Now register your custom domains with Zoho Sites

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We have made minor changes to how you select a domain for your website. We believe this will streamline the process, and make it easy for you to choose between options. And of course, it is yet another reason for you to pick our PRO Plan. PRO users can now register their custom domain with us. When a domain is registered with us, all the mapping and configuration is automatically taken care of. The domain is ready to be used soon after registration.

When you attempt to publish your website for the very first time, you’ll be prompted to choose a unique domain name. Choose from the three options as in the image below.

Free subdomain:

This is ideal for beginners to get started with. You can learn the ropes of website building with a subdomain.

Map the custom domain you already own

Choose this option if you have an existing domain that was registered elsewhere and you want it hosted with Zoho.

Register a new domain now

Choose this option if

  • you don’t have a custom domain already
  • you are a PRO user.

By registering your custom domain with Zoho, you can escape the process of domain mapping and configuration. We handle it all for you.

Whether you choose a custom domain or subdomain, there are no restrictions on your creativity to building a great website with Zoho Sites.

 

Why Mobile Websites Matter

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Couch commerce is another term that is gaining a lot of attention in recent times, just as mobile internet. Thanks to the exponential growth of smartphones and tablets, people are no longer chained to their desktops. Both, commerce and communication, are carried out on the go. Of the consumers in your locality who web-search for a commodity or a vendor, nearly 50% are likely to do so on a mobile device. And mobile web usage has been predicted to surpass desktop internet usage by 2015. That’s how fast mobile web is taking over the browsing arena. If you still don’t buy it, eBay sells 4 Ferrari cars in a month, through mobile. So, without a dedicated website to cater to mobile internet traffic, you might lose to your local counterpart who is no better than you, but was smart enough to be mobile device friendly.

Why have a separate website for mobile devices?

Why not the same one for all devices? Mobile devices have relatively smaller screens, but their users are as potential as desktop users. That means you’ve got to deliver the same convincing browsing experience, in a much limited space. Mobile websites do just that.

The regular website, with all its images would take an awful lot of time to load on a mobile device. Despite that, the horizontal scroll bar makes it hard to navigate through the pages, and requires you to zoom in for better viewing. On the contrary, mobile websites are thumb-friendly, have compressed images, are easily navigable, and load much faster. This certainly enhances the mobile web experience of users, and lets you make the most of the rising mobile web traffic.

Websites for everyone, and every device

That is one of the best thing about Zoho Sites; it gets you ready on the mobile front, without any extra effort from you. When you publish your regular website, a mobile website is generated automatically; NO CONVERSION SOFTWARE. Both these versions believe in one URL. Prospects using mobile internet, need not access a different URL. The same URL, when accessed from a mobile device, takes the user to the mobile friendly version. See for yourself. Create your free mobile website.

Customer Spotlight : Sebastien Loves The Most Efficient Invoicing Software

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Over the years Zoho Invoice has proved to be an efficient invoicing software for small businesses. Sebastien Guardiola, the co-founder of KAPT, an award-winning mobile apps start-up in Southwestern France, has been enjoying using our invoice software for a long time.

Sebastian, who loves skiing in Alps had a lot of things to share about his company and experience using Zoho Invoice. KAPT which has been always innovating since its inception has come out with marvelous applications. Ou Dormir, an accommodation finder app and KAPT Touch, a communicating kiosk are those i can think of as of now.

 

KAPT has been able to easily organize its billing and streamline its invoicing process using Zoho Invoice. A mobile apps lover himself, Sebastien uses Zoho Invoice’s iPhone app to invoice his customers on the go.

 

As Sebastien says “Most of the times, we travel to our client places by bike or train. That time the iPhone invoice app comes handy. The app is easy to use and is very much efficient.”

If you’re interested to find out more about Sebastien’s love for Zoho Invoice, click here to read the complete story.

Pruning The Garden: Saying Goodbye to a Few Zoho Services

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Zoho’s strategy from the beginning has been to provide a wide portfolio of online applications so that you can focus on your business while we take care of the rest. Over time, we have launched many applications that support this mission. But from time to time we need look back and assess how those products are doing in relation to our expectations. Even the most well-tended gardens need some pruning every now and then!

We have decided to sunset some Zoho services so that we can focus our energy and delight our customers with our other products. Today we are announcing we will close

  • Zoho Challenge
  • Zoho CommentBox
  • Zoho Planner
  • Zoho Plugin for Office
  • Zoho Share
  • Zoho Viewer

Customers are, as always, our #1 priority. So you have plenty of time to get your data out. We will continue to allow access to these products (in read-only mode) until December 31st, 2012. On January 1st, 2013 data for all these products will be permanently deleted.

Current subscribers to paid plans of these products will automatically receive -in the next few days- a full refund of the value of their active subscription.

We are of course, a bit sad to see these products go. But we are a risk-taking company and we like to try many things. We know some of them will not be as successful as we want. We will move the resources (people and otherwise) we had dedicated to these services to our other more promising areas.

Sridhar

 

 

Make your sales happen with Zoho CRM for Google Apps – GDLsystems.com

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Regardless of the size and kind of a business one does, sales matters. To make the sales happen, one needs to have all crucial information about the opportunities in the market and make quick decisions. And that is exactly what Juan Pablo Orozco, CEO of GDLsystems, has in his mind. He says “If you don’t have the real time information, you are blind and you can’t take decisions. If you can’t take quick decisions you will be out of the business”

 

Juan wanted the best CRM software which would help improve sales. And here is how Zoho CRM facilitated GDL systems with finding more business opportunities in the market.

About GDLsystems.com:

GDL Systems is a Mexican company based in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Juan has 12 years experience in the field of IT and his expertise led him into starting his own organization in 2008. There are now 12 employees working for GDLsystems. GDL Systems specializes in information technology, with a mission to provide small and medium businesses access to useful Web applications and systems. Their main line of business are e-Commerce development, Web Page development, Web Application development and Online Marketing.

The GDLsystems team

Challenge:

GDLsystems was looking for a service that could help them improve their sales process. They wanted to analyze the market and find out more profitable opportunities. When asked Juan about the challenges they faced in the business he said ”People with several roles can forget important tasks and in turn there are chances of missing some opportunities.” He also added ”Being a small business often means more business areas than people and that means each individual must play several roles. In such a dynamic industry, cash flow can change for better or for worse on every month and we must be able to predict sales. Also small business has a tight budget but the needs are always big that is we have to grow and in the same time need to contain cost” 

Solution :

“I was looking for a CRM in Google Apps Market place and found Zoho CRM. Meantime we also evaluated SalesForce, SugarCRM, InfusionSoft among others. After evaluation and recommendations from friends I decided on Zoho CRM.”  ”No upfront cost, you pay as you go. So every business can afford to run Zoho CRM.” commented Juan on the pricing.

There are currently 4 members in their organization who use Zoho CRM. For more than a year now, they have been employing it for different purposes such as Lead registration, Lead conversion to Contact/Account, Opportunity registration/tracking and follow up, Opportunity report, Email automation, Task management and a lot more. Juan said ” The best part is, we can customize Zoho CRM just the way we want it.”

Result:

“I can’t imagine our Sales Department working without Zoho CRM.” said David Orozco, Sales Manager, GDLsystems and Juan added ”Zoho changed our sales process and we have a solid process now”

He also said ”Zoho CRM allows us to have a real time information to predict sales and income for the month. It helps us focus on the most profitable opportunities and made our sales team more productive. We can now create reports and export valuable information for further analysis. Zoho CRM also increased our ability to respond to customers more quickly than ever before.”

Thus after a long search Juan has found what is best for his business. Its time for you to find the right solution for your business.

Go ahead and try Zoho CRM for Google Apps now!

 

Search Engine Optimization: Elementary Essentials

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The topics discussed here are very simple changes to your webpages, which when combined, have a notable impact on how your website is treated by search engines.

Here is what matters most, and why.

Keywords:

It all starts with this, even though it is not exposed to users. It is the term that people search for, in order to arrive at a website. You first need to identify the keywords which are both, relevant to what you offer, and are likely to bring you traffic. Keywords of a page are different from keywords of another page, because each page has its own focus terms. Identifying keywords is the most important task of them all, because the title, description and URL of that page depend on, and contain the keywords.

The more specific your keywords are, the better. For example,if you own a bakery in Seattle, and specialize in muffins, then Muffins in Seattle is a better option than Cakes.

Users are more likely to click on a search result that contains the term they just searched for. That is why the title and description draw attention if when contain these keywords.

Title:

The title of your page is enclosed in <title> tags, and is exposed as marked in the image above. There are some guidelines an optimum title would always follow.

1. Uniqueness – No two pages of your website should have the same title.
2. Readability – It should be a meaningful sentence, long enough (preferably 65 characters), and is not spammy.
3. Keyword – The title should contain the keyword which that page focuses on. The sooner it appears in the title, the better.

Description:

Description appears below the title on search results, and should support the claim you’ve made in your title.

1. Preferably 160 characters long.
2. Should also contain the keyword focused on that page.
3. Should be unique, informative and interesting
4. Should sum up the content on the entire page.

URL Structure:

Easily understandable URL’s have two main advantages. They make your website easily navigable to users, and simplifies managing your pages. The characteristics of a good URL are,

1. few, easy words, no numbers
2. Not too long
3. Use specific keywords like home.html, contact.html, etc. instead of generic ones like page1.html, page2.html, etc.

Headings:

It is best to have only one H1 heading tag per page, which should contain the same keyword used in title and description tags.

SEO with Zoho Sites:

All these are enclosed in meta tags like <title>, <description>, etc. If you are managing your own HTML files on Zoho Sites, you are probably familiar with these tags. Otherwise, if you are using the drag-and-drop builder, things are even easier. Zoho Sites lets you enter meta details for every page on your site.

In the Settings page, you have SEO options.

Pick the page from the list, and enter the meta details for that page. Once done, save the changes, and pick another page to optimize.

In addition to these meta information, there is another essential optimization technique, but that happens automatically on Zoho Sites; the sitemap. For every website published, Zoho Sites automatically generates the sitemap.xml file. A sitemap helps search engines to identify the entire structure of your website, so that no page goes unnoticed. It also helps in identifying the navigation path to every page.

All the above parameters focus only on the text on a webpage. There are numerous other techniques to drive more traffic into your website, which we will gradually get into. Try optimizing your web pages by filling these parameters, and see how it affects your site’s ranking on search engines.

Sales Prospecting: Why you should LOVE your CRM

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Mark Hunter over at thesaleshunter.com has an interesting post titled “Why I hate CRM systems for Sales Prospecting

The reason is simple — far too many salespeople either blame their CRM system for being so complicated that it prevents them from doing what they need to be doing. Or they use the lack of a CRM system as an excuse for not doing anything.

At Zoho, we’ve always understood this challenge. As a sales rep, your CRM system should work for you and not against you.

Which is why we’ve redesigned our CRM with a focus on simplicity and ease of use. Our main aim is to create a CRM that helps sales reps minimize the time that they spend within the CRM system. So that they can maximize the time they spend on actual selling.

Of course, we’re constantly evolving the CRM interface towards achieving this aim.  And it really helps when we get feedback from our customers, telling us whether we’re on the right track.

 

 

Adam Stone, CEO of D-Tools talks about how Zoho CRM helped him automate the entire sales process at his company.

And yet, of course, there’s more to CRM than just software. While we’re happy to take care of the software aspect of it, trying to ensure simplicity and ease of use, there’s a lot more that you can do at your end, to make CRM work for you.