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google-mobile-first-indexAnother Google update?

We know what you mean. It seems Google is constantly changing and tweaking their algorithm in an effort to improve their search experience and accuracy. We should be grateful, as these changes help our customers better connect with the services or products they’re searching for, it still seems like a huge task to keep up with the latest “best practices” for your website when it comes to search.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Read on to understand exactly what this new “Mobile-First Index” entails and what your company needs to do to stay ahead of the game.

What is Google Mobile-First Index?

Mobile vs Desktop: How Searching the Internet has Changed

Mobile devices are so much part of our lifestyle these days that finding an individual without a smartphone or tablet is like finding a needle in a haystack. Being as the internet isn’t even 30 years old, it’s amazing how much we take for granted having all this information available right in our pockets or purses.

As so many people use their mobile devices to search the internet, it has become the practice for web marketers to create a mobile version and a desktop version of a website by utilizing ‘responsive design’. This way, when someone is searching from a mobile device the mobile version appears, and vice versa. Mobile versions of websites are created to be faster, easier, and more efficient for use from mobile devices.

Google has found that the majority of internet searches performed are mobile, as opposed to from a desktop computer. Even so, when deciding how to rank websites in the search, Google has (up to this point) looked at the desktop version of websites.

With the upcoming “Mobile-First Index”, however, Google is planning to switch over to looking at the mobile version of websites instead.

Google’s Index and Its Role In Search

In order to better understand this new update and what is meant by “Index”, let’s take a look at how the search engine works.

Did you know there are over 1 billion websites in existence on the internet? When considering the gargantuan amount of data floating around out there, it no longer comes as a shocker that Google is constantly striving to make their search more efficient.

Not only do the “bad” webpages (read: inaccurate, spammy, etc.) need to be sorted out, but Google’s system has to be able to accurately identify what each of the “good” webpages (read: informative, easily accessed, etc.) are about so when a search query is made, those pages which contain what the searcher is looking for appear first.

In order to do so, Google has an “Index”. This index contains all of the webpages recognized by Google. When a search is made, Google sorts through all of these web pages to see which contain the search terms or “keywords” the searcher has entered.

Where does Google look for keywords?

  • In the Title. A webpages’s title is what you see first when performing a search on Google. It’s in big letters at the top.
  • In the Meta Description. This is the short paragraph found under the title which explains what the webpage is about. This is often a snippet of the page’s content.
  • In the URL. This is the “http.” part which can be found between the title and the meta description, and in the top bar after you click on the link.
  • In the Content. This is arguably one of the most important places where Google looks for the keywords. Not only does Google look to see that the right words are present, but also looks at the structure and meaning of the content to make sure that the page is really about what it says it is and holds useful and relevant information.
  • In the Headers. These are part of the content. They are at the headings at the beginning of paragraphs that break down the content to let the reader know what each section is about.

Don’t have a mobile site? Don’t worry, but…

Now that we know Google will be looking at the mobile versions of websites and understand the essential role the index plays in search, what about those businesses who haven’t made a mobile version of their website?

If you don’t have a mobile website, you will still be okay with the upcoming “Mobile-First Index”.

Google has directly spoken out on this issue, stating they will default to looking at the desktop site if a mobile one is not present. However, Mobile-First Index update aside, businesses should consider the importance and benefits of a mobile website.

However, even if you will not be drastically affected by the Mobile-First Index, your business is already missing out on many opportunities by not having a mobile version of your website.

Why Mobile?

Over half of website visitors will leave a website within the first 15 seconds, even on a desktop. Poor navigation, slow load times, incomplete information- these are just a few of the reasons why internet users abandon a site. That’s why it so important for websites to be built using the best practices and to be regularly updated and optimized.

We know that the majority of users are searching from mobile devices. Mobile users, even more than desktop ones, are looking for quick, accurate information. They’re on the go and they’re used to everything being, quite literally, right at their fingertips.

Some of the problems mobile users encounter are the same as those experienced on a desktop, such as slow load times of pages and pictures. However, their are some issues that are unique to mobile web surfing alone.

One of the biggest problems is page size. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as trying to view a webpage that doesn’t quite fit to the screen of your phone. You pinch, swipe, turn your phone on it’s side, but the words still come up too big, too small, or disappear over the edge of the screen and refuse to be coaxed into view.

Mobile-websites are specially designed to avoid these sorts of issues, providing users with a clean, simple layout allowing for frustration-free navigation.

The moral of this mobile story? Having a mobile version of your site is a good idea, even without the upcoming Mobile-First Index. Internet users will often leave a difficult to use website for a competitor’s site. This loses website traffic and, most importantly potential customers!

With that said, let’s get back to the Mobile-First Index.

Making the Most of the Mobile-First Index for your Business

How will the Mobile-First Index affect current rankings?

The Mobile-First Index is not yet fully in effect, as Google will be testing this change over the course of the next few months. Even after the change takes effect, if you are already performing well in the search rankings, you should continue to do so. Google does not expect to see a drastic change in rankings, as websites who are providing quality will still be recognized. Companies that wish to add an extra boost to their rankings, however, can benefit by the update by optimizing their mobile website.

Google Recommends: Responsive Websites

Not all mobile version websites are created equal. In light of the Mobile-First Index, Google has stated that those with a responsive website or a dynamic serving site, should not need to make any changes.

What is a “Responsive” Website?

To understand a responsive website, it is easiest to think of a glass of water. If you take the water and pour it into a bowl, the water takes on that shape. The same will happen no matter what size or shape container you choose.

This is exactly how a “responsive” website works. It recognizes what sort of device the user is on, be it smartphone, tablet, or desktop, and molds the website’s content to suit the device.

My Website isn’t Responsive…Now What?

Consider making changes to your website. Even if your site is responsive, follow through with the below checklist/steps-to-take to ensure your website is ready for the Mobile-First Index.

3 Steps to Ensuring Your Website is “Mobile-First” Ready

  1. Test the Structured Markup of both the mobile and desktop version of your website. Google Webmaster provided a link to their Structured Data Testing Tool. Your mobile and desktop sites should be near equivalent. Note: Google Webmaster also recommends “avoiding large amounts of markup that isn’t relevant to the specific information content of each document”.
  2. Verify your mobile website is accessible to Googlebot by using the robots.txt testing tool.
  3. Verify the mobile version of your site in Search Console. Many website owners have verified their desktop version, an action that does not automatically verify your mobile site.

Considering Building a Mobile Website?

As we said before, even without this new Google algorithm update, having a mobile version of your website is a no-brainer in this mobile age. However, if you are planning to build a mobile website, make sure to build it right.

A broken or malfunctioning mobile website will hurt rather than help your business, especially with the Mobile-First Index, in which instance it would be more beneficial for Google to resort to looking at your desktop site.

Having a team of professionals on your side who understand the in’s and out’s of Google makes it easier to keep up with the latest search updates and best practices. We’ll ensure your customers are able to easily find and connect with your business online, meaning you’ll have more time to devote the customers themselves.

If you are interested in building a responsive website, or have more questions about how the Mobile-First Index will affect your business, the team at Sanctuary is here to help. Please give us a call at: 330.266.1188 or contact us for a free assessment.

Mobile-First Index: A Heads Up on Google’s Latest Change

Emails, are you sick of them yet? On any given day I can expect to receive between 30-50 emails, and I know people who receive two to three times that amount per day. With all of this information to filter through it’s easy to see how promotional emails can get lost in the mix.

So as a small business owner or marketing manager you may be asking yourself; “Why bother putting in the effort if no one is going to see or open my promotional emails?” Good question.small-business-email-marketing

Here are 10 eye-opening facts about Email Marketing that you should know:

  • The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase to over 4.3 billion accounts by year-end 2016. – Radicati Group
  • Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States. – Direct Marketing Association
  • For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25. – EmailExpert
  • Companies utilizing email in lead nurturing campaigns generate 50% more sales-ready leads and at 33% lower cost. – Hubspot
  • Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion. – McKinsey & Company
  • 91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality. – ExactTarget
  • Marketers consistently ranked email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. – Gigaom Research
  • You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet. – Campaign Monitor
  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social. – Monetate
  • Email’s ROI was 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail. – Chief Marketer

These statistics show that email campaigns – done correctly – can indeed produce tangible results. Email shouldn’t be ruled out as a valid marketing tactic, no matter how personally annoying they may seem.

 

Wondering whether or not an email campaign could be beneficial for your business? Sanctuary Marketing has a team dedicated to delivering results through email marketing campaigns. Contact us or gives us a call to see if this might be the right marketing tactic for your business.

 

Email Marketing Campaign Stats

Own a smartphone? What ways do you use it? Well the answer for most of us is “for nearly everything.” Facebook, Google, email, maps, games and on and on, we use these features on our smartphones to access information. And nothing is more frustrating than when that information loads slowly.

Google has worked hard to make their mobile search results contain websites that are mobile friendly to help alleviate user frustration. But we are still faced with slow-loading mobile sites.

We’ve talked several times about mobile usability, Google mobile friendless and mobile success but we haven’t discussed the issue of speed.

Why Mobile Website Speed Matters

Our lives are fast paced and our customers expect things to be delivered quickly. So it’s not a surprise to learn that when using a mobile device, 40% of people will wait no more than 3 seconds for a page to load before they abandon the site. The hard work of getting people to the site can potentially be trumped by how quickly it loads.

What would sales or revenue possibly look like if a site could retain that 40%?
A speed study by SOASTA looked at how load speed correlated with bounce rates and conversion rates. They concluded that mobile pages that are 1-second faster experience up to a 27% increase in conversion rates. The fact is, making a site load faster keeps people around longer and allows them to convert more often.

mobile website load speed

The challenge with increasing speed is that many times we are at the mercy of wifi bandwidths and network & data streams.

Developers, backed by major publishers and Google, believe they have found a solution.

 

Accelerated Mobile Pages

“The Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”) Project is an open source initiative that came out of discussions between publishers and technology companies about the need to improve the entire mobile content ecosystem for everyone.” AMP Project

Accelerated Mobile Pages Project

The goal of the AMP project is to provide a way to achieve instant load times, everywhere. No matter what network or wifi a user is on, AMP can allow for nearly instantaneous page loads.

At their core, AMP pages are just like any other HTML pages except they are “lean” and don’t include scripts or items that take longer to load. By limiting the structure of these pages to a set of allowed technical functionality, which is defined and governed by the open source AMP spec, developers can achieve faster load times without a significant impact on the usability of the site. Just like all web pages, Accelerated Mobile Pages will load in any modern browser or app web view.

The content that can be presented on accelerated mobile pages is not limited, and all types of published content including stories, videos, photographs, and GIFs can be displayed.

Major publishers such as CBS News, Forbes, MSNBC, ABC News, CNN, E! News, USA Today and more are already using accelerated mobile pages, achieving outstanding load times and growing in users.

 

Your website should be mobile friendly and fast no matter what type of network a user is on. If it’s not, you are probably missing out on business. Let us do the legwork for you and find out if you are missing out on potential customers.

Sanctuary Marketing Group has industry experts who focus on the mobile experience. Contact us and see how we can help grow your business.

Mobile Website Speed Matters
What is mobile first?

We’ve heard a lot lately about mobile websites, responsive websites, mobile marketing and having a ‘mobile first’ approach to your website and digital marketing. Everyone at this point agrees that having a mobile website is important. But what does this phrase really mean?

What ‘Mobile First’ is not

Mobile First Design

Many believe that ‘mobile first’ means that you simply need to get yourself a website that’s optimized for mobile devices. Just ‘optimize it’, you know?

I think there’s still a large amount of people who think they need to develop a standard website and a second mobile version. This thought alone stops them in their tracks.

To some it means that you think about mobile being your main focus. Many people are developing websites that work good on mobile phones, but aren’t so effective on desktop computers. Mobile first does not mean disregarding desktop users.

I’ve even seen extreme cases where people have developed a site that completely disregards the desktop presentation in favor of a tiny interface that mimics a phone. In the example I saw, the developer completely hid important desktop interactions such as scrolling because they’re assuming that most users are able to move down the page using their finger!

Preparing your website presence for mobile visitors is important because the growth of users accessing information and not being tethered to a desk will be growing for a long time. But ‘mobile first’ does not mean developing a separate mobile website, focusing only on specific users and treating desktop visitors like they’re going the way of the dinosaur.

Mobile growth is huge, but we’re not even close to a point where we have the luxury of focusing solely on mobile visitors to our websites. Yes, we will still be using a mouse and sitting at a desk for many years to come in one form or another.

What is mobile first?

What does ‘Mobile First’ mean?

Mobile first simply means that you start developing your website user experience from the mobile visitor’s perspective and work your way back to the desktop — and even the TV. In the near future, experiences such as virtual reality may even require us to develop experiences that are larger than life.

‘Mobile First’ is a ‘Responsive’ approach to design which means that you start thinking about mobile users first, but you develop ONE effective RESPONSIVE website that’s laid out to deliver an effective experience for all users.

In his book titled ‘Mobile First’, Luke Wroblewski states: “Mobile design is the process of gradually applying constraints until an elegant solution remains.”

This is where you start.

This simply means that you begin with a focused, minimalist approach. What a user experiences on their phone is exactly what they need for that device and then as you move to tablet, laptop, desktop and beyond. You ‘enhance’ the experience in ways that benefit the user based on their screen size and their place in the world.

All visitors to your website are important. Not just the people on a mobile phone.

Why a ‘Mobile First’ Responsive approach to website design?

Efficiency:

Summit Academy Desktop
Summit Academy Desktop

First off, we don’t want to build and maintain more than one website. Can we agree on this? Ok.

Removing Limitations:

Designing for mobile doesn’t have to be limiting. It can also help you think through ways to enhance your user’s experience and encourage mobile use. You can incorporate location detection, capture and input from a camera and connections through Bluetooth Proximity detection (device closeness to physical objects) just to name a few.

Responsiveness:

Summit Academy Mobile
Summit Academy Mobile

Starting with mobile helps you to design something that will work well anywhere, not just on mobile devices. Responsive website design is the the future. Not separate mobile website solutions.

Speed:

Thinking about mobile users first also forces you to make decisions early that will affect important things like the speed of the website.

Focus:

In ‘mobile first’ UX design, we’re forced to focus on the most essential elements of the presentation that fulfill our main goals.There simply isn’t room for everything. A ‘mobile first’ approach forces us to articulate our goals and cut everything else. It’s so much easier to just throw everything on the site and hope the user stumbles through the clutter. An ideal ‘Mobile First’ approach forces us to strip our site down to the essentials and then ‘enhance’ the experience later if needed.

Simplicity:

Lastly, many people these days have an attention span of a 12 year old child. They’re busy, they’re distracted, they’re basically one eyeball and a thumb on a mobile device and barely more than that in the office and at home. Starting the design process knowing that this is your target audience will help you to simplify, simplify, simplify right out of the gate and apply that simplicity to all user experiences on any screen.

How Sanctuary Can Help With Developing a Mobile First Approach

Developing a mobile first approach requires a particular finesse and understanding of online technology and best practices. If you are looking for help with planning and implementing a mobile strategy, contact Sanctuary. We are located in the Historic Hoover District in North Canton, Ohio and serve the greater Akron / Canton area.

Mobile First – What you need to know
Cross Device Conversions

As a business owner in North Canton, there is no doubt that you have seen the shift of marketing. From mailings to local newspaper advertisements then to the need to have a website. Now you hear rumors of the growth in mobile device usage and the complete, utter necessity to have a website that can handle the Mobilegeddon transition.

With all that you juggle, between inventory reports and employee management, my hope is that Sanctuary Marketing Group can be a helping hand in your digital marketing efforts. For that reason, this is what we have been learning about mobile marketing. Most of this will be directly tied to a webinar offered by Marin Software and SocialMoov, but I’m boiling it down you can understand and hopefully apply these mobile marketing insights. Here we go!

Mobile Use is Growing

Foremost, the reason that we are even having this conversation is because mobile devices and mobile device usage is growing, therefore mobile marketing is growing. Most of us wake up with phones in our hands and are also put to sleep by their glowing screens. Think about your day today, how many times have you used your phone? Personally, I have packed the following mobile device usage into my day:

  • Turned off my phone’s alarm clock.
  • Checked my email.
  • Scanned social media.
  • Texted my brother (all of that before getting out of bed).
  • I used the timer on my phone to know when to finish my french press.
  • I checked my bank account.
  • Rescheduled a bill payment.
  • Read a chapter of a book.
  • Played a game
    …and it is not even 11:00 AM!

Neni Pogarcic (Global Search Lead, Google) pointed out on the webinar that this is not an atypical morning for those of us going about our day. Not only that, but most of this can be done without even touching a computer. With that in mind, how are you going to appropriately reach the many who traverse their morning without touching traditional Google search or a desktop computer? The next question, beyond reaching those individuals, is how are you going to provide means for them to convert?

On-Device Conversions, Now Think Cross-Device

Device conversions, particularly in the world of digital marketing, used to be computers only, but think through all the conversions that take place on your phone now. Think for a moment, how many devices have you used today and how many conversions have taken place? 98% of users say they are cross-device users throughout the day. Users quickly bounce between websites, tablet apps, and smartphone notifications. Are you, as a local business owner, catering to the next generation of buyers?

Cross Device Conversions

Can My North Canton Business Win the Mobile War?

Here are three steps to succeed with mobile:

Three Steps to succeed with mobile
1) Incredible Experiences

While many understand that the desktop version of your website should include as much detail as possible, Google has spent a lot of time recently on spelling out the absolute best mobile design for websites, especially for businesses. Google has business owners ask questions about how close together your website’s buttons are, how wordy your pages are, and how usable your mobile website is? You can learn all about that in our summary of their updates — basically, ask yourself how easy it is to use and convert on your website? We’re here to help if you need any suggestions or work done. Just let us know your need help!

2) Relevant Advertising

Advertising should always aim to be relevant, but when you’re seeking to land on a mobile device it has to be all the more fine tuned. Do you know your audience and do you know how to reach them? Marketers have mere moments to reach individuals when they’re using their mobile devices (Google calls this Micro-Moments). Are you providing the absolute best imagery, copy text and advertisement destination URLs for your audience?

3) Insightful Measurement

If you are not appropriately measuring your efforts and providing insightful reporting, you might as well put a stop to all that you are doing. By putting the proper measures in place, you can use the results (whether positive or negative) from your efforts to refine future efforts.

This is a very brief summation of notes from the webinar The Path to Mobile Success, hosted by Neni Pogarcic (Global Search Lead, Google), Luca Angeli (Analytics Manager and Bidding Optimization Specialist, Marin Software) and Hoiling Wong (Product Marketing Manager, Marin Software).

The team at Sanctuary Marketing Group is available to help answer any questions that you have about Mobile Marketing.

Three Steps for Mobile Success
google-Mobilegeddon

In a new, ongoing monthly report, our company President Chris Auman strives to identify the one big digital marketing news story that you need to know about.

google-MobilegeddonThis month I wanted to make sure that everyone has heard about what some people are calling ‘Mobilegeddon‘.

It’s now a top priority to have a mobile optimized website

As of April 21, 2015, Google will be making changes to their search algorithm that will reward websites that are ‘mobile friendly’. On this date you will immediately see more websites in your search results that are considered by Google to be optimized for mobile phones. In the words of Google “Users will see a significant impact in our search results’.

This is actually an unprecedented move because Google hardly ever alerts us to changes in their algorithm, nor do they explain why some sites rank higher and some can’t be found. But in this case they announced ‘loud-and-clear’ that they will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. The goal: users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices. Websites that have not made the necessary changes will now be considered to be less worthy and relevant. Ultimately websites that do not pass the mobile-friendly tests will fall in the rankings and visits to the site will decrease because of it. (more…)

Google Mobilegeddon Is Here – What you need to know
Local Mobile Search

You already have a mobile friendly site? Better be sure of that! On April 21, 2015 Google’s mobile ranking factors will kick in. Those who do not have a mobile friendly site will begin to see a “significant impact” in their search results, according to Google. This roll out will happen over the course of a week and will be a “Yes/No” on whether your site is mobile-friendly or not, there are no degrees of mobile-friendliness in this algorithm.

Mobile Usability
Our Mobile Planet: Understanding the Mobile Customer

Mobile is something we all should have been paying attention to anyway. According to a survey sponsored by Google and Ipsos MediaCT, smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Smartphone penetration has risen to 56% of the population, and Smartphone owners are becoming increasingly reliant on their devices. In 2013, it was reported that 67% of smartphone users accessed the internet everyday on their phone and most never leave home without it. These number have undoubtedly risen.

Google is now stepping up the game with this update by ‘requiring’ businesses to have a mobile friendly website to be found in mobile search results. And it makes sense: Google wants to deliver results that their users can be happy using. As a business, you should have the same goal! Make your site easy for people use, and they will use it. To be clear, this will mostly likely only affect non-branded searches done through Google on your browser or the Google App. Those searching for branded terms will likely not see any changes in the results.

Local Mobile SearchOur smartphones allow us to research anything, anywhere. The moment an idea crosses our mind we can pull out our phone and begin the process of getting “more input.” Statics tells us that 94% of smartphone users have looked for local information on their device, and 57% of these users do it once a week, with a whopping 25% doing it every day. Being optimized for local search is a key part of being found.

So how do you make sure you’re ready for April 21st?

Usually updates come up with little or no notice, but Google said it wanted sites to prepare; so, you have some time to make your website mobile-friendly which is a big benefit for business owners. Assuming you have a mobile site already some of the usability issues can be quickly fixed to comply with what Google is looking for. We do offer web design services that can quickly identify any issues, and affordably provide you with a solution. If you don’t have a mobile site at all, we can help with that too.

Identify Mobile Usability Issues

Mobile Friendly LabelKnowing if your site is mobile friendly or not can be done by simply doing a search for your site on your smartphone. Since late last year, Google has been using a ‘mobile friendly’ label on sites which it has identified as being such. If the site does not have this label, then that means it has not passed the test, and there’s a strong possibility it will be affected by the update.

Identifying the issues that are keeping the site from being mobile friendly can be done quickly with a few tools Google provides. Each one of these tools offers varying features and should be used in tandem to assess current issues with usability. Google Webmaster tools will give you the specific items Google is looking for and alert you if the site is not in compliance. It’s also important to understand the potential impact on traffic, which is why I suggest looking at current mobile traffic. Understanding how these mobile visitors are getting to the site and what they do while they are on it will help in making decisions on improving the usability. Identifying landing pages, exit pages, and other metrics will provide information on hurdles users faces and potential areas of improvement.

  • Site validation: Validate your site with Google’s mobile friendly test tool. It’s important that all the elements of your site are crawlable.
  • Current user behavior: Google Analytics provides a wealth of information on mobile users. Identify how they enter your site, where they land, what they do and where they convert. This information will help you understand any hurdles they are facing.
  • Search appearance: Google Webmaster tools will show you what queries your pages are showing up for, what position they hold and which search results these users click. There are features with GWT that will alert you if Google finds usability issues and provide some guidance on the what to fix.

As with most Google updates there tends to be a “freak out” moment where we wonder if we’re going to make the cut. Remember this one simple rule, one that I live by, Don’t optimize for Google! Optimize for the user. If your site is built with user experience at the forefront, then you have nothing to fear. My colleague Jackie Baker has written extensively about The Best SEO Strategy is Always About Your Customers (Not Google).

Sanctuary Marketing Group is ready to assist businesses to make sure they don’t lose rankings and quality traffic on mobile searches after the change is made. Contact us at for a free consultation.

Google Mobile Friendly Update

what is responsive website designA responsive website design dramatically adapts itself to all mobile platforms, such as tablets, laptops and smartphones. It also manipulates the minimum and maximum pixel widths of a website from data provided via Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which tells a website how it’s layout, colors, and fonts should look to the front-end user on their mobile device.

Having a responsive website design is especially necessary for businesses who have a high volume of consumers who access their information through smartphones. According to current Web traffic trends, smartphones continue to be the most preferred method of communication; therefore, designing a responsive website is a very proactive and responsible way to best serve a large volume of smartphone users quickly and easily.

(more…)

Why is Responsive Website Design Important?

acme-mobile-website-developmentIf you haven’t heard by now, there’s a lot of people that have a mobile phone. (Massive understatement) 153.9 million smartphones were sold in Q2 of 2012 alone which means that over 54% of all people that have a mobile phone use a smartphone. The Financial Times cites a recent JP Morgan prediction that 657 million smartphones will leave stores in 2012 worldwide. Whoa…

One of the big changes that we’re seeing from this trend is that people are searching more and more for “stuff” on their phones and even making purchases. (I did it last week) The searches they’re making are very locally focused too which is an important thing to note for all small businesses that have a website. Looking good and making it easy for users to find what they want on their mobile phones is becoming a critical aspect of internet marketing. Why? Because bad experiences hurt your brand. Bad experiences tick off your customers. Bad experiences hurt sales. (more…)

What users want when using a mobile website

mobile marketingThe truth of the matter is that mobile devices are where the future of social networking is. Not only that but this effects the world of ecommerce and businesses of any and all sizes. For this reason, it is important for businesses to get involved in mobile marketing and have a social media presence. This internet marketing need is as important for small businesses as it is larger ones. In fact, it is even more crucial for smaller businesses to do in order to be able to attract inbound marketing.

The increase of the amount of times people use their mobile device to connect with social media continues to rise. This is especially true as the number of people who own devices like smartphones also continues to climb, and quite rapidly. The growth rate in both the US and EU over the past year alone was massive. Those users are the ones now getting on their devices and logging into social media networking sites, like Facebook. In fact, the most popular social media networking sites also have apps that help users connect almost immediately. (more…)

How Mobile Devices Are Driving Social Networking Use

mobile marketingBefore you can begin to understand an answer to this question, you should be sure you are familiar with what Siri is. Siri is the market’s first system that could be considered a ‘personal assistant.’ Siri is a speech recognition system that helps users locate things online or answer certain questions. From personal stock results, facts about animals or how to locate directions to a certain place, Siri works to find whatever you are looking for. To be more specific Siri works to find whatever it is you ask of it by voice.

Siri is based on the based on the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing, and it has three components – a conversational interface, personal context awareness and service delegation

The speech of a user is translated into text, which a computer is able to understand and then run queries on. From there the answer comes from a variety of places, depending on what you ask. Most of the data, however, does come as a result of Siri connecting back to Apple databases. Siri relies upon the processing power of the dual-core A5 chip that comes standard in iPhone 4S. It also uses 3G and Wi-Fi networks to interact with the Apple data centers rapidly. All of this means the personal assistant on your Smartphone can make your life that much easier.

(more…)

Will Siri Forever Change Your SEO Strategy?

According to IBM’s fourth annual Cyber Monday Benchmark Report for 2011, 10.8% of people used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, this was up from 3.9% in 2010.

As a website developer specializing in internet and inbound marketing, we work hard to ensure our clients’ websites play nice across all platforms. A new tool recently launched by Google allows you to measure the mobility of your website in a matter of seconds.

Google’s GoMoMeter lets you see what your website looks like to mobile consumers. Once the results are back you can then rate your site to see if content is missing or images are broken. It then gives you key criteria to gauge the effectiveness of your site for its business category (online-only, lead generation, brand-driven, multichannel).

Its quick. Its easy. And its kinda fun. Ohhh and if you need help mobilizing your website, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 330-266-1188. We’ll be happy to help.

Is Your Website Mobile Ready? Find out with Google’s GoMoMeter