How Often Should You Update or Rebuild Your Website?

Here it comes to updating your business website in a timely manner, the one rule is this: There are no rules. That’s according to Christian Riggs, president of apple-iphone-5-on-laptop-focus-wide-hd-wallpaper a user-experience design and website development firm in San Diego. Riggs says that deciding whether to update, redesign or re engineer your site should depend entirely on your business goals, objectives and economic considerations, rather than on some superficial time frame pulled out of thin air. We asked him to explain.

Q: Why would I redesign the look and feel of my website but not rebuild it?

A: A variety of factors can make a redesign worth considering, but here are several that almost always require an update. You’ve got new branding and color standards, and you need to make sure your new look extends to your website. Your bounce rates are extremely high, meaning people visit but few convert; a well-thought-out redesign can turn this around. Or your business has grown, and plans call for new products and services; your site’s design may need to reflect that change. Last, your customers complain about your site, claiming that it looks outdated or doesn’t work well.

Q: What developments might require me to reengineer my website from scratch?

A: The most important one is if your current site doesn’t adapt to mobile device screens. Fixing this is an absolute must in today’s mobile-driven world. Another would be if your site was originally built using Flash: Apple’s iPads and iPhones don’t support Flash. That’s reason enough to rebuild, but there’s another reason: Flash can slow your site down.

Anyone in your company should be able to learn and use your content management system (CMS) to update your site. You shouldn’t have to hire a programmer to make simple changes and fixes. Along those same lines of keeping things simple: If your site takes forever to load, you need to reengineer the backend. Nobody puts up with long waits anymore.

QShould I invite my customers to be part of the redesign process?

A: Yes! Customer opinion and feedback give you the kind of insights that convert visitors into customers. Start by asking what they think of your proposed design and if it appeals to them. Then ask about the problem they’re looking to solve and if the information they need access to is easy to find in the new design. After you relaunch the site, ask them again if they like it. If they say no, address their concerns through incremental design enhancements, which your new site should allow you to do without starting over.

In short, you want to follow the lead of sites like Apple.com and Amazon.com, which rarely undergo complete facelifts. Instead, their sites evolve over time using an iterative process that results in near invisible refinements that have the bonus of maintaining the user experience that customers know and like.

HOW WE CAN MANAGE OUR OFFICE

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As an admin, it usually falls on you to keep the office running as efficiently as possible. But when you combine a team of people with different personalities, various pieces of office equipment and software tools, and a never-ending list of distractions, office management can get a little tricky at times. But all this chaos shouldn’t stop you. In fact, it should be motivation to get and keep your office in shape!

If you want to be a better office manager and develop your management and leadership skills, here are some office management tips to keep things running smoothly.

1. Sharpen your communication skills. Being an effective communicator is critical to everything you do as an assistant, and it expands when you step into a management role. You have to be able to lead meetings, step in for your manager, and represent your executive at public functions. You also need toIf you’re not comfortable doing any of these things, brush up on your skills! Attend networking events, accompany him or her to their next speaking engagement or conference, and volunteer to present something at the next office meeting. Find ways to practice every chance you get. All of these things will help you become a better communicator!

2. Work on your people management skills. Learning to manage people is very different from managing projects or tasks. It requires more patience and understanding. And it helps if you know a little about personality typeand how they impact the way people work and communicate. If you aren’t a natural networker, make a point to learn one new thing about each person you interact with daily. This will help you build relationships and gain a better understanding of each person’s unique abilities and contributions to the team.

3. Be an innovative thinker. Being an effective office manager requires some innovative thinking, especially when it comes to problem solving. As a manager, there are going to be situations (and some times people) that you can’t control, as well as challenges that you need to overcome. While it’s easy to get stressed and frustrated in these situations, the better option is to approach them with an innobative mind setYou don’t have to be a “creative type” to develop your innovative thinking skills. Surround yourself with innovative thinkers. Read as much as you possibly can – articles, books, newsletters! Listen to podcasts or audio courses during your commute. As the office manager, it’s important to constantly expose ourselves to new ideas, methods, and industry trends if we want to excel. The new ideas and concepts you bring into your mind will positively impact the way you do your job!

4. Develop your business acumen. As an office manager, it’s vital that you understand how every aspect of your company runs and your role in it. You must understand how your company makes money and where you can impact the bottom line. Being business navvy helps improve your ability to make good judgments and quick decisions each day. As the person responsible for keeping office operations flowing smoothly, it’s your job to keep information flowing and projects moving forward. The more you know about how a business runs, and the intricacies of your company in particular, the more successful you’ll be in your role!

5. Continue your education and professional development. The best office managers never stop learning, growing and expanding their knowledge base. Stay on top of technology. Make proffessional devolopment part of your monthly strategec plane og your careersso it’s consistent and scheduled well in advance. There are lots of thing you can do that are free and low fee

if you look for them. Keep learning — it’s part of your responsibility as a manager!

Whether you’re the unofficial office manager or it’s part of your title, polishing your management skills will help you be more successful and effective in every facet of your admin career. Your colleagues will notice it. Your executive will appreciate it. And you’ll be recognized as the well-rounded, competent, innovative office manager that you are!

so this is how to manage your office and how to make effective communication

10 Marketing Tricks From the Pros

Marketing is the lifeblood of any startup – without it, the company will be sure to sink. So for entrepreneurs looking to boost their productivity with simple tricks, I set out to find answers.I recently asked some of the smartest and most experienced marketing people I know for their No. 1 marketing hack. While all provided extremely effective solutions, I was amazed at how simple some of them were.

Here is a list comprised of the top ten, categorized by marketing experts.

 Social Media

1. Boost your posts. “Give your social media content a boost. Businesses are finding it more and more difficult to get their message heard. By the latest estimates, Facebook is showing only 6 percent of a business’ content to their fan base. So give your content a paid boost. If you have more than 100 likes on your page, a ‘boost’ button will appear at the bottom of each post. Use it. For less than $30, you can get your message out to thousands of unique users.”
-Rob Wellman, CEO of Social5

Related: Is Your Marketing Message Getting Muddled?

2. Load up on data, and do it quickly. “Facebook advertising can deliver the cheapest CPM’s in online marketing with the ability to test ad efficiency in real-time. Use the power editor “duplicate” tool to create hundreds of ads and change one element per ad. Give these a small budget, and you’ll quickly see what works and what doesn’t without breaking the bank. Double down on the ones that work, and kill the ones that don’t.”
-Kyle Ivins, co-founder Envolve Agency

3. Retweet and engage “Don’t just tweet out stuff about your company. Engage with other companies, your customers and thought leaders in your market. Retweet their tweets and add your thoughts. Respond to tweets that aren’t directed at you and give your thoughts on those. Followers will start flowing your way.”
Jason Barber, co-founder Friendemic

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4. Explore pay-per-click advertising. Google isn’t the only show in town when it comes to pay-per-click advertising.

“Google has the most volume when it comes to their ad network. But they’re far from the only option. Bing provides great results for businesses targeting the baby boomer generation. You can also look into Google Search Partner Networks for other opportunities for higher ROI.”
-Jacob Baadsgaard, CEO Disruptive Advertising

5. One ad per keyword. “If you’re running a campaign with a dozen keywords and only have one ad, then you’re throwing money away. Create specific ad groups that target single keywords. Then create two to three ads for that one keyword. See which ad works best, then run with it.”
-Scott Cohen, CEO of 180Fusion

Related: 7 Marketing Truths Every Business Leader Should Know

Public relations

6. Don’t brag, give real value. “The greatest secret in media and public relations right now is that the press (and your potential customers) are most interested in the value added information that will help them succeed in a given area—not in hearing promotional information from you. By thinking of your readers’ needs first—not your own self-interests—you will receive business traction and audience engagement beyond your dreams.”
-Cheryl Snapp Conner, Snapp Conner PR

7. One sentence “Here’s a pro tip that’s extremely obvious, but often completely ignored by entrepreneurs everywhere: You should be able to explain your startup in one sentence. That’s it. No exceptions.”
-Harrison Weber, Journalist and News Editor 

SEO

8. Poach your competitors’ mentions. “Create a Google Alert for your competitors’ brand names. Find out where they are being mentioned and in what context. Then, see if there’s opportunities to be mentioned alongside of them. Many times journalists and editors will write about one brand and be open to including a similar brand for parity.”
-Nathan Tanner, 

Email marketing

9. Trim your subjects. “Get an immediate lift in email marketing revenue by reducing your subject lines to only one word. Choose that word carefully. It should induce irresistible curiosity, while staying relevant to your message. With the right word, your open rates will skyrocket. Do some testing to really dial it in.”
-Tyler Dixon,

Outdoor advertising

10. Think outside the box. “Get creative when working with a budget and with advertisers. A client of mine recently secured a ‘pay for performance’ billboard on one of the busiest stretches of an interstate. They only pay the billboard agency if a sale results from that billboard. You’d be surprised what you can get accomplished if you only ask.”
-Matt Frisbie

Comapny Logo Matters

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Creating a logo and a brand for your business is a great way to help your company stand out in the minds of the customers. Brand recognition (also referred to as brand awareness) is key in winning business online, as well as in creating a strong fan base.

The main benefit that your business logo serves is that they ensure that your customers remember your business. Printing your logo on merchandise through a quality service like custom gear can ensure that the word spreads about your product. But just having any logo is not enough. Here is why choosing the design of your business logo carefully is important.

It Represents Your Image

You probably have figured out by now that in the corporate world your image is everything. An advertising company may want their logo to be bold, in order to reflect the aggressiveness which is often what a client is looking for. On the other hand, an insurance company’s logo should reflect dependability and solidity in order to attract customers.

Consumer Loyalty

Even after you have established your brand image, the work of your logo does not end. More than half of the effectiveness of a logo comes from its repetition. In the business community familiarity is the key to growing your business. In other words, you want one time customers to give you repeat business as loyal customers, and showcasing your business logo in front of them all the time does that.

The Logo is Not Your Average Marketing Tool

If you are careful with your marketing tactics, your logo can be the reason for the sales of a company. For instance, brands like Nike have established the image that they are among the best that money can buy in terms of athletic wear. Their strategy was to associate popular stars in sports with their brand logo.

The Logo Established Ownership

Your logo is like your signature. It proves that you have legal ownership and that you have put into effect a safe guard for forgeries of your product. There can be no other equal in quality to your goods with your logo. In the modern world cheap forgeries are flooding the market, but to ensure the quality you claim customers would want to check the logo. It pays to invest in developing a great logo. You can take the case to court if someone tries to copy your logo to sell their goods.

The Psychological Aspect of It

Studies have shown that people tend to absorb more information through visual cues. People are able to relate to images of logo faster than the written name of a company. The current market is flooded with logos, everything from the pages of a newspaper to the bar at the bottom of your favorite television channel. That is why it is so important for a logo to have meaning, and be able to present something specific and vital to the subconscious.

Market Research

The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face .

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Accurate and thorough information is the foundation of all successful business ventures because it provides a wealth of information about prospective and existing customers, the competition, and the industry in general. It allows business owners to determine the feasibility of a business before committing substantial resources to the venture.

 

Market research provides relevant data to help solve marketing challenges that a business will most likely face–an integral part of the business planning process. In fact, strategies such as market segmentation (identifying specific groups within a market) and product differentiation (creating an identity for a product or service that separates it from those of the competitors) are impossible to develop without market research.

Market research involves two types of data:

  • Primary information. This is research you compile yourself or hire someone to gather for you.
  • Secondary information. This type of research is already compiled and organized for you. Examples of secondary information include reports and studies by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry. Most of the research you gather will most likely be secondary.

When conducting primary research, you can gather two basic types of information: exploratory or specific. Exploratory research is open-ended, helps you define a specific problem, and usually involves detailed, unstructured interviews in which lengthy answers are solicited from a small group of respondents. Specific research, on the other hand, is precise in scope and is used to solve a problem that exploratory research has identified. Interviews are structured and formal in approach. Of the two, specific research is the more expensive.

When conducting primary research using your own resources, first decide how you’ll question your targeted group: by direct mail, telephone, or personal interviews.

If you choose a direct-mail questionnaire, the following guidelines will increase your response rate:

  • Questions that are short and to the point
  • A questionnaire that is addressed to specific individuals and is of interest to the respondent
  • A questionnaire of no more than two pages
  • A professionally prepared cover letter that adequately explains why you’re doing this questionnaire
  • A postage-paid, self-addressed envelope to return the questionnaire in. Postage-paid envelopes are available from the post office
  • An incentive, such as “10 percent off your next purchase,” to complete the questionnaire

Even following these guidelines, mail response is typically low. A return rate of 3 percent is typical; 5 percent is considered very good. Phone surveys are generally the most cost-effective. Here are some telephone survey guidelines:

  • Have a script and memorize it–don’t read it.
  • Confirm the name of the respondent at the beginning of the conversation.
  • Avoid pauses because respondent interest can quickly drop.
  • Ask if a follow-up call is possible in case you require additional information.

In addition to being cost-effective, speed is another advantage of telephone interviews. A rate of five or six interviews per hour is typical, but experienced interviewers may be able to conduct more. Phone interviews also can cover a wide geographic range relatively inexpensively. Phone costs can be reduced by taking advantage of less expensive rates during certain hours.

One of the most effective forms of marketing research is the personal interview. They can be either of these types:

  • A group survey. Used mostly by big business, group interviews or focus groups are useful brainstorming tools for getting information on product ideas, buying preferences, and purchasing decisions among certain populations.
  • The in-depth interview. These one-on-one interviews are either focused or directive. Focused interviews are based on questions selected ahead of time, while directive interviews encourage respondents to address certain topics with minimal questioning.

Secondary research uses outside information assembled by government agencies, industry and trade associations, labor unions, media sources, chambers of commerce, and so on. It’s usually published in pamphlets, newsletters, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers. Secondary sources include the following:

  • Public sources. These are usually free, often oMarket analysisffer a lot of good information, and include government departments, business departments of public libraries, and so on.
  • Commercial sources. These are valuable, but usually involve cost factors such as subscription and association fees. Commercial sources include research and trade associations, such as Dun & Bradstreet and Robert Morris & Associates, banks and other financial institutions, and publicly traded corporations.
  • Educational institutions. These are frequently overlooked as valuable information sources even though more research is conducted in colleges, universities, and technical institutes than virtually any sector of the business community.

Public Information Sources
Government statistics are among the most plentiful and wide-ranging public sources. Helpful government

Almost every county government publishes population density and distribution figures in accessible census tracts. These show the number of people living in specific areas, such as precincts, water districts or even ten-block neighborhoods. Some counties publish reports that show the population ten years ago, five years ago, and currently, thus indicating population trends.

Other public information resources include local chambers of commerce and their business development departments, which encourage new businesses to locate in their communities. They will supply you (usually for free) information on population trends, community income characteristics, payrolls, industrial development and so on.

Don’t overlook your bank as a resource. Bankers have a wealth of information at their fingertips and are eager to help their small business customers get ahead. All you have to do is ask.

Commercial Information Sources
Among the best commercial sources of information are research and trade associations. Information gathered by trade associations is usually limited to that particular industry and available only to association members, who have typically paid a membership fee. However, the research gathered by the larger associations is usually thorough, accurate, and worth the cost of membership. Two excellent resources to help you locate a trade association that reports on the business you are researching include the Encyclopedia of Associations(Gale Research), and the Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources(Gale Group).

Local newspapers, journals, magazines, and radio and TV stations are some of the most useful commercial information outlets. Not only do they maintain demographic profiles of their audiences (their income, age, gender, amount of disposable income, and types of products and services purchased, what they read, and so on), but many also have information about economic trends in their local areas that could be significant to your business. Contact the sales departments of these businesses and ask them to send you their media kit, since you’re working on a marketing plan for a new product and need information about advertising rates and audience demographics. Not only will you learn more about your prospective customers, you’ll also learn more about possible advertising outlets for your product or service.