Hello, operator? Get SkyBound

910-592-2104. That’s the company phone number I grew up dialing to reach my Mom or grandparents during business hours. We had cell phones then, but they were either permanently installed in the car, or came in a 15-pound black case replete with battery and cord. It’s one of only five phone numbers I still know by memory, not counting my own.

At SkyBound, we’ve never had a company phone number. Each client has a primary contact or account executive to manage everything, and our small size and intimate client relationships made direct calling or texting always seem leaner, faster, better. However, your account exec isn’t available 100% of the time – then what? And, as our team has grown and our offerings have expanded, client confusion has also grown. Who else can help me? When?

And so we have now adopted our first company phone number after the better part of a decade in business.

888-463-2676

Please continue to call or text your favorite employee primary contact directly as always, but file this number away for when you just might need to reach someone else.

You can download this as a vCard here.

While we didn’t pick a vanity phone number (because it’s not the 90’s), if you’re one who prefers to remember phone numbers, below are few mnemonic variations of our number (courtesy of phonespell.org):

888-

 

Can You Afford to be “Not Secure”?

Google announced as far back as 2014 that it would start giving preferential search ranking to more secure sites (e.g. those with SSL encryption). However, later this month (January 2017), Google will further advance their agenda of making the web a safer place, by starting to actively warn Chrome users of web pages that are “Not Secure” when they interact with a page that requests a password or credit card number.

If any part of your site has a login, sells a product, or frankly, collects data from visitors of any kind, you will benefit from implementing an SSL. Eventually, all pages that are Not Secure will be so labeled.

Soon, your website will look like this without a security layer. This is obviously no bueno for user confidence, and that’s Google’s entire point.

 

To fix this, Let’s Encrypt!

You’ve probably seen the little green lock primarily on e-commerce sites like Amazon.com or on payment sites like PayPal.com. That coveted little green lock indicates that you are interacting with a site that has an added layer of security, called an SSL (Secure Socket Layer), which verifies the identity of the website and also encrypts your interactions with it. In short, it helps protect your passwords, credit card numbers, and naughty searches from the prying eyes of ne’er-do-wells that may be trying to do you harm.

Sites that add this layer of security are accessed at https:// rather than just http://.

If you’re interested in learning more about how this works, below is a well-done video on the subject:

A website that is not secure is no longer an option for businesses that want to rank well and provide visitors with consumer confidence. 

Below is the TL;DR version of why you should implement SSL on your company website this month:

  1. Google will reward you with higher SEO ranking
  2. Your visitors will feel more comfortable and confident interacting with your site
  3. You may reduce any liability you face by having a less secure site
  4. Soon, Chome (and likely other browsers) will actively warn your users that your site is “Not Secure.”

Did we mention that adding this layer of web security for existing clients is a breeze. Or a strong wind. Or sometimes a hurricane. But either way, we take care of it! So, ask us about it today.

How to Sync FileZilla with Google Drive on OSX

Sharing FTP login credentials with team members has always been an inconvenient and even painful process. Last year we adopted LastPass, which solved many of our password sharing challenges, but not FTP.

The following tutorial describes the process for sharing FTP login credentials for FileZilla (i.e. sitemanager.xml) with other machines or team members via Google Drive.

Requirements:

Backup FileZilla’s Site Manager Entries

Before beginning, be sure to make up a backup of all your entries in Site Manager via the export feature.

GIF

Display Hidden Files in Finder

The files we need to manipulate are hidden by default, so we’ll need to show them. If you already display hidden files in Finder, skip ahead to the next step.

  1. Open Terminal found in Finder > Applications > Utilities
  2. In Terminal, paste the following:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
  3. Press return
  4. Hold the ‘Option/alt’ key, then right click on the Finder icon in the dock and click Relaunch.
GIF

Move FileZilla Application Settings to a Google Drive Shared Folder

Now that we can see hidden files, we are going to move the FileZilla settings files to a new location within Google Drive.

  1. Navigate to your home folder (in Finder Shift+Command+H).
  2. Under hidden folder “.config”, you should see the “filezilla” subfolder.
  3. Move that subfolder to any location in the Google Drive folder in Finder.
GIF

Update the FileZilla Settings Pathname Location

  1. Create a file named “fzdefaults.xml” in the text editor of your choosing.
  2. Inside that file paste the following code (if you want more info, see the full instructions under FileZilla/Contents/docs/fzdefaults.xml.example)
  3. Update the “Config Location” with the directory pathname that matches your new Google Drive location. (Tip, to find a folder or file pathname, navigate to it in Finder, right-click, then press the option key.)
  4. Navigate to the FileZilla application link, then right-click and select “Show Package Contents” and save fzdefaults.xml under the Contents/SharedSupport subdirectory.
GIF

That’s all Folks! 

Cleaning up / Next Steps

  1. Make sure the Site Manager is working properly and that the files are syncing.
  2. To access this information on other machines, obviously you only need to add fzdefaults.xml and update the relevant pathname information to the settings folder already in Google Drive.
  3. To re-hide files, in Terminal, paste the following:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
  4. Note that older versions of Filezilla stored settings in .filezilla instead of in .config. If your settings are in .filezilla this process won’t work for you. However, you can uninstall FileZilla and delete .filezilla. Then re-install the latest version and import all your entries from your backup file. Then follow the steps above.

Which Digital Marketing Methods Produce the Highest ROI?

Occasionally we see information that is just too important not to share with our friends, clients and contacts.  As business owners we all have to be careful with how we spend money and often the digital methods are scary because many of us don’t completely understand how they work; so we hesitate or resist investing an appropriate or optimal amount.

The featured infographic (a digital informative poster) details which of these methods work the best to provide what we all want more of – customers!

Another article that came out in the WSJ yesterday (4-16-14) spotlights another challenge with digital marketing.  Like many service industries, “big box” companies are created to provide services to the business community.  This article highlights the nightmare experiences many small business owners have endured by being sold these services by these types of companies.  Essentially these companies raise capital and invest in some creative (and sometimes legitimately useful) software to help them scale the services in order to automate many of the steps required.  The problem is their business model focuses largely on sales and very little on customer service.  The “churn” factor is what they focus on rather than treating each client individually and consulting with them effectively (or at all).  We have several clients that have used these services before – some of them have seen results but overall the experiences were dire.

My hope is that you gleam some useful information from these articles to help you make the best decisions with regards to your internet marketing efforts.  80% of local searches on Google result in an action – phone call, website visit, lead form submission, directions, etc.  It all starts here regardless of what kind of product or service you provide.


 

Find an agency or consultant that makes you feel like your best interests are the focus.  Don’t get caught up in the hype and glitter of these large companies and their slick sales pitches.  You (we) all deserve to be treated like a valued client, not a number.

Submitting Feedback to SkyBound is a Snap

Usersnap is a new visual feedback tool SkyBound is using to make client change requests easy.

It allows users to provide visual feedback, directly from your site without having to complete complex forms or send endless emails. Point and click to create a screenshot of the issue (be it a simple copy edit, or a site bug), add your comments, and Usersnap notifies SkyBound with all the needed info.

Here’s how Usersnap works

usersnap

  1. Click the feedback widget we install on your site.
  2. Add your markup and comments.
  3. Then submit and forget. We will take care of the rest

Try our feedback tool for yourself on getskybound.com, or ask about our monthly maintenance plan and we’ll install Usersnap on your site today.

Drive By Advertising

One doesn’t have to drive far on America’s highways and byways before seeing them – Trucks, cars and vans that wouldn’t typically warrant a second glance, were it not for the eye-catching graphics wrapped around them. However, the costs of design and fabrication can quickly add up, so the question is, are vehicle wraps really worth the money?

The short answer: YES.

Vehicle wraps allow your business to:

  • Reach more eyes. The average American drives about 300 miles each 7 days and one vehicle wrap can generate between 30,000 and 70,000 impressions daily.

  • Increase brand recognition. Vehicle wraps boost brand recognition 15 times greater than that of conventional advertising methods.

  • Save money. To generate the same level of reach a $3,500 vehicle wrap can produce, a company would need to spend $130,000 in traditional advertising dollars. Not to mention, when properly taken care of, vehicle wraps can last you upwards of 5 years.

Your vehicles are already out there on the roads, don’t let your next high-paying client simply drive past you.

vehicle_wrap_raleigh

*All statistics were taken from studies done by The American Trucking Association (ATA), The Traffic Audit Bureau of Media Measurement and 3M.