Are you having trouble having your email delivered to your inbox? You are not alone. Today, we count on the email being delivered to us just like we would a letter in the mail. The problem, hackers are increasingly targeting email services around the world. In response, email services provided by Google, Microsoft, and more are creating strict parameters to stop hackers from getting through their systems.

Here are three suggestions from Google to help make your emails more deliverable:

SPF

Sender Policy Framework or “SPF” is not a sunscreen in this case. It does help to protect your domain against spoofing from hackers. By setting up SPF for your domain you are telling the receiving server that the emails coming from the domain that you have authorized. Your server then recognizes that the email was sent on your behalf.

DKIM

Domain Keys Identified Mail or “DKIM” adds a digital signature to every outgoing message. This signature allows receiving servers to verify the message came from your organization. DKIM also detects when a message has been modified, and when unauthorized changes are made to the message “from” address. Without DKIM, messages sent from your organization or domain are more likely to be marked as spam by receiving email servers.

DMARC

With a DMARC you can tell receiving servers what to do with outgoing messages from your organization that does not pass SPF or DKIM scans. DMARC also lets you request reports from email servers that get messages from your organization or domain.

In short, DMARC prevents hackers from spoofing their organization and domain. They are trying to prevent email that is NOT from Microsoft for instance, from appearing to be from Microsoft. Hackers use forged emails to try and target users from different services. The more sophisticated the hackers get, the harder it is for organizations to protect themselves from this form of attack.

QUOTE: "It is a fairly open secret that almost all systems can be hacked, somehow. It is a less spoken of secret that such hacking has actually gone quite mainstream."
-Dan Kaminsky

Here is Where Things are Getting More Complicated for Businesses.

Forms on a website are submitted through a server that is NOT coming from your domain. When these form submissions hit your email server, often they are not being delivered to your inbox.

While it is still the best practice for any business to cross-check form submissions on your website. Many are use to getting notifications through email alone. It is important to check both places. Thus, businesses can be shocked to find out that their internet leads might not be getting to their inboxes. This is a newer issue brought about by hackers (one more reason to loathe them.) 

What Can Be Done to Improve WordPress Contact Form Submission Deliverability?

Due to increased hacking and email spoofing, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like Microsoft, AOL, Apple iCloud, Yahoo, Gmail, Ymail, Rocketmail, etc., have adopted strict Domain-based Message Authentication providers Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) policies. These policies tell a receiving mail system what to do if it fails to authenticate an email. DMARC policies are designed to prevent spoofing. They also help to prevent fraud and allow a domain to state how their email should be authenticated. If an email originating from your online form does not conform to the strict policies, it is either outright rejected and blocked or sent to your junk or clutter folder.

IGV Can Improve Email Deliverability of Your Online Forms

We have done all the heavy lifting with authenticating a domain name trusted by Internet Service Providers – myformmail.com. Meaning, once your online form is filled out, and the visitor clicks submit, that information will be delivered straight to your inbox. All thanks to myformmail.com which meets the authentication policy criteria. Do you need help with email deliverability? Contact us today to get started.

Additional Reading:

Google just announced a new core update to their search algorithm. In June, 2022 Google made another substantial improvements to the overall search ranking processes. Google often refer to this type of update as a “core update” increasing perceived value to the end user for overall relevance of search engine results.  The goal is to make them more helpful and useful end users. 

What should web developers and business owners expect from this core update?

Google tends to self right the wrongs. In this update it was considered to be more of a refresh and focused on highlighting products and services offered online. Companies that had websites for ecommerce might have gotten a boost from this update. In addition the ecommerce boost, website content again took center stage.

Content is a leading generator for organic search and those companies who are investing in content creation are taking a boost in results. Content is not limited to text alone, video content also got a boost in the latest update.

Video SEO 

Video is a big part of many companies content and marketing strategy. Marketing video to search engines has been tricky in the past. Google has extensive documentation on how they want videos presented in order to rank in the organic search. teams and was a well-received session. For those looking to make the most out of their video content, Google has already set the path for that, but in addition to following the guidelines accessibility is also a factor in ranking. In 2022 if you are using a video for marketing purposes it should have captions in addition to sound to make them more accessible to all people.

Updates to Schema

Schema is also a contributing factor to SEO. In addition to labeling your website pages with the appropriate schema designation, you can also add schema to video. Google has provided their best practices for adding video HERE.

Ecommerce and SEO

Ecommerce is another area where organic search is important. Competition is fierce for product marketing and having a good roadmap for developing your online catalog is vital. It can be a challenging to with the large amount of product pages to index them correctly and to remember the indexing best practices over time.

Here is what Google is looking for in a product review:

What is the Take-Away?

Google will continue to change. What works today for your marketing efforts may not work the same way tomorrow. The big thing Google is known for doing is rewarding companies for doing things the right way, and for the right reasons.

Your website should not be a static brochure that you build and then forget about. To really have organic reach with your website you need to create great content both with words and in video. You also need to make sure that if you are an ecommerce site, you are getting product reviews on your different product pages.

Bottom line. When you invest in your content, you always win.

Do you need us to take a look at your website? Contact us today to get started!

MORE READING:

Example of Chatbot on mobile phone

Chatbots are revolutionizing customer service for many companies around the world. In simple terms, chat bots allow instant communication between your company and its customers. But that’s not all! Thanks to digital advances, chat bots can also use conversational artificial intelligence. Conversational AI in tandem with chatbots, elevate the customer service experience. Making it a huge win for companies.

Why Are Companies Using Chat Bots

By the end of 2023, chatbots will save companies around 1.3 billion USD annually. Chatbots are reported to help save .70 cents per interaction. Now think of the limitless number of customers this robot can serve at the same TIME versus humans. In the long-term, the expense of chatbots is much less vs. salaries for customer service representatives.

What Do Customers Think of Chat Bots?

Over 50% of customers expect a business to be available 24/7, which cannot be done without chatbots. It’s no wonder why companies are ramping up their use of chatbots, customers love them! With chat bots, there is less room for error along with more attention to detail vs humans. Both factors combined can streamline the entire customer service experience.

How are Chatbots Transforming Customer Service…

The use of chatbots range quite a bit and serve many purposes. Our earlier discussion highlighted the financial benefits of chatbots. But you may be wondering… how exactly do chat bots save companies so much money and make even more on top of it?

Chatbots Do All The Hard Work For You!

Why use chat bots

While a human being can only handle 3-4 conversations at a time, there are no limits for chatbots. Additionally, AI bots are able to handle mass customer interactions. chatbots. By 2022, chat bots are expected to handle 75-90% of the customer service requests.

Customer satisfaction levels are higher when frustrated customers are quickly helped. And at any time of the day as well. A study done by CMO Council has shown faster responses is very important in customer service. Would you want to buy something from a website if they left you waiting for an hour or more? Maybe even days at a time waiting for an email response? No! Of course not. Chatbots make the customer service experience seamless, leaving customers more likely to buy and come back!

Chatbots help save time by answering many preliminary questions as well. If the query eventually requires a live agent, the agent can go straight to problem solving. Live agents can then spend more time answering questions, allowing them to provide quality customer service. Quality service = happy customers!

What is Conversational AI and Why it is Necessary for Chatbots?

Early day chatbots were very primitive and robotic in its nature…after all it is a robot at the end of the day. Conversational AI has reimagined present day chatbots. Customers want quick 24/7 service that is also human like. Conversational AI makes this possible by helping chatbots emulate normal human responses. So when you are talking to a chat bot, it feels as if you are talking to a real person — making it appealing for customers!

AI also gives you the ability to personalize your chatbots.

You can design them to be more reassuring and knowledgeable or casual and fun depending on the type of company! Chatbots can then provide customers with personalized recommendations. This is possible because chat bots also analyze a customers preferences and interests. Receiving efficient, yet personalized help leaves an overall positive outlook on a company.

Chatbots Help Companies Analyze Data & Discover Their Customers Needs

Did you know that chatbots are 10 million times faster at analyzing data than a human brain? It’s no mystery that our brains are very efficient, but we cannot beat robots when it comes to certain things! While chatbots are answering questions and taking care of customer needs, they are also collecting mass amounts of data. AI processing in chatbots has made processing and interpreting data very easy.

Data collection is powerful because it helps companies get to know their customers better. Strategic decisions can then be made to address frequently asked questions, etc. These decisions ensure higher customer service satisfaction, leading to more sales and loyal customers!

When Should Your Company Use a Chatbot

The IGV Chatbot example from our Webstie
Example of the IGV -Chatbot Iggy Vision

Companies need to have the scale required for the level of engineering required to create chatbots. Chatbots need initial training data to help optimize them. But where does this training data come from? Previous contact centers with hundreds of agents create the transcripts necessary for training AI chatbots.

Dish Network’s chatbot handles about 4 million calls per year, which is only 40% of its volume. According to Forbes, if you are not currently receiving that type of flow — it may not be worth your effort to train a bot.

If you do have the capacity for chat bots, start with small pilot projects to train your bots. An example of a pilot project may to set up your bot to only answer a few type of questions. Assess what worked and didn’t work, then repeat the process with the new improvements made.

Conclusion

There is countless data supporting the use of chatbots for companies. From saving money and time, to also allowing specific data collection used to optimize business decisions — the benefits are limitless. Contact us to get started on your custom chat bot!

Written by: Rohab M

Additional Reading:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Hot Technology Trends 2022

Understanding the latest social media platform to hit our smartphones is the first step to expanding your reach.

What is TikTok?

Using TikTok for Business

TikTok was born after an unsuccessful 8 year run as the digital platform Music.ly. The developers rebranded and relaunched the digital platform in 2017 as TikTok. The social media app for discovering, creating and sharing short video content. It has become one of the fastest growing social media platforms. TikTok now reaches over a billion users in less than four years.


The most viewed genres on TikTok include pranks, stunts, comedy, dance and entertainment. A unique characteristic of TikTok is the ability to reach an enormous audiencee. What makes TikTok so successful, is the algorithm with an accuracy more than those of platforms past.


According to TikTok’s about page, each user has a personalized feed. Each feed is populated based on their interaction with content presented to them. The more a user interacts with their feed, the more it reflects each user’s unique preferences. When a user skips a video or left with no interactions, it disappears from a user’s page. There is then almost no almost no way to find it again.

The more interactions a video receives, the more likely it is that that video is boosted to the top of others’ pages.

Is TikTok Right for My business?

TikTok could be right for you if your marketing content fits into any of the above categories.  If you are still not sure, consider the following:

Most of TikTok’s Popularity Comes Courtesy of Gen-Z:

They make up the largest portion of the TikTok user base. The rest of the user base seems to follow suit with over 60% of users falling under the age of 49.

TikTok for Business graphic with stats on TikTok

Names like Addison Rae and Charlie D’Amelio dominate the platform with their dance and entertainment content. Other content creators follow in their footsteps with the same content in the hope of growing their own following.

Your ideal demographic might not use TikTok as their primary form of social media.

Consider using an alternative social media platform.

Not All Social Media Platforms are Created Equal

Comparing TikTok to Instagram infographic

Instagram, TikTok’s biggest competitor, has a statistically older user base and a more diverse range of popular content. Where TikTok is a more video-forward platform, Instagram is a photo sharing app.

Like TikTok, Instagram becomes familiar with user interests. It can then place advertisements into user feeds. Facebook works similarly, with a more mature audience.

Something that might not be considered is the amount of information that each platform allows its users to publish on their profiles.

Facebook allows their users to publish the most information. Things like business hours, phone numbers, website links, event calendars and chat features make it easy for potential customers to reach your business. Instagram has similar features, but the choices are fewer than TikTok.

More mature social media users tend to appreciate the fact that they can gather almost all the information they need to know about your business in their first glance at your page.

This information is not as readily available when using TikTok. Users are limited to a few characters on their profile. This makes it especially difficult to communicate information to potential customers.

Takeaways

TikTok provides users with a platform to reach large audiences, fast. With a remarkably young user base, the most successful content on the app tends to fit neatly under the entertainment category.

Social media is a useful tool for businesses to reach potential customers. Without social media, businesses wouldn’t have the ability to reach so many new potential customers. Not all social media platforms are created equal. What works for Addison Rae, might not be the perfect fit for you.

What are your thoughts about TikTok as a business platform? Let us know. CONTACT US today

Written By Olivia O.

ADDITIONAL READING:

How To Find Infuencers for Your Brand

The Importance of Micro Influencers in Digital Marketing

On average, 25 million LinkedIn profiles are viewed every day by businesses looking for individuals who may be future candidates for job openings at their company. LinkedIn is an effective platform for Business to Business networking especially when recruiters are trying to pinpoint the perfect candidate for certain positions in their company. LinkedIn is the largest professional networking social media platform for conducting background research and building relationships with individuals to network and discover potential customers. This article outlines to pros and cons associated with using LinkedIn

Pros

Networking Opportunities

LinkedIn is a great tool that gives business owners the ability to research potential clients for a company. LinkedIn builds strong networking opportunities for particular industries by making industry posts available for research, establishing credibility with prospects and a solid search technology for companies or individuals to narrow down options.

News Updates

LinkedIn organizes content from across LinkedIn and categorizes it into relevant industries to keep you updated on upcoming trends or big ideas in the news. LinkedIn allows you to link your accounts and blogs to share experiences and advice on topics that are important in your business or industry.

LinkedIn Answers Section

LinkedIn allows individuals to engage with each other by having an answers section which allows individuals to ask questions to the public or to selected members of their personal network. Individuals can demonstrate their knowledge and skills by providing people with feedback on various questions related to their industry. The LinkedIn answers section allows people to share their expertise to help others.

Profile Updates

LinkedIn provides information about potential employee candidates by allowing you to view professional profiles of the individuals you may be seeking. For example, if you are in the IT industry and are actively seeking a new computer engineer, you can view profiles of individuals with relevant experience by doing keyword searches. Most individuals keep their profiles up to date with their most recent experience, and the profile can act as a virtual resume. This provides the company with a general idea of an individual’s previous background and skill set to compare to the job description.

Cons 

First Time Profile Setup 

Any social media site takes time to grow, but LinkedIn, in particular, can become overwhelming with so many components involved. It can seem easy at first, but there are multiple requirements before creating a business page. To create the page, you must have a personal LinkedIn profile and the profile strength must be listed as Intermediate or All-Star. You will need to spend some time building your profile by familiarizing yourself with the site’s features and making connections. It is very time-consuming in the beginning, and you will gradually notice each connection will bring you one step closer to growing your LinkedIn page.

Content Overload

LinkedIn is a great way to share articles or tips, but too much content can make your audience feel overwhelmed and lose interest in your LinkedIn page. For example, if a person is looking for a specific post on your page from a week ago and they cannot find it, they will find another artifice on a similar page because they feel frustrated. This can result in limited interactivity when compared to other social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Overall, LinkedIn is specialized for Business to Business organizations, but it is a great tool to improve business development if you are looking for potential employees, advice or tips from different industry voices. LinkedIn can help differentiate your company from competitors and provide you with research on specific companies and individuals. It is a great resource to grow your network and industry expertise.

website redesign

One of the most popular questions we often hear from businesses is, “My website is only 2 years old, why would I need to redesign my website again?” Before answering that question, we would ask these questions, “When was the last time your website brought in a lead? Is your website a good sales employee, or is it underperforming? If your site is not bringing in leads or not bringing in enough, this may indicate the need for a redesign. Digital marketing is constantly changing, and if you aren’t keeping abreast, you’ll lose out on potential customers. Here are 4 excellent reasons to redesign your website.

4 Reasons Why You Should Redesign Your Website:

1. Updating to Current Web Standards

Just a few years ago, mobile devices weren’t as popular as they are today. Today, all websites need to be accessible via mobile devices —such as Google’s mobile-first indexing. If your website hasn’t been updated in a few years, it will likely both look outdated and function poorly on modern devices. Modern security standards have also changed: there are many new requirements to make your website accessible for those who are colorblind, legally blind, and hard of hearing.

2. Reacting to Your Customer’s Needs

Your clientele from three years ago is not identical to the clients you have now. Aside from the possible shift in your customer base, their needs may have changed. Remodelling your website to emphasize the services and products that you are selling more of now is an excellent way to maximize your revenue. Take a look at your data analysis to identify the areas of your website that your customers spend the most time on. You can increase the ease of use of your website by making these pages easier to find.

3. Getting Your Customers to “See” You Again

Aspects of your website can easily blend into the background simply due to familiarity. By refreshing your site, you’ll not only excite your customers, but you’ll also get them to explore your entire site again, looking for new changes and products. If you’ve found that your customers haven’t been as active on your website as they have been in the past, it could simply be that it’s time for a change. Once you’ve started making changes, you can further refine them to improve the customer experience even further.

4. Reacting to Your Competition

While your website has been stagnating, your competition may have been improving. Updating your website is an ideal way to react to the advances that your competition has made. While you don’t want to copy the changes of your competitors, you can look to them for ways in which you can improve your customer service. Do they have more methods of contact? Better social media integration? A faster checkout process? All of these things could be funneling your customers straight to them.

Regular updates to your website keep your website looking fresh, trendy, and trustworthy. Older sites indicate poor technology to many customers, making them wary of making purchases and reducing their company loyalty. A new website is often an excellent way to recapture the attention of your existing clientele while drawing in new customers.

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