Simple Solutions for Dramatically Boosting Your Website’s Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is the ultimate “is it working?” measurement. And if your conversion rate is lower than it should be, it means you’re missing out on a chance to turn website traffic into valuable revenue.

The What and Why of Conversion Rates

A conversion rate is basically a measurement of how many website visitors take a specific action. Typical conversion goals include making a purchase, submitting a form, downloading a lead magnet, filling out a survey, or engaging with your site in some other way.

Once you have a goal in place (and a way of collecting data against that goal), calculating the conversion rate is easy. You simply take the number of conversions and divide it by the total number of visitors. Multiply this number by 100 percent and you have your conversion rate.

For example, let’s say your conversion goal is for visitors to opt-in to your email newsletter. If you have 800 visitors and 200 fill out the form, your conversion rate is 25 percent.

You’ll most likely have multiple conversion goals – and that’s fine. (You can track more than one conversion rate at a time.) The key is to track the same goals over time, so that you can study the trends.

4 Tips for Boosting Your Conversion Rate

Want to give your conversion rates a big boost? Here are a few useful techniques:

1. Add Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

Pop-ups are annoying. But did you know that they’re also quite effective?

While we wouldn’t recommend using pop-ups for everything, exit-intent pop-ups generate pretty impressive results. Whereas the average conversion rate of a pop-up is somewhere around 3 percent, many top-performing websites are able to get closer to 9.28 percent.

Exit-intent pop-ups are particularly useful for delivering coupons, discount codes, and offers when a visitor is about to leave the page. Consider adding them to your landing pages, product pages, and shopping carts.

2. Survey Your Customers

Sometimes it’s obvious why a page is underperforming or what factors are suppressing your conversion rate. Other times, you have no clue what’s causing poor numbers. Surveying customers can help you get to the bottom of the matter.

With website feedback software, you can collect, organize, and act upon data to improve conversion rates and strengthen your business at a foundational level. You can even use them in conjunction with exit-intent pop-ups to grab feedback when a customer is on the way out. 

3. Write Better CTAs

It’s possible that your calls-to-action (CTAs) are holding you back. Improving the copy and design of your CTAs could lead to a direct improvement. Here are some suggestions:

● Use just one CTA per page. (Multiple CTAs confuse people and make it less likely that they’ll take action.)

● Use color psychology to your advantage. For example, red CTA buttons typically perform better in situations where you’re trying to communicate urgency.

● Use first-person action phrases in your CTA copy (rather than generic and passive language).

No two brands will have the same CTA. How you optimize your calls-to-action will depend on the customer, the product, and the narrative you’re pushing in order to magnetize the former to the latter.

4. Destroy Doubts

A good website proactively acknowledges and destroys all of a visitor’s major doubts and hesitancies. This can be done through a strategic combination of social proof (like testimonials and case studies) and guarantees (such as 100 percent money-back promises).

Adopt a CANI Mentality

At the end of World War II, the Japanese economy was in shambles. Industries were destroyed and the very fabric of the nation had been left in shreds. But it was in the immediate aftermath of the war that the principle of Kaizen was initiated to spur on one of the more impressive recoveries in the history of the world. And it’s a principle that you can use in your own business.

The Kaizen principle is built on the idea of constant and never ending improvement, also known as CANI. It’s a belief system of betterment and refinement – i.e. the idea that nothing is ever perfect and there’s always room for improvement.

As you approach your website conversion rate, try adopting a Kaizen mentality. Improvements should be celebrated, but you’ll never be done. Stay committed and focus on constant and never ending improvement.

7 Commercial Real Estate Apps that are Transforming the Industry

People who invest in commercial real estate are all about increasing productivity and profits. With technology today, commercial real estate investors have many Android and iPhone apps available to make them more successful. The apps highlighted below can make investors more money and get more done.

And if you want to get more done after that, consider bringing in a skilled property management team to take you out of the day-to-day running of your properties.

LoopNet Commercial Real Estate Search

If you are shopping for a commercial property to enhance your portfolio or seeking tenants, this app is essential for your cell phone.

LoopNet boasts more than 800,000 property listings and special search filter tools. You’ll find it simple to locate a building that meets your requirements and needs.

What other app allows you to see mortgage lender details, property tax history, and tenant information? Also, this app is perfect for listing your property for sale when the time comes.

DealCheck

This app analyzes investment properties for investors. Just enter the information about a real estate transaction, such as financing expenses or purchase price, and you get a detailed financial projection and analysis.

Many investors use DealCheck to review comps and calculate what offers cost.

Visual Lease

Commercial real estate buyers know that managing leases can be tedious, even when things are running smoothly. When they aren’t, leases can be terrible to manage. But this robust app with an elegant interface lets you manage and organize leases.

You can reduce your operating costs and see a tidy snapshot of how each lease affects your profits. Visual Lease is helpful for all team members, from assistant to the CEO.

Yardki CRM Mobile

This is an accounting and property management app for small and medium-sized commercial property investors. It offers many convenient features, including managing property records, sending letters, and posting rents.

Some find the tool isn’t as intuitive as they want, but if you have the time to learn, you can use this app to manage your properties more efficiently. 

Property Capsule

This is a popular leasing app that is more appropriate for retail properties. Unlike other apps, Property Capsule boasts marketing automation tools.

You can upload photos for listings, plans, property details, and documents in one location. When the information is put into the app, it can be used for marketing documents and email blasts.

Commercial Site Inspector

This app is both a mobile application and a web-based commercial project management tool. It lets the investor review, perform, and report on property inspections intuitively and efficiently.

You can upload maps and pictures and send PDF reports to your team and clients. All data on the website is pulled from a CSI database that you can access on your account.

Verdigris Energy

Do you know what the energy costs are for your building? Do you possess strategies to lower your costs for each property?

Verdigris Energy uses intelligent sensors to help investors track how much energy their buildings use. You also get real-time data that can be used to pinpoint waste that could be affecting profits.

The best thing is forecasting tools allow you to plan your needs and strategies to prepare for the more expensive summer and winter periods.

These commercial investor apps let you manage your time and money more efficiently with each property so that you can make more money and get more done. Whenever you want to use technology to enhance your business, these apps can help you do the job.

How to Transcribe Video and Audio on Mac

Transcribing is a process of converting audio to text (or the contents of a video to text). Though far from creative, this job is often necessary. For instance, you are a journalist. You probably have an audio record of an interview, which you must turn into the text of the appropriate format. Or, you need to document the results of meetings, discussions, conferences, etc. Or, you have dictated some statements and ideas for yourself to work on them later.

Transcription jobs are far from the most exciting activities. Besides, when you do it manually, this routine can drive you crazy. You have to play your audio or video record and type what you hear simultaneously. If the quality of the record is not excellent, you’ll have to stop, listen to the phrase again, play backward, then forward, etc. This all demands time and concentration, which is really draining. Fortunately, there are specialized tools and other alternatives.

Types of available text transcription methods on Mac

The specificity of converting audio to text is dealing with both the audio or video source and text editors simultaneously. This requirement determines the usage of larger screens of PC or Macs and their keyboards to follow the processes.

Depending on the performance method, you may transcribe your audio manually or automatically, using the available technical means or support from specialized services like Transcriberry. Let us review the available opportunities in more detail.  

Manual transcribing on Mac

The available solutions for manual transcribing mostly aim to simplify the processes. The task of recognizing the speech in the source and turning the audio or video to text is still the human transcriptionist’s responsibility.

Mac works with many specialized software solutions that you can download and install on the computer. Also, there are web applications available through the browser. The latter option is even more popular, as it does not depend on the OS at all, and you can use it on Mac, Windows, Linux, or mobile devices if needed.

Whether you work with the installed software or online service on Mac, these solutions follow the same principle. You upload the file with the record to convert it to text. The system allows you to play the record and type the transcription in the working area. The tools locate the player and the text editor on the same screen, and the performer does not need to switch between tabs. The overall process becomes smoother and lets you focus on the task better.

In order to support the human transcriptionist, such software will offer lots of additional means. There are words auto replacement, auto-completion, text suggestions, the possibility to add time codes, etc. The job is still yours, but you can do it faster and synchronize the listening and typing activities. With proper typing skills and good quality of the source video or audio, it is similar to writing by dictation.

Among the many available solutions for manual transcribing on Mac, you’ll find the variants for both amateurs and professionals.

Automated transcribing on Mac

AI-based transcription solutions are on the rise as well. The quality depends on the voice recognition, and the AI capabilities become more advanced in this aspect continually.

Speaking of the Mac capabilities, we should mention its in-build Dictation and Speech utility. By enabling it, you can dictate any text and let your Mac transcribe it in real-time. Using the advanced settings, you can review the results immediately. One of the brightest advantages is that this option works offline as the transcription is performed locally on the machine. Your voice is accepted directly, without sending it through the Web.

Still, this convenient option is far from being a universal answer to all questions. It works with the data obtained through the microphone and won’t process the uploaded files. You might play your record to “dictate” it to the utility. As you know, the results depend on the quality of that material, like with all other tools.

There are other third-party solutions available for Mac. They all combine the speech-to-text AI algorithms and text editors for the human transcriptionists to revise and correct the results of the automated transcribing.

Even the best transcribers use automated transcription systems time after time. For instance, when they have a high-quality source file and need to speed up the initial analysis. Then they work on the recognized data personally, adjusting it to the English audio text.

However, no professional transcriptionist will rely on the automated system entirely. Most likely, you are interested in obtaining the highest quality when transcribing your audio. Then, the best option is to apply the manual approach. The alternative is delegating this job to specialists.

Professional online transcription services

As the number of users in need of transcribing services increases every day, the need gets the supply. Both the desktop and online solutions offer support for the do-it-yourself approach. On the other hand, there are professional companies such as Transcriberry that provide the targeted service.

You might prefer to do the job yourself. In this case, experts will consult you and provide our dedicated resources. They are online, so they are perfectly compatible with Mac. Or, they can take the entire task and ensure the best-quality converting audio to text for your needs.

Types of Sales Representatives and their Foolproof Methodologies

When it comes to sales, it isn’t just about selling the product or service to the customer. You need to understand their requirements, pressure points, and issues before furnishing your product for purchase. Imagine yourself in a mall looking out for different things before buying your said product and an amateur salesperson insisting you buy a specific brand. He/She is not paying any heed to your concern and just babbling about how beneficial the product can be for you. What would your reaction to him/her be?

If the salesperson had known anything about sales methodologies, he/she would try a different approach. And there would have been a brighter chance of you making the purchase thinking that you need to have it. It is what sales methodologies do. It provides you with various sets of rules and rhythms to follow, right from finding a prospect to closing a deal. Sales methodologies are the combination of different researches and findings done over a long period by several researchers. And today, we will be indulging in some of them to give a better perspective.

Before getting to know the methodologies, here are the 5 profiles of sales representatives,

  • The hard worker – The one that goes out of his way to ensure the deal is closed. They are remarkably determined individuals.
  • The relationship builder – Everyone in and around the market knows them. Famous for building connection & trust with everyone around.
  • The problem solver – Their purpose is to solve customer’s problems and consider that to be the utmost priority.
  • The lone wolf – As the name itself suggests, they are the rulers of their own might. They will make rules of their own and aren’t afraid of breaking the norms.
  • Challengers – They are well aware of the customers’ needs and the sales processes. They spend more time teaching the customer about the value proposition than closing the deal.

Now that you understand the types, here are some of the methodologies for closing the deal.

Target account selling

This is the most commonly used methodology. The sales representative has a specific number of leads to persuade and follow up with. This helps the representative to concentrate on the list than try and gain contacts and start with the sales funnel. It does save the time of each person from searching the potentials.

The intention here is to get the potential clients in closing the deals. This requires a great amount of coordination from the sales team along with marketing as well as customer support. 

The Challengers Sale

A challenger is defined by the ability to teach, tailor and take control. As mentioned about the sales representative’s trait above, a challenger studies the customer and their distinctions & how to get them into understanding the usefulness of the product. It is about bringing the balance of customer relationship with getting them to know about the product’s value. 

In Challengers sale, the representative takes control of the conversation and informs the buyer about the know-whats and know-hows that the buyer cannot find on the internet. In return, the buyer gets the best experience while buying the product.

Inbound Selling

Did you know? In this type of sale, more than 57% of customers are already into the sales funnel of buying the product. It makes the representative’s lives easier to persuade the leads and confirm them to final deals. Marketing plays a substantial role in filtering the failed potentials and provides the sales representative with the potential prospects.

In inbound selling, the customer is already aware of the products you cater to and is interested in what you can offer them. They reach out to the sales representative only to help them guide to the right product. So it becomes more of consultation or solution-based than sales.

Buying Signal Sale

A buying signal is an opportunity for the representative to get in touch with the customer and let them know how useful the product is. With the buying signal’s help, you can determine when a prospect would need your offer. Every time a person visits a website, it creates valuable data for the sales team to use. However, they seldomly get any updates about it. Using this technique, you can gather and understand the interests of each customer’s purchase and persuade them accordingly.

However, not every time you’d get a chance to contact the customer directly. And, you’d end up losing a lead or spending too much time on finding their contacts. Here is when you can utilize the tools that can help you in email search. GetEmail.io is a powerful website with a massive database of email contacts to cater. You can easily find your prospect’s email addresses within a matter of seconds. In return, it boosts your productivity while saves enough time for you to concentrate on other leads.

A Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Now that we are in the digital age and most of us rely heavily on the online world, we tend to spend so much of our time browsing and surfing the internet. Throughout the years, the worldwide web has become an effective platform for marketing. We even now have the term “e-commerce” or electronic commerce. 

With e-commerce, transactions for buying and selling products are entirely made online. Business owners and manufacturers can just put up their products on a website, and buyers can easily purchase whatever they need. Now, all they have to do is find ways to promote their business — and trust me, with the power of the internet, marketing opportunities are endless. Gone are the days where you have to buy a slot for a TV advertisement or a section in a newspaper just to advertise. And this leads to one type of online marketing, which is affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of online marketing where a merchant or a business owner boosts their product sales by providing existing content creators or potential affiliate marketers with the same niche links that they can incorporate into their content. Once clicked by the audience, these links will direct them to the website’s shop to purchase the products. 

Affiliate marketers or affiliates earn a commission when someone purchases an item through their link. Their income is solely based on the number of items sold using the link. Depending on the affiliate network, the commission can be a percentage of the sales or a fixed rate per sale. Although no training is required to become an affiliate, there are classes that you can take that can guide you in the industry. Look for the most recommended courses on affiliate marketing to have an in-depth introduction about being an affiliate.

What do you benefit from affiliate marketing? 

It is very easy to start.

To be an affiliate marketer, all you need is a device and access to the internet. Other than that, you must be able to create content consistently. Your content,  it can be a blog post or a YouTube video, must be in line with the merchant’s niche or you can simply review their product. 

It would not cost you anything.

Merchants do not require any fees for aspiring affiliates, so you have nothing to risk at all — except maybe your time and effort for content creation. However, beginners in this industry must ensure that they can widen their audience as their income solely relies on the number of people who purchase with their links.

You get an opportunity to increase your income.

As soon as they get into that groove and people start to purchase products through their links, affiliate marketers can easily earn an income. For your income to constantly grow, you need to keep promoting your website or account through your content to gain loyal followers who can potentially buy your chosen merchant’s products.

It can be done with several platforms.

Affiliate marketing works with almost all platforms, including blogs, Youtube, as well as Instagram. So, if you have been a long-time video creator on Youtube or you already have thousands of followers on Instagram, then you might have an advantage as an affiliate. Building your audience through those platforms can now be easy nowadays.

You can create a wide variety of content.

Depending on which type of content you prefer, you can find an appropriate merchant through the affiliate networks. It is at your advantage if you are flexible and can create several forms of content, like blogs, videos, posts, etc. Instagram has this new feature where you can add affiliate links to your stories, and interested followers can just swipe up to get directed on the website.

It can elevate your platform.

If people keep interacting with your affiliate links, the more engaging your account becomes. As a result of this, you get better standing on these platforms’ algorithms, especially with Instagram recently, where the more engagements you have, the more visible you become.

How to become successful in Affiliate Marketing? 

Although it is easy and risk-free to start getting involved in affiliate marketing and possibly earn an income, you still have to maintain good practices to help your earnings grow and be more consistent. To help you with this, here are nine tips and steps that you can follow to become successful as an affiliate marketer:

1. Choose proper platforms for you.

As we mentioned, you can choose from a lot of platforms for affiliate marketing. One factor that can help your success in this career become faster, you must select a platform that you are comfortable using. If you are not a writer, then blog posting would not work for you at all, and you would not need a website. You can always try Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, where creating accounts is free, and content posting can be pretty straightforward.

2. Stick to your niche.

Before you start, you must choose two to three related niches that you want your content to revolve around. For example, one of the most popular niches nowadays is sports and fitness. If you are a woman who religiously works out and an enthusiast of anything health and fitness-related, you can post about those things and choose merchants that maybe sell workout clothes, protein shakes, sports equipment, etc. In addition to this, if you love fashion, you can post content about that too. Remember, too many niches mess up your content, confuses your audience, and you lose the potential of gaining loyal followers.

3. Build your credibility to attract followers.

Credibility is vital for you to gain organic followers or followers that are legitimately engaging with your posts — in short, not bots. Remember that for affiliate marketing to become an effective source of income, your stats are key. You need to have more followers or an audience that anticipates every post and reacts to each of them. The more followers you have, the more chances of having people that purchase with your affiliate link.

4. Find an affiliate network.

The easiest way to find merchants or sellers that seeks additional promotion through affiliate marketing is by visiting affiliate networks. These networks are what serve as middlemen between merchants and affiliates. Merchants have their products listed in the networks, and affiliate marketers just search through them to find the products relevant to their niche, and they can create content about.

5. Carefully choose the products.

Only choose relevant products and merchants. This way, your content becomes consistent, and you stay within your niche.

Create high-quality content consistently.

Lastly, you have to keep your audience engaged and interested in your content, so they stick around. And when you finally post content on your affiliate links, make sure that you will be able to captivate their audience and persuade them to buy the product. Writing positive reviews about the products is the most common way to incorporate affiliate links.

The secret to becoming successful in this career is to be consistent and dedicated to your content. You have to lure in your audience and convince them that they need these products, so they should click your link and purchase. In affiliate marketing, this is pretty much the only way to earn income.

How to Choose Competent IT Recruitment Services for Your Business

The IT department for any company and industry is an important part of it. These services increase efficiency in business and help an enterprise go with the flow and keep up with technology trends. For this reason, it’s highly important to have a skilled team and professionals that are competent enough to provide your firm all that it needs to have a strong tech front in the competitive world. This why IT recruitment agencies exist.

The work of these agencies is to assess and provide a top-notch workforce to help out any company that needs talent fast. A lot of your time is saved with the help of such an agency, and you are able to focus on the implementation of the process with your swiftly put-together IT team to start getting tech authorized. 

However, you have to be careful in choosing an IT recruitment agency that can be up to par for your needs. Here are some things to implement in your search for the best recruits in your IT team by the following tips:

Get Recommendations

The best way to reach out to the most reliable and dependable IT recruitment services is through recommendations. You can ask your friends or business partners to recommend these to you before you start doing your own research. This way, you won’t have to be doubtful and understand the working of an agency from personal experience. If there aren’t any recommendations, you can check out online reviews on different agencies that are also dependable. 

Dig Deep

Once you select a few agencies to choose from, ensure to dig deeper into their work and history on completing recruitment assignments. Conduct a thorough background check on all the agencies that feel authentic to you and know from their past clients about their working style. This digging can give you valuable information you may not be able to achieve through reviews and ratings alone. 

Propose an Interview

Always ask the right questions you would ask an employee before hiring them to a recruitment hiring manager. It’s important that you understand the terms they provide and find out the hidden information. Understand the recruitment process thoroughly and ask about your involvement in the procedure, if any. Ask about the company’s standards for hiring and supplying a workforce in the IT field that can help lead your firm better. Like this, create a list of important questions to ask and make sure to get all your answers before agreeing to anything and signing up the contract. 

Know Your Needs

When choosing the right IT recruitment agency for your business, you need to understand and write down your needs. This list of needs can help the recruiting firm out tons in supplying you with an efficient workforce. For this reason, choose the IT expertise and positions you’re looking to hire in the company. Come up with the number of employees you need to hire and their employment terms. If you’re looking to hire long-term reliable staff members for your team, explain these requirements to the agency explicitly. Check out the specialty of the firm and its footing in the IT industry before hiring. 

Negotiate Costs

Recruitment agencies are reliable in the essence that they make the recruitment tasks easier for you. They save costs and time spent in interviewing, training, and testing employees. But are they affordable? Different IT recruiters offer varied charges for their services which can depend on the number of facilities you procure. 

However, even if you hire an employee or two, some agencies ought to rip you off for it when there can be found the same expertise of skills in another agency. For this reason, look at the talent before the price tag. Don’t worry about an IT recruiter offering low prices if the talent is worthwhile. It’s best to stick to your budget as well to keep the process as cost-efficient as possible. 

4 Reasons To Understand Your Software Supply Chain

Back in the days, software was supplied to customers in CD-ROMs and floppy disks. One had to get hold of either of these storage devices from the manufacturer and then install the software on their personal computers. But times have changed! Today, all you need is a good internet connection, and you’re good to go. Even the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications can now be downloaded from a server, installed, and activated using a unique key.

Because of this connection between the manufacturer and the user, the software can be updated continuously. This creates what the industry has dubbed as a software supply chain. Since the product being delivered is the program free to download, and the good is the code, which is used to activate the product, the supply process should be comparatively easy. The fact that there are no warehouses involved or even transportation headaches make many people think that the whole process is a walk in the park, but it’s not!

A software supply chain can be very complicated, especially for beginners. As such, you need to find ways to learn the ins and outs of your software supply security and every other-related aspect. Still not convinced? Continue reading to learn some more reasons why this knowledge is significant for developing both your business and as an individual.

1. There is More Than Meets the Eye

One reason why you’ll need to learn and understand your software supply chain is that it involves more than what you just see from the outside. Apart from its unique set of tools, procedures, and workforce, many activities still need to be managed. The fact is that most of these things are easily forgotten by business owners, perhaps because only experts can trace them.

However, it’s pretty essential to have an understanding of what’s going on beyond the obvious. Having insights into the details gives you an upper hand in your business’s management process. You’ll be able to make decisions knowing the consequences rather than just relying on what your employees suggest. Therefore, if you haven’t done it yet, make sure you sit down with one of the employed experts and let them take you through the whole of your software supply chain.

2. Individual Decisions Have a Wide Impact

What’s open-source software (OSS)? This is an application that a developer chooses to distribute with “read and write” codes. That means anyone who has access to this software can modify it to meet specific needs. Most applications usually have one or more open-source components.

Some of the rules set by the OSS community are that such applications must be freely available, include a modifiable source code, and have no restrictions for redistribution. How does the developer benefit? Most people opt to distribute their software in such a format to allow for quicker repairs and the development of high-quality applications.

Of course, it may seem straightforward, but the issue of OSS is sometimes complicated. Remember the source code you distribute may contain some crucial information. Therefore, a decision by a programmer or a group of developers can easily pose considerable risks to your business. The courts understand that a breach of the OSS license may lead to IP infringement, but it’s not clear whether it can be categorized as a breach of contract.

There are many cases where a company has faced software-related risks after distributing its source codes. Learning about your software supply chain will help you understand your specific scenario and handle any legal issues that may arise in the future. It’s worth noting that every OSS component should have a license attached to make things easier in case you find yourself in a legal fight.

3. Free but Chargeable

Free but chargeable; quite confusing, right? Well, that’s one more reason why you should get hold of an expert and learn the ins and outs of your software supply chain. A company may provide a set of source codes that you can edit and modify to fit your needs. However, the original developer may attach financial restrictions to go with their software applications.

For one, they may decide that the OSS is only free if not commercialized, and if one decides to sell, then they must adhere to the provided rules. For example, if you’re planning to redistribute such software, you might be compelled to send a percentage of your sales to the source code owner. This is a common occurrence among companies that have already rolled out another version of this software as a commercial product.

4. You’ll Have an Idea of Related Implications

As already seen, different developers have the opportunity to incorporate their ideas into your source code. But as the owner, you ought to understand all the implications of such actions. You can only have an idea in this area if you’ve studied and understood your software supply chain.

 Some of the things you need to focus on are the third-party tools used by the developers and how they’ll affect the customers. Will such actions affect the company in the future?

Once you’ve assessed the obligations and risks, it’s also recommended that you carefully go through the open-source licenses and their implications. Who will be responsible for the risks posed or any breach of license? For instance, take the KODI media player; it’s legal open-source software, but the addons you install on it can compromise its legality and safety.

Conclusion

The software supply chain is thought to be a simple and straightforward system, but it involves many economic and legal regulations. Whether you’re a developer of open-source or commercial software, you ought to adhere to the respective laws of the industry. Understanding your software supply chain will help you decide on the best actions to take at any given time. It gives you an idea of how the consumers should use your software, especially if it’s an OSS. Remember, the distribution of your source code can make or break your business; so, be sure to revise all the relevant open-source licenses before embarking on the distribution process.

Why Backing Up Windows Systems is Essential?

For many, their PC is the beginning and endpoint for important data storage. This creates a treasure trove of information that needs to be protected. Backing up data is an important way that the treasure trove of information can be protected in the event of a cyberattack or disaster. Newer versions of Windows include a backup utility which begs the question, do you need third-party software to facilitate backups?

Windows Backup

Depending on which version of Windows is installed on a particular machine, will determine what backup tools are available to the user. In Windows Vista and 7, the tool is called Backup and Restore. With Windows 8 Backup and Restore was replaced with what became known as File History. Due to a convoluted series of updates, those that upgraded to Windows 8.1 had both features. For a time, Windows 10 had both Backup and Restore and File History. Both are still available, however, in terms of help guides and official documentation Backup and Restore is the favored utility. This is still the case at the time of writing but using Backup and Restore is the preferable option, at least in this writers’ opinion.

Limitations

The utilities offered by Windows, while certainly better than nothing and can still save the day in the event of a data disaster, are limited in terms of functionality when compared to windows backup software options. Some of the limitations include a lack of customizing backups. When dealing with a lot of data this may prove difficult when needing to keep everything organized.

Lack of customization is not the only limitation. Backup and Restore does not allow for single files to be backed up, entire drives need to be selected. Then an image of that drive will be created. Both utilities also lack a native cloud backup option and require a separate service, like OneDrive, to carry out a backup to a cloud. Users are also limited in the types of storage that will be used during the backup process, typically cannot backup hard drives that are FAT formatted.

The Third-Party Software Option

Often the discussion surrounding third-party backup solutions tends to focus on enterprise-level protection and how to ensure the best possible data protection policy. For at-home users, these discussions fail to bring across the need to protect personal data. The modern reality is that home users need to treat their data similarly to the way enterprises should. Backing up data is a fundamental pillar of data protection and the Windows utilities mentioned above will help but as has been seen are limited.

Third-party software offerings help negate those limitations by allowing better scheduling and automation of file types. Further, software packages offer far more customization options while still offering an easy-to-use interface. Lastly, software packages will allow for the backing up of several file formats and media file types Windows utilities do not offer.

While Windows’ backup utilities are better than nothing, users will need to supplement these tools with third-party software packages to truly protect their data from a cyberattack or disaster such as hardware failure. The software option is the most logical choice for users as the next step in securing and protecting their important information and memories.

Increase your Productivity with These Pro Tips

Maintaining productivity is something everyone struggles with. Even if you’re working on a project that you enjoy. You can still become unmotivated and unproductive. But, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get you out of that slump.

Productivity can mean different things for different people. And we all work in different ways. So we need different methods of remaining motivated and productive. Here are some of the best top tips for a productive day.

1. Make a Flexible Schedule

When first beginning a piece of work, it can be overwhelming to see all the tasks that you have ahead of you. This can result in some people procrastinating and not getting on with their work. Even if the tasks are small and easy.

One way to overcome this is to make a schedule. Break everything down into small steps. And work on the first one in front of you. Then move on to the next. Chopping and changing between tasks might make you feel productive. But it can cause you to become tired and unmotivated. Then, when you start to feel unproductive, you will have some tasks only half done.

But, this is where flexibility comes in. Even if your schedule is perfectly organized and you know exactly what you’re doing, things can always go wrong. It might seem impossible to plan for something to go wrong. But you always need to be ready for this. And be ready to adapt your schedule. This will stop you from stalling and having to throw everything away and start again.

2. Adapt to Your Own Rhythms

When creating this schedule, you need to acknowledge how you work. If you have flexible working hours, make sure to schedule your time for when you are most productive. If you find that you produce most of your work in the afternoon, then schedule your hours for 12pm to 8pm.

People who are night owls or prefer to sleep later are often considered to be lazy. But this definitely isn’t the case. People have different circadian rhythms. And this can have a huge impact on when you are productive.

This might not be possible if your work regularly involves meetings with people who work a more standard Monday to Friday 9 to 5. But you can still work around this. If you can, organize meetings for later in the day. Or even in the mornings. Then use the afternoon to complete the bulk of your work.

3. To-Do Lists Are Essential

Making a schedule for a big project can help. But planning ahead doesn’t have to mean making a plan for the whole week or month. Just making a to-do list at the start of your day or the night before will help.

To-do lists are one of the easiest ways to keep track of your work. And remind yourself of the tasks you have laid out ahead. Just make sure that your to-do lists are in-line with your schedule. The most organized option is to make an overarching schedule for the project. Then a to-do list every morning.

This will help you to organize your day. But make sure that you don’t overload your to-do list. Be realistic about the time you have. And factor in how long each task will likely take. Give yourself a break. And remember that it’s okay to fall off the schedule a little. As with a flexible schedule, you can easily get back on track.

Overloading your to-do list with unachievable tasks will only make you feel as though you’re failing and falling behind. Even if you’re not. This will be detrimental to your productivity. Especially if you’re an “all or nothing” kind of worker.

4. Try the Pomodoro Method

If you struggle to organize your own time, the pomodoro method is an easy way to help. The pomodoro method involves working for a period of 20 or 25 minutes, then taking a 5-minute break. This is repeated three or four times. Then you have a slightly longer break.

This breaks down your day. So you will only need to think about the next 20 minutes of work you have to do. This is especially useful if you need to focus on a big project. Or struggle to maintain focus for long periods of time. Some people can easily focus for hours. But this is impossible for others.

Be sensible and realistic about your attention span. Forcing yourself to work when your brain isn’t engaged is only going to result in you producing poor work.

This is also super useful if you struggle to ignore your phone while working. This can often be a problem for people who work alone or at home. You can use the 5-minute breaks to look at your phone. And then ignore it when you’re working. Timing your breaks will also stop that “quick 2-minute break” accidentally becoming half an hour.

5. Remember to Rest

This is a super important one. It’s a tired saying but it’s true. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Resting will help to revive you and allow you to produce better results. There is no point in powering through when you’re tired. As you will only be producing work that will need changing later on.

Working late or working long hours is often seen as an act of dedication. But it won’t help if you are burnt out and can’t produce anything of value. Rest doesn’t always have to mean sleep. It can simply mean taking a break to go for a walk around the block. Or preferably a park.

Giving your mind a break will allow you to come back refreshed and ready to carry on. It’s a bit like turning your computer off and on again when it’s becoming slow.

Taking breaks can also mean spending time doing things outside of work. Even if your job is incredibly important, you need to take time away from it. Remember to always use your holidays and days off. They will help you to give your best to that important work when you return.

6. Learn How to Say No

This might seem counterproductive. But saying no to meetings that you don’t really need to go to is incredibly important. This is an act of prioritization. You need to prioritize your time as well as your tasks.

You will be spending time and energy on something that isn’t necessarily important. Then you will be too tired to work on the tasks that actually require your attention. This also means knowing when to say no to other projects.

This can involve telling your manager when you’re at capacity. Or, if you’re self-employed, acknowledging that other opportunities will come along. Focus on what you’re doing now and do it well. Then move on to the next project.

7. Perfectionism is Pointless

This is another tired but true phrase. “Perfectionism is the enemy of done”. If you continue to reread and redo your work, then it will never be good enough. Especially if you continuously change things. Sometimes you can over-edit a piece of work. And it will become worse than before.

When it comes to work, there is no such thing as perfect. Remember that you are human and can only do your best. You have been hired because your employer knows that you can do your job well. So write the report, send it to your manager, and move on to the next thing.

And if they come back with edits, then that is okay! Your manager isn’t going to be disappointed or want to fire you because you need to change a line in a piece of work. This is how collaborative work environments operate. It’s better to send over something that is good enough, than to spend hours working on something that will only result in a “Thanks” from the recipient.

8. Start Your Day With Exercise

A lot of people perceive exercise as always being exhausting and tiring. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Any kind of exercise, from running to yoga to a walk around the park, will help wake you up in the morning.

Exercising in the morning will almost make you feel as though you have already been productive. Then you can ride that wave of energy and productivity into your work day. You will feel fresher and more alive after even the smallest workout.

9. “Swallow the Frog”

This is a strange phrase, but it essentially means that you need to do the worst task first. If you’re putting off work because you have a task that you don’t want to do, then chances are you won’t do anything. Even if every other task on your to-do list is enjoyable.

Once you start your work day, do the piece of work that you have been putting off. Chances are, it will be much easier and take less time than you expected. Then, you can spend the rest of the day working on nicer tasks. And feel proud and productive that you managed to get the horrible task done straight away.

10. Delegate Properly

If you are in a position to delegate, then you need to learn how to do this properly. This can mean giving someone who is junior to you some of the workload. Or it can mean outsourcing some work if you’re self-employed.

Delegating doesn’t mean that you’re being lazy or not doing your own work. Remember, other people work at your organization for a reason. And other companies exist to provide work and support. If you are self-employed, you can outsource small aspects of your work to other small businesses. This will also help you to create a network. As well as support other small businesses.

If you work in a large organization, giving smaller tasks to junior staff members can help them to learn. You can take on the role of mentor and help them to develop their skills. You can still look over the work and change it if it isn’t completely up to scratch. Just make sure to allow them to do the work themselves first. Then you can help them with any corrections.

This will help you to carry on with other tasks that are a higher priority. And you won’t be overwhelmed with work. Or feel as though you’re ignoring something more important when working on smaller tasks. Remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself! (Even if you think that you could do it better…)

Why Branding Should be the Foundation of Your SEO Strategy

Getting people to visit your website is one of the best ways to secure potential customers while penetrating the market to determine your customers’ new trends and preferences. You can get people to visit your webpages if you use the Search Engine Optimization tools. These tools are designed to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your web pages and websites. These optimization tools target mostly unpaid traffic with little focus on direct or paid traffic. Building your SEO strategy is something not restricted to the IT department. It is a general aspect of the business, especially the marketing department.

Putting in place the right marketing strategies can go a long way in optimizing your web search, especially when you major in branding. Branding is one of the best ways to increase your business popular among people. Once your brand becomes a household name, people will definitely browse through your webpages in search of information regarding your products and services. Search Engine Optimization can also work to increase your brand awareness—the more people who search about your business or organization, the more your brand spreads. When formulating your SEO strategy, you should focus your efforts on branding as the basis of your strategies. You can ask any digital marketing agency and they will certainly agree how critically important branding is.

This article is centered on some of the reasons why you should consider branding as the foundation for your SEO strategy.

Branding can Help with Getting Links

To calculate search engine rankings, Google relies mostly on natural, contextual, and editorially earned links. These links can be earned by increased visits to your website when people read the content and link to it. Despite visiting your page, some people may find it difficult to link to you because of your unpopularity. This can, however, change if they previously heard about you from a different source. Having a reputation for being an influential presence in the given line of goods and services puts you at an advantage of gaining trust with users. People tend to respond differently to you when they know or heard about you. This being the case, they will find it easier to link with you willingly.

Helps Gain Social Shares

The impact of having social shares on your SEO is still a major debate among every SEO Agency on the market. As seen previously in securing links, being familiar helps people to identify with you. This principle can be applied with a huge social following. If you have more shares, it means you are more exposed. Branding helps with getting more social media exposure which means more people get to know more about you. If you have a huge social media following, people will likely visit your pages and link to you.

Branding can also Improve your Click-through Rates

Click-through rates are one of the factors used by Google while calculating search engine ranking. If your site is located at the bottom of the list and people keeping skipping those at the top of the list to click on your site, you are bound to increase your ranking. Branding helps with creating awareness of your presence, with that people are more inclined to click on your site.

With an established brand to help you, people find you easy to trust as an established presence in the niche. Despite low ranking by Google or other sites having more backlinks, the fact that people can identify with you will make them choose you over the other sites.

Helps to Build your Reputation

Your online reputation has a lot to do with your web traffic. Google has recently publicized its Search Quality Rating Guideline. Google raters use these guidelines to assess the quality of pages that are presented on search engine results. This document is designed to provide a deeper insight into what Google terms quality in the web pages and sites. Sites with a higher ranking are those that are ranked specifically by Google.

This document has sections that are focused on the reputation of a site or page. It concentrates on what external and independent sources say about the website. This document advises users to focus solely on external reputable sources going through sources such as news articles, blog posts, magazine article forum discussions, and independent organizations. Branding will help to build your reputation by increasing your recognition from reputable external sources.

Brand Mentions are Important

The updates on Google Panda have incorporated brand mention in the Google search algorithms. Google recently discovered that several people mention brands without linking to them. Google has since decided to take into account these brand mentions by rewarding brands that are trending. These rewards are in the form of higher Google search result rankings. The mention of your brand in news sites can work to your advantage towards boosting SEO.

On certain occasions, people mention brands and link to them. When a user uses your brand name to search for your site and web pages, a strong brand signal is sent to Google.