Business Catalyst Blog

Don't miss the upcoming BC webinars!

Diana Iliescu Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Mike Sallander is a serial entrepreneur who has emerged as one of the leaders in the Business Catalyst community, co-founding Chicago Digital, BC Academe and Solid Sky, and also the new owner of the BC App Store. He is a unique problem solver who enjoys helping businesses and developers alike.

Pick the sessions below and register on your relevant timezone.

Tue/Wed, July 14th/15th: Abandoned Cart techniques to boost sales

Close to 70% of potential buyers are abandoning carts, which leaves a lot of money left on the table! Earning the sale by reengaging these customers can drive a lot more revenue for your business. In this webinar, Mike Sallander will walk through the techniques and implementations to track, reduce and re-engage with customers who abandon the cart or purchase page.


To help you put your learning into practice, webinar participants will be receive a 15% discount on their next website. (*Some conditions apply, see below)


Registrations are now open for the August and September sessions as well:

Tue/Wed, August 11th/12th: Speed Optimization to improve user experience and search engine rankings

Slow websites are hurting your bottom line because load time:

  • Is a major contributor in page abandonment
  • Decreases customer satisfaction
  • Makes it less likely that customers will do business with your site again
  • Reduces conversion rates
  • Impacts your search engine rankings

The good news is that Business Catalyst with the power of BC.Next puts you in control of significantly improving your page speeds. Mike Sallander will demonstrate techniques to improve your website load time and ultimately, the success of your website.


Tue/Wed, September 15th/16th: How module_data is changing the way we develop

This new tag in Business Catalyst is creating a myriad of new possibilities for website development with BC. Using the simple tag interface that all BC developers have come to love, you can now make server side API calls. This has a few implications:

  • Opens up new possibilities
  • Decrease the amount of time it takes to develop
  • Reduces dependencies on javascript work-arounds
  • Can improve site performance (page speeds)

Mike Sallander will reveal a few development recipes using the module_data tag.


If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

*15% discount coupon applies for new site upgrades on any yearly/biyearly desired plan, until the next renewal. Coupon validity: 30-Sep-2015, only available for the webinars’ attendees. The discount code will only be offered live, during the webinar session.

Thank you and see you there!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Episode 47 of the BC Podcast – Jayne Burgess

Diana Iliescu Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In this month’s interview Jayne Burgess from Flirt Group explains why it’s important to go out and see your clients in-person. She also discusses the advantages of being flexible, and making life easier for everyone involved in a project.

Tune in for Episode 47 of the Business Catalyst podcast!

Listen to this month’s podcast:
Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this episode:

  • Michael Sallander announces the BC App of the Month
  • Jayne explains why it’s important to meet clients in person
  • Jayne discusses how she makes life easier for those around her

Two of the biggest take-aways from my interview with Jayne is how she goes out of her way to make a personal connection with her clients, and also tries to make life easier for the people around her.

Get out the door.
When possible, do site-visits. Meeting your clients in person will help build a personal relationship. Many of your competitors do everything online and communicate only through email. If you take the time to see your clients, you will have a huge advantage over virtual companies. You will stand out.

Also, seeing your client’s work environment will also give you a better understanding of how their business operates. Understanding the “big picture” will allow you to solve their overall business problems, not just quote on a website.

Make it easy.
Jayne figures out how to make the workflows as simple as possible for her developers and her clients.
For example, Jayne won’t make her clients log in to a project management tool if their normal workflow is email. She makes her client’s workflow easier and then adapts to get the information into the Flirt Group’s internal workflow.

To learn more, listen to the entire interview.

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

Resources mentioned in podcast:

App of the month: Review

Diana Iliescu Monday, June 29, 2015

61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and they are now essential for e-commerce sites.
User reviews are proven sales drivers, and something the majority of customers will want to see before deciding to make a purchase. Quite simply, user reviews increase conversions. They can eliminate any doubts potential customers may have about a product, or can help product selection.

Introducing the Customer Review App

'Review' will help you easily add customer submitted reviews to your sites. It comes with basic styling and can be easily styled and re-styled using CSS.
'Review' incorporates structured data (Rich Snippets) with www.schema.org vocabulary who is sponsored by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex. This will help make your reviews stand out as correctly formatted data helps search engines create better search result that increase click-through rates.

Key Features of the App

Easy Install - 'Review' makes it easy format customer reviews to suit a site.

Rich Snippets - 'Review' has built in rich snippets using www.schema.org structured data for e-commerce and can quickly be adapted for other review categories quickly and easily.

In App Features:

  • Multiple reviews
  • Requires approval
  • Anonymous reviews
  • Select starting review rating
  • Select starting title of your customer
  • Add, Remove fields easily
  • Reorder fields with drag and drop
  • Basic review fields - Rating, Name, Email, Title / Comment and Location
  • Product review fields – Recommend Button, Product Quality Rating and Product Value Rating

About the developer

Digital Fuel is a digital agency providing innovative, customized and proven solutions to businesses that wish to grow faster online. Digital Fuel has over 10 years’ experience developing brands, digital media, online business and digital marketing strategies.
Digital Fuel is an Adobe Business Catalyst partner that shares in a vision of a single place for small to medium size businesses to conduct their online business. Uniting a complex array of disjointed solution into a single easy to manage business powerhouse.
Powerful, simple and stress free business growth.

Webinar recording: Connecting Business Catalyst is Only an App Away!

Diana Iliescu Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thanks to those of you who attended our June BC webinar with Michael Sallander. In this webinar Mike uncovered for you simple, yet practical, examples of apps that connect BC to 3rd party platforms.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recordings here:


If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

See you next time!

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Tutorial of the month - BC.NEXT: What You Need to Know in Under 10 Minutes

Diana Iliescu Wednesday, June 10, 2015

This tutorial of the month is important for all Business Catalyst users - new and well-versed. This video focuses on the changes to Business Catalyst brought about by the new BC.Next Rendering Engine – a new way of building sites in Business Catalyst.

Scott Shefler, leading Business Catalyst expert and BC Academe Instructor, has all the information you need to know about BC.Next, in under 10 minutes.

Watch BC.Next Video

So, what are the new features, and what do you need to know? Here’s a quick overview:

New Rendering Engine
While implementing the new rendering engine, BC made sure that backwards compatibility standards were met. This means that if you are a current BC user and like the way you currently build sites, you can continue to develop and implement them the same way.

Module Tag Improvements
Old tags were a series of parameters separated by commas. This made it difficult to set up modules, and to understand later what the module was outputting. The new tags are a lot more practical and easier to understand. Each parameter is named, making it easier to understand and remember what you’re outputting.

BC Renders in JSON Format
This provides an intuitive way to grab data and manipulate it to your liking.

Liquid Markup Language Support
With Liquid, you are given greater control over what information you want to access, and total freedom to decide how it gets outputted, all in an intuitive and easy-to-understand way.

Suppressing the BC Injected JS/CSS
With BC.Next, you are given the option to disable style sheets and script links that BC has inserted in the page templates. This makes things less confusing during development, and gives the site better Google page speed scores.

New Admin Editor
The new admin editor may not be for everyone – play around with the new features to determine if it’s a fit for your business.

What do you think are the pros and cons of the new rendering engine? Have you used BC.Next, and if so, what has been your experience? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out Scott’s video, BC.Next: What You Need to Know in Under 10 Minutes, for more information and examples about these topics.

Don't miss the webinar this Wednesday: Connecting Business Catalyst is Only an App Away!

Diana Iliescu Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Michael Sallander is a serial entrepreneur who has emerged as one of the leaders in the Business Catalyst community, co-founding Chicago Digital, BC Academe, and Solid Sky. He is a unique problem solver who enjoys helping businesses and developers alike.

Business Catalyst does a lot of amazing things out of the box (especially with apps) but many times your clients have the need to connect BC with an external system such as CRM, Ticketing, Email Marketing, or Live Chat software. In this webinar, Mike Sallander will uncover for you simple, yet practical, examples of apps that connect BC to 3rd party platforms.

Pick the sessions below and register on your relevant timezone.

Wed, Jun 10th: Connecting Business Catalyst is Only an App Away with Michael Sallander

To help you put your learning into practice, webinar participants will receive a 15% discount on their next website. (*15% discount coupon applies for new site upgrades on any yearly/biyearly desired plan, until the next renewal. Coupon validity: 30-Sep-2015, only available for the webinars’ attendees. The discount code will only be offered live, during the webinar session.)

If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

See you there!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

2 upcoming BC Sandpiles

Diana Iliescu Monday, June 08, 2015

Weekly Day/Time:
San Francisco: Tuesdays, 5pm (all times adjusted in relation to this time)
New York City: Tuesdays, 8pm
London: Wednesdays, 1am
Sydney: Wednesdays, 10am

Using Liquid to Show Different Content Based on Opening Times
9th June (10th in AUS) 2015
Learn how to show different content depending on opening times. Mat Baxter from Commotion will share how to use module_json to gather opening times, compare to the current server date, and then work some magic!

Ask A Web Pro: Jayne Burgess
16th June (17th in AUS) 2015
Have you ever wondered how other BC Partners run their business? Do they use contracts? How do they handle Scope Creep? Do they charge for support? In this meeting we will run through a series of questions asking everything you want to know but are afraid to ask.

Full schedule: http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/
Sandpile Recordings: http://www.bcsandpile.com/business-catalyst/resources.htm

SEO Training Course exclusively for Business Catalyst

Diana Iliescu Monday, June 08, 2015

Our BC Partner in the UK, Platonik, have produced a free SEO Blueprint to help partners and their clients improve the visibility of their web pages in Google and boost website traffic.

Here's a summary of what is included in the blueprint:

1. Only give Google your best content

Since 2011, Google have been regularly changing the algorithms in their search engine to provide the user with the best content for the best search result, aiming to return higher quality websites higher up the search results. In other words, low quality websites will suffer. The SEO Blueprint explains what low quality and high quality pages are and how to remove or improve low quality pages.

2. Use the built-in on page optimisation features within Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst is a search engine friendly platform and you should use the built-in features to benefit your website. The SEO Blueprint highlights how to ensure your web pages, blog posts and content rich web app items have the correct on page optimisation settings and also provides recommendation for improving e-commerce page content.

3. Fix Duplicate Pages

Business Catalyst has a built-in sitemap that will provide and update Google with all your pages. Google Webmaster Tools can also tell you if you have any pages with duplicate page titles or duplicate page descriptions. The SEO Blueprint outlines how to rectify duplicate page issues.

4. Improve Page Quality and Internal Links

The SEO Blueprint pinpoints how you can rewrite page content or add additional content to pass the Google quality threshold and outlines two techniques that will improve your page visibility in Google and website traffic.

5. Add New Website Content based around research

The SEO Blueprint outlines some free and paid for research tools to find long tail key phrases relevant to your business or product that have “low volume but low competition”. For example, It is much easier to get traffic for “car insurance for left handed vintage cars” than “car insurance”.


To download the free SEO Blueprint visit http://www.platonik.co.uk/abc-seo

Also, there’s a SEO Training Course including a free summary chapter plus $50 off and a 30 day money back guarantee. Click here to enroll and enter the code ABC at the checkout or buy the training course at http://marketing.platonik.co.uk using code ABC to remove 20% off the course (offer ends 30 June 2015).

App of the month: Form Customizer

Diana Iliescu Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Introducing the Form Customizer App

The Business Catalyst Form Customizer App is a great concept and a useful tool which allows you to simplify the form editing process and convert the form from the table representation (like BC does by default) into Bootstrap and Foundation block, to allow better integration with a site page design. Most frontend developers use CSS frameworks and prefer using DIV-based markup instead of tables which are default mode for form markup in BC.

Clients who have just bought a site template in the marketplace often want to add new pages and also add new forms. Form Customizer is an easy tool for integrating such forms to a site design almost in just one click. It means that if your site template is based on the Zurb Foundation or Twitter Bootstrap frameworks you can make a BC form to be consistent with the whole site design very easy and without needing to know HTML and CSS.

Form Customizer saves a lot of your time especially if you are not a programmer, which prefer to edit the source code manually. You can change style and form view just visually.
The Application also supports many extra features, which make the working process much easier.

The built in history of the form editing allows experiments and tests with forms and can revert the changes with just two clicks, if needed. The Preview feature allows you to test form markup before publishing it to the site’s public page.

Special “drag and drop” mode allows you to easily rearrange form elements even if you have a multi-columns form. In addition, Form Customizer gives you a simple tool for using the “responsive” feature of both frameworks. For example, you can set a multi-columns mode for forms on smartphones and specify what specific form elements you can put to each column.

About the developer

GetInBlue is a BC partner, recently collaborating with 7bits software development based in Poltava Ukraine and changing business priorities. We are a software outsourcer, acquiring new clients every day helping with their Web Developments, Ecommerce and Start-up first stage Development requests. Recently decided to start developing App’s tools for BC partners, we believe there is scope inside Business Catalyst platform to try and make life a little easier for the developers, we have 14 programmers specialised in many specific languages, also we manage project.

Episode 46 of the BC Podcast – Dave Haggblad

Scott Reynolds Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In this month’s podcast, Dave Haggblad from Digital Ink Multimedia shares how he uses WHOSAYDO to make his clients' sites more successful.

Tune in for Episode 46 of the Business Catalyst podcast!

Listen to this month’s podcast:
Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this episode:

  • Michael Sallander announces the BC App of the Month
  • Dave walks through Digital Ink Multimedia’s process
  • Dave explains the value of WHOSAYDO

In this month’s interview Dave explains the three questions he asks before starting a project. He calls this process WHOSAYDO.

Who are you trying to talk to?
"When you talk to everybody you are talking to nobody"
Build a profile of your ideal customer. Be very specific. It should really feel like you’re talking to one person. Don’t worry, the rest of your clients will still hear the message, but your target clients, the ones you love to work with, will feel like your speaking just to them and that’s very powerful.

What are you trying to say to them?
"You can't have a website that says 50 things. No one will hear it."
What is your primary message? What is your secondary message? Everything you do with design and content should support the primary or secondary message.

What do you want them to do?
Make it clear how to take an action. Don't leave your visitor at the bottom of the page. After consuming your carefully crafted content, don’t leave your prospect not knowing what to do next. Don’t assume they will know how to contact you, sign up for your newsletter/course, or buy what you’re selling. Make it really clear what the next step is.

To learn more, listen to the entire interview.

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

Resources mentioned in podcast: