Dynamic design, compelling copy, navigation ease. You’ve invested a lot of resources to make your website a powerful communications tool, and when accessed on a desk- or laptop, your website is a true web star. Unfortunately, for mobile browsers the experience may be more garble than dazzle, marked by slow retrieval times, inferior resolutions and an overflow of information on small screens.
“The single platform website doesn’t necessarily translate well when accessed by a smartphone,” explains Mark Kitchens, Marketing Alliance Creative Director, who compares a website to a theatre. “If you have a single-platform site, desktop access offers a front row seat, while devices like the iPhone, Android or Blackberry may leave visitors to your site stranded with a less than optimum view and an experience that just isn’t as immediate or as compelling.”
And that’s a real problem, with smartphone users numbering more than 45 million and growing, and mobile browsing expected to outpace desktop-based access within three to five years.
Fortunately, translating your message for mobile users doesn’t mean you have to kill your old messenger—“mobilizing” your single-platform site generally means a relatively simple add-on platform. Below, see the difference a mobile platform meant for a Marketing Alliance client Hinds County Economic Development Authority.
The Hinds County Economic Development Authority's website, www.selecthinds.com, has smart code built in that detects what type of device is being used to access the site. Smartphones see the full site while others are automatically directed to the mobile version.
For more information about how to “mobilize” your website, call or email Mark Weilenman at 601.713.0045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Developers and marketers find new route to profitability with online meeting software.
Now boarding: Your online meeting.
Simply take a seat, and thanks to the ease and features-rich advantages of today’s online meeting software, you can go to the ends of the earth (or at least wherever there’s internet access) to enjoy a productive meeting without ever leaving your own office.
Small wonder that nowadays savvy marketers and developers like Joe Higgins of the Columbus, Mississippi LINK development organization are logging on to meet rather than logging miles, saving both time and money. When Higgins got ready to forgo some of his frequent flyer miles for a more cost-effective route, one that would still allow for maximum communications impact, he found the solution with Adobe’s ConnectPro.
“What we liked about it was the ease of use and installation,” he says. “While we installed a webcam on our end of it, all that’s needed to participate in our meetings is the Adobe FlashPlayer, which is already installed on most computers. There’s no specialized software to purchase or download. A meeting with us is very simple. It’s a true come as you are event.”
Here at Marketing Alliance, online meetings have not only slashed travel expenses, they’ve also helped to improve communications with satellite offices in Oklahoma and Arkansas and to operate more collaborative content management website training with clients.
“What’s great is the functionality of the software has now caught up with our needs,” John Abbate, President of Marketing Alliance, explains. “It’s dynamic. We can share documents, exchange desktops, view videos. Online meetings are very immediate means of communicating.”
While ConnectPro is a popular choice in both industry and education, other options are also available, including Webex and GoToMeeting; some companies are even turning to Second Life to hold virtual get-togethers. And with virtual events and meetings expected to grow at a more than 50% annual rate over the next five years, chances are you too will be on board with online meetings in the near future.
There are many legitimate companies that help improve a website’s placement in search engine rankings. There are quite a few bogus ones too.
Before you dive into the business of search engine optimization (SEO), let us help you answer a few questions and provide a few basic tips for helping yourself in this process.
There aren’t any tricks that you need to know. In fact, the “tricks” should be avoided.
And anyone who claims to know how the Google algorithm works is either lying or works for Google. Same goes for any company that guarantees they can get you page one placement.
But everyone agrees on this: good copywriting on your website is imperative. This is where your keywords reside. If someone is searching for you, what search phrases will they use to find you? Are those phrases in your website copy? As long as your text is readable by the search engines (if it’s text, not a graphic) and it contains the keywords searchers are looking for, you’ve taken step one to improving your ranking.
Make a list of keyword phrases that you think accurately represent you and would be logically used by a searcher looking for you. Then look at your copy. You might need to start from scratch, preparing copy that reads well and has appropriate usage of those keyword phrases. Appropriate means it’s written as advertising copy, not just a string of keyword phrases.
If you have the ability to edit the content on your website through content management software, then you can begin editing your content to make improvements.
The hard part – and the part that good SEO companies can assist you with – is identifying keyword phrases that you can logically expect to do well in. In other words, if you want to rank well against a keyword or keyword phrases that produce 15 million results, your chances are slim to none. If you define and refine what searchers might be looking for, then you can more realistically cut out a niche, improve rankings and capture a share of the search universe.
While we’re talking about copy writing, keep this in mind as well: once you’ve driven traffic to your site with good copy that is “keyword rich,” make sure your copy will ultimately create the desired result. How sucky would it be to drive tons of traffic to your site without getting any new business, any interest from prospects, etc.? Experts agree on this point as well: make sure your copy is customer or client directed, not company directed. Try to read your copy from the potential client’s perspective. Is it all about how great you are? What’s in it for them? More of them and less of you is a good thing. According to Google, you should base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors to your site.
Another important element of website development that will improve your site’s rankings is the page titling. This is another form of copywriting that is similar to creating chapter titles. The page title is simply that: the title at the top of each web page. These should be written with the same focus on keywords that body copy should. You probably won’t be able to change these titles because they are part of the site code, but your website designer can make these changes. It’s important to review this element of your site to make sure you are communicating the right message to searches.
A third factor that affects your ranking is probably the hardest to address. This involves linking, specifically having other websites include a link to your website. Research indicates that Google and other search engines give prominence to websites that are considered relevant by other sites through linking. You can initiate a reciprocal linking program (you link to my site and I’ll link to yours) with clients, members, complementary agencies, etc.
In the old days it was a common practice to write keyword phrases into your website’s code, hidden from the viewer, to attract the attention of search engines and hopefully improve rankings. Many sites still have these keyword phrases coded into their site’s meta tags. But research indicates that’s not given any weight by search engines anymore. It’s what is visible and readable that is measured. However, Google does sometimes use the description meta tag (a paragraph describing the company or organization written into the code) as the text for its search result snippets.
Last tip: having the ability to add news and events to your site can improve your ranking in the searches. It gives you more opportunities to add important keyword phrases. Having the ability to archive these stories keeps these keywords in your website.
Social networking has finally become something valuable for all businesses. The question any business owner should be asking him or herself is no longer “Should I use social networking?” It’s “How do I do it?” The following tips are essential to getting started.
Mashable, an online social media guide, shares 9 tips to help incorporate social media into your business:
Learn the Platforms
Determine your Goals
Establish your Presence
Implement Compelling Promotions
Engage with Consumers
Be Prepared to Adapt
Avoid Common Pitfalls
To read the full article, click here.