One reason why WordPress has become the most popular website development and content management platform is the sheer number of plug-ins available for you to choose from. 

More than 55,000 plug-ins! 

With so much to choose from, how would you know which plug-ins will work best for your website and help you achieve your business goals?

What Is A Plug-In?

A plug-in is a software program that is designed and developed to carry out specific functions, improve the performance of your website, or add features to your website’s current program. 

Plug-ins are written using the PHP language and are easily integrated into WordPress. 

You don’t need an IT professional to install a plug-in. The good people at WordPress saw to it that those without knowledge of coding can add plug-ins on their own. 

The reason for this is that most WordPress plug-ins are for free and are not covered by Tech Support. As long as you are the administrator of your website, you can install a plug-in.

Plug-ins are important because they allow you to improve the functionality and performance of your website. As we like to tell our clients at Mountaintop, “Whatever your business needs, there is a WordPress plug-in for it.”

Do you want to add contact forms? Are you looking to speed up your website? Is an e-commerce portal something you’re considering for your business? 

There is a WordPress plug-in for that!

What Are The Best WordPress Plug-Ins For Your Business?

1. Yoast SEO

You can have the most beautiful website on the Internet with content written by award-winning writers but unless your website is optimized for search, no one will find it. 

Yoast SEO is perhaps the most popular plug-in for optimizing your website. What can Yoast SEO do to help give your search ranking a boost? 

  • Enhance your brand building strategies by providing you with the best templates for title and meta descriptions.
  • Take advantage of Yoast SEO’s innovative Schema implementation which helps search engines understand your website and improve your chances to contend for the high volume search results.
  • Access to tools that improve the searchability of your content such as SEO analysis and Readability analysis.
  • Use Yoast SEO’s Snippet Preview to get a peek into how your page will appear in the search results.

And much more!

Yoast SEO is like a do-it-all plug-in for your website. In addition to optimization, Yoast SEO has features that allow you to manage your website and ensure it can perform at its best all the time.

2. Ninja Forms

The great thing about having a website is that it can do everything for your business. 

If a prospective customer wants to find out more about your products and services, he can simply fill out an inquiry form.

If someone wants to attend a seminar you are hosting, he can sign up via your website’s event registration form.

These are the advantages of having forms on your website. And one of the best plug-ins to use is Ninja Forms. 

How good is Ninja Forms? It has been downloaded more than 11,000,000 times!

3. WooCommerce

So you started out with a standard business website but have decided to sell some products. Should you pay for a new e-commerce website?

No need! All you have to do is download the WooCommerce plug-in!

WooCommerce is an e-commerce plug-in that has been designed and developed for WordPress. This amazing plug-in is fully customizable to fit the needs of your business. 

WooCommerce is fast and easy to set up. Within minutes, you can have an e-commerce feature with payment and shipping options that are 100% safe and easy to use.

If you plan to use WooCommerce on your website, you will be in good company! WooCommerce is used by Google, PayPal, MailChimp, and Facebook among other big-name companies. 

4. OptinMonster

Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for converting interest into paying customers. According to a study by eMarketer, the average ROI on email marketing is 122%.

With these in mind, you should have email marketing as part of your digital marketing toolbox. One of the best plug-ins to optimize your email marketing strategy is OptinMonster. 

OptinMonster will provide your site with high-performing and easily customizable opt-in forms that allow you to target specific segments of your audience. 

Are potential customers abandoning their shopping carts at your e-commerce site? Don’t worry! OptinMonster can convert the visitors who abandoned their carts into email subscribers.

5. Updraft Plus

Part of your website’s security and protection protocols should be an automatic backup of your assets. Without backup, if your website gets hijacked by cyber-criminals, your assets will be hard to retrieve. 

Updraft Plus is one of the most popularly downloaded plug-ins for WordPress because it triggers an automatic backup of your system. You can keep your assets safe in secured sites such as DropBox, Google Drive, or Rackspace.

If your website goes down, you can easily get it back on the Internet because your assets have been held safe and secure. 

WordPress Security 

The next 2 plug-ins – WordFence and iThemes Security – are some of the best security plug-ins you can install on your website. 

We have written about WordFence in our article “Why You Need WordFence For Your WordPress Website.” 

For its part, iThemes Security has a lot of security features that can protect your website from different forms of cyber-attacks.

6. WordFence

We cannot understate the importance of security for your website. It’s estimated cyber-criminals launch 30,000 attacks every day. Because WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Internet, it’s a safe bet these attacks are centered on WordPress websites.

One of the best security plug-ins for WordPress is WordFence which functions as a malware scanner and firewall. The app is designed by Defiant.

The objective of Defiant in developing WordFence was to address cyber-attacks that were coursed through flaws in the website’s Cross-Site Scripting program or XSS. 

If a visitor landed on a compromised home page, he would be redirected to a malicious website.

According to Defiant, WordFence has been downloaded more than 150 million times. 

7. iThemes Security 

Your WordPress website can become vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to faulty plug-ins, weak passwords, and the lack of adequate security. Unless your website is covered by round-the-clock security, you could become a cyber-security statistic while you’re sleeping. 

iThemes Security is a high-level security plug-in that does not fall asleep on the job. It will give you more than 30 ways to protect your website from various threats. 

Some of the plug-in’s security features include:

  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Scheduling of Website Malware Scanning
  • Assistance in Creating Stronger Passwords
  • Integrate Google CAPTCHA
  • Immediate Scanning of Your Website to Identify Vulnerabilities

When it comes to your website’s security, it’s a good idea to have more than one plug-in. 

Website Speed And Performance

To move up the search rankings, your website has to ensure top-level user experience all the time. For this reason, website speed should be a priority. 

According to Google, 53% of mobile users will abandon the search if the page fails to load within 3 seconds. 

Your website has to be user-friendly. This is very important if you have an e-commerce website. Similar to shopping at a high-end mall, you want to make sure the shopper is having a great time inside your store. 

8. JetPack

If you must have only one WordPress plug-in for your website – surely, JetPack should be on the shortlist. 

JetPack is an all-in-one plug-in that can provide multiple amazing features for your website:

  • 24/7 Security for your website
  • Use built-in tools that can improve your website speed, optimize images for search, and reduce bandwidth usage so you can save more money.
  • Thinking of selling merchandise? Add PayPal buttons to your website.
  • Use JetPack’s SEO tools to optimize your content in your various social media sites.

9. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is an important plug-in to have for your WordPress website because it will help speed up download time. 

How? WP-Optimize offers you 3 benefits that focus on improving site speed and performance:

  • Removes unnecessary data to clean up your database and retrieves space that was lost due to fragmentation.
  • Compresses large image files that slow down your website.
  • Caches data and stores it in a temporary storage space for quick retrieval.

WP-Optimize also has a unique “minification” feature that minimizes the size of your assets. This results in fewer requests to your server which improves performance and the loading time of your website. 

10. WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a plug-in that helps improve the performance of your website and speed up its loading time through a host of features:

  • Caching the web pages for faster viewing
  • Caching for logged-in subscribers and for mobile users.
  • Reduces the volume of http requests.
  • Incorporates a GZIP Compression system that reduces the amount of bandwidth usage.
  • Concatenation and minification of CSS and JS files.

And many more!

WP Rocket is compatible with WooCommerce which is a big plus because many performance-optimization plug-ins aren’t. 

Conclusion

The great thing about having a website for your business is that you can introduce improvements any time you wish without shutting down, unlike a brick-and-mortar location. 

There are free versions of these plug-ins that give you access to the basic features. For a small fee, you can acquire the more advanced versions with upgraded features and more tools to improve your website. 

The fees are reasonable and if you think about it, are justifiable if the additional features will significantly contribute to the protection and performance of your website and eventual success of your business. 

What about you? Do you have a favorite plug-ins? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

And if you want to improve your website’s performance and security, please feel free to give us a call or an email. 

We all know that digital marketing has many advantages over traditional marketing. Digital marketing is more efficient; online-based marketing strategies have a wider reach and scope compared to traditional marketing strategies. Online content can be reused and repurposed making it more sustainable than flyers, newspaper ads, and streamers. Perhaps the biggest advantage of digital over old school traditional methods is that having a website as the centerpiece of your marketing strategy allows you to track performance in real-time via Google Analytics. 

Yes, we understand if the word “Analytics” can get some of you sweating or scratching your head. “Analytics” sounds like a technical term that is best reserved for experts such as web designers and IT professionals. 

The truth is, you don’t have to be an IT wizard to learn and appreciate the value of analytics. And when it comes to analytics, look no further than Google Analytics brought to you by the world’s biggest search engine.

What Is Google Analytics?

For those readers who worked in Marketing in the 90s and the early part of the millennium, it must have been a challenge to get the company to invest in a marketing campaign.

The company’s key decision-maker would always pose this question:

“What is the estimated ROI on your proposed marketing strategy?”

While traditional marketing methods have a way of tracking performance such as through the use of codes and a numbering system or by identifying any significant changes in sales, these processes are largely inefficient, time-consuming, and costly.

This question, as well as other nagging ones, was answered in November 2005 when Google Analytics was officially launched.

By definition:

Google Analytics is a service provided by Google that enables businesses to track, collate, and organize data about their website such as traffic volume, amount of time spent per page, conversion rate, and visitor demographics. 

With Google Analytics, you have access to data that will help you monitor and evaluate the real-time performance of your current marketing strategy. You can pinpoint weaknesses in your marketing strategy, create alternative courses of action, and implement improvements in the campaign. 

What Can Google Analytics Do For My Business?

A lot! 

Google Analytics removes guesswork. It helps you find the answers to the nagging questions that may have given you a few sleepless nights. 

If business numbers are not good, Google Analytics gives you a fighting chance because you can identify the problems right away and work on developing immediate solutions.

Here are 5 benefits that your business can derive from using Google Analytics.

1. Develop a Keen Understanding Of Your Target Market

Your website is a data-gathering tool. It will pick up important information about your visitors that will help you understand their online behavioral patterns and collect data on their demographics. 

Armed with these types of information, you can create a more accurate Buyer’s Profile. With a solid Buyer’s Profile, you can proceed to divide your market into segments and publish content that targets the right audience like a guided laser.

2. Strengthen Your Brand-Building Strategies

Knowing the types of content that your audience likes to read, the online platform they use to read your content, and the preferred device for accessing the Internet are valuable inputs you can use to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy that will build your brand. 

Google Analytics gives you data-backed evidence so you can get the “pulse” of your audience. You’ll get a “feel” of who they are and have a better perspective of how to position your brand so they can get a “feel” of who you are.

3. Keep Track of Your Search Rankings

How important are the search rankings? 

The first five URLs that appear on the first page of the SERP account for 67.6% of all online traffic.

And hardly anyone goes to page 2 of the SERP. 

If you’re wondering why your current SEO strategy isn’t pushing your website up the search rankings, you can find the clues via Google Analytics.

4. Establish Realistic Goals

What is the goal of your digital marketing campaign? 

  • Do you want to build your brand?
  • Are you looking to add to your number of followers?
  • Are you focused on increasing the conversion rate?

Setting goals is an important step in growing a successful business. Google Analytics has a feature called Goals Overview that will allow you to keep track of your goals.

Staying on top of where you are in the pursuit of your goals will go a long way in improving your team’s level of productivity while sticking to the parameters of your budget.

5. Gain Valuable Insights On the Competition

Are you wondering about what your competitors are doing? Why are their websites ranking higher than yours? Why do they have followers and more engagements? 

Wonder no more. Google Analytics has a feature that gives you valuable insights into what your competitors are doing. You have a virtual bird’s eye view of the strategies your competitors are implementing to stay ahead of you.

How To Use Google Analytics – A Guide For Intermediates

Google has always been big on User Experience or UX. The search engine giant’s algorithm frequently undergoes changes to include ranking factors designed to motivate website owners to improve UX. 

Thus, it is only fair for Google to give website owners an assist by making Google Analytics easy enough for non-IT professionals – beginners and intermediates – to understand.

The key is to not be overwhelmed by the sheer number of tools made available by Google Analytics. Stick to the basics about Google Analytics then slowly increase your knowledge of its more detailed applications. 

As someone who has Intermediate-level knowledge of Google Analytics, we assume that you have already set up a Google Analytics account. You must be familiar with the following actions required of Google Analytics and a few of its basic features:

  • Installing the Tracking Code – A program that collects data on your website’s activity
  • Setting Goals – A feature that allows you to set targets or goals for your website and informs Google if such goals were achieved.
  • Site Search – A feature that enables Google to track all searches done on your website and collect important information about your visitors.

At an intermediate level, learning your way around the Audience Report will give you the keys to unlocking valuable information about your website visitors. 

Whenever you open Google Analytics, you will see your Audience Overview report which is just one of 50 reports that you will have access to. 

One of the first things that will catch your eye in the Audience Overview report is a graph depicting the number of sessions your visitors have undertaken. Below the graph, you will find key information about your visitors’ behavior such as:

  • Number of Sessions
  • Number of Users
  • Pageviews
  • Pages per Session
  • Average Duration per Session
  • Bounce Rate
  • Percentage of New Sessions

By using figures provided by these data, you will be able to assess the performance of your digital marketing campaign thus far.

  • Are your strategies generating more visits?
  • Which types of content are your audience spending more time on?
  • How many new/unique visitors are you attracting every month?
  • How much time does a visitor spend on your website?

In addition to the Audience Overview, the Audience Report will give you valuable information on six factors that are crucial for developing strategies to improve your website’s performance:

  1. Demographics – Find out which gender and age group are primarily patronizing your website and will most likely contribute to your goal of increasing conversion rate.
  2. Interests – Pinpoint the topics that your audience is most interested in so you can fine-tune your content marketing strategy. If you’re thinking about investing in Pay-Per-Click advertising, the data can be helpful in targeting the groups where will you have the highest probability of converting interest into sales.
  3. Geo – Where are your visitors coming from and what language do they speak? These types of information will give you insights to develop more effective content writing, local SEO, and advertising strategies.
  4. Behavior – Data on behavior is very important because tastes and preferences are constantly changing thanks to the influence of the Internet. In this overview, you get information about the frequency of visits, time spent per visit, and the pages they frequent every time they land on your website.
  5. Technology – If you’re developing online tools for your business, data on technology will let you know if you should focus on Mac or Chrome-based software programs.
  6. Mobile – Sure, we know that 65% of online traffic comes from mobile – but can the same be said about your visitors? 

Find out the breakdown of mobile, tablet, and PC users and the percentage of iOS and Android users among your followers.

For intermediate-level Google Analysts, another important feature to learn is Email Notifications. 

This is a feature that allows you to receive updates on specific Google Analytics reports via scheduled emails. 

Setting up Email Notifications is easy!

  1. Select the report that you want to be emailed to you on a scheduled basis.
  2. Above the report title click “email”.
  3. In the field titled “From”, you will find the email address that you use to log in to Google Analytics.
  4. Go to the “To” field, enter the email addresses you have designated to receive the data. Make sure the email addresses are separated by a comma.
  5. Type in the subject then select the frequency of transmission and the format to be used.
  6. To set the duration Google Analytics sends the report, go to “Advanced Options”.
  7. To work on the body of the email, go to the field “Text” and press Enter.

Then, click “Send”.

The wonderful thing about the Email Notifications feature is that you don’t have to log in to Google Analytics to get your reports. You can set the frequency that these reports are sent to you based on your convenience. 

At the intermediate level, you might prefer the feature Advanced Segments to Custom Reports because you may want to be more specific and detailed in your segmentation. 

With the Advanced Segments feature, you can group the data into categories so you will have a clearer picture of who your website visitors are. Once you have gotten more comfortable with Custom Reports, the Advanced Segments feature will be easier to use and understand.

Earlier in this article, we briefly discussed the importance of having data on mobile usage. The world is becoming increasingly more dependent on mobile technology. In the United States alone, 58% of all searches are done on a mobile device.

You can get in-depth data on the mobile experience your visitors are having on your website; data that can help you find the answers to the following questions:

  • What keywords are my visitors using to land on my website?
  • Is my website downloading fast enough for mobile device users?
  • Is my website navigable on a mobile device?
  • How does online behavior differ between mobile and desktop users?
  • Should I optimize content based on mobile keywords?

The last feature of Google Analytics that would benefit intermediate-level users would be Profile Filters.

The Profile Filters feature adds a different dimension to segmentation. You may have some nagging questions such as “Why does mobile account for a very small percentage of our email subscriptions?”

Applying specific filters allow you to run tests on the traffic coming to your website. Profile Filters lets you customize the type of reports that Google Analytics is generating on your website so you can find possible answers to the nagging questions. 

Conclusion

Be patient during the transition from beginner to intermediate level Google Analytics user. We all have different competencies and it might take some longer than others to be proficient with the more advanced features of Google Analytics.

What’s important is to use Google Analytics to pinpoint the weaknesses and flaws of your website and in your digital marketing strategies. 

Google Analytics puts an end to guesswork. You have access to real-time data to help you formulate the best decisions that could change the game for your business. 

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

And if you are thinking of building a mobile responsive website for your business, give us a call or drop an email. We will have a high-performance, fully-optimized, and responsive website up and running for you in no time!

Good people are hard to come by. In a competitive industry, once you find top talent, you must do what you can to retain them. Otherwise, they will leave and potentially end up with your competitor. 

Retaining top talent not only helps you consistently deliver results and maintain the quality of output but it also lowers the cost of employee turnover which is estimated at 2.5 times the cost of an employee’s salary. 

So how do you manage top talent and keep them in your company? Is it just a matter of paying them a higher salary? 

You might be surprised to learn that money is not the primary motivating factor that keeps top talent from transferring jobs. 

Here are 5 ways to manage – and retain – the top talent in your company.

1. Present Top Talent With Frequent Challenges

Perception is what separates top talent from those in the lower rung. When presented with challenges, those at the top-end view them as opportunities to prove their abilities. 

In contrast, the ones who lag behind do so because they perceive challenges as threats. They believe they are put in tough situations to expose their weaknesses and shortcomings. 

Top talent lives for the challenges because it gives their work meaning and purpose. For example, if the company chooses them to manage a project, they perceive it as a sign of trust and confidence. 

However, you have to be judicious when presenting top talent with challenges. If the task falls too far off from their competencies, they might fail and blame you for having expectations they could not meet. 

The purpose of challenging top talent is to help them grow. You see potential but the skills are still raw. Instead, take them on a journey and be their guide. 

Present top talent with challenges that will help them achieve the next level of personal and professional growth.

To be faced with challenges creates pressure. But just like applying heat and pressure turns graphite to diamonds, challenges turn potential into future leaders of your organization.

2. Approach Them As Individuals

A person is recognized as a top talent because he stands out from the others. 

He could be working with a team but the performance data and keen observation have confirmed that his individual contribution was primarily successful for the success of the company.

If you took him out of the team, succeeding performances would fall below the standard he set and would be underwhelming. 

For this reason, you must treat him as a unique individual. 

To clarify, top talent is a team player. His motivation to perform at the highest level is the success of the team. 

A good example is an athlete who always wins all the individual awards and records the most impressive statistics but his team keeps losing. The individual accolades mean nothing unless the team wins.

However, top talent wants you to recognize his efforts and contributions. That without him, the team goes from “special” to “average”. 

The best way to go about this is to take a proactive approach. Don’t wait for the evaluations to come in or for top talent to come to you and ask for special considerations such as approval for his vacation leave. 

Reach out and take the initiative to show you care and appreciate his efforts. 

For example, if you know he has filed for vacation leave or paternity leave, approve it right away. Then,  give him the good news – personally.

“I just want to be the person to tell you that your vacation leave was approved. You deserve it! In fact, if you want to extend your vacation by a bit, let me know. I’ll see if I can work something out with HR. It’s the least I can do to show you how much I appreciate your talent.”

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3. Be Sincere When You Show Appreciation

One of the biggest mistakes made by supervisors and managers is taking an arms-length approach to handling their people. They associate indifference with strength and authority – that people have to do more to earn their praise. 

Thus, when someone makes an incredible accomplishment, they withhold appreciation and rationalize the achievement as just “part of the job.”

“That’s what the company pays you for.”

But here’s the thing: Top talent does care about being acknowledged. 

Not everyone can do what they do and that’s what makes top talent stand out. They’re special and without them, your company would not be where it is today. Chances are, they won’t show how they feel. The best managers are intuitive – they can sense it. 

So you must show appreciation and acknowledge the work the most talented people in your company have done. 

But do so sincerely. And it’s not as hard as you think.

You don’t have to pull out the red carpet every time someone in your organization hits a target or achieves a milestone. 

A simple pat on the back and a verbal acknowledgment will suffice. Don’t follow the formulaic “Good job!” but have a sincere conversation.

“The work you put in to close the deal with XYZ Company was amazing and timely. On behalf of the company, I thank you for that. I want to assure you that your talent and contributions to the company do not go unnoticed. Keep up what you’re doing and you will have a bright future with us. If there’s anything you need or want to be addressed, you can come and see me.”

4. Introduce a Career Path/Succession Planning Program

Career pathing and succession planning are key elements in developing talent in your organization. Many companies overlook the importance of both programs and believe that you can have one without the other. 

Also, some managers think the terms are interchangeable. No, they are not.

Career pathing is a mechanism that enables talent to chart their path within the organization. You can say that career pathing is viewed from the perspective of the employee. 

Basically, he undergoes an assessment test designed to measure his skills, abilities, interests, and aspirations so he can find out the best role within the organization that can help him fulfill his potential.

Succession planning is a process that helps HR identify and nurture talent to fill out key positions in the organization.

HR develops criteria for identifying, evaluating, testing, and selecting the best people in the organization for specific positions. The experiences and accomplishments of these individuals are also included in the process. 

Once the people – the top talent – are identified, they can be scheduled for training to improve specific skill sets and to develop key attributes. 

Both career pathing and succession planning provide an integral component in managing talent in your company – direction. Without the availability of these programs, your employees – even the most talented ones – will begin to feel they are in a dead-end career. 

5. Encourage Greater Involvement

Encouraging your top talent to be more involved in the organization is another effective way of treating them as individuals.

By asking for their advice on matters that are not related to their specific duties and responsibilities, you are letting them know their skills and abilities are not limited or confined – and that you recognize this. 

Imagine if you were assigned to Finance then the boss comes over to you and asks for your opinion on how to expand the business in another location or region of the world. 

Initially, you might think this is a head-scratching moment but then you’ll realize the boss has noticed your other abilities and talents. This is an opportunity for you to prove your boss is correct – that he approached the right person.

Wouldn’t this make you feel more assured that you are working for the right organization?

Getting your top talent to be more involved with the business accomplishes 2 things. 

First, it will motivate them to work harder because they feel valued. Second, you get to see how they perform in a different setting – where the risks, as well as the stakes, are higher. 

Conclusion

It will be heartbreaking to find out how you could have retained one of your best people during the exit interview. 

Don’t be the last to know. As the business owner or the manager, you have to take a proactive approach. It’s never too late to implement processes and programs designed to keep your people happy and motivated to work for your company.

By doing so, they may not only work for your company but in the future, they may end up working with you in your company.

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As the quarantine period is being slowly lifted in several states as well as countries around the world, many people are preparing to go back to the workplace. However, things at the office will not be the same. 

Without a vaccine, the risk of contracting the coronavirus or Covid-19 remains high. Places, where congregation takes place such as malls, restaurants, and even offices, will be asked to observe social distancing and proper hygiene. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has asked organizations to cancel events that bring in more than 50 people in one location. The rule of social distancing requires people to be at least six feet apart. 

So if your office is small, it’s possible that 50% of your team – or more – has to work from home. 

That adjustment in manpower can change the dynamic of your workplace. 

People that you are so used to seeing – perhaps having a morning cup of coffee with – will no longer be in the office on a regular basis. 

Although shared space collaboration will remain, the lack of physical presence will create a feeling of emptiness that may be difficult for some people to adjust to. A workplace environment that is dealing with emotional distress will not be conducive to productivity. 

The same can be said for your team members who have been assigned work from home duties. 

It may sound like a great idea to wake up every morning without having to worry about traffic, but the change in the work environment will take a period of adjustment.

For one thing, distractions abound inside the home. Second, not having familiar faces – and voices – in the workplace will give your home office a different vibe that will take some time to get used to.

But this is the new normal. 

To remain our overall health and safety as well as those of our loved ones, we have to observe social distancing which means working from home most of the time. 

Given the changes in the workplace environment, is it still possible to create and nurture a culture that is conducive for productivity?

How To Create A Productive Workplace Culture – At The Office And At Home

The answer is “Yes”.

As the saying goes, “time heals all wounds”.

It may take some time to get used to the new normal but in a few months, the “new normal” will just be normal.

The great thing about humanity is that we adapt. We are resilient. 

Not only will mankind eventually find a way to beat Covid-19 but we will ensure that the virus will not beat us.

Life – and work – will go on!

In the meantime, we’ll have to modify our business model to adhere to the guidelines in support of social distancing and other measures outlined by the government and health organizations.

Thus, if you decide to maintain an office, some of your employees will have to work from home to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Can you still be productive?

Yes! It’s a matter of finding creative solutions that can help maintain the dynamic within your organization.

Here are a few suggestions that you may want to consider when integrating a work from home or telecommuting program in your workforce. 

1. Mix It Up

Who’s going to be assigned work from home duties? 

Everyone!

Instead of designating specific people for office-based and home-based work, give everyone an opportunity to experience remote employment by coming up with a rotating schedule.

For example, if you have 20 employees, you can divide them into 2 teams with 10 members each.

  • Team A – Office-Based
  • Team B – Work From Home

After 2 weeks, switch up their assignments. Members of Team A will work from home while members of Team B will report to the office.

You should also change the composition of each team every month. 

For example:

  • Team A – Bill, Sally, George, Tom, and Raffy
  • Team B – Bob, Ted, Sarah, Tim, and Gina

The following month, switch around your team members:

  • Team A – Bill, Ted, George, Tim, and Gina
  • Team B – Bob, Sally, Sarah, Tom, and Raffy

By mixing up the composition of your teams, no one loses the vibe they had with the other employees. Everyone gets a chance to maintain the same high-touch connection they have with each other.

2. Update Your Mission Statement

Once you have your team assignments finalized, gather everyone together, and discuss your company’s updated mission vision.

Why should you update your mission statement?

For the reason that work – and life – as everyone knew it has changed. There are new challenges ahead and coming to work is no longer just about commerce or having a means of livelihood. 

Having a job is about helping the economy recover by generating employment, demand, and activity – all the while becoming mindful of health guidelines to remain safe and virus-free.

According to a study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, more people are motivated to work if there is a stronger sense of purpose. The study noted that the rise in numbers extends across generations – Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. 

The mission statement should be revised to keep everyone together even if their office mates are working from home – and maintain their focus. 

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3. Schedule Get-Togethers

Some team members may be working from home but this doesn’t mean they are exempt from meetings – and the frequent water cooler get-togethers. 

At this time of the new normal, your mindset should be “Business as Usual”.

If you’ve been conducting pre-shift and post-shift meetings, continue the practice by getting your remote team onboard with the use of digital platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, or Skype. 

You can also schedule company water cooler breaks or “Coffee Time” and invite your remote team to join in. 

These informal “meetings” are a great way of helping the remote team to adjust to the work from home environment. The experiences they share can help the other team members prepare for their work from home assignments when it is their time. 

You should take note of these experiences and use them to fine-tune your work from home program and come up with a company manual on telecommuting.

4. Encourage Friendly Competition

The workplace is a venue for competition. If you want to get the promotion, you have to stay ahead of the competition by accomplishing more and contributing to the success of the company.

That does not change even if you shift to a telecommuting arrangement. 

You can spur productivity by encouraging friendly competition between the office-based and remote teams. 

For example, you can create a contest as to which team can accomplish more tasks. Establish benchmarks such as quality, accuracy, and timeliness. 

To the winner goes the spoils of victory – but they don’t have to be expensive. You can pay for food delivery for a week or give the winning team a day off from work.

Another benefit of having periodic competition is that it gives you a platform for measuring the effectiveness of the telecommuting program and the performance of your employees.  

Let’s say the telecommuting team has been struggling regardless of its composition, use the available data to find out why. 

  • Are there latency issues?
  • Are there distractions at home that have to be addressed?
  • Are there specific people who are just not cut out for telecommuting?
  • Are there individual behaviors that have to be addressed?

Like other new programs, you cannot expect to get the telecommuting arrangement right from the get-go. There is a learning curve to respect and growing pains to overcome.

5. Change Up the Scenery

With 50% of your team working from home, your office space will look – vacant. Meanwhile, those working remotely may find the surroundings more conducive to home life than getting work done. 

The solution? Change up the scenery at the office and at the home office. 

For example, add plants to fill out the open spaces in the office. A U.K. study has shown that plants can increase productivity in the workplace by 15%. 

Here are other tips you can use to make the workplace interesting:

  • Buy a couch and a few lounge chairs and create a lounging area where your employees can relax during breaktime. 
  • Introduce a standing desk area for employees who want to stretch out while working instead of staying cramped up in their seats. 
  • Buy succulents for your remote team. Succulents are plants that store a lot of water in their stems and leaves. They are highly resistant to drought which means succulents don’t require much water. This makes succulents very easy to grow and care for. 
  • Play music in the workplace. Music can help stimulate creativity. However, practice democracy in the main office. Make sure the music you play is acceptable to everyone. 

Conclusion

Over at Silicon Valley, tech companies such as Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter, Slack, and Alphabet announced that their employees may continue to work from home until 2021. 

Other than safety concerns for their employees, adopting a telecommuting arrangement helps the companies save up on rental costs and expenses for travel and conferences. 

Todd McKinnon, CEO of Okta Inc., was pleasantly surprised that productivity has vastly improved with the integration of a work from home program.

Therefore, if you’re worried that productivity might drop if employees work from home – don’t be. 

Simply look at the adoption of a work from home or telecommuting arrangement as a collaborative effort. Everyone will take part in it and do a good job as if they were back in the “old normal”. 

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If you’re a retailer, shifting to or integrating an online business model such as setting up an e-commerce website is a smart move. Consumers are increasingly becoming more dependent on mobile technology to fulfill their everyday needs. 

From US $2.3 Trillion to US $3.5 Trillion global sales, e-commerce is projected to hit US $6.5 Trillion in 2023. In the United States, e-commerce accounts for 10% of total sales in retail. 

What this means is that e-commerce is still a growing industry!  

It must seem that an entrepreneur can just close his eyes, open an e-commerce site, and wait for the cash to start rolling in. Unfortunately, that is not the case. For all the hits your website is getting, many visitors end up abandoning their carts at the checkout counter. 

According to data compiled by Baymard Institute from 41 cases on e-commerce websites, 69.5% of consumers abandon their purchase at the checkout counter. 

Therefore, if 100 people visit your e-commerce site, close to 70 people do not complete their purchase. That’s a lot of dollars left at the checkout counter! Instead of the cash register ringing, your alarm bells are sounding off.

We’re here to tell you that it’s not a lost cause. You can still turn things around and convert interest into income. First, let’s find out why consumers are abandoning the items at the checkout counter.

6 Reasons Why Shoppers Are Abandoning Carts At The Checkout Counter

If you’re at the local grocery store, you would probably abandon your shopping cart if the queue was too long, an emergency came up, or if you realize that you don’t really need the items.

The situation is not as simple when it comes to e-commerce websites. 

Shoppers have different personalities. When they’re online, their behavior changes somewhat because they are not seen. In a grocery store, psychological factors can come into play that prevents a shopper from foregoing a purchase. 

For example, abandoning the sale means moving the cart out of the queue which may become an inconvenience for other shoppers within the vicinity. It’s easier to click out of an e-commerce store. 

So what are the common reasons shoppers abandon their purchase? Here is a list of 6 reasons that were compiled by Statista:

  1. Unexpected costs in buying the item such as shipping and delivery – 56% of respondents.
  2. Site visitor had no intention to actually buy as he was merely “browsing” – 37% of respondents.
  3. The shopper found another e-commerce site that offered him a better deal – 36% of respondents.
  4. The shopper found the navigation process of the e-commerce site “difficult” – 25% of respondents.
  5. The process from selection to purchase took too long – 21% of respondents.
  6. The shopper was concerned about the security and protection of his personal information – 17% of respondents.

Now, there could be other reasons that made a shopper change his mind. But having knowledge about the major factors that resulted in the abandonment of the cart will help you come up with the necessary improvements to address the problem.

8 Ways To Fix Cart Abandonment Problems

You might be surprised to learn that the solutions to address the cart abandonment problem are not complicated. Yes, these 8 simple solutions can turn foregone sales into actual cash if done correctly.

1. Be Transparent with Your Shopping Costs

Have you ever gotten excited about finding the product you’ve been looking for in an e-commerce store only to have shipping costs – to borrow the title of a popular TV show – curb your enthusiasm? 

Market analysts refer to the condition as “Pricing Shock” and the same thing will happen to your customers if you aren’t transparent about your hidden charges. Pricing Shock is one of the leading causes of cart abandonment but can be easily fixed with these 2 adjustments at your checkout counter.

  • Include a shipping calculator so the shopper can have an idea of the total cost of purchase before adding the item on his cart.
  • Provide attractive discounts based on the volume of purchases.

2. Make Site Security a Priority

According to a 2016 study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 45% of Americans cut back on online shopping because of fears their personal information would be stolen by cybercriminals.

Even though the U.S. government has stepped up its drive versus online theft, the truth is that you cannot stop cybercriminals. You can only hope to slow them down by constantly improving your site’s defenses. 

As evidenced by the continued growth of e-commerce, consumers will continue to shop online. However, consumers will be more cautious about the sites they visit. 

  • Secure your e-commerce site with SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificates. Google has included SSL certificates as a ranking factor in its search algorithm. 

If your website does not have SSL, you will see the words “Not Secure” before your URL. 

You can learn more about SSL certificates in our blog “SSL Basics: Why You Need It To Protect Your Website From Hackers”.  

  • Include a Guest Checkout Option so that the visitor won’t be required to open an account. Likewise, a Guest Checkout Option will shorten the buying process.

3. Send an Email to the Shopper

When a visitor is serious about buying products from your e-commerce store, chances are he will provide his email address as part of the purchase process. 

You can set up an autoresponder that sends out an email to the shopper notifying him that he has items left in the cart. 

The email must have the following details:

  • Description of items left in the cart including quantity and price.
  • Date when the items in the cart will be completely removed. 
  • Instructions on how to resume the purchase.

If the shopper does not act on your email in 24 hours, send out another one.

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4. Take the Personal Approach

Having an autoresponder system in place will help you keep track of the incidents of cart abandonment. However, by itself, an auto-generated email may not succeed in completing the sale.

An effective way of complimenting your autoresponder system is to incorporate a personal approach to your customers. 

Once you receive a notification that a shopper has abandoned the purchase, reach out, and send a personal email. Find out how you can help. 

The reason may not be any of the 6 described earlier. For example, there may have been a problem with the shopper’s credit or debit card. 

If you can find another way for the shopper to complete the purchase, he may just go back to your e-commerce site and finish the transaction.

5. Review Your Site Analytics

To get a more accurate picture of why shoppers are abandoning their purchase, review your site analytics. It will give you a data-based description of your shopper’s online behavior. 

Google Analytics has a Users Flow report that tells you the path your visitors took when exploring your website. The Users Flow report will give you information on where the bulk of your site visitors are coming from and data on the amount of traffic experienced by each page.

You will see if there are potential bottlenecks in site traffic and where volume is falling off before the visitor starts to click on items for his shopping cart. 

The information provided by your site analytics will help you and your webmaster find ways to improve the lagging pages so that the shopper will feel more encouraged to complete the purchase. 

6. Improve Site Navigation

Too many clicks spoil the experience.

If the process of completing the purchase takes longer than expected, you will find more items abandoned in the carts of shoppers. When it comes to online activity, consumers are not very patient. 

Improve user experience by implementing the following improvements:

  • Organize the products in a manner that makes it easier for the shopper to find them. 
  • Add a “Quick Preview” feature that allows the shopper to view the product in greater detail. Incorporate a “Zoom In” feature and give complete product descriptions.
  • Limit the number of clicks it takes to complete a purchase down to three: Choose Item – Add to Cart – Checkout

7. Use Better Product Images

As the old saying goes, “Customers shop with their eyes”.

A good product image can mean more than a thousand words. The shopper might base his decision to buy your product on the image that’s posted on your site. If the image is not of good quality, it will not entice the shopper to complete the purchase.

  • Use high-resolution images for your product shots. 
  • The images should show the shopper the best way to enjoy the product.
  • Take photos of the product from different angles.

Lastly, make sure the shopper gets what he sees on your website. 

8. Highlight Social Proof

Social proof includes positive product reviews, testimonials, and other forms of quantifiable evidence that prove the value of your product. 

Before making a purchase, many shoppers undertake research by browsing through product reviews and testimonials. 

For example, when you are looking for a specific product to buy at Amazon, most likely you will choose the brand that has the highest number of stars and the best reviews. 

  • Invite your customers to post product reviews.
  • Ask your loyal customers to give testimonials.
  • Highlight positive reviews that your products may have received from other sites such as Google Reviews or Yelp. 

Social proof will make the decision-making process easier for the consumer.

Conclusion

As you have read, a few simple adjustments can protect your e-commerce business from losing potential sales. 

Remember that consumers’ online behavioral patterns will always be in a constant state of change. The adjustments that you made today may have to undergo tweaking in the next few months or years. 

The bottom line is to keep your e-commerce website updated in design and function. Similar to the consumer’s tastes and preferences, your website design must remain current, relevant, and dynamic. 

If your site is experiencing cart abandonment problems, give us a call or an email and we will take a look at it right away. 

We are a one of Denver’s Top Web Design Companies that are known for our results.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

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At the time of this writing, businesses are preparing to come out of a government-imposed quarantine period. As you prepare for your business to reopen, one of your key strategies should be to invest in digital marketing because the “new normal” has created new opportunities that you can capitalize on. 

Business At The Time Of The New Normal

For more than a month, the world came to a standstill in an effort to contain the spread of the fast-moving strain of coronavirus, Covid-19.  

While necessary, the extended period of inactivity took its toll on several businesses. Many had to scale back operations and retrench but a number of small businesses could not survive and had to close down for good.

Several key industries have suffered massive losses due to Covid-19. Foremost of this is the travel industry which is projected to lose 820 billion dollars in revenues in 2020. 

In the United States, many companies started to layoff employees in an effort to streamline costs as soon as Covid-19 was declared a pandemic and the government implemented community quarantine regulations.

Even as the world prepares to open for business, one thing remains clear: There is no going back to normal. Until such time that a vaccine is discovered, the risk of Covid-19 spreading throughout the population remains high. 

On average, it takes scientists 2 years to develop a vaccine. Based on this, the New Normal – defined by quarantine periods, face masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding crowds – could continue for up to the next 2 years. 

Similar to previous pandemic outbreaks such as the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 that affected St. Louis and Philadelphia, there will be intermittent periods of quarantine to contain the growth of new cases.

Thus, you should expect more work stoppages to occur. Businesses will be asked to close down during the quarantine period. 

If your business is located in a commercial establishment, expect less foot traffic as people will continue to practice social distancing or avoid places that attract large crowds. 

Why Your Small Business Needs Digital Marketing NOW

In view of the grim scenario facing businesses at the time of the new normal, why is embarking on an aggressive digital marketing strategy for your business a smart decision?

It depends on your view of chaos and uncertainty. As the saying goes, “In chaos, there is always opportunity.”

The global equities market took a sharp fall. Many investors were hit hard and absorbed massive financial losses. For others, primarily the speculators, they view the crash as an opportunity to “bargain hunt” and acquire blue-chip stocks at near-historical low prices. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a chain of events that shut down many businesses. 

It was unfortunate that these businesses had to close their operations but it’s possible they were in trouble before the pandemic started. The ensuing quarantine period merely exacerbated the situation.

By nature, the businesses that come out of the pandemic will be thinking of adopting short-term profitability strategies over long-term growth.  

For the reason that revenue-generating opportunities may be few and far between, most businesses will probably adopt cost-cutting measures. “Tighten the belt” until business is “back to normal”.

But things will not be “back to normal” – potentially not until after 2 years. 

Welcome to the New Normal. 

It’s understandable why businesses would want to streamline costs. It’s hard to pull the trigger on spending when your streams of revenues are drying up. You want to shore up capital and tighten up on spending to keep the business going.

Yes, the coronavirus pandemic dampened economic growth but opportunities remain in your industry – if you are looking – and there will be less competition. 

A study shared by digital marketing expert Neil Patel showed that several industries experienced massive drops in online traffic during the quarantine period. Conversion rates also showed a significant decline.

But people have remained online – searching for information that can be provided by the purveyors on the Internet. Information that could be provided by your business through a purposeful digital marketing strategy.

By investing in an aggressive digital marketing strategy, you will be capitalizing on opportunities for you to drive more traffic to your website, enhance your reputation as a valuable resource, and increase your online presence in the industry.

How To Run A Digital Marketing Campaign At The Time Of The New Normal

Now, time for some good news.

Businesses will recover. It will take some time – but make no mistake about it – despite the havoc created by the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, businesses will see a brighter day at the time of the new normal.

In the same study, Patel shared the findings of a research conducted by Standard & Poor that revealed it takes 536 days for the equities market to recover if it suffers a loss of 20%.

536 days is more than a year but less than 2 years. That’s a good sign! We might be on the road to recovery before a Covid-19 vaccine is discovered.

Another study this time from Harvard Business Review showed that businesses overall performed 9% better after a recession but businesses that focused on cost-cutting strategies outperformed their competitors by 21%.

21% is amazing! But here is something even more impressive…

Businesses that focused their resources on progressive strategies – doubling down on spending – outperformed their competitors by  37%. 

A 16% difference in performance could translate to thousands – even millions of dollars worth of revenue. 

With your competitors experiencing less traffic to their websites, it’s an opportune time to re-align your finances and double down on your digital marketing strategy. Quarantine may have kept people out of the office but not the Internet. 

1. Reach Out to Your Customers on Social Media

It’s not a pleasant time for most people. Many lost their jobs when the quarantine was imposed and their employers quickly moved to streamline expenses. 

With their personal income compromised, these people are worried about how they can pay their bills, loans, rent, or afford their children’s schooling.

This is not the time to publish sales copy. People are not looking to spend on products and services that are not essential to their survival. 

And even if your products and services are essential, it’s better to show compassion and empathy instead of coming across as indifferent.

Reach out to your customers and followers via social media and show them you care and understand the situation:

  • Share Experiences – Write in the First Person Point-of-View and let your customers know that you are going through similar difficulties by sharing a few experiences with them. Post a short 1-minute video from your home. Give your followers an update of how your life has been since the pandemic broke out and your views of the future. Make sure your message remains positive and optimistic. 
  • Engage Your Followers – After posting your video, invite your followers to share their experiences in the comments section. If people do post comments, take the time to respond to as many followers as you can. Whether the comment is good or bad, remain positive. Do not be confrontational. Everyone is going through tough times but some people might be in worse situations than others.
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2. Be Generous – Give Your Customers Special Offers

When you are in a bad situation, you should always look for a silver lining. If anything good came out of the Covid-19 quarantine period, it’s that people came together to help one another.

Not being able to work and earn a living for over a month can put a serious dent on anyone’s cash flow. People are only going to spend for the bare necessities because money is very tight. Even if the quarantine is lifted, their future remains uncertain. 

This is an excellent time to show your customers you care by giving them special offers such as generous discounts on products and services. People will look for ways to maximize their funds so discount offers will definitely be welcome. 

At the same time, you don’t want people to misinterpret your act as a roundabout way of making money during a crisis. You want to capitalize on an opportunity but you don’t want to be seen as opportunistic. 

Here’s how you do it:

  • Come up with Call-To-Action (CTA) with a generous offer and place it on the home page of your website.
  • Write a short post on your social media pages as a lead-in to the special offer. Explain to your followers why you are doing this. Keep the post short – no longer than 100 words.  
  • Include the link to your home page in your social media post. 

Even if your product or service is not considered an “essential” item, the cost savings will entice the customer to take advantage of your offer. 

Best of all, they will appreciate your generosity at this time of great need. 

3. Get Found – Tighten Up on Your SEO Strategies

Just because there are fewer competitors in your industry, it doesn’t mean that you should get complacent with your SEO strategies. After all, even with the ones that are left in the industry, the business environment remains competitive.

Take the opportunity to tighten up your SEO strategies. 

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of your website on the Internet by using a variety of techniques, tools, and processes. 

Whether your industry experienced a decline in organic traffic or not, this is the time to re-focus on your SEO strategy.  Remember, people are still online. They are searching for information that is relevant to their needs at this point in time. 

Keyword research is an essential part of SEO. Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for information on the Internet. If you can uncover these high search volume keywords, then you will know what people are looking for. 

The next step is to create content that uses these keywords. The main keyword should be in the title, the first paragraph, the body of the text, and the concluding paragraph. Mixed in a few secondary or low search volume keywords. 

Make sure the content is relevant to your business or industry! 

For example, if you are in the fitness industry, a good topic for a useful blog would be “10 Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do At Home” or “How To Stay Fit During The Quarantine”. 

Try to publish 3 to 4 blog posts per week. To improve your search rankings, the ideal word count is 2,000 to 2,400 words per blog.

4. Invest in PPC Advertising

PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising is an effective way of immediately giving your website a quick boost up the search rankings. When someone clicks on your ad, he finds himself on your website’s landing page.

PPC is also a cost-effective form of advertising because you only pay the agency whenever someone clicks on your ad. 

In his study, Neil Patel shared that the cost of PPC advertising has gone down since the Covid-19 quarantine period started. Some marketers have estimated that the cost of PPC advertising has decreased by 6% across all verticals.

This is an opportunity for you to generate some good ROI on your PPC investment. The cost per click is much lower and there aren’t many competitors in the industry. 

5. Focus on Building Your Local Presence

Local area marketing is more important now because people are staying close to home. Community quarantine procedures have restricted travel to within the town or city. 

If you have a brick-and-mortar business, review your current local area marketing strategy:

  • Find out if the business information in your online search directory profile is updated.
  • Showcase the high rankings or scores that your business has received.
  • Publish positive reviews whenever possible.

You might also want to consider incorporating a delivery service to your business for greater ease and convenience for your customers. Check if the community quarantine guidelines in your area have indicated a specific time for deliveries. 

Conclusion

As difficult as the Covid-19 pandemic has become, in time, it shall also pass. Throughout our history, mankind has overcome worse afflictions such as the Bubonic Plague, influenza, measles, smallpox, the Ebola virus, and the earlier versions of the coronavirus – SARS and MERS.

Yes, we are in the new normal but believe it – business will go on as usual.

If you let your guard down, others will take advantage of the opportunities that are available in your industry. The quarantine is only a temporary cessation of activity but your drive to grow your business should never stop. 

Keep your foot on the Digital Marketing pedal. In this time of the new normal, Digital Marketing will drive your business to a better future. 

How are you dealing with the new normal? Please share your tips in the comments section. 

If you need help getting your Digital Marketing campaign off the ground – and from your home – give us a call or an email. We’ll get you started and on the right track.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community!

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In the world of Software as a Service (SaaS), first impressions often matter more than you would think. With so many other companies out there working on solving the same problems, you usually have a limited window to impress your visitors. This is where the importance of clever and converting landing page design in SaaS comes in.

Here are our 7 tips to help you craft a page that works:

Include explainer videos

Understanding exactly what a tool does is often the challenge potential leads face when first coming across a product – and not many of them will take the time to read your copy to learn more.

However, if you manage to include a short but to-the-point explainer video on your landing pages, your chances of getting your value across will increase.

Here is an example from Forms on Fire – they provide mobile data collection software – where a minute and a half is all it takes to get to know the product and determine whether you are interested or not.

Invest a lot of creativity in your header

You are often told how important headers are in content writing – the same is true for landing page copy, as the impact your header will have on a visitor is crucial.

You want to represent your brand, you want to get your main point across, you want to showcase your value, explain what you are really about and get people to convert: in no more than a sentence or two.

Which is where the challenge lies.

Take the example of Crazyegg, who provide an unspecified website improvement service – and have a very attractive header to show for it.

Since they offer a 30-day free trial and promise to instantly improve your website, there isn’t much a visitor could lose. So their header works like a charm.

Your calls-to-action are also key

However, you don’t need to be as creative with them as with your headers: a simple “get started”, “start your trial”, or a “sign up now” will work – but what’s important here is how you preempt the CTA.

Most international, huge, famous companies have simple CTAs – Netflix, Hulu, Dropbox, Evernote, etc. – they don’t have a catchphrase or a funny saying slapped onto their pages.

What they do have is a clear list of benefits (what it is you are getting from the service) and a straightforward way of signing up for the service.

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Make it easy to access

Which leads right to our next tip: don’t make signing up very complicated.

You may want to make credit card data compulsory, but even if you do, make it as easy as possible to fill in your form and move on to the next step.

Whether or not you are offering a free trial, or have something like the Ahrefs 7 days for $7 trial period, you still want your leads to be able to accomplish their goal (sign up), in as little time as digitally and humanly possible.

If you are seeing a lot of uncompleted sign-up forms, try making the form simpler, and eliminate some of your required fields: we understand you want to gather as much data as possible about your leads, but maybe spread data collecting out over a longer period of time.

Show the process

If you don’t feel the use of your tool requires an entire video, still try to explain how to make it work, especially if the tool in question does something essentially simple, but very useful.

TimeTackle, a software designed to pull your calendar off of the cloud, has a great four-step explanation of the process users will need to run through once they have the tool, making it very easy for users to decide whether they want to give it a go or not.

Always remember that while some of your users will be very tech-savvy, others might have more of a hard time understanding even the more basic concepts. That’s why you need to try to figure out a language that will speak to your target audience, as well as all its variations and levels of understanding.

Offer social proof where it makes sense

A lot of landing pages incorporate social proof – which is essentially a great move, but does not always make sense.

You don’t have to repeat the same testimonials on every page, nor do you have to showcase different satisfied customers on every corner.

When talking about the benefits of your product, or when showcasing use cases and success stories, social proof is more than welcome.

Here is the example of Gusto, who make payroll, insurance, and a whole host of other tasks easier– who have added in plenty of social proof, yet have not made it sound like they are bragging, or like they have solicited recommendations from their users.

The basics: webpage design

Of course, there is another important element you should never forget: webpage design.

And we are not just talking about the colors and font you choose (although it is in itself very important). You should also think about the emotions you want to elicit, the value you want to portray, and the target audience you are aiming for.

Naturally, navigation, user experience and user-friendliness, responsiveness, and a whole host of other webpage optimization tactics should also all play their part. If you have elements that don’t load properly, don’t work on certain screen sizes, or if your pages are cluttered and crowded, all the other good work you may have done won’t be worth a dime.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, these tips will help you design better SaaS landing pages in the future – but remember, there is no bulletproof design formula that will work for every website. You need to keep your own target market and product in mind when designing sales pages, rather than just considering what has worked for others in the past.

In fact, a lot of these tips were once novelties that have since been proven to work by countless websites. So why not come up with the next one?

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Like everyone else around the world, you’re probably reading this article while quarantined at home to keep you safe from the coronavirus. It’s great to have more time with the family but work stoppages and businesses shutting down during the quarantine period is not good for your financial health.

Even if the quarantine period is lifted, there’s a possibility it might get imposed again. Until such time that a cure or a vaccine is found, getting quarantined periodically might be the new normal.

That means more interruptions in the flow of your income. 

Now, that doesn’t have to be the new normal! Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean your ability to earn money is. 

If you’ve always dreamt about starting a business while staring outside the window of your office cubicle, now is the best time to turn that dream into reality. 

Here are 10 online businesses that you can start from home RIGHT NOW!

1. E-Commerce/Online Retail

E-commerce is a growing industry

From a US $1.3 Trillion industry, e-Commerce has boomed into a US $4.2 Trillion industry and is expected to hit US $6.5 Trillion in 2023.

We’re talking global numbers here. 

In the United States, e-Commerce now accounts for 11.2% of total retail sales. Six years ago, the number was only 4.2%.

As more people continue to depend on mobile technology to manage their needs for work and life, e-commerce will continue to grow. 

Certainly, it is not too late for you to start an e-commerce business!

Of course, you’ll need products or services to sell. The most purchased products online include fashion apparel, smartwatches, jewelry, exercise equipment, and things for your pet. 

You’ll need to source suppliers or vendors. Another option is to get into dropshipping where you offer to sell the products of the manufacturer and earn a commission. The manufacturer will take care of the shipping.

For sure, you will need an e-commerce website to showcase the products you will be selling. 

The benefits of having an e-commerce website for your business will be the subject of another blog. For now, if you want to learn more about an e-commerce website, give us a call. 

Let’s schedule an online meeting and we’ll take you through the process!

2. Online Tutorial

“How to play guitar”

“How to speak Spanish”

“How to make your own video game”

People are constantly searching online for courses on how to learn new skills or how to get better at their hobbies and interests. 

If you are considered an expert or certified to teach a specific skill, why not monetize your passion and create a course about it online? 

Promote your courses on social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Give examples of what you can do or offer limited-time only free lessons so people can get an idea of what your courses are about. 

For example, on YouTube, musicians give free lessons. If you want more in-depth instruction, click on the link and sign up for personalized courses on the website. 

3. Consultancy Services

As you know, the global quarantine period affected many businesses. The United Nations (UN) estimates that the month-long quarantine could cost the global economy $1 to $2 Trillion. 

Business owners, CEOs, and top-level executives are thinking of ways to recover and get back on the road to profitability once the quarantine period is lifted. However, unless a vaccine or cure is found, the business sector will remain at risk of undergoing periodic quarantine. 

If you’ve accumulated decades of business success, maybe it’s time for you to leverage your work experience and help these industries recover by starting an online consultancy business. 

You need to put up a website with a powerful and compelling BVP or Brand Value Proposition on the Home Page. Your BVP should hook the interest of the visitor within 6 seconds.

Get testimonials from clients who benefited from your expertise. You can display the testimonials on the Home Page or the Services Page. 

Finally, blog eight to 12 times a month to improve your visibility. In fact, before going live, your blog page should have 4 to 6 articles published.

Then, heavily promote your business consultancy website on social media. Reach out to your network and let them know you have a consultancy business that can help them get back on track. 

4. Affiliate Marketing

Another way to start an e-commerce business is to simply promote and sell the products of other businesses on your website. This is called Affiliate Marketing and if you’re good, you can expect to receive checks worth thousands of dollars in the mail every month!

Let’s say you decided to offer guitar lessons online. It will take time to create high-quality videos on learning basic chord shapes and progressions. 

In the meantime, you can reach out to other online music businesses and ask if you can sell their products – string cleaners, strings, picks – on your website. You can mention the products in blogs such as “How to Choose the Best Strings for Your Guitar” or “Flatpick or Fingerstyle – Which One is For You?”

Many online businesses start out as affiliate marketers because it takes time to create their own products and services. Meanwhile, they continue to blog to improve their reputation and attract more followers. Affiliate marketing gives them an opportunity to make money while the products are being produced. 

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5. Membership Site

A Membership Site is a website that gives subscribers – your members – access to unique content, training tools, and other materials of value every month for a fee. 

This is a wonderful feature that you can include on your website if you are offering online instruction or business consulting services. 

For example, if you are a business consultant, the membership fee can include one-on-one consultation once-a-week for the entire month. You can offer the same benefit if you offer online instruction. 

If you provide good service that delivers results for your clients, the membership site can generate months of recurring income for your business. 

6. Digital Marketing

With the quarantine, people are cooped up in their homes where the daily commute has been replaced by trips to the kitchen from the bedroom. To stave off boredom, many are resorting to Netflix, Facebook or YouTube.

Whatever you decide to do to waste away the time, you will notice the undeniable presence of digital marketing. 

Online content is everywhere!

If you did not catch on then, hopefully, the quarantine period has made you realize the value of digital marketing. Consumers will see your marketing content and ads whenever they are online, which is estimated to be 6 hours per day!

Starting a digital marketing website is perfect for those with experience in this field. Certification is a big plus but not necessary. What is important is to have good knowledge of the following processes:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Writing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Link Building
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

As a Digital Marketer, you don’t have to do everything. Assemble a team of remote workers who have these skills. Network for clients via social media and online platforms such as UpWork and Freelancer or go through your contacts list. You could also find lists similar to this that include Web Design Companies.

7. Freelance Services

Similar to Digital Marketing, if you have a specific skill that you are really proficient at, monetize it by offering freelance services.

All you have to do is create an online profile on a freelancer website. Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, Fiverr, People Per Hour, and Toptal are among the most popularly used. 

Once your online profile is set, you can start bidding on projects that are posted by clients. 

As a first-time freelancer, it might take some time before you can sign up your first client. Look at it as a numbers-game but take a conservative position.

For example, if you want to sign up 1 client, assume that your success rate will be a low 2%. Therefore, to sign up 1 client you have to bid for 50 projects per month or:

1 client / 0.02 success rate = 50 project bids per month or 2 project bids per day

It’s not easy to bid for projects! Read the job ad very carefully and bid only on those projects where you are confident of your qualifications.

8. Personal Training Services

An estimated 23% of the United States’ population gets regular exercise according to a report published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We expect more people to exercise regularly once the quarantine is lifted.

Without a cure or a vaccine, doctors and scientists have suggested that a strong immune system will help give you a better chance of fighting off the coronavirus. Exercise is one of the most effective ways of strengthening your immune system. 

Even if gyms and fitness centers reopen, people will remain wary of patronizing establishments where social distancing is improbable. Also, gym equipment has been known to harbor different types of bacteria.

If you are a certified Personal Trainer or someone who is particularly skilled in an activity or sport, you may want to consider starting an online Personal Training business. 

It will take some time to have high-quality video content produced for your personal training website. In the meantime, why not take videos of your home quarantine workouts and post them on social media? 

Let your community know that you can provide online fitness consultation and create personalized exercise programs for them. 

9. Homemade Products

Are you an amazing cook? Do people know of your ability to bake delicious cakes and cookies? Can you make elegant jewelry or design unique, eye-catching t-shirts? 

Now, is the time to fully-explore your talents!

You have a captive market – the community where you are quarantined. In some areas, you cannot travel past your town or city. People can only leave home at certain hours to replenish supplies. 

Having special treats once in a while will help them bring a sense of normalcy. 

Post your delivery service on social media. Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook are excellent social media networks to use for image-heavy products. 

If possible, distribute samples door-to-door. Don’t forget to include information about your contact number and delivery hours.

Who knows? Maybe after the quarantine period, your sideline can become a good source of income. 

10. Graphic Design 

If you have an eye for design and a good feel for software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, and Affinity Designer, start an online business offering graphic design services. 

Every day, entrepreneurs are working on new business ideas. They will need logos for branding purposes and images for their websites and social media presence. 

Put up a website with a portfolio page or “Showroom” that highlights your designs. Promote your services through social media and reach out directly to your business contacts. 

You can also bid for projects at online freelance platforms that cater specifically to graphic designers such as Fiverr, 99Designs, UpWork, Freelancer.com, and Behance.

Conclusion

We believe that you should only worry about the things you can control. You can’t control the coronavirus or the onset of other unforeseen events. However, you can control or at least manage, your financial well-being. 

If the quarantine taught us anything, it is to value what we have – family, health, and our jobs. Hopefully, the newfound appreciation will help us realize that nothing is set in stone. Work and life remain intertwined in that what affects one affects the other.

To protect life, we must ensure that our work or means of livelihood is covered. If you’re employed, your stream of earnings will be affected by work stoppages. 

By starting your home-based online business, you open another stream where new revenues can flow through. 

While there is no vaccine to protect you from the coronavirus, an online business will immunize your finances from future periods of quarantine. 

Do you have other ideas for an online business that you can start now? Please share in the comments section. 

And if you need help in getting a website up for your online business, give us a call or an email. We’ll set up a video conference call and take you through the process of web design. 

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community!

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As the old saying goes, “a man’s home is his castle” but what if the castle is about to house a place for work? 

Working from home is a great opportunity to build a career that affords you work-life balance. However, if you’re not careful, the balance could be tipped in favor of work and disrupt home life. 

Here are 10 tips that will allow you to productively work from home without turning the roof under your head into your old brick-and-mortar office.                                            

1. Don’t Work From Your Bed

Just because you are working from home does not mean you can work anywhere. There are areas in your home that can and will inhibit productivity. One of them is the bedroom. This isn’t just an opinion; the reason is supported by research.

The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard University believes that working from the bed will weaken the mental association between sleep and your bedroom. 

According to a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, working with computers before bedtime will reduce the amount of melatonin that you produce. Melatonin is a hormone that influences your Circadian or sleep/wake cycle. 

The bedroom is for sleep and relaxation. To ensure a good night’s sleep, keep computers and other devices off the bedroom’s premises.

2. Stay On A Consistent Schedule

One of the perks of working from home is that you get to set your work schedule. You don’t have to follow a 9-to-5 or a 6 – 8-hour work schedule because you have the benefit of having flexible hours. 

Plan your schedule one week ahead. If you have family obligations – your daughter’s piano recital, your son’s soccer game, picking up a relative from the airport – mark them on the calendar. Then, plan your work schedule around them. 

Another option is to find the hours of the day where you are most productive. Oftentimes, these are the hours after you have taken care of the day’s other activities such as taking the kids to school or attending to banking duties.

The most important thing is to stay on a consistent schedule whether it is 9-to-5, 6 am to 12 pm or 1 pm to 7 pm. 

By doing so, you are dedicating time to get actual work done. You will be more focused and committed to accomplishing the day’s tasks. 

3. A Home Is Still A Home – Dedicate A Space For Work

The bedroom is not the only area in the house that you shouldn’t work from. 

Here are a few more areas that you should not set up office:

  • Living Room – You might get tempted to lounge around your comfortable sofa or watch the latest Netflix movie.
  • Kitchen – The refrigerator, oven, microwave, and cupboards are just a step away. Not only will you lose productive hours but you will gain excess weight.
  • The Family or Recreation Room – Ping-pong table? Dartboard? Billiards table? Pinball machine? Video games? These are great activities to do with the family but 100% detrimental to work.

If you are committed to building a work from home business, then dedicate a space for work.

  • Buy high-quality furniture
  • Buy a computer that is set up only for work.
  • Give it the look and feel of an office – wall clock, filing cabinet, and whiteboard. More on the whiteboard later!

Keep the home office off-limits to everyone during work hours. 

4. Use A Task Management Software

To be more productive, embrace technology. Integrate a few digital tools into the workflow to help organize tasks and stay on top of deadlines. 

You can find many wonderful software programs on the Internet that are very effective and come with a free version. At Mountaintop, Asana is our preferred task management software. 

Asana is easy to use and has features that make it the ideal tool for collaborating with remote teams. Every time a project is posted or completed, an email notification is sent to designated team members.

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5. Install A Whiteboard In The Office

The whiteboard is an old school office fixture that is simple, basic, and yet, continues to significantly contribute to productivity in this day and age of apps and smart technology.

Research has proven that writing with pen on paper improves cognition and helps establish a stronger connection between you and the task compared to typing on a keypad. The same can be said when writing on a whiteboard. 

Before ending the workday, write your goals for the following day on the whiteboard. There will be no guesswork. When the alarm goes off and after you’ve had your first cup of coffee, you know exactly what you’re going to do. 

Upon entering the home office, the whiteboard will be the first thing you’ll see. It will seem that your built-in laser sight has been triggered and you can’t wait to zero in and complete your targeted goal.

6. Remove All Forms Of Distraction

Once you’ve set up your home office with the right furniture, a spacious workstation, and the latest computer, there is still one thing left to do.

Remove all forms of distraction which include your mobile phone, video game portable console, social media, and other websites that have no relevance to your work. 

Unless there is a scheduled audio-visual call, we suggest closing Skype. Oftentimes, your contacts will send you messages. Most of these messages could just be personal in nature.

The constant blinking that notifies you of these messages can be a source of distraction. 

As we suggested earlier, the home office should be a no-entry zone during work hours. Unless it is an emergency, ask your family and friends to refrain from knocking on the door. 

7. Update Your Tasks As Needed

Even if you’ve written down the day’s goals the night before, don’t hesitate to change or update your tasks as needed. 

Business is unpredictable. 

For example, a client may request that you prioritize a project because he has a very tight schedule. It is also possible that a client whose project you designated as “Priority Number One” will ask you to put off additional work until further notice. 

Remember that one of the biggest benefits of working from home is that you don’t have a boss because you are the boss. You call the shots and that means you have full control over your work schedule. 

Yes, write down your tasks/goals the night before but adapt a flexible work schedule.

8. Don’t Work In Your Pajamas

It may feel nice to get out of bed and go straight to your home office but what you wear can affect how you work.

For one, dressing in office clothes will set the tone for the day. Similar to why you should not work from your bed, dressing up creates the proper mental association – pajamas are for sleeping, office clothes are for working. 

You don’t have to put on a tie or a dress suit. Wear something informal but appropriate enough for a Skype audio-visual call with a client or your remote team.

9. Exercise During Breaktime

Sitting for long periods may lead to chronic pain or discomfort on your back, shoulders, and neck. Working on the computer for long stretches can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. 

You need to get the blood circulation moving from time-to-time. If you spend 90 minutes working on a task, take a 30-minute break after and use the time to do some light exercise and stretching. 

You don’t have to go to the gym or change into your workout clothes. Perform sets of 10 repetitions of squats, pushups, and situps. Get in a quick 10-minute yoga or Pilates session. 

10. Use An Alarm Clock Or A Timer

Sometimes we get so engrossed in what we’re doing that we lose track of time. An alarm clock will be your constant reminder that “time’s up!”

Productivity is all about quality work. It’s not about the number of hours spent but how you spend those hours. 

You should also remember a very important reason why you made the decision to work from home – so you can spend more time with your family. 

Once the day’s work hours have been completed, shut off the home office PC then change from your office clothes to your stay-at-home clothes. 

Conclusion

Over the next few years, expect more people to work from home. As an entrepreneur, you save up on rent, avoid the inconvenience of the daily commute, and become more productive. However, your home should still feel like home. 

Think back to the time when you worked 9-to-5 in a traditional office. When work became stressful, you couldn’t wait for the clock to strike five so you can head out the door and drive to the waiting and loving arms of your home. 

You wouldn’t want your home to be a place for stress. It will affect your relationships with family and defeat the purpose of working from home. 

Do you have other tips that will improve productivity for those who work from home? Please share them in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to have similar content for your website, please give us a call or an email. We’re more than just a website design and development company. Our digital marketing program can help bring your business to the next level.

And feel free to share this article with your community!

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The idea of working from home is very appealing. Imagine not having to deal with the inconveniences of the commute – the traffic, looking for a parking space, errant drivers, just to name a few. 

You get to manage your work schedule and streamline your expenses. All of that plus the opportunity to become financially independent.

The transition from a 9-to-5 office environment to a work from home lifestyle is not as easy as you might think.

There are days that you wake up to an empty home and the silence can be deafening. Not having co-workers around or experiencing the hustle and bustle of a busy office will take some time to adjust.

Then, there are the unforeseen events that can disrupt the natural flow of work and life such as the coronavirus pandemic. 

10 Ways To Stay Productive And Remain Positive While Working From Home

Although the coronavirus or Covid-19 had been under the microscope of many leading scientists around the world, the outbreak happened faster than expected and spread far and wide.

It seemed that overnight, our lives were turned upside down. Across the world, people had to practice social distancing and were mandated  by their respective governments to self-quarantine. 

Even if you were working from home at the time the quarantine took effect, you, like many around the world, must have been thinking, “life will never be the same again.”

In addition to the usual challenges of managing projects while working at home and dealing with disruptors such as technical latency issues, now with the virus, we had something new – something we’ve never dealt with –  to worry about. 

Work and life may never be the same again but that doesn’t mean you should allow the situation to affect your productivity and positivity. 

It’s a global pandemic – yes – but not the end of the world!

Here are 10 ways you can stay productive and remain positive while working from home.

1. Remain Optimistic, Search for Opportunities

If you own a business that was affected by the lockdown, use the month-long quarantine period to search for opportunities. Perhaps the quarantine is a sign for you to adapt to an Internet-based business model. 

Think about it. The businesses that continued to operate during the lockdown were the ones with an online presence. 

These businesses either had a telecommuting program in place or set up a global remote team composed of virtual assistants and freelancers.  

Despite the situation, remain optimistic. Visionaries are those who find opportunities during times of chaos. 

2. Focus on the Solution – Not the Problem

Did you experience a power outage while in the middle of an important Skype call with a client?

Send an email to the client from your smartphone. Explain what just happened and inform him that you will be heading out to the nearest Internet shop to continue the Skype call.

The client may get back to you and suggest that the call be rescheduled tomorrow. At any rate, the client will appreciate your immediate attention to the problem.

When we’re in a difficult situation, we tend to spend more time focusing on the problem instead of finding solutions. Problems trigger powerful emotions such as despair, frustration, and anger, all of which drain us of much-needed energy.

That’s why the more you dwell on problems the worse they become because you are feeding them with your energy. 

To get out of a difficult situation, focus your energies toward finding solutions. The more time you spend formulating, testing, and evaluating courses of action, the sooner you can find resolution and move on to more productive endeavors.

3. Practice Effective Time Management

It’s easy to lose track of time when working from home. There are so many distractions – the couch, TV, social media, the kitchen, and your pet. Put them all aside by creating – and committing – to a work schedule.

Effective time management starts the night before. Summarize your tasks and arrange them according to the degree of importance. Pick out no more than 3 key tasks and prioritize them for the following day.

Dedicate 90 minutes of 100%, full and undivided attention to each task. Once the time period has been completed, take a 20-30 minute break to recharge. 

Managing your hours in a day will help you become productive. And when you’re able to accomplish many tasks, you develop a positive attitude. 

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4. Create a Productive and Positive Workspace

Your workplace does not have to be your “Happy Place” but it should be conducive to productivity and encourage a positive attitude. 

Here are 6 tips to help you create a productive and positive workplace:

  • Keep your workplace clean and organized.
  • Buy a comfortable chair. 
  • Use a spacious table.
  • Play soothing music.
  • Post positive and inspiring messages in select areas.
  • Make sure you have a nice view of the outdoors. 

Lastly, dress for work! Nothing too formal – a neat dress shirt and slacks will be fine. Wearing office clothes will put you in the right mood and frame of mind for work. 

5. Stay in Touch with Your Value Chain

Are you working with a remote team? Stay in touch with them from time to time. Don’t just talk about work. Find out how things are going at home and with the family. 

Touch base with your clients. How are they coping with the quarantine? Is everyone in their household in good health? 

The success of a home-based business isn’t just measured by dollars and cents. For the greater part, success is measured by the number of long-term relationships you were able to build. 

It’s great having a reputation for being productive and a consistent provider of high-quality products and services. But being remembered as someone who constantly exuded a positive attitude will help you maintain clients for the rest of your career.

6. Exercise Regularly

Exercise releases mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins that make you feel good. That’s why exercise is popularly recommended by doctors to people who are suffering from depression.

Regular exercise strengthens your body and its immune system. It keeps your energy levels up and gives you the confidence to overcome difficult situations. 

It will be great to work out in a gym but you can get good exercise at home:

  • Do bodyweight exercises such as pushups, squats, and sit-ups.
  • If you have stairs, walk up and down the steps for 10 minutes. 
  • Take a 10-minute walk outside your house. 
  • Lay down a mat and do Yoga or Pilates.

You can set up a small home gym with a jump rope, resistance bands, a yoga mat, a few dumbbells, and a stability ball. 

You don’t have to train like “The Rock” to get fit – just keep moving!

7. Eat Healthy and Well

Eating pizza “with the works” might make you feel good but as soon as the food settles, you’ll regret having that extra slice. 

Starchy carbohydrates will get your blood sugar levels hitting highs and lows throughout the day that will make you feel sluggish. As your body struggles to digest all that fat from the cheese and processed meat, you’ll feel tired. 

Instead of choosing processed food, opt for natural sources of macronutrients such as fruits, vegetables, and lean cuts of meat. They have fewer calories, rich in vitamins and minerals, and easier to digest. 

You will have fewer mood swings and more energy throughout the day. Likewise, eating vitamin-rich foods will help strengthen your immune system. 

8. Get Enough Sleep

If you’ve been exercising regularly and following a healthy diet, the third component of a fit lifestyle is to get enough sleep – at least seven hours every night. 

Recall the last time you got poor quality sleep. 

  • How did you perform at work? 
  • Were you sluggish? 
  • Were you able to focus on your tasks? 
  • How many tasks were you able to finish?

The health benefits of a good night’s sleep have been well studied and documented. Getting less than the recommended hours of sleep will affect all aspects of your health – physical, mental, and emotional. 

Here are a few tips on how to get good quality sleep every night:

  • Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime
  • Shut off all computer devices including your smartphone two hours before bedtime
  • Don’t work on tasks one hour before bedtime
  • Don’t go to bed with a full stomach

As much as possible, avoid taking sleeping pills and other types of sleep medication. Try meditation or going through deep breathing exercises.

9. Avoid Contact with Toxic People

Toxic people will complain about anything and everything. They bring negative energy wherever they go. Being around toxic people will stress you out and drain you of positive energy.

Can you encounter toxic people while working from home? Yes! Unfortunately, they’re everywhere. No one’s perfect; some of your family members may have acquired the toxic gene. 

Another place where toxic people thrive is social media. How many of your “friends” on Facebook rant on a daily – or hourly – basis? 

To stay productive and positive, avoid contact with toxic people. Follow our earlier advice – practice effective time management. Let’s add a corollary to that one – keep your office locked during work hours.

Limit your time on social media. These networks can be a great source of information but they can be powerful productivity and positivity disruptors as well. 

10. Look for Inspiration

Sometimes a moment of inspiration can give you a better jolt than a double espresso. 

There will be days when you feel that you’re not up to the task. Distractions may have gotten the best of you or perhaps all the white noise has drowned out the remaining voice of reason. 

When you start questioning the purpose – the “why” of working from home – look for a source of inspiration that can get you back on the straight and narrow. 

You can find inspiration anywhere – a book, a song, a phrase, the great outdoors or from your family. Use that inspiration to reconnect with your purpose and serve as a reminder of what makes you get up every morning to seize the day.

Conclusion

The coronavirus added another layer in our quest to achieve work and life balance. 

  • “Are quarantines and lockdowns the ‘new normal’?”
  • “How will this affect my family and work and for how long?”
  • “Can we ever go back to normal – the ‘old normal’?”

Such negative thoughts become the white noise that keep us awake at night and affect our performance at work. Many go through periods of mental stress and emotional distress. 

Collectively, these are conditions that cultivate an environment of negativity,  pessimism, and unproductivity. 

You don’t want that.

Your family doesn’t want that.

Your customers and clients don’t want that.

You should only focus on the things you can manage – work, family, and your health. You remain accountable to them and thus, should find ways to stay productive at work and remain positive for your family and yourself.

Do you have any tips to share about staying productive and positive that were not covered by this article? Please share them in our comments section. 

And if you need assistance in getting your online business off and running, give us a call or drop us an email. We offer web design and digital marketing services that will help grow your business.

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