All posts by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

Legal BrandingLocal Branding

10 Tips To Accelerate The Growth Of Your Business

Building traffic to your site is a necessary part of doing business that can be achieved by accomplishing one task at a time. Very rarely does a website become an instant hit and go from no visitors to 50k overnight.

Take advantage of traffic in the organic listings with a ranking on the first page of search results. 70-80% of people focus on organic listings because they believe they are more inclined to find credible information than the paid listings.

In fact, organic traffic represents a 5.66% more times the opportunity than a paid advertisement. 

Push your site to the top of the SERP’s by incorporating the following tips and strategies that will give your website more ranking ability to drive more traffic.

  1. Perform regular maintenance
  2. Make your site faster
  3. Improve mobile-friendliness
  4. Assign your keywords
  5. Establish search intent
  6. Link to and from internal pages
  7. Use alternate forms of media
  8. Optimize for SERP features
  9. Improve your credibility
  10. Build an audience

Perform regular maintenance

Establish a regular routine for when you run a site audit to avoid any errors that may contribute to a drop in ranking. As time goes on, every website will begin to generate errors-especially if there is content being added regularly. Errors could be anything from indexing issues to duplicate content.

An SEO consultant will run a site audit before the start of an SEO campaign. This keeps the data on the new project accurate and relevant. Eliminate any errors that arise before the campaign starts so there is no interference with how the page is being ranked.

Here are a couple of tools you can use to create a report on the errors your site is generating:

Make your site faster

Page speed is an on-going battle and should be a regular item on your to-do list. There is always something you can do to make your site faster. Google has openly stated that page speed is a ranking factor they use so staying below the industry average (three seconds) is one way to give your website a competitive edge.

Run a page speed test on any of the following sites to get a score on the speed of your site and the details for what exactly is slowing your site down. You can use any one of the following tools:

There might be items in your report that are complicated to fix however there are changes you will be able to make to improve the speed of your site. 

For example, the size of images is a major issue that slows down a lot of sites. Using a tool of your choice you can replace your images with smaller versions to speed up how fast they load.

Here a few tools to use:

For the other items on your report, you may see things like inline and minify CSS and JavaScript. These may present more problems if you’re not savvy in speaking those languages. There are plugins and CDN (content delivery network) solutions that can help to do most of the heavy lifting for those issues. 

Try using W3 Cache plugin, as it’s the most widely used for many of the issues that slow down the load time (minifies HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) This plugin can also be integrated with your CDN.

Cloudflare is a popular choice in CDN’s and they offer a free version that is effective in improving your page speed, security, and overall website performance.

Improve mobile-friendliness

Canonical tested one million websites for mobile-friendliness and found that 24% of the website failed the test. This statistic shows the opportunity to outperform competitors in mobile-friendliness.

Image source: https://canonicalized.com/mobile-friendly-study/

Although 99% of websites made today are made for mobile devices, there are sometimes structural elements that should be addressed to make your site mobile-friendly. Test your site out on Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to get a score for the mobile-friendliness of your website.

There may be small adjustments to make that would improve the user experience and make your site more competitive. 

Common issues on responsive sites include buttons being too close together or script running too close to the edges of the screen. Issues like these are small adjustments for your developer and will contribute to your competitiveness.

Assign your keywords

Every piece of content that is created for a website should start with extensive keyword research. This is to determine the best target keyword to optimize for as well as the keyword cluster to include on your page.

If two or more pages are optimized for the same keyword, it leads to keyword cannibalization. This will restrict rankings when search engines see two or more pages competing with each other.

Optimize your pages for a target keyword that includes the keyword synonyms associated with your topic. Make sure each page is optimized for a different keyword cluster in order to give it the most competitive edge.  

Establish search intent

Semantic search has forced the need for deeper levels of research in order for a website to appear in a top-ranked position. Search engines are ranking pages that can best answer a query based on the content they’ve provided.   

Your content must be able to satisfy the user who searches your keyword. If the content on your page leads a user to bounce from your site and continue looking elsewhere they obviously were not satisfied with what you’re providing.

The ability to satisfy search intent is a major ranking criterion that is measured through the content provided and the engagement statistics it generates. Dwell time, click-through rate and bounce rate are all measures of how much a user liked what your site offered.

Get to the source of search intent by finding exactly what users typing in your keyword want to read about. You may be offering the product they ultimately will buy but finding what content they engage in reading about your product will boost the interest people have in your content. 

Search forums and social media groups to see the pressing issues and problems people face so you can write about the solutions to those problems in your content.

Link to and from internal pages

Using internal links will enhance the optimization of your pages and spread link equity to give your pages more authority.

Use keyword anchor text links to signal what the page is about and lead users to related content that they will find helpful or interesting. 

Signal the importance of a page to your site can be emphasized by the number of links pointing to it from other pages within your site. Create the hierarchy of pages within your site by linking to the most important pages the most times.

Use alternate forms of media

Increased competition and a growing awareness of SEO has placed even more emphasis on producing original content that stands out from the competition. Use alternate forms of media to make your content stand out and rank higher in the search results.

People retain 65% of the information from articles with images as opposed to 10% without images. Videos are shared 12X more on social media than links and text posts combined. Podcasts are also taking off with more Americans listening more frequently (up 32% on a monthly basis) than ever before. 

Use as many variations of media when it comes to differentiating your content from your competition. Use what your competitors are using AND what they’re not using to outperform their pages in every way possible.

Optimize for SERP features

For the first time ever, in 2019 Google searches have produced more than 50% zero-click searches. That means that more than half of the searches that are made on Google end up on a Google property with no click at all made to any websites.

The emergence of featured snippets, local packs, knowledge cards are all sucking away the clicks that can be made to any organic listings. If you aren’t optimized for the SERP feature that appears for your keyword, you’re losing out on targeted traffic.

One of the highest converting sources of traffic is from localized searches. 46% of all searches have local intent making local SEO a lucrative addition to driving traffic to your site.

Improve your credibility

Backlinks are still one of the largest ranking factors search engines use to determine the credibility and authority of your website. Ahrefs studied almost a billion pages and concluded that more backlinks equals a higher ranking.

Choose from a variety of methods to build links to your page. The more links you build the more authority your page receives. Get your links from credible sites within the same niche. Keep in mind that websites with higher DA will have a bigger impact on your ranking and improve your site’s authority.

Build an audience

One of the best ways to instantly get eyes on your content is to post to your social media network. If you don’t have one it’s never too late to build one.

Social signals are a ranking factor so it definitely helps to have people sharing your page, however, the real value is in the traffic that flows to your page. Increased traffic brings more potential for new clients and a higher likelihood of your page being linked to by another website.

Continue to stay active in the social media site that is best suited to your industry. If you are producing good content, your audience will build over time and become an incredible asset for traffic generation.

Conclusion

These strategies are among the most influential ranking signals that contribute to pushing your site up in the rankings. Accomplishing each strategy effectively will move the needle and get your site to the first page of results, generate more traffic and fuel the growth of your company.

Christian Carere is an SEO consultant and the owner of Digital Ducats Inc. Christian specializes in SEO services custom-designed to improve traffic and lead generation.

Digital Branding

6 Creative Ways To Market Your Business in 2020

As we head into 2020, it seems like the competition has never been tougher for businesses. With the business world becoming an ever more global market place, companies need to compete against those offering products and services not just down the road, but literally on the other side of the world.

In this context, effectively marketing your business has never been more important. In order to truly stand out from the competition, you need to do something different. 2020 is the year to truly get creative with your marketing! By moving away from the same tactics used by everyone else, you will attract more clients, build your customer base, and the sky will be the limit in terms of growing your business.

Here are 6 creative ways to market your business and take it to the next level in 2020.

1. Partner or sponsor other organizations

Sponsoring another organization or service is a technique that businesses have been doing for a very long time. However in today’s modern world where many modern forms of advertising are no longer effective, or at least less effective than they used to be, having your brand plastered in the eye of many consumers is a great way to reach them. The key here is to be creative in who you partner with – try to find sponsorship opportunities that are on-brand, very visible and a little left-of-center! Sponsorship opportunities could be for brands and products which are around year-round, or for specific events. This is also not a tactic that is limited to the big brands – smaller businesses can get in on sponsorship too, albeit on a smaller scale. Coca Cola may sponsor the Olympics, while an SME may choose to sponsor a local community event!

2. Exhibit at Trade Shows

Trade shows are a great way to market your business. This rather traditional form of marketing can be somewhat overlooked in the context of today’s digital marketing. However, trade shows remain big business and continue to draw thousands of people to each event, of which there are many. Thus shows are a great way to reach new audiences, along with building your brand. They give you the opportunity to engage with potential customers in an in-depth way, allowing them to test products, ask questions and therefore be more likely to buy your product or service. Having an attractive display booth is essential for attracting attention and drawing visitors to your stand. Talk to a specialist like Fret Free Productions in London to get a booth which will make the most of your presence at each trade show.

3. Hold social media contests

Just about every business understands the importance of social media in marketing these days. With 70% of the US population, for example, on social media, this is clearly an area that businesses cannot ignore. Over 90% of US businesses use social media, but many are still using the same tired old strategies and boring posts. One great way to engage with your followers and generate some buzz at the same time is through social media contests. There are a variety of ways to do this – picture contests, hashtag contests, caption contests, invite a friend, and so on. All the better if you can hold your contest across multiple social media platforms.

4. Create shareable content

Another way to get ahead of the social media game and stand out from the competition is by creating something truly shareable. This could be an awesome infographic, and inspiring, funny or useful video, or something completely different. This most important thing is that it is something that your audience feels compelled to share with their friends and family. This means that as your content gets shared, it will reach hundreds if not thousands of people, and have much greater reach than if it stayed simply in your own established audience. You do need to make sure that your content is branded (for example that your logo and preferably website are on your infographics) so that people learn who you are!

5. Media outreach

In the age of digital marketing, PR is far from dead – quite the opposite in fact! Now you have double the opportunity to get into the media, through traditional PR to physical publications and digital PR to online ones! A strong PR strategy can be highly effective in promoting your brand, building trust with your audience and ultimately generating more sales. The important thing here is contacts: build a network of contacts in relevant publications, and then offer them something interesting or valuable to publish!

6. Teach your expertise

Marketing in 2020 will be all about value: it is important to offer something of value to your prospects, in order to capture their attention. What better way to give value then to share your knowledge in your particular area of expertise? There are many ways to do this, such as free blogs or guides, e-books, videos, podcasts, and in-person speaking events. From there, you can build a relationship with your prospects while showing your expertise, and they will be begging to hire you or buy your product.

Local Branding

5 Points When Choosing Retail Clothing Racks Wholesale

If you’re going to sell clothes, you’ve got to stage them. Mannequins are ideal for this purpose, but you don’t want people in your store undressing your mannequins to try on some jeans. You need clothing racks to stage clothes and store them. Depending on the kind of store you’ve got, style is also something to think about. Consider the five following tips here:

1. Low-Cost Shipping 

It’s important to find a solution that includes low-cost shipping options—here are some pointers for that. Especially if you’re a large retailer, you’re going to need to order multiple racks. Shipping costs can add up quickly. While you will generally get a discount for ordering multiple racks, that doesn’t do you any good if you pay out the nose in shipping. When buying wholesale, seek shipping deals.

2. Existence Of A Warranty -3 Years Is Good

When you’ve got clothes hanging from a rack for long periods of time, that’s going to initiate wear and tear. This will incidentally break down any rack eventually. This is especially true if you’re selling heavy clothing, like winter coats or sweaters.

Accordingly, before buying racks, be sure there is a warranty available. A three-year warranty will likely see you getting your investment back over time. Of course, this will depend on what kind of clothes you’re selling, and how expensive they are.

3. Know Store Or Home Needs—More Is Cheaper

You don’t have to only buy retail clothing racks for some outlet you manage; you may as well buy them for your home if you need them, or you’re organizing your closet. That being said, when you buy racks singly, rather than as a group, you’ll pay more for them.

However, the more racks you buy, the greater the potential discounts you can enjoy. The companies selling the racks are able to offset the discount through increased revenue. For the best deal, see what sort of discounts the provider you’re considering offers should you buy in bulk.

4. Rack Height, Size, And Appearance: What’s It Made Of?

How tall are the racks you’re considering? What sort of space will they be in? How do they look, and what are they made of? Sometimes you’ll find racks that have a wooden appearance, sometimes they’re starkly metallic. Sometimes they’re painted in dark colors which hide material makeup. What are the racks you’re considering made of, and how does that relate to your premises?

Answer these questions right off the bat, because if you’re buying retail racks in bulk, they’re going to get shipped to you, and you may not see them until they arrive. So know exactly what you’re looking for, and what it will look like when it’s displaying clothes in your store.

5. The Right Racks For The Right Clothes: Heavy Duty Options

Some racks are made deliberately stronger than others. Not all racks need to support heavy clothing items. So you need to know whether or not the clothing you’ll be displaying will stress the racks or not, and buy accordingly. When buying, seek a provider who has a variety of options. They should have heavy-duty racks, and others for less heavy clothing.

Finding The Right Racks For Your Store

There are a lot of options out there. Bolun racks provide heavy duty options, package deals, cheap shipping, multiple sorts of racks in terms of style and size, and extended warranties. Going with a group like this for your clothing racks can help you enjoy the greatest return on this infrastructural investment.

Digital BrandingSaaS Branding

SEO Trends You Need to Know Before 2020

As business competition in the online stratosphere becomes ever more intense, with thousands of websites being launched, it is vital to re-strategize your content marketing techniques and methodologies. 

There is no question technological advancements have become more rampant, consistent, and streamlined, which means you cannot afford to be stuck in the past. You have to position your online business for the future, making changes and adopting newer, more evolved trends and changes. 

You see, one of the effects of the changes in digital marketing is the fact that it is now not merely enough publish content, no matter how unique or relevant it is. The content you publish must aim to solve your target audience’s problems. 

Moreover, there are plenty of variables you need to implement to make your website compliant with powerful search engines such as Google. And this is essentially where search engine optimization comes into play.

But you already know that you know how SEO quality standards are essential for Google to rank your website at the top. You know designing a website with user-friendly navigation will help stand out from your competitors, especially when it comes to attracting users to find what they are looking for at your website.

However, what you may not know are the various SEO trends that online businesses should be on the lookout for in the coming year (2020). There are some notable trends you can take advantage of to get ahead of your market rivals and provide prospects that are more favorable for your customers. In light of this here are:

Four incredible SEO strategies and trends that are going to be big in 2020

 

1. Voice searches are going to be increasingly popular

 

In the current digital marketing landscape, knowing how to enhance your e-commerce site for voice search will propel your organic traffic, that is, if you learn and integrate conversational searches in your SEO campaign. 

Voice searches have a powerful influence on your SEO; it is all about triggering the best questions via voice instead of enhancing your search queries. It is increasingly evident that search terms have transformed into more conversational elements, and are targeted more. 

However, it is vital to understand that when you integrate voice search queries, the search engine will put in a lot more work to leverage unique and relevant information that your target audience is looking for at the moment they are searching for information. What that means is working on integrating short, choppy keywords is not necessary anymore, and neither is it overly fruitful. However, this change in search trends is very close on the horizon as 2020 comes nearer. According to research, it has been determined that more than 50% of all online searches will be voice initiated. That is why it is so important to gear your SEO and content marketing around this trend.

 

2. Website dwell time and CTR will become powerful components to drive significant ranking factors

 

As more and more people get comfortable with crazy high-speed internet connections (5G), and have access to even more information on their fingertips 24/7, website and email CTR (click-through rates), and website dwell time (which is the amount of time a user spends on a web page before moving on to another site), will become even more integral for your SEO campaign. 

Both elements are vital as they provide useful insight into how satisfied that user is with your website. By knowing how long a potential customer stays on your website and navigates it or how long he lingers on your website before clicking on another page will tell you how interested that target audience is in your website content. Here, you can take Outlook Studios for an example. Their web content acts like a spellbinder and visitors don’t feel bored even for a second. 

3. Quality content will always remain “king.”

Online advertisements are still a useful tool for driving more sales, but in 2020, it is suspected that the price of online ads will exponentially increase. However, it is still going to be a risky investment as there is no guarantee whether your target audience will respond to your online adverts or not. 

You would be surprised to know that up to 91% of online advertisements are not even viewed for more than a second. And in 2017, this is what caused the industry to waste a whopping $38 B in digital advertisements!

The point is, you are going to have to be consistent in upping your content quality, think of it as a fundamental tool for enhancing your SEO. Moreover, you need to understand that your content has to help solve your target audience’s problems. Quality content can go a long way in doing that. But it has to be timely; it has been relevant, unique and immediately actionable. 

 

4. Artificial intelligence and SEO

 

AI has become an integral part of the digital stratosphere, and it is going to take over in the coming years. For example, search engine giant Google has been implementing artificial intelligence to enhance its user search results, especially when you talk about all the unique searches that take place daily. So, how does AI boost SEO? 

In simpler words, artificial intelligence has increasingly and successfully progressed to learning all the different attributes that go into making a published blog or article valuable or not relevant. And through automated processes, AI is able to categorize different web pages, classifying their rankings with streamlined precision. This is currently what Google is doing. 

The bottom line

Search engine optimization is an invaluable tool for all online businesses, big or small, regardless of the type of industry you are in. And it doesn’t just refer to the use of keywords, but its utilization has increased to even optimizing your website’s content for your target audience. 

After all, all major search engines like Google and Bing process critical information depending on how users search for something and the type of behavior they exhibit while searching for any type of information online. In addition, it is also essential to understand that SEO is getting more accurate, spawning newer and more enhanced trends that will completely alter the way websites will publish information.

Legal BrandingLocal BrandingPersonal Branding

7 Tips for Becoming a Successful Brand Manager

A career in marketing is one of the most lucrative ideas that an aspiring professional should have in the business world. Why? Well, because there are more enterprises out there than ever before and even one-person startups often need consultation services from renowned brand managers. Still, how does one become a brand manager or, even more importantly, how does one become successful and gains renown in this field? Well, here are the top seven tips for becoming a successful brand manager.

1. Get some formal education

The first thing you need to do in order to be taken seriously in this field or even get a chance is to get some form of formal education. At the very least, you need a Bachelor’s degree in a field that’s relevant to branding or marketing. So, business, administration, or science are your safest bets. Science is particularly effective, seeing as how an efficient brand manager spends so much time analyzing and interpreting harvested data. Also, make sure that the university that you go to has all the right reputation and accreditation. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle. 

2. Develop a necessary skillset

As always, a degree can only get you so far. In order to really make it in the field, you need to possess the right skillset. When it comes to being a brand manager, you need to have great analytical skills and attention to detail. Also, you need to possess a thirst for knowledge and self-improvement, seeing as how trends evolve and new emerge on a daily basis. Then, you need to know how to do the right budgeting and be resourceful with the budget you have. Lastly, you need to be creative and possess the right team working (even leadership) skills. With all of this under your belt, you just can’t fail.

3. Get some experience in the field

The next thing you need to understand is that no one has ever started as a brand manager. Before that, you need some experience in the field, in the form of an entry-level job or at least an internship at the esteemed branding agency. Then, you need a letter of recommendation (or a couple of them) as well as a professional portfolio. Any major project that you’ve collaborated on needs to be listed. Even more importantly, you need to understand that you’re not really doing this for the portfolio. You’re doing it for experience, so try to learn something from each of these projects.

4. Get tech-savvy

Due to the fact that you’ll mostly work in a digital environment (via collaboration tool) and employ services of those from the same branch, it’s incredibly important that you get tech-savvy as quickly as possible. Your smartphone is your office and the more specialized tools you get to use, the greater your efficiency will be. Even your payments need to become smarter, which is why you might want to apply for  a payroll card. With so many freelancers and telecommuters on your retainer, managing all of their wages becomes so much easier this way.

5. Focus on networking

One of the most important things in the field of brand management is definitely networking. Why? Well, because you can’t manage a brand on your own. You need content writers, web designers, analyst specialists, social media managers, and more. Even if you do some of these things (for smaller projects) on your own, you still may need someone to ask for advice when going gets tough. In other words, start mingling with professionals from your industry.

6. Keep growing as a professional

The field of branding, marketing, and brand management in general, is the one that evolves quite rapidly. This means that you’ll have to follow journals, do independent research, and keep attending seminars, trade shows, and keep taking courses on new trends. Also, regardless of how long you spend in the field, you can always use it with a bit of mentoring from someone a tad more seasoned than you. This is why networking is so important and should never be neglected. Furthermore, every single one of these courses and seminars that you get crossed off your checklist should be listed on your resume and included in your portfolio.

7. Build a personal brand

Previously, we’ve talked about a formal education, experience in the field, and seminars that you need to attend in order to grow as a professional. Well, wrapping all of this up in a unique nice-looking package can be even more important. What you need to bear in mind is the fact that building a personal brand takes time and patience. First of all, you need to make your own website, start a blog (this is paramount), and start producing some niche-relevant content. This establishes you as an authority within the field. You can also leverage your social media influence by being active on your social media profiles. Needless to say, LinkedIn always takes precedence.

Conclusion

In the end, one of the things you need to consider is actually talking to a brand manager and inquiring about their experience in the field. Ask them to tell you the truth about what it’s like, seeing as how it’s not an easy career path to tread upon. Only when you’re 100 percent certain should you proceed with some of these steps.

Legal Branding

5 Essential Reasons to Invest in Real Estate

Owning real estate is always an excellent and exciting investment strategy. Of course, there are different types of investments, so it is vital to know your ambitions and reasons behind investing. Based on that, you can flow into the investing adventure and make the right call. Here are five essential reasons why investing in real estate is beneficial.

You’ll earn passive income as long as you live

There is no better thing in the financial world than a passive income. Making a substantial amount of money each month while doing (almost) nothing is more than attractive. However, every real estate investment is different. For example, some people find it challenging to own and maintain a property on the opposite side of the country. In that case, you can consider using some of the modern software solutions that make things a lot easier. Also, it is necessary to attend investment property seminars and learn more details before making your first investment.

Real estate value increases over time

The longer you hold onto your real estate, the more money you will make over the years. Even when it seems that things are going in the wrong way, you should wait for uncertain times to pass. Remember, prices will always return to normal or even jump higher. If it ever happens to you, it is essential not to panic, and patiently wait for things to settle down. Also, real estate investing can provide a renewable source of capital. Re-financing options are excellent when property values increase, and mortgage financing decreases.

Portfolio diversification

Every smart investor will strive to reduce potential risks by allocating funds to different types of assets. Also, every expert in this field will tell you the same thing – not putting all the eggs in one basket is a wise thing to do. The variation of your assets will increase the value of your portfolio over time and reduce the overall risk level at the same time. Adding real estate investments to your collection is always beneficial because it helps you offset the volatility of other riskier assets. And finally, when you have investments in different regions or states, you will be exposed to different economic cycles. Why is it good? Because you can capitalize on the market benefits once you decide to sell a particular property.

Tax advantages and benefits

It is vital to understand that the value of your real estate investment is sheltered from taxes until you sell your property. In other words, if your property increases in value over the years, that capital gain ($20,000, for example) will be protected from tax until selling. Such benefit compounds if you own multiple properties. Also, there will always be several tax deductions when investing in real estate. Usually, the cost of operating your property can be deducted from your income. That includes property taxes, repairs, maintenance, mortgage interests, and other similar expenses. However, fees are a specific matter, so it is always wise to talk to professional tax accountants before making decisions.

Potential wealth creation

Investors’ ambitions are different. Some people are willing to invest more, and consequently, to expose themselves to higher risks. On the other hand, other investors like to be safe and invest only in one or two properties. But, in the world of business, the high risk usually results in high rewards. Therefore, multiple strategical real estate investments can, over time, become vehicles for wealth creation. Increased equity and wealth are coming when investment properties increase. At the same time, the corresponding mortgage financing will be reduced through regular mortgage payments. However, to create wealth over the years, you have to be smart about your investment, but a bit daring as well since the risk is unavoidable.

Keep in mind that investing means serious, strategical spending money, and not a type of gambling. Hence, sometimes, it is better to talk to professionals and more experienced people before you decide to make your real estate investment.

SaaS Branding

Why Go With SaaS Application Development for Your Business Growth in 2020

The migration of an existing IT system to the cloud is steadily increasing. According to a research report from Gartner, IT spending of $111 billion has moved to the cloud from on-premises and will rise to $216 billion by 2020. Also, many IT firms nowadays adopt
“cloud-first strategies” as a base to stay in a fast-paced world. CISCO report also reveals that the cloud traffic will increase to 262% and reach 14 Zettabytes (ZB) by 2020.

Cloud Computing consists of three mainstays: SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS
(Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Out of all these categories,
SaaS is one of the popular models among business organizations. Statista report says that
Software as a Service market is expected to be worth USD 132.57 billion worldwide. SaaS market is vast and the opportunity is high for business operations.

What is SaaS?

SaaS is a centrally hosted software, provided to customers in the form of a subscribed service.
Such applications run on the SaaS providers’ servers and users access them on browsers.

While using a SaaS application, a user does not need to buy it. Instead, they can pay rent that
allows due to which they can use that software service for a specific time. Therefore, the
significant benefit of SaaS is to reduce the usage cost. Also, users do not need to worry about
technical issues as the SaaS provider has to manage it.

Though SaaS has been there for a long time, many businesses question whether SaaS is the
right option for them or not. RightScale revealed in a survey that 32% of the companies lack
knowledge about cloud computing. However, Microsoft generated 30% revenue from the cloud
computing technology in the Q3 of 2016.

We will discuss various business benefits of SaaS application development and how it can be
used in a wide array of businesses.

Following are some of the business benefits of SaaS application
development

● SaaS can be a money-saving approach

If the cost of the SaaS CRM model is compared to the cost of purchasing software, it
might seem a little expensive. But, when you consider the money spent on the hardware
to execute the SaaS software would cost cheaper as compared to the other option.

Therefore, SaaS can be a money saver for businesses.

● Expandable to foreign countries

Businesses don’t require any re-seller or marketer for the distribution of the SaaS
business model. Since the product will be an internet-based application, you will only be
left with a choice to market it on the internet. Therefore, it can even reach to foreign
countries.

● Scalability and Flexibility

A business needs to be flexible to achieve success. If you are an owner, you will
sometimes need to adjust to changes in your business. SaaS applications allow you to
select the delivery model and modify it when the business requirements change. It is
easier to bring new users, turn on an extra set of components and integrate with other
systems.

SaaS allows you to experiment in a less risky environment with a new project, user base
or acquisition. With flexible subscription-based licensing, SaaS applications can scale
quickly and easily.

● Updated features

Great features for your business apps can enhance productivity among employees and
make work interesting. Businesses with traditional applications have to spend a lot of
time for upgrades. Using SaaS, businesses get benefitted because upgrades are
controlled by providers so that they could focus on new capabilities.

● Time Management and Performance

The time to deploy a cloud solution is comparatively less than on-premise systems. To
avoid the cost related to rollouts, you can host a cloud-based system across various
regions. Since you will not need additional hardware, time will not be wasted in obtaining
and installing IT infrastructure and VPN access across multiple sites. It allows you to add
as many users as you want without worrying about improving the hardware.

Companies using cloud-based applications with the SaaS business model are increasing with
each passing day. SaaS allows numerous users to work simultaneously under a similar software
suite. The ability of rapid deployment with less investment risk enables business owners to
prefer SaaS application development over any other model.

If you still have doubts about how SaaS application development can contribute to the growth of
your business, consult the best SaaS development Company and get started with a
SaaS-based product idea.

Digital Branding

How to Personalize User Experiences to Retain Customers

As soon as we’ve transitioned into the predominant use of digital channels to buy and connect with businesses, we’ve sacrificed a certain level of intimate and personal interaction with the brand in question. To overcome this modern-day obstacle and adapt their business for better personalization, brands now utilize a slew of methods that ensure that customers can engage with them more effectively. Thankfully, there are many online and offline ways to cross that gap in brand-customer interactions that actually use personalization at the heart of their strategy. 

Of course, these methods increase customer acquisition as well, but their primary purpose is to inspire customers to stay loyal to your brand. They have the potential to become your finest brand advocates, to increase your customer acquisition over time, and to boost your reputation online as well as offline, all as a result of proper personalization tactics. Without further ado, here are a few ways to personalize each experience your customers have with your brand and reap the many rewards this approach brings to modern businesses.

On-site customization options

We live in an era when being true to yourself is encouraged all around, and that authenticity is partly achieved by how we make our purchasing decisions. One by one, brands are beginning to allow and encourage a greater level of customization for their products and services, thus effectively allowing their customers to create the brand as they go. For example, you should consider letting your customers add their initials to the product of their choosing, choose color combinations, or add a design detail they love.

Even for brands that sell technology such as laptops, it’s more than possible to let customers build their own ideal product – for a price, of course. The ability alone is often more than enough to inspire greater loyalty since customers then feel that they have the freedom to create their experience as they please, which is the best way to encourage and empower authenticity. 

Utilize data to your advantage

On one hand, it may seem that relying on a slew of impersonal tools that collect information about your customers is anything but personal. On the other, this data is precisely what will give you the insights you need to refine your online presence so as to appeal to each and every individual customer that comes to your online store or subscribes to your newsletter. Data is at the forefront of better personalization, and it’s up to you to make use of all the information you gather.

Luckily for growth-oriented brands, modern digital tools also have the ability to filter all of that collected data and create actionable reports that allow you to act rather than waste time analyzing. This seemingly impersonal approach reduces human error as well as bias and gives you access to the kind of data that can elevate your brand’s standing in the online community. This will let you create customer profiles, envision ideal customer journeys, and change how you interact with each customer in time.

Give your efforts a personal touch

Personalization should not end with your data collection or your on-site efforts. In fact, even when the purchase is completed, you should go above and beyond to let your customers know that you pay attention to their needs. For instance, a simple way to achieve that would be to send them a personalized thank-you note. 

You can rely on fast printing services to create such thank-you notes and other printable materials quickly that will impress your customers with every purchase. You can attach a note that encourages them to leave a review on Google and that gives them a personalized discount code for their next purchase, thus inspiring them to come back to your store. Alternatively, printing out flyers that focus on products each particular customer likes is another way to promote your brand in a subtle way as an extension of your efforts to increase engagement. 

Enable social media support

FAQ pages and chatbots are both valid channels for qualifying leads that provide ample information for each and every site visitor. They help shorten the customer journey by giving them directions as to how and where they can find the products they want and give them guidelines on how to use them. However, a growing number of customers now want a more personal support experience, preferably through social media platforms. 

There’s a double benefit to this strategy. First, you get a chance to humanize your brand and adjust your voice to each individual customer that uses these channels to communicate with you. Secondly, that is a perfect research opportunity for you to ask them a few questions or even to complete a survey so that you can get more in-depth insights into their perception of your brand. Both of these perks allow you to improve your personalization over time and to always provide relevant content for each customer on social media.

Your customers interact with various brands every day. In order for your particular experience to stand out and earn their loyalty, you need to give it that personal touch that resonates with their needs. Use these tips to infuse every customer contact with personalization that delivers results, and you’ll allow your brand to gain the traction it needs to grow its customer base and to inspire loyalty at the same time.

Legal Branding

5 Tips on How to Get an Excellent Credit Score

A credit score is an analysis of your credit; it represents your creditworthiness. It relates to how likely you’re to repay your debts. 

Having a good credit score is beneficial in numerous ways, including lowering your interest rates on loans, and it’s a key factor that lenders consider when assessing your funding requests.

There’re numerous models of calculating credit scores, but Fico, one of the leading scoring agencies, puts an excellent credit score anywhere at 800-850.

In the article below, we shall highlight the top five tips for improving your credit score. 

However, understand that the journey of improving your credit score is not a sprint but rather a marathon. It will take time, and you need to be patient.

Always Pay on Time

First things first, always keep your debts in the green, and this shows the creditors that you’re responsible for your debt.

Experian states that payment history heavily influences your credit score.  It usually forms the basis and the most influential factor of VantageScore and Fico.

Remember that credit score is a reflection of your ability to repay your loan timely. From the creditor’s perspective, if you have an established history of timely payment, it’s a good indicator that you can handle your future debts responsibly.

Therefore, you would want to stay at the top of your payment and avoid issues such as late payments, defaults, repossession, or third party collections.

Anything that may indicate a non-performance of a loan, such as filing bankruptcy, is going to dent your credit score severely. 

While at it, it’s worth noting that staying on top of your payment not only applies to the conventional lenders, but also other entities such as bills, including utilities, rent, and cell phone services.

Optimize Credit Utility Ratio

Creditors often compare your credit utilization rate when determining your credit score.

Credit utilization refers to the amount of credit card balance compared to the credit limit.

Generally, the scoring agency recommends that your credit utilization stays below 30%.

There’re numerous methods that users can employ to shrink the balances owed while at the same time maintaining or increasing the amount of credit.

Here are some of the common methods of improving the credit utilization rate listed by Fundera;

  • Paying more than the monthly minimum;  this helps to reduce the card balances
  • Asking for a higher credit limit
  • Leaving your card open after paying them off

Leave Old Debts On Your Report

I know it’s tempting that once you’re through with the student loan or even mortgage, you might get impatient and want to rid the loan from your reports.

But as long as your payments were timely and complete, no need to scrape them off.

In any case, they may have a positive impact on your credit score.

See, many of the lenders will usually go back in history to see your credit metrics and loan performance. And if you have an account with a long history and a solid track record of paying your loans promptly, it shows you’re responsible.

Regularly Monitor Your Credit

Human is to error, and at times, there might be inaccuracies in your credit report.

Regardless of whether they’re unintentional, they can derail your journey to a great credit score.

So, you must be always up to date with your current financial status.

Regular credit monitoring is necessary, and if you catch any inaccuracy on your credit report, you can file a dispute to the scoring agencies, and they will rectify.

Regular monitoring of your credit not only helps you to see all your financial accounts under a single roof but reviewing them may also be an incredible way of spotting inaccuracies or even instances of security theft.

Take Advantage Of Score-Boosting Programs

Experian and Fico are the leading scoring agencies in the market.

These two agencies have programs that allow consumers with thin credit profiles to boost themselves.

The Experian Boost program, for instance, will allow you to incorporate online banking data, utility payment, or even communication to your report.

While these programs will not improve your credit rating in leaps and bounds, it will still have a positive effect on your overall score.

Conclusion

Raising your credit score is easier than you think.

While the mentioned tips are by no means conclusive, following them religiously will see your credit rating improve in no time.

Legal Branding

Safeguard Your Business Against IRS: Here’s How

Getting in trouble with the IRS is the last thing that you would want to do. For this reason, it is always advisable to be regular with your tax returns and payments. A major concern for taxpayers is criminal charges by the IRS. If you are going through investigation or expect a potential audit coming up, you need to be aware of the situations when the authorities may file criminal charges against you.

Though this may sound scary, remember that you will not get implicated unless you have intentionally done something seriously wrong. Honest mistakes, on the other hand, are not illegal and you will probably not go to jail for them. The key lies in being proactive and knowledgeable so that you can get help when you require it for preventing such a situation. Here are some facts that you should know about criminal charges by the IRS against the taxpayers.

Tax fraud can implicate you

Deliberately cheating on your tax returns is a crime and will definitely not be taken lightly by the IRS. If you misrepresent your annual income on the return to avoid paying taxes, you are doing a tax fraud. Once the IRS is able to prove that you did the fraud intentionally, they will go ahead and prosecute you for tax fraud.  The burden of proof in such cases lies in the tax authorities, which is the reason that the IRS would rather avoid such cases. But if you are found guilty of tax fraud, be ready for jail time and large fines as well.

Tax evasion can also lead to criminal proceedings

Tax evasion is essentially a subset of tax fraud and carries similar penalties because it is also intentional. Evasion involves misrepresenting the true state of your affairs to the authorities just to reduce the amount of tax that you need to pay. Obviously, this will not be a mistake and you will know when you are intentionally claiming an income lesser than the actual. Similarly, overstating your deductions significantly is a form of evasion.  Even making large and questionable donations to charities for claiming deductions comes under the scope of evasion. Such situations can also cause criminal charges by the IRS.

There are certain red flags that the IRS will look for

When it comes to initiating a criminal investigation, the IRS will consider certain red flags that indicate fraud or evasion. Experts at Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm have a checklist of the indicators of wrongdoings that the IRS may bear while considering criminal charges against a taxpayer. Here are the ones that may put you under the lens:

  • Consistently underreporting your income
  • Destroying your records deliberately
  • Maintaining inadequate or shady accounting records
  • Concealing your assets intentionally
  • Dealing exclusively in cash
  • Illegal activities
  • Fictitious deductions
  • Omission or understatement of substantial amounts of money
  • Refusing to cooperate with an examiner or auditor
  • The irrational explanation for the behavior

Unintentional mistakes will not implicate you

While the IRS will definitely not spare you for fraud and evasion, they will not implicate you for unintentional mistakes. Being negligent with your tax returns and payments is also not illegal. When you do it without wrong intentions, you are not lying about your income or concealing it deliberately. These are genuine mistakes and the authorities are trained and experienced enough to make out the difference. You should not be concerned about criminal proceedings in such situations because they will probably not happen. At the same time, you should make your best efforts to avoid such mistakes. Hiring a tax professional to handle your returns and payments is the best approach in this context.

Prosecution by the IRS is less common than you imagine

If the IRS approaches you with a grave matter such as audit, evasion or fraud, you should take it seriously. Rather than having a panic attack, you should seek help from a tax attorney and respond properly. Scary as a criminal case by the IRS may sound, it is less common than you imagine. Statistics indicate that it is very rare for a taxpayer to be investigated for fraud. Further, the rate of prosecution in such criminal proceedings is also low. Despite this, you should still be genuine and honest with your returns and taxes to avoid the situation in the first place. If you are still worried about an impending criminal investigation or charges by the IRS, you should see a tax lawyer sooner rather than later.