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PSPinc will help your business thrive by providing for all of your technology needs. We offer a wide array of products, including Web & Email Hosting, Website Development, Email Marketing and Data Storage Solutions. Visit pspinc.com to learn more.

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Setting Expectations for the Remote Office Employee

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When it comes to setting up a remote office for your employee, communication isn’t the only critical piece to consider. It’s also important to have a separate (or additional) work policy in place so expectations are clear for everyone, and business operations won't be disrupted.

Here are some questions to consider when formulating a new or additional telecommuting employee policy:

Devices. Whose computer and devices will your employee use – the company’s or their own? What if something breaks – what should they do? What kind of data protection program or anti-virus software should they install? Who pays for what?

Internet Access. What if the internet connection is slower at the employee’s home or remote office location? Will this affect work flow, communication, and employee productivity?

Office Supplies. Who will pay for general office supplies like paper and pens? Do you have a purchase approval or reimbursement policy in place?

Workstation/Office Setup. Will you care how your employee’s workstation is set up? Does it matter if it’s clean or messy, or if the equipment is in a secure location? Do you want to explore insurance options? Is the space a welcome place for clients, if meetings are needed? Would it make sense for you to provide your employee with an office space near their home instead of allowing them to work at home?

Accountability. Will you implement a routine for meeting, getting updates, and seeing work progress? When would you like to be updated? How often should you meet in person or over conference calls to receive updates?

Job Descriptions. Ultimately, what positions in your company will you allow to work remotely? Depending on the nature of your business, not all job descriptions may be a good fit for telecommuting. Have good and logical reasons to say yes or no if an employee asks to work from home.

Remember, the end goal by allowing people to telecommute is to gain more productivity and efficiency within your business. Don’t lose sight of your goal while coming up with a plan.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #B2B #BusinessTips #Telecommuting #RemoteOffice

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How to Communicate with your Remote Office Employee

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If you’ve been following our previous blogs on how to set up a remote office, you’ll want to keep reading because we’ve just scratched the surface. Today is all about communication and how to keep it seamless between headquarters and remote offices. Obviously, talking to your coworker across the aisle, desk, or even on the same floor is much easier than figuring out a time to talk remotely. Knowing email is not the best method of communicating when it comes to more detailed discussions, what’s the best way to get everyone on the same page?

Here’s what we suggest:

1) Implement a Chat Program

The next best thing to talking, chat programs can provide you an instant real-time line of communication, but it’s important to have the right tools to be most effective. For instance, do you have a chat program that can record a transcript of your communication, so you can look back on it for reference? Having that history of a prior conversation may be advantageous when you need to recall what was said. Choose a chat program that keeps a log of your conversations so you, the business owner, can keep record of conversations and important communication back and forth.

2) Confirm with Email

Yup. Good old email is still a necessity. It’s probably the best way to confirm decisions that were made or instructions that were discussed over a chat program. Think of it this way: chat rooms are where you discuss the nitty gritty, the strategies, and brainstorm together. Afterward, email is where you send the notes, and confirm the overall decisions that were made, copying all parties involved.

3) Call for Clarity

No matter how many forms of text channels we use to confirm business decisions, hearing someone’s voice is still best. You can’t always pick up a person’s tone, sarcasm, seriousness, or sense of urgency over messages. Email and messaging unfortunately don’t portray emotions clearly, which is why it’s important to follow up with a phone call or conference if there’s any question about your digital discussions.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Marketing #B2B #BusinessTips #Telecommuting #RemoteOffice

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What is a Marketing Funnel?

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You may call it by a different name: Sales funnel, Marketing funnel, or Conversion funnel. No matter what you call it, your business needs a funnel. So what is a marketing funnel?

Basically, a marketing funnel is the theoretical journey a person takes towards a purchase or action. The path from awareness to action is, in essence, the marketing funnel.

There are three main stages of any marketing funnel: top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU).

TOFU: Awareness

The top of the funnel must start with awareness. Unless you’re a household name brand, you have to get your business name or product out there. A person can’t become a customer without being aware of who you are and what you do. This is the largest part of the funnel; it’s not where you’ll make money, but it is where you get people to enter your funnel and begin nurturing leads.

You can do this through marketing campaigns, social media, blog posts, or events and trade shows. At this stage you want to focus on getting your name in front of as many eyes as you can. Once someone has entered your funnel you want to keep them there until they are ready to take some desired action, like a purchase.

MOFU: Evaluation or Consideration

The middle of the funnel is where you start to get more targeted in your approach. You have their attention and now you need to nurture them until they are ready to take an action. Provide them with value through free downloads, podcasts, email marketing, and educational resources like your company blog or YouTube channel.

Give them enough information and show them the benefits of your company or product. Your goal in the middle of the funnel should be to get them to the intent stage where they start to show interest in taking action.

BOFU: Conversion

The bottom of the funnel is the most important step. This is where people decide if they want to take action or not. This means the job’s not over; you still need to give them one last push in the right direction.

Some great ways to do this could be through coupon codes, free trials or demos of your product, showing them reviews, or inviting them to an event. This is the final bit of information or incentive they need to take a desired action. The bottom of the funnel is also where a lot of leads drop off. It could be because they weren’t nurtured enough and thus don't have the right mindset or enough information to take action.

Conclusion

Get people into your funnel with broad marketing strategies that focus on awareness and not so much on selling. Nurture your leads by offering value and information so they can research and discover the benefits of your company. Once they’re ready to take action, be there to give them the last nudge they need to pull the trigger!
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #B2B #Marketing #OnlineMarketing #Advertising #SmallBiz #SmallBusiness #MarketingFunnel #LeadGen

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5 Fast And Easy SEO Tips To Boost Your Website

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1) Add Alt Text to Images

The alt text or “alternate text” is an attribute that is added to an image in case it doesn’t load. If an image doesn’t load or can’t be shown, the alt text will take its place. This is why it’s important to give your image a description as well as add relevant keywords in your alt text. When search engines crawl through your website, they will also crawl your alt text, which will make your images searchable and can help bring more traffic to your site.

2) Add Keywords in the URL

When creating a new page for your website it’s a good idea to put some extra thought into naming the URL. You want your URL to be short, memorable, and easy to spell, but you also want it to contain the most important keyword for that specific page. Consider the most important keyword relevant to the page content and try to insert it in the URL if possible. The rule is to keep it simple and make it count!

3) Utilize Anchor Text

What’s anchor text? Anchor text refers to any text, that when clicked, links you to another page on the same website or it can take you to a different website. It typically shows up with a blue underline beneath the text. You can utilize anchor text by adding links within paragraphs, headers, and more to direct visitors around your website.

4) Include Page Titles

All of the pages on your website should contain a title and a subtitle. Search engines crawl pages and organize their text by its importance to the page, almost like a text hierarchy. The structure of the page tells the search engine what the page is about and will help it rank your page correctly. Similar to the rules for URLs, try to include any relevant keywords in your titles without making them too complex.

5) Add Location Details

Is your company local? Do you serve certain parts of the city or state? Add location details on your website whenever necessary to benefit your local search results. When someone searches the web for something based on location, you’ll have a better chance of showing up on his or her radar.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO

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Long-tail Keywords: Why they Matter

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Marketers and web designers have been talking about keywords for years now and there’s no doubt you’ve heard about it if your business is online. Keywords help companies target specific audiences and reach people at different stages of their search.

Keywords are NOT some magical tool that will boost your website to the top of the search result pages. But, if used wisely, and implemented into your website where they make sense, keywords can drive more of the right customers to find you.

So what are long-tail keywords?

When we say “keywords” we are referring to any word that has to do with a topic. If you’re a flower shop you would consider “flower shop” a keyword on your website.

Let’s take it a step further.

A long-tail keyword is actually a phrase that includes 3 or more words. In the example of a flower shop a long-tail keyword would be “flower shops near Pike Place Market” or “free delivery flower shops near me.”

See the difference?

These keywords do multiple things: They allow you to target a more defined group of people, they’re less competitive than shorter keywords, and they have a higher conversion rate. If someone needs to find a wedding florist in Maui, they may type in "flower shop" or "florist," or they may get more specific and type in something like "wedding florist in Maui." If you are a florist in Maui, it makes sense for you to target those long-tail keywords to attract people more primed to purchase.

Again, keywords are not magic; they are tools you can use to target your audience more directly. By implementing long-tail keywords into your website content, your pay-per-click ads, and your social media, you can increase your chances of finding your next customer.

Let’s recap. Long-tail keywords are:

• Easier to rank for.
• Have higher conversions.
• Allow you to target customers at different stages in their search.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing

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Avoid Phishing Scams with these 4 tips

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Gone are the days of sketchy misspelled emails from distant places asking for money – those were truly simpler times. Now, phishing scams are increasingly more elaborate and require us to constantly pay attention to what we click on. So why are we still talking about email scams? It's because THEY WORK. As much as we’d like to think we're smarter than a scammer, and can easily spot a fraudulent email, many of us fall prey to advanced phishing techniques. Avoid phishing scams using these 4 tips.

1. Think Before Clicking Links
Even when emails contain your name or claim to know your passwords, take a moment to think before you click on any links. Phishing emails often contain exciting or upsetting news to invoke your emotions to take action quickly – and recklessly. Look first at the from email address. Does it match exactly with previous emails from your legitimate source? If not, it’s likely a scam. But it will likely look and feel exactly like it’s from a legitimate source because scammers are smart and think of every detail, even using logos from brands you trust. If you click on a link within the email, the website you go to will also look like the real thing, so beware! General rule is if the messaging is urgent, don’t click and don’t give out any information. Instead, go directly to the website you trust and use the contact info there to confirm the information and ask questions.

2. Look for Website Security
Tap into your suspicious side when browsing the internet or opening links in emails and always make sure a website is secure. Check to see if the website URL starts with HTTPS to confirm that it is secure before giving out any personal information. Web browsers will often warn you before you visit non-secure sites and NEVER download anything from suspicious emails or websites.

3. Protect Personal Information
Do not give out any personal information to websites that are not secure. If you buy products or fill out forms from suspicious websites, cybercriminals may get your credit card information. Be cautious when shopping or visiting sites, and always listen to your gut if something feels suspicious or sketchy.

4. Stay Informed
An easy way to remain on the offensive and protect yourself against phishing scams is to stay informed on new scams. Keep an eye out for news about potential scams online and do some research if you think you're being targeted. When you learn about scams early, you give yourself the best chance to avoid becoming a victim.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PhishingScams #InternetScams #OnlineFraud #PhishingEmails

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Why you need a Security Certificate for your Website

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Hopefully you’ve read our previous articles about SSL/TLS security certificates so you understand the technology and choices you have when it comes to your business website. Here's quick access to catch up, if needed:

https://en.bloguru.com/pspinc/329582/is-your-business-website-security

https://en.bloguru.com/pspinc/330165/encryption-technology-further-explained

https://en.bloguru.com/pspinc/330429/the-3-types-of-security-certificates-for

https://en.bloguru.com/pspinc/330431/in-a-world-of-fraud-legitimize-your

You may be wondering if all this information is really meant for you. After all, doesn’t this technology exist only for e-commerce sites?

The answer is NO.

Google has been outspoken about the importance of SSL/TLS secured websites, especially the need for EV certificates ( see previous blog). If you are a Chrome user, starting this summer the URL bar will indicate the different levels of SSL/TLS certificates. If it shows an EV for extended validation, it proves the domain has more than just a certificate – the validity of the organization has been verified as well.

Google’s whole mission is to show relevant search results to the end users. But being relevant today means listing domains that are legitimate with information that is helpful, not harmful. Domains with EV certification make it easy for Google to trust and display such sites for the people.

With so much fraud and malware around us, it’s not easy to know what websites are legitimate and trustworthy. As a business owner, you want to make sure your website is trusted by web browsers, search engines and people! The way to do that is to prove your business identity with an EV (or at least an OV) security certificate – authenticating your business online.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #SocialMedia #WebMarketing #SSL #TLS #SecureSocketLayer #CyberSecurity #DataProtection #TransportLayerSecurity #EncryptionTechnology #Technology

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In a World of Fraud, Legitimize your Business Online

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SSL/TLS certificates come with different validation levels: domain validation (DV), organization validation (OV), and extended validation (EV). Depending on the validation type, the cost of the certificate varies.

Let’s review the differences:

Domain Validation:
This certificate level checks to see if the person or company that applied for the certificate is the owner of the domain. It’s an easy certificate to obtain.

Organization Validation:
This certificate requires an extra step to validate your ownership of the domain by checking some identification. Certificate authority may require you to show proof of a legal business license, your business’ article of incorporation, a bank statement, or other third-party proof of your existence.

Extended Validation:
Extended validation requires a much more stringent vetting process before a certificate is obtained. The domain owner must pass more extensive identity verification to prove exclusive rights to use the domain, and confirm its legal and legitimate existence. Because this certificate offers the highest level of trust and security, it can take several days before the validation process is complete and the certificate can be installed.

As you can see, SSL/TLS is no longer just an encryption method, but a way to legitimize business operations online.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #SocialMedia #WebMarketing #SSL #TLS #SecureSocketLayer #CyberSecurity #DataProtection #TransportLayerSecurity #EncryptionTechnology #Technology

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The 3 Types of Security Certificates for your Website

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In order to install and implement SSL/TLS on your website, first you have to obtain a certificate. These certificates can be purchased online, but they come in different types, prices, and get issued from different authorities. In order to know what’s best for your business website, let’s discuss the certificate authority in more detail.

A certificate authority (CA) is an entity that issues SSL/TLS licenses. They have their own private key to sign the issued certificate, which is known as the root certificate. Websites with root certificates are considered “trusted sites” by commonly-used browsers. If a website has an SSL/TLS certificate that’s not issued by a root certificate authority, you will get a pop-up window warning you the security certificate isn’t from a trusted source.

The most well-known certificate authority is Verisign, but other popular ones include GeoTrust, Thawte, Symantec, and Comodo.

SSL/TLS certificates come in three different types: single-domain, multi-domain, or wildcard:

- A single-domain certificate can be used on one website, such as pspinc.com.

- A multi-domain certificate can be used on more than one website, such as pspinc.com, dreamersi.com, pspchildrensfoundation.org.

- A wildcard certificate can be used on one domain with an unlimited number of subdomains, such as pspinc.com, blog.pspinc.com, admin.pspinc.com, mailserver.pspinc.com.


It’s good to know this information in advance, so you aren’t completely in the dark when determining what kind of security certificate your website needs, and where to buy it. Next up, we’ll discuss how these certificates help validate the legitimacy of a website.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #SocialMedia #WebMarketing #SSL #TLS #SecureSocketLayer #CyberSecurity #DataProtection #TransportLayerSecurity #EncryptionTechnology #Technology

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Encryption Technology Further Explained

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If you read our previous blog, you know how important it is to have a Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate for your website (formerly SSL for Secure Socket Layer). Now let’s dive into the technology behind encryption technology.

When you submit credit card information to make a purchase from a company’s website, the company’s server issues a key to encrypt your data while on its journey from your web browser to their server, protecting your data from thieves during transmission. The same goes for mail servers and email transmission.

An “encryption key” is a unique unit of bits created to scramble and unscramble data. It’s a code that’s virtually impossible to crack because it’s designed with algorithms that make its length and pattern unpredictable. A “bit” is the smallest unit of data storage in a computer – with a single binary value of 0 or 1. Therefore, your credit card info is transmitted to the company’s server in code that looks like 128 bits or 256 bits – that’s a lot of 0s and 1s!

Encryption is widely used on the internet to protect passwords, payment information and other personal information that should be considered private. Organizations and individuals also commonly use encryption to protect sensitive data stored on computers, servers and mobile devices like phones or tablets.

SSL/TLS has since evolved into a process that validates the party (company, organization or individual) on the server side is a legitimate entity. We will cover more about this in our next articles.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #SocialMedia #WebMarketing #SSL #TLS #SecureSocketLayer #CyberSecurity #DataProtection #TransportLayerSecurity #EncryptionTechnology #Technology

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