Protect Yourself This Cyber Monday!

More and more people prefer to shop online than visit brick and mortar stores. This Cyber Monday, sales are expected to hit double-digit growth rate of 13.1% with $1.8 billion in sales. In fact, American Express expects Cyber Monday to be more popular than Black Friday with 55% shoppers shopping on Cyber Monday in 2013, compared to 39% shoppers shopping on Cyber Monday in 2012. So while you are shopping online, it’s absolutely necessary that you remain safe and secure in your transactions.

So how to protect yourself while shopping online? For that, follow these steps:

Cyber Monday Shopping Tips
Cyber Monday Shopping Tips
  1. Secure computer and gadgets: Make sure that your desktop, tab, iPad or the mobile you are using to do your shopping has the latest version of the operating system. If you are using a shopping app, make sure it’s properly updated.
  2. Limit online merchants: Do not shop from all and sundry. Limit your shopping activities to the merchants you know and trust. You can also directly type out the URL of the website in the address bar rather than getting redirected to it.
  3. Do not use debit card: Do not use debit card for your online shopping. Ever. Credit cards are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act, debit cards are not.
  4. Use secure connection: Always look for “https” in the URL while you are thinking to shop online. “Https” simply means that the connection is secure with encrypted data.
  5. Do not use public computers: If you are planning to shop online, do not ever use public computers or public wireless access. If you do that, it will leave you open and vulnerable to online fraudsters looking for victims.
  6. Be wary of charity donation scams: During holidays, many cyber criminals set up fake charities to take advantage of people’s generosity and kindness. Before donating anything to these “new” charities, make sure they actually do exist and are registered legally with the relevant authorities.

If you know about any other precautions that can help you protect against online frauds while shopping, please do tell us in the below comment box.

Why Is Black Friday Important To Your Business?

Since the birth of ecommerce, the importance of Black Friday is increasing slowly and steadily. If we say that Black Friday is the biggest shopping day for Americans, we wouldn’t be wrong. If you are still thinking how your online business will be impacted by Black Friday, consider following points.

Black Friday
Black Friday
  • In 2012, online sales for Black Friday amounted to more than $1 billion, up from $816 million in 2011. The 2010 Black Friday online sales figure was $648 million.
  • In 2012, online traffic increased by 18.75% on Black Friday.
  • It’s estimated that 72% of Black Friday Shoppers in 2013 will do their shopping online.
  • During Black Fridays, Amazon attracts 7.7 million visitors, Walmart attracts 3.5 million visitors, Best Buy attracts 2.75 million visitors, Target attracts 2.25 million visitors and Apple attracts 1.5 million visitors.

So how can you leverage Black Friday for your business?

You can promote your products in 2 ways:

  • Through promotional emails and newsletters
  • Though social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

How can you get ready for Black Friday?

To make sure that everything goes right on Black Friday, make sure:

  • Your website is working at lightning speed
  • Your website is mobile and tabs friendly
  • Your website is accessible from social networking platforms
  • Your target customers are aware of various offers and deals offered by you
  • Your promotional coupons are widely available

If you follow these steps correctly and accurately, the chances are you will see your sales peaking on Black Friday. Do you have any questions about it? Comment below and we will address it.

How to choose blogs for Guest Blogging

If we talk about one of the most powerful link building strategies on the planet, guest blogging strategy undoubtedly will stand out among the rest.  The SEO world may be all for it, but guest blogging isn’t a cake walk for it involves lot of work from your end to get one guest blog published.
Before you start guest blogging, you need to consider the following points:

  • Search for sites that need guest posts
  • Build a relationship with the blogger
  • Build a topic
  • Read about the guest post’s do and don’ts
  • Write your article
  • Edit your post
  • Submit your post
  • Go through different rounds of edits

But after putting in so much of efforts, what you get is a handful of new subscribers.  Isn’t it disappointing?  Here are some top tips on how to take advantage of guest blogging:

  • Contextual Links

Going forward, Google might devalue links appearing in the author bio areas. So, it’s better to get your link embedded inside your guest post.  This will give more clicks through rates and sustained SEO benefits.

  • Blog Comments

Guest posts, no doubt, attracts targeted traffic; but if it fails to attract blog comments, then the traffic  it claims to generate is more of the ‘hit and run’ variety. They just consume the content and leave.  Blog comments are a sign of a legitimate, engaged community.

  • Get your Posts Organized

If you are guest posting for number of blogs, there’s high possibility that you’ll eventually lose track of all the guest posts you have written. To keep an eye all the guest posts, it is better to maintain an Excel spreadsheet.

  • Focus On Page Rank Of Your Posts

The Page Rank of your post many not necessarily be the same as the homepage page rank. Although the two have correlation, it isn’t always the case. For instance, the blog wherein you submit your guest blogs may have a homepage page rank of 5, while the page wherein your guest post is getting displayed may, in fact, have zero page rankings.

  • Check Blogger’s Social Media Accounts

To get an idea about the guest post’s traffic potential, visit the blogger’s social media sites. Along with their own stuff, bloggers even put up guests posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the major social media sites. So, if the blogger has 1000s of fan followers on Twitter, it’s a fair bet that a lot of those people will read your article when you tweet them.

Guest blogging is fun and it indeed attracts traffic in good numbers. However, considering the painstaking efforts involved, it’s imperative to conduct a thorough background check of the blogger before entering into blogging partnership with him. If you are guest blogging for a quality blog, you will surely attract quality traffic and will have engaging visitors.

How to Promote for the Thanksgiving Holiday Season

Timing is a critical component of your content marketing.

Publishing it at a time when a majority of your audience is likely to experience your content is very important. Thursdays and Fridays are seen as ideal days for publishing content that’s written for the holiday seasons such as the forthcoming Thanksgiving Day. Mondays and bank holidays aren’t very good options.

The latest content management systems help you automate and time your content to perfection. With custom-built back-end admin panels and their various features, you can manage your content just the way you want. Thanksgiving Holiday Season

Here are some tips to maximize sales around the Thanksgiving holiday season:

  • Twitter provides a tool to identify the best time to tweet promotional messages.
  • The Monday that precedes Thanksgiving is ideal for promoting your products.
  • Keep the copy of the promotional material crisp and sweet.
  • The sale before Thanksgiving works better if it is not themed around the holiday.
  • When someone places an order, offer an incentive to encourage repeat purchases.
  • Promotional messages early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day can yield surprising results.
  • Use the Cyber Monday Sale to attract a younger audience that uses tablets and smartphones.
  • Send out Cyber Monday promotional messages on the preceding Sunday.

Your 2013 Thanksgiving Day promotions should ensure that:

  • Holiday gifts are made abundantly available.
  • Products that attract younger crowds should be well stocked up.
  • Free shipping is a no-brainer, you should not be charging for shipping.
  • Up-selling and cross-selling options on product pages need to be intelligently placed.

You may also incentivize shoppers willing to stretch their order to a higher amount. Have all the incentives ready on the Monday before Thanksgiving. The products you offer should enable shoppers to stretch their budgets without straining their pockets too much.

Google Webmaster Introduces Security Issues

In an effort to offer more security and help to webmasters in case their website is hacked, Google has launched a new feature called Security Issues. It will allow the webmasters find more details about how their website was hacked by pointing out the exact nature of the problem.

Google Webmaster Secure Issues Feature

The brand-new feature in the Google Webmaster Tools will list out the sites and pages, including specific URLs, that Google believes has been hacked by malware or spam. If possible, it will also offer code snippets from the site as well as the date of the problem detection.

What are the benefits of Security Issues?

It will empower you with better control over the security of your website by pointing out the exact place from where the site had been hacked.

It will help you know the exact nature of the problem by offering you the detail of malware, i.e., whether it was a website template injection, SQL injection or malware code injection.

It will help you check if the issue has really been resolved by offering you the date when the website was hacked.

It offers “request a review” option once the issue has been resolved to keep the visitors of your website from getting this type of message: This site may harm your computer.

Conclusion: Security Issues is one of the best features of Google that will not only help webmasters detect how their website was hacked, but it will also pinpoint the exact location of the website that had been vulnerable to the malware or spam. This kind of information will help non-technical webmasters to get better security and protection for their websites.