Snappy, The HostGator Mascot

Gator Crossing

The Official HostGator Company Blog!

Dragonfly
AirPlane

Infographic: 2015 Small Business Perspectives On Mobile

Written by Sean Valant

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

The Endurance International Group recently surveyed over 900 of its small business customers regarding the state of responsive/mobile websites. It is surprising that over 70% of those surveyed agree that having a mobile website would positively impact there business, but only roughly 20% actually have a mobile app or solution. Take a look at the following infographic for the full story, and read the related press release right here:

 
2015 Small Business Perspective on Mobile Infographic

Is All Traffic Created Equal?

Written by Kevin Wood

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Is All Traffic Created Equal

Face it, if you want your online business to succeed you’re going to need a steady stream of traffic. However, there are crucial differences in the quality of traffic across the internet that could have an even larger effect. Some people believe that driving traffic to your website is purely a numbers game. However, the quality of your traffic matters much more than the quantity.

In this article we’re going to explore the differences in quality of web traffic and what it means for your business and success of your website.

 

What Is Quality Traffic?

Quality traffic is composed of visitors who are actually engaged with what you’re offering, browse multiple pages, and spend a decent amount of time on your website. Essentially, they are going to make up the backbone of your revenue, as these people are also more likely to buy what you’re offering, or at least sign up for your email list.

These visitors should be the core focus of your business as your work actually resonates with them. Often, the amount of quality traffic flowing into your website will be low compared to other forms of traffic.

However, if your business was built to serve everyone it would probably end up serving no one. This differentiation in your business allows you to more effectively serve a small group of people in deeper ways.

To sum up, quality traffic will have qualities similar to your ideal visitor. For instance, they will be a regular visitor to your site and hopefully a champion of your work.

 

What Is Low Quality Traffic?

Low quality traffic doesn’t bring any positive advantage to your website other than increasing the amount of visitors to your website. The typical traits these visitors will embody includes only stopping by your website once, not viewing multiple pages, and barely reading the page they landed on in the first place.

It’s not a good idea to focus your traffic efforts on this type of traffic, as it won’t do much to increase your bottom line. Usually, these traffic spikes come from instances when your content goes viral, or your website gets featured on a site like Reddit or Stumbleupon. The high-volume traffic you get from these sites usually won’t do much to increase your sales, or number of subscribers.

Although, you don’t want to discourage traffic from these sources it doesn’t make a lot of sense to focus your traffic generation efforts on these high volume sources alone.

 

Focusing On The Wrong Traffic Metrics

When it comes to digging through your traffic metrics you’ll want to make sure you’re looking in the right place. After all, it’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics, forgetting the real data that can actually be useful for your business.

For starters, the total number of visitors you have per month isn’t crucially important. What is important is the sources where your traffic is coming from, and the bounce rates that are associated with each source.

The bounce rate is the percentage of people that come to your site and leave very quickly. So, if you have a few traffic sources that have very high bounce rates you’ll want to diminish your efforts on those sources. Your best bounce rate scenario would be a high traffic source with very low bounce rates.

Another metric you’ll want to keep an eye out on is the number of users that are returning to your site time and time again. Although, it’s always good sign that new visitors are coming to your site you’ll also want to take note of how many people are returning.

Traffic doesn’t have to be a mystery. By focusing on the right metrics and sources of traffic you’ll be well on your way towards fine tuning a traffic strategy that works.

 

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/17893072@N00/4475333077/

Pinterest Adopts the Use of Promotional Ads

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

pinterest

With over half a million businesses on Pinterest, the Social Media platform is becoming a lot more than just recipes and fashion photos. It’s time to prepare yourself to start seeing even more ads now that Pinterest unleashed new tools for businesses back in June. The “do-it-yourself Promoted Pins” feature will allow businesses of any size to promote their pins on a cost-per-click basis in order to reach more people and get more visits back to their homepage.

Pinterest has been testing this program since early May with big brands like Old Navy, Target and Shutterfly, and is offering a sign up for any business to try it when they’re ready to get started.

 

Competing Against Facebook and Twitter, Subtly

By adopting the same principles as Facebook’s ad promotions and Twitter’s promoted Tweets, Pinterest’s Promoted Pins have been touted as “changing the game one pin at a time.” What’s different about their advertisements is that they won’t appear any different than the other posts that interest you. If, for instance, you’re browsing new cocktail recipes you won’t see an ad for JcPenny’s, instead you’ll see pins from companies that deal in mixology or interesting cocktail glasses.

Many have reported this as a noticeable benefit simply because the ads won’t be pestering potential customers by appearing in random categories. Pinterest is already such a product-and-image driven environment that users have been embracing brands long before any advertising was thrown into the mix.

 

Building Off Rich Pins

Back in June we talked about standing out on Pinterest with Rich Pins, a change in eCommerce that shared pricing information and availability. Rich Pins also came with analytics and options to receive pricing alerts.

Promoted Pins will only add to these features, with promises that pins will appear first in search results and category feeds on both the web and in mobile apps. If you aren’t on Pinterest already sharing your products, the time has never been better to join. Currently only select businesses are receiving the option to promote but getting started now will prepare you when the time comes.

 

Your Pinterest Board and Planning Your Pins

While the notion of the promoted pins blending in with the rest is great from an advertisement perspective, the pins you’re choosing to designate as promotional should do anything but. Aim to make the promotional pins to be taller than those around them and really draw the viewer in.

Customers have always found you on your own Pinterest boards and promoted pins will be no different. Some of the most compelling reasons for businesses to start using Pinterest include:

  • It’s a great place to promote a contest
  • As most users are visually inclined, it’s a great platform to optimize your brand’s image
  • You’re allowed to comment and interact with potential customers
  • Built in SEO benefits with hashtags and keywords
  • Integration of other Social Media sites

 

So What’s So Promising?

Back in April, the data tracking blog, Shareaholic, dubbed Pinterest as the reigning queen of social referrals. Since December it has seen a growth in traffic of 48% and is second only to Facebook in terms of steering Social referrals.

In three years of operating there have been 30 billion items pinned and 750 million boards created. Even what once was a heavily female dominated user base has now shifted from over 80% females, to 68.2% female and 31.8% men.

It’s become very clear Pinterest has established itself as one of the top marketing tools, and in no time businesses small and large will be benefiting from the use of Promoted Pins. When do you plan on starting?

Taking Steps Towards Achieving A Paperless Office

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

paperless office
As I write this I’m making several observations on the disheveled desk in front of me: unopened bank statements, old and useless receipts, and worst of all offers from credit cards I’m never going to apply for. I’m not unorganized, I just have a lot of paper coming my way, still.

The trend over the last decade has steadily pushed towards cutting paper from our overhead and trying to reduce the carbon footprint every business accounts for. According to Matt Peterson of eFilecabinet, by switching from paper to electronic documents you can lower your overhead by 30 to 40 percent.

If you’re truly ready to make the transition into digitizing documents here’s how to get started and keep it that way.

 

Everyone Has To Buy In

For so long paper has been an integral part of how an office functions and communicates. Faxing, copying, and mailing were and still are routine tasks executed by employees that may not yet know about the alternative ways businesses are operating. In order to make paperless a reality your entire staff will have to adapt to the gradual transition into a permanent way of doing business.

It won’t be easy.

Many people have a strong affection for holding a physical document in their hand. The same is true for those who prefer to read a book, rather than reading their laptop screen. These people will have to learn new routines their comfortable with, some may even have to become skilled at software requiring weeks or months of professional training.

But the challenges are worth it. Worth it for your company’s overhead, and worth it for the critical threats our environment is facing. The key to getting everyone to buy in is patience.

 

Where To Start

Start easy with recurring mail - The easiest place to start is where we already have simple options in place. Most banks have realized the advantages of not having to send out statements to those who are set up with online banking. Go ahead and start the transition by stopping the statements, letters and bills you could be receiving through your e-mail. Most can be done with the push of a button! What’s great is most of these letters are coming from places that already store and backup your data online as well.

Emphasize document management - This is more than just having enough disc space. Managing files requires a layout and the ability to search for individual documents in order for the operation to run smoothly. We recommend choosing a file organization software with the ability to index and search by keywords.

Get into the scanning rhythm - Most offices have the initial challenge of turning all of their physical files into digital ones, this will be the majority of the work in the transition. Also, start indexing all new files and emails as they come in the door. Once a document is scanned and you’re set up with a secure backup shred the documents! One of the best feelings in this process will be the satisfaction of having space freed up in the office where all the file cabinets once existed.

Secure multiple backups - One backup typically won’t be enough of a guarantee when it comes to irreplaceable documents and records. Using two, one hard drive and one cloud storage service, should cover all your bases. There are several companies worth comparing for all your storage needs.

 

The Best Apps To Assist In The Paperless Process

It turns out scanning and storing aren’t the only avenues for making your paperless venture successful. Third party app developers have also chipped in to streamline file sharing and storage. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Dropbox- Free up to 18GB with referrals, Dropbox is quickly becoming the most preferred file sharing platform out there. Access from anywhere with the new smartphone and tablet application.

  • Evernote- Store documents, photos, receipts and almost anything else you can think of. It’s customizable Interface lets you organize and find files in a way that will work for you.

  • SignMyPad- Available for iOS and Android. Allwos you to sign and date PDF documents which can then save right to Dropbox.

  • MyFax- If you deal with clients who still use fax machines, MyFax’s mobile app allows you to send and receive fax from your smart phone and email account through a ‘MyFax’ number.

  • Square- One of the hottest trends in stores looking to cut back on receipt paper is getting on board with Square. You can easily send receipts to a customers via e-mail or text message.

 

Image Source: http://joinspringerrealtygroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Simplify.jpg