Responsive is now the standard.

Every business needs a beautiful, well designed Website.


marketing and digital agency ted360


However, if that Website can’t be viewed properly on a mobile device or tablet you run the risk of losing potential clients.

This is where responsive Website comes into play.

Responsive Websites are perfect on every device

Back in the day, (ie pre-smartphones & tablets) having a Website that looked good on a cell phone was a non-issue. Fast forward to 2016, more Google searches occur on mobile than on desktop. What this means for you is that if your site doesn’t look good on a smartphone or tablet, you will lose users. That means less sales for your business.

Google Prefers a Responsive Website

Google is advancing its algorithm very quickly, and its goal is to be indistinguishable from a human being. In other words, if a human can’t easily understand a particular Web page or Web site in general, the algorithm can’t either, resulting in penalties and lower rankings.

No need for a separate mobile site

If you have a responsive Website, you eliminate the need for a separate mobile site. One site is easier to manage on a day to day basis. Also, without a separate mobile site, you don’t need separate SEO and Adwords campaigns.

Responsive sites have lower bounce rates

A bounce rate is the number of people who visit on your Website, but don’t click anywhere. When a site looks bad on your smartphone, those users tend to bounce. Google translates that into your site being irrelevant. In turn, that hurts your SEO.

Responsive sites are timeless

A responsive site is designed based on the size of the screen. It adapts based on screen size, not type of device. So, when new devices come out with different size screens, you won’t have to redesign your Website. This will save you time and money in the future.

Your business can’t afford to ignore mobile.

Digital solutions for small business. ted360


In the office. On the train. Walking down the street. At the airport. Everywhere you look, people are glued to their smartphones.

In a relative short time, smartphones have moved from a luxury item to an indispensable part of everyday life and doing business. Mobile usage has skyrocketed and is still growing.

But some businesses still ignore this trend. Despite the overwhelming evidence that mobile is the future, many still view it as a “nice to have.”

A recent survey claimed 25% of CIOs have no mobile strategy. Another study that claims roughly three-quarters of small businesses have no plans to invest in mobile.

Is ignoring mobile a good strategy? Not at all!

Here are just a few reasons your business cannot afford to ignore mobile:

1. You’re ignoring a large percentage of your reachable market

Think about that for a second. The Apple iphone was first introduced in 2007. Since then, the smartphone has become the fastest growing trend in history, surpassing desktop PC usage. Those who ignore mobile will slowly see their market share fade, as their pool of prospective clients shrinks.

“For a business to “ignore” mobile is accepting the risk of “ignoring” over 50% of your reachable market. Ignoring such a large percentage of your reachable market will erode your market share while your competition (who understands the power of mobile apps) engages with your current and future customers. Today people want it now; so if you cannot provide the experience to satisfy this desire your competition will.” Tim Montgomery, Timit Solutions

2. You’re missing out on sales

One of the biggest advantages of the smartphone: You can purchase nearly anything at any time. From a business perspective, that’s huge.

Think about it. Before smartphones, what happened when you needed to make a purchase? You had to remember what you needed and buy it later. Then, you’d get to the store and forget what you needed. Or, you’d get home and forget to place the order online.

Now, you can make that purchase instantly, whenever you think about it. As explained below, this simplicity has led to more mobile-based purchases.

“Part of mobile’s strength is that more purchases are being made online. While 78% of local searches result in a purchase, in Q1 2015 smartphone conversion rates and revenue per visit increased 135.7% and 147%, respectively. Tablets also exhibited healthy growth in conversion rates and purchases, while desktop rates declined by 12.1% and 8.9%, respectively.

“However, It’s not necessarily new that mobile is king in the field of ecommerce. In the 4th quarter of 2013, 34% of mobile users conducted searches on products they intended to buy, and in 2014 companies like Amazon and Apple reported mobile conversion rates anywhere from 7-12%. Whether it’s through “impulse buys” or studious research, consumers seem to respond to something about mobile’s ability to make purchases, and investing in mobile represents perhaps the most outstanding opportunity for businesses to sell more products.” — Raphael Iscar, Agendize

Now, what happens if your business doesn’t sell products online? Or, what happens if your analytics show that most of your sales come in through desktop PCs? Does that mean you can safely ignore mobile? No!

As explained below, mobile is often the starting point for those researching solutions. They may not purchase online, but they begin their search on a mobile device. Do you really want to ignore that?

“Case study after case study continues to prove that mobile efforts are more likely to attract first touch visitors who are doing research, but not yet ready to buy your product / contact your company for services. They’re slacking off at work, or messing around while watching TV – they’re halfway engaged, but not ready to ‘convert.’ Does that mean they should be ignored? Absolutely not!

“These are the same users who will later sit down in front of their laptop, and go back to your site for a second look – do some research about your reviews or competitors, and then hopefully buy – but ONLY if they were compelled enough to do so after their first pass. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, navigating your tiny menu or trying to get past an annoying slider is going to result in them hitting the back button and forgetting that you existed.

“It’s easy for small budget companies to put all their focus into desktop simply because it has metrics showing it produces conversions / revenue. By putting more focus back on mobile, most businesses will start to see the top of their funnel fill up with prospects, and the eventual trickle down is much stronger than what they would receive from a desktop only angle.” — Craig Streaman

3. Search engines will penalize your site

So, we learned in the last point that more and more product research begins on a mobile device. What happens if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site? Will prospects just have to navigate your desktop site on their smartphone?
No. They’ll never find you.

Google recently rolled out an algorithm change that penalizes sites that aren’t mobile friendly. What does that mean? As explained below, that means prospects are unlikely to find your site via a mobile search.

“One extremely important reason businesses can’t afford to ignore mobile is that they could be missing out on potential customers looking for them in search engines such as Google. All businesses need to be visible in search engines – when was the last time you were looking for something online and didn’t head to Google?

“A staggering proportion of searches are done from mobile devices now, so Google prefers to show website results that are mobile-friendly. The higher up the search results page your site is, the more visible you are to customers, and the more likely they are to click on your page. Having a mobile-friendly site is an important factor in the race to get to the top of the results.” — Blake Connoy, Helpling

4. You harm employee productivity and data access

“Businesses can’t afford to ignore mobile. Across nearly all industries, recent studies show that employees are increasingly relying on personal mobile devices for professional purposes, largely due to the changing nature of work. More than ever, it’s essential to have client information readily accessible, because work is getting done everywhere—not just at the office.” — Asaf Cidon, Sookasa

Last year, Gartner estimated that 40% of employees in large companies used their personal devices for work. Beyond that, most companies now provide smartphones to those employees who need them.

The problem is, these smartphones are usually underutilized. Most often, business smartphones are glorified email-checking devices. In reality, smartphones provide amazing potential…which often goes unused.

For instance, salespeople have their smartphones while out on the road. What if they need to access product or client data from their phone, or submit an order? Executives have their smartphones with them at all times. What if they need to access reports or budget data from their mobile device?

More and more, businesses can’t afford to ignore mobile’s potential for their employees. Delivering mobile-friendly versions of your business applications improves data access and employee productivity.

5. It makes your business look out of touch

When the internet first rolled around, many businesses ignored it. They viewed it much like some view mobile–as an unnecessary luxury. As the internet gained popularity, those businesses only looked more and more out of touch with reality. These days, a business without a web presence is unheard of.

We’re seeing the same trend with mobile. Some businesses ignore the trend, thinking it doesn’t apply to them. This approach will only make their company appear out of touch. Who wants to do business with a company that’s stuck in the past?

“The proliferation of mobile devices ensure that mobile is here to stay and is a part of the business landscape moving forward. To ignore this is simply showing a lack of understanding of how the landscape of business has changed.” — Robert Manigold, Codekoalas

6. You miss out on the social sharing economy

The rise of social media introduced the sharing economy, which revolutionized business marketing. If your business creates interesting articles, videos, or other types of content, it can easily spread via social channels. The rise of social means your business can gain popularity outside of traditional advertising methods.

But, there’s one important fact to note: Most social sharing occurs from mobile devices. As explained below, ignoring mobile harms your company’s ability to spread on social sites.

“There is an absolute massive risk to ignoring the rise of mobile marketing. With the majority of social media accessed through mobile devices and a rising trend towards accessing websites through mobile, not having a mobile optimized site can turn away a large percentage of possible customers. People are also reading more articles on mobile than ever before. This means that any blogs or content that you push through your company is missing its full audience if it doesn’t show up on mobile.” — Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation

7. Your customer communication will suffer

Smartphones open the door to an ideal communication method: SMS/text messages. SMS messages provide an inexpensive communication method that reaches your customers immediately. Now, just to be clear–I’m not saying businesses should start sending marketing messages via SMS. That’s a sure way to anger your prospects and customers.
Rather, you can use text messages as a way to get important data into your customer’s hands.

For instance, I’ve seen energy companies embrace SMS messages for outage notifications. When outages occur, they send SMS messages to let customers know they’re aware of the problem, and when the problem will be resolved. This saves their help desk from fielding a flood of calls from angry customers.

That’s just one example, but just imagine the possibilities. When you ignore mobile, you ignore a fast and effective way to deliver important information to your customers.

“Everyone has a cellphone, and everyone texts, so moving operations to mobile wherever possible is the only logical step for businesses. Customer experience especially has to evolve to incorporate the shift from emails and calls to instant messaging/texting. With the rise of mobile, consumers’ patience has decreased – they expect contact with a real human to occur in real-time.

“To ignore mobile is to ignore the most inexpensive, effective, and efficient channel through which businesses can communicate with their customers. Customers are growing increasingly dissatisfied with email contact and call centers: they’re slow and likely don’t provide the assistance necessary as an issue develops. The biggest challenge in adopting mobile is how to make sure your business can handle responding to instant messages with the speed customers expect while maintaining accuracy and ensuring compliance with company policies.” — Adi Bittan, Owner Listens

 

Mobile First

IBM Marketing Solutions

IBM Marketing Solutions help you attract, delight and grow the loyalty of customers by enriching the ways you engage each of them. IBM Marketing Solutions are a set of integrated tools that empower marketing, ecommerce and customer service teams to identify the customers and moments that matter most, and to rapidly apply those insights to develop and deliver personally rewarding brand experiences.


Microsegments and Cognitive

Many digital startups deliver amazing customer experiences because they focus exclusively on a very specific market niche, unlike larger companies, which find advantage through scale. The problem for big companies is that these smaller startups rapidly expand out of their niche and win away more and more customers. Increasingly, executives are turning towards cognitive computing to analyze vast amounts of customer data in order to identify and serve micro-segments and prevent startups from gaining a strong foothold.


The Language of Security

Watson for Cyber Security uses cognitive technology and deep domain expertise to detect and stop security breaches before they cause damage, at a speed and scale never possible before. Unlike programmable systems, cognitive technology is based on training systems that can understand, reason and learn to sense what’s coming – then communicate that in natural language.

 

Mobile marketing for businesses

ted360 Web design for retail business


Like business owners, corporate executives and entrepreneurs, today’s customers are always on the go.

That’s especially true for working professionals. Thankfully, a growing number of mobile and online solutions make it simple to connect with, engage and promote your business to them virtually anytime, anywhere.

[source: Mobile Business Insights] Here are five mobile marketing tips to promote your enterprise more effectively on mobile devices:

1. Search engine optimize

Keywords are to the Internet and the information highway what billboards are to traditional interstates. So why not publish original, search engine optimized (“SEO-friendly”) content featuring these keywords more often? It’s the surest, fastest and most cost-affordable way to boost your organization’s visibility — and even compete with larger, better-funded rivals.

Numerous blogging tools make it simple for your enterprise to publish and capitalize on these keywords from almost any device. Providing hints, tips or how-to articles for your clients can satisfy their needs while shining a spotlight on your organization. Insider tip: Many search engines offer trends and analytics tools that can help you gain deeper insights into the exact terms and phrases your audience searches.

2. Design for mobile engagement

More customers are researching businesses online than ever before, and online shopping continues to hit record highs with each passing year. What’s the fastest way to connect with and successfully promote your business to mobile audiences? Create a polished, smartphone- and tablet-friendly Website that makes browsing, sampling and buying effortless.

Are you dealing with a legacy platform that manages your company’s online presence and feeling hesitant to invest in a full-scale Website makeover? A number of user-friendly services make it possible for businesses of every size to quickly build microsites, landing pages and online solutions using drag-and-drop tools and preexisting templates. Stock images and layouts make it possible to literally mix, match and create custom-branded online headquarters and stores in minutes.

3. Use local or location-based offers

Also important to keep in mind when discussing mobile marketing tips: Numerous services make it possible to offer special discounts on mobile devices to shoppers in specific neighborhoods or regions, or even provide coupons that pop up on customers’ devices when they’re near your offices or retail locations. You might also offer steeper discounts when potential buyers are about to visit rivals (“Love coffee? Stop by our latest store to grab a free cup!”). Options here are endless, including offering special promotion codes through online discounters or providing coupons through augmented-reality and location-based services that piggyback on the GPS systems built into mobile devices.

4. Get crafty with online promotions

Don’t forget to use social media to promote your virtual or brick-and-mortar presence. Cost-effectively strike where rivals haven’t by marketing uniquely themed and/or limited-time promotions to key influencers. Examples: “Stop by between 9 and 10 p.m. this Saturday to try our craziest new culinary creations” or “Sign up now to get VIP access to an exclusive meet-and-greet with bestselling author Scott Steinberg!”

As noted earlier, search engine keywords are the lifeblood of online advertising. If you’re savvy, in addition to traditional content marketing strategies, you’ll also want to build marketing campaigns around them. Many online providers offer apps that let you quickly create and manage promotional campaigns, so that your business readily appears when someone searches for “accounting firms in New York,” “corporate travel consultants,” “investment planning Los Angeles” and more. Trade secret: You can buy up ads around terms potential shoppers might enter when searching for your competitors.

5. Tap into email and newsletter promotions

Referral and opt-in marketing solutions rank among the most powerful promotional tools today. Dozens of mobile apps and providers make it simple to design and share email or newsletter campaigns that can help you keep your business top of mind with customers and generate repeat business from your top clients. One insider mobile marketing tip: Set up a Website for your enterprise that offers free incentives, such as exclusive discounts, coupons, white papers, eBooks, trend reports or videos, for subscribing. Then promote it using online services and social networks such as LinkedIn. Once you’ve built a list of potential buyers, you’ll be able to design mailers, connect and communicate with them at almost any time.

 

Search Optimized & Mobile Ready

Small Businesses Need a Mobile-Optimized Website

These days an increasing number of users are using their smartphone and mobile devices to surf the Web.

ted360 Web Design

Mobile Internet usage is projected to overtake desktop Internet usage by 2014. (Source: Microsoft Tag). Furthermore, ComScore.com reported back in January that mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage in the United States. Yet and still, a large number of businesses (both big and small) have not yet taken advantage of getting their Websites optimized for mobile users.

The easiest method to use to create a mobile-optimized Website is to build a responsive site – using a responsive Website theme or template. Responsive Website themes and templates adjust the layout of the screen to where the page, URL, and images all remain the same.

Why should your Website be optimized for mobile devices?

There are several reasons that you should optimize your Website for mobile devices. Today, we will cover a few of them:

Enhanced user browsing experience for your visitors. Sites optimized for mobile greatly enhance the user experience for your visitors making it easier for them to navigate your Website, read your content, share your content via the Web. This is clearly illustrated in the picture below.

Compatibility with multiple types of devices. Mobile optimized and responsive Websites work well across various platforms and mobile devices that include desktop pcs, laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and tablets.

The mobile user market is continuously growing at a very fast pace. Case in point, here are some interesting mobile marketing stats from SmartInsights.com

  • 1/2 of all local searches are performed on mobile devices
  • 50% of the average global mobile users now use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of online search
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with poorly designed mobile site.

Mobile optimized Websites are SEO friendly and can boost search engine rankings. The major search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing love mobile optimized Websites. As Roy McClean of CustomFitOnline.com explains it, having multiple Websites with duplicate content will send red flags to the search engines and cause your content to get penalized.

Increased visibility to the mobile market. Sales for mobile devices have reached more than 200 million households. With a mobile optimized Website, you will have the ability to reach a broader range of users and prospective customers that use mobile devices for searching the Web.

To conclude, in business keeping up with the latest trends in technology and staying ahead of your competitors is very important.