Category: SaaS Branding

Digital BrandingSaaS Branding

How to Get on Top of Competitive Analysis for SEO

Competition is an inevitable and extremely healthy aspect of every activity. Without competition, complacency would set in and there would be no incentive to innovate. Because there is competition, all players are forced to keep on trying to do better in every aspect of their business so that they can steal valuable market share and build enduring customer loyalty. According to https://www.forbes.com, performing competitor analysis enables you to keep on improving and also provides you with an effective benchmarking system so that you know if your marketing strategy is paying off or not. For this to happen, a business has to first identify its main competitors, find out why they are getting better search engine ranks, and then decide what strategy to adopt to get ahead of them. Some practical tips on performing competitor analysis effectively:

Find Out Your Principal SEO Competitors

Most business owners will very easily be able to name the main competitors in their industry; however, it is quite likely that they will end up looking confused if you ask them who their main SEO competitors are because the two are not necessarily the same. It is also quite possible that you may have to contend with several SEO competitors who operate outside of your business niche while competing for superior SERP rankings. The main SEO competitors are those online businesses that rank in the first Google search results page for the target keywords or phrases, irrespective of whether they actually compete with you for the same business. If you operate in several niches, it is quite likely that you will have separate and distinct competitor lists with very little overlap. Luckily, the process of identifying your main competitors is as simple as examining the search results page for every important keyword. You can even use a specialized competitor analysis tool to make the process easier. 

Evaluate the Strength of Competitors

Even before, you jump into tweaking your on-page SEO or adjusting your link-building strategy, it can be a very good idea to analyze the SEO strength of your competitors. Theoretically, you can outrank any competitor for any keyword in any niche; it may not be practically feasible due to the huge amount of resources required. To avoid wasting your resources, you should use a competitor analysis tool to figure out the total domain strength of your competitors. Thereafter, you can analyze specific factors like domain authority, domain age, and location, search engine indexing, backlink data, catalog listings, the volume of traffic and social signals so that you can try to discover any weakness that you can exploit. It is more productive to concentrate on competitors who rank well for niche keywords but have a lower overall score because outranking SEO for strong competitors can be tough and expensive. 

Identify New Keyword Opportunities

Term frequency-inverse document frequency analysis (TF-IDF) is a very handy method for elevating the quality of your existing content with keywords that are being productively used by the competition, according to the CEO of arguably the best SEO Company in Washington. The complicated-sounding expression is a figure derived by the number of times that the keyword appears in the content multiplied by its expected frequency. This method allows you to optimize your web pages better for SEO and also for discovering keywords with low competition that you may have overlooked. By analyzing TF-IDF, you may find out that many of the top-ranking pages that you are competing against have many terms and phrases in common. If you are not already targeting these keywords, you can gain a lot by adding them to your existing content or even building new content to accommodate them to boost semantic search relevance.

Scrutinize On-Page Optimization and Content

The analysis of the on-site SEO of your competitors using any commonly available competitive analysis tool will unearth lots of valuable information that you can work with for boosting your SEO. Factors like the frequency of content publishing, content types, and target keywords can be especially helpful in tweaking your own content management strategy. Among other things, you should focus on things like metadata, title tags, title keywords, length of the title, internal linking strategies, etc. that seem to be the bedrock of their SEO success. By figuring out the things that your competitors are doing especially well, you can adjust your SEO strategies for better performance delivery. Content analysis is also of vital importance; monitor the topics being published, the type of media used to deliver content, word count or length of the videos, the extent of details, etc. as they all are valuable signals that are picked up by Google bots as they crawl websites.

Investigate the Backlink Profiles of the Competitors

The number and quality of the backlinks are very important signals for search engines for page rankings. Accordingly, you should find out where your main competitors are getting their backlinks and what sort of content is attracting the backlinks. Using that insight, you can improve on the quality and relevance of the content of your website so that you become an equally attractive destination for sites with high domain authority. Backlink analysis is best done with a proper competitive analytics tool, as a manual operation is not feasible.

Study the Site Architecture and User Experience

Among the many recent changes Google has made to its algorithm, quite a few have been on focused on a better user experience; these include improved search results, quicker page loading, improved mobile experience, etc. when compared to your competitors, if your website is unresponsive or has a confusing navigation, you should take steps to address the issues immediately. Essential steps include optimizing the sitemap for improved crawl-ability, prioritizing the loading times of pages according to their values, and ensuring search intent is paramount across all pages.

Conclusion

Competitive analysis is not something that you do once and forget about. Remember, your competitors are not asleep and doing everything that they can to rise to the top of search engine page rankings to grab the maximum volume of organic traffic. You need to keep on constantly monitoring them across the most important metrics as well as finding out the impact of Google updates on the performance of your site so that you can stay on top of the situation consistently. 

SaaS Branding

Here’s How You Can Log in to Shopify

Wondering how to login to Shopify? 

Just chill! 

Logging in to Shopify is a cakewalk now because of the Shopify app. But that is not the only method of doing it. There are several other methods for logging in to the Shopify platform and this post will discuss all of those methods. 

Let us begin with a sweet introduction then. 

Intro

The thing that we like the most in Shopify is that it has several security mechanisms in place to protect against malicious attempts of login. If you type in anything wrong in the input field of password then the verification box will appear and you will be required to solve the security challenge. 

The security challenge is in place so that a hacker cannot make an automated script try out a dictionary of passwords and see which one works. In terms of information security, this thing is known as a brute-force attack. Therefore, Shopify has several security measures to prevent it. 

The verification can also be asked if you log in from a different device, clear the cookies of the browser you used before, or use the incognito mode feature of the browser. You just need to solve the challenge and then click on the verify button. 

However, if you have forgotten your password then log in becomes hard. Hence, you would require to reset your password. Furthermore, if you remember the password but have forgotten the email then you have to ask for help from the support team

Let us now look at the steps to Login to Shopify on different platforms. Starting with: 

Desktop devices

Here are the required steps to Login to Shopify using a desktop device:

  1. First of all, visit the login page of Shopify with the help of your favorite browser. 
  2. Then you will see an input field under which you have to enter the domain URL of your store and then hit the next button. 
  3. Then you are required to put your email address and hit the continue button. 
  4. Then, at last, you just need to enter the correct password of your account and click on the login button. 

One thing to take note of is that if you had previously logged in with the same device and browser then it might have stored the information about your store already. Therefore, in that case, you would not be required to enter the domain name of the store and can just continue with the email and password. 

iPhone steps

Here are the necessary steps that are required to be followed if you wish to log in to Shopify with the help of your IOS device: 

  1. The process begins with the step of downloading the Shopify app. Once the app is downloaded you need to wait for it to be installed. Once it has been installed successfully, you can proceed to the next step. 
  2. Once the application is installed successfully you are required to open it. To do it, just click on the icon of the app and then it will be opened. 
  3. Now there are two options available for you. The first option is to sign up for an account and the second is to login to Shopify. If you don’t have an account already with Shopify then you are required to choose the option of sign up otherwise you may proceed to login to Shopify. Once you have an account and are on the login screen, just enter your email address and the password of your account. 
  4. If you own more than one store in Shopify that too with the same email address then you will require entering the URL of your domain which ends with the sub-domain .myshopify.com. After you’ve entered it you may proceed to log in. 
  5. Then just click on the login button and you will be inside your Shopify dashboard.

Note that if you don’t remember the password of your account then you just need to click on the forget password button so that you can reset it. 

How to login with more than one account?

Sometimes you are required to login to Shopify with different accounts on the same device. Here is how to do it: 

  1. First of all click on the field that says store while being logged in the Shopify app. 
  2. Then just enter the name of the account in the input field given at the top of the screen. 
  3. Then tap on the option that says “log in to existing store”. 
  4. Then you are required to enter the email address and the password of your account that you want to use to login to Shopify. 
  5. Then you just need to tap on the login button. 

Now that you have followed all the steps, you will be redirected to the dashboard with the new account as the active one that you just logged in with. You can always switch accounts to check the information on another account. 

Conclusion

These were the methods of logging in to Shopify at cross platforms.  If you wish to learn more about Shopify then you should definitely check some amazing tutorials by LiquidBlox. 

SaaS Branding

How Headphones Can Improve Your Productivity at Work

In order to break down barriers and promote collaboration between each company’s department, open offices are becoming increasingly popular in recent years. However, they can also increase distractions at work, so that you’ll end up hearing the gossip and chit-chats of your colleagues a few desks away. Under this circumstance, you would be glad to have a pair of headphones, which are a really helpful companion at work. Here’s why bringing your headphones in the office is a pretty wise decision:

1.Get in Your Work Zone

Putting your headphones on can help you to create your own work zone amidst open office with low or no partitions. You may have seen your attention wander because of co-workers’ chats and other ordinary activities. A pair of noise canceling headphones can help you to screen out as much as three-fourths of office chaos soundtrack.

It can also be a perfect way to discourage others from interrupting you when you are on a roll with a task that requires concentration and deep thought. Some workers sometimes put their headphones on to prevent interruptions caused by listening to anything because it can release a signal that you don’t want your work zone to be broken into. Therefore, your colleagues will be (or they should be) less inclined to come over to talk with you unless absolutely necessary.

In some ways, headphones can improve your focus at work as well. When you turn off the noise of your open office and filter the unimportant interferences of your colleagues, the tasks that you are struggling to focus on will become a lot easier to knock out.

2. Make You Insanely Productive and Creative

There is an overwhelming amount of research out there prove that a pair of headphones with music on is helpful at work. It can positively impact your brain’s reactiveness and make your nine to five schedule more productive and creative. That’s because headphones with melodious sounds on will activate the release of dopamine in the reward area of your brain. So you will feel like tasting a delicious food or smelling a pleasant aroma.

The result of this stimulation can pump up your energy and give you a positive mood. If you’ re not in the right situation at work, you need a headphone like SOMIC headphones. Put it on with pleasing tunes, and it will break you out of just thinking one way and influence your productivity, specifically for the tasks that require a lot of creative thinking or problem-solving. Your ability to organize material and recognize letters is much faster in positive feelings; thus it can get easier for you to come up with better ideas and solutions to a problem.

When you are in a negative situation, you are more likely to make a decision hastily; you may close your mind to alternative suggestions. If your company is headphones friendly, put it on! Your task performance will increase significantly if you’re in a good mood, and you will perform better than those who sat in silence with headphones off.

3.Create Your Unique Working Atmosphere

You can create your unique working atmosphere with headphones on by choosing different kinds of music to listen to according to the task you are performing. If you are on tasks that require concentration, organization, and inspiration like writing, ideas-creating, you’d probably want to pick some soft, mellow music without lyrics. Such music can reduce distractions as well as help you to get your creative juices flowing and knock out your tasks that are hard to stay focused on. Conversely, you are recommended to choose video game music that can motivate you when you are doing tedious tasks. It has been proven that music like this is wonderful for getting through repetitive tasks more quickly than usual. More importantly, you should listen to any kind of music that can motivate you and provide a positive impact. Or even better, measure the performance of your task after listening to different types of music at work and choose the most helpful one that creates your own working atmosphere.

4. Make Tedious Tasks Seem Fun

Using noise-canceling headphones at work like the SOMIC noise-canceling gaming headset that can provide you with a powerful listening experience. Bursting you into the songs will take the boredom out of repetitive tasks and make your regular job seem fun. This happens not only because of the dopamine released by the music’s stimulation, but it also comes from the music rhythm. The danceable beets can provide good emotions for you to go through the working day full of energy and raise your job satisfaction. So it is really useful when you are gloomy on a Monday morning or suffering because of a job that is hard to accomplish.

In short, wearing your headphones and listening to something catchy can help you work more cheerfully and efficiently. If you are planning to get one, you should focus on its comfortability and sound quality.

There is a brand of headphones that combine these features at a reasonable price. SOMIC, a leading headphone, headsets, and earphones manufacturer, has achieved great success in developing the international market. Their products are sold in more than 200 countries and areas in the world since 1999. You can get a great pair of high-quality headphones for less than $100 from this company.

Take for example the SOMIC G951 noise canceling gaming headset, which has an attractive appearance and a powerful sound experience with surround stereo. And the SOMIC G936N Commander gaming headset, which provides a true 7.1 virtual experience, a flexible 3 sound effect mode switch, a 50mm sound generating unit, and skin-friendly mash earmuffs.

The coolest feature of these headphones? Noise cancellation, which can keep unwanted sounds out, and you can not only use it when you are working, but it also gives you excellent gaming experience.

What more could we be asking for?

sales-img-featured
SaaS Branding

Technologies that Helping Businesses Generate More Sales

The marketplace is swamped with high-tech tools that claim to make life easier for salespeople who are constantly on the move. However, with so many options, it can be a little overwhelming trying to pinpoint the best solutions for your selling style. Which tools work best?  

You might have heard of mobile, analytics, social and cloud tech. Not only does technology help streamline business operations, but it also helps with sales and marketing. New technology can give you a strategic presence across a variety of platforms. These technologies give top salespeople the advantage over other professionals and should be made a top priority in the coming year. Here are just a few ways technology will boost sales in 2019 and make you a more productive salesperson.

  1. Say Hello to Social Networking

social-network

Those salespeople who do not capitalize on the connectivity of social media are way behind the times. Social networks like Plaxo and LinkedIn were specifically created for business-minded professionals just like you. Not only do these sites give expert salespeople an outlet to connect with their peers, but they also allow open communication with consumers, potential customers, and other businesses. These platforms help spread the word about your unique solutions and make your brand more personalized. If you are looking to put your network to good use, expand your list of contacts and create opportunities, then leverage social media. 

  1. Qualifying Prospects

In addition to networking on social media, tech tools will help salespeople get the qualified leads they need. Resources like Lead411 and NetProspex can provide sales with company addresses, business email lists, and phone numbers. Some of the best B2B lead generators are a great solution for all professional salespeople in providing qualified, You new and targeted prospects. 

  1. Prioritizing and Leveraging New Information

As you might guess, there is no shortage of information out there. Most people spend their days tweeting, emailing, posting and sharing—possibly even over-sharing. Most days it seems like a cacophony of howler monkeys barraging you with information. With just a few tech resources you can prioritize this information and easily find the information most relevant to you and your selling style. Evernote, Scoop-it, and Flipboard can help you organize and engage more effectively with your feeds. Not only are the layouts organized and user-friendly but also accessible across computers, phones, and tablets. You can easily stay abreast of updates and get results based on your queries. You can receive alerts if certain prospects, clients or other businesses are in the news.

  1. Lighten Up

In the field, it is difficult to lug around a heavy laptop. Modern technology now has a solution that will lighten your load while traveling. The tablet is the way to go. Smartphone efficiency is crucial for making deals, reaching out and staying in touch. It is necessary to access emails, check websites and use software applications on the go. Some ultra-mobile tablets include Apple iPad Air, Dell Venue 11 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. These best-of-the-best tablets are easy to use, carry around and prove to be just as powerful as those overweight PCs.  

  1. Forecast Remains Cloudy

Another must-have tool for 2019 is a fast and secure cloud system. With cloud solutions, you can work as a cohesive team, collaborate with customers, develop new and profitable relationships, and support more effective work-flow processes. They are fast and reliable, easily used by new employees and veterans. Sales Cloud, Box, and Okta give team members easy access to applications, documents, and systems anywhere and on any device. 

  1. Old-School Resource with New Technology

Still one of the best resources for many sales professionals is good old-fashioned, person-to-person communication. However, those who suggest “just calling” prospects will be ridiculed. This is no joke. Sometimes, a live conversation is the most effective method for hitting up prospective buyers. The most affordable connectivity options include Skype and ooVoo, allowing salespeople to video chat, instant messages and make Internet calls anytime for FREE. These sites and apps work on computers, tablets, and mobiles, and provide a whole new way of staying in touch. 

Author: Usman Raza is the co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts LLC, a marketing consultant at SeedX Inc and working with various brands online. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.

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.

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.

SaaS Branding

5 Reasons Your Startup Will Fail

Creating your own company/startup can be an exciting endeavor. However, there is a 90% chance that your startup will fail according to Forbes

That’s why proper planning and avoiding the traps that so many new businesses fall prey to is critical to your success.

Today, I want to address five reasons that your startup will fail (and what you can do to avoid failure).

1. You Know It All

Know-it-alls can be a pain in the …

Not only will business know-it-alls refuse to listen to advice, they also think they can do everything. If you fall into this category, we wish you the best. 

No one is great at everything, no matter how much you may believe you are. 

We all have weaknesses somewhere, and acknowledging your shortcomings and finding people who are strong where you are weak is critical to building a successful business.

Do not try to run a startup with a know-it-all attitude. Instead, try to figure out where you are weak at and bring can help to strengthen your company. Yes, it will cost you money, but it will be worth. If you do not want your startup to fail, get past the idea that you were the only one who can make this company succeed.

2. No Marketing Plan

Another reason most startups fail is the lack of a true marketing plan. 

While Facebook is a good advertising platform to work with, just saying “We’ll advertise on Facebook” is not a marketing plan. It’s a marketing idea.

The fact is that some startups believe in just “winging it” and their plan is to figure things out as they go. 

I’ll bet most of those are in the 90% failure pile. 

If you do not have a solid, well-planned marketing strategy, stop reading this article right now and work on a marketing plan for your business (Hubspot has some free templates you can use). Once you have a marketing plan in place, come back and finish this article.

Customer service, customer experience, and brand identity is where so many startups focus, but if you don’t get boots in the door that’s all for nothing.

3. Lack Of Customer Service

Contrary to what you’ve heard, your customer may be wrong

Still, it’s important to give them professional customer service. You cannot let a bad day cost you potential customers (including friends of a bad customer).

If you are unwilling to go the extra mile for ANY customer, then there is no chance your startup will succeed. Businesses do not make money shunning customers; they make money selling products and/or services. Never let a bad customer cost you future business (and they can).

If you have bad customer service, you will not succeed.

4. You Do Not Look Professional

I’m not talking about how you dress day-to-day here (though that does matter). 

Instead, I’m talking about putting your best foot forward from a business standpoint. If you don’t present in a professional manner on:

  • Your website, 
  • Your marketing materials, and 
  • Your communication channels,

then you’re basically dead in the water

Your website MUST be free of grammatical errors and unprofessional statements, your marketing presentation should be clean and concise without a lot of technical jargon used to inflate your company, and your communication channels have to be business-oriented. 

By business-oriented, we mean your email address should end with an @yourdomain.com instead of @yahoo.com, @gmail.com or @hotmail.com. According to Suitebriar, you can get professional Gmail for as little as $6/month with no annual contract, so go do that before you start emailing clients.

While we are at it, you should also consider getting an 800-number rather than a local number … unless your business is exclusively local. 

5. No Money

Without money, it will be almost impossible to market your product/company effectively, provide proper customer service and/or products, and look like you know what you are doing.

We are not saying that you have to have a TON of money, but you need to know how to manage your funds and use the money you do have effectively. In fact, you should spend the majority of your funds on looking professional and competitive. After that, should focus on your marketing plan and customer acquisitions. As you grow you can get your lean office better equipped and reward those employees who were there to help build your business from nothing.

When the money runs out, so will your startup.

Wrap Up

If you want to get past the startup phase, then you should pay attention to the factors I’ve covered today. While these points of failure for startups are somewhat common, they tend to get repeated a lot … so it’s worth taking the time to read, and re-read these common mistakes that cause startups to fail. 

Success only comes when you do what others could not … so start winning!

SaaS Branding

5 Tips To Help You Build A SaaS Business

Validate Your Idea

It doesn’t matter what kind of software product you are interested in creating, everything starts with an initial idea. It is always a bonus to be original. However, the success of your Saas business will mainly depend on the quality level of your software system as well as the market need for the product you want to develop. After all, insufficient consumer interest in a product is the main reason why 42 percent of all startup businesses fail.

Imagine that you want to launch a beacon proximity marketing platform for medium- and small-sized retail businesses. What is your plan for it? The first thing you should consider is a feature set that can help you stand out from your competitors (which includes some high-profile vendors including Beaconstack, Swirl, Moca, and Google) and get multiple use cases created for your product. The second thing you should do is determine the number of companies that actually use beacons and figure out what their pain points are (being unable to measure customer satisfaction and engagement, high volumes of sensor data, and the high cost of getting a dedicated mobile app developed, etc.). 

You should also address the concerns of shoppers: 64 percent of consumers choose not to opt into in-store tracking due to potential infringement of their privacy and message overload. You probably realize at this point that it is simply a dead-end to get hung up with proximity marketing. Is your product able to address needs such as monetization of beacon-generated information and smart asset management? Does it make sense for you to have a dedicated app created that supports your analytics platform (and try to challenge giants such as RetailMeNot)? Find it is a good idea to develop an MVP, gather feedback from customers, read our guide on SaaS KPIs, and adapt the scope if necessary. 

Develop Your Monetization Strategy

Although a majority of Saas companies prefer giving their product away for free to get a solid user base established, more forward-thinking SaaS entrepreneurs like Chris Savage (Wistia) and Tom Kuzler (Aweber) recommend that you start out using a paid plan, and then study consumer behavior, get your product polished, and then proceed to offer a freemium without running into the risk of underpricing your SaaS product. Having a small amount of paying customers (and lots of time to spend on your customer service) is an excellent way to keep advancing your business, get your product tailored to the needs of your customers and retain users.

Develop a Strong Tech Team

Let’s return to the beacon analytics platform: There are other similar Saas offerings (the joint project by Swirl and Mist, for example) that incorporate innovative technology such as virtual beacons, machine learning algorithms for analyzing sensor data, GPS tracking solutions, mobile SDKs that allow customers to connect current mobile applications with the system, and Cloud-based business intelligence apps.

Therefore, you need to develop a strong and skilled in-house team (six to eight senior and middle developers) for handling software development as well as ongoing maintenance for several months in a row – and it may take years for trails to be converted into paying customers. To eliminate or reduce insurance costs and office space and obtain access to new pools of talent, EU and US SaaS entrepreneurs frequently hire overseas software developers (with Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe heading the list of the most popular destinations for outsourcing). Also, going offshore is an excellent way to lower your software development costs (which can be an issue for startup companies that are on a shoestring budget). That said, your team needs to have a CTO – otherwise, you may have a difficult time raising enough VC capital for your business.

Keep UX In Mind When Creating High-Performance Software

Be careful with Fixed Price contract. You will most likely need to make changes to the scope of your project. The only that you can ensure cost-effectiveness and flexibility is to choose the Time and Material pricing model.

Second, it is a good idea to partner up with a leading Drupal/WordPress/IoT/mobile development services company with an impressive portfolio and then stay hands-on with the entire project. Don’t underestimate a UI design’s power: a few years ago there were three experienced nurses who failed to determine how to set a medication reminder set up properly and as a result, a patient was dehydrated to death. Your customers are non-technical people who expect user-training videos, short registration forms, clear calls to action, and contextual menus. As long as your customers are able to solve setup-related issues without having to speak with a customer support specialist, then that means you have done a great job.

Market Your Product Correctly

You should actually start to market your SaaS solution well before your product goes live. Get a good explainer video and landing page created. Launch a Facebook or Google AdWords campaign to drive traffic over to your website. Another good idea is to get several informative articles published on your corporate website as well as reputable third-party websites that highly the benefits that your product offers. It also can help to get involved with startup events and get press coverage from some leading IT portals. Spread the word as much as possible and you will be successful.   

How Can You Start a Successful SaaS Business?

You are probably thinking that it’s going to cost you a fortune to get a decent SaaS product developed and years to recover your marketing and software development expenses.

Before giving up on your SaaS business, you should read this incredible Kissmetric posts written by Ryan Shank who was able to develop a SaaS business (analytics and call tracking software) for under $40,000. In particular, I want to compliment the decision made by Mr. Shan to contract a company employed developer (instead of freelance software engineers who don’t always have the necessary PM skills and expertise to ensure your project is delivered in a smooth manner).

Then there is Dropbox. This multi-billion company took a non-traditional approach to MVP development. They created an inexpensive but highly informative and creative explainer video which helped the company grow its beta waiting list overnight from 5,000 up to 75,000 users.

As long as you are able to come up with a fresh concept, develop your software project requirements that are based on feedback from customers, and get a reliable vendor contracted for creating an MVP, then you should be able to get angle funding to raise money via Kickstarter. Then follow up using the tips provided above!

Digital BrandingSaaS Branding

Google’s Loon Project and How it Works

Pervasive as it may seem, a majority of the world’s population lack access to the Internet. Reason? While few people are connected, about four billion people, as of late 2015 either can’t afford it as it is prohibitively expensive or they live in an area where it doesn’t exist, or they live in places where the coverage is inadequate. 

In a bid to bring those people online, engineers at Google’s Loon Project announced back in June 2013 that it was building a network of high-altitude balloons to blanket the world’s poor, remote, and rural regions with 4G LTE signals beaming down from the skies to anyone with a 4G device. 

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This technology would provide Internet connectivity to farmers living in remote villages worldwide to be able to gain access to weather data; rural people will be able to do research and seek online educations. This plan to simultaneously put 100 of solar-powered balloons in the stratosphere would have these four billion more eyeballs on Google search engine.

The first beneficiaries of this high-speed 4G LTE service provided by Google balloons would be people living in rural South America, Southern Africa, and Oceania before it is expanded elsewhere.

How Google’s Loon Project Works

Originally known as Project Loon, the technology behind the internet balloons was developed under parent company Alphabet’s experimental division, X. The project name Project Loon was appropriately chosen because it partially involves balloons and partially because it sounds looney. But how does it work?  Read on!

1. Balloon

Project Loon balloons are made from three-millimeter-thick sheets of polyethylene and are a super pressure envelope. In other words, they maintain constant pressure when temperatures change. Partially filled with helium and powered by a solar panel for launch, the balloon swells to full size once they are 18 – 27 km above the earth’s surface in the stratosphere. 

The balloons which are 12 meters tall and 15 meters in diameter are designed to withstand tough atmospheric conditions such as pressure differences, high winds, UV exposure, and extreme temperatures.  They stay afloat for months at a time, by moving with the wind and a navigational algorithm is used by the engineers to ensure that they can move where they’re needed before they are brought down to the recovery zones for maintenance.

Along with the software algorithm, the metallic electronics box holds a flight computer with a battery; and a handful of radios and specialized antennas which relays internet signals transmitted from the ground, extending coverage over an area of 5,000sq km (1,931 square miles).

2. Network

Regional telecoms beam signals to the high-altitude balloons. With the antennas, each balloon wirelessly communicates with dozens of others to form one large communications network. One balloon relays the signal–like a cell tower in the sky–to a ground area many miles in diameter. 

Meanwhile, download speeds can reach up to 15MB per second for 4G devices or 40MB per second on a Wi-Fi device. Notably, this concept had been tested with Wi-Fi, but Google abandoned the plan because it would have meant building a network of ground-based antennas, too. 

With 4G LTE, people in even the most remote locations can have access to email and Internet in Quebec on a cell phone alone.

3. Balloon Navigation

Layers of stratospheric wind blow in different directions but in predictable ways and directions. Ground engineers steer the balloon up or down through layers to steer it north, south, east, or west. 

Google engineers can lower the balloon by releasing gas from the envelope. In danger of bursting, Gas can also be vented automatically. To raise it, they release air. Using navigation algorithms based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wind-prediction data, they drive the balloon into the current that takes them where they need them to go.

You can find all of the details at Loon for All – Project Loon – Google

Digital BrandingSaaS Branding

Mongodb Fits In Modern Apps And Global Cloud Database Settings

If you are looking for the database of the future apps that will fit in and work perfectly in the cloud database setting all over the globe, MongoDB is the one you should consider. This is a general purpose, distributed and document-based database that is created with the aim to work for and with the modern apps and help the developers working in this most sophisticated cloud era. 

Once you use it or even finish reading this article, you will find that in fact there is no other database that is more productive than this to use in this day and age. The reasons to say it so bluntly and emphatically are one too many. 

  • This is the database management system that is used by millions of developers all over the world
  • It helps the developers to power and designs the most innovative products and services of the world and
  • Since the program or the developer needs to think in and of objects to come up with the best product or services this database tool will also do likewise and help you in the development project.

In fact, MongoDB is that specific type of document database that will store data in JSON like documents. Ideally, the industry experts believe that this is the most natural and effective way to look into or think about data. Though this is a much more powerful tool, however, it is also much more expressive as compared to the traditional row and column model.

The advantages of working with rich JSON documents are:

  • You will be able to work in the most natural and productive way
  • It will provide you with adequate support with an array of nested objective and values and 
  • It will allow you to create and use the most flexible and more dynamic schemas.

In addition to that, you will be able to use one of the most powerful query languages that are not only rich but is also the most expressive. This query language will allow you to sort and filter data by its respective field of any kind no matter how it is nested within the document.

Moreover, you will receive more than adequate support for combinations and other modern use cases that may involve one or a couple of the following:

  • A geolocation based search
  • A graph-based search and 
  • A text-based search.

All your queries are written will be JSON themselves and that means there will be very easy to compose. 

  • You will not need to concatenate the strings any more in order to generate the SQL queries more dynamically.
  • In addition to that, you will have all the power that is associated with a relational database and more. 
  • You will be able to make full ACID transactions and get the best support for joins in your SQL queries. 

The most important thing about it is that you will be able to compare two types of relations instead of one name, reference and embedded.

The global cloud database

The MongoDB Atlas will enable you to use and make the most out of the global cloud database when it comes to modern apps that need to be safely and securely distributed by default and accessible as a completely managed service on Azure, AWS and Google Cloud.  

  • This will provide you with a database for modern apps that are leading in the world and known to be a fully automated cloud service. This is practically run and engineered by the same team that is responsible to build the database. 
  • In addition to that, you will have operational as well as security practices that are proven and are built in the system to ensure that no data in the cloud fall into other lands due to a ‘cloud burst.’
  • You will also be able to save a lot of time and effort along with money when you automate a few specific automation tasks that are time-consuming and labor-intensive in nature.
  • When you have the easy to use user interface and API at your disposal you will not need to spend a lot of time in building your apps and even need less time to manage your database.

What does this mean? It means that the tool will help you in various tasks that are complicated and make it simpler for you. These tasks include both operational and administrative such as:

  • Infrastructure provisioning
  • Database setup
  • Ensuring availability
  • Global distribution
  • More usability
  • Proper backups and more. 

If you are not satisfied yet and want a few more reason to use MongoDB Atlas just as most reliable data management sites such as RemoteDBA.com and others do then here are a few more at your disposal:

  • It is more flexible
  • It is more scalable
  • This document database will ease and automate your job
  • It will fully manage the service on your preferred cloud
  • It will support global clusters 
  • It will work on all world class apps
  • It will also support for 60+ cloud regions across Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.

The system will take care of itself for all your sensitive data and secure it in its built-in security controls features. This will also be in accordance with the existing protocols and satisfy the compliance requirements and standards of the same.

Since this is designed for the developers who look for productivity, it comes with lots of features and functionality. It will help all builders all over the world to build apps much faster using more native tools that will eventually help in better manipulation, visualization and analyzing of the available data in the cloud as well as within the system.

Summing it up

If you want to reduce the workload of any or all of the critical missions of your business data then this is the best tool available for use. It is not only easily available but it is also known for its distributed fault tolerance. In addition to that, you will get a lot more backup options so that you can meet with your data recovery objectives more effectively and efficiently.

Author bio

Dev Ittycheria is the President and CEO of MongoDB Inc who values the cost of managing conventional databases. Using his advice you can avoid the mistakes in it and be as successful as RemoteDBA.com.