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Why You Need a CDN for Your Website

Why You Need a CDN for Your Website

Why You Need a CDN for Your Website

Caching your website is a crucial process for keeping your website fast. It relieves stress on the host and helps report information back to the browser. Great, right? We can do better. Shamrck uses world-class cloud hosting to make sure you have a reliable, speedy hosting service, but today, we’re going to talk more about WordPress content delivery networks, or CDN.

You only have a few seconds to make a first impression on a site visitor, so slow page speeds set you back immediately. Website caching and image compression are excellent ways to maintain fast load times, so why do we need a CDN? Physical hosting sites help “store” your host on a server. The server location affects load times regardless of your compression settings or caching. This effect is called latency. Naturally, when information has farther to go, it will take longer to get there. CDNs help reduce latency.

 

What is a CDN?

Content delivery networks, or CDNs, are a way to speed up your website. They are a network of servers built to store static content. By storing static page information in an easy-to-access location, your site can retrieve page information and deliver it to a browser blazingly fast.

 

How Does a CDN Work?

CDNs operate as a large network of servers meaning information can be stored anywhere in the world and relayed back to your website. Visitors anywhere can view your website faster. Your information is stored on a “host” server. As we mentioned earlier, the further away your visitor is, the longer the load times. This latency is due to “hops.” Hops refer to how often information needs to jump from server to server before being delivered to the visitor. The more hops, the longer the load time. Choosing the location for your host server is important because it will play a major role in your page load times.

By serving as a storage resource, CDNs automatically pull information from your website as information like HTML or JavaScript code for future use. Your server can then rewrite links to those pieces of information to make sure it’s pulled from the CDN moving forward.

 

CDN Benefits

A CDN can help your website perform better in every way, including sales. Visitors are more likely to have a better user experience when a site loads quickly and easily navigates from page to page. When you’re trying to convert leads to sales with website content, an engaging website is vital.

CDNs also employ a caching system much like your server. Site information moves from your server to the CDN freeing up bandwidth. On that note, a CDN is exactly that, a content delivery network. Utilizing the network helps handle large spikes in traffic since it can spread information over several servers.

Most importantly, CDNs are scalable. Your website will see user ebbs and flows, but ultimately, the goal is to grow your visits. When that happens, your server needs to be ready to handle the new traffic. Content delivery networks are a ready-made solution to make sure you don’t run into any kinks.

 

CDN Speeds

CDNs are becoming more and more popular for their versatility and speed enhancements. Just like with caching, a CDN reduces latency and load times. We know slow page speeds can kill your traffic and SEO. Every additional second of load time costs you potential sales and crucial visitors. Since the CDN stores much of the site’s information, page speeds go up exponentially.

One issue websites run into is a slow TTFB, or time to first byte. Without going too far into the weeds, this refers to how long it takes for your website to retrieve data for the browser request. Depending on the server and the data, your TTFB could have a negative impact on site performance. CDNs dramatically increase TTFB just by moving bits of information away from your server and onto the network. Shamrck’s website health check helps test for your time to first byte.

 

Shamrck and DigitalOcean Spaces CDN

Shamrck hosts on a cloud server and uses DigitalOcean Spaces CDN to speed up websites even more. DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure with data centers all over the world. Spaces is an S3-compatible object storage service that lets you store and serve large amounts of data. By working with the power of DigitalOcean’s CDN, Shamrck is free to provide excellent hosting and website performance.

 

Why a CDN is Right for Your Website

Working in tandem with your host, a CDN speeds up your site and boosts performance. It’s that simple. We walked through how CDNs work and some specific benefits, but everything leads back to enhancing load times, user experience, and other vital aspects of running a website. Utilizing a network of servers to store information and free up bandwidth on your host server is invaluable, and the results speak for themselves.

We’d love to help you get started on your website improvements. Reach out today and we’ll do a full website health check!

Enter Caching.

Caching is the quick and (sometimes) easy way to speed everything up. At a server-level, caching can be broken down into very technical terms, but for the average end-user, plugins like WP Rocket help take care of the work for you. Here are some ways to speed up your website with caching.

 

What is Cache?

A cache is a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place. In the software world, we refer to it all the time. Traditionally, when someone clicks into a web page, the site has to request information from the server, which sends the data back to the browser, and users see the end result. Caching speeds up your website by not requiring it to request page information every time someone visits. 

Since most webpages contain headers, bodies, and footers, continually having to piece together every bit of information after each click is, understandably, time-consuming. The process slows down page load times since the server is processing so many requests at once. 

 

Why is caching important for websites?

Caching saves much of the website’s information for a server, so it doesn’t have to handle requests for every part of a web page anymore. The cache stores files to a disk or RAM, making it easier to duplicate the information when requested. This process limits the amount of work going into loading and reloading webpages, making them load faster.

Since these repeat files are stored, caching reduces the stress on your server. A fast server equals faster page load times, which has a substantial impact on your SEO. But more on that in a minute. This process also speeds up the time to first byte (TTFB). Essentially, the TTFB is the time it takes for a browser to start to receive information from the server. A low TTFB is crucial to fast load times.

 

Server-level caching with a good host.

A good host will handle caching for you. There are generally four types of caching done at the server-level: Bytecode, Page, Object, and CDN. We can break these down one at a time to understand why each is essential and why utilizing a speedy server with a good host is vital.

  • Bytecode: Bytecode cache deals with PHP code. PHP codes must be compiled into what’s known as a readable “opcode.” Once the opcode is in place, the server no longer needs to sift through the PHP to return browser requests. 
  • Page: Page caching refers to storing the entirety of the HTML from a webpage, so WordPress does not need to generate the page over and over. Most pages are static and evergreen, meaning they don’t change much. The server does not need to build the page for every click continually. 
  • Object: Object caching refers to storing database query information. Querying a database can be arduous and time-consuming for a server. Caching bits of data produced by a search means speeding up the page load times since there’s no need to query an entire database every time.
  • CDN: CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. CDN caching stores website files like javascript, CSS, and media. CDN caching is a more complicated process because it involves storing information away from the server on a, you guessed it, separate network. CDNs can deliver the website information instead of the server, reducing the stress on the server and speeding up load times.

Server-level caching is crucial because a good host does all of this behind the scenes. Since page load times are vital to your website’s SEO, caching as much information as possible is paramount.

 

WordPress Caching with WP Rocket.

Sometimes we need to go further than our server-level caching. WordPress has mechanisms in place to replace or supplement caching strategies. You can use plugins to perform caching functions if you are self-hosting or using a shared host. There are dozens of plugins to choose from, but we recommend WP Rocket.  

WP Rocket is exceptionally robust but simple to use. Developers will love the ability to play around inside the plugin, but we love that it is excellent for beginners who might feel overwhelmed quickly. The WP Rocket dashboard and settings are easy to set up and understand. The plugin also seamlessly works with eCommerce sites to make sure page load times are blazingly fast.

WP Rocket is a premium plugin offering different pricing plans, but given the usability and depth of the software, we recommend at least trying out the free trial.

 

How caching affects SEO

One of the largest hurdles websites face when trying to rank on Google is page load times. The Google search algorithms weigh load times heavily when ranking sites. This factor makes caching a must-have. Without caching, your server load speeds will deteriorate as your pages become more dynamic, and the servers have to request and report every line of code/image/etc. for every click. 

The stress will be too much for your server, and page load times will be slow. Not only will that affect your SEO, but you’ll lose traffic almost immediately. No one wants to wait more than five to seven seconds on a website to load. For every second it takes until TTFB, your site slips slightly further in the rankings and becomes more invisible in searches.

 

Caching is crucial

Websites today are dynamic, loaded with images, and interactive modal windows. Ecommerce sites have tons of media, links, and walls of text. The sheer amount of data on each page is enough to strain any server. This is why caching is so vital. Without caching, servers can be spread too thin, and page load speeds can drop dramatically. The consequences can be disastrous. 

Imagine your website is a store on the main street, but you start to open later in the day than other stores. So, the city moves your store to 3rd street. Search engines are no different. Search algorithms look for the “stores” that open early. Websites with fast speeds will outrank the slower ones, so make sure your site is as quick as possible. Don’t lose your place in the market because you didn’t apply some simple methods to make your website faster.

Shamrck knows website caching is crucial to a site’s success. We’d love to talk to you about your website’s performance and how some simple caching techniques can help immediately.

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

Third-party scripts are scripts that can be embedded into websites by a third-party vendor. Mostly, they’re used for things like analytics, advertising, widgets, and connecting your website to other business software. Anytime you see an embedded video or social media sharing buttons, you’re looking at third-party scripts. 

Why are third-party scripts a big deal?

They’re everywhere! Every site you visit or click you make could send browsing information back to a third-party source. You may not know who is receiving your data and you’re at the mercy of whatever website you’re visiting. 

Your website is no exception. Those quirky widgets you think are fun and eye-catching might be opening you up to liabilities. Luckily, You can decide what third-party scripts you allow to operate. While many of these third-party scripts come from reputable sources, the internet is full of unreliable and risky ones. Here are three things to know about third-party scripts on your website.

 

Privacy Issues

When we browse the internet, our information continually goes out to several third parties. They can track us through cookies and place ads on one site based on our browsing history from other websites. Standard third-party tracking is pretty transparent. We can follow codes and get an idea of what kind of browsing is going on.

Unfortunately, there are some bad actors out there who are not transparent. Your email address, purchase history, location, and more can leak to eavesdroppers without you even knowing it. As a site owner, you’ll almost certainly add third-party scripts. Share buttons, form creators, and also comments sections all fall into this category. The best thing you can do to protect your users’ privacy is to research the third-parties you’re using and make sure to disclose the names of those systems in your privacy policy

If your privacy policy doesn’t have accurate information for users to know where their data is going, you open yourself to potential lawsuits. Be wary of any scripts that provide personal identifying information about your website visitors as they may be selling that information. That is against the law in some states and some countries so make sure you are careful.

 

Security Issues

Letting someone else’s script into your site makes you extremely vulnerable. That third-party has access to your entire front-end website. Before adding any additional scripts outside of your own, make sure the service you’re using is safe.

Sometimes, third-party scripts will actually build off information coming from another third-party. This process funnels data to at least two other companies, if not more. The more the code is exposed like this, the more opportunities hackers have to inject malware, which directly affects your website’s security.

Hackers are continuously looking for ways to access encrypted information on your website. Similar to the privacy issue above, some advertisers or third-party payment scripts have lax encryption implementation methods. Without realizing it, your customers’ information could be out in the open until the vendor encrypts the data. By that time, the information is available for anyone to see.

Privacy is essential, but taking additional security steps is paramount. Neglecting site security, including third-party scripts, can land you in the courtroom. Be diligent in your research before deciding to welcome in a third-party.

 

Optimization Issues

Another substantial problem with third-party scripts is the effect on your site’s optimization. Privacy and security are important, but they’re irrelevant if no one visits your site! Adding widgets and analytics to your website can slowly drag down site performance. Boosters like caching and CDNs can only do so much, but some third-party scripts can damage performance. 

For starters, these scripts can load large images or video files, putting more stress on your host. Slow page load times are a killer for your SEO scores since search algorithms put an enormous focus on website speeds. The more additional functionality you add with third-party scripts, the more work your server has to do. 

Having several third-party scripts can also run into the problem of launching too many requests off to multiple servers. The more requests a site has to make, the longer it will take to load. We discussed how CDNs can reduce latency, but even so, too many requests can overwhelm servers and slow everything down.

There are tools in place to help identify what third-party scripts are on your website. This diagnostic information shows how many third parties are running scripts and a breakdown of which ones take the most time to execute. Optimizing your website, including these third-party scripts, will be one of the most critical aspects of site maintenance.

 

Conclusion

Almost every website uses some kind of script from a third party. We all take advantage of inserting someone else’s code from embedded videos to pop-up forms to social media share buttons. Our challenge is to make sure we only use third parties we trust and trying to keep our site as optimized as possible. 

When adding any third-party scripts, the first step should be to research security protocols for third-party codes. Make sure you’re working with reputable firms before opening your site to additional functionality. Choosing from thousands of potential integrations is difficult. Choose wisely!

 

Do you know everything happening behind the scenes on your website? Shamrck offers a FREE 30-point website health inspection to help show you the effect third-party scripts have on your site. Schedule your check today!

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

3 Reasons Slow Page Speeds are Killing Your Website

3 Reasons Slow Page Speeds are Killing Your Website

3 Reasons Slow Page Speeds are Killing Your Website

 

Page speed is one of the most overlooked aspects of SEO. Slow page speeds lead to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. The user experience tanks before visitors get a chance to browse, costing you repeat traffic and potential sales.

Page speed is also a part of how Google ranks your website. Slow speeds can hurt your SERP despite how fantastic your site might be. Great content and innovative products are useless if no one can find you!

Briefly explained, page speed refers to the length of time it takes your website to load webpages. Articles, blog posts, product pages, and all other pages log speeds, and fast load times can benefit (or hinder) their performance. If your pages are not loading quickly, consider getting a site health check. The tool will help gauge your current speeds, but more importantly, it will help give you ways to improve your website.

Why is it such a big deal? Here are three reasons slow page speeds are killing your website.

 

1. The pages won’t show up on search queries.

 

Page load times aren’t a new qualifier for page rankings, but in 2018, Google announced the factor would have a more substantial impact on mobile rankings. We focus on mobile in particular because the majority of traffic is coming via mobile devices. In 2018, according to a study by Perficient Digital, 58% of visits to websites were from a mobile device. The majority of those visits come via search queries.

The lesson is that page rankings for desktop and on mobile are weighting page speeds more heavily than ever. Despite better content, your website may drop below competitors’ pages based on nothing more than load times. As we all know, more than 90% of clicks from a search come from the first page. If you fall below that, your website starts to become invisible.

 

2. Visitors are the worst critics of slow page speeds.

 

The most reliable critique of your website isn’t Google’s scoring algorithm. It comes from your traffic. We measure success in clicks and bounce rates. We want to know how many people are visiting our websites. How long are they staying on the site? Are they visiting multiple pages? Page speed plays a vital role in getting definite answers to these questions.

The bounce rate is when someone visits one page and immediately leaves a website. We use traffic analytics to track bounces and make sure our pages are performing well. High bounce rates are a visible red flag for administrators and content managers. Not only are people leaving the site quickly, but we also don’t know why.

The problem may be the page design, or they may not like the content. They may give up on the website if the page loads too slowly. There are several causes, and we can’t tell by only looking at numbers. We have to test different changes to the page to see what works.

Luckily, if it’s the page speed, we can find out with a simple test, and take steps to fix the issues. However, we’ll get to that later.

3. Web traffic is very impatient.

The main reason slow page speeds are such a killer is the fact that web traffic is very impatient. When we search for information, we expect to see it immediately. Providers measure WiFi speeds in megabits per second. For reference, a megabit is one million bits (a unit of data). Most carriers provide anywhere from 15Mbps to one Gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second. If that sounds like a lot of information, it is. Wireless providers like Verizon’s LTE regularly provide from 2-15 Mbps meaning download speeds are incredibly fast on mobile carriers.

This availability of blisteringly quick speeds only makes our standards as users higher. If a website can get 15 million bits of digital information to us in one second, we have high expectations. If not, we get bored or frustrated and leave. This exit can happen in four seconds or less. The industry threshold for eCommerce sites is less than two seconds.

According to a Nielsen Family study, websites have between seven and nine seconds to make an excellent first impression. If we can’t grab their attention in seven seconds, they’ll likely visit another site. Imagine now that they spend four of those seven seconds waiting for the page to load. It’s essential time we can’t waste.

The proof that slow page speeds drive away traffic is right there in the math. You only have seven seconds. Make them count!

How to improve

If it turns out that slow page speeds are the cause of your high bounce rates, fear not! There are resources to help fix that. Start by getting a health check to see where the problem areas are. Lead by shrinking or eliminating images. Use a cache, which saves data for future reference. In other words, the website won’t have to load from scratch each time the same person visits the page. Work with a development specialist to find different ways to help your site perform better, and stop losing traffic due to slow speeds!

Slow page speeds are painful. They hurt your page rankings with search engines making your website harder to find, and they cause high bounce rates meaning people won’t stick around for the rest of your content. They drive away impatient traffic that doesn’t want to wait the four extra seconds for a page to load.

Making an effort and correcting some small issues can have a significant impact on website traffic. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert developer to make these improvements, but it never hurts to ask for help. Get a page speed check, and use it to help find the problems you need to solve.

 

When you’re ready to get started improving your slow page speeds, schedule a meeting with our WordPress experts, and we’ll help you get it done!

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

3 Reasons WordPress is Best for Businesses

3 Reasons WordPress is Best for Businesses

3 Reasons WordPress is Best for Businesses

Launched in 2003, WordPress is a content management system allowing users to build and edit websites. It now powers approximately 35% of all sites on the Internet. For perspective, there are about 1.3 Billion (yes, with a B) websites as of January 2020. Only 50% of those websites use any type of content management system, making WordPress the most dominant CMS for creating and managing sites. The system’s tools and resources are why WordPress is best for businesses. 

Building a website is a daunting task. Content management systems like WordPress let users create a website with little to no understanding of web development. The software runs on plugins powering every detail of the site down to the pop-up that asks for your email address. Since WordPress started as a place for bloggers to host content, it needed to be accessible and straightforward. Businesses caught on quickly because the system made the daunting task of creating a new website much more manageable. 

More importantly, building a website on a WordPress template meant less labor time and lower upfront costs. Over time, WordPress.org began offering free site templates to make getting online even easier for everyone. Today there are many website builders and content management systems to choose from, but here are three reasons WordPress is best for businesses.

 

Flexibility

WordPress comes with an abundance of built-in tools. There are thousands of templates that allow businesses to find a look that suits their brand. The simplicity enables a user to create a personalized look and feel within a few minutes of signing up. Many templates even offer guides or suggestions for where to put content or how to arrange the site.

From there, companies can choose plugins to power the functionality of the site. Plugins are nothing more than pieces of software that add new features or functions to the website. Some plugins are simple and offer basic services like contact forms so customers can reach you. Others are much more complex to fit analysis and marketing needs. 

For example, Formidable Forms is a WordPress form creation tool. Users can create data collection forms for nearly any purpose. The plugin is simple enough to use one-click, drag-and-drop features and build straightforward contact information forms. However, the software becomes more and more complicated, depending on the company’s needs. Not everyone needs forms with conditional logic or dynamic prefilled fields, but those features are present regardless. 

While the example above is an oversimplification, the plugin catalog contains tens of thousands of plugins offering businesses the flexibility to build the perfect website.

 

Support

Like with any software, there will be issues. Some things will glitch, or integrations won’t work as they should. Sometimes you feel like you did everything right, but your website isn’t working correctly. It happens! WordPress.org has an excellent support setup, but many companies turn to WordPress management firms to handle support. 

Managed WordPress hosting and development firms like Shamrck handle every aspect of designing, building, and maintaining a website, which includes support. WordPress provides tools to help troubleshoot problems, but not everyone is tech-savvy enough to handle a complex issue. For a company with a complicated website, trying to troubleshoot on your own can make things worse. Website management firms help fix and improve sites based on user needs and requests. They can provide support without demanding too much of your time.

Luckily, the WordPress CMS has been around long enough for there to be plenty of other support options. Books, articles, and videos are all readily available to everyone, and support companies allow businesses to submit specific problems to fix. WordPress is one of the few software services with sufficient available support. 

 

Integration

Finally, WordPress has an unbeatable number of integrations with other software. Remember, WordPress powers 35 % of all websites worldwide. Any service software not trying to build a plugin to integrate their software is missing an incredibly vast audience.

Why does this matter to a business?

Just having a website isn’t enough for today’s businesses. Companies need ways to engage customers. Plugins that create pop-up forms to collect data are fantastic, but what comes next? WordPress integrations let a business connect an email service to a project management software to an internal communication platform. A potential customer can fill out a request for more information. Through seamless integrations, the prospect immediately receives an automated email, their contact information goes into your database, and a message goes out to your whole team, notifying you of a new prospect. Everything happens instantly.

WordPress integrations open a new world of functionality. During the rise of WordPress, connecting various aspects of your marketing, sales, and productivity was crushingly time-consuming. As more SaaS products became available, they began integrating more with the system. WordPress became a more powerful force for businesses to automate as much work as possible and become streamlined like never before.

 

Why WordPress is Best for Businesses

Despite the plethora of site-building options available, only WordPress combines the high-level simplicity of one-click creation tools with the depth of the ability to build custom plugins to fit specific needs. The system is more flexible than any other CMS in the world, but it wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the level of available support. From a photographer trying to show off a portfolio to the largest Fortune 500 companies, WordPress fits every necessity.

WordPress is best for businesses small and large because the system opens up customizability to every facet of a website. Companies can create interactive tools alongside in-depth sales funnels to engage customers and close sales, all without a single call or email. In short, WordPress works for businesses so that businesses don’t have to work to figure out how to build the perfect website.

 

Shamrck has years of experience with WordPress development and management. We’d love to talk more with you about your needs. Schedule some time to learn more and take the first step toward the perfect website. 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

Sell Courses to Grow Your Business

Sell Courses to Grow Your Business

Sell Courses to Grow Your Business

For better or worse, we always want to show off what we know about various topics. As businesses, this need to show our expertise helps set us above the competition. It’s why we load our websites with blog posts, articles (like this one!), and online courses. 

Sometimes, businesses take it a step further and blast out live webinars on different topics. The subject might be on trends in the industry or instructions on how to use a product. The benefit of a webinar is the ability to interact with visitors in real-time. Webinars can also be what we call “evergreen,” which means they can be standalone content after the webinar concludes. 

Another way we share our knowledge is through creating a learning management system, or LMS. We use LMS for creating and selling online courses to customers as well as training and onboarding new employees.

Now is the time to start selling online courses to grow your business.

Create Extra Income.

Unless you opened your business not to make money, finding additional income streams is incredibly essential. What’s better than extra income? Extra passive income! The beauty of creating evergreen online courses is receiving tacet income for as long as your class is active. 

There is an incredible demand for online learning. Yes, you can write articles and post videos, but interactive courses show a different level of effort and expertise. The best part is you only need to create a course once. The right system will have customers buying the course over and over. Upfront time and monetary investment may not seem worth it to some business owners. After all, every minute spent away from customers is a minute, not making more money. 

Luckily, there are dozens of online course creation tools. Many of them are incredibly straightforward to use and reasonably priced. Services like LearnDash and LifterLMS provide plenty of tools to build an engaging course to bring potential customers. 

So how much can you sell a course? Statistically, the average is approximately $183. However, outliers are driving that number higher. Realistically, the majority of classes are sold somewhere between $5-$50. The choice is ultimately yours, so the most critical aspect of choosing a price point is knowing your worth. If you believe your course is worth $100, start there.

The best research you can do is try it out. For a business looking to draw a little more profit, online courses are a great start. 

 

Acquire New Customers

Potential customers want to know they’re working with the best. They want to know you’re an expert. How better to show off your expertise than a challenging and engaging online course? We mentioned the financial benefits of building online courses, but let’s talk about using them as a way to acquire new customers.

One extremely effective way is to start with an online course but provide the opportunity to take advantage of your expertise as a customer. Use a free class as a gateway into more in-depth services that you offer. That may refer to more available courses to help teach your customers. Your additional services may be a “let us take over” mentality where you prove that a do-it-yourself method has limitations. 

For example, you sell an online course with the basics of using blog posts to promote SEO. Businesses looking to grow and become more visible need exposure. It’s simple supply and demand. However, your SEO course is introductory and doesn’t dive too deeply into the subject. Sure, customers can use what they learned from the first course and see how they do, but by building a useful online system, you’re proving you can do more for them.

Now, they’re going to turn to you to handle more of their SEO needs. You can turn a $50 online course into a $50/mo subscription. New customers are far more valuable than any single online course.

Whatever your strategy is, creating an online course is a straightforward way to grow your business. If you haven’t considered online learning as a sales tactic, you are behind the times. Start building your courses now, and watch the effect on your customer base.

 

Customer Service

 What happens once your leads become customers? How do you train them to use your product? Onboarding new customers is challenging, but online courses are incredibly effective at teaching your customers the basics.

But don’t stop there. Help your customers understand your product and basic training, but show them your investment in their success. Continued education and training is a cornerstone of building value. Build elevated courses that go deeper into the product and everything it can do. 

You are always at risk of losing customers. Building loyalty is as fundamental as showing customers you care. Giving them every opportunity to succeed is a vital part of customer service, including continued online learning.

Wrap-up

Building online courses to show off your expertise is a fantastic way to make a little more money, acquire new customers, and hang onto the ones you already have. As we said, there are dozens of software options to choose from, so now is an excellent time to get started. But don’t take our word for it. Do some research on how other companies in your field utilize online learning to engage new and potential customers.

 Once a customer signs, onboarding can be tricky and slow-moving without the proper tools and process in place, especially if your product has a steep learning curve. Embracing online learning will be challenging, but your customers’ understanding of your product is paramount as a business owner.

 

The team at Shamrck knows your time is valuable. We want to help by providing a full website and business management suite, letting you free up time to focus on things like online courses. Reach out and get started on your demo to see how the Shamrck platform fits your business.

 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

Manage Remote Teams with Shamrck

Manage Remote Teams with Shamrck

Manage Remote Teams with Shamrck

 

Many companies are going remote to manage the day to day operations and keep their business running. Using entirely, or partially, remote employees free businesses up to hire talent around the country or even around the world. Additionally, operating on a remote team sheds a lot of overhead costs that will allow a business to continue to thrive. Companies don’t have to worry about renting a commercial space or stocking break rooms. There are no electric bills or maintenance staff to manage. The cost savings alone are worth exploring if you can manage it.

There are some excellent reasons to maintain office space. Employees get to socialize during work and face to face meetings help generate more engagement. Luckily, there are ways to mimic an office space for remote employees. Conferencing tools like WebEx and Zoom allow employees to share screens, use video conferences, and drawing tools to simulate a whiteboard.

The goal of the remote business model is to create a different approach to managing operations. Your website can give you all the tools you might need.

 

Develop a company intranet.

Intranets are a way for you to open up what is essentially a website dedicated to your employees. Companies use them to disseminate internal messages among other value prospects. The intranet can serve as a comprehensive knowledge base for the company. You can store company policies, handbooks, and contact information, so everyone is up to date with organizational clarity.

Intranets are also a great way to simplify onboarding. As mentioned, an internal knowledge base is beneficial, but storing onboarding paperwork, training articles, and general guidelines for new employees is an excellent way to get them up to speed quickly.

Finally, intranets provide a unique opportunity for employees from all over the country to communicate and recognize one another. Peer reviews, an employee of the month initiative, and an open forum for conversation are all great ways to get your employees engaged with each other. Simple things like congratulating one another on projects or sales can go a long way toward high morale productivity.

Intranets help take the place of an office space for remote teams. Owners and managers can engage directly with employees an an individual level as well as through group notifications. They are valuable to remote teams due to the ability to work at or as close to an physical office as possible. The quality of work produced by a team with a functioning intranet can match or exceed an in-person office space if managed properly.

 

Take advantage of integrated communication.

The number of systems and software that integrate with websites is staggeringly high. For a business owner looking to manage a remote team, this flexibility opens up several options and opportunities for internal and external communication.

We already discussed how using an intranet can help internally, but your website is just as capable of communicating with web traffic externally. Website chat features are some of the most common ways customers/prospects can easily get in touch with quick questions or issues. For instance, LiveChat is a service that lets you communicate in real-time with visitors and records the conversation for future reference. LiveChat is highly rated and affordable with many options available so that you can find the one that fits your site best.

For businesses that want to keep a presence on the phone, you can use VoIP services. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Essentially, you can have a full telephone system through a plugin in your site. Of course, there are several options to choose from, so explore and find the one that suits your needs best. InFlo is a versatile software used for VoIP calls and comes highly recommended by customers such as Toyota and Keller Williams. Before deciding on a service, review the features offered so you can pick the best solution for your remote team.

 

Manage Internal Communication

Independent communication services help to keep your team in contact via instant messages, but they also have powerful plugins to interact with your website. Remote employees need the ability to see constant updates as new developments happen with the business. Whether those developments are new sales, new sign-ups, or new comments, your site has the tools to connect your team.

For instance, integrating your Slack channel into your website lets users post comments or articles into your website which will immediately notify everyone in the Slack channel. This feature can be helpful for notifications about customer sign-ups or form completions since it will update the entire team.

Other services like Zapier will integrate with several different programs. Zapier uses a series of automated triggers, or Zaps, to complete an automation process. For example, a new visitor to your website can sign up for your newsletter, which triggers Mailchimp to send a welcome email, which then triggers a Slack notification to the team without anyone having to handle anything manually.

Integrated services are excellent ways to automate many of your day-to-day operations freeing up more time for your employees to focus on more important tasks. The ability to be in constant contact with them by sending notifications through your website is important when trying to manage a team in different timezones. Remote teams need all the help they can get as far as internal communication is concerned, so we recommend exploring some other options like Slack or Microsoft Teams until you find one that works for you.

 

Shamrck and remote teams

Switching to a remote team requires a fundamental shift in understanding how business can be done. The days of cubicles and conference rooms are over since resources like Shamrck offer so many tools to help you manage a remote team. With the plethora of available services, Shamrck can meet nearly every need you might have.

From an intranet for employees only to external communication programs like chat and VoIP to internal communication services, Shamrck has a solution to fit your business. Going remote can be an enormous boost to your company’s growth by shedding overhead and promoting a “do more with less” mentality. Remote employees tend to be more efficient and produce at a higher level, and your website is the key ingredient to managing your team.

 

Starting a remote business or transitioning to one is a stressful task, but we have some experience over here! We’d love to talk a little more with you about what it would take to get your remote team off the ground. Reach out and talk about your needs with our experts to get started!

 

 

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

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