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Category Archive: iPhone

  1. What’s the Best Way to Optimize a Site for Mobile?

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    Mobile is taking over the search world. More people are using their mobile devices to perform searches, mobile searches are gaining popularity over desktop searches, and search engines like Google are stepping up their efforts to provide the best possible mobile experience to the greatest number of users. Mobile devices, like smartphones, tablets, and the upcoming plethora of smart watches, are starting to take over the realm of online experience, and if you want to survive in the business world, you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve.

    Why It’s Important to Have a Mobile Optimized Site

    articleimage805 Why It’s Important to Have a Mobile Optimized Site

    In the early days of smartphones, there were critics who claimed that smartphones were just a fad, or that people wouldn’t rely on them to perform searches due to small screen sizes and difficult interfaces. But the trends of the past several years have proven the naysayers wrong: smartphones are here to stay, and creating a mobile experience that suits those mobile devices is imperative:

    • First and most importantly, your site exists to give your users a high quality experience. You want your users to find what they’re looking for on your site easily, and with a design that’s easy on the eyes. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’ll be compromising that experience for a significant portion of your user base, leading to poorer consumer-brand relations and fewer opportunities to attract or convert new leads.
    • Second, your site’s compatibility with mobile devices is measured and interpreted by search engines. Google can tell which sites are optimized for mobile and which are not, and for mobile searches, it’s highly unlikely to rank a non-optimized site in the first page. This is because Google wants mobile users to have the best possible experience, so if you aren’t optimized for mobile, you’ll be missing out on all that search traffic. Plus, mobile-optimized sites get a ranking boost even for desktop searches, so you really don’t want to miss the opportunity.
    • Finally, the competitive factor is critical. Mobile optimization is a new standard in web practices, and countless businesses have already taken steps to ensure their sites comply. If you have a direct competitor whose site is mobile optimized while yours remains non-optimized, you could immediately lose a ton of recurring customers who prefer to browse the web on mobile devices.

    Three Options to Optimize for Mobile

    articleimage805three Options to Optimize for Mobile

    Optimizing for mobile isn’t complicated, but it isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. There’s no single patch of code or button you can push to magically alter your site to be compatible with mobile devices. However, you do have several options.

    Responsive Websites

    Responsive websites are optimized for mobile at a design level. They are created in such a way that allows the components of the page—such as the banners, blocks of text, headlines, and so on—to organize themselves on the page based on the size of the screen that’s accessing the webpage. These components may flex or stack to accommodate a smaller screen size, so a desktop user and a mobile user would both be able to easily navigate the site (even though the layout might be different).

    There are a number of advantages to responsive websites. Since the design is flexible enough to adjust to any screen, every type of mobile device will have a customized experience. However, the “responsive” element only needs to be built once. There is only one URL for your website, which makes it easy to develop and easier to manage over time, and it’s relatively simple to implement. The loading times for responsive sites tends to be slightly slower than the other options, but that’s generally a small price to pay for a universally adaptable website.

    Mobile URLs

    Mobile URLs are exactly what they sound like—they’re separate, customized URLs that exist for the mobile version of a webpage. For example, if your traditional website was, your new website could be Whenever a user accesses your site using a mobile device, you can automatically re-point them to the mobile version of your site (and provide a link to toggle between these versions, just in case a user wants to switch).

    Mobile URLs are starting to become antiquated, but they’re still useful for some businesses. They take more time to create than a responsive design, since they require an independent creation, and require more extensive ongoing upkeep. They’re also vulnerable to fault points in the redirect system—if you accidentally direct a mobile user to the desktop version, they may have a poor experience.

    Dynamic Content

    The third option for mobile optimization is closer in theory to responsive design. Like with a responsive design, dynamic content structures require a single URL to house both a mobile version and a desktop version. The difference is, in a dynamic content setting, you’ll have twin versions of your site—the desktop and mobile versions—ready to display based on the type of device and screen size trying to access them.

    This is an improvement over mobile URLs, since you’ll only need to manage one URL, and you won’t have to worry about creating and sustaining a redirect. However, there are some flaws that may prevent you from achieving the best results. Creating one mobile version can be problematic, since there are hundreds of different mobile devices that could theoretically access your site.

    The Best Option

    articleimage805The Best Option

    Google doesn’t care how you optimize your site for mobile, as long as it is optimized in some way. Whether you choose responsive, mobile URLs, or dynamic content, Google will consider your site optimized for mobile, and you’ll rank accordingly. Your users likely won’t care what type of mobile-optimization strategy you use either, as long as you’re giving them the best possible experience.

    That being said, your decision should come down to your own personal preferences. From a technical standpoint, responsive designs are generally the cleanest; they only require one redesign to be complete, and the ongoing maintenance is pretty much nonexistent, at least compared to dynamic content or mobile URL strategies. Plus, you’ll eliminate the vulnerability of failing to accurately judge the type of device being used to access it.

    Improving Your Rank in Mobile Search Results

    After optimizing your design and structure for mobile, there are a handful of ongoing strategies you can use to boost your rank in mobile searches, even beyond the strategies of a traditional SEO campaign:

    • Decrease your page loading times. Mobile devices load pages slower than desktop versions. Make sure your mobile design is optimized for lightning-fast download times.
    • Keep plenty of content on your pages. Since mobile users need things quick, it may be tempting to reduce your on-page content, but keep as many words on the page as appropriate to maximize the amount of content Google can crawl.
    • Avoid the temptation to use pop-ups. Pop-up ads are seeing a resurgence, especially for companies trying to push their mobile application specifically to mobile users. Doing so can devalue user experience, increase page loading times, and decrease your domain authority in Google’s eyes.

    Aside from ongoing SEO updates and minor tweaks to the design and functionality of your site, mobile optimization really is a one-time process. With your one-time investment, you’ll instantly gain more favor with your user base, gain more visibility in search engines, and get an edge over your competition. If you haven’t yet optimized your site for mobile, now’s the time to get it done.

  2. The Definitive Guide to Mobile SEO

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    As mobile devices like tablets, smartphones, and (now) smart watches start to overtake home computers in popularity, optimizing your site for mobile searches is becoming more important than ever. For years, optimizing the layout and presentation of your site for mobile devices has been an important factor in determining your domain authority and rank for specific queries, but now, “mobile SEO” is transforming into its own set of unique strategies.

    Throughout this guide, we’ll cover the basics of mobile SEO and how you can maximize the visibility and appeal of your site on mobile devices everywhere.

    Ensuring Google Approves of Your Mobile Site

    articleimage766 Ensuring Google Approves of Your Mobile Site

    Before you start trying to optimize specifically for a mobile experience, you have to ensure that Google approves of your mobile site. That means having your website perfectly capable of loading when accessed by mobile devices.

    There are three types of mobile layouts that are considered the standard for modern websites: responsive designs, dynamic content, and mobile URLs. All three are viewed equally by Google, but some webmasters may have a preference for one over the others.

    Responsive Design

    A responsive design is one that automatically detects the type of device being used to access it, and adjusts the layout of the site accordingly. For example, if your site is being accessed from a desktop machine, it may display traditionally, but if it’s being accessed from a smaller, vertical smartphone screen, it might “stack” some of the horizontal features to maximize the user experience.

    Responsive designs use one URL and one design, which makes it very convenient and efficient for developers. It’s relatively easy to incorporate, and it consolidates an otherwise multifaceted development effort. The only potential drawback of the responsive web design is loading time—since mobile users will technically be loading the entire site, it may take longer to download than a specific mobile landing page. Still, responsive design is the most popular mobile option today.

    Dynamic Content

    Dynamic serving content is similar to a responsive design, since only one URL is used no matter what type of device is accessing the content. However, under dynamic content, you’ll actually be serving up totally different versions of your website. For example, you’ll have a “desktop” version of your site loaded up and a “mobile” version of your site loaded up, and you’ll serve the version that corresponds with the device trying to access it.

    This allows you to serve each device more specifically. However, it takes much more work to develop, implement, and manage since you’ll need to create a version for almost every type of device that could access your page.

    Mobile URLs

    Mobile URLs are an old-fashioned way of getting your site optimized for mobile, but they still work fine for some businesses. Rather than trying to adapt on the fly the way responsive designs do, with mobile URLs, you’ll essentially be building a separate, mobile version of your site on a different URL. When a user access your site from a mobile device, you’ll automatically redirect them to the proper URL, usually a variant of your primary URL.

    Mobile URLs are typically more difficult to manage. You’ll have to ensure that your desktop and mobile versions redirect appropriately, which can be difficult. Otherwise, your users will view an inappropriate version of your website, and they may be left with a terrible first impression.

    Optimizing for Mobile-Specific Searches

    articleimage766Optimizing for Mobile-Specific Searches

    Users searching on mobile devices, like smartphones, are searching using the same index as desktop or home searchers. That means, as long as your site is present on that index, both desktop and mobile users will be able to see you. However, there are a handful of specific ranking signals on mobile devices that will interfere with your rank:

    • Desktop and Mobile Presence. Google tends to favor sites with both a desktop and a mobile presence. If you only have a mobile site, you aren’t going to rank as high, even if the majority of your searches are on mobile. Make sure your links are suitable for both desktop and mobile loading.
    • Page Loading Times. Page loading times have always mattered—the faster your site’s pages load, the higher your site is going to rank. But on mobile, the preference for fast-loading web pages is even more extreme. Google recommends loading above-the-fold content in under one second. Optimize your loading speed for mobile as much as possible.
    • URL Redirects. Redirects are an important part of many sites, and an unavoidable one in many circumstances. However, adding a redirect essentially adds more time to load the destination page, which means a lagging user experience, and a lower rank as a result. Avoid redirects as much as you can.
    • Annoying Popups. It’s tempting to include an overlay page or a popup ad on your mobile site, especially if you’re trying to get users to download your mobile app, but Google has a firm belief that such advertising efforts are damaging to overall user experience, and as a result, you could rank lower if you feature one. You’ll have to make the call as to whether the increased conversion rate from the popup ad or the increased traffic from the higher rank is more important.
    • Full Content. Your webpages can’t just be partially optimized for mobile. If there are any areas of your page that aren’t optimized for mobile—such as flash animations or a video that won’t play—your ranking for mobile searches could drop as a result. Be sure to check every nook and cranny of your pages for potential non-optimized content.

    How to Adjust Your Current SEO Strategy

    articleimage766How to Adjust Your Current SEO Strategy

    For the most part, mobile SEO is going to function the same as traditional SEO. You’re still going to function on user experience, onsite content, offsite backlinks, and the same navigational improvements that lead to higher ranks. In terms of your ongoing strategy, there isn’t much you’ll need to improve on as long as your strategy is currently in order.

    To start things off, you’ll need to optimize your site for a mobile layout. The specifics are up to you, but you’ll need to ensure that your site loads appropriately and quickly—perform multiple tests on multiple devices to ensure that your site is loading the way it should, and don’t hesitate to consult Google Webmaster Tools to see if your site is registering as optimized for mobile. From there, you’ll need to do periodic tests for your page loading times and to ensure that the full content of your site is available on all mobile devices.

    Mobile SEO is a big deal, and will only grow in importance over the next few years. The sooner you address any mobile issues with your current website, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits of ranking higher for mobile searches. Thankfully, mobile SEO is more about building and maintaining an active, mobile-optimized website than it is performing a series of ongoing changes and adjustments, but you’ll still need to keep an eye on your site to ensure it’s operating at its best. The faster it loads, and the easier it is for the user to view your content, the more likely you’ll be to show up above the fold in mobile searches.

  3. You’re Losing Money if You Aren’t Mobile-Friendly Yet

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    You’ve heard it over and over, we’re sure: small businesses need to get into mobile.

    But if you’re like most small businesses, you’re still sitting in the 1990s and not growing to stay up with changes in customer behavior. Last year released some startling facts about how many small business owners haven’t invested in a mobile-friendly site. Only 26% had a mobile site at the time of the release.

    That means if you recognize how much money you’re leaving on the table because you lack a mobile site and decide to get one, you’ll likely take a giant leap ahead your competitors. That’s always a good thing, right? But let’s keep going … do you truly understand how much you could potentially grow your business by going mobile?

    Roughly ¾ of mobile searches will result in conversion or other actions

    Google and the respected Nielsen group recently released findings on a massive mobile search study: If someone is searching for your service or product, he or she is most likely to purchase, call, visit your store, etc., within ONE HOUR.

    About 17% of mobile searches ended in the user visiting the store or making a purchase. Also, 25% of users visited the store’s site to get more info. Take a look at these actions, according to study:

    Pretty amazing, right? But guess what? If they search for what you have to offer and visit you, let’s just hope they land on a mobile-friendly version of your site, or they’re probably just going to click out of there and go to a competitor’s site that IS mobile-friendly.

    When they find your site, the rest is all on you. It’s crucial that:

    • Your site is mobile-friendly
    • They can easily find whatever they’re looking for
    • It is also easy for visitors to take action: tap to call, make a purchase, etc.

    I know it’s like beating you over the head with this, but again: You have to have a good, clear, mobile-friendly site that gives people what they were looking for.

    Should You Consider Mobile Apps, Too?

    Most small businesses, even if they have a mobile-friendly site and obviously understand how important it is, don’t think developing an app would be profitable. Maybe that’s the case. Maybe not.

    In most cases, there are plenty of ways your own app could be profitable. We aren’t talking the next Angry Birds game that will cost thousands to develop and become a top-selling commercial app. We’re just talking about simple but useful apps that your customers would find helpful.

    Let’s look at a couple of examples

    If you own a restaurant
    Seating: You could develop an app that lets customers instantly check waiting times in real time.
    Carry-out orders: You probably have some regular customers who visit often and have their favorites. You know, those people that you simply ask “The usual?” when you take their order. Develop an app that saves their info and makes it a snap for them to put in their order on the go.

    If you run an auto repair shop
    Maintenance: Develop an app that will alert customers and give them reminders about maintenance that should be done.
    “What’s That?”: You could design an app that has hints, tips, and answers to some of the most common questions you’ve heard over the years. A rattle here, a grinding there … help your customers narrow down the possibilities and get a free quote.

    If you run a hair salon
    Open seats: Let customers use your app to see which time slots are available for particular services, and which hairdressers are available.
    Deadtime specials: Develop an app that covers those periods when no one is walking through the door and the reservation sheet is looking bare. Your app could send out an alert to customers that tells them they can get a 15% discount until 3PM (or something like that).

    Now sure, these aren’t likely to be million-dollar apps. But they nurture your relationship with customers and help drive business by making things easier for them. Don’t you think that’s worth a little investment?


    Mobile is here and it’s here to stay. It’s just going to get bigger, and if you aren’t adapting your business to grow with it, then your competitors are going to drown you out.

    Contact us today and we’ll help you. Not only can we coach you in developing a solid mobile strategy, we’ll help ensure your new mobile site actually gets found. Remember that on a smartphone, screen space is limited. It’s more important than ever to be in the top five search results.

  4. The Evolution of the iPhone [INFOGRAPHIC]

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    The Evolution of The iPhone

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