Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity in the Future

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Growing trends and advancements in technology have made cybersecurity more crucial than ever. With autonomous cars hitting the roads and so much emphasis on computer technology and “the internet of things,” cyber threats continue to loom.

You hear often about big companies and individuals getting hacked (Netflix, HBO, Sony, Hillary Clinton, just to name a few), so you’re rightfully starting to worry about what you stand to lose if someone gains access to your information.

The Power of Big Data and the Rise of Social Networks

Mobile adoption is widespread and has led to the meteoric rise of social networks, which generate more and more data on a daily basis. Data scientists find ways to leverage this information for advertisement and marketing campaigns.

The big question is what happens when cyber criminals gain access to all this data? Consequences could certainly be dire.

But just as this sought after data represents a target for fraudsters, it also helps online security professionals fight cyber invaders. Just like you leave your digital footprint, criminal activity always leaves behind a trail of digital breadcrumbs.

Security analysts can also use this important data to foresee new attacks and identify malicious intent before it strikes and renders your business hacked.

Things You Can do to Protect Yourself

Institutions and government agencies implement regulations to protect your data, but the ever-evolving and sophisticated threat landscape demands constant security, and also individuals practicing prudent standards.

Be careful not to publish sensitive information online or on social media. Adopt foundational security solutions like password protection, firewalls, and antivirus software. Implement security controls, then train your employees to utilize those controls. If you think it’s worth it for the security of your business (hint: it is), hire a professional service to oversee the process.

Securing Your Business and Practice

Security professionals currently protect servers and mobile devices (like smartphones). Soon cars, refrigerators, thermostats, and additional home automation apparatuses will follow suit. Medical equipment in increasingly connected hospitals represents another area in need of high security.

The healthcare and dental industry need security more and more as ransomware operators target these entities because of their inherent critical, difficult to secure, highly personal information. Leaders in digital arenas, reputation management, and online security who pay close attention to this highly targeted industry will pan out well as we move into the future.

Secure your business today with Proactive SEO Solutions. Whether you’re a retailer, medical or dental professional, or any other type of business with an online presence, we can help. We offer network permissions, security assessment, backup services, and antivirus protection. We’re your onsite counsel ready to create a custom-tailored protection plan that suits the needs of you and your business.

Marketing to Millenials

Five Tips for Marketing to Millennials

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You’re a business owner. You know how to reach people around your age and older, but maybe you find millennials perplexing. But while older generations and well-established businesses might shortchange this group of people, you see the value in reaching them, introducing your product or service to a whole new audience for the future.

First, let’s get rid of all the stereotypes. Forget about perceived negative characteristics whether supported by empirical evidence or not. You’re not going to reach people by starting the conversation with “you know what’s wrong with your generation?”

Instead, Focus on the Positives

Millennials have a ton of positive characteristics. For instance, they have a strong sense of social justice. They value facts and information. They are better than most of their predecessors  with technology and can quickly identify trends. Once you start looking at this group in a positive light, the seas of change will carry your business.

First, make a rule for yourself. Do. Not. Sell.

Over 80% of millennials don’t trust conventional advertising. They’ve been bombarded by advertising their entire lives. This is especially true of the digital world. Millennials tend to distrust corporations and big brands in general, so most overt, direct attempts at selling will fall short. Instead, create informative, entertaining content. In short, bring something to the table. Provide extra value to your audience and readership.

Get on social media. Today.

Millennials are some of the most engaged, involved audiences on social media. They are the largest audience over the broadest amount of platforms, especially on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Make sure your business has a presence in all of these arenas, and make sure that you’re posting quality content consistently (preferably daily).

Keep it Mobile-Friendly

Don’t assume that it’s just millennials who are glued to their phones. Even generations more advanced in age use their phones more often than their desktop computers to locate products and businesses. Be the immediate solution to their needs. How? Your site should be easy-to-scroll and a vertical read. Don’t simply comply to Google’s basic standards. Your content should load quick and easy on mobile device platforms.

Show Them Your Values

You already know that millennials have a natural distrust of corporations. Many strongly prefer brands that demonstrate social responsibility. Give back to your community and tell people about it. Donating a fraction of proceeds or throw an event for a specific cause. Focus some energies and resources in being more “green,” as a way to protect the environment. Then work these themes into your quality content.

Does this all sound like a lot of commitment and work? It is. But that’s also what we do at Proactive SEO Solutions. Contact us today and we’ll expand your reach to new audiences, bringing your business into the future with class and distinction.

SEO is More Important than Ever

SEO is More Important and Relevant Than Ever

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We get a few clients who ask us “isn’t SEO dead?”

The reality cannot be further from the truth. Regardless of contrary opinions, organic search engine optimization is far from dead. Many companies are now making renewed commitments to investing in developing solid, search-engine friendly, SEO optimized web infrastructure. Here are some reasons why you should, too.

First of all, SEO Still Works

Techniques employed to improve SEO still get results, and the techniques themselves remain effective and sound. Joshua Guerra, CEO of marketing firm BIZCOR said recently that “As long as you are focusing on optimal user experience while performing methodic SEO strategies, you will be rewarded with higher positioning and organic traffic.”

And it’s Not Going to Change Anytime Soon

Search engines continue to develop, so will SEO techniques. Even audio and video searches utilize and depend on keywords just the same as normal text-based content. The link between needing words and terminology to express what you’re looking for ensures continued success of SEO techniques into perpetuity.

SEO is Cost-Effective

SEO is cheaper than other forms of online marketing, including PPC advertising, social media marketing, and especially purchasing leads for your email marketing. SEO consistently provides good ROI, and there is lower risk, since SEO costs less. PPC is still important to drive revenue. Social media is still crucial for your image, but organic SEO is still the foundation of your online real estate.

Trust Us, Your Competitors Are Doing It

SEO is an ongoing endeavor. If you’re not building your presence and moving forward, then you’re just giving up ground to your competitors. Ignore this valuable business tool and you risk being out-maneuvered by your contemporaries.

80-90% of Consumers Check Online Reviews Before Making a Choice or Purchase

This number steadily increases, too. Why go out of the house and search aimlessly for what you need when you can make targeted, informed choices online? Without quality, organic SEO in place, your business won’t be seen.

So make the choice to put your best foot forward online. Establish your position and strengthen your footing with Proactive SEO Solutions. We’ll help you better understand and more successfully navigate one of the most important components of any business’s branding efforts and online presence. We look forward to collaborating with you and your business.

Congrats to Our Senior Copywriter!

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seo copywriterAt Proactive SEO Solutions we like to celebrate milestones, and our senior copywriter Sean Barron just had one! In this day and age, it’s very hard to find a community of creatives who come together to help each other achieve something more. For this exact reason, organizations that bring creative individuals together like the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors are crucial for knowledge distribution, targeted and continuous training, as well as creative interface.

Many folks might consider the world of professional content creation to be cutthroat (or at the very least competitive), but dedicated organizations like IAPWE set aside time and resources for the development of professional writers and editors.

IAPWE seo writerWhat is the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors?

The IAPWE is a collection of writers and editors that maintains relationships with several larger organizations and companies, creating relationships and networking opportunities across a variety of mediums, including:

  • Creative Writing
  • Copywriting
  • Blogging & Social Media
  • Screenwriting
  • Commercial Writing
  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Playwriting
  • Nonfiction
  • And Much More…

The IAPWE provides resources and tools to professional writers who specialize in either writing, editing, or both disciplines. This organization also spreads awareness about aspiring and established authors, as well as community initiatives which support writing and literacy, especially in underdeveloped areas of the world.

Access to a Professional Community at Our Fingertips

The IAPWE disseminates helpful ideas and resources across a much greater professional community, keeping the big picture in mind in the form of:

  • Community Outreach
  • Networking
  • Team Building
  • Thought Leadership

So What Does this Mean for Proactive SEO Solutions

We understand the importance of creating compelling, dynamic content, which is why we seek out creatives from a wide variety of backgrounds. This sets us up for success in the future. When our team takes initiative to achieve certifications such as IAPWE membership, we put a lot of stock in that. Not only will the IAPWE make Sean a better writer on a day-to-day basis, but having access to such a nurturing organization will help to ensure that our content continues to reach new heights and audiences.

Our clients are in the best of hands is what we’re trying to say here. Proactive SEO Solutions is constantly evolving along with our team members, creating an atmosphere based off of sweat equity. We put in the work for our clients while working on ourselves, becoming a better digital marketing company every day we’re in operation. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to put your business in a newly elevated position.

How to Handle a Negative Review Against Your Business (And Why You Need Reputation Management by Proactive SEO Solutions)

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Angry customer poised to leave a negative review.In this day and age businesses are more transparent than ever. Patrons of businesses also have even more tools at their disposal to voice their opinions. Most business owners will tell you that word of mouth is still powerful advertising, never leaving a customer or client dissatisfied upon receipt of goods or services rendered. More and more social media platforms provide voices with a venue to both air their grievances and give high praise to a business for a job well done. There are even websites dedicated to giving consumers a platform to speak out about businesses, both positively and negatively, giving star ratings that inform future patrons or clients.

Reputation management and social media go hand in hand. It doesn’t matter what type of business you run. If you’re a physician, a restaurant, or a department store, your reputation needs protection. For our clients in the medical and dental field, 84% of patients check reviews before choosing their potential doctor. Examining physician ratings, background, and reviews is just another step in the process that patients now embrace as part of the healthcare journey for themselves and their families. Other industries should take note of this as well.

Most reputation management companies try to mystify their processes, slow to give any information about what they do, much less any trade secrets. But we at Proactive SEO Solutions like to educate our clients and potential clients about the importance of good public relations.

Ratings for businesses tend to be positive in nature. For instance, 68% of comments on Healthgrades.com are positive or neutral. Though you shouldn’t take the occasional less than 5-star review lightly, there are ways to handle the adverse review. Responding to negative reviews in a collected, positive, and timely manner can go a long way on the credibility scale. Often times people just want to be heard, and once you start a dialogue with them, it can often mean the world to them.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind when handling negative reviews against your business:

Stay Calm and Measured

The worst thing you can do is be reactive or stand defensively. We even suggest that you type a response and save it in your drafts folder. Come back to it after an hour, if you have the time. Trim all of the emotion from your response by not firing off a quick and slapdash response email. With a bit of distance, you gain objectivity, even empathy for the patient or client. Other people pay attention, too. You’d be surprised how many people read comment threads, and when they see that you can handle yourself and know how to treat your patients or clients, more business will come to you.

Make Meaningful Connections

The rule you should say to yourself when it comes to social media is, “I’m here to make friends.” Better yet, you’re here to make clients! A good place to start is with making a compassionate connection with people. Listen to feedback and if something has gone wrong, accept full responsibility. Make a genuine apology — it goes a staggeringly long way. Read through the comments section; it’s a great way to get in tune with your patient/client needs.

Err on the Side of Diplomacy

Reviews and responses are displayed publicly, and (as Lindsay Lohan famously Facebook’d) “the internet never forgets!” Personalize your responses. Make sure that you don’t have a stock message for clients who experience adversity with your service or business. Offer to speak offline by giving the reviewer your company email address or your phone number. Promote transparency and build trust in your practice.

No Problems, Only Solutions

Offering a proactive solution to the problem at hand is likely more important than the apology you must gracefully make. Make sure that you follow-up with the patient and let them know that you take their issues seriously and that you’ve implemented the changes that will ensure this does not happen again. Then make sure you thank the reviewer, reminding them that their observation will make your business a better place.

If you have any questions about how to make sure that you have an ironclad reputation online and IRL, contact Proactive SEO Solutions today. We’ll go over all of the ways our suite of services can help put your business in the fast lane of success.

Netflix’s Orange is the New Black Leaked from Black Hat Hacking!

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Netflix was in the news lately. It’s the 5th season of flagship series Orange is the New Black was leaked by a hacker group calling itself The Dark Overlord. Netflix had refused to pay a ransom to the organization, spurring TDO to release 10 of Netflix’s 13 episode order on Pirate Bay.

DataBreaches.net was the first to report the breach and was able to determine that its victim was Larson Studios, an audio post-production firm that Netflix uses. Larson was not immediately available for comment. Larson’s website plugs the show at the very top of its web page, though Netflix might certainly be shopping around for a new post-production firm after the breach.

According to the streaming giant’s website, Orange Is the New Black was originally scheduled to debut it’s 5th season on June 9, running for the requisite 13 episodes. TDO made the claim that only the first 10 episodes were available at the time the time of hacking. A spokesperson from Netflix gave the following statement: “We are aware of the situation. A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.” Larson, of course, has yet to reply to multiple requests for comment.

Web security

Does your business require web security? Do you have clients and information that you need to protect from cyber assassins like TDO? In this day and age, as more and more businesses share and store important records and information over the internet, it’s more crucial than ever to have seamless security. Black hat hacking has been on the rise since the conception of computers. You can never know when an invader breaks in or when you are susceptible to compromise.

The team at Proactive has over 15 years of networking experience, managing businesses both small and large. We have the experience and capability to manage up to 300 computers on a single site. We have decades of combined knowledge with servers and maintenance. We keep our eye on the ball at all times for our clients. We’ll augment and enhance the culture of security in your business on a daily basis with exceptional responsiveness. Save your business money and hardship down the road with Proactive SEO Solutions.

Contact Proactive SEO Solutions today to explore our competitive packages available to fix a variety of budgets and needs. Our service is MCSE, CCNA, and CCNP certified — HIPAA compliant as well. Call today for emergency IT Services. We can be there in 2 hours in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties.

United Airlines Seeks New PR Person

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The Importance of Good Reputation Management

United Airlines was all over the news last month for forcibly removing a passenger from one of their planes. The now viral and hot-button incident began when gate agents for the airline asked for volunteers to give up their seats on a Louisville, Kentucky-bound Flight (flight number 3411) to make room for a United crew which needed to meet a connecting flight. The incident escalated and before passengers knew it, Dr. David Dao was taken from his seat and escorted off the plane with physical injuries to boot.

Fast forward just a week and United Airlines had another problem when Carrie Miller reported, after being refused gate check privileges for her cello, that her instrument was smashed to pieces, despite being in a protective hard case. Luckily, Miller was able to raise the requisite $11,000 on GoFundMe.com in order to buy a new cello.

As far as United Airlines goes, the real damage has already been done. This is why in the middle of April, United had put out an ad looking for two managers for Brand Public Relations. The job posting said that the company was “reimagining” their current global communications team and looking for someone with the ability of “creating and maintaining a favorable image and brand reputation” for United Airlines in either San Francisco or New York.

Proactive SEO Solutions wasn’t there when any of these situations occurred for United, but we’re always here for our clients, especially when the waters get thick. In real times of turbulence, businesses can rely on Proactive for their reputation management. We hope that United can resolve their issues and address any shortcomings, and we hope any parties involved in these mishaps and missteps get the restitution they deserve.

Not every experience a customer has with your business will be a fully positive one. People today have many platforms to express their concerns and their opinions on platforms where businesses really only get one chance to gain a good reputation. We can deal with bad reviews as well as customer and client outreach in order to correct grievances and miscommunications. We can also give consulting services in order to posture your business and its reputation, setting you up for success in the future. We’ll monitor and can help minimize bad reviews, provide business consulting services, address internal problems, and help develop and implement ways to improve customer and public relations.

You should never play a game of blind man’s bluff with your reputation, much less the reputation of your business. In this day and age, every market is incredibly competitive. Our app-saturated culture facilitates the current predicament that every business owner and marketing specialist face every single day of the week: customers don’t have a whole lot of loyalty to one name or brand. A customer has the option to switch over to a competing service with startling convenience.

Proactive SEO Solutions is here to stay ahead of any problems and warn of any pitfalls that your business might face on the web and beyond. We can bolster your name, your brand, and your presence with a suite of services without peer or parallel. We give our concentrated service to all of our clients, and our work always speaks for itself.

Contact Proactive SEO Solutions to learn more about the ways we can help you with public relations and reputation management today.

 

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Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing in 2017

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Does traditional marketing in 2017 stand up to the value and robust options a digital campaign can offer? What are the strengths of a traditional campaign, and how do they differ from digital marketing offerings? Often, the goals you have for your marketing campaign will decide which is best.

Traditional, whether it be radio, print, direct mail, or TV, has the potential to reach a large number of people, and for some business, can be the perfect fix for a slow inbound lead channel. However, it doesn’t always generate the desired results, and often comes up short in the ROI department as it can be VERY costly from start to finish. Media and content creation alone can sometimes be more costly than the fee to promote! Let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors and compare these two marketing channels.

Interest/Intent of your Audience

Digital:

Ads are shown to users who search for related services or products, showing an interest in what you have to offer.

Traditional:

Ads delivered in passive manner to a potentially large audience where intent is not a factor.

Digital ads are shown to users doing searches for related services and products, showing intent to buy, or a desire to learn more before making a final purchase. These users are ripe and ready to contact a business they feel is trustworthy and able to provide that which they are in need of. Traditional is more of a broadcast approach in that it serves your message to all users in channel. In this manner, traditional works best for a product/service that is new and not known, such as UBER when it was first starting out.

Audience Targeting

Digital:

Targeting is nearly endless, from location and zip code or proximity to the office, down to if they are on a mobile device or desktop.

Traditional:

Targets can be managed by channel or niche of the publication or delivery method of mailers.

Ad targeting using digital media

Targeting is one of digital’s strongest offers aside from tracking and reporting. Want to show ads on
Facebook only to people that have an income over 60k, are male, over the age 25, and have also liked a tattoo related page? You can do that. Want to show a promo ad, only to cell phones, when they are within 2 miles of your business? AdWords can do that. Traditional marketing is, at best, able to target an audience that is related to your vertical should you advertise through a channel that is dedicated to your niche, though the viewers interest and intent are often mixed.

Cost of Digital and Traditional Campaigns

Digital:

Only pay when action on your ad is taken, budget is self set, adjustments can be made at any time to budget for the month, or cost per click

Traditional:

Fixed price, no cost per action

A bar graph showing the average CPM of marketing channels

I put together the above graph (source) to show the average cost of some of the top marketing channels. They do not include the cost of production for the media, and often that extra cost can make some traditional channels out of reach for a local business. Digital on the other hand offers flexibility in cost, adjustments on the fly, and you typically only pay when action is taken.

Functionality of Marketing Channel

Digital:

Users are brought onsite and can engage with other offers that you may not have been advertising, as well as all the other features and offers available to a digital platform

Traditional:

Print and Video ads don’t have much to offer in terms of functionality, and getting a viewer of your ad to go from the consumption of media (TV or print) to your website is not only rare, but nearly impossible to track without additional resources.

What more needs to be said? Comparing the functionality of a website to print media is like comparing a rock to a race car. The biggest rub for traditional advertising is getting the user to stop the current action of consuming media, to getting them to your website or making a call.

Reporting and Tracking

Example PPC report created with Google's Data Studio

(example AdWords report made with Data Studio)

Digital:

Digital ad platforms provide a wealth of data, from views to clicks, and everything in between. With goals and conversion tracking, you can report on everything from time on page, to how far the scroll.

Traditional:

Reports, true ROI, or even engagement metrics can’t be accurately reported on. Even with the use of additional resources, you still have to rely on the user to stay “in funnel” in order for you to get some reporting.

There is no better reporting than that which is offered with digital marketing campaigns. From a robust dashboard, to automated reporting, you can track and report on everything. With traditional, you get an unverifiable “reach” number. This number typically is inflated, and rarely gives you insight into how many people actually watched, read or even really absorbed the media your ad was contained in.

It is worth mentioning that there are companies out there working hard to improve reporting options for traditional channels. Below is an example of what you can expect to find with www.ispot.tv reporting options. Keep in mind, this service is an additional cost to your campaign.

Data on views and exposure for a TV ad campaign

Example of some of the reporting available from iSpot.tv

With all things marketing, there are always variables to consider. When it comes to comparing what marketing tactics or channel is best, your answer should always be determined by your goals, and the budget available to obtain them. In the end, both channels have their pro’s and con’s about them, and money can be wasted or made.

Here at Proactive SEO Solutions, we help local and small business owners make the most out of their advertising budgets. From crafting a localized direct mailer campaign that runs in parallel to a social media push, to thoughtful and creative re-marketing campaigns that keep past visitors engaged. Contact us today for a free consultation of your current marketing efforts, we’d love to help your business grow!

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