The internet has brought about dynamic changes in the business world. Most businesses and customers are now using the internet as a means to market and search for products and services in their local area. It is now common to find virtual stores where everything from ordering, delivering to payment is conducted through online means.
In the formulation of a marketing plan, a business must take into consideration the various changes that have been brought about by technology. In contrast to the earlier days when customers would literally hop from one store to the next in search of products, today’s customer has an easy time locating products, their prices, and other important details concerning them in the comfort of their home. All that is required is internet access.
Customers use the internet where they can even order the product at the click of a button and have it delivered within a short time time. Businesses must include in their strategy an online means that allows customers to access their products. This requires development of a business website that allows customers to see their products and services.
Your Site Should Be Mobile Optimized
Owning a business website is not a guarantee that your sales will increase. You must ensure that your website is tailored to meet the needs of all customers. One way is through ensuring that your website is adopted for mobile phones to increase traffic. Call this a byproduct of the miniaturization of technology, or the realization of a dream of always having information on the go.
As a result, web designers and user experience professionals must slightly alter the way they view web design and web interactivity in this new age. There are differences in design and technology to consider, different strategies for dealing with search results, and many added features and inconveniences which can be added in this new mobile website environment. It’s not all as inconvenient as it sounds, but it does mean looking at the differences, and the added benefits of mobile design.
First, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between designing for PC and designing for a mobile website. This should help us understand what some of the differences between the technologies and mindsets behind users are when transitioning between these platforms.
- Screen Resolutions and Aspect Ratios: Mobile phones often use different screen dimensions and resolutions from traditional PC displays. While some can be switched between portrait and landscape profiles on a whim, it’s bad practice to assume that the user has this capability, or will always use it.
With PC displays, websites are often padded with null space on the left and right sides, which allows for expansion or contraction of the page’s width, without altering the content layout. This will not work for a mobile website, ergo a mobile design must be implemented from the start.
- Bandwidth and Load Times: Mobile phones connect via WiFi or 3G. While 4G is becoming available, and is considerably faster than 3G, it’s not available in most parts of the country yet.
This means that when away from a WiFi hot spot, users are usually online via their carrier’s 3G network. It’s about on par with really slow DSL, as far as speed goes. This isn’t very fast. When designing a mobile page, it’s important to make sure it’s simple enough to load quickly on a slow connection, which means a balance between aesthetics and simplicity must be reached.
- Search Statistics: Mobile websites are not tallied in search results and statistics together with traditional websites for PC displays. This is because mobile devices try to report what they are to the search engine in question, to allow it to find more mobile-friendly pages to enhance user experience and convenience.
This means that when measuring search rankings and marketing tactics to ensure your mobile site is found, different methodologies must be employed to ensure the proper results. There seems to be about a 4.5% difference in rankings with Google between mobile and PC-oriented versions of the same pages, where Bing and Yahoo in fact have approximately a 10% difference.
When considering advertising tactics and ad platforms, the screen resolutions and bandwidth must be taken into consideration again. Banner ads and Flash ads are a bad idea due to limitations to display area, load times and computing power. This is one case where AJAX ads and interstitials are actually appropriate, as hard to believe as that may seem.
- Computing Power: Mobile devices aren’t as powerful as PCs on average. A typical mobile device (read: not the incredibly expensive, newest models) is about as powerful as a higher end computer from 2002-2004.
This means that the site should avoid the use of process-heavy technologies like Flash or Java where possible. These devices may not even be compatible with Flash, or HTML5. It’s best to shoot for highest possible compatibilities, of course. We’ve seen the differences, now let’s see what new interactivity can be achieved with a mobile website.
- Touch Technology: Touch technology allows for a more immersive experience with a mobile website than a mouse point-and-click interface via a PC. This means that making click areas larger and more obvious is rather important.
- GPS Capability: Mobile websites can benefit from the added technology of GPS, which pretty much any smartphone has built in in modern times.
This can be coordinated with marketing to give directions to nearby outlets of advertised products, or to give directions to the nearest location of your business with ease. It can also impress users by recommending related businesses and services in the vicinity which they may also enjoy.
- Direct Calling: It’s becoming commonplace to add direct calling buttons to a mobile website, to allow the user to be on the phone with a business or with tech support with a single button click.
Since mobile devices are phones, this is excellent use of the hybrid technology to make it easier for users to contact your business, ergo increasing business at the same time. You’ve seen the differences in the technologies, and you’ve seen but a few of the added features and functions mobile can provide. It requires a different way of thinking, when designing a mobile website and integrating mobile marketing into it. We’re here to help you ensure that you provide the ultimate mobile experience for your users, and we’ve even included a mobile website simulator to both demonstrate the differences in a mobile website environment, and to help you figure out exactly what kind of design you need to best represent your business to the on-the-go internet users of this mobile decade. Let us help you, and together, we can embrace a new age of technology, and a new age of business, by building a better mobile website. It is also important to think of brand creation. This is what you want clients to know you for.
Build Your Brand Online
Building a community is also important in creating an online presence.This involves reading, commenting, replying and other acts on other blogs. Building an online presence also requires being consistent online and identifying a personal code and style. Search Engine Marketing or SEM, is a process of enhancing the presence of a website from the search engines.
As a result, the website will improve its traffic or leads acquisition. YouTube is a great way to build your brand and increase your online presence. People love to have their questions about a company, what they do, and the products and services they offer answered in video. If you cater to a local client base, you’ll want to make sure you have submitted your business information to Google Maps. Not only does this let your customers find directions to your shop or store, you can upload images, videos and important facts such as office hours and coupons and deals you’re running.
There are several ways on how to perform SEM, and the most common method is through pay-per-click advertising. Most search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing are offering pay-per-click advertising solutions for businesses or websites wanting to increase their traffic. However, using pay-per-click advertising solution is expensive so it is essential that the person knows how to use them effectively.
Without the necessary knowledge and skills on how to use pay-per-click advertising, the person might end up spending more rather than getting quality traffic that converts to leads or sales. It is advisable to hire PPC experts or companies when looking for a better solution on utilizing PPC advertising especially for marketing efforts.
Give Your Customers Great Content
Search Engine Marketing uses SEO or search engine optimization in order to increase the ranking of the website. This is the free method used when it comes to enhancing the online presence of a website from different types of search engines.
The purpose of using SEO is to allow the website to rank better for several keywords. These keywords are search phrases from people that are looking for specific information such as products or services from companies. One of the things to do is optimizing online content. This requires writing specific content that people are looking for. SEO works by improving the keyword rankings of websites in search results, which increases the traffics coming to the website.
When it comes to effective search engine marketing, SEO plays a vital role for the success of the website in search engine. The design of the website is all important when it comes to search engine marketing. This is due to the fact that search engines like Google calculates the performance of the websites based from their designs.
Great Site Design = Fast Loading Web Pages
This includes the page load performance and HTML coding. Websites that load slowly and have coding errors are not going to perform well in search results. Addressing these issues of your website makes the online strategies much more effective. There are several ways on how to determine the performance of the website in terms of designs. We constantly test and monitor client websites to find the combination of structure and design that produce unparalleled results.
Client site at beginning of test: Note the maximum and average page load speeds.
Client site after optimization recommendations: Note the maximum and average load times.
Some of them are page analyzer from Google Webmaster Tools and w3c validator. These can help a lot when determining the issues of the website and how to resolve them accordingly. The benefits of SEM when it comes to businesses offering services and products are unmeasurable.
One good reason is that the businesses can easily reach the people looking for specific services and products. There is also no potential limit on how much a business can earn from a online presence. Most people find it easier today to acquire services or products through online means. This is why SEM becomes more and more important for businesses with websites.
Using the proper methods, your website could perform much better. This can drastically improve the traffic of your business website and increase sales and leads. “The web should be fast.” Google Inc. Load your site in to this test and email the test to me at: [email protected]