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TIP 1. Prepare Your PC for Office XP

It takes more than installation to upgrade to Office XP. This version of Office doesn’t work with any operating system older than Windows 98. So, before you attempt an installation of Office XP, check your OS and make certain that you’ve got Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows ME. If you don’t, upgrade your OS before you attempt an installation.

TIP 2. Hardware Requirements

Office XP requires more of your hardware than previous versions. Even if you upgrade your operating system, your hardware might not be able to handle the demands. Microsoft recommends a Pentium-III with at least 128MB of RAM and at least Windows 2000 for the OS. If you have a corporate IT deparment, it’s best to let them upgrade for you. If you’re doing it at home or in a small office, you’ll need at least a Pentium 133 with 64 MB of RAM (minimum) and an additional 8 MB for each Office XP application. The installation is done via a CD-ROM, so you need either a CD-ROM or DVD player. A minimum of a pointing device is required. Some people have a mouse and others (especially those with laptops) can use the pointer provided. Finally, you need quite a bit of free disk space — at least 300 MB.

Don’t even think about trying to get away with less than what we suggest because the installation won’t take place if you haven’t got the free disk space, and Office XP doesn’t work very well without the required RAM.

TIP 3. Special Needs

TIP 4. System Files Updating

TIP 5. Automatic Deletion

Office XP will automatically delete applications from previous versions of Windows before it installs the new applications. While this means that Office XP frees up space on the disk, the new applications take up even more space. Everyone in your network has to be aware of this — while it doesn’t guarantee the need for more disk space, the possibility does exist.

TIP 6. Don’t Go All the Way

There’s no rule that says you have to install the entire Office XP package. Running all the applications will require a lot of space, so when you install choose to do a Custom installation and select only those applications you know you’ll need. This saves a lot of space, and if your requirements change you can always install the other applications later. On the other hand, if you’ve got lots of space and you want to learn or use the entire product, choose the default installation with typical options.

TIP 7. Don’t Ask for Virus Problems

Most users have antivirus software installed either at work or home. If you don’t, you definitely need to invest — not only in a software package but in a subscription to its updates. Since Office XP is a new product, your antivirus software may not be compatible. All reputable vendors have upgrades to integrate with Office XP. If you are having problems with the latest updates for your antivirus software, contact the software vendor immediately and ask for an update or upgrade compatible with Office XP.

TIP 8. Can You Network?

Keep in mind that an installation on a standalone machine is up to you. However, if you’re planning to network your machines and they run different versions of Office, you’ll need to use a combination of converters in order to network successfully. Microsoft provides the Office Converter Pack on its Web site, and it will install on Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000 PCs.

Tomorrow’s Part 2 will offer nine more tips.

D.E. Levine writes for WinPlanet, an chúng tôi site.

You're reading Getting Started With Office Xp – Part 1

Getting Started With Azure Synapse Analytics

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.


Azure Synapse Analytics is a cloud-based service that combines the capabilities of enterprise data warehousing, big data, data integration, data visualization and dashboarding. Azure Synapse empowers numerous organizations in decision-making with the help of prescriptive and predictive analytics capabilities using its integration with Azure Machine Learning Services, Apache Spark, Power BI and Stream Analytics. In this article, you will see an overview of Azure Synapse Analytics, how it works, features of Synapse Analytics, benefits and use cases of Synapse Analytics.

Azure Synapse Analytics – Overview

It is an integrated analytics service that gives you freedom to integrate, query and analyze data on your terms. Use Azure Synapse Studio to interact with the components that exists in the Azure Synapse Analytics service. Azure Synapse Studio is a low-code platform to perform a wide range of activities against your data.

I believe by now you have got an overview of what Azure Synapse analytics is. Now let’s dive quickly into the working of Azure Synapse Analytics.

How Azure Synapse Analytics Works?

It  analyses structured and semi-structured data across data warehouses, databases, data lakes and provide useful insights by performing data integration, querying and data visualization.

It does this by providing the following capabilities:

ETL and data integration capabilities are provided using Synapse pipelines which help the organizations to create data driven workflow to orchestrate and automate the data movement and data transformation. The reusable workflows are easy to adapt.

Deliver real-time hybrid transactional and analytical processing using Synapse Link.

Synapse Analytics can be easily integrated with other Azure data services such as Azure Databricks, Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Machine Learning, Power BI, etc.

I hope that you got a good understanding of how Azure Synapse Analytics works. Let’s now look at Azure Synapse Analytics features.

Features of Synapse Analytics

Automated restore points and backups: It ensures high data availability and fault tolerance in Synapse.

Scalability: Synapse Analytics scale-up and scale-down resources as per the workload demands. It provides scalable storage and compute resources.

Massively parallel processing & result-set caching: Synapse Analytics speed up the query process using parallel processing technique. It uses multiple computer processors in a coordinated manner to give fast results. Result-set caching delivers precomputed or cached results for a query.

Unified analytics platform: Synapse Analytics provides a single environment for performing data integration, data processing, data exploration, big data and machine learning solutions and data visualizations.

Enterprise data warehousing: Synapse Analytics provides enterprise data warehousing capabilities using dedicated SQL pool. Data Warehousing Units (DWU) determines the size of a dedicated SQL pool. Different types of data such as structured data, unstructured data, etc. is ingested into data warehouse from a variety of sources.

Integrated AI and BI: Organizations can easily integrate the AI and BI capabilities with Synapse. Using synapse analytics, it is easy to create complex analytics with the integration of Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Storage, Azure Machine Learning and Power BI.

Choice of Languages: A variety of language choice is provided including SQL, Scala, Python, .NET etc. whether you use serverless or dedicated resources.

Security: It provides various security options such as data masking, data encryption and granular access controls.

Easily Integrable with other Azure services: Synapse Analytics can be easily integrated with other Azure data services such as Azure Databricks, Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Machine Learning, Power BI, etc.

Benefits of using Synapse Analytics

Infrastructure cost reduction: Synapse Analytics provides pay-as-you-go pricing model and no infrastructure is required from customer end. Thus, it saves of infrastructure cost as Azure take care of the infrastructure.

Accelerated data analytics and processing: Synapse Analytics has almost no downtimes because of workload variations due to instant scalability and flexibility. It becomes easy to develop complex data solutions using Synapse as it provides single environment for performing data integration, data processing, data exploration, big data and machine learning solutions and data visualizations. Thus, it helps to accelerate data analytics and processing.

Security: It provides various security options such as data masking, data encryption and granular access controls. Granular access controls are provided using row-level security and column-level security.

High availability & fault tolerance: The automated restore points and backups in Azure Synapse will help to ensure high availability.

User cases

The below are some use cases for Azure Synapse Analytics:

Customer analytics: Azure Synapse Analytics can be used for customer segmentation and modeling. Machine learning capabilities of Azure Synapse will help to predict the customer buying pattern, provide personalized product recommendation and grouping product of similar interests and category.

Fraud detection: For fraud detection while transferring cash and during claims, Synapse could be used to detect suspicious activities or transactions. It can also be used to avoid invalid user check-in and claim fraud.

Patient monitoring: Azure Synapse Analytics can be used for storing and monitoring patient data. Machine learning capabilities of Azure Synapse will help in identifying patterns in patient conditions and provide care plan recommendations.


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Getting Started With The Basics Of Docker


“Let’s containerize your code to ship worldwide!” If you read the above quote, you must think, what does this all mean? Well, my friend, this is what Docker is. Let me explain it with an example.

The answer is that they can pack/containerize their code with all the dependencies and share them. Once the file is received, they need to build it from the source. Since everything runs at the top of the application layer, cross-platforming can be established.

The tool used to perform the above operation is Docker, a must-know for any developer. This article will teach you all the essentials needed to use Docker. Here is what to expect:

Learning Objectives

1. Yo out the basics of docker, how it works, and its essential components.

2. Installing it on multiple operating systems.

3. Learn all Docker CLI commands to get started as a beginner.

3. Apply the knowledge learned to run your 1st docker image.

3. Replicate a real case scenario to understand how to use it in real life as a developer.

4. Tips and tricks to make your docker usage seamless and error-free.

 This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.

4.7 Verification


Extra Resources

What do you Mean by Docker?

Docker is an open-source platform that helps build, run, and share applications. It is lightweight, fast, and efficient with local development features, which gives it an edge over competitors.

It makes development more manageable, predictable, and efficient by eliminating repetitive development tasks like installing dependencies, exposing ports, setting environment variables, and much more.

At its core, Docker consists of 3 components:

Docker file – Written instructions to create a blueprint / Docker Image.

Image – Immutable snapshot of the environment for running Docker Containers.

Containers – Running process

Let’s see how it works.

You start by writing a docker file that contains coded instructions to rebuild the environment. These are called docker images.

Now, these images can be uploaded/ pushed to the public/private registries, and image details can be shared.

Finally, anyone can pull those images to start instances, also known as containers. The interesting fact is that one can run multiple containers across multiple machines.

Here is an image to understand the process better:

Breakdown Of Docker Components

Apart from this, Docker has two more components, Docker CLI and Docker desktop. Think of it as a way to interact with containers more granularly.

Docker CLI is a command line tool for developers to build, run, and stop images using docker daemon(Docker’s native request and API handler for ideas, networks, containers/processes, and volumes).

On the other hand, Docker desktop is a GUI that better visualizes all containers (processes) to imagine better what’s going under the hood. It gives you access to docker hub and docker-swarm CLI commands and allows you to run, pause or stop containers – Better for beginners.

Source: Docker Desktop

How to Install Docker to your PC?

The easiest way to get started is installing docker desktop, which installs CLI and daemon in the backend, which is necessary to run docker commands. Here is how to do it.

Note: For a smooth process, kindly create an account. It’s free!

For Windows

Head over to Docker Desktop For Windows website.

Accept the terms and conditions. Follow through the rest installation guide, and you are done.

Open the desktop application and go through the tutorial. They are highly suggested!

Note that you must meet the system requirements listed on the downloading page.

For Mac

Head over to the Docker Desktop For Mac website.

Accept the terms and conditions. Follow through the rest installation guide, and you are done.

Open the desktop application and go through the tutorial. They are highly suggested!

For Linux

Here is a snapshot of how the desktop will look like:

Having installed Docker, it’s time to use it; let’s get going!

Understanding the Basics of Using Docker

Before using Docker, a few things need to be fixed. Please do so to avoid errors during the workflow.

Prerequires (WSL & Docker Daemon)

For Windows users, the Windows Subsystem For Linux (WSL) is required to follow the tutorial. To install WSL, open your terminal with admin permission and run the following command:

will --install

This installs the latest ubuntu version of Linux.

Next, to use Docker Daemon, open your docker desktop and wait till the whale icon turns green. Now minimize the window and follow along:)

Pulling Images

The primary usage of Docker is to replicate the environment using images and containers. So let’s start by pulling some images (this case, Nginx).

To pull containers, you can use the following:

docker pull .

This pulls the latest container of the image name from the docker hub.

Now, as we are pulling the Nginx image, our code will be:

docker pull nginx

We need to specify the version as a flag to add a custom version. For example, this pulls the Nginx 1.23 version:

There are multiple flags, each corresponding to a specific image. You can access other version tags here.

To access tags for different containers, you can head to the Docker Hub website, select your desired image and look under Tags.

Here is a snapshot:

Check for Tags. 

To check if everything worked fine, you can run the following:

docker images

The output will look something like this:

This gives all the images listed on your local storage (Yup, it stores your images locally and is called a container!)

Next, let’s run the container.

Run Container

To run the image (containers), type in the following command.

docker run -d -p 8080:80 --name container-name nginx

Here are a few things to know while executing:

docker run :- default command to run containers & docker native

-d:- This flag tells it to run the container in the backend, detached to a terminal (A life saver!)

-p:- Means on which Docker can expose the port to use for the container. As you may recognize, 8080 is the default for the local host at port 80.

–name:- This tag allows users to give a custom name to their containers for easy navigation. Make sure you add something relatable to the project, like an nginx-container.

nginx:- service you want to run inside your container.

To check if everything ran according to plan, execute the following:

docker ps

This will list all the running containers – foreground and background. You can also check with Docker Desktop by checking STATUS as running.


docker ps -a

This displays all the containers present on the local system, despite their status.


Stopping & Starting Containers

Sometimes you need to start or stop the containers at your disposal. You can enable the functionality using the following:

docker stop docker start

E.g., To stop the nginx container, you will use the following:

docker stop nginx-container

You can verify the execution by checking the Exited status in Docker Desktop.

Status for Verification

Tip: Make sure to stop the container permanently, else it will keep using your resource in the background leading to a slowing of your machine yourself

To restart the container, use the following:

docker start nginx-container

To verify again, check for the Running status beside the container name in Docker Desktop.

Status for Verification

These are all the basic CLI commands needed to start using Docker. Let’s now look at the other side of the application usage – Containerizing.

Building A Custom Image

Remember, the whole point of Docker is to containerize your code to ship it around the globe. Let’s now look at how you can build your image and run it later.

Note: This section assumes you are good with Command Line Interface usage and have VS Code installed.

Also, the whole point here is to show you how to use Docker by replicating a real-case scenario. So this tutorial uses a basic HTML template for a web app starting point.

Defining Scenario

You(Harish) are working on a web app. Suddenly there is a bug, and you are unable to fix it. You contact your developer friend(Lisa), who says he can help you.

So you share the repo. But the fact that she is using the macOS and a different version of nginx(for web hosting), she faces dependency issues.

Knowing about Docker, she asks you to create a custom image and share it with him. Let’s see how you will handle the given task.


Here is what a typical process of building your image looks like in Docker terms:

You start by creating a docker file that holds all the instructions to build the environment from the ground up.

You build & push the image using the CLI commands and add a name/ tag to the image for easy searchability.

Now you share the image tag, and your friend can pull the image and spin up a container in his system.

Let’s see this in action!

Building The Web App- Optional

In the actual case scenario, you may already have your app/project, but for the tutorial’s sake, let’s create one.

Open your vs. code, create a new file called index.html, and paste the below code:

Hey, Lisa/

This is the custom NGINX Docker container you requested. Hope you fix the issue soon :p

As mentioned above, this basic template will serve as our project.

The next step is to write the docker file itself.

Writing Docker File

This is a crucial process. It’s worth noting that the daemon treats each statement in a file in terms of steps. So to make sure everything goes smoothly, consider writing them in order. You can find all details here.

To start, create a new file called the docker file. Inside it, write the following instructions:

FROM nginx:latest COPY ./index.html /usr/share/nginx/html/index.html

Let’s now look at the code.

In line 1 FROM command pulls the latest version of the nginx image from the hub, acting as a base to build the custom image. Think of it as running a custom nginx version at the top of the latest version for better reproducibility in case of fallback.

By default, nginx itself comes with an chúng tôi file, so it’s essential to overwrite that with our web app. The same is done in line 2 using the COPY command, which takes the file to copy and copies the path. So read the commands as:

COPY file path/to/copy

That’s all you need to do. Now let’s build the image.

Building Docker Image (Custom)

To build the docker image, we will use its build command:

docker build -t image-name .

Here -t refers to the tag, and image-name refers to any name you define but make sure it’s meaningful. Also, the “.”  at the end is necessary and not a mistake.

So to build the custom container you defined, code changes to:

docker build -t custom-ngnix-image .

The building process may take a few minutes but be patient. Once it is successfully done, you will see the below as output.

To verify if everything worked fine, check using desktop app or use :

docker image ls

This list out all the images available on your machine.


So you made the image with a custom-ngnix-image tag and shared it with a friend. Let’s now see how she can rebuild the environment using the same.

Running Container (Custom)

To run the container, she open’s the terminal and pastes the following command:

docker run -d -p 8080:80 --name custom-container custom-ngnix-image docker ps

Well, if the above looks fancy. Here is a generic version:

docker run -d -p 8080:80 --name container-name image-name

If you see, everything looks familiar to the previously discussed run command, with two differences:

–name:- This flag has the new container name (custom-container). This will be the name to distinguish this container/process from the rest of your system.

image-name:- Observe the name of the custom image you defined while building the container. Make sure to use the same name as in the 1st line of code.

Finally, to check the image tag in case / check the status, they can run the following:

docker ps

Again this will list all the running containers, but notice the NAMES column; it has the same tag she defined. Also, it’s worth knowing that despite the given name, it assigns a unique container ID to each process.


Remember, we overwrote the index.html(web app) file. It’s worth checking whether that web app is hosted on nginx.

To check it, visit the local host (why so?) and check if it displays a web app. In our case, it should display the text in the chúng tôi file.


Web App

The above method can be used to host a full fledge app too. You first must build the image and open the port you defined for the daemon to listen to.

Note: Make sure you stop the container after use. Pretty important!


Suppose you have come this far; congrats! You know far more than your peers and can start using Docker. Here is what we have learned today:

Why Docker – We started by seeing where it becomes necessary for development operations. I hope Harish and Lisa can now fix their app in no time.

Fundamentals – We learned about Docker, the fundamentals of how it works, and understand the terminologies such as file, image, and containers. Apart from this, we also looked at CLI and Desktop.

Installation – We learned different ways of installing it across multiple platforms.

Running Containers – We ran containers/ process using pre-built images and saw a lot of CLI command in the process. Remember the usage of tags and what they do.

Building Custom Containers – We took our understanding to the next level by creating our image (custom – image) and looking at how to run and verify it. Again, we learned a few more commands, usage, and syntax.

So I hope you are convinced why it is a must tool for devs and dev teams and how it can aid your development journey.

If you face any issue with any of the sections or commands, feel free to reach out to me on my socials: LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

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Four Food Pranks For Office Life On April 1

The men stuck a sticker on the back of another man.

Have some fun but don’t be this guy.

Psst. Hey. We see you planning for April Fools’ Day. We know you’re looking to slip a whoopee cushion under the CEO’s butt before that big business meeting. Hilarious. Truly. But—and hear me out—maybe humiliating the person who can fire you is not the best way to spend the first day of April.

In the office, there’s a fine line between funny and annoying. That’s why we’ve drawn up this list of simple, harmless pranks that cost next to nothing.

Make ‘wrong’ candy

Color can affect our perception of food in subtle ways. Your colleagues likely associate certain colors with certain flavors, so turn those assumptions on their head by making hard candy with an unexpected flavor that doesn’t match the color.

Of course, since you’re going to be playing with food for most of these pranks, it’s important to be aware of any food allergies your friends or colleagues may have. These jokes can be fun, but not if you send someone diving for their EpiPen.

What you’ll need:



Food coloring



Mixing spoon

Candy thermometer or another heat-resistant digital thermometer

Greased baking sheet

First, melt up to two cups of sugar and the same amount of water in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. This could take a while, but using larger amounts of sugar or rushing the heating process could ruin the candy. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 300-310 degrees Fahrenheit, known as the “hard crack” stage.

Once it hits that point, take the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the food coloring and flavoring. Then, pour the sugar onto the greased baking sheet. Once the sugar hardens, break it up, bring it to work, and watch the surprise as your green cherry and blue apple candy disappears.

The talking banana

What you’ll need:

A banana

A toothpick

Using the toothpick or another similarly sharp object, lightly score the skin of a ripening banana. Maybe your office has communal bananas, or maybe you’ve brought one from home, but don’t rummage through coworkers lunches in search of the yellow fruit. The office fridge is a sacred place. When your message is complete, let the banana ripen somewhere visible and someone should eventually notice the food is “talking” to them. This is also ideal for passive-aggressive notes about not replying to emails.

Hide an apple in an orange

Why compare apples and oranges when you can fuse them both together?

What you’ll need:

An apple

A slightly larger orange

A knife

A spoon

To pull this off, slice an “x” in the top of the orange and ease the flaps open, pulling out the orange flesh with your fingers or a spoon while leaving the peel intact. Then, slide the empty rind over the apple and close the flaps. The fructose in the peel should keep everything stuck together and looking like a normal orange.

For maximum effect, offer the Frankenstein fruit to a friend as a thoughtful gift. If you want to stay hands-off, though, you can leave an entire bowl of “oranges” in a common area.

‘Dog’ biscuits

Much like the “wrong” candy prank, this one preys on our assumptions. Dog biscuits can resemble cookies meant for humans, and it’s easy to find dog biscuit molds online. Much like the color of our food, its shape is an important part of the eating process. Serving someone a square pie, for example, can throw a wrench in their brain’s machinery.

What you’ll need:

Cookie dough

Dog biscuit mold

This one’s pretty easy. Bake a few delicious cookies in the dog biscuit molds and bring them to work. Then, when the time is right, start eating them in the company of your coworkers and wait until somebody notices.

Getting Started In Seo: 10 Things Every Seo Strategy Needs To Succeed

Are you looking to create an SEO strategy for your business?

Don’t know where to start?

Creating and executing your first SEO strategy can seem daunting and complicated. But, with the right resources, businesses of any size can see the growth they are looking for.

On August 10, I moderated a webinar by Matt Salzl, VP of Sales at Manta.

Salzl showed 10 things every SEO campaign needs to succeed.

Here is a summary of the webinar. To access the entire presentation, complete the form.

1. Acknowledge The Importance Of SEO In Your Business

SEO gets businesses to rank at the top of both.

Understanding how SEO works for your business helps you plug it into your business strategy in the right places.

[Learn All The Benefits Of SEO] Instantly access the webinar →

2. Know Your Audience

A successful SEO campaign begins with understanding who you are and who you’re explicitly marketing to.

Here’s how you can understand your audience better:

Create buyer personas.

Understand how your product benefits them.

Define your value proposition.

Use analytics to understand your traffic & demographics.

Learn from the competition.

Know if you’re targeting a local or national audience.

3. Define Your Business Goals

Determine where you want to be one month, three months, six months, a year, two years, and five years from now.

Put benchmarks from a business standpoint and get a bigger picture of why you need SEO and where it plugs in.

When you outline your business goals, you not only know what you’re working towards, but you’ll also be able to determine your SEO budget, types of work, and types of campaigns that will best help your business succeed.

4. Determine The Intent Of Your Website

Once you know your business goals, it’s time to decide how your website drives you to those goals.

For your SEO campaign to succeed, you need to clarify the purpose of your website.

[Learn The Purposes You Can Choose From] Instantly access the webinar →

5. Research & Use Relevant Keywords

Once you have an idea of your website’s purpose, ask yourself why the searcher is looking for your site. What is the searcher’s intent?

Is it to find, learn, or buy?

The different kinds of intent are:





[Unlock What Each Intent Means] Instantly access the webinar →

6. Optimize Your Local Presence

Local search growth has been increasing tremendously since 2023.

If you have a local brick-and-mortar store, and you have a storefront, you’ll need to work on your:

Google Map Pack & Maps integrations on your website.

Google Business Profile.

Review Management.

Proximity optimization.

Relevance optimization.

Prominence optimization.

Local Business Citations submissions.

Classified Business Listing submissions.

Remember that the primary tool for optimization is content. But where’s the best place to start?

[Learn How To Get Started] Instantly access the webinar →

7. Fix Website Issues & Optimize For Mobile

If you feel no one’s finding you or your website, you may have overlooked the technical SEO aspects of it: one of which is mobile optimization.

So, make sure your site is optimized not only for desktop but also for mobile.

If you have a local business, “near me” searches work best when people use their mobile devices.

[Learn How To Optimize For Mobile] Instantly access the webinar →

8. Know The Types Of Content That Rank Well

Make sure your content reflects the intent of your website and what your users want.

Consider writing or creating:

Longer content.

Repurposed content.

Direct answers.

Video and image carousels.

Tools and widgets.

Product listings.

[Get Tips For Making Engaging Content] Instantly access the webinar →

9. Include A Backlink Strategy

Just like SEO, backlinking is not dead. It has just evolved.

Here are the strategies to look forward to when it comes to link building:

Anchor text: What word in your content is your anchor for your link?

Link content: Make sure your link is relevant to the content around it.

Trustworthy links: Link only to secure websites with high trust scores.

[Learn All Current Backlink Strategies] Instantly access the webinar →

10. Get More Reviews

More and more people are reading reviews before they move forward with your product or service.

The more reviews your business gets, the higher your ranking will be, so try reaching out to past or current customers for reviews.

[Slides] Getting Started In SEO: 10 Things Every SEO Strategy Needs To Succeed

Here’s the presentation:

Join Us For Our Next Webinar! KPIs, Metrics & Benchmarks That Matter For SEO Success In 2023

Reserve my Seat

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

How Newbies Can Get Started With Cro

If you run an e-commerce store, you probably aren’t satisfied with the conversions and revenue you’re getting. More is always better.

And even if you are satisfied with your conversion rates, there’s always an opportunity to improve. Don’t assume there’s a ceiling where you just can’t go any higher.

If you’re happy with 7%, you’d probably be happier with 10%. Don’t settle into the mindset of “my conversion rates are better than the industry average of X%.”

The conversion rate you should be striving for is any rate that’s better than what you have right now. In short – you should always be working to improve.

Here is where you can start making changes to improve the user experience and boost your conversion rates, and you don’t need a ton of CRO knowledge to make it happen.

Add Better Product Images

When people walk into a store, they’re able to physically handle the products. The can turn it over, inspect it, and experience the product in person. That’s not possible in an online environment.

Images can help the customer imagine how the product fits into their life and how it will solve their problem.

Brookstone, for example, includes a variety of images for each of their products showcasing how they’re used.

High-quality images are a great investment, and the more you have the better. Take pictures from multiple angles and include images of the product being used by someone who fits the target audience.

Don’t just rely on basic product photos with a plain background. Find ways to tell a story and make an emotional connection using those images.

Use Trust Signals

A first-time visitor has absolutely no reason to trust you. You’re not a well-known brand. Unless they came to you based on the trusted recommendation of others, it can be a hard sell getting them to turn over their credit card information.

Incorporating trust signals into your site helps. They can ease the tension and make visitors more likely to convert. Trust symbols include:

Brand or manufacturer logos

Security logos (VeriSign, secure payment)

Accreditation (Better Business Bureau, Industry associations)

Consumer reviews

Surprisingly, in a study from UXMatters, analysts found that “icons such as PayPal, VeriSign, and Visa” were among the highest-rated trust elements on a site for first time visitors.

All it takes is a few minutes to add these logos (assuming you qualify) to your pages.

Improve Your Product Descriptions

Don’t be tempted to rely on basic manufacturer descriptions for your products, and avoid copying descriptions from competitor sites at all costs. Apart from the ethical issue of plagiarism, putting duplicate content on your site can impact your search visibility.

Write compelling, unique and informative descriptions that support the photos you use. Your copy should be centered on the value proposition, with clear benefit statements that tell the reader why they should buy your product.

If you’re wondering how long the copy should be the answer is simple: long enough to answer every question the customer could possibly have about the product.

They don’t have to read the entire description. They only need to read long enough to convince them that this is the solution they were looking for.

Most e-commerce platforms will either give you two sections for descriptions (a long and a short description), or they’ll pull a short description from the longer copy.

Zappos gets it right. The content isn’t overwhelming and instead combines product specs with benefit statements for the most impact.

Tackle Shipping Costs

Shipping costs are the top reason for cart abandonment in e-commerce. Not only will customers bounce if they need to go clear through the checkout process to get shipping rates, but they’re likely to comparison shop to see if they can get a better shipping rate.

More than 50% of e-commerce merchants offer either completely free shipping or free shipping based on the value of the customer’s cart.

According to a study from E-tailing, free shipping is the #1 deciding factor for consumers shopping online, and 73% consider it a critical factor in whether or not they’ll buy a product. As many as 93% of shoppers say they would purchase more products if free shipping was available.

If you can, eliminate your shipping rates by absorbing its cost into your products.

Address Shopping Cart Abandonment

Sometimes conversions happen outside of your store. On average, 68% of shopping carts are abandoned. It can happen for a variety of reasons, and you’ll always have some measure of cart abandonment.

Go after those lost sales with cart abandonment emails. Most e-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce have built-in auto-responders you can configure to trigger when a cart is abandoned. Customize the emails, provide an offer to get back to the store, and reclaim those lost conversions.

Make It Easy to Get Support

Some of your potential customers will have concerns about how well a product will work, and what they need to do if there’s a problem.

Eliminate their concerns by making your support options readily visible and available to all. A good start is putting contact information front and center in the header and/or footer of your site. Then, add other contact and support elements including:

A contact form

Ticketing system for support

Home office address

Dedicated support email

Live chat interface

Listing any of your social accounts also lets your customers know they can reach you through those channels as well.

Use Videos on Product Pages

Shoppers who view video are almost 2x as likely to purchase a product than non-viewers. If static images are effective at helping a customer understand and settle on a product, then video is an even better option for letting them really experience the product.

Use videos that showcase the product, including its use in real-world situations. ASOS uses videos for all of their products, with the models showing the fit of clothing from a variety of angles.

Make Your Calls to Action Stand Out

Part of a clean user experience is making it easy for customers to navigate and add items to their cart. You don’t want to force customers to hunt for any button needed to move them forward in the checkout process.

Make sure your buttons for adding products to the cart or wishlist, the checkout, or other primary calls to action are colored in contrast to the rest of your site. Make them sizable enough to be seen. Never rely on standalone text links for cart additions or checkout.

Don’t Forget the Upsell

No matter what industry you’re in, I highly recommend working upsells into your sales process. If you’re already going to win the conversion, why not increase the average order value?

Just be mindful not to dump your upsells into the checkout process. It can be frustrating when a customer wants to finish their order but they keep encountering “limited offers” or add-on products.

I had this problem with Apple the last time I ordered an iPhone – I had to wade through a handful of unwanted add-ons just to get to the cart.

Leverage Social Proof

Thanks to expanded API integration and a host of startups offering specialized products, you can add a lot more conversion potential to your product pages. Apps like Notify trigger when someone makes a purchase from your store, showing a notification to other visitors with general product details.

That kind of social proof coupled with user reviews and testimonials can increase the comfort factor of a potential customer and drive them to make their purchase.

Minimize the Required Info

If you’re requiring customers to register an account before they can make a purchase – stop. This is killing your conversions. Give them the option to check out as a guest, with an opt-in along the way that asks them if they would like to save their account info for later.

It’s a clean way to streamline the checkout process that won’t feel invasive or interruptive to your customer.

I also recommend cutting the size of your checkout forms down and limiting it to a single page.

Accordion style checkouts make for a streamlined experience and reduce page load fatigue that can trigger cart abandonment. If you must have a multi-page checkout, be sure to include a progress indicator so the customer can see how many steps remain to completion.

Test Every Change You Make

No matter what change you make, big or small, conversion optimization is about measuring progress. I never make a change in any of my digital assets or copy without running an A/B test. Without testing, there’s no way to know if the changes you made helped or hurt your conversions.

You can’t go by raw analytics alone, because there are too many variables that impact conversions. A/B testing  will let you do side by side comparisons on how even the smallest changed alter conversions vs the original piece.

Image Sources:

Featured Image: ThreeDigitIQ/YouTube

All screenshots taken by Andrew Raso June 2024

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