As a self-taught software developer, I have found that the best way to learn a new technology stack is to jump right in and build a project using that technology. By immersing myself in a project, I am able to gain a solid understanding of the technology and establish knowledge for future projects.
Whether you are a young entrepreneur, a seasoned business owner, or you have just been hired as a marketing professional straight out of college, the truth is that you may be approaching Search Engine Optimization (SEO) the wrong way. If your goal is to do the least amount of work for the greatest immediate return, you won’t see the results you are hoping for. Instead, it’s important to understand that SEO is a long-term investment of time, effort, and money. If you invest big, you will benefit from large returns for years to come.
If you are a project manager, you know that this is not just a quote from the movie Scarface, but more than likely the mentality of several of your stakeholders. Managing stakeholder expectations while keeping the project on track and within budget is one of the most difficult tasks a project manager faces.
Zapier is a service that connects cloud applications and automates data workflows. As a software company we could do this ourselves, but we decided to use an off the shelf solution instead. This article explains that rationale and will show you how we use Zapier to make our operations run smoother.
Any article that you’ve read about digital marketing will tell you that you need to be consistently creating content. They’ll also tell you to drive traffic to your site through social media marketing and search engine optimization. Although time consuming and not always straight forward, these are must have strategies. But prior to driving extensive amounts of traffic to your website through the multitude of digital marketing tools you’ve heard about in the past, you must also follow the below strategies to make sure your site is setup to convert visitors into leads. Otherwise you drive prospects to your website and they won’t be able to easily figure out what to do next.
Website Conversion Strategies:
Fix broken links and add internal links throughout the article to ensure seamless navigation
Reduce the number of options in the menu
Make web forms more accessible and as easy as possible for visitors to submit
Make the company phone number and email address prominently visible
Improve call-to-actions throughout the site
Add testimonials to service/product pages to prove your credibility
When in doubt, seek professional assistance
All digital marketing efforts should have a concrete goal that will yield a return on investment. Don’t spend time driving traffic to a website that will not result in visitors spending money. These website conversion strategies will lower your website’s bounce rate, increase the average time on the site, and help to convert visitors into customers.
Erik was interviewed by Gina Lynch for her podcast; Tomorrow’s Tech Podcast. Topics discussed: the founding of the company, the co-founding of RevolutionVA, RevolutionConf, and HRDevFest, as well as the state of the local software community.
No one wants to be disrupted. But when it comes to business innovation, being disruptive is a good thing; a very good thing. Most businesses aim to be competitive, yet aim to be just a little bit better than their competitors. Being a lot better than competitors is, frankly, hard work. On the contrary, disruptive businesses take their competitive nature to a whole new level. They introduce technological advances that not only position them more competitively, but to such a degree that they fundamentally change the baseline of competition for their entire industry. Often times competitors scoff at and dismiss the potential of the disruptive technology until it is far too late.
The technology landscape is littered with the winners and losers of disruptive technologies. The PC disrupted the typewriter. The laptop disrupted the PC. Smartphones and the mobile Internet are disrupting the laptop. Google disrupted traditional sources of knowledge, and Amazon disrupted bricks and mortar book selling and retailing. The list is practically endless, but here are just a few more classic examples: Facebook vs. MySpace; iTunes vs. CDs; Uber vs. taxis; email vs. the post office; Airbnb vs. hotels; Priceline and Kayak vs. travel agents; Wikipedia vs. encyclopedias; the Internet vs. newspapers. I could go on and on.
It’s obvious that you want to be on the winning side of the disruption equation. Most disruptive innovations are brought to market by nimble startups that focus exclusively on their niche technology. Increasingly, that technological advantage is custom software created specifically to dominate the competitive landscape. Startups don’t have the burden of the legacy of their former success and are free to innovate rapidly as they create their future. Certainly startups are best positioned for innovation and disruption.
But that does not exclude existing large companies, enterprises, from participating in disruptive innovation. It is very difficult for an enterprise to do what startups do. Enterprises are often beholden to the legacy technology that got them to where they currently are. Their culture, rightfully, is to protect what they’ve built.
There are two primary ways in which an enterprise can innovative.
The goal of incremental innovation is to keep up with the times – to sustain what is already in place. This means updating your product to be cooler, easier to use, and to have more features. In my world that means updating and replacing software to incrementally improve the product’s user interface or back-end programming. Incremental innovation is relatively safe and is critical to staying competitive. The team to perform this innovation is typically comprised of in-house staff knowledgeable of the existing business model, coupled with contractors who possess modern skill sets and experience with specific disruptive techniques. It requires new thinking, but it’s relatively easy to plan and execute. In other words, it’s not rocket science.
Unlike incremental innovation, to be disruptive you don’t take the easy and safe path. You have to break with the status quo.
Why bother – why not just protect what you already have? Disruption is going to happen whether you like it or not. The only questions is, Will you disrupt or will you allow others to disrupt you?
The most successful businesses position themselves to disrupt their own business model. Think about when Amazon, who initially sold paper books, introduced the Kindle. If they had stuck with paper books then they surely would have lost ground to competitors who around the same time came out with their own electronic readers. Or what about when Netflix started streaming movies in addition to mailing DVDs. What seemed like a crazy business move at the time – cannibalizing its own business model – turned out to be genius. Now, DVDs represent only 14% of the Netflix’s revenue. If they wouldn’t have converted to streaming then a competitor surely would have been happy to take that 86% of revenue from them.
To be disruptive you must create a new operating paradigm. The disruptive team should be walled off from the existing business as much as practicable. New blood and outsiders are required to ensure the world is not viewed within the constraints of the existing business’s blinders. If it’s feasible to completely repurpose existing staff, they have the skills required of the disruptive technologies, and the staff are eager and willing, then segregate them from operations and physically move them to a research facility to focus on the new business venture.
For most companies, this is not feasible and outsourcing is a better option. In my world, in the software world, this is what happens when we are hired to create a new product. We are provided a high level vision and then largely walled off from the existing staff as we implement to the client’s vision. Doing so ensures that we focus exclusively on the disruptive innovation, and not on the normal operations of our clients.
This kind of innovation won’t fit nicely within an established business. It is not easy for existing staff to basically ignore normal operations while innovating on what some deem as unnecessarily hard work. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish inside the safety of a big company especially within the confines of a protective culture.
You already know that having a website is one of the most powerful tools for your company’s success. You understand the importance of user-experience, and providing viewers with an easy way to navigate through the website. You know that the site’s visual aesthetics are basically useless if the site cannot be found through search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
What you may not be aware of is that all websites require ongoing maintenance to preserve its operational integrity online. To prolong the life expectancy of your car, home, garden, or Keurig coffee machine, you have to work to keep it in good condition. The same goes for the upkeep on your company website.
Purpose of a Maintenance PLAN:
The purpose of each maintenance plan is to keep your site secure, updated, and performing properly. There isn’t a business out there that is immune to time or change, and neither is your website.
To make sure that the site remains up to speed with your industry and in line with search engine guidelines, a maintenance plan is designed to give your company the most effective online presence possible by keeping your audience updated, informed, and satisfied with their browsing experience.
Monthly Website Maintenance INCLUDES:
Performing regular maintenance on your website is something you do not want to avoid. Our team has the expertise to sustain the life of your website at an affordable cost. Each package includes priority support, software and plugin updates, site backups, performance management, content tweaks, and graphic design. Continue reading to learn more about our monthly web maintenance procedures.
Site Backups | Software & Plugin UpdatesTo keep a site running smoothly, we track its analytics, and keep software and plugins up-to-date. To prevent your data from being compromised, we perform the latest security patches, filter out spam, and remove any malware issues. Backing your site up monthly eliminates the possibility of losing changes to the site, and protects it from potential computer catastrophes or unpredictable mistakes. It is easy for hackers to take advantage of websites that do not actively update and back up their content-management systems.
Content Updates & Reputation Management
Your website is your company’s face to the world. Taking the time to keep your site and blog updated with your company’s latest information – new employees, pricing revisions, industry insight, etc. – reflects the current state of your business and helps it rank better in search. Don’t be caught with outdated information on your website, as it could cause more harm than good for your brand. Make sure that when a visitor returns to your site, they find and learn new information. Generating fresh content improves domain authority, engages with your audience, increases conversion rates, and strengthens your brand’s reputation.
In addition to analyzing a site’s performance, user-engagement is another aspect that is regularly monitored. Using Google Analytics, we examine which pages are receiving the most traffic and identify areas that need improvements. Our maintenance team proactively checks your site for content errors and broken links that need fixing. We test each form, evaluate its mobile experience, and make sure that plugins are functioning properly. As content is updated, we track how your audience is engaging with the website. We continuously revise our strategies to optimize your site for search engines, and make it easy for viewers to navigate through.
Every site needs maintenance, and some require more attention than others. Our plans were created to fit the needs and budget of any business. We handle technical support, perform security protection, provide backup support and site restoration, and meet current web standards.
If being found in search engines is a priority for your business, but you lack the monetary means for our SEO packages, your site could benefit from our 12-hour maintenance plan that dedicates time specifically for SEO-related efforts.
Talk to us today about helping your company website thrive!