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Note to Press

Periodically we will post informative and timely press releases for republication below. If one of our articles is published by your organization, please send a confirmation of publication to Media@InkWebDesign.com for our media file.

All republished pieces must contain our company name, Ink Web Design, and website address, www.InkWebDesign.com.

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Send story ideas or requests for interviews to: Media@InkWebDesign.com.

Web Address: www.InkWebDesign.com
Email: Media@InkWebDesign.com

Merchant Account -- What's It All About?

The nuts and bolts of merchant accounts and e-commerce for the small business owner. What is it, how to get it, and how much will it cost.

Atlanta, Georgia -- In order to understand a merchant account as it relates to online purchases, first you need to know the definition of e-commerce. E-commerce is simply the buying and selling of information, products and services online. To enable your website to sell goods and services, you need a merchant account, assuming you want to accept credit card payments. A merchant account is simply an account that a merchant or business owner has with a bank that allows them to accept credit card orders from customers.

What is an Online Credit Card Processor? The credit card processor is a company that verifies credit card transactions. This is done via large networks of computers running credit card processing software they have created. When you make a sale, your terminal dials into their system and presents your Terminal ID and the credit card transaction information. They identify your account from the ID, then process the credit card transaction.

Benefits of Having a Merchant Account. What are the benefits of establishing a merchant account? First, you can increase your sales by as much as 100% by accepting credit cards. Also, you get payments faster from customers. Statistics show they also tend to spend more using credit cards. Another bonus to the customer is having a way to track their purchases. During tax time, many credit card companies send out itemized statements of annual purchases. Accepting credit cards offers flexibility to shoppers and more equals more money for your business. Why not establish a merchant account for your business.

How Much Does a Merchant Account Cost? Charges are usually two-fold: (1) a set-up fee and (2) a transaction fee. Some merchant account companies offer no set-up fees, but the transaction fees tend to be higher. Set-up fees range from free to about $100 (this is usually a one-time fee). Transaction fees range from as little as 1% to as high as 30%. Many processors also charge monthly maintenance fees. These can run between $10-$15 a month.

But there are many simple, quick, all-encompassing e-commerce options (i.e., PayPal) that are less paperwork-intensive and allow business owners to sell products without having to pay monthly maintenance fees. Do a little research to figure out the best e-commerce solution for you and your business image.

Securing Credit Card Transactions. Some shopping cart systems want business owners to buy a secure certificate to "encrypt" transactions so the credit card information can be transmitted securely. Many website hosting providers allow their secure certificates to be used as part of their hosting package pricing. This can save hundreds of dollars because you won't have to purchase (and install) a certificate yourself. (See InkWebDesign.com's Common Web Terms page for various web definitions.)

Your online success depends heavily on how comfortable your customers are when they place an order. Consumers want to see that your site is secure before they supply their personal information, especially credit card and checking account information. The presence of the closed lock confirms their information is transmitting securely. Another symbol is the connected key.

Visit InkWebDesign.com for more information on e-commerce and merchant accounts.

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Web Address: www.InkWebDesign.com
Email: Media@InkWebDesign.com

Create Effective Web Content in Four Easy Steps

Writing for the web is different from writing for print. If you're developing a website and don't quite know how to approach the style of "web" writing, here are four quick tips.

Atlanta, Georgia -- Writing for the web is different from writing for print. If you're developing a website and don't quite know how to approach the style of web writing, here are four quick tips to help you create effective content that will actually get read:

1. Write for Your Target Market: Know for whom you're writing. If you are corporate, your site will be written one way; if your company is hip and trendy, the copy will be written another way; a down-home, mom and pop shop, yet another way.

Although millions will potentially view your website, communicate with your target market in mind, just as if they're sitting right across from you. "Find out what makes your company different, and point it out to visitors immediately," says Cassandra Black, the owner of InkWebDesign.com.

2. Tell the Truth: Whatever you do, tell the truth. Web pages can be around a long time and are seen by people around the world. It is simply too easy to find out if a site owner is exaggerating content. Where possible, offer proof in the form of quotes and/or statistics. Post links or give references indicating where you located the quote/statistic. This lends credibility to your assertion.

3. Short & Sweet: People read differently on the web than in other mediums. They usually scan, looking for bits of relevant information, rather than outright read. If a point needs to be expanded upon, offer links that click out to a separate page. Get right to the point and give your most important point first.

4. Keep it Simple: Say what you mean in simple, grammatically correct language. This is not a time to be Toni Morrison or William Shakespeare. If a dictionary is needed to understand your copy, you can bet it probably won't get read. Also, where possible, try to keep each paragraph between three and five lines long. Anything more may look too dense and readers are apt to be put off, even if everything you are conveying is pertinent.

You may have to forego some rules of English grammar and composition here. Don't be afraid to break paragraphs "unnaturally." However, retain the flow of what you are saying.

Remember, write for your target market; tell the truth; keep it short and sweet; and, keep it simple. You'll be on your way to creating effective content for your website in no time at all

Good luck!

Visit InkWebDesign.com for more help with web development.

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