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The classic monochrome laser business printer continues to sell surprisingly well, but the best printer for your business might be inkjet, laser, LED, or solid-ink; and it might be a multifunction or single-function model.

How do you decide which technology and function level are best for your business? How much can you afford to spend? Take time to think about what you print, how much you print, and whether you need extra features or room to grow. Remember to check the cost of consumables to make sure your ongoing costs will be bearable.

The Cheapest Printer for the Job

Of course, you don’t want to spend more than you can afford. But before you commit to buying the cheapest printer you can find, let’s examine what “cheap” really means, and why the cheapest printer may not be the most affordable printer.

The business model used by most printer vendors works like this: The lower the initial price tag of the printer, the higher the cost of replacement ink or toner. As a result, the only person likely to benefit from a low-cost printer with high-cost consumables is someone who prints very little, and thus stretches out the time between replacements as long as possible. Unless you are among the sparsely printing few, you would do well to check a printer’s ink or toner costs before you buy, to avoid budget-busting surprises later. For a how-to, consult this guide to doing the math to determine ink and toner costs.

Inkjet, Laser, LED, Solid Ink…They’re All Good (or Better)

Color laser or LED printers may seem like the natural evolutionary step forward from monochrome models, but the transition is happening slowly. One major reason is that color printers cost more to buy and resupply; as a result, businesses must manage access to color printing to avoid overuse or misuse. Another significant factor is photo quality: Most laser and LED printers struggle to print smooth-looking images. Check out our current favorites on our Top 10 Color Laser Printers chart.

Superior photo quality is only one reason that inkjet printers are worth considering for many businesses. Various office-ready models can deliver competitive speed and print quality, too. Media flexibility is another selling point, as some models can print on specially designed canvas, iron-on transfers, or even CD/DVD media. Check out our top-ranked models among single-function inkjet printers and multifunction inkjet printers.

Solid-ink printers, available only through Xerox, use a unique technology that melts waxlike blocks and then squirts the semiliquid fluid through tiny holes in a printhead onto paper. Unlike toner and ink cartridges, the ink blocks use no plastic packaging, and therefore impose less of a shipping, storage, and environmental burden. Photo quality is about the same for a solid-ink printer as for a laser or LED printer: adequate, but not quite as good as for a typical inkjet. This technology is worth considering for a small office or department that wants something faster than an inkjet, but less complicated than a color laser or LED printer. Because solid-ink printers compete most closely with lasers and LEDs, you’ll find our top picks in this color laser chart.

Fit the Printer to Your Office Size and Volume

How much output do you need your printer to print–a few sheets a day, dozens, or hundreds? Are you the only person who’ll be printing, or will your coworkers use the machine, too? To avoid getting stuck with too much printer or too little, you have to figure out which features are relevant to your needs.

Choose a personal inkjet or laser printer only if you’ll be its only user and you plan not to print more than a few dozen pages a day. The machine will be slow; it will lack useful features such as automatic duplexing (two-sided printing); and it will likely have pricier consumables. USB is the typical connection type, but wireless is a forward-looking feature worth considering.

For a printer that multiple people will use, ethernet networkability is essential for easy sharing. Wireless networkability can be useful with smaller workgroups, but its speed and reliability tend to vary.

A simple way to evaluate the print volume you need is to ask yourself how often you want to refill the paper tray. For most people the answer probably is no more than once a day, if that. Track your paper usage for a few days and look for a printer whose standard input tray exceeds that average daily volume by a smaller or greater margin, depending on how often you want to refill the tray. Another rule of thumb is to keep your volume well below the printer’s specified monthly duty cycle. This number represents a maximum stress-test level, rather than what the printer can handle comfortably on an ongoing basis.

How Much Speed Do You Need?

Your anticipated print volume also helps determine how much engine speed, processing power, and memory your printer should have.

It’s wise to take engine-speed specifications with a grain of salt, as they may not reflect your usage pattern. Nevertheless, they provide some indication of what the printer could accomplish under optimal conditions. A printer with an print output speed of less than 20 pages per minute will probably be pretty slow; a range of 20 ppm to 40 ppm is adequate for most offices; and a speed greater than 40 ppm is ready for higher-volume use (and such printers are priced accordingly).

Host-based printers lack their own image-processing power. Instead, they depend on a connected PC to handle the job for them. For any printer that has a dedicated processor, the higher the megahertz (MHz), the faster the machine can receive, interpret, and print a job.

The number and size of expected jobs will dictate how much memory your printer should have. A typical amount for a business printer can be anywhere from 64MB to 256MB. Higher-end models have room for expansion.

Paper-Handling Choices Abound

Automatic duplexing (two-sided printing) is a feature to seek on your next printer. Using this feature can slow print jobs somewhat, but the money and trees you’ll save by halving your paper usage are likely to outweigh any time lost.

Is there a kind of document that you’d like to be able to print but currently can’t? Modern printers can handle envelopes, labels, and index cards virtually trouble-free, thanks to straighter paper paths on most inkjets and some lasers, and to manual-feed slots that bypass the toughest turns on others. High-end laser printers even offer special feeding and finishing units for collating, stapling, and stacking envelopes or postcards. A wide-format printer lets you print in a larger size than the typical letter (8.5 by 11 inches) and legal (8.5 by 14 inches) dimensions.

Next page: Should you get a multifunction? What about ink and toner?

Single-Function or Multifunction?

If all you do is print your own documents, you might not need a multifunction printer (MFP)–sometimes referred to as an all-in-one. But if you want to digitize paper-based files or share documents with other people, you can use an MFP to make photocopies, create electronic images of documents, and store or send them via e-mail. MFPs for business should have an automatic document feeder (ADF) for simpler scanning of multipage documents.

Though MFPs appear to be the wave of the printing future, they have some limitations. If your office is very busy, forcing a single machine to juggle everyone’s printing, copying, scanning, and faxing demands could overwhelm it–and frustrate your users. Also, if you have a long-term need to scan hundreds or thousands of pages of documents, a dedicated document scanner with its own ADF will simplify that job considerably.

Ink and Toner Costs: Do the Math

Forget the initial cost of your printer or MFP: Over time, you’ll exceed its price in replacement ink or toner supplies. To ensure that your consumables costs are in line with what your budget can bear, research their pricing carefully. A good rule of thumb is that the lower the printer’s sticker price, the higher the price of its ink or toner. Our printer reviews provide details for each model, but you can calculate the relevant figures yourself by follow the simple steps enumerated below.

If you’re thinking about refilling ink cartridges to save a dime, check out our “Portrait of a Serial Refiller” series, which details options at Costco, Office Depot, and Cartridge World.

In Video: How to Choose the Right Printer

1. Get the current price of each cartridge from the vendor’s own Website. If the vendor doesn’t sell cartridges directly to consumers, we average the prices collected from three or more major online retailers. Check to see whether a printer offers high-yield cartridges, which are often cheaper.

2. All inkjet printer vendors publish yield data for their ink and toner cartridges, estimating how many pages a cartridge can print before it runs dry. Most vendors’ yields are based on an industry-standard measuring tool–a specific suite of documents printed at specific settings–so the results are comparable across different models. Finding the yields can require a little digging, but feel free to explore, and don’t hesitate to bug the vendor for guidance if you can’t easily find what you’re looking for.

3. For each color, divide the price of the cartridge by the total page yield to obtain a figure for the cost per color per page. Be aware that your mileage will vary depending on what and how much you print from day to day.

One more tip: Check the information on “what’s in the box” to see whether you’re getting full-size ink or toner cartridges or lower-capacity, “starter”-size supplies.Often, lower-end laser and LED printers come with starter-size supplies, forcing you to buy a full set of replacement cartridges almost immediately. It’s getting harder to avoid this vendor trick, but at least you’ll be aware of it.

Where to Buy a Printer

If you’re shopping on your own rather than relying on an IT professional to help you find a printer, most big-box retailers will have what you need. We surveyed the offerings at 10 big retailers and found that one stood out when it came to shopping for a printer. In addition, you may want to consider retailers that offer specialty services for small businesses, including additional support or discounts.

The Best Printer Fits Your Needs and Your Budget

Finding the best printer for your business doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. All of the available technologies work adequately or better, so it’s more important to focus on the features and capabilities you need. After identifying several printers that seem suitable, check their ink or toner pricing to minimize your ongoing costs.

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How To Choose The Best Shopify Theme For Seo

Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses worldwide, generating more than $200 billion in sales for those using the platform. This all-in-one ecommerce platform makes it easy to start, grow and run your online business.

Building a store with SEO in mind helps ensure people can organically discover your business on Google, Bing, and other search engines.

You can customize your store with Shopify themes that allow you to make your store truly unique. But which one is best for SEO?

When choosing your theme, there’s more to consider than aesthetics. In this column, you’ll learn how to choose an SEO-friendly theme to improve your chances of ranking higher and getting found in search results.

13 Characteristics of SEO-Friendly Shopify Theme Design

Many will promote their themes as SEO-friendly, but what does that actually mean?

Here are a few of the features you should look for in your Shopify theme to make sure it is optimized properly.

1. Responsive and Mobile Friendliness

Is the theme responsive? A responsive design offers compatibility with any device.

Whether your audience is on their smartphone, desktop, tablet, or another device, your shop will still render appropriately with a responsive design.

Search engines focus heavily on mobile-friendliness, and a responsive design is key.

2. Theme Speed

You can also run the demo page through a speed test on:

3. Valid HTML Markup

As long as the site renders properly, Google’s John Muller states that valid HTML won’t have a significant impact on SEO. But valid HTML can also help improve some of the most important aspects of SEO, including:

Browser compatibility.

Crawl rate.

User experience.

Even Google Shopping Ads run better when your site has valid HTML.

And if you’re using hreflang, you may even break your site if you aren’t using valid HTML.

In short, it’s always better for your theme to have valid HTML. Use the Markup Validation Service to check yours over.

4. Support for Featured/Rich Snippets

Featured snippets draw structured information from a website and display it prominently in Google’s search results in their own special boxes.

These snippets offer:

A chance of ranking higher in the search results.

While there’s no guarantee Google will display a featured snippet from your site, using schema markup makes it possible and can increase your chances.

Look for a Shopify theme or app that automates adding markup to your site for product schema, FAQ snippets, video object snippets, breadcrumbs, and more.

Note: Shopify also uses the term snippets to describe reusable code that appears on more than one page, but not sitewide. Be sure you understand the distinction between search snippets and those used in coding a theme as you’re researching your options.

Learn more in How to Optimize for Google Featured Snippets: A 12-Step Guide.

5. Customized Metadata

Metadata can improve your site’s SEO, and being able to customize metadata is a powerful addition to any theme.

A few important tags that should be customizable include:

Canonical.

Title tag.

Meta description.

Open Graph.

Twitter cards.

Robots meta.

Alternative text.

Leveraging custom metadata is a powerful tool that you can use today and in the future.

6. Built-in Social Sharing

Billions of people worldwide use social networks, so social sharing is something that should be built into the theme.

When visitors can share your content or products, they can generate substantial traffic, links, and even sales.

7. Sitemaps

Auto-generated sitemaps allow search engines to find all of your site’s pages, whether they’ve just been added or aren’t linked from any of your site’s pages.

The good news is that Shopify automatically generates a sitemap for each store. Shopify says:

“If you’re on the Basic Shopify plan, then only your store’s primary domain has a generated sitemap file and is discoverable by search engines.

If you’re on the Shopify, Advanced Shopify, or Shopify Plus plan, then you can use the international domains feature to create region-specific or country-specific domains.

When you use international domains, sitemap files are generated for all of your domains. All of your domains are discoverable by search engines, unless they redirect to your primary domain.”

So if you don’t see sitemaps specifically listed as part of a theme you’re considering, fear not — you’ll have this ability with any theme.

What you may need to consider for larger sites is that once you get over 5,000 URLs, Shopify will begin to create child sitemaps in order to avoid going over its limit of 50,000 URLs.

You may want to find an app to help keep these up to date, as they don’t repopulate with each new page added to your store.

8. Easy Product Customization

Your product pages need to stand out and cater to your target audience. Customization is one way that you can make your product pages unique.

Look for the ability to:

Position call-to-actions appropriately.

Test different product positions and layouts.

Make sure product schema is valid.

9. Navigation Options

Do you have options for the placement of your navigation?

Navigation elements placed above the fold allow for the easiest navigation possible. Search engines will also be able to find your main pages to crawl as quickly as possible.

Navigation may not seem like an integral part of SEO but it is a primary element of good architecture, which can improve crawlability and user experience.

10. Language and Translation Support

Where is your target audience located? Which language(s) does your target audience speak?

A theme with language and translation support, as well as hreflang, can have a significant impact on your user’s experience.

The use of hreflang will help search engines show the correct version of a page to users based on:

Language preference.

User location.

Language and translation support will become important as your business grows. When your Shopify site starts making international sales, it will be even more important to cater to visitors who speak a wide range of languages.

11. Optimized Images

If your store’s images are too large, they’ll increase your site speed, impacting usability and search rankings in the process.

Your theme should use optimized images. Shopify’s CDN does a lot of the work here by:

Caching images to improve load time.

Resizing images in order to make them responsive.

Lightly compressing and converting all images to the web-standard 72dpi.

Serving images in the WebP format.

However, you’ll want to make sure you understand how to add and edit alt text in your Shopify theme.

This is particularly important for product photos, as you don’t want to underserve customers with accessibility needs and alt text helps search engines understand the image content, as well.

As accessibility impacts your website’s reputation and user experience, WCAG, 508, and ADA compliance should be on your list.

12. User-Generated Content Options

User-generated content (UGC) is essential for increasing brand awareness and generating buzz around your site.

There are a lot of options for UGC, including:

Questions and answers that customers can contribute to on your site.

Comments from users.

Reviews.

When users can help you generate content organically, the content they add will often lend to your SEO efforts. For example, your customers have questions that require an answer.

13. Support

The theme’s support may not be a direct link to your site’s search engine optimization, but support can:

Offer help with customization.

Fix errors and issues with the theme.

Listen to recommendations on future feature additions.

If support is slow and not responsive, will they be available if there’s a bug in their theme? A good theme developer will offer high-end support that can help answer all of your questions and concerns.

Optimize Your Shopify Store with These Additional Tips

If you’re new to Shopify and want to optimize your store for SEO quickly, there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your Shopify’s SEO.

Try out SEO apps that can put some optimizations on autopilot by doing the following:

Optimizing your title and meta description.

Running weekly health reports on your site.

Monitoring your site for broken links.

Reducing file sizes.

Managing your schema markup.

Optimizing your product titles and descriptions by using your target keywords.

Using lightboxes or pop-ups to help improve your sales through the use of timed pop-ups and restrict pop-ups (check out these tips so you don’t jeopardize your SEO).

In Conclusion

Shopify makes selling products online as easy as possible. While a lot of the hard work is done for you, choosing a theme for your store is one of the things you’ll need to do on your own.

A theme is just a tiny part of your SEO strategy, but it is an easy way to start your online store with an SEO-focused approach.

If you follow the tips above, you’ll find a Shopify theme that can help you improve your store’s SEO.

More Resources:

How To Choose A Small Business Loan

Small business loans are an essential tool for buying and growing a business or for staying afloat when times are tough, but it can be challenging to navigate the many small business funding options and to decide what type of financing is right for you. Before settling on a lender for your business, you should understand all of your choices, as well as your business’s needs. 

Editor’s note: Need a loan for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Types of small business loans

There are many top loan options for small businesses, such as traditional loans, equipment loans and working capital loans. Lenders include the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), conventional banks and alternative lenders. Each has its own set of positives and negatives. 

“While there are numerous options from which to choose, not all deliver the same benefits,” said Tom Coletta, senior vice president of corporate banking at City National Bank of Florida. 

First, let’s look at some common forms of small business funding. 

Traditional bank business loans

Traditional bank loans typically feature low interest rates, a detailed payment schedule and the ability to retain total ownership of the business. 

The types of loans offered by banks include term loans, which are geared more toward expanding a business than starting a new one. They can be paid back over one to five years at lower monthly rates. However, they are better suited for more established businesses than for startups. Other funding options from banks include lines of credit, real estate financing, working capital loans and equipment loans. 

According to Jay DesMarteau, head of commercial banking at LendingClub, one of the chief concerns for borrowers is how long they need the loan. 

 “A line of credit would most often be used for short-term funding needs, while a term loan or commercial real estate mortgage offers multi-year financing for expansions or to purchase property,” DesMarteau said. 

SBA loans

Loans backed by the SBA are prized by business owners for their low interest rates and extended repayment terms. You will need to go through an extensive application process, so this isn’t the best choice for businesses that need emergency funding. That said, SBA loans are safe and attainable for businesses that might have been turned away by other lenders

“SBA loans allow approvals in some cases, such as when the down payment or a business’s cash flow is too low, because of the government guarantee,” DesMarteau said. “There is a misconception that SBA loans are a startup loan and that the government gives them away, but it is true that they have different credit underwriting standards, terms and other factors than a traditional small business loan.”

Did You Know?

Many SBA loans can be repaid over 10 years or more, which is a significantly longer term than other funding sources offer.

Alternative loans

Although traditional banks offer some of the best terms for financing, they usually maintain stricter requirements for applicants. You will need a solid credit score and proof of at least several years of profitability. Business owners with lower credit or little time in operation will likely have to pursue other sources of funding, such as financing from an alternative lender.

Alternative lenders offer many of the same types of funding as traditional banks, including term loans, lines of credit and working capital loans. The upside of alternative lenders is that you can often get approved quickly and easily, and some lenders even offer same-day funding into your business bank account. But while alternative funding features a short application process, downfalls of using alternative lenders include much higher interest rates, a shorter payback time and less control over the business.

FYI

Applying for an alternative loan differs from applying for an SBA loan. It is important to know what is required for each application.

Secured/unsecured loans

The difference between an unsecured loan and a secured loan is that a secured loan is backed by collateral. This means that if the borrower cannot repay the loan, the lender can take possession of the collateral to recoup their losses. Secured loans typically have lower interest rates because the lender has less risk.

An unsecured loan is not backed by collateral. This means that there is no property or asset the lender can take possession of if the borrower cannot repay the loan.

Secured loans are easier to acquire than unsecured loans because of the collateral required. This type of loan is often suited for new businesses with startup costs and funding needs of over $50,000. If you have good credit, you can expect to obtain an unsecured loan of up to $50,000. However, startups with business owners who have poor credit are often turned away. [Learn more about loan options for those with poor credit.]

How to choose a small business loan

Before you decide on a small business loan, it is essential to take several preliminary steps. First, make sure you assess your business’s funding needs, as well as cash flow and expenses. Thoroughly researching lenders and carefully weighing funding offers will ensure you don’t overpay for financing. 

Outline your business’s funding needs.

Before choosing a loan, business owners should write a business plan and outline their objectives for the company, Coletta said. This will give you and your lender a better idea of the best funding solution for your situation.

“Prior to meeting with a banker or lender, it is important to have a business plan in place, preferably one that has been reviewed by your certified public accountant,” Coletta said. “The plan should include articulated short- and long-term financial goals.”

Ask yourself what you need to reach your goals. From there, find a banker who can help you project the growth of your business and craft a lending solution, Coletta added.

Tip

Knowing how to use SMART planning can help you set goals for your business. 

How To Choose The Right Laptop For You

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If you’re in the market for a new laptop, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little bewildered by the amount of choices. There are, after all, a huge selection of models on the market, what with hardware makers pushing out dozens of new models every year.

The good news is that you don’t need to look at every single laptop out there in detail, because you can quickly narrow your options down by asking a few questions about what you want in your next computer.

Consider both portability and power

Every laptop is a compromise between portability and power, and they all vary on where they draw that line. A faster and more capable machine needs bigger internal components and more room to keep them cool—which means it will end up larger, heavier, and more battery-draining than a less-powerful computer.

As portable computing power has improved over the last few years, this compromise has become less of an issue. Today, decent processors and graphics chips slip into svelte laptop frames. Still, if you want a laptop capable of the most demanding tasks—primarily gaming and video editing—it’s going to have to be relatively chunky.

You can find laptops to suit every point along the portability-power scale, so you’ll need to decide which is most important to you. How much of your time will you be spending carrying your laptop from place to place? Will it have to last a long time between battery charges? How much heavy use do you want to get out of it? Answer those questions, and you’ll be able to quickly pare down the list of suitable choices.

Pick an operating system

If you’re already comfortable with an operating system, you may prefer to stick with it rather than switching things up. Bahman Adlou via Unsplash

Your choices for a laptop operating system are Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS, and they’re all speedy, stable, secure, and reliable. Each OS has its pros and cons, and it’s hard to definitively rank them in any objective way. Ultimately, most people tend to just stick with what they’re already familiar with, which can make picking a new laptop a little easier.

Windows remains the most popular of the three, which also means it’s the biggest target for malware and viruses, so make sure you have a robust security system in place (the built-in protections will be fine for most users). As many different manufacturers make Windows devices, you’ll have a broader range of laptop designs to pick from—standard ones, folding laptops that double as tablets, and more.

Apple’s macOS has a stronger reputation for stability and security, and it comes with a host of software, from office apps to music-making tools (compare the best laptops for music production). On the flip side, there’s a smaller choice of laptop designs to pick from, and prices tend to be toward the higher end of the scale. This OS plays well with other Apple devices (from the iPhone to the HomePod), but less well with non-Apple gadgets.

Chrome OS is essentially just the Chrome web browser, so you’re limited to web apps (no Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop here), but it also means the lightweight, streamlined OS needs little in the way of maintenance. Chromebooks running Chrome OS are available in a variety of designs and are usually competitively priced, too.

That’s a whistle-stop tour of your three main options, but it should give you a flavor of what each has to offer. Unless you’re buying your first ever laptop, you’re already going to be familiar with at least one of these operating systems. If you’re thinking about switching to something else, try a test run on a laptop owned by a friend or family member to see how you like it.

Microsoft, Apple, and Google all make laptops to show off their respective operating systems: Check out the MacBook Pro for macOS (from $1,299 from Apple), the Surface Laptop for Windows (from $999 from Microsoft), and the Pixelbook Go for Chrome OS (from $649 from Google). They should give you a better idea of what each platform can do.

Related: Best 2-in-1 laptops

Select your specs

When choosing a processor, make sure you know what generation it is and what all those numbers mean. Roman Spiridonov via Unsplash

Browse through the laptops at your local store, and you’ll see a whole host of specifications—but don’t get overly worried about the small print. As a useful shortcut, just look at the prices, which will often tell you which computers are more powerful than others. Still, it helps to know a little bit about what you’re dealing with.

The central processing unit, also known as the CPU, or simply, the processor, is the brains of the operation, controlling all the calculations that hum through your laptop’s circuitry. To find out how capable a computer’s CPU is, look for references to a clock speed (in gigahertz), which is how fast it does its thinking. Also keep an eye out for the number of cores, which are basically mini CPUs: More cores means more simultaneous thinking.

These specs are often hidden behind brand terms, like Intel’s labels of i3 (low-end), i5 (mid-range), i7 (high-end), and i9 (power users). Watch out for the generation of the chip, too (Intel’s 10th-gen CPUs are the top of the line in 2023)—a new generation means better performance with less battery drain. That’s why, when a new generation of processors arrives, you’ll often see laptop prices updated across the board.

Another important spec is the RAM, which essentially controls how much your laptop can think about at any one time. More RAM means more support for lots of browser tabs, bigger images, more open applications, and so on. Basically, RAM lets you have a lot more going on without forcing your machine to come to a grinding halt. The absolute minimum these days is 4GB, though if your needs are even somewhat demanding, you’ll probably want to go above that.

Next up: The graphics processor, or GPU, which is basically just a CPU dedicated to graphics. It’s important for gaming and video editing, but not so important for anything else. If visuals are important to you, make sure you look at resolution, which is measured in pixels. More pixels means a sharper screen (and unfortunately more of a drain on the battery). If you see an otherwise decent-looking machine for a relatively low price, the discount may be because the screen resolution isn’t up there with the best.

There are a few other specs to consider. The hard drive size indicates the amount of room a computer provides for files and applications. If you’re planning to keep your videos, photos, and music on your machine (as opposed to storing them in the cloud), make sure the hard drive you buy can handle all your data with room to spare. Also pay attention to the number of input and output ports a laptop has, especially if you’re planning to connect it to a lot of peripherals (like external hard drives or wired speakers).

Don’t forget price and hands-on appeal

The one big factor in your decision that we haven’t really talked about yet is price. If you’re on a budget, this is another way to quickly narrow down your choice of laptops. To save some cash, look for older models that have since been superseded by something new. This is a particularly good option if you know you won’t be taxing your laptop too hard and thus won’t need cutting-edge specs.

Two final tips: Use laptop reviews in tech publications to get a sense of which machines are currently more impressive than others, and actually walk into a store to handle some sample laptops. This can give you a feel for screen sizes, build quality, and so on—even if you intend to buy online.

How To Choose Vpn For Android?

One of the most beneficial developments to the computer business ever is VPN. Applying the encryption algorithm to secure the internet service, it assists in keeping our online activities private. Whatever you do on the device, a VPN service conceals your presence on the network.

Continue reading to learn why it’s crucial to use an Android VPN and how to choose the best one.

What Is A VPN?

A dependable option to safeguard your online activity is using an Android VPN service. As your phone sends a ton of personal information, hackers will try to target this information. Your phone exposes you to identity fraud and other online risks whether you use a cellular connection or Wi-Fi.

Internet traffic to and from your device is hidden using a virtual private network (VPN). Your data is sent via encryption, which scrambles it so anyone attempting to intercept it cannot decipher it.

Why Is It Important To Use VPN For Android?

Every user should think about utilizing a VPN because there are several benefits to doing so on Android. Let’s review a few of the most important.

● Enhanced Security On Public Wireless Networks

Public Wi-Fi hotspots undoubtedly frequently save lives. They might, however, get into a great deal of trouble. One can never be sure who is on public networks and what they do. Your private activities do remain private, provided you select a reliable VPN service. In reality, this is one of the key benefits of using a VPN when using public Wi-Fi while you’re out and about.

● Avert Geographical Limitations

The user’s IP address is one method for determining geolocation. You might not have access to certain types of content because some websites and services limit their video content according to where you are. A VPN makes your local server’s location appear to be somewhere else, like another nation, by disguising or spoofing its actual location. Price discrimination is another issue. Geographic segmentation is used by online firms, and as a result, the price of a good depends on where the buyer is located.

● Enhances Online Privacy

Nonetheless, many people keep disclosing their personal information on unsafe websites, even though no one should be able to follow your online actions by looking at your IP address. By masking it as regular traffic, a VPN helps keep your data private from other internet users. Your IP address is changed so that hackers cannot identify you or steal your identity.

● Prevent ISP Tracking ● Avoid Censorship And Monitoring

Due to governmental limitations, censorship, or surveillance, some locations might not have access to particular websites or services. These individuals may navigate freely online thanks to location spoofing, bypass firewalls, and visit banned websites.

What Are The Main Criteria for choosing VPN?

These are the few things you need to remember when subscribing to a VPN.

● Support Across Platforms

The days of only using PCs or laptops to access the internet are long gone. Nowadays, individuals connect to the internet through Android smartphones, iPad, Smart TVs, Fire Sticks, Kodi, and game consoles. Your device needs VPN protection if it is communicating with the internet. Thus, it’s critical that your VPN supports the broadest range of hardware and software platforms and permits multiple concurrent connections.

●  Encryption Protocol

Your connection is encrypted by VPNs; however, the security of your data and activity depends on how strong the encryption is. Nowadays, OpenVPN is the most secure protocol, and the majority of the best VPNs offer support for it.

●  Speed

VPNs do slow down your internet browser to some extent because they encrypt all of the traffic. But the vendor will determine how much the speed reduction is. The finest VPNs ensure this decrease is as small as possible, and occasionally VPNs can even increase your speeds for downloading and uploading.

●  Number of Servers

You have more alternatives for connectivity the more servers a VPN has listed under its name. Because of the reduced likelihood of connection drops due to server latency, this reduces server overload. Also, this speeds up your connectivity, particularly if you are linked to a server nearby.

Conclusion

The 10 Best Free Platforms To Advertise Your Business

Google My Business – free business listing on Google Maps, search results, and more

Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful, free tool that helps you manage your online presence across various Google platforms, including Google Maps, search results, and much more. By setting up a GMB listing, you can increase your business’s visibility and credibility in the digital world.

Getting Started with Google My Business

To create a GMB listing, follow these simple steps:

Visit the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account.

Provide your business address or service area.

Choose an appropriate category for your business.

Add contact details such as phone number and website URL.

Verify your listing through postcard, phone call, or email.

Once verified, you can start optimizing your listing to attract more customers.

Optimize Your Listing for Better Visibility

Here are some tips to make the most out of your GMB listing:

Add high-quality photos: Showcase your products, services, or storefront with appealing images to grab users’ attention.

Update information regularly: Ensure that all details like address, phone number, and hours of operation are accurate and up-to-date.

Create engaging posts: Share updates about promotions, events, or news to keep users informed about what’s happening with your business.

Respond to reviews: Engage with customers by replying to their reviews promptly and professionally.

Monitor Insights for Continuous Improvement

GMB offers valuable insights into how users interact with your listing:

Search queries: Discover which keywords people use when they find your business on Google.

Customer actions: Track how users engage with your listing – whether they visit your website, call you directly or request directions.

Photo views: See how often your photos are viewed compared to similar businesses.

Use these insights to refine your listing and improve your overall online presence.

Facebook – create a business page, join relevant groups, and share content Creating a Business Page

Firstly, you’ll want to create a dedicated business page that represents your brand. This is different from your personal profile and allows you to showcase your products or services while building an online presence. To create a Facebook business page:

Log in to your personal Facebook account.

Choose “Business or Brand” as the category.

Fill in the required information: Page name, category, address (optional), and phone number (optional).

Upload a profile picture and cover photo that represent your brand.

Complete the “About” section with relevant details about your business.

Now that your page is set up, be sure to invite friends and family members to like it and start sharing content.

Joining Relevant Groups

Facebook groups are online communities where people with shared interests can connect and discuss topics related to their interests. By joining relevant groups in your industry or niche, you can engage with potential customers and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

To find suitable groups:

Type keywords related to your industry into the search bar at the top of Facebook.

Browse through the list of groups and request to join those that align with your target audience.

Remember to read each group’s rules before posting content or promoting your products/services.

Sharing Engaging Content

Consistently sharing high-quality content on your business page and in relevant groups is key to building your brand’s reputation and attracting potential customers. Consider the following types of content:

Educational: Share blog posts, articles, or infographics that provide valuable information to your audience.

Entertaining: Post funny or light-hearted content that can make your audience smile and foster a connection with your brand.

Promotional: Share information about new products, special offers, or upcoming events. Be mindful not to over-promote, as this may turn off potential customers.

User-generated content: Encourage customers to share their experiences with your products/services by posting photos or testimonials.

LinkedIn – professional networking platform for sharing industry news and connecting with potential clients Creating a Company Page

To start promoting your business on LinkedIn, you’ll want to create a company page. This acts as your business’s online presence within the platform and allows users to learn more about your products or services. Ensure that your company page includes essential information such as your website URL, contact details, and a well-crafted description of what you offer.

Sharing Industry News and Insights

LinkedIn is an ideal platform for sharing industry-related news and insights that demonstrate your expertise in the field. By regularly posting updates on relevant topics, you can establish yourself as a thought leader within your niche. This not only helps in attracting potential clients but also fosters trust among your existing connections.

Engaging in Groups

Joining relevant LinkedIn groups can be an effective way to network with professionals in your industry or target market. Participating in group discussions allows you to showcase your knowledge and share valuable insights while simultaneously discovering new contacts who may be interested in what you have to offer.

Publishing Articles

LinkedIn’s publishing feature enables users to create long-form content directly on the platform. By writing articles related to your industry or offering solutions to common challenges faced by potential clients, you can further solidify your reputation as an expert in the field. Additionally, well-written articles have the potential to be shared widely among LinkedIn users, increasing visibility for both yourself and your business.

Leveraging Your Network Twitter – microblogging site for sharing news, updates, and engaging with customers

Twitter is an excellent platform for promoting your business, as it allows you to share news, updates, and engage with customers in real-time. By utilizing this microblogging site effectively, you can create a strong online presence and connect with potential clients. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make the most of Twitter for your business.

Creating a Business Profile

Firstly, set up a dedicated business profile on Twitter. Make sure to include your company logo, a relevant header image, and a concise bio that highlights your products or services. Additionally, add your website URL and location to help users find more information about your business.

Sharing News and Updates

Twitter’s primary feature is its 280-character limit for each tweet, which encourages short and snappy updates. Use this to share news about your business, product launches, special promotions or events. You can also share links to blog posts or articles from your website to drive traffic.

Engaging with Customers

One of the key benefits of using Twitter is the ability to communicate directly with customers. Respond promptly to questions or feedback from users by replying to their tweets or using the Direct Message (DM) feature. Regularly monitor mentions of your brand using Twitter’s search function and join conversations related to your industry by using relevant hashtags.

Building Relationships through Retweets and Likes

Show appreciation for user-generated content (UGC) by retweeting or liking tweets that mention your brand or showcase your products. This not only helps build relationships with customers but also encourages others to share their experiences with your business.

Utilizing Visual Content

Though primarily text-based, Twitter also supports images, GIFs, and short videos. Incorporate visual content into your tweets whenever possible as it can help grab users’ attention and increase engagement rates.

Participating in Twitter Chats

Joining industry-specific Twitter chats is a great way to connect with potential clients and showcase your expertise. Look for chats related to your niche and participate by answering questions, sharing insights, and engaging with other participants.

Tracking Analytics Instagram – visual platform for showcasing products and services through images and short videos

Instagram is a popular social media platform that allows you to share photos and short videos with your followers. With over one billion monthly active users, it’s an excellent place to showcase your products and services in a visually appealing way. Let’s dive into how you can make the most of Instagram for promoting your business.

Creating an Engaging Business Profile

Start by setting up a dedicated business profile on Instagram. This will enable you to access useful features like insights, contact information, and the ability to promote posts. Make sure your profile includes a clear profile picture, a concise bio with relevant keywords, and a link to your website.

Sharing High-Quality Visual Content

The key to success on Instagram lies in the quality of the images and videos you share. Invest time in creating eye-catching visuals that showcase your products or services in action. You can also use creative tools like filters, stickers, and text overlays to add personality and style to your content.

Utilizing Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories allow you to share temporary content that disappears after 24 hours. Use this feature to share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, promote limited-time offers, or highlight customer testimonials. You can also create interactive polls or quizzes to engage with your audience further.

Leveraging Hashtags Engaging with Your Audience Collaborating with Influencers

Partnering with influencers who have a substantial following in your target market can help amplify your brand’s reach. Identify influencers whose values align with yours and collaborate on sponsored posts, product reviews, or even Instagram takeovers.

Pinterest – virtual pinboard for sharing visual content related to your industry or niche

Pinterest is an image-driven platform that allows you to create and share visual content related to your industry or niche. As a business owner, you can leverage Pinterest’s unique features to showcase your products, services, and expertise to a wide audience.

Creating Boards

The first step in using Pinterest for your business is setting up boards. Think of these as virtual pinboards where you can categorize and display images that represent your brand. For example, if you run a bakery, you might create boards for different types of baked goods like cakes, cookies, and pastries.

Pinning Content

Once your boards are set up, start pinning content that showcases your products or services. You can either upload images directly from your computer or “pin” them from other websites. Be sure to include relevant keywords in the description of each pin so that users searching for those terms can easily find your content.

Engaging with the Community Promoting Your Pins Analyzing Your Success

Finally, don’t forget to track the performance of your Pinterest efforts using Pinterest Analytics. This tool provides valuable insights into how users are engaging with your content so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

YouTube – video-sharing platform for creating informative or entertaining content related to your business Creating the Right Content

First and foremost, it’s essential to create high-quality videos that resonate with your target audience. Focus on producing content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to your industry. This can include product demonstrations, tutorials, customer testimonials, behind-the-scenes looks at your operations, or even entertaining skits that showcase your brand personality.

Optimizing Your Videos for SEO

To make sure your videos reach the right audience, optimize them for search engines. Start by conducting keyword research to identify popular search terms related to your industry. Incorporate these keywords into video titles, descriptions, and tags. Additionally, create custom thumbnails that grab viewers’ attention and accurately represent the video content.

Engaging with Your Audience Leveraging YouTube Features Collaborating with Influencers

Partnering with influencers in your industry can help increase exposure for your business on YouTube. Collaborate on videos together or sponsor content created by influencers whose audience aligns with yours – this can lead to increased brand awareness and new potential customers.

Yelp – local search directory for businesses to list their services and collect customer reviews Listing Your Business on Yelp

Creating a business listing on Yelp is simple and free. By providing essential information such as your business name, address, contact details, and working hours, you make it easier for potential customers to find you. Additionally, including high-quality photos of your products or services can help attract more attention from users browsing the platform.

Collecting Customer Reviews

Customer reviews play a significant role in influencing purchasing decisions. On Yelp, users can leave ratings and write detailed reviews about their experiences with your business. These reviews not only offer valuable feedback but also help build trust among potential customers who are considering your services.

To encourage more reviews on your Yelp page:

Provide excellent customer service to ensure positive experiences.

Respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative feedback.

Consider offering incentives or discounts for customers who leave a review.

Enhancing Your Business Profile

Yelp offers additional features that can help you stand out from the competition. For instance:

Adding relevant categories and tags helps users find your business when searching for specific services or products.

Including links to your website and social media profiles encourages users to learn more about your offerings.

Sharing promotions or events directly on Yelp can attract potential customers looking for deals in their area.

Engaging with the Community

Active engagement with users on Yelp is crucial for maintaining a positive reputation. By responding professionally to customer inquiries or concerns, you demonstrate commitment to customer satisfaction. Additionally, participating in discussions within the platform’s community forums can help establish you as an expert in your field and increase visibility for your business.

Reddit – online community with various subreddits dedicated to different topics where businesses can share relevant content Understanding Subreddits

The backbone of Reddit is its subreddits – individual communities dedicated to specific topics or interests. These subreddits are where you’ll find users discussing everything from world news to niche hobbies. As a business owner, you can leverage these communities by finding subreddits related to your industry or target audience and sharing valuable content that appeals to the users in those spaces.

Sharing Relevant Content Engaging with Users Adhering to Subreddit Rules

Each subreddit has its own set of rules regarding what content is allowed and how users should interact within the community. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these guidelines before posting; failure to adhere could result in your post being removed or even being banned from the subreddit altogether.

Utilizing Paid Advertising Options Quora – question-and-answer platform where businesses can provide expertise in their field by answering questions

Quora is a popular question-and-answer platform where individuals and businesses can share their knowledge, expertise, and insights on a wide range of topics. As a business owner, you can leverage Quora to position your brand as an authority in your industry, engage with potential customers, and drive organic traffic to your website.

Establishing Authority Through Expert Answers

To make the most of Quora for your business, start by creating a well-optimized profile that showcases your industry experience and highlights your business. This will help you build credibility among users who come across your answers.

Next, search for questions related to your field or industry. Look for questions with high engagement levels and provide detailed, helpful answers that showcase your expertise. By consistently offering valuable insights on relevant topics, you’ll establish yourself as an authority in your niche.

Engaging with Potential Customers

Quora offers ample opportunities to engage with potential customers. Monitor the platform for new questions related to your products or services and provide helpful answers that address users’ concerns or pain points. This not only demonstrates your knowledge but also shows that you genuinely care about helping people.

Driving Organic Traffic to Your Website

While answering questions on Quora, it’s essential not to be overly promotional or salesy. Instead, focus on providing value through informative content. However, when appropriate, you can include relevant links back to your website or blog within the context of an answer.

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