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All About SEO

Smart E-Commerce: Learn How To Protect Your Company Against Coupon Abuse

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Of course, an effective and easy way to attract new customers for a young venture or product is to offer special deals in the form of coupon codes. With the help of promoters and referrers, success can be guaranteed. But giving away promo codes has its own downside: when uncontrolled, chances are, someone will certainly find a loophole to abuse the promotion.

Promo abuse occurs when an individual – customer, vendor or a partner agency takes advantage of a promotion, unduly benefiting from a coupon multiple times, or perhaps, using them to gain money and other items or valuable services. Though quick boost in sales transaction is a good thing ( especially if you’re running short of matching a monthly target), the coupled abuse of promotion might eventually take its toll on your profit margin and decrease the trust of investors.

Forms of coupon fraud.

Based on actual business experiences, “creative” individuals have devised several ways to misuse and abuse promo coupons. For voucher codes distributed online with the intent of attracting new customers only, abusers have learned several workarounds. There are even numerous websites, blogs, and videos dedicated to teaching users how to work the system. Naturally, it’s not a big deal if one of your users will take advantage of the code several times by creating 2 or 3 accounts with different email addresses. The real problem starts when company’s employees, affiliates or partners are the ones involved in the coupon profiteering. I will cover more fraudsters tactics in future articles, but here are a few examples of the most common types of coupon abuse:

– Referral payouts: refer-a-friend program is a great incentive to create fake accounts or post the referral code on social media. In the second case you at least increase your database, however, such practice increases your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC); those users could sign up directly on your site.

– Cart abandonment voucher: customers already noticed, that each time they abandon the basket before finalizing the purchase, you send a retargeting campaign with a discount. Such a coupon incentivise to finish the purchase, but also to do it again when buying next time.

– Affiliate frauds: to increase their margin, affiliate networks, and agencies register each order as a new customer, using the voucher. Customer pays a full price, agency get’s the discount value.

– Reselling own inventory: it’s common in various marketplaces that sellers buy their own inventory using discounts, and.. put it back on sale. They earn a discount value, decreased by your margin. You earn, hmm, a fake KPIs.

– Generating fake orders: some vendors go even further, especially when they are the ones responsible for the logistics; they simply generate a fake order. Common in food delivery and car sharing services, a service provider – restaurant or the driver creates discounted order, which in fact doesn’t have to be delivered. Again, they earn a discount value decreased by your margin.

What can you do to prevent it?

So how do you protect yourself, your company and business’ viability against promo abuse? Here are some tips how you can decrease the risk of falling into discounting trap:

1. Take the control over your promo codes or coupons.

Offering promo coupons without a secure process that will track creation, monitor redemptions and control the budget, could mean a disaster. Invest into developing an internal system or use one available on the market. In any case, it should allow you to look at the real time KPI’s and set behavioral triggers which can automatically deactivate the promotion or the particular code.

2. Limit the promo duration and number of coupon usage.

If you are planning to distribute a generic coupon regardless of customer identity, the best way to control it and stick to your projection is to limit the promo duration, campaign budget and perhaps, the number of max redemptions for each generic coupon. In such case, change your code pattern often and make sure the old ones are fully deactivated.

3. Individualise coupon codes.

Still, the best way to control your promo coupons is to customize them. Individualizing coupons means creating unique codes intended for each individual or customer. Once that unique coupon or code has been used, it shall be automatically marked and deactivated by your monitoring system. Thanks to that, you can distribute coupons to valuable customers and target particularly those, with a high Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV).

If you continue to subsidize your customers, chances are low they will ever turn profitable.

4. Don’t reward cart abandonments too much.

Nowadays, basket retargeting is a must campaign in every company. It’s perfectly OK to send your customer a reminder about an unfinished transaction, however, don’t be too aggressive – if you’re going to send a 20% voucher after 1h since customer’s visit, you will actually reward the customer for abandoning the cart. That will only make them used to the scheme. Rather start from a simple reminder and ask your user if there’s anything you can do to help finalizing the purchase. Keep in mind: it’s not always about the money.

5. Limit promo to customer identity parameters, not account.

Based on the case example above, restrictive coupons can be abused by signing up with different accounts, using different email addresses and changing IPs. Fortunately, tech companies identified these tricks and suggested improvements. For a more secure coupon, use hard to tamper customer identity parameters and limit voucher usage to device fingerprint or user agent data, not account. Advanced enterprises can also observe and learn on common fraudster behavior to block voucher redemptions of similar patterns.

6. Use geo-targeting.

If you’re not able to individualize the codes, at least limit the campaign to particular area or location. Especially if you’re an international business, create geo-targeted codes by zip code, city or country, offering different discounts in different areas, then track where they are being used.

7. Control the distribution of your coupons.

Don’t distribute your coupons or promo codes just elsewhere especially if they are generic or free to use by everyone. Oftentimes, abusers are just waiting to grab that opportunity and won’t give genuine customers a chance to take advantage of your offer. To acquire new customers, distribute unique codes across social media campaigns or target those who are already engaged. A good idea is also to get into partnerships with companies that offer complementary products and distribute unique coupons directly to their customers. Make sure each coupon is attributed properly to each marketing channel, so you can easily (ideally in a real time) monitor each campaign’s Revenue On Investment (ROI) and act accordingly. If you’re using coupons to track your offline campaigns, track not only a Conversion Rate (CR) but also a CLTV to see how profitable those customers are.

8. Never fully disclose the limitations of your promo code.

Another loophole that abusers can use is the knowledge of your coupon’s limitations. If for example your coupon code is intended for new customers only, it’s enough to tell them that it is limited to new sign-ups or purchases only. Don’t discuss other details like in cases where you are only tracking the IP address, email address, etc.

9. Benchmark referrers and affiliates.

An effective way to discourage abuse especially from “illicit” referrers or affiliates is to control their KPIs. Monitor affiliates and agencies, track how much their revenue contribution is driven by vouchers and benchmark them all together – any anomaly might indicate dishonest behavior. To not lose a vendor, simply direct your partner to decrease the voucher usage or set a limit upfront.

Offering special deals can attract new customers and keep current ones engaged, but without a well-though coupon strategy, discounting can bring loses, even if generates lots of traffic at first.

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by Ewelina Robaczek

Categories
All About SEO

What Services Should the Best SEO Companies Provide?

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So you have realized that handling your own search engine optimization campaign is too time consuming, so you want to find yourself one of the best SEO companies that you know you can trust with your online marketing to help you achieve online success, but you don’t know what services they should be providing that will push you forward in your particular industry.

Here are a few of the top quality services that your SEO company should offer you to ensure your get the internet visibility your company deserves, you reach your target audience and you enjoy an increase in online revenue moving forward.

The first thing you obviously want to focus on is SEO, your search engine optimization campaign. Did you know SEO doesn’t only comprise of using carefully selected keywords and key phrases to help you increase your ranking in search engine results? In fact, the larger search engine, Google, actually will penalize you if you get carried away with your keywords and if you are over stuffing them on your web pages and in your content, then you may be doing more harm than good. Increasing your ranking takes time and dedication, but dropping in ranking simply takes one small mistake, such as too many keywords in one piece of text.

The next thing to look at is your social media marketing. Yes this is also a very important part of your SEO campaign and should be a service provided by the best SEO companies. Basically you need the best quality formation and advice on your social media pages, you need to keep them updated regularly and you need to reply to comments, while commenting on other posts, to increase your online visibility and reach a wider audience. Remember the search engines can pick you up from social media as well.

Then there is pay per click advertising, which is an affordable online marketing tool that can help you in your SEO campaign. Pay per click advertising ensures that you only pay for real clicks that lead clients to your website. It drives more traffic to your website through carefully designed advertisements that meets their needs and wants the client to find out more.

With pay per click advertising you remain in control at all times. You identify your daily budget and the best SEO companies will monitor your performance, make necessary changes, pull adverts and play around with the budget you have given to ensure the adverts receiving the highest interest receive the biggest portion of the budget.

Then there is your website and you will be amazed how your website will play a role in your SEO campaign. In fact, your website is essential to your SEO success and therefore careful consideration needs to be paid to ensure you don’t over stuff keywords, that your site is easy to navigate, that the pages load quickly and that you use links to direct clients through your site with complete ease. You want potential clients to stay on your website for as long as possible, which is why you ensure you only upload the finest quality content and images to attract audience attention.

You will also want to note that Google has put major emphasis on the mobile user, which means your website needs to be mobile friendly and you need to bear in mind that a majority of your audience is now going o use their mobile devices to search for products and services that you supply. Failing to incorporate mobile to your website can result in you being penalized and possibly dropping in rank.

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by Anoop K Krishnan

Categories
All About SEO

12 Points Should Be Considered Before Hiring PSD to HTML Service

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Hiring PSD to HTML service from a web development company is a major decision and demands high cost of operation. Therefore, an individual should select his web development company carefully. There are some common things which a person should consider before hiring PSD to HTML service from any web development company. Negligence of these common factors can leave one in big trouble. Below, 12 important factors are discussed which a person should keep in mind before taking PSD to HTML service:

1.Cross Browser Compatible (X)HTML Coding: A good website should be accessible on all major browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome etc. therefore, website codes should be well commented, CSS based and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) validated. In addition to that, the codes should be properly tested on IE6, IE7, IE8, Firefox, Safari, opera and Chrome.

2.Quality code: Good HTML code plays very significant role in a website. By claiming the high quality HTML coding means website code should be clean, hand-coded, table less, well structured and easy to understand.

3.SEO semantic code: Using search engine optimized (SEO) semantic coding from PSD to XHTML conversion can be very beneficial for overall visibility of web portal. Google’s Googlebot, Yahoo crawl on more SEO semantic coded website in order to extract relevant content from XHTML codes. By coding your website with SEO semantic codes one can drive high rate of traffic towards his website.

4.Work force: The workforce employed by a web development company from which a person is going hire PSD to HTML service matters a lot because ultimately the web developers will be going to handle entire project. Therefore, a team of web developers should be well skilled and educated. Make sure that the web developers are well experienced too.

5.Online Order form: Check whether company is offering online order form or not. Online order form plays very significant role in the entire process of PSD to HTML conversion service. It is the form which contains all requirement and basic information of a client regarding project. The online order form is the well sorted page of combined details such as package cost, turnaround time etc., at one place. It is standard form of collecting requirements of a client and consumes very less time.

6.Turnaround Time: A person should never forget to ask for the minimum turnaround time taken by web developer for PSD to HTML conversion. Turnaround time is the total time involved in PSD to HTML conversion by a web developer. An individual should prefer only those web development companies which come with quick turnaround time (as per project requirement).

7.Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA): The Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is nothing but a legal contract between two parties formed to protects non-public business information. In the case of PSD to HTML conversion service, a confidential relationship formed between client and web development company. As per this agreement, a company promise its client that it will not disclose confidential and proprietary information to third parties for any purpose. So, before hiring PSD to HTML service from a web development company confirm whether it is ready for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

8.Work Style: An individual should never forget to confirm the working style of a web development company from which s/he is planning to hire PSD to HTML service. There are some companies which follows transparent work style whereas other companies does not follow this policy. So, a person should beware from such difference in work style.

9.Additional support: A person should ask web development company from which s/he planning to hire PSD to HTML service whether it is offering any type of additional support such as availability at the time of emergency, 24 hours customer care, after sales technical support or not.

10.Portfolio: Before assigning project a person should first have a look at the prior work done by web developers of a web development company. In other words, an individual should never assign his PSD to HTML conversion project before checking the portfolio of a company. Portfolio of a company is the graphical representation of its framework done so far.

11.Guarantee: Check whether web development you opted for PSD to HTML conversion service is coming with any type of guarantee like satisfaction and money back or not.

12.Payment plans: It is the most crucial factor negligence of which can turn in big problem. Check the payment plans offered by company before hiring it for PSD to HTML conversion service.

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by Viv Kush

Categories
All About SEO

How to Start Your Own Trenching Service Business

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You can be in business for yourself, and be your own boss, if you start your own trenching business service, and work for yourself. Trenching, is basically like digging a long thing hole, maybe 10 inches wide, and 2 feet deep, for 100 yards. That would be a big job, to complete with a shovel.

A trenching machine, is like a big chain saw, a trenching machine digs up the ground to a certain depth, and certain width. Most notable, trenching would be needed for constructing of footings, irrigation lines, cable lines, pipes, underground utilities, water lines, gas lines, pool lines, and more.

Some do it yourself home owners, like to put in their own sprinkler systems. But, when they learn they have to put the lines all underground, it would take forever to use a shovel, and do it by hand. It would be an almost impossible task, so it needs to be trenched. That’s where you come in, and make money with your trenching service. You can offer trenching by the foot, or by the job. You can network with other landscapers, stump grinders, tree cutters, gardeners, tractor service operators, bobcat operators, dump truck drivers, nursery outlets, and more.

You should have a sign on your vehicle, saying the name of your business, and how they can get a hold of you for work. Some trenching machines can be put in the back of a pickup truck or pulled on a trailer. You can also rent a trenching machine from a local equipment rental dealer, until you can get your own.

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by Vince Stead

Categories
All About SEO

How To Kill A Website

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There are various ways to kill a website just like there are various ways to skin a cat. It is basically easy, the first thing you need to do is get up enough courage to do it, which, I believe is not very easy. The faint of heart could never do such a thing that is why they end up in the gutter. They do not know enough. Nah, more likely, they do not have enough courage.

Your first kill is exhilarating, it would be like an addiction, you will always be craving for more. Sack the morality issue, the name of the game is SURVIVAL. The online world is cruel, its a jungle out there! All kinds of crime abound in the online world, from simple theft, to house breaks, and ultimately murder. Nobody gets caught because the culprits know how to cover their tracks, they are experts and proud of it.

Here are some of the things that you can do to kill YOUR website:

1. Subscribe to Link Farms and web rings, submit your site to free for all websites, link to banned websites. A decent SEO Analyst knows that linking to bad sites like link farms, web rings and free for all website is very bad and could literally mean death for your website. So there you have it, one very easy way to kill a website.

2. Give away one-way outward links. You are feeling generous, with a PageRank of 8 why wouldn’t you be? So you shout out to the whole online world that you are giving free for all one-way outward links with no “nofollow”. As the news leaks out, hundreds and maybe thousands will go to you asking for links, go on give them links, show them how generous you are. Death by hemorrhage, sure death. Before you know it, you will be needing a transfusion with all the PageRank hemorrhaging you’re doing. Will you go with a transfusion? Nope, just give it all away and before you know it, another website dead.

3. Do not update, do not submit, do nothing. Let your website be, let it be a sitting duck, just another website. It is a slow process, the first thing that you’ll lose is your visitors, next your ranking, before you know it, you will be no one, a non-entity. It might not be death but its a fate worst than death itself.

There you go, folks, three certified ways of killing your website. It does not matter if you have spent countless sleepless nights thinking about what to write nor spent hundreds and even thousands of dollars in hosting and advertising, its your money to burn. If you want to go on a killing spree, go on make more websites, optimize them, spend money on them and then kill them.

For those who love their websites, take care of them and never do any of the above.

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by JC Mae Palmes

Categories
All About SEO

The Benefits of PSD to Magento Template Conversion

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Electronic business is getting more and more popular, one effect of which is increased competition. To differentiate and make their venture stand out among others, business owners strive to add more useful functionality and design features to their sites.

But many of them face various hurdles in the way for being not much tech-savvy. This results in implementation of various actions that cause only harm to their business, quite often what made with good intentions turn out to be time-consuming and expensive. So when it comes to web development, it’s better to find a reputed company that can professionally guide you through the jungle of e-business insides.

As a leading ecommerce development platform Magento offers multiple opportunities to its users. It’s the most widely used CMS (content management system) and many businesses have already fully enjoyed its advantages. Magento is an open source framework, which determines a huge amount of useful tools, plugins and overall flexibility it offers. Online stores developed on this platform are not only attractive for visitors but also cross-browser compatible and SEO-friendly.

If you have specific design requirements it’s a high time to benefit from PSD to Magento conversion. Besides the fact that this process is a fast way to refresh your site, among the important reasons to add PSD transformation to your e-business development plan is that it helps to increase conversion rates.

As for other weighty benefits, check a few ones below:

  • Unique design. There are a lot of Magento themes and templates available on the market. But as business owner you know exactly who your target audience is and can say for sure what should your store look like. Converting your PSD design files into Magento you get absolutely exclusive theme that will make customers come back.
  • Lift up on search engines. Properly implemented conversion is impossible without SEO-friendly codes. Well structures and clean coding that corresponds all basic standards ensures top page rank in search engines.
  • Speed optimization. Online stores contain a lot of data and changeable content, which influences pages load speed. Adding more and more functionality and design elements can affect loading speed and as a result users will leave your site without making a purchase. PSD to Magento theme conversion helps to avoid this problem by splitting Photoshop files into different design layers.
  • User-friendly interface. Ecommerce site are made for people, so user-friendliness is crucial for them. PSD to Magento conversion helps to make functioning web pages out of regular picture. Sites created on Magento are easy to navigate and as a special advantage its coding allows to implement media files upload such as video and audio.
  • Pixel-perfect dynamic interface. The conversion of PSD files into Magento requires solid expertise from developers and entails a long-term process. Only skilled programmers are able to provide really smart and totally hand-coded markup. Such a smart and clean conversion allows to add JS and attach images later.

Magento is a powerful framework and it’s getting more and more popular everyday. The benefits above are just a few major reasons to act in this direction. In fact due to its popularity the platform is being constantly upgraded and a significant amount of programmers all over the world create the new features and modules for it every day. Start your own online ecommerce business or enhance the existing one with the help of professional PSD to Magento services.

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by Charlie Ferth

Categories
All About SEO

Plumber Vs Plumbing Engineer – What’s the Difference?

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The phrase “plumbing engineer” might just sound like a fancy five-dollar term to use when “plumber” sounds too pedestrian. Like, if your stodgy old eighth-grade English teacher comes to visit, and the toilet breaks, you might say something like, “Alas! It seems as though it may be time to avail myself of some of my local plumbing engineer’s finest handiwork! Forsooth, and such.”

Luckily, your stodgy eighth-grade English teacher didn’t bring your persnickety eleventh-grade science teacher with her, because you’d be wrong.

You call a plumber to fix a broken toilet, repair a leaky pipe or unclog a stubborn drain. Plumbers are a vital component of the professional engineering community, but a plumber just is not the same as a plumbing engineer.

So what is a plumbing engineer, you ask? The easiest way to make the distinction is to think of the plumbing engineer as the guy who designs the system, and the plumber as the guy who maintains it. You’d call Jack the plumbing engineer to map out the hot and cold water system in the new home you’re building; you’d call Joe the plumber to fix it when a gasket wears out.

Plumbing engineering relies on design, planning, creation and implementation. A plumbing engineer draws up a pipe system for a new building or series of buildings, makes sure every pipe connection is solid and every delivery method is efficient. He chooses the right materials to make sure the system lasts for years with minimal maintenance. If you get a top-notch plumbing engineer, you probably won’t need to call the plumber very often.

The Whole Building Design Guide, an expansive web-based information resource for contractors, designers and architects, provides a good working definition of plumbing engineering:

The Plumbing Engineer is involved with systems that overlap into the mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering disciplines. The Plumbing Engineer is in a key position to influence the water efficiency, sustainable site, energy, fire protection, and pollution systems of a facility.

Plumbing engineers are qualified to oversee a wide array of public and private building projects:

  • When a new shopping center needs a stormwater management system, the engineering firm designing the center would hand the job over to a plumbing engineer.
  • A plumbing engineer might work closely with a fire protection engineer to to make sure a new sprinkler system is in good working order.
  • An entire team of plumbing engineers might design a sewer system for a new housing development.

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by D. Michael Kirby

Categories
All About SEO

Tips to Finding The Best SEO Project Outsourcing Company To Meet Your Needs

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When it comes to meeting your online marketing needs and goals, you are going to want to find yourself the best SEO project outsourcing company that you know you can count on. You want to find a company that has a passion for seeing their own clients succeed online and that will help you reach your goals, while remaining as close to your marketing budget as possible.

That being said, there are a number of steps to take when looking for a company that is going to basically manage your online marketing portfolio. You need to be able to trust them with your brand and know that they are only going to use white hat and ethical techniques to ensure your online success moving forward, but how do you do this?

The first thing you want to do is a search online. Remember the benefit with choosing a SEO project outsourcing company is that you aren’t restricted by location, you can choose a company anywhere in the world and what this means is that you are able to secure the best of the best, rather than settling for a company in your immediate local area.

Choose at least three companies that you feel have a good reputation in the industry and that provide you with a complete search engine optimization service. This means that they should provide you with a complete package from conducting essential website, keyword, customer and competitor analysis to building your links, ensuring your brand is noticed, managing your social media campaign to handling your reputation management, always putting you first to ensure your online success at all times.

When you have a minimum of three SEO project outsourcing companies on your list, you are going to want to review each one in detail. Don’t rely on the reviews you find on their website alone, look for other reviews from independent review sites so that you can get honest feedback from past and present customers. Bear in mind a company of this nature should have hundreds of active customers that relies on the company on a daily basis.

Carrying out this basic step and reviewing each company in detail can help you narrow down your search list. You may find one of the companies, while they appear to have everything you need, maybe even offering a better price, is not what you expected and their past clients have not been happy with the outcome of their services in the long run.

When you have your last one or two companies at hand, you will want to compare them against each other to identify the one that is going to provide you with the best services moving forward. That means check to see if they offer SEO services, social media solutions, reputation management, internet branding, pay per click advertising, manual link building and anything else you feel is imperative to your online success, such as mobile marketing. Comparing the companies will help you see which one ticks more boxes and should be your SEO project outsourcing company of choice.

Take a look at their pricing to identify what they will be charging you per month for their services and what does this charge include. When you have this information you can identify if this works within your marketing budget, bearing in mind that you will enjoy a return on your investment in the future.

The final step is to identify what support the company offers. Do they have a team on hand who can keep you updated of your progress each month so you can see how your marketing budget is benefiting you online?

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by Anoop K Krishnan