Webiquity Blog

Your Indispensable Guide to Networking Online

You’ve probably heard the statistic that more than half of the jobs in U.S. were gotten because of a connection that the job-seeker had. This may lead you to wonder - where am I getting these connections? Contrary to what you might think, many of them weren’t just family and close friends who gave them a good reference. In fact, it’s often a better idea to look to people you don’t know as well when on the hunt for a job.

So how do you do this? It’s all about the networking. And in today’s internet-driven world, you’d better believe that online networking is the way to go. It’s relatively easy, it’s inexpensive, and it gives you access to an astounding number of possible professional connections. Here are the steps you need to take to be successful in your online marketing.

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Are Your Hosted Payments Secure

Are Hosted Payment Pages Secure?

For merchants who want to sell products and services online, hosted payment pages represent a simple, hassle-free solution.

Online retailers can insert a secure payment form that is customized to look exactly like the rest of their site. When customers want to buy something, they interface with this branded checkout page. But the actual transactions happen on an external secure server hosted by a payment processor.

Because these hosted pages mimic the look and feel of your e-commerce store, they ensure continuity of experience for all of your customers; however, because none of the credit card information gets stored within your database, your PCI scope is much smaller (i.e. your checkout page where customers enter their sensitive payment data is removed from your PCI scope).

But are hosted payment pages truly secure? After all, customers are still providing sensitive financial data. Isn't this information potentially exposed at some point during the payment process?

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5 Small Business Resolutions to Make

With 2015 upon us, many are focused on planning and implementing their New Year’s resolutions. Some will try to lose weight, others will try to pay off their debts, and even others will make the resolution to stop a bad habit like smoking. If you’re a small business owner, the new year is a great time to set a few goals that will set you up for success. Here are four ideas to get you started:

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13 Reasons You Shouldn't Try to Go Viral

 

Of all the newly coined terms that have come out of the social media boom, “viral” is perhaps one of the compelling. Virality is a phenomenon of the 21st century, one that continues to baffle and seduce content creators into spending a huge amount of money and time to attain it. And for some people, it works. Things go viral, some on purpose and some on accident. But it is worth it to chase after that rarely attainable goal? I argue that it might not be.

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33 Sources for Fantastic Blog Content Ideas

 

If you’ve read the Marketecture blog long enough, hopefully you’ve already figured out that blogging is important for your small business website. If you haven’t already gotten that into your head, I recommend reading this, this, and this. Come back when you’re done.

 

This article’s for all you faithful bloggers out there. You’re trying your best to write regularly, but sometimes you just can’t come up with topics fast enough. Or maybe you can come up with ideas, but they’re...well, boring!

 

Not to worry. I’ve got your back. From personal experience as well as the recommendations of some of my colleagues, here are 33 sources for fantastic blog content ideas.

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How Having a Business is like Having a Baby

 

How having a business is like having a baby

 

Too often, people assume that home life and work life have nothing in common. It’s easier that way. Hard things should be at work while fun and relaxing things should be at home. Of course, this only applies if you have a job and aren’t doing the home thing full time. Being at home full time might mean a looser schedule, but it often requires way more work than a regular job. It means longer hours, never ending responsibilities, as well as being completely unable to really get away from what you do.

 

I’m talking about starting a business and working from home, of course.

 

What did you think we were talking about?

 

If you were assuming I was talking about being a stay-at-home parent, then you wouldn’t actually be that far off. Being a parent and being a business owner have a lot more in common than you might originally think. Long hours, sometimes thankless days, staying up all night worrying about whether or not something will work out, etc. But I think there’s a lot that business owners can learn from the way parents handle things.  

 

Here are 5 ways that businesses are just like children:   

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5 Tips to Making a Great First Impression with your Website

Anyone who has ever had a job interview will tell you about the importance of making a good first impression.  Those first few seconds of looking into a potential employer’s eyes can be terrifying -  and you don’t want them to know that. The same thing can happen when coming face-to-face with a new customer. Will they like you? Will they buy something from you? After all, people like this fund your business! You want to make sure they see what they want.

 

Unfortunately, when conducting business online , you don’t get to dress up in a snappy suit and shake your customers’ hands the way you would in the real world. You have to convince them that you’re a professional, that they should take you seriously, and that they can trust you all through digital means. Usually, this takes the form of a truly magnificent website.

 

If you have one.  

 

Don’t underestimate the importance of the appearance of your website when it comes to converting casual viewers into buyers. We have a few tips for you about how to make a great online first impression.

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8 Tips for Standing Out

Ever feel like you’re drowning when you go online? Not literally (obviously), but I’ve found that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available through the internet. There’s just so much!

It’s kind of like that scene in Beauty and the Beast where the Beast surprises Belle by taking her to see the huge library in his castle. She gasps because there are just so many books lining the walls, ascending up almost as far as the eye can see.

…Except take the Beast’s library and multiply it by a bajillion, then juggle all the books in front of Belle’s face while she’s trying to get important work done, all the while shouting things like, “28 Ingenious Things For Your Dog You Had No Idea You Needed” and “Can You Make It Through This Post Without Feeling Sexually Attracted to Food?”*

But I digress.

The point is that it’s really difficult to stand out online, whether you’re a freelance designer, a lifestyle blogger, or the social media marketer for a growing business. Most of us have something that we’d like to share with the world, but it’s easy to get discouraged. How do you set yourself apart?

The following tips are a few quick and dirty ways to grab some attention without resorting to clickbait headlines or pop-up ads. Pick and choose as you see fit; some will work better for you than others!

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Local Business Advertising

Here at Marketecture, we're all about getting small, local businesses online. Why is that? Is it just a trend, or is there something more to the idea that all SMBs should have a strong online presence?

We created this infographic to show just how important it is for small business owners to be tapped into all things internet. Company websites, social media, review websites, mobile responsiveness - these all determine the level of success that any given business will have.

This infographic answers many of the questions that SMB owners might have, including:

- Why does my business need an online presence?

- How does my online reputation affect consumer decisions?

- Which online review sites do consumers use most?

- Are customers really looking for my business on their mobile devices?

- How valuable is social media, really?

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Making Your Business Likable

Several years ago, I had the awesome opportunity of taking a writing class from the sci fi/fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson.

It was fantastic. Sanderson is a master at world building, character, plot, magic, the whole package. But there is one lesson that stands out to me more than all the rest, because it’s the one lesson that can be so impossibly hard when you don’t get it right. 

Making your characters likable. 

At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Um, what does this have to do with business? Writing fiction is most definitely NOT the same thing.” To which I say, “Ha! How wrong you are!” 

Because the same rules that apply to likable characters also apply to likable businesses. And if you want to make sales, retain customers, and keep a respectable face, then you need to be likable. 

There are three rules for making something likable. According to Sanderson, you need at least two out of the three in order to hit a chord with your audience. I’ll list them in order of my personal thoughts on their importance (obviously, they’re all important, but the order has to be determined somehow): 

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