Friday, December 3, 2010
Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards . Instead, put ' PHOTO ID REQUIRED .'
2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the 'For' line. Instead, just put the last four numbers . The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.
4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine . Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel... Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards..
Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Dell computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know.
5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation
(if there ever is one).
But here's what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this.)
7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.
The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been stolen:
1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742 1-888-397-3742
3.) Trans Union: 1-800-680 7289 1-800-680 7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271 1-800-269-0271
We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.
If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Fight Back -- 8 Simple Ways
Karen Lodrick's website, fightingbacknow.com, offers these tips to protect yourself from ID thieves: 01. Opt out of unsolicited credit card offers by calling 888-567-8688 (supported by the consumer credit reporting industry). 02. Get spyware protection for your computer, such as Ad-Aware (free at lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware). 03. Don't return warranty cards for purchased items. Save your receipt -- that's all you need to make a claim. 04. Have all your mail sent to a post office box rather than to your home address. 05. Never open e-mail from people you don't know. 06. Use different passwords for your online accounts. 07. Mix numbers and letters, upper and lowercase, in passwords. 08. Shred all documents, especially from credit card companies, before discarding.
More Ways to Protect Yourself
Here are 10 additional tips from fightingbacknow.com that will help you protect your identity online and in mail:
1. Monitor your credit report regularly. You can request one free report a year, and you can also sign up with the three major credit bureaus to be alerted of any unusual activity.
2. Stop giving out your Social Security number. Only a few places have the authority to ask for your Social Security number—your employer, the Department of Motor Vehicles, welfare services, the IRS, and institutions that deal with your taxes, like your bank or a brokerage house.
3. Make sure you’re getting all of your bills each month. If one goes missing, contact the company right away. Have a lot of bills? Keep a list of them so you don’t lose track.
4. Review your credit card statements diligently. 5. Make sure each purchase is yours and if not, notify the company immediately.
5. Check your bank statement each month. This is time consuming, but worth it! Bank policy is that you only have one month to put in a claim of fraud if you want the bank to recover your money.
6. Strip your computer before donating it. Make sure all of your information is removed from your personal computer before donating it by wiping the hard drive or taking it out and destroying them.
7. Get a second (or third) e-mail-account.8. Establish a separate e-mail account and use it specifically and exclusively for online purchases. That should make your private accounts less vulnerable.
8.. Consider a different browser. The most popular browser is Internet Explorer, which is pre-installed on most personal computers. Most viruses and spyware programs target this browser as a result, so try using alternative browsers such as Firefox or Opera, which can be downloaded free of charge.
9. Just say no. Sign up for the Do Not Call list (donotcall.gov); stop pre-approved credit card and insurance offers from reaching you by mail or phone (optoutprescreen.com).
10. Box junk mail. Use the Direct Marketing Association to help you stop receiving mailings (https://www.dmachoice.org/MPS/).
Source: Readers Digest 8/10
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Find out how long their website developer has been in business and what type of projects they have worked on. There are many models for websites, and often someone whose past experience with a similar client type will be an advantage to you. Past experiences with similar business types should lead to quicker discovery because that website designer knows what options there are and what questions to ask.
Also, make sure that your developer is working with modern technologies and best industry practices, no matter if they know your business model or not. Modern practices lead to better search engine results and good usability across multiple browser types and operating systems.
Ask your website developer about their skill set and attention to best and industry standards. Ask if they are using most modern HTML coding, high quality CSS for best cross browser compatibility, smart basic search engine optimization practices, and a site that is foundational in that you can add more pages or content down the line. You may want to ask how far their technical strengths are in custom programming, ecommerce, content management system development, or other skills if you know you may need them.
A website company's work will most often speak for itself. Decide if you like their website design portfolio. A design portfolio will show you what styles a website company can deliver and what type of features to expect in their page designs. When you look at a website design portfolio, you can form questions about those designs that may lead to a better design for you. If you see something you really like, you can point out what you like about it, what you want, and what you do not want.
Ask for your website designer's client references. Who better to talk to than current and past clients? One should not feel strange about asking for this. A website is often not a small investment and one should be sure he or she knows what the website developer's customers are saying.
A website project requires proper preparation, attention to detail, collaboration, and more. Organization becomes as important as any of these items. You will want a website designer who can effectively communicate with you and your personnel, from project start to project completion. If you need a hand holder, hire a hand holder. If you want someone who will come in for planning meetings once a week as part of the project, hire someone who can commit to that.
A website developer needs to have organizational tools in place to keep the project on time and can get all involved to meet deadlines in order to meet time goals. Ask your website developer how a project process will go and see that you can agree to meeting times and other requirements for good outcome.
If you know when you need your website to go live, make sure your website developer will be able to make him or herself available to meet your deadline. If they have many projects at once, make sure they will make your project as important and will meet your time requirements.
On the other hand, if you require a designer who can be more flexible and accommodate you when you can make time, see that this can be done. If you know you want many designs or may change your mind in the middle of the project as to what direction you want to go, make sure you developer knows this and can work with you.
Developers may require more or less money depending on the flexibility you need. If you need the flexibility, however, the change in price may be an easier decision that if you did not.
Website designers have the luxury and flexibility to work wherever they have a computer with their website design software tools and utilities. A website client must determine what type of communication is required, especially when considering websites will need updates. Your website designer will probably be someone you will work with for quite a while if all goes well.
If your business is in Los Angeles, California for example, and you require someone to visit your office once a month, you should probably hire a website designer who lives in Los Angeles or nearby.
Many website designers teach themselves or take specific courses in school to be able to do what they can do. A degree is not a requirement, as nothing speaks for itself like a good website design portfolio, but a degree in a related field does add credibility. Degrees in Marketing, Graphic Design, Business (with emphasis in e-business), Communication, Programming, Sociology, and Psychology are additional assets.
Make sure you feel comfortable with the website designer you choose because you will most likely work with this person for a long time. Websites need updates and website trends change. You will want a website developer who will communicate with you about all of the things you can or should be doing with your website. Again, do you like the people you are about to hire?
Source: based on work by David Ephraim from a Los Angeles Web Design.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Understanding How Passwords are Stolen
Passwords are usually stolen one of two ways. First, you may have a real person trying to hack your accounts. If this is the case, they will start with the most common, and worst, passwords.
If the person knows you, they'll start with obvious information like your birth date, anniversary dates, names of your kids, or street address. If the person doesn't know you, most likely, they've skimmed this information off your social networking sites.
The second and probably most dangerous way thieves steal your passwords is through automation. Bots troll sites and automatically use the most common passwords first. The 20 worst passwords listed below are the most easily cracked passwords.
20 Worst Passwords
In 2010, RockYou.com had a security breach that leaked 32 million passwords. Imperva used this opportunity to analyze the passwords and came up with the 20 most common and worst passwords possible.
Password -- Number of Users with Password
1. 123456 -- 290,731
2. 12345 -- 79,078
3. 123456789 -- 76,790
4. Password -- 61,958
5. iloveyou -- 51,622
6. princess -- 35,231
7. rockyou, facebook, or twitter -- 22,588
8. 1234567 -- 21,756
9. 12345678 -- 20,533
10. abc123 -- 17,542 11. Nicole -- 17,168
12. Daniel -- 16,409
13. babygirl -- 16,094
14. monkey -- 15,294
15. Jessica -- 15,162
16. Lovely -- 14,950
17. Michael -- 14,898
18. Ashley -- 14,329
19. 654321 -- 13,984
20. Qwerty -- 13,856
Tips for Creating Safe Passwords
To keep your identity safe, follow these tips for creating safe passwords:
Do's:Keep your passwords random
Mix up numbers, letters, and capitalization
Change your passwords several times each year
Use a different password for every site
Make a password from a sentence - ex: I love my dog and 4 kids = ilmda4k
Don'ts:Don't use letter or number sequences - ex: 123abc
Don't use the same password on all of your sites
Don't use actual words for passwords
Don't use the name of the service in your password ex: Twitter123
Let's Learn from Our Mistakes
You have a choice. You can keep using the same passwords, make thieves happy, and risk identity theft. Or, you can learn from past mistakes others have made, follow these tips, and create safe passwords. Avoiding identity theft isn't that difficult. Follow safe practices online, install anti-virus software, keep security patches updated, and be aware of the latest identity theft information by visiting this site.
Source: scambusters.org #394
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
1. Over-sharing company activities
This is a sin of pride, when someone gets excited about something their company is working on and simply must tell everyone about it. Maybe you work for a drug company that is on the verge of developing the cure for cancer. Maybe the company is developing a new car that runs on curbside trash -- in other words, something everyone will want.
By sharing too much about you or your employer's intellectual property, you threaten to put it out of business by tipping off a competitor who could then find a way to duplicate the effort or find a way to spoil what they can't have by hiring a hacker to penetrate the network or by sneaking a spy into the building. To reign in the urge to share too much, it might be useful to repeat this saying, which has started to appear in the public domain: "Loose Tweets Sink Fleets."
2. Mixing personal with professional
This sin is closely related to the first, but extends beyond the mere disclosure of proprietary data. This is the case where someone uses a social network for both business and pleasure, most commonly on Facebook, where one's friends include business associates, family members and friends.
The problem is that the language and images one shares with friends and family may be entirely inappropriate on the professional side. A prospective employer may choose to skip to the next candidate after seeing pictures of you drunk or showing off a little too much leg at someone's birthday party. In sharing such things, you also stand a good chance of making the company you represent look bad. You have to understand what the objective of your presence on any given social network is. If it is for work, keep it for work only. If it is for personal/fun use, keep it for personal use only.
3. Engaging in Tweet (or Facebook/LinkedIn/Myspace) rage
For the person who has just been laid off or had their professional integrity called into question online, the urge to fire back with a stream of vitriol can be irresistible. Call this a sin of wrath.
Be mindful of what you say; any and all parties are listening, including your boss, spouse or future employer. Posting any content when angry is about as dangerous as sending flaming emails, if not more so. Think twice about clicking 'submit' because the world may be looking at your angry, immature rant for years.
4. Believing he/she who dies with the most connections wins
For some social networkers, it's all about accumulating as many connections as possible. Folks on LinkedIn are notorious for doing this, especially those in such LinkedIn groups as TopLinked and LION. This may seem harmless enough or, at the worst, just annoying. But when the name of the game is quantity over quality, it's easy to link or "friend" a scam artist, terrorist or identity thief.
Always verify the person who wants to get in contact with you. If you do not know the person, why are they trying to connect with you? Check if the profile of the other person is secured. If you can't retrieve a list of that person's connections, you have to ask yourself if you really want to go down that road. It is far better and safer to have 50 relevant contacts than 500 unknowns.
5. Password sloth
Another common sin is one of laziness, in this case picking passwords for your social networks that you're least likely to forget. In many cases, that means using the same password for LinkedIn and Facebook that you're using for your online bank account or work machine. If someone with malicious intent figures out the password for one social network, that person can now go and access everything else.
Using the same password on several sites is like trusting the weakest link in a chain to carry the same weight. Every site has vulnerabilities, plan for them to be exploited.
6. Trigger finger (clicking everything, especially on Facebook)
Facebook in particular is notorious as a place where inboxes are stuffed with everything from drink requests to cause requests. For some social networkers, clicking on such requests is as natural as breathing. Unfortunately, the bad guys know this and will send you links that appear to be from legitimate friends. Open the link and you're inviting a piece of malware to infect your machine. You should not click any link unless you're ready to deal with drive-by downloads and zero-day attacks.
7. Endangering yourself and others
All of the above tie into the seventh and perhaps most serious sin, which is that reckless social networking can literally put someone's life in danger. It could be a relative or co-worker. Or it could be yourself. Security experts advise extreme caution when posting birthday information, too much detail on your spouse and children, etc. Otherwise, they could become the target of an identity thief or even a kidnapper.
At the CSO Executive Seminar on Data Loss Prevention in Chicago, last month, Motorola CSO Bill Boni expressed his reservations about using Twitter, calling it a great way to get one's self kidnapped. "Don't be a twit," Boni said to those who might feel the need to divulge every detail about their location and what they're doing.
* adapted from an article by Bill Brenner, Senior Editor, CSO June 30, 2009
Sunday, July 4, 2010
May we celebrate that precious freedom for which our forbears fought and young men and women today continue to fight so bravely for...
the freedom that is inherent in the Stars and Stripes, our revered flag...
Celebrate Freedom this Fourth of July!
Freedom Is Never Free!
Friday, July 2, 2010
1. Determine who will lead the redesign effort. Look beyond your in-house Internet/Web technicians and/or consultants to advise you about your next redesign. For a redesign you may want to consider some more independent ideas from others in the field to get different and fresh ideas, not burdened with the ties to the past.
2. Consult Stakeholders. Your redesign should start by asking questions of others, especially customers, about how they would change the website if they could. By gathering ideas of others up front, you will have better insight in to what changes will benefit current as well as future stakeholders.
3. Set measurable and realistic goal. Because a single website can not be all things to all people, it is important to first determine what the primary purpose of the website is. Knowing this will help in setting appropriate goals for your redesigns.
Determine what you want the redesign of your website to accomplish. For example, do you want to improve the site’s stickiness (how long viewers stay on the site before clicking off)? Improve the site’s searchability (ranking with major search engines)? Add functionality (map and directions, printable coupons, contact forms, etc.)?
Once you have goals in mind, write them down. Undocumented, ill-defined goals provide no focus or direction for the redesign effort. You need enough detail for the effort to get started, allowing your web developers to bring their creativity and expertise to the task.
4. Get the talent from either in-house or an outside vendor. Graphics, web development, quality assurance, end-user interface, search optimization, and other factors should be considered. You need to ensure that the web development team has the skills necessary to accomplish your redesign goals.
5. Understand the latest technologies and how they can help. Technology is constantly changing. The current rage seems to be social networking, flash, audio, and video. None of these technologies were in the forefront two years ago and you can bet there will be other technologies on the back-burner that will be the buzz a year or two from now. Remember that there is accost to employing the latest technologies; costs involving money, time and performance. While your website may not need to employ expensive, top-of-the-line technologies, be sure it doesn’t appear to customers that your website is stagnant or outdated while your competitors’ sites are zooming past.
Know when not to redesign. If your stakeholders say your website is fine the way it is, you have had few if any complaints, and it is cost-effective and functional as is, then a redesign probably isn’t needed at this time. You should however, periodically check with key clients to determine the effectiveness of your website.
Usual Costs. As noted in a recent Info-Tech Research Group (an IT research and consulting company) report, an effective website redesign can cost upwards of $5,000 or more. Costs however vary widely depending on the type of redesign and technologies used. The report also noted to be wary of redesign bids that sound completely unreasonable for your requirements.
For many companies, their websites are their store windows and it is important that their websites convey the brand image desired. If it doesn’t, consider a well defined and expertly developed redesign, and reap the rewards.
Based on an 6/14/10 Phila. Inquirer article
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Since APT Web Design has been in business, about 50% of our clients had existing websites and for various reasons wanted a do-over. Interestingly, two clients actually wanted to drop eCommerce from their sites because they said it was more hassle than it was worth. Of the clients desiring a facelift for their websites, the look-and-feel of their sites had not been updated for an average of three to four years. That puts me right on average for a do-over.
It was not that I was unhappy with the look and feel of the AWD website, I just knew it was time to make some changes and in doing so, provide, as minimal as it is, a somewhat different look and feel. I retained the same basic color scheme, but went from a rounded-corner layout to a bordered-box format. Since I started thinking about a website refresh, other changes came to mind. I also broke out my blog-link and affiliate links from being buried on the About Us page to a link in the main menu on every page. And, I added an FAQ page to hopefully make more information about websites and how AWD operates to both current and prospective clients.
So now, having completed my modest website make, I have both a sense of accomplishment as well as the satisfaction that I indeed have practices what I’ve preached.
Take a look: apt-webdesign.com
Monday, May 10, 2010
- Email scams: One in 304 emails that are sent to us contains a virus and one in 404 is a phishing message.
- A scan of 22 million PCs by security firm Panda Labs in the second quarter of 2009 showed that just short of 12 million of them were infected. There's no way of knowing, but if the same proportion applies elsewhere, that means over half of PCs worldwide could be infected with viruses, Trojans, spyware and other malware. The biggest single category of infection is by banking Trojans and password stealers.
- The most phished organizations (that is, those who were targeted or used in phishing scams) are, not surprisingly, banks and credit unions. But this year, according to a spam/scam study called Project Honeypot, the social networking site Facebook, currently in second slot behind J P Morgan Chase, is predicted to become the biggest single vehicle for phishing.
- According to the Consumer Federation of America, one third of all adults have at some time been approached with scams (as distinct from, say, having their identity stolen). Lottery cons are the most common, followed by bogus grants and work-at-home schemes.
- The typical victim of a lottery money scam loses around $3,000, usually for supposed tax, administration or Customs fees, while those who fall for advance fee scams lose, on average, up to $4,000. The average identity theft victim gets taken for $5,000.
- Scammers profile their victims -- they know who makes the best target. For instance, a woman aged 70-plus is the most common target for a lottery scam, while a man in the 55-61 age range is the most common investment fraud victim. However, the age group that attracts the most scams is the 30-39 year olds.
- Almost two-thirds of people incorrectly believe a check is valid if a bank pays out funds on it. (It's not, and if the check subsequently bounces, the account holder is responsible for repaying any money they withdrew.)
- On average, 3,500 new sites harboring malware are set up every day. Online security experts McAfee reckon there are now more than 1.2 million different types of Internet malware.
- Up to 45,000 people contact the Federal Trade Commission -- the US agency responsible for preventing and halting consumer fraud -- with complaints every week.
- In 2008 -- the last year for which full records are available -- 275,000 Americans told the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center they had been scammed out of a total of $265 million. Non-delivery of merchandise and auction fraud accounted for 60% of this.
- However, this is only the tip of an iceberg. 10 million people were said to be victims of identity theft, losing more than $48 billion -- yes, that's "billion" -- a year. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a total of 30 million Americans ages 18 and older, or 13.5% of the U.S. adult population, were victims of consumer fraud of one type or another during a one-year period.
- Half of all identity thieves in a recent study came from a middleclass background, had a college education and an otherwise conventional lifestyle. Most of them had jobs and their main motivation was to buy luxuries. In other words, they're not all serial crooks or drug addicts.
- More than 3,000 fraudulent IRS tax agency websites were taken offline by law enforcement action last year. And, in 2005, before Hurricane Katrina even made landfall, there were 200 phony Katrina aid websites. In a recent intervention, the Nigerian Government shut down 800 fraudulent sites.
- 79% of all email in the US is spam. But the nation is only Number 7 in the spam league. Britain comes top with 94%, then China (90%), Hong Kong (89%), Australia (88%), Japan (86%), and Germany (83%). The Netherlands is 8th (78%) followed by Canada (77%).
- China is the world's biggest spammer, accounting for more than 11% of messages, followed by Brazil, the US and Turkey. Most spams are sent out by compromised "zombie" PCs whose owners are unaware they are being used -- up to 400,000 zombie machines are activated every day. In the US, California is the most prolific state as a source of spam.
- An estimated total of 125 trillion spam messages have been sent out in the past five years, says Project Honeypot. Monday is the busiest day for spam, and Saturday the least busy. 8am EST sees the highest volume during any day.
- In a survey by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group, one third of North American Internet users admitted they've replied to spam. The most common excuse is that they did it in error but some confessed either interest in the product or just wanting to see what happened.
- An estimated 40% of Internet users enter the same password for every protected site they visit.
- The scam ratio for work-at-home jobs posted online is 59:1. In other words, out of every 60 advertised jobs, only one is genuine.
- Almost 200 million phone numbers are listed on the "do not call" register but last year alone more than 7 million people complained that telemarketers called them anyway. Arizona has, proportionate to the population, the highest level of complaints and Colorado has the highest proportion of registrations.
To register or for more information, visit the Do Not Call site.
Not a pretty picture is it? But it's not all gloom and doom. Thousands of organizations, including Scambusters, official government agencies and crime fighting groups have joined the battle against online fraud.
Taken from ScamBusters,org Report Issue #375, 02-17-10
Thursday, April 8, 2010
So how can you please your visitors so they return to your site?
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Keep your site fresh; update the content on your frequently. Dormant sites are dropped by some search engines as well, which will reduce all your traffic anyhow.
2. Offer extra value to your visitors; you can identify related complementary sites and put links to these additional products and services. Ask those sites to do the same for you. You can also advertise books and videos that relate to your business and are not in competition with your own offers. And, you can offer printable discount or special offer coupons that your website visitors can use.
3. Encourage your visitors to bookmark your site; provide a button that will pre-fill an “Add to Favorites” on your visitors’ PC.
4. Add a link to your blog or other social networking site. Blogs or other social networking sites can draw visitors if you are willing to provide content to these.
5. Brand your website with a friendly, attractive scheme, so that visitors always recognize when they are on your site's pages. Use a clear logo and consistent 'look and feel'. Always include a 'Contact Us' link in your navigation bar.
7. Create a Frequently Asked Questions page which answers most of the concerns about your business, product or services that people generally ask. This helps to allay the main doubts people have when they first visit your website.
8. Use clear titles and keywords and a clear navigation so that your visitors can find their way back to your site if they lose their bookmark.
Visitors will come back if they like your products and see that your site is fresh and even more so if there's a different offer from time to time.
Based on info from Jay Allyson - Pro Marketing Consultant
Sunday, March 7, 2010
1. A day without sunshine is like night.
2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
4. 99 percent of Politicians give the rest a bad name.
5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture most people have.
10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
13.. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?
15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?
20. Why do psychics have to ask you your name?
21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, 'What the hell happened?
22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
STEP 2: Determine what tools you need to help drive the right traffic to your site. The web is a very competitive space—today there are over 11 billion web pages, so you need to be strategic in deciding what works best for you and your website objectives. Some of these tools include search engine marketing, e-mail marketing and search engine optimization. Also, now’s the time to decide how and where you’re going to spend your (limited) marketing budget.
STEP 3: How will you determine what’s working on your site and what isn’t? Some industry best practices will work for you; others may need some tinkering. Deciding how to measure your ROI (return on investment) and other crucial metrics is key to the success of your business. The best way to find this out is through website traffic reports, but you should listen to your customers as well. They will let you know what market tactics are working for you, what ones aren’t, and how to improve your results.
STEP 4: Apply what you learn from your metrics. These include page views, length of visits, site traffic volume and trends, and you should study them to improve your site’s content, navigation and performance. This enables you to offer a better experience to your visitors.
Monday, January 4, 2010
So just what are customers looking for when they come to your site? Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 things customers are trying to find on your website:
- Contact Information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and physical location.
- Product Information, which means in-depth information on the products or services you provide, including prices.
- Samples of your products or previous work.
- Support, including product information, troubleshooting help, FAQs, etc.
- Shopping, it is important for your customers to quickly find out how to purchase products, be it online or at a physical location where your products are being sold.
- Company Information, such as background information on the business and the management team.
- News and announcements, including press releases and updated product or service enhancements.
- Employment opportunities.
- Back Home, an easy way to get back to your home page where all paths begin in the customer’s mind.
- Simple Navigation that makes all these other items easy to find.
And AS A BONUS, don’t ever forget that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Use them liberally throughout your website, especially to break up large amounts of text.