Are Those Crickets We Hear?

Are Those Crickets We Hear?

Hearing crickets is the equivalent to pull into the parking lot of a restaurant.. and nobody is there. You probably move on to the next one. If people are hearing crickets on your website or any other online property, you probably want to address why and fix it.

Small business owners have their hands full, overfull. I know, I’m right here with you. Often times we are so busy that we end up doing what is urgent instead of what’s important ( thank you, Dr Covey and yes,  7 Habits of Highly Effective People is is just as relevant and powerful today) Often there is very little if any for messing around the website, social media. I agree and can sympathize with that time crunch. There is no doubt that online activities can be a huge time suck. – If they are not planned

Planning for digital marketing is not something to guess at. If planned right, the implementation of your unique strategy will address so many issues that you run into every day. In the process of developing and implementing your strategy, it helps to keep some ideas at the front of our mind.

  1. Your online assets are not disparate pieces separate but each component woven together strengthening each other.
  2. It is important to think of your online assets in new ways.
    1. You can think of web of assets as the rolls they play –
      1. Your best salesperson – Almost everyone goes online for information, compare products etc. Your assets should help through the buying process so that by the time they pick up the phone, send an email or visit your business they are much closer to making a decision.
      2. Online directories can put your info out on they web in some many places.  Customers can search or stumble your info oon Yahoo, Yelp, Google, and probably 50 more places. Those directories set up with the right information will link back to your site increasing your traffic, increasing inbound links and more to increase your ranking in search engines.
      3. Each business will have their own mix of online assets Each business must decide the best way to communicate with customers. Some people more comfortable texting back and forth for customers service, others would rather pick up the phone and call.
      4. Your best advertising – If you are buying advertising on Google, Facebook, Instagram etc, where do people go when they click on your ad? Your homepage? or exactly the page
      5. they want? This effects the quality of your ad and adds to the user experience. For e xample, if you are advertising an event and the link in the ad goes to the home page or about or any other place than the event page you. are not getting optimal results.
      6. Customer Service – You can get get feedback in real time giving you the opportunity to fix it. If it is poor feedback you have the chance to turn an angry customer around and perhaps stop a bad review.
      7. Can you think of others?
  3. Do you ask the people you are connected with on Social Media to share your content? Equally important is deciding what action you would like them to take. For example, if you are promoting an event you have coming up, did you include a link to your signup page? If not, you missing opportunities. You can engage the people you are connected to and have them help in your success. It is your own personal referal network. There are people you are connected to who I can tell you, would be happy you asked them to help.
  4. Infographic How valuable is first place on google

These are just my notes for this post. ( Yes, I’m a real person. I’ll be editing this over the weekend. If you have topics you want included, share them in the comments below. THANK YOU! )

I am a Web Designer but it is not websites I sell.

I am a Web Designer but it is not websites I sell.

There are more places for a business to be found today that it can leave us scratching our heads. From websites and blogs to online stores, Facebook (business), Instagram along with a plethora of online directories the possibilities are many. But, how are we to […]

Do I need a website designer? Do I need a website designer? There are so many options for creating a nice looking website ranging anywhere in price from free DYI sites to 10’s of thousands of dollars. I’ll share some things to consider at each […]

Online Security is Depends a Lot on Our Behaviors

Online Security is Depends a Lot on Our Behaviors

Our security online has a lot to do with our own behaviors.

We can’t passively relax and think that we are safe because we have a virus protection program. Managing your security online doesn’t need to be technical. We can start with things we can do now. No matter how strong our firewall and malware software is, they can do nothing if we figuratively open the front door for the bad guys.

First, if you have not done so already. walk over to your router and unplug it. Do the same at your office. You can come back to this when your router reboots.
Your virus protection software does nothing to stop VPNFilter. The malware can allow the collection of information, or even render the device inoperable. Shutting down the router does stop VPNfilter. Does shutting down the router really work? Yes. Most devices today have some information that stays when the device is turned off. They “remember” things when they are off so they can return when restarted. Part of VPNFilter does this as well but, a part of it is lost when the router is shut down. So yes, shutting off your router stops it. Did you do it yet?

Department of Homeland Security and FBI

The Department of Homeland Security, The FBI and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team have issued alerts in the last week warning of vicious malware coming out of North Korea. You risk loss of data, loss of operation of your device, or financial loss and you should take precautions asap.

Being safe starts with us and our own habits.

Old or simple passwords, using the same passwords on multiple sites, neglecting to update operating systems when they updates are released and failing to keep other software, especially websites software/platforms/ plugins and security software up to date all make us vulnerable. Other things to watch are downloads and links in email or on malicious sites.

Here are the steps you can take to protect yourself online, and it starts with strong passwords that you change periodically.

In order to keep them safe and in case you forget them, there are a few password “safes” that you can use to store them. The safes are encrypted so they are secure. It is a terrible idea to keep them in a document or spreadsheet. It is also a really bad idea to email them. I use two, one is called Keepass and it is an open source program. It is not much to look at but it is very secure. I also use one called LastPass. I enjoy using LastPass for a couple of reasons. First, It can generate any password with any weird combinations web developers can ask for. Letters, upper case, lower case, numbers and any special characters in any quantity. LastPass also has the ability to create strong passwords that are easy to say. That makes them easier to remember. LastPass has a free version that is more than enough for most people.

Updating software is pretty easy today.

Sometimes you are offered the chance to have the software updated automatically. It is a good idea to set that up. Software developers often alert you when new updates are ready. Usually updating is a one-click operation. One thing I would add is to remember to backup your device regularly. There are plenty of ways to back up your computer whether you use a Mac or a Windows computer.

Malware in email is very sneaky today.

It is often difficult to tell the difference between a real company email and an email that is doctored up to look real. In the past, you could sometimes tell a malicious email from a foreign company. With misspelled and misused used words they were often easy to spot.
Today, malicious emails can look exactly like an email from a reputable company they are pretending to be. Spam filters can catch a lot, but not all bad emails. If you see a spam email, something you have not signed up for, go ahead and report it as spam. Your email client usually will dump future emails like it into your spam box.
To spot bogus email, a  giveaway is the email address it comes from. If the domain or subdomain is not the real companies domain, there is a good chance the email is fake. It is important not to click on links in an email if it looks even a little fishy. Your best bet is to leave your email and type the companies email in your browser and visit your account. Also, reputable companies will not ask you for any personal information in an email.
For emails that are not from the companies domain or sub-domain. Off the top of my head, and App| can look very similar in certain fonts. ( the second uses the pipe command “|” instead of an “L” ) Watch for in email as well. It is very easy to click on a link that takes you to a site and infects your device. Just as bad, it is really easy to inadvertently give permissions to apps – that’s like giving the bad guys the key to your front door. Also, watch for file downloads that may install malware on your device(s)
It is a good idea to unsubscribe from email lists that you no longer use. The same goes for accounts at sites that are dormant. That political site that you signed up for and no longer read, unsubscribe from it. Although it is not required by the  CAN-SPAM act, most reputable companies include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Some sites that you signed up for require a little work. That Myspace account you haven’t used in years, delete that account.
Antivirus software is a must for under $50 you can get some good protection. Personally, I am a fan of Malwarebytes. For around $50 you can cover your computer and your phone.

Shut your computer down when you are not using it.

Makes sense right? the less time you are connected the less opportunity the bad guys have to hack it.  Although your computer is inactive when it is sleeping, it can be awakened. That can’t happen when it is off.
Do you know of others things we can do? Do you have any questions that we might answer? Leave us some comments.
My Favorite Website Management Tools

My Favorite Website Management Tools

Website management and marketing tools including development and design, CRM ( customer relationship management ), email marketing systems, social media dashboards, and content management tools abound. There is an overwhelming amount of information available on each of these tools and solutions. As you may have, I […]

Internet Security, Passwords Are Your First Line of Defense

Internet Security, Passwords Are Your First Line of Defense

When it comes to internet security, passwords are your first line of defense. You do change your passwords on a regular basis, right? Yea, that is what I thought. Even with all my preaching about how important keeping up with security is, I am just as […]

Are QR codes dead?

Are QR codes dead?


Wait, what is a QR code?  QR stands for “quick response.”


Plugin for Chrome browser.

Create via Website – QRCodeMonkey

If you want someone to access your information on the web without having to type in a long URL, QR codes rock. Through the years, people have tried using them with varying degrees of success. There are two applications that I find very effective. Car dealers can use them on vehicles so that buyers can get more detailed information on the vehicle and real estate agencies can use them on property signs for the exact same reason.


Do you have applications where you have found QR Codes helpful?QR Code example of VCard

Where to start | How to use Social Media To Increase Sales

Where to start | How to use Social Media To Increase Sales

Quick Start for maximizing your efforts in Social Media. First, what are we trying to do with social media or why?  Do we want to increase sales, build memberships, share information, build donors and by how much do we want to grow? What problem are […]