Want more positive social media reviews?

"Facebook and Google have introduced new programs emphasizing the value and importance of customer reviews for building a successful business. When both Facebook and Google offer to help you promote your online reputation, it becomes quite obvious that you'd better be laser-focused on consistently getting reviews from your customers, or you're failing in your reputation management efforts.

Most entrepreneurs know they should be getting online reviews, but usually treat the process as a mere afterthought. Instead, they spend more money and time than necessary to get new customers, when it would be much easier to showcase the quality of their work using reviews and social proof."

To continue reading, please click on the link listed below! 


Considering Facebook Marketing?

"Inspired by the numbers?

We all are; the opportunities are endless in terms of improving brand visibility. But the secret lies in doing it right. Most digital marketers simply post as many updates as possible in an attempt to get as many ‘Shares’ and ‘Likes’ they can.

But wait! Gone are the days when the number of followers (‘Shares’ and ‘Likes’) directly influences an increase in profit for your business.

No doubt Facebook is a great place for many marketers to promote their business, but you should know exactly how to use this platform to your benefit. This social platform is full of people, ready to connect with brands that they find most relevant to their preferences."


To continue this article, please click on the link listed below! 


Social Media Marketing Laws

"Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.

It's vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and -- perhaps most importantly -- your bottom line."

To continue reading this article, please click on the link listed below! 


Mobile App Murder

"User interactions have evolved so rapidly during the last few years that designers can barely keep up—making it tempting to use interaction design techniques from other media (or even legacy app design) when we build mobile applications.

In reality, it’s important to remember that our interaction patterns and interaction design need to change when the medium changes."


For more information, please follow the link below!


Factors Impacting the SEO of Government Websites

"Following the recent OMB memo that all publicly available federal websites and Web services must implement HTTPS by December 31, 2016, Web content managers across government are considering the SEO (search engine optimization) implications of the transition, among other details.

In August 2014, Google confirmed that HTTPS is a ranking signal in their algorithm. But being a ranking signal and having an impact on findability are two different things. In the post, Google describes HTTPS as “a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” And, in October 2014, Bing found the idea of an HTTPS boost almost laughable. SearchMetrics recently found an increasing proportion of top-ranking sites use HTTPS [PDF, see page 10], but it’s still small and rankings are attributed primarily to brand strength."

Please follow the link below to continue this article! 


4 Most Important Web Design Principles Explained

There are many factors which contribute to making a wonderful website. However, I’ve picked out the four most important design principles that contribute greatly to creating a wonderful and successful website.

For each of the principle, I’m going to go into detail about what they mean and provide a few different examples to help make each point.

I don’t think any one of the principles is more important the other. When following all four of them, they do prove to be most useful and successful for the web design.

Click the follow link for more information: http://www.onextrapixel.com/web-design-principles-explained/


"Interestingly, how much effect a URL has on search rankings has been a hotly debated topic among SEO experts over the past few years.

Okay, I know that’s not really interesting…

What you DO want to know are which aspects to worry about when creating new pages and blog posts on your website."


For more information, follow the website listed: http://daniellezeigler.com/seo-urls/

How to Think Inside the Box & Offer Free Shipping That Increases Profit Margins – Shopify


"You know your numbers, right? Not the ones you’re expected to be able to recite instantly when pitching investors privately or publicly on Shark Tank . We’re not talking about how much it costs to acquire a customer or customer lifetime values for different customer segments. The numbers we’re talking about are a lot less sexy…. "

To continue reading, use the link http://bit.ly/2lXTxJV to continue with Shopify. 

Idea pitches push Shoals toward digital innovation

Community Category - First Place 2016

The community category winner brought together two farmers and a web developer with the goal of connecting consumers with locally grown foods through a smartphone app that allows farmers to input available products and send alerts to consumers.

Jason Strayhorn, of Hog on the Range, and Hope Lowery, of Cottonwood Farm, teamed with tech developer Brian Williams to solve the supply chain disconnect between consumers who want locally sourced foods and farmers.

“The problem is most farmers, like myself, are really good farmers and really good at raising hogs and stuff like that, but the problem is we are not sales people and we are not marketers,” Strayhorn said. “People need to know what we have available and where you can actually get it.”

The app would close that gap by providing a routine update of products and allow consumers to purchase products using the app and set up a pick up time that works for both sides.

“You’re going to get better quality food,” Strayhorn said. “Hopefully we are going to be able to get better prices for our farmers so they can continue doing what they do and (consumers) will have reliable information about what is available every single week.”

jennifer.edwards@TimesDaily.com or 256-740-5754. Twitter @TD_JEdwards.

Do you need an SEO?

SEO is an acronym for "search engine optimization" or "search engine optimizer." Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure
  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript
  • Content development
  • Management of online business development campaigns
  • Keyword research
  • SEO training
  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

Keep in mind that the Google search results page includes organic search results and often paid advertisement (denoted as "Ads" or "Sponsored") as well. Advertising with Google won't have any effect on your site's presence in our search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results. Free resources such as Webmaster Tools, the official Webmaster Central blog, and our discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search.

Before beginning your search for an SEO, it's a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend starting here:

If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
  • What's your experience in my industry?
  • What's your experience in my country/city?
  • What's your experience developing international sites?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site's presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:

One common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/ and click on "File a Complaint Online," call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580

If your complaint is against a company in a country other than the United States, please file it at http://www.econsumer.gov/.

  • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.

    Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:

    "Dear google.com,
    I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories..."

    Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for "burn fat at night" diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

    Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won't clearly explain what they intend to do.

    Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or "throwaway" domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google's index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.

  • You should never have to link to an SEO.

    Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of "free-for-all" links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don't affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines -- at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.

  • Choose wisely.

    While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002002970_nwbizbriefs12.html. While Google doesn't comment on specific companies, we've encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.

  • Be sure to understand where the money goes.

    While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they "control" other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn't work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you're considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.

  • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?
  • What are some other things to look out for?

    There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It's far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:

    • owns shadow domains
    • puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
    • offers to sell keywords in the address bar
    • doesn't distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
    • guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
    • operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
    • gets traffic from "fake" search engines, spyware, or scumware
    • has had domains removed from Google's index or is not itself listed in Google

4 Ways Opena Case Changed Their Marketing To Optimize For Holiday Shopping


You might remember that Opena Case was one of the winners of our Build-A-Business Competition last year. They won $25,000 cash, $7,500 in Google Adwords Credits, plus a VIP trip to New York to have lunch with Seth Godin. The founders of Opena, Rob and Chris, sold a massive amount iPhone case beer bottle openers - most of which leading up to Christmas.  

Since the holiday shopping season is almost upon us, I asked Rob and Chris what they did to sell so many products. 

Here are their 4 tips to help you prepare for the busiest time of the year:

Read More

Source: feedproxy.google.com

How to Engineer Increased Sales & Happy Customers With Behavioral Psychology

When it comes to acquiring and keeping satisfied customers, smart entrepreneurs must understand what's going on inside their customers mind's. Just as we saw how neuroeconomics can be used for smarter pricing tactics, small business owners can benefit from insightful research in behavioral psychology to make more sales and provide exceptional customer service. 

Today, you're going to see some research that reveals how marketers and ecommerce entrepreneurs can use implicit egotism, social constructs, and appeals to social inclusion to create stronger brand engagement, keep customers happy, and increase their bottom line.

Read More

Source: feedproxy.google.com

New Business Templates: Aviator and Devlin

You asked for more business templates. We listened.

The latest additions to our template collection are Aviator and Devlin, two easy-to-use templates with a distinct look and feel. Aviator is a striking template with full-bleed images that present an incredible visual experience to the visitor. Aviator is perfect for a number of different use cases including, but not limited to: portfolios, restaurants, architecture, and fashion. Devlin is a sleek, classy template that is equally well suited for blogs and small businesses. The bold header and footer in Devlin help hold simple content in a clean, solid frame. 

Check out the new designs here, and let us know your thoughts via Twitter or Facebook. We can't wait to see what you build with them.


Aviator - View in Template Store


Devlin - View in Template Store

Source: blog.squarespace.com

Current Focus

We’ve been moving faster than ever since the launch of Squarespace 6 and our developer platform over the past few months. We’re thrilled with the response to Squarespace 6 so far, and the team has been working hard to make the experience even better. With this in mind, we wanted to share our current areas of focus so you know what’s on our radar in the near term:

  1. More Business Templates – Businesses of all sizes rely on Squarespace for their online presence; they remain an integral part of our user base, and we are dedicated to providing solutions that help businesses promote and grow their brand. Two new ultra-flexible templates, Dovetail and Five, were released last week – and we have many more in the pipeline.  

    Flexible layout controls, such as multiple sidebars (already present in some templates) or the ability to vary sidebars on a per-page basis, are also on the horizon.

  2. Mobile Applications – Simply put, we are not satisfied with the current state of our iOS applications, and these are being redesigned from the ground up. Supporting full LayoutEngine-based editing in a mobile environment has proven to be a bit more difficult than we initially anticipated. We look forward to getting these up to speed with the main interface as soon as possible, via near-term patches to fix the most egregious issues as well as a more complete rewrite.

  3. General Stability / Importing Bugs – Though Squarespace 6 was in testing with live sites for nine months, we definitely found more hiccups than we anticipated in the weeks following launch. Most bugs related to Squarespace 5 importing, Wordpress importing, image processing, and social pushing have now been resolved. We continue to make general platform stability a major priority for our team.

  4. Template Switching – One of the main design goals of Squarespace 6 is to provide an extremely diverse base of templates as we expand to accommodate a variety of use cases and verticals. This has introduced some very complex situations when it comes to switching templates on the platform, as sites can be quite diverse and not all sites support all content in the same way. We have a number of improvements in the works that will make template switching a lot easier and clearer.

We’re also expanding the scope of the Squarespace Answers site (which launched alongside our developer platform) to include general questions from the general community in addition to developer questions. Please read the FAQ, sign up, and contribute. There is some great content already available, with more on the way.

Thank you for your support as we we bring Squarespace 6 into the mainstream. We have a lot of minds focused on making Squarespace great, and we’re really thankful for your feedback.  

Source: blog.squarespace.com

A Preview of Catalog, Our New iPad Shopping App

Just in time for the holiday season, we're excited to announce the first release of Catalog by Shopify. This beautiful new Apple iPad shopping app lets customers explore and purchase over 5 million products sold on Shopify stores around the world. 

Mobile commerce is growing at a remarkable speed, and many potential customers are browsing and buying using an iPad. In fact, we estimate that by next Christmas, 43% of all purchases will be made on a tablet or smartphone. Catalog is designed to take advantage of the mcommerce trend and to open Shopify stores up to a new source of potential customers.

Catalog automatically includes all products currently being sold by over 35,000 active Shopify stores. As Shopify merchants you don't need to do anything to have your products listed, everything is completely automatic.

Read More

Source: feedproxy.google.com

Better Links, Better Indexing, Facebook Brand Page Push, and more

Every week, hundreds of small changes are pushed live to Squarespace 6 to improve the platform’s performance and functionality. We wanted to highlight a few recent changes that are especially significant:

  1. Facebook Brand Page Push – One commonly requested feature – the ability to use Squarespace to push updates to a Facebook brand page – has now been integrated with the platform. We’ve even added a toggle so you can either post as yourself to the brand page, or post as the brand itself.
  2. Optimized for Google Image Search – We’ve made two important changes that will ensure images in your blog posts are fully searchable via Google Images. We’ve researched how large news sites (The New York Times, Yahoo News, etc.) index images, and these changes ensure your site is indexed properly, while still retaining the ultra-fast CDN image serving you get with Squarespace 6.
    1. Images in Sitemaps – We’ve made sure that images embedded in posts are referenced from your global sitemap. Sitemaps are the best way to ensure these images can be crawled, and we’ve seen this method used successfully on a number of major media sites.
    2. Better URL Control – You can now control the filename on the end of the CDN URL – which is what Google Images displays within the search results. You can change the filename from the image block settings.
  3. Better File Management – We’ve released an update to the insert file dialog, adding two requested features (and bringing Squarespace 6’s file management functionality beyond what was available in Squarespace 5).
    1. File URL Control– Files uploaded via this dialog have clean URLs, and you can easily rename filenames from the upload area.
    2. Search Past Files – You can view previously uploaded files and insert these into posts or pages with a single click.
  4. Hide Owner Hits in Site Traffic – We’ve updated the website manager to set a cookie on all authenticated members of your website who have access to your site’s backend. This cookie excludes your hits from our site traffic system, so you can get a far more accurate view of the traffic you’re receiving.
  5. Imported Contributors in User Manager – When importing complex sites with multiple authors, we’ve made changes to ensure that unmapped authors can be mapped over to Squarespace authors via the user interface, or can be merged with existing authors.
  6. Horizontal Rule Block – As simple and thrilling as it sounds.

We thank you for your continued support.

New Business Templates: Hudson and Montauk

Hudson and Montauk are minimalist templates with a beautiful blog and a simple portfolio well suited for displaying many projects at once. We paid special attention to typography and spacing in this design with negative space, lending a refined, airy feel to the page. 

We'll let the designs speak for themselves. Check out the new templates here.



Squarespace at PhotoPlus

The Squarespace team will be joining over 24,000 professional photographers and enthusiasts in New York City this week for PhotoPlus. If you plan on being at the Javits Center from October 25th to 27th, please visit us! 

Our exhibit at booth #973 will be hard to miss (floor plan). Here’s what you can look forward to if you stop by to meet our staff:

  • Demos and Questions – New to Squarespace or want to learn more? Our team will be giving live demos of Squarespace 6 all day long and can answer any questions you may have.
  • iOS Portfolio Sneak Peek – Be the first to see our new iOS app, designed especially for photographers.
  • Free Setup – Bring a thumb drive of your photos and we’ll get you started with a brand new portfolio site in under 20 minutes. 
  • Giveaways – We’ve got t-shirts, field journals, GorillaPods, and more!

If you plan on attending PhotoPlus, tweet us @Squarespace with hashtag #photoplusexpo. We look forward to meeting you in person later this week.

Introducing Squarespace Note

We all have hundreds of fleeting thoughts throughout the day, and the ability to capture and coalesce those ideas is critical to many of our workflows. Yet there’s no easy way to snapshot thoughts as we have them – and that's why we created Squarespace Note.

Squarespace Note is a clean, minimalist, note-taking application that can push your thoughts to email, Evernote, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, and, yes, Squarespace. Note is unique from most existing note applications in that it’s not used as a database, but a passthrough. It becomes the first place you go to push text to various services.

The Note app is free and does not require a Squarespace account. Note is already an integral part of our day-to-day workflow here at Squarespace – many of us save thoughts to email and Squarespace a few times a day using Note.  We think it makes us more effective thinkers, doers, and publishers.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

[Please note: We have multiple teams dedicated to iOS application development, and we are continuing to develop updates for the core Squarespace application suite, which is a much larger task.  We will share those updates as soon as we can.]