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Zoom Faces Legal Action

In early December, you might have received an e-mail about a Zoom settlement. It wasn’t spam mail- it’s true. Zoom is now facing legal consequences for compromising personal data. If you didn’t open the e-mail or get it, here’s the deets.

Zoom Faces Legal Action

On December 1, 2021, the Zoom class action lawsuit became available to the public. Thousands received an e-mail about possibly being entitled to a cash settlement. The platform is now undergoing trial due to misuse of personal data and Zoombombing. Zoombombing is when an uninvited 3rd party hacks into the video conference, usually revealing disturbing content. Therefore, users are pointing fingers at Zoom for not taking more preventive measures. Usually, to join a Zoom call, you enter the meeting code, then a password. However, intruders still find their way in. Along with uninvited Zoom guests, the company is also being accused of violating California and federal privacy laws. These laws protect users’ personal data, such as e-mail addresses. However, Zoom violated this by selling personal data to third parties. Many platforms have been guilty of selling personal information to third parties, such as Facebook.

So far, Zoom is denying these allegations. The company and all parties involved agreed to settle the matter outside of court. The final hearing will take place April 2022. The class-action lawsuit is worth $85 million.

Zoom Settlement

So, between sharing personal data and Zoombombing, Zoom is in some hot water. As of 2021, Zoom saw approx 300 million users daily.  If you used Zoom anytime between March 30, 2016 to June 30, 2021, you could receive a cash settlement. To file your claim, look for the e-mail from the Settlement Administration. In there, you can read more about it and find your claim number.

Remember, be careful on the Internet. Third parties and the dark web look for personal data!

Are you interested in web marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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Seven Smart Tips to Create an Impactful Web Design

Your website is a vital marketing tool that helps you attract, engage and convert your target customers. A carefully designed website enriches your users’ experience, boosts customer traffic and sales. Some of the elements that elevate an average website to a great one are its simplicity, attractiveness, ease of navigation, speed, and engaging content.

While creativity is important, these tips on web design will help you create an impactful web design.

Seven tips for creating an impactful web design

Focus on aesthetics

Website visitors form an opinion within 50 milliseconds about your website and brand.

According to a study, the top influencer of first impressions is the website’s aesthetics. Given the short attention span of visitors, you will need to ensure the visual elements of layout, visuals, size, colors, and contrast are optimized. Professional web designers leverage ‘visual hierarchy’ to direct users’ attention to what matters the most. Visual hierarchy is the way the visual elements are arranged based on the natural path viewers take when seeing a website. For instance, every visitor will see a large video or image at the top of a page. However, a CTA (call to action) in small fonts at the bottom of a page is not going to be seen.

The elements to optimize to achieve high prominence using visual hierarchy include:

  • position – at the top of the page
  • large size
  • Unique colors
  • Strong contrast
  • video, images, icons
  • use of whitespace

Create high-quality content

While a site’s aesthetics dictate the first impression, the content influences the users’ intention to recommend and revisit your site. Follow these tips to create engaging content:

  • Ensure the website content is original, concise, easy to read, and informative.
  • You need to also optimize the content for search engines (search engine optimization) by including relevant keywords.
  • While avoiding jargon, slang, and excessive text, include rich descriptions of the services and products you offer. Explain images and photos with clear subtitles.
  • Ensure there is a dedicated FAQ page to answer your customers’ questions.

Prioritize speed

The slow loading speed of a website is directly linked to its bounce rate and reduces page views, conversion rate, and user satisfaction. Forty-seven percent of users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. A delay of even one second can reduce the conversion rate by 7 percent.

Optimize navigation

Good user experience is the key to boosting your website traffic, conversions, and, eventually, sales revenue. Poor user experience, according to a study, causes 70 percent of visitors to abandon shopping carts. Research how your target users search and browse on websites and use the data to design menus, the site architecture, and other navigation tools. Your users should be able to move around your website with ease and find the information they want quickly and efficiently.

Apart from the home page, every page needs to be engaging and easy to navigate. Here are some tips on optimizing website navigation:

  • Keep the visuals simple -Large videos, animations, too many flash components, and infographics can take a longer time to load compared to simple text and graphics.
  • Ensure the buttons in the navigation bar are well-ordered -For instance, your viewer will want to know about you and the products or services you offer before they contact you. Make sure the “About Us,” “Company” and “Products” buttons are located before the “Contact Us” button.
  • Fix broken links- Check the links regularly on your website and replace the ones that are not working.
  • Analyze flow patterns – Flow patterns show the route your visitors take initially to find your site, the order of their engagement, and the number of pages visited. With this information, you can make the necessary adjustments on the site to boost engagement.

Optimize for mobile

Over 40 percent of users abandon a website that is not mobile-friendly. A mobile-optimized and responsive design is mandatory for modern websites. Ensure all elements of the website arrange themselves appropriately in any resolution.

Use clear CTA

An effective call to action or CTA button guides your visitors effortlessly to the action they need to take. They remove your users’ confusion and friction and streamline the user experience. Design your CTA in a way to ensure they stand out on all pages, are direct and simple.

Add social proof

Consumers rely on reviews and recommendations from other buyers to make a purchase decision. Ensure your claims on your products are supported with evidence to build your credibility. Some ways to add social proof include:

  • Product reviews
  • Case studies
  • Endorsements from influencers
  • Awards, accreditation, and rankings
  • Social media following
Meta,Company,Logo,Seen,On,Smartphone,Hold,In,Hand,And

Facebook and Meta

Facebook, which has been around since 2004, is now a part of the Metaverse, or just Meta. So how did this happen, and what is Meta?

Facebook and Meta

To make things clear, you can still call it Facebook, or its nickname, FB. But, now Zuckerberg is moving forward to expand online networking, thus creating Meta. Since Facebook owns Instagram and Whatsapp, it’ll be easier to manage everything under one parent company. Also, the company plans on developing & researching technology for our future. Their goal is to enhance virtual networking, which Facebook started. Specifically, they want to transform 2D into 3D. So basically, much like how you can play online games with your friends, Meta plans to bring the virtual world to the real world. They’ve called in augmented and virtual reality designers to proceed with the next step of our Back to the Future world. We already know that it will have a feature called “Presence Platform,” which will allow everyday people like you and me to have a say in Meta’s operations. In addition, the company will likely develop more apps/social media platforms relating to networking.

Since Meta is still relatively new, we don’t know much about it yet. It’s interesting how it happens right after the whistleblower incident, which Zuckerberg addresses in his video. But, it can also be seen as a solution as well, as Meta promises to be transparent about their finances and operations. We will keep up with the Metaverse and see where it goes!

You can read more about Meta here. Coming up next on our blogs: Instagram & teenagers.

Are you interested in web marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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What Are Desktop Apps?

Apps- they’re not just for your phone or tablet. Many websites will encourage you to download their app on all of your devices. But, why would you download a desktop app when you can just go to the website? Perhaps we can offer an explanation.

Desktop Apps

If you use your computer a lot, especially for work, you might want to install some desktop applications to keep everything organized. And, it’ll be easier to keep track of your downloads and files. Downloading the app version of a website is convenient- push notifications for sales, easily edit your cart/files, and can be personalized. In other words, the website is the standard default for everyone, but the app is your version of the site. The best (and perhaps one of the first) examples is Microsoft Office. You can access Word and all the other Office features on the website, but isn’t the app much preferable? We talked about notifications- this is one of the most important aspects of desktop applications. Platforms such as Slack require notifications. So, if you always have about 50 tabs open and can’t figure out which one that notification ding came from, now you will know. Another advantage is easier sharing- send a file directly to someone without hassling with e-mail.

Of course, if you don’t frequent to a site very often, then don’t worry about downloading the app (at least not on your computer). But, if you don’t want to miss out on important messages or hot sales, then we recommend getting on that app store. It will make things so much easier- trust us, we’re the (desktop) apps people.

Thank you for reading, and h-app-y holidays!

 

Are you interested in web marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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Platforms for Virtual Teams to Stay Connected

Working from home certainly has its benefits! But, it’s also hard to deny there is less communication than when you were in the office. However, thankfully there are ways for virtual business teams to stay connected. See how below.

 

Stay Connected When Virtual

Thankfully, there are websites/apps that help offices stay together, even when everyone is spread out throughout the country. Virtual offices, such as Slack, offer quick messaging, group chats (called channels), and file sharing. Additionally, public/private folders help everyone find documents easily. You can even take notes- handy for remembering deadlines. Also, it’s the little things- such as, receiving a message that doesn’t require a response, so you can “react” to the message to at least acknowledge it. Slack is a great way to keep everyone and everything together. But, some find it to be a little overwhelming, especially if there’s a great number of channels. In that case, try Asana.

Asana focuses more on scheduling and task managing. It is especially handy for editorial teams needing to keep track of blogs and articles. You can categorize them into “to do”, “doing”, “on hold/scheduled” and “Done”. Additionally, you can write notes and @ mention relevant members to keep everyone updated on your progress. Another site similar to Asana that I personally use is Trello. It is perfect for the organized-obsessed. Here, you create a card under the same categories as Asana, but you can add way more detail to the cards. Add members, due dates, descriptions, activity logs, and reminders! Also, you can create different boards if you need to manage clients. And of course, you can always @ someone for a subtle “hey you need to do this.”

We’d also like to suggest ProofHub as well. Google has all the apps for an organized virtual connected workspace- calendar, hangouts, meet, and of course, being able to send google docs back and forth is a breeze. How does your workplace stay connected virtually? Let us know, we’d love to hear about y’all!

 

Interested in marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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Current Internet Trends – End of 2020

All throughout 2020, Internet activity expanded and went through various trends. Quarantine boredom pushed people to get creative. E-commerce is at levels higher than ever. Here’s a brief history of 2020’s Internet activity, then we’ll look at current trends.

 

The Internet: Jan 2020- Nov 2020

January saw a lot of tragedies and people expressed their sorrow on their social medias. The first two months, there was a strong sense of community as we comforted each other while Australia burned and a beloved basketball star passed. Despite the unfortunate events, we as a community briefly put aside our differences. Then comes March. Face mask memes went through the roof. We  promoted small businesses. With less social activity going on, the Internet experienced brand new levels of traffic. This was due to job hunting, online shopping, and people selling stuff around the house. And most of all, boredom curbing, whether it be connecting with loved ones virtually or YouTube. Summer brought us a lot of Tik-Tok videos. This is due to the potential TikTok ban. TikTok is still quite popular, especially with young adults between 16-24 years old.

Due to school being moved to online, students began to transfer to Internet University. Online teaching and learning resources expanded and improved.

As C-19 cases began to decrease around September and October, Internet activity decreased. Social media content typically included people going out again and enjoying life. And of course, the presidential election heat turned up. This brings us to current trends. The presidential race still hold’s the Internet’s attention. To reduce C-19, businesses are running their Black Friday sales online. For the most part, it seems that businesses are mashing Black Friday and Cyber Monday together. Hello free shipping!

 

Current Internet Trends

This brings us to December. Online holiday sales dominate the Internet now. And, people sharing more at-home Christmas craft ideas. Apps to help families connect over the holidays are popular, such as Zoom. Zoom offers best video and audio quality, as they worked diligently to make sure their video conference platform will be ideal for school and work. As the pandemic rises again and the temperature drops, people are online again. Internet activity includes sharing holiday photos, online holiday deals, and figuring out safe holiday activities (drive-thru lights!). Speaking of safety, people are now more aware about cookies and other aspects of Internet safety. It’s raving about the popular mobile device game Among Us. A game can last from a minute to 10, so it really helps pass the time.

If you run a business, now is the time to promote your holiday deals! Be sure to share nice holiday photos to help spread cheer. It’s a lot more acceptable to celebrate the holidays earlier than usual this year. We hope this Internet trends blog will help you stay up to date. Be safe out there on the Internet and happy online shopping!

 

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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Paid Ads and Organic Ads

Trying to decide if you should go for paid ads or organic ads, or both? You can pay to boost your ad on Facebook if it’s not reaching enough views or engagement organically. You can share and ask others to give you a shout-out for free, but if you want to reach a large audience, you should consider paying a little extra.

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Organic & Paid Ads

Organic ads are ads that you post yourself onto your site and social media pages. Then, it organically spreads when others engage with your post. This could reach an audience of about 15 people, maybe 30 depending on your following and content. However, many marketers are opting to boost their boost on social media. This will spread to your ad to your target audience, especially Facebook. From there, your posts should have enough views and clicks to start spreading organically. Social media algorithms can help your target audience see your post as well.

Paid search ads is the most common type of pay-per-click advertising. This pulls up your ad in search engines results. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to pay until someone clicks on your ad. However, with your ad being on Google, there’s a good chance it will get high views, then a traffic jam to your site. If you’re a beginner, it’s crucial to keep track of your ROI. This way, you can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. Paid search ads can help you keep track of everything you need.

 

So, for optimal results, you should opt for both organic and paid ads. Start by boosting your posts about every two weeks. Then. build up until your followers can organically spread your ads. Just as the biggest oak trees originated from an acorn, your business can grow successful with the right boosted ad. With the right content and marketing strategies, you can grow your business in no time.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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The Three Big Web Browsers: A Breakdown

The three big web browsers; Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox, have been around for years now. Internet Explorer used to be the standard, but nowadays Google Chrome has been the top. It makes a difference through various devices and what you want to to achieve.

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Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge, formally Internet Explorer, got a major make-over when people complained how slow and outdated Internet Explorer was. Now, the new look and name has new features as well. “Collections” allows users to categorize their bookmarks. Also, browsing with multiple tabs is now easier with vertical tabs. There is smart copy, which copies your content and pastes accordingly. Other features include tracking prevention, password monitor (hacking prevention), and InPrivate Mode. If you have a visual impairment, you can adjust the screen for better readability. And yes, it runs faster now and doesn’t take a few hours to download files. However, some things you may need to watch out for. Such as, no Extension Support, which adds extra security.

 

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox has also been around since desktops were large and chunky. It’s mostly used in offices and in schools. There’s a reason for that- Firefox is arguably the safest web browser out there. The second best Mozilla aspect is that they are non-profit, so they design with you in mind instead of their wallets. With both of these in mind, you can be reassured that your information is not being sold to third parties for marketing purposes. Other features include effective ad-blocking, browser customization, and device syncing. On the other hand, since Firefox isn’t quite as popular as the other two, it’s not compatible for all websites and devices.

Google Chrome

Ah yes, Google Chrome. If you have a Google e-mail account, then Chrome is a necessity. It launched in 2008, so it’s the youngest of the trio. Its best features are extension support and customization. Due to Chrome being tied to a g-mail account, it makes it easier to organize your accounts and passwords. Thus being said, use Chrome on your Android devices. Chrome is recognized for its quick loading times and easy-to-use design. In fact, it’s the quickest one! And, it’ll automatically translate different languages. Just be aware of the mass RAM that Chrome burns up. PC Mag dug up some Chrome hacks.

 

Other Web Browsers/ Honorable Mentions

What about the others, like Safari, Opera, and Tor? After people got fed up with slowpoke Internet Explorer, other web browsers developed. Apple designed Safari for their products, for better data sharing and memory. Opera is rising onto the e-browser market. Opera’s best feature is a phenomenal ad blocker and has its own extension support. Tor is noted for being safe and reliable, like Mozilla. These browsers just aren’t as popular as the other ones as they have features that hold them back, like slow loading times and incompatibility. However, The Guardian recommends Tor if you don’t mind waiting a couple more seconds.

 

Interested in marketing services? Contact Redwood Creative today!