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4 Ways to Go Mobile-Friendly

Posted Thu, May 21, 2015 by Julie Short

In a recent post, we looked at what it is that actually makes your website “mobile-friendly.” Having that understanding is important, especially since mobile users now make up a majority on the Internet, outnumbering “traditional” laptop and desktop computer users online.

Today, we want to go a bit further and look at the different options you have for adding mobile functionality to your business website…

By Building a Mobile Version of Your Website

Mobile-specific websites are just what they sound like: versions of your web presence that are built, designed, and encoded specifically for mobile devices. These work and display best on small screens, of course, since they are optimized for that purpose. However, they bring the additional expense of creating an entirely new website, not to mention keeping it up-to-date, along with your existing web presence.

With an Adaptive Web Design

With an adaptive web design, you have one website that actually has several different versions. When a visitor comes to your pages, the coding within the side “decides” which version to show based on the available browser and screen size. While this does give you mobile functionality, it can lead to small errors when a mobile web browser and your website platform communicate incorrectly, causing the wrong layout to be displayed.

Through Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design works in a similar way, except that the adaptations are more fluid because of back-end coding. In other words, your website “responds” to the visitor’s device and browser, but can also change appearance if they resize their screen or change options. Because responsive web designs are more flexible, they tend to make fewer mistakes, and are also more likely to be compatible with future mobile devices, and screen sizes, that may not be popular yet.

By Developing a Custom App

As an alternative to mobile compatibility in your website, or an additional option, you could have a custom app developed that either serves as a replica of your website or adds more features. For example, your custom app might let mobile users log into their accounts, place new orders, or get specific updates (like package tracking) in one secure and convenient place. The downside to developing an app is that you’ll generally need lots of people to use it before you can justify the cost.

So, with all these options out there, which one makes the most sense for your company?

To explore the choices a bit further, and to decide which one might be right for you, contact a member of the WebRevelation team today and ask for a free website evaluation.

Posted in : Websites , SEO/SMO/SMM , Mobile Websites , Business Strategy | 
Tags : ways to go mobile friendly


What Does “Mobile-Friendly” Really Mean?

Posted Thu, May 14, 2015 by Julie Short

When Google announced that it would start factoring mobile compatibility into its search engine rankings beginning on April 21, business owners and web designers were sent into a flurry. Suddenly, thousands and thousands of new companies decided it was the perfect time to adopt a “mobile-friendly” web platform.

Lost in this sudden surge of mobile programming, however, was the fact that a lot of marketers don’t fully understand what “mobile-friendly” really means. To help shed some light on the situation, here is what you need to know about that term, and the underlying functionality it adds to your website:

The Basics of Mobile Compatibility

The essence of a mobile-friendly website is that it can display cleanly on a small screen, and adapt to a mobile browser that may have limitations a traditional web browser wouldn’t. The most obvious of these has to do with page and image widths, which need to be restricted on mobile devices. Without that, mobile users will be forced to scroll from left to right while trying to read text, for example, or view an image.

In addition, mobile browsers work better with standard fonts than they do exotic ones, so that should be a consideration. It’s also a good idea to limit image sizes and animations, since these can load slowly or use up too much space on a user’s data plan.

Generally Speaking, Mobile = Simple

What these basics amount to is often a simpler version of your standard website, or at least a version that displays more cleanly and simply for mobile users. As an example, if your website has a dozen links across the top of your main navigation bar, these may need to be moved, abbreviated, or otherwise altered to make them usable on a smart phone. Additionally, content can be rearranged so that it’s easier to scroll from top to bottom instead of left to right.

Buttons and Action Items Need Tweaking, Too

The third factor in mobile compatibility is the availability of radio buttons, click-to-call response forms, and other simple calls to action. Few mobile visitors will want to type long strings of text to get more information from your business, or fill out complicated forms on tiny screens.

Part of mobile functionality is ensuring that it’s is easy for customers to do what you want them to do – especially if that’s to make a purchase or get in touch with you for more information – than it is for them to see and read your content.

Although Google’s new mobile-friendly stance may seem like it’s driving the trend towards smart phone and tablet compatibility forward, the reality is that mobile web users already make up more than half of all Internet traffic. So, adopting a mobile-friendly attitude is a good idea, regardless of whether you rely on search engines or not.

In the next post, we are going to outline a few of the different ways you can bring mobile compatibility to your business website. If you can’t wait that long, or have more specific questions, feel free to contact WebRevelation today and ask for a free consultation.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM , Mobile Websites | 
Tags : mobile friendly


3 Things You Need to Know About Google’s April 21 Mobile Deadline

Posted Thu, March 26, 2015 by Julie Short

One of the things that tends to frustrate business owners and marketers most about search engine optimization is that Google – which controls the lion’s share of search traffic in North America – tends to only hint at small changes before unleashing them onto the world. In other words, you rarely ever get word of the storm before it hits.

With that in mind, web designers and marketers have to be at least a little bit grateful that they’ve been given advance warning this time. On April 21, Google will roll out a huge algorithm update that’s aimed at giving a higher search priority to mobile-friendly websites (and by extension, pushing websites that aren’t mobile compatible farther down the listings).

You can read more about this algorithm shift in Google’s own words here, but we are going to save you some time and give you three details every business owner or manager needs to be aware of:

#1 April 21 Could Bring a Huge Shift in Search Engine Positioning

Experts think this won’t just be a minor change in the way Google processes and displays search results. In fact, most are predicting that it will eclipse both Penguin and Panda (which were huge in their impact on SEO in their own right) in terms of the way it will change the landscape.

That means there are going to be winners and losers – websites that suddenly start getting lots more search traffic, and others that see their search volume dry up overnight. Which category will your business website fall into?

#2 Google Isn’t Leaving You Any Wiggle Room

One interesting thing we know about the coming April 21 algorithm shift is that Google either considers your site to be mobile-friendly or not mobile-friendly. That is, there isn’t any wiggle room, and they aren’t taking into account the degree to which you’ve made your website compatible with smartphones and tablets.

There are still plenty of reasons to incorporate as many mobile features as you can, but for now the world’s largest search engine is going to give you a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

#3 If You Aren’t Ready, Take Action Now

If you have any questions about whether or not your business website is mobile-friendly, or suspect you aren’t ready for the April 21 algorithm change, we strongly advise you to speak with a WebRevelation team member today. Over the years, we’ve learned two important things about getting customers from Google: first, that it can be highly profitable and cost-effective; and second, that it can take a long time to catch up if you fall behind or run afoul of Google’s requirements.

A major change to the way search engine positions are calculated is coming quickly, and it’s coming regardless of whether you’re ready or not. If you need to make some changes or upgrades to your business website before it’s too late, call WebRevelation now at 817-283-3324 or 405-607-0349 to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help.

Posted in : Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM , Mobile Websites , Announcements | 
Tags : mobile friendly , google change


4 common pitfalls of mobile web design

Posted Wed, May 21, 2014 by Julie Short

Welcome to 2014 – the future we all dreamed of years ago. You might even be reading this post on your space-age smartphone or tablet. Just like you, your website's visitors might be doing a lot of their internet browsing on mobile devices. So - is your site truly mobile-friendly or is it actually costing you money and conversions due to poor design?

Here are a few problems we see come up again and again in our clients’ mobile design.

1. Ignoring mobile users

All of the other issues on this list pale in comparison to not catering to mobile users at all. This is especially true if you're using your website to sell products directly to consumers. Danyl Bosomworth of Smart Insights reported that 35% of all web traffic occurs on mobile devices; companies like Amazon have seen an 87% growth in mobile visitors since 2012. Further, buyers prefer to shop on a mobile app over a mobile site, therefore, not having an app through which consumers can purchase goods or services may be actively hurting your company.

2. Using a separate mobile site

For a while, all mobile web design relied upon separate sites. However, this created more hassles than problems solved. For users, mobile-only sites often meant outdated design and limited functionality. On your end, do you really want to update two websites every time something on your site changes? This is why the move to responsive design makes so much sense. Create one design – but create rules that will make it transform appropriately when someone views it on a mobile device. Building your layout on a fluid grid is the key to responsive web design.

3. Basing design on user agents

You're all ready to create a mobile-friendly, responsive website. You want to ensure that your website responds correctly based on the user's device. You might think you can easily do it by detecting iOS, Android or other mobile operating systems – but you'd be wrong. In 2014, the line between mobile operating systems is almost nonexistent. Just look at Windows 8. However, the method you would need to display properly according to a specific operating system -- user agent detection -- is incredibly inconsistent. There are dozens of user agents that Android devices alone might use. The better (and easier) method is to detect screen size and resize your layout accordingly.

4. Making your website difficult to use for mobile visitors

Even if you have a responsive website, you might not be doing enough to streamline the checkout and shopping process. This could be costing you real conversions. (And you know how much we like to talk about conversions !) The following are several examples of problematic website behavior and how you can fix them to increase mobile conversions.

  • Your address and phone number aren't links. Turn them into anchors to allow people to call you or load your business in their GPS app.
  • Your forms are too small. Increase form size on mobile resolutions. Make sure that you're using labels for text so users can select the text and not just the small box or radio circle.
  • Your website requires login to check out. Groan! Don’t make your almost-customers angry at the very end of a potential buy. Enable guest checkout and/or account creation as the shopper goes through a transaction.
  • Users have to click too many times to shop and checkout. Allow users to view more items per page rather than clicking through many pages. Allow users to add items to their shopping carts from the category page in addition to the product listing. Add a "Cart" button in multiple locations so that you’re making it easier for customers to convert.

Just as Kevin Costner learned, if you build it, they will come. Of course, your field of dreams may be your small business – so building it correctly is even more important!

If you need to consult the professionals on your mobile web design, contact the experts at Web Revelation. We’ll show you how to keep your site up-to-date – and your customers happy.

Posted in : Mobile Websites , Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile websites


What the Right Mobile App Development Partner Can Do For You

Posted Wed, September 25, 2013 by Julie Short

With thousands of companies across America considering mobile app development projects to help generate sales and boost the bottom line, more and more of them are wondering how to find the right app designer… or even what exactly a good app developer actually does.

That's understandable. It's a very new field, and one that's growing so quickly that it's hard to keep track of different concepts, labels, and best practices. With that in mind, we'll begin by explaining that, in a basic sense, an app developer is usually a person or team who takes your idea, programs it into the right formats and languages, and gives you a finished piece of software that can be used on iPhones, iPads, Androids, and other mobile devices.

As with something like web design, however, there are a lot of different types of companies that can help you with app development – and a lot of different levels of service and value. So, rather than simply defining an app developer, let's look at a few other things that the right app development partner can do for you:

Assess your idea, the market, and your competition. A lot of business owners and executives want to rush an app to market, but that's not a wise approach. Your development partner can do a bit of research and see whether your idea is likely to succeed, and what kind of competition you're up against.

Help turn your app concept into a viable product. Few app ideas are ready for development after an initial brainstorming session. Often, a little bit of thought about the features and layouts that will be used can produce important improvements – especially if a team of seasoned app developers can give some input.

Handle the technical details of app development (and especially troubleshooting). In the same way, there's a big difference between "coding" an app and having it ready for sale. You want your app tested extensively, within different types of mobile devices, to make sure it's going to work correctly for customers.

Get your app to market and help you build initial sales. Apps hardly ever generate their own sales momentum, at least not when they are first released. That's why it's important to have a strong, efficient marketing plan in place to let customers know about your product and start generating orders and downloads.

Although a lot of companies offer "app development" as one of their services, very few really give you the level of value that you're probably looking for. Remember that, and then choose your app development partner wisely.

Want to learn more about mobile apps and how they fit into your business? Call or email WebRevelation today to arrange for a free consultation.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


5 Ingredients to a Great Mobile App Development Project

Posted Wed, September 18, 2013 by Julie Short

These days, almost everyone thinks they have a great idea for an app. But, once they get to the market, many apps fail to make an impression, either because there is too much competition, the design and development are lacking, or the concept ends up being unworkable as an actual piece of software.

So, how can you tell if your mobile app will be a success? There aren't any surefire answers, but here are five ingredients for a successful app development project:

1. A unique concept. There are a lot of really great app development ideas that fail simply because others have thought of them in the past. If your app is similar to others that are on the market, it needs to do something different, or better, in order to stand out.

2. A strong list of features. Does your app development project truly represent big value for someone who would buy or download it? By examining your list of features – that is, what it is your app will actually do – you can decide whether or not it's actually needed in the market, and whether customers will actually come looking for it.

3. Streamlined design with an emphasis on usability. No one wants to spend a lot of time learning to use an app, and if it doesn't shine from a usability standpoint, it's only a matter of time before a competitor releases a product that's easier to navigate. The same goes for design, where your app should have a pleasing look and interface.

4. Extensive testing and compatibility research. Apps that crash frequently, or don't work consistently across different mobile operating platforms, will struggle to achieve even modest sales. Because you don't want your app to get a reputation as being unstable, extensive testing is a necessity before you release it.

5. A comprehensive marketing and promotion plan. It's very rare for an app to simply show up for sale online and start to generate attention and reviews all on its own. Just as websites don't automatically appear in Google's rankings, an app promotion and marketing plan is important to generate momentum and find those all-important initial buyers.

Does your mobile app idea meet all of these criteria? Whether it does or not, now might be the perfect time to speak with the WebRevelation team – we can help you get more from your concept or turn it into something that's profitable for years to come.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


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