A Brave New Blockchain World

Blockchain is a technology working its way into the ether since 2009, but has taken on a life of its on in 2017.  It emerged to entered most people’s consciousness in the form of bitcoin. Starting with a paper published anonymously by someone called Satoshi Nakamoto.  The paper’s concept resonated quickly and deeply forging a community of developers determined to make it real.

The product they developed was called bitcoin.  It is the first cryptocurrency applying block chain technology.  It is the potential of the database (or some call it the ledger) that makes this technology so interesting. Bitcoin and its siblings who followed are one application of a blockchain concept.

Read and learn more about cryptocurrency.

Blockchain is a solution to add uniqueness to digital assets and allowing trusted buying and selling of digital goods between unknown partners.

Is bitcoin money?

The simple answer is no, although this is an ongoing argument.  The issue of what constitutes money is an abstract conundrum that still has economists arguing over the criteria for inclusion. Just as gold is marketable so is Bitcoin, and as neither are any use for buying a cup of coffee they compare well.

The gold miner sells gold at the prevailing market price, so will a bitcoin miner. Just as people buy gold because they hope to exchange it for something else in the future, people buy bitcoin. The analogy extends, just as extracting gold by mining becomes harder and harder as supplies in the Earth’s crust run low, bitcoin becomes harder and harder to extract as miners reach the theoretical 21 million bitcoin limit.

A relative measure of how difficult it is to find a new block. The difficulty is adjusted periodically as a function of how much hashing power has been deployed by the network of miners.

Bitcoin kind of outsmarts gold because we know 3 of every 4 bitcoins that will ever exist have already been mined, whereas new gold seam discovery devalues the world’s gold. There are stockpiles of inactive bitcoin, just as there are stockpiles of gold, and so the recent tripling of bitcoin valuation is open to the same market influences of mass sell-off, just as gold valuation is influenced by massive sell-off of gold supplies.

Bitcoin’s launch paper: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, clearly shared its intention to be spent and there are some 100,00 merchants worldwide [1] who will accept bitcoin payments, such as: Shopify, Microsoft, PayPal, and Virgin Galactic [2], but still no coffee, at least not yet.

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain is simply an asset registry. A digital ledger. The asset can be a car, house, currency, contract, equity or anything of value. Bitcoin and its siblings are simply one application of the blockchain concept; Cryptocurrencies: Are Disruptive Financial Innovations Here [2].

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)

A blockchain is a public digital register or ledger shared by numerous parties over a distributed network. The blockchain records and stores every transaction that occurs within the network, creating an un-editable and auditable transaction history.

Every party of the network has a copy of the register and therefore if anyone presents data that does not match, it will be rejected. The transactions are linked with a public key, but that cannot be traced back to the originator who holds the private key. Therefore, there is a public record of transactions and transfer of ownership, whilst retaining the privacy of the owner.

The blockchain process infographic

What is so special about that?

Blockchain technology allows databases to be both secure and distributed. Blockchain’s beauty is in its resilience, because a wide peer group shares a blockchain there is no single point of failure, allowing it to survive the loss of parties, temporarily or permanently.

It is secure due to its resilience, transparency and immutability. It is transparent because the blockchain database is visible to the participants, allowing a simple auditing trail. It is immutable because it is impossible to make changes to the blockchain without detection by the other peers, reducing the opportunities of fraud. It is permanent because the final datablock is write-only, there is no amending the data [2].

It is revolutionary because of the nature of the peer to peer exchange. Two parties are able to make an exchange without the intervention or oversight of a third party.

“With blockchain technology, we can create a version of Wall Street where no one can cheat and where all kinds of mischief cannot even occur. Crypto currency gives us a way to communicate value that’s outside the control of any government mandarin, and I think that’s good.”
Patrick Byrne – CEO, Overstock.com

How is it useful?

Peer-to-peer exchange can benefit from blockchain, allowing secure access to cloud, to encrypted file transfers and communication logs. Imagine a country such as Indonesia, where every cell phone is connected, transferring smart contracts on behalf of their users. Everyone else’s phone can be a node holding and updating the registry, if you are off to the countryside for a while, don’t worry, as long as a few visitors travel through, someone’s phone will pick up your changes and requests and pass it onto the rest of the cloud once they get back to town. This peer-to-peer exchange offers a real opportunity for innovation. You can vote using blockchain, register assets and write contracts. You could do a combination of the above.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are the programs that encode certain conditions and outcomes. The software has already been adapted to allow creation of invoices that pay themselves when a shipment arrives. Share certificates can be created which send their owners dividends once profits reach a threshold level. Such contracts allow escrow services to be enabled with near-instant submission times at marginal costs.

What would the child of smart contracts and voting look like? Imagine votes that are activated when certain conditions are met. A power company wants to build a power plant. You set up a smart contract that says: “I’ll vote yes for the power plant, if they put six solar panels on every house in my street and allow us all to sell that electricity back to the grid”.

“Study how to write smart contracts, which is the basic unit of programming a blockchain for business purposes. It is the equivalent of being taught HTML and Java during the early Internet days. And master how to create assets or tokenize existing ones on a blockchain.”
William Mougayar – author: The Business Blockchain

Whilst your Kenyan friend chuckles as you describe the American banking system to them, then chuckles some more and sends their mum some money, that arrives before you finish explaining that the quickest way to transfer money in America is by applying the que-withdraw-que-deposit system. Smart contracts offer an enormous potential for countries, such as Kenya to leapfrog, just as they have with their banking systems, (thank you very much).

Smart contracts have already entered into the legal system. The future may see a smart contract system for every song streamed, with royalties allocated and paid immediately upon file activation. An asset registry of ownership for works of art may protect stolen art from resale. Ascribe, for example, has entered the intellectual property arena offering services to register digital art [3].

They can also be applied in a more mundane arena: you want to make a sports bet with your brother, but you don’t trust him as far as you could throw a kettlebell? Etherparty plans to handle the technical heavy lifting, to make setting up a smart contract as simple as posting a blog on a WordPress site.

Business practices

There are areas of industry ripe for blockchain disruption. Businesses with huge auditing-trails, such as the freight industry, can reinvent their business processes. All the goods moving in and out of countries can be tagged, for example, properly harvested wood can be identified and verified [5].

“In the modern insurance industry, the cost of auditing accounts for 30 percent or even 40 percent of the total. Even so, the ratio of insurance fraud in China is still not small. Therefore, the insurance industry is looking closely at Blockchain technology. If data is stored on the Blockchain, immutability will save us from contractual conflict. In the case of insurance claims, a smart contract will be triggered to execute provisions, this solving the problem of compensation settlement and lower auditing costs. Blockchain can reshape the integral foundations of insurance.”
Wei Yingning – Former vice chairman of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC)

Fatcom offers a permanent, time-stamped record to data anchored in the block chain. This can be applied to proof of process, existence or audit. Their first project was an official land title registry.  The potential range of applications is immense. The energy sector is examining the potential of blockchain. With a modern, distributed energy grid where customers are also producers, even the movement of electrons is an asset that can be logged and trigger payment. Blockchain technology is set to revolutionize bureaucratic administration. Dubai’s blockchain strategy is to move all government documents (more than 100 million per year) onto a blockchain by 2020 [5].

Blockchain in Healthcare – it doesn’t make sense.  But it does.  People are working very hard to bring together blockchain and healthcare as you read this.

The Power of Blockchain for Healthcare by Peter B. Nichol show how blockchain will transform the patient experience.  From patients, to doctors to insurance companies – the entire system.  The book shows blockchians potential to transform healthcare at the patient level.

It answers the questions: What can blockchain do? How will it impact our health? Why should you care?

Healthcare is a bureaucratic service industry that suffers from disparate stakeholders requiring access to patient records. Gem has set up an Ethereum blockchain infrastructure to allow healthcare stakeholders to access patient information. Operational efficiency will climb exponentially, hand in hand with actually giving practitioners access to up to date patient information [4]. Quality control is a serious consideration for application of blockchain. Medication, for example, can be guaranteed to be what it claims to be. Hyperledger has created the Counterfeit Medicines Project. Each drug produced is marked with a place-timestamp, as well as changes in ownership, which are transparent to all interested parties [4].

“A blockchain-based medical records system could safeguard patient data and allow for improved interoperability between doctors and hospitals, while also giving patients more ownership over their own records.”
Valery Vavilov – CEO of BitFury.

Financial Technologies

With over 2.5 billion adults worldwide lacking a bank account, blockchain offers opportunities to overcome barriers to accessing financial services [7]. The key issue preventing access to financial services is proof of identify, and yet 20% of the world’s population lack any such documentation [7]. Humaniq applies Ethereum’s blockchain-based app to create user profiles based on bio-metric data and then gives them access to services otherwise denied, such as small business loans, insurance and pensions. Pundi Pundi, a small start-up in Indonesia, allows anyone without a bank account to hold, buy and sell cryptocurrencies in physical stores with a smartphone, and it also offers retail points of sale in shops, cafes and convenience stores. An early player, 21 aims to embed their mining chip into IoT devices such as smart phones, allowing the phones to become a player in the bitcoin market place. Companies such as these are set to radically alter the payment playing field.

“You could imagine something like a completely automated system for renting bikes that’s just done completely over blockchain crypto-payments. And theoretically just sort of start it up, and it works completely autonomously.”
Vitalik Buterin – co-founder of Ethereum

The financial technologies (fintech) sector has clearly embraced this new technology. The World Economic forum predicts that by 2027, 10% of the global GDP will be managed by distributed ledger technology (ref in [6]). All the major stock exchanges are investigating the technologies [6]. The significant difference between fintech’s approach and bitcoin’s is that the bitcoin network is public, anyone can join. Fintech will, more typically, apply private networks, where only selected members such as traders and banks will have access to update the registry [6]. There are plenty of bitcoin sibling crypotcurrencies spreading across market niches: namecoin, litecoin, mastercoin, peercoin, darkcoin and ripple [2][6].

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The sheer size of the IoT propels it towards blockchain technology. One early player, Filament provides the wireless sensor network for industrial applications of IoT. In response to the challenge that comes from attempting to connect an ever-growing number of devices to one centralised network, they have developed and deployed a fully decentralised IoT infrastructure [3] using blockchain technology.

Frictionless micropayments

So we travel full circle and return to the issue of money and payment. There has long been a need for internet-based service provision to be able to accept meaningful micropayments. Similarly, there has been a barrier to provision of micro-services on the internet because of the sheer effort of will required by users to make a payment. The tedious requirement to create a username, password, enter credit-card details and buy a service can be circumvented by the application of bitcoin-like technology. News sites and other providers who could create revenue with a buy by article business model, would be empowered to move away from their corroding advertising model, [3].

What about the hackers?

So, there are those of you wondering whether this system is truly safe: surely it can be hacked? Interestingly this happened early on enough in the game to provide insights now. It was not the blockchain that was hacked, but the application using a blockchain system. This is what happened to a project based on the blockchain platform Ethereum where around $50 million was stolen. The project based on the platform was hacked and the Ether “coinage”, mined in the same way as bitcoins are mined, stolen.

Imagine you picked up a large sum of fresh bills from the bank, and on the way home you were robbed. It would be great if you can tell the bank about this and they can inform the world that they will cancel the notes they gave you (based on their serial numbers no one anywhere would accept those notes) and they reissue you with your cash. Ethereum decided to dump the “serial numbers” associated with those “coins” and return Ether of the same value to the investors who had lost their money.

They faced an interesting dilemma. Ethereum applies blockchain technology, whose transactions are intended to be irreversible. By executing a hard fork (they can’t delete, remember!) and rewriting the rules by which their blockchain is executed, Ethereum negated one of the core tenants of their system- that it is unchangeable. Yet they also did something profound – their community rejected the violence committed against it. Of course the hackers are still at it, and wallets that hold such coins have also suffered attacks.

So you still don’t like a virtual currency?

Maybe you like the concept of blockchain, you agree that is sounds like a great plan with applications limited only by the imagination and the developers to throw at it, but there is that but. A currency not backed by any bank, government or collateral, you just don’t like the feel? Then fear not -there are platforms out there designed for the asset investor. Do you like high-end sports cars, but you are not likely to ever own one? Bitcar will allow you to invest in their blockchain platform where your CAR coin F50one actually represents investment in a Ferrari 50. After a 5–15 year term they sell the vehicles and pass the profits back to the holders of the coins.

A new social order

Blockchain is here, and outshining other startups in terms of investment, and has the potential to solve bureaucratic issues at a fraction of the normal costs. Sweeping all of this utility aside for the moment, it also represents a revolution in human interaction. The bitcoin community, like other disparate, self-appointed networks such as Wikipedia are creating useful, reliable, liberating products with no leader.

“The blockchain does one thing: It replaces third-party trust with mathematical proof that something happened.”
Adam Draper – founder and managing director of Boost VC  (Adam Draper Bot)


Bibliography:
[1]  G. Vora, “Cryptocurrencies: Are Disruptive Financial Innovations Here?,” Mod. Econ., vol. 6, pp. 816–832, 2009.
[2]  K. Rabah, “Overview of Blockchain as the Engine of the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Africa Prem. Res. Publ. Hub www.mrjournals.org Mara Res. Journals MR J. Bus. Manag. Mara Res. J. Bus. Manag., vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 125–135, 2016.
[3]  R. Wörner and V. Bomhard, “The Bitcoin Ecosystem: Disruption Beyond Financial Services?,” 2016.
[4]  M. Mettler, “Blockchain technology in healthcare: The revolution starts here,” in 2016 IEEE 18th International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services, Healthcom 2016, 2016.
[5]  V. Gupta and R. Knight, “How Blockchain Could Help Emerging Markets Leap Ahead,” 2017.
[6]  M. Geranio, “Fintech in the exchange industry: Potential for disruption?,” Masaryk Univ. J. Law Technol., 2017.[7]  N. Kshetri, “Journal of Global Information Technology Management Potential roles of blockchain in fighting poverty and reducing financial exclusion in the global south. Potential roles of blockchain in fighting poverty and reducing financial exclusion in the global south,” 2017.

 

How Will We Communicate In The Future?

Since mankind uttered its first words, we have been developing ways to communicate. Fire beacons and smoke signals have evolved to string and soup cans.  Now we use VOIP and smart phones to talk to anyone at any time..

As technologies developed we used the telegraph and telephones – now communication is happening over the internet.  Look at the quantum leap since 1861 when the first transcontinental communication line was completed.

Telephones/Land Lines have died.

From 10% in 2006 to over 50% in 2016, land lines have all but died.  In the chart below – 2016 shows over 50% of adults using no land line and the number jumps to 60% for children.

We now send and receive data, voice and video instantly over the internet.  VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems are replace standard lines and mobile phones use VOIP.  At the end of 2016 95% of Americans had a cellphone and smart phones account for 77% of that.  (Pew Research study)

But how will we communicate in the future

Look at the past and present and we can see where communication is evolving.  From telephones connected to our homes to cell phones and then smart phone apps.  The evolution of apps is just as quick – with phone calls moved to SMS and phones calls are replaced with Facebook messenger, Twitter, Snapchap and Apple’s Facetime.Each generation looks for new – more picture/video entangled options.

Each generation of technology gets closer to real-time communication.

How does Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Play in?

Virtual and augmented reality (more explanation of what VR and AR is at the end of this post) is something that technologists have been working on.  Used for military planes to help pilots get more data in a fluid way.  The technology now creeps into manufacturing companies – helping humans be more efficient.

Business push for VR – it reduces the necessity of travel.  Members gather in a virtual conference room instead of wait in lines at the airport.  The brain’s perception is the same.

AR lets us have additional information connected in real time to add value to the current situation.  Imagine scanning the room for an old friend and augmented reality pointing a virtual green arrow at them over their head via your AR enables contact lenses or glasses.

Having AR & VR tools embedded into our lives is a huge shift in how we perceive who we are and where we go.  The brain acts very similarly if it “sees” VR or if it is having a “real” experience.  VR is used to help paraplegics walk again – and the results are amazing.  With VR the brain can see the body working and using a robotic exoskeleton to move the body.  Good things are happening and “some patients started to regain some sensation and some muscle movement on their own”, this is so amazing…read more at ABC.

What’s next?

You have to wonder what will be next – how will we communicate in the future?  A fantastic book called Autonomous, where Analee Newitz paints an incredible future where people, hybrids and robots communicate in fascinating ways – verbally, via private instant massages as well as skin like feedback clothing.  What we use to communicate in the future is literally up to our imagination. I want to experience these new ways – how about you?

6 Tips To Write An Attractive Email for a Better Response

If I had $1 each time someone declared email to be dead, I would be rich.  The fact is – email is a great way to keep in touch with your fans, customers and users.  Why?  Because it works.  When you write an email for a better sesponse – most times you are looking for the receiver to reply.  There are a few tips and tricks you can use to get better response – here are some ideas to help stop the cold or no-response emails and get the reply you want.

6 Tips on Email for a Better Response

Tip #1: Use catchy subjects and sub-headings in your emails

The subject line is the thing people look at to see if they will open the email – so it must catch the viewer’s eye.  This means it must have an attractive and appealing title or subject.  Worse – if you put no subject on your email it will be pushed right into the [SPAM] folder. That is what we want to avoid.

Using a great email subject line and adding breaks in your message with sub-headings – people will engage with your email better.  Subheadings in the email make it easy for people to scan the email quickly.

Note: Writing deceptive subject lines is a bad idea and makes the reader distrust you.  Bad idea.  The reader cannot feel had or cheated in any way. Keep your email subject sensible, yet captivating.  It will make the titles and subheadings in the email stand out.

Tip #2: Keep Length of the email in Check

The length can be a factor in email read-ability.  With all things internet – you will find many opinions.  Some will say short emails are the key and some will tell you the longer the better.

The “Keep it short Crowd”:
There is no point of sending one-line emails which do not convey anything. The content of your email should deliver what you are trying to say and at the same time it should not jar or annoy the reader with excessive length.

One should not over pack emails with loads of unnecessary information which the readers may not like. In such cases, the recipients may end up deleting your email without even scrolling through it completely. So, what would a perfect email for a better response look like? A proper or effective email will have maximum two paragraphs which comprehensively describe the content of the mail succinctly.

The Camp of Long Sales Letter:

People will close or delete the email when they stop reading – or better yet…click through.  So why not have a nice, long message for anyone who wants to keep reading.

With a longer your email you need to have mid-sized paragraphs with space between sections.  Font color and bolding will help make special point stand out and get people to your calls to action.  Pictures are an option – but know many email accounts will block them, so don’t count on images for the big messaging.

Tip #3: Use names in Email for a Better Response

If you have the recipient’s name, use it.  Please like to read their own name.  Its a psychological catch – but they add relevance when they see their own name.

People are busy. They need to be motivated to read the message.  How many times have you deleted emails which addressed you as “Dear Client” or “Dear Webmaster”?  Think about it.  Look at recent emails you have clicked on – why did you click it?

Tip #4: An appealing first paragraph

The beginning is always most important.  Start your email off like a pro – its your best chance that the reader will stay engaged.  Reserve the first paragraph for user profiling. Details about users can easily be mined from social networking websites – take time to do this and you will use email for a better response.

This kind of work will build a better rapport with the reader.  They will be more impressed with your work and see time went into the crafting of the message.

Tip #5: The Second Paragraph – Just Say It

Get to it.  They know you want something.  The reader knows you want something. The second paragraph is a jump to the reason behind why you are emailing.

Keep tone profound and convey everything you planned. Do not beat around the bush – sharing the information.

Tip #6: Sleek Ending Note

The ending note is your last chance to “get the sale”.  So ask – directly.  Crisp and short – sum it up right there.  Use style to end your email for a better response.

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Looking to buy a new computer – check out our Chromebook reviews – or, if Google OS is not your thing…take a peek at the netbooks we recommend.

What is Google’s ChromeOS and Chromebooks?

All laptops need an operating system (OS).  Popular OS’s are Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple’s OS-X.  All computers need them, Google has recently developed a new one and it’s called Google ChromeOS.  They have started to allow hardware companies to put it on small, portable computers – and it is starting to become very popular.

How is the Google ChromeOS and Chromebooks the same as other computers?

Most people would not notice a difference between Google ChomeOS and Microsoft Windows.  There are still browsers to get to the internet.  Most computers that run the ChromeOS are laptops with wireless and bluetooth devices connected.  Everything works very much the same.  You still can read eamil, go to Facebook and watch videos on YouTube, Netflix and Amazon.

How is the Google ChromeOS and Chromebooks different?

Unlike its counterparts from Microsoft, Apple and Linux, chrome book stores virtually everything on the cloud using the new cloud computing technology. This means that all documents and files are securely stored and can be easily retrieved any time by a click of button and from any computer that is connected to the internet. Additionally, all applications run from the chrome browser hence just a few skills are needed to navigate Chrome book.

If looking to switch to Chrome book, one only needs a few applications and an internet connection and with a few steps to follow, one can begin using the chrome operating system. Switching from windows or mac or Linux to chrome book is however not a very comfortable experience owing to some few changes in the chrome book which may be alien to the users of other systems.

Chrome operating system does not run on normal personal computers. This therefore means that one should purchase a cheap chrome book which should be able to run the chrome operating system. When this is done, then next easy stem is to simply create a Google account. This is because all applications in chrome book run on chrome browser only including the few offline ones.

Most people today use Gmail as their email provider hence do not need to create another Google account. If one does not have a Google account, they should simply sign up for one by following the simple steps provided by Google. With that account, one should simply sign in to their account and they are ready to begin using the chrome operating system.

The chrome interface is very easy to use with a start button at the bottom left corner. On click, one can easily see their applications and even pin them to tool bar just like in the windows platform. The simplicity in the chrome operating system supersedes that in windows by far such that as long as one has the knowledge to use a browser, they can easily operate the chrome book.

The one main hustle for a person switching from windows or mac to chrome book is the keyboard. A few of the functionalities in the prior operating systems have been altered in the latter chrome book system. The caps on key, for instance has been replaced by a search key in chrome book. The caps on functionality can however be achieved by pressing the alt key together with the search key.

Additionally, there are no special keys on the chrome book keyboard apart from the alt key and the ctrl key which is unlike the windows which has a windows key, a function key and other keys such us page up key, page down key, home key , end key and many others. Essentially, since most of the applications run on chrome browser, all the missing keys are actually not needed when using chrome book.

Just like the all-time play store in android operating system, all applications that one may need while using chrome book are stored in the chrome store. The store is populated with all sorts of applications which are available for all users of chrome book. This is a bit different for windows users but it is not a hard concept to grasp. Chrome book allows the use of shortcuts just like in windows and mac operating system. However, since all applications run on chrome browser, then anything that a user saves gets saved in the download folder just like when browsing.

In conclusion, switching from the native systems to Google’s chrome book is not such a hustle and the only main difference is with the keyboard. With just a cheap chrome book machine and a Google account, one can easily run and explore the robust, easy to use and secure chrome book.

Tips to Turn Your Visitors into Clients

It’s great when you’ve set up a website and the numbers of people paying your little place on the web a visit start to grow, but it’s less gratifying when those numbers don’t translate into an increase in business.

The whole point of having a business website is to grow your client base and make money, and when that doesn’t happen, it can feel like all your hard work has been for naught. It’s a terrible feeling for sure, but it’s a feeling that you can eliminate by putting the following tips for turning visitors into clients into action…

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Add a Live Chat Function

If you don’t already offer your visitors the opportunity to live chat with your or some of your employees, you’re missing a real opportunity to convert them from visitors into clients. The most popular web designs made for law firms, clothing stores and ISP’s all offer live chat functions, and they do this because it works. Visitors love being able to ask questions to a real person and have them answered immediately. If you can talk to them in the moment, you are much more likely to persuade them that becoming a client of yours is a good idea. If they have to wait for an email reply, chances are they might go somewhere else, where the information is more forthcoming.

Offer Freebies

You might be thinking that offering freebies to your website visitors will do nothing more than put you out of pocket, but that’s not so. The kind of freebies I’m talking about are free credit reports, informational eBooks, and other digital goods. These can be created at little cost to you, but when they are downloaded by visitors, they will demonstrate your knowledge in your chosen field, giving them a greater incentive to become a client now or in the future.

Include Testimonials

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A lot of business neglect to include testimonials on their website because they think they’re clichéd or that the client won’t pay attention to reviews on their own site, thinking that there’s a good chance they’ll be phony. But, all signs point to the fact that genuine testimonials work.

Consumers like to know what other people think about the products and services they’re interested in; they like to be a part of the crowd, and they’re much more likely to buy if they see honest reviews they can trust. If you’re able to get genuine reviews from your clients, do so and do put a selection of them up (not just the five stars ones) and you will be pleasantly surprised by the difference it makes.

Create a Logo

If you don’t already have a business logo on your website, now is the time to create one. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fashion brand, finance company or b2b marketing operation, a logo will show potential clients that you’re a professional outfit, and it will give them a little more confidence to go ahead and contact you or make a purchase.

Include Videos

Including videos on your business website is a great way of better connecting with your visitors. If you are selling a product, creating videos that demonstrates them, so that customers know what they will be getting is a good idea. If, however, you’re selling services, take the time to introduce yourself, talk a little bit about what you do, and if you can, interview a past client about their experience. The more information your visitors have about your business, and the more mediums they’re able to check you out in, the more likely your website is to lead to conversions.

Offer Limited Discounts

Offering visitors to your website a limited discount is something that can prove highly effective in turning your visitors into clients. It is something that sites like Groupon do incredibly well. And something which you should try to imitate if you want visitors to make the leap and get in touch. The fact that the offer is limited will push the undecided into action, providing that the discount is significant enough to interest them, and although you will take a hit, this should lead to more repeat business and a better financial future for you and your business.

If you incorporate all of the above ideas into your business website, there is no way that you won’t see an increase in the number of visitors who become clients. When that happens, do your best to satisfy them, and they’ll start spreading the word so that your visitor count climbs ever higher!