My profuse apologies, it has been way too long since I have sent you any updates on this so I wanted to make sure that got done asap. A lot has been going on, both professionally and personally and I wanted to provide you with some information that can help your ongoing marketing efforts.
On the personal front, my father-in-law recently passed away but at age 94, he said he has already done everything he wanted to do and was ready to go home. I learned a lot from that man, I don’t think anyone could ask for a better in-law.
Our grandson is the apple of our eyes! If I would have realized that grandkids were so much fun, I would have had those first. At age 3 he is a real sweet boy. It is interesting to have a conversation with him because he frequently makes me think about things that “us old folks” take for granted, where he looks at the same thing and asks “why”. That is a lesson because that is such an excellent question for so many things.
Earlier this year, Melanie (my wife of 37 years) and I, along with two other couples, spent a fantastic vacation in Europe, touring Paris and the surrounding area for a few days (a full day in Normandy was outstanding), then getting on a cruise ship out of Amsterdam to tour the British Isles like Dover, Loch Ness, Dublin, Guernsey, etc. It was outstanding and a desperately needed diversion and personal battery recharger.
In terms of Telarus news, you can read about all that at the Telarus web site but one very notable item that you should be aware of is how Telarus has acquired CarrierSales, another Master Agency albeit smaller than Telarus. You can read the details at http://www.telarus.com/blog/master-agent-telarus-to-acquire-carriersales.php
Is Your Web Site Stagnating?
When you bought your domain name and set up your web site and hosting for your Telarus lead agent site, it was pretty simple, or at least a bit less painful than a root canal, right? And I’m willing to bet that you haven’t touched that site in months, perhaps years, right?
With ongoing changes to Google’s search algorithm, you may want to rethink that total hands-off approach to your web site. Google wants to see ACTIVE sites, and continues to devalue sites that are static which haven’t been changed in months or years.
An easy way to do that is to create a BLOG section on your website. If your site was setup with WordPress, that functionality is already there, you just need to make some entries in the blog occasionally. Those entries don’t have to be Nobel prize-winning masterpieces but rather just some telecom industry news blurbs, preferably something you have rewritten or reworded so that its not blatant plagiarism. But even if its not WordPress, hopefully you have some way to regularly add some content to your site about something newsworthy so that Google does not see your site as totally stagnant.
Why You Need An SSL Certificate For Your Web Site
Google in its almighty presence wants to make the Internet a safer place to surf, and in that light, starting back in October 2017, it has started to slowly roll out things to help guarantee that the Internet is safer, especially where a site requires information from the customer. Yes, like your Telarus GeoQuote sites, where the user enters name, email, address and phone.
Today you might not even notice this if you aren’t specifically looking for it, but go to your site and look to the left of the URL in your browser’s address bar. You will see a small “i” with a circle around it. Click on that small “i” and see what you get.
Holy moly, insecure? Yes, without an SSL certificate, in Google’s eyes, Google is telling the world that this site is INSECURE. And if you go into a couple of the fields on our site and enter some information like you are going to request a quote, you will note that the small “i” now expands to read like the graphic above where it’s telling the user that this site is not secure.
Over the coming months, Google is reported to become more aggressive with this, even starting to show sites in the Google search results as not secure, so that people will not want to visit your insecure site. Sure, you and I both know there’s nothing insecure about it, but when Google is going to lengths to “warn” people about insecure sites, how many visitors could you potentially lose?
You can resolve this with an SSL certificate. SSL is Secure Socket Layer, which in layman’s terms, encrypts the data going between your site and the server. And with an SSL certificate, the insecure warnings shown above will not display, which is more than a worthwhile investment.
SSL certificates are pretty cheap, you can easily get one and install it on your site for under $25 or so. It’s an ANNUAL thing so make yourself a note to renew it next year. If you’re not technical, check with your hosting provider and they can almost certainly walk you though how to get it installed, or might even do it for you. You can find SSL certificates for way MORE than $25 but keep looking, there is no sense in spending big bucks for it. Your site will then be accessed via HTTPS instead of just HTTP.
What Products Are You Promoting?
Fifteen years ago when Telarus started, the obvious product to offer was a T1 line. Telarus had several carriers with aggressive and guaranteed pricing, and many of the products we can offer today were still very much on the drawing board only back then.
But like everything else, things change. As I always say, change is inevitable except from a vending machine.
What I’m trying to say is you may want to stop promoting T1 lines. A common saying is that today, “10 MB Ethernet is the new T1”. And in fact, in most cases, 10 MB Ethernet today is cheaper than what a T1 cost 10-15 years ago.
Why stop promoting T1 lines? Two primary reasons:
(1) Everybody and their brother is offering T1 lines these days. While one never sells on price alone, the consumer has an order of magnitude more choices for where to get his T1 compared to the number of choices years ago.
(2) The amount and level of marketing effort required to promote T1 lines is increasing, while the returns from successful sales is decreasing. If you are going to invest effort into promoting something, it should be something that helps recoup your time and money you spent promoting it, and with T1 lines in many areas being under $300, it is hardly worth your time when there are much bigger fish in that sea.
So WHAT should you be promoting? Browse the Internet and see what’s hot in the telecom world right now. Fiber Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet will continue to be big as fiber gets deployed further and further across the nation and the world. MPLS will continue to flourish. More and more customers are requiring non-stop 24×7 continuous connectivity, and that frequently means a primary and a secondary circuit at each site, where one of the best ways to maximize that bandwidth, traffic shaping and failover is via SD-WAN appliances, which many of our carriers offer. Unified communications (UC) and hosted VoIP will continue to be big. Cloud storage and cloud virtual servers along with colocation will also be increasing.
Promote cable like Comcast or Spectrum? Probably not, as there is very little advantage to you or me in doing so. The customer service from both Comcast and Spectrum is horrible on a good day, and that reflects on me the agent. What about the dedicated fiber services from Comcast and Spectrum? Customer service does not improve as I have found, and the LATENCY on their “dedicated” fiber circuits is about 3 times the latency of a real carrier, so like anything else, the customer gets what he pays for. But personally, it is to your and my ultimate advantage to have one LESS customer than to have one MORE customer who is very unhappy with the carrier.
WHO should you be promoting to? Stay away from residential customers for the most part, like 98% of the time. A residential customer running a real bona fide business out of their home is not a good candidate for us, and many carriers will not even install a circuit of any type into a residential site, regardless of how valid or successful the business might be.
A real business is your best bet, and an even better bet if they have multiple locations, either in the same city or spread around the nation or even the world. Yes Telarus has several carriers with a strong worldwide presence. Promote your site, promote it on forums and social media, don’t let it stagnate and keep it current.
My best wishes to you and your family for a happy, safe and healthy holiday, and to be totally politically incorrect: Merry Christmas! Please feel free to contact me if you have thoughts, ideas, questions or concerns!
Jon Arnold, President
JA Communications Group Inc
Telarus Technical Consultant