Purchasing a new domain best practices

Regardless of what domain name you essentially decide  on, you might want to consider some of Austin Digitals top tips to think about when naming your new business:

Your domain name really should be as brief and short as possible.

Reduced name domains are actually less complicated for direct-type ins, don’t spillover text on your business cards, and could be thoroughly obvious in search engines, and are social friendly (they can be easily shared from someone to the next).

Do not buy a dropped domain.

except if you aware of the record of the domain name. You may inherit harmful consequences or negative affiliations, from the previous owners. Even though the domain may have been scrubbed in google search engine ranking algorithms, you can imagine that the back links to that site were not beautiful.

Don’t put hyphens in your domain.

They are very easy to forget and confuse your consumers and your traffic may divert to the version of the domain names in which don’t work with hyphens.

Don’t use domains that reach all related to someone else’s brand.

This is unlawful and can get you in hot water quick if an individual discovers and chooses to file a suit against you. Any brand equity that you build into the domain will be lost as quickly as you get that desist and cease notice.

Use key phrases or Keywords.

if in any way possible. Even if there is small Search Engine Optimisation value to a keyword-rich domain, it will build better SEO key words linking to your domain affiliations with your clients.

However don’t use to many in your domain choice, as this will negatively affect your ranking.

Consider your social presence. If you’re naming a new business.

It is ideal to make sure you can get some other social media accounts with the exact same company name. Just before you settle on the domain use KnowEm.com to search the most popular social media handles and names to see if your brand name is still available.

Acquire similar domain names.

If they are offered, to keep any individual from buying our your brand domains, purchase easy misspells and other popular names associated with your business, It may be expensive to start buy it may save you thousands later on once you have increased a brand and the domain squatters can’t leverage your domains against you for high prices.

Because it might be available, don’t settle for the.co domain of your brand. Although, there are many prominent products and business like angel.co, pocket.co and calendar.co they nonetheless likely eliminate large amounts of quality traffic to the.com versions of their domain which are totally irrelevant to their service.

Google rankings & mobile friendly websites

Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using. You should get the best answer possible, whether you’re on a phone, desktop or tablet.

Last year, Google started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches. Google announced the beginning of a rollout update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal – to help your users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.

If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by these updates.

Editing your site to work on mobile platforms is no longer viable. It is now a necessity to upgrade your website to keep in line with your competitors. Speak to us today about resolving this issue and getting your website mobile ready and also boost your traffic in the process!

Give me a call today if we haven’t already made your site mobile responsive!

Some site owners have googled their sites running routine traffic audits and discovered that Google had added a warning below their search result. The warnings in general read “Your page is not mobile friendly.”

Many older website sites were designed for viewing on computers. The way that a smart- phone or tablet displays websites is different. Because of smaller screen sizes and different operating systems, certain websites appear in a more linear style when viewed from a mobile device. While this is sometimes not an issue, in most cases websites can be rendered unworkable by the difference in display.

If you are among this group, please put your mind at ease. The warnings are only visible to the site owners, themselves. Google determines the site owner by keeping track of your IP and matching it against the IP from which the site has been edited or published. Those from other computers who run the same Google search will still see your site in the same place in their results, but the warning will not be there. This is not a deterrent for your customer base. It is simply an experiment Google has undertaken to see if the warnings will increase mobile friendliness from already established websites like yours.

However, if you are seeing this warning regarding your website, the warning being hidden from searchers doesn’t solve your primary problem. The concern many website owners have is that the warning will prevent people from viewing their website. In fact, the warning is a useful heads up that your site is unworkable from a mobile device.

With most searches now coming from mobile devices, you want to be sure that those who find you on their tablet or smart phone are going to be able to retrieve all the same features and information as those who use a laptop or other computer. Most people, when they click on a non-mobile friendly website from their mobile device will see a jumbled mess of unclickable and unreadable content. When this happens, they are more likely to move on to one of your competitors’ websites than they are to seek out a desktop computer to view your website from for a better experience.

Give me a call today if we haven’t already made your site mobile responsive!

Social media and the key to making it work

Social media has transitioned from obscurity to a place of prominence for individuals with access to a computer. Of the 3 billion users who actively access the internet, almost 2.1 billion have social media accounts. Studies show that social media usage is no longer limited to younger generations though, at 89%, the 18-29 age group is the highest consumer followed by 72% of users aged 30-49, 60% of 50-60 year olds and 43% in the 65 plus demographic. Social media usage continues to climb along with consumer reliance on smartphones and tablets. Websites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram and Pinterest have become common household names. Social media has infiltrated our language and changed the way we communicate. We post, share, like, network, tweet, snap and pin our way through each day.

Growing a social media presence is an important, multi-faceted tool that enables businesses to reach the 72% of internet users who frequent social media sites. There are Social media enables businesses to identify their target demographic and focus advertisements directly to potential customers. In addition to reaching the right audience, businesses can evaluate the success of marketing efforts with real time metrics allowing them to make better decisions. Social media monitoring can position a business to lead, instead of follow, the industry by providing key insights into the competition.

Social media helps businesses build relationships with customers in a comfortable environment.  It provides a valuable space to learn more about what customers want and how they feel about your brand. Research has indicated that regular connections with customers on social media increases customer retention and strengthens brand loyalty.

With more than 3 billion active users, social media and mobile social media have a noteworthy influence on retail purchases. Nearly 75% of businesses who marketed products on social media saw an increase in sales within the next 12 month period. Consider the impact of a single website, Facebook, where 47% of users reference the site as their primary source for purchasing decisions. It is easy to see the marketing potential of keeping a consistent online presence at the forefront of consumers minds. So when they are ready to make a purchase, they know where to turn.

Since consumers are looking to social media for information and purchasing decisions, it is understandable that over 67% of them rely on the same avenue for customer service needs. Businesses with a social media presence must provide 24/7 support and commit to timely responses to meet customer expectations. Financial gains for businesses that offer service via social media achieve a 7.5% year over year growth compared to 2.9% year over year growth without such service. Outstanding service is integral to business success since 86% of customers switch brands when they experience poor service. Further, negative experiences are often shared on social media making it critical to monitor activity and resolve quickly.

Social media is a key ingredient to increasing traffic to your website and improving search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines scan internet content and create indexes that are used in conjunction with ranking algorithms, a series of rules and calculations, to determine the order in which links are sorted in response to an internet query. A higher search engine ranking means your website URL will appear closer to the top position where it is more likely to be selected. The frequency in which a business URL is linked or shared on social media is a key factor for improving search engine results.

Embracing social media as an integral part of the marketing strategy will position businesses to realise increased success.

5 Steps to Tell if Your Website is Mobile Ready

Every now and then companies tell me that their mobile Web traffic is still too low for them to prioritize it over the traditional PC Web. While few can doubt that the latter is still prevalent among customers, in reality, many brands are experiencing low traffic due to the poor user experience afforded to those accessing via a mobile device.

There is no doubt the World Wide Web has already started the move to mobile devices, and the shift is accelerating, with 2014 cited as the year mobile surpasses desktop Internet usage. Not having a mobile Web strategy for a consumer-facing company means you’re ultimately moving against the market and no business should be swimming against such a powerful tide as that means being left behind. So what is a good mobile Web strategy? Here are five key questions you need to answer to know if your website is mobile ready.

1: HOW FAST DOES YOUR FRONT PAGE DOWNLOAD ON A WEAK CELLULAR NETWORK?

Many companies leave website testing up to their IT department who often test sites from within a Wi-Fi network on just a handful of leading devices. But rarely do companies test their website while out and moving around through different cellular quality connections as their viewers would…until the CEO calls someone up screaming about how slow the website was on their mobile device while out of the office. More importantly, your viewers will only give you 3-5 seconds in most cases to get your page loaded on their device; get it wrong and over 79 percent of viewers say they will leave a site before download finishes.

If you do have problems but your content is critical to the brand experience and campaign messaging then there are options. Using client side device detection to identify the bandwidth quality of the visitor and reduce video and image resolutions accordingly before the page even loads can have a dramatic impact on load times. Lazy loading methods can also work but give a poor user experience if they start scrolling down the page too quickly.

2: HOW WELL DOES YOUR WEBSITE AND CONTENT ADJUST TO DIFFERENT DEVICES?

The mobile landscape is diverse in terms of device screen size, resolution, and many technical features which can all have a massive impact on the user’s experience. Believe it or not some companies are still running a single PC website only to any device which is a well-documented nightmare for mobile users. Those companies that have started building mobile solutions usually do it in two ways; with dedicated site templates for mobile phones or a Responsive Web Design (RWD) strategy, where the website page changes the layout to fit a variety of screen sizes. Both are relevant approaches and you should decide which is best for you based available on resources and costs (Web professionals weigh in on the great debate here). Dedicated mobile sites can be faster and more customer centric but mean extra content management and duplicate layout and design across the screen breakpoints you define.

RWD can take advantage of one design and the same content, reducing maintenance costs, but it can be costly to build and in most cases increases the load times of your website. The future of the mobile Web is likely to be a combination of the two concepts. Adaptive Web strategies use both server and client side detection to detail the user’s device and context, swapping out elements of a Responsive template and adapting to the visitor’s device and requirements. With this approach, it is possible to define different breakpoints depending on screen size and device functionality to adapt content within Responsive templates.

3. HOW WELL IS YOUR WEB CONTENT MEETING THE CONTEXTUAL NEEDS OF YOUR VISITOR?

Similar to changing Web content to meet device size and capability, your mobile website needs to take into account the visitor’s behavior, context, and immediate requirements which can vary dramatically based on device.  Someone using a smartphone at lunch to access your website via a Twitter campaign link or a search result, for example, will likely be looking to do something very different than visitors coming to your site in the evening on a PC or tablet with a strong Wi-Fi connection at home. Similarly, behavioral patterns can emerge between particular device users. For example, an iPhone 5s user may be spending more money or time on your site over Android or older iPhone version users. Knowing this detail will allow you to segment, target and track your mobile users to specific campaign content. Getting your website right will create ‘mobile moments’ which increase conversions. You’ll need a good Web analytics product with accurate and detailed mobile information to gather this detail on your visitors and build reports to track campaign results.

4. DO YOUR MOBILE GOALS MATCH A MULTI-CHANNEL VISITOR LANDSCAPE?

Mobile Web visitors are not a single pass through the customer funnel from campaign click to purchase like the traditional PC visitor. Expecting a mobile visitor to complete a single path to conversion is unrealistic. Consumers have a lot of options now and they use their devices to search, shop, talk, and share a lot of information before they make their purchasing decisions. The new multi-channel marketing strategy must take into account different conversion goals for different devices and behaviors. You may have an engagement or influencer goal for smartphones and a purchase or download goal for tablets based on your user’s behavior, as defined, by device and context. Segmenting your mobile customers and building a marketing plan to engage through their multi-channel experience with your brand requires analytics and accurate mobile device data.

5. ARE YOUR MOBILE WEB TRAFFIC AND CONVERSIONS INCREASING MONTH ON MONTH?

Last but certainly not least, if you’ve prepared, built, tested, segmented and tracked your marketing campaigns and website for the mobile Web and your multi-channel customers as pointed out above you should be seeing an increase in overall visitors, customer satisfaction and engagement. If you build it right, they will come. If you’ve done the hard work and attracted a potential customer to your website, then you can only lose them with a poor experience that fails to take into account all of the above complexities.