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5 Tips for Starting a Web-Based Business

Starting a web-based company can be rather difficult. You have to consider the right marketplace, create and market a product, build an online store and cater to all of your customers’ wants and needs without getting buried by the already large number of competitors. There are things you can do all by yourself without breaking a sweat, but there are also those that require professional help if you wish to avoid shooting yourself in the leg, metaphorically speaking. That’s why we’ve prepared this nifty little list of tips that will help you successfully start your own online business.

Find the right marketplace

One of the most common mistakes inexperienced business owners make is focusing on the product first and then looking for the appropriate market to launch it. This is by no means a bad business idea. However, instead of looking for a market for your product, a better idea would be to find the market first and then supply it with your products and services. Do a proper market, as well as keyword research and look for people who haven’t yet found a suitable solution for their problem. Check out the competitors by visiting their sites and try to figure out the kind of approach they’re using to satisfy the demand.

Write copies that sell themselves

A properly developed business knows exactly how to grab their visitor’s attention from the very moment they enter the website and gently guide them through the entire sales process until they’re ready to make a purchase. This is accomplished by a compelling and engaging headline that will provoke interest in a potential customer and describe the issue your line of products and services solves. It’s important to establish yourself as the de facto solver of said issue by using testimonials and reviews from people who’ve had the chance to try out your products. Cover all the benefits and make a compelling offer topped off by an adequate guarantee. All that’s left now is to create a sense of urgency.

Build a decent website

Once you have figured out your target marketplace, secured your products and aced the process of actually selling them, it’s time to start considering your website options. One of the best pieces of advice you can get regarding a website is to try and keep it as simple as possible. Extravagant designs might look good on paper, but in reality, you’re increasing your website’s loading time with each new element you add. Make sure that your navigation menu is clear, easy-to-use and consistent across all pages. Reduce the number of steps required to make a purchase to the absolute minimum and work on providing your customers with the best possible user experience.

Optimize your website

SEO or search engine optimization refers to various methods and practices used to raise your website’s ranking position in the SERP or search engine results page. This is accomplished by optimizing individual on-page elements such as headings, title tags, meta descriptions and images, as well as minifying the actual HTML, CSS and JavaScript code.

You can execute most of these techniques by yourself but have in mind that there are some aspects of optimization that require some additional knowledge and first-hand experience. A properly implemented SEO campaign can quickly get your website at the very top of the results page but have in mind that a poorly implemented one can get your website down-ranked or even completely removed from the search results.

Engage your customers

A happy customer is a paying customer, simple as that. Provide you customers with the best possible user experience throughout the entire sales process. Address their concerns and answer any questions they might have, both on your website, and on the review pages and various social media accounts. Analyze the data you have on your customers and use the findings to improve your engagement efforts. If you already have too much on your plate, then you might want to consider investing in an IT cloud service to help you provide them with a personalized and – more importantly – positive user experience.

As you can see, starting an online business is by no means an easy task. This list does cover some of the most challenging, as well as interesting aspects or starting a business, but have in mind that this list is by no means complete. There are numerous other little things you need to pay close attention to in order to develop and maintain your business and fortunately, most of them are well documented and can easily be found online. Just be particularly careful with your SEO efforts, as it takes only one bad move to completely ruin your business.

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5 Most Common Attacks to Protect your Site Against

Having your own personal website used to be a right reserved only for developers and those who can afford it. Today, however, people can create an entire website, complete with contact info, various pages filled with content or even an e-commerce store with just a couple of clicks. With so many websites being created every day, hackers are presented with a unique opportunity to get as much information they possibly can, using various shady methods and techniques. That said, let’s go over some of the most common cyber-attacks used by hackers worldwide, as well as some tips on how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

DDOS Attacks

One of the most popular methods used in website attacks are the Distributed Denial of Service or DDOS attacks. This attack floods your website with so much traffic that it overloads your website’s server and makes serving content to users virtually impossible. This is accomplished by infecting computers with malware and then using them to send a large number of server requests until it simply fails to respond. Since the server is under heavy DDOS traffic, regular users are denied access to your website, which is how this attack got its name in the first place.

Malware Attacks

Malware is a term used to describe harmful software such as ransomware and various viruses. Once this harmful software has infected your machine, hackers can then use it to take control over the computer, monitor your every action and keystroke and steal all sorts of compromising and sensitive data such personal, business or bank account information.

The latest ransomware attack called WannaCry happened just a few months ago in May and infected over 300,000 computers, including some hospital equipment in US and UK. Although there are numerous ways hackers can get their malware onto your computer, most of them rely on user action in order to install malware. This is why it’s important to download only from trustworthy sources and be careful when opening various attachments.

SQL Injection

SQL is a programming language used for database communication. Servers storing your sensitive website data use SQL for data management and this attack targets just those types of servers. SQL injection, as the name implies, relies on injecting malicious code and use it to divulge sensitive information including customer info, usernames, passwords, e-mails, credit cards numbers and other information which can be used to identify your users. Avoiding SQL Injection is as simple as avoiding dynamic queries and preventing user input from affecting logic behind the executed query.

Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks rely on user’s curiosity and provide a seemingly compelling reason for them to click on a random email or open an interesting attachment. Hackers know this all too well, which is exactly the reason why they pretend to be someone else in order to make unsuspecting individuals divulge personal and sensitive information. What makes phishing scams particularly dangerous is the fact that they appear perfectly normal at the first glance. You might think that you received an email from a friend or that you’ve browsing a website you normally do and unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s fairly easy to become a victim of a phishing attack.

Remote Code Execution

Remote Code Execution is a type of attack which enables hackers to run malicious code on your website’s server. This allows them to completely control every aspect of your website, including the server hosting it. The most common targets for Remote Code Execution are various plugins you might find on an average WordPress website. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are plugins used to cache dynamic pages and reduce loading times. However, they had a vulnerability which was used by hackers to take over both the servers and the WordPress websites they host.

This is why it’s important to keep the number of plugins at a minimum and to make sure they are downloaded using a reliable source. Additionally, check whether the plugin is regularly updated and avoid using those who are no longer supported by their developers.

These are just some of the most common security threats and techniques used by hackers to hijack personal information. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does cover threats people around the world experience on a daily level. Protecting your website against these types of attacks is crucial as divulging customer information can quickly turn a successful business into financial ruin. If you have little to no actual knowledge and experience regarding website security, then you might want to consider hiring a professional company that is well-versed in safeguarding sensitive information.

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4 Steps to Optimize Your Ecommerce Website

1Optimization of your website in order to provide a better user experience is an important thing, and even more so when it comes to ecommerce. You see, the average conversion rate of most sites online is about 2.35 percent of all visitors. On the other hand, with a proper amount of optimization, you can easily achieve as high as 5.31 percent, which is more than double. This would mean that for every 100 visitors to your website, you would get 5-6 customers instead of 2-3. Still, how do you optimize your ecommerce website? Let’s find out! (more…)

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Growth-Hacking Tips for Ecommerce Websites

arrows-1915374_960_720An ecommerce website requires growth tactics different from non-commercial websites. What’s more, online traders focus on higher conversion rates, rather than mere traffic. Because of that, e-stores need a special approach when it comes to creating growth strategies. Everything they post or think of should be related to sales. However, being aggressive and invasive in talking customers into buying your products can boomerang back and bring no benefit. Therefore, here are some clever ways of growing your ecommerce website into a popular e-shopping place. (more…)

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5 Interesting Ways to Earn Money on the Internet

startup-photosWhether you’re looking for a part-time job to pay off your student loan, or you need some additional money to support your family, the Internet offers many job opportunities. Owing to technological advances, we have access to an enormous market of virtual jobs that we can easily fit into our busy schedules. You can often find a side-job that you are truly interested in, that can ultimately become more than just a way of earning a few extra bucks. (more…)

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An Overview of WordPress’ Competition

wordpress laptopWordPress (WP) is a platform which stands out from the rest of the content management systems (CMSs). It is estimated that around one-fourth of internet content is managed via this solution, which is already enough to strike awe. The driving force behind this stellar success is certainly WP’s user-friendliness. You do not have to possess coding or web design skills in order to get the digital show on the road. Also, there is a myriad of available themes and plugins. So, is WP simply the best or are there other systems out there that are worth our while? (more…)

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The Implementation of Local Content Marketing Strategy

evolution_of_local_search_on_internetResearch conducted by Stockholm School of Economics goes to show that offering continuous value to consumers creates advertising equity that compels users to take action. The research basically confirms the definition of content marketing provided by Content Marketing Institute that states:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

In terms of content marketing, consistent content stands for advertising equity. You have to give consistent value to the readers in order to attract new and retain already clearly-defined audience. (more…)

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The Expense of Data Rapture

cloud servicesLeading IT companies are trying to put in place an infrastructure to support their mobile workforce and a range of complex connected devices. On the other hand, they are also trying to meet the compliance challenges. Data recovery and protection has higher priorityas cybercrime is on the rise. The expense of data rapture is increasing because of the new set of data protection regulations. IT companies are looking at cloud backup as an effective way to secure and recover data.

(more…)

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How New gTLD’s Changed the Online Branding Game for Good

gltdsDomain extensions are flying of the shelf in the last few years. Current expanding market forced ICANN to introduce hundreds of new generic TLDs. Their ultimate plan is to release more than 1300 new domain name extensions, and experts predict that this move might completely change online branding industry.

Online branding today is as hard as it comes. Internet and social networks made everybody visible, which is why many companies want to make an extra step that will enable them to position their offer higher than everyone else’s. Some of these companies saw introduction of new generic TLDs as a turning point that will boost their brand’s visibility and make them stand out from their competition. They were right!

Great branding opportunity

Most internet users still don’t realize the advantages generic TLDs bring. More than 55% of them don’t even know that new TLDs are introduced. This represents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies who want to build strong brands on these new and much less expensive TLDs. Since researches show that these extensions are sometimes as successful as ‘.com’, entrepreneurs need to act fast in order to catch the best offers. Unlike ‘.com’ and other regular TLDs, these generic extensions allow entrepreneurs to share more information about their business within its domain name, which completely changed online branding. Many content marketing agencies already seized this opportunity and managed use the strong bond between SEO and content marketing to implement their strategies.

Some company’s acted fast

Many big and small businesses realized the benefits of new generic TLDs, and these are some of the most successful examples:

  • Abc.xyz – An ultimate example of the best generic TLDs usage comes from Google. Alphabet Inc. is a conglomerate that will take over all Google owned companies and it will start its business with a highly brandable domain name.
  • Dekora.fashion (previous domain name was Dekoraconceptstore.com) – Dekora managed to make their domain more memorable and easier to type. Since good ‘.com’ domains are really hard to get these days, they used a gTLD which explains their business in the best way.
  • Risurisu.paris (used to be Risurisu.fr) – Most SEO experts advise companies to choose country code TLDs for businesses that target customers at the local level. Risurisu fashion store went far beyond that with adding their exact location, which is also one of the biggest fashion capitals of the world.
  • Wheretotravel.today – This traveling website made its domain name more intriguing, and used this catchy question as a great branding tool.
  • Printnw.rocks (before it was called Printnw.com) – Another great example how creative generic TLD can turn a regular domain name, into a catchy slogan.

How new TLDs affect SEO?

seoNew generic TLDs will definitely have an impact on search engine optimization. Currently both internet users and Google search algorithms are getting used to them. This process won’t take long and soon generic TLDs will be fully integrated into search results. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web Spam team said that his company will need some time for determining the ways for validating new TLDs. But, this transition won’t last long and soon enough this search engine will present the most relevant results with the range of TLDs that go from ‘.com’ to ‘.whatever’.

What should entrepreneurs do?

Although generic TLDs bring huge benefits, ‘.com’ will still represent the ‘main street of internet’, at least for some time. Since ICANN will release around 1,300 new TLDs, we can assume that only one part of these will gain higher traction. Companies should choose generic TLDs that match products and services they provide. This is definitely a safe bet, which is why TLDs like ‘.law’ and ‘.fashion’ will soon become very popular.

Same goes for location-specific TLDs. Now companies will be able to add specific cities to their domain name (at least the ones that do business in metropolises like New York and Paris). This will also allow specific branches of big companies to open their own websites, with both company and location specific domain names.

Companies that have younger customer base and that can have less formal marketing approach can choose wide variety of different generic TLD’s in order to create catchier and more memorable slogans. Domain extensions like ‘.me’ and ‘.ly’ allow marketers to play domain name scrabble and attract their audience with funky sounding web addresses.

Although the launch of new generic top level domains generally passed unnoticed, we are actually witnessing internet evolution that’s happening due to huge increase in the number of its users. This is probably the best proof that from sixties and the ARPANET, there hasn’t been any other invention that was such a drastic leap forward in the world as we know it today.

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