Gate Customer Newsletter Gate.com
Issue: November 2015

.PRO Domains Now Available to All

Thanks to a regulatory change, all websites will have the opportunity to go pro.

On November 16, .PRO became an unrestricted TLD open to all registrants. This change was a result of the renewal of the .PRO registry agreement under new terms recently entered into between the .PRO registry and ICANN.

Since its launch in 2002, .PRO eligibility had been restricted to certain specified professions, such as lawyers, physicians, engineers, and other licensed professionals. Registrants were required to maintain proof of licensure and provide supplemental data (such as profession, authority name, authority URL, and license number) at the registry’s request or risk losing their domains. The new contract eliminates these restrictions and procedures, enabling the .PRO domain to compete on a level playing field with the other generic domain extensions such as .com, .net, and .org that are marketed to registrants regardless of their professional standing.

Now, .PRO registration requests no longer need to include the supplemental data mentioned above. Opening the .PRO domain to all registrants creates a significant opportunity for those who were not eligible in the past. The .PRO domain will continue to be marketed as the domain for professionals, but the target market will expand dramatically to include businesses, service providers and individuals who consider themselves to be a “PRO.”

For more information on registering a .PRO domain, visit our website.

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In This Issue
.PRO Domains Now Available to All
Best Ways to Target E-Commerce Customers
Building a Website from Scratch: How to Establish an Online Presence
Connect with Us on Social Media
Facebook
 
Do-It-Yourself Web Presence

Business2Community
Nov. 1, 2015
5 Reasons You Should Still Be Doing Email Marketing

Business2Community
Nov. 3, 2015
High Bounce Rate? Here are 8 Ways to Curb It

Small Business Trends
Oct. 20, 2015
30 Tips for Building Your First Business Website

Best Ways to Target E-Commerce Customers

Online shopping is more popular than ever. The first quarter of 2014 saw a staggering 198 million Americans – 78 percent of the adult U.S. population – use online platforms to make purchases, according to a comScore study.

Experts agree that it is best to target a specific subset of this vast group of shoppers and appeal to their interests and needs. This increases the chances that these users will visit the site, complete a purchase and become a loyal customer.

But what are the best ways to go about targeting certain e-commerce customers? Let’s take a look at a few top strategies:

Identifying your target audience: Research is key

First and foremost, retailers must determine who, exactly, is their target audience. Who are the users visiting the site, and which of these individuals are making purchases?

Practical Ecommerce contributor Erica Tevis noted that research is critical in order to identify a company’s potential target audience. Tevis recommended looking into the local area to gauge who might be interested in the products or services being offered. This will help the retailer establish a consumer persona for use in marketing and promotional efforts.

“Identify their presumed age, gender, income, household size, where they shop. what they read, what they browse online,” Tevis wrote. “Narrow your audience as closely as possible and focus on one segment at a time. You can always diversify, expand and add customers segments after you become established.”

Tevis also suggested asking a few basic questions to help better identify the target audience:

  • Who will be using the product or service?
  • What other interests might these individuals have?
  • When will shoppers be purchasing the product or service being offered?
  • Where will shoppers use the product or service?
  • Why might someone need this product or service?

Establish customer segments

Once a large group of consumers has been identified as the target audience, it’s time to narrow the focus further with customer segments. These are specific categories in which different types of customers can be organized. While disparate types of shoppers are included in the target audience, they will be organized into separate customer segments.

Besides breaking customers down into segments according to their gender, income level or age, there are several other customer segments to consider, according to Optimizely contributor Junan Pang:

  • Different visitor tiers such as consumers who log into their own accounts, guest users, VIP shoppers, repeat customers and first-time visitors
  • Customers who have made a purchase within the last month (or other period of time, depending on the company’s business cycle)
  • Top purchasers such as those who make frequent transactions or those who spend a considerable amount on each purchase
  • Customer location
  • Traffic source, such as shoppers who landed on your site through a search engine
  • Device type like desktop users, smartphone or tablet users

Pang pointed out that these segments are not only valuable for target marketing, but also for data analysis and trials.

“When practicing website optimization, leveraging segmentation provides a framework for running intentional, well-hypothesized experiments on your website that drive value,” Pang wrote. “Experiment data you gather from specific visitor segments interacting with your site will help you provide a more personalized, engaging experience.”

Targeting mobile shoppers

A rising number of consumers are leveraging their smartphones, tablets and laptops every day for online shopping, making this an essential – and growing – piece of the target audience puzzle.

However, retailers shouldn’t jump straight to mobile. Econsultancy contributor Arie Shpanya suggested building trust by offering a top-tier desktop experience first, and following up on this with a winning mobile experience. For instance, one vendor found mobile success after encouraging desktop shoppers to utilize its mobile app through a targeted email campaign.

While there are millions of online shoppers, it’s in a company’s best interest to target those who have a need for its products or services and will be the most likely to make a purchase and become loyal customers.

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Building a Website from Scratch: How to Establish an Online Presence

An online presence is an indispensable opportunity to connect with new customers and cement relationships with existing clients. But building a website from scratch can be quite an undertaking. What needs to be done, and where do you start? At Gate.com, we understand this struggle. We’ve helped countless small businesses get their online presence up and running. With this expertise, we created a helpful checklist of the items necessary to establish a site that will support the brand’s overall success. Let’s take a look:

1) Register your domain name

The first step is to register the company’s domain name – the web address at which customers can find the website. The domain name should be short, concise and reflect the name or nature of the organization. Within our checklist, you’ll find a special tool that enables you to see whether or not the domain name you want is already taken. With a little tweaking, you’ll surely find a domain that will suit your business.

2) Select a hosting plan

Next, you’ll need hosting services to support the website. The host can manage the servers and other necessary computing equipment while ensuring that you and your customers can access the website.

Whether you have little experience with websites, or you’re more technically savvy, we have a plan to fit your needs. This way, you can select one that makes it easy to configure support, or one that gives you more granular control over your computing resources.

3) Build your website

Once the domain and hosting are in place, it’s finally time to build the actual website. When it comes to building your site, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Use a responsive design: When designing your site, it’s important to use a layout that can adjust to different screen sizes. An increasing amount of traffic is coming from smartphones and tablets, and a responsive design will ensure your site is displayed properly on any screen.
  • Organize content in a meaningful way: Advia contributor Brandon Hill suggested organizing content in a way that will keep users engaged. It’s also important to think about navigation – for instance, is a search bar available? Are there category names visitors that can browse? Is written content presented in an easily digestible manner – i.e., with brief paragraphs, bullet points and large headlines?
  • Focus on the user experience: Throughout the design and building process, it’s important to consider how users will utilize and interact with the platform. Bean Creative contributor Layla Masri noted that simplicity is key, as is offering a place for users to share feedback.

4) Drive traffic

Next, it’s time to drive users to your website. Several strategies should be employed, including email marketing, submitting the site to major search engines and having it listed in local directories.

In addition, Web Savvy advised using keywords in content to better support search engine optimization and writing content headlines that will captivate the reader without being spammy. Headlines or titles should directly relate to content and include keywords, but only when it makes sense to do so. Forcing in keywords can do more harm than good when it comes to user engagement.

Social media is also a powerful tool. A well-timed post that is relatable to clients while still supporting the brand can make all the difference. Circle S Studio pointed out that solely promotional posts won’t garner as much attention as sharing blogs, eBooks, webinars or other materials.

5) Add e-commerce

Finally, you can choose to add e-commerce capabilities to the site. This includes a shopping cart and other special features that enable users to make purchases directly from the website.

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