Category Archives: Mobile Apps

It’s almost all done on the phone now. Laptops and desktops are being used a lot less, since our portable devices allow us to do most of the things we need without the use of a physical keyboard; which brings us to Google searches and SEO – how do we make it better on mobile?

As we know, websites now need to be fully optimized on mobile; that’s where they are mostly looked at, and if SEO isn’t implemented for the mobile version of your site, you lose conversions and slip down the Google ranks. So what are some good ways to better it?

 

Before you begin anything, make sure you audit your website’s compatibility for smartphone, and see where the errors are. If a user is having trouble navigating your site on their cellphone, they’re out and will not return. Some important things to look at are plugins, font sizes, and the positioning of page elements. There may be some areas for improvement.

Responsive design is key for all devices. It’s the best way to ensure your site can be opened anywhere you like, as even the same user can switch from a laptop to their phone and will want to have the same experience with whatever gadget they use. It’s a lot of work for many screen sizes, but certainly doable.

One of the biggest problems users face on their phones, the webpage load time. If it’s very slow, the home screen button will be pressed and that person is not likely to visit again; and these problems are more frequent than we think! Some factors to look in for these issues can lie with unused scripts, non-compressed files and needing to optimize images.

Optimize your website for local searches. It’s almost certain that people in your area will need your product or services, so make sure you’re able to get their attention before reaching out to the rest of the city. Google offers some free tools to help with that, and it likely doesn’t take a lot of work.

You also need to optimize for keyword searches, for both text and voice. Siri used to be treated as a ‘joke’ because people thought it was funny for a random voice to answer them when they asked for something, but will now because a major SEO tool for businesses, especially on mobile. This may be a little more challenging to optimize for, but at least you are prepared for the now and future. Eventually Alexa and Google Home will be SEO tools for voice!

Finally, Google has another service called Accelerated Mobile Pages that allows for faster mobile pages. They don’t look any different from other programming softwares, but the pages will just load much faster than the average. This would normally lead to a better user experience and visitor retention. Start using it now before it becomes too popular and crowded.

Two weeks ago, we described the important steps that were needed to begin building your new mobile app. This part describes the rest of the journey to launching a new mobile app!

7) Backend building

Your developer will need to start setting up servers, databases and storage solution. You also need to sign up for developer accounts at the app marketplaces you are developing for. Depending on the platform, the account may take several days to get approval. You are almost on your way!

8) User Interface

After getting feedback on your prototype, you want to execute the consumer wants onto the app, and building the best resolutions for what was previously your wireframe. Another name for these individual screens are the “Skins” of the app.

9) Test 2

This is the real test. All the app functions are in place, and you want to make sure the UX-UI are working well. This is also to make sure there is a flow from screen to screen and that the app is actually user friendly!

10) Review and continue

After the second test and receiving feedback, it’s the phase of the final fix. You may need to change things from front to back end, to make sure you will get the downloads and uses promised by people who tested the app. The app-building isn’t quite finished yet.

11) Final review

You want to go through everything one last time, to make sure all the new modifications are working well. This is the last step before the launch, so no more room for mistakes.

12) Launch time!

After all these months and weeks of hard work, your app is finally official and ready to be downloaded from iOS and Android devices. Apple may take more time for the final approval, but it’s time to start promoting the app to the world and begin this new journey!

 

We hope that was useful! Building an app requires alot of effort and patience, and we hope you can come up with great ideas to show the world soon.

Over the last few years, our blogs have mostly been focused on providing advice on social media, video and SEO. However, our business also offers a mobile app development service and we thought it would be a good idea to entertain you with information about this! We will try to keep it as simple as possible, because the process is very complex and an app is not designed and built overnight!

1) Objectives

Before you even begin the process, do you have an idea? Is it a clear one? You must know exactly what you want that app to be, and how it can benefit our society. Things can move much faster once the initial plan is very clear.

2) The artwork

The idea you have first needs a visual outline, through the development of sketches. From the logo to all of the features, so that you are fully prepared to move on to the next phase. If you aren’t good at drawing yourself, delegate the work to the best artist on your team.

3) Research

This is where it gets real. The next thing you want to know is how the market for such apps is. Who is the competition? Is it a realistic app to build? How can a profitable business be built out of it? Apps are becoming so trendy today that your idea may never be unique, but you can always do something different than the competition; that’s why the research is crucial!

4) Development

After a week or so of completing the first few steps, you want to start building a prototype of this app. There are specific softwares that can help with that, and allow you to see how all the features are functioning with one another. This gets you closer to completion and official launch date. This step is also known and the wireframe and storyboard.

5) Back-end

Every software and app needs a back-end development, which is what was done in the previous step. This step is mostly about modifying the wireframe and storyboard if needed.

 

6) Testing

Once a rough draft of the app has been done, ask your close circles to test the app to get as much constructive feedback from them as possible. People with little knowledge of app development might give you very defining pointers!

 

Part II of this blog will be released in two weeks. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to work with us on building your next app!

 

Welcome to 2017! Our last blog of 2016 discussed technologies that could affect marketers (like us) in this new year, but this week we’ll discuss how we can have a better year. We always have to adapt to changes, tweak ourselves and our methods a little bit, in order to stay relevant and competitive.

1) Online organization

“New year, new me” goes the cliche, meaning businesses have to update their online profiles, whether on social media or the website, or perhaps both! What we suggest is that we must update all the information we show the world, so that we are prepared for new business whenever it comes. It’s the simplest of tasks and can make a big difference in the weeks to come.

2) Video

Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. It’s the nth time we speak about this, because it really is quite important. Social media is becoming more and more about video, because that’s what drives the most engagement! It can consist of anything, from 360 to Live and also ads (least recommended?).

If you want to develop a more personal connection with your audience, good quality videos about what you do or see is a great way to get their attention. Because most are on mobile too, they just like to hold their devices and watch motion picture for a few minutes – take advantage of this!

 

3) Social Media Strategy ‘refresh’

Just like #1, a new audit should take place for all social media of your business to see where it went well and not so well. It’s probably time to set new goals and try something new, perhaps? Instead of focusing on selling, focus more on documenting your journey? Audience would appreciate it much more!

4) Reviews

You always want to keep the audience and clients happy, so feedback is important. Word of mouth marketing is stronger than you think, with most people making purchase decisions solely based on that, even if price is beyond their budget!

Just don’t be afraid to ask! Negatives can be important to turn into positives.

 


5) Optimization for search

On the slightly more complex and technical side, don’t forget to optimize for mobile and keep track of analytics to stay relevant in Google Search.

You need to see where your money would be best invested so that less is wasted on digital marketing efforts, especially for marketing that is paid such as google ads and so on…

When customers reach you, ask them how they got here; there may be a trend for you to double up on.

6) Trend awareness

2017 will bring new trends that will be a hit, which the online community will want to catch on and use for their entertainment or advantage. Marketers like us will need to keep an eye out for those to use for business reasons, in a suitable way if possible.

If you recall, one of the biggest mobile trends last year was Pokemon Go, and the ‘mannequin challenge’, which businesses appeared to use to their advantage but the hype only lasted a few months. Analyze every situation before jumping in it; not all will stay popular for long.

                              A mannequin challenge

This is our final blog for the year 2016! It has been an absolute pleasure sharing varied information on what we do and what we know/research in the field of digital marketing. We have decided to top off the year with an eye opening article about technologies that could affect marketing next year and beyond. Remember, the world of digital marketing is always changing!

1) The messenger app world

Smartphone conversations have evolved well beyond regular SMS messages in the last few years, with now Facebook Messenger and especially WhatsApp becoming so popular and influential. Despite being both owned by the same company, they serve a different purpose in our daily communications in a private capacity, especially WhatsApp.

Some people can be reluctant to publicly share photos or videos, especially of family and friends, but given they want to show their closest ones what they find funny, or intimate photos of family and friends, they usually rely on WhatsApp to privately share the media.

The current ecosystem is beginning to introduce marketing within these chat apps, which users do not like and are trying to get away from. As a result, companies are trying to introduce shopping on Facebook through Messenger as to be clever about their sales online.

Marketers generally want to monitor people’s conversations to understand what users want and this new behaviour that we have does not allow these marketers to conduct their research. This also changes the way marketers conduct and view engagement, because it is less about the likes and comments and more about personalized dialogue.

2) Ad-blocking

Marketers do not seem to understand that smartphone users have no tolerance for ads when using an app or a website. It’s time to be more innovative about the whole process.

 

 

Users install ad blockers because the smartphone internet experience becomes much more of a hassle when ads pop up every time a page is turned. They just want to get on with what they’re doing, without constantly having to close ads while browsing the net. It is frustrating! Advertisers need to use the internet to their advantage, and impress users instead of distracting them.

3) Magic tech

The modern era of web technologies has allowed marketers to use now available tools that can simplify their marketing strategies and executions, as well as monitor and analyze consumer behaviour online. We are talking about ‘basic’ web applications like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, WordPress, etc.

4) Further evolution

Some recent surveys are suggesting that smartphone technology may be obsolete sooner than we think, as hard to believe as this may be. Artificial intelligence and other evolutions will allow us to experience something completely different, such as voice controls and motion sensors! How will marketers then deal with that?

5) Artificial intelligence

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this term should no longer be ignored. We believe 2017 will see many announcements relating to AI, which can be fascinating if properly programmed. Humans are creating computers which will be able to automate many processes previously done by humans. Tech giants and even digital agencies are already advanced in this field, with new businesses which do just that making their stand.

Watch this space…

 

What we believe many companies fail to realize these days is the importance of SEO for their website. Succeeding in organic search for Google has become so competitive that many websites do not get the visibility they deserve online because of poorly managed SEO. This blog will attempt to give useful insights on strategies that can be implemented to maintain or improve organic search success.

1.Make friends online

Partnerships on the Internet are more important than ever. It is always better to get others saying good things about you and trying to promote your website in any way they can. Having an influencer who is an expert on your subject matter and with a big following can take you many places.

2.Develop a content-marketing strategy

As we have previously mentioned, content-marketing is only a small part of the whole package. SEO can depend alot on how your business goes about its content, because that will affect your organic search. It needs to be diversified among videos, webinars, white papers, and social media posts. The use and choice of keywords become Google‘s best friend.

3.Generate traffic to your site and pages

Another way to get people to link to you is by writing for a large publication, giving video or written interviews and always recommend your content in networking events and to your surroundings. If this feels overwhelming and there is an additional budget to spend, you can hire an agency that will do the work for you.

 

webtraffic

 

4.A mobile-ready website

Not only do you now need a beautifully-designed website that is user friendly, but it also needs to be adapted to smartphones. You’d be in deep trouble with organic search if people cannot view your website on their mobile device. Laptop computers and desktop are not used as often anymore, and people want faster access to information.

5.Https

Going more towards the security and technical side, it is recommended websites now add the ‘s’ to their URL. Google wants businesses’ websites to start with https:// so that they are more secure and will get better rankings on the search engine.

httpssecurity

 

6.Schema.org

This is a type of markup that can be used in your website’s coding. Using that ‘code’, you can tell Google to identify your website’s logo, client reviews, videos as well as other important info. Google previously mentioned that using that code will also help optimization rankings in the near future.

 

If you are unsure about your SEO strategies or do not have the time for it, please contact us for more information and we can help make sure your business’ website remains competitive.

Over the last few years, the mobile phone has become such an asset to us that it has almost become a part of who we are. We constantly have and hold them wherever we go; they have become a very important part of our lives; our virtual being is stored in a device the size of your hand.

girl iphone

Which is why, now, it is so important for companies to develop apps that would personally be a very good user experience. We now depend on several apps daily to stay connected, to the outside world as well as family and friends, as they are the medium through which the conversation goes through.

Just like us people constantly wanting to look good and develop our minds and bodies, companies need to do the same with their apps. They need to be the best they can and adapt to consumer needs.

apps

SC Moatti, former Facebook product leader, admits that we expect our devices and apps to work like magic all the time. Tech products need to be flawless and continuously engineered to meet our demands.

She also discussed at length the challenges that Facebook faced when they created their first app, after being on web for most of their first tens. The social network feared becoming irrelevant, and with most people using iPhones and Android apps, Facebook needed to stay in the game because most users still very much liked it, but their virtual lives had stemmed from their phones and wanted to access any app with just the touch of a button on a screen.

facebookwebMoatti also discusses other apps in general, when people are searching for listings, and that users need to get to what they want thick and fast when using an app. She emphasizes having shortcuts and hooks, to allow users to get what they want as fast as they can, otherwise they could be tempted to quit the app and never use it again if their search feels complicated. Apps need to be as user friendly as possible.

When Twitter was launched in 2009, it was mainly a hub for celebrities to communicate with and entertain each other through follows and tweeting about their lives, until fans kept pouring in to follow the lives of famous people they looked up to.

Fast forward 7 years. Celebrities are still very much a part of Twitter, but the social network has become much more than just petty Hollywood stories and gossip; it has become the ‘go to’ place to get the latest, breaking news of events happening globally. Because mobile phone technology has progressed significantly, it is easy for a professional journalist or a citizen journalist (as we like to call them), to report or anything they have heard or seen.

Professional journalists tend to have verified accounts and a good few thousand followers, depending on their popularity and position with the employing company. Citizen journalists are mainly regular people with a decent following who are always keeping up with things as they happen, but do not have the credibility of the professional ones.

cnntwitter

The above paragraph was related to current global affairs. However, Twitter is also very important in the sporting world, where news are constantly happening but the system works in similar ways, whether it is the result of a game, or a player trade, or rumours.

Another side of Twitter consists of regular people attempting to popularise their accounts and ‘brand’ themselves by tweeting witty/funny statements to get as many retweets as possible. The social network has become a personal branding competition on top of being a news outlet and a networking site. The need for personal branding success has become so high that accounts of all sorts are created, and the people behind them spend more hours than necessary daily to acquire followers and engage with other tweeters.

randomtweet

To conclude, it’s safe to say that Twitter has a mix of everything, but needs to keep the 140 characters policy in order to stay in control of itself. The last thing we need is Twitter re-branding itself!

Video marketing. It all began with YouTube in 2005, when curious subscribers were able to start viewing and posting their own videos onto the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vines and Periscope were not yet around. Today, video content can be seen on all of the mentioned above, but in very different ways.

There has become an increasing number of people who take to YouTube to make their Internet careers. They are either make-up artists who try to teach women new techniques, they can be online gamers who film themselves playing, comedians who make their name on YouTube and start going on tours when they are popular enough. That is not to say it is easy to get a YouTube career going. Almost anybody can set up an account and record a video, but it is the quality of the content that will win viewers and subscribers.

pewdiepie

Pewdiepie, probably the most successful YouTuber to date

Instagram today allows us to record about 60 second videos and are slowly planning on making it longer. Twitter videos are usually brought on from Vines and are very short lasting, usually 6.30 seconds to be precise. Useful for people who would not usually want to watch very long videos and prefer quick content.

instatree

Periscope allows users to record themselves live while going about their day. Followers of particular accounts usually comment which make a quick appearance during the live recording. These are mostly used by popular social influencers and celebrities. They tend to answer to comments and questions that others type up, and consist no more than a few words. The comment ‘bubbles’ make an appearance so quick that the person recording the video does not always have plenty of time to read it.

What about Snapchat? Longer than Twitter, but much shorter than Instagram. Users can usually record videos for upto 10 seconds long while their caption is also present to describe the content of the video.

periscopesnapvideo

And then, we have Facebook. The Internet had shown concerns recently that it was on the decline, but after the introduction of the Live feature, almost any user can now record themselves doing whatever it is they wish. It is now being used frequently by celebrities, fan pages and even online magazines to deliver a presentation to followers, or to simply conduct Q&As.

The interaction with followers is very simple. The comment section becomes very important, as this helps the main user lead the conversation and answer questions, return occasional greetings, and answer questions. Brands are also using this frequently if there is an event happening at their store, or for a promotional launch.

FBvideo1
My question is, will more people start using it on a regular basis, for any kind of reason? Will it mark the end of status updates and photo sharing, and simply going on live to record a video? I truly believe this is only the beginning, especially for Facebook, as its popularity has regrown again following this introduction.

I am sure Snapchat and Instagram will come up with their unique features and policies in the coming months, which will allow longer recording and potentially a similar concept to Facebook and Periscope. However, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel has suggested he wants to keep Snapchat as it is and not let lose its identity by following the lead of the others.

As we approach the year’s end, most businesses are at the point where they will ride out the holiday season with their existing mobile and web marketing strategy. It is a good idea but it doesn’t mean that it’s not time to start thinking about the year 2016 ahead. Consider that many business owners may well be the recipients of some nifty new tech gadgets and mobile devices in their holiday stockings, which is the perfect opportunity for a mobile app recommendation list! If we follow the trend, the upcoming year will see that you manage your online marketing while on-the-go, from any location and at any time. Read ahead to find out which apps you should be getting to help your business succeed in the next year!

apps

  1. Flipboard

Flipboard is a user-friendly app that enables you to follow content online that is relevant to your business. You can choose to follow a variety of categories, current events and news in your industry that would be informative to your clients. This mobile app allows you to stay current and also to curate and share relevant content on your business social media page, especially when you are low on time to create your own content. The easy thing is that Flipboard is integrated with Twitter and Facebook. It lets you stay up-to-date and gives you ideas for your own content that is relevant to the industry and your clients.

  1. Snapseed

You should know by now that content drives everything when it comes to online marketing, especially in 2016.  But, obviously, text alone will not cut it. You need blog articles, link-share type posts, social media offers and promotions, etc. Rich-media is in! You need high-resolution visuals to accompany the text. We aren’t all professional photographers. This is where mobile apps can come to help. When it comes to photo-editing the images taken on your mobile devices, Snapseed is the app. Get into the habit of taking photos daily of your business, be it of products, services as they are being used, satisfied customers, or your own staff in action. You will be able to edit these pictures to your satisfaction later with your Snapseed app where you can build a database of rich visuals to use in your content marketing quick and easy.

  1. Twitter

Surprised? Twitter as an essential app. Not many people bother accessing Twitter from their desktop anymore? Twitter has made some improvements so you can use it on the go. You’ll want to make sure you’re walking around with the sales tool in your hand at all times in 2016.

  1. Instagram

Instagram is a big player when it comes to visual marketing. You can edit captions, you have global advertising opportunities for brand profiles, and you can even place video ads on its platform. Instagram will be one of the most important mobile apps for businesses in the year ahead.

  1. Pinterest

Pinterest may be preferred by some on the desktop as opposed to the app when it comes to brand management, yet it still should be in your top mobile apps for business owners in 2016. This is especially true if you are a retailer. You will want to able to post on Pinterest during high traffic times to get your content in front of your audience, especially when you have incorporated rich pins into your content. The mobile app will allow you this comfort.

  1. Facebook Pages Manager

No surprise here. Your business needs to maintain a daily presence on Facebook and you need to be in the position to respond to follower engagement as soon as it happens. You can do your personal stuff on this popular social network when you get home, but when it comes to your business page, you need the Facebook Pages Manager app and set it up to receive push notifications.

  1. HootSuite

Last but not least is the app that pulls the above all together. Streamline social media posts and updates onto one mobile platform as much as possible so that you’re not having to juggle too many apps all at once. Download the most recently updated version of the HootSuite app and schedule your social media posts.

Microsoft-Gadgets