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What Is a Network Gateway?

Posted Wed, November 12, 2014 by Julie Short

This month, we are taking a slight turn away from our normal run of web design and Internet marketing topics to tell you a little bit about what happens behind the scenes as you connect to the Internet… or get Internet users to connect with your company.

Today, we’re going to take a look at network gateways and where they fit into this process.

Unlike a lot of other more technical terms, a network gateway is essentially what it sounds like: a node that allows you to gain entrance to a network or vice versa. In some cases, a computer serving as a node may also work as a firewall, preventing unauthorized access and automatic submissions.

In a practical sense, a gateway is often associated with a networking device (usually a router), although it can be made up entirely of software. Since the point of the gateway is to interchange two different systems using separate protocols – you can think of a gateway as being the last point on one end of an incoming or outgoing network – it usually makes sense to embed security features within it, regardless of how it’s constructed.

Here are a few things that you, as an Internet user or online marketer, might want to know about network gateways:

The function of gateways has changed slightly over time. Before default modes of transmission were established, one big role of a network gateway was to essentially “translate” from one platform or protocol to another. Now, gateways are tasked with making connections, and rarely have to change formatting within the transmission of data.

They are technically separate from firewalls. While the network gateway is tasked with interchanging different networks, the firewall (even if it’s integrated) is really designed to let some packets of information in while keeping others out. So, the gateway is about connecting, while the firewall deals with issues of security.

Gateways are normally integrated with devices. Because your router is the designated router to take information from other networks and direct it to the right places, it’s a natural fit to go along with the network gateway. That’s why the two devices, with an integrated firewall, are normally built and packaged together.

Although a normal computer user wouldn’t have much of a reason to worry about their gateway unless they’re facing a connection problem (be it incoming or outgoing), having a little basic knowledge can make it easier for you to understand how your networks function and explain problems and error messages to IT professionals.

Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : gateways , firewalls


All You Need to Know About IPs

Posted Wed, November 5, 2014 by Julie Short

While we normally use the blog to address web design and Internet marketing topics, we’re going to take a different track in the coming weeks and fill you in on a few IT subjects and “behind-the-scenes” ideas that relate to the web. The idea is to not just give you a better sense of how things like websites and email work, but also to clear up a bit of confusion and share a clearer understanding of the kinds of issues we and our clients deal with on a regular basis.

That being said, a common question we hear is: “What is an IP?”

The abbreviation itself stands for Internet protocol, which is basically a formula for how information can be sent back and forth over the Internet. An IP address, which you’ve probably also heard of, simply refers to the numerical “name” and location of any device connected to a network (or the Internet itself).

In other words, the IP address of your machine (which could consist of 32 digits or more) is akin to the mailing address of your home or office – it tells other machines where to look for the specific device and destination.

With those quick definitions out of the way, here are a few things you should know about IPs:

There are billions and billions of possible IP combinations. With homes and businesses running more and more devices than ever, you might be worried we’ll run out soon. But with the recent expansion of digits, there are several billion possible combinations, meaning that we still have plenty of room to grow.

They can be permanent or temporary. IPs can be static or dynamic, with dynamic being more common. That means the IP address for a specific device or machine is often issued temporarily. If it expires, or another machine attempts to use the same IP, your router or network will normally assign a new one without you ever knowing.

Some IPs are reserved and serve special functions. In the same way that phone numbers like “0” and “911” are reserved for special uses, so are certain IP addresses. As an example, 255.255.255.255 is set aside for network broadcast messages, and 127.0.0.1 is usually used by a computer to identify itself.

Most IPs are actually on a subnet. In most cases, the IP you receive is assigned to you by your Internet service provider. From there, the router in your home or office puts each device on a subnet, assigning it another number that falls under the address assigned for the location.

There’s a lot more you could know about IPs, but advanced technical knowledge is usually only relevant to IT professionals and network administrators. Besides, you now know more about Internet protocol and IP addresses than most of your non-IT coworkers!

Do you need a web design and online marketing partner who can help you make the most of opportunities on the web? Now is a great time to talk with WebRevelation and see how we can help your company grow.






Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : what is an IP address


4 Ways You Profit From Stronger CRM Capability

Posted Wed, October 29, 2014 by Julie Short

Too many businesses look to sales and marketing when searching for revenue growth. Or, they look to sales and marketing without going further (or shall we say deeper) to find new profit opportunities. That's a shame, because retaining current customers and expanding those accounts is often a much better, more-efficient strategy.

Let's be clear: there is nothing wrong with trying to break into new markets, and reach new people. Still, studies have shown time and time again that the biggest and most frequent orders (or the most profitable accounts, if you sell services) tend to come from repeat buyers.

Of course, the best way to encourage customers to stay with you is through robust CRM. The better job you're doing of getting to know your customers, keeping in touch with them, and maintaining things like account details and points of contact, the easier it's going to be to grow those accounts. 

In fact, here are four ways you profit from stronger CRM:

1. Fewer accounts that slip away or are lost to competitors. Marketing experts will tell you that most sales are made, and most accounts are won, on a "top of mind" basis. In other words, the more intentional you are about contacting important customers regularly, the more you just happen to be "at the right place at the right time."

2. Better follow-up on sales opportunities. A good CRM package doesn't just keep account details, but can help you track new opportunities. That's important, because without these kinds of tools, it's easy to lose track of possible sales, especially when they don't finalize immediately. Few businesses can afford to let potential customers slip through the cracks, and CRM functionality can make all the difference.

3. More targeted marketing opportunities. In a perfect world, you could match a personalized sales message to each single client or opportunity. Since that's not normally possible, however, your best option is to use strong CRM systems that differentiate your customers and prospects into groups, allowing you to send timely, targeted offers to different buyers in each major category.

4. Less time wasted for your sales and customer service teams. One of the "soft costs" associated with poor CRM is the waste of time shared by business owners, managers, and employees. Your team has better things to do, so why not let your CRM system take care of routine tracking and account maintenance activities?

For most businesses, there is more revenue growth to be found within current accounts then there is in new ones, at least in the short term. Are you making the most of CRM and sales opportunities within your roster of existing buyers? If not, let the WebRevelation team show you how easy it is to enhance those relationships with streamlined CRM solutions.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


5 Easy Ways to Enhance Your SEO Campaigns

Posted Wed, October 22, 2014 by Julie Short

Here at WebRevelation, we are big fans of search engine optimization. Google currently processes billions of searches every single day – having more of them end at your website is a great way to draw in targeted buyers.


But, doing well in search takes more than simply putting together a few pages, researching a handful of keywords, and optimizing your meta tags. In fact, it’s becoming more and more of an art and science with each passing month, as an increasing number of companies go online and try to steal the search traffic you’d like to see arriving on your landing pages.


And so, in an effort to help you not only compete but stand out on Google’s search listings, here are five easy ways to enhance your SEO campaigns:

  1. Concentrate your firepower. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of choosing dozens and dozens of keywords to concentrate on when you start putting together your search engine optimization campaigns. But it’s usually smarter to begin with a handful and grow from there, especially if your business or website is relatively new.
  2. Use more than text. Although Google and other search engines understand text best, they show results in several different formats, including images and video. So the more types of content you have (with search optimized titles and descriptions, of course), the easier it’s going to be for people to discover your website and brand.
  3. Integrate search with social and email. Your search engine optimization campaign shouldn’t be working all on its own. Integrating it with social media is a good way to multiply your visitors and raise your search profile at the same time (if people share your content), while email can be the perfect tool for following up with new visitors and potential customers.
  4. Consider automating lead generation. Once your search engine optimization campaign starts to pick up some momentum, you might feel overwhelmed with the number of requests and inquiries you receive (especially if not all of them are from high-quality prospects). Putting an automated lead-generation campaign into place can make your business more scalable while reducing your time burden.
  5. Know where to stop. Getting search engine traffic is fantastic, but being too obvious about your keyword placement – or putting too fine a point on your marketing message – can turn off searchers and search engine spiders alike. For the best results, post lots of content but use search keywords and calls to action sparingly.

Could you be getting more from search engine optimization? Why not schedule a free consultation with the creative team at WebRevelation and find out? Call us anytime at 817-283-3324 to find a time that works for you.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : SEO


How to Guarantee Your Social Media Marketing Won’t Work

Posted Wed, October 15, 2014 by Julie Short

Lots of online marketers like to argue about whether social media works or not. It’s an interesting discussion, but it misses the point – with hundreds of millions of people using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ every day, the question isn’t whether social media marketing works but how.


In fact, the only reason there is any debate at all on this topic is because so many organizations are handling social media so badly. If you want to follow in their example, and spend lots of time and money on social accounts that aren’t going to earn you any return, then you just need to follow a few easy steps.


Here is what you can do to guarantee your social media marketing absolutely won’t work:

  1. Invest time and money into social media without a goal. Just deciding to “try social media” without any defined goal is a perfect way to flush your time and money down the drain. Without a specific target audience, or conversion goal, you’re basically hoping you’ll get results by accident.
  2. Post material you wouldn’t read. There are tons of low-quality content being posted to social sites every day, with no one bothering to read the updates or pay any attention. Dumping more into the world is like the Internet marketing equivalent of littering, but lots of companies still do it.
  3. Go dark for long periods of time. When you stop posting to your social accounts, your fans and customers don’t assume you’ve gotten really busy, they tend to think you don’t have anything interesting to say (or possibly that you’ve gone out of business altogether). That’s a good way to lose subscribers and get people to stop paying attention.
  4. Use your soapbox for sales pitches. You’ve probably never met anyone who watches television for the commercials, but lots of marketers can’t seem to get past the idea that thousands of users are going to flock to their blatant marketing messages disguised as social posts.
  5. Only use one channel or content type. All the social channels and websites have value, but you can feel free to limit yourself to one or two favorites if you don’t care about reaching as many potential customers as possible.
  6. Keep using the same tactics again and again. Even though we all know things constantly change on the Internet, and especially in the exploding field of social media marketing, lots of businesses like to stick with what they’ve always done, get declining results, and then wonder what happened.


Although we are being a little tongue-in-cheek with this post, it underscores a few important details. Social media marketing is valuable, but only if you commit to doing things the right way and stay involved through a consistent series of campaigns. Are you ready to start getting bigger results from social?


The team at WebRevelation can help you get more from social media, Internet advertising, and business web design. Call our San Antonio office today at 817-283-3324 to request a free consultation.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : social media , marketing


7 Ways to Make CRM Effective

Posted Wed, October 8, 2014 by Julie Short

With the right customer relationship management (CRM) platform, your business can stay in touch with buyers and meet their needs more effectively, paving the way for happier customers and lots of future sales.


Use CRM ineffectively, though, and you don’t just waste time and money – you miss opportunities and could even harm the relationships you have with your most important buyers. Because there’s so much at stake, it’s critical businesses of all sizes get CRM right. Here are seven ways you can make yours more effective:

  1. Choose the right CRM package. It goes without saying that you need the correct CRM platform if you’re going to use it to your advantage. Unfortunately, there are lots of choices… not to mention several different options and configurations. This is where a company like ours can be an invaluable asset in helping you find the right fit between needs and products.
  2. Get the proper training. Unfortunately, having the right CRM package won’t improve your customer service and customer retention automatically – you and your staff need to know how to use the tools at your disposal. Usually, a bit of upfront training, along with a few subsequent sessions, is all that’s needed to get your organization up to speed. Don’t skip out on this vital step, however, because it’s the key to getting the ROI you need from your CRM investment.
  3. Make constant updates. In order for your CRM package to have any value, it needs to be updated continually. In fact, the ideal way to work is to have your team update your CRM platform with every customer interaction. That way, anyone in your organization can see what contact you’ve had with the customer, what the current challenges and expectations are, and what the expected next steps might be.
  4. Use CRM data in customer interactions. The flipside of that coin is that CRM data needs to be instantly available. For example, if someone calls your company or stops by in person, it’s crucial that employees be able to see account history and details about recent requests or inquiries. That way, they aren’t “starting from scratch,” which can lead to an incredibly frustrating experience for buyers (and serve as a motivator for them to take their business elsewhere).
  5. Review accounts regularly. The larger an account is, the more important it is you use your CRM package to review it regularly. In this way, CRM can help you “play defense” and stop important buyers from defecting to competitors. Knowing when you have problems with an account, and what they are, is crucial to client retention.
  6. Study CRM metrics. In the same way that you want to look through individual accounts on a regular basis, you should also make a point of studying overall CRM metrics to get a sense of how your business is performing and how satisfied buyers appear to be. Sometimes, a simple “top-down” view of your accounts can show some revealing trends, so make the time to study and review the available data on a set schedule.
  7. Let CRM lead to marketing and sales opportunities. CRM isn’t just about keeping customers happy and putting out fires. In fact, by studying a pattern of customer interactions – and especially their requests – you might be able to identify new sales and marketing opportunities that were previously undetected.

That’s just one of the many ways CRM packages, when chosen and implemented in the right way, can help your company be more profitable.
Is your company getting the most from customer relationship management, web marketing, and other business technologies? If not, right now is the perfect time to call WebRevelation at 817-283-3324 and see how we can help.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


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