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Online Payment Processing is Vital to Your E-Commerce Success

With so many people buying so much online, merchant services companies have come up with numerous ways to pay, each with advantages and risks. Including as many payment options as reasonably possible means your customers can buy from you however they feel most comfortable.

 

Payment Options Keep Growing

For the old school among us, checks can be accepted using the American Clearing House (ACH), Western Union (well, who sends telegrams anymore?) or via a direct link from their bank's e-commerce website to your bank's e-commerce website.

Credit cards remain popular because people are comfortable using them, there are legal safeguards already in place and users can earn points through their card's rewards program. (These systems can use debit cards just as easily, but debit cards don't have the same protections as credit cards.) Many credit card services have a plug-n-play attachment for your smartphone that lets you take credit cards anywhere you have cell service.

Third party service providers — GoogleWallet, Paypal, PopMoney, Shopify, SquareOne and others — provide essentially the same service: You can send and receive money without the other party knowing any sensitive information. Fees, availability and reach vary; each service has advantages and disadvantages. Again, many companies contract with two or three services to be sure their potential customers have an option they are comfortable using.

 

The Internet Keeps Changing

At Facet Web Tech, our e-commerce experts craft your business' online sales system to give your customers all the options they need. We build custom-designed websites that are not only well-optimized to match your brand's image, they are SEO-friendly, mobile-ready and social-media conscious. Call us or drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices. We'll do you proud with an e-commerce website solution custom-tailored to your business needs.

 

The Last Word: Cybersecurity

Identity thieves get a lot of press but the more mundane, old-school thief doesn't want your name, he's just happy to steal your money. Security breaches happen because there's a new crop of hackers born every day. Fortunately, it doesn't matter how clever an individual hacker might be, because the cybersecurity community, as a body, is a whole lot smarter and that community is dedicated to ruining every hacker's day.

Having "trust seals" (like VeriSign, PayPal, or SSL) on your website means you've done the legwork to ensure that your customers will make a secure online payment. We'll never achieve perfect security, but most people will never have to worry about it. (That's our job.)

Optimization is Not a Buzzword, It's a Key to Success

"Optimization" — making the best of something — should be a no-brainer, but a lot of web development teams still miss it.

 

It's Not Just SEO

Search engine optimization has been around for over a decade. We all know the Internet-using public won't search through 300 URLs just to find yours, so you need a consistent, but flexible, long-term plan to keep your name and web address at the top of the search listings. It's time to think beyond Yahoo, Google and Bing lists and create seamlessly-coded sites that also load fast, crawl up and down smoothly and are properly indexed, leading to higher search engine rankings.

Among the (seemingly) endless details to plan as you're developing your website, there are three keep-it-simple-stupid essentials that need to be top of your priority list: (1) A high-visibility message that tells the customer exactly who you are and what you do. (2) Product/service information so concise and clear that it cannot be misunderstood. (3) A clear call-to-action that urges your visitor to open their wallets.

In addition to this basic SEO, you want a website that balances that calls-to-action with lead-capture pages (so you know who those not-buying-today visitors are) plus planned conversion funnels bringing every visitor closer to a meaningful conversion.

 

It's Not Just on the Computer, Either

The desktop gave way to the laptop, which is now giving way to mobile devices. With the majority of Internet users coming through a tablet or smartphone, your company's website has to function on every type of platform. Having a responsive, mobile-friendly website, by the way, is now another pivotal factor impacting your search engine placement.

You might have noticed a change in ads over the past few years. It used to be that commercials had a company website URL at the bottom. Today, that same commercial might have a half-dozen social media links. It's become an old joke, a group of kids are in a room together but still only chatting via social media. Well, it wouldn't be funny without a bit of truth in it. We depend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media to keep connected with family and friends, and we trust family and friends to give us good advice. You should be part of that conversation.

 

It’s the Ever-changing Cyberworld

At Facet Web Tech, our web design and development experts craft your business' web presence from the foundation to the rafters. We build custom websites that are well-optimized to match your brand's image, SEO-friendly, mobile-ready and social-media conscious. Call us or drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices. We'll do you proud.

Is Your Website Vulnerable? Yes, but Don’t Panic.

Whoever said, "Crime doesn't pay," was clearly doing it wrong! Likewise, whoever said, "Criminals only hit soft targets," might have been right 20 years ago, but modern hackers like a challenge.

 

The Bad News

One study estimated that 50 percent — half — of all mid-sized organizations (100 to 1,000 employees) got hit by a cyber attack in the last year. In 2017, over 16 million people were victims of identity theft. Ransomware — where a hacker encodes your data and demands payment to decrypt it — can cost victims anything from $2,500 to $50,000 per attack.

 

Don't Get Scared, Get Ready!

Facet Web Tech has been a leader in Central Illinois' computer community since the days of the 486 processor. We know cybersecurity — the hacks and the fixes. If you're unsure of your vulnerability (and you should always be a little unsure, a measured paranoia is a vital survival skill), we have the tools. We will determine your vulnerability level. Our website security team can then plan a course of action to ensure that your website is as safe as possible.

Our experts will install the latest patches and cybersafety features to your website to prevent attacks. Once your cybersecurity plan is in place, we don't abandon you to the cy-barbarian hordes of hackers, thieves and data-nappers. We'll monitor your site for potential threats. If somebody tries to break in, we'll know about it and defend you against it. We usually stop the attack before you even know it happened.

 

"Oh, They Got Me!"

Wish we could guarantee no hacker will ever have you saying that, but no system is perfect. Technology, both hardware and software, changes constantly, and sometimes, the bad guys win.

If they do, Facet Web Tech offers full-service cleanup and repair for your website. We'll get you back online with all possible speed. Your website is your most public face. Downtime costs you money. If you're in a privacy-oriented business (banking, medicine, law, etc.) a data breach could open you up to serious legal liability. It's the same for us, and we take your breach as seriously as if it was ours.

 

We Are "The Pros from Dover"

Well, Peoria, really, but we're just as good as those proverbial outside experts. We can take down even the worst website hacks and restore your page to its original state (Illinois, not Delaware!). We're a small business, just like you. We know what the loss of even one day's business can mean.

Call 309-353-4727 or email web@facettech.com and you'll be talking to Peoria's premier cybersecurity team. Backed by decades of technological leadership in Central Illinois, Facet Web Tech is the watchful eye your website needs.

A Rich User-Experience Yields Steady Customers

With the Internet passing a billion websites and heading who-know-where, your competition is growing daily. Create quality content that gets results takes time, effort and resources. By adding a variety of content types, you can engage in a dialogue with your visitors and create a bond that helps turn visitors into customers. Interactive content creates the rich user experience that promotes you as the best in e-commerce — and turns first-time customers into repeat customers.

 

Interactive Content

Simply put, anything that gets your visitors to do more than read words on a page enriches their experience: Self-assessment tools, financial calculators, surveys that request user input and videos that ask for a critique or comments are simple examples of e-commerce interaction.

"Let's be honest It's all a trick to get the customer to stick around," you might hear. No, it's more than that. The customer comes to your site looking to fill a need. Interactive content provides the customer with more information about your products/services. It also provides you with more info about the visitor/customer-to-be. If your web design is effective, you funnel your visitor to different pages based on their responses, getting them ever closer to the exact fill they need for their exact need. That means increased time on site and a reduced bounce rate and that means higher conversion.

 

Ecommerce Website Solutions

Facet Web Tech excels in creating rich, that is, personalized, user experiences. Our Peoria-based web design team will help you build an online presence that compliments and supports all your other marketing efforts. E-commerce isn't the wave of the future, it is the here and now, an essential for retailers to be e-tailers. Whether you're a national brand or small local mom-n-pop shop, investing in an online store might be the difference between your business thriving or disappearing.

 

Facet E-commerce Is:

Custom — we'll get to know your business and your goals and build to your goals.

Customer-centric and conversion-oriented — if they ain't buying, what's the point?

Fully Supported — web hosting, search-engine-optimized framework, secure payment processing, and other tools.

Premium quality — a rich user-experience and a seamless shopping process that brings customers back.

Flexible — whether you have a single, exclusive line or a warehouse with 10,000 SKUs, we offer affordable packages that meet your needs.

 

Call 309-353-4727 or email web@facettech.com and you'll be talking to Peoria's premier web design team. Backed by decades of technological leadership in Central Illinois, Facet Web Tech will optimize you a website that gets results.

 

The Importance of Mobile Device Website Compatibility

Today, most users access the Internet through a mobile device, so, your website must function across multiple platforms — smartphones, tablets and other devices. These are called "responsive websites" and, if you don't have one, you're losing people.

 

Best Practices

Optimization is the buzzword in today's digital marketing arena, and it has numerous meanings. Optimization is more than SEO-friendly text; it includes faster load speeds, accelerated crawling and indexing, and, perhaps most important, responding to inquiries from multiple platforms.

People don't often look past the first few entries on a Google search. Having that responsive, mobile-friendly website is a pivotal factor in gaining and keeping your company's top search placement. At Facet Web Tech, our Peoria web development team has the expertise and web design tools to make certain your business website meets these best practices — meaning higher search engine rankings for you.

 

The Funnel

Once you have the visitor on your site, your website needs to funnel those visitors toward a purchase. Simple in theory: Present a problem and show that you are the solution. Challenging in practice: Funneling must balance clear calls-to-action, lead-capture pages and pre-determined conversion targets, while holding the visitor's interest. (Let's face it, the Internet has one major downside, it's reduced the average person's attention span to that of the average housefly, so, make it a good read or just say goodbye.)

Facet will design a strategy specific to your company and goals. Our web design and development experts craft a brand that sets you apart, attracts your dream client — the 20 percent from that cliché 80/20 rule — and helps turn website traffic into profitable conversions and return customers — and our web copy gurus will do it with style.

 

Getting It Done

If a customer is browsing on their home computer, to a restaurant site, for example, they're probably  exploring new cuisine or planning a party for the gang next weekend. If they're at work searching on their mobile phone, they're more likely looking to eat in an hour or two. Responsive website design recognizes the difference. It presents desktop users with what they want and smartphone users with what they need without demanding that you maintain multiple versions of your website. That's the detail that puts the "responsive" in your responsive website.

Call 309-353-4727 or email web@facettech.com and you'll be talking to Peoria's premier web development team. Backed by decades of technological leadership in Central Illinois, Facet Web Tech will optimize you a website that gets results.

Principles of Effective Web Design

If you're going to have Facet Web Tech create a website for you (and you should!), you must know a few basics to talk to your designer. To be fair, whole libraries of books have been written on web design, so, we begin with the most basic of basics:

 

1. Be Consistent

"Branding" has been an advertising buzzword for a long time; it simply means people see something and think of you — who doesn't see a Clydesdale and think "Budweiser"? Be consistent in color, font, design and other elements on every webpage and match the color, font, etc., you use in other marketing.

 

2. Look Good, Work Better

If it ain't pretty, people don't care. Mostly, you'll present info as verbiage, but you should back up the words with photos. That said, never let design overpower function. The Internet has taken a terrible toll on people's patience so, KISS (Keep it Simple, Simon) as your ruling principle. Make essential information easy to find. Make navigation a logical process. Test your website with outside people. Never hesitate to change what isn't working.

 

3. Leave the Visitor in Control

Auto-play videos are like elevator music, don't force it on your visitors. Offer them the choice — see the video first or read the introductory text first. Either way, when they feel in control, they pay more attention. Speaking of Muzak — don't even think about it! Unless your site is about music, background music will probably be as popular as a pop-up ad from Freds Frankfurter Factory would be among vegetarians.

 

4. Interactivity

You have a goal for visitors to your website. Give yourself some evidence that they reached that goal. A sale is the best, but what about when they are window shopping for a future purchase? "Sign up for our newsletter" is a great interaction, you now have their contact info! Old trick, though, everybody does it. What else can you do to get acquainted with this visitor and help them remember you?

 

5. Optimize through Craftsmanship

A website has no value if it has no visitors. Search engine optimization (SEO) means your site is crafted to score higher on search engines. Hire a very good writer to craft copy that informs by entertaining; a very good photographer that shoots unforgettable images; a very good designer that gives simple form to user-friendly function. Make your website exciting enough that outsiders link to it from their websites.

 

Make the investment in the best website you can get. You will spend some money and you'll be fine-tuning that website regularly as the world of cyber-business changes, but, in the long haul, your investment will bring the return you want. Facet Web Tech of Peoria has the web design and development experts that will craft a strong foundation to a successful business web presence.

Ecommerce, the 4th Dimension of Business

Ecommerce accounts for about 10 percent retail sales — over $500,000,000,000 (that's billion!) per year and growing. Whatever your business model, from an exclusive line of limited products to a wide-ranging supplier with over 10,000 SKUs, Facet Web Tech has the web design tools to help your business build an online storefront with custom-tailored ecommerce website solutions.

 

Synergy

Online retailers have four elements to consider: (1) the products/services you sell, (2) cost and payment, (3) customer service and (4) web presence. Each element, like a horse in a team, has to work to support each other or your business will look like the loser in a chariot race.

1) Your products and services solve problems. The more clearly you define the problem and demonstrate your solution, the more clearly your website can be marketed to the right people.

2) Cost and payment means make it easy for the customer to hand over their hard-earned dollars. Will you offer on-line discounts? Do you do loss-leaders? Do you have different prices or extra fees for credit card or other payment types? Are you a big-ticket retailer that deals in bank drafts, wire transfers or electronic transfers?

3) Customer service varies so widely that we can't make general statements, but we can give a couple of examples:  If you're an affiliate merchandiser, your customer service is all about a smooth sale, not about products — your affiliates own their products; you control a customer-retailer relationship that happens exclusively online. If, however, you're an accounting firm selling properly completed tax returns, customer service is all about getting the right client info on the right tax form line, it's very face-to-face.

4) When you've defined each element to match your specific situation, Facet Tech can then design a web presence to reach that goal. Our custom website designs take every detail into consideration — social media, Search engine optimization (SEO), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other elements.

 

A Rich User Experience and Seamless Shopping Process

Professional website design templates — supported by reliable web hosting, sales-driven product pages and secure payment processing — allows us to build you a customer-centric and conversion-oriented website. Facet Web Tech isn't a one-size-fits-all developer, we provide flexible, affordable, broad spectrum packages.

Facet Web Tech proudly serves Peoria and central Illinois with trusted hardware and software solutions for all types of businesses. Our creative, adaptive, highly professional experts have decades of experience in the industry. We are the ecommerce partner you've been looking for.

Lead Capture Pages Mean New Customers

Brick-n-mortar retailers live or die on getting bodies through the door, and they use every imaginable trick to bring customers in. Ecommerce depends on lead capture pages in the same way — to call visitors to action in an immediate, distraction-free manner.

 

What is a Lead Capture Page?

Lead capture pages include a form which allows you to collect information from page visitors and funnel them toward a purchase. Successful collecting leads requires balancing your information requests with a legitimate promotion.

 

Walking the Tightrope

Where landing pages are concerned, your first impression is likely to be your only impression. When you first meet your prospective client, offer them something significant for something simple, an ebook for an email, for example. Keep the page simple, tell them exactly how the ebook will help improve their business then have a "call to action" (CTA) button to submit their info and get the book.

After this "first date", you can get more personal. A different lead capture page may offer and ask for more info. It might include a video, current customer testimonials, social media links, multiple CTA buttons with multiple offer options, and more. This gets you better acquainted with the lead and more clearly defines their interest depending on what CTA offer they accept.

 

Things to Remember

Lead capture pages are fundamentally different from homepages. They don't have navigation links because the goal is not to have to potential customer go somewhere else but to stay put. The page exists to encourage visitors to sign up for the service by completing the form.

A good capture page features: An attention-grabbing headline; relevant copy and image(s). (Brief and to the point; a good reason to hire a professional copywriter and photographer.) CTA button with personalized copy. ("Download the Checklist", for example.)

Other valuable elements may contain Customer logos with brief customer testimonials. Trust seals — VeriSign, PayPal, etc. — for e-commerce, these official recognitions assure visitors their payment info will be safeguarded.

 

Custom Website Design Services

You've probably heard about and may have used Google AdWords, social media campaigns or microsites, and seen the good things they do for your bottom line, but you can only take those tools so far. Any sensible person can build a table, only a master craftsman can reproduce a Chippendale table. Fortunately, Facet Web Tech is a master craft company. We apply proven concepts to the latest ecommerce strategies, tapping into the virtually limitless possibilities of the World Wide Web and, unlike other Peoria web design companies that use the same templates over and over, we offer professional and creative web design solutions that stand out from the rest.

 

How to Clean Up Your Hacked Website in Record Time

While choosing a platform to develop and build your website may be an important decision when it comes to its overall look and function, all platforms are (unfortunately) created equal in terms of propensity for hacking.

 

Dealing with a hacked website on your own can be nearly impossible, which may lead some to abandon their website altogether. However, you may be in a position where you can’t simply walk away. For example, if you run an eCommerce website, which stores dozens of customers (and their bank account/payment information) you may be facing legal trouble should this data fall into the wrong hands. In this case, cleaning up your hacked website quickly is imperative to your website’s reputation.

 

After all, hacked websites are blacklisted by search engines and web browsers, which makes it impossible for users to visit. This means that the entire length of time your website is hacked is the amount of time you’re losing your search engine ranking and potential money.  

 

Fortunately, if you partner with a reputable web tech company -- such as Facet Web Tech -- who offers thorough website clean-up, you can have your site back up and running in record time.

Fast and Secure Hacked Website Cleanup

Regardless of the platform your website is built on or hosted -- be it GoDaddy, Wix, WordPress, or Joomla -- it is constantly at risk for becoming overrun with malware and other forms of cyber threats.

 

At Facet Technologies, we understand your site’s information and data are extremely important, which is why we have some of the most skilled technicians on staff to handle website cleanups quickly and efficiently, regardless of the severity of the hack.

Cleaning Hacked Websites Using Professional Techniques

It takes knowledge and expert skill to be able to fully restore a hacked website. Facet’s intuitive techniques have been meticulously implemented to ensure your site functions and looks just as great as it did before it was hacked.


If you’re dealing with a hacked website, contact one of our web technicians today at Facet Technologies. Our company has been serving Peoria, IL and beyond with robust web tech services since 1989.  

Three Things That Make Your Website Look Cheap and How to Avoid Them

Every business today has a web presence. How well you rank in this category can determine how well you connect with your audience, how you are engaging potential customers and how you can increase traffic.

 

Understanding the importance of web design is just the beginning. There are three main things to avoid while designing your website. All of these factors can either increase or decrease your profits,. Let’s overhaul your website to create a sleek, modern and inviting site that encourages the flow of customers to it.

Reducing Clutter & Increasing Website Performance

Clutter is the number one thing that can turn a potential client off. Speed is very important. Not only will clutter make your website load slower but this makes it more difficult to be mobile friendly.

 

Minimalist design is in, this helps your website to be responsive and user friendly. Facet Web Tech can help utilize software solutions to capture your audience and make them want to stick around.

Ensuring Intuitive Navigation

Bad navigation can distract a user. Intuitive navigation is needed and should be stationary on top of every page of your web design. The key to a great website is organization.

 

Your website should be logical and lead customers to the items they need. No one wants to be scrolling around confused trying to find the home tab. Create a positive user experience by turning your bad navigation around.

Avoiding Stock Photos on Your Website

Stock photos are sometimes necessary but most times not. For your web design you want to showcase your unique business and help customers understand who you are and what you do.

Stock photos can create a negative looking website that makes users think you’re letting in spam ads, which then makes your website look unsafe to use.

 

Go with professional photos, they may cost a little more; but in the end keeping users engaged is priceless. Update your web design today, if you’re in the Peoria, IL area contact Facet Web Tech.

Our web design professionals can help turn your old outdated website into a showstopper. There’s nothing more important than keeping customers on your site. Help them stay there by using all of these tips and creating a web design that truly speaks for itself.

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