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10 Effective Strategies to Get the Links that Google Approves
Most of the time it is “Do Not” type of information that you find online when you're trying to find out what types of links Google appreciates. Those types of links that will boost your site's ranking and help it avoid the risk of being put on Google's “nasty” list.   It's far more rarely that you come upon “It's OK to” type of content, right? Articles that clearly point out to you the link types that Google would really love to see on your Drupal site and how precisely you can gain them.   This is why for today's post on our blog we've decided to highlight the “good natural” link types that you should strive to generate for your site.   We'll be focusing on what you should do, not on what you must stay away from. On what link types, precisely, you should gain.   This being said, here's our list of 10 types of links that comply with Google's guidelines:   1. Ask People for Links   And yes, this would still be a “natural” link, even if you ask for it.   Which ones of your friends, family or bloggers in your company would gladly (with no incentive included in the equation) put your brand's link on their blogs/websites or mention your company in one of the pieces of content they'll write?   If they genuinely vouch for your company, showcasing their “vote of trust” in the form of a link, Google will appreciate it.   You'd better set up your list of potential “link hosts” right now!   2. Appeal to Your Industry Connections    How does your own “network” of industry connections look like? Maybe it includes most of the developers in Toronto, food suppliers or maybe real estate agencies instead.   Is your company listed on all your collaborators' “Our Partners” pages?   A good practice, for gaining more links that Google approves of, is to check what business lists your competitors are listed on. Then, to do what it takes to get your own business, as well, listed among those websites relevant for the niche that you operate in.   3. Recover Broken Links   But first: how do you get a pertinent report of all your broken links?   Simple! Your go to Google Search Console and search for crawl errors!   Next, once you've identified them all, you have two options:   you contact the admins/content editors of the websites on which the link to your company seems to have been misspelled and you kindly ask them to correct the misspelling (after you've politely thanked them for adding it in the first place, obviously)    you create a redirect, enabling the broken link to link to your website. It won't “weight” as much as a clean, correctly spelled one, but it sure is worthier than one opening up a 404 page.   4. Focus On Niche Business Directories   "EXCLUSIVELY on niche business directories”, we should have added!   And this is to set a difference between those spammy directories where pretty much anyone could create a link and the niche, harder-to-get-access-to ones, truly relevant for your own type of business!   These and only these are the type of directories that, once your business gets listed, will send good signals to Google!   Run your own “investigations” online, and find out where your competitors have got their businesses listed and try to get your company Drupal website's link published on those “members-only” type of directories, too!   5. Be a Journalist's Source    Familiar with HARO? The online service that practically brings together journalists and valuable sources? These sources are professionals in their fields, who can provide the former with the relevant, expert information they need for wiring their pieces of content?   Well, what would you say about “enrolling” in this program?   You might step into the shoes of a truly valuable source for a future “viral” article, one including a link to your company's site, too!   6. Plan a Newsworthy Event/Campaign   Think of a publicity-attracting event or a campaign: a “run for charity” event or one encouraging young talents to compete and to show off their potential and win a role in your company, an environmental awareness activity, you name it, one that would get you media attention.   Give journalists something to write about! “Something” that has your link in it!   Tip: Do a “research” on the latest news, those relevant in your niche and find out what journalists would write about. Use the results as a source of inspiration, but make sure you challenge your creativity and come up with something that would get even more press attention!   7. Make Your Content Stand Out   Content is, indeed, king, but “sticky”, viral content is... emperor!   But how do you produce content that people would share and talk about, content that stands out from the “sea of potentially viral content” online?   One good old “trick” is to go to Yahoo Answers and filter the information by your business type/products you sell or services you offer!   Find out what are people's genuine questions related to your type of services/products and turn that information into “VIP” content.   Articles that will, subsequently, answer precisely the questions that your potential customers are asking themselves, will “hit their target right away!   You'll then be much more confident to reach out and ask for links when your initiative is “backed up” by viral content that people love, don't you think?   8. Get More Links With Your Already “Linkable” Content    Do you know what pages on your Drupal website are currently “stealing all the spotlights”?   The right way to get your own “top” of the most “linkable” pages on your website is the following:   access Google Search Console go to “Links to Your Site” then go to “More linked content”   There, once you click on “More”, you'll get an accurate report on what URLs fron your website are most popular.   Put together a list and then use precisely this linkable content on your website for promoting it to your future “link hosts”! These URLs will act as your “trust signals” supporting your efforts for attracting more links from those that you'll contact.   Tip: you could, as well, contact those who've already put your link on their websites, for thanking them them, in the fist place, and for asking for content suggestions, secondly. What other type of content would be relevant, interesting enough for for their audiences?    9. Reclaim Your Company Name's Mentions   Let's assume that you've set up Google Alerts and that now you know that there are cases where your brand name's got mentioned, but not linked to, as well.   Select those particular brand mentions from your report and get ready to reach out to those people and to kindly ask them to “reward” you with a link, as well (after, of course, you've expressed your gratitude for already having mentioned your brand's name).   Piece of advice: it's a good practice to go over this data and to contact those who've mentioned you, but haven't linked to your website, on a monthly basis.   10. Exploit The Media Attention That You're Getting   That's right! Another “natural” way for getting more links that Google would approve of is to get the most out of the media attention that you're already getting.   Is your company currently in the spotlight? Then think of strategies for getting even more publicity, for getting the media write even more about your brand!   This, implicitly, means more good, natural links for you!   Do you know any other strategies for gaining good links? Feel free to share in the comments below! ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 27'2017
 What's Your Story? Tell It on Your About Page!
Your company's story already has loads of potential to captivate and keep your users engaged: it's unique, it's your brand's identity. There aren't two of a kind!   Now that we've got this straight, let us pop up THE question: how are you going to benefit from your story's uniqueness for drawing people in? How are you going to tell it so that you captivate them first, build trust around your brand secondly and then: boost your conversion rates, too?   How about using your About Us page to “tell this unique story of yours”, to tell it your own way and not in a stiff, impersonal manner that would only make it blend with the masses?   How about breaking the mold and turning this section on your Drupal website into a “storyteller” instead of a “boring” facts and stats-showcasing “board”?   How do you tell your story on your About page in a way that engages, builds trust and sparks emotions (not to mention “leads”)?    Here's how:   1. Tell Them Your Story    Remember that we've already talked, in one of our older posts, about the importance of incorporating your brand's story into your website's design?   Well, you should stick to this good  practice if you truly want to be part of the exception, to make your site “stand out from the masses of websites”.   Therefore, engage in brand storytelling on your About page and make your readers... engage with your brand. It's they very first step that our web design team in Toronto takes when starting to create About pages: listening to our clients' stories!   What makes your brand different? Which was the “vision” you had when you “drafted” the first prototypes of your products/services? How did you imagine they would impact people's lives, make a difference and “change the world”?   Maybe you have a funny story about the “birth” of your company instead, or a daring projection of its future “mission” in the real/digital world. Tell it to them!   Run an analysis of your brand's identity, track that “something” that easily sets it apart from the crowd, then go ahead and “exploit” it: put together both descriptive and emotive copy, along with visually-absorbing graphics and “tell” them your story instead of just “delivering” it to them.    A good story will instantly “inject” meaning into your products/services, it will put them in a context and where do you add that good stories are “sticky”, too: they go viral!   2. Humanize Your Brand   It's human beings that you're reaching out to! Not “bots”, not just generic “users”, not just a faceless “audience”.   So, a little empathy, from the human beings in your company to the human beings “paying you a visit” on your website, will just come to strengthen your communication.   In other words: put a human face on your brand, showcase its personality on your About page.    Tip: how about adding some smiling faces there? Natural, genuine smiles (not the corporate-like, “fake” ones), are “scientifically proven” to help people connect and to boost conversions.   Step out from the mass of “stiff” jargon-using companies! It will just make your brand speak “the monotonous robots' language” to your users!   Instead, tell them about your brand, tell them your story with simple words, using short sentences infused with your brand's authentic voice. Whether this means adding the fun factor here and there, some “punchy sentences” or even “on the spot” made up words (easy to “decipher”).   Go for “friendly and empathetic” language and stay away from “rigid” and patronizing language.   3. Trigger The Power of Video Content   … and you'll keep your visitors “hooked” to your About page way longer!   Not to mention that you'll portrait your brand as an innovative one, ahead of the curve, interested in delivering interactive, engaging user experiences.    So, why shouldn't you “unleash” the power of video on this special section on your Drupal website? Tell your story in a video!    Or, even better: put together the power of video with the power of audio and trigger the “force” of multimedia on your About Page! It will be a multi-leveled experience for your website's visitors. Your story's certain to remain carved in their minds for a longer period of time than conventional “harder to digest” chunks of text!   4. Make It Visually Attractive   No matter how extraordinary your brand's story might be, it will impress and fascinate no one if you present it like a list of paragraphs conventionally entitled: Our Team, Or Mission, Our Values, Our Achievements etc.   Your story needs to stand out, visually, on your About page, if you really want to draw visitors in, if you expect it to captivate them and to make it “stick” to their memory!   Your visitors are “highly visual human beings”, so, once you've accepted this, see how you can adapt your whole content strategy around this principle!   No matter what web design team in Toronto you might collaborate with, suggest them to focus on your About page's visual attractiveness (a page which is way too often overlooked)!   Challenge your creativity, get bold, have fun and come up with a clean and fun design, create graphics to liven up your text and to infuse it with visual personality! Think of all the means of making your Abut page look “visually atypical”!   Once you've caught their eye, you'll instantly increase your chance to “lure them in” and to get them into the right mood for “listening” to your story!   5. Use Testimonials as Trust Builders   Your About page is all about building trust, about creating that aura of “authenticity” and “trustworthiness” around your brand. Not just about luring users in and “wowing” them with your unique story.   Trust leads to better conversion!   So, could you think of more efficient trust signals than testimonials? No matter how well you tell your story, visitors will always trust other humans rather than “the voice of your brand”, no matter how authentic and friendly it might sound to them.   Therefore, display testimonials on your About page! Those certifying your products/services could be either regular people or authorities in your niche!   Consider letting others tell your company's story! They'll always be far more convincing than you!   Tip: consider, also, associating your testimonials with “real faces”! Add the pictures of these “witnesses” willing to tell “chapters” of your story! Your testimonials will instantly look far more authentic: visitors will then be able to put a face on each one of the names testifying for your brand!   6. Rely on Words Alone To Make Your Story “Sticky”   You don't even need to ruin your budget for crafting an outstanding About page that draws visitors in and engages.    You could rely on copy alone, for instance! But on creative copy that's compelling, has humor in it and it's “injected” with personality (not corporate-talk).   It takes practice and it takes writing skills for turning your copy into an efficient “one man show” on your About page. For making it it rival other About pages featuring parallax scrolling, visually-absorbing graphics, video content and other types of “juicy” content.    But it is “doable”! Give it a try: carefully chose the words that will tell your story and let them cast their spell and compel!   7. Seize the Chance to Throw in A Web Form   Your About page is, after all, one of the pages with the highest-traffic on your Drupal website. So, why not taking advantage of such a “massive” audience by putting a lead-capture form into the spotlight?   You're not “just” building trust on your About Us Page, you're actually trying to build trust for better conversion, right?    Well, once you've reached your first goal, with the help of your good story told in a highly engaged manner, how about turning it into an opportunity for boosting conversion on your site?   Put a web form for your visitors to complete right  after they've “listened” to you story, when they're still under its “spell”?   The better your story will be and the better you say it, the more contact info and signups will your strategically-placed web form bring you!   Ponder on this “shrewd” strategy for a while!     Your turn now! What other tactics do you use for designing “About Us” pages that stand out? Let's discuss them in the comments section below!   ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 26'2017
How to Start Your Subscription-Based Business in 7 Easy Steps
Do already vizualize the confidence-boosting number of subscribers that you'll “hook” after just one week? And even the one scored on the first month after the launch?   Are you secretly fantasizing about the profits closely related to these “alluring” numbers?   Mind you don't plunge too far into the future and get “intoxicated” by your predictions. Mind you don't overlook the “closer to the present” key phases of your business: its pre-launch and its launch!   It's in these preliminary steps that lies your business's striking long-term success or maybe its “premature failure”.   Now that you've (hopefully) shifted your attention from the final results to the two-step preparation process itself (way too often underestimated), keep reading on how to actually get these 2 steps right.   On how to make them “turbocharge” your subscription eCommerce business from its very launch.   Pre-launch: Turn It Into a Strategically Structured “Teaser”   You're about to write history: your own subscription business' history!   It's during pre-launch that you determine, through all the major and minor decisions that you'll make, your business' longevity.   Now if it's a story about success that you want to write, make sure to structure your eCommerce business's pre-launch phase as following:   1. First, Craft Your "Teaser Page" for Success   It's crucial for you to get some sort of early feedback from your prospective subscribers.   In this respect, a teaser page is the perfect “means” for you to create “feedback-generating buzz”. Which you can, later on, turn into “pure gold”: use it for fine-tuning your launch!   But what is, in fact, a “teaser page”?   A truly basic definition would be: it's the much simpler “equivalent” of a standard landing page! It's a definition that our team of developers in Toronto has come up with!   What will you accomplish with a teaser page (“with a well-design one”, we need to add)?   Several goals, in fact:   you collect valuable email addresses you get early feedback you build credibility around your soon to be launched business   What makes the difference between “just” a teaser page and an efficient one?   A whole set of key elements to be included in your teaser page:   a professional logo: needless to add that your logo will enhance your existing brand's credibility and recognition and establish trust in your unknown business a catchy tagline: keep it short (one line will do), make it encapsulate the “luring essence” of what you're offering to your prospective subscribers suggestive imagery: think it as the first “influencer” that your potential future customers, who know nothing, yet, about your new business, will get in contact with. Turn it into a highly suggestive and nonetheless highly influencing “sneak peek” into your business: carefully choose the right mood-inducing color scheme and the “leading actor” of you image itself. Will you be showcasing an “hypothetical” customer expressing precisely the mood/emotions that you'd like your future subscribers to associate with your products or rather... a “tantalizing” image of a your subscription box itself? a brief description: which should include straightforward answers to all the “why” and “how” questions your future subscribers might ask themselves; keep it succinct: tell them why they should subscribe an email call-to-action: be straightforward, let your readers know exactly what “they're supposed to do” after they've read your “teaser page”. So, go for a clear, more-than-obvious “email call to action” section, instead of a subtle, ambiguous “empty form” whose purpose they should guess instead.   an email sign up incentive: why should anyone disclose his/her email to an unknown company? Well, come up with a reason why they should, come up with a “temptation”: free subscription, a special discount, you name it. Also, consider rendering your incentive attention-grabbing: “play” with typography, bold colors, with eye-catching boxes that you could place them in, till you've found your “winning formula”.    social sharing options: give your subscribers the chance to turn into your businesses' promoters. They might feel like sharing your teaser page so, why saying “No” to some free promotion?   Note: consider a pre-launch video, too! Since “video content is king now” (and, even more: about to turn “emperor” sooner than you think) why not turning it into a booster for your own pre-launch strategy. It will help you put a face on your new subscription business and this is huge for building a sense of authenticity around it!   2. Next, Optimize It To Perfection   Be always ready to tweak, to revise, to replace, to experiment, to test and then to test some more!   At this point you can and you're greatly advised to!   Get to the point where you cast away all your doubts and where you “know for sure” what business strategy works best for your teaser page.    Depending on the early feedback that you'll get put together your A/B testing email campaigns:   should you lower your price or this decision doesn't influence your prospective subscribers much? should you you go for a once or twice a month shipping instead?   Fine tune your teaser page through constant testing and experimentation till you've built the desired level of attention around your business launch!    3. Build Some Buzz Around Your Upcoming Launch   And here you are: 100% sure of your business strategy's efficiency (after all the testing and experimentation steps you've taken). What next?   Well, now it's about time you built some buzz around your upcoming launch!   How? By co-opting influencers from your niche!    And here is how you do it:   1. you first sit down and put together a list of 100, 200, 300 (the no. is up to you) of influencers in your niche: reviewers, social media experts, bloggers...    2. next, you send them, each, emails explaining what your new business is all about. A straightforward approach works best: let them know what you're actually kindly asking them to do for promoting your business. Also, promise them a compensation of some kind, quick after the launch. Thus, you'll show your gratitude for their cooperation!   3. you build and constantly update your own social media channels: make a habit of posting topics relevant in your niche; it will gradually help you build your community of followers, a way too valuable “audience” to appeal to on launch day!    4. Craft, Schedule and Send Out Your Email Campaigns   Make sure you don't “neglect” your existing subscribers on your “hunt” for potential ones!   Get them “teased” and increasingly curious about your launch with periodic email updates: update emails, thank you emails, reminder emails, call to action emails.    Note: mind you don't “annoy” them! Keep your emails to “one per week” increasing frequency to 2-3 times a week, in the weeks just before the launch!    Launch: Break the Suspense and Head Straight to Success   Enough with the teasing, with the buzz building, overall: with the strategically prolonged suspense!   It's time you launched your subscription-based eCommerce business!    Just a piece of advice: make sure not to rush it, though. Experts with a far richer experience than the one gained by our team of Toronto developers, would advise you to go ahead with the launch only after you've collected at least 2000-5000 of email addresses!   And here's how we advise you to structure your launch strategy if you want to aim for success instead of adopting a “spray and pray” method:   5. Upgrade Your Teaser Page to a “Legitimate” Landing Page:   What does this “upgrade” evolve?   Here are some key improvements you could apply to your teaser page for leveling it up to a “standard” eCommerce page:   add more incentives: make your offer even “harder to resit to”. Go for an additional giveaway, for “early birds” discounts: raise the stakes highlight the retail value: make it really clear for your potential subscribers how much they'll actually save: let the numbers do the "recruiting work" for you!  include more descriptions: speed up their decision making, reveal even more luring details about your offer  switch from email-call-to-action to sales call-to-action: level up from collecting emails to closing sales. Think through the most efficient techniques for crafting and placing your call-to-action button on your landing page   6. Reward Your Early Subscribers    Handle these early-adopters with extra care!    They've taken some risks subscribing to an unknown service, so consider shattering some of their doubts or post subscription regrets with some discounts/additional compensations!   They've been the first to “reward” your brand with trust from an early start. So, it's common sense that you should find a way of showing your gratitude and turning their “curiosity” into loyalty to your brand.   Note: make sure you make your “early subscribers” discounts' terms and conditions visible on your landing page, lest you should face an “avalanche” of complaints from “regular” subscribers claiming their own “early bird” discounts, as well!   7. Plan Your Your First and Second Shipment Strategies   Important reminder: keep in mind, when you're sending out your first shipment, to include, in addition to those “special early-adopter boxes”, the free of charge ones to all the influencers who will have supported you in the pre-launch phase!   As for the second shipment, consider it as “exceptional”, too, and try these strategies for boosting your new subscription business and ensuring its early success:   carry out a new round of “influencers wooing”   try a new “discount” method for “early birds”, but make sure it's not as tempting as the first one, lest you should lose your early-subscribers' trust, who will legitimately feel “cheated”.     This is our step-by-step guide to a “success-oriented” launch of a subscription eCommerce business!   How about you? Do you have any tips and tricks to share from your own experience as a subscription-based business owner? ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 23'2017
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How much time and effort do the web forms on your Drupal site demand from your users?   No matter what your estimations might be: there's always room for optimization, don't you think?   There is an optimal length that you should consider when building your web forms, a certain format that converts better, as well. Any web design and development team will confirm you this.   Moreover, there's a better way of crafting the messages that you deliver to your users and a certain level of anticipation involved, too. Meaning, of course, that you need to be able to predict the common errors that your users will be making during the “ fields filling in process”.   Oh, and you'd better not leave out this key aspect, either: the whole “information typing in” process should run equally fluidly on all devices. No “discrimination” whatsoever!   Put your user first!   On how you can ease your his/her navigation and ask for as little of his time and effort as possible during this part of his journey (on your Drupal site).   Then you'll implicitly be “working your magic” on your conversion rates, as well!   And here is our list of best practices for creating web forms that convert:   Let The Data Determine Your Web Form's Structure    Let's assume that you're optimizing an existing checkout: your analytics is relevant enough for determining your next structure-related moves.   Which are the elements you should prioritize?   Which are the most popular payment options on your site? The answer is in your analytics: do some research and then push forward those key payment methods in your web forms.    Do you visitors order seasonally or infrequently on your Drupal website? It's all there, in the data! The analytics will let you know whether you should go for a guest checkout or not!   Make a habit of turning analytics into the most valuable resource for optimizing your web forms!   Use The “One Question Per Page” Method   OK, not “literally” one question/field for each page, but one “topic” for each page (or at least for each “section”).   For instance, you could have once separate page for shipping options, one for address details, another one for payment details.   This segmentation will streamline the user's navigation (especially on mobile), will ease understanding and improve error recovery, too.   No need to just bundle up all the fields one on top of the other and make your web form look just like a “questions-packed survey”. It will only confuse the user and imagine how discouraging it would look be on a mobile device's screen!   In a nutshell: the multi-page web form design converts better!   Focus On The Most Common Situations First   No need to stick in the mud, to complicate your whole web form optimization process from an early stage.   Instead, focus on the common scenarios first:   in most cases the user filling in the web form is the same one that the item/s will get delivered to in most cases he/she is using his/her card and, surprise, surprise: same shipping and billing address and so on Handle the exceptions, the less common scenarios, later!   Indicate Progression    This is a significant UX booster!   An progress indicator will help you discreetly guide your user through the whole process (whether he's singing up or completing a purchase). Our team of Toronto developers couldn't imagine building in a web form lacking this feature anymore!   Here are ways of incorporating progress indicators into your web forms:   you integrate a progress bar, in case of a multi-page web form; it will let users know how many more pages they'll need to fill in (keep in mind to add brief descriptive headings indicating the topic of each page/section)   you integrate a scroll-length, in case of a single-page web form    Implement Field Type Indicators   Here's another great way for reducing the time and effort required from your users: suggesting browsers the type of information that the user is required to type in.    Here's a great example: use field type indicators for “programming” browsers to display a numeric keyboard when the user has to fill in his card numbers.   Provide Field Hints To Help Users   Any user will appreciate a little guidance, instead of being left to handle the whole process, to figure out the “less intuitive” steps, all alone.   So, why not streamlining his operations with various hints, such as hints suggesting him the information he needs to type in various fields of your web form?   Your “hints” could be annotations, graphics or text placeholders.    Anticipate Uncommon Scenarios, too   Since not all the “user filling in the web form” scenarios will be common and easily predictable, you should prepare yourself for the unexpected, too!   “Uncommon” cases could be those where your users need to go back in the form and change certain information.    Monitor your analytics and consider whether you should apply some changes to your web form, yourself, in case certain “uncommon” scenarios turn into “way too frequent scenarios to be ignored”.   Implement Auto-Formatting    At some point, during the web form filling in process, your users might get “unsure” of the correctness of the information the will have typed in.    So, why not streamlining their whole auto-formatting operation: use dash or space after one set of digits from their the card numbers, so that they can effortlessly correct the wrong ones?   And this is just one example!   Check for Errors And Get Them Fixed in Due Time   Keep a close eye on your web form's performance!    You never know what errors you might track down and, you know what they say: the sooner the better. Get them fixed and then look out for new ones!   Use them as “pretexts” for some more optimization!     What's your own “recipe” for web forms that convert? Are there any other “best practices” that you could add to the list? ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 21'2017
Get Personal With Your Users: 6 Ways to Personalize Your App and Deliver a Great Experience
So, you've put your brand's name on a shiny new app!    It's visually enticing and it works “as smooth as butter”, too. And where do you add that its navigation is more than intuitive, as well.   It sure looks like you've checked all the major “must-haves” off your app's list. And yet...   It takes just a “Hello there!” or recommending to your app visitors products with absolutely no connection, whatsoever, to their previously bought items, and your “visually-arresting”, smoothly functioning app itself will risk to “become history”.    Personalization is key in mobile marketing!   A tailor-made customer approach is what makes the difference between “just another” great-looking, fast-loading app and a great-looking, fast-loading app that keeps users hooked on and wanting to come back for more. We, too, the team in this web development company in Toronto, are great fans of this approach.   Now, don't rush in to “recycle” your previous targeting experience, either! It may be still relevant for your desktop marketing strategy, but not for mobile.   A new medium comes with a different user behavior and requires a different type of strategy, as well.   Without further ado, let us highlight for you some things to keep in mind when you put together your personalized mobile marketing plan:   Get To Know Your Users   You couldn't possibly personalize your users' journeys inside your app if you continue to see them as “audience”.    Start perceiving them as “individuals” first, then individualize their experiences.   Especially since nowadays you have valuable analytics at your fingertip practically: this gives you an accurate (real-time) insight into your users':   demoraphics age sex on what sections from your app they visit more often when was the last time they used it even what they're doing in your app RIGHT NOW   And this is gold information!   Why not use all this data about your “guests” for crafting contextual offers for them, for boosting your app with tailor-made engagement features (instead of the “one-size-fits-all” type of in-app messages): coupons, video tutorials, notifications, you name it?   “Say Their Names” As You Welcome Them On Board   Yes, you've got it right: this means so much more than just going for a “Hello + Your User' First Name” greeting formula.   This is just basic personalization, but it's a start.   Still, take a few steps further: use the details that your users provide you with, as they sign up into your app, for customizing their experiences right from the start.   For ensuring your app will leave the very best first impression on your users!   By the time they start exploring your app, you'll have their names, their dates of birth, you will then know something about their preferences, so you can come up with your first tailor-made product suggestions for them.   Why not trying to guide them towards the exact pages of your app that they're interested in?   Instead of letting them “without any guidance whatsoever”, wandering about your app?   Tailor Your Content To Your Users' Behaviors   Once you've made them feel welcomed and “handled as individuals” in your app, go ahead and tailor all your content to your guests' click behavior.   Recommend them products/services similar to those that they've already shown interest for!   Moreover, if you want to collect data for personalizing their next visits, make sure to implement in your app features such as “auto suggest” and “product recommendations”.    This way, they'll feel that you truly care about the experience they had using your products/services. Not that you're collecting information in order to “prepare” your content for their future visits in your app!   Your users will "tell" you how to personalize the content you deliver them in your app. You just need to invest some time in “listening to them”, then some more in turning the “clues” they'll give you into “mobile marketing gold”. It's “well invested time”, and we, the team of developers in this digital agency in Toronto, can confirm it from experience.   Personalize Your Push Notifications   This is not a matter of “just” reaching out to your users and “closing a sale”, but a matter of infusing your push notifications with personalization. Of focusing on the wrapping, as well, not just on the message within!   Offer something to those customers who will have abandoned the cart, but make sure that “something” is perfectly tailored to their preferences, to their action history!   Implement In-App Features To Boost Interaction   Browsing through piles of pictures, watching videos, “digesting” plenty of text, keeping up with all the notifications, scanning through all the fields of your menu can get quite overwhelming for your app users after a while.   You are aware of this, aren't you?   Now, for easing their exploration and for enhancing interaction, consider boosting your app with some personalized in-app features.    Here are just two examples:   personalized in-app referrals: give your users reasons to “pay you another visit” in-app chat: your users can get over the “paradox of choice” if they can stay connected with their family and friends and thus ask for their opinions on the purchases they indent to make   Engage in Ongoing Conversation With Your App Users   … instead of simply popping up “messages”, whether they're general or personalized in-app messages.   The approach to success is the one of “individualized feedback”!   Depending on what screens from your app your users has accessed, on what actions they did or did not perform, you can adapt your in-app messages and level them up to “ongoing conversations”.    Here are 2 possible scenarios for you:   a user has given you a good review, he/she's just filled in your customer satisfaction survey: you could then invite him/her to rate your app in the app store   another user has given you a negative feedback: you could then ask him/her for more info so that you can fix the signaled issue(s) and improve his/her future experience in your app or you could tempt him/her with a tailor-made offer.   Final Thoughts   Your app users expect not to just to enjoy some “memorable experiences” while in your app: they demand “personalized experiences”.   So, instead of investing all your resources in functionality, it's time to focus on implementing those elements of personalization which drive users to convert into shoppers and to come back for more.   Also, another final thought for you: test it once, test it twice and experiment som more! Test  different visuals, content, layouts, you name it. Look for ways to constantly improve your users' journey in your app, to constantly add new levels of personalization to their experience.   What are your thoughts about personalized mobile marketing? To what extent do you personalize your mobile apps? Use the comments section below to drop in a few words about  your own experiences as an app developer!    ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 20'2017
OPTASY Gains Notoriety as a Top Web Developers in Canada
The power of a business’ website is not to be underestimated; it is the storefront to ecommerce companies, the credibility for professional services, a first impression regarding branding and marketing for website visitors and it’s the epicenter of the decision making process for consumers. A great website can drive the visitor to research more about your product or services and find confidence that your company is head and shoulders above the competition. At OPTASY, we put our expertise, creativity and talent into the outstanding websites that we design for our customers and are excited to learn that we have been chosen as one of Canada’s top web development companies by technology research company Clutch.   Based in Washington, D.C., Clutch creates a reputable business directory that exceeds most technology review lists that you may have come across. With intricate questionnaires and verified client reviews, Clutch ensures that only the best of the best make it to their prestigious reviews index. In this competitive industry of technology and web development, it is a high honour to be acknowledged on this list of exceptional companies.   There were many factors which brought OPTASY to the top of the list; great communication, increased customer traffic and revenue being some of the most common qualities listed. According to a client in the medical field in which OPTASY upgraded their website, "I’ve had to have discussions with OPTASY during the last part of our project, making sure that the website was SEO-ready. Our traffic increased after the upgrade, as well as our revenues… OPTASY was very responsive, fast, and offered great communication."   What is equally impressive is that many clients of OPTASY have been with us for years and plan on using us for updates to their Drupal web services. One development agency commented, "OPTASY has provided development services for our company, mainly Drupal, JavaScript, and PHP-related. We rely on OPTASY’s principal for both development and architecture in certain cases … We have an ongoing relationship with OPTASY and started working together in 2012."   We are extremely proud of our team and the amazing work that they do which has earned us recognition among our peers and others in the technological industry. Our mission involves having the best experts who strive towards designing premiere Drupal web services while creating incomparable customer experience. We are fortunate to have clients that acknowledge and appreciate our dedication and we look forward to the future as we continue to provide the tools for great online business. ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 19'2017
Embedded Analytics: How Precisely Does It Benefit Your Business?
“Experience”, “user experience”, “search experience”, “mobile experience”, “web experience”...   This highly popular family of words now has a (not so) new “member”: “analytics experience”.   Or, if you prefer a more suggestive name for it: “tailored analytics experience”!   It can only mean that, as a business owner, you shouldn't limit yourself to providing just your users with the best experiences, but your employees, too.   And here we're talking about crafting visually-appealing, optimized, nonetheless interactive (and don't forget customizable) self-service analytics experiences for your agile team!   Giving their data-handling experiences the due consideration you're, in fact, ensuring your business's relevance in your competitive niche.    Basically, as you streamline their entire work-flow, by embedding analytics in the apps (as opposed to standalone business intelligence tools) they use at work, as you guarantee them seamless analytics experiences, you actually empower your team to strategically turn all the accessed data into “fuel” for your company's success.   And all that in a timely manner!   Let's see, in detail, how precisely incorporating analytics in your team's workflow will impact your business:   1. It Enables Your Team to Make Accurate Predictions   Stop wasting time, stop wasting money!     Here's a “common” work scenario to ponder over: "Let's say you still rely on a standalone BI tool (or on several BI tools) in your company, that you import your software-driven data into this tool; what you're getting, in fact, what you'll be examining  later on, is nothing but “past tense” data.    And where do you add that you're practically losing valuable time waiting for this “historical information” to get imported before you start analyzing it, before you draw your own pertinent reports and way before you even decide to take action.   Can you really afford to lose all this time and energy?    Instead, by embedding analytics in your company's software you, and your team, will have real-time valuable data right at your fingertips, anywhere, any time!    2. It Puts Data In The Context of Your Team's Workflow   Embedded analytics means “contextualized analytics”.    And that's a big booster for your employees' workflow!   Put self-service analytics at your teams' disposal and they'll practically gain access to the particular information they need for carrying out the tasks in their departments. That, instead of “overloading” them with unnecessary data for their specific roles and skills.   Moreover (and this is another huge benefit): with this data available all the time, anywhere, not only that you stir their curiosity and encourage them to “exploit” the available data during their daily activities: you also help them gain their autonomy.   Instead of constantly calling the IT department, now they get to find find the answers to their questions themselves.   Instead of putting into practice risky tactics, they can now do the proper research first, themselves.   Using the analytics delivered to them by the apps they're using, they can turn their hypothesis and dilemmas into data-driven decisions.   3. It Streamlines and Tailors Reporting Within Your Team/s   Now this is another particularity of any agile team: its members' habit to share the collected information, their reports, to their co-workers. Spreading key data, cooperation and teamwork are some of “agile teams''” basic particularities.   But how does embedded analytics set itself apart form third party software from this standpoint alone?   It enables your employees to send out “tailored” reports!   So each department will get its own report and data: the sales one its own dedicated chart, the web design and the IT departments their own share of data relevant for their specific tasks and so on.   Get it? Relying on telemetry, embedded analytics points out what charts and data to be sent out to specific teams/people from your company.    So you won't be wasting anyone's time; so you won't be wasting company money.   Increasing efficiency is the major goal you'll reach using embedded analytics!   4. It Turns The Analytics Experience Into Visual Storytelling   “Storytelling”! Here is another powerful word, as powerful as “experience”.   So, why shouldn't you provide your employees, to, with visual storytelling? And not just your customers?   Embedded, self-service analytics creates the perfect context for such interactive, visually-appealing experiences for your employees.   And were do you add that they're ideally customizable, as well?   Your team can:   drill down click through put together reports based on how they want the needed data to be delivered to them (and not on how a third-party software vendor would decide to display it to them)   5. It Fuses Together Data Coming From Various Sources   The heading says it all: you'd be saving loads of valuable time (that you'd be spending on taking action instead) by installing embedded analytics on your company devices.   Take this time and energy-consuming scenario into account:   “You need to run a mixed report, so your team of Toronto developers sets out on an never-ending “marathon”. They start collecting data from the cloud, the apps and other “storage” devices, then they draft multiple reports, then they examine all the data, take out the relevant one, keep the key one and it's only then they start to actually put together the mixed report that you need to gain insight and take action.”   Why should you “exploit” your team that way, especially since it's so time-inefficient?    Especially when you can simply embed analytics, which will pull in data from multiple sources, run reports and deliver you the all-in-one chart?   In real time!   Encourage Your Team To Embrace The Analytics Culture    Maybe we should have started our post with this part instead.    Why? Because you will never benefit from the above-mentioned advantages that embedded-analytics comes with unless you first “stir” an appetite for data in our employees.   Unless you don't promote data-driven decision making first.   An how do manage to build this whole analytics mindset?   Let us give you 3 scenarios you could use in your data-centered "demos":   you show your co-workers how precisely a server error could impact your online store you use conclusive data for influencing the way they'll spend the company's money in various work-related situations you use real-time data for setting targets to be reached within certain time frames   How about you? Have your efforts for promoting an analytics culture within your team paid off? Have you already streamlined your entire work-flow with embedded analytics?   If not, what stops you? We're curious to hear your thoughts about this topic! ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 19'2017
Unlock the Power of Customer Reviews on Your Website
“Engagement”, THE trend shaping today's web design and development landscape, would be “powerless” if it wasn't teamed up with: an open, honest and customer-centric approach.   And you can efficiently approach your customers and get them to engage with your brand only if you “hand them the microphone”: if you allow them to “publicly” praise or criticize your brand.    How? By creating the context for them to express themselves in!   It takes courage (for not all those reviews will put your brand in a good light) and it takes vision.    Why vision? For it proves that you are aware of all the benefits that your business will get from such type of user-generated content: both added value for your brand and SEO benefits.   Now let's see how precisely customer reviews impact your business:   SEO BENEFITS:    Customer Reviews Boost Your SERP Ranking   It's pretty logical if you just think about it for a few seconds: the content that these reviews “enrich” your website with will appear in text format in the HTML code, thus easing search engines' job to reach it and scan it.   This type of content is easily “accessible”, one of Google's top favorite words these days, remember? So, think “indexation”, think “text format”, think “accessibly” and: do the math yourself!   Customer Reviews Help You Identify The Right Long-Tail Keywords   No need to stress the long-tail keywords' “superiority” over the general, overly competitive keywords, right?    But how do you pick the “key” long-tail keywords? This is the question!   Well, you take some time to read your customer reviews! As easy as that!   They're usually “loaded” with specific phrases that your customers use for expressing their admiration or dissatisfaction with your products/services.   Invest some time in analyzing the words and phrases that your customers use in their reviews and you'll identify the right long-tail keywords to “fuel” your whole SEO strategy with.   Customer Reviews Help You Gain Your Authoritative Voice   It's a whole “combo” of reviews-centered factors that turns your brand into an authority in your niche:   the interaction going on your website   all the buzz from your social media accounts   your customers' high level of confidence in your brand   To cut it short: Google won't remain indifferent to all this “talking about your brand” going on online and will soon start perceiving your website as an authority.   Customer Reviews Fuel Your Site With Valuable Content      Content is king and constantly churning out fresh, unique content can turn into a major challenge now and then, don't you agree?    We sure can empathize with you: we too, are constantly striving to craft new, high-quality content for our Toronto web design company's clients.   Well, how about that: by enabling customer reviews on your site you actually “authorize” your customers to lend you a hand with your content marketing efforts!   As they write down their unique reviews they'll actually take some of the “quality content-producing burden” off your shoulders!   Say hello to a new “wave” of organic traffic!   Customer Reviews Fuel Your Site With “Unique” Content    You do know how much Google hates it when same content is used and overused on multiple websites, don't you?   In this respect, the content included in the customer reviews on your website is utterly valuable due to its uniqueness, as well. You won't find two customers describing their experiences with your brand the same way.   “In a similar way”, maybe, but never “the same way”.   Customer Reviews Boost Your Local SEO Efforts    And it's no magic: since both the name of your business and its location will obviously get mentioned in your customers' reviews, these reviews will automatically turn into the most reliable factors for Google to rely on when “localizing your website”.   Guess who'll be improving his/her website's local ranking this way?   Now let's move on to the next benefit!   BUSINESS BENEFITS:   Customer Reviews Help You Build Trust   Let your existing customers attract new customers!   This is probably one of the most straightforward ways of generating business: you set the proper context for your existing customers to go public about their experiences after using your products and they'll practically send out an “invitation” to other customers to “join their community”.   It's human nature that people trust other people rather than companies, so let your customers build trust around you brand and attract prospects through their own reviews.   Allow them to do that by incorporating customer reviews into your website!   Customer Reviews Increase Your Website's CTR   Reviews have been influencing websites' CTR in SERP ever since Google allowed developers to include review data in their ad copy.   So, it's easily predictable that users will click on those site links, appearing in their search entries, that display reviews, too.     Customer Reviews Signal The Issues You Need To Focus On   Bad reviews, too, make a great resource for you to "exploit".   How come?   They help you identify your products'/services' weak points. They point out to you the issues that you need to improve or change for meeting your customers' expectations.   Instead of ignoring negative feedback, turn it into an advantage: see how you can fix the signaled issues, whether they're products or customer services-related.   Instead of covering up bad reviews, “dazzle away” your customers with honesty: display this non-appreciative feedback on your Drupal website!   While you rush in to fix the highlighted issues, you'll be also reinforcing trust in your customers: no one's that naive to trust a brand showing up exclusively highly-appreciative reviews, don't you agree?   SMO BENEFITS:   Customer Reviews Enrich Your Site With Content With Viral Potential   Here is how you can boost this user-generated content's viral potential: you just link your website to your social media account.    Then, the good reviews uploaded on your Drupal site will stand all the chances to go viral!   Customer Reviews Lead to Confidence, Leading to Social Acceptance   Once your website's content starts to go viral on your social media accounts, it will be just a matter of time till you're granted “social acceptance” from your customers/followers.   Reviews lead to sharing, to liking and to confidence. And it's your customers' confidence that will help you build your own community on social media.   And loyal communities sure are brands' most valuable “assets”, right?     And here we are, at the end of our list of benefits that your business can reap from enabling customer reviews on your Drupal website. We consider them to be more than “tempting”, but how about you?   We look forward to hearing/reading your own thoughts about allowing customers to upload their reviews, good or bad, on one's site! ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 18'2017
8 Crucial Cyber Security Tips that You Should Start Implementing Right Now
“Ignorance is bliss!”   And yet, it's enough for you to ignore a vulnerability in your security system and you'll face chaos!   You will have turned your worse nightmare into reality: your business's digital identity has been compromised for good, cyber criminals have infiltrated your system, your customers' sensitive data has been exposed and your brand's reputation irreparably damaged.   It's enough for you to ignore the necessity of a patch in a given context and you lose everything.   And “everything” has the same significance for you whether you're running an “enterprise-level business” or a small one, wouldn't you agree?   Now, don't you find “reducing the likelihood that such a scenario should become reality“ a far healthier business mentality than: “rely-lying exclusively on good fortune”?   In this respect, here are 8 crucial cyber security tips you should start implementing ASAP for “your good night sleep”:   1. Point Out The Safety Protocols For Social Networking   First of all, you need to face it and accept it: it's your employees that actually turn your vision, as a business owner, into reality. And it's them, as well, that could “put you out of business”.   And more often than not they “manage” to do this unintentionally!    By simply not following some basic safety protocols whenever they access social networking sites on company devices.   Here are some elementary precautions that you should remind them (on a regular basis) to take whenever they access these websites at work (or at home, but from company devices):   never post identifiable information on your social account or, even worse, information breaking the company's confidential policies and procedures never trust the “friends only” option available on your social account: absolutely everything you post there could get public there's no turning back once you've posted something on your social account; “deleting” that particular link/image won't guarantee you that all the copies of the information will get deleted think twice before you post any kind of information about somebody else from work never trust “new people” that you socialize with on such networking sites: you never know to whom you might unintentionally give away confidential information   2. Consider Encryption: Protect Your Clients' Sensitive Data   Especially if it's credit card details or patient records that you're storing on your Drupal website.   You should handle this sensitive data as if you were handling delicate (and nonetheless expensive) china!   And encryption technology is the best way to protect such confidential data. We, the team of developers working in this Toronto digital agency, strongly believe this!   You already know how it works: the used technology relies on specific algorithms which make that sensitive information readable only to those having the correct keys.   Still, you should go from just “knowing” (how it works) to actually “implementing” it! Your clients' data is definitely not a subject of debate: “to use or not to use encryption”!   3. Train Your Team on Specific Cyber Security Protocols   Do not expect your employees to guess the specific precautions they should take for avoiding to unintentionally cause security breaches within your company.   Also, do not rely exclusively on good faith, thinking that they'll stick to the protocols that you will have developed for them either. Keep reinforcing these good practices, keep giving them trainings aimed at reminding them which are the risky cyber security habits that they shouldn't adopt and the specific security protocols they should incorporate in their work from day one to the very last days in your company.   4. Keep Your Business WI-FI Network Safe    Running your business on an unsecured WI-Fi network is almost like: riding a bike blindfolded!   It's a one-way road, you'll keep it on your cycle track, and you know you've been riding bicycles on this particular road ever since you were a kid. Chances that anything bad should happen go down to zero.    And yet, why should you run any risks at all?    When you could simply take some additional steps for properly securing your WI-FI network?   hide your network name go for an ultra-strong password use a firewall   Better safe than sorry! Better “with the eyes wide shut” than “blindfolded”, right?   5. Strengthen Your Passwords   And this doesn't mean that you should rush in now to double or to triple the number of characters included in your passwords.   It's not just the number of characters (ideally at last 12) that makes a password “solid”.   There are other criteria, too, you know:   first of all: it shouldn't be a word included in the dictionary   secondly: it should include symbols, uppercase and lowercase letter and numbers, as well   And that's how you get yourself some “hard to crack”, “superhero” passwords!   Note: whenever recalling all these superhero passwords gets increasingly challenging, go for a “password manager”. Do a little research yourself, find the one that best suits you business security needs and commit to sticking to it along 2017!    Make a pledge!   6. Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication    Once you've implemented tip no. 5, accept and adapt to this proven fact: there's no such thing as "unbreakable" password!   How about that?    You should always back up your otherwise solid passwords with a two (or a multi)-factor technology!   One that requires an extra step in the login process: an extra element that the one involved should provide before logging into his/her account.   Think Paypal, for instance, or think (pretty much) any bank: their login processes do not limit to the steps of typing in a user name and a password. There is an extra security information that you need to type in before you access your account.   Again, we need to stress this idea: especially if it's sensitive data that you're storing on your Drupal website you shouldn't tighten the purse-strings when it comes to the no. of data protecting technologies that you're using.   Better safe than “unworthy of your client's trust”!   7. Backup, Backup, Then Backup Some More   Your data is your business! It's the very DNA of your business!   So, you can't afford to run any risk of losing it, just like that, after a sudden cyber attack.   After all, the whole idea behind implementing all these cyber security good practices is not just to avoid putting your business at risk, but to be “up and running” immediately after such an event does occur (if)!   Preparation is key!   So, while keeping your business' digital identity at bay from any cyber security vulnerabilities that could be exploited, make sure to be properly prepared if “the unwanted” sill occurs!   By setting up a backup plan you actually make sure that an eventual attack won't cost you too much “recovery time”. And time is, indeed, money!   It doesn't have to be a tedious process, but rather a consistent one, made of regular data backup up steps that you need to take throughout the whole life of your business!   It's a “commitment for life”!   8. Constantly Update Your Software and Browsers    We could, as well, have called this last tip: update, update, then update some more!   We know how annoying those notices can get when you're running out of time and you still have so many tasks to handle. We've been there, too, while working on our web projects in our digital agency in Toronto.         And yet, do yourself a favor: do not ignore them!   Moreover, follow your software or operating system's advice and run these updates or use the patches they're ready to strengthen your business with.   It's time consuming, we know, but do not think it in terms of “time is money” (not this time), but rather as “time invested in your business's long future”.   Since cyber criminals are constantly “refining” their breaching methods, software companies, too, need to keep up with them and to constantly update their security systems.   So, overlooking their recommendations to update is like saying: “No, thanks! I'm way too busy going out of business”.     Two more tips and we would have had a “cyber security Decalogue” for you!    What other 2 more “tips”, to make a list of 10, would you have added? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below! ... Read more
Adrian Ababei / Jan 17'2017