How to remodel a store to boost sales


StoreRemodel1

In a time where more and more consumers conduct the majority of their shopping online, brick-and-mortar stores need to exploit their advantages. Physical stores can offer a cohesive branding and shopping experience that eCommerce simply can’t.

Of course, brick-and-mortar stores can’t beat the convenience of ordering products online, but they don’t have to. Consumers visit physical stores for the entire experience, rather than just buying an item. Small businesses should cater to this desire to boost sales.

Remodeling your store can be quite the undertaking, however, it will propel your brand forward and raise your bottom line. From colors to floorplans, create an enticing customer journey that will drive purchases. Learn how with the visual below:

StoreRemodel

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Brought to you by Bigrentz

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

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6 Ways to Tell if Your Website Was Hacked


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If you have the slightest suspicion that your website is hacked or has been hacked for some time, then that’s probably the case. At that point, you should act as soon as possible. Most of the times, people will complain that their browser is alerting them of the hack when they visit their site. It’s either that or the hosting provider took the site offline. This could reveal one scary truth – the hackers have invaded the site for quite some time now, and they might have done considerable damage. Ideally, you should invest in some security products to safely encrypt your website. You should do anything to avoid hackers and invasive attacks. But first, let’s take a look at how you should check whether your website’s health bar. We’ll talk about outside sources here, taking into consideration that even the most vigilant system administrator could overlook certain aspects.

  • Your browser gives you a warning

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If you or any other visitor stumbled upon this when accessing the website on Chrome, then your site is most probably infected with a healthy dose of malware. For example, this warning tells you that your website has been used as a den for phishing attempts. Links to your website are being sent to other people, tricking them into doing what the hacker wants once they visit the website. How does the hacker achieve this? Malware.

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The same goes for this warning. It’s self-explanatory, I think. Someone has access to your website’s internal structure, and they installed specific malware programs which infect the devices of your visitors.

  • The hosting provider takes your website offline

Your hosting provider might receive complaints from other users that your site is hacked, or their own autonomous screening programs have detected something wrong. Either way, they’ll immediately cut off your website from the internet. Keep in mind that some hosting providers might also format your server to prevent the infection from spreading to other users. It would be good to have a back-up close-by, just in case this happens. After they’ve closed down your website, you’ll usually receive a notification on your email.

  • Google search results show your website as potentially harmful

If you see this message right next to your website on the Google searches, then you’re probably dealing with hackers.

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Sometimes, Google will remove your website from the search results altogether, if they have strong reasons to believe the malware is very risky. At times, they’ll still show it, but accompanied by a warning notification. They’ll either say that “This site may be hacked”, when they’ve noticed strange changes made to the website, or that “This site may harm your computer”, which means they’ve successfully detected the malware and they’re reminding you of this. It’s also possible for your website to display different content in different countries as part of a hack. The only way you can detect this is if you use a VPN to check your website from different countries.

  • Your Malware Scanner warns you of an infection

If you’ve been listening to me and decided to employ a malware scanner, then most likely, this is where you’ll first find out that your site is being hacked. With a malware scanner, the time between the infection and its discovery is kept to a minimum, hence its efficiency and my advice. Check your email daily, so you don’t miss any warnings when they do come.

  • Customer complaints

The truth is, your customers get to use your website way more than you do, and if you have thousands of visitors per day, this could be a very handy warning system. Quite cynical, I know, but it gets the job done. If someone informs you of fishy things related to your website, don’t wait and allow things to get out-of-hand! Take it offline if need be!

  • Google’s Search Console warns you of any infections

This console is the former “Google Webmaster Tools”. The name says enough, I think. Use it to check for any inconsistencies Google may have found when it’s indexing your website. It will even provide you with a few statistics with customer visits. As usual, you’ll receive the notifications by mail. So, if you see something like this, then your website is probably hacked.

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How you can detect a hack before anyone notices

Visiting your website regularly should be your first and foremost prevention solution against malware and hacks. Just make sure to check the code and the databases regularly, and perform a couple of security checks as well. By using a Source Code Scanner, you can inspect all the PHP code and all the other source code to check for any known malware patterns. These programs will either check for any malware signatures that match their database of known infections or compare the suspicious code with a good version of it.

In this way, both old and newer types of malware can be safely detected before the infection gets to spread forth. You can also monitor the site traffic and check for any spikes. These appear when hackers use your website for a spamvertizing campaign. In plain language, they’ll include your link in spam emails which they send to people. Then, they get redirected to the true serpent hiding in the bushes. However, your website will still record a spike in traffic when the users first access the initial link. Searching for these traffic spikes with tools like Google Analytics will cut your time in half, and get you to the bottom of the issue. You’ll quickly have a general idea of whether your website has been hacked or not. Most hacked sites have these traffic spikes, so it’s quite a good hint in that direction.

Conclusion

Keeping your website malware-free is not that hard to accomplish, especially if you proactively search for any issues beforehand. Be vigilant, and you won’t be taken by surprise, that’s the golden rule. Build a routine of constant security check-ups, use Google’s Search Console, and remember to check your email daily for any warning notifications.

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Brought to you by Bogdan Patru – is a cybersecurity news analyst at VPNTeacher. He has a passion for international data policy and how it affects citizens’ privacy.

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

How Artificial Intelligence Is Reshaping Email Marketing (Infographic)


Artificial Intelligence, technology

Email is one of the highest-performing marketing channels around, but it doesn’t mean that developments are no longer possible. Email marketing is proving to be more efficient with the introduction of the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Practically all aspects of email marketing are compatible with how AI is supposed to work.

Since AI programs have machine learning features built into them, you can direct your email campaigns to the right audience based on your customers’ past behaviour, activities, and interaction with your brand. As a tool that’s capable of collating data about your email marketing performance, AI helps ensure that you’re able to optimise various elements in your email, from subject line to copy and CTA – so recipients will be compelled to find out what’s in it for them.

The following infographic also examines the role of AI in streamlining your email marketing through automation as well as setting business goals and making projections through data analytics.

How-Artificial-Intelligence-is-Reshaping-Email-Marketing

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Brought to you by Connextdigital

Post submitted by Jess Andriani

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

A Complete Guide to Using Infographics for Lead Generation


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It’s no secret that lead generation is an essential cocktail in ensuring that your business will take flight. If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re thinking that you’ve already exhausted all possible efforts in attracting high-quality prospects that your brand can easily convert, but you’re still looking for creative ways to push these efforts forward. Well then, you came to the right place.

Here’s a question to start the discussion: What comes to mind when you think of infographics? Some people would say stunning graphics of visuals; others would say it’s an excellent way to get engagement. Readers are usually captivated by this content type since it combines information and aesthetic. It’s a creative way to present data without overwhelming your audience.

Infographics are so valuable to content marketers because of its proven track record in increasing site traffic and tripling social media engagement. However, it’s not often associated with lead generation—a missed opportunity.

It’s time to change this! In the infographic below, you’ll discover that it’s possible to optimize your infographics so you can reap its benefits and get quality prospects for your business. Learn how to generate leads with infographics and get ahead of the competition.

A Complete Guide to Using Infographics for Lead Generation

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Brought to you by Spiralytics

Post submitted by Ushabelle Bongo – Popularly know as Shaw is a proud daughter of the Queen City of the South who has been hustling in Makati since 2016. She initially tried her hands at banking, only to be proven once and for all that her hands are made for playing with words, not handling numbers. Now Shaw is in a better place–a digital marketing paradise otherwise known as Spiralytics, where she’s making waves as a Content Specialist.

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

How Companies Use Scent Marketing to Influence Buyers


fragrancex logo

Scent marketing has been used for years by companies across many industries to influence customer opinion, reinforce brand image or encourage sales. Scent is connected to parts of the brain that help us recall memories and experience emotion, which makes it a powerful subliminal tool.

How do companies use scent? It depends on the industry. For instance, Cinnabon bakes their cinnamon rolls towards the front of their stores so that the smell can easily travel outside of the shop. Since they are often in enclosed spaces (like malls), the smell is quite strong and encourages sales.

Companies can also use scent to reinforce brand image or create a certain atmosphere in their stores. For example, the scent of leather can inspire an image of opulence, leading customers to feel like the products sold there are luxurious. It is often used in upscale shops and storefronts.

Many gyms will use the smell of fresh linen to create or reinforce the illusion that their gym is extremely clean. Also, lemongrass can be used to energize and invigorate casino patrons or hotel guests.

There are numerous ways that scent marketing can benefit businesses both large and small. The below infographic from FragranceX delves into the subject a bit more!

the-science-of-scent-marketing-shareable

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Brought to you by FragranceX

Post submitted by Karli J. – Karli is a content marketer who enjoys sharing information on everything from travel and real estate to productivity hacks and marketing best practices. On the weekends, she loves to explore new places, enjoy the outdoors and have a glass or two of vino!

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Time Management Best Practices for the Busy Entrepreneur


Time Management Tips

Time management is an essential skill to master – whether at home or work. People always want to get things done so they can rest more comfortable when everything is over.

Questions such as where to start from, when to start, or how to start are some of the issues people face on a daily basis in the quest of finding/learning how to manage time effectively.

That said, there are some smart insights you can follow to solve the highlighted questions.

Learning this skill takes time, but following the necessary steps would ensure you acquire them. Some of the steps you should consider is learning to say ‘no’ when you have a lot on your plate already instead of jumping at every opportunity that is knocking at you. You have to be smart when it comes to what you accept and decline. Another point worth mentioning that is relating to the topic under discussion is delegation. It is imperative that a person knows how to delegate when the situation is overwhelming, this way, a person can keep tasks going without any hiccups.

These are some of the things you can take to heart and start mulling over. To know more about the best practices on time management, check out this infographic below:

Time Management Best Practices

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Brought to you by our friend at the Owners Up

Post submitted by Tanya Alvarez

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Four Pillars of Brainstorming


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Whether you love brainstorming or feel intimidated by the process, it’s always great to brush up on your idea generation skills. Coming up with creative ideas on demand is no easy feat, but implementing tried and true brainstorming best practices can help make the process easier. If you’re feeling stuck during a brainstorm, consider implementing the four pillars of brainstorming, a framework created by advertiser Alex F. Osborn in the 1940s. Alex F. Osborn created the term “brainstorm” and developed four pillars that you can use when coming up with new ideas.

By going for quality, withholding criticism, welcoming wild ideas, and combining and improving ideas, you can radically transform the success of your brainstorming sessions. Check out the infographic below from our friends at Fundera that outlines the four pillars and provides actionable tips to improve idea generation. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment box below.

Brainstorming-ideas-infographic

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Brought to you by Fundera

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

15 of the Best TED Talks for Activating Creativity


TED

The first step to overcoming a mental block is modifying your frame of mind from failure and self-doubt to positivity and knowing you are capable. Finding inspiration is one way to shift away from a negative perspective and jumpstart those creative juices.

The popular media company TED (short for Technology, Entertainment and Design) has got inspiration down to a science. Devoted to making powerful ideas accessible as well as sparking conversation, innovation and change, their global community welcomes thought leaders to share knowledge and motivate you to spread your greatest ideas. Speakers come from an array of different fields. They include authors, producers, entrepreneurs and more.

Lecturers are thinkers, doers and idea-generators!

To help you replenish your creative spark and get inspired, our friend at Invaluable compiled a list of 15 must-listen Ted Talks on creativity.

Browse the highly viewed list of speakers, find your favourite and find your inspiration.

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Brought to you by  Taylor Poppmeier

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Instagram Tips For Businesses To Reach Over 400-Million+ Visitors Monthly (Infographic)


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Photo-sharing app Instagram is changing the way businesses promote their brands. This app allows businesses to make themselves more personable to their customers aside other great things you can do with the app. I think Instagram is one of the best marketing tools every business out there should take very seriously. If your business is not on Instagram, you are simply missing out on the 400-million+ monthly potential customers you can introduce your business to. So therefore, do you:

  • Want to reach over 400-million+ potential customers monthly?
  • Want to invite your users to window shop and increase your sale?
  • Want to keep your users updated about your latest product?
  • Want to widen the exposure of your brands using pictures and videos?
  • Want to offer exclusive benefits to users?

If yes, below is an infographic on how to make your company standout on Instagram.

how-to-make-your-company-stand-out-on-instagram

See also: 10 KEYS TO HAPPINESS (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Source: EyeCandy Infographic

 

7 Tips for Online Marketing on a Tight Budget | Gerald A. Pimpleton


7 Tips for Online Marketing on a Tight Budget | Originally posted by Gerald A. Pimpleton on WordPress blog.

7 Tips for Online Marketing on a Tight Budget

The World Wide Web is a tool with infinite possibilities. Creating and maintaining a business presence through online marketing is more practical than ever before. In fact, online companies are popping up out of the woodwork. However, I can vouch that sustaining a successful online business is easier said than done.

With the immense amount of information on the Internet and users largely having the control to view exactly what they want, getting your product in front of potential customers can be challenging to say the least. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what works (and what fails terribly) when it comes to marketing online. Today, times are tough. Most companies have little room left in their tight budget when it comes to marketing. Here are 7 tips to follow to develop a successful online marketing strategy on your startups limited budget.

Know your market.
Your marketing strategy will never be successful if you do not have a clearly defined audience. Before you spend a dime on marketing, figure out your target market first. There’s no need to pay top dollar to hire a fancy market research firm. If you know your product, you should be able to figure out your market yourself. For example, who will be most interested in your product? Men or women? What is their age group? What are your customer’s interests? What is their likely financial situation?

Once you have a thorough profile of your customer, determining how and where to reach them is much easier. This step may take awhile, and that’s OK. If you start marketing before you have a clear customer profile though, you will likely be wasting your dollars in places that will never reach your customer. Just because Pinterest is growing rapidly, doesn’t mean your audience is the one making it grow.

Set and reset goals.
Determine what you are looking to gain from online marketing. Increased awareness? Increased revenue? You will probably have multiple goals, but keep track of what they are so you can measure your success. When you reach your initial goals, set new goals so your company can continue to improve.

Set a budget.
Now that you know who your target market is and have set goals, plan your budget accordingly. The good thing about online marketing is that you can be successful even when on a tight budget. A lot of platforms are available at no charge. However, sticking solely with free forms of online marketing might not be the best strategy for your company. Carefully determine what outlets are most necessary for your product and be willing to spend some money to get results.

Brand yourself.
Set yourself apart from the competition. There are thousands of companies trying to sell products on the Internet. Thus, you need to make your brand unforgettable. This begins with your website. Your domain name should be your company’s name if at all possible. If there are other companies online with names similar to yours, you may even want to consider changing your name to one that will not be easily confused with another product. Acquiring a domain name has a fee involved, but using a hosting service is very affordable even for the smallest budgets.

The way you want your brand to be viewed by customers is really up to you. But once you figure it out be consistent and stick with it. Having a professional website and a strong social media presence is important here, but you should also take the time to interact with potential customers and build relationships with them. The main cost involved in this step is just the man hours put into the process, which will drastically be reduced when you’ve established your brand.

Search engine optimization.
When someone enters a search query into a search engine about something relevant to your company, obviously you want to be one of the first results displayed. So how do you make this happen? Essentially, you need to make your website more appealing to search engines. Do this by using keywords that are commonly searched, backlinking your site, customizing the headline and description, etc.

SEO can admittedly be a complicated and time consuming process, however the time needs to be spent here to ensure your website is getting found. Your best bet is usually going to be spending a bit more of your budget and hiring the right people to do the proper research. At Ciplex, we stress the importance of not including keywords to simply rank your site, but using the terms your audience is looking for. That is what will get you the highest conversion rates.

Blogging.
The more content on your site, the more opportunities there are for search engines to pick it up. Blogging can be a great (and free!) way to generate leads and links into your site. But don’t just be producing content to produce content. Write quality blog posts that will engage the readers. Guest blogging on more established blogs is another way to get more traffic to your own site.
online marketing
Social media.
Don’t just sign up for these services and then forget about them. Start being active on social media. These sites should be used to promote your blog posts and communicate with customers. However, most people don’t follow companies on social media unless the company gives them a reason to. So, of course, give them a reason!

If you enjoyed this post please like and share. I’m interested to know if you have used any of these methods and how have they worked for you! Share with us in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our website and this blog!