Why Updating your WordPress Website is so important

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Like all software applications, WordPress installations generally won’t be perfect from the very beginning.  So much can go wrong, especially in an online environment.  Even though developers conduct large scale testing before an initial launch, no matter how much of this is carried out there will always be someone who will find some sort of bug or previously undetected issue.  To help address these bugs, regular updates are released which WordPress users can then apply to their own websites.

Updates help tackle another important issue which is growing ever more problematic – increasing security and reducing the chance of WordPress websites getting hacked.  Regrettably, there are many dishonest people out there who want to hack into your website for a variety of unlawful reasons.  These can include obtaining confidential data, sending large amounts of spam or uploading malicious content such as viruses or malware.  Others do it simply to show their “friends” that they can.

The probability of someone being able to hack your WordPress website depends on how many security holes are present that can be exploited.   The older your version of WordPress is, the more security holes there will be.  Therefore promptly installing the latest updates can help reduce the risk of compromise and make it much more difficult for hackers.

Some of the consequences of getting hacked include:

  • Your website could be infected with viruses or malware

Visitors to your website could inadvertently contaminate their own computers and help the virus spread.

  • Malicious content could be uploaded to your website

This can include pages pretending to be legitimate banking sites, pornography and spam links.

  • Your website could be blacklisted for spamming

Hackers often use exploited websites to send large amounts of spam.  If this happens, your website may become blacklisted, preventing you from being able to send e-mails from your own website or domain.

  • Your Website could be suspended.

If your hosting provider is made aware that your website has been hacked then they could take it offline until the issue is resolved to help protect other internet users.

  • Your website’s reputation could suffer

If the visitors of your website can clearly see it’s been hacked then they are unlikely to come back.  If your website relates to a business then this could heavily impact your reputation as a trader and your profits may suffer too.

To minimise these risks, our mini-series of weekly blog posts throughout August will show you how to update and secure your WordPress site. If you already have an existing WordPress website and know it needs to be updated, the instructions below will give you a head start:

Why Use a Loyalty Program?

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Currently less than 40% of small businesses offer a customer loyalty program, and out of the ones who do, more than half use an old paper-based punch card solution. Meanwhile, the latest research shows that:

  • 47% of consumers wish more stores offered mobile-based loyalty programs
  • 94% of members prefer to receive communication from the loyalty programs they participate in, and 57% say they always read that communication
  • 47% of consumers would choose to shop at a store that offers a loyalty program over a store that does not
  • On average, consumers are members of 7.4 loyalty programs

Clearly, consumers are motivated by a robust loyalty program, and more businesses should offer more incentives to improve sales and customer satisfaction.

Benefits of the our Mobile Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are currently the hallmark of large, successful enterprises, but they entail difficult custom development work, high budgets and planning. For small businesses the necessary capital and labor resources needed to make this function is not readily available. Local Linx Mobile Marketing’s Loyalty Program module was built to address these key customer loyalty expectations for the business:

  •    Increased spending from existing customers
  • Reduced natural churn rate of customers through better retention
  • Granular loyalty tracking based on points (for spending or other actions taken by customers), and not “punches” on a card
  • Secure points submission and redemption process (only authorized employees can submit points and redeem rewards)
  • Easy member registration process that can be achieved on their mobile devices or any browser-enabled device (tablets, computers)
  • Collect customer contact information (email address) at registration for future reach
  • Highly flexible presentation design of the mobile interface for the loyalty program
  • Customized reports on transaction history and customer behavior (for personalized offers and communication)

 

 

Call Natalie today on 01827 838882 to discuss your mobile web design requirements. Helping our clients reach customers at the right place and time.

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Free WordPress Website Health Check

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Many Websites need Health checks especially WordPress. Out of date plugins or Version of WordPress or even the Theme can completely take your website down.

 

Don’t risk being hit by the white page of doom! Call us today on 01827 701484 to get a Free Health Check by Local Linx Web Design Tamworth and we’ll assess it for you to make sure you have no future interruptions.

 

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Technology can help make small business more efficient and effective

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Entrepreneurs and small business owners can take advantage of today’s technology to make their businesses more efficient and effective. Using specific internet applications and mobile applications can help them save money and increase productivity and revenue massively.

‘The cloud’ — an Internet metaphor — has great potential for small businesses with applications such as Google Docs, SkyDrive, and DropBox to collaborate and backup information increasing productivity.

Small businesses should also be taking advantage of mobile apps and devices as an essential. According to a Pew Internet report, 56 percent of U.S. adults owned a smartphone in May 2013 up from 35 percent in May 2011 and the UK is not far behind these figure. Also, a study by Morgan Stanley concluded that by the year 2014 more people will be accessing the Internet through their mobile devices compared to their personal computers.

Not only can small businesses take advantage of mobile applications such as QuickOffice, Evernote, CloudOn, GoodReader, and SignEasy to increase productivity, but they need to make sure their business websites are mobile “friendly” and the business is listed in sites such as Yelp and Google Maps.

Mobile devices have the ability of utilizing what is called “location-based” services that provides information and directions to the users based on their location to guide them to a particular business.

Using bank-developed mobile applications, cheques can now be deposited using the camera on your mobile device in the US. Also, mobile devices can be used to conduct payments with applications such as Square, Intuit and PayPal. With these apps small businesses can accept payments virtually anywhere using their mobile devices.

Finally, small businesses can take advantage of both Internet-applications and mobile devices by tapping into the marketing and real-time interaction made possible by social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Cloud applications as well as mobile devices are two technologies that used jointly can provide significant savings and increases in productivity and revenue for small businesses.

Local Linx Marketing will be happy to talk through your businesses Mobile marketing needs. You can reach us on 01827 701484 or marketing@LocalLinxmarketing.com

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Closing the Deal with Good Sales Questions

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Sales is about more than making money or increasing market share. Fundamentally, it is about meeting the needs of the customer in a way that benefits both sides.  Good sales questions define the difference between mediocre and record-breaking results.

Most salespeople are able to pique interest, but may experience challenges when qualifying the customer or closing the sale.  Once the other party expresses interest, the types of questions posed will make the difference between closing the deal and walking away empty-handed.

Sales Qualifying Questions

Sales qualifying questions are those that explore whether the customer has the authority, interest, capital, and need to buy.  Use sales qualifying questions early in the process to determine if the customer is in a position to buy.  Qualifying questions help prevent prevents salespeople from investing too much time in a sale that will never happen, and it helps to build contacts that may turn into future sales.

Some of the most powerful sales questions to ask are qualifying ones.  They should never come across as scrutiny. Instead, sales-qualifying questions must always come from a desire to provide service and meet needs.  Qualifying is an excellent time to use open-ended sales questions.  Try variations of these to see if the customer is qualified to buy.

  • Who else will be involved in deciding if this is the right fit for your company?
  • How would your company use [product or service]?  What would it do for you?
  • Is there room in the budget for this type of investment? Are funds available?
  • When do you think you would be ready to integrate this [product or service] into your business?
  • What types of options are you considering from our competitors?

Though everybody will answer differently, these open-ended sales questions help determine whether the customer is qualified to move forward and worth the time required to close.  If the customer reveals others are involved in the decision, it is usually worth the salesperson’s time to contact the other decision-makers.  If the customer reveals that money, need, or interest are not there, part on favorable terms, save the contact and follow up from time to time.

Sales Closing Questions

Once qualification and interest have been determined, it’s time to close the sale..  Closing is part persuasion, part accountability, and part charm.  It is the time in the sales process when final questions are answered, and the salesperson requests commitment from the customer.

Good sales questions cause the customer to think reflect on why they need the product and lead the  customer to feel as though they might miss out if they do not take action.  Try variations of these effective sales-closing questions to compel the customer to buy:

  • What else would you like to know about this [product or service]?
  • What benefits do you see to using this [product or service]?
  • Have I earned myself a new client? (If rapport is good, a little humor can go a long way.)
  • Which of these options is best for you?
  • What do you think about taking advantage of this exceptional offer?
  • What do we have to do to earn your business?

Sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge to get the customer to jump into action, which is why sales closing questions are a crucial tool for any salesperson.  The most powerful are open ended sales questions that help the customer to formulate his or her own answer, rather than a simple yes or no.  If the options are yes or no, the customer will choose no more often than yes.

Delivery is everything, which is why some salespersons make it where others fail.  A professional knows good sales questions do not come off as pushy, needy, assuming, or demanding.  In fact, the most powerful are those that “lead the horse to water.”  Open ended sales questions lead a customer to form the conclusion that they in fact need the product or service.  They should be used throughout the entire sales process.

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Daily Method of Operation Strategy

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The perils of working from home or even just simply running your own business and being your own boss is time management. This week i’ve been thinking alot of my DMO Daily Method of Operation and how I can make this more effective around all my other tasks ie. Home, mum and animal duties. The reason I work for myself and would never go back into my 9-5 is that I have the quality of life to walk in the woods in the morning with my dog after the school run, then crack on with my working day then fit in some excercise however even though this sounds like a relaxed adgenda if it’s not strategically planned it will never all be covered and mot of all the day enjoyed to how it should be! There’s not point in running your own business if everything is left to the last part of the day and then your relax time is taken up with chores like accounts, client tasks etc. Believe me I have been there on quite a few occasions finishing off a design job at 2am telling myself off as to why i’m not more organised!

So here’s my adgenda that allows me to work to my optimum:

               

Just before I go to sleep I write a list of the 6 most important tasks that need to be completed the next day. Somehow this does seem to get embedded into your subconscious mind during the night helping you wake up focused on the tasks ahead!

1. Write down 10 things, people, places, items, animals, anything I’m grateful for right now at this moment.  I start my day with gratitude because it’s the only way I will remember how successful I am right at this moment in time.

2. Write down what I will feel like when I’m a millionaire.  Seriously.  I do this every single day.

3. Ask myself, what is the most important thing I can do today that will make a difference in my business.  What is the task that will make a difference today.  Just one task.

4. Ask myself what I’ve accomplished that has made a difference and repeat that process.  I reflect on what I did that made a difference and I act upon it.  The adage, rinse and repeat is definitely a part of the process.

5. Work on one project and get it completed – no ifs ands or butts, just completed.  Whatever that project is, it must be finished by the end of my work day.

6. Check email once per day – SERIOUSLY.  I open it.  Answer it.  Close it.

7. Turn off my texting capabilities on my phone.  No texts.  No interruptions.  No phone calls.  Just working on my business to create success.

7.  Create Value – learn from the BEST.  Implement.  Find out what works for me and I write about it.  Right now, my goal is 30 blog posts in 30 days with valuable content.  What’s your valuable contribution?

8. Product Creation.  I spend at least an hour a day working on my product.  Don’t have a product?  What are you good at?  What can you do that will help others?  What have you learned that you have implemented and that has worked for you?   Here’s something you may want to consider about what you’re learning….***If you have signed a NON-DISCLOSURE agreement I would highly recommend you not disseminating any information you are not allowed to…just a thought.

9. Create one ad.  Place one ad.

10. Tune into my primary company and learn something I didn’t know.  At least an hour a day is spent learning a new or ongoing topic/subject that will help me to understand this business of network marketing so that when I implement I do so with knowledge and foresight.

11. Write down all of my accomplishments daily.  Even my food.  What I eat, where I go, what I do.  Journaling helps me to create a better daily method of operation by reflecting on what I did and how long it took, what it did to make me money in my business and what was a drain on my time.

12. Visualize my success.  Visualize speaking on stage to a very large audience.  Visualize what I will be wearing, what I will be saying, how I will be conveying the information I have inside of me to those who are seriously interested in taking their business to that next level.  Yes, you will be seeing me on stage.

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