Responsive website design is a website that re-sizes to the device you are using, for example if you grab the corner of your browser and make the screen smaller or bigger the a websites layout and content will change to fit the size of the screen. This type of website is a must have in the market now days as more and more people are using their tablets and mobile devices to research the internet and still using their laptops and pc’s during working hours.
Responsive website design gives you a huge advantage over the average HTML web development as you get to target all devices that have any browser functionality. Before responsive websites came out most companies that were looking to target mobile and pc users had to have two websites, one that you would view on your pc or laptop and another that would be viewed on your mobile or tablet, redirecting depending on the device you are using, this way of doing it was always a lot of work because every time you need to update your website you would have to update both websites not to mention a much more costly approach. With responsive websites you now only have to update one website that will adjust to work on multiple devices. Responsive websites are being built in content management systems (CMS’s) making it even less of a hassle to update and take care of your website. Content management systems give you the ability to login to your website from anywhere in the world, make your updates and changes and logout, without the help of a web designer. A CMS is a management system for non-technical users to update and change their websites in a visual manner as an alternative to coding. Picture a CMS as a glorified Word Document with added functionality.
To fully understand how to advertise on Google, we have to explore the software that’s responsible for this. Google Adwords is the online marketing service that essentially allows advertisers to compete & display their brief advertisements based on various parameters. These advertisements of course are paid for and each time a user diverts their attention to your advertisement, Google as well as their partner company’s receive a portion of the income they generate for you from your account. Let’s explore the parameters we spoke about further.
The first major parameter is the keywords for your advertisement. A keyword is a particular word that an individual would type into their search engine to search the web. The basic function of a keyword is to direct users to content based on what they have searched for on their search engine. Your advertisement works in the same way. If for example you put a keyword such as “website design” all over your advertisement. Users that then type “website design” into their browser will then see your “sponsored link” all over the 1st page of the search. There are many things to consider with your specific keywords. Google AdWords additional functionality enables you to optimise your keyword choices using a keyword planner, which basically gives you accurate feedback of the exact monthly keywords being searched. This has additional filters so you can target regions more accurately and will ensure that you have used a keyword that will get you some hits.
The next parameter is of course finance, as Google Adwords implements cost-per-click advertising, cost-per-thousand-impressions or cost per mille advertising, site-targeted advertising for text, banner, and rich-media ads, and remarketing & much more. This is where a professional campaign is required as it’s easy to just throw money at Google Adwords but a campaign that isn’t monitored correctly can just become a waste of money. Choose professional Google Adwords specialists that will monitor your campaign closely and ensure better value for your money and online advertising that will generate great business for the future. The greatest feature about Google Adwords over traditional marketing campaigns is the fact that you are only paying for people interested in your advertisements. This immediately increases the conversion rate (converting people from simply visiting your advertisement into future clients) of your advertisement.
Even if your site has the best design and the most interesting content, if it’s not displaying correctly on mobile devices—you’ll be out of the running before you know it.
More and more people prefer to use their mobile devices rather than desktops to search and purchase products and services online. If you want to stay competitive in the business world, it is absolutely crucial to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile.
The opportunity costs that will be lost if you don’t keep up with Google’s mobile algorithm update, which will has recently taken effect as of April 21, are too important to be ignored. Essentially, when a user does a search on a mobile device, Google will favor the results with mobile-optimized sites over those that aren’t, and show them at the top of the search engine result pages. This update will affect the display of organic results on mobile devices, which in turn will have a huge impact on your business. Moreover, if your website does not show or perform well on a mobile device, users will very likely be annoyed with their experience and will ignore your site altogether.
Since the mobile algorithm update affects mobile searches in all languages worldwide, this change will have a massive impact on Google search results. The mobile algorithm update is a game changer – businesses that make sure their websites are mobile-friendly will survive and win over the competition, especially when it comes to mobile searches. Whoever doesn’t choose to adapt to the change will be plain out of luck.
Mobile users will find Google’s mobile algorithm update beneficial. This change will make it easier for them to get more relevant and better quality results that are optimized for their devices.
Google wants to make sure that users on mobile devices have a faster, smoother search experience. As mobile traffic continues its upward trend, website owners have to ensure that you do the necessary work and actions to rectify any crucial errors in your website that affect the users’ mobile experience.
How to stay on top of the game
If your website is not ready, here are the things you should do to survive the Google mobile algorithm update and make you win when it comes to mobile visibility:
- Take the Google mobile-friendly test.
Taking this test is something that you should do immediately. The test will quickly determine whether your website will pass the mobile-friendly requirements.
To take the test, click here. The system will analyze if your site has a mobile-friendly design. You will either receive an “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” message or a “Not mobile-friendly” warning at the end of the test.
- Refer to Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
- Audit your website.
- Consider updating to a responsive web design.
If you are still using an age-old website, consider switching to a responsive content management system (CMS). The migration exercise will prove to be a beneficial business decision as your conversion rates will be higher if your site performs well and loads faster.
- Maximize security.
Google factors security in its search algorithm. It is crucial to ensure that your website is secure, not only for your business protection but also for better search results. While you are looking at improving your website to be mobile-friendly, don’t forget to look into its security aspect as well. Look for hosting providers that are providing additional layers of protection and security plugins. If you’re using CMS, such as WordPress, install security plug-ins. And speaking of plug-ins, you must keep them updated to the latest versions. Most outdated plugins are vulnerable to hacks and malware infections.
- Utilize Google Webmaster Tools.
Google Webmaster Tools provides helpful information and sophisticated toolset for managing your website. The tools include security warnings for checking your site’s health. With an early security warning from Google, you will be able to fix the problem immediately before it causes major damage not only to your search engine results but also to your whole website (including to your site’s files, databases and user-admin details). The tools can also help you understand your search traffic and how users find your site.
- Install Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides the insights to help you find more web visitors and improve your business. Google mobile app analytics can help you understand how your mobile applications are performing, from discovery and app download to purchases made via mobile devices.
- Ensure your mobile app content is indexable by Google.
Google provides a step-by-step guide to help developers implement app indexing and create mobile applications that are easy to index. This tool enables Google to surface the content and information prominently in search results. It means a powerful boost to your mobile search engine ranking.
- Review your mobile Internet marketing.
There’s more to it than just making sure that your website can be navigated easily on all mobile devices. It’s also crucial to rework on your business plan and Internet marketing strategies to go along with the evolution of technology. Look at your SEO practices and mobile application content to make sure they’re following suit.
These steps will help make sure you’re set up for Google’s mobile algorithm update, surpass the competition and build a stronger online presence.
Meanwhile, if you are new to all of this and have just started working on your website, use Google’s helpful reference in designing mobile-friendly sites.
Why has minimalism and minimalist web design become such a fixture within today’s digital solutions? Driven largely by consumer experience, technology and design trends, minimalist web design has been embraced by several influential companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft. The less is more approach has become an aesthetically pleasing and functional way for businesses to communicate value proposition, products, services and even culture across web, print and mobile.
With so many other businesses vying for your customers’ attention and all the distraction of email, web and social, a minimalist website can be quite refreshing for a consumer that’s accustomed to or even immune to an over saturated digital approach.
Why Minimalism Works
Minimalism is a visual aesthetic characterized by its simplicity. Popularized in the mid-20th century by American artists like Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland, minimalism has become a staple of modern design. Since the early-2000s it has been an important part of graphic and digital design, often discussed in tandem with flat design.
A minimalist web design focuses on what the consumer actually needs then clearly communicates solutions to those needs. By guiding consumers to pertinent information like what benefits your business can offer, its mission and goals and specific calls to action, you save your consumer valuable time which in turn makes it easier for them to form a relationship with your brand.
Minimalist web design can benefit your SEO too. Google has offered businesses advice after releasing its Google Panda algorithm update in 2011. The advice is still valuable, since “Panda” is now a fixture of its search functionality. Basically Google’s algorithms are aimed at helping people find “high-quality” websites by reducing rankings of low quality content. So removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages could eventually help the rankings of your higher quality content.
Minimalist web designs have great benefits and are also functional because they can:
- Optimize page load times, so consumers access content faster
- Function well across desktop and mobile channels—increasingly important as more consumers access online content through smartphones and wearables
- Streamline website updates and maintenance
What Does Minimalist Web Design Look Like?
Nielsen Norman Group, a market research firm specializing in user experience, conducted a study that evaluated more than 100 minimalist websites. This is what they had in common:
- Functionality and design stripped to its bare necessities
- Less emphasis on skeuomorphic design techniques like raised, sunken or hollow textures
- Limited or purely monochromatic color palettes
- More white (negative) space
- Marked use of typography or images
Think back to June 29th 2007 – I’m sure it will be a date that will not mean much to you but it was the launch of the very first iPhone. Some 18 months later, the first android-powered handset was rolled out and from there on in the two juggernauts have locked horns ever since.
This isn’t another blog about how we should all be leveraging the power of mobile and ‘the internet in your pocket’ – that was yesterday’s revolution. The future is way more exciting.
Many developments, re-imaginations, and updates later – the power of the mobile phone in our everyday existence has never been stronger. And we know that is only going to increase. The entire marketplace is a vast difference from where we were those 8/9 years ago, with marketplace creations, suiting for every taste and requirement.
The advancement of the technology infrastructure around it has also been vast, with the connected networks enabling more features/benefits and increasingly impressive speeds to allow users to get instantaneous responses from their handsets whatever the need.
The last 6 months and most likely the next 12 months will see the rise around Virtual Reality (VR) with more development being centred around how your handset can transform you into another world when paired with other technologies. This will become the norm in the homeplace, the future outside of that though remains unclear.
One major area that we fully expect to see evolve rapidly is around that of Maps. Much has been made of the difference between Apple and Google’s versions. The flexibility and customisation around your personal searches will only increase – being served up relevant information, points of interest and advice at any given time.
As Android and Apple both change the terms of you using their software, they at the same time start tracking your every move – the ability for your phone to really ‘know you’ is not that distant away. We often refer to mobile as second-screen, but for many the next few years will see a transition to it becoming their first screen.
Our dependency levels on phones will only increase, especially as they become more familiar toward our traits – the change of people functioning naturally in a digitally enhanced environment is creating a certain level of ambient intelligence that gives phone operators and manufacturers a strikingly high amount of access (and dare we say it – power – to your personal world).
The evolution of mapping though will not stop at that of the maps but will increase around the rise of the Internet of Things – as more gadgets and technologies access the same networks and real-time updates get quicker and more insightful. Perhaps one of the most interesting potential mapping innovations could come out Google’s Project Tango. This is a real-time 3D mapping technology that uses phones with two cameras on recreate your view in 3D – a bit like Microsoft’s Kinect. This technology could be used not just to create cool-looking 3D maps (imagine a 3D Streetview you could zoom around like Grand Theft Auto), but could have practical applications too such as helping the blind and partially sighted navigate more easily – all using the power of your phone.
The role of messaging through your device will also evolve at a rapid rate. We already have a plethora of options in Hangouts, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Skype to name a few – Google will almost certainly feel the pinch here and push toward a universal system that covers off all areas of communication (with web access also provided). At the centre of this could be Slack (Google has a large stake and thus vested interest) that could be used as the centralised element of Cloud-based messaging, but time will tell.
Paying through phone or wearable tech is now mainstream – it really has come of force and we believe that only the surface has been scratched. Your phone will replace your wallet in the next 10 years and more than likely your key’s to house and car but that is a whole other story (more on that below!)
The main removal in years to come will be the automated process of taking payment when you enter a building or train carriage. As more handsets / wearable devices are produced with NFC functionality this will become a constant part of our existence. Fingerprint recognition in both Android and iOS is already available (albeit not mainstream) and this will provide a barrier of login credential risk to ease the process of purchasing through your device. The big area of doubt that remains with this is the security of said systems. Despite multiple encryptions, there will always be an appetite for certain individuals to try and break and interfere with models that are created and so though the benefits are multiple – it is easy to understand why we should perhaps proceed with caution.
One counterpoint of those concerned with this is the rise in behavioural biometrics – your phone understanding your behaviour and building up a profile of behaviour. This will range from how you drive, message, call – everything you do will be anaylsed remotely and a profile be formed based upon that. From a security perspective, trying to replicate this will apparently be ‘near impossible’.
From a digital marketing perspective, what will be most interesting is that we will get a better understanding on a granular level of how that individual interacts with a website – allowing for much more dynamic customisation options that are tailored to just you.
One final that deserves more attention is around Hardware Innovation. The rise of flexible screens is very likely, which would also potentially enable for screens to stretched too.
A particular area that is getting lots of buzz is what has been called ‘lifi’. These are wireless signals sent using visible light: having a bulb flicker slightly dim and brighten many thousand times a second, data can be transmitted 100 times faster than wifi according to the scientists that pioneered it.
Our use of phone’s in the cars and home through connected technology will become mainstream. Be it dashboard’s or controlling thermostats – the mobile will rule king and be at the centre of all activity in our lives.
Perhaps then the danger of the next 3 years is actually that of the unforeseen. As Amazon showed in 2014, their status took a little beating as they introduced the FirePhone and just perhaps learnt that rather than their own phones – it instead will focus on existing manufacturers to use its software and services, such as the Amazon App Store rather than Google Play – meaning that Google won’t get a penny. A bit of healthy competition is not necessarily a bad thing!
Whatever may happen in the time ahead, the future is one that is amazingly exciting. If developers can get the multiple platforms into a state where we don’t require constant updates then that excitement increase furthers as more time will be spent on actual developments and not just housekeeping. The mobile phone is here to stay, just be ready for how much potential it has, something that we could not have envisioned those 8 years ago.
Google reports annual search statistics of more than one trillion, or over 3 billion searches each day. To get found in the sea of search results, your website needs search engine optimization or SEO.
2015 saw massive changes to SEO, as website owners struggled to keep up with changes to the Google algorithm. Explore what’s trending for SEO in 2016 to tweak your website and attract more business.
1. Rise of Long-tail keywords targets voice search
Long-tail keywords should already be part of your SEO strategy. If you aren’t yet using them, voice search may convince you to. A web user is more likely to speak a long-tail keyword, such as “who delivers pizza in Chicago at 2 a.m.?” than a brief keyword like “Chicago late night pizza delivery.” Write web content that incorporates relevant long-tail keywords to get found in voice searches.
2. Local SEO adoption is critical
If you haven’t incorporated local SEO yet, you still have time to do so. Failure to embrace local SEO by the end of 2016 will put you behind the pack. The easiest way to embrace local SEO is by adding local contact information (your business name and full address) to your footer and using geo-targeted keywords: Denver Dental Implants vs. Dental Implants. Then create business listings with Google, Bing, and Yahoo directories.
3. Social media presence affects your SEO
Content marketers predict that social media will become more important in terms of SEO in 2016. This means that not only should your webpage rank highly in search engine results, but so should your LinkedIn or Twitter feed. Incorporate the same keywords you already target into social media content to make sure you rank as highly as possible.
4. App links do matter
Google already indexes apps, but some expect that app links will start to matter for SEO purposes. If you have an app, link to certain pages or sections of the app to incorporate valuable deep links. Employ app indexing measures to point users toward your app or encourage them to install it. If you don’t yet have an app, create one now or try to get listed in other apps in your niche.
5. Dump algorithmic content before you get punished
The ubiquitous, over-hyped content that brought websites like Upworthy such acclaim is projected to be the next target of Google’s algorithm. Web articles that use formulaic headlines — The 7 Secrets of X (#2 Will Surprise You!) — and descriptions like “You won’t believe what happened next” as clickbait will be penalized in search rankings.
Make sure you do not get affected by editing any algorithmic content on your website and pledging not to create such content in 2016. Incorporate these trends into your search engine optimization now to ensure your webpage remains relevant in search results. When it comes to SEO, delays can have a measurable impact on your lead conversion and customer base.