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5 Tips for Managing Your Passwords

Posted Thu, April 30, 2015 by Julie Short

You only have to watch the news, or hear a horror story from a friend or family member, to realize how important online security has become. That’s even more true for business owners and managers, who may worry about risking sensitive company and customer information along with their own private data.

The first step to staying safe online isn’t necessarily investing in an expensive encryption package, or paying an IT team to lock down your businesses computers. Those might not be bad ideas, depending on your circumstances, but they aren’t as easy or effective as simply choosing and using the right passwords.

Most online thieves are looking for easy targets. More often than not, that amounts to someone who doesn’t update or patch their software as often as they should, and a business that has weak passwords. With that in mind, here are five tips for managing yours:

1. Don’t go for the obvious.
A recent survey found that an incredibly high percentage of people use passwords like “password,” or a name and birthday. Using anything like this, or even a recognizable word, is an incredibly bad idea. Instead, opt for a random string of numbers, symbols, and letters (both capitalized and lowercase). Automated software can crack an easy password in tenths of a second. A harder one would take months or years, which is why thieves are likely to move on.

2. Use more than one password.
Yes, using one password for every website is convenient… but it’s also convenient for thieves who want to break into your accounts and find things to steal. Set up different passwords (using the guidelines above) for the different websites and services you use. Even though it might mean a little more hassle, your online security is worth it.

3. Change your passwords regularly.
This is probably not new advice for you. “Change your online passwords regularly” ranks right up there with “eat your vegetables at dinner.” We’ve all heard it, but few of us actually do it. But in both cases, a little bit of preventative maintenance can stave off much larger problems later.

4. Keep your passwords written down somewhere secure.
Ideally, you’ll have a hard copy of your passwords somewhere secure, like in an office safe. However you keep them, be sure they are somewhere that you (and only you or authorized members of your team) can quickly find them and use them if needed. Keeping them on a text file on your computer could be risky, since it’s the first place thieves are going to look.

5. Be careful about sharing your passwords.
Remember, most thieves aren’t doing anything complicated – they’re looking for an easy way to steal your money. With that in mind, use common sense and don’t email your password to anyone or provide it to someone who doesn’t have any good reason to use it. And, if you suspect that an employee, vendor, or stranger has accessed your passwords, change them immediately.

Being careful with passwords is the simplest, cheapest, and easiest way to keep yourself and your business protected online. Why not take a bit of time today and ensure you’re not making it easy for cyber criminals to steal from your company?

Want to know more about smart, cost-effective online security and Internet marketing? Contact WebRevelation now and ask for a free consultation.

Posted in : Tips and Tricks , FYI , Business Strategy | 
Tags : password safety , passwords


What Every Business Owner and Marketer Needs to Know About Web Browsers

Posted Thu, April 23, 2015 by Julie Short

Most Internet users are aware of web browsers, but aren’t really attuned to the differences between them beyond the aesthetics. We all have our preferences (Chrome over Firefox, or Safari versus Internet Explorer, as examples), but these are usually based on the way they look, or where menus are displayed, rather than the underlying variations in programming.

As a business owner or marketer, however, it’s important to note that individual web browsers actually do function differently… and that those differences can actually impact your company.

To give you a sense of why, here are a few things every business owner or marketer needs to know about the web browsers their customers use:

Web Browsers Have a Bigger Job Than You Probably Realize

If you’re like most people, you probably open your favorite web browser, click on a bookmarked website, and then wait for it to load. What you don’t pay attention to is everything going on behind the scenes. Your web browser doesn’t just display a page, though; it actually translates it from HTML (or at the website’s core, ones and zeros) to turn it into something you can understand. Because of programmer preferences and relative strengths, every web browser does this a little bit differently.

The Right (or Wrong) Web Browser Can Change Your Website

Because of the differences in the way web browsers “translate” code into something visual, some of your content may not display correctly – or even at all – if your customer is using a certain browser. Things like images, fonts, videos, animation, and more will display more cleanly and accurately on some browsers but not others. In addition, some browsers utilize system resources differently, meaning they may load pages at a faster or slower rate.

There Are Lots of Web Browsers Out There

As if these weren’t enough challenges to deal with, it’s important to realize that there are a lot of web browsers out there. In addition to the most popular browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera – there are dozens of other smaller and specialty browsers (some of which exist to block ads and tracking, or to operate on Linux and other operating systems). On top of that, there are several mobile browsers in use, and usually several versions of each browser being used by the public at any given time.

Your Website Had Better Work Well on Every Web Browser (Especially Mobile Browsers)

Put all of these factors together, and you have an environment where your website is being asked to convey a lot of important things to users on very different platforms. How can it do this? In the last few years, savvy web designers have started using standardized HTML5 and other best practices to ensure that websites display correctly regardless of how they are being viewed. Without those kinds of safeguards in place, you could be missing out on new customers – including some of your most important potential buyers.

You can’t control which web browsers your customers are going to come to your website through, so it’s important that your pages and content display correctly across all of them. Otherwise, you could miss out on winning a new set of loyal buyers just because you don’t have compatible HTML code.

Worried that your website isn’t up to date when it comes to displaying on different web browsers or mobile devices? Get in touch with WebRevelation today for a free account review!

Posted in : Websites , FYI | 
Tags : web browswers ,


How to Get Your Employees Involved in Your LinkedIn Strategy

Posted Thu, April 16, 2015 by Julie Short

In the past few posts, we’ve been showing you how smart companies take advantage of their LinkedIn pages to promote themselves to prospects, recruit employees and vendors, and even stay in touch with the latest industry news and ideas.

To help round out the series, we’re going to show you one more way you can make the most of LinkedIn as a business owner or executive: by getting your employees involved.

A lot of people tend to think of LinkedIn as a pair of one-way streets, where companies are looking for new employees and individuals are trying to be hired. The reality, though, is that there are a number of things your employees can do that can help them grow your company’s social presence and enhance their own careers at the same time.

Here are just a few of the things you can encourage employees to do to help get the most from LinkedIn:

Get Your Employees to Fill in Their LinkedIn Profiles

Even though customers do business with your company, they probably interact with your employees. That means they’ll often enter their names in Google and check their credentials… sometimes before they ever decide to do business with you in the first place. When your employees have LinkedIn profiles that have been filled in, with the appropriate photos and endorsements, it makes your business seem more professional and increases your odds of winning new customers.

Encourage Your Team to Network for New Sales Opportunities

Although business owners, executives, and sales professionals tend to be the biggest “networkers” on LinkedIn, with the largest circles, you can encourage everyone on your team to meet potential clients online. In fact, this can often be a very effective strategy over the long run, since many decision-makers are leery of adding salespeople into their networks, but will readily accept invitations from employees in other parts of the company. Just be sure you don’t go with an approach that’s too sales-heavy, especially in the beginning of the relationship.

Offer Recruiting Opportunities to Your Staff

In the same way, you’ll probably be in charge of recruiting for your company, but there’s no reason your staff can’t help out and search through their own networks, too. In some areas or departments, they may actually be a better judge of new candidates than you are, and might relish the opportunity to do someone else a favor and bring in colleagues, classmates, and others that they’ve met through their professional life. If you have great employees, they probably know other people who would be a good fit for your team, too.

Show Your Employees How to Use LinkedIn to Grow as Professionals

In the last post in the series, we mentioned that not enough people take advantage of the forums and newsletter options found on LinkedIn. Be sure to show them to your employees. Doing so gives them fast, easy, and convenient access to new ideas. And of course, the more informed your team members are, the better they can do their jobs and the more positively they’ll feel about their career arc with your company.

Social media is largely driven by individual, person-to-person interactions. That includes you as a business owner or executive, of course, but it also means your campaigns will be more effective when all your employees are involved.

Thinking about expanding your social media marketing strategy and getting more from LinkedIn? Talk to the team at WebRevelation today and let us show you how we can help you make the most of this important platform.

Posted in : Business Strategy , Online Profile Management , SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : LinkedIn , LinkedIn for your employees


How to Use Your Company’s LinkedIn Page Effectively

Posted Thu, April 9, 2015 by Julie Short

As we detailed in a recent post about LinkedIn company profiles, there’s just no reason to ignore the most important aspect of your social media marketing plan. Once you have a strong LinkedIn profile for your business in place, however, how do you make the most of it?

Here at WebRevelation, we help our clients to connect with customers, colleagues, and vendors to grow their companies through social media. Here are a few quick ideas to help you get started with your own LinkedIn strategy:

Recruit Team Members

This is probably the most prevalent use of LinkedIn for companies, and the most obvious. Even so, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we neglected to tell you that there are literally millions of professionals out there just waiting to help your business – as full- or part-time employees, contractors, or even interns. If you need help with recruiting, LinkedIn makes a great first stop online.

Collect Endorsements

Word-of-mouth advertising is always more effective than your own marketing, and it doesn’t get any easier than grabbing endorsements and recommendations through LinkedIn. These online testimonials are great for showing new potential clients or customers what you can do, and they can be shared among contacts with a single mouse click.

Form Partnerships

Are there other professionals in businesses and industries related to yours that you can partner up with for the purposes of marketing, referrals, or just brainstorming? If so, LinkedIn might be the perfect forum for establishing, growing, and profiting from those kinds of relationships. You can think of LinkedIn as a giant networking event… and one that’s being attended by thousands of people who have specialties and connections that can benefit you.

Share (and See) New Thoughts and Ideas

Although many new users don’t realize it, LinkedIn has a number of forums and messaging groups where professionals and business owners can share thoughts with one another. This can be particularly valuable when you need to learn about a new aspect of your company, or when you want advice from someone who is seasoned in your industry but isn’t a direct competitor.

Build Brand Awareness

By making connections, gathering endorsements, and even publishing to LinkedIn’s newsletter – LinkedIn Pulse – you can build an online brand and reputation that prospects will recognize and respond to instantly. When it comes to generating referrals, and having them form the right impression of your business, LinkedIn can take you much farther than Facebook or Twitter.

These are great first steps, but they really just represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to growing your business through LinkedIn. With a little practice, and the right advice, you might find that it opens up a whole new world of social media marketing to you and your team.

Need help making the most of your company’s LinkedIn page? Get in touch with WebRevelation today and let us show you how easy and affordable it is to get started!

Posted in : Business Strategy , Online Profile Management , SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : LinkedIn , making LinkedIn count


Why Your Business Needs a Strong LinkedIn Page.

Posted Thu, April 2, 2015 by Julie Short

A few years ago, business owners, managers, and executives all collectively realized that social media marketing was an actual thing… and a thing that could lead to big rewards for the companies that embraced it and took the time to build a loyal following.

Not long after, they realized that LinkedIn could be the most important of all the social media sites.

In terms of pure, raw numbers, LinkedIn can’t compare with Facebook, Twitter, or the quickly growing Google+. But the roughly 350 million people who use LinkedIn are nothing to sneeze at. And more importantly, it’s the only social platform that’s devoted strictly to business and networking. So while there might not be 1 billion people on LinkedIn yet, the ones who are using it are there to do business, not trade family vacation photos.

That makes LinkedIn an extraordinarily valuable resource for companies of all sizes. To help you further understand what’s at stake, here are a few of the best reasons your business needs a strong LinkedIn page:

LinkedIn Profiles Are Highly Visible

Because it’s so popular, LinkedIn has a very high page rank with Google. That means, among other things, that it’s entirely possible your business’s LinkedIn profile will come up in searches for your company’s name before your actual website, or immediately after. Fill yours in with the right kind of info, and you give yourself an extra search engine optimization advantage at virtually no cost.

Your Best Prospects Are Using LinkedIn

We mentioned earlier that business people and professionals like using LinkedIn. What’s also important to note is that many of the people who use LinkedIn might ignore other social profiles. For example, many C-level executives are active on LinkedIn even though they don’t have the time to participate in Facebook or Twitter. So if you want to reach some of your best prospects through social media, this might be your only chance.

LinkedIn Is a Hub for New Connections and Ideas

LinkedIn has a number of features that make it useful for networking, finding new customers, and even sharing industry ideas. We’ll go into more depth in the coming articles, but the bottom line is that if you aren’t using LinkedIn, you’re putting yourself and your company at a disadvantage.

In the next two posts, we’ll show you how to make the most of your company’s LinkedIn page to network and generate new sales opportunities. In the meantime, though, if you haven’t been making the most of LinkedIn already, now is the perfect time to talk with a member of the WebRevelation team and let us show you how we can get you up and running on this crucial social network.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Online Profile Management , Business Strategy | 
Tags : LinkedIn , networking , social media


3 Things You Need to Know About Google’s April 21 Mobile Deadline

Posted Thu, March 26, 2015 by Julie Short

One of the things that tends to frustrate business owners and marketers most about search engine optimization is that Google – which controls the lion’s share of search traffic in North America – tends to only hint at small changes before unleashing them onto the world. In other words, you rarely ever get word of the storm before it hits.

With that in mind, web designers and marketers have to be at least a little bit grateful that they’ve been given advance warning this time. On April 21, Google will roll out a huge algorithm update that’s aimed at giving a higher search priority to mobile-friendly websites (and by extension, pushing websites that aren’t mobile compatible farther down the listings).

You can read more about this algorithm shift in Google’s own words here, but we are going to save you some time and give you three details every business owner or manager needs to be aware of:

#1 April 21 Could Bring a Huge Shift in Search Engine Positioning

Experts think this won’t just be a minor change in the way Google processes and displays search results. In fact, most are predicting that it will eclipse both Penguin and Panda (which were huge in their impact on SEO in their own right) in terms of the way it will change the landscape.

That means there are going to be winners and losers – websites that suddenly start getting lots more search traffic, and others that see their search volume dry up overnight. Which category will your business website fall into?

#2 Google Isn’t Leaving You Any Wiggle Room

One interesting thing we know about the coming April 21 algorithm shift is that Google either considers your site to be mobile-friendly or not mobile-friendly. That is, there isn’t any wiggle room, and they aren’t taking into account the degree to which you’ve made your website compatible with smartphones and tablets.

There are still plenty of reasons to incorporate as many mobile features as you can, but for now the world’s largest search engine is going to give you a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

#3 If You Aren’t Ready, Take Action Now

If you have any questions about whether or not your business website is mobile-friendly, or suspect you aren’t ready for the April 21 algorithm change, we strongly advise you to speak with a WebRevelation team member today. Over the years, we’ve learned two important things about getting customers from Google: first, that it can be highly profitable and cost-effective; and second, that it can take a long time to catch up if you fall behind or run afoul of Google’s requirements.

A major change to the way search engine positions are calculated is coming quickly, and it’s coming regardless of whether you’re ready or not. If you need to make some changes or upgrades to your business website before it’s too late, call WebRevelation now at 817-283-3324 or 405-607-0349 to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help.

Posted in : Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM , Mobile Websites , Announcements | 
Tags : mobile friendly , google change


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