sad dog

Companies aren't giving their websites the attention that they deserve, according to research by Cambridge, Mass.-based inbound marketing company HubSpot.

In a new report published yesterday, HubSpot graded websites across four key attributes: performance, mobile, SEO and security.

The average overall grade? A "D-" at 60 percent. Mom and Dad won’t be happy with your website efforts, folks.

The research was done using data from thousands of URLs submitted to HubSpot's Website Grader which allows users to get a personalized report card on their website.

Some findings from the report include:

  1. 1 in 5 sites are protected by SSL. A failing grade. Google recently announced that SSL will be a ranking factor in search results.

  2. On average websites take 3.9 seconds to load. While that may seem acceptable, studies has revealed that web users expect a load time of three seconds or less. Otherwise they'll abandon the site, according to HubSpot officials.

  3. 68 percent of sites are mobile responsive. This is a problem for the remaining 32 percent since Google now looks for mobile responsiveness or a dedicated mobile site in their search algorithms.

  4. 77 percent of websites have page titles and just 42 percent have properly configured meta descriptions. There's really no excuse for either of these to be anything less than 100 percent, HubSpot officials said. Page titles, meta descriptions, and other page features like headline tags and site maps are key elements to helping websites break through the clutter of the internet and helping visitors understand exactly what information they can find on a site.

Cash for Elastic Path

Vancouver-based Elastic Path Software announced a $10 funding round Thursday. Yaletown Venture Partners and the BDC Venture Capital IT Fund led the financing round for the enterprise commerce company.

Elastic Path officials said they will use the money to grow the company’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revenues, deepen investment in partner channels and improve its commerce platform.

“Our customers are telling us that omnichannel service is no longer an option for doing business, it’s a requirement,” Harry Chemko, CEO of Elastic Path Software, said in a statement.

“This is forcing companies to rethink their current marketing and customer service strategies. Buyers want the ability to shop from one channel to the next and assume the brand will recognize their preferences and actions.”

In the last year Elastic Path has focused on securing partnerships with primarily digital marketing agencies and enterprise systems integrators.

“You can’t grow by doing everything yourself,” Andrew Lugsdin, partner at BDC Venture Capital IT Fund, said in a statement.

“Elastic Path has created a strong and viable partner ecosystem that will allow the company to scale, using less resources internally, yet having a laser-focused partner that generates results for each industry or vertical that makes sense to pursue.”

PhotoShelter Jumps on the Video Bandwagon

PhotoShelter has added video capabilities to the new version of its Libris cloud-based Digital Asset Management solution.

PhotoShelter expanded in January from a photography website to provider of a targeted DAM solution. Libris offers centralized hybrid storage for visual assets through drag and drop multi-file upload.

It also boasts intuitive organization using collections, galleries and searchable metadata functionality, permission control management and distribution options to internal and external stakeholders.

Andrew Fingerman, CEO of PhotoShelter, described it as a "simple, affordable solution" that helps organizations communicate to their audience and "securely preserve their history."

It's already in use by organizations as diverse as ConocoPhillips, the Seattle Seahawks and the University of North Carolina.

Translation Start-Up Builds on SAP Solution

New York City-based Smartling wants to make it easier for organizations to speak their customers' languages.

It just introduced a Translation Connector for SAP hybris Commerce, which is designed to help users more seamlessly connect to Smartling’s Global Fluency Platform from within the SAP hybris Commerce solution.

From there, they can to submit content for translation and localization to be fulfilled by their preferred language service providers.

Andrew Saxe
"The resulting high-quality multilingual content enables organizations to provide localized digital experiences that improve customer acquisition and retention while driving global growth," Smartling noted in a statement.

The new product enables customers "to easily, efficiently and cost-effectively create content that supports their global customer engagement and growth goals," said Andrew Saxe, vice president of products at Smartling.

Smartling was founded to help organizations localize or translate everything from their packaging materials and business documents, to apps and websites, down to the very last button and error message.

Brightidea's Fall Release

Innovation management software provider Brightidea of San Francisco announced its fall 2015 release this month. Officials said the platform updates will help innovation program leaders more effectively manage innovation across corporate initiatives.

“We serve strategy and innovation executives who are struggling with the alignment, accountability and impact of the investments they make to drive more innovation at their company,” Gretchen Hoffman, vice president of marketing for 50-employee, 16-year-old Brightidea, told CMSWire.

Brightidea’s Innovation Program Management software makes it easy to setup, track and compare a variety of innovation activities, and identify which investments are yielding the best results, according to Hoffman.

The fall release includes:

  • Apps model for innovation: re-built innovation workflows, configurations, templates and knowledge assets
  • Problem solving app: runs challenges that tap the crowd for fresh and novel ideas to solve intractable problems
  • Idea management app: universal process for collecting and managing ideas of all kinds across an organization
  • Design research app: enhance the front end of a design thinking process by collecting and synthesizing observations and insights
  • Hackathon app: beta app to organize, manage and execute a company hackathon
  • 20 percent time app: beta app for tracking a 20 percent time initiative, where team members are encouraged to dedicate a percentage of their time to pursuing innovative projects of their own choosing
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Title image by Stewart Black