Successful Blog Posts From Nick Throlson

Why you shouldn’t use Squarespace or Wix. Choose a professional designer instead

It’s easy to get swept up in adverts for website builders such as Wix or Squarespace that promise the ability to build your own website in minutes. As a small business owner, you’ve got to watch every penny. So why should you pay a couple of thousand bucks to a web designer when you can do it yourself for a low monthly fee?

But there’s a catch. There is always a catch. The kind of website that you build with Wix or Squarespace is a million miles away from the kind of website a professional web designer will deliver. As one of your business’ key pieces of collateral, it is important that your website does more than looking good. Don’t believe us? Here are five ways a Wix or Squarespace website will let your business down.

1. Your website won’t get found

Part of the reason many business owners get a website is to reach a larger customer base. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a great way for websites to attract users through search engines like Google. Website builders have notoriously bad SEO, however. Because these builders are drag-and-drop, they spit out a jumble of code that is so poorly structured it is hard for Google to crawl it. If Google struggles to crawl it, you'll rank badly. And there’s nothing you can do to improve it, either. That means that even if you hire an SEO agency, they will have a tough time working their magic on your website if it’s built using Wix.

2. It will look bad on mobile

You look at websites on your smartphone, right? Exactly, and so do millions of other Americans. In fact, more people access Google on their phones than on desktops or laptops. With so many potential customers using the Internet on their smartphone, it’s important that your website looks great on mobile devices. Unfortunately, these website builders primarily care about how your website looks on desktop PCs. There are no guarantees that it will work well or look good on smartphones. A web designer, on the other hand, will usually build up from mobile first to ensure that your site looks great on any device.

3. It will be slow

A fast website is key for great user experience. No one likes using a website that takes ages to load. In fact, most users will leave a website if it takes longer than a few seconds to load. If you want to convert visitors into customers, you need your website to be fast. Unfortunately, the bad code that makes it hard to rank a Squarespace website in Google also means your website will be slow. And just like with SEO, there’s very little you can do to improve it. A professional designer, however, will minimize code and images in order to make your website load as fast as possible. Your customers will thank you for it.

4. It won’t scale with your business

Most web designers will use a Content Management System (CMS) to build your website. This will usually be WordPress. A CMS lets you add new pages to your website and edit the content of your website after you have built it. So when you need to add a new service or write a new article, it’s incredibly easy to do. This isn’t the case with a website builder. Once you’ve built it, there’s very little you can do to change it. You’re stuck with it.

5. You can’t move it

Using a website builder like Squarespace or Wix doesn’t just mean that your website won’t scale, it’s also very difficult to move it if you decide to go in a different direction. Worse still, you don’t actually own the website. Wix or Squarespace owns the website and you must continue to pay them in order to use it. If you want to move away and have a website that you own or control, you’ll have to start from scratch. It’s much easier to hire a professional web designer from the start who can build a great website that is actually yours to own and use as you wish.

See? Using a website builder like Wix or Squarespace isn’t all it is cracked up to be. If you care about your business and want to hire a professional web designer, get started with a free quote from us today. We can build the WordPress website your business deserves.

Computer Desktop with pokemon

Is Advertising on Free Mobile Games a Good Idea for Your Business?

There are lots of ways you can take advantage of the huge mobile technology market for advertising. Most businesses are already aware of the most common techniques, like having paid Facebook ad campaigns, using Google AdWords, or simply using Twitter to promote themselves. You can also, of course, advertise on websites. However, one method of advertising that a lot of companies forget about is advertising on free mobile apps and games.


  • Why Do Apps and Games Have Ads?


The app market is pretty well saturated, and so many developers with a good product find that rather than charging money for an app, which would have to compete with rival apps that are offered for free, it is a better business model to give their app to consumers for free but put ads on it to give them an income. This is done with all kinds of apps, but especially games.


  • What Types of Games Have Ads?


Mobile games have several models. Somewhere the game is free but progressing in it at a decent level can cost the player real money for in-game currency (often called a ‘freemium' or ‘free-to-play' model). Others, where the game itself costs money but is complete and ad-free (usually something only major game studios with good publicity can get away with). The third kind is games that have both an ad-supported and a paid version – the idea being that people will use the free version as a trial and then like it enough to pay to remove the ads. Then, finally, there are games that are fully ad supported.

This means that a lot of games do feature ads, whether they are displayed during play, or whether play stops between levels and the player has to watch an advertisement. Because they are getting the game for free, a lot of people are fine with watching these, as long as they are relatively relevant.


  • Is the Online Gamer Market Compatible with Your Target Audience?


A lot of mobile games are a huge deal, you only have to look at the success of mobile titles like Brawl Stars to know there is a big audience out there playing games on their devices in their free time. The question then, is really whether or not this audience strongly overlaps with the audience you want to reach with your marketing. If you are marketing something aimed at younger people, then popular games can be a good place to put your advertising. However, some more casual puzzle games – such as word searches and sudoku style games – are also played by older people. With some market research, you can work out whether the kind of people you want to market to play ad-supported games, and if so, which games to target.

Working with mobile games and apps can be a new way to get your ads seen, and if your business is compatible with the audience, you may well find it to be a very effective addition to your strategy.


Data Deduplication Technology: The Best Protective Shield for Data

Many organizations large and small are constantly trying to improve and streamline their data management tasks. Whether that’s getting a better handle on data preparation tasks, cleaning data more effectively, or implementing a better standard of data quality, there’s an endless need to better handle data.

So how can data deduplication technology help protect your data? Generally speaking, a comprehensive data cleaning tool will handle data deduplication, among several other tasks:

  • Deduplication and merge purge within and across any number of files from various data sources
  • Suppression of existing customers or Do Not Contact from marketing and sales lists
  • Advanced record linkage technology for the ability to create data warehouses
  • Standardization of business and customer data

Data deduplication, generally speaking, helps eliminate redundant copies of data. In the normal course of a day, information can become duplicated. For example, an email server may have duplicate attachments that were sent to the same 25 people. If data duplication strategies didn’t exist, this same attachment would be available in the server.

Fixing and removing duplicate data across an organization can improve performance across various systems and networks. Generally, data deduplication is the perfect task for operations that cause redundancies, such as backups. It can make a big dent in decreasing storage and improving bandwidth, as well as improving efficiencies within a company or organization.

It can also save the embarrassment of having duplicate mailings go out to customers. A customer may lose patience and respect for a company if they keep receiving duplicate mailings.

Don’t attempt to handle this manually! This will take weeks and cause a massive loss of productivity and valuable time. DataMatch Enterprise by Data Ladder is a best in class data quality tools suite that handles data deduplication, among other tasks for business. The user-friendly tools allow you to narrow your search by the type of file, data, and size. Whether you’re looking to remove duplicate records based on a single field or number of select fields, DataMatch Enterprise can accommodate any number of needs.

Poor data quality is one of the quickest way to lose customers. Loss of trust and credibility can damage a business quickly. You want to make sure there aren’t any anomalies; this is done by analyzing the data from its source, and collecting that data to make sure of its quality.

In layman’s terms, you want to make sure that the language your computer is speaking is understood to other systems your computer is communicating with, or something could be lost in translation. This is generally the issue with poor data quality, and it could be avoided with some profiling done at the beginning of the communication process.

Even with the best of intentions, operating systems and platforms will still misunderstand or interpret some of that data incorrectly, as much as 25%.

DataMatch will create a cleansed, deduplicated master file that can be used. The critical master file in question must provide a new point of reference for the staff and management to understand. This new point of reference entails a new structure in the system, which is called “architecture.” Let’s break this down and understand more about the architecture. It has five separate components:

Unstructured: Data found in emails, articles, and product specs, PDF files.

Transactional: Data having to do with sales, deliveries, invoices, trouble tickets, monetary and non-monetary items.

Metadata: Data about other data, definitions reports, documents, log files, connections

Hierarchical: Data that stores relationships between other data. This is extremely important that this is understood since many times this includes company organizational structures and product lines; also could be stored as part of the accounting system. All of the preceding is in direct correlation to the master data.

Master Data: This is the most crucial data to any company: this data has to have a common point of reference for all personnel and management to obtain.

All this new architecture the process of creating a completely new master file is costly, time-consuming. While this is being done, there is substantial downtime incurred, not to mention frustration for your business.

Accuracy is of utmost importance; one glitch in your master database could prove disastrous since your master database is used by various applications.

Intelligent MSSQL de-deduplication projects begin with DataMatch. DataMatch’s software suite will assist with several things:

  • Import/Export from MSSQL with SQL statements.
  • Import/Export from Excel, Access, Text Files, ODBC, and other file types as well.
  • Remove duplicates from MSSQL
  • Clean data with included libraries on nicknames, abbreviations, states, advanced pattern recognition and more
  • Parse addresses, email, and other data with customizable parsing tools
  • Find and remove duplicates within and between data sets with multiple fuzzy match techniques
  • See graphical reports on your total data quality and duplicate percentage

In addition, DataMatch Enterprise provides superior performance during those critical backup processes. It fulfills more than standard recovery time objectives during the deduplication process. To deduplicate a database, the software suite deploys number of powerful features that expedite the process a great deal.  

Deduping database modules is not an easy task since it must handle the critical databases and sort through the often messy lists, including contact email addresses, list of customers, lists from database retrieval software, offline product and itemized databases, and other related database categories.

DataMatch Enterprise dedupes database entries, designed to save both time and money. While deduping databases, it cleans databases for heavy multiple entries or unsorted entries that affect the structure of the database. Both corporate and mid-size companies heavily rely on DataMatch Enterprise to dedupe databases, using it to dedupe highly-controlled CRM databases and other critical documents.

Getting your data quality problems straightened out early will only help your business run more smoothly. Discover how DataMatch Enterprise by Data Ladder can help your data deduplication needs and provide your company stronger and better insights through effective, smarter use of data.


3 Ways for You to Create a Buzz around Your Business

3 Ways for You to Create a Buzz around Your Business

In order for your business to be successful, it is vital that you understand the best ways to get people interested. Ideally, you want people to be excited whenever they see your company name. A bland and uninspiring organization will find it hard to attract and hold onto, clients. It will also struggle to get the best out of its employees. Make sure that you are doing everything in your power to establish your company as a hub of innovation. In a competitive market, originality is by far the best way to stand out. If you are hoping to run a successful business, for the foreseeable future, you will need to read on. Below are three ways for you to create a buzz around your business.

Interact with the Public

Never forget to interact with the public because they are all your potential clients. Don’t just take the same approach as every other company. Instead, work with your team to find innovative ways to attract positive attention. Sometimes, the more extreme an idea is, the better it will work. For instance, you could arrange a flash mob. This is a fantastic way to get people excited about your business. It also shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. If you decide to take this route, you will need to put in a lot of effort. A poorly arranged flash mob would be a disaster. If you are struggling, you could always hire professionals to ensure that you get your desired results.

A slightly tamer option is for you to attend a trade fair. This is a great way for you to interact with the public on a personal level. You can answer all of their questions and tell them everything that they need to know about your company. While it is important to be professional, you should also take the chance to stand out. You could provide some creative freebies or some refreshments. You could even push the boat out and hire a masseuse. This is a sure way to attract people to your stand. Your generosity and innovation will also help your business to stay in their minds. Don’t forget to involve your social media platforms with your live events. You could set up a live stream or get one of your employees to send out regular tweets. The important thing is to let the public know that you are willing to engage with them.

Invest in Your Branding and Marketing

Investing in your branding and marketing strategies is a great way to create a buzz around your business. The right approach can completely transform your business and its future. Make sure that you are always thinking outside of the box. If you and your team are struggling to come up with ideas, why not turn to the professionals? This is a great way to ensure that you are not being let down by your branding or marketing. Even if you outsource the bulk of the project, you should still stay heavily involved. Understanding the process of developing your company’s branding and marketing strategies will allow you to have a clearer vision of what your business does. Often, you will need to brainstorm all of the key services that your business provides. You will also need to consider what concepts are important to you. Maybe you want to offer unprecedented levels of customer service? Perhaps you are aiming to be a company that is an expert in its field? Whatever the case, talking through your marketing and branding will allow you to understand your business on a deeper level.

Focus on Your Online Presence

When something goes viral, it is always online. Using the internet has become the fastest way to spread information. The right approach to the digital world could take your business from zero to one hundred in a matter of seconds. Make sure that your website is working in your favor. Whatever you do, don’t just sit back and wait for the views to come in. Instead, you need to take matters into your own hands. You can find an SEO provider that will help you to get more traffic to your website and to boost your search engine rankings. It also works with everything from white hat guest posts, press releases, local NAP citation building, blog content, high-end editorial links and more! If you are considering this option, you can find reviews of the hoth online. This will allow you to better understand the services that you could be benefiting from.

If you are thinking about your online presence, you should also consider placing, even more, focus on your relationship with social media and digital marketing. One new technique, that your competitors might not have considered, is video marketing. This is a great way for you to instantly capture the attention of your audience. It will also help to establish you as a company that is ahead of the times. Instead of shying away from technology, you should place it at the forefront of your business plans. Video marketing is also a fantastic way for your business to go viral. You will improve the likelihood of this if you try to inject some humor into your approach. Try to be as creative as possible. If you are struggling, another option is to stay up to date on all of the latest light-news stories. Then, if something happens and your business can make a pun out of it, you can take the opportunity to make headlines. This approach will especially appeal to the younger generation. However, if you get the balance just right, you should be able to come up with a concept that is universally agreeable. The most important thing is to always have your company brand in mind. While it is great to get your name out there, you should also be certain that it is for the right reasons. It may take you a while to get the hang of it, but once you do the rewards will be endless.

Email Marketing

How to utilize an email campaign.

You have the business model in place; you have the products and the website, but all you need now are the customers, and preferably ones that will keep returning to you. 40% of people who completed a Campaign Monitor survey said that customer retention was their number one goal, and why wouldn’t businesses want to keep their customers? After all, it is cheaper to retain customers than to seek out new ones. Here’s how to fully utilize your email campaign, so you can keep improving your customer retention.

You cannot rely on loyal customers to keep your company afloat, as you also need to attract new customers, but how? Email campaigns are 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter when it comes to acquiring new customers, and by personalizing the email to the recipient’s demographic and previous browsing or purchasing history, you are able to increase engagement rates by keeping customers interested with tailored relevant and targeted information.

The key to a successful email campaign is successful data harvesting, and 54% of marketers said it was their number one challenge. Yet, you can get great data by designing your sign-up form in a way that captures the information you require such as hobbies, gender, and date of birth. Once you’ve acquired the relevant data, you can, for example, send an offer on a birthday. This is an unexpected touch that will be greatly appreciated by the recipient.

Use your data to personalize the emails that you send out. Personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, and these generate an eye-watering 760% increase in revenue. By choosing an automated software, you can get the best return on investment with a flexible tool that allows customization, personalization, and integration. 20% of marketers felt that lowering marketing costs was their number one challenge, and by using data segmentation and personalized emails that contain more relevant content, 84% of marketers say their email effectiveness is growing, and so is their profit.