7 Tips to Secure Your Small Business Site

You rely on your commercial site to take care of customers and grow your business, but what do you know about cybersecurity? A single hack could reduce your company to ruins and lead to customer distrust. Take steps to secure your site and all the time, money, and energy you invested in your entity.


1.) Design a Secure Site

Instead of using free software, let a professional web developer build your commercial site. Use reputable online platforms and reviews to compare costs and delivery times. Ask providers “how much should you charge as a freelance web developer?” Dependable and experienced developers have rates between $15 and $30 an hour, but you may want to spend more, as you cannot skimp on-site security.


2.) Train Your Employees

Imagine learning everything about keeping your website secure only to experience a cyberattack because an employee clicked on the wrong email attachment. Establish basic workplace security procedures, so your workers don’t become liabilities. Examples of helpful policies include using strong passwords, protecting customer information, and implementing internet-use guidelines.


3.) Back Up Data

Make a habit of backing up essential business data. Experts recommend you not rely on a single backup to store data you cannot do without. Instead, use external hard drives and cloud storage. Keeping hard copy records may seem tedious, but it’s a move that could save your business and your reputation.


4.) Use Antivirus Protection Software

You likely already know about antivirus protection software, but it’s a tip worth repeating. All tablets, phones, computers, and other devices with an internet connection could spell doom for your business. Install protective software against spyware, malware, and viruses. More importantly, install updates when they become available.


5.) Implement Proper Password Practices

While using strong passwords goes a long way in protecting your commercial site, you can do more. Change your passwords every three months and make sure your employees do the same. You could also require multifactor authentication to tighten cybersecurity further. If any of your vendors access sensitive business or customer data, see if they offer multifactor authentication.


6.) Use Payment Cards Carefully

Tread carefully if you use credit cards. For instance, payment processors and banks should implement anti-fraud services. Check to see whether you have security obligations with your payment processor or bank so you honor your agreement. If you must use less-secure programs to conduct business, keep them separate from payment systems. It’s a good idea to have separate computers or devices for using the internet and processing payments.


7.) Know What To Do During a Cyberattack

Despite your best efforts, your company may succumb to a cyberattack. How you respond during the attack can either help or hurt your recovery chances. When you first learn of the attack, contain it as much as possible, which could mean taking everything offline. Next, identify the damage, find out which systems suffered from the attack and determine whether you have compromised data. Even after mitigating a breach, stay on the ball. It’s vital that you seal entry points and make sure the hacker didn’t leave a back door for later entry.

Government regulations may require you to inform specific parties of the attack, such as law enforcement and government agencies. You should also let your public relations, legal, and marketing teams know about the attack in case they need to make a public statement or inform your customers.

Don’t let proper online security fall to the wayside. Following a few tips and practices could help you reach your business potential and protect your peace of mind. Let eSEO Space create a secure and functional website and help grow your business. Learn more.

Understanding The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Its Rules

When it comes to running a business, financial security is one of the things that is being constantly looked at. As a service provider, here at eSEOspace, we want to make sure that clients get their money’s worth. Having said that, this has transpired us to comply with the guidelines of the Financial Industry Regulatory  Authority (FINRA) to ensure financial security protection. This means that all the websites that eSEOspace creates are according to the compliance of FINRA and its rules. 


What is FINRA?

FINRA is short for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where it is composed of members from exchange markets and brokerage firms. It is an independent, non-government organization that is designed to oversee and regulate the actions of its members. 


What is FINRA’s rule? 

FINRA’s rule serves as a guidance and protection to investors in the ever-changing market. It helps preserve the integrity of the market field and strengthen ties among investors and keep their investments secure.


Who is required to register with FINRA?

FINRA registration applies to both firms and individuals alike that are connected to the securities business of the organization. This includes people of the following position: directors, partners, salespersons, branch managers, etc. There is a certain qualification exam to pass as proof of knowledge in the said field.



How do I get a FINRA license?

Getting a FINRA license would require securities professionals to pass a series of qualifying exams. These tests will gauge one’s competence and ability in the said areas of the business before they become registered. Contact us today to learn more.

Woman designing a website and thinking about the ways web design impacts customer experience.

7 Ways Web Design Impacts Customer Experience

Web design is one of the most important things in how people perceive your business. When they get to your site, they want to see an easy-to-use interface that stays the same no matter what device they use to look at it. But there are many more things you need to think about if you want to leave a good impression and achieve great results. And to help you figure all of them out, we’ll talk about the ways web design impacts customer experience.

We’ll take you through 7 essential things and explain why you need to focus on them. No matter what marketing strategy you choose for your business, you can improve it if you follow the tips that we’ll give you today. You’ll get more people to your site, and more visitors means more conversions.

Let’s get right into it.


1. Appearance

As soon as your visitors click on your website, their customer experience begins. The goal here is to not make your first impression the last. You want to intrigue the visitors and get them to explore your site further.

Of course, you don’t have to do anything complex for the looks to work. However, you must stay up-to-date and give people what they want to see. You can’t have a website that looks like it went live in 1996 and expect someone to spend time on it.

So, here are four trends that you need to have on your site at the moment.

  • Responsive Design. Your site needs to look great on all devices.
  • Bold Fonts. Everything must be easy to read, so don’t pick your fonts without thinking about them.
  • Interesting Images. These are here to get attention and improve retention.
  • Video. Sometimes, a good video is all that a lead needs to turn into a customer.


2. Clarity

You want your visitors to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. If they can’t navigate through your site, they won’t have a nice time using it, and that’s a problem. Hence, you want to create a system that is easy to figure out and use. You want it to work intuitively, so the people get grips with it right away.

However, you can be smart here and design the navigation to your advantage. Think about leading people from your most valued and read articles right to your high converting landing pages that bring revenue. That, right there, is how you make money online. Of course, you need to find a way to make it look like your landing page is where they wanted to end up. But if you manage to do this, the sky will be the limit for you.


3. Professionalism

You can use your web design to show how professional and well-suited your business is. Your visitors will convert much more easily if you assure them that your company is reputable and trustworthy. Luckily, this isn’t too hard to do, and you need to incorporate only a few new elements.

First off, you need a culture page. It’s a place on your website where you explain your approach to daily operations and your values. Then, you have to have pictures of your staff. The visitors want to see the real people behind the company, so give them a glimpse of who you really are. And finally, share with them some of the great feedback you’ve got from your satisfied customers.


4. Loading Times

We can’t talk about the ways web design impacts customer experience and not mention the load times. In essence, the quicker your site loads, the higher your retention rate will be. Visitors will love your pages as they feel snappy, and Google will love your site because its users love it.

It’s a scenario in which everyone wins. However, to get everything to load in under three seconds (which is what you should aim for), you may have to make cuts here and there. Make your images smaller and remove auto-play from your site altogether. A video or audio should play only if a user clicks on it.

Take note of small things like these and before you hire a web designer, tell them what you want. Do it this way, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress.


5. Content

The way people experience content on your site also falls under web design. If you do everything as you should, what you write will always remain pleasant to the reader. You mustn’t sound negative, harsh, or rude.

Moreover, you need to be careful not to scare away the reader. Avoid things like disturbing images or getting too technical. All your posts and articles must be easy to read and understand, and the same goes for the videos as well.


6. Visibility

To put it simply: if your site is well-optimized and has a good SEO score, it will be simple to find it on Google. Your customers will only have to type in one of the keywords you rank for, and you’ll be right there. We don’t have to explain how that is good for customer experience.

As you can assume, good web design makes your site more visible, but why?

Well, search engine crawlers can understand your pages better. From them, they can figure out what your site and business are about, and they’ll rank you high. Now, you only need people to stay on your site when they click on it, and you’re all done.


7. Conversions

Whatever you do, the main goal of your web design should be to optimize your conversion rate. You can’t say that you’re getting results online if you aren’t converting visitors into customers. So, here are a couple of things you should focus on when designing your pages.

  • Color scheme. Use colors to make your CTAs more prominent. Make them stand out, but do it with taste. Make them desirable to click on, and people will do it.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t clutter your pages with busy backgrounds. Use sleek and modern designs to attract visitors.



As you can see, there are plenty of ways web design impacts customer experience. Be sure to spend some time thinking about it and figure out how to use those to your advantage. Follow our tips, and not only you’ll get more people to your site, but search engines will also love you more. Make your user experience better, and you’ll make more sales. So, it pays off to work on your web design.



Author bio



Richard Vance is a freelance writer and an SEO expert from New York. He helps companies from all over the U.S., and the world, improve their sites and achieve the results they’re after..









[Photo used: https://unsplash.com/photos/v9FQR4tbIq8]
desk setup

Apps That Save Small Business Owners Time, Money and Energy

How often do you find yourself trying to wear all the hats in your business? As a small business owner, you’re often your accountant, admin team and marketing department all rolled into one. Oh, and you also have to run the business, too! There are plenty of mobile apps available to help business owners like you free up some time and make life a little easier. eSEOspace recommends the following.


An App for Making Your Products Dazzle

When it comes to showing off your products, photographs make all the difference in the world. A poorly-lit and ineffectual image gives a bad impression, and could mean a lost sale.


Apps for Social Media and Marketing

As much as you might wish it would, your business won’t advertise itself. Maintaining a social media presence and putting together a solid marketing strategy can be a full-time job in itself.

Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that allows you to write and send targeted emails to customers. Use it to easily let people know about any offers you have on or notify customers when something is back in stock.

OptinMonster points out that all of the main social media platforms also have easy-to-use apps. Being able to access them from your phone can help you to manage your accounts while on the go.


Apps for Bookkeeping, Accounting and Payroll

Keeping your accounts compliant and up to date can be a long and laborious task, especially where it’s not your specialty. As your business grows, it will be important for you to have a system in place to help you stay organized in the easiest way possible.

Using a system like QuickBooks Enterprise will help you to keep track of sales, invoices, stock and more — and ERP: efficient enterprise resource planning can be the hot ticket. The software is robust enough to make sure you have everything you need while also being really user-friendly. You will have comprehensive oversight of your accounts at your fingertips, as well as the ability to make tailored reports and integrate with a wide range of other software so you truly provide for the needs of your growing business.

If you employ staff or use freelancers, you will also need a payroll system. QuickBooks has all the payroll services you will need and fully integrates with your other QuickBooks products. You can make unlimited payments to staff with next day, or even same day, deposits. Employees can also view their pay stubs and see what vacation day balances they have available.

Wave is another app that is designed with freelancers and small businesses in mind. The intention behind Wave was to encourage small business owners to feel empowered to manage their finances and to not be afraid of it.


Apps for Project Management

Keeping yourself organized when you have multiple projects on the go at once is tricky. This is where having a good system for project management is essential. With Basecamp, you can assign projects to both yourself and your employees while keeping track of them on the dashboard in the app. You can assign projects a due date and add any comments where you need to.


Trello is similar to Basecamp in that you can assign tasks to people and manage them with cards on a dashboard. Trello also automates a number of tasks to help save you time. For example, add recurring tasks that need to be completed on a weekly or monthly basis.


Apps for Video and Messaging

When running a business, you need to be able to contact your employees in real-time, especially when you need something urgently. According to Sherweb, Microsoft Teams offers a suite of services, including videoconferencing and instant messaging. As it is powered by Microsoft, it is also easy to share and access applications like Word and PowerPoint within the app.

Slack is another app that can be used for free in helping you to maintain communication with your employees. Use it to send instant direct messages and for larger group conversations. It can also be used to message people outside the company and is therefore good for building customer relationships.


To Conclude

While you may be responsible for holding different roles within your small business, make the process so much easier on yourself by using some of the above apps. They can help you with your day-to-day operations and also in scaling and growing the business, too.


[Image via Unsplash]



person using laptop for graphic design

5 Things You Must Do Before Hiring a Web Designer

Having a website in today’s economy is essential for the success of your business. You likely already know that one of the top boxes to check in your business plan is to advertise your website wherever and whenever you get the chance — it not only serves as your 24/7 calling card, but it contains vital information that consumers need to learn about your product or service in order to initiate a transaction.

But how do you go about hiring the right web designer for the job? You need not look further than the eSEOspace services in web development, optimization, and more. Here’s an additional primer on hiring a web designer.


Lockdown your payroll

Payroll is how you pay employees and report state and federal taxes. It can be a complex state of affairs if you tackle it on your own, but getting a clear picture of the steps involved can help you make the process easier.

Employing a reliable payroll service is essential for the smooth running of a business. The right payroll system will help you with time tracking to simplify team management and employee timesheets. It’ll also include software integration, real-time reporting, and the ability to interact with the interface on the road using a mobile app.

By ensuring your payroll is on point, you’ll be in a better position to hire new employees, including a new web designer.


Know what you want

The world of web design and development is a varied one. Not every developer is going to know every coding language, for instance. For this reason, it’s essential you know what skills your project requires before you start the hiring process.

Are you building an app? Perhaps you’re developing an e-commerce site? Each of these will require vastly different skill sets.

If in doubt, seek the advice of a professional. At the very least, you ought to know what platform and languages you’re building in and even the plugins used if any. You should also understand whether you’re looking for a flat designer or a design/dev multi-tasker. Once you have this locked down, you’ll be in a better position to hire a web guru.


Know your budget

There’s no set budget for web design work. It’ll all depend on the scope of the work, what languages you’re building in, how extensive the design is, etc. That said, you ought to have a ballpark figure of what you want to spend on the project. You should also ensure that that ballpark is enough to get you quality work.

In the world of web design and development, you get what you pay for. When budgeting for your project you must keep this in mind. If something seems too cheap to be true, it likely is.


Know where to look

There are a number of marketplaces online on which to search for web designer and developer talent. However, they’re not all made equal. Before you start your search for a web designer, ensure you’re searching in the right places.

Do some research into the different marketplaces. Figure out where reputable designers and developers frequent and concentrate your efforts there. Your eventual hiring of a reputable worker will be the best reward.


Hire the right web designer for the job

Hiring a web designer is no easy feat. You must know the work, your budget, your payroll, and more. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to hiring the right web designer for your needs.

Contact eSEOspace now to request a proposal for your project!


Do your ideas need some refinement? The marketing and design consultants at eSEOspace can help bring your ideas to life! Contact (805) 500-3736 or email us at hello@eseospace.com

[Image via Pexels]


An illustration of business success, progressing from “idea” to “planning”, “strategy”, and “success”.

How to Choose the Best Marketing Strategy for Your Business

A white wooden chess piece facing black ones.In today’s thriving digital marketing landscape, there’s an array of marketing strategies, plans, and tactics to consider. More so than ever before, different strategies employ different tactics to help businesses reach their desired outcomes. However, it’s this wealth of choices that may leave you undecided – marketing decision fatigue, in a sense. With that in mind, then, let us use this article to lay down some fundamental questions. Going through them will help you choose the best marketing strategy for your business and its unique goals and needs.



Marketing strategy vs. marketing plan vs. marketing tactics

But first, let us briefly untangle and distinguish those 3 terms. They frequently see somewhat interchangeable use, which, while convenient, rarely helps in a practical sense.

In brief, these terms do relate, but each refers to a specific aspect of the marketing process:

  • A marketing strategy defines a business’s goals, and juxtaposes objectives with resources. It pinpoints the tactics it will use, and sets the foundation for a marketing plan.
  • A marketing plan, then, puts the strategy’s theory into practice. It maps out the exact tactics it will use, in adherence with the established overall strategy.
  • Finally, marketing tactics are specific, individual tactics a business takes up to achieve its goals. Those can range from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Pay Per Click (PPC) ads and anything in-between. Moreover, they may expand to on-page practices such as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Landing Page Optimization (LPO), and so forth.

Using those definitions should help clarify that your exact tactics should always adhere to your strategy and plan. Put simply, you cannot have a solid plan without a sound strategy, or pick tactics that don’t explicitly serve both.


How to choose the best marketing strategy for your business

An illustration of business success, progressing from “idea” to “planning”, “strategy”, and “success”.

Now we may delve into the fundamentals of building your marketing strategy. To do so, we will pose a series of questions for you to answer, leading you to optimal choices.

1. What are your goals?

As highlighted above, no two businesses need to follow the exact same strategy. Rather, your unique goals, resources, circumstances, and timetables will determine the optimal route for you. Thus, the very first step should be to establish S.M.A.R.T. goals – namely:

  • Set specific goals; pinpoint exact desired percentages, phrase them in unambiguous terms, and so forth.
  • Ensure you can measure your efforts’ success; identify specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track your progress.
  • Set goals that are achievable; consider your budget, market position, and so forth.
  • Keep your goals realistic; keep your current framework of operations in mind.
  • Time-bound. Set specific deadlines for your goals; this will help you gauge your strategies’ success regarding time.

Simply examining your goals under this lens should help steer your strategy in the right direction. Moreover, it will be of immense help in the steps to follow.

2. Who are your audiences, and what do they need?

With your goals in hand, you may now identify your audiences. Understandably, to choose the best marketing strategy for your business, this step is crucial. For the sake of simplicity, you will need to answer 3 key questions here:

  • Who are your audiences?
  • What do they need?
  • How can you best reach them and address their needs?

These questions do relate, of course, but require different approaches. First, to pinpoint your audiences, you may begin by using such tools as:

  • Google Analytics
  • Social media audience insights
  • Website analytics tools such as heat maps

Then, you may use analytics to inform customer segmentation and deduce their exact needs. Customer segmentation will typically split customers into actionable groups based on such factors as:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Behavioral
  • Needs-based
  • Value-based

Finally, the two fronts will converge to determine your audiences’ needs and the optimal way to reach them. Consider, for example, social media platform demographics; different races, genders, and age groups dominate different platforms. Thus, your choice of platform, your copy, and your overall marketing approach will need to adhere to your findings.

3. Who are your competitors?

Next, you should identify who your competitors are. This step is equally crucial, as it ties into your S.M.A.R.T. goals as regards “Achievable” and “Realistic” goals. Moreover, competitor insights also fuel S.W.O.T. analyses; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

In this regard, consider such questions as the following:

  • Do you have local competitors? Local businesses will typically need to focus on Local SEO, and thus, Google My Business (GMB) and Google Maps marketing.
  • Who are your digital competitors? Not all digital competitors may belong to your specific field. For example, as regards SEO, professionals of other fields may be targeting similar keywords as you.
  • What can you learn from your competitors? Your competitors’ successes and failures may offer invaluable, actionable insights for your strategy to benefit from.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to acquire such insights to help you choose the best marketing strategy. From simple Google searches to marketing agencies’ services, options abound. Examples of tools to get you started as regards SEO would include:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  • SEMrush
  • WooRank
  • Ahrefs
  • SpyFu

What’s more, many such tools will also typically offer other SEO benefits for your website as well.

4. How will you measure the success of your marketing strategy?

Finally, returning to the “Measurable” component of S.M.A.R.T. goals, you will need to pinpoint your digital strategies’ appropriate KPIs. The metrics you should pay attention to will vary depending on your exact tactics but will typically include:

  • Website metrics
  • External KPIs, such as social media metrics
  • Campaign-specific cost and conversion metrics

To address these in order, then, website metrics should typically include:

  • Website traffic; how much overall traffic are you getting?
  • Traffic by source and type; where is your traffic coming from? How much of your traffic is organic, paid, referral, and so forth?
  • Sessions; how many unique sessions do you get per day? What’s the average session duration?
  • Pages; how many views do individual pages get? Which are your most and least visited pages?
  • Exits and bounce rates; where do visitors typically exit your website from? How many visitors bounce, and where can you attribute this to?

Then, as regards external KPIs, you may consider the following:

  • Impressions; how many people see your ads for any given campaign?
  • Social reach and engagement; as regards social media campaigns specifically, how many people see your content? More importantly, how many engage with it, leading them down your sales funnel?
  • Email open rates; as regards email campaigns, how many people open your emails? Can your aforementioned insights augment your open rates?

Finally, you may consider such invaluable cost and conversion metrics, regardless of your tactics, like:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR); how many of your impressions lead to actual clicks?
  • Cost Per Click (CTC); how much does each click cost you?
  • Cost Per Conversion (CPC); given your conversion rates, how much does each successful conversion cost you?
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA); how much does the overall acquisition of a new customer cost you?
  • Return On Investment (ROI); given all of the above, how much is your strategy’s overall ROI?

Evidently, then, the importance of “Measurable” goals cannot be overstated. Only if your goals are clearly defined and readily measurable can you effectively pinpoint, analyze, and use such metrics. Fortunately, between marketing tools, platforms, and agencies, there is a vast array of options in this regard as well.



To summarize, it’s far from easy to choose the best marketing strategy for your business. The process takes due diligence, planning, and research. First, you will need to establish your exact, unique, specific goals. Then, you will need to identify and analyze both your audiences and competitors, settling on seemingly optimal tactics for both. Finally, you will need to consistently gauge the success of your chosen strategies, and adjust them accordingly over time. Hopefully, this article should help you through the process as you make this crucial choice.



About the author

James Jacobson is a freelance digital marketer, copywriter, and web developer in the making. As an SEO practitioner, he has collaborated with dozens of local businesses over the years, helping them acquire meaningful traffic.