6 Tips for Booking More Customer Appointments for Your Salon

Want to improve your salon business’s marketing game but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. 

While starting and running a salon business can certainly be profitable, you’ll still need the right strategy, patience, and hard work to guarantee success. Especially in these post-COVID-19 pandemic days where customers are more concerned about physical interactions (which are obviously common in salons!), it’s very important to rethink your marketing initiatives to attract more customers. 

With that being said, here are six actionable tips for booking more customer appointments for your salon

1. Improve your local SEO game

Nowadays in this digital age, there are two primary ways people learn about local businesses, including salons: first is through social media recommendations (i.e. when their friends mention your salon), and through Google search via queries like “salons near me”, “hair spa near me”, and so on. Here we’ll discuss the latter.

To attract more people and encourage them to book your services, your business must appear on top of the search results for these queries. However, Google will pull results from Google Maps for these queries, so the answer is Google Maps SEO or local SEO

Although local SEO might seem like a daunting task at first, actually we only need to follow four main steps: 

  1. Claim and verify your salon listing on Google My Business
  2. Optimize your listing, focus on providing complete and accurate information for your potential visitors. Don’t forget to include high-quality photos of your salon
  3. Build local citations by listing your salon on relevant online directories (directories for salon businesses and your city’s directories)
  4. Get more positive reviews from your existing clients on your Google Maps listing


Do this consistently, and you’ll start climbing the Google Maps ranking, which will give you a sustainable source for booking more customer appointments. 

2. Focus on selling the customer appointment, not your service

A very common mistake when marketing your salon is to put too much focus on selling your service, forgetting to sell the appointment itself. Yes, you should communicate how your salon service is better than your competitors and how your service can help your customers, but don’t forget that the objective is to get them to book an appointment. 

Be concise and to the point. Quickly and clearly communicate their needs/problems and how your salon can solve them (i.e. valentine’s day package to help them prepare for their romantic dinner), then be definite about the next steps and tell them exactly how they can schedule an appointment. 

3. Make it as easy as possible to book your service

Attracting potential clients to consider booking your service is already difficult, and you wouldn’t want them to leave your site or social media profile just because it’s too hard or confusing to schedule an appointment. 

It’s very important to optimize the booking process so it’s as streamlined as possible:

  • Make sure you have CTA buttons for appointments displayed prominently on every single page of your website. Be straight and to the point “schedule your appointment here!”. 
  • Make sure it’s easy to find where to schedule an appointment in your navigation menu. 
  • Integrate the booking solution to your social media profiles when possible (at least, link to your website’s booking page).
  • Integrate an online salon scheduling and booking software that can sync automatically with your and your client’s Calendar app. So potential clients can easily view up-to-date available time slots. 
  • Make it as easy as possible for them to reschedule their appointments, this will also help in reducing no-shows. 

4. Build relationships in your local community

Again, with your salon as a local business, it’s very important to engage with your local community. 

This will provide you the opportunity to interact with your target audience and introduce your business. Personally interacting with prospective clients in your local events, for example, can help in raising brand awareness and also to establish your credibility as a trustworthy business owner. 

Join local events like trade shows and expos, and participate in social causes when possible.

Also, build relationships with other businesses in your areas, especially those offering complementary services to yours so you can do cross-promotion campaigns. For example, you can partner with nearby restaurants so they’ll promote your business and you can also promote their restaurant (i.e. offer discounts) for your clients. If you don’t offer spa or nail art,  you can also cross-promote with nearby spas in your area. 

5. Smart social media marketing

Everyone is on social media nowadays, so it’s quite obvious that you should market your business on relevant social media platforms. 

As a salon business, you should especially focus on Instagram as a visual platform. You can use your Instagram profile as a portfolio for your salon. For example, with the client’s permission, you can post your hairstylist’s best work on Instagram. This can help a lot in attracting new clients. 

Consider investing in paid advertising options, especially on Instagram, but also on other relevant social platforms. Also, partner with relevant local influencers so they can help promote your salon to their followers. 

6. Maximize customer retention and loyalty

Don’t solely focus on getting more appointments from new clients. Getting previous clients to come back is just as, if not even more important. 

You can start a loyalty program to keep satisfied clients coming back to your salon. Encourage them for referrals, for example by offering them a discount if they can bring more people on their next visit (group discounts). You can also offer a free service for every 10th visit or so. This will encourage them to keep cooking back. 

Maintaining customer loyalty is the key to success for many local businesses, and salon business is no exception. By keeping your existing customers happy, you’ll be able to convert them into advocates that will promote your business to their peers and family members. This is how you can naturally grow. 

What is Mobile DSP and Why Do You Need It for Your Programmatic Advertising?

If you work in the marketing industry, you’ve probably heard about mobile demand-side platforms or DSPs. However, if you don’t have a deep understanding of how this tool works and why you may need it for advertising, keep reading the article!

A DSP is used by marketing agencies and brands to manage ad and data exchange accounts as well as different supply-side platforms through one interface. This software is a great solution to quickly buy mobile and tablet impressions at auctions. You can do it in real time through private marketplaces or direct deals. Purchasing mobile advertising space becomes much easier for media buyers since they can make bids in bulk at lower prices. But this is not the only benefit of a DSP! Check the list of demand-side platform advantages and features below.

Advantages of advertising with a DSP

In-app tracking dsp mobile app

Since apps collect first-party data, they provide advertisers with lots of important parameters, such as user gender, age and geo-location. This data helps marketing experts identify right user segments and find the best-performing audience  Eventually, ads reach potential customers faster and drive better results.

Precise targeting

In contrast to a web environment that may become entirely anonymous in the near future, mobile IDs are really helpful in tracking user performance in the long run. Device IDs provide marketers with more accurate information on user engagement. Specialists can see the exact number of ad clicks and views in the app. This is extremely beneficial for advertising campaigns. Thanks to accurate targeting, your conversions can significantly grow with a DSP.

Engagement boost

As an advertising expert, you must realize that apps allow for highly engaging  and less disturbing ad formats. Users are less likely to be irritated by advertising because it appears during the pauses in their activity. Since they don’t come across boring banners, they may have a good and long-lasting impression from your creatives. Moreover, they may even like your ad if it provides some in-app bonuses for viewing.

High CTRs

The statistics gathered by popular brands shows that in-app ads drive higher CTRs than web ads. The Marketing Dive reported that the average CTR for apps is 0.58%, while for web it equals only 0.23%. The difference is dramatic, isn’t it? Additionally, Appssavvy reported that a DSP mobile app performs nearly 11 times better than traditional banners. As you see, this type of advertising is simply more effective.

No ad blocking

Unfortunately, in-browser blockers disrupt the effectiveness of web advertisement.  Since the majority of people use blocking software, most Internet users are unreachable for your campaigns.  But luckily, in-app environment doesn’t  enable doing this. Hence, you can benefit from accessing various segments, including previously untapped groups.

Higher revenues

Since recently, there has been a dramatic switch from browsers to mobile apps. The eMarketer states that most people spend 90% of their time on smartphone apps, while the rest is taken by web. So no matter what business you have, you should take into account this behavioral change and make appropriate decisions. Consider the example of Facebook that increased its revenues from zero to over 40% of total earnings with the help of mobile apps.

Choosing a decent DSP

To pick the right demand-side platform, you should have a close look at the features listed below.

Software architecture

A good DSP must work well with different apps, browsers, operating systems and devices. As you might understand, huge amounts of data from numerous sources require a very powerful DSP technology. Therefore, you have to make sure that the platform you are going to use is capable of accommodating massive amounts of data and executing a big number of operations at the same time.  A DSP technology must be advanced enough to reflect actual information in real time.

Targeting algorithms

As mentioned above, reaching the right market segments with your ads is crucial for success. Because of that, you should opt for a DSP that has the following targeting capabilities: geolocation, mobile device type, OS, user behavior, context and demographics. If all of these categories are offered by your vendor, then it can be a great choice.

Ad formats

To ensure high engagement rates, you should test different types of ads. Your DSP must support a wide range of ad formats, including videos, rich media and dynamic apps. By analyzing what works best for your potential customers, you can increase your business revenues. Also, make sure that creatives you are using allow for interaction, such as  swiping, touching and expanding.

Safety

Before purchasing a DSP, ask a vendor about the security measures they take. To avoid troubles, your DSP  brand must be safe. That means that the software must have in-built multi-layered anti-fraud system. There also must be mechanisms that detect fake clicks and track the number of real user impressions.

Performance reports

Successful advertising campaign is impossible with tracking its performance. Reports can provide you with a better understanding of how to get more customers from your ads. So you should opt for a DSP that provides frequent reports on your statistics. Having an updated information gives you knowledge about different aspects of your advertising campaign so you can optimize it and maximize your ROI.

Final thoughts

The main value of DSPs is that they allow advertisers to make multiple bids in real time and manage lots of ads from a wide range of publishers almost effortlessly. It ensures great transparency and makes ad tracking and optimization much easier. Hopefully, this article helped you better understand what a demand-side platform is and whether you need it for your marketing campaign.

7 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Plagiarism in the Articles for SEO

Many bloggers and writers think that it’s very easy to write an article to run a blog and to earn a handsome amount every month by copying ideas and thoughts of other high authority websites. These types of bloggers and writers copy the content and by replacing few words think that they will win the game.

This is not the right approach to write the articles. If you are running a blog just to earn money by placing bulk plagiarized content, then you should not adopt this method to earn money. People on the internet will realize sooner or later that your website content is not worth their time and you will lose your integrity.

If you are trying to become over smart without giving enough effort and research, then remember that google crawlers are smarter than you, and plagiarized content will not be helpful for the long term.

By the end of this article, we will learn about plagiarism, how it can affect SEO and how you can avoid it.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism means when you use someone’s work without citing the proper source, then it would be considered plagiarism.

It is the best practice to check plagiarism in your work and make it unique before getting live on the search engine. For this task, you should get an online plagiarism checker that can work properly to check for plagiarism in your content along with the source. So that the similarity could be checked.

However, if you are citing the proper source, and some writers credit the real owner by providing a link to that source. This is not considered plagiarism even if you are using the content of other writers. When you pretend someone’s, work is your work, then it is plagiarism.

Reasons Why You Should Not Use Plagiarized Content:

Whenever we are visiting any social media platform, we come across a lot of content. The content creators put their effort and their creativity to bring genuine content in front of the audience. In the same way, the writers, bloggers, and website owners are content creators as they amuse the audience with the written content.

The words when written in certain symmetry and style can impact the audience deeply. But all writers are not content creators as some people do a terrible job by copying the content of other writers and bloggers by replacing few words in the content.

The content uplifts by the audience due to the uniqueness and adding value to the life of other people. If you are only interested in making money from your blog by uploading cheap and plagiarized content, then the audience will never come back to your blog or website.

The plagiarized content has many consequences in terms of google ranking, SEO, and other reasons that we will discuss later.

1. Plagiarized Content Does Not Rank on Google

The bloggers who start a new blog generally need to upload bulk content on the internet so that website crawlers can recognize the content of the website. The bloggers who want to become an overnight millionaire by writing few pieces uploads plagiarized content.

When you use the content of other writers and do not cite them properly, then you are at loss. Google has advanced a lot in recent years. The advanced crawlers do not only check the keywords they also check the does not and engagement ratio of the audience on your blogs.

By optimizing sell these parameters you can rank your content on your website on google. Google knows who published the content first and which website has unique content and the websites that are using copied content. Google values authenticity and ranks the top pages by analyzing all these parameters.

This is one of the main reasons you should not use plagiarized content as it has no value, you are fooling yourself and your audience without putting in the real hard work and dedication.

2. You Can be Penalized by Google

If you are constantly uploading creepy and fluffy content or using spinning tools on your website, there are chances that Google will notice your heinous action and can take strict action against your blog by penalizing your website or blog or charging a fine.

Google updates its crawlers and bots to recognize the copied and plagiarized content. If two websites have the same content, then the website that has uploaded the content first will rank on google. Google will ignore the content of other websites and will put the content of that website on the blacklist.

Any complaint or report of plagiarism received to google about your content, then Google can take strict action and your website will be penalized. Using plagiarized content can cause you more loss than benefits.

3. Losing Your Followers

The followers and audience of your website follow you for the content you are putting on your website. You build a connection with your audience by communicating with your words. Your audience and followers start trusting you when you write something that can bring positive value in their life or you resonate with them by your content.

But what if you are uploading copied content? Will your audience trust you? Will they come to your website again? No, they will stop following your website and will follow the genuine and creditable websites. You will lose your followers by uploading fluffy content on your website.

Every website owner is constantly working hard to bring down their competitors and to increase their organic reach, and their monthly revenue from the blog.

You are expressing yourself with your words in the form of different blog posts and articles, therefore to persuade your audience, bring original and creative content on your website and you will see that surprisingly the audience will fall in love with your content.

4. Losing Your Credibility and Trustworthiness

No matter how hard you are taking care of SEO, keyword optimization, and designing a lucrative website, you cannot win the hearts of your audience by putting in fake content.

 When you upload content on your website consistently, the followers build an emotional connection. When they will come to know that you are stealing the content of other writers and running after making money, it will impact your audience adversely.

They will start believing that you are fake and do not have enough guts to run a blog. It is even more difficult to optimize your blog and increase the audience after falling.

5. Search Engines Will Bring You Down

If the content of your website does not have any engagement on the blogs and the stay time of the visors is less than 30 seconds, the google and search engines will bri9ng your website down. Audience and followers can recognize the fluffy and spin content, they will stop following you, poor engagement ratio and lesser number of shares and comments on your website give hints to google that your content is not worth following and people do not like to see your content in the future.

Only those pages rank on the top pages of google which have excellent readability, good engagement ratio, unique content, good SEO optimization, naturally integrated keywords in the article.

6. You Will Not Get Any Referrals for Backlinks

The bloggers and other websites need referrals and backlinks for their articles to gain recognition.  If you are using substandard content on google no one will trust you and will not collaborate with you in the future.

If you are not getting any high-quality backlinks for your website or blog, it will sign to Google that your website is not credible and trustworthy as it doesn’t bring any value to the life of the audience will decrease the engagement and organic reach of your content.

7. People Do Not Like Deceivers

Google does not value plagiarism. If you are representing someone’s work as your own work then morally and ethically it is considered wrong.

No one likes thieves, by stealing the content of other writers you are deceiving your audience and the real owner who should take the credit.

It affects your personality and reputation in front of people online.

Wrapping Up

These are the reasons why you should not use plagiarized content, if you are not a good writer do not fool the people online with fake and plagiarized content. It is recommended to check the article in the plagiarism checker to avoid partial and accidental plagiarism in the articles. Some of the best plagiarism checking tools are prepostseo.com plagiarism checker, Check-plagiarism.com plagiarism checker, Editpad.org  plagiarism checker. These tools have advanced features and sho the percentage of plagiarized and unique content. They also cite the source from where the content is taken. You can also download a report of plagiarism.

Before uploading your content anywhere online, check your articles in these plagiarism checkers.

Many bloggers and writers think that it’s very easy to write an article to run a blog and to earn a handsome amount every month by copying ideas and thoughts of other high authority websites. These types of bloggers and writers copy the content and by replacing few words think that they will win the game.

This is not the right approach to write the articles. If you are running a blog just to earn money by placing bulk plagiarized content, then you should not adopt this method to earn money. People on the internet will realize sooner or later that your website content is not worth their time and you will lose your integrity.

If you are trying to become over smart without giving enough effort and research, then remember that google crawlers are smarter than you, and plagiarized content will not be helpful for the long term.

By the end of this article, we will learn about plagiarism, how it can affect SEO and how you can avoid it.

Key Risks and Top 10 Ways to Manage Your Website Effectively Once Launched

If you’re an entrepreneur, there will probably come a time when you’ll need to set up your website to establish a presence on the market. This will be more important for you if you’re selling some sort of service; according to the eCommerce Foundation, almost 90% of customers first search for a product on the internet before going to a physical store. Things have also changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, where even people who were proponents of traditional shopping now prefer to do everything online.

If you haven’t had experience running a website before, there’s a good chance you’ll make some mistakes….

And we’ve prepared this article to help you prevent some of them! We’ll cover the ten most common mistakes and risks when managing a website and give you our solutions for all of them.

1. Malfunctioning mobile version

We do everything on smartphones, from business to private life to entertainment. According to statistics provided by outboxerdesign, about 80% of all smartphone users have made some purchase in the last six months via their mobile device. That said, your mobile website simply MUST work!

  • Our solution — Use solutions that will make the user experience on iOS and Android as good as on the full version of the site. Moreover, consider creating a mobile app with additional benefits for your customers.

2. Data loss

Data loss, in extreme cases, can force you to start your website (and maybe even your entire business) from scratch. Because of one shortcoming, you can lose a lot of time and money — for what?

  • Our solution — Backup your site from time to time using sites such as iDrive. These will be additional costs but think of the losses you will incur if you lose the data needed to handle, for example, tax matters.

3. Inactive links

Every so often, we ignore certain parts of the site that seem unimportant to us. Meanwhile, our customer might want to use them, and if he isn’t able to, we might just lose him in a second.

  • Our solution — Have someone review the content on your site on an ongoing basis. This is especially useful if you sell third-party products where you have no control over their actions. As an entrepreneur, you can’t be up-to-date with everything, so have someone do it for you.

4. Poor content

One prominent mistake entrepreneurs make when creating websites for their businesses is trying to create content themselves. All it takes is for your market competitors to hire professionals to create content such as graphics and articles, and you are already on the losing end… We’re even talking about things like spelling errors or punctuation; one misplaced comma can affect the credibility of your services, for real.

  • Our solution — Hire content professionals. If you’re afraid about the costs of hiring a full-time employee, use freelancers!

5. Long website loading time

People no longer tolerate sites that take too long to load, not in a world where everything happens instantly. If your website doesn’t open immediately, you need to change that as soon as possible. 

  • Our solution — Factors such as the size of the graphics on the page or cluttered source files can cause the page to load too long.  To check how fast your website opens, you can use a free tool from Google called Pagespeed Insights.

6. Outdated plugins

One non-functioning plugin can disrupt the functionality of the entire site. Sometimes even after an update, one extension might stop working with another, resulting in unnecessary site bugs and potential customer loss.

  • Our solution — Regularly make sure that all plugins and extensions on the site are updated and work well together all the time. Before launching your website, you might want to try out our software testing services.

7. Not considering SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) aspect is essential when launching a website. In short, the better optimized a website is in terms of SEO, the higher it will appear in Google results.

  • Our solution — Work with an SEO specialist and Copywriter for written content. SEO consultation prices may seem tremendous, but the better the SEO, the better the chance for new clients.

8. Bad meta description

Your meta description is the first thing a customer will see after searching for your business in a browser. And as we all know — you can only make a first impression once.

  • Our solution — Prepare a good meta description and see how it will look by using tools like Meta Tags. Typically, the meta description should be between 60 and 140 characters.

9. Vulnerability to cyberattacks

These days, hacking attacks and DDos are the order of the day. According to statistics provided by SafeAtLast, the healthcare industry lost over $25billion due to cyberattacks in 2019. 

  • Our solution — Backup your site, and work with two-three different website hosting companies. That way, whenever your website goes down to cyberattack, you can always pull it up through some other host.

10. Pop-up advertisements

Pop-up ads are an easy way to discourage your potential client from browsing further. Not only do they obscure the content on your site, but they are also annoying like nothing else (especially for mobile users). Furthermore, it is confirmed that use pop-up ads rank lower in Google searches.

  • Our solution — We understand that pop-up ads are supposed to monetize your website, but there are much better alternatives for that. One of the most efficient and least annoying forms of advertising are in-text hyperlinks and banners.

Conclusion

As you can see, running a website comes with various risks, and it’s not as simple as it may seem. Setting up a top-functioning site requires a lot of experience, and it just so happens that an experienced IT team has it!

 So don’t be afraid to entrust us with the task of taking care of your website and look into web development services mentioned here mlsdev.com/services/web-development.


Author’s bio: Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer at MLSDev, a software development company that builds web & mobile app solutions from scratch. She researches the area of technology to create great content about app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting.

5 Ways to Create a Patient-Friendly Healthcare Website

Having a website is one thing, but making sure that it is efficient is different. Anyone can make a website these days with the help of website builder software and programs but what does it take to make a good website that actually helps those who are targeted to use it? In this article, we will talk about making a website patient-friendly. Most parts of healthcare web design are actually really similar in building other websites. Here is a guide that will help you make sure that you are utilizing your website to its maximum potential. The guide is a good way to step up good web design. So if you want to improve your optometry website design by making it efficient you came to the right place.

1. Intuitive and Easy to use.

It shouldn’t feel confusing to use your website. You want patients who view your website to navigate through the pages easily. This is so that they can find the information they need with no hassle. Having a simple layout and functionality also promotes accessibility and inclusivity. You want anyone and everyone to be able to use your website.

2. Clear and Complete Information

This is one of the main reasons why businesses and companies have websites, to put out important information publicly. You want your existing patients and/or potential patients to have access to frequently asked questions and information they might want to know. According to a study, patients then go to practices that they know about. So having important info online helps them trust you. Some basic information that you may want on your site are the following:

Contact numbers and email

This is in case they have additional questions about your practice or services.

Location of the clinic

For a lot of people location is an important factor. Of course most people tend to choose clinics that aren’t far from their home so that they can go to it easily.

The services that you offer

This is for customers to know if you can work on the problem that they have.

Your background

This will help establish your credibility by discussing your expertise and specialty in your field.

3. Social Media Icons

Make a way to allow your social media accounts to be seen on your website. Make sure that there are clickable icons so that your patients can easily go to your social media accounts. Having a website is actually part of marketing your practice. So utilize it in that way too. But mainly letting your patients follow your social media accounts is to maintain an online relationship with them. You can communicate with them in that way too.

4. Have a Call to Action

If a person visits your website most of the time it’s because they have interest in your service or practice. So allow them to act on that interest. Allow booking appointments on your website etc.

5. Make sure your website is HIPAA Compliant

Make sure your web designer knows about HIPAA in order to ensure HIPAA compliance.

Main Issues a Wildcard SSL Certificate Can Solve

Businesses are continuously focussing on their website as their primary means to gain more leads. They also use the website to collect customer information, i.e., demographics, login information, and even financial information. As a responsible company, they must ensure that the underlying data is in the servers. There is always a risk of attack from hackers, with studies showing a hacking attack every 39 seconds.

You would need to install an SSL certificate that can mitigate the risk of data breaches.

The businesses running multiple first-level subdomains can install comodo wildcard ssl to prevent any untoward incidents. While the features may vary a bit across the Certificate Authorities (CAs), they can help in protecting your website. We will learn more about their benefits through this article.

What is a Wildcard SSL Certificate?

The installation of an SSL certificate ensures that the interaction between the visitor’s browser and the webserver is encrypted. But different types of certificates cater to various use cases. For example, if your business runs multiple sub-domains at the same level, you must choose Wildcard certificates.

They can secure your primary domain and several subdomains at the same level. It is a single certificate with a wildcard character (*). It helps to secure several subdomain hosts under the same base domain. For example, if you choose to secure the subdomains news.example.com, blog.example.com, careers.example.com, etc., with a single certificate, the Wildcard SSL is the option for you.

Benefits of Wildcard Certificates

Securing several sub-domains

What will you do if you must secure multiple sub-domains with the primary domain? Yes, help is at hand through the Wildcard certificates. It will help to secure all the subdomains under a single roof. You may continue to add several subdomains during the entire lifecycle of the certificate.

Improved certificate management

The use of Wildcard SSL certificates emanates from website administrators finding it challenging to manage multiple certificates for several subdomains. They can help to consolidate the requirement onto a single certificate. Moreover, it makes management easier as it requires your team to interact with only one vendor. Managing renewals and dealing with support activities becomes easier too.

They are affordable

Can you imagine the costs associated if you had to install separate certificates for all your subdomains? The Wildcard SSL helps to consolidate and reduce the costs associated with cybersecurity. There would also have been an increase in human resources requirements to handle the multiple certificates. When you buy one from a renowned CA, you also get additional features like the warranty, money-back guarantee, Trust Seal that only adds to the perks of ensuring your website is secure.

Prevents security warnings

Web browsers have been providing emphasis on ensuring a safe browsing experience for the internet. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have been marking non-HTTPS websites as “Not Secure.” This warning was enough to scare visitors from the website and visit the competition. It led to an increase in bounce rate and lower visitor count, which also affected their conversions.

Other benefits

Some of the certificates ensure fast online validation and come relatively cheap too. It will allow you to have a free Trust Seal too. The certificates also ensure that the SEO value of the website is increased. You can choose the Comodo Positive Wildcard SSL for this purpose. Search engines like Google have provided lightweight weightage to HTTPS websites and ranked higher during a keyword search.

You can also choose a Multi-domain Wildcard certificate that will allow the business to secure up to 250 fully qualified domains through a single certificate. They also come with warranties that ensure they can be trusted.

Security risks that will make you think twice

Businesses must secure their website at all costs. If any hacker has access to the domain, they may create malicious sub-domains that would appear valid. The visitors would not be able to distinguish the sub-domains that are smeared and continue to visit them.

The web server may be compromised.

If businesses do not have proper safeguards, even the Wildcard certificates cannot help.

The certificate can be used across multiple servers that increases the risk. The web servers may be hacked, and the cybercriminals may host malicious elements for their dubious ends.

Security of the private key

Only the authorized person must have access to the private key. But it would be difficult for global teams to access it. It is better to have an audit log of the employees who are accessing the private key. The business must audit the records to trace if there was any unauthorized access.

On-time renewals

The certificates must be renewed on time. The IT team must set up notifications to inform them about upcoming renewals. If the certificate is not renewed on time, there could be errors on the site, and it would be insecure for visitors to visit the site. Notable brands have also faced this that has led to erosion of customer trust. Always keep in mind that updating lapsed certificates could be a severe issue.

Conclusion

There has been an increase in the number of hacking attempts at businesses. Therefore, it is a necessity that companies have robust systems to prevent these attacks. For larger businesses with multiple sub-domains, they must use Wildcard SSL certificates to protect the website. It can help to thwart data breaches and act as a line of defense against cyberattacks.

Google’s FLoC Raises Major Concern in the Tech World

We all know that third-party cookies of companies track their users on the internet. What about if these cookies stop tracking you? Following Google’s latest announcement, they will not support third-party cookies on Google Chrome. This action will change the way companies track their users. One might think that Google will respect privacy and shun tracking. The answer is NO! Google has proposed that they be in charge of tracking by introducing new technology. Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC is meant to replace third-party cookies.

What is FLoC?

The Federated learning of Cohorts is Google’s machine learning-based advanced technology to replace third-party cookies. FLoC will allow every browser to research how people navigate and search anonymously. Later it will group them into “cohorts”. This will alter the way of identifying the targeted audience for advertisements. Previously, third-party cookies used to show ads based on personal interest, but now FLoC will advertise based on the cohort. As per the Google statement, it will make users more anonymous and less needed information for targeted ads.

FLoC is an advancement of artificial intelligence. The federated learning of this technology works on machine learning algorithms that require fewer user data than third-party cookies. Google argues that if ad businesses and services adapt anything like this, it will protect users’ information from tracking methods.

Working Concept Behind Google’s FLoC

Based on Google’s explanation, FLoC will allow personalized advertisements with the superficial data of users, such as interest, frequently visited pages, etc. The concept behind Google’s FLoC is assigning each browser an anonymous ID and then will group these IDs into large groups. Thus, the advertiser can only access the overall patterns and will preserve user identity.

Google tries to prove this concept by saying that FLoC will establish user IDs and assign people to cohorts via an algorithm called SimHash. Google designed SimHash to help Google’s web crawlers locate nearby identical pages. However, it will not save your data on a server because this occurs on your computer. It was one of the privacy concerns users had with third-party cookies. They store massive user data collected from the browser for an indefinite period under ambiguous security measures.

The product manager at Google, Marshell Vale, ensures that FLoC will not use any user’s sensitive data. So, for example, if any user visits any religious or medical site frequently, that information will not be included in the cohort dataset. This will make tracking flexible for both advertisers and users.

Tech World Response to Google’s FLoC

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) pointed out that the third-party cookies are moving towards death, and Google wants to take its place. EFF declares Google’s FLoC as a terrible idea and potentially harmful. EFF forces everyone should reject this Google’s technology and Google’s attempt to misguide others.

Brave and DuckDuckGo suspect that Google will automatically implement FLoC without informing the Chrome users. They added that it is why they already have blocked Google’s FLoC on their desktops, as it will harm the user’s privacy and will show creepy advertisements.

The CEO and co-founder of Brave, Brendon Eich, and the senior privacy researcher, Peter Synder, explained in their blog that Google is acting privacy-friendly. Still, it is making people less private. They added Google should first explain how Google’s FloC will determine whether the cohort is sensitive and is not using any personal information.

Amazon and Mozilla not behind FloC

One of the world’s largest platforms, Amazon is blocking Google’s FLoC and added code to its digital properties. The reason for being a hindrance to FLoC’s success is protecting its intellectual property and prized data. Google is Amazon’s big competitor. Thereby, Google’s tracking policy can affect Amazon’s advertising policy.

Many other Google competitors have also commented on Google’s FLoC. For example, one of Google’s major browser competitors, Mozilla Firefox, said that the company does not plan to implement FLoC, and they are looking for other privacy policies. Microsoft also disabled Google’s FLoC policy in Microsoft Edge for now.

WordPress, another powerful company that powers over 34 percent of websites, will block FLoC. A WordPress senior contributor said they had taken no decision for the future, but they will not support Google’s FLoC.

Possible Privacy Concerns

Though Google has revived the privacy policies with FLoC, it still presents privacy concerns that cannot be ignored. Google has kept the same previous policy for advertisement and only changed the way of targeting the audience. It has raised more prominent issues, as follow: 

Browser Fingerprinting

Browser Fingerprinting is a process of extracting small information from a person’s browser and then combining them into a unique identifier. Your browsing behavior makes you unique in the crowd. So, the more unique your browsing behavior is, the easier it is to fingerprint you. As FLoC creates cohorts based on user patterns, it makes it effortless for the intruders to identify you. In the third-party cookies, the attackers have to find you among million peoples, but now they have to identify you among cohorts of a few thousand people.

Data Democratization

FLoC will reveal your cohort data to collaborate with marketers. This information may include the login information that can help them identify you. Let us suppose you have signed in to a website with Google as a service, which implies your sensitive information, such as name and login details, will be saved already. Later, that information can be utilized to link your Cohort ID, which is meant to be anonymous. This mix-up of information can facilitate cyber-trackers to become more active.

Conclusion

Google has developed its tracking policy to take advantage of the misery of third-party cookies. Though Google has shown a pleasant picture of Google’s FLoC, the big names of the digital world are opposing it. The reason behind this is the controversial disguised face of Google. Google has already started the trial of FLoC on 0.5% of users located in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and the Philippines. Over time, more clear aspects of FLoC will show up and make the market respond.

Instagram Views vs Likes: Which One is the Key to Viral Growth

Instagram marketing is not as easy as it seems, especially when the algorithm keeps changing as soon as you figure it out. Instagram focuses a lot on mobile advertising format mainly because most Instagram users access Instagram through their mobile phones. The likes and views used by Instagram to show the popularity of the video or picture post is essential to any brand to convince their audience and advertisers of their worth and value.

Instagram is a popular social media platform that has users from every age group all around the world. In fact, one of the essential points that matter to an Instagram user is the views and the likes that are on the posts that they produce. There are ways to get real Instagram likes in the easiest way possible where you would have to buy Instagram views and likes. Doing this will help in the long run to win organic followers who interact with your content and increase your reach.  Your goal is to gain access to your target audience and grow. When it comes to buying Instagram views, it shows your audience interaction, but if your followers do not match the Instagram likes on your post, it does seem as though something is off with the ratio.

Do Views or Likes affect Engagement?

Now, the engagement rate of an Instagram account is vital for the account to grow. So, do the views or likes even matter? While Instagram does not shed any light on this matter, the insights page of Instagram does not show that the Instagram views are even a factor in the engagement rate. There are many articles that even say that views were considered a factor in the engagement.  The posts and videos that have a higher number of views than likes gain virality better than those that had more likes but fewer views.

Instagram Views

While Instagram views can allow you to collaborate with other creators or brands, many people buy Instagram views to extend their reach across the social media platform. Using Instagram ads, which is basically a sponsored post, increases your view count drastically because it makes your post visible to other users from your niche, but that does not guarantee you the fact that they will follow you or it will help you grow. Instagram views are usually and generally considered as a measure of social proof that your account does receive the traction users look for and adds value to your Instagram account and as a brand as a whole. If your content is worthy and good enough, users will share it with other users in their niche, but the count of your Instagram views does not equate itself to confidence or the fact that the content you produce is not good enough. It could also be because you are not marketing your content and your account well and might be an indicator to revamp your marketing strategies. A good enough marketing strategy for Instagram will also save you the money you would use to buy Instagram views and help you get real Instagram likes from people who are genuinely interested in your content.

Instagram Likes

With the new update that Instagram gave, you do not know how many users have even seen your post and not liked the post you have uploaded. So, if you are someone who is not getting enough likes as you would have liked or desired, considering the number of followers you have or do not have, there are always ways where you can buy Instagram views and likes in order to get real Instagram likes from real accounts. You can always put up a sponsored Instagram ad post that would make your Instagram post visible to others from your niche, but that would only work till your budget allows it to work. After that, it would not, and you are back to square one.

Summary

There are countless ways and methods to help your page grow, especially through Instagram likes and views. Instagram giveaways are one of the best options to go for because not only is it a win-win for your followers, it is a win-win situation for you as well. The longer the giveaway, the more chances are that you would be able to increase your rates of engagement on your page, which will also allow you to grow. That way, you would not have to buy Instagram views and would also be able to get real Instagram likes. Using hashtags that are actually relevant to the post and the content you post and relating it to your niche is also very important. And while Instagram did not clear the air on whether Instagram likes or Instagram views are important, logically, Instagram views signify that the user has spent time looking at your post and consuming your content, while Instagram likes to signify that your audience is interactive and engaging with your content.

This is why it is difficult to choose which would actually help you grow. Both views and likes play a role in growing your Instagram page. One of the shortest methods is to buy Instagram views initially to get real Instagram likes. Some who buy Instagram views say they find their view count to increase, but their overall growth is later stagnant. So, it all boils down to how well you market your content and the quality of your posts, rather than to buy Instagram views and hope to get real Instagram likes.

Annoying Grammar Errors to Avoid in Your Website Design

Grammar is a critical aspect of any website. Whether designing a business or personal site, you can never go wrong with proper grammar usage. Why is this so? Poor grammar can spoil an excellent written piece and put off the readers. However, you can easily avoid blunders and have your readers enjoy every aspect of your writing. There are common grammar mistakes to avoid when designing a website. Let’s learn about them.

1. Punctuation Errors

Proper punctuation is an integral aspect of writing. Whether writing for your website or other written documents, a well-punctuated piece always stands out. There are various punctuation blunders, and dash symbol mistakes are pretty common. To avoid this, go through the dash rules, and understand how dashes can change the tone of your sentences.

Other punctuation errors include; 

  • Missing commas
  • Unnecessary quotation marks and exclamations
  • Overuse of apostrophes
  • Improper use of commas and semicolons
  • Wong use of hyphens and dashes

It’s advisable to check and proofread your work before publishing. Besides, there are multiple tools to aid you in doing this, and many are free.

2. Spelling Mistakes

These involve misspelled words and are typical for words with similar pronunciation and a different meaning. Examples of commonly misspelled words are;

  • Acceptable
  • Absence
  • Achieve
  • Acquire
  • Accommodate and more. 

To this, know the exact word that you want to use. You can as well lookup the correct spellings online in case of doubts. Also, be keen on double letter words. Be cautious when using them and avoid spelling words phonetically.

3. Use of Passive Voice

Passive voice occurs in sentence construction quite often. It happens when the object of an action becomes the subject of the sentence. And this is when you place the object at the beginning of the sentence rather than at the end. Why is this not right? The use of passive voice makes your writing sound unclear and weak.

4. Missing Words

Often, we type too fast and don’t proofread the work thoroughly. This leads to missing words, resulting in n incomplete sentences that don’t make sense. To determine missing words in your sentences, watch for missing subjects, predicates, or other essential parts of grammatically correct sentences. Also, use words such as; like, that, a, an, and the, for more clarity.

5. Sentence Faults

There are various sentence faults to avoid in your website design. The common mistakes include fragments, complex sentences, wrong comma splices, and more. Complex sentences make your writing look ambiguous and are difficult to understand. 

Similarly, sentence fragments are pieces of incomplete sentences. Avoid them by using simple sentences, and don’t make them too long or too short.

6. Very Long Paragraphs

Readers seek websites with easy-to-read content. The use of long paragraphs makes the information hard to read and will put off many readers. Therefore, break up your paragraphs into shorter sub-paragraphs and try anything around 100 words. Sections above 200 words are way too long and complex. They may only attract highly skilled readers.

7. Shifting Tenses

It is easy to shift from one tense to another when writing. This is not advisable, though. Moving from past tense to present and back impacts the flow of your information. Use them to indicate changes in the timeframe of an action or when you have a valid reason for doing it.

In Summary

Even the simplest grammar mistakes can ruin your web content. To avoid this, proofread your work thoroughly and, if possible, use the many online tools to help you. You may also want to perfect your grammar skills, and acquiring a reference book will go a long way. Search online for the best reference books and pick the latest publication for updated information.

How Important is Web Design Actually? Find Out Here

The Most Basic Element of your Online Presence is Web Design

A successful online presence can make a huge difference for your business. With the advancement of technology and first impression with the tips of their fingers on their phones, one cannot afford to not have an online presence.

The question however arises if it is just the online presence that makes a difference or is it the whole process of how you present your brand or business online. Of course, it is the latter one. The way your website is designed can either make your business or break it. It will be the first impression you will create on your audience and if they don’t like what they see, it is most likely they will not buy from you.

Importance of Web Design

Investing in a web design can cost you a substantial amount of money. However, you have to keep in mind that this web design is the creation of your presence in the online world. It is synonymous with decorating and arranging your physical location. You will not want to cut corners here and lose your customers. Using an online website planning guide is a good first step. For a second step, hiring an efficient web designer will bring in the below benefits from a good web design.

Navigation

You may have many products and services. On top of that, there are other types of information you would like to provide to the customer like the quality of your product, contact information, or any other. A well-designed website provides well-labeled navigation bars that let the user understand what all different things are there on the website. The user can easily explore and understand the website. A simple and intuitive navigation system can make your user comfortable and even promote repeat purchases. 

Brand Uniformity

Branding starts locally. You first need to establish the presence of your brand locally. This can even be the case when you want to deliver a product or service in a particular country only. A web designer who is well-known for how things work in that country will be able to design your website accordingly. For example, if you want to promote your brand in Hongkong then you will hire a designer providing Web Design Hong Kong related. Branding sets you apart from your competitors and sets the tone of your brand. Visual communication that takes place from your website can make recognize your brand easily. 

Keep Ahead of Competitors

The digital age is here to stay and the sooner you adapt to it the better it will be for your business. Almost all businesses nowadays have a website that makes them more accessible to customers locally and all around the world. With a good web design, you can create a user-friendly and welcoming online presence for your customers. 

Your customers will be able to rely on your product and service. They will trust you and have no doubts about your business. This will lead to you having a thriving business that can only grow more in time. Keep in mind though, web design is the first step towards growth, you will need to maintain your website continuously to keep yourself on top of the game.