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How Technology Makes It Easier To Run a Successful Home Business

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Advances in technology open new doors of possibility for running a business at home. A budding entrepreneur dreaming of opening a fashionable clothing store that once had to purchase or lease a brick and mortar space now can utilize a room in their home to create a thriving business.

How To Utilize Technology for an In-Home Business

No longer do you have to lease and redecorate a retail space, sign up for utilities, and purchase shelving, display fixtures, and operational equipment. Get your online retail business started with a small desk, laptop, cell phone, and inventory, and then sign up with a Voice over Internet Protocol system.

You can operate your business wherever you are utilizing VoIP services like Ooma PBX. A hosted PBX service is cloud-based and gives you many advantages in running your business from your computer or phone whether you are in your home office or while traveling.

  1. Mobility. You don’t have to stay at your desk all day to run your business. Even when traveling to source new products, you will stay connected through your phone and computer.
  2. Cost-Effective. Cloud-based services are less expensive than landline services. There are no equipment or installation fees nor are there maintenance and upgrades to deal with. The PBX provider will take care of that for you with automatic upgrades. You will also save money on the calling rates, even internationally.
  3. Works With CRM Software. Being able to help your customers is key to your success. Hosted PBX works with your customer service software making it more efficient for you to assist your customers wherever you are.

Marketing Through Social Media

Every business needs marketing to get brand recognition and to grow a customer base. Utilizing social media is a marketing tool that can be used and updated from your home office or while traveling using your phone or computer. This is an easy and convenient way to connect and engage with your customers. For example, presenting live online videos of a sweater sale on Facebook is a way to talk to your customers, answer their questions, and show your product. All without having a storefront.

Utilizing technological advances and being creative with their usage can create fun and useful tools for entrepreneurs wanting to run, operate, and market a business without a large financial commitment. It gets you started at low risk, grows your customer base, and gives you the freedom to run your business from home and on the road.

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How to get a perfect Google PageSpeed score

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Your Google PageSpeed score from Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is one of the most visible scores for a website owner.

Receive a low score in red, and you know that your website isn’t up to standards. If you’re reading this article, you probably know the feeling.

In this article, we’ll discuss practical steps to get a perfect PageSpeed score on Google. Feel free to invite your web developer along for the ride. Let’s take a technical look at improving PageSpeed.

Related: Not sure how to prepare for Google’s SEO rank change? Republish your website

Why does a Google PageSpeed score matter?

Think with Google stat

A Google PageSpeed score of 90 or above is considered good. Fifty to 90 is a score that needs improvement, and below 50 is considered poor.

Do those scores really matter?

 

According to a “Milliseconds Make Millions” study conducted by Google and Deloitte, improving your load time by 0.1s can boost conversion rates by 8%.

In other words, the PageSpeed of your site can have a big impact on conversion and bounce rates because first impressions matter. Customers are impatient, which is why another study from Google and Ipsos found that 77% of smartphone shoppers are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps allow them to make purchases quickly.

There’s certainly a business case to be made around a good PageSpeed. But, there are also some common myths around a perfect Google PageSpeed score.

Limitations of Google PageSpeed scores

While PageSpeed score can be a valuable metric for evaluating website performance and improving customer experience, it does have some limitations.

Some of the limitations to be aware of before getting obsessed with obtaining a perfect 100 PageSpeed score include:

  • User experience can’t be captured with a single metric. Good user experience is not captured by a good PageSpeed score. That’s why Google released Core Web Vitals standards to help quantify the user experience. Understanding the different metrics of Core Web Vitals is more important to your users’ experience than PageSpeed.
  • User experience can’t be captured with a single “representative user.” PageSpeed scores are computed using a predetermined device and network settings. In other words, the metric doesn’t take into account real-world performance, which is highly variable due to differences in users’ devices (i.e., mobile vs. desktop), network connections (i.e., 3G or 4G), and other factors.
  • User experience can’t be captured by lab data as well as it can on field data. Field data is gathered from your actual users and takes into account what devices and networks your users are on and appropriately mirrors those conditions when testing performance. Lab data is performance data collected within a single, controlled environment. If you want to verify the real performance experienced by users, field data offers a more realistic view of what your users actually experience.

Bottom line is that a good PageSpeed score does not equal a good user experience. A site owner should care more about consistent speed improvements in the real world, because studies show a fast website can benefit from improved conversions.

With that said, let’s begin our exploration on how to get a perfect 100/100 PageSpeed score on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

10 tips for accomplishing a perfect PageSpeed score on Google

What steps have websites with perfect 100 Google PageSpeed scores taken to optimize their websites?

To help your business enjoy a fast website, we asked small business owners, digital marketers, plugin authors and web developers about the actions they have taken with their websites. From choosing a reliable hosting provider to image optimization, here are ten tips to help you get a perfect 100 for your Google PageSpeed score:

  • Choose a fast, reliable hosting provider.
  • Select a lightweight theme.
  • Purge plugins.
  • Reduce and optimize your website’s JavaScript.
  • Optimize images.
  • Browser caching.
  • Code minification and compression.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN).
  • Use multiple speed testing tools.
  • Find an all-in-one, cloud-based service.

Read on to learn more.

1. Choose a fast, reliable hosting provider

glasses sitting in front of a computer

Server response times are one of the top reasons for a slow loading time.

Many of the cheap hosting plans small businesses have are shared servers. Being on a shared server means that you are sharing your server’s processor and memory with several other websites, which can impact your performance.

Upgrading to a dedicated hosting plan at a reliable provider is the first step to take if you’re serious about web performance. The investment in dedicated hosting is considerably more than a shared hosting plan, but the benefits of fast loading times, high uptime availability, security and support.

There’s no solution that can overcome poor hosting, so consider the investment and choose wisely.

2. Select a lightweight theme

If you’re on a CMS like WordPress, selecting a lightweight website theme is vital to load speed.

Several website themes come loaded with CSS code and large files that impact page size and increase the number of server requests.

The more server requests and the larger a page file size may be, the longer it may take to deliver your theme and site content to a user.

That’s why a poorly written website theme can significantly increase your website’s load time. Selecting a lightweight theme with clean source code can reduce dependent requests, eliminate unused code or CSS files, and address the majority of speed issues.

“We recently switched our website to a streamlined Elementor theme from a more cumbersome one,” says Thorin Yee of Best Companies AZ. “By investing in a lightweight theme, we were able to eliminate CSS and JS files that slowed down our site. The foundation of a website is critical. If you’re putting in the effort to change your site speed, it won’t have much of an impact if the site itself is not structurally optimal.”

Rewriting or changing a website theme is a tough choice to make as a small business owner because of the investment. But again, there’s no remedy for a bloated website theme, so select your foundation carefully.

3. Purge plugins

Plugins on WordPress

Go easy on the plugins.

The more third-party plugins you add to a website, the slower a site can become. That’s why it’s a bad idea to use five or six plugins to optimize different aspects of a website, such as addressing render-blocking resources or unoptimized images.

Instead, it can be much more convenient to install and monitor a single tool that accomplishes speed optimization objectives.

Installing additional plugins can add significant overhead to your server and end up increasing load times. Try researching plugins and monitoring your site’s performance using lab data after adding or deactivating each one. Once you’ve found an optimal plugin mix, test out performance scores over a 28-day period using field data to see if the site has improved.

4. Reduce and optimize your website’s JavaScript

Render-blocking JavaScript is one of the biggest reasons for a slow-loading website. And yet, JavaScript is jam-packed into website frameworks, CMS themes and plugins.

Reducing and optimizing your website’s JavaScript isn’t a quick fix, and will require an experienced developer to analyze your website’s code.

Google PageSpeed Insights, along with other performance tools mentioned in this article can help a developer identify render-blocking JavaScript that could be eliminated to improve page speed and performance.

Admittedly, seeing the “eliminate render-blocking resources” suggestion from Google PageSpeed Insights can produce a paralyzing feeling of not knowing what to do. There are several all-in-one plugins that can help minify or defer your JavaScript. But, it’s always best to test these plugins in a staging environment before deployment to production.

5. Optimize images

Editing images on laptop

Optimizing images is a little less of a technical change, and easier to grasp for business owners than optimizing JavaScript.

Using an image format like WebP can help improve a performance score, since WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs and 25%-34% smaller than JPEGs. Reducing the image size or deferring offscreen images can also improve mobile experience and decrease bandwidth usage.

“Image optimizations are especially important for mobile users, since Google is mobile-first indexing and large image files take up data on mobile,” says Carey Wilbur of Charter Capital. “Not only will resizing or reformatting images to next-gen formats help PageSpeed Insights, it’ll also help you keep people on your website longer. Which is a win all away around.”

6. Browser caching

When a website loads, information like static content, a CSS file, external resources, scripts, and more needs to be requested. These requests all impact loading speed.

Browser caching gives a web browser the choice of retrieving that information from a previously stored version or the server.

This can make a big difference in terms of how quickly a web page loads.

 

To see a big boost in PageSpeed scores, enable browser caching using an all-in-one plugin, a specific caching plugin, or a managed hosting service.

7. Code minification and compression

Code minification modifies files and makes them compact, thereby improving website performance through compression of clean code.

Minifying code is particularly useful for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files because unnecessary or redundant data is removed, without affecting how the resource is processed by a web browser.

If all that sounds technical, many plugins today offer code minification and compression as a feature. Research all-in-one plugins to ensure that they have this functionality.

8. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content delivery networks (CDNs) offload the resource requests that can bog down the loading times of a page’s main content. For example, using a CDN to cache images and content enables pages to load more quickly for users accessing web pages with large resources.

CDNs may sound technical, but this should be a feature included by a reliable hosting provider. Check with your web host to see if you have access to a CDN, and if so, see if it can be enabled to help address slow page speed.

9. Use multiple speed testing tools

While PageSpeed Insights is the most visible speed testing tool for small businesses, there are several other performance tools that can offer different perspectives on how to improve page speed.

Here’s a list of performance tools and their benefit to website owners:

Lighthouse: Gives you personalized advice on how to improve your website across performance, accessibility, PWA, SEO, and other best practices.

WebPageTest: Allows you to compare the performance of one or more pages in a controlled lab environment, and deep dive into performance stats and test performance on a real device.

TestMySite: Allows you to diagnose webpage performance across devices and provides a list of fixes for improving the experience from Webpagetest and PageSpeed Insights.

PageSpeed Insights: Shows speed field data for your site, alongside suggestions for common optimizations to improve it.

Speed Scorecard: Allows you to compare your mobile site speed against your peers in over 10 countries. Mobile site speed is based on real-world data from the Chrome User Experience Report.

Impact Calculator: Allows you to estimate the potential revenue opportunity of improving your mobile site speed, based on benchmark data from Google Analytics.

Chrome Developer Tools: Allows you to profile the runtime of a page, as well as identify and debug performance bottlenecks.

Marketers may enjoy using TestMySite, Impact Calculator and Speed Scorecard to measure ROI while developers may get more benefit from using PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, Chrome Developer Tools or WebPageTest to identify and correct performance issues.

Related: GoDaddy Website Design Services and Google Lighthouse — design meets power

10. Find an all-in-one, cloud-based service

Our website, Markitors.com, did all of the steps above and topped out our PageSpeed scores at 75/100 on mobile, and 95/100 on desktop.

We needed an all-in-one service that combined caching, image optimization, lazy loading, code minification and compression to put our site to a perfect score.

For that, we turned to NitroPack.

“NitroPack combines everything needed for a fast website in one service,” says Deyan Georgiev, CEO at NitroPack. “Our built-in features and their unique implementation in one cloud-based service lead to our outstanding performance.”

After installing a paid plan of NitroPack on Markitors.com we saw our 75/100 score on mobile and 95/100 score on desktop go directly to a perfect 100/100.

Mission accomplished.

Next steps

Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix to get a perfect 100 on your Google PageSpeed scores. In most cases, you or an experienced web developer will have to dig into your site’s code and optimize it.

It’s a journey.

 

But, as demonstrated in this article, there are immediate steps you can take to make your website faster and get close to a perfect 100 score.

If you are a DIY’er business owner who is comfortable diving into a code base, start by making your site more lightweight by reducing and optimizing your JavaScript.

If you’re looking for an immediate boost with minimal time spent on improving page speed, consider investing in a fast, reliable hosting plan and installing an all-in-one, cloud-based service like NitroPack.

Or, if these steps are over your head or low on your priority list, forward this article to an experienced web developer so they can get started on improving your site performance.

The hardest step to improving is often the first one. Hopefully, these steps will help you achieve a perfect 100 Google PageSpeed score and improve your customer experience as a result.

The post How to get a perfect Google PageSpeed score appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.



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Marketing

How technology is changing the advertising industry

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  • Technology has upended the advertising business.
  • Changes in ad tracking and consumer habits are impacting how advertisers reach people and spurring new competition for ad dollars.
  • Here's a breakdown of Insider's coverage of how ad buyers and sellers are impacted.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The advertising industry is going through big changes as technology changes upend consumer habits and where and how marketers reach them.

Apple and Google's phasing out third-party cookies threatens to upend longstanding ad targeting practices. The acceleration of streaming TV has fueled the chase for TV ad dollars.

The shift to online shopping has attracted new players for digital advertising.

Insider has been tracking these trends at some of the biggest advertising buyers and sellers, including WPP, Omnicom, Google, and Amazon, and rounded up our coverage.


The crackdown on ad tracking is changing advertising

Targeting changes are forcing advertisers to come up with new ways to reach consumers. Google and Apple have sent shockwaves through the ad industry when they announced changes that would put an end to longstanding ad targeting practices in the face of pro-privacy regulation.

Those moves have led marketers, their agencies, and adtech companies like LiveRamp and The Trade Desk scrambling to find workarounds.

Read more:


Marketing meets tech

Mars Inc M&Ms
Employees work at the chocolate maker Mars Chocolate France plant in Haguenau.

CMOs are finding new ways to zap ads at people by building homegrown tools, using targeted ads, or ​​snapping up ad tech and martech companies.

Brands like Anheuser-Busch, Mars, P&G and L'Oréal have ramped up efforts to gather data on consumers as platforms clamp down on ad targeting and e-commerce accelerates.

Read more:


Adtech is hot again

Even as advertisers slashed their spending in the economic downturn, the rise of streaming TV and online shopping has benefitted adtech companies that help connect ad buyers and sellers and solve advertising and marketing problems.

Investors are pouring money into firms like like TVision DoubleVerify that are solving problems in digital advertising. Other firms are going public as Wall Street fell back in love with adtech due to broad macroeconomic changes.

Read more:


Ad agencies are getting disrupted

While the established holding companies scramble to adapt to the digital shift, new ad companies focused on digital specialities and armed with new private-equity funding threaten to take their place.

Read more:


Retailers are seeking a piece of the ad pie

Instacart Shopper Car
Instacart is adding 30-minute delivery.

A new set of companies sees an opportunity in selling advertising include food delivery companies, online retailers, and brick-and-mortar grocers. They're hoping to replicate the success of Amazon, which claimed 10.3% of the US digital ad market in 2020 and is competing with Google and Facebook for ad budgets.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Running a Business

10 Tools Used in Construction Project Management You Should Know

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Everyone knows construction projects can be challenging to manage, and building something new can take long. That’s why it’s essential to have some tools to help you stay on top of the situation and ensure the project is finished on time and within an acceptable budget. This article goes over different construction project management software for different types of projects.

Construction project management tools

1.  Scheduling software: For those who work in any trade or field that requires completing tasks over an agreed period, scheduling software can help keep track of deadlines and ensure both workers and managers know when things will be getting done.

2.  Launching software: This is an excellent tool to use when you need to discover what products your target audience wants, as well as what areas of the business they are most interested in. It can be used on any project, from construction to marketing and sales.

3. Project management software: This is software that is used specifically for managing a project. It comes with tools designed specifically for specific industries. It can help you accomplish everything you need, from planning schedules to budgeting costs and figuring out how much money you will need to complete your project.

4.  Job costing software: This can be helpful when you want to keep track of the money spent by different teams within a project. It isn’t a tool that is used often, but it does have its uses.

5.  Budgeting software: Once again, this software is handy for planning budgets and keeping an eye on how much money your project is making or losing. It helps you break up the process into smaller parts and take advantage of more than one program at once, making things easier for those working on more significant projects.  

6.  Bidding software: This is also budgeting software, but it helps show bidding prices. By putting bids into this software, you can have all the proposals involved in the project in one place, making it easier to track who is going over budget and who isn’t.

7.  Procurement software: This tool has an extensive database of millions of companies in the same field that you need to buy from. This way, you can ensure that you get precisely what you need at a fair price before purchasing anything, so your project will be more efficient.

8.  Delivery management software: You can use this type of software to help manage your deliveries and ensure that the information you need to track all of your deliveries is available.

9.  Product management software: This is a tool to help people discover what products are popular with consumers, as well as helping you decide on where you should be spending your money. It saves a ton of money by allowing companies to get exactly the items they want but still gives them options to make sound business decisions.  

10.  Sales and marketing management software: This is a must-have tool for sure. It helps businesses such as yours figure out what products you should be selling, how much you will need to spend on advertising, and what items you should be selling on your website.

Factors to consider while choosing a construction management system.

1.  Cost considerations: Even if you have a big budget for the software and hardware costs, it is still essential to consider some cost-cutting measures when choosing the right solution for your company.

2.  Project and resource management: Suppose you are planning to manage a large project with multiple resources. In that case, you need to ensure that the construction management software allows users to create specific workflows for each project phase.

3.  Quality assurance tools: A suitable construction management system will help you manage every aspect of the project from start to finish. That’s why it should offer users a suite of quality assurance tools to track the performance of every resource involved in the project.

4.  Reporting tools: A suitable construction project management system should offer users a wide variety of reports. These reports help in assessing the project’s performance and offer suggestions about how to improve upon it.  

5.  Integration with third parties: A suitable construction management system should have a robust design to link to all the relevant third-party software.

6.  Agility: The project management software should enable users to manage projects by dividing them into small parts, which can be further developed accordingly to achieve desired results.

Conclusion

There are other technologies for use by construction companies like collaboration tools, mobile solutions, web-based tools, etc. The choice of software depends on the type of industry, specific needs, and the company’s policy regarding the implementation and use of different technologies.  

Choosing the best software for construction projects is vital as it can help increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve project management.

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