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6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are valuable. 

Such a bold, yet controversial statement, right? 

You might be thinking, “Why in the world would negative reviews be valuable? Shouldn’t my business be striving to gain only five-star reviews?” 

Actually, no. Having perfect five-star reviews is not necessary. In fact, people don’t believe businesses that have only positive and five-star reviews. Studies show that customers trust online reviews much more when they include both positive and negative reviews. 

Nearly 80% of people research a company before they make a purchase. They read reviews to determine what the product does, what other people have to say about it, and if that is the product they want. Two-thirds of all purchases online are made by what people have read online. Isn’t that crazy? 

Many businesses think that the only way to get those conversions is to have only positive reviews listed on their site. But, that’s not necessarily true…

This thought process is the reason why so many small businesses tend to rely on positive reviews to boost their business. Reviews can indeed make or break your brand’s growth. But, it’s not totally dependent on positive reviews. Negative reviews actually help your business in more ways than one. 

  1. Negative reviews show that your business is imperfect

Before you say anything…This is a good thing! It shows your human side! There isn’t a business out there that is perfect in all of its endeavors. Businesses who receive ONLY five-star reviews may seem suspicious. In fact, customers think that five-star reviews are hard to believe. You may have experienced this while researching a product. You find a product you like, just to find only five-star reviews with similar verbiage in each one. It may have looked like the seller appointed their friends to write reviews or maybe wrote one themselves. Nobody trusts a company like that! Negative reviews are a good thing because it shows that your business is real and flawed. Responding to those negative reviews also shows that you’re professional, responsible, and reliable. You also have the chance to “right the wrongs” and show other shoppers that you’re responsive and helpful, regardless of the situation. 

2. It shows potential buyers that your review section is honest and reliable

Negative reviews and your response to them display your business’s character. A business whose review section is littered with only good reviews might be guilty of staging, using fake reviews and testimonials, or censoring the bad reviews. People are not looking for only good reviews! They are looking for a business to trust. Customers want to see that your reviews are reliable. They want to see how you respond to them! How are they going to see that if you censor your reviews or hide the downfalls of your business? Customers appreciate and trust a business much more when they can visually see that their reviews are honest and helpful. By keeping those negative reviews, you are helping your business look better online. Leave your reviews where they are and respond to those that express concern or negativity. Customers are also looking to see how you responded to those negative reviews.

3. Negative reviews educate your customers

Negative reviews help enlighten your customers on something they would not have otherwise known about. They show the flaws of the product or service and educate potential buyers about those downfalls before they make a purchase. The flaws mentioned may not have been something you noticed before. Keep in mind, a negative review isn’t specifically something negative about the product. It may be about their customer experience. Regardless, your negative reviews reveal real-life experiences and information that they would not have known about from your product description. This is another way that the bad reviews show that your business is honest.

4. Negative reviews help you find the weakness of your product 

Negative reviews are exactly like constructive criticism. It’s a great opportunity for you to look at your product from the eyes of a consumer. A negative review might not be a put-down, as much as it is an opportunity for you to better your product. Keep in mind, that not all negative reviews are “negative”. It depends on the contents of the review. A customer could be reviewing a bad experience, reviewing a product politely, comparing a first model to a second model product, or listing the pros and cons of a single product. Negative reviews come in various forms. Although reading positive reviews might make you feel like you did something right, you need negative reviews to know what you need to fix. They help you learn from your mistakes.

5. It’s an opportunity to engage in conversation with your customers 

Twice as many consumers look for negative reviews before positive reviews. Consumers are looking for validation before they make a purchase. Because so many people are already looking for negative posts, it puts you in a great position to engage with new or recurring customers. Negative reviews give you the chance to talk to your customers about their experience with your business and your product. This is not the time for you to hide the review so others cannot see it or respond to the comment with another negative comment. Neither option will solve the problem. This is an opportunity to hear them out, provide a solution, and make things right. This is also a great way to show that you are responsive and invested in your business. So, even if they had a bad experience, they received help and a viable solution.

6. It Boosts Website Conversions

Conversions occur when people spend more time on your website and view more pages. It takes some convincing content and some helpful reviews to get those website surfers turned into conversions. A website conversion is when someone completes an action on your website, such as buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing your content on social media. Conversions are incredibly important! You need them to make business! Oddly enough, customers who look for negative reviews are the reason for a 67% increase in website conversions. So, negative reviews actually help score your business more conversions. It must be something about the authenticity of your business… But, we’re just thinking out loud!

When you see that your business has gotten a bad review, don’t panic! It’s all about how you respond. First, you need to acknowledge their concerns and sympathize with them. Next, explain what customers usually experience and apologize that they didn’t receive that same treatment. You should then provide your contact information and offer them the opportunity to discuss the problem further. Finally, make sure your response is short and sweet. You don’t want to say something that might trigger the customer to be even more upset. A good rule of thumb is to keep your response to three sentences. As difficult as it may be to hold back those fire fingers, just stop and give yourself some time to respond. Combating negativity with more negativity or an attempt to prove the customer wrong will not only show that you’re unprofessional, but you’ll lose a lot of business. What you post online is there forever! 

Remember, negative reviews aren’t always a bad thing and they don’t always mean the same thing. Negative reviews can come in the form of a good negative review and a bad negative review. Just because somebody writes a negative review, doesn’t mean it’s true. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and sharing their own experience. People don’t always agree with somebody else’s reviews either. So, just because a negative review is posted, doesn’t mean others are going to agree with it. 

Reviews are absolutely essential for your business because they shape how customers view your business. It helps consumers create an opinion about your brand and your business. As previously mentioned, nearly 80% of consumers research a company before they make a purchase. Before you go deleting your negative reviews, think about all the ways they will help you and your business grow! 

10 Effective Ways to Gain Trust from your Website Visitors

Trust is a quality that’s expected but ironically overlooked. It’s a quality that’s required in every kind of relationship in order for it to move forward.

It shouldn’t surprise you that people consider trust just as important when it comes to online activity. Your website visitors expect a fast-loading, reliable, and accurate website. With an endless amount of fabricated information online, it has become increasingly difficult to trust the information we read or the websites we visit. People are now more aware of fake websites and they’re ready to ditch them! If visitors sense that your site might be fake, they will leave and never come back. That is why it is very important for you to make sure that your website is trustworthy. You might be known as the most trustworthy person your friends have ever met, but if that isn’t reflected on your website, then you will lose visitors and revenue.

If you haven’t seen many visitors to your website or sold any products lately, it might be because your website visitors don’t trust you. So… How do you gain that trust? Listed below are 10 ways that you can easily gain trust from your website visitors.

  1. Add a Headshot and/or pictures of your team

Add some pictures of yourself and your team to your website! By adding pictures, you will be giving your visitors a visual look at your business, which will help bring your website to life. You will be helping your customers get to know your business and its members a little better. Pictures can also eliminate any fears or anxiety, allowing your customers to know that they are dealing with real people and not robots! Showing off your team will help your visitors build confidence in your business. When customers have confidence, they will trust you enough to purchase from you or at least stay on your site a little longer. 

  1. Have your phone number and physical address listed 

Having your phone number listed will show that your business is easily accessible. Websites that do not have a phone number listed are very hard to trust because it shows they are hiding something. Sites that do not have phone numbers also make it impossible for customers to call if something goes wrong with their purchase. Your website should also list your physical business location. Having your phone number and business location listed adds a completely new layer of trust for your audience. People want to know that your business has an actual location. They also want to have a phone number accessible. Listing your business information will also help with SEO and your Google Ranking. 

  1. Create a Detailed “About Us” Page 

Get as creative as you’d like on your “About Us” page! This is the first stop for many doubting visitors. Your “About Us” page should include an introduction of you and your team, tell your brand story, share what’s going on behind the scenes, and let customers know where you are. You should add anything that you think accurately describes your business and team! You should also include why they cannot live without your product or service. Make sure that your “About Us” page accurately and completely encompasses who you and your business are! 

  1. Establish Testimonials and Reviews 

Testimonials and reviews are so incredibly important! It has been proven that people are more likely to buy a product when they see that others have purchased the same product and enjoyed it. Good reviews are basically free advertising for your company. Granted, you will get some negative reviews here and there, but don’t be discouraged! It’s necessary for your business to have reviews, regardless of their negative or positive intent. We do not recommend using fake profiles and testimonials to make it seem like you have more reviews that you actually do. It’s very easy for someone to spot a fake testimonial. Once your audience discovers that you’re using fake profiles to increase you business ratings, their trust in your company will fall. If you want to use testimonials on your page, use the reviews of your business that are already on Google. 

  1. Use Social Media and Blog Consistently 

You need to have an active presence on social media. Not having a social media account can come off as suspicious or that your business does not exist. If you already have a social media account, make sure that you are engaging with your followers who like or share your content. Businesses who do not respond or reply to comments from potential customers will lose the sale- no doubt! It’s also important to blog because your followers are going to begin to expect consistent and valuable information. By blogging consistently, the audience will begin to see you as an authority and trust you for it. You also have the option to add social media buttons to your website to give your visitors easy access. Be sure to not overcrowd your website with too many social media buttons.

  1. Make your Website Mobile-Friendly and Up-to-date 

You always want to make sure that your website is updated! A dated website can cause distrust almost immediately. Imagine visiting a website whose blog posts are over 2 years old, the home page looks old and untouched, and there are many broken links. You wouldn’t trust a website with that many problems, right? If not, why let your own website look like that? Over 50% of internet searches are on a mobile device, which is why it’s important for your website to be mobile-friendly. Your website design is one of the first impressions given to your audience. If you are building your own website, don’t take it lightly. The quality of your website is one of the first things that people will judge when they visit it. It should at least show that you are keeping up with industry standards and new keywords that people are searching for. Your site should also be easy to navigate and use. 

  1. Have a Call-to-Action 

One thing that will benefit your business and website is having a Call-To-Action. Give your visitors a reason to stay. Whether you’re offering a free newsletter or a discount on your products, a Call-To-Action would show that you’re actively selling products and operating a business. A CTA makes it absolutely clear to potential customers that they need to take an action on your website. A CTA will help motivate your visitors to try out your product. Visitors also expect to see some sort of offer or CTA at the end of the page. Without a CTA, your marketing message will be hard to push. You’ll be missing that final hook that you need to reel them in.

  1. Invest in a Domain name that accurately describes your business 

Look at your domain name and think about whether it’s still working for your business and representing your brand. If it’s not working for you anymore, consider changing it! Avoid choosing a domain name that looks weird or spammy. A good domain name should establish authority, reinforce your brand identity, and promote your business. If your domain name does not fulfill any of those areas, you may be giving off a bad impression. Avoid using numbers to replace letters, hyphens, and abbreviations. You should also make sure your domain name isn’t too long, too bland, or hard to type. You should also be aware of your domain name extension. Most companies opt for the .com extension because it’s the most well known. You can really choose any domain extension, but be aware of how it flows with the rest of your domain. Your domain name should ultimately say what you do and where you do it. 

  1. Double-check your website for typos and grammatical errors 

As silly as it sounds, your credibility is based on how well you represent your business on your website. If your website is covered with grammatical errors and typos, it is going to make it very hard for your visitors to trust you. If your sentences are grammatically incorrect, misspelled or seemingly odd, your visitors may view it as a scam. You’ll want to be extra careful when posting things to your website to make sure that it is accurate. On top of your business looking like a scam, it also makes you look unprofessional. 

  1. Offer a Secure Payment Connection

People are online shopping every day, especially now more than ever! The question of payment security never leaves the back of the mind. Your business could be offering awesome products, but if your payment options are not secure, you will have a hard to keeping visitors on your site. If you want to make your visitors feel completely safe, offer a trusted online payment method that is widely recognized by consumers. You will be setting your customers up for easy purchase and they’ll likely come back for more if they enjoy it. You will thank yourself in the long run! The most popular forms of payment that you can add are credit and debit cards, such as American Express, MasterCard and Visa. You can also include Google Pay, Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Keep in mind that customers pay attention to the safety badges, normally located on the bottom of the page, when considering purchasing something from an account. Studies show that websites who have these safety badges earn more revenue. 

Building trust with users online isn’t as difficult as it may seem! Creating a safe environment for users really comes down to maintaining a high-quality website and following best practices. Be sure to keep your website up-to-date and you’ll keep that trust you worked so hard to build! The last thing you want to do is lose your visitor’s trust. 

Make Someone’s Day with a Handwritten Letter

Handwritten letters are a lost art of the modern century. Nowadays, it’s almost unheard of to receive such a golden egg. It’s a rare commodity. Although they are not as common as they once were, we can all relate to the excitement that comes along with opening an envelope addressed to us. If we find them so exciting, then why are they so rare?

Handwritten letters symbolize so much more than simple thoughts penned to paper. They symbolize the thought and effort that went into the jumble of words that ended up in your hands. They stand for deliberation and purpose. 

We live in a world that is purely reactionary. As much as we love technology, it has altered the world in which we live. It has caused us to expect quick replies and receive fast solutions. We live in a world where news and information can be accessed with the touch of a finger. We live in a world that refuels itself through an instantaneous response. Things like texts, emails, and calls demand our immediate attention. Face it, our lives are a whirlwind of swift acknowledgment.

Handwritten letters are gentle reminders that it’s okay to slow down and pause to think. They are physical proof of our intention to tell a person how we really feel. Taking the time to write a thoughtful note displays the importance of the relationship. 

We recently received a short, yet immensely appreciated “Thank You” note from a customer a few weeks ago. She praised the work and support of one of our NOC Technicians. The gesture was so unexpected. It made our day to receive a handwritten note and to visually see how this customer was appreciative of a member of our team! It got us thinking about how one simple action can change somebody’s day and overall point of view. It sure changed ours! 

Handwritten letter we received from a customer

We feel inspired to now pass on that same act of kindness. If you ever have the opportunity to write a note to someone you’re thinking about or thankful for, do it! Don’t let that opportunity slip away! Instead of sending a text, send that friend, family member, or business a letter of your gratitude. We promise it won’t go unnoticed. If you’ve ever received a letter, you know how special it made you feel. Despite the expectations of our current world, we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and send a letter of gratitude! You never know whose day you might change. 

The Best 5 Ways to Drive Traffic To Your Site

The million-dollar question is, “How do I drive more people to my website?” Well, the answer is simple! You need to improve your online marketing techniques. You can do that by utilizing a few simple strategies to attract potential customers to your website. Although there are many ways that you can do this, here are five ways that you can get started.

  1. Create Valuable Content 

Content is KING! Have you heard that phrase? It is just meant to emphasize that content is very important, no matter what it is. You cannot have a website without having valuable content! Your website always needs to be providing something of value. You could start writing articles or reviews, producing videos, conducting interviews, or even adding a daily challenge to the website. As long as you are adding valuable content to your website, you are on the right track!

If you can produce good content consistently, you will see major benefits to your site. People will begin to see your website as a credible source and as that happens, you will grow your traffic organically. You can also help along that process by sharing your content on social media and encouraging others to share it! 

  1. Opt into SEO ( implement keywords into your site) 

Make it easier for people to find you organically by implementing keywords into your website. Let SEO do the work for you! Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. It is what has helped millions of websites get discovered online. SEO gives websites the chance to be the big fish in a small pond. Keyword implementation is essential when attempting to use SEO to your advantage. An important fact to remember is that 91% of internet users prefer to search for something organically. 

Implement keywords into your website, so that when people organically search for those keywords, your website will be at the top of the page.

  1. Use Social Media 

If you’re not already on social media, you need to be! Social media is an amazing tool for sharing content, which will help drive more traffic to your website. The more content you share on social media, the more people will see it. If your company is not great at generating consistent content, let somebody else do the job for you! You always have the option of connecting with our Success Manager, Brian Montgomery, who can help you revamp your social media and online presence! Your social media pages are another opportunity for you to brand yourself and your business. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to post valuable content, consistently! Your website traffic will increase just by sharing content on social media.

  1. Build Links

Link building is a very powerful technique that will drive traffic to your website and help you achieve a higher ranking in search engines. Link building is the process of getting other websites linked back to your website. For Google to find your post, it needs links from other websites! Unfortunately, you can have the best content out there, but if search engines can’t follow at least one link to it, your content will never be seen. 

This tactic is used in SEO because it shows Google that your website is worthy of a citation. If you can successfully build high-quality links, you will be putting yourself ahead of your competition. Create content that’s good enough for people to link. This is so important and it’s a great way to build a new audience!

  1. Contribute to other Websites 

Share your knowledge on various platforms and don’t hold back! One of the best ways to drive traffic to your website is to position yourself as an expert in the field. This means, don’t shy away from answering questions or writing posts on other websites or platforms. Engaging with other websites could easily transition into potential customers if they see you as a credible source. You will reach a new audience just by sharing your knowledge on various platforms. Don’t be afraid to contribute to industry blogs, forums, newsletters, or other websites. The only way you could be holding yourself back from having a large amount of traffic is if you don’t try.

Remember that doing something is much better than doing nothing. If you start utilizing these five effective strategies and implementing them into your website, you will be headed in a much better direction than you were before. These are very simple things you can start doing for your website today! If you need some extra help revamping your online business or website, get in touch with Hostirian’s Success Manager, Brian Montgomery, at brian.montgomery@hostirian.com.

Now, GO GET STARTED!

Meet Your Success Team: NOC Technician, Praneeth Jasti

If you were to call the Hostirian Customer Support line on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday you would most likely talk to Praneeth Jasti, or known to the Hostirian team as PJ. A former biomedical engineering student at Michigan State, Jasti has been one of Hostirian’s leading Network Operational Center (NOC) Technicians since March of this year. The 25-year-old says that even though he’s only been a part of the team for almost 5 months, he feels well adjusted and ready to take on the challenges that each day brings. 

“I answer calls, help people out with basic email support, do password resets, several troubleshoots, and answer chats,” Jasti said. “If there’s an attack going on or high traffic, I alert people if they don’t know already.” 

He says the problems on the job are usually the basic things, such as troubleshooting a device that’s facing issues. He says the best part of the job is that it allows him to learn what he wants to learn. Just recently, Jasti decided to change his academic path and is now pursuing a degree in computer science. Jasti says he’s always been interested in computers and this position has helped him understand what to expect as a student. 

He accredits his keen interest in computers to his father, who runs a tech company in South India. 

“I’ve always been a computer guy. Strangely enough, that’s why I went into biomedical engineering because I was trying to get into robotics and prosthetics,” Jasti said, “I had my first computer in the first grade, in India. It was from my dad’s office. It was this old, beat up, huge box of a computer and it had like 128 MB of Ram. We started playing games and I started fixing network stuff at home, like configuring WIFI when it first came out in India.” 

Born and raised in South India, Jasti moved to the United States 11 years ago to begin secondary education. Since then, his entire family made the move to America. 

“I didn’t like school there (In India), because our school was about 12 hours each day… We started school at 8, it ended at 5 and we had a study hour for 2 hours after. You study whatever you learned that day then you have an exam at the end. Then you start again the next day, ” Jasti said.

Moving to America gave him the freedom to choose his own path. Jasti says that things are different in India. He said that once you choose a career path, you have to stick with it. He says he has enjoyed living in America and having the freedom to learn what he wants. 

“Here, I can switch midway,” Jasi said. “I can switch from biomedical engineering to computer science and I don’t have to lose much of my educational credits.”

He said working for Hostirian has given him a more structured schedule. He schedules his life around his job. When he’s not working for Hostirian Customer Support, Jasti spends his time boxing, working out, and running his own photography business. Jasti says he is looking forward to finishing his degree. One thing that most people don’t know about him is that he can understand four languages: Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and English! 

If you have ever had a good customer service experience with PJ, let us know about it in the comment section! 

How to Increase your Online Bookings with This Powerful Tool

Imagine this… You have access to a reliable all-in-one calendar tool that will help your business accept online appointments and get more bookings. Sounds like a dream, right? Well… such a thing actually exists! The stellar technology that you need to start using right away is called Start Booking!

If you’re often caught up with your business and do not have much time to manage your online bookings, then Start Booking is your perfect solution. It was built to help businesses and individuals easily and conveniently accept bookings through their WordPress site! It focuses on simplifying your life through its flexible and powerful booking tools! 

With Start Booking, you can accept online appointments 24/7, offer flexible classes and group booking options, and extend your booking with third-party integration like WordPress. This powerful tool will help you land more bookings through its easy to use technology, save you a great deal of time, and help you understand what’s working with clear reporting and analytics. 

This tool will help you create and manage unlimited classes and schedules, hide or display specific class schedules on your website, and integrate calendar filtering! You also have the ability to set your office location, define office hours, invite users to your account, and assign specific services for booking. 

You are literally directing all your customers to one area to book an appointment with you. It’s so much easier than manually trying to juggle a full calendar and losing potential customers due to the disorganization of your business. You never have to worry about having a schedule that does not line up with your customers! From now on, your business bookings will be a breeze. The best part about this is that it’s all FREE! All you have to do is create an account and install the plugin into your WordPress site to get started! 

Start Booking offers two plans: the Individual Plan and the Business Plan. As you can see in the picture below, the Individual Plan is an excellent choice for those who are managing a single calendar while the Business Plan is catered to a growing business! Click on the button below to get started! 

If you would like your customers to book directly from your WordPress site, you will need to install the Start Booking plugin! 

  1. First login to your WordPress Admin. Find Plugins on the left-hand panel. Click Add New. Type Start Booking into the search bar on the right side of the page. 

  1. Press Install… You will only need to wait a few seconds for it to install. Then press Activate

  1. Once you have Installed and Activated Start Booking, you will be directed to the Start Booking welcome page. If you are not immediately directed, then click your newly added booking tab on the left-hand panel. Start Booking will urge you to create an account, or sign into an account! Press the “Start my 14 Day Free Trial” button above to get started!
7.  After logging in or creating an account,  you will then be directed to the Start Booking main page. Notice the array of options in the top right-hand corner of the page: Dashboard, Services, Classes, Form Editor, and Settings. It also gives you the option to log in directly on Start Booking! 

  1. Under the Services tab, you can manage or create the services you offer. Below you will see what the page will look like when you are on Services. The Classes tab will direct you to the Start Booking website. 
  2. Under the Form Editor tab, you have the option to create the service you are providing. You can also name your providers, create the appointment, and list other details about the booking. 

There are plenty of features on this Start Booking Plugin for you to explore and manage. Once you have your details organized, you will need to embed the plugin into your website. Thankfully, embedding the Start Booking form is very easy. You have the option to use the block embed technique if you are using the Gutenberg editor or to implement short codes on any page or post. 

To use the block embed technique, go to the page or post where you want your Start Booking form displayed. Press the plus-sign to add a block and type Start Booking into the search bar. You will have the option to choose to add classes, services, a single service, a CTA button, or legacy classes. 

If you wanted to embed a short code instead of using the block embed technique, then you will want to embed the class booking form and service booking form on two separate pages. 

There are three different short codes you will want to use, depending on your booking goal. 

Services: 

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This short code is best used on a page that you want to display the full booking experience. This page would show all the services you offer with a price and a description of the service.  

Single Service:

Use this short code if you want to predefine a specific service to be booked. Use the details option to either show the service details or skip directly to the calendar. (Tip: Remember to replace the service ID with your service ID.)

Classes

This short code takes your customers to a page where your classes are listed. From there, they are able to book and pay for classes. 

Note: This short code requires a paid plan.

Great, now you have Start Booking installed and embedded into your website! Your job is done! Now, sit back, relax, and let Start Booking do the work for you. You’ll find it easier than ever to land more bookings and appointments when you let Start Booking do the job! If you haven’t already, click the button below to get started! 

Breaking Down the Walls of .Com … History and More

When deciding on a domain name for your website, there are a few things you should consider. First, think about the brand of your website and how the right domain name will reflect your brand. Second, choose a recognizable domain extension that is easy for people to remember.

What is a recognizable domain extension, you may ask? A domain name extension is the ending of a website domain, such as .Com (The golden standard of all extensions). Some other examples of domain extensions are .Edu, .Org, .Net, and .Info. One of the most common misconceptions is that domain names have to end in one of these options, especially .Com. Surprisingly, there are many more extension options (280 total to be exact)! Did you know that there were that many extension options? Did you happen to think that the only compatible ending to a domain name was .Com? If so, you are not alone. A majority of people are under the impression that .Com is the only purposeful domain extension out there. There are many others to choose from. Domain name extensions may not even be something that you notice, but it has a big impact on the traffic to your site. 

It’s no secret that .Com takes home the trophy for the most well-known domain extension. That extension is the single most “accidentally” successful digital revolution to exist today! Well… we might be biased. But we challenge you to find something that rivals the explosive success of the .Com. There is no competition! Many people tend to think that there are only a few domain extensions to choose from, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! You already know the most popular extensions. Less common extensions that you might see tailing the end of domain names are .Club, .Download, .Site, .Loan .Store, .Men, .Biz, .MOV, and .Free. The less common domain extensions are typically very low cost or free, while the more popular extensions can cost you something fierce (only sometimes). All extensions are different and vary in price based on what extension you choose. 

Depending on your website, it may be worth the money to invest in a .Com domain name, because, as you already know, it is the most well-known domain extension out there! When choosing your domain, keep in mind that a popular domain extension, such as .Com, will help drive more traffic to your site. Regardless of whether or not you are using a .Com extension, the fact is that people will just assume that your website ends in .Com. If your website ends in any other extension, you will need to make sure that you market your site very well! For example, let’s say that Besty owns a Bakery named Betsy’s Bakery. Her website domain name is BestysBakery.Food. If Betsy only marketed her website as Besty’s Bakery, then naturally, a person’s first instinct would be to look up BestysBakery.com. Unfortunately, in that scenario, the customer would be directed to a different site and Besty would lose the sale. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing to have a lesser-known domain extension, we’re just saying that if you choose to have one, you better market it well! 

The .Com extension dates back to 1985 when it was meant to represent the commercial intent of a website. The .Coms were not thought of as businesses where consumers could buy things. Many companies with a .Com extension were doing government work. The 

Internet at the time was not yet a place where businesses marketed or tried to sell their things. It was built around educational and governmental entities. The extension quickly became one of the top-level domains, as it started being used by actual businesses. The .Com extension grew and became known worldwide as the most recognized extension of a website. The extension has since altered the way people think, live, and connect with others. As you can see, the evolution of .Com has some history behind it. Now three and a half decades later, .Com continues to be known as the top domain name extension. Think of .com as the Ferrari of all domain names…

Other reasons you might consider leaning towards using a .Com extension are because it leads to giving your brand better credibility. Many people are not familiar with less common domain extensions, which means people may have a difficult time trusting your site if you’re not using a .Com extension. This extension also implies that you are more established as a business and as a website. Some search engines even favor .Com domain extensions over others! This is not always the case, but studies show that search engines like Google have ranked non-country-specific domain names better in universal search results. 

There’s no rule out there stating that you absolutely need to have a .Com domain extension. There are 280 different extensions to choose from! Keep in mind that the .Com domain extension will most likely always be known as the best of the best. Although it is the most well-known ending to a domain name, it will not hinder your business website from growing or succeeding. Only you have the power to decide that! Now that you know more about domain extensions, you can move forward on your domain name and choose the best extension for your website! 

Your Website is Costing you Thousands of Dollars…All Because you Overlook THIS

Your website speed is important… and we mean REALLY important! It is a website quality that’s often overlooked. Did you know that your page speed plays a massive role in your annual business revenue? Yes… Really! It literally PAYS to have a fast website! Think of your website speed as a first impression. If you have a fast loading website then you’ve made a great first impression! 

The average time someone spends waiting for a site to load is three seconds. Any website that takes longer than three seconds to load will lose many customers and tons of potential revenue. Even the most well known businesses out there will lose money if they have a slow loading website. Research shows that a website delay of 100 milliseconds results in a loss of thousands of dollars of income. 

The human brain has a very short attention span and extremely high expectations of website speed (which can be a very challenging combination). People expect a response from an online action within one second. A one-second delay in website speed can result in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions. As mentioned before, this can cost thousands of dollars (or more) to businesses! The faster you can make your website, the more likely your visitors will stick around.

There are hundreds of reasons why a website might be slow. The best thing that you can do is to recognize why your website is slow and take the necessary steps to fix it. 

Your slow website might be the product of poor server performance, the location of the server, the amount of traffic on your site, large images in a complex file format, excess coding and unoptimized JavaScript, text graphics, too many file requests or plugins, unnecessary redirects, and an outdated content management system. There are many more reasons why your website could be loading slowly. Take some time to evaluate your site and determine what might be the issue. 

You must pinpoint your website speed issues and fix them as soon as possible. Your Google ranking depends on it! Google has started ranking websites based on the speed of its mobile and desktop websites! That means the speed of your website determines where your website ranks on a page in a Google search. The faster-loading websites will rank higher in Google search results. Google will also reduce the number of visitors on your site if your server is slower than three seconds. This is another important reason why you want your website to be quick! If it’s not fast, then it will be more difficult for customers to find your site. Obviously, the higher your website ranks on Google, the greater the opportunities for generating more traffic. 

A majority of web traffic today comes from mobile devices, which means your page speed needs to be on point! People consider a fast website to be reliable and professional. I mean… don’t you? A slow website makes people feel like the page is untrustworthy, insecure, and unsafe. You obviously don’t want your website giving off that impression. Studies show that once a customer experiences a slow-moving website, nearly 80% of people never return to the site. A slow website absolutely kills conversions! 


A good rule of thumb is to review your website often. Regardless of the problems you’re experiencing on your site, you always need to be looking for ways to improve it. A website scan will make sure that nothing is holding you back from making money or having a successful website. To make things easy on you, we’ve created a free website audit that will scan your website for responsiveness, on-page SEO, page speed, and credible links!

Hostirian Emergency Maintenance Notification #20200705-001

Scope

We are performing emergency network maintenance.

When

Start: Sunday, 07/05/2020, 10:00 PM central
End: Monday, 07/06/2020 06:00 AM central

Impact

We do not expect any service interruption. You may experience up to one, 15 minute instance of degraded network performance during this window.

Reason

Hostirian performs routine maintenance to ensure your services are more resilient and reliable.

How to Improve Your Business Marketing With TextMagic

Here’s the Tea! Nearly nine out of every ten businesses use email marketing to distribute their content. That’s A LOT of businesses! Assuming that your business is also using email marketing techniques; Is it working for you? Based on a 2019 study, only 11% of businesses use text message marketing. Despite the consumer demand for texting offers, not many businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity to build a new audience. THAT’S CRAZY! If you’re not already using text message marketing… You should start. 

As a business owner, you want to effectively promote your business without boring consumers! Because we know that nine out of ten businesses use email marketing, we can concur that consumers regularly receive too many promotional emails! The chances of your business emails standing out from the other business emails piling up in their inbox are slim! Maybe, just maybe, email marketing has worked for you…But you can’t disregard the numbers! Consumers want text message marketing! 

We can confidently say that there’s a simple solution to that problem and it’s called TextMagic! TextMagic is the answer to your desperate plea for easier and more effective communication with your customers! Yeah… We heard you from over here in Missouri…

Let’s take a look at the facts. Nearly 75% of people prefer to receive offers via text! If consumers want to receive offers through text, then why aren’t businesses providing that?

TextMagic is a business text messaging service for sending notifications, alerts, reminders, and SMS marketing campaigns. TextMagic is a necessary element to enhance business communication with your customers and grow your company! If a majority of people would rather receive an offer through a text message, then you need to be using a trusted service that allows you to easily send and receive messages (Cough… TextMagic). You must be where your customers are!  

Are you liking what you’re hearing? The TextMagic features allow you to create chats with your customers, combine messaging tools with a user-friendly control panel, send and receive text messages through your email, send personalized bulk text messaging using mail merge text, receive replies and view conversations as SMS chat, integrate SMS API with your business and text directly from your app, quickly import contacts and share them with your team, and integrate TextMagic into practically any business software. You can also use Zapier Integration to get access to thousands of business apps that you can connect and integrate. 

 

Getting started with TextMagic is simple. All you need to do is create a free account!

  1. You can start by creating your Free Trial by clicking Free Trial in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

  1. You’ll see this popup asking you to enter your name, work email, password, and country.

  1. Next, enter your information in the boxes provided below and click “Create my FREE Business Account”.

  1. You’ll see this popup asking you to check your email and verify it to process the activation of your account. 

  1. Once you verify your account, TextMagic will have you choose what type of number you would prefer. As you can see, you have the choice between a local number, a toll-free number and text-enabling an existing landline. I chose to use a local number, but you can choose whatever works best for your company!

  1. I selected the local number and it gave me the option to choose my country, the area code, and also go through the available numbers. TextMagic will also give you the option to choose Call Forwarding, which would forward a call from your virtual number to your actual phone number. It is a phenomenal tool to use if you want your virtual phone number to connect with your real number. Click Next. 

  1. This popup gives you more information on each feature and what you can do with it. Here, you can watch tutorials and ask questions. You can also choose to skip this page! 

 

  1. At the top of the page, you will see your account balance, the Buy Credit option, and the name of the account that you are logged in with. If you end up liking the features, you have the option to purchase more credit for SMS messaging! The great thing about this is that your unused SMS credit will never expire! SMS credit is also backed by the “money-back guaranteed”  which means TextMagic will refund all of your unused credit on the first request. On the left-hand panel, Under Compose, you’ll see chats, contacts, scheduled, and so on. While you’re on the Compose page, you can send texts! Enter the recipients of your message in the To field. You can type or paste mobile numbers. You can also use existing contacts and create a list with any amount of recipients! In the From field, you can choose the number that you want your messenger to originate from. Use the default settings to get the highest delivery rate. The default settings can be found in the settings section. You can either schedule a message to be sent out at a later time, preview the message, or send it immediately.

  1. On your screen, you’ll see three menus: the main menu on the left-hand side, the quick menu (which you will see by hovering your mouse over the plus sign icon), and your account menu (which you can see by hovering your mouse over your name). Under the Chats tab, you will see the contents of the message that you just sent from your Compose page. Unfortunately, there is no way to undo a message that you just sent. Another cool thing about TextMagic is that you can receive notifications on your desktop and your phone!

  1. The Contacts section allows you to create a new contact or list of contacts, send an SMS, import, block, delete, and share. You can do so much with your contacts on this page! If you don’t have contacts yet, you can add contacts by importing or copy and pasting phone numbers onto the page. The import process only takes a few moments! You can also send personalized messages to your contacts. You can organize those contacts into lists and share them with your team members in just two clicks. Under the service tab, you can manage your team of sub-accounts, view the history of messages, review invoices or detailed costs statements, check audit logs and reports, adjust your notification settings, and set up autoresponders and rules. 

  1. Another cool thing you can do with TextMagic is to create templates for your messages. If you frequently send similar text messages, then you can save time by making templates. To create a template, all you will need to do is click on the template button on the left-hand panel and press New Template. You will want to use a template when you create a new text message! The templates contain a tag, a picture, and personalized messages. It also shows you the length of the text, the characters, the parts, and the cost of the message (which depends on the number of parts, recipients, and length).

Take some time to explore the TextMagic features! The entire panel on the left side of the screen is there for you to easily navigate the website, send messages, create templates, receive replies, and view conversations and so much more. 

TextMagic also uses a very simple pay-as-you-go pricing model where the credit amount is deducted from your account only after you have used the service. TextMagic offers SMS bundles from $10 to $10,000 US dollars. If you’re not sure how much credit you need, you can click on the pricing calculator. It will help you decide which is the most suitable package for you! You will also need to choose a payment method. You’ll want to use your credit card, Paypal, or a regular bank transfer. If your account balance becomes too low and no credit is purchased, it will usually cause a service interruption, which is not great for any business. You can avoid this by enabling an auto-recharge and have TextMagic charge your card. TextMagic also gives you a good overview of the data that is being stored on its servers. You can download all your messages or contacts, as well as delete data from the TextMagic servers at any time. 

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, only 11% of businesses are using text message marketing. Consumers actually prefer text messages over emails! What better way to kick off that process than to integrate TextMagic into your business?

If email marketing is working for you…that’s great! But, ask yourself, “Could I be doing better?” 

The answer is YES! Sooo…What are you waiting for?