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Aug
9
Why Flash is Bad for Business Websites
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 09 August 2019 08:48 am

adobe is badAdobe Flash had a great run. It was the most popular way to insert animations, games, videos, and other rich features into a website for a significant part of the Internet’s existence. For a substantial amount of time, it was the only option website creators had to create a dynamic, visually pleasing website. However, that time has passed. Adobe Flash is bad for not only websites but business. So what brought us here? What are the causes of Flash’s fall from grace? Webtivity Marketing & Design will delve into the myriad of reasons why Flash is bad for business.

Adobe Flash’s Background

The now deprecated Adobe Flash produced rich media internet applications such as mobile games, mobile applications, animations, audio, and even video applications. The main difference between Flash and its predecessors was the ability of the user to interact with the animations. Website visitors could click, type, and manipulate the Flash window creating an amalgam of results that drew users into the website. That level of interactivity was previously unknown to the World Wide Web that led it to be one of the most popular applications to include in a website.

Why Flash is Bad for Business

Flash has been on the decline for years now. Alternatives such as HTML5, WebGL, and Web Assembly have been the go-to methods for animating content for going on a decade now. Major browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer have not been loading Flash applications automatically for years! It is known for causing an innumerable amount of security flaws that place users at risk of being taken advantage of by unscrupulous websites. Search engines now penalize you for having flash applications, mobile devices can now barely load it, and most mobile devices have done away with it completely. Flash is now outdated to the point where Google Chrome will now no longer load it starting in 2020 regardless of user preference.

Flash is Bad for Business, But Now What?

It’s time to update your website if you still have Flash applications on it. You are losing rankings against your competitors in search engines by the minute. You’re losing business from users who visit your website and run into the error you see below. Would you do business with a business whose website presents you that error? Most importantly, are you going to go through all of those actions just to see the rest of the website?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bad Flash Solution

An updated website does NOT have to break the bank. Thanks to Webtivity’s revamped website design packages, you can now have the best of both worlds: a brand new website, at an affordable price.

Reach out to Tim at (941) 753-7574 or send us a quick message for a swift rundown of your options.

The post Why Flash is Bad for Business Websites appeared first on Webtivity Marketing & Design News.


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Mar
10
5 Ways to Handle Online Reviews to Win Customers
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 10 March 2017 12:04 pm

Why do online reviews matter?

online reviews importance to SEOYou already know that online reviews are feedback left by past customers on websites, but why should you even pay attention to them? There are hundreds of reasons why online reviews make a powerful online marketing tool. Most important of all is customer relationship management. Client satisfaction is the cornerstone of the success of any business venture regardless of its size.

Before online reviews there were testimonials, an affidavit of a business’s quality of service.  In today’s fast paced internet world most people (91%) regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Online reviews have become the new word-of-mouth communication tool for customers among each other.

Search engines that cater to these very same customers have noticed how much emphasis users place on reviews. Therefore, they have enacted algorithm changes to the way they present search results to favor better reviewed websites. Online reviews are invaluable to Search Engine Optimization, especially to small businesses.

Top 5 best online review websites

If you are a small local business, like Webtivity!, you don’t have a huge amount of resources to begin with. Let your friendly local web design marketing company make mastering your online reviews game a whole lot easier. Here is a list of the top five online review websites you should be focusing most of your efforts on:

  • Google – Head on over to Google My Business and claim your profile if you haven’t already done so. Google the biggest search engine on earth now includes your business’s ranking within search engine result pages.
  • Facebook – Facebook has its own review section for your business’s Facebook page. This ranking is now included in the Google Business Pack as well.
  • Yelp – Yelp is the next contender. It receives over 145 million unique visitors on a monthly basis!
  • Yellow Pages – This old classic is still favored by millions as their go-to business research landing page. This fact does not look to be changing, as they are position themselves as an online marketing service provider.
  • Bing Places – Microsoft’s answer to Google My Business this powerful review engine is not to be ignored. This is the second most popular search engine after Google, and yes, it does indeed include ratings as part of its rankings calculation.

How can I ask customers to leave online reviews?

asking for online reviewsYou understand how important online reviews are to your local business’s success, but how do you get or encourage clients to leave those reviews? There are several ways to encourage clients to leave reviews.

The easiest approach is after a sale is made or a service is provided. This is when the customer has your business fresh in their minds; they understand the benefit your business has provided so they are more likely to make the effort to leave a review. Strike while the iron is hot so to speak.

To acquire reviews indirectly, businesses have employed feedback cards, QR codes, emails, and even phone calls to encourage clients to leave reviews. When suggesting to a client to leave a review, remember to focus on one or two of the major sites we previously mentioned where you need reviews the most.

How do I track online reviews?

Now that your business has started receiving reviews how do you keep track of all the various review sites? There are various solutions out there but they cost money. If you currently have a search engine optimization partner managing your digital marketing efforts, give Webtivity a look (hint shameless plug).

If you are more of the do-it-yourself kind of person, look into setting up a Google Alert on your branded name. For example for us that would be “Webtivity Marketing and Designs”.  You’ll be notified any time your business is mentioned online.

Another nifty online tool for review management is Social Mention. They will track a variety of social media platforms for mentions of your branded name as mentioned above. It is free and it allows you to set up email alerts for specific keywords.

It bears mentioning that none of these tools beat regular manual checking of your listings on the review sites we mentioned earlier.

How do I handle negative reviews?

how do I handle negative online reviewsJust like positive reviews, you should strive to respond to each and every negative review. There are several guidelines you should follow however to ensure you do not make an already bad situation worse. You will only serve to alienate the customer and anyone else who reads that review.

Do not write anything argumentative or even defensive. Instead seek to resolve the customer’s issue as fast and as directly as possible. Reach out with a message offering to help solve the difficulty this client had with your product or service.

If the issue is resolved, ask the client to update their review, most happy clients will. If they do not respond your response should act as a great signal to potential customers that you care about client satisfaction.

Finally, bury negative reviews with positive ones. Redouble your efforts to acquire more reviews to balance out the negative reviews. Most clients looking for reviews will only pay attention to the final business review standing.

3 biggest mistakes small businesses make with online reviews

  • Not being responsive – The easiest way to lose potential clients, and subsequently search engine rankings, is by not being responsive to your online review platforms. Strive to have a 100% score on thanking all reviewers, as well as asking them for more feedback. In other words, reviews represent a unique opportunity to directly engage your clientele.
  • Combative responses – Even worse than being non-responsive, is responding in a negative and combative manner. This signals to users that whoever is managing this business is not a mature individual. A lack of tact can ruin any business.
  • Self or fraudulent reviews – This is the biggest no-no since no-nos were invented. You should never engage in this unethical practice. Review platforms have gotten sophisticated enough to be able to track false reviews. This earns a negative mark for your business and sinks your already floundering reputation even lower.

If I leave you with one thing…

Engage, engage, and engage. Please do not disregard the online review marketplace as a non-issue in your marketing efforts. Make sure your business is taking advantage of this free source of direct client to business engagement opportunity.

If you are ready to make the first step give us a call at (941) 753-7574 or schedule a quick conversation with Tim!

For more facts about online reviews check out this awesome infrographic from our friends over at invespcro:

The importance of online customer reviews

 

Infographic by- Invesp

The post 5 Ways to Handle Online Reviews to Win Customers appeared first on .


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Oct
14
2016 TechXpo
Posted by Meredith Bardsley on 14 October 2016 03:17 pm

TECHXPO HOSTED BY Manatee Chamber of Commerce

 

On November 3rd, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce will host the 2016 TechXpo at their Lakewood Ranch Office at the McClure Center 4215 Concept Court.

The Techxpo will feature an all-star lineup of local technology experts including Webtivity’s very own Terry Thompson, who will help business owners, managers, and in-house IT staff gain the knowledge they need in order to stay apprised of technology that can help their businesses grow and prosper.

Terry will be a participant in the Web Essentials Panel Discussion, an open forum to help answer questions you may have regarding best practices on web design, search engine optimization, tips / tricks / plug-ins to make your site stand out, and help your clients and customers have an outstanding online experience with you.

The schedule of events is as follows.

9:00 AM – 9:20 AM
Networking and mingling with local IT experts

technology experts

technology experts

9:20 AM – 9:50 AM
Social and Mobile Computing

9:55 AM – 10:25 AM
Web Essentials Panel Discussion

10:30 AM – 10:50 AM
Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

10:55 AM – 11:25 AM
IT Security & Your Business

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Questions and Answers

Tickets are:

$28 – Manatee Chamber Members and Manatee Young Professionals
$38 – Non-Members and Guests

Enter our coupon code Webtivity to save $5.00 on admission.

Register here.

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Jul
31
What is SMShing?
Posted by Troy Newport on 31 July 2013 08:21 am

The term SMShing is a term used to describe phishing text messages (SMS phishing).  While it’s not necessarily a new problem, the newly coined term is.  These phishing text messages are sent to a cell phone in an attempt to get the cell phone owner to give up sensitive information.   Customers of local banking institutions such as Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union have been targets of this type of scam.

The scammers will typically blanket a market (it’s not hard to find out the area code and first 3 digits of cell phone #”s in a region) with text messages telling recipients their account at XYZ Bank has been compromised and their account has been placed on hold.  The message will instruct recipients they need to call a phone # to reactivate their account. 

 Sample message: 
XYZ Bank alert. Debit card locked. Call XXX-XXX-XXXX to unlock it.

If you are a member of that banking institution it can be a jarring message to receive.  However, if you call the phone # provided in the text message you will be connected with the scammers and they will ask you to confirm your account # and all the rest of the information they need to gain entrance into your bank account.   Then you’re left with a drained bank account.

To protect yourself against these types of scams follow these rules of thumb:

1)  Never reply to “urgent” communications by email, phone call, SMS or other method.  Even though it’s an alarming communication you’re receiving, ask for the name of the person calling you and a phone number to reach them back.  If they aren’t willing to provide this information the red flags should be raising.

2)  After receiving an urgent communication of this nature, call the Customer Service phone # on the back of your bank card, credit card, etc.  If it was a legitimate communication they will be able to help you.

 3)  Save the email, SMS or phone # that was used to reach you, this information may be helpful in catching the scammers!

The best advice you can follow is to never trust communications of this nature you receive out of the blue.  The more urgent they make it seem for you to give them information, the more skeptical you should be.  Your financial institution’s website will have more information on how to report attempted fraud.

 

The post What is SMShing? appeared first on from the Webtivity Blog.


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Jul
17
How to Stop Receiving Solicitations
Posted by Troy Newport on 17 July 2013 07:42 am

Recently my grandfather passed away so my grandmother has been under more frequent supervision.  One of the first things our family noticed was the inordinate amount of unsolicited sales calls she gets.  So we quickly signed her up on the National Do Not Call Registry (www.donotcall.gov) since it only takes about 31 days to go into effect.

The next thing we noticed was the amount of junk mail she was receiving in the mailbox.  It was so copious it made it difficult to sort the real mail from the solicitations.  If you’re like me, when you go to the mailbox you often feel like you’re just taking out the trash.  You get those flashy “0% APR Introductory Rates” and pre-approved this-and-that. 

Unfortunately a large source of identity theft comes from the solicitations you receive in the mail from credit card and insurance companies. Often crooks intercept those pieces of mail and use them against you.  If you’ve ever had your identity stolen or know someone who has, it can be devastating. 

After some research I found some of the best services I’ve found in a long, long time.  Here’s how I helped my family take more control over our marketing preferences:

Step 1:  Go to www.optoutprescreen.com

Step 2:  Choose to either Opt-Out for 5 Years or Opt-Out “Permanently” (it is reversible if you hit your head someday and decide you want to receive these solicitations again)

Step 3:   If you choose the 5-Year option you complete an electronic form and you are finished!  Or if you choose the Permanent option you must complete an electronic form and then print a PDF, sign it and send it directly to them for confirmation.  To be clear, this removes only your name from companies that use Consumer Credit Reporting Companies to compile their prospect lists.  It does not remove you from those who use the Direct Mail Association (DMA) list.

Step 4:  If you want to also remove yourself from the DMA list, register an account at www.dmachoice.org.  You can selectively choose which catalog, magazine, credit and other offers you receive.  Or opt out from all of it!  Your registration is good for 5 years.

If you’re like me and feel like mail solicitations are bad for the environment and want to help protect your identity, use these quick tips to take control!  Then go online and start shopping  ;)

 

The post How to Stop Receiving Solicitations appeared first on from the Webtivity Blog.


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Jul
27
Interdisciplinary Approach to Internet Marketing
Posted by Troy Newport on 27 July 2011 08:37 am

How many people does it take to build an effective website?

I frequently find myself having a conversation with potential customers about how many people it takes to develop an effective online marketing solution.  Many seem to have the impression if you know how to repair or network computers, then you must know how to design a website and promote it online.  The training required to be an IT professional is very different from the training for web design.  There are dozens of certifications one can obtain in the IT field and none of them are related to web design or internet marketing.

Since I worked in the healthcare industry and I think more people can relate to that industry, let’s think about it in these terms:  When you go to a hospital to receive care, how many people does it take to care for you during your stay?  Is there one person assigned to you who draws your blood, performs surgery, and takes a CAT scan?  No, individuals from various disciplines perform those separate tasks.  Why?  Partly because they were each trained in their specific areas to insure the best outcomes for each aspect of your care.

The same is true in most industries.  For example a company may offer plumbing, electrical and HVAC repair services, but they don’t send the same technician to work in each of those areas.  Instead they hire technicians who were trained and received certifications in each of those areas.  In our field there are three primary areas of expertise involved with creating an effective website:

  • art/design
  • technical
  • marketing

Sadly many schools offering web design programs don’t offer a comprehensive curriculum which adequately addresses all these areas.  Most schools focus primarily on the design aspect (layouts, colors, etc.)  By necessity they do delve into the technical side, but tend not to spend significant time teaching students about search engine optimization and the more technical aspects of developing a website.  And many schools tend to spend even less time teaching basic marketing principals.

But think about it: your website is a primary marketing vehicle for your business — so if your website does not effectively communicate your marketing message and is not technically developed to current search engine standards, you are likely wasting a lot of time, money and potential.

That is why an interdisciplinary team can produce a much more effective online marketing campaign for your business.  You have the individuals working on your project who specialize in web design; those who specialize in the technical side of search engine optimization, and those who specialize in the marketing.  It is very rare to have all those necessities contained in one individual.

What’s that you say?  You need custom programming for your project?  Well that adds another discipline into the mix!  Programmers are trained completely differently from designers, SEO specialists, and marketers.

Understanding the people who make up our industry, their training and capabilities can make you a much more informed consumer when seeking an online marketing partner.

 

 

 


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