Do you want to get results from your new websites?
Our clients typically get a 200% increase in the number of sales through their new website.
Persuade & Engage More Customers Online
Your website is your professional front for your company online – your international business card, the 24-hour salesman who never sleeps and works tirelessly for you. In the Internet age, a mobile-friendly website that markets your business is the key to online success. We make it happen for you.
The quickest route for a business to generate qualified leads online is to advertise and we help you do just that. Set up, manage, and optimize your online advertising campaigns to drive QUALIFIED traffic that CONVERTS better to your website. Generate paid, targeted traffic from search engines like Google to your website by paying for valuable keywords that convert to business growth.
Convince your website visitors to become your customers and once you do that, you can refine that process to increase the number of visitors that convert to customers. Let us analyze your web presence to drive engagement and turn visitors to customer!
Grow Your Brand & Establish Your Social Media Presence
Our social media strategic management is designed to grow your brand and establish a strong online presence. We support your brand, establish mutual trust and create relationships with potential online buyers.
2Stallions revamped our old website to become mobile-friendly and optimized for search.
Besides getting compliments from customers about our new modern website, we also get many more visitors and more leads via our website than we ever did before, and at a very affordable price. The value we received from 2Stallions was worth more than we paid!
In the aftermath of the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, terms like data privacy, website security, and data protection have become more than just buzzwords. Users are increasingly sensitive about security and demanding more. Pleading ignorance of undetected malware on your website, that can infect their systems and hijack their data, is no longer tolerated.
As a business, protecting your website not only protects your business data but also builds customer trust. Your website is the virtual office of your business and often your first customer touchpoint. Any hint of poor website security hurts your brand perception and could result in loss of business leads.
Prevention is always better than cure. While you may recover with a little effort from a security breach, it would take much, much longer to rebuild trust with your customers.
There are some website security must-haves in order to maintain your website and protect your visitors and yourself from security threats.
1. SSL Support
SSL certificates are an absolute requirement for websites today, whether a small blog or a large scale e-commerce site. The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate encrypts all sensitive information between a customer and the browser, making sure that the connection is secure. That green lock icon and secure text beside your domain name when someone visits instantly put a visitor at ease. These days, a properly deployed SSL cert also improves your Google search rankings.
2. Strong Admin Passwords
The value of a strong password cannot be understated. Weak passwords make hacking your site very easy, especially when using open source CMS like WordPress. Therefore, it is important to ensure administrative passwords are lengthy, do not resemble an actual word or represent information about you that is easily found online – like your pet’s name for instance. Use a strong password generator. In an ideal scenario, your website should only accept strong passwords, and make you change your password every 90 days. While painful to remember and continuously update, you’ll sleep easier at night knowing your site is secure.
3. Bot Blocking
Friendly spider bots from Google crawl your website to collect information to index your site efficiently. However, malicious bots may scrape critical information from your website that can be sold and used with nefarious intent. Distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, whereby multiple systems target a single network, causing it to overload and crash can also be perpetrated by bots. They also result in a misrepresentation of your traffic analytics by unduly inflating it.
Avoid all these concerns with security tools that can provide protection from malware and bots, automatically blocking known troublemakers.
4. Regular Software Updates
It’s easy to hit the “skip” button whenever a software update reminder pops up. However, updates are important to patch security holes in the system. Owners whose websites are powered by open source platforms such as WordPress, Drupal & Magento need to be vigilant, as hackers can easily take advantage of sites that are not updated.
Now that you’re convinced by the necessity of website security and steps you can take, here is a list of website security services to help you sleep better at night.
Incapsula is one of the most famous website security services on the web because it has a host of appealing features including:
Spam Blocker: Incapsula has a database of spam profiles that allows it to clean annoying emails even under its free plan. This no-charge plan even includes reputation-based security, which profiles the email’s sender before filtering the messages arriving in an inbox.
IP Blacklisting: This feature is effective if you find a high amount of undesirable traffic originating from specific geographic locations.
Price: $59 for a Pro plan and $299 for Business
Overall Performance: Functioning as a website security and Content Delivery Network (CDN), Incapsula delivers great service for its price, but is still a bit behind top contenders in its particular industry. One factor that most reviewers found lacking was the performance of the CDN metrics. However, its blocking and security capabilities are top-notch. See the video below for more information:
Sucuri is an excellent choice for any website owner because of the following features:
Available as a WordPress Plugin: Almost 30% of websites today are powered by WordPress. Even we use WordPress and offer it to our clients as part of our website protection plans for it. Sucuri’s WordPress plugin includes Security Activity Auditing, File Integrity Monitoring, Remote Malware Scanning, Effective Security Optimization, and more.
Efficient Bot Blocker: Users have raved about Sucuri’s active firewall, which rarely fails in detecting blocked IP addresses, recognizable bot activity based on a rich database of patterns, and possible infiltration (where it automatically hands out a fix).
Limitless Malware Cleanup: Detected malware on your website? No worries – Sucuri security experts can help with that. A security expert may cost you $250 an hour but with Sucuri, it’s more affordable.
Price: $199/year for a single website
Overall Performance: According to WPBeginner, they blocked about 450,000 WordPress attacks in the first three months they used Sucuri and its WP plugin. That speaks volumes about the efficacy of this service.
The rave is on about Cloudflare’s useful CDN and website security features. Take a look why:
File Optimization: Similar to Incapsula, CloudFlare can compress file sizes and distribute the files in caches across its data centers for faster website loading. If a website is down, CloudFlare will present a backup of its latest interactive “screenshot.”
Free Service with all the Perks: Cloudflare’s free account gives your site excellent CDN service, SSL encryption but without a certificate, website analytics, a website application firewall, access rules (block users, bots, IPs, or email accounts based on profiles you had made), hotlink protection, email address encryption, and more! Talk about a steal!
Price: It offers a great basic plan at $0, which is perfect for personal blogs or websites. However, paying $200/month for their business plan gives you added security features such as web application firewall, custom SSL cert, and more.
Virtually Compatible With Any Website: Majority of blogs and small business websites in existence use Cloudflare. According to W3techs.com, 71.6% of websites in their survey use Cloudflare for their website security and CDN.
Smartbear’s AlertSite website security service makes the list because it has all the features you need at a very affordable price.
Easy to Use Interface: Instead of overwhelming users with data, the platform allows users to indicate customizable summaries that they can progressively expand in detail where needed. The interface also shows in high priority any security vulnerability first before other low-priority activities detected on your website. The ability to group monitors together is truly useful for efficient viewing and navigation.
Blocking: Mail Server Monitoring, Availability Testing, Uptime Reporting, IP filtering, and others allow the website security service to implement sufficient site security to stop DDoS attacks and potential malware from entering.
Price: $99 yearly for pro and $999 a year for a small to medium enterprise.
Overall Performance: The security offered by Smartbear’s Alertsite paid service pales in comparison to Cloudfare’s features that are available for free. However, the ability to monitor multiple website variations, activity, and other metrics, allow your online presence to remain consistent by strengthening its foundations. You can watch the video below to see how AlertSite works:
AppDynamics is a great choice for SMEs because, in addition to security, their websites monitor performance in all areas for a better and effective website experience for audiences.
Monitoring: All front and back-end activities are unified in a single monitoring display, measured by AppDynamics’ software products APM, Real User Monitoring (RUM), Mobile RUM, Database, and Server monitoring. These features are useful for finding holes in your security and website performance.
Business Impact Analytics: This feature displays failed instances of transactions and their probable causes. It works well with its Customer Win-Back Analysis report that updates the entire website journey of the particular user. This is a great way to sniff out some possible bugs in your website.
Security Measurement: Real-time monitoring in all areas help identify whether a bot is inflating your metrics. It can also block the origin of these bots’ addresses and blacklist IP addresses.
Multiple Websites: For its price, the support for multiple websites is unbeatable. All blocking and monitoring features are applied immediately on all sites owned by an enterprise upon a single click.
Price: Free or on a per unit purchase. Each unit costs $3,300 for a one-time payment.
Overall Performance: The product may be a little too expensive but proves very useful for integrating security and metric monitoring features for your website. Might not work for all business websites, but its one-time payment per unit use and unlimited support makes AppDynamics a worthwhile investment.
Bots, spam emails, and possible downtimes are real security threats to your website. Having a reliable website security and monitoring service is helpful in identifying patterns and tracing the sources of your possible attackers. Data monitoring also helps measure the possible damage caused by an exploitation of vulnerability, which helps you switch to plan B quickly.
2Stallions WordPress Maintenance utilizes multiple services such as Sucuri and Cloudfare to provide a security and maintenance package that lets our clients sleep soundly at night. If you aren’t tech-savvy and don’t want to juggle multiple accounts to manage your website security, we can help! Our Website Maintenance package can offer you peace of mind and technical know-how to easily manage your website security.
Creating a social media strategy from scratch may be daunting, especially if you’re a small business owner stretched on resources. But like everything else, take it one step at a time, follow our plan and you’ll find yourself with an effective social media strategy for your business.
Every great plan needs goals and your social media strategy is no exception. Your social media goals should be aligned to your business ones, ensuring that your strategy solves business challenges. The key to creating good goals is making them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.
Specific: Be specific about what you want to accomplish. Include the who, what, why, when, where, which and how of your strategy.
Measurable: Ensure there’s a way for you to measure the goals you set out. It could be an increase in likes on your Facebook page or the increase of social traffic to your website.
Attainable: Goals should be attainable. It’s better to set small, achievable goals that you can review and tweak every quarter instead of impossible high standards that can stress out and demoralise your team when you don’t achieve them.
Relevant: Social media goals should be relevant to your business and aid in achieving both long-term and short-term business goals. Otherwise, efforts put into your social media would be a waste of time and resources.
Time-bound: A smart goal is time-bound, ensuring that you and your team are working towards a specific deadline to achieve that goal. Without deadlines, it is easy to lose sight of your goal and let it fall to the wayside.
2. Perform a social media audit
Once you’ve defined your social media goals, an important next step is to perform a social media audit. A social media audit helps you systematically review your brand’s current social media health. From discovering what’s on it to categorizing and evaluating how well each social channel is performing for your brand, you can figure out the gaps in your current social media strategy.
Start by creating a social media audit template that answers the basic 5 “W”s – Who, Where, What, When, Why. Include your company, your consumers and your competitors in the audit to gain a holistic view of how each channel is being used by each entity.
Check out this example of a good social media audit template.
Compare and identify which channel presents challenges for your brand and where your opportunities lie.
Challenge: If a channel is not working the way you want it to based on your goals, you’ve identified a problem area. Based on your goals, evaluate if this is the right channel you want to be in. If your consumers are there, and your competitor is using it successfully, figure out what you’re doing wrong and resolve them.
Opportunities: If a channel is working well for you, your efforts should not end there. Identify which content receives the kind of engagement you want and produce more of that. Study how your consumers use the platform and see if there are needs that are currently not met. In this way, you further encourage brand discussion and interaction.
When you do a social media audit, you would get a better sense of how your brand is currently doing and be equipped with the knowledge of creating a sound social media strategy.
3. Choose your channels
As a small business owner, part of a successful social strategy is choosing the right channels to be on. It’s a waste if you find yourself spreading your efforts across all platforms and not seeing an increase in targeted website traffic or qualified leads.
This is why some companies prefer engaging experts to identify the right channels for them. However, here’s a guide that can help you identify what works better for your business.
Facebook: Works largely for B2C, although some B2B find it good for them too. However, with over 2 billion monthly active Facebook users, you can’t afford not to be on it. A Facebook presence also matters as it also improves your SEO.
Twitter: Twitter works well for B2C and some B2B. It recently increased its 140-character limit to 280, making it easier for brands to create branded content in a single tweet. Its short-form text and ability to add images, gifs, polls and conduct live stream videos, pushes brands to get more creative in crafting compelling content.
Instagram: Works best for B2C, especially brands with very visual products. However, high quality images are a must and stock photos won’t work on this platform. It’s also mostly popular among the millennials.
If influencer marketing is part of your social media strategy, Instagram is a definite “must-have” social channel. A survey found that 99.3% of influencers use Instagram, making it the top social network for influencers in 2018.
You can start by thinking about your marketing budget. Most companies’ marketing budget is about 5% to 15% of their total revenue. From this, usually 10% to 50% of the marketing budget is dedicated to digital marketing, including social media marketing (SMM).
How much you set aside for your social spending would be dependent on your business goals. Be realistic about your budget. By consistently monitoring your social analytics, you can tweak your campaign to get the best Return on Investment (ROI) and ultimately maximise your social spend.
5. Create a customer persona
Before you plan and create content, knowing who you’re creating content for is important. This is why you need a customer persona.
You customer persona is the profiling of your ideal customer. With them in mind, you’re able to craft the right messaging and have a consistent brand voice in all forms of company communication online.
The first step to creating it is figure who your customers are and like your social media audit, the “WHO, WHAT, WHY, HOW” is key.
Who: Who are your existing customers? Look through your current database to define the background and demographics of your typical customer.
What: Find out what their goals and challenges are. Conduct surveys or interviews to glean these information from them.
Why: Through surveys or interviews, understand the motivations behind their goals and challenges to better understand common issues faced by customers and why.
How: How can your company best address them? Based on your understanding of the customer, how do your products and services solve their challenges? Craft your messaging around it.
Once you have this information, you’re ready to create your final buyer persona. You can create one or multiple personas for your business.
Remember your content audit? This comes in handy when you’re planning your content. You know what works and what doesn’t and have identified the gaps in your current content strategy. Plan your content around it.
Conducting a survey of your current customers to identify their challenges would also help you create content that they’re interested in.
When creating your content, think of the formats that work best on the social channel you’re posting. Video is a rapidly growing trend on all channels especially Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Short videos between 3-90 seconds that are entertaining, informative or educational drive more engagement.
Research and explore the various features unique to each social platform to best leverage it. For example, as a business, Facebook check-ins and reviews are a great way to establish your brand, as people trust in them.
However, remember to be consistent with your core content on whichever channel you pick as social users go through thousands of posts a day. You don’t want to get lost in the clutter or be forgotten.
7. Leverage on your employees for amplification
Amplification is important in social media as channels like Facebook prioritize engagement. The more people see your content, the more likely they interact with it, and the higher the engagement. Your post gets boosted to the top, as it is deemed as quality content.
If you’re just starting out, it’s common to see little or no engagement on your social pages. This is where your employees come in. Make it simple for your employees to share social posts, and incentivize them if you have to. The more they share, the larger your reach as you tap into their network of friends and family.
Using your employees as your first advocates of your brand is part of trust building. Their network trusts them so their word-of-mouth testimonials hold more weight and tend to leave a more positive impression of your brand on others.
However, don’t overwhelm your employees with sharing company messages as it may come across as forced. That is why it is important to create meaningful, quality content that makes people want to readily share it.
8. Evaluate your social media strategy
Once you’ve figured out your social media strategy, it’s important to know how to evaluate it. Know which ones are important to your business and how to interpret them. Here are the main metrics to look out for.
Volume: Number of page likes, page views and website traffic indicate how interested people are in your brand.
Reach: Reach helps you measure how far your social content is spreading. While a large audience is good, you need to check it against other metrics to see if you are reaching the right target audience.
Engagement: Engagement measures how people are interacting with your content. Number of likes, retweets, Facebook shares, etc, are all telling of how well people are engaged on your social page. Engagement metrics like “Reactions” on Facebook also gives insight to whether a post is garnering positive or negative sentiment.
Be consistent in evaluating your social strategy so that you can know what works and what doesn’t and tweak it accordingly.
It doesn’t take a genius to create a social media strategy. All you need to do is define your goals, evaluate your current social media health before choosing the right channels for your business. Remember concentrating on a few channels instead of casting your net all over the social internet is more effective and cost-efficient for your business.
Planning and creating quality content, and with a little bit of help from your employees to stir higher engagement, you’ll be able to propel your social strategy to success. As social media is constantly evolving, remember to evaluate what’s working and what’s not and adjust your strategy to always be at the top of your game.