Spotlight on Wheeldo: Every Site Should Have A “Sticky” Quiz

Wheeldo games and quizzes

All the “cool kids” — the experts — advise you to have a content marketing strategy.  But the more content everyone creates, the harder it becomes for YOUR content to stand out.

A startup called Wheeldo thinks the answer to that is gamification.  That’s a big word that simply means creating content that is fun or competitive.

Wheeldo (pronounced “We’ll do”) has an online tool that businesses can use to create a quiz or game.  But these are not just any games or quizzes.  These are designed to convert game players and quiz takers into sales leads — and ultimately customers.  You can capture email addresses.  You can even offer coupons and special offers as rewards at the end of the quiz.

Read on about Wheeldo.com and its approach to quizzes and games for business content that gets visitors to “stick,” in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does:

Runs an online self-serve tool for businesses to develop games and quizzes.

As a user, you go online and sign up for an account.  Then you can create a quiz or game. You can embed the game or quiz on your website, or simply direct visitors to the game on the Wheeldo site. For premium level customers, Wheeldo provides a professional writer to help you create a game.

While there are any number of quiz creator tools online, Wheeldo’s games include the ability to add a call to action or be used to generate leads. Founder and CEO Irad Eichler explains:

“While the Web is full of all kinds of content, there isn’t any sure way to convert that content into leads and sales. In the past, content was delivered by the traditional press industry. Today, the platforms for sharing content are evolving rapidly and new ways of sharing content like photos, videos and games are constantly emerging.”

As a response to this challenge of converting content into leads and sales, Wheeldo offers content through games. Games are “fun and engaging,” says Eichler.  They keep people on your site, and they can collect an email address in order to deliver a coupon or otherwise collect lead information.

Business Niche:

Transforming ordinary content into “fun” content, at a fair price for small businesses.

Eichler says:

“Our vision is that every small business owner will have access to fun and engaging tools for the company’s online marketing. These are tools that otherwise would be available only to large enterprises with the budget to custom develop such products. We keep adding more and more fun and amazing games to our platform. The best feedback we are getting is that our platform is accessible, both UI wise and price wise.”

Detailed analytics also help distinguish the tool.  And there is a scoring leaderboard available, adding a competition element to quizzes, along with social sharing for participants to show off their scores.

The games can be used for consumer-facing businesses as well as B2B businesses.

How the Business Got Started:

As a training platform.

When Wheeldo first launched, it was used as a platform for businesses to train their employees. But the company used its own technology to market its services, which is when the “a-ha” moment came. Why couldn’t other businesses do the same? Eichler explains:

“We wanted to help businesses train their employees in a fun and effective way.  While marketing our platform, we realized that we are getting better results on our marketing campaigns using our games so we thought, ‘Let’s share it with other small businesses as well!’”

Number of Employees:

Four

wheeldo

Biggest Win:

There’s one particular game that stands out.

Eichler likes to recount:

“It was a daily game about women and women’s issues. Customers signed up for it and received an invitation via e-mail every day to play the next game. Each day there were two winners, the one that scored the highest and also the one who placed forty-third. The results were amazing: 55% email conversion every day; 20% growth in the mailing list in a week. And the best part?  One day we sent the email invitations three hours later than usual. Sure enough, we started getting emails saying ‘What’s going on with our daily game? Send it over immediately!’”

Biggest Risk:

Using the company’s own technology instead of other Web marketing tools.

Eichler explains:

“Since we are preaching about customer engagement and lead generation using games, we are using our tools as well. We are paying less attention to other traditional Web marketing methods. Is it a big risk for a company our size? So far, it looks like it’s paying off!”

#1 Lesson Learned:

Choose the right team members.

Eichler points out that everyone brings something to the table when they join a business. It’s a question of getting the right mix:

“A new business is fragile.  You need to carefully choose who will walk with you on this challenging road.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000:

Improving the product user experience.

Eichler says:

“I deeply believe that the best way to grow a business is to make the product better for the user.  You can learn that only by letting people use your product and getting real live feedback.”

Favorite Office Food:

Hummus.

The team at Wheeldo love eating hummus at lunchtime. And they also love enjoying beer on the roof of their office building overlooking TelAviv after a hard day’s work (see image at top of article, with Eichler on the left).

 Favorite Quote:

“You start as fast as you can — and then go faster and faster.”

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Is WordPress Really the Best Site Builder for Small Businesses?

wordpress hand

Usefulness
Functionality
Price

Summary


Thanks to its flexibility and low price, WordPress really is the best site builder for small businesses. That said, there are other options and in certain circumstances, they can be a better choice when building your site.

If you’ve ever wondered what market domination looked like, here it is:

  • 60.4 percent of all the current websites online built using site builders were built using WordPress.
  • 23.8 percent of all the current websites online were built using WordPress.
  • The numbers for second place – 2.8 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Given these statistics, you may draw the conclusion that WordPress is the best thing since sliced bread. However, is WordPress really the best site builder for small business? Let’s find out.

In the Beginning

Built for blogging, WordPress has remained true to its roots. The functions and features of a new WordPress site all support one purpose: a well designed, search engine-friendly blogging platform complete with content categorization and tagging, link management, and comments.

WordPress has always been, and continues to be, an open source product, a fact that leads to two results: it’s mostly free and a diverse set of talented developers can contribute code to enhance the features, functionality, and design of the solution.

And contribute they have. Over time, WordPress plugins have added everything from eCommerce to communities and online support to the platform while themes created by award-winning graphic artists have catapulted the site builder to the forefront of design.

Yes, WordPress is the bomb, and we haven’t even gotten to the topic that makes it the best site builder for small business.

WordPress Gives Small Businesses Room to Grow

WordPress comes in two flavors, hosted and self-hosted. Both versions have their advantages and disadvantages. However, taken together they offer small small businesses a platform that can grow as their needs do. Let’s take a look at how this works.

Hosted WordPress — The Place for Small Business to Start

When a small business is launched, getting a website up-and-running is just one of the many, many tasks on the to-do list. Unless the business depends on site sales for its income (in which case, move on to the “Self-Hosted” section below), the website will likely serve as a marketing tool and not require much beyond the out-of-the-box WordPress blogging functionality.

That’s why the ideal site builder for a small business to start with is the hosted version of WordPress over at wordpress.com. Not only is a hosted WordPress site free, its technical side is completely managed by the WordPress team, removing all the headaches of maintaining your own website.

All you need to do is select a design and add content. That’s easy to do with the hosted version of WordPress’ useful set of features:

Best Site Builder for Small Business

When it’s time to boost the design and functionality of your site, or if you want to do it right out of the box, you can retain your hassle-free hosted website by upgrading to one of two packages:

  1. WordPress.com Premium – This package includes a bunch of goodies such as your own “WordPress branding free” domain name, more storage, no ads and more customization options. All that is for $99 per year.
  2. WordPress.com Business – This $299 per year package gives you access to every feature that the hosted version of WordPress offers from the use of all their premium themes to unlimited storage, better support, and even eCommerce functionality.

At any level, the hosted version of WordPress is a great choice for small businesses simply for the peace-of-mind provided by the fact that a trusted partner is managing the technical end of their website. Many small businesses continue to use the hosted version of WordPress forever and as long as it meets their needs, that’s just fine.

For other small businesses however, the hosted version of WordPress is too restrictive, either from the start or as the business grows. You see, while it’s handy to have the technical end of your website managed by someone else, it means that you can’t touch that side of your site:

  • You can’t use an outside theme or play directly with the look and feel of your website.
  • You can’t add functionality to your website using a plugin that’s not part of the very limited collection available to you at wordpress.com.
  • You can’t create customized functionality unique to your site by changing any of, or adding to, the code that runs your website.

If the hosted version of WordPress becomes too restrictive, or if it is from the get-go, then it’s time for the self-hosted version to come into play.

Self-Hosted WordPress — Complete Freedom (for a price)

The self-hosted version of WordPress is available for free over at wordpress.org. Most website hosting companies offer the tools that make installing a self-hosted version of WordPress just as easy as it is over at wordpress.com.

More importantly, if your website has outgrown the hosted version of WordPress, the solution itself has tools that will help you migrate to your new self-hosted version. That makes the decision to move, as well as the work itself, much easier.

When you build your site using the self-hosted version of WordPress, there are very few limits to what you can do. You can:

  • Spruce up your site using one of the thousands of premium WordPress themes available online,
  • Add oodles of features and functionality using one of the more than 36,000 plugins available over at wordpress.org, and
  • Add and modify the code any way you want as long as you follow the guidelines.

Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility. When you build your site using the self-hosted version of WordPress, there’s no trusted partner in place to manage the technical side of your website from troubleshooting any problems that may arise to the frequent WordPress updates, individual plugin updatesand WordPress backups.

If you’re planning to hire someone, whether internally or externally, to help you manage the technical side of a self-hosted WordPress site, you may end up spending more than you’d like.

If you’re not planning to hire someone to help, the price you pay is the steep learning curve ahead of you. WordPress may be user-friendly and there may be many useful free resources online, but there’s still a lot to learn if you want to take the self-hosted version route, especially if you’re planning to manage most of the technical side of your site yourself.

The Competition

Thanks to its flexibility and low price, WordPress is really the best site builder for small business. That said, there are other options and in certain circumstances, they can be a better choice when building your site.

Other Content Management Systems

At its core, WordPress is a content management system, one of many available for building your website. Unlike it’s closest competitors Joomla, Drupal and Blogger however, WordPress developers seem to have mastered the critical balance between powerful functionality and ease-of-use.

And that applies not just to developers who maintain and upgrade the software itself. It also applies to the independent developers who create the many plug-ins and other enhancements made possible with the platform’s open source design. The robust developer community is a testament that the folks behind WordPress are committed to the open source values of contribution and inclusion, values that have paid off for the platform many times over.

Specialty Site Builders

While the flexibility of WordPress enables a small business to build any type of website, sometimes the time and effort is not worth the end result.

One example is large eCommerce websites. If you’re building a site that will serve as a storefront with many, many products and product categories, you’re probably better off going with a robust eCommerce solution such as Bigcommerce or Volusion rather than pulling a site together using WordPress and an eCommerce plugin.

Other feature-rich industry-specific site builders that may have WordPress beat for their particular niche are Big Cartel for artists, Happytables for restaurants and Hotel Genius for hotels.

Conclusion

But when it comes to selecting a feature-rich, affordable site builder for most small business, WordPress is one of the best choices you can make.

Learning to make the most of WordPress can be challenging. So make sure you know all the facts before you make your decision.

WordPress Photo via Shutterstock

More in: WordPress

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Do You Have a Blog For Your Ecommerce Site? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should

Do You Have an Ecommerce Blog? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should

The internet is so highly saturated with blogs that starting one now can be intimidating and feel pointless. After all, what’s another blog when thousands of similar blogs exist? Who would even read it? Is it worth it? If you’ve ever been curious about starting a blog but have found yourself stumped by questions like these, it may be time to take the next step on creating a blog for your business.

Adding a blog to your business/e-commerce site can impact your brand in ways that paid advertising can’t and that consumers are eager to respond to. In fact, choosing not to participate in the blogosphere could be putting you at a disadvantage and stunting your business growth. If you’re not sold on the idea just yet, here are 5 compelling reasons your ecommerce site needs a blog.

Why You Need an Ecommerce Blog

1. Blogs Build Trust

Ever been to a website that’s selling products or services but has no trace of real people anywhere? An impersonal presence can be particularly detrimental to e-commerce websites, because it strips the buyer experience down to bare bones. Blogs are a great way to restore that consumer trust and interest, because it gives you a place to add a personal, relatable flair on your website. Take, for example, Birchbox.

An Ecommerce Blog Builds Trust

Birchbox is a popular brand among my fellow twenty-somethings that sends a box of beauty products to try with a monthly subscription. What attracts women to this brand over going to the mall and buying their own beauty products is not just the appeal of getting a monthly package in the mail, but rather a trust in the authority Birchbox has. Their blog is a carefully curated display of tutorials, beauty tips, brands to watch and more that asserts a powerful message: you can trust Birchbox to send you your beauty products, because they know what they’re talking about. The blog is relatable, fun, and enforces the message of their products.

You can do the same for your brand by populating a blog with tips, tricks, and news relevant to your products or services. In doing so you’ll demonstrate to users that you’re an authority worth trusting and investing in.

2.  A Blog Can Grow Your Following/Consumer Base

Not everyone who sees your blog will be instantly inspired to purchase something from your e-commerce site. But in keeping with the build-up of trust, you could amass an enormous following through your blog that will gain you the recognition of other industry authorities as well as consumers who are more interested in making purchases.

It can also lead to beneficial relationships, if not with consumers then with other professionals of similar disciplines. After developing your blog and letting it grow a bit, you can start seeking out guest blogging opportunities to get noticed and feature other useful bloggers on your website. For example, pretend you have a business website that sells subscriptions, gifts, and cases of wine. You could invite a popular sommelier to write a guest post on your blog about pairing wines with certain foods, cooking with wine, etc. Your users would gain the tips and advice from your blog and come back to reference you for more helpful information. Even further, the sommelier may share the guest post across his or her personal network, giving your brand exposure, and even feature your business on their own blog. It may be a hypothetical situation, but real opportunities like this are opened up when you have a blog.

3. Blogs Attract New Leads

Adding a blog component to your website opens up new pathways for customers to reach you that might otherwise not exist. By having a blog that consumers can interact with, you can better understand their preferences, styles, concerns, habits, trends, etc. There could be an entire niche you’re unaware of or insights you’re missing due to a lack of customer interaction.

Blogs open up a portal to not only communicate with your client base, but also create share-worthy content that attracts attention from leads you might have previously failed to target or overlook.

4. Blog Content Will Boost Your Site Rank and Grow Links

Long form content doesn’t always have an appropriate place to reside on ecommerce websites, which is why having a blog component is so helpful. You can populate the blog with keywords, phrases, and internal links that search engines can easily crawl and respond to.

Strictly from an SEO standpoint, having a blog for your business site is definitely considered a best practice and is one of the surest ways to out-perform your competitors. The sheer quantity of links produced from a blog shows search engines that your site is active and is getting significant user traffic.

5. It’s a Built-in Content Marketing Tool

Channeling your content marketing efforts towards your blog is a great way to cut your time spent strategizing in half. You can focus on promoting high quality, utility-based information that will sustain publicity across social media and professional platforms. The content generated by and for your blog can be shared across the internet and used as a catalyst for getting your brand the attention it needs to be successful.

Blog Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Google Releases Tool Kit to Speed Up Your Mobile Small Business Site

Google Releases Mobile Web Speed Toolkit to Help Your Mobile Small Business Site Load More Quickly

Simply having your website load on mobile devices is no longer enough. Mobile sites have to also be fast, interactive and relevant. With this realization, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recently announced a mobile web speed toolkit that should help all publishers build a faster mobile web experience.

Last month, Google released a new study, “The Need for Mobile Speed” that highlighted the impact of mobile latency on publisher revenue. The study analyzed 10,000 plus mobile web domains sharing insights about the impact of mobile latency on user experience.

Some of the findings indicate that 53 percent of website visitors leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load, yet three out of four top mobile sites take more than four seconds to load.

The study also revealed strong correlations between page speeds and bounce rates, revenue, viewability and session duration.

For instance, in terms of revenue, the study claims that sites that load in under five seconds get two times more revenue than those that take 19 seconds or more. The study also says that there was a 25 percent higher viewability observed for sites that loaded in five seconds versus the ones that took 19 seconds.

Introducing the Mobile Web Speed Toolkit

“It’s clear mobile speed matters to the success of publisher sites, but making mobile load times a priority doesn’t always make achieving speed easy,” said Jay Castro from the Google AdSense team. The company says it created the web speed tool kit specifically to address these challenges.

With the toolkit, you can now assess the different components impacting your website’s speed. You can also improve your your site speed by improving performance and prioritizing the order in which your site loads.

While having relevant and interesting content on your website is important, the relationship between speed and publisher revenue cannot be overlooked.

Image: Google

More in: Google

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

GoDaddy Says Its Latest Feature Will Make it Much Easier to Launch Your WordPress Site

The new GoDaddy WordPress Website wizard will enable small businesses to build their own WordPress website more easily then before.

WordPress is used by 26.9 percent of all the websites in the world, and GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) just announced a new service called WordPress Website that will make launching more of those websites on WordPress even easier.

The New GoDaddy WordPress Website Wizard

GoDaddy said this will be the easiest way for small businesses to build their own WordPress website. And according to the company, the new exclusive WordPress Quick Start Wizard is what is going to make it possible.

With so many websites being created using the WordPress content management system (CMS) every day, GoDaddy has made an effort to make the integration even easier.  That’s not surprising considering more than 50 percent of the platform’s hosting customers use WordPress.  GoDaddy’s newest feature began with the acquisition of ManageWP, a WordPress site management tool, last month. The combined technologies has made the company a single destination for WordPress site creation, management and hosting.

The WordPress Quick Start Wizard builds on GoDaddy’s existing solution for this CMS so small business owners can create professional websites. It includes free high-quality images for every industry imaginable, professionally built premium themes and a Visual Page Editor for easy drag and drop customization.

Everything your small business needs is readily available to quickly create a blog, photo gallery, contact form or other integrations with the most popular social media sites, the company says. During the tool’s beta release, the average time to publish a site was reduced by 73 percent. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the number of customers that successfully published a site increased three fold.

Other features include an email signup form integrated with GoDaddy Email Marketing, an SEO Wizard and more.

The WordPress Websites is available now with three different tiers, starting at $7.99 per month for Basic, $9.99 per month for Business, and $14.99 per month for Ultimate.

Image: Small Business Trends

More in: Breaking News

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Which Social Media Site Do You Use Most for Business? [POLL]

This week, we want to know what social media site you're spending the most time on for your business. Check back for your most popular social media sites.

Social media has become a bigger part of a lot of small business’s marketing and customer engagement strategy since its infancy.

Quick question: Does anyone remember creating a MySpace page to promote their company? Sure, some — musicians, mostly — still use that platform but there are so many more popular options these days. And each one presents unique opportunities to reach an audience in a unique way.

Want to reach the general population? You’re probably using Facebook. Talking to your small business owner contemporaries? That sounds like a job for LinkedIn. Looking to be part of a national movement? A tweet with the right #hashtag gets you involved.

So, this week, we want to know …

Which social media site do you use most for business?

What Are Your Most Popular Social Media Sites?

We’re giving you a choice of the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.

Let us know which platform is open most on your phone or occupying a tab most often in your web browser. In the comments section below, tell us why.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

YouTubers Are Accusing the Site of Rampant ‘Censorship’

YouTubers Are Accusing the Site of Rampant 'Censorship'

YouTubers Are Accusing the Site of Rampant ‘Censorship’
HIGHLIGHTS
YouTubers posted videos and tweets accusing YouTube of “censoring” them
Part of YouTube’s efforts to be transparent in its dealing with creators
It demonetizes videos that concern controversial or sensitive subjects
YouTube is the third-largest website on Earth, a behemoth viewed by millions each day. It’s also “over” — or on the brink of it — according to a group of outraged creators who claim the company has begun censoring them.

The controversy springs from confusion over YouTube’s long-standing policy of disabling ads on videos that could draw advertiser complaints. Those include videos that are violent, sexually suggestive, or that contain drug use or bad language.

But whereas YouTube has historically hidden demonetization notifications in its video analytics dashboard – meaning that some creators never saw them – the company recently began sending notices by email and alerting them directly on video pages.

In the process, it has caught several YouTubers by surprise: Luke Cutforth, Melanie Murphy, Rob Dyke, MrRepzion and Philip DeFranco, among many others, have all posted videos and tweets accusing YouTube of “censoring” them and threatening their livelihoods. On Thursday, DeFranco’s video on the subject – which has thus far been viewed more than 1.7 million times – sparked the trending Twitter hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty, a vote of protest by creators and fans alike.

“Without us,” tweeted the beauty vlogger Samantha Ravndahl, “you would have no content to advertise over top of.”
Ironically, the change is part of YouTube’s ongoing efforts to be more transparent in its dealings with creators, and was actually designed to make it easier for YouTubers to appeal bad blacklistings. That process was previously difficult to both find and navigate; now it’s as easy as checking a box that says “Review my video again. I believe it’s advertiser-friendly.”

Still, many YouTubers have raised valid concerns about what YouTube considers “advertiser-friendly” in the first place. It’s hard to quibble with an advertiser who doesn’t want his product placed next to, say, a vaguely rape-y Sam Pepper “prank.” (This isn’t terribly different from conventional media, where companies cherry-pick the shows they advertise with very strategically, and pull those ads posthaste if the show gets mixed up in anything dicey.)

But YouTube also demonetizes videos that concern “controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.” That could prove a major disincentive for news coverage on the platform, particularly among small creators.

Aaron Wysocki, director of content distribution for the Web news network Young Turks, tweeted Thursday morning that YouTube had disabled ads on nearly 1,000 of the network’s videos over the past three years – including recent news items about Syrian refugees, pharmaceutical research and the Colombian ceasefire.

Meanwhile, DeFranco said YouTube docked a video he posted August 30, which contained some fleeting PG-13 language but otherwise stuck to discussing news stories such as the release of Brock Turner and the Annaliese Nielsen/Lyft incident.

“How the hell am I supposed to talk about news?” he asked.

Will YouTube revise its ad policy in light of all the outrage? Only time will tell.

© 2016 The Washington Post

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Tags: YouTube, Social, Apps, Video, Home Entertainment, Google, Internet

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Moto Z Play Leaked in Images Again; Specifications Tipped on Benchmark Site

Moto Z Play Leaked in Images Again; Specifications Tipped on Benchmark Site

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Specifications on GFXBench are similar to earlier leaks
  • Leaked promotional poster suggests smartphone will be modular
  • The phone is expected to be launched on September 6

The leaks regarding Motorola’s anticipated Moto Z Play smartphone have been constant and now the alleged smartphone has not only been leaked in the form of a promotional poster but seems to have also gone through the tests at the benchmark website GFXBench. Interestingly, the specifications of the device are largely in line with earlier leaks.

As per the specifications mentioned on GFXBench, the Moto Z Play sports a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) display and is powered by an 2GHz octa-core CPU along with the Adreno 506 GPU. As per the GFXBench, Moto Z Play will pack 3GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. According to the benchmark website, the smartphone sports a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. As per the listed specifications, Moto Z Play will be housing a 3500mAh battery and will be running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box.

In another leak from Chinese website Weibo, reports Android Hits, a user has posted the promotional poster for Moto Z Play that suggests that the phone might support Moto Mod modules just like the other phones in the Moto Z series, and feature fast charging that delivers 10 hours of battery life with 15 minutes of charge.

x

The Moto Z Play is expected to be launched in China on September 6 at an event. In some of the images leaked earlier this month through Reddit, it was suggested that the smartphone will be carrying a glass panel at the back.

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Tags: Moto Z Play, Motorola, Lenovo, Mobiles, Android

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]