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Test your online presence with 8 key factors

Having a strong online presence is actually very vital for your marketing strategy, no matter what size your business is or what industry it belongs to.

What do we mean by online presence?
Your first impression on the internet is your website . This is what makes you visible.
So, a business that maintains a website is more likely to receive traffic just by simply being there.
Why?
According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses. This means that the vast majority of your potential customers are online.
Therefore to survive and compete your competitors, you definitely need the online presence.
How would you survive or compete?
Your website (online presence) must meet the days’ standard and technology. You can test your company credibility presence with the following 8 key factors.

1. SEO and higher presence on Google search
Search Engine Optimization  is a set of rules that can be followed by website (or blog) owners to optimize their websites for search engines and thus improve their searching ranks. When you perform a search on Google (or any other search engine) the order by which the returning results are displayed, is based on complex algorithms. These algorithms take a number of factors into account to decide which website (or blog) should be shown in the first place, second, third etc.
Therefore, optimizing your website for search engines will give you an advantage of being ranked higher and eventually appearing on the top 10 results.

2. Customer attraction and more sales
As much as you want search engines to be impressed by your page, your customers will also get frustrated by difficult processes and navigation. A website should be UX (User Experience) and User-friendly. This will ease your visitors to click or search where they exactly have to instead of navigating throughout to find what they are looking for. As a result, this will attract more customers to surf your website.

3. Responsive and Mobile Friendly
As we move forward and with technology booming, mobile web use is strongly outweighing PC use. There is even going to be a 300% increase of it in 2017 . It’s more important than ever to have a responsive website for your business, unless you want to lose a considerable portion of your potential customers.
A responsive website will allow the website to flex and adapt to the size of the screen it’s being viewed on such as laptop, desktop monitor, smart phone, or tablet. It is an ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling.

4. Content creation
Posting informative, educational, reliable and up-to-date content on your website will earn the trust of your visitors and give them a reason to revisit you more often.
Constantly fresh content will also give you an SEO advantage, as well as a good inbound marketing, as most search engines will favor sites that have up-to-date content when it comes to ranking results.

5. Attractive and eye-catchy Home Page
The Home Page is the heart of your website.
Website design isn’t about the company or the designer; it’s about the person whom you’re trying to “impress”. This design should include some important factors including the flow and navigation, how your brand is reflected and recognized, use of colors, REAL meaningful and high quality images that add to the value of your company.

6. Stronger security and bug free
Website security is very important as it is your 24 hour marketing tool. Therefore, a single security breach might have high costs for you and have a huge impact on your customer’s trust.

7. Faster loading
Time has become a really important factor in people’s lives. No one has the time to wait for your website taking a lifetime to load and open. An average person is not bound to stay on a website that loads over 3 seconds.
So with a faster loading you will keep your customers happy, reduce your bounce rates and will also help your Google credibility.

8. Having new features
Integrate new features into your site – like analytics to check your viewers and increase in popularity, images to attract, a blog to do your daily information, social media interfaces for inbound marketing and video galleries for a better understanding and attention grabbing.

Ok, you’ve reached the end of the article. Does your website comprise of all the above features and key factors?

How to harness and take advantage mobile technology for your business

The landscape of the digital marketplace is fast growing and evolving while the reach of traditional retail remains stagnant. It is evident more than ever that if you want to stay ahead of the competition – or stay in the competition at all, for that matter – you need to be able to predict and adapt with the trends and new channels that are shaping this fledgling form of commerce. Your digital strategy will need to adjust to major market forces that will reshape how your company sells, delivers and services its customer base.

In this article, we will have a look at the rise of mobile as one of the megatrends in digital commerce. We will examine the opportunities attributed to mobile technology as a fast-expanding channel of doing business with your customers, and different options you have to achieve mobile integration for your company.

The rise of mobile

When put together, the Internet, mobile devices, data analytics, and cloud computing are transforming how companies operate and compete. In particular, the “rise of mobile” is one of the major market disruptors, forcing companies to find ways to translate their online experience to mobile mediums.

Those who believe traditional enterprise commerce will remain their primary digital channel will soon realize that they’ve erred. The hard reality is, mobile commerce is fast supplementing – and in many cases replacing – the traditional approach altogether.

According to  , in 2014, over 125 million people in the U.S. carried out their research through mobile devices. As for commerce, mobile accounted for 19% of total online sales. That figure is fast changing, and by 2018, mobile will have the lion’s share of online commerce at a whopping 54%. That’s a 184% increase.

As the numbers speak for themselves, the future and fate of online retailers and businesses will be decided by their ability to adapt to this fast evolving trend.

What does this mean for you?

In a nutshell, the mobile revolution means that capabilities that were once offered online now need to be duplicated for mobile devices or altered in a way that conforms to the mobile experience. You have to ask yourself the following questions to figure out if you’re moving at the pace the mobile market is changing:

  • Is your business model scalable to meet the mobile trend?
  • Do you have the engineering and skills needed to operate both channels together and handle their different risks?

The truth is, transitioning to the mobile platform is not something that happens overnight, and needs to be planned meticulously and carefully; otherwise it becomes a self-destructive goal.

What practical steps do you need to take?

Porting your capabilities toward mobile can be done in a smooth way, allowing you to adapt with the IT, HR and customer service needs as you expand and delve into this new medium. Here are a few options that can help you achieve this goal.

Convert to responsive design

If you already have a website, make sure the design is responsive. Basically, this means that the layout and size of the elements in your site must be able to adapt with mobile displays. Responsive websites get much more traffic since they offer a seamless experience across desktop workstations and mobile

responsive design

To check whether your site is responsive or not, you only need to point your smartphones browser to its URL and check the result. If the elements displayed on the page are too small and the text is too tiny (or put in another way, the site is unusable), then you’re faced with an unresponsive site. But if the layout changes to offer an experience that conforms to mobile display size and standards, then the site is responsive.

Hopefully, if your site has been developed by experts, or if you’re using a well-established CMS, changing the design to become responsive can be done with little effort.

Responsive design is the shortest and most cost-effective path to mobile realization, but it isn’t necessarily the most efficient one.

Develop a web app to complement your site

Web apps are the next step in mobile integration. A web app is a version of your website tailored for mobile device experience. The twitter mobile web app is a good example. Web apps usually eliminate the clutter and excessive details that are more suited to desktop and laptop computers. Entry forms are culled to contain fields that are absolutely necessary, page flows are reduced and steps are integrated. The overall goal is to increase speed and allow users to achieve their goals in less steps.

Adding a web app to a website that already has a solid base is easy enough and your main website can be configured to be redirected to the web app when accessed by a mobile device.

Web apps will offer a far richer experience than responsive designs, but still lack the ability to leverage the full power of mobile computing.

Invest in a mobile app

Mobile apps are the culmination of mobile commerce technology. They are standalone applications that are installed on user devices, offering the user a richer experience which allows for the leverage of device capabilities and OS technologies. Mobile apps have several advantages over web apps and responsive sites, including the following:

  • Ability to store offline data to offer unbroken experience when the user is experiencing spotty internet connection
  • Ability to target users with push notifications and in-app messages in order to improve user engagement and conversion
  • Ability to be integrated with mobile analytics tools, which can give you invaluable insight about user interaction and performance efficiency

Mobile apps are by far the most effective solution for mobile integration, and although they cost a little more than the two other options, they make up a more strategic investment. To obtain a mobile app for your business, you need to hire the expertise of app developers, and subsequently launch your app in one or several app stores.

Who can help you go mobile?

How do you decide which option suits you best? There are many IT companies with mobile app development services who can help you lay out your roadmap to mobile success. Comelite has extensive experience in this regard and can help you by examining your current digital commerce solution and counsel you on which parts of your system need improvement and what steps you need to take in order to achieve full mobile integration. With the speed, agility and expertise offered by Comelite, you are guaranteed to get the biggest bang for the buck.

Conclusion

If you already have a well-settled eCommerce solution, but are lacking in the mCommerce sector, now’s the time to act. The age of mobile dominance is fast approaching. Are you ready?

Author:  Ben Dickson, Software engineer and CTO at Comelite IT Solutions.Contributor to TechCrunch, AppsZoom and CanadaFreePress.

What’s the deal of being a Website Responsive?

Nowadays smartphones and tablets have changed the method toward user experience and design. Recent market studies show mobile internet usage is set to grow enormously by the end of 2015 with an upsurge of 21% from 2010. What is maybe more interesting is that this means the number of mobile internet users will pass that of desktop users during this time. Certainly this transformation in the way people are intense about online information and viewing websites means we should to be considering how we can engage with visitors to make them the best online experience for our products and services.
We are living in a world where our websites not only being surfed by a variety of different screen sizes and devices, but the same clients are returning to our websites at dissimilar times using these different devices. Online traffic originating from mobile devices is increasing exponentially each time. This means that, to vastly support their experience, our websites must be flexible and work well regardless of which device they may be using at a specific time. Also Google has long recommended using responsive web design to support different devices and screen sizes.
Truly, responsive web design isn’t a luxury any more, it’s a must and the ‘one website fits all devices’ approach will soon be the norm. As more and more people get used to browsing the web through their tablets and smartphones, it is unwise for any website publisher to disregard responsive web design.

What Is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design lets a website’s layout to change as the screen size being used to view it (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). For example someone opening your website on a small smartphone will be presented the same website as the person opening it on their notebook. However a responsive web design will have noticed the restraints and automatically reformatted to present the user an experience better matching to their device. There is no need for loading a huge website and zooming in and out to view the contents the visitors are searching for.
The designer creating a Responsive Design should guarantee that the website’s navigation elements, screen-layouts, images, text, audio/video players and other elements regulate themselves on a variety of devices. In this way, one need not spend further time and money in building and up-keeping two websites; a “mobile-site version” and a “desktop-site version”.

Now, let us look at the advantages and why Responsive Design is important

– Responsive web design sites are flexible, meaning the content transfers easily across all screen resolutions and all different devices. A responsive web design ensures that visitors get the best and compatible experience of a website on any device of the user’s selection and priority – such as the iPhone, the iPad, the ipod, the tablet and the smartphones running the Android OS, or the Windows OS and several others. This means that as new technology hit the market with different screen sizes unlike what we have experienced before, our responsive websites will already be ready to meet those new devices.
– The advantages of having a single website that follows to the need of all devices are meaningful when compared to having several separate websites. One website costs less than two, and the savings can be significant. Having one website to manage and one place to manage it from will make it easier to keep the site updated. Also managing one website and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two websites and two SEO campaigns.
– As I mentioned, Google has long recommended using responsive web design to support different devices and screen sizes, but the search engine took this recommendation a step further last year when they began adding a “Mobile Friendly” label to websites that used this approach when those sites appeared in a search results page on a mobile device. Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site. Google is now setting ‘user-experience’ as a ranking factor; this is essential to take into account in regards to SEO.
Being able to show users a beautiful optimized experience without consideration of their choice of device means you’ll have expanded the reach of your service and the chances you have of engaging with individuals. The long lasting nature of this approach is unbelievably valuable and the cost effectiveness is a strong advantage. But that kind of design-thinking does not have to be our default. Now more than ever, digital content is meant to be viewed on a spectrum of different experiences. But responsive web design offers the best way forward.

I welcome any kind of critic and feedback. Please don’t hesitate to write me and humble me with your valuable knowledge: rodney.goedhart@comelite.net