Topic: Uncategorized

Sneak Peek the Day Before Apple Conference

Posted on September 8, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Apple's Developers Conference

 

Want the inside track on the new Apple technology a day before it is released to the public tomorrow? Thoughtwire has the industry connections to give you a sneak peek into what the future of mobile technology is going to look like.

For starters, it all revolves around the new version of the iPhone. Last summer, the new iPhone 6 was a game changer as the screen size finally caught up to the Android and other big-screen devices. The new iPhone will once again have screen size selection and will be similar to the size of the 6.

The focus is not on the operating system this time around. One, users can upgrade to a new iOS anytime, once they have the hardware or device. The new iPhone will have better hardware, including, and most importantly, a better camera for taking pictures and videos.

Another big improvement to the new iPhone will be the touch sensitivity. It used to be that you would touch an icon and that would launch the application. Now, depending on how hard you touch the screen, different functions will be performed.

The new phone also claims to have better security and reliability compared to the previous models.

Want more information about the new iPhone? Call a Thoughtwire Media technology expert today to get your iOS app created or to ensure your business plan is implementing the latest technologies: 800-367-2570.

Do you have an Email Marketing Strategy?

Posted on August 26, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Email Marketing serves many purposes, depending on the type of your business and your target audience. You can promote upcoming events, send promotional offers and discounts, drive traffic to an online store or social media page and/or connect with prospects, customers and clients, just to name a few.

If your business lacks an effective email marketing strategy, contact Thoughtwire for a solution! Strategies differ based upon your desired objectives, but here are a few ways we promote high engagement and maintain healthy email lists for clients:

Content Creation

Whether it’s an infographic (like the one you see below), a video, pictures or well-written content, we put a high emphasis on unique, original content that will grab your audience’s attention. We will also work with you to create contests and provide incentive to your audience that grows your list and your presence online.

Voluntary Opt-In Process

The days of buying email lists and targeting random emails are over. Actually, you can still purchase leads and buy email lists, but you run a high risk of having your server blacklisted. Most of your emails will end up in spam folders, your audience won’t engage and no one wins.

At Thoughtwire, we use Mail Chimp, which is a permission-based email delivery system. If you’re a startup company, Mail Chimp is a great place to start. If you’re an established company with an already-built client list, you’ll just have to send those folks an email asking them to opt-in to your newsletter. The opt-in process helps keep your bounce rate low, engagement high and ensures that your emails won’t end up being flagged as spam.

Integration

Through Mail Chimp, we can also integrate your email campaigns with your website and Facebook. Having a sign-up form on those platforms allows your customers and potential customers to easily sign-up to receive your information.

Targeting

We can also target specific audiences and groups within your email list. For example, if you have five physical locations throughout your state and different offers, events, products and services that are relevant to each one of your locations, we will create specific material that targets those specific audiences.

Analytics and Feedback

Finally, what good is all this work if you don’t analyze the results? We’ll give you access to the analytics, provide feedback and suggestions, create new strategies based on results and monitor your email campaigns on a weekly basis.

Call us at (800) 367-2570 or contact us here to get started on a highly effective email marketing campaign for your business.

Email Marketing Strategy

Best Smartphone Plans September 2015

Posted on August 10, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Best smartphone plans

Raise your hand if you like hidden fees, access charges, extra line fees and paying more than what is advertised. Right, not a lot of people like to be shown one price, only to pay much more at checkout.

Smartphones, cellular devices and mobile carriers all revolve around access and data plans. The consumer just wants a simple way to get the best deal without paying a bunch of extra charges.

AT&T and Verizon have been dominating the domestic landscape. But even though they are the most popular, they are not the cheapest carriers.

In an effort to catch up, Sprint and T-Mobile are offering some pretty competitive plans. Right now, Sprint’s Family Plan is $25 per line. Four lines for a hundred bucks. You share data but you don’t have to pay fees for the extra lines or to have them activated.

T-Mobile is offering a similar family plan, but without any roaming charges. Heading to Mexico or Canada? Call without extra charges with T-Mobile.

You can also negotiate with your carrier. Speak to a manager and see if they will price match. Some carriers will even buy out your existing plan. Do a little research so you can find the best plan.

Do you have smartphone, mobile apps, development or online marketing questions? Thoughtwire Media is the authority in digital marketing; get immediate help for your business by calling: 800-367-2570.

Mobile vs Responsive—Know the Difference

Posted on August 5, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Mobile vs Responsive

With Google’s latest algorithm change that targeted sites that weren’t mobile-friendly, many companies began quickly scrambling to figure out if they would be affected.

If you do not have a responsive or mobile-friendly website, you will be directly impacted by the new algorithm change. To put it simply, if your site isn’t available to the mobile audience, Google is going to slowly punish your page rank. They believe that with the ever-rising mobile usage, a non-mobile site shouldn’t appear on the first page of search.

Here’s a quick overview so you understand:

A mobile site is a separate website from your current main URL. Usually there is a “dot mobile” or “dot m” attached to the URL. If you are on your mobile device, you may have the option of visiting the mobile site instead of viewing the desktop version on your small screen.

Mobile sites are nice and accomplish a lot of the same goals as a Responsive site, but there is that extra re-direct step.

A responsive site is a website that has content that will form-fit into any screen. When the screen size changes, the website responds and fits into that screen.

As long as you have a mobile site or a Responsive site, you at least have the chance of appearing on the first page of Google search. If you don’t, you shouldn’t rely on customers finding you online.

Need a mobile-friendly website evaluation? Want more information about getting a Responsive or mobile website? Call Thoughtwire Media at: 800-367-2570. 

Shared Versus Dedicated Hosting—What You Need to Know

Posted on July 9, 2015 by - Uncategorized

shared vs dedicated hosting

 

The easiest way to understand shared hosting is to think of a big apartment building. You have an apartment in there along with many other tenants. One day, a tenant decides to do something illegal in their apartment. He gets caught. The police proceed to shut down the ENTIRE building. You can’t get access to your room for an indefinite amount of time. That’s what shared hosting is like.

You are all on one server, and if that server gets blacklisted, you can’t get to your email, complete transactions and do your daily business operations. If you are on a shared hosting plan, you will always run that risk.

Dedicated hosting is a better option as your website URL won’t get grouped into other blacklisted sites and servers. Dedicated hosting from Thoughtwire means protecting your website on the code level, not just the server side.

Here’s a closer comparison of the two options:

Platform Capabilities

Shared hosting accounts are typically setup with a panel like cPanel or Plesk, where users have access only to the “user level.” Aside from FTP, the control panel will be the user’s only method of server administration, and server functions will be limited, in large extent, by those available in the control panel.

Dedicated servers give you more control and flexibility. You don’t have to be limited when it comes to setup and tweaking functionality.

Security

Shared hosting environments always have to be concerned with security. Since every user on a Shared hosting server will be running applications within the same file system and same operating system, there is relatively great opportunity for a single user to exploit the system and negatively affect all other users hosted on the same server.

A dedicated server will remain almost completely isolated. You don’t have to worry about other users ruining your hosting. In certain instances, dedicated users can even customize their own firewalls and security settings.

Options and Extensibility

Shared hosting providers have complete control over what will be available to you in your Shared hosting environment, and the options are usually very limited. A setup that is compatible with one host may be completely unusable with another host, because of limits on the ability of users to customize software like mail servers, webservers and MySQL. You will also be out of luck if you require an operating system (OS) or software that your Shared host does not support.

With dedicated hosting, you will have way more control over your individual server’s environment.

Resource Allocation

In a Shared hosting environment, all hardware resources are shared among all users, with virtual limits set for the amount of bandwidth, disk space and other resources available to each user. The individual users’ resources are not in any way separated, nor can server performance be effectively monitored on a per-user basis, hence the notorious overselling, “unlimited” resource allocations and poor performance too-often associated with Shared hosting.

The other side is actually having dedicated resources, combined with advanced per-user monitoring tools, to make dedicated server hosting far more reliable than shared hosting.

Convenience

Although Shared hosting offers the convenience of a straightforward and easy-to-use control panel for server management (which can also be installed on a dedicated server), dedicated hosting offers an even greater convenience: the ability to customize the system with the ability to upgrade or downgrade at any time. 

Google’s “DeepDream” Taking Over Internet

Posted on July 9, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Google is always up to something. That’s how you stay the world’s largest search engine and a billion dollar corporation. They are constantly innovating and changing the way we see the Internet. Now, without going into the ethics behind the practices of Google, they have once again altered our vision.

The DeepDream project is a way to enhance neural networks and bring them out on every web page. It started as a simple code project, but the newly created networks formed some pretty amazing art. From Google’s blog: “We blogged about a visualization tool designed to help us understand how neural networks work and what each layer has learned. In addition to gaining some insight on how these networks carry out classification tasks, we found that this process also generated some beautiful art.”

Look at the landscape shot below. A normal shot of water, rocks and sky gets “DeepDream”-ed into a paradise of color and shapes.

Google Deep Dream

 

Google has recently released the instructions on how you can create “DeepDream” images yourself. Someone even did a couple of minutes of the movie, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” to viral fame.

Slug your images with the hashtag #deepdream to join in on the action.

For all of your Google questions and concerns, including SEO, Social Media and Rankings, call Thoughtwire Media at 800-367-2570.

What You Need to Know from Apple’s Developers Conference

Posted on June 16, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Developers Conference

 

Every year, people in marketing, tech, development and search engine optimization anxiously await the announcements and changes from Apple during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Instead of watching hours of videos or reading lengthy recaps, here are the most important aspects of the conference and how they will impact your life:

New Operating System

The new iOS9 will be released in the fall. If you have an older iPad or iPhone, the operating system will actually work on your device! Also, there’s a new power save feature, so when your battery starts to get low, it will take longer for your phone to die.

Remembering You

Apple knows you have habits, so the goal is for your phone to anticipate what you are going to do before you do it. For example, if you plug in your headphones to the jack, your music will automatically get pulled up. Do you listen to a podcast every morning? Then it will be up and ready for you to hit play before you even roll out of bed.

User Experience

the Apple watch is just one way Apple wants to connect you to your devices and data. Voice recognition, fingerprints and passwords will all be integrated so you have easy access to everything in a fast and secure way.

Questions or concerns about the digital future or what Apple has planned next? Call a digital expert from Thoughtwire now at 800-367-2570 to make sure your company is ahead of the competition.

It’s Time to be Mobile-Friendly

Posted on April 3, 2015 by - Uncategorized

If your website still isn’t mobile-friendly, there are several reasons to make the change

In February, Google announced on their Webmaster Central Blog that they would be making two new changes to their search algorithm.

One of these changes will be aimed at helping users find more mobile-friendly content on the Web. In order to accomplish this, Google will be rewarding the websites that are viewable on tablets and smartphones. This is directly from their blog:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

If this all confuses you and you aren’t sure if your website is optimized for mobile devices, click on picture below and enter your website’s URL to test it.

mobile friendly

 

If you’re doubtful that transforming your website into a mobile-friendly one will actually help your business, answer this question: How many people do you actually know that only surf the Web on a desktop computer?

People are browsing the Internet on smartphones and tablets more and more. This trend will only continue as younger generations of children, who are immersed in the world of mobile technology and Social Media, come of age and become consumers.

What’s holding you back? Mobile-websites are becoming a necessity to be competitive online. Google knows it. Your customers know it and would probably prefer that you have a mobile-website.

If you need inspiration, check out the following list via Mobify Insights:

70 Stunning Responsive Sites for Your Inspiration

If you want to get started on creating a top-of-the-line mobile-website, contact us here:

Contact Thoughtwire Media

 

Link Building Tips That Will Help Grow Your Online Presence

Posted on April 1, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Link Building Tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have probably heard the term, “link building” before and you may know that it affects SEO in a big way. In short, link building refers to getting pages on other websites to link to pages on your website. When highly trusted websites like .gov or highly popular websites link to your site, consider it a big SEO victory.

However, link building is easier said than done and can take time to implement. Here are a few practical link building tips to get you started:

Content

One of the best, yet most difficult ways to earn links is to create newsworthy, controversial or viral content. Why is it difficult? It takes time, talent and sometimes even a little bit of luck.

Your company blog can be your hub for this content. Have a content-creating plan in place for your blog and be patient in waiting for results.

Directories

Find directories that are relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re a lawyer, look to get listed on sites like justia.com and attorneyrankings.org. Some directories require payment for membership, others are free.

You should also take advantage of listing your website/business on general sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, Wikipedia and Trip Advisor, to name a few.

Is your business eco-friendly? There are an array of websites out there that list businesses and organizations that practice eco-friendliness. Just perform a simple Google search for, “Eco-friendly business directory” or “Green business directories.”

Build Real Relationships

Find influencers that will help you promote your products and services and use tips like these to win them over.

If you own a local business, your relationships with the local Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses are invaluable. You can earn a link by sponsoring a community event or donating to a cause. Using your building or property to host an event is another smart idea. For example, have an Easter egg hunt on your property and chances are, a site like your local Chamber or tourism board will post that event on their site.

If it makes sense for your business, you can also offer student, alumni, military, senior and other organizational discounts. Many of these websites, which are .org and .edu, will list places where their staff or students can receive discounts.

Always remember to tread carefully when searching for link building opportunities. Sometimes links from spam-filled sites can do more harm than good. It’s best to work alongside an SEO expert when link building. You need them to practice strategies that comply with search engines and they need you to make a real presence and build real relationships within your community. Together, your link building efforts will truly make a positive difference in your search engine ranking.