Topic: Mobile

Counterpoint: The Significance of the Apple Event

Posted on September 10, 2015 by - Mobile

Apple Event

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook took a stage in Cupertino, CA, yesterday morning with the promise of “monster” announcements. Whether or not that promise was fulfilled depends on your perspective. Many bloggers, including one of our own, were disappointed and underwhelmed by Apple’s announcements.

I’ll concede that many Apple products are overpriced and their functionality isn’t always as original as their cheaper competitors. Apple is obviously a massive corporation where profit-motive drives every move. Same with Android, Amazon, Google, Verizon, Microsoft and any other tech giant of 2015.

However, since 2007 when the original iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs, Apple has helped fundamentally change the way people interact with their mobile devices. Was this change coming anyway? Probably, but Apple has been on the forefront of mobile technology for nearly a decade.

So what impactful changes did they announce this year?

iPad Pro

Apple’s new iPad Pro is nearly 13 inches, yet weighing only 1.57 pounds. It’s slim, but high-powered and should appeal more to business people and designers with new stylus and keyboard options. Its display size and resolution are greater than any other tablet currently on the market.

Apple TV

Its competitors, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast are available for $99, $99 and $35, respectively. Apple’s 32GB version of the new Apple TV will be available for $149 and the 64GB for $199.

The new Apple TV remote features Siri and a pretty cool swipe pad. However, Apple is asking people to pay $50-100 more for a product that may only be slightly better than the competition. People will pay, in large part because while the hardware isn’t vastly superior, it functions well with the iPhone and more app developers will jump on board with the Apple TV than say, Amazon’s Fire TV.

iPhone 6S

It was unusual for Apple to release a new model just a year after their most recent release. What’s new? A glass that is supposedly stronger than the previous generation, a rose gold option (try to contain your excitement) and of course, a better camera.

While I certainly won’t be lining up for the new iPhone, the 3D Touch feature is significant. While it may be confusing to moms and dads, I have a feeling it will be a norm within the next couple years. Basically, it allows your iPhone to detect how hard you press the screen. You’ll be able to preview messages and links and once app developers get a chance to utilize it more, it could change the way games are played on mobile devices and ultimately change the way we interact with our phones.

Improve Your Camera Phone for Cheap

Posted on September 10, 2015 by - Mobile

Consumer Backlash after Apple Overhypes and Underdelivers at Conference 

After the Apple conference earlier this week, the general consensus was, “Shame on you, Apple.”

Apple event camera phone

The new Apple TV was basically a more expensive version of the Amazon Fire TV Stick, and a year late. The new iPhone 6s doesn’t offer anything shocking or groundbreaking—it’s simply great marketing.

Apple knows that every time they release a new phone, certain consumers “must have it.” The new versions of the phone used to actually mean revolutionary new features and functions, like the addition of Siri to the iPhone5. Now, Apple has realized they don’t have to do anything except change the numbers next to the model or ad an “s,” and they’ll make a billion more dollars.

So before you go spend $600 on a new iPhone, or get under the thumb of your cellar carrier because you want to upgrade before you are “eligible,” understand you can get the new features without playing Apple’s profit-only game.

Over a third of all smartphone use is dedicated to pictures and video. The better camera is the only thing good about the new phone. So instead of spending $600, how about $20?

Check out the Acesori Smartphone Camera Lens Kit that is usually listed for $50, for $20: http://www.premierhotdeals.com/featured-front-page/acesori-smartphone-camera-lens-kit.html

It really makes a big difference on picture quality and what you can do with your camera. Do you have an Android? No problem, the lens kit is compatible with Android devices, too.

Get a camera that’s better than the new iPhone6 without getting ripped off or needlessly contributing to the world’s most profitable corporation.

Counterpoint: The Significance of the Apple Event

iPhone or Android questions or concerns? Need an app built? Contact Thoughtwire Media today at: 800-367-2570.

Let Mobile Apps Help Your Holiday Travel

Posted on September 4, 2015 by - Mobile

The technology exists so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t let it help you in your daily life. Especially when it comes to traveling.

Mobile Apps

 

Holiday travel used to be a stress-fest, where families would cram into a van or a plane and hope to get their destination at a reasonable time. AAA reports that this holiday season will see a record number of American travelers.

The economy has leveled out, gas prices are down and airlines continue to offer great deals, all resulting in an increase in travel.

If you are going to be driving, there are numerous apps to help you on your way. Stay current on traffic patterns, construction and new roads with any one of many apps. Browse some here.

For those traveling by air, there are two major factors that can impede your progress. One, the weather, and two, delayed fights and airport backups. The key is to get the information you need before you leave. There are various apps that can alert you to your flight being delayed. The airline carrier itself will have an app as well.

The NSA app, for example, helps answer your security questions and gives you around the clock access to information. No matter how you are traveling or to where, chances are there is an app for that. Just search, download and go.

Google Steps Up Mobile App Indexing Efforts

Posted on June 5, 2015 by - Mobile, SEO

mobile app indexing

When Google made announcements regarding mobile-friendly search, most people (including us) focused on what this meant for websites that aren’t Responsive. An under-looked part of that announcement was that Google would start crawling mobile apps and surfacing them in mobile search results with mobile app indexing.

Google has taken the next step in this process and has started showing apps in search results on Android first, and now iOS. From their official Google Search blog:

“This week, we’re rolling this out so you’ll start seeing in-app content from an initial set of partners among search results when searching with the Google app or in Chrome for iPhone and iPad (you need to be signed in). From there, just tap the search result to open that app. Try telling Google “I need a reservation at Bombay Cricket Club” and you’ll see results from the OpenTable app.”

While this announcement only includes a small handful of apps, it’s only a matter of time before others are on board. Google will also make it easier for users to discover new apps within Google Search.

Mobile apps have been popular for a few years and have been effective for many companies for reasons aside from appearing more in search results. This announcement just means there is one more reason to develop a mobile app and stay ahead of your competition.

Thoughtwire’s skilled developers can create customized apps for your business on the iOS or Android platforms. To get started, contact us here or call (800) 367-2570.

Bing is Going Mobile-Friendly

Posted on May 15, 2015 by - Mobile

Following Google’s lead, Bing Announces Their Own Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

Bing mobile friendly

Yesterday, Microsoft’s search engine Bing announced that they will release their own version of mobile-friendly ranking signals in the coming months. In case you missed it, Google’s “Mobilegeddon,” as some have called it, was implemented over a month ago.

Bing has not yet given a date of when their algorithm will go live, but they have already started tagging whether or not a website is mobile-friendly. You can see in the example below that Thoughtwire’s results on Bing are indeed tagged as mobile-friendly.

Bing Mobile FriendlyWhat else is Bing saying about the upcoming change? This comes directly from their blog:

“Our approach to mobile friendliness as a ranking signal balances the need to improve the ranking for mobile-friendly pages, with the continued focus on delivering the most relevant results for a given query. This means that for mobile searches on Bing, you can always expect to see the most relevant results for a search query ranked higher, even if some of them are not mobile-friendly. While the changes will improve ranking for mobile-friendly pages, webpages that are highly relevant to the given query that are not yet mobile-friendly will not get penalized.” (Emphasis added)

Check out Bing’s blog to read more about their approach to mobile-friendly websites. You can also read Search Engine Land’s take on it here.

Our take? While this won’t impact websites as much as Google’s mobile-friendly rollout, it certainly furthers the argument for having a mobile-friendly website.

Although Bing and Yahoo constantly have to live in the shadow of Google, it’s not like they are failing businesses. Bing is second only to Google, holding nearly 20 percent of the U.S. search market share. Even if you use Google, how many of your customers might use Bing and how many more people could you reach by having a well-ranking, mobile-friendly website that appears on the three biggest search engines in the world?

Call us today to get started: 800-367-2570.

Critical Security Update for WordPress Websites

Posted on May 1, 2015 by - Hosting, Mobile, Websites

Millions of websites are powered by WordPress. The popular content management system is easy to use and has great plugin architecture. All that popularity and exposure comes at a price, however, as hackers and cyber criminals constantly go after the platform.

Wordpress_Blue_logo

In the last week of April, new threats to WordPress emerged, as cross-site scripting bugs allowed the attackers to change and add code into the HTML content. The bug gave the attackers the ability to retrieve passwords, manipulate content and perform changes to the website and layout.

WordPress was quick to respond with the WordPress 4.2.1 Security Release. After one week, it was downloaded over 6 million times. If you have a WordPress site, download the new version here.

In order to make sure your WordPress site is protected going forward, there are two key things to keep in mind. One, make sure you have the latest updates and secured WP Hosting. You don’t have the time to constantly monitor and maintain your site, so make sure it is protected with the correct hosting plan. Find out if your hosting plan has the WordPress security you need by clicking here.

Two, keep your passwords and personal information in a secured location. Never give out those details to a third party and if you notice something odd with your website, get it checked out right away.

20 Ways People Search Locally For Your Business

Posted on April 22, 2015 by - Mobile, SEO

Think about how often you search for something locally. Maybe you want to find out the hours of a local business or find a certain type of business near a certain location. The rise in smartphones and mobile technology directly relates to the rise in local search.

Search Locally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are 20 examples of how consumers might search locally for your business:

  1. How late is [business name] open?
  2. [business name] phone number
  3. [business name] hours
  4. [business name] address
  5. Directions to [business name]
  6. [business name] coupons
  7. [business name] reviews
  8. Nearest available parking to [business name]
  9. [business name] Wi-Fi availability
  10. [business name] mobile app
  11. [business name] social media
  12. Map to [business name]
  13. Availability of [product/service] at [business name]
  14. Contact [business name]
  15. Jobs at [business name]
  16. {business name] near me
  17. [industry type] on _______ road
  18. [industry type] in [city]
  19. The best [products/services] in [location]
  20. Ideas for [holiday/birthday/etc]

According to data compiled by Search Engine Land in 2014, almost 90 percent of mobile users search for local information and 78 percent of local-mobile searches resulted in an offline purchase.

Regardless of intent, consumers are conducting local searches on their mobile devices. So how can you reach these consumers? There are two main ways.

The first is to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Why? Google is demanding it, mobile devices are becoming more common every day, and having a mobile-website greatly improves the experience of consumers making them more likely to buy your products/services.

The second way, which is just as important as the first, is to claim your local listing and ensure your business is listed on the top search engines. Start with Google, then Yahoo and Bing, and then get on Yelp and other popular review sites. Your mobile-friendly website will never be seen if hundreds of businesses are listed before yours on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

Test Your Website Now for Algorithm Change

Posted on April 22, 2015 by - Mobile

Well, it finally happened. Google has official rolled out their new, mobile-friendly algorithm. Basically, if you don’t have a website that is Responsive or mobile-friendly, then you will appear very low on search.

Companies large and small are scrambling to figure out not if they will be affected, but by how much and what can they do to stay ahead of the competition.

The first step is testing your website to see if it is Responsive. Responsive websites will display your content and images on any device. Run the test now for your website.

If your site does not format correctly, you have a couple of options. One, you can keep all of your content and layout and do a quick “Flip To Mobile.” Your website will be put into a new template that can be seen from different mobile devices.

Two, you can have a completely new website built that is mobile-friendly and aligns with all of the new algorithm changes. Three, you can have a mobile app built to help sync your mobile and desktop users.

If your website is Responsive, then you just need to make sure you won’t be punished by Google. For a free website evaluation for SEO and to see if you are aligned with the new algorithm, call Thoughtwire at 800-367-2570.

Small and Local Businesses Will Get Hurt Most by Google Algorithm Change

Posted on April 21, 2015 by - Mobile

By now, most people have heard about the mobile-friendly algorithm update unveiled by Google this AprilGoogle Algorithm Change

It breaks down like this: Google wants to present the most relative and useful results when people search. Since billions of searches are conducted with mobile devices, a trend that won’t be slowing down, Google wants to ensure users are finding mobile-friendly sites.

How can they make mobile sites appear ahead of non-Responsive sites? Easy, they just change the algorithm to put mobile sites ahead of non-mobile-friendly websites.

The change is going to have a huge impact on small and local businesses. Those entities don’t have giant marketing and digital advertising campaigns. A lot of them have recently purchased a website and aren’t exactly thrilled about the idea of having to change their website.

The solution lies with a quick change to become mobile-friendly. There are “Flip To Mobile” services where all of your existing content can be copied, pasted and reformatted into a mobile-friendly template. Those types of services are generally cheaper than getting a new website build.

Businesses with sites that aren’t Responsive can also find affordable new sites by choosing from existing templates. If you are a small shop, then chances are you don’t need a massive site that is all originally designed and created from a code level.

Questions or concerns about your existing website and if you will be punished by the latest algorithm change? For a free consultation, information about Flip to Mobile services or general inquiries, please contact Thoughtwire Media at 800-367-2570.

Digital marketing has one future—mobile.

Study: Over 50% of Marketers Believe Being Mobile-Friendly Will Impact Their Search Ranking

Posted on April 15, 2015 by - Mobile, SEO

MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the last few weeks, we have been consistently covering Google’s announcement to give mobile-friendly websites a ranking boost. Starting April 21, Google will begin to roll out their algorithm which favors Responsive websites.

In plain English, this means that if your website is adaptive on the screens of smartphones and tablets, Google will make it easier for searchers to find your site.

A company called gShift, who creates software to monitor SEO, Social Media and Content, conducted a survey on this topic and interviewed over 275 digital marketers across a variety of industries. Most of the participants were senior-level decision makers and the survey was conducted over the week of March 25 through April 2.

What were the results? We’ll list a couple of the questions below and you can read the rest for yourself, here.

Q1: Do you think your website is currently mobile-friendly?

69% of responders said, yes. However, gShift, upon further research, discovered that many of those answers weren’t entirely true.

This makes sense because even if you have a mobile-friendly website, that doesn’t mean it’s built well. You’re site may still suffer from mobile-based errors and slow loading speed. You can test the mobile-friendliness of your website by plugging it in here.

Q4: Do you think your web presence rankings in search and organic traffic will be affected by this change?

52% answered this question, yes. 20% said, no. 28% of responders were unsure. Although a majority of responders believe Mobile SEO affects search, this doesn’t seem as lopsided it should be.

Perhaps some businesses don’t rely much on Internet marketing at all to make money. Others may not believe Google’s algorithm will affect them until they see a drop in rankings.

Our take? We have been talking about the importance of Responsive websites for a while now. They have always been important in providing a better customer experience. They have increasingly been important in determining your search engine ranking. Starting April 21, they will become even more important for SEO.

Stay ahead the curve and ahead of your competition. Call us at 800-367-2570 or contact us here for a free estimate on a mobile site.