Tag: website

The Difference between a Mobile App and a Mobile Website

By Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

iPhoneWhat’s the difference between a mobile app and a mobile website? Is there a difference? You bet!

A mobile app is a mini software program that works on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. Just like a computer software program it has to be designed specifically for the operating system. On a computer it would be either be Windows or Mac iOS. On a mobile device it’s either for Android, Windows or Apple’s iOS.

A mobile website is a website that is enhanced to work and be easily navigated when viewed on a mobile device. The website has special coding so that it will recognize the type of device that is trying to access it and show the appropriate web page sized to the screen. If you view a regular website that is not mobile enhanced, the text will be too small, you’ll have to zoom in to read it or navigate through it.

Why should you care about mobile devices?

The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014. eMarketer expects smartphone adoption to continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017. Nearly two-fifths of all mobile phone users—close to one-quarter of the worldwide population—will use a smartphone at least monthly in 2014. By the end of the forecast period, smartphone penetration among mobile phone users globally will near 50%. ~ eMarketer

Every business should have a mobile enhanced website, but not every business needs a mobile app.

A few things to consider are the type of business, your target market, your goals, cost.

What are you mobile needs? There are many questions you should ask yourself to determine your needs.

Do you need customers to order in advance?

Do you need to access your site on a tablet for client presentations?

What do you want visitors to do?

Do you need clients to make appointments?

Mobile devicesIf you have a WordPress site, there are free plug-ins and some themes that you can install that will enhance your site for mobile devices. Test it on all screens before going live. A good web designer can easily create a mobile site for you.

Apps are way more expensive. It requires programming and it takes time to get it approved for iOS, Windows and Android. Apps also need to be updated to keep up with the operating system updates. You need to decide if you’re going to offer the app for free or charge for it.

No matter which way you go, shop around for mobile developers. Check with the BBB and some of their clients and read reviews of their services.

If you’re not sure which way you should go when it comes to mobile marketing, you should speak with a SCORE mentor to determine if your business needs an app or just a mobile enhanced site. Click here to schedule an appointment with a SCORE mentor.

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping small to mid-sized business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. WordPress sites and blogs. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700

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5 Features Your Small Business Website Needs

greater phoenix scoreAverage online users surf the Internet and stumble on hundreds of websites weekly, so they will expect a few things when they visit your small business website. To make sure your site stands out from the pack and, more importantly, takes your online brand to the next level, it should include these five key features:

Strong Headlines

Every page of your website should have a headline that tells your visitors what the page is about. Whether it’s a catchy phrase or a tagline, a strong headline will compel your visitors to stay on the page and keep reading. Here are a few ways to amp up your headlines to keep them interesting:

  • Playful Fonts: Make your headline stand out with unique typography that complements the font used throughout your website.
  • Short and Sweet: Your headlines should be easily scannable and quickly summarize the page’s content.
  • Play on Words: Get creative and show your personality to give visitors a glimpse into your business’s brand and values.

 

Compelling Images

Rather than overwhelming your site’s visitors with words, show them your business’s story with images! The use of powerful, visual elements on your site—like photos and videos—will help balance written content and draw in potential customers. It’s important that your images are relevant and go hand-in-hand with the words on the page, so take the time to find unique images, and then place them appropriately throughout your site.

 

Customer Testimonials

You’re busy running your business, so let your happy customers do some of the talking with the use of testimonials! Visitors like to read customer reviews to know they can trust your business to provide them with high-quality products and services. By creating a page dedicated to testimonials, you’ll show your potential customers that you’re proud of what you do and others are, too! Give your customers the best possible chance of reading what others have to say about your products and services by placing one glowing testimonial front and center on your Home page!

 

Social Widgets

Customer engagement through social media platforms like Facebook® and Twitter® is extremely important to success both online and off.  By incorporating social features like “Share” and “Like” buttons on your website, you’ll be able to connect with more customers, establish credibility, and build your online brand.

 

Credentials

Display badges, logos, certifications, or guarantees on your site to give you and your business instant credibility. Are you a member of professional and/or trade organizations? Have you been honored with any industry awards? Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau? If so, prominently display the badges and logos that represent such affiliations and honors on your Home page.  You don’t want your customers to overlook your remarkable achievements and affiliations.

Making sure your small business website includes these five key features is sure to give you a leg-up on the Web. But to keep growing, always consider other website elements that will help you attract new customers, build your brand, and increase sales. In the future, why not look into incorporating a blog to establish yourself as an industry expert and your site as a go-to source for up-to-date information? Or, if you want to give your customers a way to contact you 24/7, add a contact form to your site. Your dynamic business deserves nothing less than a website to match.
godaddy-logo AThis article was provided by a Go Daddy Small Business Expert. To Learn more about the above topic or additional small business options, check out their Small Business Center.

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Top 8 SEO Best Practices

Written By: The GoDaddy Team

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to the success of your business because it gives your website the best chance to be found by search engines, and most importantly, by potential customers.

Search engine professionals have studied SEO and come up with some tips to help you achieve better search engine rankings. Check out these top eight SEO best practices that will help you optimize your site to appeal to online users and search engines:

  1. Write for people, not robots. Keywords are SEO’s most commonly misunderstood practice. When SEO first gained popularity, keywords had a lot of pull with search engine ranking; however, when search engines noticed that users were “stuffing” or overusing keywords, the SEO requirements changed. Now, search engines reward you for writing naturally and focusing on your online visitors, rather than search engines.
  2. Create share-worthy content that’s useful, up-to-date, and appropriate. When you write website content, consider your visitors and what they’d like to know. You only have one chance to make a strong first impression, so make sure you say what you need to say to cultivate loyalty with your potential customers.
  3. Take advantage of social media and review resources. The more visibility your business has online, the more visits your website will generate! Free social media and local review sites are driven by word-of-mouth recommendations and user engagement, and can help improve your business’s credibility.
  4. Don’t try to work the system. Search engines are very smart. You might get away with some SEO shortcuts, but before long, you’ll be penalized and your website will have little to no organic online success. Yikes! Avoid your search engine’s naughty list, and do your research to see if what you’re doing will improve your site.
  5. Research valuable, relevant keywords. Before you incorporate keywords in your website’s content, it’s important that you know what your customers are looking for! Use online tools to determine popular keywords and phrases that people use to search online.
  6. Increase inbound links. Take advantage of your business relationships and suggest linking to one another’s site to help improve your SEO rankings. Just make sure you know and trust the person whose site you are linking to so people and search engines recognize him or her as a reputable source.
  7. Track your website’s performance. Why put the effort into making your site a success if you don’t track its results? To make sure your website is constantly improving, use a web analytics tool to track the number of visitors to your site, conversion rates, and marketing success!
  8. Recycle, don’t copy. Writing content for your website can be time-consuming and difficult, but it’s an extremely important factor for improving SEO. Search engines severely penalize websites that have pages with unoriginal, plagiarized, or duplicate copy. To avoid this, don’t use another website’s content or copy the same content onto multiple pages of your site. Your business is unique, so make sure the words that describe it are, too!

 

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This article was provided by a Go Daddy Small Business Expert. To Learn more about the above topic or additional small business options, check out their Small Business Center.

 

 

 

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If You Build It, Will They Come to Your Website?

Written By: Bryan Janeczko

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In the movie “Field of Dreams” a farmer heeds the instruction “If you build it, he will come” and builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield.  So if you build a website for your new business, are you also guaranteed to attract the visitors you want?  The answer is… maybe.

There are lots of people online pushing tactics that they say will guarantee that your site is at the top of the search engine results page.  But many of these involve shady practices that, if discovered, will cause your site to be blacklisted by the major search engines.  So my advice is: don’t try to trick the search engines.  Instead, use your resources to create content that potential customers will find valuable.  Next week I’ll focus on the basics for making sure that people who search for your startup can find you.  In the meantime, here are some ideas that will ensure that your site is interesting and engaging – and will keep people at your site once they find it.  Pleasing potential customers should be your main objective – achieve that and the search engine issue will resolve itself.

  • Tell great stories about your business, including what inspired you to start your company and how your organization can help your customers solve their problems.  Always let your passion and purpose for what you do shine through!   Everyone loves a good story and posting content that people want to read is the best way for startups to attract attention to their website.
  • Your startup’s website has just seconds to get customers’ attention, so include a compelling visual on every page – pictures really can say more than words.
  • Add a blog to your startup’s website — it’s a good way to encourage users to visit you often.  Be sure to update your blog often, ideally on a regular schedule so readers will come to know when to expect a new post.
  • Post photos, videos, webinars, infographics, and powerpoint presentations on your startup’s website.  Different people respond to different ways of presenting the same information (that’s why educators often lecture, write on a white or blackboard, initiate discussion, and have students read about the same topic) so use as many different ways as you can of communicating the value your startup offers.
  • Include tips, advice and links to relevant articles on your startup’s website to make it a go-to destination for people in your industry.  Don’t be afraid to reprint content that exists elsewhere – just make sure you ask for permission first and always offer a link back to the source.

Remember that you can’t just build your site and forget it.  Make sure you are updating your site all the time with information about new products and services, success stories from grateful customers, press releases and anything else your readers would find useful or interesting.  New businesses can find tips for improving their web sites from free publications like Website Magazine; from web hosting companies like 1&1, GoDaddy, and Register.com; and, of course, from SCORE.

 

bryan-janeczko-100Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups, including NuKitchen and StartOut. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides aspiring founders with a free startup roadmap to plan, fund, and launch a new venture. He is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed for the long term.
www.wickedstart.com | Facebook | @WickedStart | More from Bryan

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Why Every Business Startup Should Have a Website

Written By: Bryan Janeczko

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Every startup should have a website.  Even if the new business you are planning is not web-based, a website serves as a tool to let folks know that you exist.  For many organizations, the web is a major channel for attracting and managing customers.  So make sure your website tells people plainly and succinctly what your business can do for them.

So how can having a website help you build your business?  Frankly, the possibilities are almost endless!  But here are some tried-and-true uses for even the simplest of websites:

  • Help your customers find you.  Studies show that more and more customers do research online before buying offline.  They want to determine product/service selection and pricing in the convenience of their own home or office, without having to encounter a salesperson or wait in a customer service queue.  So if your business doesn’t have a web presence, you are essentially invisible to these customers, and they will never even consider buying from you, even if they are located right down the street from you.
  • Provide superior, cost-effective customer service.  Since your website is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, posting a comprehensive set of FAQs will allow potential customers to find the information they need.  And if you also include an email link, customers will also be able to provide you with valuable feedback about your products/services quickly and easily.
  • Promote your business.  Website promotions are likely to be less expensive and more effective than print ads, direct mail campaigns, Yellow Pages, or other media.  Plus posting your ads online provides tremendous flexibility, so it is easy to test which product/price/promotion strategy works best.
  • Expand your market.  A website allows your business to expand geographically and become accessible, virtually, from any location in the world by any potential customer who has Internet access.
  • Conduct market research.  Add visitor polls and online surveys to find out what your customers want and need (there are free tools online that make this easy).  You can also use your website statistics to learn more about your customers, including where, geographically, the visitor is from, what keywords led them to your site and so forth.
  • Become an authority.  By including tips, advice, and links to relevant articles on your startup’s website, you can make it a go-to destination for people interested in your industry.  This will provide additional traffic and visibility, which in turn will broaden your customer base.
  • Find funding.  Your company website serves as an important information source for potential investors, where they can learn what your company is about, what it has achieved and what it can achieve in future.

 

phoenix scoreBryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups, including NuKitchen and StartOut. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides aspiring founders with a free startup roadmap to plan, fund, and launch a new venture. He is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed for the long term.
www.wickedstart.com | Facebook | @WickedStart | More from Bryan

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