In addition to hiring technical experts like Facet Web Tech for your cyber security needs, you can do a lot to reduce your own vulnerability. For example:
1. Have a Backup
It's the most important item on the list because no system is perfect. The bad guys win a few, so be ready. Have an off-site data storage plan. You may lose data but losing one day's worth is better than losing it all. Give access to the back-up server to as few people as possible.
2. Be Proactive
You didn't get where you are by sitting around waiting for good things to happen, don't sit around waiting for bad things to happen. Require individual usernames and passwords for every employee and train them in cyber security. Install and update antivirus and anti spyware software. Build the firewall. If an employee doesn't need access to your tech, lock them out. If an employee doesn't need access to specific hardware or data, lock them out. Secure your Wi-Fi. Change passwords regularly, at least every 90 days.
3. A Measured Paranoia is a Vital Survival Skill
Fortunately, in this scenario, "paranoia" is just common sense: Don't open emails from strangers. Don't click on attachments. Don't click thru links in emails. Pay attention to email addresses and URLs. If, for example, you get an email claiming to be from the IRS, but the return address is "firstname.lastname@example.org", that didn't come from the US government.
And, Finally, Partner with Experts
There are two types of hackers, professionals and amateurs. Pros may not care about you because you're small. Of course, it's much harder for a pro to steal $1 million that to steal $10 thousand a hundred times; many pros go after small fish figuring they're easier to catch. Amateurs just hack to hurt; it's a game, and their reward is knowing they beat you.
Call Facet Web Tech – cybersecurity has been part of our program since before they even coined that word. Don't wait for an attack to come bashing at your cyber-door like the Big Bad Wolf, let us consult on your web security status. Our experts can detect vulnerabilities and install the latest patches and safety features to prevent attacks. We also offer monitoring services to watch over your website for potential threats and incursion attempts. Should the worst-case scenario arise, we have a full-service cleanup team that will repair your website and get you back on the web, fast. Do your due diligence and leave the rest to us.
Don't feel bad, you haven't wasted all the money you spent on web security, it will keep you safe from most threats. But, we need to be realistic — hackers are everywhere and some of them are infuriatingly clever.
Some do it for profit, they are trying to steal your money or your data or whatever. Some for fun, they just want to see if they can get in. All of them cost you money and common sense requires that you assume someone, someday, will get in. Facet Web Tech is the full-service cleanup and repair crew that gets you back on the web, fast.
How Bad Can Bad Get?
Malware is software designed to damage or disable computers. Ransomware doesn't do anything to your system – it locks up your system until you pay for the key. A Trojan masquerades as something harmless (like an email attachment or an online form) then moves against your system in any of several ways. Spyware gathers data about people and organizations without their knowledge. Keylogging records what keys a user strikes – these are legal and valuable software security tools, but can be misused, allowing a hacker to learn your passwords and other private stuff.
Some malware erases or disables your software, making it impossible to use or even access your website. Some can shut down your servers and workstations, effectively shutting down your business operations. Many hacks don't damage your system, but erasure of data could mean lost business records, including tax info, customer contact info and more, while removal (theft) of data compromises your business integrity and might result in lawsuits or worse or put your trade secrets up for sale on the dark web.
Your business needs your full attention. You do what you do very well because you are focused on delivering quality products or services. We do web, and we do web well, because we are focused on the web. When Central Illinois thinks cybersecurity, they think Facet Web Tech, the hacker's nightmare. Drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices, call us (309-353-4727) or email us (email@example.com). We'll thoroughly review your web security needs, design a system that provides the level of security you need (including backing up data) so the bad guys have a minimal chance of winning. We can also keep an eye on your system in real time,so that, if the bad guys win, we'll make sure the celebration will be short.
Next to owning a website, having an application specific to your business could be the best thing for your bottom line. Facet Web Tech can customize an application to your specific products or services. The "smart phone" as a point of sale has exploded! People are doing everything from checking bus schedules to contributing to their church or favorite charity via apps. Your best customers are probably expecting your announcement, "I have an app!", so don't disappoint them.
Benefits of Having an App
What do apps do?
Customer engagement – if you're a charity or advocacy group, you want your target audience doing something, your app tells them what to do or how to do it and lets them share those successes with others.
Support – if you're information or service based, like a newspaper or a lawyer, your app helps your clients do their own thing.
Online sales – if you're sales-based, your app lets your customers buy anything you have, anytime of the day or night, anywhere they suddenly find themselves in need.
Promotion – whatever you do, your app advertises you and the great products or services you offer.
Go for the Gold
Your business is unique, so the one-size-fits-all the software model no longer works. Most people spend a lot of time hunched over their smartphones these days — good news for chiropractors, and for you. An app on their screen means increased visibility to your target market at all times. Apps market interactively, generating info about your customers that you can use, like demographics or locations while providing them more info about you.
Social media works because users are engaged. They see, they like, they comment, they share. Your app builds that sort of community but, rather than a bursting balloon splashing water all over the place, your app is a high-pressure fire hose putting all the water on a specific spot — your business. You offer special app-only deals; your loyalty program racks up points publicly; you don't stand out from the crowd, you are the crowd.
Creating an Effective App …
… Requires expertise. You know your customers and what they want in your cyberstore. (If not, call, we can help you find out.) We do web, and we do web well, because all we do is web. When Central Illinois thinks custom software, they think Facet Web Tech, the premier software development experts. Drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices, call us (309-353-4727) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'll complete a thorough review of your customers' needs then design an app that get results.
What is "Web Presence"?
According to the dictionary, if you have a website, you have a web presence. Facet Web Tech, however, asks practical, real-world questions: Is your web presence noticeable? Is it positive? Does it move you closer to your goals?
We call it the World Wide Web for a Reason
You are competing with hundreds of online companies, all over the world — literally. If you're going to compete, you want your best foot forward in a way that reaches your target audience. Like any business project, you need three things: (1) A Goal. (2) A Plan. (3) Tools.
Your goal depends on your business: What do you sell? To whom do you sell? How many do you need to sell? What should your social media contribute to those sales? Where do you want to be in five or ten years? Nothing new here, businesses have been doing it for centuries. The difference is data — the web gives you more data faster that you can use to meet your goals.
Your plan must include an online presence: Everything your business does moves you closer to your goal, or you need to stop and do something different. The Yellow Pages used to be the place to advertise your business. Well, people still let their fingers do the walking but now it's through a search engine results list, not a telephone book.
Your tools are the home page, the landing pages, the capture pages and everything else you put on your site. Effective social media means you put stuff on the screen that people like, read and, most important, remember. The colors, the font, the layout, the text, pix and graphix (see what we did there?) create an impression (not an "imprexion", overdoing makes you look silly) that stays with the visitor until the visitor says, "It's time to buy, what was that company I saw on the web? Oh, yeah, I remember." That's the win!
One more vital item to keep in mind: The internet is changing every year — remember GeoCities and Friendster? Neither does anybody else. You need to partner with net savvy people who the next wave and makes sure your ride it instead of getting drowned by it.
Creating a Powerful Online Presence …
… Requires expertise. You do what you do and you do it well, whether you're a dentist or carpenter or farrier. We do web, and we do web well because all we do is web. When Central Illinois thinks net savvy, they think Facet Web Tech, the website design and development experts. Drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices, call us (309-353-4727) or email us (email@example.com). We'll complete a thorough review of your social media plan then design an online presence that gets the results you need.
At the dawn of the 21st Century, e-commerce was a "Huh, what'd you say?" phrase that only the very farsighted had even heard of. Less than 20 years later, it's the standard way of selling almost everything. Even the most personal retailers — grocers, tailors, doctors — use e-commerce as part of their marketing plan.
You are now competing with businesses all over the world; you must have professional e-commerce web design to stay competitive. You need a partner like Facet Web Tech — big enough to provide all the web design tools, small enough to be affordable to anyone in the Central Illinois business community.
Affordable Small Business Web Design for Growth
Today, you may be small, 20 or 30 SKUs; in a few years, you may want to be at 500 or 1,000 or 20,000 SKUs.
Facet Web Tech has experience helping all types of businesses — building online storefronts; custom-tailoring e-commerce website services; meeting your needs and your market's needs and more. We'll create a core around which you can add inventory, locations or services without crashing your site or breaking the bank.
One thing technology has taught us, if we're paying attention — 8-tracks and cassette tapes are gone; CDs and DVDs may soon be replaced by downloads and flash drives. "Professional web design" means flexible web design, tools that serve your current operations with room for whatever you decide to do next year.
The Full Range of Web Design Tools
Web hosting, sales-driven product pages, search engine optimization, secure payment processing — we've done it so often for so many different clients that our work is tested and proven. We know what works. To meet your needs, we won't bake from scratch and hope the cookies don’t burn. Visit our website, see some of our clients and projects, see what professional web design looks like.
Sure, you can find cheap, online tools that'll get the job done, but wouldn't you be better served by a neighbor whose invested in our neighborhood, who cares about your success for more than just the money they make on you? And, seriously, do you want the job done or do you want it done right?
Facet Web Tech is the leading source for web design in Peoria, Illinois, and the surrounding area. For almost three decades, our non-corporate/family-oriented business culture has focused on accuracy, capability and top-tier customer service. We'll take the time to understand your business needs and we'll meet them, for today and all your tomorrows.
Today's business website needs to be focused and responsive. If you're selling something, either your website funnels customers to the checkout page or you're doing it wrong. Major conglomerates spend millions to optimize their path to sales; the small companies in Peoria's business community need affordable web design that delivers. Facet Web Tech is the best website builder for small business in Central Illinois; we should be your partner.
Good Enough Isn't
You might think, "I have a website that works, and returns are not so bad for what I paid." As one wise man once said, "There is nothing so bad as something that is 'not-so-bad'." Your goal should be getting every visitor to take some action — buying something or downloading a free guide or signing up for an email list. Your goal should be to get every customer to take some action that connects them to you. That is funneling.
Revising Your Site to Improve Flow
Make your target market conscious of your product. (Get them to the website.)
Build curiosity about your product. (Show them the features.)
Plant and nurture the want (Show them the benefit.)
Ask for the purchase. (But include lesser options if they're not ready to buy at that moment.)
There are, literally, thousands of approaches and combinations of approaches to improving your funneling. For item 1, as an example, some potential customers will respond better to pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, others to organic searches (Bing, DuckDuckGo, Google, Yahoo), still others to social media. Knowing your target audience will tell you which.
For item 4, give them options. They might not need what you sell right now, so offer a little something — a downloadable guidebook, an email newsletter subscription, something that gives them good advice that they will use someday. It doesn't even have to be about your products or services, as long as it has "Courtesy of your friends at" with your name, logo and contact info plastered all over it. (By the way, if you need some little giveaway like this, we have partners who can provide it, courtesy of your friends at Facet Web Tech!)
"I'm a Florist, I don't know PPC from PVC."
You are not alone; we don't know everything — no one does. We partner with accountants and an ad agency and others and we trust their advice. Facet Web Tech is the leading source for web design in Peoria, Illinois, and the surrounding area. Trust our advice in our arena; we offer affordable small business web design and many other services that will improve your bottom line.
A lead capture page differs from other pages by encouraging your visitors to share their info. Once you have that, each visitor becomes a lead for future offers. Even though that visitor didn't make a purchase on their first (or second or subsequent) visit, with a lead capture page, you haven't lost your chance to nurture that visitor into a customer.
How Does a Lead Capture Page Work?
Simply put, you ask for the visitors' information in exchange for a reward — a free ebook, an online newsletter subscription, any little thing that has value for the visitor is a viable option. For websites offering larger-ticket items, larger rewards (a hard-copy book, for example) can impress visitors with the value you're willing to offer in exchange for their contact info.
Lead captures are commonly used by big retailers, but small, local professionals and merchants can also benefit. The right offer can dramatically help turn new visitors into customers. They can also be integrated into a long-term online marketing including list building and social media, turning one-time customers into steady, returning customers.
What Makes an Effective Lead Capture Page?
A few basics are pretty universal:
Start with an attention-grabbing headline. The Internet has a few small downsides, like reducing our attention spans, so make your online data clear and obvious.
Ask only for the most relevant information and include a call-to-action button. The "lead capture form" should have a minimum number of fields. Make the button bright with just three or four words like "Download My Ebook" or "Send Me The Report". Put the button right under the lead capture form so the visitor will fill the form then click the button before having second thoughts.
Display the right images. Promoting a webinar? Include the host's headshot. Offering a free sample? Post a photo of the product.
Write compelling copy. Every successful product solves a specific problem. List the problem; explain the solution; stop. You're done!
A couple of customer testimonials/reviews are probably better than a celebrity endorsement (assuming you could get one!).
"Trust seals" (like VeriSign, PayPal, or SSL) mean you've done the legwork to ensure that your customers will make a secure online payment.
Your Unique Voice
At Facet Web Tech, our web design experts design lead capture pages branded and tailored to your company's objectives. Others may use and reuse templates, making their customers look like clones, while Facet offers professional, creative web design solutions that stand out from the crowd. Call us or drop by our Peoria, Illinois, offices. We'll do you proud with a unique e-commerce website solution.
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" — 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.