The Internet offers so many more possibilities for small businesses than ever before. The online marketing opportunities are limitless, and it can be done with the social networks that you use everyday.
So, 'Why Build Your Brand Online?' The answer is simple, because that’s where everyone is. People are going to look for information about your business all hours of the day, everyday. Give your customers the opportunity to see your brand and message at all times. Let them develop a loyalty to your business via the Internet, and the increased opportunities for revenue rewards will likely soon follow. By developing your brand online, you are able to use a vast array of measurement tools to get to know your audience. You can see what messages, and which types of media get the most responses from your customers, as well as, what times of the day get the most activity from your Facebook Fans and hits on your website. From these measurements, not only can you better brand your message based on your customers, but you can give them the voice to support your business to others. Tailoring your message to your customers is vital to building your online brand.
Learn more about online branding and more tips for business development through social media at the article link...
If you’ve recently chatted with your Web development team, you may have heard about responsive design. A growing trend for today’s businesses, publishers and developers, responsive design is an approach to Web development that many brands are considering to optimize their online content for multiple devices with varying screen sizes across the traditional Web, tablets, smartphones and beyond.
Like any philosophy, responsive design is a choice, and a tempting one at that. Many pro-responsive developers affectionately term RD “one-Web,” which emphasizes the single set of code a responsive site is based on. This design principle utilizes coding language that responds to the device being used – whether an Android smartphone or an iPad – in order to display content relative to the size and orientation of its screen.
Amid an overwhelming amount of mobile options and solutions, it’s easy to see why responsive design’s singular code seems like an alluring universal panacea for mobile optimization. However, while responsive design aims to scale web content fluidly across multiple devices with different screen sizes, it may not represent the best option for organizations aiming to deliver unique and innovative experiences to customers.
A good example of this dilemma can be found in LinkedIn’s recent approach to developing its iPad app. According to Kirin Prasad, LinkedIn’s head of mobile development, responsive design doesn’t work for complicated sites like the LinkedIn iPad app, 95% of which was developed with HTML5 to target a specific set of user tasks. This approach allows LinkedIn to create different experiences on different devices based on use case and context. For the majority of sites that require an interactive experience like LinkedIn’s, responsive design limits the different designs necessary to deliver functionality for each use case.
So when is responsive design an appropriate solution?
When the only changing factor in the Web experience is the user’s device, responsive design is a useful solution. It works very well for content sites like magazines and newspapers, because content is simply being reformatted. If you’re accessing a publication’s website on a smartphone, for example, you still want to read the news, just smaller parts of it.
People magazine recently adopted responsive design to great effect in order to scale traditional Web content across screens. This works well for magazines and other content publishers, as users are coming to consume content, not necessarily to interact or search for certain answers.
Beyond device-specific content display, the two other pieces to consider when designing your mobile strategy are use case and context, two realms in which responsive design does not contribute meaningfully.
Use case covers the driving reasons behind a user’s foray onto your mobile site – what the user is looking to do and how it can be accomplished on your site. Take an airline website, for example. When a user visits an airline’s site from their smartphone, they typically want to be able to do a few very specific things like check their flight status, check-in for a flight, or access local information related to their destination. The user expects a completely different experience from when they access the airline site from a computer, which more easily facilitates detailed flight searches.
On the other hand, the mobile user’s goals are often context-driven. In “The Future of Mobile eBusiness is Context,” Forrester analyst Julie A. Ask defines “mobile context” as “the sum total of what your customer has told you and is experiencing at his moment of engagement.” Because user experience and context are the new benchmarks of a mature mobile strategy, they should drive the decisions you make when designing your mobile experience.
Responsive design implicitly suggests that mobile is a subset of the traditional Web, but it is clear that people use mobile for a very different end. Consider what a user is searching for when accessing a mobile site. The user does not wish to browse on the same site that is available on desktop PC, but expects a different experience for different end goals – an experience that is fast, convenient, relevant and contextual.
Many banks have done a great job of optimizing the mobile experience to help users accomplish specific goals. This is why responsive design does not work across the board – it is not able to deliver the individual experiences, like the ability to deposit a check by snapping a picture, required by mobile banking customers. The limitations of responsive design in adapting for use case and context means that it is more hindrance than help in mobilizing distinct, device-specific experiences that impart user value, such as more complicated web applications.
The future of digital business depends primarily on mastering the mobile channel. Mobile’s mushrooming numbers are due to the convenience of remote access and a new reliance upon the delivery of information when and where little to none was previously available. When developing your approach to engaging customers via mobile, it is key to ensure your strategy accounts for the rising expectations your customers have for this important channel.
Once you understand the kind of mobile experience you want to create, you can decide whether adopting a responsive design philosophy can deliver upon these expectations and goals. While responsive design can help you achieve a certain measure of consistency across channels, the real prize lies with the ability to create unique experiences. A broader multi-screen approach designed dynamically by channel will enable the sort of customer experiences that yield higher engagement and contribute to overall success.
On November 1st I reached the 19 year mark as a content publicist/link builder. Nineteen years. I won’t bore you with how we went after links back then by rubbing two sticks together and sending up smoke signals.
Google’s Panda update left a slew of victims in the wake of its warpath (the war, of course being on shallow and low-quality content). While Google has dropped some hints here and there on its philosophies for what it considers to be low quality, the company has now been clearer than ever as to what it’s looking at.
Do you think Google’s results have improved since the Panda update? Tell us what you think.
“Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year,” writes Google Fellow Amit Singhal on the Google Webmaster Central blog. “In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda. Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.”
Google lists the following as “questions that one could use to assess the ‘quality’ of a page or an article”:
Would you trust the information presented in this article?Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?How much quality control is done on content?Does the article describe both sides of a story?Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
The company is careful to note that it’s not disclosing actual ranking signals used in its algorithms, but these questions will help you “step into Google’s mindset.” These questions are things that Google says it asks itself as it writes algorithms.
Singhal also reminds webmasters, “One other specific piece of guidance we’ve offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.”
We’ve already seen victims of the update respond by taking this approach. For one, Demand Media announced a big new clean-up initiative, in which it is cleaning house on user-generated content used on its eHow site – deleting some articles, while sending others back through the editorial process.
I’m sure we will be digging into all of this more very soon.
Yesterday the Google Analytics team announced an important improvement to their In-Page Analytics report: enhanced link attribution. The In-Page Analytics reports provide, in a page basis, the percentage of clicks from page to page in a website.
Shopping on social media may not be big right now, but by 2015, it's expected to explode...
A new infographic by has found that “social commerce sales are expected to bring in $30 billion each year by 2015, with half of web sales to occur through social media,” writes Samantha Murphy of Mashable. Currently, one in three small businesses use Facebook, while there are over 42 million fan pages on Facebook. Seventeen percent of those sell products on the pages.
Facebook fans are 79 percent more likely than a non-fan to purchase a product, and 74 percent of fans are more likely to recommend a company or product. The social media site also drives 26 percent of referral traffic to company websites. Right now ”20 percent of shoppers prefer to purchase products via Facebook than the brand’s website”— and that number is expected to climb.
Only 12% of the top 50 British websites have taken steps to comply with the EU Cookie Directive with an onscreen pop-up, banner or tab informing users about cookies on the site, according to a new report from TRUSTe.
LONDON (Reuters) - The head of Britain's largest department store group said on Wednesday the government should examine tax advantages enjoyed by multinational companies such as online retailer Amazon,...
Want to use social media to find prospects, turn them into customers, and extend them into advocates? Upgrade your outdated sales funnel with the best practices of today's top social brands from Wildfire by Google.
A month ago, I covered how Matt Cutts of Google said guest blogging can be good. But shortly after writing that, a client emails me about where they should place links in their guest blogs. Should they place two or one.
A constant challenge for Internet marketers targeting Facebook has been gaining engagement. Generally brands and page admins have defined engagement as things such as likes, shares, and comments, but more importantly to gain reputation with Facebook’s algorithm.
This infographic created by SocialMouths and American Express OPEN illustrates ways to help make a Facebook page’s post a bit more popular through optimization of post elements such as short posts, the use of emoticons, the best times to post, and contest ideas...
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.