facts and definitions, this article from the New York Times is brushed with a personal touch.

One advantage of writing in such a way is that you don’t have to be an expert on a topic. (Note expertise helps a great deal when it comes to answering queries.)

You just have to be honest with yourself and with your readers about what you went through or how something made you feel.

Ironically, it builds credibility as readers will find you as someone they can trust and whose writings they can rely on.

If you’re still doubtful over the importance of stories. Take these words from the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs:

”The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”

3. Linking To Studies Builds Credibility

Personally, I love checking links that refer to certain studies mentioned in the article. I’d love to make sure that the statistics are accurate and fair.

Especially for articles that have a bold perspective, any studies that support their view should have an anchor link to the original research. Or else, people will inevitably think it’s all made up.

Take a look at this article from the New York Times. There’s a link that points to the study. Someone who wants to read further on the statistics can jump on that link than rummage the Internet.

The link refers to this study:

Source: The New York Times

Linking to authoritative is good for the article in several ways. It bolsters its domain rating and builds readership credibility.

But most importantly, readers will know the writer did a good job. That they have an educated and research-backed opinion from a wealth of credible sources.

The keyword though is credible. Steer clear from shady studies commissioned by companies as promotional opportunities. Knowing where to link to is part of the skill.

4. Quotes Leading Experts, Pioneers

The New York Times is a good example of this, hence they trump most blogs and online news sites.

If you noticed, I mentioned lots of examples from the “leading newspaper of record.” And their use of expert quotations is one reason I applaud their content.

Sure it helps to have a writer who’s been in and out of the industry. But it takes a different level to provide what real experts have to say. 

Quotations from people mark high-quality content, especially if they have spent years in the field, have written a book, or have led a laboratory, a company, or an institution.

Below is an example of an article with good quotation. Dr. Clua is an expert in shark profiling and so it makes sense to write down her opinion on the matter.

Source: The New York Times

You might be thinking, that’s a newspaper. And newspaper reports are largely on politics where lots of people in the dividing line have something to say.

But I believe, even content marketers and other writers can learn from this way of writing if they want to level up the quality of their output.

Whether the topic is about the sickness signs of dog poop, someone has to be credible enough to tell what’s the deal about it.

Take a look at this article written by Neil Patel on his blog. He used the words of Jay Baer to expound on ideas

Source: Ubersuggest

Many content marketers fall prey to the notion that their ideas and voice alone are enough to spread awareness without needing the perspectives of other influencers in the field.

Influencers are not only good resources of ideas, but also they’re opportune promoters of content, according to Andy Crestodina, content marketing expert and author of a best-selling book Content Chemistry. “An ally in creation is an ally in promotion.”

5. Visuals are Captivating

When was the last time you’ve been to a website with no graphics at all? It must have been a very long time.

Whatever websites we look at, we always see a picture or two displayed at the top, middle, sides, even at the bottom of the page.

Websites are constantly vying for the readers’ attention. And to hook readers, apart from using engaging titles and introduction, web owners bombard them with high-quality photos and flashing images. Why not, people process images 60,000 times faster than text. That means, we can interpret visuals in 13 milliseconds.

One recipe for a good article comprises visuals. We see it on Ahrefs, on the Washington Post, Masthead, and a lot more, so much so that it has become the typical way to a good quality content writing.

Certain websites are good examples of visual explainers. Ahrefs, for instance, whenever they need to make a point, there’s a picture. In fact, for most categories, there has to be an image supporting it.

Source: Ahrefs

But a warning, though, excessive use of images can strain the reader’s eyes. It can be heavy to see so many pictures in a single content. So use it sparingly and with a clear purpose. If it’s there to demonstrate something that no links or other content can help, then it’s good. Other than that, a simple block of word explanation or bulleted lists might help.

To Wrap It Up

Is there already too much content across the web? If we’re talking about low-quality crap. Sure there’s lots of it. But high-quality ones are rare. In fact, it’s increasingly difficult for typical people to access articles when paywalls block a good deal of authoritative websites.

So if you are going to write something, be it for marketing or politics, write something that really provides value.

Know that, although you’re the writer, it’s not about you. Your content has to help your readers. Give them the answer they need, the entertainment they want, or the inspiration they long for.

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Social Commerce in 2021: Why it is Important?

If you’re marketing your brand online, you can’t ignore social media. At 3.96 billion, more than 50% of the world’s population now uses social media platforms. 

This means that you would have access to a massive segment of your audience if you make your presence felt on these platforms. While numerous brands use social media marketing to drive brand awareness, lead generation, and sales, they tend to miss out on social commerce.

Going into 2021, social commerce is an important strategy that you must add to your brand’s marketing plan.

But why is it important?

Before we answer that, let’s take a quick look at what exactly social commerce is.

What is Social Commerce?

Social media marketing focuses on leveraging social media to drive traffic to your website to generate sales. However, social commerce differs from it in that it’s all about developing an ecommerce experience on social media itself. 

In essence, instead of driving traffic away from social media to generate sales, it’s all about offering your prospects the option to checkout on social media directly.

Doing so has a lot of advantages; let’s take a look at them to understand why you can’t afford to ignore social commerce in 2021. 

Importance of Social Commerce

Whether you’re starting an online business or already have an established one, here’s why you should incorporate social commerce into your digital marketing strategy.

1. Rise of Ecommerce

The adoption of ecommerce has been gradually increasing over the years. Ecommerce penetration increased to 15% of retail sales by the end of 2019. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the penetration manifold. By April 2020, this penetration had increased to 25%. 

Image via WARC

This increased adoption of ecommerce has provided a tremendous boost to ecommerce stores. And this also means that you need to make your presence felt on social media because that’s where a lot of product discoveries begin. 

In fact, about 60% of people discover new products through Instagram — and that’s just one of the many social platforms.

By incorporating social commerce into your strategy, you can improve the chances of your products or services getting discovered on social media.

2. Smooth Shopping Experience

One of the biggest advantages of using social commerce over social media marketing is that all the steps of the sales funnel happen on social media in the case of social commerce. However, in the case of social media marketing, you need to get your audience to first discover your product and then convince them to click on your CTA and head to your website. 

These steps not only complicate the process but also increase the chances of people dropping out of your funnel as there are additional steps involved. 

What’s more?

Some people may not trust your website and might not buy from you. But this wouldn’t be the case on social media as the chances of them trusting the social media platform are greater.

And that’s not even the best part…

When you use social commerce, you’ll be able to reduce the number of steps required to complete the transaction too. You could offer options like one-click purchases to make it easy for your prospects to buy from you. This can have a direct impact on your conversion rates.

3. The Push from Social Platforms

Social commerce has an important place in social media’s future. When you adopt social commerce, you’ll also benefit from the push that social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are giving to it. These platforms have come up with special features to make it easier for brands to list their products for sale on their platforms. 

Facebook has come up with the Facebook Marketplace while Instagram has developed Instagram Shopping. Using these features, you can sell your products on Facebook or Instagram and help your customers complete the purchase without having to leave the platform.

This greatly simplifies the work that you need to do to list your products on social media as all of the infrastructure is provided to you.

4. Shoppable Posts

While this particular feature is specific to Instagram, it makes social commerce even more attractive for brands. You can pick out products from your shop and add them to the posts that you share on the platform. 

These posts will sport a small shopping bag icon and your audience can shop for the products directly from these posts. All that they need to do is click on the post and select the product of their choice and checkout. It’s that simple!

But wait, there’s more…

That’s not the only thing that you can do with Shoppable posts. To unleash the true potential of Shoppable posts, you need to partner with Instagram influencers. 

The idea is to get them to create shoppable posts for you. For this, all you have to do is send your products to them and encourage them to create posts where they’re using them. 

They can then make these posts shoppable and you’ll instantly have access to their wide and engaged audience. All their followers will be able to purchase your products after seeing them in the post within a few clicks. 

This can help you make a lot of money as you’ll be able to get the benefit of both a short sales process and the engaged audience of an influencer. 

For instance, note how Shop WeWoreWhat has shared this post featuring Danielle Bernstein. Their followers can purchase both the products displayed in the post by clicking on them and checking out. 

Image via Instagram 

Final Thoughts

Ecommerce registered exponential growth in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to take advantage of this, it’s essential to do everything you can to reach your prospects.

And that’s exactly why you can’t afford to miss out on social commerce going into 2021. It helps your prospects complete their purchases on social media, shortens the sales process, and offers a smooth shopping experience.

What’s more?

Various social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are even coming up with new features that encourage social commerce.

One such powerful feature you can leverage is shoppable posts on Instagram. You can amp up your reach and sales even further by partnering with influencers and getting them to create shoppable posts for you. 

Do you have any questions about social commerce and its importance? Let me know in the comments section below.

Author Bio:

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions |  300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.

SEO

How SEO Audit Improves the Visibility of Your Website Online?

A successful business in today’s world is the one that is always accessible to users on the internet. If your business website doesn’t show up on the search results page (SERP), it is an indication that you are losing out on many opportunities to improve the business.

But why is the website not visible on the search engines? How is it that your SEO efforts are not delivering results? To know the answer, you will need to carry out an SEO audit of the website. Contact the leading SEO company in India to run a thorough SEO audit and identify the weak points.

The SEO company will help you make the necessary changes to revamp the website and implement different SEO tactics to boost its performance. SEO audits should be a regular part of the long-term plan for digital marketing. Getting periodic reports will keep you updated and help in making better marketing decisions. The following are some significant reasons to perform an SEO audit for your business website.

  • Changing Search Engine Algorithms

Search engines regularly tweak the algorithms that analyze a website and rank it. Google is known for constantly updating algorithms to improve user experience. If you still follow outdated SEO strategies, your website will not be visible on the SERPs. You might even end up being penalized or blacklisted for following black hat SEO strategies.

A professional SEO company in India will help you understand the website’s current status and the changes you need to make to increase your online presence and reach more users.

  • Getting Insights from Website Traffic

Getting more traffic is not enough if it doesn’t convert into sales. SEO audit analyzes the website traffic to gain useful insights about the visitors, demographics, preferences, purchase history and more.

These insights help you understand if your SEO efforts are bringing the right kind of traffic or if you should change the strategies to be visible to your target audiences. SEO experts use tools, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, etc., to derive meaningful insights from website data.

  • Optimizing the Website for Mobile Phones

How many of you are aware that Google is now indexing your website’s mobile version before crawling the desktop version? Apart from this, the percentage of mobile searches has also gone up recently.

Your website has to be optimized for mobile phones if you want to become more visible to users. Simultaneously, the best digital marketing services focus on improving the website loading speed so that users won’t get bored with waiting for your website to load.

  • Tracking Your Competitors

Are you aware that you can track the performance of your competitors’ websites using SEO audits? Instead, we recommend you do it to know how the competitor has a better rank and online presence compared to your website.

If your competitor is not ranking well for specific keywords, it’s time to make the most of the situation and get your website to rank for those keywords. Running an SEO audit of your competitor’s site will give you a bigger picture.

  • Broken Links and Page Not Found Errors

If anything annoys users, it’s the “page not found” error that shows up when they open a link from the search results page. That’s the last thing you would want for your website. SEO audit will help detect such broken links and page-loading errors.

Experts from the top SEO company in India will then work on technical SEO to fix the issues and make your website ready for the digital marketing game plan.

  • Monitoring Keyword Rankings

Knowing the overall performance of the website is crucial. You should know how the website ranks for the primary keywords you’ve selected. Periodic SEO audits will make it possible to track the progress of the website over time.

You can also see which relevant keywords your website is ranking higher for and further increase the visibility. The aim is to increase your online presence and get closer to the audience. This will improve brand awareness and brand recognition.

Few Online SEO Audit Tools:

The following are some crucial Online SEO Audit Tools to help you out:

Conclusion

While there are free and paid online tools to perform the SEO audit and automatically generate reports, the top SEO agencies offer the best digital marketing services.

When you hire an SEO agency, experts will manage your website with years of experience in the field. They know which SEO tool is more suitable to carry out the audit of the website.

Experts have the knowledge and expertise to provide customized SEO strategies for the business. You will see guaranteed results when you take the assistance of the best SEO agency in the market.

Guide to Protecting Different Types of Sensitive Data
Insights

Guide to Protecting Different Types of Sensitive Data

Proper methods for keeping your data safe can help prevent breaches that hurt businesses. They also allow organizations to meet compliance requirements, increase brand value, and support an ethical business model.

In the business world, it’s all about trust, but how can you expect someone to trust you if you can’t keep their (or your own) personal information safe? Still, there are many different forms of data and ways in which this data can be compromised. Let’s find out what are some of the most reliable methods for keeping it all safe!

Problems Caused by Data Leakage

Data breaches and leaks can cause a number of rather serious consequences. Some of them involve corruption or destruction of databases, which are bad in their own right. However, the idea of a leak of confidential information can be far more catastrophic.

First of all, it puts a permanent dent in your reputation. Second, in a scenario where the data theft involved a sensitive piece of intellectual property, the financial damage caused could be immeasurable.

Potential targets of a data breach can be subjects like:

  • Personal information
  • Financial information
  • Intellectual property
  • Competition information
  • Legal information
  • Health information
  • IT security data

In either of these scenarios, the injured party suffers direct damage, while a malicious third party can gain a competitive advantage or a direct financial gain. Both of these serve as an excellent motivator.

Most Infamous Examples of Data Leakage

Even the top-dogs of the industry aren’t spared of a potential data leak. During the infamous Facebook data breach, as many as 267 million records were compromised. At the time of the Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube breach, there were 235 million compromised records. There are countless similar examples out there.

There are two major misconceptions that one has to deal with in order to protect their records in the digital environment. The first one is that no target is big enough to be 100% secure. The second one is that no one is too small/insignificant to be a target.

Data Leakage Categories

In terms of ways in which data leakage can occur, there are three major categories. These categories are:

  • In transit: The method known as encryption is supposed to protect the data in transit (in the form of an email, as well as data shared through chats, web traffic, and other sources).
  • At rest: Even in databases, data is far from secure. The same goes for data on laptops (which can be stolen) and desktops (which can be accessed while you’re not around).
  •  In use: Data currently used is also not 100% secure, seeing as how people can capture screenshots or take photographs of the screen. Needless to say, the latter is almost impossible to detect or prevent other than through screening people you’re sharing data with.

To keep your data leak-proof, you would have to find a way to cover all three of these categories.

Safer In-House Data Management

The safest way for in-house data handling is through IIM tools like M-Files. When it comes to integrating it with the rest of your cybersecurity measures, the versatility of this method is second to none. The automation of workflows and integration with security solutions are just two methods used to ensure data security and integrity.

Today, most businesses perform regular audits and need to present their clients and users with regulatory compliance. Keeping all of this safe and accessible are the prerequisites to running an efficient organization in the digital world.

The Use of Encryption

In order to protect your data in transit, you need to be smarter about your use of encryption. The biggest challenge here lies in the fact that the workforce is always on the move.

Therefore, devices leave the company network, and there are also numerous instances where employees access secure company data from unsecured devices. Fortunately, if the data is encrypted, it’s inaccessible to outsiders even when it’s lost. This acts as an additional safety net that you can count on in the worst-case scenario.

Secure Backups

Theft of data is not the only worst-case scenario that you will have to deal with. In some situations, a breach will result in a loss of corruption of vital data. This alone can ruin hours and days of hard work, thus costing your organization dearly. To avoid this, it’s vital that you introduce regular secure backups.

These backups can be risky on their own, seeing as how they contain a lot of essential data in a single place. So, the best way to protect it is to make sure that these backup servers are not publicly visible. This is also an area where an IIM can be incredibly useful since it can restrict access to certain files based on their credentials.

Employee Education

All the above-listed ideas and concepts are irrelevant if your employees are not careful enough. If their laptop gets stolen while they’re logged into company tools, platforms, and accounts, there’s not much you can do before the data gets compromised.

If passwords used by your staff members are weak or obvious (pet names, children’s birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), someone can just log in and appropriate private data that you’re safekeeping.

To avoid the majority of these nightmare scenarios, you need to educate your employees about safe behavior in the digital environment. Make sure that they know how, when, and which devices/networks are safe to use for work.

 Teach them about the concept of phishing and its hazards. Tell them a thing or two about staying logged in and ask them if they know how to make a strong password. Some platforms have a strong password requirement (multiple character types, capitalization, etc.), but this won’t always be the case.

There’s a reason why some of the highest-paid IT jobs require certifications that promote best security practices. We are, after all, living in a time of cybercrime and security theft.

One of the most important tasks here is the BYOD policy of your company. In the scenario where your employees are bringing their own devices to work, you need to make sure they know how to protect sensitive company data. This way, you’re giving your staff a choice – either comply with all these rules while using their personal devices or use a device provided by the company.

Endpoint Protection

The protection of devices that receive or handle sensitive data (desktop, laptop, tablets, mobile devices, etc.) is often overlooked, which is a significant mistake. Strong passwords and screen locks (ideally with biometric identification) are highly advised. Still, the hardware in your office needs to be protected, as well. The security of the perimeter (for the hardware that your on-spot workforce uses) comes in the form of a security guard or a surveillance system.

Wrap Up

To sum it all up, data breaches cause loss of trustworthiness and revenue. It compromises the personal information of your clients and portrays your entire organization as either negligent or incompetent. In order to avoid this, you need to understand some of the most common sources of this threat. From here, you can take measures to prevent these data breaks or leaks from ever happening. While this is easier said than done, it’s far from impossible. Most importantly, it’s more than worth your time and resources.

SEO

How to Create SEO-Friendly Landing Pages for Your WordPress Website

WordPress is one of the biggest and most popular website building platforms in the world. So, why should you not focus on SEO for WordPress?

In this post, I’ll discuss ways to create SEO-friendly landing pages for your WordPress website. Use these SEO tips and techniques to improve the search rankings of your WordPress landing pages.

Ready? Let’s get started.

1. Use a Good SEO Plugin

The first thing you need to do to create SEO-friendly landing pages for WordPress is to install a good SEO plugin.

The most popular SEO plugin for WordPress is the free Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin will help you create SEO-friendly landing pages right from the start.

You can use it to optimize your content and meta descriptions, generate sitemaps, and a lot more. So, simply by using a good SEO plugin, half your job is already done as it will take care of all SEO aspects and will guide you to create SEO-friendly landing pages.

And, if you need more help, you can always get expert SEO services from a consultant or an agency.

2. Clean Your URL Structures

The default URLs that are generated on WordPress are often long and messy. For your landing pages, at least, you should use a clean URL structure. Ideally, your URLs should have your target keyword and should be short and clean.

But, how can you change the URLs of your landing pages?

Simply click on the “Permalinks” option in the Settings menu on your dashboard. You will see many options that you can choose from or create a custom structure, as shown below.

Image Source

The “Post Name” option is a good way to go as it adds only the post title, which usually includes the target keyword. You don’t really need a date or number for your URLs, so this option is the best way to create non-messy permalinks.

3. Create Highly-Targeted Pages Focused on a Keyword

Whenever you create a landing page, make sure that it is focused on one target keyword. You can use side keywords as well, but never target two keywords with one landing page.

You should also avoid creating multiple landing pages for one keyword as it will cause cannibalization. This means that more than one of your pages will be competing against each other for rankings.

So, what is the best way to create SEO-friendly landing pages?

Create one landing page for one target keyword and maintain a good keyword density of 1.5%-2%. Make sure that you add your target keyword to the title, headings, and subheadings without making it appear forced.

Also, try to add your target keyword within the first two lines of your landing page content. Leverage these SEO tips and you will see a significant improvement in your landing page rankings.

4. Optimize Your Meta Data for Keywords

One rule of thumb for creating SEO-friendly landing pages is to always add your target keywords to your title tags. This helps search engines understand your content and categorize it better.

One of the best practices to follow for landing pages is to use your target keyword in all of your meta content, including descriptions and titles. While many experts say that keywords in meta descriptions no longer affect rankings, it is still good for SEO.

If nothing else, a relevant and targeted meta description will help you increase your click-through rate. There’s no harm in that, right?

So, optimize your meta content for your target keyword to create SEO-friendly landing pages.

5. Use Image Alt Text

Image alternative text is basically the image description that websites use to help visually-impaired readers understand an image.

But, that’s not all they are good for!

Alt text can also help search engines understand your visual content better and get more context about it. So, insert keywords in your alt text as well to help search engines understand your content and increase your rankings.

Wondering how to add alt text?

Well, WordPress makes it really easy to add alt text. Whenever you insert an image on your page or post, WordPress automatically shows a box where you can add alt text.

Image via WordPress

Always follow this practice when using visuals in landing pages and you will see the difference yourself.

6. Optimize Your Videos for Video Search

Just like images, you also need to help search engines understand your video content better. You can do this by adding optimized video descriptions and the VideoObject schema.

Adding VideoObject schema helps search engines understand your videos and also increases your chances of ranking in video search results. You just need to provide a title, description, and thumbnail image for your videos.

Good video content combined with structured data can significantly improve your search rankings. So, if you want to optimize your landing pages, don’t forget to optimize your videos as well.

Conclusion

These are some of the best SEO practices that you should follow to create SEO-friendly landing pages for your WordPress site. Use these and see the results first hand.

So, what are you waiting for?

Start creating SEO-friendly landing pages right now. All the best!

Author Bio

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions |  300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.

Social connectsTwitterLinkedIn & Instagram

Uncategorized

Machine Learning in the Retail Sector

One of the ironclad rules of retail is that the more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them. That same rule applies even to the technology used behind the scenes, where machine learning (ML) has become an integral piece of retailers’ strategy. A form of artificial intelligence, ML enables computer programs to teach themselves based on prior inputs. The most prominent example of this is the algorithms used to curate a shopper’s recommendations online. The more shopping someone does, the more likely those recommended items are to be something he or she would want.

However, the reach of ML extends far beyond what the consumer experiences while shopping. It has ramifications that are changing the way the industry makes decisions, with computers learning how to predict demand surges, personalize marketing messages, and optimize logistics. With their ability to discern patterns and adjust based on new data, ML      solutions      also help retailers fight fraud and analyze customers’ sentiments, all without the need for human intervention.

With computers that are capable of learning 24/7, retail operations can gain numerous benefits. For instance, automating many touchpoints with consumers means employees can concentrate their attention on solving problems or developing creative new solutions. ML is also being used to identify potential new customers by scanning social media posts and predicting which existing customers are most likely to return to make additional purchases. It’s no wonder that the number of retailers making use of these solutions has been increasing significantly over the last few years.    

If you want to learn more about how these innovative business solutions are changing the game in a substantial way, take a look at the accompanying resource. It details many of the advantages ML provides as well as a brief overview of how it works. The following infographic was created by Aptitive.

Graphic created by Aptitive.