This month in top searches for retailers – People are getting out more in their yards!

This month in top searches for retailers – People are getting out more in their yards!

According to the recent analytics for the top search interests for people in the U.S., we found out more people are wanting to get out more and finding ways through searches for equipment!

What do top searches mean for retailers?

Well if you are a small retailer or a mom and pop shop, this would be of interest to you and what to sell, by what consumers are looking for.

Top 10 searches this month in retail

According to Think With Google, the following are the top ten searches within this month.

  1. Swimming poolsup by 300% in online searches. Seems everyone wants to take a dip since the weather is warming up and want to get out of the house, but within social distancing. If you are or have considered selling swimming pools, now is the time that you should see those sales go up.
  2. Golf Bag Accessories up by 200% – We see an online prediction here and what better way to ‘set up your game’ than to buy from a retailer who sells Golf Accessories!
  3. Water park and Slides! up by 200%– Did we say warmer weather is coming! Summer is almost here! Get these families ready with your retailing of yard water parks and slides!
  4. Sneeze Guards up by 200% – Well we didn’t think about the summer on this one, but we did a double thought and said sure! Allergy season is here, now! Customers are looking, so start selling!
  5. Evaporative Coolers up by 200% – See the trend here! Summer is fast approaching!
  6. Outdoor Umbrellas and Shade Accessories! up by 200% – Hot topic cause while kids play, parents need the cooling downtime, or kids will need a cool down from the pools and Water park slides above!
  7. Neck Gaiters up by 200% – If you don know what a neck gaiter is – it’s a tube-like scarf around your neck and can be pulled up as a mask. Go ask any biker!
  8. Outdoor Umbrellas and Sunshades up by 200% – To go along with the Umbrella accessories they were looking online to purchase!
  9. Party Streamers and Curtains up by 200% – We won’t ask why just turn on your locations on your smartphones!
  10. Pool Covers and Ground cloths up 200%  – You know, cause they just bought a pool and summer isn’t quite here yet!

We hope you had fun reading some of our mentions of the top 10 retail searches this month!

If you don’t have an online store yet, contact us so we can help you with setting one up. If you have one already, you can go to Think with Google and stock up on the latest monthly search trends!

 

The Coffee Team

Start using Push Signals to keep people engaged on your web site.

Start using Push Signals to keep people engaged on your web site.

What exactly is a Push Notification? Why you should be using them?

Push Notifications or Message pop-ups are a correspondence channel incorporated with each cell phone sold today.

  • Pop-up messages are the first and frequently most significant correspondences channel utilized by applications.
  • About each major application utilizes message pop-ups for exchanges and re-commitment.
  • Pop-up message innovation is quickly advancing from a straightforward message conveyance framework to a rich and intelligent medium.

Clients today make some hard memories recollecting what applications they even have on their gadget. Message pop-ups help these administrations convey opportune and important data to clients, and in doing as such, remaining top of their mind.

An ongoing report indicated that versatile clients get a normal of 63.5 warnings every day, with most notices originating from informing and email applications.

Message pop-ups ( or Push notifications ) are basically a method for making clients aware of data that they have subscribed to from applications and administrations. Notices envelop about each conceivable use case and sort of administration, including different interchanges mediums like email, SMS, and VoIP.

One of the best notification tools out there to run on any devise and multitude of browsers is called One Signal. This is great for WordPress user web sites too. We have been using this for years and the best part about it…its all they dedicate on doing. They have even kept up with the oh so rapidly evolving in technology.

There are three basic types of Push Notifications that people use most frequently. Do any of these fit the type of messages your viewers could benefit from?

One Signal has the tools to either allow you to send certain push notifications to your users depending on the type you need for your audience or business. Even interaction with WordPress sites, which is why we like them so much.

Transactional Notifications

Set automated messages triggered by events – such as a package in transit or abandoned cart. Transactional notifications build trust and nudge users to complete actions.

System Notifications

Let your users know about new features and opportunities, such as product launches, breaking news, and holiday discounts. These usually go out as massive blasts to a wide audience. ( This is the one most common for WordPress users)

User Notifications

Let users know when another user, seller, or reader messages them. These are especially relevant for social networking apps, dating apps, marketplaces, and any sites that allow comments.

What is the best way to use Push Notifications?

Got to play nice in the sandbox! There is an etiquette on the web and us developers are held to certain standards. 

A key component of message pop-ups is that clients must select in to getting them. Given the quantity of warnings most clients get, numerous clients decide to quit accepting increasingly except if there is a convincing an incentive to the notices.

Keep giving your audience a reason to be engaged in your notifications! 

Examples:

  • Sign up for notifications on sales done at your location.
  • Delivery or pick up locations for items when they arrive.
  • News that is for your local area.
  • Parents or support groups information or opportunities.
  • Subscription for family and friends of a personal blog.
  • The list goes on and on!

Some of the features One Signal has:

  • Mobile Push Notifications
  • Web Push (which is what we use in WordPress)
  • Email ( this comes in with a built in builder with Drag n drop tools)
  • In-App (great for using targeted audiences and comes with Analytics to see engagements)
  • And last but such a great tool is their preview tool! This is such a great way to see how easy this system is to use too!

 

In conclusion, if you have a WordPress site and need help setting up push notifications for your site, let us know by contacting us. One signal is the one we recommend to get this done for you.

You can see more about One Signal Push Notifications and think of the possibilities for your place of business, personal and family uses.

 

 

 

How churches can offer online sermons

How churches can offer online sermons

During these uncertain times, churches want to get their message out to their audience. This can be done pretty easily with a plugin for WordPress called Sermon Manager Pro

First, you would need a WordPress site

You should have a domain for your site, and if you already have this, you would need a good hosting account, as we recommend Secure Hosting WP. You can get both domain name and hosting there and pay annually or monthly, depending on your needs.

The second step is having good audio equipment

The equipment you need will depend on whether you want to record your live sermons while you’re preaching in the church, or record sermons separately by yourself.

The good news is, if you want to record live sermons, you may already have everything you need.

If your church already has a soundboard and an available laptop for recording sermons, you may just need to purchase a small cable like this 3.5mm to XLR Cable to run from your soundboard to a laptop.

Once connected, you can then use a program like Audacity to record the sermon (more on that in the next step).

If you don’t have a soundboard for your church, you could use a portable recorder like this Handheld Digital Audio Recorder. You can easily set this on your podium so you don’t have to hold it the whole time.

You might also want to record sermons privately by yourself, instead of recording the live sermon, or even record additional teaching for deeper study.

Some recommended mics from the experts are:

How do you record a sermon video?

For recording video sermons, you’ll need to use a video camera.

If you need to begin with an absolute minimal budget, you can record on your smartphone using a tripod. This is the cheapest way to go.

GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO

GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO is a good tripod for any type of phone. It has adjustable legs that can be used to attach it to any surface.

For churches with a modest budget, you can use SlingStudio’s HD Video Production Unit to create a high-quality video recording that uses multiple cameras. SlingStudio lets you switch between video feeds in real-time from an iPad or laptop. You can add feeds from camcorders, DSLR cameras, or even use your smartphone.

Once you’ve chosen your equipment, you’re ready to start recording.

Step 3: Record Your Sermon

To record your sermons, WPBeginner recommends using the program Audacity.

Audacity is a completely free program that, like WordPress, is licensed under the GPL. You can use it to record your sermons, and also edit the files for noise reduction and enhanced sound quality.

After you install Audacity, you’ll need to open the program and click the File menu to start a new project.

Then, click on the record button to start recording your sermon.

Don’t feel like you need to start over if you make a mistake. Just keep going, and then you can edit out the mistakes after you’re finished recording.

Audacity

If you want, you can also import music files from File » Import to use at the beginning or end of your sermon.

Since Audacity is a powerful tool, you may want to check out these Audacity tutorials to learn more about all the features.

After you’re done recording your sermon, you can export it. We recommend the MP3 format because it creates smaller file sizes with good quality.

Once you’ve saved the file, you’re ready to upload it to your website.

Step 4: Upload Your Sermon Recording

Both audio and video recordings produce large files. You might be able to get away with hosting your audio files on your website for a short time, but you’re likely going to run into space issues after a while.

If you want to keep your WordPress website fast, you shouldn’t upload audio or video files to your own site.

We recommend you use a separate church sermon hosting service. If you’re looking for the best podcast host for churches, we recommend using Podbean to upload your sermon audio recordings. You can also check out our list of the best podcast hosting services for other options.

Podbean

For video files, we recommend you get started on YouTube. It is easy to use, super-fast, and free. It is also the world’s second-largest search engine which means additional chances for your sermons to be viewed by someone new.

Once you’ve recorded your sermons and put them online, it’s time to add them to your website so your own members and visitors can easily find them.

You will begin by adding the Sermon Manager for WordPress plugin. For more details see our step-by-step guide on how to install a plugin.

You will begin by adding your first sermon. Simply go to Sermons » Add New page.

Add new sermon to WordPress

First, you will need to add the title of your sermon and the date it was preached on. You must add the date preached to be able to publish your sermon.

After those two fields, there are many fields that are optional but we encourage you to fill out as many as possible. Adding thoughtful descriptions helps your sermon be discoverable by search engines.

The second set of fields will allow you to paste the URL for your files, whether you’re adding audio, video, or both. There’s also a place where you can add sermon notes if you’d like to attach a PDF.

add sermon recording details

Fill out the meta on the right column for things like the preacher’s name, the sermon series, and then click publish. And that’s it! If you’re using pretty permalinks, your first sermon will now be available at:

https://yourdomain.com/sermons/

Submit your Podcast to Apple’s iTunes and Google Play

Another great feature in the Sermon Manager plugin is that you can easily submit your feed to podcasts. This makes it easier for your members to subscribe and receive notifications on their phones when you publish a new sermon.

To get started go to Sermons » Settings and click on the Podcast tab. The folks behind the Sermon Manager for WordPress plugin have made this section very self-explanatory so you will be able to follow along, filling in your own data and seeing what they recommend in light gray text.

Go through each field and fill in the information so it matches your church.

enter your church podcast settings

At the bottom, click the save button. Next, you’ll use the link for the feed validator so you can be sure you’ve filled out everything correctly. When your feed validates you’ll copy the link and submit your podcast to both Apple Podcasts and Google Play Podcasts.

copy the church podcast feed URL to submit to podcast services

How Do I Live Stream Sermons?

Plenty of churches are asking how do I live stream sermons, so you may be wanting to do that as well.

We recommend live streaming in addition to having sermons on your own website. If you only live stream and don’t record your sermons, then you’re missing out on all the benefits we listed above.

Having sermons on your website means your church members can access past sermons more easily. It can also help you to grow your website traffic.

That said, live streaming sermons can be a good way to reach new audiences on social media.

Two of the best ways are YouTube and Facebook. Facebook especially can be a good option because a lot of your members are already there and connected to your page.

But Facebook Live isn’t always reliable. We’ve heard reports of churches having issues with their livestream crashing in the middle of the service. Using a broadcasting service instead can offer a smoother experience.

Restream will allow you to broadcast your service on your own website, YouTube, your Facebook page, a Facebook group, and other services, all at the same time.

You can also record your sermons or services in advance and schedule them to go live at the right time for a less stressful experience.

If you’re live streaming your sermon using your smartphone, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a tripod for the best results.

After your live stream is over, you can add the video to your own site following our tutorial above.

If you need help with setting up an online feed, live or recorded, feel free to contact us for help and getting you started.

Source: How Churches Can Offer Online Sermons with WordPress by WP Beginner 

 

 

 

How Restaurants Can Help Customers during COVID

How Restaurants Can Help Customers during COVID

Restaurants are the heart of many communities. It’s where couples enjoy a date night, families celebrate taco Tuesday, and teams gather for postgame grub. But as the world grapples with how to respond to COVID-19, both national chains and independently owned restaurants are quickly strategizing to find new ways to serve their communities.

From one restaurant owner:

While I manage the Restaurant teams at Google as my “day job,” I am also a restaurant owner who is personally experiencing this crisis from the front lines. My wife and I opened Seven Scoops & Sips in 2019, and we donate a portion of our earnings to worthy causes. (Seven Scoops has been able to donate over $60,000 in the past nine months because of community support.) Before COVID-19, the store was packed every night because people knew that their purchase of an ice cream, coffee, or acai bowl was helping to fund local schools and sports programs, cancer victims, homeless youth, children in need in Harlem, villages in Kenya, and other local and global causes. The sting of this crisis is especially hard since now all funding is put on hold until business can resume.

The pandemic presents unique challenges for Seven Scoops and the industry. And while the path forward depends on many variables, here are some strategies restaurants are adopting to support their customers in this unprecedented moment.

Help your customers plan and prepare

When uncertainty is top of mind, people are looking for information they can trust. This is even more evident when it comes to accessible and available food options nearby. “Take out” search interest has increased 285% since the start of March.1 Being there to help people navigate this new normal with up-to-date and relevant information can make all the difference.

What does Google Search recommend?

Proactively communicating changes that affect your restaurant across customer-facing channels is crucial.

Following these guidelines will help your business in these uncertain times for everyone. It helps you avoid the questions by just following certain steps for your business to keep your customers informed.

Proactively communicating changes that affect your restaurant across customer-facing channels is crucial in helping people plan and prepare. Updating your Business Profile on Google is one way to do this. Updates you make on your profile about your location, such as changes in your restaurant hours, including temporary closings or modified hours, will also appear on Google Search and Google Maps. And, at a time when people are assessing what best fits their needs, providing information, like whether you’re offering takeout or delivery, is a way you can help users decide what’s right for them.

Communicate takeout or delivery solutions effectively

For the last five years, “restaurants near me” consistently ranked as the most popular “near me” search.2 But consumer behavior has changed. The focus has shifted to alternative mealtime solutions. We’re seeing more consumer interest related to “delivery” in the last three weeks as a result of national guidance to shelter in place; search interest for “food delivery” related queries has spiked 100%.3

Informing people of your alternate dine-out options helps customers and your employees remain safe during recommended social distancing periods. Solutions like Local campaigns can help you customize your communication to include only locations where you offer dine-out options.

Reassure strict restaurant safety and sanitation measures

Today, more than ever, when choosing where and what to eat, safety is paramount. In fact, search interest for “is food delivery safe” has increased 650% across the U.S. since the beginning of March.4 Reassuring customers that you understand the concerns for safety and are taking important steps to address the current situation is key.

These actions include sharing updates on new implementations, like whether you’ve established a dedicated team to focus on food safety. Other examples may include applying more stringent cleaning procedures, increasing the frequency of hand-washing among staff, and updating training materials for employees.

Further, communicating your employee sick leave policy or addressing time off for ill employees is another way to show how you are minimizing the possibility of putting your workers and customers at risk.

In this challenging time, the last thing people want to worry about is meal options. By alleviating these concerns with relevant communication and safe, convenient choices, you’re providing the assistance they’ll remember and appreciate.

By doing things important now for your business and your customers, will help everyone in the long run while you concentrate on reorganizing your business goals. If you need help with any of this, please contact us so we can help you achieve these goals to better serve your customers.

Read the Full article: How restaurants can better assist customers during times of uncertainty

 

 

 

Free Telecommuting Tools for Businesses

Free Telecommuting Tools for Businesses

When you need tools to telecommunicate for your business , there are some free options to help you do this. Some of these have pro options for more functions, but you can use these while there is a need to telecommunicate between employees and work.

Work from home by telecommunicating?

Not a problem. Here are some of the tools for working via home and telecommunicating with your place of business. These are the most popular of tools that businesses are using.

Skype – for a very familiar feeling

For many, Skype is the go-to tool for all things video chat. As far as free tools go, it offers excellent quality without using up too much of your mobile data while on the go.

Key features: Video-calls, private and group IM, group video chats, file sharing and management, screen sharing and more

What’s so great about it? Most people will already have it installed, so you just need to swap usernames and you’re ready to go. You can also use it for group video chats for up to 10 users at once.

Google Hangouts – easy, hip team communications tool

Google’s chat and video messaging service, Hangouts, is a popular tool for many. It provides users with an easy way to converse with others, either with a single person or groups of people.

Key features: Voice calls, video calls, chat, multimedia messages, videoconferencing, live-stream meetings and events

What’s so great about it? You can connect with up to 10 people worldwide regardless of devices and messages can be archived for future reference. It recently got a dedicated website, so you can now use it in any web browser, without having to run Gmail or Google Plus.

You are limited to 10 users in a video call and 100 users in a chat, but paid subscriptions are available to increase that limit.

Slack – team communications on the go

If you need a chat app to send direct messages and create private groups, then Slack has the answer. It offers multi-team support, with free native apps for Android, iOS, and Mac and Windows desktops.

Key features: Real time messaging, one-to-one and group conversations, file sharing, powerful search and archiving (up to 10,000 most recent messages in free plan), dozens of integrations with tools such as Google+ Hangouts, Dropbox and Asana

What’s so great about it? Slack is one of the most widely used team communications apps available for all major mobile and desktop platforms. It’s quick to set up, well designed and allows you to embed social media posts and download and store images.

Advanced plans include features such as guest access, user groups, custom profile fields, unlimited service integration and a searchable archive with unlimited messages.

Bitrix24 – communication AND collaboration

Think of Bitrix24 as a social network for business. This free collaboration tool can be used by up to 12 users and offers free iOS and Android apps.

Key features: Instant messaging and group chat, email collaboration, telephony, videoconferencing, email connectors, unlimited tasks/subtasks, unlimited projects/workgroups, daily planner, multiuser editing, document sharing, calendars (personal and shared)

What’s so great about it? The free plan has plenty to offer, with up to 5GB of online storage. With a like button, interactive update feed and IM services, it’s incredibly user friendly.

Upgrade to increase storage space, participants and gain additional features such as backup storage, trigger emails, CRM record conversions and much more.

Fuze – high definition team communication

Fuze offers you a better meeting experience through the use of high definition audio and video conferencing. It provides a consistent experience across all supported devices, which include OSX, Windows and Linux for the desktop and iOS and Android for your mobile.

Key features: Cloud content, HD screen share, HD VoIP, HD video streams

What’s so great about it? Not only can you use it to hold meetings with someone across the country, but you can also use it to share documents such as animations, multimedia or other types of rich content.

Paid plans are available to increase participants, and receive additional features such as webinars, meeting recordings and unlimited dial-in (US only).

GoToMeeting – easy basic communication

GoToMeeting platform is ideal if you’re just looking for something easy and basic. The free plan allows you to video-conference up to 3 users and is compatible with Mac and Windows computers. A mobile app is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Key features: Screen sharing, unlimited VoIP, application sharing, private and group in-meeting chat, customizable meeting link, one-click meeting entry

What’s so great about it? The free plan is perfect for consultants and freelancers looker for an easy to use a screen-sharing app with high-quality audio.

Starter, Pro and Plus plans are available for increased number of participants, as well as additional features such as recording, keyboard and mouse sharing, video conferencing and drawing tools.

Glip – tool for a productivity surge

Not only is Glip great for communication, but also it is ideal for increasing productivity as it keeps everything from task management, calendars, to-dos, files and notes in one place. With Glip you get unlimited teams and projects, as well as iOS, Android, web and desktop apps.

Key features: Real-time messaging, video conferencing, shared calendars, integrated task management, link sharing, extraction and archiving, and more

What’s so great about it? The free version offers unlimited users, storage, posts, free guest users and external integrations, as well as 500 minutes worth of video chat

Upgrade for additional support and video chat minutes.

Zoho – any time, any platform

If you’re looking for a way to host an instant web meeting, then Zoho is the answer. While the free option only allows one host and one participant, it is easy to use and set up, ideal for freelancers and small businesses. It supports Android, Linux, Mac, Windows and Web-based.

Key features: Audio conferencing, embed meeting in website, remote desktop control, secured web meetings, instant chat collaboration

What’s so great about it? The great thing about Zoho is that you are allowed unlimited meetings and durations in their free option. You can schedule meetings, or hold instant ones, with the ability for instant messaging and shared mouse and keyboard controls.

Upgrade your plan to gain more participants and additional features such as meeting reminders, changing presenters and dial-in audio conferencing.

Avaamo – a secure team messaging tool

Avaamo is a simple team-messaging tool that allows you to send an unlimited amount of messages to an unlimited number of business contacts. It offers free native iOS and Android apps.

Key features: One-to-one and group messaging, file and screen sharing, secure and searchable messaging, send and receive voice memos, dozens of integrations

What’s so great about it? With a delightfully simple interface, this instant and secure messaging service allows you to contact co-workers, partners, customers and vendors without having to worry about security.

Upgrade to the Premium version to receive increased customer support, data compliance and more.

Trello – Team CRM Great for Business

Trello offers a free version and professional version depending on your needs in business. Create productivity boards with a drag n drop interface. Invite users to join the board, assign tasks and drag n drop towards completion. You can share google docs and other tools available for businesses.

One key feature we like about Trello is that others can download the app and use Trello straight from their phones and on the go. you can assign tasks and managers who will also have responsibility for adding to and managing your Trello board. you can also have more than one board under your account so GREAT for dividing up employees and management.

Duo App for Video Calls and messaging

Simple, high-quality video calls for smartphones, tablets, computers, and Smart Displays like the Google Nest Hub Max. – You have gmail account, you can easily connect with Duo – for up to 8 people in video conferencing.

Zoom Video Conferencing

Zoom offers both free and professional plans that are affordable. Lots of different options and especially good for business solutions where you can monitor workrooms.

Square allows for curb side pickup on orders

Square allows for curb side pickup on orders

As of Weds March 18th, 2020 – Square released an announcement that they have ways now for people to order from your business and pick up curbside. This is coming from ways to help businesses in your community take orders, pay and pick up curbside with the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

If you have an existing WordPress web site great! If you are using it with Square™, you can now offer curbside ordering for your customers. If you would like to set up an online store using Square, feel free to contact us or we can take your existing WordPress web site and link it to your square account so people can still shop for your products.  This is a safer way for people to shop online right now and go pick it up from their vehicle.

Wednesday’s announcement below will help small businesses.

Square Community,

We realize that everyone around the world is facing unique challenges right now, and for business owners, the stakes are particularly high. In this challenging and uncertain time some of you are able to continue with little change, while others have been required to temporarily shut your doors. We want to offer some support in the ways we can. Here are the immediate steps we are taking to help:

 

Today Square Online Store released the option for curbside pickup, and later this week a local delivery feature will be available for all businesses so that you can quickly adapt to this changing environment. We are also waiving curbside pickup and delivery fees for the next three months. Square Online Store already offers online orders for in-store pickup with no monthly fee.

 

We are refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March, which includes Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store. Square will manage the process for you—there’s no need to do anything.

 

We’re also offering a resource hub with information and advice for businesses to navigate this new environment, which covers how to offer local delivery, set up and promote electronic gift cards, utilize free marketing campaigns, turn off signature requirements for in-person purchases, and more.

 

We are taking proactive steps to ensure we can continue to provide you with both advice and assistance. Customer Support is here to help with questions or concerns. As we continue to assess the situation, teams across the company are prioritizing how we can provide additional support during this time.

Please take care of yourselves, your families, your employees, and your customers.

With adjustments in how today and in the future may shop, it is a great way to keep your customers’ shopping.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us so that we can assist you.

Share this on your social media so that we can help assist you with businesses online.

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