May 1st, 2012 | No Comments

In a prior blog, I spoke about the statistics of searches on different operating systems.

One thing that the article does not go into is the statistical importance of why the mobile searches are so high, and what a smart marketer can do with that information.

It seems clear that the reason mobile searches are much more common are that people are not “surfing” on their mobile devices, but rather they are trying to find information. This makes sense given the smaller screen size makes it less enjoyable for casual browsing.

So, armed with this information, what should we do about it?

First of all, you should already be ensuring that your site is functional on a mobile platform, and this means no flash!

Second, since the most common element people are searching for is contact information, this information needs to be very easy to access, preferably a phone number along the top.

Finally, if your business is one where it may be common to search for on-the-go (such as a restaurant), you should start considering a mobile optimized site.

April 30th, 2012 | No Comments

There was a recent article by TechCrunch that discussed the statistics regarding searches as it pertained to different operating systems.

Of note, iOS and Macs account for a much higher percentage of searches than other platforms.

The percentages are actually significant, as Mac users search 48% of the time, whereas Windows users search only 32% of the time. Linux is an astonishingly low 14%.

On mobile platforms, the statistics are less dramatic, but just as interesting with iOS (iPhone) with 54% searches, and Android with 43% searches.

The article extrapolated the reason was business users versus consumer users, and while this certainly has an impact as to the reason, I don’t think it answers it in entirety.

Having worked with many clients over the years, it has been my experience that oftentimes less tech savvy users will “search” for a website, instead of entering the URL (website address) into the address bar. In fact, many of my less tech savvy clients and friends weren’t even aware of the address bar’s existence.

This would indicate that Windows users are more tech savvy than Mac users, with Linux users being bar far the most savvy.

Well, duh! Mac has for years pushed the simplicity of their platform (justifiably), whereas Linux is traditionally used by only the most hard-core techies. This all makes sense.

Further, while we really like the Android platform for phones at Flying Chimp for its customization features (among others), it is more difficult to use and setup than an iPhone. So this also makes sense. (For the record, I own an iPhone and an iPad.)

It is important to point out that less tech savvy means only that. Many of my least tech savvy clients and friends are also among my most intelligent. I love my Mac using friends and clients!

Stay tuned for a future article about what the statistics mean for Mobile Searches

The original TechCrunch article can be found here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/25/apples-ios-and-mac-platforms-drive-the-most-search-requests-linux-the-least/

September 1st, 2010 | No Comments

When asked how you get new business, if your answer includes, “Word of mouth”, then your “rolodex” is arguably the most important tool in your sales arsenal. How many people that know you, and that know about your business, is critical for referrals and the ability to close new business.

The question, of course, is, “How can you develop more people in your rolodex?”.

Social Media is an outstanding tool to develop your rolodex, and more importantly, how to develop the people that you already know into legitimate referral sources.

Capitalizing Upon the People That You Already Know

How many times has your mother, father, sister or brother referred you business? Usually the answer is fairly low, and oftentimes none. The same can be true for your friends. This is not because they don’t love and respect you, but rather because they don’t think to do so. Heck, oftentimes, these people whom you are closest with have no idea what you actually do for a living! Sure, they may know a job title, or a business industry, but they don’t *really* know what you do. Short of sitting with everyone and explaining what it is you do and teaching them how to sell (a technique I encourage, actually), you have very few ways of getting them to sell for you.

Enter Facebook. Facebook is usually used for exclusively social reasons, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for promoting your business. With over 500 million users and over 50% of those users checking on a daily basis, Facebook affords small businesses a unique way of connecting to users.

This doesn’t mean that everyone should immediately create a Facebook “like” or “fan” page for their business. In fact, this technique is usually worthless and unnecessary (although sometimes very effective). What it does mean is that in addition to letting people know what random fun activities you are doing, you can also help educate your friends about what you do for work.

This can be done directly by letting people know about new products or promotions, or by way of happy customer stories or excitement over a finished project. By letting your friends and family know what you are doing everyday for work, they can be more informed when it is time to potentially recommend you.

Increase Your Audience

While Facebook allows you to inform people who you already know, it does very little for increasing your audience. Corporate Blogging and Twitter are exceptional ways for expanding your audience.

As the fastest growing platform in the history of the Internet, Twitter allows you to connect and reach entirely new audiences than you ever had. By developing “Followers” that are either prospective customers or referral sources, you create an entirely new group of people that are learning about your business. It increases the size of your Rolodex.

Corporate Blogging is simply a platform that allows you to write about your business. Much like the article you are reading right now, it is a way to share your knowledge with the world. While the topics can be sales driven, I usually recommend they be informative. Allow your audience to be aware that you are an expert in your field. If you accomplish that, when it is time to refer someone, or hire them yourself, it is more likely you will do so with the person who has proven their worth.

The coolest part is that you can use Twitter and Facebook to point to your Blog, further increasing the exposure that it gets.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Website Integration

An added benefit of using these tools, is doing so in conjunction with your website. By integrating your Blog and Twitter feeds, you create a more dynamic website that has more user retention for repeat viewings. Further, search engines like Google and Bing love the relevant and refreshed content that Blogs and Twitter feeds provide. Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means more hits. More hits usually means more money.

In Conclusion

This was intended as food for thought on how Social Media can be used effectively to promote your small business. There are, of course, many other ways that these tools can be used for business that I will address in future articles, but for now I encourage you to think of how these tools can improve your rolodex.

October 9th, 2009 | No Comments

I recently met with a prospective client who was interested in Social Media.

They have always used more traditional advertising methods such as CraigsList and other yellow pages based methods, and wanted Social Media to accomplish the same thing. They wanted us to create a series of social networking pages (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) that would just attract business.

Unfortunately, it was not going work the way they wanted.

Social Media is a dynamic exchange of information with the rest of the online world that increases your visibility and network of available resources. Social Media is NOT a passive form of advertising.

The success of Social Media is directly tied with the activity of the user. If you want Social Media to not require work, then it won’t work for you or your business.

Read entire article

October 6th, 2009 | No Comments

Occasionally we get people wanting us to work in Flash. While we are able to do the work, we discourage our clients from using it in most situations.

Flash is bad for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

While Google is working on listing Flash-based websites in their engine, it is still somewhat “iffy”. Further, the reality is that many of the best techniques used for SEO simply cannot work with a flash site.

Flash is usually bad for User Interface (UI)

While it can be cool, Flash usually deviates from the best User Interface principles, in favor of what the designer wants. This is never good.

Flash is not supported by most mobile platforms

Most experts predict that mobile platforms will occupy a significant portion of the internet browsing in the near future. Currently, Flash is not supported on many of those mobile devices, including the iPhone and Blackberry. Basically, developing a site in Flash ensures that you are not thinking for the future.

Read entire article