Easy Ways to Keep Visitors on Your Website Longer

You’ve worked hard building your website. So why isn’t anybody sticking around to read your content?

High bounce rates — that is, a large percentage of visitors who fail to engage with more than one page on your site — are a common problem plaguing small-business websites. A number of factors can contribute to the problem, but there are a number of easy solutions as well.

To determine whether your site needs help getting visitors to stick around longer, log in to your Google Analytics dashboard. If you see a bounce rate higher than 50 percent to 60 percent of your visitors, or an average time-on-site that’s less than one minute, consider taking one or all of the following actions.

Experiment with multimedia.
Multimedia files tend to hold viewers’ attention for longer. Your visitors might not sit down and read 2,000 word articles, but they may listen to all of the same content in a single visit if it’s conveyed via video or audio.

Try experimenting with everything from embedded video clips to slideshow presentations to podcasts to image galleries. Measure the impact of these additions on your site’s “stickiness” metrics to determine which techniques to use again.

Related: Why Engaging Online Content Is a Must for SEO

Make your content more readable.
If you’ve ever stopped by a web page that consists of nothing more than a long, unbroken piece of dense text, you know how important readability is in attracting and keeping people on a website.

To make your content more readable, adopt the following techniques:

  • Cut paragraphs so that they consist of no more than two to five sentences
  • Use subheads to break up content into sections
  • Add bullet or numbered lists when possible
  • Bold or italicize key words and phrases

These tips might seem simple, but they create more elements on a page for your readers to engage with, and can significantly reduce your site’s bounce rates.

Add internal links.
Another contributing factor to high bounce rates is the failure to present readers with multiple content options that might interest them. For example, suppose you land on a sports website looking for the answer to the question, “Who won the 1997 Super Bowl?” The page gives you the answer, but fails to provide links to supporting pages about star players Brett Favre, Reggie White and Desmond Howard — all topics that may have interested you and kept you on the site longer. Instead, you get your information and leave, contributing to the site’s high bounce rate.

One simple way to keep people on your site longer is to add internal links to other related pages throughout your site. Though these links also provide some search engine optimization (SEO) value, it’s important to structure them with the goal of helping your readers find other information they’ll like. Don’t use this as an opportunity to keyword-stuff your links full of SEO phrases.

Related: Want to Sell More Online? How ‘Split Testing’ Your Site Can Help

Install a ‘Related Posts’ plugin to your blog.
On a similar note, if you run a company blog, consider adding a plugin like the WordPress Related Posts tool or Contextual Related Posts. Both of these tools automatically append a list of similar articles to the end of each of your blog posts, giving readers the opportunity to move on to other pages of your site.

If you do install one of these tools, don’t simply adopt the default options. Test different headings (“You Might Also Like…” vs. “Related Posts”) and display settings (lists of posts vs. image icons) to see which combinations make the biggest difference in reducing your bounce rate.

Prompt readers to action.
If you want readers to stick around on your site, ask them to do something for you. For example, you could:

  • Suggest that readers check out a specific related post on your website
  • Encourage them to leave comments at the end of your blog posts
  • Direct them to free videos on your site

Remember, your website visitors can’t read your mind. If you want them to take a specific action on your site to help reduce your bounce rate, don’t hesitate to tell them.

These solutions should help improve your site’s performance, but you may still need to do a thorough investigation of your site’s analytics data to determine precisely where losses are occurring and how they can be prevented. With a bit of due diligence and experimentation, you should find ways to keep your visitors on your site longer.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Creating an Online Store

Startups Get Hacked Too: 5 Security Tips to Implement Today

Securing your company’s data may be the last thing on your mind when launching a startup, but it shouldn’t be.

Protecting sensitive material like customer information, employee files, financial materials and intellectual property can be extremely daunting and expensive. But consider the consequences of doing nothing. The average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $188 per record and the average number of records lost per breach is 23,647, according to Ponemon Institute’s 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study.

Another factor to ponder is startups are quickly becoming popular targets for cyber criminals, as smaller businesses tend to have fewer security mechanisms in place — making it easier, quicker and less risky for a cyber criminal to access data.

To stamp out this threat and rev up your cyber security, here are five easy and inexpensive tips:

1. Create a formal security plan.
Developing a security plan is one of the first things you should do at a startup. To create a strong plan, first determine who has access to data. Map out a policy that will guide employee use and access to sensitive data.

If your company allows employees to work off of personal devices like laptops or smartphones, ensure they are password protected. Include a policy that enforces employees to change login passwords at least every six months on both personal and work devices.

Also, outline a data breach preparedness strategy in case sensitive data is compromised. This plan should include a quick and honest communications approach with customers to avoid reputation damage.

Lastly, be sure the policies in place are enforced and updated as your business grows.

Related: The Rising Threat of Patent Trolls and What You Can Do to Protect Your Startup

2. Store minimal customer data.
If you collect it, you have to protect it. Only gather customer data that you plan on using and is essential to your business. The less sensitive data you collect, the less you have to worry about it being compromised, allowing more time to focus on other areas of your business.

3. Educate employees and monitor their usage.
Educating employees on security best practices is an easy and effective way to protect your startup. Most data breaches are caused by human fallibility, such as employees using company credentials on another website or losing a USB stick with sensitive information.

You can also monitor employee information and actions to make sure any work credentials, including email addresses and passwords, are not breached if they happen to be used on other websites. Our Enterprise Threat Intelligence software, for instance, enables a business to troll for compromised company information that is being sold on the black market.

If you notice any vulnerability, ask employees to update passwords to limit the potential impact of the stolen information.

Related: Patents and Copyrights: How to Play By the Rules

4. Check your business’ credit report.
Much like you would monitor your personal-credit report for suspicious activity, do the same for your business’ credit report. Unwarranted activity on your business’ credit report is an excellent indicator your startup has been breached. The National Cyber Security Alliance’s website Stay Safe Online has excellent information about best practices for monitoring your business’ credit report and things to look for that may indicate your business has been breached.

5. Pick reputable vendors.
Pick third-party vendors carefully, as your business data could be at risk if your vendor gets hacked. If you decide to use the cloud to store company data, pick a trustworthy one that’s known for their security and provides a two-factor authentication option, one that requires a two-step process, like a password and a PIN, for users to log in. A simple Google search related to the company could provide reviews, news of hacks and other pertinent information.

What other tips do you have for protecting your data? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Maximize Your Networking Connections

Have you ever tasted a martini made by Wayne Gretzky? I have. I don’t remember what he put in it, but who cares. When The Great One mixes your drink, it goes down smooth, no matter what.

It was the mid-80s in Manhattan. I had just started managing a restaurant called The Sporting Club. It was one of the first real “sports bars” in New York City at the time.

The only problem was, we didn’t have many customers. The place was in Tribeca. While that’s a happening neighborhood now, back then, it was very desolate.

I did everything I could to drum up business. I installed more TVs. I reinvented the menu. I brought in some great memorabilia. Nothing worked.

Before The Sporting Club, I managed the Hard Rock Café, an experience that taught me the power of networking and human capital. It was packed every night, but that wasn’t due to the food, décor or staff. It was because whenever you dined there, you had a reasonable chance of seeing the likes of Elton John and Jackson Browne a few tables over, or Willie Nelson at the bar. It wasn’t Studio 54, but it was closer than you’d think.

Another person who always stopped by the Hard Rock Café when he was in town was Gretzky. So I had a line to him and a few other athlete “regulars.”

During one slow night at The Sporting Club, it occurred to me to use the human capital that drove customers to the Hard Rock to scare up traffic for this sports bar. But how?

I dreamed up “Celebrity Bartender Nights.” I invited Gretzky and some of his peers to tend bar at The Sporting Club, with the understanding that a chunk of the night’s proceeds would go to their favorite charities. Then I got some liquor companies to come on as co-sponsors. They were thrilled to be linked to the athletes.

The labels helped me with promotion, and the Celebrity Bartender Nights were a huge success. Suddenly, the formerly barren Sporting Club was bouncing.

The best part: I didn’t have to pay anyone a cent. All I had to do was creatively leverage some assets — my bar, the athletes’ charities, the athletes themselves and the liquor companies. Everyone won. It all centered around the greatest resource there will ever be in business: human capital.

While most companies tap the power of bartering, not enough firms mine this transcendent resource. If used correctly, human capital can be a true differentiator for your company. It’s abundant, and there are myriad ways to mine it.

Many entrepreneurs fall into a trap I call “Michael Jordan Syndrome.” They think an endorsement from anyone short of a superstar is not effective. This is not true and I have another story to prove it.

Years ago, my company Steiner Sports was hired by the electronics chain PC Richard & Son to promote the opening of a store in New Jersey. The store was opening on Flag Day, June 14. Its budget was limited, but at that time, we didn’t yet work with the Derek Jeters and Eli Mannings of the world. We booked less famous athletes.

One of the first Steiner employees, Margaret Adams, suggested we hire former New York Giants running back Lee Rouson for the job. He wasn’t a big name, per se, but Margaret had her own reasons.

“Lee is a phenomenal singer,” she informed me.

Boy did she nail it. We set Lee up in front of the store with some bunting, a microphone and a couple of speakers. After the ribbon cutting, he stood there and belted “God Bless America.” Not only did people flood to the store, grown men teared up — myself included. It was the best opening PC Richard & Son had up to that point. We paid Lee a fee, but it wasn’t much. I think he got some electronics out of the deal.

Just like my Celebrity Bartender Nights, the key was leveraging the right combination of assets: proximity — Lee lived nearby so it didn’t take much to make it worth his while, the holiday and his singing voice. Both events required little more than some creative thinking on how to mine some human capital. Both events were transactional, but not of the traditional “Give me A, and I’ll give you B” model. They were more “Give him A, he’ll give her B, she’ll give them C, they’ll give us D.”

In all likelihood, your differentiator won’t be an athlete or star. But smaller celebrities abound. The CEO of a local company might well do the trick. For every business, just around the corner, there’s a Lee Rouson waiting to belt out “God Bless America” and make a grown man cry.

What assets can you leverage? Who forms the human capital you’d do well to mine?

Feeling Productive? 3 Ways to Get Even More Done

Understanding the rhythms of your business and creating routines that help rather than hinder your productivity will give you a significant competitive advantage. I worked with a company founder who realized the three daily meetings he was having with key staff, a business mentor and a new vendor were negatively impacting his ability to see into the future. These meetings were always focused on current issues, and past events and he wasn’t talking enough about upcoming opportunities and how to prepare for them. While he was already getting a lot done each day, as soon as he eliminated these meetings, his schedule became far more productive.

Pick what you would call a “semi-typical” day running your business and on paper, describe that day in detail, looking for a theme: When do you find yourself getting distracted?

Once you’ve got your routine down, consider these three tactics to help you focus, prioritize and ultimately work smarter:

1. Use 15-minute increments wisely.
The first most pervasive distraction I see entrepreneurs face is re-thinking a task they thought of earlier. It’s always the small things that distract us most. Maybe you thought about making a doctor’s appointment, or you need to replace the printer in your home office. Maybe there’s a financial decision that you keep putting off for when you have “more time” to think about it.

Face it: You won’t have more time. Instead, get these tasks out of the way. For the next week, keep a running list of the tasks you think about that can be completed in 15 minutes. In a typical week, my clients usually come up with 10 to 20 such actions. Being ready with this list of actions means you can take care of small tasks while waiting for an appointment to begin, for example, rather than wasting that time thumbing through Instagram pictures.

2. Maximize your interruptions.
The second biggest impediment to productivity is interruption. It’s not glancing at a text message, reading an email or answering a quick question from a team member that is the biggest time-suck. It’s the amount of time needed to get back to what you were focused on before.

That’s why you should maximize your interruptions. Save up three or four things to talk to someone about the next time you see them and ask your team to do the same for anyone they talk to or email. Obviously, if something is critical, don’t wait. But you’d be surprised how often these interruptions aren’t actually about urgent things.

For example, this month, while I was on a 544 mile bike ride through Colorado, I got an email from a team member with five questions he needed answered by the end of the week. He interrupted me once, rather than five separate times and I was able to take care of all his questions in one work session at the end of a day.

3. See into the future.
To be productive, you have to look to the  future. Open your digital calendar and look 90 days ahead. In 300 to 500 words, describe what life, work and health goals you’ll have achieved. Do this again for 180 days and 365 days from now. This practice gives you a larger goal to work toward, which will keep you motivated and focused.

What tactics do you use to minimize distractions and get things done?

Feeling Productive? 3 Ways to Get Even More Done

Understanding the rhythms of your business and creating routines that help rather than hinder your productivity will give you a significant competitive advantage. I worked with a company founder who realized the three daily meetings he was having with key staff, a business mentor and a new vendor were negatively impacting his ability to see into the future. These meetings were always focused on current issues, and past events and he wasn’t talking enough about upcoming opportunities and how to prepare for them. While he was already getting a lot done each day, as soon as he eliminated these meetings, his schedule became far more productive.

Pick what you would call a “semi-typical” day running your business and on paper, describe that day in detail, looking for a theme: When do you find yourself getting distracted?

Once you’ve got your routine down, consider these three tactics to help you focus, prioritize and ultimately work smarter:

1. Use 15-minute increments wisely.
The first most pervasive distraction I see entrepreneurs face is re-thinking a task they thought of earlier. It’s always the small things that distract us most. Maybe you thought about making a doctor’s appointment, or you need to replace the printer in your home office. Maybe there’s a financial decision that you keep putting off for when you have “more time” to think about it.

Face it: You won’t have more time. Instead, get these tasks out of the way. For the next week, keep a running list of the tasks you think about that can be completed in 15 minutes. In a typical week, my clients usually come up with 10 to 20 such actions. Being ready with this list of actions means you can take care of small tasks while waiting for an appointment to begin, for example, rather than wasting that time thumbing through Instagram pictures.

2. Maximize your interruptions.
The second biggest impediment to productivity is interruption. It’s not glancing at a text message, reading an email or answering a quick question from a team member that is the biggest time-suck. It’s the amount of time needed to get back to what you were focused on before.

That’s why you should maximize your interruptions. Save up three or four things to talk to someone about the next time you see them and ask your team to do the same for anyone they talk to or email. Obviously, if something is critical, don’t wait. But you’d be surprised how often these interruptions aren’t actually about urgent things.

For example, this month, while I was on a 544 mile bike ride through Colorado, I got an email from a team member with five questions he needed answered by the end of the week. He interrupted me once, rather than five separate times and I was able to take care of all his questions in one work session at the end of a day.

3. See into the future.
To be productive, you have to look to the  future. Open your digital calendar and look 90 days ahead. In 300 to 500 words, describe what life, work and health goals you’ll have achieved. Do this again for 180 days and 365 days from now. This practice gives you a larger goal to work toward, which will keep you motivated and focused.

What tactics do you use to minimize distractions and get things done?

10 Questions to Ask When Pricing Your Product

Great products and services don’t guarantee success. You also have to price them correctly. That requires knowing your customers well and what they’re willing to pay, as well as what your competitors are charging. You also might consider market segmentation, product bundling, and both the tangible and intangible benefits you’re selling.

We spoke to four experts and came up with 10 of the most important questions to ask when putting a price sticker on your product. Here’s what they had to say:

What is the customer willing to pay for my product?
If a product costs a dollar to make, many companies assume they should charge $2 for it. “That’s what you call cost-plus pricing. Many companies do this, but it’s not optimal,” says Mark Stiving, author of Impact Pricing: Your Blueprint for Driving Profits (CWL Publishing Enterprises, 2011). “Pricing should only be based on what the customer is willing to pay. If the customer is willing to pay $1,000 for a product that costs you $10 or even $100 to make, you have a successful product. If the customer is willing to pay $1,000 for something that costs $1,000 to make, you don’t raise your price — you get out of that business.” To help determine what a customer is willing to pay, you can conduct market surveys and focus groups.

What kind of customer do I want to target?

If you target customers who value your product the most and charge a high price, you’ll be making more money per sale but limit the size of your market. If you target the mass market with a lower-priced product, you’ll be making less per transaction but selling a lot more units. The ideal situation is to cut the market into segments with different price points, Stiving says.

How should I react to my competitor’s prices?
In pricing strategy, there are three important questions: Who provides an alternative to my product? Is mine better or worse? And does the customer care? That’s the view of Tim J. Smith, managing principal of Chicago-based strategic pricing firm Wiglaf Pricing. If your product is better, find the competitive price difference and price upward. If yours isn’t as good, find the competitive price difference and price downward. And as your competitors’ prices change, so should yours. But this strategy applies only when customers are very familiar with prices, he says, using tennis balls and tennis rackets as an example: “Stores advertise lower tennis ball prices to get people in because people are very aware of what tennis balls cost. But they can charge higher prices for tennis rackets because there is not this same type of awareness.”

Can I offer different levels of products or services at different price points?
It’s always better to give customers a choice, says Jean-Manuel Izaret, a partner with Boston Consulting Group, a management-consulting firm, who is based in San Francisco. Izaret suggests offering at least three price levels on any product: basic, upgraded and premium. He notes that Apple entered the market with 16, 32 and 64-gigabyte laptops “If they only offered the 16 gigabyte, they would have sold a lot but would have missed out on the 64 gig customer willing to pay more to buy the best of the best. Or if they were only at the high end, they would miss out on the bulk of the market.”

#insert related here#

How can I adjust my prices? 
Companies can often achieve a 1 percent to 7 percent margin improvement by adjusting prices to fit specific consumers, Smith says. “Different customers have a different willingness to pay, and even the same customer will vary in their willingness to pay based upon the purchasing occasion.” To determine for whom and when to adjust prices, you can observe customer buying habits and do consumer research through interviews and focus groups.

Have I given the customer a reason to pay more for my product?
If Del Monte green beans sell for $1.49 and the store brand goes for $1.29, “it’s Del Monte’s job to make sure the customer understands the difference and values that difference,” Stiving says. There are real differences in products, and then there are perceived differences. Real differentiation comes in product development; perceived differentiation in marketing and sales. “Ideally, you’ve created real differentiation and communicated it to the customer so it becomes perceived as well,” Stiving says. “In Del Monte’s case, they add real differentiation through strict quality-control measures, and perceived differentiation by advertising quality to their customers.”

Can I base my price partly on intangible benefits?
Many businesses base price strictly on the product or service itself, but some companies might be better off tying their price to the intangible benefits they deliver to customers. Take a lawn service, for example. “If you tell your customer you have the most modern mower with the sharpest blade, that’s not going to mean anything to them,” says Matt Johnson, a pricing strategy expert with the San Francisco office of Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global consulting firm specializing in strategy, marketing, pricing and sales. “But if you show them you’re freeing up two to three hours of their time on the weekend and allowing them to impress the neighbors that might mean a lot more.” He notes that even candy bars can be priced and marketed based on more than just the ingredients: “With Hershey’s, you’re getting a great chocolate bar, but [higher-priced] Godiva is selling love and a means of pampering yourself.”

Should I bundle my products for a single price?
If possible, use pricing to get your customer to buy several products rather than just one, Izaret says. He points to McDonalds and how successful the franchise has been at bundling fries and a drink with a burger. There’s also Microsoft, which has bundled Excel, Word and Outlook into one product — Microsoft Office. “By attaching to the main sale you made, you’re giving up a little bit on each product, but they’re buying all three, so it’s a good deal for both seller and buyer,” Stiving says.

Should I discount to get people to buy my product?
Promotions are fine from time to time, but the full price should remain the standard. If you regularly have to discount to sell your product, you’ve either overstocked the product with features that people don’t want to pay for or you’re trying to sell it to the wrong type of customer, Johnson says. And once people start paying a lower price, it’s tough to raise it back to the level you need to make a good profit. “If the product has 10 features, but the customer only cares about three of them, that can backfire because people feel they’re buying a lot of stuff they don’t need,” Johnson says.

How does the customer want to buy my product or service? 
Is it something I should sell for a one-time fee? On an annual basis? On a monthly basis? There’s no answer that fits all situations. But what’s important is that you “create a model that fits with how people want to buy your product,” Johnson says. He worked on such a pricing issue with a healthcare organization that was partnering with a gym on a fitness program. When the healthcare workers were charged $99 a year for an hour a week of personal training, customers went the first few months but then their usage tended to trail off. “When it came time to renew, they had not been to the gym for weeks, and they didn’t think it was worth plunking down that big amount again,” Johnson says. The gym changed its pricing to a small monthly fee, with emails reminding people to take advantage of the offer. The result: People tended to go more frequently and over longer periods of time. “This was a better system because people never had to make that $100 decision to buy it,” Johnson says. “You want to pay attention not just to how easy it is to get the sale on the front end, but how easy it is to renew.”

4 Tips for Taking the Awkwardness Out of Networking

There is nothing more awkward than networking. It is one of those tasks that’s constantly pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. However, it remains one of those necessary evils — along with keeping records for my taxes, organizing files and staying up-to-date on social media. After all, as the old adage goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know.

So how can you make networking less taxing? While there is no cure all for networking awkwardness, here are four tips to make it a bit less painful:

1. Don’t talk about work.
I know this probably sounds counterproductive. The whole point of networking is to discuss work, right? While that’s true to some extent, networking will be even more productive if you can build long lasting relationships. I find that when I am just shooting the breeze with people, the pressure is taken off on how we can mutually benefit each other. Not thinking about what the other person can provide me has helped form stronger connections. If you get to know someone, without asking anything of them, chances are they will be more likely to help you out when you ask for things later on.

Related: Networking Like a Pro: How to Host a Successful Business Mixer

2. Bring a friend.
It is a lot easier to be social when you have a support system. If you are fortunate enough to have started your company with someone else, you already have a built-in networking buddy. However, for us solo entrepreneurs, we have to bribe and beg our friends to join us. Just be careful that you are not only socializing with the people you brought with you — the whole key to successful networking is meeting new connections.

3. Ask questions.
To me, awkward silence is one of the most dreadful aspects of networking. As a result, I have become an expert at coming up with questions at the drop of a dime. There is no greater buzz kill than running out of things to say. My solution is to have an arsenal of canned questions to break the ice. This will hopefully spark a conversation.

Related: Don’t Waste Another Networking Opportunity: 6 Tips for Following Up

4. Have your elevator pitch ready.
There is nothing more uncomfortable than meeting someone new and then they go off on a tangent about something you don’t care about. You are stuck looking for the most polite escape route. When it comes to your business, [[something missing here?]] I know you probably love to talk about it (I am totally guilty too). However, as the founder, no one will ever care as much as you do. If work gets brought up, you should have your 30-second elevator pitch ready to go. If the person you are talking to wants additional information, they will ask for it. Bottom line: They don’t need to know every detail about your life and business right away.

No matter how active you are on social media, nothing beats getting to know someone in person. And typically we meet new people by networking. It can be uncomfortable, but as you go to more events and meet more people, it should become less awkward.

What other tips do you have for making networking less painful? Let us know in the comments below.

3 Web Tools for Managing Employees Who Work From Home

With more business owners allowing employees to work from home or satellite offices, the need to make sure those workers stay on task and productive is growing. From the employee’s perspective everything seems rosy. According to a recent Harris Poll, 64 percent of telecommuters say working from home increases productivity and output.

But for employers, allowing workers to telecommute can be akin to working in the dark. If you can’t see Harry, how do you know he’s actually working?

If you’re suffering from remote worker separation anxiety, these three tools can help you monitor actual time on task. Remember, these tools only provide you with raw data. You need to interpret the results on a case-by-case basis. Also, it’s wise to let employees know they are being tracked and how.

Related: 3 Free Apps to Help You Network Like a Pro

1. Hivedesk

If you’re juggling multiple remote workers on multiple projects, Hivedesk has a simple solution for keeping everyone on task. Workers check in by choosing their project from the central hub. Then Hivedesk tracks their time and adds each day’s information to the weekly time sheet.

During the work session, Hivedesk snaps random screenshots so you know your developer is on task and not, say, on Facebook. The system also sends a graphical productivity gauge for each worker so you can see at a glance who is performing and who isn’t.

Pricing starts at $14.99 a month for up to two workers and goes up to $100 a month for 20. It requires a desktop download and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.

2. Worksnaps

If you need more detail, there’s Worksnaps. This tool takes screenshots every 10 minutes and logs keyboard strokes and mouse movement. In addition, it catalogs the applications that were used so you can tell if an employee spent 10 minutes reading a Word document or plugging numbers into an Excel spreadsheet.

The User Management panel gives project managers access to reports on their team members, creating multiple levels of accountability.

What’s more, Worksnaps has an optional webcam feature that allows you to see not just what’s on a worker’s screen but the worker as well. This can be a useful feature if your employees need to spend a lot of time on their phones, tablets or handling non-computer based desk work.

Plans start at $14 a month for up to four users and go to $60 a month for up to 30 users. Worksnaps requires a desktop download and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. Worksnaps also integrates with project management software Basecamp, invoicing software Freshbooks and time tracker Harvest.

Related: Mobile Apps to Make Business Travel Easier

3. MySammy

For business owners who prefer a less heavy-handed approach, there’s MySammy. This application is all about balance. As long as an employee’s bar graph is mostly green (active) you can forgive the 10 percent that’s red (non-productive.)

In order to categorize activity, the manager must mark every desktop application and website in the system as either productive or not. Excel gets a thumbs up, Facebook gets a thumbs down. The system also allows for overrides so your social media manager isn’t penalized for time spent on Twitter.

MySammy’s reporting system allows you to filter the data in a variety of ways so it’s easy to see who is getting the job done and who needs some motivation.

The starter plan is free for up to four employees but has limits on long-term data storage. A small-business account is $7 per person per month for up to 50 users. For larger companies, the price is $17 per person per month and it includes five years of data storage.

The MySammy client must be installed on all work computers. It’s compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2003 and above. It is not compatible with Mac OS.

Related: Simple and Creative Alternatives to Using PowerPoint for Presentations