We all hear about cyber-security attacks in the news with major companies getting hacked, data breaches, etc. Attackers will continue to attack the major companies in various ways that are out of our control, but there are several security practices that we can do to prevent attackers from getting to our personal information for their personal gain. A few things we can do are to protect ourselves from phishing attacks (scammers using false identity to get personal information or money), protect sensitive information, and to secure our passwords.
You get a call from someone claiming they are from your electric company and state that you have not paid your bill for the last 3 months. If you do not pay over the phone RIGHT NOW, THIS MINUTE with your credit card, your electric will be shut off immediately. You know you have paid your bill in a timely manner, but the caller creates an uncertainty and you provide the card information as requested. Later you find out this was a call from a scammer.
When you’re getting ready to make a new website, you can take some important steps to ensure that you’re happy with the design that your developer creates for you. Here at Sharp, our designers will always try to incorporate your vision as we see it while still implementing general rules of good practice in the world of the web so that you get a website that matches your vision and works efficiently for your customers.
Things like button placement, color palette, fonts, iconography, photos, and so much more are all important decisions that go into an initial website design. Merging these deliberate decisions with what you have in mind is a careful balance that can sometimes result in something unexpected without a lot of detail. Some people like to be surprised and allow our designers as much creative freedom as they want, but if you have a particular vision of how you want your new site to look, here are 4 ways to get the design you want.
1. Provide as much detail as possible. If you have a very specific vision, be sure to communicate it as clearly as you can. The more detail you give us, the closer we can get to your vision. To you, that vision can seem obvious, but we may have a very different picture in mind if you don’t provide us with copious descriptions of what you’re looking for. So tell us every little thing. For a web designer, there is no such thing as too much detail!
“The only constant is change.” That’s how web development is defined, and in 2018 nothing will be different.
Users are continuously expecting more from their online experiences. Content should be engaging, intuitive, and accessible everywhere in real-time, especially on mobile devices.
Here are some online trends to watch in 2018.
Browser extensions are key add-ons for the major browsers and have been for years. Extensions improve a browser’s user interface and make browsing easier for the user.
If you’re planning your marketing strategy for the New Year and haven’t thought about your digital presence, now is the time!
2017 saw a number of important changes as search engines such as Google and Bing have continued to evolve in an attempt to deliver the best results for web users. By keeping up with and adapting to these changes, you can help ensure that your website is making the biggest impact and delivering the best returns from search engines for your business.
Here are a few different ways to improve your SEO results in 2018:
- Fully Optimize Your Local Listings – For any business who sells their products or services at their location, at a minimum you should have a verified Google Maps and Bing Places business listing set up and maintained by you or on your behalf. This will let your local customers know where you are and when you’re open.
And there are proven ways to get even more out of these listings, especially as “near me” searches are as prevalent as ever. An interesting shift, however, is the exclusion of “near me” in the search query, but the expectation that local results are still delivered.
With that expression and an outlandish personality, Ric Flair created a brand for himself that people around the world recognize and celebrate. Flair was a wrestler who branded himself The Nature Boy, and he used his brand to become famous and to distinguish himself from hundreds of other, less memorable wrestlers.
The main components of Flair’s brand, in addition to Wooo!, were his flashy hair and clothing, his habit of surrounding himself with beautiful women, his ability to give a great interview, and, finally, his willingness to put on a great show inside the squared circle every night. Put all of those factors together, and you have a memorable brand that put people in the seats and money in Flair’s pocket.
Ric Flair is unusual because he’s a one-man brand. Most other successful brands belong to companies with more than one employee. However, whether your business has 1 employee or 1000, you can certainly benefit from developing your brand. Conversely, you’ll suffer from not having a brand.
Every day, almost all of us use the Internet in one way or another, and the crazy part is that we might not even realize we are using it for what we are doing. For instance, when you pick up your phone and check the weather, that app is accessing the Internet to get the information it needs to relay to you. When you go home at night and nothing good is on television and you put on Netflix, all of the choices you have to watch are on a database on the Internet, and all of that streaming takes place over the Internet.
And what about so many other things that we hear about and use, such as Amazon’s Alexa? Yes, even that is using the Internet. Security companies are using the Internet to allow you to see your cameras on your mobile device or even to control your lights using your mobile device. Using the Internet, your exact location can be pinpointed on a map. You can post how you feel on social media. What is this web coming to, though?
If we think about the many different innovations that are being made each and every day, we can see a greater need and a greater use for the Internet. One of the greatest inventions for the Internet was the use of accessing it over cellular towers. This has allowed for a lot of new innovation. For instance, self-driving cars. They have to navigate and be controlled remotely. This can all be done over the Internet in combination with a GPS system.
One of the simplest ways to improve your online marketing presence is establishing a business listing on Google and Bing. But just having a presence isn’t enough. To benefit fully, you must make your presence a hard-working member of your marketing team.
Too often we find that businesses fail to take the extra few moments to fully detail their profiles. By adding several set of photos (inside, outside, team, at work, etc), business hours, a 360-degree virtual tour, and other useful data, you are directly providing not only Google with additional information on your business, but potential customers as well, and photos add more of a human touch to your website. This additional information can help improve click-throughs on your business listing, your local pack ranking, and your localized organic ranking.
If you are not part of the minority of businesses currently taking advantage of these features, it’s likely that you’re missing out on another simple way to improve click-throughs, your local pack ranking, and your localized organic ranking – Customer Reviews.
Your website should be hard at work driving targeted traffic and leads to help complete all the goals that you had when you created the site. Whatever your goals may be, and even if you currently have or have had in the past signed up for search engine optimization (SEO) services with another internet marketing firm, it may be wise to perform an SEO audit.
But first, don’t let the word “audit” scare you. We’re not the IRS, and an SEO audit is actually a positive experience that can help to bring you more business.
In an SEO audit, the first step is a comprehensive diagnostic survey of your website, and this survey will gauge how your current website is performing and how you (or our internet marketing team) can ideally approach your site’s optimization.
Nowadays, how many businesses don’t have some form of website? Even small businesses know the importance of having an online presence so people can find them. However, many of those websites are years behind the curve in how they were built and even in the information that they contain. While having any online presence is certainly better than having none, having a modern website that follows current industry standards will do significantly more for you and your business than will a website that’s a couple of years old.
It wasn’t too long ago that your website only required you to think about how it would display on desktop computers. In today’s world, if you aren’t thinking about mobile and tablet devices, as well, you are likely ignoring the majority of your visitors’ preferred method of interacting with your web content. That’s because as many as 60% of all internet searches now take place on mobile devices.
So, now is the time to start thinking about your website from a mobile-first view rather than the desktop-first mentality of yesterday. Simply put, thinking mobile-first means placing the emphasis on user experience on mobile devices, rather than having it be an afterthought to the desktop design.