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Top 7 Industries that Require High-Risk Credit Card Processing

Credit card processing allows businesses to accept debit and credit card payments from customers. In most cases, this entails using both point-of-sale hardware and software in combination with a credit card processing company’s payment system.

Many processors allow you to set up payment portals to accept debit and credit cards over the internet. Receiving payments when a physical credit card isn’t present, whether through a portal or over the phone, comes with a higher rate because the risk is larger. In the credit card processing industry, risk is a major factor. Certain firms or entire industries may be classified as “high-risk,” resulting in higher rates, charges, and terms and conditions than the credit card processor’s other clientele. Let’s start by deciphering what “high-risk credit card processing” means.

What is High-Risk? 

Although the word “high-risk” may appear obnoxious at first, don’t be put off by it. There are various reasons why firms are labeled as high risk, and the majority of them aren’t as “evil” as the phrase suggests. We all know that credit card firms (VISA, MC, and so on) want to safeguard their consumers (i.e., those who use credit cards) since they make a lot of money from them. As a result, these card firms provide their consumers with the option to dispute fraudulent transactions, issue charge-backs on goods they no longer want, and provide whatever peace of mind they require when using this small piece of plastic.

So, where does the element of risk come into play?

What happens if a customer is dissatisfied with her purchase and wants to register a chargeback? The bill falls to the business owner (or merchant). However, if that business goes bust or ceases to exist, the merchant services provider (MSP) is responsible for covering the loss. On the MSP side, this is where “risk” comes into play.

Who is a High-Risk Merchant? 

Some digital business models and industries are classified as risky by payment processing card associations. Several variables can put your company in a high-risk category, but the most common ones include chargebacks, refunds, and payment processing history.

Companies classified as high-risk run operations are more prone to chargebacks than typical merchants, necessitating in-depth examinations of their activities and transaction patterns. Before deciding whether to cooperate with a company, a payment platform calculates the likelihood of chargebacks and the source of those chargebacks. Payment processors frequently apply a rolling reserve to merchant accounts. The acquiring bank may be able to use the rolling reserve to settle chargebacks. Reserve is an extra layer of safety for the bank against unanticipated merchant actions.

Credit card processing in high-risk industries 

While most credit card processors keep a similar list of high-risk companies and industries, the terms and conditions associated with a high-risk label can vary greatly depending on the provider. A high-risk label usually means that a company will face higher credit card processing rates and different rolling reserve targets, tiered pricing plans, and a liquidated damages clause.

High-risk industries and businesses expect the following impacts to their transaction rates, fees, and merchant accounts:

i.    Fees

Configuration fees, payment portal fees, chargeback fees, and other fees are likely higher when you have been labeled high risk, possibly eroding your profit margin.

 ii.  Rolling reserve

For high-risk merchants, a rolling reserve may be maintained. This is a percentage of your everyday transactions that the credit card processor retains and then releases. It serves as an assurance to the processor if your company fails or a significant advancement harms your business. Credit card processors frequently hold 10% of your transactions for 90 days before transferring them to you.

iii.  Minimum reserve

Like a rolling reserve, a minimum reserve is a chunk of your transactions that the credit card processor requires you to keep in your balance at all times. It is a fixed amount that should be met in either one lump sum or a percentage of transactions over time.

Industries that require high-risk credit card processing 

1.    Adult entertainment

One industry that most banks regard to be a reputational risk is adult entertainment. The majority of conventional financial firms and bank sponsors refuse to do business with the adult entertainment industry. Although most adult merchants deal in large amounts of money and run a profitable business, this is the case.

2.    Firearms

Firearms are purchased for a variety of purposes. Some do it for hunting, leisure, and target practice, while some do it for security and defense. Most banks are cautious of the contentious firearm rules that frequently go against them. Firearms retailers who want to sell their wares online will need to use a gun-friendly payment processor. The credit card and shipping limits that apply to this business type are two of the most significant obstacles.

3.    Liquor/Hard Alcohol

Balancing sales and customer satisfaction while adhering to all current laws and regulations is one of the most challenging aspects of having an alcohol business. After all, the legal drinking age varies from country to country. If you sell alcohol online or in countries like the United States, you cannot afford to overlook the possibility of underage sales. Because of the nature of your business, bank sponsors are less likely to accept credit card payments on your behalf.

4.    Tobacco, e-cigarettes, and vaping

Tobacco merchants are considered one of the most dangerous industries. In addition to its rigorous taxation and age requirements, they have a history of deception. Many tobacco businesses have a history of higher-than-average credit card chargebacks.

5.    Auction websites

Scammers operating unlawful enterprises have tarnished the reputation of those operating respectable digital auction businesses. As a result, honest businesses have had difficulty finding a credit card payment processor.

6.    Services for memberships and subscriptions

Before accepting the credit card payment processing for businesses, bank sponsors are always concerned about financial and reputational hazards. Undoubtedly so, any form of unethical behavior might tarnish the brand’s image.

7.    Ticket brokers

Purchasing tickets to a live show has never been easier. Event attendees no longer need to queue; instead, they can use digitized mobile ticketing. The ticket sales sector grew as a result of this convenience. Traditional financial institutions, on the other hand, consider ticket brokers to be high-risk businesses.

Conclusion

High-risk businesses are not simply limited to the most prevalent profitable but bad-reputation industries. Businesses classified as high-risk businesses will need to select a reputable high-risk payment processor. A proficient high-risk processor will connect you with banks on demand and give you all of the risk management tools you will need.




How to Build Your Own Website in 2021

Building a website for your business, photography, art, or writings has never been as easy as it is these days. With tens of website builders competing in the market, creating a website should not cause you as much trouble as it used to back in the day.

The good thing about website builders is that you don’t need to be a tech expert or do manual coding to make a successful website. All you need is a trustworthy website builder that will offer you all the tools you need to build and promote a website.

After reading this brief article, there is no excuse for you not to create a website for your business, art, or writing. First, we will list a few simple steps for you to follow, and after that, making a website will be a piece of cake.

Features to Look for in a Website Builder

Because there are many website builders on the market, we chose the best features to look for in a website builder to lessen your confusion about which website builder to work with.

Here are some of the most important features in a website builder:

  • Easy to use: You won’t go anywhere with your website if the website builder you work with is difficult to use and navigate.
  • Versatile templates: A good website builder will offer you a library of versatile templates to choose from. Templates should fit all tastes and be suitable for different website themes.
  • Customization: It is important to be able to customize your website to your liking; this includes customizing layouts, templates, and images.
  • Ability to delete the website: A good website builder will give you the option to delete your website if you decide that you don’t want it to be online anymore (as an example, see Several.com article How to Delete Wix Account).
  • SEO and digital marketing options: For your website to rank on Google and receive traffic, it is essential for the website builder to choose to have SEO and digital marketing options like sharing your website on social media platforms.
  • Low cost and free trial: The most competent website builders will offer you various plans with different prices and a free trial. This will help you decide on whether this is the website builder for you or not.

Simple Steps to Build Your Website

  1. Choose a Website Builder
    The first step is to choose the website builder that suits you the most. Each website builder offers you various features for a fixed price. So select the website builder that fits your needs and budget.
  2. Create an account and sign up for a plan

After choosing the website builder, your next step is to look through the plans and select the one you feel more comfortable with. Usually, the more you pay for website builders, the more features you receive. However, some website builders offer you free versions that you can use without paying anything.

  1. Choose a unique domain name
    Your domain name is the name of your website as it appears in the URL. For example, Facebook is the domain name of Facebook.com.
    Choose something short, clear, easy to remember, and unique. It is much easier to remember a short domain name than to remember a long and complicated one.
  2. Pick a template
    This is the part where you choose how you want your website to look. First, select a template that suits your website’s topic, then customize it however you like.
  3. Upload your content
    Now that your website’s design is ready, you need to add valuable content to turn it into a real website. So you start adding text, images, and videos and formatting them in a way that encourages readers to come back to your website again.
  4. Preview and test your website
    Before you get excited about publishing your website, you need to review it first.
    Proofread your content and check if all the grammar is correct. Make sure that your menu is working properly. Check the speed of your website. And last but not least, check that your website works on both desktop and mobile.
  5. Publish your website
    Congratulations! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. After going through all the previous six steps, you can now click the publish button and share your website with the rest of the world.



Tips for Businesses New to the Food Industry

​​Right now is an exciting time to be entering the food industry. But, it is important to remember that it is never going to be easy as a new business. Unfortunately, there are young businesses that fail all the time. So, you are going to have to work hard to have an impact in such a competitive industry. In order to get started, here are some useful tips for businesses that are new to the food industry.

Keep Things Simple

Starting a new business is exciting and you are bound to have plenty of ideas. But, your first year in business is going to be hard. You are going to have to watch your finances and focus on building a client base. So, no matter what angle you have for coming into the food industry, you have to keep things simple. In other words, only offer a few products or services to begin with. Offering too many options is going to eat into your finances and mean you have more expenses. This is only something you want to do when you know you have the customers to make it successful.

Know how to be Efficient

If you want to be successful in the food industry, you are going to have to learn from an early stage how to be efficient. In other words, you want to cut down on waste. Make sure that you do all of the preparation work first before you start to think about orders. For example, it can be helpful to have an electronic weighing scale in order to have precision. This way, you are fulfilling the needs of your customers but you are weighing out products in an efficient way. This excess waste can quickly accumulate into the kinds of expenditures that begin to break business models. Don’t be skimpy with portions if you don’t want to be skimpy but you need to be efficient with the production of them.

Always Ask for Feedback

Customers are quite open to trying out a new business. This is particularly true if they are local to their area. Indeed, in the food industry, people will be curious about what products you have on offer. One of the best things you can do is make sure that you gather feedback from every new customer you have. This is going to allow you to know what you are doing right and ways you can improve. What’s more, if they leave online feedback for your business, this is going to spread your good work to other people in the area.

Know Your Competition

Of course, you want to be focused on what your business has to offer. But, you also need to know what your competition is up to. This is going to give you inspiration and ideas, as well as see what customers are looking for. You can see what is working for your competitors and what they could do better.  Keep an eye on their websites, as well as their social media accounts.




7 Mistakes That Can Get You Banned From Facebook

Facebook is not just a social media platform. It has created opportunities for people around the world. Those with E-commerce stores use Facebook for business as it helps in the advertisement of various products. As such, most online stores entirely rely on Facebook and other social media platforms for product promotion.

However, several things can cause some problems with Facebook. This applies to both personal and business accounts, so ensure that you follow the Terms and Policies highlighting the dos and don’ts of this platform.

Facebook is a bit strict when it comes to the management of business accounts. That said, if the algorithm detects any strange activity in your account, you may be blocked from using Facebook services. Facebook can ban a user temporarily or permanently depending on the seriousness of the offense that is committed.

In most cases, people get banned from Facebook for the simplest mistakes. At times users have no idea why their accounts are banned. Also, most accounts are banned by mistake due to unknown system errors.

Things That Can Easily Get You Banned From Using Facebook Services:

1. Posting Misguiding Information

When using your personal account or Facebook business account, ensure that you relay the correct information to your audience/customers. You should conduct thorough research on all products before posting them on your page. Never post any information that you are not sure about because Facebook may limit your page from reaching more people. In a worst-case scenario, the account may be banned permanently.

2. Being Too Active or Leaving your Personal Facebook Account Dormant for Long

As funny as it may sound, being too active on your Facebook account can actually get you banned. You should be careful when sending promotion links, friend requests, or any other content. Little or no activity on your Facebook account can also get you banned. Additionally, you should balance how you manage your business account and personal account. If you leave your personal account dormant for a while, Facebook may ban your business account.

3. Objectionable content

Objectionable content is any piece of information that is defamatory, false, violent, abusive, or fraudulent. At times, you can easily get carried away when engaging with your customers on your business account. As it is with most social media platforms, not everyone will like your products or what you post. You should, therefore, exercise caution when responding to negative comments. Don’t say anything that falls within the bracket of objectionable content.

4. Using Fake Names

To be on the safe side, ensure that you use your real name when using Facebook services. As a matter of fact, Facebook highlights clear rules and regulations that govern how names should be written when creating accounts. There is a section called Names on Facebook that can guide you on how you should structure your name on a personal account or business account. For instance, Facebook does not allow the use of numbers and symbols when writing names. You should also avoid using titles and characters from different languages when you’re assigning a name to your Facebook account.

5.Engaging in Inauthentic Behavior

If Facebook notices any suspicious activity in your account, the AI may flag your account. Inauthentic behavior can be anything that misleads your audience about the origin and authenticity of the products that you are marketing on Facebook. It may involve any other activity that goes against the terms and policies that govern the use of Facebook accounts. When advertising your products, ensure that you do it professionally without breaking any of the rules.

6. Going Against Facebook’s advertising Policies

Before using ads on your Facebook business account or personal account, you should go through the advertisement policies. This will provide you with the necessary information on the types of ads that are allowed on Facebook. When running ads, ensure that you behave organically as this will prevent the Facebook algorithm from thinking you are a bot. Most accounts get banned because the advertisers create ads that are not in line with the regulations that govern the use of Facebook accounts.

7.Associating with Suspicious Accounts or Groups

The built-in Facebook AI is not only advanced but also intelligent. It can detect accounts and groups that are not following the rules to the latter. If you interact with multiple accounts or groups of that type, Facebook may ban your account. Before joining any group, you should double-check the type of content that the members post. The same applies to personal accounts, always check all profiles before sending friend requests.

What to do when banned from Facebook

In rare cases, Facebook may restore a banned account. This can only apply if the account in question was banned for no reason. If that is the case, you can file an appeal by submitting a review form to Facebook. If the platform determines that you didn’t break any rules, your account may be restored. Nonetheless, if you went against any of the rules, your account will stay banned.

Read the Terms and Policies

To safeguard your account, ensure that you read and understand the terms and policies. Besides, Facebook provides its users with detailed rules that are not only easy to follow but also direct.

You should pay close attention to the guidelines when using both business and personal accounts. If you do everything correctly, you will be able to advertise your products on Facebook without experiencing any problems.




Career Tips to Get Ahead in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Tourism and hospitality are the biggest employment industries globally. It doesn’t have to take an in-depth analysis to look around and realize it is a highly profitable and booming industry.

With growth predicted for the next few years and highly lucrative specializations, including adventure tourism, food & beverages, and sustainable hotels, tourism and hospitality is an attractive area to build your career in.

If you’re looking to break into the hospitality and tourism sector, whether because you have unparalleled skills or are passionate about high-end hotels, you probably already know how important management is. To help you get ahead in tourism and hospitality management, here are tips to guide you through:

1.    Master Soft Skills

While technical skills may easily get you noticed, you should rely on your soft skills every time, especially if you want to excel in the sector. The hospitality sector is also fast-paced, naturally requiring people who are resilient, adaptable, and can use their initiative.

Working in the field is a customer-facing and team-orientated role, where communication lines must be positive, clear, and professional, with enthusiasm always sky high. Keep in mind that it is all about offering services with a smile, and knowing that customers are always right.

2.    Plan Beforehand

Career planning is vital in every sector, but it is especially vital in the tourism and hospitality industry. This is because the industry has demanding hours, making it hard to take out time to plan ahead. Without a great career trajectory, both in the long and short-term, you run the risk of being drowned in the humdrum.

The best course of action is to identify a better career roadmap, which you need to pursue in the long-term, whether this means becoming a hospitality businessperson, world-class chef, or manager.

Depending on your roadmap, be sure to lay down long and short-term goals. Of course, your plans will change as you grow.

3.    Get Educated

Specialized tourism and hospitality courses will teach you everything you should know before you even get ready to enter the industry. It is a vital decision to take, and research and a considerable amount of time will go into it.

The hospitality and tourism management course you choose must be in sync with your future career. For instance, if you want to study culinary arts, ensure you choose a college or university that is popular for culinary training programs.

4.    Network

In hospitality and tourism, just like in other industries, knowing the right individuals will be helpful for the sake of climbing the ladder upward.

It also translates to knowing the right details and being affluent with valuable groups. It could even mean a great difference in the in-house and huge promotional opportunities, all made possible through your active development of essential relationships.

You can network in different ways. For one, you can speak to your colleagues and become more active. You also visit the Facebook page or website of the company often and socialize with your team.

5.    Speak to family and friends

Did you choose a career for money and job security, and now you cannot get reasons to defend your decision?

Well, money usually plays a main role in the lives of everyone. Although most are in the hospitality and tourism industry because they chose to, some still wish they would have pursued their dreams.

Hospitality is also an adventure on its own. There is much to learn, including messy decks, housekeeping, complaining tourists, and non-stop nagging clients.

Before you make any major decisions, ensure you speak to everyone who is close to you. Individuals who have known you forever are the right people to ask for their suggestions or advice regarding your career-changing idea.

The Bottom Line!

The hospitality and tourism management sectors demand a specific set of skills. The industry is growing globally, and it is a field which brings currency to many countries.

Learning how to make sure that the people who come to your tour agency, hotel, or restaurant have a great time and have no issue recommending you to other clients is key. If you are new to the industry, you can use tips to achieve your goal.




What Are the Benefits of Availing the Services of a Professional Web Designer?

The majority of small-scale digital businesses face a similar problem with their websites’ functional appearance and design. When it comes to beautifully designing your websites, leading web designers in Adelaide could be of great assistance.

A finest web design agency is one that will drive considerable traffic to your website via the use of beneficial tools, experience, and original ideas. Nowadays, digital entrepreneurs must engage a trustworthy web design firm to improve their sales and earnings.

75% of consumers judge a company’s legitimacy based on the appearance of its website. Therefore, your website’s fantastic appearance and functionality will make your sales and offer you the top place in the online market.

Web designers’ fantastic tools make your life easier and get you started on the right track with your digital business. Hiring an expert professional web designer for your internet business is not a difficult process. When hiring, look for a web design firm that has at least 30 favorable Google ratings.

Numerous advantages of employing professional web designers –

Many people nowadays assess the quality of your products or services based on the appearance of your website. 94% of first impressions are also design-related. A highly qualified web designer can assist you in selling your product all over the world.

You have the finest option to build your website using the services offered by web design firms. Professional designers will develop a search engine optimized online website to display your unique company site.

Regardless of the project or work, it is always preferable to engage a competent and experienced crew to get the job done correctly. It is important to engage a competent company when it comes to web design and development for any business website. Professional web designers are well-versed in the newest trends and can make your website user-friendly and responsive.

1.    Spectacular impression – When clients visit your website, they will almost certainly suggest it to their friends and family. Their advice will be based on the appearance and content of your website.

A leading web designer in Adelaide will assist you in developing appealing ideas in the minds of your target audience.

2.    Websites are simple to use and load quickly – If your web designer develops a link for your business, anyone with access to the internet may visit it. Likewise, if your consumers appreciate your services or products, they may share them with their friends and loved ones via your website’s connection.

3.    Excellent grasp of online business – A competent web design firm will develop a dependable website for you, so you won’t have to worry about the website crashing or failing at any moment.

In addition, they will design an SEO-friendly website for your company, so you won’t have to worry about the website’s rating in search engines.

Digital Campaign

The finest designers will assist you in:

  • Designing prospective designs.
  • Assist with the creation of a site sample.
  • Meeting with consumers to discuss their requirements.
  • Customer comments and ratings.
  • Maintain your web pages using the most modern technologies.
  • Creating innovative designs that appeal to a global audience.

Professional designers who complete your website’s work before the deadline and make your website seem accessible to clients all around the world.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the advantages of working with a professional website design firm. The list might go on forever. However, you should hire a leading web designer in Adelaide to build your company website for dependability, quickness, trustworthiness, price, and a clean, professional style.

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Author’s Bio

Shrey Jain is the Co-Founder of Writofy & a Chartered Accountant who works with a team of creative content writers. He holds a forte in creating informative content on niches like crypto, business, fintech, digital marketing, and several others. In addition, his willingness to learn and share his knowledge can immensely help readers get valuable insights on varied topics.




Trend Predictions For the Future of Photography

For inspiration we take a lot of time to look back at history to refresh past photography trends but here Clickasnap is taking a look into the future and making some predictions you could expect to see for photography. Although these are only predictions, it can be exciting to assume what may come for photographers in the next few years. Whether this be advancements in photography software or changes to the way we take photographs all together. 

An introduction to AI in the photography world

AI or Artificial Intelligence is really beginning to creep its way into our everyday lives. This smart technology will allow for advancements in many industries. For photography, AI is already working behind the scenes in some of your camera’s features. Most of the automatic features of your camera use AI technology, for example autofocus, stabilisation and tracking. In the future the use of AI in photography will certainly increase as it works to simplify photography tasks, making shooting and capturing faster. 

The smartphone takeover

Although many pro photographers today may not be so happy to hear this, the smartphone is sure to complete a takeover in the coming years. As the design and utilisation of smartphone cameras improves year on year, we are seeing many more photographers ditching their DSLRs, mirrorless, film, and point-and-shoot cameras. The improvements in the quality of smartphone cameras in recent years has meant many choose to favour them, for the simple fact they are compact and offer the benefits of connectivity. Being able to share your images instantly provides photographers a simple and easy way to publish their best shots. For those with businesses which rely on the use of social media, smartphones offer an alternative from the long process of having to import and export images.

More competition in the photography world

The easier it becomes to shoot and snap photographs; the more people will take an interest in photography. Of course, this means that many more people will also start their own photography businesses, creating a lot more competition for photographers. Creating both a greater sense of community across the industry but also a greater challenge for photographers to find new clients and stand out amongst the growing crowd. With the rise of smartphone photography many beginners will take this as their opportunity to get into photography. Creating a rise in the number of people interested in photography and giving it a try.

Retro photography rewind

As we move into a more digitalised world, many photographers may look to escape into the past. Choosing to pair old imagery styles and techniques is something people may choose to do for a fun and rewarding approach to photography. For younger generations film cameras and print photography may be something they have never explored as they have grown up in a digital world. Learning this older style of photography can open doors for improving and broadening your knowledge of photography and cameras whilst creating some unique content. This will also help to keep the origins and heritage of photography alive amongst the new generations of photographers.




5 Aspects of an Accurate Legal Translation

Have you ever heard of the term ‘legalese’? Well, if you haven’t, let’s explain a few things. Legalese is basically the informal term used to describe the special language of legal documents. As someone who’s fluent in legalese, you’ll need to know how to both read AND write legal documents, and this involves being knowledgeable of the all-important legal terminology.

It’s not just lawyers, solicitors, or attorneys who directly work in the legal sector that are fluent in legalese – legal translators need to be experts in legalese too. The very best legal document translation requires the translator to possess a lot of technical skills and legal experience, that’s for sure.

Let’s take a look at the 5 most important aspects of undertaking successful legal translation.

What is legal translation?

Just like other types of translation, legal translation is the process of interpreting and converting the language of legal documents/materials into another. The different types of legal materials include but are not limited to contacts, wills and trusts, policies, licenses, and court transcripts.

It’s a legal translator’s job to respect the original source material and ensure the text communicates and represents the same core meaning, just in a different language. As a result, legal translators usually come from a legal background and are well-informed on technical legal processes.

1. Creating comprehensive translations

Legal translators must ensure the translations they write up are fully comprehensible and readable. Whether they use an automatic translation system or type out the document by hand, legal translators need the skills and knowledge to perform high-quality translations without any errors or mistakes.

2. Following style and format

Depending on the client, legal translators must be capable of following the specifications of a style guide. These requirements are non-negotiable and they’re especially important for making sure your translations are clear, coherent, accurate, and precisely what the client needs.

3. Understanding the document type

As already mentioned, legal translation involves working on a huge variety of complex legal documents, so the very best translators are those who know how to take on all of them – not just a few. Important steps should be taken to identify and understand the differences between each type of document. Then each document should be accurately translated according to its context.

4. Having subject know-how

Familiarity and subject knowledge leads to expertise. However, understanding the complexities of legalese can take years of working in law. You need to gain valuable experience in the sector to be the best at your job. As well as being well-versed in technical terminology, legal translators must also be aware of the governing laws and regulations that make up legal institutions.

5. Being trustworthy

Confidentiality is super important in legal translation services. You must remain professional and be 100% trustworthy when handling the legal content of documents. Your clients must trust that their information is in safe hands and you won’t leak or pass on any information, even if it’s accidental.




Best Applicant Tracking Systems for 2021

Looking for the best applicant tracking systems which you can use to get help while recruiting and hiring new talent for your firm?  Well, you are in the right place.

Applicant Tracking System is basically a software solution used by business corporations for managing their recruitment needs. Apart from storing massive volumes of data, it offers many benefits such as assessment generation, message distribution, interview scheduling, comparison, universal search, and communicating with clients.

Applicant Tracking Systems offer plenty of such tools that can be very helpful for a recruiter in finding the most suitable candidate for a specific job. Some of the key features provided by such systems are job description templates, a centralized hiring dashboard, premium & free job board, branded careers pages, advanced reporting & analytics, convenient interview scheduling, etc.

Applicant management and tracking that used to be a very daunting and challenging task have become much easier thanks to this fantabulous software solution. However, selecting suitable recruitment software is a burden that may occupy a sufficient amount of your time and resources. Furthermore, knowing the functional requirements of ATS is also necessary.  In this article, we have suggested some of the best applicant tracking systems to help you out in this specific task.

So, without any further delay, it’s time to move on to our main topic.

Top Applicant Tracking Systems

Based on the extensive hard work and research of our R&D department, we have compiled a list containing some of the best applicant tracking systems that are being widely used nowadays. However, it is extremely important for you to understand the main purpose of such a recruiting software before choosing any of the given applicant tracking systems.

  1. Zoho Recruit.
  2. Manatal
  3. Oracle Taleo
  4. Greenhouse

Zoho Recruit

Zoho Recruit is one of the best applicant tracking systems specifically designed for corporate hiring teams and recruiters. With the help of this applicant tracking system one can easily post jobs on multiple job boards. Furthermore, it makes managing candidates, contacts, and clients much easier and simpler. Thus, one can save a significant amount of his time.

Zoho Recruit tries to present the solution of all hurdles usually faced by the recruiters. This fascinating tool offers reliable solutions for both in-house staffing agencies and recruiters. One can definitely count on Zoho Recruit for managing and hiring talented individuals because of the countless needed features it is offering.

Zoho Recruit is a very special tool for the recruiters as it allows them to customize every single aspect of their working day. It also allows them to automate certain tasks like updating interview status, sending emails, and many more. Furthermore, recruiters get reports and analytics at their fingertips which helps them in planning better strategies.

Thanks to its intelligent recruitment automation capabilities, Zoho Recruit is a very popular tool. However, the excess of features offered by this tool can be overwhelming for some individuals. Furthermore, mobile access to this tool is not properly customized. Users cannot manage hiring processes on their mobile phones.

Manatal

Manatal is the next-generation applicant tracking system that offers plenty of fantabulous features for its users. It is specifically designed to streamline recruitment processes from onboarding to sourcing and beyond. This amazing tool allows a user to funnel all of his recruitment channels into a single intuitive platform.

The Manatal’s recruitment SaaS has made recruiting new talent much easier. It is very easy to use an ATS solution that offers job portal integration, AI-driven recommendations, and many other needed features. Furthermore, it boosts candidate applications by posting jobs on thousands of premium and free channels including Indeed, Linkedin, Google, Monster, Facebook, etc.

One can easily manage all of his jobs and campaigns thanks to its user-friendly interface. The Manatal’s preferential pricing enables a person to save his money. The AI Recommendation System of Manatal is very reliable and can be very helpful in finding the perfect fit according to the job requirements.

Manatal does not offer a free plan. However, it offers a free trial to give you a better insight into what it is offering for you.

Oracle Taleo

Oracle Taleo is another reliable applicant tracking system that is considered ideal for big enterprises. It provides plenty of powerful tools for sourcing, onboarding, and recruiting. This best-of-breed applicant tracking system is designed to fulfill all recruitment needs of HR departments. This talent acquisition suite is being used by a large number of business organizations.

Oracle Taleo provides an intuitive and modern experience to both recruiters and candidates. This applicant tracking system can easily be tailored according to the unique organizational needs. Limitless configuration options provided by this system are more than sufficient to make this ATS solution attractive and easy to use.

Just like other ATS solutions, it also offers plenty of advanced sourcing tools. It comes up with an intelligent digital assistant to keep the audience engaging and busy for longer periods of time. However, the best part about Oracle Taleo is that it allows users to make data-driven decisions. Furthermore, it makes it easier to connect with individuals.

Other than providing a free demo option, it offers three pricing plans including developing EDU, Emerging EDU, and developed EDU.

Greenhouse

Greenhouse is a premium applicant tracking system that comes with tons of exciting features. It improves the recruiting experience for everyone.  Other than providing reliable sources for hiring the best talent, it also works on amplifying the team’s efficiency and business impact. There are multiple easy integrations that can be used for building a personalized hiring tech stack.

Greenhouse Onboarding provides a fascinating and enjoyable experience for the old and new employees. It keeps everything accelerated with automated tasks and thus it builds a solid foundation for consistent improvement. By giving Greenhouse hiring maturity assessment, one can realize the flaws and drawbacks present in the recruitment procedure of his firm.

Other than offering an applicant tracking solution, Greenhouse also offers holistic HR administration that allows created focused & unbiased interviews and culture. This tool allows an individual to create a number of customized assessment plans that can be later used for evaluating the skill set and qualifications of interviewers.

Greenhouse is also available in three different pricing plans i.e. core, pro, and enterprise. One can select either one of them on the basis of his requirements.




How Getting New Skills Helps to Achieve Success in Business

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The reasons why so many people strive to get new knowledge are multifold. Yet, the most common reason behind this is achieving new goals. It is a time-tested belief that investing your efforts in learning something new has far more benefits, especially if you are an entrepreneur.

Since acquiring new skills helps you stay ahead of the curve in business, and secures your career against dynamic business trends, you should consider keeping yourself up-to-date. So, let’s dive deeper into the benefits of how the learning process can improve your life.

5 Benefits of Getting New Skills for Success in Business

1.    It makes you more versatile

Learning makes you more adaptable to change. You will be more flexible in your career and workplace if you create a growth mindset and believe you can learn new things. You will never be stuck in your business life having the know-how of all the trending business skills in demand.

2.    It opens new doors for your career

Transitioning into different roles as a business person becomes a piece of cake if your skillset is broad and dynamic. Your company would love to have you onboard and offer your expertise in challenging business roles. Standing in the middle of the crossroads to success is what learning new skills allows you.

3.    It has many personal health benefits

A person of any age who actively pursues knowledge and experiences is engaged in lifelong learning. Other than the business advantages, lifelong learning has very positive effects on our health as well. Keeping your cerebral connections always ignited helps lower stress levels, delays the arrival of dementia, and keeps any psychological diseases at the bay.

4.    It helps kill work-life boredom

It is exhaustive to repeat the same tasks every single day for prolonged periods. Such a regime creates a rift in your work-life balance. Learning new information helps you kill that boredom and save yourself from the monotony. You also have a chance to add an interesting perspective to your work-life while making you even more talented.

5.    It prolongs your relevance in a business

Technological revolutions keep shaping up the ways we do business. Only if a person is well-equipped with skills to adapt to new technologies will he maintain long-term relevance in business. So, if you love what you do and want to keep doing it for the maximum possible time in your life, learning new skills is the only way to survive.

5 Fastest Ways of Getting New Skills

1.    Make Best Use of Pareto Principle

“Believe it or not, it is not only possible to accomplish more by doing less, it is mandatory” – Tim Ferris 

You may know of this principle as the 80-20 rule. The key is to learn the most critical aspects of skill first and later build on that. You have to try to identify 20% of work that fetches you 80% of the skill outcome. For example, if your goal is to start a blog, try to stick to the relevant portion of SEO knowledge, and build on that. Do not beat around the bush, and do not devote your time to learning the least relevant things.

2.    Reverse Engineer Skills to Learn Quicker

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.” – Eric Ries

Break down the skills you want to learn into tiny, doable chunks. It will make it easy for you to learn a particular business regularly. Here consistency is the key, and the primary benefit is that the overall process will weigh the least on your mind. You will learn a skill in the least amount of time with a minimum impact on your mind.

3.    Participate in a Relevant Group

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” – Henry Ford

Whether online or offline, being a part of a group can add extra mileage in your pursuit of learning a new skill. The educational process alone can seem boring, and, eventually, weigh in on you. The team will make this process to be a walk to remember. Not only will you learn from others, but you will also be supported and encouraged to keep going.

4.    Use Punishment and Reward Strategy

“For every disciplined effort, there is a multiple reward.” – Jim Rohn

 The punishment does not mean to get lashed as they show in the movies. You can try to deprive yourself of your favorite foods until you learn a new skill successfully. Upon successfully learning a skill, rewarding yourself with anything that you love can go a long way. This strategy may not work for everyone, but you could try to motivate yourself this way.

5.    Seek Guidance from a Mentor

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself” – Oprah Winfrey

 If you feel stuck while learning a skill, a mentor can guide you to the end. Since that person is already equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help you learn a skill, your chances to succeed rise exponentially. When you want to master new skills, finding out what to avoid doing from an expert will help you learn faster. Having them guide you through the essentials is a big help.

Summing Up

At each step in your career, the newly learned skills will help you adapt to all the trendy workplace challenges that are bound to emerge with time.

Fortunately, there are so many ways to learn new skills. You can decide to utilize free resources available over the internet or take a paid course. Although both have their advantages, learning from a high-quality online course is practically more beneficial and will save you tons of time. However, it is up to you what will work best.

And never forget to have fun, make memories, and see it as a long-term goal. Also, refrain from making this skill learning quest an unhealthy obsession of yours. Remember the benefits and enjoy!

Author bio: Tatyana Artemova is an entrepreneur, mastermind expert, and founder at IStartHub.net. She writes about business ideas and growth hacks to support entrepreneurs on their business journeys.

Twitter https://twitter.com/Tetyana_Art




7 Phenomenal Tips for Perfect Professional Events

Professional events are a great way to bridge the communication gap between people. Well-organized and accomplished events not only can contribute to the overall growth of the company but also can be a trigger to expand knowledge and understanding about a particular subject. But not everyone knows how to organize the perfect professional events.

It takes more than just understanding the participants, you must be intimately acquainted with events like seminars, exhibitions, conferences, and others. If that sounds overwhelming to you. Here are some quick tips to make your events fabulous.

 1. Create Great Experiences

Events are about creating great experiences. Make use of engaging activities that’ll give them memorable experiences. With visual elements such as banners, signage, posters, and backdrops, you can create an immersive atmosphere around. Most importantly, signage can assist you in adding an appeal to the entire venue. To know what signage to use for events, you can find cases of creative architectural signage that’s vowed the viewers. Evaluate the elements based on your objective and move forward to incredibly exciting events.

 2. Be Mindful about Venue

A venue is crucial for the event’s success. Most of the time the venue is not given much consideration. It can downgrade the impact you can make with an event. Apart from the overall capacity of the venue, there are various other elements that need to be considered. Here are some quick ways to finalize a venue quickly.

Make sure the venue is spacious, well ventilated, accessible, and well connected to facilities in cases of any emergency. Additionally, a good parking facility and a reliable supply of electricity, water, and other amenities are vital for convening smooth events.

3. Use Signage to your Advantage

Signage are captivating elements to catch the attention of viewers. They can be handy in offering multifarious functions during any professional event. They can be at the rescue for the purpose of navigating starting from receptions to exit points. Or, they can serve the purpose of designating a location ranging from washrooms, conference halls, food stalls, and interactive spots. It won’t be hard to find signage help when back to organizing amazing events. Perfect signage can exponentially increase exposure while offering an opportunity for brand recognition among the guests or attendees.

4. Keep Event Engaging

Traditional long boring lectures are no more the way to go. Instead, keep the speech sections short and engaging. Come up with ideas that can help the attendees find themselves engaged. Activities such as quizzes, one-on-one interaction, and animated presentations can pique the curiosity levels to the anticipated points.

Alternatively, set an agenda so that the attendees can suit themselves and can navigate throughout the event effortlessly.

5. Set an Agenda or Goal

An agenda outlines the purpose of the event. With the objective, the participants are aware of the takeaway for spending their valuable time. Keeping that in mind, attendees can ask questions and connect with other people to create meaningful interactions. Thus, they will have a good time during the event.

On the other hand, it’s equally significant that the event progresses according to the schedule. One feature of a perfect professional event is that it always respects the agenda.

6. Introduce Key Speakers or Personalities

The presence of key speakers and notable personalities will attract people to events. Furthermore, attendees can have great event experiences by listening to their speeches and interacting with them.

Prolific speakers can light the mood for the audience and give them memorable experiences. Eminent personalities from their respective fields can benefit the attendees professionally.

7. Keep Environmental Impact to Minimum

Make sure the resources are fully utilized. Implement best practices at the venue for resource optimization and keep in mind environmental protection during the events.

While a venue with natural sunlight and ventilation is highly preferred, during nights lights with low energy consumption should be used. If your organization is focused on making a positive change to the environment, asking people to contribute to your sustainability goals can give them a different perspective about your business.

Hosting a professional event is a challenging task. It’s a well-known fact. Even the aforesaid tips are worthy only through proper execution of ideas.

Have a great plan that is adaptive to unforeseen incidents. Hope for the best outcome but be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Inspire the team to work together towards a common goal. Most importantly, never hesitate to take help.




Tips to Improve Your Website’s Performance

The performance of your website, in terms of both speed and functionality, is vital for a smooth experience for your users, conversion rates as well as organic rankings. If your website performance is lacking, you are likely going to send your customers over to your competitor’s instead.

With the rapid advances in technology, there is little excuse for a poorly performing website. Additionally, users are becoming adopted to having information presented instantly, so a slow-performing website just won’t cut it anymore.

There are many ways you can improve the performance of your website, from speed to user experience and organic traffic.

Here are 3 tips to get you started on maximizing performance and converting more customers.

Fix technical errors

Some errors are obvious to users and will directly impact their experience, while others cannot be seen on the customer interface but still indirectly impact your customer journey. Your business risks taking a hit if these issues that require your attention are not addressed. Some of the most common issues are:

Website speed

You can be penalized if your website is slow, by the search engines who consider speeding a ranking factor, as well as losing customers to your competitors in frustration. Website speed can be impacted by any errors mentioned below, as well as uncompressed images and Javascript.

Broken links

A few broken links aren’t a huge issue. But if your website is riddled with hundreds of broken links, you can be wasting the crawl budget which can leave important pages un-indexed and impact your page authority. You will also lead your customers to numerous dead ends which will impact their trust.

Broken images and alt tags

HTML attributions (alt tags) to images help the search engines and crawlers understand what it is by providing a description. It also looks unattractive and can impact conversions.

Hreflang errors

If your website has a global audience and various translated versions, it is important that the hreflang attributes are correct. It is a common mistake that hreflang code on websites will not reference each other or use the wrong language codes, which can cause duplicate content issues with crawlers as well as hinder the user experience as the translations won’t work correctly.

You can use tools such as Moz or SEMrush to identify technical issues or an SEO technical expert.

Optimize for long-tail keywords

To improve the performance of your website in the search results, your website needs to be properly optimized. There are many strategies that an SEO expert or agency can show you, and one of these key strategies is to optimize your website for long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords enable you to rank for and drive high intent traffic. This is because the keywords are more specific and will better match your ideal customer search. On most occasions, the long tail keyword will include a variation of the broader key term too, which means you can hit both of your goals in one and boost your rankings. Only ranking for the broad key term can mean missing out on key opportunities as well as being harder to rank for. Long-tail keywords should be used with page copy as well as blogs.

Enhance the user experience

You may have fixed all the technical errors and be driving high-quality organic traffic to your website, but without a good customer journey, they are likely to bounce and go to your competitors. A good user experience can decrease bounce rates and help needed by the customer, while increasing loyalty, conversions and maximizing revenue opportunities. To improve user experience, you must regularly review the current journey and conduct tests. You can use tools such as Google Analytics to gain more insights from your customer’s behaviors when they are on your website, as well as utilizing click testing tools to ensure your current website design is working efficiently for your customers.

While there are many ways to improve the performance of your website, these are some of the key elements you must consider for instant results.




How You Can Use Tech To Improve Your Fitness

Technology has been a major component of our day to day lives. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology and fitness have been the main source of entertainment for most of us. People have become more invested in their fitness, wanting more details about their overall wellness. There have been many tech products brought into the market like apps and wearable items. These products can track things like sleep length and quality, steps and calories burned, and apps can track your food and calorie intake.

Since tech allows you to track workouts and data on your phone, people are no longer restricted to having to depend only on gym equipment to give you an idea of this. Workouts have now become a mix of gym and home workouts. These accessories are so advanced that even professional athletes are using them to track their performance. We may not be professional athletes but even London IT Companies recommend using these devices to improve your fitness journey. Techquarters CEO, Chris, strongly encourages sports culture within the company and uses sports tech as well.

Fitbit

Fitbit is one of the first companies to introduce the work to wearable tech. They initially came out with wearable step counters and have constantly improved their tech to become more advanced. Their devices track a variety of things like distance walked, steps taken and calories burned. Their more advanced devices can even track things like your heart rate, your blood-oxygen levels and even the length and quality of your sleep. You can even set reminders to exercise.

Since many people have jobs that require them to sit in front of a screen for most of the day, using these devices can help people remember to stay active. People that work with Managed IT Services London businesses use, would really benefit from products that remind them to be active.

Zwift

Zwift is an online training program that can transform any bicycle into a smart device. This takes you on a virtual journey to the most famous tracks in the world. Here you can upload your stats and compete with other users. It also allows you to create and build your own workouts and track all your workouts as it records all your workout data. The TechQuarters CEO, Chris, has been a cyclist for many years and has introduced Zwift into his workout routine, especially during lockdown.

These are just two of the many options for sports tech out there. Whether it is staff from IT Support London based businesses or professional athletes, there is something out there for everyone.




Web Design & SEO: 6 Tips to Optimize for Better Ranking

Photo by Tranmautritam

“The best page to hide a body is Page 2 of Google.”

This is a 7-year-old quote from HubSpot founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah. While it’s become more of a running joke among SEO specialists, the idea still holds immense value today.

Say, you’re one of the best IT companies in Toronto and you need to put the word out that you’re here to serve. A business who wishes to make it through the age of digital marketing relatively unscathed needs to be readily available to its target audiences.

How do you make your business relatively available? By being amongst the first results they see when they search terms like “Toronto IT services” or “Toronto web design and development“! Less than 5% of the billions of people who use search engines everyday get past the first page of the Google SERPs—because, why should they look for something that’s already right in front of them, right?

This is why you need to design and develop an SEO-friendly website: to increase organic traffic and to earn first page rankings in Google. Even in the first stages of planning out your digital marketing strategies, web design and SEO should already go hand in hand.

You’re In It to Win It with Web Design & SEO

Web design and SEO share one ultimate goal: to provide users with a great experience. The better UX, the more chances you’ll be able to convert your visitors into paying customers. To do this, your site needs to be: 1) searchable; 2) functional; and 3) visually appealing.

Number 1 is the job of SEOs, while items 2 and 3 are the primary concerns of web designers. While many site owners think that a site that’s pleasing to the eye can easily cover up poor searchability, or vice versa, prioritizing one over the other will still end you up in a bad place. Think, missed opportunities when visitors leave or your Google rankings lowering.

What is the Point of Being “SEO-Friendly”?

Photo by Pixabay

Search engines like Google, Bing, and MSN Search don’t know right away what websites exist on the Internet. This is where web crawlers come in: these “spiders” or “bots” crawl each page on every website, interpret the content, and index it in their database. Once indexed, they can then serve the most relevant and valuable web pages to their users based on the topics they search for.

Making your website SEO-friendly means you’re helping these crawlers do their job efficiently and effectively while also helping your business get a better chance of getting indexed and ranking on the first page of the search results. To achieve an SEO-friendly website, you’ll need a collaborative effort from your SEO and web design teams, as well as SEO strategies that are tailor fit to your business and target customers.

Integrating SEO & Web Design to Rank Better

Simply put, effective SEO draws visitors to your site; great design keeps them there. Most SEO strategies magnify the importance of rich content and that is irrefutable. Potential visitors are always on the lookout for valuable information and they find these on your blogs, articles, and other website content.

Web design, though, helps elevate their experience when reading through and browsing your website for content. There are also certain aspects of web design that play a huge role in helping a search engine to crawl and index your website or web pages.

To optimize your website for better rankings, take note of these 6 SEO web design tips:

1. Make your website mobile-friendly.

In 2015, Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor. Two years later, they introduced mobile-first indexing, which means that the search engine predominantly uses the mobile version of your website’s content for indexing and ranking.

This only makes sense: in Canada alone, the number of smartphone users is estimated to have reached 31.38 million in 2020. More than half of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices, which means that more than half of your audience is also likely to be on their mobile phones.

Your business must leverage this by designing a website that’s mobile-friendly. If not, your users are going to hate you for it, and they’ll be looking into other sites that they can easily pore through in their phones. A website that loads poorly on a phone or tablet also has a high bounce rate, which tells Google that your website is…well, performing poorly, useless, and thus deserves lower rankings.

To avoid these problems, explore the wonders of responsive web design (RWD). Responsive web design allows websites and pages to display on all devices and screen sizes by automatically adapting to the screen, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You don’t have to create a separate website for each type of device and there is no need for redirects, helping the user to access the content they want to see as quickly as possible.

2. Choose a web design format that’s easy to read.

Do you remember websites from the early days of the World Wide Web? Mismatched color schemes, Comic Sans galore, disproportionate font sizes — you name it and you’ve probably come across them.

Believe it or not, with the web design tools widely available for use today, these kinds of sites still exist in some form. Ads and hyperlinks across the page, as well as text and image placements that do not make sense at all. This is how you tell people to go search someplace else and how you tell Google you’re not worth ranking any higher.

Keyword mapping, content building, and other SEO efforts are useless if the design elements of your page are an eyesore. If no one can get the information they want, what even is the point of having that page?

Web designers understand how to create websites that make it easy for users to take in your content so you get the most for your money. Some crucial design elements that must take SEO into consideration include:

  • Code – Website designers in Toronto have a few options when it comes to the code they use to render the major design elements of your site. Flash sites look cool but are difficult to optimize, lessening their chances of ranking well in search engines. Most stick to HTML and CSS, but be wary also of code bloat. Excessive code not only slows the page’s loading time, but it also increases the possibility of coding errors that, whilst they may have no direct impact on the site’s SEO, may still cause difficulty for the search engine spiders.

Keep your website in optimum condition by regularly auditing your source code and tweaking them to the benefit of your visitors by:

  1. Using unique and descriptive title tags
  2. Writing accurate killer meta descriptions
  3. Adding structured data (e.g. your rating, location, price range, or hours) so search engines can understand more about your business
  4. Including your main keywords in <H1> headings
  5. Adding alt text to featured images
  6. Placing a canonical tag on webpages for better ranking boosts
  7. Making sure your pages can be indexed

  • Text – Whether it’s the typeface, colour, or size, the text on your website must be readable enough for your users to get the information they need from you. Basic no-nos include “light on white” and “dark on black” colour schemes. Consider using web-safe fonts such as Arial, Verdana, and Georgia. Line length, line height, and letter spacing all come into play in ensuring the readability of your webpage.=
  • Negative space – Give your visitors space to “breathe” when they’re browsing your content. Often called “whitespace” (although it doesn’t necessarily have to be white), negative space is the space between graphics, columns, images, text, margins and other elements that helps the elements in a page make sense. Whitespace is a good way to organize text, organize elements and guide users’ attention to certain elements. Know why the Google homepage feels comfortable and oh-so-easy to use? That’s because it’s not too crowded—because of whitespace.

3. Speed up your website and pages.

There’s no faster way to turn visitors (and potential customers) away from you than making them wait for ages for a page to finally load. The longer it takes them to get to the content they need from your website, the more likely they’re going to click the “back” button and look for something else.

Your web design affects your site speed and page speed. Your site speed determines how fast or slow users can get from point A to point B across different pages in your site, while page speed focuses on how long or short your user has to wait for the content in a specific page in your website to fully load.

Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) as one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. Your website speed affects Google’s ability to crawl it: the slower your site speed, the less pages Google can crawl, the less of your webpages are going to get indexed.

Page speed is crucial to user experience: those with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page, which, again, are tell-tale signs for a search engine to keep you off page 1 of the SERPs.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights gives you valuable insight into how fast your site loads across all devices. According to Moz.com, here’s what you can do to make your site faster:

  1. Enable file compression.
  2. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.
  3. Reduce redirects.
  4. Remove render-blocking JavaScript.
  5. Leverage browser caching.
  6. Improve server response time.
  7. Use a content distribution network.
  8. Optimize images.

4. Optimize your images, too.

High quality copy is king, but you need to make images the queen in your webpages. Side by side, clean copy and appealing images make for an attractive website that screams, “Hi, we’re legit!” to your visitors. When uploading images to your site, don’t forget to:

  • Use descriptive and logical file names for your images. Help search engines “see” your images by providing context in the file name.
  • Keep file sizes as small as possible. Large high-quality images, while visually appealing, can slow down page load times—which decreases the quality of your UX, increases your bounce rate, and ultimately damages your rankings.
  • Add alt tags. These “alternate” descriptions help search engines determine what is being depicted. When users mouse over an image, they can read the description, too. Alt tags also help visually impaired users (and users whose browsers do not support your files) understand what is being shown, which is important for accessibility reasons.

5. Foolproof your site architecture.

Photo by picjumbo.com

Every website has some form of structure which determines how its pages are linked together. The more organized and well thought-of this structure is, the easier users and web crawlers can find what they’re looking for on your website. Good site architecture also sends link authority around your website, which you need in order to rank better in search engines.

When building or improving your site structure:

  • Keep your navigation simple. Your site hierarchy should be logical and the balance between categories and subcategories should be limited. The easier it is for your users to find what they need, the more likely they’ll convert. A good navigation experience also lessens your bounce rate, as your users are less likely to get confused and leave your site.
  • Create a URL structure that follows your navigation hierarchy. Your pages should have a descriptive URL that describes the content on the page. Include a few relevant keywords and divide them by hyphens, not underscores. Compared to random numbers and letters, descriptive URLs help search engines understand your pages and make your pages easier for your visitors to remember.
  • Provide a site map. Search engines need a guide that details all the pages and content on your website. A site map does just that and gives you the opportunity to tell search engines which pages in your site offer the best value and are the most important for ranking. Sitemaps also contain important metadata about your web pages to give them a better chance of ranking highly.

6. Keep long-form content that’s highly engaging.

At the end of the day, your content will be what draws your visitors into your website. And it’s not just any kind of brief, generic article we’re so used to posting in the past. Users are now more drawn to personalized and interactive content: besides information, they also want to feel that you’re thinking of them when you write about stuff they care about. For your business to matter to them, they have to matter to you.

  • Word Count – While remaining highly debatable, the ideal word count for long-form content currently sits within the 2000 to 3000-word range, depending on the complexity of the topic. 1000 might be a good figure to start with, but if you’re aiming for content that’s insightful and data-driven, your article might come short in providing value to your users.
  • Formatting – We’ve discussed web design format earlier in this article, but this time let’s zoom in on how articles appear in the user’s eye. It’s not enough that you’ve got something informative to give your users; they also have to be able to read the information without difficulty. For your long-form content to be readable, you can do the following:
  • Break the text up into sections with headings, bullets, and numbers to make your content easier to follow.
  • Insert visual and interactive content in between breaks.
  • Help your users find information faster with intuitive scrolling.
  • Include social sharing buttons so users can more easily share your content online.

Rise Up the Ranks with Web Design & SEO 

Never second-guess integrating your business’ web design and SEO efforts. To survive the digital marketing game, your website needs to be primed in both aspects so you can provide great value to your visitors and eventually convert them into customers.




What Is a Payment Gateway Used For?

OK, now you have started an e-commerce project. Or at least thought about it. Among the first things to think about (like, what you are to sell and how you are going to advertise it), there’s quite an important one too: how will you accept payments? That’s where merchant gateway services step in. It’s definitely a great way to aggregate payments and let your customers pay the way they want.

Ease

Connecting to a payment gateway makes transactions easier for both the customer and the merchant. The customer can use any payment method supported by the gateway, including Internet payment systems (like PayPal or Skrill).

You can try this way if you create your store on an established marketplace, like eBay or Amazon. But the percentage you pay for this convenience may feel overrated. That’s why you may want to create your standalone online store when your business grows large enough but still enjoy this easiness. Everything it requires is connecting a payment gateway.

By the way, you don’t have to connect just one. You can find several payment gateways with various pros: one is the most popular and reliable, another is the easiest to log in, alternative payment methods, and so on. It won’t be a problem if your business is large enough.

Safety

Gateways do not just make the transaction possible; they also make it clear. Thanks to their functionality, it’s easier to connect anti-fraud systems that prevent friendly fraud, fraudulent chargeback claims, stolen identities usage, or BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store) fraud schemes. These modules use cloud-based technologies based on device fingerprints, behavioral analysis, CVV matching, and so on, to detect potentially fraudulent transactions and decline them. At the same time, they use your merchant data to keep the customers informed and thus prevent unintended friendly fraud.

Of course, these features are paid, but, given the loss they help to prevent, they areworth the money spent. Choosing the right gateway will make your online trade incomparably calmer and smoother than when you accept payments to your merchant account directly.

Support

A good payment gateway is meant to be functioning 24/7 and do its job with no delays. It’s the sort of enterprise where nonstop support is crucial, so even a minute of downtime is a disaster that’s better avoided. Systems like gateways are not installed once and left to do their job; they need constant maintenance. The upside of this is that they are always being watched and controlled on the gateway’s side. The most common issues, though, won’t require even contacting anyone: they are covered in the instructions.

In addition, if you have any specific questions, you can contact the support which is usually available 24/7. If the question is too hard for them to answer immediately, they are likely to connect you to someone competent to solve the problem. Last but not least: when the new feature is implemented, you get a detailed explanation about what it does and how it works.

This Is the (Gate) Way

When you start the e-commerce website, there is no try. Do, or do not. And if you do, make your choice wisely. You may like this or that payment gateway, but you definitely need one for safety and comfort. And the sooner you integrate it, the more familiar it will be to you, saving time to learn and figure out in the future.

We still don’t mind if you share this link on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media. Let your friends know what you read and what you think about it. Or leave a comment if you have something to tell from your experience with payment gateways.