Why the Responsive Design Trend Is Becoming the New Industry Standard
According to SearchEngineWatch.com, mobile Internet usage increased by over 73% in the year 2014 and now exceeds PC Internet usage for the first time in history. This means that businesses should consider responsive web design as a solution to ensuring their website is compatible across any and all devices.
Responsive Web Design is often misunderstood as a term to describe any website that appears “mobile-friendly”, but there are many differences to an actual responsive site and a site that merely appears mobile-friendly. Responsive websites use one single HTML code that fluidly changes the size of the site using CSS as the size of the user’s device changes. The key difference is in the amount of HTML codebases: a responsive site will always have only one, while a dynamically-served site will have multiple codebases that a server will choose from depending on the size of the device detected.
With so many mobile users in the world, it is critical to have a website that responds to the variable screen size rather than scaling down to a lower resolution. A website must appear beautiful on all kinds of devices - from a 50” television to a tablet, a laptop and every phone in between. There are many strategies for developing a mobile-friendly website, but choosing a responsive web design offers additional benefits that increase user-experience and aid in business:
- Flexible web page rendering: the user will always experience a 100% width website that is adapted to their particular screen size. There will never be a need to zoom on a responsive website because the site has already adapted to the user.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Google, the largest search engine to date, dictates what search engine optimization practices websites need to adhere to in order to be found. Google has clearly indicated that it prefers responsive web designs to mobile templates because there is a single website URL to crawl and index the website. Likewise, there is a greater reduction in search engine optimization errors because all occur only once rather than for desktop and for mobile.
- Easy long-term maintenance: using one HTML file structure for the entire site means less development on the backend. Less development means time efficiency and a lower cost when making changes and maintaining the site.
- Bounce rate reduction: User experience strongly dictates your business’s bounce rate. If there is a consistent user experience among devices as well as an ease of navigation, the website is considered more trustworthy to the user. The easier to navigate, the longer a user is likely to stay on your site.
- Easy sharing: Instead of detecting multiple URL’s (such as m.title.com and www.title.com), responsive web design only uses one URL that allows for consistent and easy sharing among all users, devices, social marketing platforms, and experiences.
As technology evolves, websites- how they are designed and how they are built, will adapt further, (perhaps even into 3D?). 5.1 billion people in the world of the 6.8 billion-world population are now smartphone users. While responsive design may not be feasible for every business, it is a great option to consider when considering your customer base.
What Does This Mean for Your Social Marketing Strategy?
In November 2014, Facebook announced that beginning in January 2015 they would be killing the organic reach for business page posts in user’s newsfeeds, meaning businesses cannot offer promotional deals via a post for their business such as:
“Huge sale on Mother’s Day bouquets! Use the code FacebookMOM for an additional 15% off.”
Posts like this will no longer show up on an individual’s newsfeed. Instead, the business will have to pay to advertise on the site to show up as promotional. While this is good for the every day user who was tired of ads, what does this mean for your small business and your social marketing strategy?
Facebook is unclear about what their algorithm will consider “overly promotional”, so a few months of data will be necessary to completely determine the impact of this change; however, businesses are already reporting a significant decline in their organic reach, some up to as much as 75-90%.
A few ideas to consider to adding to your social marketing strategy in light of this Facebook change:
- Add social relationships and interactions to your own website. Write blogs that your users are interested and want to share. Encourage a direct relationship with your customer because their organic reach can be far more powerful than businesses ever could.
- Don’t make Facebook the center of your businesses marketing strategy and interaction with your customers. Encourage them to sign up for newsletters to stay in contact with your business. Newsletters delivered by email are served 90% of the time while Facebook posts are served 2% of the time. Fostering a relationship via newsletter is going to be much more effective in the long run than relying on social marketing.
Facebook killing organic reach is going to be unfortunate and costly for businesses, so reconsider your 2015-2016 social marketing strategy in order to maximize the effectiveness of both your website and your social media for your customers.
Is your website successful? Does your site support your brand, drive business growth, and bring in sales leads? If not, it’s time to consider upgrading your business website. In the age of technology an informative, appealing, and accessible website has a direct correlation to business growth and credibility.
Marketpath CMS is the web content management and content marketing solution that can convert your website from a static billboard into a valuable marketing tool that can drive business growth. Here are just a few of the reasons why your business should choose Marketpath CMS:
Great Tool Set-
Marketpath CMS provides the perfect toolset to manage your website updates and content marketing. Our software gives your business a stress-free way to manage and update your site even for non-technical people. All updates and additions to the site happen in one place, via the web! Whether one is updating text copy, adding images or videos to a gallery, or creating calendar events, Marketpath CMS does it all! Businesses have the ability to create event registration pages, to build surveys and web forms via our form builder, to work with SEO tools, to create and publish blogs, and more. With Marketpath CMS’s breadth of tools and ease, it makes confusing and tricky website marketing effortless!
Selecting Marketpath CMS means you’ve chosen one of the easiest and highest rated content management systems available today – one that is currently used by hundreds of other large and small businesses. But that’s not all; you’ll all receive the constant support of the Marketpath team. With your Marketpath CMS subscription, you’ll receive unlimited support for all your website and content management needs. You can call or email at any time and we’ll be eager to help with any questions or needs. Need help uploading a case study or document for the first time? We can walk you through it. Forgot how to add a video? We’ll help you out. But it isn’t only technical support Marketpath can provide. We’re also available to provide marketing assistance and guidance when desired. Need advice on creating a landing page or on how to optimize a new page for search? Just ask and we’ll gladly provide marketing advice. For many small businesses, with limited technical or marketing resources, Marketpath can be a valuable partner that supports your internal team. One of our strengths is our availability and dedication to our customers.
Website Monitoring and Hosting-
In addition to our support, Marketpath meets all your website monitoring and hosting needs. We track your site to make sure it is up and running and our alerted if any issues arise. We also monitor your website to ensure it is always working at an acceptable speed, so that your users have a positive experience. As a small business it can be difficult to have enough technical resources that have both the time and experience to handle your growing website needs. When you work with Marketpath, you won’t need any internal technical support - Marketpath manages it all.
With Marketpath CMS your business doesn’t have to worry about keeping up with the latest technology trends and changes. We’ll add new functionality (new tools, enhancements, etc.) at least every quarter to your software. Your website will never get outdated technically because the Marketpath team works with evolving technology, constantly building it into our software, to improve your digital marketing capabilities. Any new functionalities or technology are automatically made available to your company, so you won’t have to worry about it. That's the benefit of Marketpath CMS's Software as a Servive (SaaS) or On-Demand platform.
Web/Digital Marketing Services-
Marketpath not only gives you a great software toolset and support, but also becomes your partner and expert in digital marketing strategy. Regardless of your online marketing needs, Marketpath is there to work with you. With expertise in web design (including responsive websites) and website development, content marketing, site optimization (SEO), and social marketing, the Marketpath team is there to give your business the online presence it needs.
The new website, designed and developed by Marketpath, is structured to provide up-to-date information on the church and the services they provide, while remaining user-friendly. The new website includes a calendar, allowing people to easily view future events. The site is now a responsive website, allowing the website to be easily accessible on all types of electronic devices. This is a major step forward for St. Dunstan’s, as it allows its churchgoers to quickly find service times and information using their mobile phones and tablets.
Marketpath worked closely with St. Dunstan’s to provide a high quality, user-friendly website, which will allow it to be more accessible to both the church and the parishioners. Additionally, Saint Dunstan also selected Marketpath, because they wanted a functional, user-friendly web content management solution (CMS), that would allow non-technical users to update and add new content to the church's site on a daily basis. The combination of a well designed site and Marketpath CMS, will allow St. Dunstan’s to continue their success and continue to grow its congregation.
Indianapolis, IN - Employees of Marketpath, Inc. logged into the company's internal project management and support application and found a floating head of the founder and CEO, Matt Zentz, chasing the mouse wherever it was moved. Accompanying the floating head were terrible one-liner jokes that nearly caused one team member to choke on their morning Mocha Latte.
"I couldn't get the obnoxious head to go away and then these awful, awful jokes showed up," said Emily Oksay, a Senior Designer, "It scared me to death. I thought our site was hacked and was worried our support cases were exposed to some outside spy ring. I immediately reported this to our security team."
Samantha Heyman, Project Manager, was just as flabbergasted. "I came in to get some serious work done today and this is what I've had to deal with all day. It's a lousy prank and I wish whoever did it would fix it and let me work without these kinds of distractions."
Elsewhere in the office, desks were found trashed with post it notes covering every available surface and the coffee machine was turned into a Jello mold. "A Jello mold! For crying out loud! Who messes with the coffee?" commented Kevin Kennedy, CMO. "This has to be grounds for immediate dismissal. I'll be launching an internal investigation right away and following all handbook regulations for this one."
Even Jack Polson, UI Developer, was upset with the floating head. "I don't condone stogie time without my participation and this obviously did not include me."
The security team promised nominal progress and mediocre conclusions sometime within the next 4-6 months.
In an earlier post, I talked about the benefits of using Instagram for your business or not-for-profit. Using Instagram as part of your social marketing strategy is a way for your business to visually market products and services, establish your company’s personality, create trust within clients, show expertise in your industry, and drive more traffic to your website. However, simply creating an Instagram account won’t do these things for your business. Here are some ways on how to best market your company on Instagram!
How your small business should use Instagram:
Hashtags- Just like twitter, Instagram has hashtags. Utilize hashtags! They are a great way to connect with users interested in your industry and for new people to find your business. Think of hashtags as keywords or search terms used by certain social media sites. Using hashtags is a great way to create followers—as people will find your business and photos, based on hashtags that tell users what your content is about.
Interaction- The best way to create a strong follower base on Instagram is to interact with your followers. If a user comments on your post, reply to their comment. If you get a new follower, follow them back. This shows respect and interest in the people that follow you. As a small business these interactions are a great way to display positive customer relations and the attention you give to current and potential clients.
Creativity- One of the great things about Instagram is how easy it is to be unique and creative. Share what your company does in a new light. Each photo can easily be filtered and edited— providing a different view or perspective on your products and services. With tools right at hand, display your product or service in an aesthetically pleasing way. This will instantly catch a user’s attention and interest in your company.
Personality- Your Instagram should be more than just posting pictures of your company’s product or service. Instagram gives your business the opportunity to really show how your different. Display the whole process of your work. What happens before the finished product? Who you are? What makes you unique? Showing the whole process of your business or client success stories can be a great and easy way to establish your business’s personality and make potential customers feel more connected to your company, employees, and work. Show the early stages of your product or service. Show members of your business at work, at play, or involved in any community activities your organization supports. Ad hoc, fun photos allow followers to look at your company as real people. Personal photos on Instagram are also a great way to humanize your business, establish trust within viewers, and make your small business stand out.
Credibility- Another great way to utilize Instagram is to display your expertise in your field. If you’re a landscaping company, post tips on how to keep up a garden. If you sell organic food, share tips on healthy eating. If you sell clothing to be worn during outdoor recreation, post pictures of different local hiking spots. By posting tips, fun facts, or anything related to your industry you convey your business’s credibility in an easy and fun way. This displayed expertise in your field causes your company to seem reliable and knowledgeable.
Who are you-The easiest, but most important thing to do for your Instagram is to give followers and viewers a way to find your website! When setting up your account, give a short description of what your company does and link your website. This provides easy access to your site so after your posts have sparked someone’s interest, they can click on the link to learn more about what you do. Indy CD and Vinyl's simple, but descriptive profile invites one to visit their store and website.
With a few tips to get you started, create an Instagram for your organization and make it your own. Instagram is a unique and manageable way to visually connect with potential customers, develop customer relations, share your company’s story, and establish trust. Only a few minutes each day are needed to snap a shot of your product, a new member of the team, or a work in progress!
Financial Health FCU launches new website!
Financial Health FCU launched a new website to highlight their services and financial health tools.