The Importance of Updating and Maintaining Your Website

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Your website helps your company put its best face forward.

Creating a website for your business is one of the easiest and most cost-effective steps that you can take to drive new customers to your business. In fact, small businesses that do not have a website are at a major disadvantage, as the vast majority of customers now use the internet to search for products and services before making a decision. However, it is not enough to merely create a website and hope that this drives customers to your business. It is important that you maintain, update, and periodically overhaul your website in order to ensure that it is a relevant and engaging content source for customers. While maintaining your business’s website may not be your number one priority as a business owner, here is a look at just a few of the reasons why it is critical that you continually update your website’s content.

First Impressions Are Crucial

One of the most important reasons to maintain your website is to give customers a good first impression. The fact is that many customers are now inundated when choosing businesses to work with, and they will look through several businesses’ websites before making a decision. If they click on your website and it clearly looks outdated, has poor content, or it is not user-friendly, they will likely move over to a competitor’s website that is easier to use and visually appealing. In fact, many people will only look at a website for a few seconds before deciding whether or not to explore it further, which means that you do not have much time to make a good first impression. Keeping your website looking polished and updated will help to grab viewers’ attention, helping to improve conversion rates.

Keep Customers Engaged

Once you have a potential customer reading your website, you will need to keep them engaged with up-to-date information. The fact is that you need to provide a reason for customers to keep exploring your website and for returning customers to want to visit your website again. Continually updating your website and blog with company news, updated services, and helpful information that is of value, will keep customers engaged. The longer that you can keep people interested in your website, the more likely you will be able to turn them into returning customers.

Improve Your Search Ranking

Of course, customers won’t have a chance to peruse your website if they can’t find it. This makes it critical that you are doing everything in your power to improve and maintain your website’s search engine ranking, which includes continually updating and altering your website for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The fact is that Google is constantly changing and updating their SEO rules and search algorithms. If you are not staying on top of the latest SEO guidelines, and you are not updating your website accordingly, your website could drop significantly in search rankings, making it hard for people to find your website. In order for your website to be effective, you need to continually update it with fresh content and the latest keywords, and you need to continue updating your SEO settings.

Ensure Your Website is Secure 

Staying on top of website maintenance is also critical in order to ensure that your website software is up-to-date. If you are using a content management system, updating your website with the latest security patches and bug fixes is critical in order to help keep your website secure. Without the proper updates, hackers will try to take advantage of your website, which could put your company, and your customers, at risk. Additionally, if Google detects that your website has been infected by malware, your site may be delisted until you get it fixed. Continually updating your website will ensure that it stays secure and it reduces the chances that your website will be compromised.

While you may not see website maintenance has a priority, continually updating your website is critical in order to ensure that your website is an effective and secure digital marketing tool. Contact us to learn more about how you can protect your business, and your website, from hackers.

How VOIP Phones Can Secure Your Post-COVID Business

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VOIP technology can ensure a seamless transition for your remote workforce.

Every business on the globe is adapting to the need for post-COVID protocols and business practices. A big part of that is emphasizing remote and online working instead of in-office and face-to-face work. If you have been relying on meetings and phone line calls, or if your business does not yet have an integral phone system, it’s time to rethink your infrastructure.

VOIP offers fully remote phone services tailored to the needs of a modern business. From customer service pools to official office phone numbers, a VOIP system can do anything a traditional business PBX system can do and more. But what do virtual phones have to offer in the post-COVID era? Being able to communicate remotely and set up your offices anywhere in the world with the same numbers will come in handy in the days of remote business. Let’s take a look at some of the key ways that VOIP phones can secure your business in a post-COVID economy.

Turn Office Phones into Home Office Phones

VOIP phone numbers are assigned and accssed based on employee login accounts, not physical phone lines. This means that your employees can take their office phones home with them for remote work.

Clients, customers, and business partners will still be able to find each in-office contact as if they were still in the office, at the same phone numbers and often during the same hours, even though your team has gone home to work remotely in COVID-safety. In fact, companies already equipped with VOIP experienced some of the least shake-up when transitioning to work-at-home policies.

Remain Available During Phone-Line-Cutting  Disasters

One of the overlooked consequences of COVID is lack of preparedness for local disasters. Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and wind storms are still happening this year, but services are slower due to the need for extra care when in public. This means that natural disasters that take out phone lines can be devastating for local businesses. Unless, of course, your business runs on internet phones instead.

Rather than being cut off from the rest of the world. your offices and employees at home can continue taking calls even when competition with landlines are out for repairs.

Install Phones in a New Location Without an Installation

Business doesn’t stop either just because there’s a pandemic on the loose. If it’s time to open a new location or relocate your current business, phones are a big part of that. Normally, you would need a team of phone technicians laying wire and installing handsets. Not so, with VOIP. Internet phones can be installed via software.

Simply have your VOIP handsets delivered to the office and you can set them up without the need for strangers to enter your workplace. This allows for no-contact installation and, of course, helping your team set up in home-offices without the need for any serious hardware or technician-led installation as well.

Make Your Company Remote-Friendly and Remote-Accessible

VOIP is the single most remote-friendly business communication software. You can transform a once-limiting phone system into a full-featured and API-ready network for communication. Every member of your team can have their own number, access to a pool, or multiple numbers that can all be accessed from any internet-connected device.

New team members can be easily onboarded. Clients and customers can always find you at the same phone numbers, with or without a landline in between. Allow your team to be remote, your customers to be remote, and even remote onboarding and installation with VOIP phones.

Relocate or Disperse Your Office With the Same Numbers

Finally, remember how easy it is to take one system of numbers and reorganize. You can send an employee to a new office location with the same number. You can put together teams of people with numbers that follow them or assign new numbers just for team use. You can send everyone home, still able to answer their office phones or move to a new location, keeping the phones, access, and numbers all exactly the same.

For remote communication at business class, VOIP is up to the challenge. Contact us today to consult on your business’ VOIP expansion.

Does Your Business or Organization Have A Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan?

A backup disaster recovery plan can make all the difference if disaster strikes.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to remind business owners and IT managers that the greatest time to plan for natural disasters is before it actually happens and not during or after they happen. When you review your current plans and strategies, how prepared are you for another pandemic or natural disaster?

COVID-19 continues to be spread from person to person across various states, and states of emergency were already declared in multiple efforts to take on the terrible outbreak. As more decisions need to be made in regard to reopening’s and internal/external changes, now is a great time to pull out your plans and strategies and make the necessary changes to your Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) plan.

What is a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan?

A Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan is a system of processes and procedures that everyone in your workplace will need to follow if a disaster or pandemic strikes. Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan should be one of the keys to helping your business survive during some of the toughest times that life may throw at it.

Do You Have A Plan?

Unfortunately, the majority of small businesses and many mid-size and large businesses do not have an effective Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan. Unfortunately, over 90 percent of those businesses will not survive if an outbreak, pandemic, or disaster as powerful as COVID-19 strikes. When a business or organization experiences significant downtime, a business or organization can lose thousands of dollars every minute the business is not operating.

Would your business or organization live to operate during the next year if you are forced to close your doors again for a significant period of time? It does not matter what your level of business is and what industry you are a part of, there is always a chance disaster could strike and impact your place of business.

Prevention Is Key

Before you make any decisions related to your Backup and Disaster Recovery plan, it is important to perform a full risk assessment. When you perform a risk assessment, your results will provide you with the tools you need to prepare you for any type of disaster. When you perform a risk assessment, you should take the following steps:

  • Create an inventory list of your equipment, networks, and security features that are a part of your business
  • Create a list of anything that may be a security risk
  • Gain an understanding of how your systems work and if they are working properly
  • Determine if there is anything in your business infrastructure you may be missing

It does not matter what type of problem or disaster may strike your business, it is important to make sure communication is open and accepted. One person should not be in charge of everything because no one person will be able to help a business or organization recover from any type of problem or disaster. As you prepare your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan, it is important to remember the importance of communication.

Everyone should be aware of whom they can call during the event of an emergency. How many of your employees will take on a lead role? How many communication channels will be available during an emergency? Everyone should be aware of when the Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan should be initiated, and they should be aware of their role.

If you are preparing to create an improved Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan or if you are creating a BDR plan for the first time, please feel free to contact us today for more information.